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Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump by neocons and DemoRats

(also sometimes called Purple revolution; should probably be called American Maydan: two teams of oligarchs struggle for power using dirty methods against their opponents; one team is represented by neocons and Clinton neoliberals and  it was in power since Ronald Reagan; the composition of the other team in unclear, but  it is clear that Pentagon plays important role in supporting Trump after election in the face of neocon/neolib/intelligence agencies coup d'état  )

 Two third of the US population now is brainwashed into adamantly anti-Russian mindset, increasing the risk of the major war; but too big money are involved to allow Trump détente with Russia

Hat tip to cdn-05.anonfile.com

 
News Color revolutions Recommended Links Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? FBI Mayberry Machiavellians Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections Internet research agency
Strzokgate Steele dossier Brennan elections machinations "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit Wolff revelations and slander of Trump administration Was Natalia Veselnitskaya meeting with Trump Jr. a trap DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin Hillary Clinton email scandal
Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak MSM as an attack dogs of color revolution Anti Trump Hysteria in major neoliberal MSM Michael Flynn removal Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war MSM as fake news industry Luke Harding: a pathetic author of book that rehash Steele Dossier Rosenstein role in the "Appointment of the special prosecutor gambit" The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies
Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few Trump vs. Deep State History of American False Flag Operations NGOs as braintrust of color revolutions The Real War on Reality Media as a weapon of mass deception Obama: a yet another Neocon Two Party System as polyarchy Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite
US and British media are servants of security apparatus Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Media-Military-Industrial Complex  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" New American Militarism Corporatist Corruption Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Susan Rice unmasking campaign as an attempt to derail Trump by Obama administration Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite
Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy National Security State NeoMcCartyism campaign as a smoke screen to hide the crisis of neoliberalism Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Skeptic Quotations Politically Incorrect Humor Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy

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Introduction

  O tempora o mores!

In his opening speech against Catiline, Cicero deplores the viciousness and corruption of his age. Cicero is frustrated that, despite all of the evidence that has been compiled against Catiline, who has been conspiring to overthrow the Roman government and assassinate Cicero himself, and in spite of the fact that the senate has given senatus consultum ultimum, Catiline has not yet been executed.

Cicero goes on to describe various times throughout Roman history where consuls have killed conspirators with even less evidence, sometimes – in the case of former consul Lucius Opimius' slaughter of Gaius Gracchus (one of the Gracchi brothers) – based only on quasdam seditionum suspiciones, "certain suspicions of insurrection" (Section 2, Line 3).

 

I think there is a tremendous gap between perception of the USA political landscape by the majority of the population (constitutional republic, elected representatives) and the reality (empire, "one dollar one vote", "deep state" with the core of all powerful and out of control intelligence agencies, etc). Much like in Matrix. Looks like it was FBI which was the kingmaker in the last Presidential election. Directly responsible for election of Trump pushing Sanders under the bus by exonerating Hillary.  In all empires the real political power is transferred to generals. In case of the USA this is a combination of Pentagon and the intelligence agencies.

During the election campaign Donald Trump argued for better relations with Russia. He wanted to engage in a common fight against the Islamic State and reverse excesses of neoliberal globalization which destroyed parts of the USA manufacturing and impoverished common people.  Hillary Clinton argued for a confrontational policy against Russia and kicking can down the road as for globalization. The foreign policy establishment, the media, the CIA and FBI were solidly on Clinton's side. The people of the United States made their choice. It was Trump and his views of policies that were elected. At this point neoliberal establishment decided to reverse the results of the elections.

But Russiagate is not so much about Russia as about the coming collapse of the US-led global neoliberal empire and the gradual loss of legitimacy of the US neoliberal elite, which currently is in power.  One unknown factor in the current situation is when the period of "cheap oil" might end.

If this is ten to twenty years as some predict, then the USA will not be able to sustain its empire beyond this point and needs to retreat. Preferably before it's too late. Because the efforts to sustain the empire in the situation with the price of oil is over $100 per barrel will probably lead to the collapse of the US economy and another global financial crisis, the net result of which would be the elimination of dollar as the primary global currency. IMHO the USA economy is unable to get out of stagnation when the price of a barrel of oil is above $60-$70. And with prices above $100 per barrel the return to the "Great Recession" is the most natural outcome.

I thought that Trump election was due to this efforts of a more forward looking part of the US elite and signified the start of such a retreat. Logically the USA would be able to cut military budget to manageable 200-300 billion and redirect the rest on rebuilding infrastructure and manufacturing as well as improving life of the lower middle class, which is the backbone of the society and standard of living of which continues to slide. I was wrong. Looks like militarism and neoliberal global expansion are here to stay as there is an influential "servants of the empire" caste on the US society which is able to block any unacceptable for them change.

Now it looks like "Neoliberalism uber alles" faction of the US elite prevailed and quickly emasculated Trump by appointing the Special Prosecutor. If the calculation as for the current anti-Russian hysteria is crushing Russia economically and isolating it politically with the ultimate goal of getting Russian oil for cheap, that does not look too realistic strategy.

In any case it is important to understand that it is the alliance of neocons and neoliberals which managed to unleash a color revolution against Trump with the clear goal to depose him by any means as in " the end justifies the means."

Which means that retreat to "localized" version of Neoliberalism, let's call it "Neoliberalism with human face" and restoration of some elements of the New Deal is indefinitely postponed and the process of erosion of the unity of the nation due to economic difficulties and side effects of identity politics, which is needed to keep working class in check (as well as the related process of delegitimization of the neoliberal elite) will continue unabated.

That's crazy and tragic situation: "Those whom the Gods wish to destroy they first make mad.”

The importance of Steele dossier for understanding Russiagate

Steele dossier gambit suggests that we live in a neoliberal empire run by the intelligence services (the core of the "deep state"), not a republic. And the democracy on federal level is severely curtained by the fact of existence of so powerful agencies.  It is true that there are some counterattacks of democratic forces under the banner of accountability, but generally the horse already left the barn. Actually, for CIA it took less then twenty years when tail started wagging the dog, if we assume that they played the key role in JFK assassination. And Herbert Hoover was above any serving President; none was able to get rid of him until his death.

So we have what we have:

 (1) Electorate does not matter much and is always presented with two “equally bad” choices, forcing typical for neoliberal empires ceremonial voting for “lesse evil”.

(2) POTUS is mostly a ceremonial figure which can be emasculated, impeached, or killed if the deep state decided that he is not acceptable (actually Obama one time mentioned that he is not eager to repeat the destiny of JFK; so he felt the danger). It took just three months for the deep state to emasculate Trump. The working hypothesis now is that FBI along with  rogue elements in the Department of Justice (Rosenstein, Ohr) and other intelligences agencies (Brennan)  tried to stage a soft coup against Trump after the elections along the lines:

Steele Dossier ->  FISA court -> 17 agencies memo -> Russiagate hysteria in MSM -> The appointment of the special prosecutor.

After surprise victory of Trump in Republican primaries, they launched a color revolution against him. which included anti-Russian hysteria in neoliberal MSM based on falsifications of Steele dossier, spying on him to collect dirt and  find out which appointees Trump consider for key positions (On Nov 17, 2018 Trump became aware of that and decided to move  his headquarters from Trump tower to Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey at least partially avoid this) . As well as several false flag operations I view Veselnitskaya meeting with Trump Jr.  at Trump Power (organized by FBI contractor Fusion GPS) as an early false flag operation, see below. The FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike "analysis" of DNC  "intrusion" (which was a leak, not an intrusion) also has all signs of a sophisticated false flag operation.  This putsch against the will of American people was the joint operation of at least three intelligence agencies: FBI, CIA and MI6. Along with as rogue elements in the Department of Justice and the State Department. See Colonel Patrick Lang discussion at  the-trump-dossier-becomes-a-disaster-by-publius-tacitus

The recent revelations about Steele's dossier saga implicated intelligence agencies in a "soft coup" against the remnants of the republic and  democracy. To hide this development from the public after Strzokgate revelations the deep state required a good smoke screen to be launched. "Fire and fury" fitted the bill. Was it part of the plan, or happened accidentally (it was actually rushed to print) does not matter.  The role of the book is to distract the public from the revelations about Steele Dossier, abuse of FISA court  and intelligence agencies efforts to depose Trump. Since Jan 3, 2018 we observe efforts to replace discussion of Steele dossier and FISA count abuses with the discussion of salacious gossip about Trump administration provided by Wolff. 

Not that Trump is a saint, but he, at least, was duly elected by electorate.  Even his meek and by-and-large derailed efforts to confront the neoliberalism and unhinged neoliberal globalization were positive for the USA population developments. It was  not overly idealistic to hope that Trump would be able to bring  a world in which defense forces (and defensive alliances like NATO) are used for the proper purpose of defense, cut crazy level of military spending at least by half,  and end expensive and destructive wars for expanding neoliberal empire dreamed up by the US neoconservatives. That's what Trump 2016 was about and why he won. 

So opposition to them and the successful attempt of the powerful alliance of neocons and neolibs to derail Trump agenda and enforce the status quo are reactionary and bad for the country. 

What Nunes memo tells us about false flag operations in cyberspace and possibilities of intelligence agencies to create an arbitrary witch hunt against any "inconvenient" for them politician

The release of the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) memo did corroborate what we already knew.  Nunes did amazing job, which for long was not done. He really served as a watch dog for FBI.  Most Congress "oversight" committees are "overlook" committees.  This was an exception.

The biggest Nunes memo revelation has little to do with its content. Essentially Nunes memo implies that  FBI considered both Sanders and Trump movements as insurgency and launched counterinsurgency operation against them.  Trying to undermine them by dirty and potentially illegal methods including new generation of dirty methods which can be called "false flag operations in cyberspace".  In other words FBI was playing the role of  "kingmaker" in 2016 Presidential elections.  Colliding with CIA and  MI5 with the implicit goal of supporting "an extremely ambitious foreign policy agenda" (read "neocon foreign policy"):

“There is reason to suspect that some former and very likely current employees of the FBI have been colluding with elements in other American and British intelligence agencies, in particular the CIA and MI6, in support of an extremely ambitious foreign policy agenda for a very long time. “

Sic Semper Tyrannis Habakkuk on ‘longtime’ sources

Implication is that MI5, CIA and  FBI were involved in the soft coup to depose of emasculate Trump. And it works. But now some dirty method are revealed. Which among other thing suggests that due NSA activities CIA and FBI  have "implicit" dossiers on members of Congress, Pentagon and Justice Department. Available with a few clicks of the button.  This is "J. Edgar Hoover on  steroids."  Dirt that allows to control members of Congress. Is not this the situation in which tail wags the dog?  In this light the fact that members of congress voted for renewal of surveillance act when details on Nunes memo were already known is a very telling sign. And Trump against all those machinations are directed, signed it.  All those people know that are surveyed by NSA and they know that the revelation of some detailed of their activates might destroy their careers.

The second class of new dirty methods represent what can be called "false flag operations in cyberspace".  We will discuss them later. See also

Everybody understood that the system is pretty well rigged on federal level and there two levels of justice -- one for neoliberal "masters of the universe" who are by-and-large above the law, and another for shmucks.  That's not a news.  The news is the level of sophistication is escaping the changes and use of the accusation of hacking  falsified via false flag operation as a new smokescreen to pass the blame to selected scapegoat.

Here we see very successful efforts to unleash Neo-McCarthyism campaign and put all the blame for Hillary defeat on Russians, which later was extended into the color revolution against Trump of falsified changed of Russia collision. Few people understand the US MSM is just a propaganda department of the US intelligence agencies and do their bidding. The fact that at some point CIA controlled major journalists was known from Church commission hearings. And there was some backlash. But now the situation reversed and due to the regime to total surveillance their capability to dictate the agenda far exceed the level that was in the past.

moreover, now CIA cyberwarriors can cook any accusation using their "technical capabilities" and spread is using subservant MSM in a matter of days creating the wave of hate which  far exceed what was described in famous dystopian novel 1984 by George Orwell.  Refuting those "cooked" intrusions (which are a new and very nasty form of false flag operations) is difficult what when (and if) it is done, typically it is too late. As Hermann Goering said (Hermann Goering War Games):

“Of course the people don’t want war. But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.”

— Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials

... ... ...

His comments were made privately to Gustave Gilbert, a German-speaking American intelligence officer and psychologist who was granted free access by the Allies to all the prisoners held in the Nuremberg jail. Gilbert kept a journal of his observations of the proceedings and his conversations with the prisoners, which he later published in the book Nuremberg Diary. The quote offered above was part of a conversation Gilbert held with a dejected Hermann Goering in his cell on the evening of 18 April 1946, as the trials were halted for a three-day Easter recess.

Paradoxically while the value of cyberspace for offensive operations against adversaries is unclear, it is clear that it has tremendous potential for conducting false flag operations serving as a pretext for real wars, or some "Show trials" of dissidents in best Stalin traditions. and witch hunt against Trump is a just form of Show Trials in a court of public opinion.

Everything can be forged in cyberspace -- source of attack, attack methods. Fake personalities like Guccifer 2.0 can be created to support the accusations.  Sky is the limit for false flag operations in cyberspace.  Steele dossier in this sense is old school falsification. It is "DNC hack" that is the harbinger of things to come.

Sky is the limit for false flag operations in cyberspace.  Steele dossier in this sense is old school falsification. It is "DNC hack" that is the harbinger of things to come.

We may feel uneasy by the idea that people now could be so easily manipulated into sacrificing themselves in wars at the whims of the neoliberal elite, but perhaps we can be more concerned (and maybe even scared) at the thought that the capabilities to deceive us are now greater not less that it was before. Much greater. They now really can create "artificial reality" using MSM.

In any case capabilities of intelligence agencies to hatch and then inject into MSM "DNC hack style disinformation" to blackmail a major political figure using a "cyberspace" false flag operation are now enormous. Even POTUS can be the target of such blackmail.  In this sense the current Russiagate hysteria makes Joseph McCartney like a pretty uninventive, even somewhat dull guy with very limited capabilities to frame his victims ;-) Recently even Nunes was accused (with impunity) to be a Russian agent.   This is "communists under each bed" type of witch hunt on a new level.

Now we know that Russiagate was initially the criminal plot to exonerate Hillary and derail Sanders campaign hatched by intelligence community in cooperation with connected members of Clinton campaign like John Podesta (who as a former WH chief of staff has deep connections to "intelligence community".)  Intelligence agencies and journalists connected with intelligence services were recruited and the well planned obfuscation campaign started. which later morphed into color regulation against Trump (typical for color revolution charges of rigged election were replaced by accusation of "collision" with foreign power.)  All this  was done with full cooperation and eager participation of NYT, WaPo, CNN. MSNBC and other neoliberal outlets. As the result in May 2016 a Special Prosecutor was appointed to take care of Trump removal.

Sanders did not have the courage to switch to alternative Open Convention to get a nomination from Democratic Party. He was so afraid (or was threatened, the meaning of his visit with Obama is not known) that he chose to betray his voters and support Hillary. So with the help of neoliberal MSM a brazen plot to exonerate Hillary Clinton from a clear violation of the law (with regard to the way she handled classified information with her private email server; absolutely a crime, absolutely a felony) did succeed.  In this  sense Russiagate is in reality FBI-gate. 

It is an established fact that Comey and the senior DOJ officials conducted a fake criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton. Following none of the regular rules, gave her every break in the book, immunized all kinds of people, allowed the destruction of evidence, no grand jury, no subpoenas, no search warrant. That was not an investigation, that was a Potemkin village. It was a farce.

DOJ should convene grand jury to indict the major players (whose in high positions in DOJ and FBI should be fired). If like torturers in Bush II era  will not be  brought to justice this is just another sign that the USA is neither a republic not a democracy.

Unfortunately Trump while a good tactician, is not strategic thinker on any level. He might have some courage which allowed him to fire Comey, and then tell that truth to American people that this firing is about "Russiagate".  But you need more that courage to take on "deep state". You need to have a plan.  You need to have a coalition.  And we do not  know if Trump was threatened or not (see Chuck Schumer remark above.) He should address the nation from Oval Office and tell that FBI story can only be believed by people with IQ below 70.  And that DOJ should immediately appoint a Special Prosecutor investigating  this matter. But this will most probably just a fantasy.

Summarizing we can say that "FISA memo" is a testimony of tremendous personal courage of Nunes (note that one neoliberal MSM jerk already accused him being a Russian spy).  He did tremendous job driven by noble motives of restoring justice. And his memo undermined the  Color revolution against Trump by making Mueller position more vulnerable as he is clearly a member of the gang of FBI Mayberry Machiavellians. It also put Rosenstein into defensive position.  But this is an uphill battle and he might lose at the end of the date. The neoliberal swamp is way too powerful and can consume even such courageous people as Nunes. 

What is color revolution and what methods does it uses to depose the legitimately elected President

The color revolution is a subversive and covert operation of regime change  which is conducted by intelligence agencies using patsy protestors, subservant to intelligence agencies (or neoliberal ideology) part of MSM, large money infusions to fuel discontent (Steele dossier, Wolff's book, etc), as well as organized  system of leaks that accuse the current government in all possible sins (typically "corruption", but can be incompetence or other sins).

Controlled by intelligence agencies and neoliberal MSM (which are highly intersecting subsets) play the key role in brainwashing the public that the government acts against their interests and sustain the hysteria until the government is deposed. they are the attack dogs of the color revolution against Trump.

Controlled by intelligence agencies and neoliberal MSM (which are highly intersecting subsets) play the key role in brainwashing the public that the government acts against their interests and sustain the hysteria until the government is deposed. they are the attack dogs of the color revolution against Trump. The deploy system of well timed and carefully coordinated with each other leaks to undermine the legitimacy of the legitimately elected government. In case of the Purple color revolution they sustain anti-Russian hysteria which is the cornerstone of the efforts to depose Trump. 

Typically large protests are organized  using "professional protesters: groomed and well paid students and some parts of "intelligencia" and professional class. In this sense the color revolution against Trump is abnormal: the only such episode happened during inauguration.

The uniqueness of Purple color revolution against Trump is also that the main charge is not the falsification of the election results, or personal corruption which is typical for color revolutions. It is the collision with a foreign power, which is tantamount to treason.  That's why instead of using "color scheme" (purple, yellow, etc) this color revolution  is most commonly called Russiagate (which in a narrow sense is a set of fabricated allegations about foreign state "collusion" implicating the president and family members.) As such is connected with NeoMcCartyism  -- a witch hunt unleashed by neoliberal MSM in which Communists were conveniently replaced by "Russians". Which is a ethnic slur dangerously close to anti-Semitism. This fact escaped attention of presstitutes working in neoliberal MSM such as NYT and WaPo, who are proud of their "multiculturalism". 

But traditionally each "color revolution" also has a "color" assigned to it. That's why we call it the "Purple revolution" (purple was the color that Hillary and Bill wear after the defeat).  This term is less common than the term "Russiagate" but is more precise, suggesting the set of methods used to depose Trump. 

Simplifying, you can understood color revolution as a soft civil war with a more powerful foreign power (and its intelligence agencies) involved on the side of one of the parties. In Purple revolution two parties remind me

In case of the USA this still looks like a soft color revolution, but instead of more powerful state involved on the side of the plotters we supposedly have less powerful state (but very sophisticated in such matters) -- Great Britain. Which was involved is key events of this color revolution including creation of Steele dossier and spying on Trump in Trump Tower, as well, most probably in the attempt to entrap Trump Jr. by organizing meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

The key element of the color revolution (or using German term "putsch" ) that intelligence agencies organized after Trump election was the gambit to appoint the special prosecutor. Unfortunately for organizers they run into some unexpected difficulties, when they key element of the charge of collision  with Russians ("Steele dossier") was discredited (as well as close connection of Fusion GPS to FBI and the fact that they financed certain journalists and media outlets became known), illegal surveillance of Trump team revealed (FICA memo scandal) and the "collision" between certain elements of Justice Department and FBI ( FBI Mayberry Machiavellians ) became known under the name Strzokgate

Such attempts to depose sitting president by the "Deep State" were not unprecedented (JFK assassination is probably one close instance, Nixon removal is another).  The key role was played by close circle of people within FBI, CIA and Justice Department. Roger Stone listed several elements of the putsch in his  post (Stone Cold Truth):

  1. Politically weaponized the federal government’s electronic intelligence capabilities to spy on a presidential candidate and his campaign,
  2. Colluded with foreign and non-state intelligence agents to manufacture evidence used as false pretexts for securing FISA warrants(s) that employed the national security laws of the United States to give illicit, illegal cover to this political espionage,
  3. Used the fruits of this political espionage activity to damage or otherwise hinder this candidate once they had become president-elect and eventually President of the United States through surreptitious releases of the criminally-procured information,
  4. Fabricated and instigated false allegations about foreign state collusion implicating the president’s election campaign and family members, and
  5. Perpetuated this massive criminal fraud on the American people for nearly a full year by manipulating and abusing the investigatory and prosecutorial powers of the Department of Justice.

We can see several elements of this "color revolution", the putsch of intelligence agencies against Trump that are typical for any color revolution and allow to classify this putsch as yet another color revolutions:

The core members of the anti-Trump color Revolution team suggested by Stockman 

Pro-Clinton elements of Democratic Party are the core of anti-Trump color revolution. They entered  into alliance with neocons to achieve their goals (in a way neocons in this story look like turncoats who betrayed their own party).

David Stockman  enumerated several important  players within  powerful government agencies (The RussiaGate Witch-Hunt Stockman Names Names In The Deep State's Insurance Policy )

There was a sinister plot to meddle in the 2016 election, after all. But it was not orchestrated from the Kremlin; it was an entirely homegrown affair conducted from the inner sanctums---the White House, DOJ, the Hoover Building and Langley----of the Imperial City.

Likewise, the perpetrators didn't speak Russian or write in the Cyrillic script. In fact, they were lifetime beltway insiders occupying the highest positions of power in the US government.

Here are the names and rank of the principal conspirators:

To a person, the participants in this illicit cabal shared the core trait that made Obama such a blight on the nation's well-being. To wit, he never held an honest job outside the halls of government in his entire adult life; and as a careerist agent of the state and practitioner of its purported goods works, he exuded a sanctimonious disdain for everyday citizens who make their living along the capitalist highways and by-ways of America.

I realize that Clinton wing of Democratic Party (soft neoliberals) and their supporters which include a part of Wall Street, large part of Silicon valley and most MSM progressives hate Donald Trump so much that they believe that any pretext is justified in taking him down. So they joined efforts with the neoconservatives. That's why war-mongering against Russia is now OK for them and Democratic party now is just another War Party (as was evident from Hillary campaign).

Many people who detest Trump view Russiagate as the most effective path to achieve Trump’s impeachment, so this desirable end justifies whatever means. that makes them very similar to supported of Ukrainian Maydan, which removed Yanukovich and installed far right junta with a lot of unsavory characters. But to me it look like Trump surrendered after just 100 of anti-Russian smear campaign launched by neocons. So why they still  want to finish him?  So it must be more  to it; there might be some skeletons in the closet revealing of which previous administration and their factions in intelligence  services the are afraid to death . Because their action is as close to sedition as one  can get. In other words they went va bank  by unleashing on Trump Steele dossier (va bank is a common expression among German speakers; which means to put everything at risk in order to win -- similar to "all in"  but with implicit suggestion of weak cards in hand implying the tremendous level of risk). And nowhere it is more clear then in sordid case of Steele dossier, which looks more and more like intelligence operation of UK government, not so much an attempt to earn quick bucks by Steele private boutique (the risk for Steele of engaging in the activity tantamount to influencing US Presidential Elections being a foreign national was way too much)

The core events

It is sad that plans were made to remove the Pres. even before he was elected. It has been the use of a special prosecutor has certainly been a factor in damaging the remnants of the  republics and the democracy. From what we know as of January 2018 we can distinguish following partially overlapping operations (listed not exactly in chronological order):

  1. Swiping under the carpet Hillary Clinton email scandal and thus derailing Sanders candidacy (which at this point looks like a provable crime committed by "FBI Mayberry Machiavellians")
  2. False flag operation with  organizing Russian lobbyist Natalia Veselnitskaya meeting with Trump Jr.
  3. False flag operation by FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike with DNC leak saga -- blaming it on Russians. It is quite probable that the "intrusion" was a false flag operation  which involved FBI, Crowdstrike and elements on CIA and was directed against Sanders and Trump.  It helped to save Hillary candidacy and ensure her becoming the candidate from Democratic Party in 2016 Presidential elections.
  4. Creation of falsified Steele dossier by FBI contractor Fusion GPS and British intelligence services
  5. Obtaining FISA court warrant using Steele dossier by FBI Mayberry Machiavellians
  6. Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections
  7. "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections
  8. Unleashing witch hunt against Trump in neoliberal MSM
  9. Attempt to instigate the Electoral college revolt
  10. Attempt to instigate violate demonstrations on the capital during inauguration
  11. Michael Flynn removal from the Trump team (as a former head of military intelligence agency he was the most dangerous for plotters member of Trump team). Also allowed the Deep State to place one of their own as National Security Advisor.
  12. Coordinated set of damaging to Trump leaks by senior intelligence officials such as Comey
  13. Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit That includes firing of Comey, hysteria about this event and subsequent Rosenstein actions, which on  surface were decided to quell the hysteria, but in reality was just the last move of the gambit with a "check" to Trump.  From this point already weakened and partially capitulated to neocons Trump administration was paralyzed and  became completely subservant to neocons.
  14. Neutering Flynn using entrapment and indictment on the falsified charge by Peter Strzok Even outside WH Flynn represented certain danger for plotters. That's why Strzok entrapped him and later charged with "lying to FBI" (such a fighter with organized crime, who borrows mafia methods when it suits his goals).  That completes the scheme/subplot of elimination Flynn
  15. Hyping to the stratosphere Trump Tower meeting as proof of "collision"  (using Wolff's book as a pretext)
  16. Attempt to replace failed (and discredited) by Strzok-gate Russiagate narrative with the "mentally unstable" narrative.  Shooting for the use of 25 amendment to remove Trump. As Peter Van Buren said "His opponents are trying to use the 25th Amendment as a backdoor to impeachment, but that’s more Maoist than American."
  17. Fascinating response by  the Neoliberal MSM and the establishment who have invested so much in the Trump Russia collusion narrative to so called Nunes memo: Trump was called to testify before Mueller commission under Oath.  As Pat Buchanan noted Trump should be beware Perjury Trap as "what Mueller is running here is not, as Trump suggests, a "witch hunt." It is a Trump hunt."

The essential part of this color revolution McCarthyism hysteria -- is no less dangerous then this color revolution itself. It successfully pushed the country on a very dangerous path -- the war path advocated by neocons and MIC.  As Biney aptly said on Jan 1, 2018  ( https://consortiumnews.com/2018/01/01/the-still-missing-evidence-of-russia-gate/  ):

 "Ultimately, my main concern is that it could lead to actual war with Russia.  We should definitely not be going down that path.  We need to get out of all these wars.  I am also concerned about what we are doing to our own democracy.  We are trampling the fundamental principles contained in the Constitution.  The only way to reverse all this is to start indicting people who are participating in and managing these activities that are clearly unconstitutional."
IMHO the current neo-McCarthyism campaign that was deployed to solve some internal problems within the Democratic Party (rejection by electorate and subsequent political fiasco of Hillary Clinton)  is a very dangerous tool. You can't blame Trump victory on Russia. It is a sign of systemic crisis of neoliberalism in the USA, somewhat similar to the crisis of Marxism the USSR experienced before dissolution.  Rust Belt voters rejected Hillary and that was it.

In such crisis the elite is de-legitimized and often resort to dirty tricks to regain the lost legitimacy. A war is one  such  trick. Neo-McCarthyism campaign is another. Of course Russia in far from being a saint and bear responsibility for unleashing the civil war in Donbass (and generally destabilizing Ukraine -- it is a curse to be a  neighbor our of such a large and powerful country; Canadians and Mexicans probably think the same ;-) , but what currently we see in major  MSM looks to me like a classic witch hunt with the implicit goal to whitewash humiliating for neoliberal Democrats (Clinton wing of the party) defeat and blame it on the external force (Putin looks really like "Deus Ex Machina" for Democrats ;-)

Three levels of Russiagate

Russiagate can be viewed  on three distinct levels:

  1. A smoke screen designed to hide Hillary Clinton political fiasco and preserve the power of Clinton wing of Democratic Party over the party as a whole (by-and-large this plot was successful). Hillary Clinton no longer is viewed by Democratic Party as an evil warmonger who waited chances to gain power but throwing Sanders under the bus by illegal methods. The attention is skillfully switched to "Russian machinations" including DNS hack (which is actually  a leak, not a hack ). Questionable players like Christopher Steele and Crowdstrike were higher to advance this agenda.
  2. Attempt of intelligence community and MIC to secure funding in view of possible cuts that can be enacted by Trump (these worries proved to be  fake; Trump dies no have any realistic plan of cutting MIC expenses or intent to rule on Pentagon extravagant spending). But at least during election campaign Trump alarmed intelligence community including a powerful and well paid strata of "Washington national security parasites" with the idea to reach some level of detente  with Russia (at least during the election campaign) rightly considering the level of hostility achieved under Obama dangerous and counterproductive (to the extent that Obama might be controlled by Brennan it might be not Obama personal fault).  In this sense Trump also crossed the line (with the only difference that he did it during he election campaign) and at this point all power of neocons and neolib including their factions in intelligence agencies was unleashed for his removal.
  3. Attempt to poison the US public opinion to the level, which excludes any possible future attempts of detente with Russia for at least a decade (this goal as of January 2018 was probably already achieved) . this is also important for neoliberal elite from geostrategic point of view as explained in the following post (  moonofalabama.org, Jan 7, 2018):
    The USA’s nightmare is Europe (EU, or geographical Europe, incl. for ex. Norway) finally getting together its geo-proximal, cultural ties, economic dependency / energy input, massive trade exports and imports, with Russia, and affirming, protecting these exchanges. Previous, the existence of the USSR, the specter of ‘communism’ served to keep dominant economic players in Europe on board with the US aggression / control.

    The USA will do *xxx* to prevent any agreements between Russia and Europe, as the US would then lose its status as decider, broker, even wielding military might and threat might be no use, doomed to failure even before implementation. All US moves, even now in Iran, are pointed to desperately blocking new alliances, nobody can join anyone, an exercise in fragmentation, divide-to-rule. The EU-Russ continent, heh right to China (another story..) energy-rich, powerful, peaceful, as hopefully imagined! would send the USA into a pathetic backwater of bandits, oligarchs, urban guerrilla warfare, starving exploited children, etc. - all of which are already visible.

From the point of view of propaganda this  was a new McCarthyism campaign -- a  completely manufactured hysteria which try to turn huge disappointment of the American people with neoliberalism and neoliberal oligarchy into a convenient scapegoat -- Russia and President Putin ("Putin did it" memo).

Manufactured Steele dossier as the ram to remove Trump, or "insurance" in the  jargon of some FBI staffers

That's why Steele dossier was created and advertized: as part of anti-Trump coup d'état by the neocons, Clinton neoliberals and parts of the US intelligence services.  In both case the interests of the USA and national security suffers. In a way both neocons and neoliberals  are elements of foreign influence that do not care much about ordinary Americans. In any case now two third of US population now is brainwashed into adamantly anti-Russian mindset, increasing the risk of the major war

First let's discuss the historical origins of  the  term “color revolution”. The latter is a new  subversive tactics which was successfully used as a means to triggering “regime change”, which have emerged in a large number of countries in the course of the last decade, especially in xUSSR space (Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, etc). But the key methods of "color revolution" coup d'état can be traced to Chilean coup d'état or even earlier.

See also

At the core any color revolution is an intelligence operation with openly visible players being mostly patsies of more powerful and  sinister forces

The “color revolution” is a US intelligence operation which consists of covertly supporting as well as infiltrating protest movements with a view to triggering “regime change” under the banner of a pro-democracy template. The objective of a “color revolution” is to manipulate or delegitimize elections (if the winner in nor desired candidate), foment social unrest and use the protest movement to topple an existing legitimate government.  Formatting social unrest is done via media (and achieving media dominance is an important  step in unleashing a color revolution)  which serve important role in any color revolution. Similar to the role of aviation in modern wars. With the only difference that it drops propaganda bombs. The goal is always the same -- to install a compliant pro-neoliberal, pro-US government (“puppet regime”).

The main underlying features of color revolution is that  those activities are structured as intelligence operation and some players might not even understand that they are puppet of pretty nefarious scheme and  believe in noble slogans that are on the surface of events.  A lot of technologies in color revolution was taken  from Trotskyite and Bolsheviks handbooks. That include the role of students as foot soldiers of regime change, Attempt to capture media as the  first step, digging  dirt on key figures of existing government (corruption is the favorite change in such revolutions). Color revolution added several new  features: massive financial infusion to keep unrest going, coordinating role of neoliberal NGO and think tanks in particular country, penetration into and use of law enforcement for deposing the members of the current government (typically on corruption changes). 

This contact bombardment of public with negative information about the current administration and "outsize" role of intelligence agencies we can observe  in the current campaign to de-legitimize and depose President Trump.  Instead of corruption changes they use  the  change  of cooperation with country which they demonized and present as adversary -- Russia. That why some call this color revolution Russiagate. As James Petras observed (Imperial Power Centers, July 24, 2017) :

With the ascent of Donald Trump to the US Presidency, imperial rulership has become openly contested terrain, fought over amid unyielding aspirants seeking to overthrow the democratically elected regime.

While Presidents rule, today the entire state structure is riven by rival power centers. At the moment, all of the power seekers are at war to impose their rule over the empire.

In the first place, the strategically placed security apparatus is no longer under Presidential control: They operate in coordination with insurgent Congressional power centers, mass media and extra-governmental power configurations among the oligarchs (business, merchants, arms manufacturers, Zionists and special interest lobbies).

Sectors of the state apparatus and bureaucracy investigate the executive, freely leaking damaging reports to the media, distorting fabricating and/or magnifying incidents. They publicly pursue a course with the goal of regime change.

The FBI, Homeland Security, the CIA and other power configurations are acting as crucial allies to the coup-makers seeking to undermine Presidential control over the empire. No doubt, many factions within the regional offices nervously look on, waiting to see if the President will be defeated by these opposing power configurations or will survive and purge their current directors.

The Pentagon contains both elements that are pro as well as anti-Presidential power: Some active generals are aligned with the prime movers pushing for regime change, while others oppose this movement. Both contending forces influence and dictate imperial military policies.

The most visible and aggressive advocates of regime change are found in the militarist wing of the Democratic Party. They are embedded in the Congress and allied with police state militarists in and out of Washington.

Journalists as "professional Anti-trump protesters": role of MSM as the attack dogs of color revolution

Engineered protest movements are carefully planned and well financed (to the extent of create a caste of "professional protesters"). Again the key feature of all color revolutions is that they are essentially intelligence ops performed via NGO and similar organization, with huge role of the US embassy as the coordinating center.  They use non-governmental organizations and opposition media to recruit protesters. 

Creation of powerful opposition media is the necessary prerequisite step in preparation of the color revolution. The protest need to be televised in order to amplify their significance (preferably out of proportion and TV is perfectly suitable for that, using the necessary angles to create impression of huge crowd and interviewing patsies to show deep discontent), and create a critical mass of discontent among the population. Again, the  change of corruption is the favorite delegitimization tactics in such events (and  who in modern political life is not corrupt, or do not have skeletons in the closet?). 

As if it can be stopped by the "regime change" (often after color revolution corruption and looting of the country becomes much worse, reaching like was case with Russia in 1990th and Ukraine in 1990th and after 2014 really epic scales).  Often even more corrupt oligarchs come to power as a result, only more  subservant to multinational corporations. And BTW its multinationals such as GE which control the US media too. How convenient.   

See also

Chronology  of color revolution against Trump

Published evidence suggests that there were at least four intelligence organization involved:

  1. CIA (Brennan probably via FBI and also via the level of control of the MSM and Obama. CIA might be the initial source of dirt that  went in Steele dossier via round trip to GB. 
  2. FBI via Comey, Strzokgate and Steele dossier ( Hoover was the pioneer of intelligence agencies interference and collecting dirt of politicians to survive.  Then came CIA chief Allen Dulles (who might also be instrumental in FDR murder). Now it was Brennan, Comey, Clapper and probably some other highly place officials via control of Hillary Clinton email investigation and initiating surveillance of Trump team.
  3. MI6 (via Steele Dossier and possible help with surveillance of Trump team)
  4. NSA -- via intercepting Trump team communications and participating in create "17 agencies memo".

Much  of this like with JFK assassination is hidden and might surface in a decade or two. Currently we know very little. The elements  of this scheme  about which we have some information  are:

The basic chronology might be as following (partially based on Stefan Molyneux YouTube  presentation):

  1. [Aug 01, 2014]:  Brennan caught spying on Senate torture probe. John Brennan Faces Calls to Resign After CIA Admits to Spying on Senate Torture Probe - Democracy Now!
  2. [Mar 02, 2015]: Hillary Clinton emailgate scandal broke lose. NYT reports that "Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record. Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act"
  3. [Jun 13, 2015]: CrowdStrike was financed to the tune of $100 million by Google Capital. Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Alphabet, has been a staunch and active supporter of Hillary Clinton and is a longtime donor to the Democratic Party. (Stefan Molyneux)
  4. [Oct ?? 2015]: Fusion GPS became key anti-Trump player -- the dirt digger.  During the Republican primary campaign, The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website primarily funded by Republican donor Paul Singer, hired the American research firm Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on Trump and other Republican presidential candidates.[1] Please note that  Christopher Steele at this time is not yet in the picture. This will happen six months later when the investigation became funded by Hillary Clinton campaign and DNC. For months, Fusion GPS gathered information about Trump, focusing on his business and entertainment activities. When Trump became the presumptive nominee on May 3, 2016, The Free Beacon stopped funding research on him.[21][22][23]
  5. [Mar ??, 2016]: Fusion GPS supposedly approached the Hillary Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee through the law firm Perkins Coie offering to continue their opposition research into Donald Trump in return for payment.[Wikipedia]
  6. [Apr ??, 2016]: The Hillary Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee used lawyer Marc E. Elias to retain and fund Fusion GPS. At this time Christopher Steele came into picture, may be via his ties with McCabe and FBI activities to derail Trump.   In April 2016, the investigation contract and funding were taken over by Marc Elias, a partner in the large Seattle-based law firm Perkins Coie and head of its Political Law practice. Elias was the attorney of record for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Clinton presidential campaign.[6] In total, Perkins Coie paid Fusion GPS $1.02 million in fees and expenses, $168,000 of which was paid to Orbis Business Intelligence, a private British intelligence firm, and used by them to produce the dossier.[24] Glenn R. Simpson of Fusion GPS has stated that Steele did not pay to any of his sources.[25][Wikipedia]
  7. [Apr-Jun, 2016]: Wikileaks obtains something like 53,000 [DNC] emails and 17,000 attachments
  8. [Jun ??, 2016]:  After Wikileaks possession of leaked emails became known, a cover-up operation was started by DNC and Clinton campaign. The decision was made to used Russia as a scapegoat for the leak accusing  them in hacking. False flag operation using Crowdstrike was staged to make this plausible.  Dirty former MI6 officer Christopher Steele (who was expelled from Moscow for espionage more then 20 years ago and as such is a "person non grata" in Moscow) and his company Orbis Business Intelligence are hired by Fusion GPS to investigate Trump’s possible connections to Russia. This company previously was used to Statement from Christopher Steele: “Between June and early November 2016 Orbis was engaged by Fusion to prepare a series of confidential memoranda based on intelligence concerning Russian efforts to influence the US Presidential election process and links between Russia and Donald Trump.”
  9. [Jun 9, 2016]: Entrapment plot against Trump Jr. Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort attended a meeting arranged by publicist Rob Goldstone with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya (the client of Fusion FPS) supposedly for opposition research on Hillary Clinton, but Veselnitskaya instead focused on the opposition to the Magnitsky Act. President Trump's Outside Counsel Mark Corallo later remarked “Specifically, we have learned that the person who sought the meeting is associated with Fusion GPS, a firm which according to public reports, was retained by Democratic operatives to develop opposition research on the president and which commissioned the phony Steele dossier.”
  10. Crowdstrike investigates DNC leaks and promptly attributes it to Russians.  FBI is deprived of any access to factual information and uses Crowdstrike findings. After very damaging for Hillary DNC leak (iether  by Seth Rich or some other disgruntled DNC staffer) which proved corruption of DNC and the plot to deny Sanders any changed to become Democratic Party candidate, as well as the level of control of DNC by Clintons,  the decision was made to blame Russia for the lean (using Crowdstrike which has connections both with CIA and FBI as well as Clinton team) and use Trump connection with Russia to undermine the prospect of his election. The CrowdStrike attribution are not independently verified as the DNC refused to turn over its equipment to the FBI. . The connection between CrowdStrike and Perkins Coie should raise additional questions. (Stefan Molyneux)
  11. [Jun 14, 2016]: Russiagate smear campaign against Trump was launched in by major US MSM. The Washington Post published an article entitled “Russian government hackers penetrated DNC, stole opposition research on Trump" which reported: “DNC leaders were tipped to the hack in late April. Chief executive Amy Dacey got a call from her operations chief saying that their information technology team had noticed some unusual network activity.” “That evening, she spoke with Michael Sussmann, a DNC lawyer who is a partner with Perkins Coie in Washington. Soon after, Sussmann, a former federal prosecutor who handled computer crime cases, called [CrowdStrike President Shawn Henry], whom he has known for many years. "Within 24 hours, Crowdstrike had installed software on the DNC’s computers so that it could analyze data that could indicate who had gained access, when and how. " Charging good money after the horse has left the barn; it's funny that clearly political action of  "attribution" (qualified cyber adversary like CIA leaves zero traces in such cases or deliberately leaves false traces ) is hidden under tech jargon -- my God, a "super sophisticated" system was installed that now, when intruders are long gone will truck them ;-). From presentations available on YouTube Crowdstrike are typical security snake oil salesmen promising  a lot but delivering very little (much like ISS in the past).   It is impossible fully compensate for architectural flaws of Windows without imposing "military base" regime which is unacceptable for organizations like DNC. Moreover good adversary would use Crowdstrike software for perpetration much like CIA used Kaspersky software in the past. 
  12. [Jun 15, 2016]: Crowdstike  published its finding on thier site. Dmitry Alpherovidh blames Russians in his article Bears in the Midst Intrusion into the Democratic National Committee »
  13. [Jun 15, 2016]: A blog post to a WordPress site authored by an individual using the moniker Guccifer 2.0 claimed credit for breaching the Democratic National Committee. This blog post presents documents alleged to have originated from the DNC.
  14. [Jun 26, 2016] Bill Clinton has a 30 min meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch at Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport. The encounter took place ahead of the public release Tuesday morning of the House Benghazi Committee's report on the 2012 attack on a US consulate in Libya.  the meeting looks like a quid pro quo of "protect Hillary and you'll get a new great job Loretta under Hillary administration"...
  15. [Jun 30, 2016] The new about the meeting reached MSM. Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, said on The Mike Gallagher Show that the meeting was “so terrible” and “one of the big stories of this week, of this month, of this year.” Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas tweeted: “Lynch & Clinton: Conflict of interest? An attorney, cannot represent two parties in a dispute and must avoid even the appearance of conflict.” LA Times. Later it became known that Loretta Lunch instructed Comey to call Hillary email scandal "a matter".  During May 2017 testimony  James Comey, that it marking the moment he decided that the Department of Justice was not capable of an independent investigation into Hillary Clinton. The moment Comey lost faith in DOJ's Clinton probe - CNNPolitics
  16. [Jul 02, 2016]:  Hillary Clinton was interviewed by Peter Strzok, who gave her special "HQ treatment". The interview lasted approximately three and a half hours and was not conducted under oath. No transcripts of the  meeting exist.  Later Hillary Clinton claimed that she gave a "voluntary interview" to the FBI today regarding her email arrangements while she was secretary of state. James Comey admitted: Loretta Lynch's tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton was the turning point in the email investigation.  Business Insider Director Comey claimed that she did not lied to FBI during this interview. Director Comey admitted that he did not participate himself in the FBI’s interview of Hillary Clinton, nor did he talk to all of the agents who were present at the interview. While there was no recording or full transcript of the interview, there is an analysis which may or may not be provided to Congress.
  17. [Jul 05, 2016]: Comey hijacks the role of Justice Department role and exonerate Hillary. At this point  email scandal was swiped under the carpet. No criminal changes were filed. Statement by FBI Director James B. Comey on the Investigation of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Use of a Personal E-Mail System
  18. [Jul 06, 2016]: Attorney General Loretta Lynch closed the case based on the FBI’s recommendation. Justice Department formally closes Clinton email investigation with no charges - LA Times. Atty. Gen Loretta Lynch said she had met late Wednesday with Comey and career prosecutors and agents who conducted the investigation.
  19. [Jul 10, 2016]: Seth Rich was killed.
  20. [Jul 22, 2016]: Wikipeak published leaks emails and  attachments. A cache of more than 19,000 e-mails was leaked on July 22, 2016.
  21. [Jul 22, 2016]: Another false flag operation to implicate Russians ? Major MSM report about previous unknown hacker going by the moniker "Guccifer 2.0" who claimed on a WordPress-hosted blog to have been acting alone in hacking the DNC. Might be a false flag operation by rogue elements of the US intelligence services, a part of effort to implicate Russians in DNC leak. 
  22. [Jul 24, 2016]: It became clear the DNC has thrown Sanders under the bus, but the role of FBI is depriving him from being Democratic Party candidate still remains hidden. Sanders urged Wasserman Schultz to resign following the leaks and stated that he was "disappointed" by the DNC email leaks, but said that he was "not shocked. In reality he was robbed in daylight. But not only by  Wasserman Schultz but also by the "gang of three at FBI who essentially prevented his nomination by swiping the dirt about Hillary Clinton handing of classified emails on the private email server under the carpet. Peter Strzok supposedly played outside role in this fateful decision. But that became known only in December 2017.
  23. [Jul 25, 2016]: Democratic Convention 2016 opens in at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia  Hillary became the  Democratic  party nominee. Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to reside due to her role in derailing Sanders candidacy. Sanders switched  camps and endorsed Hillary Clinton instead of fighting her nomination.  As Trump sarcastically commented  about Sanders endorsement of Hillary: 'Bernie is now officially part of the rigged system': Trump unloads on Sanders for 'selling out,' says it's like Occupy Wall Street endorsing Goldman Sachs  Donald Trump unloads on Bernie Sanders for 'selling out' Daily Mail Online
  24. [Jul 25, 2016]: The FBI announced that it would investigate the DNC hack.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11] The same day, the DNC issued a formal apology to Bernie Sanders and his supporters, stating, "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email," and that the emails did not reflect the DNC's "steadfast commitment to neutrality during the nominating process."[12] (Wikipedia aka Ciapedia ;-)
  25. [Jul ??, 2016] Steele dossier reaches FBI. Steele, on his own initiative, supplied a report he had written to an FBI agent in Rome.[23] His contact at the FBI was the same senior agent with whom he had worked when investigating the FIFA scandal.[11] By early October 2016, he had grown frustrated at the slow rate of progress by the FBI investigation, and cut off further contact with the FBI.[21]  At this point Steele dossier got to the desk of Peter Strzok, adamantly anti-Trump FBI official with strong links to CIA and probably personally Brennan. 
  26. [July ??, 2016] Crowdstrike attribution is used for increasing the scope of vicious anti-Russian campaign was launched in the media with the full support and encouragement of Obama administration to swipe the dirt about DNC pushing Sanders under the bus and Clinton emailgate scandal as well as the problem with Hillary health.
  27. [Aug 25, 2016]: Brennan  makes the "all in" move adopting a highly political role and endorsing Steele dossier: according to NYT reports, CIA Director John Brennan briefed Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid on , and alleged that “unnamed advisers to Mr. Trump might be working with the Russians to interfere in the election.” (Stefan Molyneux)
  28. [Aug ??, 2016]: Reid had written to Comey and demanded an investigation of the “connections between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign,” and in that letter he indirectly referred to Carter Page, an American businessman cited by Trump as one of his foreign policy advisers, who had financial ties to Russia and had recently visited Moscow. 
  29. [Sep ??, 2016]: Steele, following instructions from Fusion GPs briefed several MSM. On Sep 23, 2016 Yahoo News published an article about possibilities of ties between Carter Page and Kremlin.
  30. [Sep ??, 2016] Following a report from the Daily Mail in September 2016, Weiner was investigated by the FBI for sexting with a 15-year-old girl. His laptop was seized and emails related to the Hillary Clinton email scandal were found on it, causing a controversy late in the presidential election. On May 19, 2017, Weiner pled guilty to one count of transferring obscene material to a minor. His wife, Huma Abedin, filed for divorce prior to Weiner's guilty plea. In September, he was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison. On November 6, 2017, Weiner began his sentence. (Wikipedia)
  31. [Sep ?? 2016]: FBI applied to FISA court to establish  surveillance on unknown number of members of Trump team (at least Carter Page) possibly using Steele dossier as a pretext.  Looks like rogue elements in FBI used "Steele Dossier" to obtain court order for wiretapping  some members of Trump team such as Carter Page (Strzokgate). With the dirt explicitly planned to be used as "insurance" in case of Trump victory.
  32. [Sep ??, 2016]: FISA warrant was authorized against Page, just after he left the Trump campaign (WaPo).
  33. [Oct 7, 2016]: Damaging for Trump "17 agencies memo" surfaced. This "17 agencies memo" was cooked by Brennan (with possible support of Clapper) by using small pre-selected team of "analysts" (in which probably Peter Strzok played the leading role) and presented as the view of the whole US intelligence community. On October 7, 2016 . On Oct. 7, the Department of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a joint statement on behalf of the U.S. Intelligence Community. The USIC is made up of 16 agencies, in addition to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (Yes, 17 intelligence agencies really did say Russia was behind hacking )
  34. The 17 agencies memo was used for amplification of the anti-Russian campaign in MSM. Neo-McCarthyism campaign in the USA reached high pitch.
  35. [Oct ??, 2016]: The FBI reached an agreement with Steele to pay him to continue his work. Looks like  the agreement never materialized as Steele was unable to provide the necessary verification for his claims.
  36. [Oct ?? 2016]: [Wikipedia propagates questionable info about how David Corn got the dossier, in view of role of Top FBI Lawyer Who Was Demoted Now Linked To Leaking Bogus Trump Dossier to MSM] On instructions from Fusion PGS Steele personally compiled 33 pages and passed on what he discovered so far to the anti-Trump reporter David Corn from Mother Jones magazine.[26][Wikipedia].  On Dec 22, 2017 it became known that another possible source was not Steele but FBI Lawyer  James Baker  who communicated with David Corn at this time and was demoted later for the leak.
  37. [Oct 28, 2016]: Due to the pressure from NYC FBI office who uncovered Comey announced that the investigation into Hillary "bathroom" email server is resumed based on new emails uncovered in probe into Anthony Wiener sexing scandal (which actually were available to FBI since September, so "why now"? ). FBI reopening investigation into Hillary private email server - Business Insider.  Strzok was assigned to conduct the investigation with predictable results. But the problem with this announcement is that it was made just a 10 days before the elections and violates the notion of "quite period" before election where such news should not be released.  Looks like Comey has second thoughts after throwing Sanders  under the bus.
  38. [Oct 31, 2016]: In the clear attempt to prevent election on Trump rabid Hillary Clinton supported David Corn, a Mother Jones reporter, leaked the existence of the Steele dossier A Veteran Spy Has Given the FBI Information Alleging a Russian Operation to Cultivate Donald Trump – Mother Jones. This leak can be viewed as a countermove on the Comey announcement, which damaged Clinton campaign:

    Mother Jones has reviewed that report and other memos this former spy wrote. The first memo, based on the former intelligence officer’s conversations with Russian sources, noted, “Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years. Aim, endorsed by PUTIN, has been to encourage splits and divisions in western alliance.” It maintained that Trump “and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals.” It claimed that Russian intelligence had “compromised” Trump during his visits to Moscow and could “blackmail him.” It also reported that Russian intelligence had compiled a dossier on Hillary Clinton based on “bugged conversations she had on various visits to Russia and intercepted phone calls.”

    The former intelligence officer says the response from the FBI was “shock and horror.” The FBI, after receiving the first memo, did not immediately request additional material, according to the former intelligence officer and his American associates. Yet in August, they say, the FBI asked him for all information in his possession and for him to explain how the material had been gathered and to identify his sources. The former spy forwarded to the bureau several memos—some of which referred to members of Trump’s inner circle. After that point, he continued to share information with the FBI. “It’s quite clear there was or is a pretty substantial inquiry going on,” he says.

    “This is something of huge significance, way above party politics,” the former intelligence officer comments. “I think [Trump’s] own party should be aware of this stuff as well.”

    The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment regarding the memos. In the past, Trump has declared, “I have nothing to do with Russia.”

  39. [Nov 06, 2016]: WikiLeaks released a second batch of DNC emails, adding 8,263 emails to its collection.[13] (Wikipedia), This was another deliberate attempt to influence an election as this should be a "quite" period" for such things.
  40. [Nov 06, 2016]:  FBI closes the investigation of "Wiener's laptop copy of Hillary Clinton emails". FBI chief James Comey told leaders in Congress hours earlier that a review of 650,000 emails discovered on a laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner had reinforced his July 5 decision to let her off the hook. FBI will not change decision regarding Hillary Clinton's emails Daily Mail Online
  41. [Nov 09, 2016]: Trump was elected in a surprise victory over Hillary Clinton in a stunning repudiation of the establishemnt .  United States elections, 2016 - Wikipedia
  42. [Nov 10, 2017]: After Trump election massive NeoMcCartyism was launched. Any contact with Russian officials were deemed criminal and the betrayal of the country.  
  43. [Nov 17, 2016]:  Retired general Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was appointed as the national security adviser. Trump appoints Michael Flynn as national security adviser report - NY Daily News.

    Like Trump, Flynn sees a military ally in controversial Russian President Vladimir Putin, who he was seated next to at a banquet in Moscow last year. Flynn has also appeared several times on the state-owned TV station, Russia Today, which the U.S. State Department has accused of being a mouthpiece for Putin.

    ... ... ...

    Flynn's convention appearance puzzled many generals he had served with, as it broke their unofficial code of not picking sides in presidential races.

    Flynn gained further notoriety when he retweeted an anti-Semitic tweet that said, "Not anymore, Jews. Not anymore." He later apologized for the retweet, claiming it was a "mistake."

  44. Obama administration engaged in fierce campaign of "unmasking" the result of surveillance of Trump team in which several members of its administration participated (Susan Rice in primary role).  With the goal of discrediting Trump team and specifically removal of Flynn from the team.

    However, there are 20 high-ranking officials within the U.S. government who have to power to approve requests to reveal those identities if they deem that information is necessary to understanding the value of the intelligence. That process is called "unmasking," and Rice had the authority to do so while serving as national security adviser.

  45. [Nov 18, 2016]:  Sir Andrew Wood, British ambassador to Moscow from 1995 to 2000, met with U.S. Senator John McCain at the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada, and told McCain about the existence of the collected materials about Trump.[28] Wood vouched for Steele’s professionalism and integrity.[29] In early December, McCain obtained a copy of the dossier from David J. Kramer, a former U.S. State Department official working at Arizona State University.[27] On 9 December 2016 McCain met personally with FBI Director James Comey to pass on the information.[28]
  46. [Nov ??, 2016]: McCain got the dossier and spread it within Washington circles. 
  47. [Dec 09, 2016]: President Obama ordered the entire United States Intelligence Community to conduct an investigation into Russia's attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. election — and provide a report before he leaves office on January 20, 2017
  48. [Dec 29, 2016]: Obama makes his last New Year present to Russia a fuels Russiagate hysteria. He expelled 35 Russian diplomats and seized Russian property in the USA under the pretext of Russia  influencing the US Presidential elections. Along with 17 agencies memo that fueled further neo-McCarthyism campaign again Russia and damaged Trump team. [46][47][48] (Wikipedia)
  49. Another entrapment plot -- this  time against Flynn: Attempt of Flynn to limit the damage of the this move later were used for Flynn removal from the Trump team.  All his conversation were wiretapped and later leaked. In a way this was entrapment  as the conversations were recorded. later the recoding were used first to oust Flynn from Trump team and later by Mueller to  indict  him on technical charge of lying to FBI to get additional dirt of Trump.
  50. [Early January 2017]: a two-page summary of the Trump dossier was presented to President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump in meetings with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers. Christopher Steele - Wikipedia
  51. [Jan 10, 2017]: Steele goes into hiding.
  52. [Jan 10, 2017]: Just  before inauguration, Steele dossier was published by Buzzfeed.  Clinton claimed to be unaware and unconnected to the event.  [Wikipedia]

    On January 10, 2017, CNN reported that classified documents presented to Obama and Trump the previous week included allegations that Russian operatives possess "compromising personal and financial information" about Trump. CNN stated that it would not publish specific details on the memos because it had not "independently corroborated the specific allegations".[32][33] Following the CNN report,[34] BuzzFeed published a 35-page dossier that it said was the basis of the briefing, including unverified claims that Russian operatives had collected "embarrassing material" involving Trump that could be used to blackmail him.[35][36][33][37] NBC reported that a senior U.S. intelligence official said that Trump had not been previously briefed on the contents of the memos,[38] although a CNN report said that a statement released by James Clapper in early January confirmed that the synopsis existed and had been compiled for Trump.[39]

  53. [Jan 12, 2017]: Obama's EO12333 expansion made sure that whatever anti-Trump information got picked up by the intelligence community could be spread widely, and would be hard to trace it back to an individual source .  See also Obama Expands Surveillance Powers on His Way Out Electronic Frontier Foundation
  54. [Jan 20, 2017]: Trump inauguration was accompanied some protests like is common in color revolution scenarios, but is atypical for the US inauguration. They did failed to achieve the necessary scale in order to serve as a "trigger for further disturbances" nessesary to trigger further color revolution protests. There were no charges of policy brutality.  Only 217 protesters were arrested.  Trump inauguration protest damages parts of downtown Washington - CBS News

    The bulk of the criminal acts happened at 10:30 a.m. when 400 to 500 people on 13th Street destroyed property, Interim Police Chief Peter Newsham said. The protesters were armed with crowbars and threw objects at people and businesses, destroying storefronts and damaging vehicles. Police used pepper spray to diffuse the situation.

  55. [Jan 21, 2017]: Campaign for Flynn removal from Trump team started. After inauguration dirt of several member  of Trump team was surfaced  and first of all on general Flynn (who was important link to intelligence agencies in Trump administration) General Flynn served as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency from July 2012 to his retirement from the military in August 2014. The fact the Flynn lobbied Russians to take more consolatory stance on Israel actions and not to retaliate for expulsion of 35 diplomats will become known much later. At this time his meetings are presented by MSM as a clear collision with the direct goal to discredit him and remove him from the team.
  56. [Jan 23, 2017]: Was this connected with Trump team wiretapping? Robert Hannigan, the director of GCHQ, has resigned from his job as head of one of the three Government intelligence agencies after just two years. GCHQ would only say that Mr Hannigan had left his post for "personal reasons" and that he was not sacked or subject to disciplinary proceedings. He had been director general of defense and intelligence at the Foreign Office before that. At the time he took on the job, GCHQ had been forced onto the defensive following the leak of information about mass surveillance by Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee. GCHQ boss Robert Hannigan quits for 'personal reasons' after just two years
  57. [Feb 13, 2017]: The first victim of Russiagate -- former general Flynn was forced to resign from Trump administration.
  58. [Mar 04, 2017]: Trump complains  about British MI6 surveillance on him and members of his team. White House does not know if alleged surveillance of Trump was by wiretap US news The Guardian
  59. [Mar 07, 2017]: Steele suddenly and unexpectedly emerged form hiding. Former MI6 agent behind Trump dossier returns to work UK news The Guardian
  60. [Mar 22, 2017]: Politico published an article entitled "Nunes claims some Trump transition messages were intercepted" reporting: "House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes declared Wednesday that members of Donald Trump’s transition team, possibly including Trump himself, were under inadvertent surveillance following November’s presidential election." Immediately Nunes get under fire and gets investigated.
  61. [Apr 2, 2017]: Mike Cernovich claimed that Susan Rice was identified as the person who unmasked members of Trump transition team.
  62. [Apr 5, 2017]: Susan Rice unmasking frenzy was confirmed. What you need to know about Susan Rice and the unmasking controversy - ABC News
  63. [May 8, 2017]: Comey was fired by Trump.  Mr. Trump explained the firing by citing Mr. Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, even though the president was widely seen to have benefited politically from that inquiry and had once praised Mr. Comey for his “guts” in his pursuit of Mrs. Clinton during the campaign
  64. [May 9-May 17, 2017]: The "appointment  of the special prosecutor" gambit was launched.   After the success with the removal of Flynn (who might still have good connections with Military intelligence as as such  was especially dangerous for plotters appointment of the special prosecutor gambit was engineered. The included usage of Comey as sacrificed pawn and was supported by the atmosphere of  NeoMcCartyism already created in the country and rogue elements in the  Department of justice.
  65. [May 16, 2017]: Comey leaks information was published by NYT. Which was a deliberate criminal act on his part as such memos belong to the government. the idea was to trigger the appointment of the Special prosecutor and it worked. Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation - The New York Times

    Mr. Comey wrote the memo detailing his conversation with the president immediately after the meeting, which took place the day after Mr. Flynn resigned, according to two people who read the memo. It was part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence a continuing investigation. An F.B.I. agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations.

  66. [May 17, 2017]: Rosenstein appoints Mueller as the Special Prosecutor to investigate Trump-Russia connections and possible Russia influence on the elections.  With the indirect goal for force Trump resignation: shortly before Mueller was interviews by  Trump for the position of the director of FBI and was rejected.  Now Comey destiny as a leaker of government information hinged on the results on Mueller investigation. And they are long  time friends.  Mr. Comey revealed for the first time that he turned over memos about his conversations with Mr. Trump to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.
  67. [May ??, 2017]: Mueller took his task to provide a pretext to depose Trump seriously  and hired rabid anti-Trump prosecutors including Peter Strzok and Andrew Weissmann  (whom NYT called Mueller’s Legal Pit Bull) creating witch-hunt that paralyzed Trump administration.  As if it is difficult to find less biased competent  prosecutors in this country. In other words Mueller cards were revealed. 
  68. [Jun 8, 2017]: During his testimony Comey before before the Senate Intelligence Committee Comey admitted to be the source of leaks to media which triggered the appointment of the Special Prosecutor by Rosenstein, but  refused to answer question about FBI role in propagating and financing Steele dossier. Mr. Comey acknowledged for the first time that the FBI. was investigating Trump team but personally Mr. Trump. .    Comey Testimony The 8 Big Questions James Comey Refused to Answer
  69. [July ??, 2017]: Arrest of Imran Awan and possible role of Debbie Wasserman Schultz in organizing private spying on the members of Congress for the benefits of DNC and Democratic Party. 
  70. [July 20, 2017] FBI finally produced text messages from Strzok to Lisa Page that Horowitz office requested. Those texts uncovered by Inspector General provided ample information about the level of his bias against Trump
  71. [July ?? 2017]: Peter Strzok his illicit lover, FBI lawyer Lisa Page leaves Mueller team
  72. [July 27, 2017]: Mueller and Rosenstein were informed about Peter Strzok text messages to Lisa Page
  73. [Aug ??, 2017]: Peter Strzok was quietly removed from the Mueller investigation and demoted in FBI.  Neither Rosenstein, no Congress were informed.
  74. [Oct 18, 2017]: Three Fusion GPS partners plead the Fifth in response to subpoenas to testify before the House Intelligence Committee dailycaller.com

     "In August, Simpson, the point-man on the dossier project, met with the Senate Judiciary Committee for 10 hours. That meeting was held after Simpson and Fusion threatened to plead the Fifth in response to a subpoena threat from the Judiciary panel."

  75. [Oct 21, 2017]:  Fusion GPS that financed Steele dossier asks court to stop lawmakers from seeing financial records
  76. [Oct 25, 2017]: It was revealed that Steele dossier was funded by Hillary Clinton campaign and DNC via Fusion GPS. Hillary Camp Paid For Fusion GPS Steele Dossier – FBI Covered Steele’s Travel Expenses, The WaPo article claims the 2016 presidential campaign of Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee paid for the Fusion GPS dossier alleging Russian ties with the presidential campaign of Republican Donald Trump and sordid phony personal smears of Trump. The Post reported that Clinton campaign and DNC lawyer Marc Elias and his law firm Perkins Coie paid Fusion GPS $168K to continue researching Trump after a Republican donor who originally funded the research pulled out in April 2016.The Clinton campaign and the DNC continued to fund Steele’s research through the end of October. The Dirty Truth About the Steele Dossier Vanity Fair
  77. [Nov 6, 2017]: Flynn was indicted by Mueller team along with another hapless staffer. Business Insider  The indictment of Michael Flynn seems to have been partly intended to shield Mueller from dismissal and to keep his Russiagate investigation alive.
  78. [Dec 1, 2017]: Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI. He was previously entrapeed by Peter Strzok and charged with lying to FBI. This move by-and-large was viewed as a desperate attempt of Mueller to survive under the barrage of revelations about Peter Strzok. And it suceccededed. Mueller probe survives althouth he personally from this point was discredited as a partisan hack (which he was since 9/11). 
  79. [Dec 2, 2017]: Information about Peter Strzok removal comes to light and the texts between him and Lisa Page were disclosed. FBI Agent Kicked-Off Mueller Team for Anti-Trump Messages - Breitbart
  80. [Dec 7, 2017]: Bruce Ohr, Top DOJ Official, Demoted for Ties to Fusion GPS, Trump Dossier. Information that Steele was also directly in touch with high level Obama’s Justice Department official Bruce Ohr and that brse Ohr wife worked for Fusion GPs in anti-Trump research comes to light.
  81. [Dec 10, 2017]: Suspicions about the anti-trump plot within Justice Department and several intelligence agencies including FBI were openly voiced during Congressional hearings. The "insurance policy" email suggested the existence of a conspiracy within the FBI to rig the Presidential Election. During the exchanges between Wray and Jordan at the hearing in the House Judiciary Committee Jordan also had this to say:

    Here’s what I think — I think Peter Strozk (sic)… Mr. Super Agent at the FBI, I think he’s the guy who took the application to the FISA court and if that happened, if this happened, if you have the FBI working with a campaign, the Democrats’ campaign, taking opposition research, dressing it all up and turning it into an intelligence document so they can take it to the FISA court so they can spy on the other campaign, if that happened, that is as wrong as it gets

  82. [Dec 11, 2017]: During his interview Michael Morell  admitted the existence of the plot to remove Trump within intelligence agencies. Conservative Daily Post
  83. [Dec 17, 2017]: BBC became really alarmed at the perspective of appointing a special prosecutor to investigate FBI and/or reopening the probe about Hillary Clinton email server which can expose the role of British government in Steele dossier saga (Trump-Russia inquiry- Why attacks on Robert Mueller are mounting by Anthony Zurcher ) :

    All of it could be setting the ground for new investigations into the FBI or Democrat Hillary Clinton's actions while secretary of state - something Mr Trump himself has suggested - or perhaps even for the president to order the end of Mr Mueller's probe.

    Such an action would provoke a major political crisis and could have unpredictable consequences. For Mr Trump's defenders, it may be enough simply to mire Mr Mueller's investigation in a partisan morass. Here are some are some of the ways they're trying to do that.

  84. [Dec 19, 2017]: One of the central figures in "anti-Trump putsch" within Justice Department and intelligence agencies Andrew McCabe was  grilled for seven and a half hours by House Republicans in Russia meddling probe - Washington Times “I’ll be a little bit surprised if [Mr. McCabe‘s] still an employee of the FBI this time next week,” Mr. Gowdy told Fox News in a separate interview. Washington Times. Now it looks like there is investigation of Mueller collision with the "FBI gang of three" along with Mueller investigation of Trump. this became rteally convoluted but the  degrees of freedom for Mueller were severy cut now.
  85. [Dec 20, 2017]: Several other key figures connected with "insurance policy" email  are expected to testify under oath to House intelligence committee.  The list include Ohr, his wide, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok.
  86. [Dec 22, 2017] More than 170 House Democrats signed a letter supporting Mueller this week, and Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, took to the floor of the Senate on Wednesday to warn that ousting the special counsel could spark a constitutional crisis.
  87. [Dec 22, 2017]: Top FBI Lawyer James Baker who was recently demoted was linked to leaking bogus Steele Dossier to MSM. The GOP sources said the documents — made available recently to lawmakers by the Department of Justice — revealed that James Baker, the FBI’s general counsel, communicated with Mother Jones reporter David Corn in the weeks leading up to the November 2016 election. Corn was the first to report the existence of the dossier on Oct. 31. Top FBI Lawyer Who Was Demoted Now Linked To Leaking Bogus Trump Dossier to MSM – True PunditTrue Pundit
  88. [Dec 23, 2017]:  Andrew McCabe announced his intention to resign from FBI in 90 days (when he can get full pension). Trump sarcastically commented on this decision in a twit.
  89. [Dec 26, 2017]: Damage control efforts and attempt to regroup and save Mueller skin in view of Peter Strzok role in the Hillary email server investigation and pushing Steele dossier started. NYT tried to lower the expectations about year and half "Russiagate" investigation by rabidly anti-Trump team does not provide enough information to change President with "collision" (BTW there is no such rime in Us criminal codex). Now NYT pleads "give me  dirt, any dirt on Trump" The End of Trump and the End of Days - The New York Times:

    Fury isn’t strategy, and there’s no need to extrapolate beyond the facts already in our possession. Take the inquiries into the Trump campaign’s dealings with Russia. They could screech to a halt tomorrow and we’d be left with more than enough evidence of corrupt business dealings, conflicts of interest, shady back channels, awful judgment and outright lies among Trump’s intimates to present voters with a powerful case against his fitness for office.

    But by obsessing over clear “collusion” and insisting on visible puppet strings by which Vladimir Putin controlled Trump, we have set the bar dangerously high. Mueller’s ultimate findings could be plenty ugly and still be deemed underwhelming.

Classic color revolution trick: Failed attempt to turn electorate college against Trump and then disrupt inauguration

The color revolution usually precede a "quite period" in which "professional protesters" are trained, indoctrinated and financed, but no mass street protest occur: 

In August 1999, the CIA set up a training program for a Serbian NGO entitled OTPOR which subsequently played a key role in the engineered protest movement conducive to the downfall of president Slobodan Milosevic. A few years later, OTPOR established a training and strategizing outfit entitled  The Centre for Applied Non Violent Action and Strategies (CANVAS). CANVAS became a consulting outfit specializing in “Revolution” on contract to the CIA.

... ... ...

What is at stake is a “color revolution” Made in America which is marked by fundamental rivalries within the US establishment, namely the clash between competing corporate factions, each of which is intent upon exerting control over the incoming US presidency.

The OTPOR-CANVAS-CIA model is nonetheless relevant. Several foundations involved in funding color revolutions internationally are involved in funding the anti-Trump campaign.

Moreover, while CANVAS’ mandate is to oversee “color revolutions” internationally, it also has links with a number of NGOs currently involved in the anti-Trump campaign including  The Occupy Wall Street Movement (OWS). OWS launched by Adbusters was funded via the Tides Foundation which in turn is funded by a number of corporate foundations and charities, including the Ford Foundation, Gates Foundation  and the Open Society Institute. Ford is known to have historical links to US intelligence.

It is worth noting that the raised fist logo first launched by OTPOR in 1999 as a symbol of CIA sponsored color revolutions (including Egypt during the Arab Spring), also constitutes the symbol of several organizations involved in the anti-Trump engineered protest movement.

The Inauguration Disrupt Campaign: Disruptj20

... The Disruptj20.org campaign is calling for the disruption of the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017:

#DisruptJ20 is supported by the work of the DC Welcoming Committee, a collective of experienced local activists and out-of-work gravediggers acting with national support. We’re building the framework needed for mass protests to shut down the inauguration of Donald Trump and planning widespread direct actions to make that happen. We’re also providing services like housing, food, and even legal assistance to anyone who wants to join us.

“Color Revolution” Against Donald Trump“Color Revolution” Against Donald Trump

The actions contemplated include “setting up blockades at checkpoints to prevent people from gaining access to the inauguration proceedings”. A spokesperson confirmed that  #DisruptJ20 campaign would be “creating a framework to support mass protests and direct action to shut down the inauguration of Donald Trump” .

This could potentially lead to violent clashes with tens of thousands of Trump supporters, which is the ultimate objective of an engineered “Color Revolution” style protest movement supported covertly by US intelligence. It’s part of the logic of a “color revolution” scenario (e.g. Kiev-Maidan, Cairo-Tahir Square) which is predicated on triggering confrontation and urban violence.

Is the Disrupt Campaign committed to deliberately staging violence on January 20?

“The idea is to shut down access to the parade as much as possible and slowing it down to a crawl,” said DisruptJ20 organizer Legba Carrefour. “Then there’s the broader goal of shutting down the entire city around it and creating a sense of paralysis that creates a headline that says, ‘Trump’s inauguration creates chaos.’” (NBC, January 17, 2017)

The organizers of the engineered protest movement are funded by powerful corporate interests, they are supported by US intelligence. The objective is not to undermine the racist right wing agenda of Donald Trump as conveyed in the video below. Quite the opposite.

The same color revolution OTPOR style logo:

“Color Revolution” Against Donald Trump

 

Wolff "Fire and Fury" book: slander attack on Trump and  Bannon betrayal of the president

  "He is needy and amoral enough to just, you know, insult people for attention" -- Gawker

"Long a media provocateur Wolff has optimized his barbed bitching for the Internet" -- New York Magazine

From his first book Burn Rate Wolff emerged as a person  with enormous ego, and extremely, pathologically money hungry nut.  A person with no moral code.  To blackmail a person for Wolff is as simple as to drink a glass of water, if it will bring him a couple of bucks.  He represent an interesting perversion of journalism in the USA: slanderous attack journalism without any balance or moral compass.  And he has penchant of making notes of the conversation that the counterpart consider private, or off-record.  His main motivation is money and only money.  While some of what he says is true, his descriptions of people who often helped him to write his garbage is cruel and insensitive. You might be even entertained to read the clever caricatures of everyone Wolff lied to, swindled, and stepped on in his quest for a quick buck

The book teaches us that that are much more grades of distortion of the truth them just intentional lying. It is prudent to view this book in the context of the color regulation launched to depose Trump. In this sense it might be an opening move of the gambit "Unfit to serve in the office". Previous gambit connected with sacrificing Comey to appoint the Special Prosecutor failed after Strzok-gate was uncovered and Stele dossier discredited.  Is Wolff another CIA produced pawn sacrificed in order to launch the next gambit to depose Trump (as well as provide a smoke screen cover for " Steele dossier fiasco").  The key here is to understand how promoted Wolff and  secured his  access to WH. His wandering inside WH was such a gross violation of protocol that suggest that some powerful "sponsor" was involved. And the  found disgruntled Bannon, used and destroyed him in the process.  The books can be viewed as a Bannon revenge ("burning the bridges") dictated to sympathetic ear.  So we can say that  they succeeded in eliminating Bannon.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders dismissed the book as “tabloid gossip” that was laced with “false and fraudulent claims.” While this  is true that is not the whole truth. It was actually a pretty powerful attack designed to undermine Trump (and earn some money in the process -- the author looks not only sleazy but greedy too) by  a pretty despicable pressitute and history of distorting fact to suit his agenda.  But  who stands behind this sleaze in unclear. Like is the case with Steele, while equally greedy and unscrupulous, both are not stupid enough in order to fail to understand how foray into such things might end.

The author excels in "soap opera" style of book starting with his 1999 Burn Rate How I Survived the Gold Rush Years on the Internet. His forte is to me Michael Wolff makes his hero to look a bumbling semi-uneducated amateur.  Either Trump put the author's wife in jail, took away his kids or killed his dog because the level of dislike he has to Trump (who allowed him into WH, not a small fit for sleazy gossip columnist) is really something. Reading this book was like watching a one guy just keeps hitting the other sitting tied to the chair with a boxing glove; the author kept the zingers coming from everything from domestic policy issues to Trump children.

The key message is  that  trump is out-of-touch and  unfit to the President of the USA. Essentially rehashed Hillary message.

The sensationalist and outlandish tone of the book makes me wonder how much of what is written is even remotely true. If you're looking for an analysis of Trump's policies, don't waste your dollars. This is mostly salacious gossip. In this sense the book belong to "make money fast" category

I found Wolff writing style annoying and too gossipy... But he is a gossip columnist and this  shows. As such he really belong to Vanity Fair pages. And the book properly compressed and rewritten with  less grammar error, less repetition, as well as more solid logical structure would make a fatly decent article in Vanity Fair. Not more then that.

There are several point  that are clear the book release mass hysteria in pro-Hillary MSM and Trump reaction:

  1. This is definitely attempt to take down Trump.  A part of color revolution against Trump. So Michael "sleazy" Wolff probably has some powerful sponsors among Clinton  stalwarts.
  2. Trump reaction was amateurish and counterproductive. Which actually confirms some suspicion raised in the book. His "genius" tweet was especially damaging, even if it was designed as humor mocking Wolff. Few people get the humor, most took it at face value.   The only guy who  actually raised to the moment was Stephen Miller. I like his characterization on Bannon line attack on CNN in his interview with Jake Tapper.
  3. Bannon was the main or only Wolff source (90% of Wolf  17 or so "excursion" in WH were for meeting Bannon). Bannon was an idiot to trust Wolff. He also proved to be completely out of depth and iether extremely naive or extremely disgruntled in assessing Trump Tower Meeting  with Russian  lawyer  Veselnitskaya organized by FBI contractor Fusion GPS as a trap for Trump Jr. (or the quote was "re-constructed" by Wolff as a payment for all the access to WH; "nothing personal, simply business"  ;-)  He also have pretty unrealistic ideas about foreign policy -- too much warmongering toward China and actually also toward Russia if we take into account  his assessment of Trump tower meeting at face value and not as one of Wolff "exaggerations", designed to make a book the bestseller and earn some serious money.
  4. Bannon proved to me a miserable human being, hell-bent of revenge.  Bannon committed stunning art betrayal of the President. Stunning even if we take into account that Trump renegs on most of his election promises. See  Steve Bannon Tells Michael Wolff Trump Is ‘Not Going to Make It’, Jan 4, 2018
    1. Bannon accusing Trump Jr. in treason and predicting that special counsel Robert Mueller would “crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.Scaramucci defends Trump, bashes Steve Bannon - YouTube
    2. Trump attorney Charles Harder said in a statement that “legal action is imminent” for Bannon allegedly violating his non-disparagement agreement with Trump and making “in some cases outright defamatory” statements.
    3. Calls Ivanka "stupid" and other character assassination.
  5. Wolf is sleazy gossip columnist who will commit any unmoral acts for money. He is now rightfully afraid of possible legal consequences.
  6. Wolf completely destroyed Bannon as a political figure and promoter of "economic nationalism" in the USA.  Wolff probably have tapes with conversation with Bannon. Alt-right will never trust Bannon again.  Actually nobody will trust him. Bannon is effectively dead as a political figure Karl Rove - YouTube
  7. Wolf assertion that he want to inform people about danger that Trump represents is phony. All he wants is money and a large scandal to feed his ego. That' shy he waited for a year to launch the book at one year of Trump presidency. There might be other motives too as the book distracted attention from Steele dossier fiasco and Strzok-gate (Ex-Bush adviser Why was Wolff allowed in White House):
    Amar Grewal 6 hours ago

    you guys , now after the fake witch hunt of Russian dossier you are cheat enough to come out with this fake book and fake author story to malign Trump, , ..... leave us Americans alone , do not waste resources of American tax payers in satisfying your arrogance and ego, ... instead you must call Obama/Clintons on the MSM and ask the relevant questions how much damage they done to this great nation
    ... ... ...

  8. Trump team was dysfunctional at the beginning and allow this mole to do the damage. There was not clear lines of responsibility and with flattery you can get pretty far. Looks like Bannon is the  main culprit to blame but there might be other. "That person, by all accounts, was former White House adviser Steve Bannon. While Trump may have simply known that the biographer of his idol, Rupert Murdoch, was on site, it was Bannon who ensured Wolff had access. " Why Steve Bannon let Michael Wolff in the White House - Business Insider. The AP's White House reporter, Zeke Miller, said that every time he saw Wolff there it was with an "appointment" badge rather than a "press" badge.

The book provide Bannon's perspective on the events, which palatably was a payback for the access Bannon provided to this sleazy gossip columnist.  Bannon proved to be a political arsonist who burn his bridges when he left the White House. And that probably influenced the final content of the book in a negative way, making it a political revenge type of the book.

Several themes can discerned under the pile of garbage and gossip:

He is unable to picture the real picture of Donald Trump or understand what his election was about. and it was about the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA and rejection by electorate establishment stooges like Hillary.  The victory of this neocon warmonger would be a much bigger slap in the USA face the Trump.

Before you read the book please listed to Trump old interview Donald Trump --  Charlie Rose. IMHO he does not  come out of this interview as bumbling idiot.  I strongly recommend to listen to it in full.

See more at Wolff revelations and slander of Trump administration

Some analogies with JFK assassination and Nixon Watergate scandal

In two previous case of removal of president intelligence agencies played outside role. This is also true about color revolution against Trump: it looks like the headquarters of color revolution are within the intelligence agencies and the main actors are FBI employees and controlled by CIA press.   

Trump vs. CIA --- DJT Forced to Finish the Fight Started by JFK Politics

This is wishful thinking. The reality is starkly different.

State of the Nation

John F. Kennedy was entirely right about the CIA … and that was back in 1961.  Imagine how much worse the global CIA-run tyranny is in 2017, 56 years later.  In addition to brutally murdering the American president, how many other heads of state have been summarily assassinated by the Central Intelligence Agency?

CIA & Company: The Real Plotters Behind JFK’s Assassination

Not only did the C.I.A. coordinate every aspect of the assassination of President Kennedy, they have continued to oversee a highly complex and effective cover-up since November 22, 1963.

JFK Assassination: Classic CIA EXECUTION Plan …
… and COVERUP

The C.I.A. painstakingly set up Lee Harvey Oswald as a patsy because he had warned JFK and his brother of a previous assassination plot in Chicago earlier that same month.

Lee Harvey Oswald: Framed By The CIA Because He Infiltrated Their Assassination Conspiracy

Not only did the C.I.A. frame Lee Harvey Oswald because he was actually working for Attorney General Bobby Kennedy, they also killed John F. Kennedy, Jr. to maintain the ongoing cover-up … after they killed Robert F. Kennedy on June 5, 1968.

Did the CIA kill Bobby Kennedy?

It’s true that JFK, Jr. was very close to outing George H.W. Bush as the CIA’s point man in Dallas on the day of President Kennedy’s Assassination.  He even named his iconic magazine — GEORGE — after the elder Bush assassin.

JFK Jr. Told The World Who Murdered His Father – But Nobody Was Paying Attention

Now the world knows why President Kennedy was so determined to “splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces” as his own son would eventually be murdered by the same rogue elements in The Company, as would his brother be conspiratorially killed by them. 

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[Feb 21, 2018] Thus, Putin-basher Clinton hired Putin-basher Alperovitch to investigate an alleged electronic heist, and to absolutely no one's surprise, his company concluded that guilty party was Vladimir Putin. Amazing!

Feb 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Partisan | Feb 20, 2018 5:06:58 PM | 11

The whole piece is just hilarious and I laughed out loud all time while reading it.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/16/nyts-really-weird-russiagate-story/

Since the FBI never inspected the DNC's computers first-hand, the only evidence comes from an Irvine, California, cyber-security firm known as CrowdStrike whose chief technical officer, Dmitri Alperovitch, a well-known Putin-phobe, is a fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank that is also vehemently anti-Russian as well as a close Hillary Clinton ally.

Thus, Putin-basher Clinton hired Putin-basher Alperovitch to investigate an alleged electronic heist, and to absolutely no one's surprise, his company concluded that guilty party was Vladimir Putin. Amazing! Since then, a small army of internet critics has chipped away at CrowdStrike for praising the hackers as among the best in the business yet declaring in the same breath that they gave themselves away by uploading a document in the name of "Felix Edmundovich," i.e. Felix E. Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet secret police.

As noted cyber-security expert Jeffrey Carr observed with regard to Russia's two main intelligence agencies: "Raise your hand if you think that a GRU or FSB officer would add Iron Felix's name to the metadata of a stolen document before he released it to the world while pretending to be a Romanian hacker. Someone clearly had a wicked sense of humor."

[Feb 21, 2018] Russian bots - How An Anti-Russian Lobby Creates Fake News

Notable quotes:
"... Atlantic Council ..."
"... Alliance for Securing Democracy. ..."
"... Alliance for Securing Democracy ..."
"... "to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin's ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe." That's pretty rich, coming from a country and from people who actually genuinely, and in proven ways, have subverted democracy in Europe since the late 1940s - Italy being one of the clearest cases. ..."
"... For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia. I can't believe it has to do with the economy. There's got to be a far better nefarious reason. Even during the real cold war we tried to avoid conflict. Absolute insanity. ..."
"... The cleverest trick used in propaganda against a specific country is to accuse it of what the accuser itself is doing. ..."
"... Clearly, this entire psyop was premeditated and its design was hastily done contemporaneously with Russia's Syria intervention. NSA/CIA/FBI knew of HRC's security breeches and rightly assumed their contents would find their way into the election, so the general plan was ready to go prior to WikiLeaks publications. b has uncovered much, and I hope he's planning to publish a book about the entire affair. ..."
"... Ken @ 4: There doesn't necessarily need to be One Major Reason for going to war. There may be several reasons all feeding and reinforcing one another and creating a psychological climate in which Going To War is seen as the only solution and is inevitable. The reasons are not just economic and political but cultural and historical. ..."
"... In some countries allied with the US, the politicians in power are the ideological descendants of those who collaborated with Nazi Germany - so in a sense they are committed to "correcting" what they see as wrong. In the case of current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, he is the grandson of a former prime minister who once served in General Tojo's World War II cabinet. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2012/12/26/national/formed-in-childhood-roots-of-abes-conservatism-go-deep/#.WoyZCG9uaUk ..."
"... The idea is to keep piling the pressure on to countries like Iran and Russia in the hope that their populations will rise up and demand the freedoms that we enjoy in the West....things like uncensored wardrobe malfunctions and transgender washrooms. ..."
"... Media have long agitated for War in US History. Nothing sells newspapers like a good ole war! Demonizing is a way to achieve it. What is sure is that this is a one way street. Once over the cliff, there is no turning back. ..."
"... In that The Narrative is tightly controlled in the corporate media, not matter how strong the proofs or arguments about the falsity of these propaganda campaigns are, little or no circulation of those proofs or arguments wlll reach the general public. ..."
"... Thanks Jen. It still makes no sense. As a veteran of the Vietnam fiasco, I was pretty much government oriented until McNamara outed the whole thing whining about haw sorry he was. 59,000 dead and he's sorry. They were able to hide the Gulf of Tonkin BS until then. After that I researched the reasons for each war/conflict the USA started and could find no logical reasons except hunger for power. But the little sandbox wars won't destroy the world like a major war/conflict with Russia and it goes nuclear. ..."
"... The warmongering is not intended to make any sense - not many people are trained in critical thinking and logic, and even when they are, they can be swamped by their own emotions or other people's emotions. Propaganda is intended to appeal to people's emotions and fears. You can try reading works by Edward Bernays - "Crystallizing Public Opinion" (1923) and "Propaganda" (1928) - to see how he uses his uncle Sigmund Freud's theories of the mind to create strategies for manipulating public opinion. https://archive.org/details/EdwardL.BernaysPropaganda ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

"Russian bots" - How An Anti-Russian Lobby Creates Fake News

The U.S. mainstream media are going nuts. They now make up and report stories based on the uncritical acceptance of the outcome of an algorithm they do not understand and which is know to produce fake results.

See for example these three stories:

From the last link:

SAN FRANCISCO -- One hour after news broke about the school shooting in Florida last week, Twitter accounts suspected of having links to Russia released hundreds of posts taking up the gun control debate.

The accounts addressed the news with the speed of a cable news network. Some adopted the hashtag #guncontrolnow. Others used #gunreformnow and #Parklandshooting. Earlier on Wednesday, before the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., many of those accounts had been focused on the investigation by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

In other words - the "Twitter accounts suspected of having links to Russia" were following the current news just as cable news networks do. When a new sensational event happened they immediately jumped onto it. But the NYT authors go to length to claim that there is some nefarious Russian scheme behind this that uses automated accounts to spread divisive issues.

Those claims are based on this propaganda project:

Last year, the Alliance for Securing Democracy, in conjunction with the German Marshall Fund, a public policy research group in Washington, created a website that tracks hundreds of Twitter accounts of human users and suspected bots that they have linked to a Russian influence campaign.

The "Alliance for Securing Democracy" is run by military lobbyists, CIA minions and neocons. Its claimed task is:

... to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin's ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe.

There is no evidence that Vladimir Putin made or makes such efforts.

The ASD "Hamilton 68" website shows graphics with rankings of "top items" and "trending items" allegedly used by Russian bots or influence agents. There is nothing complicate behind it. It simply tracks the tweets of 600 Twitter users and aggregates the hashtags they use. It does not say which Twitter accounts its algorithms follows. It claims that the 600 were selected by one of three criteria: 1. People who often tweet news that also appears on RT (Russia Today) and Sputnik News , two general news sites sponsored by the Russian government; 2. People who "openly profess to be pro-Russian"; 3. accounts that "appear to use automation" to boost the same themes that people in group 1 and 2 tweet about.

Nowhere does the group say how many of the 600 accounts it claims to track belong to which group. Are their 10 assumed bots or 590 in the surveyed 600 accounts? And how please does one "openly profess" to be pro-Russian? We don't know and the ASD won't say.

On December 25 2017 the "Russian influence" agents or bots who, according to NYT, want to sow divisiveness, wished everyone a Merry Christmas.


bigger

The real method the Hamilton 68 group used to select the 600 accounts it tracks is unknown. The group does not say or show how it made it up. Despite that the NYT reporters, Sheera Frenkel and Daisuke Wakabayashi, continue with the false assumptions that most or all the accounts are automated, have something to do with Russia and are presumably nefarious:

Russian-linked bots have rallied around other divisive issues, often ones that President Trump has tweeted about. They promoted Twitter hashtags like #boycottnfl, #standforouranthem and #takeaknee after some National Football League players started kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.

The automated Twitter accounts helped popularize the #releasethememo hashtag , ...

The Daily Beast reported earlier that the emphasized claim is definitely false :

Twitter's internal analysis has thus far found that authentic American accounts, and not Russian imposters or automated bots, are driving #ReleaseTheMemo. There are no preliminary indications that the Twitter activity either driving the hashtag or engaging with it is either predominantly Russian.

The same is presumably true for the other hashtags.

The Dutch IT specialist and blogger Marcel van den Berg was wondering how Dutch keywords and hashtags showed up in on the Hamilton 68 "Russian bots" dashboard. He found ( Dutch , English auto translation) that the dashboard is a total fraud:

In recent weeks, I have been keeping a close eye on Hamilton 68. Every time a Dutch hashtag was shown on the website, I made a screenshot. Then I noted what was playing at that moment and I watched the Tweets with this hashtag. Again I could not find any Tweet that seemed to be from a Russian troll.

In all cases, the hash tags that Hamilton 68 reported were trending topics in the Netherlands. In all cases there was much to do around the subject of the hashtag in the Netherlands. Many people were angry or shared their opinion on the subject on Twitter. And even if there were a few tweets with Russian connections between them, the effect is zero. Because they do not stand out among the many other, authentic Tweets.

Van den Berg lists a dozen examples he analyzed in depth.

The anti-Russian Bellingcat group around couch blogger Eliot Higgins is sponsored by the NATO propaganda shop Atlantic Council . It sniffs through open source stuff to blame Russia or Syria wherever possible. Bellingcat were recently a victim of the "Russian bots" - or rather of the ASD website. On February 10 the hashtag #bellingcat trended to rank 2 of the dashboard.


bigger

Bellingcat was thus, according to the Hamilton 68 claims, under assault of hordes of nefarious Russian government sponsored bots.

The Bellingcat folks looked into the issue and found that only six people on Twitter, none of them an automated account, had used the #bellingcat hashtag in the last 48 hours. Some of the six may have opinions that may be "pro Russian", but as Higgins himself says :

[I]n my opinion, it's extremely unlikely the people listed are Russian agents

The pro-NATO propaganda shop Bellingcat thus debunked the pro NATO propaganda shop Alliance for Securing Democracy.

The fraudsters who created the Hamilton 68 crap seem to have filled their database with rather normal people who's opinions they personally dislike. Those then are the "Russian bots" who spread "Russian influence" and divisiveness.

Moreover - what is the value of its information when six normal people out of millions of active Twitter users can push a hashtag with a handful of tweets to the top of the dashboard?

But the U.S. media writes long gushing stories about the dashboard and how it somehow shows automated Russian propaganda. They go to length to explain that this shows "Russian influence" and a "Russian" attempt to sow "divisiveness" into people's minds.

This is nuts.

Last August, when the Hamilton 68 project was first released, the Nation was the only site critical of it. It predicted :

The import of GMF's project is clear: Reporting on anything that might put the US in a bad light is now tantamount to spreading Russian propaganda.

It is now even worse than that. The top ranking of the #merrychristmas hashtag shows that the algorithm does not even care about good or bad news. The tracked twitter accounts are normal people.

The whole project is just a means to push fake stories about alleged "Russian influence" into U.S. medias. Whenever some issue creeps up on its dashboard that somehow fits its false "Russian bots" and "divisiveness" narrative the Alliance for Securing Democracy contacts the media to spread its poison. The U.S. media, - CNN, Wired, the New York Times - are by now obviously devoid of thinking journalists and fact checkers. They simple re-package the venom and spread it to the public.

How long will it take until people die from it?

Posted by b on February 20, 2018 at 03:15 PM | Permalink

Comments


nhs , Feb 20, 2018 3:24:03 PM | 1

The truth about 'Russiagate'
Lohmann , Feb 20, 2018 3:32:49 PM | 2
It's all too reminiscent of Duck Soup:

Rufus T. Firefly: I'd be unworthy of the high trust that's been placed in me if I didn't do everything in my power to keep our beloved Freedonia in peace with the world. I'd be only too happy to meet with Ambassador Trentino, and offer him on behalf of my country the right hand of good fellowship. And I feel sure he will accept this gesture in the spirit of which it is offered. But suppose he doesn't. A fine thing that'll be. I hold out my hand and he refuses to accept. That'll add a lot to my prestige, won't it? Me, the head of a country, snubbed by a foreign ambassador. Who does he think he is, that he can come here, and make a sap of me in front of all my people? Think of it - I hold out my hand and that hyena refuses to accept. Why, the cheap four-flushing swine, he'll never get away with it I tell you, he'll never get away with it.

[Trentino enters]

Rufus T. Firefly: So, you refuse to shake hands with me, eh?

[slaps Trentino with his glove]

Ambassador Trentino: Mrs. Teasdale, this is the last straw. There's no turning back now! This means war!

Rufus T. Firefly: Then it's war! Then it's war! Gather the forces. Harness the horses. Then it's war!

Clueless Joe , Feb 20, 2018 3:45:14 PM | 3
"to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin's ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe." That's pretty rich, coming from a country and from people who actually genuinely, and in proven ways, have subverted democracy in Europe since the late 1940s - Italy being one of the clearest cases.
ken , Feb 20, 2018 3:46:05 PM | 4
For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia. I can't believe it has to do with the economy. There's got to be a far better nefarious reason. Even during the real cold war we tried to avoid conflict. Absolute insanity.
xor , Feb 20, 2018 4:11:10 PM | 6
The cleverest trick used in propaganda against a specific country is to accuse it of what the accuser itself is doing.
karlof1 , Feb 20, 2018 4:30:11 PM | 8
Gee, what could go wrong formulating policy founded upon a series of Big Lies? Kim Dotcom says he has important info the FBI refuses to hear. At the Munich Security Conference , neocon Nicholas Burns, former US Ambassador to NATO, details my assertion's factual basis that current policy is being formed on a series of Big Lies: "Will NATO strengthen itself to contain Russian power in Eastern Europe giving what Russian [sic] has done illegally in Crimea, in the Donbass, and in Georgia ?" [Bolded text are the Big Lies.]

Clearly, this entire psyop was premeditated and its design was hastily done contemporaneously with Russia's Syria intervention. NSA/CIA/FBI knew of HRC's security breeches and rightly assumed their contents would find their way into the election, so the general plan was ready to go prior to WikiLeaks publications. b has uncovered much, and I hope he's planning to publish a book about the entire affair.

Jen , Feb 20, 2018 4:54:59 PM | 10
Ken @ 4: There doesn't necessarily need to be One Major Reason for going to war. There may be several reasons all feeding and reinforcing one another and creating a psychological climate in which Going To War is seen as the only solution and is inevitable. The reasons are not just economic and political but cultural and historical.

In some countries allied with the US, the politicians in power are the ideological descendants of those who collaborated with Nazi Germany - so in a sense they are committed to "correcting" what they see as wrong. In the case of current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, he is the grandson of a former prime minister who once served in General Tojo's World War II cabinet.
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2012/12/26/national/formed-in-childhood-roots-of-abes-conservatism-go-deep/#.WoyZCG9uaUk

That's why pinning down the reason for wanting a war against Russia is so difficult.

Partisan , Feb 20, 2018 5:06:58 PM | 11

The whole piece is just hilarious and I laughed out loud all time while reading it.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/16/nyts-really-weird-russiagate-story/

Since the FBI never inspected the DNC's computers first-hand, the only evidence comes from an Irvine, California, cyber-security firm known as CrowdStrike whose chief technical officer, Dmitri Alperovitch, a well-known Putin-phobe, is a fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank that is also vehemently anti-Russian as well as a close Hillary Clinton ally.

Thus, Putin-basher Clinton hired Putin-basher Alperovitch to investigate an alleged electronic heist, and to absolutely no one's surprise, his company concluded that guilty party was Vladimir Putin. Amazing! Since then, a small army of internet critics has chipped away at CrowdStrike for praising the hackers as among the best in the business yet declaring in the same breath that they gave themselves away by uploading a document in the name of "Felix Edmundovich," i.e. Felix E. Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet secret police.

As noted cyber-security expert Jeffrey Carr observed with regard to Russia's two main intelligence agencies: "Raise your hand if you think that a GRU or FSB officer would add Iron Felix's name to the metadata of a stolen document before he released it to the world while pretending to be a Romanian hacker. Someone clearly had a wicked sense of humor."

james , Feb 20, 2018 5:17:19 PM | 12
thanks b!

muddy waters.. paid for propaganda.... look at all the russian bots, lol... cold war 2 / mccarthyism 2 is in effect... the historic parallels are marked. thank you neo cons! it's working... the ordinary person in the usa can't be this stupid can they? when does ww3 kick in? is that really what these idiots want? or is it just to prolong the huge defense budget?

Mike Maloney , Feb 20, 2018 5:24:03 PM | 13
This is about conditioning voters in Europe and the United States for a long war with Russia and China. In other words, a return to the 1950s. It is not working and becoming increasingly hysterical because societies are not nearly as cohesive as they once were, and the mainstream political parties, while better funded and more top-down organized, are basically hollow. The collapse is coming. Four years or ten, take your pick.
dh , Feb 20, 2018 5:32:10 PM | 14
@4 "For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia."

Most Americans probably don't. Just the chosen few with the deepest fall-out shelters. The idea is to keep piling the pressure on to countries like Iran and Russia in the hope that their populations will rise up and demand the freedoms that we enjoy in the West....things like uncensored wardrobe malfunctions and transgender washrooms.

Partisan , Feb 20, 2018 6:02:58 PM | 15
"Most Americans probably don't."

not true.

let's imagine that we have the pyramid of evilness, by which we measure bestiality of one regime and its constituency. my firm belief is that us would be on the top of that pyramid. Only dilemma would be between Zionist entity and the US.

"How could the masses be made to desire their own repression?" was the question Wilhelm Reich famously asked in the wake of the Reichstagsbrandverordnung (Reichstag Fire Decree, February 28, 1933), which suspended the civil rights protections afforded by the Weimar Republic's democratic constitution.Hitler had been appointed chancellor on January 30, 1933 and Reich was trying to grapple with the fact that the German people had apparently chosen the authoritarian politics promoted by National Socialism against their own political interests. Ever since, the question of fascism, or rather the question of why might people vote for their own oppression, has never ceased to haunt political philosophy.2 With Trump openly campaigning for less democracy in America -- and with the continued electoral success of far-right antiliberal movements across Europe -- this question has again become a pressing one.

An American people is in perfect harmony with its regime.

CarlD , Feb 20, 2018 6:06:06 PM | 16
Remember the "USS MAINE"!

Media have long agitated for War in US History. Nothing sells newspapers like a good ole war! Demonizing is a way to achieve it. What is sure is that this is a one way street. Once over the cliff, there is no turning back.

How do you tell people that, at the flick of your magic switch, Putin is in fact a swell guy and wonderful human being? Once love is gone who goes back to the filthy, abhorrent and estranged spouse?

Surely the US establishment is playing with fire thinking they will successfully ride out any conflict and come out on top secure in their newly reestablished hegemony on the smoldering ruins of Humanity.

Make no mistake, we are all on the road to hell. Better enjoy todays peace as tomorrow word will be filled with the sweet music of cemeteries.

"Freedom of speech"...

CarlD , Feb 20, 2018 6:12:52 PM | 17
re 16
correction:

Make no mistake, we are all on the road to hell. Better enjoy todays peace as tomorrow's world will be filled with the sweet music of cemeteries.

dh , Feb 20, 2018 6:14:14 PM | 18
@15 "An American people is in perfect harmony with its regime."

I'm not so sure. I think there are many Americans who deeply distrust their government. But of course they don't want to appear unpatriotic. There are also many who are apathetic and many simply don't know how to change things.

SteveK9 , Feb 20, 2018 6:35:58 PM | 19
It's horrible I know to quote a Nazi, but Goring had this right:

Göring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

WorldBLee , Feb 20, 2018 6:36:51 PM | 20
American media has graduated from simply repeating the lies of "unnamed government sources" to repeating the lies of any organization unofficially blessed by the powers that be. The skills required to repeat the text verbatim serve them well in both cases. Skepticism is only reserved to anyone who tries to introduce logic or facts into the equation--such as when Jill Stein was interviewed on MSNBC recently. How dare Ms. Stein try to bring FACTS into the discussion!
chet380 , Feb 20, 2018 6:41:04 PM | 21
In that The Narrative is tightly controlled in the corporate media, not matter how strong the proofs or arguments about the falsity of these propaganda campaigns are, little or no circulation of those proofs or arguments wlll reach the general public.
Sinc , Feb 20, 2018 6:41:57 PM | 22
See info on US 'Twitter' manipulation campaign
Sinc , Feb 20, 2018 6:44:16 PM | 23
Sorry, link here
ken , Feb 20, 2018 6:59:01 PM | 24
Thanks Jen. It still makes no sense. As a veteran of the Vietnam fiasco, I was pretty much government oriented until McNamara outed the whole thing whining about haw sorry he was. 59,000 dead and he's sorry. They were able to hide the Gulf of Tonkin BS until then. After that I researched the reasons for each war/conflict the USA started and could find no logical reasons except hunger for power. But the little sandbox wars won't destroy the world like a major war/conflict with Russia and it goes nuclear. Almost every politician, and major news organizations are pushing for a war/conflict with Russia. This is insanity as no one will win a war like this and I am sure they know that,,, but they keep the war drums beating anyhow. It simply doesn't make sense. But Thanks again.

Same for dh, #14. Things are soooo stupid, your joking may be closer to the truth than you know. :-)

Skip , Feb 20, 2018 6:59:35 PM | 25
@SteveK9 #19

Thank you for the post. I will save it and use it liberally, with proper attributions. When one challenges the tribe on places like Twitter, it is hard to tell who is a real idiot and who is a bot. How do you know? Maybe that the bots go away fairly quickly and the idiots hang around to argue ad infinitum.

oldenyoung , Feb 20, 2018 7:06:23 PM | 26
The thing that bothers me, is the fact that the MICGlobalists dont care what we think or how poor their deceptions are. The public perception that "russia did it!!" continues to rise. I wonder what the public acceptance level needs to be for them to execute a MAJOR false flag event. They seem to think they are still on target, and its just a short matter or time...

They are going to do this when the perception management is complete...

We really do not need another one of their disasters

regards

OY

Grieved , Feb 20, 2018 7:37:47 PM | 27
The bully pushes and pushes until stopped by the first serious push back. The dynamic of the west and the neocon/Zionists at the core is essentially that of the bully. Nations like Venezuela and the Philippines have started to push back, and I hope and feel fairly confident that they will both survive the rage of the US. In some part, they have begun to show the actual powerlessness of the bully.

But the really killer nations - Russia and China - are holding their water as they strengthen their force. I believe that one very serious push back from either of them in the right circumstances will stop the bully. And yet, as they bide their time, we see a curious phenomenon wherein the US is destroying itself from the inside.

It's as if all of the forces that exist to control the country - the lockstep media, the fully rigged markets, the hysterical military, the bought legislature and the crooked courts - are all acting far more strongly than should be necessary. The entire system is over-reacting, over-reaching, over-boiling. And in the course of this, the US is actually shedding power, and at an amazing rate. But not from the action of Russia but from its non-action, the empty space that that allows the bully's dynamic to over-reach, all the way to complete failure.

Is it possible that deep in the security states of Russia and China there's even a study and a model for this? Is the collapse of the US actually being gamed by Russia and China - and through the totally counter-intuitive action of non-action?

Just a thought.

Ghost Ship , Feb 20, 2018 7:51:03 PM | 28
>>>> xor | Feb 20, 2018 4:11:10 PM | 6
The cleverest trick used in propaganda against a specific country is to accuse it of what the accuser itself is doing.

I've always put it down to the Washington Establishment having a severe case of psychological projection.

WG , Feb 20, 2018 7:52:38 PM | 29
Hey b,
Just wanted to let you know that Joe Lauria mentioned your blog and the article you wrote on the indictment of the 13 Russians. He was on Loud and Clear (Sputnik Radio, Washington DC) today and brought you up at the start of the program.
Glad to see you get some recognition for all the great work you've been doing :)
Mike , Feb 20, 2018 7:53:24 PM | 30
Meanwhile, back in 2010:
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/11/when-campaigns-manipulate-social-media/66351/
Jen , Feb 20, 2018 7:53:43 PM | 31
Ken @ 24: The warmongering is not intended to make any sense - not many people are trained in critical thinking and logic, and even when they are, they can be swamped by their own emotions or other people's emotions. Propaganda is intended to appeal to people's emotions and fears. You can try reading works by Edward Bernays - "Crystallizing Public Opinion" (1923) and "Propaganda" (1928) - to see how he uses his uncle Sigmund Freud's theories of the mind to create strategies for manipulating public opinion.
https://archive.org/details/EdwardL.BernaysPropaganda

Bernays' books influenced Nazi and Soviet propaganda and Bernays himself was hired by the US government to justify in the public mind the 1954 US invasion of Guatemala.

You may be aware that Rupert Murdoch, head of News Corporation which owns the Wall Street Journal, FOX News and 20th Century Fox studios, is also on the Board of Directors of Genie Energy which owns a subsidiary firm that was granted a licence by an Israeli court to explore and drill for oil and natural gas in Syria's (and Israeli-occupied) Golan Heights.

simjam , Feb 20, 2018 7:59:21 PM | 32
The national media speaks as one -with one consistent melody day after day. Who is the conductor?

When will one representative of the mainstream media sing solo? There must be a Ray McGovern somewhere among the flock.

V. Arnold , Feb 20, 2018 8:05:33 PM | 33
Grieved | Feb 20, 2018 7:37:47 PM | 27

Many of my thoughts as well.The U.S.'s greatest fault is its tacit misunderstanding of just what russia is in fact. They utterly fail to understand the Russian character; forged over 800 years culminating with the defeat of Nazi Germany, absorbing horrific losses; the U.S. fails to understand the effect upon the then Soviets, become todays Russians. Even the god's have abandoned the west...

Palloy , Feb 20, 2018 8:52:02 PM | 34
@4 "For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia."

Ever since US Crude Oil peaked its production in 1970, the US has known that at some point the oil majors would have their profitability damaged, "assets" downgraded, and borrowing capacity destroyed. At this point their shares would become worthless and they would become bankrupt. The contagion from this would spread to transport businesses, plastics manufacture, herbicides and pesticide production and a total collapse of Industrial Civilisation.

In anticipation of increasing Crude Oil imports, Nixon stopped the convertibility of Dollars into Gold, thus making the Dollar entirely fiat, allowing them to print as much of the currency as they needed.

They also began a system of obscuring oil production data, involving the DoE's EIA and the OECD's IEA, by inventing an ever-increasing category of Undiscovered Oilfields in their predictions, and combining Crude Oil and Condensate (from gas fields) into one category (C+C) as if they were the same thing. As well the support of the ethanol-from-corn industry began, even though it was uneconomic. The Global Warming problem had to be debunked, despite its sound scientific basis. Energy-intensive manufacturing work was off-shored to cheap labour+energy countries, and Just-in-Time delivery systems were honed.

In 2004 the price of Crude Oil rose from $28 /barrel up to $143 /b in mid-2008. This demonstrated that there is a limit to how much business can pay for oil (around $100 /b). Fracking became marginally economic at these prices, but the frackers never made a profit as over-production meant prices fell to about $60 /b. The Government encourages this destructive industry despite the fact it doesn't make any money, because the alternative is the end of Industrial Civilisation.

Eventually though, there must come a time when there is not enough oil to power all the cars and trucks, bulldozers, farm tractors, airplanes and ships, as well as manufacture all the wind turbines and solar panels and electric vehicles, as well as the upgraded transmission grid. At that point, the game will be up, and it will be time for WW3. So we need to line up some really big enemies, and develop lots of reasons to hate them.

Thus you see the demonisation of Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela for reasons that don't make sense from a normal perspective.

Debsisdead , Feb 20, 2018 8:53:42 PM | 35
I watched bbc news this am in the hope that I would get to see the most awful creature at the 2018 olympics cry her croc tears (long story - a speed skater who cuts off the opposition but has been found out so now when she swoops in front of the others they either skate over her leading to tearful whines from perp about having been 'pushed', or gets disqualified for barging. Last night she got disqualified so as part of my study on whether types like this believe their own bullshit I thought I'd tune in but didn't get that far into the beebs lies)
The bulk of the bulletin was devoted to a 'lets hate Russia' session which featured a quisling who works for the russian arm of BBC (prolly just like cold war days staffed exclusively by MI6/SIS types). This chap, using almost unintelligible english, claimed he had proof at least 50 Russian Mercenaries (question - why are amerikan guns for hire called contractors [remember the Fallujah massacre of 100,000 civilians because amerikan contractors were stupid] yet Russian contractors are called mercenaries by the media?) had been killed in Syria last week. The bloke had evidence of one contractor's death not 50 - the proof was a letter from the Russian government to the guy's mother telling her he didn't qualify for any honours because he wasn't in the Russian military.
The quisling (likely a Ukranian I would say) went on to rabbit about the bloke having also fought in Donbass under contract - to which the 'interviewer (don't ya love it when media 'interview' their own journos - a sure sign that a snippet of toxic nonsense is being delivered) led about how the deceitful Russians had claimed the only Russians fighting in Donbass were contractors - yeah well this bloke was a contractor surely that proves the Russians were telling the truth.
It's not what these propagandists say; they adopt a tone and the audience is meant to hate based on that even when the facts as stated conflict with the media outlet's point of view. Remember the childhood trick of saying "bad dog" ter yer mutt in loving tones - the dog comes to ya tail wagging & licks yer hand. This is that.

The next item was more Syria lies - white helmets footage (altho the beeb is now mostly giving them an alternative name to dodge the facts about white helmets) of bandaged children with flour tipped on their heads.
The evil Syrians and Russians are bombarding Gouta - nary a word about the continuous artillery barrage Gouta has subjected the citizens of Damascus to for the past 4 years, or that the Syrians have repeatedly offered truces and safe passage for civilians. Any injured children need to ask their parents why they weren't allowed to take advantage of the frequent offers of transport out. Maybe the parents are worried 'the resistance' will do its usual and blow up the busloads of children after luring them over with candy.

Anyway I switched off after that so never did learn if little miss cheat had a cry.

[Feb 21, 2018] Russian Troll Farm Indictment Shredded By Journalist Who First Profiled It In 2015 Zero Hedge

Feb 21, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Following Special Counsel Robert Mueller's indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three entities behind a Russian "troll farm" said to have meddled in the 2016 U.S. election (admittedly, with zero impact ), two people familiar with both the ads purchased by Russians on Facebook, and the "troll farm" in question have refuted Mueller's narrative over the course of four days. Indeed, things don't seem to be going well for the Russia investigation, which started out with serious claims of Collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, and has been reduced to CNN diving through the garbage of a Russian troll farm.

About that troll farm...

Adrian Chen, staff writer for The New Yorker - who first profiled the indicted Russian troll farm in 2015, sat down with MSNBC's Chris Hayes, where he proceeded to deflate Mueller's big scary indictment to nothing.

"Tried to tamp down the troll farm panic on @chrislhayes show last night," Adrian Chen tweeted . " It's 90 people with a shaky grasp of English and a rudimentary understanding of U.S. politics shitposting on Facebook. "

Watch:

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Chen then responded to a tweet saying the IRA has 300-400 individuals. "That was the entire Internet Research Agency," Chen wrote." The American department had ~90 people , according to the Russian journalists who did the most in-depth investigation."

Chen links to a Washington Post article which profiles Russian journalists who also investigated said troll farm.

me title=

A brief review:

And for all of this, Obama and Congress slapped sanctions on Russia, evicted two diplomatic compounds, and launched several Congressional investigations over.

But at least the US Military Industrial Complex is happy, while the stock of Boeing has never been higher.

Tags Politics Apparel & Accessories Retailers - NEC Commercial Aircraft Manufacturing

Vote up! 7 Vote down! 0

AlaricBalth -> American Psycho Tue, 02/20/2018 - 23:22 Permalink

Our "troll farm" is better funded than theirs...

The United States, through a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) called The National Endowment for Democracy has spent over $27,000,000 since 2013 in Russia to "promote democracy".

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a U.S. non-profit soft power organization that was founded in 1983 with the stated goal of promoting democracy abroad. It is funded primarily through an annual allocation from the U.S. Congress in the form of a grant awarded through the United States Information Agency (USIA).

NED was banned in Russia as an undesirable international NGO in for "using Russian commercial and noncommercial organizations under its control... to declare the results of election campaigns illegitimate, organize political actions intended to influence decisions made by the authorities, and discredit service in Russia's armed forces.

Former Congressman Ron Paul also argued against NED funding stating that NED has "very little to do with democracy. It is an organization that uses US tax money to actually subvert democracy, by showering funding on favored political parties or movements overseas. It underwrites color-coded 'people's revolutions' overseas that look more like pages out of Lenin's writings on stealing power than genuine indigenous democratic movements."

Investigative reporter and editor of Consortiumnews Robert Parry has characterized NED as a "neocon slush fund," whose founding was the brainchild of Reagan Administration CIA Director William Casey and its leading propagandist Walter Raymond Jr., then on the staff of the National Security Council. The idea was to set up an organization funded by the U.S. Congress to take over CIA programs that attempted to influence foreign elections by promoting the selection of candidates who supported U.S. policy and would "do what the U.S. government tells them to do.

See screen grab of chart here from USAID showing NED spending in Russia: https://imgur.com/DuQwJZW

https://explorer.usaid.gov/query?country_name=Russia&fiscal_year=2016&t

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Endowment_for_Democracy

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/28/national-endowment-for-de

Interference in elections

NED's Statement of Principles and Objectives, adopted in 1984, asserts that "No Endowment funds may be used to finance the campaigns of candidates for public office." But the ways to circumvent the spirit of such a prohibition are not difficult to come up with; as with American elections, there's "hard money" and there's "soft money".

As described in the "Elections" and "Interventions" chapters, NED successfully manipulated elections in Nicaragua in 1990 and Mongolia in 1996; helped to overthrow democratically elected governments in Bulgaria in 1990 and Albania in 1991 and 1992; and worked to defeat the candidate for prime minister of Slovakia in 2002 who was out of favor in Washington. And from 1999 to 2004, NED heavily funded members of the opposition to President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela to subvert his rule and to support a referendum to unseat him.

Additionally, in the 1990s and afterward, NED supported a coalition of groups in Haiti known as the Democratic Convergence, who were united in their opposition to Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his progressive ideology, while he was in and out of the office of the president.

The Endowment has made its weight felt in the electoral-political process in numerous other countries.

https://williamblum.org/chapters/rogue-state/trojan-horse-the-national-

The United States has continued democracy programs despite local prohibitions.

Nevertheless, USAID and the NED have continued to fund organizations, even where that's against the local country's laws. In Venezuela, for example, the United States has openly continued funding civil society organizations, even listing that in its annual budgets, albeit without naming recipients.

USAID and the NED are undoubtedly keeping their plans in the country secret. However, the NED and its leaders continue to openly counter Russian ideological efforts throughout Eurasia. For instance, when NED President Carl Gershman testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in June 2016, he said that one of the NED's five main focuses includes pushing back against "an information offensive by Russia and other authoritarian regimes."

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/03/20/putin-is-

ebworthen Tue, 02/20/2018 - 23:01 Permalink

MSM has a story to run for 3 nights on "Russian meddling" - the sheeple bleat - go to work, pay bills, pay taxes, invest in their "retirement", and send their kids off to die in pointless wars.

LetThemEatRand Tue, 02/20/2018 - 23:03 Permalink

The other funny thing about the indictments is that the speech of these Russian nationals if they ran ads as alleged, is protected by the First Amendment, which does not limit itself to US citizens. "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech ...". The indictments claim that one must register as a foreign lobbyist if they want to engage in political speech in the United States. For very important reasons, the Constitution does not limit its protections to citizens, including and especially where speech and religion are concerned.

Give Me Some Truth -> Cozy Vanilla Sugar Tue, 02/20/2018 - 23:38 Permalink

Let's use a little math here. Even FB admits that only 1 in 23,000 images on their site during this time period were paid for by the trolls. The vast majority of FB users would never even have seen this content. If they were in the .0004 of users who stumbled upon "troll speech," the message would no doubt be drained out by all the other hundreds or thousands of messages they did notice (mostly pictures of friends' babies). And, believe it or not, a whole lot of voters don't even use Facebook. So only a minute fraction of FB users could have conceivably seen one random, lonely impression, which would have been drowned out by thousands of other non-troll impressions, posts made by people who actually speak English and made by people the FB users actually know.

Finally, if you were in the subgroup that found one of the five golden tickets (stumbled upon a real Russian troll post), who is to say the dang post wasn't 100 percent accurate.

I know I'm supposed to panic over all of this, but I'm not gonna do it. Not. Gonna. Do. It.

Zorba's idea -> Give Me Some Truth Wed, 02/21/2018 - 00:48 Permalink

The FBof Matters apparently have exposed their MSM strategy...they stole it from the Chocolate Factory...(((super secret FIB methods)))... Oomph Loompa doompadee doo, I've got another puzzle for you. Ooompa Loompa doompadah dee, If you are wise you'll listen to me." I suppose Mueller and associates have their heads so far up their asses they actually believe they're in Wonka's Chocolate Factory...Oh look!!! Another pristine Passport!!!

Give Me Some Truth -> Cozy Vanilla Sugar Tue, 02/20/2018 - 23:38 Permalink

Let's use a little math here. Even FB admits that only 1 in 23,000 images on their site during this time period were paid for by the trolls. The vast majority of FB users would never even have seen this content. If they were in the .0004 of users who stumbled upon "troll speech," the message would no doubt be drained out by all the other hundreds or thousands of messages they did notice (mostly pictures of friends' babies). And, believe it or not, a whole lot of voters don't even use Facebook. So only a minute fraction of FB users could have conceivably seen one random, lonely impression, which would have been drowned out by thousands of other non-troll impressions, posts made by people who actually speak English and made by people the FB users actually know.

Finally, if you were in the subgroup that found one of the five golden tickets (stumbled upon a real Russian troll post), who is to say the dang post wasn't 100 percent accurate.

I know I'm supposed to panic over all of this, but I'm not gonna do it. Not. Gonna. Do. It.

Zorba's idea -> Give Me Some Truth Wed, 02/21/2018 - 00:48 Permalink

The FBof Matters apparently have exposed their MSM strategy...they stole it from the Chocolate Factory...(((super secret FIB methods)))... Oomph Loompa doompadee doo, I've got another puzzle for you. Ooompa Loompa doompadah dee, If you are wise you'll listen to me." I suppose Mueller and associates have their heads so far up their asses they actually believe they're in Wonka's Chocolate Factory...Oh look!!! Another pristine Passport!!!

Give Me Some Truth Tue, 02/20/2018 - 23:22 Permalink

The trolls were allegedly trying to "sow discord." The MSM - working closely with the FBI and the Establishment in Washington - are trying to "spread panic."

For once, the fear-mongering isn't playing in Peoria.

Mzhen Wed, 02/21/2018 - 00:20 Permalink

If Obama hadn't slapped sanctions on Russia, what were the Oval Office conspirators going to leak to media about Flynn's conversations with the Russian ambassador? What was Sally Yates going to assert could be a violation of the Logan Act, and also a possible way for Russia to blackmail Flynn? What was the FBI going to question Flynn about? So McCabe could change their 302s. So there had to be sanctions. And there had to be trolls.

Jung Wed, 02/21/2018 - 00:47 Permalink

The Saker gives a few findings to those who understand what might be happening:

The best way to get information is to make it up.

Everything what we know now about the so-called "Kremlin trolls from the Internet Research Agency paid by Putin's favorite chef," came from one source, a group of CIA spies that used the mascot of Shaltay-Boltay, or Humpty-Dumpty, for their collective online persona.

They were arrested in November 2016 and revealed as the FSB and former FSB officers . One of them even managed a security department for the Kaspersky Lab.".........."

Now, this is a very important grave mark.

Just think about this working scheme: Shaltay-Boltay with a group of anti-government "activists" created the "Internet Research Agency," they and some "activists" created 470 FaceBook accounts used to post comments that looked unmistakably "trollish."

After that other, CIA affiliated entities, like the entire Western Media, claimed the "Russian interference in the US election." Finally, the ODNI published a report lacking any evidence in it."

[Feb 21, 2018] Special Counsel Robert Mueller MUST Step Down

Notable quotes:
"... "Mr. Mueller, due to his direct involvement as former FBI Director and his role in covering up and protecting Gulen Networks' criminal operations within the United States, by shutting down pertinent FBI investigative operations and by transferring certain terrorism related Gulen files to the counterintelligence division, has a major conflict of interest as Special Counsel targeting Flynn's case as it pertains to exposing the Gulen network and his relationship with Turkish entities sharing the same interest in exposing and extraditing Fethullah Gulen. Thus, Mr. Mueller must step down from his position as Special Counsel in this case- a case targeting and probing Lt. General Michael Flynn." ..."
Feb 21, 2018 | www.unz.com

H. S. , February 21, 2018 at 3:57 am GMT

Special Counsel Robert Mueller MUST Step Down

"Mr. Mueller, due to his direct involvement as former FBI Director and his role in covering up and protecting Gulen Networks' criminal operations within the United States, by shutting down pertinent FBI investigative operations and by transferring certain terrorism related Gulen files to the counterintelligence division, has a major conflict of interest as Special Counsel targeting Flynn's case as it pertains to exposing the Gulen network and his relationship with Turkish entities sharing the same interest in exposing and extraditing Fethullah Gulen. Thus, Mr. Mueller must step down from his position as Special Counsel in this case- a case targeting and probing Lt. General Michael Flynn."

[Feb 20, 2018] Thus, Putin-basher Clinton hired Putin-basher Alperovitch to investigate an alleged electronic heist, and to absolutely no one's surprise, his company concluded that guilty party was Vladimir Putin. Amazing!

Feb 20, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Partisan | Feb 20, 2018 5:06:58 PM | 11

The whole piece is just hilarious and I laughed out loud all time while reading it.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/16/nyts-really-weird-russiagate-story/

Since the FBI never inspected the DNC's computers first-hand, the only evidence comes from an Irvine, California, cyber-security firm known as CrowdStrike whose chief technical officer, Dmitri Alperovitch, a well-known Putin-phobe, is a fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank that is also vehemently anti-Russian as well as a close Hillary Clinton ally.

Thus, Putin-basher Clinton hired Putin-basher Alperovitch to investigate an alleged electronic heist, and to absolutely no one's surprise, his company concluded that guilty party was Vladimir Putin. Amazing! Since then, a small army of internet critics has chipped away at CrowdStrike for praising the hackers as among the best in the business yet declaring in the same breath that they gave themselves away by uploading a document in the name of "Felix Edmundovich," i.e. Felix E. Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet secret police.

As noted cyber-security expert Jeffrey Carr observed with regard to Russia's two main intelligence agencies: "Raise your hand if you think that a GRU or FSB officer would add Iron Felix's name to the metadata of a stolen document before he released it to the world while pretending to be a Romanian hacker. Someone clearly had a wicked sense of humor."

[Feb 20, 2018] Is That Russia Troll Farm an Act of War, by Pat Buchanan - The Unz Review

Feb 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

Is That Russia Troll Farm an Act of War? Pat Buchanan February 20, 2018 900 Words 28 Comments Reply Email This Page to Someone
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According to the indictment by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Russian trolls, operating out of St. Petersburg, took American identities on social media and became players in our 2016 election.

On divisive racial and religious issues, the trolls took both sides. In the presidential election, the trolls favored Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein and Donald Trump, and almost never Hillary Clinton.

One imaginative Russian troll urged Trumpsters to dress up a female volunteer in an orange prison jump suit, put her in a cage on a flatbed truck, then append the slogan, "Lock Her Up!"

How grave a matter is this?

This Russian troll farm is "the equivalent (of) Pearl Harbor," says Cong. Jerrold Nadler, who would head up the House Judiciary Committee, handling any impeachment, if Democrats retake the House.

When MSNBC's Chris Hayes pressed, Nadler doubled down: The Russians "are destroying our democratic process." While the Russian trolling may not equal Pearl Harbor in its violence, said Nadler, in its "seriousness, it is very much on a par" with Japan's surprise attack.

Trump's reaction to the hysteria that broke out after the Russian indictments: "They are laughing their (expletives) off in Moscow."

According to Sunday's Washington Post, the troll story is old news in Russia, where reporters uncovered it last year and it was no big deal.

While Mueller's indictments confirm that Russians meddled in the U.S. election, what explains the shock and the fear for "our democracy"?

Is the Great Republic about to fall because a bunch of trolls tweeted in our election? Is this generation ignorant of its own history?

Before and after World War II, we had Stalinists and Soviet spies at the highest levels of American culture and government.

The Hollywood Ten, who went to prison for contempt of Congress, were secret members of a Communist Party that, directed from Moscow, controlled the Progressive Party in Philadelphia in 1948 that nominated former Vice President Henry Wallace to run against Harry Truman.

Soviet spies infiltrated the U.S. atom bomb project and shortened the time Stalin needed to explode a Soviet bomb in 1949.

As for Russian trolling in our election, do we really have clean hands when it comes to meddling in elections and the internal politics of regimes we dislike?

Sen. John McCain and Victoria Nuland of State egged on the Maidan Square crowds in Kiev that overthrew the elected government of Ukraine. When the democratically elected regime of Mohammed Morsi was overthrown, the U.S. readily accepted the coup as a victory for our side and continued aid to Egypt as tens of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members were imprisoned.

Are the CIA and National Endowment for Democracy under orders not to try to influence the outcome of elections in nations in whose ruling regimes we believe we have a stake?

"Have we ever tried to meddle in other countries' elections?" Laura Ingraham asked former CIA Director James Woolsey this weekend.

With a grin, Woolsey replied, "Oh, probably."

"We don't do that anymore though?" Ingraham interrupted. "We don't mess around in other people's elections, Jim?"

"Well," Woolsey said with a smile. "Only for a very good cause."

Indeed, what is the National Endowment for Democracy all about, if not aiding the pro-American side in foreign nations and their elections?

Did America have no active role in the "color-coded revolutions" that have changed regimes from Serbia to Ukraine to Georgia?

When Republicans discuss Iran on Capitol Hill, the phrase "regime change" is frequently heard. When the "Green Revolution" took to the streets of Tehran to protest massively the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009, Republicans denounced President Obama for not intervening more energetically to alter the outcome.

When China, Russia and Egypt expel NGOs, are their suspicions that some have been seeded with U.S. agents merely marks of paranoia?

The U.S. role in the overthrow of Premier Mossadegh in Iran in 1953, and of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954, and of President Ngo Dinh Diem in Saigon in 1963 are established facts.

When the democratically elected Marxist Salvador Allende was overthrown in Chile in 1973, and committed suicide with an AK-47 given to him by Fidel Castro, the Nixon White House may have had no direct role. But the White House welcomed the ascendancy of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

What do these indictments of Russians tell us? After 18 months, the James Comey-Robert Mueller FBI investigation into the hacking of the DNC and John Podesta emails has yet to produce evidence of collusion.

Yet we do have evidence that a senior British spy and Trump hater, Christopher Steele, paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign and DNC to dig up dirt on Trump, colluded with Kremlin agents to produce a dossier of scurrilous and unsubstantiated charges, to destroy the candidacy of Donald Trump. And the FBI used this disinformation to get FISA Court warrants to surveil and wiretap the Trump campaign.

Why is this conspiracy and collusion with Russians less worthy of Mueller's attention than a troll farm in St. Petersburg?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."

Copyright 2018 Creators.com.

[Feb 20, 2018] MoA - Russian bots - How An Anti-Russian Lobby Creates Fake News

Notable quotes:
"... Atlantic Council ..."
"... Alliance for Securing Democracy. ..."
"... Alliance for Securing Democracy ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

"Russian bots" - How An Anti-Russian Lobby Creates Fake News

The U.S. mainstream media are going nuts. They now make up and report stories based on the uncritical acceptance of the outcome of an algorithm they do not understand and which is know to produce fake results.

See for example these three stories:


Russian bot with ancient regalia

From the last link:

SAN FRANCISCO -- One hour after news broke about the school shooting in Florida last week, Twitter accounts suspected of having links to Russia released hundreds of posts taking up the gun control debate.

The accounts addressed the news with the speed of a cable news network. Some adopted the hashtag #guncontrolnow. Others used #gunreformnow and #Parklandshooting. Earlier on Wednesday, before the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., many of those accounts had been focused on the investigation by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

In other words - the "Twitter accounts suspected of having links to Russia" were following the current news just as cable news networks do. When a new sensational event happened they immediately jumped onto it. But the NYT authors go to length to claim that there is some nefarious Russian scheme behind this that uses automated accounts to spread divisive issues.

Those claims are based on this propaganda project:

Last year, the Alliance for Securing Democracy, in conjunction with the German Marshall Fund, a public policy research group in Washington, created a website that tracks hundreds of Twitter accounts of human users and suspected bots that they have linked to a Russian influence campaign.

The "Alliance for Securing Democracy" is run by military lobbyists, CIA minions and neocons. Its claimed task is:

... to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin's ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe.

There is no evidence that Vladimir Putin made or makes such efforts.

The ASD "Hamilton 68" website shows graphics with rankings of "top items" and "trending items" allegedly used by Russian bots or influence agents. There is nothing complicate behind it. It simply tracks the tweets of 600 Twitter users and aggregates the hashtags they use. It does not say which Twitter accounts its algorithms follows. It claims that the 600 were selected by one of three criteria: 1. People who often tweet news that also appears on RT (Russia Today) and Sputnik News , two general news sites sponsored by the Russian government; 2. People who "openly profess to be pro-Russian"; 3. accounts that "appear to use automation" to boost the same themes that people in group 1 and 2 tweet about.

Nowhere does the group say how many of the 600 accounts it claims to track belong to which group. Are their 10 assumed bots or 590 in the surveyed 600 accounts? And how please does one "openly profess" to be pro-Russian? We don't know and the ASD won't say.

On December 25 2017 the "Russian influence" agents or bots who, according to NYT, want to sow divisiveness, wished everyone a Merry Christmas.


bigger

The real method the Hamilton 68 group used to select the 600 accounts it tracks is unknown. The group does not say or show how it made it up. Despite that the NYT reporters, Sheera Frenkel and Daisuke Wakabayashi, continue with the false assumptions that most or all the accounts are automated, have something to do with Russia and are presumably nefarious:

Russian-linked bots have rallied around other divisive issues, often ones that President Trump has tweeted about. They promoted Twitter hashtags like #boycottnfl, #standforouranthem and #takeaknee after some National Football League players started kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice.

The automated Twitter accounts helped popularize the #releasethememo hashtag , ...

The Daily Beast reported earlier that the emphasized claim is definitely false :

Twitter's internal analysis has thus far found that authentic American accounts, and not Russian imposters or automated bots, are driving #ReleaseTheMemo. There are no preliminary indications that the Twitter activity either driving the hashtag or engaging with it is either predominantly Russian.

The same is presumably true for the other hashtags.

The Dutch IT specialist and blogger Marcel van den Berg was wondering how Dutch keywords and hashtags showed up in on the Hamilton 68 "Russian bots" dashboard. He found ( Dutch , English auto translation) that the dashboard is a total fraud:

In recent weeks, I have been keeping a close eye on Hamilton 68. Every time a Dutch hashtag was shown on the website, I made a screenshot. Then I noted what was playing at that moment and I watched the Tweets with this hashtag. Again I could not find any Tweet that seemed to be from a Russian troll.

In all cases, the hash tags that Hamilton 68 reported were trending topics in the Netherlands. In all cases there was much to do around the subject of the hashtag in the Netherlands. Many people were angry or shared their opinion on the subject on Twitter. And even if there were a few tweets with Russian connections between them, the effect is zero. Because they do not stand out among the many other, authentic Tweets.

Van den Berg lists a dozen examples he analyzed in depth.

The anti-Russian Bellingcat group around couch blogger Eliot Higgins is sponsored by the NATO propaganda shop Atlantic Council . It sniffs through open source stuff to blame Russia or Syria wherever possible. Bellingcat were recently a victim of the "Russian bots" - or rather of the ASD website. On February 10 the hashtag #bellingcat trended to rank 2 of the dashboard.


bigger

Bellingcat was thus, according to the Hamilton 68 claims, under assault of hordes of nefarious Russian government sponsored bots.

The Bellingcat folks looked into the issue and found that only six people on Twitter, none of them an automated account, had used the #bellingcat hashtag in the last 48 hours. Some of the six may have opinions that may be "pro Russian", but as Higgins himself says :

[I]n my opinion, it's extremely unlikely the people listed are Russian agents

The pro-NATO propaganda shop Bellingcat thus debunked the pro NATO propaganda shop Alliance for Securing Democracy.

The fraudsters who created the Hamilton 68 crap seem to have filled their database with rather normal people who's opinions they personally dislike. Those then are the "Russian bots" who spread "Russian influence" and divisiveness.

Moreover - what is the value of its information when six normal people out of millions of active Twitter users can push a hashtag with a handful of tweets to the top of the dashboard?

But the U.S. media writes long gushing stories about the dashboard and how it somehow shows automated Russian propaganda. They go to length to explain that this shows "Russian influence" and a "Russian" attempt to sow "divisiveness" into people's minds.

This is nuts.

Last August, when the Hamilton 68 project was first released, the Nation was the only site critical of it. It predicted :

The import of GMF's project is clear: Reporting on anything that might put the US in a bad light is now tantamount to spreading Russian propaganda.

It is now even worse than that. The top ranking of the #merrychristmas hashtag shows that the algorithm does not even care about good or bad news. The tracked twitter accounts are normal people.

The whole project is just a means to push fake stories about alleged "Russian influence" into U.S. medias. Whenever some issue creeps up on its dashboard that somehow fits its false "Russian bots" and "divisiveness" narrative the Alliance for Securing Democracy contacts the media to spread its poison. The U.S. media, - CNN, Wired, the New York Times - are by now obviously devoid of thinking journalists and fact checkers. They simple re-package the venom and spread it to the public.

How long will it take until people die from it?

Posted by b on February 20, 2018 at 03:15 PM | Permalink

Comments


nhs , Feb 20, 2018 3:24:03 PM | 1

The truth about 'Russiagate'
Lohmann , Feb 20, 2018 3:32:49 PM | 2
It's all too reminiscent of Duck Soup:

Rufus T. Firefly: I'd be unworthy of the high trust that's been placed in me if I didn't do everything in my power to keep our beloved Freedonia in peace with the world. I'd be only too happy to meet with Ambassador Trentino, and offer him on behalf of my country the right hand of good fellowship. And I feel sure he will accept this gesture in the spirit of which it is offered. But suppose he doesn't. A fine thing that'll be. I hold out my hand and he refuses to accept. That'll add a lot to my prestige, won't it? Me, the head of a country, snubbed by a foreign ambassador. Who does he think he is, that he can come here, and make a sap of me in front of all my people? Think of it - I hold out my hand and that hyena refuses to accept. Why, the cheap four-flushing swine, he'll never get away with it I tell you, he'll never get away with it.

[Trentino enters]

Rufus T. Firefly: So, you refuse to shake hands with me, eh?

[slaps Trentino with his glove]

Ambassador Trentino: Mrs. Teasdale, this is the last straw. There's no turning back now! This means war!

Rufus T. Firefly: Then it's war! Then it's war! Gather the forces. Harness the horses. Then it's war!

Clueless Joe , Feb 20, 2018 3:45:14 PM | 3
"to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin's ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe."
That's pretty rich, coming from a country and from people who actually genuinely, and in proven ways, have subverted democracy in Europe since the late 1940s - Italy being one of the clearest cases.
ken , Feb 20, 2018 3:46:05 PM | 4
For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia. I can't believe it has to do with the economy. There's got to be a far better nefarious reason. Even during the real cold war we tried to avoid conflict. Absolute insanity.
foo , Feb 20, 2018 3:59:22 PM | 5
Zomg! Pricey robot!

Keep up the excellent work b.

xor , Feb 20, 2018 4:11:10 PM | 6
The cleverest trick used in propaganda against a specific country is to accuse it of what the accuser itself is doing.
Bart Hansen , Feb 20, 2018 4:14:00 PM | 7

How much time might the "Alliance for Securing Democracy" spend on uncovering voter suppression and purges, dis-enfrancisement of felons, the closing of polling places, restrictions of early voting, the influence of billionaires, gerrymandering and so on?
karlof1 , Feb 20, 2018 4:30:11 PM | 8
Gee, what could go wrong formulating policy founded upon a series of Big Lies? Kim Dotcom says he has important info the FBI refuses to hear. At the Munich Security Conference , neocon Nicholas Burns, former US Ambassador to NATO, details my assertion's factual basis that current policy is being formed on a series of Big Lies: "Will NATO strengthen itself to contain Russian power in Eastern Europe giving what Russian [sic] has done illegally in Crimea, in the Donbass, and in Georgia ?" [Bolded text are the Big Lies.]

Clearly, this entire psyop was premeditated and its design was hastily done contemporaneously with Russia's Syria intervention. NSA/CIA/FBI knew of HRC's security breeches and rightly assumed their contents would find their way into the election, so the general plan was ready to go prior to WikiLeaks publications. b has uncovered much, and I hope he's planning to publish a book about the entire affair.

john , Feb 20, 2018 4:34:32 PM | 9
How long will it take until people die from it

as long as it takes to flog a dead horse

Jen , Feb 20, 2018 4:54:59 PM | 10
Ken @ 4: There doesn't necessarily need to be One Major Reason for going to war. There may be several reasons all feeding and reinforcing one another and creating a psychological climate in which Going To War is seen as the only solution and is inevitable. The reasons are not just economic and political but cultural and historical.

In some countries allied with the US, the politicians in power are the ideological descendants of those who collaborated with Nazi Germany - so in a sense they are committed to "correcting" what they see as wrong. In the case of current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, he is the grandson of a former prime minister who once served in General Tojo's World War II cabinet.
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2012/12/26/national/formed-in-childhood-roots-of-abes-conservatism-go-deep/#.WoyZCG9uaUk

That's why pinning down the reason for wanting a war against Russia is so difficult.

Partisan , Feb 20, 2018 5:06:58 PM | 11

The whole piece is just hilarious and I laughed out loud all time while reading it.

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/16/nyts-really-weird-russiagate-story/

Since the FBI never inspected the DNC's computers first-hand, the only evidence comes from an Irvine, California, cyber-security firm known as CrowdStrike whose chief technical officer, Dmitri Alperovitch, a well-known Putin-phobe, is a fellow at the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank that is also vehemently anti-Russian as well as a close Hillary Clinton ally.

Thus, Putin-basher Clinton hired Putin-basher Alperovitch to investigate an alleged electronic heist, and to absolutely no one's surprise, his company concluded that guilty party was Vladimir Putin. Amazing! Since then, a small army of internet critics has chipped away at CrowdStrike for praising the hackers as among the best in the business yet declaring in the same breath that they gave themselves away by uploading a document in the name of "Felix Edmundovich," i.e. Felix E. Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet secret police.

As noted cyber-security expert Jeffrey Carr observed with regard to Russia's two main intelligence agencies: "Raise your hand if you think that a GRU or FSB officer would add Iron Felix's name to the metadata of a stolen document before he released it to the world while pretending to be a Romanian hacker. Someone clearly had a wicked sense of humor."

james , Feb 20, 2018 5:17:19 PM | 12
thanks b!

muddy waters.. paid for propaganda.... look at all the russian bots, lol...

cold war 2 / mccarthyism 2 is in effect... the historic parallels are marked. thank you neo cons!

it's working... the ordinary person in the usa can't be this stupid can they?

when does ww3 kick in? is that really what these idiots want? or is it just to prolong the huge defense budget?

Mike Maloney , Feb 20, 2018 5:24:03 PM | 13
This is about conditioning voters in Europe and the United States for a long war with Russia and China. In other words, a return to the 1950s. It is not working and becoming increasingly hysterical because societies are not nearly as cohesive as they once were, and the mainstream political parties, while better funded and more top-down organized, are basically hollow. The collapse is coming. Four years or ten, take your pick.
dh , Feb 20, 2018 5:32:10 PM | 14
@4 "For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia."

Most Americans probably don't. Just the chosen few with the deepest fall-out shelters. The idea is to keep piling the pressure on to countries like Iran and Russia in the hope that their populations will rise up and demand the freedoms that we enjoy in the West....things like uncensored wardrobe malfunctions and transgender washrooms.

Partisan , Feb 20, 2018 6:02:58 PM | 15
"Most Americans probably don't."

not true.

let's imagine that we have the pyramid of evilness, by which we measure bestiality of one regime and its constituency. my firm belief is that us would be on the top of that pyramid. Only dilemma would be between Zionist entity and the US.

"How could the masses be made to desire their own repression?" was the question Wilhelm Reich famously asked in the wake of the Reichstagsbrandverordnung (Reichstag Fire Decree, February 28, 1933), which suspended the civil rights protections afforded by the Weimar Republic's democratic constitution.Hitler had been appointed chancellor on January 30, 1933 and Reich was trying to grapple with the fact that the German people had apparently chosen the authoritarian politics promoted by National Socialism against their own political interests. Ever since, the question of fascism, or rather the question of why might people vote for their own oppression, has never ceased to haunt political philosophy.2 With Trump openly campaigning for less democracy in America -- and with the continued electoral success of far-right antiliberal movements across Europe -- this question has again become a pressing one.

An American people is in perfect harmony with its regime.


CarlD , Feb 20, 2018 6:06:06 PM | 16
Remember the "USS MAINE"!

Media have long agitated for War in US History. Nothing sells newspapers
like a good ole war!

Demonizing is a way to achieve it. What is sure is that this is a one way street.
Once over the cliff, there is no turning back.

How do you tell people that, at the flick of your magic switch, Putin is in fact
a swell guy and wonderful human being? Once love is gone who goes back
to the filthy, abhorrent and estranged spouse?

Surely the US establishment is playing with fire thinking they will successfully
ride out any conflict and come out on top secure in their newly reestablished
hegemony on the smoldering ruins of Humanity.

Make no mistake, we are all on the road to hell. Better enjoy todays peace as
tomorrow word will be filled with the sweet music of cemeteries.

"Freedom of speech"...

CarlD , Feb 20, 2018 6:12:52 PM | 17
re 16
correction:

Make no mistake, we are all on the road to hell. Better enjoy todays peace as
tomorrow's world will be filled with the sweet music of cemeteries.

dh , Feb 20, 2018 6:14:14 PM | 18
@15 "An American people is in perfect harmony with its regime."

I'm not so sure. I think there are many Americans who deeply distrust their government. But of course they don't want to appear unpatriotic. There are also many who are apathetic and many simply don't know how to change things.

SteveK9 , Feb 20, 2018 6:35:58 PM | 19
It's horrible I know to quote a Nazi, but Goring had this right:

Göring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

WorldBLee , Feb 20, 2018 6:36:51 PM | 20
American media has graduated from simply repeating the lies of "unnamed government sources" to repeating the lies of any organization unofficially blessed by the powers that be. The skills required to repeat the text verbatim serve them well in both cases. Skepticism is only reserved to anyone who tries to introduce logic or facts into the equation--such as when Jill Stein was interviewed on MSNBC recently. How dare Ms. Stein try to bring FACTS into the discussion!
chet380 , Feb 20, 2018 6:41:04 PM | 21
In that The Narrative is tightly controlled in the corporate media, not matter how strong the proofs or arguments about the falsity of these propaganda campaigns are, little or no circulation of those proofs or arguments wlll reach the general public.
Sinc , Feb 20, 2018 6:41:57 PM | 22
See info on US 'Twitter' manipulation campaign
Sinc , Feb 20, 2018 6:44:16 PM | 23
Sorry, link here
ken , Feb 20, 2018 6:59:01 PM | 24
Thanks Jen. It still makes no sense. As a veteran of the Vietnam fiasco, I was pretty much government oriented until McNamara outed the whole thing whining about haw sorry he was. 59,000 dead and he's sorry. They were able to hide the Gulf of Tonkin BS until then. After that I researched the reasons for each war/conflict the USA started and could find no logical reasons except hunger for power. But the little sandbox wars won't destroy the world like a major war/conflict with Russia and it goes nuclear. Almost every politician, and major news organizations are pushing for a war/conflict with Russia. This is insanity as no one will win a war like this and I am sure they know that,,, but they keep the war drums beating anyhow. It simply doesn't make sense. But Thanks again.

Same for dh, #14. Things are soooo stupid, your joking may be closer to the truth than you know. :-)

Skip , Feb 20, 2018 6:59:35 PM | 25
@SteveK9 #19

Thank you for the post. I will save it and use it liberally, with proper attributions. When one challenges the tribe on places like Twitter, it is hard to tell who is a real idiot and who is a bot. How do you know? Maybe that the bots go away fairly quickly and the idiots hang around to argue ad infinitum.

oldenyoung , Feb 20, 2018 7:06:23 PM | 26
The thing that bothers me, is the fact that the MICGlobalists dont care what we think or how poor their deceptions are. The public perception that "russia did it!!" continues to rise. I wonder what the public acceptance level needs to be for them to execute a MAJOR false flag event. They seem to think they are still on target, and its just a short matter or time...

They are going to do this when the perception management is complete...

We really do not need another one of their disasters

regards

OY

Grieved , Feb 20, 2018 7:37:47 PM | 27
The bully pushes and pushes until stopped by the first serious push back. The dynamic of the west and the neocon/Zionists at the core is essentially that of the bully. Nations like Venezuela and the Philippines have started to push back, and I hope and feel fairly confident that they will both survive the rage of the US. In some part, they have begun to show the actual powerlessness of the bully.

But the really killer nations - Russia and China - are holding their water as they strengthen their force. I believe that one very serious push back from either of them in the right circumstances will stop the bully. And yet, as they bide their time, we see a curious phenomenon wherein the US is destroying itself from the inside.

It's as if all of the forces that exist to control the country - the lockstep media, the fully rigged markets, the hysterical military, the bought legislature and the crooked courts - are all acting far more strongly than should be necessary. The entire system is over-reacting, over-reaching, over-boiling. And in the course of this, the US is actually shedding power, and at an amazing rate. But not from the action of Russia but from its non-action, the empty space that that allows the bully's dynamic to over-reach, all the way to complete failure.

Is it possible that deep in the security states of Russia and China there's even a study and a model for this? Is the collapse of the US actually being gamed by Russia and China - and through the totally counter-intuitive action of non-action?

Just a thought.

Ghost Ship , Feb 20, 2018 7:51:03 PM | 28
>>>> xor | Feb 20, 2018 4:11:10 PM | 6
The cleverest trick used in propaganda against a specific country is to accuse it of what the accuser itself is doing.

I've always put it down to the Washington Establishment having a severe case of psychological projection.

WG , Feb 20, 2018 7:52:38 PM | 29
Hey b,
Just wanted to let you know that Joe Lauria mentioned your blog and the article you wrote on the indictment of the 13 Russians. He was on Loud and Clear (Sputnik Radio, Washington DC) today and brought you up at the start of the program.
Glad to see you get some recognition for all the great work you've been doing :)
Mike , Feb 20, 2018 7:53:24 PM | 30
Meanwhile, back in 2010:
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/11/when-campaigns-manipulate-social-media/66351/
Jen , Feb 20, 2018 7:53:43 PM | 31
Ken @ 24: The warmongering is not intended to make any sense - not many people are trained in critical thinking and logic, and even when they are, they can be swamped by their own emotions or other people's emotions. Propaganda is intended to appeal to people's emotions and fears. You can try reading works by Edward Bernays - "Crystallizing Public Opinion" (1923) and "Propaganda" (1928) - to see how he uses his uncle Sigmund Freud's theories of the mind to create strategies for manipulating public opinion.
https://archive.org/details/EdwardL.BernaysPropaganda

Bernays' books influenced Nazi and Soviet propaganda and Bernays himself was hired by the US government to justify in the public mind the 1954 US invasion of Guatemala.

You may be aware that Rupert Murdoch, head of News Corporation which owns the Wall Street Journal, FOX News and 20th Century Fox studios, is also on the Board of Directors of Genie Energy which owns a subsidiary firm that was granted a licence by an Israeli court to explore and drill for oil and natural gas in Syria's (and Israeli-occupied) Golan Heights.

simjam , Feb 20, 2018 7:59:21 PM | 32
The national media speaks as one -with one consistent melody day after day. Who is the conductor?

When will one representative of the mainstream media sing solo? There must be a Ray McGovern somewhere among the flock.

V. Arnold , Feb 20, 2018 8:05:33 PM | 33
Grieved | Feb 20, 2018 7:37:47 PM | 27

Many of my thoughts as well.
The U.S.'s greatest fault is its tacit misunderstanding of just what russia is in fact.
They utterly fail to understand the Russian character; forged over 800 years culminating with the defeat of Nazi Germany, absorbing horrific losses; the U.S. fails to understand the effect upon the then Soviets, become todays Russians.
Even the god's have abandoned the west...

Palloy , Feb 20, 2018 8:52:02 PM | 34
@4 "For the life of me I cannot figure why Americans want a war/conflict with Russia."

Ever since US Crude Oil peaked its production in 1970, the US has known that at some point the oil majors would have their profitability damaged, "assets" downgraded, and borrowing capacity destroyed. At this point their shares would become worthless and they would become bankrupt. The contagion from this would spread to transport businesses, plastics manufacture, herbicides and pesticide production and a total collapse of Industrial Civilisation.

In anticipation of increasing Crude Oil imports, Nixon stopped the convertibility of Dollars into Gold, thus making the Dollar entirely fiat, allowing them to print as much of the currency as they needed.

They also began a system of obscuring oil production data, involving the DoE's EIA and the OECD's IEA, by inventing an ever-increasing category of Undiscovered Oilfields in their predictions, and combining Crude Oil and Condensate (from gas fields) into one category (C+C) as if they were the same thing. As well the support of the ethanol-from-corn industry began, even though it was uneconomic. The Global Warming problem had to be debunked, despite its sound scientific basis. Energy-intensive manufacturing work was off-shored to cheap labour+energy countries, and Just-in-Time delivery systems were honed.

In 2004 the price of Crude Oil rose from $28 /barrel up to $143 /b in mid-2008. This demonstrated that there is a limit to how much business can pay for oil (around $100 /b). Fracking became marginally economic at these prices, but the frackers never made a profit as over-production meant prices fell to about $60 /b. The Government encourages this destructive industry despite the fact it doesn't make any money, because the alternative is the end of Industrial Civilisation.

Eventually though, there must come a time when there is not enough oil to power all the cars and trucks, bulldozers, farm tractors, airplanes and ships, as well as manufacture all the wind turbines and solar panels and electric vehicles, as well as the upgraded transmission grid. At that point, the game will be up, and it will be time for WW3. So we need to line up some really big enemies, and develop lots of reasons to hate them.

Thus you see the demonisation of Russia, China, Iran and Venezuela for reasons that don't make sense from a normal perspective.

Debsisdead , Feb 20, 2018 8:53:42 PM | 35
I watched bbc news this am in the hope that I would get to see the most awful creature at the 2018 olympics cry her croc tears (long story - a speed skater who cuts off the opposition but has been found out so now when she swoops in front of the others they either skate over her leading to tearful whines from perp about having been 'pushed', or gets disqualified for barging. Last night she got disqualified so as part of my study on whether types like this believe their own bullshit I thought I'd tune in but didn't get that far into the beebs lies)
The bulk of the bulletin was devoted to a 'lets hate Russia' session which featured a quisling who works for the russian arm of BBC (prolly just like cold war days staffed exclusively by MI6/SIS types). This chap, using almost unintelligible english, claimed he had proof at least 50 Russian Mercenaries (question - why are amerikan guns for hire called contractors [remember the Fallujah massacre of 100,000 civilians because amerikan contractors were stupid] yet Russian contractors are called mercenaries by the media?) had been killed in Syria last week. The bloke had evidence of one contractor's death not 50 - the proof was a letter from the Russian government to the guy's mother telling her he didn't qualify for any honours because he wasn't in the Russian military.
The quisling (likely a Ukranian I would say) went on to rabbit about the bloke having also fought in Donbass under contract - to which the 'interviewer (don't ya love it when media 'interview' their own journos - a sure sign that a snippet of toxic nonsense is being delivered) led about how the deceitful Russians had claimed the only Russians fighting in Donbass were contractors - yeah well this bloke was a contractor surely that proves the Russians were telling the truth.
It's not what these propagandists say; they adopt a tone and the audience is meant to hate based on that even when the facts as stated conflict with the media outlet's point of view. Remember the childhood trick of saying "bad dog" ter yer mutt in loving tones - the dog comes to ya tail wagging & licks yer hand. This is that.

The next item was more Syria lies - white helmets footage (altho the beeb is now mostly giving them an alternative name to dodge the facts about white helmets) of bandaged children with flour tipped on their heads.
The evil Syrians and Russians are bombarding Gouta - nary a word about the continuous artillery barrage Gouta has subjected the citizens of Damascus to for the past 4 years, or that the Syrians have repeatedly offered truces and safe passage for civilians. Any injured children need to ask their parents why they weren't allowed to take advantage of the frequent offers of transport out. Maybe the parents are worried 'the resistance' will do its usual and blow up the busloads of children after luring them over with candy.

Anyway I switched off after that so never did learn if little miss cheat had a cry.

[Feb 20, 2018] A classic case of misdirection, served up and serving the converging interests of a variety of players: neo-cons and defense contractors wet for a new Cold War with Russia, the Clinton/Obama wing of the Democratic Party desperate to use this to distract from their catastrophic political negligence, and factions in the National Security State looking to be rehabilitated in the eyes of media and liberal elites

Notable quotes:
"... The whole of American politics is nothing but 'sowing discord'. The only thing that holds the two parties together is the hatred shared for the 'other party'. ..."
"... Again, if election laws were broken, arrest, try, convict and imprison the perpetrators. Lots of money gets spent sowing discord during the elections. I'm not concerned one bit about the drop in the bucket spent by the Russians ..."
"... She had over a billion dollars to tell me that she was for universal health care. ..."
"... So, if I have a heart attack, based on my obesity, poor diet and alcoholism, I should immediately blame the background radiation in my basement? ..."
"... A classic case of misdirection, served up and serving the converging interests of a variety of players: neo-cons and defense contractors wet for a new Cold War with Russia, the Clinton/Obama wing of the Democratic Party desperate to use this to distract from their catastrophic political negligence, and factions in the National Security State looking to be rehabilitated in the eyes of media and liberal elites. ..."
"... What Russian government? It was a commercial operation posting click bait, of all sorts, to sell ads. And yes, that's the explanation that fits the facts best. If Putin was really bankrolling it, no evidence so far, he was wasting his money. From our point of view, a good thing. ..."
"... A foreign government employed copy editors to sow dissent in American politics by way of Twitter, Facebook, online advertising and a network of blogs. ..."
"... Google files patent for robot that writes your Facebook posts, emails and tweets ..."
"... All Russian bot claims appear to originate from the same group of warmongers and their highly flawed Hamilton 68 Dashboard project: McCarthyism Inc.: Terror Cranks Sold America the Russia Panic Truthdig ..."
"... [The Alliance for Securing Democracy's] researchers and advisors have become go-to pundits for mainstream reporters seeking expert opinions on Russian online meddling. They have been endorsed by John Podesta, the founder of the Center for American Progress and chief of staff for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. Julia Ioffe, the Atlantic's Russia correspondent, has also weighed in to promote the ASD's efforts. Both highlighted the ASD's Hamilton 68 Dashboard as a scientific barometer of Kremlin influence over the American social media landscape ..."
"... Bill Kristol, among others, is on the so-called Alliance for Securing Democracy's board of advisors. ..."
"... And "b" at Moon of Alabama thinks that they've deliberately indicted a bunch of people they don't expect to prosecute (they're all in Russia) in order to have the above "message" on the books for as long as it takes for someone to stage a legal test of it. ..."
"... Until then it is simple intimidation. ..."
"... If the Russian government actually funded this sort of thing, they must be pretty simple-minded. ..."
"... Anyway, do we even know that it was Russian "government" money financing these things? It was some oligarch who had "ties" to Putin. By the standards used so far in Russiagate reporting, that basically means that he and Putin are both Russian. ..."
"... The Russian Federation is very much against neo-Nazi and white supremacy movements due to what it suffered from Nazi Germany during WWII. Now Russia sees this on it's boarders in Ukraine. But Russia is branded with this because white folk live there. What about all the Muslims in Russia, many of which have come from Central Asia? What about all the Asians in Eastern Russia? The quoted statement is born of either ignorance, misinformation or disinformation. ..."
"... Unfortunately for Soros (and fortunately for the entire planet) the Russian government realised the cancerous nature of Soros backed NGOs, and took the proper preventative measures which in hindsight, and after reviewing the DC Leaks memos, proved to be a very wise move. ..."
"... Crowdstrike is the only source of evidence of Russian hacking of DNC. And Crowdstrike had to walk it back when they used the exact same evidence to claim that Russia had hacked Ukraine's artillery. That is likely why DNC refused to let FBI run forensics on their servers. ..."
"... negotiable convictions ..."
"... This is the mental equivalent of the sunk cost fallacy. At this point the media, the Dems and legions of David Brock led trolls have invested so much time and energy into "Muh Russia" that they can't write off their investment. ..."
"... Keep going. You're doing fine. It's down there somewhere. You can endure another season of Persist, the payoff is right around the corner. There is nothing more important right now than ignoring inconvenient facts. ..."
"... Domain Keys Identified Mail, or DKIM, is a highly regarded email security system that can be used to independently authenticate the contents and sender of an email that uses it. ..."
"... argumentum ad ignorantium ..."
"... argumentum ad ignorantiam ..."
"... Feffer says that progressives don't take Russiagate as seriously as they should. I think critical thinkers are taking it very seriously, because of potential censorship of dissenting voices that favor peace over war, and that favor productive social spending over wasteful military spending. ..."
"... Even absent such concerns, the Russiagate hysteria is obviously a partisan power struggle that sucks the air out of the room for productive political discourse to address real social, economic, and environmental problems. ..."
"... So, the 13 incitements, in addition to keeps the Russian narrative alive for another few weeks, is providing political cover for the establishment to clean house as it were, and clear out the Progressive infestation threatening to cripple the money train the establishment has become accustomed too. ..."
"... democracy in the USA is broken. ..."
"... when 10s of thousands of soldiers would be sent somewhere for an extended period ..."
"... Historically speaking, America peaked at the moon landing. ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

XXX February 20, 2018 at 4:19 pm

I find this question, in light of Real News (quite missing from the American landscape) and Real History (likewise), rather tedious and specious.

Time doesn't allow me to go on for more pages, plus this site has a word limit.

todde , February 20, 2018 at 12:43 pm

The whole of American politics is nothing but 'sowing discord'. The only thing that holds the two parties together is the hatred shared for the 'other party'.

Again, if election laws were broken, arrest, try, convict and imprison the perpetrators. Lots of money gets spent sowing discord during the elections. I'm not concerned one bit about the drop in the bucket spent by the Russians

Anon , February 20, 2018 at 12:46 pm

So this is more about Americans and their political intelligence than Russia and its intelligence. Trolls bringing down the Merican political system is theatre of the absurd. How many people died, again?

Buck Eschaton , February 20, 2018 at 1:44 pm

What I find truly amazing is that Hillary Clinton had over a billion dollars to provide me with reasons to vote for her. I was searching for anything.

It was obvious to every one that she was a hard-core neo-liberal and hard-core neo-conservative. All she offered was "America is already great!!!" A billion dollars and all she could provide was insults and paranoia.

sgt_doom , February 20, 2018 at 4:25 pm

And people still don't know that as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, she attended those rightwing prayer breakfasts at the Bush White House; belonged to rightwing, imperialistic/military organizations, and had an uncle, Wade Rodham, who was a member of the US Secret Service's presidential protection unit during the Kennedy Administration.

Not to mention those fundraisers thrown by Lady Rothschild at Martha's Vineyard for HRC.

And so it goes . . .

OldBear , February 20, 2018 at 4:47 pm

She had over a billion dollars to tell me that she was for universal health care.

She not only didn't tell you (or me) that she was for it, she angrily yelled that it "would never, ever come to pass!"

Expat , February 20, 2018 at 6:17 pm

This is not about Clinton. It's about Russia and the Trump campaign. Hillary lost and thank God. We should ban any spouses, children or grandchildren from holding elected office of any kind.

But turning this into a Democrat or Hillary thing is wrong. If there is something there, then the investigation might find it. If not, we have already grabbed up some arch-criminals in the persons of Gates and Manafort. So that is a already justification enough. Frankly, all the talk of costs is also a lie. Manafort's milllions will be seized. Russiagate will turn out to be profitable!

Michael Fiorillo , February 20, 2018 at 7:28 pm

So, if I have a heart attack, based on my obesity, poor diet and alcoholism, I should immediately blame the background radiation in my basement?

Most of the "attacks" Lobel referred to were traditional white propaganda by the likes of RT, which are invariably conflated with, first, Trump/Putin collusion, and since that puppy died, Russian "attacks" on our exceptional democracy.

Assume every hyper-ventilating charge by Mueller to be true, and magnify it fifty-fold; it's still bupkis in the toxic and corrupt stew that is US politics.

A classic case of misdirection, served up and serving the converging interests of a variety of players: neo-cons and defense contractors wet for a new Cold War with Russia, the Clinton/Obama wing of the Democratic Party desperate to use this to distract from their catastrophic political negligence, and factions in the National Security State looking to be rehabilitated in the eyes of media and liberal elites.

Big River Bandido , February 20, 2018 at 9:23 pm

This entire tempest (in a teapot) only gained legs because Hillary Clinton is congenitally unable to accept responsibility for her own mistakes.

What started out as merely a convenient way to distract the public from the embarrassing and politically crippling *leak* of her own internal emails (the actual content of which no one in Clintonland or the media ever protested) has, over the last 18 months, devolved into a swampland of denial and fantasy which has engulfed the Democrats.

lyman alpha blob , February 20, 2018 at 1:46 pm

So you must be the one who has the actual evidence that any of this was financed by the Russian government. Please do post it and enlighten us all. Then please forward it to the DNC – if they know the type of bang for their buck they can get for just $1000 maybe they'll stop sending the rest of us so many emails begging for money.

Clif , February 20, 2018 at 2:50 pm

Kevin-it seems to me you presume your conclusion when you say 'This is not the case. A foreign..' What's your source? What long history, the internet came around in early 90's, I'm old but that's not that long ago. And seriously, millions of impressions when Trump rallies were chanting "lock her up" you don't think word had gotten around or you don't think any Americans would think of that without foreign assistance.

Your tone of confidence betrays credibility.

NotTimothyGeithner , February 20, 2018 at 4:38 pm

The World Wide Web went live in 1991. The "internet" has become a catchall term for the WWW, but there were previous proto-internets including the Internet. "Kevin" isn't on the ball clearly. "Sow dissent" is pretty much code for how upset he was that "Dear Mother" didn't have a coronation.

Harry , February 20, 2018 at 3:45 pm

"A foreign government employed copy editors to sow dissent in American politics by way of Twitter, Facebook, online advertising and a network of blogs." Er, citation? I read the indictment. It doesn't say that.

NotTimothyGeithner , February 20, 2018 at 4:06 pm

"to sow dissent in American politics "

Can you possibly explain this? If the political system can suffer from a few internet memes, the problem is the state of American politics.

Is the country really this childish? The whole country is founded on dissent. Have you ever seen those bumper stickers about "Well behaved women not making history"? Do you not see the problem with your issue.

We aren't discussing arming paramilitary groups or rousing violence. We are discussing a social media click bait farm in an indictment presented by Bob Mueller, who's greatest hits include torture, lying about WMDs in Iraq, rounding up Muslims, entrapment, and the Anthrax farce. I would probably start with a prosecutor with a shred of credibility outside of the circles where Joe Scarborough is respected.

The worst part is the "OMG Russia" frauds are going to shout so much that nothing will be done about gun control or any other calamity, but I bet the Pentagon will get more money for another failed weapon system.

oh , February 20, 2018 at 8:15 pm

Mueller's greatest hits are still in the Top Forty Charts everywhere, albeit covertly.

Oregoncharles , February 20, 2018 at 5:07 pm

What Russian government? It was a commercial operation posting click bait, of all sorts, to sell ads. And yes, that's the explanation that fits the facts best. If Putin was really bankrolling it, no evidence so far, he was wasting his money. From our point of view, a good thing.

will_f , February 20, 2018 at 5:19 pm

A foreign government employed copy editors to sow dissent in American politics by way of Twitter, Facebook, online advertising and a network of blogs.

There is no proof that this troll farm was acting on behalf of any government.

In one example, for a mere $1000 or so, Russians were able to get American citizens to build a fake jail cell on a trailer complete with actors to play Hillary, Bill and Trump.

Right, no republican ever made an offensive parade float before the Russians came along.

Jim Haygood , February 20, 2018 at 12:02 pm

NYT headline today:

Russian Bots Moved Quickly to Exploit the Florida Shooting. By SHEERA FRENKEL and DAISUKE WAKABAYASHI

What ever happened to good old made-in-USA trolls? *sniff* Facebook, Google and Twitter are a global sandbox get used to it.

blennylips , February 20, 2018 at 4:58 pm

>What ever happened to good old made-in-USA trolls? *sniff*

Did you miss yesterday's links? About the google patent? Essentially a troll-bot to fake FB posts, ie, a BernaysBot, as american as you cant get!

Google files patent for robot that writes your Facebook posts, emails and tweets

It's a bit like stuxnet, or the tool chest the Equation Group lost control of: We invent it and then lose control of it.

Besides, we do so much election meddling that it had to be automated!

Montanamaven , February 20, 2018 at 5:01 pm

I fear Lambert is right and that the DNC will hyjack the Florida High School students anti-gun movement and make it serve their purposes. Not Russians bots to fear.

marym , February 20, 2018 at 5:18 pm

Actually saw someone (somebot? sometroll?) get called out on twitter today for doing the Russia! thing and not the US people who actually believe whatever the issue was. I think it's the first time I've seen that. Maybe the last too, but still for a moment there

Elizabeth Burton , February 20, 2018 at 7:01 pm

Yes, those nasty Russians were stirring up conflict by using hashtags calling for gun control. Bad Russians! Bad!

integer , February 20, 2018 at 7:42 pm

All Russian bot claims appear to originate from the same group of warmongers and their highly flawed Hamilton 68 Dashboard project: McCarthyism Inc.: Terror Cranks Sold America the Russia Panic Truthdig

[The Alliance for Securing Democracy's] researchers and advisors have become go-to pundits for mainstream reporters seeking expert opinions on Russian online meddling. They have been endorsed by John Podesta, the founder of the Center for American Progress and chief of staff for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. Julia Ioffe, the Atlantic's Russia correspondent, has also weighed in to promote the ASD's efforts. Both highlighted the ASD's Hamilton 68 Dashboard as a scientific barometer of Kremlin influence over the American social media landscape

However, an investigation by AlterNet's Grayzone Project has yielded a series of disturbing findings at odds with the established depiction. The researchers behind the ASD's "dashboard" are no Russia experts, but rather a collection of cranks, counterterror retreads, online harassers and paranoiacs operating with support from some of the most prominent figures operating within the American national security apparatus.

Bill Kristol, among others, is on the so-called Alliance for Securing Democracy's board of advisors.

jsn , February 20, 2018 at 12:06 pm

Our current Powers That Be have never been happy with the legacy of "free speech." It's now, demonstrably, an indictable offense for non-US citizens to engage in it in the US.

And "b" at Moon of Alabama thinks that they've deliberately indicted a bunch of people they don't expect to prosecute (they're all in Russia) in order to have the above "message" on the books for as long as it takes for someone to stage a legal test of it.

Until then it is simple intimidation.

drumlin woodchuckles , February 20, 2018 at 3:17 pm

Here at Sic Semper Tyrannis is a post with a link to the text of the Indictment. When I clicked on the link to the Indictment, I got to see it without any paywall. So here is the link to that SST post. http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/02/the-text-of-the-indictment-of-the-svr-13.html

OldBear , February 20, 2018 at 5:05 pm

If the Russian government actually funded this sort of thing, they must be pretty simple-minded.

For not the first time in recent days, I am reminded of a Dave Barry joke from many years ago, perhaps even before the collapse of the Soviet Union. I don't remember what the column was about; it might have been about comic strips in general, which were his favorites and which ones he didn't care for, etc. He mentioned the strip Nancy and said something like it "was the product of a 70-year Soviet government experimental project to produce a joke."

Anyway, do we even know that it was Russian "government" money financing these things? It was some oligarch who had "ties" to Putin. By the standards used so far in Russiagate reporting, that basically means that he and Putin are both Russian.

RandyM , February 20, 2018 at 10:41 am

It's easy to be skeptical of Russigate. For over a year now the MSM have breathlessly published a steady stream of "evidence" only to have it fall apart. When "progressive skeptics" point this out they're accused of going too far? I think we can all assume the Russian government hasn't been sleeping through the relentless pressure put on it by the West, but hasnt it been obvious that Russiagate is a politically motivated project?

Arizona Slim , February 20, 2018 at 1:34 pm

Toward the end of the book Shattered , there's a passage describing how the Russia! Russia! Russia! narrative was planned. This happened in a room full of Shake Shack containers and it involved people from the Clinton campaign.

Peter Pan , February 20, 2018 at 10:41 am

"It's not a surprise that neo-Nazi groups and white supremacy groups have identified Russia as one of their key allies, in part because Russia is home to so many white people, and that the Putin government has identified these movements of key allies as well."

This is an absolutely ridiculous statement. The Russian Federation is very much against neo-Nazi and white supremacy movements due to what it suffered from Nazi Germany during WWII. Now Russia sees this on it's boarders in Ukraine. But Russia is branded with this because white folk live there. What about all the Muslims in Russia, many of which have come from Central Asia? What about all the Asians in Eastern Russia? The quoted statement is born of either ignorance, misinformation or disinformation.

JTMcPhee , February 20, 2018 at 11:26 am

The 'net says there are maybe 40,000 "blacks" living in Russia. Also reports a wide variety of experiences and opinions on what it's like to be a black (actually, of course, various shades of skin tones from dark olive to golden russety shades of brown, to near obsidian with hints of blue, but lumped together as "black," like I am a "white" even though my skin tones range from pinky yellow [soles and palms] to a light tannish cream [most of the rest]), living and traveling in Russia. One bit of the discourse: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/15/black-in-the-ussr-whats-life-like-for-a-russian-of-colour

I'm reminded of Dick Gregory's observation on America, that as to whites and blacks, "Down South, they don't care how close you (African-Americans) get, as long as you don't get too big. Up North, they don't care how big you get, as long as you don't get too close."

Russia is a big place, with some 143 million people living within the geographic boundaries. Nativism and related notions seem present in any population anywhere, whether deeply held convictions or convenient ladder rungs to political and economic power. It's so hard to develop any completeness and accuracy in understanding what's really shakin' and doin' in the world when people revert to simplisticated personifications as actual important functional categories. "Russia" is getting the full treatment. Too bad us USians don't use the same lenses and mirrors to examine our own linty navels

JustAnObserver , February 20, 2018 at 1:05 pm

Absolutely right. Russia's dead in WW2 – 20 million (*) is the accepted estimate. I don't think any other nation suffered as badly (+). If anyone on earth knows the evil consequences of fascism, neo-Nazism, racial purism the Russians do. That one single line in Feffer's argument comes squeaky close to invalidating the whole thing.

(*) Strictly the USSR.

(+) Query: Maybe the brutality of the Japanese invasion of Manchuria ?

rd , February 20, 2018 at 1:21 pm

It is estimated that the total deaths in the Soviet Union under Stalin range from 9 to 50 million (book-keeping was their forte), including famines but not including death by the Germans.

Mao's policies are believed to have resulted in 40 to 70 million deaths in China.

War is bad. Sometimes peace can be worse.

Clif , February 20, 2018 at 3:04 pm

strange that good book keeping has a margin of error of 5 fold?

NotTimothyGeithner , February 20, 2018 at 4:34 pm

Not really. The German sympathizers and later defectors who just wanted out couldn't all claim to be rocket scientists. A factory worker who just wanted to drive a big car and live in McClean has to come up with a story worth paying for.

There was a cottage industry of tall tales for Stalin's personal use/entertainment. I don't think the later defectors are an issue, but powerful people helped facilitate the arrival of too many people with missing records and German accents who weren't in a rush to go to Israel to not be a political problem.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/03/09/canadas-foreign-minister-says-russia-is-spreading-disinformation-about-her-grandfather/?utm_term=.b8c691c10933

The former Canadian foreign minister's grandfather was a collaborator. How did he get to the West? He probably told a tall enough tale. Someone could make their career with that kind of information coup. What happens if its discovered it was a run of the mill Nazi that was helped by a now powerful person?

The U.S. actually sent out people to look for Hitler in South America, not escaped war criminals but Adolph, himself. The U.S. is a paranoid society. Someone was giving tips, and reason would pretty much dictate the Soviets weren't stopping until they finished the job.

Its similar to how many people Caesar killed in Gaul, not that he didn't kill a great deal of people, but after a while, it comes back to there not being that many people.

drumlin woodchuckles , February 20, 2018 at 9:06 pm

Here is a Rigorous Intuition post about the CIA's importation of Nazis into post WWII America . . . . more about the reasons for it than a lot of details about the whole scope of all the operations . . . all the ratlines, all the paperclips, all the etc.

http://rigorousintuition.blogspot.com/2006/06/mephistopheles.html

And here is another, this one about Allen Dulles's persistent sympathy for German Fascism with perhaps a little of the smelliest Nazism pressure-washed off of it. It talks about his negotations through various go-betweens with German interlocutors during the early WWII period.

http://rigint.blogspot.com/2007/01/patterns-of-force.html

Donald , February 20, 2018 at 4:56 pm

The larger figures attributed to Stalin are bogus.

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2011/03/10/hitler-vs-stalin-who-killed-more/

He killed millions, but people in the modern era are as prone to using figures as metaphors as medieval historians.

sgt_doom , February 20, 2018 at 4:26 pm

And what was the historical figure of Nazi soldiers killed by the Russkies: I believe it was 3 out of every 4?!

lyman alpha blob , February 20, 2018 at 1:52 pm

I'm going with ignorance – the rest of Feffer's arguments were a bunch of bafflegab too.

He's got nothing.

Montanamaven , February 20, 2018 at 5:22 pm

A combination of ignorance and arrogance is annoying and more dangerous than Russian troll farms. I can't believe his stupidity about Russians being Nazis. And of Putin being an Imperialist. If you read Putin's speeches, he is very much a nationalist or patriot. The Bear is in defense mode and trying to protect its huge borders. Putin' s Speech to the UN in 2015 was about "sovereign democracy" i.e. self -determination of a nation. He said they learned from the USSR that you can't and shouldn't spread ideology. Feffer could have a permanent gig on Morning Joe for all the "bafflegab" he spouts.

JerryDenim , February 20, 2018 at 4:02 pm

It's not a particularly well-supported or well-worded statement but it's not ridiculous nor is it without merit. Muslims are a minority group in Russia and not a very popular one. Some particularly barbarous acts of terrorism by various aggrieved groups has done nothing to improve their standing in Russian society. Vladimir Putin's government has actively cultivated various domestic ethno-nationalist astro-turf movements with fascist predilections for some time. It is believed that Putin sees these groups as a bulwark against liberal, western ideology that can be weaponized as CIA sponsored color revolutions or MeToo# type identity politic movements. Knowing what I know about the United States and post-Cold War US political meddling, I can't say I blame Putin for wanting a bulwark.

I remember years ago watching a documentary about a state-funded ultra-nationalist Putin youth group called "Nashi". They staged pro-Putin rallies, hosted summer camps and would organize free skin-head metal concerts with complimentary vodka and private tents for appropriately "Russian" ( not muslim and definitely not brown) couples to patriotically procreate in the service of the fatherland. You can call these state-sponsored groups of young Russian ethno-nationalists whatever you want, but neo-nazi doesn't seem too unfair if you're familiar with the ideological history and psychological undercurrents of National Socialism.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nashi_(youth_movement)

I don't believe Russia hacked any DNC servers, hijacked our elections or flipped any votes, but I don't doubt for a minute that Russia is actively sowing discord and disinformation among the American body politic. I believe the ultimate goal is the political disintegration, or at least paralysis of the United States as payback for the disintegration of the USSR and Warsaw Pact. I've heard Putin make sly statements over the years where if you read between the lines this goal is discernible through his thinly veiled remarks and his smoldering anger at the US for it's continued aggression against Russian influence and territory post-1989. Years before the 2016 election I remember reading reporting of how the modern Texas secessionist movement was nothing more than Moscow funded astro-turf. I have no doubts the "Cal-Exit" campaign that sprung up right after the election (and ironically supported by the exact same people most worried about Russian influence) was chiefly organized and funded by professional Russian propagandists as well.

I don't believe the hysterical, McCarthyist media narrative concerning the election and Russia, but I am also skeptical of absolutist, overarching narratives to the contrary. Putin is no dummy, he's not a pacifist, and he definitely views the US as a threat/adversary. None of that means Russian needs to be treated as an enemy or that diplomacy could not result in a mutually beneficial accommodation for both countries. The world is complicated and becoming emotionally invested in overly simplistic narratives, even contrarian ones, is unwise.

ChrisPacific , February 20, 2018 at 4:04 pm

I just about choked when I read this bit:

my major concern is its support for far right-wing nationalist and frankly, racist movements around the world, including here in the United States.

What does he think Ms. Nuland and her friends were up to in Ukraine? Other than a few bits like that, Feffer does seem to be at least somewhat grounded in reality (contrast his comments with the quote from Dan Coats). He thinks Russiagate had little to do with Trump, for example, and was just targeted at spreading confusion in general. That alone would get him branded as a heretic by the true believers.

Mo's Bike Shop , February 20, 2018 at 8:19 pm

I quit reading shortly after that. TV/Video is just awful at policy discussions. The stupid factoid barrages. I feel dumber just for reading this conversation, I suppose that's the point.

zagonostra , February 20, 2018 at 10:59 am

Take a look at the online cover of the NYT and tell me this whole Russiagate canard hasn't gone off the rail? https://zagonostra.wordpress.com/2018/02/20/opinon/

flora , February 20, 2018 at 1:17 pm

Great examples of how to fill up newspaper columns without doing any real reporting and without rocking any important boats.

Also, from 2013:

For decades, a so-called anti-propaganda law prevented the U.S. government's mammoth broadcasting arm from delivering programming to American audiences. But on July 2, that came silently to an end with the implementation of a new reform passed in January. The result: an unleashing of thousands of hours per week of government-funded radio and TV programs for domestic U.S. consumption in a reform initially criticized as a green light for U.S. domestic propaganda efforts.

https://foreignpolicy.com/2013/07/14/u-s-repeals-propaganda-ban-spreads-government-made-news-to-americans/

Thanks, Obama.

Zagonostra , February 20, 2018 at 5:35 pm

Thanks for link Flora, I posted at Zagonostra.

I just started a website to organize all these scattered articles I read on the various sites I visit I need to find where I put the link to an article that outlines the planting of CIA paid journalist in major newspapers

Elizabeth Burton , February 20, 2018 at 7:09 pm

Just do what I do and tell people to research Project Mockingbird. :-) And welcome to the growing club of alternative news site aggregators.

Ur-Blintz , February 20, 2018 at 11:05 am

"There's always one " – Spike Lee

Given the "resistance" and other self-described "progressive" voices who have lost their minds over the election of Donald Trump, one should not be surprised by Feffer's credulity. He may do a better job at hiding it, with his oh-so-civil language, but the desperation coming from partisan believers, who rightly see Trump as dangerous but refuse to go after him for real reasons (first-strike policy in retaliation for cyber attacks, for instance – has a single Democrat gone on record saying how utterly wrong that is? Oh wait, didn't Hillary herself campaign on refusing to rule out the first strike option?) is palpable.

And who can blame them for being desperate?

But I find the notion that Russian "meddling" successfully increased the amount of discord among USians to be.ridiculous. We don't need any help from Russia to be dissatisfied with our polity and the false choices it constantly gives us.

Mate was far too kind. Some people and some ideas don't deserve the benefit of rational debate.

drumlin woodchuckles , February 20, 2018 at 3:22 pm

The "#TheResistance" don't care about Trump's genuine dangers. They care about how he prevented their Jonestown Priestess Clinton from getting coronated Empress as they were all expecting.

There are millions and millions of Jonestown Clintonites. They are a deadly threat and a menace to political improvement in this country. You can get a sample of what they smell like by reading Riverdaughter's blog "The Confluence" and its threads. Put your nose close to the screen and you can smell the Jonestown Punch.

Byron the Light Bulb , February 20, 2018 at 11:17 am

Not since German security services sent VI Lenin back on a sealed train to Petrograd, has one nation fractured the politics of another with cynical support for the deranged.

Disturbed Voter , February 20, 2018 at 12:42 pm

Nice. If the Russian Empire wasn't on the verge of falling apart, it wouldn't have taken the one Lenin domino to topple it all. If the US is on the verge of falling apart people will be blamed, but not the American people, the people who are actually responsible for this sociopathy.

Stormcrow , February 20, 2018 at 11:20 am

Do the Skeptics Go Too Far?

Caitlin Johnstone made a three-part Debunking Russiagate series back in June 2017. Here are all three. I think they hold up pretty well. (They were noted at NC.)

https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/debunking-russiagate-part-1-7cca3eb88ffa
https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/debunking-russiagate-part-2-9e4b1dd895e9
https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/debunking-russiagate-part-3-b159aedc9410

Here's her latest.

America's Election Meddling Would Indeed Justify Other Countries Retaliating In Kind
February 20, 2018
https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/20/americas-election-meddling-would-indeed-justify-other-countries-retaliating-in-kind/

The late Robert Parry was also consistently trenchant.
Here is a link to some of his articles. (Many also noted at NC.)

https://www.google.com/search?q=Robert+Parry+russiagate&lr=&hl=en&source=lnt&tbs=qdr:y&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjCkuSC8bTZAhVIA6wKHQCUCFAQpwUIIQ&biw=1849&bih=925

Johnstone and Parry are only two of many incisive skeptics. I am diasppointed in Feffer.

pretzelattack , February 20, 2018 at 12:24 pm

goddamn i miss robert parry.

sgt_doom , February 20, 2018 at 4:29 pm

And wasn't it AP who fired Mr. Parry for attempting to publish Real News?

hemeantwell , February 20, 2018 at 2:37 pm

Ian Welsh offered a suggestion http://www.ianwelsh.net/how-to-stop-russian-election-interference/

.From the outside, Americans screaming about this look like a bully screaming, "How dare you do to me what I do to everyone else. I'm going to bury you!" This does not induce sympathy.

Still, we can make a strong case that countries shouldn't interfere in other countries' internal political affairs, including–especially including–elections.

I think that the Russians might be willing to agree to that.

So the sane method of dealing with this issue, to which which virtually everyone will agree, would be to begin negotiations towards that end.

Americans and Russians get together and have frank talks, which amount to a peace treaty: We won't do it to you, if you don't do it to us.

They might even extend that to not doing it to other countries.

This is the actual road out, though it seems laughable because it's really impossible to imagine. Both the US and Russia have been interfering in many countries for a long time, though America is the champion of the last 30 years or so, and by a wide margin.

Bittercup , February 20, 2018 at 5:59 pm

Russia has been arguing for just that -- a cyberwar peace treaty -- for almost a decade now. Here's a 2009 write-up , which is really quite interesting in a hindsight-y way.

"We really believe it's defense, defense, defense," said the State Department official, who asked not to be identified because authorization had not been given to speak on the record. "They [the Russians] want to constrain offense. We needed to be able to criminalize these horrible 50,000 attacks we were getting a day."

Carolinian , February 20, 2018 at 11:20 am

Feffer's argument boiled down

I find the narrative that's been put forward to be honestly more convincing than the counter narrative

We're supposed to be convinced because he's convinced. It's a gut feeling. Appeals to actual evidence bounce right off. Guess I don't get out much but had to look up who John Feffer even is.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Feffer

The latest M of A–linked here the other day–is a great takedown of Mueller's troll farm allegation. Some of us prefer a little evidence prior to being "convinced."

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/02/mueller-indictement-the-russian-influence-is-a-commercial-marketing-scheme.html#more

integer , February 20, 2018 at 12:52 pm

As noted on his Wikipedia page, and his own website, Feffer is/was a fellow at Open Societies Foundations. The incontinent George Soros hates Russia:

Leaked memo shows how George Soros planned to overthrow Vladimir Putin and destabilise Russia The Duran

Russia is Soros' white whale a creature he has been trying to capture and kill-off for nearly a decade.

Unfortunately for Soros (and fortunately for the entire planet) the Russian government realised the cancerous nature of Soros backed NGOs, and took the proper preventative measures which in hindsight, and after reviewing the DC Leaks memos, proved to be a very wise move.

integer , February 20, 2018 at 1:08 pm

From commenter danny j at TRNN:

Crowdstrike is the only source of evidence of Russian hacking of DNC. And Crowdstrike had to walk it back when they used the exact same evidence to claim that Russia had hacked Ukraine's artillery. That is likely why DNC refused to let FBI run forensics on their servers.

Feffer claims to oppose Cold War II, but is actively promoting it. Russiagate is being used to silence progressives. Note that both Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein are named in Mueller's indictment as beneficiaries of the alleged "Russian meddling" in our election. BTW: Feffer is a Fellow at Open Society, a NGO financed by George Soros who also funds the Atlantic Council, whose board includes the owner of Crowdstrike. So Feffer and Crowdstrike are both funded by the same oligarch.

Watt4Bob , February 20, 2018 at 1:15 pm

Feffer strikes me as a man of ' negotiable convictions '.

shinola , February 20, 2018 at 11:29 am

Lions and tigers and Russian bears, oh my!

So, it appears that some Russians may have used social media to try and sway the US elections in a direction more favorable to their own interests.

If that gets your panties in a wad, then hang onto your hat because I've some shocking news for you: Ice is cold & fire is hot!

pretzelattack , February 20, 2018 at 11:54 am

and most of whatever it was came after the election, not sure how that worked.

Bill Smith , February 20, 2018 at 12:39 pm

The Soviets and now the Russians have been messing about with the US for 70 years. Nothing new about it. Read "The Sword and the Shield" which is sourced from the KGB archives when they were briefly opened to the west after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Things are just easier now than then. "The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the the Third World" is also sourced from the KGB archives has details about what they did then.

The US messed with the Soviet Union and Russia when they could. See the stories about Yeltsin's reelection. Or the Ukraine in 2014.

pretzelattack , February 20, 2018 at 1:15 pm

this was reportedly a commercial venture. still awaiting evidence that the election was in any way affected by some online scam that may have originated in russia. the us has interfered, as you point out, much more effectively in russia. other countries do it to us, but there is no evidence that russia effected clinton's loss to trump, or colluded in effecting it.

lyman alpha blob , February 20, 2018 at 2:00 pm

A commercial venture, as opposed to David Brock's pro-Clinton paid trolls which was definitely not a commercial venture and designed solely to influence the election. Also illegal by the way but he's a Murican so who cares?

Loblolly , February 20, 2018 at 11:45 am

This is the mental equivalent of the sunk cost fallacy. At this point the media, the Dems and legions of David Brock led trolls have invested so much time and energy into "Muh Russia" that they can't write off their investment.

Keep going. You're doing fine. It's down there somewhere. You can endure another season of Persist, the payoff is right around the corner. There is nothing more important right now than ignoring inconvenient facts.

I might suggest that things would go faster if you give up just a little more of your critical thinking skills. To be honest they just get in the way at times like these when the narrative gets tenuous.

Roquentin , February 20, 2018 at 11:46 am

No one outside of the Dem party faithful really cares about the Russiagate nonsense. The rest of the world has watched the US meddle in and outright rig elections in more countries than I have the time to list for decades, a list with very ironically includes Russia in 1996. If a troll factory is the best they have, it's a straight up joke. They better have more to go along with it, because as it stands now buying a few ads and paying people to post online, standard PR practice, is incredibly weak. At this stage in the game, it feels kind of pathetic, an attempt by a party elite still unable to admit they lost, grasping at straws and still in this late hour desperately trying to make it seem like Hillary was the rightful winner.

It also, not coincidentally, works to taint the criticism of anyone, right or left, who disagrees. Not only that, it further casts doubt on all news sources which aren't the Democrat party approved corporate sources, another bonus. One could make a good case this was the goal all along: absolve themselves for bungling the 2016 election and discredit any information sources they don't control lock, stock, and barrel.

Jim Haygood , February 20, 2018 at 2:05 pm

'The rest of the world has watched the US meddle in and outright rig elections in more countries than I have the time to list.'

Not only has the US been hollering "regime change" since the infamous neocon Project for a New American Century began in 1997, it actually invaded and plundered several countries -- Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan -- for the express purpose of replacing their governments with US-backed ones.

Check out ex-CIA douchebag James Woolsey making weird barnyard noises when MSM anchorette Laura Ingraham asks him whether "we" still meddle in other countries' elections, before admitting on the record that it's "only for a very good cause" [yuk, yuk]

https://tinyurl.com/yded4ugt

With waving arms and hair on fire, Rep. Jerrold Nadler claimed on MSNBC that the Russian troll farm is "the equivalent of Pearl Harbor." If special snowflake America's democracy is so fragile that a bunch of amateurish Boris & Natasha trolls can bring it down, then let it bleed [and share the Stoli, comrades].

shinola , February 20, 2018 at 3:36 pm

" If special snowflake America's democracy is so fragile that a bunch of amateurish Boris & Natasha trolls can bring it down, then let it bleed [and share the Stoli, comrades]."

I like that framing. I am so gonna steal it.

FluffytheObeseCat , February 20, 2018 at 2:10 pm

Your second paragraph is I think all that matters at this point. The Russian trolls (who are probably still active online, albeit with less vigor) are pikers compared to the native manipulators who swarm the 'liberal' ring of our 2-ring media circus. The latter are devoted to squelching dissent, and unconcerned about sounding like idiots while they do it. Of course the only people they are aiming to shame are waverers on their 'own side'. Republican flyover types are unpeople in their eyes; their target audience is pretty select -- mainly those who don't want to be out of place among the youthful hipster elite. I.e. former Sanderistas who might pay attention to establishment Democrat perfidy if the noise machine stops howling for a second.

I'd love to know where these frantic fellows were when the New York Times comments sections were overtaken by Correct the Record trolls 2 years ago. That Brockian anti-Sanders effort was more effective and Orwellian than anything they've since tagged as Russia-generated. So much of the furor now seems to be coming from men who fear they may be getting bested at their own game!

drumlin woodchuckles , February 20, 2018 at 3:29 pm

"Tainting the criticism" of anyone who disagrees is the primary mid-range goal of the Russiagate Information Operation. The long range goal is to pass Patriot Act type laws to suppress and control all expression on all media; digital, analog or other.

pretzelattack , February 20, 2018 at 11:53 am

feffer keeps saying "who hacked the dnc" but there is no evidence anybody did. it's like the repeated assertions made about saddam's "wmd's" in the runup to iraq 2.

False Solace , February 20, 2018 at 1:19 pm

Timestamps on the DNC data show the files were copied locally, not over a network. That means they were leaked. Not hacked. Leaked by someone with physical access to the data. This came out back in July . Maybe Mate isn't "convinced" but I haven't seen anything, ever, that convincingly refutes the analysis.

So if someone wants me to believe in Russiagate they need to show me some damn evidence. I'm not going to believe something simply because every flexian apparatchik in the press parrots it 24/7 (90% of whom were in the tank for Hillary and personally devastated when she lost and more than happy to blame evil foreigners for how they called the election wrong). What we're seeing is a serious mental breakdown on the part of Democrats. What happened to these people? Back when GWB was in office they were supposedly the party of reality, the rational people who didn't make things up to justify a convenient war. It appears that only lasted as long as elections went in their favor. Now we see them for the dishonest hysterical fantasists they really are. Just like Republicans.

So where does that leave us? At the dawn of a Second Cold War with a psychopathic party on either side. Well, that's just awesome.

Bill Smith , February 20, 2018 at 5:39 pm

How do we know that the time stamps where created on the DNC's computer and not some other computer later on? It's easy to change the date backwards and make those time stamps be anything.

blennylips , February 20, 2018 at 8:57 pm

I had occasion to view a Podesta email recently: https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/11409 Big banner across the top: This email has also been verified by Google DKIM 2048-bit RSA key. Like a blockchain transaction, this DKIM algo was designed to prove cryptographically that you are viewing what existed when the user clicked send.

Click on the DKIM link in that banner for a full explanation.

Domain Keys Identified Mail, or DKIM, is a highly regarded email security system that can be used to independently authenticate the contents and sender of an email that uses it.

JTMcPhee , February 20, 2018 at 8:46 pm

Some folks just can't keep themselves from pushing the Narrative. I wonder how many of those people have been involved in "interfering with elections," as part of the Great American Enterprise

Just for a little fun, here's a list of actual "interference" done by the good old US of C.I.A, attempts and actual overthrows of various governments, including democratically elected ones: http://theduran.com/list-of-foreign-governments-overthrown-by-the-cia-is-massive/

DJG , February 20, 2018 at 12:03 pm

Yves Smith: You yourself have written that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. What we are getting is flimsy hearsay and calls for war. It is all Remember the Maine (and don't remember that the Democrats, in particular, brought this on themselves).

Feffer's typical in not being able to keep control of the simplest of facts:
"It's not a surprise that neo-Nazi groups and white supremacy groups have identified Russia as one of their key allies, in part because Russia is home to so many white people, and that the Putin government has identified these movements of key allies as well."

So now Russia is the international source of white people? What can this possibly mean? And don't tell the Volga Tatars or the Mari or the Yakuts or any of the many peoples who aren't "white" by U.S. standards. (Many of the Mari are among the last pagan Europeans.) The comment is worthy of Sarah Palin, well-known foreign-policy expert and Chunky Monkey shoes fancier.

I am reminded of the Watergate crisis. By all means, let's have indictments for real crimes (besides lying to the FBI) of people who are living within American jurisdictions or can be extradited. Then have a trial(s) with a judge of the quality of John Sirica.

But that isn't what the powerful want, particularly because establishment figures soon will be dragged in. They want confrontation, more looting, and more war. And if we are all suddenly worried about Putin being morally stinky, what should we do with Erdogan, Netanyahu, Viktor Orban of Hungary, Brazilian President Temer, and Aung San Suu Kyi, all of whom are considered "friends" of the U S of A?

And as to sowing discord: Someone should have noticed that 50 years ago with Nixon and the Southern Strategy.

Paul Cardan , February 20, 2018 at 12:05 pm

Seems to me that Maté did just fine. I'm not sure of what else you can do with someone like Feffer. When presented with good reasons for doubting his purported evidence, Feffer pretty much concedes the point every time. But then he insists that he finds the evidence convincing. In other words, he insists that he's going to go on treating it as good evidence, drawing the relevant conclusions, and asserting as much. That means he's a gullible person, and rather dogmatic to boot. Arguing with such people won't get you very far.

I did find Feffer's repeated demand for a counter-narrative interesting. This seems to be a way of simultaneously lowering the bar for knowledge and raising the bar for doubt. He's trying to say that doubt is only reasonable if the skeptic can produce a better theory than the believer. Absent such a theory, doubt isn't reasonable and everyone should believe. In other words, having conceded that the evidence isn't very good by ordinary epistemic standards, he's decided to switch to extra-ordinary standards. Roughly, I think the ordinary standard for doubt goes something like this: I can correctly say I doubt something when I can explain why the supposed evidence doesn't provide sufficient support for the claim in question. I'm not required, as a skeptic, to produce a superior argument for a different, incompatible claim about the same issue.

And now, having written that, it looks to me like Feffer is just engaging in a bit of argumentum ad ignorantium , a fallacy so old they named it in Latin.

Susan the other , February 20, 2018 at 1:48 pm

Exactly. Thank you for this ancient nutshell: argumentum ad ignorantium.

Paul Cardan , February 20, 2018 at 2:13 pm

You're welcome. But I misspelled it: argumentum ad ignorantiam .

Mattski , February 20, 2018 at 3:35 pm

The counter-narrative, IMO, is this: The avaricious and foolhardy Trump wanted to build more onanistic monuments to himself in Moscow, to slurp oysters there and cavort with Russian women. He threatened to upset decades of planning by both Dems and Republicans alike to encircle Russia, expand NATO, and SELL BILLIONS AND BILLIONS WORTH OF ARMS, often to dictators, with kickbacks on the side (legal and illegal) to ours truly. The powers that be in the CIA and FBI decided that intervention was needed, even if the cost was democracy itself. Trump has enough irons in the fire with Russia, enough outstanding loans and dirty dealings, that such a clear-eyed narrative may never get its head above water, but that is as close as we may come to nutshelling it.

witters , February 20, 2018 at 5:26 pm

"That means he's a gullible person, and rather dogmatic to boot. Arguing with such people won't get you very far."

Which also means, surely, that his demand that others who refuse to endorse his gullible dogmatism must meet "extra-ordinary epistemic demands" is – at best – mere sounding off. For who could be a worse pick for assessing both the required standards and their being met?

I think the kindest thing to say here, epistemically, is that the man is in a terrible mess. It is a sad thing to see. But then there are a lot of sad things to see in the "progressive reality-based community" today.

Paul Cardan , February 20, 2018 at 8:05 pm

Makes me wonder what's to be done about it. When I hit upon the idea that he's just arguing from ignorance, I started thinking about informal logic courses, the ones called Critical Thinking hereabouts. Perhaps more of those would help.

By the way, I was talking with a colleague who does Ancient yesterday, specifically the philosophy of Socrates, and I mentioned the question you raised about the Noble Lie. He told me that it's quite similar to a myth recounted by Hesiod. That was news to me. He also said that Greek colonists, prior to departure, would settle on a constitution for the new city together with a founding myth. As for the bit about the whole of one's childhood having been a dream, he guessed that this was a story that was intended to be told repeatedly, to successive generations. Now, the first generation was unlikely to believe, granted. But later generations would believe it of the first , the founding generation. He noted that this would be quite similar to what a number of native American peoples believed about the first of their kind. Oh, and one more thing occurred to me: earth mother goddess myths were common to the region back then, dating back at least to the Minoan civilization. Altogether, to me this makes the Myth of Metals seem a good deal more plausible relative to the people for whom it was intended.

This also makes me think that education in the humanities could be part of the solution to widespread credulity and dogmatism. Studying Plato can, for instance, inoculate against myth, something which is still with us. Knowing myth when you see it, it's possible to appreciate it without being taken in. There's much to be gained, too, from thinking like Thucydides from time to time. It's good to recall that both Sparta and Athens claimed to be fighting for freedom. And every time I hear about how we're going to use better, more powerful tools to finally vanquish the things we find most threatening, whether those things are "enemy" states or tactics (terrorism) or catastrophic ecological processes that we have ourselves set in motion, I can't help but recall Lucretius' account of what happened when bulls and boars and lions were trained up for war and loosed upon the enemy. "Don't believe what I've just told you about all this," he says, "for no one would be so foolish as to think they could ever really control such beasts." I don't often use the word, but there's wisdom here, or so it seems to me. We'd profit from knowing it. But, by and large, we don't.

JohnnyGL , February 20, 2018 at 12:32 pm

If I take my young kids and have an easter egg hunt with those plastic eggs and tell them that there's candy inside, and they keep finding them, opening them and there's just candy wrappers with no candy, then my kids are going to quickly grow tired of looking for the eggs since they're not delivering the promised candy.

This is what Russiagate feels like. We keep finding eggs, getting excited, then, no candy. But we're told to keep at it .eventually SOME of those eggs will have some candy. Other people who are really good at finding eggs have said they found some eggs with candy in them, even though we know they're habitual liars.

Feffer and the others who believe in this story are going to need some SERIOUS F-ING CANDY at this point to justify this unshakable belief they have that THERE IS CANDY SOMEWHERE IN THESE STUPID, PLASTIC EASTER EGGS!?!?!?!

Mo's Bike Shop , February 20, 2018 at 9:06 pm

I won't get my hopes up, some people like that kind of thing. The internet can always bring them together. /oi

John Merryman , February 20, 2018 at 12:32 pm

It reminds me of that iceberg that broke off Antarctica last year. The enormity and extent of the hypocrisy and global delusion it represents. If anyone wants to understand the level of breakdown, consider the amount of debt being issued today. That is the real source of cognitive dissonance.

Susan the other , February 20, 2018 at 1:58 pm

I certainly agree. When politics gets this chaotic and confusing there is some far more important hidden agenda being guarded by a "bodyguard of lies." The turn of this century will go down in history as the beginning of the energy wars. When the stakes are this high everybody pretends to be innocent. My knowledge is scant – I assume Russia's lifeblood is natural gas and LNG and they want to sell it to Europe. We claim Europe as our URally and do not want this to happen. Unless we can strong arm our way into some of the action. To that end we have been pushing US natural gas/LNG exports regardless of the expense and short returns of fracking. The dead silence on global warming and the energy crisis should be the first give-away.

Clive , February 20, 2018 at 3:48 pm

A hugely important point which is seldom ever if ever covered in the media here (umm scratching his head, I wonder if it could be for any particular reason) -- Europe is highly dependent on natural gas from Russia. We're forecast to have a big, late cold sna p and suddenly everyone starts getting a little twitchy about energy security.

Of course, us gas consumers here (well, our governments, anyway) resent their dependence and the self-loathing which it engenders. But that dependence in fact increases geopolitical security because neither "side" wants to do anything which upsets the energy apple cart.

Shale gas and LNG exports from the US threatens this equilibrium. But there's no economic (cost of production) advantage for US shale gas over pipeable Russian gas. Wouldn't it be nice for the US shale gas industry if, oh, I don't know, there were some shenanigans which gave a voice to anti-Russia sentiment and a clamour for, maybe eventually, economic sanctions?

Cynical, moi?

Elizabeth Burton , February 20, 2018 at 7:23 pm

And during the last cold snap in the US, several tankers full of Russian LNG made port here to make up a shortage. So, having prohibited Europe from buying Russian gas in favor of importing the US version, we ended up not having enough for our own people and got it from Russia.

The farce be with you.

Rob P , February 20, 2018 at 12:37 pm

>We have the report from the intelligence community here in the United States that provides at least a trail. It's been challenged, but I find the narrative that's been put forward to be honestly more convincing than the counter narrative.

I agree that the 'Russia hacked the DNC' theory is more likely to be true than any other individual theory, although there still isn't any hard proof available to the public. But that's hardly a good defense of 'Russiagate'. Not having a better suspect isn't really a justification for sanctioning Russia (or more, if the Russiagaters get their way).

voteforno6 , February 20, 2018 at 1:19 pm

I disagree that the report provides a trail. It lists a number of APTs that conducted the hacking, and states that they are tied to Russia. However, it provides zero underlying evidence that the hacking was conducted by those APTs, and that they were related to Russia in any way.

Another possibility is that, yes, Russia did hack the DNC for intelligence-gathering purposes, but didn't provide the emails to WikiLeaks. It's entirely possible that more than one entity hacked into them (if anyone did at all). As flimsy as the narrative is with Russia doing the hack, it's even thinner when it comes to transmitting the emails to Russia.

pretzelattack , February 20, 2018 at 1:59 pm

thanks for this summary. just more assertions sans evidence from the people that brought you the iraq war (republicans and democrats, working together like the harlem globetrotters and the washington (hmm) generals.

False Solace , February 20, 2018 at 1:27 pm

That's like saying the most popular theory is correct, on the basis that it's the most popular. Truth doesn't work that way. Supply some evidence. Otherwise you're operating on the basis of what feels true. "Truthiness", not truth.

Why did the FBI never examine the server?
Why do the timestamps show the data was copied locally by someone with physical access to the machine?
Why did the NSA decline to back the whitepaper when we know they have every single network intercept and can literally prove what happened?

All we have is a bunch of handwaving and people who don't know much about computers repeating things they heard from people with a track record of lying.

JohnnyGL , February 20, 2018 at 12:42 pm

I think it's worth looking at the Russia-gate believers, on this. If they all agreed on one narrative, that'd be something, but they don't even agree among themselves, which I'd argue is actually really problematic.

I may be off on one or more of the details above, but all of these "serious" believers in Russia-gate don't even agree with one another.

I'm growing increasingly tired of watching Aaron Mate disembowel these people one-by-one but I'd agree it needs to be done because this story just .won't .go .away .

pretzelattack , February 20, 2018 at 12:47 pm

it's like global warming deniers, they often take contradictory positions in coming to the preordained conclusion that it isn't happening.

JohnnyGL , February 20, 2018 at 1:24 pm

Exactly .I've heard

Climate change is real, but not caused by humans .not real ..real, but caused by solar activity .real, but planet is getting colder and risking new ice age .maybe real, but don't have enough evidence .

almost like it's an organized campaign to spread DIS-information?!?!?!?

Mo's Bike Shop , February 20, 2018 at 9:20 pm

If anyone has a fun link to someone trying to tackle where the secret volcanoes spewing CO2 are, I'd appreciate it. Because it's become a meme-earworm to me: "Which volcanoes?!?"

FluffytheObeseCat , February 20, 2018 at 2:35 pm

The people you've mentioned are not perfectly mainstream. At least they were not until quite recently. They are members of the (formerly) 'left' wing blogosphere. A group that contains many natural contrarians, who each have cultivated slightly different views of things over the years.

Although they sure seem pretty lockstep now, on this matter, don't they? I suspect most of them cannot not allow themselves to accept why it is that a skank like Trump was elected. The 'left' blogosphere was completely neutered over the past decade, and it's leading lights now have little value to add to anyone's thinking on current affairs.

HotFlash , February 20, 2018 at 3:47 pm

Perhaps they are applying for the gravy train?

Dwight , February 20, 2018 at 12:44 pm

Feffer says that progressives don't take Russiagate as seriously as they should. I think critical thinkers are taking it very seriously, because of potential censorship of dissenting voices that favor peace over war, and that favor productive social spending over wasteful military spending.

Even absent such concerns, the Russiagate hysteria is obviously a partisan power struggle that sucks the air out of the room for productive political discourse to address real social, economic, and environmental problems.

How seriously to take Russiagate is a separate question from skepticism over evidence we have yet to be shown. The bigger question that Feffer doesn't address is "So what?" Even if the facts stated in the 3-agency report and the DOJ indictment are true, do they really justify all this hysteria?

If the Russian state is actually interfering in our elections, then quietly take measures to stop it. Instead, over the past 15 years, the federal government has promoted hackable computers and voting systems.

Moreover, even if the Russian state did interfere for geopolitical goals, treat it as the actions of an adversary and quietly take countermeasures. This should not be a political issue.

The Russiagate narrative has gone far beyond authentic reaction to Russia's actions, which many experts such as Cohen and Mearsheimer consider to be reactions to NATO actions.

Feffer's concern is that Putin and Trump are colluding to promote white supremacy. That's his big picture, and would be concerning if true. However, even if true that doesn't address the concerns I raise above.

sgt_doom , February 20, 2018 at 4:32 pm

Would recommend a recently published book by investigative journalist, Michele McPhee: Maximum Harm: The Tsarnaev Brothers, the FBI, and the Road to the Marathon Bombing. Highly recommended

moving left , February 20, 2018 at 5:11 pm

All good points, Dwight. We need to separate the discussion/investigation of Russian influence from the ridiculous and dangerous hyperbolic reaction to it. We need to take steps to make the election process fair and transparent and un-hackable as far as possible (paper ballots, hand-counted) as much or more for domestic reasons. I care far more about voter suppression (legal and illegal) and about domestic players monkeying around with electronic voting systems than I care about a tiny amount of crude ads and trolling on social media.

Code Name D , February 20, 2018 at 12:52 pm

Democrats have just strangled the "Blue wave" in the cradle. Political tides are turning, and the Democratic Establishment is starting to feel the pressure from Progressive primary challengers. And evidence is mounting that Progressives win elections, even in "red districts" while corporate Democrats still manage to lose even in blue ones. And on the horizon, is a Sanders run in 2020.

So, the 13 incitements, in addition to keeps the Russian narrative alive for another few weeks, is providing political cover for the establishment to clean house as it were, and clear out the Progressive infestation threatening to cripple the money train the establishment has become accustomed too.

The "Do Russia-gate skeptics go too far" is a part of that narrative. Interesting to note that "Russia-gate skeptics" don't actually get much air-time to challenge the narrative. So, the notion that they have gone "too far" is a bit laudable. No, the point here is to justify further squelching independent media and to silence the few individuals out there who still dare to speak out over watercoolers.

Already, more assertive smears have been made against Jill Stine and Birney Sanders as receiving "Russian aid" in their campaigns. The end game is to knock them out of the running in 2020, justifying even more extreme steps.

Democratic Establishment being challenged in primaries will start to invoke a kind of "don't change horses" privileges for their primaries in response to this new "9-11". They might even go so far as to accuse the primary challengers as receiving "aid from Russia." This will cripple their primary efforts. And failing that, justifies simply locking them out of the primary all together in the name of "election integrity."

Their thinking is that if they lock out the progressives, then the establishment can rise the wave for another cycle. But in so doing, they squelch the issues progressives are trying to represent, and makes Russia-gate more prominent in the 2018 strategy.

It plays right into the hands of the Republicans. Giving them the intellectual high ground when it comes to rallying around the president. While at the same time de-mobilizing the progressive vote, ending the blue wave before it gets started.

The Dem-establishment are finished, they just don't know it yet. It's just a mater of time before they fade away completely. What remains undecided is whether a progressive moment will take their place, either by taking over the Democratic Party or forming a new third party to take its place. Or weather America becomes a single party state under Republican Rule.

The 13 indictments is a step closer to the later.

pretzelattack , February 20, 2018 at 1:17 pm

yes, i think it's a twofer, clean house in the democratic party to preserve their control and maintain their grift, and support the neocons who haven't had enough wars lately.

MichaelSF , February 20, 2018 at 3:29 pm

So, the 13 incitements, . . .

I think that is an apt term to use instead of indictments, as it seems to cut to the heart of why this is happening.

drumlin woodchuckles , February 20, 2018 at 6:52 pm

The answer is to defeat every single mainstream Democrat in every single race, every single time. Loss by loss, the Mainstream Democrats can be exterminated from political existence.

Tobin Paz , February 20, 2018 at 1:08 pm

Clinton paid for the dossier

Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier

The Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research that resulted in a now-famous dossier containing allegations about President Trump's connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin, people familiar with the matter said.

which included Russian sources

How Ex-Spy Christopher Steele Compiled His Explosive Trump-Russia Dossier

How good were these sources? Consider what Steele would write in the memos he filed with Simpson: Source A -- to use the careful nomenclature of his dossier -- was " a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure. " Source B was " a former top level intelligence officer still active in the Kremlin. " And both of these insiders, after "speaking to a trusted compatriot," would claim that the Kremlin had spent years getting its hooks into Donald Trump.

lied about it

Hillary Clinton's Campaign Wasn't Honest About Paying for Trump Dossier, Watchdog Says

The Washington-based Campaign Legal Center (CLC) said in a Wednesday complaint to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that Hillary for America and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) broke campaign finance law by trying to hide payments related to the dossier, which included graphic, unproven claims about the current president's sexual habits.

and the FBI used it:

FBI used dossier allegations to bolster Trump-Russia investigation

The FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump's campaign as part of the justification to win approval to secretly monitor a Trump associate, according to US officials briefed on the investigation.

And what is the origin of all this Russia BS?

Political Strategy: The Origins Of The Trump/Russia Nonsense & Hysteria

Thanks to the Podesta Emails available on Wikileaks, we can have a clear view of what research and polling was done to try to come up with a good strategy for the Clinton campaign.

Secretary Clinton's top vulnerability tested in this poll is the attack that claims as Secretary of State she signed off on a deal that gave the Russian government control over 20% of America's uranium production, after investors in the deal donated over $140 million to the Clinton Foundation. Half of all likely voters (53%) are less likely to support Clinton after hearing that statement and 17% are much less likely to support her after that statement.

And guess who was the FBI director at that time:

FBI uncovered Russian bribery plot before Obama administration approved controversial nuclear deal with Moscow

Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin's atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.

The connections to the current Russia case are many. The Mikerin probe began in 2009 when Robert Mueller , now the special counsel in charge of the Trump case, was still FBI director. And it ended in late 2015 under the direction of then-FBI Director James Comey , whom Trump fired earlier this year.

voteforno6 , February 20, 2018 at 1:14 pm

I found the intelligence agency report on the DNC hacking to be rather flimsy. I think the tell for me was that roughly half of it consisted of some very generic, boilerplate cybersecurity tips – the kind that you'll find in your agency's annual security refresher training. The only thing that would've made it more obvious, I think, is if they had changed around the font size and margins, in order to drive up the page count. What does that say about their confidence in the rest of the report, that they felt the need to add fluff to it?

todde , February 20, 2018 at 9:48 pm

You have no chain of evidence to convict anyone in a court of law for the hack. The FBI was called in months later, and the already deemed guilty party just so happened to collude with her election opponent.

cocomaan , February 20, 2018 at 1:18 pm

Lee Camp's takedown of the Mueller indictments is incredible:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8ccn2oE3v4

Ranger Rick , February 20, 2018 at 1:24 pm

I often get called a supporter of "fake news" for ignoring any and all reports on Russian election interference and Russian twitter bots as profoundly not interesting or important. No evidence has ever surfaced that votes were changed, fabricated or deleted. The electoral process itself was untouched. The candidates were not bribed (for a given value of 'bribed' -- i.e. 'quid pro quo'). Thus, there was no interference.

I was especially ridiculed for claiming that the recent four-alarm fire at Wired about Russian Twitter posts following the Parkland school shooting was crisis exploitation at its most disgusting. I do not dispute that posts by Russian government employees exist. I just fail to see them as a threat or even a meaningful fact to report about.

cocomaan , February 20, 2018 at 1:54 pm

You CLEARLY don't spend your whole life on twitter. If you DID you'd UNDERSTAND.

What are you, some kind of shut in?

pretzelattack , February 20, 2018 at 1:27 pm

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/02/19/mueller-the-politician/
https://theintercept.com/2018/02/19/a-consensus-emerges-russia-committed-an-act-of-war-on-par-with-pearl-harbor-and-911-should-the-u-s-response-be-similar/

I'm sure the second article has been linked here, but bears repeating.
h/t to Sonja commenting on it for the counterpunch link.

Tomonthebeach , February 20, 2018 at 1:27 pm

Why would Putin prefer Trump to Clinton? SABOTAGE.

The term sabotage derives from the practice of throwing "sabots" (clogs) into machines to break them. It's Luddites 101. Tossing Trump into the machinery of Democracy has clearly achieved precisely the same thing. Since Trump, many headlines continue to assert that democracy in the USA is broken.

To Putin, the beauty of it is that he did it so easily and for so little money.

pretzelattack , February 20, 2018 at 1:39 pm

clinton sabotaging the primaries broke our democracy, and so did the supreme ct in citizens united. are the justices and clinton controlled by putin, too? i understand clinton has a higher price tag than the average russian troll.

Massinissa , February 20, 2018 at 1:41 pm

Yeah, sorry, but if we lost our 'democracy', we lost it some good number of years before Trump. Perhaps when George W Bush beat Gore, if not before that. Trump is just the latest right wing sh*tlord president we have had in succession, including supposed leftists Obama and Clinton. The only reason Democrats hate Trump more than they hated Bush (whose image by the way has since been rehabilitated by the Democratic establishment!) is that he is rude and goes against social norms.

Also, do you really think a few hundred thousand dollars worth of shitty advertisements comparing Hillary to the Devil is really enough to actually affect the election in any significant way?

pretzelattack , February 20, 2018 at 1:47 pm

yeah love it when shrub is now getting brought back into the fold, assuming their disdain for him ever was real. and ronnie was often complimented by obama.

Arizona Slim , February 20, 2018 at 3:51 pm

Trump is hated because he is rude and goes against social norms? Well, I'll bet that the Democrats would have hated Lyndon Johnson too. Oh, wait

Taras 77 , February 20, 2018 at 1:54 pm

The extent of the hysteria is mind boggling-do people believe this? another pearl harbor, worst atk sincie 9-11?
The head of these 13 people, yes just 13, was a former hot dog vendor in St Pete. The $1.2 mil also covered ads to internal Russian markets. Moon over alabama says it was a commercial exercise-VP of Facbook says most ot the russian sourced ads were place after the election.

i agree with kuntzler that the us has collectively lost its mind-it really is beyond hysteria, it goes to "can you top this." I think "worst atk since 9-11" gets us close to the top but I have never credited scarborough with any ability to think-just keep repeated the mantra. I do not know where this will wind up but clearly the neo cons have won big time and america has embarassed itself beyond what anyone could conceiveably imagine. I hold my head and try not to completely dispair.

Buck Eschaton , February 20, 2018 at 2:06 pm

It's the blatant in your face lies and it's the ludicrousness of the lies. I recently saw Dr.Strangelove at the theater, and what do you do when confronted with people who are crazed or possessed by something? To say things in all seriousness that would make you spit your drink out in laughter. There's got to be something going on for this many people in "serious" media outlets to be saying the most lunatic and bizarre things in unison.

pretzelattack , February 20, 2018 at 2:11 pm

i'm afraid it's a push for another war, syria, iran, russia, you name it. it's just about as bad as the extended propaganda campaign before we attacked iraq for nonexistent (and very obviously nonexistent, as hans blix and mohammed elbarridei shot down each and every report of wmd's) weapons. i just hope and pray to the gods of randomness that this one doesn't work as well.

NotTimothyGeithner , February 20, 2018 at 5:12 pm

A few thoughts: Cord cutting. Who watches cable news? In the end people who are older and towards the more comfortable end of the spectrum, the last eight or sixteen years, weren't terrible. Trump might be more upsetting to them that the Iraq War, hence the new found admiration for Shrub.

We should remember the rightward shift of the media in the 90's to chase after the audience being lost to cable news and talk radio. Rush harped endlessly on the liberal media. It was grossly inaccurate, but newspapers shifted right in response as conservatives stopped buying newspapers.

Who is the most likely to be a cable news viewer of the next few years? A kid who went to an Occupy rally? No, I don't think so. The networks have been furiously fear mongering to keep the election viewership watching because in the long term they won't pick up new people. After all, what does Maddow do in an hour (imagine she never went full Glenn Beck) that you couldn't read in under five minutes? They are pulling out all of FoxNews tricks to win old people over. Look at the graphics on MSNBC and CNN. In years past, the three cable networks had different acts, but they look almost interchangeable. Everything, even opinion pieces, get the "breaking news" chyron. Turn on MSNBC. I guarantee you, you will see "breaking news" in a frightening form over something entirely trivial.

http://www.adweek.com/tvnewser/heres-the-median-age-of-the-typical-cable-news-viewer/355379

Senior citizens viewership. Anathema to advertisers. Seniors even the ones with money already have loyalty to brands. Ads are a waste on them.

Then of course, there is the basic problem with "access journalism." The msm "press" revolves around the need for "interviews" and access to subjects. For example, Trump and the NYT have the strangest relationship. The snipe at each other non-stop, and then hold weird public love fests when Trump does an interview. Instead of "following the money," the media looks for Deep Throat to provide answers. The Bush and Clinton courtiers dominate Washington (Obama just kept whoever was around in power), but going forward, what good is a useless Clinton lackey to a corporate board? A Bush family endorsement? They are still in Washington, but they desperately need for the paymasters to believe the Clinton/Bush apparatus are still marketable. They provide the press with a story, and their story of "OMG Russia" excuses their own losses. Lets not forget $125 million Jeb lit on fire and promises of how Trump couldn't down to Bush Country and defeat Jeb after the Southern Dandy's endorsement in SC.

At the end of the day, it still goes back to "What Happened?" The political elites in this country are so effed up that they allowed Jeb vs. Hillary to be a real possibility. The future of the GOP is a clownshow, and the Democrats have Bernie Sanders and a drooling Kennedy or whoever their desperate attempt to block a candidate having to make promises is. Who is at fault? It can't be "Mother." It can't be people with fancy titles. No, its foreigners.

albert , February 20, 2018 at 2:04 pm

Lee Camp sums it up quite well:

IT'S INSANE!

. .. . .. -- .

Taras 77 , February 20, 2018 at 2:31 pm

To cap things off, CNN, yes that CNN, dispatched one of their reporters to St Pete to go through the garbage of the troll farm; he tried to enter the building and was asked to leave.

This was all on video presented by cnn.

Buck Eschaton , February 20, 2018 at 3:07 pm

I can't help thinking of Zizek and his trash can of ideology.
https://youtu.be/j28DtHJCamA

Rob P , February 20, 2018 at 2:14 pm

I think the most recent Mueller indictments are more dangerous than many people realize. Claims that Bernie was supported by 'Russian bots' in the primaries are already being used against him. Assuming most Democratic primary voters still believe in Russiagate in 2020, it would be very easy for Trump to use the Russia conspiracy against Bernie or another progressive that had a good chance of beating him. His intel heads are all Russia hawks who have vowed to help prevent 'Russian interference in our elections'. There's guaranteed to be at least a few Russian internet trolls supporting the campaign, or some minor official with some vague connection to Russia, so all they have to do is open an investigation, and leak that investigation to the press.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , February 20, 2018 at 4:24 pm

Ironically, Sanders said we needed to investigate Russian collusion.

petal , February 20, 2018 at 2:16 pm

I was just at a talk and Q&A session given by NH senior Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. There will be an article in the local paper tomorrow that I'll post, but in the meantime I will do my best to write up the highlights here today, so please bear with me. I was scribbling furiously. Unfortunately it was not videotaped.

She gave a 15-20 minute talk at a podium and then the rest was Q&A with the crowd and a professor moderated it. There were 168 chairs set out but from a quick head count only a little over 100 people attended- most were retirees, and then students made up the rest. It was at 11am, so not a very good time of day for normal people.

Okay so for her talk: she said she looks at the cybersecurity threat through a lens of global security, and that the Kremlin has used these tactics versus Ukraine and in the lead up to Brexit. She said this isn't a new Cold War because technology has rendered countries borderless, and only recently has the US become aware that it's been targeted by cyberattacks, especially spread through social media. She said our efforts in Syria were damaged by these cyberattacks. She kept mentioning Kaspersky over and over again, how he's a major buddy of Putin and does his bidding, said Kaspersky Labs is Kremlin-linked, and that under Russian law it is required to have all servers located in Moscow available/all info shared with the FSB. She used the term "Russia's hybrid warfare" at least a few times, and said that our government has to "protect Americans from threats". She wants to establish a clear command structure for cybersecurity at the federal government level. And that it's crucial for younger generations to be taught how to identify fake news and disinformation.

She thinks Putin is doing this to manipulate our open media in order to turn Americans against each other, and reiterated that all 17 intel agencies have incontrovertible evidence of Russian interference. She brought up that Dan Coates repeated Pompeo's statement that the US is under attack. Sanctions against Russia were brought up and she repeated how the bill was bipartisan, and it sends a strong message to the Kremlin and that Trump won't okay these sanctions. She said there have been partisan attacks on Mueller, the DoJ, and FBI in order to undermine the investigations, and that this would help achieve the Kremlin's goal of turning Americans against each other. She said elections here in the US and "all across Europe" have been threatened.

The "misleading" Nunez memo was mentioned and she said trolls and bots using facebord and twitter led to its release, that the Russians are pushing the deep state narrative along with anti-Obama messages in order to enflame social divisions in the US, and that the Russians are pushing messaging about Ukraine and Syria. She said "a hostile foreign power interfered in our election", that the Russians are trying to undermine American democracy, that we have to fight back because "It's about Patriotism"(yeah, she actually said this-it was all I could do to not throw up at that point), and how important the independence of the FBI is and that the Mueller MUST be allowed to complete his investigation. She said the US is being eroded from within and trotted out a JFK quote about defending freedom "against Putin's methods". Unity unity unity! Felt like I was in the Twilight Zone.

She accused the Russians of building up their military might and extending it to Ukraine and Syria, that they caused the Brexit vote result, fomented and stirred up Catalonia's secessionist movement the other month, and caused a certain Czech leader to be elected(I'm not up on Czech politics).

She brought up the idea of using paper ballots again and admitted there had been no hacks to voting machines. She said the Russians were trying to undermine people's(not just Americans) faith in democracy, getting folks to think elections are rigged, and that their vote doesn't count (yeah yeah I know, right?!).

During the Q&A session, she said how they were talking to Treasury and others to find out ways to force the sanctions through, brought up the Magnitsky Act(and his murder in jail). Someone asked about the Korea troubles and she said how she completely believes McMaster and other military leaders that the bloody nose strategy isn't on the table even though "Trump has pleaded for it". She stated that she thinks an AUMF from Congress is only necessary when 10s of thousands of soldiers would be sent somewhere for an extended period , and she mentioned how the Syria situation deteriorated because Obama drew a red line and then didn't back it up.

She thinks the Russians are trying to undermine The West in order to create a new Russian Empire. She actually said this out loud. A student called out the US's efforts influencing the elections of other countries(he brought up a recent Carnegie Mellon paper about how the US meddled in 80 countries), coups, propping up dictators, etc and you could hear a pin drop. I think she looked like a deer in headlights and then she spurted out she thinks we shouldn't be doing that. It was awesome and I thanked the kid on the way out.

Anyway, sorry for the super long post, but that's how it went down. She seemed not very intelligent, like she was just mindlessly repeating what someone above had told her to say, kept repeating certain terms and statements like Russian hybrid warfare, etc. She sounded like a crackpot, to be honest with you-I couldn't believe some of the stuff she was saying. It was very concerning-this is a US senator and there must be a lot more like her, and they are leading the Dems. She seemed very uncomfortable and not very knowledgeable talking about this stuff, even though that's why she was here and it's supposed to be her thing. It's like for example when you didn't actually do the work but you're talking about it-you memorize the answers or what you're supposed to say and that's it-no depth, just repeat certain terms over and over. I got the feeling she doesn't know much geography or history, too. It was scary. These are the people in control and driving this agenda. Cheers.

tegnost , February 20, 2018 at 3:06 pm

Thanks petal

hemeantwell , February 20, 2018 at 3:19 pm

Thanks for the report.
The public gutlessness and corresponding stupidity of most senior US elected officials regarding relations with major competitive powers is like a bizarre form of patriotic observance in which the speaker proudly announces the sacrifice of their critical faculties in the service of the nation. It's as though there are no constituents who will reward analytic honesty and the corresponding lives and resources saved. One wonders if her interactions with staff on these matters amount to anything more than a selection of camouflage statements that allow her position to become indistinguishable from the modal patriotic dimwit her fellow elected officials aspire to be. It's like watching high schoolers try out team cheers.

flora , February 20, 2018 at 3:45 pm

Thanks for this report.

todde , February 20, 2018 at 4:05 pm

Did we repeal the War Powers Act and I missed it? Why are we confused about when we can send troops abroad?

Russia can't dominate more than one province in the Ukraine. I think we are safe from the Russian Empire for the time being.

todde , February 20, 2018 at 4:13 pm

anyway, left a tweet on her twitter, for all the good that'll do

petal , February 20, 2018 at 7:16 pm

After today, I'm not confident she knows what the Twitter actually is. And bots this, bots that, bots bots bots. It was a lot to digest, and makes me appreciate Lambert and his yellow waders even more. I tried to write down as much as I could word for word what she said, especially the Russian Empire thing. It seemed like she really thinks the Russians are trying to take over the whole world to create a new Russian Empire with Tsar Putin at the helm, and that this supposed meddling is truly an act of war. It's scary. Walking out of there, I felt like a (family blog) genius. What she said about congressional authorisation needed only when 10,000s of troops are being sent for an extended period, my head exploded. Like I said before, caught in a Twilight Zone episode.

petal , February 20, 2018 at 7:25 pm

The D party is pushing this Russia! thing whole hog-this is what they're going with for the long haul instead of focusing on real issues. They are 100% sure Mueller's going to find something that takes down Trump. That's their whole plan.

petal , February 20, 2018 at 7:47 pm

So I must have missed a page in my notebook earlier, sorry-just remembered how she made a point to crow about forcing the Kremlin-backed and very well-funded RT to register as a foreign agent, and talked about how if RT's on in a hotel in the US and you watch a few minutes of it, it's very subtly biased(those sneaky Russians!) and the delivery is a little different than on CNN and other mainstream US news stations and this is in order trick American viewers and to subtly sow discord amongst the American public. It was epic stuff today, so much to try to keep track of and remember.

grizziz , February 20, 2018 at 2:33 pm

John Feffer, "the reason we take it seriously is twofold." (What do you mean we , kemo sabe?)

"One, because we're worried about our U.S. democracy and whether it can function in a fair way." (We live in a Republic which by design favors the moneyed classes primarily through the Senate and Electoral College. Fairness has been in retreat since Buckley v. Valeo and Citizens United v. FEC.)

"And the threats to U.S. democracy, by the way, are not, you know, specific to Russia." (I'm afraid and you should be, too.)

Anonymous , February 20, 2018 at 2:57 pm

It sure doesn't help cybersecurity when top US officials (e.g. a former 2016 POTUS candidate) do not even bother to follow basic government cybersecurity protocols.

Clif , February 20, 2018 at 3:17 pm

i just did something fun. Google 'Evidence of Russian meddling', or 'Why can't Google find evidence of Russian meddling?'. One gets links to GWB and McMaster's claims of 'clear evidence' and 'incontrovertible', but no actual evidence.

Good times.

Anonymous , February 20, 2018 at 3:17 pm

What was up with Feffer's wall art? Not exactly confidence inspiring images.

John , February 20, 2018 at 3:32 pm

The American electoral system has always been open to the corrupt current flavor of the day. George Washington passed out free whiskey,poll taxes, Jim Crow, voter suppression, gerrymandering, Citizens United, secret money, hackable computerization and so on. We leave the barn door open and are surprised when stuff happens.
I would be shocked if the Russians did not try to stick a toe in the door and create a little chaos if for nothing else than our hypocritic and insufferable claims to exceptionalism, freedom fries and all things bright and beautiful. Especially using a tool as perfect as the web and social media the Americans own creation.
We have lost all sense of racketeering though sort of on the books, it is not really a crime any more in this country. I think Russia and the USA are organized as competing racketeering oligarchies. The cold war was about the commies and the commissars. This is just about your basic Sicilian mob activity.
Very muddled and gray.
Average Americans do not understand cultures where the lie is the first response in most discourse. We are working on it, but we are not really there in comparison to the older cultures.
So while I am certain that elements within Russia have been sowing chaos wherever possible and that there is some truth in Russia Gate I also recognize that it mirrors the chaos that the US has sowed throughout the world. Mostly motivated by an ideology of greed and naked power on both sides.
Donald Trump was for sure laundering money in New York real estate and saved by mob money in everyone of his bankruptcies. We know Sheldon Adelson was in collusion with the Chinese mob and got a "cost of doing business" penalty from the government. Grrr. Rant. corrupt.corrupt.corrupt

John , February 20, 2018 at 3:37 pm

Did the finagling around the election have any effect on the outcome? As far as I can see, no it did not. Worse than Pearl Harbor? Worse than 9/11? Of course not. The hysterical posturing became tedious long ago. Wake me if you find anything.

Why is Trump trumpeting? I would follow the money.

RMO , February 20, 2018 at 3:44 pm

A minor point but perhaps someone could point out to Feffer that Nazis (both the ur-example and those currently U.S. favored Ukranian ones) consider Russians to be sub-human?

Fastball , February 20, 2018 at 3:50 pm

I get labeled a Trump supporter by decrying Russiagate.

Frankly I couldn't care less what Mueller does to Trump. This bothers me on several different fronts.

1. This is demonstrably a McCarthyite witch hunt with goals at clear divergence from what Mueller was originally appointed for, which was to investigate "collusion" (whatever that means) between Putin and Trump. We know because of one Adam Schiff (D-McCarthy) and similar Democrats and their Russian demagoguing anyone who dares to disagree with them.

2. These indictments are clearly exaggerated in their impact on the American system. Why? I can think of one major effect of the witch hunt: The attempt by the establishment to roll up dissent of any kind. We now have this media fueled hysteria going on by proven liars in the establishment to suppress what they call "fake news". We saw efforts such as the infamous "PropOrNot" anonymous troll cavalcade to try to censor sites. Now Google and Facebook are doing the censoring for them by ranking non-establishment sources as somehow untrustworthy -- as if the establishment press was ever trustworthy.

3. The hypocrisy. No one in the corporate media establishment ever seems to note that this cyber behavior and other types of regime undermining is completely typical of the U.S., which mere hypocrisy might not be so bad, except it leads directly to #4:

4. The warmongering. People have openly talked about Russia engaged in acts of war (as if the U.S. is pure as a crystal snowflake in this regard). This exaggeration and hypocrisy are a direct threat to world peace and my own personal survival as a human being.

These are the things I fear: Being silenced by authoritarians who call themselves "liberal" and getting nuked. That's it. People who accuse everyone of being "Russian dupes" or "supporting Trump" are IMHO engaged in sheer demagoguery. The influence of the Russians on the American system, whatever you call it, can be described as ephemeral at best, but the censorship and warmongering are very real and dangerous.

That our politicians and media are being grossly irresponsible in a supposed effort to get Trump (the real effort is much more than that) is an understatement.

Expat , February 20, 2018 at 6:23 pm

That the US is hypocritical is not news. But that we should call this a witch hunt because we are guilty of tampering and worse is not fair to either our constitution or the American people.
The costs of this investigation are small in the grand scheme and tiny compared to the principles it purports to protect. Mueller is far from done. Writing this off now smacks of partisanship. If there is something there, then it will out. If not, then a few will hang anyway. I, for one, am quite happy that the likes of Manafort and Gates got caught. I think hillary should swing as well, so don't tar me with a red or blue brush. But the Republicans had their chance to investigate her and never did, so that tells me something.

Remember that this is a 100% Republican administration carrying out this investigation. Everyone involved is Republican from Potus to Congress to Mueller.
Frankly, if this keeps Trump from doing too many stupid things, it's time and money well spent.

Procopius , February 20, 2018 at 8:03 pm

I may be wrong, but I seem to recall they investigated her AND Bill many, many times over the years, starting when he was governor of Arkansas, and never found any evidence they could take to a prosecutor. Do you happen to recall how many discrete investigations of Benghazi there were?

Donald , February 20, 2018 at 9:48 pm

It's pressuring Trump to do stupid things. Russiagate is hyped to justify a more militaristic and hardline policy towards Russia and Syria.

Trump is a fool, but it seems difficult for some people to understand that both sides of the Russiagate controversy have bad motives.

rps , February 20, 2018 at 3:57 pm

"Robert Mueller has indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations for allegedly using social media to sow discord in the U.S. and support the candidacy of Donald Trump"

The 13 Russian national stooges social media talking points show is all smoke and mirrors to distract from the DNC and Clinton campaign tactics that did intentionally interfere with a presidential election. Considering the enormous amount of actual evidence in the complicity of the DNC, a foreign ex-spook national- Christopher Steele is fed 'info-mation' by Clinton buddies Trey Gowdy and Sidney Blumenthal, Fusion GPS, Hillary Clinton campaign, FBI surveillance and FISA memo to spy on the opposing presidential candidate (Trump) is the real show. All based upon a dubious paid for foreign dossier filled with hearsay of anonymous sources used to undermine and destroy an american presidential candidate during an election year is the real crime of complicity Mueller is trying to avoid.

Throwing a ruskie sheet over the 800lb elephant sitting in the middle of the room doesn't hide the facts and more than likely brings into question the Clinton campaign influences and connections with the NSA.

Onto more relevant news: Lucky Charms has added marshmallow unicorns to its cereal.

rps , February 20, 2018 at 4:30 pm

Lynn de Rothschild has been howling a tweeter Trump hate-storm since her bff Hillary lost. One minute she's congratulating Mueller on Russiagate, the next tweet reprimanding the FBI failure in Parkland Florida . Doesn't she have a bilderberg polo match to attend somewhere in the world and annoy them?
Hillary Clinton's Intimate Relationship with the Rothschild Banking Dynasty, The Shadowy Network of Super-Elites

OldBear , February 20, 2018 at 5:15 pm

This actually makes me a little sad. I am only skimming the transcript so far and I don't think I could stand to watch the video, even though I really like Aaron Maté. I didn't care when he took apart that Luke Harding fool, but John Feffer always seemed like a pretty smart guy and a good writer. I was dismayed a few days ago when he went off in this direction in one of his posts. If Aaron is holding back, maybe he feels a little sorry about him, too.

John Feffer, one more decent person lost to the McCarthyite pod people, for whom I can no longer have a shred of respect. Is that going too far?

Angry Panda , February 20, 2018 at 5:46 pm

Why .is this here?

I could have gotten the same exact "depth" of analysis from watching CNN. Or MSNBC. Or what have you.

Even the interviewer was off the ball – by the time he identified KASPERSKY as a "Russian hacker" I was essentially howling with laughter. And by the time the interviewee started insinuating that Russia is supporting far-right neo-nazi type groups in the West yeah. No. Incidentally, the West [i]is[/i] doing just that in specific places, but that is a different conversation.

Finally the stamement: "So I don't think anybody, much less Vladimir Putin, could have predicted the turn U.S.-Russian relations would take " pretty much discredits the interviewee as any kind of analyst or expert on the subject. Because on every single US-Russia flashpoint 2017 was a direct continuation of 2016 (and 2015, and 2014 ) – and that was pretty much the "base case" to begin with, since it is silly to imagine that either nation will just "surrender" and stop pursuing its policies whether in Europe, Asia or the Middle East. The "Trump == unpredictable-loose-cannon-maverick" talking point, much as it has been bandied about, applies mainly to Trump's twitter account and decidedly not the ACTUAL foreign policy steps taken by the US.

And so I reiterate the point – why is this blog suddenly carrying MSNBC-level content? Because that's why we come here in the first place?

oaf , February 20, 2018 at 6:14 pm

"we're worried about our U.S. democracy and whether it can function in a fair way."

WTF???

Very high entertainment value .

The Rev Kev , February 20, 2018 at 7:12 pm

Sometimes when this whole things goes several shades of crazy you have to pull back and try to look at it from a historical level. I try to imagine what people will be saying some 20 years from now when there is a new generation in place. What will their text books say about what is happening now. And I realize that we are going to be mocked but hard by them. Can you imagine what comedians routines on us will say? It will be embarrassing. So, getting back to the present, I pull up the news this morning and I find a CNN reporter checking out trash dumpsters next to the 'troll farm' in Russia – which is no longer even there. Uh, OK.

Maybe some people in government and the media should go back on their meds again and have a nice warm cup of shut-the-xxxx-up. Just because Trump won the election does not mean that the 'establishment' gets to have an epic triggering – and take the rest of the country with it. Are there criminal charges to be laid against certain people? Absolutely. Thing is, they don't have Russian addresses but more likely American ones and I think that a lot of people are starting to realize this which may partially explain the increasing support for the GOP. You can only keep up evidence free accusations so long until somebody shout "Call!".

If you want to know about election meddling, ask the Russians ( https://www.rt.com/op-ed/419371-election-meddling-us-russia/ ) as they have much experience here. And that story doesn't cover even half of what went on. Getting back to seeing things from a historical level, my own idea is that what we are seeing is a power that has dominated the world for decades now finding itself with peer competitors arising and the people in charge are unable to deal with this. There are far too many careers at stake. Too many lucrative contracts at risk. Too many rice bowls to be broken. It's too many powerful people not being able to get their way – and being unable to handle it. This is what I think that we are seeing.

todde , February 20, 2018 at 7:57 pm

Historically speaking, America peaked at the moon landing.

Clark Landwehr , February 20, 2018 at 7:51 pm

Foreign interference in the U.S. is nothing new. Its why we are so divided.

"The division of the United States into federations of equal force was decided long before the Civil War by the high financial powers of Europe. These bankers were afraid that the United States, if they remained in one block and as one nation, would attain economic and financial independence, which would upset their financial domination over the world. The voice of the Rothschilds prevailed Therefore they sent their emissaries into the field to exploit the question of slavery and to open an abyss between the two sections of the Union."
Otto von Bismarck, German chancellor, 1865

Procopius , February 20, 2018 at 7:53 pm

This is a great example of why I think I've gone crazy. This guy Feffer seems more reasonable than most of the Russiagaters I see on other blogs, but when Mate points out the lack of evidence he acknowledges that and then goes right on as if he had refuted it. He acknowledges that the Dutch "revelation" is unsupported, and regrets that, and then goes right ahead as if that is irrelevant. His whole method of argument seems to be, "Well, we have a pattern of other Russian involvement, " and then cites speeches by Putin that probably are not relevant to the case. I mean, supporting white nationalism? This is something you want to blame Russia for? Spreading divisiveness? Undermining confidence? Kill me now.

[Feb 20, 2018] Is That Russia Troll Farm an Act of War by Pat Buchanan

Jerrold Lewis Nadler is an American attorney and politician who serves as the US Representative from New York's 10th congressional district. So it is reasonable to assume that this guy is a stooge of financial oligarchy and as such died in the wool globalist
When Congressman Jerrold Nadler equated Internet Trolls with Pearl Harbor that does not mean that his a paranoiac. That means that he is a sleazy opportunist, for whom Party line is more important then truth. That's why he repeated DemoRats Party like in the color revolution against Trump. In which NeoMcCartyism is a fundamental component, creating the necessary prerequisites for the witch hunt on Trump conducted by Mueller. He just can' deviate from the story.
"Have you no decency left, sir? At long last, have you no decency left?" applies
This "slash and burn" style of internal politician debates is another sign of the deep crisis of neoliberalism in the USA. The crisis that led to election of Trump.
Tactically all this noise is a preemptive move to save Strzokgate participants scalps by putting a smoke screen on Nunes memo as well as the forthcoming report of Inspector General.
Notable quotes:
"... When MSNBC's Chris Hayes pressed, Nadler doubled down: The Russians "are destroying our democratic process." While the Russian trolling may not equal Pearl Harbor in its violence, said Nadler, in its "seriousness, it is very much on a par" with Japan's surprise attack. Trump's reaction to the hysteria that broke out after the Russian indictments: "They are laughing their (expletives) off in Moscow." ..."
"... While Mueller's indictments confirm that Russians meddled in the U.S. election, what explains the shock and the fear for "our democracy"? Is the Great Republic about to fall because a bunch of trolls tweeted in our election? Is this generation ignorant of its own history? Before and after World War II, we had Stalinists and Soviet spies at the highest levels of American culture and government. ..."
"... As for Russian trolling in our election, do we really have clean hands when it comes to meddling in elections and the internal politics of regimes we dislike? ..."
"... Sen. John McCain and Victoria Nuland of State egged on the Maidan Square crowds in Kiev that overthrew the elected government of Ukraine. ..."
"... "Have we ever tried to meddle in other countries' elections?" Laura Ingraham asked former CIA Director James Woolsey this weekend. With a grin, Woolsey replied, "Oh, probably." "We don't do that anymore though?" Ingraham interrupted. "We don't mess around in other people's elections, Jim?" "Well," Woolsey said with a smile. "Only for a very good cause." Indeed, what is the National Endowment for Democracy all about, if not aiding the pro-American side in foreign nations and their elections? ..."
"... "One cannot observe democracy objectively without being impressed by its curious distrust of itself -- it's apparent ineradicable tendency to abandon its philosophy at the first sign of strain. I need not point to what invariably happens in democratic states when the national safety is menaced. All the great tribunes of democracy, on such occasions, convert themselves into instant despots of an almost fabulous ferocity." H.L. Mencken ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

According to the indictment by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Russian trolls, operating out of St. Petersburg, took American identities on social media and became players in our 2016 election. On divisive racial and religious issues, the trolls took both sides. In the presidential election, the trolls favored Bernie Sanders, Jill Stein and Donald Trump, and almost never Hillary Clinton.

One imaginative Russian troll urged Trumpsters to dress up a female volunteer in an orange prison jump suit, put her in a cage on a flatbed truck, then append the slogan, "Lock Her Up!"

How grave a matter is this?

This Russian troll farm is "the equivalent (of) Pearl Harbor," says Cong. Jerrold Nadler, who would head up the House Judiciary Committee, handling any impeachment, if Democrats retake the House.

When MSNBC's Chris Hayes pressed, Nadler doubled down: The Russians "are destroying our democratic process." While the Russian trolling may not equal Pearl Harbor in its violence, said Nadler, in its "seriousness, it is very much on a par" with Japan's surprise attack. Trump's reaction to the hysteria that broke out after the Russian indictments: "They are laughing their (expletives) off in Moscow."

According to Sunday's Washington Post, the troll story is old news in Russia, where reporters uncovered it last year and it was no big deal.

While Mueller's indictments confirm that Russians meddled in the U.S. election, what explains the shock and the fear for "our democracy"? Is the Great Republic about to fall because a bunch of trolls tweeted in our election? Is this generation ignorant of its own history? Before and after World War II, we had Stalinists and Soviet spies at the highest levels of American culture and government.

The Hollywood Ten, who went to prison for contempt of Congress, were secret members of a Communist Party that, directed from Moscow, controlled the Progressive Party in Philadelphia in 1948 that nominated former Vice President Henry Wallace to run against Harry Truman.

Soviet spies infiltrated the U.S. atom bomb project and shortened the time Stalin needed to explode a Soviet bomb in 1949.

As for Russian trolling in our election, do we really have clean hands when it comes to meddling in elections and the internal politics of regimes we dislike?

Sen. John McCain and Victoria Nuland of State egged on the Maidan Square crowds in Kiev that overthrew the elected government of Ukraine. When the democratically elected regime of Mohammed Morsi was overthrown, the U.S. readily accepted the coup as a victory for our side and continued aid to Egypt as tens of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members were imprisoned.

Are the CIA and National Endowment for Democracy under orders not to try to influence the outcome of elections in nations in whose ruling regimes we believe we have a stake?

"Have we ever tried to meddle in other countries' elections?" Laura Ingraham asked former CIA Director James Woolsey this weekend. With a grin, Woolsey replied, "Oh, probably." "We don't do that anymore though?" Ingraham interrupted. "We don't mess around in other people's elections, Jim?" "Well," Woolsey said with a smile. "Only for a very good cause." Indeed, what is the National Endowment for Democracy all about, if not aiding the pro-American side in foreign nations and their elections?

Did America have no active role in the "color-coded revolutions" that have changed regimes from Serbia to Ukraine to Georgia?

When Republicans discuss Iran on Capitol Hill, the phrase "regime change" is frequently heard. When the "Green Revolution" took to the streets of Tehran to protest massively the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009, Republicans denounced President Obama for not intervening more energetically to alter the outcome.

When China, Russia and Egypt expel NGOs, are their suspicions that some have been seeded with U.S. agents merely marks of paranoia?

The U.S. role in the overthrow of Premier Mossadegh in Iran in 1953, and of Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954, and of President Ngo Dinh Diem in Saigon in 1963 are established facts.

... ... ...


Randal , February 20, 2018 at 9:23 am GMT

This "hysteria" as Buchanan accurately describes it is very characteristically American, in its sheer hypocritical dishonesty.

The US has made a regular practice for a century or more of pushing and attacking others, via political interference, subversion, diplomacy or outright military aggression, until they respond, and then screaming hysterically about "unprovoked aggression" against America.

It's who they are.

Ronald Thomas West , Website February 20, 2018 at 9:45 am GMT
Of several factual mistakes in your piece, Pat, why do you slip in crap like this

"Yet we do have evidence that a senior British spy and Trump hater, Christopher Steele, paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign and DNC to dig up dirt on Trump, colluded with Kremlin agents to produce a dossier of scurrilous and unsubstantiated charges, to destroy the candidacy of Donald Trump"

bs claiming 'Kremlin agents' when it would appear the entire hit job on Trump originated with s ** t made up on the USA end, and Steele was little more than a cut-out to give the USA's DoJ (and more likely CIA) cover? Isn't that more than just a bit like playing the insider game? If you"re going to take a shot at Hillary, why not bring up the actual Russia collusion concerning uranium?

And pushing the 'hack' line

"What do these indictments of Russians tell us? After 18 months, the James Comey-Robert Mueller FBI investigation into the hacking of the DNC and John Podesta emails has yet to produce evidence of collusion"

giving cover to the 'Russians did it' hack bs when it is clear the DNC 'hack' was actually an insider leak? You're no better than yellow rag Marcy Wheeler's 'empty wheel' blog:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2018/01/31/the-wheel-is-indeed-empty/

You're both disgusting, limited-hangout-sellouts.

NoseytheDuke , February 20, 2018 at 11:29 am GMT
Destroying the democratic process? A president was shot dead in full view of the nation and it was never properly investigated, the same goes for 9/11. Endless and unconstitutional wars that have bankrupted the nation. I'd say that it was destroyed a long time ago and all that remains is nostalgia. Buckle up my colonial cousins!
anonymous Disclaimer , February 20, 2018 at 1:05 pm GMT
@anonymous

Addendum, lifted from comment (#3) of Ronald Thomas West:

"What do these indictments of Russians tell us? After 18 months, the James Comey-Robert Mueller FBI investigation into the hacking of the DNC and John Podesta emails has yet to produce evidence of collusion." Are you still unaware of the forensic evidence and credible analysis of people like Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity that the DNC emails were leaked, not hacked?

Columnists like Pat Buchanan and Andrew Napolitano may help people find this website, but week in and week out they show themselves as sloppy, at best. There may be something to be said for putting them up here, where they can be compared to Dinh, Giraldi, Hopkins, Sailer, Whitney, et al.

I read their columns closely when it comes to Russia, and comment when I see them serving the Establishment line. It has become apparent that "Judge" is purposeful in his Eastasia bulls ** t. I am reaching the same conclusion about Mr. Buchanan.

Jason Liu , February 20, 2018 at 1:14 pm GMT
Read this NYT article about American interference in other countries' elections. Makes Russia look like an amateur.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/17/sunday-review/russia-isnt-the-only-one-meddling-in-elections-we-do-it-too.html

And it's still going on under the guise of NGOs. So if Russians tweeting stuff is an act of war, then the US is already at war with a bunch of countries.

jacques sheete , February 20, 2018 at 2:45 pm GMT

Before and after World War II, we had Stalinists and Soviet spies at the highest levels of American culture and government.

During WW2, too.

They were running some of the biggest banks and corporations, too. It was fashionable for the trust fund kiddies and some of the money bags "upper crust" to play commie as well. Still is, apparently.

Famous names, Vanderbilt, Lamont, Whitney, Morgan, mingled with those of communist leaders. The Russian Institute was so respectable that it was allowed to give in-service courses to New York City schoolteachers for credit.

-Bella Dodd, School of Darkness, Chap 11

Carroll Price , February 20, 2018 at 3:42 pm GMT

When MSNBC's Chris Hayes pressed, Nadler doubled down: The Russians "are destroying our democratic process." While the Russian trolling may not equal Pearl Harbor in its violence, said Nadler, in its "seriousness, it is very much on a par" with Japan's surprise attack.

"One cannot observe democracy objectively without being impressed by its curious distrust of itself -- it's apparent ineradicable tendency to abandon its philosophy at the first sign of strain. I need not point to what invariably happens in democratic states when the national safety is menaced. All the great tribunes of democracy, on such occasions, convert themselves into instant despots of an almost fabulous ferocity." H.L. Mencken

exiled off mainstreet , February 20, 2018 at 8:42 pm GMT
This is an excellent article summarizing the major issues presented. Though I have views which vary somewhat about the postwar witchhunt in the US which sort of sets the beginning precedent for this one the fact situation described is correct. As for whether it is an act of war, I say that it is, but not by the Russians. It is an act of war by out of control extra-legal yankee authorities against any individual, foreign or domestic, who would choose to resist them in any fashion, including those just trying to make money like the Russians in this case from farming US internet subscribers.
mark green , February 20, 2018 at 9:56 pm GMT
Russiagate is a starched and stuffed empty suit. Buchanan is right to demean its significance. And yes, there is the shameful fact of rank US hypocrisy in all this. No doubt. But the relatively modest impact of Russian 'meddling' in the last US election, coupled with the moral emptiness within the entire Russiagate investigation, is what's most revealing.

Indeed, not only does the US routinely interfere (and even overthrow) other sovereign states, but Russian machinations in America pales besides other extranational interference, particularly Israel's.

When it comes to pushing around Washington and shaping US public opinion, Israel is in a class by itself. You haven't noticed?

Not only do crypto-Israelis own or supervise most American mass media (including hard news) but hundreds of young, paid Jewish/Israeli trolls regularly clog US social media sites, American internet news comments sections, and Wikipedia entries.

Israelis (and their US-based cousins) are the masters of political chicanery. No one else comes close.

Then there's the overbearing influence of AIPAC, the ADL, and dozens of other crypto-Israeli pressure groups. These highfalutin lobbies have managed to buy their way into the halls of Congress, the White House, and onto national TV. It's a continuous phenomena. But we're not supposed to notice or be concerned. After all, they're our best friends!

By comparison, Russian access and interference in American life is infantesimal.

Does this shock you? It shouldn't. It's been this way in America for decades.

Incredibly, it's publicly examining, discussing, and criticizing this odd situation that becomes 'shocking' (and career-ending). That's the scary part.

Crypto-Israelis have dominated, and continue to dominate, a vast swath of American culture; especially news and entertainment.

Henry Ford, Charles Lindburgh, and Marlon Brando all complained about this unique and dangerous situation. And conditions have not improved since they did. If anything, Zionist power in America has only hardened.

This makes far-away Russia even more of a bit player in our corrupt political circus. And this is why Russiagate is such a farce.

In Hollywood, on Wall Street, as well as in Washington, the top dog (and most sacred cause) involves Israel. Every US politician recognizes this unpublicized fact. Just read their speeches. See how they vote. And those public servants who don't recognize Israel's unique status in Washington tend to fade rapidly into oblivion. This is Jewish power.

Zio-Americans helped steer Washington into its preemptive and criminal annihilation of Libya and Iraq and, if they have their way again, there will be additional American wars fought on behalf of the Jewish state.

Due in large part to Zionist dictates, Assad's Syria is being targeted by Washington right now. Iran is next. All foes of Israel end up in Washington's crosshairs.

America has been quietly captured and domesticated by Zionists.

Sadly, even referring to the overriding impact of Zionist power in America is taboo. Buchanan and others have learned this lesson the hard way. But this explosive fact ultimately renders the entire Russiagate 'scandal' little more than a contrived distraction.

Call it Jewish political theater if you like. But it's mostly a charade.

Randal , February 20, 2018 at 10:27 pm GMT
@International Jew

Mr. Buchanan is correct, of course, that we interfere in other countries. But defending foreign hostility to America by pointing to America's own misdeeds is a traditional leftist line.

It's not a "leftist line" (at least in this case), it's one that's basic to human nature – don't dish it out if you can't take it in turn, and don't whine like a hypocritical two year old when you do get some back. Nothing "left wing" about that.

There's nothing wrong with us taking our own country's side.

No, not if you don't mind being a hypocrite.

But hypocrisy is a very American thing – throughout your history you've been manipulated into wars by the very weakness you adhere to here. "We can do it but if anyone does it back to us that's unacceptable, because we're special" has been pretty much the way the US has been kept interfering around the world for decades.

The answer is to stop doing it yourself, then complain about other people doing it. But that isn't going to happen, is it? Your lords and masters are going to keep poking their noses into other countries' affairs all over the world, and people like you are going to complain like bitches if you get any back, and those complaints will justify further aggression in response to supposedly unacceptable foreign "unprovoked" aggression/interference against your country.

And I write that while being pretty much the very opposite of anything that could be described as "left wing", just as a foreigner weighing US behaviour.

SteveK9 , February 21, 2018 at 12:15 am GMT
'Yet we do have evidence that a senior British spy and Trump hater, Christopher Steele, paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign and DNC to dig up dirt on Trump, colluded with Kremlin agents to produce a dossier of scurrilous and unsubstantiated charges, to destroy the candidacy of Donald Trump. And the FBI used this disinformation to get FISA Court warrants to surveil and wiretap the Trump campaign.'

Correct except for 'Kremlin agents' Steele hadn't been to Russia in more than 20 years. The 'dossier' is full of ridiculous mistakes about Russia. It's just as likely he made the whole thing up, or was fed stuff by the CIA, not the Kremlin.

[Feb 20, 2018] Russia's Election Meddling Worse Than a Crime; a Blunder

Notable quotes:
"... The National Interest ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

When Napoleon Bonaparte executed the Duc d'Enghien in 1804 for what seemed like trumped-up treason charges, the implications extended far beyond questions of French justice and even beyond the borders of France. European leaders were shocked, and the episode helped crystallize anti-Bonaparte sentiment throughout the Continent and in Britain. The famous French diplomat Charles de Talleyrand captured the moment when he said: "It was worse than a crime; it was a blunder."

That might well be said now about the Russian effort to manipulate the 2016 presidential election by using social media to undermine Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, promote the candidacy of Donald Trump, and generally sow discord throughout the American body politic. Three Russian companies and 13 Russian citizens were indicted by U.S. authorities Friday on charges of engaging in a three-year, multimillion-dollar effort to interfere in the election. Americans naturally are shocked at this brazen effort to unravel the political fabric of their country.

But it isn't really all that shocking. To understand why it was more of a blunder than a crime -- and a blunder with likely tragic consequences -- it is important to absorb five fundamental realities surrounding this important development in U.S.-Russian relations.

First, countries have been doing this sort of thing for centuries. It is a fundamental part of tradecraft -- the use of covert actions to undermine the internal workings of rival nations. No country likes being on the receiving end, but few refrain from such activity when they think it will thwart national security threats.

Second, no nation has been more aggressive than the United States in pursuing efforts, covert and even overt, to destabilize other regimes. In part that's because, as the leading global power since World War II, the Unites States has had more at stake in events of significance throughout the world. In part also, it's because America has had the greatest capacity for bringing the latest technology and the greatest covert capabilities to meet the challenge.

In any event, the U.S. record in this area is beyond dispute. A New York Times piece by Scott Shane over the weekend quoted a University of Georgia professor named Loch Johnson as saying, "We've been doing this kind of thing since the CIA was created in '47. We've used posters, pamphlets, mailers, banners -- you name it." Among other things, he adds, the United States has planted false information in foreign newspapers and distributed "suitcases of cash" to influence foreign elections. Steven L. Hall, a 30-year CIA veteran (now retired) with extensive experience leading the Russia desk, told Shane that the United States "absolutely" engaged in such activities, "and I hope we keep doing it."

Shane cites a study by Dov H. Levin of Carnegie Mellon that sought to quantify "election influence operations" by the United States and the Soviet Union/Russia between 1946 and 2000. He counts 81 by the United States and 36 by the Soviet Union or Russia (though he figures there were more ops initiated from Russian soil than we know about).

Beyond that, there is what has become known as the "democracy industry" -- legions of U.S. NGOs, many funded with federal money, that fan out through the world to remake regimes they consider insufficiently imbued with Western values. Writer and thinker David Rieff, writing in The National Interest a few years ago, attacked these democracy promotion adherents as people who "will not or cannot acknowledge either the ideological or the revolutionary character of their enterprise." He likened the democracy promoters in propaganda terms to Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's 1956 boast to America that "we will bury you."

Third, the greatest interference in the internal affairs of foreign nations, aside from invasion, is regime change, and here the United States is by far the leader in the post-World War II era. We know of major efforts -- covert or overt, successful or not -- by America to upend regimes in Iran, Guatemala, South Vietnam, Chile, Nicaragua, Grenada, Serbia, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine.

Leaving aside the case-by-case merits, this is a powerful record, and it has implications far beyond U.S. domestic politics. Like Bonaparte's execution of the Duc d'Enghien, it generates concerns and fears among foreign leaders. In the case of America's regime change zest, it sends chills down the spines of leaders fearful that they may be next on the list of U.S. regime change targets. Certainly the resolve of North Korea's Kim Jong-un to develop nuclear weapons with a delivery capacity to the United States is partly a product of such fears.

Fourth, America and its allies bear by far the greater share of the blame for the current tensions between the West and Russia. It was all predictable back in 1998 when NATO fashioned its policy of aggressive eastward expansion toward the Russian border. George F. Kennan, the highly respected U.S. diplomat and Russia expert, predicted the outcome in particularly stark terms. He called it "the beginning of a new cold war a tragic mistake." He foresaw that of course the Russians would react badly, as any nation would, and then the NATO expansionists would say, see, we always said the Russians were aggressive and couldn't be trusted. "This is just wrong," Kennan warned.

But if NATO expansion was a provocative policy destined to elicit a strong Russian response, the provocation was heightened hugely when America helped perpetrate a regime change initiative in Ukraine, which is not only next door to Russia but has been a crucial part of Russia's sphere of influence going back to the mid-17th century. Further, Russia lies vulnerable to invasion. The unremitting grassy steppes of the nation, extending from Europe all the way to the Far East, with hardly a mountain range or seashore or major forest to hinder encroachment by army or horde, has fostered a national obsession over the need to control territory as a hedge against incursion. Such incursions from the West occurred three times in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Ukraine is crucial in this Russian sense of territorial imperative. It's a tragically split country, with part tilting toward the West and part facing eastward toward Russia. That makes for a delicate political and geopolitical situation, but for centuries that delicate political and geopolitical situation has been overseen by Russia. Now the West wants to end that. Upending a duly elected (though corrupt) Ukrainian president was part of the plan. Getting Ukraine into NATO is the endgame.

Note that the Ukrainian revolution occurred in 2014, which just happened to be the year, according to the U.S. indictments, that Russia initiated its grand program to influence America's 2016 elections. Kennan was right: Russia inevitably would react badly to the NATO encirclement policy, and then America's anti-Russian cadres would cite that as evidence that the encirclement was necessary all along. That's precisely what's happening now.

Which brings us to the fifth and final fundamental reality surrounding the revelation of Russia's grand effort to influence the U.S. election. It was an incredible blunder. Given all that's happened in U.S.-Russian relations this century, there probably wasn't much prospect that those relations could ever be normalized, much less made cordial. But that is now utterly impossible.

Donald Trump campaigned on a platform of seeking better relations with Russia. After getting elected he repeatedly asserted in his first news conference that it would be "positive," "good," or "great" if "we could get along with Russia." Unlike most of America's elites, he vowed to seek Moscow's cooperation on global issues, accepted some U.S. share of blame for the two countries' sour relations, and acknowledged "the right of all nations to put their interests first."

This suggested a possible dramatic turn in U.S.-Russian relations -- an end to the encirclement push, curtailment of the hostile rhetoric, a pullback on economic sanctions, and serious efforts to work with Russia on such nettlesome matters as Syria and Ukraine. That was largely put on hold with the narrative of Russian meddling in the U.S. election and vague allegations of campaign "collusion" with Russia on behalf of Trump's presidential ambitions.

It doesn't appear likely that investigators will turn up any evidence of collusion that rises to any kind of criminality. But it doesn't matter now, in terms of U.S.-Russian relations, because these indictments will cement the anti-Russian sentiment of Americans for the foreseeable future. No overtures of the kind envisioned by Trump will be possible for any president for a long time. It won't matter that every nation does it or that America in particular has done it or that the West's aggressive encirclement contributed to the Russian actions. The U.S.-Russian hostility is set. Where it leads is impossible to predict, but it won't be good. It could be tragic.

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington, D.C., journalist and publishing executive, is editor of The American Conservative . His latest book, President McKinley: Architect of the American Century , was released in September.


Gazza February 18, 2018 at 10:12 pm

I'm disgusted that people are taking this garbage indictment seriously A bunch of Russian private citizens working for a privately-funded NGO (allegedly funded by an owner of a restaurant chain) using faked social media accounts to carry out political activism, and no evidence of Russian government involvement, and this clown Mueller thinks this is some evidence for "Russian meddling" in elections? It wouldn't be so laughable except that the US spook agencies do this sort of thing as a routine .

This is just Mueller doing as he was told to do by his Establishment leash-holders, and come up with any old steaming pile of garbage to be packaged as "evidence" to support this Cold War 2 paranoia mindset and promote the unfounded allegation of Trumps "collusion" with Russians in order to undermine his Presidency.

The US continues to disappoint me This country seems to be utterly incapable of getting things into perspective or acting rationally. A nation run by amoral psychopaths who are completely obsessed with power and wealth and control, and who will stoop to anything in order to achieve their unspoken power agendas.

VikingLS , says: February 18, 2018 at 10:29 pm
Perfectly written. Unless the Russians come up wit ha very good explanation (which most people won't believe) this was a serious screw-up.
Jim Jatras , says: February 18, 2018 at 10:41 pm
The sad fact is the Mr. Merry is probably right. The die is cast. Enmity is almost certainly now permanent, with the increasingly likely result indeed tragic.

With this latest indictment, the bogus "Russian collusion" charge has finally achieved its primary goal -- which was not to remove Trump (that's 3; goal 2 was to elect Hillary), but to ensure unchangeable hostility towards Russia. The fact that Trump even now controverts what H.R. McMaster calls "incontrovertible" is nice but irrelevant. It hardly matters what the president thinks at all. (Besides, for whom does McMaster work, Trump or Mueller?)

Everybody now agrees that "Romney was right." There's nothing Trump can do about it. Ruthenia delenda est. The madness may now become terminal – for everybody.

Notice too how everyone, including Trump's cheering section at Fox News, has immediately lost sight of the REAL collusion within the US government (with a little help from "hands across the water"): Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, James Comey, Bruce Ohr, Andrew McCabe, Rod Rosenstein (remember, he signed one of the FISA requests to spy on the Trump team), John O. Brennan, Christopher Steele, Andrew Wood (former British ambassador to Russia who peddled the Steele dossier), Loretta Lynch, Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton, and of course Barack Obama. They'll all skate. No surprise there.

All that said, it would have been nice to explain who "the Russians" are we're talking about. This looks less like a government op than a clickbait scam of the sort hundreds of firms in dozens of countries engage in:

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/02/mueller-indictement-the-russian-influence-is-a-commercial-marketing-scheme.html#more

AG , says: February 18, 2018 at 11:04 pm
Donald Trump campaigned on having better relations with Russia(?). Ok, why? A) Is he a deep well read strategic thinker on Russian US relations and envisioned better relations as a positive step towards world peace or B) he admires Putin for being a white right nationalist that he is coupled with his deep business ties to Russian oligarchs which have the potential of being un earthed by that Witcher hunter himself Robert Mueller?

I'm inclined to go with B.

RichterRox , says: February 18, 2018 at 11:30 pm
The man on street doesn't give a squat about the Russians, it's a purely media driven event .
Alexander , says: February 18, 2018 at 11:31 pm
This is a good article, but I feel that it would have been stronger if Mr. Merry had elaborated on the reasons why elevated hostility between Russia and the West represents a tragedy for both parties.

The geopolitical argument for a modus vivendi between America and Russia can be summarised with a single phrase: 'the rise of China'. As an immense body of commentators have argued for years, the #1 geostrategic imperative for the U.S. in the foreseeable future is thwarting Chinese ambitions to become the military, political, and economic hegemon of Asia. China also threatens to displace Russia's influence in Central Asia, and menaces the security of its hold on the thinly populated territories of Siberia. So it would seem that there is a common interest to build on.

Unfortunately, Russia will always value the security of its western lands above all other priorities, and so Eastern Europe remains an enduring sticking point in its relations with the U.S.A. Regardless of whether or not the expansion of NATO back in the 1990s was wise or not, America cannot let go of its commitments there without incurring an unacceptable loss in prestige and credibility. An adversarial relationship appears to be locked in on both sides.

Even if Russia hadn't attempted to influence the 2016 election, I suspect that attempts to forge a new detente would have proven unavailing – just like the infamous 'reset' attempted by Obama. What neither Obama or Trump seem to have understood is the first rule of successful diplomatic resets: 'Only Nixon can go to China'. It takes a leader with genuine credibility on the issue to make such a thing stick. Otherwise the whole thing collapses as soon as the political cycle rotates.

Taras 77 , says: February 19, 2018 at 12:31 am
"Which brings us to the fifth and final fundamental reality surrounding the revelation of Russia's grand effort to influence the U.S. election. It was an incredible blunder."
_________________________________
I'm not all sure what we are talking about here in the grand effort: the troll army, thefacebook/twitter "massive" campaign, the DNC "hacking" which by all accounts did not happen?

I fear that we are falling into the trap of actually believing the press and the hysterical democrats.

My sense is that it was a minor effort in terms of financial expenditures and people involved-I am very skeptical that any votes were influenced to any degree.

So where is the there in all of this smoke and hoopala?

Cornel Lencar , says: February 19, 2018 at 12:52 am
There is a worst outcome of these events, never mind the massive hypocrisy of the US establishment. It will not be possible to have another Bernie Sanders, or even Trump movement in the US, because such movements will be blamed on Russia.

Pro-social ideas and more political diversity in the US are dead and the country will be even more overtly move towards a corporatism, militarist regime.

The time will come that even TAC and likes of Daniel Larson will be accused of being Russian puppets.

JEinCA , says: February 19, 2018 at 2:37 am
My Grandfather (God rest his soul) was born in 1910 and was a brutally honest (and frank) man who never shied away from giving you his opinion on anything. When I was a teenager in the mid 1990's we'd watch the CBS evening news together. Him on his recliner and me on the couch we'd watch the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and he'd turn to me and say, "You know why every other country hates America?". Of course I'd say I didn't know and he'd say to me, "it's because we've got our nose up everybody's ass. We should mind our own Goddamn business!". That was my Grandfather's take on foreign policy. Most might try to dismiss it out of simplicity but his opinion on the matter was not without wisdom. My Grandfather lived through two World Wars (and served in the US Navy during WWII and the Korean War) and worked for the VA hospital during the Vietnam War. Had Washington followed my Grandfather's advice (which has been echoed here at TAC by Patrick J. Buchanan and the rest of the gang for almost two decades now) then there wouldn't be a New Cold War with Russia or China.
Celery , says: February 19, 2018 at 3:28 am
Trump's constant assertions of "nothing to see here" are certainly the acts of someone guilty. Hard to believe there is nothing there. Too many around him have been shown to have ties to Russia, Trump wasn't even in office yet when he promised to remove sanctions on Russia, and his loyalty to Russia over the US in the election meddling is telling. If large numbers of Republicans want to be useful idiots, that's their business, but ducks that quack and walk, and all that

Was the Russian election meddling a blunder? It was certainly successful. It has fractured our society. I believe we will come back stronger from this, but it showed the rot in society, in our religious institutions, and our political institutions. You have to identify the rot to get in there and clean it out, so the Russians gave us that advantage, but it has brought us to the brink.

Again, a blunder? Were we really going to get closer to Russia? I don't think so. Trump tried his best and it didn't work. Not being politically minded, he had to have personal gain as a motivation to promote closer ties with Russia. So if the odds politically of having better ties with Russia were next to nothing at this time, again, Russia won with their troll campaign. While the duped continue to refuse to admit they were duped, Russian influence remains strong, and the duped can be duped again.

Adriel Kasonta , says: February 19, 2018 at 4:54 am
For God's sake, this is madness. There are no winners in this situation. All of us are losers, because we couldn't prevent it from occurring.
Terrence Moloney , says: February 19, 2018 at 6:29 am
This article trots out the usual inaccuracies about NATO expansion and Eastern European history. There is no conceivable scenario in which the Eastern European countries admitted to NATO threaten Russia. Estonia has no invasion plans. NATO does not war game invading Russia and has no capacity to do so. Russia is not by any reasonable measure encircled by anyone. She is the largest country in the world and has managed to survive with Turkey as a NATO member at its doorstep for years.
It's also absurd to make the case that having been invaded three times in the past two centuries makes Russia especially sensitive to invasion. Many European countries have had that experience and aren't annexing bits and bobs of their neighbors if things don't go their way. The Baltic States were invaded three times in FIVE years in World War II, twice by Russia. Now, they have cause for paranoia.
For that matter, Russia hasn't been invaded three times in the 19th and 20th century. In WWI, Russia invaded East Prussia. Most of the war took place in what is now Poland and Belarus, not Russia.
Please stop trying to buttress your commitment to a non-aligned US with dubious statements about Eastern Europe.
PAX , says: February 19, 2018 at 6:29 am
Why can't we trade and exchange with Russia and just get along? Why so much hostility to a country that did the heavy lifting in WW2? Why not call out Isreal (mainly) and Saudi Arabia for trying to manipulate us as their attack dog on a very short and disciplined leash? Recall when Netanyahu addressed the full U.S.Congress (screaming and yelling like rabid fans at a Beatles concert) and a sitting president was forced to watch on TV? Recall how Johnson let Israel attack the USS Liberty for hours and would not let our planes splash the aggressors? What has happened to our values of democracy, dignity, international human rights and above all national independence, especially from relatively client states? P.T. Barnum's "You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all the people all of the time will take hold." Enough dying and resource wasting on designer wars, not in our interest.
Dan Green , says: February 19, 2018 at 7:06 am
Post WW 2 we have a history of cozing up to Dictators or questionable regimes, then turning on them. Our adversaries especially China and Russia understand this very well.
Michael Antony , says: February 19, 2018 at 7:50 am
Excellent analysis of America's foolish and perhaps fateful policy of encirclement, encroachment and permanent alienation of Russia. Buy why expect Russia to remain passive? Surely they could be forgiven for picking out Trump as a possible source of a more rational and peaceable policy, and saying: let's help this guy get elected. And doing it with their usual clumsiness. Why would they stand by and let the warmongering Hillary push the policy to its ultimate conclusion: war?
Mel Profit , says: February 19, 2018 at 8:01 am
Mr. Merry does a brilliant job–the best I have read–of contextualizing the Russia election interference story. But his analysis is also telling, and typical, in what it omits: any consideration of what in fact the Russians did, and how and to what extent it mattered. And this for a reason that says everything that does matter in our time: the truth of the allegations is irrelevant. Everything is the "narrative".

So, he is correct. Relations will be poisoned for decades. We may even go to war. And the underlying cause will be something that may or may not have happened and, if it did, was–relative to the actual presidential election–inconsequential.

I would only add that in a world more than ever shaped and driven by contesting narratives, the question should be: who benefits most from the Russia indictments, evidence-based or not?

The answer is the dominance of American hawkishness and interventionism, which can now accelerate and expand, unopposed, out to infinity.

Johann , says: February 19, 2018 at 8:50 am
@Terrence Maloney. Expansion of NATO to the Baltics puts OUR troops on Russia's border.

The Washington Post put out an article yesterday interviews a Russian journalist who published a detailed report on the Russian troll factory back in October.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/02/18/the-russian-journalist-who-helped-uncover-election-meddling-is-confounded-by-the-mueller-indictments/?utm_term=.aa9cdb79d885

"Zakharov (the journalist) explained how it was a strange feeling seeing something he had so closely investigated become a major issue in the United States, when it had not been a "bombshell" when he published his report at home."

You would think the major news organizations like NYT and WaPo would have the resources to constantly research foreign publications. Evidently not, because if the MSM thinks that an indictment of 13 Russian trolls is a bombshell, surely they would think 90 Russian Trolls, as described in the Russian news report and $2M would be an even bigger bombshell. And yet it was never picked up on in this country. It goes to show our big media are navel gazers.

But in any event its NOT a bombshell at all. 90 trolls with $2M in a multi-billion election? I believe what really upsets our self-proclaimed adults, is that the vast unwashed masses' opinions can be changed by comments on facebook or any other outlets where they cannot control the message.

This whole "Russia ate our homework" thing is to divert attention from the corrupt use of the Justice Department and intelligence agencies to spy on political opponents.

Christian Chuba , says: February 19, 2018 at 9:02 am
@Terrence Moloney, it's not an issue of Latvia invading Russia it's an issue of those countries being used as missile platforms and choke points against their navy.

The game goes like this, the U.S. keeps encircling Russia with NATO expansion. If Russia doesn't resist, great, it continues. If Russia resists then that is evidence of 'aggression' that justifies a military buildup on existing NATO countries.

Russia lost an area the size of the United States when the Soviet Union collapsed 1991. After an earthquake there are after shocks.

Crimea never wanted to be part of Ukraine. In 1992 they created their own constitution only to have it nullified by Ukraine. Ossetia declared independence from Georgia in 1992. Is 1992 early enough for you? You act like Moses created these boundaries.

Putin has stated that Russia will not invade the Baltics or Kiev. That it is wrong to try to rule over an unwilling population, that Russia has more than enough land for their people. The premise behind the Crimean annexation was that it was the population's will.

collin , says: February 19, 2018 at 9:19 am
There is a part of me that agrees with you. But.

So Democrats are suppose to simply turn a blind eye towards the Trump campaign then? After years of Benghazi! and Birtherism during Obama. And do you think Russians would have been as effective with Marco Rubio running? Or how the Russian activity started against Democrats Congress in the late election?

Or how the Republican fought against Obama on announcing this activity to the country?

2016 was a God-awful election and conservative have been incredibly smug on their slight victory. And President Trump is DOING NOTHING on this activity so I assume he is hoping for their assistance in 2018. (And notice how much they were active they were on the David Nune memo.)

Why don't Republicans do anything now?

John Gruskos , says: February 19, 2018 at 9:27 am
13 Russians illegally volunteered for Trump's campaign?

So what!

The establishment is straining at a gnat while swallowing a camel.

Hundreds of thousands of Mexicans illegally voted for Hillary Clinton.

Worse, billionaires whose first loyalty is to Israel, such as Haim Shaban and Paul Singer, exercise immense influence over American foreign policy.

Immense resources are being devoted to investigating minuscule Russian activity. Why?

1. Because the establishment wants to overturn the results of the 2016 Presidential election.

2. They also hope to find some connection between the Russian government and the American hard right (via Dugin) which can be used to jail the leading figures of the American hard right, thus doing what the ADL, SPLC and Antifa have failed to do – nullify the First Amendment.

This is arguably the most serious assault ever on the Constitution of the United States.

ARGON , says: February 19, 2018 at 9:37 am
Putin requires hostility with the west in order to remain in power. He doesn't want a war, he just needs Russian citizens to feel aggrieved against outsiders so that they don't react to the kleptocrats running the country. It's classic 'strong man' strategy.
Nathan , says: February 19, 2018 at 9:49 am
"Which brings us to the fifth and final fundamental reality surrounding the revelation of Russia's grand effort to influence the U.S. election. It was an incredible blunder."

What a second. You call that a "grand effort?" A few Facebook accounts and some organized trolling? That is anything but a "grand effort" and I question why anyone would characterize it as such. Especially in the context of what we Americans have done and do (which you touch on).

Fred Bowman , says: February 19, 2018 at 9:50 am
At some point the US needs to turn away from it's "Do as we say, not as we do" mentality. Only thing it's gotten us is a world that doesn't trust us anymore. Unfortunately that day won't come until the day the American Empire collapses and America returns to it's roots as a Republic.
pfed , says: February 19, 2018 at 9:54 am
The Ukrainian president wasn't toppled; he fled,doubting the loyalty of his own security forces and despite an agreement with the opposition to stay in power pending a new election within 10 months.
implications , says: February 19, 2018 at 9:59 am
@celery "Was the Russian election meddling a blunder? It was certainly successful. It has fractured our society. I believe we will come back stronger from this, but it showed the rot in society, in our religious institutions, and our political institutions. You have to identify the rot to get in there and clean it out, so the Russians gave us that advantage, but it has brought us to the brink. "

An apt comment. And in this connection it's crucially important that henceforth we hold other countries to the standards we're holding Russia.

I'm thinking of Israel in particular, which has meddled in and distorted American politics to a degree that the Russians can only dream of. One need say only "Sheldon Adelson" to suggest its corrupting, distorting influence. What if a Russian oligarch came here and did for Russia what Adelson and so many others do for Israel? Would we have American politicians grovelling for the millions that a Russian oligarch could lavish on those who promise to do Putin's bidding – as they already do for Adelson and Netanyahu?

If the end result of this "Russian meddling" case is criminalization of this behavior (or even just reinvigorated enforcement of existing laws, like FARA and the Espionage Act), and if that serves to end Israeli meddling in our political process, then all to the good. Meddling by foreign countries in our political process is indeed "rot", as you put it – and as George Washington urgently warned in his Farewell Address. It must be stopped at all costs, for reasons so obvious that we shouldn't even have to discuss them.

SteveK9 , says: February 19, 2018 at 10:05 am
Sorry, there is still no 'Russian Meddling' of any kind. The indictments were against a commercial marketing scheme, using clickbait to build reputations that could be used to sell ads. That is why the posts have no coherence. Some are for Trump, some against, some for Hillary, some against, and of course there is the post that is definitely for, puppies.

Again, there is nothing here, about 'Russia'. Even Mueller's team of liars did not claim any involvement by the Russian government.

What these indictments mean is that being a foreigner, and posting opinions during an election, without registering as a foreign agent, means you can be indicted for 'defrauding' the US.

It's just another step towards censorship.

Oshell , says: February 19, 2018 at 10:15 am
Hillary supposedly received most of the popular vote. So exactly what effect did the Russians have?
Fran Macadam , says: February 19, 2018 at 10:40 am
Since Washington is rolling in a slush fund of billions in foreign lobbying money from countries overwhelmingly not Russia, why is this influence peddling not the real issue? One guy with a million bucks has more influence with Washington than a million guys with one buck, and there are thousands of former elected and unelected government officials flush with their cash doing the bidding of well moneyed foreign states other than Russia, not that of the hundreds of millions of ordinary Americans.

Now we have the chimera of an indictment against 13 ham sandwiches with Russian dressing which can never be eaten – there will be no actual trials as the people accused are people in a foreign country. So, as has become the new standard for public belief in this and other politicized matters, such findings of fact are unnecessary – accusations become the same as proof, the very definition of witch hunt hysterias, from McCarthy to McMartin preschool.

Fran Macadam , says: February 19, 2018 at 10:51 am
Far from benign foreign influences with far more effective and vast resources were bent on running interference to make sure that Hillary Clinton was elected, since they believed her ascendancy was in their best interests. Because millions of Americans knew that her policy predilections were not in their own best interests, does that make them unwitting tools of a Russian conspiracy? It's a witch hunt by powerful domestic forces not acting in Americans' best interests, but those of elites who feel threatened by their own country's heartland and its increasingly dispossessed.
Michael Kenny , says: February 19, 2018 at 10:55 am
This, I assume, is the latest pro-Putin propaganda line. With Putin openly interfering in the Italian election in favour of the Lega Nord, it is now impossible to deny his interference in the US election. So now the interference is admitted but of course it couldn't possibly be nice Mr Putin's fault. It was just a blunder and, as we've come to expect, it was all provoked anyway by the ever dastardly US! The rest is just a re-has of the "let Putin win in Ukraine" pretexts that we've all heard a thousand times.
Will Harrington , says: February 19, 2018 at 11:15 am
I'll say it again. One of the oldest tricks any regime uses when it begins to feel insecure is to create an enemy for its people to focus on. Our oligarchy has chosen Russia, probably because China makes them too much money.
connecticut farmer , says: February 19, 2018 at 11:46 am
Who, specifically, was indicted? Let's hear some names! From whom did they get their marching orders? How did they "meddle" in the election? Examples please. And, most importantly, where are they? If ( as rumor has it) they are in Russia then those indictments aren't worth the paper they're written on.
four alarmer , says: February 19, 2018 at 11:47 am
Yes, please stop the Russian meddling! And please stop all the other foreign meddling while you're at it. We're sick of doing the spending, fighting, and dying for foreign countries.
Fran Macadam , says: February 19, 2018 at 11:57 am
Will Harrington, so right. The ancien regime doesn't want to do anything for the heartland, except to drive a stake through our hearts.
Chris in Appalachia , says: February 19, 2018 at 12:14 pm
An American here. How can I think the Russians for interfering in American elections? I trust Putin more than our own so-called "leaders." I say, interfere away (and let Hungary and Poland join in)! Maybe then Americans will have the chance to break free of the chains of the two-party sham, neocon foreign policy, and corporate globalism.
SteveM , says: February 19, 2018 at 12:18 pm
The always insightful (and sometimes TAC contributor) Charles Hugh Smith has an excellent related essay on this:

https://www.oftwominds.com/blogfeb18/russia-irony2-18.html

David Nash , says: February 19, 2018 at 12:28 pm
Interesting how the Trumpeteers have gone so swiftly from "Fake News" to "So What!". (I guess Oceania has Always been at war with Eurasia.)

What people are missing, including the NeverTrumpers and the ForeverTrumpers is this even betting there was no collusion (because not even ham-fisted Ruskies would cozy up too close with such a band of inept jerks as the Trump Campaign) it shows Trump is a Chump.

Donnie the Strong Man is a clueless loser who was USED by the Russian troll factory because he would be pliable (ie easily manipulated) to give them what they wanted.

Trump has SUCKER written all over his face. He should go play a round of golf and tweet out pathetic insults to everyone. What else has he left.

For those who have projected their own agenda onto Trump's blatherings (just like the Lefties did with Obama's vague platitudes), when will it occur to you that if you have to keep making excuses and attacking those who point out the obvious, you have backed the wrong horse's ***.

I know he can put on his Admiral-General uniform and review the troops, just like the Ruskie leadership. Tanks, rocket launchers, ICBMs and goose-stepping soldiery (just like the Russians). That will Prove he has *large hands*. "I'll Show You!"

Siarlys Jenkins , says: February 19, 2018 at 12:35 pm
An excellent overview. Merry has stepped on a lot of people's preferred narratives, left, right and center, but he is pitilessly accurate.
Dee , says: February 19, 2018 at 12:38 pm
Putin got elected because Russians were tired of Western rapacious capitalists trying to use the broken Soviet Union to make money.. Putin then used his KGB thugs to turn the Russian government into a mafioso.. The chosen, Putin enablers, looted the country.. The looters want to free their stolen money to buy things in the west, cause who wants old soviet crap.. Western capitalists who dont care are more than willing to take their cut.. This is Trump, who could not get a loan in this country.. This article is repugnant, it reduces the USA to the level of these thieves in Russia.. God help us all.
connecticut farmer , says: February 19, 2018 at 1:32 pm
@ Jim Jatras

"All that said, it would have been nice to explain who 'the Russians' are we're talking about."

Bingo! I'd like to see names, who their bosses were (if they had any), places from which they did their deeds. I'd like more specifics on exactly "what" they did and how. Most importantly, and to paraphrase the Fermi (UFO) Paradox, "where are they?" Rumor has it they're in Rooshia. If so, fuggedaboudit! We ain't EVER gonna seem them.

Indictment! As the saying goes "you can indict a ham sandwich."

Interguru , says: February 19, 2018 at 1:33 pm
@Jim Jatras

"All that said, it would have been nice to explain who "the Russians" are we're talking about. This looks less like a government op than a clickbait scam of the sort hundreds of firms in dozens of countries engage in:"

Russia has very tight control of net communications within its borders. This could not have happened without their support, or at least their tacit approval.

That being said, I agree with the article.

LouisM , says: February 19, 2018 at 1:35 pm
This is falling right into the trap of the neocon and neoliberal warmongerers.
1) No I don't believe Russia wants to reconstitute either the Russian Empire or the Soviet Empire. Its about territorial integrity and relevancy on the world stage.
2) The US and EU backed Russia into the corner with the tug of war in Ukrainian elections between pro-Russian candidates and pro-EU candidates then threatening Ukraine to take Crimea away from the Russian navy. A clear threat to Russian territorial integrity and Russia would be irrelevant without its warm water port in the Black Sea.
3) US and EU and Israel spy and influence elections around the world. Its concerning yes, but does the US and EU expect Russia not to reciprocate?
4) I don't care what anyone says, everyone in the US owes Russia a debt of gratitude. I will thank any nation that tried to tell the US citizenry what an evil, shrill, bipolar, incompetent, traitorous woman Hillary Clinton was and still is! Hillary and Obama and their administration should be in jail for murder, corruption and collusion.

This blunder will force a further deterioration between the US and Russia when both the US and EU need friendly relations with Russia now more than ever. There are threats in this world far greater than Russia like terrorism and nuclear proliferation and radical islam etc. This means the US will have to tackle these issues without the help of Russia because it will be punishing Russia. Mr. Trump, we need a master negotiator now more than ever to get Russia out past this scandal and build a better relationship with them.

Room 237 , says: February 19, 2018 at 1:48 pm
What is distressing is not that it happened. We are an open society (and I use that term in a general sense, not teh Karl Popper sense). So it is easy to do so.

What is distressing to me is that it may have worked.

Ken T , says: February 19, 2018 at 1:53 pm
One of the strangest things about this whole matter is that it was just a few years ago that Obama and Clinton were talking about trying to have a "reset" in our relations with Russia, and the Right was apoplectic that they would even consider trying to talk to the implacable enemy that was just waiting for the chance to destroy us. Now, with clear evidence that Russia has in fact caused us harm, those exact same people are the ones saying "No problem, nothing to see here. We trust Putin implicitly, he would never do anything to hurt us."
andy , says: February 19, 2018 at 2:11 pm
A very timely article indeed- one only needs the most basic outline of Russian history of the last millennium to understand that their foreign policy has always been primarily defensive.
One thing, though, needs to be corrected: The next president will indeed have an opportunity to demonstrate a broad understanding of the situation and stretch out a cautiously friendly hand.
This can't happen with Trump for two reasons- he hasn't demonstrated any understanding of the context of the issue, and he has thoroughly poisoned the well by only seeing recent events in terms of his own personal repuatation, not of the nation that he was hired to represent.

[Feb 20, 2018] a 37 page document

Notable quotes:
"... self-enrichment ..."
"... Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org. ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.politico.com

inter alia allegedly later ran a clandestine operation seeking to influence opinion in the United States regarding the candidates in the 2016 election in which it favored Donald Trump and denigrated Hillary Clinton. The Russians identified by name are all back in Russia and cannot be extradited to the U.S., so the indictment is, to a certain extent, political theater as the accused's defense will never be heard.

In presenting the document, Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General, stressed that there was no evidence to suggest that the alleged Russian activity actually changed the result of the 2016 presidential election or that any actual votes were altered or tampered with. Nor was there any direct link to either the Russian government or its officials or to the Donald Trump campaign developed as a result of the nine-month long investigation. There was also lacking any mention in the indictment of the Democratic National Committee, Hillary Clinton and Panetta e-mails, so it is to be presumed that the activity described in the document was unrelated to the WikiLeaks disclosures.

Those of the "okay, there's smoke but where's the fire" school of thought immediately noted the significant elephant in the room, namely that the document did not include any suggestion that there had been collusion between Team Trump and Moscow. As that narrative has become the very raison d'etre driving the Mueller investigation, its omission is noteworthy. Meanwhile, those who see more substance in what was revealed by the evidence provided in the indictment and who, for political reasons, would like to see Trump damaged, will surely be encouraged by their belief that the noose is tightening around the president.

Assuming the indictment is accurate, I would agree that the activity of the Internet Research Agency does indeed have some of the hallmarks of a covert action intelligence operation in terms how it used some spying tradecraft to support its organization, targeting and activity. But its employees also displayed considerable amateur behavior, suggesting that they were not professional spies, supporting the argument that it was not a government intelligence operation or an initiative under Kremlin control. And beyond that, so what? Even on a worst-case basis, stirring things up is what intelligence agencies do, and no one is more active in interfering in foreign governments and elections than the United States of America, most notably in Russia for the election of Boris Yeltsin in 1996, which was arranged by Washington, and more recently in Ukraine in 2014. From my own experience I can cite Italy's 1976 national election in which the CIA went all out to keep the communists out of government. Couriers were discreetly dispatched to the headquarters of all the Italian right wing parties dropping off bags of money for "expenses" while the Italian newspapers were full of articles written by Agency-paid hacks warning of the dangers of communism. And this all went on clandestinely even though Italy was a democracy, an ally and NATO member.

Does that mean that Washington should do nothing in response? No, not at all. Russia, if the indictment is accurate, may have run an influencing operation and gotten caught with its hand in the cookie jar. Or maybe not. And Washington might also actually have information suggesting that Russia is preparing to engage in further interference in the 2018 and 2020 elections, as claimed by the heads of the intelligence agencies, though, as usual, evidence for the claim is lacking. There has to be bilateral, confidential discussion of such activity between Washington and Moscow and a warning given that such behavior will not be tolerated in the future, but only based on irrefutable, solid evidence. The leadership in both countries should be made to understand very clearly that there are more compelling reasons to maintain good bilateral working relations than not.

With that in mind, it is important not to overreact and to base any U.S. response on the actual damage that was inflicted. The indictment suggests that Russia is out to destroy American democracy by promoting "distrust" of government as well as sowing "discord" in the U.S. political system while also encouraging "divisiveness" among the American people. I would suggest in Russia's defense that the U.S. political system is already doing a good job at self-destructing and the difficult-to-prove accusations being hurled at Moscow are the type one flings when there is not really anything important to say.

I would suggest that Moscow might well want to destroy American democracy but there is no evidence in the indictment to support that hypothesis. I particularly note that the document makes a number of assumptions which appear to be purely speculative for which it provides no evidence. It describes the Russian company Internet Research Agency as "engaged in operations to interfere with elections and political processes." Its employees were involved in

"interference operations targeting the United States. From in or around 2014 to the present, Defendants knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other (and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury) to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016."

The theme of Russian subversion is repeated throughout the indictment without any compelling evidence to explain how Mueller knows what he asserts to be true, suggesting either that the document would have benefited from a good editor or that whoever drafted it was making things up. Internet Research Agency allegedly "conduct[ed] what it called 'information warfare against the United States of America' through fictitious U.S. personas on social media platforms and other Internet-based media." The indictment goes on to assert that

"By in or around May 2014, the ORGANIZATION's strategy included interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, with the stated goal of 'spread[ing] distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general'"

with a

"strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Defendants posted derogatory information about a number of candidates, and by early to mid-2016, Defendants' operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump ("Trump Campaign") and disparaging Hillary Clinton. Defendants made various expenditures to carry out those activities, including buying political advertisements on social media in the name of U.S. persons and entities. Defendants also staged political rallies inside the United States, and while posing as U.S. grassroots entities and U.S. persons, and without revealing their Russian identities and ORGANIZATION affiliation, solicited and compensated real U.S. persons to promote or disparage candidates. Some Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities."

Two company associates

"traveled in and around the United States, including stops in Nevada, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, Texas, and New York to gather intelligence. After the trip, [they] exchanged an intelligence report regarding the trip. The conspiracy had as its object the opening of accounts under false names at U.S. financial institutions and a digital payments company in order to receive and send money into and out of the United States to support the ORGANIZATION's operations in the United States and for self-enrichment . Defendants and their co-conspirators also used the accounts to receive money from real U.S. persons in exchange for posting promotions and advertisements on the ORGANIZATION-controlled social media pages. Defendants and their co-conspirators typically charged certain U.S. merchants and U.S. social media sites between 25 and 50 U.S. dollars per post for promotional content on their popular false U.S. persona accounts, including Being Patriotic, Defend the 2nd, and Blacktivist. All in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349."

Note particularly the money laundering and for-profit aspects of the Internet Research scheme, something that would be eschewed if it were an actual intelligence operation. There is some speculation that it all might have been what is referred to as a click-bait commercial marketing scheme set up to make money from advertising fees. Also note how small the entire operation was. It focused on limited social media activity while spending an estimated $1 million on the entire venture, with Facebook admitting to a total of $100,000 in total ad buys, only half of which were before the election. It doesn't smell like a major foreign government intelligence/influence initiative intended to "overthrow democracy." And who attended the phony political rallies? How many votes did the whole thing cause to change? Impossible to know, but given a campaign in which billions were spent and both fake and real news were flying in all directions, one would have to assume that the Russian effort was largely a waste of time if it indeed was even as described or serious in the first place.

And apart from the money laundering aspect of the alleged campaign was it even illegal apart from the allegations of possible visa fraud and money laundering? If the Russians involved were getting their financial support from the Moscow government then it would be necessary to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) of 1938, but if not, they would be protected by the Constitution and have the same First Amendment right to express their opinions of Hillary Clinton on blogs and websites while also associating with others politically as do all other residents of the United States. Many of the commenters on this Unz site are foreign and are not required either by law or custom to state where they come from.

And, of course, there is one other thing. There always is. One major media outlet is already suggesting that there could be consequences for American citizens who wittingly or unwittingly helped the Russians, identified in the indictment as "persons known and unknown." A former federal prosecutor put it another way, saying "While they went to great pains to say they are not indicting any Americans today, if I was an American and I did cooperate with Russians I would be extremely frightened " Politico speculates that "Now, a legal framework exists for criminal charges against Americans " and cites a former U.S. district attorney's observation that "Think of a conspiracy indicting parties ' known and unknown' as a Matroyshka doll. There are many more layers to be successively revealed over time."

Under normal circumstances, an American citizen colluding with a foreign country would have to be convicted of engaging in an illegal conspiracy, which would require being aware that the foreigners were involved in criminal behavior and knowingly aiding them. But today's overheated atmosphere in Washington is anything but normal. Russia's two major media outlets that operate in the U.S., Sputnik and RT America, have been forced to register under FARA. Does that mean that the hundreds of American citizens who appeared on their programs prior to the 2016 election to talk about national politics will be next in line for punishment? Stay tuned.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

[Feb 20, 2018] Russophobia is a futile bid to conceal US, European demise by Finian Cunningham

Highly recommended!
This is an old method to unite the nation against external enemy. Carnage (with so much oil and gas) needs to be destroyed. And it's working only partially with the major divisions between Trump and Hillary supporters remaining open and unaffected by Russiagate witch hunt.
Notable quotes:
"... It is an age-old statecraft technique to seek unity within a state by depicting an external enemy or threat. Russia is the bête noire again, as it was during the Cold War years as part of the Soviet Union. ..."
"... Russophobia -- "blame it all on Russia" -- is a short-term, futile ploy to stave off the day of reckoning when furious and informed Western citizens will demand democratic restitution for their legitimate grievances. ..."
"... The dominant "official" narrative, from the US to Europe, is that "malicious" Russia is "sowing division;""eroding democratic institutions;" and "undermining public trust" in systems of governance, credibility of established political parties, and the news media. ..."
"... A particularly instructive presentation of this trope was given in a recent commentary by Texan Republican Representative Will Hurd. In his piece headlined, "Russia is our adversary" , he claims: "Russia is eroding our democracy by exploiting the nation's divisions. To save it, Americans need to begin working together." ..."
"... He contends: "When the public loses trust in the media, the Russians are winning. When the press is hyper-critical of Congress the Russians are winning. When Congress and the general public disagree the Russians are winning. When there is friction between Congress and the executive branch [the president] resulting in further erosion of trust in our democratic institutions, the Russians are winning." ..."
"... The endless, criminal wars that the US and its European NATO allies have been waging across the planet over the past two decades is one cogent reason why the public has lost faith in grandiose official claims about respecting democracy and international law. ..."
"... The US and European media have shown reprehensible dereliction of duty to inform the public accurately about their governments' warmongering intrigues. Take the example of Syria. When does the average Western citizen ever read in the corporate Western media about how the US and its NATO allies have covertly ransacked that country through weaponizing terrorist proxies? ..."
"... The destabilizing impact on societies from oppressive economic conditions is a far more plausible cause for grievance than outlandish claims made by the political class about alleged "Russian interference". ..."
"... Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, he is a Master's graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. For over 20 years he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organizations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Now a freelance journalist based in East Africa, his columns appear on RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation and Press TV. ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.rt.com

Russophobia - "blame it all on Russia" - is a short-term, futile ploy to stave off the day of reckoning when furious and informed Western citizens will demand democratic restitution for their legitimate grievances

It is an age-old statecraft technique to seek unity within a state by depicting an external enemy or threat. Russia is the bête noire again, as it was during the Cold War years as part of the Soviet Union.

But the truth is Western states are challenged by internal problems. Ironically, by denying their own internal democratic challenges, Western authorities are only hastening their institutional demise.

Russophobia -- "blame it all on Russia" -- is a short-term, futile ploy to stave off the day of reckoning when furious and informed Western citizens will demand democratic restitution for their legitimate grievances.

The dominant "official" narrative, from the US to Europe, is that "malicious" Russia is "sowing division;""eroding democratic institutions;" and "undermining public trust" in systems of governance, credibility of established political parties, and the news media.

This narrative has shifted up a gear since the election of Donald Trump to the White House in 2016, with accusations that the Kremlin somehow ran "influence operations" to help get him into office. This outlandish yarn defies common sense. It is also running out of thread to keep spinning.

Paradoxically, even though President Trump has rightly rebuffed such dubious claims of "Russiagate" interference as "fake news", he has at other times undermined himself by subscribing to the notion that Moscow is projecting a campaign of "subversion against the US and its European allies." See for example the National Security Strategy he signed off in December.

Pathetically, it's become indoctrinated belief among the Western political class that "devious Russians" are out to "collapse" Western democracies by "weaponizing disinformation" and spreading "fake news" through Russia-based news outlets like RT and Sputnik.

Totalitarian-like, there seems no room for intelligent dissent among political or media figures.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has chimed in to accuse Moscow of "sowing division;" Dutch state intelligence claim Russia destabilized the US presidential election; the European Union commissioner for security, Sir Julian King, casually lampoons Russian news media as "Kremlin-orchestrated disinformation" to destabilize the 28-nation bloc; CIA chief Mike Pompeo recently warned that Russia is stepping up its efforts to tarnish the Congressional mid-term elections later this year.

On and on goes the narrative that Western states are essentially victims of a nefarious Russian assault to bring about collapse.

A particularly instructive presentation of this trope was given in a recent commentary by Texan Republican Representative Will Hurd. In his piece headlined, "Russia is our adversary" , he claims: "Russia is eroding our democracy by exploiting the nation's divisions. To save it, Americans need to begin working together."

Congressman Hurd asserts: "Russia has one simple goal: to erode trust in our democratic institutions It has weaponized disinformation to achieve this goal for decades in Eastern and Central Europe; in 2016, Western Europe and America were aggressively targeted as well."

Lamentably, all these claims above are made with scant, or no, verifiable evidence. It is simply a Big Lie technique of relentless repetition transforming itself into "fact" .

It's instructive to follow Congressman Hurd's thought-process a bit further.

He contends: "When the public loses trust in the media, the Russians are winning. When the press is hyper-critical of Congress the Russians are winning. When Congress and the general public disagree the Russians are winning. When there is friction between Congress and the executive branch [the president] resulting in further erosion of trust in our democratic institutions, the Russians are winning."

As a putative solution, Representative Hurd calls for "a national counter-disinformation strategy" against Russian "influence operations" , adding, "Americans must stop contributing to a corrosive political environment".

The latter is a chilling advocacy of uniformity tantamount to a police state whereby any dissent or criticism is a "thought-crime."

It is, however, such anti-democratic and paranoid thinking by Western politicians -- aided and abetted by dutiful media -- that is killing democracy from within, not some supposed foreign enemy.

There is evidently a foreboding sense of demise in authority and legitimacy among Western states, even if the real cause for the demise is ignored or denied. Systems of governance, politicians of all stripes, and institutions like the established media and intelligence services are increasingly held in contempt and distrust by the public.

Whose fault is that loss of political and moral authority? Western governments and institutions need to take a look in the mirror.

The endless, criminal wars that the US and its European NATO allies have been waging across the planet over the past two decades is one cogent reason why the public has lost faith in grandiose official claims about respecting democracy and international law.

The US and European media have shown reprehensible dereliction of duty to inform the public accurately about their governments' warmongering intrigues. Take the example of Syria. When does the average Western citizen ever read in the corporate Western media about how the US and its NATO allies have covertly ransacked that country through weaponizing terrorist proxies?

How then can properly informed citizens be expected to have respect for such criminal government policies and the complicit news media covering up for their crimes?

Western public disaffection with governments, politicians and media surely stems also from the grotesque gulf in social inequality and poverty among citizens from slavish adherence to economic policies that enrich the wealthy while consigning the vast majority to unrelenting austerity.

The destabilizing impact on societies from oppressive economic conditions is a far more plausible cause for grievance than outlandish claims made by the political class about alleged "Russian interference".

Yet the Western media indulge this fantastical "Russiagate" escapism instead of campaigning on real social problems facing ordinary citizens. No wonder such media are then viewed with disdain and distrust. Adding insult to injury, these media want the public to believe Russia is the enemy?

Instead of acknowledging and addressing real threats to citizens: economic insecurity, eroding education and health services, lost career opportunities for future generations, the looming dangers of ecological adversity, wars prompted by Western governments trashing international and diplomacy, and so on -- the Western public is insultingly plied with corny tales of Russia's "malign influence" and "assault on democracy."

Just think of the disproportionate amount of media attention and public resources wasted on the Russiagate scandal over the past year. And now gradually emerging is the real scandal that the American FBI probably colluded with the Obama administration to corrupt the democratic process against Trump.

Again, is there any wonder the public has sheer contempt and distrust for "authorities" that have been lying through their teeth and playing them for fools?

The collapsing state of Western democracies has got nothing to do with Russia. The Russophobia of blaming Russia for the demise of Western institutions is an attempt at scapegoating for the very real problems facing governments and institutions like the news media. Those problems are inherent and wholly owned by these governments owing to chronic anti-democratic functioning, as well as systematic violation of international law in their pursuit of criminal wars and other subterfuges for regime-change objectives.

Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, he is a Master's graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. For over 20 years he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organizations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Now a freelance journalist based in East Africa, his columns appear on RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation and Press TV.

[Feb 19, 2018] Nunes FBI and DOJ Perps Could Be Put on Trial by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Nunes chances to bring perpetrators to justice are close to zero. The Deep State controls the Washington, DC and can withstand sporadic attacks.
It is an extremly courageous of Devin Nunes to give this interview.
Notable quotes:
"... Throwing down the gauntlet on alleged abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by the Department of Justice and the FBI, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) stated that there could be legal consequences for officials who may have misled the FISA court. "If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial," he said. "The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created." ..."
"... Nunes took this highly unusual, no-holds-barred stance during an interview with Emmy-award winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson , which aired on Sunday. ..."
"... He unapologetically averred that, yes, a criminal trial might well be the outcome. "DOJ and FBI are not above the law," he stated emphatically. "If they are committing abuse before a secret court getting warrants on American citizens, you're darn right that we're going to put them on trial." ..."
"... The stakes are very high. Current and former senior officials -- and not only from DOJ and FBI, but from other agencies like the CIA and NSA, whom documents and testimony show were involved in providing faulty information to justify a FISA warrant to monitor former Trump campaign official Carter Page -- may suddenly find themselves in considerable legal jeopardy. Like, felony territory. ..."
"... On the other hand, the presumptive perps have not run into a chairman like Nunes in four decades, since Congressmen Lucien Nedzi (D-Mich.), Otis Pike (D-NY), and Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho) ran tough, explosive hearings on the abuses of a previous generation deep state, including massive domestic spying revealed by quintessential investigative reporter Seymour Hersh in December 1974. (Actually, this is largely why the congressional intelligence oversight committees were later established, and why the FISA law was passed in 1978.) ..."
"... At this point, one is tempted to say plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose ..."
"... One glaring sign of the media's unwillingness to displease corporate masters and Official Washington is the harsh reality that Hersh's most recent explosive investigations, using his large array of government sources to explore front-burner issues, have not been able to find a home in any English-speaking newspaper or journal. ..."
"... On this point, Nunes said, "In the last administration they were unmasking hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of Americans' names. They were unmasking for what I would say, for lack of a better definition, were for political purposes." ..."
"... It is real courageous of Devin Nunes to give this interview. It is not only the accountability to law that is at stake in U.S., but the Whole World is imperiled with what happens in Washington. But as many have written before in comments about this complete moral collapse of the Entire West, I am afraid, it is all going to be swept under the rug. We have to just keep the fingers crossed. ..."
"... I have never seen such media bias against a sitting president in my lifetime, not even against Richard Nixon when they at least practiced decorum and feigned objectivity even if they were secretly cheering on his demise. I will reiterate here that I do not champion the man but rather due process under our constitution, which has been made a travesty from the moment of Clinton's loss at the polls. ..."
"... I completely agree with you Realist. I am not Trump's fan or supporter of his agenda, in fact, in many things quite the opposite of it. However, he raised some very valid points about the the domestic economy and other issues, and about the need to stop interventions in foreign countries, and getting along Russia, and the need to rebuild country's manufacturing system again. He was duly elected by the people, and he should have been given the support to pursue what he promised. But it did not happen. ..."
"... Although it's being done for the wrong reasons, I am nevertheless looking forward to seeing our out-of-control intelligence agencies being put in their place. If I were president and my party controlled both houses of Congress, you'd better believe I'd be looking to dismantle the national surveillance state and reduce the military budget to a "mere" $250 billion annually. ..."
"... The post 9-11 wars of aggression, massive surveillance, torture and other war crimes were sold to the American public as only to be inflicted on foreigners, i.e. "we fight them over there so we don't fight them here." But the blowback has now turned America's schools, malls, workplaces, concerts and churches into war zones and little by little, the disinformation ops, "regime change" know-how and other accoutrements of perpetual war (the fool's errand of gaining full spectrum dominance over the rest of the world) have been turned inward on the American people, including powerful American officials themselves. So it would seem to be a good thing that some politicians like Nunes have finally seen the light exactly as Frank Church did -- only when they themselves began to reap the negative consequences of what they thought would only negatively impact other, lesser people. ..."
"... But there is more to it, as some have pointed out in comments above, there are some intra-party quarrels going on in Washington to take the upper hand. Regarding foreign policy, National Security State and surveillance, and other such issues, both parties are joined at the hip. ..."
"... It is instructive to read the comments on any NYT article on this subject. The comments are clearly written by intelligent, well-educated individuals – who parrot the Deep State's anti-Russian propaganda as if they were the dumbest of the "Better dead than Red!" 50s McCarthyites. ..."
"... The new McCarthyites are actually stupider and more authoritarian than their sad fore-bearers, because they could pierce the Deep States lies with 30 minutes of online research, but they prefer tribalism and ignorance, instead. ..."
"... Trump started going head to head with the intel folks, but has backed down a lot now. Let's hope Nunes et al hang in there and keep the pressure on these despicable criminals who hide behind governmental powers. ..."
"... Somehow I don't think Nunes or his committee is capable of reigning in Frankenstein. His "constitutuents"" are not likely to allow it and although the monster was pieced together from many body parts its instincts for self-preservation are formidable. Nevertheless, I would applaud anyone who makes the effort. ..."
"... Note that after saying the Russians are indicted for interfering in the election, and spending 5 minutes on this, at the 5 minute 20 second mark Rosenstein says there is no evidence that the Russians had any affect [sic] on the election! So what we have is the Deputy Attorney General of the United States announcing an indictment for which he says there is no evidence! ..."
"... In the world of cypher espionage I have no knowledge, but if Russia does hang out in it well then I'm sure the U.S. is already there to do what it must to defend it's cypher security. So that's a wash, but this insane Russia-Gate distraction was originally a way to deflect attention from Hillary & Debbie's putting the screws to Socialist Sanders . then Russia-Gate became a MSM driven coup to oust Trump from his Electoral won presidential office. ..."
"... Impossible to get the whole Gorgon's head, anyway, in such a corrupt system as we have ..."
"... Ray, do you think Trump has made a deal: he'll allow escalations against Russia, and in return the Deep State will leave him alone? If so, does that portend that this will fizzle out? ..."
"... While the shiny ball, smoke and mirrors psychological operation known as "Russiagate" has begun running on fumes before the gas tank finally runs dry, the major revelation of the Clinton WikiLeaks emails describing Saudi/Qatari financing of ISIS drops further down the memory hole. There's nothing like success ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes has stated that "DOJ and FBI are not above the law," and could face legal consequences for alleged abuses of the FISA court, reports Ray McGovern.

Throwing down the gauntlet on alleged abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by the Department of Justice and the FBI, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) stated that there could be legal consequences for officials who may have misled the FISA court. "If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial," he said. "The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created."

Nunes took this highly unusual, no-holds-barred stance during an interview with Emmy-award winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson , which aired on Sunday.

Attkisson said she had invited both Nunes and House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) but that only Nunes agreed. She asked him about Schiff's charge that Nunes' goal was "to put the FBI and DOJ on trial." What followed was very atypical bluntness -- candor normally considered quite unacceptable in polite circles of the Washington Establishment.

Rather than play the diplomat and disavow what Schiff contended was Nunes' goal, Nunes said, in effect, let the chips fall where they may. He unapologetically averred that, yes, a criminal trial might well be the outcome. "DOJ and FBI are not above the law," he stated emphatically. "If they are committing abuse before a secret court getting warrants on American citizens, you're darn right that we're going to put them on trial."

Die Is Cast

The stakes are very high. Current and former senior officials -- and not only from DOJ and FBI, but from other agencies like the CIA and NSA, whom documents and testimony show were involved in providing faulty information to justify a FISA warrant to monitor former Trump campaign official Carter Page -- may suddenly find themselves in considerable legal jeopardy. Like, felony territory.

This was not supposed to happen. Mrs. Clinton was a shoo-in, remember? Back when the FISA surveillance warrant of Page was obtained, just weeks before the November 2016 election, there seemed to be no need to hide tracks, because, even if these extracurricular activities were discovered, the perps would have looked forward to award certificates rather than legal problems under a Trump presidency.

Thus, the knives will be coming out. Mostly because the mainstream media will make a major effort -- together with Schiff-mates in the Democratic Party -- to marginalize Nunes, those who find themselves in jeopardy can be expected to push back strongly.

If past is precedent, they will be confident that, with their powerful allies within the FBI/DOJ/CIA "Deep State" they will be able to counter Nunes and show him and the other congressional investigation committee chairs, where the power lies. The conventional wisdom is that Nunes and the others have bit off far more than they can chew. And the odds do not favor folks, including oversight committee chairs, who buck the system.

Staying Power

On the other hand, the presumptive perps have not run into a chairman like Nunes in four decades, since Congressmen Lucien Nedzi (D-Mich.), Otis Pike (D-NY), and Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho) ran tough, explosive hearings on the abuses of a previous generation deep state, including massive domestic spying revealed by quintessential investigative reporter Seymour Hersh in December 1974. (Actually, this is largely why the congressional intelligence oversight committees were later established, and why the FISA law was passed in 1978.)

At this point, one is tempted to say plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose -- or the more things change, the more they stay the same -- but that would be only half correct in this context. Yes, scoundrels will always take liberties with the law to spy on others. But the huge difference today is that mainstream media have no room for those who uncover government crimes and abuse. And this will be a major impediment to efforts by Nunes and other committee chairs to inform the public.

One glaring sign of the media's unwillingness to displease corporate masters and Official Washington is the harsh reality that Hersh's most recent explosive investigations, using his large array of government sources to explore front-burner issues, have not been able to find a home in any English-speaking newspaper or journal. In a sense, this provides what might be called a "confidence-building" factor, giving some assurance to deep-state perps that they will be able to ride this out, and that congressional committee chairs will once again learn to know their (subservient) place.

Much will depend on whether top DOJ and FBI officials can bring themselves to reverse course and give priority to the oath they took to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. This should not be too much to hope for, but it will require uncommon courage in facing up honestly to the major misdeeds appear to have occurred -- and letting the chips fall where they may. Besides, it would be the right thing to do.

Nunes is projecting calm confidence that once he and Trey Gowdey (R-Tenn.), chair of the House Oversight Committee, release documentary evidence showing what their investigations have turned up, it will be hard for DOJ and FBI officials to dissimulate.

In Other News

In the interview with Attkisson, Nunes covered a number of other significant issues:

The committee is closing down its investigation into possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign; no evidence of collusion was found. The apparently widespread practice of "unmasking" the identities of Americans under surveillance. On this point, Nunes said, "In the last administration they were unmasking hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of Americans' names. They were unmasking for what I would say, for lack of a better definition, were for political purposes." Asked about Schiff's criticism that Nunes behaved improperly on what he called the "midnight run to the White House," Nunes responded that the stories were untrue. "Well, most of the time I ignore political nonsense in this town," he said. "What I will say is that all of those stories were totally fake from the beginning."

Not since Watergate has there been so high a degree of political tension here in Washington but the stakes for our Republic are even higher this time. Assuming abuse of FISA court procedures is documented and those responsible for playing fast and loose with the required justification for legal warrants are not held to account, the division of powers enshrined in the Constitution will be in peril.

A denouement of some kind can be expected in the coming months. Stay tuned.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Savior in inner-city Washington. He was a CIA analyst for 27 years and is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).


Skip Scott , February 19, 2018 at 9:38 am

Thanks Ray for another great article. One can only hope that Nunes is successful. However, like you say, the MSM is now complicit with the "Deep State", so the fight for justice becomes much harder. One also has to remember Schumer's "six ways from Sunday" applies equally to the congress as it does to the president. I hardly ever watch TV news, but recently I've been subjected to it, and I've seen a deluge of fluff pieces on our so-called Intelligence Agencies. I would love to see Trump give a speech (instead of a tweet) directly to the American people letting them know what rascals like Brennan, Clapper, et al have been up to.

Bob Van Noy , February 19, 2018 at 12:51 pm

This may be the best broadcast tv journalism in many years, read Sharyl Attkisson's story, "Stonewalled" (I will link the commentary page to that book for thorough readers). And thank you Nat, Ray McGovern & CN

https://www.amazon.com/Stonewalled-Obstruction-Intimidation-Harassment-Washington/dp/0062322850/ref=sr_1_1/140-4375232-2286101?ie=UTF8&qid=1519058613&sr=8-1&keywords=stonewalled#customerReviews

Dave P. , February 19, 2018 at 2:29 pm

An excellent and very timely article by Ray McGovern. Lawlessness, greed, complete subservience to Wall Street Finance and other Powers, insanity, and utter inhumanity prevails in present day Ruling Establishment in Washington. Obama, "the hope and change" Con Artist for whose election, being democrats we worked so hard in 2008 turned to be the biggest perpetrator of this lawlessness and responsible for fanning the flames still further in starting a new Cold War.

It is real courageous of Devin Nunes to give this interview. It is not only the accountability to law that is at stake in U.S., but the Whole World is imperiled with what happens in Washington. But as many have written before in comments about this complete moral collapse of the Entire West, I am afraid, it is all going to be swept under the rug. We have to just keep the fingers crossed.

Howard Dean just said yesterday that Nunes and people like him belong in jail. Now can you believe it, how low these so called liberal democrats have come to? Looking at the pictures of Adam Schiff, Howard Dean, and others in their company, I literally feel sick in the stomach. And one asks the essential question: "did not their parents teach them any honesty or moral principles in young age?".

Abbybwood , February 19, 2018 at 3:54 pm

But what he said is very confusing. First he says that Congress has no way to prosecute the DOJ/FBI for wrong doing then at the end he says Congress will need to prosecute the DOJ/FBI if necessary. Either Congress has the ability to prosecute the DOJ/FBI and issue indictments and set up Grand Juries or they don't.

Somebody needs to find out, Constitutionally, what the solution is when the DOJ/FBI at the highest levels become the criminals. WHO has the power to indict/convict these individuals??

Sam F , February 19, 2018 at 10:36 pm

A special prosecutor (Mueller's position) is appointed by the Pres or AG.

Annie , February 19, 2018 at 3:20 pm

From what I've heard expressed by a few FBI people, you don't come before a court, but a judge, one person, and they are known to rubber stamp almost everything. So they should be investigated too.

Realist , February 19, 2018 at 5:02 pm

I have never seen such media bias against a sitting president in my lifetime, not even against Richard Nixon when they at least practiced decorum and feigned objectivity even if they were secretly cheering on his demise. I will reiterate here that I do not champion the man but rather due process under our constitution, which has been made a travesty from the moment of Clinton's loss at the polls.

Dave P. , February 19, 2018 at 7:56 pm

I completely agree with you Realist. I am not Trump's fan or supporter of his agenda, in fact, in many things quite the opposite of it. However, he raised some very valid points about the the domestic economy and other issues, and about the need to stop interventions in foreign countries, and getting along Russia, and the need to rebuild country's manufacturing system again. He was duly elected by the people, and he should have been given the support to pursue what he promised. But it did not happen. We would not know now what he actually wanted to accomplish.

Sam F , February 19, 2018 at 10:41 pm

Yes, neither party nor the mass media shows concern for the Constitution or for the people. As the propaganda agency, the mass media are primarily responsible. The zionist/WallSt/MIC oligarchy have consolidated control over mass media, secret agencies, and elections, but not without factions.

Michael , February 19, 2018 at 10:00 am

Although it's being done for the wrong reasons, I am nevertheless looking forward to seeing our out-of-control intelligence agencies being put in their place. If I were president and my party controlled both houses of Congress, you'd better believe I'd be looking to dismantle the national surveillance state and reduce the military budget to a "mere" $250 billion annually.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 11:09 am

Michael I hear ya. Yes, there is a civil war of sorts going on in DC, and yes it would be a wonderful thing to rid our bureaucracy of all the slim that is in it, but taking Jiminy Cricket's good advice to heart would be so much more fruitful to if you and I would only sing;

'When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires will come to you"

Now that song will be stuck in my head all day .got any Journey? Joe

Coleen Rowley , February 19, 2018 at 3:27 pm

It's true that people generally do not care when bad practices, policies or violence is inflicted on others and not on themselves. Of course that's stupid because it's just a matter of time before "blowback" occurs (as the CIA euphemistically labeled how doing unto others eventually boomerangs back on perpetrators). Going back to the Church Committee and how that bit of accountability finally happened, it only got off the ground when Frank Church and other Senators found THEMSELVES in the crosshairs of FBI Cointelpro; CIA's "CHAOS" and NSA's "Minaret" surveillance. http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/09/25/secret-cold-war-documents-reveal-nsa-spied-on-senators/ (To this day, only 7 of the 1000 or so Americans targeted by the NSA during the Vietnam War have been discovered but their identities are telling.)

The post 9-11 wars of aggression, massive surveillance, torture and other war crimes were sold to the American public as only to be inflicted on foreigners, i.e. "we fight them over there so we don't fight them here." But the blowback has now turned America's schools, malls, workplaces, concerts and churches into war zones and little by little, the disinformation ops, "regime change" know-how and other accoutrements of perpetual war (the fool's errand of gaining full spectrum dominance over the rest of the world) have been turned inward on the American people, including powerful American officials themselves. So it would seem to be a good thing that some politicians like Nunes have finally seen the light exactly as Frank Church did -- only when they themselves began to reap the negative consequences of what they thought would only negatively impact other, lesser people.

BobS , February 19, 2018 at 4:50 pm

" the blowback has now turned America's schools, malls, workplaces, concerts and churches into war zones"

"blowback" is doing a lot of work in that sentence, if you're referring specifically to "post 9-11 wars of aggression, massive surveillance, torture and other war crimes". Whenever the incidents have had a political agenda attached, it's more often than not been of the domestic right-wing variety. And of course, all of them have been facilitated by easy civilian access to hardware that was originally developed by the military (ours and the Soviets) to efficiently kill/incapacitate large numbers of enemy fighters.

Gregory Herr , February 19, 2018 at 7:30 pm

BobS fails to understand that blowback encapsulates more than "revenge". "Forever war" and all Colleen mentions that goes with it has had societal impact because violence is glorified as a "solution" and feelings of suspicion and antagonism become part of the dark undertow.

Sam F , February 19, 2018 at 10:54 pm

Well said, Colleen. Let us hope that Nunes is not merely acting the part. I wonder whether the greatest secrets of domestic spying are now so compartmentalized and controlled that only those most dependent upon their agency could blow the whistle.

Annie , February 19, 2018 at 4:23 pm

This is not to be compared to spying on citizens, which is unacceptable, but they tried to undermine a presidency, whether you like Trump or not, and at the same time it allowed them to push their cold war agenda. I remember Clinton's campaign manager coming out right after the e-mail dump that said the Russians did it. And didn't Obama send a lot of those Russian ambassadors packing? They should be investigated, as should the FISA court itself. Perhaps if Trump didn't have this charge of colluding with Russia he might have been able to be more diplomatic on that score. Now, they made sure he would never be getting along with Russia. What they have now is a bunch of Russians acting on their own that allegedly interfered in our elections and created political discord, which is absurd, since the democrats are mainly responsible for this nonsense, as is the FBI and DOJ. I was a democrat, but no more.

Dave P. , February 19, 2018 at 4:52 pm

Annie, you are right on that. However, Coleen Rowely has also made some very good observations in her comments. But there is more to it, as some have pointed out in comments above, there are some intra-party quarrels going on in Washington to take the upper hand. Regarding foreign policy, National Security State and surveillance, and other such issues, both parties are joined at the hip.

Gregory Herr , February 19, 2018 at 7:42 pm

I wouldn't completely discount the idea that Nunes' sense of responsibility has been activated by being a close witness to what is blatant wrongdoing. But then my cynicism is still tempered by the belief that sometimes people are compelled to do what's right just because it's what's right. Silly me.

Virginia , February 19, 2018 at 10:34 am

Me, too, Michael, to " dismantle the national surveillance state and reduce the military budget to a 'mere' $250 billion annually."

Thanks to Ray McGovern for another good article with link to interview. Good to hear they will finally be closing the Mueller investigation (Nunes was straightforward about that, no there there) and will likely be investigating the FBI and DOJ.

Applause goes to David Nunes. Keep up the good work.

Abbybwood , February 19, 2018 at 4:03 pm

But I see where Trump asked for nearly one TRILLION dollars for the military and got it.

Pandas4peace , February 19, 2018 at 10:24 am

Where can we get access to Seymour Hersh's "recent explosive investigations" even if they are written in German?

Cherrycoke , February 19, 2018 at 11:57 am

https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article165905578/Trump-s-Red-Line.html

There is more at the bottom of the page.

Ray McGovern , February 19, 2018 at 12:11 pm

Try this link: http://raymcgovern.com/?s=hersh+welt or simply search on consortiumnews.com webpage.

ray

mike k , February 19, 2018 at 2:54 pm

"On June 25th 2017 the German newspaper, Welt, published the latest piece by Seymour Hersh, countering the "mainstream" narrative around the April 4th 2017 Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack in Syria."

Ray McGovern , February 19, 2018 at 9:35 pm

Ranney,

Please have a look at this: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/06/25/intel-behind-trumps-syria-attack-questioned/

Consortiumnews.com publishes and comments on everything Pulitzer Prize winning Sy Hersh does. The problem is that he is BANNED from English-language pubs -- simply banned and even kept off erstwhile "liberal" TV and radio programs. Amy Goodman, for example, has ALWAYS had Sy on when he had a new story until this one. She would not touch it; these days prefers to go with the "White Helmets" of this world. O Tempora, O Mores. Sad.

So, in sum, the problem is a very basic one. Sy does not publish until he has nailed down every significant detail and, since he is so well plugged in with many longtime, trusted sources to sift through, that takes a while for a bit story -- as all of them are. And when he is ready to publish, he hears folks whisper "Leper" as he gets close to an editorial office. It really IS that bad. We owe the op-ed editor at die Welt our thanks.

Btw: The Consortiumnews.com main page has a SEARCH button that I find very handy. Try to search on Seymour Hersh. Same goes for easily searchable raymcgovern.com, my website.

Ray

David Otness , February 19, 2018 at 5:37 pm

The London Review of Books has been publishing Hersh's work. That's one source.

Ray McGovern , February 19, 2018 at 9:51 pm

David,

Not for his latest of last June. See explanation of LRB cave in at: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/06/25/intel-behind-trumps-syria-attack-questioned/

The ostracizing of Sy Hersh is a major -- if highly depressing -- story in and of itself. But he is irrepressible. I do not think he is going to silently steal away any time soon.

Ray McGovern

Kim Dixon , February 19, 2018 at 10:32 am

Can anyone imagine the Neocon WashPo, or the NYT (or CBS, or CNN, or ) committing actual journalism, as this story progresses?

That, and the DNC's commitment to the DNC to the Russia Did It!™ canard, will ensure that real revelations go nowhere.

It is instructive to read the comments on any NYT article on this subject. The comments are clearly written by intelligent, well-educated individuals – who parrot the Deep State's anti-Russian propaganda as if they were the dumbest of the "Better dead than Red!" 50s McCarthyites.

The new McCarthyites are actually stupider and more authoritarian than their sad fore-bearers, because they could pierce the Deep States lies with 30 minutes of online research, but they prefer tribalism and ignorance, instead.

Lois Gagnon , February 19, 2018 at 1:01 pm

You got that right! I live in the 5 college area in Massachusetts. Plenty of those types around here playing activists. They fit your description. I can't stand to be in the same room with any of them. They may as well be from Mars.

Nancy , February 19, 2018 at 2:47 pm

I agree. The average working person has more common sense than the so-called intelligent, educated class. I suspect their views reflect the fact that they are very comfortable, financially, with the status quo, and don't want any real change.

mike k , February 19, 2018 at 10:35 am

Trump started going head to head with the intel folks, but has backed down a lot now. Let's hope Nunes et al hang in there and keep the pressure on these despicable criminals who hide behind governmental powers. When you allow people to do whatever they want in secret with no oversight, you can expect them to abuse their power. The basic question all this leads to is "who is running this country and making crucial decisions about war and peace, or fascism and democracy"?

BobH , February 19, 2018 at 10:52 am

Somehow I don't think Nunes or his committee is capable of reigning in Frankenstein. His "constitutuents"" are not likely to allow it and although the monster was pieced together from many body parts its instincts for self-preservation are formidable. Nevertheless, I would applaud anyone who makes the effort.

BobH , February 19, 2018 at 6:43 pm

Here's where Mueller's investigation didn't go https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-2_Bc_7Pos

Bob Van Noy , February 19, 2018 at 7:11 pm

Thanks BobH, that's an excellent rant, thanks for passing it along.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 10:58 am

The only way any trail that Nunes could even begin to make magically appear to happen before our weary eyes will happen only, and I say only, will appear because it will be good for tv ratings. Enforcing Constitutional law, I mean who does that anymore? Why today in our nation's capital we have congressional people asking the opposite of what Ben Franklin warned us good citizens about as the swamp critters are saying, 'Constitution how can we lose it'. You know this Ray that these crooks and crookettes in DC think that the U.S. Constitution is so passé and so anciently colonial that they hear Jefferson saying, 'ignore this stupid document, I was drunk with Adams and Franklin when I wrote it. It was all a big mistake.' Or something like that, but Constitutional law we don't need no stink'n Constitutional law, now get back to your part time work. (Whip cracking sound)

Hey Ray this whole fiasco does what is most important in this new American century, this fiasco is entertaining and the ratings are going through the roof so with that what more could a red blooded good American ask for now pass the tv remote.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 11:29 am

Paul Craig Roberts may have nailed this thing: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/02/18/cbs-contradicts-muellers-report/

blimbax , February 19, 2018 at 9:21 pm

Paul Craig Roberts wrote,

Note that after saying the Russians are indicted for interfering in the election, and spending 5 minutes on this, at the 5 minute 20 second mark Rosenstein says there is no evidence that the Russians had any affect [sic] on the election! So what we have is the Deputy Attorney General of the United States announcing an indictment for which he says there is no evidence!

If we take Roberts' statement at face value, he may have inadvertenly mischaracterized Rosenstein's statement. According to Roberts, Rosenstein said there is no evidence of an effect on the election, but it does not follow from that that Rosenstein is saying that there is no evidence of interference. There may have been "interference" that had no impact. And, of course, there is the question, just what is meant by "interference" in this context?

I share the frustration many commenters have about the entire "Russiagate" narrative, but I think it is important to be careful in how we evaluate these statements. It may all be a "nothinburger," but it is important to describe things carefully and correctly. Otherwise, one ends up inadvertently setting up a straw man for someone else to knock down.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 10:25 pm

I share the stress you do blimblax that you and all who stay on this Russia-Gate pay-ops suffer, but the way this crooked nail investigation has been going, mostly distorted by the press coverage, your argument about the interpretation of Rosenstein's words to the general public will be like splitting hairs with bald people . they just won't get it, and why, because I'm not sure the vast amount of Americans get it now. They got turned off along time ago back when the FBI didn't produce Trump performing his much heard about Steele Dossier acclaimed Water Sports in his Moscow Obama's Presidential Suite sick, yes, but it's the truth. No pictures, no believe you.

Personally I have never doubted any Russian influence in the way of statements, or essays, but this contribution of opinion is to be expected from any well thinking country, or nation if you'd rather of the world. Plus the Russians spending wasn't even close to any real fraction of what both U.S. Presidential candidate spend on their campaigns, get real.

In the world of cypher espionage I have no knowledge, but if Russia does hang out in it well then I'm sure the U.S. is already there to do what it must to defend it's cypher security. So that's a wash, but this insane Russia-Gate distraction was originally a way to deflect attention from Hillary & Debbie's putting the screws to Socialist Sanders . then Russia-Gate became a MSM driven coup to oust Trump from his Electoral won presidential office.

We could argue to how Trump,should be questioned, or even brought up on impeachment charges, but not for this particular Russia interference into our so well guarded American democracy. In fact we Americans don't need any Russian help at bringing our American democracy down, because we Americans already did that with the Patriot Act as among a few many other things. Joe

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 11:59 am

Here is a rant by Charles Hugh Smith: http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2018/02/russian-meddling-gagging-on-irony.html

SocraticGadfly , February 19, 2018 at 1:35 pm

Neither Dems nor GOP truly care about the First Amendment. Ray won't write about that. I have, re the Mueller indictments: http://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2018/02/internet-research-agency-butt-hurt.html

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 2:14 pm

That was a terrific read, and so is this: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/02/mueller-indictement-the-russian-influence-is-a-commercial-marketing-scheme.html#more

Enjoy. Joe

Bill , February 19, 2018 at 11:48 am

Somehow many Democrats are convinced that the FBI/DOJ did nothing wrong with regards to the FISA warrants. And they're still convinced that Trump colluded with Putin. Nothing will change their minds, it's hopeless.

Lois Gagnon , February 19, 2018 at 4:17 pm

It is indeed surreal to watch people who classify themselves as the left undermining the left by supporting the very agencies whose sole purpose from their inception is to destroy the left.

As David William Pear put it at OpEd News, "I don't think even Orwell has a scene like this: anti-authoritarian dissidents endorse more authoritarian means to weed out authoritarians resulting in authoritarians having more control to weed out dissidents."

I have a headache.

Jessika , February 19, 2018 at 11:55 am

The Deep State is very, very deep, and we're "Knee Deep in the Big Muddy" (Pete Seeger). Anybody knows the US Deep State was thoroughly entrenched by Reagan's time. It's overdue not to let this deep state corruption harden to concrete. I support neither party until there is a course correction, and Nunes makes valid points in support of a correction. Thanks, Ray.

BobS , February 19, 2018 at 11:58 am

Thin skinned too, eh Ray?
You're right, of course- Russia analysts at the CIA did stellar work in the 1980s.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 12:01 pm

No BobS it's you with your thickhead that doesn't get it. Keep it up BobS, because eventually you are going to say something funny. Take care. Joe

SocraticGadfly , February 19, 2018 at 1:34 pm

Ray continues to engage in two-siderism. He ignores digging into legit critiques of Mueller, as I have. http://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2018/02/internet-research-agency-butt-hurt.html

Charles Misfeldt , February 19, 2018 at 11:58 am

Will Nunes or any conservative go after the thousands of illegal acts perpetrated by conservatives??? NO! Nunes, along with every conservative traitor in America (republican or democrat) needs to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The conservative agenda is not moral or constitutional.

BobS , February 19, 2018 at 1:09 pm

Considering their disregard for law as well as their worship of authoritarianism (exercised against the proper targets, of course), I'd say it's more than "self-enrichment" that drives conservatives, both ancient and modern.

Deniz , February 19, 2018 at 1:58 pm

Perhaps that is an issue, but I am unclear precisely what is wrong in Nunes position that he is relying on Gowdy, an undeniably sharp, precise, prosecutor, to review the examined material. Watching both Nunes and Gowdy in sessions, I would have probably, and gladly, made the same decision. It also make sense politically that they cover for each other, one person is expendable and takes the heat – Nunes, while the other – Gowdy, an upward star of the party, who probably ran the whole investigation anyway, keeps his hands clean.

BobS , February 19, 2018 at 2:09 pm

The always partisan "upward star" Trey 'BENGHAZI!!!' Gowdy announced his retirement from congress last month due to his being "sick of hyper-partisanship". And let me show you this bridge I'm selling

Deniz , February 19, 2018 at 2:32 pm

In fact, I would greatly enjoy a discussion on weapons transfers from Libya to Erdogan to Al – Qaeda via Clinton. This is actually one of my favorite topics. So have it.

Deniz , February 19, 2018 at 5:34 pm

So what is your argument, that we should be loyal to our crime family and not theirs?

Or do you think Hillary, "We came, we saw, he died" or Mueller, of nothing to see here on 9/11 notoriety are the sort of people we should be defending.

Jessika , February 19, 2018 at 12:07 pm

Impossible to get the whole Gorgon's head, anyway, in such a corrupt system as we have. Why else are we in such a mess? Both GOP and Democrats have not served the people, so we should therefore give up trying to address any abuse?

Antiwar7 , February 19, 2018 at 12:35 pm

Ray, do you think Trump has made a deal: he'll allow escalations against Russia, and in return the Deep State will leave him alone? If so, does that portend that this will fizzle out?

Gregory Herr , February 19, 2018 at 8:14 pm

So you are privy to the briefings in question. Just because Reagan bloated the military budget doesn't mean he was being fed false intelligence by McGovern.

On the other hand, it is well publicized that Cheney twisted arms at Langley and Tenet obliged and Rummy worked the Iraq angle as well. We also had the Downing Street Memo and the Powell fiasco and Valerie Plame. Ray was right to be indignant.

Jerry Alatalo , February 19, 2018 at 3:50 pm

While the shiny ball, smoke and mirrors psychological operation known as "Russiagate" has begun running on fumes before the gas tank finally runs dry, the major revelation of the Clinton WikiLeaks emails describing Saudi/Qatari financing of ISIS drops further down the memory hole. There's nothing like success

Drew Hunkins , February 19, 2018 at 3:59 pm

Good point Mr. Alatalo. The Saudi-Zio Terror Network gets away with murder, literally and figuratively and of course the Saudi-Zio Terror Network NEVER, EVER interferes in ANY elections in the United States, no never.

(sarcasm)

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , February 19, 2018 at 5:59 pm

Related news: Kim Dotcom: "Let Me Assure You, The DNC Hack Wasn't Even A Hack", https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-18/kim-dotcom-let-me-assure-you-dnc-hack-wasnt-even-hack (Kim Dot Com claims personal knowledge on who took the DNC emails (Seth Rich) and his lawyers wrote to Mueller twice, offering his testimony, but never heard back from Mueller).

Bob Van Noy , February 19, 2018 at 7:18 pm

Thank you Paul E. Merrell, J.D. I have been convinced from the beginning of all of this that this was the line to Wikileaks. Now if we could only get a real investigation into Seth's murder.

Stop Bush and Clinton , February 19, 2018 at 7:34 pm

"We found that they broke a vast number of laws, did surveillance of a competitor with a warrant based on fake evidence, all adding up to treason worse than Watergate. But we think that no reasonable prosecutor would file charges .." -- The FBI

[Feb 19, 2018] The Russiagate Intelligence Wars What We Do and Don't Know

Highly recommended!
Mueller was the person responsible for investigation of 911. That fact alone tells you all as for what we can expect.
Notable quotes:
"... NO actual physical proof has been presented to the public to substantiate claims that Russia hacked the DNC ..."
"... There is NO proof (only allegations) of collusion between Trump's campaign and the Kremlin ..."
"... Social media efforts by Russian trolls to influence the election were minimal in the extreme, laughably amateurish and completely ineffective ..."
"... Glenn Greenwald has spent the past year documenting in detail the large volume of fake anti-Russian "news" generated by the MSM (see GG at The Intercept) ..."
"... There is NO connection between the Russian government and the 13 private citizens recently indicted for their pathetic and ineffectual activity as part of a troll farm ..."
"... Thanks to the paranoid, xenophobic, Russia-bashing nationalistic propaganda that is being promoted by our military-industrial-intelligence-media complex, the U.S. now believes it is acceptable to launch a first strike nuclear attack in retaliation for breeches of cyber security ..."
"... Trump won't be impeached over Russiagate for the simple reason that Russiagate is nothing but a psyops perpetrated against the American people by the national-security bureaucracy (and their corporate media propagandists) for the purposes of reigniting a second Cold War and maintaining U.S. global hegemony. ..."
"... Thanks to the hysterical McCarthyism now rampant among Democrats - and that is being used to great effect by Washington's bipartisan neocon warmongers - we may just end up in a nuclear war. The good news: it will be a short war and the Democrats will never have to accept responsibility for Clinton's loss. ..."
"... How about that Clinton got the CIA to partner with neo-Nazis in Ukraine to stage a coup, kick out Putin's friend, and install a billionaire capitalist as President? - something the media never mentions. ..."
"... Ultimately, I see the Russia story as getting its legs from the efforts of the dominant Hillary wing of the Democratic party, backed by big media, to continue to assert that Hillary really won the presidency in 2016, and that their wing should continue to have control of the party. ..."
"... That an immensely dangerous war fever is being whipped up in the process is of no importance to them. And, by no means incidentally, they are ignoring all of the real atrocities being committed by the Trump administration against the American people and the earth's environment. ..."
"... It has been thus since the creep moved into the White House. Dreyfuss, perky Rachel Maddow, Colbert, Maher, and many others have been the true "useful idiots". ..."
"... This same media never gave Sanders any media exposure during the primary. ..."
"... I would add that the election manipulations which the Clinton forces engaged in to defeat Sanders during the Democratic primaries dwarfs, by orders of magnitude, anything alleged against the Russians by even the most hawkish backers of the Russia probe. ..."
"... tweet by Peter Van Buren, former US foreign intelligence officer "Just did a quick read of the '13 Russian' indictment. Missing are a) any connections between the 13 and the Russian government and/or Trump campaign; b) any discussion of the impact (if any) their social media efforts had. It describes them buying Facebook ads, but nothing about if it affected votes; c) no connection shown between any of this and DNC, Wikileaks, hacking of emails; d) no discussion of motive; e) assumption that anything anti-Clinton was defacto pro-Bernie and/or pro-Trump. And all indicted persons are Russians, and outside the U.S., so highly unlikely this is going anywhere further legally. ..."
"... BTW, today the media put up that scumbag Podesta as a spokesperson for the Democrats. ..."
"... Seems that the end justifies the means. No matter what is the truth. In the mean-time, they're actually harming the opposition to Trump. I suppose nobody asked Podesta why the DNC never offered their computers for FBI forensics. ..."
"... The MSM never asks the hard questions anymore. It seems all pre-scripted and sanitized for corporate media. ..."
"... It's been a year since Mueller went to work and what's he got? A couple of Republican political operatives being political operatives. Their crime was not reporting to the USG that they were working for Ukraine. Now we're down to social media posts. You're probably one of those people who say, I saw it on the internet so it must be true. If the government is going to be upset about crap they see on social media from foreign parties, they need to start by telling said social media that they can't solicit advertising from foreign entities with political overtones as facebook did of RT. ..."
"... So we are going to limit global free speech by spending $Trillions more on building a nuclear arsenal - total madness - driven by [un] Democratic whining. ..."
"... Apparently, it comes down to trolls who planted various "fake news" stories. Stipulate to all of that; the worst of it. How does THAT begin to stack–up against the murderous coup that the USA OPENLY fomented in the Ukraine a couple of years earlier by bankrolling dozens of Non-governmental organizations whose sole purpose was "regime change"? ..."
"... Maybe come back to me about all of this when the FBI can convincingly prove that the Russian government armed and funded a Neo–nazi para–military group that assaulted and burned–down the North Carolina State House. ..."
"... You mean like Clinton and the CIA did in Ukraine, for economic domination over Russia, don't you? ..."
"... Tell me, as soon as you can, when having skepticism on the Russia/Election Meddling story is finally permitted. I heard tell, we've lately dropped the "Treason" narration. Now the spin du jour is that Trump & Co were all duped by them clever Ruskies. Whatever floats your boat. ..."
"... Stephen Cohen's take on Russiagate makes a lot of sense, to me. I've followed Russia/soviet/US relations very closely since Gorbachev. Open your eyes, Mattis has labeled Russia our mortal enemy, we just upped defense spending to an obscene level that shall keep our schools, hospitals, social services, and infrastructure in their bad state. ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | www.thenation.com

Cara Marianna says: February 19, 2018 at 4:36 pm

Here's what we know:

  1. NO actual physical proof has been presented to the public to substantiate claims that Russia hacked the DNC
  2. There is NO proof (only allegations) of collusion between Trump's campaign and the Kremlin
  3. Social media efforts by Russian trolls to influence the election were minimal in the extreme, laughably amateurish and completely ineffective
  4. Glenn Greenwald has spent the past year documenting in detail the large volume of fake anti-Russian "news" generated by the MSM (see GG at The Intercept)
  5. There is NO connection between the Russian government and the 13 private citizens recently indicted for their pathetic and ineffectual activity as part of a troll farm
  6. Thanks to the paranoid, xenophobic, Russia-bashing nationalistic propaganda that is being promoted by our military-industrial-intelligence-media complex, the U.S. now believes it is acceptable to launch a first strike nuclear attack in retaliation for breeches of cyber security

Read number six again and think about it. The U.S. is ready and willing to launch a preemptive nuclear attack against any nation it accuses of undermining our cyber security - no proof necessary. The Democratic establishment, which has spent the past year engaging in baseless Kremlin-baiting (and very little else), is directly responsible for this insanity.

Trump won't be impeached over Russiagate for the simple reason that Russiagate is nothing but a psyops perpetrated against the American people by the national-security bureaucracy (and their corporate media propagandists) for the purposes of reigniting a second Cold War and maintaining U.S. global hegemony.

Thanks to the hysterical McCarthyism now rampant among Democrats - and that is being used to great effect by Washington's bipartisan neocon warmongers - we may just end up in a nuclear war. The good news: it will be a short war and the Democrats will never have to accept responsibility for Clinton's loss.

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:30 pm

Who gives a shit really?

How about that Clinton got the CIA to partner with neo-Nazis in Ukraine to stage a coup, kick out Putin's friend, and install a billionaire capitalist as President? - something the media never mentions.

Caleb Melamed says: February 18, 2018 at 9:12 am

As I open the online edition of The Nation this morning, there are two lead stories. One of them tells how Trump is planning to evict 5 million poor people from public housing. A very important story.

The second story by Bob Dreyfuss is probably the 10,000th one I've seen about the Russia probe. The public housing story is obviously much more important and substantial, yet the Democrats have been focusing almost exclusively on the flimsy Russia probe. Not even the pressing need to regulate assault rifles has really grabbed their full attention, even in the wake of the latest dreadful Florida high school massacre. In perusing the news stories this Sunday morning, the Russia probe continues to hold first place in coverage by a big margin.

Ultimately, I see the Russia story as getting its legs from the efforts of the dominant Hillary wing of the Democratic party, backed by big media, to continue to assert that Hillary really won the presidency in 2016, and that their wing should continue to have control of the party.

That an immensely dangerous war fever is being whipped up in the process is of no importance to them. And, by no means incidentally, they are ignoring all of the real atrocities being committed by the Trump administration against the American people and the earth's environment.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 18, 2018 at 9:52 am

Amen, Caleb
It has been thus since the creep moved into the White House. Dreyfuss, perky Rachel Maddow, Colbert, Maher, and many others have been the true "useful idiots".

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:33 pm

This same media never gave Sanders any media exposure during the primary.

Caleb Melamed says: February 18, 2018 at 9:42 am

I would add that the election manipulations which the Clinton forces engaged in to defeat Sanders during the Democratic primaries dwarfs, by orders of magnitude, anything alleged against the Russians by even the most hawkish backers of the Russia probe.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 18, 2018 at 8:24 am

FYI
tweet by Peter Van Buren, former US foreign intelligence officer "Just did a quick read of the '13 Russian' indictment. Missing are a) any connections between the 13 and the Russian government and/or Trump campaign; b) any discussion of the impact (if any) their social media efforts had. It describes them buying Facebook ads, but nothing about if it affected votes; c) no connection shown between any of this and DNC, Wikileaks, hacking of emails; d) no discussion of motive; e) assumption that anything anti-Clinton was defacto pro-Bernie and/or pro-Trump. And all indicted persons are Russians, and outside the U.S., so highly unlikely this is going anywhere further legally.

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:37 pm

There is nothing illegal or unethical about any individual of government supporting one candidate over another. BTW, today the media put up that scumbag Podesta as a spokesperson for the Democrats.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 19, 2018 at 9:02 am

Seems that the end justifies the means. No matter what is the truth. In the mean-time, they're actually harming the opposition to Trump. I suppose nobody asked Podesta why the DNC never offered their computers for FBI forensics.

Fred Caruso says: February 19, 2018 at 12:31 pm

The MSM never asks the hard questions anymore. It seems all pre-scripted and sanitized for corporate media.

Richard Phelps says: February 18, 2018 at 2:52 am

There is one issue that no media is talking about regarding the "memos". Trump is clearly a "person of interest", if not a suspect in some parts of the investigation. Given Trump's entanglement how is it not an absolute conflict of interest for Trump being the person who decides what memos get to be public and what redactions must be made.

Imagine a judge being a suspect in a crime or a major stockholder in a corporate civil suit. S/he would never be allowed to make any rulings on what evidence the jury gets to see or anything about the case. Some non-interested 3rd party needs to make those decisions.

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:38 pm

Quit feeding this beast.

Jeffrey Harrison says: February 16, 2018 at 8:15 pm

The other interesting and fun fact not mentioned anywhere. Three Names won by 3 million votes. Crafty Ruskis.

Carla Skidmore says: February 16, 2018 at 7:33 pm

This investigation by Mueller is just beginning. In other words, and to use the vernacular, "We "ain't seen nothing," yet."

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:40 pm

You are right. This is nothing but bullshit and it may be just the beginning. The Democrats have an endless supply of donkey-shit.

Jeffrey Harrison says: February 16, 2018 at 6:08 pm

It's interesting that the Russians set this all up to boost Trump and disparage Three Names before Trump even announced he was running. The basic set up for this was going on in 2014 whereas Trump announced in 2015.

Carla Skidmore says: February 16, 2018 at 7:29 pm

No, not really. Trump was making gestures of interest in the presidency in 2012

Clark M Shanahan says: February 18, 2018 at 10:28 am

Since when have you been so trusting of our FBI & CIA, Carla? From what we've experienced together from the Gulf of Tonkin onward, I'm a wee-tad taken aback. Please read the ex-foreign intelligence officer's twitter posting that I posted above.

Jeffrey Harrison says: February 16, 2018 at 8:30 pm

Pfui. He also made noises about running in the 2012 election. People don't set up organizations to do stuff just on the off chance that some politician or wannabe is going to run. These guys ain't got nothin'. It's been a year since Mueller went to work and what's he got? A couple of Republican political operatives being political operatives. Their crime was not reporting to the USG that they were working for Ukraine. Now we're down to social media posts. You're probably one of those people who say, I saw it on the internet so it must be true. If the government is going to be upset about crap they see on social media from foreign parties, they need to start by telling said social media that they can't solicit advertising from foreign entities with political overtones as facebook did of RT.

Fred Caruso says: February 19, 2018 at 3:35 pm

So we are going to limit global free speech by spending $Trillions more on building a nuclear arsenal - total madness - driven by [un] Democratic whining.

Francis Louis Szot says: February 16, 2018 at 6:05 pm

Apparently, it comes down to trolls who planted various "fake news" stories. Stipulate to all of that; the worst of it. How does THAT begin to stack–up against the murderous coup that the USA OPENLY fomented in the Ukraine a couple of years earlier by bankrolling dozens of Non-governmental organizations whose sole purpose was "regime change"?

Maybe come back to me about all of this when the FBI can convincingly prove that the Russian government armed and funded a Neo–nazi para–military group that assaulted and burned–down the North Carolina State House.

Fred Caruso says: February 19, 2018 at 3:37 pm

You mean like Clinton and the CIA did in Ukraine, for economic domination over Russia, don't you?

Clark M Shanahan says: February 16, 2018 at 3:44 pm

I'm hoping the hush-money passed on to two of Trump's romantic caprices, during the election, gets traction.

Tell me, as soon as you can, when having skepticism on the Russia/Election Meddling story is finally permitted. I heard tell, we've lately dropped the "Treason" narration. Now the spin du jour is that Trump & Co were all duped by them clever Ruskies. Whatever floats your boat.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 17, 2018 at 10:13 am

Yes David, I'm still a skeptic. In fact, I think this move to indict 13 suspects, that have a snowball in Hell's chance of ever being tried, is simply a dog and pony show to placate the public. Debrief yourself, read Binney's report and listen to Stephen F Cohen's latest, here on the Nation.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 17, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Stephen Cohen's take on Russiagate makes a lot of sense, to me. I've followed Russia/soviet/US relations very closely since Gorbachev. Open your eyes, Mattis has labeled Russia our mortal enemy, we just upped defense spending to an obscene level that shall keep our schools, hospitals, social services, and infrastructure in their bad state.

As if Hill, who stole the primaries actually ran a competent campaign.

[Feb 19, 2018] Internet Marketing - Why Is This Smelly Fish Priceless (updated)

Interesting illustration of how bots (in this case sole sleazy Dems operative with Slavic last name, not Russians ;-) work.
Notable quotes:
"... Democratic Coalition ..."
"... Progressive Army ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
about the Mueller indictment on Twitter some seemingly automated accounts retweeted my promotion.

The original piece is about an internet marketing scheme that is supposed to have influenced U.S. elections. It is thus amusing that the retweeting bots are part of an internet marketing scheme that is supposed to influence U.S. elections.

But why do they use the line "Omg. Fish is priceless"?

My original tweet:


WorldBLee , Feb 19, 2018 11:58:10 AM | 25

Commentators pointed out:

1. The first retweet shown above, which introduced the 'fish' line, is from a real person. Debbie Lusigman, the @saneprogessive , who has her own video channel with lots of legit content. The other tweets though are copies (not regular retweets) of the first retweet.
(h/t oldandyoung and integer )

2. The other personalities are likely bots that may well be run by one Scott Dworkin , a grifter who runs the fundraising campaign Democratic Coalition and channels most of the funds to a company he owns. Geoff Miami found the connection and reported on it at Progressive Army .
(h/t Demeter )

Posted by b on February 19, 2018 at 07:36 AM | Permalink

@saneprogressive is a real account; the rest appear to be bots. The bots RT some posts and appropriate others as their own. For instance, another one of @saneprogressives posts was also posted by @SenWarren2020 as its own yesterday. These are simple bots that attach themselves to certain accounts that have been deemed to be in the right ideological sphere, one suspects.

Demeter , Feb 19, 2018 12:01:23 PM | 26
I know those bots. @GeoffMiami has called them out as accounts controlled by Scott Dowrkin (@funder) and his "resistance organization" The Dem Coalition (@TheDemCoalition). "They hope to grift off Bernie supporters by using Bernie-themed bot accounts to push their propaganda."


More here - exposing Dworkin as a grifter Resistance Grift – How Scott Dworkin Turned the Resistance into a Personal Payday

Dworkin's Super PAC promotes fear through a repeating cycle of Russian-based propaganda, which garners donations, which pay consultants that generate those stories over and over again, garnering yet more donations. As to what purpose his Super PAC actually serves, it appears to be little more than a Möbius strip of self-serving opportunism.

b , Feb 19, 2018 12:16:49 PM | 27
@Bobby Mueller @6
"because they are not re-tweeting your post from MOA - they are re-tweeting @saneprogressive's re-tweet of your MOA post."

No - the 2nd to 8th account are not "retweeting" the 1st. They copied and reposted its content.
If those were legit one click "retweets" a la normal Twitter it would says so (XYZ retweeted ABC) and lock different. The form they used as shown above would require several clicks to 1. go to my original tweet, 2. retweet that with comment, 3. type (or copy) the fish line, 4. send.

These are for sure bots running on some script.

psychohistorian , Feb 19, 2018 1:00:03 PM | 28
I am not sure that I have taken enough of the right drugs but here goes

1. The retweets are secret messages from "saneprogressive" that bots are trained to retweet so others know to read your posting as it is priceless

2. The retweets are NSA manipulation to deprecate and make light of your posting by making it unserious

3. Twitter/NSA has developed bots behind the scene to manipulate public focus and it is just coming out of Beta testing

4. Some blogs have weekly cat pictures but this is clear evidence that MoA needs to have at least weekly sock puppet pictures.

5. All this focus on sock puppets and fish on America's president's day is unpatriotic and taking focus away from the current president's tweets which cannot be tolerated.

6. If this fish is so priceless, why is it stealing focus from humanity's more pressing problems like determining if this persons G in OMG is the same as that persons G in their OMG

It is just at freezing in Portland OR with a light dusting of snow from last night on all but the roads and the sun is shining.....Happy day/life to all!

b , Feb 19, 2018 1:00:16 PM | 29
@all -

I updated the piece above with the information provided by oldandyoung, integer, and Demeter.
Thanks folks!

Sebastian Dangerfield , Feb 19, 2018 1:57:44 PM | 30
This is an absolutely hilarious illustration of your argument. While I don't think the argument that the Internet Research Agency was a marketing endeavor is conclusive, it certainly is a compelling explanation, especially given the ridiculous nature of the content that it produced. It's like everyone simply ignored the fact that there are gazillions of these click-harvesting schemes and that the 2016 election, being a perpetual internet outrage machine, was especially fertile ground for them. They all (probably deliberately) ignored the reporting about, say, the Macedonian bullshit farm, which was generating mostly pro-Trump posts in order to harvest clicks. https://www.buzzfeed.com/craigsilverman/how-macedonia-became-a-global-hub-for-pro-trump-misinfo?utm_term=.ynwo9nn2#.rvBVyoo3
Jen , Feb 19, 2018 4:02:14 PM | 33
The sock puppet does look a bit like a fish and maybe Debbie Lusignan saw a pun in there that is lost on the bots retweeting her Tweet.

"Fish" is good for "fishing" and "phishing" = collecting clicks (and possibly personal information attached to metadata generated by clicks) to forward on to third parties willing to pay for that information.

Kat C , Feb 19, 2018 5:12:04 PM | 34
I have been tweeting your article, not the fish picture, frequently, as I am tired of even supporters of Trump spouting a false narrative. #IamnotaRussianbot or bot of any sort, just a human who wants to pass on the excellent info you wrote. I hope it gets new followers to your blog!
Daniel , Feb 19, 2018 5:31:41 PM | 35
I've been following Debbie Lusignan since early in the 2015/2016 Primaries. She was a Bernie supporter who documented the election fraud better than any other source. She has since come to see Bernie as a sell-out at least, if not a sheep dog from the start. And her focus since has been on discarding the "right/left paradigm" and joining in common causes against the global, plutocratic, warmongering powers.

I've posted links to MoA articles on her sites several times, so maybe her following b is my fault. ;-)

This is her Twitter feed:

https://twitter.com/saneprogressive

daffyDuct , Feb 19, 2018 8:42:02 PM | 42
Demeter@26

"Resistance Grift – How Scott Dworkin Turned the Resistance into a Personal Payday"

So he's kind of like the IRA chef?

[Feb 19, 2018] Goofy Indictments divert attention from Criminal Abuses at the FBI and DOJ by Mike Whitney

The fact that Mueller politicized the action of Russian Internet scammers (who are at best petty criminals) suggest that he has nothing more significant to offer hungry US Russophobes.
At this point Mueller turned his investigation into pure political propaganda
Notable quotes:
"... My impression has been that the "fake news" of dubious sources that circulates on social media is much better at generating money through clicks and shares in appealing to existing bias than it is at changing opinions. ..."
"... information that is true & irrefutable can hardly be considered harmful to the function of democracy, no matter the self-interested motive of the source: the electorate will consider it with their own self-interest in mind. And if any meaningful number of the American electorate – reaching up, say, to triple or even quadruple digits – was duped into texting their vote instead of going to their precinct then we need to resolve to get wise to this trick and not get fooled again. ..."
"... Poor Russia cant get a break, neither can Americans get a break from this USA 'get Russia' monkey circus. The monkeys now reach back a year ago to get Russia on a cyber attack. ..."
"... This a great article: it summarizes the poverty of the entire "Russians done it" meme. Let's not forget: this is another BIG LIE, on par, if not worse than the Iraq fiasco LIES ..."
"... "U.S. law bans foreign nationals from making certain expenditures or financial disbursements for the purpose of influencing federal elections. U.S. law also bars agents of any foreign entity from engaging in political activities within the United States without first registering with the Attorney General." When are we going to indict Israeli nationals for the above-mentioned crimes? When are we going to single out Bibi as a foreign national who engages with childlike enthusiasm in political activities within the United States? ..."
"... It's even more depressing than that. The indictments are against what is probably just (one of a million) commercial marketing scams. That is why the posts have no coherence. Some are for Trump, some against, some are for Hillary and some against, and of course there is the post that is for puppies. These are clickbait to establish the trolls as leaders so they can get advertisers to purchase ads. ..."
"... The word Lügenpresse has has entered German dictionaries, 'lying press', I hope a similar expression will enter USA dictionaries soon. In Germany this expression also is used with regard to TV. ..."
"... How creepy these pyschopaths are is hard for most people to understand, but gradually they are. Also, Trump has powerful opponents, one of which is the inability of most people to politically wake up quickly. He is the front man for a Military, Political, and Scientific Alliance making war against entrenched elitist, sociopathic, self-centered, control freak cabals that almost seized complete power in our country. Give him some slack okay. He's / they are doing pretty good considering the incredibly dangerous situation they took over. Keep writing Mike Whitney! ..."
"... It appears that Mueller is intent on prolonging his little fishing trip. My own cynicism suggests to me that his motive is, at least partially, financial. Sure, the media has said that he's being paid what will amount to only $200k or so per year for his "service" and that he has given up a position that pays him closer to $3 million for the same amount of time in order to act as Special Counsel. ..."
"... This indictment has publicised for the whole world that US has a 'law' that prohibits free speech by foreigners in foreign countries if they dare to speak disparagingly of US politicians. That is a PR disaster. People will be laughing about this for decades. Why do something so obviously stupid? ..."
"... Many countries have bad laws – in Thailand people can go to jail for offending the king. But to apply it to free speech by foreign people living abroad is self-destructive. To my best knowledge no country has ever attempted to charge people living abroad with 'disparaging comments' about their politicians. By that standard, literally millions of people are daily breaking the 'law' – e.g. all the bad stuff people say about Trump. During 2016 election there were literally millions of people in foreign countries who expressed 'disparaging' views about Trump. And some about Clinton. ..."
"... Doing nothing would had been better than becoming a laughing stock. How is Washington going to preach freedom of speech and internet after this self-inflicted fiasco? What if Russia starts 'indicting' millions of people who expressed negative comments about Putin? ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

Robert Mueller's Friday night indictment-spree, is a flagrant and infuriating attempt to divert attention from the damning revelations in the Nunes memo (and the Graham-Grassley "criminal referral") which prove that senior-level officials at the FBI and DOJ were engaged in an expansive conspiracy to subvert the presidential elections by spying on members of the Trump campaign. The evidence that the FBI and DOJ "improperly obtained" FISA warrants to spy on Trump campaign affiliate, Carter Page, has now been overshadowed by the tragic massacre in Parkland, Florida and the obfuscating indictments of 13 Internet "trolls" who have not been linked to the Russian government and who are being used to conceal the fact that the 18 month-long witch hunt has not yet produced even one scintilla of hard evidence related to the original claims of "hacking or collusion".

Think about what's Mueller is really up to: He's not just moving the goalposts, he's loading them onto a spaceship and putting them on another planet. Where's the evidence that Russia hacked the DNC computers and stole their emails? Where's the proof that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia? That's what we want to know, not whether some goofy Russian troll was spreading false information on Facebook. That has nothing to do with the original charges. It's just politically-motivated gibberish that proves Mueller has nothing to support his case. After a full year, the investigation has failed to produce anything but a big goose egg.

According to the indictment, the alleged Russian trolls "posted derogatory information about a number of candidates" and its "operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaging Clinton."

Big whoop. If people are so malleable that they can be brainwashed by some suggestive posting on Facebook, then maybe we should abandon democracy altogether. But that's not what this is really about, is it? Because if it was, Mueller would have posted the contents of those nefarious Russian comments in the indictment WHICH HE DIDN'T because he knows it's all obfuscating bullsh** designed to make the sheeple think evil Putin is dabbling in our precious elections.

Oh, and here's a little tidbit the MSM managed to overlook in their typically-hysterical coverage. This is from journalist Alexander Mercouris at the pro-Russia website, The Duran: (If you think your delicate mind might be brainwashed by Russian propaganda, please, shield your eyes!)

"The third thing to say about the indictment – and a point which has been almost universally overlooked in all the feverish commentary about it – is that it makes no claim that the Russian government was in any way involved in any of the activities of the persons indicted.

Nowhere in the indictment is the Russian government or any official of the Russian government or any agency of the Russian government mentioned at all. Nor at any point in the indictment is it suggested that any of the persons indicted were employed by the Russian government or were acting under its instructions or on its behalf ." (The Duran, Alexander Mercouris)

No Ruskis involved? But how can that be? We were assured that diabolical Russia is behind everything bad that happens in America. Has evil Putin been sleeping on the job??

Yes, it's true that the Internet Research Agency, LLC, is in fact located in St. Petersburg but–as yet–there is no known connection between the company and the government. And, if there was, you can bet that Mueller would have exploited it for all it's worth.

By the way, Mueller's presumption that the hackers were trying to influence the election, is just that, a presumption. It has no basis in fact whatsoever. It is mere speculation like the rest of the claptrap he's come up with. The more reasonable explanation is that the hackers were trying to make a little dough on "pageviews or clicks" rather than trying to persuade voters to vote for one candidate or the other. Here's more from the indictment:

" Defendants and their co-conspirators began to track and study groups on U.S. social media sites dedicated to U.S. politics and social issues. In order to gauge the performance of various groups on social media sites, the organization tracked certain metrics like the group's size, the frequency of content placed by the group, and the level of audience engagement with that content, such as the average number of comments or responses to a post."

WTF! Isn't this what everyone is doing, including the Intel agencies, advertisers, media and corporations? So now it's a crime? Give me a break!

Here's a blurb from the comments-line at Sic Semper Tyrannis:

"The "conspiracy" started in 2014, and cost a whopping $1.2 MILLION, which includes salaries, tech support, and bonuses. The indictment includes info that the Russians ran ads supporting Black Lives Matter, Muslims, Jill Stein, Ted Cruz, Rubio, and Trump. They also organized rallies in support of, and in opposition to Trump and Hillary Clinton. They continued their activities up into 2017, still organizing pro-Clinton and pro-Trump rallies. At one point, the indictment says that the Russians ran an ad that reached 59,000 people, which is laughable, people with a camera in their kitchen get more views than that. Essentially, after about 1.5 years of investigating "Russian collusion" this is all they've come up with." –London Bob, Sic Semper Tyrannis

And here's more from the indictment:

"U.S. law bans foreign nationals from making certain expenditures or financial disbursements for the purpose of influencing federal elections. U.S. law also bars agents of any foreign entity from engaging in political activities within the United States without first registering with the Attorney General."

This is mind-numbingly stupid. Does Mueller really think he can cobble together a case against 13 foreign-born defendants based on the thin gruel of Russian support for "Black Lives Matter, Jill Stein and Donald Trump?" Good luck with that, Bob.

Political analyst Paul Craig Roberts summarizes how absurd the indictments are in a Friday article tiled "The Result of Mueller's Investigation: Nothing":

"How did the 13 Russians go about sowing discord? Are you ready for this? They held political rallies posing as Americans and they paid one person (unidentified) to build a cage aboard a flatbed pickup truck and another person to wear a costume portraying Hillary in prison clothes ."

The whole thing is ridiculous and anyone with half a brain knows it's ridiculous. The only reason this fiasco continues to drag on, is because the mandarins in the US National Security State run everything in America and they've decided that they can invent whatever reality suits their foreign policy agenda and the rest of us will simply accept it in silence or be denounced as "Putin apologists" or "Kremlin stooges". Fortunately, facts and reason appear to be getting the upper hand which why the deep state powerbrokers are getting so desperate. They're now genuinely concerned about what might "come out" and who might be exposed.

Do the names John Brennan or Barack Obama ring a bell?

Indeed. I'm sure both names would factor quite large in any seriously impartial and thorough investigation of the Russiagate conspiracy.

One last thing for all you supporters of Donald Trump. I suggest you carefully examine his latest tweet on the topic. Here it is:

"Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!" Donald Trump, Twitter

As I expected, Trump is going to save his own skin, but allow the "Bigger Lie" to persist. It looks to me that Trump may have cut a deal with his deep state antagonists to support their spurious claims of Russian meddling as long as they exonerate him on the charges of collusion. That means, he will NOT use his power as President to try to uncover the roots of Russia-gate fabrication. (that would probably expose the former Directors of the CIA and NSA and, perhaps, even the former president of the United States, who likely gave Brennan the greenlight to set the wheels in motion.) All of these suspects will go uninvestigated, unindicted, and unpunished just like the perpetrators of the Iraq War, just like the perpetrators of the Financial Meltdown, and just like the perpetrators of all the major crimes against the American people. As always, it is complete and total immunity for Parasite Class while the rest of us have to play by the rules. But you probably already knew that.

Trump will get off the hook while the rest of us languish in permanent ignorance of how the shadow government really works. You heard it first here.


Svigor , February 18, 2018 at 6:23 am GMT

http://www.unz.com/proberts/rosenstein-and-mueller-running-for-cover-leaving-brennan-exposed/

What perhaps has surely happened

Now there's some tight writing. No wonder he insisted on disabling comments on his pieces.

El Dato , February 18, 2018 at 2:08 pm GMT
@Svigor

This is a perfectly valid and understandable turn of phrase for NuMerica 2018

https://imgur.com/DIVoxL5

fenster , February 18, 2018 at 2:31 pm GMT
<>

Beat you by one day, though you have more readers . . .

https://uncouthreflections.com/2018/02/17/wonton-speculation/

John Achterhof , February 18, 2018 at 6:48 pm GMT
After all of the concern expressed in the abstract I'd like to see some concrete examples of the material used to change opinions of American voters. My impression has been that the "fake news" of dubious sources that circulates on social media is much better at generating money through clicks and shares in appealing to existing bias than it is at changing opinions.

In any event, in this new environment – absent some form of censorship as with authoritarian states – any interested party such as a foreign government may introduce anonymously, by way of levels of remove, political content intended to change opinion. Of course, information that is true & irrefutable can hardly be considered harmful to the function of democracy, no matter the self-interested motive of the source: the electorate will consider it with their own self-interest in mind. And if any meaningful number of the American electorate – reaching up, say, to triple or even quadruple digits – was duped into texting their vote instead of going to their precinct then we need to resolve to get wise to this trick and not get fooled again.

Now, if this Mueller investigation would set out anew with a determination to find some Russian government involvement in fomenting the red hot molten lava of Identity Politics bubbling out of our universities – the obscene notion that a "patriarchy" of white males, acting as some kind of an informal fraternity in favoring themselves in the economy to the detriment of the outsiders, needs to get taken down in status in order to make America great – then they'd be cooking with gas toward the concern of harming the bonds of our civil union.

renfro , February 19, 2018 at 7:38 am GMT
Poor Russia cant get a break, neither can Americans get a break from this USA 'get Russia' monkey circus. The monkeys now reach back a year ago to get Russia on a cyber attack.

White House blames Russia for 'reckless' NotPetya cyber attack

https://www.reuters.com/ russia /white-house-blames-russia-for-reckless-notpetya-c&#8230 ;

3 days ago – WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) – The White House on Thursday blamed Russia for the devastating 'NotPetya' cyber attack last year , joining the British government in condemning Moscow for unleashing a virus that crippled parts of Ukraine's infrastructure and damaged computers in countries across the

Best advice for Americans believe nothing, trust nothing that issues from a government.

The experts:

John McAfee, founder of an anti-virus firm, said: "When the FBI or when any other agency says the Russians did it or the Chinese did something or the Iranians did something – that's a fallacy," said McAfee.

"Any hacker capable of breaking into something is extraordinarily capable of hiding their tracks. If I were the Chinese and I wanted to make it look like the Russians did it I would use Russian language within the code. "I would use Russian techniques of breaking into organisations so there is simply no way to assign a source for any attack – this is a fallacy."

I can promise you – if it looks like the Russians did it, then I can guarantee you it was not the Russians."

Wikileaks has released a number of CIA cyber tools it had obtained. These included software specifically designed to create false attributions.

Ronald Thomas West , Website February 19, 2018 at 7:38 am GMT
Naw, we didn't hear it here first, it's been glaringly obvious to about everyone outside of the USA propaganda loop, here's just one example:

http://ian56.blogspot.com/2018/02/the-spuious-mueller-indictments-of-13.html

Per the preceding, my own observation would be, when your lead investigator/special prosecutor's known history is framing people for crimes they didn't commit, sandbagging & sinking criminal investigations into international narcotics & arms trafficking, protecting related money laundering & hired killers, and providing cover for the perpetrators (intelligence agencies), we know why any reasonably honest & intelligent person wouldn't give two cents credibility to, and possess a rat's ass level of sympathy for, 'special' counsel Robert Mueller. The real question is, why the Boyd Cathy and Mike Whitney types don't go after these guys at the level the deserve; pointing to their established international criminal mafioso (read intelligence agency) crimes sprees and history of impunity:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2018/02/07/bob-manson-charlie-mueller/

^ It's 'alternative news' cowards won't take this s ** t on

Anonymous Disclaimer , February 19, 2018 at 7:45 am GMT
From a different Anonymous ..Mr. Whitney I can see the point of Donald Trump doing the kind of deal you suggest if there was enough for him to fear as you suggest but do not demonstrate. Why shouldn't we believe that it's all over, the indictments show there's nothing to be concrrned about?

Before your suggestion of the deal I had already concluded that you had not made a case against the indictments. Are you in fact willing to say that they should not have been instituted? If so, why?

Are they so completely hopeless in law, or as a matter of practicality in terms of their ever being got to court that it is an abuse if Mueller's position to support them? And if, as seems likely, nothing will come of them (certainly Russia won't help with extradition), is there not a case for using these indictments to clear the air on the law and, possibly, by the courts throwing the cases out on weakness of the matters of fact alleged? Could there even be a Machiavellian desire to have arguments put which would embarrass the Israel Lobby?

renfro , February 19, 2018 at 7:56 am GMT
@Anonymous

This should not be allowed either. CNN . 'Israel has 200,000 eligible American voters, according to the non-partisan organization IVoteIsrael, which registers American Israelis to vote.

Wizard of Oz , February 19, 2018 at 8:15 am GMT
Mike Whitney. Do you think Mueller should have avoided bringing the indictments even though US law appears to make what was done illegal? If so, why?

Could Mueller be justified by thinking it could help to sort out a bad law, especially if lawyers appear for the named defendants and move for the dismissal of the case on the facts alleged. Or, as has also been suggested, ia this a move which might allow the defendant's case to embarrass the Lobby? Would Mueller or the FBI be upset by that.

Tom Welsh , February 19, 2018 at 10:22 am GMT
"Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media
"Military's 'sock puppet' software creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propaganda

"Jeff Jarvis: Washington shows the morals of a clumsy spammer"

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks

Yet again, Washington is projecting its own vile schemes onto other countries.

jacques sheete , February 19, 2018 at 11:22 am GMT

Goofy Indictments Divert Attention from Criminal Abuses at the FBI and DOJ

I wonder how much of the Syrian troubles are diverting attention away from Netanyahoo's legal problems.

animalogic , February 19, 2018 at 12:31 pm GMT
This a great article: it summarizes the poverty of the entire "Russians done it" meme. Let's not forget: this is another BIG LIE, on par, if not worse than the Iraq fiasco LIES.

Nor is it, per se, about Trump. This is about State &political actors using State agencies & the MSM to prevent/ bring down an elected president. Its a plain unadorned assault on what's left of US democracy. (The fact that the vast majority of DNC voters can't -- WONT see this demonstrates how successful Elites have been in morally & psychologically corrupting the US public.

How many BIG LIE narratives can a State take ? Or do we just whistle & say " oh, but we live in a post truth age" as if that's not somehow morally equivalent to being a Moloch worshipper out for sunny day icecream.

journey80 , February 19, 2018 at 1:06 pm GMT
"U.S. law bans foreign nationals from making certain expenditures or financial disbursements for the purpose of influencing federal elections. U.S. law also bars agents of any foreign entity from engaging in political activities within the United States without first registering with the Attorney General." When are we going to indict Israeli nationals for the above-mentioned crimes? When are we going to single out Bibi as a foreign national who engages with childlike enthusiasm in political activities within the United States?
Redman , February 19, 2018 at 1:32 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz

Law enforcement of course doesn't bring every case which meets the definition of a crime. If it did, nearly everyone would be involved in the criminal justice system.

Discretion is used. And here, the evidence points directly to Mueller's discretion being used to protect the asses of the FBI and security state.

This indictment will not see the light of day. It's a bit like declaring faux victory in Iraq and leaving (what should have been done in that case). No lawyer will have the opportunity to refute th bull shit.

This is also why Meuller just indicted Gates, to strengthen the Manafort case. The only thing of note that will come out of this debacle of an investigation. He's giving up on Russia and going after Manafort, the low hanging fruit.

tjm , February 19, 2018 at 1:57 pm GMT
This is all nonsense, The very idea that Trump, or Clinton is being attacked by the FBI or CIA, or "Deep State", while doing exactly what he was hired to do, is ludicrous. Trump is a PRODUCT, just like Obama, and Clinton, all paid whores of the Zionist money machine.

The CIA and FBI are merely players in this game of distraction. The whole Russia gate BS was a cleaver rouse to further Zionists goals: Distract Americans from the real foreign interference by Zionist Jews, and to further demonize Christian Russia to the left, opening up the support for war with Russia.

Washington, Trump, Congress all lie, the media all lies, yet time and time again I see their lies playing as truth. Are you just stupid or part of the problem? Nothing comes form any of this, just distraction and divide and conquer. Trump continues to ACT like an Israeli firster while he TALKS about Ameirca first, and idiots keep focusing on his words and NOT HIS ACTIONS!

tjm , February 19, 2018 at 2:05 pm GMT
Trump ran on anti-immigration, building a wall, and getting out of conflicts. Yet, Trump is pushing for AMNESTY FOR DREAMERS, is building no wall, and is pushing conflict in the Middle East. Seems to me, this should be the ONLY topics of conversation. Trump is a wolf in sheep's clothing, a Zionist traitor, and these FBI/Russia/Clinton back and forth accusations are just the Zionist Jews giving Trump cover.

This is all theater, the Zionists rule DC, 9/11 was the culmination of their control over DC, and now they play is like a Hollywood movie, full of intrigue and misdirection. None of this amounts to anything, yet, time and again it is front page news, while TRUMP's TREASON, HIS AMNESTY GO IGNORED???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It seems there is very little Zionist money cannot buy

LoodohLeaky , February 19, 2018 at 2:31 pm GMT
Does the writer want us to believe that a bunch of private Russians, with no connection to the government, decided for their own amusement to spend millions of dollars to play games with American voters' heads?
SteveK9 , February 19, 2018 at 2:40 pm GMT
It's even more depressing than that. The indictments are against what is probably just (one of a million) commercial marketing scams. That is why the posts have no coherence. Some are for Trump, some against, some are for Hillary and some against, and of course there is the post that is for puppies. These are clickbait to establish the trolls as leaders so they can get advertisers to purchase ads.

There is a lot of interesting detail here:

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/02/mueller-indictement-the-russian-influence-is-a-commercial-marketing-scheme.html

jilles dykstra , February 19, 2018 at 2:45 pm GMT
I think and hope that USA citizens have not lost their minds, but are using it, maybe just for the second time.
The first time then was when the USA refused to ratify Versailles, after USA citizens had discovered that their sons had die overseas for JP Morgan and British imperialism.

The word Lügenpresse has has entered German dictionaries, 'lying press', I hope a similar expression will enter USA dictionaries soon. In Germany this expression also is used with regard to TV.

Here in the Netherlands our Minister of Foreign Affairs Halbe Zijlstra had to resign after the newspaper Volkskrant, in very unusual opening a can of worms, publicised that Zijlstra never had been in Putin's dacha where Putin had explained what 'greater Russia' was: including White Russia, Ukraine, Baltic states and Khazakstan.
USA press, this time hitting the mark, called him 'the lying Dutchman'.

Zijlstra's friend, prime minister Rutte, already for years has the nickname Pinochio, his lies are well known.
Rutte must have known that Zijlstra lied at his party's congress, VVD, in 2016.
A poll now seems to show that more than half the Dutch have had enough with Rutte.

This seems to be the era in which nothing is trusted any more, politicians, media, experts, and so on.

jilles dykstra , February 19, 2018 at 2:56 pm GMT
@John Achterhof

For me one of the greatest nations on this earth is small insignificant Denmark.
It does not wage wars far from home, it does not allow foreigners to buy houses or land, it has an excellent pension system and social security system, and an excellent health care system.
It does not welcome large numbers of migrants, has a very low crime rate.
There may be very rich Danes, but they do not display their wealth.
The only thing I blame Denmark for is the oversized and luxurious post offices.
The country side is not impressive, nor what farmers produce, sugar beets.
And so the Danes are the happiest people on earth, surveys conclude.

Jake , February 19, 2018 at 3:00 pm GMT
"According to the indictment, the alleged Russian trolls "posted derogatory information about a number of candidates" and its "operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaging Clinton."

This is straight out of the Stalin and/or Mao playbook: those people thought bad thoughts and said some things that did not support us, which proves they are EVIL and must be destroyed for the good of all.

Jake , February 19, 2018 at 3:02 pm GMT
@LoodohLeaky

Do you mean the way that private Israelis, and Saudis, do that very thing, year after year? And with much, much more money?

Jake , February 19, 2018 at 3:06 pm GMT
@tjm

Jewish money 'bought' Oliver Cromwell, the chief epitome of WASP culture, not because it was an impossible offer to resist, but because Anglo-Saxon Puritanism was a Judiaizing heresy, and Cromwell naturally saw Jews as the best allies for WASPs.

You cannot solve the Jewish problem without also solving the WASP problem.

Joe Hide , February 19, 2018 at 3:33 pm GMT
To Mike Whitney,

Good article and thank you for keeping your presentation a reasonable length. Unreasonable length is a problem for many authors and preachers!

The Florida school massacre, can be orchestrated by simply ignoring significant warnings. For instance, a rogue FBI leadership intentionally ignores warnings from many different locations on the likely danger, and just waits for it to happen. When it does happen the rogue FBI cell can claim plausible deniability, claiming incompetence or stupidity, instead of intention. Then tens of millions of Americans are distracted from recently released information exposing the rogue FBI cell.

How creepy these pyschopaths are is hard for most people to understand, but gradually they are. Also, Trump has powerful opponents, one of which is the inability of most people to politically wake up quickly. He is the front man for a Military, Political, and Scientific Alliance making war against entrenched elitist, sociopathic, self-centered, control freak cabals that almost seized complete power in our country. Give him some slack okay. He's / they are doing pretty good considering the incredibly dangerous situation they took over. Keep writing Mike Whitney!

Anonymous Disclaimer , Website February 19, 2018 at 3:57 pm GMT
@anon

It's wide open, your packets are shooting all over the place, nice n' secure. Hail Fatherland Security! When you read propaganda, they know all about you and what you're reading in advance. Us, them, Russians – to the farm junior!

Twodees Partain , February 19, 2018 at 4:36 pm GMT
It appears that Mueller is intent on prolonging his little fishing trip. My own cynicism suggests to me that his motive is, at least partially, financial. Sure, the media has said that he's being paid what will amount to only $200k or so per year for his "service" and that he has given up a position that pays him closer to $3 million for the same amount of time in order to act as Special Counsel.

Still, the total cost of his exploration has been over $6.5 million so far. This, I would have to guess, is all in legal costs, fees paid to attorneys he has selected to do the investigative work. That amount of money is in excess of what he is supposedly giving up in order to conduct this investigation.

Looking at his motivation from this angle, it would make sense that a lawyer, especially a greedy, power hungry lawyer, would set up a system of kickbacks for attorneys he appoints to do the work. Mueller may be suspected of ensuring himself an equal income to what he is supposed to have given up.

Any time his fishing trip comes under fire for failing to catch any fish big enough for a meal, he issues indictments. This time he has indicted some foreign nationals who will probably never even be arrested, let alone prosecuted. Still, he's allowed to keep fishing.

phil , February 19, 2018 at 4:54 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra

All true. Good comment. Also, Denmark appears to have a genetic advantage when it comes to happiness, its lousy weather notwithstanding! See "National Happiness and Genetic Distance: A Cautious Exploration," by Eugenio Proto and Andrew J. Oswald, University of Warwick.

Abstract
This paper studies a famous unsolved puzzle in quantitative social science. Why do some nations report such high levels of mental well-being? Denmark, for instance, regularly tops the league table of rich countries' happiness; Britain and the US enter further down; some nations do unexpectedly poorly. The explanation for the long observed ranking -- one that holds after adjustment for GDP and other socioeconomic variables -- is currently unknown. Using data on 131 countries, the paper cautiously explores a new approach. It documents three forms of evidence consistent with the hypothesis that some nations may have a genetic advantage in well-being.

Anon Disclaimer , February 19, 2018 at 4:56 pm GMT
Anon from TN
People who generated lies have vested interest in perpetuating them. They will gladly use new lies to "confirm" the old ones. Even Trump figured that the red herring of Russian interference in the elections made the US a laughing stock in Russia. That's an understatement, though: this red herring made the US a laughing stock of 90% of the world population (the remaining 10% have no sense of humor).
Patriot Paddy , February 19, 2018 at 6:39 pm GMT
Where are the indictments of the foreign nationals in California, who openly attacked Trump supporters in San Jose? They attempted to affect the election through criminal assaults and batteries, much more than a simple Facebook post. This is the newly unveiled America, the citizens are not running anything, we are bought and paid for by interests that Gen. Washington would have deemed treasonous.
Verymuchalive , February 19, 2018 at 6:41 pm GMT

Goofy Indictments Divert Attention from Criminal Abuses at the FBI and DOJ

Lets be honest, Goofy would have done a better job. Mickey Mouse indictments seem more apt.

Jasken , February 19, 2018 at 6:57 pm GMT
How do US Courts have jurisdiction to prosecute speech originating in another country?

If is was said here out in public, fine, but saying something on the internet in another country does not seem to be prosecutable. Some countries have speech laws, and I would hate to find myself in their court system for something I say here that violates their deal.

Also, First Amendment?

Beckow , February 19, 2018 at 7:14 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz

Do you think Mueller should have avoided bringing the indictments even though US law appears to make what was done illegal?

This indictment has publicised for the whole world that US has a 'law' that prohibits free speech by foreigners in foreign countries if they dare to speak disparagingly of US politicians. That is a PR disaster. People will be laughing about this for decades. Why do something so obviously stupid?

Many countries have bad laws – in Thailand people can go to jail for offending the king. But to apply it to free speech by foreign people living abroad is self-destructive. To my best knowledge no country has ever attempted to charge people living abroad with 'disparaging comments' about their politicians. By that standard, literally millions of people are daily breaking the 'law' – e.g. all the bad stuff people say about Trump. During 2016 election there were literally millions of people in foreign countries who expressed 'disparaging' views about Trump. And some about Clinton.

Doing nothing would had been better than becoming a laughing stock. How is Washington going to preach freedom of speech and internet after this self-inflicted fiasco? What if Russia starts 'indicting' millions of people who expressed negative comments about Putin?

[Feb 19, 2018] Dems used to rightly hate Mueller for the Patriot Act, for abusing Fisa and for setting up terrorism hoaxes - now they love him. Sick.

Feb 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Noirette | Feb 19, 2018 10:40:11 AM | 21

More seriously. The Russkies, e.g. Zakharova and Lavrov have said that the USA has gone mad, is in the grip of a crazed delusional hysteria (or words to that effect.) Why the hype?

  1. Are we to see all this nonsense as merely an internal US matter, with the Dems planning an attack on Trump before he was elected, and subsequently promoting Russia as a blanket external enemy - as they can't accuse the Republicans, Banks or Big Corps, need an outside bogey, though they have post hoc also blamed the electorate, not smart.

    Neatly fitting with that Trump did propose 'good' ( ) relations with Russia, in an attempt to actually conserve some, or even a major part, of US hegemony in the new 'multipolar' world. (Trump wanted to control and 'annex' the weaker partner, not a bad calculation.)

    >> Russia is merely a mythical figure, breathing fire and red-clawed, in the wings, invisible, serving as a prop for the major contestants.

    Naturally, ordinary US citizens are of no account beyond their role as potentially duped followers, adherents, minions, serfs, ciphers on a page, etc. Influencing opinion(s) the most efficiently is part of the competition, actualised through media, TV, internet, etc. etc.

  2. The USA is *for real* gearing up for a meltdown war, against Russia in first place, and all the Media hype is aimed at getting US, NATO citizens to support it, or at least sleep in front of the TV and not object, and/or be controlled by various entities. The US PTB will never accept its loss of power/status and will destroy the world in a nukulear storm before it gives up.

Between 1-2 many intermediary scenarios exist.

?? - Sincere qu.

[Feb 19, 2018] Kim Dotcom Let Me Assure You, The DNC Hack Wasn t Even A Hack Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... All fucking Kabuki. All of it. ..."
"... The Deep State (Oligarchs and the MIC) is totally fucking loving this: they have Trump and the GOP giving them everything they ever wanted and they have the optics and distraction of an "embattled" president that claims to be against or a victim of the "deep state" and a base that rally's, circles the wagons around him, and falls for the narrative. ..."
"... They know exactly who it was with the memory stick, there is always video of one form or another either in the data center or near the premises that can indicate who it was. They either have a video of Seth Rich putting the stick into the server directly, or they at least have a video of his car entering and leaving the vicinity of the ex-filtration. ..."
"... This would have been an open and shut case if shillary was not involved. Since it was involved, you can all chalk it up to the Clinton body count. I pray that it gets justice. It and the country, the world - needs justice. ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Kim Dotcom: "Let Me Assure You, The DNC Hack Wasn't Even A Hack"

by Tyler Durden Mon, 02/19/2018 - 07:51 3.4K SHARES

Kim Dotcom has once again chimed in on the DNC hack, following a Sunday morning tweet from President Trump clarifying his previous comments on Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

In response, Dotcom tweeted " Let me assure you, the DNC hack wasn't even a hack. It was an insider with a memory stick. I know this because I know who did it and why," adding "Special Counsel Mueller is not interested in my evidence. My lawyers wrote to him twice. He never replied. 360 pounds! " alluding of course to Trump's "400 pound genius" comment.

Dotcom's assertion is backed up by an analysis done last year by a researcher who goes by the name Forensicator , who determined that the DNC files were copied at 22.6 MB/s - a speed virtually impossible to achieve from halfway around the world, much less over a local network - yet a speed typical of file transfers to a memory stick.

The local transfer theory of course blows the Russian hacking narrative out of the water, lending credibility to the theory that the DNC "hack" was in fact an inside job, potentially implicating late DNC IT staffer, Seth Rich.

John Podesta's email was allegely successfully "hacked" (he fell victim to a phishing scam ) in March 2016, while the DNC reported suspicious activity (the suspected Seth Rich file transfer) in late April, 2016 according to the Washington Post.

On May 18, 2017, Dotcom proposed that if Congress includes the Seth Rich investigation in their Russia probe, he would provide written testimony with evidence that Seth Rich was WikiLeaks' source.

On May 19 2017 Dotcom tweeted "I knew Seth Rich. I was involved"

Three days later, Dotcom again released a guarded statement saying "I KNOW THAT SETH RICH WAS INVOLVED IN THE DNC LEAK," adding:

"I have consulted with my lawyers. I accept that my full statement should be provided to the authorities and I am prepared to do that so that there can be a full investigation. My lawyers will speak with the authorities regarding the proper process.

If my evidence is required to be given in the United States I would be prepared to do so if appropriate arrangements are made. I would need a guarantee from Special Counsel Mueller, on behalf of the United States, of safe passage from New Zealand to the United States and back. In the coming days we will be communicating with the appropriate authorities to make the necessary arrangements. In the meantime, I will make no further comment."

Dotcom knew.

While one could simply write off Dotcom's claims as an attention seeking stunt, he made several comments and a series of tweets hinting at the upcoming email releases prior to both the WikiLeaks dumps as well as the publication of the hacked DNC emails to a website known as "DCLeaks."

In a May 14, 2015 Bloomberg article entitled "Kim Dotcom: Julian Assange Will Be Hillary Clinton's Worst Nightmare In 2016 ": "I have to say it's probably more Julian," who threatens Hillary, Dotcom said. " But I'm aware of some of the things that are going to be roadblocks for her ."

Two days later, Dotcom tweeted this:

Around two months later, Kim asks a provocative question

Two weeks after that, Dotcom then tweeted "Mishandling classified info is a crime. When Hillary's emails eventually pop up on the internet who's going to jail?"

It should thus be fairly obvious to anyone that Dotcom was somehow involved, and therefore any evidence he claims to have, should be taken seriously as part of Mueller's investigation. Instead, as Dotcom tweeted, "Special Counsel Mueller is not interested in my evidence. My lawyers wrote to him twice. He never replied. "

chunga Sun, 02/18/2018 - 21:59 Permalink

Pffft...this guy sounds like the reds with their "blockbuster" memo. Honest Hill'rey is laughing!

SethPoor -> chunga Sun, 02/18/2018 - 22:00 Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_8VaMbPjUU

Bes -> J S Bach Sun, 02/18/2018 - 22:17 Permalink