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Internet research agency story as fiasco of Russiagate

13 Russians as most effective election turning team to ever walk the planet... Until the story was buried by Cambridge Analytics scandal

News Purple revolution Recommended Links Attempts to find dirt on Trump and his associates using Special Prosecutor Mueller modeled after Ken Starr prosecution of Bill Clinton False flag operations in cyberspace History of American False Flag Operations Trump vs. Deep State Fusion GPS Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool
Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Strzok-gate Brennan elections machinations Anti Trump Hysteria Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Michael Flynn
DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin Hillary Clinton email scandal Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" The Deep State Bernie Sanders betrayal of his supporters National Security State New American Militarism History of American False Flag Operations
Deception as an art form The Iron Law of Oligarchy Principal-agent problem Neoliberalism US Presidential Elections of 2012 Non-Interventionism Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
  More mindless idiocy courtesy of Robert Mueller. His indictment of Russians for meddling in the US election is a goddamn joke. Seriously? This kind of activity has been going on between Russia and the US for 60 plus years. Anyone remember Radio Free Europe? Voice of America? (And I can't disclose what we were doing covertly to meddle in Soviet/Russia politics, but we were).

And here is Mueller's conclusion: "anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have "unwittingly" been a collaborator of the 13 Russian "specialists" who cost Hillary the election." God help America. We've lost our damn minds.

Who Is Lying John Brennan or James Comey by Publius Tacitus

The first thing to say about this indictment is that it is entirely declamatory.

There is no possibility that any of the Russians named in the indictment will ever be extradited to the US to stand trial there. Special Counsel Mueller cannot therefore obtain convictions against these people, which begs the question of why an indictment was issued at all.

The short answer is that the indictment is intended to give credence to the claim of 'Russian meddling' in the US election, which has been made both privately and publicly ever since campaigning in the US began in 2015.

Presumably, by giving that claim credence, more reasons can now be offered for keeping Special Counsel Mueller in his job.

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.

 Mueller indicts some Russians; clears Trump campaign of collusion
(detailed analysis of latest indictment)  
by Alexander Mercouris , Feb 17, 2018

 

Steele dossier became hot potato for anti-Trump color revolution plotters. now we have evidence that a former British MI6 spy, Christopher Steele, paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign and DNC to dig up dirt on Trump, provide FBI and media false information -- a dossier of scurrilous and unsubstantiated charges, in order to destroy the candidacy of Donald Trump. And that the FBI used this falsifications to get FISA Court warrants to surveil and wiretap the Trump campaign.

As ludicrous as Russiagate became, it was no joke as it became a real amplifier of the threat of nuclear war

The question instantly arises: why now? Where was all those immense power of NSA, CIA and FBI during election. Why that calmly observed  that Russian are destroying American democracy :-). Something is really fishy here.

James Corbett of The Corbett Report has a great video about how absolutely bizarre it is that the coverage of this story  is ignoring the fact that these trolls overwhelmingly used mainstream media like the Washington Post in their shares instead of outlets like RT and Infowars. As a scheme to acquire followers, it makes perfect sense. As a scheme to subvert America, it’s nonsensical.

Another interesting tidbit is the story of the USA interference in the Russian election s of 2011-2012. As Caitlin Johnstone observes the US’s long history in meddling in other countries’ elections is not “whataboutism,” but rather a highly germane point to understanding the context for the allegations of Russian meddling (America’s Election Meddling Would Indeed Justify Other Countries Retaliating In Kind – Consortiumnews )

A guy in a cowboy hat runs into a bar and starts punching people. Most of them just rub their sore jaws and hunch over their drinks hoping to avoid any trouble, but one guy in a fur cap sets down his vodka and shoves the man in the cowboy hat.

The man in the cowboy hat begins shrieking like a little girl. All his friends rush to his side to comfort him and begin angrily shaking their fists at the man in the fur cap.

“Hey, he punched me!” says the man in the fur cap.

“That’s a whataboutism!” sobs the man in the cowboy hat.

Can you imagine anything more ridiculous?

... ... ...

“According to his research, there were 117 “partisan electoral interventions” between 1946 and 2000. That’s around one of every nine competitive elections held since Second World War.
The majority of these – almost 70 percent – were cases of U.S. interference.

“And these are not all from the Cold War era; 21 such interventions took place between 1990 and 2000, of which 18 were by the US.”

Yet another interesting tidbit is Mr. Mueller role in  911 cover-up. And 911 was a huge interference into the US political life. It essentially finalized conversion to the national security state.

The most plausible reason is that Mr. Mueller failed to uncover anything substantial during his year long investigation and now tries to preserve his job extending the investigation to the next elections. That's why probably 13 Russians were extracted from the back pocket to justify Mueller carefully avoiding addressing those concerns.  In any case Mueller should probably announce the closure of his investigation. If nothing more substantial than "13 Russians" fiasco  can be produced, at this point it became a joke.  It is like sending armada of battleships to capture a small fishing boat which illegally entered territorial waters.  Here is a quote from comment  by a user with nickname  timmy ( 21 February 2018) to the post Project Lakhta - What was the goal in Sic Semper Tyrannis blog:

The entire purpose of the First Amendment is to allow for a vigorous public debate. The flaw in the above reasoning is that if the alleged goal of the supposed Russian "interference" was to "aggravate divisiveness" then that Russian troll farm was doing exactly what our founding fathers wanted the press to do, provoke a public debate about issues during an election.

When we compare these trolls to the New York Times, which admitted it intentionally kept news of Bush's illegal electronic spying from the American people during the Bush/Kerry election, specifically so it would not be an election issue, the trolls were doing exactly what our founding fathers wanted the press to do, while the NYT was not.

I believe that these Russian trolls were merely parts of a private profit making Internet advertising firm that had zero to do with election interference and everything to do with generating the most eyeballs for its customers' advertisements, However, the claim that these trolls were a Russian government operation intended to create "divisiveness" is based on the assumption that opposing Hillary Clinton was somehow divisive. Since when did criticism of a US politician become devisive?

This is the part I don't understand. The devisiveness stick can be swung against anyone and anything. My comments here can be seen by some as devisive. Same with the post I'm commenting on, this entire blog and every other person or group exercising their First Amendment rights by debating an issue. So while I believe the whole Russian thing is complete bullshit, the thing I worry about most is that it is being used to demand conformity and squelch our First Amendment rights. Vigorous debate, no matter who or what is sponsoring that debate, doesn't weaken our country. It only makes it stronger. What is really weakening our country is the current demonizing of free speech via evidence free claims that such speech is hurting the US and helping a supposed enemy country.

Mueller indictments look disingenuous. It looks like this greedy and sleazy Russian Internet marketing company has nothing or very little to do with politics. They just (or mostly) used polarization of the US society to extract money pandering to fanatical supporters. With the total staff working for US market of around 90 people. For them. as well as several other similar marketing companies (for example in Macedonia and Georgia) Trump was preferable candidate because posts about him were able to bring them more money. Also this particular  company might also be framed by Shaltai Boltai hacker group which has connections with Western intelligence services (See False flag operations in cyberspace ).Three members on this group were charged by Russian authorities with treason.

The fact that Mueller politicized the action of Russian Internet scammers (who are, at best,  petty criminals using clickbaits to earn money) suggest that he has nothing more significant to offer hungry US Russophobes. At this point Mueller turned  his investigation into pure political propaganda. 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.

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.“

Here is a tweet by Peter Van Buren, former US foreign intelligence officer:

 "Just did a quick read of the '13 Russian' indictment. Missing are

  1. any connections between the 13 and the Russian government and/or Trump campaign;
  2. 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;
  3. no connection shown between any of this and DNC, Wikileaks, hacking of emails;
  4. no discussion of motive;
  5. 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.

 in Dunran was even more sarcastic (13 Russian trolls indictment debunked by journalist who profiled the operation in 2015):

Here is a bullet point review of Mueller’s latest Russiagate stupidity (as summarized by Zerohedge)

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

As Alexander Mercouris suggested it looks like US intelligence agencies has successfully hacked the Internet Research Agency, LCC, a fact which by the way suggests that its internal security systems are very weak. That's why they have so much information about its structure, funding, personnel and activities of this pet project of hot dog seller from Sanct Petersburg.  In other words the USA intelligence  agencies were involved in illegal activities on the territory of Russian Federation (Mueller indicts some Russians; clears Trump campaign of collusion (detailed analysis of latest indictment) )

 The first thing to say about this indictment is that it is entirely declamatory.

There is no possibility that any of the Russians named in the indictment will ever be extradited to the US to stand trial there. Special Counsel Mueller cannot therefore obtain convictions against these people, which begs the question of why an indictment was issued at all.

The short answer is that the indictment is intended to give credence to the claim of 'Russian meddling' in the US election, which has been made both privately and publicly ever since campaigning in the US began in 2015.

Presumably, by giving that claim credence, more reasons can now be offered for keeping Special Counsel Mueller in his job.

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 indictment concerning the tiny and sleazy (like all such companies) Russian Internet marketing company is so disgusting (and  strongly smells with misuse of taxpayers funds for partisan purposes)  that it  really should be the end of Mueller's enquiries. He now needs to provide the final report. Which should include answers on the following  questions (answers which he will never provided because he essentially stole a lot of US taxpayers funds to fuel partisan witch hunt):
  1. Who is responsible for known efforts and false flag operations by the US intelligence and  British agencies to implicate Trump in Russia connections? 
  2. How did the DNC and Podesta e-mails end up in the pages of Wikileaks? If it was a leak, who  did it? It sit connected with murder of Seth Rish?
  3. What was CIA  and personally Brennan role in creation of the Steele dossier? Did CIA supplied any of the materials?  Was there criminality involved in production and promotion of this set of memos on the Part of British intelligences services. Same question should also be  directed to the Clinton Campaign, GPS Fusion. What was the role of already know officials of DoJ and the FBI in the creation and propagation of dossier ?
  4. Was was the meaning of "insurance policy" sought by officials of the FBI and DoJ. Who was involved in launching the color revolution against Trump?
  5. Was there an actual conspiracy among the leaders of the IC and FBI to block Trump's election by selective media leaks and dirt about him?  Brennan's recent appointment as a "contributor" at CNN is interesting in that regard. Is CNN just a fully owned subsidiary of CIA ?  Kind of PR department?
  6. Did the aforesaid leaders of the IC obtain from British intelligence material held by them that was then used against Trump?

The indictment accuses Russia of attempting to "diminish the public's faith in democracy," or some such thing. I really don't think US voting public needs any Russia's help in doing that. Politicians  are openly despised.  Here is a typical non-partisan sentiment  of Internet  forums:

J said in reply to Bill H... 17 February 2018 at 11:51 AM

Nope, our crooked Politicians AND Intelligence/Law Enforcement entities are doing a good job of diminishing the public's faith. I don't know how many of my fellow Americans I have talked to have said to round them all the crooked politicians/intelligence/law enforcement and eradicate them from the earth permanently.

That is why we see more and more the crooked politicians/intelligence/law enforcement understanding well their simmering public anger, and because of their fear of the angry public that they have created the surveillance grids (has nothing to do with misnomer terrorism), their legislation/laws that further restrict the public's ability to fight back against their crooked ways.

Diminished public faith, that's putting it mildly.

DianaLC said...

Thanks,PT, as usual.

I have no connection to intelligence agencies. I'm a mere citizen. I've been spending the last few days making cold calls to registered party members here in CO, trying to get them interested in the caucuses that are coming up. Remember how the caucuses became an issue when Trump was running?

Almost no one responded that they were going to attend. Several said they were so sick of politics they would definitely not attend. I'm beginning to believe that I and our precinct cue, to a great extent, but I have to add to it. Yes, we need God to help American. And, yes, many Americans seem to have lost their mind. But what makes me sadder is that most of us who have not lost our minds are losing our belief that we could ever make a difference, to make things better.

It is difficult to access what is true in those allegations and what is false or planted. After Nunes memo stakes for Rosenstein are extremely high, so we can assume that facts in the indictment are verified or at least semi-verified, if this is applicable to cyber operation, where you can't distinguish a false flag from the real opponent (see False flag operations in cyberspace .)  Here is an excellent analysis from Moon of Alabama ( Mueller Indictment - The Russian Influence Is A Commercial Marketing Scheme)

Yesterday the Justice Department indicted the Russian Internet Research Agency on some dubious legal grounds. It covers thirteen Russian people and three Russian legal entities. The main count of the indictment is an alleged "Conspiracy to Defraud the United States".

The published indictment gives support to our long held believe that there was no "Russian influence" campaign during the U.S. election. What is described and denounced as such was instead a commercial marketing scheme which ran click-bait websites to generate advertisement revenue and created online crowds around virtual persona to promote whatever its commercial customers wanted to promote.

The indictment is fodder for the public to prove that the Mueller investigation is "doing something". It is full of unproven assertions and assumptions. It is a sham in that none of the Russian persons or companies indicted will ever come in front of a U.S. court. That is bad because the indictment is build on the theory of a new crime which, unless a court throws it out, can be used to incriminate other people in other cases and might even apply to this blog. The later part of this post will refer to that.

In the early 1990s some dude in St.Petersburg made a good business selling hot dogs. He then opened a colorful restaurant. He invited local celebrities and politicians to gain notoriety while serving cheap food for too high prices. It was a good business. A few years later he moved to Moscow and gained contracts to cater to schools and to the military. The food he served was still substandard.

But catering bad food as school lunches gave him, by chance, the idea for a new business:

Parents were soon up in arms. Their children wouldn’t eat the food, saying it smelled rotten.

As the bad publicity mounted, Mr. Prigozhin’s company, Concord Catering, launched a counterattack, a former colleague said. He hired young men and women to overwhelm the internet with comments and blog posts praising the food and dismissing the parents’ protests.

“In five minutes, pages were drowning in comments,” said Andrei Ilin, whose website serves as a discussion board about public schools. “And all the trolls were supporting Concord.”

The trick worked beyond expectations. Prigozhin had found a new business. He hired some IT staff and low paid temps to populate various message boards, social networks and the general internet with whatever his customers asked him for.

You have a bad online reputation? Prigozhin can help. His internet company will fill the net with positive stories and remarks about you. Your old and bad reputation will be drowned by the new and good one. Want to promote a product or service? Prigozhin's online marketeers can address the right crowds.

To achieve those results the few temps who worked on such projects needed to multiply their online personalities. It is better to have fifty people vouch for you online than just five. No one cares if these are real people or just virtual ones. The internet makes it easy to create such sock-puppets. The virtual crowd can then be used to push personalities, products or political opinions. Such schemes are nothing new or special. Every decent "western" public relations and marketing company will offer a similar service and has done so for years.

While it is relatively easy to have sock-puppets swamp the comment threads of such sites as this blog, it is more difficult to have a real effect on social networks. These depend on multiplier effects. To gain many real "likes", "re-tweets" or "followers" an online persona needs a certain history and reputation. Real people need to feel attached to it. It takes some time and effort to build such a multiplier personality, be it real or virtual.

At some point Prigozhin, or whoever by then owned the internet marketing company, decided to expand into the lucrative English speaking market. This would require to build many English language online persona and to give those some history and time to gain crowds of followers and a credible reputation. The company sent a few of its staff to the U.S. to gain some impressions, pictures and experience of the surroundings. They would later use these to impersonate as U.S. locals. It was a medium size, long-term investment of maybe a hundred-thousand bucks over two or three years.

The U.S. election provided an excellent environment to build reputable online persona with large followings of people with discriminable mindsets. The political affinity was not important. The personalities only had to be very engaged and stick to their issue - be it left or right or whatever. The sole point was to gain as many followers as possible who could be segmented along social-political lines and marketed to the companies customers.

Again - there is nothing new to this. It is something hundreds, if not thousands of companies are doing as their daily business. The Russian company hoped to enter the business with a cost advantage. Even its mid-ranking managers were paid as little as $1,200 per month. The students and other temporary workers who would 'work' the virtual personas as puppeteers would earn even less. Any U.S. company in a similar business would have higher costs.

In parallel to building virtual online persona the company also built some click-bait websites and groups and promoted these through mini Facebook advertisements. These were the "Russian influence ads" on Facebook the U.S. media were so enraged about. They included the promotion of a Facebook page about cute puppies. Back in October we described how those "Russian influence" ads (most of which were shown after the election or were not seen at all) were simply part of a commercial scheme:

The pages described and the ads leading to them are typical click-bait, not part of a political influence op.
...
One builds pages with "hot" stuff that hopefully attracts lots of viewers. One creates ad-space on these pages and fills it with Google ads. One attracts viewers and promotes the spiked pages by buying $3 Facebook mini-ads for them. The mini-ads are targeted at the most susceptible groups.

A few thousand users will come and look at such pages. Some will 'like' the puppy pictures or the rant for or against LGBT and further spread them. Some will click the Google ads. Money then flows into the pockets of the page creator. One can rinse and repeat this scheme forever. Each such page is a small effort for a small revenue. But the scheme is highly scaleable and parts of it can be automatized.

Because of the myriad of U.S. sanctions against Russia the monetization of these business schemes required some creativity. One can easily find the name of a real U.S. person together with the assigned social security number and its date of birth. Those data are enough to open, for example, a Paypal account under a U.S. name. A U.S. customer of the cloaked Russian Internet company could then pay to the Paypal account and the money could be transferred from there to Moscow. These accounts could also be used to buy advertisement on Facebook. The person who's data was used to create the account would never learn of it and would have no loss or other damage. Another scheme is to simply pay some U.S. person to open a U.S. bank account and to then hand over the 'keys' to that account.

The Justice Department indictment is quite long and detailed. It must have been expensive. If you read it do so with the above in mind. Skip over the assumptions and claims of political interference and digest only the facts. All that is left is, as explained, a commercial marketing scheme.

I will not go into all its detail of the indictment but here are some points that support the above description.

Point 4:

Defendants, posing as US. persons and creating false U.S. personas, operated social media pages and groups designed to attract U.S. audiences. These groups and pages, which addressed divisive US. political and social issues, falsely claimed to be controlled by US. activists when, in fact, they were controlled by Defendants. Defendants also used the stolen identities of real U.S. persons to post on social media accounts. Over time, these social media accounts became Defendants' means to reach significant numbers of Americans ...

Point 10d:

By in or around April 2014, the ORGANIZATION formed a department that went by various names but was at times referred to as the "translator project." This project focused on the US. population and conducted operations on social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. By approximately July 2016, more than eighty ORGANIZATION employees were assigned to the translator project.

(Some U.S. media today made the false claim that $1.25 million per month were spend by the company for its U.S. campaign. But Point 11 of the indictment says that the company ran a number of such projects with some directed at a Russian audience while only the one described in 10d above is aimed at an U.S. audience. All these projects together had a monthly budget of $1.25 million.)

(Point 17, 18 and 19 indict individual persons who have worked for the "translator" project" "to at least in and around [some month] 2014". It is completely unclear how these persons, who seem to have left the company two years before the U.S. election, are supposed to have anything to do with the claimed "Russian influence" on the U.S. election.)

Point 32:

Defendants and their co-conspirators, through fraud and deceit, created hundreds of social media accounts and used them to develop certain fictitious U.S. personas into "leader[s] of public opinion" in the United States.

The indictment then goes on and on describing the "political activities" of the sock-puppet personas. Some posted pro-Hillary slogans, some anti-Hillary stuff, some were pro-Trump, some anti-all, some urged not to vote, others to vote for third party candidates. Some of the persona called for going to anti-Islam rallies while others promoted pro-Islam rallies. There was in fact no overall political trend in all of this. The sock-puppets did not post fake news. They posted mainstream media stories. The sole point was to create a large total following by having multiple personas which together covered all potential strata.

At Point 86 the indictment turns to Count Two - "Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and Bank Fraud". The puppeteers opened, as explained above, various Paypal accounts using 'borrowed' data.

Then comes the point which confirms the commercial marketing story as laid out above:

Point 95:

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.

There you have it. There was no political point to what the Russian company did. Whatever political slogans one of the company's sock-puppets posted had only one aim: to increase the number of followers for that sock-puppet. The sole point of creating a diverse army of sock-puppets with large following crowds was to sell the 'eyeballs' of the followers to the paying customers of the marketing company.

There were, according to the indictment, eighty people working on the "translator project". These controlled "hundreds" of sock-puppets online accounts each with a distinct "political" personality. Each of these sock-puppets had a large number of followers - in total several hundred-thousands. Now let's assume that one promotional post can be sold per day on each of the sock-puppets content stream. The scheme generates several thousand dollars per day ($25 per promo, hundreds of sock-puppets, 1-5 promos per day per sock-puppet). The costs for this were limited to the wages of up to eighty persons in Moscow, many of them temps, of which the highest paid received some $1,000 per month. While the upfront multiyear investment to create and establish the virtual personas was probably significant, this was, over all, a highly profitable business.

Again - this had nothing to do with political influence on the election. The sole point of political posts was to create 'engagement' and a larger number of followers in each potential social-political segment. People who buy promotional posts want these to be targeted at a specific audience. The Russian company could offer whatever audience was needed. It had sock-puppets with pro-LGBT view and a large following and sock-puppets with anti-LGBT views and a large following. It could provide pro-2nd amendment crowds as well as Jill Stein followers. Each of the sock-puppets had over time generated a group of followers that were like minded. The entity buying the promotion simply had to choose which group it preferred to address.

The panic of the U.S. establishment over the loss of their preferred candidate created an artificial storm over "Russian influence" and assumed "collusion" with the Trump campaign. (Certain Democrats though, like Adam Schiff, profit from creating a new Cold War through their sponsoring armament companies.)

The Mueller investigation found no "collusion" between anything Russia and the Trump campaign. The indictment does not mentions any. The whole "Russian influence" storm is based on a misunderstanding of commercial activities of a Russian marketing company in U.S. social networks.

There is a danger in this. The indictment sets up a new theory of nefarious foreign influence that could be applied to even this blog. As U.S. lawyer Robert Barns explains:

The only thing frightening about this indictment is the dangerous and dumb precedent it could set: foreign nationals criminally prohibited from public expression in the US during elections unless registered as foreign agents and reporting their expenditures to the FEC.
...
Mueller's new crime only requires 3 elements: 1) a foreign national; 2) outspoken on US social media during US election; and 3) failed to register as a foreign agent or failed to report receipts/expenditures of speech activity. Could indict millions under that theory.
...
The legal theory of the indictment for most of the defendants and most of the charges alleges that the "fraud" was simply not registering as a foreign agent or not reporting expenses to the FEC because they were a foreign national expressing views in a US election.

Author Leonid Bershidsky, who prominently writes for Bloomberg, remarks:

I'm actually surprised I haven't been indicted. I'm Russian, I was in the U.S. in 2016 and I published columns critical of both Clinton and Trump w/o registering as a foreign agent.

I am German. I write pseudo-anonymously for a mostly U.S. audience. My postings are political and during the U.S. election campaign  expressed an anti-Hillary view. The blog is hosted on U.S, infrastructure paid for by me. I am not registered as Foreign Agent or with the Federal Election Commission.

Under the theory on which the indictment is based I could also get indicted for a similar "Conspiracy to Defraud the United States".

When Yevgeni Prigozhin, the hot dog caterer who allegedly owns the internet promotion business, was asked about the indictment he responded:

"The Americans are really impressionable people, they see what they want to see. [...] If they want to see the devil, let them see him."

Posted by b on February 17, 2018 at 03:09 PM | Permalink

It might well be yet another false flag operation to implicate Russians

The key figure in this story is a hotdog vendor who ventured into other areas and who discovered that by using Internet trolls you can sqash the wave of indignation for his rotten lunches, supplied to Moscow schoolchildren. 

One extremely weak point in the official story is connected with the fact that Russians typically are very bad English speakers. Even those who emigrated to the USA and live here for ten to twenty years still are having problems with both correct pronunciation and the grammar.  Also in no way Russian can access the politicall landscape in the USA. Actually even Clinton campaign operative failed to access it correctly. To assume that Russian could predict that Trump is a viable presidential candidates in 2014 is tantamount  to being God.  who for example could predict that Trump will morph into a Neocon Interventionist in  just  three months of his presidency? Who could predict that Tillerson would turn into a neocon on  a dime.

But one strange issue noted by many commenters is that events are limited to 2014-2015. At this point  it was unclear who will became candidate from each Party. Are those 13 Russians a bunch of political visionaries? Also the idea that 13 Russians influenced the USA Presidential election, which is implicit in indictments (otherwise, why Mueller, why now ?) is definitely a stretch.

Wikipedia assumed that  the company behind those activities is a real legal entity (Internet Research Agency). There is at least one  (hopefully informed) opinion that Internet Research  Agency was/is a fake entity ( A Brief History of the "Kremlin Trolls"  by Scott Humor (Oct 15, 2017 | thesaker.is) The main argument that it was removed from Federal Registry.  Scott Humor also directly suggested that this was a false flag operation as in saying On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog - Wikipedia ;-). In general you can't find a better  way to fuel anti-Russian hysteria then false flag operations. He attributes this particular one  to CIA operating via agents, who were members of a special disinformation group which used the mascot of Shaltay-Boltay, or Humpty-Dumpty, for their collective online persona. They specialized on forgery of damaging for Russia  documents.  which is pretty devious idea:

 "They were creating files about fake nonexistent companies and employees, files with blurry fake paystubs, memos, emails, phone messages and so on. The fakes looked convincing, but they still were forgeries that could be easy disproved for someone who had access to the real information."

Some members of this disinformation group were arrested in November 2016 and revealed to be the FSB and former FSB officers.

Here is Scott Humor take on  this:

If we accept that the Shaltay-Boltay group was working to create and distribute documents they forged, claiming that those files were “hacked,” we would also understand a mysterious statement made by them to BuzzFeed.

“In email correspondence with BuzzFeed, a representative of the group claimed they were “not hackers in the classical sense.”

“We are trying to change reality. Reality has indeed begun to change as a result of the appearance of our information in public,” wrote the representative, whose email account is named Shaltai Boltai, which is the Russian for tragic nursery rhyme hero Humpty Dumpty.”

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.

... ... ...

The only reason why they don't provide us with evidence, with at least one lousy IP address with the Russian trace roots that would convincingly point at the company named the Internet Research Agency, is because this company never existed, it never had any IP addresses assigned to it that would be verifiable via third parties like RIPE network coordination and via online domain tools.

hackers who "leaked" the information about this "Agency" were arrested and successfully charged for treason because they worked for the CIA should prevent the CIA to run fake news about the entities and people they themselves made up. You would think that the matter of the "Kremlin trolls from Saint Petersburg" should be dead and buried after the arrest. The CIA and other 16 intelligence agencies should know better than to use information that is being known now as "discovered' with their "help."

... ... ...

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.

Here is more extended quote that  gives some  additional information about this line of reasoning:

Saint Petersburg, Savushkina, 55 is the most famous office building in the world, thanks to the relentless promotion of the United States government, the CIA, FBI, and by the powers of the entire Western media, financed by Western governments. VOA, NPR, and Svoboda, by the government of the US; the BBC by the government of the UK; CNN by the governments of Saudi Arabia; the DW, by the government of Germany; and so on and so forth. You name it, they all punched time to promote this office building.

To be specific, it’s not even a building, but several adjoined buildings that cover an entire city block, an urban development plan common for Saint Pete’s. That’s why every business here has the address of Savushkina, 55 followed by a building number. You can take a virtual tour around it, to see for yourself. The buildings are shared by several dozens of private businesses, by the local Police department, and by the newsrooms of half a dozen Russia Media sources like the FAN (Federal News Agency), the Neva News (Nevskie Novosti), Political Russia, Kharkov News Agency, publishing Ukrainian news, and others. They all are privately owned and operated and generate over 55 million unique visitors per month. Overall, several thousand people come to this building to work every morning. But you wouldn’t know this by account of Western media. For over two years now, these people are being harassed and collectively branded as “THE KREMLIN TROLLS.”

The building is very popular because it’s located in a quiet historical neighborhood and is in walking distance from a suburban train station. It’s newly renovated offices offer open floor plans with Scandinavian fleur so very appreciated by the news people. In addition, the rent for this building is less than in center city. Which is why Evgeny Zubarev, a former top editor for the RIA NEWS, choose it for his media startup. He took several offices allowing him to manage his growing media giant without wasting time to commute. Now, the FAN newsroom alone employs about 300 journalists.

This wasn’t always the case.

At the beginning of 2014, the building was still under construction and renovation, when an anti-Russian government group of hackers called first “The Anonymous International” and latter “Shaltay-B0ltay” fingered it as the “Kremlin trolls’ layer.”

Their wordpress blog is still here. It was last updated on November 2016. Its title states: “Anonymous International. Shaltay Boltay/Press Secretary of the group. Creating reality and giving meaning to words.”

November 7, 2014, Khodorkovsky, who acted as an integral part of the CIA “Kremlin trolls” Project, tweeted the picture of one of the entrances to one of the buildings saying: “Savuchkina 55. New home for bots. ID check system. Not a sign there. I won’t say who took the photo.”

... ... ...

The phone number on the picture 324-56-06 belongs to the commercial real estate company Praktis Consulting & Brokerage that managed the rent of offices.

Midsummer 2014, Evgeny Zubarev with his start up and several hundred journalists moved in, along with the Police department, and a slew of other businesses people. Little did they know what was to come.

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. They all were people highly skilled and educated in manipulating and creating large online databases, in any online research imagined, and the knowledge of hacking and altering databases, including those that were run by the Russian government. They weren't poor people. They weren't there for the money. They were ideologically driven. Their hatred towards Russia and its people was the motive for their actions.

At some point, Gazeta.ru, an online Russophobic publication, suggested that " Shaltai-Boltai was just a distraction meant to confuse everybody." They themselves were more concise by stating that they were working to change the reality.

Russian authorities, the courts, and the lawyers, refused to call these men hackers. There was a reason for this. They weren't so much hackers in a classic sense, as in when someone gains access to real information and copies it. This group wasn't necessarily hacking existing information, but planting information. They were creating files about fake nonexistent companies and employees, files with blurry fake paystubs, memos, emails, phone messages and so on. The fakes looked convincing, but they still were forgeries that could be easy disproved for someone who had access to the real information.

That's when the hacking took place, when the FSB agents went into government databases and created records of people and companies that didn't exist.

I think that part of the reasons why some of them got the mild sentences of three years in general security prison, and some were left free, wasn't just the fact that they agreed to collaborate with the Russian government, but also the fact that they didn't actually steal information from government officials like Medvedev and his press secretary, Nataliya Timakova, or the owner of the largest in Europe catering business, Evgeny Prigozhin. They made information up and claimed that it was real.

These guys gave a bad name to all hackers, whistleblowers, leakers and spies. Now, journalists presented with some "hacked" and leaked secrets has to think it over, less they end up with an egg on their face like journos from the Fontanka, Vedomosti and Novaya Gazeta in case of the "Kremlin's trolls."

If we accept that the Shaltay-Boltay group was working to create and distribute documents they forged, claiming that those files were "hacked," we would also understand a mysterious statement made by them to BuzzFeed. "In email correspondence with BuzzFeed , a representative of the group claimed they were "not hackers in the classical sense."

"We are trying to change reality. Reality has indeed begun to change as a result of the appearance of our information in public ," wrote the representative, whose email account is named Shaltai Boltai, which is the Russian for tragic nursery rhyme hero Humpty Dumpty."

Bazzfeed also said back in 2014, that " The leak from the Internet Research Agency is the first time specific comments under news articles can be directly traced to a Russian campaign." 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.

The link to their report is here, but I don't recommend you to read it. You will gain as much information by reading this report as you would by chewing on some wet newspaper. Ask my dog for details.

Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections

https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf

Only three paragraphs is interesting on the page 4:

"Russia used trolls as well as RT as part of its influence efforts to denigrate Secretary Clinton. This effort amplified stories on scandals about Secretary Clinton and the role of WikiLeaks in the election campaign.

The likely financier of the so-called Internet Research Agency of professional trolls located in Saint Petersburg is a close Putin ally with ties to Russian intelligence.

A journalist who is a leading expert on the Internet Research Agency claimed that some social media accounts that appear to be tied to Russia's professional trolls -- because they previously were devoted to supporting Russian actions in Ukraine -- started to advocate for President-elect Trump as early as December 2015."

In other words, in its report with a subtitle: "Background to "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections": The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution" the Office of the Director of National Intelligence ODNI, is quoting the Shaltay-Boltay, a group that had been proved to work for the CIA by "creating reality."

The only reason why they don't provide us with evidence, with at least one lousy IP address with the Russian trace roots that would convincingly point at the company named the Internet Research Agency, is because this company never existed, it never had any IP addresses assigned to it that would be verifiable via third parties like RIPE network coordination and via online domain tools.

We understand that having hundreds of people working ten to twelve hours a day, as they claimed, posting hundreds messages hourly, would use huge amount of bandwidth. They would need a very fast internet connection with unlimited bandwidth that only a business can get. Inevitably, this internet connection would come with the assigned IP addresses. No internet provider would let this kind of bandwidth hog to create this kind traffic without being forced to separate them from other customers.

One example, a woman with the last name Malcheva filed a lawsuit in court against the companies "Internet Research, LLC" and "TEKA, LLC," claiming unpaid wages.

The court asked her to produce evidence of her work, and then denied her claim after she produced a photo of a computer with an IP address on its screen as evidence of her employment.

IP Address 109.167.231.85

inetnum: 109.167.231.0 – 109.167.231.255

netname: WESTCALL-NET

descr: S-Peterburg Hotel Corintia Wi-Fi

An IP address that was assigned to a luxury hotel in Saint-Petersburg. A hotel that was awarded multiple international awards for excellence. An immensely popular hotel among discriminating travelers. A very expensive hotel located in the center of a historic city. The woman claimed that she was an "online troll' working from this location ten hours a day with hundreds of other virtual trolls. The judge didn't believe her. Would you?

People from the Shaltay-Boltay group weren't hackers in the proper terms because they worked with and for the CIA. Middle-of the-road and run-of-the-mill intelligence agencies would collect and analyze information for their governments. The CIA invents information, then goes on to manufacture and forge documents in support of their invented information; they then recruit people inside other countries and other governments to claim that they "obtained" this explosive evidence. Being the dirty cops that they are, the CIA doesn't obtain and secure evidence, but instead they plant fake evidence on their victims.

By this act alone they change our current and past reality, and they change our future. They change our history by forging never existing "proof" of invented myths. They hire and train groups of military men to act as "protesters" around government buildings, while other military men from other countries shoot at unsuspected bystanders whose death allows Washington to claim the sovereign governments' wrongdoing.

... ... ...

...Knowing full well that the hackers who "leaked" the information about this "Agency" were arrested and successfully charged for treason because they worked for the CIA should prevent the CIA to run fake news about the entities and people they themselves made up. You would think that the matter of the "Kremlin trolls from Saint Petersburg" should be dead and buried after the arrest. The CIA and other 16 intelligence agencies should know better than to use information that is being known now as "discovered' with their "help."

... ... ...


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Old News ;-)

[Nov 28, 2019] New Study Russian Trolls Did Not Sow Discord - They Influenced No One

Notable quotes:
"... The IRA also bought advertisement to attract more people to its accounts. But the amount it spent was tiny. The final price tag for the 2016 election was $6.5 billion for the presidential and congressional elections combined. The IRA spend a total of $100,000 to promote its own accounts. But only some $45,000 of that was spend before the election. It was 0.000007 cent for every election dollar that was spend during that time. It is statistically impossible that the mostly apolitical IRA spending had any effect on the election. ..."
"... U.S. intelligence services tried to explain that away by claiming that the Russians wanted to "sow discord". There is zero evidence that this was really the case. It is simply an explanation that was made up because they failed to find a better one. ..."
"... FOX News is not pro-Trump because it wants to sow discord. Nor is CNN anti-Trump to serve that purpose. Both are in the business of attracting viewers to - in the end - sell advertisements. People flock to the TV station that fit to the opinion they already have. Both stations promote by and large similar products. ..."
"... The virtual IRA persona worked in a similar ways. They took political positions to attract people who already had a similar one. One persona did that for the left, another one for the right. Neither changed the opinions of their followers. ..."
"... of course it didn't matter, as when you have ignored 9-11 and everything else, you may as well buy into Russia influencing the election with some commercial enterprise like the ira... it's shocking actually, to see how many otherwise intelligent people can be bamboozled so easily via the cia with swamp media ..."
"... Every single mainstream media organization refers to Russian interference in the 2016 election as though it were a proven fact. When the government makes an unfounded assertion, it is reported one time as "government sources say" but every time thereafter it is referenced as fact. If you find an alternative source that contradicts the government lie and try to post it to social media, you will be tagged with a "Warning" that claims your story is "fake news". Orwellian doesn't begin to describe it. ..."
"... Once MSM propagandists broadcast 'Russian meddling' hundreds of thousands of times, their audience becomes impervious to the simplest of logic and barest of facts. ..."
"... The US media is still trying to breathe some life into a case which should have been declared dead on arrival, beltway politics must carry on its partisan shows, with the corporate media trying to whip audiences into a frenzy, over the most ridiculous plots in order to ignore that the body politic is corrupt beyond redemption and is as dead as US democracy. ..."
"... RT may have the insidious effect of injecting bits of reality-oriented counter news to the ubiquitous lame bought propaganda from American mass media. ..."
"... "One hates to be in the position of rooting for the Russians, but the Mueller Switch Project is so distasteful that it is hard not to enjoy the prospect of Mueller having to deal with an actual adversary in court. Meanwhile, this is probably the first time in the history of litigation that a plaintiff (here, prosecutor) has told a court that it may not have obtained good service of process on a defendant that has appeared to defend the case on the merits. Mueller to Court: We didn't really mean it, Judge! We had no idea they might actually show up!" ..."
"... The real sin of Russia, is not, of course, the nonsense election meddling, but its resistance against the US culture of open free markets, its threat of closing its markets to the US, its national doctrine against the Full Spectrum Dominance and US-led neo-liberal order. Its sin is economic nationalism. ..."
Nov 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

New Study: "Russian Trolls" Did Not "Sow Discord" - They Influenced No One

The U.S. has claimed that the Russia government tried to influence the 2016 election through Facebook and Twitter.

Russia supposedly did this through people who worked the Internet Research Agency (IRA) in St. Petersburg (Leningrad), Russia. The IRA people ran virtual persona on U.S. social networks which pretended to have certain political opinions. It also spent on advertising supposedly to influence the election. U.S. intelligence claimed that the purpose of the alleged Russian influence campaign was to "sow discord" within the United States.

But the IRA had nothing to do with the Russian government. It had no interests in politics. And a new study confirms that the idea that it was "sowing discord" is blatant nonsense.

The Mueller investigation indicted 13 Russian persons and three Russian legal entities over the alleged influence campaign. But, as we wrote at that time, there was more to it than the media reported:

The published indictment gives support to our long held believe that there was no "Russian influence" campaign during the U.S. election. What is described and denounced as such was instead a commercial marketing scheme which ran click-bait websites to generate advertisement revenue and created online crowds around virtual persona to promote whatever its commercial customers wanted to promote. The size of the operation was tiny when compared to the hundreds of millions in campaign expenditures. It had no influence on the election outcome.

The IRA hired people in Leningrad for little money and asked them to open accounts on U.S. social media. The virtual persona they created and ran were to attract as many persons to those accounts as possible. They did that by posting funny dog pictures or by taking strong political positions. They were 'influencers' who sold their customers' products to the people they attracted.

The sole purpose was the same as in any commercial media. Create content to attract 'eyeballs', then sell those eyeballs to advertisers.

As Point 95 of the Mueller indictment said :

Defendants and their co-conspirators also used the [financial] 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.

The was no Russian government campaign to influence the 2016 election. There was only a Russian commercial media enterprise that used sock-puppet accounts with quirky content to attract viewers and sold advertisement space to U.S. companies.

The IRA also bought advertisement to attract more people to its accounts. But the amount it spent was tiny. The final price tag for the 2016 election was $6.5 billion for the presidential and congressional elections combined. The IRA spend a total of $100,000 to promote its own accounts. But only some $45,000 of that was spend before the election. It was 0.000007 cent for every election dollar that was spend during that time. It is statistically impossible that the mostly apolitical IRA spending had any effect on the election.

That the IRA ran a marketing machine and not a political operation was also obvious when one analyzed the content that those sock puppet accounts posted. Most of it was apolitical. Where it was political it covered both sides. Some IRA accounts posted pro-Trump content, others posted anti-Trump stuff. Some were pro-Clinton others against her.

U.S. intelligence services tried to explain that away by claiming that the Russians wanted to "sow discord". There is zero evidence that this was really the case. It is simply an explanation that was made up because they failed to find a better one.

The real answer to the question why different IRA accounts posted on different sides of the political spectrum is that the IRA wanted to maximize its income. One has to cover both sides if one wants to optimize the number of eyeballs one attracts.

FOX News is not pro-Trump because it wants to sow discord. Nor is CNN anti-Trump to serve that purpose. Both are in the business of attracting viewers to - in the end - sell advertisements. People flock to the TV station that fit to the opinion they already have. Both stations promote by and large similar products.

The virtual IRA persona worked in a similar ways. They took political positions to attract people who already had a similar one. One persona did that for the left, another one for the right. Neither changed the opinions of their followers.

A recently published study which looked at Twitter users who followed IRA sock puppet accounts and their content confirms that. It found that the IRA sock puppets had no influence on the opinions of their followers.

The study by U.S. and Danish researchers is headlined Assessing the Russian Internet Research Agency's impact on the political attitudes and behaviors of American Twitter users in late 2017 . It found:

Using Bayesian regression tree models, we find no evidence that interaction with IRA accounts substantially impacted distinctive measures of political attitudes and behaviors over a 1-mo period. We also find that interaction with IRA accounts were most common among respondents with strong ideological homophily within their Twitter network , high interest in politics, and high frequency of Twitter usage. Together, these findings suggest that Russian trolls might have failed to sow discord because they mostly interacted with those who were already highly polarized.

Most hardcore Republicans watch FOX New, most hardcore Democrats watch CNN. Neither TV station changes the core opinions of their viewers. They reinforce them.

The "Russian trolls" were virtual persona created to cover -in total- a wide spectrum. Some persona played hardcore Republican, other played hardcore Democrats. They created and posted content that fit to the role they played. Each attracted followers with opinions similar to those the virtual persona pretended to have. No opinion was changed through those contacts. No discord was sown.

The IRA then sold advertisement space to vendors to monetize all eyeballs its virtual personas attracted.

The U.S. intelligence agencies pretended that the commercial IRA was a political agency. It helped them to sell animosity against Russia and to pretend that Trump was somehow colluding with Putin.

But it all never made any sense.

Posted by b on November 27, 2019 at 18:33 UTC | Permalink


james , Nov 27 2019 18:52 utc | 1

thanks b... of course it didn't matter, as when you have ignored 9-11 and everything else, you may as well buy into Russia influencing the election with some commercial enterprise like the ira... it's shocking actually, to see how many otherwise intelligent people can be bamboozled so easily via the cia with swamp media in tow... again - emptywheel is a good case in point.. complete drivel about russia stole my sandwich on a 24-7 basis.. they have their heads up their asses so far, there is no light able to shine in...
james , Nov 27 2019 18:54 utc | 2
as for twitter and facebook - two other NSA snoop dog outlets - there may be some value in these two creations, mostly with the intel agencies, but it is slim pickins' for most everyone else... the sooner they go the way of the dodo bird, the better..
plantman , Nov 27 2019 18:58 utc | 3
Excellent report.
Thanks.

Now that you've shown that the IRA was not a "Russian influence campaign", I hope you will refute the claims that were made on last Sunday's 60 Minutes
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/russian-hackers-2016-election-democratic-congressional-campaign-committee-60-minutes-2019-11-24/

Title --How Russian intelligence officers interfered in the 2016 election, CBS

Alot of people still think 60 Minutes is a credible news source, but their wild and unsubstantiated claims in this segment really cast doubt on whether they can trusted or not.

Charles Dunaway , Nov 27 2019 19:18 utc | 4
Every single mainstream media organization refers to Russian interference in the 2016 election as though it were a proven fact. When the government makes an unfounded assertion, it is reported one time as "government sources say" but every time thereafter it is referenced as fact. If you find an alternative source that contradicts the government lie and try to post it to social media, you will be tagged with a "Warning" that claims your story is "fake news". Orwellian doesn't begin to describe it.
jeestun , Nov 27 2019 19:26 utc | 5
Once MSM propagandists broadcast 'Russian meddling' hundreds of thousands of times, their audience becomes impervious to the simplest of logic and barest of facts.

Science.

Jay , Nov 27 2019 19:27 utc | 6
"Most hardcore Republicans watch FOX New, most hardcore Democrats watch CNN."

No, most hard core Democrats are repulsed by CNN. The Democrats who watch CNN, and believe it, this goes for NPP, the NY Times, the New Yorker, and MSNBC, are Democratic Party loyalists. There's a big difference.

The first is set of people largely loyal to the party of FDR, and the other is a group of corporatists--largely loyal to big businesses like JP-Morgan Chase, Amazon, and many military contractors.

Lawrence Magnuson , Nov 27 2019 19:45 utc | 7
I watched a bit belatedly the 60 Minutes affair on the link provided. As the video was unusually very slow to appear, I read the text and then started looking around for when it was posted. Unbelievable. New stuff? I wrongly thought this had to be an old, superannuated piece. @emptywheel the producer or just the muse? This sort of nails down the coffin lid on a free media for me. And for you. We're in a very bad place.
uncle tungsten , Nov 27 2019 20:04 utc | 10
Lawrence Magnuson #7

Did you refer to Marcy Wheeler who scribbles the emptywheel blog. That gal is all rim and no spokes. The entire site is obsessive fantasising, Russia hating, Trump loathing to attract eyeballs and sell patreon donations.

Marcy couldn't fart and chew gum at the same time.

Cliff , Nov 27 2019 20:17 utc | 11
@b: Sorry b, but I don't buy it. Running a commercial scheme by posting *highly* political memes in a *foreign* country, such as promoting secession of Texas and California or inciting race tension, simply isn't a wise idea. Even if it weren't meant political, it still was political. Cat memes would have been a different story.
karlof1 , Nov 27 2019 20:32 utc | 13
Cliff @11 clearly falls off by failing to note b's and the study's major point--the Russian Government in no way meddled in the 2016 election. IRA as the commercial entity that didn't either has zero links to said government.
William Gruff , Nov 27 2019 20:32 utc | 14
It is funny how Cliff @11 apparently believes that commercial exploitation is innocent, but efforts at political influence are sinister.

This disorder is part and parcel of the disease that is destroying western culture. The total loss of perspective is also one of the key symptoms of the hysteria that is clearly still gripping the West.

I wonder if this is something that the West can ever possibly recover from? I figured by now the hysteria would have burned itself out, but here it still seems to be going strong.

pretzelattack , Nov 27 2019 20:33 utc | 15
uh cliff, what "highly political memes". 100k spent on pictures of kermit the frog hand puppets or "buff bernie" is not highly political, and even if they were, they influenced nobody. it's all horseshit.
bevin , Nov 27 2019 20:42 utc | 16
Cliff@11

It might not have been wise but it is obviously what happened.The important point is that there is not the slightest suggestion of there being any evidence that the Russian state was involved.

To put the matter in context: hundreds of other sets of influencers did what the IRA did but because none of them could be associated in any way with Russia their, collectively order of magnitude more important efforts, most of them pushing Clinton who was thought to be a clear favourite, but their work goes unanalysed.
Not that there is any evidence of the IRA's connection with the Kremlin except that it is located not in Moscow but Petrograd, where Putin is from. And that the hustler running the organisation is said to have supplied sandwiches to meetings in the Kremlin -- hence the media's coinage "Putin's Chef!"

b in this post is hammering yet one more nail into the coffin of Russiagate, there can't be much more room on the lid for more. And there isn't much room left in the coffin either-it already contains half of the Democratic Party, several presidential candidates, poor old Marcy wheeler and the entire Mainstream Media. High time it was six feet under.

S.O. , Nov 27 2019 20:54 utc | 18
Oh Noes!

You mean the russian click bait add spam farm, that looks and behaves like an add spam farm, which everyone with a functioning brain in their skulls said is an add spam farm... might just turn out to behave like an actual add spam farm?

Well, colour me amazed. ..it's like no one remembered geocities pop up storms or something.

Allen , Nov 27 2019 20:57 utc | 19
The US media is still trying to breathe some life into a case which should have been declared dead on arrival, beltway politics must carry on its partisan shows, with the corporate media trying to whip audiences into a frenzy, over the most ridiculous plots in order to ignore that the body politic is corrupt beyond redemption and is as dead as US democracy.

Is Trump a Putin stooge? Let's 'investigate' or continually mu(e)ll over this possibility even more! Meanwhile, the stooges in Washington we are instructed to call 'our representatives' remain bipartisan in pursuing the dictatorial goals of class elites, no matter which CEO is temporarily managing affairs for the Fortune 500.

Who needs Russian meddling in an electoral process that means next to nothing when it comes to affecting in the slightest the homegrown depravity of our oligarchy?

We still have plenty of Dem Party hacks telling us in the most convoluted language what to think about a report vomited out by a professional liar (See: Mueller Iraq War Crimes for but one example of Mueller's long and sordid career) and we are suppose to believe any of this? Oh and let's see we are suppose to care that an orange-haired, spray tanned criminal buffoon won the Kabuki (s)election in Potemkin Empire against the insanely corrupted and proven War Criminal Donkey Queen Bee? You just have to wonder how much per word these pundits are paid to pump out their bilge?

The entire "Russiagate" smokescreen is a perfect example of how propaganda works. Accuse your "enemy" of the very thing you have been doing in plain sight so that when accusations are levied against you it will be harder to make them stick- keep that external enemy front and center so that the real enemy within remains hidden.

To believe that the Mueller report ever was anything than a wax show piece in a stale play one must put aside all the obvious items such as- 1) Zero evidence; 2) US elections are already rigged by the US elites before a single vote is cast; 3) The US has been tampering in just about every countries elections for decades overtly and covertly; AND 4) Recent attempts BY THE US to ACTUALLY tamper in Russian elections through the ever-handy NED.

There is no other country that intervenes in the political affairs of foreign states so directly, regularly and shamelessly as the United States. American foreign policy is one massive intervention in the politics of other countries, running the gamut from propaganda, destabilization, financing of opposition parties, electoral fraud and coups to military bombardment and occupation.

Professor Dov Levin of Carnegie Mellon University assembled a database documenting as many as 81 occasions between 1946 and 2000 when Washington interfered in elections in other countries.

There is zero solid evidence that Russia "meddled" in the US elections. It is all speculation and innuendo. Even if one were to blindly assume that the stories were accurate, whatever Russia may or may not have done pales in comparison to the operations of US intelligence agencies all over the world, including within the United States itself, not to mention the billions of dollars spent by the corporate and financial elite to manipulate US elections and determine their outcome.

The claim, moreover, that Russian Twitter and Facebook posts are responsible for social discontent and "disruptions in the democracy" of the United States -- one of the most unequal countries in the world -- is beyond ludicrous.

Andrea Sutton , Nov 27 2019 21:39 utc | 20
I didn't believe that the Russians interfered with the election anyway, but this exposition of the raw data used by the intell. services as a basis for promulgating the fiction, is fascinating and hilarious if the consequencies hadn't been so dire. The basis is so utterly mundane and so "American" if you forgive my saying so, I mean the IRA was just trying to make money. I suppose the intell. services knew this, knew they were peddling lies as Pompeo says they are taught to do. All for what? Not just to hurt Trump. No, to feed a McCarthyite fear to keep the endless wars going. Evil.
Trailer Trash , Nov 27 2019 21:57 utc | 21
The "Russia Stole Our Election" story is wearing thin? Fortunately a UK stink tank has discovered a "Gun Gap" to scare us with:

British ground forces would be "comprehensively outgunned" in a conflict with Russia in Eastern Europe, according to a defence think-tank.

Research by the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) found that the Army, as well as Nato allies, has a "critical shortage" of artillery and ammunition.

The research comes ahead of a meeting of Nato leaders in London next week to mark the 70th anniversary of the alliance.

I know we are supposed to believe that US is so wonderful and exceptional that Russia, China, Iran, etc. all want to conquer it. But why would they want to? What would they do with a place like Detroit, Camden, and all the rest of the broken down infrastructure?

Trailer Trash , Nov 27 2019 22:00 utc | 22
I meant to add that there is an easy solution to the scary new Gun Gap: don't attack Russia (or anywhere else).
Clueless Joe , Nov 27 2019 22:02 utc | 23
"British ground forces would be "comprehensively outgunned" in a conflict with Russia in Eastern Europe"

So fucking what, if that were actually true? UK is a group of islands in NW Europe, it's not Poland, and UK hasn't any business to have troops in Eastern Europe to begin with; meanwhile, the European part of Russia is very much a big chunk of Eastern Europe; odds are that they'd have their military ready to defend and fight there. These useless hacks should come back only once they can claim that the British forces would be outgunned in a conflict with Russia in Essex; that would be worrying.

Robert Snefjella , Nov 27 2019 22:10 utc | 25
But there is a sense in which Russia may have subtly influenced the election. For any well informed American - and in my opinion finding such is more likely than say spotting a Sasquatch - the varied political presentations of say RT may have the insidious effect of injecting bits of reality-oriented counter news to the ubiquitous lame bought propaganda from American mass media.

And the Putin-effect over the last two decades too may be quite insidious: after all, in the realm dominated by political banality, lies, stupidity and bad acting, an articulate, and in practical terms effective, political leader of a major country is a rather extraordinary phenomenon. Such things are possible, discover wayward Americans! But what explains its near complete absence in our exceptional indispensable nation?

Putin and Russia: the success that haunts us.

karlof1 , Nov 27 2019 22:51 utc | 29
Obama's D-Party set up what the following article describes which I provide as a marker of that party's leadership's immoral mindset. Imagine what BigLie Media would do if this was done in Russia or China! We'd read/hear/see all about it 24/7/365.
Jackrabbit , Nov 27 2019 23:13 utc | 30
b neglected to mention a few things:

1) USA interferes in other countries elections all the time. Recent and very stark examples: Bolivia and Venezuela.

2) USA's broken, money-based electoral system practically invites "interference"/"meddling" by powerful interests and skews the results toward candidates that will serve powerful interests that can afford to support the electoral farce that provides an illusion of democracy.

3) Pro-Israel Zionists and Zionist organizations, like Haim Saban, Sheldon Adelson, and AIPAC, contribute huge sums to the duopoly that controls US politics. Their contribution is vastly greater than a few facebook ads.

4) The vast majority of the "Russian oligarchs" that are supposed to have influenced Trump are Jewish with closer ties to Israel than Russia.

!!

Montreal , Nov 27 2019 23:19 utc | 31
Bevin @ 17
Evgeny Progozhin - supposedly behind IRA - was - and maybe still is - VVP's chef. I think it is probably him who started that joke about his being a "hot-dog salesman" in St P. But he was much more than that.

More importantly he was the man who re-introduced fine restaurants to St Petersburg. In the nineties he opened several very good restaurants in a city which hadn't seen a decent meal since the Revolution - a bit like England before it joined the Common Market. He was a great perfectionist with a tremendous eye for detail. His difficulty was in finding staff in a city which had no history of training staff beyond the very low levels demanded by the Intourist hotels - and as soon as he trained them they were poached by would-be rivals, so often he gave the top places to French and English specialists.

The very best of his restaurants was the Old Customs House on the University Embankment. I haven't been there for a couple of years but in its hey-day it could match any restaurant in Europe.

He would also fly his staff to other Russian cities to lay on banquets for the President. He then went into mass catering and by the sounds of it different fields altogether. An admirable man, one of those who helped Russia into the 21st Century.

DougDiggler , Nov 27 2019 23:52 utc | 34
Let's compare the IRA's lame content to what is being emitted by the thousands of 'bots in Bolivia.
the pessimist , Nov 28 2019 2:06 utc | 36
Fresh Air has an interview with Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch of Fusion GPS posted on their page . There seems to be a full court press on to solidify the 'consensus' narrative, with stories on BBC and other main US news outlets, including many on NPR, 'explaining' various aspects of the Russophobic/Sinophibic view of the world, and attacking as 'conspiracy theories' that are proven false (mainly by way of reciting innuendo and accusations by anonymous sources and professional liars) any counter narratives.

In my experience, even if people retain some skepticism, they assume the main points of the narrative as proven fact to the extent that it is nearly impossible to have a reasoned discussion about the basic assumptions of the narrative.

I see that Chrystia Freeland has been appointed deputy prime minister of Canada.

Dr George W. Oprisko , Nov 28 2019 2:21 utc | 37
I am amazed.......... that one and all haven't noticed the inability of the USG to deal with any.... and I mean any.... issues affecting the people of the USA.
  • Lead in Drinking Water.....
  • Farm Bankruptcies.....
  • Failed Corn & soybean crops.....
  • Medical prescription costs going through the roof.
  • Key medicines no longer available to combat serious infections....
  • Boeings that are designed to crash....

INDY

FSD , Nov 28 2019 2:32 utc | 38
Examining direct state-actor involvement would be one thing. But this 'study' is little more than a sui generis, slow motion ethnic slur. What about Russian-American US citizens in Boston who happen to tweet benign and banal messages about nothing in particular? Can we get cooties from them as well? Does it come thru the WIFI?

The sizable Russian-American population has been absolutely stoic during this whole protracted episode. I can think of many other groups who'd be screaming bloody murder.

As for the IRA indictments, they were a sham from top to bottom. Here's the Powerline blog:

"One hates to be in the position of rooting for the Russians, but the Mueller Switch Project is so distasteful that it is hard not to enjoy the prospect of Mueller having to deal with an actual adversary in court. Meanwhile, this is probably the first time in the history of litigation that a plaintiff (here, prosecutor) has told a court that it may not have obtained good service of process on a defendant that has appeared to defend the case on the merits. Mueller to Court: We didn't really mean it, Judge! We had no idea they might actually show up!"

None other than Michael Moore is another IRA victim. So much for Trump-Russia.

https://fullspectrumdominoes.wordpress.com/2019/06/28/7864/

JW , Nov 28 2019 3:01 utc | 39
#21

"I know we are supposed to believe that US is so wonderful and exceptional that Russia, China, Iran, etc. all want to conquer it. But why would they want to? What would they do with a place like Detroit, Camden, and all the rest of the broken down infrastructure?"

Also, the greatest political system ever conceived in mankind according the Americans somehow can just simply crumble in the face of a tiny bit of alleged foreign money.

bevin , Nov 28 2019 3:12 utc | 40
The proverb " A dog will return to its vomit" obviously applies to New Yorker writers too. Jane Mayer, author of a famously gushing fanmag feature on Christopher Steele is at it again. https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/59965-focus-the-inside-story-of-christopher-steeles-trump-dossier
lysias , Nov 28 2019 3:28 utc | 41
Jane Mayer used to write good journalism. Her book "Dark Money" from a couple of years ago was an eye-opener. What happened to her? I guess the same question could be asked about Marcy Wheeler. And what happened to Democracy Now and Amy Goodman?
Innocent Civilian , Nov 28 2019 3:36 utc | 42
The real sin of Russia, is not, of course, the nonsense election meddling, but its resistance against the US culture of open free markets, its threat of closing its markets to the US, its national doctrine against the Full Spectrum Dominance and US-led neo-liberal order. Its sin is economic nationalism.

Its sin is taking shares of Christopher Steele's in Gazprom by force, who had them by tax fraud in the first place. Its sin is allowing Government of Russia holding more than half of the shares of Gazprom. Its sin is becoming self-reliant in oil and gas (and recently food thanks to sanctions), backed with a substantial military force. A huge country that can industrialize its resources and that can defend itself and deter any aggression on her soil. A recipe for nightmare for neo-liberals.

Since the Americans voted for a president who is against the neo-liberal order and promotes nationalism, they are on fire and afraid they are going to have to take it by four more years.

[Nov 13, 2019] The CONCORD MANAGEMENT CONSULTING LLC (Internet Research Agency) trial is getting weird.

Nov 13, 2019 | www.courtlistener.com
The CONCORD MANAGEMENT & CONSULTING LLC (Internet Research Agency) trial is getting weird.

This (one page) Order, dated October 25, was filed on November 8:

https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.193580/gov.uscourts.dcd.193580.239.0_1.pdf

The main page for the trial is here:
https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6386795/united-states-v-internet-research-agency-llc/?filed_after=&filed_before=&entry_gte=&entry_lte=&order

[Jul 28, 2019] Mueller Crumbles Under Questioning by Barbara Boland

Highly recommended!
On one hand Mueller supported and promoted the witch hunt which is the Russiagate. On the other water suddenly became a little bit hot for him and his henchmen as there is a slight chance that Barr is not joking.
Mueller is the first prosecutor in the history of Justice Department who claimed that he does not exonerate the falsely accused of Russian connections President. Which is 100% pure McCartuism-style witch hunt. Of course as he supported Iraw WDM and presided over Anthrax investigation (or cover up to be more correct) this is easy for him to be legal innovator in this area.
Notable quotes:
"... the report was clear that members of Trump's team had been encouraged to lie to investigators, and this had been widely reported throughout the media and in several books. ..."
"... On many important questions, Mueller stated that he could not comment because those matters were under investigation by other departments, or they were not "in my purview." That was his response to questions about the Steele report and the FISA warrant used to spy on the Trump campaign, which are under investigation by the Department of Justice. But he also responded this way to questions on the Russia investigation. How can the special prosecutor charged with investigating whether Russia interfered with our elections decline comment on the topic? ..."
"... Well that proves it, I guess. After all, did Mueller testify to Congress as to the extent of Iraq's much-vaunted WMD program, and lo! there it was(n't)! ..."
"... Or for that matter, Mueller claimed that Concord Management had ties to the Russian government. Turns out that he had no evidence for his claim. ..."
"... Mueller is the god that failed. The Democrats considered him their savior. It was "wait til the Mueller report". "Soon it will be Mueller time". "Just wait on Mueller, you'll see." ..."
"... Then, in the Mueller hearing they quoted scripture from the book of Mueller, asking their savior to provide more divine wisdom on the scripture. But he was no god. He was a human whose mental faculties had declined due to the aging process all of us mortals must endure. And it became abundantly clear that he had been just a figurehead in a witch hunt by radical major Democratic party donor prosecutors. Mueller was shamelessly used by morally bankrupt Democrat apparatchiks. ..."
"... To all the Mueller supporters, he couldn't even answer simple questions like "when did you and your team conclude there was no collusion/conspiracy with Russia?" ..."
"... That question 1) fell under his purview, 2) arose from the four corners of his report, 3) not in anyway prohibited by the DoJ directive and 4) not about something that would be easy to forget. ..."
"... Yet he refused to answer. Some stand up guy he is. ..."
Jul 28, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

That answer appears to directly contradict page 180 of the report which states, "As defined in legal dictionaries, collusion is largely synonymous with conspiracy as that crime is set forth in the general federal conspiracy statute, 18 U.S.C. 371," Collins pointed out.

"Are you sitting here today testifying something different than what your report states?"

Mueller stuttered and appeared confused, flipped to the relevant page of the report, and said that he would defer to the report.

Throughout the hearing, Democratic members would read the definition of corruption or obstruction and then try to get Mueller to explain how various actions did not qualify or why the report did not reach a finding. Each time, Mueller declined to comment.

To say that watching his testimony was painful is an understatement.

In an exchange with Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) that exemplifies the entire hearing, the Pennsylvania Republican asked, "You made a decision not to prosecute, right?"

"No, we made a decision not to decide whether to prosecute or not."

In the afternoon intelligence committee hearing, Rep. John Ratcliffe asked Mueller to clear up confusion regarding his morning testimony, where he appeared to contradict the report on the question of whether he had whiffed on an indictment because the Office of Legal Counsel said it was not possible to indict a sitting president.

"What I wanted to say [in the morning] is that we did not make any determination with regard to culpability, in any way. We did not start that process, down the road," said Mueller.

But in his morning testimony before the House Judiciary committee, he said: "The president was not exculpated for the acts that he allegedly committed."

See if you can make sense of this exchange:

Democratic Rep. Andre Carson: "Would you agree that these acts demonstrated a betrayal of the democratic values our country rests on?"

Mueller: "I can't agree with that. Not that it's not true, but I cannot agree with it."

This was typical of Mueller's bizarre testimony throughout the day.

Democrats used the hearing to read huge portions of the report, as well as Donald Trump's tweets and campaign utterances, as if somehow they were covering new ground. In one such exchange, a member asked: "Trump and his campaign welcomed and encouraged Russian interference?"

Mueller: "Yes."

Question: "And then Trump and his campaign lied about it to cover it up?"

Mueller: "Yes."

Anyone who has followed news coverage of the Mueller report knows that line of questioning is not breaking new ground, as the report was clear that members of Trump's team had been encouraged to lie to investigators, and this had been widely reported throughout the media and in several books.

Even so, Democrats persisted in reading publicly available Trump statements aloud. During his portion of time, Rep. Mike Quigley chose to read Trump's campaign trail statements about Wikileaks .

"I love Wikileaks."

"This Wikileaks is like a treasure trove."
"Boy, I love reading those Wikileaks."

He then asked Mueller to react to Trump's statements. "Problematic is an understatement, in terms of giving some hope or some boost to what is and should be illegal activity," Mueller said. Did we really need Mueller's opinion on Trump's statements uttered on the stump, all of which were made before he was elected president? How is this type of commentary valuable?

On many important questions, Mueller stated that he could not comment because those matters were under investigation by other departments, or they were not "in my purview." That was his response to questions about the Steele report and the FISA warrant used to spy on the Trump campaign, which are under investigation by the Department of Justice. But he also responded this way to questions on the Russia investigation. How can the special prosecutor charged with investigating whether Russia interfered with our elections decline comment on the topic?

Congressional hearings aren't like a court room. There's no judge that can order an uncooperative witness to answer. That's one of the many reasons that highly politicized Congressional hearings often quickly descend into kangaroo-court style bludgeoning of the witness.

Yet today, because the confused witness appeared flummoxed by rapid-fire questions and by the contents of his own report, his evasions and memory lapses instead undermined the credibility of the report itself, and had people questioning whether Mueller had really led the investigation or not.

Barbara Boland is 's foreign policy and national security reporter. Follow her on Twitter @BBatDC.


eddie parolini 3 days ago • edited

In reference to Russia meddling in the 2016 election, he specifically said that Russia had meddled in the past, Russia was meddling as of right now, and Russia would continue to meddle in the future.

I guess that qualifies as having nothing to say about Russia meddling if you want to believe that he had nothing to say about Russia meddling in our elections.

Sid Finster eddie parolini 3 days ago • edited
Well that proves it, I guess. After all, did Mueller testify to Congress as to the extent of Iraq's much-vaunted WMD program, and lo! there it was(n't)!

https://fas.org/irp/congres...

Or for that matter, Mueller claimed that Concord Management had ties to the Russian government. Turns out that he had no evidence for his claim.

https://assets.documentclou...

gdpbull 3 days ago
Mueller is the god that failed. The Democrats considered him their savior. It was "wait til the Mueller report". "Soon it will be Mueller time". "Just wait on Mueller, you'll see."

Then, in the Mueller hearing they quoted scripture from the book of Mueller, asking their savior to provide more divine wisdom on the scripture. But he was no god. He was a human whose mental faculties had declined due to the aging process all of us mortals must endure. And it became abundantly clear that he had been just a figurehead in a witch hunt by radical major Democratic party donor prosecutors. Mueller was shamelessly used by morally bankrupt Democrat apparatchiks.

But they will not stop just because their god failed. They will find another god and keep right on investigating.

MAGA_Ken 2 days ago
To all the Mueller supporters, he couldn't even answer simple questions like "when did you and your team conclude there was no collusion/conspiracy with Russia?"

That question 1) fell under his purview, 2) arose from the four corners of his report, 3) not in anyway prohibited by the DoJ directive and 4) not about something that would be easy to forget.

Yet he refused to answer. Some stand up guy he is.

[Jul 28, 2019] There may be some fireworks with that judge because of Mueller's statements. He was expressly warned by the judge that she would consider a range of sanctions were there any repetition

This is semi-senile Deep State patsy just was unable to change the course on the middle of the action ;-)
Jul 28, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Paul Merrell , July 25, 2019 at 15:53

@ "Mueller implied in his testimony that there was a link between the IRA and the Russian government despite an order from a judge for him to stop making that connection."

There may be some fireworks with that judge because of Mueller's statements. He was expressly warned by the judge that she would consider a range of sanctions were there any repetition. On the other hand, as far as I could tell a few years ago when I had last researched the topic, federal judges are very reluctant to sanction federal attorneys. I could find only one published instance where that had occurred, and it was only a measly $500 penalty. (Rule 11 sanctions are supposed to compensate the other side for the expenses of opposing an unjustifiable position, as measured by the reasonable billing rate of the other side's lawyers, although judges do have authority for departures.)

Misbehavior by federal lawyers is exceedingly common, I suspect precisely because they are so seldom held to account for unprincipled behavior. That Mueller conducted such a shoddy investigation is no surprise to me.

Me Myself , July 25, 2019 at 13:31

Robert Mueller can easily be seen as carrying democrats hopes and dreams just like a good Mueller.
Why does it matter where truth of damning information about our government officials comes from ( rhetorical ).
I appreciate knowing it.
Watching what appears to be a modern day Coup d'état in this country is more than just disappointing not surprising though.
No focus from congress on what was clearly demonstrated in the evidence provided by publishing's of undisputed truth by (Chelsea Manning .Julian Assange and Others)

I thought it would be interesting living in the Middle Ages, once upon a time, Its not as fun as thought it might.

[Jul 25, 2019] When Alex Stamos announced that the Internet Research Agency's ad buys were a drop in the ocean, Zuckerberg was promptly taken to the Congressional Woodshed and told to report to the Atlantic Council.

Notable quotes:
"... I think he fails to understand that Facebook is now an NSA asset. ..."
Jul 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

GramSci , , , July 23, 2019 at 8:04 am

When Alex Stamos announced that the Internet Research Agency's ad buys were a drop in the ocean, Zuckerberg was promptly taken to the Congressional Woodshed and told to report to the Atlantic Council. Those two billion-odd fake accounts may be a fraud perpetrated on the advertisers, but they are invaluable to US "law" enforcement and to US propaganda, where the ability to open a fake account on Facebook gives the illusion of privacy.

With all due respect to Mr. Greenspan and his Lowell House creds, I think he fails to understand that Facebook is now an NSA asset.

Summer , , July 23, 2019 at 11:55 am

+1
NSA and other law enforcement asset.
Remember stories about stupid criminals on the run who took the time to update their Facebook page?

The Rev Kev , July 23, 2019 at 10:38 am

This is a fascinating article and it certainly put a smile on my dial. As an asset for use by governments around the world, Facebook may be too invaluable to just let sink. One guy reported that he was in a meeting with Facebook’s top brass including the Zuck when a head honcho of the FBI came into the meeting and sang Zuck’s praises for all the help that Facebook gave the FBI. So the question remains. Just how many “real” Facebook accounts does Facebook have? Ones that people check on daily. Now that is the killer question.

[Jul 24, 2019] Fraud of Facebook user numbers

Jul 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

bruce , July 23, 2019 at 4:14 pm

I have three Facebook accounts. The two I never ever look at are the one for my cat and the one for my feminine alter ego. My own account is used for only one thing, watching "People You May Know" to see how far they've penetrated my graph; occasionally disturbing, occasionally hilarious. I've never looked at my "wall", issued or accepted a friend request, posted anything, messaged anyone but they have my email, and wow do I hate this company!

May 2018, a woman I loved and was ultimately going to get to move in died (age 70, natural causes). Twice a week on average I get emails from Facebook inviting me to read her most recent messages. You can imagine how I feel about that. SHE DED!

Facebook has boasted on the order of 2-3 billion users, a significant percentage of the world's population, and I don't believe a word of it. One may assume that the early adopters were people with more tech savvy, affluence and most important, leisure time to screw around on the internet, and the proles don't have a lot of leisure time. Moreover, the value to the advertiser of a set of eyeball impressions is directly related to the amount of disposable income those eyeballs have, and sure, India has about one and a half billion people, but a lot of them have zero disposable income and zero leisure time.

Die Facebook die!

otishertz , July 23, 2019 at 5:37 pm

From the cited lawsuit:

"Based on a combination of publicly available research and Plaintiffs' own analysis, among 18-34 years-olds in Chicago, for example, Facebook asserted its Potential Reach was approximately 4 times (400%) higher than the number of real 18-34 year-olds with Facebook accounts in Chicago. Based on a combination of publicly available research and Plaintiffs' own analysis, Facebook's asserted Potential Reach in Kansas City was approximately 200% higher than the number of actual 18-54 year-olds with Facebook accounts in Kansas City. This inflation is apparent in other age categories as well."

otishertz , July 23, 2019 at 5:40 pm

"These foundational representations are false. Based on publicly available research and Plaintiffs' own analysis, Facebook overstates the Potential Reach of its advertisements. For example, based on publicly available data, Facebook's purported Potential Reach among the key 18-34 year-
22 old demographic in every state exceeds the actual population of 18-34 year-olds ."

[Jul 24, 2019] If one accepts that FB user numbers are fraudulent, the Russiagate narrative falls apart.

Notable quotes:
"... Russiagate, the most extensive disinformation/propaganda campaign since Iraqi WMD, has fallen/is falling apart without any need to reference fake Facebook accounts. ..."
"... The Collusion narrative/conspiracy theory was preposterous from the get-go, riven with internal inconsistencies, and the recent Federal court ruling that prevents Mueller from continuing to publicly accuse Concord management of "undermining our democracy" (that's a hot one) discredits the second of the three bases of the narrative. ..."
Jul 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Unsympathetic , , July 23, 2019 at 8:29 am

If one accepts that FB user numbers are fraudulent, the Russiagate narrative falls apart.

What if the fake ads were only "viewed" by fake accounts?

Larry , , July 23, 2019 at 8:38 am

Bingo. But it's a great story for political elites to paper over their complete failure to maintain their control.

Michael Fiorillo , , July 23, 2019 at 9:42 am

Russiagate, the most extensive disinformation/propaganda campaign since Iraqi WMD, has fallen/is falling apart without any need to reference fake Facebook accounts.

The Collusion narrative/conspiracy theory was preposterous from the get-go, riven with internal inconsistencies, and the recent Federal court ruling that prevents Mueller from continuing to publicly accuse Concord management of "undermining our democracy" (that's a hot one) discredits the second of the three bases of the narrative.

Someday the McResistance TM and unhinged liberals possessed by magical thinking must grapple with the fact that Trump was elected in America, by Americans, and that there is no Santa Claus.

Then again, maybe not.

[Jul 24, 2019] In case you didn't notice, Mueller has been enjoined from making any more claims about those Facebook pages as products of Russian state actors, since the accused unexpectedly showed up in court and demanded discovery of evidence, which Saint Santa Claus Mueller was unable to provide.

Notable quotes:
"... "Russia" with respect to Facebook was "Internet Research Agency," a Russian troll farm that ran a teeny number of ads in terms of both volume and dollar spend. A Federal judge ordered Muller to quit trying to depict its principals as connected to the Russian government because it was prejudicial to their case. No connection has ever been established nor is it it likely to be established. The ads were stunningly amateurish, all over the map in terms of messages, and apparently 25% were never viewed, and IIRC, over half ran after the election. ..."
Jul 24, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Michael Fiorillo , July 23, 2019 at 2:14 pm

Yep, those "Buff Bernie" and "Jesus Arm Wrestling With Satan" pages, often written in broken English and most of which appeared after the election, really did the job, didn't they?

In case you didn't notice, Mueller has been enjoined from making any more claims about those Facebook pages as products of Russian state actors, since the accused unexpectedly showed up in court and demanded discovery of evidence, which Saint Santa Claus Mueller was unable to provide.

Give it up, already: Trumpismo must be defeated politically, through traditional and creative political methods, and not via wishful thinking based on an opportunistic convergence of interests among the Clinton/Obama/Donor Class wing of the Democratic Party, factions in the National Security State that don't consider him an effective steward of empire, and a corporate media that gave him billions in free media but now wants us to think it opposes him.

Leslie Moonves of CBS' quote about how Trump was bad for America, but great for CBS shareholders, says far more about Trump's victory than all the hair-on-fire reports about Russia and Putin.

If there isn't some kind of reckoning for this disgraceful episode, which has only inoculated Trump against reports of what he actually is doing, and is an inestimable political gift to him, the Next Trump is going to make far more sinister use of it.

John Wright , July 23, 2019 at 2:16 pm

I look at the "Facebook threw the election to Trump" story as equivalent to blaming the camel's back breaking last piece of straw for the camel's injury without observing that the entire prior heavy straw loading made this possible.

The exposure of HRC's "deplorables" comment, or her "public positions vs private positions" comment or her selection of Tim Kaine as VP or her Wall Street speeches could have all been far more significant in her loss than any liked/forwarded Russian Facebook postings.

I have never done Facebook, so perhaps I am completely in the dark as far as its influence on potential voters.

How does one know that actual votes were flipped via a Facebook posting?

For example, if the Facebook forwarding content served only for confirmation bias, perhaps a very small number of voter minds were changed, as the voters were already Trump leaning.

That is a fundamental problem of any advertising/influence campaign, getting an ad possibly viewed is one thing, knowing that it was influenial is very difficult.

How exactly did Mueller determine, with any confidence, that voters' minds were changed via the Facebook platform?

If Mueller determined that these Facebook postings were truly influential in changing would be HRC voters to Trump voters, he could have a new, very profitable, career in the advertising industry.

jrs , July 23, 2019 at 2:36 pm

Question for you: Can you prove that the influence of social media was greater than the influence of mainstream media which covered Trump CONSTANTLY?

Mainstream media gave Trump $2 billion worth of free media, more coverage than any other candidate by far.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/donald-trump-2-billion-free-media_n_56e83410e4b065e2e3d75935

I find it hard to believe social media had more of an effect than constant mainstream media coverage and as far as I know noone has accused them of being influenced by Russians. Can you show otherwise on either of those points?

Because if the negative influence of Putin whatever it may be is less than the negative influence of selling ad revenue on t.v. well then the problem is capitalism not Russian oligarchy destroying democracy.

Yves Smith Post author , July 23, 2019 at 5:36 pm

You need to get that knee tended to.

"Russia" with respect to Facebook was "Internet Research Agency," a Russian troll farm that ran a teeny number of ads in terms of both volume and dollar spend. A Federal judge ordered Muller to quit trying to depict its principals as connected to the Russian government because it was prejudicial to their case. No connection has ever been established nor is it it likely to be established. The ads were stunningly amateurish, all over the map in terms of messages, and apparently 25% were never viewed, and IIRC, over half ran after the election.

[Jul 17, 2019] Sic Transit Gloria Mueller by Ray McGovern

Mueller looks more and more like dirty Clinton fixer.
Notable quotes:
"... The Feb. 2018 indictment referred repeatedly to the IRA simply as a "Russian organization." But in Mueller's report 14 months later, the "Russian organization" had somehow morphed into "Russia." The IRA's lawyers argued, in effect, that Mueller's ipse-dixit "Russia did it" does not suffice as proof of Russian government involvement. Federal Judge Friedrich agreed and ordered Mueller to cease promoting his evidence-less charge against the IRA; she added that "any future violations of her order will trigger a range of potential sanctions." ..."
"... In testimony to Congress in October 2017, Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch had cautioned earlier that from 2015 to 2017, "Americans using Facebook were exposed to, or 'served,' a total of over 33 trillion stories in their News Feeds." Shamefully misleading "analysis" by Times reporters Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti in a 10,000-word article on September 20, 2018 made the case that the IRA's 80,000 posts helped deliver the presidency to Trump. ..."
"... Shane and Mazzetti neglected to report the 33 trillion number for needed context, even though the Times ' own coverage of Stretch's 2017 testimony stated outright: "Facebook cautioned that the Russia-linked posts represented a minuscule amount of content compared with the billions of posts that flow through users' News Feeds everyday." ..."
"... CrowdStrike, the controversial cybersecurity firm that the Democratic National Committee chose over the FBI in 2016 to examine its compromised computer servers, never produced an un-redacted or final forensic report for the government because the FBI never required it to, the Justice Department admitted. ..."
"... With Erin Ratner being named as a conduit between Seth Rich and Wikileaks in a lawsuit yesterday – the second flimsy leg of Mueller's claims – gets cut off at the knees. ..."
Jul 17, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

... ... ...

Requiem for 'Interference'

Daniel Lazare's July 12 Consortium News piece shatters one of the twin prongs in Mueller's case that "the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion." It was the prong dripping with incessant drivel about the Kremlin using social media to help Trump win in 2016.

Mueller led off his Russiagate report, a redacted version of which was published on April 18, with the dubious claim that his investigation had

" established that Russia interfered in the 2016 election principally through two operations. First, a Russian entity carried out a social media campaign that favored presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Second, a Russian intelligence service conducted computer-intrusion operations against entities, employees, and volunteers working in the Clinton campaign, and then released stolen documents."

Judge to Mueller: Put Up or Shut Up

Mueller: Needs more time. (Flickr)

Regarding the social-media accusation, Judge Friederich has now told Mueller, in effect, to put up or shut up. What happened was this: On February 16, 2018 a typically credulous grand jury -- the usual kind that cynics say can be persuaded to indict the proverbial ham sandwich -- was convinced by Mueller to return 16 indictments of the Internet Research Agency (IRA) and associates in St. Petersburg, giving his all-deliberate-speed investigation some momentum and a much-needed, if short-lived, "big win" in "proving" interference by Russia in the 2016 election. It apparently never occurred to Mueller and the super-smart lawyers around him that the Russians would outsmart them by hiring their own lawyers to show up in U.S. court and seek discovery. Oops.

The Feb. 2018 indictment referred repeatedly to the IRA simply as a "Russian organization." But in Mueller's report 14 months later, the "Russian organization" had somehow morphed into "Russia." The IRA's lawyers argued, in effect, that Mueller's ipse-dixit "Russia did it" does not suffice as proof of Russian government involvement. Federal Judge Friedrich agreed and ordered Mueller to cease promoting his evidence-less charge against the IRA; she added that "any future violations of her order will trigger a range of potential sanctions."

More specifically, at the conclusion of a hearing held under seal on May 28, Judge Friedrich ordered the government "to refrain from making or authorizing any public statement that links the alleged conspiracy in the indictment to the Russian government or its agencies." The judge ordered further that "any public statement about the allegations in the indictment . . . must make clear that, one, the government is summarizing the allegations in the indictment which remain unproven, and, two, the government does not express an opinion on the defendant's guilt or innocence or the strength of the evidence in this case."

Reporting Thursday on Judge Friedrich's ruling, former CIA and State Department official Larry C. Johnson described it as a "potential game changer," observing that Mueller "has not offered one piece of solid evidence that the defendants were involved in any way with the government of Russia." After including a lot of useful background material, Johnson ends by noting:

"Some readers will insist that Mueller and his team have actual intelligence but cannot put that in an indictment. Well boys and girls, here is a simple truth–if you cannot produce evidence that can be presented in court then you do not have a case. There is that part of the Constitution that allows those accused of a crime to confront their accusers."

IRA Story a 'Stretch'

Last fall, investigative journalist Gareth Porter dissected and debunked The New York Times 's far-fetched claim that 80,000 Facebook posts by the Internet Research Agency helped swing the election to Donald Trump. What the Times story neglected to say is that the relatively paltry 80,000 posts were engulfed in literally trillions of posts on Facebook over the two-year period in question -- before and after the 2016 election.

Stretch and executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google hauled before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on crime and terrorism on Oct. 31, 2017.

In testimony to Congress in October 2017, Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch had cautioned earlier that from 2015 to 2017, "Americans using Facebook were exposed to, or 'served,' a total of over 33 trillion stories in their News Feeds." Shamefully misleading "analysis" by Times reporters Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti in a 10,000-word article on September 20, 2018 made the case that the IRA's 80,000 posts helped deliver the presidency to Trump.

Shane and Mazzetti neglected to report the 33 trillion number for needed context, even though the Times ' own coverage of Stretch's 2017 testimony stated outright: "Facebook cautioned that the Russia-linked posts represented a minuscule amount of content compared with the billions of posts that flow through users' News Feeds everyday."

The chances that Americans saw any of these IRA ads -- let alone were influenced by them -- are infinitismal. Porter and others did the math and found that over the two-year period, the 80,000 Russian-origin Facebook posts represented just 0.0000000024 of total Facebook content in that time. Porter commented that this particular Times contribution to the Russiagate story "should vie in the annals of journalism as one of the most spectacularly misleading uses of statistics of all time."

And now we know, courtesy of Judge Friederich, that Mueller has never produced proof, beyond his say-so, that the Russian government was responsible for the activities of the IRA -- feckless as they were. That they swung the election is clearly a stretch.

The Other Prong: Hacking the DNC

The second of Mueller's two major accusations of Russian interference, as noted above, charged that "a Russian intelligence service conducted computer-intrusion operations against entities, employees, and volunteers working in the Clinton campaign, and then released stolen documents." Sadly for Russiagate aficionados, the evidence behind that charge doesn't hold water either.

CrowdStrike, the controversial cybersecurity firm that the Democratic National Committee chose over the FBI in 2016 to examine its compromised computer servers, never produced an un-redacted or final forensic report for the government because the FBI never required it to, the Justice Department admitted.

The revelation came in a court filing by the government in the pre-trial phase of Roger Stone, a long-time Republican operative who had an unofficial role in the campaign of candidate Donald Trump. Stone has been charged with misleading Congress, obstructing justice and intimidating a witness.

The filing was in response to a motion by Stone's lawyers asking for "unredacted reports" from CrowdStrike challenging the government to prove that Russia hacked the DNC server. "The government does not possess the information the defendant seeks," the DOJ filing says.

Small wonder that Mueller had hoped to escape further questioning. If he does testify on July 24, the committee hearings will be well worth watching.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was a CIA analyst for 27 years and a presidential briefer. In retirement he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. His colleagues and he have been following closely the ins and outs of Russiagate.


Carlos , July 17, 2019 at 12:52

With Erin Ratner being named as a conduit between Seth Rich and Wikileaks in a lawsuit yesterday – the second flimsy leg of Mueller's claims – gets cut off at the knees.

cletus , July 17, 2019 at 05:29

just read your article at lewrockwell on 7/17.

you gave all the facts that irrefutably condemn the mueller hoax and reveal what a con man he is. I salute you for this.

unfortutunately, you then come to a conclusion that cannot be supported by an reasonable person.

you think that mueller's con will be called out by the republicans on the committee.

what a joke. They will avoid like the plague revealling that the russia claims by mueller are a hoax.
they'll focus completely on ' you did conclude that trump didn't collude with the russians, right?"

anyone who's been paying attention at all knows this.

Robert G. Hilton , July 17, 2019 at 01:13

There was no expert report showing hacking because the expert had found that the Russians did not hack. Simple as that. The way it works is, that an expert puts nothing in writing until AFTER orally consulting with the attorney who hired him. If the news is bad for said attorney, then the expert is instructed NEVER to put the bad news in writing. I used to hire experts when I litigated patent infringement cases, and that is the way it works. If you pay the expert, then you make the rules. The judge may understand this too. I'm pretty sure that the Crowd Strike expert also gave Muller (Andrew Wiseman?) the same news about no hacking.

michael weddle , July 16, 2019 at 22:41

Why, shortly after Random Juan claimed the presidency, was a Crowdstrike employee trying to stoke the Venezuelan coup?

https://steemit.com/venezuela/@michaelweddle/crowdstrike-employee-tweeting-pro-coup-propaganda-on-venezuela

Bailey , July 16, 2019 at 20:27

I wish that this constant debunking of Russia Gate would be doing some good. Sadly it's not. Most of the members of daily kos believe everything about Russia Gate and even after reading some of the great essays written here that debunks it they instead say that this website has been bought out by Russia.

I once thought that if people really looked at the evidence or lack of it that they would wake up and smell the propaganda. It has always been so obvious to me that there was never any there there and I couldn't understand how people bought into it. But I think it has to do with who people voted for in the last election. Hillary's supporters just can't believe that she could have lost without outside interference. Sad.

ex-PFC Chuck , July 16, 2019 at 18:08

A post yesterday at The Conservative Treehouse expands on a Gateway Pundit post about an amended filing to the court in a Texas libel suit that could blow the whole Russia-gate hoax wide open, taking with it whatever shred of credibility the Mueller Report might still have. Not to mention the rationale for silencing Assange, General Flynn's prosecution, and the murder of Seth Rich.

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/07/15/lawsuit-claims-julian-assange-confirmed-dnc-emails-received-from-seth-rich-not-a-russian-hack/

Vera Moldt , July 16, 2019 at 17:13

It looks like this fraudulent fable has finally been debunked by the US judicial system. Now the Hillary bots will have to come up with another excuse for her wealthy donors as to why she lost the election to a much maligned TV host that spent a small fraction of her campaign funding. This also takes some of the fuel out of using the Russiagate fraud for a march to war with Russia that was accompanied by large defense spending increases. Russiagate was the perfect gift to the Clinton campaign apologists and the MIC that needs a causus belli to feed the public war machine. That gift box has now been unraveled to display an empty box. I'm surprised Ray McGovern did not bring up the issue of the alleged hacking of DNC emails to have been contrary to the capability of the internet at that time. The rate of transfer was consistent with downloading to a flash drive but impossible for transfer of packets across an IP network – further debunking the Russia hacking narrative. This whole house of cards has crashed in and it seems that it will be impossible for the Russiagate fraudsters to reconstruct their tawdry myth.

jaycee , July 16, 2019 at 14:08

Perceptive bloggers identified the IRA as a commercial clickbait operation two years ago. Everything about that operation was consistent with that description. Describing the IRA as a Russian government psy-op program, in turn, was inconsistent with the evidence at hand and so required the assumption that its purpose was to "sow chaos", or similar guesswork. It should be remembered that the Facebook / Twitter people were initially reluctant to go along with the latter theory, and only came on board after a great deal of pressure from members of Congress such as Mark Warner. So this whole nonsensical story was magnified at the insistence of powerful Democratic congressional persons, and Mueller was simply bolstering their arguments – which was his job it appears. The result has been not only a false consciousness deliberately seeded through the public, but also a raft of social media and alternative news censorship which has been silencing both alt-right and progressive voices.

Jeff Harrison , July 16, 2019 at 13:45

Thanx, Ray. I've said from the outset that Russiagate was bullshit perpetrated by Three Names who just couldn't stand the fact that this was the latest in a long string of failures that this incompetent, arrogant woman perpetrated on the American people. It was bullshit from jump street because Three Names won the election by 3M votes but in the American presidential election you not only need the votes, you need the distribution. Distribution she didn't have. Russia (or any other actor sufficiently large and determined) can sway votes for one candidate or another but they can't sway distribution. I personally thought the claim that Russia via the Internet Research Agency sought to sway the election by disparaging Three Names and pumping up Thump. Three Names won by 3M votes. Looks like Russia's IRA did a spectacularly poor job of meddling.

There are some take aways from this that the government should be looking into/doing something about.
1. Russiagate never had any legs. The legs that it got came from an effort by the deep state to create them out of thin air. The deep state tried to take on the role of the Praetorian Guard in old Rome. Their role originally was to protect the emperor but it morphed over the years into picking who would be the emperor. The likes of Comey, Brennan, Clapper, Struck (however you spell it) and his femme fatale (at a minimum, there may be more) should all be marched off to jail and locked up for a considerable period of time for their attempts to destroy our democracy (or republic – a distinction without a difference).

2. Seth Rich's murder needs to be actually investigated now that he has been outed as the source of the leak to Wikileaks.

3. The Republican party needs to be banned as a political party. Any clear eyed view of the 2016 election will conclude that the decades old effort by the Republicans at voter suppression and gerrymandering are what resulted in the 2016 results. 80,000 votes in three states that the Republicans have invested great voter suppression efforts – Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania would have changed the election results. This should have been a major neon sign that winner take all for electoral votes is a bad idea. If proportional EC votes were mandated, third parties would have a chance and our presidential elections might become actual contests. Otherwise, we'll continue to have elections that are between two candidates – worse and worser.

John Puma , July 16, 2019 at 12:36

The proportion of IRA "stories" among total Facebook postings
in the period in question, can be expressed in manner a bit more
readily grasped: on average, one IRA posting appeared among
every 412 million total. For perspective the US population is now
about 330 million.

The FBIs bungling with Crowdstrike information is reminiscent
of its reported 9-11 careless incompetence.

Jill , July 16, 2019 at 13:06

This may be why NPR featured that story:

"Businessman Ed Butowsky filed a lawsuit on Monday that outed FOX News reporter Ellen Ratner was his source for the Seth Rich information.

This comes after Michael Isikoff's report last week that labeled Butowsky as a Russian source."

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/07/breaking-lawsuit-outs-reporter-ellen-ratner-as-source-for-seth-rich-information/

Chet Roman , July 16, 2019 at 13:12

Yahoo's reporter Michael Isikoff is a sock puppet for the CIA/FBI that provided the info to NPR and was one of the first to spread the lies told to him by Steele about Russian interference. He must have tried to head off the lawsuit filed today. Ed Butowsky filed a lawsuit against the liberal media claiming defamation and business disparagement. He claims that Assange told Ellen Ratner (Fox News analyst and sister of Assange's lawyer who passed away) that Seth and Aaron Rich provided the emails to Wikileaks.

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/07/15/lawsuit-claims-julian-assange-confirmed-dnc-emails-received-from-seth-rich-not-a-russian-hack/

Kieron , July 16, 2019 at 17:22

I don't think anyone with a couple of brain cells would dismiss the idea that an insider with the DNC having access to delicate, perhaps damaging material, being what seems on the surface, to be the victim of a motiveless murder would ask the question, was there any connection between Seth Rich's demise and the crap storm that ensued after the Wikileaks release. Really hello !

LarcoMarco , July 16, 2019 at 17:46

"NPR's Steve Inskeep talks to Michael Isikoff" – what a predictable farce! "We talked to Deborah Sines, who was the federal prosecutor in charge of the investigation into Seth Rich's death. She was an assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. attorney's office in the District of Columbia, which prosecutes local murders. And she would see these conspiracy theories about her case circulating on the Web. She was – she wanted to find out where they were coming from."

At least we now know that Seth Rich's death is/was a Federal case. No more claiming the DCPD has jurisdiction. But no disclosures of the contents of Seth Rich's cell phone and laptop.

Eric32 , July 16, 2019 at 10:38

The author seems consumed by this carnival of politicized legalized covert intelligence operations, by people and entities trying to retain money and power.

What's important is that the system hasn't been working for decades, and there's going to be increasingly serious problems, maybe fatal ones, rising if a big overhaul doesn't occur.

Al Pinto , July 16, 2019 at 09:43

The DNC and MSM sold, and sold well, the Russiagate to the general public. Does it really matter, if the "Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election has now come apart at the seams"? Neither the DNC, nor the MSM will report/mention either of the court case, pretty much a blackout for the general public.

Even, if these court cases are widely reported, do you really believe that the majority of the people would change their mind? After almost three years, there's no way that these people will change their mind. The only change that widely reporting these court cases would result in is, that Trump and HRC supporters would hate each other even more.

This Russiagate will be with us pretty much forever, it'll morph in to accusing people of being Russian agents and/or Russian Bots. We already see this taking place and just wait, until next year. It's not going to be pretty

michael , July 16, 2019 at 12:40

Aaron Mate has done a brilliant job researching and debunking Russiagate. Unfortunately for him, he is now ostracized and has to survive on the margins, with other people with critical thinking skills.

Blessthebeasts , July 16, 2019 at 13:28

You're right. The truth doesn't matter, just the BS narrative that has been shoved down our throats for the last few years. It never made any sense to anyone who really thought about it but the media whores just keep spewing total nonsense and they surely won't change their ways now. The fact that the entire crock is really irrelevant to the majority of our citizens doesn't matter to them a bit.

AnneR , July 16, 2019 at 09:42

Thank you again Mr McGovern for another article on this never ending saga. While I hope that sanity begins to dawn among the so-called progressives, I have serious doubts.

1. Neither the BBC World Service nor NPR have mentioned (at least while I've been listening) Judge Friedrich's ruling vis a vis provide the evidence (discovery) to the IRA 12's lawyers or tear up the indictment (essentially). Indeed, I've not heard, on the MSM, anything about those 12 IRA folks employing a lawyer and challenging Mueller's indictment. Silence works as well as obfuscation, lies.

2. The Demrats simply will not let their Russophobia go. I gather (from RT – tut tut I must be an RU bottle) that Ms Harris AIPAC schmoozer, keen and eager lock 'em up and throw away the key, corporate-capitalist crony Kamala has been accusing the Russians of stirring up the controversy surrounding Kaepernick's bending of the knee. The Russians and their bots did it.

3. And then this morning on NPR – a Steve Inskip interview with Michael Isikoff focusing on the Seth Rich "conspiracy theory" and of course the whole thing (or that segment which I could stomach hearing) presumed as a matter of established, and thus true, fact that everything that went wrong for the DNC's HRC campaign was caused by the Russians – for which read Putin. Isikoff was there as an "investigative" journalist for "Yahoo News" – and his "investigation" had shown that the Russians were – who else – behind the conspiracy theory that Seth Rich was killed by HRC thugs in order to keep him permanently quiet about corruption in the DNC. (Corruption – a rather mealy-mouthed way of avoiding bringing into NPR daylight what the DNC were actually doing: determining who would be the Dem candidate willy nilly of who the voters wanted. But this mealy-mouthedness is fully in keeping with NPR's basic silence on what Wikileaks revealed via that insider download.)

Orwellian. Propaganda at its Bernays, Goebbels best. Despair . This business is *not* going away. The Demrats – both in DC and their bourgeois/progressive supporters have far too much invested in the whole confabulation for them to admit that the former deliberately lied and the latter were willing? hoodwinked.

Ray McGovern , July 16, 2019 at 14:57

Dear AnneR,

Thanks for your comment. I would like it if somehow "despair," could be disallowed.

There are enough of us, after all. And, as Annie Dillard put it, "There never was anybody but us."

I also take some inspiration from the dismal-sounding, yet somehow uplifting words of I. F. Stone:

"The only kinds of fights worth fighting are those you're going to lose, because somebody has to fight them and lose and lose and lose until someday, somebody who believes as you do wins."

THE CHALLENGE IS TO ACCEPT THAT, AND FIND JOY IN TRYING -- AND EVEN IN LOSING.

I believe the losing does not last forever; think we all need to do our part in the "interim."

Best regards,

Ray

DW Bartoo , July 16, 2019 at 19:44

That sums things up precisely, Ray.

None of us may live to see a complete turn-around, yet it is the honest effort to encourage and build the foundation for that fundamental systemic change to conscious and principled human awareness which is the measure we must make of ourselves.

Your sense of moral presence, Ray, is very much appreciated.

It serves as inspiration for all, and especially the young, who already understand, and encourages, as example, those who are coming to understand.

DW

AnneR , July 17, 2019 at 08:33

Dear Mr McGovern – thank you for reading and replying to my comment.

And, yes, I do understand the objection to despair – though not, might I add, any thought that its frank expression be expunged!

Were it only the whole Russiagate fabrication, delusions, time and money waste (oh well, only taxpayers' money) and fallout that was so dreadfully wrong, being heinously enacted. Indeed were it all that our taxes were being wasted on.

Perhaps that's it – Russiagate while distracting from the things that the DNC and HRC did, said, *also* makes for good deflection from the war crimes we are committing, the never ending imperialist warmongering we are engaged in, from the fact that many Demrats voted for those nice tax breaks given to the wealthiest tiers in our society, that many of those Demrats voted to hand over to the MIC *even more* loot even as the Pentagon can't account for the billions, or whatever fantastikal amount, it has already received over the years, deflection from the fact that despite such a "good" economy increasing numbers of people are living ever more economically precarious lives, rents rise astronomically, healthcare is a joke (or would be were its lack not so serious for so many). And that's not to mention the realities of climate change or the continuing (and MSM ignored) 70 plus year plight of Palestinians, among so many others.

My late husband used to tell me to write to NPR, the BBC, to let them know that they weren't codding everyone with their disinformation, non-information, lack of objectivity – their propaganda. And I did, often and used to ask for a response. Did I even get those? You must be joking

AnneR , July 17, 2019 at 14:08

In case someone might think that I expected either the BBC or NPR to alter their ways because of my "letters" (interestingly the BBC only allows/ed for around 1000 characters or something equally useless) – no. But when (in the case of the BBC) you can tick the "please reply" box and get total silence, not even a "thank you for your blah blah we shan't pay any attention to your complaints ," in response it is pretty frustrating.

As for NPR – I stopped our contributions. Why would we *pay* for the privilege of being propagandized? I just wish we had stopped them years earlier

Anyway, thank you Mr McGovern for your continuing coverage of this whole affair. I just wish my late partner in life and love had known of this website.

ML , July 16, 2019 at 09:24

Each morning when I arise, I get my coffee and settle down to read Consortium News. I also make a habit of a quick perusal of what the stenographers are jawing about on CNN today, there is a real doozy smearing Assange. The spinners are working overtime to patch over all the holes in their hoax story. I couldn't get through the whole thing because it's another smear piece and a long one including the old saw that Assange smeared feces on the Ecuadorian embassy's walls. I had to stop reading. Gosh, I can't abide those people. Thanks Ray, for telling the truth. We are drowning in $h** out there in la-la land. CN offers a much-needed dose of reality medicine. Thank you kindly, all.

Skip Scott , July 16, 2019 at 10:19

Here's a good essay by Caitlin Johnstone regarding the Assange hit-piece.

https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/new-cnn-assange-smear-piece-is-amazingly-dishonest-even-for-cnn-e7c361d98639

Marko , July 16, 2019 at 07:31

Even worse news for the Russiahoaxers is the recent revelation , documented in a lawsuit , that Ellen Ratner , sister of deceased Wikileaks' lawyer Michael Ratner, met with Assange in the fall of 2016 and was told by him that Aaron and Seth Rich provided the DNC leaks to Wikileaks. Ed Butowsky was made aware of this , with instructions by Ms. Ratner for him to relay the information to the Rich family. When he did so , in December 2016 , he was told by Joel Rich , Seth's father , that he was already aware of his sons' involvement.

This is no longer conspiracy talk , folks. Ed Butowsky is not dumb enough to make these claims on court documents without knowing he can back them up. Shit is about to get real for Mueller and the DNC.

"BREAKING: Lawsuit Outs Reporter Ellen Ratner as Source for Seth Rich Information" @ Gateway Pundit

Skip Scott , July 16, 2019 at 08:43

Wow! Thanks Marko. Here's the link.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/07/breaking-lawsuit-outs-reporter-ellen-ratner-as-source-for-seth-rich-information/

DW Bartoo , July 16, 2019 at 09:37

Well, Skip Scott, either this revelation will put "paid" to the "Russia-did-it!" charade, or else the Voracious Memory Hole will act like a giant black hole and the event horizon will be swallowed into total nothingness as a new Middle-Eastern Adventure captures the hearts and minds of the happy warriors and consumers of U$ Imperialism.

Whatever happens, it will be wholey interesting times ahead.

DW

jmg , July 16, 2019 at 10:01

There was a related, extensive 2018 interview about Butowsky's private investigation into the Seth Rich case to help the family, what they found, and what happened (the DNC assigned someone to represent the family, etc.; the mentioned lawsuits were later dropped/dismissed). It included, without naming Ratner, the unverified mention: "his friend came back from London with information that he said he wanted to get to the Rich family." Since this alleged private message appears to be not only doubtful, but of course also not confirmed by WikiLeaks, we can't really know if it happened or not.

Ed Butowsky Sits Down With Gateway Pundit for First Interview After Being Sued by Family in Seth Rich Murder Mystery -- March 19, 2018
https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/03/ed-butowsky-sits-first-interview-gateway-pundit-sued-family-seth-rich-murder-mystery/

Eric32 , July 16, 2019 at 11:17

I wonder why Seth's murder hasn't been solved?
I wonder why there's almost no media attention paid?

O Society , July 16, 2019 at 17:32

Marko, polo! Here it is:

Seth Rich, disgruntled DNC worker, blows the whistle on HillBillary Clinton rigging the Democratic presidential primary against Bernie Sanders, so he gives data supporting his discovery of rigging to Wikileaks. Rich got the data on a thumdrive downloaded at DNC HQ itself.

No Russians, no hacking, just a whistleblower on the fraud ironically called US "democracy." We've all seen the data Rich leaked. Emails detailing HillBillary Clinton's graft and fraud and collusion against Sanders.

No wonder no other candidates besides Sanders ran against HillBillary, for they all knew the fix was in from its inception!

I dunno who killed Seth Rich, but I do know the Democratic party stole the election from Bernie, then projected its own crimes onto Russia, same way a kid projects his own crime of breaking a cookie jar on his brother when he tells Momma "He dit it –> He ate the cookies and broke the jar!" Meanwhile, there's chocolate smeared all over the DNC's face.

We have evidence for this, the leaked emails themselves tell the story

Gregory Herr , July 16, 2019 at 18:15

Seth Rich copied and leaked the DNC e-mails and was murdered for it. For this to become irrefutable common knowledge will be quite one godsend of a reality check. Maddow might not be able to get out of bed for weeks.

Repeat after me Rachel there was no Russian hack, there was no Russian hack, there was no Russian hack

jmg , July 16, 2019 at 07:13

From the Brennan–Comey–Rogers assessment/opinion (January 6, 2017):

"We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump's election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence. . . .

"- High confidence generally indicates that judgments are based on high-quality information from multiple sources. High confidence in a judgment does not imply that the assessment is a fact or a certainty; such judgments might be wrong.

"- Moderate confidence generally means that the information is credibly sourced and plausible but not of sufficient quality or corroborated sufficiently to warrant a higher level of confidence."

Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections
https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf

-- -- –

"When they say they have 'high confidence', that means they don't have any evidence!"
-- Bill Binney, former NSA Technical Director

DW Bartoo , July 16, 2019 at 07:10

Thank you, Ray McGovern for this splendid article laying out the facts which make clear the absurdities of these last several years. One hopes, now that the "Russia-did-it" canard is fully exposed, by US courts, that the truth may finally get through, over or around, the media wall of enforced ignorance and Mueller hero-worship, and reach the ears and eyes of the people.

Should that actually happen, it might even be possible that other truth, long subject to media manipulation and distortion, the cases of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning come readily to mind, could be seen in the honest light of day after an almost eight year protracted nightmare of media driven deceit, psychological torture, and deliberately vicious character assassination is revealed, in Assange's case, as it might well be, by Nils Melzer's report to the UN.

The legacy U$ corporate media have much to answer for, from promulgating lies that led to war, to missile attacks, and to brutal economic sanctions, a form of economic warfare, to efforts to start a new Cold War, and to aggrandize intelligence agencies which have sought to pervert justice and to illegally influence the political process by falsely accusing, on the flimsy words of partisan political operatives, another nation of the very actions those agencies have used, repeatedly and for many decades,to destroy the political processes of other nations, including the very nation singled out to take the blame for Hillary Clinton's abysmal and pathetic failure in the 2016 election.

What a waste of time, resources, trust, and energy it has bee, these last years, yet it was all so very profitable and lucrative for the media, even if it were "not good" for the country.

The media have damned and convicted themselves.

The U$ intelligence agencies have exposed themselves as corrupt, completely dishonest, vindictive, petty, and thoroughly untrustworthy.

It remains to be seen if the people have learned anything, and whether they will do anything with this costly, yet necessary, education.

DW

Allan , July 16, 2019 at 07:04

Will Adam Schiff spend the week with Bob Mueller to get their story straight

UserFriendly , July 16, 2019 at 05:18

?Unfortunately this is partially bunk. The first bit the judge didn't rule that there was no evidence, she ruled that Mueller publicly saying that the IRA = kremlin and they did try to help Trump win was prejudicial in the case against the IRA (quite obviously so). But him not being able to say that during his testimony should go over well with the democrats. Of course if he actually wanted to explain all he would have to do is drop the case against the IRA because it's never going to trial anyways. Almost makes you wonder if he filed those charges expressly so he wouldn't have to connect the imaginary dotts.

Aiya , July 16, 2019 at 11:03

What they called "trying to help Trump" was a miniscule amount of social media posts, 56% of which were made AFTER the election. And Facebook had to look 3 times to come up with ANYTHING–what they finally reported were posts coming from Russia or eastern Europe, posts in Cyrillic language, and posts from people with Russian/European names.

[Jul 13, 2019] Mueller Does Not Have Evidence That The IRA Was Part of Russian Government Meddling by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Looks like Mueller and his team were extremely sloppy and just milked the US government and try to feed rumors to the media.
Mueller emerged as a stooge of Clinton mafia.
Notable quotes:
"... In short, the US Government cannot come out and declare that Concord Management, for example, was acting on behalf or or in collaboration with the Russian Government without presenting actual evidence. A prosecutor cannot simply claim that Concord is a Putin Stooge. ..."
"... The lawyers for Concord Management read the Mueller report and noted significant discrepancies between what was alleged in the original complaint and what was asserted as "fact" in the Mueller report. ..."
"... On April 25, 2019, Concord filed the instant motion in which it argues that the Attorney General and Special Counsel violated Local Rule 57.7 by releasing information to the public that was not contained in the indictment. Concord's main contention is that the Special Counsel's Report, as released to the public, and the Attorney General's related public statements improperly suggested a link between the defendants and the Russian government and expressed an opinion about the defendants' guilt and the evidence against them. ..."
"... Concord's lawyers wanted Judge Friedrich to find Robert Mueller and Attorney General Barr in contempt for violating rule 57.7. ..."
"... the Court has entered an order limiting public statements about this case moving forward and cautions the government that any future violations of that order will trigger a range of potential sanctions. ..."
"... But the Judge did not stop there. She pointed out some glaring discrepancies between the Mueller Report and the actual indictment: ..."
"... By attributing IRA's conduct to "Russia" -- as opposed to Russian individuals or entities -- the Report suggests that the activities alleged in the indictment were undertaken on behalf of, if not at the direction of, the Russian government. ..."
"... But the activities of the IRA and Concord Management are not established. In fact, Mueller's own report undermines his claims, as noted in a recent article by Nation's Aaron Mate. ..."
"... Mate's article, as I mentioned in a previous piece, does an excellent job of showing that the Mueller Report is based on heartfelt beliefs but devoid of corroborating evidence. ..."
"... I think Mueller, Weissman, et al did not expect Concord to contest their indictment. They believed they could continue their PR effort that Russia changed the outcome of the election by sending out tweets and Facebook posts without anyone calling them out. ..."
"... The national security surveillance state is only going to get bigger and more powerful. I suppose that is the real competition between the CCP & the USA who can get more totalitarian sooner. ..."
"... a very valuable recent piece in the 'Epoch Times' about the questions that need to be put to Mueller, Jeff Carlson discusses some of the problems relating both to Christopher Steele's involvement with Oleg Deripaska, and the involvement of Fusion GPS with Natalia Veseltnitskaya which led to the Trump Tower meeting. (See https://www.theepochtimes.com/33-key-questions-for-robert-mueller_2988876.html .) ..."
"... Andrew McCarthy, in the 'National Review', picks up one of the most interesting, and puzzling, moments in the fascinating notes by Kathy Kavalec of the conversation she had with Steele when Jonathan Winer brought him to see on her in October 2016. (See https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/07/oleg-deripaska-fbi-russia-collusion-theory/ ) ..."
"... 'Moreover, by January 2017, F.B.I. agents had tracked down and interviewed one of Mr. Steele's main sources, a Russian speaker from a former Soviet republic who had spent time in the West, according to a Justice Department document obtained by The New York Times and three people familiar with the events. After questioning him, F.B.I. officials came to suspect that the man might have added his own interpretations to reports from his own sources that he passed on to Mr. Steele, calling into question the reliability of the information.' ..."
"... Without wanting to prejudge things, it seems to me quite likely that what Horowitz has been contemplating is a kind of 'limited hangout'. So, the idea could be to suggest that Steele did have sources, that however these were not as reliable as he thought they were, but everything was done in good faith etc etc. In the light of information coming out, including that in the Friedrich ruling, he may however have decided to 'hold his horses.' ..."
"... It is important that the general pattern of assuming that Putin is some kind of omnipotent Sauron-figure, which has clearly left Mueller open to a counter-attack by Concord, was given a classic expression in the testimony which Glenn Simpson gave to the House Intelligence Committee in November 2017. ..."
"... Litvinenko himself, as well as having been a key member of the late Boris Berezovsky's 'information operations team', was an agent, as distinct from an informant, of MI6: accounts differ as to whether Steele was his personal 'handler' (John Sipher), or had never met him (Luke Harding). ..."
"... Also relevant is the fact that Shvets, a fanatical Ukrainian nationalist, and an important figure in the original 'Orange Revolution', was also a key member of Berezovsky's 'information operations' team. ..."
"... The account of his career by the 'New York Times' journalist Barry Meier in his 2016 study 'Missing Man' is a tissue of sleazy evasions, not least in relation to the role of Levinson in 'investigating' the notorious mobster Semion Mogilevich, a key figure in 'information operations' against both Putin and Trump, and also the opponents of Yulia Tymoshenko. ..."
"... A large question involved is how co-operation between not simply elements in MI6 and the CIA, but also in the FBI, with the oligarchs who refused to accept Putin's terms goes back a very long way. ..."
Jul 13, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Mueller Does Not Have Evidence That The IRA Was Part of Russian Government Meddling by Larry C Johnson

In the criminal case against alleged Russian operatives--Internet Research Agency and Concord Management and Consulting LLC--a Federal judge has declared that Robert Mueller has not offered one piece of solid evidence that these defendants were involved in any way with the Government of Russia. I think this is a potential game changer.

The world of law as opposed to the world of intelligence is as different as Mercury and Mars. The intelligence community aka IC can traffic in rumor and speculation. IC "solid" intelligence may be nothing more than the strident assertion of a source who lacks actual first hand knowledge of an event. The legal world does not enjoy that kind of sloppiness. If a prosecutor makes a claim, i.e., Jack shot Jill, then said prosecutor must show that Jack owned a firearm that matches the bullets recovered from Jill's body. Then the prosecutor needs to show that Jack was with Jill when the shooting took place and that forensic evidence recovered from Jack showed he had fired a firearm. Keep this distinction in mind as you consider what has transpired in the case against the Internet Research Agency and Concord Management and Consulting.

To understand why Judge Friedrich ruled as she did you must understand Local Rule 57.7. That rule: restricts public dissemination of information by attorneys involved in criminal cases where

"there is a reasonable likelihood that such dissemination will interfere with a fair trial or otherwise prejudice the administration of justice." It also authorizes the court "[i]n a widely publicized or sensational criminal case" to issue a special order governing extrajudicial statements and other matters designed to limit publicity that might interfere with the conduct of a fair trial. . . .

The rule prohibits lawyers associated with the prosecution or defense from publishing, between the time of the indictment and the commencement of trial, "[a]ny opinion as to the accused's guilt or innocence or as to the merits of the case or the evidence in the case."

In short, the US Government cannot come out and declare that Concord Management, for example, was acting on behalf or or in collaboration with the Russian Government without presenting actual evidence. A prosecutor cannot simply claim that Concord is a Putin Stooge.

The lawyers for Concord Management read the Mueller report and noted significant discrepancies between what was alleged in the original complaint and what was asserted as "fact" in the Mueller report.

On April 25, 2019, Concord filed the instant motion in which it argues that the Attorney General and Special Counsel violated Local Rule 57.7 by releasing information to the public that was not contained in the indictment. Concord's main contention is that the Special Counsel's Report, as released to the public, and the Attorney General's related public statements improperly suggested a link between the defendants and the Russian government and expressed an opinion about the defendants' guilt and the evidence against them.

Concord's lawyers wanted Judge Friedrich to find Robert Mueller and Attorney General Barr in contempt for violating rule 57.7.

Judge Friedrich gave Concord a partial victory:

Although the Court agrees that the government violated Rule 57.7 , it disagrees that contempt proceedings are an appropriate response to that violation. Instead, the Court has entered an order limiting public statements about this case moving forward and cautions the government that any future violations of that order will trigger a range of potential sanctions.

But the Judge did not stop there. She pointed out some glaring discrepancies between the Mueller Report and the actual indictment:

The Special Counsel Report describes efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. . . . But the indictment . . . does not link the defendants to the Russian government. Save for a single allegation that Concord and Concord Catering had several "government contracts" (with no further elaboration), id. ¶ 11, the indictment alleges only private conduct by private actors.

. . . the concluding paragraph of the section of the [Mueller] Report related to Concord states that the Special Counsel's "investigation established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election through the 'active measures' social media campaign carried out by" Concord's co-defendant, the Internet Research Agency (IRA). By attributing IRA's conduct to "Russia" -- as opposed to Russian individuals or entities -- the Report suggests that the activities alleged in the indictment were undertaken on behalf of, if not at the direction of, the Russian government.

Similarly, the Attorney General drew a link between the Russian government and this case during a press conference in which he stated that "[t]he Special Counsel's report outlines two main efforts by the Russian government to influence the 2016 election." . . . The "[f]irst" involved "efforts by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian company with close ties to the Russian government, to sow social discord among American voters through disinformation and social media operations." Id. The "[s]econd" involved "efforts by Russian military officials associated with the GRU," a Russian intelligence agency, to hack and leak private documents and emails from the Democratic Party and the Clinton Campaign.

The Report explains that it used the term "established" whenever "substantial, credible evidence enabled the Office to reach a conclusion with confidence." . . . It then states in its conclusion that the Special Counsel's "investigation established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election through the 'active measures' social media campaign carried out by the IRA." In context, this statement characterizes the evidence against the defendants as "substantial" and "credible," and it provides the Special Counsel's Office's "conclusion" about what actually occurred.

But the activities of the IRA and Concord Management are not established. In fact, Mueller's own report undermines his claims, as noted in a recent article by Nation's Aaron Mate. Although Mueller claims that it was "established that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election through the 'active measures' social media campaign carried out by" Concord's co-defendant, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), he provided no such evidence.

According to Mate :

After two years and $35 million, Mueller apparently failed to uncover any direct evidence linking the Prigozhin-controlled IRA's activities to the Kremlin. His best evidence is that "[n]umerous media sources have reported on Prigozhin's ties to Putin, and the two have appeared together in public photographs."

Mate's article, as I mentioned in a previous piece, does an excellent job of showing that the Mueller Report is based on heartfelt beliefs but devoid of corroborating evidence.

Some readers will insist that Mueller and his team have actual intelligence but cannot put that in an indictment. Well boys and girls, here is a simple truth--if you cannot produce evidence that can be presented in court then you do not have a case. There is that part of the Constitution that allows those accused of a crime to confront their accusers.

Posted at 11:09 PM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink


Sonal Chawhan , 12 July 2019 at 05:38 AM

Impressive!Thanks for the post
SAS Base and Advance

Peter VE , 12 July 2019 at 09:14 AM

Minor quibble: Judge Friedrich is a woman. I expect that this will get no play from the MSM, since Judge Friedrich was appointed by Trump, and "everyone" knows she's just covering up for him.

Larry Johnson -> Peter VE... , 12 July 2019 at 11:37 AM

Thanks. Never heard of a chick named, "Dabney." I was thinking Dabney Coleman. Dating myself.

Peter VE -> Larry Johnson ... , 12 July 2019 at 02:17 PM

Maybe her name is misspelled reference to Dagney Taggart...

Flavius , 12 July 2019 at 10:33 AM

Under the conditions and in the environment that it was returned, this indictment was Mueller and his partisan team throwing raw meat fo the media so as to prolong their mission, nothing more. Once filed, no one involved ever expected to appear in a courtroom to prosecute anyone, or defend any part of it. It was an abuse of process, pure and simple.

Consider it as a count against Mueller, his competence or his integrity, maybe both. He let himself become a tool.

pretzelattack -> Flavius... , 12 July 2019 at 07:27 PM

Johnson refers to "heartfelt beliefs" but i doubt Mueller believes his own bs. in this i guess he distinguishes himself from earlier witch-hunters, who apparently sincerely believed their targets were minions of satan.

blue peacock , 12 July 2019 at 11:33 AM

I think Mueller, Weissman, et al did not expect Concord to contest their indictment. They believed they could continue their PR effort that Russia changed the outcome of the election by sending out tweets and Facebook posts without anyone calling them out.

It seems on the current trajectory both the Trump colluded with Russia and our law enforcement & IC attempted a soft-coup will die on the vine. The latter because Trump is unwilling to declassify. It seems for him it was all just another reality TV show and him tweeting "witch hunt" constantly was what the script called for.

The next time the IC & law enforcement who now must believe that they are the real power behind the throne decide to exercise that power it will be a doozie.

The national security surveillance state is only going to get bigger and more powerful. I suppose that is the real competition between the CCP & the USA who can get more totalitarian sooner.

https://theintercept.com/2019/07/11/china-surveillance-google-ibm-semptian/

David Habakkuk , 12 July 2019 at 12:39 PM

Larry,

A fine piece.

I think a large question is raised as to how far the kind of sloppiness in the handling of evidence which Judge Friedrich identified in the Mueller report may have characterised a great deal of the treatment of matters to do with the post-Soviet space by the FBI and others – including almost all MSM journalists – for a very long time.

Unfortunately, one also finds this among some of the most useful critics of 'Russiagate'. So, for example, in a very valuable recent piece in the 'Epoch Times' about the questions that need to be put to Mueller, Jeff Carlson discusses some of the problems relating both to Christopher Steele's involvement with Oleg Deripaska, and the involvement of Fusion GPS with Natalia Veseltnitskaya which led to the Trump Tower meeting. (See https://www.theepochtimes.com/33-key-questions-for-robert-mueller_2988876.html .)

He then however goes on to write: 'In other words, not only was the firm that hired Steele, Fusion GPS, hired by the Russians, but Steele himself was hired directly by the Russians.'

And Andrew McCarthy, in the 'National Review', picks up one of the most interesting, and puzzling, moments in the fascinating notes by Kathy Kavalec of the conversation she had with Steele when Jonathan Winer brought him to see on her in October 2016. (See https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/07/oleg-deripaska-fbi-russia-collusion-theory/ )

Commenting on the fact that, in her scribbled notes, beside the names of Vladislav Surkov and Vyacheslav Trubnikov, who are indeed a top Putin adviser and a former SVR chief respectively, Kavalec writes 'source', McCarthy simply concludes that she meant that he had said that these were his – indirect – sources, and that this was accurate. And he goes on to write:

'Deripaska, Surkov, and Trubnikov were not informing on the Kremlin. These are Putin's guys. They were peddling what the Kremlin wanted the world to believe, and what the Kremlin shrewdly calculated would sow division in the American body politic. So, the question is: Did they find the perfect patsy in Christopher Steele?'

If you look at Kavalec's typing up of the notes, among a good deal of what looks to me like pure 'horse manure' – including the claim that 'Manafort has been the go-between with the campaign' – the single reference to Surkov and Trubnikov is that they are said to be 'also involved.'

As it happens, Surkov is a very complex figure indeed. His talents as a 'political technologist' were first identified by Khodorkovsky, before he subsequently played that role for Putin. It would obviously be possible that he and Steele still had common contacts.

The suggestion in Kavalec's notes that Sergei Millian 'may be involved in some way,' and also that, 'Per Steele, Millian is connected Simon Kukes (who took over management of Yukos when Khodorkovsky was arrested)' is interesting, but would seem to suggest that he would not have been cited to Kavalec as an intermediary.

All this is obviously worth putting together with claims made in the 'New York Times' follow-up on 9 July to the Reuters report on the same day breaking the story of the interviews carried out with Steele by the Inspector General's team in early June.

(See https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/09/us/politics/ig-russia-investigation-steele.html?module=inline .)

According to this:

'Moreover, by January 2017, F.B.I. agents had tracked down and interviewed one of Mr. Steele's main sources, a Russian speaker from a former Soviet republic who had spent time in the West, according to a Justice Department document obtained by The New York Times and three people familiar with the events. After questioning him, F.B.I. officials came to suspect that the man might have added his own interpretations to reports from his own sources that he passed on to Mr. Steele, calling into question the reliability of the information.'

Some observations prompted by all this.

Without wanting to prejudge things, it seems to me quite likely that what Horowitz has been contemplating is a kind of 'limited hangout'. So, the idea could be to suggest that Steele did have sources, that however these were not as reliable as he thought they were, but everything was done in good faith etc etc. In the light of information coming out, including that in the Friedrich ruling, he may however have decided to 'hold his horses.'

In trying to put together the accumulating evidence, it is necessary to realise, as so many people seem to find it difficult to do, that in matters like these people commonly play double games – often for very good reasons.

To say as Carlson does that Fusion and Steele were hired by 'the Russians' implies that these are some kind of collective entity – and then, one is one step away from the assumption that Veselnitskaya and Deripaska, as well as 'Putin's Cook', are simply puppets controlled by the master manipulator in the Kremlin. (The fact that Friedrich applies serious standards for assessing evidence to Mueller's version of this is one of the reasons why her judgement is so important.)

As regards what McCarthy says, to lump Surkov and Deripaska together as 'Putin's guys' is unhelpful. Actually, it seems to me very unlikely, although perhaps not absolutely impossible, that, had he been implicated in any conspiracy to intervene in an American election, Surkov would have been talking candidly about his role to anyone liable to relay the information to Steele.

Likewise, however, the notion of a Machiachiavellian Surkov, feeding disinformation about a non-existent plot through an intermediary to Steele, who swallows it hook, line and sinker, does not seem particularly plausible.

A rather more obvious possibility is that the intermediaries who were supposed to have conveyed a whole lot of 'smoking gun' evidence to Steele were either 1. fabrications, 2. people whom without their knowledge he cast in this role, or 3. co-conspirators. It would, obviously, be possible that Millian, although one can say no more than that at this stage, was involved in either or both of roles 2. and 3.

It is important that the general pattern of assuming that Putin is some kind of omnipotent Sauron-figure, which has clearly left Mueller open to a counter-attack by Concord, was given a classic expression in the testimony which Glenn Simpson gave to the House Intelligence Committee in November 2017.

(See https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/House_Intelligence_Committee_Interview_of_Glenn_Simpson )

Providing his version of what was going on following his move from the Washington office of the 'Wall Street Journal' to its European headquarters in January 2005, Simpson told the Committee:

'And the oligarchs, during this period of consolidation of power by Vladimir Putin, when I was living in Brussels and doing all this work, was about him essentially taking control over both the oligarchs and the mafia groups. And so basically everyone in Russia works for Putin now. And that's true of the diaspora as well. So the Russian mafia in the United States is believed bylaw enforcement criminologists to have – to be under the influence of the Russian security services. And this is convenient for the security services because it gives them a level of deniability.'

A bit less than two years after Simpson's move to Brussels, a similar account featured in what appears to have been the first attempt by Christopher Steele and his confederates to provide a 'narrative' in terms of which could situate the supposed assassination by polonium poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko.

This came in a BBC Radio 4 programme, entitled 'The Litvinenko Mystery', in which a veteran presenter with the Corporation, Tom Mangold, produced an account by the former KGB Major Yuri Shvets, supported by the former FBI Agent Robert Levinson, and an 'Unidentified Informer', who is told by Mangold that he cannot be identified 'reasons of your own personal security'.

(A full transcript is on the 'Evidence' archived website of the Litvinenko Inquiry – one needs to search for the reference HMG000513 – at https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence ">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence">https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

This figure, whose credentials we have no means of assessing, explains:

'Well it's not well known to Western leaders or Western people but it is pretty well known in Russia. Because essentially it is common knowledge in Russia that by the end of Nineties the so called Russian organised crime had been destroyed by the Government and then the Russian security agencies, primarily the law enforcement and primarily the FSB, essentially assumes the functions and methods of Russian organised crime. And they became one of the most dangerous organised crime group because they are protected by law. They're protected by all power of the State. They have essentially the free hand in the country and this shadow establishment essentially includes the entire structure of the FSB from the very top people in Moscow going down to the low offices.'

The story Mangold told was a pathetic tale of how Litvinenko and Shvets, trying to turn an honest penny from 'due diligence' work, identified damning evidence about the links of a figure close to Putin to organised crime, who in return sent Andrei Lugovoi to poison the former with polonium.

A few problems with this version have, however, subsequently, emerged. Among them is the fact that, at the time, Litvinenko himself, as well as having been a key member of the late Boris Berezovsky's 'information operations team', was an agent, as distinct from an informant, of MI6: accounts differ as to whether Steele was his personal 'handler' (John Sipher), or had never met him (Luke Harding).

Also relevant is the fact that Shvets, a fanatical Ukrainian nationalist, and an important figure in the original 'Orange Revolution', was also a key member of Berezovsky's 'information operations' team.

Perhaps most interesting is the fact that the disappearance of Levinson, on the Iranian island of Kish, the following March, was not as was claimed for years related to his private sector work. His entrapment and imprisonment – from which we now know Deripaska was later involved in attempting to rescue him – related to an undercover mission on behalf of elements in the CIA.

The account of his career by the 'New York Times' journalist Barry Meier in his 2016 study 'Missing Man' is a tissue of sleazy evasions, not least in relation to the role of Levinson in 'investigating' the notorious mobster Semion Mogilevich, a key figure in 'information operations' against both Putin and Trump, and also the opponents of Yulia Tymoshenko.

A large question involved is how co-operation between not simply elements in MI6 and the CIA, but also in the FBI, with the oligarchs who refused to accept Putin's terms goes back a very long way.

And, among other things, that raises a whole range of questions about Mueller.

Dan -> David Habakkuk ... , 12 July 2019 at 04:36 PM

Great info, thanks. I admittedly don't watch the skeptics' comments closely enough, and can be susceptible to twisted observations from guys like Carlson and Solomon.

[Jul 13, 2019] Concord Management and the End of Russiagate by Daniel Lazare

Notable quotes:
"... Thus, the IRA played a major role in the vast Kremlin conspiracy to alter the outcome of the 2016 election and install Donald Trump in office. But now Judge Dabney Friedrich has ordered Mueller to stop pushing such stories because they're unfair to Concord Management and Consulting, another Prigozhin company, which astonished the legal world in May 2018 by hiring an expensive Washington law firm and demanding its day in court ..."
"... Without the IRA, the only argument left in Mueller's brief is that Russia stole some 28,000 emails and other electronic documents from Democratic National Committee computers and then passed them along to WikiLeaks , which published them to great fanfare in July 2016. ..."
"... But as Consortium News pointed out the day the Mueller report came out, that's dubious as well. [See " The 'Guccifer 2.0' Gaps in Mueller's Full Report ," April 18.] The reason: it rests on a timeline that doesn't make sense: ..."
"... why would Assange announce the leaked emails on June 12 before hearing from the source on June 22? ..."
"... How could that be enough time to review the contents and ensure they were genuine? "If a single one of those emails had been shown to be maliciously altered," blogger Mark F. McCarty points out , "WikiLeaks's reputation would have been in tatters." Quite right. So if Mueller's chronology doesn't hold up, then Assange's original statement that "our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party" still stands – which it plainly does. ..."
"... Bottom line: Russiagate is going up in smoke. The claim that Russian military intelligence fed thousands of emails to WikiLeaks doesn't stand up to scrutiny while Mueller is not only unable to a prove a connection between the Internet Research Agency and the Kremlin but is barred from even discussing it, according to Friedrich's ruling, without risking a charge of contempt. After 22 months of investigating the ins and outs of Russian interference, Mueller seems to have finally come up dry. ..."
"... "Revenge of the oligarchs" might be a good headline for this story. The IRA indictment initially seemed to be a no-lose proposition for Mueller. He got to look good in the press, the media got to indulge in yet another round of Russia-bashing, while, best of all, no one had to prove a thing. "Mueller's allegations will never be tested in court," noted Andrew C. McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor turned pundit for the rightwing National Review . "That makes his indictment more a political statement than a charging instrument." ..."
"... Then came the unexpected. Concord Management hired Reed Smith, a top-flight law firm with offices around the world, and demanded to be heard. ..."
"... then the firm demanded to exercise its right of discovery, meaning that it wanted access to Mueller's immense investigative file. Blindsided, Mueller's requested a delay "on the astonishing ground," according to McCarthy , "that the defendant has not been properly served – notwithstanding that the defendant has shown up in court and asked to be arraigned." ..."
"... Prigozhin was forcing the special prosecutor to show what he's got, McCarthy went on, at zero risk to himself since he was not on U.S. soil. What was once a no-lose proposition for Mueller was suddenly a no-lose proposition for Putin's unexpectedly clever cook. ..."
"... Now Mueller is in an even worse pickle because he's barred from mentioning a major chunk of his report. What will he discuss if Democrats succeed in getting him to testify before the House intelligence and judiciary committees next week – the weather? ..."
"... If his team goes forward with the Concord prosecution, he'll risk having to turn over sensitive information while involving himself in a legal tangle that could go on for years, all without any conceivable payoff. If he drops it, the upshot will be a public-relations disaster of the first order ..."
"... As skeptics have pointed out, the IRA's social-media campaign was both more modest and more ineffectual then the Mueller report's over-the-top language about a "sweeping and systematic" conspiracy would suggest. Yet after Facebook Vice President Rob Goldman tweeted that "the majority of the Russian ad spend happened AFTER the election," he was forced to beg for forgiveness like a defendant in a Moscow show trial for daring to play down the magnitude of the crime. ..."
"... Hard to believe, but it is possible that the dumb Dem leaders still -- to this day -- believe their story-line. How else to account for the incredible denseness of Pelosi and Nadler, both of whom should be down at the southern border rather than fiddling on a rusty Russia-gate Stradivarius -- fiddling while little kids burn. ..."
"... Trump may be vulgar and unorganized but his efforts to maintain our sovereign borders are welcomed and will secure his second term. 6 or 7 years ago, every senior Democrat (Biden, Hillary, Schumer, Pelosi, etc.) were against open borders and illegal immigrants. Their current stance is crass politics not concern for human welfare. ..."
"... The whole Mueller investigation was always "theatre" and not "law." And not just "theatre" by Mueller, but by the media and the Democratic Party as well. ..."
"... Only a few things were proven: Mueller has no credibility, the "Justice Department" is dysfunctional, the mainstream media is a joke and the the DNC was able to rig the primaries and effectively hide that fact using the fog of the Russiagate farce. ..."
"... What do you do now Mr Mueller, now that your bluff has been called? Another one of many nails in the coffin of this ridiculous, American, Hallucination Hoax called Russiagate! ..."
"... Mueller thought he was simply practicing the real government policy on fooling the public with endless iterations of horse hockey which Dubya tried to obscure with his "fool me once, fool me twice " razz-ma-tazz. ..."
"... You can bet that the likes of Rachel Maddow will never change their tune on the subject of Russiagate. However, with the election season heating up, it might seem wise for them to start singing a different tune altogether, such as Sanders and Warren are too radical to have any chance of defeating Trump. The saddest thing of all is that the Dems' fixation on Russia and Putin is now coming back to bite them in the ass. Trump could not have asked for a better gift. ..."
"... These indictments (including the 12 GRU) were all press releases to fuel the "I'm doing something" and "Russia's involved" noise. Not a lawyer but those who are commented that these Russian "indictments" were not only without evidence (which would have come out in a court had such been the intent) but they went way beyond a straightforward indictment to something approximating an OP ED for the WoPo or NYT. ..."
"... I watched the excellent movie "The Big Short" last night, it was my second viewing after seeing it at the theater. It was painful to watch because it's about the abject failure and corruption of Wall Street, but beyond that, it's about the failure of Our System and about how the People always are the essential losers. ..."
"... We here at Consortiumnews have basically known these facts since Robert Parry's death, why?, because Robert was an extraordinary reporter who actually looked into the underlying dynamic of the subject he reported on. And, relying on his honesty, we were brought along on the Real story leading up to this. ..."
"... What's needed to convince Americans that "Russia" did not interfere in the election and did not hack the DNC is not a judge but an exorcist. ..."
"... This profound belief based on DNC, HRC confabulated and paid for evidence is in so many ways, if not totally, akin to the belief in UFOs and little green men (why is it always "men"?). Yet the same people who are "Russia and Putin did it" frenetic are those who denounce as insane nutters those who believe in the existence of UFOs and those grass colored men ..."
"... It should be interesting to see how this plays out, if the judiciary has the fortitude to stand up to the Den of Spooks. ..."
Jul 13, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

CAMPAIGN 2016 , INTELLIGENCE , RUSSIA , RUSSIAGATE , TRUMP ADMINISTRATION , WIKILEAKS Concord Management and the End of Russiagate? July 12, 2019 • 23 Comments

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A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has just shut down half of Robert Mueller's Russian-interference case, writes Daniel Lazare.

By Daniel Lazare
Special to Consortium News

Don't look now, but a federal judge in Washington, D.C., has just shut down half of Robert Mueller's Russian-interference case.

In February 2018, the special prosecutor indicted a St. Petersburg troll farm called the Internet Research Agency along with two other companies, their owner, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, and 12 employees. The charge: fraud, traveling to the United States under false pretenses, and using social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to "sow discord" and "interfere in US political and electoral processes without detection of their Russian affiliation."

The charge was both legally dubious and heavy-handed, a case of using a sledge hammer to swat a fly. But Mueller went even further in his report , an expurgated version of which was made public in April. No longer just a Russian company, the IRA was now an arm of the Russian government. "[T]he Special Counsel's investigation," it declared on page one, "established that Russia interfered in the 2016 election principally through two operations.

First, a Russian entity carried out a social media campaign that favored presidential candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Second, a Russian intelligence service conducted computer-intrusion operations against entities, employees, and volunteers working in the Clinton campaign and then released stolen documents."

"Prigozhin," the report added, referring to the IRA owner, "is widely reported to have ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin." A few pages later, it said that the IRA's efforts "constituted 'active measures' a term that typically refers to operations conducted by Russian security services aimed at influencing the course of international affairs."

Thus, the IRA played a major role in the vast Kremlin conspiracy to alter the outcome of the 2016 election and install Donald Trump in office. But now Judge Dabney Friedrich has ordered Mueller to stop pushing such stories because they're unfair to Concord Management and Consulting, another Prigozhin company, which astonished the legal world in May 2018 by hiring an expensive Washington law firm and demanding its day in court.

Contrary to internet chatter , Friedrich did not offer an opinion as to whether the IRA-Kremlin connection is true or false. Rather, she told the special prosecutor to keep quiet because such statements go beyond the scope of the original indictment and are therefore prejudicial to the defendant. But it may be a distinction without a difference since the only evidence that Mueller puts forth in the public version of his report is a New York Times article from February 2018 entitled "Yevgeny Prigozhin, Russian Oligarch Indicted by US, Is Known as 'Putin's Cook.'"

It's a case of trial by press clip that should have been laughed out of court – and now, more or less, it is. Without the IRA, the only argument left in Mueller's brief is that Russia stole some 28,000 emails and other electronic documents from Democratic National Committee computers and then passed them along to WikiLeaks , which published them to great fanfare in July 2016.

But as Consortium News pointed out the day the Mueller report came out, that's dubious as well. [See " The 'Guccifer 2.0' Gaps in Mueller's Full Report ," April 18.] The reason: it rests on a timeline that doesn't make sense:

But why would Assange announce the leaked emails on June 12 before hearing from the source on June 22? Was he clairvoyant? Why would he release a massive file just eight days after receiving it and as a little as four days after opening it up?

How could that be enough time to review the contents and ensure they were genuine? "If a single one of those emails had been shown to be maliciously altered," blogger Mark F. McCarty points out , "WikiLeaks's reputation would have been in tatters." Quite right. So if Mueller's chronology doesn't hold up, then Assange's original statement that "our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party" still stands – which it plainly does.

Going Up in Smoke

Bottom line: Russiagate is going up in smoke. The claim that Russian military intelligence fed thousands of emails to WikiLeaks doesn't stand up to scrutiny while Mueller is not only unable to a prove a connection between the Internet Research Agency and the Kremlin but is barred from even discussing it, according to Friedrich's ruling, without risking a charge of contempt. After 22 months of investigating the ins and outs of Russian interference, Mueller seems to have finally come up dry.

"Revenge of the oligarchs" might be a good headline for this story. The IRA indictment initially seemed to be a no-lose proposition for Mueller. He got to look good in the press, the media got to indulge in yet another round of Russia-bashing, while, best of all, no one had to prove a thing. "Mueller's allegations will never be tested in court," noted Andrew C. McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor turned pundit for the rightwing National Review . "That makes his indictment more a political statement than a charging instrument."

Then came the unexpected. Concord Management hired Reed Smith, a top-flight law firm with offices around the world, and demanded to be heard. The move was "a real head-scratcher," one Washington attorney told Buzzfeed , because Concord was beyond the reach of U.S. law and therefore had nothing to fear from an indictment and nothing to gain, apparently, from going to court. But then the firm demanded to exercise its right of discovery, meaning that it wanted access to Mueller's immense investigative file. Blindsided, Mueller's requested a delay "on the astonishing ground," according to McCarthy , "that the defendant has not been properly served – notwithstanding that the defendant has shown up in court and asked to be arraigned."

Prigozhin was forcing the special prosecutor to show what he's got, McCarthy went on, at zero risk to himself since he was not on U.S. soil. What was once a no-lose proposition for Mueller was suddenly a no-lose proposition for Putin's unexpectedly clever cook.

Now Mueller is in an even worse pickle because he's barred from mentioning a major chunk of his report. What will he discuss if Democrats succeed in getting him to testify before the House intelligence and judiciary committees next week – the weather?

If his team goes forward with the Concord prosecution, he'll risk having to turn over sensitive information while involving himself in a legal tangle that could go on for years, all without any conceivable payoff. If he drops it, the upshot will be a public-relations disaster of the first order.

As skeptics have pointed out, the IRA's social-media campaign was both more modest and more ineffectual then the Mueller report's over-the-top language about a "sweeping and systematic" conspiracy would suggest. Yet after Facebook Vice President Rob Goldman tweeted that "the majority of the Russian ad spend happened AFTER the election," he was forced to beg for forgiveness like a defendant in a Moscow show trial for daring to play down the magnitude of the crime.

But it wasn't Goldman who shaved the truth. Rather, it was Mueller. Thanks to the unexpected appearance of Concord Management, he's now paying the price.

Daniel Lazare is the author of "The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy" (Harcourt Brace, 1996) and other books about American politics. He has written for a wide variety of publications from The Nation to Le Monde Diplomatique and blogs about the Constitution and related matters at D aniellazare.com .

If you value this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.


David H , July 12, 2019 at 18:17

Does "prejudicial to the defendant" mean the same thing as prejudiced against the defendant?

Stan W. , July 12, 2019 at 13:55

The myth regarding Russian influence in the 2016 election that enabled Donald Trump to "steal" the presidency from Hillary Clinton would make a good sequel to a movie from 1966. Its title: "THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING! THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!"

Jeff Harrison , July 12, 2019 at 12:33

The one thing I'd like to know is: did Mueller ever provide the requested discovery documents or not?

Ray McGovern , July 12, 2019 at 11:20

BRAVO, Dan. AND, as you aware, the "hacking half" of Mueller's magnum opus also cannot bear close scrutiny.

Remember where you heard this first, "Current and former intelligence officials" tell me that Mueller has asked his mother to write a note to be excused from the field trip to Congress next Thursday, the 17th.

In my view, the only sympathy Mueller should be able to elicit at this point is the cruel reality that he chose to perform one last job for the Deep State after he had reached the age of statutory senility. His handlers will try to prop him up to the extent possible, but the die is now cast. The whipping-up of Russia-gate can now be seen -- at least by consortium news readers -- as a "best-defense-is-a-good-offensive" operation to obfuscate the reality of Deep-State-gate.

Hard to believe, but it is possible that the dumb Dem leaders still -- to this day -- believe their story-line. How else to account for the incredible denseness of Pelosi and Nadler, both of whom should be down at the southern border rather than fiddling on a rusty Russia-gate Stradivarius -- fiddling while little kids burn. They ought to do their Constitutional duty to impeach -- not on the basis of evidence-less Russia-gate charges -- but because the President is treading heavily on KIDS, as well as the Constitution.

Let's hear more from Tulsi Gabbard.

Again, great job, Dan. I can almost see Bob Parry smiling.

Ray

Chet Roman , July 12, 2019 at 18:15

You've been right all along Ray. Appreciate all your accurate investigating and reporting.

However, I must disagree with your suggestion of impeachment on two phony issues: kids and the constitution. You should focus your wrath on the Democrats that will not correct our immigration laws. The only reason there is a surge of children and families is because the democrats and their radical liberals have made it clear to the world that if you bring children you are free to illegally cross the border. You may be stopped but the kids you bring with you (your own or rent-a-kiddie) are essentially a get out of jail card. We now have Africans from the Congo crossing over with luggage, the latest group are Haitians, WTF?

As an immigrant I support our immigrants that come here legally but not those that break the law. Diversity is not our strength but just adds to the division and conflict within our society. Trump may be vulgar and unorganized but his efforts to maintain our sovereign borders are welcomed and will secure his second term. 6 or 7 years ago, every senior Democrat (Biden, Hillary, Schumer, Pelosi, etc.) were against open borders and illegal immigrants. Their current stance is crass politics not concern for human welfare.

Mike from Jersey , July 12, 2019 at 10:20

The whole Mueller investigation was always "theatre" and not "law." And not just "theatre" by Mueller, but by the media and the Democratic Party as well. And the Republicans cannot rejoice in the result since – not only did Mueller baselessly refuse to concede "exoneration" – Mueller's report itself is a joke in the first place. This article points that out.

So what are we left with?

Only a few things were proven: Mueller has no credibility, the "Justice Department" is dysfunctional, the mainstream media is a joke and the the DNC was able to rig the primaries and effectively hide that fact using the fog of the Russiagate farce.

In short, America's political system is completely broken.

O Society , July 12, 2019 at 09:20

We have heard the name of Judge Dabney Freidrich before. She is a bit of a wildcard here, as she does not necessarily do what the powers that be expect of her. Here she pulls the rug out from under Mueller when he and the Scooby Doo gang was no doubt expecting never to actually have to go to court against the Russian meddling kids:

https://osociety.org/2018/10/21/judge-orders-mueller-to-prove-russian-company-meddled-in-election/

and here she has Kavanaugh's back during his Supreme Court nomination process as he screams about his entitlement to do whatever he damned well pleases because he's entitled rich folk who went to Yale part of the Club aristocracy:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4946213-Judge-Dabney-Friedrich-s-Letter-to-the-Senate.html

Piotr Berman , July 12, 2019 at 09:19

About Prigozhin the oligarch, Wikipedia: "The Anti-Corruption Foundation accused Prigozhin of corrupt business practices. They estimated his illegal wealth to be worth more than one billion rubles.[11]" So the opposition outfit (and those exist in "dictatorial" Russia) accuses Prigozhin of amassing 16 million dollars of "illegal wealth". Poor Russia. In USA, a single doctor can get more by overbilling Medicare, Workers' Compensation etc.

KiwiAntz , July 12, 2019 at 09:16

Mueller, Mueller, Mueller- Class, anyone, anyone?? Ferris Mueller's Day Off is turning into a nightmare & his Report is crashing & burning, faster than a US Drone, shot down & blasted out of the Sky, by the IRG in the Sea of Homuz? It's all very well accusing people of crimes & slandering reputations knowing or hoping that under normal circumstances the accused wouldn't show up to defend the charges, but these accused Russians are prepared to challenge Mueller's fictitious findings? What do you do now Mr Mueller, now that your bluff has been called? Another one of many nails in the coffin of this ridiculous, American, Hallucination Hoax called Russiagate!

Realist , July 12, 2019 at 16:08

Mueller thought he was simply practicing the real government policy on fooling the public with endless iterations of horse hockey which Dubya tried to obscure with his "fool me once, fool me twice " razz-ma-tazz.

Mr. Mueller will take the "A" train to Davy Jones' locker trying to hoodwink the public on this fiasco, rather than getting religion and uttering the more appropriate "mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa."

AnneR , July 12, 2019 at 09:07

Nice, Mr Lazare, very, very nice. One can only hope that Mueller and the rest of the conspirators (for what else are they?) get their full comeuppance. However, I doubt that given past history and the ability of all those with and in power to escape full scrutiny and real punishment (a lengthy prison sentence).

Unfortunately and dishearteningly, I also doubt that the true believers, of which there are all too many and among whom all too many are highly and expensively educated, will let any of this alter by one iota their apparently adamantine position on "Russiagate," their anti-Putin Russophobia. Or their equally apparent adoration of HRC.

Rob , July 12, 2019 at 12:27

You can bet that the likes of Rachel Maddow will never change their tune on the subject of Russiagate. However, with the election season heating up, it might seem wise for them to start singing a different tune altogether, such as Sanders and Warren are too radical to have any chance of defeating Trump. The saddest thing of all is that the Dems' fixation on Russia and Putin is now coming back to bite them in the ass. Trump could not have asked for a better gift.

Antonio Costa , July 12, 2019 at 09:01

These indictments (including the 12 GRU) were all press releases to fuel the "I'm doing something" and "Russia's involved" noise. Not a lawyer but those who are commented that these Russian "indictments" were not only without evidence (which would have come out in a court had such been the intent) but they went way beyond a straightforward indictment to something approximating an OP ED for the WoPo or NYT.

The intel report ordered by Obama (2 of them) had no evidence, and the last one went on and on about RT as if RT has conspired to infiltrate the minds of US voters (huge laugh given their reach and those who watch, or listen generally don't need convincing of US government nefarious doings).

I did read both reports and indictments, and as a lay person it was clear there was no substance. In the case of the intel report even Obama concluded there was nothing.

Yet the 2+ year circus went on and on as a media ($$$) frenzy. No one really cared, nor do they to this day.

This is what the unraveling of an empire looks like. Let's hope there's a truly new and better day ahead after the collapse.

OlyaPola , July 12, 2019 at 08:58

When deflating a balloon care is required to ensure it doesn't shoot off in all directions exposing the skill levels of would-be performers.

Bob Van Noy , July 12, 2019 at 08:05

I watched the excellent movie "The Big Short" last night, it was my second viewing after seeing it at the theater. It was painful to watch because it's about the abject failure and corruption of Wall Street, but beyond that, it's about the failure of Our System and about how the People always are the essential losers.

We here at Consortiumnews have basically known these facts since Robert Parry's death, why?, because Robert was an extraordinary reporter who actually looked into the underlying dynamic of the subject he reported on. And, relying on his honesty, we were brought along on the Real story leading up to this.

Now, much like the movie I mentioned, we know we were right to trust CN, but there is little joy in watching the confirmation of a failed fourth estate and failed democratic experiment. Now we are left with the anxiety of how to repair this mess

Oh well, thanks Consortiumnews.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1596363/

Alfred di Genis , July 12, 2019 at 04:18

What's needed to convince Americans that "Russia" did not interfere in the election and did not hack the DNC is not a judge but an exorcist.

AnneR , July 12, 2019 at 09:13

Truly. This profound belief based on DNC, HRC confabulated and paid for evidence is in so many ways, if not totally, akin to the belief in UFOs and little green men (why is it always "men"?). Yet the same people who are "Russia and Putin did it" frenetic are those who denounce as insane nutters those who believe in the existence of UFOs and those grass colored men

Realist , July 12, 2019 at 04:17

Maybe Mueller should ask Putin for asylum before he concedes the truth and implicates Brennan, Clapper, Hillary and Obama as masterminds of Intelgate. I don't think he's getting a pardon from Trump.

That Hillary was so clever in her design to fatally slur both the Donald and the "New Hitler" in Moscow with one big lie, while deftly knifing Bernie in the back as attentions were directed at the bigger fish. Not!

It should be interesting to see how this plays out, if the judiciary has the fortitude to stand up to the Den of Spooks.

Ray McGovern , July 12, 2019 at 11:33

Realist,

You have that right, as usual. "If the judiciary ." A very BIG "If." How many judges like Dabney Friedrich, I wonder, are still on the bench? We may be about to see.

Ray

[Jun 27, 2019] The Myth of Russian Media Influence by Larry C Johnson

The accusation played important role in unleashing neo-McCartyism campaign in the USA. So "The Moor has done his duty. The Moor can go ...."
Notable quotes:
"... Russian information troll farm the Internet Research Agency spent just 0.05 percent as much on Facebook ads as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's campaigns combined in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, yet still reached a massive audience. While there might have been other Russian disinformation groups, the IRA spent $46,000 on pre-election day Facebook ads compared to $81 million spent by Clinton and Trump together, discluding political action committees who could have spent even more than that on the campaigns' behalf. ..."
"... So, the Lilliputian Russians, spending a pittance compared to the Goliaths of the Clinton and Trump campaigns, was the deciding factor in 2016? Bullshit. ..."
"... The pathetic and laughable U.S. intelligence community (aka IC) did not do a state-by-state breakdown of how these various social media campaigns operated in those states that swung the election to Trump. ..."
"... the IC is completely silent on the efforts of other countries, such as China and Israel. ..."
"... I had my own experience with Russian media influence, or the lack of such influence to be more precise. I was interviewed on Russia Today aka RT on March 4, 2017 to comment on Donald Trump's claim that the FBI had wiretapped Trump Towers. During that interview I noted that the Brits, not the FBI, were ones doing electronic surveillance of Trump. And how did the public and the media react to that bomb shell pronouncement by me? Crickets. No reaction. ..."
"... The crazy insistence that Russia grossly interfered in our 2016 election is a canard. Too bad the vast majority of America has bought into this absurd nonsense. Yes, there were groups linked to the Russian government that were pushing stories on social media. ..."
"... I think Iran/Contra was the watershed moment. The CIA became very politicized and the quality of analysis and spy trade craft declined significantly. John Brennan turned the place into a freak show. When you have "Dykes on Bikes" day at CIA Headquarters you know you have lost your way. ..."
"... Not only is the IC community discredited but so should most of the Democratic media operations and campaign advisors. ..."
Jun 27, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Republicans and Democrats, along with almost all of the media, have accepted the lie that the Russians engaged in unprecedented "interference" in the 2016 Presidential election. It is a ridiculous proposition and is based on a presumption rather than actual evidence. The Intel Community said it is true so, by definition, it must be true.

Let's focus on the actual numbers. How much money did the Russians spend? According to Robert Mueller, $1.25 million per month . If you start that money clock in May of 2016, that means those pesky Rookies spent $8.75 million. But let us be generous and add on the previous four months, essentially starting the clock in January 2016 before the first primary votes. That brings the total to $13 million.

Hillary and Donald, by contrast, spent over $81 million on Facebook alone . According to TechCrunch:

Russian information troll farm the Internet Research Agency spent just 0.05 percent as much on Facebook ads as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump's campaigns combined in the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election, yet still reached a massive audience. While there might have been other Russian disinformation groups, the IRA spent $46,000 on pre-election day Facebook ads compared to $81 million spent by Clinton and Trump together, discluding political action committees who could have spent even more than that on the campaigns' behalf.

Trump and Clinton, when you factor in their various political action committees, spent millions more.

A fuller analysis of the spending on the major social media platforms was provided by Medium.com :

Surprisingly, Clinton's campaign was overall more active on Twitter and on Facebook than Trump's , generating 19 percent more messages (11,475 messages by Clinton to 9,390 by Trump). On Facebook, Clinton generated 500 more messages than Trump. While Trump's tweets seemed to garner more news coverage, Clinton's campaign was actually substantially more active on social media, generating 25 messages a day on average to Trump's 20.

Yet, Trump's social media following was larger than Clinton's . In November 2015, Clinton had 1.7 million followers on Facebook. By Election Day that had grown to 8.4 million, a 394 percent increase. Trump had 4.2 million Followers on Facebook in November 2015. By Election Day, that number jumped to 12.35 million, a 194 percent increase. So, while Clinton saw a greater increase, Trump still had nearly 4 million more followers. . . .

All of this suggests that while Clinton's campaign was overall more active on its social media accounts, it did not receive the same amount of attention and support on social media as compared with Donald Trump. . . .

In the last months of the campaign, generally the focus shifted to voter registration and then get-out-the vote efforts. Social media can be a useful starting place for helping give supporters events and activities to do to be part of the campaign and to help with the effort of winning the election. Although both campaigns, indeed, increased their calls-to-action in the last two months of the campaign, Clinton beat Trump in volume of such messages on Facebook and Twitter, producing a third more call-to-action type messages (See Figure 17). If we only look at Facebook, however, Trump's campaign produced as many call-to-action type message as Clinton in October.

When it came to asking people to vote, the Clinton campaign produced more than twice as many messages asking for people to vote on election day on the two platforms (See Figure 18), but most of that was on Twitter. On Facebook, both campaigns urged people to vote at the same rate, but on Twitter, Clinton's campaign produces three times more appeals for votes than does Trump.

So, the Lilliputian Russians, spending a pittance compared to the Goliaths of the Clinton and Trump campaigns, was the deciding factor in 2016? Bullshit.

The pathetic and laughable U.S. intelligence community (aka IC) did not do a state-by-state breakdown of how these various social media campaigns operated in those states that swung the election to Trump. Nor did the IC look back at the Russian and Soviet Union covert propaganda efforts over the previous 90 years. If you are going to do a comparison you need to have a benchmark. This is what we know for certain--Russia and its predecessor, the USSR, ran comprehensive and continuous information operations in the United States, including computer network operations.

No one can say with any degree of certainty that what Russia did in 2016 was qualitatively and quantitatively different. Also, the IC is completely silent on the efforts of other countries, such as China and Israel. Nope, just accept on faith that the Russians committed an attack worse than Pearl Harbor.

I had my own experience with Russian media influence, or the lack of such influence to be more precise. I was interviewed on Russia Today aka RT on March 4, 2017 to comment on Donald Trump's claim that the FBI had wiretapped Trump Towers. During that interview I noted that the Brits, not the FBI, were ones doing electronic surveillance of Trump. And how did the public and the media react to that bomb shell pronouncement by me? Crickets. No reaction.

The crazy insistence that Russia grossly interfered in our 2016 election is a canard. Too bad the vast majority of America has bought into this absurd nonsense. Yes, there were groups linked to the Russian government that were pushing stories on social media. The Chinese did the same thing. So did the Israelis and the Brits. I am sure there are other countries who were pushing their own agenda as well. But that is a truth American is too damn lazy to grasp.

Posted at 08:04 AM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink


joanna , 27 June 2019 at 08:21 AM

The pathetic and laughable U.S. intelligence community (aka IC)

yes, when exactly did they get laughable? After you left with a solid pension, I would assume, or a long time before?

Larry Johnson , 27 June 2019 at 09:57 AM
Well, you're dead ass wrong. Shocker. I did not "leave" with a solid pension. I stayed four years. No pension. But I did maintain clearances and continued to work with CIA, DIA and NSA over the ensuing 25 years. My criticism is grounded in experience. I think Iran/Contra was the watershed moment. The CIA became very politicized and the quality of analysis and spy trade craft declined significantly. John Brennan turned the place into a freak show. When you have "Dykes on Bikes" day at CIA Headquarters you know you have lost your way.
Fred , 27 June 2019 at 09:57 AM
"...did not do a state-by-state breakdown of how these various social media campaigns operated in those states that swung the election to Trump. "
Hilary's campaign staff didn't do this level of work when directing their own media efforts either. At some point she, being the head of the campaign, should have been able to get answers to the questions "what is the return for each advertising effort" and "what does that do to the electoral vote count." Not only is the IC community discredited but so should most of the Democratic media operations and campaign advisors.

[Apr 24, 2019] Why then Mueller backed off (in panic) from the indicted' readiness to show up in court?

Apr 24, 2019 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: April 23, 2019 at 11:19 pm GMT

@Sean "Trump owes the Russians nothing, he was their way to stop Clinton."

-- Sean, you seem as taking really seriously the $4.700 spent by Russians on the Google ads as well as the indictment of Russian "hackers and trolls" (the alleged army of Kremlin) in absentia. Why then Mueller backed off (in panic) from the indicted' readiness to show up in court?

Your thinking is not original: https://www.foxnews.com/politics/democratic-operatives-created-fake-russian-bots-in-alabama-race-designed-to-link-kremlin-to-republican-roy-moore

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-13/google-ceo-exposes-shocking-full-extent-russian-meddling-2016

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/04/mueller-russia-interference-election-case-delay-570627

You may have some special grievances against Russia and Russians, but why such obvious depreciation of your intelligence by repeating after Adam Schiff?

[Apr 21, 2019] The Internet Research Agency only spent, according to the report itself, only spent $100,000, actually, on their activity in terms of buying advertising in Facebook and Twitter

Apr 20, 2019 | therealnews.com

GREG WILPERT: Yeah. I mean, I think it's also important to note that the Internet Research Agency only spent, according to the report itself, only spent $100,000, actually, on their activity in terms of buying advertising in Facebook and Twitter.

And that's really absolutely nothing compared to what the campaigns more generally spend in those areas in terms of advertising.

And so the idea that they somehow influence the election just based on social media seems mind boggling to believe...

[Apr 18, 2019] This Deep State stooge Mueller now looks like a compete idiot

Apr 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

somebody , Apr 18, 2019 1:18:58 PM | link

Barr says that the Mueller report insists that Russia attempted to interfere in U.S. elections:
First, the report details efforts by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian company with close ties to the Russian government, to sow social discord among American voters through disinformation and social media operations.

How exactly was it established that the IRA intended to "sow social discord". Is there any IRA witness that said so? Any documents? No. It is a made up reasoning. The IRA activities were driven by commercial interests. To get as many page-views as possible IRA personnel posted memes on both sides of the political spectrum simply because that is where the viewership is. Just ask Foxnews or CNN. There was no political intent in the IRA's activity. To claim that it intended to "sow social discord" is baseless nonsense.

The claims by social networks that "Russians" did this or that are dubious. Twitter for example recently revised its count of "Russian trolls":

On Feb. 8, Twitter removed 228 accounts from the Russian IRA dataset because the social-media company now believes these accounts were operated by a different trolling network located in Venezuela. "We initially misidentified 228 accounts as connected to Russia," Yoel Roth, Twitter's head of site integrity, wrote in an online post. "As our investigations into their activity continued, we uncovered additional information allowing us to more confidently associate them with Venezuela."
...
Twitter's change to its data undercuts all of these analyses of the troll farm's 2017 activity , Clemson researchers said. There was no surge in IRA Twitter activity in mid-2017, and the high-volume accounts that churned out links to ReportSecret were, in fact, being operated by a different, unknown group operating out of Venezuela, according to the updated data.

Twitter is reluctant to discuss how it connects accounts to trolling networks.

Twitter "is reluctant" because the company has simply no way to find that some real person driven account is a "troll". It is a completely subjective judgement.

How exactly was it established that the IRA intended to "sow social discord". Is there any IRA witness that said so? Any documents? No. It is a made up reasoning. The IRA activities were driven by commercial interests. To get as many page-views as possible IRA personnel posted memes on both sides of the political spectrum simply because that is where the viewership is. Just ask Foxnews or CNN. There was no political intent in the IRA's activity. To claim that it intended to "sow social discord" is baseless nonsense

That does not answer who paid for the clicks, and what was the information the clicks led to. Basically a foreign power is not supposed to run election adverts.

Memes on both sides of the political spectrum could very well have been anti-Hillary ads for Republicans, DNC leaks for Democrats, and pro Hillary/anti Sanders stuff for Sanders supporters, the idea being to motivate Republicans to vote and disgust Democrats to keep them from voting.

Facebook is THE tool you would use to create confusion and cause a break up of social relations, simply by its psychological user profiles and the ability to spread news to some groups but not to others unchecked from the outside.

Any professional in psychological warfare would have a go just for testing.
Cambridge Analytics was a British psychological warfare company - and they cooperated with Russia .

Either business is global or it is not, and if you privatise secret service it is global business :-))


james , Apr 18, 2019 1:21:25 PM | link

thanks b... i look forward to your comments after reading the full report...

"the IRA intended to "sow social discord""... it could be argued social networks - facebook, twitter, instagram and etc. etc. "sow social discord"... is that russias fault too?

obviously there is way too much subjectivity in all of this.. the fact they cia/fbi are unwilling, or unable to define how the clinton e mails came out is another way to add to the subjectivity here.. nothing concrete - just specualation.. russia released them and etc. etc. speculation... where is the proof as b asks? there is none, but there is plenty of subjective speculation and innuendo - all abusing a foreign country... how ethnocentric and convenient that is!

here is a subjective thought.. this is just what the usa deep state wants and just what the western msm is happy to fulfill..

Tobin Paz , Apr 18, 2019 1:31:51 PM | link
@1 Anunnaki

Judge rejects Mueller's request for delay in Russian troll farm case

A federal judge has rejected special counsel Robert Mueller's request to delay the first court hearing in a criminal case charging three Russian companies and 13 Russian citizens with using social media and other means to foment strife among Americans in advance of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

WHAT A DISGRACE! Special Counsel Mueller Charged Russian Company Not in Existence at Time of Charge!

What was not yet available until last night was the transcript of the hearing. The reason the Concord Management attorneys called the case a 'proverbial ham sandwich' was because one of the entities indicted by the Mueller team, Concord Catering, was not in existence at the time the crimes were alleged to have taken place.
chet380 , Apr 18, 2019 2:14:44 PM | link
One of the Russian companies charged by Mueller, Concord Management and Consulting LLC, hired American lawyers to defend it an American court -- the US prosecutors are fighting tooth and nail to to prevent the obtaining o pre-trial discovery of documents ... 3 million documents have been declared by the prosecutors as being "sensitive" and non-discoverable ... the battle continues.

[Mar 27, 2019] Russia is perforce the enemy that Washington needs in order to stay in the business of Empire by David Stockman

Notable quotes:
"... Namely, that America is suffering Regime Failure. Thus, wrong-headed Washington policies have brought prosperity to Wall Street but not main street, which is what actually explains why Trump won the left-behind precincts of Flyover America. ..."
"... Regime Failure has also fostered confrontation with Russia when it is no threat to homeland security at all, but so doing has vilified Putin and Russia to the point that random dots of RussiaGate got woven into a preposterous theory of collusion. ..."
"... The foundation document which turned these random developments into the Russia Collusion story, of course, was the January 6, 2017 report entitled, "Assessing Russian Activities And Intentions in Recent US Elections". The report was nothing of the kind, of course, and is now well-understood to have been written by outgoing CIA director John Brennan and a hand-picked posse of politicized analysts from the CIA, FBI and NSA. It was essentially a political screed thinly disguised as the product of the professional intelligence community and was designed to discredit and sabotage the Trump presidency. ..."
"... William Binney, who is the father of modern NSA internet spying technologies, says that the DNC emails were leaked on a thumb-drive and couldn't have been hacked as a technical matter; and equally competent analysts have shown that Guccifer 2.0 is almost surely a NSA contrived fiction based on the oldest trick in the police precinct station house – planting evidence, in this case telltale Cyrillic letters and the name of a notorious head of the Soviet secret police. ..."
"... So what we are left with is the fact that Binney, a NSA veteran and actually the father of much of today's NSA internet spying capability, says that the recorded download speed of the DNC emails could only have been done by plugging a thumb-drive into the machines on site. That is, nothing downloads across 5,000 miles of digital expanse at the recorded 22.7 megabytes per second. ..."
"... The pure grandstanding nature of this blow against the purported election meddling of the nefarious Russians is more than evident in the 3,000 ads IRA bought on Facebook for about $100,000 – more than half of which were posted after the election. ..."
"... Yet here's a typical example of how the Russians stormed into America's sacred election space – even if according to Facebook this particular ad got less than 10,000 "impressions" and the mighty sum of 160 "shares" . For crying out loud, it didn't take any nefarious Russian intelligence agent to post this kind of cartoonish Islamophobia. There are millions of American xenophobes more than happy to do it with their own dime, time and bile. ..."
Mar 27, 2019 | original.antiwar.com

Originally from: Not Mueller Time: Hey, MSM, This Dud's For You! ,

Now that the giant Mueller Nothingburger (with a side of crow-flavored fries, per Jim Kunstler) has been officially delivered unto the mainstream media's wailing and gnashing of teeth, the essence of the matter should be obvious: To wit, the RussiaGate Collusion story was always way above the pay grade of the legal sleuths and gunslingers who wasted $25 million on it – and notwithstanding 2,800 subpoenas, 500 witnesses, 40 FBI agents and 21 lawyers.

This prosecutorial blitzkrieg had no chance of discovering the nefarious facts of conspiracy, however, because there never were any worthy of adult consideration. To the contrary, from day #1 the whole cock-and-bull story was based on a syllogism which held that Trump's very election victory and support for rapprochement with Russia were in themselves proof of a conspiracy with the Kremlin to steal the election.

That is to say, by the lights of the Dems, official Washington and their mainstream media echo chamber, Hillary Clinton could not have lost the 2016 election to the worst GOP candidate in history including Barry Goldwater and Alf Landon (true) without the sinister intervention of a foreign power hostile to Hillary.

Therefore, Putin and the Russians elected Trump. Q.E.D.

Likewise, Russia is perforce the enemy that Washington needs in order to stay in the business of Empire. So advocacy of rapprochement with Moscow was per se evidence that the Kremlin had blackmail (kompromat for the RussiaGate cognoscenti) on Trump and his campaign.

Once these predicates were established, of course, any old dog-eared "facts" could be hung on the frame in order to establishment an air of verisimilitude.

But now we know. Strip away the false predicates and the flotsam and jetsam of the case fall flat on their face. Even 22 months of Mueller Time couldn't stich together a Humpty-Dumpty that never was.

As it happens, however, there has been all along a perfectly plausible alternative explanation for why Trump won and why repairing relations with Russia made eminent good sense.

Namely, that America is suffering Regime Failure. Thus, wrong-headed Washington policies have brought prosperity to Wall Street but not main street, which is what actually explains why Trump won the left-behind precincts of Flyover America.

Regime Failure has also fostered confrontation with Russia when it is no threat to homeland security at all, but so doing has vilified Putin and Russia to the point that random dots of RussiaGate got woven into a preposterous theory of collusion.

What is left without the syllogistic predicates, of course, are the ludicrous threadbare facts of the case.

After all, can there be anything more pitiful after 22 months of prosecutorial scorched earth on the Russian collusion file than Mueller's list of indictments. These include:

That's all she wrote and it's about as pathetic as it gets. Mueller should have been guffawed out of town on account of this tommyrot long before belatedly delivering a report that proved exactly that.

So it is perhaps a measure of the degree to which the Imperial City has fallen prey to the Trump Derangement Syndrome that the five core events of the case survived as long as they did. In fact, it has long been evident from public information that there was nothing nefarious about any of these ragged building blocks of the case:

The foundation document which turned these random developments into the Russia Collusion story, of course, was the January 6, 2017 report entitled, "Assessing Russian Activities And Intentions in Recent US Elections". The report was nothing of the kind, of course, and is now well-understood to have been written by outgoing CIA director John Brennan and a hand-picked posse of politicized analysts from the CIA, FBI and NSA. It was essentially a political screed thinly disguised as the product of the professional intelligence community and was designed to discredit and sabotage the Trump presidency.

And it was lied about over and over by the MSM who called it an assessment of the 17 US intelligence agencies when it was nothing of the kind, and said so right on the cover page.

In fact, when we first read this ballyhooed report our thought was that someone at the Onion had pilfered the CIA logo and published a sidesplitting satire.

The 9-pager on RT America, which is presented as evidence of "Kremlin messaging", is so sophomoric and hackneyed that it could have been written by a summer intern at the CIA. It consists entirely of a sloppy catalogue of leftist and libertarian based dissent from mainstream policy that has been aired on RT America on such subversive topics as Occupy Wall Street, anti-fracking, police brutality, foreign interventionism and civil liberties.

Actually, your editor has appeared dozens of times on RT America and advocated nearly every position cited by the CIA as evidence of nefarious Russian propaganda.

And we thought it up all by ourselves!

So, yes, we do think US intervention in Syria was wrong; that Georgia was the aggressor when it invaded South Ossetia; that the American people have been disenfranchised and need to "take this government back"; that Washington runs a "surveillance state" where civil liberties are being ridden roughshod upon; that Wall Street is riven with "greed" and the "US national debt" is out of control; that the two-party system is a "sham "and that it doesn't represent the views of "one-third of the population" (at least!); and that most especially after killing millions in unnecessary wars Washington has "no moral right to teach the rest of the world".

So there you have it: Policy views on various topics that are embraced in some instances by both your libertarian editor and the left-wing Nation magazine were held to be examples of Russian messaging, and alarming evidence of nefarious meddling in our electoral process at that.

In fact, the single proposition in the entire ten-pages of political opinionating that relates to an actual Russian intrusion (other than the hideous St. Petersburg troll farm which we debunk below) in the American electoral process is the completely discredited notion that the Russian GRU hacked the DNC emails and handed them off to WikiLeaks

No, not at all.

William Binney, who is the father of modern NSA internet spying technologies, says that the DNC emails were leaked on a thumb-drive and couldn't have been hacked as a technical matter; and equally competent analysts have shown that Guccifer 2.0 is almost surely a NSA contrived fiction based on the oldest trick in the police precinct station house – planting evidence, in this case telltale Cyrillic letters and the name of a notorious head of the Soviet secret police.

Indeed, if the Russians did it – from a troll farm in St. Petersburg or the Kremlin itself – the fingerprints from any remote hacking operation would be all over the computers involved. Moreover, the National Security Agency (NSA) would have a record of the breach stored at one of its server farms because it does capture and store everything that comes into the US over the internet.

Said record, of course, would amount to the Smoking Intercept. So the only thing Mueller really needed to do was to call the head of NSA and request the NSA intercept – something he obviously didn't do or it would have leaked long ago.

In the alternative, if NSA has no such record, he could have confiscated the DNC computers – which had never even been inspected by the FBI, let alone taken into custody – to determine whether William Binney is right.

That didn't happen, either, or it too would have leaked in a heartbeat.

So what we are left with is the fact that Binney, a NSA veteran and actually the father of much of today's NSA internet spying capability, says that the recorded download speed of the DNC emails could only have been done by plugging a thumb-drive into the machines on site. That is, nothing downloads across 5,000 miles of digital expanse at the recorded 22.7 megabytes per second.

In short, if the Russians hacked them, the evidence is all there in the hard drives; and if they didn't, the entire RussiaGate hoax should have been shutdown long ago.

That's because the only thing that remotely smacks of untoward meddling by the Kremlin is the DNC emails – and even then, they only concerned intra-party squabbles between the Clinton and the Sandernista factions of the Dem party that were already well advertised and known to the American electorate.

Cyber Garbage From the St. Petersburg Troll Farm

By contrast, another prime exhibit in the meddling narrative is the pitiful efforts of the Russian troll farm called the Internet Research Agency (IRA). This is was cited over and over by the RussiaGaters as evidence of Putin's nefarious hand at work, but did they ever investigate the matter?

The fact is, the IRA was such a belly-splitting joke that they only thing it proved is that prosecutor Mueller did actually indict 13 Russian-speaking ham sandwiches.

Indeed, the joker in the whole deck is that the nefarious"troll farm" in St. Petersburg was not even a Russian intelligence agency operation at all.

It was just "Russian" even by the careful terminology of Barr's summary. As it happened, the RussiaGate hysteria had reached such a point that any contact with any of Russia's 144 million citizens became inherently suspect, as if that beleaguered nation had become a race of evildoers.

Actually, the IRA was the relatively harmless Hobby Farm of a fanatical Russian oligarch and ultra-nationalist, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who has a great big beef against Imperial Washington's demonization of Russia and Vlad Putin. Apparently, the farm was (it's apparently being disbanded) the vehicle through which he gave Washington the middle finger and buttered up his patron.

Prigozhin is otherwise known as "Putin's Cook" because he made his fortune in St. Petersburg restaurants that Putin favored and via state funded food service operations at Russian schools and military installations.

Like most Russian oligarchs not in jail, he apparently tithes in gratitude to the Kremlin: In this case, by bankrolling the rinky-dink operation at 55 Savushkina Street in St. Petersburg that was the object of Mueller's pretentious foray into the flotsam and jetsam of social media low life.

Prigozhin's trolling farm was grandly called the Internet Research Agency (IRA), but what it actually did was hire (apparently) unemployed 20-somethings at $4-8 per hour to pound out ham-handed political messaging on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc. They banged away twelve hours at a shift on a quota-driven paint-by-the-internet-numbers basis where their output was rated for engagements, likes, retweets etc.

Whatever these keyboard drones might have been, they were not professional Russian intel operators. And the collection of broken English postings strewn throughout Mueller's indictment were not one bit scary.

The pure grandstanding nature of this blow against the purported election meddling of the nefarious Russians is more than evident in the 3,000 ads IRA bought on Facebook for about $100,000 – more than half of which were posted after the election.

Yet here's a typical example of how the Russians stormed into America's sacred election space – even if according to Facebook this particular ad got less than 10,000 "impressions" and the mighty sum of 160 "shares" . For crying out loud, it didn't take any nefarious Russian intelligence agent to post this kind of cartoonish Islamophobia. There are millions of American xenophobes more than happy to do it with their own dime, time and bile.

[Jan 13, 2019] So even if the IRA didn't manage to make a profit, the net cost for them must have been much lower than $100,000

Notable quotes:
"... Does anyone know how much revenue it made from that operation? Facebook must know but they've kept quiet about it. Same with Mueller. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Brendan , Jan 13, 2019 5:12:30 PM | link

The Internet Research Agency (IRA) paid $100,000 for Facebook ads and then charged its customers for the clickbait service (between 25 and 50 U.S. dollars per post for promotional content). So even if the IRA didn't manage to make a profit, the net cost for them must have been much lower than $100,000.

Does anyone know how much revenue it made from that operation? Facebook must know but they've kept quiet about it. Same with Mueller.

[Jan 04, 2019] Eric Dubelier emerges as Robert Mueller's top courtroom adversary by Rowan Scarborough

Notable quotes:
"... Mr. Dubelier has depicted Mr. Mueller as a rogue prosecutor willfully ignoring Justice Department guidelines. ..."
"... He has accused Mr. Mueller of creating a "make-believe crime" against his Russian client, Concord Management and Consulting, which is accused of funding a troll farm that interfered in the 2016 election. ..."
"... " Mr. Dubelier is exactly right on Mr. Mueller 's motives and tactics," said Sidney Powell, whose book "License to Lie" exposes years of Justice Department scandals. "His lieutenant Weissmann is the poster boy for prosecutorial misconduct and has no regard for the facts or the law. He will make up whatever he wants to win, and the entire like-minded team views as an accomplishment everyone whose life they destroy in pursuit of their objective." ..."
"... The Washington defense attorney seemed to catch the Mueller team off guard by immediately demanding disclosure of evidence. Disclosure, Mr. Dubelier argues, is a sacred legal right in America, even for the oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, Concord 's chief with close ties to Russian leader Vladimir Putin. ..."
"... Mr. Dubelier argues that people are free to create fake accounts. It's done all the time, he says. "When it comes to political speech, one is free to pretend to be whomever he or she wants to be and to say whatever he or she wants to say," he said at an Oct. 15 hearing. ..."
"... "That's why in this case this special counsel made up a crime to fit the facts that they have," Mr. Dubelier said. "And that's the fundamental danger with the entire special counsel concept: that they operate outside the parameters of the Department of Justice in a way that is absolutely inconsistent with the consistent behavior of the Department of Justice in these cases for the past 30 years." ..."
"... But he wasn't done. There is an ongoing battle over Concord 's access to "sensitive" evidence that Mr. Mueller won't let its officers see because they are Russians with ties to Mr. Putin. Mr. Dubelier has expressed exasperation. "This equates to the burden of preparing for trial without any ability to discuss the evidence with the client who is to be put on trial," he said. "This has never happened before in reported case law because the notion is too ludicrous to contemplate." ..."
"... On another matter, Mr. Dubelier is accusing the Mueller team of skullduggery. Judge Friedrich last summer approved the prosecutor's request for a "firewall counsel" to review evidence for its national security implications. ..."
"... In another pre-trial argument, Mr. Dubelier is the first defense attorney to ask this question: Why isn't British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who was paid by Democrats to obtain anti- Trump information from the Kremlin to influence 2016 voting, being investigated by the Justice Department for election interference just like the Russians? ..."
"... Mr. Steele didn't register under the Justice Department 's Foreign Agent Registration Act, under which Mr. Mueller has brought charges against a number of defendants, including the Concord team. Judge Friedrich rejected Mr. Dubelier 's argument of "selective prosecution." ..."
Jan 01, 2019 | www.washingtontimes.com

A former federal prosecutor has emerged as special counsel Robert Mueller 's most persistent courtroom critic. It's not Rudolph W. Giuliani, a former U.S. attorney and now President Trump 's ubiquitous defender, or any of cable TV's prosecutors-turned-pundits. He is Eric A. Dubelier , a litigator for the Reed Smith law firm who knows international law and the D.C. playing field. He served eight years prosecuting cases as a Justice Department assistant U.S. attorney in Washington. He refers to his former employer as "the real Justice Department ," implying that Mr. Mueller 's team is something less. His biting remarks have come in months of court filings and oral arguments. Mr. Dubelier has depicted Mr. Mueller as a rogue prosecutor willfully ignoring Justice Department guidelines.

He has accused Mr. Mueller of creating a "make-believe crime" against his Russian client, Concord Management and Consulting, which is accused of funding a troll farm that interfered in the 2016 election.

So far, the federal judge presiding over the case has sided with Mr. Mueller .

Mr. Dubelier charges that the Mueller team violated the confidentially of Concord 's counter evidence while hiding documents Concord needs for its defense. The prosecutor wants to "whisper secrets to the judge," Mr. Dubelier says, as Mr. Mueller is calculating the "short-term political value of a conviction" and not worrying about an appeals court defeat years later. An example: In a Dec. 20 motion, Mr. Dubelier resurrected a botched case spearheaded by Mr. Mueller 's top prosecutor, Andrew Weissmann.

Mr. Weissmann headed the Justice Department 's Enron task force nearly two decades ago. He won a conviction against the accounting firm Arthur Andersen for shredding the defunct energy firm's financial documents. Years later, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously reversed the conviction. The 2005 decision effectively said that Andersen, by then out of business and its 28,000 employees gone, hadn't committed a crime.

"Mr. Dubelier is exactly right on Mr. Mueller 's motives and tactics," said Sidney Powell, whose book "License to Lie" exposes years of Justice Department scandals. "His lieutenant Weissmann is the poster boy for prosecutorial misconduct and has no regard for the facts or the law. He will make up whatever he wants to win, and the entire like-minded team views as an accomplishment everyone whose life they destroy in pursuit of their objective."

'Made up a crime to fit the facts'

Concord Management and Consulting is an unlikely client. Legal observers opined that when Mr. Mueller brought charges against various Russians who hacked computers and trolled the 2016 election, no defendant would travel the nearly 5,000 miles to show up for trial.

No defendant has personally arrived. But Concord did appear quickly after the February indictment. Of 28 Russian individuals and firms charged with election interference by Mr. Mueller , only Concord has appeared in U.S. District Court, in this instance in the person of the aggressive Mr. Dubelier .

The Washington defense attorney seemed to catch the Mueller team off guard by immediately demanding disclosure of evidence. Disclosure, Mr. Dubelier argues, is a sacred legal right in America, even for the oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, Concord 's chief with close ties to Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Concord is accused of an elaborate conspiracy with another Russian operation, the Internet Research Agency. The indictment accuses Concord of providing the troll farm $1.2 million monthly to defraud the U.S. The two firms set up fake personas and false Twitter accounts, Facebook ads and other social media posts mostly to disparage Hillary Clinton and support Donald Trump .

In a separate case, Mr. Mueller brought charges in July against 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking Democratic computers, stealing emails and funneling them to three websites for distribution.

Mr. Dubelier argues that people are free to create fake accounts. It's done all the time, he says. "When it comes to political speech, one is free to pretend to be whomever he or she wants to be and to say whatever he or she wants to say," he said at an Oct. 15 hearing.

"That's why in this case this special counsel made up a crime to fit the facts that they have," Mr. Dubelier said. "And that's the fundamental danger with the entire special counsel concept: that they operate outside the parameters of the Department of Justice in a way that is absolutely inconsistent with the consistent behavior of the Department of Justice in these cases for the past 30 years."

Mr. Dubelier lost that argument with U.S. District Judge Dabney L. Friedrich, who rejected his bid to dismiss the case.

But he wasn't done. There is an ongoing battle over Concord 's access to "sensitive" evidence that Mr. Mueller won't let its officers see because they are Russians with ties to Mr. Putin. Mr. Dubelier has expressed exasperation. "This equates to the burden of preparing for trial without any ability to discuss the evidence with the client who is to be put on trial," he said. "This has never happened before in reported case law because the notion is too ludicrous to contemplate."

What Mr. Mueller has turned over is often irrelevant to mounting a defense, such as promotion emails for airlines and personal naked selfie photographs, Mr. Dubelier said in a December filing. The special counsel is keeping most relevant information between himself and Judge Friedrich, excluding Mr. Dubelier .

Why no probe of dossier writer?

Mr. Mueller won the argument over "sensitive" material. He now wants to hold closed sessions with the judge over classified information -- again, without Mr. Dubelier .

Mr. Dubelier responded in a Dec. 27 filing: "The Special Counsel has made up a crime that has never been prosecuted before in the history of the United States, and now seeks to make up secret procedures for communicating ex parte [meaning no defense counsel present] to the court which have never been employed in any reported criminal case not involving classified discovery."

The defense attorney admitted his motion is "likely fruitless" because Judge Friedrich previously has ruled against Concord . Many documents are in Russian, a culturally different language than English. One Russian word, Mr. Dubelier says, "can be translated into the English words 'chief,' 'boss' or 'chef' -- a distinction that is critically important since international media often refers to Mr. Prigozhin as 'Putin's chef.'"

On another matter, Mr. Dubelier is accusing the Mueller team of skullduggery. Judge Friedrich last summer approved the prosecutor's request for a "firewall counsel" to review evidence for its national security implications.

Mr. Dubelier said he submitted evidence to the firewall lawyer only to see it fall into the hands of Mr. Mueller 's team, who began using it to further investigate Concord . "Surely a remarkable coincidence," Mr. Dubelier said.

In another pre-trial argument, Mr. Dubelier is the first defense attorney to ask this question: Why isn't British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who was paid by Democrats to obtain anti- Trump information from the Kremlin to influence 2016 voting, being investigated by the Justice Department for election interference just like the Russians?

Mr. Steele didn't register under the Justice Department 's Foreign Agent Registration Act, under which Mr. Mueller has brought charges against a number of defendants, including the Concord team. Judge Friedrich rejected Mr. Dubelier 's argument of "selective prosecution."

Mr. Mueller 's counter-motion boils down to this: Mr. Prigozhin is a criminal fugitive who blatantly interfered in the U.S. election and is not entitled to sensitive national security information he would share with the Kremlin intelligence. In a new battleground, the Mueller team wants to show the judge top secret material to persuade her to keep it from the defense. "Disclosure of such information could cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security," the Mueller filing stated. Judge Friedrich ruled in June that Mr. Prigozhin is prohibited from viewing non-classified sensitive information that details how the government obtained evidence.

The Mueller team argued: "Discovery in this case contains sensitive information about investigative techniques and cooperating witnesses that goes well beyond the information that will be disclosed at trial Information within this case's discovery identifies sources, methods, and techniques used to identify the foreign actors behind these interference operations the government has particularized concerns about discovery in this case being disclosed to Russian intelligence services."

Mr. Mueller says that as long as Mr. Prigozhin, whom the U.S. sanctioned and then indicted for election interference, remains in Russia, he isn't entitled to see sensitive evidence.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

[Jan 02, 2019] Election tampering via false identity by Democratic operatives: The cleverest trick used in propaganda against a specific country is to accuse it of what the accuser itself is doing.

Notable quotes:
"... a text book case of "projection" by demorats -their own crimes of sedition and treason projected onto trump via the russians. ..."
"... The thing that is most difficult for Americans to grasp is that they do not control their own government and have not for many decades. ..."
Jan 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Oldguy05 , 31 minutes ago link

George Carlin on some cultural issues.

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

vampirekiller , 35 minutes ago link

"The Only Meddling "Russian Bots" Were Actually Demorats Experts masquerading as progressive Republicans and Democrats"............FIFY

It's all they have left after being rendered politically irrelevant and statistically insignificant in November 2016 by the deplorables. ROFLMAO.........this civil war needs to die in federal government so we do not waste money in mass deportations to an established island nation surrounded by 1000 nautical miles of water.

Baron Samedi , 1 hour ago link

"Election tampering via false identity" sounds like the right kind of language for a federal law -- but I'm betting there is something already out there (at state/fed level), and am not wild about yet more laws (which [[[they]]] get to ignore anyway).

bh2 , 1 hour ago link

"tech specialists who lean Democratic," Tech specialists who lean criminal. A distinction without a difference, of course.

hooligan2009 , 2 hours ago link

a text book case of "projection" by demorats -their own crimes of sedition and treason projected onto trump via the russians.

one can only hope that Mueller has found the proof that DemoRats were responsible for attempts to rig the presidential elections - aided and abetted by criminal journalists also guilty of sedition and treason.

I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 2 hours ago link

The Moon of A on Hamilton 68: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/02/russian-bots-how-an-anti-russian-lobby-creates-fake-news.html

A new and improved version of H68 coming soon! https://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/hamilton-68/

it's a bunch of Ultra-Zionist Jews, which is the only reason their ******** gets published all over the (((media))) as if at all credible.

https://securingdemocracy.gmfus.org/about-us/advisory-council/

I mean, ******* Chertoff and Kristol's involvement says it all.

OT : Trump Gives US Troops Four Months to Leave Syria – Report I would not be surprised if US troops in Manbij are attacked/killed soon and immediate blame put on the SAA.

lincolnsteffens , 1 hour ago link

Didn't look it up but someone told me that Kristol's parents were passionate Marxists.

dcmbuffy , 2 hours ago link

democrats are corrupt- plain and simple- shameful and with no regard to who knows that are corrupt- no shame- "I'm Gettn' mines!!!"

navy62802 , 2 hours ago link

As if it ******* matters at this point. Get real. We are watching a display of raw power right now. Well connected individuals are calling the shots right now, well outside of the legal system. If you haven't realized that over the past 2 years, you haven't been paying attention. Furthermore, no amount of factual proof is going to result in the actual criminals being held to account. The thing that is most difficult for Americans to grasp is that they do not control their own government and have not for many decades. They do not have an equal system of justice. Instead, the US is ruled by a secret oligarchy which exists above the US legal code. This is the harsh reality we are watching be revealed right now.

jughead , 2 hours ago link

We're watching an attempted display of raw power...that hasn't been going as planned. If it had, Trump would either be gone or automagically transformed into the next iteration of BushBama. We are fly in the ointment...buzz buzz

loveyajimbo , 2 hours ago link

No prosecution... our DOJ does not prosecute anything political... no matter how serious the felony. Just ask the ***-maggots Hillary, Brennan, Comey, Clapper and Lynch.

Lord Raglan , 2 hours ago link

Wow! What does Sherlock Holmes Mueller think of this? This story makes Mueller out to be the biggest fraud of all time and his attorneys tantamount to the Keystone Cops. Where are they on all this?

chunga , 2 hours ago link

It's too bad there isn't any opposition to these "Democrat Operatives".

SmackDaddy , 2 hours ago link

There was. We fire bombed the **** out of them in 1945.

philipat , 2 hours ago link

Strange that this story has not featured prominently on the front pages of NYT/WaPo or on CNN?

[Jan 02, 2019] Russian bots - How An Anti-Russian Lobby Creates Fake News

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Atlantic Council ..."
"... Alliance for Securing Democracy. ..."
"... Alliance for Securing Democracy ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... The thing that bothers me, is the fact that the MIC Globalists don't care what we think or how poor their deceptions are. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... The American Security State needs enemies to exist, otherwise there's no need for the "security" which translates into big bucks for the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Media Complex. They can't agree on the ranking of the enemies: North Korea is a threat to the world! Iran is....! Russia is...! China is....! But the threats are there, and they are pure evil (TPTB contend). ..."
"... Sad but definitely correct. The first casualty of war is the truth. It's dead in the USA and allies. Therefore, they're at war with Russia and China. If Russia is down, China will be dealt with. ..."
"... Some years ago, I noticed the American media and politicians were sort of going soft (actually mushy) in the brain department, but I was told not to be so judgemental. As the months went by, I saw more and more people saying "they have gone nuts". So, it turns out I am not alone after all. ..."
"... That madness comes from having no behavioural limits, no references outside of your own opinion but groupthink, and manipulating the language to suit your ambitions (the Orwellism of the US media has been repeatedly pointed at). Simply put, you don't know anymore what's what outside of the narrative your group pushes, you go nuts. The manipulators ends up caught in their lies. All the more when they makes money out of it, which would be the case of all those think tanks and media. ..."
"... Honestly, the story of democracy (by capitalist/liberal class) is a grand BS, to be modest. The only thing what was truthful, paradoxically, is who is "lesser evil" of two. Or the Bigger one in unrestrained capitalism, savage and monopoly, predatory and a fascists one. ..."
"... War or the threat of war is needed to distract attention from rapidly devolving societal bonds and immense economic inequality. ..."
"... The US is progressing toward a fascist police state; therefore, Russia is said to be a horrible dictatorship run by Putin. The US traditionally meddles in elections around the world, including Russia; therefore, the Russians are said to meddle in US elections. The US is the most aggressive country on the planet, occupying and bombing dozens of countries; therefore, the Russians are accused of "aggression." And so on ..."
"... The US actually spends $75 billion per year---more than Russia's entire $69 billion defense budget---spying on and meddling in the politics of virtually every nation on earth. An outfit within NSA called Tailored Access Operations (TAO) has a multi-billion annual budget and does nothing put troll the global internet and does so with highly educated, highly paid professionals, not $4 per hour keyboard jockeys." ..."
"... Zbignew Brzezenski explained in his 1997 book "The Grand Chessboard" why global hegemony required taking control over Russia (and how to do it, which boils down to taking the other chess pieces off the board (Iraq/Ukraine/etc. and then pulling off a "color revolution," coup or military conquest). ..."
"... Msm, bellingcat and other think tanks - they push their anti Russian racism too far making a large section of westerners just tired of their hysteria. Exposing their own racism and paranoia. ..."
"... Globalization . . . is a program to create private corporate rights to trade, invest, lend or borrow money and buy and own property anywhere in the world without much hindrance by national governments. It would bar governments from most of the common methods of helping or protecting their national industries and employment. It is a winners' program promoted chiefly by some business interests, governments and neoclassical economists in Europe and the United States. ..."
"... One of its purposes is to intensify international competition for jobs. Together with other Right policies it is likely to maintain some unemployment in the rich countries and reduce the wage rates of their lower-paid workers, and reduce the proportion of secure employment. Hugh Stretton, Economics: A New Introduction ..."
"... The anti-russian think tanks, msm, bellingcat etc push this too much, making them look stupid. ..."
"... Assange: "Regardless of whether IRA's activities were audience building through pandering to communities or whether a hare-brained Russian government plan to "heighten the differences" existed, its activities are clearly strategically insignificant compared to the other forces at play." ..."
Feb 20, 2018J | www.moonofalabama.org

The U.S. mainstream media are going nuts. They now make up and report stories based on the uncritical acceptance of an algorithm they do not want to understand and which is known 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 neo-conservative propagandists. 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 ever 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 and subvert democracy, wished everyone a #MerryChristmas.


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 of these 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 last 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 expert and blogger Marcel van den Berg was wondering how Dutch keywords and hashtags showed up 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 was 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 by 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 from all over the world 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. media. 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 next page " It's all too reminiscent of Duck Soup:


Clueless Joe , Feb 20, 2018 3:45:14 PM | link

"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 | link
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 | link
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 | link
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 | link
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 | link
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 | link
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 | link
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 | link
@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 | link
"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 | link
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"...

dh , Feb 20, 2018 6:14:14 PM | link
@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 | link
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 | link
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 | link
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 | link
See info on US 'Twitter' manipulation campaign
Sinc , Feb 20, 2018 6:44:16 PM | link
Sorry, link here
ken , Feb 20, 2018 6:59:01 PM | link
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 | link
@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 | link
The thing that bothers me, is the fact that the MIC Globalists don't 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

Grieved , Feb 20, 2018 7:37:47 PM | link
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 | link
>>>> 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 | link
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 | link
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 | link
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 | link
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 | link
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...

Debsisdead , Feb 20, 2018 8:53:42 PM | link
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.

ben , Feb 20, 2018 9:17:54 PM | link
Reposting from TRNN: http://therealnews.com/t2/story:21178:Why-is-a-Russian-Troll-Farm-Being-Compared-to-911%3F
integer , Feb 20, 2018 9:23:42 PM | link
Thank you for reporting on this. The people behind the so-called Alliance for Securing Democracy need to be exposed for the warmongering frauds that they are. Regardless of what one thinks of him, Trump was correct when he said that NATO is obsolete.
Don Bacon , Feb 20, 2018 10:12:52 PM | link
The American Security State needs enemies to exist, otherwise there's no need for the "security" which translates into big bucks for the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Media Complex. They can't agree on the ranking of the enemies: North Korea is a threat to the world! Iran is....! Russia is...! China is....! But the threats are there, and they are pure evil (TPTB contend).

So the whole scenario makes perfect sense from that standpoint.

Petri Krohn , Feb 20, 2018 10:17:36 PM | link
The news stories become far easier to understand if you replace the word " Russia " with the word " truth ".
bevin , Feb 20, 2018 11:45:45 PM | link
re Felix E. Dzerzhinsky: Ukrainian fascists have a particular hatred of Felix because he was both a Bolshevik and a Pole.

I hate to do this but I just posted this elsewhere, at Off Guardian, where the Guardian is back into its highest gears promoting war.

"The wardrums are beating in a way not heard since 1914-there is no reason for war except the best reason of all: an imperial ruling class sees its grip slipping and will chance everything rather than endure the humiliation of adjusting to reality.

"China is in the position that the US was in 1914-it can prevent the war or wait until the combatants are too exhausted to defend their paltry gains.

Given the realities of nuclear warfare-which seem not to have sunk in among the Americans, perhaps because they mistake a bubble for a bomb shelter- the wise option is to prevent war by publicly warning against it. In the hope that brought face to face with reality the masses will besiege their governments, as we can easily do, and prevent war.'

See also http://www.greanvillepost.com/2018/02/20/the-coming-wars-to-end-all-wars/

V. Arnold , Feb 21, 2018 12:32:43 AM | link
Debsisdead | Feb 20, 2018 8:53:42 PM | 35

I have no idea who you are talking about; care to say?

Jeff Kaye , Feb 21, 2018 12:36:59 AM | link
Great analysis! Can't imagine how you continue to put out quality work day after day! Your question at the close speaks to stakes involved in this.
foo , Feb 21, 2018 1:53:45 AM | link
@ 10 - 4

Resources boils down to money. Of course. I don't think any power would lose from tapping a source of resource.

DidierF , Feb 21, 2018 2:03:08 AM | link
Sad but definitely correct. The first casualty of war is the truth. It's dead in the USA and allies. Therefore, they're at war with Russia and China. If Russia is down, China will be dealt with.

The horrible thing with the US attitude is that you do a white thing, you're attacking them and if you do a black thing, you're attacking them too. This attitude is building hostility against Russia. It's like programming a pet to be afraid of something. The western people are being programmed into hating Russia, dehumanizing her people, cutting every tie with Russia and transforming any information from Russia into life threatening propaganda. A war for our hearts is running. The US population is being coerced into believing that war against Russia is a vital necessity.

It will be a war of choice from the US "elites". Clinton announced it and the population had chosen Trump for that reason.

You're wondering why they're doing it. I suppose that their narrative is losing its grip on the western populations. They're also conscious of it. If they lose it, they'll have to face very angry mobs and face the void of their lives. Everything they did was either useless or poisonous. It means to be in a very bad spot. They're are therefore under an existential threat.

Russia proved time and again that it's possible to get out of their narrative. Remember their situation when Eltsin was reelected with the western help.

The Chicago boys were telling the Russian authorities how to run the economy and they made out of the word democrat a synonym of thief. They were in the narrative and the result was a disaster. Then, they woke up and started to clean the house. I remember the "hero" of democracy whose name was "Khodorovsky (?)". In the west he was a freedom fighter and in Russia he stole something like Rosneft. This guy and others of the same sort were described in the west as heroes, pionniers and so on. They were put back into submission to the law. The western silence about their stealings, lies and cheating is still deafening me.

It was the first Russian crime. The second one was to survive the first batch of sanctions against them (I forgot the reason of the sanctions). They not only survived they thrived. It was against the western leading economic ideology. A third crime was to push back Saakachvili and his troops with success.

The fourth was to put back into order the Tchechen. Russia was back into the world politics and history. They were not following the script written for them in Washington and Brussels. They were having a political system putting limits to the big companies. And, worst of it, it works.
Everybody in the west who can read and listen would have noticed that they are making it.

More, with RT and Sputnik giving info outside the allowed ones or asking annoying questions (western journalists lost that habit with their new formation in the schools of journalism - remember the revolution in their education was criticised and I missed why - very curious to discover why), they were exposing weaknesses of the western narrative. On the other side their narrative became so poor and so limited that any regular reader would feel bored reading the same things time and again and being asked to pay for it at a time his salary was decreased in the name of competitivity. The threat to their narrative was ready. They had to fight it.

It's becoming a crime to think outside their marks. It's becoming a crime to read outside their marks. I don't even talk about any act outside their marks. Now, it's going to be a crime of treason to them in war time.

I do feel sadness because many will die from their fear of losing their grip on our minds. I do feel sadness because they have lost and are in denial about it. I do feel sadness because those death aren't necessary. I do feel sadness because those people can't face the consequences of their actions. They don't have the necessary spine. Their lives were useless and even toxic. They could start repairing or mitigating their damages but it would need a very different worldview, a complete conversion to another meaning of life outside the immediate and maximal profit.

V. Arnold , Feb 21, 2018 2:13:54 AM | link
DidierF | Feb 21, 2018 2:03:08 AM | 46

You have aptly described the most dangerous country on this planet. That country must not be appeased, at any cost, because it would surely end us forever...

Fran , Feb 21, 2018 2:53:24 AM | link
I wonder if this is true: STUNNING: Mueller Patched Together Much of His Indictment from 2015 Radio Free Europe Article I wouldn't be surprised if it is true. It would give the entire story a whole new touch. I wanted to write a new smell, but it would be rather stink.
Partisan , Feb 21, 2018 3:38:27 AM | link
https://www.wordfence.com/blog/2016/12/russia-malware-ip-hack/

Conclusion regarding IP address data: What we're seeing in this IP data is a wide range of countries and hosting providers. 15% of the IP addresses are Tor exit nodes. These exit nodes are used by anyone who wants to be anonymous online, including malicious actors.

Overall Conclusion: The IP addresses that DHS provided may have been used for an attack by a state actor like Russia. But they don't appear to provide any association with Russia. They are probably used by a wide range of other malicious actors, especially the 15% of IP addresses that are Tor exit nodes.

The malware sample is old, widely used and appears to be Ukrainian. It has no apparent relationship with Russian intelligence and it would be an indicator of compromise for any website.

fairleft , Feb 21, 2018 5:28:09 AM | link
Partisan @15: "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."

The above is entirely backwards. The bottom 2/3rds is frustrated by the LACK of democracy in the US and that's a major reason many voted against the (in fact anti-democratic) elite's desired candidate, Hillary.

70% of the voting age public was dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with both candidates, and 40% of Americans didn't vote, so that means whichever of Clinton/Trump won, she/he would win with approval of only 10% of the electorate. That's the best example possible of our anti-democratic reality (it's not a worry or a threat, it's already here).

In the case of both Europe and the US, many people are generally very dissatisfied with the anti-democratic response by the elite to 'the will of the people' that there be much less immigration into countries with high unemployment and 'race to the bottom' labor conditions. That's nearly the entire basis of what the corporate media calls 'the move right'... When in fact restricting immigration is a pro-labor and therefore 'left' policy ... Except in the confused and deliberately stupid political discourse the elite media pushes so hard.

Lea , Feb 21, 2018 6:16:53 AM | link
Some years ago, I noticed the American media and politicians were sort of going soft (actually mushy) in the brain department, but I was told not to be so judgemental. As the months went by, I saw more and more people saying "they have gone nuts". So, it turns out I am not alone after all.

That madness comes from having no behavioural limits, no references outside of your own opinion but groupthink, and manipulating the language to suit your ambitions (the Orwellism of the US media has been repeatedly pointed at). Simply put, you don't know anymore what's what outside of the narrative your group pushes, you go nuts. The manipulators ends up caught in their lies. All the more when they makes money out of it, which would be the case of all those think tanks and media.

One could argue that they are not going mad, that they know full well they are lying, but I beg to differ: they don't see anymore how ridiculous or how dumb or smart their arguments are. That would be congruent with a real loss of touch with reality. One wonders what they see when they look at themselves in a mirror, a garden variety propagandist or a fearless anti-Putin crusader?

Another example of the narrative gone mad: they are sending CNN journos to meet pro-Trump folks who "have been influenced by Russian trolls on social media". https://twitter.com/yashalevine/status/966177091875168256

Partisan , Feb 21, 2018 6:20:19 AM | link
"The above is entirely backwards."

Well, it is not...if you are believer in "democracy". Honestly, the story of democracy (by capitalist/liberal class) is a grand BS, to be modest. The only thing what was truthful, paradoxically, is who is "lesser evil" of two. Or the Bigger one in unrestrained capitalism, savage and monopoly, predatory and a fascists one.

One way or other result is the same, it is: Barbarism.

ralphieboy , Feb 21, 2018 6:27:23 AM | link
When "trending on Twitter" became a news item in and of itself, I began to despair for the future of reporting, political discourse and ultimately, democracy in America. Twitter and FB are at best a source of information for news reporting, but not a source of news in themselves.

We made ourselves vulnerable to any and every sort of pernicious manipulation and in the end, we just about deserve everything we get.

WJ , Feb 21, 2018 6:38:11 AM | link
War or the threat of war is needed to distract attention from rapidly devolving societal bonds and immense economic inequality.
Partisan , Feb 21, 2018 6:41:09 AM | link
there is something illogical in your comment.

but one should never forget:

The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships.

Karl Marx

Ger , Feb 21, 2018 7:52:44 AM | link
Dan @ 4

It is partially tied direct to the economy of the warmongers as trillions of dollars of new cold war slop is laying on the ground awaiting the MICC hogs. American hegemony is primarily about stealing the natural resources of helpless countries. Now in control of all the weak ones, it is time to move to the really big prize: The massive resources of Russia. They (US and their European Lackeys) thought this was a slam dunk when Yeltsin, in his drunken stupors, was literally giving Russia to invading capitalist. Enter Putin, stopped the looting .........connect the dots.

Anon , Feb 21, 2018 8:08:35 AM | link
Media and its politicians have lost it completely, and if you criticize them, well then of course you are a... "russian bot". Unfortunately 90% of westerners buy this western MSM influence propaganda campaign, WW3 with Russia will come easy.
Florin , Feb 21, 2018 9:00:03 AM | link
News "Meet The Cabal That Are Framing Domestic American Activism As "Russian Influence" and "Fake News"
https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/01/meet-the-cabal-that-are-framing-domestic-american-activism-as-russian-influence-and-fake-news/

At risk of being censored and/or convicted of Thought Crime - it is *remarkable* how very highly disproportionate the number of Jewish Zionists is who are in the media and in Congress and in ThinkTankistan and shouting about Russian meddling, 'aggression,' and the like.

It's too bad it is forbidden to examine this phenomena as one part of the matrix of power and lies leading the US into conflict with Russia, no?

I don't think Bill Kristol and David Frum and Jeff Goldberg are either honest nor primarily concerned with American national security, nor the lives of MENA civilians. I think they care only about using American blood and treasure to facilitate Israeli lebensraum, however bloody and expensive.

Trump survives only if he dances for the Deep State *and* Likud.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2015/10/12/us-caught-faking-it-in-syria/

ex-SA , Feb 21, 2018 9:17:53 AM | link
Chris Hedges has an article on the similar situation in Germany almost 100 years ago. "In 1923 the radical socialist and feminist Clara Zetkin gave a report at the Communist International about the emergence of a political movement called fascism. ...." https://www.truthdig.com/articles/how-we-fight-fascism/
fairleft , Feb 21, 2018 10:26:45 AM | link
Partisan @54: The facts contradict the statement in the quote that Trump was "openly campaigning for less democracy." He wasn't. He in fact campaigned in part as a populist who would oust (or at least repeatedly ridicule) an anti-democratic elite. If you've overlooked that and believe more or less the opposite, you can't understand the 2016 election or the elite's virulently anti-democratic reaction to it.
Oui , Feb 21, 2018 11:18:34 AM | link
NEW CENSORSHIP - HAMILTON68 DASHBOARD

From the website of Hamilton68 :: Tracking Russian influence operations on Twitter

So easy to signal this group as a fraud, I wrote an article recently

G W F and McCarthyism In A Digital Age - Part 2

[G W F – German Marshall Fund]

Earlier I wrote about the following relationship: Khodorkovsky - The Interpreter - Henry Jackson Society (UK) .

With Bush and the Iraq War, Dutch PM Balkenende and FM de Hoop Scheffer were seen as the poodle of the White House. In recent years PM Mark Rutte [of MH-17 crash fame] can be considered its puppy. Perhaps a parrot would suit better.

I noticed a former journalist Hubert Smeets hs partnered with some people to found a "knowledge center" Window on Russia [Raam op Rusland]. Laughable, funded by the Dutch Foreign Ministry and a Dutch-Russia cultural exchange Fund. Preposturous in its simplicity and harm for honest reporting.

Noirette , Feb 21, 2018 11:38:52 AM | link
US media has gone bonkers. The original claim was Russian meddling and Russian interference in the election. Then, a sort of bridging meme showed up (see also b above), undermining democracy or subverting it. This in turn then morphed into promoting divisive issues which is new (circa 2018, not before?)

Imho. US pols make it their business to create divisive issues, diviusses (neologism), to the point of inventing rubbish ones. Part of the US public embraces that sh*t as well, > tribalism and religious economics in lieu of policy politics. So such actions should be viewed as gloriously democratic, ;) - ok easy to make fun.

The emphasis on 'divisive' is curious, it signals that some managers are calling for 'union' - 'cohesion' - 'group soldering' facing the outside enemy, threat.

Russia has really become the all-purpose épouvantail scarecrow, specter of doom, etc. An awareness of the high costs of divisiveness if uncontrolled -> massive social unrest, at extreme, civil war -- and that these are to be avoided, is evidenced.

Heh, or the whole storm is just fluff that distracts, occupies the pixels, airwaves, a jamboree of knee-jerk reactions irrelevant to the present World Situation, with practically no important body - faction of the PTB, Trump, the MIC, lame outsiders like the EU, etc. having any clue.

james , Feb 21, 2018 1:03:45 PM | link
i got a kick out of cluborlov's post from yesterday.. -
http://cluborlov.blogspot.ca/2018/02/make-russia-great-again-through.html

The accusation is a lot like accusing somebody of despoiling an outhouse by crapping in it, along with everyone else, but the outhouse in question had a sign on its door that read "No Russians!" and the 13 Russians just ignored it and crapped in it anyway.

The reason the Outhouse of American Democracy is posted "No Russians!" is because Russia is the enemy. There aren't any compelling reasons why it should be the enemy, and treating it as such is incredibly foolish and dangerous, but that's beside the point. Painting Russia as the enemy serves a psychological need rather than a rational one: Americans desperately need some entity onto which they can project their own faults.

The US is progressing toward a fascist police state; therefore, Russia is said to be a horrible dictatorship run by Putin. The US traditionally meddles in elections around the world, including Russia; therefore, the Russians are said to meddle in US elections. The US is the most aggressive country on the planet, occupying and bombing dozens of countries; therefore, the Russians are accused of "aggression." And so on

Don Bacon , Feb 21, 2018 6:35:10 PM | link
@Noirette 70
Yes, claiming that Russians are promoting polical division is silly -- the divisions were already there.
gizmodo , Jun 12, 2014:
It's Been 150 Years Since the U.S. Was This Politically Polarized

Nevertheless, now in WIRED magazine: Their [Agency] goal was to enflame "political intensity through supporting radical groups, users dissatisfied with [the] social and economic situation, and oppositional social movements."

OJS , Feb 21, 2018 8:27:10 PM | link

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-21/they-had-more-information-us-sanders-blames-clinton-not-exposing-russian-meddling

"They Had More Information Than Us" - Sanders Blames Clinton For Not Exposing Russian Meddling

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=WRnBPKFcAKo

Bernie Sanders said he on Wednesday, "felt compelled to address Russian interference during the US election. Sunday.... he was not aware and believes Russian bot promoting him and went as far to said WikiLeaks published Hillary's email stolen by the Russia....."

Can you really trust that lying basted? I'm probably one of the few MoA refused to believe and trust Bernie Sanders and the fuckup Democrats .

ben , Feb 21, 2018 9:24:01 PM | link
Anti-Russia Think Tanks in US: Who Funds Them? By Bryan MacDonald http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48755.htm
daffyDuct , Feb 21, 2018 9:46:49 PM | link
Excellent article summarizing much of what B has posted and more.

"Finally, and as long was we are on the topic, here is what a real troll farm looks like. [Picture of NSA] Yet this vast suite of offices in Fort Meade, Maryland, where 20,000 SIGINT spies and technicians work for the NSA, is only the tip of the iceberg.

The US actually spends $75 billion per year---more than Russia's entire $69 billion defense budget---spying on and meddling in the politics of virtually every nation on earth. An outfit within NSA called Tailored Access Operations (TAO) has a multi-billion annual budget and does nothing put troll the global internet and does so with highly educated, highly paid professionals, not $4 per hour keyboard jockeys."

http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/muellers-comic-book-indictment-how-to-prosecute-a-great-big-nothingburger/

Daniel , Feb 22, 2018 12:47:29 AM | link
Great article. Great comments. I LOVE MoA! And it's great to see b getting recognition.

james wrote: "There aren't any compelling reasons why it should be the enemy"

You know the following; I think you're just too decent a human being to understand how psychopaths operate. Russia is a huge area with enormous natural resources as well as a large, educated populace. Zbignew Brzezenski explained in his 1997 book "The Grand Chessboard" why global hegemony required taking control over Russia (and how to do it, which boils down to taking the other chess pieces off the board (Iraq/Ukraine/etc. and then pulling off a "color revolution," coup or military conquest).

Ziggy also noted that once Russia was incorporated, China is the next, and largely last target.

Jen: NICE JOB putting together a big picture, from Bernays' control of the masses all the way to Genie Energy. Add in Oded Yinon and PNAC and the "foreign policy blunders" that led to the present situation in MENA look like a carefully-constructed, long-game being played "by the book."

Fairleft. Any leftist/socialist movement which is not global is doomed to failure. This has always been true, but with "offshoring" of manufacturing jobs and the internet untethering many "white collar" jobs from any given geological location(s), workers must see ourselves as a global entity rather than national or regional players - because that is certainly how the 0.01% see us (and themselves).

"Workers of the world UNITE" is more true today than a century and a half ago.

Ghost Ship , Feb 22, 2018 5:28:36 AM | link
Did the Titanic just sink Bild ?
Partisan , Feb 22, 2018 6:20:18 AM | link
https://youtu.be/GN-tf3HM9ao New Yorker Reporter Debunks Russia Twitter Panic
ralphieboy , Feb 22, 2018 7:31:36 AM | link
@fairleft 85

nations that do not have to face costs arising from environmental, health or safety legislation will almost always prevail in the world market over those that have some concern for the environment and the workers.

That is the main issue I have with globalization.

Competing on wages is one thing; that can be a great impetus to become more efficient and productive, but if we do nothing to force other countries to clean up their act, they will have no impetus to do so and we will continue to lose jobs to the international competition, no matter how efficiently we work.

test , Feb 22, 2018 7:32:53 AM | link
Msm, bellingcat and other think tanks - they push their anti Russian racism too far making a large section of westerners just tired of their hysteria. Exposing their own racism and paranoia.
Partisan , Feb 22, 2018 9:02:22 AM | link
"....borderless globalization has been a catastrophe for most of the underdeveloped world's businesses and workers."

it is always annoying when I see the 'globalization" argument is used whether from the right or left. The globalization has started by the moment when us humans begin to roaming on this planet. there are millions of examples yet somehow globalization is of recent phenomenon. Lapis Lazuli mineral used in making blue color and paint is found on clay pottery in Mesopotamia's ancient city of Ur. That city is also place where many legend originated which were taken by major religion and can be found in their holy books. See even the myth are globalizied from very early on.

Most of the people do not even know what it is, not those who are writing about it.

Globalization . . . is a program to create private corporate rights to trade, invest, lend or borrow money and buy and own property anywhere in the world without much hindrance by national governments. It would bar governments from most of the common methods of helping or protecting their national industries and employment. It is a winners' program promoted chiefly by some business interests, governments and neoclassical economists in Europe and the United States.

One of its purposes is to intensify international competition for jobs. Together with other Right policies it is likely to maintain some unemployment in the rich countries and reduce the wage rates of their lower-paid workers, and reduce the proportion of secure employment.

Hugh Stretton, Economics: A New Introduction

test , Feb 22, 2018 10:02:35 AM | link
The anti-russian think tanks, msm, bellingcat etc push this too much, making them look stupid.
john , Feb 22, 2018 10:30:32 AM | link
Tannenhouser

the observable and demonstrable attempts are clearly futile, and have been pretty much reduced to spasms and tantrums, largely devoid of cognizance, not to mention legality, but certainly dangerous nonetheless.

no sir ree bob, we get our multipolar world or we scavenge a dead landscape of Alamogordo glass .

Tannenhouser , Feb 22, 2018 11:23:44 AM | link
John@96. We are on the same page then. I see it more like this. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1991370.The_Cool_War
karlof1 , Feb 22, 2018 4:18:56 PM | link
Really enjoyed Julian Assange's explanation of Mueller's nothingburger.

Assange: "Regardless of whether IRA's activities were audience building through pandering to communities or whether a hare-brained Russian government plan to "heighten the differences" existed, its activities are clearly strategically insignificant compared to the other forces at play."

[Jan 02, 2019] The Only Meddling "Russian Bots" Were Actually Democrat-Led "Experts" by Mac Slavo

Highly recommended!
Jan 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

Cybersecurity "experts" in the United States have long alleged that "Russian bots" were used to meddle in the 2016 elections.

But, as it turns out, the authors of a Senate report on "Russian election meddling" actually ran the false flag meddling operation themselves.

A week before Christmas, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report accusing Russia of depressing Democrat voter turnout by targeting African-Americans on social media. Its authors , New Knowledge , quickly became a household name. Described by the New York Times as a group of "tech specialists who lean Democratic," New Knowledge has ties to both the U.S. military and the intelligence agencies.

The CEO and co-founder of New Knowledge, Jonathon Morgan, had previously worked for DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) , the U.S. military's advanced research agency known for horrific ideas on how to control humanity . Morgan's partner, Ryan Fox, is a 15-year veteran of the NSA (National Security Agency) who also worked as a computer analyst for the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Their unique skill sets have managed to attract the eye of authoritarian investors, who pumped $11 million into the company in 2018 alone, according to a report by RT .

Morgan and Fox have both struck gold in the " Russiagate " scheme, which sprung into being after Hillary Clinton blamed Moscow for Donald Trump's presidential victory in 2016. Morgan, for example, is one of the developers of the Hamilton 68 Dashboard, the online tool that purports to monitor and expose narratives being pushed by the Kremlin on Twitter. And also worth mentioning, that dashboard is bankrolled by the German Marshall Fund's Alliance for Securing Democracy – a collection of Democrats and neoconservatives funded in part by NATO (North AtTreaty Tready Organization) and USAID (United States Agency for International Development).

It is worth noting that the 600 " Russia-linked " Twitter accounts monitored by the dashboard is not disclosed to the public either, making it impossible to verify these claims. This inconvenience has not stopped Hamilton 68 from becoming a go-to source for hysteria-hungry journalists, however. Yet on December 19, a New York Times story revealed that Morgan and his crew had created the fake army of Russian bots, as well as several fake Facebook groups, in order to discredit Republican candidate Roy Moore in Alabama's 2017 special election for the U.S. Senate.

Working on behalf of the Democrats, Morgan and his crew created an estimated 1,000 fake Twitter accounts with Russian names, and had them follow Moore. They also operated several Facebook pages where they posed as Alabama conservatives who wanted like-minded voters to support a write-in candidate instead . In an internal memo, New Knowledge boasted that it had " orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet ." – RT

This scandal is being perpetrated by the United States media and has so far deceived millions, if not more. The botnet claim made a splash on social media and was further amplified by Mother Jones , which based its story on "expert opinion" from Morgan's dubious creation, Hamilton 68.

Things got even weirder when it turned out that Scott Shane, the author of the Tim es piece, had known about the meddling for months because he spoke at an event where the organizers boasted about it!

Shane was one of the speakers at a meeting in September, organized by American Engagement Technologies, a group run by Mikey Dickerson, President Barack Obama's former tech czar. Dickerson explained how AET spent $100,000 on New Knowledge's campaign to suppress Republican votes, "enrage " Democrats to boost turnout, and execute a " false flag " to hurt Moore. He dubbed it " Project Birmingham ." -RT

There really was meddling in American democracy by " Russian bots. " Except those bots weren't run from Moscow or St. Petersburg but from the offices of Democrat operatives chiefly responsible for creating and amplifying the " Russiagate " hysteria over the past two years in a textbook case of psychological projection , brainwashing, and Nazi-style propaganda campaigns.

[Dec 29, 2018] -Election Meddling- Enters Bizarro World As MSM Ignores Democrat-Linked -Russian Bot- Scheme -

Highly recommended!
Is this shadow of Integrity Initiative in the USA ? This false flag open the possibility that other similar events like DNC (with very questionable investigation by Crowdstrike, which was a perfect venue to implement a false flag; cybersecurity area is the perfect environment for planting false flags), MH17 (might be an incident but later it definitely was played as a false flag), Skripals (Was Skripals poisoning a false flag decided to hide the fact that Sergey Skripal was involved in writing Steele dossier?) and Litvinenko (probably connected with lack of safety measures in the process of smuggling of Plutonium by Litvinenko himself, but later played a a false flag). All of those now should be re-assessed from the their potential of being yet another flag flag operation against Russia. While Browder was a MI6 operation from the very beginning (and that explains why he abdicated the US citizenship more convincingly that the desire to avoid taxes) .
Notable quotes:
"... Democratic operative Jonathon Morgan - bankrolled by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, pulled a Russian bot "false flag" operation against GOP candidate Roy Moore in the Alabama special election last year - creating thousands of fake social media accounts designed to influence voters . Hoffman has since apologized, while Morgan was suspended by Facebook for "coordinated inauthentic" behavior. ..."
"... Really the bigger story is here is that these guys convincingly pretended to be Russian Bots in order to influence an election (not with the message being put forth by the bots, but by their sheer existence as apparent supporters of the Moore campaign). ..."
"... By all appearances, they were Russian bots trying to influence the election. Now we know it was DNC operatives. Yet we are supposed to believe without any proof that the "Russian bots" that supposedly influenced the 2016 Presidential election were, actually, Russian bots, and worthy of a two year long probe about "Russian collusion" and "Russian meddling." ..."
"... The whole thing is probably a farce, not only in the sense that there is no evidence that Russia had any influence at all on a single voter, but also in the sense that there is no evidence that Russia even tried (just claims and allegations by people who have a vested interest in convincing us its true). ..."
Dec 29, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

For over two years now, the concepts of "Russian collusion" and "Russian election meddling" have been shoved down our throats by the mainstream media (MSM) under the guise of legitimate concern that the Kremlin may have installed a puppet president in Donald Trump.

Having no evidence of collusion aside from a largely unverified opposition-research dossier fabricated by a former British spy, the focus shifted from "collusion" to "meddling" and "influence." In other words, maybe Trump didn't actually collude with Putin, but the Kremlin used Russian tricks to influence the election in Trump's favor. To some, this looked like nothing more than an establishment scheme to cast a permanent spectre of doubt over the legitimacy of President Donald J. Trump.

Election meddling "Russian bots" and "troll farms" became the central focus - as claims were levied of social media operations conducted by Kremlin-linked organizations which sought to influence and divide certain segments of America.

And while scant evidence of a Russian influence operation exists outside of a handful of indictments connected to a St. Petersburg "Troll farm" (which a liberal journalist cast serious doubt ov er), the MSM - with all of their proselytizing over the "threat to democracy" that election meddling poses, has largely decided to ignore actual evidence of "Russian bots" created by Democrat IT experts, used against a GOP candidate in the Alabama special election, and amplified through the Russian bot-detecting "Hamilton 68" dashboard developed by the same IT experts.

Jonathon Morgan ✔ @jonathonmorgan

Russian trolls tracked by # Hamilton68 are taking an interest in the AL Senate race. What a surprise.

298 4:02 PM - Nov 10, 2017

Democratic operative Jonathon Morgan - bankrolled by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, pulled a Russian bot "false flag" operation against GOP candidate Roy Moore in the Alabama special election last year - creating thousands of fake social media accounts designed to influence voters . Hoffman has since apologized, while Morgan was suspended by Facebook for "coordinated inauthentic" behavior.

As Russian state-owned RT puts it - and who could blame them for being a bit pissed over the whole thing, "it turns out there really was meddling in American democracy by "Russian bots." Except they weren't run from Moscow or St. Petersburg, but from the offices of Democrat operatives chiefly responsible for creating and amplifying the "Russiagate" hysteria over the past two years in a textbook case of psychological projection. "

A week before Christmas, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report accusing Russia of depressing Democrat voter turnout by targeting African-Americans on social media. Its authors, New Knowledge, quickly became a household name.

Described by the New York Times as a group of "tech specialists who lean Democratic," New Knowledge has ties to both the US military and intelligence agencies. Its CEO and co-founder Jonathon Morgan previously worked for DARPA, the US military's advanced research agenc y. His partner, Ryan Fox, is a 15-year veteran of the National Security Agency who also worked as a computer analyst for the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Their unique skill sets have managed to attract the eye of investors, who pumped $11 million into the company in 2018 alone.

...

On December 19, a New York Times story revealed that Morgan and his crew had created a fake army of Russian bots, as well as fake Facebook groups, in order to discredit Republican candidate Roy Moore in Alabama's 2017 special election for the US Senate.

Working on behalf of the Democrats, Morgan and his crew created an estimated 1,000 fake Twitter accounts with Russian names, and had them follow Moore. They also operated several Facebook pages where they posed as Alabama conservatives who wanted like-minded voters to support a write-in candidate instead.

In an internal memo, New Knowledge boasted that it had "orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet."

It worked. The botnet claim made a splash on social media and was further amplified by Mother Jones, which based its story on expert opinion from Morgan's other dubious creation, Hamilton 68. - RT

Moore ended up losing the Alabama special election by a slim margin of just

In other words: In November 2017 – when Moore and his Democratic opponent were in a bitter fight to win over voters – Morgan openly promoted the theory that Russian bots were supporting Moore's campaign . A year later – after being caught red-handed orchestrating a self-described "false flag" operation – Morgan now says that his team never thought that the bots were Russian and have no idea what their purpose was . Did he think no one would notice? - RT

Dan Cohen ✔ @dancohen3000 Replying to @dancohen3000

Disinformation warrior @ jonathonmorgan attempts to control damage by lying. He now claims the "false flag operation" never took place and the botnet he promoted as Russian-linked (based on phony Hamilton68 Russian troll tracker he developed) wasn't Russian https://www. newknowledge.com/blog/about-ala bama

89 2:23 AM - Dec 29, 2018

Even more strange is that Scott Shane - the journalist who wrote the New York Times piece exposing the Alabama "Russian bot" scheme, knew about it for months after speaking at an event where the organizers bragged about the false flag on Moore .

Shane was one of the speakers at a meeting in September, organized by American Engagement Technologies, a group run by Mikey Dickerson, President Barack Obama's former tech czar. Dickerson explained how AET spent $100,000 on New Knowledge's campaign to suppress Republican votes, " enrage" Democrats to boost turnout, and execute a "false flag" to hrt Moore. He dubbed it "Project Birmingham." - RT

Dan Cohen ✔ @dancohen3000 · Dec 28, 2018 Replying to @dancohen3000

This gets even weirder: NYT reporter @ ScottShaneNYT , who broke the Alabama disinfo op story, learned of it in early September when he spoke at an off-the-record event organized by one of the firms that perpetrated the deception https://www. buzzfeednews.com/article/craigs ilverman/alabama-dirty-tricksters-invited-a-new-york-times-reporter

NY Times Reporter Briefed Alabama Special Election Dirty Tricksters

New York Times reporter Scott Shane spoke at an event organized by the group who ran a disinformation op aimed at helping defeat Roy Moore in Alabama.

A lightly-redacted copy of the internal @ NewKnowledgeAI report has been leaked and claims at least partial credit for Doug Jones' victory. Details follow https:// medium.com/@jeffgiesea/br eaking-heres-the-after-action-report-from-the-alabama-senate-disinformation

10 12:09 PM - Dec 28, 2018 Twitter Ads info and privacy

Shane told BuzzFeed that he was "shocked" by the revelations, though hid behind a nondisclosure agreement at the request of American Engagement Technologies (AET). He instead chose to spin the New Knowledge "false flag" operation on Moore as "limited Russian tactics" which were part of an "experiment" that had a budget of "only" $100,000 - and which had no effect on the election.

New Knowledge suggested that the false flag operation was simply a "research project," which Morgan suggested was designed "to better understand and report on the tactics and effects of social media disinformation."

View image on Twitter
Jonathon Morgan ✔ @jonathonmorgan

My statement on this evening's NYT article.

94 9:17 PM - Dec 19, 2018
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While the New York Times seemed satisfied with his explanation, others pointed out that Morgan had used the Hamilton 68 dashboard to give his "false flag" more credibility – misleading the public about a "Russian" influence campaign that he knew was fake.

New Knowledge's protestations apparently didn't convince Facebook, which announced last week that five accounts linked to New Knowledge – including Morgan's – had been suspended for engaging in "coordinated inauthentic behavior." - RT

They knew exactly what they were doing

While Morgan and New Knowledge sought to frame the "Project Birmingham" as a simple research project, a leaked copy of the operation's after-action report reveals that they knew exactly what they were doing .

"We targeted 650,000 like AL voters, with a combination of persona accounts, astroturfing, automated social media amplification and targeted advertising," reads the report published by entrepreneur and executive coach Jeff Giesea.

Jeff Giesea ✔ @jeffgiesea

BREAKING: Here's the after-action report from the AL Senate disinfo campaign.

**an exclusive release by @ JeffGiesea https:// medium.com/@jeffgiesea/br eaking-heres-the-after-action-report-from-the-alabama-senate-disinformation-campaign-e3edd854f17d

1,658 8:49 PM - Dec 27, 2018 Twitter Ads info and privacy BREAKING: Here's The After-Action Report From the Alabama Senate Disinformation Campaign

EXCLUSIVE RELEASE FROM JEFF GIESEA

medium.com
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The rhetorical question remains, why did the MSM drop this election meddling story like a hot rock after the initial headlines faded away?

criminal election meddling, but then who the **** is going to click on some morons tactic and switch votes?

anyone basing any funding, whether it is number of facebook hits or attempted mind games by egotistical cuck soyboys needs a serious psychological examination. fake news is fake BECAUSE IT ISNT REAL AND DOES NOT MATTER TO ANYONE but those living in the excited misery of their tiny bubble world safe spaces. SOCIAL MEDIA IS A CON AND IS NOT IMPORTANT OR RELEVANT TO ANYONE.

far more serious is destroying ballots, writing in ballots without consent, bussing voters around to vote multiple times in different districts, registering dead voters and imperosnating the corpses, withholding votes until deadlines pass - making them invalid.


Herdee , 10 minutes ago

NATO on behalf of the Washington politicians uses the same bullsh*t propaganda for continual war.

Mugabe , 20 minutes ago

Yup "PROJECTION"...

Yippie21 , 21 minutes ago

None of this even touches on the 501c3 or whatever that was set up , concerned Alabama voters or somesuch, and was funneled a **** load of money to be found to be in violation of the law AFTER the election and then it all just disappeared. Nothing to see here folks, Democrat won, let's move on. There was a LOT of " tests " for the smart-set in that election and it all worked. We saw a bunch of it used in 2018, especially in Texas with Beto and down-ballot races. Democrats cleaned up like crazy in Texas, especially in Houston.

2020 is going to be a hot mess. And the press is in on it, and even if illegal or unseemly things are done, as long as Democrats win, all good... let's move on. Crazy.

LetThemEatRand , 21 minutes ago

The fact that MSM is not covering this story -- which is so big it truly raises major questions about the entire Russiagate conspiracy including why Mueller was appointed in the first place -- is proof that they have no interest in journalism or the truth and that they are 100% agenda driven liars. Not that we needed more proof, but there it is anyway.

Oldguy05 , 19 minutes ago

Dimz corruption is a nogo. Now if it were conservatives.......

CosineCosineCosine , 23 minutes ago

I'm not a huge fan, but Jimmy Dore has a cathartic and entertaining 30 minutes on this farce. Well worth the watch:

h https://youtu.be/hqLIJznUNVw

LetThemEatRand , 27 minutes ago

Really the bigger story is here is that these guys convincingly pretended to be Russian Bots in order to influence an election (not with the message being put forth by the bots, but by their sheer existence as apparent supporters of the Moore campaign).

By all appearances, they were Russian bots trying to influence the election. Now we know it was DNC operatives. Yet we are supposed to believe without any proof that the "Russian bots" that supposedly influenced the 2016 Presidential election were, actually, Russian bots, and worthy of a two year long probe about "Russian collusion" and "Russian meddling."

The whole thing is probably a farce, not only in the sense that there is no evidence that Russia had any influence at all on a single voter, but also in the sense that there is no evidence that Russia even tried (just claims and allegations by people who have a vested interest in convincing us its true).

dead hobo , 30 minutes ago

I've been watching Scandal on Netflix. Still only in season 2. Amazing how nothing changes.They nailed it and memorialized it. The MSM are useful idiots who are happy to make money publicizing what will sell the best.

chunga , 30 minutes ago

The media is biased and sucks, yup.

The reason the reds lost the house is because they went along with this nonsense and did nothing about it, like frightened baby chipmunks.

JRobby , 33 minutes ago

Only when "the opposition" does it is it illegal. Total totalitarian state wannabe stuff.

divingengineer , 22 minutes ago

Amazing how people can contort reality to justify their own righteous cause, but decry their opposition for the EXACT same thing. See trump visit to troops signing hats as most recent proof. If DJT takes a piss and sprinkles the seat, it's a crime.

DarkPurpleHaze , 33 minutes ago

They're afraid to expose themselves...unlike Kevin Spacey. Trump or Whitaker will expose this with one signature. It's coming.

divingengineer , 20 minutes ago

Spacey has totally lost it. See his latest video, it will be a powerful piece of evidence for an insanity plea.

CosineCosineCosine , 10 minutes ago

Disagree strongly. I think it was excellent - perhaps you misunderstood the point? 6 minutes Diana Davidson look at it clarifies

https://youtu.be/_il_NBq0Ec8

[Dec 27, 2018] Senate Report on Russian Interference Was Written By Disinformation Warriors Behind Alabama 'False Flag Operation'

Anybody who believe that hillary was derailed by Russians is iether idiot or neocon or both.
Notable quotes:
"... Since receiving an $11 million investment from venture capital firm, GGV Capital, in August 2017, New Knowledge has positioned itself as one of the leading private intelligence firms taking on the scourge of Russian disinformation. The outfit made its biggest splash on December 17th when it published one of the two Senate Intelligence Committee-commissioned reports. ..."
"... Of the dozens of conservative Alabamian Facebook pages the Watson campaign messaged, the New Knowledge-run page was the only one that responded to it. "You are in a particularly interesting position and from what we have read of your politics, we would be inclined to endorse you", they wrote. New Knowledge then "asked Mr. Watson whether he trusted anyone to set up a super PAC that could receive funding and offered advice on how to sharpen his appeal to disenchanted Republican voters." While Watson communicated with the deceptive Facebook page, the New Knowledge operators never revealed their identity, and the page disappeared the day after the vote. "It was weird," Watson commented to the New York Times. "The whole thing was weird." ..."
"... New Knowledge then sought to manufacture a link between Roy Moore's campaign and the Kremlin by claiming thousands of his Twitter followers were Russian bots. Mainstream media outlets credulously ran with the narrative, insinuating that the Christian theocrat Moore was secretly backed by Russia. ..."
"... While the impact of the disinformation campaign on the Alabama senate race may never be quantified, the cynicism behind it is hard to understate. A group of Democratic Party operatives with close ties to the national security state waged a cynical campaign of online deception against the American public while marketing themselves as the guardians against foreign interference. Few, if any, Russian hackers could have done as much damage to the already worn fabric of American democracy as they have. ..."
Dec 27, 2018 | grayzoneproject.com

Grayzone Project -- On December 17, two reports detailing ongoing Russian interference operations commissioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee were made public. They generated a week's worth of headlines and sent members of Congress and cable news pundits into a Cold War frenzy. According to the report, everything from the Green Party's Jill Stein to I nstagram to Pokemon Go to the African American population had been used and confused by the deceptive Facebook pages of a private Russian troll farm called the Internet Research Agency.

Nevermind that 56% of the troll farm's pages appeared after the election , that 25% of them were seen by no one, or that their miniscule online presence paled in comparison to the millions of dollars spent on social media by the two major presidential campaigns and their supporters to sway voters. This was an act of war that demanded immediate government action.

According to Sen. Mark Warner, the Democratic chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the reports were "a wake up call" and a "bombshell" that was certain to bring "long-overdue guardrails when it comes to social media". His Republican counterpart on the committee, North Carolina Senator Richard Burr, hailed the research papers as "proof positive that one of the most important things we can do is increase information sharing between the social media companies who can identify disinformation campaigns and the third-party experts who can analyze them."

Mark Warner @MarkWarner

Incredible. These bombshell reports demonstrate just how far Russia went to exploit the fault lines of our society and divide Americans, in an attempt to undermine and manipulate our democracy. Here's what we've learned: https://www. nbcnews.com/politics/polit ics-news/russia-favored-trump-targeted-african-americans-election-meddling-reports-say-n948731

But the authors of one of the reports soon suffered a major blow to their credibility when it was revealed that they had engaged in what they called a "Russian style" online disinformation operation aimed to swing a hotly contested special senate election. The embarrassing revelation has already resulted in one of the authors having his Facebook page suspended .

The well-funded deception was carried out by New Knowledge, a private cyber intelligence firm founded by two self-styled disinformation experts who are veterans of the Obama administration: Jonathon Morgan and Ryan Fox.

'It may be designed to manipulate you'

Morgan began his career as a product manager at AOL before founding a series of start ups, some with funding from the United States Agency for International Development and Silicon Valley billionaire Pierre Omidyar's Omidyar Network. Once a Brookings Institution researcher and special advisor to the Obama White House and State Department, Morgan founded Data for Democracy, a volunteer organization said to use "public data to monitor the election system for signs of fraud." Morgan also developed technology for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the arm of the Department of Defense created for basic, applied technological research, and futuristic war toys.

Rising through the ranks of the national security apparatus, Morgan ultimately emerged as a go-to source for credulous reporters seeking to blame Hillary Clinton's loss to Donald Trump on Russian disinformation.

In an interview with the local CBS affiliate in Austin, Texas, Morgan told viewers that feelings of discontent were telltale signs that they had been duped by Russian disinformation.

"If it makes you feel too angry or really provokes that type of almost tribal response, then it may be designed to manipulate you. People should be concerned about things that encourage them to change their behavior," he warned.

View image on Twitter View image on Twitter
Max Blumenthal @MaxBlumenthal

. @ jonathonmorgan suggests Russia deceives Muslims into believing that Obama oversaw a drone assassination program https:// medium.com/data-for-democ racy/crafting-projects-islam-and-russian-propaganda-ccba9a409fb5

69 6:32 PM - Oct 14, 2017

Fox, for his part, is a 15-year veteran of the National Security Agency and was a computer analyst for the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) military unit. JSOC is notorious for its spree of atrocities across the Middle East including digging their bullets out of dead pregnant women's bodies in Afghanistan. Comparatively little information is available about Fox's background.

Since receiving an $11 million investment from venture capital firm, GGV Capital, in August 2017, New Knowledge has positioned itself as one of the leading private intelligence firms taking on the scourge of Russian disinformation. The outfit made its biggest splash on December 17th when it published one of the two Senate Intelligence Committee-commissioned reports.

The report, titled "The Tactics and Tropes of the Internet Research Agency," was oversseen by Renee DiResta, a former Wall Street trader and tech specialist who was recruited by Obama's State Department to devise strategies for combating online ISIS propaganda. The New York Times described DiResta as one among a small group of "hobbyists" who "meticulously logged data and published reports on how easy it was to manipulate social media platforms."

The hobby lobby of online obsessives converged at New Knowledge this year to sound the alarm on supposed Russian disinformation. In a New York Times op-ed published as Americans went to cast their votes in the midterm elections, Morgan and Fox alleged that the Kremlin was secretly running hundreds of propaganda websites in an effort to swing the outcomes. That assertion ran counter to the narrative the two operatives had been spinning out just months before.

In an interview earlier in the year, Ryan Fox suggested that despite the Trump administration's multiple rounds of sanctions against Russia, Vladimir Putin was so satisfied with the state of U.S. affairs that the Kremlin had actually cut back on its supposed interference. "Strategically, are they content with the way things are? Does it play in their favor to do anything right now? That's a valid question," Fox said. "Keep up the momentum, keep poking away. But do they have to implement drastic measures like hacking the DNC and exposing thousands of emails? Probably not."

More recently, Fox claimed to have identified hundreds of Russian-controlled Facebook and Twitter accounts active in France's Yellow Vest movement, which has raged against the country's neoliberal leadership and sparked anxiety among centrist elites across the Atlantic.

The Wall Street Journal @WSJ

"There has been some suspect activity," a French cybersecurity official said. "We are in the process of looking at its impact." https:// on.wsj.com/2EzeS5c

225 1:00 AM - Dec 15, 2018 Twitter Ads info and privacy France probes any Moscow role in yellow-vest movement that is challenging President Macron France Probes Any Moscow Role in Yellow-Vest Movement

French security services are investigating if the Kremlin had a role in social media activity that has spread misinformation about the protest movement that has become the most serious threat to...

wsj.com
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However, Fox produced no evidence to support his incendiary accusation, prompting reporters to qualify his assertions as " very likely " and write that he merely " believes " Russian interference took place.

Drafting the dubious bot dashboard

Morgan is also one the developers of the Hamilton 68 dashboard , an online project dedicated to inflaming public outrage over online Russian bots. Funded by the German Marshall Fund's Alliance for Securing Democracy – which is itself backed by NATO and USAID – Hamilton 68 claims to track hundreds of accounts supposedly linked to Russian influence operations. The effort has largely succeeded in drawing positive media attention despite one of its founders, Clint Watts, admitting that the Twitter accounts it follows may actually be real people who are not Russian at all.

When Morgan was asked what techniques Hamilton 68 uses to identify Russian influence operations, he offered a confident-sounding but ultimately empty answer: "We developed some techniques for determining who matters in a conversation Using some of those techniques, we've identified a subset of accounts that we're very confident are core to furthering the Russian narrative in response to mainstream events."

Because Morgan and his colleagues have explicitly refused to name the accounts monitored by Hamilton 68, his claims can never be proven.

In a lengthy profile of the musicologist-turned-New Knowledge "online detective" Kris Shaffer, Foreign Policy described the supposed methodology he employed to identify Russian disinfo operations: "By working with massive datasets of tweets, Facebook posts, and online articles, he is able to map links between accounts, similarities in the messages they post, and shared computer infrastructure."

The article added an extraordinarily revealing disclaimer: "This method of analysis is in its infancy, remains a fairly blunt instrument, and still requires human intervention. It sometimes mistakes real people who post anti-imperialist arguments about U.S. foreign policy for Kremlin trolls, for example."

It may have been that New Knowledge had no knowledge at all of Kremlin botnets, but their reports were nonetheless treated as gospel by droves of credulous reporters eager to make their name in the frenzied atmosphere of Russiagate.

"We orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation"

According to an internal New Knowledge report first seen by the New York Times , the firm carried out a multi-faceted influence operation designed to undermine a 2017 bid by right-wing Republican former state supreme court judge Roy Moore for an open Alabama senate seat. By its own admission, New Knowledge's campaign capitalized on the the sexual assault allegations against Moore to "enrage and energize Democrats" and "depress turnout" among Republicans.

To accomplish this, the New Knowledge team created a Facebook page aimed at appealing to conservative Alabamians by encouraging them to endorse an obscure patio supply salesman-turned-write-in candidate named Mac Watson. They hoped the subterfuge would peel votes away from Moore. It was precisely the kind of tactic that New Knowledge claims Russian troll farms carry out to sow divisions among the American electorate.

Morgan told the New York Times the effort stopped there. But the New Knowledge report says the Facebook page "boosted" Watson's campaign and even arranged interviews for him with The Montgomery Advertiser and the Washington Post . At the same time, Watson's Twitter following mysteriously jumped from 100 to about 10,000.

Russia | disinformation campaign

One of the articles New Knowledge took credit for during its disinformation campaign.

Of the dozens of conservative Alabamian Facebook pages the Watson campaign messaged, the New Knowledge-run page was the only one that responded to it. "You are in a particularly interesting position and from what we have read of your politics, we would be inclined to endorse you", they wrote. New Knowledge then "asked Mr. Watson whether he trusted anyone to set up a super PAC that could receive funding and offered advice on how to sharpen his appeal to disenchanted Republican voters." While Watson communicated with the deceptive Facebook page, the New Knowledge operators never revealed their identity, and the page disappeared the day after the vote. "It was weird," Watson commented to the New York Times. "The whole thing was weird."

New Knowledge then sought to manufacture a link between Roy Moore's campaign and the Kremlin by claiming thousands of his Twitter followers were Russian bots. Mainstream media outlets credulously ran with the narrative, insinuating that the Christian theocrat Moore was secretly backed by Russia.

The Montgomery Observer first reported the alleged link: Russian invasion? Roy Moore sees spike in Twitter followers from land of Putin . From there, it was picked up by Mother Jones, whose headline read: Russian Propagandists Are Pushing for Roy Moore to Win . But there was no proof of any Russian connection to the accounts. To bolster its evidence-free claim, Mother Jones simply turned to Hamilton 68, the highly suspect Russian influence monitoring system that Morgan helped design.

Today, as can be seen below, Mother Jones is using a bogus story generated by a disinformation campaign to raise funds for more Russiagate coverage.

Mother Jones Russiagate Fundraising

As the Russian bot narrative peaked, Moore blamed the Jones campaign for manufacturing the scare. "It's not surprising that they'd choose the favorite topic of MSNBC and the Fake News outlets -- the Russia conspiracy. Democrats can't win this election on the issues and their desperation is on full display."

Moore's opponent, Jones, said he had no knowledge of the operation.

Moore was roundly mocked in liberal circles as a conspiratorial crank, but New Knowledge's internal report contained a stunning admission: "We orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet," its authors revealed.

While the New York Times says the internal report does not confirm that New Knowledge purchased the bot account themselves, the accounts' flagrant use of Cyrillic language and profile pictures of famous singers including Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Avril Lavigne strongly suggest that whoever bought them went to extreme lengths to leave the appearance of a Russian hand.

View image on Twitter View image on Twitter View image on Twitter View image on Twitter
The Ostrich @ALostrich

Roy Moore just picked up a whole bunch of twitter followers. But they ain't from around here, comrade.

7,699 8:02 AM - Oct 16, 2017
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Disinfo ops to "strengthen American democracy"

The Alabama disinformation campaign was carried out through a network of Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs and former Obama administration officials who have joined the private sector to leverage liberal anti-Trump outrage into profits.

Billionaire Reid Hoffman, who co-founded the employment networking site LinkedIn, provided $100,000 for the black ops campaign. The money was then pipelined through American Engagement Technologies, which is headed by Mikey Dickerson, a former Google engineer who founded the United State Digital Service. Dickerson is also Executive Director of the New Data Project, an organization dedicated to "testing new approaches" and "serving as an advanced technology research lab for progressives."

A colleague of Hoffman's claimed the purpose of his investments was to "strengthen American democracy."

Since the New York Times' exposé, Facebook released a statement announcing its suspension of "five accounts run by a multiple individuals for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior," including Morgan's account. The social media platform has opened an investigation, though it has not revealed what the other pages are or who operated them.

The headline of the New York Times story about the Facebook suspensions appeared to have been crafted to keep the focus on Russia while deflecting scrutiny from the group of Democratic Party-linked hustlers that orchestrated the disinformation operation. It read: "Facebook Closes 5 Accounts Tied to Russia-Like Tactics in Alabama Senate Race."

For his part, Sen. Jones has demanded an investigation. "I think we've all focused too much on just the Russians and not picked up on the fact that some nefarious groups, whether they're right or left, could take those same playbooks and start interfering with the elections for their own benefit," he said. "I'd like to see the Federal Election Commission and the Justice Department look at this to see if there were any laws being violated and, if there were, prosecute those responsible."

Facing an inquiry for possible violations of election laws, Morgan issued a mealy-mouthed statement claiming he "did not participate in any campaign to influence the public and any characterization to the contrary misrepresents the research goals, methods and outcome of the project."

View image on Twitter View image on Twitter
Jonathon Morgan @jonathonmorgan

My statement on this evening's NYT article.

90 9:17 PM - Dec 19, 2018

While the impact of the disinformation campaign on the Alabama senate race may never be quantified, the cynicism behind it is hard to understate. A group of Democratic Party operatives with close ties to the national security state waged a cynical campaign of online deception against the American public while marketing themselves as the guardians against foreign interference. Few, if any, Russian hackers could have done as much damage to the already worn fabric of American democracy as they have.

Top Photo | Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., right, with Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., left, updates reporters on the status of their inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections, at the Capitol in Washington, Oct. 4, 2017. J. Scott Applewhite | AP

Dan Cohen is a journalist and filmmaker. He has produced widely distributed video reports and print dispatches from across Israel-Palestine. Dan is a correspondent at RT America and tweets at @ DanCohen3000 .

Source | Grayzone Project

[Dec 21, 2018] What the use of Facebook accounts attributed to Russians a false flag operation ?

Dec 21, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Dec 20, 2018 5:26:57 PM | link

Off topic, but important. Tell me if this is too out of place. The topic was covered a few days ago in a different article by b.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-20/democrats-orchestrated-elaborate-false-flag-operation-posing-russian-bots-during

One of the participants in the scheme, Jonathan Morgan, is the CEO of cybersecurity firm New Knowledge. Morgan wrote a blistering account of Russian social media operations during the 2016 election released this week by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Another angle to this big @nytimes story... Guess who participated in using a Russian style disinformation campaign to influence the Alabama Senate election AND hoped to frame Russia for it? The CEO of the company that wrote the Senate Intel report on 2016 election meddling. https://t.co/uSu8HYCl15
-- Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) December 20, 2018

[Nov 12, 2018] Protecting Americans from foreign influence, smells with COINTELPRO. Structural witch-hunt effect like during the McCarthy era is designed to supress decent to neoliberal oligarcy by Andre Damon and Joseph Kishore

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... There is something very, very COINTELPRO about the idea of "protecting" Americans from "foreign influence", and that should give liberals the heebie-jeebies. There is also an ongoing structural witch-hunt effect, unchanged from the McCarthy era, when internet firm heads are called to testify before congress. ..."
"... Bottom line - the Russians may have had no more effect on the election than the loose change in your house has on your salary. ..."
"... "Even more extreme measures are being planned and implemented, motivated by the basic principle that the greater the lie, the more aggressive the methods required to enforce it." ..."
"... "While the extortionate salaries commanded by the BBC's biggest stars are justified by "market rates," this underlying premise is never challenged by the women who are leading the gender pay fight. They don't oppose the capitalist market; they just want a bigger slice of the pie, with the working class footing the bill via contributions to the £4 billion annual license fee." - BBC gender pay row: Selective outrage of wealthy women ..."
"... The greater the inequality, the greater the lie to enforce it. ..."
"... While WSWS was uniquely correct in exposing Bush, Powell, and the ruling-elite structure of the U.S. as using deceit and lies to start an 'aggressive war' (the ultimate war crime), your description of this corrupt system of global power headquartered in the U.S. did not fully diagnose and expose it for what it was; a disguised global capitalist EMPIRE. ..."
"... Your description could have more effectively warned American citizen/'subjects' and the world that "Rather, it is a war of colonial (Empire) conquest, driven by a series of economic and geo-political aims that center on the seizure of Iraq's oil resources and the assertion of US global (Empire, not merely) hegemony." ..."
"... In any case, Andre and Joseph, thanks for reminding readers of this dark and deceitful moment of U.S. history in starting another 'aggressive war' almost two decades ago --- which wars will unfortunately continue until Americans themselves expose and ignite an essential Second America "Revolution Against Empire" [Justin duRivage] ..."
"... The Anglo-American-Israelite Empire is globally entrenched and enjoying expansion since 1945 ..."
"... I must admit myself I am disturbed by the sheer volume of unchallenged propaganda regarding these claims in the past few months. The media talking heads and various analysts don't ever really say what the implication of what their claims really mean-war. We are in an age of new mccarthyism ..."
"... What was amazing about Powell's charade was that even if Old Bad Ass as I call Saddam had had some Wombars of Mass Destruction they posed no danger whatsoever! It was obvious 9/11 had put the masses into a tizzy and they would have attacked Mars if told to! ..."
"... Yes, the "New Pearl Harbour" called for and carried out by the authors of the "Project for a New American Century" worked as planned. ..."
"... Quite right. My late father was a structural design engineer, specializing in large steel structures like the WTC and he called it as soon as the buildings imploded! ..."
"... Yes, Michael, the 'media/propaganda-sector' of this seven-sectored Disguised Global Capitalist EMPIRE is currently the most effective sector --- but the other six; corporate, financial, militarist, extra-legal, CFR 'Plot-Tanks', and of course the dual-party Vichy-political facade of the 'rougher-talking' neocon 'R' Vichy Party and the 'smoother-lying' neoliberal-con 'D' Vichy Party are all helping to keep the Empire sound, hidden, and empowered over the only American citizen/'subjects' who could possibly form a "Political Revolution against Empire" ..."
"... While it is true that D.C. is run by delusional psychotics that does not mean they are irrational as far as their greed is concerned. ..."
"... As R. Luxemburg pleaded that WWI was not "our" war but war of bunch of aristocrats wanting to divide colonies and bunch of bankers wanted their bad speculative loans repaid, using working class flesh and blood. ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.wsws.org

Wnt1a month ago

This is one of the most sensible editorials on the Russia issue I've seen, and it is true, insofar as it goes. There is something very, very COINTELPRO about the idea of "protecting" Americans from "foreign influence", and that should give liberals the heebie-jeebies. There is also an ongoing structural witch-hunt effect, unchanged from the McCarthy era, when internet firm heads are called to testify before congress.

That said, I wouldn't dismiss the effect of the Russian involvement, or the relevance of the charges against Trump and his people. Bear in mind that the Party of McCarthy has been all about spying on its opponents from the days of HUAC. Nixon's break-in at the Watergate Hotel didn't singlehandedly decide the election ... but who would believe that was the only underhanded tactic he used? Republicans believe that if you're not cheating, you're not trying -- holding out for any ethical standard makes you inherently disloyal and unworthy of support. Something like Kavanaugh's involvement in the hacking of Democrats in 2003 ( http://www.foxnews.com/poli... ) should be no surprise; neither should the "Guccifer" hack that put the Democrats' data in the hands of Wikileaks. (Their subsequent attempts to demand Wikileaks not publish such a newsworthy leak, of course, is the sort of thing that undermines their position with me!)

Bottom line - the Russians may have had no more effect on the election than the loose change in your house has on your salary.

But if you go back in your house after the Republicans were minding it, don't be surprised if together with the missing couch change you notice some missing silverware, your kitchen tap has been sawed off, and the laptop is short half its RAM. By the time you've catalogued everything missing, the stolen brass part from the gas main downstairs might have blown you to smithereens.

Greg8 months ago
"Even more extreme measures are being planned and implemented, motivated by the basic principle that the greater the lie, the more aggressive the methods required to enforce it."

There are many reasons the bourgeoisie is unfit to rule. Each one of them is bound up with the lies required to enforce its rule. The greater its unfitness, "the greater the lie, the more aggressive the methods required to enforce it.

"While the extortionate salaries commanded by the BBC's biggest stars are justified by "market rates," this underlying premise is never challenged by the women who are leading the gender pay fight. They don't oppose the capitalist market; they just want a bigger slice of the pie, with the working class footing the bill via contributions to the £4 billion annual license fee." - BBC gender pay row: Selective outrage of wealthy women

The greater the inequality, the greater the lie to enforce it.

Alan MacDonald8 months ago
While WSWS was uniquely correct in exposing Bush, Powell, and the ruling-elite structure of the U.S. as using deceit and lies to start an 'aggressive war' (the ultimate war crime), your description of this corrupt system of global power headquartered in the U.S. did not fully diagnose and expose it for what it was; a disguised global capitalist EMPIRE.

Your description could have more effectively warned American citizen/'subjects' and the world that "Rather, it is a war of colonial (Empire) conquest, driven by a series of economic and geo-political aims that center on the seizure of Iraq's oil resources and the assertion of US global (Empire, not merely) hegemony."

In any case, Andre and Joseph, thanks for reminding readers of this dark and deceitful moment of U.S. history in starting another 'aggressive war' almost two decades ago --- which wars will unfortunately continue until Americans themselves expose and ignite an essential Second America "Revolution Against Empire" [Justin duRivage]

Ambricourt -> Alan MacDonald8 months ago
The Anglo-American-Israelite Empire is globally entrenched and enjoying expansion since 1945. It is time radical critiques of its values, power and methods should call it by its right name.
Bob Marley8 months ago
I must admit myself I am disturbed by the sheer volume of unchallenged propaganda regarding these claims in the past few months. The media talking heads and various analysts don't ever really say what the implication of what their claims really mean-war. We are in an age of new mccarthyism
michaelroloff8 months ago
What was amazing about Powell's charade was that even if Old Bad Ass as I call Saddam had had some Wombars of Mass Destruction they posed no danger whatsoever! It was obvious 9/11 had put the masses into a tizzy and they would have attacked Mars if told to!
Terry Lawrence -> michaelroloff8 months ago
Yes, the "New Pearl Harbour" called for and carried out by the authors of the "Project for a New American Century" worked as planned.
michaelroloff -> Terry Lawrence8 months ago
don't tell me that you think that the blow-back that was 9/11 is a conspiracy - if you do, be so kind as to mention specific conspirators!
Terry Lawrence -> michaelroloff8 months ago
Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, are a few obvious ones, . . . and that famous CIA asset, Bin Laden, to recruit the expendable hijackers.
michaelroloff -> Terry Lawrence8 months ago
just because it was a convenient act for them to do what they wanted in conquering iraq is not reason that idiots like that are capable of planning and concealing the numerous co-conspirators to arrange something like 9..11. imperialism can always count on blowback to have occasion for further crimes. there is the slim chance that they knew what was being planned and that they let it happen - except that none of those folks is evil enough for that. not even dick cheney. what i love about all conspiracy theories of the american kind is that they never nam or show an actual conspirator conspiring. look at one of the truly great failed conspiracy, that of the 20th july 1944 in germany that was meant to kill hitler and how many people were arrested in no time at all and executed..
Terry Lawrence michaelroloff8 months ago
A "conspiracy" is just any two or more people getting together to discuss something affecting one or more other people without them being party to the discussion. Like a surprise birthday party, for instance. Obviously the "official" version of the 9/11 events is also a "conspiracy theory" that 19 mostly Saudi Arabians led by a guy hiding in a cave in Afghanistan conspired to carry out co-ordinated attacks that just happened to coincide with most of the USAF being conveniently off in Alaska and northern Canada on an exercise that day, and another "coinciding exercise" simulating a multiple hijacking being carried out in the northeast US thereby confusing the Air Traffic Controllers as to whether the hijackings were "real world or exercise", significantly delaying the response, among other things.

Do you really believe that WTC 7, a steel frame building which was not adjacent to WTC 1 & 2, and was NOT hit by any airplanes, coincidentally collapsed due to low temperature paper and furniture office fires? Something that has never happened before or since? Or that such low temperature fires would cause the massive heavily reinforced concrete central core/elevator shaft to collapse first, pulling the rest of the building inward onto it in classic controlled demolition technique?

It is getting more difficult to find the videos showing that now as Google, as with WSWS articles, is pushing them off the front pages of results, while Snopes has put out a some very misleading reports that set up false "straw man" claims and then "disprove" them. Even the "disproofs" are false.

For instance, a Snopes report on the WTC 7 collapse states: "relied heavily on discredited claims, none of which were new, including:

Jet fuel cannot melt steel beams (This claim is misleading, as steel beams do to not need to melt completely to be compromised structurally).

A sprinkler system would have prevented temperatures from rising high enough to cause to cause structural damage. (This claim ignores the fact that a crash from a 767 jet would likely destroy such a system.)

The structural system would have been protected by fireproofing material (similarly, such a system would have been damaged in a 767 crash). "

Jet fuel, which is Kerosene, burns at around 575º in open air, which was the case in WTC buildings 1 & 2. Most of it was vaporized by the impact with the buildings and burned of within minutes. At any rate, 575º is far below the point at which structural steel specifically designed to withstand high temperature fires like that used in the World Trade Centre buildings is weakened.

All of which is irrelevant, as are the other "points" made by Snopes, because Building 7 was not hit by an airplane and there was no jet fuel involved. Something conveniently "overlooked" by Snopes and other similar misleading "disproofs". Not to mention that the Intelligence establishment is busy putting out false trails constantly which use, for instance, obviously faked photos or videos of the three WTC buildings collapsing to discredit the real videos and photos by setting up "straw men" they can then "disprove" and point to as "evidence" that people who don't believe the official version are "creating fake news".

liz_imp Terry Lawrence8 months ago
Brilliant points!! :)
Carolyn Zaremba Terry Lawrence8 months ago
Quite right. My late father was a structural design engineer, specializing in large steel structures like the WTC and he called it as soon as the buildings imploded!
Terry Lawrence michaelroloff8 months ago
"The perpetrators and their conspiracy is not a theory since it has been proved."

By "proved" I assume you are referring to "proofs" such as the fantastical claim that Mohammed Atta's passport was allegedly and fortuitously "found" when it supposedly survived the 600 mph impact of the 767 he was supposedly piloting with a huge steel and concrete building, survived the huge fireball it was supposedly in the middle of unscorched, and conveniently fluttered to the ground intact to land at the feet of an FBI agent who immediately realized it must have belonged to one of the hijackers!

Even Hans Christian Andersen couldn't invent Fairy Tales like that.

Carolyn Zaremba michaelroloff8 months ago
See my comment above. It is the "official" explanation that is a fantasy.
michaelroloff Carolyn Zaremba8 months ago
the best that conspiracy theorist can do is, invariably, to call proven facts "just another theory " which only proves that they are actually aware that they are full of hot air! zarembas father as a structural engineer unless a fantasy is certainly better off among the dead than among the living and perpetrating his ignorance of steel and weight and fire onto the world!
clubmarkgirard michaelroloff8 months ago
Just because all the details aren't known as to who conspired and why there's enough holes in the "official conspiracy theory" of 19 hijackers to conclude that this could not have been pulled off without some conspiring on the American side. Certainly the the neocons benefited greatly from these attacks. So motive is there for sure.
Alan MacDonald michaelroloff8 months ago
Yes, Michael, the 'media/propaganda-sector' of this seven-sectored Disguised Global Capitalist EMPIRE is currently the most effective sector --- but the other six; corporate, financial, militarist, extra-legal, CFR 'Plot-Tanks', and of course the dual-party Vichy-political facade of the 'rougher-talking' neocon 'R' Vichy Party and the 'smoother-lying' neoliberal-con 'D' Vichy Party are all helping to keep the Empire sound, hidden, and empowered over the only American citizen/'subjects' who could possibly form a "Political Revolution against Empire"
Kalen8 months ago
While it is true that D.C. is run by delusional psychotics that does not mean they are irrational as far as their greed is concerned.

There is nothing to win in global nuke war, all know it while the outcome would be surely the current global oligarchy loosing grip on population destroying the system that works for them so well giving chance to what they dread socialist revolution they would have been much weaker to counter.

Regional conflicts are just positioning of oligarchy for management of global oligarchic country club while strict class morality is maintained.

What I do not we are conditions for war (split of global ruling elites) while what I see is broad propaganda of war as a excuse to clamp down on fake enemy in order to control respective populations while there is factual unity among world oligarchy.

As R. Luxemburg pleaded that WWI was not "our" war but war of bunch of aristocrats wanting to divide colonies and bunch of bankers wanted their bad speculative loans repaid, using working class flesh and blood.

She died abandoned by those on the left who embraced the war for their political aspirations, she was murdered for her true internationalism i.e. No war fought between working people of one country and working people of another country.

Alan MacDonald Kalen8 months ago
Kalen, it's only effective to use the correct and understandable term 'Empire' in exposing, warning, and motivating average Americans --- since very few even know what words like; oligarchy, plutocracy, fascism, authoritarianism, corporate-state, or Wolin's 'inverted totalitarianism' mean --- let alone could ever serve as rallying cries for the coming essential Second American Revolution against EMPIRE.

As Pat would have shouted if Tom had taken the Paine to edit his call, "Give me Liberty over EMPIRE, or Give me Death!"

Carolyn Zaremba Alan MacDonald8 months ago
Do you really believe that average Americans are that stupid? Shame on you!
Alan MacDonald Carolyn Zaremba8 months ago
"Sweet Carolyn" OH OH OH --- Yes, only a very small percentage of Americans understand that our former country, the U.S. of America, is categorically, provably, and absolutely a new form of Empire, and is inexorably the first in world history an; 'effectively-disguised', 'truly-global', 'dual-party Vichy', and 'capitalist-fueled' EMPIRE --- an EMPIRE, really just an EMPIRE!

Just do an honest survey, "Sweet Carolyn", yourself, and if you're not a "Sweet Liarlyn", you will have to admit that essentially ZERO of the first 1000 people you ask, will say --- "Oh ya, Carolyn, of course I know that this whole effin 'system' that others less informed may still be so stupid that they think they live in a real country, when I (enter their name) do solemnly swear is just an effin EMPIRE, which is so well disguised, that these few idiots who don't understand that they are just citizen/'subjects' of this monsterous EMPIRE."

Do the survey, "Sweet Carolyn" and if you don't lie to yourself --- which maybe you do, because HELL, your job is to lie to others (so it's quite likely that you'll lie about anything) --- you'll find that exactly zero average Americans have the effin slightest idea in the world that their great 'country' is actually an effin EMPIRE.

HELL, Carolyn, almost half the Americans repeatedly yell, "We're number ONE", "We're number ONE", that their brains would rather rattle themselves to death than even let logic, history, knowledge, or anything into their addled and propaganda filled heads!

liz_imp Alan MacDonald8 months ago
Personal attacks are not allowed on this site.
Alan MacDonald liz_imp8 months ago
Sorry, Liz-imp, are you a friend of "Sweet Carolyn" --- or some other relation? Perhaps working together?
dmorista8 months ago
Excellent article, and it did a particularly good job of tying together the foreign policy and domestic policy stratagems of a major faction of the U.S. ruling class. I, for one, do not doubt that the Russians conduct some sort of cyber warfare against the U.S.; but that must be understood by considering the fact that every major governmental, political, military, and business organization on the face of the Earth must now operate in this manner. A friend of mine's son, who was in the Army, pointed out that the big players, by a wide margin, in spying on and to some degree interfering in the U.S. domestic scene are China and Israel. Kevin Barrett has written and said on various radio shows that much of what is attributed to the "Russians" are actually the actions of Russian/Israeli dual citizens, many of whom move freely between the U.S., Russia, and Israel. And, of course, the U.S. runs major spy and manipulation operations in more countries than any other nation of Earth, and U.S. based corporations are busy both inside the U.S. and in foreign places in similar activities.

It is clearly a desire of significant sectors, of the Capitalist rulers of the U.S., to repress dissent and political activities that oppose their agendas. It took them a few years to realize that their old methods using TV, hate radio, magazines, direct mail, and newspapers were losing their effectiveness. They have been increasing their attacks on leftist websites, hacking into websites, closing websites using phonied-up "national security" justifications, employing numerous trolls, and establishing and funding more far right websites, such as Breitbart and Infowars. These efforts are most effective when they are not overpowering and heavy handed.

The classic book on this was the 1988 book "Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media" by Noam Chomsky and Edward Hermann. Rob Williams has updated the concept for the internet age in
<http: www.vermontindependent.org ="" the-post-truth-world-reviving-the-propaganda-model-of-news-for-our-digital-age=""/>.

The strategy is nothing new, the methods are merely updated and use the latest technologies.

Maxwell dmorista8 months ago
Superb post.

I guess the lesson to be learned here is that rigging elections through byzantine electoral laws and billion dollar corporate slush funds is a thing of the past. All you need now is 13 amateur IT goomba's with a marketing scheme and twitter accounts. Well, sure is a fragile "World's Sole Superpower" we got here. Go Team?

[Nov 05, 2018] 33 Trillion Reasons Why The New York Times Gets It Wrong on Russia-gate - Antiwar.com Original

Nov 05, 2018 | original.antiwar.com

33 Trillion Reasons Why The New York Times Gets It Wrong on Russia-gate

Facebook Said 80,000 Russian Posts Were Buried in 33 Trillion Facebook Offerings Over Two-Year Period Further Undermining NYT ·s Case

by Gareth Porter Posted on November 05, 2018 November 3, 2018 Even more damning evidence has come to light undermining The New York Times ' assertion in September that Russia used social media to steal the 2016 election for Donald Trump.

The Times ' claim last month that Russian Facebook posts reached nearly as many Americans as actually voted in the 2016 election exaggerated the significance of those numbers by a factor of hundreds of millions, as revealed by further evidence from Facebook's own Congressional testimony.

Further research into an earlier Consortium News article shows that a relatively paltry 80,000 posts from the private Russian company Internet Research Agency (IRA) were engulfed in literally trillions of posts on Facebook over a two-year period before and after the 2016 vote.

That was supposed to have thrown the election, according to the paper of record. In its 10,000-word article on Sept. 20, the Times reported that 126 million out of 137 million American voters were exposed to social media posts on Facebook from IRA that somehow had a hand in delivering Trump the presidency.

The newspaper said: "Even by the vertiginous standards of social media, the reach of their effort was impressive: 2,700 fake Facebook accounts, 80,000 posts, many of them elaborate images with catchy slogans, and an eventual audience of 126 million Americans on Facebook alone." The paper argued that 126 million was "not far short of the 137 million people who would vote in the 2016 presidential election."

But Consortium News , on Oct. 10, debunked that story, pointing out that reporters Scott Shane and Mark Mazzetti failed to report several significant caveats and disclaimers from Facebook officers themselves, whose statements make the Times' claim that Russian election propaganda "reached" 126 million Americans an exercise in misinformation.

The newspaper failed to tell their readers that Facebook account holders in the United States had been "served" 33 trillion Facebook posts during that same period -- 413 million times more than the 80,000 posts from the Russian company.

What Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on October 31, 2017 is a far cry from what the Times claims. "Our best estimate is that approximately 126,000 million people may have been served one of these [IRA-generated] stories at some time during the two year period," Stretch said.

Stretch was expressing a theoretical possibility rather than an established fact. He said an estimated 126 million Facebook members might have gotten at least one story from the IRA –- not over the ten week election period, but over 194 weeks during the two years 2015 through 2017 – including a full year after the election.

That means only an estimated 29 million FB users may have gotten at least one story in their feed in two years. The 126 million figure is based only on an assumption that they shared it with others, according to Stretch.

Facebook didn't even claim most of those 80,000 IRA posts were election–related. It offered no data on what proportion of the feeds to those 29 million people were.

In addition, Facebook's Vice President for News Feed, Adam Moseri, acknowledged in 2016 that FB subscribers actually read only about 10 percent of the stories Facebook puts in their News Feed every day. The means that very few of the IRA stories that actually make it into a subscriber's news feed on any given day are actually read.

And now, according to the further research, the odds that Americans saw any of these IRA ads – let alone were influenced by them – are even more astronomical. In his Oct. 2017 testimony, Stretch said that from 2015 to 2017, "Americans using Facebook were exposed to, or 'served,' a total of over 33 trillion stories in their News Feeds."

To put the 33 trillion figure over two years in perspective, the 80,000 Russian-origin Facebook posts represented just .0000000024 of total Facebook content in that time.

Shane and Mazzetti did not report the 33 trillion number even though The New York Times ' own coverage of that 2017 Stretch testimony explicitly stated , "Facebook cautioned that the Russia-linked posts represented a minuscule amount of content compared with the billions of posts that flow through users' News Feeds everyday."

The Times ' touting of the bogus 126 million out 137 million voters, while not reporting the 33 trillion figure, should vie in the annals of journalism as one of the most spectacularly misleading uses of statistics of all time.

Gareth Porter, an investigative historian and journalist specializing in US national security policy, received the UK-based Gellhorn Prize for journalism for 2011 for articles on the U.S. war in Afghanistan. His new book is Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare . He can be contacted at porter.gareth50@gmail.com .

Reprinted from Consortium News with the author's permission.

[Oct 21, 2018] What this accusation boils down to is saying that the Russian firm's deception is "proof" that they thought they were violating US law, and that this intention to break a non-existent law constitutes a framework under which they can be convicted of breaking a non-existent law. The crazy never stops.

Oct 21, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Old Poor Richard , 1 hour ago link

"Made up a crime to fit the facts they have" is a normal mode of operation for federal prosecutors. Hopefully the judge throws out all charges, but unlikely to have a broader impact on non-stop fabrications by US attorneys.

What this accusation boils down to is saying that the Russian firm's deception is "proof" that they thought they were violating US law, and that this intention to break a non-existent law constitutes a framework under which they can be convicted of breaking a non-existent law. The crazy never stops. Mueller and his minions should be disbarred.

Reaper , 2 hours ago link

Neo-American Law Rules: You're guilty of intent to commit the crime, rather than committing the crime.

KJWqonfo7 , 42 minutes ago link

It's called a thought crime, it's been around liberal circuits for years.

SirBarksAlot , 3 hours ago link

Wouldn't this set a dangerous precedent, if the judge ruled in favor of the government?

How many people have websites under fake names?

I guess they couldn't prove that they affected the outcome of the election, so they went for conspiracy instead.

DjangoCat , 1 hour ago link

Why is there any requirement to identify oneself beyond an alias, unless there are obligations of debt involved. Even there, the LLC places a barrier between an individual and the creditor.

I post with a pseudonym. My pseudonymous identity bears responsibility for its own reputation.

Algo Rhythm , 4 hours ago link

All of the clandestine branches of the Administrative State suck and need to be ended.

pparalegal , 4 hours ago link

ELECTION MEDDLING (as defined by Mueller and Kravis): every VPN blogger and/or user with more than one GMail account.

But NOT multi-million dollar foreign "contributions" to the Clinton Foundation. That have dried up since November of 2016. Oh no, nothing meddling about over there.

Scipio Africanuz , 5 hours ago link

By participation, do they mean like polls that consistently show the USA as the greatest impediment to global peace and tranquility? Or the numerous opinion sharers that the US government is depraved? Or like the kind of participation of Victoria "**** the EU" Nuland? Or like the Western sponsored Jihadi headchoppers hired to interfere in Syrian elections? Or like the US military fueled aggression against Yemeni sovereignty? Or like the US/Clinton sponsored destabilization of Libyan democracy? Or like the Obama/US sponsored destabilization of Egypt? Or like the US/Western sponsored failed coup in Turkey?

Or most crucially, the US/neoconservative never ending direct interference in internal Russian affairs?

These need to be clarified so folks can understand what meddling/interference/intervention means. It's not enough to point fingers, when worse activities have been, are being carried out by the pointers. Any society that abandons basic ethics, is one destined for the scrap heap of history.

Americans have forgotten what it means to be Americans, and this desperate gambit by the DOJ highlights viscerally, that the American system of government, one based on ethical values, is no more! It demonstrates the fragility of the system.

God alone knows if salvage is possible now, the USA has in the blink of an eye, become the erstwhile USSR, overly sensitive to the unworkability of its sociopolitical system. It is the end game of unsustainable imperium.

Live and learn folks, live and learn!...

hooligan2009 , 5 hours ago link

the law is straightforward.

a crime is committed. you define the crime, outline the harm and damage and seek out those that have perpetrated the crime.

you disclose your evidence, the accused is allowed to present an alibi.

a jury works out if the accused is guilty. a judge determines a sentence if guilt for a crime is proven.. based on evidence and argument.

in this case, no crime has been committed, no evidence of a crime has been presented and no trial can move forward.

those fabricating evidence and a crime are guilty of that.

**** or get off the pot!

PeterLong , 6 hours ago link

"Rather, the allegation is that the company knowingly engaged in deceptive acts that precluded the FEC, or the Justice Department, from ascertaining whether they had broken the law. - Bloomberg " I didn't know Prof. Irwin Corey worked for the US Attorney's office. By this explanation whether you break a law or not you can be guilty of precluding these agencies from determining that you did not break a law, even if whatever you did to prevent such determination was not illegal.

TGF Texas , 6 hours ago link

I hate to be cynical, but...

didn't the Judge in Manaforts trial do something similar when he called out the Mueller team on their motivation's for bringing Manafort up on old charges the DOJ had previously declined to prosecute him on?

Joshua2415 , 2 hours ago link

The difference is that Manafort actually did break a genuine law.

Moribundus , 7 hours ago link

Amerika is 180 degree turn from my logic. Mueler presented fake evidence and fabricated Lockerbie trial. He was working with Steele.

So this is great guy to head FBI and bull sheet Russia medling. In normal country, guy like Mueler is so discredired that can be hapi to have county investigator job, not government job

G-R-U-N-T , 8 hours ago link

LOL, Mueller's investigation is fucked. Indeed, they are going to have to bring forth the evidence via discovery.

It will come to light they manufactured a crime without the evidence. Also, if they don't drop the case they're running the risk of exposing even more crimes they committed.

This is where the American people should rise up and repeal prosecutorial immunity and make the real criminal's pay the price for manufacturing crime's! Care to speculate how many prosecutor's wouldn't even touch a potential criminal with doubt of innocence, if indeed prosecutors were held accountable for their own crimes???

Like I've said, people have NO idea how raunchy and corrupt this manufactured Mueller investigation is, once the unredacted FISA warrant and 302's are released, the people will realize both the seditious and traitorous behavior that went on in the ObamaSpy ring to frame Trump!

[Oct 21, 2018] Judge Orders Mueller To Prove Russian Company Meddled In Election

Oct 20, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
A Washington federal judge on Thursday ordered special counsel Robert Mueller's team to clarify election meddling claims lodged against a Russian company operated by Yevgeny Prigozhin, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Bloomberg .

Concord Management and Consulting, LLC. - one of three businesses indicted by Mueller in February along with 13 individuals for election meddling, surprised the special counsel in April when they actually showed up in court to fight the charges. Mueller's team tried to delay Concord from entering the case, arguing that thee Russian company not been properly served, however Judge Dabney Friedrich denied the request - effectively telling prosecutors ' well, they're here .'

Concord was accused in the indictment of supporting the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian 'troll farm' accused of trying to influence the 2016 US election.

On Thursday, Judge Freidrich asked Mueller's prosecutors if she should assume they aren't accusing Concord of violating US laws applicable to election expenditures and failure to register as a foreign agent.

Concord has asked Dabney to throw out the charges - claiming that Mueller's office fabricated a crime, and that there is no law against interfering in elections.

According to the judge's request for clarification, the Justice Department has argued that it doesn't have to show that Concord had a legal duty to report its expenditures to the Federal Election Commission . Rather, the allegation is that the company knowingly engaged in deceptive acts that precluded the FEC, or the Justice Department, from ascertaining whether they had broken the law. - Bloomberg

On Monday, Friedrich raised questions over whether the special counsel's office could prove a key element of their case - saying that it was "hard to see" how allegations of Russian influence were intended to interfere with US government operations vs. simply "confusing voters," reports law.com .

During a 90-minute hearing, Friedrich questioned prosecutor Jonathan Kravis about how the government would be able to show the Russian defendants were aware of the Justice Department and FEC's functions and then deliberately sought to skirt them.

" You still have to show knowledge of the agencies and what they do. How do you do that? " Friedrich asked.

Kravis, a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, argued that the government needed only to show that Concord Management and the other defendants were generally aware that the U.S. government "regulates and monitors" foreign participation in American politics . That awareness, Kravis said, could be inferred from the Russians' alleged creation of fake social media accounts that appeared to be run by U.S. citizens and "computer infrastructure" intended to mask the Russian origin of the influence operation.

" That is deception that is directed at a higher level ," Kravis said. Kravis appeared in court with Michael Dreeben , a top Justice Department appellate lawyer on detail to the special counsel's office. - law.com

Concord pleaded not guilty in May. Their attorney, Eric Dubelier - a partner at Reed Smith, has described the election meddling charges as "make believe," arguing on Monday that Mueller's indictment against Concord "doesn't charge a crime."

"There is no statute of interfering with an election. There just isn't," said Dubelier, who added that Mueller's office alleged a "made-up crime to fit the facts they have."

Dubelier added that the case against Concord Management is the first in US history "where anyone has ever been charged with defrauding the Justice Department" through their failure to register under FARA .

[Oct 12, 2018] The Shaky Case That Russia Manipulated Social Media to Tip the 2016 Election by Gareth Porter

Russians under each Facebook account
Oct 12, 2018 | original.antiwar.com
adopted false US personas online to get people to attend rallies and conduct other political activities. (An alternative explanation is that IRA is a purely commercial, and not political, operation.)

Whether those efforts even came close to swaying US voters in the 2016 presidential election, as Shane and Mazzetti claimed, is another matter.

Shane and Mazzetti might argue that they are merely citing figures published by the social media giants Facebook and Twitter, but they systematically failed to report the detailed explanations behind the gross figures used in each case, which falsified their significance.

Their most dramatic assertions came in reporting the alleged results of the IRA's efforts on Facebook. "Even by the vertiginous standards of social media," they wrote, "the reach of their effort was impressive: 2,700 fake Facebook accounts, 80,000 posts, many of them elaborate images with catchy slogans, and an eventual audience of 126 million Americans on Facebook alone."

Then, to dramatize that "eventual audience" figure, they observed, "That was not far short of the 137 million people who would vote in the 2016 presidential elections."

But as impressive as these figures may appear at first glance, they don't really indicate an effective attack on the US election process at all. In fact, without deeper inquiry into their meaning, those figures were grossly misleading.

A Theoretical Possibility

What Facebook general counsel Colin Stretch actually said in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee last October was quite different from what the Times reporters claimed. "Our best estimate is that approximately 126,000 million people may have been served one of these [IRA-generated] stories at some time during the two year period," Stretch said.

Stretch was expressing a theoretical possibility rather than an established accomplishment. Facebook was saying that it estimated 126 million Facebook members might have gotten at least one story from the IRA –- not over the ten week election period but over 194 weeks during the two years 2015 through 2017. That, figure, in turn, was based on the estimate that 29 million people might have gotten at least one story in their Facebook feed over that same two-year period and on the assumption that they shared it with others at a particular rate.

The first problem with citing those figures as evidence of impact on the 2016 election is that Facebook did not claim that all or even most of those 80,000 IRA posts were election–related. It offered no data on what proportion of the feeds to those 29 million people was, in fact, election-related. But Stretch did testify that IRA content over that two–year period represented just four thousandths (.0004) of the total content of Facebook newsfeeds.

Thus each piece of IRA content in a twitter feed was engulfed in 23,000 pieces of non-IRA content.

That is an extremely important finding, because, as Facebook's Vice President for News Feed, Adam Moseri, acknowledged in 2016 , Facebook subscribers actually read only about 10 percent of the stories Facebook puts in their News Feed every day. The means that very few of the IRA stories that actually make it into a subscriber's news feed on any given day are actually read.

Facebook did conduct research on what it calls "civic engagement" during the election period, and the researchers concluded that the "reach" of the content shared by what they called "fake amplifiers" was "marginal compared to the volume of civic content shared during the US elections." That reach, they said, was "statistically very small" in relation to "overall engagement on political issues."

Shane and Mazzaetti thus failed to report any of the several significant caveats and disclaimers from Facebook itself that make their claim that Russian election propaganda "reached" 126 million Americans extremely misleading.

Tiny IRA Twitter Footprint

Shane and Mazzetti's treatment of the role of Twitter in the alleged Russian involvement in the election focuses on 3,814 Twitter accounts said to be associated with the IRA, which supposedly "interacted with 1.4 million Americans." Although that number looks impressive without any further explanation, more disaggregated data provide a different picture: more than 90 percent of the Tweets from the IRA had nothing to do with the election, and those that did were infinitesimally few in relation to the entire Twitter stream relating to the 2016 campaign.

Twitter's own figures show that those 3,814 IRA-linked accounts posted 175,993 Tweets during the ten weeks of the election campaign, but that only 8.4 percent of the total number of IRA-generated Tweets were election-related.

Twitter estimated that those 15,000 IRA-related tweets represented less than .00008 (eight one hundred thousandths) of the estimated total of 189 million tweets that Twitter identified as election-related during the ten-week election campaign. Twitter has offered no estimate of how many Tweets, on average were in the daily twitter stream of those people notified by Twitter and what percentage of them were election-related Tweets from the IRA. Any such notification would certainly show, however, that the percentage was extremely small and that very few would have been read.

Research by Darren Linvill and Patrick Warren of Clemson University on 2.9 million Tweets from those same 3,814 IRA accounts over a two year period has revealed that nearly a third of its Tweets had normal commercial content or were not in English; another third were straight local newsfeeds from US localities or mostly non-political "hashtag games", and the final third were on "right" or "left" populist themes in US society.

Furthermore, there were more IRA Tweets on political themes in 2017 than there had been during the election year. As a graph of those tweets over time shows, those "right" and "left" Tweets peaked not during the election but during the summer of 2017.

The Mysterious 50,000 'Russia-Linked' Accounts

Twitter also determined that another 50,258 automated Twitter accounts that tweeted about the election were associated with Russia and that they have generated a total to 2.1 million Tweets – about one percent of the total number election-related tweets of during the period.

But despite media coverage of those Tweets suggesting that they originated with the Russian government, the evidence doesn't indicate that at all. Twitter's Sean Edgett told the Senate Intelligence Committee last November that Twitter had used an "expansive approach to defining what qualifies as a Russian-linked account". Twitter considered an account to be "Russian" if any of the following was found: it was created in Russia or if the user registered the account with a Russian phone carrier or a Russian email; the user's display name contains Cyrillic characters; the user frequently Tweets in Russian, or the user has logged in from any Russian IP address.

Edgett admitted in a statement in January, however, that there were limitations on its ability to determine the origins of the users of these accounts. And a past log-in from a Russian IP address does not mean the Russian government controls an account. Automated accounts have bought and sold for many years on a huge market, some of which is located in Russia. As Scott Shane reported in September 2017, a Russian website BuyAccs.com offers tens and even hundreds of thousands of Twitter accounts for bulk purchase.

Twitter also observed that "a high concentration of automated engagement and content originated from data centers and users accessing Twitter via Virtual Private Networks ("VPNs") and proxy servers," which served to mask the geographical origin of the tweet. And that practice was not limited to the 50,000 accounts in question. Twitter found that locations of nearly 12 percent of the Tweets generated during the election period were masked because of use of such networks and servers.

Twitter identified over half of the Tweets, coming from about half of the 50,000 accounts as being automated, and the data reported on activity on those 50,000 accounts in question indicates that both the Trump and Clinton campaigns were using the automated accounts in question. The roughly 23,000 automated accounts were the source of 1.34 million Tweets, which represented .63 percent of the total election-related Tweets. But the entire 50,000 accounts produced about 1 percent of total election-related tweets.

Hillary Clinton got .55 percent of her total retweets from the 50,000 automated accounts Twitter calls "Russia-linked" and .62 percent of her "likes" from them. Those percentages are close to the percentage of total election-related Tweets generated by those same automated accounts. That suggests that her campaign had roughly the same proportion of automated accounts among the 50,000 accounts as it did in the rest of the accounts during the campaign.

Trump, on the other hand, got 1.8 percent of this total "likes" and 4.25 percent of his total Retweets for the whole election period from those accounts, indicating his campaign was more invested in the automated accounts that were the source of two-thirds of the Tweets in those 50,000 "Russia-linked" accounts.

The idea promoted by Shane and Mazzetti that the Russian government seriously threatened to determine the winner of the election does not hold up when the larger social media context is examined more closely. Contrary to what the Times' reporters and the corporate media in general would have us believe, the Russian private sector effort accounted for a minuscule proportion of the election-related output of social media. The threat to the US political system in general and its electoral system in particular is not Russian influence; it's in part a mainstream news media that has lost perspective on the truth.

Gareth Porter, an investigative historian and journalist specializing in US national security policy, received the UK-based Gellhorn Prize for journalism for 2011 for articles on the U.S. war in Afghanistan. His new book is Manufactured Crisis: the Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare . He can be contacted at porter.gareth50@gmail.com . Reprinted from Consortium News with the author's permission.

[Jul 10, 2018] The Mueller Indictments Still Don t Add Up to Collusion by Aaron Maté

Mifsud was most probably MI5 asset. So we can speak about entrapment of people connected to Trump campaign.
The same probably is true for Goldstone.
Notable quotes:
"... The most high-level Trump campaign official to be indicted is Paul Manafort, as well as his former business partner and Trump campaign deputy Rick Gates. The charges, as a Virginia judge observed last month , "manifestly don't have anything to do with the campaign or with Russian collusion." ..."
"... There is widespread supposition that Manafort's dealings in Ukraine make him a prime candidate for collusion with Moscow. But that stems from the mistaken belief that Manafort promoted Kremlin interests during his time in Kiev. The opposite appears to be the case. The New York Times ..."
"... According to his charge sheet , Flynn falsely told agents that he did not request that Russia respond to new US sanctions "in a reciprocal manner" because the incoming Trump team "did not want Russia to escalate the situation." Flynn also hid from FBI agents that, days before that call, he first asked Kislyak to veto a UN Security Council measure condemning Israeli settlement building, which the outgoing Obama administration had decided to let pass (Russia ultimately rebuffed Flynn and supported the measure). ..."
"... The FBI was able to charge Flynn because it had concrete evidence that his statements to them were false: wiretaps of his conversations with Kislyak. But these calls offer nothing on collusion. As The Washington Post ..."
"... Donald Trump Jr. is often faulted for accepting Goldstone's overture to begin with, since it floated damaging information from a foreign power. He is also faulted for initially providing a misleading statement about the meeting to the media. But lying to reporters is not an indictable offense, and neither is showing a willingness to obtain foreign dirt. During the 2016 contest, the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign accepted help from Ukraine and paid for the salacious and outlandish Steele "dossier" from across the pond. ..."
"... By now the details are well known: About $100,000 was spent on Facebook ads, more than half of that after ..."
"... Yet prominent media and political voices have portrayed the ads as a major component of a "sophisticated" Russian interference campaign akin to Pearl Harbor and 9/11. On his current book tour, former national-intelligence director James Clapper has declared that, taken together, the Russian ads and stolen Democratic e-mails handed Trump the presidency . ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Mueller's indictment reinforces Facebook's initial conclusion. The defendants "used the accounts to receive money from real US persons in exchange for posting promotions and advertisements" on their social-media pages, for a fee of "between 25 and 50 U.S. dollars per post." And not only does Mueller say that the troll farm had no ties to the Trump campaign, he doesn't even allege that it worked with the Russian government ..."
"... One of the indicted firms is challenging the case in court, accusing Mueller of inventing "a make-believe crime" in order to "justify his own existence" and "indict a Russian -- any Russian." Whether the troll farm's indictment is make-believe or not, Mueller has yet to indict anyone -- let alone any Russian -- for Russiagate's underlying crime: the theft of Democratic Party e-mails. And more than a year after they accused the Russian government of carrying it out, intelligence officials have yet to produce a shred of proof. ..."
"... The January 2017 intelligence report begat an endless cycle of innuendo and unverified claims, inculcating the public with fears of a massive Russian interference operation and suspicions of the Trump campaign's complicity. The evidence to date casts doubt on the merits of this national preoccupation, and with it, the judgment of the intelligence, political, and media figures who have elevated it to such prominence. ..."
Jun 13, 2018 | www.thenation.com

A year of investigations has led to several guilty pleas, but none of them go to the core of the special counsel's mandate.

The Mueller Indictments Still Don't Add Up to Collusion | The Nation n just over one year, special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of the Trump campaign and Russia has generated five guilty pleas, 20 indictments, and more than 100 charges. None of these have anything to do with Mueller's chief focus: the Russian government's alleged meddling in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign's suspected involvement.

While it's certainly possible that Mueller will make new indictments that go to the core of his case, what's been revealed so far does not make a compelling brief for collusion.

The most high-level Trump campaign official to be indicted is Paul Manafort, as well as his former business partner and Trump campaign deputy Rick Gates. The charges, as a Virginia judge observed last month , "manifestly don't have anything to do with the campaign or with Russian collusion." Instead, Manafort and Gates are accused of financial crimes beginning in 2008, when they worked as political operatives for a Russia-leaning party in Ukraine (and for which Manafort was previously investigated, but not indicted).

There is widespread supposition that Manafort's dealings in Ukraine make him a prime candidate for collusion with Moscow. But that stems from the mistaken belief that Manafort promoted Kremlin interests during his time in Kiev. The opposite appears to be the case. The New York Times recounts that Manafort "pressed [then–Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor] Yanukovych to sign an agreement with the European Union that would link the country closer to the West -- and lobbied for the Americans to support Ukraine's membership." If that picture is accurate, then Manafort's activities in Ukraine during the period for which he has been indicted were diametrically opposed to the Kremlin's agenda.

Manafort's employment of Konstantin Kilimnik, who was indicted last week on obstruction charges in Manafort's case, is seen as another Kremlin link. Kilimnik studied as a linguist at a Soviet-era military school and went on to become Manafort's translator and fixer in Ukraine. According to Mueller, Kilimnik has "ties to Russian intelligence" that were active during the 2016 campaign. The evidence to support that assertion is sealed. For his part, Kilimnik denies being a Russian agent . Ukrainian authorities investigated him in August 2016 but did not bring charges. According to The Atlantic , "insinuations" that Kilimnik worked for Russian intelligence then "were never backed by more than a smattering of circumstantial evidence."

While Manafort's alleged offenses (aside from the new obstruction charges) occurred well before the 2016 campaign, those of former national security adviser Michael Flynn came after. Flynn admitted to making "false statements and omissions" about his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition in December 2016. According to his charge sheet , Flynn falsely told agents that he did not request that Russia respond to new US sanctions "in a reciprocal manner" because the incoming Trump team "did not want Russia to escalate the situation." Flynn also hid from FBI agents that, days before that call, he first asked Kislyak to veto a UN Security Council measure condemning Israeli settlement building, which the outgoing Obama administration had decided to let pass (Russia ultimately rebuffed Flynn and supported the measure).

The FBI was able to charge Flynn because it had concrete evidence that his statements to them were false: wiretaps of his conversations with Kislyak. But these calls offer nothing on collusion. As The Washington Post reported , FBI agents who "reviewed" the calls with Kislyak had "not found any evidence of wrongdoing or illicit ties to the Russian government."

Like Flynn, George Papadopoulos has also pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI after the election. Although he is the lowest-level member of the Trump campaign to be charged, his case has emerged front and center. In the months since Papadopoulos's October indictment, we have been told that the FBI launched an investigation , code named " Crossfire Hurricane ," because of him. We also recently learned that the FBI enlisted an informant , Cambridge Professor Stefan Halper , to make contact with Papadopoulos and two other campaign officials, Carter Page and Sam Clovis, in a bid to pry loose information on potential campaign ties to Russia.

In charging Papadopoulos, Mueller's team raised the prospect that Papadopoulos was told about stolen Democratic e-mails before the theft of DNC e-mails was publicly known. According to the Statement of Offense, Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud informed Papadopoulos that "the Russians" had obtained "thousands of emails" containing "dirt" on Hillary Clinton. The two spoke in April 2016, before the first DNC e-mails were released. Papadopoulos volunteered to agents his information on Mifsud's offer; he pleaded guilty to misrepresenting the timing of when he spoke to Mifsud. All of this would be more explosive if, as the Mueller team suggested, Mifsud actually "had substantial connections to Russian government officials," and recently "met with some of those officials in Moscow."

And yet there were ample reasons to question whether Papadopoulos was a plausible conduit for Trump-Kremlin collusion. He was an unpaid volunteer known for embellishing credentials ; who not only didn't land a job in the Trump administration post-election but couldn't even get his travel expenses reimbursed during the campaign.

It is also quite possible that Mifsud was referring to the 30,000 State Department e-mails deleted from Hillary Clinton's private server, by that point a well-publicized controversy. Papadopoulos's wife, Simona Mangiante, now says that Papadopoulos believes that to be the case. She also says that Papadopoulos has no knowledge of collusion and pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI only because Mueller threatened to charge him for having been an unregistered foreign agent of Israel.

If Papadopoulos offers Mueller nothing on collusion, the other main staple of collusion allegations -- the infamous June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower -- is an unlikely alternative. The music publicist who set up the meeting, Rob Goldstone, e-mailed Donald Trump Jr. with an offer of "official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia," -- not, it should be noted, stolen e-mails. But because Goldstone also wrote of "very high level and sensitive information," as "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump," his message has been quoted endlessly as Exhibit A for a Trump-Russia plot. There were already reasons to question whether an e-mail sent by a kooky publicist is plausible groundwork for such a high-level conspiracy. The recently released transcripts of Goldstone's congressional testimony give us more. Goldstone explains that he set up the meeting on behalf of Emin Agalarov, a Russian pop singer who employed Goldstone as a publicist, and whose father, Aras Agalarov, is a billionaire who partnered with Trump on the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow.

Goldstone recounts that Emin gave him "limited information" -- and that was a problem. Emin had told him that a "well-connected Russian attorney," Natalia Veselnitskaya, had met with his father and "told him that they had some interesting information that could potentially be damaging regarding funding by Russians to the Democrats and to its candidate, Hillary Clinton." Goldstone's follow-up attempts to get "more information" from Emin yielded nothing more. So Goldstone drew upon his professional tools. As he told the Senate Judiciary Committee: "I had puffed it and used some keywords that I thought would attract Don Jr.'s attention." In his field, he explained, "publicist puff is how they get meetings."

By his telling, Goldstone was not being a Kremlin intermediary; he was being a good publicist. His Russian pop-star client had passed on vague information based on what his father had told him about what a Russian lawyer said. His "publicist puff" secured the meeting. All parties contend that the meeting ended quickly after the assembled Trump representatives struggled to understand what Veselnitskaya was talking about, which included none of the advertised incriminating information. Veselnitskaya says she tried to discuss repealing the Magnitsky Act sanctions on Russia, which is not hard to believe given that Veselnitskaya and her client, Prevazon Holdings, have fought those sanctions for years.

Donald Trump Jr. is often faulted for accepting Goldstone's overture to begin with, since it floated damaging information from a foreign power. He is also faulted for initially providing a misleading statement about the meeting to the media. But lying to reporters is not an indictable offense, and neither is showing a willingness to obtain foreign dirt. During the 2016 contest, the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign accepted help from Ukraine and paid for the salacious and outlandish Steele "dossier" from across the pond.

This brings us to the last major indictment, and the first one to include Russian nationals: 13 Russians and three companies accused of running a US-aimed social media campaign out of the St. Petersburg–based Internet Research Agency (IRA). By now the details are well known: About $100,000 was spent on Facebook ads, more than half of that after the November 2016 vote. The bulk of the remaining $46,000 in ads ran during the primaries. The majority of the ads did not even reference the election and got little traction.

Yet prominent media and political voices have portrayed the ads as a major component of a "sophisticated" Russian interference campaign akin to Pearl Harbor and 9/11. On his current book tour, former national-intelligence director James Clapper has declared that, taken together, the Russian ads and stolen Democratic e-mails handed Trump the presidency .

Now that we can see all of the ads for ourselves , it is difficult to argue with Facebook executive Rob Goldman , who said that "swaying the election was *NOT* the main goal." The main goal, in fact, appears to be exactly what Facebook initially found, according to The Washington Post , before the social-media giant came under pressure from congressional Democrats: "A review by the company found that most of the groups behind the problematic pages had clear financial motives, which suggested that they weren't working for a foreign government."

Mueller's indictment reinforces Facebook's initial conclusion. The defendants "used the accounts to receive money from real US persons in exchange for posting promotions and advertisements" on their social-media pages, for a fee of "between 25 and 50 U.S. dollars per post." And not only does Mueller say that the troll farm had no ties to the Trump campaign, he doesn't even allege that it worked with the Russian government. The IRA's owner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, is said to be close to Putin. But even if the ads came right from the Kremlin, does anyone think that the bizarre offerings -- from Buff Bernie to pro-Beyoncé and anti-Beyoncé to the juvenile attacks on Hillary Clinton -- impacted the US voters who saw them?

One of the indicted firms is challenging the case in court, accusing Mueller of inventing "a make-believe crime" in order to "justify his own existence" and "indict a Russian -- any Russian." Whether the troll farm's indictment is make-believe or not, Mueller has yet to indict anyone -- let alone any Russian -- for Russiagate's underlying crime: the theft of Democratic Party e-mails. And more than a year after they accused the Russian government of carrying it out, intelligence officials have yet to produce a shred of proof.

The January 2017 intelligence report begat an endless cycle of innuendo and unverified claims, inculcating the public with fears of a massive Russian interference operation and suspicions of the Trump campaign's complicity. The evidence to date casts doubt on the merits of this national preoccupation, and with it, the judgment of the intelligence, political, and media figures who have elevated it to such prominence.

[Jun 18, 2018] There was a strong commercial component in the sense that the accounts that the Russians are accused of creating were used to essentially, as a scheme in which vendors would pay them money for retweets at sometimes $25 to $50 a pop. It seems to me that there is both a commercial motive here as well as a political

Jun 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

UserFriendly | Jun 17, 2018 10:52:26 PM | 18

Re Aaron Mate
It's entirely possible he reads you regularly and saw your post when you first published, but on 2/20/18 :

AARON MATÉ: Let's talk about the indictment, Max. Reading through it, the prosecution alleges some clear political motives, a preference, basically, for Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump and a strong distaste for Hillary Clinton, also support for some, also, the encouragement of Russian trolls to disparage Republicans like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

There does appear to be some political motives there in whatever the Russians, whatever these alleged suspects were doing. But also, there's a strong commercial component in the sense that the accounts that the Russians are accused of creating were used to essentially, as a scheme in which vendors would pay them money for retweets at sometimes $25 to $50 a pop.

It seems to me that there is both a commercial motive here as well as a political imperative, as well. I'm wondering your thoughts on what this indictment tells us.

So your Tweet on 6/5/18 wasn't telling him anything he hadn't already said publicly.

[Jun 13, 2018] The trial was postponed because the defendant planed to show up to his own trial

I can't believe in the USA the prosecutor is asking the judge not to let the defendant see the evidence against them .
From comments: "Mueller's face [on the photo] looks like he is out on a limb and badly needs to take a restroom break."
Jun 13, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

are we there yet -> chunga Tue, 06/12/2018 - 18:22 Permalink

The trial was postponed because the defendant planed to show up to his own trial. That just sounds wrong.

ebear -> chunga Tue, 06/12/2018 - 21:12 Permalink

"In this case it's a euphemism for sleaze."

Oh it's way more than that. That is the kind of language Oliver Wendell Holmes would have used back in the day. It also brings to mind Samuel Clemens. This is a very sharp team indeed.

Ristretto X4 -> stacking12321 Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:32 Permalink

*Definition of pettifogger. 1 : a lawyer whose methods are petty, underhanded, or disreputable : shyster. 2 : one given to quibbling over trifles.

So, pretty much every bar member?

OverTheHedge -> apocalypticbrother Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:48 Permalink

To quote the immortal Derek and Clive:

"Laugh? I nearly shat!"

...and that is all the comment necessary on tnis.

The Man from Uncle -> y3maxx Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:59 Permalink

Mule-er basically drew to an inside straight, and got busted. The Russkies called his bluff, and his hand is 7-8-10-Jack-four. Sorry, Ereberto, no nine, just a "nein." Discovery is a bitch! I suspect that further developments are going to be highly entertaining. Judge: "can we see your evidence of wrongdoing." Mule-er: "That's highly classified."

IOW, "We got nuthin'."

platyops -> stacking12321 Tue, 06/12/2018 - 17:55 Permalink

In its earliest English uses, "pettifogger" was two separate words: "pettie fogger." "Pettie" was a variant spelling of "petty," a reasonable inclusion in a word for someone who is disreputable and small-minded.

That is Meuller!

Keep Stacking

Versengetorix -> stacking12321 Tue, 06/12/2018 - 22:06 Permalink

Actually this is the third time a Federal Judge has used the term against the Mueller team. It's accurate and it is beginning to stick.

ironmace -> stacking12321 Tue, 06/12/2018 - 22:28 Permalink

pettifog:

  1. to bicker or quibble over trifles or unimportant matters.
  2. to carry on a petty, shifty, or unethical law business.
  3. to practice chicanery of any sort.

I had to look it up.

archaic: to practice legal deception.

good word.

Gaius Frakkin' -> Zip_the_Zap Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:26 Permalink

Maybe if Mueller resigned and spent some time away from DC to travel the country he'd realize the division in America is real and not a Russian ploy.

He's either incompetent for not knowing or a complete shill for pushing a narrative he knows is false. Pick one.

nidaar -> Gaius Frakkin' Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:30 Permalink

"After indicted Russians actually show up in court"

Puhahahaha

No one could see that comin' right Mueller?

Shift For Brains -> BarkingCat Tue, 06/12/2018 - 19:25 Permalink

Who would have believed decent Americans would ever applaud Russians kicking the shit out of federal law enforcement? Do I hear "The World Turned Upside Down" in the distance? Should Mueller change his name to Cornwallis?

aelfheld -> Gaius Frakkin' Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:37 Permalink

Why can't he be a complete, incompetent, shill?

i poop pink ic -> Gaius Frakkin' Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:52 Permalink

How about "corrupt" shill? Remember, Mueller headed the FBI before and after the 9/11 attacks. Did Mueller's FBI investigate? No; they covered up for 9/11 perpetrators. Thanks a lot Mueller.

I Am Jack's Ma -> Bastiat Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:26 Permalink

but what's the crime?

political speech? conspiring to engage in political speech?

clickbait ads on the internet?

Being Russian?

Being against Hillary Clinton?

I'm waiting for someone to explain what the alleged actual crime is - and why Mueller isn't prosecuting the 1st Amendment?

jin187 -> Bastiat Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:56 Permalink

If I were the judge, I would refuse any motion Mueller makes to avoid releasing evidence, and if he doesn't do it within a matter of hours, his entire staff would be getting perp walked for contempt. Let Mueller manage his investigation from a prison cell, like some drug kingpin.

shortonoil -> jin187 Tue, 06/12/2018 - 17:59 Permalink

The US government has already wasted $200 million on this stupid "pettifoggery". Some one, any one, put an end to this ridiculous dog and pony show. Mueller, and the Justice Dept. are now the laughing stock of the world. We need to save a little face, and have this SOB shot for the good of the nation. This Prick doesn't give two shits for the American people, or the nation that he is paid to serve.

The_Dude -> I Am Jack's Ma Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:14 Permalink

These guys were likely just pushing click-bait on Facebook. And since it is election season, it is easy for them to riff off the candidates.

Mueller giving it any legitimacy shows he is either out of touch with how the internet works or has his own special case of Trump derangement syndrome.

Rufus Temblor -> MoreFreedom Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:27 Permalink

If producing propaganda to change the outcome of an election is a crime, then the entire democrat party should be put in jail.

ChargingHandle -> I Am Jack's Ma Tue, 06/12/2018 - 20:49 Permalink

Accuse others for which you are guilty is in the dnc handbook. The only illegal activity involved the DNC, team Hillary, and operatives in the FBI, CIA, DOJ, and the IRS.

Unknown User -> I Am Jack's Ma Tue, 06/12/2018 - 22:28 Permalink

Apparently Mueller has a novel legal theory that Russians are not protected under the 1st Amendment in US.

are we there yet -> gmrpeabody Tue, 06/12/2018 - 17:19 Permalink

Mueller's face looks like he is out on a limb and badly needs to take a restroom break.

Rufus Temblor -> vato poco Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:24 Permalink

This indictment is a total fujkin joke. In Mueller's world he can charge you with a crime but refuse to show the evidence. Proves that he has no interest in serving justice. His goals are to defame and bankrupt enemies of the deep swamp.

Thordoom -> vato poco Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:56 Permalink

When the truth comes out and i was Russian company or individual affected by this assholes i would sue US for lost business and for defamation and demand reparations and let THe black Jesus and Clinton Killer Gang and their lackies pay for it.

PlayMoney -> vato poco Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:56 Permalink

Last thing in the world ole Bobby wants is to go to trial. This is going to be quite entertaining.

Buster Cherry -> vato poco Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:57 Permalink

A summons is a summons. It is an ORDER by a court to be present.

Since when does a court need to have a summons be " formally accepted???"

This shit needs to seriously blow up in Mueller's face, hopefully decapitating him in the process.

Scipio Africanuz -> vato poco Tue, 06/12/2018 - 17:05 Permalink

Is this how the Republic dies? Via strangulation of the First Amendment?

When JFK called himself a Berliner, was he a German citizen?...

When Reagan interfered in German affairs, by proclaiming "Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall!", was he a German citizen?

When Obama advised Britain not to exit the EU, was he a British citizen?

Folks, what's sauce for the goose, is same for the gander!...

I Am Jack's Ma -> nmewn Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:39 Permalink

malicious prosecution?

malicious prosecution - SCOTUSblog

http://www.virginialawreview.org/sites/virginialawreview.org/files/Kossis_Book.pdf

nmewn -> I Am Jack's Ma Tue, 06/12/2018 - 19:44 Permalink

Yes, very good links but, this is different in my opinion.

Mueller attempted to bring a criminal domestic case against international personas that he is now unwilling to go through the discovery process with (his claim) because of...wait for it...national security.

He never intended or wanted for this case to go to trial (but he had to show "something" for his efforts) it is malpractice (at the American bar level) and he knew it when he filed it.

When a prosecutor files charges against anyone (here) he is in essence saying "We have the evidence to prosecute your honor and we are going to show it to you." now he is saying he can't or will not produce that evidence in the venue he chose to prosecute in.

Probably because he (and his crack Hillary lawyers) didn't do the homework required until after filing charges (idiot fucktard that he and they are...lol) as Concord's new CEO is none other than one Dimitry Utkin, founder of the Wagner Group, a Rodnover, for whatever thats worth ;-)

whosyerdaddy -> Countrybunkererd Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:03 Permalink

It's not just embarrassing it's criminal. He wants unlimited scope to find "something". He indicts Russians knowing they won't show up for court or so he thought and now he wants to limit the evidence because he has no hand. Don't interfere with your enemy when he's mucking it up. Mueller is going to be indicted for all of this, Uranium One being the least of his problems. If Mr. Mueller wants to question me the first thing I say is how much money did you give Whitey Bulger?

currency Tue, 06/12/2018 - 15:58 Permalink

Muller got caught, tried to make headlines with Real Russians thinking they would not show up and one did he is now in a PANIC - Muller needs to produce the evidence or shut up and go away with his band of 13 anti Trump staff.

Do us a favor Muller RESIGN

SmittyinLA Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:00 Permalink

"The indictment accuses the firm of producing propaganda, pretending to be U.S. activists online and posting political content on social media in order to sow discord among American voters."

Cough cough, none of that is illegal, 1st Amendment, even for Russians

[Jun 13, 2018] Mueller Scrambles To Limit Evidence After Indicted Russians Actually Show Up In Court Zero Hedge

Jun 13, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is scrambling to limit pretrial evidence handed over to a Russian company he indicted in February over alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, according to Bloomberg .

Mueller asked a Washington federal Judge for a protective order that would prevent the delivery of copious evidence to lawyers for Concord Management and Consulting, LLC, one of three Russian firms and 13 Russian nationals. The indictment accuses the firm of producing propaganda, pretending to be U.S. activists online and posting political content on social media in order to sow discord among American voters .

The special counsel's office argues that the risk of the evidence leaking or falling into the hands of foreign intelligence services, especially Russia, would assist the Kremlin's active "interference operations" against the United States.

"The substance of the government's evidence identifies uncharged individuals and entities that the government believes are continuing to engage in interference operations like those charged in the present indictment," prosecutors wrote.

Improper disclosure would tip foreign intelligence services about how the U.S. operates, which would "allow foreign actors to learn of those techniques and adjust their conduct, thus undermining ongoing and future national security operations ," according to the filing.

The evidence includes thousands of documents involving U.S. residents not charged with crimes who prosecutors say were unwittingly recruited by Russian defendants and co-conspirators to engage in political activity in the U.S., prosecutors wrote. - Bloomberg

Mueller also accused Concord of "knowingly and intentionally" conspiring to interfere with the election by using social media to disparage Hillary Clinton and support Donald Trump.

And Concord Management decided to fight it...

As Powerline notes, Mueller probably didn't see that coming - and the indictment itself was perhaps nothing more than a PR stunt to bolster the Russian interference narrative.

I don't think anyone (including Mueller) anticipated that any of the defendants would appear in court to defend against the charges. Rather, the Mueller prosecutors seem to have obtained the indictment to serve a public relations purpose, laying out the case for interference as understood by the government and lending a veneer of respectability to the Mueller Switch Project.

One of the Russian corporate defendants nevertheless hired counsel to contest the charges. In April two Washington-area attorneys -- Eric Dubelier and Kate Seikaly of the Reed Smith firm -- filed appearances in court on behalf of Concord Management and Consulting . Josh Gerstein covered that turn of events for Politico here . - Powerline Blog

Politico' s Gerstein notes that by defending against the charges, " Concord could force prosecutors to turn over discovery about how the case was assembled as well as evidence that might undermine the prosecution's theories ."

In a mad scramble to put the brakes on the case, Mueller's team tried to delay the trial - saying that Concord never formally accepted the court summons related to the case , wrapping themselves in a "cloud of confusion" as Powerline puts it. "Until the Court has an opportunity to determine if Concord was properly served, it would be inadvisable to conduct an initial appearance and arraignment at which important rights will be communicated and a plea entertained."

The Judge, Dabney Friedrich - a Trump appointee, didn't buy it - denying Mueller a delay in the high-profile trial.

The Russians hit back - filing a response to let the court know that " [Concord] voluntarily appeared through counsel as provided for in [the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure], and further intends to enter a plea of not guilty . [Concord] has not sought a limited appearance nor has it moved to quash the summons. As such, the briefing sought by the Special Counsel's motion is pettifoggery. "

And the Judge agreed ...

A federal judge has rejected special counsel Robert Mueller's request to delay the first court hearing in a criminal case charging three Russian companies and 13 Russian citizens with using social media and other means to foment strife among Americans in advance of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

In a brief order Saturday evening, U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich offered no explanation for her decision to deny a request prosecutors made Friday to put off the scheduled Wednesday arraignment for Concord Management and Consulting, one of the three firms charged in the case . - Politico

In other words, Mueller was denied the opportunity to kick the can down the road, forcing him to produce the requested evidence or withdraw the indictment , potentially jeopardizing the PR aspect of the entire "Trump collusion" probe.

And now Mueller is pointing to Russian "interference operations" in a last-ditch effort .

Of note, Facebook VP of advertising, Rob Goldman, tossed a major hand grenade in the "pro-Trump" Russian meddling narrative in February when he fired off a series of tweets the day of the Russian indictments. Most notably, Goldman pointed out that the majority of advertising purchased by Russians on Facebook occurred after the election, were hardly pro-Trump, and they was designed to "sow discord and divide Americans", something which Americans have been quite adept at doing on their own ever since the Fed decided to unleash a record class, wealth, income divide by keeping capital markets artificially afloat at any cost.

me title=


gmrpeabody -> Arnold Tue, 06/12/2018 - 15:58 Permalink

The charges are redacted, your Honor.., but he sure is guilty just the same.

I Am Jack's Ma -> gmrpeabody Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:05 Permalink

The indictment accuses the firm of producing propaganda, pretending to be U.S. activists online and posting political content on social media in order to sow discord among American voters .

...

"knowingly and intentionally" conspiring to interfere with the election by using social media to disparage Hillary Clinton and support Donald Trump.

Wait a minute, hold on - what exactly is the 'crime' here? Facebook ads that said Clinton sucks? That's a crime now? I'm missing something obviously - I just don't know what. Anyone willing and able to shed light on the crime alleged here?

How about CNN and NYT absolutely slanted and biased coverage? [And no - 'the press' in the 1st Amendment meant and means still the written word, not news corporations].

So far as I know "meddling" isn't a crime outside of Scooby Doo cartoons and MSNBC

Bastiat -> I Am Jack's Ma Tue, 06/12/2018 - 16:12 Permalink

The nerve of them to: a) show up; and b) demand to see the evidence against them. What they hell to those damn Russians think this is?

philipat -> Oliver Klozoff Tue, 06/12/2018 - 22:27 Permalink

I believe that Mueller is, rightly, being told to "Put up or shut up"? The discovery phase should be very interesting and the only way to avoid that is to drop the charges, which will indeed completely destroy Mueller's PR strategy. And with it, what remains of his credibility...

Mr. Universe -> Leakanthrophy Tue, 06/12/2018 - 17:11 Permalink

I can picture Mueller sitting at the poker table with a huge stack. As he looks over his hand, with a sly look on his face and a wink, he goes all in. Surprise suprise, they call his bet. Now we wait for the reveal except that Bobby is screaming, wait, no fair, it was an accident, I didn't mean to go all in. Turn those machines back on! The dealer then looks him dead in the eye and says "Tough shit" as he turns over Mueller's losing hand.

JRobby -> Mr. Universe Tue, 06/12/2018 - 17:15 Permalink

"Laugh Track Deafening !!!!!"

Called Mueller's bluff. Discovery could be a "back breaker".

janus -> JRobby Tue, 06/12/2018 - 17:37 Permalink

mueller, you are so screwed. so supremely and royally screwed. now your investigation is coming to a crashing halt without POTUS having to step in. all that was ever needed is transparency. and now the good guys will have the IG report, Session's investigation, the declassification of spy-gate materials and discovery from your Keystone cop operation all at once.

best timeline ever.

take it from janus, extracting a troll from the interwebs and thinking you can crush him IRL ALWAYS blows up in your face.

the only way you can win the game is with the deck stacked like a tower in your favor and warping the rules to effect a desired outcome. tptb, you are up against superior people with superior minds animated by an indomitable will. devastating defeat is inevitable.

surrender now,

janus

monkeyshine -> janus Tue, 06/12/2018 - 18:12 Permalink

They have a right to a speedy trial. They have a right to see the evidence against them. They have a right to interview witnesses.

Pettifoggers will pettifogger, but they will be pasquinaded by the defense and the court will show its disapprobation.

bh2 -> monkeyshine Tue, 06/12/2018 - 18:29 Permalink

"the government believes"

Whatever happened to "the government will prove " as a basis of conviction?

The government "believes". But we don't have any actual evidence we can provide the court. You'll just have to take our word for it.

Good grief. How perfectly Star Chamber.

These people should be embarrassed to even show up before an honest judge.

monkeyshine -> bh2 Tue, 06/12/2018 - 19:04 Permalink

That is part of the defense's argument. Many are asking "what is the actual crime" being charged. Mueller charged them with campaign finance violations and failing to register as a foreign agent. These crimes have a high burden of proof in that they require the state to prove that the defendant knowingly broke the laws. No foreign corporation has ever been charged with these crimes before. And the defense argues that there is nothing in the indictment to show that they knew they were breaking these laws - hence no way to prove the case against them. They also raise the 1st Amendment as defense saying political speech is protected.

SybilDefense -> monkeyshine Tue, 06/12/2018 - 23:06 Permalink

Did/do these companies have any other function besides buying $500 worth of "I Like Trump" ads like selling something? So only Americans can have free speech in America, unless you identify you and your coworkers as foreign free speech speaker-people? It sounds too tricky. Only a progressive could figure out the legalities involved, as they are the free speech professionals. The rest of us must get permission first, and then it will only be grafted IF we say things that are officially approved by the free speech Nazi party.

Just think if these Ruskies could have voted! It would have been 30-40 more Trump votes and he would have really really won bigly.

Can't Mueller be prosecuted himself if he knows there is no collusion or whatever... No Russian anything, yet he continues to steal tax payer monies to fabricate false leads? He has no incentive to be honest or to limit the investigation and if having the case remain open benefits his party affiliates and he himself financially. If I got hired to do a one day job and lied to make it a one year job, wouldn't that be theft of services?? The cuss must show or he must go!

The pettifoggin dickbrain bitchfuck!

are we there yet -> chunga Tue, 06/12/2018 - 17:09 Permalink

Kangaroo...Mueller...Kangaroo...
Kangaroo Mueller is a good nickname....surprised Trump has not used it.

[Apr 01, 2018] Does the average user care if s/he is micro-targetted by political advertisements based on what they already believe?

Highly recommended!
Apr 01, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

BigJim -> MusicIsYou Sat, 03/31/2018 - 10:20 Permalink

The furor is all about the "illegitimate" victories of Brexit and Trump's campaign. Does the average user care if s/he is micro-targetted by political advertisements based on what they already believe?

No, because they already believe they're right, so what's wrong with a little confirmation bias? Most of us spend significant amounts of energy seeking out sources of information confirming what we already believe; micro-targetting just makes our lives that little bit less effortful.

[Mar 24, 2018] Did Trump cut a deal on the collusion charge by Mike Whitney

Highly recommended!
The idea the Russians " "had the strategic purpose of sowing political discord in the United States" which in reality in the result of deep crisis on neoliberalism, which started in 2008 is a typical scapegoating. The essence of neo-McCarthyism if you wish.
"... But the indictments themselves suggest that Mueller's narrative is wrong. The objective was not to influence the election, but make money by getting viewers to "click on" advertisements. Check it out: ..."
"... It's worth noting, that if Mueller really wanted to get to the bottom of the Russia-gate allegations, he would interview the people who have first-hand knowledge what actually happened. He would question Julian Assange (WikiLeaks) and Craig Murray, both of whom have stated publicly that they know who stole the Podesta emails. ..."
"... Mueller hasn't done that, nor has he contacted the VIPs (Ray McGovern, William Binney, Skip Folden, etc) who did extensive forensic investigation of the "hacking" allegations and proved that the emails were not hacked but leaked. Mueller has not pursued that line of inquiry either. ..."
"... The above statement helps to prove my point that the indictments are not a vehicle for criminal prosecution, but part of a politically-motivated information campaign to damage Trump and vilify Russia. No one seriously believes that Mueller would ever try to prosecute this case based on the spurious and looney claims of a criminal conspiracy. The whole idea is laughable. ..."
"... We found it interesting that Rob Goldman, who is the Vice President of Facebook Ads, tweeted this revealing disclaimer on Monday which Trump posted on Twitter: ..."
"... Bottom line: The indictments were very good news for Donald Trump, but very bad news for Robert Mueller who appears to have run into a brick wall. But has he? Has Mueller abandoned the attacks on Trump or is there something else going on just below the surface? ..."
"... I can only guess at the answer, but it looks to me like Trump may have made a deal to support the attacks on Russia provided he is acquitted on charges of collusion. That's what he's wanted from the beginning, so, maybe he won this round? Here's one of his recent tweets that helps to support my theory: ..."
"... What's wrong with that? If Trump's enemies want to provide him with a Get-Outta-Jail-Free card, then why shouldn't he snatch it up and put this whole goofy probe behind him? That's what most people would do. ..."
"... The problem is that Trump's biggest supporters want him to continue struggle against "The Swamp". They want him to fight for their interests and expose the crooked goings-on behind the Russiagate scandal. They want him to lift up the rock that conceals the activities of the National Security State so everyone can see the maggots squirming below. That's what they want, a modern-day Samson who shakes the temple's pillars and brings the whole crooked system crashing down around him. ..."
"... These same people are hopeful that the Nunes memo and the Grassley-Graham "criminal referral" are just the tip of the iceberg that will inevitably lead to the bigger fish involved in this deep-state conspiracy, namely former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Former FBI Director James Comey, and very likely, Barack Hussein Obama himself. What role did these men play in spying on the Trump campaign? Were they actively trying to sabotage the elections by giving Hillary an edge? Should a second Special Counsel be appointed to investigate whether crimes were committed in their targeting of the Trump team? ..."
"... There is no crime called "collusion". So Trump cannot be "acquitted", let alone be charged with something that is not a crime. Apparently the deep state and media's repetition of "collusion" has duped not just the public, but this author with thinking it is some kind of crime. ..."
"... Trump needs the swamp to produce politicized intel for his campaigns against Iran and Venezuela (plus a dozen other countries which don't threaten the US). He needs the hated MSM (not much more than the swamp's media branch) to sell the Iran war to his voters, who are supposed to pay for it. He needs his shady relatives to stay OUT of prison, where several of them seem to belong (of course, papa Kushner has already spent time inside). So appeasement it is. ..."
"... Sorry, but on the whole Trump voters are too dumb to pose much of an obstacle. They like the campaigns against Iran because of religion, and against Venezuela because of "socialism". They didn't raise a peep when it became clear that THEIR money would all go to the Armies of Mordor. That this is "Saddam-WMD-9/11″ all over again just hasn't registered with them, and never will. Just like Trump winning his primary running against outside money, and immediately afterwards selling out for Adelson's shekels–it exceeds the deplorables' attention span, so it never happened. Keep harping on immigrants and it's all good; razzle-dazzle them, as it was called in the Chicago movie. ..."
"... So on the whole, yes, already since his inauguration it has been clear that The Donald is mostly playing along, as long as he'll be allowed to stay president ..."
"... So Trump is not opposed to demonizing Russia, he's just opposed to demonizing Donald John Trump. That's where he draws the line. ..."
"... Well guys, if there's anyone here who still abides by the '5-D chess' theory, I think it's time to face facts: Trump has thrown us all under the bust to save himself. Expect a war in Syria, or Ukraine, or maybe both. ..."
"... The indictments have no legal merit, they are a form of domestic propaganda and disinformation. The real target is the American people. ..."
"... That's pretty much what this banana republic's government is all about. One way or another, everything they do is designed to ultimately squeeze something out of us dumb 'Merkin proles and peasants ..."
"... I was expecting more of a profile in courage under the tutelage of someone smarter than Trump; instead we are seeing another profile in venality and stupidity. ..."
"... US has too many laws that are ambiguous beyond belief, almost anything can be declared a 'crime'. Plus you have limited disclosure due to national security ('methods and sources subterfuge always works). Volunteering for a political show trial doesn't work. ..."
"... Pentagon vs neoliberal CIA for upper hand at the White House with Bibi (via AIPAC) solidly on the side of Pence, probably not if, but much more likely when, Trump is taken down. ..."
"... The RussiaGate affairs and collusion charge are the obvious "Banksters United" coup run with a stunning degree of incompetence. Russia must be demonized because of her mineral resources, which are still not available for free, and because of her "wrong" behavior in Syria. Bansksters need this war. Arm producers and dealers need this war. Only the apparent danger of suicide by nuclear answer stops the banksters and other war profiteers from an immediate attack against Russian Federation. ..."
"... The FBI and the CIA are the hired gangster organizations for the banksters. If the FBI and the CIA cared about national security, the US would not suffer the infamy of Awan affair, CrowdStrike "conclusions," and the US support for Daesh/ISIS/Al Qaida in the Middle East, as well as the US support for neo-Nazis in Ukraine. The US taxpayers have been financing both ISIS and neo-Nazis because banksters decided so. ..."
Notable quotes:
"... But the indictments themselves suggest that Mueller's narrative is wrong. The objective was not to influence the election, but make money by getting viewers to "click on" advertisements. Check it out: ..."
"... It's worth noting, that if Mueller really wanted to get to the bottom of the Russia-gate allegations, he would interview the people who have first-hand knowledge what actually happened. He would question Julian Assange (WikiLeaks) and Craig Murray, both of whom have stated publicly that they know who stole the Podesta emails. ..."
"... Mueller hasn't done that, nor has he contacted the VIPs (Ray McGovern, William Binney, Skip Folden, etc) who did extensive forensic investigation of the "hacking" allegations and proved that the emails were not hacked but leaked. Mueller has not pursued that line of inquiry either. ..."
"... The indictment states that the organization that employed the trolls "had the strategic purpose of sowing political discord in the United States." This seems to be a recurrent theme that has popped up frequently in the media as well. The implication is that the Russians are the source of the widening divisions in the US that are actually the result of growing public angst over the lopsided distribution of wealth that naturally emerges in late-stage capitalism. ..."
"... The above statement helps to prove my point that the indictments are not a vehicle for criminal prosecution, but part of a politically-motivated information campaign to damage Trump and vilify Russia. No one seriously believes that Mueller would ever try to prosecute this case based on the spurious and looney claims of a criminal conspiracy. The whole idea is laughable. ..."
"... We found it interesting that Rob Goldman, who is the Vice President of Facebook Ads, tweeted this revealing disclaimer on Monday which Trump posted on Twitter: ..."
"... Bottom line: The indictments were very good news for Donald Trump, but very bad news for Robert Mueller who appears to have run into a brick wall. But has he? Has Mueller abandoned the attacks on Trump or is there something else going on just below the surface? ..."
"... I can only guess at the answer, but it looks to me like Trump may have made a deal to support the attacks on Russia provided he is acquitted on charges of collusion. That's what he's wanted from the beginning, so, maybe he won this round? Here's one of his recent tweets that helps to support my theory: ..."
"... Hmmm? So Trump now Trump is okay with blaming Russia as long as he's not included too? Is that what he's saying? ..."
"... Okay, so now Trump is turning the tables and saying, 'Yeah, maybe Russia has been 'sowing discord', but the Democrats are the ones you should be blaming not me.'So Trump is not opposed to demonizing Russia, he's just opposed to demonizing Donald John Trump. That's where he draws the line. ..."
"... The problem is that Trump's biggest supporters want him to continue struggle against "The Swamp". They want him to fight for their interests and expose the crooked goings-on behind the Russiagate scandal. They want him to lift up the rock that conceals the activities of the National Security State so everyone can see the maggots squirming below. That's what they want, a modern-day Samson who shakes the temple's pillars and brings the whole crooked system crashing down around him. ..."
"... These same people are hopeful that the Nunes memo and the Grassley-Graham "criminal referral" are just the tip of the iceberg that will inevitably lead to the bigger fish involved in this deep-state conspiracy, namely former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Former FBI Director James Comey, and very likely, Barack Hussein Obama himself. What role did these men play in spying on the Trump campaign? Were they actively trying to sabotage the elections by giving Hillary an edge? Should a second Special Counsel be appointed to investigate whether crimes were committed in their targeting of the Trump team? ..."
"... Trump's backers hope that he is principled and pugnacious enough to go nose-to-nose with these Intel agency serpents and give them the bloody whooping they so richly deserve. Unfortunately, I don't see any evidence that that's what he has in mind ..."
"... Goldman, an executive at Zucc's Book, displayed evidence at a House Committee hearing of Russian bots trolling the US by portraying Sanders as 'sexy' and Trump as a hero. These memes were generally amusing but largely ineffectual. The idea of election meddling by Russia to elect Trump has largely been debunked, and both the Left and the Right now see it as a distraction to the real issue: Deep State malfeasance. ..."
"... Trump has to realize that he would be neutered by the continuance of the Mueller witchhunt, so I think that if it is a deal, it is tactical for the present. ..."
"... in my view, the Democrats overplayed their hand by calling this clickbait scam the "equivalent of Pearl Harbor" and make pushback more likely. ..."
"... Whitney can't bring himself to say Mueller has been, for decades, 'historically, criminally corrupt with longtime habit of maintaining a DoJ cover for CIA.' As well, why does Mike exclude mentioning Seymour Hersh and Kim Dotcom concerning the proposed fact Seth Rich leaked the DNC mails? He sticks with a weak 'we really don't know' line of bs. ..."
"... Grassley wants the DoJ personalities to fall on their swords while Feinstein is besides herself, going crazy, as the investigation into President Skunk implodes around the Steele Dossier. It's like an exclusive 'serial-killers only' swingers' club where everybody is tired of the limited opportunity at couplings, yet their sex addiction requires everyone screwing everyone out of habit and everyone hates everyone's guts. At some point, the entire crew will resort to some new mass murder, like allowing war in Korea, to get it all back on track ..."
"... There is no crime called "collusion". So Trump cannot be "acquitted", let alone be charged with something that is not a crime. Apparently the deep state and media's repetition of "collusion" has duped not just the public, but this author with thinking it is some kind of crime. ..."
"... Trump needs the swamp to produce politicized intel for his campaigns against Iran and Venezuela (plus a dozen other countries which don't threaten the US). He needs the hated MSM (not much more than the swamp's media branch) to sell the Iran war to his voters, who are supposed to pay for it. He needs his shady relatives to stay OUT of prison, where several of them seem to belong (of course, papa Kushner has already spent time inside). So appeasement it is. ..."
"... Sorry, but on the whole Trump voters are too dumb to pose much of an obstacle. They like the campaigns against Iran because of religion, and against Venezuela because of "socialism". They didn't raise a peep when it became clear that THEIR money would all go to the Armies of Mordor. That this is "Saddam-WMD-9/11″ all over again just hasn't registered with them, and never will. Just like Trump winning his primary running against outside money, and immediately afterwards selling out for Adelson's shekels–it exceeds the deplorables' attention span, so it never happened. Keep harping on immigrants and it's all good; razzle-dazzle them, as it was called in the Chicago movie. ..."
"... So on the whole, yes, already since his inauguration it has been clear that The Donald is mostly playing along, as long as he'll be allowed to stay president ..."
"... So Trump is not opposed to demonizing Russia, he's just opposed to demonizing Donald John Trump. That's where he draws the line. ..."
"... Well guys, if there's anyone here who still abides by the '5-D chess' theory, I think it's time to face facts: Trump has thrown us all under the bust to save himself. Expect a war in Syria, or Ukraine, or maybe both. ..."
"... The indictments have no legal merit, they are a form of domestic propaganda and disinformation. The real target is the American people. ..."
"... That's pretty much what this banana republic's government is all about. One way or another, everything they do is designed to ultimately squeeze something out of us dumb 'Merkin proles and peasants ..."
"... I was expecting more of a profile in courage under the tutelage of someone smarter than Trump; instead we are seeing another profile in venality and stupidity. ..."
"... US has too many laws that are ambiguous beyond belief, almost anything can be declared a 'crime'. Plus you have limited disclosure due to national security ('methods and sources subterfuge always works). Volunteering for a political show trial doesn't work. ..."
"... Pentagon vs neoliberal CIA for upper hand at the White House with Bibi (via AIPAC) solidly on the side of Pence, probably not if, but much more likely when, Trump is taken down. ..."
"... The RussiaGate affairs and collusion charge are the obvious "Banksters United" coup run with a stunning degree of incompetence. Russia must be demonized because of her mineral resources, which are still not available for free, and because of her "wrong" behavior in Syria. Bansksters need this war. Arm producers and dealers need this war. Only the apparent danger of suicide by nuclear answer stops the banksters and other war profiteers from an immediate attack against Russian Federation. ..."
"... The FBI and the CIA are the hired gangster organizations for the banksters. If the FBI and the CIA cared about national security, the US would not suffer the infamy of Awan affair, CrowdStrike "conclusions," and the US support for Daesh/ISIS/Al Qaida in the Middle East, as well as the US support for neo-Nazis in Ukraine. The US taxpayers have been financing both ISIS and neo-Nazis because banksters decided so. ..."
Feb 22, 2018 | www.unz.com

Here's your legal koan for the day: When is an indictment not an indictment?

Answer– When there is no intention of initiating a criminal case against the accused. In the case of the 13 Russian trolls who have just been indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, there is neither the intention nor the ability to prosecute a case against them. (They are all foreign nationals who will not face extradition.)

But, if that's the case, than why would Mueller waste time and money compiling a 37-page document alleging all-manner of nefarious conduct when he knew for certain that the alleged perpetrators would never be prosecuted? Why?

Isn't is because the indictments are not really a vehicle for criminal prosecution, but a vehicle for political grandstanding? Isn't that the real purpose of the indictments, to add another layer of dirt to the mountain of unreliable, uncorroborated, unproven allegations of Russian meddling. Mueller is not acting in his capacity as Special Counsel, he is acting in his role of deep state hatchet-man whose job is to gather scalps by any means necessary.

Keep in mind, the subjects of the indictment will never be apprehended, never hire an attorney, never be in a position to defend themselves or refute the charges, and never have their case presented before and judge or a jury. They will be denied due process of law and the presumption of innocence. Mueller's ominous-sounding claims, which were the centerpiece of his obscene media extravaganza, made sure of that. In most people's minds, the trolls are guilty of foreign espionage and that's all there is to it. Case closed.

But the indictments themselves suggest that Mueller's narrative is wrong. The objective was not to influence the election, but make money by getting viewers to "click on" advertisements. Check it out:

"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."

That sounds like a money-making scheme to me not an attempt to subvert US democracy. So why is Mueller in such a lather? Isn't this all just an attempt to divert attention from the fact that the Nunes' investigation has produced proof that senior-level officials at the FBI and DOJ were "improperly obtaining" FISA warrants to spy on members of the Trump Campaign? Isn't that what's really going on?

If we can agree that the indictments were not intended to bring the "accused" to justice, then don't we also have to agree that there must have been an ulterior motive for issuing them? And what might that ulterior motive be? What are the real objectives of the investigation, to cast a shadow on an election that did not produce the results that powerful members of the entrenched bureaucracy wanted, to make it look like Donald Trump did not beat Hillary Clinton fair and square, and to further demonize a geopolitical rival that has blocked Washington's imperial ambitions in Syria and Ukraine? Which of these is the real driving force behind Russiagate or is it 'all of the above?'

Nothing will come of the indictments because the indictments were not designed reveal the truth or bring the accused to justice. They were written to shape public perceptions and to persuade the American people that Trump cheated in the elections and that Russia poses a serious threat to US national security. The indictments have no legal merit, they are a form of domestic propaganda and disinformation. The real target is the American people.

It's worth noting, that if Mueller really wanted to get to the bottom of the Russia-gate allegations, he would interview the people who have first-hand knowledge what actually happened. He would question Julian Assange (WikiLeaks) and Craig Murray, both of whom have stated publicly that they know who stole the Podesta emails.

Mueller hasn't done that, nor has he contacted the VIPs (Ray McGovern, William Binney, Skip Folden, etc) who did extensive forensic investigation of the "hacking" allegations and proved that the emails were not hacked but leaked. Mueller has not pursued that line of inquiry either. Nor has he interviewed California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who met with Assange personally and who has suggested that Assange may reveal the name (of the DNC "leaker") under the right conditions. Instead of questioning witnesses, Mueller has spent a great deal of time probing the online activities Russian trolls who were engaged in a money-making scheme that was in no way connected to the Russian government, in no way connected to the Trump campaign, and in no way supportive of the claims of hacking or collusion. None of this reflects well on Mueller who, by any stretch, appears to be either woefully incompetent or irredeemably biased.

The indictment states that the organization that employed the trolls "had the strategic purpose of sowing political discord in the United States." This seems to be a recurrent theme that has popped up frequently in the media as well. The implication is that the Russians are the source of the widening divisions in the US that are actually the result of growing public angst over the lopsided distribution of wealth that naturally emerges in late-stage capitalism. Moscow has become the convenient scapegoat for the accelerated parasitism that has seen 95% of the nation's wealth go to a sliver of people at the top of the foodchain, the 1 percent. (But that's another story altogether.) Here's a brief clip from the portentous-sounding indictment:

"The general conspiracy statute creates an offense "[i]f two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose .

The intent required for a conspiracy to defraud the government is that the defendant possessed the intent (a) to defraud, (b) to make false statements or representations to the government or its agencies in order to obtain property of the government, or that the defendant performed acts or made statements that he/she knew to be false, fraudulent or deceitful to a government agency, which disrupted the functions of the agency or of the government. It is sufficient for the government to prove that the defendant knew the statements were false or fraudulent when made."

The above statement helps to prove my point that the indictments are not a vehicle for criminal prosecution, but part of a politically-motivated information campaign to damage Trump and vilify Russia. No one seriously believes that Mueller would ever try to prosecute this case based on the spurious and looney claims of a criminal conspiracy. The whole idea is laughable.

There are a couple interesting twists and turns regarding the indictments that could be significant, but, then again, maybe not. We found it interesting that Rob Goldman, who is the Vice President of Facebook Ads, tweeted this revealing disclaimer on Monday which Trump posted on Twitter:

"I have seen all of the Russian ads and I can say very definitively that swaying the election was *NOT* the main goal."

Then there are the puzzling comments by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who said on Friday:

"There's no allegation in this indictment that any American had any knowledge. And the nature of the scheme was the defendants took extraordinary steps to make it appear that they were ordinary American political activists, even going so far as to base their activities on a virtual private network here in the United States so, if anybody traced it back to that first jump, they appeared to be Americans ."

Do you notice anything unusual about Rosenstein's remarks? There's no mention of Trump at all, which is a striking omission since all of previous public announcements have been used to strengthen the case against Trump. Now that's changed. Why? Naturally, Trump picked up on Rosenstein's omission and blasted this triumphant message on Twitter:

"Deputy A.G. Rod Rosenstein stated at the News Conference: "There is no allegation in the indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election." Donald Trump

So, what's going on here? Mueller and Rosenstein are smart guys. They must have known that Trump would use the dates and the absence of anything remotely suggesting collusion as vindication. Was that the purpose, to let Trump off the hook while the broader propaganda campaign on Russia continues?

This is the great mystery surrounding the indictments, far from helping to establish Trump's culpability, they appear to imply his innocence. Why would Mueller and his allies want to do that? Are the Intel agencies and the FBI looking for a way to end this political cage-match before a second Special Counsel is appointed and he starts digging up embarrassing information about the involvement of other agencies (and perhaps, the White House) in the Russiagate fiasco?
Just think about it for a minute: There is nothing in the indictments that suggests that Trump or anyone in his campaign was involved with the Russian trolls. There is nothing in the indictments that suggests Trump was acting as a Russian agent. And there's nothing in the indictments that suggests the Russian government helped Trump win the election. Also, the timeline of events seems to favor Trump as does Rosenstein's claim that the online activity did not have "any effect on the outcome of the election."

Bottom line: The indictments were very good news for Donald Trump, but very bad news for Robert Mueller who appears to have run into a brick wall. But has he? Has Mueller abandoned the attacks on Trump or is there something else going on just below the surface?

I can only guess at the answer, but it looks to me like Trump may have made a deal to support the attacks on Russia provided he is acquitted on charges of collusion. That's what he's wanted from the beginning, so, maybe he won this round? Here's one of his recent tweets that helps to support my theory:

"I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said "it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer." The Russian "hoax" was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia – it never did!" Donald Trump

Hmmm? So Trump now Trump is okay with blaming Russia as long as he's not included too? Is that what he's saying? Here's more in the same vein:

"If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!" Donald Trump

Okay, so now Trump is turning the tables and saying, 'Yeah, maybe Russia has been 'sowing discord', but the Democrats are the ones you should be blaming not me.'So Trump is not opposed to demonizing Russia, he's just opposed to demonizing Donald John Trump. That's where he draws the line.

What's wrong with that? If Trump's enemies want to provide him with a Get-Outta-Jail-Free card, then why shouldn't he snatch it up and put this whole goofy probe behind him? That's what most people would do.

The problem is that Trump's biggest supporters want him to continue struggle against "The Swamp". They want him to fight for their interests and expose the crooked goings-on behind the Russiagate scandal. They want him to lift up the rock that conceals the activities of the National Security State so everyone can see the maggots squirming below. That's what they want, a modern-day Samson who shakes the temple's pillars and brings the whole crooked system crashing down around him.

These same people are hopeful that the Nunes memo and the Grassley-Graham "criminal referral" are just the tip of the iceberg that will inevitably lead to the bigger fish involved in this deep-state conspiracy, namely former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Former FBI Director James Comey, and very likely, Barack Hussein Obama himself. What role did these men play in spying on the Trump campaign? Were they actively trying to sabotage the elections by giving Hillary an edge? Should a second Special Counsel be appointed to investigate whether crimes were committed in their targeting of the Trump team?

All of these questions need to be answered in order to clear the air, hold the guilty parties accountable and restore confidence in the government. Trump's backers hope that he is principled and pugnacious enough to go nose-to-nose with these Intel agency serpents and give them the bloody whooping they so richly deserve. Unfortunately, I don't see any evidence that that's what he has in mind . We'll see.


ChrisD , February 22, 2018 at 5:48 am GMT

Goldman, an executive at Zucc's Book, displayed evidence at a House Committee hearing of Russian bots trolling the US by portraying Sanders as 'sexy' and Trump as a hero. These memes were generally amusing but largely ineffectual. The idea of election meddling by Russia to elect Trump has largely been debunked, and both the Left and the Right now see it as a distraction to the real issue: Deep State malfeasance.

Those Never Trumpers in the Dems and McCain camps are now left disgraced and humiliated and their only allies are WaPo, NYT, CNN and a few other fake news outlets. The test for Trump will be whether he can take a wrecking ball to the FBI and Department of State and to truly cleanse the bureaucracy of ne'er-do-wells who have constantly been undermining him from the beginning.

exiled off mainstreet , February 22, 2018 at 6:25 am GMT
I think the author is correct in his assumptions. One area of hope, though, is that the allegations are so ridiculous and others have pointed out, for instance, that the Australian Labor party sent operatives to the US to help defeat Trump, and Trump has to realize that he would be neutered by the continuance of the Mueller witchhunt, so I think that if it is a deal, it is tactical for the present.

As the article indicates, Trump would lose a lot of his support if he follows through on the deal. Also, pro-Trump websites are continuing on with the drumbeat against Mueller, and in my view, the Democrats overplayed their hand by calling this clickbait scam the "equivalent of Pearl Harbor" and make pushback more likely.

I think that one thing the indictment has accomplished is to reveal to anybody not paid to think otherwise that the yankee imperium entered the post-legal era years ago, and that the legitimacy of the yankee state has totally evaporated.

Ronald Thomas West , February 22, 2018 at 7:17 am GMT

Isn't is because the indictments are not really a vehicle for criminal prosecution, but a vehicle for political grandstanding? Isn't that the real purpose of the indictments, to add another layer of dirt to the mountain of unreliable, uncorroborated, unproven allegations of Russian meddling. Mueller is not acting in his capacity as Special Counsel, he is acting in his role of deep state hatchet-man whose job is to gather scalps by any means necessary [...] It's worth noting, that if Mueller really wanted to get to the bottom of the Russia-gate allegations, he would interview the people who have first-hand knowledge what actually happened. He would question Julian Assange (WikiLeaks) and Craig Murray, both of whom have stated publicly that they know who stole the Podesta emails.[sic][...] None of this reflects well on Mueller who, by any stretch, appears to be either woefully incompetent or irredeemably biased

Misdirection here by Mike Whitney. Whitney can't bring himself to say Mueller has been, for decades, 'historically, criminally corrupt with longtime habit of maintaining a DoJ cover for CIA.' As well, why does Mike exclude mentioning Seymour Hersh and Kim Dotcom concerning the proposed fact Seth Rich leaked the DNC mails? He sticks with a weak 'we really don't know' line of bs.

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2017/09/16/incompetent-espionage-wikileaks-iii/ https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2018/02/07/bob-manson-charlie-mueller/

These same people are hopeful that the Nunes memo and the Grassley-Graham "criminal referral" are just the tip of the iceberg that will inevitably lead to the bigger fish involved in this deep-state conspiracy, namely former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Former FBI Director James Comey, and very likely, Barack Hussein Obama himself. What role did these men play in spying on the Trump campaign? Were they actively trying to sabotage the elections by giving Hillary an edge? Should a second Special Counsel be appointed to investigate whether crimes were committed in their targeting of the Trump team?

Yeah, well Mike, 'hope springs eternal' is the apropos folk wisdom. Why not look at this instead:

"Of course, none of this will be brought out by the Congressional intelligence committees, to collapse the credibility of 'three amigos' Special Counsel Mueller, fired Director Comey & present FBI boss Wray to help kill the 'Russia collusion' farce; because all parties are complicit and tainted in the cover-up. Grassley wants the DoJ personalities to fall on their swords while Feinstein is besides herself, going crazy, as the investigation into President Skunk implodes around the Steele Dossier. It's like an exclusive 'serial-killers only' swingers' club where everybody is tired of the limited opportunity at couplings, yet their sex addiction requires everyone screwing everyone out of habit and everyone hates everyone's guts. At some point, the entire crew will resort to some new mass murder, like allowing war in Korea, to get it all back on track " (See second link, preceding.)

Ron West

Backwoods Bob , February 22, 2018 at 7:32 am GMT
There is no crime called "collusion". So Trump cannot be "acquitted", let alone be charged with something that is not a crime. Apparently the deep state and media's repetition of "collusion" has duped not just the public, but this author with thinking it is some kind of crime.

That's the purpose of endlessly repeating this vague term in pejorative rhetoric, without ever referencing a criminal statute like the Foreign Agent Registration Act or whatever.

This gigantic diversionary twaddle has worked because the seditionists have still not been stopped. I'm not real optimistic about it, but there are some positive developments. There is a big disappointment in the offing with the Inspector General report coming out soon. Horowitz is a deep state operative who has covered for the Clintons in the past. They have to do something, so expect a limited hangout or partial whitewash. That way the drug and weapons ratlines can continue to fund our unconscionable acts across the globe.

Ma Laoshi , February 22, 2018 at 9:42 am GMT
Trump needs the swamp to produce politicized intel for his campaigns against Iran and Venezuela (plus a dozen other countries which don't threaten the US). He needs the hated MSM (not much more than the swamp's media branch) to sell the Iran war to his voters, who are supposed to pay for it. He needs his shady relatives to stay OUT of prison, where several of them seem to belong (of course, papa Kushner has already spent time inside). So appeasement it is.

Sorry, but on the whole Trump voters are too dumb to pose much of an obstacle. They like the campaigns against Iran because of religion, and against Venezuela because of "socialism". They didn't raise a peep when it became clear that THEIR money would all go to the Armies of Mordor. That this is "Saddam-WMD-9/11″ all over again just hasn't registered with them, and never will. Just like Trump winning his primary running against outside money, and immediately afterwards selling out for Adelson's shekels–it exceeds the deplorables' attention span, so it never happened. Keep harping on immigrants and it's all good; razzle-dazzle them, as it was called in the Chicago movie.

So on the whole, yes, already since his inauguration it has been clear that The Donald is mostly playing along, as long as he'll be allowed to stay president . The question remains if (just like Putin in Syria) he isn't trying to appease something which won't be appeased–maybe Trump thinks he has a deal, but his enemies, while technically backing off from the collusion claim, will still squeeze his relatives so hard on their finances and other shenanigans that something breaks. I say: would serve Trump right for sleeping with the dogs.

Jim Christian , February 22, 2018 at 10:03 am GMT
Intriguing if these 13 Russians turned up at US District Court for a chat with a Federal Prosecutor with the International press in tow. It would be lovely to have Vlad present his people for investigation and trial. Mueller set these 13 up, again, 'knowing' he would never have to prove a damned thing and so, there are many embellishments. Mueller 'knows' he'll never try them, but he also 'knew', as they ALL did, that Hillary was getting in and so these crimes would never come to light.

Love to have Putin blow up yet another thing these folks thought they 'knew'. I'd contribute to the GoFundMe for the best lawyers there are..

Seamus Padraig , February 22, 2018 at 10:32 am GMT

So Trump is not opposed to demonizing Russia, he's just opposed to demonizing Donald John Trump. That's where he draws the line.

Bingo. Well guys, if there's anyone here who still abides by the '5-D chess' theory, I think it's time to face facts: Trump has thrown us all under the bust to save himself. Expect a war in Syria, or Ukraine, or maybe both.

It's all up to Nunes now. Let's hope he doesn't sell us out, too:

https://consortiumnews.com/2018/02/19/nunes-fbi-and-doj-perps-could-be-put-on-trial/

jacques sheete , February 22, 2018 at 11:20 am GMT

The indictments have no legal merit, they are a form of domestic propaganda and disinformation. The real target is the American people.

That's pretty much what this banana republic's government is all about. One way or another, everything they do is designed to ultimately squeeze something out of us dumb 'Merkin proles and peasants , especially us stupid goyim.

The rest is mere detail. Understanding that saves a lot of time and energy.

Twodees Partain , February 22, 2018 at 1:38 pm GMT
@ChrisD

"The test for Trump will be whether he can take a wrecking ball to the FBI and Department of State "

He could have done that a year ago. Trump has left more people loyal to Obama in their jobs than would have thought possible. His advisors are all seemingly pushing their own agendas and haven't clued him in on the fact that he has Obama's bureaucracy snapping at his ankles and he needs to go on a firing rampage.

I doubt that he even knows who he can fire outright and who would have to be moved into another department.

Twodees Partain , February 22, 2018 at 1:59 pm GMT
The Duran has another article that busts Mueller's game:

http://theduran.com/13-russian-trolls-indictment-debunked-by-journalist-profiled-the-operation-in-2015/

According to the author, this troll farm had 90 employees assigned to the American market who designed clickbait ads using titles that would attract doofuses wanting to read articles on their favorite subjects related to the election.

If you surf the net without a good adblocker, you'll see all these clickbait ads with titles like "Defeat Trump with one weird trick", or "What Trump said to Hillary off stage will astonish you" in an attempt to get the reader to go to their site and buy something.

That's what these trolls were doing, and it had nothing to do with influencing voters.

lavoisier , Website February 22, 2018 at 2:06 pm GMT
@Seamus Padraig

Bingo. Well guys, if there's anyone here who still abides by the '5-D chess' theory, I think it's time to face facts: Trump has thrown us all under the bust to save himself. Expect a war in Syria, or Ukraine, or maybe both.

It does really look like this is true. I was expecting more of a profile in courage under the tutelage of someone smarter than Trump; instead we are seeing another profile in venality and stupidity.

ante , February 22, 2018 at 2:20 pm GMT
there have been thousands of such people in Balkans, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, who set up web pages and made money on advertising, who used the presidential election, as honey pot. Mueller is such an idiot, that he does not know it. Sorry, he is so clever, to go only after russian trace. you can start here:

https://www.wired.com/2017/02/veles-macedonia-fake-news/

Beckow , February 22, 2018 at 2:55 pm GMT
@The Alarmist

send a couple of the indictees over to stand trial, and hire some lefty-lawyer like Dershowitz to defend them

That was my initial reaction. But that assumes that a Washington court would not be a show trial with emphasis on process minutia, e.g. 'identity theft' and some financial violations. With media in overdrive proving their hyper-patriotism.

US has too many laws that are ambiguous beyond belief, almost anything can be declared a 'crime'. Plus you have limited disclosure due to national security ('methods and sources subterfuge always works). Volunteering for a political show trial doesn't work.

We just have to let it go, it is now a 'crime' for foreigners to criticise US politicians without first registering with Washington. Quite a beacon of freedom for the world.

Jingo Starr , February 22, 2018 at 3:03 pm GMT
Indicting foreign election interference trolls sets a precedent for prosecuting domestic election interference trolls. The domestic election interference trolls spent hundreds of millions and left very prolific financial and digital footprints. Jim Messina shouldn't be sleeping easy.
Bill , February 22, 2018 at 3:19 pm GMT
@Twodees Partain

Trump's failure to fire people by the truckload during the first week of his presidency is a topic worth exploring. Probably we won't know why he failed to do this until after his presidency sometime, but it is a curious choice given how widespread and intense was the hatred of him.

Ronald Thomas West , Website February 22, 2018 at 3:56 pm GMT
@Bill

We can know why now. Trump was kneecapped from day one in the Oval Office and he's surrounded by treasonous people who'll either keep him in line or step out of the way of Trump's political enemies. Pence and his ideologically (theologically, actually) aligned Christian Zionist generals have it under control:

https://original.antiwar.com/justin/2018/02/11/president-held-hostage/

Meanwhile Trump is the perfect idiot to take the heat and end up holding the bag. The momentary big, inside fight, is fundamentalist Christian Pentagon vs neoliberal CIA for upper hand at the White House with Bibi (via AIPAC) solidly on the side of Pence, probably not if, but much more likely when, Trump is taken down.

That fool actually believed he would be allowed to become President. Well, he was wrong. He got the title, he gets the heat, but he'll never be allowed to exercise the power.

Anonymous Disclaimer , February 22, 2018 at 4:00 pm GMT
@Bill

Trump belongs to the Ruling Class. If he didn't, the rulers never would have selected him as president. I thought the producers had brought in the Trump character to change the direction of the play. But no, still the same old Empire first, the rich second, and everything else later. How much did the Trump family save from the new tax law? That's another story all together.

edNels , February 22, 2018 at 4:07 pm GMT
Back in the day, when knights were bold, prosecutors for real, laws were understood by all , they laid their turds beside the road, and walked away contented!

Sheesh anyhow, This Comey, and his side kick Mueller are doing pretty good job of what they are charged with, (to do that is charged with a task.) of charging Russians, those dirty Boris's and Natashia's over there in the dark forrest somewhere.

A ticket a tasket, the case is in a basket, (basket case, of course) and Comey and Mueller are excellent in their roles, playing to a tough crowd, masterful impressions of Lerch and Herman Munster.

What is the real job? could it be to extend childhood and adelescence (strike that) wrong thought . dupdada here it is: could it be that the real job is to extend the election process FOOD FIGHT, indeterminately, thus displacing the expectations normally accruing to a change of administrations. That is a serious sounding term for adults, not for the kids. ADMINISTRATION suit wearing mthfrkrs all around, all dry fake talk masking every possible meaning and to what end?

That boat left the pier now the population is only to be amused, more of the same Food Fight please!

You have an evolution of pollution of the process of regress into the abstraction/distraction. Mad Hatter's Tea Party, now the new norm, and it seems to work,

We've grown too cynical for the likes of Columbo, or Perry Mason, etc.

EliteCommInc. , February 22, 2018 at 6:44 pm GMT
The investigation like the Sword of Damocles may indeed get Pres Trump to further compromise his agenda as per the campaign. However, those who lost the election have no intention of of giving an inch. if at all possible, they intend to get rid of Pres Trump because he waylaid there plans. Unfortunately they are incorrect, it was Pres Trump, it was their agenda and and a solid opposition to it that defeated them during the election.

Since the attempt to remove him includes the Russia investigation and it various tentacles I intend to defend the current President as much possible.

Major Sjursen and Dr. Bacivich – ya ya ya I know . . . he's a this and a that . . . ) seem to have reached the same conclusion – once in it's "heck to fight" the preordained agenda.

annamaria , February 22, 2018 at 7:40 pm GMT
@exiled off mainstreet

The RussiaGate affairs and collusion charge are the obvious "Banksters United" coup run with a stunning degree of incompetence. Russia must be demonized because of her mineral resources, which are still not available for free, and because of her "wrong" behavior in Syria. Bansksters need this war. Arm producers and dealers need this war. Only the apparent danger of suicide by nuclear answer stops the banksters and other war profiteers from an immediate attack against Russian Federation.

The moneyed and powerful psychopaths-in-charge are enraged that the wealth of other nations is still outside their reach becasue of Russian "stubborness." The US/UK banking section is the main engine behind the supreme crimes of aggression in the Middle East and Ukraine (the ongoing civil war there had been initiated on the CIA instructions in 2014; see Brennan "secret" visit to Kiev on the eve of military actions against the civilian populations of Eastern Ukraine: https://themoscowtimes.com/news/russian-media-report-cia-director-held-secret-consultations-in-kiev-33897 ).

The FBI and the CIA are the hired gangster organizations for the banksters. If the FBI and the CIA cared about national security, the US would not suffer the infamy of Awan affair, CrowdStrike "conclusions," and the US support for Daesh/ISIS/Al Qaida in the Middle East, as well as the US support for neo-Nazis in Ukraine. The US taxpayers have been financing both ISIS and neo-Nazis because banksters decided so.

annamaria , February 22, 2018 at 7:48 pm GMT
"Banksters United" conference in Munich: http://www.voltairenet.org/article199781.html

"The Middle East as seen by Berlin

Germany invested a lot in the US project for the Middle East (the strategy of the destruction of societies and states, conceived by Admiral Arthur Cebrowski, but noticeably less in the British-US project for the " Arab Springs ". Since the Cold War, it has housed and supported several headquarters for the Muslim Brotherhood, including that of the Syrians in Aix-la-Chapelle. Germany took a part in the assassination of ex-Prime Minister of Lebanon, Rafic Hariri. In 2012, it co-wrote the Feltman plan for the total and unconditional capitulation of Syria. At present, Volker Perthes, director of the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, the state think-tank, is advisor to Jeffrey Feltman at the UNO. [Jeffrey David Feltman is the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs. Feltman was born to Jewish parents in the US he speaks Hebrew, English, Arabic, French, and Hungarian.]

For several years, the internal documents of the European External Action Service (EEAS) are copied and pasted from Volker Perthes' notes for the German government. Volker Perthes was at Munich with Jeffrey Feltman and their friends, Lakdhar Brahimi, Ramzi Ramzi, Steffan de Mistura, Generals David Petraeus (the KKR was also represented by Christian Ollig) and John Allen (Brookings Institution), as well as Nasser al-Hariri, the President of the High Authority for Negotiations (pro-Saudi Syrian opposition), Raed al-Saleh, director of the White Helmets (Al-Qaïda) and their Qatari sponsors, including Emir Thamim."

There were also "three bosses – German BND (Bruno Kahl), British MI6 (Alex Younger) and the French DGSE (Bernard Emié), who explained in a private room, in front of an audience chosen for their naïveté, how nervous they were about the Turkish operation in Syria. The three men pretended to believe that the combatants of the YPG constitute the safest barrier against Daesh. Yet they were supposed to create the Frontier Security Force with certain ex-members of Daesh . It's clear that the job of these three super-spies is to know to whom they owe the truth, and to whom they can lie. Sustaining their momentum, they hinted that the Syrian Arab Army uses chemical weapons – profiting from the absence in the room of the US Secretary for Defence, Jim Mattis, who had testified a few days earlier that proof of this claim is inexistent."

-- Lies, obfuscations, and crimes. The "three bosses" [of national security services] are in service to Banksters, corporations, and arm dealers and producers. On the public dime, of course And is not it touching that Jeffrey Feltman [a veritable Israel-firster] designs the US military support for ISIS/Daesh in Syria?

Anonymous Disclaimer , February 22, 2018 at 8:04 pm GMT
@EliteCommInc.

The Government exists for the rich to control the slaves. The rich choose one of their own to be President. The patriotic slaves, aka zombie morons left and right, vote for the slave masters every four years. And argue over their merits. Oh, the Trump has a much nicer touch with the lash than Obama.

SunBakedSuburb , February 22, 2018 at 8:43 pm GMT
The DNC data was leaked by an insider -- some say by the murdered Seth Rich. The Podesta emails were hacked. And what that hack revealed was a network of wealthy pedophiles that included both Podesta brothers, John and Tony, and other D.C. notables like Maeve Luzzatto and James Alefantis. It's true that the PizzaGate conspiracy theory has been promoted by Twitter nutcases, but that doesn't mean there isn't truth in it.

Obama CIA Director James Brennan's heavy involvement in the Russia/election conspiracy theory might be a clue that the D.C. pedophile network might be a CIA blackmail operation, much as Jeffrey Epstein's private Caribbean island was used as a Mossad honey trap.

SunBakedSuburb , February 22, 2018 at 9:18 pm GMT
@lavoisier

"No greater friend of the Zionists than the fundamentalist Christians."

True. And thanks for using the term "Zionist" because not all Jews are Zionists and not all Zionists are Jews. Most American Jews, while supportive of Israel, are not Zionists. Most American Jews are a benefit to the communities they call home. Zionism is a globalist cult that must be unmasked and destroyed.

[Mar 23, 2018] It's amazing what obomber left around for the trumpster to use.

Mar 23, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Posted by: jo6pac | Mar 22, 2018 5:55:35 PM | 21

jo6pac , Mar 22, 2018 5:55:35 PM | 21
#4
It's amazing what obomber left around for the trumpster to use.

http://thehill.com/opinion/technology/379245-whats-genius-for-obama-is-scandal-when-it-comes-to-trump

[Mar 22, 2018] Trump's National Security Chief Calls Russian Interference 'Incontrovertible'

Mar 22, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

MUNICH -- Just hours after the Justice Department indicted 13 Russians in what it charged was a broad conspiracy to alter the 2016 election, President Trump's national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, accused Moscow of engaging in a campaign of "disinformation, subversion and espionage" that he said Washington would continue to expose.

The evidence of a Russian effort to interfere in the election "is now incontrovertible," General McMaster said at the Munich Security Conference, an annual meeting of European and American diplomats and security experts, including several senior Russian officials. On Friday, just hours before the indictment, the top White House official for cyberissues accused Russia of "the most destructive cyberattack in human history," against Ukraine last summer.

Taken together, the statements appeared to mark a major turn in the administration's willingness to directly confront the government of President Vladimir V. Putin. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and C.I.A. Director Mike Pompeo also attended the Munich conference, and while they did not speak publicly, in private meetings with others here they reiterated similar statements.

The comments highlighted a sharp division inside the administration about how to talk about the Russian covert efforts, with only Mr. Trump and a few of his close advisers holding back from acknowledging the Russian role or talking about a larger strategy to deter future attacks.

The indictment characterized the cyberattacks and social media fraud as part of a larger effort by Russia to undermine the United States. A senior administration official called the effort to confront Russia "a significant point of contention" within the administration.

After the indictment on Friday Mr. Trump declared in a Twitter post that "the results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong -- no collusion!" He made no mention of Russia as a "revisionist power," the description used in his own National Security Strategy, or of the elaborate $1.2 million-a-month effort that the indictment indicated Russia's Internet Research Agency spent in an effort to discredit the election system and ultimately to support his candidacy.

Vice President Mike Pence, speaking this past week in Washington, misstated American intelligence conclusions about the election hacking, arguing "it is the universal conclusion of our intelligence communities that none of those efforts had any effect on the outcome of the 2016 election." The intelligence chiefs have said they have not, and cannot, reach such a conclusion.

Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, cited Mr. Pence's comments during the session here Saturday to make the case that Russia did nothing wrong. "So until we see the facts, everything else is just blabber," he said.

The man who served as the Russian ambassador to the United States during the period covered by the indictments, Sergey I. Kislyak, picked up on a favorite theme of Mr. Trump's: questioning the credibility of the F.B.I. and intelligence agency assessments.

"I have seen so many indictments and accusations against Russians," Mr. Kislyak said on Saturday afternoon. "I am not sure I can trust American law enforcement to be the most truthful source against Russians." He added, "The allegations being mounted against us are simply fantasies."

Mr. Kislyak, who has been caught up in the investigation because of meetings with Trump campaign officials during his time as ambassador, went on to cite a study, which he said he was keeping in his briefcase, that proved the "main source of computer attacks in the world is not Russia. It is the United States."

[Mar 03, 2018] Leaked: Secret Documents From Russia s Election Trolls

Those are Clinton stooges who published Steele dossier.
Mar 03, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

falconflight Fri, 03/02/2018 - 19:56 Permalink

Leaked: Secret Documents From Russia's Election Trolls

An online auction gone awry reveals substantial new details on Kremlin-backed troll farm efforts to stir up real protests and target specific Americans to push their propaganda.

The Kremlin-backed troll farm at the center of Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. election has quietly suffered a catastrophic security breach, The Daily Beast has confirmed, in a leak that spilled new details of its operations onto obscure corners of the internet.

The Russian "information exchange" Joker.Buzz, which auctions off often stolen or confidential information, advertised a leak for a large cache of the Internet Research Agency's (IRA) internal documents. It includes names of Americans, activists in particular, whom the organization specifically targeted; American-based proxies used to access Reddit and the viral meme site 9Gag; and login information for troll farm accounts.

Even the advertisement for the document dump provides a trove of previously unknown information about the breadth of Russia's disinformation effort in the United States, including rallies pushed by IRA social media accounts that turned violent.

While special counsel Robert Mueller's recent conspiracy indictment against the IRA showed a sophisticated organization aimed at targeting U.S. voters with disinformation, the seller appears not to have understood the implications of the auction.

The listing was titled " Savushkina 55 ," the physical address in St. Petersburg from which the troll farm used to operate. The date on the auction is listed as Feb. 10, 2017 -- seven months before Facebook and Twitter identified and pulled down Internet Research Agency accounts from Twitter. It received no bids. The seller, "AlexDA," has not posted any other listings, and was unable to be reached. In Russian, the listing promised "working data from the department focused on the United States."

"The leaks show that Russian imposter accounts targeted activists for specific causes the Kremlin-backed troll farm wanted promoted. On the target list: the daughter of one of Martin Luther King's lieutenants."

While the date of the auction could not be independently confirmed, the authenticity of the leak can. The leaked documents list screen names connected to a number of American citizens who were used as unwitting proxies by the Russians. The Daily Beast was able to track down four of those citizens, whose names have not been previously revealed. The leak contains precise dates in 2016 in which the IRA-created account Blacktivist reached out to those U.S. citizens, plus a short description of the conversations. The Daily Beast spoke to those citizens, and confirmed they interacted with the Blacktivist account in the ways described by the IRA in the document. In one case, the American even provided screenshots of his interactions with the Russian troll trying to dupe him.

In short, the leaked document contains details of the Russian disinformation campaign that have not been previously made public -- details which The Daily Beast was able to confirm. .....

https://www.thedailybeast.com/exclusive-secret-documents-from-russias-e

[Feb 26, 2018] State Department Troll Farm Receives Huge Cash Infusion

Notable quotes:
"... "This funding is critical to ensuring that we continue an aggressive response to malign influence and disinformation and that we can leverage deeper partnerships with our allies, Silicon Valley, and other partners in this fight," said Under Secretary Goldstein. "It is not merely a defensive posture that we should take, we also need to be on the offensive. ..."
"... Israel is long known for such information operations in which its paid trolls not only comment on issues on social media but actively manipulate Wikipedia entries. Such astroturfing has since become a common tool in commercial marketing campaigns. ..."
"... With regard to the larger issue, it seems that the US is getting more and more like its allies Ukraine (drives out any press concerned with printing the truth, relies on a bombastic and entirely false narrative to try and convince its hapless citizens that all is great and everything is Russia's fault) and Israel (an early leader in manipulating online info as b states). ..."
"... If it sounds like a PR monkey banging away on a regurgitated theme, it probably is. For example, the endless repetition in US media about "Syrian chemical weapons attacks" with no on-the-ground supporting evidence is typical of a Rendon Group disinformation campaign; so then they hire a hundred trolls to post outraged comments about 'Syrian chemical weapons use' in comment sections and on twitter; then they hire some State Department intern to write a book about the horrors of the Assad regime, and at the end they collect their $10 million paycheck. ..."
"... The hypocrisy of the U$A continues to be staggering.. If the collective IQ's of the general public approached double digits, the disinformation and propaganda afoot, couldn't gain much traction. As comedian Richard Pryor once said, " Who you gonna' believe, the propagandists, or your lying eyes." ..."
"... money for propaganda... that was back in 1984 - we have progressed from Orwell's version of reality to a new one where reality is what you make of it... meanwhile there will be more dead people that the sponsors of these troll farms, could care less about... although they will frame it - 180% of that... ..."
Feb 26, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

The U.S. State Department will increase its online trolling capabilities and up its support for meddling in other countries. The Hill reports :

The State Department is launching a $40 million initiative to crack down on foreign propaganda and disinformation amid widespread concerns about future Russian efforts to interfere in elections.

The department announced Monday that it signed a deal with the Pentagon to transfer $40 million from the Defense Department's coffers to bolster the Global Engagement Center, an office set up at State during the Obama years to expose and counter foreign propaganda and disinformation.

The professed reason for the new funding is the alleged but unproven "Russian meddling" in the U.S. election campaign. U.S. Special Counsel Mueller indicted 13 Russians for what is claimed to be interference but which is likely mere commercial activity.

The announcement by the State Department explains that this new money will not only be used for measures against foreign trolling but to actively meddle in countries abroad:

Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Steve Goldstein said the transfer of funds announced today reiterates the United States' commitment to the fight.

"This funding is critical to ensuring that we continue an aggressive response to malign influence and disinformation and that we can leverage deeper partnerships with our allies, Silicon Valley, and other partners in this fight," said Under Secretary Goldstein. "It is not merely a defensive posture that we should take, we also need to be on the offensive. "

The mentioning of Silicon Valley is of interest. The big Silicon Valley companies Google, Facebook and Twitter were heavily involved in the U.S. election campaign. The companies embedded people within the campaigns to advise them how to reach a maximum trolling effect:

While the companies call it standard practice to work hand-in-hand with high-spending advertisers like political campaigns, the new research details how the staffers assigned to the 2016 candidates frequently acted more like political operatives, doing things like suggesting methods to target difficult-to-reach voters online, helping to tee up responses to likely lines of attack during debates, and scanning candidate calendars to recommend ad pushes around upcoming speeches.

In May 2016 the Hillary Clinton campaign even set up her own troll farm :

Hillary Clinton's well-heeled backers have opened a new frontier in digital campaigning, one that seems to have been inspired by some of the Internet's worst instincts. Correct the Record, a super PAC coordinating with Clinton's campaign, is spending some $1 million to find and confront social media users who post unflattering messages about the Democratic front-runner.

In effect, the effort aims to spend a large sum of money to increase the amount of trolling that already exists online.

Clinton is quite experienced in such issues. In 2009, during protests in Iran, then Secretary of State Clinton pushed Twitter to defer maintenance of its system to "help" the protesters. In 2010 USAid, under the State Department set up a Twitter-like service to meddle in Cuba.

The foreign policy advisor of Hillery Clinton's campaign, Laura Rosenberger, initiated and runs the Hamilton68 project which falsely explains any mentioning of issues disliked by its neo-conservative backers as the result of nefarious "Russian meddling".

The State Department can build on that and other experience.

Since at least 2011 the U.S. military is manipulating social media via sock puppets and trolls:

A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an "online persona management service" that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.
...
The Centcom contract stipulates that each fake online persona must have a convincing background, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations "without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries".

It was then wisely predicted that other countries would follow up:

The discovery that the US military is developing false online personalities – known to users of social media as "sock puppets" – could also encourage other governments, private companies and non-government organisations to do the same.

Israel is long known for such information operations in which its paid trolls not only comment on issues on social media but actively manipulate Wikipedia entries. Such astroturfing has since become a common tool in commercial marketing campaigns.

With the new money the State Department will expand its Global Engagement Center (GEC) which is running "public diplomacy", aka propaganda, abroad:

The Fund will be a key part of the GEC's partnerships with local civil society organizations, NGOs, media providers, and content creators to counter propaganda and disinformation. The Fund will also drive the use of innovative messaging and data science techniques.

Separately, the GEC will initiate a series of pilot projects developed with the Department of Defense that are designed to counter propaganda and disinformation. Those projects will be supported by Department of Defense funding.

This money will be in addition to the large funds the CIA traditionally spends on manipulating foreign media:

"We've been doing this kind of thing since the C.I.A. was created in 1947," said Mr. Johnson, now at the University of Georgia. "We've used posters, pamphlets, mailers, banners -- you name it. We've planted false information in foreign newspapers. We've used what the British call 'King George's cavalry': suitcases of cash."
...
C.I.A. officials told Mr. Johnson in the late 1980s that "insertions" of information into foreign news media, mostly accurate but sometimes false, were running at 70 to 80 a day.

Part of the new State Department money will be used to provide grants. If online trolling or sock puppetry is your thing, you may want to apply now.

Posted by b on February 26, 2018 at 02:02 PM | Permalink

Comments


nhs , Feb 26, 2018 2:34:39 PM | 1

The US propaganda machine has just confirmed what establishment's worst nightmare would be
Peter AU 1 , Feb 26, 2018 2:40:29 PM | 2
"to find and confront social media users who post unflattering messages about the Democratic front-runner"

I call these social media watchers rather than trolls. Rather than simply trying to disrupt any and all social media threads they don't like, social media watchers look for comments or comment threads that are disparaging or damaging to their employer.

WorldBLee , Feb 26, 2018 2:49:32 PM | 3
#2 @Peter AU 1 - I would say the language "to find and CONFRONT" sounds pretty much like troll behavior.

With regard to the larger issue, it seems that the US is getting more and more like its allies Ukraine (drives out any press concerned with printing the truth, relies on a bombastic and entirely false narrative to try and convince its hapless citizens that all is great and everything is Russia's fault) and Israel (an early leader in manipulating online info as b states).

Don Bacon , Feb 26, 2018 2:51:50 PM | 4
That $40 million will probably be pissed away on a couple sweetheart contracts to Tillerson friends and nobody will see a difference. US State Department propaganda programs, labeled as "public diplomacy" and other monikers, have been around for a long time but haven't been executed very well.

From the State Dept. historian office, 2013: . .(excerpt):

Public Diplomacy Is Still in Its Adolescent Stage in the State Department , etc.

. . . The process of convergence has been evolutionary. Secretary Powell grasped the power of the information revolution, reallocated positions and resources from traditional diplomatic posting to new areas and recognized the power of satellite television to move publics and constrain governments even in authoritarian regimes. Secretary Rice forwarded this reconceptualization under the rubric of "Transformational Diplomacy," which sought to help people transform their own lives and the relationship between state and society. Secretary Clinton continued the theme under the concept of "Smart Power." "Person-to-person diplomacy in today's work is as important as what we do in official meetings in national capitals across the globe," Clinton said in 2010.The work done by PD officials in Arab Spring countries beginning in 2011 was as much about capacity-building as advocating U.S. policies or directly trying to explain American culture. . . here

notlurking , Feb 26, 2018 2:55:14 PM | 5
I am retired and can use some extra change....just kidding!!!....
nonsense factory , Feb 26, 2018 3:18:15 PM | 6
Prior efforts were targeted more at traditional news outlets, this is just an expansion into social media along the lines of previous work, example A being the Rendon Group in Iraq, etc. https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Rendon_Group

If it sounds like a PR monkey banging away on a regurgitated theme, it probably is. For example, the endless repetition in US media about "Syrian chemical weapons attacks" with no on-the-ground supporting evidence is typical of a Rendon Group disinformation campaign; so then they hire a hundred trolls to post outraged comments about 'Syrian chemical weapons use' in comment sections and on twitter; then they hire some State Department intern to write a book about the horrors of the Assad regime, and at the end they collect their $10 million paycheck.

Tediousness, defined.

Peter AU 1 , Feb 26, 2018 3:19:30 PM | 7
WorldBLee 2

Media watchers target specific comments or comment threads, in the case stated by b, those disparaging or damaging to Clinton.

What I term trolls target blogs or social media accounts that are considered targets, no matter the content of a particular article or comment thread. Social media media watchers are a little more specialized than trolls and look for specific content.

nonsense factory , Feb 26, 2018 3:23:52 PM | 8
P.S. it's funny that you can find out what these clowns are up to by looking for job listings and salary reports:

The Rendon Group Social Media Specialist Salary | Glassdoor

Average [monthly] salaries for The Rendon Group Social Media Specialist: $2,520. The Rendon Group salary trends based on salaries posted anonymously by The Rendon Group employees.

Talk about a soul-destroying job. Right up there with Wikipedia page editor.

Peter AU 1 , Feb 26, 2018 3:27:48 PM | 9
nonsense factory 8. Money looks good. Plenty of people that dont give a shit about their soul will take it up.
la Cariatide , Feb 26, 2018 3:40:19 PM | 11
http://www.voltairenet.org/article194715.html
NemesisCalling , Feb 26, 2018 4:08:38 PM | 12
@7 peter

I see what you are alluding to, but the only problem with it is that, irrespective of the differing definitions, at heart, these infiltrators are a disrupting force on the message boards, whether paid to be or not. Their medium is disruption and obfuscation. I tried to wade into the neoliberal viper's den at slate.com un the past to post "alt-right" stuff and was quickly attacked by multiple avatars.

In essence, one troll disrupts because he has a need for recognition, and the latter disrupts for money. Both are netgain for the troll and loss for the rest of us.

ben , Feb 26, 2018 4:09:30 PM | 13
The hypocrisy of the U$A continues to be staggering.. If the collective IQ's of the general public approached double digits, the disinformation and propaganda afoot, couldn't gain much traction. As comedian Richard Pryor once said, " Who you gonna' believe, the propagandists, or your lying eyes."

Turn off your I phones, and think a little.

james , Feb 26, 2018 4:19:32 PM | 14
thanks b... troll farms looks like a good name for it... farming for the empire.. they could call it that too.. russia as trend setter, lol.. i don't think so!

speaking of troll farms, i see max Blumenthal came out with some 'about time' comments on the sad kettle of fish called 'democracy now'... here is his tweet - "If @democracynow is going to push the neocon project of regime change in Syria so relentlessly and without debate, it should drop the high minded literary NPR aesthetic and just host Nikki Haley for a friendly one-on-one #EstablishmentNow https://twitter.com/democracynow/status/967123918237655041
7:07 AM - Feb 25, 2018 "

money for propaganda... that was back in 1984 - we have progressed from Orwell's version of reality to a new one where reality is what you make of it... meanwhile there will be more dead people that the sponsors of these troll farms, could care less about... although they will frame it - 180% of that...

NemesisCalling , Feb 26, 2018 4:19:33 PM | 15
The silver lining here is that the state dept. is in a sense admitting that there is nothing "in the pipe" relating to outright censorship whether through nefarious agreements between ISP providers and the IC via the repeal of net neutrality.

$40 mil is a lot for liberal college graduates however.

Jen , Feb 26, 2018 4:20:59 PM | 16
Nonsense Factory @ 8, Peter AU 1 @ 9: There are plenty of communities in rural Australia who'd be glad to have troll farms paying that sort of money (even as Australian dollars - 1 Australian dollar being worth about US$0.76 at this time of posting) a month. Real farmers could do trolling on the side during slow seasons of the year and make some money.
karlof1 , Feb 26, 2018 4:26:45 PM | 17
What we need are some Mole Trolls, or maybe that's Troll Moles--double agents if you will that work for 6-12 months recording 100% of all they do then reveal it all in an expose.
Ian , Feb 26, 2018 5:21:58 PM | 18
Getting ready for mid-terms. It's going to be interesting to see if the Democrats get wiped off the map. They should be able to hire quite a few people for $40 million. Don't be surprised if they deploy AI in the first wave, then follow up with a real person.

ben @13:

Turn off your I phones, and think a little.

ROFL After wandering aimlessly in the mall with Her Majesty over the weekend, I'm not sure if that's even possible now.

Piotr Berman , Feb 26, 2018 5:23:20 PM | 19
Hillary Clinton sat on a wall,
Hillary Clinton had a great fall;
All the DNC stooges and all her trolls
Couldn't put her campaign again on the roll.

[department of lame rhymes]

Piotr Berman , Feb 26, 2018 5:29:18 PM | 20
I am retired and can use some extra change....just kidding!!!....

Posted by: notlurking | Feb 26, 2018 2:55:14 PM | 5

Foolish human, who needs the likes of you! Regards, Chief Bot

pantaraxia , Feb 26, 2018 6:42:36 PM | 21
"The big Silicon Valley companies Google, Facebook and Twitter were heavily involved in the U.S. election campaign. The companies embedded people within the campaigns to advise them how to reach a maximum trolling effect:"

It went much further than that . Google actually tweaked its algorithms to alter search recommendations in favor of the Clinton campaign. A comparative analysis of search engines Google, Bing and Yahoo showed that Google differed significantly from the other two in producing search recommendations relevant to Clinton.

Google Manipulates Search Results To Favor Hillary Clinton - Jimmy Dore
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MICXf6viakc

But , but, but...Russia!!!

Nothing to see her folks. Carry on.

che , Feb 26, 2018 6:47:53 PM | 22
The entire U.S. MSM is a F'ing troll farm, disinformation, Orwellian world on steroids. The U.S. public is fed a constant never ending stream of complete Bull sh**, self serving crap. How to stop it is the only question, to stop the impunity with which these criminals like Bush and Trump and Obama and Mattis et.al. lie with their pants on fire and .....they all suck .01% dick.
Fec , Feb 26, 2018 8:19:04 PM | 23
@8 Nonsense Factory

Ahmed Nafeez exposed The Rendon Group and the Pentagon's Highlands Forum a few years ago.

And then there's today's nonsense.

Are You a Russian Troll?

Curtis , Feb 26, 2018 8:44:21 PM | 24
It's surprising to see the NYT admit the US does it, too. The alt media has been all over this including Corbett's recent video with the Woolsey interview with Fox News where he laughs it off and then says it was for a good cause.
Curtis , Feb 26, 2018 8:47:09 PM | 25
Hillary's Troll Farm = Lipstick on a pig.
Fec , Feb 26, 2018 8:51:55 PM | 26
From Nafeez Ahmed :
Two days before 9/11, Condoleeza Rice received the draft of a formal National Security Presidential Directive that Bush was expected to sign immediately. The directive contained a comprehensive plan to launch a global war on al-Qaeda , including an "imminent" invasion of Afghanistan to topple the Taliban. The directive was approved by the highest levels of the White House and officials of the National Security Council, including of course Rice and Rumsfeld. The same NSC officials were simultaneously running the Dhabol Working Group to secure the Indian power plant deal for Enron's Trans-Afghan pipeline project. The next day, one day before 9/11, the Bush administration formally agreed on the plan to attack the Taliban.
Fec , Feb 26, 2018 9:01:10 PM | 27
From Nafeez Ahmed :

The Highlands Forum has thus played a leading role in defining the Pentagon's entire conceptualization of the 'war on terror.' Irving Wladawsky-Berger, a retired IMB vice president who co-chaired the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee from 1997 to 2001, described his experience of one 2007 Forum meeting in telling terms:

"Then there is the War on Terror, which DoD has started to refer to as the Long War, a term that I first heard at the Forum. It seems very appropriate to describe the overall conflict in which we now find ourselves. This is a truly global conflict the conflicts we are now in have much more of the feel of a battle of civilizations or cultures trying to destroy our very way of life and impose their own."
Debsisdead , Feb 26, 2018 9:01:42 PM | 28
Posted by: Fec | Feb 26, 2018 8:19:04 PM | 23

Yeah well since the writer of the 'quiz' exposes themself as bein a troll of the worst sort there is nothing to be said. I'm currently attempting to ingest only those newstories where the publisher provides space for feedback from readers since if a story is truthful it should be able to withstand challenge. yeah riight cos that means there's bugger all out there anymore. The biggest 'win' populism has had this far is in driving all feedback off all sites with a readership of more than a few hundred. Many of those that do allow feedback only permit humans with credentialed facebook or google accounts to indulge and the comments are only visible to similarly logged in types. That tells us a lot about the lack of faith the corporate media actually have in the nonsense they publish.

Of course 'trolls' are the ones held to be the guilty for causing this but if you actually watch what happens in a feedback column such as the rare occasions when the graun still permits CIF comments it isn't the deliberately offensive arseholes spouting the usual cliches who get deleted, it is those who put forward a considered argument which details why the original writer has reached a faulty conclusion.

We all know this yet it seems as though none of us are prepared to confront it properly as the censorship it is.
IMO media outlets which continually lie or at least distort the truth to advance a particular agenda need to be called to account.
Massed pickets outside newsrooms would be a good way cos as much as media hate us loudmouths who won't swallow their bromides, they like their competition even less. A decently organised picket of NYT, WaPo or the Graun would be news in every other spineless, propagandising & slug-featured media entity.

Lozion , Feb 26, 2018 9:09:10 PM | 29
Cant wait to see the big new shiny gold GEC logo, AMC & GMC anyone? ;)
Fec , Feb 26, 2018 9:17:57 PM | 30
@ 28 Debsisdead

Said troll was published in Richmond and God only knows who else picked it up. I refuted it in the comments as best I could, also excerpting MOA. Regardless:

From Ahmed Nafeez :

Among Rendon's activities was the creation of Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress (INC) on behalf of the CIA, a group of Iraqi exiles tasked with disseminating propaganda, including much of the false intelligence about WMD . That process had begun concertedly under the administration of George H W. Bush, then rumbled along under Clinton with little fanfare, before escalating after 9/11 under George W. Bush. Rendon thus played a large role in the manufacture of inaccurate and false news stories relating to Iraq under lucrative CIA and Pentagon contracts  --  and he did so in the period running up to the 2003 invasion as an advisor to Bush's National Security Council: the same NSC, of course, that planned the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, achieved with input from Enron executives who were simultaneously engaging the Pentagon Highlands Forum.

https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/why-google-made-the-nsa-2a80584c9c1
Fec , Feb 26, 2018 9:26:22 PM | 31
From Ahmed Nafeez :
Mass surveillance and data-mining also now has a distinctive operational purpose in assisting with the lethal execution of special operations, selecting targets for the CIA's drone strike kill lists via dubious algorithms, for instance, along with providing geospatial and other information for combatant commanders on land, air and sea, among many other functions. A single social media post on Twitter or Facebook is enough to trigger being placed on secret terrorism watch-lists solely due to a vaguely defined hunch or suspicion; and can potentially even land a suspect on a kill list.
Fec , Feb 26, 2018 9:40:37 PM | 32
From Ahmed Nafeez :
In 2011, the Forum hosted two DARPA-funded scientists, Antonio and Hanna Damasio, who are principal investigators in the 'Neurobiology of Narrative Framing' project at the University of Southern California. Evoking Zalman's emphasis on the need for Pentagon psychological operations to deploy "empathetic influence," the new DARPA-backed project aims to investigate how narratives often appeal "to strong, sacred values in order to evoke an emotional response," but in different ways across different cultures

This goes a long way toward explaining what is occurring in Hollywood and Nashville.

[Feb 25, 2018] Looks like FBI or CIA has an insider in Internet Research Agency Agata Burdonova, who has recently moved with her husband to the United States. She run translator project and is missing from Mueller indictment

Notable quotes:
"... The Russian independent TV Rain, also known as Dozhd, found (Russian, machine translation ) that one management person of the IRA was missing in the Mueller indictment. That women, Agata Burdonova, has recently moved with her husband to the United States. She had run the "translator" department of the IRA that created English language social marketing campaigns. She has now applied for a U.S. Social Security number. ..."
"... On June 15, 2017, Dmitry Fyodorov says he received an employment offer from Facebook. On August 8, 2017 Fyodorov marries Burdonova. Employer (presumably, Facebook) sponsors both of their visas -- prob. H1B. ..."
"... On December 7 2017 both moved to Bellevue, Washington. Two month later Mueller indicts the alleged IRA owner and management, but not Burdonova. This smells of a deal made by some US agency to get insight into the IRA. In return, an opportunity to move to the US was offered. ..."
Feb 25, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Feb 19 - Internet Marketing - Why Is This Smelly Fish Priceless?

Automated Twitter accounts, or trolls, repeated a tweet about a MoA piece on Muller's indictment of "Russian trolls" . Funny but not really important. There is interesting news though related to the original Muller indictment. Mueller accused with little evidence 13 persons involved in the private Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA) of meddling with the U.S. election campaign.

The Russian independent TV Rain, also known as Dozhd, found (Russian, machine translation ) that one management person of the IRA was missing in the Mueller indictment. That women, Agata Burdonova, has recently moved with her husband to the United States. She had run the "translator" department of the IRA that created English language social marketing campaigns. She has now applied for a U.S. Social Security number.

According to a follow up :

On June 15, 2017, Dmitry Fyodorov says he received an employment offer from Facebook. On August 8, 2017 Fyodorov marries Burdonova. Employer (presumably, Facebook) sponsors both of their visas -- prob. H1B.

On December 7 2017 both moved to Bellevue, Washington. Two month later Mueller indicts the alleged IRA owner and management, but not Burdonova. This smells of a deal made by some US agency to get insight into the IRA. In return, an opportunity to move to the US was offered.

Feb 20 - "Russian bots" - How An Anti-Russian Lobby Creates Fake News

On the farce of the "Hamilton 68" dashboard and how the media fall for it.

[Feb 24, 2018] Masha Gessen Did a Russian Troll Farm's Inflammatory Posts Really Sway the 2016 Election for Trump

Mash Gessen is a well know Russophob. That's they way she earns living.
Feb 24, 2018 | www.truth-out.org

MASHA GESSEN: So, I am really fascinated with what it tells us about our imagination about the Russian imagination. So, Russia imagines America and the American political system as like this unassailable monolith that they are throwing stuff at just to try to make a dent, whereas the United States is starting increasingly to imagine Russia as all-powerful, as incredibly sophisticated, as capable of, you know, sending out some really absurd tweets, in sub-literate English, and somehow changing the outcome of the election. And that projects such a belief in the fragility of the system and the basic instability of it and in the gullibility of voters who read something that's not even comprehensible English and suddenly change their vote. I mean, the working theory of the investigation -- right? -- is that Russians influenced the election by influencing American public opinion. And so, we're asked to believe that a significant impact on American public opinion could be produced by, you know, the Bernie the Superman coloring book tweet.

[Feb 24, 2018] Looks like color revolution plotter offered Trump a deal: switching to anti-Russia platform in exchange of stopping personal witch hunt against him. W>ell this was always the ultimate point. Not getting Trump, but making sure Trump falls in line with the insane plan to get Russia

Notable quotes:
"... The sad thing is, by admitting that Trump had no connection to the 13 accused 'election hackers,' his accusers are offering him an easy out–with the expectation that he will pay them back by turning against Russia. ..."
"... Trump has already acquiesced in new arms shipments to Ukraine, and he doesn't seem to have any problem with the Pentagon randomly attacking (among others) Russian soldiers and contractors in Syria ..."
"... Well this was always the ultimate point. Not getting Trump, but making sure Trump falls in line with the insane plan to get Russia. ..."
Feb 24, 2018 | off-guardian.org

Seamus Padraig says February 18, 2018

The sad thing is, by admitting that Trump had no connection to the 13 accused 'election hackers,' his accusers are offering him an easy out–with the expectation that he will pay them back by turning against Russia.

Trump has already acquiesced in new arms shipments to Ukraine, and he doesn't seem to have any problem with the Pentagon randomly attacking (among others) Russian soldiers and contractors in Syria. If there were ever any doubt, it now seems obvious that "the swamp" has successfully drained Trump. Start digging your bomb shelters, people

MLS says February 19, 2018

Well this was always the ultimate point. Not getting Trump, but making sure Trump falls in line with the insane plan to get Russia.

It's hard to see how this ends. Like the Terminator they absolutely will not stop. Ever. Until they are physically incapable of moving another step. But will the world survive long enough for that to happen? Or will Russia cave rather than risk war? Without Putin at the helm I think 'compromises' will start and then pretty soon Russia is back in the fold with a token president and the IMF running the show. Like the rest of us.

[Feb 24, 2018] The Tragicomedy of Russiagate by Sheldon Richman

Notable quotes:
"... Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq ..."
"... The Myth of the Rational Voter ..."
"... America's Counter-Revolution: The Constitution Revisited ..."
Feb 24, 2018 | original.antiwar.com

The whole election-meddling distraction is remarkable in both comic and tragic ways. The tragedy can be summed up in three words: New Cold War. At a time when the U.S. and Russian governments ought to be working toward nuclear disarmament, relations are deteriorating dangerously. As the estimable Australian writer Caitlin Johnstone, notes , despite Donald Trump's campaign promise of détente with Russia,

This administration has already