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Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition reminds Iraq WDM scam

Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime ~ Lavrentiy Beria

 "'A mountain had gone into labor and was groaning terribly. Such rumors excited great expectations all over the country. In the end, however, the mountain gave birth to a mouse." The Mountain in Labour - Wikipedia

News Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump Recommended Links Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit National Security State John "911 Coverup" Mueller Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool Internet research agency story as fiasco of Russiagate Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections
Strzokgate Steele dossier Brennan elections machinations "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies Anti Trump Hysteria MSM as attack dogs of color revolution Rosenstein
Obama administration participation in the intelligence services putsch against Trump Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Rosenstein and appointment of the special prosecutor DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin Hillary Clinton email scandal History of American False Flag Operations
Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few Color revolutions Trump vs. Deep State Michael Flynn removal The Real War on Reality Media as a weapon of mass deception Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Two Party System as polyarchy Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich
US and British media are servants of security apparatus MSM as fake news industry Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoconservatism New American Militarism Bernie Sanders betrayal of his supporters Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite
Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy Principal-agent problem Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Skeptic Quotations Politically Incorrect Humor Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy

Prosecutors are often in error, but never in doubt

Never underestimate the joy people derive from hearing something they already know.

~Enrico Fermi

When asked what he meant by a miracle: Oh, anything with a probability of less than 20%.

~Enrico Fermi

To hear the Western media talk, the Russian Federation has become the most powerful and influential nation on Earth. Russia can influence elections in faraway lands, and change the minds of people through Facebook ads, as long as the catering is done by a good Russian company, of course.

But wait, that’s probably not what the Western media wants to say. They want to tell us that Russia is a problem because it has the amazing ability to do all these things.

It must be that catering company. Something they put in the food makes the people who eat it into super mind-control agents.

Lavrov Russia ready for partnerships based on mutual respect


Introduction

The gambit of appointment of the  Special Prosecutor was a pretty slick operation performed by Brennan and people who were supporting him at this time, including Rosenstein. Comey firing was just a pretext; if it did not happen, they would find another reason to appoint the Special Prosecutor to investigate Trump. Along with paralyzing Trump administration Mueller has basically criminalized foreign criticism of the Democratic party and neocons. Open season on Russia, but not even one peep about the Dems crimes. In other words the Special Prosecutor Muller emerged as Grand Inquisitor accusing Trump of religious heresy not following neocon perception in foreign policy, especially regarding Russia. Mueller was known as capable and flexible servant of  the Deep State,  tested during 911. Some elements of his behaviour can be viewed as a more modern variation of  Lavrentiy Beria's playbook,  when any person who is "inconvenient" for authorities can be charged with some completely bogus, invented crime and go to jail, possibly for a very long term ( see No DENYING that now!!! The Obama administration spied on TRUMP campaign John Kiriakou - YouTube )

Mueller is going to investigate the life of Trump until they find something/anything he can hang around his neck. If there is nothing to hang, something will be invented via false flag operation, if this was not done already (Steele dossier spearheaded by  Brennan and Comey; see also Strzok comment to Lisa Page about "insurance") . Who in the United States of American could pass that kind of scrutiny? After all Trump and Kushner were real estate developers. If you dig hard enough having a dozen of prosecutors and unlimited amount of money probably any real estate developer in the USA can be put in jail. 

One of the  most interesting fact about Mueller is that he  was the person responsible for investigation of 911 as the director of FBI. So destruction of evidence, protection of Saudis royal family all happened  not just under  his  watch, but under his direct supervision.   Theories about the 9/11 attacks run in the extreme; however, it is clear from the official investigations that the US intelligence community -- particularly the CIA and the FBI -- hid evidence before and after the fact and have a great deal of accounting for their horribly poor performance. Both CIA and FBI honchos simply suppressed the warnings in the interest of career advancement. In addition to that, inventive, aggressive clandestine HUMINT against Al-Qaida (supported by Saudies) and Israel(which was interested in event like 911 to enhance  their own regional influence)  were disapproved by the same crowd. Robert Mueller, who came in as FBI Director weeks before 9/11, went out of his way to conceal evidence from the Congressional inquiry.  He argued for the burying of the 28 pages which partially were declassified by Trump.  Protecting the FBI from embarrassing disclosures took precedent over getting at the truth about the 9/11 attacks.  The fruits of that perfidy have carried forward in ways that were clearly not imagined at the time of the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent coverup.  Mueller also closely supervised botched Anthrax investigation. It may take years or even decades before the full story of the 9/11 attacks is unraveled.  But it would be a grave disservice to the 3,000 people who died, the survivors, and the families of those killed and injured, to stop the quest for truth due to efforts of such people as Mueller to conceal the evidence.  Each year, the anniversary of 9/11 serves as a reminder.

Those two facts alone tells you a lot about what we can expect from his "investigation" so quickly  launched by Rosenstein after Trump fired Mueller using falsified document nicknamed "Steele dossier" as the main evidence that Russia was trying to recruit Trump and/or members of his inner  circle.  Moreover, in such cases  "personnel is policy" and Muller hires strongly suggests that  the original intention was not an investigation, but a witch hunt with the single goal to depose Trump (it might well be that Muller appointment  was the insurance policy about which Strzok wrote to Lisa Page): 

  1. Aaron Zebley referred in MSM to as Mueller’s “right-hand man” acted as an attorney for Justin Cooper, the IT staffer who installed Clinton’s private email server at her home, and who destroyed her old Blackberry phones with a hammer (as Fox News report states).
  2. Andrew Weissmann, a former partner at the global law firm WilmerHale, attended the Democratic presidential candidate’s election party in November 2016.
  3. Jeannie Rhee, another former WilmerHale partner, represented Ben Rhodes, an ex-Obama National Security Adviser in a 2015 racketeering case, and Clinton herself in a lawsuit seeking disclosure of her private emails
  4. Peter Strzok (after whom Strzokgate was named) who was removed from Mueller’s team was the key person in exonerating Hillary Clinton in emailgate scandal. He also entrapped former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, which led to Flynn conviction. 

And in one year Mueller produce a pretty humiliating  results taking into account resorces which were put in his multimillion investigation: indictment of 13 Russia internet trolls from some sleazy marketing company (Internet research agency) run by former hot dog stand owner from Sanct Petersburg who first used it for PR campaign trying to protect himself from charges that he supplied rotten lunches to Moscow schoolchildren.

With each new indictment from Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller the same question emerges: when will he produce evidence that the president of the United States committed treason? Because that’s what this is really about; Some Russians somewhere may have meddled in the election. But what Mueller has to answer is whether Trump knowingly worked with a foreign adversarial government to help get himself elected in return for some quid pro quo. Mueller is tasked with proving the president, now in his 13th month in office, purposefully acts against the interests of the United States because of some debt to Russia. Here’s what Mueller has, and does not have, so far in his case (WeMeantWell.com):

What Mueller’s Missing

That’s what Mueller has. Here’s what he is missing.

The full force of the U.S. intelligence community has been aimed at finding evidence of Russian government interference in the 2016 election (still largely undemonstrated) for some 18 months, and the Comey/Mueller team aimed at finding evidence of Trump’s collusion with Russia for about a year. It is reasonable to conclude they do not have intelligence that would form a smoking gun, no tape of a high-ranking Trump official cutting a deal with a Russian spy. If such information existed, there would be no need for months of investigation. Same for the Steele dossier, and its salacious accusations. If there was proof any of it was true, we’d be hearing it read aloud during impeachment hearings.

What’s left is the battle cry of Trump opponents since election day: just you wait. The recount will show Hillary won. The Electoral College won’t select Trump. The Emoluments Clause will take Trump down. Or his tax returns. Or the 25th Amendment. Mueller will flip _____. The shoe will drop. Tick tock. And anything that looks like a weak move by Mueller is only an example we don’t yet understand his keen judicial kung fu.

No one knows the future. But so far the booked charges against Flynn and Papadopoulos, and the guilty pleas of others, point toward minor sentences to bargain over (never mind the possibility of a presidential pardon if it came to that), assuming they have relevant information to share in the first place. Manafort says he’ll go to court and defend himself. Mueller has produced nothing that has touched Trump, nothing connecting any meddling to a deal between Trump and Putin.

The core task is not to prove some Russians, or even the Russian government, meddled in the election. A limping to the finish line conclusion to Mueller’s work just ahead of the midterm elections that Trump somehow technically obstructed justice without a finding of an underlying crime would tear the nation apart. Mueller is charged with nothing less than proving the president knowingly worked with a foreign adversarial government, receiving help in the election in return for some quid pro quo, an act that can be demonstrated so clearly to the American people as to overturn an election well-over a year after it was decided.

It is a very dangerous thing to see the glee so many display hoping Trump will be found to be a Russian agent. That pleasure in hoping the U.S. is controlled by a foreign power because it means Trump will leave office early is not healthy for us. Mueller can fix that, but so far the bar is still seemingly pretty high above him. Given the stakes — a Kremlin-controlled man in the Oval Office — you’d think every person in govt would be on this 24/7 to save the nation, not just a relatively small staff of prosecutors ever-so-slowly filing indictments that so far have little to do with their core charge.

In other words "'A mountain had gone into labor and was groaning terribly. Such rumors excited great expectations all over the country. In the end, however, the mountain gave birth to a mouse." The Mountain in Labour - Wikipedia

The Russian company, which like dozens of similar sleazy Internet marketing  companies tried to earn some money by attracting audience with politically charged  messages and probably played some political games too on its own meager resources (with pro-Trump bias actually created automatically, as in this and several other cases pro-Trump messages were getting better audience and more money, and thus stimulating further moves in this direction, creating the impression of hardcore Trump supporters out of sleazy internet marketing firms).

After one year Mueller investigation looks more and and more as a part of color revolution against Trump, a futile ploy to stave off the day of reckoning for the US neoliberal elite by deposing Trump (which definitely is a challenge to neoliberal elite, but not that great challenge, similar but slightly greater than the "change in can believe in" challenge that Obama supposedly represented ;-). But the  day when furious and informed citizens will demand accountability of neoliberals in the  Congress and  past governments  for their legitimate grievances might eventually come, especially after the next financial collapse or other major calamity. That's why neoliberal rats feel the danger and instead of jumping the ship decided to eat Trump alive ;-)

On the other hand Mueller investigation is a perfect tool of fueling  Neo-McCarthyism. Which is an tried and true dirty statecraft technique to seek unity within a state by depicting an external enemy as Satan (God's defeated adversary). Russia perfectly suited the role as it opposed unilateral global domination so substitution of Soviet Union with Russia was only logical and allow to reuse old Russophobia stereotypes like "better be dead then red".  Even contracts with Russian officials are now tantamount to treason. As if this is replay of WWII,  and Russia is equivalent of Imperial Japan, or Nazi Germany.  This is a typical war propaganda mechanism (Depicting the enemy - The British Library_:

 During World War One atrocity propaganda was employed on a global scale. The Great War was the first total war in which whole nations and not just professional armies were locked in mortal combat. This and subsequent modern wars required propaganda to (1) mobilize hatred against the enemy; (2) convince the population of the justness of one’s own cause; (3) enlist the active support and cooperation of neutral countries; and (4) strengthen the support of one’s allies. Having sought to pin war guilt on the enemy, the next step was to make the enemy appear savage, barbaric, and inhumane.

All the belligerents in World War One employed atrocity propaganda associated with the enemy and, as a result, stereotypes emerged that had been largely developed in the period leading up to the outbreak of war.

The recognition of stereotypes is an important part of understanding the use of anti-symbols and the portrayal of the enemy in propaganda. The enemy is of great importance in propaganda, for not only does it provide a target that can be attacked, but also it offers a scapegoat – the easiest means of diverting public attention from genuine social and political problems at home.

But the truth is the USA experience a crisis of neoliberalism as a social system. That's why Trump rejection of globalization during election campaign made him unacceptable to neoliberal (and neocon) camps. In this sense Mueller investigation is a perfect smoke screen which help to project  problems caused in Western societies by neoliberalism (in the USA there are clear signed of the de-legitimization of neoliberal elite, demonstrated by the Trump victory) into Russia as a very convenient scapegoat:

Russia has been made the scapegoat for most of the West’s problems for years now. In November, for example, British PM Theresa May accused Russia of threatening the international order of the world. However, this does nothing to counter the rise in knife-related attacks and stabbings in London and the UK at large. The American Democrat Party, and not a few Republicans, blame Russia for the successful election of Donald Trump, a man who doesn’t play by DC rules, to the presidency.

This witch hunt is modeled after Ken Starr prosecution of Bill Clinton and based on a very fuzzy mandate which is a feature not a bug as it allows "bait and switch" during investigation. Appointment of Mueller (of 911 investigation fame) was the final move in the complex multi-step gambit to depose Trump, which started with Steele dossier, and involves Strzok, 17 agencies memo, wiretapping of Trump team, Comey dismissal (sacrificial pawn), set of damaging and well-coordinated leaks, and, finally, Rosenstein appointment of Mueller

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. Here is one interesting  comment from  discussion of pro-clinton article in The Nation  The Russiagate Intelligence Wars What We Do and Don’t Know

Cara Marianna says: February 19, 2018 at 4:36 pm

Here's what we know:

  1. NO actual physical proof has been presented to the public to substantiate claims that Russia hacked the DNC
  2. There is NO proof (only allegations) of collusion between Trump's campaign and the Kremlin
  3. Social media efforts by Russian trolls to influence the election were minimal in the extreme, laughably amateurish and completely ineffective
  4. Glenn Greenwald has spent the past year documenting in detail the large volume of fake anti-Russian "news" generated by the MSM (see GG at The Intercept)
  5. There is NO connection between the Russian government and the 13 private citizens recently indicted for their pathetic and ineffectual activity as part of a troll farm
  6. Thanks to the paranoid, xenophobic, Russia-bashing nationalistic propaganda that is being promoted by our military-industrial-intelligence-media complex, the U.S. now believes it is acceptable to launch a first strike nuclear attack in retaliation for breeches of cyber security

Read number six again and think about it. The U.S. is ready and willing to launch a preemptive nuclear attack against any nation it accuses of undermining our cyber security - no proof necessary. The Democratic establishment, which has spent the past year engaging in baseless Kremlin-baiting (and very little else), is directly responsible for this insanity.

Trump won't be impeached over Russiagate for the simple reason that Russiagate is nothing but a psyops perpetrated against the American people by the national-security bureaucracy (and their corporate media propagandists) for the purposes of reigniting a second Cold War and maintaining U.S. global hegemony.

Thanks to the hysterical McCarthyism now rampant among Democrats - and that is being used to great effect by Washington's bipartisan neocon warmongers - we may just end up in a nuclear war. The good news: it will be a short war and the Democrats will never have to accept responsibility for Clinton's loss.

I realize that Clinton wing of Democratic Party (soft neoliberals) and their supporters which include a part of intelligence agencies (especially FBI and CIA), Wall Street, a large part of Silicon valley and most MSM  hate Trump. While he capitulated to neocons  after just three months of his Presidency, they still do not view him as the "member of the  club" much like NYC aristocracy shun him. 

But Mueller Russiagate witch hunt (and this is 100% pure witch hunt which also proved that Rosenstein is the agent of Clinton mafia) is suspicious for one simple reason: no intelligent person would assume that Deep State would allow any politician who are not "vetted" as for foreign and domestic policies, to say nothing about Russia connections to be on iether  party ticket. Trump would be derailed instantly if such information would  be avoidable. They would find not one but  a couple of Stormy Daniel which would tell the whole world that  Trump is a sexual pervert ;-). And if this did not work, that so other dirt iether in the form of his supposed connections to mafia and/or shadow financial deal would surface too. 

So all candidates were vetted. That includes both Trump and Sanders ( Hillary was the establishment candidate by definition).  Also Putin as pretty gifted politician would not play the game in which you can only lose supporting one candidate over another, as POTUS has almost  zero influence of the  US forign policy, which is amazingly consistent for the last four US administrations. 

In other words "Russiagate" is a domestic circus to distract shmucks from Hillary political fiasco (and preserve the power of Clinton neoliberal mafia over Democratic party) as well as rally the people against the  enemy patching the cracks that neoliberalism left in the nation unity, is much more reasonable attitude.  The only other reasonable explanation is that some minor Russian functionaries decided to  revenge the blatant USA interference into 2012 Russian Presidential elections and  an attempt to launch a color revolution in this country to prevent reelection of Putin. But this is not the right time, as Russia is still pretty weak after carnage and after horrible economic rape by the West of 1990th needs to recover. As French say " the revenge is a dish that is better served cold." And  most Russian  functionaries are not stupid and do not have the disgusting disease that infects almost all US politicians -- American exceptionalism and the burning desire to attain "full spectrum dominance" in the world. They generally more realistically weight their chances, probably hoping that the end of "cheap oil" in ten to twenty years will put a dent in the US full spectrum dominance and possibly can lead to the collapse the US economy.  That  why recently Hayden recently stressed the important of low oil prices for the US as usual masking it with  anti-Russian rhetoric  (Ex-CIA Chief Hayden U.S. Needs To ‘Wean’ Europe Off Russian Gas The National Interest Blog):

Increasing gas supplies to Europe would not only help prevent future shortages, but it could also push back against the Kremlin. Russia relies on oil and gas exports for approximately half of its fiscal revenue. The current abundance of cheap oil, in conjunction with international sanctions, has taken a toll on Russia’s economy. Hayden thinks taking away the Kremlin’s oil trade would deal a decisive blow.

Former CIA chief James Woolsey also stressed the importance  for the USA to keep oil price in the range $30-$40, the lower the better ( Former CIA Chief Admits US Meddling In Foreign Elections For Their Own Good

But this consideration can't explain why the Deep State went to such length as to launch "color revolution" against Trump administration of which Mueller investigation is the most prominent "enemy action". It should be viewed as a final move of the gambit to depose Trump (with Comey as sacrificed pawn)  which stated with the creation of the Steele dossier, they media witch hunt unleashed by "17 agencies memo" and Strzokgate (which included swiping Hillary "emailgate" dirt under the carpet).  In it unclear why neoliberals and neocons think that Trump is so dangerous to justify such extraordinary step. Or they were drunk with their own impunity ?  Or any attempt  for detente with Russia is like waving a red flag in front of a bull.  Too much taxpayers money are flowing to MIC and intelligence agencies to afford any deviation from the "cold war with Russia" party line.

Few people read (and no major MSM for example reported such an interesting quote from 17 intelligence agencies memo, which explicitly state that  they just assessed the possibility of Russian interference. Whether this group of handpicked analysts were drunk or not (at Brennan expense) is not mentioned  at all ;-):

Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation and precedents.

That sentence is the core to proper understand Russia-gate and Muller investigation. It defines the latter as a part of color revolution against Trump, a shrewd and well prepared maneuver  designed to depose Trump. It also defines Rosenstein as the forth member of the "gang of three" ( Comey, McCabe, Strzok) hell-bent on removing Trump.  Mayberry Machiavellians, all of them,  if you ask me. There were lots of claims, assertions and judgments, but no proof at all that any of the alleged Russian influence on elections really happened to warrant opening of this investigation (which is required for such things as appointment of the Special Prosecutor).  So this appointment was against the law, based on falsified evidence and solidly paints Rosenstein as a co-conspirator.

Neoliberals and neocons might hate Donald Trump so much for several (and slightly different for various factions) reasons (skeletons in the closet; MIC profits, continuation of globalization, to name a few). What unite them is a strong  believe that any pretext is justified in taking him down ("end justifices the means" mentality), even if it put in negative light the USA on international arena. AS Victoria Nuland  famously said "F*ck EU" ;-) 

That's why Clinton Democrats (neoliberal wing of Democratic Party, aka DemoRats) joined efforts with the neoconservatives in the Republican Party to take Trump down. That's why war-mongering against Russia is now established policy for both parties and actually a test for any political commentator who tried to get to any of major MSM. In other words Democratic party now is just the second War Party (as was evident from Hillary campaign) and anti-war left completely disappeared from the USA political landscape. 

Many people who detest Trump also view Russiagate positively as the most effective path to achieve Trump’s impeachment, so this desirable goal in which "ends justifies the means"  which makes this investigation somewhat similar to Ukrainian "EuroMaydan" charges of corruption, a part of color revolution effort by intelligence agencies and controlled by them MSM.   Moreover the atmosphere in the USA is already poisoned and the majority of people believe that Russia interfered in elections.  In other words Iraq yellowcake story was played on unsuspecting American public again and with the same resounding success.

But to me it look like Trump surrendered after just 100 days of anti-Russian smear campaign launched by neocons. So why they still  want to finish him like poor colonel Kaddafi?  That's an interesting question. So it must be more on the plate then just forcing Trump to abandon his election promises in foreign policy (which he already did); there might be some dangerous skeletons in the closet revealing of which the previous administration and their factions in intelligence  services the are afraid to death.

Because their action is as close to sedition as one  can get. In other words they went va bank (a common expression among Russian and German speakers. Va bank means to put everything at risk in order to win. As a result you would win everything or lose everything; similar US term might be "all in").  

In any case now two-third or more of US population is brainwashed into adamantly anti-Russian mindset, increasing the risk of the major war

At the foundation of Mueller fishing expedition is so called Steele dossier. The key in understanding Steele dossier is to view it as in integral part of Russiagate plot to remove Trump, an interesting twist of "Color revolutions" methods. See Steele dossier. It has a very interesting chronology and is closely connected with  Strzok-gate

Similarly Trump wanted to reach some level of detente  with Russia rightly considering the level of hostility achieved under Obama dangerous and counterproductive (to the extent that Obama might be controlled by Brennan it might be not Obama personal fought).  In this sense he also crossed the line (with the only difference that he did it during he election campaign) and at this point all power of neocons and neolib including their factions in intelligence agencies was unleashed for his removal. That's why Steele dossier was created and advertized: as part of anti-Trump coup d'état by the neocons, Clinton neoliberals and parts of the US intelligence services.  In both case the interests of the USA and national security suffers. In a way both neocons and neoliberals  are elements of foreign influence that do not care much about ordinary Americans.

From the beginning it was a set up to find dirt on Trump campaign insiders and if possible to topple Donald Trump’s presidential aspirations. It was actually pretty elegant gambit: after Attorney general recluse himself from Russian probe, Rob Rosenstein jumped into action first recommended firing Comey and then on the basis of this decision by Trump appointed the special prosecutor -- Comey friend and mentor Mueller. Whether firing Comey was a trap set up for Trump (and this is quite probably as Trump can be easily played by appealing to his vanity), or he just make the decision with bad timing (day 1 of his Presidency would be much more appropriate)  or not is immaterial.

turbojarhead -> loveyajimbo , Dec 10, 2017 2:37 PM

They played Sessions like a violin. Sessions recluses himself for a bullcrap Kisnyak speech, where he did not even meet him. Rosenstein then recommends Trump fire Comey -- who wanted to be fired so they would appoint a special prosecutor -- which Rosenstein does -- Mueller, to the acclamation of ALL of Con and the Senate -- including Republicans.

When Trump tries to get out of the trap by leaking he is thinking about firing Sessions, Lispin Lindsey goes on television to say that will not be allowed too happen. If he fires Sessions, Congress would not approve ANY of Trump's picks for DOJ-leaving Rosenstein in charge anyway.

Trump was pissed because they removed his only defender from Mueller -- the head of the DOJ. He knew it was a setup, so went ballistic when he found out about Sessions recusing.

Before and after the 2016 election Trump was under tack from intelligence  agencies. And the list includes not only obvious suspects in CIA and NSA, but also FBI (via liaison with CIA, see Strzokgate) as well as a several senior officials in Obama's Justice Department (Loretta Lynch, Sally Yates, Bruce Ohr), as well as National security advisor Susan Rise and UN ambassador Samantha Power (both were engaged in so called "unmasking" campaign).  to say nothing about Obama (who has high personal animosity to both Trump and Putin) who fueled Russiagate histeria by his expulsion of 35 Russian  diplomats on December 30, 2017, when he was already "lame duck".

Among the players that promoted Steele dossier and used it for "color revolution" against Trump Davis Stockman mentioned (The Russiagate Witch-Hunt Stockman Names Names In The Deep State's Insurance Policy )

Of course, this list is incomplete. CIA, FBI, State Department and Department of Justice all have their strong factions of Clinton loyalists, neocons and globalists.  Add to this large, dominant part of MSM, both newspapers, TV channels and major web sites.  So the critical mass for launching color revolution was present and they just needed a trigger, which was Steele dossier and 17 agencies memo. At this point the color revolution against Trump was launched. And while this operation had many moving parts and alternating players, the mission to unseat Trump never changed. And it remains ongoing with all hoes currently put on the result of 2018 elections (if Democrats regain majority Mueller can definitely to do more and House intelligence committee investigation, which is most damaging to Mueller can be shut). Efforts to find dirt on Trump involved extensive wiretapping (Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations? ):

And likely there were others.

A good overview of Mueller fishing expedition was provided by Mike Whitney on Dec 21, 2017 (unz.com):

While it's clear that this political cage-match is going to persist for some time to come, we'd like to make two points. First, that there was never sufficient

While it's clear that this political cage-match is going to persist for some time to come, we'd like to make two points. First, that there was never sufficient reason to appoint a Special Counsel. The threshold for making such an appointment should have been probable cause, that is, deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should have shown why he thought there was 'reasonable basis to believe that a crime had been committed.' That's what's required under the Fourth Amendment, and that's the standard that should have been met. But Rosenstein ignored that rule because it improved the Special Counsel's chances of netting indictments

Even so, there's no evidence that a crime has been committed. None. And that's been the main criticism of the investigation from the get go. It's fine for the New York Times and the Washington Post to reiterate the same tedious, unsubstantiated claims over and over again ad nauseam. Their right to fabricate news is guaranteed under the First Amendment and they take full advantage of that privilege. But it's different for professional attorney operating at the highest level of the Justice Department to appoint a Special Counsel to rummage through all manner of private or privileged documents, transcripts, tax returns, private conversations, intercepted phone calls and emails -- of the democratically-elected president -- based on nothing more than the spurious and politically-motivated allegations made in the nation's elite media or by flagrantly-partisan actors operating in the Intelligence Community or law enforcement.

Can you see the problem here? This is not just an attack on Trump (whose immigration, environmental, health care, tax and foreign policies I personally despise.) It is an attempt to roll back the results of the election by bogging him down in legal proceedings making it impossible for him to govern. These attacks are not just on Trump, they're on the legitimate authority of the people to choose their own leaders in democratic elections. That's what's at stake. And that's why there must be a high threshold for launching an investigation like this.

Consider this: On May 17, 2017, when Rosenstein announced his decision to appoint a Special Counsel he said the following:

"In my capacity as acting attorney general I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter. My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination. What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command." Rosenstein wrote that his responsibility is to ensure a "full and thorough investigation of the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 election." As special counsel, Mueller is charged with investigating "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump."

That's not good enough. There's no evidence that "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump" were improper, unethical or illegal. Nor do any such presumed "links and/or coordination" imply a crime was committed. Rather, the loosey-goosy standard Rosenstein has applied is an invitation for an open ended fishing expedition aimed at derailing the political agenda of the elected government. This puts too much power in the hands of unelected agents in the bureaucracy who may be influenced by powerbrokers operating behind the scenes who want to disrupt, obstruct, or paralyze the government. And this, in fact, is exactly what is taking place presently.

Naturally, a broad-ranging mandate like Rosenstein's will result in excesses, and it has. Of the four people who have been caught up in Mueller's expansive dragnet, exactly zero have been indicted on charges even remotely connected to the original allegation of "collusion with Russia to sway the presidential election in Trump's favor." Clearly, people's civil liberties are being violated to conduct a political jihad on an unpopular president and his aids.

So, how does one establish whether there's a reasonable basis to believe that a crime has been committed?

The daily blather in the media does not meet that standard nor does the much ballyhooed Intelligence Community Assessment that was supposed to provide ironclad proof of Russian meddling in the elections. The ICA even offered this sweeping disclaimer at the beginning of the report which admits that the intelligence gathered therein should not in any way be construed to represent solid evidence of anything.
Here's the from the report:

"Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation, and precedents."

... ... ...

The fact is, Mueller is no elder statesman or paragon of virtue. He's a political assassin whose task is to take down Trump at all cost. Unfortunately for Mueller, the credibility of his investigation is beginning to wane as conflicts of interest mount and public confidence dwindles. After 18 months of relentless propaganda and political skullduggery, the Russia-gate fiction is beginning to unravel.

Mike Whitney May 24, 2017 analysis of Mueller witch hunt

That's all nice but the truth is that Trump abandoned his agenda in April 2017, a month before appointment of Special Council. Also the intensity of MSM fearmongering and anti-Russian compaign was such that witch hunt by appointment of a special council was kind of inevitable. Trigger might be different, but the net result is the same.  Deep State wanted Special Procecutr for Trump no matter what. That was the plan.  Rod Rosenstein  was just a tool (he is closely connected to Clintons via his wife).
The idea that both Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller belong to the same team is plausible. Mueller is also a close friend of Comey. But as Trump folded what would be the gain from his removal ?  Looks like Deep State has so many skeletons in the closet that it is afraid of any non CIA puppet person as a POTUS (Bush older, Clinton, Bush II and Obana were all closely connected to CIA with Obama essentially a CIA creation (a person without personal history).
Notable quotes:

Appointment of rabid anti-Trump prosecutors was given. Strzok was one of the first on the team

Mueller got this appointment after he was rejected by Trump for the position of the director of FBI. So he  might have personal grudges to hold. In any case the selection of his team tells us a lot about the direction of the investigation as "personnel is policy".  Among the most notorious members of his team were

Peter Strzok

Peter Strzok the man who was instrumental in swiping the dirt of Hillary "emailgate" under the carpet as well as using Steele dossire as a ram to put members of Trump team under surveillance. Later became involved in Strzok-gate scandal and  removed from the investigation. Along with Comey and McCabe he influenced the US Presidential election depriving Sanders from chances to became the candidate from the Democratic Party. 

Peter P. Strzok II (born in 1970, currently 47 year old) was until July 2017  the key figure in Clinton Email investigation and Trump Russiagate investigation as a Deputy Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and second in command of counterintelligence.  He is the central figure of so called Strzok-gate scandal.

Despite being  a rabid Hillary Clinton supporter (judging from his texts to Lisa Page with whom he allegedly has an affair ) he was assigned as the investigator both Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server, and allegations of collusion of Trump team with Russians in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.  which were conducted in highly politized manner ( Anti-Trump FBI Agent Changed Language Of Hillary Email Scandal From Grossly Negligent To Extremely Careless )

Electronic records show Peter Strzok, who led the investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server as the No. 2 official in the counterintelligence division, changed Comey's earlier draft language describing Clinton's actions as "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless," the source said. The drafting process was a team effort, CNN is told, with a handful of people reviewing the language as edits were made, according to another US official familiar with the matter.

Subsequently, he joined the 2017 Special Counsel investigation but was quietly removed by Mueller in late July 2017. At this time he was demoted in FBI to HR department.

Andrew Weissmann. He is called a legal bulldog of Mueller team. Here is how pro-clinton site thedailybeast.com  chantaterise hims

The FBI’s decision to send a dozen agents on an early-hour raid of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s home struck some observers as an audacious, even unprecedented move for a white collar criminal case.

But to former federal prosecutors familiar with members of special counsel Bob Mueller’s team, it had all the makings of the work of Andrew Weissmann.

A former federal prosecutor from Brooklyn who spent his career going after mobsters, ponzi-schemers, and white collar criminals, Weissmann is known as a tenacious operator who uses strategies that have dazzled some legal experts and disturbed others. They believe his presence on Mueller’s team means the probe may push legal boundaries as it investigates alleged collusion between Trump and Russian interests.

“He fashions himself as a real tactician, in the sense of having a chessboard in front of him and moving pieces around,” said a person who has faced Weissmann in court.

Mueller has known and trusted Weissmann for more than a decade, having made him special counsel at the FBI for a few months in 2005, according to the Houston Chronicle. In 2011, after Weissmann left the bureau for a short stint in private practice, Mueller brought him back and made him the FBI’s general counsel.

“Mueller trusted him to be the FBI’s top lawyer,” said a former federal prosecutor who knows Weissmann. “That’s a pretty big deal.”

While he was general counsel to the FBI, Weissmann was known as quick-moving and decisive.

I am so proud Mueller deputy congratulated Sally Yates after she was fired for refusing to enforce Trump's travel ban  The substantive part of Andrew Weissmann’s email to Yates is just 11 words long.

Judicial Watch today released two productions (335 pages and 44 pages) of Justice Department (DOJ) documents showing strong support by top DOJ officials for former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates’ refusal to enforce President Trump’s Middle East travel ban executive order. In one email, Andrew Weissmann, one of Robert Mueller’s top prosecutors and formerly the Obama-era Chief of the Justice Department’s Criminal Fraud Section, applauds Yates writing: “I am so proud. And in awe. Thank you so much. All my deepest respects.”…

“This is an astonishing and disturbing find. Andrew Weisman, a key prosecutor on Robert Mueller’s team, praised Obama DOJ holdover Sally Yates after she lawlessly thwarted President Trump,” stated Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton. “How much more evidence do we need that the Mueller operation has been irredeemably compromised by anti-Trump partisans? Shut it down.”

The Hatch Act, passed in 1939, prohibits civil servants from engaging in political activity, which is directed at the promotion of or advocacy against a political party, group or candidate.  When you consider that Ms. Yates leaked FISA information to the Washington Post without the authority or approval to do so, which is a crime, I would have serious reservations about having anyone supportive of a criminal and who can be viewed as a part of an attempted coup on the new POTUS in the team

Former FBI Director as the Ultimate CIA Man

Reproduced in full from What Mueller won't find caucus99percent

In the 1950s, when the science fiction genre started making itself felt in movies, there was always the pivotal scene where the protagonist discovers the dark secret but no one will believe him: a flying saucer hidden under the sand in a field, truckloads of pod people to replace real people, or that the friendly aliens' book "To Serve Man" wasn't a guide to helping humans, but a cookbook. It's that moment of sudden realization that no one will believe the hero because it sounds too crazy to believe.

Granted, to the uninitiated, coming to a realization so shocking and threatening to your current mental construction of the world can appear like paranoia. It becomes a question of the discoverer's knowledge and senses over what everyone else believes. Everyone else seems to be allowing him or herself to be absorbed into the great growing evil.

Today many of us, certainly readers here at Caucus99, are finding ourselves in similar positions. Our political structure is a lie, the people who are supposed to represent us and our interests don't, our law enforcement protects the property of the rich, not our lives, and often are in cahoots with the criminals from whom we are supposed to be protected. I am sure that many of our old friends and acquaintances have been alienated from some of us here when we began talking about Hillary's track record during the Presidential campaign, for example. In our current pasteboard world, if you are a Republican or Democrat you must assume that your designated political party, maybe with a couple of exceptions, are there to look after you.

And there that crazy friend goes, yelling about cookbooks.

I suppose my introduction to the corruption of those in power, at thirteen, was the assassination of JFK. Not actually the assassination, but the murder of Oswald two days later, in the basement of the Dallas police headquarters. I had slept overnight at a friend's and we came back from shooting basketballs to watch the transfer of Oswald to another facility. That was the moment that I realized all wasn't what it seemed. But, like most kids my age, the Beatles came along in a month or so and I was swept into the world of rock and roll, which kept me occupied until I began noticing girls. Until 1968. I was still noticing girls and rock and roll, but I was also noticing the number of progressives being gunned down by "lone nuts". And I was noticing Vietnam.

I'm not sharing this to explain to you how I became (that loathsome term) a "conspiracy theorist". I just want to explain to you that the democracy of the United States, and all the characters running across the stage in Washington, D.C., are the cookbook.

I wrote an essay here back in April of 2017 explaining how the Russiagate scandal had been designed to give Hillary Clinton a casus belli for her future war against Russia, and that what we were seeing since she lost has been a recycling of it to get Trump in line with the goals of the Deep State. So far nothing much has happened that has moved me from that belief. Now that the Deep State seems to have persuaded our Dear Leader that he can go on being himself as long as he understands the actual hierarchy and doesn't get in the way the Deep State, everything seems to be back on track. At least until Donald's next tweet.

But in order to understand the depth of criminality in our system one has to understand how things are done. After World War II a lot of social awareness began putting pressure on the old system that had driven the world into the Great Depression. FDR had demonstrated that the government could look out for the poor, could give them jobs when there were no other jobs to be had. The GI Bill sent millions of vets to college and helped to create the middle class we used to have. Unions had real power in negotiating wages and terms of service. Government could create a system to help the elderly. The African Americans, coming back home from fighting a war against fascism, refused go to the coloreds only water fountains. In short, the United States were in for some growing pains.

What happened? As I mentioned above there was a rash of murders of progressive political candidates and leaders in the sixties. But in order for the forces behind a return to the old rules to keep a lid on any revolutions there had to be something better than shooting every progressive who raised his head above the lectern. Thus the wave of recruitment of agents and assets in the late sixties by the CIA, FBI and other agencies. Although I didn't know it directly at the time, arriving on campus in 1968 it was evident that there was a "presence" of people looking over the shoulders of student activists.

Which brings me to another great revelation. It's not just politicians and political parties that are serving the Deep State. Any agency that can be corrupted by power will be, eventually.

Which brings us to the courts.

There are certain things that must be preserved for a ruling class to remain legitimate in the eyes of the public. Some people don't think much beyond the flag. But there are other things. The media is better than ever at keeping uncomfortable truths from the majority of Americans. But what happens where the criminality of the Deep State collides with our judicial system?

Let me introduce you to the man of the hour in Washington, Robert Swann Mueller III. Robert was born into the upper crust in our American class system. At one point in his education in private schools John Kerry was a classmate. (Kerry was also a fellow Bonesman with the Bushes.) Mueller met his eventual bride, Ann Cabell Standish, at one of the dances they attended. They married in 1966, three years after John Kennedy's assassination. If you have read much about the JFK assassination you would recognize her middle name. Her grandfather, Charles Cabell, had been second in command at the CIA when John Kennedy was elected President. In the aftermath of the Bay of Pigs fiasco, Kennedy fired three men from leadership positions at the CIA: Director Allen Dulles, Cabell and Richard Bissell. Charles Cabell was Ann's grandfather. Her grand uncle, Earle Cabell, was the mayor of Dallas at the time of Kennedy's murder there. Recently declassified JFK documents revealed that Mayor Cabell was also an asset of the CIA at the time. Small world. You could say that Mueller married into the CIA, except that his great uncle was Richard Bissell. So between his family and his wife's family Mueller had two of the three people that Kennedy fired before he was assassinated by a "lone nut", as well as the mayor who hosted the assassination. The third man fired was Allen Dulles, who sat on the Warren Commission and managed to keep the CIA out of the investigation into JFK's murder. Perhaps Dulles was a guest at the wedding.

Soon thereafter Mueller decided to go to Vietnam because, he said, a classmate had died there and patriotism and so forth. He became an officer and eventually ended up as an aide-de-camp for the 3rd Marine Division's commanding general, General William K. Jones. Something else was going on in Vietnam. The CIA had installed its Phoenix Program. I cannot do justice to the Phoenix Program and won't considering Doug Valentine's work on it is available for everyone, but the Phoenix Program was the CIA's attempt to totally control the Vietnamese population. Besides massacres of villages, the program assassinated suspected leaders and spies for the Vietcong, coerced others into being their agents, and kept up files on all the relevant Vietnamese down to the village level. Like in later wars, the CIA incorporated torture, murder and psychological techniques in order to control their targets. As an aide-de-camp to a commanding Marine general, there is no way that Mueller didn't know about the Phoenix Program. He probably saw daily briefings.

When he came back to the US he studied law and quickly became a federal prosecutor.

One of the things to mark his career was to deny a pardon to Patty Hearst for her part in the whole Symbionese Liberation Army's "terror" campaign. What did the SLA have to do with anything? A short history: Donald DeFreeze, a small-time criminal in Los Angeles agreed to become an informant for the LAPD in order to stay out of jail. After awhile he got tired of ratting out others and asked to get out of the program. Instead, DeFreeze was incarcerated at the Vacaville Medical Facility for criminally insane prisoners in the California penal system. There DeFreeze met Colston Westbrook who gave classes for the "Black Cultural Association", an experimental behavior modification unit inside the prison. Who was Westbrook? He was a CIA agent, trained in psychological warfare and part of the Phoenix Program. DeFreeze was modified by Westbrook and company for two years. Soon thereafter, he was transferred to Soledad Prison, from which he "escaped" and became the infamous "Cinque". Then came the Symbionese Liberation Army, a caricature of a black militant group filled with mostly white people with military backgrounds. The murder of Marcus Foster, a progressive black leader in the San Francisco East Bay, was done by white men in blackface, according to eyewitnesses. The SLA claimed credit for it. The SLA kidnapped Hearst, subjected her to torture, rape, sensory deprivation and mind control tactics, just like the CIA did in the Phoenix Program in Vietnam. Then came the bank robberies.

I bring up the Patty Hearst case because, in 2000, decades after her prison sentence had been commuted, Mueller still opposed her pardon. Guess what he didn't notice when he rejected her pardon? This has been his pattern throughout his career. We'll return to Patty Hearst shortly.

Mueller has presided over many cases where it's been important for the prosecutor to overlook the fingerprints of the CIA. He prosecuted what was known in the San Francisco Bay Area as the "drug tug" case which had connections to an island in Panama. It was a drug smuggling case and had tentacles into things like bank frauds in Northern California. He prosecuted Manuel Noriega's drug-smuggling without noticing Oliver North's drug-smuggling, arms running and money laundering through Panama as a part of Iran-contra.

Mueller would invariably land on cases with Deep State intelligence connections.

For example, he prosecuted Pan Am 103. Initially, and then later confirmed by an insurance investigator's report, the bomb that brought down the airliner was believed to be placed onboard by baggage handlers working at the Frankfurt Airport. They were given the bomb by a terrorist cell who in turn got it from one Monzer al-Kassar, who was a very large heroin dealer, estimated at supplying twenty percent of the US's heroin at the time. A big operator. And, in fact, one of the passengers on the plane was a drug mule for al-Kassar. Al-Kassar also happened to be a part of the Iran-contra operation, supplying weapons for North's Enterprise. The operation was, according to the early reports, carried out by a cell of Palestinian terrorists based in Frankfurt, the Palestinian Liberation Front-General Command, who got the bomb from al-Kassar and put the bomb on that airline.

Mueller, put in charge of the case, pursued an entirely different direction, accusing two Libyans of bombing the plane. At the time Libya and Khadafy were getting blamed for a lot of terrorist activity, but the case against the two was so weak as to hardly be circumstantial.

There were other questions arising from Pan Am 103. A top official in the FBI, Oliver "Buck" Revell, rushed onto the tarmac in London to pull his son and daughter-in-law off of Pan Am 103 before it went on to explode over Lockerbie, Scotland. Also changing flight plans were South African President Pik Botha and his negotiating team. Apparently, someone that Revell and Pik Botha knew gave them the warning.

There was one group that didn't get warned. That was the McKee Team, an assembled group of US intelligence agents tasked to investigate American hostages in Beruit. They allegedly discovered a link between the hostage takers, drug traffickers and the CIA. They were returning to the US, against orders, presumably to spill the beans. This was essentially a clean-up operation, tying up loose strings of the Iran-contra operation. So was Noriega's prosecution.

That's why Mueller got the case. He knew where to look and where not to look.

He also prosecuted ancillary Iran-contra cases. He prosecuted John Gotti for dealing cocaine in the New York City area. The cocaine he sold was part of the the Iran-contra (CIA) plan where Southern Air Transport flew weapons to Latin America for the contras (whom Congress had voted against aiding) and bringing back cocaine from Latin America on its return flights, to include Mena, Arkansas. One of the CIA's pilots, Barry Seal, bragged that he had a "get-out-of-jail" letter written for him by then-Governor Bill Clinton. At the time, Asa Hutchinson was the federal prosecutor for that corner of Arkansas. He also didn't notice all that cocaine. Hutchson later served as George W. Bush's first "drug czar" before going into politics. How coincidental.

Mueller, who had been appointed Assistant U.S. Prosecutor under GHW Bush, became FBI Director under George W. Bush just in time not to see the CIA fingerprints on 9/11, which should not be surprising considering whom he didn't see when he investigated BCCI. As head of our country's biggest law enforcement agency Mueller did not pursue the House of Saud's part in 9/11 even though fifteen of the nineteen hijackers were from Saudi Arabia and a number of them could be traced to Saudi intelligence, and the money chain could be traced to Saudis living in the US, some of whom flew out of the US while all other US flights were grounded. He did not investigate Mohammed Atta's time in Frankfort, Germany, where he was employed by a front company for the BND, West Germany's equivalent to the CIA. Nor did Mueller investigate Huffman Aviation where Mo Atta and another hijacker matriculated in flying planes into buildings. Huffman is interesting because while Mo was studying in Huffman's Venice, Florida aviation school a Huffman plane was busted in Orlando with 43 pounds of heroin. Curiously, the pilot walked away from the DEA without being charged and no one was prosecuted at Huffman.

Ask Colleen Rowley about Mueller's leadership in the 9/11 investigation.

Additionally, Mueller oversaw the anthrax letter case, never investigating Battelle Memorial Corporation, which had a building within a mile of the mailbox where the letters had been mailed. (Battelle Memorial's corporate motto is "It Can Be Done".) Instead, he centered FBI investigations on scientists in government labs in Fort Detrick, Maryland, who had neither the expertise nor the equipment to make the weaponized military grade anthrax found in the letters. One scientist sued and won millions. The other allegedly "committed suicide". Battelle is noteworthy because it handles the US military's anthrax program. Mueller had no interest that two of the targets who received anthrax letters were at the time the most vociferous opponents of the Bush Administration's Patriot Act.

Perhaps his greatest accomplishment aiding the Deep State as FBI Director was his shutting down of Operation Green Quest, the FBI's investigation into the funding behind 9/11 and the terrorist network behind it. Names began popping up like Grover Norquist, the Muslim Brotherhood, old Nazis and the royal family of Luxembourg. Nothing to see here. Move along.

A closer examination of Robert Mueller would probably find a lot more of these cases and I encourage others to continue the search. For example, it's been alleged that Mueller sent innocent men to jail for crimes committed by Whitey Bulger for the benefit of someone or something within the government and that this allowed Bulger to continue his criminal activities for years.

***

It's been seventy years since the CIA was created, fifty years since JFK was most likely murdered by them. In order to avoid any consequences for their crimes more and more institutions have had to be infiltrated and corrupted by them. Many of the heroes of the Left have turned out to be purveyors of "modified limited hangouts" which served the Deep State. Ramsey Clark, who was given the mantle of "good guy" by the media of the Left, was active as LBJ's Attorney General in blocking Jim Garrison's investigation into the JFK assassination and was named by Doug Valentine in his THE CIA AS ORGANIZED CRIME as a major proponent of the CIA's OPERATION CHAOS and the FBI's COINTELPRO. While the media spent a good deal of time talking about how great they were in releasing the Pentagon Papers to the public, the hero who exposed the military, Daniel Ellsberg, turns out to have been CIA, operating with CIA black ops in Vietnam. And while the Pentagon Papers exposed our military's great errors in Vietnam the CIA was generally spared. Again. Bob Woodward, our hero of Watergate, had been a courier for the Office of Naval Intelligence only a few years earlier. Thus, the CIA and Deep State, which had soured on Nixon, orchestrated that President's departure.

I raise this because Robert Mueller's current task is the investigation of our sitting President. No matter how much you dislike Trump you can't help but notice that the "evidence" against him conspiring with Putin and Russia is thin gruel. And while Trump, like most politicians who ascend to the big seat, has a lot of questionable, even indictable business connections around him, the great dangers of a Putin-Trump conspiracy trumpeted by the media have been fading because, apparently, there was never a there there. Thus, as Mueller oversees this case, he will find people surrounding Trump who have lied to FBI agents, who have perhaps not registered as foreign agents, and other crimes that routinely happen out of the public spotlight and aren't prosecuted. What was obvious to me from the start, that this was a psyop that involved U.S. intelligence, Ukrainian intelligence, Clinton and the DNC, will not be obvious to Mueller. Thus, as his career has shown, Mueller has been put in place not merely to prosecute those around Trump as a means of pressure on his administration, but to not see the CIA's hand in it.

When one begins examining high-profile court cases in post-1963 America one sees a cast of people who keep popping up. Prosecutors, judges, defense attorneys, coroners, witnesses, reporters, authors. This ensemble keeps reappearing in these show trials. We may not know what Mueller will find, but we know what he won't find.

There was a review at Truthdig back in 2016 of Jeffrey Toobin's book on Patty Hearst, AMERICAN HEIRESS (Toobin himself worked as an associate counsel to Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh during the investigation Iran–Contra affair and Oliver North's criminal trial). In part it reads: "Toobin features the characters who populated the edges of Hearst’s story. Robert Shapiro, who would later work with [F. Lee] Bailey on the O.J. Simpson case, makes a cameo appearance. Lance Ito, the judge in that case, briefly shared a shooting range with a machine-gun toting SLA member. Reverend Jim Jones offered to help with the food distribution effort; that enterprise also employed Sara Jane Moore, who served 32 years for attempting to assassinate President Gerald Ford during his 1975 visit to San Francisco. Congressman Leo Ryan, who represented Randy and Catherine Hearst’s district, endorsed the commutation of Patty’s sentence. “Off to Guyana,” he wrote Patty in 1978. “See you when I return. Hang in there.” Jim Jones’ henchmen shot and killed Ryan before he could board his flight home. Robert Mueller, the U.S. Attorney in San Francisco before taking over as FBI director, strenuously opposed Hearst’s pardon, claiming that her attitude, born of wealth and social position, “has always been that she is a person above the law.”"

When Mueller wrote that line he must have laughed out loud.

Mueller allegiance to the Deep State was tested during 911 coverup

9-11 Whistleblower Rowley on Mueller’s History of “Cover-up” Accuracy.Org

 

COLEEN ROWLEY, rowleyclan [at] earthlink.net, @ColeenRowley
Rowley, a former FBI special agent and division counsel whose May 2002 memo to then-FBI Director Robert Mueller exposed some of the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures, was named one of TIME magazine’s “Persons of the Year” in 2002. She just appeared on The Real News report “Special Counsel Investigating Trump Campaign Has Deep Ties to the Deep State,” about Mueller being appointed to investigate the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

While Mueller has been widely described as being of impeccable character by much of official Washington, Rowley said today: “The truth is that Robert Mueller (and James Comey as deputy attorney general — see my New York Times op-ed on day of Comey’s confirmation hearing) presided over a cover-up …”

In her interview, Rowley noted: “The FBI and all the other officials claimed that there were no clues, that they had no warning [about 9/11] etc., and that was not the case. There had been all kinds of memos and intelligence coming in. I actually had a chance to meet Director Mueller personally the night before I testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee … [he was] trying to get us on his side, on the FBI side, so that we wouldn’t say anything terribly embarrassing. …

“When you had the lead-up to the Iraq War … Mueller and, of course, the CIA and all the other directors, saluted smartly and went along with what Bush wanted, which was to gin up the intelligence to make a pretext for the Iraq War. For instance, in the case of the FBI, they actually had a receipt, and other documentary proof, that one of the hijackers, Mohamed Atta, had not been in Prague, as Dick Cheney was alleging. And yet those directors more or less kept quiet. That included … CIA, FBI, Mueller, and it included also the deputy attorney general at the time, James Comey.”

Rowley also noted that Mueller presided over “the ‘post 9-11 round-up’ of innocent immigrants, the anthrax investigation fiasco, as well as going along with a form of martial law (made possible via secret OLC [Office of Legal Counsel] memos written by John Yoo etc. predicated upon Yoo’s theories of absolute ‘imperial presidency’ or ‘war presidency’ powers that the Bush administration was making [Attorney General John] Ashcroft sign off on).”

“While not the worst of the bunch, neither Comey nor Mueller deserve their Jimmy Stewart ‘G-man’ reputations for absolute integrity but have merely been, along the lines of George ‘Slam Dunk’ Tenet, capable and flexible politicized sycophants to power, that enmeshed them in numerous wrongful abuses of power along with presiding over plain official incompetence. It’s sad that political partisanship is so blinding and that so few people remember the actual sordid history.”


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Old News ;-)

[Feb 16, 2019] Death Of Russiagate: Mueller Team Tied To Mifsud s Network

Highly recommended!
Looks like all of them were Brennan men. CIA used FBI counterintelligence and counter-terrorism personnel to kick start the investigation/scandal.
Notable quotes:
"... We return, now, to this issue and specifically the research of Chris Blackburn, to place the final nail in the coffin of the Trump-Russia collusion charade. Blackburn's insights are incredible not only because they return us to the earliest reporting on the role of British intelligence figures in manufacturing the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, but because they also implicate members of Mueller's investigation. ..."
"... If you factor in the dreadful reporting to discredit Joseph Mifsud and leaks, it is pretty clear something rather strange happened to George Papadopoulos during the campaign while he was shuttling around Europe and the Middle East. He was working with people who have intelligence links at the London Centre of International Law Practice ..."
"... A recent article in The Telegraph also alludes to MI5, MI6, and CIA using counter-terrorism assets which would tie into the London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP), and its sister organizations, doing counter-terrorism work for the Australian, UK and US governments. They quote anonymous officials who believe that their intelligence agencies used counter-terrorism personnel to kick start the investigation/scandal." ..."
"... Continuing, Blackburn pinpointed the significance of defining counter-terrorism as the starting point of the investigation, saying: "It shows that there is a high probability that intelligence was deliberately abused to make Papadopoulos' activities look like they were something else. ..."
"... It's more likely that the CIA played the FBI with the help of close allies who were suspicious and frightened of a Trump presidency." ..."
"... Zainab Ahmad , a member of Mueller's legal team, is the former Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York. As pointed out by Blackburn , Ahmad attended a Global Center on Cooperative Security event in 2017 ..."
"... "Zainab Ahmad was one of the first DOJ prosecutors to have seen the Steele dossier. In May 2017, she attended a counter-terrorism conference in New York with the Global Center on Cooperative Security (GCCS), an organization which Joseph Mifsud, the alleged Russian spy, had been working within London and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia ..."
"... I don't think it's a coincidence that Global Center on Cooperative Security is connected to various elements that popped up in the Papadopoulos case. The fact that a prosecutor on Mueller's team was at Global Center before Mueller was appointed as special counsel is also troubling ..."
"... Days ago, The Hill reported on Congressional testimony by Bruce Ohr, revealing that when served as a DOJ official, he warned FBI and DOJ figures that the Steele dossier was problematic and linked to the Clintons ..."
"... Last year, Blackburn noted the connection between Mifsud and Arvinder Sambei , writing: "LCILP director and FBI counsel, works with Mike Smith at the Global Center. They ran joint counter-terrorism conferences and training with Mifsud's London Academy. Sambei then brought Mifsud over to the [London Centre of International Law Practice]. [Global Center works with Aussies, UK and US State too." ..."
"... Disobedient Media previously reported that Robert Hannigan, then head of British spy agency GCHQ, flew to Washington DC to share 'director-to-director' level intelligence with then-CIA Chief John Brennan in the summer of 2016. This writer noted that " The Guardian reported Hannigan's announcement that he would step down from his leadership position with the agency just three days after the inauguration of President Trump, on 23 January 2017. ..."
"... Jane Mayer, in her profile of Christopher Steele published in the New Yorker, also noted that Hannigan had flown to Washington D.C. to personally brief the then-CIA Director John Brennan on alleged communications between the Trump campaign and Moscow. What is so curious about this briefing "deemed so sensitive it was handled at director-level" is why Hannigan was talking director-to-director to the CIA and not Mike Rogers at the NSA, GCHQ's Five Eyes intelligence-sharing partner." ..."
"... There are more and more articles saying that the FBI, CIA, M14 15,16 yada yada, were overly concerned about Trump. Their sin...caring too much for the USA. They attempted a coup de'etat for "our" own good...we... being "we the people". To quote Abe Lincoln "You will find that all the arguments in favour of kingcraft were of this class; they always bestrode the necks of the people, -- not that they wanted to do it, but because the people were better off for being ridden." Lincoln did not mince words ..."
Jan 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Disobedient Media

In April last year, Disobedient Media broke coverage of the British involvement in the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, asking why All Russiagate Roads Lead To London , via the quasi-scholar Joseph Mifsud and others.

The issue was also raised by WikiLeaks's Julian Assange , just days before the Ecuadorian government silenced him last March. Assange's Twitter thread cited research by Chris Blackburn , who spoke with Disobedient Media on multiple occasions covering Joseph Mifsud's ties to British intelligence figures and organizations, as well as his links to Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign, the FBI, CIA and the private cyber-security firm Crowdstrike.

We return, now, to this issue and specifically the research of Chris Blackburn, to place the final nail in the coffin of the Trump-Russia collusion charade. Blackburn's insights are incredible not only because they return us to the earliest reporting on the role of British intelligence figures in manufacturing the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, but because they also implicate members of Mueller's investigation. What we are left with is an indication of collusion between factions of the US and UK intelligence community in fabricating evidence of Trump-Russia collusion: a scandal that would have rocked the legacy press to its core, if Western establishment-backed media had a spine.

In Disobedient Media's previous coverage of Blackburn's work, he described his experience in intelligence:

"I've been involved in numerous investigations that involve counter-intelligence techniques in the past. I used to work for the 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism , one of the biggest tort actions in American history. I helped build a profile of Osama bin Laden's financial and political network, which was slightly different to the one that had been built by the CIA's Alec Station , a dedicated task force which was focused on Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. Alec Station designed its profile to hunt Osama bin Laden and disrupt his network. I thought it was flawed. It had failed to take into account Osama's historical links to Pakistan's main political parties or that he was the figurehead for a couple of organizations, not just Al-Qaeda."

"I also ran a few conferences for US intelligence leaders during the Bush administration. After the 9/11 Commission published its report into the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon it created a public outreach program. The US National Intelligence Conference and Exposition ( Intelcon ) was one of the avenues it used. I was responsible for creating the 'View from Abroad' track. We had guidance from former Senator Slade Gorton and Jamie Gorelick, who both sat on the 9/11 Commission. We got leaders such as Sir John Chilcot and Baroness Pauline Neville Jones to come and help share their experiences on how the US would be able to heal the rifts after 9/11."

"The US intelligence community was suffering from severe turf wars and firewalls, which were hampering counter-terrorism efforts. They were concentrating on undermining each other rather than tackling terrorism. I had mainly concentrated on the Middle East, but in 2003 I switched my focus to terrorism in South Asia."

Counter Terrorism, Not Counter Intelligence, Sparked Probe

In an article published by The Telegraph last November, the paper acknowledged the following:

"It forces the spotlight on whether the UK played a role in the FBI's investigation launched before the 2016 presidential election into Trump campaign ties to the Kremlin... Mr. Trump's allies and former advisers are raising questions about the UK's role in the start of the probe, given many of the key figures and meetings were located in Britain... One former top White House adviser to Mr. Trump made similar insinuations, telling this newspaper: "You know the Brits are up to their neck." The source added on the Page wiretap application: "I think that stuff is going to implicate MI5 and MI6 in a bunch of activities they don't want to be implicated in, along with FBI, counter-terrorism and the CIA. " [Emphasis Added]

The article cites George Papadopoulos, who asked why the "British intelligence apparatus was weaponized against Trump and his advisers." Papadopoulos has also addressed the issue at length via Twitter. In response to the Telegraph's coverage of the issue, Chris Blackburn wrote via Twitter :

"The Telegraph story on Trump Russia acknowledges that activities involving counter-terrorism are at the heart of the scandal...not counter-intelligence. If the [London Centre for International Law Practice] was British state, not private, some Commonwealth countries are going to be seriously pissed off."

Blackburn spoke with Disobedient Media, saying:

" If you factor in the dreadful reporting to discredit Joseph Mifsud and leaks, it is pretty clear something rather strange happened to George Papadopoulos during the campaign while he was shuttling around Europe and the Middle East. He was working with people who have intelligence links at the London Centre of International Law Practice.

A recent article in The Telegraph also alludes to MI5, MI6, and CIA using counter-terrorism assets which would tie into the London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP), and its sister organizations, doing counter-terrorism work for the Australian, UK and US governments. They quote anonymous officials who believe that their intelligence agencies used counter-terrorism personnel to kick start the investigation/scandal." [Emphasis Added]

Blackburn discussed this differentiation with Disobedient Media:

"Counter-terrorism is obviously involved in more kinetic, violent political actions-concerning mass casualty events, bombings, assassinations, poisonings, and hacking. But, the lines are blurring between them. Counter-intelligence cases have been known to stretch for decades- often relying on nothing more than paranoia and suspicion to fuel investigations. Counter-terrorism is also a broader discipline as it involves tactical elements like hostage rescue, crime scene investigations, and explosive specialists. Counter-Terrorism is a collaborative effort with counter-terrorism officers working closely with local and regional police forces and civic organizations. There is also a wider academic field around countering violent, and radical ideology which promotes terrorism and insurgencies. Cybersecurity has become the third major discipline in intelligence. The London Center of International Law Practice, the mysterious intelligence company that employed both Papadopoulos and Mifsud , had also been working in that area."

Continuing, Blackburn pinpointed the significance of defining counter-terrorism as the starting point of the investigation, saying: "It shows that there is a high probability that intelligence was deliberately abused to make Papadopoulos' activities look like they were something else.

As counter-terrorism and counterintelligence are close in tactics and methods, it would seem that they were used because they share the same skill sets - covert evidence gathering and deception. It's basically sleight of hand. A piece of theatre would be more precise. However, we don't know if the FBI knew it was real or make-believe. It's more likely that the CIA played the FBI with the help of close allies who were suspicious and frightened of a Trump presidency."

Mueller's Team And Joseph Mifsud

Zainab Ahmad , a member of Mueller's legal team, is the former Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York. As pointed out by Blackburn , Ahmad attended a Global Center on Cooperative Security event in 2017. In recent days, Blackburn wrote via Twitter :

"Zainab Ahmad is a major player in the Russiagate scandal at the DOJ. Does she work for SC Mueller? She was at a GCCS event in May 2017. Arvinder Sambei, a co-director of the [London Centre of International Law Practice], worked with Joseph Mifsud, [George Papadopoulos] and [Simona Mangiante]. She's a GCCS consultant."

Blackburn told this author:

"Zainab Ahmad was one of the first DOJ prosecutors to have seen the Steele dossier. In May 2017, she attended a counter-terrorism conference in New York with the Global Center on Cooperative Security (GCCS), an organization which Joseph Mifsud, the alleged Russian spy, had been working within London and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia."

Zainab Ahmad (AHMAD). Image via the Combatting Terrorism Center, West Point

"Richard Barrett, the Former Chief of Counter-Terrorism at MI6, Britain's foreign intelligence department traveled with Mifsud to Saudi Arabia to give a talk on terrorism in 2017. Ex-CIA officers, US Defense, and US Treasury officials were also there. The London Centre of International Law Practice's relationship to the Global Center had been established in 2014. The Global Center on Cooperative Security made Martin Polaine and Arvinder Sambei consultants, they then became directors at the London Centre of International Law Practice."

"The Global Center on Cooperative Security's first major UK conference was at Joseph Mifsud's London Academy of Diplomacy (LAD). Mifsud then followed Arvinder Sambei and Nagi Idris over to the London Centre of International Law Practice. Sources have told me that Mifsud was moonlighting as a specialist on counter-terrorism and Islamism while working at LAD which explains why he went to work in counter-terrorism after LAD folded."

"I don't think it's a coincidence that Global Center on Cooperative Security is connected to various elements that popped up in the Papadopoulos case. The fact that a prosecutor on Mueller's team was at Global Center before Mueller was appointed as special counsel is also troubling."

Days ago, The Hill reported on Congressional testimony by Bruce Ohr, revealing that when served as a DOJ official, he warned FBI and DOJ figures that the Steele dossier was problematic and linked to the Clintons. Critically, The Hill writes:

"Those he briefed included Andrew Weissmann, then the head of DOJ's fraud section; Bruce Swartz, longtime head of DOJ's international operations, and Zainab Ahmad , an accomplished terrorism prosecutor who, at the time, was assigned to work with Lynch as a senior counselor. Ahmad and Weissmann would go on to work for Mueller, the special prosecutor overseeing the Russia probe." [Emphasis Added]

This point is essential, as it not only describes Ahmad's role in Mueller's team but places her at a crucial pre-investigation meeting.

Last year, Blackburn noted the connection between Mifsud and Arvinder Sambei , writing: "LCILP director and FBI counsel, works with Mike Smith at the Global Center. They ran joint counter-terrorism conferences and training with Mifsud's London Academy. Sambei then brought Mifsud over to the [London Centre of International Law Practice]. [Global Center works with Aussies, UK and US State too."

Sambei has been described elsewhere as a "Former practising barrister, Senior Crown Prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Service of England & Wales, and Legal Adviser at the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ), Ministry of Defence." [British spelling has been retained]

Arvinder Sambei. Image via the Public International Law Advisory Group

That Sambei has been so thoroughly linked to organizations where Mifsud was a central figure is yet another cause of suspicion regarding allegations that Joseph Mifsud was a shadowy, unknown Russian agent until the summer of 2016 . She is also a direct link between Robert Mueller and Mifsud.

Blackburn wrote via Twitter : "Arvinder Sambei helped to organize LCILP's counter-terrorism and corruption events. She used her contacts in the US to bring in Middle Eastern government officials that were seen to be vulnerable to graft. Lisa Osofsky, former FBI Deputy General Counsel, was working with her." Below, Arvinder is pictured at a London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP) event.

Arvinder Sambei, pictured at an LCILP event. Image via Chris Blackburn, Twitter

As Chris Blackburn told this author:

" Mifsud and Papadopoulos's co-director Arvinder Sambei was also the former FBI British counsel working 9/11 cases for Robert Mueller. She also runs a consultancy which deals with Special Investigative Measure (SIMs) which is just a posh description for covert espionage and evidence gathering. She has worked for major intelligence and national law agencies in the past. She wore two hats as a director of London Centre and a consultant for the Global Center on Cooperative Security (GCCS), a counter-terrorism think tank which is sponsored by the Australia, Canada, UK and US governments. Alexander Downer's former Chief of Staff while at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade now works for the Global Center. Mifsud was also due to meet with Australian private intelligence figures in Adelaide in March 2016. So. Australia is certainly a major focus for the investigation." [Emphasis Added]

Below, former FBI Deputy General Counsel Lisa Osofsky is pictured at a London Centre for International Law Practice event . Osofsky also served as the Money Laundering Reporting Officer with Goldman Sachs International. Since 2018, she has served as the Director of the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

Lisa Osofsky, pictured at an LCILP event. Image via Chris Blackburn, Twitter

An Embarrassment For John Brennan?

Disobedient Media previously reported that Robert Hannigan, then head of British spy agency GCHQ, flew to Washington DC to share 'director-to-director' level intelligence with then-CIA Chief John Brennan in the summer of 2016. This writer noted that " The Guardian reported Hannigan's announcement that he would step down from his leadership position with the agency just three days after the inauguration of President Trump, on 23 January 2017.

Jane Mayer, in her profile of Christopher Steele published in the New Yorker, also noted that Hannigan had flown to Washington D.C. to personally brief the then-CIA Director John Brennan on alleged communications between the Trump campaign and Moscow. What is so curious about this briefing "deemed so sensitive it was handled at director-level" is why Hannigan was talking director-to-director to the CIA and not Mike Rogers at the NSA, GCHQ's Five Eyes intelligence-sharing partner."

Blackburn told Disobedient Media:

"Former Congressman Trey Gowdy, who has seen most of the information gathered by Congress from the intelligence community concerning the Russia investigation, said that if President Trump were to declassify files and present the truth to the American public, it would " embarrass John Brennan ." I think that is pretty concrete for me, but it's not definitive. I know the polarization and spin in Washington has become perverse, but that statement is pretty specific for me. If Brennan is involved, it is most probably through Papadopoulos who sparked off the 'official' investigation at the FBI. He also made sure the Steele dossier was spread through the US government."

Blackburn added: "Chris Steele was also working on FIFA projects, and a source has told me that he was working to investigate the Russian and Qatari World Cup bids. The London Centre of International Law Practice has been working with Majed Garoub, the former Saudi legal representative of FIFA, the world governing body for soccer. He's also been working against the Qatari bid. Steele likes to get paid twice for his investigations."

"Mifsud has also been associated with Prince Turki the former Saudi intelligence chief, Mifsud and the London Academy of Diplomacy used to train Saudi diplomats and intelligence figures while Turki was the Saudi Ambassador to London. Turki is a close friend of Bill Clinton and John Brennan. Nawaf Obaid was also courting Mifsud and tried to get him a cushy job working with CNN's Freedom Project at Link Campus in Rome. He also knows John Brennan. Intelligence agencies like to give out professional gifts like this plum academic position for completing missions. In the US, it is widely known that intelligence agencies gift the children of assets to get them into prestigious Ivy League schools."

At minimum, we can surmise that Mifsud was not a Russian agent, but was an asset of Western intelligence agencies. We are left with the impression that the Mifsud saga served as a ploy, whether he participated knowingly or not. It seems reasonable to conclude that the gambit was initially developed with participation of John Brennan and UK intelligence. Following this, Mueller inherited and developed the Mifsud narrative thread into the collusion soap opera we know today.

Ultimately, we are faced with the reality that British and US interests worked together to fabricate a collusion scandal to subvert a US Presidency, and in doing so, intentionally raised tensions between the West and a nuclear-armed power.


snodgrass , 2 hours ago link

What ********. Britain was part of the group pulling of 911 along with the American and Jewish establishment. Blackburn was the inside guy, posing as an outsider, to deflect attention from the real perpetrators. These people always have agents on both sides of every issue in the same way they fund two "opposing" political parties and fund two "opposing" sides in the media.

freedommusic , 3 hours ago link

Ultimately, we are faced with the reality that British and US interests worked together to fabricate a collusion scandal to subvert a US Presidency , and in doing so, intentionally raised tensions between the West and a nuclear-armed power .

It's called TREASON .

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies , giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere , is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years

Jung , 3 hours ago link

SteeleGate---his mate Skripal, boss Pablo Miller----novichok---Porton Down---anything to blame Russia in the end. After 30 dys of shutdown personnel of CIA, FBI and DOJ can be changed legally: draining of the swamp and DECLAS can begin with proper Military Tribunals in place. This according to Q who shared all of this, so it was not a conspiracy theory that the Q team exposed, but just MSM and Deep State in their last panic mode. Justice will now be able to follow: maybe rel end of endless wars too!

boooyaaaah , 3 hours ago link

There are more and more articles saying that the FBI, CIA, M14 15,16 yada yada, were overly concerned about Trump. Their sin...caring too much for the USA. They attempted a coup de'etat for "our" own good...we... being "we the people". To quote Abe Lincoln "You will find that all the arguments in favour of kingcraft were of this class; they always bestrode the necks of the people, -- not that they wanted to do it, but because the people were better off for being ridden." Lincoln did not mince words

So now we have an international conspiracy of care. Not one power grubber in the group. A syndicate of misunderstood do gooders.

But not having the consent of the people, but rather trying to undo, and foil the consent of the people.

This part of the Declaration applies

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Last of the Middle Class , 4 hours ago link

Ultimately, we are faced with the reality that British and US interests worked together to fabricate a collusion scandal to subvert a US Presidency, and in doing so, intentionally raised tensions between the West and a nuclear-armed power..."

Why do you not call it a coup d'etat? That is what it is, nothing less. If it were about something Trump did you would use the harshest possible language. Why not tell the truth here. Let the American people know what happened.

[Feb 13, 2019] Stephen Cohen on War with Russia and Soviet-style Censorship in the US by Russell Mokhiber

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... War with Russia. ..."
"... Cohen said the censorship that he has faced in recent years is similar to the censorship imposed on dissidents in the Soviet Union. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... "Katrina and I had a joint signed op-ed piece in the New York Times ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... "The alternatives have been excluded from both. I would welcome an opportunity to debate these issues in the mainstream media, where you can reach more people. And remember, being in these pages, for better or for worse, makes you Kosher. This is the way it works. If you have been on these pages, you are cited approvingly. You are legitimate. You are within the parameters of the debate." ..."
"... "When I lived off and on in the Soviet Union, I saw how Soviet media treated dissident voices. And they didn't have to arrest them. They just wouldn't ever mention them. Sometimes they did that (arrest them). But they just wouldn't ever mention them in the media." ..."
"... "And something like that has descended here. And it's really alarming, along with some other Soviet-style practices in this country that nobody seems to care about – like keeping people in prison until they break, that is plea, without right to bail, even though they haven't been convicted of anything." ..."
"... "That's what they did in the Soviet Union. They kept people in prison until people said – I want to go home. Tell me what to say – and I'll go home. That's what we are doing here. And we shouldn't be doing that." ..."
"... Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter.. ..."
Feb 12, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

On stage at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C. this past week was Princeton University Professor Emeritus Stephen Cohen, author of the new book, War with Russia: From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate.

Cohen has largely been banished from mainstream media.

"I had been arguing for years -- very much against the American political media grain -- that a new US/Russian Cold War was unfolding -- driven primarily by politics in Washington, not Moscow," Cohen writes in War with Russia. "For this perspective, I had been largely excluded from influential print, broadcast and cable outlets where I had been previously welcomed."

On the stage at Busboys and Poets with Cohen was Katrina vanden Heuvel, the editor of The Nation magazine, and Robert Borosage, co-founder of the Campaign for America's Future.

During question time, Cohen was asked about the extent of the censorship in the context of other Americans who had been banished from mainstream American media, including Ralph Nader, whom the liberal Democratic establishment, including Borosage and Vanden Heuvel, stiff armed when he crashed the corporate political parties in the electoral arena in 2004 and 2008.

Cohen said the censorship that he has faced in recent years is similar to the censorship imposed on dissidents in the Soviet Union.

"Until some period of time before Trump, on the question of what America's policy toward Putin's Kremlin should be, there was a reasonable facsimile of a debate on those venues that had these discussions," Cohen said. "Are we allowed to mention the former Charlie Rose for example? On the long interview form, Charlie would have on a person who would argue for a very hard policy toward Putin. And then somebody like myself who thought it wasn't a good idea."

"Occasionally that got on CNN too. MSNBC not so much. And you could get an op-ed piece published, with effort, in the New York Times or Washington Post ."

"Katrina and I had a joint signed op-ed piece in the New York Times six or seven years ago. But then it stopped. And to me, that's the fundamental difference between this Cold War and the preceding Cold War."

"I will tell you off the record – no, I'm not going to do it," Cohen said. "Two exceedingly imminent Americans, who most op-ed pages would die to get a piece by, just to say they were on the page, submitted such articles to the New York Times , and they were rejected the same day. They didn't even debate it. They didn't even come back and say – could you tone it down? They just didn't want it."

"Now is that censorship? In Italy, where each political party has its own newspaper, you would say – okay fair enough. I will go to a newspaper that wants me. But here, we are used to these newspapers."

"Remember how it works. I was in TV for 18 years being paid by CBS. So, I know how these things work. TV doesn't generate its own news anymore. Their actual reporting has been de-budgeted. They do video versions of what is in the newspapers."

"Look at the cable talk shows. You see it in the New York Times and Washington Post in the morning, you turn on the TV at night and there is the video version. That's just the way the news business works now."

"The alternatives have been excluded from both. I would welcome an opportunity to debate these issues in the mainstream media, where you can reach more people. And remember, being in these pages, for better or for worse, makes you Kosher. This is the way it works. If you have been on these pages, you are cited approvingly. You are legitimate. You are within the parameters of the debate."

"If you are not, then you struggle to create your own alternative media. It's new in my lifetime. I know these imminent Americans I mentioned were shocked when they were just told no. It's a lockdown. And it is a form of censorship."

"When I lived off and on in the Soviet Union, I saw how Soviet media treated dissident voices. And they didn't have to arrest them. They just wouldn't ever mention them. Sometimes they did that (arrest them). But they just wouldn't ever mention them in the media."

"Dissidents created what is known as samizdat – that's typescript that you circulate by hand. Gorbachev, before he came to power, did read some samizdat. But it's no match for newspapers published with five, six, seven million copies a day. Or the three television networks which were the only television networks Soviet citizens had access to."

"And something like that has descended here. And it's really alarming, along with some other Soviet-style practices in this country that nobody seems to care about – like keeping people in prison until they break, that is plea, without right to bail, even though they haven't been convicted of anything."

"That's what they did in the Soviet Union. They kept people in prison until people said – I want to go home. Tell me what to say – and I'll go home. That's what we are doing here. And we shouldn't be doing that."

Cohen appears periodically on Tucker Carlson's show on Fox News. And that rankled one person in the audience at Busboys and Poets, who said he worried that Cohen's perspective on Russia can be "appropriated by the right."

"Trump can take that and run on a nationalistic platform – to hell with NATO, to hell with fighting these endless wars, to do what he did in 2016 and get the votes of people who are very concerned about the deteriorating relations between the U.S. and Russia," the man said.

Cohen says that on a personal level, he likes Tucker Carlson "and I don't find him to be a racist or a nationalist."

"Nationalism is on the rise around the world everywhere," Cohen said. "There are different kinds of nationalism. We always called it patriotism in this country, but we have always been a nationalistic country."

"Fox has about three to four million viewers at that hour," Cohen said. "If I am not permitted to give my take on American/Russian relations on any other mass media, and by the way, possibly talk directly to Trump, who seems to like his show, and say – Trump is making a mistake, he should do this or do that instead -- I don't get many opportunities – and I can't see why I shouldn't do it."

"I get three and a half to four minutes," Cohen said. "I don't see it as consistent with my mission, if that's the right word, to say no. These articles I write for The Nation , which ended up in my book, are posted on some of the most God awful websites in the world. I had to look them up to find out how bad they really are. But what can I do about it?"

Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Russell Mokhiber

Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter..

[Feb 13, 2019] Congress Has Not "By Law" Vested The Attorney General With Authority to Appoint the Special Counsel

Notable quotes:
"... Congress Has Not "By Law" Vested The Attorney General With Authority to Appoint the Special Counsel as an Inferior Officer. ..."
Feb 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

col from oz , Feb 13, 2019 12:23:44 AM | link

B you check out the brief awaiting adjudication, whereby they state that they will appeal to to SCOTUS. Mueller is unconstitutional and plausible criminal.
67 pages

ARGUMENT I.

Congress Has Not "By Law" Vested The Attorney General With Authority to Appoint the Special Counsel as an Inferior Officer.

The principal question before this Court is whether there is any statute that clearly conveys power to the Attorney General to appoint a private attorney as Special Counsel at the level of an inferior officer. The Special Counsel claims that §§ 515 and 533(1) do the job. But the Spe
cial Counsel's "plain-text" analysis redrafts both provisions in material ways.

He also places extensive reliance on historic practice and predecessor versions of § 515 to aid his redrafting.

None of this squares with controlling and settled law. Here, the plain text of §§ 515 and 533(1) does not clearly confer authority to appoint any special counsel, much less one as an inferior officer.

http://nlpc.org/2018/10/11/reply-brief-filed-in-constitutional-challenge-to-mueller/

[Feb 09, 2019] Mueller Annoyed By Chipper, Overeager Adam Schiff Constantly Sending Him Evidence He's Already Uncovered

Feb 09, 2019 | politics.theonion.com

WASHINGTON -- Expressing frustration at the obnoxious, nonstop attempts to aid his investigation, special counsel Robert Mueller was reportedly annoyed Friday that a chipper, overeager Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) keeps constantly sending him evidence he's already uncovered. "Christ, he just emailed me ...

[Feb 03, 2019] Mocking Mueller's Collusion-Free Collusion Indictment Of Roger Stone

Feb 03, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Mocking Mueller's Collusion-Free Collusion Indictment Of Roger Stone

by Tyler Durden Sun, 02/03/2019 - 17:30 19 SHARES Authored by Andrew McCarthy via National Review,

There was no crime until the investigations started...

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's indictment of Roger Stone may be the most peculiar document to emerge from the Trump–Russia "collusion" saga. It is an instant classic in the Mueller genre: lots of heavy breathing, then sputtering anti-climax.

After a 20-page narrative about Russian cyber-ops, WikiLeaks' role as a witting anti-American accomplice, and Trump supporters enthralled by thousands of hacked Democratic emails and visions of the Clinton campaign's implosion, Stone, a comically inept hanger-on, ends up charged with seven process crimes. No espionage, no conspiracy, no commission of any crime until the investigations started.

This is not to say that obstruction of congressional investigations is trifling. Nor is it to say the accused has a good chance of beating the case. Some of Stone's alleged lies were mind-bogglingly stupid. Why deny written communications with people you've texted a zillion times? Why deny conversations with interlocutors (such as Trump-campaign CEO Steve Bannon) who have no reason to risk a perjury charge to protect you? And don't even get me started on the witness-tampering count, which, if I were Mueller, I'd have hesitated to include for fear of suggesting an insanity defense. ( Do it for Nixon? Pull a "Frank Pentangeli"? )

That said, the case is overcharged. The tampering count carries a 20-year penalty. Adding an obstruction or false-statements count (five years each) would have given Stone (who is 66 years old) prison exposure of up to 25 years. The most central "colluder" in the Mueller firmament to be bagged so far, George Papadopoulos, was sentenced to a grand total of two weeks' imprisonment. Surely a quarter-century of "potential" incarceration would have sufficed to give prosecutors the "this is serious stuff" headline they crave while allowing for the more representative sentence Stone will eventually receive -- who knows, maybe three weeks? But true to form, Mueller instead included six of these five-year counts -- so the press can report that Stone faces up to 50 years in the slammer.

This inflated portrait of Stone as a major criminal was further bloated by the scene of his arrest : a well-armed battalion of FBI agents sent to apprehend him as the media, conveniently on hand at 6 a.m., took it all in. But Stone is just a cameo. The big picture is the overarching Trump–Russia investigation. It's still being inflated, too.

Prosecutors ordinarily do not write an elaborate narrative about crimes they cannot prove. Here, though, Mueller uses Stone as the pretext to spell out the Big Collusion Scheme: Candidate Donald Trump instructs Stone to coordinate with WikiLeaks on the dissemination of Clinton dirt stolen by Russia; Stone directs his associate, Jerome Corsi, to have Corsi's man in London, Ted Malloch, make contact with WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange, who is holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Malloch must have succeeded, because next thing you know, Corsi is reporting back to Stone: Our friends the Russian hackers have given WikiLeaks all this damaging information on Hillary, including the Podesta emails; it will all be rolled out in October, right before the election.

It's a sensational story. Only . . . it's just a story.

Mueller doesn't even pretend he can prove it. No shame in that: During a long investigation, prosecutors always develop a theory of the case. Often, the hypothesis doesn't pan out. No problem. You narrow your indictment down to what you can prove and call it a day. In Stone's case, that would dictate omitting the ambitious collusion narrative and stripping down to a two-page obstruction-of-Congress indictment. Instead, Mueller gives us the fever dream: Stone as a key cog in the collusion wheel. Where reality intrudes, the prosecutors float suggestions they cannot prove or leave out key details that blow up the narrative.

The special counsel could have contented himself with easy-to-prove false-statements charges against Stone: lying about whether his WikiLeaks communications were documented in writing; lying about whether he asked his friend Randy Credico to pass a request for specific Hillary Clinton information to Assange; lying about whether he ever told the Trump campaign about his WikiLeaks conversations with Credico.

But no, Mueller strains to accuse Stone of falsely denying that he had a second WikiLeaks "intermediary" -- whom the indictment indicates was Jerome Corsi , Stone's Infowars associate. Depending on how charitable you want to be, this claim is either risibly weak, flatly wrong, or dependent on a distortion of the word "intermediary." To repeat, the "intermediary" thread adds nothing to the case against Stone. It is a pretext for weaving the collusion narrative without having to prove it.

To amplify the indictment a bit with reporting by the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross , Credico -- a left-wing comedian and radio host -- got access to Assange through a radical lawyer, Margaret Ratner Kunstler , who has done work for WikiLeaks. That apparently did not happen until shortly before August 25, 2016, when Assange appeared as a guest on Credico's radio show. According to the indictment, Credico first texted Stone about Assange's imminent appearance on August 19.

Prosecutors, however, suggest that Stone had a line into Assange and WikiLeaks starting at least two months earlier. "By in or around June and July 2016," goes the slippery allegation, Stone was telling Trump officials he had information that WikiLeaks possessed damaging Hillary Clinton documents. In Mueller's telling, this makes Stone seem like a potentially valuable WikiLeaks insider when, on July 22, WikiLeaks began publishing thousands of DNC emails. Immediately, a "senior Trump campaign official was directed to contact STONE about any additional releases and what other damaging information [WikiLeaks] had regarding the Clinton campaign."

If not from Credico, from whom, pray tell, did Stone learn what WikiLeaks was up to? Who is the other intermediary?

In truth, he didn't need one. He had two sources of information about WikiLeaks -- neither of them Corsi, neither of them sensibly thought of as an "intermediary." These sources go unmentioned in the indictment. Worse, while the prosecutors finger Corsi as Stone's hidden "intermediary," their evidence does not support this claim -- and they know it, so they fudge it.

Let's start with the two sources Mueller omits.

Turns out it is not just Stone who was alerted long before the Democratic convention that WikiLeaks might have damaging information on Clinton. Everyone on the planet who cared to be informed about such things knew. On June 12, 2016, in an interview that was widely reported , Assange said that WikiLeaks planned to expose documents relating to Hillary Clinton that could affect the 2016 election. Was Stone, the self-styled dark-politics devotee, pressing sources for an entrée into WikiLeaks? Sure he was. But that doesn't mean he had one. And he didn't need one in order to direct the Trump campaign's attention to WikiLeaks; Assange was calling the world's attention to himself.

The second omitted source? It was James Rosen, then a top reporter at Fox News -- though Rosen seems to have had no idea he was playing that role. To understand what happened, we need to consider the July 25 Stone–Corsi email that the indictment treats like a smoking gun -- but consider it in the context of an earlier July 25 email that the indictment fails to include.

As noted above, on July 22, someone very high up in the Trump campaign -- perhaps the candidate himself, though we are not told -- ordered a top campaign official to reach out to Stone. Just three days later, Stone sent Corsi an email with the subject line "Get to [Assange]." Stone exhorted Corsi to try to reach the WikiLeaks leader "at Ecuadorian Embassy in London and get the pending emails . . . they deal with the [Clinton] Foundation allegedly " (emphasis added).

So why did Stone believe WikiLeaks had Clinton Foundation documents? Well, Stone is acquainted with Charles Ortel , an investor who dabbles in investigative journalism and has focused intently on the Clinton Foundation. Ortel has occasional correspondence with James Rosen. In an email exchange on July 25, Rosen told Ortel, "Am told WikiLeaks will be doing a massive dump of HRC emails related to the CF [i.e., the Clinton Foundation] in September." Ortel proceeded to forward this email to Stone. Only after seeing Rosen's email did Stone contact Corsi to say that Assange "allegedly" had Clinton Foundation emails that Corsi should try to acquire.

Obviously, Stone did not need a WikiLeaks intermediary to give him a heads-up about a possible Clinton Foundation dump. He happened upon that information indirectly from a member of the press (Rosen), through an acquaintance (Ortel). And he did not need Corsi as an intermediary -- Stone is the one who alerted Corsi, not the other way around.

The indictment says that, shortly after receiving Stone's July 25 email imploring him to make contact with Assange, Corsi forwarded it to a "supporter of the Trump campaign" in the United Kingdom -- reported by Chuck Ross to be Ted Malloch, a London-based American who used to be a business professor at Oxford and has ties to British populists. Subsequently, on Sunday July 31, Stone emailed Corsi to "call me MON," stressing that Corsi's associate should "see [Assange]."

Well, did that happen? Did Corsi's man Malloch make contact with WikiLeaks?

If you read nothing but Mueller's indictment, you assume he must have. After all, the next thing we are told about is Corsi's email report to Stone on Tuesday, August 2. Corsi (then vacationing in Italy) wrote: "Word is friend in embassy [i.e., Assange] plans 2 more dumps, one shortly after I'm back [which was to be in mid August]. 2nd in Oct. Impact planned to be very damaging." Corsi added:

Time to let more than [Podesta] to be exposed as in bed w enemy if they are not ready to drop HRC [Clinton]. That appears to be game hackers are now about. Would not hurt to start suggesting HRC old, memory bad, has stroke -- neither he nor she well. I expect that much of next dump focus, setting stage for foundation debacle.

The implication is clear: Malloch must have reached Assange, gotten the critical information, and passed it along to Corsi so it could be communicated to Stone and the Trump campaign. Corsi is the intermediary! Coordination! Collusion!

But Mueller is hiding the ball again. The indictment makes no mention of the facts that Malloch denies knowing anything about WikiLeaks , that Corsi denies having any sources with inside knowledge about WikiLeaks, and that prosecutors appear to accept these denials.

So how did Corsi get the "2 more dumps" of information (or gossip) that he dished to Stone? He made it up -- or, more benignly, he claims to have figured it out on his own. Reportedly , Mueller's prosecutors were as frustrated as they were incredulous over Corsi's unlikely claim. But they don't have a better explanation. In the negotiations over a plea offer (on a charge of lying to investigators), which Corsi has resisted, Mueller's prosecutors drafted an agreed-upon " Statement of the Offense ." In it, Corsi was to admit that "his representations to [Stone], beginning in August 2016, that he had a way of obtaining confidential information from [WikiLeaks] were false."

Corsi is another strange character in this drama. He is a notorious bomb-thrower, and his memory is spotty. But one can understand why the special counsel seems to accept his story about not having a WikiLeaks source: His information was spectacularly wrong. He surmised that Assange would release information that Mrs. Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, had serious medical problems; this would be a prelude to devastating disclosures about the Clinton Foundation. Corsi's fever dream never came true, either.

But how can Corsi have been Stone's intermediary to WikiLeaks if he had no way of obtaining confidential information from WikiLeaks?

Stone, meantime, points out that neither he nor Corsi made reference to Podesta's emails. He denies any awareness that Assange had them, and plausibly contends that the reference to Podesta in his conversation with Corsi (and in his later tweet on August 21 that "the Podesta's [ sic ] in the barrel" was coming) related to a lobbying company started by John Podesta and his brother Tony. That company had done work for the same Kremlin-backed Ukrainian political party served by Paul Manafort -- Trump's campaign manager, and Stone's former business partner. It was at the very time when Stone and Corsi were discussing WikiLeaks and Podesta that a July 31 New York Times exposé appeared, outlining Manafort's lobbying entanglements with these Ukrainians. Tellingly, Mueller does not contend that Stone's denial of foreknowledge about WikiLeaks' Podesta dump is false.

Again, understand: It is not just that Mueller can't prove Corsi was Stone's intermediary. Mueller has no need to try to prove it. He has an overwhelming obstruction and witness-tampering case against Stone without it. The indictment's "intermediary" plot line is just a device for prosecutors to spin the Trump–Russia–WikiLeaks collusion yarn. They are careful not to plead it in a conspiracy count; just an "introductory" narrative -- no formal charge, no burden to prove it, and no need to reveal stubborn facts that undermine it. Since it is superfluous to the process charges against Stone, he may not even challenge it. Maybe he will plead guilty, and the narrative will stand as the government's unrebutted version of events.

And this is just the indictment of a bit player. Makes you look forward to the special counsel's final report, no?


NeverDemRino , 2 minutes ago link

Rep.Matt Gaetz gets it, when he Twittered this video: Tucker says it all, about the duplicitous hypocrisy, here:

https://twitter.com/RepMattGaetz/status/1088895788946804736/video/1

sidfalco , 5 minutes ago link

Gestapo Mueller disgraces America.

Greendawg , 6 minutes ago link

Mueller doesn't want to know the truth!!! It doesn't get any more black and white!!! https://twitter.com/kimdotcom/status/1015318349188759553?lang=en

Stan Smith , 9 minutes ago link

The left loves it's narratives, but leaves something to be desired on substance.

847328_3527 , 10 minutes ago link

You have to love this guy, Stone. I hope he continues making a mockery of the farce Meuller witch hunt that has cost taxpayers over $100 million:

Roger Stone Explains How to Dress for Court

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

truthalwayswinsout , 10 minutes ago link

Mueller is famous for charging crimes that do not exist. The plurality of this cases are overturned on appeal. For those of you who wonder that is 75% plus.

That alone begs the question of why he has not been disbarred.

navy62802 , 15 minutes ago link

Just accept it. The legal/justice system in the US is done. Time to bury it.

[Feb 02, 2019] Brazil, Fascism and the Left Wing of Neoliberalism

Huge external debt plus high unemployment represents two vital preconditions of rise far right nationalism and fascism in all its multiple incarnations. In this sence Ulrain, Argentina and Brasil are different links of the common chain of events.
In a way fascism is a way of reaction of nation deeply in crisis. In essence this is introduction of war time restrictions on political speech and freedoms of the population. The Catch 22 is that often this is done not so much to fight external threat, but top preserve the power of existing financial oligarchy. Which fascist after coming to power quickly include in government and and desire of which are disproportionally obeyed by fascist state.
What in new in XXI century is the huge growth of power on intelligence agencies which is way represent crippling fascism or neofascism. In a way, then intelligence agencies became political kingmakers (as was the case with the assassination of JFK, impeachment of Nixon, elections of Clinton, Bush II, and Obama, as well as establishing Mueller commission after Trump victory), we can speak about sliding the county of the county toward fascism.
Notable quotes:
"... In Italy in the 1920s, repayment of war debts from WWI led to austerity and recession that preceded the rise of fascist leader Benito Mussolini. In Germany, payment of war reparations and repayment of industrial loans limited the ability of the Weimar government to respond to the Great Depression. Liberal governments that facilitated the financialization of industrial economies in the 1920s were left to serve as debt collectors in the capitalist crisis that followed. ..."
"... The practical problem with doing this is the power of creditors. Debtors that repudiate their debts are closed out of capital markets. The power to create money that is accepted in payment is a privilege of the center countries that also happen to be creditors. Capitalist expansion creates interdependencies that produce immediate, deep shortages if debts aren't serviced. Debt is a weapon whose proceeds can be delivered to one group and the obligation to repay it to another. The U.S. position was expressed when the IMF knowingly made unpayable loans to Ukraine to support a U.S. sponsored coup there in 2015 ..."
"... Propaganda was developed and refined by Edward Bernays in the 1910s to help the Wilson administration sell WWI to a skeptical public. It has been used by the American government and in capitalist advertising since that time. The idea was to integrate psychology with words and images to get people to act according to the desires and wishes of those putting it forward. ..."
"... The operational frame of propaganda is instrumental: to use people to achieve ends they had no part in conceiving. The political perspective is dictatorial, benevolent or otherwise. Propaganda has been used by the American government ever since. Similar methods were used by the Italian and German fascists in their to rise to power. ..."
"... Following WWII, the U.S. brought 1,600 Nazi scientists and engineers (and their families) to the U.S. to work for the Department of Defense and American industry through a program called Operation Paperclip . Many were dedicated and enthusiastic Nazis. Some were reported to have been bona fide war criminals. In contrast to liberal / neoliberal assertions that Nazism was irrational politics, the Nazi scientists fit seamlessly into American military production. There was no apparent contradiction between being a Nazi and being a scientist. ..."
"... A dimensional tension of Nazism lay between romantic myths of an ancient and glorious past and the bourgeois task of moving industrialization and modernity forward. The focus of liberal and neoliberal analysis has been on this mythology as an irrational mode of reason. Missing is that Nazism wouldn't have moved past the German borders if it hadn't had bourgeois basis in the science and technology needed for industrial might. This keeps the broad project within the ontological and administrative premises of liberalism. ..."
"... The way to fight fascists is to end the threat of fascism. This means taking on Wall Street and the major institutions of Western capitalism ..."
Feb 02, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

Missing from explanations of the rise of Mr. Bolsonaro is that for the last decade Brazil has experienced the worst economic recession in the country's history (graph below). Fourteen million formerly employed, working age Brazilians are now unemployed. As was true in the U.S. and peripheral Europe from 2008 forward, the liberal response has been austerity as the Brazilian ruling class was made richer and more politically powerful.

Since 2014, Brazil's public debt/GDP ratio has climbed from 20% to 75% proclaims a worried IMF. That some fair portion of that climb came from falling GDP due to economic austerity mandated by the IMF and Wall Street is left unmentioned. A decade of austerity got liberal President Dilma Rousseff removed from office in 2016 in what can only be called a Wall Street putsch. Perhaps Bolsonaro will tell Wall Street where to stick its loans (not).

Back in the U.S., everyone knows that the liberalization of finance and trade in the 1990s was the result of political calculations. That this liberalization was/is bipartisan suggests that maybe the political calculations served certain economic interests. Never mind that these interests were given what they asked for and crashed the economy with it. If economic problems result from political calculations, the solution is political -- elect better leaders. If they are driven by economic interests, the solution is to change the way that economic relationships are organized.

Between 1928 and 1932 German industrial production fell by 58%. By 1933, six million formerly employed German workers were begging in the streets and digging through garbage looking for items to sell. The liberal (Socialist Party) response was half-measures and austerity. Within the liberal frame, the Depression was a political problem to be addressed in the realm of the political. Centrist accommodation defined the existing realm. Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany in 1933, the pit of the Great Depression.

In Brazil in the early-mid 2000s, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, better known as Lula, implemented a Left program that pulled twenty million Brazilians out of poverty. The Brazilian economy briefly recovered after Wall Street crashed it in 2008 before Brazilian public debt was used to force the implementation of austerity. Dilma Rousseff capitulated and Brazil re-entered recession. Rousseff was removed from power in 2016. Hemmed in by Wall Street and IMF mandated austerity , any liberal government that might be elected would meet the same fate as Rousseff.

In Italy in the 1920s, repayment of war debts from WWI led to austerity and recession that preceded the rise of fascist leader Benito Mussolini. In Germany, payment of war reparations and repayment of industrial loans limited the ability of the Weimar government to respond to the Great Depression. Liberal governments that facilitated the financialization of industrial economies in the 1920s were left to serve as debt collectors in the capitalist crisis that followed.

Since 2008, the fiscal structure of the EU (European Union) combined with wildly unbalanced trade relationships led to a decade of austerity, recession and depression for the European periphery. In the U.S., by 2009 Wall Street was pushing austerity and cuts to Social Security and Medicare as necessary to fiscal stability. The consequences of four decades of financialized neoliberal trade policies were by no means equally shared. Internal and external class relations were made evident through narrowly distributed booms followed by widely distributed busts.

With the presumed shared goal of ending the threat of fascism:

The ideological premises behind the logic that claims fascists as the explanation of fascism emerge from liberalism. The term here is meant as description. Liberalism proceeds from specific ontological assumptions. Within this temporal frame, a bit of social logic: If fascists already existed, why didn't fascism? The question of whether to fight fascists or fascism depends on the answer. The essentialist view is that characteristics intrinsic to fascists make them fascists. This is the basis of scientific racism. And it underlies fascist race theory.

The theory of a strongman who exploits people who have a predisposition towards fascism is essentialist as well if receptivity is intrinsic, e.g. due to psychology, genetics, etc. Liberal-Left commentary in recent years has tended toward the essentialist view -- that fascists are born or otherwise predisposed toward fascism. Unconsidered is that non-fascists are equally determined in this frame. If 'deplorables' were born that way, four decades of neoliberalism is absolved.

The problem of analogy, the question of what fascism is and how European fascism of the twentieth century bears relation to the present, can't be answered in the liberal frame. The rise and fall of a global radical right have been episodic. It has tied in history to the development of global capitalism in a center-and-periphery model of asymmetrical economic power. Finance from the center facilitates economic expansion until financial crisis interrupts the process. Peripheral governments are left to manage debt repayment with collapsed economies.

Globally, debt has forced policy convergence between political parties of differing ideologies. European center-left parties have pushed austerity even when ideology would suggest the opposite. In 2015, self-identified Marxists in Greece's SYRIZA party capitulated to the austerity and privatization demands from EU creditors led by Germany. Even Lenin negotiated with Wall Street creditors (on behalf of Russia) in the months after the October Revolution. In a political frame, the solution from below is to elect leaders and parties who will act on their rhetoric.

The practical problem with doing this is the power of creditors. Debtors that repudiate their debts are closed out of capital markets. The power to create money that is accepted in payment is a privilege of the center countries that also happen to be creditors. Capitalist expansion creates interdependencies that produce immediate, deep shortages if debts aren't serviced. Debt is a weapon whose proceeds can be delivered to one group and the obligation to repay it to another. The U.S. position was expressed when the IMF knowingly made unpayable loans to Ukraine to support a U.S. sponsored coup there in 2015.

Fascist racialization has analog in existing capitalist class relations. Immigration status, race and gender define a social taxonomy of economic exploitation. Race was invented decades into the Anglo-American manifestation of slavery to naturalize exploitation of Blacks. Gender difference represents the evolution of unpaid to paid labor for women in the capitalist West. Claiming these as causing exploitation gets the temporal sequence wrong. These were / are exploitable classes before explanations of their special status were created.

This isn't to suggest that capitalist class relations form a complete explanation of fascist racialization. But the ontological premise that 'freezes,' and thereby reifies racialization, is fundamental to capitalism. This relates to the point argued below that the educated German bourgeois, in the form of the Nazi scientists and engineers brought to the U.S. following WWII, found Nazi racialization plausible through what has long been put forward as an antithetical mode of understanding. Put differently, it wasn't just the rabble that found grotesque racial caricatures plausible. The question is why?

Propaganda was developed and refined by Edward Bernays in the 1910s to help the Wilson administration sell WWI to a skeptical public. It has been used by the American government and in capitalist advertising since that time. The idea was to integrate psychology with words and images to get people to act according to the desires and wishes of those putting it forward.

The operational frame of propaganda is instrumental: to use people to achieve ends they had no part in conceiving. The political perspective is dictatorial, benevolent or otherwise. Propaganda has been used by the American government ever since. Similar methods were used by the Italian and German fascists in their to rise to power.

Since WWI, commercial propaganda has become ubiquitous in the U.S. Advertising firms hire psychologists to craft advertising campaigns with no regard for the concern that psychological coercion removes free choice from capitalism. The distinction between political and commercial propaganda is based on intent, not method. Its use by Woodrow Wilson (above) is instructive: a large and vocal anti-war movement had legitimate reasons for opposing the U.S. entry into WWI. The goal of Bernays and Wilson was to stifle political opposition.

Following WWII, the U.S. brought 1,600 Nazi scientists and engineers (and their families) to the U.S. to work for the Department of Defense and American industry through a program called Operation Paperclip . Many were dedicated and enthusiastic Nazis. Some were reported to have been bona fide war criminals. In contrast to liberal / neoliberal assertions that Nazism was irrational politics, the Nazi scientists fit seamlessly into American military production. There was no apparent contradiction between being a Nazi and being a scientist.

The problem isn't just that many committed Nazis were scientists. Science and technology created the Nazi war machine. Science and technology were fully integrated into the creation and running of the Nazi concentration camps. American race 'science,' eugenics, formed the basis of Nazi race theory. Science and technology formed the functional core of Nazism. And the Nazi scientists and engineers of Operation Paperclip were major contributors to American post-war military dominance.

A dimensional tension of Nazism lay between romantic myths of an ancient and glorious past and the bourgeois task of moving industrialization and modernity forward. The focus of liberal and neoliberal analysis has been on this mythology as an irrational mode of reason. Missing is that Nazism wouldn't have moved past the German borders if it hadn't had bourgeois basis in the science and technology needed for industrial might. This keeps the broad project within the ontological and administrative premises of liberalism.

This is no doubt disconcerting to theorists of great difference. If Bolsonaro can impose austerity while maintaining an unjust peace, Wall Street and the IMF will smile and ask for more. American business interests are already circling Brazil, knowing that captive consumers combined with enforceable property rights and a pliable workforce means profits. Where were liberals when the Wall Street that Barack Obama saved was squeezing the people of Brazil, Spain, Greece and Portugal to repay debts incurred by the oligarchs? Liberalism is the link between capitalism and fascism, not its antithesis.

Having long ago abandoned Marx, the American Left is lost in the temporal logic of liberalism. The way to fight fascists is to end the threat of fascism. This means taking on Wall Street and the major institutions of Western capitalism

Rob Urie is an artist and political economist. His book Zen Economics is published by CounterPunch Books.

[Jan 29, 2019] Once Barr is installed in office, stand by. The Department of Justice and the FBI will received the equivalent of a high powered enema. Both are sick institutions and need to have the feces flushed out

Notable quotes:
"... Then a funny thing happened. Robert Mueller's press guy issued an unprecedented statement calling the Buzzfeed story pure, unadulterated bullshit. Whoops!! ..."
"... How many of of the FBI and DOJ's top leadership from the Obama administration have gotten fired and are being investigated for criminal conduct? ..."
"... Enema works for me but reading reports on the analysis of Ohr's transcript, I'm not even sure an enema is going to be enough for the fbi. I think the only solution is liquidation. ..."
"... Bill Barr clean out the DOJ? I wouldn't count on it. He is a member in good standing of the swamp ..."
Jan 19, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Remember when Dan Rather self-immolated his credibility in a desperate attempt to take out George W. Bush? The Killian documents controversy (also referred to as Memogate or Rathergate) involved six purported documents critical of U.S. President George W. Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard in 1972–73.

Four of these documents[1] were presented as authentic in a 60 Minutes II broadcast aired by CBS on September 8, 2004, less than two months before the 2004 presidential election, but it was later found that CBS had failed to authenticate the documents.[2][3][4] Subsequently, several typewriter and typography experts concluded the documents were forgeries.[5][6]

Well, looks like Buzzfeed did not learn from history. Buzzfeed set the media world on fire on Friday with a story that appeared well sourced that claimed Donald Trump had directed his lawyer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about a Moscow real estate deal that never came to fruition. The mainstream media went into hyper impeachment drive.

This was the nail in the Trump coffin as far as they were concerned. Trump was as good as dead.

Then a funny thing happened. Robert Mueller's press guy issued an unprecedented statement calling the Buzzfeed story pure, unadulterated bullshit. Whoops!!

The Trump is dead meme quickly evaporated. Why did Mueller do this? The answer is simple. Bill Barr.

The soon to be new Attorney General is known as a man of impeccable integrity with a minimal tolerance for bullshit. Mueller, as an old friend of Barr, knew that he had to do something dramatic to distance himself and his staff from this toxic story.

Once Barr is installed in office, stand by. The Department of Justice and the FBI will received the equivalent of a high powered enema. Both are sick institutions and need to have the feces flushed out.


Jack , 19 hours ago

"...Bill Barr. The soon to be new Attorney General is known as a man of impeccable integrity with a minimal tolerance for bullshit."

Mr. Barr seems as swampy as they get. He played a key role in the mass surveillance of all Americans and is the classic beltway sophist who has done much to reinterpret the constitution eviscerating the Bill of Rights. His past actions don't make him a man of integrity unless of course being in service to the national security state is considered virtuous.

I believe Mr. Johnson's optimism of Barr's nomination leading to a "high powered enema" at the DOJ & FBI is unfounded. IMO, none of the seditionists will be held to account. In any case POTUS Trump seems quite content with tweeting witch hunt rather than declassifying and ordering a prosecutor convene a grand jury and have Brennan, Clapper, Comey, and all the other putschists testify.

Fred -> Jack , 12 hours ago
"He played a key role in the mass surveillance of all Americans"

He served under H.W. Bush who lost to Clinton. Obama did just what, beside get great protection from Brennan, Clapper, Comey and a list of others you haven't named yet. How many of of the FBI and DOJ's top leadership from the Obama administration have gotten fired and are being investigated for criminal conduct? What kind of support do you think the Trump administration was getting from those outstanding civil servants for the past two years?

blue peacock -> Fred , 9 hours ago
"What kind of support do you think the Trump administration was getting from those outstanding civil servants for the past two years?"

Well, it is the Trump administration that nominated Sessions, Rosenstein and Wray and now Barr. How many of those fired have testified to a grand jury? They're nicely ensconced with their lucrative sinecures until the next Borg administration. Mueller has spent tens of millions in going after Trump campaign minions. Where is the witch hunt against Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Lynch, et al? Of course its not that POTUS has no agency here. He can order declassification and the appointment of a prosecutor with a stroke of pen. Tweeting however is more like his pace.

Pat Lang Mod , a day ago
Rather interviewed me in the library of the Army and Navy Club in DC at the height of the excitement over the obviously approaching US invasion of Iraq in 2002. At one point he asked me if the Bushies were going to invade Iraq. I told himthat should not even be a question. He did not believe me.
Bill H , 10 hours ago
The only difference is that Rather had some small degree of credibility before the incident in question. I don't believe that Buzzfeed has ever had a shred of credibility to anyone with the slightest ability to think.
Taras77 , a day ago
Enema works for me but reading reports on the analysis of Ohr's transcript, I'm not even sure an enema is going to be enough for the fbi. I think the only solution is liquidation.

This is a tragedy for past good /honest fbi agents but the fbi currently is a pestilence on this country which claims to be a nation of laws.

MP98 , a day ago
Bill Barr clean out the DOJ? I wouldn't count on it. He is a member in good standing of the swamp

[Jan 29, 2019] FBI, CIA [supposedly] Told WaPo They Doubted Key Allegation In Steele Dossier but Wapo still run their own anti-Trump campaign popularizing Steele dossier.

Hand of Brennan? Hand of MI6?
From comments: "Miller also admits that the dossier's broad claims are more closely aligned with reality, but that the document breaks down once you focus on individual claims. " What?!?
Notable quotes:
"... FBI and CIA sources told a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter that they didn't believe a key claim contained in the "Steele Dossier ..."
"... The Post 's Greg Miller told an audience at an October event that the FBI and CIA did not believe that former longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen visited Prague during the 2016 election to pay off Russia-linked hackers who stole emails from key Democrats, reports the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross. ..."
"... Miller also admits that the dossier's broad claims are more closely aligned with reality, but that the document breaks down once you focus on individual claims. ..."
"... Steele, using Kremlin sources, claimed in his dossier that Cohen and three associates went to Prague in August 2016 to meet with Kremlin officials for the purpose of discussing "deniable cash payments" made in secret so as to cover up "Moscow's secret liaison with the TRUMP team." ..."
Dec 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

FBI and CIA sources told a Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter that they didn't believe a key claim contained in the "Steele Dossier," the document the Obama FBI relied on to obtain a surveillance warrant on a member of the Trump campaign.

The Post 's Greg Miller told an audience at an October event that the FBI and CIA did not believe that former longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen visited Prague during the 2016 election to pay off Russia-linked hackers who stole emails from key Democrats, reports the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross.

"We've talked to sources at the FBI and the CIA and elsewhere -- they don't believe that ever happened," said Miller during the October event which aired Saturday on C-SPAN.

We literally spent weeks and months trying to run down... there's an assertion in there that Michael Cohen went to Prague to settle payments that were needed at the end of the campaign. We sent reporters to every hotel in Prague, to all over the place trying to - just to try to figure out if he was ever there, and came away empty . -Greg Miller

Ross notes that WaPo somehow failed to report this information, nor did Miller include this tidbit of narrative-killing information in his recent book, "The Apprentice: Trump, Russia, and the Subversion of American Democracy."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/7GvXI61p21k

Miller also admits that the dossier's broad claims are more closely aligned with reality, but that the document breaks down once you focus on individual claims.

Steele, using Kremlin sources, claimed in his dossier that Cohen and three associates went to Prague in August 2016 to meet with Kremlin officials for the purpose of discussing "deniable cash payments" made in secret so as to cover up "Moscow's secret liaison with the TRUMP team."

Cohen's alleged Prague visit captured attention largely because the former Trump fixer has vehemently denied it, and also because it would seem to be one of the easier claims in Steele's 35-page report to validate or invalidate.

Debate over the salacious document was reignited when McClatchy reported April 15 that special counsel Robert Mueller had evidence Cohen visited Prague. No other news outlets have verified the reporting, and Cohen denied it at the time.

Cohen last denied the dossier's allegations in late June, a period of time when he was gearing up to cooperate with prosecutors against President Donald Trump . Cohen served as a cooperating witness for prosecutors in both New York and the special counsel's office. - Daily Caller

Cohen's attorney and longtime Clinton pal Lanny Davis vehemently denied on August 22, one day after Cohen pleaded guilty in his New York case - that Cohen had never been to Prague, telling Bloomberg " Thirteen references to Mr. Cohen are false in the dossier, but he has never been to Prague in his life ."

youshallnotkill , 19 minutes ago link

Trump never ceases to crack me up. While his (terrible) current lawyer, declares on TV that there was collusion but it just didn't last long, Trump calls his former lawyer/fixer at "Rat".

This is just too funny, I mean this is the President of the United States calling his former personal lawyer a "Rat" which of course is a common mob term for a witness testifying against you.

monkeyshine

Of course it never happened, just like Manafort didn't make 3 trips to London to meet Julian Assange. These fictions were just used as a pretext for diving into the backgrounds of Trump's political supporters and find crimes to charge them with.

The Cohen raid was particularly egregious, a likely violation of attorney-client privilege. Not suprisingly the American Bar Association is silent.

brewing_it

So here is a WaPo reporter saying they sent reporters to every hotel in Prague to find out if Cohen had been there, they spent weeks and weeks researching, interviewing, and nothing. What they are not saying is that they also spent shitloads of Bezo's money exploring all the other fake dossier claims.

And nothing.....all you hillarytards have been completely scammed by, your pulses sent aflutter with clickbait and page views and thats it. So sorry you losers.

Demologos

Yeah, like rubles are worth anything outside of Russia. Gold on the other hand ...

But seriously, you two should get a room. If you can't see the conspiracy in the Strzok/Page texts, the setup of Papadapoulous by the Brits, the phony FISA warrant using the FBI informant, the setup of General Flynn, and the seedy cast of characters in the DOJ breaking laws right and left, you should be checked for brain wave activity. You probably think the Russians paid for all of the above too. Go suck a bag of Russian dicks.

[Jan 27, 2019] Roger Stone is charged with crimes about his appearance before the House Intelligence Committee by Robert Willmann

Jan 25, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Now more than ever, it is obvious that the federal criminal justice system (with help from within the intelligence community) is being corruptly used to try to remove the president of the United States, who was nominated through the Republican Party to be on the general election ballot, and who after the election and confirmation by the Electoral College, was sworn into office. Roger Stone, a long-time acquaintance of Donald Trump, was arrested on criminal charges filed by "special counsel" Robert Mueller.

What matters in the 24-page indictment are pages 21-23 (page 24 has yesterday's date). The Mueller group bootstrapped Stone's appearance on 26 September 2017 before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) into seven charges: five for making false statements under the proverbial Title 18, U.S. Code, section 1001; one charge for obstructing a "proceeding", which was the HPSCI event; and one for attempting to persuade and persuading "Person 2" (probably Randy Credico) from testifying in the HPSCI event.

The charge of obstructing the HPSCI (count 1) is alleged to be: testifying falsely and misleadingly at a HPSCI hearing in or around September 2017; failing to turn over and lying about the existence of responsive records to HPSCI's requests about documents; submitting a letter to HPSCI falsely and misleadingly describing communications with Person 2; and attempting to have Person 2 testify falsely before HPSCI or prevent him from testifying. The sections of Title 18 of the U.S. Code used in the indictment are in the notes below [1].

It would be interesting to know when and under what circumstances the transcript of Stone's testimony to the HPSCI was given to the Mueller group. The whole thing involves who may or may not have talked to whom at Wikileaks, called "Organization 1" in the indictment--

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/files/rogerstone_indictment.pdf

The e-mails released by Wikileaks revealed shenanigans at and by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Stone was arrested at his Florida residence at 6:00 a.m. today by gun-toting FBI agents, with the whole thing being filmed by -- surprise, surprise! -- the CNN television network, which perhaps knew to be there after consulting a Ouija Board [2].

After appearing before a federal magistrate in Florida, Stone was released on his own recognizance by a signature bond, so he did not have to deposit any bail money or get a bail bond.

He talked outside after he was released, asserting that he will have a trial -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDrulTuG50U

The case is filed in a federal district court in Washington D.C., and the presiding judge is Amy Berman Jackson, who is the judge in Paul Manafort's case that is in the D.C. federal courthouse. Cases are normally assigned to a court randomly when they are filed, and it is not known if that procedure was followed in this instance.

[Jan 27, 2019] Mueller's Desperate Roger Stone Gambit by Larry Johnson

Looks like the color revolution against Trump continues. What is interesting is that while Trump position becomes more and more shaky he does not want to fight. And he suppounded himself with people, which will sell him at the first opportunity. I means first of all this neocon warmonger Pompeo.
Notable quotes:
"... It really does tell a story that exonerates Trump of the Russian collusion narrative but also exposes the desperation of Mueller to create a crime where none exists. ..."
"... Where is President Trump in all this? These are all actions taken by his DOJ and FBI appointees. Does he believe that his responsibility ends with a tweet? Why hasn't he hauled Whitaker, Rosenstein and Wray into his office and demanded equal application of the law with respect to Hillary, Clapper, Brennan and Comey lying to Congress? Why hasn't he declassified all the information around the role of Fusion GPS, Clinton campaign, FBI, DOJ, CIA with respect to interference in the presidential campaign? ..."
"... Is he not POTUS? Or is he just a character in a VR game? ..."
"... I think, for what's it worth, that the whole point to Mueller and all the legal harassment and arrests of people associated, even to a small extent with the Trump campaign, is to scare people away from working with Trump on the 2020 campaign and leave the Donald high and dry. That and create an illusion of criminality around Trump. Again, that's an uninformed opinion; just an opinion derived from what I see. Curious to know if you think there's any truth to it. Thx ..."
"... Eric, it's called "file stuffing " a bureaucratic name for assembling a mountainous pile of allegations - 99.9% of which are either trivial or false, that is too big and convoluted for any team of humans to refute in detail at one sitting. ..."
"... Mueller is following the Department of Injustice practice of throwing multiple charges at people, even though they know many of them won't stick, so as to drive up the costs of discovery. Thus looms the prospect financial ruin for all but the wealthiest of defendants. This induces them to plead guilty to lesser charges in order to preserve their retirement savings and possibly long prison sentences. ..."
"... DoJ career prosecutors are evaluated on their out-of-court settlement rates and this is how they achieve high ones. ..."
"... So much for the de facto right of a fair trial. IIRC, when the press got to stone after the court appearance he stated that he'll take this to trial. He may have second thoughts as the legal bills pile up. ..."
Jan 27, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

I have had to shut off all of the media. The media/establishment hatred of Trump and their desire to force him from office is palpable and on near continuous display on every cable channel, including Fox. These pundits remind me of the drowning passengers from the Titanic, flailing frantically while immersed in freezing water but going no where but down. They are keen on avoiding facts. Let's be clear what the facts are about Roger Stone.

FACT ONE

Roger Stone had an extremely short tenure with the Trump campaign. He served in an undefined position as a "campaign advisor" and either quit or was fired on 8 August 2015. Politico's account of the incident attributed Stone's departure to Trump's comments regarding former Fox star, Megyn Kelly:

Regardless of who resigned or was fired first, the campaign shakeup was the first sign that Trump's election effort was seriously damaged from within after his Thursday night debate performance and his subsequent comments in which he attacked one of the Fox debate moderators, Megyn Kelly.

Stone was never a critical component or the Trump campaign. He was not an insider and he was not a "go to guy" for Trump's inner circle. The indictment smears Stone by an unsupported claim that Stone had regular, continuing contact with unnamed persons affiliated with the Trump campaign even after his August 2015 departure. Having conversations is not illegal. Moreover, Stone was never a go to guy for the campaign.

FACT TWO

Roger Stone does have a history with Paul Manafort, who served a brief tenure as Trump's campaign manager. They formed a political consulting firm in 1980-- Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly --and became known as bare knuckle brawlers in the world of electoral politics. They worked for Reagan and for George H.W. Bush. Worth noting that Manafort's time with the Trump campaign started off in March 2016--seven months after Stone's departure--as an advisor on going after delegates. He was promoted to campaign manager on May 19, 2016 and resigned from the campaign on August 19, 2016 under the cloud of being cozy with Putin :

The Trump campaign provided no reason for Manafort's resignation. But in the days immediately leading up to the announcement, the New York Times reported investigators were looking into $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments to Manafort from former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, and the Associated Press reported he helped a pro-Russian party in Ukraine funnel money to lobbying firms in Washington, D.C.

There is a lot of speculation about who Stone was talking to. Person 1 in the indictment is Jerome Corsi. Person 2 is Randy Credico. None were involved in any substantive way with the Trump campaign. I would not be surprised if it was Manafort (or someone acting at his behest) that reached out to Stone to see if he could get any additional info about Wikileaks plans.

FACT THREE

Roger Stone is a bullshitter and grand raconteur. He can tell you things that sound spot on but are not true. I have first hand experience with him on this point. I first met Roger in the spring of 1980. I was teaching in the Washington Semester Program at American University and he spoke to my class. I did not see Roger in person again until March of 2018--we were on the same flight from Fort Lauderdale enroute to Washington. I introduced myself and we got reacquainted. Subsequent to that meeting I watched the documentary on Roger Stone and was amused to see him "credited" (or blamed) for starting the Whitey rumor--i.e., the claim that there was a video tape of Michelle Obama using the phrase Whitey in a speech before a group linked to Louis Farrakhan. Why amused? I started that rumor at the direction of Sidney Blumenthal (I did not believe it was a rumor but I was gamed--but that is a story for another day).

I ran into Roger last August, again at the airport. This time it was Washington Reagan National. I walked up to him and told him that he was being blamed for something I did. I proceeded to tell the story and he laughed when he learned that this smear of Michelle came from the Clinton Campaign. Roger is a connoisseur of dirty tricks.

With this background, I want you to take a fresh look at Mueller's indictment of Stone. It really does tell a story that exonerates Trump of the Russian collusion narrative but also exposes the desperation of Mueller to create a crime where none exists. (BTW, kudos to Robert Willman for his excellent piece at Sic Semper).

Here's the Mueller narrative on Stone :

During the summer of 2016, STONE spoke to senior Trump Campaign officials (NOT FURTHER IDENTIFIED) about WIKILEAKS and information it might have had that would be damaging to the Clinton Campaign. STONE was contacted by senior Trump Campaign officials to inquire about future releases by Organization 1.

By in or around early August 2016, STONE was claiming both publicly and privately to have communicated with WIKILEAKS. By in or around mid-August 2016, WIKILEAKS made a public statement denying direct communication with STONE. Thereafter, STONE said that his communication with WIKILEAKS had occurred through a person STONE described as a "mutual friend," "go-between," and "intermediary." STONE also continued to communicate with members of the Trump Campaign about WIKILEAKS and its intended future releases.

Here is what this really demonstrates. First, Stone was talking out of his ass. He was portraying himself to people in the Trump campaign (probably Manafort) as a guy with inside knowledge. Based on what I know about Stone, I am sure he was playing this angle in hopes of getting back into the good graces of the Trump campaign. Second, if the Trump organization was actively colluding with the Russians and Wikileaks, why were they asking Stone to find out what Wikileaks had and what it intended to do with such material.

This is the most critical revelation, in my view, from this indictment--the Trump campaign did not know what Wikileaks had or what it intended to do. They were reaching out to an outsider--a third party--who claimed to have contacts with Wikileaks. But Stone did not. In typical Roger Stone fashion, his story kept changing. Initially he insisted he was in direct contact with someone there. Not true. He then admitted that he was relying on the word of Randy Credico. That probably was the truth. But Credico's information was second hand. Randy Credico knew the wife of Julian Assange's deceased attorney--Margaret Ratner Kunstler, widow of William Kunstler. She did have contacts at Wikileaks and was in a position to tell Credico that more dirt on Clinton was coming. But Stone was parlaying third hand information to present himself as a guy with inside knowledge. That's not criminal. That is typical of Washington and the world of journalism.

What is being done to Roger Stone is wrong. He was playing politics and playing according to Washington rules. It may not be pretty and may not be ethical. But it is not criminal and certainly does not justify sending out a ninja clad SWAT team to take him into custody. I hope some wealthy benefactors step up and help fund Stone's defense fund. He will win this case. Mueller and his team are the ones who have crossed an ethical and moral line.


PeterVE , 11 hours ago

Thank you for that vital point that this indictment contradicts the Official Story that the Trump campaign was in cahoots with the Russians in regards to the Wikileaks DNC info.

After Thursday's news that Trump had decided to recognize the coup government in Venezuela, I chose to subject myself to the Rachel Maddow Show to see the official reaction of the Resistance™. She spent the entire first section of the show rehashing a story about security clearances from a year ago. Obviously, the MSM is confused whether to be against it, because TRUMP BAD, or to be for it, because ST. OBAMA imposed sanctions on Venezuela.
Mueller relieved them of the need to make those hard decisions by sending a heavily armed swat team on a predawn raid of an extremely dangerous loudmouth old braggart. They could even ignore the news that Elliot Abrams had been dragged back out of obscurity to oversee the rest of the coup in Venezuela. How long before Secord and North are shipping weapons from Israel to the noble freedom fighters of Venezuela?

Stuart Wood , 6 hours ago
RE: Roger Stone and his Pinocchio problems. To f***ing bad. As long as he has been around, if he isn't smart enough to know that he can get his ass in a jam by lying to Congress or the FBI, the dude isn't thinking too straight. This administration seems to have a problem with truth telling, all the way from Trump to the numerous administration/campaign officials indicted or plead guilty to lying to the FBI or Congress. Blaming Mueller for their dishonest utterances is putting the shoe on the wrong foot.
Bill Herschel , 12 hours ago
Is this "story" more important than the prospect of troops in Argentina? I think not.
ex-PFC Chuck -> Bill Herschel , 7 hours ago
Actually it is because it pertains to what increasingly looks like a slo-mo coup in this country.
Jack , 12 hours ago
Mr. Johnson,

Where is President Trump in all this? These are all actions taken by his DOJ and FBI appointees. Does he believe that his responsibility ends with a tweet? Why hasn't he hauled Whitaker, Rosenstein and Wray into his office and demanded equal application of the law with respect to Hillary, Clapper, Brennan and Comey lying to Congress? Why hasn't he declassified all the information around the role of Fusion GPS, Clinton campaign, FBI, DOJ, CIA with respect to interference in the presidential campaign?

Is he not POTUS? Or is he just a character in a VR game?

Eric Newhill's comment is spot on. Why would anyone want to work for Trump's campaign and be ruined financially and face legal jeopardy when all he does is tweet? His actions show weakness and his opponents know it.

Valissa Rauhallinen -> Jack , 11 hours ago
Jack, I'm assuming he is not doing those things because he is completely surrounded by the Deep State who is already going after him one every front. Every time he has tried to cut back on forever war he gets sabotaged by the Borg. The gov't is yuuuuge and Trump and his small crew are peanuts compared to that. It's very difficult to make progress on his agenda given the level of internal opposition he faces and how outnumbered he is.

From what I have learned over the years the POTUS does not have much freedom. Obama talked about this too.

Fred S -> Jack , 12 hours ago
Where is Nancy Pelosi in all this; better yet where is the ACLU? I think you already know the answer.
Jack -> Fred S , 11 hours ago
Neither Nancy Pelosi nor the ACLU run the FBI and DOJ. President Trump does.
Fred S -> Jack , 9 hours ago
So Congress has no oversight responsibility like they say they have and the ACLU is not really concerned about abuses of police powers.
blue peacock -> Fred S , 9 hours ago
Why should they care when the FBI & DOJ are going after their opponent Trump's minions? He is the one that should care that his guys are the ones being being targeted and not his opponents.
Eric Newhill , 13 hours ago
Larry,

What you say sounds right enough to me - though I kind of have to take it on faith because I've never been anywhere near the world you describe.

However, I think, for what's it worth, that the whole point to Mueller and all the legal harassment and arrests of people associated, even to a small extent with the Trump campaign, is to scare people away from working with Trump on the 2020 campaign and leave the Donald high and dry. That and create an illusion of criminality around Trump. Again, that's an uninformed opinion; just an opinion derived from what I see. Curious to know if you think there's any truth to it. Thx

Walrus -> Eric Newhill , 9 hours ago
Eric, it's called "file stuffing " a bureaucratic name for assembling a mountainous pile of allegations - 99.9% of which are either trivial or false, that is too big and convoluted for any team of humans to refute in detail at one sitting.

This file is then served up to a judge (or the Republican National Convention) with the offered assumption that because the file is so voluminous, the allegations contained must be substantially true.

I would expect to hear Trump labelled as a "troubled President" because, you know, he and his campaign did all these illegal things, so he must be guilty of stuff, so he needs to be impeached and can't stand in 2020, meh or whatever..........

ex-PFC Chuck -> Walrus , 7 hours ago
Mueller is following the Department of Injustice practice of throwing multiple charges at people, even though they know many of them won't stick, so as to drive up the costs of discovery. Thus looms the prospect financial ruin for all but the wealthiest of defendants. This induces them to plead guilty to lesser charges in order to preserve their retirement savings and possibly long prison sentences.

DoJ career prosecutors are evaluated on their out-of-court settlement rates and this is how they achieve high ones.

So much for the de facto right of a fair trial. IIRC, when the press got to stone after the court appearance he stated that he'll take this to trial. He may have second thoughts as the legal bills pile up.

[Jan 22, 2019] At the end of the day, Trump Tower Moscow has never happened - and Trump himself has turned out to be the worst Putin Puppet ever after slapping heavy sanctions on Moscow and selling Ukraine weapons that the Obama administration wouldn t.

Jan 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

BuzzFeed Throws Hail Mary: Publishes New Trump Tower Moscow Docs

After last week's embarrassing debacle in which special counsel Robert Mueller issued a rare statement calling bullshit on BuzzFeed over their Trump Tower Moscow report that Trump ordered his attorney Michael Cohen to lie about the timeline, the beleaguered news outlet has taken a second bite at the apple with a new report (oddly written by a completely different journalist) refuting comments by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani that "no plans were ever made" for the project.

Not so fast Rudy ...

In their new report, BuzzFeed claims that the Trump Tower Moscow idea was "led by Trump's then-lawyer, Michael Cohen, and his associate Felix Sater" despite writing in November that Sater both thought of and spearheaded the idea , turning to Cohen to "get it off the ground" while overpromising that he could seal the deal through his Russian connections that never panned out.

Sater, a brash real estate promoter who pleaded guilty to racketeering in 1998 and became a longtime asset to US law enforcement and intelligence agencies, had worked with the Trump Organization on deals in the past and said he came up with the idea. Cohen, Sater recalled, said, "Great idea." - BuzzFeed

Today's "gotcha," however is that the project had progressed much further than Giuliani claimed on Monday when he told the New Yorker "no plans were ever made. There were no drafts. Nothing in the file."

Not true , writes BuzzFeed' s Azeen Ghorayshi.

The president and his representatives have dismissed the project as little more than a notion -- a rough plan led by Trump's then-lawyer, Michael Cohen, and his associate Felix Sater, of which Trump and his family said they were only loosely aware as the election campaign gathered pace.

On Monday, his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani , said "the proposal was in the earliest stage," and he went on to tell the New Yorker that "no plans were ever made. There were no drafts. Nothing in the file."

However, hundreds of pages of business documents, emails, text messages, and architectural plans, obtained by BuzzFeed News over a year of reporting, tell a very different story. Trump Tower Moscow was a richly imagined vision of upscale splendor on the banks of the Moscow River. - BuzzFeed

Trump Tower Moscow hasn't exactly been a secret, admits BuzzFeed , noting that Donald Trump tweeted about it following the 2013 Miss Universe pageant, and writing in his book The Art of the Deal that he had been trying to expand his business empire into Russia for over 30 years.

me title=

Over the last week, Giuliani admitted to the New York Times that the Trump Tower Moscow discussions were "going on from the day I announced to the day I won," Giuliani quoted Trump as saying. He then walked back those comments , claiming in a statement: "My recent statements about discussions during the 2016 campaign between Michael Cohen and then-candidate Donald Trump about a potential Trump Moscow 'project' were hypothetical and not based on conversations I had with the President."

In other words, Giuliani is a walking gaffe machine - which we already knew.

That said, the Trump Tower moscow project appears to have been much more developed than anyone in the Trump camp has acknowledged.

According to a finalized letter of intent signed by Donald Trump on Oct. 28, 2015, the tower would have "approximately 250 first class, luxury residential condominiums."

It would be located in Moscow City, a former industrial complex outside of the city center that has since been converted into an ambitious commercial district clustered with several of the tallest skyscrapers in Europe.

Its hotel portion would feature "approximately 15 floors" and contain "not fewer than 150 hotel rooms," the letter of intent stated. The building would feature a luxury spa and fitness center, a commercial component "consistent with the overall luxury level of the Property," and an office space "consistent with Class A luxury office properties," as well as "luxury" parking. - BuzzFeed

Also in the plan was "The Spa By Ivanka Trump," as well as a $50 million penthouse suite that they would give to Russian President Vladimir Putin. "My idea was to give a $50 million penthouse to Putin and charge $250 million more for the rest of the units," Sater told BuzzFeed in November. "All the oligarchs would line up to live in the same building as Putin."

Show Trump the money

The Trump Organization stood to make $4 million on an up-front payment for the deal; 25% of which would be paid upon execution of the licensing agreement, another quarter when they finalized a location, and the other half a week before the project's groundbreaking - or two years after the execution of the licensing agreement, whichever came first.

From there on out, Trump's company would also get a cut of all the condominium sales at the tower, the agreement stated. From the total selling price of each unit, his company would get 5% for sales up to $100 million, 4% for the next bracket up to $250 million, 3% for anything between that and $500 million, 2% for anything up to $1 billion, and thereafter, a solid cut of 1%. For commercial and office spaces, it would get a 3% cut of all the rent. It'd get another 3% of sales on food and beverages, spa and fitness center use, and conference fees.

The deal also stipulated how much Trump's management company would get paid for running operations at Trump Tower Moscow over 25 years. For the first five years, it would get 3% of all revenue generated by operating the hotel per month. Over the next two decades, it'd receive a flat 4%. In addition, the management company would also receive a monthly "incentive fee" -- an additional 20% of the gross operating profit for the hotel -- subject to annual negotiations. - BuzzFeed

At the end of the day, Trump Tower Moscow has never happened - and Trump himself has turned out to be the worst "Putin Puppet" ever after slapping heavy sanctions on Moscow and selling Ukraine weapons that the Obama administration wouldn't.

"Let's make this happen and build a Trump Moscow," wrote Sater to Cohen in October of 2015. "And possibly fix relations between the countries by showing everyone that commerce & business are much better and more practical than politics. Help world peace and make a lot of money, I would say that's a great lifetime goal for us to go after."


Teeter , 6 minutes ago link

Talk about trying to make something out of nothing... what's the crime? So lame.

Oboneterm , 9 minutes ago link

STOP THE ******* PRESSES..........BOMB SHELL......BOMB SHELL REPORT...THE WALLS ARE CLOSING IN....ORANGE HAIR PRESIDENT SOON TO BE WARING ORANGE JUMPSUIT....

Dateline Moscow 2013........

The crime:

American Developer explores possibilities of building a hotel in Moscow.

StarGate , 10 minutes ago link

There is NO Moscow Trump Tower.

No mountain.

Not even a molehill.

Buzzfeed is frantically trying to gain relevance on this fantasy non-existent tower story. It's a big "So What?"

glenlloyd , 13 minutes ago link

Big deal. Rudy needs to be more careful about what he says but WTF does it matter that Trump's people tried to get the tower project done there?

How does any of this mean anything? So what if he did try and build it? This was ages before he ever thought about running for President.

All these leftists are hanging their hat (and hopes and dreams) on something that just didn't happen.

Sorry all you leftist loonies, there's nothing in that Mueller report to get excited about. I just hope that a lot of you crazies can handle that.

hanekhw , 17 minutes ago link

The media won't understand talking to Russians to build in Russia and not talking to George Soros first is NOT a crime. Just because that's what THEY do concerning everything doesn't mean Trump has to also.

inosent , 17 minutes ago link

zzzzzzzzzz, but the ****-0-craps will be all rage and fury over some sort of fantasy land egotistical it'll never happen building in Moscow. Pretty pictures, though.

And to the idiot poster who keeps claiming this is 'bribery', that means 1) there would have to be something to be given in return that was unlawful on some level, and 2) there was intent, and 3) a discussion about the nature and quality of the bribe actually took place between the bribor and bribee.

I get the uniparty thing, but some of the leftie dickheads that post here are really stupid. Colossally dumb.

Somebody said below we get nothing but bolshevik-speak from these marxists. They open the mouth and voila! a 'fact' is born. And on that basis a conviction. Matters not if the 'fact' disappears someday, so long as today the 'fact' gives them the pretense to destroy someone that gets in their way.

The 60's hippies 'left' was all down on the 'man'. 'I just want to be freeeeeeee man' they would say.

ha, such bulls-. The truth is they are all lining up at the govt trough to get their piece of the action. It doesn't matter that they f- people over, destroy lives, and freedom for all, so long as they get a juicy title, paycheck and pension.

Pure, 100% commie bulls-.

These people need to put on a red shirt and a bulls' eye, have a war against them declared, and then they can be mowed down one at a time until they run away from govt and never return, or they are all gone.

We are no doubt headed for all out neo-USSA communism. Better make sure you keep your guns!

And when (not if) the ****-0-craps have total power, the first thing they'll do is make it impossible to get a gun, and then find a means to confiscate them. Before any tyranny we always see the new tyrant go after the guns. Then when the ppl are unarmed, they move in for the kill - literally.

The commie jackass 'leaders' always talk about this it's for the children, safety, etc. But we all know that is a farce. The real purpose is to disarm. Culturally, they have made us all capitulate to deviancy, where nobody dares question the immoral homosexual behavioral choice. That is the kind of world we live in. Next stop, pedoland. "Don't judge me bro'".

Given that we now know (if we did not know already) that at LEAST 65% of the population is completely dependent on the government, we live in a land where there are ultimate sheep, demented immoral sheep, government dependent and not productive sheep. We are surrounded by people who are totally brainwashed, are easily swept up with the latest new world order dogma, and won't fight back against anything, but accept everything, and do as they are told - for a morsel of bread.

Not sure what the solution is, but if you are a person with a moral compass in fairly good working order, and don't want your pocket picked, and your business totally compromised by some bureaucrat. best be looking for one.

hanekhw , 17 minutes ago link

The media won't understand talking to Russians to build in Russia and not talking to George Soros first is NOT a crime. Just because that's what THEY do concerning everything doesn't mean Trump has to also.

inosent , 17 minutes ago link

zzzzzzzzzz, but the ****-0-craps will be all rage and fury over some sort of fantasy land egotistical it'll never happen building in Moscow. Pretty pictures, though.

And to the idiot poster who keeps claiming this is 'bribery', that means 1) there would have to be something to be given in return that was unlawful on some level, and 2) there was intent, and 3) a discussion about the nature and quality of the bribe actually took place between the bribor and bribee.

I get the uniparty thing, but some of the leftie dickheads that post here are really stupid. Colossally dumb.

Somebody said below we get nothing but bolshevik-speak from these marxists. They open the mouth and voila! a 'fact' is born. And on that basis a conviction. Matters not if the 'fact' disappears someday, so long as today the 'fact' gives them the pretense to destroy someone that gets in their way.

The 60's hippies 'left' was all down on the 'man'. 'I just want to be freeeeeeee man' they would say.

ha, such bulls-. The truth is they are all lining up at the govt trough to get their piece of the action. It doesn't matter that they f- people over, destroy lives, and freedom for all, so long as they get a juicy title, paycheck and pension.

Pure, 100% commie bulls-.

These people need to put on a red shirt and a bulls' eye, have a war against them declared, and then they can be mowed down one at a time until they run away from govt and never return, or they are all gone.

We are no doubt headed for all out neo-USSA communism. Better make sure you keep your guns!

And when (not if) the ****-0-craps have total power, the first thing they'll do is make it impossible to get a gun, and then find a means to confiscate them. Before any tyranny we always see the new tyrant go after the guns. Then when the ppl are unarmed, they move in for the kill - literally.

The commie jackass 'leaders' always talk about this it's for the children, safety, etc. But we all know that is a farce. The real purpose is to disarm. Culturally, they have made us all capitulate to deviancy, where nobody dares question the immoral homosexual behavioral choice. That is the kind of world we live in. Next stop, pedoland. "Don't judge me bro'".

Given that we now know (if we did not know already) that at LEAST 65% of the population is completely dependent on the government, we live in a land where there are ultimate sheep, demented immoral sheep, government dependent and not productive sheep. We are surrounded by people who are totally brainwashed, are easily swept up with the latest new world order dogma, and won't fight back against anything, but accept everything, and do as they are told - for a morsel of bread.

Not sure what the solution is, but if you are a person with a moral compass in fairly good working order, and don't want your pocket picked, and your business totally compromised by some bureaucrat. best be looking for one.

hanekhw , 17 minutes ago link

The media won't understand talking to Russians to build in Russia and not talking to George Soros first is NOT a crime. Just because that's what THEY do concerning everything doesn't mean Trump has to also.

inosent , 17 minutes ago link

zzzzzzzzzz, but the ****-0-craps will be all rage and fury over some sort of fantasy land egotistical it'll never happen building in Moscow. Pretty pictures, though.

And to the idiot poster who keeps claiming this is 'bribery', that means 1) there would have to be something to be given in return that was unlawful on some level, and 2) there was intent, and 3) a discussion about the nature and quality of the bribe actually took place between the bribor and bribee.

I get the uniparty thing, but some of the leftie dickheads that post here are really stupid. Colossally dumb.

Somebody said below we get nothing but bolshevik-speak from these marxists. They open the mouth and voila! a 'fact' is born. And on that basis a conviction. Matters not if the 'fact' disappears someday, so long as today the 'fact' gives them the pretense to destroy someone that gets in their way.

The 60's hippies 'left' was all down on the 'man'. 'I just want to be freeeeeeee man' they would say.

ha, such bulls-. The truth is they are all lining up at the govt trough to get their piece of the action. It doesn't matter that they f- people over, destroy lives, and freedom for all, so long as they get a juicy title, paycheck and pension.

Pure, 100% commie bulls-.

These people need to put on a red shirt and a bulls' eye, have a war against them declared, and then they can be mowed down one at a time until they run away from govt and never return, or they are all gone.

We are no doubt headed for all out neo-USSA communism. Better make sure you keep your guns!

And when (not if) the ****-0-craps have total power, the first thing they'll do is make it impossible to get a gun, and then find a means to confiscate them. Before any tyranny we always see the new tyrant go after the guns. Then when the ppl are unarmed, they move in for the kill - literally.

The commie jackass 'leaders' always talk about this it's for the children, safety, etc. But we all know that is a farce. The real purpose is to disarm. Culturally, they have made us all capitulate to deviancy, where nobody dares question the immoral homosexual behavioral choice. That is the kind of world we live in. Next stop, pedoland. "Don't judge me bro'".

Given that we now know (if we did not know already) that at LEAST 65% of the population is completely dependent on the government, we live in a land where there are ultimate sheep, demented immoral sheep, government dependent and not productive sheep. We are surrounded by people who are totally brainwashed, are easily swept up with the latest new world order dogma, and won't fight back against anything, but accept everything, and do as they are told - for a morsel of bread.

Not sure what the solution is, but if you are a person with a moral compass in fairly good working order, and don't want your pocket picked, and your business totally compromised by some bureaucrat. best be looking for one.

hanekhw , 17 minutes ago link

The media won't understand talking to Russians to build in Russia and not talking to George Soros first is NOT a crime. Just because that's what THEY do concerning everything doesn't mean Trump has to also.

inosent , 17 minutes ago link

zzzzzzzzzz, but the ****-0-craps will be all rage and fury over some sort of fantasy land egotistical it'll never happen building in Moscow. Pretty pictures, though.

And to the idiot poster who keeps claiming this is 'bribery', that means 1) there would have to be something to be given in return that was unlawful on some level, and 2) there was intent, and 3) a discussion about the nature and quality of the bribe actually took place between the bribor and bribee.

I get the uniparty thing, but some of the leftie dickheads that post here are really stupid. Colossally dumb.

Somebody said below we get nothing but bolshevik-speak from these marxists. They open the mouth and voila! a 'fact' is born. And on that basis a conviction. Matters not if the 'fact' disappears someday, so long as today the 'fact' gives them the pretense to destroy someone that gets in their way.

The 60's hippies 'left' was all down on the 'man'. 'I just want to be freeeeeeee man' they would say.

ha, such bulls-. The truth is they are all lining up at the govt trough to get their piece of the action. It doesn't matter that they f- people over, destroy lives, and freedom for all, so long as they get a juicy title, paycheck and pension.

Pure, 100% commie bulls-.

These people need to put on a red shirt and a bulls' eye, have a war against them declared, and then they can be mowed down one at a time until they run away from govt and never return, or they are all gone.

We are no doubt headed for all out neo-USSA communism. Better make sure you keep your guns!

And when (not if) the ****-0-craps have total power, the first thing they'll do is make it impossible to get a gun, and then find a means to confiscate them. Before any tyranny we always see the new tyrant go after the guns. Then when the ppl are unarmed, they move in for the kill - literally.

The commie jackass 'leaders' always talk about this it's for the children, safety, etc. But we all know that is a farce. The real purpose is to disarm. Culturally, they have made us all capitulate to deviancy, where nobody dares question the immoral homosexual behavioral choice. That is the kind of world we live in. Next stop, pedoland. "Don't judge me bro'".

Given that we now know (if we did not know already) that at LEAST 65% of the population is completely dependent on the government, we live in a land where there are ultimate sheep, demented immoral sheep, government dependent and not productive sheep. We are surrounded by people who are totally brainwashed, are easily swept up with the latest new world order dogma, and won't fight back against anything, but accept everything, and do as they are told - for a morsel of bread.

Not sure what the solution is, but if you are a person with a moral compass in fairly good working order, and don't want your pocket picked, and your business totally compromised by some bureaucrat. best be looking for one.

Justin Case

Keep shoveling that Russia this, that, manure narrative for general consumption. What sanctions? Umm, I'll get back to you after we extradite the Huawei CEO and extort billions from the corporation for doing business with our (Israel's) adversary.

You voted for this? He talks out of both sides of his mouth. Why do people vote to have someone rule over them?

[Jan 15, 2019] The man behind the Russiagate hoax set to resign (Video)

Jan 15, 2019 | theduran.com

A source close to Rosenstein said he intends to stay on until Mueller submits a report to the Justice Department on the Russian meddling investigation. The source said that would mean Rosenstein would remain until early March. Several legal sources have said they expect the Mueller team to submit its report by mid-to-late February, although they said that timeline could change based on unforeseen investigative developments.

Rosenstein had long intended to serve about two years as the Justice Department's No. 2 official, these officials say. They add that this is his own plan and that he is not being forced out by the White House. That's despite the fact that he's been a frequent target of criticism from President Donald Trump on Twitter.

The administration officials say he plans to remain on the job until after a new attorney general is confirmed. After pushing out Jeff Sessions in November, Trump nominated William Barr, who planned to be at the Capitol on Wednesday, beginning a round of courtesy calls with senators ahead of his confirmation hearing, which begins Jan. 15.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Wednesday on Fox News: "I know the deputy attorney general has always planned to roughly stay around two years. My guess is that he is making room for the new attorney general to build a team that he wants around him."

Rosenstein's intentions were first reported by ABC News. He did not respond to questions Wednesday morning.

Rosenstein considered resigning last fall, after a report surfaced that he had advocated secretly recording Trump, but he decided to stay on the job. Aides said he made a comment about having someone "wear a wire" around the president as a joke during a meeting.

Rosenstein had been overseeing the Mueller's investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice because Sessions recused himself because of his role in the Trump campaign. And even with the arrival of acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, who took over the probe, Rosenstein has continued to help supervise it.

If Barr is confirmed, as seems likely, he will fully take over the investigation. Several legal sources have said it appears that the Mueller investigation is entering its final stages. But Barr would play a key role in deciding whether and how to share Mueller's expected report with Congress and whether to make all or part of it public.

Responding to news of Rosenstein's impending departure, Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia told CNN's "New Day" that he has "deep concern" about how Barr will handle the Mueller probe. He referred to a memo Barr wrote in which he was critical of the investigation.

"William Barr was sending freelance memos to the Trump administration making a case to undercut the Mueller investigation," Kaine said. "So the deep concern will be if he comes in and Rosenstein is gone, is this just a preface to either undercutting the investigation or trying to keep the results of it hidden from the American public."

Rosenstein has been a consistent defender of Mueller and the Justice Department, responding to attacks from Republicans in Congress. He told a Law Day conference last May that the department "is not going to be extorted," after some House Republicans raised the prospect of seeking Rosenstein's impeachment.

The attacks from Congress and the White House were a jolt for Rosenstein, who enjoyed bipartisan support for most of his three decades as a federal prosecutor. But his congressional support faltered when he wrote a memo providing a rationale for Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey.

By appointing Mueller to take over the Russia investigation as a special counsel, Rosenstein won back Democrats but angered the president, who tweeted, "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt."

[Jan 13, 2019] As FBI Ramped Up Witch Hunt When Trump Fired Comey, Strzok Admitted Collusion Investigation A Joke

Highly recommended!
All links are going to Brennan and CIA. Rosenstein was just a tool, necessary to appoint the Special Prosecutor. And launching the prove was the meaning of "insurance" that Strock mentioned to his mistress. Both Strzok and McCabe have their liasons (read bosses) at CIA, so in essence they were "CIA infiltration group" within the FBI. And it is also important to understand that Obama was just a CIA snowperson.
There is Stalin's NKVD chief Beria shadow over CIA and FBI now. He famously said "Show me the man and I'll find you the crime."
Notable quotes:
"... The Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross has made a brilliant observation, noting Peter Strzok - then the FBI's deputy chief of counterintelligence, admitted to his FBI lawyer mistress, Lisa Page, that there was no merit to the investigation. ..."
"... Interestingly, another series of Strzok-Page texts refers to "coordinating investigation" after Strzok apparently met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who both recommended Comey's firing, then authorized the special counsel probe ..."
"... As Ross notes in The Daily Caller , there were other text messages that between Strzok and Page which raise suspicion over whether the FBI was working on a "gotcha" against Trump. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

As FBI Ramped Up "Witch Hunt" When Trump Fired Comey, Strzok Admitted Collusion Investigation A Joke

A Friday report in the New York Times revealing that the FBI supercharged its Trump-Russia collusion investigation after President Trump fired FBI director James Comey appears to have backfired - especially when one reviews internal FBI communications from the time period in question.

The Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross has made a brilliant observation, noting Peter Strzok - then the FBI's deputy chief of counterintelligence, admitted to his FBI lawyer mistress, Lisa Page, that there was no merit to the investigation.

Nine days after Comey was fired and the DOJ "sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia," Strzok texted Page on May 18, 2017: "You and I both know the odds are nothing. If I thought it was likely I'd be there no question. I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern there's no big there there. "

It is unclear from The Times report what information was used as a predicate to open the investigation. The article suggests that the FBI had long considered the move and that Comey's firing and Trump's subsequent comments marked a tipping point.

...

A source close to Strzok told The Daily Caller News Foundation on Jan. 26, 2018, shortly after the text was released, that the message reflected Strzok's concern that the FBI would not find evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia . - Daily Caller

The Times' explanation for the FBI's rationale that Trump may have been a Russian asset consists of Trump's call for Moscow to release Hillary Clinton's emails an election debate, and allegations contained within the unverified Steele Dossier. The Times was also quick to note that Trump may have "unwittingly fallen under Moscow's influence," to temper the accusation that he was an agent of a foreign power. In short, weak sauce.

It's no wonder Strzok was hesitant to join Mueller's team.

Interestingly, another series of Strzok-Page texts refers to "coordinating investigation" after Strzok apparently met with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who both recommended Comey's firing, then authorized the special counsel probe.

As Ross notes in The Daily Caller , there were other text messages that between Strzok and Page which raise suspicion over whether the FBI was working on a "gotcha" against Trump.

" And we need to open the case we've been waiting on now while Andy is acting ," Strzok texted Page the day Comey was fired, referring to then-deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe.

Meanwhile, Page - who served as McCabe's deputy, provided some additional color on the text messages during her July 2018 congressional testimony, suggesting that the "case we've been waiting on" text referred to an investigation separate of the obstruction probe we already knew about.

"Well, other than obstruction, what could it have been?" one lawmaker asked Page in her interview, details of which were published by The Epoch Times on Friday.

" I can't answer that, sir. I'm sorry ," she replied.

"If I was able to explain in more depth why the Director firing precipitated this text, I would," she continued while declining to say if the text message referred to an obstruction of justice investigation or something more. - Daily Caller

That said, Page admitted that Comey's firing prompted the text exchange.

"So the firing of Jim Comey was the precipitating event as opposed to the occupant of the Director's office?" asked one lawmaker.

"Yes, that's correct," replied Page.

Meanwhile, The Times went to great lengths to imply that the FBI was justified in their ratcheted-up collusion investigation - failing to mention who started the probe, who led it, and more importantly - waiting until the 9th paragraph to mention the fact that it turned up nothing .

"No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials. An F.B.I. spokeswoman and a spokesman for the special counsel's office both declined to comment."

VideoEng_NC

"It is unclear from The Times report what information was used as a predicate to open the investigation."

Should be pretty simple with one question. "Was it Hillary who was the responsible party to open an investigation on Trump?". About as direct as it gets & we already know the answer.

adampeart

TDS sufferers hate Trump so bad that they have become (at 70%) pro-warmonger. Pathetic. I guess that I shouldn't be surprised. They were fine with Black Jesus starting wars, overthrowing governments and bombing brown people for 8 years.

Teeter

McCabe initiated the investigation. Nobody likes McCabe, so he is likely to be the one guy that gets thrown under the bus. Of course what he knows may protect him to some extent... they won't want a trial.

Duc888

Sedition? Treason?

Yippie21

7 Days in May.... except for current version we use the DOJ and FBI! Interesting times.

[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 13, 2019] Deep State neutered Trump: I have been FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President

He essentially became a Republican Obama, save Nobel Peace Price. If Obama was/is a CIA-democrat, this guy is a Deep State controlled republican. In any case he betrayed his voters in a way that resembles Obama betrayal. One has a fake slogan "change we can believe in" that other equally fake "Make [middle] America Great Again" (which means restoration of well-being of middle class and working class in my book, not the continuation of Obama foreign wars, and tax cuts for for corporations and super rich.
And that means that he lost a considerable part of his electorate: the anti-war republicans and former Sanders supporters. He might do good and not to try to run in 2020. He definitely is no economic nationalist. Compare his policies with Tucker Carlson Jan 2, 2019 speech to see the difference. He is "national neoliberal" which rejects parts of neoliberal globalization based on treaties and prefer to bully nations to compliance that favor the US interests instead of treaties.
And his "fight" with the Deep State resemble so closely to complete and unconditional surrender, that you might have difficulties to distinguish between the two.
Most of his appointees would make Hillary proud. That that extends beyond rabid neocons like Haley, Mattis, Bolton and Pompeo.
Notable quotes:
"... The Washington Post is without a doubt the most pro-establishment among all large mainstream publications, not only do they defend the narratives of the Deep State but actively attacks anyone who challenges them. ..."
"... Jeff Bezos owner of the Washington Post is also a contractor with the CIA and sits on a Pentagon advisory board all part of doing everything he can to cozy up and ingratiate himself to the establishment on which his empire is built. ..."
"... It's really sad that people in the public believe this stuff. It's insane and ridiculous. We're living in an Insane Asylum and the ones who should be there for the safety of themselves and others are walking around giving orders to Media and USG, fomenting war and making a mockery of laws and "normal behaviors. ..."
"... They flooded the news with the old Helsinki/Putin stuff to hide the real news. Lisa Page's testimony revealed that John Carlin, Mueller's former chief of staff was running the Russia investigation from the DOJ end, showing another conflict of Mueller's. Now Mueller is covering for two best friends, Comey and Carlin and he has to frame Trump to save them. ..."
"... The testimony also showed FBI David Bowditch was heavily involved, and Bowditch is now 2nd in command at the FBI and blocking the public release of witness testimony, and one reason for it is it reveals his involvement. ..."
"... It is also now revealed that John Brennan CIA had the dossier before the FBI, and the dossier was likely written by Nellie Ohr, who belonged to a CIA group, and then the dossier was laundered by Steele to look like foreign intelligence to get the Crossfire Hurricane investigation started on Trump. You would think it would be big news that Russians may have had nothing to do with the dossier but the media doesn't see it that way ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Washington Post stating that he "has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details" of his discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin - telling Fox News host Jeanine Pirro in a phone interview that he would be willing to release the details of a private conversation in Helsinki last summer.

"I would. I don't care," Trump told Pirro, adding: "I'm not keeping anything under wraps. I couldn't care less."

"I mean, it's so ridiculous, these people making up," Trump said of the WaPo report.

The president referred to his roughly two-hour dialogue with Putin in Helsinki -- at which only the leaders and their translators were present -- as "a great conversation" that included discussions about "securing Israel and lots of other things."

"I had a conversation like every president does," Trump said Saturday. "You sit with the president of various countries. I do it with all countries." - Politico

In July an attempt by House Democrats to subpoena Trump's Helsinki interpreter was quashed by Republicans.

"The Washington Post is almost as bad, or probably as bad, as the New York Times," Trump said.

When Pirro asked Trump about a Friday night New York Times report that the FBI had opened an inquiry into whether he was working for Putin, Pirro asked Trump "Are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?"

"I think it's the most insulting thing I've ever been asked," Trump responded. "I think it's the most insulting article I've ever had written."

Trump went on an epic tweetstorm Saturday following the Times article, defending his 2017 firing of former FBI Director James Comey, and tweeting that he has been "FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President. At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again!"

rumcho

Jeff Bezos paid $250 million for Washington Post, five years later he gets a government contract with the CIA for $600 million. Are you connecting the dots? You do the numbers. This is how fascism works. Bezos is a crony capitalist joker.

Anunnaki

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/01/the-trump-russia-scam-how-obama-enabled-the-fbi-to-spy-on-trump.html#more

is Trump waiting for Mueller to lay down his cards? Head him off at the pass and arrest Obama, Rice, Jarrett, Lynch, Comey, Rosenstein and McCabe all on day 1

best defense is a good offense. Make the narrative about Dem sedition not impending House impeachment hearings.

You are President, start acting like it. Make them fear you.

your re-election depends on Mike Obama not being your opponent.

Let it Go

WaPo, again?

The Washington Post is without a doubt the most pro-establishment among all large mainstream publications, not only do they defend the narratives of the Deep State but actively attacks anyone who challenges them.

Jeff Bezos owner of the Washington Post is also a contractor with the CIA and sits on a Pentagon advisory board all part of doing everything he can to cozy up and ingratiate himself to the establishment on which his empire is built. The article below delves into how WaPo is behind many of the big stories that manipulate America and moves the needle of public opinion in huge ways.

http://Washington-post-influence-and-power.html

MoralsAreEssential

It's really sad that people in the public believe this stuff. It's insane and ridiculous. We're living in an Insane Asylum and the ones who should be there for the safety of themselves and others are walking around giving orders to Media and USG, fomenting war and making a mockery of laws and "normal behaviors.

shadow54

They flooded the news with the old Helsinki/Putin stuff to hide the real news. Lisa Page's testimony revealed that John Carlin, Mueller's former chief of staff was running the Russia investigation from the DOJ end, showing another conflict of Mueller's. Now Mueller is covering for two best friends, Comey and Carlin and he has to frame Trump to save them.

The testimony also showed FBI David Bowditch was heavily involved, and Bowditch is now 2nd in command at the FBI and blocking the public release of witness testimony, and one reason for it is it reveals his involvement.

It is also now revealed that John Brennan CIA had the dossier before the FBI, and the dossier was likely written by Nellie Ohr, who belonged to a CIA group, and then the dossier was laundered by Steele to look like foreign intelligence to get the Crossfire Hurricane investigation started on Trump. You would think it would be big news that Russians may have had nothing to do with the dossier but the media doesn't see it that way.

Then there is the news that Fusion GPS worked with the Democracy Integrity Project and Knew Knowledge to run a fake Russian bots campaign against Roy Moore. The Democracy Integrity Project was started by Feinstein's aide and with New Knowledge wrote a report on Russian bots for the Senate Intelligence Committee. So the Senate Intelligence Committee hired creators of fake Russian bots to write a report on Russian bots.

[Jan 13, 2019] Until we have more action on this than just some furious tweets, it doesn't matter

Notable quotes:
"... Yes, plus they could have at least tied in the Rosenstein attempt to wear a wire to trap Trump via the 25th amendment as hatched by McCabe too. Lousy article. ..."
Jan 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

navy62802 , 1 hour ago link

Until we have more action on this than just some furious tweets, it doesn't matter.

notfeelinthebern , 1 hour ago link

OLD news. This was established long ago by looking at the time line of events.

SDShack , 1 hour ago link

Yes, plus they could have at least tied in the Rosenstein attempt to wear a wire to trap Trump via the 25th amendment as hatched by McCabe too. Lousy article.

[Jan 11, 2019] Rosenstein expected to leave Justice Department; Barr tells lawmakers he won't interfere with Mueller

Notable quotes:
"... Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the most visible Justice Department protector of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation and a frequent target of President Donald Trump's wrath, is expected to leave his position soon after Trump's nominee for attorney general is confirmed. ..."
"... In September, Rosenstein went to the White House expecting to be fired after news reports that he had discussed secretly recording Trump and invoking a constitutional amendment to remove Trump as unfit for office. He was ultimately allowed to stay on after private conversations with Trump and John Kelly, then chief of staff. ..."
"... Trump also shared a photo on Twitter in November showing Rosenstein and others criticized by the president behind bars, calling for them to be tried for "treason." ..."
Jan 11, 2019 | www.chicagotribune.com
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the most visible Justice Department protector of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation and a frequent target of President Donald Trump's wrath, is expected to leave his position soon after Trump's nominee for attorney general is confirmed.

The departure creates uncertainty about the oversight of Mueller's team as it enters what may be its final months of work. But the attorney general nominee, William Barr, moved quickly Wednesday to quell concerns that his arrival could endanger the probe, telling lawmakers during Capitol Hill visits ahead of his confirmation hearing that he has a high opinion of Mueller.

"He had absolutely no indication he was going to tell Bob Mueller what to do or how to do it," said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, the incoming chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will question Barr next Tuesday.

If confirmed by the Republican-led Senate, Barr could be in place at the Justice Department by February. Rosenstein is expected to leave his position soon after that, though he is not being forced out, said a person familiar with the plans who was not authorized to discuss them on the record and spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press.

The departure is not surprising given that Rosenstein has been deputy for almost two years. It is common for new attorneys general to have their own deputies and Barr has told people close to him that he wanted his own No. 2.

It was unclear who might replace Rosenstein, though Barr has some ideas for a selection, Graham said, without elaborating. The deputy position requires Senate confirmation. It was also not immediately clear whether Rosenstein's top deputy, Edward O'Callaghan, who has a prominent role overseeing Mueller's investigation, might remain in his role.

Rosenstein's departure is noteworthy given his appointment of Mueller and close supervision of his work. He's also endured a tenuous relationship with Trump, who has repeatedly decried Rosenstein's decision to appoint Mueller, and with congressional Republicans who accused him of withholding documents from them and not investigating aggressively enough what they contend was political bias within the FBI.

In September, Rosenstein went to the White House expecting to be fired after news reports that he had discussed secretly recording Trump and invoking a constitutional amendment to remove Trump as unfit for office. He was ultimately allowed to stay on after private conversations with Trump and John Kelly, then chief of staff.

Trump also shared a photo on Twitter in November showing Rosenstein and others criticized by the president behind bars, calling for them to be tried for "treason."

Mueller is investigating Russia's meddling in the 2016 election and contacts with the Trump campaign. Rosenstein and his chief deputy have continued to maintain day-to-day oversight over the probe, a senior Justice Department official told reporters last month.

[Jan 10, 2019] Rosenstein Protected Mueller by Bending Justice Department Rules

Rosenstein was a puppet on more powerful forces, which were hell-bent on deposing Trump. And those included Intelligence agencies brass, Clinton clan and UK government.
Jan 10, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com
leave as expected when a new U.S. attorney general is confirmed. Rosenstein broke the normal rules to save a shred of normality. Usually that kind of compromise doesn't work. In this case, it did -- mostly.

Rosenstein is going to be remembered first for naming Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election. Because Attorney General Jeff Sessions was recused from anything Russia related, because of his false statements to Congress during his confirmation process about his Russian contacts, Rosenstein also had the task of supervising Mueller. Rosenstein's second important accomplishment was to successfully protect Mueller from being fired by President Donald Trump, despite repeated threats and attacks on the investigation from the White House.

But Rosenstein should never have been in a position either to appoint Mueller or to supervise his investigation. He should've been recused from both tasks.

To begin with, the event that triggered Mueller's appointment was Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey. Rosenstein played a central role in that process: He drafted a memo providing reasons to fire Comey that Trump relied on, whether in good faith or otherwise.

If you've advised the president on how to perform an act that is going to come under investigation, you really shouldn't choose the investigator or supervise the investigation. That's classic grounds for recusal. Indeed, back in June 2017, when Trump tweeted that he was effectively being investigated by Rosenstein for conduct Rosenstein had advised, it seemed obvious to me that Rosenstein would have to recuse himself.

He didn't.

Then, in September 2018, it came out that Rosenstein was so troubled by Trump's conduct around the Comey firing that he had discussed wearing a wire to record the president. He had also reportedly discussed having the cabinet invoke the 25th Amendment and declare the president unfit for office. This made it clearer still that Rosenstein should recuse himself.

Once again, he didn't.

Under normal circumstances, Rosenstein's failure to recuse himself would stand as a serious blot on his otherwise excellent reputation as a nonpartisan career prosecutor and Department of Justice professional. Prosecutors especially, but also other top Justice Department officials, gain their professional and moral authority from following the rules all the time, not some of the time.

Prosecutors hold tremendous power, greater than any other actor within our federal system, including judges. If you're prosecuted, your life is going to change drastically. Guilty or innocent, you're going to have to spend all your resources on defense. Most of the time, you will be guilty of something. The U.S. code criminalizes so much activity that prosecutors can typically find some area where you've broken some law -- and hold you accountable.

Given that prosecutors have extraordinarily broad discretion to decide whom to charge and what crimes to charge them with, prosecutors need to be paragons of rule-following. In other areas of life, bending the rules is sometimes necessary or desirable. In a prosecutor, it's the cardinal sin. And Rosenstein definitely bent the rules by not recusing himself.

Yet, from the perspective of two years, Rosenstein's rule-bending was probably justified -- because Mueller's investigation is necessary to assuring that the rule of law plays a role in making sense of Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

Without Rosenstein's appointment of Mueller, there might have been no special prosecutor at all. Or the person appointed might have been weaker or less competent than Mueller. Or the person appointed might have been more susceptible to pressure from the Trump White House.

It's also easy to imagine that without Rosenstein, another Justice Department official might have interfered with Mueller's investigation at the urging of the White House or even fired Mueller. Ask yourself: Do you have any faith that acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker would have resisted Trump's pressure for two years?

Now that Mueller has been able to operate for two years, and a new attorney general has been nominated, it's totally reasonable for Rosenstein to plan to step down.

If confirmed, William Barr will take over supervision of Mueller. Technically, Trump handed over that supervisory role to Whitaker after Sessions was fired -- but Rosenstein needed to stick around because Whitaker's appointment was itself legally questionable and because Whitaker isn't especially trustworthy as an independent actor.

In contrast, Barr, whatever his views on executive power and the Mueller investigation, would at least be a credible attorney general. He served in that role under President George H.W. Bush. At that time, there was no serious talk of firing independent prosecutor Lawrence Walsh, whose investigation of the Iran-Contra affair was getting close to the president.

A new attorney general should be able to recommend his own deputy. Rosenstein is free to step down because, in essence, his job is done. Mueller survived. The ends arguably justified the means. That's not a sentence I'm very happy to write when it comes to prosecution and the Department of Justice. But that will probably be the judgment of history this time.

[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 03, 2019] Five Political Predictions for 2019 by Daniel R. DePetris

Jan 01, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
4. Matt Whitaker will block public release of the Mueller report.

Special counsel Robert Mueller will finalize his investigation and send his report to Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker, who has never been supportive of the inquiry. Using his powers as attorney general, Whitaker will block public disclosure of Mueller's conclusions and release a sanitized summary detailing no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Democrats will be outraged -- as will be Bob Mueller, who will proceed to give his first on-air, primetime interview detailing what he did and did not find. The next week, the House Judiciary Committee will debate opening an impeachment inquiry based solely on Mueller's interview.

[Jan 02, 2019] Meet The Cabal That Are Framing Domestic American Activism As "Russian Influence" and "Fake News"

Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
Jan 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

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/

[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.

[Jan 02, 2019] Did Mueller Patched Together Much of His Indictment from 2015 Radio Free Europe Article ?

Highly recommended!
Jan 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

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.

[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
465 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy

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
1,381 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy

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 29, 2018] Nude Selfie In Russia Case Reveals How Deep Mueller s Probe Goes

Notable quotes:
"... Special Counsel Robert Mueller has gone so far down the rabbit hole in his $25 million (taxpayer funded) Russia investigation -- going so far as to have "collected a nude selfie " to satisfy his probe. ..."
Dec 29, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has gone so far down the rabbit hole in his $25 million (taxpayer funded) Russia investigation -- going so far as to have "collected a nude selfie " to satisfy his probe.

The claim, according to The Hill was contained within a court filing by Russian firm Concord Management and Consulting - one of three businesses indicted by Mueller in February along with 13 individuals for election meddling.

In the Thursday court filing accusing Mueller's team of illegally withholding information in the case, Concord attorney Eric Dubelier made mention of the "nude selfie," asking " Could the manner in which he collected a nude selfie really threaten the national security of the United States? "

[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
205 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy

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
5,467 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy
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

[Dec 19, 2018] Here's What Newly-Diagnosed Amnesiac James Comey Did Not Recall On Day 2 Of Testimony

Notable quotes:
"... He might call it a "higher loyalty", but it looks to us peons like a true double-standard. Democrats get Wall Street Bankster treatment, while the rabble get tossed in the slammer. ..."
Dec 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Former FBI Director James Comey appeared December 17th, 2018, for a second round of questions by a joint House committee oversight probe into the DOJ and FBI conduct during the 2016 presidential election and incoming Trump administration.

The Joint House Committee just released the transcript online (full pdf below).

Director Blue blog's Doug Ross read through most of the septic backflow so you don't need to. You're welcome:

1. Double Standard: Obama vs. Trump

Trey Gowdy grilled Comey on his vastly different handling of comments by Trump and Obama. When Trump asked Comey whether he could see his way clear to easing up on Flynn, Comey memorialized the conversation in a memo and distributed it to his leadership team, including Andrew McCabe and James Baker.

However, when President Obama on 60 Minutes publicly exonerated Hillary Clinton's mishandling of classified information -- setting the stage for true obstruction of justice -- Comey did nothing. He never talked to the president about potential obstruction, he never memorialized his observations, and he didn't leak anything to the press. These were all things he did with Trump.

He might call it a "higher loyalty", but it looks to us peons like a true double-standard. Democrats get Wall Street Bankster treatment, while the rabble get tossed in the slammer.

2. According to Comey, Flynn had no right to counsel

This is interesting:

Mr. Gowdy. Did Mr. Flynn have the right to have counsel present during that interview?

Mr. Comey. No.

Oooooooookay.

3. Comey confirmed McCabe called Flynn to initiate "entrapment"; contradicts himself on counsel

And:

Mr. Gowdy. Why not advise General Flynn of the consequences of making false statements to the FBI?

Mr. Comey. ...the Deputy Director [McCabe] called him, told him what the subject matter was, told him he was welcome to have a representative from White House Counsel there...

So Comey is saying that Flynn didn't have the right to counsel (item 2), and then states that he does have the right to a White House counsel attending the meeting.

The lies are getting harder and harder to keep straight with this egregious individual.

4. Comey lied about McCabe's conversation with Flynn

When asked whether McCabe was trying to set Flynn up by asserting no counsel was needed in the interview, Comey claimed he was unaware of that critical fact. But McCabe, in a written memo, asserted that he told Flynn, "[i]f you have a lawyer present, we'll need to involve the Department of Justice".

In other words, McCabe was trying to ensure Flynn had no counsel present during the interview.

5. Comey still falls back on the Logan Act scam to justify his actions

Yes, the Logan Act. When former secretary of state John Kerry meets with various Mullahs while President Trump is unwinding the disastrous Iran deal, there's no crime there !

But let Flynn, a member of the Trump transition team, have a perfectly legitimate conversation with a Russian diplomat, we get:

Mr. Comey. And I hesitate only with "wrong." I think a Department of Justice prosecutor might say, on its face, it was problematic under the Logan Act because of private citizens negotiating and all that business.

What a lying sack of gumbo. At the time, Flynn was not a private citizen. He was a member of the incoming administration, and had anyone bothered to prosecute prior transitions for similar "crimes", the entire Obama and Clinton posses would be breaking rocks at Leavenworth.

6. Comey Throws James Clapper Under the Bus

When asked by Jim Jordan about his private meeting with the President to brief him on a very tiny portion of the "salacious and unverified" (Comey's words under oath) dossier, Comey claimed ODNI James Clapper had orchestrated the entire fiasco.

Mr. Comey. ...ultimately, it was Clapper's call. I agreed -- we agreed that it made sense for me to do it and to do it privately, separately. So I don't want to make it sound like I was ordered to do it.

He wasn't ordered to do it, but it was Clapper's call.

Oooooooookay.

7. Jordan Torches Comey Over His Dossier Comments

I'll just leave this here. Comey may need to put some ice on that.

Mr. Jordan. So that's what I'm not understanding, is you felt this was so important that it required a private session with you and the President-elect, you only spoke of the salacious part of the dossier, but yet you also say there's no way any good reporter would print this. But you felt it was still critical that you had to talk to the President-elect about it. And I would argue you created the very news hook that you said you were concerned about...

...it's so inflammatory that reporters would 'get killed' for reporting it, why was it so important to tell the President? Particularly when you weren't going to tell him the rest of the dossier -- about the rest of the dossier?

8. Comey Concealed Critical National Security Concerns About Flynn From the President

This is quite unbelievable: in a private dinner with the president, Comey neglected to mention that just three days earlier he had directed the interview of Trump's ostensible National Security Advisor.

Mr. Comey. ...at no time during the dinner was there a reference, allusion, mention by either of
us about the FBI having contact with General Flynn or being interested in General Flynn investigatively.

Mr. Jordan. That was what I wanted to know. So this is not just referring to the President didn't bring it up. You didn't bring it up either.

Mr. Comey. Correct, neither of us brought it up or alluded to it.

Mr. Jordan. Why not? He's talking about General Flynn. You had just interviewed him 3 days earlier and discovered that he was lying to the Vice President, knew he was lying to the Vice President, and, based on what we've heard of late, that he lied tyour agents. Why not tell his boss, why not tell the head of the executive branch, why not tell the President of the United States, "Hey, your National Security Advisor just lied to us 3 days ago"?

Mr. Comey. Because we had an open investigation, and there would be no reason or a need to tell the President about it.

Mr. Jordan. Really?

Mr. Comey. Really.

Mr. Jordan. You wouldn't tell the President of the United States that his National Security Advisor wasn't being square with the FBI? ... I mean, but this is not just any investigation, it seems to me, Director. This is a top advisor to the Commander in Chief. And you guys, based on what we've heard, felt that he wasn't being honest with the Vice President and wasn't honest with two of your agents. And just 3 days later, you're meeting with the President, and, oh, by the way, the conversation is about General Flynn. And you don't tell the President anything?

Mr. Comey. I did not.

Mr. Meadows. So, Director Comey, let me make sure I understand this. You were so concerned that Michael Flynn may have lied or did lie to the Vice President of the United States, but that once you got that confirmed, that he had told a falsehood, you didn't believe that it was appropriate to tell the President of the United States that there was no national security risk where you would actually convey that to the President of the United States? Is that your testimony?

Mr. Comey. That is correct. We had an --

The more we learn, the dirtier a cop Comey ends up appearing.

9. Gowdy Destroys the Double Standard of Clinton vs. Flynn

Check this out:

Mr. Gowdy. ...we are going to contrast the decision to not allow Michael Flynn to have an attorney, or discourage him from having one, with allowing some other folks the Bureau interviewed to have multiple attorneys in the room, including fact witnesses. Can you see the dichotomy there, or is that an unreasonable comparison?

Mr. Comey. I'm not going to comment on that. I remember you asking me questions about that last week. I'm happy to answer them again.

Mr. Gowdy. You will not say whether or not it is an unreasonable comparison to compare allowing multiple attorneys, who are also fact witnesses, to be present during an interview but discouraging another person from having counsel present?

Mr. Comey. I'm not going to answer that in a vacuum...

10. Comey May Have Been Involved With the Infamous Tarmac Meeting

Another interesting vignette, this time from John Ratcliffe :

Mr. Ratcliffe. Okay. So it would appear from this that there had been some type of briefing the day before, with reference to yesterday, June 27, 2016, where you had requested a copy of emails between President Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Comey. I see that it says that.

Mr. Ratcliffe. ...The significance of that is, as we talked about last time, June 27th of 2016 was also the date that Attorney General Lynch and former President Bill Clinton met on a tarmac in Phoenix, Arizona. Do you recall whether or not this briefing was held at the FBI because of that tarmac meeting, or was it just happened to be a coincidence that it was held on that day? Mr. Comey. It would have to have been a coincidence. I don't remember a meeting in response to the tarmac meeting.

Muh don't know!

11. Comey confirms Obama knew Hillary Clinton was using a compromised, insecure email server

Well, spank me on the fanny and call me Nancy!

Mr. Ratcliffe. ...Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Obama were communicating via email through an unsecure, unclassified server?

Mr. Comey. Yes, they were between her Clinton email.com account and his -- I don't know where his account, his unclassified account, was maintained. So I'm sorry. So, yes, here were communications unclassified between two accounts, hers and then his cover account.

Mr. Ratcliffe. ...Did your review of these emails or the content of these emails impact your decision to edit out a reference to President Obama in your July 5th, 2016, press conference remarks?

If Trump had done 1/1,000,000th of this crap, he'd be -- yes -- breaking rocks in Leavenworth right now.

But there's no double-standard, rabble! Just keep buying iPhones and playing Call of Duty !

...Aaaaaaaaand I'm spent.

Okay, done for now.

But let's recap the activities of Dr. "Higher Loyalty" Comey:

But, no, there's no double-standard for the aggressiveness of law enforcement when it comes to Democrats like Clinton and Obama.

Hat tip: BadBlue Uncensored News .

[Dec 19, 2018] The Trump Coup Is a Threat to Our Republic by Larry Johnson

Dec 19, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Larry Johnson-5x7

On the threshhold of the second anniversary of Donald Trump's inauguration, the details of the coup to force him from the Presidency are emerging and should alarm all Americans regardless of political party affiliation. Although many facts remain to be discovered, what has emerged paints a shocking picture of criminal activity by FBI and CIA officials. That explains in part why both agencies are going to great lengths to hide documents that provide indisputable proof of their malfeasance.

When American law enforcement and officials, who carry Top Secret clearances and authority to collect intelligence or pursue a criminal investigation, decide to employ lies and intimidation to silence those who worked for Donald Trump's Presidency, our Republic is endangered.

My interest is not in protecting or defending Donald Trump. I am talking about defending the rule of law and ensuring that the Constitutional limitations on the powers of the Federal Government are protected.

What evidence do I offer of the attempted coup? Here is what we know for certain:

Foreign intelligence entities started collecting intelligence on Donald Trump and his associates in 2015. The names of more than 200 people connected to the Trump campaign listed in those reports were unmasked by the Obama Administration. The FBI used two paid informants -- Christopher Steele and Stefan Halper -- to target Trump and members of his team and coordinated this effort with British MI-6 and the CIA. The FBI had additional informant with direct access to Trump who specialized in targeting Russian spies and Russian mobsters. His name? Felix Sater. Yet, Sater appears never to have been tasked to provide any incriminating information on Donald Trump. Bill Priestrap, the FBI Assistant Director for Counter Intelligence since December 2015, relied on Felix Sater in a major operation against Russian spies and then had oversight of the investigation into Donald Trump. So far, no indictment has surfaced from Special Prosecutor Mueller's efforts implicating Trump with the Russian government.

The operation against Donald Trump is pure and simple covert action. But it is covert action on a massive scale and has involved coordinated actions between U.S. law enforcement, U.S. intelligence agencies and foreign intelligence agencies, including both the British Government and the Australian Government.

There are eight major components to this covert action. This is not a confirmed complete list. More elements may surface in the coming days. But these are what we know for certain:

(Luke Harding, Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Nick Hopkins Exclusive: GCHQ is said to have alerted US agencies after becoming aware of contacts in 2015 Thu 13 Apr 2017 09.39 EDT, THE GUARDIAN) https://www.politico.com/story/2018/12/14/russia-dossier-fbi-trump-obama-1066643 )

The effort to destroy Donald Trump remains active. Trump, unfortunately, is proving to be quite feckless in defying this threat and protecting himself. But this should not be about protecting Trump and his reputation. This goes to something more profound and fundamental -- are those charged with collecting foreign intelligence and investigating crime permitted to act with impunity against someone they define as a political foe. Such actions and attitudes reflect an authoritarian government, not a Republic.

[Dec 17, 2018] Does Trump thinks about Muller investigation as feud between two mafia families controlling the Washington and the country?

Dec 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

charlie_don't_surf , 10 minutes ago link

Get ready Dems, Hell is coming to breakfast.

youshallnotkill , 19 minutes ago link

Trump never ceases to crack me up. While his (terrible) current lawyer, declares on TV that there was collusion but it just didn't last long, Trump calls his former lawyer/fixer at "Rat".

This is just too funny, I mean this is the President of the United States calling his former personal lawyer a "Rat" which of course is a common mob term for a witness testifying against you.

Bricker , 24 minutes ago link

How you can tell that MSM is the front man for the CIA...nothing happens until MSM picks up the story

monkeyshine , 1 hour ago link

Of course it never happened, just like Manafort didn't make 3 trips to London to meet Julian Assange. These fictions were just used as a pretext for diving into the backgrounds of Trump's political supporters and find crimes to charge them with.

The Cohen raid was particularly egregious, a likely violation of attorney-client privilege. Not suprisingly the American Bar Association is silent.

AHBL , 59 minutes ago link

So, Manafort never laundered money and failed to report taxes? Did Flynn never fail to report his work as a foreign agent? Did he also not report income taxes?

Look at all these poor crooks, unfairly being prosecuted for cheating and stealing.

GoldenDonuts , 47 minutes ago link

Keep drinking the koolaid.

brewing_it , 33 minutes ago link

All that could have been prosecuted by a district attorney. They looked at all of Manafort's dealings 10 years ago and passed because he was working with the Podesta Group at the time and thus protected by Hillary Clinton's influence.

Bricker , 57 minutes ago link

The next two years will be insiders admitting fault...Sprinkling 1 at a time every few weeks.

As they back away before 2020 elections. Pucking democrats are the scum of the earth

[Dec 17, 2018] Blackmailed to lie Roger Stone associate sues Mueller, intel agencies for $350mn -- RT USA News

Notable quotes:
"... "at the direction of Mueller." ..."
Dec 17, 2018 | www.rt.com

Conspiracy theory buff Jerome Corsi has sued Robert Mueller and a handful of federal agencies for allegedly attempting to blackmail him into lying about being a middle man between Wikileaks and the Trump campaign. Read more Former Trump campaign adviser targeted by Mueller for his appearances on RT

Corsi, the former Washington bureau chief of Alex Jones' controversial site, InfoWars, filed a lawsuit on Sunday which claims that special counsel Robert Mueller threatened him with prison unless he agreed to falsely confess to being a liaison between WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Republican political strategist Roger Stone, who was an adviser to Trump's presidential campaign.

The suit, which seeks $100 million in actual damages and $250 million in punitive damages, also accuses the FBI, CIA and NSA of having placed Corsi under illegal surveillance "at the direction of Mueller."

[Dec 13, 2018] Michael Cohen Sentenced To 36 Months In Prison

Dec 13, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Update 5: Cohen has been sentenced to 36 months in prison for his crimes, far below the guideline of 51 - 63 months laid out by New York prosecutors. The Judge noted that the guidelines aren't binding and had the ability to issue a lesser sentence.

Cohen has also been hit with forfeiture of $500,000, restitution of $1.4 million and a fine of $50,000. He will be allowed to voluntarily surrender on March 6 .

Update 4: Judge Pauley has responded following Cohen's statement, saying "Mr. Cohen's crimes implicate a far more insidious crime to our democratic institutions especially in view of his subsequent plea to making false statements to Congress," adding that Cohen's crimes warrant "specific deterrence."

Update 3: Cohen has spoken, telling the Judge: "Recently the president tweeted a statement calling me weak and it was correct but for a much different reason than he was implying. It was because time and time again i felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds." Judge William Pauley, meanwhile, noted that Cohen pleaded guilty to a " veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct ," which was motivated by "personal greed and ambition."

Update 2: Petrillo, Cohen's attorney, continues to reference Cohen's desire to cooperate further with prosecutors to answer future questions - however Manhattan prosecutors don't appear to care, according to Bloomberg banking reporter Shahien Nasiripour. In a memo last week to the court, they said that Cohen's promise to cooperate further is worthless - especially since there would be nothing requiring him to do so once he's already been sentenced.

Meanwhile, Jeannie Rhee - an attorney with Robert Mueller's office, told the court that while Cohen lied to the special counsel's team during his first interview in July, he has been truthful since.

Manhattan Assistant US Attorney Nicolas Roos, however, says that any reduction in sentence "should be modest."

Roos added that Cohen "has eroded faith in the electoral process and compromised the rule of law," and that he engaged in " a pattern of deception of brazenness and greed ."

Update: Cohen's attorney, Guy Petrillo, says Cohen thought that President Trump would shut down the Mueller probe, and has argued that his client's cooperation warrants a lenient sentence.

"Mr. Cohen's cooperation promotes respect for law and the courage of the individual to stand up to power and influence," said Petrillo.

"His decision was an importantly different decision from the usual decision to cooperate," added Petrillo. "He came forward to offer evidence against the most powerful person in our country. He did so not knowing what the result would be, not knowing how the politics would play out and not even knowing that the special counsel's office would survive."

"The special counsel's investigation is of the utmost national significance... Not seen since 40 plus years ago in the days of Watergate." -Guy Petrillo

Petrillo has asked the judge to "consider Cohen's "life of good works" in his decision, adding that Cohen's cooperation stands in "profound contrast" to others who havern't cooperated and who "have continued to double-deal while pretending to cooperate."

***

Michael Cohen, former longtime personal lawyer for President Trump, has shown up to a New York courthouse where he will be sentenced on Wednesday for a laundry list of crimes - some of which implicate Trump in possible wrongdoing, but most of which have nothing to do with the president. Judge William Pauley, meanwhile, noted that Cohen pleaded guilty to a " veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct ," which was motivated by "personal greed and ambition."

Update 2: Petrillo, Cohen's attorney, continues to reference Cohen's desire to cooperate further with prosecutors to answer future questions - however Manhattan prosecutors don't appear to care, according to Bloomberg banking reporter Shahien Nasiripour. In a memo last week to the court, they said that Cohen's promise to cooperate further is worthless - especially since there would be nothing requiring him to do so once he's already been sentenced.

Meanwhile, Jeannie Rhee - an attorney with Robert Mueller's office, told the court that while Cohen lied to the special counsel's team during his first interview in July, he has been truthful since.

Manhattan Assistant US Attorney Nicolas Roos, however, says that any reduction in sentence "should be modest."

Roos added that Cohen "has eroded faith in the electoral process and compromised the rule of law," and that he engaged in " a pattern of deception of brazenness and greed ."

Update: Cohen's attorney, Guy Petrillo, says Cohen thought that President Trump would shut down the Mueller probe, and has argued that his client's cooperation warrants a lenient sentence.

"Mr. Cohen's cooperation promotes respect for law and the courage of the individual to stand up to power and influence," said Petrillo.

"His decision was an importantly different decision from the usual decision to cooperate," added Petrillo. "He came forward to offer evidence against the most powerful person in our country. He did so not knowing what the result would be, not knowing how the politics would play out and not even knowing that the special counsel's office would survive."

"The special counsel's investigation is of the utmost national significance... Not seen since 40 plus years ago in the days of Watergate." -Guy Petrillo

Petrillo has asked the judge to "consider Cohen's "life of good works" in his decision, adding that Cohen's cooperation stands in "profound contrast" to others who havern't cooperated and who "have continued to double-deal while pretending to cooperate."

***

Michael Cohen, former longtime personal lawyer for President Trump, has shown up to a New York courthouse where he will be sentenced on Wednesday for a laundry list of crimes - some of which implicate Trump in possible wrongdoing, but most of which have nothing to do with the president.

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Cohen, who went from claiming he would "take a bullet" for President Trump to stabbing his former boss in the back, faces sentencing on nine federal charges , including campaign finance violations based on a hush-money scheme to pay off two women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump, as well as making false statements to special counsel Robert Mueller.

Prosecutors alleged that Cohen paid off two women at the "direction" of "Individual-1," who is widely assumed to be Trump.

Prosecutors said the payments amounted to illegal campaign contribution s because they were made with the intent to prevent damaging information from surfacing during the 2016 presidential election, which Cohen pleaded guilty to in August.

Legal experts view the filing as an ominous sign for Trump , suggesting prosecutors have evidence beyond Cohen's public admissions implicating the president in the payoff scheme. While the Justice Department has said previously that a sitting president cannot be indicted, that would not stop prosecutors from bringing charges against Trump once he leaves office. - The Hill

New York prosecutors have recommended that Judge William Pauley impose "a substantial term of imprisonment" on Cohen - which may be around five years. Cohen's attorneys, meanwhile, have asked Pauley for a sentence which avoids prison time - citing his cooperation with the Mueller probe and other investigations which began prior to his guilty plea last summer. Mueller said that Cohen had "gone to significant lengths to assist the Special Counsel's investigation," having met with Mueller's team seven times where he reportedly provided information useful to the Russia investigation. The special counsel's office has recommended that any sentence Cohen receives for lying to Congress should run concurrently with the charges brought by the Manhattan federal prosecutors.

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Cohen, 52, pleaded guilty in August to tax evasion, lying to banks and violating campaign finance laws - charges filed by the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.

The campaign finance charges relate to his facilitation of two hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal shortly before the 2016 presidential election. Both women say they had sex with Trump in the prior decade. The White House has denied Trump had sex with either woman.

Prosecutors say the payments were made "in coordination with and at the direction of" Trump, who is called "Individual-1" in a sentencing recommendation filed last week.

Cohen's crimes were intended "to influence the election from the shadows," prosecutors wrote. - CNBC

In November Cohen also pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the Trump Organization's ill-fated plans to develop a Trump Tower in Moscow - a project floated by Cohen and longtime FBI asset who had been in Trump's orbit for years, Felix Sater. Cohen claims he understated Trump's knowledge of the project. He also lied to Congress when he said that the Moscow project talks ended in early 2016, when in fact he and the Trump Organization had continued to pursue it as late as June 2016.

On Wednesday, Stormy Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti - who is in attendance at Cohen's sentencing, said in a Wednesday tweet that Cohen "thought we would just go away and he/Trump would get away with it. He thought he was smart and tough. He was neither. Today will prove that in spades."

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We wonder how much Avenatti will pick up of the $293,000 in legal fees Stormy Daniels was ordered to pay Trump?

Tags Law Crime Politics

pedoland , 8 minutes ago link

Did the State of New York REVOKE his license to practice law yet?

Is a felony conviction automatic revocation in NY?

It would be funny if he was still able to practice law in NY, legally as a convicted felon.

I assume criminal fraud is a felony in NY.

jafo2me , 2 hours ago link

Trump's paying around $280,000 in " hush money " .. out of his own pocket is dwarfed into virtual insignificance by Obama's Presidential Campaign in 2008..,.

BEING FOUND "GUILTY" OF ILLEGAL USE OF 2 MILLION IN CAMPAIGN MONEY

barely reported by the media that saw THE OBAMA DOJ decide not to prosecute Obama and instead quietly dispose of this

"REAL CRIME" with a fine of 375 thousand dollars by the US FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISION.

Welcome to the two tier Justice System we all live under..

One for the Deeeep State Globalist Elite and .. the other...

Life In Prison or execution for the rest of us.

[Dec 12, 2018] Mueller's Investigation is Missing One Thing A Crime by Peter Van Buren

Notable quotes:
"... Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of ..."
"... Yes, he (and I) read the filings. They are merely the assertions of overzealous Democrat prosecutors in the SDNY that used to work for Preet Bharara and have political/personal axes to grind. Witness past much more egregious instances of what they claim as a felony that have been resolved without charges by fines – most recently, Barak Obama's campaign finance violations. ..."
Dec 12, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

If he had something on Trump, we would have been watching impeachment hearings by now.

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We last looked at what Mueller had publicly -- and what he didn't have -- some 10 months ago, and I remained skeptical that the Trump campaign had in any way colluded with Russia. It's worth another look now, but first let's give away the ending (spoiler alert!): there is still no real evidence of, well, much of anything significant about Russiagate. One thing that is clear is that the investigation seems to be ending. Mueller's office has reportedly even told various defense lawyers that it is "tying up loose ends." The moment to wrap things up is politically right as well: the Democrats will soon take control of the House; time to hand this all off to them.

Ten months ago the big news was Paul Manafort flipped; that seems to have turned out to be mostly a bust, as we know now he lied like a rug to the Feds and cooperated with the Trump defense team as some sort of mole inside Mueller's investigation (a heavily-redacted memo about Manafort's lies, released by Mueller on Friday, adds no significant new details to the Russiagate narrative.)

George Papadopoulos has already been in and out of jail -- all of two weeks -- for his sideshow role. Michael Avenatti is now a woman beater who is just figuring out he's washed up. Stormy Daniels owes Trump over $300,000 in fees after losing to him in court. There still is no pee tape. And if you don't recall how unimportant Carter Page and Richard Gates turned out to be (or even who they are), well, there is your assessment of all the hysterical commentary that accompanied them a few headlines ago.

The big reveal of the Michael Flynn sentencing memo on Tuesday was that he will likely do no prison time. Everything of substance in the memo was redacted, so there is little insight available. If you insist on speculation, try this: it's hard to believe that something really big and bad happened such that Flynn knew about it but still wasn't worth punishing for it, and now, a year after he started cooperating with the government, still nobody has heard anything about whatever the big deal is. So chances are the redactions focus on foreign lobbying in the U.S.

This week's Key to Everything is Michael Cohen, the guy who lied out of self-interest for Trump until last week when we learned he is also willing to lie, er, testify against Trump out of self-interest. If you take his most recent statements at face value, the sum is the failed negotiations to build a Trump hotel in Moscow, which went on a few months longer than was originally stated, and that we all knew about already.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York submitted a sentencing memo Friday for Cohen, recommending 42 months in jail. In a separate filing, Mueller made no term recommendation but praised Cohen for his "significant efforts to assist the special counsel's office." The memos reveal no new information.

Call it sleazy if you want, but looking into a real estate deal is neither a high crime nor a misdemeanor, even if it's in Russia. Conspiracy law requires an agreement to commit a crime, not just the media declaiming that "Cohen was communicating directly with the Kremlin!" Talking about meeting Russian persons is not a crime, nor is meeting with them.

Why John Brennan Doesn't Deserve a Security Clearance Donald Trump is Not the 'Manchurian Candidate'

The takeaway that this was all about influence shopping by the Russkies falls flat. If Putin sought to ensnare Trump, why didn't he find a way for the deal to actually go through? Mueller has to be able to prove actual crimes by the president, not just twist our underclothes into weekly conspiratorial knots . For fun, look here at the creative writing needed to even suggest anything illegal. That doesn't sound like Trump's on thin ice with hot shoes.

Sigh. It is useful at this point of binge-watching the Mueller mini-series to go back to the beginning.

The primordial ooze for all things Russiagate is less-than-complete intelligence alleging that hackers, linked to the Russian government, stole emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in 2016. The details have never been released, no U.S. law enforcement agency has ever seen the server or scene of the crime, and Mueller's dramatic indictments of said hackers, released as Trump met with Putin in Helsinki, will never be heard of again, or challenged in court, as none of his defendants will ever leave Russia. Meanwhile, despite contemporaneous denials of the same, is it somehow now accepted knowledge that the emails (and Facebook ads!) had some unproven major effect on the election.

The origin story for everything else, that Trump is beholden to Putin for favors granted or via blackmail, is opposition research purchased by the Democrats and carried out by an MI6 operative with complex connections into American intelligence, the salacious Steele Dossier . The FBI, under a Democratic-controlled Justice Department, then sought warrants to spy on the nominated GOP candidate for president based on evidence paid for by his opponent.

Yet the real spark was the media, inflamed by Democrats, searching for why Trump won (because it can't be anything to do with Hillary, and "all white people and the Electoral College are racists" just doesn't hold up). Their position was and is that Trump must have done something wrong, and Robert Mueller, despite helping squash a Bush-era money-laundering probe, lying about the Iraq War, and flubbing the post-9/11 anthrax investigation, has been resurrected with Jedi superpowers to find it. It might be collusion with Russia or Wikileaks, or a pee tape, or taxes, packaged as hard news but reading like Game of Thrones plot speculation. None of this is journalism to be proud of, and it underlies everything Mueller is supposedly trying to achieve.

As the New York Times said in a rare moment of candor, "From the day the Mueller investigation began, opponents of the president have hungered for that report, or an indictment waiting just around the corner, as the source text for an incantation to whisk Mr. Trump out of office and set everything back to normal again."

The core problem -- at least that we know of -- is that Mueller hasn't found a crime connected with Russiagate that someone working for Trump might have committed. His investigation to date hasn't been a search for the guilty party -- Colonel Mustard in the library -- so much as a search for an actual crime, some crime, any crime. Yet all he's uncovered so far are some old financial misdealings by Manafort and chums, payoffs to Trump's mistresses that are not in themselves illegal (despite what prosecutors simply assert in the Cohen sentencing report , someone will have to prove to a jury the money was from campaign funds and the transactions were "for the purpose of influencing" federal elections, not simply "protecting his family from shame"), and a bunch of people lying about unrelated matters.

And that's the giveaway to Muller's final report. There was no base crime as the starting point of the investigation. With Watergate , there was the break-in at Democratic National Headquarters. With Russiagate you had Trump winning the election. (Remember too that the FBI concluded forever ago that the DNC hack crime was done by the Russians, no Mueller needed.)

Almost everything Mueller has, the perjury and lying cases, are crimes he created through the process of investigating. He's Schrodinger's Box : the infractions only exist when he tries to look at them. Mueller created most of his booked charges by asking questions he already knew the answers to, hoping his witness would lie and commit new crimes literally in front of him. Nobody should be proud of lying, but it seems a helluva way to contest a completed election as Trump enters the third year of his term.

Mueller's end product, his report, will most likely claim that a lot of unsavory things went on. But it seems increasingly unlikely that he'll have any evidence Trump worked with Russia to win the election, let alone that Trump is now under Putin's control. If Mueller had a smoking gun, we'd be watching impeachment hearings by now.

Instead, Mueller will end up concluding that some people may have sort of maybe tried to interfere with an investigation into what turned out to be nothing, another "crime" that exists only because there was an investigation to trigger it. He'll dump that steaming pile of legal ambiguity into the lap of the Democratic House to hold hearings on from now until global warming claims the city of Benghazi and returns it to the sea. That or the 2020 election, whichever comes first.

Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well : How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People and Hooper's War : A Novel of WWII Japan .

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Fran Macadam December 10, 2018 at 12:41 am

Pete says it all.

We're watching law as nothing more than a cudgel to be wielded against a political opponent, pre Magna Carta style.

JR , says: December 10, 2018 at 3:02 am
"Mueller's dramatic indictments of said hackers, released as Trump met with Putin in Helsinki, will never be heard of again, or challenged in court, as none of his defendants will ever leave Russia."
And Mueller gets into real problems immediately when he does get challenged in court:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-concord/russian-company-charged-in-mueller-probe-seeks-grand-jury-materials-idUSKCN1IF2YW
Dan Green , says: December 10, 2018 at 5:38 am
As the American people are dragged through the media hysteria, one has to know, millions of Americans have other issues on their minds, and be it right or wrong, don't care about about Mueller's investigation. Simply put, our political system is far from holier than thou, as they say. For numerous reasons, people had to decide, of the two personalities we had to choose from, were a reflection of where our politics is. Clintons or Trumps.
Nick Stuart , says: December 10, 2018 at 7:18 am
Show me the man, and I'll find you the crime.

Lavrentij Beria

Douglas Levene , says: December 10, 2018 at 7:42 am
@Kevin – (1) Most campaign finance violations are treated as minor offenses with fines. Obama's campaign got a fine for a $2 million campaign finance violation. Why is this one, if it is a crime at all, being treated as a felony?
(2) No court has ever held, and no court will ever hold, that paying your mistress for silence is a campaign finance violation. Mixed motive payments can't be campaign finance violations. How about a politician who gets cosmetic surgery before an election? If one of her purposes is to appear younger and appeal to voters, is that a campaign finance violation if she doesn't report to the government her payments to the surgeon? No court is going to accept that theory.
Peter Van Buren , says: December 10, 2018 at 7:45 am
"Good Grief. Did you read the filings? Directing someone to commit a felony?"

Good grief, do you know the difference between a prosecutor trying to make a case in a one-sided filing versus actually bringing a case to a jury and having to prove elements of a crime with evidence?

Nascent22 , says: December 10, 2018 at 7:45 am
You don't give specifics (typical) but you're presumably referring to the payoffs to keep the women quiet right? Thing is, that's not illegal unless it was provably for political reasons. If he was trying to save his marriage, there was no crime. Besides, John Edwards did worse and skated scot-free. You going to condemn him? If not, you're a hack so be quiet.
Cjones1 , says: December 10, 2018 at 8:27 am
Mueller was FBI Director when Hillary was committing national security violations in using her private server and other unauthorized devices. His conflicts of interest in overseeing an investigation originating from a case involving those emails are obvious. He was either incompetent, derelict of duty, and/or complicit in shielding Hillary from prosecution then and and definitely now given the conspiracy surrounding the Steele dossier by her campaign proxies, foreign operatives (including Russians), and corrupt Obama administration officials who engaged in official misconduct to clear her and initiate a campaign to inflence the election, illegally surveil Trump associates, and illegally circulate salacious, unverified innuendos or unmasked names.
Mueller is involved in protecting his own reputation. He has obvious conflicts of interest and was involved in possible official misconduct. He should not be given immunity from examination, accountability, and disciplinary action. No official should be above the law. Is he now the American Sulla or Marius?
There were crimes committed by those Mueller is shielding – officials he worked with in the Obama administration, Clinton and her proxies, and foreign operatives (including Russians.)
Jay Naylor , says: December 10, 2018 at 9:07 am
It's not a "felony" unless you prove it the money came from campaign funds, which it didn't. And Trump only "directed" it according to a known liar trying to get a lighter sentence for his own financial crimes.
Dennis Byron , says: December 10, 2018 at 9:24 am
Yes, I do remember who Carter Page is. He is an American citizen -- a bit of a doofus American citizen I'll admit but still an American citizen -- and he was attacked by the American Gestapo led by Comey, Brennan, Clinton, Obama, Podesta, the women that unmasked other American citizens, and Crapper like no American citizen has ever been attacked before. Carter Page is me and the same can happen to me if it can happen to Carter Page.
Sid Finster , says: December 10, 2018 at 10:20 am
The criminal laws in the United States are broad and far reaching enough that an aggressive prosecutor can always find a crime to charge anyone with. This is especially true for anyone involved in higher level business or politics.

Even if the charges cannot be made to stick (and usually they can), the expense and hassle of fighting the case will ruin most of us who are not very rich or married to a team of criminal defense attorneys with loads of leisure time.

At the same time, even the FBI does not have the resources to charge every crime that it comes across or could bring an indictment for.

This is entirely intentional. There is always a perfectly legal pretext to punish those whom the establishment want to punish, and a means to keep everyone else in line.

This is not to suggest that the 1% hold a secret email vote every month to decide whom to kick off the island. Rather, most prosecutors are glorified politicians, and they know whom to please.

If, for instance, a prosecutor were to bring charges against HRC (and there are numerous bases on which to do so), the howls of establishment outrage would be deafening. So nothing was done. In fact, the FBI was very careful to interview her associates in a group (so that they could get their stories straight) and to avoid interviewing The Queen at all, so as to avoid a perjury trap, or forcing Her Majesty to have to lie, and thus putting the FBI in an embarrassing position as to why it did not prosecute.

By contrast, Trump probably has also committed numerous crimes, even if they don't rise to the breathless speculation of russiagate conspiracy theorists, nor will any crimes charged relate to Trump's real crimes in foreign policy (because those crimes are the DC consensus). However, the establishment didn't want the man in the first place, and it sure wants Trump gone now.

Therefore, Trump will not enjoy the same protection. "Rule Of Law" and all that.

For my part, I will not be sorry to see him go. As I indicated, the man is a criminal, as were his predecessors in office.

Johann , says: December 10, 2018 at 10:32 am
To all the commenters pointing out the Stormy Daniels payoff. What has that to do with Russian collusion? The Mueller investigation went way off track finding unrelated crimes in order to get flip leverage. Its been a "show me da man, I'll find the crime" exercise. In other words, a witch hunt. If Trump is removed by any means other than an election, it will be viewed as a coup, and the destruction of our democratic republic.
David M. , says: December 10, 2018 at 10:57 am
Yes, he (and I) read the filings. They are merely the assertions of overzealous Democrat prosecutors in the SDNY that used to work for Preet Bharara and have political/personal axes to grind. Witness past much more egregious instances of what they claim as a felony that have been resolved without charges by fines – most recently, Barak Obama's campaign finance violations.

As was said in the article, those claims would have to be proven in court – according to the letter of the law – and it is a very high bar for the SDNY to get over to get a conviction. You can indict a ham sandwich, but if it turns out to in fact be a steak or cheese and crackers your case isn't worth anything.

Finally, as pointed out, contracting for a NDA is not illegal. It is, point of fact, a contract that parties willingly enter into. Trump is a business and a brand, so trying to prove that protecting that brand by spending his own money was NOT the purpose of the NDA is pretty darn difficult.

Annnnnnd where is the invented "collusion" again?

Bee Lee Rust , says: December 10, 2018 at 11:02 am
Paying off mistresses isn't a felony. Even if it used campaign dollars and even if someone else involved pleads guilty. Ask John Edwards Kevin.

I also concur that if Mueller could prove that Trump colluded with the Russians, Paul Ryan (who f*cking hates Trump's guts) would have absolutely started impeachment hearings.

[Dec 08, 2018] It appears that Jared Kushner (JK) is in the crosshair of Micheal Flynt!

Dec 08, 2018 | www.unz.com

Garreth Smith , says: December 5, 2018 at 4:41 am GMT

@ChuckOrloski

Am big for '60′s protest folk music, and linked (below) is the best song around since contemporary artists took leave of anti-war fame.

Greetings Chuck,

It appears that Jared Kushner (JK) is in the crosshair of Micheal Flynt!

[Dec 05, 2018] Mueller s Flynn Memo Should Worry Kushner and Trump by Timothy L. O'Brien

The author is tried to deceive: Flynn lobbed Russians on behave of Israel.
Muller dirty trick with Flynn (entrapment during the FBI interview) will eventually backfire
Notable quotes:
"... Mueller's memo noted that federal investigators' curiosity about Flynn's role in the presidential transition seemed to have been sparked by a Washington Post account of a conversation he had with Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, in December 2016 ..."
"... But the meat of what should worry Team Trump is in Mueller's disclosure that Flynn has provided firsthand information about interactions between the transition team and Russian government officials -- including, as was already known, several conversations with Kislyak in December 2016. Those included a discussion about lifting economic sanctions the Obama administration had imposed on Russia and about a separate matter involving a United Nations resolution on Israel. ..."
Dec 05, 2018 | www.bloomberg.com

All of that, plus Flynn's "substantial assistance," early cooperation, and acceptance of "responsibility for his unlawful conduct," led Muller's team to ask the court to grant Flynn a lenient sentence that doesn't include prison time, according to a highly anticipated sentencing memo the special counsel's office filed Tuesday night.

And there wasn't much more than that in 13 concise and heavily redacted pages that let down anyone expecting the document to be another public narrative fleshing out lots of fresh detail about Mueller's investigation. Still, the filing, and some new details in it, should give pause to members of Trump's inner circle -- especially the president's son-in-law and senior White House adviser, Jared Kushner.

Mueller's memo noted that federal investigators' curiosity about Flynn's role in the presidential transition seemed to have been sparked by a Washington Post account of a conversation he had with Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, in December 2016 . The filing also detailed a series of lies Flynn told about his contacts with and work for the Turkish government while serving in the Trump campaign. (Given that Trump and a pair of his advisers had been pursuing a real estate deal in Moscow during the first half of 2016, Flynn might mistakenly have seen wearing two hats as noncontroversial.)

But the meat of what should worry Team Trump is in Mueller's disclosure that Flynn has provided firsthand information about interactions between the transition team and Russian government officials -- including, as was already known, several conversations with Kislyak in December 2016. Those included a discussion about lifting economic sanctions the Obama administration had imposed on Russia and about a separate matter involving a United Nations resolution on Israel.

Flynn lied to federal agents who questioned him about those chats on Jan. 24, 2017, and that was a crime (as, possibly, were his efforts as a private citizen to meddle with a sitting government's foreign policy). The former general acknowledged lying , pleaded guilty a year ago, and then began cooperating with Mueller's probe.

The timeline around Flynn's conversations is crucial because it shows what's still in play for the president and Kushner -- and why Mueller may have been content to lock in a cooperation agreement that carried relatively light penalties, as well as why Flynn's assistance seems to have subsequently pleased the veteran prosecutor so much.

Kushner's actions are also interesting because the Federal Bureau of Investigation has examined his own communications with Kislyak -- and Kushner reportedly encouraged Trump to fire his FBI director, James Comey , in the spring of 2017, when Comey was still in the early stages of digging into the Trump-Russia connection.

Comey, and his successor, Mueller, have been focused on possible favor-trading between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. We know that Russian hackers directed by Russian intelligence operatives penetrated Democrat computer servers in 2016 and gave that information and email haul to WikiLeaks to disseminate as part of an effort to undermine Hillary Clinton's presidential bid. Trump was also pursuing that business deal in Moscow in 2016 and had other projects over the years with a Russian presence . What might the Kremlin have been expecting in return? A promise to lift U.S. economic sanctions?

Kushner also had personal financial issues weighing on his mind at the time. He had spent much of 2016 trying to bail out his family from his ill-considered and pricey purchase of a Manhattan skyscraper, 666 Fifth Avenue .

After a meeting in Trump Tower with Kislyak on Dec. 1, 2016, which Flynn and Kushner attended together , the ambassador arranged another gathering on Dec. 13 for Kushner and a senior Russian banker with Kremlin ties, Sergei Gorkov. The White House has said that meeting was innocent and part of Kushner's diplomatic duties. In a statement following his testimony before Congress in the summer of 2017, Kushner said that his interactions with Flynn and Kislyak on Dec. 1 only involved a discussion of Syria policy, not economic sanctions. He said that his discussion with Gorkov on Dec. 13 lasted less than 30 minutes and only involved an exchange of pleasantries and hopes for better U.S.-Russian relations -- and didn't include any discussion of recruiting Russians as lenders or investors in the Kushner family's real estate business .

Kislyak enjoyed continued lobbying from the White House after his meetings with Kushner. On Dec. 22, Flynn asked Kislyak to delay a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel for building settlements in Palestinian territory. Flynn later told the FBI that he didn't ask Kislyak to do that, which wasn't true. Court documents filed last year said that a "very senior member of the Presidential Transition Team" directed Flynn to make an overture to Kislyak about the sanctions vote. According to reporting from my Bloomberg Opinion colleague Eli Lake and NBC News , Kushner was that "senior member." Bloomberg News reported that former Trump advisers Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus also pushed Flynn to lobby Kislyak on the U.N. vote. (Kushner didn't discuss pressing Flynn to contact Kislyak in his statement last summer and instead noted how infrequent his direct interactions were.)

Kushner's role in these events isn't discussed in Mueller's sentencing memo for Flynn. The absence of greater detail might cause Kushner to worry: If Flynn offered federal authorities a different version of events than Kushner -- and Flynn's version is buttressed by documentation or federal electronic surveillance of the former general -- then the president's son-in-law may have to start scrambling (a possibility I flagged when Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017).

Other portions of the 2016 and early 2017 timelines still matter, too.

On Dec. 28, less than a week after Flynn called Kislyak about the U.N. vote, the ambassador contacted Flynn, according to court documents. The Obama administration had just imposed economic sanctions on Russia because of the Kremlin's effort to sabotage the 2016 election. Kislyak apparently told Flynn that Russia would retaliate because Flynn asked him to "moderate" Russia's response. Flynn reportedly discussed these conversations with a former Trump adviser, K.T. McFarland, on Dec. 29.

In the weeks that followed, Sally Yates, then acting U.S. attorney general, warned the Trump administration about Flynn's duplicity and said he was a national security threat. She was fired days after that for refusing to enforce Trump's executive order seeking to ban immigration from seven Islamic nations. The White House forced Flynn out in February of last year, and Trump fired Comey three months later. The president subsequently began using "witch hunt" to describe the investigation that Mueller inherited from Comey.

Since then, as the White House and Trump have surely absorbed and as Flynn's sentencing memo reinforces, Mueller's hunt has now ensnared a number of witches.

[Dec 02, 2018] Muller investigation has all the appearance of an investigation looking for a crime

Highly recommended!
Essentially Mueller witch hunt repeat the trick invented by Bolsheviks leadership during Stalin Great Terror: the accusation of a person of being a foreign agent is a 'slam dank" move that allows all kind to nasty things to be performed to convict the person no matter whether he is guilty of not.
Consolidation of power using Foreign Counter Intelligence as a tool is a classic and a very dirty trick.
Notable quotes:
"... It would be of great value to know what the underlying predicate crime(s) are that are sustaining Mueller's scorched earth approach to what looks to be 'all things Trump,' whether the crimes relate to counter intelligence jurisdiction (treason, espionage), illicit overseas business transactions relating to sanctions violations or something of that sort, or election law violations, the smoke of which got the whole Mueller jihad underway ..."
"... This would not be unusual in a Foreign Counter Intelligence case which are almost by definition open ended; it would be very unusual, in fact prohibited, in a criminal case where a factual predicate needs to be articulated that constitutes reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed. ..."
"... It seems Mueller has been riding the FCI horse whither he pleases to round up interviews, compare them, and then take the chicken shit route of charging 1001 violations to leverage his way forward. If that seems to smell bad, it is because it does. ..."
"... IMO, Trump is not helping himself or the American people get to the objective truth by declassifying all the documents and communications. Unless all the documents are released unredacted, all we have are theories and speculation. And Trump will be on the losing end of that as the news media and their Deep State collaborators have all the means to drive the narrative and attempt to convict in the court of public opinion through constant innuendo. ..."
"... In the mean time the Mueller investigation itself creates the crimes as pretty much most Trump associates have been indicted for perjury. Even Manafort was prosecuted for money laundering that took place over a decade ago ..."
"... Trump has stated that he doesn't want to declassify as the American people shouldn't know how corrupt their government is. This seems to contradict his Drain the Swamp rhetoric. ..."
"... Mueller may have created more crimes than existed before his inquiry. ..."
Dec 01, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Mad_Max22 , 12 hours ago

Very informative post.

It would be of great value to know what the underlying predicate crime(s) are that are sustaining Mueller's scorched earth approach to what looks to be 'all things Trump,' whether the crimes relate to counter intelligence jurisdiction (treason, espionage), illicit overseas business transactions relating to sanctions violations or something of that sort, or election law violations, the smoke of which got the whole Mueller jihad underway .

It certainly does give every appearance, at least from the outside perspective, of an investigation looking for a crime.

This would not be unusual in a Foreign Counter Intelligence case which are almost by definition open ended; it would be very unusual, in fact prohibited, in a criminal case where a factual predicate needs to be articulated that constitutes reasonable suspicion that a crime has been committed.

It seems Mueller has been riding the FCI horse whither he pleases to round up interviews, compare them, and then take the chicken shit route of charging 1001 violations to leverage his way forward. If that seems to smell bad, it is because it does.

Precisely the same approach could have been taken vis a vis the Uranium mattter or any of the Clinton Foundation speaker forays into foreign lands and almost certainly a boatload of 1001 violations would have come into port.

kievite -> Mad_Max22
So Muller reinvented the tactics used by Bolsheviks during the Great Purge period ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wi... )

Most Stalin's political enemies were liquidated using the "foreign agent" charge.

Might be a good time to reread a book on "Moscow show trials" like

The prosecutor and the prey: Vyshinsky and the 1930s' Moscow show trials Arkadii V̆aksberg.

https://www.amazon.com/pros...

The quote "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce" might be applicable here.

blue peacock , 21 hours ago

IMO, Trump is not helping himself or the American people get to the objective truth by declassifying all the documents and communications. Unless all the documents are released unredacted, all we have are theories and speculation. And Trump will be on the losing end of that as the news media and their Deep State collaborators have all the means to drive the narrative and attempt to convict in the court of public opinion through constant innuendo.

In the mean time the Mueller investigation itself creates the crimes as pretty much most Trump associates have been indicted for perjury. Even Manafort was prosecuted for money laundering that took place over a decade ago .

There have been no claims from Mueller that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election.

Trump has stated that he doesn't want to declassify as the American people shouldn't know how corrupt their government is. This seems to contradict his Drain the Swamp rhetoric. With the Democrats gonna run the House come January. I think Trump will come under increased pressure from all sides. I don't believe the Mueller investigation will ever wind down until Trump is defeated either via impeachment or loss of the next presidential election.

Pat Lang Mod -> blue peacock , 15 hours ago
I heard Dershowitz (my new hero) say the other day that Mueller may have created more crimes than existed before his inquiry.

[Dec 01, 2018] Assange Never Met Manafort by Craig Murray

Notable quotes:
"... I can also assure you that Luke Harding, the Guardian, Washington Post and New York Times have been publishing a stream of deliberate lies, in collusion with the security services. ..."
Nov 27, 2018 | www.unz.com

Luke Harding and the Guardian Publish Still More Blatant MI6 Lies

The right wing Ecuadorean government of President Moreno continues to churn out its production line of fake documents regarding Julian Assange, and channel them straight to MI6 mouthpiece Luke Harding of the Guardian.

Amazingly, more Ecuadorean Government documents have just been discovered for the Guardian, this time spy agency reports detailing visits of Paul Manafort and unspecified "Russians" to the Embassy. By a wonderful coincidence of timing, this is the day after Mueller announced that Manafort's plea deal was over.

The problem with this latest fabrication is that Moreno had already released the visitor logs to the Mueller inquiry. Neither Manafort nor these "Russians" are in the visitor logs.

This is impossible. The visitor logs were not kept by Wikileaks, but by the very strict Ecuadorean security. Nobody was ever admitted without being entered in the logs. The procedure was very thorough. To go in, you had to submit your passport (no other type of document was accepted). A copy of your passport was taken and the passport details entered into the log. Your passport, along with your mobile phone and any other electronic equipment, was retained until you left, along with your bag and coat. I feature in the logs every time I visited.

There were no exceptions. For an exception to be made for Manafort and the "Russians" would have had to be a decision of the Government of Ecuador, not of Wikileaks, and that would be so exceptional the reason for it would surely have been noted in the now leaked supposed Ecuadorean "intelligence report" of the visits. What possible motive would the Ecuadorean government have for facilitating secret unrecorded visits by Paul Manafort? Furthermore it is impossible that the intelligence agency – who were in charge of the security – would not know the identity of these alleged "Russians".

Previously Harding and the Guardian have published documents faked by the Moreno government regarding a diplomatic appointment to Russia for Assange of which he had no knowledge. Now they follow this up with more documents aimed to provide fictitious evidence to bolster Mueller's pathetically failed attempt to substantiate the story that Russia deprived Hillary of the Presidency.

My friend William Binney, probably the world's greatest expert on electronic surveillance, former Technical Director of the NSA, has stated that it is impossible the DNC servers were hacked, the technical evidence shows it was a download to a directly connected memory stick. I knew the US security services were conducting a fake investigation the moment it became clear that the FBI did not even themselves look at the DNC servers, instead accepting a report from the Clinton linked DNC "security consultants" Crowdstrike.

I would love to believe that the fact Julian has never met Manafort is bound to be established. But I fear that state control of propaganda may be such that this massive "Big Lie" will come to enter public consciousness in the same way as the non-existent Russian hack of the DNC servers.

Assange never met Manafort. The DNC emails were downloaded by an insider. Assange never even considered fleeing to Russia. Those are the facts, and I am in a position to give you a personal assurance of them.

I can also assure you that Luke Harding, the Guardian, Washington Post and New York Times have been publishing a stream of deliberate lies, in collusion with the security services.

I am not a fan of Donald Trump. But to see the partisans of the defeated candidate (and a particularly obnoxious defeated candidate) manipulate the security services and the media to create an entirely false public perception, in order to attempt to overturn the result of the US Presidential election, is the most astonishing thing I have witnessed in my lifetime.

Plainly the government of Ecuador is releasing lies about Assange to curry favour with the security establishment of the USA and UK, and to damage Assange's support prior to expelling him from the Embassy. He will then be extradited from London to the USA on charges of espionage.

Assange is not a whistleblower or a spy – he is the greatest publisher of his age, and has done more to bring the crimes of governments to light than the mainstream media will ever be motivated to achieve. That supposedly great newspaper titles like the Guardian, New York Times and Washington Post are involved in the spreading of lies to damage Assange, and are seeking his imprisonment for publishing state secrets, is clear evidence that the idea of the "liberal media" no longer exists in the new plutocratic age. The press are not on the side of the people, they are an instrument of elite control.

Assange Never Met Manafort

SporadicMyrmidon , says: December 1, 2018 at 7:47 am GMT

My opinions are conflicted, but I'd rather give Assange a Nobel Peace Prize than a criminal conviction. He definitely deserves a Nobel Prize more than Obama. I was in an eatery in Cambridge, MA, when I heard Obama's prize announced, and even there people where aghast and astounded.
jilles dykstra , says: December 1, 2018 at 10:25 am GMT
The Guardian was bought by Soros, a few years ago.
Washpost, NYT and CNN, Deep State mouthpieces.
That the USA, as long as Deep State has not been eradicated completely from USA society, will continue to try to get Assange, and of course also Snowdon, in it claws, is more than obvious.
So what are we talking about ?
Assange just uses the freedom of information act, or how the the USA euphemism for telling them nothing, is called.
How Assange survives, mentally and bodily, being locked up in a small room without a bathroom, for several years now, is beyond my comprehension.
But of course, for 'traitors' like him human rights do not exist.
Bill Jones , says: December 1, 2018 at 10:33 am GMT
I tried this in the Grauniad search box

Term: "Far Right" result: "About 1,400,000 results (0.23 seconds)"

Term : "Far Left" result: "About 7,310 results (0.22 seconds) "

Only Pol Pot is to the Left of that bird-cage liner.

anon [271] Disclaimer , says: December 1, 2018 at 10:38 am GMT
"I can also assure you that Luke Harding, the Guardian, Washington Post and New York Times have been publishing a stream of deliberate lies, in collusion with the security services."

These outfits are largely state-run at this point. The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, a man with deep ties to the CIA through his Amazon company (which depends upon federal subsidies and has received security agency "support") and the Guardian is clandestinely funded through UK government purchases, among other things. MI6 has also effectively compromised the former integrity and objectivity of that outlet by threatening them with prosecutions for revealing MI6 spy practices. And the NYT has always been state-run. See their coverage of the Iraq War. The Israelis have bragged about having an asset at the Times. The American government has several.

Altai , says: December 1, 2018 at 11:38 am GMT
It's amazing to see the obvious progression of the lies as they take hold in an anti-Trump elite who seem completely impervious to understanding his victory over Clinton. All these people who claim to be so cosmopolitan and educated seem to think Assange or Manafort would have any interest in meeting each other. (Let alone in the company of unspecified 'Russians'.)

At first it was that Assange was wrong to publish the DNC leaks because it hurt Clinton and thus helped Trump.

Then it was that Assange was actively trying to help Trump.

Now it's that Assange is in collusion with Trump and the 'Russians'.

The same thing happened with the Trump-Russian nonsense which goes ever more absurd as time goes on. Slowly boiling the frog in the public's mind. The allegations are so nonsensical, yet there are plenty of educated, supposedly cosmopolitan people who don't understand the backgrounds or motives of their 'liberal' heroes in the NYT or Guardian who believe this on faith.

None of these people will ever question how if any of this is true how the security services of the West didn't know it and if they supposedly know it, how come they aren't acting like it's true. They are acting like they're attempting to smear politicians they don't like, however.

Che Guava , says: December 1, 2018 at 11:51 am GMT
Luke Harding is particularly despicable. He made his name as a journalist off privileged access to Wilkileaks docs, and has been persistently attacking Assange ever since the Swedish fan-girl farce.

Assange did make a mistake (of which I am sure he is all too aware now) in the choice to, rather than leave the info. open on-line, collaborate with the filthy Guardian, the sleazy NYT, and I forget dirty name of the third publication.

Big tactictal error.

Che Guava , says: December 1, 2018 at 12:05 pm GMT
@anon Since you are posting as Anon coward, I am not expecting a reply, but would be interested in (and would not doubt) state funding of the 'Guardian'?

As for the NYT, they are plainly in some sense state-funded, but the state in question is neither New York nor the U.S.A., but the state of Israel.

mike k , says: December 1, 2018 at 12:33 pm GMT
Only the thoroughly brainwashed can doubt the truths in this article. Unfortunately that includes a huge number of Americans.
Bill Jones , says: December 1, 2018 at 1:05 pm GMT
@Altai The one lesson that the left has learned is to double downin perpetuity.

Their invincible arragance is matched only by their stupidity.

Simon Tugmutton , says: December 1, 2018 at 1:23 pm GMT
@Che Guava Perhaps he is referring to the sheer volume of ads the British government places for public sector appointments. As for the paper edition, most of it seems to be bought by the BBC!

[Dec 01, 2018] Michael Cohen pleads guilty again, this time to the Mueller group by Robert Willmann

Notable quotes:
"... At this time, there is no "factual basis" or "statement of the offense" filed in the clerk's file to support the guilty plea. This is unusual, as normally the factual basis is in writing and filed as part of the plea papers. Thus, as in his earlier criminal case in the same courthouse, the factual basis was probably done orally in open court at the time of the plea, and the only way to find out what it was is to get a transcript of the hearing from the court reporter. ..."
"... Most unusual of all is that Cohen is prosecuted for making a false statement to Congress. During the last 10 years or so, has anyone else made a materially false or misleading or fraudulent statement, or covered up or concealed a material fact to Congress, in violation of any U.S. law? Does anything come to mind causing a person wonder whether or not that has happened, such as Fast and Furious gun running, or maybe on the subject of domestic surveillance ...? ..."
Dec 01, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Michael Cohen pleads guilty again, this time to the Mueller group As has by now been plastered all over the mass media, Michael Cohen, a former attorney for president Donald Trump, today went into federal court in Manhattan, New York City, to plead guilty as part of a deal in a second case, filed this time by the "special counsel" Robert Mueller group. Also as before, the deal was telegraphed by a "John Doe" paper filed yesterday in a U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York--

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/files/michaelcohen_johndoe_notice.pdf

The charging document is once again an "information", since it was agreed to and not the result of a grand jury indictment. It alleges that Cohen made false statements to the U.S. Congress directed to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about a "branded property in Moscow, Russia", obviously referring to a Trump property, and is based on Title 18, U.S. Code, section 1001(a) and (c), the proverbial false statement statute [1]--

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/files/michaelcohen_charging_doc_2nd_case.pdf

Since he was pleading guilty through the agreed charging paper filed today, he signed a waiver giving up his right to be charged by an indictment for a felony--

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/files/michaelcohen_waiver_of_indictment.pdf

Here is the plea bargain agreement, which at this time has not been filed in the court clerk's file--

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/files/michaelcohen_plea_agreement_2nd_case.pdf

Page 8 of the plea agreement indicates that Cohen talked to the Mueller group at least on 7 August 2018, 12 and 18 September, 8 and 17 October, and 12 and 20 November.

His lawyer filed a letter requesting that this new case be consolidated with his other criminal case in the Southern District of New York, and be transferred to Judge William Pauley III, in whose court the earlier case is pending--

https://turcopolier.typepad.com/files/michaelcohen_transfer_request.pdf

Cohen is presently scheduled to be sentenced on 12 December 2018. The request to transfer the case was granted, as noted on the court clerk's docket sheet--

"11/29/2018 Notice of Case Reassignment as to Michael Cohen, to Judge William H. Pauley, III. Judge Andrew L. Carter, Jr no longer assigned to the case. (ma) (Entered: 11/29/2018)".

At this time, there is no "factual basis" or "statement of the offense" filed in the clerk's file to support the guilty plea. This is unusual, as normally the factual basis is in writing and filed as part of the plea papers. Thus, as in his earlier criminal case in the same courthouse, the factual basis was probably done orally in open court at the time of the plea, and the only way to find out what it was is to get a transcript of the hearing from the court reporter.

Most unusual of all is that Cohen is prosecuted for making a false statement to Congress. During the last 10 years or so, has anyone else made a materially false or misleading or fraudulent statement, or covered up or concealed a material fact to Congress, in violation of any U.S. law? Does anything come to mind causing a person wonder whether or not that has happened, such as Fast and Furious gun running, or maybe on the subject of domestic surveillance ...?

https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4455233/exchange-clapper-wyden

https://oversight.house.gov/release/committee-releases-fast-furious-report-obstruction-congress-department-justice/

[1] 18 U.S.C. 1001

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1001

Timothy Hagios , 10 hours ago

The Manchurian Candidate conspiracy theories stopped being farcical a while ago -- IMO they are now in a class by themselves, perhaps a class shared with The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion and other massively destructive lies.

The birther thing was awful, but at least it didn't get anyone killed, while this thing will lead Trump to do stupid things to disprove it and might get us all killed.

I'm trying to wrap my mind around what precisely Trump is supposed to have done -- told Putin that he'd do anything he wanted in exchange for a real estate opportunity in Moscow? I'm sure that Putin would have paid cash, no real estate required, for such a privilege.

And yet the vast majority of people I've met believe that Trump is a Russian puppet and that aggressive action is needed against Russia for the simple reason that Trump=Russia=bad.

[Nov 30, 2018] Putin Was To Get $50 Million Penthouse In Trump Tower Moscow; Michael Cohen And FBI Informant Negotiated Failed Deal Zero Hed

Another unnamed source. That's sounds like a baloney. Putin would never agree to live in the US constructed and controlled tower.
At least this fabrication is a bit more plausible than the Russian hookers peeing on the bed story...
Nov 30, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Tyler Durden Thu, 11/29/2018 - 18:50 409 SHARES

President Trump's ex-longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen worked with an FBI informant known as "The Quarterback" to negotiate a deal for Trump Tower Moscow during the 2016 US election, according to BuzzFeed News .

"The Quarterback," Felix Sater - a longtime FBI and CIA undercover intelligence asset who was busted running a $40 million stock scheme, leveraged his Russia connections to pitch the deal, while Cohen discussed it with Putin's press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, according to BuzzFeed , citing two unnamed US law enforcement officials.

Sater told BuzzFeed News today that he and Cohen thought giving the Trump Tower's most luxurious apartment, a $50 million penthouse , to Putin would entice other wealthy buyers to purchase their own. "In Russia, the oligarchs would bend over backwards to live in the same building as Vladimir Putin," Sater told BuzzFeed News. "My idea was to give a $50 million penthouse to Putin and charge $250 million more for the rest of the units. All the oligarchs would line up to live in the same building as Putin." A second source confirmed the plan. - BuzzFeed

The Trump Tower Moscow plan is at the center of Cohen's new plea agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller after he admitted to lying to congressional committees investigating Trump-Russia collusion.

According to the criminal information filed against Cohen Thursday, on Jan. 20, 2016 he spoke with a Russian government official, referred to only as Assistant 1, about the Trump Tower Moscow plan for 20 minutes. This person appears to be an assistant to Peskov, a top Kremlin official that Cohen had attempted to reach by email.

Cohen "requested assistance in moving the project forward, both in securing land to build the proposed tower and financing the construction," the court document states.

Cohen had previously maintained that he never got a response from the official, but in court on Thursday he acknowledged that was a lie. - BuzzFeed

While the deal ultimately fizzled, "and it is not clear whether Trump knew of the intention to give away the penthouse," Cohen has said in court filings that Trump was regularly briefed on the Moscow negotiations along with his family.

Sater and Cohen "worked furiously behind the scenes into the summer of 2016 to get the Moscow deal finished," according to BuzzFeed - although it was claimed that the project was canned in January 2016, before Trump won the GOP nomination.

Sater, who has worked with the Trump organization on past deals, said that he came up with the Trump Tower Moscow idea, while Cohen - Sater recalled, said "Great idea." "I figured, he's in the news, his name is generating a lot of good press," Sater told BuzzFeed earlier in the year, adding "A lot of Russians weren't willing to pay a premium licensing fee to put Donald's name on their building. Now maybe they would be."

So he turned to his old friend, Cohen, to get it off the ground . They arranged a licensing deal, by which Trump would lend his name to the project and collect a part of the profits. Sater lined up a Russian development company to build the project and said that VTB, a Russian financial institution that faced US sanctions at the time, would finance it. VTB officials have denied taking part in any negotiations about the project. - BuzzFeed

Two FBI agents with "direct knowledge of the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations" told BuzzFeed earlier this year that Cohen had been in frequent contact with foreigners about the potential real estate project - and that some of these individuals "had knowledge of or played a role in 2016 election meddling."

Meanwhile, Trump reportedly personally signed the letter of intent to move forward with the Trump Tower Moscow plan on October 28, 2015 - the third day of the Republican primary debate.

Cohen is scheduled to be sentenced on December 12. By cooperating with the DOJ, he is hoping to avoid prison.


HowdyDoody , 2 minutes ago link

Did Putin know he was going to get a $50 million penthouse apartment? I bet he would rather have a $100 shack near some good fishing water.

Steel Hammerhands , 15 minutes ago link

Felix Henry Sater (born Felix Mikhailovich Sheferovsky ; Russian : Феликс Михайлович Шеферовский; March 2, 1966) is an American former mobster, real estate developer and former managing director of Bayrock Group LLC , a real estate conglomerate based out of New York City . Sater has been an advisor to many corporations, including The Trump Organization , Rixos Hotels and Resorts , Sembol Construction, Potok (formerly the Mirax Group ), and TxOil.

In 1998, Sater pleaded guilty to his involvement in a $40 million stock fraud scheme orchestrated by the Russian Mafia , and became an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and federal prosecutors, assisting with organized crime investigations. In 2017, Sater agreed to cooperate with investigators into international money laundering schemes.

Felix Sater - Wikipedia

To Hell In A Handbasket , 16 minutes ago link

Left, right and centre in contemporary USSA politics are rotten and corrupt. Bernie Sanders proved that even he is susceptible to dodgy business decisions. Trump is no more rotten and adverse to dodgy/boarderline legally tenuous deals than anybody in politics on Capitol Hill. Do I care about this? No, because there are far more important issues to be dealt with by a magnitude of 90000 times.

Both sides on this issue are imbeciles. One side is pushing guilt, when compared to what Killary and the Clinton foundation got up to, it is a complete non-story. The other side are completely absolving Orange Jesus of any guilt and making out he has morals beyond reproach.

I rarely comment on the Trump/Russia angle, because most of it is overblown, the narrative is distorted and context is deliberately misinterpreted.

smacker , 4 minutes ago link

Because it just happens to neatly fit into the Mueller investigation?

If Mueller was investigating China-gate, then Trump's dealings with China would be the big news and his dealings with Russia wouldn't be important.

css1971 , 21 minutes ago link

President Trump's ex-longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen worked with an FBI informant known as "The Quarterback" to negotiate a deal for Trump Tower Moscow during the 2016 US election, according to BuzzFeed News.

There is nothing about this sentence which carries any credibility at all.

Honestly, you might not have bothered writing it, or the rest of the article. No. I didn't read it, and am not going to waste any of my life doing so either.

Jungle Jim , 45 minutes ago link

Can somebody just give me the short, simple, dumbed-down version of what any of this means? What does this amount to? Is this any kind of game-changer? Does it change anything?

StarGate , 35 minutes ago link

Means nothing to Trump.

No Tower in Moscow. Putin got nothing. There was no deal.

But has word "Russia" in story to keep Leftists and Democrats excited.

Steel Hammerhands , 10 minutes ago link

Someone wanted to build a high-rise in Moscow and pay Trump for the right to use his name on it.

Nothing else in this story has anything else to do with Donald Trump.

Josef Stalin , 1 hour ago link

" ...an un-named source" ..... another fantastical fairytale from a failed american media company by yet another un-named source. How very convenient. President Vladimir living in an american themed cramped badly designed apartment building ? Please, I do not like to laugh much but this is starting to make me smile. Our President has a State owned mansion in the best part of our glorious capital ....like me he owns almost nothing and works all the time ....why would anybody with sanity in their brain believe that he would make this change, especially to be associated with ANYTHING american. Also no Russian businessman that I know has ever bought a property in a trump complex .... the build quality and design is rubbish. Westerners should take time to view some of our exceptional office and residential towers along the Moskva River to see where wealthy people want to invest, work and live here. Get real West !!

moon_unit , 1 hour ago link

OK thought experiment, given that he "only" earns perhaps 150k, how is Putin going to pay for the upkeep of such a White Elephant? Imagine if he had to pay for maintenance of the complementary hot n cold running whores that inevitable come with such an apartment .... what if something breaks and needs replaced?

It's like giving a Ferrari to an Amish. Thanks, but no, thanks. Not his style.

Keyser , 1 hour ago link

At least this fabrication is a bit more plausible than the Russian hookers peeing on the bed story...

And the end of the day, it's Cohen's word against the POTUS and I know whose side I'm on...

I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 2 hours ago link

A set up, using the (((Russian))) mob

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Sater

Because Putin wants to live in a building with a bunch of mobsters.

And small world - wouldnt you know the Russians who try to do hotel deals are also into hacking illegal, unsecure servers?

And though this indicates nothing, true or not, about the election - here's the secret : the judeocorporate media has got the public trained to react to 'Russia' and 'Putin' purely emotionally - so much so the Maddows of the world will shriek that this proves 'collusion' - when it does no such thing.

More Deep State smoke and mirrors.

If you havent watched any Dan Bongino speeches on youtube its worth a look.

So is this refresher: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-18/russiagate-witch-hunt-stockman-names-names-deep-states-insurance-policy

GoldenDebt , 2 hours ago link

Unknown sources

And

Buzzfeed

Equals bull sh!t .. always

Pindown , 2 hours ago link

Crooks and criminals took over worldwide. Now even US-citizens elected one for President. It´s a shame. How long will it take until the killer squads of Blackstone financed by Blackrock prowl through the streets to kill anybody who isn´t useful in their view? They have been practicing for years in foreign countries, paid with taxpayers money.

Asoka_The_Great , 2 hours ago link

Why did the FBI or Muller zero in on this guy Michael Cohen?

Because they got everything on him, Trump and his family and associates, long before any investigations were initiated.

NSA collected all the phone records, emails, text messages, internet usages, banking records, library loan records, etc, . . . on EVERY Americans. All they need to do is type in a name, like you type in a search phrase on Google, and everything associated with that person would come up, on the screen.

The FBI knew everything they need to know about Michael Cohen, and General Michael Flynn.

All they need to get them or entrap them is to ask them questions, which they already knew the answers, and wait for them to "lie" or misrepresent themselves.

BINGO!

They are charged with lying to the FBI.

Trump was smart that he refused to be "interview" with the Muller, the Inquisitor. His lawyers knew Muller will try to trap into "lying" to the FBI.

[Nov 30, 2018] Felix Sater--The Rosetta Stone for the FBI-CIA Conspiracy Against Trump by Larry Johnson

This has smell of FBI attempt to entrap Trump...
Notable quotes:
"... It is quite clear from the charging document that Sater, not Cohen, was the one who was extending the invitation from Russian officials for Cohen to travel to Russia. What remains unknown is whether Felix Sater was doing this on his own initiative or was acting on instructions from his FBI handler to "bait" Cohen with this opportunity. ..."
"... A criminal complaint filed by the FBI in January 2015 shows that the FBI's Counter Intelligence Division directed a Confidential Source of the FBI, who matches the description of Sater, to use the Trump Organization as bait to go after Russian intelligence officers. ..."
"... CS-1 posed as the representative of a wealthy investor looking to work with Bank-1 to develop casinos in Russia. ..."
"... discussed an email to BURYAKOV regarding the potential development of casinos in Russia ..."
"... Worth noting that this operation was carried out while E. W. "Bill" Priestap was the FBI special agent in charge of the Counterintelligence Division in the New York Field Office. Ten months after the success of this case, Priestap was promoted to assistant director of the Counterintelligence Division at FBI Headquarters (FBIHQ) in Washington, DC. It was Priestap's Counterintelligence Division that subsequently played a key role in going after the Trump campaign for allegedly working with the Russians in 2016. ..."
"... Yet, Priestap surely knew that the previous contacts between Trump's organization and the Russians had been brokered at the behest of the FBI. ..."
"... Felix Sater was not just some run of the mill snitch. He was a very important informant and asset for both the FBI and the CIA. Don't take my word for it. That is what former Attorney General Loretta Lynch said. When Loretta Lynch was nominated for US Attorney General, she was pressed by Senator Orin Hatch to divulge information on Sater to satisfy all of the people who had been defrauded in the failed Fort Lauderdale Trump Towers venture. Here's Loretta Lynch's response: ..."
"... 'The defendant in question, Felix Sater , provided valuable and sensitive information to the government during the course of his cooperation, which began in or about December 1998. For more than 10 years, he worked with prosecutors from my Office, the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York and law enforcement agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies, providing information crucial to national security and the conviction of over 20 individuals, including those responsible for committing massive financial fraud and members of La Cosa Nostra. For that reason, his case was initially sealed.' ..."
"... Was Felix Sater operating as an FBI informant when matters related to Russia were discussed with members of Donald Trump's business enterprise? ..."
"... During the time that the FBI directed Felix Sater to use the Trump business enterprise as bait to entrap foreign spies and mobsters, was Trump witting of this ploy? ..."
"... I reiterate a point I made in my previous post. Felix Sater worked with Trump starting in 2003. At no point prior to Trump's June 16, 2015 announcement that he was running for President did the FBI pursue any criminal charges against Donald Trump or any member of his business organization. There are only two possibilities to explain that. Number one -- Donald Trump did not commit any overt acts that would have met the standard for a criminal indictment. Number two -- Donald Trump also was an informer for the FBI and was granted immunity and all records sealed. I believe the later is highly unlikely. Given the level of animus directed at Trump by many senior FBI officials, I find it improbable that such a secret could be kept. ..."
"... We really need to know what the FBI knew about Trump's Russia contacts that were facilitated by their informant, Felix Sater, and when they knew it. I do not think that the FBI will be eager to provide such answers. ..."
Nov 30, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Sater is not named in the charging statement filed by the Special Prosecutor but Felix Sater matches the description of "Individual 2." The charging statement clearly shows that Sater played a key role in trying to promote contacts with the Russians, including Vladimir Putin:

On or about May 4, 2016, Individual 2 wrote to COHEN,"I had a chat with Moscow. ASSUMING the trip does happen the question is before or after the convention . . . Obviously the pre-meeting trip (you only) can happen anytime you want but the 2 big guys where [sic] the question. I said I would confirm and revert." (page 6)

On or about May 5, 2016, Individual 2 followed up with COHEN and wrote, "[Russian Official 1] would like to invite you as his guest to the St. Petersburg Forum which is Russia's Davos it's June 16-19. He wants to meet there with you and possibly introduce you to either [the President of Russia] or [the Prime Minister of Russia], as they are not sure if 1 or both will be there. . . . He said anything you want to discuss including dates and subjects are on the table to discuss."

On or about May 6, 2016, Individual 2 asked COHEN to confirm those dates would work for him to travel. COHEN wrote back, "Works for me."

From on or about June 9 to June 14, 2016, Individual 2 sent numerous messages to COHEN about the travel, including forms for COHEN to complete. However, on or about June 14, 2016, COHEN met Individual 2 in the lobby of the Company's headquarters to inform Individual 2 he would not be traveling at that time.

The day after COHEN's call with Assistant 1, Individual 2 contacted him, asking for a call. Individual 2 wrote to COHEN, "It's about [the President of Russia] they called today."

It is quite clear from the charging document that Sater, not Cohen, was the one who was extending the invitation from Russian officials for Cohen to travel to Russia. What remains unknown is whether Felix Sater was doing this on his own initiative or was acting on instructions from his FBI handler to "bait" Cohen with this opportunity.

A criminal complaint filed by the FBI in January 2015 shows that the FBI's Counter Intelligence Division directed a Confidential Source of the FBI, who matches the description of Sater, to use the Trump Organization as bait to go after Russian intelligence officers. Felix Sater appears to have played a critical role in taking down three Russian Non Official Cover officers -- Evgeny Buryakov, Igor Sporyshev and Viktor Podobnyy -- who were charged by the FBI in January 2015 for espionage. The alleged spying by these Russian NOCs commenced in 2012. We do not know how the FBI discovered their activities, but the Russians became targets of an FBI Counter Intelligence Division investigation. The complaint filed by FBI agent Gregory Monaghan, shows how Confidential Source 1 (who fits the role played by Sater in the Trump organization) used his relationship with Donald Trump's company as bait:

As set forth below, in the summer of 2014, EVGENY BURYAKOV, a/k/a "Zhenya," the defendant, met numerous times with a confidential source working for the FBI ("CS-1"). CS-1 posed as the representative of a wealthy investor looking to work with Bank-1 to develop casinos in Russia. . . BURYAKOV's statements and conduct reflected his strong desire to obtain information about subjects far outside the scope of his work as a bank employee, and consistent with his interests as a Russian intelligence agent. These meetings established BURYAKOV's willingness to solicit and accept documents that CS-1 claimed he had obtained from a U.S. government agency and which purportedlycontained information potentially useful to the Russian Federation.

Monaghan's complaint, however, also reveals evidence that the Russians were quite skeptical of Sater.

On or about July 22, 2014, EVGENY BURYAKOV, a/k/a "Zhenya," and IGOR SPORYSHEV, the defendants, had a conversation. BURYAKOV and SPORYSHEV discussed an email to BURYAKOV regarding the potential development of casinos in Russia . BURYAKOV stated that the subject of the email was concerning "some sort of fucking nonsense" relating to casinos. SPORYSHEV stated, "It's unclear . Casino, Russia, like, some sort of a set up. Trap of some sort. I cannot understand what the point is." SPORYSHEV added, "You could meet [an associate of CS-1] if you want - you will look and decide for yourself."

Notwithstanding their doubts, the Russians went ahead with a meeting with Sater in Atlantic City, where Sater fulfilled his role on behalf of the FBI and set the hook in the Russians by having them accept a U.S. Government document:

On or about August 8, 2014, CS-1 met with EVGENY BURYAKOV, a/k/a "Zhenya," the defendant, and Male-2 in Atlantic City. The meeting lasted from around noon to 7:00 p.m. and included a tour of casinos in Atlantic City. At the end of the day, CS-1 took BURYAKOV and Male-2 to CS-l's office, where CS-1 gave a PowerPoint presentation on the proposed casino project in Russia. At the end of the PowerPoint presentation, CS-1 noted that U.S. sanctions against Russia could have an impact on their project. CS-1 also presented BURYAKOV with a United States Government document ("Government Document-1"), labeled "Internal Treasury Use Only," which contained a list of Russian individuals who had been sanctioned by the United States. CS-1 stated that CS-1 had a contact in the United States Government and could get more information about sanctions if BURYAKOV was interested. BURYAKOV replied that he was interested in such information. At the end of the meeting, BURYAKOV asked if he could keep Government Document-1, which CS-1 then handed to BURYAKOV. BURYAKOV took the document with him and left the meeting.

Worth noting that this operation was carried out while E. W. "Bill" Priestap was the FBI special agent in charge of the Counterintelligence Division in the New York Field Office. Ten months after the success of this case, Priestap was promoted to assistant director of the Counterintelligence Division at FBI Headquarters (FBIHQ) in Washington, DC. It was Priestap's Counterintelligence Division that subsequently played a key role in going after the Trump campaign for allegedly working with the Russians in 2016.

Yet, Priestap surely knew that the previous contacts between Trump's organization and the Russians had been brokered at the behest of the FBI. The Monaghan affidavit does not paint a picture of "CS-1" acting unilaterally to cultivate Russian intelligence officers.

So how do we know that Sater really was an FBI registered informant? The answer lies with the failed Trump Tower in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Michael Sallah, writing for the Miami Herald, was the first I could find that wrote about Sater and his FBI ties:

When Felix Sater and his partners launched a plan to put up a Trump tower in Fort Lauderdale -- luring scores of investors -- he had already been charged in an explosive securities scam with New York mob figures.

He had pleaded guilty and was awaiting sentencing in the $40 million swindle.

But investors in the Trump tower never knew.

Sater had already been prosecuted in secret -- his arrest records shut down and every trace of his role in the New York stock scandal stripped from public view. . . .

In a rare move, lawyers are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intercede in a bitter debate over the practice of concealing criminal cases from the public.

For now, Sater -- an FBI informant who owns a $4.8 million Fisher Island condo -- has become the poster boy of the fight over whether judges have the power to bury all traces of someone's criminal history.
The Miami Herald, July 1, 2012 Sunday by Michael Sallah

Sallah provided the first comprehensive summary of Sater's shady past:

Born in the former Soviet Union and raised in New York, Sater began his rise in financial circles as a young stock broker in the 1990s.

But his career took a wrong turn when he was arrested after getting into a bar fight where he stabbed another broker in the face with the stem of a shattered margarita glass.

After a stint in prison, he was released on parole. But he got into trouble again, this time in the stock fraud with members of the Genovese and Colombo crime families in 1998.

After pleading guilty to racketeering -- and the case sealed -- Sater went on to launch a new career in real estate that would take him across the country, including South Florida.

After he joined the Bayrock Group in New York as an executive in 2003, the firm unveiled a series of big developments, while licensing Trump's name.

They announced the stunning 24-story high-rise on Fort Lauderdale's beach that became one of the biggest condo-hotel deals in Florida.
The Miami Herald, July 1, 2012 Sunday by Michael Sallah

Felix Sater was not only an FBI informant, but he did some sensitive work for the CIA. Sallah also broke this angle of the story about Sater:

Charged in a New York securities scandal, the 46-year-old businessman traveled to his native Russia where he took on a unique role that went far beyond flipping on dangerous criminals.

He began spying for the CIA.

Tapping into the vast underground of the former Soviet Union, Sater was able to track down a dozen Stinger missiles equipped with powerful tracking devices on the black market.

With the backing of U.S. agents, Sater agreed to buy the weapons -- keeping them out of the hands of terrorists. In return, the CIA pledged to keep Sater from going to jail in the stock scam he concocted with New York organized crime figures. . . .

What remains sealed is the work that Sater performed for the government in the past 14 years that's now the topic of the court fight.

During one hearing, the judge said the case had reached top members "of a national law enforcement security agency. I should say agencies -- plural." But he didn't elaborate.

The fight has been taken so seriously the judge is using the name John Doe instead of Sater to hide his identity and to "protect the life of the person."
The Miami Herald, September 8, 2012 Saturday by Michael Sallah

Felix Sater was not just some run of the mill snitch. He was a very important informant and asset for both the FBI and the CIA. Don't take my word for it. That is what former Attorney General Loretta Lynch said. When Loretta Lynch was nominated for US Attorney General, she was pressed by Senator Orin Hatch to divulge information on Sater to satisfy all of the people who had been defrauded in the failed Fort Lauderdale Trump Towers venture. Here's Loretta Lynch's response:

'The defendant in question, Felix Sater , provided valuable and sensitive information to the government during the course of his cooperation, which began in or about December 1998. For more than 10 years, he worked with prosecutors from my Office, the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York and law enforcement agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies, providing information crucial to national security and the conviction of over 20 individuals, including those responsible for committing massive financial fraud and members of La Cosa Nostra. For that reason, his case was initially sealed.'

The FBI and Robert Mueller, who ran the FBI during the time that Sater operated as an FBI informant, need to answer two key questions.

  1. Was Felix Sater operating as an FBI informant when matters related to Russia were discussed with members of Donald Trump's business enterprise?
  2. During the time that the FBI directed Felix Sater to use the Trump business enterprise as bait to entrap foreign spies and mobsters, was Trump witting of this ploy?

I reiterate a point I made in my previous post. Felix Sater worked with Trump starting in 2003. At no point prior to Trump's June 16, 2015 announcement that he was running for President did the FBI pursue any criminal charges against Donald Trump or any member of his business organization. There are only two possibilities to explain that. Number one -- Donald Trump did not commit any overt acts that would have met the standard for a criminal indictment. Number two -- Donald Trump also was an informer for the FBI and was granted immunity and all records sealed. I believe the later is highly unlikely. Given the level of animus directed at Trump by many senior FBI officials, I find it improbable that such a secret could be kept.

We really need to know what the FBI knew about Trump's Russia contacts that were facilitated by their informant, Felix Sater, and when they knew it. I do not think that the FBI will be eager to provide such answers.


kievite ,

This smells with entrapment -- looks like FBI was actively working on compromising Trump with Russian ties.

See also a very similar tale: https://theconservativetree...

Summary: George Papadopoulos and his wife Simone Mangiante approached in Greece by a known CIA/FBI operative, Charles Tawil. Mr. Tawil enlists George as a business consultant, under the auspices of energy development interests, and hands him $10,000 in cash to take back to the U.S. Upon arrival at the Dulles airport Robert Mueller had FBI agents waiting. Papadopoulos was stopped and searched; however, he never had the cash because he smartly left it in Greece with his lawyer. Further:

[W]hen he was arrested at Dulles Airport on July 27 after coming off a flight from Munich, prosecutors had no warrant for him and no indictment or criminal complaint. The complaint would be filed the following morning and approved by Howell in Washington.

Valissa Rauhallinen ,
Great post Larry, thanks!

On a tangential but related note, earlier today I saw an article at Zero Hedge that was sourced from this Daily Caller article:

EXCLUSIVE: FBI Raids Home Of Whistleblower On Clinton Foundation, Lawyer Says https://dailycaller.com/201...
FBI agents raided the home of a recognized Department of Justice whistleblower who privately delivered documents pertaining to the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One to a government watchdog, according to the whistleblower's attorney.

The Justice Department's inspector general was informed that the documents show that federal officials failed to investigate potential criminal activity regarding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation and Rosatom, the Russian company that purchased Uranium One, a document reviewed by The Daily Caller News Foundation alleges.

The delivered documents also show that then-FBI Director Robert Mueller failed to investigate allegations of criminal misconduct pertaining to Rosatom and to other Russian government entities attached to Uranium One, the document reviewed by TheDCNF alleges. Mueller is now the special counsel investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 election.

"The bureau raided my client to seize what he legally gave Congress about the Clinton Foundation and Uranium One," the whistleblower's lawyer, Michael Socarras, told TheDCNF, noting that he considered the FBI's raid to be an "outrageous disregard" of whistleblower protections.
----------------------------

In one of those "it's a small world" scenarios, one of the WalkAway YouTubers (former SJW turned conservative) that I follow is the sister-in-law of this whistleblower! Here is her video today about the raid

Play Hide
Arun , 4 hours ago
So why did Cohen find it necessary to lie to Congress?

[Nov 30, 2018] Mueller Takes Aim, But Is Trump in Trouble by By Aaron Maté

Witch hunt has its own dynamics and it is not necessary to get any facts to inflict great damage. Mueller, the key person in 8/11 investigation, is first and foremost a loyal neocon/neolib establishment stooge, not so much a lawyer. So the shadow of McCarthyism fall on the Washitnton, DC.
Felix Sater was FBI asset from the very beginning.
Which such Byzantium politics in Washington and intrigues between almost identical parties worth of Madrid court it is not accidental that FBI coves with upper hand in its struggle with Russian intelligence, Russians can't get such training in viciousness, double dealing and false flag operations anywhere.
Notable quotes:
"... Disappearing for the midterms , Russiagate has re-emerged front and center. This week's barrage of developments in the cases of indicted Trump campaign figures Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, and George Papadopoulos have renewed long-running declarations of a presidency in peril . ..."
"... They coincide with a fresh round of alarm over the fate of Mueller's investigation following Trump's ouster of attorney general Jeff Sessions and the installation of Matthew Whitaker in his place. ..."
"... Although Mueller's final report has yet to be released, the issue that sparked the FBI investigation he inherited has already been resolved. The FBI began eyeing potential Trump-Russia ties in July 2016 after getting a tip that unpaid campaign aide George Papadopoulos may have been informed that Russia was in possession of stolen Democratic Party emails well before WikiLeaks made them public. But that trail went cold. It turns out that a London-based professor, Joseph Mifsud, told Papadopoulos that the Russian government might possess thousands of Hillary Clinton's emails. ..."
"... The Russia probe's other instigating figure, Carter Page, was also a low-level, unpaid campaign official. The information that led to his investigation is even more suspect. ..."
"... But its a key source for that supposition turned out to be the Steele dossier -- the salacious, Democratic Party-funded opposition research compiled by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele. And while the FBI got Papadopoulos on lying to them, Page has not been accused of any crime... ..."
"... Just as the evidence used in Manafort's bank and tax fraud case underscored that he worked against Russian interests in Ukraine , Flynn's indictment turns up another inconvenient fact for the collusion hopeful: The foreign government that Flynn colluded with on Trump's behalf -- against the US government -- is not Russia, but Israel . ..."
"... Russians never signed on, and Cohen only grew increasingly frustrated with Sater's failure to live up to his lofty pledges. "You are putting my job in jeopardy and making me look incompetent," Cohen wrote Sater on December 31, 2015. "I gave you two months and the best you send me is some bullshit garbage invite by some no name clerk at a third-tier bank." ..."
"... It is also possible that Manafort's alleged lies have nothing to do with a Russia conspiracy; after all, his case, and that of his deputy Rick Gates, pertained not to Russia or the 2016 campaign, but instead to financial crimes during Manafort's lobbying stint in Ukraine. ..."
Nov 30, 2018 | www.thenation.com
Disappearing for the midterms , Russiagate has re-emerged front and center. This week's barrage of developments in the cases of indicted Trump campaign figures Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, and George Papadopoulos have renewed long-running declarations of a presidency in peril .

They coincide with a fresh round of alarm over the fate of Mueller's investigation following Trump's ouster of attorney general Jeff Sessions and the installation of Matthew Whitaker in his place. Leading Democrats now see the probe as so paramount that, despite having re-captured the House running on health-care issues, protecting the investigation has been deemed "our top priority" (Representative Jerry Nadler) and "at the top of the agenda," (Representative Adam Schiff).

There is nothing objectionable about wanting to safeguard the Mueller investigation, nor about concerns that Trump's appointment of an unqualified loyalist may jeopardize it. Mueller should complete his work, unimpeded. The question is one of priorities. After all, the fixation on Mueller has not just raised anticipation of Trump's indictment, or even impeachment -- it has also overshadowed many of the actual policies that those seeking his political demise oppose him for. At this highly charged moment, it seems prudent to re-consider whether the probe remains worthy of such attention and high hopes.

Although Mueller's final report has yet to be released, the issue that sparked the FBI investigation he inherited has already been resolved. The FBI began eyeing potential Trump-Russia ties in July 2016 after getting a tip that unpaid campaign aide George Papadopoulos may have been informed that Russia was in possession of stolen Democratic Party emails well before WikiLeaks made them public. But that trail went cold. It turns out that a London-based professor, Joseph Mifsud, told Papadopoulos that the Russian government might possess thousands of Hillary Clinton's emails.

The FBI interviewed Mifsud in Washington, DC, in February 2017, but Mueller has never alleged that Mifsud works with the Russian government. Papadopoulos was ultimately sentenced to just 14 days behind bars for lying to the FBI about the timing and nature of his contacts with Mifsud. He reported to a federal prison on Monday.

The Russia probe's other instigating figure, Carter Page, was also a low-level, unpaid campaign official. The information that led to his investigation is even more suspect. In its October 2016 application for a surveillance warrant on Page, the FBI claimed it "believes that [Russia's] efforts are being coordinated with Page and perhaps other individuals associated with [the Trump campaign]." But its a key source for that supposition turned out to be the Steele dossier -- the salacious, Democratic Party-funded opposition research compiled by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele. And while the FBI got Papadopoulos on lying to them, Page has not been accused of any crime...

With the Russia investigation's catalysts coming up all but empty, there is little reason to expect that the remaining campaign members who face prison time will reverse that trend. Former national security adviser Michael Flynn awaits sentencing in the coming weeks on charges similar to Papadopoulos's. Just as the evidence used in Manafort's bank and tax fraud case underscored that he worked against Russian interests in Ukraine , Flynn's indictment turns up another inconvenient fact for the collusion hopeful: The foreign government that Flynn colluded with on Trump's behalf -- against the US government -- is not Russia, but Israel .

Despite much hoopla to the contrary, Muller's new indictment of former Trump fixer Michael Cohen contains more inconvenient facts. Cohen has pleaded guilty to a single count for lying to Congress about his role in a failed attempt to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. According to the plea document, Cohen gave Congress false written answers in order to "minimize links," between the Moscow project and Trump, and to "give the false impression" that it was abandoned earlier than it actually was. Cohen told the court that he made these statements to "be loyal" to Trump and to be consistent with his "political messaging."

As I noted in The Nation in October 2017 , the attempted real-estate venture in Russia "does raise a potential conflict of interest" for Trump, who "pursued a Moscow deal as he praised Putin on the campaign trail." But nothing in Cohen's indictment incriminates Trump. Much of what it details was previously known, and rather than revealing an illicit, transatlantic collusion scheme, it reads more like a slapstick mafia buddy comedy. As Buzzfeed News reported in May , Cohen communicated extensively with Trump organization colleague Felix Sater -- identified in the Cohen plea as "Individual 2″ -- who had promised to secure Russian financing for the proposed Moscow project. But the Russians never signed on, and Cohen only grew increasingly frustrated with Sater's failure to live up to his lofty pledges. "You are putting my job in jeopardy and making me look incompetent," Cohen wrote Sater on December 31, 2015. "I gave you two months and the best you send me is some bullshit garbage invite by some no name clerk at a third-tier bank."

Cohen then took matters into his own hands. As was previously known, he did not have an email address for a Russian contact, so he wrote to a generic email address at the office of Dmitri Peskov, the press secretary for Vladimir Putin ("Russian Official 1," in the indictment). We now learn from Cohen that he managed to reach Peskov's assistant, who asked him "detailed questions and took notes." But as The New York Times noted when the Trump Moscow story first emerged: "The project never got [Russian] government permits or financing, and died weeks later." Sater tried to save the project. He discussed arranging visits to Russia by both Cohen and Trump, but Cohen ultimately backed out after allegations of Russian email hacking surfaced in June 2016. According to Buzzfeed , Sater even proposed giving Putin a $50 million penthouse as an enticement, but "the plan never went anywhere because the tower deal ultimately fizzled, and it is not clear whether Trump knew of "Sater's idea."

Cohen now claims that he spoke to Trump about the project more than the three times that he informed Congress about. For their part, Trump's attorneys do not seem concerned, saying that his recently submitted answers to Mueller align with Cohen's account. That Cohen perjured himself to Congress raises problems for him, but it is hard to see how his lies about a project that failed and a proposed trip to Russia that never happened can hurt Trump. That could only change if, as part of his new cooperation deal with Mueller, Cohen has more to give.

As for Manafort, his case took a major turn when Mueller canceled their cooperation agreement and accused him of "crimes and lies." The crucial questions are what does Mueller allege he lied to him about and what evidence is there to substantiate that charge. Mueller is expected to provide details in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we can only speculate. The revelation that Manafort's lawyers shared information with Trump's attorneys even after the plea deal was struck in September has inevitably fueled speculation that Manafort is lying to benefit Trump, or even hide evidence of a Russia conspiracy. That is certainly possible. But theories that Manafort is then banking on a pardon from Trump do not square with the prevailing view that his agreement with Mueller -- which included admitting to crimes that could be re-charged in state court -- was " pardon proof ."

It is also possible that Manafort's alleged lies have nothing to do with a Russia conspiracy; after all, his case, and that of his deputy Rick Gates, pertained not to Russia or the 2016 campaign, but instead to financial crimes during Manafort's lobbying stint in Ukraine. The Wall Street Journal suggests that is the case, reporting that Manafort's alleged lies "don't appear to be central to the allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election that Mr. Mueller is investigating." Earlier this month, ABC News claimed , citing "multiple sources," that Mueller's investigators are "not getting what they want" from Manafort's cooperation deal. When it comes to collusion, perhaps there is just nothing to get.

[Nov 30, 2018] Kunstler Exposes The Dire Quandaries Of The Deep State by James Howard Kunstler

Notable quotes:
"... Brennan, the Muslim convert was Obama's handler for years. Obama was groomed by CIA ..."
Nov 30, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James Howard Kunstler via Kunstler.com,

Watergate had tragic Shakespearean overtones , with Nixon as King Lear, but Russia-Gate - perhaps the last gate America goes through on its giant slalom run to collapse - is but a Chinese Fire Drill writ large.

The reason? In 1973, we were still a serious people. Today, the most lavishly credentialed elite in history believe the most preposterous "stories," or, surely even worse, pretend to believe them for political advantage.

Now, an epic battle of wills is setting up as Robert Mueller's investigation concludes its business and its primary target, the Golden Golem of Greatness, girds his loins to push back. Behind the flimsy scrim of Russia collusion accusations stands a bewildering maze of criminal mischief by a matrix of federal agencies that lost control of their own dark operation to meddle in the 2016 election.

The US intel community (CIA, NSA, FBI, etc), with the Department of Justice, all colluded with the Hillary Clinton campaign and the intel agencies of the UK and Australia, to derail Mr. Trump as a stooge of Russia and, when he shocked them by getting elected, mounted a desperate campaign to cover their asses knowing he had become their boss.

The Obama White House was involved in all this, attempting to cloak itself in plausible deniability, which may be unwinding now, too. How might all this play out from here?

One big mystery is how long will Mr. Trump wait to declassify any number of secret files, memoranda, and communications that he's been sitting on for months .

My guess is that this stuff amounts to a potent weapon against his adversaries and he will wait until Mr. Mueller releases a final report before declassifying it. Then, we'll have a fine constitutional crisis as the two sides vie for some sort of adjudication.

Who, for instance, will adjudicate the monkey business that is already on-the-record involving misdeeds in the Department of Justice itself? Will the DOJ split into two contesting camps, each charging the other? How might that work? Does the Acting Attorney General Mr. Whitaker seek indictments against figures such as Bruce Ohr, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, et al. Will he also rope in intel cowboys John Brennan and James Clapper? Might Hillary find herself in jeopardy -- all the while on the other side Mr. Mueller pursues his targets, characters like Mr. Manafort, Michael Cohen, and the hapless Carter Page?

Or might Mr. Mueller, and others, possibly find themselves in trouble, as spearheads of a bad-faith campaign to weaponize government agencies against a sitting president? That might sound outlandish, but the evidence is adding up. In fact the evidence of a Deep State gone rogue is far more compelling than any charges Mr. Mueller has so far produced on Trump-Russia "collusion." An example of bad faith is former FBI Director James Comey's current campaign to avoid testifying in closed session before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees -- he filed a motion just before Thanksgiving. Mr. Comey is pretending that an open session would be "transparent." His claim is mendacious. If he were questioned about classified matters in an open session, he would do exactly what he did before in open session: decline to answer about "sensitive" matters on the basis of national security. He could make no such claims in a closed session. The truth is, his attorneys are trying to run out the clock on the current composition of the house committees, which will come under a Democrat majority in January, so that Mr. Comey can avoid testifying altogether.

There are other dicey matters awaiting some kind of adjudication elsewhere.

For instance, who is going to review the chain of decisions among the FISA judges who approved of warrants made in bad faith to spy on US citizens? Perhaps the shrinking violet, Mr. Huber, out in the Utah Prosecutor's Office of the DOJ, is looking into all that. He's been at something for most of the year (nobody knows what). He has to answer to Mr. Whitaker now, or the permanent AG who replaces him. And why is Mr. Trump dragging his heels on nominating a permanent AG? I suppose the FISA court matter will fall to the Supreme Court, but how does that process work, and how long might it take?

The potential for a stand-off exists that will confound any effort to untangle these things, and I can see how that might lead to an extraordinary crisis in which Mr. Trump has to declare some form of emergency or perhaps martial law to clean out this suppurating abscess of illegality and sedition .

That can only be the last and worst resort, but what if the US judicial system just can't manage to clean up the mess it has made?


Dickweed Wang , 1 minute ago link

If Trump doesn't go on a major offensive within the next couple of weeks he's fucked because once the new ... House is sworn in on January 3rd he will be dealing with so many different distractions at the same time it will make his attempt to fight back almost impossible...

Cloud9.5 , 15 minutes ago link

If Kunstler is right in his prediction of collapse. The Deep State is going to go the way of the Stasi. Systemic collapse will usher in a purge the scope of which none of us can fathom.

MK ULTRA Alpha , 59 minutes ago link

The CIA was running the entire show. The FBI was the CIA's dog.

Stefan Halper has been mislabeled by MSM as an FBI informant. Stefan Halper is a CIA operative. He is the smoking gun.

Both the CIA and MI6 were colluding to prevent Trump from being elected and then working a coup after election.

It all leads back to former CIA director Brennan and national security advisor Clapper. Both worked under the authority of Obama, thus both believe what they were doing was authorized by Obama, particularly Clapper who took his marching orders from Obama. They both believed Clinton would win and everything would be brushed under the rug as usual.

Mueller is a cover up man and yes man with plenty of felonies. Rosenstein wrote the memo Comey needed to be fired, because he wanted to replace Comey with Mueller. Rosenstein worried Comey would talk, would begin to release data and start investigation to protect himself and the FBI, so when Trump refused to appoint Mueller to FBI director, Rosenstein appointed Mueller to take out Trump.

The MSM and everyone says how good Mueller is, but he's committed countless felonies and no one at the DOJ has honor to be an American. The DOJ is political and is against this nation, against the truth.

Sessions was cover up man and a yes man. He was also afraid of being indicted by Mueller. His main purpose was illegal immigration, that's all he cared about. He didn't care what happened to Trump and figured Pence would let him stay because of his mission on illegal immigration and cannabis. Sessions believed he would roll back the legalization of cannabis and Pence would follow him. Sessions believed Trump was soft on cannabis. That seems petty, but that's the way Sessions thought.

No one follows the law anymore, this has trickled down to the people. These people have set a bad example and the people have no respect for the system anymore.

The only way to make it respected again is for these criminals like Mueller, must be killed. But because of the malaise caused by the criminals no one cares about America anymore. No one cares enough to kill criminals like Mueller. The MSM is responsible for doing incredible damage to the character of our nation. It's because of them all of this happened because they will not tell the truth.

Duc888 , 40 minutes ago link

" It all leads back to former CIA director Brennan and national security advisor Clapper. Both worked under the authority of Obama"

Brennan, the Muslim convert was Obama's handler for years. Obama was groomed by CIA to be the errand-boi-POTUS.

UselessEater , 36 minutes ago link

Just 6 corporations - all interlocking - own 95% of America's mainstream media. There's the problem. Evil controls the narrative and fools the public. For example, ANTIFA - who are they really, what are their roots, where do they come from? None of THIS will you get from the MSM:

https://europeansworldwide.wordpress.com/2018/11/15/ripping-the-red-mask-off-antifa/

... ... ...

coaltar , 1 hour ago link

When you have a working brain, it's clear Trump is just another actor...

Captain Nemo de Erehwon , 1 hour ago link

"The potential for a stand-off exists that will confound any effort to untangle these things... might lead to an extraordinary crisis in which Trump has to declare some form of emergency or perhaps martial law to clean out this suppurating abscess of illegality and sedition ..."

The crooks will not give up without a fight and Trump will have to call in the military?

[Nov 29, 2018] Michael Cohen To Plead Guilty To Lying About Trump Russian Real-Estate Deal

Nov 29, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Michael Cohen To Plead Guilty To Lying About Trump Russian Real-Estate Deal

by Tyler Durden Thu, 11/29/2018 - 09:19 128 SHARES

Four months after he pleaded guilty to campaign finance law violations, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen has copped to new charges of lying to congressional committees investigating Trump-Russia collusion, according to ABC . His latest plea is part of a new deal reached with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which had been said to be winding down before its latest burst of activity, including an investigation into Roger Stone's alleged ties to Wikileaks. Stone ally Jerome Corsi this week said he had refused to strike a plea deal with Mueller's investigators, who had accused him of lying.

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To hold up his end of the deal, Cohen sat for 70 hours of testimony with the Mueller probe, he said Monday during an appearance at a federal courthouse in Manhattan where he officially pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements.

According to the Hill, Cohen's alleged lies stem from testimony he gave in 2017, when he told the House Intelligence Committee that a planned real-estate deal to build the Trump Moscow Hotel had been abandoned in January 2016 after the Trump Organization decided that "the proposal was not feasible." While Cohen's previous plea was an agreement with federal prosecutors in New York, this marks the first time Cohen has been charged by Mueller.

As part of his plea Cohen admitted to lying in a written statement to Congress about his role in brokering a deal for a Trump Tower Moscow - the aborted project to build a Trump-branded hotel in the Russian capitol. As has been previously reported, Cohen infamously contacted a press secretary for President Putin to see if Putin could help with some red tape to help start development, though the project was eventually abandoned.

Though, according to Cohen's plea, discussions about the project continued through the first six months of the Trump administration. Cohen had discussed the Trump Moscow project with Trump as recently as August 2017, per a report in the Guardian.

The first indication that Cohen might have lied to Congress surfaced in a Yahoo News report back in May, which claimed that Cohen's pursuit of the Trump Moscow project had continued for longer than he had acknowledged in his testimony. The report alleged that Cohen was involved in deal talks as late as May 2016.

As a reporter for NBC News pointed out on twitter, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr and ranking member Mark Warner foreshadowed today's plea back in August after Cohen pleaded guilty to the campaign finance violations.

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Also notable: The plea comes just as President Trump is leaving for a 10-hour flight to Argentina. In recent days, Trump appeared to step up attacks on the Mueller probe, comparing it to McCarthyism and questioning why the DOJ didn't pursue charges against the Clintons.

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Cohen will be sentenced on Dec. 12, as scheduled. By cooperating, Cohen is hoping to avoid prison, according to his lawyer. While this was probably lost on prosecutors, Cohen's admission smacks of the "lair's paradox."

[Nov 29, 2018] Trump Blasts Mueller Probe As An Investigation In Search Of A Crime

Nov 29, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Senate Republicans have offered President Trump a degree of relief from his Mueller-related anxieties by blocking a bill that would have protected the Mueller probe from being disbanded by the president, but with the special counsel continuing his pursuit of Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi , and Congressional Democrats sharpening their knives in anticipation of taking back the House in January, President Trump is once again lashing out at Mueller and the FBI, declaring that the probe is an "investigation in search of a crime" and once again highlighting the hypocrisy in the FBI's decision to give the Clintons a pass for their "atrocious, and perhaps subversive" crimes.

Reiterating his claims that the Mueller probe bears many similarities to Sen. Joseph McCarthy's infamous anti-Communist witch hunt, Trump also blasted the DOJ for "shattering so many innocent lives" and "wasting more than $40,000,000."

"Did you ever see an investigation more in search of a crime? At the same time Mueller and the Angry Democrats aren't even looking at the atrocious, and perhaps subversive, crimes that were committed by Crooked Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. A total disgrace!"

"When will this illegal Joseph McCarthy style Witch Hunt, one that has shattered so many innocent lives, ever end-or will it just go on forever? After wasting more than $40,000,000 (is that possible?), it has proven only one thing-there was NO Collusion with Russia. So Ridiculous!"

As CBS News' Mark Knoller notes , this is the 2nd day in a row, Pres Trump likening the Mueller investigation to the Joe McCarthy witch hunt of the 50s , known for making reckless and unsubstantiated accusations against officials he suspect of communist views. McCarthy was eventually censured by the Senate in 1954.

Last night, President Trump threatened to release a trove of "devastating" classified documents about the Mueller probe if Democrats follow through with their threatened investigations. He also declared that a pardon