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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 Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition 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 MSM as attack dogs of color revolution
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.  Launching  a color revolution  against  Trump via appointment of the Special Prosecutor was the  insurance policy the  neocon and neoliberal globalist decided to implement after his elections.  The top brass of justice Department was also onboard (As the recent (Feb, 2019) revelation about Rosenstein volunteering to wear wire on his meeting with Trump attest). The desire to rule the globe  sites prominently in minds of Washington  political elite and without a anothrer financial crash or similar even they probably will never abandon  this  over-ambitious idea or ruling the USA led global empire.

In a sence Russiagate was a typical false flag operation, that are routinely launched by intelligence agencies. For any non-biased observer  it is clear that the main sources of influence in the USA Presidential elections are the UK (via MI6 links to CIA, as demonstrated by Steele dossier), Israel (via Zionist lobby within the USA and several Zionist  billionaires such  as Sheldon Adelson ) and Gulf monarchies (via money donations to politicians; see bailout of Kushner by Qatar and Saudi huge acquisition of the US weapons as the most recent examples).

A classic example of color revolution false flags 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 neocon supporters within the State Department should be well trained in this craft. After Trump's victory they have had the audacity to launch this dirty "insurance scheme" on the USA people. The Idea of Russia influence in the US Presidential election is just variation of the same theme, an insurance scam to keep Trump in line with globalist ambitions of Washington political elite (which proved to be relatively easy task that does not requires such a complex machinery; Trump deflated in August 7, 2017,  a month before the appointment of the Special Prosecutor Mueller by Rosenstein ).

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.

The key role in the initiating this "insurance scam" was probably Brennan (With Clapper, Loretta Lynch and Comey in supporting roles) , who amplified the story via "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections and provided the leaks of Steele dossier to key people in the government. Brennan efforts first helped to launch the Russiagate story, and after that to keep the story  hot.  To want extent he coordinated his efoorts with Her Majesty Government and, especially MI6 and GCHQ is unclear.  GCHQ provided interception of communications of Trump close circle to Obama and other color revolution plotters, including some Hillary loyalists in the State Department (for example, Susan Rice and  Samantha Power. ) But the role in MI6 in Russiagate probably is very significant, if not decisive.  Chances the Steele acted on his own are close to zero. The stakes were too high.

If a color revolution launched it should have some objectives and potential benefits which in the eyes of the plotters outweigh  the risks (actually State Department color revolution honchos now used to live without taking into account any risks at all, due to hegemonic position of the USA on the world arena.)  If we assume that Trump was supported by patriotic  part of military who were deeply dissatisfied with Obama (and by extension by Hillary) foreign policies, then an important  objective was to keep in place an anti-Russian policy as an insurance for any changes of the course by the new administration.

In other words, the coup’s instigators want to prevent Trump from letting up on the pressure (sanctions) on Russia and from cooperating with Russia. The main coup forces are neocons fifth column in Washington (neocon can and should be viewed not an an independent players with  some political agenda, as as greedy and unscrupulous lobbyists of MIC, who are unable to earn good money by honest labor; Max Boot is a good example here, Bill Kristol is another ).

A second objective is to maintain the positions, power, and influence of the coup’s seekers, which symplifing can be underood as  the alliance of neocon wing of the Republican Party and Clinton DemoRats (neoliberal interventionalist such as Samantha Power and Susan Rice are virtually undistinguishable from neocons for all practical purposes.) The only difference between them is that neocon place Israel interests first while neoliberal interventionalists place the interests of transnational corporations first.  None of them care much about interests of ordinary Americans which were delegated to the  role of financial donors for those wars and also serve as the cannon fodder.

The initial goal of this particular set of leaks was to create a atmosphere of "Russian are coming" hysteria which allows to appoint  a Special Prosecutor for Trump.  That's why Neo-McCarthyism campaign were launched with great success and the public was very soon conditioned to the idea that  "evil Russians" (personified by Putin) helped to steal the elections.  Formal move of appointment of the Special Prosecutor was implemented by Clinton Trojan Horse in Justice Department, the same who recommended to Trump to fire Comey.  So this goal to implement "insurance policy" via launching the color revolution against Trump was implemented without or with minimal (McCain and a couple of other senators)  Congress support.

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 as Trump is too unpredictable to the taste of the US oligarchy. 

The net result of this very well financed and very dirty disinformation propaganda campaign  in which all major US MSMs play the role of "foot soldiers"/attach dogs of this color revolution was the atmosphere of Anti-Russian hysteria engulfing the country.  In less then a year  the majority of American were already successfully brainwashed and poisoned by anti-Russian witch hunt. And effects of this neo-McCarthyism campaign will lasts a decade or more. So neocons won again, and  American people were played as patsies the third time in a row which disprove Bush II quip:

The first tike whjen the US public was taken for ride happened during Bush II administration when the USA was pushed into war in Iraq. Next it happened with  Obama election when the US lemmings were easily sold the carrot of  "change we can believe in", and got a typical neoliberal stooge who continues to launch  foreign wars for maintaining and expanding global neoliberal empire and suppressing its potential adversaries (Obama Russia treatment remind me "Carnage should be destroyed" policy of imperial Rome). 

Trump is the third iteration of this sophisticated political game. Which actually validates the iron law of oligarchy -- common people do not matter unless they  are out with forks like now in France. In any case "Trump deception" is the third classic "bait and switch maneuver" in  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 side with Islamic jihadists and balkanization of Isreal neighbors is the strategic goal of Israel in  the region.   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 into 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.” See also The Washington Post -- which naturally tried to swipe this information 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 than that that he does not have any good counter moves. As of July 2017 with the Special Prosecutor firmly in place, the plotters are close to winning or already won if we view bombing of Syria on false pretences as a neocon win.  The problem with Trump is  that several members of his  close circle (such as Kushner and Ivanka) are staunch, rabid neocons which put the interests of Israel before the interests of the USA. 

In such cases as witch hunt 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" for all the term of his Presidency. So "perma0invetigation" will be effective even is the net results of it would be zero. They do not need to find anything. It is like The sword of Damocles hangs over Trump head and that's more then enough. Obstruction of justice is one "rubber stamp" changes in such cases and it will probably be used as a threat.   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

Leaks 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, especially a war with Iran. 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, during the first week of his Administration. Trump did not have the courage to do this.  Among other things Comey artificially hold Trump Russiagate "hot" and Hillary "emailgate" frozen:

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 Flynn 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 Brennan 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 the "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: Creation of three letter agencies by Truman completely poisoned the USA institutions and recovery is probably very difficult, if possible at all.  Welcome to the USSR, where KGB not so much the Politburo was de-facto ruler of the country and controlled the "semi-elected" government (Russians could only vote yes on no in elections; why they dd not borrow the two party system Is beyond my understanding as it provides the same benefits as one party system if you can control selection of candidates; rephrasing Stalin we can say: "It how not matter how people vote, what matter is who select the candidates for or against whom they are voting).

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 two key intelligence agencies (with the active support of the State Department and the Department of Justice, and was designed to remove Trump;  or, better, paralyze Trump election-time  promises to electorate.

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 Francisco and Los Angeles by the dominant majority of population).  Cosmopolitan city population preferred Clinton for obvious reason -- population of those cities get the most 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).  And we can observe that the "Purple revolution" against Trump is based of series of well coordinated leaks and the artifically and very effective 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 for some  not very clear reasons  is continued, probably, as a "insurance policy." 

 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, Brazil and France.  The problem is the  we have no viable alternative to neoliberalism, as the return to the New Deal capitalism is now probably impossible: the 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 neo-nazy 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 dalliance with World Bank employee; they send him packing from this lucrative position but preserved his pension)  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 a very interesting  question to ask.  Somebody probably helped her.  At least Snowden was a system administrator.


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[Apr 22, 2019] C>urrent Neo-McCarthyism hysteria as a smoke screen of the UK and the USA intent to dominate European geopolitics and weaken Russia and Germany

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... North Stream is a problem as the goal is to economically weaken Russia, tie the EU to the USA via energy supplies and support our new client state -- Ukraine. ..."
"... But this is also related to attempts to prevent/weaken the alliance of Russia and China. As geopolitical consequences of this alliance for the USA-led neoliberal empire are very bad ..."
Jul 24, 2018 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , July 24, 2018 12:23 am

@run75441 July 23, 2018 2:02 pm

Best bet is for Russia to want to trade with the US and Europe. The gas pipeline will not be enough leverage on Germany as it provides 9% of their needs.

Yes. And that's against the USA interests (or more correctly the US-led neoliberal empire interests). North Stream is a problem as the goal is to economically weaken Russia, tie the EU to the USA via energy supplies and support our new client state -- Ukraine.

As you know, nothing was proven yet in Russiagate (and DNC hacks looks more and more like a false flag operation, especially this Guccifer 2.0 personality ), but sanctions were already imposed. And when the US government speaks "Russia" in most cases they mean "China+Russia" ;-). Russia is just a weaker link in this alliance and, as such, it is attacked first. Russiagate is just yet another pretext after MH17, Magnitsky and such.

To me the current Anti-Russian hysteria is mainly a smokescreen to hide attempt to cement cracks in the façade of the USA neoliberal society that Trump election revealed (including apparent legitimization of ruling neoliberal elite represented by Hillary).

And a desperate attempt to unite the society using (false) war propaganda which requires demonization of the "enemy of the people" and neo-McCarthyism.

But this is also related to attempts to prevent/weaken the alliance of Russia and China. As geopolitical consequences of this alliance for the USA-led neoliberal empire are very bad (for example, military alliance means the end of the USA global military domination; energy alliance means that is now impossible to impose a blockade on China energy supplies from Middle East even if Iran is occupied)

In this sense the recent descent into a prolonged fit of vintage Cold War jingoistic paranoia is quite understandable. While, at the same time, totally abhorrent. My feeling is that unless Russia folds, which is unlikely, the side effects/externalities of this posture can be very bad for the USA. In any case, the alliance of Russia and China which Obama administration policies forged spells troubles to the global neoliberal empire dominated by the USA.

Trump rejection of existing forms of neoliberal globalization is one sign that this process already started and some politicians already are trying to catch the wind and adapt to a "new brave world" by using preemptive adjustments.

Which is why all this Trump-Putin summit hysteria is about.

Neither hard, nor soft neoliberals want any adjustments. They are ready to fight for the US-led neoliberal empire till the last American (excluding, of course, themselves and their families)

[Apr 05, 2019] The neoliberal MSM could expose fraud during the DNC primary; but being CIA lapdogs they went all in with the fake charge that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election

Apr 05, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

Just like the Muslim freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar's courageous stand against the fascist duopoly's attempt to crush her for daring to not back down from calling AIPAC a foreign lobby was a watershed moment in confronting the uncritical support of a RW Israeli government, Greenwald's blistering takedown of fellow journalist David Cay Johnston, and by extension the entire American MSM, is another watershed moment in the growing divide between media corporatists (Neoliberals & Neocons), who are straining themselves to keep afloat a Duopoly system that could arguably be called fascism which has been in place since at least the turn of the century (if not longer), and the surging dissidents who see this as the fundamental problem above all else.

The Red Herring Russia Hysteria Meltdown turned out to be a proxy battle between the few dissenters who believe that the capitalist Duopoly is the real problem (with Money In Politics being the cement that keeps it together) and have never bought into this farce; and the many mainstream media lapdogs, $hillary zombies and Democratic Party loyalists who concocted and desperately wanted needed to believe it. They completely melted down to lose all sense of reason and rationale in their hyperventilation to keep propped up the rotting edifice of a party and system within which those players have been able to continue getting rich from and to go merrily believing that dutifully voting for the Lesser of Two Evils is the full enshrinement of the Greatest Democracy Money Can Buy In The World .

The idea that electioneering, which is what placing ads is (even a minuscule amount), could be conflated with collusion by a foreign government to steal an election, was so laughably outrageous. Furthermore, to imply that our elections were so pure and that we didn't do such things around the world ourselves (despite that the CIA had brutally intervened in over 50 elections globally ), just put the icing on our incredulity. As for Trump's criminality, there was plenty of that to go around. But where was the media to thoroughly vet him during the campaign? Nowhere in sight, or rather televising gawking at his non-stop, car crash porn of a campaign which was driving advertising dollars into their pockets. But we were supposed to believe they suddenly got into gear once he was elected and became these super sleuths? What a fucking joke.

There were only a relative handful of us who never believed this infuriating garbage. Virtually the entire MSM engaged in one of the worst, most embarrassing examples of propaganda the country has ever seen, as Taibbi writes here and here. It confoundingly gripped even some of the smarter people we all knew. Lost to propaganda. But then they ultimately lost, big-time.

What was at risk? Only nuclear war with Russia. And, just as consequential, this farce took up all the air in the room, spreading false hope to demented $hillary losers who could be found whimpering on their couches curled up in the fetal position in front of MSNBC every night, a bottle of white wine atop the magazines on the coffee table. One could gather up a trove of issues that weren't talked about at all by the MSM, including the massive teacher's strikes happening all over the country, continued health insurance nightmares, the existential threat of climate change, rampant poverty, widespread depressed wages and overworking, Yemen, Trump's outrageously corrupt cabinet and their massive power grabs, etc., etc., etc.

It is right now that this country, and especially its journalists, have to have a completely honest existential dialogue about what has been going on, how we got here, who is responsible and what is driving it (which we know will probably never come, though there are some signs of admission, which I've started to compile for another essay).

For this reason, the interview really has to be seen to be experienced. The anger at all this just wells up in Greenwald and he really doesn't hold back. As we know he's long been one of the very quickest-minded, most cogent and incisive journalists of this era. Under normal circumstances few can withstand his sheer power of his lightning intellect. This poor shlub, who has written some really good things about income inequality and Wall St criminality but carried on the lie, was so justifiably exposed for his dumb stance and continued obstinacy about it.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/0fNheSHUpBk

But if you're short for time here's some of the best segments (though you really should see Greenwald's disgust).

He lit into Rachel Maddow, the MSM and the Democratic Party. He slammed the highest rated liberal show host who "every single night misled millions of liberals into believing something that was totally false," calling that decision "extremely grave and serious," and saying that "there will be no reckoning and consequences for this story that the media got radically, fundamentally and deliberately wrong for almost three years now in a very dangerous way."

(all emphasis mine)

This is the saddest media spectacle I've ever seen, since I began practicing journalism in 2005. And what makes it even sadder is to watch all of the people who vested their journalistic credibility into what proved to be a complete and total fraud and scam continue to try and cling to some vestige of credibility by continuing to spin conspiracy theories that are even more reckless and more unhinged than the ones to which we've been subjected for three years .

... I believe that Donald Trump is one of the most corrupt people ever to occupy the White House. I am certain that he's guilty of all kinds of crimes -- war crimes as president, financial crimes as a business person. One of the reasons why those of us who were so angry about this obsession on Russia and collusion, aside from the fact that it was so dangerous to ratchet up tensions between two nuclear-armed powers this way instead of trying to forge a peace between these two countries, is precisely because it took the oxygen away from all of the things that the Trump administration is doing that is so damaging, in lieu of this idiotic, moronic, Tom Clancy-type espionage thriller, where we were talking about Putin blackmailing Donald Trump with pee-pee tapes and Donald Trump being a Russian agent since 1987, which was a cover story that was on New York magazine, that Chris Hayes put on MSNBC. Just all kinds of moronic conspiracies, that we love to mock other countries' medias for circulating and disseminating, drowned out our airwaves and our discourse for three years, preventing us from focusing on the real, substantive damage that the Trump administration is doing and that Donald Trump's corruption entails.

He eviscerated Johnston's mealy-mouthed walk backs and continued spinning of this through the course of the interview, and the proxy MSM:

But the reality is, the media chose to focus on this. Everybody knows this. David Cay Johnston was on your show, Amy, a week ago, and he said, "Donald Trump, I believe, is a Russian agent." We now have a full-scale, 20-month investigation by somebody that everybody agreed was a man of great integrity who would get to the bottom of all of this, who had full subpoena power. And David keeps trying to imply, which is totally false, that all that Mueller said was, "Oh, it just doesn't rise to the level of criminality." That is not what he said. He said, after 20 months of a full-scale investigation -- which, by the way, included hours of interrogating Donald Trump Jr. before Congress, all of the transcripts of which were made available to Mueller, which he could have prosecuted Trump Jr. on for perjury and obstruction had Donald Trump Jr. lied about anything, but he chose not to. He said, "After reviewing all of this evidence, I am concluding that this did not happen," not that it doesn't rise to the level where I can criminally prosecute. He's saying there was no collusion.

The game is over, and it's time to be honest about it. And the more we try to cling to this and invent new -- you know what it reminds me of? In 2003, when the neocons finally had to face the truth that there were no WMDs, that they had fabricated that, that the media had misled millions of people around the world for years, and they started saying, "Um, maybe Saddam hid them in Syria. Maybe they're buried in places we just haven't looked yet." It's time to face the truth. The media got this story wrong. They obsessed on this for three years, and all this time there was no evidence for it. It was just a conspiracy theory. Rachel Maddow, the most influential liberal TV host in the country, every single night misled millions of liberals into believing something that was totally false, and there will be no media consequences for it. And that is extremely grave and serious, no matter how much is true about how corrupt Donald Trump is in his financial dealings or any of the other stuff that people are now trying to deflect our attention onto.

Then he turned to the fundamental questions of the actual election, never discussed in the MSM:

Why did millions of people vote for a complete joke of a game show host? And how did the Democrats lose the presidency to one of the most embarrassing spectacles of a candidate in U.S. history? What is the prevailing ideology of the ruling class that has turned millions and millions of people, and to this country, into such angry citizens that they either refuse to vote or vote for the person who promises to burn down the entire system? Why are they so angry? What has happened to their economic security? What ideology and what group of people are responsible for that? What has Donald Trump been doing in realigning the United States away from the Western Europe and to Saudi despots, and the collusion that actually happened, which was from the Israeli government during the election in order to undermine Obama's policies? All those kinds of questions could have been asked and should have been asked, but it all got drowned out because we were all so much more fascinated by this superficial, kind of very appealing and melodramatic espionage thriller, that has completely destroyed the credibility of the U.S. media and so tragically vindicated Donald Trump in a way that probably is the greatest gift that has been given to him throughout his entire presidency.

When reminded that last year Chomsky said the rest of the world was looking at our media's obsession that Russia's meddling in the election helped Trump was a "joke", he said this:

Well, that's been the other critical point this entire time, is this kind of melodrama over the outrage that any country would dare to interfere in our sacred and glorious democracy, when, as Noam Chomsky just pointed out and has spent the last 40 years pointing out, the United States has done very little since the end of World War II but going around the world and interfering in every single democracy that they can find , literally, including the country in which I'm currently living, which is Brazil, where they overthrew a democratically elected government in 1964 and then proceeded to impose a military regime for 21 years, and also Russia, where they openly boasted about helping to elect Boris Yeltsin because he would privatize everything and that would be good for U.S. industry, or even agitating anti-Putin resistance in parliamentary elections under Hillary Clinton's reign as secretary of state .

This doesn't make it right for Russia to do it, but we've never kept in perspective the fact that interfering or meddling in other countries' elections or governance is not some grave, aberrational, never-before-heard drama that the entire world has to stop and lament and put an end to. It's normal business. We're currently, right now, in the process of trying to change the government of Venezuela openly, and have done so over and over around the world. And that's why Noam Chomsky says that all of this moral outrage of Americans at the idea that somebody would interfere in or meddle in our democracy has made the U.S. a laughingstock to the hundreds of millions of people -- billions, in fact -- who live in countries where the U.S. has done this and far, far worse for decade after decade after decade .

Intercepted with Jeremy Scahill "The Day After Mueller" (with Naomi Klein and Matt Taibbi)

"Three Lessons for the Left from the Mueller Inquiry" by Jonathan Cook

Painting the pig's face
1. The left never had a dog in this race. This was always an in-house squabble between different wings of the establishment. Late-stage capitalism is in terminal crisis, and the biggest problem facing our corporate elites is how to emerge from this crisis with their power intact. One wing wants to make sure the pig's face remains painted, the other is happy simply getting its snout deeper into the trough while the food lasts...

The leaders of the Democratic party are less terrified of Trump and what he represents than they are of us and what we might do if we understood how they have rigged the political and economic system to their permanent advantage.

It may look like Russiagate was a failure, but it was actually a success. It deflected the left's attention from endemic corruption within the leadership of the Democratic party, which supposedly represents the left. It rechannelled the left's political energies instead towards the convenient bogeymen targets of Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Mired in corruption

What Mueller found -- all he was ever going to find -- was marginal corruption in the Trump camp. And that was inevitable because Washington is mired in corruption. In fact, what Mueller revealed was the most exceptional forms of corruption among Trump's team while obscuring the run-of-the-mill stuff that would have served as a reminder of the endemic corruption infecting the Democratic leadership too.

An anti-corruption investigation would have run much deeper and exposed far more. It would have highlighted the Clinton Foundation, and the role of mega-donors like James Simons, George Soros and Haim Saban who funded Hillary's campaign with one aim in mind: to get their issues into a paid-for national "consensus".

Further, in focusing on the Trump camp -- and relative minnows like Paul Manafort and Roger Stone -- the Russiagate inquiry actually served to shield the Democratic leadership from an investigation into the much worse corruption revealed in the content of the DNC emails.

Trump empowered

2. But it's far worse than that. It is not just that the left wasted two years of political energy on Russiagate. At the same time, they empowered Trump, breathing life into his phoney arguments that he is the anti-establishment president, a people's president the elites are determined to destroy...

The other wing of the neoliberal establishment, the one represented by the Democratic party leadership, fears that exposing capitalism in this way -- making explicit its inherently brutal, wrist-slitting tendencies -- will awaken the masses, that over time it will risk turning them into revolutionaries. Democratic party leaders fear Trump chiefly because of the threat he poses to the image of the political and economic system they have so lovingly crafted so that they can continue enriching themselves and their children.

The whole thing is excellent. You should read it.

There is a serious reckoning going on right now. Call 'em what you will, Neoliberals/Corporatists/Beltway/Necons, are being exposed for all-time. The curtain is off the hooks on its way down.

The whole Red Herring RussiaGate Hysteria Meltdown strikes me as this:

  1. It was concocted first and foremost as a distraction from the shock suffered by Hillary fans and the MSM that HRC was such a horrible, highly disliked and untrustworthy candidate, and that she pathetically lost to a candidate with the same characteristics in a contest of who was absolutely just a little less detested than the other. The scorned $hillary sycophants, who willfully refused to step outside the bubble of It's Her Turn - All Things Hillary world, had their hubris so shaken, rattled and rolled that for their sanity, and by extension the rest of the country who also believed that ours wasn't such a rotting system that could upchuck a demented clown like Trump, they had to insist blame lie elsewhere (racism, Russia, etc) than their laughably horrible campaign and a roiling disgust with politics as usual.

    "Taibbi: On Russiagate and Our Refusal to Face Why Trump Won": Faulty coverage of Donald Trump's 2016 campaign later made foreign espionage a more plausible explanation for his ascent to power

  2. The mass hysteria of Trump/Russia shooting out like a fire hydrant every night on cable tv and social media was also designed as the perfect foil for covering up the flagrant and brazen collusion to cheat Bernie out of the nomination. "Who cares about that, when we have a president illegally occupying the White House as a puppet of Putin?" All of the legitimate evidence of electoral fraud, voter roll purges, caucus cheating, insider collusion, paid media hatchet jobs, etc (in other words, everything the Repubs are charged with but that the DNC did to Bernie) got buried under this avalanche. This is probably the thing that'll remain most enraging to me: all of that massive, genuine support for a movement candidate viciously torn to pieces, having the effect of a whole next generation of folks crippled in their belief about electoral politics.
  3. Secondarily, this also served as the perfect cover, taking up all the air in the room, to having the discussion about our entire election process. Beginning with the elephant in the room: "how did it come this - first of all, that the two most hated candidates were our only choices (most people never consider a third party, which is a whole other subject)? The 2016 election process should have ripped the mask off of the false pride we have in our decrepitly corrupt elections, in which the whole process has been nothing more than an Auction House to the Highest Bidder, at every level. Then there's the "electoral college," the private national committees running the parties' elections, the debate limitations, "superdelegates," gerrymandering, no active and real membership in either party (only an expectation usually driven by fear and threat, that you blindly keep showing up to vote for your party).
  4. It was also a huge, wildly lame gambit to inure the Democrats from having to address the real issues that are effecting people, hoping instead to be able to run again only as "We're Not Trump." Poll after poll showed most Americans could care less about Russia , with almost every issue polling higher.

    The Mueller deification was also a natural reaction by a soft and pampered American people who have been conditioned to look for heroes to swoop in and make everything ok again, as can be found in a child's fable. Nobody wants to do the hard work anymore of being civilly engaged, informed and asking questions. Consumerism, social media self-aggrandizement and 24/7 entertainment have replaced it.

    This was the Democrats lazy way out, which was the perfect foil for a lazy citizenry who have come to expect coddling in every aspect of their lives. It was also what they're expected to do on behalf of their donors. Few can be bothered to be involved civically in any way, show up in person to support an oppressed or marginalized faction (not just sign an online petition). A lot of this simply boiled down to a salient truth few wanted to accept: that almost all politicians are paid to do as little as possible for the people, biding their time in office ruffling as few feathers as possible, for the express purpose of then re-entering the political world as lobbyists so that they can enrich their campaign donors exponentially after they've learned the ropes inside.

  5. It's so obvious why most Bernie supporters, but not all - because a good bit fell into the all-consuming MSM trap of Russia propaganda and became afflicted with Trump Derangement Syndrome, never bought into this ludicrous bullshit. They had endured being firsthand witnesses to the rampant election fraud being pulled by the DNC during the 2106 primary, of which the MSM completely and utterly turned a blind eye. If it was possible that the media could collude in that way, then it was possible that the media could do the same for the opposite.

    The irony of it still stings: the media with its resources could have easily turned up easily verifiable evidence of tampering and kinds of fraud during the DNC primary; but instead they went all in for the most absurd and ridiculous hare-brained scheme that the Orange Buffoon was the one who colluded with Russia to steal the election. If any of these Beltway, cocktail party lapdogs had just once ventured out of their gated communities and conventional thinking to be bothered to visit the heartland they would have seen that the country was in the midst of a populist revolution, most prominently dominated by support for Bernie Sanders but also to a slightly lesser degree for Drumpf.

There's a major chasm starting to split the land, between those who cling to the myth of American Exceptionalism and fealty to the two political parties of the Duopoly, and a burgeoning movement of people distrustful of the power structure and its propaganda to hide the truth about a dying system.

[Apr 02, 2019] Requiem to Russiagate by CJ Hopkins

Highly recommended!
Neoliberal MSM j ust “got it wrong,” again … exactly like was the case with those Iraqi WMDs ;-).
So many neocons and neolibs seem so disappointed to find out that the President is not a Russian asset that it looks they’d secretly wish be ruled by Putin :-).
But in reality there well might be a credible "Trump copllition with the foreign power". Only with a different foreign power. Looks like Trump traded American foreign policy for Zionist money, not Russian money. That means that "the best-Congress-that-AIPAC-money-can-buy" will never impeach him for that.
And BTW as long as Schiff remains the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee the witch hunt is not over. So the leash remains strong.
Notable quotes:
"... it appears that hundreds of millions of Americans have, once again, been woefully bamboozled . Weird, how this just keeps on happening. At this point, Americans have to be the most frequently woefully bamboozled people in the entire history of woeful bamboozlement. ..."
"... That's right, as I'm sure you're aware by now, it turns out President Donald Trump, a pompous former reality TV star who can barely string three sentences together without totally losing his train of thought and barking like an elephant seal, is not, in fact, a secret agent conspiring with the Russian intelligence services to destroy the fabric of Western democracy. ..."
"... Paranoid collusion-obsessives will continue to obsess about redactions and cover-ups , but the long and short of the matter is, there will be no perp walks for any of the Trumps. No treason tribunals. No televised hangings. No detachment of Secret Service agents marching Hillary into the White House. ..."
Apr 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by CJ Hopkins via The Unz Review,

So the Mueller report is finally in, and it appears that hundreds of millions of Americans have, once again, been woefully bamboozled . Weird, how this just keeps on happening. At this point, Americans have to be the most frequently woefully bamboozled people in the entire history of woeful bamboozlement.

If you didn't know better, you'd think we were all a bunch of hopelessly credulous imbeciles that you could con into believing almost anything, or that our brains had been bombarded with so much propaganda from the time we were born that we couldn't really even think anymore.

That's right, as I'm sure you're aware by now, it turns out President Donald Trump, a pompous former reality TV star who can barely string three sentences together without totally losing his train of thought and barking like an elephant seal, is not, in fact, a secret agent conspiring with the Russian intelligence services to destroy the fabric of Western democracy.

After two long years of bug-eyed hysteria, Inspector Mueller came up with squat. Zip. Zero. Nichts. Nada. Or, all right, he indicted a bunch of Russians that will never see the inside of a courtroom, and a few of Trump's professional sleazebags for lying and assorted other sleazebag activities (so I guess that was worth the $25 million of taxpayers' money that was spent on this circus).

Notwithstanding those historic accomplishments, the entire Mueller investigation now appears to have been another wild goose chase (like the "search" for those non-existent WMDs that we invaded and destabilized the Middle East and murdered hundreds of thousands of people pretending to conduct in 2003). Paranoid collusion-obsessives will continue to obsess about redactions and cover-ups , but the long and short of the matter is, there will be no perp walks for any of the Trumps. No treason tribunals. No televised hangings. No detachment of Secret Service agents marching Hillary into the White House.

The jig, as they say, is up.

But let's try to look on the bright side, shall we?

... ... ...

[Apr 02, 2019] The abuse of power of the special counsel is a deadly cancer on American democracy.

Notable quotes:
"... Originally from: ..."
"... Among the scope memo's few unredacted lines are allegations regarding Paul Manafort's "colluding with Russian government officials to interfere with the 2016 elections." The only known source for those allegations is the Steele dossier. What that strongly suggests is that under those redactions are other fabricated allegations that were also drawn from the Clinton-funded smear campaign -- a dirty-tricks operation that was led by Fusion GPS founder and conspiracy theorist Glenn Simpson. ..."
"... Saturday Night Live ..."
"... While the length of Mueller's investigative process may have protected the FBI from the president's immediate rage, the release of the report has exposed the deep corruption and personal narcissism of the press and its professional networks of "experts" and "sources." ..."
"... Russiagate was an information operation from the beginning, in which dozens of individual reporters and institutions actively partnered with paid political operatives like Glenn Simpson and corrupt law enforcement and intelligence officials like former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and senior DOJ official Bruce Ohr to smear Trump and his circle, and then to topple him. None of what went on the last two years would have been possible without the press, an indispensable partner in the biggest political scandal in a generation. ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
Mar 27, 2019 | www.tabletmag.com

Originally from: System Fail – Tablet Magazine by Lee Smith

It will take weeks for the elite pundit class to unravel all the possible implications and subtexts embedded in Robert Mueller's final report on the charge that Donald Trump and his team colluded with Russia to fix the 2016 election. The right claims that the report exonerates Trump fully, while the left contends there are lots of nuggets in the full text of the final report that may point to obstruction of justice, if not collusion.

But here's all you need to know about the special counsel probe:

First, after nearly two years, the special counsel found no credible evidence of collusion. It found no credible evidence of a plot to obstruct justice, to hide evidence of collusion. The entire collusion theory, which has formed the center of elite political discourse for over two years now, has been publicly and definitely proclaimed to be a hoax by the very person on whom news organizations and their chosen "experts" and "high-level sources" had so loudly and insistently pinned their daily, even hourly, hopes of redemption.

Mueller should have filed his report on May 18, 2017 -- the day after the special counsel started and he learned the FBI had opened an investigation on the sitting president of the United States because senior officials at the world's premier law enforcement agency thought Trump was a Russian spy. Based on what evidence? A dossier compiled by a former British spy, relying on second- and third-hand sources, paid for by the Clinton campaign .

Instead, the special counsel lasted 674 days, during which millions of people who believed Mueller was going to turn up conclusive evidence of Trump's devious conspiracies with the Kremlin have become wrapped up in a collective hallucination that has destroyed the remaining credibility of the American press and the D.C. expert class whose authority they promote.

Mueller knew that he wasn't ever going to find "collusion" or anything like it because all the intercepts were right there on his desk. As it turned out, two of his prosecutors, including Mueller's so-called "pit bull," Andrew Weissman, had been briefed on the Steele dossier prior to the 2016 election and were told that it came from the Clintons, and was likely a biased political document.

Weissman left, or was pushed out of, his employment with the special counsel a few weeks ago, after the arrival of a new attorney general, William Barr, who had deep experience in government, including stints at the Justice Department and the CIA. Knowing what we know now, here's what seems most likely to have just happened: Barr looked at the underlying documents on which Mueller's investigation was based. First, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's May 17, 2017, memo appointing the former FBI director to take supervision of the FBI's investigation of Trump. And more importantly, the Aug. 2, 2017, memo from Rosenstein outlining the scope of the investigation.

Among the scope memo's few unredacted lines are allegations regarding Paul Manafort's "colluding with Russian government officials to interfere with the 2016 elections." The only known source for those allegations is the Steele dossier. What that strongly suggests is that under those redactions are other fabricated allegations that were also drawn from the Clinton-funded smear campaign -- a dirty-tricks operation that was led by Fusion GPS founder and conspiracy theorist Glenn Simpson.

And now, after all the Saturday Night Live skits, the obscenity-riddled Bill Maher and Stephen Colbert routines, the half a million news stories and tens of millions of tweets all foretelling the end of Trump, the comedians and the adult authority figures are exposed as hoaxsters, or worse, based on evidence that was always transparently phony.

The Mueller report is in. But the abuse of power that the special counsel embodied is a deadly cancer on American democracy. Two years of investigations have left families in ruins, stripping them of their savings, their homes, threatening their liberty, and dragging their names through the mud. The investigation of the century was partly based on the possibility that Michael Flynn, a combat veteran who served his country for more than three decades, might be a Russian spy -- because of a dinner he once attended in Moscow, and because as incoming national security adviser he spoke to the Russian ambassador to Washington. What rot.

While the length of Mueller's investigative process may have protected the FBI from the president's immediate rage, the release of the report has exposed the deep corruption and personal narcissism of the press and its professional networks of "experts" and "sources." Instead of providing medicine, the press chose instead to spread the disease through a body that was already badly weakened by the advent of "free" digital media . Only, it wasn't free .

* * *

The media criticism of the media's performance covering Russiagate is misleadingly anodyne -- OK, sure the press did a bad job, but to be fair there really was a lot of suspicious stuff going on and now let's all get back to doing our important work. But two years of false and misleading Russiagate coverage was not a mistake, or a symptom of lax fact-checking.

Russiagate was an information operation from the beginning, in which dozens of individual reporters and institutions actively partnered with paid political operatives like Glenn Simpson and corrupt law enforcement and intelligence officials like former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and senior DOJ official Bruce Ohr to smear Trump and his circle, and then to topple him. None of what went on the last two years would have been possible without the press, an indispensable partner in the biggest political scandal in a generation.

The campaign was waged not in hidden corners of the internet, but rather by the country's most prestigious news organizations -- including, but not only, The New York Times , the Washington Post , CNN, and MSNBC. The farce that has passed for public discourse the last two years was fueled by a concerted effort of the media and the pundit class to obscure gaping holes in logic as well as law. And yet, they all appeared to be credible because the institutions sustaining them are credible .

... ... ...

Americans still want and need accurate information on which to base their decisions about their own lives and the path that the country should take. But neither the legacy media nor the expert class it sustains is likely to survive the post-dossier era in any recognizable form . For them, Russiagate is an extinction level event.

Lee Smith is the author of The Consequences of Syria .

[Apr 01, 2019] Trey Gowdy Adam Schiff is a 'deeply partisan person' - YouTube

Notable quotes:
"... It was the DNC and Ukraine. They wanted HRC to win. No collusion was on President Trump's side. All the top players in the FBI and DOJ played games and lost. President Trump won and plays the game better than those on the DNC. Their game book has been showed to be stupid. ..."
"... Brennan thinks he's the smartest guy in the room. He spins lies like a hungry spider. Brennan, Clapper, Schiff, Swalwell, and some others need to go. ..."
Apr 01, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Rosemary Storm , 1 day ago

Trump HATER Brennan - says: "U.S. PERSONS" - meaning Schiff, Comey, Obama, Strozk, His Lover, The OBAMAS, - are all THOSE "U.S. PERSONS" who gave him the so-called "INTELLIGENCE" - at WHAT POINT does "UN-VERIFIED INFO" become a TREASONOUS WEAPONIZED INSTRUMENT of an ATTEMPTED COUP D'eta against the President Of The United States of America.

Stan Wilson , 1 day ago

Seditious liar Schifty Adam Schiff was involved in criminal leaking of classified information to Democrat propaganda machines CNN and MSNBC -- Should not just resign but held accountable for his crimes and major role he played in the Coup attempt against the duly elected US president

halas , 1 day ago

If Brennan didn't know, he admits to being incompetent. If he did know, he is complicit. He accused someone of treason without evidence. Losing his security clearance is not justice. He needs to pay a bigger price.

Steven Miller , 1 day ago

Gowdy is correct. Had there been something there, yes perhaps then people should see it. When there results yield "not even probable cause", it probably shouldn't be released in it's entirety.

Andrea Visconti , 1 day ago

It was the DNC and Ukraine. They wanted HRC to win. No collusion was on President Trump's side. All the top players in the FBI and DOJ played games and lost. President Trump won and plays the game better than those on the DNC. Their game book has been showed to be stupid.

TNA2Me , 1 day ago

Brennan thinks he's the smartest guy in the room. He spins lies like a hungry spider. Brennan, Clapper, Schiff, Swalwell, and some others need to go.

Robert Silvermyst , 1 day ago

Adam Schiff claims there is clear evidence, yet never states what this evidence is. Yet it is so clear that Muller, the FBI, the Senate investigation and the House spent two years and never found it. Must be extremely transparent to the point of not existing period. I think Schiff needs to not only step down, but he needs to see a psychitatrist.

[Apr 01, 2019] Johnstone Leaked '401'-Page Mueller Report Proves Barr Lied, Collusion Theorists Vindicated

Notable quotes:
"... "I'm sorry for calling the Russiagaters idiots, morons, drooling imbeciles, stupid, gullible sheep, foam-brained human livestock, tinfoil pussyhat-wearing delusional conspiracy theorists, demented cold war-enabling McCarthyite bootlickers, oafish slug-headed slime creatures, energy-sucking, CIA-coddling wastes of space and oxygen, and an embarrassment to the human species" ..."
"... " He then put on a pair of sunglasses and rode off on a motorcycle due east into the rising sun, while the smooth notes of a single saxophone resounded through the D.C. cityscape." ..."
Apr 01, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

An unredacted copy of the Robert Mueller report has been leaked to the Washington Post , who published the full document on its website Monday.

The report contains many shocking revelations which prove that Attorney General William Barr deceived the world in his summary of its contents, as astute Trump-Russia collusion theorists have been claiming since it emerged .

For example, while Barr's excerpted quote from the report may read like a seemingly unequivocal assertion, "[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities," it turns out that the full sentence reads very differently:

" It is totally not the case that the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."

The following sentence is even more damning: "It definitely did establish that that happened."

The report goes on to list the evidence for numerous acts of direct conspiracy between Trump allies and the Russian government, including a detailed description of the footage from an obtained copy of the notorious "kompromat" video, in which Trump is seen paying Russian prostitutes to urinate on a bed once slept in by Barack and Michelle Obama, as well as other documents fully verifying the entire Christopher Steele dossier which was published by BuzzFeed in January 2017.

Other evidence listed in the report includes communication transcripts in which Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen ordering President Trump to bomb Syria, stage a coup in Venezuela, arm Ukraine, escalate against Russia in America's Nuclear Posture Review, withdraw from the INF treaty and the Iran deal, undermine Russia's fossil fuel interests in Germany, expand NATO, and maintain a large military presence near Russia's border.

... ... ...

Obviously I owe the world a very big apology. I'm sorry for calling the Russiagaters idiots, morons, drooling imbeciles, stupid, gullible sheep, foam-brained human livestock, tinfoil pussyhat-wearing delusional conspiracy theorists, demented cold war-enabling McCarthyite bootlickers, oafish slug-headed slime creatures, energy-sucking, CIA-coddling wastes of space and oxygen, and an embarrassment to the human species. Clearly, because of their indisputable vindication this April the first 2019, they are definitely none of these things.

RightLineBacker, (Edited)

After recovering from a near heart attack...and loading my weapons in preparation of taking to the streets... I noticed it was April 1st. Funny & not funny at the same time.

Damn! Back to my beer & popcorn.

desertboy

"I'm sorry for calling the Russiagaters idiots, morons, drooling imbeciles, stupid, gullible sheep, foam-brained human livestock, tinfoil pussyhat-wearing delusional conspiracy theorists, demented cold war-enabling McCarthyite bootlickers, oafish slug-headed slime creatures, energy-sucking, CIA-coddling wastes of space and oxygen, and an embarrassment to the human species"

Me too. It's worth repeating.

noshitsherlock

" He then put on a pair of sunglasses and rode off on a motorcycle due east into the rising sun, while the smooth notes of a single saxophone resounded through the D.C. cityscape."

Bwahahahaha


[Mar 31, 2019] Russiagate The Great Tragic Comedy of Modern Journalism

Mar 31, 2019 | blog.usejournal.com

And then Stephen Cohen of The Nation , another voice of reason, sent me a copy of his book, " War With Russia? " It's a collection of his heretical writings about our new, unnecessary Cold War, and the opening essay , adapted from a talk he gave in Washington D.C., made me ashamed of my silence.

"Some people who privately share our concerns  --  again, in Congress, the media, universities and think tanks  --  do not speak out at all. For whatever reason  --  concern about being stigmatized, about their career, personal disposition  --  they are silent. But in our democracy, where the cost of dissent is relatively low, silence is no longer a patriotic option," Cohen wrote, adding, "We should exempt from this imperative young people, who have more to lose. A few have sought my guidance, and I always advise, 'Even petty penalties for dissent in regard to Russia could adversely affect your career. At this stage of life, your first obligation is to your family and thus to your future prospects. Your time to fight lies ahead'."

Well, what was my excuse?

Special Prosecutor Robert S. Mueller has now turned in his findings, and there's not much there. For weeks beforehand, mainstream media warned about this  --  exhorting readers against succumbing to feeling "disappointed".

Disappointed? I guess, as my friend Taibbi has noted , it would have been an immense relief had the U.S. president been found to be a high-level traitor. We could have all brought picnic lunches to his execution.

Right before the species-ending war with Russia.

In their fanatic loyalty to the narrative, what used to be my favorite media have stridently reminded us that, Mueller aside, "it's not over!" The "focus of the investigation" will move now to the New York prosecutors, to House committees. The American intelligentsia will continue to dream up wild theories  --  they'll be Scotch-taped on every vertical surface, connected by bits of yarn and magic marker scribbles and hyperverbal mania.

The question now is, has the Mueller report finally freed up the rest of us to challenge the more insane flights of fantasy? Or is it instead so close to the 2020 presidential elections  --  and so legally dangerous for some of the intelligence insiders who have tried to bring down the president  --  that skeptical journalists more than ever will be bullied to keep silent?

Rootless Whataboutism

As a test case  --  a first step on the road to journalistic recovery  --  can I suggest we at least retire the insane, Orwellian term "whataboutism?"

Whataboutism really deserves consideration as a "Word of the Year", and not in a good way. There have been multiple non-ironic media reports about this odious concept, on NPR , in the Huffington Post , in The Washington Post , you name it.

"His campaign may or may not have conspired with Moscow," The Washington Post told us awhile back, "but President Trump has routinely employed a durable old Soviet propaganda tactic 'whataboutism,' the practice of short-circuiting an argument by asserting moral equivalency between two things that aren't necessarily comparable."

NPR's version also claims that whataboutism is a Soviet-tainted practice. "It's not exactly a complicated tactic  --  any grade-schooler can master the 'yeah-well-you-suck-too-so-there' defense," NPR says. "But it came to be associated with the USSR because of the Soviet Union's heavy reliance upon whataboutism throughout the Cold War and afterward, as Russia."

Yet in my experience, it's not so much a Soviet tactic as an American one  --  specifically, it's a way of demanding a loyalty oath to the anti-Trump resistance.

I have occasionally dared express skepticism about the entire overblown story that Russia was involved in our 2016 elections at all. That's right. I don't buy it. I am not entirely convinced that "Russian bots and trolls" infected anyone's mind by, say, taking positions both for and against gun control after the Parkland high school mass shooting, or by setting up anti-masturbation hotlines , or by giving bad reviews to "Star Wars: the Last Jedi."

I am also not entirely convinced that the Russians, having supposedly decided at the highest levels of their government to try to sink Hilary Clinton's candidacy, couldn't think of anything more clever than to spear-phish campaign manager John Podesta's G-mail.

Nor do I share the concerns of The Times of London that the Russian animated cartoon "Masha and the Bear" is part of a soft propaganda drive to weaken the minds of Estonian children ahead of their eventual annexation by Red Army tanks.

Yet before I can even offer any subtler qualification of all this  --  sure, there is Russian-government, let's say, "illicit computer and social media activity" out there, mixed with a lot of other noise signals (click-bait farms, which explains at least some of the infamous Internet Research Agency's activities; ordinary Russians with pro-Kremlin positions and personal Facebook accounts; and yes, people sitting on their beds who weigh 400 pounds), but it has to be weighed against  --  I'll be cut off.

"That's whataboutism ," I've been told flatly.

It's actually not   --  that doesn't even meet the absurd quasi-official definitions of this new Kafkaesque term  --  but that's the whole point. Disagreement is by its very nature whataboutist . Every skeptical question, after all, could technically begin, "But what about ?"

Of course, it's far, far worse if I truly commit a whataboutism and  --   God forbid! God forbid! – I express curiosity about The New York Times reporting about millions flowing to the Clintons and associated with the Russian purchase of American uranium mines.

Whataboutism! It's so comparable to the old Soviet thought crimes  --  Trotskyite, wrecker, cosmopolitan, rootless cosmopolitanism Every time I hear someone flag a statement as guilty of whataboutism, I mentally add " rootless whataboutism."

People tell me Mueller missed the point. It's about Russian oligarch and Kremlin money, invested in Trump real estate  --  it's not over! All hail the Southern District prosecutors! OK, let's see it, I'm open to that possibility. But if all Russian money is tainted just because it's "oligarchical"  --  good luck defining that !  --  then is it O.K. for the spouse of then-Secretary of State Hilary Clinton to take $500,000 for a single hour's work, a speech in Moscow, for one of the most famous "oligarch" banks?

"That's whataboutism! NPR and The Washington Post say that's a Soviet-favored tactic! Your loyalty is thus suspect two-fold. Have you had contact with any Russian nationals?"

Communists and Crickets

"EVIDENCE POINTS TO RUSSIA AS MAIN SUSPECT IN BRAIN INJURY ATTACKS ON DOZENS OF U.S. DIPLOMATS" was the report by MSNBC in September 2017, and they flogged that big scoop for months, and have never really apologized for it.

Two dozen American diplomats in Cuba suffered headaches, dizziness and other vague symptoms they blamed on strange sounds  --  sounds some of them tape-recorded and supplied to journalists, doctors and the government. "It sounds sort of like a mass of crickets," was the opening line of the Associated Press report about the recordings (which you can listen to yourself here ).

But no. Not crickets. As MSNBC reported, our intelligence services had intercepted Russian communications (!) revealing the sounds were "some kind of microwave weapon," one so sophisticated that our top government minds were at a loss.

We might not know how it works, MSNBC reported, but we did know it was a weapon, and "now Russia is the leading suspect."

"This is not an accident," reported anchorwoman Andrea Mitchell then. "This is not a microwave listening device gone bad. This is an attack  --  against American diplomats and intelligence officers, and this was targeting."

What an amazing allegation. The Russian government was beaming a mysterious, high-tech weapon at our citizens ; we had intercepted communications that made this clear.

For more than a year, I and colleagues with Russia-reporting experience would be grilled about this, and would just have to shrug apologetically. We just didn't know what to say. It didn't make a lot of face-value sense  --  why exactly would Russian agents, amid all this rabid anti-Russia hysteria, beam a secret brain-frying weapon at two-dozen random American diplomats and their family members in Cuba, for weeks apparently? What would be the logic behind giving these random-seeming people headaches and making them dizzy and even causing "brain injuries similar to concussions"?

As a physician, I also shared the s kepticism of colleagues published about this in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Playing odds, I agreed with those critics that I would have assumed either a mass psychogenic illness or a viral infection more likely etiologies than a secret Siberian death ray. I also read "brain injuries similar to concussions" as, "brain injuries that don't show up on objective testing." (Of course, I've not examined any of these patients or reviewed their cases so it's not for me to say.)

But in our fevered Russophobic environment, no one wanted to entertain alternative scenarios  --  after all, we don't even understand this sophisticated weapon, which our intelligence agencies assure us (anonymously) they have intercepted Russian communications bragging about, so how dare we debate the logic behind its use? (Maybe this is how they control the president!)

Then three months ago, American scientists published in a peer-review journal their analysis of the dastardly recordings and identified the sounds : Crickets. Caribbean crickets.

Specifically, the echoing call of the male, short-tailed indies. During mating season.

But did MSNBC apologize, or retract?

Crickets.

Instead, during a historically cold week this winter, MSNBC star Rachel Maddow used the excuse of a government panel about energy security to go on a Jack D. Ripper about Russia someday deciding to freeze middle America to death.

"It is like negative 50 degrees in the Dakotas right now. What would happen if Russia killed the power in Fargo today? What would happen if all the natural gas lines that service Sioux Falls just 'poofed', on the coldest day in recent memories, and it wasn't in our power whether or not to turn them back on?" Maddow asked . "What would you do if you lost heat indefinitely  --  as the act of a foreign power!  --  on the same day the temperature in your front yard matched the temperature in Antarctica? I mean, what would you and your family do?"

Gee, I don't know Rachel. What would my family and I do if Russia launched a nuclear weapon at my front yard? I guess we'd all die. I guess I don't know who to trust anymore, I feel exhausted by the news, sick of it all, I just want to stop caring, and you seem to feel the same, and omigosh Rachel, we've been infected by the red virus!

'They Hate our Freedoms'

James Comey, the former FBI director, testified before the Senate after his firing that the Russians are "coming after America," because, "They think that this great experiment of ours is a threat to them, and so they're going to try to run it down and dirty it up as much as possible."

Right. It's because "they hate our freedoms."

Where have I heard that before?

People had been waiting breathlessly for Mueller's report, but in reality, everything we needed to know was right there in the first report  --  the January 6, 2017, grand announcement, the big reveal by our Intelligence Community  --  the consensus of CIA, FBI and NSA  --  "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections."

I remember finishing that report at the time and thinking: Holy Cow, they have nothing.

Nothing!

Of the 15 pages with any meat to them in that report, seven were a long, bizarre complaint about the existence and activities of RT (formerly Russia Today ), the Kremlin-sponsored English-language news channel.

Our intelligence agencies reported that RT has become "the most-watched foreign news channel in the UK," had more YouTube viewers than the BBC or CNN , and was surpassing al-Jazeera in New York and Washington D.C. ( Voice of America , which is the U.S. government version of RT , has no sense of humor or passion and so no viewers anywhere outside of Foggy Bottom.)

RT's success was, per the intelligence report, thanks to a combination of lavish Kremlin funding and an alluring editorial slant. The intelligence report quoted RT's editor as saying her station got lots of new viewers after offering sympathetic coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The intelligence report continued:

In an effort to highlight the alleged "lack of democracy" in the United States, RT broadcast, hosted, and advertised third-party candidate debates and ran reporting supportive of the political agenda of these candidates. The RT hosts asserted that the US two-party system does not represent the views of at least one-third of the population and is a "sham." RT's reports often characterize the United States as a "surveillance state" and allege widespread infringements of civil liberties, police brutality, and drone use RT has also focused on criticism of the US economic system, US currency policy, alleged Wall Street greed, and the US national debt. Some of RT's hosts have compared the United States to Imperial Rome and have predicted that government corruption and "corporate greed" will lead to US financial collapse RT runs anti-fracking programming, highlighting environmental issues and the impacts on public health

This was hilarious of course  --  a public snit by our intel communities about Russians racking up big numbers among American viewers in Washington and New York , just by offering mildly critical takes on drone killings and fracking and "alleged Wall Street greed" ("alleged"? Really ?). We were promised a major assessment of any improper Russian influences on our 2016 electoral process and we got  --  this? A formal complaint that Russian TV gave Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein too much air time?

All this bitching and moaning about RT   --  which, remember, is not some secret plot, but just a public TV station you can go watch on YouTube or not watch   --  takes up well more than half of that grand intelligence community assessment. It really speaks volumes about what was on their minds. And again, my conclusion reading it two years ago was: So, they've got nothing.

The one caveat, though, was that there was a classified appendix. There's always a classified appendix. So, who knew what was in that ? After all, immediately and in the two years since, intelligence officials have occasionally been cited  --  always anonymously!  --   in The Guardian , The New Yorker , and The New York Times   --  as claiming to have intercepted communications between the Trump team and the Russian government.

Well, by now, we should realize the appendix is a myth.

First, we now know that at least part of it   --  and, I would guess, probably all of it  --  was nothing more than the Steele report, the infamous document first posted on BuzzFeed , that collection of anti-Trump opposition research paid for by the Hilary Clinton campaign. (You know  --  the pee tape stuff.)

And we now also know, courtesy of Robert Mueller's report, that there are no "intercepted communications" between Russians and the Trump campaign teams. Just like there are no Russian intercepts about secret Siberian brain-frying rays in Cuba, because that, again, was the mating call of a short-tailed Caribbean cricket.

I don't know what's funnier about all of this  --  and it is damned funny, really  --  the fact that all of this has actually happened , or the fact that I feel the need to come out of journalistic retirement to help point it out.

A President With a Traitor's Heart  --  for Six More Years

And that's the way it is, and has been, all along for these past two years. There have been non-stop media allegations that, one way or another, our narcissistic, loud-mouthed, overtly racist U.S. president has a traitor's heart. Any errors or inaccuracies  --  and there have been a shocking number of retracted "scoops," as well as screwups like the Caribbean crickets that have just been ignored  --  are excused in service of this larger truth: Our president has a traitor's heart.

But I already knew that! We all did!

We knew it the moment he said , "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you'll be able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing"  --  referencing some official e-mails of Hilary Clinton's that were improperly handled and got deleted. (Among the onion layers of irony to this political season is that Trump pioneered the 21st century witch hunt. There has never been any evidence that Clinton's deleted emails represent anything at all  --  yet Trump hammered away at this as if it mattered, until one day it did. And he didn't even suggest investigations, he skipped straight to "lock her up!").

Being racist, or stupid, or sexist, or a bully, or a New York real estate developer  --  all of these are deep character flaws. They are not always crimes. (Sexually assaulting someone is always a crime, however, even if you are a TV star and remember your breath mints.)

And yet, again, we already knew all of this. Remember this transcript from The New York Times ?

Trump : I did try and fuck her. She was married and I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, "I'll show you where they have some nice furniture." I took her out furniture  --  I moved on her like a bitch. But I couldn't get there.
Trump : Yeah, that's her [peeking out a trailer window at a different target, an approaching actress] . I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful  --  I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
Billy Bush [a fawning minor TV personality] : Whatever you want.
Trump : Grab 'em by the pussy. You can do anything.

Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States.

I share your pain. And I have no doubt he'd trade his own son for majority ownership of a moderately nice golf course. But I'm also, frankly, no longer very interested in him. I'm much more interested in us  --  the rest of us.

What happened to us?

Well, I'll amend that slightly. I am of course quite interested in seeing Donald Trump leave office. I suspect, however, that these two-plus years of journalistic malpractice  --  a politically-motivated Red Scare at a time when we don't even have any Reds anymore, just Russians  --  has locked in his second term. (What's that? Impeachment you say? Oh please. He'd set up a government-in-exile in Mar-a-Lago and then he'd be around for twenty more years instead of six. And he'd have half the nation with him the entire time.) So thank you for that, MSNBC and NPR and New York Times.

# # #

[Mar 31, 2019] Trump and GOP Allies Want Investigation of Mueller Probe s Roots

Notable quotes:
"... Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, tweeted: "Time to investigate the Obama officials who concocted and spread the Russian conspiracy hoax!" Representative Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, said "underlying documents" supporting what became Mueller's probe should be released to the public. ..."
"... A McCain associate, David Kramer, acknowledged in a deposition in a libel case that he spread word of the dossier to several news organizations. ..."
Mar 25, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

President Donald Trump and a key ally, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, said Monday that after Robert Mueller closed his Russia probe, they want an investigation of the investigators.

Graham said at a news conference that Attorney General William Barr should appoint a new special counsel to examine why the U.S. government, under President Barack Obama, decided to open an investigation into Russian election interference in 2016, and whether it was an excuse to spy on Trump's campaign.

"Was it a ruse to get into the Trump campaign?" Graham said at the news conference. "I don't know but I'm going to try to find out."

Trump told reporters at the White House that unspecified "people" behind the Russia probe would "be looked at."

The remarks show that Trump and some of his allies have retribution and score-settling on their minds after Mueller found no evidence that the president or his campaign colluded with the Kremlin's election interference. It's unclear whom Trump wants investigated, but possibilities include former FBI Director James Comey, whom he fired in May 2017; Obama's CIA Director John Brennan, whom Trump stripped of his security clearance last year; and other former intelligence and Justice Department officials who have vocally criticized the president.

The stage is also set for dueling and contradictory congressional investigations. In the House, controlled by Democrats, several committees have opened investigations into the president's financial and business affairs, and Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said Sunday he wants Barr to testify soon on his finding that Mueller didn't produce sufficient evidence that Trump obstructed justice by interfering in the Russia inquiry.

The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, on Monday blocked a vote on a measure by the Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, calling for Mueller's report to be made public. McConnell said Barr should have time to consider which portions of the report can be publicly released given concerns about classified information, ongoing investigations and other information protected by law.

Republican Allies

Several other Republicans backed Graham and Trump on Monday. Senate Oversight Committee Chairman Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said he'd like to work with Graham "to get those answers for the American public."

"We need to find out what happened," he said in an interview.

Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, tweeted: "Time to investigate the Obama officials who concocted and spread the Russian conspiracy hoax!" Representative Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, said "underlying documents" supporting what became Mueller's probe should be released to the public.

"Let them decide for themselves whether this investigation was warranted -- or whether it was a two-year long episode of political targeting, driven by FBI and DOJ executives who wanted to retaliate against a legitimately elected president," Meadows said in an interview.

Graham said his committee would also look into the FBI's handling of the inquiry into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, saying that Comey's actions in that investigation "did affect" the 2016 election. Comey held a news conference in July 2016 to announce that Clinton wouldn't be charged with a crime, and then announced less than two weeks before the election that the investigation had been re-opened after additional emails were discovered.

'Evil Things'

Trump's indication that unnamed people responsible for the probe would be investigated was vague. He didn't name anyone, and after he made similar remarks on Sunday, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters that Barr hadn't been directed to open any investigations of Democrats.

"People that have done such harm to our country," Trump complained on Monday. "We've gone through a period of really bad things happening. Those people will certainly be looked at. I've been looking at them for a long time and I'm saying, why haven't they been looked at. They lied to Congress. Many of them. You know who they are. They've done so many evil things."

Trump added that he hasn't considered pardoning anyone convicted in connection to Mueller's probe.

Graham said he planned to talk with Barr on Monday and hoped to hold a public hearing with the attorney general to explain his findings in the Mueller probe. Barr sent a four-page letter to Congress on Sunday summarizing Mueller's findings, which have not been publicly released.

"I'm asking him to lay it all out," Graham said.

Both Trump and Graham said they support Barr publicly releasing as much of Mueller's report as possible. The investigation turned out "100 percent" as it should have, Trump told reporters.

Dossier Distribution

Trump has previously singled out individuals over their role in the probe, calling for an investigation into the " other side " of the investigation. He's mentioned Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and Justice Department attorney Bruce Ohr.

Graham also said he advised his friend and Senate colleague John McCain to give the FBI the so-called Steele dossier on Trump, rebutting the president's accusations that McCain tried to hinder his 2016 election.

Graham told reporters that McCain, an Arizona Republican who died last year, had shown him the unverified collection of intelligence reports on Trump's links to Russia that was put together by a former British spy, Christopher Steele. Steele was commissioned to compile the information by an opposition research firm hired by Democrats.

McCain put the dossier in his safe and handed it over to the FBI the next day, Graham said.

A McCain associate, David Kramer, acknowledged in a deposition in a libel case that he spread word of the dossier to several news organizations.

-- With assistance by Billy House

( Updates with McConnell blocking Schumer measure in seventh paragraph. ) Published on ‎March‎ ‎25‎, ‎2019‎ ‎12‎:‎37‎ ‎PM
Updated on ‎March‎ ‎25‎, ‎2019‎ ‎5‎:‎58‎ ‎PM

[Mar 30, 2019] The Real Costs of Russiagate

Highly recommended!
So Russiagate smoothly transferred in Neo-McCarthyism and it will poison the US political atmosphere for a decade or two.
Notable quotes:
"... But as I foresaw well before the summary of Mueller's "Russia investigation" appeared, there is unlikely to be much, if any. Too many personal and organizational interests are too deeply invested in Russiagate. Not surprisingly, leading perpetrators instead immediately met the summary with a torrent of denials, goal-post shifts, obfuscations, and calls for more Russiagate "investigations." ..."
"... Clamorous allegations that the Kremlin "attacked our elections" and thereby put Trump in the White House, despite the lack of any evidence, cast doubt on the legitimacy of American elections ..."
"... Persistent demands to "secure our elections from hostile powers" -- a politically and financially profitable mania, it seems -- can only further abet and perpetuate declining confidence in the entire electoral process ..."
"... Still more, if some crude Russian social-media outputs could so dupe voters, what does this tell us about what US elites, which originated these allegations, really think of those voters, of the American people? ..."
"... Mainstream media are, of course, a foundational institution of American democracy, especially national ones, newspapers and television, with immense influence inside the Beltway and, in ramifying synergic ways, throughout the country. Their Russiagate media malpractice, as I have termed it, may have been the worst such episode in modern American history. ..."
"... Almost equally remarkable and lamentable, we learn that even now, after Mueller's finding is known, top executives of the Times and other leading Russiagate media outlets, including The Washington Post and CNN, " have no regrets ." ..."
"... Leading members of the party initiated, inflated, and prolonged it. They did nothing to prevent inquisitors like Representatives Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from becoming the cable-news face of the party. Or to rein in or disassociate the party from the outlandish excesses of "The Resistance." With very few exceptions, elected and other leading Democrats did nothing to stop -- and therefore further abetted -- the institutional damage being done by Russiagate allegations. ..."
"... Rachel Maddow continues to hype "the underlying reality that Russia did in fact attack us." By any reasonable definition of "attack," no, it did not, and scarcely any allegation could be more recklessly warmongering, a perception the Democratic Party will for this and other Russiagate commissions have to endure, or not. (When Mueller's full report is published, we will see if he too indulged in this dangerous absurdity. A few passages in the summary suggest he might have done so.) ..."
"... Finally, but potentially not least, the new Cold War with Russia has itself become an institution pervading American political, economic, media, and cultural life. Russiagate has made it more dangerous, more fraught with actual war, than the Cold War we survived, as I explain in War with Russia? Recall only that Russiagate allegations further demonized "Putin's Russia," thwarted Trump's necessary attempts to "cooperate with Russia" as somehow "treasonous," criminalized détente thinking and "inappropriate contacts with Russia" -- in short, policies and practices that previously helped to avert nuclear war. Meanwhile, the Russiagate spectacle has caused many ordinary Russians who once admired America to now be " derisive and scornful " toward our political life. ..."
Mar 30, 2019 | www.thenation.com

But as I foresaw well before the summary of Mueller's "Russia investigation" appeared, there is unlikely to be much, if any. Too many personal and organizational interests are too deeply invested in Russiagate. Not surprisingly, leading perpetrators instead immediately met the summary with a torrent of denials, goal-post shifts, obfuscations, and calls for more Russiagate "investigations." Joy Reid of MSNBC, which has been a citadel of Russiagate allegations along with CNN, even suggested that Mueller and Attorney General William Barr were themselves engaged in " a cover-up ."

Contrary to a number of major media outlets, from Bloomberg News to The Wall Street Journal , nor does Mueller's exculpatory finding actually mean that " Russiagate is dead " and indeed that " it expired in an instant ." Such conclusions reveal a lack of historical and political understanding. Nearly three years of Russiagate's toxic allegations have entered the American political-media elite bloodstream, and they almost certainly will reappear again and again in one form or another.

This is an exceedingly grave danger, because the real costs of Russiagate are not the estimated $25–40 million spent on the Mueller investigation but the corrosive damage it has already done to the institutions of American democracy -- damage done not by an alleged "Trump-Putin axis" but by Russsigate's perpetrators themselves. Having examined this collateral damage in my recently published book War with Russia? From Putin and Ukraine to Trump and Russiagate , I will only note them here.

§ Clamorous allegations that the Kremlin "attacked our elections" and thereby put Trump in the White House, despite the lack of any evidence, cast doubt on the legitimacy of American elections everywhere -- national, state, and local. If true, or even suspected, how can voters have confidence in the electoral foundations of American democracy? Persistent demands to "secure our elections from hostile powers" -- a politically and financially profitable mania, it seems -- can only further abet and perpetuate declining confidence in the entire electoral process.

Still more, if some crude Russian social-media outputs could so dupe voters, what does this tell us about what US elites, which originated these allegations, really think of those voters, of the American people?

§ Defamatory Russsiagate allegations that Trump was a "Kremlin puppet" and thus "illegitimate" were aimed at the president but hit the presidency itself, degrading the institution, bringing it under suspicion, casting doubt on its legitimacy. And if an "agent of a hostile foreign power" could occupy the White House once, a "Manchurian candidate," why not again? Will Republicans be able to resist making such allegations against a future Democratic president? In any event, Hillary Clinton's failed campaign manager, Robby Mook, has already told us that there will be a " next time ."

§ Mainstream media are, of course, a foundational institution of American democracy, especially national ones, newspapers and television, with immense influence inside the Beltway and, in ramifying synergic ways, throughout the country. Their Russiagate media malpractice, as I have termed it, may have been the worst such episode in modern American history. No mainstream media did anything to expose, for example, two crucial and fraudulent Russiagate documents -- the so-called Steele Dossier and the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment -- but instead relied heavily on them for their own narratives. Little more need be said here about this institutional self-degradation. Glenn Greenwald and a few others followed and exposed it throughout, and now Matt Taibbi has given us a meticulously documented account of that systematic malpractice , concluding that Mueller's failure to confirm the media's Russiagate allegations "is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media."

Nor, it must be added, was this entirely inadvertent or accidental. On August 8, 2016, the trend-setting New York Times published on its front page an astonishing editorial manifesto by its media critic. Asking whether "normal standards" should apply to candidate Trump, he explained that they should not: "You have to throw out the textbook American journalism has been using for the better part of the past half-century." Let others decide whether this Times proclamation unleashed the highly selective, unbalanced, questionably factual "journalism" that has so degraded Russiagate media or instead the publication sought to justify what was already underway. In either case, this remarkable -- and ramifying -- Times rejection of its own professed standards should not be forgotten. Almost equally remarkable and lamentable, we learn that even now, after Mueller's finding is known, top executives of the Times and other leading Russiagate media outlets, including The Washington Post and CNN, " have no regrets ."

§ For better or worse, America has a two-party political system, which means that the Democratic Party is also a foundational institution. Little more also need be pointed out regarding its self-degrading role in the Russiagate fraud. Leading members of the party initiated, inflated, and prolonged it. They did nothing to prevent inquisitors like Representatives Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from becoming the cable-news face of the party. Or to rein in or disassociate the party from the outlandish excesses of "The Resistance." With very few exceptions, elected and other leading Democrats did nothing to stop -- and therefore further abetted -- the institutional damage being done by Russiagate allegations.

As for Mueller's finding, the party's virtual network, MSNBC, remains undeterred.

Rachel Maddow continues to hype "the underlying reality that Russia did in fact attack us." By any reasonable definition of "attack," no, it did not, and scarcely any allegation could be more recklessly warmongering, a perception the Democratic Party will for this and other Russiagate commissions have to endure, or not. (When Mueller's full report is published, we will see if he too indulged in this dangerous absurdity. A few passages in the summary suggest he might have done so.)

§ Finally, but potentially not least, the new Cold War with Russia has itself become an institution pervading American political, economic, media, and cultural life. Russiagate has made it more dangerous, more fraught with actual war, than the Cold War we survived, as I explain in War with Russia? Recall only that Russiagate allegations further demonized "Putin's Russia," thwarted Trump's necessary attempts to "cooperate with Russia" as somehow "treasonous," criminalized détente thinking and "inappropriate contacts with Russia" -- in short, policies and practices that previously helped to avert nuclear war. Meanwhile, the Russiagate spectacle has caused many ordinary Russians who once admired America to now be " derisive and scornful " toward our political life.

[Mar 25, 2019] The Narrative Is Dead! Long Live The Narrative!

Mar 25, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

What actually happened with RussiaGate? A cabal of government officials colluded with the Hillary Clinton campaign to interfere in the 2016 election and, failing to achieve their desired outcome, engineered a two-years-plus formal inquisition to deflect attention from their own misconduct and attempt to overthrow the election result.

The Cable News characters, quite a few of them lawyers, were litigating the living shit out of the story on Sunday night in their usual spirit of obdurate rank dishonesty. For instance, Jeffrey Toobin, who plays Attorney General on CNN, went off on the infamous 2016 Trump Tower Meeting in which the president's son, Donald, Jr., met with Russian lawyer Natalia V. Veselnitskaya. Toobin omitted to mention that Ms. Veselnitskaya was, at that very time, on the payroll of Fusion GPS, Hillary Clinton's "oppo" research contractor. In other words, Trump Junior was set up.

That was characteristic of the collusion that actually occurred between the Hillary campaign, the FBI, the DOJ, the CIA, the NSA, the UK's MI6 intel agency, and the Obama White House, striving to prevent the election of a TV reality show star, and to disable him afterwards -- also of the news media's role in the whole interminable scam of RussiaGate. Their fury and despair were as vivid the night of March 24, 2019, as on November 8, 2016. And now they will attempt to spark off a sequel.

Rachel Maddow, for instance, struggling to maintain her dignity after two years playing Madame DeFarge on MSNBC, tried to console her fans with the prospect of Mr. Trump getting raked over the coals by the DOJ's Southern District of NY prosecutors for crimes as yet unpredicted -- really, whatever they might find if they turn over enough rocks in Manhattan. Perhaps she doesn't know how the justice system actually works in this country: we prosecute crimes not persons. In places like Stalin's Soviet Union and Hitler's Germany, you first choose a person to eliminate and then fit them to a crime. If no crime can be found, one is easily manufactured. In the USA, a predicate crime is required before you can launch a prosecution. Perhaps the actual Attorney General, Mr. Barr, will advise the avid staff of the Southern District of NY how this works.

There remains also, the rather sweeping panorama of misconduct and probable crime among the government (and former government) players in the agencies mentioned above. Does the full Mueller Report mention, for instance, that the animating document claiming that Trump colluded with Russia was manufactured by Mrs. Clinton's employees? And that this document was used time and again improperly and illegally to prolong the inquisition? How could Mr. Mueller not acknowledge that? And if not, what sort of investigation was this?

You are forced to ask: did Mr. Mueller play an honorable role in this epic, multilayered scandal? And is Mr. Mueller himself an honorable character, or something less than that? I believe we'll find out. The other team is coming to bat now -- and just in time for MLB's opening day, too. The Mueller report has been a shocking disappointment to the so-called "resistance," but what about the as-yet-unreleased DOJ Inspector General's report on these very matters ? Or the parallel investigation of federal prosecutor John Huber, who is charged specifically with looking into the malfeasance of the RussiaGate investigators? Or whatever action the Attorney General himself launches in the wake of all this? Or whether Mr. Trump finally declassifies the mountains of documents behind the simple failure to find him guilty of any crime? My favorite college professor and mentor, David Hamilton, once put a curious question to us when we were vexing him for some reason now forgotten: "Why," he asked, "Did Achilles drag Hector around the city of Troy three times?"

We twiddled our cigarettes and pulled our chins.

"Because he was just that pissed," he said.


Groundround , 1 minute ago link

So, If they would trample Trump's constitutional rights by abusing this bogus fisa warrant system, shouldn't we assume they are 10 times as likely to abuse it to spy on average americans, who have no chance of protecting themselves from the police state they have built since 9-11? Revoke the patriot act. It is unconstitutional anyway, though Trump rewarded the man who helped write it with the Supreme court position. We have a small window to claw back the rights they stripped from us. If we don't do it now, when these programs are called into question, these deep state turds will do whatever they can to consolidate their hold on the US. I'm not too hopeful, myself. Seeing the blatant piracy they are attempting in Venezuela, even after the failures in Iraq and Syria, doesn't do much to console me as to America's future. My relatives came here from England and Germany with little more than the clothes on their backs. It may be time to look for greener pastures if we are going to be a proxy of Israel, and a deep state, stripped of our inherent rights bit by bit until we aren't allowed to leave.

ComeAndTakeIt , 55 minutes ago link

These shitbags attempted a coup and failed.

Now they're either in complete denial that the coup failed, or are arrogantly attempting to continue it by other means.

I don't think there's a historical precedent anywhere in the world for this level of ridiculous.

VonSteever , 1 hour ago link

The real scandal here is two fold.

First is the multipart crime committed by Hillary Clinton and her cabal of deep state co-conspirators to rig a primary, which they did against Bernie Sanders, then attempt to steal an election by using various intelligence connections in the FBI and CIA to dig up dirt on candidate Trump in the form of a fake Russia dossier, then petition the DOJ with only parts of it, to get a warrant to spy on him and ultimately discredit him. Then in the event he won, use that dossier to concoct a fake Trump/Russia collusion scandal in order to delegitimize and hopefully reverse the Trump Presidential victory. This was treasonous and seditious to its core and those conspirators should be investigated as thoroughly as Mueller investigated Trump and all of his acquaintances.

The second was the Mainstream media's part in all of this mess. They so eagerly bought into the false narrative and went out of their way, like good little bolsheviks, and disseminated unproven and unsubstantiated "fake news" that was fed to them each morning by democrat operatives and consultants, 24/7/365 . Every mainstream media reporter (and I use that term loosely), and every late night talk host on CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, NPR, NY Times, Washington Post, and others, as well as every guest pundit opined without proof, and pounded the table to every lemming who would listen, that Trump had to be guilty and was in fact guilty because, well, they didn't like him. These reporters and pundits spread rumors, called him names such as racist and nazi, etc, etc, with no basis in fact, which was an historically new low, even for state based propaganda. (FOX news, to their credit, did not). This agenda driven media overstepped the boundaries of good reporting and journalistic ethical standards and set the news business back 250 years. What American journalists, reporters and pundits did in the name of the first amendment "free press" was a national and global disgrace.

elctro static , 48 minutes ago link

Well said. You forget to mention, as did the article, Mueller's seditious criminal past. Worst of all - Madcow and the rest of the MSM did a serious smear job on the Russian government, at a time of already heightened propaganda against a country that could reduce the USA to ashes. Also - there is the collusion of the UK government and the equally ridiculous Skripal affair.

It is profoundly sad none of the ringleaders and real provocateurs will be prosecuted, and things will continue to deteriorate until there is a nuclear war. Because the entire system is rotten to the core and the citizens don't care about truth or justice.

VonSteever , 35 minutes ago link

Thanks for your additional comments. While I'm hopeful Hillary and her co-conspirators will be investigated, indicted, tried and found guilty of sedition and treason in breaking laws of at least 6 different acts, I don't believe Republicans have the spine or intestinal fortitude to make their case, even if they have proof beyond any reasonable doubt to the extent a first year law student could argue and win the case open and shut.

Also, I do not believe, even for one Milli-second, that public verbal sparring of political leaders or their hyperbole in the midst of tough negotiations, will ever lead civilized nations of the world to a nuclear war. it is done purely for effect and political strategy in their home nations.

That said, you are correct that the media's continuously negative anti-Trump, anti-America tone for two straight years, did not help trade negotiations or international relations, and in fact, put the US at a distinct disadvantage. It's a small wonder President Trump has achieved all the successes he has in spite of this. He deserves great credit.

Fuster-cluck , 10 minutes ago link

Since this will be military tribunals, there does not need to be much political spine. Just one order from, say, CINC...

artistant , 1 hour ago link

That's the ONLY THING Trump has to show for.

Meanwhile,

as America 's economy crumbles,

Trump is busy giving Israhell stolen land

and carte blanche to go on with CRIMES vs Humanity .

M.A.G.A. is out

K.A.K.A. is in (Keep America Kabalah Again)

http://cufpa.wordpress.com/2018/01/07/trumps-jewish-agenda/

duo , 1 hour ago link

Mueller knew this was all lies and BS within weeks of taking the job and put on this charade for 2 YEARS and ruined the lives of innocent people. Mueller is not the good guy here at all.

buzzsaw99 , 1 hour ago link

That was characteristic of the collusion that actually occurred between the Hillary campaign, the FBI, the DOJ, the CIA, the NSA, the UK's MI6 intel agency, and the Obama White House...

awesome!

fanbeav , 1 hour ago link

After the IG report is released in April, we need to start real investigations. Congressional and Senate hearings are kabuki! President Trump needs to hire outside lawyers as a special counsel to get to the bottom of this treason! I don't trust anyone in DOJ to do that!

Ribeye , 1 hour ago link

It's on..Trump just made an extremely strong statement about "this must NEVER happen to ANY President EVER again" in response to a question from a journo..

It's go time...the counterattack is live..

Q just confirmed it..

It's Hammer Time...

fuglysheepleco , 1 hour ago link

This implies they have any concept of decency or shame to begin with.

They've been planning the SpecialCounsel-Russiagate to Congressional-Obstruction pivot since 2017... as continued albatross around Trump & MAGA's neck.

Trump better get voter fraud under control to win 2020.

[Mar 25, 2019] Russiagate Revisited by Jackson Lears

This article is over a year old, but it really explains what this with hunt was about -- to deflect real interference in the US election as well as exonerate Hillary fiasco. The way Russian were selected is a typical "projected" Anti-Semitism -- persecution on the base on national origin without any solid fact, but with plenty of prejudices due to Russia Soviet past. What a gang of scamsters the US neoliberal elite became !
Feb 22, 2018 | lrb.co.uk
Russiagate Revisited 35 The anti-Russian hysteria in Washington has slipped beyond self-parody. We now have front-row seats in a theatre of the absurd, watching the media furor explode after Robert Mueller's 'indictments' of 13 Russians and three Russian companies for interfering in the 2016 presidential elections.

Mueller's actions deserve the scare quotes because they are not really indictments at all. The accused parties will never be extradited or brought to trial. Nor is it clear that their actions rise to the level of crimes. The supposed indictments are merely dramatic accusations, a giant publicity stunt.

Even if they were real indictments, they would not be convictions. American journalists seem to have forgotten that distinction. In contemporary American jurisprudence, prosecutors routinely get rubber stamps from grand juries. A grand jury, the adage goes, will indict a ham sandwich. For a g-man on a white horse like Mueller, universally lionised in the mainstream media, a grand jury would probably indict a peanut butter sandwich.

One of the most bizarre aspects of Russiagate is the magical transformation of intelligence agency heads into paragons of truth-telling – a trick performed not by reactionary apologists for domestic spying, as one would expect, but by people who consider themselves liberals. There is something genuinely absurd about a former director of the FBI – which along with the CIA and NSA has long been one of the gravest threats to democracy in America – solemnly warning of the threat to democracy posed by Russian meddling in the election.

And what was the nature of that alleged meddling? The pseudo-indictments are clear: the meddlers had nothing to do with the Russian government and nothing to do with the Trump campaign – except that they sometimes 'communicated with unwitting individuals' associated with it. And the Russians' activities had no impact on the outcome of the election. Mueller's assignment was to investigate whether the Russian government colluded with the Trump campaign to promote his victory over Hillary Clinton. None of the current charges has anything to do with this. (Nor does Mueller's recent indictment of Alex van der Zwaan, an attorney and associate of Trump's crony Paul Manafort.) The pseudo-indictments merely add to the billowing clouds of innuendo that have characterised the Russiagate narrative from the beginning.

According to Mueller's accusations, the meddlers began their operations long before the campaign began and certainly before anyone thought Trump had a snowball's chance in hell; they posed as Muslims, black activists, white Southerners, among other social types, all posting slogans and invective on social media. After the election, they staged pro-Trump and anti-Trump rallies. Somehow the media have made this mishmash fit the Russiagate narrative, assuming it reveals a coherent Kremlin plan to elect Trump.

So what is the point of these sham indictments? It is fair to speculate that there is more going on here than a simple search for truth. Early on in the 37-page document that was released to such fanfare, the FBI makes a revealing assertion, claiming that the Russians aimed 'to sow discord in the US political system' – as if vigorous debate were not an appropriate state of affairs for a democratic polity; as if the normal expression of democracy is bland conformity to policies fashioned by elites. By explicitly linking the Russians with support for the Sanders and Trump campaigns, Mueller's pseudo-indictments identify dissent from the Washington consensus with foreign subversion. They reinforce the reigning orthodoxy and tighten the boundaries of permissible public discourse.

The consequences are potentially catastrophic. By focusing on the manufactured menace of Russiagate, the Democratic Party leadership can continue to ignore its own failures as well as the actual menace posed by Trump. And by fostering the fantasy of a vast Russian plot against America, the mainstream media can shut down reasonable foreign policy debate and promote a dangerous, unnecessary confrontation with a rival power. The final act in Washington's theatre of the absurd has yet to be written, but the denouement looks dark.

[Mar 25, 2019] Another SIGINT compromise ...

Highly recommended!
In Ber 2018 Kusher security clearance wasdongraded.
Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
"... 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 ..."
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

[Mar 24, 2019] No matter the result, what is found or is not, to the neocons/neolib Establishment, Trump will always be waiting for his next check written in Cyrillic and denominated in rubles.

Notable quotes:
"... It's not Rubles.. Those be Sheckels. ..."
Mar 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Perry Colace

All of this reminds me of the first combat scene in 'Full Metal Jacket'. Joker is being helicoptered into the battle at Hue, and the door gunner is just firing his M-60 nonstop, yelling 'Get some! Come on! Get some!', as people below are running and getting shot. Joker says, 'Aren't you afraid that you might be killing innocent women......or children?'. The door gunner says,

If they run, they're VC.

If they stand still, they're WELL TRAINED VC!'.

No matter the result, what is found or is not, to the left, Trump will always be waiting for his next check written in Cyrillic and denominated in rubles.

Macher1, 3 hours ago

It's not Rubles.. Those be Sheckels.

[Mar 24, 2019] Taibbi It s Official - Russiagate Is This Generation s WMD

This is the most grandiose False flag propaganda operation known to the mankind. McCarthyism while more vicious was just a blip of the screen in comparison this this tide of disinformation and insinuations. Iraq WDM resulted in more casualties but was much more short term. Damage for the USA from this false flag operation might even exceed the damage for Iraq WDM fiasco.
British government and intelligence serves were active participants and in this sense "Skripals poisoning" looks like a perverted form of "witness protection:" program. A false flag operation on the top of a false flag operation ("Russiagate").
What is amazing is how unapt were the major players.
Notable quotes:
"... Nobody wants to hear this, but news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is headed home without issuing new charges is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media. ..."
"... A few weeks after that hearing, Steele gave testimony in a British lawsuit filed by one of the Russian companies mentioned in his reports. In a written submission , Steele said his information was "raw" and "needed to be analyzed and further investigated/verified." He also wrote that (at least as pertained to the memo in that case) he had not written his report "with the intention that it be republished to the world at large." ..."
"... That itself was a curious statement, given that Steele reportedly spoke with multiple reporters in the fall of 2016, but this was his legal position. This story about Steele's British court statements did not make it into the news much in the United States, apart from a few bits in conservative outlets like The Washington Times. ..."
"... The Steele report was the Magna Carta of #Russiagate. It provided the implied context for thousands of news stories to come, yet no journalist was ever able to confirm its most salacious allegations: the five year cultivation plan, the blackmail, the bribe from Sechin, the Prague trip, the pee romp, etc. In metaphorical terms, we were unable to independently produce Steele's results in the lab. Failure to reckon with this corrupted the narrative from the start. ..."
"... "Just called," Page said to McCabe. "Apparently the DAG [Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates] now wants to be there, and WH wants DOJ to host. So we are setting that up now. ... We will very much need to get Cohen's view before we meet with her. Better, have him weigh in with her before the meeting. We need to speak with one voice, if that is in fact the case." ..."
"... Someday I hope that Hillary has to be rolled up to testify about the Benghazi business. Grab the guns and the gold (and the oil). Ukraine gold: check. Libyan gold and weapons: check. ..."
Mar 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Matt Taibbi, excerpted from his serial book Hate Inc.,

The Iraq war faceplant damaged the reputation of the press. Russiagate just destroyed it...

Note to readers: in light of news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation is complete, I'm releasing this chapter of Hate Inc. early, with a few new details added up top. Nobody wants to hear this, but news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is headed home without issuing new charges is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media.

As has long been rumored , the former FBI chief's independent probe will result in multiple indictments and convictions, but no " presidency-wrecking " conspiracy charges, or anything that would meet the layman's definition of "collusion" with Russia.

With the caveat that even this news might somehow turn out to be botched, the key detail in the many stories about the end of the Mueller investigation was best expressed by the New York Times :

A senior Justice Department official said that Mr. Mueller would not recommend new indictments.

The Times tried to soften the emotional blow for the millions of Americans trained in these years to place hopes for the overturn of the Trump presidency in Mueller. Nobody even pretended it was supposed to be a fact-finding mission, instead of an act of faith.

The Special Prosecutor literally became a religious figure during the last few years, with votive candles sold in his image and Saturday Night Live cast members singing " All I Want for Christmas is You " to him featuring the rhymey line: "Mueller please come through, because the only option is a coup."

The Times story today tried to preserve Santa Mueller's reputation, noting Trump's Attorney General William Barr's reaction was an "endorsement" of the fineness of Mueller's work:

In an apparent endorsement of an investigation that Mr. Trump has relentlessly attacked as a "witch hunt," Mr. Barr said Justice Department officials never had to intervene to keep Mr. Mueller from taking an inappropriate or unwarranted step.

Mueller, in other words, never stepped out of the bounds of his job description. But could the same be said for the news media?

For those anxious to keep the dream alive, the Times published its usual graphic of Trump-Russia "contacts," inviting readers to keep making connections. But in a separate piece by Peter Baker , the paper noted the Mueller news had dire consequences for the press:

It will be a reckoning for President Trump, to be sure, but also for Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, for Congress, for Democrats, for Republicans, for the news media and, yes, for the system as a whole

This is a damning page one admission by the Times. Despite the connect-the-dots graphic in its other story, and despite the astonishing, emotion-laden editorial the paper also ran suggesting " We don't need to read the Mueller report " because we know Trump is guilty, Baker at least began the work of preparing Times readers for a hard question: "Have journalists connected too many dots that do not really add up?"

The paper was signaling it understood there would now be questions about whether or not news outlets like themselves made a galactic error by betting heavily on a new, politicized approach , trying to be true to "history's judgment" on top of the hard-enough job of just being true. Worse, in a brutal irony everyone should have seen coming , the press has now handed Trump the mother of campaign issues heading into 2020.

Nothing Trump is accused of from now on by the press will be believed by huge chunks of the population, a group that (perhaps thanks to this story) is now larger than his original base. As Baker notes, a full 50.3% of respondents in a poll conducted this month said they agree with Trump the Mueller probe is a "witch hunt."

Stories have been coming out for some time now hinting Mueller's final report might leave audiences " disappointed ," as if a President not being a foreign spy could somehow be bad news.

Openly using such language has, all along, been an indictment. Imagine how tone-deaf you'd have to be to not realize it makes you look bad, when news does not match audience expectations you raised. To be unaware of this is mind-boggling, the journalistic equivalent of walking outside without pants.

There will be people protesting: the Mueller report doesn't prove anything! What about the 37 indictments? The convictions? The Trump tower revelations? The lies! The meeting with Don, Jr.? The financial matters ! There's an ongoing grand jury investigation, and possible sealed indictments, and the House will still investigate, and

Stop. Just stop. Any journalist who goes there is making it worse.

For years, every pundit and Democratic pol in Washington hyped every new Russia headline like the Watergate break-in. Now, even Nancy Pelosi has said impeachment is out, unless something "so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan" against Trump is uncovered it would be worth their political trouble to prosecute.

The biggest thing this affair has uncovered so far is Donald Trump paying off a porn star. That's a hell of a long way from what this business was supposedly about at the beginning, and shame on any reporter who tries to pretend this isn't so.

The story hyped from the start was espionage: a secret relationship between the Trump campaign and Russian spooks who'd helped him win the election.

The betrayal narrative was not reported at first as metaphor. It was not "Trump likes the Russians so much, he might as well be a spy for them." It was literal spying, treason, and election-fixing – crimes so severe, former NSA employee John Schindler told reporters, Trump " will die in jail ."

In the early months of this scandal, the New York Times said Trump's campaign had "repeated contacts" with Russian intelligence; the Wall Street Journal told us our spy agencies were withholding intelligence from the new President out of fear he was compromised; news leaked out our spy chiefs had even told other countries like Israel not to share their intel with us, because the Russians might have "leverages of pressure" on Trump.

CNN told us Trump officials had been in "constant contact" with "Russians known to U.S. intelligence," and the former director of the CIA, who'd helped kick-start the investigation that led to Mueller's probe, said the President was guilty of "high crimes and misdemeanors," committing acts " nothing short of treasonous ."

Hillary Clinton insisted Russians "could not have known how to weaponize" political ads unless they'd been "guided" by Americans. Asked if she meant Trump, she said, " It's pretty hard not to ." Harry Reid similarly said he had "no doubt" that the Trump campaign was " in on the deal " to help Russians with the leak.

None of this has been walked back. To be clear, if Trump were being blackmailed by Russian agencies like the FSB or the GRU, if he had any kind of relationship with Russian intelligence, that would soar over the "overwhelming and bipartisan" standard, and Nancy Pelosi would be damning torpedoes for impeachment right now.

There was never real gray area here. Either Trump is a compromised foreign agent, or he isn't. If he isn't, news outlets once again swallowed a massive disinformation campaign, only this error is many orders of magnitude more stupid than any in the recent past, WMD included. Honest reporters like ABC's Terry Moran understand: Mueller coming back empty-handed on collusion means a " reckoning for the media ."

Of course, there won't be such a reckoning. (There never is). But there should be. We broke every written and unwritten rule in pursuit of this story, starting with the prohibition on reporting things we can't confirm.

#Russiagate debuted as a media phenomenon in mid-summer, 2016. The roots of the actual story, i.e. when the multi-national investigation began, go back much further, to the previous year at least. Oddly, that origin tale has not been nailed down yet, and blue-state audiences don't seem terribly interested in it, either.

By June and July of 2016, bits of the dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, which had been funded by the Democratic National Committee through the law firm Perkins Coie (which in turn hired the opposition research firm Fusion GPS), were already in the ether.

The Steele report occupies the same role in #Russiagate the tales spun by Ahmed Chalabi occupied in the WMD screwup. Once again, a narrative became turbo-charged when Officials With Motives pulled the press corps by its nose to a swamp of unconfirmable private assertions.

Some early stories, like a July 4, 2016 piece by Franklin Foer in Slate called " Putin's Puppet ," outlined future Steele themes in "circumstantial" form. But the actual dossier, while it influenced a number of pre-election Trump-Russia news stories (notably one by Michael Isiskoff of Yahoo! that would be used in a FISA warrant application ), didn't make it into print for a while.

Though it was shopped to at least nine news organizations during the summer and fall of 2016, no one bit, for the good reason that news organizations couldn't verify its "revelations."

The Steele claims were explosive if true. The ex-spy reported Trump aide Carter Page had been offered fees on a big new slice of the oil giant Rosneft if he could help get sanctions against Russia lifted. He also said Trump lawyer Michael Cohen went to Prague for "secret discussions with Kremlin representatives and associated operators/hackers."

Most famously, he wrote the Kremlin had kompromat of Trump "deriling" [sic] a bed once used by Barack and Michelle Obama by "employing a number of prostitutes to perform a 'golden showers' (urination) show."

This was too good of a story not to do. By hook or crook, it had to come out. The first salvo was by David Corn of Mother Jones on October 31, 2016: " A Veteran Spy Has Given the FBI Information Alleging a Russian Operation to Cultivate Donald Trump ."

The piece didn't have pee, Prague, or Page in it, but it did say Russian intelligence had material that could "blackmail" Trump. It was technically kosher to print because Corn wasn't publishing the allegations themselves, merely that the FBI had taken possession of them.

A bigger pretext was needed to get the other details out. This took place just after the election, when four intelligence officials presented copies of the dossier to both President-Elect Trump and outgoing President Obama.

From his own memos , we know FBI Director James Comey, ostensibly evincing concern for Trump's welfare, told the new President he was just warning him about what was out there, as possible blackmail material:

I wasn't saying [the Steele report] was true, only that I wanted him to know both that it had been reported and that the reports were in many hands. I said media like CNN had them and were looking for a news hook. I said it was important that we not give them the excuse to write that the FBI has the material or [redacted] and that we were keeping it very close-hold [sic].

Comey's generous warning to Trump about not providing a "news hook," along with a promise to keep it all "close-held," took place on January 6, 2017. Within four days, basically the entire Washington news media somehow knew all about this top-secret meeting and had the very hook they needed to go public. Nobody in the mainstream press thought this was weird or warranted comment.

Even Donald Trump was probably smart enough to catch the hint when, of all outlets, it was CNN that first broke the story of "Classified documents presented last week to Trump" on January 10 .

At the same time, Buzzfeed made the historic decision to publish the entire Steele dossier, bringing years of pee into our lives. This move birthed the Russiagate phenomenon as a never-ending, minute-to-minute factor in American news coverage.

Comey was right. We couldn't have reported this story without a "hook." Therefore the reports surrounding Steele technically weren't about the allegations themselves, but rather the journey of those allegations, from one set of official hands to another. Handing the report to Trump created a perfect pretext.

This trick has been used before, both in Washington and on Wall Street, to publicize unconfirmed private research. A short seller might hire a consulting firm to prepare a report on a company he or she has bet against. When the report is completed, the investor then tries to get the SEC or the FBI to take possession. If they do, news leaks the company is "under investigation," the stock dives, and everyone wins.

This same trick is found in politics. A similar trajectory drove negative headlines in the scandal surrounding New Jersey's Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, who was said to be under investigation by the FBI for underage sex crimes (although some were skeptical ). The initial story didn't hold up, but led to other investigations.

Same with the so-called " Arkansas project ," in which millions of Republican-friendly private research dollars produced enough noise about the Whitewater scandal to create years of headlines about the Clintons. Swiftboating was another example. Private oppo isn't inherently bad. In fact it has led to some incredible scoops, including Enron. But reporters usually know to be skeptical of private info, and figure the motives of its patrons into the story.

The sequence of events in that second week of January, 2017 will now need to be heavily re-examined. We now know, from his own testimony , that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had some kind of role in helping CNN do its report, presumably by confirming part of the story, perhaps through an intermediary or two (there is some controversy over whom exactly was contacted, and when).

Why would real security officials help litigate this grave matter through the media? Why were the world's most powerful investigative agencies acting like they were trying to move a stock, pushing an private, unverified report that even Buzzfeed could see had factual issues? It made no sense at the time , and makes less now.

In January of 2017, Steele's pile of allegations became public, read by millions. "It is not just unconfirmed," Buzzfeed admitted . "It includes some clear errors."

Buzzfeed's decision exploded traditional journalistic standards against knowingly publishing material whose veracity you doubt. Although a few media ethicists wondered at it , this seemed not to bother the rank-and-file in the business. Buzzfeed chief Ben Smith is still proud of his decision today. I think this was because many reporters believed the report was true.

When I read the report, I was in shock. I thought it read like fourth-rate suspense fiction (I should know: I write fourth-rate suspense fiction). Moreover it seemed edited both for public consumption and to please Steele's DNC patrons.

Steele wrote of Russians having a file of "compromising information" on Hillary Clinton, only this file supposedly lacked "details/evidence of unorthodox or embarrassing behavior" or "embarrassing conduct."

We were meant to believe the Russians, across decades of dirt-digging, had an empty kompromat file on Hillary Clinton, to say nothing of human tabloid headline Bill Clinton? This point was made more than once in the reports, as if being emphasized for the reading public.

There were other curious lines, including the bit about Russians having "moles" in the DNC, plus some linguistic details that made me wonder at the nationality of the report author.

Still, who knew? It could be true. But even the most cursory review showed the report had issues and would need a lot of confirming. This made it more amazing that the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, held hearings on March 20, 2017 that blithely read out Steele report details as if they were fact. From Schiff's opening statement:

According to Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer who is reportedly held in high regard by U.S. Intelligence, Russian sources tell him that Page has also had a secret meeting with Igor Sechin (SEH-CHIN), CEO of Russian gas giant Rosneft Page is offered brokerage fees by Sechin on a deal involving a 19 percent share of the company.

I was stunned watching this. It's generally understood that members of congress, like reporters, make an effort to vet at least their prepared remarks before making them public.

But here was Schiff, telling the world Trump aide Carter Page had been offered huge fees on a 19% stake in Rosneft – a company with a $63 billion market capitalization – in a secret meeting with a Russian oligarch who was also said to be "a KGB agent and close friend of Putin's."

(Schiff meant "FSB agent." The inability of #Russiagaters to remember Russia is not the Soviet Union became increasingly maddening over time. Donna Brazile still hasn't deleted her tweet about how " The Communists are now dictating the terms of the debate ." )

Schiff's speech raised questions. Do we no longer have to worry about getting accusations right if the subject is tied to Russiagate? What if Page hadn't done any of these things? To date, he hasn't been charged with anything. Shouldn't a member of Congress worry about this?

A few weeks after that hearing, Steele gave testimony in a British lawsuit filed by one of the Russian companies mentioned in his reports. In a written submission , Steele said his information was "raw" and "needed to be analyzed and further investigated/verified." He also wrote that (at least as pertained to the memo in that case) he had not written his report "with the intention that it be republished to the world at large."

That itself was a curious statement, given that Steele reportedly spoke with multiple reporters in the fall of 2016, but this was his legal position. This story about Steele's British court statements did not make it into the news much in the United States, apart from a few bits in conservative outlets like The Washington Times.

I contacted Schiff's office to ask if the congressman if he knew about Steele's admission that his report needed verifying, and if that changed his view of it at all. The response (emphasis mine):

The dossier compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele and which was leaked publicly several months ago contains information that may be pertinent to our investigation. This is true regardless of whether it was ever intended for public dissemination. Accordingly, the Committee hopes to speak with Mr. Steele in order to help substantiate or refute each of the allegations contained in the dossier.

Schiff had not spoken to Steele before the hearing, and read out the allegations knowing they were unsubstantiated.

The Steele report was the Magna Carta of #Russiagate. It provided the implied context for thousands of news stories to come, yet no journalist was ever able to confirm its most salacious allegations: the five year cultivation plan, the blackmail, the bribe from Sechin, the Prague trip, the pee romp, etc. In metaphorical terms, we were unable to independently produce Steele's results in the lab. Failure to reckon with this corrupted the narrative from the start.

For years, every hint the dossier might be true became a banner headline, while every time doubt was cast on Steele's revelations, the press was quiet. Washington Post reporter Greg Miller went to Prague and led a team looking for evidence Cohen had been there. Post reporters, Miller said, "literally spent weeks and months trying to run down" the Cohen story.

"We sent reporters through every hotel in Prague, through all over the place, just to try to figure out if he was ever there," he said, "and came away empty."

This was heads-I-win, tails-you-lose reporting. One assumes if Miller found Cohen's name in a hotel ledger, it would have been on page 1 of the Post. The converse didn't get a mention in Miller's own paper. He only told the story during a discussion aired by C-SPAN about a new book he'd published. Only The Daily Caller and a few conservative blogs picked it up.

It was the same when Bob Woodward said, "I did not find [espionage or collusion] Of course I looked for it, looked for it hard."

The celebrated Watergate muckraker – who once said he'd succumbed to "groupthink" in the WMD episode and added, "I blame myself mightily for not pushing harder" – didn't push very hard here, either. News that he'd tried and failed to find collusion didn't get into his own paper. It only came out when Woodward was promoting his book Fear in a discussion with conservative host Hugh Hewitt.

When Michael Cohen testified before congress and denied under oath ever being in Prague, it was the same. Few commercial news outlets bothered to take note of the implications this had for their previous reports. Would a man clinging to a plea deal lie to congress on national television about this issue?

There was a CNN story , but the rest of the coverage was all in conservative outlets – the National Review , Fox , The Daily Caller . The Washington Post's response was to run an editorial sneering at " How conservative media downplayed Michael Cohen's testimony ."

Perhaps worst of all was the episode involving Yahoo! reporter Michael Isikoff. He had already been part of one strange tale: the FBI double-dipping when it sought a FISA warrant to conduct secret surveillance of Carter Page, the would-be mastermind who was supposed to have brokered a deal with oligarch Sechin.

In its FISA application, the FBI included both the unconfirmed Steele report and Isikoff's September 23, 2016 Yahoo! story, " U.S. Intel Officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin ." The Isikoff story, which claimed Page had met with "high ranking sanctioned officials" in Russia, had relied upon Steele as an unnamed source.

This was similar to a laundering technique used in the WMD episode called "stove-piping," i.e. officials using the press to "confirm" information the officials themselves fed the reporter.

But there was virtually no non-conservative press about this problem apart from a Washington Post story pooh-poohing the issue. (Every news story that casts any doubt on the collusion issue seems to meet with an instantaneous "fact check" in the Post .) The Post insisted the FISA issue wasn't serious among other things because Steele was not the "foundation" of Isikoff's piece.

Isikoff was perhaps the reporter most familiar with Steele. He and Corn of Mother Jones , who also dealt with the ex-spy, wrote a bestselling book that relied upon theories from Steele, Russian Roulette , including a rumination on the "pee" episode. Yet Isikoff in late 2018 suddenly said he believed the Steele report would turn out to be " mostly false ."

Once again, this only came out via a podcast, John Ziegler's "Free Speech Broadcasting" show. Here's a transcript of the relevant section:

Isikoff: When you actually get into the details of the Steele dossier, the specific allegations, you know, we have not seen the evidence to support them. And in fact there is good grounds to think some of the more sensational allegations will never be proven, and are likely false.

Ziegler: That's...

Isikoff: I think it's a mixed record at best at this point, things could change, Mueller may yet produce evidence that changes this calculation. But based on the public record at this point I have to say that most of the specific allegations have not been borne out.

Ziegler: That's interesting to hear you say that, Michael because as I'm sure you know, your book was kind of used to validate the pee tape, for lack of a better term.

Isikoff: Yeah. I think we had some evidence in there of an event that may have inspired the pee tape and that was the visit that Trump made with a number of characters who later showed up in Moscow, specifically Emin Agalarov and Rob Goldstone to this raunchy Las Vegas nightclub where one of the regular acts was a skit called "Hot For Teacher" in which dancers posing as college Co-Ed's urinated – or simulated urinating on their professor. Which struck me as an odd coincidence at best. I think, you know, it is not implausible that event may have inspired...

Ziegler: An urban legend?

Isikoff: ...allegations that appeared in the Steele dossier.

Isikoff delivered this story with a laughing tone. He seamlessly transitioned to what he then called the "real" point, i.e. "the irony is Steele may be right, but it wasn't the Kremlin that had sexual kompromat on Donald Trump, it was the National Enquirer. "

Recapping: the reporter who introduced Steele to the world (his September 23, 2016 story was the first to reference him as a source), who wrote a book that even he concedes was seen as "validating" the pee tape story, suddenly backtracks and says the whole thing may have been based on a Las Vegas strip act, but it doesn't matter because Stormy Daniels, etc.

Another story of this type involved a court case in which Webzilla and parent company XBT sued Steele and Buzzfeed over the mention their firm in one of the memos. It came out in court testimony that Steele had culled information about XBT/Webzilla from a 2009 post on CNN's "iReports" page .

Asked if he understood these posts came from random users and not CNN journalists who'd been fact-checked, Steele replied, " I do not ."

This comical detail was similar to news that the second British Mi6 dossier released just before the Iraq invasion had been plagiarized in part from a thirteen year-old student thesis from California State University, not even by intelligence people, but by mid-level functionaries in Tony Blair's press office.

There were so many profiles of Steele as an " astoundingly diligent " spymaster straight out of LeCarre : he was routinely described like a LeCarre-ian grinder like the legendary George Smiley, a man in the shadows whose bookish intensity was belied by his "average," "neutral," "quiet," demeanor, being "more low-key than Smiley." One would think it might have rated a mention that our "Smiley" was cutting and pasting text like a community college freshman. But the story barely made news.

This has been a consistent pattern throughout #Russiagate. Step one: salacious headline. Step two, days or weeks later: news emerges the story is shakier than first believed. Step three (in the best case) involves the story being walked back or retracted by the same publication.

That's been rare. More often, when explosive #Russiagate headlines go sideways, the original outlets simply ignore the new development, leaving the "retraction" process to conservative outlets that don't reach the original audiences.

This is a major structural flaw of the new fully-divided media landscape in which Republican media covers Democratic corruption and Democratic media covers Republican corruption. If neither "side" feels the need to disclose its own errors and inconsistencies, mistakes accumulate quickly.

This has been the main difference between Russiagate and the WMD affair. Despite David Remnick's post-invasion protestations that "nobody got [WMD] completely right," the Iraq war was launched against the objections of the 6 million or more people who did get it right, and protested on the streets . There was open skepticism of Bush claims dotting the press landscape from the start, with people like Jack Shafer tearing apart every Judith Miller story in print. Most reporters are Democrats and the people hawking the WMD story were mostly Republicans, so there was political space for protest.

Russiagate happened in an opposite context. If the story fell apart it would benefit Donald Trump politically, a fact that made a number of reporters queasy about coming forward. #Russiagate became synonymous with #Resistance, which made public skepticism a complicated proposition.

Early in the scandal, I appeared on To The Point, a California-based public radio show hosted by Warren Olney, with Corn of Mother Jones. I knew David a little and had been friendly with him. He once hosted a book event for me in Washington. In the program, however, the subject of getting facts right came up and Corn said this was not a time for reporters to be picking nits:

So Democrats getting overeager, overenthusiastic, stating things that may not be [unintelligible] true ? Well, tell me a political issue where that doesn't happen. I think that's looking at the wrong end of the telescope.

I wrote him later and suggested that since we're in the press, and not really about anything except avoiding "things that may not be true," maybe we had different responsibilities than "Democrats"? He wrote back:

Feel free to police the Trump opposition. But on the list of shit that needs to be covered these days, that's just not high on my personal list.

Other reporters spoke of an internal struggle. When the Mueller indictment of the Internet Research Agency was met with exultation in the media, New Yorker writer Adrian Chen, who broke the original IRA story, was hesitant to come forward with some mild qualms about the way the story was being reported:

"Either I could stay silent and allow the conversation to be dominated by those pumping up the Russian threat," he said, "or I could risk giving fodder to Trump and his allies."

After writing, " Confessions of a Russiagate Skeptic ," poor Blake Hounsell of Politico took such a beating on social media, he ended up denouncing himself a year later.

"What I meant to write is, I wasn't skeptical," he said.

Years ago, in the midst of the WMD affair, Times public editor Daniel Okrent noted the paper's standard had moved from "Don't get it first, get it right" to "Get it first and get it right." From there, Okrent wrote , "the next devolution was an obvious one."

We're at that next devolution: first and wrong. The Russiagate era has so degraded journalism that even once "reputable" outlets are now only about as right as politicians, which is to say barely ever, and then only by accident.

Early on, I was so amazed by the sheer quantity of Russia "bombshells" being walked back, I started to keep a list. It's well above 50 stories now. As has been noted by Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept and others, if the mistakes were random, you'd expect them in both directions , but Russiagate errors uniformly go the same way.

In some cases the stories are only partly wrong, as in the case of the famed " 17 intelligence agencies said Russia was behind the hacking " story (it was actually four: the Director of National Intelligence "hand-picking" a team from the FBI, CIA, and NSA).

In other cases the stories were blunt false starts, resulting in ugly sets of matching headlines:

" Russian operation hacked a Vermont utility "

Washington Post, December 31, 2016.

" Russian government hackers do not appear to have targeted Vermont utility "

Washington Post, Jan. 2, 2017.

" Trump Campaign Aides had repeated contacts with Russian Intelligence ," published by the Times on Valentine's Day, 2017, was an important, narrative-driving "bombshell" that looked dicey from the start. The piece didn't say whether the contact was witting or unwitting, whether the discussions were about business or politics, or what the contacts supposedly were at all.

Normally a reporter would want to know what the deal is before he or she runs a story accusing people of having dealings with foreign spies. "Witting" or "Unwitting" ought to be a huge distinction, for instance. It soon after came out that people like former CIA chief John Brennan don't think this is the case. "Frequently, people who are on a treasonous path do not know they're on a treasonous path," he said, speaking of Trump's circle.

This seemed a dangerous argument, the kind of thing that led to trouble in the McCarthy years. But let's say the contacts were serious. From a reporting point of view, you'd still need to know exactly what the nature of such contacts were before you run that story, because the headline implication is grave. Moreover you'd need to know it well enough to report it, i.e. it's not enough to be told a convincing story off-the-record, you need to be able to share with readers enough so that they can characterize the news themselves.

Not to the Times, which ran the article without the specifics. Months later, Comey blew up this "contacts" story in public, saying, " in the main, it was not true ."

As was the case with the "17 agencies" error, which only got fixed when Clapper testified in congress and was forced to make the correction under oath, the "repeated contacts" story was only disputed when Comey testified in congress, this time before the Senate Intelligence Committee . How many other errors of this type are waiting to be disclosed?

Even the mistakes caught were astounding. On December 1, 2017, ABC reporter Brian Ross claimed Trump "as a candidate" instructed Michael Flynn to contact Russia. The news caused the Dow to plummet 350 points. The story was retracted almost immediately and Ross was suspended .

Bloomberg reported Mueller subpoenaed Trump's Deutsche Bank accounts; the subpoenas turned out to be of other individuals' records. Fortune said C-SPAN was hacked after Russia Today programming briefly interrupted coverage of a Maxine Waters floor address. The New York Times also ran the story, and it's still up, despite C-SPAN insisting its own "internal routing error" likely caused the feed to appear in place of its own broadcast.

CNN has its own separate sub-list of wrecks. Three of the network's journalists resigned after a story purporting to tie Trump advisor Anthony Scaramucci to a Russian investment fund was retracted. Four more CNN reporters (Gloria Borger, Eric Lichtblau, Jake Tapper and Brian Rokus) were bylined in a story that claimed Comey was expected to refute Trump's claims he was told he wasn't the target of an investigation. Comey blew that one up, too.

In another CNN scoop gone awry, " Email pointed Trump campaign to WikiLeaks documents ," the network's reporters were off by ten days in a "bombshell" that supposedly proved the Trump campaign had foreknowledge of Wikileaks dumps. "It's, uh, perhaps not as significant as what we know now," offered CNN's Manu Raju in a painful on-air retraction .

The worst stories were the ones never corrected. A particularly bad example is " After Florida School Shooting, Russian 'Bot' Army Pounced ," from the New York Times on Feb 18, 2018. The piece claimed Russians were trying to divide Americans on social media after a mass shooting using Twitter hashtags like #guncontrolnow, #gunreformnow and #Parklandshooting.

The Times ran this quote high up:

"This is pretty typical for them, to hop on breaking news like this," said Jonathon Morgan, chief executive of New Knowledge, a company that tracks online disinformation campaigns. "The bots focus on anything that is divisive for Americans. Almost systematically."

About a year after this story came out, Times reporters Scott Shane and Ann Blinder reported that the same outfit, New Knowledge , and in particular that same Jonathon Morgan, had participated in a cockamamie scheme to fake Russian troll activity in an Alabama Senate race. The idea was to try to convince voters Russia preferred the Republican.

The Times quoted a New Knowledge internal report about the idiotic Alabama scheme:

We orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet

The Parkland story was iffy enough when it came out, as Twitter disputed it, and another of the main sources for the initial report, former intelligence official Clint Watts, subsequently said he was "not convinced" on the whole "bot thing."

But when one of your top sources turns out to have faked exactly the kind of activity described in your article, you should at least take the quote out, or put an update online. No luck: the story remains up on the Times site, without disclaimers.

Russiagate institutionalized one of the worst ethical loopholes in journalism, which used to be limited mainly to local crime reporting. It's always been a problem that we publish mugshots and names of people merely arrested but not yet found guilty. Those stories live forever online and even the acquitted end up permanently unable to get jobs, smeared as thieves, wife-beaters, drunk drivers, etc.

With Russiagate the national press abandoned any pretense that there's a difference between indictment and conviction. The most disturbing story involved Maria Butina. Here authorities and the press shared responsibility. Thanks to an indictment that initially said the Russian traded sex for favors, the Times and other outlets flooded the news cycle with breathless stories about a redheaded slut-temptress come to undermine democracy, a "real-life Red Sparrow," as ABC put it.

But a judge threw out the sex charge after "five minutes" when it turned out to be based on a single joke text to a friend who had taken Butina's car for inspection.

It's pretty hard to undo public perception you're a prostitute once it's been in a headline, and, worse, the headlines are still out there. You can still find stories like " Maria Butina, Suspected Secret Agent, Used Sex in Covert Plan " online in the New York Times.

Here a reporter might protest: how would I know? Prosecutors said she traded sex for money. Why shouldn't I believe them?

How about because, authorities have been lying their faces off to reporters since before electricity! It doesn't take much investigation to realize the main institutional sources in the Russiagate mess – the security services, mainly – have extensive records of deceiving the media.

As noted before, from World War I-era tales of striking union workers being German agents to the "missile gap" that wasn't (the "gap" was leaked to the press before the Soviets had even one operational ICBM) to the Gulf of Tonkin mess to all the smears of people like Martin Luther King, it's a wonder newspapers listen to whispers from government sources at all.

In the Reagan years National Security Adviser John Poindexter spread false stories about Libyan terrorist plots to The Wall Street Journal and other papers. In the Bush years, Dick Cheney et al were selling manure by the truckload about various connections between Iraq and al-Qaeda, infamously including a story that bomber Mohammed Atta met with Iraqi intelligence officials in Prague.

The New York Times ran a story that Atta was in Prague in late October of 2001, even giving a date of the meeting with Iraqis, April 8, or "just five months before the terrorist attacks." The Prague story was another example of a tale that seemed shaky because American officials were putting the sourcing first on foreign intelligence, then on reporters themselves. Cheney cited the Prague report in subsequent TV appearances, one of many instances of feeding reporters tidbits and then selling reports as independent confirmation.

It wasn't until three years later, in 2004, that Times reporter James Risen definitively killed the Atta-in-Prague canard (why is it always Prague?) in a story entitled " No evidence of meeting with Iraqi ." By then, of course, it was too late. The Times also held a major dissenting piece by Risen about the WMD case, "C.I.A. Aides Feel Pressure in Preparing Iraqi Reports," until days after war started. This is what happens when you start thumbing the scale.

This failure to demand specifics has been epidemic in Russiagate, even when good reporters have been involved. One of the biggest "revelations" of this era involved a story that was broken first by a terrible reporter (the Guardian's Luke Harding) and followed up by a good one (Jane Mayer of the New Yorker ). The key detail involved the elusive origin story of Russiagate.

Mayer's piece, the March 12, 2018 " Christopher Steele, the Man Behind The Trump Dossier " in the New Yorker , impacted the public mainly by seeming to bolster the credentials of the dossier author. But it contained an explosive nugget far down. Mayer reported Robert Hannigan, then-head of the GCHQ (the British analog to the NSA) intercepted a "stream of illicit communications" between "Trump's team and Moscow" at some point prior to August 2016. Hannigan flew to the U.S. and briefed CIA director John Brennan about these communications. Brennan later testified this inspired the original FBI investigation.

When I read that, a million questions came to mind, but first: what did "illicit" mean?

If something "illicit" had been captured by GCHQ, and this led to the FBI investigation (one of several conflicting public explanations for the start of the FBI probe, incidentally), this would go a long way toward clearing up the nature of the collusion charge. If they had something, why couldn't they tell us what it was? Why didn't we deserve to know?

I asked the Guardian: "Was any attempt made to find out what those communications were? How was the existence of these communications confirmed? Did anyone from the Guardian see or hear these intercepts, or transcripts?"

Their one-sentence reply:

The Guardian has strict and rigorous procedures when dealing with source material.

That's the kind of answer you'd expect from a transnational bank, or the army, not a newspaper.

I asked Mayer the same questions. She was more forthright, noting that, of course, the story had originally been broken by Harding , whose own report said "the precise nature of these exchanges has not been made public."

She added that "afterwards I independently confirmed aspects of [Harding's piece] with several well-informed sources," and "spent months on the Steele story [and] traveled to the UK twice for it." But, she wrote, "the Russiagate story, like all reporting on sensitive national security issues, is difficult."

I can only infer she couldn't find out what "illicit" meant despite proper effort. The detail was published anyway. It may not have seemed like a big deal, but I think it was.

To be clear, I don't necessarily disbelieve the idea that there were "illicit" contacts between Trump and Russians in early 2015 or before. But if there were such contacts, I can't think of any legitimate reason why their nature should be withheld from the public.

If authorities can share reasons for concern with foreign countries like Israel, why should American voters not be so entitled? Moreover the idea that we need to keep things secret to protect sources and methods and "tradecraft" (half the press corps became expert in goofy spy language over the last few years, using terms like "SIGINT" like they've known them their whole lives), why are we leaking news of our ability to hear Russian officials cheerin g Trump's win?

Failure to ask follow-up questions happened constantly with this story. One of the first reports that went sideways involved a similar dynamic: the contention that some leaked DNC emails were forgeries.

MSNBC's "Intelligence commentator" Malcolm Nance, perhaps the most enthusiastic source of questionable #Russiagate news this side of Twitter conspiracist Louise Mensch, tweeted on October 11, 2016: " #PodestaEmails are already proving to be riddled with obvious forgeries & #blackpropaganda not even professionally done."

As noted in The Intercept and elsewhere, this was re-reported by the likes of David Frum (a key member of the club that has now contributed to both the WMD and Russiagate panics) and MSNBC host Joy Reid . The reports didn't stop until roughly October of 2016, among other things because the Clinton campaign kept suggesting to reporters the emails were fake. This could have been stopped sooner if examples of a forgery had been demanded from the Clinton campaign earlier.

Another painful practice that became common was failing to confront your own sources when news dispositive to what they've told you pops up. The omnipresent Clapper told Chuck Todd on March 5, 2017, without equivocation, that there had been no FISA application involving Trump or his campaign. " I can deny it ," he said.

It soon after came out this wasn't true. The FBI had a FISA warrant on Carter Page. This was not a small misstatement by Clapper, because his appearance came a day after Trump claimed in a tweet he'd had his " wires tapped ." Trump was widely ridiculed for this claim, perhaps appropriately so, but in addition to the Page news, it later came out there had been a FISA warrant of Paul Manafort as well, during which time Trump may have been the subject of " incidental " surveillance.

Whether or not this was meaningful, or whether these warrants were justified, are separate questions. The important thing is, Clapper either lied to Todd, or else he somehow didn't know the FBI had obtained these warrants. The latter seems absurd and unlikely. Either way, Todd ought to been peeved and demanded an explanation. Instead, he had Clapper back on again within months and gave him the usual softball routine, never confronting him about the issue.

Reporters repeatedly got burned and didn't squawk about it. Where are the outraged stories about all the scads of anonymous "people familiar with the matter" who put reporters in awkward spots in the last years? Why isn't McClatchy demanding the heads of whatever "four people with knowledge" convinced them to double down on the Cohen-in-Prague story ?

Why isn't every reporter who used "New Knowledge" as a source about salacious Russian troll stories out for their heads (or the heads of the congressional sources who passed this stuff on), after reports they faked Russian trolling? How is it possible NBC and other outlets continued to use New Knowledge as a source in stories identifying antiwar Democrat Tulsi Gabbard as a Russian-backed candidate?

How do the Guardian's editors not already have Harding's head in a vice for hanging them out to dry on the most dubious un-retracted story in modern history – the tale that the most watched human on earth, Julian Assange, had somehow been visited in the Ecuadorian embassy by Paul Manafort without leaving any record? I'd be dragging Harding's "well placed source" into the office and beating him with a hose until he handed them something that would pass for corroborating evidence.

The lack of blowback over episodes in which reporters were put in public compromised situations speaks to the overly cozy relationships outlets had with official sources. Too often, it felt like a team effort, where reporters seemed to think it was their duty to take the weight if sources pushed them to overreach. They had absolutely no sense of institutional self-esteem about this.

Being on any team is a bad look for the press, but the press being on team FBI/CIA is an atrocity, Trump or no Trump. Why bother having a press corps at all if you're going to go that route?

This posture all been couched as anti-Trump solidarity, but really, did former CIA chief John Brennan – the same Brennan who should himself have faced charges for lying to congress about hacking the computers of Senate staff – need the press to whine on his behalf when Trump yanked his security clearance? Did we need the press to hum Aretha Franklin tunes, as ABC did, and chide Trump for lacking R-E-S-P-E-C-T for the CIA? We don't have better things to do than that "work"?

This catalogue of factual errors and slavish stenography will stand out when future analysts look back at why the "MSM" became a joke during this period, but they were only a symptom of a larger problem. The bigger issue was a radical change in approach.

A lot of #Russiagate coverage became straight-up conspiracy theory, what Baker politely called "connecting the dots ." This was allowed because the press committed to a collusion narrative from the start, giving everyone cover to indulge in behaviors that would never be permitted in normal times.

Such was the case with Jonathan Chait's #Russiagate opus , "PRUMP TUTIN: Will Trump be Meeting With his Counterpart – or his Handler?" The story was also pitched as "What if Trump has been a Russian asset since 1987," which recalls the joke from The Wire: " Yo, Herc, what if your mother and father never met ?" What if isn't a good place to be in this business.

This cover story (!) in New York magazine was released in advance of a planned "face-to-face" summit between Trump and Putin, and posited Trump had been under Russian control for decades. Chait noted Trump visited the Soviet Union in 1987 and came back "fired up with political ambition." He offered the possibility that this was a coincidence, but added:

Indeed, it seems slightly insane to contemplate the possibility that a secret relationship between Trump and Russia dates back this far. But it can't be dismissed completely.

I searched the Chait article up and down for reporting that would justify the suggestion Trump had been a Russian agent dating back to the late eighties, when, not that it matters, Russia was a different country called the Soviet Union.

Only two facts in the piece could conceivably have been used to support the thesis: Trump met with a visiting Soviet official in 1986, and visited the Soviet Union in 1987. That's it. That's your cover story.

Worse, Chait's theory was first espoused in Lyndon Larouche's " Elephants and Donkeys " newsletter in 1987, under a headline, "Do Russians have a Trump card?" This is barrel-scraping writ large.

It's a mania. Putin is literally in our underpants. Maybe, if we're lucky, New York might someday admit its report claiming Russians set up an anti-masturbation hotline to trap and blackmail random Americans is suspicious, not just because it seems absurd on its face, but because its source is the same "New Knowledge" group that admitted to faking Russian influence operations in Alabama.

But what retraction is possible for the Washington Post headline, " How will Democrats cope if Putin starts playing dirty tricks for Bernie Sanders (again )?" How to reverse Rachel Maddow's spiel about Russia perhaps shutting down heat across America during a cold wave? There's no correction for McCarthyism and fearmongering.

This ultimately will be the endgame of the Russia charade. They will almost certainly never find anything like the wild charges and Manchurian Candidate theories elucidated in the Steele report. But the years of panic over the events of 2016 will lead to radical changes in everything from press regulation to foreign policy, just as the WMD canard led to torture, warrantless surveillance, rendition, drone assassination, secret budgets and open-ended, undeclared wars from Somalia to Niger to Syria. The screw-ups will be forgotten, but accelerated vigilance will remain.

It's hard to know what policy changes are appropriate because the reporting on everything involving the Russian threat in the last two to three years has been so unreliable.

I didn't really address the case that Russia hacked the DNC, content to stipulate it for now. I was told early on that this piece of the story seemed "solid," but even that assertion has remained un-bolstered since then, still based on an " assessment " by the intelligence services that always had issues, including the use of things like RT's "anti-American" coverage of fracking as part of its case. The government didn't even examine the DNC's server, the kind of detail that used to make reporters nervous.

We won't know how much of any of this to take seriously until the press gets out of bed with the security services and looks at this whole series of events all over again with fresh eyes, as journalists, not political actors. That means being open to asking what went wrong with this story, in addition to focusing so much energy on Trump and Russia.

The WMD mess had massive real-world negative impact, leading to over a hundred thousand deaths and trillions in lost taxpayer dollars. Unless Russiagate leads to a nuclear conflict, we're unlikely to ever see that level of consequence.

Still, Russiagate has led to unprecedented cooperation between the government and Internet platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google, all of which are censoring pages on the left, right, and in between in the name of preventing the "sowing of discord." The story also had a profound impact on the situation in places like Syria, where Russian and American troops have sat across the Euphrates River from one another, two amped-up nuclear powers at a crossroads.

As a purely journalistic failure, however, WMD was a pimple compared to Russiagate. The sheer scale of the errors and exaggerations this time around dwarfs the last mess. Worse, it's led to most journalists accepting a radical change in mission. We've become sides-choosers, obliterating the concept of the press as an independent institution whose primary role is sorting fact and fiction.

We had the sense to eventually look inward a little in the WMD affair, which is the only reason we escaped that episode with any audience left. Is the press even capable of that kind of self-awareness now? WMD damaged our reputation. If we don't turn things around, this story will destroy it


motherjones , 31 minutes ago link

Taibbi is spot on, and in depth with this writing. The main stream media sold Americans on the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Almost 2 decades later, we have spent 6 trillion dollars, 8 millions lives have been lost, and millions of refugees have flooded out of those countries, causing instability in Europe and beyond. For the past 2 years, 24/7, we have not been able to escape the claims of Russiagate. He does not mention how the very same media gave Trump 24/7 coverage long before he was elected, and in fact this free publicity, is probably why Trump is in the White House today. Without the constant press coverage of his campaign, coverage that was not provided to other candidates, he would most likely not have found his way to the White House. Taibbi does not go on to tell us what the motivation of the press is, or what he thinks can be done. News shows in the US have become little more than entertainment. Many of us no longer rely on main stream press for any real news. The mass media has become irrelevant at it's best, and dangerous, at it's worst. The driving force behind the so called news today, is the advertising dollars, and the politics of the owners of the networks. How can we have a "free press" when just a few individuals own all the major news outlets? We are not going to get the real news on tv of from the big newspapers, as long as the power is in the hands of a few rich and powerful individuals, who decide what is news.

southpaw47 , 50 minutes ago link

"Fools rush in where angels fear to tread" - Alexander Pope

The rash or inexperienced will attempt things that wiser people are more cautious of.

Finally the libs will agree that guns do have their place in society. These crazy zealots may just blow their own brains out or just find the nearest cliff. Ace Hardware is loading up on rope.

hooligan2009 , 1 hour ago link

hmmm....just imagine if - sleyers money contribution fo impeach trump was turned into a movie where a "sponsor" drew up a hit list of batshit crazy MSM "personalities" to include late night "comfuckedupedians"

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-04-25/billionaire-tom-steyer-s-quest-to-impeach-trump

PerilouseTimes , 1 hour ago link

Even if you were stupid enough to believe Trump was getting dirt on Hillary from the Russians, what is wrong with that? Is there a law against that? Why is it OK for Obama and the FBI to get away with wiretapping Trump during the election? Why is it OK for NSA to wiretap All Americans and store all their conversations and internet traffic on hard drives?

foxenburg , 1 hour ago link

Steele, Orbis, Pablo Miller, Salisbury, Porton Down, golden-shower dossier supposedly written by a native Russian speaker with an intelligence background....it all makes me wonder what happened to Skripal.

hooligan2009 , 1 hour ago link

"Skripalgate" is suppressed by UK law. All russians are evil in the UK. The fact that (as with tony Bliar and yellowcake Iraq) any sitting government can prosecute another country without a trial, witnesses or evidence - as in the Skripals and within the FUKUS cabal that bombed syria because of - "chlorine barrel bomb attacks on civilians" who later showed up unscathed in Den Haag.

UK governments cannot be held to account for their actions domestically or overseas.

motherjones , 1 hour ago link

Both parties have been playing up the threat from Russia for decades. The Military Industrial Complex was built on creating fear about the possibility of war with Russian. The military industrial complex owns Congress, so of course Congress is going to play up this threat. " The reason why media is working so hard to create the impression that Russia is actively conspiring against is because conflict with the former Soviet Union is good for business." We can expect this to continue in one form or another. If Americans were not afraid of Russia, we would not support a defense budget that is equal to all other countries in the world combined.

https://www.wakingtimes.com/2016/08/30/defense-contractors-tell-investors-world-war-iii-great-for-business/?fbclid=IwAR0rSFD3EPOgCd_dohnRg_4W1VUMcu-u33PBi9LW8Pdcv4F4pL4_MTXU31c

devnickle , 1 hour ago link

Put a sock in it. You should be embarrassed to even comment.

motherjones , 1 hour ago link

Right. The depth of your analysis is impressive. You seem to have an unlimited knowledge of world and national affairs too. Other than some stalking tendencies, why do you post on ZH? You don't really seem to have any interest in the content, or the discussion.

Bricker , 2 hours ago link

The head of the pin starts with OBAMA

I dont want to type up everything that led me to believe this. But the racism, his empathy towards certain muslims groups and how he treated the war, the prisoner release, the sailors broadcasted on tv about drifting into territorial waters, I mean it was so obvious how he felt about America.

Pile on his efforts to interfere in the election and eavesdrop, unmasking with Hillary getting and receiving emails from her home brew server not to mention her foundation pulling in 145 million from Russia.

The CIA is sickening to what has developed over the last 20 years

blind_understanding , 2 hours ago link

Taibbi: 'Russiagate' Is This Generation's WMD

Blind: If so, it just means it will not be reported on in the MainStream Media(MSM) and soon forgotten.

The same people who own the private central bank and currency, also own the MSM, and they control the narrative on ALL TOPICS. And control of narrative mean control of what people think.

Control of money and mind means TOTAL control of a country.

Nothing will change until control of minds is returned to the people, then issuance of currency can be returned to the government.

Alex Jones' of Infowars got it right when he said "There's a war on for your mind!" ... even though he became a turncoat himself, soon after.

SnottyBubbles , 2 hours ago link

Hillary lost a freaking election. After almost 3 freaking years of coup d'état the left deserves mocking humiliation. Mock them ruthlessly. Never, ever let them forget the horrible thing that they did.

Never stop making fun of them and reminding them how stupid and crazy they acted during this humiliating period of US history. Never let them forget what they did to the nation or what they cost us all. Never let Democrats forget how much time and energy they wasted, how very, very wrong they were.

Every politician, every media figure, every Twitter pundit and everyone who swallowed this moronic load of Russia! Russia! Russia! has utterly discredited themselves for life. They executed and failed to accomplish a coup d'état. These are the very last people anyone should ever listen to ever again when determining the future direction of our world or an ice cream truck.

Refuse them, laugh at them, ignore them. They earned it and deserve nothing but the greatest disdain.

devnickle , 1 hour ago link

Revenge is best served cold. I am dishing out in buckets to the retards.

artistant , 2 hours ago link

Russia is an IMPEDIMENT to APARTHEID Israhell's design for the region .

Without Russia, ASSAD would be long gone and IRAN would have been bombed to oblivion, and Greater Israhell would have been fulfilled and ruling over the MidEast.

In other words, Russiagate is simply PAYBACK .

youshallnotkill , 2 hours ago link

There was never real gray area here. Either Trump is a compromised foreign agent, or he isn't.

Of course there isn't. But this doesn't mean that a prosecutor like Mueller can prove this beyond any reasonable doubt. In fact it is quite likely that he cannot. The only charge that should be fairly easy to establish is obstruction of justice.

Without knowing what is in the report, Taibbi really jumps the gun here. Especially given the comparison to WMDs.

I knew there were no WMDs in Iraq before the invasion because I followed, and chose to believe, a credible diplomat like Hans Blix over the dog and pony show that Colin Powell put on. But WMDs are very tangible you either find the hardware or you do not. Yet, what Putin and Trump discuss without a single other American in the room nobody knows but the Kremlin and Trump.

Amy G. Dala , 2 hours ago link

Um, they talked about grandchildren and golf. MSM bought that about Bill and Loretta.

youshallnotkill , 2 hours ago link

At least Loretta probably did not aspire to bring the US to its knees.

Amy G. Dala , 2 hours ago link

Then I guess you didn't catch her "blood in the streets" speech.

youshallnotkill , 2 hours ago link

Original quote:

"It has been people, individuals who have banded together, ordinary people who simply saw what needed to be done and came together and supported those ideals who have made the difference.

They've marched, they've bled and yes, some of them died. This is hard. Every good thing is. We have done this before. We can do this again ."

Hardly the call for violent civil war at which it has been portrayed.

hanekhw , 2 hours ago link

The most coiffed, manicured, made up sacks of **** ever to glorify the airwaves tell US what THEY think and get paid handsome salaries for their effort to overthrow the American system. Freedom of Speech? That'll be gone in a heartbeat if THEY get power. We have an obligation to not just protect it but a greater one to preserve it.

Tunga , 2 hours ago link

"I didn't really address the case that Russia hacked the DNC, content to stipulate it for now." - exce

The State Department paused its investigation of the Secretary's emails so as not to interfere with the Mueller investigation. Here we see Taibbi writes an exhaustive condemnation of the Western press while leaving out the very crux of the story, the very source of the stolen DNC emails was Clapper and Brennan pretending to be Guccifer 2.0.

Pitiful attempt at redemption there Matt. Seriously, go **** your self.

"After reading several articles, it seemed clear that key difficulties for Russians communicating in English include: definite and indefinite articles, the use of presuppositions and correct usage of say/tell and said/told. Throughout 2017, I constructed a corpus of Guccifer 2.0's communications and analyzed the frequency of different types of mistakes. The results of this work corroborate Professor Connolly's assessment.

Overall, it appears Guccifer 2.0 could communicate in English quite well but chose to use inconsistently broken English at times in order to give the impression that it wasn't his primary language. The manner in which Guccifer 2.0's English was broken, did not follow the typical errors one would expect if Guccifer 2.0's first language was Russian.

To date, Connolly's language study has not drawn any significant objections or criticism."

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-25/guccifer-20-game-over-year-end-review-0

Amy G. Dala , 2 hours ago link

Here's the goddam thing IMO. There is this thing called freedom of the press, it's constitutionally protected, no different than the right to bear arms.

But just because I have the right to carry an M+A 9mm around, that doesn't mean I can point it at the guy who cut me off in traffic. In that case, I go to jail.

For almost three years now, I've been hearing "bombshell" after unsourced "bombshell" from CNN/MSNBC/WaPo/NPR/NYT et. al. Here's how it usually goes:

And now let's turn to our panel of experts to "unpack" this latest revelation . . .

These people have criminally abused their rights, and those rights need to be taken away.

Otschelnik,

If Rachel Maddow, Chris Mathews, Judy Woodruff, Chuck Todd, Anderson Cooper, Brian Stelter, Chris Hayes, Mika Brzezinski, Don Lemon, Alysin Camerota, Lawrence O'Donnell had the slightest inkling of professional integrity, and human conscience - they'd commit seppuku on national live TeeVee to restore their honor.

A rope leash, 3 hours ago

In his effort to cleanse himself of the slimy residue of his profession, Tiabbi has written a fine piece here, a nice little documentation of press collusion with government spooks and political operatives.

If a little honest reporting will offer some redemption to damned journalists, his name was Seth Rich.

hooligan2009, 3 hours ago

don't forget that Obama was PERSONALLY and DIRECTLY involved in all aspects of Russiagate.

read between these lines

On Oct. 14, 2016, Page again wrote to McCabe, this time concerning a meeting with the White House.

"Just called," Page said to McCabe. "Apparently the DAG [Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates] now wants to be there, and WH wants DOJ to host. So we are setting that up now. ... We will very much need to get Cohen's view before we meet with her. Better, have him weigh in with her before the meeting. We need to speak with one voice, if that is in fact the case."

newworldorder, 3 hours ago

The simple truth here is that most Americans no longer have any critical thinking skills, - all media realized this a long time ago, and catered to their audience.

The Benjamin Franklin famous quote in answer to the question of "what kind of government have you given us?" rings very hollow after 240+ years. The "Republic" exists in name only, because its people have not protected it, after the passing of the WW2 generation.

Unrestricted, open borders invasion disguised as alleged migration, and the legalization of an eventual 100+ million new "migrant" voters will be the final nail on the coffin of the US Republic by 2030.

Mob rule will finally destroy the greatest Republic ever conceived by the mind of men.

Mike Rotsch, 3 hours ago (Edited)

If "open borders" is your measuring stick on Americans' critical-thinking skills, then where does that place Europeans? They actually have them officially.

Paracelsus, 3 hours ago

Someday I hope that Hillary has to be rolled up to testify about the Benghazi business. Grab the guns and the gold (and the oil). Ukraine gold: check. Libyan gold and weapons: check.

Ghaddafi actually warned the west that after him would come a deluge of illegals (okay refugees: young males, black, often Islamic, with little respect for women or experience with western society).

While I have reservations about Trump and his policies, the MSM owe him a huge mea culpa.

[Mar 24, 2019] T>he accountability that must follow Mueller's report. The Hill

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The bent cops at the FBI and the madmen like Brennan, Clapper and Comey, who treacherously used the government's forces against the Constitution, must be punished so severely as to make an example that will dissuade other midgets on horseback from making similar attempts to overturn the results of elections. ..."
"... At the bottom of the cauldron overflowing with political misdeeds shines the face of Hillary Clinton and the army of clever people who ran her 2016 campaign. They devised the clever, clever idea of creating the Steele Dossier in cahoots with Washington co-conspirators and the even more clever idea of marketing it back into the US political bloodstream through British intelligence channels by feeding it to the erratic and spiteful senator from Arizona whose staff peddled it all over Washington and New York. There must be retribution for this. ..."
"... I would be most interested if one of the legally competent members of this Committee – Robert Willman perhaps? – could give us us an idea of what charges could be leveled against Christopher Steele under U.S. law in relation to his clearly central role in this conspiracy. ..."
"... It also seems reasonably clear that he was not acting in isolation, and that there is a strong 'prima facie' case that senior figures in the British 'intelligence community' – notably Robert Hannigan and probably Sir Richard Dearlove – were involved, in which case the complicity is likely to have gone very much further. ..."
"... They devised the clever, clever idea of creating the Steele Dossier in cahoots with Washington co-conspirators and the even more clever of marketing it back into the US political bloodstream through British intelligence channels, by feeding it to the erratic and spiteful senator from Arizona whose staff peddled it all over Washington and New York. ..."
"... Both sides were furiously engaged in throwing mud at each other. Situation normal. Then an odd thing happens. A particularly foolish piece of mud comes along. All that Golden Showers nonsense. Regard that as normal if we please. I expect worse comes along sometimes. Then it turns out that that piece of mud comes from an Intelligence source. Situation no longer normal. ..."
"... The coup may be over, but the witch hunt will continue; ..."
"... Col. Lang is absolutely correct that those involved in attempting to reverse the results of the 2016 election, de-legitimize an elected president, and remove him should be thoroughly pursued through all avenues and procedures of the civil and criminal law. ..."
"... It's a dirty business. If half this stuff is true, and not just layers of increasingly unbelievable cover stories (I mean, a tangential example, is the whole Skripal thing a weirdly, too obviously fake cover show for what was in reality a "witness protection" operation? A witness who could and would reveal much? On this matter even, perhaps. Such obvious deceptions are harmful to respect for authority and the law.) ..."
Mar 24, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
  1. President Trump was not indicted, nor did Mueller recommend an indictment against him for collusion or obstruction.
  2. There were no major disagreements between Mueller and his managers at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
  3. The Russians who tried to interfere in the 2016 election were exposed and charged -- but no American was charged with any effort to conspire with Moscow and hijack the election.
  4. While nearly three dozen people were charged , including a few close to the president or who worked for his campaign, no one in proximity to the president was formally charged with colluding with Russia. Most, such as former national security adviser Michael Flynn or campaign adviser George Papadopoulos , were charged with process crimes or felonies unrelated to the main case, as in Paul Manafort 's secretive, multimillion-dollar foreign lobbying spree through Ukraine.

*********

Such omissions are so glaring as to constitute defrauding a federal court. And each and every participant to those omissions needs to be brought to justice.

An upcoming DOJ inspector general's report should trigger the beginning of that accountability in a court of law, and President Trump can assist the effort by declassifying all evidence of wrongdoing by FBI, CIA and DOJ officials. " The Hill

------------

Pilgrims, the seditious conspiracy to depose the elected president of the United States for conspiracy to commit treason with the Government of the Russian Federation has been defeated.

The bent cops at the FBI and the madmen like Brennan, Clapper and Comey, who treacherously used the government's forces against the Constitution, must be punished so severely as to make an example that will dissuade other midgets on horseback from making similar attempts to overturn the results of elections.

At the bottom of the cauldron overflowing with political misdeeds shines the face of Hillary Clinton and the army of clever people who ran her 2016 campaign. They devised the clever, clever idea of creating the Steele Dossier in cahoots with Washington co-conspirators and the even more clever idea of marketing it back into the US political bloodstream through British intelligence channels by feeding it to the erratic and spiteful senator from Arizona whose staff peddled it all over Washington and New York. There must be retribution for this.

The leftist press is already discounting the results of Mueller's investigation while gloating over how long the Democratic held House of Representatives can continue to search through Trump's life trying to find criminality.

AG Barr should stand Mueller up next to him at a press conference to make clear the results of his report and to answer questions about it. After that the prosecutions should begin. pl

https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/435394-the-wisdom-of-trumps-lawyers-and-the-accountability-that-must-follow

Posted at 09:00 AM in government , Justice , Politics | Permalink | 20 Comments


David Habakkuk , 14 hours ago

I would be most interested if one of the legally competent members of this Committee – Robert Willman perhaps? – could give us us an idea of what charges could be leveled against Christopher Steele under U.S. law in relation to his clearly central role in this conspiracy.

It also seems reasonably clear that he was not acting in isolation, and that there is a strong 'prima facie' case that senior figures in the British 'intelligence community' – notably Robert Hannigan and probably Sir Richard Dearlove – were involved, in which case the complicity is likely to have gone very much further.

The argument that declassification of relevant documentation would harm the intelligence relationship between the U.S. and U.K. has clearly been made with great emphasis from this side.

In fact, it is pure bollocks. A serious investigation on your side, which could lead to the kind of clean-out which should have happened when the scale of the corruption of intelligence in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq became clear, might pave the way for us to reconstruct reasonably functional intelligence services.

Doing this on both sides of the Atlantic might pave the way for a reconstruction of an intelligence relationship which was actually beneficial to both countries, as in recent years it patently has not been.

Whether there is a realistic prospect of people on your side opening the cans of worms on ours, as well as your own, of course remains a moot point.

English Outsider -> David Habakkuk , 12 hours ago
Mr Habakkuk,

I'm glad the Steele affair has been examined at the American end -

"They devised the clever, clever idea of creating the Steele Dossier in cahoots with Washington co-conspirators and the even more clever of marketing it back into the US political bloodstream through British intelligence channels, by feeding it to the erratic and spiteful senator from Arizona whose staff peddled it all over Washington and New York. "

What about the UK end? We're fussing over some little local difficulties in the UK at the moment and at our end the questions still remain - Who in the UK authorised it and how high did it go?

Mark Logan -> David Habakkuk , 9 hours ago

The problem with criminal prosecution is one must cite a Brit or US law which was violated. The only ones in US law that I am aware of stipulate that the plotting must be by means of violence, "by force". All this appears to me to be only the propagation of rumors.
English Outsider -> Mark Logan , 6 hours ago
I think it might be more the investigation of the propagation of rumours. Think back to that election campaign, and to the period before the inauguration.

Both sides were furiously engaged in throwing mud at each other. Situation normal. Then an odd thing happens. A particularly foolish piece of mud comes along. All that Golden Showers nonsense. Regard that as normal if we please. I expect worse comes along sometimes. Then it turns out that that piece of mud comes from an Intelligence source. Situation no longer normal.

With respect it is not propagating rumours to ask how that happened. As for my own interest in the affair, it is not propagating rumours to ask how a senior UK ex-Intelligence Officer comes to be mixed up in it all. I suppose I started to look on it as rather more than a prank or a few cogs slipping when that senior UK ex-Intelligence Officer got whisked away to a safe house. We're a penny pinching lot over here and we don't run to that sort of thing for nothing.

Pat Lang Mod -> English Outsider , 6 hours ago
Ex?
Mad_Max22 , 11 hours ago
An investigation could certainly be predicated on the reasonable suspicion that Steele, et al, conspired to defraud the United States, in this case a purposeful and knowing smear of a candidate for office; also, another potential violation could be lying to the FBI, T 18 USC 1001.

The problem, as I see it, is sorting out the malignant from the merely incompetent. As I've argued many times, the dossier should have been dismissed from the outset as a pile of garbage, empty of actionable content, because the ultimate sources could not be vetted: the information could not be said to be either credible or reliable. The information was acted on by screening it behind the reliabilty and credibility, so called, of Steele. So it would be necessary to show that Steele knew that the information, point by point, was false. This could be difficult. Steele's first line of defense would be that he threw everything that he heard from anyone at all into the mix in the expectation that the "professionals" would figure it out.

Yes, they were all partisan, Steele, his sources, his bosses, the so called professionals, and their partisanship would be easy to prove; and yes, almost assuredly their partisanship contributed, perhaps even explained, their defective judgement as to how to handle the scurrilous information, especially on the part of the so called professionals, but proving they actually knew the materials to be false would be difficult.

They couldn't know that it was false because they had no ability to run down the sources. The professionals would defend themselves by saying they had no ability to vet the sources but the information represented such a serious security threat that they had no alternative but to try to vet the information by launching the investigation against the targets. This puts the cart before the horse, represents an astonishing lack of judgement, especially considering the "exalted" positions in the Intel Community the people exercising the bad judgement occupied, but there it is - "we thought we were doing the right thing."

Perhaps this defense could be overcome by demonstrating that people at such high and important heights of government could not possible be so stupid... maybe.

And of course we have the orchestrated leaks to various media, the orchestrated unmaskings, all of which kept the media frenzy fired up. All in all, it was the greatest political dirty trick ever attempted in American Politics, and did devastating damage to both domestic tranquility and national security. Trump survived, but the damage done is incalculable.

So It pains me greatly to think that the reckoning will likely have to be political rather than criminal because the malice that can be demonstrated is so admixed and even overshadowed by incompetence and judgement flaws; and even a political reckoning given the state of the country is so uncertain.

I hope that I am wrong and that some kind of prosecution can be fashioned because of the sheer enormity of violence that was done to our electoral system, surpassing by far the chickenshit case Mueller brought against the Russian troll farm; but I fear that I am right. It hurts to think that so much damage can be caused by scheming little political weasels and that they all may well walk away scot free; and even be lionized by their political confreres as having tried to do the right thing. This is the state of American politics today!!!

Eric Newhill , 12 hours ago
I see that some of the midgets on horseback are saying that they will bring Mueller before congress to explain himself. Their knight in shining armor has failed to return with the holy grail. A couple even suggested that perhaps Mueller has been influenced by the Russians or somehow intimated by Trump.

The coup may be over, but the witch hunt will continue;

and that + all the crazy Marxism (social and economic), bad immigration policy and Green New Deal is going to doom the Democrats in 2020. They look like they are jumping off a final sake fueled banzai charge. Maybe they think the best defense is a good offense re; the prosecutions that should happen. What is the chance that Mueller will pass *all* he has learned to help get the criminal cases under way?

robt willmann , 3 hours ago
seesee2468,

On 13 July 2018, when announcing the indictment of 12 Russian military officers by the Mueller group for "conspiring to interfere" in the 2016 presidential election, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein admitted that no "interference" actually happened. In this video of his announcement, starting at 5 minutes, 52 seconds into it and ending at the 6 minute, 5 second mark, he says--

"There is no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime. There is no allegation that the conspiracy changed the vote count or affected any election result."

https://www.c-span.org/vide...

Col. Lang is absolutely correct that those involved in attempting to reverse the results of the 2016 election, de-legitimize an elected president, and remove him should be thoroughly pursued through all avenues and procedures of the civil and criminal law.

However, I am concerned that the new attorney general, William Barr, will not do so based on his past associations and work. I hope I am wrong about that, but I am not optimistic.

Divadab Newton , 10 hours ago
It's a dirty business. If half this stuff is true, and not just layers of increasingly unbelievable cover stories (I mean, a tangential example, is the whole Skripal thing a weirdly, too obviously fake cover show for what was in reality a "witness protection" operation? A witness who could and would reveal much? On this matter even, perhaps. Such obvious deceptions are harmful to respect for authority and the law.)

I'm wrestling with the idea that 'twas ever thus and now with the internet its workings are revealed to a "lay" audience with no connection to the dark arts of the spy business. But I am curious, with the good Colonel's indulgence, if the new tools of the trade have made things which should be secret not possible to be kept secret?

Walrus , 13 hours ago
Amen to the prosecutions. If there is seen to be no accountability for this fraud then we are seriously damaging what's left of democracy. Who, in their right mind, is going to publicly support and assist a political candidate who is not "Swamp approved" if they face the threat of thereby triggering their own, and their family's destruction by the judicial system?

I suggest that even a pardon is not enough for those entrapped in this mess. There needs to be restitution.

To put that another way, in my opinion, "birther" allegations could be passed off as political tactics. Nobody got hurt. It is just good luck that Russiagate hasn't resulted in suicide or worse - so far.

ugluk2 , 3 hours ago
Matt Taibbi on how the press has destroyed its credibility.

https://taibbi.substack.com...

Taras77 , 8 hours ago
I certainly agree that consequences must be brought to bear: lying politicians without a shred of evidence, nor did they offer any for their lies; press for their utter and complete malfeasance and corruption without a shred of evidence, the doj/fbi corrupted and coup plotting officials,and finally the shame to all who shrieked about "evil" putin, russia the aggressor, etc. It has set our discourse back decades, forced any critics of this insanity into the shadows, and completely killed any attempt at normal diplomacy between nations.

I noted one astute writer as equating this russiagate insanity to the lies surrounding wmd and the destruction of iraq. Close. The damage from this criminality is incalculable!

Will the shrillest of all in the press lose their jobs? Nah, not a chance. Prob get raise or promotion.Will the brennans, clintons, clappers, et al do the perp walk. Nah, not a chance. High paid lawyers will tie the courts up for years if not decades.

And america has the institutional memory of a gnat. And of course, the question is as to high up did this criminality go? I personally do not believe it is a question-it is obvious to me. The major question for me is how high up the prosecution, if any, will go.

MP98 , 12 hours ago
Problem is...who's going to do the prosecuting? The DOJ - protector of the swamp - has become thoroughly corrupted as an arm of the Democrat-media party. Should (can) Trump appoint a special prosecutor as far as possible from the DOJ?
Greco , 12 hours ago
The president might use this and any Republican-led prosecutions as leverage to work out deals that will allow him to achieve his agenda. I think he'll need to given how the Democrats intend to use their house majority to launch investigations and hearings to find something, anything to howl about and impede his agenda.
Fred W , 12 hours ago
Still need to see the full report. I hope it is releasable. Otherwise the conspiracy theories or leaks will never let up. The article cited is a partisan opinion piece, not a news report. It accepts the fallback stance that yes, crimes were committed but collusion by Trump was not among them. This actually seems possible if only in light of the chaotic condition of the campaign.

That said, I would not be surprised to find collusion discounted. Not that the Russians didn't interfere. That would be entirely in character. But I don't know any reason for supposing that they would have a better understanding of American political dynamics than the Americans who make good livings being the best in that arena. The Russians seem to have been doing the same things as numerous other players. They shouldn't have been in that game, but there is no strong reason for according them Superman status. Their strongest feature seems to have been sheer quantity. Outrage over their actions often seems to flow from a poor grasp of the real nature of normal political process.

Fred -> Fred W , 4 hours ago
"The Russians seem to have been doing the same things..."

Multiple members of the FBI and DOJ seem to have been interfering in the 2016 Presidential election. How many other federal and state elections did they interfere with?

seesee2468 -> Fred W , 6 hours ago
Can you cite a single piece of hard evidence, not simply allegation, that proves the Russians interfered in the 2016 election? If so, please cite it, since I know of none. Thank you.
Pat Lang Mod -> seesee2468 , 6 hours ago
I cannot.
peter hodges , 12 hours ago
Nothing will happen. In fact, the way things have been going, Trump will make Mueller the next AG.

[Mar 24, 2019] "Russia Gate" investigation was a color revolution agaist Trump. But a strnge side effect was that Clintons have managed to raise a vicious, loud mouthed thug to the status of some kind of martyr.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Back in November of 2016, the American people were so fed up with the neoliberal oligarchy that everyone knows really runs the country that they actually elected Donald Trump president ..."
"... The oligarchy that runs the country responded to the American people's decision by inventing a completely cock-and-bull story about Donald Trump being a Russian agent who the American people were tricked into voting for by nefarious Russian mind-control operatives, getting every organ of the liberal corporate media to disseminate and relentlessly promote this story on a daily basis for nearly three years, and appointing a special prosecutor to conduct an official investigation in order to lend it the appearance of legitimacy. Every component of the ruling establishment (i.e., the government, the media, the intelligence agencies, the liberal intelligentsia, et al.) collaborated in an unprecedented effort to remove an American president from office based on a bunch of made-up horseshit which kind of amounts to an attempted soft coup. ..."
"... It now appears that the world will see that the so-called "Russia Gate" investigation was nothing more than the pro-Clintonista BS that Trump always claimed it was. ..."
"... As for the Clintons, both Bill and Hillary, they should be treated like the creeps they are: corrupt, opportunistic and power hungry. Like Typhoid Mary, they infect everything they touch ..."
"... I'm also convinced that Trump and Clinton colluded, but that they did so in order to get her elected. I don't think he really wanted the job. But still, Hillary can do nationalist, and the designs of the Empire would have proceeded either way. ..."
"... Trump is a crook who takes money wherever he can get it, from subcontractors foolish enough to work for him to bankers dumb enough to believe his financial statements. No doubt he has helped Russian crooks sanitize their booty, but that is apparently too difficult for Mueller to prove. ..."
"... It is not good news that this troglodyte was not indicted, but it is good news that Russia was not found guilty of electing him. Russiagate is an existential issue for the "national security" establishment and just another propaganda offensive designed to justify the largely useless & destructive activities of the Pentagon. ..."
"... It is time to build cooperation not continue the stupidity of US unilateralism and pursuit of global hegemony. Trump and his team have to be removed from office. Democrats don't need Russiagate to do it. The truth will work better. ..."
Mar 24, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ken , Mar 23, 2019 2:09:31 PM | link

Back in November of 2016, the American people were so fed up with the neoliberal oligarchy that everyone knows really runs the country that they actually elected Donald Trump president. They did this fully aware that Trump was a repulsive, narcissistic ass clown who bragged about "grabbing women by the pussy" and jabbered about building "a big, beautiful wall" and making the Mexican government pay for it. They did this fully aware of the fact that Donald Trump had zero experience in any political office whatsoever, was a loudmouth bigot, and was possibly out of his gourd on amphetamines half the time. The American people did not care. They were so disgusted with being conned by arrogant, two-faced, establishment stooges like the Clintons, the Bushes, and Barack Obama that they chose to put Donald Trump in office, because, fuck it, what did they have to lose?

The oligarchy that runs the country responded to the American people's decision by inventing a completely cock-and-bull story about Donald Trump being a Russian agent who the American people were tricked into voting for by nefarious Russian mind-control operatives, getting every organ of the liberal corporate media to disseminate and relentlessly promote this story on a daily basis for nearly three years, and appointing a special prosecutor to conduct an official investigation in order to lend it the appearance of legitimacy. Every component of the ruling establishment (i.e., the government, the media, the intelligence agencies, the liberal intelligentsia, et al.) collaborated in an unprecedented effort to remove an American president from office based on a bunch of made-up horseshit which kind of amounts to an attempted soft coup.

This is the story Donald Trump is going to tell the American people.
https://consentfactory.org/2019/03/21/mueller-dammerung/

GeorgeV , Mar 23, 2019 2:13:42 PM | link

It now appears that the world will see that the so-called "Russia Gate" investigation was nothing more than the pro-Clintonista BS that Trump always claimed it was. The Clintons once again, both Bill and Hillary, have managed to raise a vicious, loud mouthed thug in the White House to the status of some kind of martyr. What a country America it is. One thing should be clear however. Any politician or media pundit that towed the pro-Clintonista line should be barred from public office or the media forever.

As for the Clintons, both Bill and Hillary, they should be treated like the creeps they are: corrupt, opportunistic and power hungry. Like Typhoid Mary, they infect everything they touch. There is one difference between Typhoid Mary, and Bill and Hillary: Typhoid Mary didn't realize what she was doing, the Clintons did!

the pair , Mar 23, 2019 2:14:43 PM | link
sorry to double post, but it just occurred to me that they pulled a classic DC move: if you have something humiliating or horrible to admit, do it on a friday night.

i have to wonder if the entire western media is cynically praying for a (coincidentally distracting) school shooting or terrorist attack within the next two days.

ger , Mar 23, 2019 2:16:08 PM | link
I have close friends that have been on the MSNBC/Maddow Kool-Ade for years. Constantly declaring Mueller was on the verge of closing in on Trump and associates for treason with the Russians. On Friday night after dinner at our home, the TV was tuned to MSNBC so they could watch their spiritual leader Rachel Maddow....what a pitiful sight (both Maddow and friends). No one was going to jail or be impeached for conspiring with Putin.....how on how could that be true. Putin personally stole the election from Clinton and THEY are just going to let him walk was the declaration a few feet from my chair. Normally, I would recommend grieve counseling, but they are still my friends ... now they can go back to blaming Bernie for Clinton's loss. Maybe I will recommend grieve counseling!
DontBelieveEitherPropaganda , Mar 23, 2019 2:27:18 PM | link
@dltravers: Apart from the "goyim" you may be right.. But if you want to claim with that Trumps opponents where under the pressure of the Zionists, you got it all wrong man.. ;) No presidents been more under the Zionist thumb than DJT.
That ofc doesnt make Hillarys Saudi and Muslim brotherhood connections better.. ;)

Anyway, cheers to the end of this BS! And lets hope that Trump has now payed off his debts with Adelson now that he secured Bibis reelection. But dont hold your breath.. ;)

Nathan Mulcahy , Mar 23, 2019 2:31:06 PM | link
"very politician, every media figure, every Twitter pundit and everyone who swallowed this moronic load of bull spunk has officially discredited themselves for life".

I wish so, but that's not how the exceptional nation of US of A works, as demonstrated by the Iraq WMD fiasco case. In fact, very politician, every media figure, every Twitter pundit (about Saddam's WMD" BS) is alive and well, spreading more BS. What is even more depressing is that the huge chunk of this exceptional nation cannot have enough of the BS and is chanting "give me more, give me more...".

Disgusting! sorry for the pessimistic rant.

renfro , Mar 23, 2019 2:56:18 PM | link
The Dems were stupid to gin up the Russian collusion.

However some good things have come out of the investigation. It cost taxpayers 2 million but recouped over 25 million from those convicted of fraud and tax evasion.
And its not over, Mueller has sent 5 to 7 referrals or evidence/witnesses to SDNY, EDNY, DC, EDVA, plus the National Security and Criminal Divisions. These from information turned up crimes unrelated to his Russia probe and allegedly concerning Trump or his family business, a cadre of his advisers and associates. They are being conducted by officials from Los Angeles to Brooklyn.

The bad news is it exposed how wide spread and corrupt the US has become...in private and political circles.

The other bad news is most of the Trump lovers and Trump haters are too stupid to drop their partisan and personal blinders and recognize that ....ITS THE CORRUPTION STUPID.

BraveNewWorld , Mar 23, 2019 3:00:34 PM | link
b you have repeatedly made the case that this whole thing was kicked off by the Steele dossier. That is factually incorrect. The first investigation was already running before the dossier ever materialized. That investigation spawned the special prosecutors investigation when Trump fired Comey and then went on TV and said it was because of the Russia investigation. The Russia investigation was originally kicked off by Papadopoulos drinking with the the Australian ambassador and bragging about what the campaign was doing with Russia. Remember the original evidence was presented to the leadership of both the House and the Senate when they were both controlled by the Republican party and every one that was briefed came out on camera and said the Justice dept was doing the right thing in pursuing this.

I think the Democrats should lose Hillary down a deep hole and not let her near any of the coming campaign events. But this came about because of the actions of the people around Trump. Not because Hillary controls the US government from some secret bunker some where.

Lozion , Mar 23, 2019 3:09:29 PM | link
One could argue Russiagate was on the contrary quite a success. The Elites behind the scheme never believed it would end up with Trump's impeachment. What they did accomplish though is a deflection via "Fake News" from the Dem's election failures & shenanigans and refocus the attention towards the DNC's emerging pedophilia scandals (Weiner, the Podesta's, Alefantis, etc) & suspicious deaths (Seth Rich, etc) towards a dead-end with the added corollary of preventing US/Ru rapprochement for more then half an administration..
Blooming Barricade , Mar 23, 2019 3:10:02 PM | link
The deeply tragic thing about this for the media, the neocons, and the liberals is that they brought it upon themselves by moving the goalposts continuously. If, after Hillary lost, they had stuck to the "Russia hacked WikiLeaks" lie, then they probably have sufficient proof from their perspective and the perspective of most of the public that Russia helped Trump win. In this case it would be remembered by the Democrats like the stolen election of 2000 (albeit the fact that it was a lie this time). They had multiple opportunities to jump off this train. Even the ridiculous DNI report could have been their final play: "Russia helped Trump." Instead of going with 2000 they went with 2001, aka 9-11, with the same neocon fearmongers playing the pipe organ of lies. As soon as they accepted the Steele Dossier, moving the focus to "collusion" they discredited themselves forever. Many of the lead proponents were discredited Iraq war hawks. Except this time it was actually worse because the whole media bought into it. This leaves an interesting conundrum: there were at least some pro-Afghanistan anti-Iraq warmongers who rejected the Bush premise in the media, so they took over the airwaves for about two years before the real swamp creatures returned. This time, it will be harder to issue a mea culpa. They made this appear like 9-11, well, this time the truthers have won, and they are doomed.
dh-mtl , Mar 23, 2019 3:11:13 PM | link
Societies collapse when their systems (institutions) become compromised. When they are no longer capable of meeting the needs of the population, or of adapting to a changing world.

Societal systems become compromised when their decision making structures, which are designed to ensure that decisions are taken in the best interest of the society as a whole, are captured by people who have no legitimacy to make the decisions, and who make decisions for the benefit of themselves, at the expense of society as a whole.

Russia-gate is a flagrant example of how the law enforcement and intelligence institutions have been captured. Their top officials, no longer loyal to their country or their institution, but rather to an international elite (including the likes of Soros, the Clintons, and far beyond) have used these institutions in an attempt to delegitimize a constitutionally elected president and to over turn an election. This is no less than treason of the highest order.

Indeed, the actions much of the Washington establishment, as well as a number international actors, since Trump was elected seems suspiciously like one of the 'Color Revolutions' that are visited upon any country who's citizens did not 'vote right' the first time. Over-throw the vote, one way or another, until the result that is wanted is achieved. None of these 'Color Revolutions' has resulted in anything good for the country involved. Rather they have resulted in the destruction of each country's institutions, and eventually societal collapse.

In the U.S. the capturing of systems' decision making structures is not limited to Russia-Gate and the overturning of the electoral system. Their are other prime examples:

- The capture of the Air Transport Safety System by Boeing that has resulted in the recent 737 Max crashes, and likely the destruction of the reputation of the U.S. aviation industry, in an industry where reputation is everything.

- The capture of the Financial Regulatory System, by Wall Street, who in 1998 rewrote the rules in their own favor, against the best interests of the population as a whole. The result was the 2008 financial crisis and the inability of the U.S. economy to effectively recover from that crisis.

- This capture is also seen in international diplomatic systems, where the U.S. is systematically by-passing or subverting international law and international institutions, (the U.N. I.C.J., I.N.F. treaty) etc., and in doing so is destroying these institutions and the ability to maintain peace.

The result of system (institution) capture is difficult to see at first. But, in time, the damage adds up, the ability of the systems to meet the needs of the population disappears, and societal decline sets in.

It looks today like the the societal decline is acellerating. Russia-gate is just one of many indicators.

English Outsider , Mar 23, 2019 3:27:38 PM | link
The pair @ 3.

Your comment on the BBC is on the mild side. I listen to it when I drive in in the morning and also get annoyed sometimes. When it is reporting on the Westminster bubble it is factually accurate as far as I can judge. Apart from that, and particularly in the case of the BBC news, we're in information control territory.

But accept that and the BBC turns into quite a valuable resource. It's well staffed, has good contacts, and picks up what the politicians want us to think with great accuracy.

In that respect it's better than the newspapers and better also than the American media. Those news outlets have several masters of which the political elite is only one. The BBC has just the one master, the political elite, and is as sensitive as a stethoscope to the shifting currents within that political elite.

So I wouldn't despise the BBC entirely. It tells us how the politicians want us to think. In telling us that it sometimes gives us a bearing on what the politicians et al are doing and what they intend to do.

worldblee , Mar 23, 2019 3:28:20 PM | link
The never-Trumpers will never let their dreams die. Of course, they never oppose Trump on substantive issues like attempting a coup in Venezuela, withdrawing from the INF treaty, supporting the nazis in Ukraine, supporting Al Qaeda forces in Syria, etc. But somehow they're totally against him and ready to haul out the latest stupid thing he said as their daily fodder for conversation...
ben , Mar 23, 2019 3:32:48 PM | link
renfro @ 10 said;"The Dems were stupid to gin up the Russian collusion."

Uh no, just doing their job of distracting the public, while ignoring the real issues the
American workers care about. You know, the things DJT promised the workers, but has never delivered.(better health care for all, ending the useless wars overseas, an infrastructure
plan to increase good paying jobs), to name just a few.

The corporate Dems( which is the lions share of them), are bought and paid for to distract, and they've done it well.

The Bushes, the Clintons, the Obamas, and most who have come before, are of the same ilk.

Bend over workers and lube up, for more of the same in 2020...

Jackrabbit , Mar 23, 2019 3:48:10 PM | link
I profoundly disagree with the notion that Russiagate had anything to do with Hillary's collusion with the DNC. Gosh, that is naive at best.
1) Hillary didn't need to collude against Sanders - the additional money that she got from doing so was small change compared the to overall amount she raised for her campaign.

2) Sanders was a long-time friend of the Clintons. He boasted that he's known Hillary for over 25 years.

3) Sanders was a sheepdog meant to keep progressives in the Democratic Party. He was never a real candidate. He refused to attack Hillary on character issues and remained loyal even after Hillary-DNC collusion was revealed.

When Sanders had a chance to total disgrace Hillary, he refused to do so. Hillary repeatedly said that she had NEVER changed for vote for money but Warren had proven that she had: Hillary changed her vote on the Bankruptcy Bill for money from the credit card industry.

4) Hillary didn't try to bury her collusion with the DNC (as might be expected), instead she used it to alienate progressive voters by bring Debra Wasserman-Shultz into her campaign.

5) Hillary also alienated or ignored other important constituencies: she wouldn't support an increase in the minimum wage but accepted $750,000 from Goldman Sachs for a speech; she took the black vote for granted and all-but berated a Black Lives Matters activist; and she called whites "deplorables".

Hillary threw the race to her OTHER long-time friend in the race: Trump. The Deep-State wanted a nationalist and that's just what they got.

6) Hillary and the DNC has shown NO REMORSE whatsoever about colluding with Sanders and Sanders has shown no desire whatsoever to hold them accountable.

IMO Russiagate (Russian influence on Trump) and accusations of "Russian meddling" in the election are part of the same McCarthyist psyop to direct hate at Russia and stamp out any dissent. Trump probably knowingly, played into the Deep State's psyop by:

> hiring Manafort;

> calling on Russia to release Hillary's emails;

> talking about Putin in a admiring way.

And it accomplished much more than hating on Russia:

> served as excuse for Trump to do Deep State bidding;

> distracted from the real meddling in the 2016 election;

> served as a device for settling scores:

- Assange isolated
(Wikileaks was termed an "agent of a foreign power");

- Michael Flynn forced to resign
(because he spoke to the Russian ambassador).

hopehely , Mar 23, 2019 3:49:15 PM | link The US owes Russia an official apology. And also Russia should get its stolen buildings and the consulate back. And maybe to get paid some compensation for the injustice and for damages suffered. Without that, the Russiagate is not really over.
Jen , Mar 23, 2019 4:01:43 PM | link
BraveNewWorld @ 11:

If memory serves me correctly, the initial accusations of collusion between DJT's presidential campaign and the Kremlin came from Crowdstrike, the cybersecurity company hired by the Democratic National Committee to oversee the security of its computers and databases. This was done to deflect attention away from Hillary Clinton's illegal use of a personal server at home to conduct government business during her time as US State Secretary (2009 - 2013), business which among other things included plotting with the US embassy in Libya (and the then US ambassador Chris Stevens) to overthrow Muammar Gaddhafi's government in 2011, and conspiring also to overthrow the elected government in Honduras in 2010.

The business of Christopher Steele's dossier (part or even most of which could have been written by Sergei Skripal, depending on who you read) and George Papadopoulos' conversation with the half-wit Australian "diplomat" Alexander Downer in London were brought in to bolster the Russiagate claims and make them look genuine.

As B says, Crowdstrike does indeed have a Ukrainian nationalist agenda: its founder and head Dmitri Alperovich is a Senior Fellow at The Atlantic Council (the folks who fund Bellingcat's crapaganda) and which itself receives donations from Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk. Crowdstrike has some association with one of the Chalupa sisters (Alexandra or Andrea - I can't be bothered dredging through DuckDuckGo to check which - but one of them was employed by the DNC) who donated money to the Maidan campaign that overthrew Viktor Yanukovych's government in Kiev in February 2014.

james , Mar 23, 2019 4:16:03 PM | link
thanks b... i would like russiagate to be finished, but i tend to see it much like kadath @2.. the link @2 is worth the read as a reminder of how far the usa has sunk in being a nation of passive neocons... emptywheel can't say no to this as witnessed by her article from today.. ) as a consequence, i agree with @14 dh-mtl's conclusion - "It looks today like the the societal decline is acellerating. Russia-gate is just one of many indicators."

the irony for those of us who don't live in the usa, is we are going to have watch this sad state of affairs continue to unravel, as the usa and the west continue to unravel in tandem.. the msm as corporate mouthpiece is not going to be tell us anything of relevance.. instead it will be continued madcow, or maddow bullshit 24-7... amd as kadath notes @2 - if any of them are to step up as a truth teller - they will be marginalized or silenced... so long as the mainstream swallow what they are fed in the msm, the direction of the titanic is still on track...

@19 hopehely... you can forget about anything like that happening..

WDDiM , Mar 23, 2019 4:36:17 PM | link
What Difference Does it Make?
They don't really need Russia-gate anymore. It bought them time. As we speak nuclear bombers make runs near Russian borders every day and Russian consulates get attacked with heavy weaponry in the EU and no Russian outlet is even making a reference,while Israel is ready to move heavy artillery in to Golan targeting Russia bases in Syria and China raking all their deals for civilian projects in the Med.
Russia got stuffed in the corner getting all the punches.
Zanon , Mar 23, 2019 4:37:43 PM | link
What a horrible witch hunt, but the msm will keep on denying and keep creating new hoaxes about Trump, Russia.
Heck the media even deny there was no collussion, they keep spinning it in different ways!

But remember folks, we here was always right...
The Mueller Report Is In. They Were Wrong. We Were Right.
https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/the-mueller-report-is-in-they-were-wrong-we-were-right-a915d23a6d82

iv> also, there is a big risk that the media, deep state will create new accusations coming days.

Posted by: Zanon , Mar 23, 2019 4:39:30 PM | link

also, there is a big risk that the media, deep state will create new accusations coming days.

Posted by: Zanon | Mar 23, 2019 4:39:30 PM | link

Russ , Mar 23, 2019 4:41:30 PM | link
People are forgetting to call Dembot agent Wheeler "FBI rat Wheeler", or just Rat Wheeler. Or EmptySqueal.
karlof1 , Mar 23, 2019 4:47:23 PM | link
Thanks for citing Caitlin Johnstone's wonderful epitaph, b--Russiavape indeed!

During the fiasco, the Outlaw US Empire provided excellent proof to the world that it does everything it accused Russia of doing and more, while Russia's cred has greatly risen. Meanwhile, there're numerous other crimes Trump, his associates, Clinton, her associates--like Pelosi--ought to be impeached, removed from office, arrested, then tried in court, which is diametrically opposed to the current--false--narrative.

Scotch Bingeington , Mar 23, 2019 4:47:39 PM | link
The people who steered us into two years of Russiavape insanity are the very last people anyone should ever listen to ever again when determining the future direction of our world.

Yes, absolutely. And not just regarding the world's future, but even if you happen to be in the same building with one of them and he/she bursts into your already smoke-filled room yelling that the house is on fire.

Btw, whatever authority has ever ruled that "ex-MI6 dude" Steele (who doesn't remind me of steel at all, but rather of a certain nondescript entity named Anthony Blair) is in fact merely 'EX'? He himself? The organisation? The Queen perhaps?

Zanon , Mar 23, 2019 4:52:41 PM | link
Scotch Bingeington

Expose them at every opportunity, they should not get away with this like nothing happend:

If you think a single Russiagate conspiracist is going to be held accountable for media malpractice, you clearly haven't been awake the past 2 decades. No one will pay for being wrong. This profession is as corrupt & rotten as the kleptocracy it serves

defeatism isn't the answer -- should remind & mock these hacks every opportunity. Just need to be aware of the beast we're up against.


https://twitter.com/MarkAmesExiled/status/1109235461430657026
Jackrabbit , Mar 23, 2019 5:00:23 PM | link
Who will say that the King has no clothes?

The establishment plays on peoples fears and so we all sink together as we all cling to our "lesser evils", tribal allegiances, and try to avoid the embarrassment of being wrong.

Although everyone is aware of the corruption and insider dealing, no one seems to want to acknowledge the extent, or to think critically so as to reveal any more than we already know.

It's almost as though corruption (the King's nudity) is a national treasure and revealing it would be a national security breach in the exceptional nation.

And so to the Deep State cabal continues to rule unimpeded.

WDDiM , Mar 23, 2019 5:08:16 PM | link
The oligarchy that runs the country responded to the American people's decision by inventing a completely cock-and-bull story about Donald Trump being a Russian agent who the American people were tricked into voting for by nefarious Russian mind-control operatives, getting every organ of the liberal corporate media to disseminate and relentlessly promote this story on a daily basis for nearly three years

Posted by: Ken | Mar 23, 2019 2:09:31 PM | 4

You people don't get it do you?
'The Plan' was to get rid of Turkey-Russia-Israel (and a few others) with one fell swoop....

steve , Mar 23, 2019 5:11:08 PM | link
Deep state makes the warren commish seem authoritative
john , Mar 23, 2019 5:13:37 PM | link
the rot in DC is palpable. this whole russiagate fiasco's been like some kind of really bad audition for deeper state kabuki...what's next?

keeping brand Trump alive.

Blooming Barricade , Mar 23, 2019 5:22:08 PM | link
Matt Taibbi:

It's official: Russiagate is this generation's WMD
The Iraq war faceplant damaged the reputation of the press. Russiagate just destroyed it

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/russiagate-is-wmd-times-a-million

Pft , Mar 23, 2019 5:38:41 PM | link
Russia gate was both a diversion from the real collusions (Russian Mafia , China and Israel) and a clever ruse to allow Trump to back off from his campaign promise to improve relations with Russia. US policy toward Russia is no different under Trump than it was during Obamas administration. Exactly what the Russia Gaters wanted and Trump delivered.

That Mueller could find nothing more than some tax/money laundering/perjury charges in which the culprits in the end get pardoned is hardly surprising given his history. Want something covered up? Put Mueller on it.

To show how afraid Trump was of Mueller he appointed his long term friend Barr as AJ and pretended he didn't know how close they were when it came out. There is no lie people wont believe. Lol

Meanwhile Trumps Russian Mafia connections stay under the radar in MSM, Trump continues as Bibi's sock puppet, the fake trade war with China continues as Ivanka is rolling in China trademarks .

The Rothschild puppet that bailed out Trumps casinos as Commerce Secretary overseeing negotiations that will open the doors for more US and EU (they willy piggy back on the deal like hyenas) jobs to go to China (this time in financial/services) and stronger IPR protections that will facilitate this transfer, and will provide companies more profits in which to buyback stocks but wont bring manufacturing jobs back.

tuyzentfloot , Mar 23, 2019 5:46:31 PM | link
The collusion story has been hit badly and it will likely lose its momentum, but I wonder how far reaching this loss of momentum is. There are many variants. The 'unwitting accomplice' is an oxymoron which isn't finished yet. The Russians hacking the election: not over. The Russians sowing discord and division. Not over. Credibility of the Russiagate champions overall? Not clear. Some could take a serious hit. Brennan and other insiders who made it onto cable tv?
It is possible that the whole groupthink about Russiagate changes drastically
and that 'the other claims' also lose their credibility but it's far from certain. After years of building up tension Russia's policies are also changing. I think they have shown restraint but their paranoia and aggressiveness is also increasing and some claims will become true after all.
JOHN CHUCKMAN , Mar 23, 2019 5:48:55 PM | link

"Russiagate" has always been a meaningless political fraud.

When folks like Hillary Clinton sign on to something and give it a great deal of weight, you really do know you are talking about an empty bag of tricks. She is a psychopathic liar, one with a great deal of blood on her hands.

My problem with this official result is that it may tend to give Trump a boost, new credibility.

The trouble with Trump has never been Russia - something only blind ideologues and people with the minds of children believe - it is that he is genuinely ignorant and genuinely arrogant and loud-mouthed - an extremely dangerous combination.

And in trying to defend himself, this genuine coward has completely surrendered American foreign policy to its most dangerous enemies, the Neocons.


https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/04/20/john-chuckman-comment-americas-democrats-launch-lawsuit-against-trump-and-russia-and-wiki-leaks-over-election-hilarious-this-is-a-country-fit-to-dominate-the-earth-they-cant-manage-their-own/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2017/03/03/john-chuckman-comment-yet-more-ignorant-gossip-and-innuendo-about-trump-and-russia-this-all-reminds-me-of-insane-past-american-campaigns-against-procter-gamble-or-harry-potter-charging-devil/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/12/08/john-chuckman-comment-what-americas-neocons-represent-for-arms-control-agreements-such-as-the-inf-with-russia-and-heres-the-deadly-weakness-in-trumps-psychology-that-has-allowed-neocons-to-ta/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/09/23/john-chuckman-comment-a-comment-rightly-asks-with-trump-doing-everything-the-establishment-wants-why-do-they-still-want-to-get-rid-of-him-i-think-these-are-the-essential-reasons/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/05/06/john-chuckman-comment-some-very-dark-thoughts-of-where-america-is-going-in-its-relations-with-russia-and-iran-i-do-think-we-live-in-dangerous-times-and-they-are-deliberately-manufactured/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2017/04/08/john-chuckman-comment-complete-degradation-of-a-self-styled-great-nation-which-allows-paid-thugs-to-use-poison-gas-to-give-it-an-excuse-for-still-more-killing-the-dark-place-we-are-brought-to-by-tr/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/12/06/john-chuckman-comment-more-on-the-strange-phenomenon-of-trump-and-americas-neocons-a-man-who-imagines-himself-a-great-leader-leading-nothing-and-he-still-has-pathetic-followers-who-think-hes-fi/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2017/12/14/john-chuckman-comment-new-phony-book-on-trump-and-russia-whats-really-going-on-with-all-the-mumbo-jumbo-insanity-in-america-the-real-target-aint-trump-neocons-and-russia/


Jackrabbit , Mar 23, 2019 5:59:03 PM | link
Blaming Russiagate on Hillary is very easy for those who hate her or hope that Trump will deliver on his faux populist fake-agenda.

No one wants to contemplate the possibility that Hillary and Trump, and the duopoly they lead, fixed the election and planned Russiagate in advance.

It seems a bridge too far, even for the smart skeptics at MoA.

So funny.

Trump has proven himself to be a neocon. He broke his campaign promise to investigate Hillary within DAYS of being elected. He has brought allies of his supposed enemies into his Administration.

Yet every one turns from the possibility that the election was fixed. LOL.

The horrible possibility that our "democracy" is managed is too horrible to contemplate. Lets just blame it all on Hillary.

Welcome to the rabbithole.

Copeland , Mar 23, 2019 6:23:41 PM | link
Those who have been holding their breath for two years can finally exhale. I guess the fever of hysteria will have to be attended a while longer. A malady of this kind does not easily die out overnight. Those who have been taken in, and duped for so long, can not so easily recover. The weight of so much cognitive dissonance presses down on them like a boulder. The dust of the stampeded herd behind Russiagate is enough paralyze the will of those who have succumbed.

As Joseph Conrad once wrote, "The ways of human progress are inscrutable."

Jonathan , Mar 23, 2019 7:02:54 PM | link
@37 Jackrabbit,

Of course it was fixed. That's what the Electoral College is for .

Arioch , Mar 23, 2019 7:06:26 PM | link
Russiagate is a pendulum, it reached the dead point, it would hange in the air for a moment, then it would start swinging right backwards at full speed crashign everything in the way!

It would be revealed, it was Russia who paid Muller to start that hysteria and stole money from American tax-payers and make America an international laughing stock. "Putin benefited from it", highly likely!

Muller's investigation is paid for with Manafort's seized cash and property and Manafort has made Yanukovich king of Ukraine, so Manafort is Putin's agent, so Muller is working of Putin's money, so it was Putin's collusion everything that Muller is doing! Highly likely.

fast freddy , Mar 23, 2019 7:12:20 PM | link
There is no "Liberal Media". Those whom claim to be Liberal and yet support the Warmonger Democratic Party (Republican lite) are frauds. Liberalism does not condone war and it most certainly does not support wars of aggression - especially those wars waged against defenseless nations. Neither can liberalism support trade sanctions or the subjugation of Palestinians in the Apartheid State of ISreal.
Peter , Mar 23, 2019 7:16:00 PM | link
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHo6cW0HVkQ DISGRACEFUL WILL WE EVER SAY NO?
vk , Mar 23, 2019 7:24:32 PM | link
@ Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 23, 2019 3:48:10 PM | 18

We must be very careful with the words we choose, in order to paint the correct conjuncture and not to throw the bathtub with the baby inside.

It's one thing to say Bernie Sanders is not a revolutionary; it's another completely different thing to say he was in cahoots with the Clintons.

If Bernie Sanders really was a "friend" of the Clintons, then he wouldn't even have disputed the primaries against Hillary. Not only he chose to do so, but he only didn't win because the DNC threw all its weight against him.

Now, I agree he's not a revolutionary socialist. He's an imperialist who believes the spoils of the empire should be also used to build a Scandinavian-style Welfare State for the American people only. A cynic would tell you this would make him a Nazi without the race theme, but you have to keep in mind societies move in a dialectical patern, not a linear one: if you preach for "democratic socialism", you're bringing the whole package, not only the bits you want.

I believe the rise of Bernie Sanders had an overall positive impact in the world as it exists. Americans are more aware of their own contradictions (more enlightened) now than before he disputed those faithful primaries of 2016. And the most important ingredient for that, in my opinion, was the fact he was crushed by both parties; that the "establishment" acted in unison not to let him get near the WH. That was a didactic moment for the American people (or a signficant part of it).

But I agree Russiagate went well beyond just covering the Clintons' dirt in the DNC.

It may have be born like that, but, if that was the case, the elites quickly realized it had other, ampler practical uses. The main one, in my opinion, was to drive a wedge between Trump's Clash of Civilizations's doctrine -- which perceives China as the main long term enemy, and Russia as a natural ally of the West -- and the public opinon. The thing is most of the American elite is far too dependent on China's productive chain; Russia is not, and can be balkanized.

Sandwichman , Mar 23, 2019 7:30:58 PM | link
counterpoint: If the Mueller report does not EXPLICITLY exonerate Trump, it does NOT exonerate Trump.
wagelaborer , Mar 23, 2019 7:43:06 PM | link
There is a funny video compilation of the TV talking heads predicting the end of Trump, new bombshells, impeachment, etc., over the last two years.
Unfortunately, the same sort of compilation could be made of sane people predicting "this new information means the end of Russiagate" over the same time period.
The truth is that the truth doesn't matter, only the propaganda, and it has not stopped, only spun onto new hysteria.
Rob , Mar 23, 2019 7:58:15 PM | link
As others have said, hard core Russiagaters will likely not be convinced that they have been wrong all along. They have too much emotional investment in the grand conspiracy theory to simply let it go. Rather, they will forever point to what they believe are genuine bits of evidence and curse Mueller for not following the leads. And the Dems in the House of Representatives will waste more time and resources on pointless investigations in an effort to keep the public sufficiently distracted from more important matters, such as the endless wars and coups that they support. A pox on all their houses, both Democrats and Republicans.
Sandwichman , Mar 23, 2019 8:08:59 PM | link
"...hard core Russiagaters will likely not be convinced that they have been wrong all along."

Wrong about what? There seems to be "narrative" operative here that there are only two positions on this matter: the "right" one and the "wrong" one and nothing else.

Sunny Runny Burger , Mar 23, 2019 8:10:36 PM | link
Ben nails it in "Mar 23, 2019 3:32:48 PM | 17".

Ben's and other comments might make this a little bit superfluous but it's short.

A case of divide and conquer against the population

This time it was a fabricated scandal.

Continued control over "facts" and narratives, the opportunity for efficient misdirection and distraction, stealing and wasting other people's time and effort, spurious disagreements, wearing down relations.

The illusion of choice, (false) opposition, blinded "oversight", and mythical claims concerning a civilian government (in the case of the US: "of, for, and by" or something like that).

Who knew or knows is irrelevant as long as the show goes on. There's nothing to prove anything significant about who if anyone may or may not be behind the curtain and thus on towards the next big or small scandal we go because people will be dissatisfied and hungry and ready to bite as hard as possible on some other bait for or against something.

Maybe "Russiagate" was impeccably engineered or maybe it organically outcompeted other distractions on offer that would ultimately also waste enormous amounts of time and effort.

Management by crisis

The scandals, crises, "Science says" games and rubbish, outrage narratives, and any other manipulations attempt and perhaps succeed at controlling the US and the world through spam.

Jackrabbit , Mar 23, 2019 8:11:22 PM | link
Jonathan @39: Of course it was fixed. That's what the Electoral College is for.

Well, you can say the same think about money-as-speech , gerrymandering, voter suppression, etc. Despite all these, Americans believe that their democracy works.

I contend that what we witnessed in 2016 was a SHOW. Like American wrestling. It was (mostly) fake. The proper term for this is kayfabe .

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

And we have seen other 'shows' also, like:

> White Helmets;

>> Skripal;

>> the Kavanaugh hearings;

>> pulling troops out of Syria.

aspnaz , Mar 23, 2019 8:19:24 PM | link
My advice to the yanks mourning Russiagate: move to the UK. The sick Brits will keep the Russia hating cult alive even after they spend a decade puking over Brexit.
mourning dove , Mar 23, 2019 8:50:48 PM | link
Jackrabbit @18
So, you don't think HRC qualifies as a nationalist? She can't fake populist, but she can do nationalist.
I also think she is much too ambitious to have intentionally thrown the election. It was her turn dammit! Take a look at her behavior as First Lady if you think she's the kind of personality that is content to wield power from behind the scenes.
Cortes , Mar 23, 2019 8:51:27 PM | link
As usual, a fine essay. Thank you.

A couple of suggestions?

The headline would be better worded "Russiagate really is finished."

And the reaction at Colonel Lang's site makes interesting reading.

Les , Mar 23, 2019 8:55:52 PM | link
They didn't fall for the Steele dossier. I recall that emptywheel had discredited the dossier during the election as it was known to have been rejected by major media outlets leading up to the election. I think they merely fell behind the others as the outgoing administration, the Democrats, the CIA, and the media chose to use the dossier to 'blackmail' Trump.
paul , Mar 23, 2019 8:56:02 PM | link
The most important fruit of russiagate, from the view of the establishment of the hegemon, is that America has now taken a giant step towards full bore censorship.
Jackrabbit , Mar 23, 2019 9:00:35 PM | link
vk @43

We must be very careful ... and not to throw the bathtub with the baby inside.
Don't we already have plenty of evidence that there is no precious democratic baby in the bath? What do you think the Yellow Vests are doing every weekend?

If Bernie Sanders really was a "friend" of the Clintons, then he wouldn't even have disputed the primaries against Hillary.
Why not? Do you know him personally? Can you vouch for him?

Have you read this: Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders: Sheepdogging for Hillary and the Democrats in 2016 ?

Bernie referred to Hillary as "my friend" many times on the campaign trail. He told Politico that he's known her for 25 years but they are not "best friends". That's Sander's typical word judo. Like when he was asked about Zionism, his response: what's that?

The fact is, Bernie is friendly with all the top Democrats: Obama campaigned for him and Schumer wouldn't allow funding for democratic candidates that opposed him.

Then there's other strangeness. Like Bernie's refusal to release his 2014 tax returns. Bernie said his returns were "boring" but when his 2015 tax return was delayed the press asked him to release his 2014 return (Hillary boasted that she had released 10 years of returns). Bernie refused.

Now, I agree he's not a revolutionary socialist.... I believe the rise of Bernie Sanders had an overall positive impact in the world as it exists.
Really? LOL. Sanders REFUSED to lead a Movement for real change. That might've changed things for the better Mi>- like the Yellow Vests are changing things for the better.

What have we seen from the Democratics since 2016? Bullshit like Russiagate, meaningless astroturf activism around bathrooms and statues, and outlandish policies like open borders. These things just irritate most Americans and will lead to more failure for the Democrats and another 4 years for Trump.

Lastly, you said nothing about Bernie's refusal to attack Hillary on character issues and to counter her assertion that she NEVER changed her vote for money. Other examples: Bernie refused to discuss Hillary's home email server, never mentioned Hillary's well known work to squash investigations of Bill Clinton for abusing women (Jennifer Flowers), and didn't talk about other scandals like Benghazi ("What difference does it make") and her glee at the overthrow of Quadaffi ("we came, we saw, we kicked his ass").

And what of Trump? He was the ONLY republican populist in a field of 19. Do you find that even a little bit strange?

Jackrabbit , Mar 23, 2019 9:02:11 PM | link
Sorry, here's a more readable version:

We must be very careful ... and not to throw the bathtub with the baby inside.
Don't we already have plenty of evidence that there is no precious democratic baby in the bath? What do you think the Yellow Vests are doing every weekend?

If Bernie Sanders really was a "friend" of the Clintons, then he wouldn't even have disputed the primaries against Hillary.
Why not? Do you know him personally? Can you vouch for him?

Have you read this: Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders: Sheepdogging for Hillary and the Democrats in 2016 ?

Bernie referred to Hillary as "my friend" many times on the campaign trail. He told Politico that he's known her for 25 years but they are not "best friends". That's Sander's typical word judo. Like when he was asked about Zionism, his response: what's that?

The fact is, Bernie is friendly with all the top Democrats: Obama campaigned for him and Schumer wouldn't allow funding for democratic candidates that opposed him.

Then there's other strangeness. Like Bernie's refusal to release his 2014 tax returns. Bernie said his returns were "boring" but when his 2015 tax return was delayed the press asked him to release his 2014 return (Hillary boasted that she had released 10 years of returns) . Bernie refused.

Now, I agree he's not a revolutionary socialist.... I believe the rise of Bernie Sanders had an overall positive impact in the world as it exists.
Really? LOL. Sanders REFUSED to lead a Movement for real change. That might've changed things for the better Mi>- like the Yellow Vests are changing things for the better.

What have we seen from the Democratics since 2016? Bullshit like Russiagate, meaningless astroturf activism around bathrooms and statues, and outlandish policies like open borders. These things just irritate most Americans and will lead to more failure for the Democrats and another 4 years for Trump.

Lastly, you said nothing about Bernie's refusal to attack Hillary on character issues and to counter her assertion that she NEVER changed her vote for money. Other examples: Bernie refused to discuss Hillary's home email server, never mentioned Hillary's well known work to squash investigations of Bill Clinton for abusing women (Jennifer Flowers), and didn't talk about other scandals like Benghazi ("What difference does it make") and her glee at the overthrow of Quadaffi ("we came, we saw, we kicked his ass").

And what of Trump? He was the ONLY republican populist in a field of 19. Do you find that even a little bit strange?

mourning dove , Mar 23, 2019 9:06:00 PM | link
Jonathan @39
Exactly! It's the Electoral College that decides elections, not voters.
Jackrabbit , Mar 23, 2019 9:13:59 PM | link
mourning dove @57: Exactly! It's the Electoral College that decides elections, not voters.

Do you think Hillary didn't know that? She refused to campaign in the three mid-western states that would've won her the electoral college. Each of the states were won by Trump by a thin margin.

Hoarsewhisperer , Mar 23, 2019 9:14:04 PM | link
Gosh and Blimey!
Comment #56 in a thread about an utterly corrupt political system and no-one has mentioned the pro-"Israel" Lobby?
Words fail me. So I'll use someone else's...

From Xymphora March 21, 2019.

"Truth or Trope?" (Sailer):

"Of the top 50 political donors to either party at the federal level in 2018, 52 percent were Jewish and 48 percent were gentile. Individuals who identify as Jewish are usually estimated to make up perhaps 2.2 percent of the population.
Of the $675 million given by the top 50 donors, 66 percent of the money came from Jews and 34 percent from gentiles.
Of the $297 million that GOP candidates and conservative causes received from the top 50 donors, 56 percent was from Jewish individuals.
Of the $361 million Democratic politicians and liberal causes received, 76 percent came from Jewish givers.
So it turns out that Rep. Omar and Gov. LePage appear to have been correct, at least about the biggest 2018 donors. But you can also see why Pelosi wanted Omar to just shut up about it: 76 percent is a lot."

Erelis , Mar 23, 2019 9:35:12 PM | link
Next up another false flag operation. The thing is, it would have be non-trivial and involving the harming of people to jolt the narrative back to that favoring the deep state. And taking off the proverbial media table, that Mueller found no collusion. Yes, election in 2016 no collusion, but Putin was behind the latest horrific false flag, "oh look, Trump is not confronting Putin"...
daffyDuct , Mar 23, 2019 9:40:02 PM | link

Not even getting into the "treason", "putin's c*ckholster", "what's the time on Moscow, troll!" crap we've been subjected to for 3 years, please enjoy this mashup: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjUvfZj-Fm0.

mourning dove , Mar 23, 2019 9:54:13 PM | link
Jackrabbit,

I've said before that she's a terrible strategist and she ran a terrible campaign and she's terribly out of touch. I think she expected a cake walk and was relying on Trump being so distasteful to voters that they'd have no other option.

I think Trump legitimately won the election and I don't believe for a second that she won the popular vote. There were so many problems with the election but since they were on the losing side, nobody cares. In 2012 I didn't know anyone else who was voting for Jill Stein, way too many people were still in love with Obama. She got .4% of the vote. In 2016 most of the people I knew were voting for Jill Stein, she drew a large crowd from DemExit, but they say she got .4% of the vote. Total bullshit. There was also ballot stuffing and lots of other problems, but it still wasn't enough.

I'm also convinced that Trump and Clinton colluded, but that they did so in order to get her elected. I don't think he really wanted the job. But still, Hillary can do nationalist, and the designs of the Empire would have proceeded either way.

jadan , Mar 23, 2019 9:56:37 PM | link

Trump is a crook who takes money wherever he can get it, from subcontractors foolish enough to work for him to bankers dumb enough to believe his financial statements. No doubt he has helped Russian crooks sanitize their booty, but that is apparently too difficult for Mueller to prove.

It is not good news that this troglodyte was not indicted, but it is good news that Russia was not found guilty of electing him. Russiagate is an existential issue for the "national security" establishment and just another propaganda offensive designed to justify the largely useless & destructive activities of the Pentagon.

It is time to build cooperation not continue the stupidity of US unilateralism and pursuit of global hegemony. Trump and his team have to be removed from office. Democrats don't need Russiagate to do it. The truth will work better.

[Mar 24, 2019] With RussiaGate Over Where's Hillary

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... RussiaGate was never a sustainable narrative. It was ludicrous from the beginning. And now that it has ended with a whimper there are a lot of angry, confused and scared people out there. ..."
"... And now his report is in. There are no new indictments. And by doing so he is saving his reputation for the future. And that is your biggest tell that Hillary's blackmail is now worthless. ..."
"... They don't fear her anymore because RussiaGate outed her as the architect. Anything else she has is irrelevant in the face of trying to oust a sitting president from power. ..."
"... The Deep State and The Davos Crowd stand revealed and reviled. If they don't do something dramatic then the anger from the rest of the country will also be palpable come election time. Justice is not done simply by saying, "No evidence of collusion." ..."
"... It's clear that RussiaGate is a failure of monumental proportions. Heads will have to roll. But who will be willing to fall on their sword at this point? Comey? No. McCabe? No. ..."
"... If there is no collusion, if RussiaGate is a scam, then all roads lead back to Hillary as the sacrificial lamb. ..."
"... If there is any hope of salvaging the center of this country for the Democrats, the ones that voted against Hillary in 2016, then there is no reason anymore not to indict Hillary as the architect of RussiaGate. ..."
"... And hope that is enough bread and circuses to distract from the real storm ahead of us. ..."
"... Hillary is the epitome of evil. ..."
"... I don't think Hillary is enough. I want McCabe, Comey, Mueller, Rosenstein, Loretta Lynch, Obama, Lois Lerner, Blasey Ford, Brennan, Clapper, Abedin, Weiner, Cheryl Mills, Susan Rice, Strzok, Page, Sally Yates, all of the phony FISA cohort brought to justice. ..."
"... Her DNC cabal cooked in less than 24 hours from the election defeat a conspiracy of Russian meddling and now, when more information became available, HCR is involved in two separate cases of foreign collusion, The Steele dossier, with Russo-Anglo meddling and another a Ukrainian one, which is now under investigation and the purpose was getting their help for becoming elected. ..."
"... Without a doubt the Russian collusion is the most serious one, because it deliberately sabotaged diplomatic relations with Russia and lead into to a new cold war era. This also raised substantially risks for a direct confrontation with catastrophic consequences. The damage from these treacherous acts is huge and the felony bears pretty much all hallmarks of treason. Se deliberately undermined her own nation´s interests and rather risked even a war simply, because she is a psychopath, who refused to concede the defeat in due elections and instead wanted to hide real reasons for her loss to any cost for everybody else, "because it was her turn to get elected". ..."
"... HIS NAME WAS SETH RICH ..."
"... It is clear that from the beginning, fraudulent FISA warrants, that it was a case of Obama's administration digging dirt on Trump believing that when Hillary wins there will be nobody to hold them responsible ..."
"... When Hillary lost there was only one way out for them to justify that kind of abuse, to find something, anything on Trump so they can say that they were right. Worse than Watergate by orders of magnitude, involving FBI, DOJ and WH itself. ..."
Mar 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tom Luongo,

During most of the RussiaGate investigation against Donald Trump I kept saying that all roads lead to Hillary Clinton.

Anyone with three working brain cells knew this, including 'Miss' Maddow, whose tears of disappointment are particularly delicious.

Robert Mueller's investigation was designed from the beginning to create something out of nothing. It did this admirably.

It was so effective it paralyzed the country for more than two years, just like Europe has been held hostage by Brexit. And all of this because, in the end, the elites I call The Davos Crowd refused to accept that the people no longer believed their lies about the benefits of their neoliberal, globalist agenda.

Hillary Clinton's ascension to the Presidency was to be their apotheosis along with the Brexit vote. These were meant to lay to rest, once and for all time, the vaguely libertarian notion that people should rule themselves and not be ruled by philosopher kings in some distant land.

Hillary's failure was enormous. And the RussiaGate gambit to destroy Trump served a laundry list of purposes to cover it:

  1. Undermine his legitimacy before he even takes office.
  2. Accuse him of what Hillary actually did: collude with Russians and Ukrainians to effect the outcome of the election
  3. Paralyze Trump on his foreign policy desires to scale back the Empire
  4. Give aid and comfort to hurting progressives and radicalize them further undermining our political system
  5. Polarize the electorate over the false choice of Trump's guilt.
  6. Paralyze the Dept. of Justice and Congress so that they would not uncover the massive corruption in the intelligence agencies in the U.S. and the U.K.
  7. Isolate Trump and take away every ally or potential ally he could have by turning them against him through prosecutor overreach.

Hillary should have been thrown to the wolves after she failed. When you fail the people she failed and cost them the money she cost them, you lose more than just your funding. What this tells you is that Hillary has so much dirt on everyone involved, once this thing started everyone went along with it lest she burn them down as well.

Burnin' Down da House

Hillary is the epitome of envy. Envy is the destructive sin of coveting someone else's life so much they are obsessed with destroying it. It's the sin of Cain. She envies what Trump has, the Presidency. And she was willing to tear it down to keep him from having it no matter how much damage it would do. She's worse than the Joker from The Dark Knight.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/efHCdKb5UWc

Because while the Joker is unfathomable to someone with a conscience there's little stopping us from excising him from the community completely., even though Batman refuses.

Hillary hates us for who we are and what we won't give her. And that animus drove her to blackmail the world while putting on the face of its savior.

And that's what makes what comes next so obvious to me. RussiaGate was never a sustainable narrative. It was ludicrous from the beginning. And now that it has ended with a whimper there are a lot of angry, confused and scared people out there.

Mueller thought all he had to do was lean on corrupt people and threaten them with everything. They would turn on Trump. He would resign in disgrace from the public outcry. It didn't work. In the end Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen and Roger Stone all held their ground or perjured themselves into the whole thing falling apart.

Andrew Weissman's resignation last month was your tell there was nothing. Mueller would pursue this to the limit of his personal reputation and no further. Just like so many other politicians.

Vote Your Pocketbook

With respect to Brexit I've been convinced that it would come down to reputations. Would the British MP's vote against their own personal best interests to do the bidding of the EU? Would Theresa May eventually realize her historical reputation would be destroyed if she caves to Brussels and betrays Brexit in the end? Always bet on the fecklessness of politicians. They will always act selfishly when put to the test. While leading RussiaGate, Mueller was always headed here if he couldn't get someone to betray Trump.

And now his report is in. There are no new indictments. And by doing so he is saving his reputation for the future. And that is your biggest tell that Hillary's blackmail is now worthless.

They don't fear her anymore because RussiaGate outed her as the architect. Anything else she has is irrelevant in the face of trying to oust a sitting president from power. The progressives that were convinced of Trump's treason are bereft; their false hope stripped away like standing in front of a sandblaster. They will be raw, angry and looking for blood after they get over their denial.

Everyone else who was blackmailed into going along with this lunacy will begin cutting deals to save their skins. The outrage over this will not end. Trump will be President when he stands for re-election.

The Wolves Beckon

The Democrats do not have a chance against him as of right now. When he was caving on everything back in December it looked like he was done. That there was enough meat on the RussiaGate bones to make Nancy Pelosi brave. Then she backed off on impeachment talk. Oops....

... ... ...

The Deep State and The Davos Crowd stand revealed and reviled. If they don't do something dramatic then the anger from the rest of the country will also be palpable come election time. Justice is not done simply by saying, "No evidence of collusion."

It's clear that RussiaGate is a failure of monumental proportions. Heads will have to roll. But who will be willing to fall on their sword at this point? Comey? No. McCabe? No. There is only one answer. And Obama's people are still in place to protect him. I said last fall that " Hillary would indict herself. " And I meant it. Eventually her blackmail and drive to burn it all down led to this moment.

The circumstances are different than I expected back then, Trump didn't win the mid-terms. But the end result was always the same. If there is no collusion, if RussiaGate is a scam, then all roads lead back to Hillary as the sacrificial lamb.

Because the bigger project, the erection of a transnational superstate, is bigger than any one person. Hillary is expendable. Lies are expensive to maintain. The truth is cheap to defend. Think of the billions in opportunity costs associated with this. Once the costs rise above the benefits, change happens fast. If there is any hope of salvaging the center of this country for the Democrats, the ones that voted against Hillary in 2016, then there is no reason anymore not to indict Hillary as the architect of RussiaGate.

We all know it's the truth. So, the cheapest way out of this mess for them is to give the MAGApedes what they want, Hillary.

And hope that is enough bread and circuses to distract from the real storm ahead of us.


Jdhank , 27 minutes ago link

Hillary ain't enough!

We demand Comey, Brennan, Bill, the Podesta's, and the prancing little effiminate pony himself.

consider me gone , 29 minutes ago link

I'm surprised Donna Brazier and Pedo Podesta are still breathing. Maybe Hillary got God. Or gin.

Koba the Dread , 32 minutes ago link

Hillary is the epitome of envy.

Your spelling is atrocious. Let me correct it.

Hillary is the epitome of evil.

There, that does it.

KnitDame , 1 hour ago link

I don't think Hillary is enough. I want McCabe, Comey, Mueller, Rosenstein, Loretta Lynch, Obama, Lois Lerner, Blasey Ford, Brennan, Clapper, Abedin, Weiner, Cheryl Mills, Susan Rice, Strzok, Page, Sally Yates, all of the phony FISA cohort brought to justice. Think of the taxpayer money wasted on this ridiculous Mueller investigation! The Roger Stone arrest was an outrage. Who tipped off CNN? Who ordered it? What was with the attack dogs and machine guns?

And now we have Nadler trying to destroy anyone and everyone who ever did business with Trump. All those 80 people who got letters from him asking for documents will now be bankrupted by legal fees.

According to Scott Adams, one recipient is refusing to cooperate -- he's saying "I can't afford for me and family to be destroyed." He put the request for documents in a drawer. He has no money for lawyers.

This insanity and abuse of power has got to stop. Meanwhile, nothing gets done in Congress. We're all looking at censorship, tilted search engines, de-monetization, being beat up on campus for trying to express an opinion, being accosted in a restaurant (or, VP Pence, from the stage ("Hamilton"), getting sucker-punched for wearing a MAGA hat, having elections stolen through myriad Dem cheating methods, and NOTHING is being done.

2willies , 1 hour ago link

You forgot Rachel

TeraByte , 1 hour ago link

"all roads lead to Hillary Clinton"

Her DNC cabal cooked in less than 24 hours from the election defeat a conspiracy of Russian meddling and now, when more information became available, HCR is involved in two separate cases of foreign collusion, The Steele dossier, with Russo-Anglo meddling and another a Ukrainian one, which is now under investigation and the purpose was getting their help for becoming elected.

Without a doubt the Russian collusion is the most serious one, because it deliberately sabotaged diplomatic relations with Russia and lead into to a new cold war era. This also raised substantially risks for a direct confrontation with catastrophic consequences. The damage from these treacherous acts is huge and the felony bears pretty much all hallmarks of treason. Se deliberately undermined her own nation´s interests and rather risked even a war simply, because she is a psychopath, who refused to concede the defeat in due elections and instead wanted to hide real reasons for her loss to any cost for everybody else, "because it was her turn to get elected".

Dragon HAwk , 1 hour ago link

Hillary is expendable.

God I Love Feel Good Stories.

East Indian , 1 hour ago link

And, oh, I almost forgot.

HIS NAME WAS SETH RICH

Neochrome , 1 hour ago link

It is clear that from the beginning, fraudulent FISA warrants, that it was a case of Obama's administration digging dirt on Trump believing that when Hillary wins there will be nobody to hold them responsible.

When Hillary lost there was only one way out for them to justify that kind of abuse, to find something, anything on Trump so they can say that they were right. Worse than Watergate by orders of magnitude, involving FBI, DOJ and WH itself.

[Mar 22, 2019] Glenn Greenwald on Twitter The Mueller investigation is complete and this is a simple fact that will never go away

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... No one says Trump is a saint. But the deep state wanted to cover its tracks. Dems and deep state hated that their preferred candidate didn't win. They ended up achieving their goal of delegitimizing 2016 and distracting the country for 2 years. ..."
"... They tried to delegitimize the 2016 Election but failed to do so. ..."
Mar 22, 2019 | twitter.com

Glenn Greenwald 3h 3 hours ago

The Mueller investigation is complete and this is a simple fact that will never go away: not one single American was charged, indicted or convicted for conspiring with Russia to influence the 2016 election - not even a low-level volunteer. The number is zero.

Compare what cable hosts (let's leave them unnamed) & Democratic operatives spent two years claiming this would lead to - the imprisonment of Don, Jr., Jared, even Trump on conspiracy-with-Russia charges - to what it actually produced. A huge media reckoning is owed.

Don't even try to pretend the point of the Mueller investigation from the start wasn't to obtain prosecutions of Americans guilty of conspiring with Russia to influence the outcome of the election or that Putin controlled Trump through blackmail. Nobody will believe your denials.

Are we now ready to rid ourselves of the thrilling espionage fantasy that Trump is controlled by Putin and the Kremlin using blackmail? There's no way Robert Mueller would have gone 18 months without telling anyone about this if it were true, right? How could that be justified?

Perhaps now we can focus on the actually consequential actions the Trump administration is taking and finally move past the deranged conspiracy theories that have drowned US discourse for 2+ years. A side benefit will be not ratcheting up tension between 2 nuclear-armed powers.

Giving up these exciting conspiracy theories about international blackmail & convening panels to decipher all the genius hidden maneuvers of Mueller will be bad for cable ratings, book sales & the Patreon accounts of online charlatans. But it'll be very healthy in all other ways.

CNN's Justice Department reporter https:// twitter.com/LauraAJarrett/ status/1109210442864439299

The desperate attempts to salvage something from this debacle by the Mueller dead-enders are just sad. Yes, the public hasn't read the Mueller report. But we *know* he ended his investigation without indicting a single American for conspiring with Russia to influence the election

Trump, Jr. testified for hours and hours before Congress, including about the Trump Tower meeting. If he lied there, or to Mueller, why didn't Mueller indict him for perjury, lying to Congress or obstruction? Same questions for Kushner. Stop embarrassing yourselves.

If Mueller found evidence that Putin controls Trump & forces him to act against US interests & in favor of Russia - not just with a pee-pee tape but with financial blackmail - what could possibly justify keeping that a secret through the end of the investigation? It's ludicrous.

US discourse has been drowned for 2+ years with conspiratorial, unhinged, but highly inflammatory and unhinged idiocy - playing games with two nuclear-armed powers because of anger over the 2016 election. It's time to stop. Mueller ended his work. We see the public indictments.

And to be clear: I've urged a full investigation into these Trump/Russia claims from the start, from before Mueller was appointed, with full disclosure. I still favor that - precisely to end the reckless speculation to which we've been endlessly subjected https:// medium.com/@ggreenwald/st atements-about-possibility-russia-meddling-hacking-need-for-investigations-2016-present-f5794c1496d6

So many in the media devoted endless airtime & print & pixels misleading people to believe Mueller was coming to arrest & prosecute Trump, Jr, Kushner & so many others for conspiring with Russia over the election & obstruction. None of that happened. You can't pretend it away.

hard to make jokes 59m 59 minutes ago

the Supreme Court of the Southern District of New York can also do that. And please, wait until the report comes out and read it, then we'll see.

Bala R 32m 32 minutes ago

They was never the point. No one says Trump is a saint. But the deep state wanted to cover its tracks. Dems and deep state hated that their preferred candidate didn't win. They ended up achieving their goal of delegitimizing 2016 and distracting the country for 2 years.

Mary Batson 17m 17 minutes ago

They tried to delegitimize the 2016 Election but failed to do so.

[Feb 23, 2019] Guardian neoliberal presstitutes: Trump's bid to upend Russia inquiry unprecedented, experts say

Feb 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

pretzelattack , Feb 22, 2019 9:58:52 AM | link

for the first time in weeks (months?) i don't see anything about mueller or russia on the featured articles at the guardian. are they implicitly going to admit it was all bullshit, without ever acknowledging it? (by "they" i mean the msm).
Ghost Ship , Feb 22, 2019 1:06:41 PM | link
>>>>: pretzelattack | Feb 22, 2019 9:58:52 AM | 3
for the first time in weeks (months?) i don't see anything about mueller or russia on the featured articles at the guardian

You spoke too soon :

'Even Nixon wasn't like him': Trump's bid to upend Russia inquiry unprecedented, experts say

And now they've gone "live" about Manafort .

One last hurrah, one Hail Mary before Mueller says there was no provable collusion.

[Feb 23, 2019] 52 mins UK documentary about Sharp's book 'From Dictatorship To Democracy' which lists 198 non-violent tactics, stunts and ploys intended to 'unsettle' a ruling Regime, the most unsurprising of which is to have the Protest Placards printed in English (for the benefit of NYT readers?).

Feb 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hoarsewhisperer , Feb 22, 2019 1:14:21 PM | link

I've just been reviewing the 2011 UK doco How To Start A Revolution starring Nobel Peace Prize nominee Gene Sharp, his cute and sincere female sidekick Jamil Raqib, and a retired Military type Robert Helvey in the Pat Lang mould (swashbuckling).

It's 52 mins and is an Advertorial for Sharp's book 'From Dictatorship To Democracy' which lists 198 non-violent tactics, stunts and ploys intended to 'unsettle' a ruling Regime, the most unsurprising of which is to have the Protest Placards printed in English (for the benefit of NYT readers?).

It was made when the Syria 'uprising' was beginning. It covers EVERY color revolution and uprising with AmeriKKKa's fingerprints on them including the Gene Sharp fan who attempted to 'help' the Tienanmen Square protestors.

It devotes some time to Venezuela with a drive-by smearing of Maduro. But there's something quite fruitcake-ish about Sharp. Near the end of the doco he reels off a list of countries which have benefited from Gene's wisdom - one of which was AUSTRALIA (FFS)!

Well worth a look with Venezuela Showdown 1.1 imminent.
(There are numerous links on the www)

[Feb 22, 2019] FBI Official Admits To Infiltrating Trump Campaign - Just Don't Call It Spying

Notable quotes:
"... Halper is reportedly a longtime CIA and FBI informant, and has been involved in US politics at the highest levels for decades, becoming George H.W. Bush's National Director for Policy Development during his presidential campaign. After Bush lost to Reagan, Halper worked as Reagan's Deputy Assistant Secretary of State - where he served under three different Secretaries . ..."
"... He then became a senior advisor to the Department of Defense and DOJ between 1984 and 2001. Halper's former father-in-law was Ray Cline, former Deputy Director of the CIA . He also allegedly spied on the Carter administration - collecting information on foreign policy (an account disputed by Ray Cline). ..."
Feb 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
A top FBI official admitted to Congressional investigators last year that the agency had contacts within the Trump campaign as part of operation "Crossfire Hurricane," which sounds a lot like FBI "informant" Stefan Halper - a former Oxford University professor who was paid over $1 million by the Obama Department of Defense between 2012 and 2018, with nearly half of it surrounding the 2016 US election.

According to portions of transcripts published on Tuesday by the Epoch Times of a Aug. 31, 2018 deposition by Trisha Anderson, the FBI relied on sources who "already had campaign contacts" in order to surveil the Trump team.

"To my knowledge, the FBI did not place anybody within a campaign but, rather, relied upon its network of sources, some of whom already had campaign contacts, including the source that has been discussed in the media at some length beyond Christopher Steele ," said Anderson - who was the #2 attorney at the FBI's Office of General Counsel, and had extensive involvement with the Trump counterintelligence investigation.

Halper is reportedly a longtime CIA and FBI informant, and has been involved in US politics at the highest levels for decades, becoming George H.W. Bush's National Director for Policy Development during his presidential campaign. After Bush lost to Reagan, Halper worked as Reagan's Deputy Assistant Secretary of State - where he served under three different Secretaries .

He then became a senior advisor to the Department of Defense and DOJ between 1984 and 2001. Halper's former father-in-law was Ray Cline, former Deputy Director of the CIA . He also allegedly spied on the Carter administration - collecting information on foreign policy (an account disputed by Ray Cline).

Halper's involvement in surveilling the Trump campaign was exposed by the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross, who reported that the 74-year-old spook was enlisted by the FBI to befriend and spy on three members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 US election .

Halper received a DoD contract from the Obama administration for $411,575 - made in two payments, and had a start date of September 26, 2016 - three days after a September 23 Yahoo! News article by Michael Isikoff about Trump aide Carter Page, which used information fed to Isikoff by "pissgate" dossier creator Christopher Steele . The FBI would use the Yahoo! article along with the unverified "pissgate" dossier as supporting evidence in an FISA warrant application for Page. Halper approached Page during an election-themed conference at Cambridge on July 11, 2016, six weeks after the September 26 DoD award start date. The two would stay in contact for the next 14 months, frequently meeting and exchanging emails .

He said that he first encountered the informant during a conference in mid-July of 2016 and that they stayed in touch. The two later met several times in the Washington area. Mr. Page said their interactions were benign. - New York Times

And as the Daily Caller reports, Halper used a decades-old association with Paul Manafort to break the ice with Page.

In September 2016, the FBI would send Halper to further probe Trump aide George Papadopoulos on an allegation he made that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton. According to Papadopoulos in an interview with Dan Bongino, Halper angrily accused him of working with Russia before storming out of a meeting.

Halper essentially began interrogating Papadopoulos, saying that it's "obviously in your interest to be working with the Russians" and to "hack emails." " You're complicit with Russia in this, isn't that right George " Halper told him. Halper also inquired about Hillary's hacked emails, insinuating that Papadopoulos possessed them. Papadopoulos denied knowing anything about this and asked to be left alone. - Bongino.com

https://youtu.be/45m5DP1xfRg

Just don't call Halper a spy...


hugin-o-munin , 1 hour ago link

All of these blatant crimes done by the Democrat cheerleading swamp creatures NEVER get investigated and I am starting to wonder what the hell Trump is doing. Is he stupid or is all of this just a charade and they are all on the same team. How could this creep Rod Rosenstein have been left at his position until this time? It makes no sense to me. Sure all of these rodents have control files on each other but come on how scared are they? It's ridiculous. If Trump soon gets impeached I'll hold him responsible himself for not doing anything.

schroedingersrat , 59 minutes ago link

They are all on the same team. Trump was never your saviour. He was designed to be a distraction so the 0.01% that own both parties can rape you some more.

hugin-o-munin , 57 minutes ago link

Correct. It's all a big lie and show for the uninformed masses. God help these liars when all the Qanon followers wake up to this truth. All this 'tremendous winning' bs will boomerang back big time.

donkey_shot , 5 hours ago link

The above Halper story has been circulating for about a year now, so this isn`t actually big news. As for the FBI and the CIA subverting just about every political campaign or social movement in existence: Well, duh. The deep state and its satanic minions will remain in control as long as such "intelligence" and State Security agencies (the FBI is essentially nothing but a US version of the SS) are allowed to exist.

youshallnotkill , 5 hours ago link

Not a word on here on the breaking news in the Epstein case.

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5745926-Epstein-Order.html

Typical.

punchasocialist , 1 hour ago link

Alex Acosta works out an illegal deal for Epstein = Trump gives Acosta a cabinet position = Trump is a protector of Pedo protectors = Trump doesn't give 2 shits about Pedos

[Feb 18, 2019] Do You Believe in the Deep State Now by Robert W. Merry

Highly recommended!
Feb 18, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

That's a natural reaction to the revelation of Andrew G. McCabe, the former deputy FBI director, that top Justice Department officials, alarmed by Donald Trump's firing of former Bureau director James Comey, explored a plan to invoke the 25th Amendment and kick the duly elected president out of office.

According to New York Times reporters Adam Goldman and Matthew Haag, McCabe made the statement in an NBC 60 Minutes interview to be aired on Sunday. He also reportedly said that McCabe wanted the so-called Russia collusion investigation to go after Trump for obstructing justice in firing Comey and for any instances they could turn up of his working in behalf of Russia.

The idea of invoking the 25th Amendment was discussed, it seems, at two meetings on May 16, 2017. According to McCabe, top law enforcement officials pondered how they might recruit Vice President Pence and a majority of cabinet members to declare in writing, to the Senate's president pro tempore and the House speaker, that the president was "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office." That would be enough, under the 25th Amendment, to install the vice president as acting president, pushing aside Trump.

But to understand what kind of constitutional crisis this would unleash and the precedent it would set, it's necessary to ponder the rest of this section of the 25th Amendment. The text prescribes that, if the president, after being removed, transmits to the same congressional figures that he is indeed capable of discharging his duties, he shall once again be president after four days. But if the vice president and the cabinet majority reiterate their declaration within those four days that the guy can't govern, Congress is charged with deciding the issue. It then takes a two-thirds vote of both houses to keep the president removed, which would have to be done within 21 days, during which time the elected president would be sidelined and the vice president would govern. If Congress can't muster the two-thirds majority within the prescribed time period, the president "shall resume the powers and duties of his office."

It's almost impossible to contemplate the political conflagration that would ensue under this plan. Citizens would watch those in Washington struggle with the monumental question of the fate of their elected leader under an initiative that had never before been invoked, or even considered, in such circumstances. Debates would flare up over whether this comported with the original intent of the amendment; whether it was crafted to deal with physical or mental "incapacitation," as opposed to controversial actions or unsubstantiated allegations or even erratic decision making; whether such an action, if established as precedent, would destabilize the American republic for all time; and whether unelected bureaucrats should arrogate to themselves the power to set in motion the downfall of a president, circumventing the impeachment language of the Constitution.

For the past two years, the country has been struggling to understand the two competing narratives of the criminal investigation of the president.

One narrative -- let's call it Narrative A -- has it that honorable and dedicated federal law enforcement officials developed concerns over a tainted election in which nefarious Russian agents had sought to tilt the balloting towards the candidate who wanted to improve U.S.-Russian relations and who seemed generally unseemly. Thus did the notion emerge, quite understandably, that Trump had "colluded" with Russian officials to cadge a victory that otherwise would have gone to his opponent. This narrative is supported and protected by Democratic figures and organizations, by adherents of the "Russia as Threat" preoccupation, and by anti-Trumpers everywhere, particularly news outlets such as CNN, The Washington Post , and The New York Times .

Trump, the FBI, and the Final Debasement of American Politics Unlike Nixon, Trump Will Not Go Quietly

The other view -- Narrative B -- posits that certain bureaucratic mandarins of the national security state and the outgoing Obama administration resolved early on to thwart Trump's candidacy. After his election, they determined to undermine his political standing, and particularly his proposed policy toward Russia, through a relentless and expansive investigation characterized by initial misrepresentations, selective media leaks, brutal law enforcement tactics, and a barrage of innuendo. This is the narrative of most Trump supporters, conservative commentators, Fox News, and The Wall Street Journal editorial page, notably columnist Kimberley Strassel.

The McCabe revelation won't affect the battle of the two narratives. As ominous and outrageous as this "deep state" behavior may seem to those who embrace Narrative B, it will be seen by Narrative A adherents as evidence that those law enforcement officials were out there heroically on the front lines protecting the republic from Donald J. Trump.

And those Narrative A folks won't have any difficulty tossing aside the fact that McCabe was fired as deputy FBI director for violating agency policy in leaking unauthorized information to the news media. He then allegedly violated the law in lying about it to federal investigators on four occasions, including three times while under oath.

Indeed, Narrative A people have no difficulty at all brushing aside serious questions posed by Narrative B people. McCabe is a likely liar and perjurer? Doesn't matter. Peter Strzok, head of the FBI's counterespionage section, demonstrated his anti-Trump animus in tweets and emails to Justice official Lisa Page? Irrelevant. Christopher Steele's dossier of dirt on Trump, including an allegation that the Russians were seeking to blackmail and bribe him, was compiled by a man who had demonstrated to a Justice Department official that he was "desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and passionate about him not being president"? Not important. The dossier was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party? Immaterial. Nothing in the dossier was ever substantiated? So what?

Now we have a report from a participant of those meetings that top officials of the country's premier law enforcement entity sat around and pondered how to bring down a sitting president they didn't like. The Times even says that McCabe "confirmed" an earlier report that deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein suggested wearing a wire in meetings with Trump to incriminate him and make him more vulnerable to the plot.

There is no suggestion in McCabe's interview pronouncements or in the words of Scott Pelley, who conducted the interview and spoke to CBS This Morning about it, that these federal officials ever took action to further the aim of unseating the president. There doesn't seem to be any evidence that they approached cabinet members or the vice president about it. "They were speculating, 'This person would be with us, this person would not be,' and they were counting noses in that effort," said Pelley. He added, apparently in response to Rosenstein's insistence that his comments about wearing a wire were meant as a joke, "This was not perceived to be a joke."

What are we to make of this? Around the time of the meetings to discuss the 25th Amendment plot, senior FBI officials also discussed initiating a national security investigation of the president as a stooge of the Russians or perhaps even a Russian agent. These talks were revealed by The New York Times and CNN in January, based on closed-door congressional testimony by former FBI general counsel James Baker. You don't have to read very carefully to see that the reporters on these stories brought to them a Narrative A sensibility. The Times headline: "F.B.I. Opened Inquiry into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia." CNN's: "Transcripts detail how FBI debated whether Trump was 'following directions' of Russia." And of course, whoever leaked those hearing transcripts almost surely did so to bolster the Narrative A version of events.

The independent journalist Gareth Porter, writing at Consortium News, offers a penetrating exposition of the inconsistencies, fallacies, and fatuities of the Narrative A matrix, as reflected in how the Times and CNN handled the stories that resulted from what were clearly self-interested leaks.

Porter notes that a particularly sinister expression in May 2017 by former CIA director John O. Brennan, a leading Trump antagonist, has precipitated echoes in the news media ever since, particularly in the Times . Asked in a committee hearing if he had intelligence indicating that anyone in the Trump campaign was "colluding with Moscow," Brennan dodged the question. He said his experience had taught him that "the Russians try to suborn individuals, and they try to get them to act on their behalf either wittingly or unwittingly."

Of course you can't collude with anybody unwittingly. But Brennan's fancy expression has the effect of expanding what can be thrown at political adversaries, to include not just conscious and nefarious collaboration but also policy advocacy that could be viewed as wrongheaded or injurious to U.S. interests. As Porter puts it, "The real purpose is to confer on national security officials and their media allies the power to cast suspicion on individuals on the basis of undesirable policy views of Russia rather than on any evidence of actual collaboration with the Russian government."

That seems to be what's going on here. There's no doubt that McCabe and Rosenstein and Strzok and Brennan and Page and many others despised Trump and his resolve to thaw relations with Russia. They viewed him as a president "who needed to be reined in," as a CNN report described the sentiment among top FBI officials after the Comey firing.

So they expanded the definition of collusion to include "unwitting" collaboration in order to justify their machinations. It's difficult to believe that people in such positions would take such a cavalier attitude toward the kind of damage they could wreak on the body politic.

Now we learn that they actually sat around and plotted how to distort the Constitution, just as they distorted the rules of official behavior designed to hold them in check, in order to destroy a presidential administration placed in power by the American people. It's getting more and more difficult to dismiss Narrative B.

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, is the author most recently of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century. MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR

Alternative Facts at the NYT James Polk's Realpolitik Hide 52 comments 52 Responses to Do You Believe in the Deep State Now? ← Older Comments

Ken Zaretzke February 16, 2019 at 4:57 pm

https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/02/trump-russia-collusion-investigation-criminalization-policy-disputes/

Also very good is the blunt force trauma inflicted on the FBI in yesterday's Wall Street Journal by Kimberly Strassel.

Fran Macadam , , February 15, 2019 at 2:19 pm
You're right, it didn't change a thing in the full-throated support to depose an elected President they disagree with. The bureaucratic cabal has long had a more informal absolute veto over who can even run for President. This guy challenged that hegemony of insider power brokers, and caused the revelation that we have morphed into a Potemkin-style, managed democracy, in which we don't choose who gets to run, just which of their choices we are allowed to approve.

Such is the decadent trajectory, of republics that transition into empires, where democratic accountabilty to the governed, domestic and foreign, decays in favor of empire administrators and their elite beneficiaries and their sinecures at the expense of the majority.

People rail against Trump as some sort of would-be Caesar, but he is elected, while those permanent unaccountable "national security" czars acting in secrecy they are willing to transfer all power to, are not.

No form of popular government can survive when secret police recording everything and spying on the population become the real power.

This is a coup, in slow motion.

Kent , , February 15, 2019 at 2:26 pm
"It's difficult to believe that people in such positions would take such a cavalier attitude toward the kind of damage they could wreak on the body politic."

What we don't want to recognize is that people in such positions are, in fact, just that dumb. It is unfortunately true. While not a Trump supporter, I would be out on the streets with them if these jacka$$es had tried to pull this off. They should ALL be immediately terminated and any benefits revoked.

Kurt Gayle , , February 15, 2019 at 2:32 pm
Last night (Feb 14, 2019) Tucker Carlson interviewed retired Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz (1:04-3:36):

Carlson: "Professor, thanks very much for coming on. So now the suspicions of many are confirmed by one of the players in it. The Department of Justice discussed trying to remove the President using the 25 Amendment. What's your reaction to that?

Dershowitz: "Well, if that's true, it is clearly an attempt at a coup d'état. Relating to what your former guest said, let's take the worst case scenario: Let's assume the President of the United States was in bed with the Russians, committed treason, committed obstruction of justice -- the 25 Amendment simply is irrelevant to that. That's why you have an impeachment provision. The 25th amendment is about Woodrow Wilson having a stroke. It's about a president being shot and not being able to perform his office. It's not about the most fundamental disagreements. It's not about impeachable offenses. And any Justice Department official who even mentioned the 25th Amendment in the context of President Trump has committed a grievous offense against the Constitution. The framers of the 25th amendment had in mind something very specific. And trying to use the 25th amendment to circumvent the impeachment provisions, or to circumvent an election is a despicable act of unconstitutional power-grabbing. And you were right when you said it reminded me of what happens in third world countries. Look, these people may have been well-intentioned. They may believe that they were serving the interests of the United States. But you have to obey the law and the law is the Constitution and the 25th Amendment is as clear as could be: incapacity, unable to perform office. That's what you need. That's why you need 2/3 of the House and 2/3 of the Senate agreeing. And it has to be on the basis of a medical or psychological incapacity. Not on the basis of even the most extreme crimes -- which there is no evidence were committed -- but even if they were, that would not be basis for invoking the 25th Amendment. And I challenge any left-wing person to get on television and to defend the use of the 25th Amendment. I challenge any of my colleagues who are in the "Get Trump At Any Cost" camp to come on television and justify the use of the 25 Amendment other than for physical or psychiatric incapacity.

Carlson: I bet they're doing that right now. This is an attack on our system, I would say, not just the President. Alan Dershowitz, thank you very much.

Dershowitz: It is an attack on our system. It's an attack on the constitution. Thank you.

Carlson: Scary.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q9OlUaeiQjQ?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Bluestem , , February 15, 2019 at 2:42 pm
How many millions of dollars did Bill and Hill receive from Russians? How much of America's uranium deposits did Hillary sell to Russians during her time in the Obama administration? The New York Times informs us:

" . . . the sale gave the Russians control of one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the United States. Since uranium is considered a strategic asset, with implications for national security, the deal had to be approved by a committee composed of representatives from a number of United States government agencies. Among the agencies that eventually signed off was the State Department, then headed by Mr. Clinton's wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

"As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One's chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

"And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.

"At the time, both Rosatom and the United States government made promises intended to ease concerns about ceding control of the company's assets to the Russians. Those promises have been repeatedly broken, records show."

(end of NY Times excerpt. Full story: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html )

I wonder how much howling and how many allegations of "collusion" with Russia we'd be hearing if the name Clinton were removed from the NY Times article and the name Trump were inserted?

curri , , February 15, 2019 at 3:08 pm

Can't imagine why career law enforcement officials were concerned with a guy they knew to be a criminal taking over the office of the presidency.

Oh, they just knew . Maybe they just knew he wasn't an obvious reliable puppet like W and Obama.

Sid Finster , , February 15, 2019 at 3:16 pm
https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/11/27/leaked-transcript-proves-russiagaters-have-been-right-all-along/

About Those Russians.

Stephen J. , , February 15, 2019 at 4:01 pm
The article states: " top officials of the country's premier law enforcement entity sat around and pondered how to bring down a sitting president they didn't like."
-- -- -- --
Which makes one wonder if "The rule of law" is becoming the rule of outlaws? When the non-elected in the justice profession appear to have their own agenda.
WorkingClass , , February 15, 2019 at 4:10 pm
Y'all Never Trump Republicans have NO future in American electoral politics.
Gerard , , February 15, 2019 at 4:22 pm
Trump is an idiot, but his enemies in the lib-Dem-media Establishment are far worse: corrupt, deceitful, arrogant, and lawless. Exhibit A is Andrew McCabe.

That's why I'll vote for the Idiot-in-Chief (again) in 2020. Because the alternative makes me vomit.

polistra , , February 15, 2019 at 4:43 pm
FBI has been destroying and paralyzing unwanted presidents forever. Lady Edgar did it far more effectively than her modern successors.
aristotle , , February 15, 2019 at 5:19 pm
"The pages of this publication drift further and further into utter insanity and despicable defense of Trump. Stand up for the values of the Constitution, or something, but not for this man who is no more than a self-enriching demagogue with no understanding of the reactionary politics he uses to delude the rubes and attract asinine threadbare pieces like this one."

Actually no. Consider me the inverse of Peter. I didn't vote for Trump due to the character weaknesses Peter describes. However, what I see is a seriously flawed man who has served the useful purpose of revealing an echo chamber of flawed and self-serving biases shared by the media and political establishment of this country. I see CNN, the NY Times, the Washington Post, and even some key leaders of our security services in a completely different light than I did two years ago. I am thankful for the clarity. I consider Merry's article to be a contribution in that direction.

Kouros , , February 15, 2019 at 5:38 pm
Cannot agree more with Fran Macadam.

On that note an interesting article by one of Mr. Putin's ideologues about Putinism and why Putinism might have more viability than the smoke and mirror exercise provided in established democracies:
https://russia-insider.com/en/vladislav-surkovs-hugely-important-new-article-about-what-putinism-full-translation/ri26259

The article admits that these bureaucracies are at times a nuisance and need to be dealt with appropriately...

Arthur Sido , , February 15, 2019 at 5:38 pm
"Peter" sez: "Can't imagine why career law enforcement officials were concerned with a guy they knew to be a criminal taking over the office of the presidency."

Weird but no one has shown any actual criminal behavior by said President. Two years later still no charges. But Peter and these "career law enforcement officials" KNEW he was a criminal. Then Peter appeals to the Constitution, apparently oblivious to the fact that the Constitution doesn't make any provisions for plotting to remove the lawfully elected President because you don't like just because you "know" he is a "criminal", in spite of any actual evidence.

JeffK , , February 15, 2019 at 5:53 pm
"After his election, they (the deep state) determined to undermine his political standing, and particularly his proposed policy toward Russia, through a relentless and expansive investigation characterized by initial misrepresentations, selective media leaks, brutal law enforcement tactics, and a barrage of innuendo. This is the narrative of most Trump supporters, conservative commentators, Fox News, and The Wall Street Journal editorial page, notably columnist Kimberley Strassel."

The trouble with that is it completely ignores the ton of evidence pointing to really nefarious stuff.

Lots of times, when there's smoke, there's fire. And when the smoke is overwhelming there probably is a fire. A big one.

Sid , , February 15, 2019 at 9:19 pm
Trump has been going after the Russians since his inauguration. Therefore, those trying to remove him from office are likely the actual Russian agents. Of course they would need smoke and mirrors to hide that fact and deflect attention from themselves. It just so happens that Russian spies are trained by the FSB to accuse others of being a spy, for just this purpose. I'm looking at you, John O. (Oleg?) Brennan
Sheila , , February 15, 2019 at 11:03 pm
No matter who the President is, there is some group of people in Washington is ALWAYS trying to bring him down. Who those people are, and how large and powerful the group is, depends on a variety of factors. But a competent president manages to enact his agenda while staying one step ahead of his intriguers. Obama and GWB accomplished both, more or less because they were intelligent men of good character (though Obama was much smarter and better man than W)

While Bill Clinton's character was too low to avoid impeachment he was a smart and able administrator. Trump has both low character and low intellect so it is not surprising A. that many people want to bring him down and B. that they have been pretty effective.

Politics may be a blood sport in Washington but that's not the same as a "deep state". And Trump can't compete and win with anyone in Washington who doesn't grovel before him like the supine Senate Republicans. And that is no one's fault but his.

You wanting Trump to be a Russian agent does not make him one. It never will. Get over it. , , February 16, 2019 at 12:08 am
"If it turns out that Trump IS a Russian asset, will you apologize, Robert Merry? Because he certainly acts like one. And, as REAL Republicans used to say, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, maybe it's a duck."

@One Guy Yeah, because sending deadly aid to Ukraine is so pro-Russian. What an idiot you are!

VikingLS , , February 16, 2019 at 12:10 am
"Can't imagine why career law enforcement officials were concerned with a guy they knew to be a criminal taking over the office of the presidency. Shame on them!"

They also "knew" Martin Luther King Jr. was a Soviet agent.

Just Curiosity , , February 16, 2019 at 12:38 am
This article must have hit a nerve. Media Matters/Soros have sent out their "goons".

{BTW, isn't it amazing that Media Matters/Soros never have to worry about having any advertisers boycotted.}

{smirk}

JK , , February 16, 2019 at 3:14 am
The issue with the 25th amendment, is that the President's character flaws or mental deficiency were known and very visible before the election. Is it constitutionally proper for Congress to suspend a President for a preexisting condition that was known to and unhidden from voters? If Congress did that, it means Congress has a veto over who the public is allowed to vote in as President.
Frank LaSaracina , , February 16, 2019 at 10:19 am
Clear and convincing evidence of a silent coup by rogue IC / law enforcement community, the genesis of which was the Obama admin. Prima facie
Oleg Gark , , February 16, 2019 at 10:40 am
Forget the Covington students, Andrew McCabe and his lady co-workers have some pretty punchable faces. (Ok, I'm enough of a sexist to not punch a lady. I'd use eye-rolling and mocking gestures instead.)
tjoe , , February 16, 2019 at 11:18 am
These are the peeps that did 9.11 and took down 3 towers with 2 planes. or maybe you believe guys with box-cutters did it.
Contra1789 , , February 16, 2019 at 12:07 pm
The problem is not the existence of the deep state. It's inevitable that there will be unelected officials who will continue to shape policy regardless of who is elected President. The problem is that the deep state is blatantly working to undermine its elected leadership. If you can't in good conscience work with your President, the honorable thing to do is resign as some undoubtedly have. It's not an excuse for insubordination.

[Feb 18, 2019] The FBI Came Close to Staging a Coup

They removed both Kennedy brothers. Why not to remove Trump?
Notable quotes:
"... This FBI/CIA (plus British intelligence etc.) attempt to destroy and remove an elected President will end the same way as the bank fraud that damaged the US economy 11 yrs ago. ..."
"... I think what the Intel Agencies were really concerned about was Trump's statement "wouldn't it be great to get along with Russia." They were worried about detente, not influence. Trump threatened to remove their number one bogeyman, which would put at risk trillions of dollars for the MIC. What if he dared to negotiate a nuclear arms reduction treaty? What if he dared to share intelligence regarding terrorists with Russia, as Obama attempted before he was brought to heel? Trump has been emasculated by RussiaGate, and Mueller's "Theater of the Absurd" continues to ensure that Trump toes the line. The intel agencies don't need to remove him from power because they are the ones with the REAL power. ..."
"... In such a world "voting" and "democracy" are simply fairy tales "told by an idiot, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing." They exist only as meaningless abstractions used to help insure we the populace remain compliant and don't take to the streets like the Yellow Vests in France. Which of course is our only chance whatsoever to in any meaningfully way impact this completely corrupt uber-violent corporate-feudal paradise we find ourselves now inhabiting. ..."
Feb 18, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, in an explosive interview with CBS's "60 Minutes," said that in early 2017, in the aftermath of President Donald Trump's firing of former FBI Director James Comey, he and other FBI officials discussed the possibility of recruiting a cabinet secretary to help push the president out of office by using the Constitution's 25 th Amendment

McCabe further contended that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein offered to wear a wire when he was around Trump in order to gather evidence against him. (Rosenstein

denies the allegation.) McCabe said that Justice Department officials believed at the time that Trump may have obstructed justice by firing Comey, and they worried that Trump was somehow under the influence of the Russian government. In the end, nothing came of the plan. Regardless of one's feelings toward President Trump and his policies, what McCabe is describing is nothing less than a coup attempt. It's something that happens in weak or nascent democracies, following interference by the CIA perhaps. It should never happen here.

Trump has long had an antagonistic relationship with the FBI, the CIA and other elements of the intelligence community. Indeed, in early 2017, when news of the FISA warrants and the private intelligence Steele dossier began to leak out, Trump began to tweet his disgust at news of impending investigations of him, his campaign, and his business dealings.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer responded almost immediately, saying "(The president) is being really dumb to do this." "This" was to take on the intelligence agencies, the so-called Deep State, in public. A few days later, Schumer went on MSNBC to sharpen his warning to Trump, saying, "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community -- they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you."

But Trump was right. The intelligence community -- the FBI, CIA, the NSA and other three-letter agencies -- are too powerful, too entrenched and two well-funded. And they have far too little oversight. They're a threat to our democracy, not the saviors of it. That is why it pains me to see Democrats lining up behind them to attack Trump.

Presidents Come and Go

I was a member of that "Deep State" throughout my 15 years at the CIA. I can tell you from first-hand experience that the CIA doesn't care who the president is. Neither does the FBI. Senior CIA and FBI officers are there for decades, while presidents come and go. They know that they can outwait any president they don't like. At the very least, at the CIA, they could made administrative decisions that would hamstring a president: Perhaps they don't carry out that risky operation. Maybe they don't target that well-placed source. Maybe they ignore the president's orders knowing that in four years or eight years he or she will just go away.

Even worse, these same organizations -- the FBI and the CIA -- are the ones that have sought to undermine our democracy over the years. Don't forget programs like COINTELPRO , the FBI's operation to force Martin Luther King Jr. to commit suicide ; the infiltration of peace groups; the CIA's efforts to control the media with Operation Mockingbird ; the CIA's illegal spying on American citizens ; the CIA hacking into the computers of the Senate Intelligence Committee; and the Agency's extrajudicial assassination program ; to name a few.

McCabe's almost offhanded comments on "60 Minutes," that the FBI actively considered deposing a sitting president should be cause for alarm. Set partisan politics aside for a moment. We're talking about deposing a sitting president . We're talking about wearing a wire to catch a sitting president saying something because you're angry that he fired your boss. Even the idea of it is unprecedented in American history.

John Kiriakou is a former CIA counterterrorism officer and a former senior investigator with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. John became the sixth whistleblower indicted by the Obama administration under the Espionage Act -- a law designed to punish spies. He served 23 months in prison as a result of his attempts to oppose the Bush administration's torture program.


Tom , February 17, 2019 at 4:33 pm

As if we have free and fair elections?

Hillary and the DNC stole the nomination from Sanders and gave Sanders voters a stiff middle finger meanwhile Hillary via Bill Talked Trump into Running as a REPUBLICAN ..

Hillary was the neo con neo liberal candidate ..Trump was never supposed to win and even he was shocked it happened ..Melania even cried .

its worse than you think

Why Did Bernie Abandon Tim Canova & Election Integrity

https://youtu.be/B6A452H6wA4

Anne Jaclard , February 17, 2019 at 9:14 pm

Also Integrity Initiative infiltrated the Sanders campaign and boosted anti-Jill Stein messaging. The only good thing about all this investigations nonsense is that we see how blatantly rigged and/or manipulated US elections are by intelligence agencies on top of the pre-manipulation by the corporate giants.

Babyl-on , February 17, 2019 at 1:13 pm

Thomas Piketty in his typically tedious economic research, has shown that there is and has been for centuries a core block of Western capital. This core capital has not in the past 500 years ever had a year of loss, they gained in profit ALWAYS no matter the empire or democracy war or peace – that is EVERY SINGLE YEAR.

Institutions are instruments of power they are not power itself. These institutions are given instructions by those who represent the core block of Western capital. The US government and all its agencies serve ONLY the interests of core capital.

Today that block of core capital has grown to over 41 trillion dollars. It is the largest block of capital anywhere in the world, it's influence is deeply saturated throughout Western society and culture.

Peter Phillips has produced a tremendous book providing the evidence of this block of capital and the structure which communicates its orders to the World Bank, Fed and the "deep state" and the EU and its institutions. GIANTS: The Global Power Elite.

There are no secret societies running the world the power elites do it in plane sight. We know their names from history and in the present. Metici, Borgas – parts of those fortunes are in the 41 trillion. Rockefeller, Rothschild, Buffet are in the world today. Robert Kagen and his forces which represent the 41 trillion ALWAYS get what they want and they have for 500 years. Imagine, 500 years of taking more "profits" than any other faction of the population. But it is not just business, there is also theft, the way England stole in today's dollars 45 trillion dollars worth of goods from India – they simply set up a shell game and took everything and paid nothing. This is why their fortunes grow so much better than others – just outright theft. It is not a capitalist system, it is Feudalism.

This basic block of Western capital is openly pro war because within the 41 trillion are the arms corporations which they control just as one example.

The methods of this, possibly the most enduring power unit in human history, are clear throughout the historical record. They are ruthless, ALWAYS advancing pushing probing looking for opportunities. They never rest or give any quarter. Governments come and go, empires come and go but the core capital under any and all conditions profits every year.

While the phrase was first written in the years after WWII "Global full spectrum domination." has been the marching order for this capital for centuries.

This small group of elites will settle for nothing except everything. For them there is no morality, no good guys or bad buys, just winners and losers and they have won every battle for power and money for 500 years, even in years where things didn't go well they still made more that the economic growth of the economy.

It is the power of that 41 trillion which is destroying the planet and making perpetual war for their own pleasures and profit.

Talk of impeachment of a president or "The Constitution" changing the government are useless acts unless you can come up with a plan to take the assets of these monsters and to distribute them appropriately so that human institutions serve people instead of slaughtering for profit elites.

It is going to be far more difficult to deal with entrenched elites with a 500 year success record but until its power is finally dissipated.

Idimalink , February 17, 2019 at 12:08 pm

The FBI, CIA, the NSA and other three-letter agencies are the enemy. Their spooks must exposed as perpetrators of crime; heinous crimes.

errorum propagationi , February 17, 2019 at 2:55 pm

"The FBI, CIA, the NSA and other three-letter agencies are the enemy. Their spooks must exposed as perpetrators of crime; heinous crimes."

And yet despite the tough-talking, empty-rhetoric, Trump continues to bow to the same. Their crimes continue. The NSA is STILL collecting all data from EVERY citizen of the U.S., yet Trump has ensured even-greater secrecy of those actions by that agency. The CIA is STILL interfering in the politics of other countries, and STILL running drugs.

The FBI continues to ignore crimes by the .001 percent (incluing pedophilia, child trafficking, financial crimes, white collar crimes, etc.).

Trump continues to call for the draconian prosecution of those whom sought to expose the actions of these agencies.

Propaganda only works when it isn't recognized as such.

Trump's actions are called the propaganda of diversion & distraction.

Both Trump and Hillary were HIGHLY unpopular, yet the mindless masses are forced into not only accepting either, but ultimately defending the instilled "leader".

You are proof of the effectivness of that propaganda.

Trump is an Entertainer, first and foremost. His job is to lead mere followers like you to believing the roles he plays, into accepting the same wholly corrupted system. "Partisan" politics is increasingly being scripted like episodes of entertainment, like the Jerry Springer show.

Have you ever bothered to consider that the largest "news" media are similarly owned by the same corporations that own the largest entertainement media? I used to work for a image & footage library ..the firms are using stock images, video & sound for both their entertainment & "news". Have you ever bothered to examine the true underlying ownership of the highly consolidated corporate media? CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, etc are all largely owned by the same firms, via large stock holdings.

Trump is an Entertainer serving each of these subsidiaries. The viewership/ratings of each has climbed. The more "contention" (mere diversion & distraction) Trump creates, the more the loyal viewers of these media continue to indulge in the nonsense.

"Partisan" followers, the sheep, are doing the same of their respective parties, each of which are controlled by the same elite.
Don't believe it, take a look at the campaign finance & investment portfolios of the largest candidates of each party (including the "Dems", "GOP", "Progs" and "Libertarians").

The true "Deep State" is much larger than Trump. Those few Agents he has called-out & sought to damage, are just small cogs in the much larger system.

Absolutely nothing has changed. The mindless masses are so easily herded. Instincts of the Herd in Peace & War – Wilfred Trotter
Propaganda – Edward Bernays

Tom , February 17, 2019 at 4:36 pm

The deep state kills presidents. It why Trump has his own security ..smart move. Trump tried to take them on and was called a TRAITOR ..and criminals like Brenner and clapper and Haden work for MSNBC and CNN now? The USSR wasnt so blatant .

O Society , February 18, 2019 at 12:09 am

Spot on. Trump is PT Barnum, not Martin Luther King. He's not fighting to "save America from the Deep State." Trump's a clown riding a unicycle juggling chainsaws. He's a circus charlatan, not some hero demolishing the FBI to save John Q Public from the spooks. Sheep indeed.

Scott Hunter , February 17, 2019 at 11:49 am

Spot on!!! Accountability is the next step Integrity is the key and has always been the key to walking a path that brings contentment.

Thank you for your service John Kiriakou!!!

Billy , February 17, 2019 at 11:47 am

The Emsils reveal Hillary cheated Bernie. She needed to distract. Brennan, Clapper and the FBI assisted her. When she lost they switched over from distract to removal mode. The entire MSM is also complicate in this illegal coup. They're not fake news they're propagandist.

Tom , February 17, 2019 at 4:40 pm

MSM fired Ed Shultz for wanting to cover Sanders . MSM fired Jesse Ventura for being anti war . MSM fiired Phil Donahue for being against the Iraq wars .. Brennan and Clapper and Haden are proved Bush criminals who now work for the MSM and CNN liars ,war mongers and torture enthusiasts .

William , February 17, 2019 at 10:45 am

I like John and the information he puts out for us. But I just don't buy this. I see this just as I did the 2016 election cycle for the republican party. A circus of over 21 candidates and everyone and the media all against Trump. But who got all the free time in the media and ended up being the president? I didn't buy the fake disdain from the republicans towards Trump because I knew they were licking their chops wanting him in their. With Trump they could take the country to the right as far as they wanted. And here we are looking at a fascist state now. The US has leaped right into the fire of the fourth reich. All that in 2016 was us being duped into a false illusion of Trump can't possibly win while the plan was make him win. I honestly believe the whole 2016 election cycle was one big illusion to take over the country. A coup over the population.

Trump and these intelligence agencies are working just fine together. This is all just another illusion as the country continues to move towards fascism with the rest of the world. Still working together in Syria, Iran, Venezuela, Africa and a list of other countries, along with right here among us is the FBI. After all, right there in the article it states as much. These entities and Trump essentially have the same agenda. And what we;re getting is a dose of perception management to duped us from the reality of it being the reality. And just like the founder of this news site has taught us, the media is the tool to make it work for them.

Anne Jaclard , February 17, 2019 at 9:19 pm

Agree that Trump is a corporate military-intelligence flunky like his predecessors but that doesn't justify the FBI/CIA manipulation, as it was based merely on dovish (but ignored in office, of course) campaign rhetoric. What if Tulsi Gabbard or Bernie Sanders, or somebody better than either of them (neither are super great) get spied upon or ousted by a militarist cabal for the same reasons?

Jeff Harrison , February 17, 2019 at 10:40 am

It can't happen here . I'm telling you my dear, it can't happen here. – Frank Zappa in a tune of the same name.

But, John, it already has. Mark Felt, aka Deep Throat, pissed off that he wasn't made FBI director at Hoover's death, brought down a President, Nixon, out of personal pique. He revealed secrets that never should have been secrets to Woodward & Bernstein and brought Nixon down. Our evil ways in the rest of the world have come home to roost. You spoke of the Church committee's reforms. I doubt there's much left of Frank Church's reforms. The three letter surveillance state is the new Praetorian Guard. There is naught to be done but disband the whole lot of 'em if we want our democracy back. I know everybody will be screaming that Oh NO! We can't do that! But, ah, yes we can (to steal someone else's bullshit line).

The Ticoes of Costa Rica, after they got their government back from the military after a 1948 coup simply disbanded the military. No more military to junta. Haven't had a coup since. There's two trite but very true lines: Bullshit walks and money talks,

What goes around comes around. (and it's starting to come around. We'd better do something about it or we will regret it. But that would mean we'd have to give up our imperial pretensions and we all know that's not going to happen.)

anon4d2 , February 17, 2019 at 9:43 pm

We could certainly re-purpose 80% of our military to building infrastructure in developing nations, without any opposition from them or additional expense, and improve our security and international standing. We could completely eliminate the unconstitutional spying upon citizens without any opposition, and use the same employees for humanitarian purposes.

But of course oligarchy must first be deposed, which historically has required invasion or revolution. Where oligarchy controls mass media and elections, education and activism won't get us there. Invasion is no longer a likely path. So the revolution will be the bloodiest in history, likely after the mass media are discredited, the economy ruined by foreign embargo, and oligarchy no longer able to provide the bread and circus needed to quell the peasants.

If that string of disasters does not happen, we may have a permanent tyranny, a society that explicitly accepts and honors tyranny, a curse upon humanity until its destruction.

JOHN WHITE , February 17, 2019 at 10:29 am

THEY DID NOT COME CLOSE TO A COUP.. THE COUP IS STILL GOING ON ..

Herman , February 17, 2019 at 9:20 am

So now I know what the 25th amendment to the Constitution is about. Impeachment would be messy incapacitation would be quick and half the public, feeling helpless, would soon forget.

Discussion of this reminds me of the things we accused the Stalin regime of doing, which they well may have. Here today, gone tomorrow.

We cannot be sure this is all true, but the mere fact that it is floating around is chilling. Impeachment with its uncertain outcome would be messy, using the 25th amendment would be relatively quick if all your ducks were lined up.

Can we describe the Trump syndrome as anything else than mass hysteria. It has gotten so bad that no matter what Trump proposes, forces go to work to prevent it from happening lest he get credit for it. The merit of what he proposes, be damned, it's his idea and we are not going to let it happen.

Who and what is at risk. A besieged President, anxious to survive, can do crazy things which his crazy enemies happen to believe are good ideas. Things like detente with Russia are set aside as is an effort to achieve normal relations with North Korea. Things like creating a crisis with Iran or pulling out of a nuclear treaty are either praised or accepted. It all started minus day one of this guys presidency and it just won't stop. Hard to say how it could end, but the options are pretty
scary.

The authors point is that we have elections to decide who shall be president and the intoxicated crew in Washington, New York and Hollywood need to accept that.

Eric32 , February 17, 2019 at 9:06 am

This FBI/CIA (plus British intelligence etc.) attempt to destroy and remove an elected President will end the same way as the bank fraud that damaged the US economy 11 yrs ago.

Nothing real will be done, and the disease will just get deeper and more widespread.

MBeaver , February 17, 2019 at 9:51 pm

I often look at politics like I look at software. If you have bugs, you fix them quickly before they can hurt your customers too much and they decide to ditch your software or look for an alternative somewhere else.

Here they are being ignored for decades and decades and many people exploit them, because they can flourish on them, like a criminal uses bugs in software to circumvent security. Like parasites. But the vast majority and the system itself is getting damaged by them. People adapt to them, and become as dishonest as the minority. It gets worse and worse until there is no way back and ends in a disaster.

Dave , February 17, 2019 at 8:18 am

Are McCabe and others going to face any consequences for their actions? I have some doubts.

Skip Scott , February 17, 2019 at 7:35 am

"McCabe said that Justice Department officials believed at the time that Trump may have obstructed justice by firing Comey, and they worried that Trump was somehow under the influence of the Russian government."

I think what the Intel Agencies were really concerned about was Trump's statement "wouldn't it be great to get along with Russia." They were worried about detente, not influence. Trump threatened to remove their number one bogeyman, which would put at risk trillions of dollars for the MIC. What if he dared to negotiate a nuclear arms reduction treaty? What if he dared to share intelligence regarding terrorists with Russia, as Obama attempted before he was brought to heel? Trump has been emasculated by RussiaGate, and Mueller's "Theater of the Absurd" continues to ensure that Trump toes the line. The intel agencies don't need to remove him from power because they are the ones with the REAL power.

Gary Weglarz , February 17, 2019 at 11:56 pm

Skip Scott – excellent post Skip.

("Trump has been emasculated by RussiaGate, and Mueller's "Theater of the Absurd" continues to ensure that Trump toes the line.")

I quite agree, and with your comment in mind I'd say that one could quite rationally argue that in fact a deep state coup "has actually taken place" and was in fact quite successful. Trump will most certainly "not" be normalizing relations with Russia if he wants to remain president. This is the power of the deep state carried out through relentless MSM propaganda, evidence and "reality" be damned.

In such a world "voting" and "democracy" are simply fairy tales "told by an idiot, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing." They exist only as meaningless abstractions used to help insure we the populace remain compliant and don't take to the streets like the Yellow Vests in France. Which of course is our only chance whatsoever to in any meaningfully way impact this completely corrupt uber-violent corporate-feudal paradise we find ourselves now inhabiting.

"The intel agencies don't need to remove him from power because they are the ones with the REAL power." – spot on!

jadez , February 17, 2019 at 6:46 am

MAYBE MR John Kiriakou should familiarize himself with the Constitution..and the 25th amendment which he acknowledges was to be used to "oust"..a sitting president.

i do not disagree or challenge his integrity regarding the actions of the agencies he writes about yet at the same time to dismiss out of hand a constitutional avenue of removing a president for say BEING an actual agent of a foreign government can not be dismissed based strictly on the idea that presidents "come and go"!

Abby , February 18, 2019 at 12:29 am

I'm pretty sure that Kiriakou knows all about the constitution and the 25th amendment. The problem that he's discussing here is that if a president is unfit to continue his presidency then it's up to his cabinet and congress to remove him, not the intelligence agency's job.

Where was the proof that Trump was being an actual agent of a foreign government? There was none at the time of this attempted coup and so far Mueller hasn't shown any. Manafort is guilty of breaking tax laws, not anything to do with collusion with people in Russia. Nor has he shown that anyone else was or is either. And do you honestly think that if a president was working with a foreign government that congress would just sit patiently by as Mueller dragged his feet for two years looking into that? I think not.

Seby , February 17, 2019 at 5:02 am

Excellent in more detailed analysis of this power struggle in the US plutocracy at NEO recently.

3 Major Divisions in the American Ruling Class by Caleb Maupin.

To precis

Division #1: Saudi Wahabbis vs. The Muslim Brotherhood
Division #2: The Pentagon vs. Intel Agencies
Division #3: The Rich vs. The Ultra-Rich

For more details see article. https://journal-neo.org/2019/02/15/bezos-v-trump-3-major-divisions-in-the-american-ruling-class/

[Feb 17, 2019] Two Trump Cabinet Officials Were Ready To Support 25th Amendment Coup As Rosenstein Tallied Votes

Notable quotes:
"... Baker said McCabe was cool, calm and collected throughout the discussions, telling lawmakers: "At this point in time, Andy was unbelievably focused and unbelievably confident and squared away. I don't know how to describe it other than I was extremely proud to be around him at that point in time because I thought he was doing an excellent job at maintaining focus and dealing with a very uncertain and difficult situation. So I think he was in a good state of mind at this point in time." ..."
"... According to McCabe, Rosenstein "raised the issue and discussed it with me in the context of thinking about how many other cabinet officials might support such an effort," adding that Rosenstein was "definitely very concerned about the president, about his capacity and about his intent at that point in time." ..."
Feb 17, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Two Trump Cabinet officials were "ready to support" a DOJ scheme to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump , according to Bloomberg and Fox News , citing closed-door testimony from the FBI's former top lawyer, James Baker - who said that the claim came from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

The testimony was delivered last fall to the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees. Fox News has confirmed portions of the transcript. It provides additional insight into discussions that have returned to the spotlight in Washington as fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe revisits the matter during interviews promoting his forthcoming book. - Fox News

While Baker did not identify the two Cabinet officials, he says that McCabe and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page approached him to relay their conversations with Rosenstein, including their discussions of the 25th Amendment scheme. "I was being told by some combination of Andy McCabe and Lisa Page, that, in a conversation with the Deputy Attorney General, he had stated that he -- this was what was related to me -- that he had at least two members of the president's Cabinet who were ready to support, I guess you would call it, an action under the 25th Amendment," Baker told the Congressional committees.

The 25th Amendment allows for the removal of a sitting president from office through various mechanisms - including the majority of a president's Cabinet agreeing that the commander-in-chief is incapable of performing his duties.

Rosenstein - who is slated to leave the Justice Department in the near future, has denied the claims. Baker said McCabe was cool, calm and collected throughout the discussions, telling lawmakers: "At this point in time, Andy was unbelievably focused and unbelievably confident and squared away. I don't know how to describe it other than I was extremely proud to be around him at that point in time because I thought he was doing an excellent job at maintaining focus and dealing with a very uncertain and difficult situation. So I think he was in a good state of mind at this point in time."

McCabe, meanwhile told "60 Minutes" in an interview set to air Sunday night that Rosenstein was concerned about Trump's "capacity."

According to McCabe, Rosenstein "raised the issue and discussed it with me in the context of thinking about how many other cabinet officials might support such an effort," adding that Rosenstein was "definitely very concerned about the president, about his capacity and about his intent at that point in time."

"Rosenstein was actually openly talking about whether there was a majority of the cabinet who would vote to remove the president?" asks CBS News anchor Scott Pelly, to which McCabe replied: " That's correct. Counting votes or possible votes. "

The New York Times first reported last year that McCabe alleged in memos that Rosenstein had talked about using the 25th Amendment to oust Trump -- or wearing a wire to surreptitiously monitor the president -- in the hectic days in May 2017 after Trump fired James B. Comey as FBI director. At the time, Rosenstein disputed the reporting. - WaPo

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called the 25th Amendment scheme a " bureaucratic coup " led by enemies of President Trump. On Sunday morning, Graham said he would subpoena McCabe and Rosenstein "if that's what it takes" to get to the bottom of the 25th Amendment claim.

On Thursday, the DOJ issued a statement claiming that Rosenstein rejects McCabe's version of events "as inaccurate and factually incorrect," and also denied that Rosenstein ever approved wearing a "wire" to record Trump.

"The deputy attorney general never authorized any recording that Mr. McCabe references," reads the DOJ statement. "As the deputy attorney general previously has stated, based on his personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment, nor was the DAG in a position to consider invoking the 25th Amendment."

McCabe, meanwhile, walked back some of his "60 Minutes" statements . On Friday a spokeswoman for the former Deputy Director said: "Certain statements made by Mr. McCabe, in interviews associated with the release of his book, have been taken out of context and misrepresented," adding "To clarify, at no time did Mr. McCabe participate in any extended discussions about the use of the 25th Amendment, nor is he aware of any such discussions."

Baker acknowledged during his testimony that he was not directly involved in the May 2017 discussions, rather, McCabe and Page approached him contemporaneously following a meeting with Rosenstein in the days following former FBI Director James Comey's firing.

"I had the impression that the deputy attorney general had already discussed this with two members in the president's Cabinet and that they were onboard with this concept already," said Baker.

Question: "Do you know what direction that went? Was it Mr. Rosenstein seeking out members of the Cabinet looking to pursue this 25th Amendment approach or was it the other way around?"

Baker: "What I recall being said was that the Deputy Attorney General had two members of the Cabinet. So he – how they came to be had, I don't know, but "

Question: "So he had two members, almost like he was taking the initiative and getting the members?"

Baker: "That would be speculation on my part." - Via Fox News

Baker also suggested that "Lisa and Andy" did not know the names of the Cabinet officials who were on board with the 25th Amendment scheme.

Baker testified in October that the alleged discussions took place during an uncertain and anxious time at the FBI and DOJ after Comey's termination, and that the mood was "pretty dark":

Question: "Did people tell you that the DAG (Deputy Attorney General) was upset?"

Baker: "Yes."

Question: "Did they tell you that he was making jokes?"

Baker: "No."

Question: "Did they tell you that..."

Baker: " This was not a joking sort of time. This was pretty dark. " - Via Fox News

Pretty dark indeed.


Moneycircus , 6 minutes ago link

John Judge, executive director of the Coalition on Political Assassinations , was the most insightful political analyst besides Mae Brussell.

Speaking less than 6 months after 911, he understood more then than most commentators do now:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrFm1E74wYU

"Our choice now seems to be between a "new war" and a new world. As always, the forces of reaction and wealth are telling us we have no choice but war, and no right or power to decide. They are calling for a secret investigation, a secret conviction, a secret method of execution, and a totally secret war abroad.

"The American people as a whole are the only ones in the world who have the right to decide on a national response to this tragedy, and it must be one that takes into account the rights of all the other peoples and nations of the world."

-- John Judge , 9/23/01

https://ratical.org/ratville/JFK/JohnJudge/

loop , 16 minutes ago link

Funny to think that ***-lover Trump, with a JEWISH AGENDA , could have been brought down in a Jewish-led coup.

Priceless.

Sanity Bear , 24 minutes ago link

"the claim came from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein"

and we know that the claim was not a baldfaced lie... how?

Moneycircus , 33 minutes ago link

Always like this. Way Washington works. It's an oligarchy. Power = carrot and stick. Carrot = money to buy and bribe. Stick = kompromat and blackmail.

Why was J. Edgar Hoover the most powerful man in America? Did FBI cease to be the political police when he died?

Why are institutions like the CIA more influential than any politician? How was the public so easily misled about the coup that was Watergate?

Mae Brussell laid it all out on the table 40 years ago. Understanding is within reach if you want it.

http://www.worldwatchers.info/

[Feb 17, 2019] Trump is Russian asset memo is really neocon propaganda overkill

Highly recommended!
The ability of those in power to manipulate the ways ordinary people think, act and vote has allowed for an inverted totalitarianism which turns the citizenry into their own prison wardens, allowing those with real power to continue doing as they please unhindered by the interests of the common man.
In neoliberal MSM there is positive feedback loop for "Trump is a Russian agent" stories. So the meme feeds on itself.
Notable quotes:
"... And yet the trending, most high-profile stories about Trump today all involve painting him as a Putin puppet who is working to destroy America by taking a weak stance against an alarming geopolitical threat. This has had the effect of manufacturing demand for even more dangerous escalations against a nuclear superpower that just so happens to be a longtime target of U.S. intelligence agencies. ..."
"... the mass media is not in the business of reporting facts, it's in the business of selling narratives. Even if those narratives are so shrill and stress-inducing that they imperil the health of their audience. ..."
"... Trump is clearly not a Russian asset, he's a facilitator of America's permanent unelected government just like his predecessors, and indeed as far as actual policies and administration behavior goes he's not that much different from Barack Obama and George W Bush. Hell, for all his demagogic anti-immigrant speech Trump hasn't even caught up to Obama's peak ICE deportation years ..."
"... Used to be that the U.S. mass media only killed people indirectly, by facilitating establishment war agendas in repeating government agency propaganda as objective fact and promulgating narratives that manufacture support for a status quo which won't even give Americans health insurance or safe drinking water ..."
"... Now they're skipping the middle man and killing them directly by psychologically brutalizing them so aggressively that it ruins their health, all to ensure that Democrats support war and adore the U.S. intelligence community . ..."
"... The social engineers responsible for controlling the populace of the greatest military power on the planet are watching France closely, and understand deeply what is at stake should they fail to control the narrative and herd ordinary Americans into supporting U.S. government institutions. ..."
"... The ability of those in power to manipulate the ways ordinary people think, act and vote has allowed for an inverted totalitarianism which turns the citizenry into their own prison wardens, allowing those with real power to continue doing as they please unhindered by the interests of the common man. ..."
Jan 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The always excellent Moon of Alabama blog has just published a sarcasm-laden piece documenting the many, many aggressive maneuvers that this administration has made against the interests of Russia, from pushing for more NATO funding to undermining Russia's natural gas interests to bombing Syria to sanctioning Russian oligarchs to dangerous military posturing.

<picture deleted>

And yet the trending, most high-profile stories about Trump today all involve painting him as a Putin puppet who is working to destroy America by taking a weak stance against an alarming geopolitical threat. This has had the effect of manufacturing demand for even more dangerous escalations against a nuclear superpower that just so happens to be a longtime target of U.S. intelligence agencies.

If the mass media were in the business of reporting facts, there would be a lot less "Putin's puppet" talk and a lot more "Hey, maybe we should avoid senseless escalations which could end all life on earth" talk among news media consumers. But there isn't, because the mass media is not in the business of reporting facts, it's in the business of selling narratives. Even if those narratives are so shrill and stress-inducing that they imperil the health of their audience.

Like His Predecessors

Trump is clearly not a Russian asset, he's a facilitator of America's permanent unelected government just like his predecessors, and indeed as far as actual policies and administration behavior goes he's not that much different from Barack Obama and George W Bush. Hell, for all his demagogic anti-immigrant speech Trump hasn't even caught up to Obama's peak ICE deportation years.

If the mass media were in the business of reporting facts, people would be no more worried about this administration than they were about the previous ones, because when it comes to his administration's actual behavior, he's just as reliable an upholder of the establishment-friendly status quo as his predecessors.

Used to be that the U.S. mass media only killed people indirectly, by facilitating establishment war agendas in repeating government agency propaganda as objective fact and promulgating narratives that manufacture support for a status quo which won't even give Americans health insurance or safe drinking water.

Now they're skipping the middle man and killing them directly by psychologically brutalizing them so aggressively that it ruins their health, all to ensure that Democrats support war and adore the U.S. intelligence community .

They do this for a reason, of course. The Yellow Vests protests in France have continued unabated for their ninth consecutive week , a decentralized populist uprising resulting from ordinary French citizens losing trust in their institutions and the official narratives which uphold them.

The social engineers responsible for controlling the populace of the greatest military power on the planet are watching France closely, and understand deeply what is at stake should they fail to control the narrative and herd ordinary Americans into supporting U.S. government institutions. Right now they've got Republicans cheering on the White House and Democrats cheering on the U.S. intelligence community, but that could all change should something happen which causes them to lose control over the thoughts that Americans think about their rulers.

Propaganda is the single most-overlooked and under-appreciated aspect of human society. The ability of those in power to manipulate the ways ordinary people think, act and vote has allowed for an inverted totalitarianism which turns the citizenry into their own prison wardens, allowing those with real power to continue doing as they please unhindered by the interests of the common man.

The only thing that will lead to real change is the people losing trust in corrupt institutions and rising like lions against them. That gets increasingly likely as those institutions lose control of the narrative, and with trust in the mass media at an all-time low, populist uprisings restoring power to the people in France, and media corporations acting increasingly weird and insecure , that looks more and more likely by the day.

[Feb 16, 2019] MSM Begs For Trust After Buzzfeed Debacle by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... This is the behavior of a media class that is interested in selling narratives, not reporting truth. And yet the mass media talking heads are all telling us today that we must continue to trust them. ..."
"... More accountability in media than in politics, Chuck? Really? Accountability to whom? Your advertisers? Your plutocratic owners? Certainly not to the people whose minds you are paid exorbitant sums to influence; there are no public elections for the leadership of the mass media. ..."
"... CNN, for the record, has been guilty of an arguably even more embarrassing Russiagate flub than Buzzfeed 's when they wrongly reported that Donald Trump Jr had had access to WikiLeaks' DNC email archives prior to their 2016 publication, an error that was hilariously due to to the simple misreading of an email date by multiple people ..."
"... The mass media, including pro-Trump mass media like Fox News, absolutely deserves to be distrusted. It has earned that distrust. It had earned that distrust already with its constant promotion of imperialist wars and an oligarch-friendly status quo, and it has earned it even more with its frenzied promotion of a narrative engineered to manufacture consent for a preexisting agenda to shove Russia off the world stage. ..."
"... The mainstream media absolutely is the enemy of the people; just because Trump says it doesn't mean it's not true. The only reason people don't rise up and use the power of their numbers to force the much-needed changes that need to happen in our world is because they are being propagandized to accept the status quo day in and day out by the mass media's endless cultural engineering project . ..."
"... They are the reason why wars go unopposed, why third parties never gain traction, why people consent to money hemorrhaging upward to the wealthiest of the wealthy while everyone else struggles to survive. The sooner people wake up from the perverse narrative matrix of the plutocratic media, the better. ..."
Jan 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

Following what the Washington Post has described as "the highest-profile misstep yet for a news organization during a period of heightened and intense scrutiny of the press," mass media representatives are now flailing desperately for an argument as to why people should continue to place their trust in mainstream news outlets.

On Thursday Buzzfeed News delivered the latest "bombshell" Russiagate report to fizzle within 24 hours of its publication, a pattern that is now so consistent that I've personally made a practice of declining to comment on such stories until a day or two after their release. "BOOM!" tweets were issued by #Resistance pundits on Twitter, "If true this means X, Y and Z" bloviations were made on mass media punditry panels, and for about 20 hours Russiagaters everywhere were riding the high of their lives, giddy with the news that President Trump had committed an impeachable felony by ordering Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about a proposed Trump office tower in Moscow, a proposal which died within weeks and the Kremlin never touched .

There was reason enough already for any reasonable person to refrain from frenzied celebration, including the fact that the story's two authors, Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier, were giving the press two very different accounts of the information they'd based it on, with Cormier telling CNN that he had not personally seen the evidence underlying his report and Leopold telling MSNBC that he had. Both Leopold and Cormier, for the record, have already previously suffered a Russiagate faceplant with the clickbait viral story that Russia had financed the 2016 election, burying the fact that it was a Russian election .

Then the entire story came crashing down when Mueller's office took the extremely rare step of issuing an unequivocal statement that the Buzzfeed story was wrong , writing simply, "BuzzFeed's description of specific statements to the special counsel's office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen's congressional testimony are not accurate."

According to journalist and economic analyst Doug Henwood, the print New York Times covered the Buzzfeed report on its front page when the story broke, but the report on Mueller's correction the next day was shoved back to page 11 . This appalling journalistic malpractice makes it very funny that NYT's Wajahat Ali had the gall to tweet , "Unlike the Trump administration, journalists are fact checking and willing to correct the record if the Buzzfeed story is found inaccurate. Not really the actions of a deep state and enemy of the people, right?"

This is the behavior of a media class that is interested in selling narratives, not reporting truth. And yet the mass media talking heads are all telling us today that we must continue to trust them.

"Those trying to tar all media today aren't interested in improving journalism but protecting themselves," tweeted NBC's Chuck Todd.

"There's a lot more accountability in media these days than in our politics. We know we live in a glass house, we hope the folks we cover are as self aware."

More accountability in media than in politics, Chuck? Really? Accountability to whom? Your advertisers? Your plutocratic owners? Certainly not to the people whose minds you are paid exorbitant sums to influence; there are no public elections for the leadership of the mass media.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/rMY-zTxPCuY

"Mueller didn't do the media any favors tonight, and he did do the president one," griped the odious Chris Cuomo on CNN. "Because as you saw with Rudy Giuliani and as I'm sure you'll see with the president himself, this allows them to say 'You can't believe it! You can't believe what you read, you can't believe what you hear! You can only believe us. Even the Special Counsel says that the media doesn't get it right.'"

"The larger message that a lot of people are going to take from this story is that the news media are a bunch of leftist liars who are dying to get the president, and they're willing to lie to do it, and I don't think that's true" said Jeffrey Toobin on a CNN panel , adding "I just think this is a bad day for us."

"It does reinforce bad stereotypes about the news media," said Brian Stelter on the same CNN panel.

"I am desperate as a media reporter to always say to the audience, judge folks individually and judge brands individually. Don't fall for what these politicians out there want you to do. They want you to think we're all crooked. We're not. But Buzzfeed now, now the onus is on Buzzfeed. "

CNN, for the record, has been guilty of an arguably even more embarrassing Russiagate flub than Buzzfeed 's when they wrongly reported that Donald Trump Jr had had access to WikiLeaks' DNC email archives prior to their 2016 publication, an error that was hilariously due to to the simple misreading of an email date by multiple people.

The mass media, including pro-Trump mass media like Fox News, absolutely deserves to be distrusted. It has earned that distrust. It had earned that distrust already with its constant promotion of imperialist wars and an oligarch-friendly status quo, and it has earned it even more with its frenzied promotion of a narrative engineered to manufacture consent for a preexisting agenda to shove Russia off the world stage.

The mainstream media absolutely is the enemy of the people; just because Trump says it doesn't mean it's not true. The only reason people don't rise up and use the power of their numbers to force the much-needed changes that need to happen in our world is because they are being propagandized to accept the status quo day in and day out by the mass media's endless cultural engineering project .

They are the reason why wars go unopposed, why third parties never gain traction, why people consent to money hemorrhaging upward to the wealthiest of the wealthy while everyone else struggles to survive. The sooner people wake up from the perverse narrative matrix of the plutocratic media, the better.

* * *

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of my sweet new merchandise , buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone , or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers .

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[Feb 15, 2019] An important factor in Venezuela situation is that the Gene Sharp's non-violent action regime change system has been busted somewhat. The new potential victims are not as naive and know which ropes will pulled

Notable quotes:
"... It's likely that the Brazilian and Colombian governments don't command the loyalty of their armed forces (especially the foot soldiers who would have shoulder the burden of invasion) to the extent that the Venezuelan government under Maduro does of its own. Especially if money allocated to the armed forces in Brazil and Colombia has gone to a few favored individuals in the officer hierarchies while the grunts have seen no increased pay or support, or have even seen their pay levels dwindle as their responsibilities grow. ..."
"... That's a possible scenario in Brazil given that since Dilma Rousseff's impeachment as President in 2016 it has been governed by corrupt neoliberal politicians. ..."
"... In Venezuela's situation, the crux is in how prepared are the Venezuelan officers to defend their own country on an officer's salary and on promises of future rewards by Maduro and his team. Therefore, nationalism and patriotism of the military may be that little straw which tips the balance in favour of keeping Venezuela free. At least we hope ..."
"... The last two places where Gene's revolutions have worked out were Macedonia and Armenia, but there is not much there to steal (rather profitless victories). ..."
Feb 15, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen, Feb 14, 2019 5:09:06 PM | 24Kiza @ 19:

Far more likely that Brazil and Colombia refuse to commit any troops or other support for a US-led coalition to invade Venezuela. These countries have long borders going through thinly populated tropical forest or mountain areas with Venezuela.

They don't want the prospect of fighting continuous border wars with militias that would sap their own military strength and which could go deep into their own territories. Imagine how unpopular that would make their current governments with their publics.

It's likely that the Brazilian and Colombian governments don't command the loyalty of their armed forces (especially the foot soldiers who would have shoulder the burden of invasion) to the extent that the Venezuelan government under Maduro does of its own. Especially if money allocated to the armed forces in Brazil and Colombia has gone to a few favored individuals in the officer hierarchies while the grunts have seen no increased pay or support, or have even seen their pay levels dwindle as their responsibilities grow.

That's a possible scenario in Brazil given that since Dilma Rousseff's impeachment as President in 2016 it has been governed by corrupt neoliberal politicians.

Kiza , Feb 14, 2019 6:37:07 PM | link

@ Jen 24

Thanks for providing further detail into the inner workings of the US appointed Columbian and Brazilian military. I do not think that those two militaries do not want to get involved in Venezuela, but they are not volunteering forward to be the thieve's fools on an officer's salary.

Any military which would leave its border is a mercenary, which means that the pay/benefits must be more proportional to the loot than even to the risk (i.e. they want a huge cut).

In Venezuela's situation, the crux is in how prepared are the Venezuelan officers to defend their own country on an officer's salary and on promises of future rewards by Maduro and his team. Therefore, nationalism and patriotism of the military may be that little straw which tips the balance in favour of keeping Venezuela free. At least we hope.

The second important factor is that the Gene Sharp's "non-violent action" regime change system (revolution in a box) has been busted somewhat. The new potential victims are not as naive and as unprepared as the initial victims of the "branded revolutions" were.

Therefore, the resistance to thievery is increasing. In case of Venezuela, the "revolutionaries", including the Random Guy, have been trained by the late Gene's best apostles, organisation Otpor, but it still has not worked out yet. The last two places where Gene's revolutions have worked out were Macedonia and Armenia, but there is not much there to steal (rather profitless victories).

I like to view Gene Sharp as the Lenin of the end of the 20th century. It is just so sad how much of human history is all about thieving on the back of highbrow principles and pretend-humanitarian ideologies . I pity people who argue about communism versus capitalism and any other ideologies. C'est tout la meme chose, someone is always taking someone else's women and cattle, only packaged in (MSM) verbal bullshit.

[Feb 13, 2019] The US neoliberal MSM are engaged in a "privilege protection racket"

Notable quotes:
"... Maté explains why he thinks this narrative ultimately aligns with the longstanding interests of U.S. establishment power. He calls it a "privilege protection racket" that thrives on distraction and misdirection, turning the public away from a real critique of the rise of Trumpism that would otherwise implicate the neoliberal policies of democrats and conservatives alike, foreign policy think tanks, and the media. ..."
Feb 13, 2019 | teamhuman.fm

Aaron is gong to break down "Russiagate," taking a sober look at the media frenzy of "bombshell" stories asserting a Russian conspiracy behind the 2016 election.

Maté explains why he thinks this narrative ultimately aligns with the longstanding interests of U.S. establishment power. He calls it a "privilege protection racket" that thrives on distraction and misdirection, turning the public away from a real critique of the rise of Trumpism that would otherwise implicate the neoliberal policies of democrats and conservatives alike, foreign policy think tanks, and the media.

[Feb 12, 2019] Watch MSNBC Host Squirm During Live Update On No Collusion Intel Committee News

Feb 12, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

And in a prior NBC News article Tuesday morning, Dilanian spelled out :

After two years and 200 interviews , the Senate Intelligence Committee is approaching the end of its investigation into the 2016 election, having uncovered no direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia , according to both Democrats and Republicans on the committee.

MSNBC anchor Hallie Jackson and her guest panelists' faces looked visibly confused and uncomfortable as they learned the Senate report is going in the opposite direction of everything MSNBC and other mainstream outlets have been breathlessly reporting on a near 24/7 basis.

More importantly, if this is a precursor of what the Mueller report concludes in a few weeks/months, the TV station that built its current reputation on the premise of Russian collusion, may have no option but to go on indefinite hiatus.

Watch the segment below, with host Hallie Jackson appearing to grow exasperated by the 2:20 mark : "If and when the president, as he may inevitably do, points to these conclusions and says look, the Senate intelligence committee found I am not guilty of conspiracy... he would be correct in saying that? "

https://www.youtube.com/embed/a4DKItxvKfU

Dilanian noted that while the Republican chair of the committee made what he characterized as "partisan" comments the week prior, it turned out be unanimous fact. "What I found," he said, "is that Democrats don't dispute that characterization ."

But perhaps sensing how "contrary" to the network's own hysterical 'Russiagate' coverage his reporting was, he tried to soften the blow, saying, "But, again, no direct proof of a conspiracy. As one democratic aide said to me, 'we never thought we were going to find a Democrat between Trump and Vladimir Putin saying let's collude, but the question is how do we interpret all these various contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.'"

Hallie Jackson followed with further probing: "Not to put too fine a point on it, but I want to make sure I'm understanding this..." and asked "If and when the president, as he may inevitably do, points to these conclusions and says look, the Senate intelligence committee found I'm not guilty of conspiracy... he would be correct in saying that? "

Her face looking rather incredulous at this point, Dilanian responded by invoking the Mueller investigation, reassuring her his inquiry is not complete and likely could uncover more information. But then the bottom line: "That said, Trump will claim vindication through this, and he'll be partially right," he said. But Dilanian also noted the Senate intel committee has access to classified material, which means "if there was an intercept between officers suggesting they were conspiring with the Trump campaign, [the committee] would see that. And that has not emerged."

"So that evidence does not exist, and Trump will claim vindication," he repeated.

Yet after all this, during the full segment Vice News guest panelist Shawna Thomas actually invoked impeachment in what appeared a desperate attempt to grasp for anything . "There's two things I question about [the report]," she began.

"Number one, if and when the report finally comes out from the Senate intelligence committee, is there anything in there that will cause, especially some of these new House Dems, to start to clamor, even if there isn't 'conspiracy' or 'collusion', for impeachment?" said Thomas.

But then she tried to deflate the whole thing, upsetting as it was for purveyors of the collusion narrative: "The other thing is, based on what Ken is saying, it's all stuff we knew already," she said.

Right... cause in MSNBC's Russiagate-land "the walls are closing in" on Trump, constantly. Except the network just woke up to the reality that it's not the case.

We only wonder what Rachel Maddow will be left with after this.

[Jan 29, 2019] FBI, CIA [supposedly] Told WaPo They Doubted Key Allegation In Steele Dossier but Wapo still run their own anti-Trump campaign popularizing Steele dossier.

Hand of Brennan? Hand of MI6?
From comments: "Miller also admits that the dossier's broad claims are more closely aligned with reality, but that the document breaks down once you focus on individual claims. " What?!?
Notable quotes:
"... FBI and CIA sources told a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter that they didn't believe a key claim contained in the "Steele Dossier ..."
"... The Post 's Greg Miller told an audience at an October event that the FBI and CIA did not believe that former longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen visited Prague during the 2016 election to pay off Russia-linked hackers who stole emails from key Democrats, reports the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross. ..."
"... Miller also admits that the dossier's broad claims are more closely aligned with reality, but that the document breaks down once you focus on individual claims. ..."
"... Steele, using Kremlin sources, claimed in his dossier that Cohen and three associates went to Prague in August 2016 to meet with Kremlin officials for the purpose of discussing "deniable cash payments" made in secret so as to cover up "Moscow's secret liaison with the TRUMP team." ..."
Dec 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

FBI and CIA sources told a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter that they didn't believe a key claim contained in the "Steele Dossier," the document the Obama FBI relied on to obtain a surveillance warrant on a member of the Trump campaign.

The Post 's Greg Miller told an audience at an October event that the FBI and CIA did not believe that former longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen visited Prague during the 2016 election to pay off Russia-linked hackers who stole emails from key Democrats, reports the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross.

"We've talked to sources at the FBI and the CIA and elsewhere -- they don't believe that ever happened," said Miller during the October event which aired Saturday on C-SPAN.

We literally spent weeks and months trying to run down... there's an assertion in there that Michael Cohen went to Prague to settle payments that were needed at the end of the campaign. We sent reporters to every hotel in Prague, to all over the place trying to - just to try to figure out if he was ever there, and came away empty . -Greg Miller

Ross notes that WaPo somehow failed to report this information, nor did Miller include this tidbit of narrative-killing information in his recent book, "The Apprentice: Trump, Russia, and the Subversion of American Democracy."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/7GvXI61p21k

Miller also admits that the dossier's broad claims are more closely aligned with reality, but that the document breaks down once you focus on individual claims.

Steele, using Kremlin sources, claimed in his dossier that Cohen and three associates went to Prague in August 2016 to meet with Kremlin officials for the purpose of discussing "deniable cash payments" made in secret so as to cover up "Moscow's secret liaison with the TRUMP team."

Cohen's alleged Prague visit captured attention largely because the former Trump fixer has vehemently denied it, and also because it would seem to be one of the easier claims in Steele's 35-page report to validate or invalidate.

Debate over the salacious document was reignited when McClatchy reported April 15 that special counsel Robert Mueller had evidence Cohen visited Prague. No other news outlets have verified the reporting, and Cohen denied it at the time.

Cohen last denied the dossier's allegations in late June, a period of time when he was gearing up to cooperate with prosecutors against President Donald Trump . Cohen served as a cooperating witness for prosecutors in both New York and the special counsel's office. - Daily Caller

Cohen's attorney and longtime Clinton pal Lanny Davis vehemently denied on August 22, one day after Cohen pleaded guilty in his New York case - that Cohen had never been to Prague, telling Bloomberg " Thirteen references to Mr. Cohen are false in the dossier, but he has never been to Prague in his life ."

youshallnotkill , 19 minutes ago link

Trump never ceases to crack me up. While his (terrible) current lawyer, declares on TV that there was collusion but it just didn't last long, Trump calls his former lawyer/fixer at "Rat".

This is just too funny, I mean this is the President of the United States calling his former personal lawyer a "Rat" which of course is a common mob term for a witness testifying against you.

monkeyshine

Of course it never happened, just like Manafort didn't make 3 trips to London to meet Julian Assange. These fictions were just used as a pretext for diving into the backgrounds of Trump's political supporters and find crimes to charge them with.

The Cohen raid was particularly egregious, a likely violation of attorney-client privilege. Not suprisingly the American Bar Association is silent.

brewing_it

So here is a WaPo reporter saying they sent reporters to every hotel in Prague to find out if Cohen had been there, they spent weeks and weeks researching, interviewing, and nothing. What they are not saying is that they also spent shitloads of Bezo's money exploring all the other fake dossier claims.

And nothing.....all you hillarytards have been completely scammed by, your pulses sent aflutter with clickbait and page views and thats it. So sorry you losers.

Demologos

Yeah, like rubles are worth anything outside of Russia. Gold on the other hand ...

But seriously, you two should get a room. If you can't see the conspiracy in the Strzok/Page texts, the setup of Papadapoulous by the Brits, the phony FISA warrant using the FBI informant, the setup of General Flynn, and the seedy cast of characters in the DOJ breaking laws right and left, you should be checked for brain wave activity. You probably think the Russians paid for all of the above too. Go suck a bag of Russian dicks.

[Jan 24, 2019] The New Gray Lady is a Comfort Woman for the War Party

Jan 15, 2019 | original.antiwar.com

... ... ...

Why, it is apparently the following, which is surely a red hot smoking gun. That is, one that condemns the FBI, not Trump; and shows that the NYT , which once courageously published the Pentagon Papers and had earned the above sobriquet for its journalistic stateliness, sense of responsibility and possession of high virtue, has degenerated into a War Party shill – not to say the journalistic equivalent of a comfort woman:

Mr. Trump had caught the attention of FBI counterintelligence agents when he called on Russia during a campaign news conference in July 2016 to hack into the emails of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Mr. Trump had refused to criticize Russia on the campaign trail, praising President Vladimir V. Putin. And investigators had watched with alarm as the Republican Party softened its convention platform on the Ukraine crisis in a way that seemed to benefit Russia.

Well, for crying out loud!

Any journalist worth his salt would know that Trump's July 2016 shout-out to the Russians was a campaign joke. At best, it was merely an attempt to cleverly state in one more way the running GOP theme about Hillary's missing 30,000 emails. How many times before that had Sean Hannity delivered his riff about Hillary's alleged hammer-smashing of 13 devices and acid-washing with BleachBit of the missing emails?

[Jan 22, 2019] At the end of the day, Trump Tower Moscow has never happened - and Trump himself has turned out to be the worst Putin Puppet ever after slapping heavy sanctions on Moscow and selling Ukraine weapons that the Obama administration wouldn t.

Jan 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

BuzzFeed Throws Hail Mary: Publishes New Trump Tower Moscow Docs

After last week's embarrassing debacle in which special counsel Robert Mueller issued a rare statement calling bullshit on BuzzFeed over their Trump Tower Moscow report that Trump ordered his attorney Michael Cohen to lie about the timeline, the beleaguered news outlet has taken a second bite at the apple with a new report (oddly written by a completely different journalist) refuting comments by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani that "no plans were ever made" for the project.

Not so fast Rudy ...

In their new report, BuzzFeed claims that the Trump Tower Moscow idea was "led by Trump's then-lawyer, Michael Cohen, and his associate Felix Sater" despite writing in November that Sater both thought of and spearheaded the idea , turning to Cohen to "get it off the ground" while overpromising that he could seal the deal through his Russian connections that never panned out.

Sater, a brash real estate promoter who pleaded guilty to racketeering in 1998 and became a longtime asset to US law enforcement and intelligence agencies, had worked with the Trump Organization on deals in the past and said he came up with the idea. Cohen, Sater recalled, said, "Great idea." - BuzzFeed

Today's "gotcha," however is that the project had progressed much further than Giuliani claimed on Monday when he told the New Yorker "no plans were ever made. There were no drafts. Nothing in the file."

Not true , writes BuzzFeed' s Azeen Ghorayshi.

The president and his representatives have dismissed the project as little more than a notion -- a rough plan led by Trump's then-lawyer, Michael Cohen, and his associate Felix Sater, of which Trump and his family said they were only loosely aware as the election campaign gathered pace.

On Monday, his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani , said "the proposal was in the earliest stage," and he went on to tell the New Yorker that "no plans were ever made. There were no drafts. Nothing in the file."

However, hundreds of pages of business documents, emails, text messages, and architectural plans, obtained by BuzzFeed News over a year of reporting, tell a very different story. Trump Tower Moscow was a richly imagined vision of upscale splendor on the banks of the Moscow River. - BuzzFeed

Trump Tower Moscow hasn't exactly been a secret, admits BuzzFeed , noting that Donald Trump tweeted about it following the 2013 Miss Universe pageant, and writing in his book The Art of the Deal that he had been trying to expand his business empire into Russia for over 30 years.

me title=

Over the last week, Giuliani admitted to the New York Times that the Trump Tower Moscow discussions were "going on from the day I announced to the day I won," Giuliani quoted Trump as saying. He then walked back those comments , claiming in a statement: "My recent statements about discussions during the 2016 campaign between Michael Cohen and then-candidate Donald Trump about a potential Trump Moscow 'project' were hypothetical and not based on conversations I had with the President."

In other words, Giuliani is a walking gaffe machine - which we already knew.

That said, the Trump Tower moscow project appears to have been much more developed than anyone in the Trump camp has acknowledged.

According to a finalized letter of intent signed by Donald Trump on Oct. 28, 2015, the tower would have "approximately 250 first class, luxury residential condominiums."

It would be located in Moscow City, a former industrial complex outside of the city center that has since been converted into an ambitious commercial district clustered with several of the tallest skyscrapers in Europe.

Its hotel portion would feature "approximately 15 floors" and contain "not fewer than 150 hotel rooms," the letter of intent stated. The building would feature a luxury spa and fitness center, a commercial component "consistent with the overall luxury level of the Property," and an office space "consistent with Class A luxury office properties," as well as "luxury" parking. - BuzzFeed

Also in the plan was "The Spa By Ivanka Trump," as well as a $50 million penthouse suite that they would give to Russian President Vladimir Putin. "My idea was to give a $50 million penthouse to Putin and charge $250 million more for the rest of the units," Sater told BuzzFeed in November. "All the oligarchs would line up to live in the same building as Putin."

Show Trump the money

The Trump Organization stood to make $4 million on an up-front payment for the deal; 25% of which would be paid upon execution of the licensing agreement, another quarter when they finalized a location, and the other half a week before the project's groundbreaking - or two years after the execution of the licensing agreement, whichever came first.

From there on out, Trump's company would also get a cut of all the condominium sales at the tower, the agreement stated. From the total selling price of each unit, his company would get 5% for sales up to $100 million, 4% for the next bracket up to $250 million, 3% for anything between that and $500 million, 2% for anything up to $1 billion, and thereafter, a solid cut of 1%. For commercial and office spaces, it would get a 3% cut of all the rent. It'd get another 3% of sales on food and beverages, spa and fitness center use, and conference fees.

The deal also stipulated how much Trump's management company would get paid for running operations at Trump Tower Moscow over 25 years. For the first five years, it would get 3% of all revenue generated by operating the hotel per month. Over the next two decades, it'd receive a flat 4%. In addition, the management company would also receive a monthly "incentive fee" -- an additional 20% of the gross operating profit for the hotel -- subject to annual negotiations. - BuzzFeed

At the end of the day, Trump Tower Moscow has never happened - and Trump himself has turned out to be the worst "Putin Puppet" ever after slapping heavy sanctions on Moscow and selling Ukraine weapons that the Obama administration wouldn't.

"Let's make this happen and build a Trump Moscow," wrote Sater to Cohen in October of 2015. "And possibly fix relations between the countries by showing everyone that commerce & business are much better and more practical than politics. Help world peace and make a lot of money, I would say that's a great lifetime goal for us to go after."


Teeter , 6 minutes ago link

Talk about trying to make something out of nothing... what's the crime? So lame.

Oboneterm , 9 minutes ago link

STOP THE ******* PRESSES..........BOMB SHELL......BOMB SHELL REPORT...THE WALLS ARE CLOSING IN....ORANGE HAIR PRESIDENT SOON TO BE WARING ORANGE JUMPSUIT....

Dateline Moscow 2013........

The crime:

American Developer explores possibilities of building a hotel in Moscow.

StarGate , 10 minutes ago link

There is NO Moscow Trump Tower.

No mountain.

Not even a molehill.

Buzzfeed is frantically trying to gain relevance on this fantasy non-existent tower story. It's a big "So What?"

glenlloyd , 13 minutes ago link

Big deal. Rudy needs to be more careful about what he says but WTF does it matter that Trump's people tried to get the tower project done there?

How does any of this mean anything? So what if he did try and build it? This was ages before he ever thought about running for President.

All these leftists are hanging their hat (and hopes and dreams) on something that just didn't happen.

Sorry all you leftist loonies, there's nothing in that Mueller report to get excited about. I just hope that a lot of you crazies can handle that.

hanekhw , 17 minutes ago link

The media won't understand talking to Russians to build in Russia and not talking to George Soros first is NOT a crime. Just because that's what THEY do concerning everything doesn't mean Trump has to also.

inosent , 17 minutes ago link

zzzzzzzzzz, but the ****-0-craps will be all rage and fury over some sort of fantasy land egotistical it'll never happen building in Moscow. Pretty pictures, though.

And to the idiot poster who keeps claiming this is 'bribery', that means 1) there would have to be something to be given in return that was unlawful on some level, and 2) there was intent, and 3) a discussion about the nature and quality of the bribe actually took place between the bribor and bribee.

I get the uniparty thing, but some of the leftie dickheads that post here are really stupid. Colossally dumb.

Somebody said below we get nothing but bolshevik-speak from these marxists. They open the mouth and voila! a 'fact' is born. And on that basis a conviction. Matters not if the 'fact' disappears someday, so long as today the 'fact' gives them the pretense to destroy someone that gets in their way.

The 60's hippies 'left' was all down on the 'man'. 'I just want to be freeeeeeee man' they would say.

ha, such bulls-. The truth is they are all lining up at the govt trough to get their piece of the action. It doesn't matter that they f- people over, destroy lives, and freedom for all, so long as they get a juicy title, paycheck and pension.

Pure, 100% commie bulls-.

These people need to put on a red shirt and a bulls' eye, have a war against them declared, and then they can be mowed down one at a time until they run away from govt and never return, or they are all gone.

We are no doubt headed for all out neo-USSA communism. Better make sure you keep your guns!

And when (not if) the ****-0-craps have total power, the first thing they'll do is make it impossible to get a gun, and then find a means to confiscate them. Before any tyranny we always see the new tyrant go after the guns. Then when the ppl are unarmed, they move in for the kill - literally.

The commie jackass 'leaders' always talk about this it's for the children, safety, etc. But we all know that is a farce. The real purpose is to disarm. Culturally, they have made us all capitulate to deviancy, where nobody dares question the immoral homosexual behavioral choice. That is the kind of world we live in. Next stop, pedoland. "Don't judge me bro'".

Given that we now know (if we did not know already) that at LEAST 65% of the population is completely dependent on the government, we live in a land where there are ultimate sheep, demented immoral sheep, government dependent and not productive sheep. We are surrounded by people who are totally brainwashed, are easily swept up with the latest new world order dogma, and won't fight back against anything, but accept everything, and do as they are told - for a morsel of bread.

Not sure what the solution is, but if you are a person with a moral compass in fairly good working order, and don't want your pocket picked, and your business totally compromised by some bureaucrat. best be looking for one.

hanekhw , 17 minutes ago link

The media won't understand talking to Russians to build in Russia and not talking to George Soros first is NOT a crime. Just because that's what THEY do concerning everything doesn't mean Trump has to also.

inosent , 17 minutes ago link

zzzzzzzzzz, but the ****-0-craps will be all rage and fury over some sort of fantasy land egotistical it'll never happen building in Moscow. Pretty pictures, though.

And to the idiot poster who keeps claiming this is 'bribery', that means 1) there would have to be something to be given in return that was unlawful on some level, and 2) there was intent, and 3) a discussion about the nature and quality of the bribe actually took place between the bribor and bribee.

I get the uniparty thing, but some of the leftie dickheads that post here are really stupid. Colossally dumb.

Somebody said below we get nothing but bolshevik-speak from these marxists. They open the mouth and voila! a 'fact' is born. And on that basis a conviction. Matters not if the 'fact' disappears someday, so long as today the 'fact' gives them the pretense to destroy someone that gets in their way.

The 60's hippies 'left' was all down on the 'man'. 'I just want to be freeeeeeee man' they would say.

ha, such bulls-. The truth is they are all lining up at the govt trough to get their piece of the action. It doesn't matter that they f- people over, destroy lives, and freedom for all, so long as they get a juicy title, paycheck and pension.

Pure, 100% commie bulls-.

These people need to put on a red shirt and a bulls' eye, have a war against them declared, and then they can be mowed down one at a time until they run away from govt and never return, or they are all gone.

We are no doubt headed for all out neo-USSA communism. Better make sure you keep your guns!

And when (not if) the ****-0-craps have total power, the first thing they'll do is make it impossible to get a gun, and then find a means to confiscate them. Before any tyranny we always see the new tyrant go after the guns. Then when the ppl are unarmed, they move in for the kill - literally.

The commie jackass 'leaders' always talk about this it's for the children, safety, etc. But we all know that is a farce. The real purpose is to disarm. Culturally, they have made us all capitulate to deviancy, where nobody dares question the immoral homosexual behavioral choice. That is the kind of world we live in. Next stop, pedoland. "Don't judge me bro'".

Given that we now know (if we did not know already) that at LEAST 65% of the population is completely dependent on the government, we live in a land where there are ultimate sheep, demented immoral sheep, government dependent and not productive sheep. We are surrounded by people who are totally brainwashed, are easily swept up with the latest new world order dogma, and won't fight back against anything, but accept everything, and do as they are told - for a morsel of bread.

Not sure what the solution is, but if you are a person with a moral compass in fairly good working order, and don't want your pocket picked, and your business totally compromised by some bureaucrat. best be looking for one.

hanekhw , 17 minutes ago link

The media won't understand talking to Russians to build in Russia and not talking to George Soros first is NOT a crime. Just because that's what THEY do concerning everything doesn't mean Trump has to also.

inosent , 17 minutes ago link

zzzzzzzzzz, but the ****-0-craps will be all rage and fury over some sort of fantasy land egotistical it'll never happen building in Moscow. Pretty pictures, though.

And to the idiot poster who keeps claiming this is 'bribery', that means 1) there would have to be something to be given in return that was unlawful on some level, and 2) there was intent, and 3) a discussion about the nature and quality of the bribe actually took place between the bribor and bribee.

I get the uniparty thing, but some of the leftie dickheads that post here are really stupid. Colossally dumb.

Somebody said below we get nothing but bolshevik-speak from these marxists. They open the mouth and voila! a 'fact' is born. And on that basis a conviction. Matters not if the 'fact' disappears someday, so long as today the 'fact' gives them the pretense to destroy someone that gets in their way.

The 60's hippies 'left' was all down on the 'man'. 'I just want to be freeeeeeee man' they would say.

ha, such bulls-. The truth is they are all lining up at the govt trough to get their piece of the action. It doesn't matter that they f- people over, destroy lives, and freedom for all, so long as they get a juicy title, paycheck and pension.

Pure, 100% commie bulls-.

These people need to put on a red shirt and a bulls' eye, have a war against them declared, and then they can be mowed down one at a time until they run away from govt and never return, or they are all gone.

We are no doubt headed for all out neo-USSA communism. Better make sure you keep your guns!

And when (not if) the ****-0-craps have total power, the first thing they'll do is make it impossible to get a gun, and then find a means to confiscate them. Before any tyranny we always see the new tyrant go after the guns. Then when the ppl are unarmed, they move in for the kill - literally.

The commie jackass 'leaders' always talk about this it's for the children, safety, etc. But we all know that is a farce. The real purpose is to disarm. Culturally, they have made us all capitulate to deviancy, where nobody dares question the immoral homosexual behavioral choice. That is the kind of world we live in. Next stop, pedoland. "Don't judge me bro'".

Given that we now know (if we did not know already) that at LEAST 65% of the population is completely dependent on the government, we live in a land where there are ultimate sheep, demented immoral sheep, government dependent and not productive sheep. We are surrounded by people who are totally brainwashed, are easily swept up with the latest new world order dogma, and won't fight back against anything, but accept everything, and do as they are told - for a morsel of bread.

Not sure what the solution is, but if you are a person with a moral compass in fairly good working order, and don't want your pocket picked, and your business totally compromised by some bureaucrat. best be looking for one.

hanekhw , 17 minutes ago link

The media won't understand talking to Russians to build in Russia and not talking to George Soros first is NOT a crime. Just because that's what THEY do concerning everything doesn't mean Trump has to also.

inosent , 17 minutes ago link

zzzzzzzzzz, but the ****-0-craps will be all rage and fury over some sort of fantasy land egotistical it'll never happen building in Moscow. Pretty pictures, though.

And to the idiot poster who keeps claiming this is 'bribery', that means 1) there would have to be something to be given in return that was unlawful on some level, and 2) there was intent, and 3) a discussion about the nature and quality of the bribe actually took place between the bribor and bribee.

I get the uniparty thing, but some of the leftie dickheads that post here are really stupid. Colossally dumb.

Somebody said below we get nothing but bolshevik-speak from these marxists. They open the mouth and voila! a 'fact' is born. And on that basis a conviction. Matters not if the 'fact' disappears someday, so long as today the 'fact' gives them the pretense to destroy someone that gets in their way.

The 60's hippies 'left' was all down on the 'man'. 'I just want to be freeeeeeee man' they would say.

ha, such bulls-. The truth is they are all lining up at the govt trough to get their piece of the action. It doesn't matter that they f- people over, destroy lives, and freedom for all, so long as they get a juicy title, paycheck and pension.

Pure, 100% commie bulls-.

These people need to put on a red shirt and a bulls' eye, have a war against them declared, and then they can be mowed down one at a time until they run away from govt and never return, or they are all gone.

We are no doubt headed for all out neo-USSA communism. Better make sure you keep your guns!

And when (not if) the ****-0-craps have total power, the first thing they'll do is make it impossible to get a gun, and then find a means to confiscate them. Before any tyranny we always see the new tyrant go after the guns. Then when the ppl are unarmed, they move in for the kill - literally.

The commie jackass 'leaders' always talk about this it's for the children, safety, etc. But we all know that is a farce. The real purpose is to disarm. Culturally, they have made us all capitulate to deviancy, where nobody dares question the immoral homosexual behavioral choice. That is the kind of world we live in. Next stop, pedoland. "Don't judge me bro'".

Given that we now know (if we did not know already) that at LEAST 65% of the population is completely dependent on the government, we live in a land where there are ultimate sheep, demented immoral sheep, government dependent and not productive sheep. We are surrounded by people who are totally brainwashed, are easily swept up with the latest new world order dogma, and won't fight back against anything, but accept everything, and do as they are told - for a morsel of bread.

Not sure what the solution is, but if you are a person with a moral compass in fairly good working order, and don't want your pocket picked, and your business totally compromised by some bureaucrat. best be looking for one.

Justin Case

Keep shoveling that Russia this, that, manure narrative for general consumption. What sanctions? Umm, I'll get back to you after we extradite the Huawei CEO and extort billions from the corporation for doing business with our (Israel's) adversary.

You voted for this? He talks out of both sides of his mouth. Why do people vote to have someone rule over them?

[Jan 22, 2019] The Fetishization of the Corporate Media by C.J. Hopkins

Among few good things that Trump have done to the USA is that he destoryed credibility of neoliberal MSM. They all are now firmly belong to the "fake news" catagory.
Notable quotes:
"... C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant Paperbacks. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org . ..."
Jan 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

So the corporate media have gone and done it again. As they have, repeatedly, for the last two and half years, they shook the earth with a "bombshell" story proving beyond any reasonable doubt that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the presidency from Hillary Clinton, or at least committed an impeachable felony in connection with something to do with the Russians, or Ukrainians, or other Slavic persons which story turned out to be inaccurate, or not entirely accurate, or a bunch of horseshit.

This time it was BuzzFeed's Jason Leopold, " a reporter with a checkered past " (i.e., a history of inventing his sources ) who broke the "bombshell" Russiagate story that turned out to be a bunch of horseshit. Leopold, and his colleague Anthony Cormier, reported that Trump had directed his attorney, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about plans to construct a Trump Tower in Moscow, thus suborning perjury and obstructing justice. Their sources for this "bombshell" story were allegedly "two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter."

Approximately twenty-four hours later, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office (i.e., the office "involved in an investigation of the matter") stated that the BuzzFeed story was "not accurate," which is a legal term meaning "a bunch of horseshit." BuzzFeed is standing by its story , and is working to determine what, exactly, Mueller's office meant by "not accurate." Ben Smith, BuzzFeed's Editor-in-Chief, has called on Mueller "to make clear what he's disputing."

Liberals and other Trump-obsessives have joined in the effort to interpret the Special Counsel's office's cryptic utterance. French hermeneuticists have been reportedly called in to deconstruct the meaning of "accurate." Professional Twitter semioticians are explaining that "not accurate" doesn't mean "wrong," but, rather, refers to something that is "accurate," but which the user of the word doesn't want to disclose publicly, or that legal terms don't mean what they mean or something more or less along those lines.

Glenn Greenwald, in August 2018, reporting on another "bombshell" story that turned out to be a bunch of horseshit , compiled a partial list of Russiagate stories that the corporate media had published and promoted over the course of the previous eighteen months which turned out to be a bunch of horseshit (i.e., the stories did, not Greenwald's list). In the wake of this latest horseshit story, Greenwald revised and renamed this list " The 10 Worst, Most Embarrassing U.S. Media Failures on the Trump/Russia Story. "

But Greenwald's list is just a small sample of the Russiagate stories that have turned out to be horseshit. For the record, here are several more:

"Seventeen intelligence agencies" confirm Russia interfered in the U.S. elections ( New York Times ) Russia interfered in the Brexit referendum ( The Guardian ) Russia interfered in the German elections ( Reuters ) Russia hacked the French elections ( Politico and numerous other outlets ) Michael Cohen conspired with the Russians in Prague ( BuzzFeed )

My personal favorite remains the one about how Hillary Clinton may have been poisoned by Putinist operatives back in 2016. And then there's the pot-smoking, prostitute-banging, incompetent Novichok perfume assassins , the African American-brainwashing memes , the Putin-orchestrated Yellow Vest rebellion , the brain-eating Russian-Cubano crickets , and various other bunches of horseshit.

I am using the terms "horseshit" and "a bunch of horseshit" (as opposed to terms like "failures" and "errors"), not just to be gratuitously vulgar, but, also, to try to make a point. One is not supposed to use these terms in connection with "serious," "respected" news outlets. Which is why journalists like Greenwald and Aaron Maté (who have extensively reported on the corporate media's ongoing production and dissemination of horseshit) do not use such terms in the course of their reporting, and instead use less inflammatory terms like "false," "inaccurate," "mistake," and "error." Principled journalists like Greenwald and Maté are constrained by (a) their journalistic ethics, (b) their integrity, and (c) their belief in the idea of a "free and independent press," which is one of the pillars of Western democracy.

Being neither a respected journalist nor a believer in the existence of an "independent press," I am under no such constraints. Because I'm not trying to get or keep a job, or maintain a "respectable" reputation, I'm free to call a spade a spade and a bunch of horseshit a bunch of horseshit. I am also free to describe "journalists" like Leopold, Luke Harding , Craig Timberg , Franklin Foer , and many of their corporate media colleagues (not to mention TV clowns like Rachel Maddow ) as the liars and rank propagandists they are. I don't need to pretend their fabricated stories are simply the result of "shoddy journalism," or "over-reliance on official sources," or any other type of "error" or "failure." These people know exactly what they are doing, and are being extremely well paid to do it. They went to school to learn how to do it. Then they butt-sucked and back-stabbed their way up the ladder of establishment power to be able to do it.

Yes, of course, there are still principled journalists working for the corporate media, but they are doing so by walking a very fine line. No one has to tell them where it is. Every professional journalist knows precisely where it is, and what it is there for. Though they are permitted to walk right up to it, occasionally (to keep them from feeling like abject whores), one step over it and they will be cast into the Outer Darkness of the Blogosphere and excommunicated from the Church of Respectable Journalism. If you don't believe me, just ask Seymour Hersh, or John Pilger, or any other journalistic heretic.

If Russiagate serves no other useful purpose, it is at least exposing the corporate media as the propaganda factories that they are. Given the amount of obviously fabricated horseshit they have disseminated during the last two years, you'd have to be a total moron or a diehard neoliberal cultist not to recognize the function they perform within the global capitalist ruling establishment (which is essentially no different than the function the establishment media perform in any other society, namely, to disseminate, maintain, and reify the official narrative of its ruling classes).

Sadly, there's no shortage of morons and cultists. I don't blame the morons, because well, they're morons. The cultists are another species entirely. These are people who, no matter how often the corporate media feed them another "explosive," "bombshell" Russiagate story that turns out to be a bunch of horseshit, will defend the concept of the "independent media" like head-shaven, bug-eyed Manson followers. Confront them with facts contradicting their beliefs and they close their eyes and start chanting and humming and repetitiously babbling banishing spells. The notion that the Western corporate media may serve the interests of the ruling establishment (just like the media in every other society serve that society's ruling classes) is unimaginable and tantamount to heresy.

This fetishization of "the independent press" is a phenomenon unique to Western capitalism. Basically, it's a childish fairy tale, like believing that Santa Claus is an actual person or that voting in elections in a corporate oligarchy has anything to do with actual democracy. Think about it dispassionately for a minute. Why would any ruling establishment permit a genuinely "independent" press to disseminate ideas and information willy-nilly throughout society? If it did, it wouldn't last very long.

Most people understand this intuitively, which is why the corporate media relentlessly repeat the mantra-like phrase, "free and independent press," over, and over, and over again. Seriously, switch on NPR, or have a look at The Guardian or the Washington Post, or any of the other corporate media repeatedly reminding you how "independent," "free" and "democratic" they are. It's essentially Neuro-linguistic programming.

So let's not be shocked when the corporate media continue to bombard us with "bombshell" stories about Trump and Russia that turn out to be horseshit. Personally, I welcome these stories. The more corporate media horseshit the better! Who knows, if they dish out enough blatant horseshit, more people might lose their "trust in the media," and begin to investigate matters themselves. I know, that makes me a Nazi, right? Or at least a Russian propagandist? I mean, encouraging folks to distrust the corporate media? Isn't there some kind of law against that? Or have they not quite gotten around to that yet?

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant Paperbacks. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .


Godfree Roberts , says: January 22, 2019 at 1:32 am GMT

The Associated Press (AP) reports the latest bad news for the press: " Just 6 Percent of People Say They Trust the Media ."

Carole Feldman and Emily Swanson began: Trust in the news media is being eroded by perceptions of inaccuracy and bias, fueled in part by Americans' skepticism about what they read on social media. Just 6 percent of people say they have a lot of confidence in the media, putting the news industry about equal to Congress and well below the public's view of other institutions.

Biff , says: January 22, 2019 at 1:41 am GMT

Most people understand this intuitively, which is why the corporate media relentlessly repeat the mantra-like phrase, "free and independent press,"

People inversely brag about their short comings.
Militarized police states brag about their freedom.
A well heeled synchophant brags about his independence.
Dudes with small dicks -- big belt buckle and big hat.

Fidelios Automata , says: January 22, 2019 at 3:14 am GMT
I used to listen to the BBC and NPR until the corporo-globalist bias became unbearable. I laughed at incidents such as Marketplace mocking the public's concern about GMO's. But it went off the rails in 2016. They may have backed off from Trump Derangement Syndrome a bit since then, but I've noticed that they have to call themselves "credible." Maybe if they say that enough times we'll believe it, eh?
Bragadocious , says: January 22, 2019 at 4:32 am GMT
The Greenwald link is pretty important and I bookmarked it. These fake news outlets do everything in their power to scrub these mistakes from the Google machine once they happen. They remove stories, videos -- everything, in the hopes of shoving it all down the memory hole. And since other fake news outlets don't hold them accountable, they get away with it. This is why it's important to take screen shots of fake news and download videos if possible, to create a record that's permanent and useful when you need it.
Richard Wicks , says: January 22, 2019 at 5:48 am GMT
@Godfree Roberts 6%? I rather doubt that.

More than 6% of the population are technically, and this is the technical term, retarded -- they are mentally disabled.

I know it's obvious our media is propaganda, but I don't think it's quite so obvious such that adults watching Sesame Street who fully enjoy it (nothing wrong with that!) are aware of it.

I would like to think it's true, but I think the Associated Press article is not true, after all, can you identify their funding sources?

utu , says: January 22, 2019 at 7:22 am GMT

This fetishization of "the independent press" is a phenomenon unique to Western capitalism. Basically, it's a childish fairy tale, like believing that Santa Claus is an actual person or that voting in elections in a corporate oligarchy has anything to do with actual democracy.

Great article. Articles on this theme should be published daily. The fetish must be destroyed.

jeff stryker , says: January 22, 2019 at 10:55 am GMT
I don't think the MSM has the power and influence it had in the Big Three Networks Era before the internet.

In those days, the minds of the public were more controlled and underground newspapers were barely read.

These days, more people read websites like this than watch any particular channel.

Print journalism had a massive hold on the world up to 1997 when the internet came into the mainstream.

Not no more.

jacques sheete , says: January 22, 2019 at 12:06 pm GMT
Ah, elegant!

What a pleasure to read this article!

There is at least one other person who calls corporate media what it is, and it ain't "mainstream."

"Sparkie" ain't gonna be happy about it either."Sparky" chewed me out good for correcting the incomparable and always superb Linh Dinh for using the disgusting and inaccurate term, "mainstream" when referring to coprophilic media. Oh, and speaking of "horseshit" one wag suggested we call it main steam media, for accuracy as well as for giggles and that's fine by me.

the corporate media relentlessly repeat the mantra-like phrase, "free and independent press," over, and over, and over again. Seriously, switch on NPR, or have a look at The Guardian or the Washington Post, or any of the other corporate media repeatedly reminding you how "independent," "free" and "democratic" they are. It's essentially Neuro-linguistic programming.

It's blatantly obvious that the same can be said about the self-legitimizing term, "mainstream," too, so bless you sir, and to (bleep) with the Sparkies of the world.

Digital Samizdat , says: January 22, 2019 at 12:36 pm GMT

Confront them with facts contradicting their beliefs and they close their eyes and start chanting and humming and repetitiously babbling banishing spells.

Orange Man bad! Mueller saves! -NPC

Jake , says: January 22, 2019 at 12:46 pm GMT
Not only is Hopkins correct, but what he says about corporate media is not new. The Civil Rights movement presented by the media was false. The media promotion of the US re-engaging in Europe in the post WW1 period so we could defend dear ole England and sacred democracy. The media preparing us for our need to fight WW1 so we could end all wars was false. The media stirring us to go into Cuba and end the awfully evil Spanish Empire so we could start the process of ending all empires

Large numbers of newspapers located within the non January 22, 2019 at 3:13 pm GMT

@jacques sheete

Ah, elegant!

What a pleasure to read this article!

N o doubt it is a pleasure for you because C.J. Hopkins managed to scribble 1500 words about fake news without even once mentioning the CIA.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false."

-- CIA Director, William Casey

Of course, our resident Bumpkin of Unz would have you believe that the CIA is a corporation.

"The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media."

-- former CIA Director William Colby

So you see Sheete, the term "corporate media" is entirely inaccurate -- a red herring, a misleading label, a pig in a poke -- because it entirely excludes, avoids, overlooks, and completely dismisses the role of our intelligence agencies in creating fake news , a.k.a. disinformation and propaganda.

Hail , says: Website January 22, 2019 at 3:38 pm GMT

The notion that the Western corporate media may serve the interests of the ruling establishment (just like the media in every other society serve that society's ruling classes) is unimaginable and tantamount to heresy.

This comes close to the term "regime media," which I like as a replacement for the clunky-but-common terms "Mainstream Media" or MSM. "

Hopkins uses "corporate media," which appears fifteen times here including in the title.

Several commenters have noted the problems with the term "mainstream media":

the self-legitimizing term, "mainstream,"

While better than "mainstream media," I'm not sure "corporate media" is sufficient.

"Corporate media," as a term, may wrongly convey the notion that the 'media' in question complaisantly both [1] broadcasts the ruling ideology (interventionist capitalist liberal democracy and multicultacracy) and [2] 'megaphones' (Steve Sailer's useful term) against enemies thereto, coordinating our regular Two-Minute Hates.

That characterization misses an important point, to wit:

The 'media' (in the sense of the "MSM") as we know it today, is itself consciously part of the ruling apparatus . Not complaisantly, but actively; not lackeys on the side, but right at the regime's core. A useful distinction. Hence "regime media."

Agent76 , says: January 22, 2019 at 3:41 pm GMT
Jun. 14, 2012 These 6 Corporations Control 90% Of The Media In America

That's consolidated from *50* companies back in 1983. But the fact that a few companies own everything demonstrates "the illusion of choice," Frugal Dad says.

http://www.businessinsider.com/these-6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america-2012-6

Church Committee Testimony

Tom Charles Huston testified before the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, commonly known as the Church Committee, on the 43-page plan he presented to the President Nixon and others on ways to collect information about anti-war and "radical" groups, including burglary, electronic surveillance, and opening of mail.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?408953-1/tom-charles-huston-testimony-church-committee

Sean , says: January 22, 2019 at 4:13 pm GMT
The Basic Problem of Democracy
by Walter Lippmann
The Atlantic Monthly, November 1919, pp. 616-627

http://sonicacts.com/portal/anthropocene-objects-art-and-politics-1

Lippmann-Dewey debate, which is known to academics but not the general public in the United States, the home country of both authors. Obviously, John Dewey is famous as one of the most important American philosophers, and for his international influence in the field of education. By contrast, Walter Lippmann has been somewhat forgotten, though he was a major journalist in the 1920s and 1930s. He was a widely familiar author at the time, and wrote some cynical things about American democracy. The story America tells itself politically is that since we're a democracy in which the citizens rule themselves, there is a paramount need for an excellent public education so that the citizens can vote wisely. We ourselves are the leaders. But of course it doesn't work that way in practice. We actually have a surplus of ignorant and uninformed people who pay no attention to the nuances of policy, and who vote based on the workings of demagoguery and short-sighted self-interest. Any number of foolish decisions have been made by the American public. This leads Lippmann to take the somewhat cynical line that America is destined to be ruled by technocrats. We need experts to run things; the people are too clueless to rule themselves. We'll pretend we have a democracy, but we actually don't. Now, Dewey reads this, and he is temperamentally more optimistic, and he thinks: 'This is a really stimulating book, but Lippmann is wrong. He is setting the bar too high for the people. People were never supposed to be educated in depth about every issue, which is an impossible demand. Even Lippmann doesn't have the time to master every issue, and he covers politics for a living. Instead, Dewey says, political issues generate their own publics in each case. I might care deeply about seven political issues. I might care about national health insurance, but I don't care about gay marriage, or vice versa. So I get involved in one debate and not the other. I take the trouble of becoming informed about issues that interest me.

onebornfree , says: Website January 22, 2019 at 4:14 pm GMT
@Hail Hail says: "The 'media' (in the sense of the "MSM") as we know it today, is itself consciously part of the ruling apparatus. Not complaisantly, but actively; not lackeys on the side, but right at the regime's core ":

Exactly. The MSM is the government [CIA/NSA/ etc. etc.] grinning right at you as it continually lies , albeit behind a very thin veil of supposed integrity/respectability that the general public still refuses to see through.

By way of illustration of this "outrageous" assertion of mine, here is part of a video analysis of the original 5 channel US MSM "live" coverage of the morning of Sept. 11 2001, which clearly demonstrates that on that morning, all 5 US networks broadcast entirely fake "live" footage [ i.e. C.G.I. prefabricated imagery] for about 102 minutes :

Regards, onebornfree

jacques sheete , says: January 22, 2019 at 4:23 pm GMT
@Sparkon

So you see Sheete, the term "corporate media" is entirely inaccurate

I never claimed it was perfect. I do claim that the term, "mainstream," in this context is entirely inaccurate and misleading. And you should be nice, as you admonished me, regarding the author of this article. As for your complaint that he didn't mention the CIA, may I remind you that he wrote, as you noticed, an article, not an encyclopedia.

Anyway, you have yet to establish that the CIA and our corporate masters are entirely separate entities. Even a Dumb Sheete such as myself would find it somewhat, if not entirely, incredible if they were.

But of course too everyone knows by now that Jews, Israel and Mossad did 9/11 all by their lonesomes, and the CIA and the Air Force had nothing to do with it.

Ahem, you forgot to mention big, coprophilic, media. Please try to practice the inclusiveness that you preach.

Nancy Pelosi's Latina Maid , says: January 22, 2019 at 4:30 pm GMT

one step over [the line] and they will be cast into the Outer Darkness of the Blogosphere and excommunicated from the Church of Respectable Journalism. If you don't believe me, just ask Seymour Hersh, or John Pilger, or any other journalistic heretic.

To this list I might also add CBS' Sharyl Attkisson, and Larry Conners of KMOV-TV, who had the big brass balls to question the $85 million the Obamas spent on vacations.

NR kicked Derb to the curb, but that gutter's littered with Internet flotsam who presumed integrity.

onebornfree , says: Website January 22, 2019 at 4:35 pm GMT
@Sean Sean says: "Lippmann-Dewey debate, which is known to academics but not the general public in the United States, the home country of both authors. "

Debate summary: 2 know-it-alls debating about how "best" to run everybody else's lives [and with straight faces, I've no doubt].

Two sides of the same [pro-statist] coin, in other words. Oh, and one minor issue one "thinks" that a ruling technocracy is "the answer".

Sean says: "Obviously, John Dewey is famous as one of the most important American philosophers, and for his international influence in the field of education."

You mean: Dewey was important in the field of "public education" , otherwise known as brainwashing.

" important American philosopher" my a$$.

Gawd help us all.

And so it goes

[Jan 22, 2019] There is not a single newspaper in the US that supports the views of the US President

Notable quotes:
"... Only the minor Russian RT channel provides, up-to-a-point, some alternative views, defending the American, British and French people's sovereignty, but they can't do much. Paradoxically, RT does not broadcast in Russian and its English-language broadcasts can't be seen in Russia. The rest of the Russian media doesn't differ much from the Western variety. ..."
"... And not only for politics. They want to draw and implement their agenda on all topics disregarding our views. ..."
Jan 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

There is not a single newspaper in the US that supports the views of the US President. Nobody defended him when he was accused , brazenly, in-your-face, of being a Russian agent. Nobody supported him when he called to bring the troops home from Syria. Nobody came to his aid when he mulled parting with NATO. There are tens of millions of men and women who voted for him, but he has only his Twitter account at his disposal.

The media accuses Trump of paying too little attention to Israel's needs. Israel needs US troops in Syria and in Germany, US jets in Spain and Qatar, US ships in Italy and the Gulf. Israel needs the US to lead NATO to contain Russia. If Israel needs it, the US should provide, says Daniel Shapiro, the ex-ambassador. Not a single American newspaper, not a single US statesman cared to reply that President Trump had been elected by the American people to do what is needed for them, not for Israel.

The US is not an exception. Millions of French people support the GJ, but not a single newspaper, not a single TV channel gives them a platform. They are called anti-Semites for they are revolted by Danny Cohn-Bendit and Bernard-Henri Levi, who are Jewish. They are also called homophobes because they want to ban same-sex "marriage". They are being attacked by the bankers' storm-troopers, the Antifa, and no media defends them.

Millions of Brits support Jeremy Corbyn, but all the mainstream media is against him, even the state-supported BBC, even the Labour Guardian. Corbyn is accused of anti-Semitism, for Corbyn speaks for the workers and against the bankers. Nobody defends him and there is no mainstream media to speak for him.

Only the minor Russian RT channel provides, up-to-a-point, some alternative views, defending the American, British and French people's sovereignty, but they can't do much. Paradoxically, RT does not broadcast in Russian and its English-language broadcasts can't be seen in Russia. The rest of the Russian media doesn't differ much from the Western variety.

The mainstream media from Tokyo to Paris to Los Angeles speaks in one voice. All other opinions had been pushed out of mainstream discussion. It is good that we have the internet and sites like Unz Review that allow us to express our views. The problem is with delivery. How can we deliver to the public? The real mainstream media has so many more views and viewers! For them, hundreds of thousands or even millions of views are not unusual.

We need our social networks to deliver the ideas and exchange opinions, to inform readers of our publications, to convince and rally. In over-populated, nuclearized world, with family and neighbourhood ties torn, there is no substitute for these networks. And Facebook and Twitter could help us. Google could help us.

Alas, they betrayed us, too. The social networks

And not only for politics. They want to draw and implement their agenda on all topics disregarding our views.

[Jan 22, 2019] Unscrupulous reporting BuzzFeed's 'Russiagate' stories were constant source of controversy

Jan 22, 2019 | www.rt.com

BuzzFeed's credibility has been seemingly dented by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's recent dismissal of one of its 'Russiagate' stories. However, it is not the first time its stories on Russia raised flags or were proven false. The New York-based news outlet has been holding nothing back over the recent years as it diligently pressed the so-called 'Russiagate' narrative about a supposed collusion between the US President Donald Trump and Moscow. Its recent exploits, which claimed Trump told his ex-lawyer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress to cover up some of his dealings with Russia, however, apparently led it a bit too far, as it earned a rebuke from the office of Robert Muller – the man in charge of the investigation into the very same alleged collusion, among other aspects of perceived Russia's meddling into the 2016 elections.

'After this I don't even know if I can trust Buzzfeed's cat listicles anymore' https://t.co/b4vyIKJAUL

-- RT (@RT_com) 19 января 2019 г.

The news sparked a wave of criticism on the social media, with many people saying that the news outlet's credibility is now discredited.

But was it that flawless before?

Buzzfeed was the first to publish the infamous Steele dossier – a report by an MI6 spy-turned-private investigator – which contained unverified allegations that Russia held information on Trump which it was using to blackmail the US president. It also alleged sustained and close working contacts between Trump aides and Kremlin representatives.

None of these allegations, which were used by the FBI as a reason for obtaining a spy warrant against Trump adviser Carter Page, have been proven as of now. Instead, it was revealed that the report was based on information fed through people close to Hillary Clinton – Trump's rival at the 2016 presidential elections.

Also on rt.com What evidence? BuzzFeed fuels 'Russiagate' with bombshell report on Trump and Cohen

Meanwhile, some of the reporters, who worked with the dossier, admitted that the document's claims are "likely false." Christopher Steele himself also revealed that one of his goals in compiling the report was to provide Clinton with a legal basis to challenge the 2016 election results.

The publication of the dossier has brought a string of defamation lawsuits not only against Steele but against BuzzFeed as well. The news media outlet was sued by the owners of a Russian Alfa Bank and a Russian tech expert Aleksey Gubarev who were all mentioned in the infamous dossier. At the same time, Trump's personal lawyer also filed a defamation lawsuit against the company for pushing the Steele report.

However, Buzzfeed apparently does hope to get away with it. In case of Gubarev, a US court already ruled in favor of the news outlet in December 2018, citing a "fair report privilege." The businessman earlier scolded the publication as "one of the most reckless and irresponsible moments in modern journalism."

Judge throws out defamation lawsuit against #BuzzFeed by Russian businessman #Steele dossier portrays as hacking mastermind https://t.co/ewWHub1C5p

-- RT (@RT_com) 20 декабря 2018 г.

Steele was the source of another controversial episode in the history of BuzzFeed's attempts to propagate the 'Russiagate' narrative. In March 2018, it claimed that the FBI was covering the true causes of the death of a Russian media tycoon in Washington in 2015.

Citing a "secret report " by Steele, it claimed the man was allegedly killed by associates of a Russian oligarch, who happens to be close to the Kremlin, the news outlet said. A sheer coincidence, apparently. It also did not bother to give any plausible explanation as to why the FBI, which did not hesitate to point a finger at Moscow in the past, would hide such information at all.

Anyway, the whole story was debunked just days later when the Metropolitan Police said the death of the tycoon was an accident. This fact did not get much attention in the West, though. Neither did it cool BuzzFeed's ardor in stirring up anti-Russian hysteria.

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[Jan 21, 2019] Anti-Trump Frenzy Threatens to End Superpower Diplomacy by Stephen F. Cohen

The problem is not Russia; the problem is the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA. And related legitimization of neoliberal elite, which now Deep State is trying ot patch with anti-Russian hysteria
Notable quotes:
"... That is, in the modern history of US-Russian summits, we are told by a former American ambassador who knows, the "secrecy of presidential private meetings has been the rule, not the exception." He continues, "There's nothing unusual about withholding information from the bureaucracy about the president's private meetings with foreign leaders . Sometimes they would dictate a memo afterward, sometimes not." Indeed, President Richard Nixon, distrustful of the US "bureaucracy," sometimes met privately with Kremlin leader Leonid Brezhnev while only Brezhnev's translator was present. ..."
Jan 16, 2019 | www.thenation.com

Baseless Russiagate allegations continue to risk war with Russia. Anti-Trump Frenzy Threatens to End Superpower Diplomacy | The Nation The New Year has brought a torrent of ever-more-frenzied allegations that President Donald Trump has long had a conspiratorial relationship -- why mince words and call it "collusion"? -- with Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin.

Why the frenzy now? Perhaps because Russiagate promoters in high places are concerned that special counsel Robert Mueller will not produce the hoped-for "bombshell" to end Trump's presidency. Certainly, New York Times columnist David Leonhardt seems worried, demanding, "The president must go," his drop line exhorting, "What are we waiting for?" (In some countries, articles like his, and there are very many, would be read as calling for a coup.) Perhaps to incite Democrats who have now taken control of House investigative committees. Perhaps simply because Russiagate has become a political-media cult that no facts, or any lack of evidence, can dissuade or diminish.

And there is no new credible evidence, preposterous claims notwithstanding. One of The New York Times ' own recent "bombshells," published on January 12, reported, for example, that in spring 2017, FBI officials "began investigating whether [President Trump] had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests." None of the three reporters bothered to point out that those "agents and officials" almost certainly included ones later reprimanded and retired by the FBI itself for their political biases. (As usual, the Times buried its self-protective disclaimer deep in the story: "No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials.")

Whatever the explanation, the heightened frenzy is unmistakable, leading the "news" almost daily in the synergistic print and cable media outlets that have zealously promoted Russiagate for more than two years, in particular the Times , The Washington Post , MSNBC, CNN, and their kindred outlets. They have plenty of eager enablers, including the once-distinguished Strobe Talbott, President Bill Clinton's top adviser on Russia and until recently president of the Brookings Institution. According to Talbott , "We already know that the Kremlin helped put Trump into the White House and played him for a sucker . Trump has been colluding with a hostile Russia throughout his presidency." In fact, we do not "know" any of this. These remain merely widely disseminated suspicions and allegations.

In this cult-like commentary, the "threat" of "a hostile Russia" must be inflated along with charges against Trump. (In truth, Russia represents no threat to the United States that Washington itself did not provoke since the end of the Soviet Union in 1991.) For its own threat inflation, the Times featured not an expert with any plausible credentials but Lisa Page, the former FBI lawyer with no known Russia expertise, and who was one of those reprimanded by the agency for anti-Trump political bias. Nonetheless, the Times quotes Page at length : "In the Russian Federation and in President Putin himself you have an individual whose aim is to disrupt the Western alliance and whose aim is to make Western democracy more fractious in order to weaken our ability to spread our democratic ideals." Perhaps we should have guessed that the democracy-promotion genes of J. Edgar Hoover were still alive and breeding in the FBI, though for the Times , in its exploitation of the hapless and legally endangered Page, it seems not to matter.

Which brings us, or rather Russiagate zealots, to the heightened "threat" represented by "Putin's Russia." If true, we would expect the US president to negotiate with the Kremlin leader, including at summit meetings, as every president since Dwight Eisenhower has done. But, we are told, we cannot trust Trump to do so, because, according to The Washington Post , he has repeatedly met with Putin alone, with only translators present, and concealed the records of their private talks, sure signs of "treasonous" behavior, as the Russiagate media first insisted following the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki in July 2018.

It's hard to know whether this is historical ignorance or Russiagate malice, though it is probably both. In any event, the truth is very different. In preparing US-Russian (Soviet and post-Soviet) summits since the 1950s, aides on both sides have arranged "private time" for their bosses for two essential reasons: so they can develop sufficient personal rapport to sustain any policy partnership they decide on; and so they can alert one another to constraints on their policy powers at home, to foes of such détente policies often centered in their respective intelligence agencies. (The KGB ran operations against Nikita Khrushchev's détente policies with Eisenhower, and, as is well established, US intelligence agencies have run operations against Trump's proclaimed goal of "cooperation with Russia.")

That is, in the modern history of US-Russian summits, we are told by a former American ambassador who knows, the "secrecy of presidential private meetings has been the rule, not the exception." He continues, "There's nothing unusual about withholding information from the bureaucracy about the president's private meetings with foreign leaders . Sometimes they would dictate a memo afterward, sometimes not." Indeed, President Richard Nixon, distrustful of the US "bureaucracy," sometimes met privately with Kremlin leader Leonid Brezhnev while only Brezhnev's translator was present.

Nor should we forget the national-security benefits that have come from private meetings between US and Kremlin leaders. In October 1986, President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met alone with their translators and an American official who took notes -- the two leaders, despite their disagreements, agreed in principle that nuclear weapons should be abolished. The result, in 1987, was the first and still only treaty abolishing an entire category of such weapons, the exceedingly dangerous intermediate-range ones. (This is the historic treaty Trump has said he may abrogate.)

And yet, congressional zealots are now threatening to subpoena the American translator who was present during Trump's meetings with Putin. If this recklessness prevails, it will be the end of the nuclear-superpower summit diplomacy that has helped to keep America and the world safe from catastrophic war for nearly 70 years -- and as a new, more perilous nuclear arms race between the two countries is unfolding. It will amply confirm a thesis set out in my book War with Russia? -- that anti-Trump Russiagate allegations have become the gravest threat to our security.

The following correction and clarification were made to the original version of this article on January 17: Reagan and Gorbachev met privately with translators during their summit in Reykjavik, Iceland, in October 1986, not February, and Reagan was also accompanied by an American official who took notes. And it would be more precise to say that the two leaders, despite their disagreements, agreed in principle that nuclear weapons should be abolished.

Stephen F. Cohen is professor emeritus of politics and Russian studies at Princeton and NYU and author of the new book War with Russia? From Putin and Ukraine to Trump and Russiagate . This commentary is based on the most recent of his weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War with the host of the John Batchelor radio show. (The podcast is here . Previous installments, now in their fifth year, are at TheNation.com . )

[Jan 21, 2019] Beyond BuzzFeed The 10 Worst, Most Embarrassing US Media Failures On The Trump-Russia Story by Glenn Greenwald

Highly recommended!
Jan 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Glenn Greenwald via The Intercept,

Buzzfeed was once notorious for traffic-generating "listicles" , but has since become an impressive outlet for deep investigative journalism under editor-in-chief Ben Smith. That outlet was prominently in the news this week thanks to its "bombshell" story about President Trump and Michael Cohen: a story that, like so many others of its kind, blew up in its face , this time when the typically mute Robert Mueller's office took the extremely rare step to label its key claims "inaccurate."

But in homage to BuzzFeed's past viral glory, following are the top ten worst media failures in two-plus-years of Trump/Russia reporting. They are listed in reverse order, as measured by the magnitude of the embarrassment, the hysteria they generated on social media and cable news, the level of journalistic recklessness that produced them, and the amount of damage and danger they caused. This list was extremely difficult to compile in part because news outlets (particularly CNN and MSNBC) often delete from the internet the video segments of their most embarrassing moments. Even more challenging was the fact that the number of worthy nominees is so large that highly meritorious entrees had to be excluded, but are acknowledged at the end with (dis)honorable mention status.

Note that all of these "errors" go only in one direction: namely, exaggerating the grave threat posed by Moscow and the Trump circle's connection to it. It's inevitable that media outlets will make mistakes on complex stories. If that's being done in good faith, one would expect the errors would be roughly 50/50 in terms of the agenda served by the false stories. That is most definitely not the case here. Just as was true in 2002 and 2003, when the media clearly wanted to exaggerate the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and thus all of its "errors" went in that direction, virtually all of its major "errors" in this story are devoted to the same agenda and script:

10. RT Hacked Into and Took Over C-SPAN (Fortune)

On June 12, 2017, Fortune claimed that RT had hacked into and taken over C-SPAN and that C-SPAN "confirmed" it had been hacked. The whole story was false :

9. Russian Hackers Invaded the U.S. Electricity Grid to Deny Vermonters Heat During the Winter (WashPost)

On December 30, 2016, the Washington Post reported that "Russian hackers penetrated the U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont," causing predictable outrage and panic, along with threats from U.S. political leaders. But then they kept diluting the story with editor's notes – to admit that the malware was found on a laptop not connected to the U.S. electric grid at all – until finally acknowledging, days later, that the whole story was false, since the malware had nothing to do with Russia or with the U.S. electric grid:

8. A New, Deranged, Anonymous Group Declares Mainstream Political Sites on the Left and Right to be Russian Propaganda Outlets and WashPost Touts its Report to Claim Massive Kremlin Infiltration of the Internet (WashPost)

On November 24, 2016, the Washington Post published one of the most inflammatory, sensationalistic stories to date about Russian infiltration into U.S. politics using social media, accusing "more than 200 websites" of being "routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season, with combined audiences of at least 15 million Americans." It added: "stories planted or promoted by the disinformation campaign [on Facebook] were viewed more than 213 million times."

Unfortunately for the paper, those statistics were provided by a new, anonymous group that reached these conclusions by classifying long-time, well-known sites – from the Drudge Report to Clinton-critical left-wing websites such as Truthout, Black Agenda Report, Truthdig, and Naked Capitalism, as well as libertarian venues such as Antiwar.com and the Ron Paul Institute. – as "Russian propaganda outlets," producing one of the longest Editor's Note in memory appended to the top of the article (but not until two weeks later , long after the story was mindlessly spread all throughout the media ecosystem):

7. Trump Aide Anthony Scaramucci is Involved in a Russian Hedge Fund Under Senate Investigation (CNN)

On June 22, 2017, CNN reported that Trump aide Anthony Scaramucci was involved with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, under Senate investigation. He was not. CNN retracted the story and forced the three reporters who published it to leave the network.

6. Russia Attacked U.S. "Diplomats" (i.e. Spies) at the Cuban Embassy Using a Super-Sophisticated Sonic Microwave Weapon (NBC/MSNBC/CIA)

On September 11, 2017, NBC News and MSNBC spread all over its airwaves a claim from its notorious CIA puppet Ken Dilanian that Russia was behind a series of dastardly attacks on U.S. personnel at the Embassy in Cuba using a sonic or microwave weapon so sophisticated and cunning that Pentagon and CIA scientists had no idea what to make of it.

But then teams of neurologists began calling into doubt that these personnel had suffered any brain injuries at all – that instead they appear to have experienced collective psychosomatic symptoms – and then biologists published findings that the "strange sounds" the U.S. "diplomats" reported hearing were identical to those emitted by a common Caribbean male cricket during mating season.

5. Trump Created a Secret Internet Server to Covertly Communicate with a Russian Bank (Slate)

4. Paul Manafort Visited Julian Assange Three Times in the Ecuadorian Embassy and Nobody Noticed (Guardian/Luke Harding)

On November 27, 2018, the Guardian published a major "bombshell" that Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had somehow managed to sneak inside one of the world's most surveilled buildings, the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and visit Julian Assange on three different occasions. Cable and online commentators exploded.

Seven weeks later, no other media outlet has confirmed this ; no video or photographic evidence has emerged; the Guardian refuses to answer any questions; its leading editors have virtually gone into hiding; other media outlets have expressed serious doubts about its veracity; and an Ecuadorian official who worked at the embassy has called the story a complete fake:

3. CNN Explicitly Lied About Lanny Davis Being Its Source – For a Story Whose Substance Was Also False: Cohen Would Testify that Trump Knew in Advance About the Trump Tower Meeting (CNN)

On July 27, 2018, CNN published a blockbuster story : that Michael Cohen was prepared to tell Robert Mueller that President Trump knew in advanced about the Trump Tower meeting. There were, however, two problems with this story: first, CNN got caught blatantly lying when its reporters claimed that "contacted by CNN, one of Cohen's attorneys, Lanny Davis, declined to comment" (in fact, Davis was one of CNN's key sources, if not its only source, for this story), and second, numerous other outlets retracted the story after the source, Davis, admitted it was a lie. CNN, however, to this date has refused to do either:

2. Robert Mueller Possesses Internal Emails and Witness Interviews Proving Trump Directed Cohen to Lie to Congress (BuzzFeed)

1. Donald Trump Jr. Was Offered Advanced Access to the WikiLeaks Email Archive (CNN/MSNBC)

The morning of December 9, 2017, launched one of the most humiliating spectacles in the history of the U.S. media. With a tone so grave and bombastic that it is impossible to overstate, CNN went on the air and announced a major exclusive: Donald Trump, Jr. was offered by email advanced access to the trove of DNC and Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks – meaning before those emails were made public. Within an hour, MSNBC's Ken Dilanian, using a tone somehow even more unhinged, purported to have "independently confirmed" this mammoth, blockbuster scoop, which, they said, would have been the smoking gun showing collusion between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks over the hacked emails (while the YouTube clips have been removed, you can still watch one of the amazing MSNBC videos here ).

There was, alas, just one small problem with this massive, blockbuster story: it was totally and completely false. The email which Trump, Jr. received that directed him to the WikiLeaks archive was sent after WikiLeaks published it online for the whole world to see, not before. Rather than some super secretive operative giving Trump, Jr. advanced access, as both CNN and MSNBC told the public for hours they had confirmed, it was instead just some totally pedestrian message from a random member of the public suggesting Trump, Jr. review documents the whole world was already talking about. All of the anonymous sources CNN and MSNBC cited somehow all got the date of the email wrong.

To date, when asked how they both could have gotten such a massive story so completely wrong in the same way, both CNN and MSNBC have adopted the posture of the CIA by maintaining complete silence and refusing to explain how it could possibly be that all of their "multiple, independent sources" got the date wrong on the email in the same way, to be as incriminating – and false – as possible. Nor, needless to say, will they identify their sources who, in concert, fed them such inflammatory and utterly false information.

Sadly, CNN and MSNBC have deleted most traces of the most humiliating videos from the internet, including demanding that YouTube remove copies. But enough survives to document just what a monumental, horrifying, and utterly inexcusable debacle this was. Particularly amazing is the clip of the CNN reporter (see below) having to admit the error for the first time, as he awkwardly struggles to pretend that it's not the massive, horrific debacle that it so obviously is:

Dishonorable Mention:

Special mention:

As I've said many times, the U.S. media has become quite adept at expressing extreme indignation when people criticize them; when politicians conclude that it is advantageous to turn the U.S. media into their main adversary; and when people turn to "fake news" sites.

If, however, they were willing to devote just a small fraction of that energy to examining their own conduct, perhaps they would develop the tools necessary to combat those problems instead of just denouncing their critics and angrily demanding that politicians and news consumers accord them the respect to which they believe they are entitled.

[Jan 20, 2019] How to restore BuzzFeed reputation after "Cohen testimony" debacle

Jan 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

skunzie , 39 minutes ago link

Buzzfeed's CEO should do the honorable thing and commit hari kari like the Japanese do when losing face, then the company should close up shop.

[Jan 13, 2019] Deep State neutered Trump: I have been FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President

He essentially became a Republican Obama, save Nobel Peace Price. If Obama was/is a CIA-democrat, this guy is a Deep State controlled republican. In any case he betrayed his voters in a way that resembles Obama betrayal. One has a fake slogan "change we can believe in" that other equally fake "Make [middle] America Great Again" (which means restoration of well-being of middle class and working class in my book, not the continuation of Obama foreign wars, and tax cuts for for corporations and super rich.
And that means that he lost a considerable part of his electorate: the anti-war republicans and former Sanders supporters. He might do good and not to try to run in 2020. He definitely is no economic nationalist. Compare his policies with Tucker Carlson Jan 2, 2019 speech to see the difference. He is "national neoliberal" which rejects parts of neoliberal globalization based on treaties and prefer to bully nations to compliance that favor the US interests instead of treaties.
And his "fight" with the Deep State resemble so closely to complete and unconditional surrender, that you might have difficulties to distinguish between the two.
Most of his appointees would make Hillary proud. That that extends beyond rabid neocons like Haley, Mattis, Bolton and Pompeo.
Notable quotes:
"... The Washington Post is without a doubt the most pro-establishment among all large mainstream publications, not only do they defend the narratives of the Deep State but actively attacks anyone who challenges them. ..."
"... Jeff Bezos owner of the Washington Post is also a contractor with the CIA and sits on a Pentagon advisory board all part of doing everything he can to cozy up and ingratiate himself to the establishment on which his empire is built. ..."
"... It's really sad that people in the public believe this stuff. It's insane and ridiculous. We're living in an Insane Asylum and the ones who should be there for the safety of themselves and others are walking around giving orders to Media and USG, fomenting war and making a mockery of laws and "normal behaviors. ..."
"... They flooded the news with the old Helsinki/Putin stuff to hide the real news. Lisa Page's testimony revealed that John Carlin, Mueller's former chief of staff was running the Russia investigation from the DOJ end, showing another conflict of Mueller's. Now Mueller is covering for two best friends, Comey and Carlin and he has to frame Trump to save them. ..."
"... The testimony also showed FBI David Bowditch was heavily involved, and Bowditch is now 2nd in command at the FBI and blocking the public release of witness testimony, and one reason for it is it reveals his involvement. ..."
"... It is also now revealed that John Brennan CIA had the dossier before the FBI, and the dossier was likely written by Nellie Ohr, who belonged to a CIA group, and then the dossier was laundered by Steele to look like foreign intelligence to get the Crossfire Hurricane investigation started on Trump. You would think it would be big news that Russians may have had nothing to do with the dossier but the media doesn't see it that way ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Washington Post stating that he "has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details" of his discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin - telling Fox News host Jeanine Pirro in a phone interview that he would be willing to release the details of a private conversation in Helsinki last summer.

"I would. I don't care," Trump told Pirro, adding: "I'm not keeping anything under wraps. I couldn't care less."

"I mean, it's so ridiculous, these people making up," Trump said of the WaPo report.

The president referred to his roughly two-hour dialogue with Putin in Helsinki -- at which only the leaders and their translators were present -- as "a great conversation" that included discussions about "securing Israel and lots of other things."

"I had a conversation like every president does," Trump said Saturday. "You sit with the president of various countries. I do it with all countries." - Politico

In July an attempt by House Democrats to subpoena Trump's Helsinki interpreter was quashed by Republicans.

"The Washington Post is almost as bad, or probably as bad, as the New York Times," Trump said.

When Pirro asked Trump about a Friday night New York Times report that the FBI had opened an inquiry into whether he was working for Putin, Pirro asked Trump "Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?"

"I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked," Trump responded. "I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written."

Trump went on an epic tweetstorm Saturday following the Times article, defending his 2017 firing of former FBI Director James Comey, and tweeting that he has been "FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President. At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again!"

rumcho

Jeff Bezos paid $250 million for Washington Post, five years later he gets a government contract with the CIA for $600 million. Are you connecting the dots? You do the numbers. This is how fascism works. Bezos is a crony capitalist joker.

Anunnaki

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/01/the-trump-russia-scam-how-obama-enabled-the-fbi-to-spy-on-trump.html#more

is Trump waiting for Mueller to lay down his cards? Head him off at the pass and arrest Obama, Rice, Jarrett, Lynch, Comey, Rosenstein and McCabe all on day 1

best defense is a good offense. Make the narrative about Dem sedition not impending House impeachment hearings.

You are President, start acting like it. Make them fear you.

your re-election depends on Mike Obama not being your opponent.

Let it Go

WaPo, again?

The Washington Post is without a doubt the most pro-establishment among all large mainstream publications, not only do they defend the narratives of the Deep State but actively attacks anyone who challenges them.

Jeff Bezos owner of the Washington Post is also a contractor with the CIA and sits on a Pentagon advisory board all part of doing everything he can to cozy up and ingratiate himself to the establishment on which his empire is built. The article below delves into how WaPo is behind many of the big stories that manipulate America and moves the needle of public opinion in huge ways.

http://Washington-post-influence-and-power.html

MoralsAreEssential

It's really sad that people in the public believe this stuff. It's insane and ridiculous. We're living in an Insane Asylum and the ones who should be there for the safety of themselves and others are walking around giving orders to Media and USG, fomenting war and making a mockery of laws and "normal behaviors.

shadow54

They flooded the news with the old Helsinki/Putin stuff to hide the real news. Lisa Page's testimony revealed that John Carlin, Mueller's former chief of staff was running the Russia investigation from the DOJ end, showing another conflict of Mueller's. Now Mueller is covering for two best friends, Comey and Carlin and he has to frame Trump to save them.

The testimony also showed FBI David Bowditch was heavily involved, and Bowditch is now 2nd in command at the FBI and blocking the public release of witness testimony, and one reason for it is it reveals his involvement.

It is also now revealed that John Brennan CIA had the dossier before the FBI, and the dossier was likely written by Nellie Ohr, who belonged to a CIA group, and then the dossier was laundered by Steele to look like foreign intelligence to get the Crossfire Hurricane investigation started on Trump. You would think it would be big news that Russians may have had nothing to do with the dossier but the media doesn't see it that way.

Then there is the news that Fusion GPS worked with the Democracy Integrity Project and Knew Knowledge to run a fake Russian bots campaign against Roy Moore. The Democracy Integrity Project was started by Feinstein's aide and with New Knowledge wrote a report on Russian bots for the Senate Intelligence Committee. So the Senate Intelligence Committee hired creators of fake Russian bots to write a report on Russian bots.

[Jan 13, 2019] a former CIA guy to float the notion in public that there is a good enough case, whatever that means, to think the President of the US was an Russian Agent of Influence based on "bits and pieces of circumstantial evidence."

Jan 13, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

On Smerconish's show today, Bob Baer, spy extraordinaire, (read his books) asserted that the various bits and pieces of circumstantial "evidence" about Trump's contacts with and attitude toward Russia, as well as those of his flunkies and relatives amount to a "good enough" case for Trump being a Russian agent of influence.

That is how a HUMINT spook judges such things. It is a matter of probabilities, not hard evidence.

Assets of an alien government are not always witting (understanding) of their status from the POV of the foreign government, but that does not necessarily make other than agents. Sometimes they think they are merely cooperating in a good and normal way when, in fact, the relationship is much deeper. Jane Fonda in North Vietnam would be an example.


Mad_Max22 , a day ago

It seems injudicious, to say the least, for a former CIA guy to float the notion in public that there is a good enough case, whatever that means, to think the President of the US was an Russian Agent of Influence based on "bits and pieces of circumstantial evidence." I would say probably intemperate as well. Using it in the current climate, it ammounts to a slur.
And what exactly are we to make of the spook expression "Agent of Influence?" I would say that unless one knows a good deal about the proclivites of the very person who is using the expression and what is going on in his mind, one shouldn't want to make very much of it at all. The expression comprehends pretty much of everything and anything, for good, for bad, for indifferent; for behavior that nobody in the whole wide world would find worrisome except someone in the CIA or the CI Branches of today's FBI. Such concerns come when Agencies have been politicized.
It's dangerous enough that these people find an internal use for the term. I would speculate that some such cover set them off on Carter Page and ensuing FISA debacle.
Patrick Armstrong -> Bill Herschel , 11 hours ago
If Moscow had wanted to nobble the US election and get control of POTUS, it would have used its best weapon. It had already bought Clinton once.
ISL -> Patrick Armstrong , 4 hours ago
Bought and owned. One can guess that there is much compromising financial and probably other information on the Clinton Foundation in the missing emails that Russia (and likely every other intelligence agency on the planet), and from elsewhere, has, given her lack of comprehension of the basics of security or that classification is not only for the little people.
John Hisler , a day ago
In Bob Baer's 1st book He said that he was able to confirm that it was Israel that attacked the USS Liberty. As a CIA officer he was trying, without success ,to recruit a local government radio operator.(probably Egyptian) He said that soon after the attack the prospective recruit came to him and volunteered to cooperate.Surprised at this sudden change of heart Baer asked what had happened?.He said that he had listened to the entire attack of the USS Liberty and the communication between the Israeli planes and their command station. .The recruit said that he now believed that the US and Israel could not be allies because the US would never permit an ally to get away with attacking a US vessel and murdering American sailors.
Pat Lang Mod -> John Hisler , a day ago
As a student officer at Ft. Holabird I read the transcripts generated by NSA of the chatter between the Israeli planes and their command. There is not doubt whatever that the attack was deliberate and sustained for hours. I have written aout this many times. Look in the archive. https://turcopolier.typepad...

[Jan 12, 2019] Trump Goes On Epic Tweetstorm After NYT Reveals FBI Witch Hunt Escalation Following Comey Firing

This is the typical level of repression that exist in Police State: any politician who deviates from the "Inner Party" (aka Deep State) course is branded as Russian spy and "counterintelligence" dogs are send to sniff any dirty clothing that might exist to and this politician career.
Notable quotes:
"... counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president's own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow's influence. ..."
"... "anybody who fires corrupt Comey must be a Russian spy." ..."
"... Wow, just learned in the Failing New York Times that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI, almost all fired or forced to leave the agency for some very bad reasons, opened up an investigation on me, for no reason & with no proof, after I fired Lyin' James Comey, a total sleaze! ..."
Jan 12, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

President Trump on Saturday lashed out after a Friday evening report in the New York Times that US law enforcement officials " became so concerned by the president's behavior " in the days after Trump fired James Comey as FBI director, that "t hey began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests. "

According to the NYT, agents and senior F.B.I. officials " had grown suspicious of Mr. Trump's ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign " but held off on opening an investigation into him, the people said, in part because they were uncertain how to proceed with an inquiry of such sensitivity and magnitude.

What happened next? Well, a collusion narrative was born and carefully crafted as the paper explains:

The president's activities before and after Mr. Comey's firing in May 2017, particularly two instances in which Mr. Trump tied the Comey dismissal to the Russia investigation, helped prompt the counterintelligence aspect of the inquiry, the people said.

The odd inquiry carried "explosive implications" as counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president's own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow's influence.

The criminal and counterintelligence elements were coupled together into one investigation, former law enforcement officials said in interviews in recent weeks, because if Mr. Trump had ousted the head of the F.B.I. to impede or even end the Russia investigation, that was both a possible crime and a national security concern. The F.B.I.'s counterintelligence division handles national security matters.

Even so, "...some former law enforcement officials outside the investigation have questioned whether agents overstepped in opening it ."

Then, in paragraph nine we read " No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials. " Or, as The Washington Examiner 's Byron York sums it up:

Some were even more laconic, summarizing the "scoop" as "anybody who fires corrupt Comey must be a Russian spy."

Put another way:

Responding to the "bombshell" NYT report - which curiously resurrects the "Russian collusion" narrative right as Trump is set to test his Presidential authority over the border wall, the president lashed out over Twitter .

Wow, just learned in the Failing New York Times that the corrupt former leaders of the FBI, almost all fired or forced to leave the agency for some very bad reasons, opened up an investigation on me, for no reason & with no proof, after I fired Lyin' James Comey, a total sleaze!"

Funny thing about James Comey. Everybody wanted him fired, Republican and Democrat alike. After the rigged & botched Crooked Hillary investigation, where she was interviewed on July 4th Weekend, not recorded or sworn in, and where she said she didn't know anything (a lie), the FBI was in complete turmoil (see N.Y. Post) because of Comey's poor leadership and the way he handled the Clinton mess (not to mention his usurpation of powers from the Justice Department).

My firing of James Comey was a great day for America. He was a Crooked Cop who is being totally protected by his best friend, Bob Mueller, & the 13 Angry Democrats - leaking machines who have NO interest in going after the Real Collusion (and much more) by Crooked Hillary Clinton, her Campaign, and the Democratic National Committee. Just Watch!

I have been FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President. At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again!

Lyin' James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter S and his lover, agent Lisa Page, & more, all disgraced and/or fired and caught in the act. These are just some of the losers that tried to do a number on your President. Part of the Witch Hunt. Remember the "insurance policy?" This is it! -Donald Trump

Update: Comey has responded over Twitter with a pithy FDR quote:

Although we seem to recall that Democrats were Comey's enemy when he reopened Hillary Clinton's email investigation during the election.

While there is nothing new here confirming Trump was colluding with Russia, as Byron York asks following the article, was the New York Times story about Trump, or about FBI malfeasance?

[Nov 28, 2018] Funny stuff happens when a judge tells a plaintiff she has to pay $341,500 for the legal expenses of a lawsuit she lost. All of a sudden Stormy Daniels is saying her CPL, Michael Avenatti, was acting against her wishes

Nov 28, 2018 |