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Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool

News Purple revolution against Trump Recommended Links Attempts to find dirt on Trump and his associates using Special Prosecutor Mueller modeled after Ken Starr prosecution of Bill Clinton MSM as attack dogs of color revolution Wolff revelations and slander of Trump administration Was Natalia Veselnitskaya meeting with Trump Jr. a trap? Susan Rice unmasking campaign as an attempt to derail Trump by Obama administration Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition
FBI Mayberry Machiavellians Steele dossier Strzok-gate Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations Trump vs. Deep State Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Bannon Demice due to leaks to Wolff Obama administration participation and intelligence services putsch against Trump History of American False Flag Operations
National Security State The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin Hillary Clinton email scandal Anti Trump Hysteria Michael Flynn National Security State
Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"  The Deep State  Corporatist Corruption  Neocons Bernie Sanders betrayal of his supporters Doublespeak New American Militarism Bait and Switch
Deception as an art form The Iron Law of Oligarchy Principal-agent problem Neoliberalism US Presidential Elections of 2012 Non-Interventionism Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc

Introduction

The de-legitimization of the government via leaks,  using of a pack of dogs in the form of controlled by coup leaders MSMs ( leaks about corruption  is a traditional tool in color revolutions. )  is the fundamental Color revolutions strategy.

Classic example is  the falsified charge about "election irregularities" also used in the several color revolutions in the past (the Orange Revolution in Ukraine is one example) to successfully to overturn the results of election.  That's actually one of the favorite tool of the State Department in such operations. So Hillary and her supporters within the State Department should be  well trained in this craft. After Trump victory they have had the audacity to launch this dirty game on the USA people.

Initially Hillary actually tried using Green Party of a Trojan horse, but this failed. Then Podesta decided to try "Russian hand" to overturn the result of the elections and was considerably more successful. Not without help of some officials in three-letter agencies. For example, Brennan, who amplified the story via and provided the leaks via "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections  greatly helped to keep the Russiagate story hot.

One objective is to keep in place an anti-Russian policy. The coup’s instigators want to prevent Trump from letting up on the pressure (sanctions) on Russia and from cooperating with Russia. The coup forces are neocons fifth column in Washington. A second objective is to maintain the positions, power, and influence of the coup’s seekers, which are alliance of neocons and Clinton DemoRats (neoliberal interventionalist such as Samantha Power and Susan Rice). The only difference between them is that neocon place Israel interests first while neoliberal interventionalists place the interest of transnational corporations first.  none of them care much about interests of ordinary Americans which delegated to the  role of financial donors for those wars and cannon fodder.

The set of leaks were designed to create a hysteria which allows to appoint  a Special Prosecutor for Trump. which happened via Obama appointee in Justice Department, the same that recommended to Trump to fire Comey.  So this goal in the color revolution plan was achieved without any Congress action.

It is unclear why this idea about Russian corruption is being pushed after April, 2017, as it is clear that Trump folded to neocons. Probably the goal to remove  Trump and install Pence as the President is still intact.

The net result of this very well financed and very dirty disinformation propaganda complains  in which all major US MSMs play the role of "foot soldiers" of this color revolutions is that the majority of American are already successfully brainwashed and poisoned by anti-Russian witch hunt. and effects of this neo-McCarthyism campaign will laset a decade or more. So neocons won again, and  American people were played as patsies again, and again. As already happened during Bush Ii administration when the USA was pushed ito war in Iraq. So this is the second "Big Lie"  campaign is less then 20 years.

This new variant McCarthyism, with Russia serving as a scapegoat instead of the USSR  proved to be very efficient method to block any rapprochement with Russia and any attempts to stop neocons wars in ME, especially Syria adventure in which neocons sides with Islamic jihadists.  And like in case of Senator McCarthy witch hunt, which actually lasted almost a decade, the whole political atmosphere in the USA was poisoned to the extent that  Russia  has nowhere to go. It was firmly pushed in Chinese's hands.

Trump proved to a weakling unable to stop the series of very damaging leaks and fire and prosecute perpetrators on those acts. His decision not to prosecute Clintons was probably a grave mistake which sealed his fate. This decision allowed this campaign to be started by Podesta and friends.  Hillary actually know quite a lot about Watergate investigation, because she was a part of it. In 1974, Clinton became a member of the presidential impeachment inquiry staff during the Watergate scandal. I n 2008, a reporter named Dan Calabrese wrote an article that claimed that “when the investigation was over, Zeifman terminated Hillary from the committee staff and refused to give her a letter of recommendation.” The article quoted Zeifman as saying: “She was a liar. She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality.”  (The Washington Post -- which naturally tried to swipe this under the rug):

There is no actual quote from Zeifman saying he fired her. Moreover, in other interviews, Zeifman acknowledged that he did not fire Clinton. In 1999, nine years before the Calabrese interview, Zeifman told the Scripps-Howard news agency: “If I had the power to fire her, I would have fired her.” In a 2008 interview on “The Neal Boortz Show,” Zeifman was asked directly whether he fired her. His answer: “Well, let me put it this way. I terminated her, along with some other staff members who were — we no longer needed, and advised her that I would not — could not recommend her for any further positions.

He still some chances to counterattack this dirty campaign if he take investigation of Seth Rich murder under personal control (and he  can direct FBI to investigate DNC corruption as well),  but other then that that he does not have good counter moves. As of July 2017 with the Special Prosecutor firmly in place, the plotters are close to winning.

In such cases you are guilty, unless proved to be innocent. After appointing of the Special Prosecutor it actually does not matter whether Trump Russia contacts contain anything illegal at all. Dirt will be found, because the Special prosecutor is not bound to Russia probe and can dig the dirt on Trump from other areas, keeping him the hostage of "deep state". Obstruction of justice is one "rubber stamp" changes in such cases and it will probably be used to unseat Trump.   As Michael S. Rozeff  noted:

...This is a “seed crystal” coup. The model for the seed crystal coup is the Watergate scandal. The operational goal is to crystallize and solidify the disunited Trump opposition into a movement that has irresistible momentum. In much the same way that seed crystals can accelerate a phase change from liquid to solid, the coup perpetrators introduce reports, accusations, and leaks over time in order to create the impression that a widening scandal is occurring. Each component has no merit but the media accept them at face value and provide publicity that creates new adherents and coherence among the anti-Trump forces. The anti-Trump forces are anxious to replicate the success in getting Nixon to resign.

Q. What is the role of the establishment media in the coup?

A. The anti-Trump media are critical in this effort. The anti-Trump media keep up a drumbeat of anti-Trump reporting. They slant the news, manufacture stories, repeat them and create fake news. They try to convince the public that the coup’s promoters are on the side of the angels (as in protecting national security and the election system’s purity) and Trump is on the side of the devils (as in making concessions to a dangerous foe and being too respectful to Putin). The media must paint Russia and Putin as enemies for this propaganda effort to succeed. The media provide a focal point that coordinates the coup’s backers even if they never sit down and conspire with one another. Everyone can observe the media stories and through that the effects of their anti-Trump leaks, reports, and innuendos. This allows them to plan their next moves.

Q. What is the role of social media in the coup attempt?

 A. Social media have played a role in uprisings during the Arab Spring. The same thing can happen in America. There is a host of groups who are anti-Trump on grounds other than Russia. They can coordinate through social media. These groups seek to de-legitimize Trump so as to maintain items on their agenda. Aides to Hillary Clinton’s failed campaign are now piling on to the effort.

These groups are distinct from the coup’s perpetrators. They might launch a coup attempt of their own or they may become a front line of the existing coup, that is, merge with it as a force to reckon with that Trump has to address.

Q. How do you answer those who deny that there is an ongoing coup attempt?

A. Positing a coup attempt is the simplest and most comprehensive hypothesis that ties together and explains a host of known facts that we know have occurred. Being a model of events, it is imperfect; but it’s better than no model because it still helps us to understand what’s going on. We are not seeing a train of unconnected events that just happen to be anti-Trump. It is easier to understand it as a concerted effort going on to emasculate the Trump presidency and possibly see him replaced; and that effort is centered in the CIA.

The people behind the coup are operating partly openly and partly covertly. They are not so far using military means or physically threatening means so that the coup is not clearly recognizable as such. They are more like sharks circling their intended victims, with each one being hungry and attacking its own, as opposed to making pre-arranged attacks. Their coordination is achieved through publicity and a common goal.

We can see these attacks, and they show a pattern, a common goal and a recognizable origin, primarily among U.S. intelligence agencies, especially the CIA.

Q. What attacks are you referring to?

A. The first victim was Paul Manafort who resigned in mid-August 2016 as Trump’s campaign chairman. His lobbying efforts on behalf of the ousted head of Ukraine, Victor Yanukovych, resulted in a dirt campaign against him. That attack stemmed from anti-Russian sources in Ukraine whom the U.S. government supports. Attacks from foreign origins conceal their true U.S. origins. They are a sign of a CIA operation behind the scenes.

The second victim of the coup is Michael T. Flynn, who resigned as Trump’s National Security Advisor after only three weeks in that post. Leaks of tapped phone calls showed that intelligence operatives were behind this shark attack.

Q. Who is behind the coup attempt?

A. Mainly, unnamed intelligence officials and operatives who are in the CIA or recently retired from such. A number of media outfits are exceptionally active in propagating negative headlines and stories about Trump and his administration. Elements of other intelligence agencies and departments of government are possibly involved. We do not know the names of those operating against Trump, and this is a weakness of the coup hypothesis.

Q. When did the coup attempt begin?

A. Its foundation was laid in 2016 by accusations of Russian interference in the election. The coup began in earnest as soon as the election in November 2016 made Trump the winner.

Q. What evidence points to the CIA’s role in the coup attempt?

A. A news report from September 5, 2016, reports that “U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are investigating what they see as a broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in U.S. political institutions, intelligence, and congressional officials said.”

On Jan. 14, 2017, a news report states that the CIA set up a task force in 2016 to investigate possible Russian funding of Trump’s campaign. The task force included the FBI, the Treasury, and Justice Departments, the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the National Security Agency (NSA).

Q. Why did the CIA set up a task force to investigate Trump’s campaign?

A. Why did the CIA not set up a task force to investigate Hillary Clinton’s activities during and after being Secretary of State in response to receipt of mammoth amounts of foreign money that were laundered through the Clinton Foundation? The reason is that she was the candidate favored by the CIA leadership and Trump was not.

Early in 2016, Trump was raising very strong doubts in the intelligence community that he’d govern as they saw fit.

On February 24, 2016, ex-CIA chief Hayden said he’d be “frightened” of a Trump presidency. He said, “I would be incredibly concerned if President Trump governed in a way that was consistent with the language that candidate Trump expressed during the campaign.” A news report told us “Former CIA director Michael Hayden believes there is a legitimate possibility that the U.S. military would refuse to follow orders given by Donald Trump if the Republican front-runner becomes president and decides to make good on certain campaign pledges.”

A month later, Hayden opined that Trump was a larger threat to national stability on security matters than Hillary Clinton.

On April 11, 2016, we learn that CIA Director “Brennan said on NBC News Sunday that he would not allow enhanced interrogation tactics, including waterboarding, even if a future president ordered it.” Trump wasted no time responding: “Donald Trump is taking on CIA Director John Brennan on torture, saying Brennan’s pledge not to allow waterboarding is ‘ridiculous.’”

On July 13, 2016, Brennan testified that he’d consider quitting rather than obey a president’s order to reinstate waterboarding, something that Trump had suggested. Another article says that even before that date, “[Brennan] has already expressed his distaste for Trump.”

There is ample evidence in the form of sharp public bickering between Trump and these two CIA chiefs, present and the past, that the CIA set up a task force to investigate Trump’s campaign as a weapon against Trump and his possible election. The motive behind the investigation was not to ensure a clean campaign free of Russian influence but to work against Trump’s election chances. The CIA was dismayed by what appeared to them to be a possible president who was aiming to work with Putin and not against him.

Q. But wasn’t the CIA doing the right thing to investigate possible Russian funding of the Trump campaign?

A. The idea of Russian funding of Trump’s campaign was absurd. This investigation had no reason to be started other than a goal of smearing Trump and preventing a Trump presidency. It was absurd because foreign money given to American political campaigns is illegal and everyone knows it. Trump would not jeopardize his campaign for some trivial amount of money nor would his campaign officials; and a large amount would easily be spotted through the banking system. It was also absurd because the Kremlin would not operate and does not operate in this way. It would not risk being found out blatantly violating American law in this way, as that would greatly diminish its credibility. “Doing the right thing” for the American system was strictly a plausible and disingenuous device.

Q. If the investigation was absurd, what leads or allegations did the CIA have to set it up?

A. The excuse was an allegation that three of Trump’s associates had received campaign money from the Kremlin. This allegation came from a Baltic state and it was processed by the CIA and made into something worthy of following up. We read that the task force “…was set up after the director of the CIA, John Brennan, received a recording of a conversation about money from the Kremlin going into Trump’s campaign coffers, the BBC’s Paul Wood reported. The recording was apparently passed to the CIA by the intelligence agency of one of the Baltic States.”

According to this, John Brennan is the key player in the anti-Trump movement. He wants to see Trump’s presidency brought to a quick end or otherwise neutered and made compliant to rule by the CIA. By their control over information and its interpretation, the leaders of the CIA have gained considerable power within the government. They’ve enhanced this by developing operational forces in the field.

As occurred during the propaganda campaign that preceded Bush 2’s attack on Iraq and as in the Ukraine case noted above, we again observe murky foreign sources that are given credence and validity by the CIA. The public and media have no viable way of checking on the story of Kremlin money except perhaps through off the record sources. Such stories can’t be traced through public hearings without subpoena power and a will to wash a lot of dirty linen in public. They are perfect for propaganda and cover-ups.

John Brennan has the CIA initiate an investigation on a flimsy basis and gets away with it. We know from his public statements at that time and later that he’s thoroughly anti-Trump and anti-Russia. This is why such an investigation went forward. Brennan had nothing to lose. If he found some dirt on Trump or his associates, he’d discredit Trump and lose him votes. If he didn’t find anything, the investigation itself would still raise suspicions about Trump and provide Hillary Clinton and her aides with anti-Trump ammunition. In fact, her campaign did use the alleged Russian connection against Trump.

Q. What else do we know of Brennan’s differences with Trump?

A. On Sept. 11, 2016, Brennan disagreed with Trump publicly: “CIA Director John Brennan pushed back against Donald Trump’s claim that he could read disapproval of President Barack Obama’s policies in the body language of the intelligence officers who gave him a confidential national security briefing.”

On November 30, 2016, we read that Brennan expressed another difference with Trump: “The director of the CIA has issued a stark warning to President-elect Donald J. Trump. Tearing up the Iran nuclear deal would be ‘the height of folly’ and ‘disastrous.’”

On January 3, 2016, Charles Schumer said that Trump was “being really dumb” for arguing against the assessments of the intelligence community on Russian hacking. He adds ominously: “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”

On January 15, 2017, we read “CIA Director John Brennan on Sunday had a stern parting message for Republican Donald Trump days before he assumes the U.S. presidency, cautioning him against loosening sanctions on Russia and warning him to watch what he says. Brennan rebuked the president-elect for comparing U.S. intelligence practices to Nazi Germany in comments that laid bare the friction between Trump and the intelligence community he has criticized and is on the verge of commanding.”

Q. What became of the allegations against the three associates of Trump?

A. The three accused men each strongly denied allegations of being paid by the Kremlin. On October 15, the FISA court granted a warrant to intercept communications from two Russian banks. The investigators were looking for evidence that money passed from Russia to the three Trump associates. No such evidence was found.

On January 19, 2017, the continuing investigation by “American law enforcement and intelligence agencies” was confirmed, and Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, was mentioned:

“The counterintelligence investigation centers at least in part on the business dealings that some of the president-elect’s past and present advisers have had with Russia. Mr. Manafort has done business in Ukraine and Russia. Some of his contacts there were under surveillance by the National Security Agency for suspected links to Russia’s Federal Security Service, one of the officials said.”

Mr. Manafort has done nothing illegal, we learn. He has merely done some business in Ukraine and Russia. He merely came into contact with people with suspected links to a Russian intelligence outfit. They weren’t even known spies. Mr. Manafort has fallen victim to suspicion by association two or three times removed even from guilt by association.

The other two being investigated are Carter Page and Roger Stone, and we learn that they too are innocent of wrongdoing.

“The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said.”

So, we know that a concerted effort has been made to investigate three of Trump’s close aides. We know that the CIA was the instigator and that it used its typical murky and unverifiable tips to gain credibility. Finally, we know that this inquiry has produced no evidence of any illegal activities of Trump or his aides.

Q. What other evidence is there of an attempted coup against Trump?

A. On Oct. 7, 2016, there was released the “Joint Statement from the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security”. This brief statement on behalf of U.S. intelligence agencies linked the Russian government to hacking: “The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations.” It stated its belief “that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”

On Nov. 30, 2016, an outfit named PropOrNot with links to the U.S. intelligence community published a report that named 200 websites as propagators of Russian propaganda: “Russia Is Manipulating US Public Opinion through Online Propaganda”.

On Dec. 9, 2016, it was reported that “The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency…”

Dec. 29, 2016, arrived the FBI-DHS report: “Grizzly Steppe – Russian Malicious Cyber Activity”. This was widely denounced as lacking even persuasive circumstantial evidence, never mind direct evidence of Russian involvement.

On Jan. 10, 2017, the Golden Showers report was leaked, accusing Trump of having been compromised by Russian agents and therefore subject to blackmail. This report had been circulating for weeks in intelligence and media circles. It had supposedly been written between July and December by former British MI-6 agent, Christopher Steele.

Once again we observe that a spurious anti-Trump report is purported or arranged to have a foreign origination; but that it is carried to the public by means of the CIA and leaks within the U.S.

On February 13, 2017, the coup perps drew fresh blood when Michael Flynn resigned, despite no evidence of wrongdoing. Their success is attributable to their use of wiretapped phone calls and to leaking these to the media. Since intelligence agents have access to these calls that the NSA collects, we once again observe that intelligence circles are active in seeking to undermine Trump. This is consistent with the conclusion that a coup attempt is ongoing.

Q. Could you summarize, please?

A. In 2016 Trump and the CIA became foes of one another because of vast policy differences. Past and present CIA directors went public against Trump. They instigated a series of reports and leaks to discredit Trump and to link his campaign to Russian meddling in the election. They went after several of his aides, causing Paul Manafort to resign. After the election, they produced new anti-Trump material and managed to get his National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, to resign. This adds up to an attempted coup that has had some success.

Q. What happens next?

A. The future is guesswork. We will be surprised at what happens, but here are some guesses. The coup attempt will not cease. There is nothing presently opposing it unless Trump is counterattacking behind the scenes, of which there is no evidence. Trump will eventually sense the coup’s efficacy and devise ways to stop it. The anti-Trump media will keep the pot boiling. They will need new stories to exploit. Anti-Trump elements in the CIA can be expected to come up with new, dubious and devious revelations aimed at discrediting Trump’s handling of foreign affairs. We can expect former intelligence officials to speak out against Trump at critical times and to recruit allies who will add what appears to be an even more independent criticism of Trump. The coup may transform into an effort to control Trump’s policies from outside his administration.

 

In other words the plotters already paralyzed Trump and his administration.

Self-destructive character of this exercise

Leak destroy trust and create atmosphere of paranoia. They also increase inclinations to launch  "a small, victorious war" to distract from internal problems. On Foreign Policy website Micah Zenko wrote that there is a danger that the Trump administration might attempt to wage a war to lessen the pressure from Russiagate. Steve Bannon is probably the only antiwar member of Trump administration. Almost everybody else actually want a war. Even even Bannon views are suspect (The Guardian, Feb 1, 2017)

WSJ is not happy with such a development as you can see from the column Anti-Trump Democrats Invite Chaos - WSJ by Ted Van Dyk published on May 21, 2017 5:44 p.m.  He makes several good point about self-destructing character of this exercise:

218 COMMENTS

‘A jackass can kick down a barn,” said the legendary Speaker Sam Rayburn. “But it takes a carpenter to build one.” Democrats should reflect on that wisdom as they consider the special counsel now appointed to investigate President Trump’s alleged ties to Russia. In the short term, the inquiry will probably hurt Mr. Trump and feed attempts to drive him from office. But in the end the president’s attackers will pay a price.

The political and media hysteria surrounding the Trump administration lies somewhere on the repulsiveness scale between the Jacobin excesses of the French Revolution and the McCarthy era. Thus far the public knows of no presidential action that would justify impeachment. Never mind, the crowd cries, let us have the verdict now. We can do the trial later.

What about discussions between Trump campaign advisers and Russian or other foreign leaders? Don’t they count as high crimes and misdemeanors? No, such conversations take place all the time in national campaigns.

What about the firing of FBI Director James Comey ? Wasn’t that suspicious? No, Mr. Comey disregarded the Justice Department chain of command and the normal proprieties of his office. He made public statements about ongoing investigations. He allowed it to leak that the president had suggested leniency for Mike Flynn, the former White House adviser now under investigation. A presidential suggestion of that nature would be neither illegal nor unprecedented.

What about Mr. Trump’s disclosure of classified information during a meeting with Russian leaders? It’s a tempest in a teapot. The president has the authority to classify or declassify information as he wishes. I have witnessed other presidents doing it.

What about Mr. Trump’s executive order declaring a short-term pause on immigration from countries with active terrorist movements? It may have been poorly handled, but other presidents have done similar things.

What about all Mr. Trump’s flip-flopping? Shouldn’t a president be trustworthy and reliable? Yes, but when Mr. Trump has reversed his campaign pledges it has been mostly for the good.

If Mr. Trump were a conventional president, these missteps would be shrugged off as growing pains or considered worthy of only mild reproof. President Trump, it is true, lacks the knowledge, experience and temperament for the office. His crude narcissism is grating. He has carelessly contributed to his problems with heedless public statements. He nonetheless was duly elected and should be given the leeway that new presidents are traditionally afforded.

Critics, moreover, misread the temper of the American people. Most voters don’t much like Mr. Trump. But they like chaos less. I spoke recently to a Democratic group consisting mainly of Bernie Sanders supporters. Many were searching for a constructive response to the Trump presidency. They were people, as the saying goes, seeking to light a candle rather than curse the darkness. I suggested that they concentrate on developing alternatives to Mr. Trump’s proposals—on health care, taxes, the budget. “You mean we should help Trump?” someone asked. “No,” I answered, “you should help your country.” I was surprised by the outburst of applause that followed.

Democrats, in their all-out opposition to Mr. Trump, are missing real opportunities to influence policy. The tax-reform debate is a prime example. If Democrats were shrewd, they would try to negotiate a grand compromise, in which loopholes are scrubbed from the code and Social Security and Medicare put on sounder long-term footing. But to get there, purposeful polarization must give way to constructive engagement.

Trump haters disregard an old rule of politics and history: In the end, voters always choose order over disorder. Kicking Mr. Trump to the curb wouldn’t return the country to the pre-Trump status quo. It would likely bring forth new law-and-order leadership more disciplined and conservative than Mr. Trump’s.

Mr. Van Dyk was active for more than 40 years in Democratic administrations and campaigns, including as Vice President Humphrey’s assistant in the White House.

Comey testimony confirms the worst suspicions

In hearings at the Intelligence Committee of the US Congress the former director of the FBI Comey made great efforts to put Trump in a very bad light.

Comey testiphony: speculative….conclusory…..ad hominem…vague…petitio principii…..et cetera..
http://www.wben.com/articles/comey-testimony-video-clips-minute-minute-summaries

After Comey testimony it is clear that Trump fired him for good reasons and should have done this earlier: among other things Comey artificially hold Trump Russiagate "hot" and Hillary "emailgate" cold:

After six months of investigation the FBI had no evidence for any of the rumors about Russian interference [in U.S. elections] that were thrown around. It should have closed the case with a clear recommendation not to prosecute the issue. [...]

That Comey kept the case open was political interference from his side. Hearings and public rumors about the case blocked the political calendar.

Comey testimony proved to be damaging for Trump and some parts of it are definitely a  thinly veiled revenge of the fired FBI director. That's given. Comey tried to play russian car on flynt saying that the president, on February 14, told the then-FBI chief that he hoped he could find a way to not investigate National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, a comment Comey saw as an attempt to influence him as a Director of FBI. That's a clear backstabbing.  Note also salacious reminder  "had not been involved with hookers in Russia" in the following quote:

On the morning of March 30, the President called me at the FBI. He described the Russia investigation as “a cloud” that was impairing his ability to act on behalf of the country. He said he had nothing to do with Russia, had not been involved with hookers in Russia, and had always assumed he was being recorded when in Russia. He asked what we could do to “lift the cloud.” I responded that we were investigating the matter as quickly as we could, and that there would be great benefit, if we didn’t find anything, to our having done the work well. He agreed, but then re-emphasized the problems this was causing him. Then the President asked why there had been a congressional hearing about Russia the previous week – at which I had, as the Department of Justice directed, confirmed the investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Comey was the leaker to NYT

The most interesting part is that Comey was the actual leaker to NYT.  A very nice for FBI director behavior :-). Also the attempts to remove Trump in which he, Clapper and Brennon are engaged (which means efforts to install Pence)  can be traced to certain politicians (with the last names starting with C, O and  B) and "deep state", which since JFK assassination replaced the "surface" state (elected officials). Making the latter just a tool for the legitimization of the regime. In other words Bolshevism won in Cold War: it poisoned the USA institutions and recovery is probably very difficult, if possible at all.  Welcome to the USSR, where Politburo was de-facto ruler of the country and controlled the "semi-elected" government.

So it now looks like "Russiagate" from the very beginning was a "false flag operation" run by neocons and Clinton and Obama loyalists (especially in MSM) and certain members of intelligence agencies designed to remove Trump.

As unqualified as Trump proved to be as POTUS,  he still was elected by approximately half of the US voters (and if we remove results from NY, Boston, San Fransisco and Los Angeles by the dominant majority of population).  Cosmopolitan city population preferred Clinton for obvious reason -- it get the loot from the neoliberal globalization.

In other words, we now are watching yet another "soft coup", a color revolution implemented int he USA (State Department is the command center for such things in foreign countries -- in a way it is yet another 19th intelligence  agency in the USA).  "Purple revolution" against Trump is based of series of well coordinated leaks and the hysteria in MSM that the elections were hijacked by Trump using Russian hackers (the charge that election were corrupted by the winner is a typical theme of the color revolutions, for example the "Orange Revolution" in Ukraine in 2004 which installed Viktor Yushchenko as president). 

The US MSM are playing the role of NGOs in "Purple revolution".  But continuing it after April, 2017 does not make much sense because Trump folded and adopted neocon foreign policy.  Still it is continued. 

 Pat Buchanan made some interesting observations on July 8, 2017 in his article  Pat Buchanan The Impeach-Trump Conspiracy (VDARE )

All the synthetic shock over what Kushner or Sessions said to Kislyak aside, this city's hatred for President Trump, and its fanatic determination to bring him down in disgrace, predates his presidency.

For Trump ran in 2016 not simply as the Republican alternative. He presented his candidacy as a rejection, a repudiation of the failed elites, political and media, of both parties. Americans voted in 2016 not just for a change in leaders but for a revolution to overthrow a ruling regime.

Also MSM try to present possible instances of corruption (which is a norm for both the businessmen and politicians under neoliberalism as the slogan is "Greed is good") as treason (Ann Coulter Press Barking (Mad) Up The Wrong Tree

Meanwhile, it is a known fact that the FBI is looking at Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. It is a known fact that the Kushner family has used its connections to President Trump to drum up Chinese investors for the family’s real estate portfolio. It is a known fact that Jared is looking for investors in his 666 Fifth Avenue building, which is underwater. It is a known fact that Jared met with the Russian ambassador—as well as a representative of a state-owned Russian bank—during the transition. It is a known fact that he neglected to mention those meetings on his security clearance forms.

All of this is probably perfectly aboveboard. But if you weren’t insane, the blindingly obvious question would be: Why did Kushner meet with the head of a state-controlled Russian bank?

That’s not what our media want to know! Reporters see all those facts, put 2 and 2 together and ask: How does this advance the narrative that Russia colluded with the Trump campaign to steal the election from Hillary?

This is why the press blared alarmist headlines about Kushner’s attempt to set up a “back channel” with Russia, a fact as important and disturbing as the square footage of Jared’s office.

Liberals are desperate for anything sneaky with Russia because, unfortunately, there is still neither a coherent theory, nor any evidence, of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign to sway the election.

The argument is that Russia hacked John Podesta’s emails and turned them over to Wikileaks in order to reveal to American voters that the Democratic National Committee … conspired against Bernie Sanders! And that would have swung the election against Hillary because—well, actually, there’s no theory on how it was supposed to work, exactly, but liberals believe that trained Russian spymasters thought it was a capital idea.

Buttressing this crackpot theory, there is, helpfully, zero evidence. Despite the FBI investigating alleged Russian collusion for nearly one year now, there’s still not a speck of evidence that Russia colluded with the Trump campaign, only insinuations and dramatic headlines.

The FBI itself never investigated the DNC email leaks, but outsourced review of the Democrats’ servers to a cyber-security firm hired by the DNC. It raised no red flags with our Jacques Clouseau-like FBI that the DNC’s chosen investigator, CrowdStrike, is affiliated with a fanatically anti-Russian Ukrainian billionaire

CrowdStrike’s smoking gun proving a Russian plot to elect Trump was the fact that the malware program used against the DNC was identical to a malware program used by the Russians to disable 80 percent of Ukraine’s howitzers in its war with Russian separatists in 2014.

Except then it turned out that: a) Russia isn’t the only hacker with that malware; b) Ukraine’s howitzers hadn’t, in fact, been disabled; and c) Ukraine’s howitzer app had never even been hacked.

Other cyber-security firms scoffed at CrowdStrike’s report, explaining that the “Fancy Bear” malware allegedly found in the DNC hacks may have originated with Russia, but once Russia had used it, every hacker had it. As cybersecurity expert Jeffrey Carr explained to The Miami Herald, malware isn’t “a bomb or an artillery shell. (It) doesn’t detonate on impact and destroy itself.”

As long as we’re calling for investigations of any kook theory, how about an independent commission to investigate whether Sen. Chuck Schumer is a child molester? Schumer was Anthony Weiner’s mentor, which is already more evidence than the media have for their Russian collusion story.

True, I don’t have proof that Schumer is a child molester, but I just started this investigation! Was there collusion between Schumer and Weiner in the selection of the underage girl Weiner sexted with? Neither man has yet issued a full and convincing denial.

Obviously, the point of an independent investigation isn’t to find any actual wrongdoing. It’s to hurt Trump. But if that’s your objective, American media, as loath as I am to give you helpful suggestions, the wafer-thin evidence that exists all points to Kushner, not collusion

Looks like DemoRats (Clinton neoliberal democrats and neocons) are destroying remnants of election democracy in the USA, if we assume that such remnants still exist (Trump now is just a placeholder, not a real president; foreign policy issues are decided by other people in dark suits). 

But at the same time neoliberalism is on retreat despite successful counterattacks in Argentina, Brasil and France.  the problem is the  we have no viable alternative to neoliberalism as return to New Deal capitalism is now probably impossible as management  class switched sides in 80th and now is aligned with capital owners, destroying the political coalition which made the New Deal Capitalism possible.

The Bush II period joke that the  Congress and US government are "neocon occupied territories" within the USA )much like Palestine in Israel)   sounds now even more true then before 9/11.  And have currency outside alt-right (which should be understood as anti-war right, not  as neonazy right as NYT tried to paint them; look at Bannon platform) And the fact that none of neocons went to jail for staging Iraq invasion (Wolfowitz was slapped on the wrists by blowing out his dallainace with World Bank employee and sending him packing from this lucrative position)  confirms that :-)

I also like the girl who leaked NSA document to Intercept. Especially the name :-).   How 25 years old got access to documents related to Russia being a translator from several Arabic languages (and probably pretty dumb as a computer user)  is an interesting  question to ask.  Somebody probably helped her.   At least Snowden was a system administrator.


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Old News ;-)

[Apr 13, 2018] No, the FBI's Michael Cohen Raid Did Not Violate Attorney-Client Privilege by Bruce Fein

Notable quotes:
"... Cohen acknowledged that he paid porn star "Stormy Daniels" $130,000 two weeks before the 2016 election in exchange for her staying silent about her 2006 affair with Trump. No one pays for silence unless there is something to hide. The payment was made 10 years after the alleged dalliance. ..."
"... The obvious purpose was to influence the outcome of the election by concealing damaging information about Mr. Trump's character. That made Mr. Cohen's payment an undisclosed campaign "contribution" to Mr. Trump vastly exceeding the individual statutory limit of $2,700. ..."
"... Maybe you should have picked an example where the defendant wasn't acquitted. It's easy to see how an expansive definition of the term "campaign contribution" could be dangerous. ..."
Apr 13, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

So what of these charges against Cohen and could they really hurt the president?

Federal election laws define a campaign contribution as "anything of value given to influence a Federal election." It is common knowledge that Mr. Cohen acknowledged that he paid porn star "Stormy Daniels" $130,000 two weeks before the 2016 election in exchange for her staying silent about her 2006 affair with Trump. No one pays for silence unless there is something to hide. The payment was made 10 years after the alleged dalliance.

The obvious purpose was to influence the outcome of the election by concealing damaging information about Mr. Trump's character. That made Mr. Cohen's payment an undisclosed campaign "contribution" to Mr. Trump vastly exceeding the individual statutory limit of $2,700.

Similarly, Democrat John Edwards was prosecuted (later acquitted) for soliciting and spending nearly $1 million in his 2008 presidential campaign to conceal his affair with Rielle Hunter, so this is not a crime normally brushed under the rug. The public record also establishes probable cause to believe Cohen was behind the payment of $150,000 to Playboy Bunny Karen McDougall to kill her story about a protracted extramarital relationship with Mr. Trump that could have torpedoed his presidential ambitions. The question remains, of course, how much this will implicate and hurt Trump, who has denied the affair with Daniels and any other "wrongdoing." Cohen said he paid Daniels out of his own pocket and was not reimbursed by Trump or the campaign.

JK April 13, 2018 at 1:52 pm

John Edwards was acquited on one charge and a mistrial on five others w/o retrial. So there was no conviction there, these actions are not business as usual, and the DOJ lesson from that case should have been to cease such abusive prosecutorial misconduct, not to repeat it. These examples show why campaign finance restrictions are an unconstitutional burden on freedom of association. Trump is a rich man, so could afford to pay the hush money if he believed it necessary without it being a crime. As it appears, Cohen believed it important to pay w/o asking Trump, thinking he's helping a friend. Now what of Edwards? Maybe Edwards couldn't afford to pay hush money, so he needed and solicited help from friends. By making it a crime for friends to help him, the law favors rich candidates like Trump that can afford to do things others can't without breaking the law.

There is zero chance of a jury conviction here, so DOJ shouldn't have pursued it given the incendiary effect of conducting raids on someone's attorney. Furthermore, there's zero chance of Muller getting jury convictions on the pile of horse manure prosecutions he's pursuing. The only convictions Muller is getting is from people buckling under the fiduciary extortion inherent in his tactics and copping a plea even though a jury would never convict them.

curri , says: April 13, 2018 at 2:05 pm
So who do we believe, Dershowitz or Fein?

Similarly, Democrat John Edwards was prosecuted for soliciting and spending nearly $1 million in his 2008 presidential campaign to conceal his affair with Rielle Hunter, so this is not a crime normally brushed under the rug.

Maybe you should have picked an example where the defendant wasn't acquitted. It's easy to see how an expansive definition of the term "campaign contribution" could be dangerous.

[Apr 11, 2018] History repeats itself. An investigation motivated by some alleged abuse deploys drift nets, finds nothing so it changes the focus to the sexual history of the target.

Apr 11, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Piotr Berman | Apr 11, 2018 10:28:34 AM | 76

Re: the fate of Trump.

History repeats itself. An investigation motivated by some alleged abuse deploys drift nets, finds nothing so it changes the focus to the sexual history of the target. Hush money for consensual sex is legal as far as I know -- I do not know the law, but it became known and studiously ignored by the special prosecutor. So he tries to discover any possible past deal that is somehow illegal, and recorded as illegal? A bit of a fat chance.

[Apr 10, 2018] Federal probe into Trump's lawyer seeks records about two women who alleged affairs with the president by Devlin Barrett at all

Looks like Rosenstein is after Trump. he authorized this action.
Notable quotes:
"... Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who personally approved the move to seek a search warrant for Cohen's records, which included raids Monday on his home and office, according to two people with knowledge of the investigation. ..."
Apr 10, 2018 | www.washingtonpost.com

Federal prosecutors investigating President Trump's personal attorney, Michael D. Cohen, are seeking records related to two women who received payments in 2016 after alleging affairs with Trump years ago -- adult-film star Stormy Daniels and ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The interest in both Daniels and McDougal indicates that federal investigators are trying to determine whether there was a broader pattern or strategy among Trump associates to buy the silence of women whose accounts could harm the president's electoral chances and whether any crimes were committed in doing so, the person said.

... ... ...

The high stakes of the case were underscored by the involvement of Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who personally approved the move to seek a search warrant for Cohen's records, which included raids Monday on his home and office, according to two people with knowledge of the investigation.

Rosenstein's role has infuriated Trump, who was left "stunned" and "livid" by the aggressive move by prosecutors Monday, according to an outside adviser in frequent touch with the White House.

Cohen, Trump's longtime attorney, is under federal investigation for possible bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations, The Washington Post reported Monday.

[Apr 01, 2018] All the President s Women by Andrew Levine

This is probably the most vicious attack on Trump trangressions that i encountered so far...
Notable quotes:
"... The problem for Trump is that what his accusers are saying puts him in legal and political jeopardy. They are claiming, in effect, that he has committed a variety of unlawful and impeachable offenses – from obstruction of justice to violations of campaign finance laws. ..."
"... The Clinton-Lewinsky dalliance led to a series of events that prevented Clinton from doing even more harm to our feeble welfare state institutions than he would otherwise have done. ..."
"... Fire and Fury ..."
Apr 01, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

There is no doubt about it: Stormy Daniels is a formidable woman. Karen McDougal is no slouch either, though she is hard to admire after that riff, in her Anderson Cooper interview, about how religious and Republican she is; she even said that she used to love the Donald. Stormy Daniels is better than that.

How wonderfully appropriate it would be if she were to become the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back.

Even in a world as topsy-turvy as ours has become, there has to be a final straw.

To be sure, evidence of Trump's vileness, incompetence, and mental instability is accumulating at breakneck speed, and there are polls now that show support for him holding fast or even slightly rising. Trump's hardcore "base" seems more determined than ever to stand by their man.

But even people as benighted as they are bound to realize eventually that they have been had. Many of them already do, but don't care; they hate Clinton Democrats that much. This is understandable, but foolish; so foolish, in fact, that they can hardly keep it up indefinitely.

To think otherwise is to despair for the human race.

What, if anything, can bring them to their senses in time for the 2018 election?

Stormy Daniels says she only wants to tell her story, not bring Trump down. But her political instincts seem decent, and she is one shrewd lady. Therefore, I would not be the least surprised if that is not quite true. It hardly matters, though, what her intentions are; I'd put my money on her.

A recession might also do the trick. A recession is long overdue, and Trump's tax cut for the rich and his tariffs are sure to make its consequences worse when it happens.

To turn significant portions of Trump's base against him, a major military conflagration might also do -- not the kind Barack Obama favored, fought far away and out of public view, but a real war, televised on CNN, and waged against an enemy state like North Korea or Iran. It would have to go quickly and disastrously wrong, though, in ways that even willfully blind, terminally obtuse Trump supporters could not fail to see.

Or the gods could smile upon us, causing Trump's exercise regimen (sitting in golf carts) and his fat-ridden, cholesterol rich diet to catch up with him, as it would with most other sedentary septuagenarians. The only downside would be that a heart attack or stroke might elicit sympathy for the poor bastard. No sane person could or should hope for a calamitous economic downturn or for yet another devastating, pointless, and manifestly unjust war, especially one that could become a war to end all wars (along with everything else), on the off-chance that some good might come of it. And if the best we can do is hope that cheeseburgers with fries will save us, we are grasping at straws.

These are compelling reasons to hope that the accusations made by Daniels and McDougal and Summer Zervos – and other consensual and non-consensual Trump victims and "playmates" – gain traction. If the several defamation lawsuits now in the works can get the president deposed, this is not out of the question.

The problem for Trump is not that his accusers' revelations will cause his base to defect; no matter how salacious their stories and no matter how believable they may be. Trump's moral turpitude is taken for granted in their circles; and they do not care about the myriad ways his words and deeds offend the dignity of the office he holds or embarrass the country he purports to put "first." If any of that mattered to them, they would have jumped ship long ago.

Except perhaps for unreconstructed racists and certifiable sociopaths, white evangelicals are Trump's strongest supporters. What a despicable bunch of hypocrites they are! As long as Trump delivers on their agendas, his salacious escapades don't faze them at all. Godly folk have evidently changed a good deal since the Cotton Mather days.

What has not changed is their seemingly limitless ability to believe nonsense.

And in case light somehow does manage to shine through, Trump has shown them how to restore the darkness they crave. When cognitive dissonance threatens, all they need do is scream "fake news."

The problem for Trump is that what his accusers are saying puts him in legal and political jeopardy. They are claiming, in effect, that he has committed a variety of unlawful and impeachable offenses – from obstruction of justice to violations of campaign finance laws.

In this case as in so many others, it is the cover-up, not the underlying "crime," that could lead to his undoing – especially if the stories Daniels and the others are telling shed light upon or otherwise connect with or meld into Robert Mueller's investigation of (alleged) Russian "meddling" in the 2016 election.

Trump could and probably will survive their charges. His base is such a preternaturally obdurate lot that there may ultimately be no last straw for them. We may have no choice, in the end, but to despair for a sizeable chunk of the human race.

Stormy Daniels would not be any less admirable on that account. She took Trump on and came out on top. For all the world (minus the willfully blind) to see, she, the porn star, is a strong woman who has her life together, while he, the president, is a discombobulated sleaze ball who is leading himself and his country to ruin.

***

It was different with Monica Lewinsky, another presidential paramour who, almost two decades ago, also held the world's attention.

There was nothing sleazy or venal about Lewinsky's involvement with Bill Clinton; and, for all I know, unless chastity counts, she is as good and virtuous a person as can be. But personal qualities are not what made her affair with our forty-second president as historically significant as it turned out to be.

It would be fair to say that of all the women who have ever had intimate knowledge of that old horn dog's private parts, there is no one who did more good for her country. If only for that, if there were a heaven, there would be special place in it just for her.

The Clinton-Lewinsky dalliance led to a series of events that prevented Clinton from doing even more harm to our feeble welfare state institutions than he would otherwise have done.

Who knows how much progress he would have turned back had he and Monica never done the deed or at least not been found out. Building on groundwork laid down by Ronald Reagan and the first George Bush, he and his wife had already terminated Aid to Families With Dependent Children, one of the main government programs aimed at relieving poverty. This was to be just the first step in "ending welfare as we know it."

With their "donors" pushing for more austerity, those two neoliberal pioneers were itching to begin privatizing other, more widely supported social programs, including even Social Security, the so-called "third rail" of American politics.

The "Lewinsky matter" put the kybosh on that idea, leaving the American people forever in Monica's debt.

Back in the Kennedy days, Mel Brook's two-thousand year old man got it right when he said: presidents "gotta do it," to which he added – " because if they don't do it to their wives and girlfriends, they do it to the nation."

Stormy Daniels made much the same point ten years ago, while flirting with the idea of running against Louisiana Senator David Vitter. Vitter's political career had been almost ruined when his name turned up in the phone records of the infamous "DC Madam," Deborah Jeane Palfrey. Daniels told voters that, unlike Vitter, she would "screw (them) honestly."

What then are we to make of the fact that Trump screws both the nation and his wife (maybe) and his girlfriends (or whatever they are)?

Blame it on arrested development, on the fact that despite his more than seventy-one years, Trump still has the mind of a teenage boy, one with money and power enough to live out his fantasies.

The contrast with Bill Clinton is stark. Clinton is a philanderer with eclectic tastes, a charming rascal with a broad and mischievous mind. Honkytonk women from Arkansas appeal to him as much as zaftig MOTs from the 90210 area code.

Trump, on the other hand, goes for super-models, Playboy centerfolds, and aspiring beauty queens -- standard teenage fantasy fare.

He seems to have had little trouble living his dreams – not thanks to his magnetic face, form and figure, and certainly not to his refinement, wit or charm, but to his inherited and otherwise ill-gotten wealth.

It is money and the power that follows from it that draws women to his net.

Henry Kissinger understood; recall his musings on the aphrodisiacal properties of power. Even in his prime, that still unindicted war criminal (and later-day Hillary Clinton advisor) was even more repellent than Trump. But that never kept him from having to fight the ladies off.

This fact of life puts a heavy responsibility on the women with whom presidents hook up.

Consider Melania. She made a Faustian bargain when she agreed to become Trump's trophy bride; in return for riches and a soft life in a gilded tower, she sold her soul. She might have thought better of it had she taken the burdens she would incur as First Lady into account, but why would she? The prospect was too improbable.

She has, it seems, a very practical, old world view of marriage, and is therefore tolerant of her husband's womanizing. At the same time, as a mother and daughter, she is, like most immigrants, a strong proponent of old world "family values."

Too much of a proponent perhaps; insofar as her idea was to "chain migrate" her parents out of Slovenia and onto Easy Street, or to raise a kid who would never want for anything, there were less onerous ways of going about it. After all, there are plenty of rich Americans lusting after supermodels out there, and it is a good bet that many of them are less repellent than Trump.

She was irresponsible as well. She ought to have realized that the man she married had already spawned two idiot sons, along with other fruit from the poisonous tree, and that four bad apples in one generation are enough.

And so now she finds herself a single mother – not in theory, of course, but very definitely in practice. Unlike most women in that position, she is not wanting for resources. But it must be a hard slog, even so. To her credit, Melania seems to be handling the burden well. More power to her!

She also deserves credit for her body language when the Donald is around; the contempt she shows for him is wonderful to behold. Best of all is her sense of the absurd. The way she plagiarized from Michelle Obama had obvious comic validity, and making childhood bullying her First Lady cause – all First Ladies have causes -- was a stroke of genius.

On balance, therefore, it is hard not to feel sorry for her. Of all the women in Trump's ambit, she deserves humiliation the least.

The rumor mill has it that with all the publicity about Daniels and the others , she has finally had enough. This may be the case; the old world ethos requires discretion and a concern with appearances. That is not the Donald's way, however, and now she is paying the price.

What a magnificent humiliation it would be if she and Trump were to split up on that account. This could happen soon. I would expect, though, that through a combination of carrots and sticks, Trump and his fixers will find a way to minimize the political effects. More likely still, they will channel Joe Kennedy and Jackie O, and figure out a way to head the problem off.

Then there is poor forgotten Tiffany. Her Wikipedia entry lists her as both a law student and a "socialite." I hope her studious side wins out and that, despite the genes from her father's side, she is at least somewhat decent and smart.

I'd be more confident of that if she would do what Ronald Reagan's daughter, Patti, did: use her mother's, not her father's, name. Unless she is a sleaze ball too, a Trump in the Eric and Don Junior mold, that would be a fine way to make a political point.

It would also pay back over the years. With the Trump administration on its current trajectory, who, in a few years' time, would take a Tiffany Trump seriously? A Tiffany Maples would stand a better chance.

Her half-sister, the peerless Ivanka, the Great Blonde Hope, is, of course, her father's sweetie. Let's not go there, however. Her marriage to Jared Kushner is already enough to process.

What a pair those two make; and what a glorious day it will be when the law finally catches up with Jared, as it did with his Trump-like father, Charles. Perhaps he will take Ivanka down a notch or two with him. Despite an almost complete lack of qualifications, Trump made his son-in-law his minister of almost everything; a pretty good gig for a feckless, airhead rich kid. Among other things, Trump enabled him to become Benjamin Netanyahu's ace in the hole. Netanyahu is a Kushner family friend. Netanyahu has more than his share of legal troubles too. Let them all go down together!

Ivanka and Jared are well matched – they share a "business model." It has them exploiting their daddies' connections and money.

Jared peddles real estate; his efforts have gotten his family into serious debt, while putting him in solid with Russian and Eastern European oligarchs, Gulf state emirs, and Mohammad bin Salman – people in comparison with whom his father-in-law seems almost virtuous.

Ivanka sells trinkets and schmatas to people who think the Trump name is cool. There actually are such people; at two hundred grand a pop, Mar-a-Lago is full of them. Ivanka's demographic is made up mostly of their younger set.

Two other presidential women bare mention: Hope Hicks and Nikki Haley. Surely, they both have tales to tell, but it looks, for now, as if their stories would be of little or no prurient interest. Neither of them appear to have been propositioned or groped.

Even though Hicks is said to be like a daughter to the Donald – we know what that could mean! – it is a safe bet that there was nothing of a romantic nature going on between them. For one thing, Hicks seems too close to Ivanka; for another, she is known to have dallied with two Trump subordinates, Corey Lewandowski and Rob Porter. The don is hardly the type to let his underlings have at his women.

Haley had to quash a spate of rumors that flared up thanks to some suggestive remarks Michael Wolff made while hawking Fire and Fury . The rumor caught on because people who hadn't yet fully realized what a piece of work Trump is, imagined that something had to be awry inasmuch as her main qualification for representing the United States at the United Nations was an undergraduate degree in accounting. Abject servility to the Israel lobby also helped.

But the Trump administration is full of ambitious miscreants whose views on Israel and Palestine are as abject and servile as hers, and compared to many others in Trump's cabinet she is, if anything, over qualified. Think of neurosurgeon Ben Carson heading the Department of Housing and Urban Development. He is qualified because, as a child, he lived in public housing.

With the exception of Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal, Summer Zervos and whoever else comes forward with a juicy and credible tale to tell, the women currently in the president's ambit, though good for gossip and interesting in the ways that characters on reality TV shows can be, are of little or no political consequence.

This could change if any of them decides to "go rogue," to use an expression from the Sarah Palin days. But, while neither Melania nor Tiffany can yet be judged hopeless, it would be foolish to expect much of anything good to come from either of them.

Stormy, Karen, Summer, and whoever else steps forward are a better bet. They are the only ones with any chance of doing as much for their country and the world as Monica Lewinsky did a generation ago.

Among the president's women, they are a breed apart. This is plainly the case with Stormy Daniels; it is already clear that she deserves what all Trump's money can never buy – honor and esteem. To the extent that the others turn out to be similarly courageous, they will too.

[Mar 28, 2018] Forget policies, the Stormy Daniels affair shows how far US politics has sunk by Ben Jakobs

Mar 28, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

As the porn star's allegations show, discourse in Washington is shifting to something more tawdry and celebrity-oriented

... The idea of a porn star appearing on network television to share details of a sexual encounter with the US commander in chief would have been intellectually confounding at any other moment in time. Instead, the interview, which took place only few days after a former Playboy playmate, Karen McDougal , talked about her affair with Trump, seemed a part of the everyday political landscape in 2018.

... Trump may seem like an aberration but instead he may be an inflection point. It's possible that after over two centuries of presidential campaigns with governors, senators and the occasional general, American politics is shifting to something more tawdry and more celebrity-oriented. The often spoken and rarely met ideal in the United States is that political debates should be about issues. But, after a political campaign where candidates debated penis size on a debate stage, it may be the legacy of Trump that politics has permanently descended to locker-room talk.

[Mar 27, 2018] The Stormy Daniels scandal Political warfare in Washington hits a new low by Patrick Martin

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Celebrity Apprentice ..."
"... National Enquirer ..."
Mar 27, 2018 | www.wsws.org

The "60 Minutes" broadcast on Sunday night, devoted to rehashing allegations of sexual impropriety and bullying against Donald Trump, marked a new level of degradation for the US political system. For nearly half an hour, an audience of 23 million people tuned in to a discussion of a brief sexual encounter between Trump and adult film star Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford) in 2006.

Trump was then a near-bankrupt real estate and casino mogul, best known for reinventing himself as a television personality. By her account, the proffer of a possible guest appearance on Celebrity Apprentice was the only attraction the 60-year-old Trump had for Daniels, then 27. Trump made promises, but as usual did not deliver.

Earlier in the week, the same interviewer, Anderson Cooper, appearing on CNN instead of CBS, held an hour-long discussion with Karen McDougal, a former Playboy magazine centerfold, who described a year-long relationship with Trump, also in 2006, the year after his marriage to Melania Knauss.

White House officials flatly denied both accounts, but Trump himself has been conspicuously and unusually silent, even on Twitter. His lawyers filed papers with a Los Angeles court, in advance of the "60 Minutes" broadcast, claiming that Daniels was in violation of a confidentiality agreement and could be liable for damages of up to $20 million.

Last Tuesday, a New York state judge turned down a motion by lawyers acting for Trump and refused to dismiss the lawsuit for defamation brought against him by Summer Zervos, a former contestant on another Trump "reality" show, The Apprentice . One of nearly a dozen women who made public charges of sexual harassment against Trump during the final weeks of the 2016 campaign, Zervos alone has sued Trump over his repeated public claims that the women were all liars.

There is little doubt that the accounts by Zervos, McDougal and Daniels are substantially true. Trump has already demonstrated this by attempting to suppress their stories, either through legal action or by purchasing their silence, directly or indirectly. A Trump ally, David Pecker, owner of the National Enquirer tabloid, bought the rights to McDougal's account of her relationship with Trump in 2016 for $150,000, in order not to publish it. Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, admitted last month that he had paid $130,000 to Daniels in October 2016, only weeks before the election, to guarantee her silence.

The bullying tactics of Cohen and other Trump allies add credibility to the claim by Daniels, during her "60 Minutes" interview, that a thug, presumably sent by Cohen, had threatened her with violence in 2011, when she first sought to sell her story about Trump to the media. Daniels offered no evidence to back her claim, but her attorney Michael Avenatti dropped broad hints that Daniels would be able to corroborate much of her account.

Cohen may himself face some legal jeopardy due to his public declaration that he paid Daniels out of his own funds. Given the proximity of the payment to the election, this could well be construed as a cash contribution to the Trump campaign far beyond the $3,500 legal limit for an individual.

The Zervos suit, however, may present the most immediate legal threat, since the next step, after New York Supreme Court Justice Jennifer G. Schecter rejected Trump's claim that he has presidential immunity, is to take discovery. In other words, Trump and his closest aides could be required to give sworn depositions about his actions in relation to Zervos and many of the other women.

Justice Schecter cited the precedent of the Paula Jones case against President Bill Clinton, in which the US Supreme Court held that a US president had no immunity from lawsuits over his private actions. While cloaked in democratic rhetoric at the time ("No one is above the law"), that decision actually gave a green light to an anti-democratic conspiracy by ultra-right forces who used the Jones lawsuit to trap Clinton into lying about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

Unlike the 1998-1999 conflict over impeachment, there is no issue of democratic rights involved in the sexual allegations against Trump. Some of the same legal tactics (using sworn depositions to set a perjury trap), are being employed as weapons in an increasingly bitter conflict within the US ruling elite, in which both factions are equally reactionary.

Trump is a representative of the underworld of real estate, casino gambling and reality television, elevated to the presidency because he had the good fortune to run against a deeply unpopular and reactionary shill for Wall Street and the military-intelligence agencies, Hillary Clinton. Under conditions of mounting discontent among working people with the Democratic Party, after eight years of the Obama administration, Trump was able to eke out a narrow victory in the Electoral College.

The Democratic "opposition" to Trump is focused not on his vicious attacks on immigrants, his promotion of racist and neo-fascist elements, his deregulation of business and passage of the biggest tax cut for the wealthy in decades, or his increasingly violent and unhinged foreign policy pronouncements. The Democrats have sought to attack Trump from the right, particularly on the question of US-Russian relations, making use of the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 elections, headed by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Trump has sought to mollify his critics within the US national security establishment with measures such as a more aggressive US intervention in Syria, the elevation of Gina Haspel, the CIA's chief torturer, to head the agency, and, most recently, the expulsion of dozens of Russian diplomats as part a NATO-wide campaign aimed at whipping up a war fever against Moscow.

As Trump has made concessions on foreign policy, his opponents have shifted their ground, attacking his behavior towards women. They have sought to link these exposures with the broader #MeToo campaign, which is aimed at creating a witch-hunt atmosphere in Hollywood, the US political system, and more generally throughout American society, in which gender issues are brought forward to conceal and suppress more fundamental class questions.

In both the Russia investigation and now the allegations of sexual misconduct, the Democrats have sought to hide their real political agenda, which is just as reactionary and dangerous as that of Trump and the Republicans. While Trump is pushing towards war with North Korea or Iran, and behind them China, the Democrats and their allies in the national security apparatus seek to maintain the focus on Russia that was developed during the second term of the Obama administration, particularly in Syria, Ukraine and Eastern Europe as a whole, posing the danger of a war between the world's two main nuclear powers.

Beyond the immediate foreign policy issues, the whipping up of sexual scandals is invariably a hallmark of reactionary politics. Such methods appeal to social backwardness, Puritanical prejudices or prurient interest. They contribute nothing to the political education of working people and youth, who must come to understand the fundamental class forces underlying all political phenomena. The political basis for a struggle against Trump is not in designating him as a sexual predator, but in understanding his class role as a front man for the American financial oligarchy, which treats the entire working class, including the female half, as objects of exploitation.

[Mar 27, 2018] US Media Sings A Happy Song That is Why We Should Be Afraid New Eastern Outlook by Caleb Maupin

"The happy song of the US media accompanies another oddly totalitarian trend, the constant blaming of discontent on foreign powers. In the aftermath of the school shooting in Florida, Russia was blamed for allegedly fomenting what was already probably the biggest political gap among the US public, the question of gun ownership and the 2nd Amendment. Russia was accused of both opposing and promoting gun ownership, in order to sew confusion among the public."
" the US [MSM] ... accuses those who disagree at home of being Russian bots"
Notable quotes:
"... the commercially-owned mainstream American press has always had another role: crafting public opinion. A huge amount of US government funds are devoted to handling and managing the media. The government and the political establishment is deeply worried about making sure that the US public thinks in ways that are conducive to their overall goals and strategies. The CIA's project mockingbird, and the cozy relationship between reporters, newspaper owners, and various Presidential administrations is the most blatant example. US Military intelligence agencies have sponsored over 1,800 hollywood films. School textbooks in California and Texas have their academic standards set in a highly politicized process. ..."
"... it also serves a political purpose as a public relations wing of the American elite, a recent trend in US mainstream mass media should be quite disturbing, when carefully analyzed. ..."
"... A dull "everything is OK, calm down" message is suddenly being put forth in an American media that has nothing to gain from it in terms of ratings or newspaper sales. A lengthy article in the Wall Street Journal Weekend Review by Harvard Psychology Professor Steven Pinker criticized both the political left-wing and right-wing in the USA for their pessimism, and argued in terms of "the big picture" across centuries, that the western liberal democratic capitalist system has proved itself to be very successful. ..."
"... Not only is the US media singing a happy song, but it is now demanding, along with elected officials, that everyone else do the same thing. Russia isn't accused of putting out a particular position, but rather of simply "sewing discord." ..."
"... the US whistles a happy tune, and accuses those who disagree at home of being Russian bots ..."
"... In our high tech world, framing international economic policies as a zero sum game cannot be be expected to have fruitful results. ..."
"... Caleb Maupin is a political analyst and activist based in New York. He studied political science at Baldwin-Wallace College and was inspired and involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement, especially for the online magazine "New Eastern Outlook" . ..."
"... https://journal-neo.org/2018/03/05/us-media-sings-a-happy-song-that-is-why-we-should-be-afraid/ ..."
Mar 03, 2018 | journal-neo.org

The understanding that the American press, both TV and print media, thrives on negativity is deeply embedded in the culture, so much so that the theme music to the popular 1990s American TV sit-com "Family Matters" began with the couplet:

Its a rare condition this day and age,
to read any good news on a newspaper page

The US media is a for-profit industry. TV outlets depend on advertising revenue, the value of which depends on ratings. The drive of mainstream American TV news networks is to increase ratings, and make profits. Bad news, scandal, and sensationalism is a way to do that.

However, the commercially-owned mainstream American press has always had another role: crafting public opinion. A huge amount of US government funds are devoted to handling and managing the media. The government and the political establishment is deeply worried about making sure that the US public thinks in ways that are conducive to their overall goals and strategies. The CIA's project mockingbird, and the cozy relationship between reporters, newspaper owners, and various Presidential administrations is the most blatant example. US Military intelligence agencies have sponsored over 1,800 hollywood films. School textbooks in California and Texas have their academic standards set in a highly politicized process.

So, with the understanding that negativity and sensationalism are US media's focus, while it also serves a political purpose as a public relations wing of the American elite, a recent trend in US mainstream mass media should be quite disturbing, when carefully analyzed.

The US media, long known for its negativity intended to grab ratings, is suddenly printing articles, publishing widely circulated books, and featuring commentators all echoing the message: "Don't worry, everything is going to be OK."

This uncharacteristic behavior of American media almost perfectly fits the stereotypical portrayal of government propaganda in supposedly "totalitarian states." Many dystopian science fiction films feature some dark, high tech police state where the controlled press harps on with the message: "Things are going very well, don't worry, just obey."

A dull "everything is OK, calm down" message is suddenly being put forth in an American media that has nothing to gain from it in terms of ratings or newspaper sales. A lengthy article in the Wall Street Journal Weekend Review by Harvard Psychology Professor Steven Pinker criticized both the political left-wing and right-wing in the USA for their pessimism, and argued in terms of "the big picture" across centuries, that the western liberal democratic capitalist system has proved itself to be very successful.

Meanwhile, on February 20th, Public Affairs Books has released a text by Gregg Easterbrook entitled "Its Better Than It Looks." The book has been widely reviewed by the US press. The text assures us that we need to be more positive in our assessment of world events. National Public Radio described the book's message: "Between threats of nuclear war, devastating natural disasters, violence and political division at home, it might feel like things are really bad right now. But not necessarily so, says Gregg Easterbrook. He argues that by a lot of important measures, the United States and the world are on an upward trajectory."

Similar messages have been dancing across American TV screens and radio waves in recent weeks, in a pattern that any careful observer would find peculiar.

A Growing Economic Bubble

Meanwhile, economic news continues to be selectively reported. For example, retail stores across the USA are closing. While US media was previously reporting on the decline of suburban malls and the elimination of retail jobs, suddenly the press is reporting about a rise in retail profits, and hope for the retail sector.

However, all the reports saying that the retail sector is doing well admit that the increase in retail purchases is not taking place at stores, but rather in online sales. The glowing reports about an increase in retail spending all point toward facts that have no bearing on saving the jobs of retail workers, as stores continue to close down. Despite all the talk of a retail boom (on the internet), stores continue to close across the USA, the latest being H&M clothing which closed scores of outlets across the country. Thousands of retail workers have lost their jobs.

Household debt is at record levels, and a lot of purchasing now taking place in the retail market is being done with credit cards. Furthermore, student debt is rising, and with a number of students unable to repay their debt. The student debt markets now face a specter of a potential crash.

Positive numbers on the stock market are certainly a good economic indicator, however, as the stock numbers rise, the population is not seeing an overall rise in its spending power. If Wall Street and Main Street are not rising together, a rise on the stock market simply indicates that the gap between the financialized, fictional Wall Street Casino, and the actual economy is getting larger.

Real economic growth involves the financial sector getting stronger as the population gets richer along with it. The USA hasn't experienced real, sustainable financial growth since the 1950s. "Jobless Recoveries" and other peculiar anomalies show the extent to which Wall Street has insulated itself from the actual conditions of the American people. The result has been the gap between the financial and the real economy expanding for much longer than in the natural boom-bust cycle, making downturns far larger and dramatic.

Artificial growth only lasts so long, and these bubbles tend to burst. As Trump deregulates Wall Street, and rolls back government oversight of the financial sector, all while lowering taxes on corporations, another financial bubble is emerging.

The tone of the press, echoing the mantra of "everything is alright" is oddly reminiscent of 2007 and 2008 as the US economy was moving toward catastrophe. Desperate attempts by the press, politicians, and others to assure us that the economy is fine, while urging us to keep spending money we do not have, should have millions of Americans shouting "We've seen this movie before!"

Blaming Russia for Dissent

The happy song of the US media accompanies another oddly totalitarian trend, the constant blaming of discontent on foreign powers. In the aftermath of the school shooting in Florida, Russia was blamed for allegedly fomenting what was already probably the biggest political gap among the US public, the question of gun ownership and the 2nd Amendment. Russia was accused of both opposing and promoting gun ownership, in order to sew confusion among the public.

Not only is the US media singing a happy song, but it is now demanding, along with elected officials, that everyone else do the same thing. Russia isn't accused of putting out a particular position, but rather of simply "sewing discord." The message behind the endless talk of "bots" and "trolls" is that it is disloyalty and treason to hold dissident or negative assessments of the US political or economic situation. Doing so is allegedly aiding the Russians efforts to harm loyalty and confidence. The insinuation is that all nay-saying and complaint can be traced, somehow, back to Moscow. In order to be a good American, one is expected to simply repeat the media's upbeat and positive message.

Meanwhile, the US media is giving voice to oddly pointed FBI announcements that Americans shouldn't buy Chinese cellphones, and should be suspicious of Chinese University students as potential spies. While China is establishing strong economic ties with France and other countries, the United States is imposing steel tariffs and increasingly cutting itself off from the second largest economy in the world.

At the UN Security Council, the USA and its allies are desperately attempting to prevent the Syrian government from reclaiming the city of Eastern Ghouta. This enclave of Islamic extremists is very near the capital city of Damascus, which is densely populated with pro-government Syrians, many of whom have fled from other parts of the country.

Now that ISIS has been driven from Syria, there is a real fear that the government could win the war, and the longstanding US regime change operation could end in defeat.

As the US whistles a happy tune, and accuses those who disagree at home of being Russian bots , those they deem competitors on the global stage are getting stronger.

The Chinese state controlled machinery of production is marching ahead. Oil prices, a key factor in securing state revenue in Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Angola and Ecuador, are rising.

Political Fallout of a Potential Crash?

If a new financial crisis erupts, as is likely based on indicators, the political implications most likely would mean the demise of the Trump administration. Trump would be voted out of office in 2020, or perhaps even impeached, blamed for the mismanagement that created the fallout.

However, the slim possibility remains that Trump could make such a catastrophic economic situation work in his favor. If Trump were to respond to a financial crash by swiftly pushing his base of supporters into action, pushing forward his proposals for infrastructure, and giving a free hand to his allies in the policing agencies, as he often publicly advocates, the results could be a very swift resolution of the crisis.

In the event of a financial crash, a combination of street authoritarianism and economic arm-twisting, both of which Trump clearly does not oppose, could ultimately let him come out of the rubble looking like a savior. Trump could utilize a crash to become a figure like France's Louis Bonaparte and his "Party of Order" who seized power in 1851.

Regardless of hypotheticals, the "don't be afraid, everything is alright" tone in American media is not a good sign. It indicates that we should all be concerned about what will happen in the coming months.

Meanwhile, the absence of China's concept of "win-win" relations in global trade, and human centered development is deeply disturbing. In our high tech world, framing international economic policies as a zero sum game cannot be be expected to have fruitful results.

Caleb Maupin is a political analyst and activist based in New York. He studied political science at Baldwin-Wallace College and was inspired and involved in the Occupy Wall Street movement, especially for the online magazine "New Eastern Outlook" .

https://journal-neo.org/2018/03/05/us-media-sings-a-happy-song-that-is-why-we-should-be-afraid/

[Mar 26, 2018] Melania Trump was 'furious' after Stormy Daniels reports

Jan 29, 2018 | nypost.com

First lady Melania Trump was reportedly "furious" after the news broke about President Trump's alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels.

Sources close to the couple told the New York Times that Melania was "blindsided" by the reports of her husband's supposed cover-up -- which included $130,000 in hush money, paid out to Daniels on the eve of the 2016 election.

She has been trying to stay out of the public eye ever since, the sources said.

Trump's alleged tryst with Daniels, if true, would have taken place just months after Melania gave birth to their son, Barron, in March 2006.

It was first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Jan. 18. In Touch magazine published a follow-up piece a day later, featuring an interview with the porn vixen from 2011, in which she confessed to the hookup.

Since then, Melania has canceled an overseas trip with the president, made an unplanned visit to the Holocaust Memorial Museum and even enjoyed some R&R at Mar-a-Lago.

The first lady was reportedly in Florida on Friday while Trump was in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum. The impromptu stop in the Sunshine State wound up costing taxpayers about $64,000, according to the Times.

see also Team Trump paid porn star $130K to keep quiet about extramarital affair Team Trump paid porn star $130K to keep quiet about extramarital affair A lawyer for Donald Trump arranged to fork over $130,000... Melania has said very little in the days following the WSJ article.

Her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, blasted the affair allegations, saying, "The laundry list of salacious & flat-out false reporting about Mrs. Trump by tabloid publications & TV shows has seeped into 'main stream media' reporting She is focused on her family & role as FLOTUS -- not the unrealistic scenarios being peddled daily by the fake news."

The first lady is expected to reappear alongside her husband Tuesday during his State of the Union address.

"That is the plan," Grisham said.

[Mar 25, 2018] CNN would use any opportunity to smear Trump. Even publishing revelations of a porno star. That does not apply to Bill Clinton behaviour thouth.

I guess there are many women who would provide more explosive evidence about Bill clinton. CNN is just not interested ;-)
Mar 25, 2018 | www.cnn.com

Washington (CNN)

Stormy Daniels was "truthful about having unprotected vaginal intercourse with Donald Trump in July 2006," according to a polygraph test report from 2011.

The report states that the "probability of deception was measured to be less than 1%." It was given to CNN by Michael Avenatti, Daniels' attorney, and contains three pertinent questions: "Around July 2006, did you have vaginal intercourse with Donald Trump?," "Around July 2006, did you have unprotected sex with Donald Trump?" and "Did Trump say you would get on 'The Apprentice'?"

Another Trump attorney involved in Stormy Daniels case Daniels replied yes to all three questions. The first two were analyzed to be truthful and the third question was "inconclusive," according to the polygraph examiner, Ronald Slay. Polygraphs are generally inadmissible in court.

The polygraph was performed at the request of Bauer Publishing, which owns Life & Style and InTouch magazines, according to the reporter who interviewed Daniels in 2011. Reporter Jordi Lippe-McGraw initially interviewed Daniels for Life & Style magazine. The interview was not published at the time, but Bauer Publishing released it in InTouch magazine earlier this year.

Woman named in Stormy Daniels' document accused Trump of unwanted advances

Avenatti confirmed to CNN that he purchased the video and file of the polygraph test for $25,000. "We did so to ensure that it would be maintained and kept safely during the litigation and not be altered or destroyed," Avenatti said in a statement. "We did so after learning that various parties, including mainstream media organization, were attempting to acquire the video and the file and either destroy it or use it for nefarious means." RELATED: The shaky science of lie detectors Daniels tweeted about the encounter Tuesday afternoon following the release of the polygraph, defending herself and saying she's "not going anywhere."

"Technically I didn't sleep with the POTUS 12 years ago. There was no sleeping (hehe) and he was just a goofy reality TV star. But I digress...People DO care that he lied about it, had me bullied, broke laws to cover it up, etc.

And PS...I am NOT going anywhere. xoxoxo," she wrote.

Technically I didn't sleep with the POTUS 12 years ago. There was no sleeping (hehe) and he was just a goofy reality TV star. But I digress...People DO care that he lied about it, had me bullied, broke laws to cover it up, etc.

And PS...I am NOT going anywhere. xoxoxo https://t.co/Js9sEnanIk

-- Stormy Daniels (@StormyDaniels) March 20, 2018
Lippe-McGraw told CNN on Tuesday that Daniels passed the test in a broader sense. "Based off of the interview, we had her take the polygraph test to confirm the details of what she was telling us. There wasn't much in the way of physical evidence, per se," Lippe-McGraw said, adding that the big-picture question they wanted to confirm was that the affair happened, and that Daniels passed.

Lippe-McGraw said that Daniels told her she had unprotected sex with Trump, because Daniels is allergic to latex and didn't have condoms at the time. Earlier Tuesday, Avenatti tweeted out a photograph of Daniels being administered the test.

The Wall Street Journal first released the details of the polygraph questions and answers. Also on Tuesday, Daniels' friend Alana Evans told CNN's Brooke Baldwin that she and Daniels have received threats over the allegations from people who had previously been in the adult industry. "I have not been made aware that Cohen had physically threatened her. I know in the last few weeks, and the last couple of months, that Stormy and myself have received threats from people in the outside world completely trying to defend Trump and Cohen and calling us liars and threatening us with physical harm, so I wouldn't be surprised if it's stemming from there as well," Evans said. Evans said this included threatening emails, threats to their families and their safety, and threats to release private information.

CNN's Sara Sidner contributed to this report.

[Mar 25, 2018] Stormy Daniels, Trump's Unlikely Foe, Is 'Not Someone to Be Underestimated' by MATT FLEGENHEIMER , REBECCA R. RUIZ and KATIE VAN SYCKLE

NYT became a yellow publication. And their hate of Trump is really visceral (Not that Trump is an ideal President). Which is strange because Trump folded and with hiring of Bolton now is really Hillary in foreign policy (the only difference is sex, but that can be fixed with the sex change operation)
They write about this prostitute with such a sympathy that I suspect that they are involved in the industry too.
Mar 25, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

She is the actress in pornographic films who is suing a sitting president , with whom she said she had a consensual affair, in order to be released from a nondisclosure agreement she reached with his lawyer just before the 2016 election. Over the past two months, she has guided the story of her alleged relationship with President Trump -- and the $130,000 she was paid to keep silent -- into a full-fledged scandal. If Ms. Clifford's court case proceeds, Mr. Trump may have to testify in depositions, and her suit could provide evidence of campaign spending violations. She is scheduled to appear on "60 Minutes" on Sunday.

And if her name has seemed ubiquitous -- repeated on cable television and in the White House briefing room, and plastered on signs outside nightclubs, where her appearance fees have multiplied -- there is this to consider: Unlike most perceived presidential adversaries, about whom Mr. Trump is rarely shy, Ms. Clifford has not been the subject of a single tweet.

To many in the capital, Ms. Clifford, 39, has become an unexpected force. It is she, some in Washington now joke, and not the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who could topple Mr. Trump.

... ... ...

The false-start campaign coincided with a turbulent moment in her personal life, exposing her to scrutiny in the mainstream press. In July 2009, Ms. Clifford was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence after hitting her husband, a performer in the industry, and throwing a potted plant during a fight about laundry and unpaid bills, according to police records. The husband, Michael Mosny, was not injured, and the charge was later dropped. Ms. Clifford had previously been married to another pornographic actor.

She has since married another colleague in the business, Brendon Miller, the father of her now 7-year-old daughter. He is also a drummer and has composed music for her films.

... ... ...

Ms. Clifford has not shown up at competitions since news broke in January that she accepted a financial settlement in October 2016 -- weeks before the election -- agreeing to keep quiet about her alleged intimate relationship with Mr. Trump. She has said the affair, which representatives of Mr. Trump have denied, began in 2006 and extended into 2007, the year she married Mr. Mosny.

Earlier this month, she escalated public attention by filing suit, calling the 2016 contract meaningless given that Mr. Trump had never signed it and revealing that the president's personal lawyer had taken further secret legal action to keep her silent this year.

[Mar 25, 2018] The masses don't care about Stormy Daniels. Who cares? It preceded him being Prez

Mar 25, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Muppet Sun, 03/25/2018 - 15:40 Permalink

The masses don't care about Stormy Daniels. Of course, Trump used his "art of the deal" to score with likely a hundred of bimbos. Who cares? It preceded him being Prez.

Is like the Facebook article about privacy... most people know the truth and don't need the media view. We know Trump cheated. We know FB is corrupt. By far, Trump is better than the corrupt criminal Clinton's.

[Mar 25, 2018] Melania 'staying in hotel' after Stormy Daniels scandal

Mar 25, 2018 | dailymail.co.uk

Me lania Trump has spent a number of nights at a posh D.C. hotel away from President Trump following allegations of a fling with porn star Stormy Daniels, White House sources told DailyMail.com.

[Mar 25, 2018] Melania Trump Fears More Allegations Of Affairs With Donald Will Emerge After '60 Minutes' Special by Beth Shilliday

Rumors, damaging leaks from anonymous sources. that what neoliberal press is about...
Mar 19, 2018 | hollywoodlife.com

Melania , 47, is terrified that more women could emerge with tales of her husband's infidelity. "Melania is unprepared for more women to come forward with allegations of affairs with Donald. Melania wants to leave, but she is paralyzed with fear. She is bracing the worst and is unsure how to move forward," a Washington D.C. insider tells HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY. Barron , now 11.

"Melania feels stuck with a sinking presidency and she wants to get out before Trump's house of cards comes crashing down around her. She fears what embarrassing revelations Stormy might reveal in her 60 Minutes interview and Melania's greater worries is what impact the revelations may have on the presidency," our source reveals.

...

Trump himself crudely joked about Melania being the next person to leave the White House during a speech at the Gridiron Club Dinner on March 3. Unfortunately, divorcing a sitting president would be unheard of and history making. Melania's pretty much stuck with him as long as he's in the White House, and she still fears he could be cheating on her to this day! "Melania has wanted to divorce Donald, over fidelity issues, since before they landed in the White House. She has long suspected that he has used, and continues to use, Mar-a-Lago as a rendezvous spot for his secret affairs. The Florida location is completely under Donald's control, he is always there, and it is much easier for him to enjoy private meetings at the resort rather than try to meet his mistresses at the White House or around DC or NYC. Melania has pleaded with Donald to stay away from his many trips to Mar-a-Lago , disguised as golfing holidays, but he refuses to give in to her requests," our insider adds.

[Mar 25, 2018] Melania Trump Reportedly Declines Divorce While Donald Is In Office Because Of Their Son Barron

One more rumor from anonymous source propagated by neoliberal MSM
Notable quotes:
"... Jimmy Kimmel Live ..."
Feb 07, 2018 | www.inquisitr.com

Thanks to Barron Trump his parents are not heading for divorce just yet.

When the news broke that U.S. President Donald Trump had an affair with adult star Stormy Daniels, many people assumed that his wife, first lady Melania Trump was going to divorce him. The FLOTUS has been noticed for allegedly refusing to hold her husband's hand in public. Others also spotted her rolling her eyes while the POTUS was greeting a few cheerleaders during the Super Bowl party on February 4. However, the Slovenia native is far from divorcing her husband of 13 years while he is still in the presidential seat for a good reason.

An insider close to Melania Trump recently told Hollywood Life that she is not thinking about making a move to divorce her husband while he is in office because of their son Barron .

According to the source, the 47-year-old former model wants to focus only on the young boy and his well-being. She doesn't want to get distracted with the alleged affair between the POTUS and Stormy Daniels. She apparently wants her family intact for the sake of her 11-year-old son.

... ... ...

Because of her recent actions that didn't go unnoticed, many people believe that Melania Trump is only trying to save her marriage for her son and not just because of being the first lady of the United States. The alleged extramarital affair of her husband and Daniels in 2006 may have caused their marriage to hit a snag. The adult star, though, has been inconsistent with her statements, which is one reason that some Republicans are not convinced that the president had an affair with the 38-year-old Louisiana native.

An alleged statement from Daniels surfaced on January 30 with her signature, saying that she denies the affair. Howbeit, during her interview during Jimmy Kimmel Live , the adult film star said that she is not aware of the denial statement that surfaced earlier that day.

[Mar 25, 2018] Stormy Daniels, Porn Star And Possible Senate Candidate, Arrested For Domestic Violence

Jul 29, 2009 | talkingpointsmemo.com
Stormy Daniels, an adult entertainer who's considering running for Senate from Louisiana, was arrested Saturday on a domestic violence charge in Tampa, Fla.

Daniels was charged with battery after she allegedly hit her husband, Michael Mosny, over the head with her hands. According to the police report , she was angry about a bill Mosny hadn't paid and about the way his father had done the laundry. She broke a flower pot and a few glass candle holders, threw their wedding album on the floor and allegedly hit her husband while struggling to get the car keys from him. She denied hitting him intentionally.

https://cdn.districtm.io/ids/index.html

Neither Mosny nor Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, were injured. Daniels was held overnight and released on $1,000 bond.

The porn star formed an exploratory committee in May, the first step in a possible Senate run against Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), whose social conservative reputation was tarnished by the D.C. Madam prostitution scandal.

[Mar 25, 2018] Playboy model Karen McDougal I did OK in Trump affair interview

Looks like she is pretty calculating woman...
Amazing neoliberal MSM interest in any dirt that can hurt Trump ;-)
Mar 25, 2018 | www.nydailynews.com
detailing an alleged 2006 romance with Donald Trump , then flew home to celebrate her 47th birthday with friends in Arizona, sources told the Daily News.

On Thursday, the former Playboy Playmate sat down with Anderson Cooper at 6 Columbus Hotel and poured her heart out in a detailed account of what she says was a 10-month fling with the President.

His reps have denied the affair.

McDougal said in the interview that she and Trump had been in love -- and that she now deeply regrets helping him cheat on his wife.

When cameras stopped rolling, she was asked how she felt about the confessional.

"Well, aside from the fact I have a headache and a cold -- I'm my own worst critic -- I think I came across as credible," she said, according to a source. "But I'm not an attorney."

When assured by her handlers that she'd done a great job, a source who was present said McDougal argued she could have been more succinct in explaining why she decided to come forward more than a decade later.

"A friend of mine leaked the story and now that it's out I want to tell my side," she explained.

McDougal also wasn't expecting a marathon grilling.

"I thought this was going to be 20 minutes, I didn't know it would be over an hour," she admitted.

McDougal and her team watched a playback of the interview, which featured an old photo of her that was taken prior to her breast implant removal in January. The model told People magazine in February that the implants were causing her illness.

"That's me on the end," she pointed. "That's when I had breasts."

McDougal cried when watching the part of the interview where Cooper asked what she'd say to Melania, sources told The News. "I'm sorry," she told Cooper. "I wouldn't want it done to me." Tears turned to laughter when a member of the production asked McDougal if she was aware that Hillary Clinton taped an interview in the same hotel suite.

"I didn't know that, but I can tell you I didn't have the questions in advance," she joked.

One member of the production crew asked McDougal if she'd met porn star Stormy Daniels, who also claims she had an affair with the President and is hoping to be released from a confidentiality agreement that could see her punished for speaking up. She said that she has not, nor does she plan to.

[Mar 25, 2018] White House Leaker Exposed

Notable quotes:
"... Meadows said that since it dealt with a foreign leader, the leak "had to" come from the president's national security staff, headed by McMaster. ..."
Mar 22, 2018 | stonecoldtruth.com

The White House national security team, already facing calls for the ouster of top adviser H.R. McMaster, was tagged by a key lawmaker with leaking confidential notes ordering President Trump not to congratulate Russian President Vladimir Putin for his election win.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a conservative leader and foreign policy expert, expressed outrage at the leak and suggested that it and others thought to come from the national security council are crimes.

"Here's the big deal. If you've got the national security council team leaking to the press, that's a big deal," he told reporters at a Heritage Foundation-sponsored "Conversations with Conservatives" on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

"Quite frankly, some of the other stuff they've leaked is actually a crime," he added.

The Washington Post reported that Trump was pressured by top aides against calling Putin. He was even given a paper that read in all caps, "DO NOT CONGRATULATE."

Trump called anyway.

Washington Examiner 's White House correspondent Gabby Morrongiello reported earlier Wednesday that the president is angered at the leak.

Meadows said that since it dealt with a foreign leader, the leak "had to" come from the president's national security staff, headed by McMaster.

McMaster has been under fire inside and outside the White House, and there have been reports that he will be dumped. But every time a report surfaces, the administration denies it.

Meadows shrugged off the call, and said that there is no evidence it will impact U.S.-Russia policy. He also noted that former President Barack Obama called foreign leaders approved in questionable elections.

"I'm probably more concerned about leaks within the administration. You have to understand that it would be like my chief of staff leaking information that we had in a conversation on anything. Whether it's [Trump's call] appropriate or not appropriate, there's a bigger concern there within the West Wing if you've got people on the national security team that have leaked. That's where it had to have come from. It's a very small group of people that would of even had any knowledge of that," he said.

[Mar 25, 2018] When Trump goes low, go low by Richard Cohen

They definitely can ruin his marriage, but not much other then that.
Mar 19, 2018 | www.washingtonpost.com

Michelle Obama had it all wrong. " When they go low, we go high " is no way to deal with Donald Trump.

A porn star, a playmate and a contestant who washed out on his reality TV show have become exemplars for doing battle with a president for whom practically nothing is out of bounds. They are showing that the most effective way to deal with him is on his own terms.

The three -- Stormy Daniels , Karen McDougal and Summer Zervos -- are suing for the right to tell their stories about him. The headaches and unforeseeable turns that these legal fights present would be well understood by a man who, according to a USA Today tally, has filed at least 3,500 lawsuits of his own, for grievances real and imagined. When Trump goes low, go low - The Washington Post

Adult entertainer Daniels has outmaneuvered the president and his inept lawyer Michael Cohen at nearly every turn. They apparently believed they had bought her silence about the year-long extramarital affair she claims to have had with the future president a decade ago.

But it turns out they had only rented it. When Trump goes low, go low - The Washington Post

When Daniels signed a nondisclosure agreement in the weeks before the 2016 election, hardly anyone thought Trump had much chance of winning, especially after the furor over comments he had made about women on the now-famous "Access Hollywood" tape . So $130,000 to stay quiet must have looked too good for Daniels to pass up. (Cohen said the money came from his personal home equity line of credit.)

With her alleged paramour in the Oval Office, however, there is surely much more to be gained from her account, so she is trying to slip free from the agreement on the technicality that Trump never signed it.

Backing out of a deal if there's a better one to be had? Trump did it for decades. "I've made a fortune by using debt, and if things don't work out I renegotiate the debt. I mean, that's a smart thing, not a stupid thing," he boasted to CBS during his presidential campaign. As president, he has reversed himself so many times that his befuddled allies on Capitol Hill are never sure where or if he will land on most issues.

Now, instead of Daniels, it is Trump who is remaining silent -- conspicuously so. No tweets, no vicious nicknames, no threats. She, meanwhile, is going on "60 Minutes," where viewership is likely to be some of its highest ever. Count that as another blow to a president who measures the import of every event by its television ratings.

Daniels seems to be having a great time. She has become a ninja master in Trump's own medium, smiting trolls on Twitter with a verve that my colleague Monica Hesse compared to "a very smart cat batting off a series of very dumb mice, who come at her under the delusion that the relationship is reversed." When one man tweeted that she was a "scank," she responded by correcting his spelling.

McDougal, who was Playboy's 1998 Playmate of the Year, claims to have had an affair with Trump around the same time as Daniels. But in her case, the arrangement that she is trying to escape is the one she made with the National Enquirer's parent company, whose chief executive, David Pecker, is close to Trump. In her lawsuit, McDougal claims American Media was working secretly with Cohen to keep her quiet; the company says it contacted Trump's lawyer only to vet her story.

A takedown by a former playmate would be a sour endnote indeed, given how assiduously Trump styled himself as Playboy's ideal of libidinous masculinity. In 1990, the magazine's cover featured the married real-estate developer posing with another playmate, Brandi Brandt. She wore only his tuxedo jacket.

When Trump goes low, go low - The Washington Post

He hung a framed copy of that Playboy in his Trump Tower office. "I was one of the few men in the history of Playboy to be on the cover," Trump once boasted to a Post reporter.

Zervos, a former contestant from "The Apprentice," presents a different kind of threat, and potentially the most serious one. She is one of more than a dozen women who have accused the president of unwanted sexual advances, in her case that he kissed her and groped her breasts when she met with him to discuss a job. During his presidential campaign, Trump called them all liars, and threatened to sue.

But Trump never did, empty threats being another of his favorite tactics. It was Zervos who went to court, charging defamation.

On Tuesday, the same day McDougal filed her lawsuit, a New York judge ruled that Zervos's case can go forward. It was lost on no one that the precedent cited was the one in the sexual harassment lawsuit that ultimately led to the impeachment of Bill Clinton .

The Zervos lawsuit opens the possibility that Trump's other accusers, and maybe even more women, will return to tell their stories under oath. And that the president himself will have to as well.

When Zervos was on the fifth season of "The Apprentice," Trump fired her because she interrupted him. It turns out she may get in a last word after all.

xxx

Scratch #2 is the playmate lawsuit. Scratch #3 is Summer Zervos.

xxx

What's up with powerful men who can't keep it in their pants? Then they lie... What cowards!

xxx

The blame must be shared evenly... if the men cant keep it in their pants, why are women allowing it to happen? Are they being forced against their will? If so, call the police!

xxx

Wow! What a savage piece! And very well written.

xxx

Yawwwwnn..

Why even bother with this. It just makes everyone look bad. Daniels is a low-life. The media lowers its standards by reporting it. Nobody believes Trump didn't have sex with Daniels but nobody cares. It's actually expected of someone like Trump to have an affair now and then.

You might find it unfortunate that a guy named Cohen was involved. I suggest its also unfortunate that a guy named Cohen got stuck reporting this.

xxx

Trump is a dirtbag, but the last time I checked, having an affair was not criminal offense. I don't care who he slept with, but I do care who he is screwing - which in this case is 99% of the American people. The other 1% are doing well thanks to him.

xxx

(Edited) What has stormy Daniels done for America????? Just some porn movies for money for herself and now she is blackmailing the US president. And these readers actually enjoy it????? Trump must be protected. He is our President.

xxx

Now any hooker can come and sue any guy she has slept with for money.......is this what men want???? I dont think so.

xxx

People can't arbitrarily sue people for no reason. His lawyer paid her $130,000. She obviously has something on him. And most sane men want her to win so Trump can be impeached and sent out to spend the rest of his life in solitary confinement... in Antarctica.

xxx

Cant believe men are siding with adult porn actor......... a hooker.... Daniels.........who is out to make money by hook or crook. Men in America are doomed.

xxx 4 days ago

If the U.S. is such that this horrifically warped man and his monstrously greedy and incompetent cabinet are taken down by a stupid sex scandal rather than being judiciously removed by responsible people for being criminals, then the U.S. is in even more serious trouble than even rational thinkers would want to believe.

XXX 3 days ago

"How Trump avoided paying taxes on nearly $1 billion"
http://money.cnn.com/2016/11/01/news/trump-tax-strategy-theory/index.html

"[Trump] deducted somebody else's losses," said John L. Buckley, who served as the chief of staff for Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation in 1993 and 1994. Since the [stiffed] bondholders were likely declaring losses for tax purposes, Trump shouldn't be able to as well. "He is double dipping big time," Buckley told the Times.

Surely, the IRS can't be too happy about multiple taxpayers taking the same ~$1 billion-loss deduction? I therefore look forward to Mueller's audit of Trump's tax returns.

And now the Dumpster finds his yacht "Trumpy!" is caught in "Stormy Weather" off the Seychelles -- LOL

But, never fear Dumpsters, we all know that the usual rules don't and never have applied to the "bouffanted buffoon" -- or so he thinks! -- LOL

Doubtless, the results of Mueller's investigations into Trump's various activities will make this crass, arrogant charlatan (and his family/associates) sorely regret he ever threw his "bouffanted hairpiece" into the political ring. Hopefully, he will ultimately be indicted and convicted for egregious financial/taxation crimes and the courts will penalize him to the extent that all of his and his family's ill-gotten assets will be expropriated, and he'll get to wear one of those ill-fitting orange jump suits too

Still, the thought of the Rev. Pence becoming POTUS fills me with equal dread.

[Mar 25, 2018] Obama sex accuser panned as a liar urges Stormy Daniels scrutiny

Mar 25, 2018 | www.washingtonexaminer.com
A man who claimed without evidence that he had sex with former President Barack Obama says the media is showing a "sickening" double standard with coverage of an alleged affair between President Trump and porn star Stormy Daniels.

Larry Sinclair's allegations involving Obama, cocaine, and a limo -- set in 1999, when Obama was a state senator -- failed to gain broad coverage for a variety of reasons, including lack of corroboration and Sinclair's record of crimes involving deceit.

But Sinclair says the media is giving too much attention and too little skepticism to claims of a 2006 affair between Daniels and Trump.

"Stormy Daniels is being pimped and pimping the media now and it's lining her pockets," Sinclair told the Washington Examine r. "I believe she had sex with him. Do I believe she's trying to twist and add to it to benefit her interests? You're damn right I do."

An interview with Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is set to air Sunday on the CBS program "60 Minutes." The performer staging a national strip club tour has given other recent interviews, including to "Inside Edition" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"

Sinclair said he views Daniels' coyness about details -- as she sues to invalidate a $130,000 nondisclosure agreement -- as well as her attempt to sidestep the deal, as reasons to doubt her truthfulness. He said he watched with suspicion as she declined to say if a signature was hers.

"I do believe that there are enough contradictions by Ms. Daniels to justify questioning her motive and truthfulness," Sinclair said, citing "her statements or nonstatements in subsequent interviews implying that her signature was not her signature [and] her back-and-forth on whether Trump paid her."

"I find this whole double standard sickening, and no I am not a bigger supporter of Trump, but I am a supporter of fair and unbiased media coverage," he said. "I find the whole NDA and accepting money and then later coming back and using a completely legal incident for political and personal gain questionable."

Michael Avenatti, an attorney for Daniels, declined to address Sinclair's suggestion that the media be more skeptical of her claims.

"Is this a joke? Am I being punked?" Avenatti wrote in an email.

Sinclair -- who runs a neighborhood revitalization nonprofit in Cocoa, Fla., where he's considering a run for mayor -- said he believes the media also gives too much credence to affair claims by ex-Playboy bunny Karen McDougal and women alleging misconduct by Trump.

There are many distinctions between the allegations made by Sinclair and those made by Clifford and McDougal. For example, Sinclair lacks a photo of himself with Obama, who was married to future first lady Michelle Obama at the time of the alleged two-day relationship.

Trump has denied cheating on first lady Melania Trump, but he did pose for photos with Daniels and McDougal.

Daniels passed a polygraph in 2011, her team said this week. Sinclair allegedly failed a polygraph in 2008, but he says the tests don't mean much.

Daniels told her story to some journalists, including from Slate and In Touch magazine, before signing the October 2016 NDA, though neither published her account. She and McDougal do have a degree of corroboration from friends who attest to contemporaneous conversations or, in the case of McDougal, provided the media with a letter she allegedly wrote documenting the claims.

Sinclair's allegations, by contrast, lack documentary evidence or corroboration from third parties. And whereas Trump has a decadeslong history of romantic relationships with women, Sinclair's gender does not match Obama's reported preference.

"It seems to me that there is a world of difference between the two stories and that there is no double standard," said Joel Kaplan, associate dean for professional graduate studies at the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

"Sinclair is making a singular allegation without any support," Kaplan said. "Ms. Daniels' allegation is backed up by the fact that there was a settlement and a nondisclosure agreement, which certainly lends credibility to her allegations. If Mr. Sinclair was just one of 14 men making these allegations against President Obama that would be one thing and probably worthy of a story. In President Trump's case, there are multiple women who came forward. So, no I see no double standard."

The high point of Sinclair's press exposure came when he rented a room at the National Press Club in June 2008, prompting an unsuccessful campaign to block the event by journalists fearful that the venue would lend credibility to his claims.

A dueling press conference was planned by Whitehouse.com, then a pornographic website whose owner Dan Parisi had paid Sinclair $20,000 to take the polygraph that Sinclair allegedly failed. Parisi later sued Sinclair unsuccessfully for libel for saying the results were doctored.

"It wasn't until after the fact I was told the Whitehouse.com press conference didn't take place," Sinclair said, recalling that police arrested him at the press club and sent him to Delaware to face theft charges. He also had an open warrant for his arrest in Colorado for allegedly signing someone else's tax return check.

Sinclair said the Delaware and Colorado cases were misunderstandings, but admits he was convicted in Arizona for forgery in 1981, then in Florida for using a friend's credit card before getting a 16-year sentence in Colorado in the late '80s in a similar case. He was released in 1999, the same year he allegedly met Obama through a limo driver in Chicago.

In one similarity between Sinclair's allegations and those made by Daniels and McDougal, significant amounts of money changed hands, resulting in legal action and claims of wrongful gagging of the accuser.

Sinclair negotiated a deal in which he ultimately was paid $20,000 by Parisi to consent to a polygraph. A copy of the check is an exhibit in the libel case Parisi brought against Sinclair. At one point, another $10,000 was supposed to be split between two charities.

Daniels is suing to get out of nondisclosure agreement prepared by Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who like the president says Daniels is lying about an affair, and McDougal is suing to get out of an NDA in which she was paid $150,000 for the rights to her story by the company that publishes the Trump-friendly National Enquirer, which didn't print the claims.

Sinclair said his Whitehouse.com deal required that he give exclusive rights for polygraphing to the company for a period of four weeks during the 2008 campaign, a claim that appears to be consistent with an email cited in court documents, and he suggests Parisi may not have acted independently in the libel lawsuit, which was dismissed by a federal judge in 2012.

Sinclair said he lost money on his 2009 book Barack Obama & Larry Sinclair: Cocaine, Sex, Lies & Murder? in which he associates a Chicago-area killing with his affair claims.

"To journalists I would say take your time, compare statements and call out contradictions in statements and previous interviews," Sinclair said. "When it comes to polygraphs be very sure you vet the examiners conducting them and always ask for the computer scoring results as well as the examiners findings."

Parisi did not respond to a request for comment, nor did Obama's office.

[Mar 25, 2018] Ex-Playboy Model Suing To Break Silence On Affair With Trump

Mar 20, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
A former Playboy model who says she had an affair with President Trump is suing the National Enquirer's parent company, American Media, so that she can be released from a legal agreement barring her from discussing the relationship.

Karen McDougal filed the suit in Los Angeles Superior Court, according to the New York Times , after she claims the Enquirer paid her $150,000 for the story of her nine-month-long affair between 2006 and 2007, but did not publish it when she gave the account in August 2016, several months before the 2016 U.S. election.

McDougal says that Trump's personal attorney, Michael D. Cohen, was secretly involved in her negotiations with A.M.I., and that both the media company and her lawyer at the time misled her about the arrangement. After speaking with The New Yorker last month after it obtained notes she kept on her alleged affair, McDougal said she was warned by A.M.I. that " any further disclosures would breach Karen's contract," and "cause considerable monetary damages ."

Cohen reportedly paid another Trump accuser, adult film actress Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels), $130,000 in exchange for signing an NDA barring her from discussing her experiences with Trump.

Trump joined a legal effort last week suing Clifford for $20 million over what they claim is a breach of her NDA. Meanwhile, both women's claims against Trump are being construed by federal watchdog group Common Cause as illegal campaign contributions - arguing that they could constitute in-kind contributions to the Trump campaign.

Ms. Clifford and Ms. McDougal tell strikingly similar stories about their experiences with Mr. Trump, which included alleged trysts at the same Lake Tahoe golf tournament in 2006, dates at the same Beverly Hills hotel and promises of apartments as gifts.

Their stories first surfaced in the The Wall Street Journal four days before the election , but got little traction in the swirl of news that followed Mr. Trump's victory. The women even shared the same Los Angeles lawyer, Keith Davidson, who has long worked for clients who sell their stories to the tabloids . - NYT

"The lawsuit filed today aims to restore her right to her own voice," McDougal's attorney, Peter K Stris told the Times . "We intend to invalidate the so-called contract that American Media Inc. imposed on Karen so she can move forward with the private life she deserves ."

As the Wall Street Journal reported in November, 2016;

The tabloid-newspaper publisher reached an agreement in early August with Karen McDougal, the 1998 Playmate of the Year. American Media Inc., which owns the Enquirer, hasn't published anything about what she has told friends was a consensual romantic relationship she had with Mr. Trump in 2006. At the time, Mr. Trump was married to his current wife, Melania.

Quashing stories that way is known in the tabloid world as "catch and kill." - WSJ

In a written statement, American Media Inc. claims it wasn't buying McDougal's story for $150,000 - rather, they were buying two years' worth of her fitness columns, magazine covers and exclusive life rights to any relationship she has had with a then-married man. "AMI has not paid people to kill damaging stories about Mr. Trump," reads the statement.

American Media Inc. CEO David J. Pecker is a long-standing friend of President Trump.

[Mar 25, 2018] Stormy Daniels -- not Robert Mueller -- might spell Trump's doom by Richard Cohen

Mar 25, 2018 | www.washingtonpost.com

It was just a little thing, a scratch, that he failed to treat and gangrene set in and it was killing him. They were on safari, in Africa, and their truck had broken down and the rescue plane was never going to make it in time. This is the way Harry died in Ernest Hemingway's " The Snows of Kilimanjaro ." I reread it the other day because of President Trump. I think of him as Harry. Stormy Daniels is the scratch.

The saga of the adult-film star and the juvenile president has become a rollicking affair. Each step of the way, Daniels has out-Trumped Trump. She is as shameless as he, a publicity hound who adheres to the secular American religion that, to be famous, even for nothing much, is to be rich. By and large, that's not true, but then there is Kim Kardashian to prove otherwise.

Daniels alleges she and Trump had an affair beginning in 2006. The president's lawyer and his press secretary allege that the allegations are not true. The lawyer, Michael Cohen, does admit to paying Daniels $130,000 , apparently to keep her silent about an affair that, according to Cohen, did not happen. To do this, Cohen set up a private Delaware company and concocted false names for everyone involved -- the allegation-maker and the allegation-denier. Only the name Delaware is legit.

[Mar 24, 2018] CNN's Anderson Cooper had an exclusive interview with former Playboy model Karen McDougal

Media promotion of old Trump affairs in full swing. Part of the demonization campaign which is essential for color revolution. What you can expect with Brennan hired as analyst for NBC ?
Mar 24, 2018 | www.dailywire.com

On Thursday, CNN's Anderson Cooper had an exclusive interview with former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claims that she had a 10-month relationship with Donald Trump a decade before he became President.

CNN, which is always anxious to paint Trump in the worst possible light, most likely did not get quite the response they were looking for from McDougal. While affairs cannot and should not be ever cast in a positive light, it is worth noting that McDougal spoke highly about the way Trump treated her and her friends noticed the same thing.

Speaking of Trump's "Access Hollywood" tape, McDougal said, "I had not seen that in him at all... [that's] not the man that I knew." McDougal said that her friends would tell her how they were impressed with how respectful he was toward her when they were out in public.

WATCH:

Former Playboy model McDougal on Trump's "Access Hollywood" tape: "Not the man that I knew" https://t.co/xjzeDwyHyi https://t.co/Pf6izrZDjg

-- Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) March 23, 2018

On the issue of whether or not she is coming out to hurt Trump, McDougal said, "I voted for Donald. Why would I want to damage him? That's my party, Republican Party. That's my president. I did not want to damage him or hurt him in any way, shape, or form but I also didn't want to put out the story because I didn't want my reputation to be damaged."

McDougal suggested that the reason she came forward is, according to her lawsuit , because she claims she was paid off to keep quiet and was given a "false promise to jumpstart her career as a health and fitness model."

WATCH:

"I voted for Donald. Why would I want to damage him?" Former Playboy model Karen McDougal says her intention in telling her story isn't to damage President Trump https://t.co/fpLyorn15C pic.twitter.com/V6tLUOVDkw

-- CNN (@CNN) March 23, 2018

[Mar 24, 2018] Melania Trump refuses to be bullied by anyone

The main problem for Melania is Trump. Not so much attacks by the media.
Notable quotes:
"... "What can you say except I'm sorry?" [McDougal] told CNN's Anderson Cooper , apologizing for the alleged affair to Melania Trump. "I'm sorry. I wouldn't want it done to me." ..."
"... McDougal admitted that she knew Donald Trump was married during the alleged affair, saying she was reluctant to bring it up because "she felt guilty." ..."
"... She also said that Donald Trump offered to pay her after they had been intimate for the first time in 2006 and that it made her cry. ..."
"... "After we had been intimate, he tried to pay me, and I actually didn't know how to take that," McDougal said. "I've never been offered money like that. I looked at him and said, 'I'm not that type of girl." ..."
"... "And he said, 'Oh,' and he said, 'You're really special,'" McDougal said, adding: "It hurt me that he saw me in that light." ..."
"... According to McDougal, the relationship lasted for about 10 months. She says she broke it off in April 2007 because she felt guilty. She recalled traveling to meet Trump at his properties in New York, New Jersey and California and said she had sex with him "many dozens of times." ..."
"... McDougal had feelings for Trump, but the affair was "just tearing me apart," she said. "There was a real relationship there. There were real feelings," she added. "He would call me baby or he would call me beautiful Karen." ..."
"... quite simply efforts to publicly humiliate and shame of Melania, not to mention attacking the very essence of her marriage to her husband itself. ..."
"... Oh, wait. Isn't that also media bullying? ..."
"... I am well aware that people are skeptical of me discussing this topic. I have been criticized for my commitment to tackling this issue, and I know that will continue. But it will not stop me from doing what I know is right. I am here with one goal: helping children and our next generation." ..."
Mar 24, 2018 | theduran.com

Media sets double standards for itself as it tries to condemn the First Lady for standing up against bullying, all the while bullying her and her husband through infidelity allegations

... ... ...

In seemingly unrelated stories through the rest of the week attack pieces were printed by various women who claimed to have had extramarital affairs with the President during the time of his marriage to Melania. The headlines are anything from accusatory to salacious. Here are some examples:

The attack is the basest sort of hit possible, as these pieces highlight the accusation and "apology" offered by former Playmate model Karen McDougal. In the pieces this lady offers an apology to Melania for the affair with her husband, with the core of the story essentially as shown here (this is from the USA Today version):

"What can you say except I'm sorry?" [McDougal] told CNN's Anderson Cooper , apologizing for the alleged affair to Melania Trump. "I'm sorry. I wouldn't want it done to me."

McDougal admitted that she knew Donald Trump was married during the alleged affair, saying she was reluctant to bring it up because "she felt guilty."

She also said that Donald Trump offered to pay her after they had been intimate for the first time in 2006 and that it made her cry.

"After we had been intimate, he tried to pay me, and I actually didn't know how to take that," McDougal said. "I've never been offered money like that. I looked at him and said, 'I'm not that type of girl."

"And he said, 'Oh,' and he said, 'You're really special,'" McDougal said, adding: "It hurt me that he saw me in that light."

According to McDougal, the relationship lasted for about 10 months. She says she broke it off in April 2007 because she felt guilty. She recalled traveling to meet Trump at his properties in New York, New Jersey and California and said she had sex with him "many dozens of times."

McDougal had feelings for Trump, but the affair was "just tearing me apart," she said. "There was a real relationship there. There were real feelings," she added. "He would call me baby or he would call me beautiful Karen."

Okay, so here we have a great way to humiliate a devout Slovenian Roman Catholic, who is actually quite a traditional woman, even while she was a red-hot model, by making "apologies" that are not apologies at all, but quite simply efforts to publicly humiliate and shame of Melania, not to mention attacking the very essence of her marriage to her husband itself.

Oh, wait. Isn't that also media bullying?

It would seem so. And on Tuesday, Mrs. Trump wasn't having it. She fought back with her own gifts, those being her characteristic elegance, but with her amazing personal strength. But, praise aside, this is what the First Lady had to say:

I am well aware that people are skeptical of me discussing this topic. I have been criticized for my commitment to tackling this issue, and I know that will continue. But it will not stop me from doing what I know is right. I am here with one goal: helping children and our next generation."

[Mar 23, 2018] Will the Deep State Break Trump The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, ..."
"... . To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com. ..."
Mar 23, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

... ... ...

Consider. To cut through the Russophobia rampant here, Trump decided to make a direct phone call to Vladimir Putin. And in that call, Trump, like Angela Merkel, congratulated Putin on his re-election victory.

Instantly, the briefing paper for the president's call was leaked to the Post . In bold letters it read "DO NOT CONGRATULATE."

Whereupon the Beltway went ballistic.

How could Trump congratulate Putin, whose election was a sham? Why did he not charge Putin with the Salisbury poisoning? Why did he not denounce Putin for interfering with "our democracy"?

Amazing. A disloyal White House staffer betrays his trust and leaks a confidential paper to sabotage the foreign policy of a duly elected president, and he is celebrated in this capital city.

If you wish to see the deep state at work, this is it: anti-Trump journalists using First Amendment immunities to collude with and cover up the identities of bureaucratic snakes out to damage or destroy a president they despise. No wonder democracy is a declining stock worldwide.

And, yes, they give out Pulitzers for criminal collusion like this.

The New York Times got a Pulitzer and the Post got a Hollywood movie starring Meryl Streep for publishing stolen secret papers from the Pentagon of JFK and LBJ -- to sabotage the Vietnam War policy of Richard Nixon.

Why? Because the hated Nixon was succeeding in extricating us with honor from a war that the presidents for whom the Times and Post hauled water could not win or end.

Not only have journalists given up any pretense of neutrality in this campaign to bring down the president, ex-national security officers of the highest rank are starting to sound like resisters.

Ex-CIA director John Brennan openly speculated Tuesday that the president may have been compromised by Moscow and become an asset of the Kremlin.

"I think he's afraid of the president of Russia," Brennan said of Trump and Putin. "The Russians, I think, have had long experience with Mr. Trump and may have things they could expose."

If Brennan has evidence Trump is compromised, he should relay it to Robert Mueller. If he does not, this is speculation of an especially ugly variety for someone once entrusted with America's highest secrets.

What's going on in this city is an American version of the "color revolutions" we have employed to knock over governments in places like Georgia and Ukraine.

The goal is to break Trump's presidency, remove him, discredit his election as contaminated by Kremlin collusion, upend the democratic verdict of 2016, and ash-can Trump's agenda of populist conservatism. Then America can return to the open borders, free trade, democracy-crusading Bushite globalism beloved by our Beltway elites.

Trump, in a way, is the indispensable man of the populist right.

In the 2016 primaries, no other Republican candidate shared his determination to secure the border, bring back manufacturing, or end the endless wars in the Middle East that have so bled and bankrupted our nation.

Whether the Assads rule in Damascus, the Chinese fortify Scarborough Shoal, or the Taliban return to Kabul, none are existential threats to the United States.

But if the borders of our country are not secured, as Reagan warned, in a generation, America will not even be a country.

Trump seems now to recognize that the special counsel's office of Robert Mueller, which this city sees as the instrument of its deliverance, is a mortal threat to his presidency.

Mueller's team wishes to do to Trump what Archibald Cox's team sought to do to Nixon: drive him out of office or set him up for the kill by a Democratic Congress in 2019.

Trump appears to recognize that the struggle with Mueller is now a political struggle -- to the death.

Hence Trump's hiring of Joe diGenova and the departure of John Dowd from his legal team. In the elegant phrase of Michael Corleone, diGenova is a wartime consigliere.

He believes Trump is the target of a conspiracy, under which Jim Comey's FBI put in the fix to prevent Hillary's prosecution and then fabricated a crime of collusion with Russia to take down the new president the American people had elected.

The Trump White House is behaving as if it were the prospective target of a coup d'etat. And it is not wrong for them to think so.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever . To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

[Mar 21, 2018] This russiagate soap opera as you called it, is running by the US MSM for almost two years now; and it has completely messed up the majority of the US people.

Notable quotes:
"... An antidote to all my Dem liberal Clinton-supporting "friends" on FB who insanely slaver for Russiagate nonsense because they hate Trump. Nevermind that his impeachment would get us Pence. They pat themselves on the back for being good, liberal Trump-hating, Russia-gate believers. ..."
"... Nary a word from them while Obama cowardly ducked prosecuting torturers or banksters -- or started new illegal wars and drone-murdered so many innocent people. Much less the bogus ACA handout to Big Insurance. So much for American Values. ..."
"... They all believe in all this nonsense about Russia-Gate which is being fed nonstop on major networks; and also this latest incident in U.K. I was the only one who was questioning it and it can become unpleasant. ..."
"... It is sad to see all this happening. It is very dangerous. Newspapers, L.A. Times here, keep the public completely in the dark about the consequences that it may accidentally or knowingly lead to nuclear war with Russia. ..."
Mar 21, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Joe Tedesky , March 19, 2018 at 10:43 am

Here is something worth reading. https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/19/us-empire-on-decline/

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , March 19, 2018 at 10:19 pm

Thanks for that link, Joe. The article's authors, Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, are long-time political activists, codirectors of PopularResistance.org. https://popularresistance.org/ That organization seems to be taking a very determined approach to social change, supplying not only articles tightly focused on issues but also organizing resources for activists.

I've been watching the group closely because I'm seeing signs that its anti-war work just may become the tip of the spear of a revitalized anti-war movement. (It's been a very long time since the anti-war movement in the U.S. had effective leadership.)

Kevin knows how to play the long game. He was for at least two decades director of NORML and can now watch his earlier work come to fruition as state after state legalizes marijuana.

Typingperson , March 20, 2018 at 12:36 am

Thanks, Paul, for flagging that Kevin Zeese is the former head of NORML. I remember him well from this role -- and how effective he was.

I will check out PopularResistance.org.

An antidote to all my Dem liberal Clinton-supporting "friends" on FB who insanely slaver for Russiagate nonsense because they hate Trump. Nevermind that his impeachment would get us Pence. They pat themselves on the back for being good, liberal Trump-hating, Russia-gate believers.

Nary a word from them while Obama cowardly ducked prosecuting torturers or banksters -- or started new illegal wars and drone-murdered so many innocent people. Much less the bogus ACA handout to Big Insurance. So much for American Values.

Dave P. , March 20, 2018 at 2:29 am

Joe, you are right. I do not have to go too far to see what it has done to the citizens of this country, I just look in my own home. This soap opera as you called it, is going on almost two years now; and it has completely messed up the people. We had a visitor, somebody very close to me, a week before this weekend, and invited some other friends. They all believe in all this nonsense about Russia-Gate which is being fed nonstop on major networks; and also this latest incident in U.K. I was the only one who was questioning it and it can become unpleasant.

It is sad to see all this happening. It is very dangerous. Newspapers, L.A. Times here, keep the public completely in the dark about the consequences that it may accidentally or knowingly lead to nuclear war with Russia.

[Mar 20, 2018] When public officials and former public officials -- like Shumer, Brennan and Power -- make such public statements it must necessarily have a chilling effect on public criticism of the security services

Notable quotes:
"... in reality -- the security services have the skills-sets and the abilities, to do damage anyone they want to do damage to -- and to probably get away with it. ..."
"... Fast forward to January, 2017 and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer telling MSNBC's Rachael Maddow that President-elect Donald Trump is "being really dumb" by criticizing the intelligence community and its assessments on Russia's cyber activities: Shumer: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you, So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he's being really dumb to do this." No, Shumer wasn't joking. He was serious. ..."
"... Fast forward again to yesterday, March 17, 2018: Former CIA Director John Brennan wasn't joking when he reacted to the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe -- and President Donald Trump's tweeted celebration of it -- by tweeting this attack against Trump ..."
"... When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America. America will triumph over you. ..."
"... Obama UN Representative Samantha Power followed up on the Brennan tweet with this: "Not a good idea to piss off John Brennan." ..."
Mar 20, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Kurt Gayle , March 19, 2018 at 9:34 am

Does Peter Van Buren's criticism of the CIA's Haspel put him at risk?

In the 2003 film "Love Actually" the British Prime Minister (played by Hugh Grant) jokes with a Downing Street employee Natalie (Martine McCutcheon):

"PM: You live with your husband? Boyfriend, three illegitimate but charming children? --
"NATALIE: No, I've just split up with my boyfriend, so I'm back with my mum and dad for a while.
"PM: Oh. I'm sorry.
"NATALIE: No, it's fine. I'm well shot of him. He said I was getting fat.
"PM: I beg your pardon?
"NATALIE: He said no one's going to fancy a girl with thighs the size of big tree trunks. Not a nice guy, actually, in the end.
"PM: Right You know, being Prime Minister, I could just have him murdered.
"NATALIE: Thank you, sir. I'll think about it.
"PM: Do -- the SAS are absolutely charming -- ruthless, trained killers are just a phone call away."

It's just a film. It's just a joke. But the joke works because the public knows that -- in reality -- the security services have the skills-sets and the abilities, to do damage anyone they want to do damage to -- and to probably get away with it.

Fast forward to January, 2017 and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer telling MSNBC's Rachael Maddow that President-elect Donald Trump is "being really dumb" by criticizing the intelligence community and its assessments on Russia's cyber activities: Shumer: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you, So even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he's being really dumb to do this." No, Shumer wasn't joking. He was serious.

Fast forward again to yesterday, March 17, 2018: Former CIA Director John Brennan wasn't joking when he reacted to the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe -- and President Donald Trump's tweeted celebration of it -- by tweeting this attack against Trump :

" When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America. America will triumph over you. "

Obama UN Representative Samantha Power followed up on the Brennan tweet with this: "Not a good idea to piss off John Brennan."

When public officials and former public officials -- like Shumer, Brennan and Power -- make such public statements it must necessarily have a chilling effect on public criticism of the security services.

After all, none of the three are joking. They're serious. And the American people know that they're serious.

Does Peter Van Buren's criticism of CIA operative Haspel put him at risk?

[Mar 12, 2018] State Department's War on Political Dissent

Highly recommended!
Mar 12, 2018 | ronpaulinstitute.org

The US State Department is spending millions of dollars spreading its own disinformation and propping up NGOs to destroy any individual or organization that does not toe the official US government line on the US global military empire. Through its "Global Engagement Center" the State Department establishes in fact -- in the open -- what it accuses the Russian government of doing without any evidence. Social media companies are colluding with the US government to make organizations who oppose the US global military empire disappear.

RPI's Daniel McAdams joins the Corbett Report to discuss the neocon/Washington war on dissent in America:

Inside the State Department's Troll Farm - Daniel McAdams on The Corbett Report - YouTube

[Mar 11, 2018] America's Troll Farm Media

Notable quotes:
"... A recent Gallup poll found that while 84% of Americans see media as "critical" or "very important" to democracy, only 28% see the corporatist mainstream news media (MSM) as actually supporting democracy. They're right on both counts of course. The quality of a democracy is only as good as the information people have to make informed judgments about public policy and politicians. ..."
"... Even as the mainstream news media continue to lose street cred, they persist in a rumor-saturated full court press against the "Trump-Putin presidency," which only further exposes their lack of professionalism and increasing vulgarity. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... But it's not a new game, because despite their "free press" claims, American major news media have long been instruments of state propaganda. In the 1970s, Carl Bernstein exposed the fact that the overseas branches of US MSM had long served as eyes and ears of the CIA's "Operation Mockingbird," and it's very likely than many amongst their ranks remain agency assets. ..."
"... During the GW Bush presidency, the Pentagon recruited over 75 military generals to spread propaganda in the mass media, fed in camera ..."
"... In February 2018, former CIA director John Brennan, the man who fed the Russian "hacking" story to the House Intelligence Committee, became a senior national security and intelligence analyst for NBC and MSNBC in what has become standard revolving door practice between government and the corporate world. ..."
"... And he certainly knows something about hacking, as he was forced to admit, after first lying about it, that his CIA hacked the computers of Senate staffers who were investigating the agency's role in torturing prisoners. A man the MSM apparently regard as having impeccable credentials for truth telling. ..."
"... Facebook's vice president for advertising Rob Goldman said that in fact most of the total Russian ad buys occurred after ..."
"... The Peacemaker, The Saint, Rambo III, Red Dawn, Red Heat, the James Bond flicks, and the 2018 Oscar for documentaries, Icarus. ..."
"... There are a few signs of life in mainstream journalism. New York Times ..."
"... pledge to be truthful ..."
"... Consortium News ..."
"... The intelligence agencies "have been playing games with us. There is no factual evidence to back up any charge of hacking here." It was likely no more than a USB transfer, he said. ..."
"... Leslie Moonves, CEO of CBS, spoke for the media establishment: "It may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS . The money's rolling in . It's a terrible thing to say. But bring it on, Donald." ..."
"... Gerald Sussman is professor of urban studies and international and global studies at Portland State University. He is the author and editor of several books, including The Propaganda Society: Promotional Culture and Politics in Global Context (2011). ..."
Mar 11, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

Despite all the smoke and mirrors, most Americans seem to see where the stenographers of corporate capitalism are taking us. A recent Gallup poll found that while 84% of Americans see media as "critical" or "very important" to democracy, only 28% see the corporatist mainstream news media (MSM) as actually supporting democracy. They're right on both counts of course. The quality of a democracy is only as good as the information people have to make informed judgments about public policy and politicians.

Even as the mainstream news media continue to lose street cred, they persist in a rumor-saturated full court press against the "Trump-Putin presidency," which only further exposes their lack of professionalism and increasing vulgarity. MSM management and their boardroom bosses have long understood that as long as they spice up their "nothing burger" news, ratings and advertising rates will keep them in business and please their commercial and government clients. Tabloid journalism, which can describe most American mainstream media these days, even when wrapped up as "all the news that's fit to print," is in constant search of sensation, scandal, gossip, and profit – and only occasionally in public-oriented investigative integrity.

What else does the citizenry have to say? A mere 18% have "a lot" of trust in the MSM, while 74% see them as "biased" (Pew Research, July 2016). A study by the Harvard-Harris polling organization in May 2017 confirmed this, finding that 65 percent of Americans consider the so-called "free press" biased, obsessed with scandal, and full of "fake news" and therefore cannot be trusted. Among the concurring are a majority of both Democrats (53%) and Independents (60%) as well as 80% of Republicans. Amongst the "informed public," trust in American institutions in general, that is, the government, business, NGOs, and the MSM, is going through the worst crisis in recorded history, according to the marketing firm Edelman in 2018. The US is the lowest rated of the 28 countries surveyed by the firm on this measure. This is not consistent with the image of a serious "democracy."

On the MSM coverage of national politics, Americans are equally skeptical. A June 2017 Rasmussen survey of likely American voters indicated that 50% think most reporters are prejudiced against the president, and only 4% believe most reporters are biased in Trump's favor. Although this is weighted by the 76% of Republicans who support this view, the study also found that 51% of independent voters and even 24% of Democrats also agree. Aided by the billions of dollars of free, almost all negative, publicity the MSM provided, with apparent reverse effect during the presidential campaign, Trump's standing is also supported by the 47 million American shock troops that faithfully follow him on Twitter.

On January 27, 2018, the Washington Post editorial board issued this statement: "A foreign power interfered in the 2016 presidential election. U.S. law enforcement is trying to get to the bottom of that story. Congress should be doing everything possible to make sure the investigation can take place." Obviously referring to Russia, the Post's declaration, as the late investigative journalist Robert Parry and many other independent and respected writers have pointed out, was and remains without a shred of evidence. It's WMD time all over again, only this time the propaganda is being trumpeted mainly by the Democrats. It would better serve the cause of democracy to investigate the Post for its covert coalition and collusion with the deep state and the Clinton (right) wing of the Democratic Party. The Post and the rest of their pack have constructed a wicked Russia foil in order to undermine Moscow's presumed ally Trump and boost bigger Pentagon budgets. It's an extremely dangerous game that is headed toward military confrontation and massive annihilation by the yahoos in government and the liberal media.

But it's not a new game, because despite their "free press" claims, American major news media have long been instruments of state propaganda. In the 1970s, Carl Bernstein exposed the fact that the overseas branches of US MSM had long served as eyes and ears of the CIA's "Operation Mockingbird," and it's very likely than many amongst their ranks remain agency assets. Back then, Philip Graham, publisher of the Post , ran the agency's media industry operations, a fact not mentioned in the currently showing eponymous film. During the GW Bush presidency, the Pentagon recruited over 75 military generals to spread propaganda in the mass media, fed in camera by leaders at the Defense Department, the State Department, the Justice Department, and the White House. Their responsibilities included their employment as "objective" foreign policy and war analysts for major network and cable news channels, many of them concurrently receiving pay by military contracting firms. The Pentagon referred to the on-air military propagandists as "surrogates" and "message force multipliers."

The Russians are Coming

In February 2018, former CIA director John Brennan, the man who fed the Russian "hacking" story to the House Intelligence Committee, became a senior national security and intelligence analyst for NBC and MSNBC in what has become standard revolving door practice between government and the corporate world. Brennan was a well-known advocate for the CIA's rendition and torture program, spying on its critics, and its use of drone bombings and assassinations in the Middle East. And he certainly knows something about hacking, as he was forced to admit, after first lying about it, that his CIA hacked the computers of Senate staffers who were investigating the agency's role in torturing prisoners. A man the MSM apparently regard as having impeccable credentials for truth telling.

If the Russia "hacking" story has no legs, the more interesting piece of news is the organized efforts of the Democrats and some Republicans to bring down Trump and turn over the White House to theocrat Mike Pence. Mainstream pundits and reporters are churning out unsubstantiated speculations about Russia and Trump by the hour. A number of Democrats, military brass, and mercenary journalist (and former country club caddy) Thomas Friedman have characterized alleged Russian intervention as a new "Pearl Harbor" or "9/11," thereby building a case for war and for treason against the president. There's no downside to making even the most absurd claims about Russia and Trump, no penalty for fabrications, misrepresentations, or getting facts wrong. If they were honest, their ledes might read: "This fictional news report is loosely based on a true story." Or: "Any resemblance in this story to real people and events is merely coincidental."

There's room in the inferno for the Democrats' deep state allies. Starting in mid-2015, Peter Strzok, the FBI's H. Clinton personal email scandal investigator before taking the lead in the probe of Russian election interference, sent emails to his lover, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, which clearly revealed that both of them were actively working for the Clinton campaign to undermine Trump in any way possible. The pair also exchanged references to a "secret society" that was operating within the Department of Justice and the FBI to block a Trump victory. Until their exposure, Strzok had been Robert Mueller's right hand man on the Trump-Russia investigation.

Meanwhile, two years later, the hunt for the smoking Kalashnikov continues. The best the MSM have come up with is that a St. Petersburg outfit called Internet Research Agency (IRA) placed $100,000 in ads on Facebook (compared to the $81 million Facebook ad spending by the Trump and Clinton campaigns), some of the Russian ads actually directed against Trump. As Jeffrey St. Clair pointed out in the pages of CounterPunch, in the key states where Clinton lost the election, the traditional Democrat strongholds of Michigan ($832 spent on token IRA buy ads), Pennsylvania ($300), and Wisconsin ($1,979), all but $54 of this amount was spent before the party primaries even started.

Facebook's vice president for advertising Rob Goldman said that in fact most of the total Russian ad buys occurred after the presidential election. "We shared that fact," he tweeted, "but very few [news] outlets have covered it because it doesn't align with the main media narrative" about Trump's election victory. Winning the election for Trump was simply not the Russian objective, Goldman says. Alex Stamos, Facebook chief security officer, concurred. The ads, he said, were more about sowing discord, with messages about guns, immigrants, and racial strife, than on pushing a particular candidate. Think about all the blockbuster American (and British) movies that portray Russians as sinister, violent, and criminal. For starters, remember über-teutonic Ivan Drago, Sgt. Yushin, the many sadistic "Russian" mafia nogoodniks, along with the Cold War-for-children cartoon characters, Boris Badanov and Natasha Fatale? Among the many Russophobic films and TV shows over the decades: The Americans , Air Force One , The Peacemaker, The Saint, Rambo III, Red Dawn, Red Heat, the James Bond flicks, and the 2018 Oscar for documentaries, Icarus. Soviet and Russia-era films, not well tutored in ethnic caricatures, have no comparable stereotypical American counterparts.

There are a few signs of life in mainstream journalism. New York Times correspondent Scott Shane was one of the few journalists who happened to notice that the US intelligence agency (the CIA, NSA, and FBI) report of January 6, 2017 on Russian "hacking" actually offered no evidence. "Instead," he said, "the message from the agencies essentially amounts to 'trust us.'" It took the mainstream media 6 months before they acknowledged that the Obama administration claim that 17 intelligence agencies backed the hacking claim was false, the real number was only 3, and even the NSA had only "moderate confidence" in the finding. Last January, the NSA made a significant alteration in its mission statement: it removed the words "honesty" and the pledge to be truthful from its list of priorities.

Even if there were genuine evidence that Russian officials had hacked the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign manager John Podesta emails, as originally claimed by the intelligence agencies, one should put this in context of the long history of the CIA's efforts to overthrow many democratically elected leaders who had the temerity to stand up to the superpower. These would include Allende, Arbenz, Mossadeq, Lumumba, Chavez, Goulart, Ortega, and others. The list of US interventions in foreign elections just since 1948 (Italy) is voluminous. Do the mainstream media suffer amnesia about Victoria Nuland and John McCain's presence in the Maidan, egging on the coup against Yanukovych or her infamous leaked phone call to the US ambassador in Kiev in which she dictated the ousted president's successors? And is it reasonable to expect Russia to be passive about a hostile NATO putting troops along its borders and reacting to efforts to install an anti-Russian regime next door in the Ukraine? In this recent historical context, US accusations of Russian political interference smack of complete hypocrisy.

A study by Carnegie Mellon professor Dov Levin found that between 1946 and 2000 alone, the US intervened in foreign elections 81 times, which does not include its invasions, blockades, sanctions, assassination attempts, and other regime change initiatives. "The U.S. is no stranger to interfering in the elections of other countries," he wrote. In 1996, the US intervened in the Russian election to prevent the Communist Party from returning to power. Have the MSM also forgotten the lies the government and the CIA told about Saddam Hussein's WMD and connections to terrorist movements? Or that, thanks to Edward Snowden's exposés, we know that Obama's NSA bugged the phones of 35 foreign political leaders?

If the MSM are still confused, perhaps they should listen to former CIA director James Woolsey. Interviewed by Fox News' Laura Ingraham, Woolsey was asked directly whether the US ever interfered with other countries' elections. He initially said, "probably, but it was for the good of the system in order to avoid the communists from taking over." Ingraham followed up with the question, "We don't do that now?" To this Woolsey responded, "nyum, nyum, nyum, nyum, nyum, only for a very good cause," a rather frank admission that merely amused Ingraham, who failed to follow up with this obvious statement of US double standards. After leaving the CIA, Woolsey became chairman of Freedom House, a right-wing government-supported private NGO that putatively supports human rights causes and has been active in regime change operations around the world – far more actively than merely doing Facebook postings.

William Binney, formerly with NSA as a high-level intelligence operative, subsequently becoming a whistleblower on the agency's illegal surveillance operations, called the alleged Russian attacks on the DNC "a charade." Speaking to Daniel Bernstein at Consortium News , Binney said that had any bulk transmissions come from across the Atlantic, the NSA would have known about it, as they tap every communication from abroad. The data from "Guccifer 2.0," was a download "not a transfer across the Web," which "won't manage such high speed." The intelligence agencies "have been playing games with us. There is no factual evidence to back up any charge of hacking here." It was likely no more than a USB transfer, he said.

Is there any hope for the mainstream media to change? It would take a revolution to get the MSM to become more democratic. A Harvard Shorenstein Center report found that media coverage of the 2016 US party conventions contained almost no discussion of policy issues and instead concentrated on polling data, scandals, campaign tactics, and Trump and Russia bashing. Leslie Moonves, CEO of CBS, spoke for the media establishment: "It may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS . The money's rolling in . It's a terrible thing to say. But bring it on, Donald."

As Walter Cronkite would say, "And that's the way it is." Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Gerald Sussman

Gerald Sussman is professor of urban studies and international and global studies at Portland State University. He is the author and editor of several books, including The Propaganda Society: Promotional Culture and Politics in Global Context (2011).

[Mar 10, 2018] Visceral Russo-phobia became a feature in Obama policy and HRC campaign long before any Steele s Dossier. This was a program ofunleashing cold War II

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Especially, once American policy-makers who saw and experienced war (Ike, George Marshall's generation) departed things started to roll down hill with Reagan bringing on board a whole collection of neocons. ..."
"... Unawareness is always dangerous, a complete blackout in relations between two nuclear powers is more than dangerous--it is completely reckless. Again, the way CW 1.0 is perceived in the current US "elites" it becomes extremely tempting to repeat it. Electing Hillary was another step in unleashing CW 2.0 by people who have no understanding of what they were doing. ..."
"... Obama started crushing US-Russian relations before any campaigns were launched and before Trump was even seriously considered a GOP nominee, let alone a real contender. New confrontation hinged on HRC being elected. In fact, she was one of the major driving forces behind a serious of geopolitical anti-Russian moves. Visceral Russo-phobia became a feature in HRC campaign long before any Steele's Dossier. This was a program. ..."
Mar 10, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

As chickenhawks related those who experienced war in the USA elite that slide to neocon dominance became inevitable.

SmoothieX12 -> Anna... , 04 February 2018 at 01:39 PM

- If they have read the important books at all... The ongoing scandal has been revealing a stunning incompetence of the "deciders." Too often they look comical, ridiculous, undignified. This is dangerous, considering their power.

My coming book is precisely about that. Especially, once American policy-makers who saw and experienced war (Ike, George Marshall's generation) departed things started to roll down hill with Reagan bringing on board a whole collection of neocons.

Unawareness is always dangerous, a complete blackout in relations between two nuclear powers is more than dangerous--it is completely reckless. Again, the way CW 1.0 is perceived in the current US "elites" it becomes extremely tempting to repeat it. Electing Hillary was another step in unleashing CW 2.0 by people who have no understanding of what they were doing.

Obama started crushing US-Russian relations before any campaigns were launched and before Trump was even seriously considered a GOP nominee, let alone a real contender. New confrontation hinged on HRC being elected. In fact, she was one of the major driving forces behind a serious of geopolitical anti-Russian moves. Visceral Russo-phobia became a feature in HRC campaign long before any Steele's Dossier. This was a program.

kooshy said in reply to SmoothieX12 ... , 04 February 2018 at 04:10 PM
John McCain is a war veteran and a policy maker, who has seen war closer than Marshal or Ike still he will shy away from any war even with nuclear Russia.
Joe100 said in reply to kooshy... , 04 February 2018 at 04:40 PM
While McCain is a war veteran, his career was not in any way distinguished - rather he pretty clearly was given "hall pass" after "hall pass" given his father and grandfather. It also seems pretty clear his time as a POW has probably significantly influenced his view of the world.

"The Nightingale's Song" has an excellent treatment of his Naval Academy and service time, along with and in contrast to Ollie North, Jim Webb, admiral Poindexter and Bud MacFarlane. Not a pretty picture..

SmoothieX12 -> kooshy... , 04 February 2018 at 05:00 PM
John McCain is a war veteran and a policy maker, who has seen war closer than Marshal or Ike still he will shy away from any war even with nuclear Russia.

Seeing generations of your close and remote relatives killed and your property destroyed as a result of war is usually a very sobering collective experience. McCain, apart from being a rather exceptional warmonger, doesn't know what it is, despite experiencing some serious trials while being a POW. Ike saw, for starters, concentration camps and, unlike, McCain was mostly on the ground. This is a crucial distinction.

kooshy , 04 February 2018 at 05:15 PM
"It also seems pretty clear his time as a POW has probably significantly influenced his view of the world."
I agree, and, that was the point I tried to make, not all veterans are necessary qualified MINDS for deciding future of the coming generations. I have the same suspicion for General Kelly, having lost a son in Afghanistan and having power to influence the war in Afghanistan, I think is this situation, like judges, one has to recuse him/herself to be part of planers.

[Mar 08, 2018] Mueller determines the US foreign policy toward Russia; The Intel Community Lies About Russian Meddling by Publius Tacitus

Highly recommended!
The sad but reasonable conclusion from all those Russiagate events is that an influential part of the US elite wants to balance on the edge of war with Russia to ensure profits and flow of taxpayer money. that part of the elite include top honchos on the US intelligence community and Pentagon (surprise, surprise)
The other logical conclusion is that intelligence agencies now determine the US foreign policy and control all major political players (there were widespread suspicions that Clinton, Bush II and Obama were actually closely connected to CIA). Which neatly fits into hypotheses about the "deep state".
This "can of worms" that the US political scene now represents is very dangerous for the future on mankind indeed.
Notable quotes:
"... Most objective observers would concede that the DNI has been a miserable failure and nothing more than a bureaucratic boondoggle. ..."
"... "The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow -- the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities." ..."
"... More telling was the absence of any written document issued from the Office of the DNI that detailed the supposed intel backing up this judgment. Notice the weasel language in this release ..."
"... If there was actual evidence/intelligence, such as an intercepted conversation between Vladimir Putin and a subordinate ordering them to hack the DNC or even a human source report claiming such an activity, then it would have and should have been referenced in the Clapper/Johnson document. It was not because such intel did not exist. ..."
"... "We have 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin, and they are designed to influence our election," Clinton said. "I find that deeply disturbing." ..."
"... The basic job of an analyst is to collect as much relevant information as possible on the subject or topic that is their responsibility. There are analysts at the CIA, the NSA, the DIA and State INR that have the job of knowing about Russian cyber activity and capabilities. That is certain. But we are not talking about hundreds of people. ..."
"... Let us move from the hypothetical to the actual. In January of 2017, DNI Jim Clapper release a report entitled, " Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections " (please see here ). In subsequent testimony before the Congress, Clapper claimed that he handpicked two dozen analysts to draft the document . That is not likely. There may have been as many as two dozen analysts who read the final document and commented on it, but there would never be that many involved in in drafting such a document. In any event, only analysts from the CIA, the NSA and the FBI were involved ..."
"... This report includes an analytic assessment drafted and coordinated among The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and The National Security Agency (NSA), which draws on intelligence information collected and disseminated by those three agencies. ..."
"... That is how the process is supposed to work. But the document produced in January 2017 was not a genuine work reflecting the views of the "Intelligence Community." It only represented the supposed thinking (and I use that term generously) of CIA, NSA and FBI analysts. In other words, only three of 16 agencies cleared on the document that presented four conclusions ..."
"... Russian efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election represent the most recent expression of Moscow's longstanding desire to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order, but these activities demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations. ..."
"... We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. ..."
"... We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. ..."
"... We assess Moscow will apply lessons learned from its Putin-ordered campaign aimed at the US presidential election to future influence efforts worldwide, including against US allies and their election processes. ..."
"... It is genuinely shocking that DNI Jim Clapper, with the acquiescence of the CIA, the FBI and NSA, would produce a document devoid of any solid intelligence. There is a way to publicly release sensitive intelligence without comprising a the original source. But such sourcing is absent in this document. ..."
"... The Intelligence Community was used as a tool to misinform the public and persuade them that Russia was guilty of something they did not do. That lie remains unchallenged. ..."
"... "The Intelligence Community was used as a tool to misinform the public and persuade them that Russia was guilty of something they did not do. That lie remains unchallenged.'" Yes it was and so remains the lie unchallenged. ..."
"... Conjectural garbage appears first to have been washed through the FBI, headquarters no less, then probably it picked up a Triple A rating at the CIA, and then when the garbage got to Clapper, it was bombs away - we experts all agree. There were leaks, but they weren't sufficient to satisfy Steele so he just delivered the garbage whole to the Media in order to make it a sure thing. The garbage was placed securely out there in the public domain with a Triple A rating because the FBI wouldn't concern itself with garbage, would it? ..."
"... Contrast this trajectory with what the Russian policy establishment did when it concluded that the US had done something in the Ukraine that Russia found significantly actionable: it released the taped evidence of Nuland and our Ambassador finishing off the coup. ..."
"... To be precise, CrowdStrike did provide the FBI with allegedly "certified true images" of the DNC servers allegedly involved in the alleged "hack." They also allegedly provided these images to FireEye and Mandiant, IIRC ..."
"... Of course, given the CrowdStrike itself is a massively compromised organization due to its founder and CEO, those "certified true images" are themselves tainted evidence. ..."
"... In addition, regardless of whether the images were true or not, the evidence allegedly contained therein is painfully inadequate to confirm that APT28 or APT29 were involved, nor that the Russian government was involved, or even that there was a real hack involved, and even less evidence that any emails that might have been exfiltrated were given to Wikileaks as opposed to another leak such as that alleged by Sy Hersh to have been done by Seth Rich. ..."
"... My interpretation is: In 1990 +- Bush 41 sold us the 1st Iraq war using fudged intelligence, then Bush 43 sold us the second Iraq war using fabricated intelligence. And now the Obama Administration tried to sell us fake intelligence in regard to Russia in order to get Clinton elected ..."
"... Mueller has had 18 months and has proceeded to reveal exactly nothing related to either Trump "collusion" with Russia nor Russia as a state actually doing anything remotely described as "meddling." ..."
"... His expected indictment of some Russians for the DNC hack is going to be more of the same in all likelihood. I predict there will be next to zero evidence produced either that the Russians named are in fact members of APT28 or APT29 or that they had any direct connection with either the alleged DNC hack or Wikileaks or the Russian government. ..."
"... It's a witch hunt, nothing more. People holding their breath for the "slam dunk" are going to pass out soon if they haven't already. ..."
"... Mueller is investigating some aspects. But there is another aspect - the conspiracy inside law enforcement and the IC. That is also being investigated. There are Congressional committees in particular Nunes, Goodlatte and Grassley. Then there is the DOJ IG. And today AG Sessions confirms there is a DOJ prosecutor outside Washington investigating. ..."
"... But such evidence (corroborating the Steele dossier) was not forthcoming. If it had existed than Jim Comey could have claimed in his June 2017 testimony before Congress that the parts of the "Dossier" had been verified. He did not do so. Testifying under oath Comey described the "Dossier" as "salacious and unverified." ..."
"... Was it Hitler or Stalin who said "show me the man and I will find his crime?" As I have said before, Trumps greatest vulnerability lies in his previous business life as an entrepreneurial hustler. ..."
"... Re 'baby adoption' meeting between Trump, Jr. and Veselnitskaya, I recall a comment here linking to an article speculating the email initiating the meeting originated in Europe, was set up by the playboy son of a European diplomat, and contained words to trip data-gathering monitors which would have enabled a FISA request to have Trump, Jr. come under surveillance. ..."
"... "We don't have the evidence yet because Mueller hasn't found it yet!" is a classic argument from ignorance, in that is assumes without evidence (there's that pesky word again!) that there is something to be found. ..."
"... Manafort has been indicted for money laundering, wire fraud, etc for activities well before the election campaign. Sure, it is good that these corrupt individuals should be investigated and prosecuted. However, this corruption is widespread in DC. How come none of these cheering Mueller on to destroy Trump care about all the foreign money flowing to K Street? Why aren't they calling for investigations of the Clinton Foundation or the Podesta brothers where probable cause exist of foreign money and influence? What about Ben Cardin and all those recipients of foreign zionist money and influence? It would be nice if there were wide ranging investigations on all those engaged in foreign influence peddling. But it seems many just want a witch hunt to hobble Trump. It's going to be very difficult to get the Senate to convict him for obstruction of justice or tax evasion or some charge like that. ..."
Mar 07, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The Intel Community Lie About Russian Meddling by Publius Tacitus

Americans tend to be a trusting lot. When they hear a high level government official, like former Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper, state that Russia's Vladimir ordered and monitored a Russian cyber attack on the 2016 Presidential election, those trusting souls believe him. For experienced intelligence professionals, who know how the process of gathering and analyzing intelligence works, they detect a troubling omission in Clapper's presentation and, upon examining the so-called "Intelligence Community Assessment," discover that document is a deceptive fraud. It lacks actual evidence that Putin and the Russians did what they are accused of doing. More troubling -- and this is inside baseball -- is the fact that two critical members of the Intelligence Community -- the DIA and State INR -- were not asked to coordinate/clear on the assessment.

You should not feel stupid if you do not understand or appreciate the last point. That is something only people who actually have produced a Community Assessment would understand. I need to take you behind the scenes and ensure you understand what is intelligence and how analysts assess and process that intelligence. Once you understand that then you will be able to see the flaws and inadequacies in the report released by Jim Clapper in January 2017.

The first thing you need to understand is the meaning of the term, the "Intelligence Community" aka IC. Comedians are not far off the mark in touting this phrase as the original oxymoron. On paper the IC currently is comprised of 17 agencies/departments:
  1. Air Force Intelligence,
  2. Army Intelligence,
  3. Central Intelligence Agency aka CIA,
  4. Coast Guard Intelligence,
  5. Defense Intelligence Agency aka DIA,
  6. Energy Department aka DOE,
  7. Homeland Security Department,
  8. State Department aka INR,
  9. Treasury Department,
  10. Drug Enforcement Administration aka DEA,
  11. Federal Bureau of Investigation aka FBI,
  12. Marine Corps Intelligence,
  13. National Geospatial Intelligence Agency aka NGIA or NGA,
  14. National Reconnaissance Office aka NRO,
  15. National Security Agency aka NSA,
  16. Navy Intelligence
  17. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

But not all of these are "national security" agencies -- i.e., those that collect raw intelligence, which subsequently is packaged and distributed to other agencies on a need to know basis. Only six of these agencies take an active role in collecting raw foreign intelligence. The remainder are consumers of that intelligence product. In other words, the information does not originate with them. They are like a subscriber to the New York Times. They get the paper everyday and, based upon what they read, decide what is going on in their particular world. The gatherers of intelligence are:

Nine of the other agencies/departments are consumers. They do not collect and package original info. They are the passive recipients. The analysts in those agencies will base their conclusions on information generated by other agencies, principally the CIA and the NSA.

The astute among you, I am sure, will insist my list is deficient and will ask, "What about the FBI and DEA?" It is true that those two organizations produce a type of human intelligence -- i.e., they recruit informants and those informants provide those agencies with information that the average person understandably would categorize as "intelligence." But there is an important difference between human intelligence collected by the CIA and the human source intelligence gathered by the FBI or the DEA. The latter two are law enforcement agencies. No one from the CIA or the NSA has the power to arrest someone. The FBI and the DEA do.

Their authority as law enforcement agents, however, comes with limitations, especially in collecting so-called intelligence. The FBI and the DEA face egal constraints on what information they can collect and store. The FBI cannot decide on its own that skinheads represent a threat and then start gathering information identifying skinhead leaders. There has to be an allegation of criminal activity. When such "human" information is being gathered under the umbrella of law enforcement authorities, it is being handled as potential evidence that may be used to prosecute someone. This means that such information cannot be shared with anyone else, especially intelligence agencies like the CIA and the NSA.

The "17th" member of the IC is the Director of National Intelligence aka DNI. This agency was created in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks for the ostensible purpose of coordinating the activities and products of the IC. In theory it is the organization that is supposed to coordinate what the IC collects and the products the IC produces. Most objective observers would concede that the DNI has been a miserable failure and nothing more than a bureaucratic boondoggle.

An important, but little understood point, is that these agencies each have a different focus. They are not looking at the same things. In fact, most are highly specialized and narrowly focused. Take the Coast Guard, for instance. Their intelligence operations primarily hone in on maritime threats and activities in U.S. territorial waters, such as narcotic interdictions. They are not responsible for monitoring what the Russians are doing in the Black Sea and they have no significant expertise in the cyber activities of the Russian Army military intelligence organization aka the GRU.

In looking back at the events of 2016 surrounding the U.S. Presidential campaign, most people will recall that Hillary Clinton, along with several high level Obama national security officials, pushed the lie that the U.S. Intelligence agreed that Russia had unleashed a cyber war on the United States. The initial lie came from DNI Jim Clapper and Homeland Security Chief, Jeb Johnson, who released the following memo to the press on 7 October 2016 :

"The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow -- the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities."

This was a deliberate deceptive message. It implied that the all 16 intelligence agencies agreed with the premise and "evidence of Russian meddling. Yet not a single bit of proof was offered. More telling was the absence of any written document issued from the Office of the DNI that detailed the supposed intel backing up this judgment. Notice the weasel language in this release:

If there was actual evidence/intelligence, such as an intercepted conversation between Vladimir Putin and a subordinate ordering them to hack the DNC or even a human source report claiming such an activity, then it would have and should have been referenced in the Clapper/Johnson document. It was not because such intel did not exist.

Hillary Clinton helped perpetuate this myth during the late October debate with Donald Trump, when she declared as fact that:

"We have 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin, and they are designed to influence our election," Clinton said. "I find that deeply disturbing."

What is shocking is that there was so little pushback to this nonsense. Hardly anyone asked why would the DEA, Coast Guard, the Marines or DOE have any technical expertise to make a judgment about Russian hacking of U.S. election systems. And no one of any importance asked the obvious -- where was the written memo or National Intelligence Estimate laying out what the IC supposedly knew and believed? There was nothing.

It is natural for the average American citizen to believe that something given the imprimatur of the Intelligence Community must reflect solid intelligence and real expertise. Expertise is supposed to be the cornerstone of intelligence analysis and the coordination that occurs within the IC. That means that only those analysts (and the agencies they represent) will be asked to contribute or comment on a particular intelligence issue. When it comes to the question of whether Russia had launched a full out cyber attack on the Democrats and the U.S. electoral system, only analysts from agencies with access to the intelligence and the expertise to analyze that intelligence would be asked to write or contribute to an intelligence memorandum.

Who would that be? The answer is simple -- the CIA, the DIA, the NSA, State INR and the FBI. (One could make the case that there are some analysts within Homeland Security that might have expertise, but they would not necessarily have access to the classified information produced by the CIA or the NSA.) The task of figuring out what the Russians were doing and planned to do fell to five agencies and only three of the five (the CIA, the DIA and NSA) would have had the ability to collect intelligence that could inform the work of analysts.

Before I can explain to you how an analyst work this issue it is essential for you to understand the type of intelligence that would be required to "prove" Russian meddling. There are four possible sources -- 1) a human source who had direct access to the Russians who directed the operation or carried it out; 2) a signal intercept of a conversation or cyber activity that was traced to Russian operatives; 3) a document that discloses the plan or activity observed; or 4) forensic evidence from the computer network that allegedly was attacked.

Getting human source intel is primarily the job of CIA. It also is possible that the DIA or the FBI had human sources that could have contributed relevant intelligence.

Signal intercepts are collected and analyzed by the NSA.

Documentary evidence, which normally is obtained from a human source but can also be picked up by NSA intercepts or even an old-fashioned theft.

Finally there is the forensic evidence . In the case of Russian meddling there is no forensic evidence available to the IC because the Democratic National Committee did not permit the FBI to investigate and examine the computers and the network that was allegedly attacked.

What Do Analysts Do?

Whenever there is a "judgment" or "consensus" claimed on behalf to the IC, it means that one or more analysts have written a document that details the evidence and presents conclusions based on that evidence. On a daily basis the average analyst confronts a flood of classified information (normally referred to as "cables" or "messages"). When I was on the job in the 1980s I had to wade through more than 1200 messages -- i.e., human source reports from the CIA, State Department messages with embassies around the world, NSA intercepts, DIA reports from their officers based overseas (most in US embassies) and open source press reports. Today, thanks to the internet, the average analyst must scan through upwards of 3000 messages. It is humanly impossible.

The basic job of an analyst is to collect as much relevant information as possible on the subject or topic that is their responsibility. There are analysts at the CIA, the NSA, the DIA and State INR that have the job of knowing about Russian cyber activity and capabilities. That is certain. But we are not talking about hundreds of people.

Let us move from the hypothetical to the actual. In January of 2017, DNI Jim Clapper release a report entitled, " Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections " (please see here ). In subsequent testimony before the Congress, Clapper claimed that he handpicked two dozen analysts to draft the document . That is not likely. There may have been as many as two dozen analysts who read the final document and commented on it, but there would never be that many involved in in drafting such a document. In any event, only analysts from the CIA, the NSA and the FBI were involved :

This report includes an analytic assessment drafted and coordinated among The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and The National Security Agency (NSA), which draws on intelligence information collected and disseminated by those three agencies.

Limiting the drafting and clearance on this document to only the CIA, the NSA and the FBI is highly unusual because one of the key analytical conclusions in the document identifies the Russian military intelligence organization, the GRU, as one of the perpetrators of the cyber attack. DIA's analysts are experts on the GRU and there also are analysts in State Department's Bureau of INR who should have been consulted. Instead, they were excluded.

Here is how the process should have worked in producing this document:

  1. One or more analysts are asked to do a preliminary draft. It is customary in such a document for the analyst to cite specific intelligence, using phrases such as: "According to a reliable source of proven access," when citing a CIA document or "According to an intercept of a conversation between knowledgeable sources with access," when referencing something collected by the NSA. The analyst does more than repeat what is claimed in the intel reports, he or she also has the job of explaining what these facts mean or do not mean.
  2. There always is an analyst leading the effort who has the job of integrating the contributions of the other analysts into a coherent document. Once the document is completed in draft it is handed over to Branch Chief and then Division Chief for editing. We do not know who had the lead, but it was either the FBI, the CIA or the NSA.
  3. At the same time the document is being edited at originating agency, it is supposed to be sent to the other clearing agencies, i.e. those agencies that either provided the intelligence cited in the draft (i.e., CIA, NSA, DIA, or State) or that have expertise on the subject. As noted previously, it is highly unusual to exclude the DIA and INR.
  4. Once all the relevant agencies clear on the content of the document, it is sent into the bowels of the DNI where it is put into final form.

That is how the process is supposed to work. But the document produced in January 2017 was not a genuine work reflecting the views of the "Intelligence Community." It only represented the supposed thinking (and I use that term generously) of CIA, NSA and FBI analysts. In other words, only three of 16 agencies cleared on the document that presented four conclusions:

Sounds pretty ominous, but the language used tells a different story. The conclusions are based on assumptions and judgments. There was nor is any actual evidence from intelligence sources showing that Vladimir Putin ordered up anything or that his government preferred Trump over Clinton.

How do I know this? If such evidence existed -- either documentary or human source or signal intercept -- it would have been cited in this document. Not only that. Such evidence would have corroborated the claims presented in the Steele dossier. But such evidence was not forthcoming. If it had existed than Jim Comey could have claimed in his June 2017 testimony before Congress that the parts of the "Dossier" had been verified. He did not do so. Testifying under oath Comey described the "Dossier" as "salacious and unverified."

It is genuinely shocking that DNI Jim Clapper, with the acquiescence of the CIA, the FBI and NSA, would produce a document devoid of any solid intelligence. There is a way to publicly release sensitive intelligence without comprising a the original source. But such sourcing is absent in this document.

That simple fact should tell you all you need to know. The Intelligence Community was used as a tool to misinform the public and persuade them that Russia was guilty of something they did not do. That lie remains unchallenged.


LeaNder , 07 March 2018 at 05:59 PM

Good summary argument, PT. Thanks. Helpful reminder.

But, makes me feel uncomfortable. Cynical scenario. I'd prefer them to be both drivers and driven, somehow stumbling into the chronology of events. They didn't hack the DNC, after all. Crowdstrike? Steele? ...

********
But yes, all the 17 agencies Clinton alluded to in her 3rd encounter with Trump was a startling experience:

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/oct/19/hillary-clinton/hillary-clinton-blames-russia-putin-wikileaks-rele/

turcopolier , 07 March 2018 at 06:10 PM
LeaNder

One other point on which Tacitus and I differ is the quality of the analysts in the "minors." The "bigs" often recruit analysts from the "minors" so they can't be all that bad. And the analysts in all these agencies receive much the same data feed electronically every day. There are exceptions to this but it is generally true. I, too, read hundreds of documents every day to keep up with the knowledge base of the analysts whom I interrogated continuously. "How do you know that?" would have been typical. pl

Flavius , 07 March 2018 at 06:19 PM
Well done.

"The Intelligence Community was used as a tool to misinform the public and persuade them that Russia was guilty of something they did not do. That lie remains unchallenged.'" Yes it was and so remains the lie unchallenged.

Conjectural garbage appears first to have been washed through the FBI, headquarters no less, then probably it picked up a Triple A rating at the CIA, and then when the garbage got to Clapper, it was bombs away - we experts all agree. There were leaks, but they weren't sufficient to satisfy Steele so he just delivered the garbage whole to the Media in order to make it a sure thing. The garbage was placed securely out there in the public domain with a Triple A rating because the FBI wouldn't concern itself with garbage, would it?

Contrast this trajectory with what the Russian policy establishment did when it concluded that the US had done something in the Ukraine that Russia found significantly actionable: it released the taped evidence of Nuland and our Ambassador finishing off the coup.

The whole sequence reminds me in some ways of the sub prime mortgage bond fiasco: garbage risk progressively bundled, repackaged, rebranded and resold by big name institutions that should have known better.

I have only two questions: was it misfeasance, malfeasance, or some ugly combination of the two? And are they going to get away with it?

Richardstevenhack , 07 March 2018 at 06:23 PM
Re this: " In the case of Russian meddling there is no forensic evidence available to the IC because the Democratic National Committee did not permit the FBI to investigate and examine the computers and the network that was allegedly attacked."

To be precise, CrowdStrike did provide the FBI with allegedly "certified true images" of the DNC servers allegedly involved in the alleged "hack." They also allegedly provided these images to FireEye and Mandiant, IIRC.

All three allegedly examined those images and concurred with CrowdStrike's analysis.

Of course, given the CrowdStrike itself is a massively compromised organization due to its founder and CEO, those "certified true images" are themselves tainted evidence.

In addition, regardless of whether the images were true or not, the evidence allegedly contained therein is painfully inadequate to confirm that APT28 or APT29 were involved, nor that the Russian government was involved, or even that there was a real hack involved, and even less evidence that any emails that might have been exfiltrated were given to Wikileaks as opposed to another leak such as that alleged by Sy Hersh to have been done by Seth Rich.

The "assessment" that Putin ordered any of this is pure mind-reading and can be utterly dismissed absent any of the other evidence Publius points out as necessary.

The same applies to any "estimate" that the Russian government preferred Trump or wished to denigrate Clinton. Based on what I read in pro-Russian news outlets, Russian officials took great pains to not pick sides and Putin's comments were similarly very restrained. The main quote from Putin about Trump that emerged was mistranslated as approval whereas it was more an observation of Trump's personality. At no time did Putin ever say he favored Trump over Clinton, even though that was a likely probability given Clinton's "Hitler" comparison.

As an aside, I also recommend Scott Ritter's trashing of the ICA. Ritter is familiar with intelligence estimates and their reliability based on his previous service as a UN weapons inspector in Iraq and in Russia implementing arms control treaties.

Exposing The Man Behind The Curtain
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/exposing-the-man-behind-the-curtain_us_5877887be4b05b7a465df6a4

Throwing a Curveball at 'Intelligence Community Consensus' on Russia
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/did-17-intelligence-agencies-really-come-to-consensus-on-russia/

His analysis of the NSA document leaked by NSA contractor Reality Winner which supposedly supported the Russia theory is also relevant.

Leaked NSA Report Is Short on Facts, Proves Little in 'Russiagate' Case
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/leaked-nsa-report-is-short-on-facts-proves-little-in-russiagate-case/

ann , 07 March 2018 at 11:22 PM
This is a wonderful explanation of the intelligence community. And I thank you for the explanation. My interpretation is: In 1990 +- Bush 41 sold us the 1st Iraq war using fudged intelligence, then Bush 43 sold us the second Iraq war using fabricated intelligence. And now the Obama Administration tried to sell us fake intelligence in regard to Russia in order to get Clinton elected. However inadequate my summary is it looks like the Democrats are less skilled in propaganda than the Repubs. And what else is the difference?
Richardstevenhack , 08 March 2018 at 03:02 AM
Mueller has had 18 months and has proceeded to reveal exactly nothing related to either Trump "collusion" with Russia nor Russia as a state actually doing anything remotely described as "meddling."

His expected indictment of some Russians for the DNC hack is going to be more of the same in all likelihood. I predict there will be next to zero evidence produced either that the Russians named are in fact members of APT28 or APT29 or that they had any direct connection with either the alleged DNC hack or Wikileaks or the Russian government.

It's a witch hunt, nothing more. People holding their breath for the "slam dunk" are going to pass out soon if they haven't already.

blue peacock , 08 March 2018 at 04:12 AM
GZC #12

Mueller is investigating some aspects. But there is another aspect - the conspiracy inside law enforcement and the IC. That is also being investigated. There are Congressional committees in particular Nunes, Goodlatte and Grassley. Then there is the DOJ IG. And today AG Sessions confirms there is a DOJ prosecutor outside Washington investigating.

IMO, the conspiracy is significantly larger in scale and scope than anything the Russians did.

Yes, indeed we'll have to wait and see what facts Mueller reveals. But also what facts these other investigations reveal.

English Outsider , 08 March 2018 at 05:57 AM
Thank you for setting out the geography and workings of this complex world.

Might I ask how liaison with other Intelligence Communities fits in? Is intelligence information from non-US sources such as UK intelligence sources subject to the same process of verification and evaluation?

I ask because of the passage in your article -

"But such evidence (corroborating the Steele dossier) was not forthcoming. If it had existed than Jim Comey could have claimed in his June 2017 testimony before Congress that the parts of the "Dossier" had been verified. He did not do so. Testifying under oath Comey described the "Dossier" as "salacious and unverified." "

Does this leave room for the assertion that although the "Dossier" was unverified in the US it was accepted as good information because it had been verified by UK Intelligence or by persons warranted by the UK? In other words, was UK Intelligence, or an ex-UK intelligence officer, used to get material through the US evaluation process, material that would not have got through that US evaluation process had it originated within the US itself?

turcopolier , 08 March 2018 at 07:53 AM
EO,

" ... was UK Intelligence, or an ex-UK intelligence officer, used to get material through the US evaluation process, material that would not have got through that US evaluation process had it originated within the US itself?" I would say yes and especially yes if the contact for this piece of data was conducted at the highest level within the context of the already tight liaison between the US IC and Mi-6/GCHQ. PT may think differently. pl

turcopolier , 08 March 2018 at 07:54 AM
GZC

A lot of smoke? Only if you wish to place a negative value on everything the Trump people did or were. pl

jsn -> The Twisted Genius ... , 08 March 2018 at 08:20 AM
The CIA appears to be trying to right the wrongs done them with the creation of the DNI:
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/03/08/dems-m08.html
turcopolier , 08 March 2018 at 08:54 AM
jsn

The wrongs done them? I hope that was irony. pl

turcopolier -> Green Zone Café ... , 08 March 2018 at 09:01 AM
GZC

Was it Hitler or Stalin who said "show me the man and I will find his crime?" As I have said before, Trumps greatest vulnerability lies in his previous business life as an entrepreneurial hustler. If he is anything like the many like him whom I observed in my ten business years, then he has cut corners legally somewhere in international business. they pretty much all do that. Kooshy, a successful businessman confirmed that here a while back. These other guys were all business hustlers including Flynn and their activities have made them vulnerable to Mueller. IMO you have to ask yourself how much you want to be governed by political hacks and how much by hustlers. pl

turcopolier , 08 March 2018 at 09:24 AM
jsn

hy this socialist pub would fing it surprising that former public servants seek elected office is a mystery to me. BTW, in re all the discussion here of the IC, there are many levels in these essentially hierarchical structures and one's knowledge of them is conditioned by the perspective from which you viewed them. pl

DH , 08 March 2018 at 09:50 AM
Re 'baby adoption' meeting between Trump, Jr. and Veselnitskaya, I recall a comment here linking to an article speculating the email initiating the meeting originated in Europe, was set up by the playboy son of a European diplomat, and contained words to trip data-gathering monitors which would have enabled a FISA request to have Trump, Jr. come under surveillance.

Also, the Seymour Hersh tape certainly seems authentic as far as Seth Rich being implicated in the DNC dump.

Publius Tacitus -> Green Zone Café ... , 08 March 2018 at 09:53 AM
GZC,

Are you really this obtuse?

You insist (I guess you rely on MSNBC as your fact source) that Manafort, Page, etc. all "have connections to Russia or Assange." You are using smear and guilt by association. Flynn's so-called connection to Russia was that he accepted an invite to deliver a speech at an RT sponsored event and was paid. So what? Nothing wrong with that. Just ask Bill Clinton. Or perhaps you are referring to the fact that Flynn also spoke to the Russian Ambassador to the US after the election in his capacity as designated National Security Advisor. Zero justification for investigation.

Stone? He left the campaign before there had even been a primary and only had text exchanges with Assange.

Your blind hatred of Trump makes you incapable of thinking logically.

jsn , 08 March 2018 at 10:15 AM
Sir,

The most sarcastic irony was intended. This is what the real left looks like, its very different from Clintonite Liberals, not that I agree with their ideological program, though I believe parts have their place.

Liberals have, I believe, jumped the shark: https://consortiumnews.com/2018/03/07/progressive-journalists-jump-the-shark-on-russiagate/

If the get their way with the new McCarthyism, the implications for dissent, left or right, seem to me to be about the same:
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/12/federalist-68-the-electoral-college-and-faithless-electors.html#intelligence

jsn , 08 March 2018 at 10:25 AM
Sir,

And to your second comment, yes I agree about the complexity of institutions and how situationally constrained individual experiences are, if that was the point.

I'll also concede my brief comments generalize very broadly, but it's hard to frame things more specific comments without direct knowledge, such as the invaluable correspondents here. I try to avoid confirmation bias by reading broadly and try to provide outside perspectives. My apologies if they're too far outside.

I suppose it would be interesting to see a side by side comparison of how many former IC self affiliated with which party in choosing to run. I'm just guessing but I'll bet there's more CIA in the D column and more DIA among the Rs.

LeaNder said in reply to Flavius... , 08 March 2018 at 10:40 AM
love this coinage Flavius: Yes it was and so remains the lie unchallenged

a lie "circumstantial"? http://recycledknowledge.blogspot.de/2005/05/seven-degrees-of-lie.html

Sid Finster , 08 March 2018 at 11:06 AM
"We don't have the evidence yet because Mueller hasn't found it yet!" is a classic argument from ignorance, in that is assumes without evidence (there's that pesky word again!) that there is something to be found.

That said, I have no doubt that Mueller will find *something*, simply because an aggressive and determined prosecutor can always find *something*, especially if the target is engaged in higher level business or politics. A form unfiled, an irregularity in an official document, and overly optimistic tax position.

If nothing else works, there's always the good old standby of asking question after question until the target makes a statement that can be construed as perjury or lying to investigators.

Sarah B said in reply to turcopolier ... , 08 March 2018 at 11:27 AM
My perspective, after reading that linked article by the WSWS, is that both, the IC and the DoD, are trying to take over the whole US political spectrum, in fact, militarizing de facto the US political life....

Now, tell me that this is not an intend by the MIC ( where all the former IC or DoD people finally end when they leave official positions )to take over the government ( if more was needed after what has happened with Trump´s ) to guarantee their profit rate in a moment where everything is crimbling....

Btw, have you read the recently released paper, "WorldWide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community" by Daniel R. Coats ( DNI )? You smell fear from the four corners....do not you?

Barbara Ann -> turcopolier ... , 08 March 2018 at 11:35 AM
Those immortal words are attributed to Lavrentiy Beria, Colonel and you are not the first to draw the comparison re Mueller's investigation. For those who do not know Beria was head of the NKVD under Stalin.
Barbara Ann -> Sid Finster... , 08 March 2018 at 11:36 AM
Only if you were discussing BDS.
Sarah B , 08 March 2018 at 11:38 AM
Here is the paper in question I am mentioning above: https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/Newsroom/Testimonies/2018-ATA---Unclassified-SSCI.pdf Some neutral analyst is saying that from 28 pages, 24 are dedicated to Russia and China, then Iran and NK, in this order...and that it is an official recognition of the new multipolar order....
Peter VE said in reply to johnf... , 08 March 2018 at 11:55 AM
The BBC reported this morning that a police officer who was amongst the earliest responders to the "nerve gas" poisoning of Col. Skripal is also being treated for symptoms. How was it that many "White Helmets" who were filmed where the sarin gas was dropped on Khan Sheikhoun last April suffered no symptoms?
Jack -> turcopolier ... , 08 March 2018 at 11:59 AM
Sir

That's a good way to present it political hacks vs hustlers. The fact is Flynn has pled guilty to perjury. Nothing else like collusion with the Russians. And his sentencing is on hold now as the judge has ordered Mueller to hand over any exculpatory evidence. Clearly something is going on his case for the judge to do that.

Manafort has been indicted for money laundering, wire fraud, etc for activities well before the election campaign. Sure, it is good that these corrupt individuals should be investigated and prosecuted. However, this corruption is widespread in DC. How come none of these cheering Mueller on to destroy Trump care about all the foreign money flowing to K Street? Why aren't they calling for investigations of the Clinton Foundation or the Podesta brothers where probable cause exist of foreign money and influence? What about Ben Cardin and all those recipients of foreign zionist money and influence? It would be nice if there were wide ranging investigations on all those engaged in foreign influence peddling. But it seems many just want a witch hunt to hobble Trump. It's going to be very difficult to get the Senate to convict him for obstruction of justice or tax evasion or some charge like that.

The Twisted Genius , 08 March 2018 at 12:59 PM
The select group of several dozen analysts from CIA, NSA and FBI who produced the January 2017 ICA are very likely the same group of analysts assembled by Brenner in August 2016 to form a task force examining "L'Affaire Russe" at the same time Brennan brought that closely held report to Obama of Putin's specific instructions on an operation to damage Clinton and help Trump. I've seen these interagency task forces set up several times to address particular info ops or cyberattack issues. Access to the work of these task forces was usually heavily restricted. I don't know if this kind of thing has become more prevalent throughout the IC.

I am also puzzled by the absence of DIA in the mix. When I was still working, there were a few DIA analysts who were acknowledged throughout the IC as subject matter experts and analytical leaders in this field. On the operational side, there was never great enthusiasm for things cyber or info ops. There were only a few lonely voices in the darkness. Meanwhile, CIA, FBI and NSA embraced the field wholeheartedly. Perhaps those DIA analytical experts retired or moved on to CYBERCOM, NSA or CIA's Information Operations Center.

LeaNder said in reply to Richardstevenhack ... , 08 March 2018 at 01:01 PM
I predict there will be next to zero evidence produced either that the Russians named are in fact members of APT28 or APT29 ...

Richard, over here the type of software is categorized under Advanced Persistent Threat, and beyond that specifically labeled the "Sofacy Group". ... I seem to prefer the more neutral description 'Advanced Persistent Threat' by Kaspersky. Yes, they seem to be suspicious lately in the US. But I am a rather constant consumer, never mind the occasional troubles over the years.

APT: Helps to not get confused by all the respective naming patterns in the economic field over national borders. APT 1 to 29 ...? Strictly, What's the precise history of the 'Bear' label and or the specific, I assume, group of APT? ...

Kasperky pdf-file - whodunnit?
https://tinyurl.com/APT-Avanced-Persitent-Treat

Ever used a datebase checking a file online? Would have made you aware of the multitude of naming patterns.

******
More ad-hoc concerning one item in your argument above. To what extend does a standard back-up system leave relevant forensic traces? Beyond the respective image in the present? Do you know?

Admittedly, I have no knowledge about matters beyond purely private struggles. But yes, they seemed enough to get a vague glimpse of categories in the field of attribution. Regarding suspected state actors vs the larger cybercrime scene that is.

LeaNder said in reply to Fred... , 08 March 2018 at 02:29 PM
Even mentioning those is just further evidence that something really did happen.

I appreciate you are riding our partially shared hobby horse, Fred. ;)

But admittedly this reminds me of something that felt like a debate-shift, I may be no doubt misguided here. Nitwit! In other words I may well have some type of ideological-knot in the relevant section dealing with memory in my brain as long-term undisciplined observer of SST.

But back on topic: the argument seemed to be that "important facts" were omitted. In other words vs earlier times were are now centrally dealing with omission as evidence. No?

Dave -> Publius Tacitus ... , 08 March 2018 at 03:18 PM
Ask National Security Advisor General McMaster.
Even Trump now says Putin meddled.
What more evidence do you need
Dave -> Publius Tacitus ... , 08 March 2018 at 03:20 PM
General McMaster has seen the evidence and says the fact of Russian meddling can no longer be credibly denied.
That doesn't stop the right-wing extremists from spinning fairy tales.
turcopolier , 08 March 2018 at 03:34 PM
Dave

It is politically necessary for Trump to say that. Tell me, what is meant by "Russian meddling"in this statement by McMaster? pl

Dave -> turcopolier ... , 08 March 2018 at 03:50 PM
Russian meddling is hacking our election systems.

The right wing (re: Hannity and Limbaugh) have been trying mightily to discredit this investigation by smearing Mueller's reputation, even though he is a conservative republican.

They are doing this so that if Mueller's report is damning, they can call it a "witch hunt."

I would think that if Trump is innocent, he would cooperate with this investigation fully.

You are insinuating that McMaster is a liar even though he has access to information that you don't.

Publius Tacitus -> Dave... , 08 March 2018 at 04:02 PM
Just because trump is stupid is not an excuse for you. You accept a lie without one shred of actual evidence. You are a lemming
Fred -> LeaNder... , 08 March 2018 at 04:04 PM
LeaNder,

"omission as evidence. " Incorrect. Among the omissions was the fact that the dossier was paid for by a political campaign and that the wife of a senior DOJ lawyer's wife was working for Fusion GPS. Then there's the rest of the political motivations left out.

Fred -> Dave... , 08 March 2018 at 04:07 PM
Dave,

Putin hired Facebook. That company seems to do well helping out foreign governments.
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/22/technology/facebook-censorship-tool-china.html

Linda , 08 March 2018 at 04:16 PM
If you have seen the classified information that would be necessary to back up your conclusions, it should not be discussed in this forum. As you are well aware sources and methods cannot be made public so I fail to see how you believe this should have been publically done. Having said that, I pretty much agree with your conclusion except for the indication that the analysts lied.
turcopolier , 08 March 2018 at 04:26 PM
Dave

What does "hacking our elections" mean? Does it means breaking into voting systems and changing the outcome by altering votes? Or does it mean information operations to change US voters' minds about for whom they would vote? If the latter you must know that we (the US) have done this many times in foreign elections, including Russian elections, Israeli elections, Italian elections, German elections, etc., or perhaps you think that a different criterion should be applied to people who are not American. As for McMasters, I am unimpressed with him. He displays all the symptoms of Russophobia. He has special information? Information can be interpreted many ways depending on one's purpose. pl

turcopolier , 08 March 2018 at 04:36 PM
Linda

PT does not have access to the classified information underlying but your argument that "As you are well aware sources and methods cannot be made public so I fail to see how you believe this should have been publicly done." doesn't hold water for me since I have seen sources and methods disclosed by the government of the US many times when it felt that necessary. One example that I have mentioned before was that of the trial of Jeffrey Sterling (merlin) for which I was an expert witness and adviser to the federal court for four years. In that one the CIA and DoJ forced the court to allow them to de-classify the CIA DO's operational files on the case and read them into the record in open court. I had read all these files when they were classified at the SCI level. IMO the perpetrators in the Steel Memo case are and were merely hiding behind claims of sources and methods protection in order to protect themselve. pl

JamesT -> turcopolier ... , 08 March 2018 at 04:37 PM
I continue to learn things around here that I could never learn anywhere else. It is a privilege to read the Colonel, TTG, and Publius Tacitus.
turcopolier , 08 March 2018 at 04:47 PM
Dave

If you use denigrating language like "wild eyed" to attack your interlocutors you will not be welcome here. pl

LeaNder said in reply to Flavius... , 08 March 2018 at 04:49 PM
Mueller cleared his ridiculous indictment relating to the Russian troll farm, a requirement that at one time would have been SOP for any FBI Office or USAtty Office bringing an indictment of this kind.

Not aware of this. Can you help me out?

No doubt vaguely familiar with public lore, in limited ways. As always.

Sid Finster said in reply to Dave... , 08 March 2018 at 05:09 PM
So now we are supposed to believe unquestioningly the word of torturers, perjurers and entrapment artists, all talking about alleged evidence that we are not allowed to see?

Did you learn nothing from the "Iraqi WMD" fiasco or the "ZOMG! Assad gassed his own peoples ZOMG!" debacle?

Funny how in each of these instances, the intelligence community's lies just happened to coincide with the agenda of empire.

LeaNder said in reply to Fred ... , 08 March 2018 at 05:10 PM
Ok, true. I forgot 'Steele'* was used as 'evidence'.

Strictly, Pat may have helped me out considering my 'felt' "debate-shift". Indirectly. I do recall, I hesitated to try to clarify matters for myself.

* ...

m -> turcopolier ... , 08 March 2018 at 06:29 PM
Depends on what crime the "hack" committed. Fudging on taxes or cutting corners? Big whoop. Laundering $500 mil for a buddy of Vlad's? Now you got my attention and should have the voters' attention.

This is a political process in the end game. Clinton lied about sex in the oval Office and was tried for it. Why don't we exercise patience in the process and see if this President should be tried?

m -> Publius Tacitus ... , 08 March 2018 at 06:33 PM
I ain't a lawyer but don't prosecutors hold their cards (evidence) close to their chests until the court has a criminal charge and sets a date for discovery?
Publius Tacitus -> Linda ... , 08 March 2018 at 06:45 PM
Linda,
You betray your ignorance on this subject. You clearly have not understood nor comprehended what I have written. So i will put it in CAPS for you. Please read slowly.

THIS TYPE OF DOCUMENT, IF IT HAD A SOURCE OR SOURCES BEHIND IT, WOULD REFERENCE THOSE SOURCES. AN ANALYST WOULD NOT WRITE "WE ASSESS." IF YOU HAVE A RELIABLE HUMAN SOURCE OR A RELIABLE PIECE OF SIGINT THE YOU DO NOT HAVE TO ASSESS. YOU SIMPLY STATE, ACCORDING TO A KNOWLEDGEABLE AND RELIABLE SOURCE.

GOT IT. And don't come back with nonsense that the sources are so sensitive that they cannot be disclose. News flash genius--the very fact that Clapper put out this piece of dreck would have exposed the sources if they existed (but they do not). In any event, there would be reference to sources that provided the evidence that such activity took place at the direction of Putin.

IT DOES NOT EXIST.

J , 08 March 2018 at 07:08 PM
Colonel,

The granddaddy of them all is #16, and what have they contributed?

Steve McIntyre -> David Habakkuk ... , 08 March 2018 at 07:41 PM
I'm eagerly awaiting your thoughts on the Skripal poisoning. I'm sure I'm not alone in the hope that you will write on it.
The Twisted Genius -> Publius Tacitus ... , 08 March 2018 at 07:59 PM
Publius Tacitus,

I notice other Intelligence Community Assessments also use the term "we assess" liberally. For example, the 2018 Worldwide Threat Assessment and the 2012 ICA on Global Water Security use the "we assess" phrase throughout the documents. I hazard to guess that is why they call these things assessments.

The 2017 ICA on Russian Interference released to the public clearly states: "This report is a declassified version of a highly classified assessment. This document's conclusions are identical to the highly classified assessment, but this document does not include the full supporting information, including specific intelligence on key elements of the influence campaign. Given the redactions, we made minor edits purely for readability and flow."

I would hazard another guess that those minor edits for readability and flow are the reason that specific intelligence reports and sources, which were left out of the unclassified ICA, are not cited in that ICA.

The Twisted Genius -> Dave... , 08 March 2018 at 08:26 PM
Dave,

As far as I know, no one has reliably claimed that election systems, as in vote tallies, were ever breached. No votes were changed after they were cast. The integrity of our election system and the 2016 election itself was maintained. Having said that, there is plenty of evidence of Russian meddling as an influence op. I suggest you and others take a gander at the research of someone going by the handle of @UsHadrons and several others. They are compiling a collection of FaceBook, twitter and other media postings that emanated from the IRA and other Russian sources. The breadth of these postings is quite wide and supports the assessment that enhancing the divides that already existed in US society was a primary Russian goal.

https://medium.com/@ushadrons

I pointed this stuff out to Eric Newhill a while back in one of our conversations. He jokingly noted that he may have assisted in spreading a few of these memes. I bet a lot of people will recognize some of the stuff in this collection. That's nothing. Recently we all learned that Michael Moore did a lot more than unwittingly repost a Russian meme. He took part in a NYC protest march organized and pushed by Russians. This stuff is open source proof of Russian meddling.

Publius Tacitus -> The Twisted Genius ... , 08 March 2018 at 08:55 PM
TTG
Nice try, but that is bullshit just because recent assessments come out with sloppy language is no excuse. Go back and look at the assessment was done for iraq to justify the war in 2003. Many sources cited because it was considered something Required to justify going to war. As we have been told by many in the media that the Russians meddling was worse or as bad as the attack on Pearl Harbor and 9-11. With something so serious do you want to argue that they would downplay the sourcing?

[Mar 07, 2018] 'Progressive' Journalists Jump the Shark on Russiagate Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... According to Mayer, Trump defenders argue that Steele is "a dishonest Clinton apparatchik who had collaborated with American intelligence and law enforcement officials to fabricate false charges against Trump and his associates, in a dastardly (sic) attempt to nullify the 2016 election. According to this story line, it was not the President who needed to be investigated, but the investigators themselves." ..."
"... I could not help but think that Mayer wrote her piece some months ago and that she and her editors might have missed more recent documentary evidence that gives considerable support to that "dastardly" story line. But seriously, it should be possible to suspect Steele of misfeasance or malfeasance – or simply telling his contractors what he knows they want to hear – without being labeled a "Trump supporter." I, for example, am no Trump supporter. I am, however, a former intelligence officer and I have long since concluded that what Steele served up is garbage. ..."
"... Mayer reports that Richard Dearlove, head of MI6 from 1999 to 2004, described Steele as "superb." Personally, I would shun any "recommendation" from that charlatan. Are memories so short? Dearlove was the intelligence chief who briefed Prime Minister Tony Blair on July 23, 2002 after a quick trip to Washington. The official minutes of that meeting were leaked to the London Times and published on May 1, 2005. ..."
"... Worse still, he displays a distinct inclination toward the remarkable view of former National Intelligence Director James Clapper, who has said that Russians are "typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever." If Mayer wanted to find some ostensibly authoritative figure to endorse the kind of material in Steele's dossier, she surely picked a good one in Sipher. ..."
"... Mayer notes, "It's too early to make a final judgment about how much of Steele's dossier will be proved wrong, but a number of Steele's major claims have been backed up by subsequent disclosures. She includes, as flat fact, his claim that the Kremlin and WikiLeaks were working together to release the DNC's emails, but provides no evidence. ..."
"... It was, of course, WikiLeaks that published the very damaging Democratic information, for example, on the DNC's dirty tricks that marginalized Sen. Bernie Sanders and ensured that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would win the Democratic nomination. What remained to be demonstrated was that it was "the Russians" who gave those emails to WikiLeaks. And that is what the U.S. intelligence community could not honestly say. ..."
Mar 07, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

'Progressive' Journalists Jump the Shark on Russiagate March 7, 2018

A lack of skepticism has characterized much of the reporting on Russiagate, with undue credibility being given to questionable sources like the Steele dossier, and now progressives like Jane Mayer and Cenk Uygur are joining the bandwagon, Ray McGovern observes.

By Ray McGovern

Russiagate reporting has increasingly taken on a tabloidish and sensationalist character.

Jane Mayer of The New Yorker and Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks are the latest progressives to jump on the anti-Trump, pro-Russiagate bandwagon. They have made it crystal clear that, in Mayer's words, they are not going to let Republicans, or anyone else, "take down the whole intelligence community," by God.

Odd? Nothing is too odd when it comes to spinning and dyeing the yarn of Russiagate; especially now that some strands are unraveling from the thin material of the "Steele dossier."

Before the 2016 election, British ex-spy Christopher Steele was contracted (through a couple of cutouts) by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee to dig up dirt on candidate Donald Trump. They paid him $168,000. They should ask for their money back.

Mayer and Uygur have now joined with other Trump-despisers and new "progressive" fans of the FBI and CIA – among them Amy Goodman and her go-to, lost-in-the-trees journalist, Marcy Wheeler of Emptywheel.net. All of them (well, maybe not Cenk) are staying up nights with needle and thread trying to sew a silk purse out of the sow's-ear dossier of Steele allegations and then dye it red for danger.

Monday brought a new low, with a truly extraordinary one-two punch by Mayer and Uygur .

A Damning Picture?

Mayer does her part in a New Yorker article, in which she – intentionally or not – cannot seem to see the forest for the trees.

In her article, Mayer explains up front that the Steele dossier "painted a damning picture of collusion between Trump and Russia," and then goes on to portray him as a paragon of virtue with praise that is fulsome, in the full meaning of that word. For example, a friend of Steele told Mayer that regarding Steele, "Fairness, integrity, and truth, for him, trump any ideology."

Now, if one refuses to accept this portrait on faith, then you are what Mayer describes as a "Trump defender." According to Mayer, Trump defenders argue that Steele is "a dishonest Clinton apparatchik who had collaborated with American intelligence and law enforcement officials to fabricate false charges against Trump and his associates, in a dastardly (sic) attempt to nullify the 2016 election. According to this story line, it was not the President who needed to be investigated, but the investigators themselves."

Can you imagine!

I could not help but think that Mayer wrote her piece some months ago and that she and her editors might have missed more recent documentary evidence that gives considerable support to that "dastardly" story line. But seriously, it should be possible to suspect Steele of misfeasance or malfeasance – or simply telling his contractors what he knows they want to hear – without being labeled a "Trump supporter." I, for example, am no Trump supporter. I am, however, a former intelligence officer and I have long since concluded that what Steele served up is garbage.

Character References

Mayer reports that Richard Dearlove, head of MI6 from 1999 to 2004, described Steele as "superb." Personally, I would shun any "recommendation" from that charlatan. Are memories so short? Dearlove was the intelligence chief who briefed Prime Minister Tony Blair on July 23, 2002 after a quick trip to Washington. The official minutes of that meeting were leaked to the London Times and published on May 1, 2005.

Dearlove explained to Blair that President George W. Bush had decided to attack Iraq for regime change and that the war was to be "justified by the conjunction of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction." Dearlove added matter-of-factly, "The intelligence and facts are being fixed around the policy."

Another character reference Mayer gives for Steele is former CIA Deputy Director John McLaughlin (from 2000 to 2004) who, with his boss George Tenet, did the fixing of intelligence to "justify" the war on Iraq. State Department intelligence director at the time, Carl Ford, told the authors of "Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War" that both McLaughlin and Tenet "should have been shot" for what they did.

And then there is CIA veteran spy John Sipher who, Mayer says, "ran the Agency's Russia program before retiring, in 2014." Sipher tells her he thinks the Steele dossier is "generally credible" in "saying what Russia might be up to." Sipher may be a good case officer but he has shown himself to be something of a cipher on substance.

Worse still, he displays a distinct inclination toward the remarkable view of former National Intelligence Director James Clapper, who has said that Russians are "typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever." If Mayer wanted to find some ostensibly authoritative figure to endorse the kind of material in Steele's dossier, she surely picked a good one in Sipher.

Mayer notes, "It's too early to make a final judgment about how much of Steele's dossier will be proved wrong, but a number of Steele's major claims have been backed up by subsequent disclosures. She includes, as flat fact, his claim that the Kremlin and WikiLeaks were working together to release the DNC's emails, but provides no evidence.

Major Holes

Mayer, however, should know better. There have been lots of holes in the accusation that the Russians hacked the DNC and gave the material to WikiLeaks to publish. Here's one major gap we reported on Jan. 20, 2017: President Barack Obama told his last press conference on Jan. 18, that the U.S. intelligence community had no idea how the Democratic emails reached WikiLeaks.

Using lawyerly language, Obama admitted that "the conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to whether WikiLeaks was witting or not in being the conduit through which we heard about the DNC e-mails that were leaked."

It is necessary to carefully parse Obama's words since he prides himself in his oratorical constructs. He offered a similarly designed comment at a Dec. 16, 2016 press conference when he said: "based on uniform intelligence assessments, the Russians were responsible for hacking the DNC. the information was in the hands of WikiLeaks."

Note the disconnect between the confidence about hacking and the stark declarative sentence about the information ending up at WikiLeaks. Obama does not bridge the gap because to do so would be a bald-faced lie, which some honest intelligence officer might call him on. So, he simply presented the two sides of the chasm – implies a connection – but leaves it to the listener to make the leap.

It was, of course, WikiLeaks that published the very damaging Democratic information, for example, on the DNC's dirty tricks that marginalized Sen. Bernie Sanders and ensured that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would win the Democratic nomination. What remained to be demonstrated was that it was "the Russians" who gave those emails to WikiLeaks. And that is what the U.S. intelligence community could not honestly say.

Saying it now, without evidence, does not make it true.

Cenk Also in Sync

Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks at once picked up , big time, on the part of Mayer's article that homes in on an "astonishing" report from Steele in late November 2016 quoting one "senior Russian official." According to that official, "The Kremlin had intervened to block Trump's initial choice for secretary of state, Mitt Romney." Steele's late November memo alleged that the Kremlin had asked Trump to appoint someone who would be prepared to lift Ukraine-related sanctions and cooperate on security issues like Syria.

Mayer commented, "As fantastical as the memo sounds, subsequent events could be said to support it." Fantastical or not, Uygur decided to run with it. His amazing 12-minute video is titled: "New Steele Dossier: Putin PICKED Trump's Secretary of State." Uygur asks: "Who does Tillerson work for; and that also goes for the President."

Return to Sanity

As an antidote to all the above, let me offer this cogent piece on the views of Joseph E. diGenova, who speaks out of his unique experience, including as Counsel to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (the Church Committee). The article is entitled: "The Politicization of the FBI."

"Over the past year," diGenova wrote, "facts have emerged that suggest there was a plot by high-ranking FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) officials in the Obama administration, acting under color of law, to exonerate Hillary Clinton of federal crimes and then, if she lost the election, to frame Donald Trump and his campaign for colluding with Russia to steal the presidency."

He pointed out that nearly half of Americans, according to a CBS poll, believe that Mueller's Trump-Russia collusion probe is "politically motivated." And, he noted, 63 percent of polled voters in a Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll believe that the FBI withheld vital information from Congress about the Clinton and Russia collusion investigations.

This skepticism is entirely warranted, as diGenova explains, with the Russiagate probe being characterized by overreach from the beginning.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He served in Army and CIA intelligence analysis for 30 years and, after retiring, co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

[Mar 07, 2018] The disproportionate ongoing emphasis on the fake story that Russia meddled in the US election serves to stir up suspicions and fears regarding Russia in the generally brain-numbed population

Notable quotes:
"... The deep state (the oligarchs, MIC, and intelligence community, which controls the media and most politicians) whether or not it actually helped Trump by harming Hillary is immaterial. The election is over and there was never any real resolve in the deep state to impeach Trump or to jail Hillary and their never will be. The reason should be obvious. ..."
"... The only thing consistent in the Russian collusion and election rigging nonsense is the groundless and unrelenting vilification of Russia, blaming Putin for everything. Just as we see grandiose deep state theatrics for the US to obtain access to strategic rare-earth resources in North Korea, we see the similar deep state orchestrated theatrics falsely alleging that Russians rigged or interfered in the US Presidential election. Russia's Putin is the main obstacle to the Western bankster-corporate cabal obtaining resource and geopolitical hegemony over the entire planet. That is the main fact. It is the main reason to subject that nation to constant vilification, sanctions, and military aggression and provocation. ..."
"... The deep state cabal will likely spend tens, if not hundreds, of billions of US dollars interfering in the Russian election. Presently they are most likely bribing, blackmailing, and intimidating thousands of people to swing and rig the election to ensure Putin does not win. "You did it to us." Will be their justification when Putin complains. ..."
Mar 07, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

teolawki -> Joe Davola Wed, 03/07/2018 - 11:19 Permalink

Well of course there are. We've been told repeatedly that the Obama administration was on the job and focused like a laser on Russia collusion and meddling.

Unfortunately, the hard drive all that was stored on crashed and it was all lost.

FBaggins -> Joe Davola Wed, 03/07/2018 - 11:45 Permalink

If we really want the truth then we have to stop relying on what people say just because we like them, or we think they are on our side, and instead we have to examine the interests of the various sources. Only then we can make better decisions. At this stage of the game the deep state can no longer blame with any credibility Russian hacking as the source of the alleged leak. The know it came directly from the DNC. However, the deep state has a priority (a very strong interest) to keep the heat on Russia.

The deep state (the oligarchs, MIC, and intelligence community, which controls the media and most politicians) whether or not it actually helped Trump by harming Hillary is immaterial. The election is over and there was never any real resolve in the deep state to impeach Trump or to jail Hillary and their never will be. The reason should be obvious.

The only thing consistent in the Russian collusion and election rigging nonsense is the groundless and unrelenting vilification of Russia, blaming Putin for everything. Just as we see grandiose deep state theatrics for the US to obtain access to strategic rare-earth resources in North Korea, we see the similar deep state orchestrated theatrics falsely alleging that Russians rigged or interfered in the US Presidential election. Russia's Putin is the main obstacle to the Western bankster-corporate cabal obtaining resource and geopolitical hegemony over the entire planet. That is the main fact. It is the main reason to subject that nation to constant vilification, sanctions, and military aggression and provocation.

The disproportionate ongoing emphasis on the fake story that Russia meddled in the US election, not only serves to stir up suspicions and fears regarding Russia in the generally brain-numbed population, but mainly at this stage, and by the sheer fact that the deep state has carried this rouse so far down the field, the only rational conclusion one can make is that the deep state is going to interfere in the Russian elections in a very major way to ensure that Putin and his cronies - those wicked oil and gas nationalizers, those heinous enemies of the Rothschild banksters and their plans for an expanded US Fed to the auspices of their proposed One World Bank; those upstart renegades who support nations which choose to trade oil without US petrodollars; those evil monsters who oppose globalism and defend their own nation's sovereignty and other nations like Syria which call for help.

The deep state cabal will likely spend tens, if not hundreds, of billions of US dollars interfering in the Russian election. Presently they are most likely bribing, blackmailing, and intimidating thousands of people to swing and rig the election to ensure Putin does not win. "You did it to us." Will be their justification when Putin complains.

Good luck Vlad and F the deep state.

[Mar 06, 2018] Is MSNBC Now the Most Dangerous Warmonger Network by Norman Solomon

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The evidence is damning. And the silence underscores the arrogance. ..."
"... More than seven weeks after a devastating report from the media watch group FAIR, top executives and prime-time anchors at MSNBC still refuse to discuss how the network's obsession with Russia has thrown minimal journalistic standards out the window. ..."
Mar 03, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

Originally from Truthdig 1 March 2018 Region: USA Theme: Media Disinformation

The evidence is damning. And the silence underscores the arrogance.

More than seven weeks after a devastating report from the media watch group FAIR, top executives and prime-time anchors at MSNBC still refuse to discuss how the network's obsession with Russia has thrown minimal journalistic standards out the window.

FAIR's study, " MSNBC Ignores Catastrophic U.S.-Backed War in Yemen ," documented a picture of extreme journalistic malfeasance at MSNBC:

Meanwhile, MSNBC's incessant "Russiagate" coverage has put the network at the media forefront of overheated hyperbole about the Kremlin. And continually piling up the dry tinder of hostility toward Russia boosts the odds of a cataclysmic blowup between the world's two nuclear superpowers.

In effect, the programming on MSNBC follows a thin blue party line, breathlessly conforming to Democratic leaders' refrains about Russia as a mortal threat to American democracy and freedom across the globe. But hey -- MSNBC's ratings have climbed upward during its monochrome reporting, so why worry about whether coverage is neglecting dozens of other crucial stories? Or why worry if the anti-Russia drumbeat is worsening the risks of a global conflagration?

FAIR's report, written by journalist Ben Norton and published on Jan. 8, certainly merited a serious response from MSNBC and the anchors most identified by the study, Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes . Yet no response has come from them or network executives. (Full disclosure: I'm a longtime associate of FAIR.)

In the aftermath of the FAIR study, a petition gathered 22,784 signers and 4,474 individual comments -- asking MSNBC to remedy its extreme imbalance of news coverage. But the network and its prime-time luminaries Maddow and Hayes refused to respond despite repeated requests for a reply.

The petition was submitted in late January to Maddow and Hayes via their producers, as well as to MSNBC senior vice president Errol Cockfield and to the network's senior manager in charge of media relations for "The Rachel Maddow Show" and "All In with Chris Hayes."

Signers responded to outreach from three organizations -- Just Foreign Policy, RootsAction.org (which I coordinate), and World Beyond War -- calling for concerned individuals to "urge Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, and MSNBC to correct their failure to report on the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen and the direct U.S. military role in causing the catastrophe by signing our petition." (The petition is still gathering signers.)

As the cable news network most trusted by Democrats as a liberal beacon, MSNBC plays a special role in fueling rage among progressive-minded viewers toward Russia's "attack on our democracy" that is somehow deemed more sinister and newsworthy than corporate dominance of American politicians (including Democrats), racist voter suppression, gerrymandering and many other U.S. electoral defects all put together.

At the same time, the anti-Russia mania also services the engines of the current militaristic machinery.

It's what happens when nationalism and partisan zeal overcome something that could be called journalism.

"The U.S. media's approach to Russia is now virtually 100 percent propaganda," the independent journalist Robert Parry wrote at the end of 2017 , in the last article published before his death. "Does any sentient human being read the New York Times' or the Washington Post's coverage of Russia and think that he or she is getting a neutral or unbiased treatment of the facts?"

Parry added that

"to even suggest that there is another side to the story makes you a 'Putin apologist' or 'Kremlin stooge.' Western journalists now apparently see it as their patriotic duty to hide key facts that otherwise would undermine the demonizing of Putin and Russia. Ironically, many 'liberals' who cut their teeth on skepticism about the Cold War and the bogus justifications for the Vietnam War now insist that we must all accept whatever the U.S. intelligence community feeds us, even if we're told to accept the assertions on faith."

Across a U.S. media landscape where depicting Russia as a fully villainous enemy is now routine, MSNBC is a standout. The most profound dangers from what Rachel Maddow and company are doing is what they least want to talk about -- how the cumulative effects and momentum of their work are increasing the likelihood that tensions between Washington and Moscow will escalate into a horrendous military conflict.

Even at the height of the Cold War during the 1960s, when Soviet Communists ruled Russians with zero freedom of speech or press, most U.S. political and media elites recognized the vital need for détente. They applauded the " Spirit of Glassboro " when the top leadership of the United States and Russia met at length. Now, across most of the U.S. media spectrum, no such overtures to the Kremlin are to be tolerated.

The U.S. government's recently released " Nuclear Posture Review " underscores just how unhinged the situation has become.

Consider the assessment from the head of a first-rate research organization in the nuclear weapons field, the Los Alamos Study Group. Its executive director, Greg Mello, said :

"What is most 'missing in action' in this document is civilian leadership. Trump is not supplying that. In part the fault for this comes from Democrats -- who, allied with the intelligence community and other military-industrial interests, insist that the U.S. must have an adversarial relationship with Russia. There is no organized senior-level opposition to the new Cold War, which is intensifying week by week. This document reflects, and is just one of many policies embodying, the new and very dangerous Cold War."

But -- with everyone's survival at stake -- none of that seems to matter much to those who call the shots at MSNBC.

*

Norman Solomon is the coordinator of the online activist group RootsAction.org.

[Mar 03, 2018] The poisonous Guardian about Hope Hicks by Tom McCarthy

So this pro-Hillary bastion of Neoliberal innuentndo -- Guardian -- does not not like Hicks. As onecommneter noted " The poisonous Guardian which is so toxic I would advise folks not to use it even as an ass wipe, did not allow comments as is their custom now." Source
Mar 03, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

What is despicable pressitute is this guy: "The Washington Post has found that "members of the Trump campaign interacted with Russians at least 31 times throughout the campaign" in "at least 19 known meetings"."

Hicks, 29, had the high-pressure job last summer of crafting , with the president, an explanation for his son Donald Trump Jr's secret meeting with Russians at Trump Tower in New York in 2016 – an explanation later revealed as false. More recently, Hicks was said to have run the botched White House response to domestic abuse allegations against former aide Rob Porter, with whom she has been linked romantically.

... ... ...

Hicks aggressively defended the president-elect and his team against charges of inappropriate ties to Russian figures.

"The campaign had no contact with Russian officials," she said. Two days after the election, she said: "We are not aware of any campaign representatives that were in touch with any foreign entities before yesterday, when Mr Trump spoke with many world leaders."

The Washington Post has found that "members of the Trump campaign interacted with Russians at least 31 times throughout the campaign" in "at least 19 known meetings".

Discrepancies such as those have perhaps accelerated Hicks' political education. On Tuesday, the House intelligence committee questioned her for close to nine hours about the campaign's Russia ties.

Hicks refused to answer some of the most sensitive questions, including about the explanation for Trump Jr's meeting with Russians, according to House Democrat Adam Schiff.

But Hicks was said to have made one concession, admitting to having told, on an unspecified number of occasions, certain "white lies" on the president's behalf.

[Mar 03, 2018] From Russia with Trepidation The Rocky Ride of Edward G. Robinson

Notable quotes:
"... Moscow Strikes Back ..."
"... I am an American ..."
"... Miss V from Moscow ..."
Mar 03, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

In the darkest days of World War II, Hollywood went to bat for Russia -- our ally then -- by adapting Soviet propaganda films for the American audience and making some of its own on their behalf. This amazing documentary, a paean to the heroism of the Russian people and the Red Army, was shot before, during, and after Hitler's siege of Moscow. Filmed between October 1941 and January 1942 during a time of invasion, privation, agony and death in the depths of the Russian winter, Moscow Strikes Back (Russian version here ) may be a little hard to take in spots, but is well worth an hour of your time. Should the following video start in the middle, rewind by dragging the red button all the way to the left. Makes me think: wouldn't it be nice to be able to rewind America away from the right?

... ... ...

Hollywood's famous tough guy (also fine art collector and philanthropist) Edward G. Robinson narrates over a sound track featuring spirited scores by Russian composers. Directed by Leonid Varlamov and Ilya Kopalin, it won the 1942 Academy Award for Best Documentary. Then, as soon as the war ended, along with thousands of government and private employees, Hollywood directors and screenwriters were purged for suspect loyalties. Robinson was among those who paid a steep price's for their idealism and activism.

Now fascism is back in fashion. Who has the temerity advocate for Russian-American solidarity, given that Russia is once again on our rulers' shit list and World War III wish list? We aren't allowed to say good things about it or even that our countries once worked together, however mistrustfully. Thanks to several generations of hawkish propagandists, few of our countrymen remember or appreciate what the Russian people suffered in that war and how thankful they were for the goods the US shipped to them that helped them struggle through it, but it was their own fortitude that won the day. That and a regime that took civil defense seriously and directed the public's efforts.

As Nazi forces encircled Moscow, Marshal Zhukov mobilized Moscow's women to fortify the city. According to the WWII Multimedia Database , the women had to slog and dig through freezing muck to excavate their redoubts. With little more than shovels and wheelbarrows, they "emplaced or dug 201 miles (323.4 kilometers) of anti-tank obstacles and ditches, 158 miles (254.2 kilometers) of anti-infantry obstacles, and laid minefields. 3,800 prepared bunkers and fire bases were built. 37,500 metal 'hedgehogs' were set up to stop vehicles." I hope they at least got medals.

Could today's Americans match Russia's Greatest Generation or even our own? Take it on the chin and go on to collectively mobilize ourselves to prevail? We have sufficient tools and wealth, but have we enough will and leadership? Anesthetized by the H-Bomb, our government let preparedness and civil defense institutions wither. Lacking action plans for what to do in an extreme emergency, we're apparently expected to tough it out (use firearms responsibly and no looting, please). Of course, the government stocks bunkers for top officials and members of Congress, and our moneyed elites will repair to their hideaways and lock the gates at the first sign of mortal danger. Those of us who aren't armed preppers will go first. As civil society collapses, militias will battle over whatever resources are left. And then, depopulated, America will be great again.

But I digress. Back to Eddy Robinson's politics . In 1952, HUAC (the House Un-American Activities Committee) plunged into ignominy Edward Goldenberg Robinson for being duped by fifth-columnists into assailing fascism and advocating peace and cooperation among the great powers. The anti-fascist Jewish Romanian immigrant film star had served in two world wars. Fluent in six languages, he narrated Allied propaganda broadcasts for which the American Legion honored him. His anti-fascist bona fides, left-wing Hollywood connections, and support and advocacy for several hundred civic, cultural, philanthropic, and political organizations only served to target him as postwar red-baiting and housecleaning proceeded apace.

On April 30, 1952, Robinson sat before HUAC for the third time. He hadn't been subpoenaed; just harassed until he decided the time had come to clear his name. Through 20 pages of testimony (plaintext here ), he states his opposition to communism over and over:

My conscience is clear. My loyalty to this Nation I know to be absolute. No one has ever been willing to confront me under oath free from immunity and unequivocally charge me with membership in the Communist Party or any other subversive organization. No one can honestly do so. I now realize that some organizations which I permitted to use my name were, in fact, Communist fronts. But their ostensible purposes were good, and it was for such purposes that I allowed use of my name and even made numerous financial contributions. The hidden purposes of the Communists, in such groups, was not known to me. Had I known the truth, I would not have associated with such persons, although I would have and intend to continue to help to the extent of my ability in worth-while causes, honestly calculated to help underprivileged or oppressed people, including those oppressed by Communist tyranny.

Robinson closed his prepared testimony by saying:

Anyone who understands the history of the political activity in Hollywood will appreciate the fact that innocent, sincere persons were used by the Communists to whom honesty and sincerity are as foreign as the Soviet Union is to America. I was duped and used. I was lied to. But, I repeat, I acted from good motives, and I have never knowingly aided Communists or any Communist cause.

I wish to thank the committee for this opportunity to appear and clarify my position. I have been slow to realize that persons I thought sincere were Communists. I am glad, for the sake of myself and the Nation, that they have been exposed by your committee.

While you have been, exposing Communists, I have been fighting them and their ideology in my own way. I just finished appearing in close to 250 performances of "Darkness at Noon" all over the country. It is, perhaps, the strongest indictment of communism ever presented. I am sure it had a profound and lasting effect on all who saw it.

During questioning, he doubled down on his anti-communism:

To me, communism is abhorrent. Certainly I supported Russia during the war but, as an ally, and no more than as an ally. What I did for Russia was relatively negligible, compared to what I did for our other allies.

Upon being pressed, he named film industry colleagues he had come to believe were communists: Albert Maltz; Dalton Trumbo; John Howard Lawson; Donald Ogden Stewart. This of course was not news to anyone, but as he had "named names," the witch-hunters refrained from branding him with the Red Star label. But when Robinson asked members of the committee why they shouldn't certify him as a loyal American, the best he could get was Rep. Morgan Molder (R-MO) telling him:

Mr. [Donald L.] Jackson [R-CA16] has made the statement that this committee is not in a position to exonerate or to vindicate any person who has been wrongfully accused of being a Communist or who has been smeared as a result of such false accusations. I will agree with him to a certain extent. However, I believe that when, as a result of any proceedings or functions of this committee, someone has been unjustly smeared or injured it is our duty to aid that person and give that person an opportunity to appear before the committee to explain and defend himself as you have done.

In other words, he was potentially guilty until proven innocent, which the committee refused to do. Instead, they treated him like a student in a dunce cap scratching out "I will not be a commie dupe" over and over. His penitence extended to publishing "How the Reds Made a Sucker Out of Me," in American Legion Magazine (October 1952), paraphrased in 2011 by USC historian Steven J. Ross:

Robinson told readers that while he had "never paid much attention to communism in the past," he now knew how they went about duping loyal Americans. "They do not reveal themselves as communists," but pose "as fine American citizens who are for 'peace,' or 'decent working conditions,' or 'against intolerance.' " These were lies; their real aim was "world domination, oppression, and slavery for the working people and the minorities they profess to love." The contrite actor ended by swearing, "I am not a communist, I have never been, I never will be – I am an American ."

It must have been soul-crushing for someone so allergic to fascism to prostrate himself before that jingoist tribunal. Thank Mother of Mercy, that wasn't the end of Rico . Robinson returned to the stage for several years and then went on to act in more than 40 films. Somehow befittingly, his last role came in the cult classic b-movie Soylent Green ( 1973 ). He died soon after in Mount Sinai Hospital and was buried in Brooklyn. He was 79.

In that article, Little Caesar and the McCarthyist Mob , Ross observes, "The internationalist pronouncements of Robinson and other Hollywood activists soon came to haunt them as HUAC began portraying anti-fascists as the allies of Communists bent on destroying America." And so it is today as anti-Russia hysteria paves the way to a fascist-style America-first militarism, cheered on by compliant corporate media and political opportunists from both sides of the aisle. Whoever objects to the gathering storm is apt to be fingered as soft on Putin and entered into watch lists.

Meanwhile, the corporate takeover of the Federal Government and more than several states is nearly a fait accompli . Our elections are rigged, not by Russian trolls but minions of the GOP. The First Family mixes governing with business and pleasure and the Bozo-in-Chief can't get his wealth-addled mind around anything for more than a New York minute. Generals and billionaires have been placed in charge of arming and corrupting the republic, respectively. Democrats won't take on the Electoral College or Republican stratagems to rig elections, even though reforms would be win-win for them.

We're going down folks, and if Edward G. were around and still in the game he would understand where we're heading. The old anti-fascist would be plunging right in to keep America safe for democracy. Since he can't, I reckon we've got to.

Bonus Feature

Another pro-Soviet propaganda production from 1942, this one all-American, is Miss V from Moscow . Directed by Albert Herman and starring Lola Lane and Noel Madison, it is regarded as one of the cheesiest spy films ever to grace the silver screen. Lane plays Vera Marova, an untrained Soviet spy apparently fluent in German, French, and English. She slips into occupied France pretending to be a dead German spy whom she closely resembles. In an absurd sequence of implausible events, she and Steve Worth, a downed American airman, hook up and collaborate with Free French partisans in Paris. After she romances a Gestapo Captain and worms war plans from him, they send secret radio messages to Moscow from the back room of a bistro that enable American convoys bound for Russia to elude German submarines. As the film ends, instead of having Vera and her plucky American comrade Steve romantically embrace (that would be a bit too much bilateral solidarity) we get to cheer on American supply ships steaming through the Baltic to deliver the goods.

Geoff Dutton is an ex-geek turned writer and editor. He hails from Boston and writes about whatever distortions of reality strike his fancy. Currently, he's pedaling a novel chronicling the lives and times of members of a cell of terrorists in Europe, completing a collection of essays on high technology delusions, and can be found barking at progressivepilgrim.review.

[Mar 03, 2018] The Grammar of Russiagate

Notable quotes:
"... thief, rapist ..."
"... Sheldon Richman , author of America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited , keeps the blog Free Association and is a senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society , and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com . He is also the Executive Editor of The Libertarian Institute. ..."
Mar 03, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

Closely observing the grammar of the Official Russiagate Narrative is revealing and instructive. It provides clues to the (language-)game being played.

Consider what I call the insidious article, the . In the public prints and official pronouncements, it's not enough to say Russians tried to muck around in the American election. It's almost always the Russians . This is a subtle way to convey the idea that Vladimir Putin and his intel agencies were responsible. If a second-tier Russian oligarch who wishes to help Putin hires, on his own initiative, "a bunch of subliterate-in-English trolls," in Masha Gessen's words, and pays them the minimum wage to (again Gessen) "post[] mostly static and sort of absurd advertising," that is treated as the equivalent of Putin's executing a plan to destroy the American political system.

There's a big difference between Russians and the Russians , even if the grammar seems inconsequential.

Then there's the similar case of synecdoche , "a figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole or vice versa." This is one of the few things I learned in college that I actually remember. (Thank you Mark Isaacs, professor of journalism at Temple University, who also introduced me to the work of H. L. Mencken.)

When you read in the newspaper or hear it said on CNN that Russia or Moscow or the Kremlin did such and such, you should call out, "Who exactly?" Countries, cities, and citadels cannot act. Only individuals do. Moreover, there's a big difference between the GRU (Glavnoje Razvedyvatel'noje Upravlenije) and the IRA (Internet Research Institute), between Vladimir Putin and Yevgeny Prigozhin. But their acts are equally attributed to Russia . St. Petersburg (where the IRA is located) even becomes subsumed by Moscow . The Kremlin could refer to someone directly ordered by Putin or a rogue actor. But those distinctions are of little interest to those formulating or promulgating the Official Narrative.

Finally, let's turn to the word alleged . I can't stress how important this word figured in my journalism training in the 1960s and 70s, both in school and on the job. It was drilled into me by teachers and editors that an allegation is just an allegation until it is confirmed. And to drive this home, my teachers' favorite line was, "If your mother says she loves you, check it out."

Alleged was the obligatory qualifier before murderer , thief, rapist , kidnapper , etc. -- until the suspect was convicted or his guilty plea was accepted by a judge. We'd never dream of not using it before that point. News organization were of course protecting themselves from libel actions, but it was more than that, namely, fairness and acknowledgment of the presumption of innocent/burden of proof. Even an initial confession was not proof of guilt: people sometimes confess to offenses they did not commit, and sometimes people think their actions are illegal when they are not.

At least one young newsman either learned the lesson about alleged too well or thought it would be fun to mock the obsession with the word. Don Folsom, a rookie Buffalo, NY, radio newscaster in the 1960s began his Easter morning report thus: "Today millions of Christians around the world are celebrating the alleged resurrection of Jesus Christ." He was fired.

The word alleged seems almost completely lacking in the Russiagate conversation. The New York Times and other major news outlets have many times referred merely to "Russian interference in the 2016 election." No alleged ? Have those reporters actually seen the evidence the general public has been denied? If so, they haven't said informed us of that fact. Remember, the infamous January 2017 National Intelligence Assessment contained no evidence, as the same Times explicitly acknowledged at the time. In his Jan. 6, 2017, article, "Russian Intervention in American Election Was No One-Off," Times reporter Scott Shane wrote :

What is missing from the public report is what many Americans most eagerly anticipated: hard evidence to back up the agencies' claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack. This is a significant omission .

Instead, the message from the agencies amounts to "trust us."

I thought reporters weren't supposed to trust even their own mothers! Why are they trusting the lying James Clapper's "handpicked" intel personnel who made this assessment? Do they not remember the Big Lie about Iraqi WMDs, not to mention the entire lying history of the U.S. intel complex?

The Times and the other major news companies have forgotten what Shane reported more than a year ago: that the government has not disclosed the evidence again Putin and the Russians . If you think the indictment of 13 Russians patched up this hole, reread this column. Note also that the IRA is not charged with hacking the DNC and Podesta email accounts and giving the authentic contents to Wikileaks, which is how the big fuss got started.

So there you go. I can only conclude that the mainstream media were so traumatized by Trump's win (a traumatizing event, to be sure) and by Hillary Clinton's loss (not so much) that they have dropped the grammar of detached reporting and embraced the grammar of those who seek confrontation with Russia.

It's a very dangerous (language-)game indeed.

Sheldon Richman , author of America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited , keeps the blog Free Association and is a senior fellow and chair of the trustees of the Center for a Stateless Society , and a contributing editor at Antiwar.com . He is also the Executive Editor of The Libertarian Institute.

[Mar 03, 2018] Leaked: Secret Documents From Russia s Election Trolls

Those are Clinton stooges who published Steele dossier.
Mar 03, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

falconflight Fri, 03/02/2018 - 19:56 Permalink

Leaked: Secret Documents From Russia's Election Trolls

An online auction gone awry reveals substantial new details on Kremlin-backed troll farm efforts to stir up real protests and target specific Americans to push their propaganda.

The Kremlin-backed troll farm at the center of Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. election has quietly suffered a catastrophic security breach, The Daily Beast has confirmed, in a leak that spilled new details of its operations onto obscure corners of the internet.

The Russian "information exchange" Joker.Buzz, which auctions off often stolen or confidential information, advertised a leak for a large cache of the Internet Research Agency's (IRA) internal documents. It includes names of Americans, activists in particular, whom the organization specifically targeted; American-based proxies used to access Reddit and the viral meme site 9Gag; and login information for troll farm accounts.

Even the advertisement for the document dump provides a trove of previously unknown information about the breadth of Russia's disinformation effort in the United States, including rallies pushed by IRA social media accounts that turned violent.

While special counsel Robert Mueller's recent conspiracy indictment against the IRA showed a sophisticated organization aimed at targeting U.S. voters with disinformation, the seller appears not to have understood the implications of the auction.

The listing was titled " Savushkina 55 ," the physical address in St. Petersburg from which the troll farm used to operate. The date on the auction is listed as Feb. 10, 2017 -- seven months before Facebook and Twitter identified and pulled down Internet Research Agency accounts from Twitter. It received no bids. The seller, "AlexDA," has not posted any other listings, and was unable to be reached. In Russian, the listing promised "working data from the department focused on the United States."

"The leaks show that Russian imposter accounts targeted activists for specific causes the Kremlin-backed troll farm wanted promoted. On the target list: the daughter of one of Martin Luther King's lieutenants."

While the date of the auction could not be independently confirmed, the authenticity of the leak can. The leaked documents list screen names connected to a number of American citizens who were used as unwitting proxies by the Russians. The Daily Beast was able to track down four of those citizens, whose names have not been previously revealed. The leak contains precise dates in 2016 in which the IRA-created account Blacktivist reached out to those U.S. citizens, plus a short description of the conversations. The Daily Beast spoke to those citizens, and confirmed they interacted with the Blacktivist account in the ways described by the IRA in the document. In one case, the American even provided screenshots of his interactions with the Russian troll trying to dupe him.

In short, the leaked document contains details of the Russian disinformation campaign that have not been previously made public -- details which The Daily Beast was able to confirm. .....

https://www.thedailybeast.com/exclusive-secret-documents-from-russias-e

[Mar 03, 2018] Glenn Greenwald to Tucker Carlson Journalists Eagerly Being Manipulated By Intelligence Community On Russia Video RealCl

Notable quotes:
"... So, you and I don't agree on a lot of issues but I think we share the same concern about this story, and that is that American journalists are being manipulated for whatever reason by the intelligence community in the United States, and I'm wondering why after years of having this happen to American journalists, they are allowing this to happen again. ..."
"... Well, that's the thing I would refrain that a little bit. I don't actually think so much that journalists are the victims in the sense of that formulation that they're being manipulated. I think at best what you can say for them is they are willingly and eagerly being manipulated. ..."
"... Because what you see is over and over they publish really inflammatory stories that turn out to be totally false and what happens in those cases? Nothing. They get enormous benefits when they publish recklessly. They get applause on social media from their peers, they get zillions of re-tweets, huge amounts of traffic, they end up on TV. They get applauded across the spectrum because people are so giddy and eager to hear more about this Russia and Trump story. ..."
Mar 03, 2018 | www.realclearpolitics.com
Greenwald Journalists 'eagerly manipulated' on Russia story - YouTube

Tucker Carlson interviews Green Greenwald of The Intercept about journalists "willingly" being taken advantage of by the intelligence community on stories about Russia to reap the benefits, even when they know what they are publishing is "totally false."

From Tuesday's broadcast of Tucker Carlson Tonight on the FOX News Channel:

TUCKER CARLSON: So, Glenn, just to get to the facts of this story, it is conclusively shown that the story about the 21 voting systems being hacked is untrue, correct?
GLENN GREENWALD, JOURNALIST: It's false in two ways, one is that several of the states included in the list, such as Wisconsin, California, and Texas, said that the websites that the Homeland Security Department cited had nothing to do with voting systems, they are entirely unrelated.

And it's false in a second way, which is a lot of the stories, in fact, most of them said that Russia tried to hack into the voting systems when in fact even Homeland Security, it can only show that what they did was scan those computer systems, which is basically casing something to say for vulnerabilities and made no attempts to actually hack into them. So, it was false on various levels.

CARLSON: So, you and I don't agree on a lot of issues but I think we share the same concern about this story, and that is that American journalists are being manipulated for whatever reason by the intelligence community in the United States, and I'm wondering why after years of having this happen to American journalists, they are allowing this to happen again.

GREENWALD: Well, that's the thing I would refrain that a little bit. I don't actually think so much that journalists are the victims in the sense of that formulation that they're being manipulated. I think at best what you can say for them is they are willingly and eagerly being manipulated.

(LAUGHTER)

Because what you see is over and over they publish really inflammatory stories that turn out to be totally false and what happens in those cases? Nothing. They get enormous benefits when they publish recklessly. They get applause on social media from their peers, they get zillions of re-tweets, huge amounts of traffic, they end up on TV. They get applauded across the spectrum because people are so giddy and eager to hear more about this Russia and Trump story.

And when their stories get completely debunked, it just kind of, everybody agrees to ignore it and everyone moves on and they pay no price. At the same time, they are feeling and pleasing their sources by publishing these sources that their sources want them to publish. And so, there is huge amounts of career benefits and reputational benefits and very little cost when they publish stories that end up being debunked because the narrative they are serving is a popular one, at least within their peer circles.

CARLSON: Gosh! That is so dishonest. I mean, I think all of us and journalism have gotten things wrong, I certainly have. If you feel bad about it, I mean, you really do and there's a consequence. Do you really think there's that level of dishonesty in the American press?

GREENWALD: I think what it is more than dishonesty is a really warped incentive scheme bolstered by this very severe groupthink that social media is fostering in ways that we don't yet fully understand.

CARLSON: Yes.

GREENWALD: Most journalists these days are in Congressional Committees or at zoning board meetings or using -- they're sitting on Twitter talking to one another and this produces this extreme groupthink where these orthodoxies arise in deviating from them or questioning them or challenging, believe me, results in all kinds of recrimination and scorn. And embracing them produces this sort of in group mentality where you are rewarded, and I think a lot of it is about that kind of behavior.

CARLSON: That is really deep. I mean, you live in a foreign country, I'm not on social media, so maybe we have a little bit of distance from this, where do you think the story is going? What's the next incarnation of it?

GREENWALD: Well, the odd part about it, and about the inpatients that journalists have in trying to just jump to the finish line is that there are numerous investigations underway in the city, including by credible investigators, including Senator Burr and Warner and the Senate Intelligence Committee, which most people seem to trust and certainly Robert Mueller who is armed with subpoena power, and everyone is really eager to lavish with praise.

So, we are going to find out presumably one way or the other soon enough. I guess that one thing that is so odd to me Tucker, is that, this has been going on now for a year, this accusation that the Trump administration or the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to hack the DNC and John Podesta's email and we know that there are huge numbers of people inside the government who are willing to leak, even at the expense of committing crimes in order to undermine Trump and yet, there has been no leaks so far showing any evidence of that kind of collusion leading one to wonder why that is.

So, I hope that everybody is willing to wait until the actual investigation reveals finally the real answers. But it doesn't seem that will be the case.

CARLSON: Bravery is when you disagree in public with your peers. And by that definition, you are a very brave man. Glenn Greenwald, thanks for joining us tonight. I appreciate it.

[Mar 02, 2018] The best time to attack Russia

Mar 02, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

V. Arnold | Mar 2, 2018 12:01:34 AM | 57

The best time to attack Russia, enjoy:

This past September, in one of his regular interviews with the newspaper Parlamentní Listy, retired Czech Major General Hynek Blaško commented on the possibility of a conflict between Russia and NATO with a following anecdote:

"I have seen a popular joke on the Internet about Obama and his generals in the Pentagon debating on the best timing to attack Russia. They couldn't come to any agreement, so they decided to ask their allies.

The French said: " We do not know, but certainly not in the winter. This will end badly. "

The Germans responded: "We do not know, either, but definitely not in a summer. We have already tried."

Someone in Obama's war room had a brilliant idea to ask China, on the basis that China is developing and always has new ideas.

The Chinese answered: "The best time for this is right now. Russia is building the Power of Siberia pipeline, the North Stream Pipeline, Vostochny Cosmodrome Spaceport, the MegaProject bridge to Crimea; also Russian is upgrading the Trans-Siberian railroad with a new railway bridge across Lena River and the Amur-Yakutsk Mainline. Russia is also building new sports facilities for the World Cup and athletics, and has in development over 150 production projects in the Arctic Well, now they really need as many POWs as possible!"

[Mar 02, 2018] There is a law in neoliberal world: No crime is committed in any case that helps to dismantle the Trump regime and its threat to our projects and incomes

Notable quotes:
"... Democracy only works when the losers relinquish the reigns of the state, i think that's over, the base of both parties are alienated and the elites of both parties drunk on power. ..."
"... Could you please refer to articles which discuss US intelligence penetration of Russian diplomatic and GRU communications? ..."
"... The penalty for a US official or government contractor for breaching that security is 20 years in prison and IMO that penalty is richly justified. ..."
"... Two propositions can be true at once: that the constant drumbeat against Russia is [very dangerous] nonsense and that Kushner, like the Trumps, cannot and will not separate his personal financial interests and his position in the USG. ..."
"... I find it absurd that anyone is making it news that foreign governments are trying to find ways to manipulate White House connected officials. Surely this is the nature of the beast. Both in the US and in foreign governments. Why would anyone expect anything different. Ah, yes, because everyone in the US government is supposed to be honest, honorable, and of impeccable character (and brilliant to boot) - whereas anyone in a foreign government is a scumbag capable only of nefarious intentions and criminal methods. ..."
"... So, yes, our leakers are revealing our SIGINT capabilities - without revealing how it's done. But since Snowden, my guess is most foreign government officials have already been told by their intelligence people that nothing they say is really secure unless it's face to face in a SCIF. ..."
"... If you have ever worked in the intelligence field at a high level, you know that very few countries are capable of breaking into high level Russian government cipher systems. In your mini-list only the UK would be a possibility. ..."
"... Corruption, not corporations, and the problem is beyond the parties. Both parties have a NeoCon hawk wing that wants permanent war everywhere and both parties have dissenting wings that are more interested in domestic agendas. ..."
"... But the corruption at play is beyond that of the parties, corrupt though they truly are: the real legal problems that have ensnared Kushner are ones Trump has to worry about also and they don't originate in politics, they originate in Trump's and Kushner's roles as Oligarchs in America. ..."
"... One of the defining characteristics of Trump is that as an Oligarch he is the first to have disintermediated the political classes of both parties in his assent to power and now holds power independent of them. Most of the S Show we've been watching for the last year is the already deeply divided, and corrupt, political class trying to impose the the order Trump's voters voted him in to overthrow onto Trump. ..."
"... So the secret security state is incrementally expanding its control of allowable political discourse until such time as someone forces the issues into the courts. Sessions, as the dog that didn't bark, is thus far looking more part of the problem than solution. ..."
"... I agree 100%. The next three years are incredibly dangerous. As the Colonel indicates someone high enough to get classified Russian Ambassador SIGINT purposefully used it to catch General Flynn in a FBI perjury trap to remove him as National Security Advisor. ..."
"... We have always had massive SIGINT capabilities and foreign powers including the USSR always believed that we could not break into their systems unless it was proven to them as in this case that they were wrong. ..."
Mar 02, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

b , 28 February 2018 at 04:25 PM

There is some law in borg world: "No crime is committed in any case that helps to dismantle the Trump regime and its threat to our projects."
TV , 28 February 2018 at 05:06 PM
Jeff Sessions is busy napping and don't count on the "career" lawyers (mostly Democrat and Trump-haters) to do anything;the same bunch that passed on prosecuting Lois Lerner and contributed heavily to Clinton's campaign.
"Secret" has become just another meaningless word in the swamp.
paul , 28 February 2018 at 07:23 PM
Democracy only works when the losers relinquish the reigns of the state, i think that's over, the base of both parties are alienated and the elites of both parties drunk on power.

they are harming America they are harming "trump's america"

i think this will be our new status quo for the foreseeable future.

LeaNder , 28 February 2018 at 08:53 PM
Do I understand you correctly, Colonel, none of these three incidences should have ever been made public?

It's surely peculiar that any of this ends up in the media. ...

raven , 28 February 2018 at 09:38 PM
But, but . . her emails!
Duck1 , 28 February 2018 at 10:13 PM
Apparently certain souls are being soothed?
Marko , 01 March 2018 at 04:16 AM
Could you please refer to articles which discuss US intelligence penetration of Russian diplomatic and GRU communications?
turcopolier , 01 March 2018 at 09:13 AM
Marko

In re Russian diplomatic comms.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/sessions-discussed-trump-campaign-related-matters-with-russian-ambassador-us-intelligence-intercepts-show/2017/07/21/3e704692-6e44-11e7-9c15-177740635e83_story.html?utm_term=.da68508d2a8e

pl

turcopolier , 01 March 2018 at 09:22 AM
Marko

In re GRU communications penetration

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2017/06/06/did-the-intercept-bungle-nsa-leak/?utm_term=.d279daaeb5a5

pl

turcopolier , 01 March 2018 at 09:38 AM
LeaNder

Yes, none of the compromises of US penetrations of encrypted Russian government communications should ever have been made public. The penetration of such systems is an enormous enterprise and is vital to our (NATO) knowledge of Russian intentions on the world scene. I worked for three years in an activity that policed the security of our successes. The penalty for a US official or government contractor for breaching that security is 20 years in prison and IMO that penalty is richly justified. pl

jonst , 01 March 2018 at 09:52 AM
as far as I'm concerned watching these compromises is akin to being worried about an active burglary ring in your neighborhood......while in the mean time your house is being taken away--unscrupulously-by your new mortgage company. It is not unreasonable to worry about the ring...but the main threat is an 'elite', bi-partisan, ruling class that is selling out the Nation because the profits are better overseas. And has been since the Soviet Union fell and that threat of ideological betrayal lost its meaning.

This is the manure that the DC 'Consulting' Class has been grown with....to its Olympian Heights.

Terry , 01 March 2018 at 09:59 AM
Partisan politics is trumping the welfare of the Sovereign state.
turcopolier , 01 March 2018 at 10:05 AM
TTG

"I do wonder how much of this is a compromise of active SIGINT capability. I think the Russian were well aware something was up when Obama confronted Putin and Brennan did the same to his Russian counterpart after the election."

Unless you had access to the products under discussion and saw a major drop in the productivity of these operations, you are guessing. pl

The Twisted Genius -> turcopolier ... , 01 March 2018 at 10:31 AM
pl,

Yes, I am guessing. I have no idea if or when there was a major drop in the productivity of those operations. If i knew for sure, I wouldn't be saying so on the open internet. If anybody here does know of any drop in major productivity, they ought not to confirm or deny it either. But I would assume the Russians would reevaluate their security after the President and CIA Director personally told them that we knew exactly what they were doing as early as September 2016 at the G20 Summit. IMO Obama should have quietly taken actions through IC and CYBERCOM capabilities and not say anything to anybody. Stuff has been going on in the shadows for many years. That's where it can be most effective and that's where it should stay.

Green Zone Café , 01 March 2018 at 10:35 AM
I think what TTG is alluding to is that the source may be from another SIGINT establishment, not the USA. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Given the vague nature of the allegations against Kushner, for all we know, it's Turkey, Brazil, or the UK leaking.

The reason why Jeff Sessions isn't prosecuting anyone is because he has no evidence against an American who is leaking.

egl , 01 March 2018 at 11:25 AM
The leaks could have come from inside the White House. There's no shortage of insiders and wanna-be insiders who don't like Javanka's access to Trump.
Sid Finster , 01 March 2018 at 11:36 AM
I do hope that this is a rhetorical question - nothing will be done because the Deep State, the Borg, whatever you want to call it, does not particularly want Kushner involved in policy.

I do not want Kushner involved in policy either, but I am not leaking anything to get him forced to the side.

Lefty -> turcopolier ... , 01 March 2018 at 12:17 PM
@ 17

Bingo. Thank you. There is nothing ambiguous or subjective about these leaks, the damage they can do, the lack of prosecution of the leakers, or the penalties for those breaching security.

The loss of access seems likely to be profound and regaining it very expensive both in dollars and lost intelligence.

Fred -> Leaky Ranger... , 01 March 2018 at 12:35 PM
Leaky,

How about the multi-million dollar donations to the foundation run by the daughter of the Secretary of State of the United States and bribes speech fees paid to the husband of the Secretary of State of the United States for talks given in front of -omg- Russians - in Moscow! LOL. Just business as usual payments? kind of like spouse of suspect under criminal investigation walking down a set of stairs rolled out to his jet, walking across tarmac, walking up stairs on other jet with armed guards posted, and speaking to the Attorney General of the United States. Business as usual. No clear and dangerous precedent to the principles of social justice for all in that conduct. No sir.

turcopolier , 01 March 2018 at 01:11 PM
egl

The first two leaks seem likely to be from BHO people and the third from a Trumpista. Or all three could be from career people. pl

The Beaver said in reply to Brad Ruble ... , 01 March 2018 at 01:20 PM
@ Brad Ruble

The audio clip was first posted on Twitter by Dmitry Loskutov, an aide to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, according to Foggy Bottom.

james said in reply to The Twisted Genius ... , 01 March 2018 at 01:32 PM
"when obama confronted putin and Brennan did the same to his Russian counterpart after the election.".. i think i figured it out...those Hillary Clinton emails threw the election for trump and obama/cia had to get back at Russia for doing this.. this is the basis for the Russia meddling in the usa election... meanwhile no proof necessary! and, it remains totally partisan..
Laura said in reply to egl... , 01 March 2018 at 02:09 PM
Apparently 30 -- 30! -- staffers had their security clearance downgraded. If there are 30 unreliable people on staff....is ANYONE surprised about leaks????

Really?

Mark Logan said in reply to jsn... , 01 March 2018 at 03:11 PM
jsn, re post 13.

The competing corporations are the parties. You reminded me of this prescient bit from George's Farewell Address:

"The common and continual mischief's [sic] of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and the duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it. It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passion."

Annem , 01 March 2018 at 04:38 PM
Two propositions can be true at once: that the constant drumbeat against Russia is [very dangerous] nonsense and that Kushner, like the Trumps, cannot and will not separate his personal financial interests and his position in the USG. Case in point: Kushner's Dad goes to Qatar and asks HBJ for $500 million to refinance that Fifth Avenue property. HBJ says conditionally, "Yes, IF you can raise the other $400+ million he needs from another investor."

He goes off to talk to the Chinese bank, but they turn him down. That means that Kushner Pere gets nothing for his efforts. Just shortly afterwards, Kushner Fills' BFF in Saudi Arabia, MbS, launches the campaign against Qatar for supposedly supporting terrorism, etc., along with their other buddy in the UAE.

President Trump jumps immediately on the Saudi-UAE bandwagon and blasts Qatar. SecState and SecDef among others remind POTUS of the importance of our base in Qatar and take it upon themselves to do damage control themselves. After their "clarifying statements" Trump doubles down against Qatar. Coincidence? Even if it were, I doubt you would be able to convince people in that region of the world that it was not. Complain as you will about the leaks, not to mention the failed presidential candidate and her party who just can't accept that she lost for very solid reasons, but combined thus far with the performance of the winners, has brought our governance to new lows.

The leaks are troublesome, but more troubling to my mind is the trend now accepted by both parties that the government must fight against "alternative information" [facts or ideas it does not like]. The latest complaint is that the Russians are messing with US agriculture imports because of RT/Sputnik coverage of the GMO controversy and that it is a way to promote Russian Ag products to take its place. The fact that the issue of GMO and "big Ag" are major topics AMONG AMERICANS and resulted in modification of policies even within the Food Lobby seems not to cross the critics minds.

catherine said in reply to plantman... , 01 March 2018 at 04:42 PM
plantman

I think the attacks on Kushner are particularly evil and calculating.... And they could pose a real danger to the country!
>>>>>>>>>

LOL...I think Kushner is a danger to the country. I don't want a guy who shared his bedroom with Netanyahu and who's father is a jailbird and uber funder of illegal Israeli settlements any where near the WH much less privy to the presidents daily intelligence briefings.

As the saying goes....if Trump wants a friend let him get a dog.

Richardstevenhack , 01 March 2018 at 04:50 PM
I find it absurd that anyone is making it news that foreign governments are trying to find ways to manipulate White House connected officials. Surely this is the nature of the beast. Both in the US and in foreign governments. Why would anyone expect anything different. Ah, yes, because everyone in the US government is supposed to be honest, honorable, and of impeccable character (and brilliant to boot) - whereas anyone in a foreign government is a scumbag capable only of nefarious intentions and criminal methods.

Well, the latter might be true - but it's also true of the former.

As for SIGINT leaks, I suspect anyone in any government who isn't assuming their most encrypted conversations are immediately revealed to the NSA are idiots. If they don't know how it's being done, I would imagine they've already ordered their intelligence people to find out how. In the meantime, they're resigned to speaking over any communication link only information that isn't "Eyes Only" military technology secrets.

And even that isn't necessarily true. Yesterday Putin revealed no less than FIVE major Russian military breakthroughs in a speech.

So, yes, our leakers are revealing our SIGINT capabilities - without revealing how it's done. But since Snowden, my guess is most foreign government officials have already been told by their intelligence people that nothing they say is really secure unless it's face to face in a SCIF.

I have a meme I use in computer security: "You can haz better security, you can haz worse security. But you cannot haz 'security'. There is no security. Deal." It would behoove most people to take that to heart.

However, the Colonel is certainly correct in that our leakers appear intent to reveal our secrets for political purposes - and they should be arrested and imprisoned for that.

turcopolier , 01 March 2018 at 05:13 PM
Green Zone Cafe

If you have ever worked in the intelligence field at a high level, you know that very few countries are capable of breaking into high level Russian government cipher systems. In your mini-list only the UK would be a possibility. Wherever the data came from originally the number of US people who would have had access is very small and known by name in the bigot list for that series of COMINT. To disclose that data is a felony. pl

jsn -> Mark Logan... , 01 March 2018 at 05:17 PM
Corruption, not corporations, and the problem is beyond the parties. Both parties have a NeoCon hawk wing that wants permanent war everywhere and both parties have dissenting wings that are more interested in domestic agendas.

But the corruption at play is beyond that of the parties, corrupt though they truly are: the real legal problems that have ensnared Kushner are ones Trump has to worry about also and they don't originate in politics, they originate in Trump's and Kushner's roles as Oligarchs in America.

One of the defining characteristics of Trump is that as an Oligarch he is the first to have disintermediated the political classes of both parties in his assent to power and now holds power independent of them. Most of the S Show we've been watching for the last year is the already deeply divided, and corrupt, political class trying to impose the the order Trump's voters voted him in to overthrow onto Trump.

The thing is, they're all so sleazy that no one can act honestly and so we get interminable innuendo, leaking, inconclusive memos and counter memos always screening real secretes no one involved wants out in public which ultimately result in charges of "Defrauding America" that now hang in the air like a Sword of Damocles threatening any dissenting voice with indictment.

So the secret security state is incrementally expanding its control of allowable political discourse until such time as someone forces the issues into the courts. Sessions, as the dog that didn't bark, is thus far looking more part of the problem than solution.

VietnamVet , 01 March 2018 at 07:18 PM
JSN
@41

I agree 100%. The next three years are incredibly dangerous. As the Colonel indicates someone high enough to get classified Russian Ambassador SIGINT purposefully used it to catch General Flynn in a FBI perjury trap to remove him as National Security Advisor. There is nothing more corrupt than this. It also shows how untouchable General Officers think they are. Even with the President's Tweets, there still hasn't been a special prosecutor appointed to investigate it. My take, also, is that this is an oligarchs' fight over power and they are trying to keep it hidden. The corrupted bicoastal credentialed class that provides the support for the oligarchs haven't realized quite yet that they are just as much losers in the new world order as the deplorables.

America on purpose recently killed between five and a hundred Russian mercenaries in Eastern Syria. It is total luck so far that a shooting war with Russia has not broken out. With this gang it will go nuclear immediately.

The Twisted Genius -> turcopolier ... , 01 March 2018 at 09:15 PM
pl,

None of the articles you linked to provided any clear indication that Russian secure communications were compromised or that there was a drop in productivity of any USI penetration operations. The most recent account talks about intelligence briefings provided to McMaster. These briefings could have referred to SIGINT outside of secure diplomatic communications or even diplomatic cocktail party chitchat. Much of the reporting about Kislyak referred to conversations with Trump associates. Certainly that wasn't secure communications systems.

The common denominator in all this reporting is the SS7 exploitation that was known for a long time and was publicly explained at the 2014 Chaos Computer Communications convention in Berlin. This was probably how Nuland's "F the EU" conversation was picked up. This is no longer a technical breach of secure communications. It's a breach of human behavior. These smartphones are ubiquitous and open everyone around them to 24/7 surveillance.

Having said all that, I agree with you in considering these disclosures felonious.

turcopolier , 02 March 2018 at 12:07 AM
richardstevenhack

You have never been in the intelligence business and have no idea what you are talking about. We have always had massive SIGINT capabilities and foreign powers including the USSR always believed that we could not break into their systems unless it was proven to them as in this case that they were wrong. pl

[Mar 02, 2018] Look deeper at "election rigger" and will find a neoconservative

Mar 02, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Paul Craig Roberts' invective against the "riggers:" https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/03/01/washington-sufficiently-intelligent-trusted-independent-foreign-policy/
"The stupid Samantha Vinograd [who served as a staffer on Obama's National Security Council] repeats the lie that Russiagate was Putin's plot "to destabilize the United States." So, how is the US a superpower when Russia controls US elections? Doesn't this mean that Americans are of no relevance whatsoever in the world? ... With intelligence levels this low on Obama's National Security Council, no wonder the neoonservatives were able to run over the Obama regime and resurrect the Cold War, thus returning the world to a high chance of nuclear Armageddon."
The "riggers" have exposed their incompetence again and again and again...

[Mar 02, 2018] Kushner s Business Got Loans From Companies After White House Meetings

Notable quotes:
"... Maybe there is a clear and present danger in the White House? Kushner's Business Got Loans From Companies After White House Meetings ..."
"... For Kushner's vulnerability to foreign manipulation, there seems to be a lot out there beyond this one WAPO story. This month old article lays out the problems existence over the last year with China. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/01/29/jared-kushner-is-chinas-trump-card ..."
"... I think what TTG is alluding to is that the source may be from another SIGINT establishment, not the USA. Correct me if I'm wrong. Given the vague nature of the allegations against Kushner, for all we know, it's Turkey, Brazil, or the UK leaking. ..."
Feb 01, 2028 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Leaky Ranger , 28 February 2018 at 09:20 PM

Maybe there is a clear and present danger in the White House? Kushner's Business Got Loans From Companies After White House Meetings

Apollo, the private equity firm, and Citigroup made large loans last year to the family real estate business of Jared Kushner, President Trump's senior adviser.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/28/business/jared-kushner-apollo-citigroup-loans.html The Twisted Genius , 28 February 2018 at 10:14 PM

... ... ...

For Kushner's vulnerability to foreign manipulation, there seems to be a lot out there beyond this one WAPO story. This month old article lays out the problems existence over the last year with China. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/01/29/jared-kushner-is-chinas-trump-card

plantman , 01 March 2018 at 10:00 AM
I think the attacks on Kushner are particularly evil and calculating.... And they could pose a real danger to the country! Look: The reason Trump's enemies want Kushner gone is because Trump does not have a wide circle of friends he can trust, so his enemies want to further isolate him so he can be controlled BY THEM.

The danger is that he will get increasingly embattled, erratic and paranoid.

Then what?? Maybe they think that's a reliable way to control someone like Bill Clinton or Richard Nixon, but Trump??? No way. Trump has shown time and again that he does not respond to situations like other people. I think that creates a potentially grave situation for the country, the country these deep-state vermin never think about. They only think about themselves.

Green Zone Café , 01 March 2018 at 10:35 AM
I think what TTG is alluding to is that the source may be from another SIGINT establishment, not the USA. Correct me if I'm wrong. Given the vague nature of the allegations against Kushner, for all we know, it's Turkey, Brazil, or the UK leaking.

The reason why Jeff Sessions isn't prosecuting anyone is because he has no evidence against an American who is leaking.

egl , 01 March 2018 at 11:25 AM
The leaks could have come from inside the White House. There's no shortage of insiders and wanna-be insiders who don't like Javanka's access to Trump.
Sid Finster , 01 March 2018 at 11:36 AM
I do hope that this is a rhetorical question - nothing will be done because the Deep State, the Borg, whatever you want to call it, does not particularly want Kushner involved in policy.

I do not want Kushner involved in policy either, but I am not leaking anything to get him forced to the side.

[Feb 28, 2018] Another SIGINT compromise ...

Highly recommended!
Feb 28, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

" Officials in at least four countries have privately discussed ways they can manipulate Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser, by taking advantage of his complex business arrangements, financial difficulties and lack of foreign policy experience, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with intelligence reports on the matter.

Among those nations discussing ways to influence Kushner to their advantage were the United Arab Emirates, China, Israel and Mexico, the current and former officials said.

It is unclear if any of those countries acted on the discussions, but Kushner's contacts with certain foreign government officials have raised concerns inside the White House and are a reason he has been unable to obtain a permanent security clearance, the officials said.

Kushner's interim security clearance was downgraded last week from the top-secret to the secret level, which should restrict the regular access he has had to highly classified information, according to administration officials. Washpost

------------------

Most people will probably be struck by the fall from grace of Kushner and other WH staff dilettantes. I am not terribly interested in that. What strikes me is that this is the third major compromise of US SIGINT products in the last year. The first was the felonious disclosure to the press of US intelligence penetration of Russian diplomatic communications. the second was the disclosure to the press of penetration of GRU communications. In this one the oral or written discussions among the officials of several foreign countries are revealed. These conversations were probably encrypted.

Is Jeff Sessions still alive? Why are there no prosecutions for these felonies? pl

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/kushners-overseas-contacts-raise-concerns-as-foreign-officials-seek-leverage/2018/02/27/16bbc052-18c3-11e8-942d-16a950029788_story.html?utm_term=.e3639623e918

[Feb 24, 2018] Russiagate or Deep State What Some Progressives Get Wrong on Russia by John Feffer

This migration to truthful analysis of the situation to FOx is paradoxically true phenomenon.
Greenwald definition of Rachel Maddow transformation is really brilliant: " "I used to be really good friends with Rachel Maddow," Greenwald told New York magazine. "And I've seen her devolution from this really interesting, really smart, independent thinker into this utterly scripted, intellectually dishonest, partisan hack."
Notable quotes:
"... The Nation, Counterpunch, Consortium News ..."
"... Over at The Nation ..."
Feb 14, 2018 | fpif.org
Greenwald has emerged as one of the prominent skeptics of the investigation into collaboration between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Once a fixture in the progressive media for his dissection of the national security state, he is now more frequently cited by the far right in its efforts to discredit the investigation run by Robert Mueller. The journalist used to chat regularly with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, but now he's more likely to appear with Tucker Carlson on Fox News.

"I used to be really good friends with Rachel Maddow," Greenwald told New York magazine. "And I've seen her devolution from this really interesting, really smart, independent thinker into this utterly scripted, intellectually dishonest, partisan hack."

Wow, that's harsh.

Greenwald is not alone. You can find skeptical articles about Russiagate at The Nation, Counterpunch, Consortium News , and many other progressive outlets. And these articles can be equally scathing about the journalists, mainstream or otherwise, that take the investigation seriously.

Over at The Nation , Russia specialist Stephen Cohen regularly challenges the emerging narrative, most recently suggesting that the intelligence community essentially fabricated Russiagate, which has generated in turn a different scandal -- he calls it "Intelgate" -- even larger than Watergate.

[Feb 21, 2018] Russian bots - How An Anti-Russian Lobby Creates Fake News

Notable quotes:
"... Atlantic Council ..."
"... Alliance for Securing Democracy. ..."
"... Alliance for Securing Democracy ..."
"... "to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin's ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe." That's pretty rich, coming from a country and from people who actually genuinely, and in proven ways, have subverted democracy in Europe since the late 1940s - Italy being one of the clearest cases. ..."
"... For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia. I can't believe it has to do with the economy. There's got to be a far better nefarious reason. Even during the real cold war we tried to avoid conflict. Absolute insanity. ..."
"... The cleverest trick used in propaganda against a specific country is to accuse it of what the accuser itself is doing. ..."
"... Clearly, this entire psyop was premeditated and its design was hastily done contemporaneously with Russia's Syria intervention. NSA/CIA/FBI knew of HRC's security breeches and rightly assumed their contents would find their way into the election, so the general plan was ready to go prior to WikiLeaks publications. b has uncovered much, and I hope he's planning to publish a book about the entire affair. ..."
"... Ken @ 4: There doesn't necessarily need to be One Major Reason for going to war. There may be several reasons all feeding and reinforcing one another and creating a psychological climate in which Going To War is seen as the only solution and is inevitable. The reasons are not just economic and political but cultural and historical. ..."
"... In some countries allied with the US, the politicians in power are the ideological descendants of those who collaborated with Nazi Germany - so in a sense they are committed to "correcting" what they see as wrong. In the case of current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, he is the grandson of a former prime minister who once served in General Tojo's World War II cabinet. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2012/12/26/national/formed-in-childhood-roots-of-abes-conservatism-go-deep/#.WoyZCG9uaUk ..."
"... The idea is to keep piling the pressure on to countries like Iran and Russia in the hope that their populations will rise up and demand the freedoms that we enjoy in the West....things like uncensored wardrobe malfunctions and transgender washrooms. ..."
"... Media have long agitated for War in US History. Nothing sells newspapers like a good ole war! Demonizing is a way to achieve it. What is sure is that this is a one way street. Once over the cliff, there is no turning back. ..."
"... In that The Narrative is tightly controlled in the corporate media, not matter how strong the proofs or arguments about the falsity of these propaganda campaigns are, little or no circulation of those proofs or arguments wlll reach the general public. ..."
"... Thanks Jen. It still makes no sense. As a veteran of the Vietnam fiasco, I was pretty much government oriented until McNamara outed the whole thing whining about haw sorry he was. 59,000 dead and he's sorry. They were able to hide the Gulf of Tonkin BS until then. After that I researched the reasons for each war/conflict the USA started and could find no logical reasons except hunger for power. But the little sandbox wars won't destroy the world like a major war/conflict with Russia and it goes nuclear. ..."
"... The warmongering is not intended to make any sense - not many people are trained in critical thinking and logic, and even when they are, they can be swamped by their own emotions or other people's emotions. Propaganda is intended to appeal to people's emotions and fears. You can try reading works by Edward Bernays - "Crystallizing Public Opinion" (1923) and "Propaganda" (1928) - to see how he uses his uncle Sigmund Freud's theories of the mind to create strategies for manipulating public opinion. https://archive.org/details/EdwardL.BernaysPropaganda ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

"Russian bots" - How An Anti-Russian Lobby Creates Fake News

The U.S. mainstream media are going nuts. They now make up and report stories based on the uncritical acceptance of the outcome of an algorithm they do not understand and which is know to produce fake results.

See for example these three stories:

From the last link:

SAN FRANCISCO -- One hour after news broke about the school shooting in Florida last week, Twitter accounts suspected of having links to Russia released hundreds of posts taking up the gun control debate.

The accounts addressed the news with the speed of a cable news network. Some adopted the hashtag #guncontrolnow. Others used #gunreformnow and #Parklandshooting. Earlier on Wednesday, before the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., many of those accounts had been focused on the investigation by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

In other words - the "Twitter accounts suspected of having links to Russia" were following the current news just as cable news networks do. When a new sensational event happened they immediately jumped onto it. But the NYT authors go to length to claim that there is some nefarious Russian scheme behind this that uses automated accounts to spread divisive issues.

Those claims are based on this propaganda project:

Last year, the Alliance for Securing Democracy, in conjunction with the German Marshall Fund, a public policy research group in Washington, created a website that tracks hundreds of Twitter accounts of human users and suspected bots that they have linked to a Russian influence campaign.

The "Alliance for Securing Democracy" is run by military lobbyists, CIA minions and neocons. Its claimed task is:

... to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin's ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe.

There is no evidence that Vladimir Putin made or makes such efforts.

The ASD "Hamilton 68" website shows graphics with rankings of "top items" and "trending items" allegedly used by Russian bots or influence agents. There is nothing complicate behind it. It simply tracks the tweets of 600 Twitter users and aggregates the hashtags they use. It does not say which Twitter accounts its algorithms follows. It claims that the 600 were selected by one of three criteria: 1. People who often tweet news that also appears on RT (Russia Today) and Sputnik News , two general news sites sponsored by the Russian government; 2. People who "openly profess to be pro-Russian"; 3. accounts that "appear to use automation" to boost the same themes that people in group 1 and 2 tweet about.

Nowhere does the group say how many of the 600 accounts it claims to track belong to which group. Are their 10 assumed bots or 590 in the surveyed 600 accounts? And how please does one "openly profess" to be pro-Russian? We don't know and the ASD won't say.

On December 25 2017 the "Russian influence" agents or bots who, according to NYT, want to sow divisiveness, wished everyone a Merry Christmas.


bigger

The real method the Hamilton 68 group used to select the 600 accounts it tracks is unknown. The group does not say or show how it made it up. Despite that the NYT reporters, Sheera Frenkel and Daisuke Wakabayashi, continue with the false assumptions that most or all the accounts are automated, have something to do with Russia and are presumably nefarious:

Russian-linked bots have rallied around other divisive issues, often ones that President Trump has tweeted about. They promoted Twitter hashtags like #boycottnfl, #standforouranthem and #takeaknee after some National Football League players started kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.

The automated Twitter accounts helped popularize the #releasethememo hashtag , ...

The Daily Beast reported earlier that the emphasized claim is definitely false :

Twitter's internal analysis has thus far found that authentic American accounts, and not Russian imposters or automated bots, are driving #ReleaseTheMemo. There are no preliminary indications that the Twitter activity either driving the hashtag or engaging with it is either predominantly Russian.

The same is presumably true for the other hashtags.

The Dutch IT specialist and blogger Marcel van den Berg was wondering how Dutch keywords and hashtags showed up in on the Hamilton 68 "Russian bots" dashboard. He found ( Dutch , English auto translation) that the dashboard is a total fraud:

In recent weeks, I have been keeping a close eye on Hamilton 68. Every time a Dutch hashtag was shown on the website, I made a screenshot. Then I noted what was playing at that moment and I watched the Tweets with this hashtag. Again I could not find any Tweet that seemed to be from a Russian troll.

In all cases, the hash tags that Hamilton 68 reported were trending topics in the Netherlands. In all cases there was much to do around the subject of the hashtag in the Netherlands. Many people were angry or shared their opinion on the subject on Twitter. And even if there were a few tweets with Russian connections between them, the effect is zero. Because they do not stand out among the many other, authentic Tweets.

Van den Berg lists a dozen examples he analyzed in depth.

The anti-Russian Bellingcat group around couch blogger Eliot Higgins is sponsored by the NATO propaganda shop Atlantic Council . It sniffs through open source stuff to blame Russia or Syria wherever possible. Bellingcat were recently a victim of the "Russian bots" - or rather of the ASD website. On February 10 the hashtag #bellingcat trended to rank 2 of the dashboard.


bigger

Bellingcat was thus, according to the Hamilton 68 claims, under assault of hordes of nefarious Russian government sponsored bots.

The Bellingcat folks looked into the issue and found that only six people on Twitter, none of them an automated account, had used the #bellingcat hashtag in the last 48 hours. Some of the six may have opinions that may be "pro Russian", but as Higgins himself says :

[I]n my opinion, it's extremely unlikely the people listed are Russian agents

The pro-NATO propaganda shop Bellingcat thus debunked the pro NATO propaganda shop Alliance for Securing Democracy.

The fraudsters who created the Hamilton 68 crap seem to have filled their database with rather normal people who's opinions they personally dislike. Those then are the "Russian bots" who spread "Russian influence" and divisiveness.

Moreover - what is the value of its information when six normal people out of millions of active Twitter users can push a hashtag with a handful of tweets to the top of the dashboard?

But the U.S. media writes long gushing stories about the dashboard and how it somehow shows automated Russian propaganda. They go to length to explain that this shows "Russian influence" and a "Russian" attempt to sow "divisiveness" into people's minds.

This is nuts.

Last August, when the Hamilton 68 project was first released, the Nation was the only site critical of it. It predicted :

The import of GMF's project is clear: Reporting on anything that might put the US in a bad light is now tantamount to spreading Russian propaganda.

It is now even worse than that. The top ranking of the #merrychristmas hashtag shows that the algorithm does not even care about good or bad news. The tracked twitter accounts are normal people.

The whole project is just a means to push fake stories about alleged "Russian influence" into U.S. medias. Whenever some issue creeps up on its dashboard that somehow fits its false "Russian bots" and "divisiveness" narrative the Alliance for Securing Democracy contacts the media to spread its poison. The U.S. media, - CNN, Wired, the New York Times - are by now obviously devoid of thinking journalists and fact checkers. They simple re-package the venom and spread it to the public.

How long will it take until people die from it?

Posted by b on February 20, 2018 at 03:15 PM | Permalink

Comments


nhs , Feb 20, 2018 3:24:03 PM | 1

The truth about 'Russiagate'
Lohmann , Feb 20, 2018 3:32:49 PM | 2
It's all too reminiscent of Duck Soup:

Rufus T. Firefly: I'd be unworthy of the high trust that's been placed in me if I didn't do everything in my power to keep our beloved Freedonia in peace with the world. I'd be only too happy to meet with Ambassador Trentino, and offer him on behalf of my country the right hand of good fellowship. And I feel sure he will accept this gesture in the spirit of which it is offered. But suppose he doesn't. A fine thing that'll be. I hold out my hand and he refuses to accept. That'll add a lot to my prestige, won't it? Me, the head of a country, snubbed by a foreign ambassador. Who does he think he is, that he can come here, and make a sap of me in front of all my people? Think of it - I hold out my hand and that hyena refuses to accept. Why, the cheap four-flushing swine, he'll never get away with it I tell you, he'll never get away with it.

[Trentino enters]

Rufus T. Firefly: So, you refuse to shake hands with me, eh?

[slaps Trentino with his glove]

Ambassador Trentino: Mrs. Teasdale, this is the last straw. There's no turning back now! This means war!

Rufus T. Firefly: Then it's war! Then it's war! Gather the forces. Harness the horses. Then it's war!

Clueless Joe , Feb 20, 2018 3:45:14 PM | 3
"to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin's ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe." That's pretty rich, coming from a country and from people who actually genuinely, and in proven ways, have subverted democracy in Europe since the late 1940s - Italy being one of the clearest cases.
ken , Feb 20, 2018 3:46:05 PM | 4
For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia. I can't believe it has to do with the economy. There's got to be a far better nefarious reason. Even during the real cold war we tried to avoid conflict. Absolute insanity.
xor , Feb 20, 2018 4:11:10 PM | 6
The cleverest trick used in propaganda against a specific country is to accuse it of what the accuser itself is doing.
karlof1 , Feb 20, 2018 4:30:11 PM | 8
Gee, what could go wrong formulating policy founded upon a series of Big Lies? Kim Dotcom says he has important info the FBI refuses to hear. At the Munich Security Conference , neocon Nicholas Burns, former US Ambassador to NATO, details my assertion's factual basis that current policy is being formed on a series of Big Lies: "Will NATO strengthen itself to contain Russian power in Eastern Europe giving what Russian [sic] has done illegally in Crimea, in the Donbass, and in Georgia ?" [Bolded text are the Big Lies.]

Clearly, this entire psyop was premeditated and its design was hastily done contemporaneously with Russia's Syria intervention. NSA/CIA/FBI knew of HRC's security breeches and rightly assumed their contents would find their way into the election, so the general plan was ready to go prior to WikiLeaks publications. b has uncovered much, and I hope he's planning to publish a book about the entire affair.

Jen , Feb 20, 2018 4:54:59 PM | 10
Ken @ 4: There doesn't necessarily need to be One Major Reason for going to war. There may be several reasons all feeding and reinforcing one another and creating a psychological climate in which Going To War is seen as the only solution and is inevitable. The reasons are not just economic and political but cultural and historical.

In some countries allied with the US, the politicians in power are the ideological descendants of those who collaborated with Nazi Germany - so in a sense they are committed to "correcting" what they see as wrong. In the case of current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, he is the grandson of a former prime minister who once served in General Tojo's World War II cabinet.
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2012/12/26/national/formed-in-childhood-roots-of-abes-conservatism-go-deep/#.WoyZCG9uaUk

That's why pinning down the reason for wanting a war against Russia is so difficult.

Partisan , Feb 20, 2018 5:06:58 PM | 11

The whole piece is just hilarious and I laughed out loud all time while reading it.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/16/nyts-really-weird-russiagate-story/

Since the FBI never inspected the DNC's computers first-hand, the only evidence comes from an Irvine, California, cyber-security firm known as CrowdStrike whose chief technical officer, Dmitri Alperovitch, a well-known Putin-phobe, is a fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank that is also vehemently anti-Russian as well as a close Hillary Clinton ally.

Thus, Putin-basher Clinton hired Putin-basher Alperovitch to investigate an alleged electronic heist, and to absolutely no one's surprise, his company concluded that guilty party was Vladimir Putin. Amazing! Since then, a small army of internet critics has chipped away at CrowdStrike for praising the hackers as among the best in the business yet declaring in the same breath that they gave themselves away by uploading a document in the name of "Felix Edmundovich," i.e. Felix E. Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet secret police.

As noted cyber-security expert Jeffrey Carr observed with regard to Russia's two main intelligence agencies: "Raise your hand if you think that a GRU or FSB officer would add Iron Felix's name to the metadata of a stolen document before he released it to the world while pretending to be a Romanian hacker. Someone clearly had a wicked sense of humor."

james , Feb 20, 2018 5:17:19 PM | 12
thanks b!

muddy waters.. paid for propaganda.... look at all the russian bots, lol... cold war 2 / mccarthyism 2 is in effect... the historic parallels are marked. thank you neo cons! it's working... the ordinary person in the usa can't be this stupid can they? when does ww3 kick in? is that really what these idiots want? or is it just to prolong the huge defense budget?

Mike Maloney , Feb 20, 2018 5:24:03 PM | 13
This is about conditioning voters in Europe and the United States for a long war with Russia and China. In other words, a return to the 1950s. It is not working and becoming increasingly hysterical because societies are not nearly as cohesive as they once were, and the mainstream political parties, while better funded and more top-down organized, are basically hollow. The collapse is coming. Four years or ten, take your pick.
dh , Feb 20, 2018 5:32:10 PM | 14
@4 "For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia."

Most Americans probably don't. Just the chosen few with the deepest fall-out shelters. The idea is to keep piling the pressure on to countries like Iran and Russia in the hope that their populations will rise up and demand the freedoms that we enjoy in the West....things like uncensored wardrobe malfunctions and transgender washrooms.

Partisan , Feb 20, 2018 6:02:58 PM | 15
"Most Americans probably don't."

not true.

let's imagine that we have the pyramid of evilness, by which we measure bestiality of one regime and its constituency. my firm belief is that us would be on the top of that pyramid. Only dilemma would be between Zionist entity and the US.

"How could the masses be made to desire their own repression?" was the question Wilhelm Reich famously asked in the wake of the Reichstagsbrandverordnung (Reichstag Fire Decree, February 28, 1933), which suspended the civil rights protections afforded by the Weimar Republic's democratic constitution.Hitler had been appointed chancellor on January 30, 1933 and Reich was trying to grapple with the fact that the German people had apparently chosen the authoritarian politics promoted by National Socialism against their own political interests. Ever since, the question of fascism, or rather the question of why might people vote for their own oppression, has never ceased to haunt political philosophy.2 With Trump openly campaigning for less democracy in America -- and with the continued electoral success of far-right antiliberal movements across Europe -- this question has again become a pressing one.

An American people is in perfect harmony with its regime.

CarlD , Feb 20, 2018 6:06:06 PM | 16
Remember the "USS MAINE"!

Media have long agitated for War in US History. Nothing sells newspapers like a good ole war! Demonizing is a way to achieve it. What is sure is that this is a one way street. Once over the cliff, there is no turning back.

How do you tell people that, at the flick of your magic switch, Putin is in fact a swell guy and wonderful human being? Once love is gone who goes back to the filthy, abhorrent and estranged spouse?

Surely the US establishment is playing with fire thinking they will successfully ride out any conflict and come out on top secure in their newly reestablished hegemony on the smoldering ruins of Humanity.

Make no mistake, we are all on the road to hell. Better enjoy todays peace as tomorrow word will be filled with the sweet music of cemeteries.

"Freedom of speech"...

CarlD , Feb 20, 2018 6:12:52 PM | 17
re 16
correction:

Make no mistake, we are all on the road to hell. Better enjoy todays peace as tomorrow's world will be filled with the sweet music of cemeteries.

dh , Feb 20, 2018 6:14:14 PM | 18
@15 "An American people is in perfect harmony with its regime."

I'm not so sure. I think there are many Americans who deeply distrust their government. But of course they don't want to appear unpatriotic. There are also many who are apathetic and many simply don't know how to change things.

SteveK9 , Feb 20, 2018 6:35:58 PM | 19
It's horrible I know to quote a Nazi, but Goring had this right:

Göring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

WorldBLee , Feb 20, 2018 6:36:51 PM | 20
American media has graduated from simply repeating the lies of "unnamed government sources" to repeating the lies of any organization unofficially blessed by the powers that be. The skills required to repeat the text verbatim serve them well in both cases. Skepticism is only reserved to anyone who tries to introduce logic or facts into the equation--such as when Jill Stein was interviewed on MSNBC recently. How dare Ms. Stein try to bring FACTS into the discussion!
chet380 , Feb 20, 2018 6:41:04 PM | 21
In that The Narrative is tightly controlled in the corporate media, not matter how strong the proofs or arguments about the falsity of these propaganda campaigns are, little or no circulation of those proofs or arguments wlll reach the general public.
Sinc , Feb 20, 2018 6:41:57 PM | 22
See info on US 'Twitter' manipulation campaign
Sinc , Feb 20, 2018 6:44:16 PM | 23
Sorry, link here
ken , Feb 20, 2018 6:59:01 PM | 24
Thanks Jen. It still makes no sense. As a veteran of the Vietnam fiasco, I was pretty much government oriented until McNamara outed the whole thing whining about haw sorry he was. 59,000 dead and he's sorry. They were able to hide the Gulf of Tonkin BS until then. After that I researched the reasons for each war/conflict the USA started and could find no logical reasons except hunger for power. But the little sandbox wars won't destroy the world like a major war/conflict with Russia and it goes nuclear. Almost every politician, and major news organizations are pushing for a war/conflict with Russia. This is insanity as no one will win a war like this and I am sure they know that,,, but they keep the war drums beating anyhow. It simply doesn't make sense. But Thanks again.

Same for dh, #14. Things are soooo stupid, your joking may be closer to the truth than you know. :-)

Skip , Feb 20, 2018 6:59:35 PM | 25
@SteveK9 #19

Thank you for the post. I will save it and use it liberally, with proper attributions. When one challenges the tribe on places like Twitter, it is hard to tell who is a real idiot and who is a bot. How do you know? Maybe that the bots go away fairly quickly and the idiots hang around to argue ad infinitum.

oldenyoung , Feb 20, 2018 7:06:23 PM | 26
The thing that bothers me, is the fact that the MICGlobalists dont care what we think or how poor their deceptions are. The public perception that "russia did it!!" continues to rise. I wonder what the public acceptance level needs to be for them to execute a MAJOR false flag event. They seem to think they are still on target, and its just a short matter or time...

They are going to do this when the perception management is complete...

We really do not need another one of their disasters

regards

OY

Grieved , Feb 20, 2018 7:37:47 PM | 27
The bully pushes and pushes until stopped by the first serious push back. The dynamic of the west and the neocon/Zionists at the core is essentially that of the bully. Nations like Venezuela and the Philippines have started to push back, and I hope and feel fairly confident that they will both survive the rage of the US. In some part, they have begun to show the actual powerlessness of the bully.

But the really killer nations - Russia and China - are holding their water as they strengthen their force. I believe that one very serious push back from either of them in the right circumstances will stop the bully. And yet, as they bide their time, we see a curious phenomenon wherein the US is destroying itself from the inside.

It's as if all of the forces that exist to control the country - the lockstep media, the fully rigged markets, the hysterical military, the bought legislature and the crooked courts - are all acting far more strongly than should be necessary. The entire system is over-reacting, over-reaching, over-boiling. And in the course of this, the US is actually shedding power, and at an amazing rate. But not from the action of Russia but from its non-action, the empty space that that allows the bully's dynamic to over-reach, all the way to complete failure.

Is it possible that deep in the security states of Russia and China there's even a study and a model for this? Is the collapse of the US actually being gamed by Russia and China - and through the totally counter-intuitive action of non-action?

Just a thought.

Ghost Ship , Feb 20, 2018 7:51:03 PM | 28
>>>> xor | Feb 20, 2018 4:11:10 PM | 6
The cleverest trick used in propaganda against a specific country is to accuse it of what the accuser itself is doing.

I've always put it down to the Washington Establishment having a severe case of psychological projection.

WG , Feb 20, 2018 7:52:38 PM | 29
Hey b,
Just wanted to let you know that Joe Lauria mentioned your blog and the article you wrote on the indictment of the 13 Russians. He was on Loud and Clear (Sputnik Radio, Washington DC) today and brought you up at the start of the program.
Glad to see you get some recognition for all the great work you've been doing :)
Mike , Feb 20, 2018 7:53:24 PM | 30
Meanwhile, back in 2010:
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/11/when-campaigns-manipulate-social-media/66351/
Jen , Feb 20, 2018 7:53:43 PM | 31
Ken @ 24: The warmongering is not intended to make any sense - not many people are trained in critical thinking and logic, and even when they are, they can be swamped by their own emotions or other people's emotions. Propaganda is intended to appeal to people's emotions and fears. You can try reading works by Edward Bernays - "Crystallizing Public Opinion" (1923) and "Propaganda" (1928) - to see how he uses his uncle Sigmund Freud's theories of the mind to create strategies for manipulating public opinion.
https://archive.org/details/EdwardL.BernaysPropaganda

Bernays' books influenced Nazi and Soviet propaganda and Bernays himself was hired by the US government to justify in the public mind the 1954 US invasion of Guatemala.

You may be aware that Rupert Murdoch, head of News Corporation which owns the Wall Street Journal, FOX News and 20th Century Fox studios, is also on the Board of Directors of Genie Energy which owns a subsidiary firm that was granted a licence by an Israeli court to explore and drill for oil and natural gas in Syria's (and Israeli-occupied) Golan Heights.

simjam , Feb 20, 2018 7:59:21 PM | 32
The national media speaks as one -with one consistent melody day after day. Who is the conductor?

When will one representative of the mainstream media sing solo? There must be a Ray McGovern somewhere among the flock.

V. Arnold , Feb 20, 2018 8:05:33 PM | 33
Grieved | Feb 20, 2018 7:37:47 PM | 27

Many of my thoughts as well.The U.S.'s greatest fault is its tacit misunderstanding of just what russia is in fact. They utterly fail to understand the Russian character; forged over 800 years culminating with the defeat of Nazi Germany, absorbing horrific losses; the U.S. fails to understand the effect upon the then Soviets, become todays Russians. Even the god's have abandoned the west...

Palloy , Feb 20, 2018 8:52:02 PM | 34
@4 "For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia."

Ever since US Crude Oil peaked its production in 1970, the US has known that at some point the oil majors would have their profitability damaged, "assets" downgraded, and borrowing capacity destroyed. At this point their shares would become worthless and they would become bankrupt. The contagion from this would spread to transport businesses, plastics manufacture, herbicides and pesticide production and a total collapse of Industrial Civilisation.

In anticipation of increasing Crude Oil imports, Nixon stopped the convertibility of Dollars into Gold, thus making the Dollar entirely fiat, allowing them to print as much of the currency as they needed.

They also began a system of obscuring oil production data, involving the DoE's EIA and the OECD's IEA, by inventing an ever-increasing category of Undiscovered Oilfields in their predictions, and combining Crude Oil and Condensate (from gas fields) into one category (C+C) as if they were the same thing. As well the support of the ethanol-from-corn industry began, even though it was uneconomic. The Global Warming problem had to be debunked, despite its sound scientific basis. Energy-intensive manufacturing work was off-shored to cheap labour+energy countries, and Just-in-Time delivery systems were honed.

In 2004 the price of Crude Oil rose from $28 /barrel up to $143 /b in mid-2008. This demonstrated that there is a limit to how much business can pay for oil (around $100 /b). Fracking became marginally economic at these prices, but the frackers never made a profit as over-production meant prices fell to about $60 /b. The Government encourages this destructive industry despite the fact it doesn't make any money, because the alternative is the end of Industrial Civilisation.

Eventually though, there must come a time when there is not enough oil to power all the cars and trucks, bulldozers, farm tractors, airplanes and ships, as well as manufacture all the wind turbines and solar panels and electric vehicles, as well as the upgraded transmission grid. At that point, the game will be up, and it will be time for WW3. So we need to line up some really big enemies, and develop lots of reasons to hate them.

Thus you see the demonisation of Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela for reasons that don't make sense from a normal perspective.

Debsisdead , Feb 20, 2018 8:53:42 PM | 35
I watched bbc news this am in the hope that I would get to see the most awful creature at the 2018 olympics cry her croc tears (long story - a speed skater who cuts off the opposition but has been found out so now when she swoops in front of the others they either skate over her leading to tearful whines from perp about having been 'pushed', or gets disqualified for barging. Last night she got disqualified so as part of my study on whether types like this believe their own bullshit I thought I'd tune in but didn't get that far into the beebs lies)
The bulk of the bulletin was devoted to a 'lets hate Russia' session which featured a quisling who works for the russian arm of BBC (prolly just like cold war days staffed exclusively by MI6/SIS types). This chap, using almost unintelligible english, claimed he had proof at least 50 Russian Mercenaries (question - why are amerikan guns for hire called contractors [remember the Fallujah massacre of 100,000 civilians because amerikan contractors were stupid] yet Russian contractors are called mercenaries by the media?) had been killed in Syria last week. The bloke had evidence of one contractor's death not 50 - the proof was a letter from the Russian government to the guy's mother telling her he didn't qualify for any honours because he wasn't in the Russian military.
The quisling (likely a Ukranian I would say) went on to rabbit about the bloke having also fought in Donbass under contract - to which the 'interviewer (don't ya love it when media 'interview' their own journos - a sure sign that a snippet of toxic nonsense is being delivered) led about how the deceitful Russians had claimed the only Russians fighting in Donbass were contractors - yeah well this bloke was a contractor surely that proves the Russians were telling the truth.
It's not what these propagandists say; they adopt a tone and the audience is meant to hate based on that even when the facts as stated conflict with the media outlet's point of view. Remember the childhood trick of saying "bad dog" ter yer mutt in loving tones - the dog comes to ya tail wagging & licks yer hand. This is that.

The next item was more Syria lies - white helmets footage (altho the beeb is now mostly giving them an alternative name to dodge the facts about white helmets) of bandaged children with flour tipped on their heads.
The evil Syrians and Russians are bombarding Gouta - nary a word about the continuous artillery barrage Gouta has subjected the citizens of Damascus to for the past 4 years, or that the Syrians have repeatedly offered truces and safe passage for civilians. Any injured children need to ask their parents why they weren't allowed to take advantage of the frequent offers of transport out. Maybe the parents are worried 'the resistance' will do its usual and blow up the busloads of children after luring them over with candy.

Anyway I switched off after that so never did learn if little miss cheat had a cry.

[Feb 20, 2018] MoA - Russian bots - How An Anti-Russian Lobby Creates Fake News

Notable quotes:
"... Atlantic Council ..."
"... Alliance for Securing Democracy. ..."
"... Alliance for Securing Democracy ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

"Russian bots" - How An Anti-Russian Lobby Creates Fake News

The U.S. mainstream media are going nuts. They now make up and report stories based on the uncritical acceptance of the outcome of an algorithm they do not understand and which is know to produce fake results.

See for example these three stories:


Russian bot with ancient regalia

From the last link:

SAN FRANCISCO -- One hour after news broke about the school shooting in Florida last week, Twitter accounts suspected of having links to Russia released hundreds of posts taking up the gun control debate.

The accounts addressed the news with the speed of a cable news network. Some adopted the hashtag #guncontrolnow. Others used #gunreformnow and #Parklandshooting. Earlier on Wednesday, before the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., many of those accounts had been focused on the investigation by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

In other words - the "Twitter accounts suspected of having links to Russia" were following the current news just as cable news networks do. When a new sensational event happened they immediately jumped onto it. But the NYT authors go to length to claim that there is some nefarious Russian scheme behind this that uses automated accounts to spread divisive issues.

Those claims are based on this propaganda project:

Last year, the Alliance for Securing Democracy, in conjunction with the German Marshall Fund, a public policy research group in Washington, created a website that tracks hundreds of Twitter accounts of human users and suspected bots that they have linked to a Russian influence campaign.

The "Alliance for Securing Democracy" is run by military lobbyists, CIA minions and neocons. Its claimed task is:

... to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin's ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe.

There is no evidence that Vladimir Putin made or makes such efforts.

The ASD "Hamilton 68" website shows graphics with rankings of "top items" and "trending items" allegedly used by Russian bots or influence agents. There is nothing complicate behind it. It simply tracks the tweets of 600 Twitter users and aggregates the hashtags they use. It does not say which Twitter accounts its algorithms follows. It claims that the 600 were selected by one of three criteria: 1. People who often tweet news that also appears on RT (Russia Today) and Sputnik News , two general news sites sponsored by the Russian government; 2. People who "openly profess to be pro-Russian"; 3. accounts that "appear to use automation" to boost the same themes that people in group 1 and 2 tweet about.

Nowhere does the group say how many of the 600 accounts it claims to track belong to which group. Are their 10 assumed bots or 590 in the surveyed 600 accounts? And how please does one "openly profess" to be pro-Russian? We don't know and the ASD won't say.

On December 25 2017 the "Russian influence" agents or bots who, according to NYT, want to sow divisiveness, wished everyone a Merry Christmas.


bigger

The real method the Hamilton 68 group used to select the 600 accounts it tracks is unknown. The group does not say or show how it made it up. Despite that the NYT reporters, Sheera Frenkel and Daisuke Wakabayashi, continue with the false assumptions that most or all the accounts are automated, have something to do with Russia and are presumably nefarious:

Russian-linked bots have rallied around other divisive issues, often ones that President Trump has tweeted about. They promoted Twitter hashtags like #boycottnfl, #standforouranthem and #takeaknee after some National Football League players started kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.

The automated Twitter accounts helped popularize the #releasethememo hashtag , ...

The Daily Beast reported earlier that the emphasized claim is definitely false :

Twitter's internal analysis has thus far found that authentic American accounts, and not Russian imposters or automated bots, are driving #ReleaseTheMemo. There are no preliminary indications that the Twitter activity either driving the hashtag or engaging with it is either predominantly Russian.

The same is presumably true for the other hashtags.

The Dutch IT specialist and blogger Marcel van den Berg was wondering how Dutch keywords and hashtags showed up in on the Hamilton 68 "Russian bots" dashboard. He found ( Dutch , English auto translation) that the dashboard is a total fraud:

In recent weeks, I have been keeping a close eye on Hamilton 68. Every time a Dutch hashtag was shown on the website, I made a screenshot. Then I noted what was playing at that moment and I watched the Tweets with this hashtag. Again I could not find any Tweet that seemed to be from a Russian troll.

In all cases, the hash tags that Hamilton 68 reported were trending topics in the Netherlands. In all cases there was much to do around the subject of the hashtag in the Netherlands. Many people were angry or shared their opinion on the subject on Twitter. And even if there were a few tweets with Russian connections between them, the effect is zero. Because they do not stand out among the many other, authentic Tweets.

Van den Berg lists a dozen examples he analyzed in depth.

The anti-Russian Bellingcat group around couch blogger Eliot Higgins is sponsored by the NATO propaganda shop Atlantic Council . It sniffs through open source stuff to blame Russia or Syria wherever possible. Bellingcat were recently a victim of the "Russian bots" - or rather of the ASD website. On February 10 the hashtag #bellingcat trended to rank 2 of the dashboard.


bigger

Bellingcat was thus, according to the Hamilton 68 claims, under assault of hordes of nefarious Russian government sponsored bots.

The Bellingcat folks looked into the issue and found that only six people on Twitter, none of them an automated account, had used the #bellingcat hashtag in the last 48 hours. Some of the six may have opinions that may be "pro Russian", but as Higgins himself says :

[I]n my opinion, it's extremely unlikely the people listed are Russian agents

The pro-NATO propaganda shop Bellingcat thus debunked the pro NATO propaganda shop Alliance for Securing Democracy.

The fraudsters who created the Hamilton 68 crap seem to have filled their database with rather normal people who's opinions they personally dislike. Those then are the "Russian bots" who spread "Russian influence" and divisiveness.

Moreover - what is the value of its information when six normal people out of millions of active Twitter users can push a hashtag with a handful of tweets to the top of the dashboard?

But the U.S. media writes long gushing stories about the dashboard and how it somehow shows automated Russian propaganda. They go to length to explain that this shows "Russian influence" and a "Russian" attempt to sow "divisiveness" into people's minds.

This is nuts.

Last August, when the Hamilton 68 project was first released, the Nation was the only site critical of it. It predicted :

The import of GMF's project is clear: Reporting on anything that might put the US in a bad light is now tantamount to spreading Russian propaganda.

It is now even worse than that. The top ranking of the #merrychristmas hashtag shows that the algorithm does not even care about good or bad news. The tracked twitter accounts are normal people.

The whole project is just a means to push fake stories about alleged "Russian influence" into U.S. medias. Whenever some issue creeps up on its dashboard that somehow fits its false "Russian bots" and "divisiveness" narrative the Alliance for Securing Democracy contacts the media to spread its poison. The U.S. media, - CNN, Wired, the New York Times - are by now obviously devoid of thinking journalists and fact checkers. They simple re-package the venom and spread it to the public.

How long will it take until people die from it?

Posted by b on February 20, 2018 at 03:15 PM | Permalink

Comments


nhs , Feb 20, 2018 3:24:03 PM | 1

The truth about 'Russiagate'
Lohmann , Feb 20, 2018 3:32:49 PM | 2
It's all too reminiscent of Duck Soup:

Rufus T. Firefly: I'd be unworthy of the high trust that's been placed in me if I didn't do everything in my power to keep our beloved Freedonia in peace with the world. I'd be only too happy to meet with Ambassador Trentino, and offer him on behalf of my country the right hand of good fellowship. And I feel sure he will accept this gesture in the spirit of which it is offered. But suppose he doesn't. A fine thing that'll be. I hold out my hand and he refuses to accept. That'll add a lot to my prestige, won't it? Me, the head of a country, snubbed by a foreign ambassador. Who does he think he is, that he can come here, and make a sap of me in front of all my people? Think of it - I hold out my hand and that hyena refuses to accept. Why, the cheap four-flushing swine, he'll never get away with it I tell you, he'll never get away with it.

[Trentino enters]

Rufus T. Firefly: So, you refuse to shake hands with me, eh?

[slaps Trentino with his glove]

Ambassador Trentino: Mrs. Teasdale, this is the last straw. There's no turning back now! This means war!

Rufus T. Firefly: Then it's war! Then it's war! Gather the forces. Harness the horses. Then it's war!

Clueless Joe , Feb 20, 2018 3:45:14 PM | 3
"to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin's ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe."
That's pretty rich, coming from a country and from people who actually genuinely, and in proven ways, have subverted democracy in Europe since the late 1940s - Italy being one of the clearest cases.
ken , Feb 20, 2018 3:46:05 PM | 4
For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia. I can't believe it has to do with the economy. There's got to be a far better nefarious reason. Even during the real cold war we tried to avoid conflict. Absolute insanity.
foo , Feb 20, 2018 3:59:22 PM | 5
Zomg! Pricey robot!

Keep up the excellent work b.

xor , Feb 20, 2018 4:11:10 PM | 6
The cleverest trick used in propaganda against a specific country is to accuse it of what the accuser itself is doing.
Bart Hansen , Feb 20, 2018 4:14:00 PM | 7

How much time might the "Alliance for Securing Democracy" spend on uncovering voter suppression and purges, dis-enfrancisement of felons, the closing of polling places, restrictions of early voting, the influence of billionaires, gerrymandering and so on?
karlof1 , Feb 20, 2018 4:30:11 PM | 8
Gee, what could go wrong formulating policy founded upon a series of Big Lies? Kim Dotcom says he has important info the FBI refuses to hear. At the Munich Security Conference , neocon Nicholas Burns, former US Ambassador to NATO, details my assertion's factual basis that current policy is being formed on a series of Big Lies: "Will NATO strengthen itself to contain Russian power in Eastern Europe giving what Russian [sic] has done illegally in Crimea, in the Donbass, and in Georgia ?" [Bolded text are the Big Lies.]

Clearly, this entire psyop was premeditated and its design was hastily done contemporaneously with Russia's Syria intervention. NSA/CIA/FBI knew of HRC's security breeches and rightly assumed their contents would find their way into the election, so the general plan was ready to go prior to WikiLeaks publications. b has uncovered much, and I hope he's planning to publish a book about the entire affair.

john , Feb 20, 2018 4:34:32 PM | 9
How long will it take until people die from it

as long as it takes to flog a dead horse

Jen , Feb 20, 2018 4:54:59 PM | 10
Ken @ 4: There doesn't necessarily need to be One Major Reason for going to war. There may be several reasons all feeding and reinforcing one another and creating a psychological climate in which Going To War is seen as the only solution and is inevitable. The reasons are not just economic and political but cultural and historical.

In some countries allied with the US, the politicians in power are the ideological descendants of those who collaborated with Nazi Germany - so in a sense they are committed to "correcting" what they see as wrong. In the case of current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, he is the grandson of a former prime minister who once served in General Tojo's World War II cabinet.
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2012/12/26/national/formed-in-childhood-roots-of-abes-conservatism-go-deep/#.WoyZCG9uaUk

That's why pinning down the reason for wanting a war against Russia is so difficult.

Partisan , Feb 20, 2018 5:06:58 PM | 11

The whole piece is just hilarious and I laughed out loud all time while reading it.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/16/nyts-really-weird-russiagate-story/

Since the FBI never inspected the DNC's computers first-hand, the only evidence comes from an Irvine, California, cyber-security firm known as CrowdStrike whose chief technical officer, Dmitri Alperovitch, a well-known Putin-phobe, is a fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank that is also vehemently anti-Russian as well as a close Hillary Clinton ally.

Thus, Putin-basher Clinton hired Putin-basher Alperovitch to investigate an alleged electronic heist, and to absolutely no one's surprise, his company concluded that guilty party was Vladimir Putin. Amazing! Since then, a small army of internet critics has chipped away at CrowdStrike for praising the hackers as among the best in the business yet declaring in the same breath that they gave themselves away by uploading a document in the name of "Felix Edmundovich," i.e. Felix E. Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet secret police.

As noted cyber-security expert Jeffrey Carr observed with regard to Russia's two main intelligence agencies: "Raise your hand if you think that a GRU or FSB officer would add Iron Felix's name to the metadata of a stolen document before he released it to the world while pretending to be a Romanian hacker. Someone clearly had a wicked sense of humor."

james , Feb 20, 2018 5:17:19 PM | 12
thanks b!

muddy waters.. paid for propaganda.... look at all the russian bots, lol...

cold war 2 / mccarthyism 2 is in effect... the historic parallels are marked. thank you neo cons!

it's working... the ordinary person in the usa can't be this stupid can they?

when does ww3 kick in? is that really what these idiots want? or is it just to prolong the huge defense budget?

Mike Maloney , Feb 20, 2018 5:24:03 PM | 13
This is about conditioning voters in Europe and the United States for a long war with Russia and China. In other words, a return to the 1950s. It is not working and becoming increasingly hysterical because societies are not nearly as cohesive as they once were, and the mainstream political parties, while better funded and more top-down organized, are basically hollow. The collapse is coming. Four years or ten, take your pick.
dh , Feb 20, 2018 5:32:10 PM | 14
@4 "For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia."

Most Americans probably don't. Just the chosen few with the deepest fall-out shelters. The idea is to keep piling the pressure on to countries like Iran and Russia in the hope that their populations will rise up and demand the freedoms that we enjoy in the West....things like uncensored wardrobe malfunctions and transgender washrooms.

Partisan , Feb 20, 2018 6:02:58 PM | 15
"Most Americans probably don't."

not true.

let's imagine that we have the pyramid of evilness, by which we measure bestiality of one regime and its constituency. my firm belief is that us would be on the top of that pyramid. Only dilemma would be between Zionist entity and the US.

"How could the masses be made to desire their own repression?" was the question Wilhelm Reich famously asked in the wake of the Reichstagsbrandverordnung (Reichstag Fire Decree, February 28, 1933), which suspended the civil rights protections afforded by the Weimar Republic's democratic constitution.Hitler had been appointed chancellor on January 30, 1933 and Reich was trying to grapple with the fact that the German people had apparently chosen the authoritarian politics promoted by National Socialism against their own political interests. Ever since, the question of fascism, or rather the question of why might people vote for their own oppression, has never ceased to haunt political philosophy.2 With Trump openly campaigning for less democracy in America -- and with the continued electoral success of far-right antiliberal movements across Europe -- this question has again become a pressing one.

An American people is in perfect harmony with its regime.


CarlD , Feb 20, 2018 6:06:06 PM | 16
Remember the "USS MAINE"!

Media have long agitated for War in US History. Nothing sells newspapers
like a good ole war!

Demonizing is a way to achieve it. What is sure is that this is a one way street.
Once over the cliff, there is no turning back.

How do you tell people that, at the flick of your magic switch, Putin is in fact
a swell guy and wonderful human being? Once love is gone who goes back
to the filthy, abhorrent and estranged spouse?

Surely the US establishment is playing with fire thinking they will successfully
ride out any conflict and come out on top secure in their newly reestablished
hegemony on the smoldering ruins of Humanity.

Make no mistake, we are all on the road to hell. Better enjoy todays peace as
tomorrow word will be filled with the sweet music of cemeteries.

"Freedom of speech"...

CarlD , Feb 20, 2018 6:12:52 PM | 17
re 16
correction:

Make no mistake, we are all on the road to hell. Better enjoy todays peace as
tomorrow's world will be filled with the sweet music of cemeteries.

dh , Feb 20, 2018 6:14:14 PM | 18
@15 "An American people is in perfect harmony with its regime."

I'm not so sure. I think there are many Americans who deeply distrust their government. But of course they don't want to appear unpatriotic. There are also many who are apathetic and many simply don't know how to change things.

SteveK9 , Feb 20, 2018 6:35:58 PM | 19
It's horrible I know to quote a Nazi, but Goring had this right:

Göring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

WorldBLee , Feb 20, 2018 6:36:51 PM | 20
American media has graduated from simply repeating the lies of "unnamed government sources" to repeating the lies of any organization unofficially blessed by the powers that be. The skills required to repeat the text verbatim serve them well in both cases. Skepticism is only reserved to anyone who tries to introduce logic or facts into the equation--such as when Jill Stein was interviewed on MSNBC recently. How dare Ms. Stein try to bring FACTS into the discussion!
chet380 , Feb 20, 2018 6:41:04 PM | 21
In that The Narrative is tightly controlled in the corporate media, not matter how strong the proofs or arguments about the falsity of these propaganda campaigns are, little or no circulation of those proofs or arguments wlll reach the general public.
Sinc , Feb 20, 2018 6:41:57 PM | 22
See info on US 'Twitter' manipulation campaign
Sinc , Feb 20, 2018 6:44:16 PM | 23
Sorry, link here
ken , Feb 20, 2018 6:59:01 PM | 24
Thanks Jen. It still makes no sense. As a veteran of the Vietnam fiasco, I was pretty much government oriented until McNamara outed the whole thing whining about haw sorry he was. 59,000 dead and he's sorry. They were able to hide the Gulf of Tonkin BS until then. After that I researched the reasons for each war/conflict the USA started and could find no logical reasons except hunger for power. But the little sandbox wars won't destroy the world like a major war/conflict with Russia and it goes nuclear. Almost every politician, and major news organizations are pushing for a war/conflict with Russia. This is insanity as no one will win a war like this and I am sure they know that,,, but they keep the war drums beating anyhow. It simply doesn't make sense. But Thanks again.

Same for dh, #14. Things are soooo stupid, your joking may be closer to the truth than you know. :-)

Skip , Feb 20, 2018 6:59:35 PM | 25
@SteveK9 #19

Thank you for the post. I will save it and use it liberally, with proper attributions. When one challenges the tribe on places like Twitter, it is hard to tell who is a real idiot and who is a bot. How do you know? Maybe that the bots go away fairly quickly and the idiots hang around to argue ad infinitum.

oldenyoung , Feb 20, 2018 7:06:23 PM | 26
The thing that bothers me, is the fact that the MICGlobalists dont care what we think or how poor their deceptions are. The public perception that "russia did it!!" continues to rise. I wonder what the public acceptance level needs to be for them to execute a MAJOR false flag event. They seem to think they are still on target, and its just a short matter or time...

They are going to do this when the perception management is complete...

We really do not need another one of their disasters

regards

OY

Grieved , Feb 20, 2018 7:37:47 PM | 27
The bully pushes and pushes until stopped by the first serious push back. The dynamic of the west and the neocon/Zionists at the core is essentially that of the bully. Nations like Venezuela and the Philippines have started to push back, and I hope and feel fairly confident that they will both survive the rage of the US. In some part, they have begun to show the actual powerlessness of the bully.

But the really killer nations - Russia and China - are holding their water as they strengthen their force. I believe that one very serious push back from either of them in the right circumstances will stop the bully. And yet, as they bide their time, we see a curious phenomenon wherein the US is destroying itself from the inside.

It's as if all of the forces that exist to control the country - the lockstep media, the fully rigged markets, the hysterical military, the bought legislature and the crooked courts - are all acting far more strongly than should be necessary. The entire system is over-reacting, over-reaching, over-boiling. And in the course of this, the US is actually shedding power, and at an amazing rate. But not from the action of Russia but from its non-action, the empty space that that allows the bully's dynamic to over-reach, all the way to complete failure.

Is it possible that deep in the security states of Russia and China there's even a study and a model for this? Is the collapse of the US actually being gamed by Russia and China - and through the totally counter-intuitive action of non-action?

Just a thought.

Ghost Ship , Feb 20, 2018 7:51:03 PM | 28
>>>> xor | Feb 20, 2018 4:11:10 PM | 6
The cleverest trick used in propaganda against a specific country is to accuse it of what the accuser itself is doing.

I've always put it down to the Washington Establishment having a severe case of psychological projection.

WG , Feb 20, 2018 7:52:38 PM | 29
Hey b,
Just wanted to let you know that Joe Lauria mentioned your blog and the article you wrote on the indictment of the 13 Russians. He was on Loud and Clear (Sputnik Radio, Washington DC) today and brought you up at the start of the program.
Glad to see you get some recognition for all the great work you've been doing :)
Mike , Feb 20, 2018 7:53:24 PM | 30
Meanwhile, back in 2010:
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/11/when-campaigns-manipulate-social-media/66351/
Jen , Feb 20, 2018 7:53:43 PM | 31
Ken @ 24: The warmongering is not intended to make any sense - not many people are trained in critical thinking and logic, and even when they are, they can be swamped by their own emotions or other people's emotions. Propaganda is intended to appeal to people's emotions and fears. You can try reading works by Edward Bernays - "Crystallizing Public Opinion" (1923) and "Propaganda" (1928) - to see how he uses his uncle Sigmund Freud's theories of the mind to create strategies for manipulating public opinion.
https://archive.org/details/EdwardL.BernaysPropaganda

Bernays' books influenced Nazi and Soviet propaganda and Bernays himself was hired by the US government to justify in the public mind the 1954 US invasion of Guatemala.

You may be aware that Rupert Murdoch, head of News Corporation which owns the Wall Street Journal, FOX News and 20th Century Fox studios, is also on the Board of Directors of Genie Energy which owns a subsidiary firm that was granted a licence by an Israeli court to explore and drill for oil and natural gas in Syria's (and Israeli-occupied) Golan Heights.

simjam , Feb 20, 2018 7:59:21 PM | 32
The national media speaks as one -with one consistent melody day after day. Who is the conductor?

When will one representative of the mainstream media sing solo? There must be a Ray McGovern somewhere among the flock.

V. Arnold , Feb 20, 2018 8:05:33 PM | 33
Grieved | Feb 20, 2018 7:37:47 PM | 27

Many of my thoughts as well.
The U.S.'s greatest fault is its tacit misunderstanding of just what russia is in fact.
They utterly fail to understand the Russian character; forged over 800 years culminating with the defeat of Nazi Germany, absorbing horrific losses; the U.S. fails to understand the effect upon the then Soviets, become todays Russians.
Even the god's have abandoned the west...

Palloy , Feb 20, 2018 8:52:02 PM | 34
@4 "For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia."

Ever since US Crude Oil peaked its production in 1970, the US has known that at some point the oil majors would have their profitability damaged, "assets" downgraded, and borrowing capacity destroyed. At this point their shares would become worthless and they would become bankrupt. The contagion from this would spread to transport businesses, plastics manufacture, herbicides and pesticide production and a total collapse of Industrial Civilisation.

In anticipation of increasing Crude Oil imports, Nixon stopped the convertibility of Dollars into Gold, thus making the Dollar entirely fiat, allowing them to print as much of the currency as they needed.

They also began a system of obscuring oil production data, involving the DoE's EIA and the OECD's IEA, by inventing an ever-increasing category of Undiscovered Oilfields in their predictions, and combining Crude Oil and Condensate (from gas fields) into one category (C+C) as if they were the same thing. As well the support of the ethanol-from-corn industry began, even though it was uneconomic. The Global Warming problem had to be debunked, despite its sound scientific basis. Energy-intensive manufacturing work was off-shored to cheap labour+energy countries, and Just-in-Time delivery systems were honed.

In 2004 the price of Crude Oil rose from $28 /barrel up to $143 /b in mid-2008. This demonstrated that there is a limit to how much business can pay for oil (around $100 /b). Fracking became marginally economic at these prices, but the frackers never made a profit as over-production meant prices fell to about $60 /b. The Government encourages this destructive industry despite the fact it doesn't make any money, because the alternative is the end of Industrial Civilisation.

Eventually though, there must come a time when there is not enough oil to power all the cars and trucks, bulldozers, farm tractors, airplanes and ships, as well as manufacture all the wind turbines and solar panels and electric vehicles, as well as the upgraded transmission grid. At that point, the game will be up, and it will be time for WW3. So we need to line up some really big enemies, and develop lots of reasons to hate them.

Thus you see the demonisation of Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela for reasons that don't make sense from a normal perspective.

Debsisdead , Feb 20, 2018 8:53:42 PM | 35
I watched bbc news this am in the hope that I would get to see the most awful creature at the 2018 olympics cry her croc tears (long story - a speed skater who cuts off the opposition but has been found out so now when she swoops in front of the others they either skate over her leading to tearful whines from perp about having been 'pushed', or gets disqualified for barging. Last night she got disqualified so as part of my study on whether types like this believe their own bullshit I thought I'd tune in but didn't get that far into the beebs lies)
The bulk of the bulletin was devoted to a 'lets hate Russia' session which featured a quisling who works for the russian arm of BBC (prolly just like cold war days staffed exclusively by MI6/SIS types). This chap, using almost unintelligible english, claimed he had proof at least 50 Russian Mercenaries (question - why are amerikan guns for hire called contractors [remember the Fallujah massacre of 100,000 civilians because amerikan contractors were stupid] yet Russian contractors are called mercenaries by the media?) had been killed in Syria last week. The bloke had evidence of one contractor's death not 50 - the proof was a letter from the Russian government to the guy's mother telling her he didn't qualify for any honours because he wasn't in the Russian military.
The quisling (likely a Ukranian I would say) went on to rabbit about the bloke having also fought in Donbass under contract - to which the 'interviewer (don't ya love it when media 'interview' their own journos - a sure sign that a snippet of toxic nonsense is being delivered) led about how the deceitful Russians had claimed the only Russians fighting in Donbass were contractors - yeah well this bloke was a contractor surely that proves the Russians were telling the truth.
It's not what these propagandists say; they adopt a tone and the audience is meant to hate based on that even when the facts as stated conflict with the media outlet's point of view. Remember the childhood trick of saying "bad dog" ter yer mutt in loving tones - the dog comes to ya tail wagging & licks yer hand. This is that.

The next item was more Syria lies - white helmets footage (altho the beeb is now mostly giving them an alternative name to dodge the facts about white helmets) of bandaged children with flour tipped on their heads.
The evil Syrians and Russians are bombarding Gouta - nary a word about the continuous artillery barrage Gouta has subjected the citizens of Damascus to for the past 4 years, or that the Syrians have repeatedly offered truces and safe passage for civilians. Any injured children need to ask their parents why they weren't allowed to take advantage of the frequent offers of transport out. Maybe the parents are worried 'the resistance' will do its usual and blow up the busloads of children after luring them over with candy.

Anyway I switched off after that so never did learn if little miss cheat had a cry.

[Feb 18, 2018] Here s how Mueller s latest indictment further discredits the Trump Dossier by Alexander Mercouris

Notable quotes:
"... As the days since Mueller's latest indictment have passed, the failure of his investigation to make any claim of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia has begun to sink in, even amongst some of Donald Trump's most bitter enemies. ..."
"... Even the Guardian – arguably the most fervid of Donald Trump's British media critics, and the most vocal supporter of the Russiagate conspiracy theory – has grudgingly admitted that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has "once again failed to nail Donald Trump" ..."
"... In fact the latest indictment when considered properly is a further huge nail in the coffin of the Russiagate conspiracy theory and in the already disintegrating credibility of the Trump Dossier, which is the foundation document for that theory ..."
"... Notwithstanding claims to the contrary, the Russiagate conspiracy theory is laid out in its most classic form in the Trump Dossier, and it is the Trump Dossier which remains the primary and indeed so far the only 'evidence' for it ..."
"... This theory holds that Donald Trump was compromised by the Russians in 2013 when he was filmed by Russian intelligence performing an orgy in a hotel room in Moscow, and he and his associates Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Michael Cohen subsequently engaged in a massive criminal conspiracy with Russian intelligence to steal the election from Hillary Clinton by having John Podesta's and the DNC's emails stolen by Russian intelligence and passed on by them for publication by Wikileaks. ..."
"... The Trump Dossier never mentions Jared Kushner's four conversations with Russian ambassador Kislyak, including the famous meeting between Kislyak and Kushner in Trump Tower on 1st December 2016 (which Michael Flynn also attended) over the course of which the setting up of a backchannel to discuss the crisis in Syria is supposed to have been discussed (Kushner denies that it was). ..."
"... The last entry of the Trump Dossier is dated 13th December 2016 ie. twelve days after this meeting took place, and given its high level a genuinely well-informed Russian source familiar with the private ongoing discussions in the Kremlin might have been expected to know about it. ..."
"... Nor does the Trump Dossier mention the now famous meeting in Trump Tower between the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Donald Trump Junior – which Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner also attended – which took place on 9th June 2016. ..."
"... Now Special Counsel Mueller has provided further details in his latest indictment of actual albeit unknowing contacts between members of the Trump campaign and various Russian employees of Yevgeny Prigozhin's Internet Research Agency, LLC, apparently both in person and online. ..."
"... The Trump Dossier has however nothing to say about these contacts either, just as it has nothing to say about the Internet Research Agency, LLC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, or the entire social media campaign set out in such painstaking detail by Special Counsel Mueller in his indictment. ..."
"... I only remembered Helmer's 18th January 2017 article about the Trump Dossier after I wrote my article about Senator Grassley's and Senator Lindsey Graham's memorandum to the Justice Department on 6th February 2018. ..."
"... This is most unfortunate, not only because Grassley's and Lindsey Graham's memorandum resoundingly vindicates Helmer's reporting, but because it shows that a genuine expert about Russia like Helmer was able to spot immediately the holes in the Trump Dossier, which only now – a whole year and months of exhaustive investigations later – are starting to be officially admitted. ..."
"... Heroic efforts to elevate Papadopoulos's case and the meeting between Donald Trump Junior and the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya into 'evidence' of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia which exists supposedly independently of the Trump Dossier fail because as I have discussed extensively elsewhere (see here and here ) they in fact do no such thing. ..."
"... With the Trump Dossier – the lynchpin of the whole collusion case – not just unverified and discredited but proved repeatedly to have been completely uninformed about events which were actually going on, why do some people persist in pretending that there is still a collusion case to investigate? ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | theduran.com

As the days since Mueller's latest indictment have passed, the failure of his investigation to make any claim of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia has begun to sink in, even amongst some of Donald Trump's most bitter enemies.

Even the Guardian – arguably the most fervid of Donald Trump's British media critics, and the most vocal supporter of the Russiagate conspiracy theory – has grudgingly admitted that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has "once again failed to nail Donald Trump"

There will be understandable disappointment in many quarters that the latest indictments delivered by Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, once again failed to nail Donald Trump. Although the charges levelled against 13 Russians and three Russian entities are extraordinarily serious, they do not directly support the central claim that Trump and senior campaign aides colluded with Moscow to rig the vote.

The Times of London meanwhile has admitted that the latest indictment contains "no smoking gun"

The Department of Justice, however, offered no confirmation to those still smarting from the election in Nov­em­ber 2016, who believe that, in the absence of Russian interference, Hillary Clinton would be in the White House today. Friday's allegations offered no evidence that the outcome had been affected. Sir John Sawers, former head of MI6, said yesterday that Donald Trump's victories in the key swing states were his own.

There was further comfort for Mr Trump, which he was quick to celebrate with a tweet. The investigation uncovered no evidence "that any American was a knowing participant in the alleged unlawful activity". That includes, so far, anybody involved in the Trump campaign. If there is a smoking gun it has yet to emerge, though Robert Mueller's investigation will grind on. Presi­dent Vladimir Putin is a malign and dangerous mischief maker. It has not been proved that he is an evil genius with the ability to swing a US election.

In fact the latest indictment when considered properly is a further huge nail in the coffin of the Russiagate conspiracy theory and in the already disintegrating credibility of the Trump Dossier, which is the foundation document for that theory.

Notwithstanding claims to the contrary, the Russiagate conspiracy theory is laid out in its most classic form in the Trump Dossier, and it is the Trump Dossier which remains the primary and indeed so far the only 'evidence' for it

This theory holds that Donald Trump was compromised by the Russians in 2013 when he was filmed by Russian intelligence performing an orgy in a hotel room in Moscow, and he and his associates Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Michael Cohen subsequently engaged in a massive criminal conspiracy with Russian intelligence to steal the election from Hillary Clinton by having John Podesta's and the DNC's emails stolen by Russian intelligence and passed on by them for publication by Wikileaks.

Belief in this conspiracy dies hard, and an interesting article in the Financial Times by Edward Luce provides a fascinating example of the dogged determination of some people to believe in it. Writing about Mueller's latest indictment Luce has this to say

Mr Mueller's report hints at more dramatic possibilities by corroborating contents of the "Steele dossier", which was compiled in mid-2016 by the former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele -- long before the US intelligence agencies warned of Russian interference. Mr Steele, who is in hiding, alleged that the Russians were using "active measures" to support the campaigns of Mr Trump, Bernie Sanders, the Democratic runner-up to Hillary Clinton, and Jill Stein, the Green party nominee. Mr Mueller's indictment confirms that account.

Likewise, Mr Mueller's indictment confirms the Steele dossier's claim that Russia wished to "sow discord" in the US election by backing leftwing as well as rightwing groups. Among the entities run by the IRA were groups with names such as "Secured Borders", "Blacktivists", "United Muslims of America" and "Army of Jesus".

What is fascinating about these words is that none of them are true.

Christopher Steele is not in hiding.

The actua l Trump Dossier does not allege "that the Russians were using "active measures" to support the campaigns of Mr Trump, Bernie Sanders, the Democratic runner-up to Hillary Clinton, and Jill Stein, the Green party nominee".

Bernie Sanders is mentioned by the Trump Dossier only in passing. By the time the Trump Dossier's first entries were written Bernie Sanders's campaign was all but over and it was already clear that Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic Party's candidate for the Presidency.

Jill Stein is mentioned – again in passing – only once, in a brief mention which refers to her now infamous visit to Russia where she attended the same dinner with President Putin as Michael Flynn.

Nor does the Trump Dossier anywhere claim that "Russia wished to "sow discord" in the US election by backing leftwing as well as rightwing groups".

On the contrary the Trump Dossier is focused – exclusively and obsessively – on documenting at fantastic length the alleged conspiracy between the Russian government and the campaign of the supposedly compromised Donald Trump to get him elected US President.

Supporters of the Russiagate conspiracy theory need to start facing up to the hard truth about the Trump Dossier.

At the time the Trump Dossier was published in January 2017 little was known publicly about the contacts which actually took place between members of Donald Trump's campaign and tranisiton teams and the Russians during and after the election.

Today – a full year later and after months of exhaustive investigation – we know far more about those contacts.

What Is striking about those contacts is how ignorant the supposedly high level Russian sources of the Trump Dossier were about them.

Thus the Trump Dossier never mentions Jeff Sessions's two meetings with Russian ambassador Kislyak, or the various conversations Michael Flynn is known to have had with Russian ambassador Kislyak, some of which apparently took place before Donald Trump won the election.

The Trump Dossier never mentions Jared Kushner's four conversations with Russian ambassador Kislyak, including the famous meeting between Kislyak and Kushner in Trump Tower on 1st December 2016 (which Michael Flynn also attended) over the course of which the setting up of a backchannel to discuss the crisis in Syria is supposed to have been discussed (Kushner denies that it was).

The last entry of the Trump Dossier is dated 13th December 2016 ie. twelve days after this meeting took place, and given its high level a genuinely well-informed Russian source familiar with the private ongoing discussions in the Kremlin might have been expected to know about it.

Nor does the Trump Dossier mention the now famous meeting in Trump Tower between the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Donald Trump Junior – which Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner also attended – which took place on 9th June 2016.

This despite the fact that the Trump Dossier's first entry is dated 20th June 2016 i.e. eleven days later, so that if this meeting really was intended to set the stage for collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia – as believers in the Russiagate conspiracy theory insist – a well informed Russian source with access to information from the Kremlin would be expected to know about it.

Nor does the Trump Dossier have anything to say about George Papadopoulos, the Trump campaign aide who had the most extensive contacts with the Russians, and whose drunken bragging in a London bar is now claimed by the FBI to have been its reason for starting the Russiagate inquiry.

In fact George Papadopoulos is not mentioned in the Trump Dossier at all.

This despite the fact that members of Russia's high powered Valdai Discussion Club were Papadopoulos's main interlocutors in his discussions with the Russians, and Igor Ivanov – Russia's former foreign minister, and a senior albeit retired official genuinely known to Putin – was informed about the discussions also, making it at least possible that high level people in the Russian Foreign Ministry and conceivably in the Russian government and in the Kremlin were kept informed about the discussions with Papadopoulos, so that a genuinely well-informed Russian source might be expected to know about them.

By contrast none of the secret meetings between Carter Page and Michael Cohen and the Russians discussed at such extraordinary length in the Trump Dossier have ever been proved to have taken place.

Now Special Counsel Mueller has provided further details in his latest indictment of actual albeit unknowing contacts between members of the Trump campaign and various Russian employees of Yevgeny Prigozhin's Internet Research Agency, LLC, apparently both in person and online.

The Trump Dossier has however nothing to say about these contacts either, just as it has nothing to say about the Internet Research Agency, LLC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, or the entire social media campaign set out in such painstaking detail by Special Counsel Mueller in his indictment.

The only conclusion possible is that if the Trump Dossier's Russian sources actually exist (about which I am starting to have doubts) then they were extraordinarily ignorant of what was actually going on.

That of course is consistent with the fact – recently revealed in the heavily redacted memorandum sent to the Justice Department by Senators Grassley and Lindsey Graham – that many of the sources of the Trump Dossier were not actually Russian but were American.

John Helmer – the most experienced journalist covering Russia, and a person who has a genuine and profound knowledge of the country – made that very point – that many of the Trump Dossier's sources were American rather than Russian – in an article he published on 18th January 2017, ie. just days after the Trump Dossier was published.

In that same article Helmer also made this very valid point about the Trump Dossier's compiler Christopher Steele

Steele's career in Russian intelligence at MI6 had hit the rocks in 2006, and never recovered. That was the year in which the Russian Security Service (FSB) publicly exposed an MI6 operation in Moscow. Russian informants recruited by the British were passed messages and money, and dropped their information in containers fabricated to look like fake rocks in a public park. Steele was on the MI6 desk in London when the operation was blown. Although the FSB announcement was denied in London at the time, the British prime ministry confirmed its veracity in 2012.Read more on Steele's fake rock operation here , and the attempt by the Financial Times to cover it up by blaming Putin for fabricating the story.

Given that Steele was outed by Russian intelligence in 2006, with his intelligence operation in Russia dismantled by the FSB that year, it beggars belief that ten years later in 2016 he still had access to high level secrets in the Kremlin.

What we now know in fact proves that he did not.

I only remembered Helmer's 18th January 2017 article about the Trump Dossier after I wrote my article about Senator Grassley's and Senator Lindsey Graham's memorandum to the Justice Department on 6th February 2018.

This is most unfortunate, not only because Grassley's and Lindsey Graham's memorandum resoundingly vindicates Helmer's reporting, but because it shows that a genuine expert about Russia like Helmer was able to spot immediately the holes in the Trump Dossier, which only now – a whole year and months of exhaustive investigations later – are starting to be officially admitted.

For my part I owe Helmer an apology for not referencing his 18th January 2017 article in my article of 6th February 2018. I should have done so and I am very sorry that I didn't.

I have spent some time discussing the Trump Dossier because despite denials it remains the lynchpin of the whole Russiagate scandal and of the claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Heroic efforts to elevate Papadopoulos's case and the meeting between Donald Trump Junior and the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya into 'evidence' of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia which exists supposedly independently of the Trump Dossier fail because as I have discussed extensively elsewhere (see here and here ) they in fact do no such thing.

Despite Edward Luce's desperate efforts to argue otherwise, Mueller's latest indictment far from corroborating the Trump Dossier, has done the opposite.

With the Trump Dossier – the lynchpin of the whole collusion case – not just unverified and discredited but proved repeatedly to have been completely uninformed about events which were actually going on, why do some people persist in pretending that there is still a collusion case to investigate?

[Feb 17, 2018] CIA Argues The Public Can t See Classified Information It Has Already Leaked To Favored Reporters

The idea of reporters as soldiers of the state (or state intelligence agencies, or a Political Party) is alive and well... It is now the dominant paradigm. It is said the
Notable quotes:
"... CIA has infiltrated MSM for DECADES. Bernstein (also on CIA payroll despite All The President's Men narrative) wrote a great Rolling Stone piece suggesting 400+ on payroll @ WaPo and that was in '77. ..."
"... In Congressional hearings former CIA Dir. Colby admitted to broad media infiltration - CBS, NYT, Newsweek, Time, AP, MANY others. ..."
"... Operation Mockingbird really does explain everything where MSM is concerned. And yet 95% of the US population thinks it is tin foil hat territory even to suggest that the media is in bed with the Deep State, which is why we're doomed. ..."
"... "The emails the CIA provided to Johnson were redacted , leading him to question why he was not allowed to see the same information that had been given to uncleared reporters." ..."
"... The CIA leaks to to main stream reporters who were always on their payroll. Their CIA day job is pretending to be reporters. CIA mouthpiece The Washing Post is correct in its slogan: "Democracy dies in darkness." Only now, all we have left is the rotting corpse of Democracy in the USA. ..."
"... It is the gas-lighting of statements like "Democracy dies in darkness" that is so hard to swallow. I imagine in NK the people are told daily they are traitors if they don't believe that Kim is a living God. But the American version is far more effective because it has all of the trappings of legitimacy, complete with "competing" ideologies among the likes of say Fox vs. MSNBC. I hand it to TPTB for creating such an effective matrix. ..."
"... No they are not member of the public, they are part of the machine and play a role either on team A or team B.... you are supposed to rot for one of them ... or i guess both if one completely trust it. ..."
"... bush/clinton/bush/obama was One Administration ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

In a motion filed in New York federal court, the CIA claimed that limited disclosures to reporters do not waive national security exemptions to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests . Intelligence and law enforcement agencies frequently deny records requests on the basis of protecting sensitive national security information, one of nine exemptions written into the federal FOIA law.

The case stems from lawsuit against the CIA by New York-based independent journalist Adam Johnson, who had used FOIA to obtain emails between the agency's public information office and selected reporters from the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and The New York Times. The emails the CIA provided to Johnson were redacted, leading him to question why he was not allowed to see the same information that had been given to uncleared reporters.

Johnson challenged the redaction in court, arguing that the CIA, once it has selectively disclosed information to uncleared reporters, cannot claim the same information is protected by a FOIA exemption.

The judge in the case appeared to find Johnson' argument compelling. In a court order last month, Chief Judge Colleen McMahon of the Southern District of New York said FOIA laws do not authorize limited disclosure, to favored journalists or otherwise.

" In this case, CIA voluntarily disclosed to outsiders information that it had a perfect right to keep private, " she wrote .

"There is absolutely no statutory provision that authorizes limited disclosure of otherwise classified information to anyone, including 'trusted reporters,' for any purpose, including the protection of CIA sources and methods that might otherwise be outed. "

McMahon also said it didn't matter if the journalists in question published the information they received, only if the CIA waived its right to deny the information.

" The fact that the reporters might not have printed what was disclosed to them has no logical or legal impact on the waiver analysis, because the only fact relevant to waiver analysis is: Did the CIA do something that worked a waiver of a right it otherwise had? " she wrote, asking CIA lawyers to come up with a stronger defense for non-disclosure.

The CIA's response on Wednesday centered on the contention that the information disclosed to favored reporters had not actually entered the public domain. As such, the limited disclosure did not constitute a waiver of the FOIA exemption, government lawyers said.

"The Court's supposition that a limited disclosure of information to three journalists necessarily equates to a disclosure to the public at large is legally and factually mistaken," the CIA motion stated. "The record demonstrates beyond dispute that the classified and statutorily protected information withheld from the emails has not entered the public domain."

Selective disclosure of classified information to uncleared reporters is a fairly common practice recognized by Congress, which requires briefings by the CIA on such disclosures , according to Steven Aftergood, the director of the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy. Johnson's case, if decided in favor of the CIA, could end up ratifying the practice via the courts, Aftergood says.

Johnson has until March 1 to reply to the government's motion, which asks for a summary judgement in favor of the CIA.

Another 'win' for The Deep State looms...


Giant Meteor -> peopledontwanttruth Sat, 02/17/2018 - 19:51 Permalink

Spooksville ..

It's a big club, and we're all in it ..

verumcuibono -> Giant Meteor Sat, 02/17/2018 - 19:55 Permalink

FOIA folly. DS cut that shit down back in the 80s.

CIA has infiltrated MSM for DECADES. Bernstein (also on CIA payroll despite All The President's Men narrative) wrote a great Rolling Stone piece suggesting 400+ on payroll @ WaPo and that was in '77.

In Congressional hearings former CIA Dir. Colby admitted to broad media infiltration - CBS, NYT, Newsweek, Time, AP, MANY others.

Operation Mockingbird strong as ever.

Stan522 -> verumcuibono Sat, 02/17/2018 - 19:56 Permalink

The Deep State still runs things....

More work to do.............

JimmyJones -> Stan522 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 20:06 Permalink

It would be nice to see all money spent on domestic propaganda since Obama legalized it a few years ago. And to find out if officially Operation Mockingbird is on going to this day, I believe it is.

stizazz -> JimmyJones Sat, 02/17/2018 - 20:23 Permalink

Everything that helps them MAINTAIN POWER is still going on.

FoggyWorld -> Stan522 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 20:11 Permalink

Not sure any work has been even started. Trump hasn't shown any interest at all in pursuing the well known felons involved.

Betrayed -> FoggyWorld Sat, 02/17/2018 - 20:33 Permalink

Well let's not forget that Litte Jeffie gets woke and all riled up when Grannie takes a toke for her aching joints.

There's that.

LetThemEatRand -> verumcuibono Sat, 02/17/2018 - 19:57 Permalink

Operation Mockingbird really does explain everything where MSM is concerned. And yet 95% of the US population thinks it is tin foil hat territory even to suggest that the media is in bed with the Deep State, which is why we're doomed.

BarnacleBill -> LetThemEatRand Sat, 02/17/2018 - 20:21 Permalink

I think 95% is a bit heavy! Surely the figure is less than 50%, these days. As for the CIA, does it have *any* credibility left, any more?

nmewn -> peopledontwanttruth Sat, 02/17/2018 - 20:08 Permalink

"The case stems from lawsuit against the CIA by New York-based independent journalist Adam Johnson, who had used FOIA to obtain emails between the agency's public information office and selected reporters from the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and The New York Times."

Now wait for it...

"The emails the CIA provided to Johnson were redacted , leading him to question why he was not allowed to see the same information that had been given to uncleared reporters."

Got that? Unredacted emails to WSJ, WaPo & the "Gray Lady" were redacted before given to another journalist who had to avail himself of FOIA to even get that.

Now, it would behoove us to all understand that this is not the same as a federal prosecutor like say, an Andrew Weissmann intentionally withholding exculpatory evidence from defense counsel in order to get his conviction.

This is moar along the lines of say, the CIA using a fawning Alinsky press corps reporters at the WSJ, WaPo & NYT's to intentionally mislead the public and...not wanting to show the public what they were misled on ;-)

Giant Meteor -> nmewn Sat, 02/17/2018 - 20:14 Permalink

What is most interesting ..

Increasingly the spooks seem to be "outing themselves", which begs the question, if these things they are now copping too , laid on the table, how bad is what is being withheld, and what new agenda in so doing, is being served ..

junction -> LetThemEatRand Sat, 02/17/2018 - 19:56 Permalink

Our Masters have spoken. The CIA leaks to to main stream reporters who were always on their payroll. Their CIA day job is pretending to be reporters. CIA mouthpiece The Washing Post is correct in its slogan: "Democracy dies in darkness." Only now, all we have left is the rotting corpse of Democracy in the USA.

LetThemEatRand -> junction Sat, 02/17/2018 - 20:02 Permalink

It is the gas-lighting of statements like "Democracy dies in darkness" that is so hard to swallow. I imagine in NK the people are told daily they are traitors if they don't believe that Kim is a living God. But the American version is far more effective because it has all of the trappings of legitimacy, complete with "competing" ideologies among the likes of say Fox vs. MSNBC. I hand it to TPTB for creating such an effective matrix.

putaipan -> LetThemEatRand Sat, 02/17/2018 - 20:28 Permalink

i dare anyone to watch tomorrow's sunday morning weeklys and not crack up. every channel now has its own paid retired cia talking spookhead. plus mockingbird was before propoganda was legalized- this is some new revolving door level shit ... and you wouldn't want these "journalists" revealing their sources now, would you?

VWAndy Sat, 02/17/2018 - 19:47 Permalink

That they make up the rules as they go kinda says it all.

peopledontwanttruth -> VWAndy Sat, 02/17/2018 - 19:49 Permalink

It's hard to lose when you can move the uprights

VWAndy -> peopledontwanttruth Sat, 02/17/2018 - 19:53 Permalink

There is one simple trick that works pretty well on people that like to set the bar out of everyones reach. Make them go first.

serotonindumptruck Sat, 02/17/2018 - 19:47 Permalink

If a CIA spook tells a lie to another liar, who then tells the truth to another CIA spook, then who is the liar?

Merica101 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 19:48 Permalink

Newsflash - people have lost confidence in the institutions they once respected. MSM, Alphabet agencies, what have you - time for a do-over.

RightLineBacker -> Merica101 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 20:01 Permalink

Time for Trump to close down the FBI, DoJ, NSA, CIA and the other 17 or so spy operations and rebuild a few of them from scratch with appointed rotating Citizen oversight.

The current traitors can not ever again be trusted.

topspinslicer Sat, 02/17/2018 - 19:48 Permalink

What about an informed public to have a functioning democracy? I know damn well we aren't a limited republic

Giant Meteor -> topspinslicer Sat, 02/17/2018 - 20:09 Permalink

A mis-informed public is much easier to control, manipulate.

BidnessMan Sat, 02/17/2018 - 19:48 Permalink

We truly are in Alice in Wonderland territory. All Common Sense has disappeared.

booboo Sat, 02/17/2018 - 19:50 Permalink

This should be an easy victory for the plaintiff but the judge will get "spooked" and side with the Criminal Intelligence Agency.

wardaddy Sat, 02/17/2018 - 19:50 Permalink

And we used to think our CIA were staffed by patriot Americans...

VWAndy -> wardaddy Sat, 02/17/2018 - 19:56 Permalink

Or that there were some boy scouts in the mix. Sadly no.

BeepBeepRichie -> wardaddy Sat, 02/17/2018 - 19:57 Permalink

Nope, I never thought that

Dilluminati Sat, 02/17/2018 - 19:51 Permalink

ANIMAL FARM

  1. Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
  2. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
  3. No animal shall wear clothes.
  4. No animal shall sleep in a bed.
  5. No animal shall drink alcohol.
  6. No animal shall kill any other animal.
  7. All animals are equal.
hooligan2009 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 19:58 Permalink

reporters are member of the public, they are not arbiters of fact and do not have any special rights above and beyond those of any other member of the public.

the fact that the WSJ, NYT and WaPo have proven to be liars, instigators of wars and guity of "spinning" news to suit their own political agendas need not be used as evidence - though it is damning.

disclosure to reporters is disclosure to the public.

the case made by the CIA is false - on its face.

it is beyond belief that the legal profession would defend this hypocrisy. what is wrong with them? we already know that the CIA thinks americans are not smart enough to handle the shaded truth or lies it spins.

Pandelis -> hooligan2009 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 20:03 Permalink

"reporters are member of the public"

i suppose assuming this you are wrong. if anything the last year experience with CNN or FOX you pick your side should have made it clear there is no free press. No they are not member of the public, they are part of the machine and play a role either on team A or team B.... you are supposed to rot for one of them ... or i guess both if one completely trust it.

Pandelis Sat, 02/17/2018 - 19:59 Permalink

i suppose the idea is that reporters know how much to tell the public and how to spin it. plus they got internal control before publishing anything. it implies there is no free press, basically the press is the same as the institution which let them see the information.

on the other hand giving it directly to the masses is different. i suppose some sophisticated people would do the hard work to translate it for the "unwashed masses" or the regular Joes as the sayings go.

red1chief Sat, 02/17/2018 - 20:00 Permalink

As George Carlin stated, "power does what it wants". This is certainly further proof.

StephenHopkins Sat, 02/17/2018 - 20:07 Permalink

Splinter the CIA into a BILLION fragments. Do to the CIA what they did to the Twin Towers, and BULILDING 7!

bush/clinton/bush/obama was One Administration

bh2 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 20:08 Permalink

Reporters have no more right to information than ordinary citizens. Officials who release information to reports who are not officially cleared to see it are violating the law. And should be prosecuted without delay.

Ms No Sat, 02/17/2018 - 20:08 Permalink

The Secret Police will be dismantled, it's just a matter of time. They will do themselves in with hubris and arrogance. The arrogance is really pissing people off right about now. They shouldn't even be involved in issues within US borders. Of course they shouldn't be trafficking drugs, human beings or destroying nation states all over the world either.

Cloud9.5 -> Ms No Sat, 02/17/2018 - 20:18 Permalink

People laugh but the Stasi was omnipotent and omnipresent in its domain and then like a wisp of smoke it was gone. The pretense of legitimacy is gone. These agencies are rogue and enemies of the body politic. We really are very close to the collapse.

ToSoft4Truth Sat, 02/17/2018 - 20:21 Permalink

That CIA floor gleams.

God Bless the U.S.A. by Lee Greenwood

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q65KZIqay4E

Zorba's idea Sat, 02/17/2018 - 20:24 Permalink

HAfuckinHA! The CI fuckingA didn't leak (((classified))) information to their reporters...They distributed classified information to their respective agents within the MSM.

shovelhead Sat, 02/17/2018 - 20:29 Permalink

So it remains classified for "unreliable" reporters who may write unflattering stories about said information.

That sounds legit.

[Feb 16, 2018] Mueller does have the leverage to twist Bannon to his will.

Feb 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Mzhen Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:26 Permalink

Breitbart is a Zionist mouthpiece. Steve Bannon is a mouth. Robert and Rebekah Mercer (not Jewish) decided to shift their allegiance and money from Cruz to Trump. They met with Jared and Ivanka to discuss. The Mercers threw Bannon into the deal. Once Bannon had infiltrated the campaign, and later the WH, maybe the Zionists were still pulling his strings. Bannon was also colluding with Chinese nationals, so Mueller does have the leverage to twist Bannon to his will.

[Feb 14, 2018] The Anti-Trump Coup by Michael S. Rozeff

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... One objective is to keep in place an anti-Russian policy. The coup's instigators want to prevent Trump from letting up on the pressure (sanctions) on Russia and from cooperating with Russia. The coup forces are all anti-Russia, and that serves to unite them. A second objective is to maintain the positions, power, and influence of the coup's seekers. ..."
"... This is a "seed crystal" coup. The model for the seed crystal coup is the Watergate scandal. The operational goal is to crystallize and solidify the disunited Trump opposition into a movement that has irresistible momentum. In much the same way that seed crystals can accelerate a phase change from liquid to solid, the coup perpetrators introduce reports, accusations, and leaks over time in order to create the impression that a widening scandal is occurring. Each component has no merit but the media accept them at face value and provide publicity that creates new adherents and coherence among the anti-Trump forces. The anti-Trump forces are anxious to replicate the success in getting Nixon to resign. ..."
"... The anti-Trump media are critical in this effort. The anti-Trump media keep up a drumbeat of anti-Trump reporting. They slant the news, manufacture stories, repeat them and create fake news. ..."
"... The media must paint Russia and Putin as enemies for this propaganda effort to succeed. The media provide a focal point that coordinates the coup's backers even if they never sit down and conspire with one another. Everyone can observe the media stories and through that the effects of their anti-Trump leaks, reports, and innuendos. This allows them to plan their next moves. ..."
"... Social media have played a role in uprisings during the Arab Spring. The same thing can happen in America. There is a host of groups who are anti-Trump on grounds other than Russia. They can coordinate through social media. These groups seek to de-legitimize Trump so as to maintain items on their agenda. Aides to Hillary Clinton's failed campaign are now piling on to the effort. ..."
"... Positing a coup attempt is the simplest and most comprehensive hypothesis that ties together and explains a host of known facts that we know have occurred. Being a model of events, it is imperfect; but it's better than no model because it still helps us to understand what's going on. We are not seeing a train of unconnected events that just happen to be anti-Trump. It is easier to understand it as a concerted effort going on to emasculate the Trump presidency and possibly see him replaced; and that effort is centered in the CIA. ..."
"... The second victim of the coup is Michael T. Flynn, who resigned as Trump's National Security Advisor after only three weeks in that post. Leaks of tapped phone calls showed that intelligence operatives were behind this shark attack ..."
"... Mainly, unnamed intelligence officials and operatives who are in the CIA or recently retired from such. A number of media outfits are exceptionally active in propagating negative headlines and stories about Trump and his administration. Elements of other intelligence agencies and departments of government are possibly involved. We do not know the names of those operating against Trump, and this is a weakness of the coup hypothesis. ..."
Feb 21, 2017 | www.lewrockwell.com

Q. Will the coup succeed in removing Trump from office?

A. Not in its present form. It is currently destined to fail because the investigating agencies and enemies of Trump haven't found a smoking gun against him on the basis of Russian ties or influence. No one can prove that Trump is being controlled by Putin, and so he won't resign for that reason. The coup will peter out unless it comes up with new and more explosive anti-Trump material that's not obviously specious or doubtful as much of the current material is. Furthermore, Trump hasn't yet counterattacked and he has plenty of ammunition.

Q. What are the objectives of the coup?

A. One objective is to keep in place an anti-Russian policy. The coup's instigators want to prevent Trump from letting up on the pressure (sanctions) on Russia and from cooperating with Russia. The coup forces are all anti-Russia, and that serves to unite them. A second objective is to maintain the positions, power, and influence of the coup's seekers.

Q. How is the coup being conducted?

A. This is a "seed crystal" coup. The model for the seed crystal coup is the Watergate scandal. The operational goal is to crystallize and solidify the disunited Trump opposition into a movement that has irresistible momentum. In much the same way that seed crystals can accelerate a phase change from liquid to solid, the coup perpetrators introduce reports, accusations, and leaks over time in order to create the impression that a widening scandal is occurring. Each component has no merit but the media accept them at face value and provide publicity that creates new adherents and coherence among the anti-Trump forces. The anti-Trump forces are anxious to replicate the success in getting Nixon to resign.

Q. What is the role of the establishment media in the coup?

A. The anti-Trump media are critical in this effort. The anti-Trump media keep up a drumbeat of anti-Trump reporting. They slant the news, manufacture stories, repeat them and create fake news. They try to convince the public that the coup's promoters are on the side of the angels (as in protecting national security and the election system's purity) and Trump is on the side of the devils (as in making concessions to a dangerous foe and being too respectful to Putin). The media must paint Russia and Putin as enemies for this propaganda effort to succeed. The media provide a focal point that coordinates the coup's backers even if they never sit down and conspire with one another. Everyone can observe the media stories and through that the effects of their anti-Trump leaks, reports, and innuendos. This allows them to plan their next moves.

Q. What is the role of social media in the coup attempt?

A. Social media have played a role in uprisings during the Arab Spring. The same thing can happen in America. There is a host of groups who are anti-Trump on grounds other than Russia. They can coordinate through social media. These groups seek to de-legitimize Trump so as to maintain items on their agenda. Aides to Hillary Clinton's failed campaign are now piling on to the effort.

These groups are distinct from the coup's perpetrators. They might launch a coup attempt of their own or they may become a front line of the existing coup, that is, merge with it as a force to reckon with that Trump has to address.

Q. How do you answer those who deny that there is an ongoing coup attempt?

A. Positing a coup attempt is the simplest and most comprehensive hypothesis that ties together and explains a host of known facts that we know have occurred. Being a model of events, it is imperfect; but it's better than no model because it still helps us to understand what's going on. We are not seeing a train of unconnected events that just happen to be anti-Trump. It is easier to understand it as a concerted effort going on to emasculate the Trump presidency and possibly see him replaced; and that effort is centered in the CIA.

The people behind the coup are operating partly openly and partly covertly. They are not so far using military means or physically threatening means so that the coup is not clearly recognizable as such. They are more like sharks circling their intended victims, with each one being hungry and attacking its own, as opposed to making pre-arranged attacks. Their coordination is achieved through publicity and a common goal.

We can see these attacks, and they show a pattern, a common goal and a recognizable origin, primarily among U.S. intelligence agencies, especially the CIA.

Q. What attacks are you referring to?

A. The first victim was Paul Manafort who resigned in mid-August 2016 as Trump's campaign chairman. His lobbying efforts on behalf of the ousted head of Ukraine, Victor Yanukovych, resulted in a dirt campaign against him. That attack stemmed from anti-Russian sources in Ukraine whom the U.S. government supports. Attacks from foreign origins conceal their true U.S. origins. They are a sign of a CIA operation behind the scenes.

The second victim of the coup is Michael T. Flynn, who resigned as Trump's National Security Advisor after only three weeks in that post. Leaks of tapped phone calls showed that intelligence operatives were behind this shark attack .

Q. Who is behind the coup attempt ?

A. Mainly, unnamed intelligence officials and operatives who are in the CIA or recently retired from such. A number of media outfits are exceptionally active in propagating negative headlines and stories about Trump and his administration. Elements of other intelligence agencies and departments of government are possibly involved. We do not know the names of those operating against Trump, and this is a weakness of the coup hypothesis.

... ... ...

Michael S. Rozeff [ send him mail ] is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York. He is the author of the free e-book Essays on American Empire: Liberty vs. Domination and the free e-book The U.S. Constitution and Money: Corruption and Decline .

[Feb 11, 2018] Why neoliberal MSM would they stop buying dirt on Trump from all the 3 letter agencies?

Notable quotes:
"... Why would they stop buying dirt on Trump NOW? From all the 3 letter agencies own records they have been doing it for a few years. ..."
"... It's an illustration of how this phony investigation of Trump is a danger to national security. ..."
Feb 10, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

Pete.S. Missouri 11 hours ago

Why would they stop buying dirt on Trump NOW? From all the 3 letter agencies own records they have been doing it for a few years.

Dave Florida 12 hours ago

It's an illustration of how this phony investigation of Trump is a danger to national security. The latest polling shows that the government has about an 18% approval rating as of the commencement of Trump's presidency. That is the lowest point in recorded history. The guys in Washington need to either resign or do their job instead of fighting each other.

Normand Lester Montreal 12 hours ago

The article states that the FSB is in charge of the operation. As it deals with intelligence and espionage activities outside the Russian Federation, it should be the responsibility of the SVR, not the FSB (Russian Federal Security Service). Strange.

[Feb 11, 2018] DemoRats and neoliberal MSM are using Russiagate to empower the military-security complex

Notable quotes:
"... The Apprentice ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... The Atlantic ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... The Daily Beast ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... Rachel Maddow, the top-rated cable-news host who covers Russiagate more than all other issues combined , has speculated that Putin was responsible for the hiring of Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; is inducing Trump to "weaken" the State Department and " bleed out " the FBI; and, via the infamous "pee tape" alleged by Steele, may blackmail Trump into withdrawing US forces near Russia's border . ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists ..."
"... The Wall Street Journal ..."
"... Far beyond Israelgate, Russiagate allows them to oppose Trump while obscuring key areas where they either share his priorities or have no viable alternative. Democrats can claim to be Trump's opposition without having to confront many of the failings that handed them one of the most stunning defeats in US political history. ..."
"... The DP is a neoliberal party which has been able to distinguish itself from Republicans by campaigning like progressives, but governing as neoliberals. ..."
"... Trump ran his campaign as a populist who would "drain the swamp." He opposed trade deals, and corporations relocating their factories outside the US. The Clinton campaign ran mostly negative personal attacks at Trump's failed marriages, his university, business bankruptcies, abuse of women, and his Russian connection. ..."
"... The DP has a real problem, how can they continue to be a neoliberal party, and cooperate with the RP, while pretending to support progressive causes when more and more people realize the charade and are demanding real progressive change? ..."
"... This whole "we lost the election because of Russian interference" argument appears to be roughly on the same level as "the dog ate my homework" dodge. ..."
"... The bottom line of any Trump association is financial - whether or not an association will protect and increase his wealth. Trump most likely believed that Russians were hacking the DNC (and the RNC) and favored him over Clinton, but that is a far cry from proof that he was colluding with a foreign government that committed crimes. The Democrats knee-jerk obsession with Russia serves to inoculate Trump from any real crimes that the Mueller investigation uncovers. Mostly those crimes will be financial, money laundering being the foremost. Democrats, in a 'the sky is falling' tone, breathlessly proclaim the latest revelation that Trump wanted a reset of Russia relations, or that some Trump official actually talked to a Russian official, as proof positive that Trump is a traitor. That Russia is the enemy is a fait accompli. ..."
"... To go on any liberal forum and point out that we really do need a better foreign policy with Russia than demonizing Putin is to bring forth a cascade of vituperation. Russia is the enemy and Trump colluded with the enemy, end of story they say. It's really way more complicated than that. It goes to the heart of the financialization of governments, including ours, to the point where finance can no longer be separated from government, and everything in government becomes a business transaction. Trump views the presidency as just another tool for self-enrichment, on a continuum from his global wheeling-dealing working on the boundaries of the law. The Russian state works in much the same way, a government that is run by a confederation of oligarchs and mob figures. ..."
"... In indulging themselves in Russiagate, Democrats have solidified the current provocative foreign policy that benefits the arms industry while putting civilization in danger. They are closing out all the sane options, and engaging in the same asinine fearmongering that Republicans do. On foreign policy, both parties deserve contempt. ..."
Feb 11, 2018 | www.thenation.com

Originally from: What We've Learned in Year 1 of Russiagate by Aaron Maté ( The Nation)

... ... ...

Neither "Proven nor Disproven"

Both scenarios also call into question another foundation of Russiagate, the series of Clinton-campaign-funded intelligence reports written by former British spy Christopher Steele. The premise of the Steele dossier is of a "well-developed conspiracy of cooperation" in which Russia has been "cultivating, supporting and assisting Trump for at least five years," beginning back when Trump was hosting The Apprentice . Russia gives Trump "and his inner circle a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals." As an insurance policy, Steele contends, at least two years after their conspiracy began, the Russians collected a videotape of Trump hiring and watching prostitutes "perform a 'golden showers' (urination) show," in a Moscow Ritz-Carlton hotel room.

This questionable narrative is perhaps why, according to the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner, after one year and multiple investigations, the dossier's allegations remain neither "proven nor, conversely, disproven" -- in other words, not proven. According to Fox News, "when pressed [in recent congressional testimony] to identify what in the salacious document the bureau had actually corroborated [then–FBI Deputy Director Andrew] McCabe cited only the fact that Trump campaign adviser Carter Page had traveled to Moscow." It would not have been difficult for the FBI -- or Steele -- to figure that out, given that it was reported in The Washington Post and Russian media in early July. (Steele reports it only on July 19.)

"Missing Hard Evidence"

The shaky evidentiary basis for collusion extends to Russiagate's other central pillars. It has been over a year since the release, shortly before Trump's inauguration, of a US intelligence report alleging a Russian-government campaign to elect Trump through e-mail hacking and covert propaganda. Amid the ensuing uproar, some quietly noted at the time that the public version of the report "does not or cannot provide evidence for its assertions" ( The Atlantic ); contained "essentially no new information" ( Susan Hennessy , Lawfare ); and was "missing what many Americans most eagerly anticipated: hard evidence to back up the agencies' claims" ( The New York Times ).

If "hard evidence" is what "many Americans most eagerly anticipated" in January 2017, they have continued to wait in vain. The Russian government may well have hacked Democratic Party e-mails, but evidence of it beyond unsubstantiated claims has yet to arrive.

In its place is a bipartisan fearmongering campaign that recalls the height of the Cold War. The nation is said to face "an ongoing attack by the Russian government through Kremlin-linked social media actors directly acting to intervene and influence our democratic process" ( Democrats Representative Adam Schiff and Senator Dianne Feinstein ); in which "Russia continues to disseminate propaganda designed to weaken our nation" ( former acting CIA director Michael Morell and former Republican Representative Mike Rogers ); which means that we cannot "simply sit back and hope that we do not face another attack by a hostile foreign power" (Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen).

A credulous national media has helped disseminate the panic. When news of Russian-linked Facebook ads (in reality, Russian troll farms ) broke open, The Daily Beast calculated that the "Russian-funded covert propaganda posts were likely seen by a minimum of 23 million people and might have reached as many as 70 million," meaning that "up to 28 percent of American adults were swept in by the campaign." National audiences were soberly informed of covert Russian attempts to dupe them via Pokemon Go . CNN reported -- and multiple outlets repeated -- that "highly sophisticated" Russian Facebook ads targeted "the states that turned out to be pivotal," including "Michigan and Wisconsin, two states crucial to Donald Trump's victory last November." The New York Times consulted with "analysts" to ponder over the mysterious significance of a Russian-linked "Facebook group for animal lovers with memes of adorable puppies":

The goal of the dog lovers' page was more obscure. But some analysts suggested a possible motive: to build a large following before gradually introducing political content. Without viewing the entire feed from the page, now closed by Facebook, it is impossible to say whether the Russian operators tried such tactics.

We may never know if vulnerable American dog-lovers were compromised by the Russian puppy-gandists. But "analysis" and "exclusives" like these have drowned out the actual evidence. In brief, more than half of the relatively paltry $100,000 in Facebook ads bought by "Russian-linked" accounts ran after the election. They were mostly related not to the election but to social issues and were often juvenile and written in broken English. Those that were "geographically located" came mostly during the primaries. The ads that ran in battleground states were, as one study noted , "microscopic": Fewer than a dozen ran in Michigan and Wisconsin combined, and the majority were seen fewer than 1,000 times. Purported Russian ad spending amounted to $1,979 in Wisconsin -- all but $54 of that during the primary -- $823 in Michigan, and $300 in Pennsylvania.

Summarizing available data, The Washington Post 's Philip Bump concludes : "what we actually know about the Russian activity on Facebook and Twitter: It was often modest, heavily dissociated from the campaign itself and minute in the context of election social media efforts."

"Theories With Virtually No Fact"

The impact of Russiagate panic has been magnified by a preponderance of influential exponents wading into imaginative territory. And their audience happens to be millions of people aggrieved by Trump's presidency and seeking hope that it can be reversed.

Rachel Maddow, the top-rated cable-news host who covers Russiagate more than all other issues combined , has speculated that Putin was responsible for the hiring of Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; is inducing Trump to "weaken" the State Department and " bleed out " the FBI; and, via the infamous "pee tape" alleged by Steele, may blackmail Trump into withdrawing US forces near Russia's border .

The Russian influence theory is so ingrained that Democrats see no irony in invoking it to dismiss the conspiracy theories of Republicans. Denouncing the current right-wing uproar over alleged anti-Trump bias at the FBI, Senator Chuck Schumer cautioned that in pushing "conspiracy theories with virtually no fact," the Republicans "wittingly or unwittingly are acting as allies of Russia's disinformation campaigns," ultimately "playing right into Putin's hands."

Such is our Trump-era political spectrum: a Republican Party that has graduated from birtherism to now pushing fears of an anti-Trump FBI "secret society," versus a Democratic Party whose counterattack is to accuse its foes of doing Putin's bidding.

... ... ...

As it ramps up its armed presence near Russia, the Pentagon's new National Defense Strategy declares that the US military advantage over Russia and China is "eroding," and that reversing it is now more of a priority than stopping ISIS or Al Qaeda. "Great power competition, not terrorism, is now the primary focus of U.S. national security," Defense Secretary James Mattis declared. Russia is the top threat invoked in Trump's Nuclear Posture Review. The plan's centerpiece is the development of smaller, so-called "low-yield" nuclear weapons, small enough to ensure that Russia fears their actual use. The review attributes this to the "deterioration of the strategic environment" -- "a nod toward existing tensions with Russia in particular," The Washington Post observes .

Tensions between the world's two major nuclear powers have helped lead the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to move its Doomsday Clock to its highest point since 1953. "Nuclear risks have been compounded by US-Russia relations that now feature more conflict than cooperation," the Bulletin warns . "Coordination on nuclear risk reduction is all but dead. For the first time in many years, in fact, no US-Russian nuclear arms control negotiations are under way."

The nuclear risks may also be compounded by a US opposition party that has made "more conflict than cooperation" a defining trait. "Never before has a U.S. president so clearly ignored such a grave threat, and a growing threat, to U.S. national security," declares Senator Ben Cardin . In not imposing new sanctions, Trump has "let Russia off the hook yet again," says Representative Eliot Engel . In releasing the House Republican memo, Trump has "Vladimir Putin there smiling like he gave Donald Trump the script" ( Representative Jackie Speier ) and has "just sent his friend Putin a bouquet" ( Representative Nancy Pelosi ). It is difficult to imagine Democrats leading the charge to reduce nuclear tensions with Russia when they expend more energy urging Trump to be confrontational.

With Trump's actual Russia policies receiving less attention than Russiagate, it also makes sense that his administration has begun to take advantage of the opportunities that the distraction provides. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has warned that there are "initial signs" of Russian "subversion and disinformation and propaganda" in Mexico's upcoming presidential election . McMaster did not cite any evidence, but perhaps he had in mind the multiple polls that show leftist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador as the front-runner so far .

Top Priorities

The focus on still-absent evidence of Trump-Russia collusion while ignoring increasing US-Russia tensions coincides with the indifference that has greeted the most concrete case of Trump collusion with a foreign government so far: the Trump transition's effort to undermine President Obama's abstention on a United Nations Security Council vote condemning Israeli settlements in December 2016. Undertaken at the request of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, "derailing the vote was Mr. Trump's top priority at that time," The Wall Street Journal reports .

But for Democrats and thought leaders to oppose the Trump transition's "top priority" would mean challenging one that they uphold. "While [the UN effort] might have otherwise given the Democrats a welcome political opportunity to underscore the perfidy of the Trump team," Stephen Zunes observes , "they are hindered by the fact that the majority of Congressional Democrats opposed Obama and supported Trump's position on the vote."

It is here that Russiagate performs a critical function for Trump's political foes. Far beyond Israelgate, Russiagate allows them to oppose Trump while obscuring key areas where they either share his priorities or have no viable alternative. Democrats can claim to be Trump's opposition without having to confront many of the failings that handed them one of the most stunning defeats in US political history.

In focusing on a foreign villain, there is also little need for Democrats to challenge the powerful sectors of US society that many Trump voters were duped into thinking that they were voting against -- and whose interests many Democrats have deftly served. In fact, the outside enemy offers Democrats new opportunities to cater to powerful donors: increased militarism towards a nuclear power is a boon for the military-security establishment, and lawmakers who promote it have been duly rewarded .

Less understandable is how Democrats and partisan media outlets can continue to prioritize Russiagate over factors that likely cost their party far more votes than any stolen e-mails or Facebook ads: gerrymandering , voter suppression , declining unionization , exhaustive Trump media coverage , and the unregulated, worsening " dark-money " takeover of political campaigns. Or any number of domestic outrages around which large segments of the population, not just liberals , could be mobilized.

After more than one year of its engulfing our politics, perhaps that could be Russiagate's most helpful contribution: guiding us to the challenges that it helps us avoid.

  1. Victor Sciamarelli says: February 10, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    An interesting article especially the conclusion under "Top Priorities" where it states, "It is here that Russiagate performs a critical function for Trump's political foes. Far beyond Israelgate, Russiagate allows them [democrats] to oppose Trump while obscuring key areas where they either share his priorities or have no viable alternative."

    This is important and I largely agree, but the observation could have gone further. The DP is a neoliberal party which has been able to distinguish itself from Republicans by campaigning like progressives, but governing as neoliberals.

    Trump ran his campaign as a populist who would "drain the swamp." He opposed trade deals, and corporations relocating their factories outside the US. The Clinton campaign ran mostly negative personal attacks at Trump's failed marriages, his university, business bankruptcies, abuse of women, and his Russian connection. Jill Stein was attacked and brought before the Senate Intelligence Committee because the dossier claimed, falsely, that she accepted payment from Russia to attend a RT event in Moscow. And we all know what happened to the Sanders' campaign.

    None of this would matter because Clinton was expected to win. Trump is a hypocrite and a fake populist but the populist message resonated with voters. Bernie Sanders, the real deal populist, remains the most popular politician in America and he is the most popular democratic politician among Republican voters.

    The recent FISA reauthorization bill passed with 65 House Democrats who joined Trump and the Republicans. In 2002 the DP controlled the Senate, but 29 Dems joined Republicans to pass the Iraq War Resolution along with 82 House Dems. And was the Republican regime change in Iraq better than the Democratic regime change in Libya? And recall that Hugo Chavez, who was democratically elected, governed constitutionally, and complied with international law, and if he ever crossed a line it was trivial compared to the lines Bush crossed, was labeled a dictator and attacked much like Putin is today.

    The DP has a real problem, how can they continue to be a neoliberal party, and cooperate with the RP, while pretending to support progressive causes when more and more people realize the charade and are demanding real progressive change?

    Maintaining a neoliberal course on behalf of elite interests is more important than winning elections. Thus, while Trump is investigated, the DP and supportive media are preparing to demonize progressives and any alternative voices as nothing more than Russian puppets.

  2. Jeffrey Harrison says: February 10, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Articles like this one on The Nation surprise me. The Nation seems to be in the pockets of the DNC and their Hillary-bots. While this is a great article, I'm left with a sense of dissatisfaction based on what was missing from it. Nobody seems to see the forest for the trees.

    The first thing missing is the reality that Three Names won the election by about 3 million votes. Mr Maté does a good job of pointing out the weaknesses of the whole facebook/twitter meme but leaves out that Three Names' problem was not a lack of votes but a lack of breadth of votes. She won the major population centers but not the countryside and thus lost the state. Folks in the countryside are much less likely to be on facebook and twitter than their city cousins and thus will be relatively immune from the influence of ads on those platforms. If you want to see real meddling, take a look at what AIPAC is doing.

    The other thing that's missing is the danger behind sanctions. There's another name for sanctions - economic warfare. These are actually forbidden by the UN charter unless authorized by the UN but the US has never let its promises keep the US from doing exactly what it wanted to. In the past, sanctions have, in fact, led to shooting wars. What we are doing is perpetrating economic warfare on the only country capable of destroying the United States.

    In what way could this be considered wise?

  3. Matthew Walsh says: February 10, 2018 at 11:30 am

    I appreciate this article--and I agree with many of its arguments--but it contains some layered irony that is important to address. The author is correct in asserting that there is irony in the Democrats' claim that Republicans' opposition to the investigation is not based in fact.

    But I find it ironic that the author is accusing the Democrats of using Russiagate to empower the military-security complex. It's a highly plausible prospect, but it's certainly no more plausible than Russian collusion accusations.

  4. Dan Swanson says: February 10, 2018 at 8:36 am

    Superb article. My only quibble is that Trump probably did collude with Russians -- not over the election, but over his business interests, and that exposing this will damage his overall popularity, even among some of his supporters. But the article's major point still stands -- putting all the opposition eggs into the Russiagate basket is a big risk, especially now that the Republicans will take aim at Social Security and Medicare. Among major politicians, only Bernie Sanders has recognized that Russiagate distracts from Trump's true evils.

  5. Robert Borneman says: February 10, 2018 at 2:29 am

    Kudos to Mr. Maté for keeping a clear eye out on the facts and evidence of the case against Russia having thrown the election to Hillary (which is paltry at best, and falsely exculpatory of HRC's own disaster on the simple surface). Kudos to The Nation for not swallowing the same establishment DNC pill which seeks to provide cover for the neo-liberal wing of the Democratic Party by blaming Russia instead of their own (DNC's own) anti-democratic machinations and poor decisions.

  6. Philip Gerard says: February 9, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    This whole "we lost the election because of Russian interference" argument appears to be roughly on the same level as "the dog ate my homework" dodge. The democrats just can't admit that they blew the 2016 election . If they did they would have to look for answers and this is something they really do not want to do. Why? I suspect that they all ready know what they need to do to win but that would mean cutting ties with their corporate "constituents" and that is something they simply can not bring themselves to do.

  7. Michael Robertson says: February 9, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    The bottom line of any Trump association is financial - whether or not an association will protect and increase his wealth. Trump most likely believed that Russians were hacking the DNC (and the RNC) and favored him over Clinton, but that is a far cry from proof that he was colluding with a foreign government that committed crimes. The Democrats knee-jerk obsession with Russia serves to inoculate Trump from any real crimes that the Mueller investigation uncovers. Mostly those crimes will be financial, money laundering being the foremost. Democrats, in a 'the sky is falling' tone, breathlessly proclaim the latest revelation that Trump wanted a reset of Russia relations, or that some Trump official actually talked to a Russian official, as proof positive that Trump is a traitor. That Russia is the enemy is a fait accompli.

    To go on any liberal forum and point out that we really do need a better foreign policy with Russia than demonizing Putin is to bring forth a cascade of vituperation. Russia is the enemy and Trump colluded with the enemy, end of story they say. It's really way more complicated than that. It goes to the heart of the financialization of governments, including ours, to the point where finance can no longer be separated from government, and everything in government becomes a business transaction. Trump views the presidency as just another tool for self-enrichment, on a continuum from his global wheeling-dealing working on the boundaries of the law. The Russian state works in much the same way, a government that is run by a confederation of oligarchs and mob figures.

    To say that the Russians hacked the election is to say nothing. There is nothing that they have putatively done that we haven't done to them. The Facebook posts that are evidence of high-level psychological manipulation are indistinguishable from Republican spin. In indulging themselves in Russiagate, Democrats have solidified the current provocative foreign policy that benefits the arms industry while putting civilization in danger. They are closing out all the sane options, and engaging in the same asinine fearmongering that Republicans do. On foreign policy, both parties deserve contempt.

  8. Brian Cairns says: February 9, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    Excellent job, Aaron! And thanks to The Nation for not getting swept up in the Russiagate hysteria like so many other progressive outlets have.

[Feb 11, 2018] Republican investigations put Blumenthal in spotlight

Notable quotes:
"... Steele also gave the dossier to Winer, who flagged to his superiors at the State Department, according to the source. Kerry was eventually briefed on its existence, and that it wasn't known how much was true. ..."
Feb 11, 2018 | www.cnn.com

How Shearer's notes got to Steele

Shearer, an independent journalist, decided to investigate potential Trump-Russia connections after seeing stories about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee, the source said.

Shearer's so-called dossier is actually a set of notes based on conversations with reporters and other sources, according to the person who spoke to CNN, and he circulated those notes to assorted journalists, as well as to Blumenthal.

Blumenthal then passed the notes to Jonathan Winer, who was a State Department special envoy for Libya under former Secretary of State John Kerry, the source said. Winer had a previous relationship with Steele, and he passed it along to Steele in order to get his assessment.

Carter Page struggles to explain how he could advise both Kremlin and Trump team

Related Article: Carter Page struggles to explain how he could advise both Kremlin and Trump team

Blumenthal, according to the source, did not know that Winer would consult Steele on the Shearer document, and said Winer made that decision on his own.

After Winer gave Steele the notes from Shearer, Steele wrote that he found it interesting and it tended to corroborate some of what he found, but he also noted that it was uncorroborated, the source said.

Shearer's notes, a copy of which were obtained by CNN, make uncorroborated allegations involving Trump and Russia, and they cite unnamed Russian intelligence and Turkish sources.

Steele provided Shearer's notes to the FBI in October 2016.

What are the GOP allegations? Steele was being paid for his research by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which was hired by a law firm on behalf of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee. A key allegation in last week's Nunes memo was that Steele's political connections to Democrats were not told to the FISA court, and Republicans are charging that Shearer's involvement could show Steele was receiving information from Clinton associates that went into the dossier he gave to the FBI. The criminal referral from Grassley and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham -- which was unclassified with some redactions this week -- states that Shearer's notes went to Steele through an official at the State Department and another person who was a "friend of the Clinton's." "It is troubling enough that the Clinton Campaign funded Mr. Steele's work, but that these Clinton associates were contemporaneously feeding Mr. Steele's allegations raises additional concerns about his credibility," the senators wrote in the criminal referral, which does not accuse Steele of wrongdoing but urges the Justice Department to investigate the matter. Winer worked with Steele from 2014 through 2016, according to another source familiar with their interactions. Steele provided Winer with reports related to the conflict in Ukraine and Russia as a courtesy, which was not unusual and considered one source among many used for assessing the situation on the ground in Ukraine, the source said.

Former CIA Director Brennan says Nunes 'abused his office' Steele also gave the dossier to Winer, who flagged to his superiors at the State Department, according to the source. Kerry was eventually briefed on its existence, and that it wasn't known how much was true.

Senior State Department officials showed the dossier to Kerry once it was clear the document was in wide circulation around Washington, according to the source. Kerry was not briefed on the Shearer document, the source said. Lee Wolosky, an attorney for Winer, said in a statement that Winer was "concerned in 2016 about information that a candidate for the presidency may have been compromised by a hostile foreign power." "Any actions he took were grounded in those concerns," Wolosky said.

"Today's attacks are nothing more than a further attempt to undermine the independence and credibility of special (counsel Robert) Mueller's ongoing investigation into those and related issues." What are Republicans saying? Republicans haven't come out and accused Blumenthal of any wrongdoing, but they've hinted in public appearances that raw intelligence may have been distributed for partisan purposes. Rep. Trey Gowdy, who chairs the House Oversight Committee and is a senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, discussed Nunes' State Department investigation a Fox News interview Tuesday, saying he was "troubled" by the role the State Department played. Gowdy read the classified FISA documents that the Justice Department gave congressional committees access to on the condition that only one member of the majority and minority would view them. "When you hear who the source, or one of the sources of that information is, you're going to think, 'Oh, my gosh, I've heard that name somewhere before. Where could he possibly have been?'" the South Carolina Republican said.

Gowdy: Memo has no impact on Russia probe "A domestic source. I'm trying to think of Secretary Clinton defined him. I think she said he was an old friend who emailed her from time to time," Gowdy continued. "Sidney Blumenthal?" Fox News' Martha MacCallum asked. "That would be really warm," Gowdy concluded. Nunes made headlines over the weekend when he predicted more memos would be coming from his committee, but he says that the investigation into the State Department has already been in the works. "We have an active investigation into the State Department. That has been ongoing for a while now," Nunes told Fox News' Sean Hannity.

Nunes has repeatedly declined to discuss his investigations with CNN, saying he doesn't discuss committee business "in the halls." Graham declined to discuss Blumenthal's role in the committee's investigation into Steele, but said the State Department is one element of it. "There's some connections outside the Department of Justice and the dossier that we're looking at. One of them goes to the State Department," Graham told CNN. "It's clear to me he was using the dossier for political purposes and that should have been more alarming than it was."

Who are the players?

Blumenthal is no stranger to congressional investigations, playing a role in the House Benghazi Select Committee investigation that was led by Gowdy. Blumenthal testified behind closed doors as part of the Benghazi investigation, and he provided the committee with emails he exchanged with Clinton , who was secretary of state when the 2012 Benghazi attack occurred. Blumenthal sent Clinton dozens of emails while she was secretary of state on various foreign policy topics, some of which were unsolicited and others that were requested by Clinton.

A former journalist, Blumenthal has known the Clintons for more than 30 years, and he worked in the Clinton White House as senior adviser from 1997 to 2001. He's been by the family's side during difficult moments, including President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial.

[Feb 11, 2018] Pressure grows on John Kelly amid reports he offered to resign

Another day another leak...
A lot of neoliberal innuendo but no actual information on where Kelly stands as for imperial wars and globalization.
Feb 11, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

Pressure on White House chief of staff John Kelly was intensifying on Saturday after a series of missteps, most notably his defence of a senior official accused of domestic violence.

Ominously Donald Trump has been grumbling about Kelly's performance and weighing up possible replacements, according to media reports.

Reports in the New York Times suggested that Kelly told staff on Friday he was willing to resign over his mishandling of the domestic violence allegations that led to staff secretary Rob Porter's resignation, and that simultaneously Trump was now considering Mick Mulvaney, currently White House budget director and head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as a possible successor. But a third chief of staff in just over a year, along with the rapid turnover of other officials, would only fuel perceptions of mismanagement.

[Feb 11, 2018] None Dare Call It Treason by James Kirkpatrick

Notable quotes:
"... Trump: Democrats 'Un-American,' 'Treasonous,' During State of the Union ..."
"... National Review ..."
"... Is Trump Serious about 'Treasonous' Democrats? ..."
"... But Trump's "joke" really should be taken seriously. The likes of Nancy Pelosi are traitors in the most literal sense -- in that they openly and explicitly oppose the interests of American citizens ..."
"... Pelosi is entranced by 3 million 'Dreamer' illegals, insults Americans' children ..."
"... This year kicks off the new 3.8 billion yearly to Israel up from 3.1 billion and another 775 million for Israel missile defense and undoubtly more incremental aid bills as the year goes on. ..."
Feb 11, 2018 | www.unz.com

President Trump, allegedly humorously, later described the [neoliberal] Democrats' behavior during his State of the Union speech as "treasonous" and "un-American," prompting the usual hysteria [ Trump: Democrats 'Un-American,' 'Treasonous,' During State of the Union , by Jessica Taylor, NPR, February 5, 2018].

The chutzpah is breathtaking considering how journalists and their pet elected officials in the Democrat party have waged a nonstop insurgency against the President of the United States since his inauguration , accusing him of being a puppet of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Indeed, as even Never Trump cuckservatives at National Review wearily pointed out, Democrats have habitually and quite seriously called Republicans not only traitors but " terrorists " for opposing their various policies. [ Is Trump Serious about 'Treasonous' Democrats? , by Dan McLaughlin, February 5, 2018]

But Trump's "joke" really should be taken seriously. The likes of Nancy Pelosi are traitors in the most literal sense -- in that they openly and explicitly oppose the interests of American citizens and advocate their replacement with foreigners. Pelosi's ludicrous claim that the Founding Fathers (who created the Naturalization Act of 1790 ) would support the mass influx of "Dreamers" and that illegals are "more American than Americans" is as definitive a statement of hatred for American citizens as can be imagined [ Pelosi is entranced by 3 million 'Dreamer' illegals, insults Americans' children , by Neil Munro, Breitbart, February 7, 2018].

renfro , February 9, 2018 at 8:46 am GMT

Hell, they are ALL traitors here is how they spend their time in congress

That's 376 bills, more than one a day and I haven't even gotten into the trade and appropriation categories where they bury other bills for Israel that would take several days of reading. This year kicks off the new 3.8 billion yearly to Israel up from 3.1 billion and another 775 million for Israel missile defense and undoubtly more incremental aid bills as the year goes on.

Hang them all and let God sort them out.

[Feb 11, 2018] Hope Hicks: Trump s confidante finds herself center stage in scandal

Feb 11, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

Throughout Donald Trump's campaign and relentlessly chaotic presidency, the single constant presence at his side, outside of his family, has been the 29-year-old former Ralph Lauren model and White House communications director Hope Hicks.

While aides and advisers fall in and out of favor, Hicks has remained Trump's Oval Office gatekeeper, companion and sounding board, offering consistent loyalty.

But now Hicks has herself been cast into two plotlines currently playing out in the presidential daytime reality-soap.

In one, Hicks features as a likely target in the special counsel Robert Mueller's effort to acquire cooperating witnesses in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Hicks has reportedly been interviewed by Mueller's investigators.

In the other, her prized judgment is being called into question over Rob Porter, the senior White House aide accused of physically abusing two ex-wives and whom Hicks has reportedly been dating.

Publicly, Trump has offered his support for Hicks, saying: "Hope is absolutely fantastic. She was with the campaign from the beginning, and I could not ask for anything more. Hope is smart, very talented and respected by all."

But in private, the president is believed to have issued rare criticism of a woman who by some estimates is the most influential figure in the administration after Trump himself.

At issue is whether Hicks, who also served as communications director during the campaign, relaxed her judgment owing to her relationship with Porter.

White House officials have said Hicks knew that an ex-girlfriend of Porter's had informed aides that both of Porter's ex-wives had said he was violent. Hicks continued to see him and did not tell the president. Porter denies the allegations against him.

If the unfolding episode calls into question the maturity of Hicks' judgement, she clearly is invaluable as a personal assistant. In his campaign memoir, Let Trump Be Trump, Corey Lewandowski, the early campaign strategist – with whom, coincidentally, Hicks also had an affair – described her steaming Trump's suit while he is wearing it.

"She's really quite talented and able," Christopher Ruddy, a close friend of the president and chief executive of the conservative website Newsmax, told the Washington Post .

But her professional experience, especially where is comes to matters that carry potentially legal consequences, is limited. Hicks came to the Trumps through a PR firm that represented the Trump Organization. The family later hired her away to work exclusively for them, furnishing her with responsibilities that included working on Ivanka Trump's fashion line.

A GQ magazine profile in June 2016 described her: "She is a hugger and a people pleaser, with long brown hair and green eyes, a young woman of distinctly all-American flavor – the sort that inspires Tom Petty songs, not riots."

But her looks and fashion background can cause people to underestimate her. She has a background in PR and is a graduate of Dallas' Southern Methodist University.

[Feb 10, 2018] CIA Paid $100,000 To Shadowy Russian For Dirt on Trump, Including Sex Video by Chuck Ross

This suggests that Steele dossier was CIA operation with British MI6 as transfer mechanism and Steele as a cover. And implicates Brennan. So this is next level of leaks after "Stormy Daniel"...
Another NYT leak out of a set of well coordinated leans from anonymous intelligence officials ;-)
Poor Melania...
Notable quotes:
"... But U.S. intelligence officials have reason to doubt the veracity of the video and other information about Trump associates provided by the Russian, according to a fascinating report from The New York Times. ..."
"... If there was ANYTHING on Trump, it would have oversaturated the airwaves 24/7 during his candidacy, and he would have never made it out of the primaries. ..."
"... More than you know, whenever Russian is stated, replace with Ukrainian. TPTB cannot help themselves but push forward on another agenda as the current one falls apart. The Russophobia is still being stoked no matter what. ..."
"... Steele was a double agent, maybe triple. British,Ukrainian and probably American. Does that start to make a little more sense ? Those huuuge donations to the CF from Ukraine, McStains involvement, Steele's early retirement from MI6, Brennan's frequent trips to Ukraine, State Dept.s role. Investigate the Chalupa sisters to find out who the rest of the rats are.Lee Stranahan started before he was shut down. ..."
"... the CIA has to turn America into a criminal totalitarian regime in order to make the world safe for democracy ..."
"... How much you wanna bet that Brennan, Obama's CIA Director, was behind ..."
"... You mean the same Brennan who is the godfather of ISIS? ..."
"... "U.S. intelligence officials told The Times" Sounds like the Donald is finally learning to cooperate better with his masters. They can call off the hounds. ..."
"... Ok - so we have yet another (likely factual) story here of overt, in-your-face abuse of power and agency aimed directly at American citizens for political gain. And tomorrow? Probably another. And then another. Until: 'Bimbo Fatigue' Remember that phrase. If real justice isn't thrown down soon, you can forget it. Looks to me like (possibly) Trump imploring for public support - i.e., he can't do this himself, or it's too dangerous and he knows it... ..."
"... Why is the CIA trying to purchase dirt on a sitting President in 2017! Because they have nothing on him! And they are desperate to not all hang by the neck. The times are trying to portray this as Russian intelligence sowing discord between the US intelligence agencies and Trump...Wrong! The US Intel agencies are sowing that discord all on their fucking own. They weren't fooled at all, they created this fucking mess for their own treasonous reasons and now want us to believe that hey...if we fucked up its because the big bad russkies tricked us. ..."
"... 'The Russian, who has ties to organized criminals and money launderers' wtf! So far the Russians are playing our CIA like a bunch of amateurs. And the deep state/dem's bought it hook, line and sinker. Trump was right again. Dem's and Russia are colluding against a duly elected Presidential candidate. I guess it's safe to say we need another order for more Rope. Dem's and deepshit state just can't get enough of hanging themselves. This ain't over by a long shot. ..."
"... i call bullshit. you dont 'buy back' a software program that can be copied in 30 seconds. this whole story is a fabrication just like the dossier. made up to inflect bad info on to trump. ..."
"... Yeah, I loved that one. "Here. I'm giving you back that software I ripped off from you. I copied it to this CD and then deleted it from my computer... You know: wiped it with a cloth." ..."
"... And I love that the CIA thinks they can get away with a tale like that when everyone but my 90-year-old mother-in-law knows how a digital file works ..."
"... So were these "patriotic" CIA superheroes interested in Bill Clinton's rapes, rapes and more rapes? Were they concerned that he was snorting coke and using Arkansas state troopers for procurers of hosebags for him to screw? ..."
Feb 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

by Chuck Ross of Daily Caller

When they said "Russian collusion", few expected it to be between the CIA and a "shadowy Russian operative." And yet, according to a blockbuster NYT report, that's precisely what happened.

* * *

The CIA paid $100,000 last year to a Russian operative who claimed to have derogatory information about President Trump, including a video tape of the Republican engaged with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room. If the video showed Trump, it would support claims made in the infamous Steele dossier, the salacious opposition research report financed by the Clinton campaign and DNC.

But U.S. intelligence officials have reason to doubt the veracity of the video and other information about Trump associates provided by the Russian, according to a fascinating report from The New York Times.

American spies made contact with the Russia early in 2017 after he offered to sell the Trump material along with cyber hacking tools that were stolen from the NSA that year, according to The Times. U.S. intelligence officials told The Times they were so desperate to retrieve those tools that they negotiated with the operative for months despite several red flags, including indications that he was working in concert with Russian intelligence.

Another red flag was the Russian's financial request. He initially sought $10 million for the information but dropped the asking price to $1 million.

After months of negotiations, American spies handed over $100,000 in cash in a brief case to the Russian during a meeting in Berlin in September.

The operative also offered documents and emails that purported to implicate other Trump associates, including former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. But The Times viewed the documents and reported that they were mostly information that is already in the public domain.

The Russian, who has ties to organized criminals and money launderers, showed the video purported to be Trump to a Berlin-based American businessman who served as his intermediary to the CIA. But according to the Times, the footage and the location of the viewing raised questions about its authenticity.

The 15-second clip showed two women speaking with a man. It is not clear if the man was Trump, and there was no audio. The Russian also showed the video to his American partner at the Russian embassy in Berlin, a sign that the operative had ties to Russian intelligence.

The Russian stonewalled the production of the cyber tools, and U.S. officials eventually cut ties, according to The Times. After the payout in Berlin, the man provided information about Trump and his associates of questionable veracity.

The Americans gave him an ultimatum earlier in 2018 to either play ball, leave Western Europe, or face criminal charges. He left, according to The Times, which interviewed U.S. officials, the American intermediary and the Russian for its article.

The Times' U.S. sources -- who appear to paint the American side in a positive light -- said that they were reluctant to purchase information because they did not want to be seen buying dirt on the president.

The officials also expressed concern that the Russian operative was planting disinformation on behalf of the Russian government. U.S. officials were worried that the Russian government has sought to sow discord between U.S. intelligence agencies and Trump. The revelation that the CIA purchased dirt on him would likely do the trick.

The Times report also has other new details.

Four other Russians with ties to the spy world have surfaced over the past year offering to sell dirt on Trump that closely mirrors allegations made in the dossier, according to the article. But officials have reason to believe that some of sellers have ties to Russian intelligence agencies.

The Times also provides new details on Cody Shearer, a notorious operative close to the Clintons. Shearer was recently revealed to have shopped around a so-called "second dossier" prior to the campaign which mirrored the sex allegations of the Steele report.

According to The Times, he has criss-crossed Europe over the past six months in an attempt to find video footage of Trump from the Moscow hotel room. Shearer claimed to have information from the FSB, Russia's spy service, that a video existed of Trump with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room.

He shared a memo making the allegations with his friend and fellow Clinton fixer, Sidney Blumenthal. Blumenthal in turn passed the memo to his friend, Jonathan Winer, a Department of State official. Winer then gave the information to Steele who provided it to the FBI in October 2016.

Steele also provided information to Winer, who wrote up a two-page memo that was circulated within the State Department.

Trump has denied allegations that he used prostitutes in Moscow. He has called the dossier a "hoax" and "crap."

* * *

On Saturday morning, Trump tweeted that "according to the @nytimes, a Russian sold phony secrets on "Trump" to the U.S. Asking price was $10 million, brought down to $1 million to be paid over time. I hope people are now seeing & understanding what is going on here. It is all now starting to come out - DRAIN THE SWAMP!

Of course, if Trump really wants to "drain the swamp", any such decision would have originate with him. Tags Politics Commercial Banks

InjectTheVenom -> Global Hunter Feb 10, 2018 11:47 AM Permalink

DRAIN. THE. SWAMP.

Billy the Poet -> InjectTheVenom Feb 10, 2018 12:04 PM Permalink

Release the pee pee video now! No one pee peed in the $100,000 video in question. The 15-second clip showed two women speaking with a man. It is not clear if the man was Trump, and there was no audio. And how can anyone be more fascinated by the prospect of pee pee than by the fact that US intelligence agencies were buying bad information from extremely shady foreigners in an attempt to overthrow the President of the United States?

caconhma -> Billy the Poet Feb 10, 2018 12:42 PM Permalink

Trump is the swamp. If zio-Banking Mafia did not have enough dirt of Trump, he would not be elected.

gatorengineer -> caconhma Feb 10, 2018 1:05 PM Permalink

Trump is starting to assume that the people are dumber than Obowel did. Earth to Don, you sir have the drain pump, you sir have surrounded yourself with Swamp creatures.... You sir are.............

Arrowflinger -> InjectTheVenom Feb 10, 2018 12:18 PM Permalink

According to this, the Russians stole the hacking tools needed to cut through the Swamp levee, which were developed by the NSA, and now the CIA cannot buy them back. Now, since the USA wanted its Swamp, the Russians are more than happy to let the USA drown in its swamp.

What a country!

gatorengineer -> Arrowflinger Feb 10, 2018 1:06 PM Permalink

Anyone have a link for the Qanon posts. I haven't seen them in a couple of weeks since he left 8chan where he was posting. I don't want the Youtube BS, I just want the link... anyone got one. Its strangely not googleable... LOLZ.

El Oregonian -> Global Hunter Feb 10, 2018 11:53 AM Permalink

If you think that the CIA is a U.S. intelligence agency working on the best interests of the United States, you better wake up and smell the treason. They only work for the best interests of themselves.

Bula_Vinaka -> El Oregonian Feb 10, 2018 12:10 PM Permalink

They are parasites and nothing more.

BurningFuld -> Bula_Vinaka Feb 10, 2018 12:40 PM Permalink

Here is a question. Why does the CIA not come out and clear the air re: Trump?

I mean they were even paying people to come up with dirt. He is now your president and the country is a fucking mess. Should the CIA not come out and say we tried but we got nothing? They do have the ability to fix all this Trump shit and yet crickets.

Ahmeexnal -> caconhma Feb 10, 2018 1:03 PM Permalink

CIA is the covert dirty dealing arm of the VATICAN.

MarshalJimDuncan -> El Oregonian Feb 10, 2018 12:12 PM Permalink

ooohh... they release this questionable information for all to hear and paid a lot of money for it too. this fucking government is a joke

Posa -> El Oregonian Feb 10, 2018 12:56 PM Permalink

And the best interests of clients. The CIA started out is the muscle for the Dulles Brothers clients who were being booted out of various countries they were super-exploiting. The Agency hasn't looked back since.

Alfred -> El Oregonian Feb 10, 2018 12:59 PM Permalink

Seems wrong to call them 'intelligence' agencies. There must be a more descriptive name we can use... Anyone?

Guitarilla -> Global Hunter Feb 10, 2018 12:35 PM Permalink

Nobody got whizzed on. That lurid fantasy came soley out of the head of Hillary Clinton, given to Blumenthal, passed around and made to look like it came from Russia.

DownWithYogaPants -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 11:47 AM Permalink

CIA killed Kennedy. This pretty much removes all doubt. They are willing to do anything.

Killtruck -> shimmy Feb 10, 2018 12:51 PM Permalink

"Oswald killed Kennedy. That's it."

It IS remarkable the stuff people believe when all logic goes against it. Like Oswald firing magic bullets from an old Italian Carcano...and jet fuel melting steel beams...and a building collapsing through the path of greatest resistance into its own footprint after NOT being hit by an airplane...and Kennedy being shot from behind, but his head snapping backwards from the impact...and Oswald picking the worst possible shooting location, but in front of Kennedy were two intersecting highways going in any direction...and terrorist passports floating gently down from the sky.

It sure is remarkable.
#letsroll

possible band name
OswaldandtheMagicBullets

Able Ape -> shimmy Feb 10, 2018 12:57 PM Permalink

What was Oswald's reason to kill JFK? And yeah, he picked the very building he worked at to commit the crime. He wasn't THAT stupid!...

Posa -> shimmy Feb 10, 2018 1:05 PM Permalink

RFK and Nixon knew immediately the assassination of JFK was a CIA hit job because they had CHAIRED those hit squad operations themselves for Cuban Operations. They saw the CIA- Cuban hit squad fingerprints all over the kill. RFK had personally fired Wm Harvey, Dulles' chief of assassinations. However, RFK was silenced because he and Jack had been tag-teaming Marilyn Monroe.

The reason JFK was killed was a) his openly stated determination to shatter the CIA into a thousand pieces so they could no longer operate as a dangerous, renegade private army; and b) in the Spring of '63 JFK delivered his famous American U address calling for the end of the Cold War...

Oswald was always a patsie... the WC documents how his rifle was inoperable... scope needed parts just to be be sited and take aim... even after parts installed the rifle attributed to Oswald remained highly inaccurate... Military sharpshooters couldn't even hit stationary targets reliably.

mobius8curve -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 11:49 AM Permalink

If there is a video you can be sure it was manufactured using these tools:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_Nx404VLzw

Lawlessness is arising exponentially:

https://sumofthyword.com/2017/01/18/the-mystery-of-lawlessness/

oDumbo -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 12:19 PM Permalink

Drain the swamp! Townsquare justice for Odumbo and Hitlery! George Soros to bathe in the Amazon River with 1 million Piranha Fish until it completely disappears. Drain the evil Dumorat swamp. Drain the banana republic CIA and FBI. Our tax dollars and constitution did not pay for this shit.

Kelley -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 12:34 PM Permalink

With today's technology, the CIA is most likely working on a fake video for you right now. They might release it on Vimeo or Netflix to cover the costs and give themselves plausible deniability. To add a finishing touch they will make a fake video of Julian Assange claiming he is releasing it. You'll be in hog heaven. Which is where folks like you go just before being slaughtered by your owners and turned into spam.

shovelhead -> Dr. Acula Feb 10, 2018 12:55 PM Permalink

10 Million...

1 million...

Ok, How about $9.99

algol_dog Feb 10, 2018 11:38 AM Permalink

Move along. Nothing to see here ...

DosZap -> algol_dog Feb 10, 2018 11:40 AM Permalink

What a load of camel dung, if there was a sex tape of Trump w/Russian hookers, it would have been out while he was RUNNING for the job, FAKE NEWS.

SRV -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 11:54 AM Permalink

Of course the story is a plant to introduce the hacking tools to cover the payment to Russians for dirt on a sitting POTUS by his own Intel Agency...

And CNN, MSNBC, etc are still wall to wall Trump impeachment... they no longer even pretend. Brain dead Erin Burnett opened with "the Republicans are at it again" to night (in my regular 30 secs of checking in for a laugh)!

vulcanraven -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 12:08 PM Permalink

No shit, this is what I tell every Libtard when they cry the tired "Trump is corrupt and evil" meme. If there was ANYTHING on Trump, it would have oversaturated the airwaves 24/7 during his candidacy, and he would have never made it out of the primaries.

So which is it? Is he the world's greatest evil retard idiot, or a 9000+ IQ genius that is so slick and underhanded that he was able to collude with Putin, hide all evidence, and pull off the biggest caper in the history of the United States by sneaking into the Presidency? You can't have it both ways.

We must also give credit to the army of Russian bots that tell us how to think and act all day, where would we be without them?

silvermail -> algol_dog Feb 10, 2018 11:55 AM Permalink

I propose impeachment to any US president for eating, drinking and visiting toilets!

TheWholeYearInn Feb 10, 2018 11:38 AM Permalink

What's the difference between prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room, or prostitutes in the FBI/DOJ?

Global Hunter -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 11:47 AM Permalink

I can't confirm price, so I will go with hotter (can't really confirm that either but Slavic chicks usually seem hot to me).

SRV -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 11:54 AM Permalink

Of course the story is a plant to introduce the hacking tools to cover the payment to Russians for dirt on a sitting POTUS by his own Intel Agency...

And CNN, MSNBC, etc are still wall to wall Trump impeachment... they no longer even pretend. Brain dead Erin Burnett opened with "the Republicans are at it again" to night (in my regular 30 secs of checking in for a laugh)!

turkey george palmer -> SRV Feb 10, 2018 1:09 PM Permalink

Fuckin eh right. That's probably the closest thing .

A Sentinel -> SRV Feb 10, 2018 1:21 PM Permalink

Damn good point. And the dates are off too. A 6+/- month zh article about the dark web had the nsa software downloadable long before 2017.

Gee. Why would someone date that hack into 2017? What was different between 2016 and 2017?

SMH Trying to figure that out.

vulcanraven -> DosZap Feb 10, 2018 12:08 PM Permalink

No shit, this is what I tell every Libtard when they cry the tired "Trump is corrupt and evil" meme. If there was ANYTHING on Trump, it would have oversaturated the airwaves 24/7 during his candidacy, and he would have never made it out of the primaries.

So which is it? Is he the world's greatest evil retard idiot, or a 9000+ IQ genius that is so slick and underhanded that he was able to collude with Putin, hide all evidence, and pull off the biggest caper in the history of the United States by sneaking into the Presidency? You can't have it both ways.

We must also give credit to the army of Russian bots that tell us how to think and act all day, where would we be without them?

Winston Churchill -> buzzsaw99 Feb 10, 2018 12:02 PM Permalink

More than you know, whenever Russian is stated, replace with Ukrainian. TPTB cannot help themselves but push forward on another agenda as the current one falls apart. The Russophobia is still being stoked no matter what.

Steele was a double agent, maybe triple. British,Ukrainian and probably American. Does that start to make a little more sense ? Those huuuge donations to the CF from Ukraine, McStains involvement, Steele's early retirement from MI6, Brennan's frequent trips to Ukraine, State Dept.s role. Investigate the Chalupa sisters to find out who the rest of the rats are.Lee Stranahan started before he was shut down.

H-O-W Feb 10, 2018 11:46 AM Permalink

The more we learn,

The more it looks like the Russians set this up perfectly.

They know these scumbags better than we do!

buzzsaw99 Feb 10, 2018 11:48 AM Permalink

the CIA has to turn America into a criminal totalitarian regime in order to make the world safe for democracy.

Give Me Some Truth Feb 10, 2018 11:49 AM Permalink

Good point in the last sentence. If someone is going to "drain the swamp" it is going to have to be the president of the United States. I think I'm correct that he can fire anyone that works in the executive department for cause. He can also order investigations or hire people who will launch real investigations.

Mr. President, if you want to "drain the swamp," drain it.

P.S. You can start with an audit of The Fed.

desertboy -> Give Me Some Truth Feb 10, 2018 12:16 PM Permalink

That last sentence assumes a rather critical fantasy.

Anunnaki -> Thordoom Feb 10, 2018 12:24 PM Permalink

The Tripod of Evil

  1. Deep State
  2. Presstitutes
  3. Corporate Democrats
Dre4dwolf Feb 10, 2018 12:11 PM Permalink

If there was a video it would of been leaked during the election, they have nothing that sticks on the guy.

All the evidence thus far states

Obama Hillary the FBI, DNC, CIA all spied on Trump and colluded with foreign governments (U.K. , Ukraine , Russia) to try and dig up dirt to use against Trump (and they more or less failed).

They turned over every rock they could, look at that stupid hot-mic video in the bus, how many hours of video did they have to go through to dig up that crumb? they went back searching through 30+ years of content and thats all they could come up with.... some locker room talk lol

People have to just face it.

Your government was and still is corrupt and its a weaponized system of control, Your government colluded with the enemy in a desperate attempt to stop Trump from becoming president. Your government started a sham "Russia investigation" to cover up its own crimes. Your government applied a different standard of justice to the clintons than it would have to you or anyone else.

To date ZERO evidence has been brought forward that Trump or anyone in his campaign did anything wrong, and the only people that have done anything wrong so far were picked by "the swamp" to fill positions..... all the others fell into petty perjury Traps on meaningless topics and insignificant factoids.

Lord Raglan Feb 10, 2018 12:12 PM Permalink

How much you wanna bet that Brennan, Obama's CIA Director, was behind buying this and thus, Obama and Hillary?

navy62802 -> Lord Raglan Feb 10, 2018 12:16 PM Permalink

You mean the same Brennan who is the godfather of ISIS?

Kelley Feb 10, 2018 12:16 PM Permalink

Isn't it lovely to find out that your money and mine is being used by government agents to give us the government they want?

It's sort of like a thug robbing you and using part of your money to pay another thug to rough you up from time time to time if you ask any questions with the thugs believing it's for our own good.

Thanks, Hillary, for looking out for us. You and your best buds are the best. Such bighearted givers! Meanwhile, give our regards to your partner in slime Obama, although it must pain you to have been bested by 'Beavis' who thinks so much of himself to balance out how little he impresses anyone who knows him.

desertboy Feb 10, 2018 12:20 PM Permalink

"U.S. intelligence officials told The Times" Sounds like the Donald is finally learning to cooperate better with his masters. They can call off the hounds.

Consuelo Feb 10, 2018 12:22 PM Permalink

Ok - so we have yet another (likely factual) story here of overt, in-your-face abuse of power and agency aimed directly at American citizens for political gain. And tomorrow? Probably another. And then another. Until: 'Bimbo Fatigue' Remember that phrase. If real justice isn't thrown down soon, you can forget it. Looks to me like (possibly) Trump imploring for public support - i.e., he can't do this himself, or it's too dangerous and he knows it...

Kelley Feb 10, 2018 1:05 PM Permalink

As taxpayers can we sue the CIA for misusing our funds? Pretty sure that buying sex videos for commercial release isn't part of the CIA's lawful mandate even at bargain prices.

indaknow Feb 10, 2018 1:13 PM Permalink

Why is the CIA trying to purchase dirt on a sitting President in 2017! Because they have nothing on him! And they are desperate to not all hang by the neck. The times are trying to portray this as Russian intelligence sowing discord between the US intelligence agencies and Trump...Wrong! The US Intel agencies are sowing that discord all on their fucking own. They weren't fooled at all, they created this fucking mess for their own treasonous reasons and now want us to believe that hey...if we fucked up its because the big bad russkies tricked us.

It's not going to work.

hooligan2009 Feb 10, 2018 11:49 AM Permalink

my sauces tell me that pink pussyhat wearing hollywood types have been called in because they have a doppelganger for trump and access to 30,000 sexually abused victims that can act as Russian prostitutes for just ten bucks each. snapchat has a trump emoji that can be transplanted onto any porn video star - male or female - thus confirming that trump is a serial (serious?) user of ladies of the night

my sauces also tell me that the CIA offers a reward of 100,000 bucks (or 10 BTC) for every photo-shopped (snap-shopped or porn-shopped) material.

of course, the CIA already owns many many porn movie studios and films, but it would prefer third "party" movies - not from epstein's island where its operatives choose to rela with a pizza.

the CIA "pink" budget for such movies is limited to just 5,000 clips or 5 billion of taxpayers funds, whichever is the higher.

awesome sauce hey?

MusicIsYou Feb 10, 2018 1:14 PM Permalink

For only $100,000 that's all? Now I know it's probably not true.

Robert A. Heinlein Feb 10, 2018 1:17 PM Permalink

'The Russian, who has ties to organized criminals and money launderers' wtf! So far the Russians are playing our CIA like a bunch of amateurs. And the deep state/dem's bought it hook, line and sinker. Trump was right again. Dem's and Russia are colluding against a duly elected Presidential candidate. I guess it's safe to say we need another order for more Rope. Dem's and deepshit state just can't get enough of hanging themselves. This ain't over by a long shot.

hannah Feb 10, 2018 1:33 PM Permalink

i call bullshit. you dont 'buy back' a software program that can be copied in 30 seconds. this whole story is a fabrication just like the dossier. made up to inflect bad info on to trump.

i call bullshit.

RKae -> hannah Feb 10, 2018 1:47 PM Permalink

Yeah, I loved that one. "Here. I'm giving you back that software I ripped off from you. I copied it to this CD and then deleted it from my computer... You know: wiped it with a cloth."

And I love that the CIA thinks they can get away with a tale like that when everyone but my 90-year-old mother-in-law knows how a digital file works.

Quantify Feb 10, 2018 1:38 PM Permalink

The CIA is at the head of the shadow government.

RKae Feb 10, 2018 1:39 PM Permalink

So were these "patriotic" CIA superheroes interested in Bill Clinton's rapes, rapes and more rapes? Were they concerned that he was snorting coke and using Arkansas state troopers for procurers of hosebags for him to screw?

I mean if they're so concerned about Trump and a couple of hookers... Better put some ice on that, CIA.

vofreason Feb 10, 2018 1:39 PM Permalink

You all are so ridiculous and fooled with your "drain the swamp" bs. It's a great idea but Trump doing it is a joke, I mean just look at who he has hired, what's wrong with you all are you blind?!!

He can't even fill 1/3 of the government positions he's supposed to and the ones he has have no business holding the positions given to them and are so incompetent, downright criminal or just personally horrendous humans that they can't stay in office more than a few months. All their blatant and moronically concocted lies are backing them into corners every day that they just try and lie out of again. America is over if we really have gotten to the point that a group like Trump's has support, it's just astonishing.

[Feb 10, 2018] US Spies, Seeking to Retrieve Cyberweapons, Paid Russian Peddling Trump Secrets by MATTHEW ROSENBERG

Another CIA disinformation operation? Typical and convenient source for NYT leaks: anonimous intelligence officials. Part of neo-McCarthyism campaign by NYT?
The idea of "buying back" hacking tools is definite disinformation. Why one should do so in unclear: the software that CIA developed still exists within CIA. Malware can't be "bought back" like a gun as soon as it was distributed in the open. It just fuel the nest turn of the spiral of arm race being incorporation in new tools of states and cybercriminals. The same process that already happened with Stuxnet and Flame before.
Is this some Russian hacker who have stolen 100K using cheap trick to get CIA guys interested. Or may this another false flag operation. Can this "Russian" be a Ukrainian ?
Notable quotes:
"... The Russian claimed to have access to a staggering collection of secrets that included everything from the computer code for the cyberweapons stolen from the N.S.A. and C.I.A. to what he said was a video of Mr. Trump consorting with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room in 2013, according to American and European officials and the Russian, who agreed to be interviewed in Germany on the condition of anonymity. There remains no evidence that such a video exists. ..."
"... Early in the negotiations, for instance, he dropped his asking price from about $10 million to just over $1 million. Then, a few months later, he showed the American businessman a 15-second clip of a video showing a man in a room talking to two women. ..."
"... "In December, the Russian said he told the American intermediary that he was providing the Trump material and holding out on the hacking tools at the orders of senior Russian intelligence officials." ..."
"... There's something not right about this story. The "Russians", if they represented the Russian government would never negotiate for $1M, nor would they provide "kompromat" on Trump, since (according to all the western MSM anyway) Trump represents the best path for a relaxing of tension (and sanctions) between the USA and Russia. ..."
"... What a wild story! The most interesting factor is that the promised compromising information on Trump tracked with material in the Steele Dossier, yet the US agents easily detected its source as FSB and its apparent fabrication. Much was simple non-incriminating rehashes of publicly available information, including easily debunked falsities. ..."
"... Yet the FBI has used the Dossier as the guide for investigating Trump, as have multiple committees in Congress and the MSM - without questioning that the stories were also fed to Christopher Steele by agents of the Kremlin or derived by him from open source materials available in the media. It's what spies do. Especially spies whose Russian contacts have grown cold after a 7-year absence from Russia. He was ripe for snookering. ..."
"... The same can be said of anything sourced by the disreputable Cody Shearer via Sid Blumenthal that was fed to the FBI through the unwitting Winer, Kerry, and Nuland at State Department. ..."
"... Plain as the nose on your face, yet NYT commenters are so wedded to their desire to defenestrate Trump, that they just don't care. Putin knows that and his efforts continue unabated, assisted by the Blind Resistance. ..."
"... "Instead of providing the hacking tools, the Russian produced unverified and possibly fabricated information involving Mr. Trump and others, including bank records, emails and purported Russian intelligence data." It it's unverified and possibly fabricated, why are we wasting news space? Stop giving voice to unverified junk! We want (or I want) an objective investigation that should take no more than 6 months given the money we are paying Mueller and the FBI to investigate. Are there any facts in DC or is DC now Putin's puppet. ..."
"... Remember the "Fake News" of a Ballistic "Missile Gap" which mimicked today's politicization of Intel by Democrats, that the Russians endorsed with a Red Face and Americans swallowed hook, line and sinker with enormous help by the MSM. The Intel was bad, of course, but it was a huge part of the 1960 election and contributed to the Nuclear Arms race, at a terrible cost to America and threatened the whole world with Thermonuclear Armageddon by Mutual Assured Destruction. All of this was satirized by Stanley Kubrick in "Dr. Strangelove" with a hysterical General fearing Russian "meddling" with bodily fluids and another General denying the President nuclear war plans due to classification. The irony with today's Intel scandal is rich. ..."
"... I agree. It's terrifying that people being paid by taxpayers to protect our citizens and our country have turned on both in order to put their own political agenda in power. In other countries, that's called a coup d'etat - the overthrow of a legitimate government. ..."
"... The Times reinforces the Nunes memo ... that the deep state was trying to get Trump with Russia stuff... ..."
Feb 10, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

After months of secret negotiations, a shadowy Russian bilked American spies out of $100,000 last year, promising to deliver stolen National Security Agency cyberweapons in a deal that he insisted would also include compromising material on President Trump, according to American and European intelligence officials.

The cash, delivered in a suitcase to a Berlin hotel room in September, was intended as the first installment of a $1 million payout, according to American officials, the Russian and communications reviewed by The New York Times. The theft of the secret hacking tools had been devastating to the N.S.A., and the agency was struggling to get a full inventory of what was missing.

Several American intelligence officials said they made clear that they did not want the Trump material from the Russian, who was suspected of having murky ties to Russian intelligence and to Eastern European cybercriminals. He claimed the information would link the president and his associates to Russia. Instead of providing the hacking tools, the Russian produced unverified and possibly fabricated information involving Mr. Trump and others, including bank records, emails and purported Russian intelligence data.

The United States intelligence officials said they cut off the deal because they were wary of being entangled in a Russian operation to create discord inside the American government. They were also fearful of political fallout in Washington if they were seen to be buying scurrilous information on the president.

The Central Intelligence Agency declined to comment on the negotiations with the Russian seller. The N.S.A., which produced the bulk of the hacking tools that the Americans sought to recover, said only that "all N.S.A. employees have a lifetime obligation to protect classified information."

The negotiations in Europe last year were described by American and European intelligence officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a clandestine operation, and the Russian. The United States officials worked through an intermediary -- an American businessman based in Germany -- to preserve deniability. There were meetings in provincial German towns where John le Carré set his early spy novels, and data handoffs in five-star Berlin hotels. American intelligence agencies spent months tracking the Russian's flights to Berlin, his rendezvous with a mistress in Vienna and his trips home to St. Petersburg, the officials said.

The N.S.A. even used its official Twitter account to send coded messages to the Russian nearly a dozen times.

The episode ended this year with American spies chasing the Russian out of Western Europe, warning him not to return if he valued his freedom, the American businessman said. The Trump material was left with the American, who has secured it in Europe.

The Russian claimed to have access to a staggering collection of secrets that included everything from the computer code for the cyberweapons stolen from the N.S.A. and C.I.A. to what he said was a video of Mr. Trump consorting with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room in 2013, according to American and European officials and the Russian, who agreed to be interviewed in Germany on the condition of anonymity. There remains no evidence that such a video exists.

The Russian was known to American and European officials for his ties to Russian intelligence and cybercriminals -- two groups suspected in the theft of the N.S.A. and C.I.A. hacking tools.

But his apparent eagerness to sell the Trump "kompromat" -- a Russian term for information used to gain leverage over someone -- to American spies raised suspicions among officials that he was part of an operation to feed the information to United States intelligence agencies and pit them against Mr. Trump. Early in the negotiations, for instance, he dropped his asking price from about $10 million to just over $1 million. Then, a few months later, he showed the American businessman a 15-second clip of a video showing a man in a room talking to two women.

No audio could be heard on the video, and there was no way to verify if the man was Mr. Trump, as the Russian claimed. But the choice of venue for showing the clip heightened American suspicions of a Russian operation: The viewing took place at the Russian Embassy in Berlin, the businessman said.

... ... ...


Kathy Oxford 22 hours ago

This article makes it seem like our intelligence service is an oxymoron - and I don't just mean our current administration. Offered stolen hacking tools from a Russian? All those red flags around this person and still they handed over money? Because they couldn't verify the video they decided to go ahead? And why so desperate to get hacking tools back? Isn't it already too late if they've been compromised?

As for Trump? He's spent his entire adult life in the tabloids, not a lot of secrets left. An intern with a computer can compile a credible dossier. Instead, everyone got dirty hands from the hired consultants dossier which is now used by both sides as a weapon. Instead, no matter what it tells about Mr. Trump, we probably already know it. His supporters don't care and the rest of us are appalled. I don't think all the Russian meddling in the world will change that.

RGV is a trusted commenter Boston 3 hours ago

Senator Warner, one of the Democrats' Congressional leaders, was ready to fly to London to chase down Trump kompromat. Representative Schiff was also prepared to meet with Russians to obtain Trump kompromat - following in the footsteps of Donald Jr. When will Mueller interview these two corrupt politicians?

in disbelief Manhattan 4 hours ago

I'm utterly sure it wasn't intentional. The Obama administration's spies WERE NOT after anti-Trump, defamatory, incendiary information, in order to help compile a dossier that they intended to use to obtain from the FISA court the permission to spy on an American citizen. It was not their intention! And the NYT is doing an excellent job trying to preempt any such notion through this piece.

Gordon Canada 6 hours ago

The distribution of of American cyberweapons resulted in a short term international crisis. But is the international community safer long term, now that defensive solutions to CIA hack tools were engineered?

The American obsession with Russian election interference in US politics is likely born out of frustration that Russian 'elections'are riggeg by Putin. Putin has ensilured he has nothing to fear about Americans influencing Russian elections.

Final point... American media collectively lose their minds with outrage about espionage efforts from countries like Russia & China. Western media downplay the fact that American intelligence efforts are equal in every way to Russia & China.

The public gets it... the CIA grieved both the loss and exposure of their cyberweapons. The CIA loss was a long term win for international prvacy and security efforts.

"The cyberweapons had been built to break into the computer networks of Russia, China and other rival powers. Instead, they ended up in the hands of a mysterious group calling itself the Shadow Brokers, which has since provided hackers with tools that infected millions of computers around the world, crippling hospitals, factories and businesses."

Merlin Atlanta 6 hours ago

Very, very stupid. You can never fully recover a stolen computer code, you can never exclusively buy and own a hacking tool. Obviously, NSA was going after "kompromat" on Trump. The NSA is right to want to know what compromising info a foreign intelligence agency has on a key US official, let alone a person occupying the WH. But we should be more concerned with incompetence of the NSA in not discerning quickly enough that the Russian was a fraud.

Putin wins, again. I bet he's having a pretty good laugh.... Putin has exposed the very large and soft underbelly of American democracy.

Daphne Sanitz Texas 7 hours ago

Let's face it. If the sex video, or salacious material on Trump existed......It would have leaked by now.

hawk New England 8 hours ago

Don Jr. takes a meeting with a Russian under the assumption she has dirt on HRC, then spends 23 hours explaining the meet to Congress. Schiff tells anyone who will listen it's smoking gun or collusion. Previously he takes a phone call from two Russian comedians, where he appears intent on getting compromising photos on Trump. Now we find out a US Senator wants a private face to face with Steele in London, who had been in contact with the State Department on false Trump info.

Now the CIA is paying for the same type of dirt?. Do they go before Congress? It appears a lot of people did unethical things to delegitimize the President.

Sohail Minneapolis 8 hours ago

Am I missing something here or American spies are really that stupid (which I doubt they are) trying to buy back stolen cyberweapons? These so called cyberweapons are with a doubt software which makes it very likely that whoever stole these made copies and anyone claiming that they can return these intact is lying. So that makes me wonder where my tax dollars really go?

SJ Delaware 6 hours ago

The answer is "missing something", The americans are trying to get an inventory of what was stolen, not buy it back.

Allen USA 8 hours ago

Surely we aren't trying to retrieve hacking tools as if there were no other copies.

My guess is that we would want to know as best as possible what exactly they stole and hopefully something useful about the people and organization that stole the tools in order to try and diminish their capacity to do further harm. The tools are clearly out in the wild now and we have them too.

I would say that the choice of wording in this article is probably more the fault of the journalists, than an actual failure to understand how technology works by our intelligence agencies.

jaco Nevada 6 hours ago

The choice of wording was an attempt to obscure the true nature of what the CIA was searching for.

Avid NYT Reader New York, NY 8 hours ago

If we want the Russians to stop hacking our elections maybe we should try not hacking their elections. It's worth a try.

Klapper Alberta 8 hours ago

"In December, the Russian said he told the American intermediary that he was providing the Trump material and holding out on the hacking tools at the orders of senior Russian intelligence officials."

There's something not right about this story. The "Russians", if they represented the Russian government would never negotiate for $1M, nor would they provide "kompromat" on Trump, since (according to all the western MSM anyway) Trump represents the best path for a relaxing of tension (and sanctions) between the USA and Russia.

SB Seattle 8 hours ago

"The theft of the secret hacking tools had been devastating to the N.S.A., and the agency was struggling to get a full inventory of what was missing." "Hacking tools" are software. You mean to tell me the CIA is paying to get back their software that was stolen? What's wrong with doing a computer backup if you have irreplaceable data?

Conclusion: They were looking for dirt on Trump but didn't have any. So they made up a story about paying to get their software back.

Mat Kerberos 8 hours ago

This reads like the Witchcraft material. Deliberately fed chicken feed by a supposed double in the hopes of luring the information-hungry, desperate and unsuspecting towards a greater intelligence coup.

My thanks to la Carré for the language.

Parkbench Washington DC 8 hours ago

What a wild story! The most interesting factor is that the promised compromising information on Trump tracked with material in the Steele Dossier, yet the US agents easily detected its source as FSB and its apparent fabrication. Much was simple non-incriminating rehashes of publicly available information, including easily debunked falsities.

Yet the FBI has used the Dossier as the guide for investigating Trump, as have multiple committees in Congress and the MSM - without questioning that the stories were also fed to Christopher Steele by agents of the Kremlin or derived by him from open source materials available in the media. It's what spies do. Especially spies whose Russian contacts have grown cold after a 7-year absence from Russia. He was ripe for snookering.

The same can be said of anything sourced by the disreputable Cody Shearer via Sid Blumenthal that was fed to the FBI through the unwitting Winer, Kerry, and Nuland at State Department. More Kremlin attempts to destabilize the democratic institution in the US with tall tales.

All bought and paid for by the DNC and Clinton Campaign, through the partisan opposition research and smear merchants at Fusion GPS, using their well-developed ties in the media.

Plain as the nose on your face, yet NYT commenters are so wedded to their desire to defenestrate Trump, that they just don't care. Putin knows that and his efforts continue unabated, assisted by the Blind Resistance.

LPT Earth 9 hours ago

I don't see how the U.S. could be so stupid. These are cyberweapons which means they are files on a computer...which means they've probably been copied to numerous places. And once they've been copied to somewhere else, getting them back doesn't matter. They should have been created with self-destructing keys such that if the wrong key to execute them was used, they would self-destruct. Clearly there was no key protection. The NSA is wasting U.S. taxpayer money with one blunder after another. How many millions went down the drain with these weapons?

Paul G NY 9 hours ago

I would suggest to all the trump supporter commenters here that you watch the "Dirty Money" episode "Confidence Man" before defending your Leader. The CIA, FBI or the NSA doesn't need secret dossiers on tump. It's all public record.

Harriet Katz Albany Ny 7 hours ago

USA today, one of the first three Sundays in December 2017 gave a pretty itemized story regarding trumps financial ties with Putin and his crew. It's been amazing that the national media hasn't picked up on the story. But maybe that's the string Mueller's team is investigating. And verify.

Ma Atl 9 hours ago

Why are we giving a voice to Russian spies, and ultimately, Putin? Does the US have the ability to investigate real Russian infiltration or are they being used as puppets?

"Instead of providing the hacking tools, the Russian produced unverified and possibly fabricated information involving Mr. Trump and others, including bank records, emails and purported Russian intelligence data."

It it's unverified and possibly fabricated, why are we wasting news space? Stop giving voice to unverified junk! We want (or I want) an objective investigation that should take no more than 6 months given the money we are paying Mueller and the FBI to investigate. Are there any facts in DC or is DC now Putin's puppet.

RealTRUTH AR 8 hours ago

Patience is a virtue. There is so much dirty dealing and conspiracy here that six months would never, under the best of circumstances, be enough. I would estimate another6 at least, and well worth the price. It costs more for Trump's golf outings!

AHicks San Francisco 9 hours ago

What a total waste of taxpayers money. How alarming is it that the recent hacks and viruses of so many companies and individuals costing them billions of dollars was the result of our own doing - a lackadaisical NSA who allowed their tools to be stolen. And now we have spies and agents running around the globe paying millions to pranksters and gangsters for some obtuse data. Let's all stop trying to make reality out of a James Bond movie as it is actually making Trump a suitable commander to oversee this clown show of a government.

Allen Brooklyn 8 hours ago

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. The risk ($100K) was small compared with the benefit. Think of what a single missile costs.

TokyoVP Tokyo 9 hours ago

The Real Russian Threat to National Security

Putin must be pleased with America's political disarray that grows greater by the day. If the "Russian Ruse" continues for another year, there could be riots in America. Russia would be happy to continue to meddle with US politics.

We've been here before with the "Russian Ruse" in an election year.

Remember the "Fake News" of a Ballistic "Missile Gap" which mimicked today's politicization of Intel by Democrats, that the Russians endorsed with a Red Face and Americans swallowed hook, line and sinker with enormous help by the MSM. The Intel was bad, of course, but it was a huge part of the 1960 election and contributed to the Nuclear Arms race, at a terrible cost to America and threatened the whole world with Thermonuclear Armageddon by Mutual Assured Destruction. All of this was satirized by Stanley Kubrick in "Dr. Strangelove" with a hysterical General fearing Russian "meddling" with bodily fluids and another General denying the President nuclear war plans due to classification. The irony with today's Intel scandal is rich.

Ed Smeloff Richmond CA 9 hours ago

It appears the CIA investigation morphed from identifying what hacking tools were in the hands of the Shadow Brokers and the names of people in that network to the role of Russia in the theft of the NSA software. The handoff from Carlo to the Russian is unexplained.

ed honolulu 3 hours ago

These "important institutions" are destroying themselves from within with the help of the Democratic deep state. You should stop buying the party line.

RealTRUTH AR 9 hours ago

This entire saga really is like a Jean le Carre novel, or something right out of "Berlin Station".
What is so obvious here is that we are, as usual, being played by foreign powers. How many times have we been duped by countries in the Middle East, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, Africa, Viet Nam, Pakistan, etc., etc., ad infinitum.The second Gulf War (which we are still fighting forever 15 years) started over Bush's reaction to false intelligence of WMDs in Iraq.
Trump, through his ignorant, egotistical actions, has alienated most of our allies and now is trying to destroy any credibility that our intelligence agencies still have, all to avoid conviction on collaboration and treason charges with Russia. Russia is having a hay day; we are dupes and fools, and we have already lost this battle. Until we take this seriously, and act accordingly, we might as well run Putin against Trump in 2020 - and he would probably win if he aligns with the Republican Party.

Liz Cook California 8 hours ago

Sadly our intelligence community seems to be incredibly naive and poorly trained... way before Trump ... how much do we spend on all of these intelligence agencies ... aren't there about 16?

c harris is a trusted commenter Candler, NC 9 hours ago

Just as with the atomic bomb monopoly this NSA creation has been taken by international bad actors. At least with the atomic bomb technology it was extremely expensive to acquire at the time and prohibitively dangerous to utilize. This NSA stuff is now being inflicted on the world. These "intelligence" people reported are obsessed with Russian intelligence and their as yet unproven involvement in the 2016 elections.

Ramon.Reiser Myrtle Beach 10 hours ago

Graham Greene, a former British MI agent, wrote several excellent novels concerning the price of human intelligence, one set in S Africa, three other in the Caribbean.

For quality human Intel you need to start with the highest quality youth who have access. You have to research and court them carefully with the hope that they will rise over the decades to the highest levels of government. They have to have superb, yet vulnerable, judgment of intent and credibility of what they feed you.

Noriega is a classic example. We groomed him well. His country paid the price.

In the Caribbean, island after island, and in Africa and South and Central Americas, in the 1950s and 60s onward, if not perhaps earlier, the Brits, Americans, French, Germans, Belgians, E Germans, Czechs, Chinese, and Russians all searched for the best and the brightest and seduced or 'assisted' and in the decades to come the developing world has paid a terrible price of corruption and loss of leadership and integrity.

(European colonial nations started it way back as soon as they entered their future colonies.)

Technical intelligence is rarely, perhaps never, enough. But human Intel has a terrible price now, the past, and the future.

Abby Tucson 10 hours ago

I bet Mircosoft gets offers daily to learn which of their holes has been penetrated and what holes the competition has yet to fill. A tool costs a fortune to make, but a hole is just there for the taking.

Louisa Askance 9 hours ago

And they say it's a puritanical country.

Abby Tucson 7 hours ago

I'm a NPR kinda gal, and that's where I learned one hole can get you $30K from Microsoft just for catching it. Imagine what the crooks might pay for it.

Bill Klink Lexington, KY 10 hours ago

MORE TAX PAYER MONEY. Why are government employees using my tax money to try to "Find dirt on the POTUS" How many millions of dollars have been spent on this ridicules SHAM of an investigation. It's just a stupid distraction and that money could be spent on more useful things.

Phil D Georgia 8 hours ago

I guess you didn't read the article. They refused to accept the intel on Trump and kept demanding they were only interested in retrieving what intelligence tools had been stolen and compromised. They cut ties with this individual when he only produced info on Trump and his campaign. It's in the article multiple times and stated very clearly.

S A Johnson Los Angeles, CA 8 hours ago

@ Bill Klink
"The United States intelligence officials said they cut off the deal because they were wary of being entangled in a Russian operation to create discord inside the American government. They were also fearful of political fallout in Washington if they were seen to be buying scurrilous information on the president."

So your comment of "why are government employees using my tax money to try to "find dirt on the POTUS" may be your opinion but has nothing to do with the particulars of what is mentioned in this article.

And I for one am happy to have my taxpayer money spent on finding information on the POTUS when such fact-finding exposes any legal or ethical wrongdoing in his business and political affiliations. His business ties are dubious at best, and at worst may affect the security of our nation.There is enough evidence to suggest this is the case and that such connections are harmful to our country and all of our citizens, even the ones that support him. Let's hope that in the end. law and justice matter more than a tax break.

ERP Bellows Falls, VT 10 hours ago

It's not clear that officials involved in the effort to "recover" the hacking tools are really aware that the sources can keep copies of them that are just the same as the originals. It looks like the spy movies early in the digital age where the goal was to recapture some computer "disk".

And it's not even as though you can insist on a return of the negatives.

David Booth Somerville, MA, USA 9 hours ago

Duh. Of course they know that. They want them because: "The theft of the secret hacking tools had been devastating to the N.S.A., and the agency was struggling to get a full inventory of what was missing."

Kelly Brandon 10 hours ago

We are now getting close the the endgame. Democrats had better hope Mueller finds something on Trump. Otherwise there is mounting evidence that some people were using government institutions for political purposes. I'm inclined to believe Trump would not be stupid enough to run for President if he had dangerous skeletons in his closet however we will likely know soon enough. If Trump can't be brought down then the spotlight shifts to very unorthodox activities aimed against him.

Linda and Michael San Luis Obispo, CA 8 hours ago

Oh, Trump is definitely stupid enough to run for office despite an array of skeletons in his closet -- among them, the sexual harassment of multiple women, hush money to Stormy Daniels, use of his real estate properties to launder money for Russian oligarchs, not to mention more prosaic things like six business bankruptcies, cheating a long line of contractors who have worked for his businesses, a scam for-profit "university," a sham charitable foundation used to bribe politicians and buy personal items for himself -- the list goes on. It's just that none of them seem to stick because congressional Republicans see an advantage to themselves in keeping him in office.

rayh wa state 7 hours ago

Maybe not "stupid" enough, but certainly "arrogant" enough. This is a man who has never been held responsible for any of his crimes, why would he think he would be now?

Mary Sullivan Utah 10 hours ago

I am not buying the overall story in this article. If you read between the lines, I think this article is a message from the intelligence agencies in the US and Europe to the Trump team that they coordinated together and obtained the kompromat.

(1) The sources identified for the story include American intelligence, European intelligence, and the Russian at the center of the story.

(2) The Russian was supposedly ordered to go back to Russia and never return, yet his interview was conducted in Germany on the condition of anonymity?

(3) The article indicates that several CIA agents from the US and in Berlin worked this investigation - plenty of witnesses.

(4) The article teases the information that has been obtained: the video, Russian intelligence reports, emails, bank records.

(5) The article makes clear that the NYT was provided with a sample of 4 intelligence reports that implicate Carter Page and the Mercers behind the Republican machine. (No wonder the Republican Congress has been in overdrive trying to discredit the investigation).

(6) Fox News (Trump TV) has been silent. If the overall story is to be believed, they would be all over it.

Read the article again and see what you think.

George NYC 21 minutes ago

If you read tea leaves my grandmother, or between the lines in the article, you come to a very different conclusions. Nothing has been found and the Democrats have spared no expense in trying to obtain some dirt they can leverage.

Linda and Michael San Luis Obispo, CA 10 hours ago

This article shows why we need to continue and encourage Mueller's investigation. Russia is making serious and repeated efforts to disrupt the democratic process in this country, and neither the president nor the political party which presently runs this government seems interested in addressing the problem, probably because they see it as benefiting them. The more we know about what the Russians did, and are continuing to do, and who here is helping them, the more able we will be to save ourselves from becoming like Russia itself, a powerless, cynical populace governed by a kleptocratic oligarchy.

Moses WA State 10 hours ago

My country is becoming a laughing stock, but the tax money of average people being wasted on this corrupt, incompetent government is no laughing matter.

Andy Beckenbach Silver City, NM 10 hours ago

Why, exactly, are our intelligence agencies trying to buy hacking software that they already have? This software was apparently stolen from the CIA and NSA in the first place. It is not as if you cannot make copies of software.

The only reason I can see is that it would confirm exactly what software they have stolen. But even that is of limited value, since there is no guarantee that they would provide copies of all the software they have.

Obviously the intelligence agencies cannot pay for dirt on the Republicans. But isn't there a liberal billionaire out there somewhere who might find it interesting?

SM USA 10 hours ago

Just substitute President Obama for DT in this story and it becomes laughable like late night parody. And that is THE problem - DT has NO legitamacy and the russians will exploit it as much as they can to divide and weaken our country. Thank you republicans for voting in this disaster.

PJDSodora Seattle 10 hours ago

I'm amazed at the comments for this article. So many people speak as if they know what they're talking about. As if they understand the process of gathering intelligence. As if they really know the full story here. The great unraveling continues.

Robert Out West 8 hours ago

It Is amazin', ain't it? I also adore the logical gymnastics; it's like watching people spin cotton candy out of "therefore," and "it's logical that," and, "obviously."

Beyond generally thinking that no, folks, you're not a brain surgeon because you saw a Science Channel special or an astronomer because you saw somethng about thatfake Face on Mars, a fancier statement from Wittgenstein comes to mind:

"About that which we can have no knowledge, we should fall silent."

DENOTE MORDANT CA 10 hours ago

The Russians continue to call the tune. Trump could be outed by the Russians whenever they choose and he knows it.

EJ Phxtzu Pinnacle Peak 10 hours ago

Article far from vindicates Don T.
Don T. people; careful what you wish for.

Good luck folks; see you at the polls.

D.A.Oh Middle America 10 hours ago

The most informative paragraph in this long article about almost nothing is:

"Reached by phone late last year, Mr. Shearer would say only that his work was "a big deal -- you know what it is, and you shouldn't be asking about it." He then hung up."

Because, you know, "the president will not be questioned."

As this comment section indicates, Trump supporters -- each of whom has exactly 34 recommendations at this moment -- are desperately struggling to secure Trump's legitimacy.

And the entire house of lies built around attacking the Mueller investigation has among its foundation a claim that everything in the dossier is fake news. Clearly it isn't.

So I found this to be a really long article to inform us that our spies paid a Russian spy $100,000 to let Russia know what lengths we'll go to to secure the Trump Kompromat material.

Albert Edmud Earth 8 hours ago

Just for clarification, D.A.Oh, could you point out which parts of the "dossier" are fake news and which parts are real news? Steele himself said that he thought 70% to 90% of his dossier was correct. It would be helpful to know which 10-30% is fake.

dugggggg nyc 10 hours ago

The tools have probably been copied by all the parties who actually had control of them, which makes me ask: Are we seeking to 'recover' these tools because WE didn't have back-ups of them?

Sally B Chicago 8 hours ago

It seems they wanted to know exactly what has been stolen. They know it's already been sent – or sold? – to others.

David Booth Somerville, MA, USA 9 hours ago

"The theft of the secret hacking tools had been devastating to the N.S.A., and the agency was struggling to get a full inventory of what was missing."

John Walker Coaldale 10 hours ago

Clearly an operation designed to compromise American intelligence agencies and provide additional cover for Russia's friend in Washington.

gametime68 19934 10 hours ago

It's time to clean out the entire building at the F.B.I. and start over. When our country's Top Cops and Top Prosecutors are caught violating the civil rights of Americans, spying without legitimate warrants, and attempting their own coup d'etats, it's time for them to go.

The F.B.I. took a beating after 9/11 for its failure to locate terrorists in our country who were using their VISA credit cards and found in the phone books. They had to send information via FEDEX to field offices the days following 9/11 because they didn't know how to use computers and email.

Clearly, whatever glory days the F.B.I. has been living since J. Edgar Hoover, are over. It's time to clean out that nest of traitors, liars, and schemers.

Misterbianco Pennsylvania 11 hours ago

There's a certain irony in stuff like this that supersedes even righteous outrage. It reinforces what Mad magazine spoofed decades ago: our spies are just as dumb as theirs; perhaps even more so. And when you wade in the swamp, expect to attract leeches.

emm305 SC 11 hours ago

"By last April it appeared that a deal was imminent. Several C.I.A. officers even traveled from the agency's headquarters to help the agency's Berlin station handle the operation."

So, that was after Mike Pompeo was at CIA. And, having watched his confirmation hearing & interviews since, pretty sure he's way more interested in getting the kompromat video of Trump for Trump than he is in stolen NSA hacking tools.

MJ Williams Florida 11 hours ago

This pathetic story shows the sleaze that is the CIA, NSA, all US, European, and Russian "intelligence" activity. Let's STOP FUNDING ALL "INTELLIGENCE" AGENCIES. And while we're being reasonable, let's stop thinking "the Russians" are The Bad Guys like in today's superhero movies aimed at little boys. The time for John Le Carre games is over. We should be ashamed they ever happened. Let's start assuming other countries are as honorable as ourselves. Oh wait, first we would have to start being honorable.

mightyk Sacramento 11 hours ago

Whole lot of nothing here. This kind of thing happens all of the time. Fortunately, in this case, no one was hurt, unlike what Curveball supposedly provided us in the prelude to the Iraq War. Oh and note to right-wing posters here--as soon as you say "deep state" you lose.

gametime68 19934 9 hours ago

So that U.S. intelligence agencies were willing to sell information about a sitting U.S. president to a foreign enemy doesn't bother you?

Des Johnson Forest Hills NY 11 hours ago

Compared to the sums that went missing in the Pentagon recently or in Iraq years ago, $100K is chump change for the chumps who elected this swarm of swamp creatures.

Chris C Alabama 11 hours ago

It is about the right time, according to the agitprop playbook, to start letting a slow seep of kompromat into the public domain. Kompromat is worthless unless the victim is absolutely sure that it exists in quantity and quality. This exact scenario had been repeated over and over by the USSR/Russia since the 1930's.

Stoneyfield United States 11 hours ago

Are our intelligence agencies truly that gullible? Why would they continue to work with people who had tricked them after the first time? And why would you give them $100,000 on the third go round? And, is the purpose of this article to try to lend excuses for the FBI and others for why they've been carrying on this Trump investigation? I'm not sure which one it is. Either the FBI, CIA and NSA are very naive and gullible and desperate to believe any bad stories about Trump or they all have known from the start that this whole thing is a made up spy tale supplied by Sidney Blumenthal and they just thought they could get away with continuing it long enough to get Trump impeached. Either way, it's disgusting and terrfying.

gametime68 19934 8 hours ago

I agree. It's terrifying that people being paid by taxpayers to protect our citizens and our country have turned on both in order to put their own p