Softpanorama

Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better

Ukraine-gate as Russiagate 2.0: an "all in" counterattack on Trump attempt to investigate origins of RussiaGate

Obama/Brennan faction in CIA and FBI,  the nest of neocon viper in the State Department and "FullOfSchiff" gang in House of Representatives sense their last chance with intelligence services leaker of Trump conversation with Zelensky

News Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool Recommended Links Ciaramella as potential fake whistleblower, the sacrificial pawn for Brennan Alexander Vindman role in Ukrainegate Creepy neocon Joe Biden and fleecing of Ukraine Adam Schiff Witch Hunt FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and very suspicious DNC leak saga Nancy Pelosi impeachment gambit
Rick Perry induced Trump blunder Blob attackes Trum: Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukraingate UA officials role in fueling Russiagate and Ukrainegate House Democrats attempt to backstab Barr and derail his investigation into the origin of Russiagate Alexandra Chalupa role in fueling Russiagate Ukrainian Security Services role in Spygate (aka Russiagate) Civil war in Ukraine Nulandgate Ukraine debt enslavement
 Poroshenko presidency Post-Russiagate remorse -- the second Iraq WDM fiasco Brennan elections machinations Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections Infiltration of Trump campaign Stephan Halper and attempts to entrap members of Trump team Andrew McCabe and his close circle of "fighters with organized crime" Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit Susan Rice unmasking campaign as an attempt to derail Trump by Obama administration
Strzokgate Steele dossier Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Joseph Misfud and MI6 connection to Russiagate FBI contractor Fusion GPS Anti Trump Hysteria MSM as attack dogs of color revolution Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism
Obama administration participation in the intelligence services putsch against Trump Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Color revolutions Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Rosenstein and appointment of the special prosecutor Gina Haspel The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies History of American False Flag Operations
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

Introduction

 
From Slate: "
The Seekers abandoned their jobs, possessions, and spouses to wait for the flying saucer, but neither the aliens nor the apocalypse arrived. After several uncomfortable hours on the appointed day, Martin received a “message” saying that the group “had spread so much light that God had saved the world from destruction.” The group responded by proselytizing with a renewed vigour. According to Festinger, they resolved the intense conflict between reality and prophecy by seeking safety in numbers. “If more people can be persuaded that the system of belief is correct, then clearly, it must, after all, be correct.”
... [for members of the cult] "prophecies, per se, almost never fail. They are instead component parts of a complex and interwoven belief system which tends to be very resilient to challenge from outsiders. While the rest of us might focus on the accuracy of an isolated claim as a test of a group’s legitimacy, those who are part of that group—and already accept its whole theology—may not be troubled by what seems to them like a minor mismatch. A few people might abandon the group, typically the newest or least-committed adherents, but the vast majority experience little cognitive dissonance and so make only minor adjustments to their beliefs. They carry on, often feeling more spiritually enriched as a result.
"FullOfSchiff" people should be viewed as the members of a new hardcore cult of "Russian collision"
 

Barr investigation was getting closer to understanding the role of Ukraine in Russiagate. While the issue of Biden criminality and corruption was important, timing was very bad, and being an impulsive person and a very bad diplomat  Trump in his phone call with Zelensky provided the Deep State an excellent opportunity for the counterattack. And it followed with the ferocity that actually surprised many observers.

Like in Russiagate the pretext was completely fake: Biden does not represent danger to Trump the election: he is a semi-senile completely corrupt classic neoliberal, the staunch follower of Clinton. As such Biden is definitely preferable by Trump team opponent for Trump in 2020 election. And it is very stupid to undermine him because now Trump is facing Warren in the national elections -- a more formidable opponent.  So the working hypothesis should be that here Trump mixes vengeance with a honest desire to investigate corruption of a high level US official. During the Obama presidency, Biden was the US proconsul for Ukraine, and he was involved in many corruption schemes. Poroshenko was a known agent of US influence in Ukraine even before the elections. During 2016 campaign he acted as Clinton stooge and willing Russiagate helper.

A very plausible version of the story is as following (The Plundering of Ukraine by Corrupt American Democrats, by Israel Shamir - The Unz Review): 

After the 2014 coup, IMF demanded to raise the price of gas for the domestic consumer to European levels, and the new president Petro Poroshenko obliged them. The prices went sky-high. The Ukrainians were forced to pay many times more for their cooking and heating; and huge profits went to coffers of the gas companies. Instead of raising taxes or lowering prices, President Poroshenko demanded the gas companies to pay him or subsidise his projects. He said that he arranged the price hike; it means he should be considered a partner.

Burisma Gas company had to pay extortion money to the president Poroshenko. Eventually its founder and owner Mr Nicolai Zlochevsky decided to invite some important Westerners into the company’s board of directors hoping it would moderate Poroshenko’s appetites. He had brought in Biden’s son Hunter, John Kerry, Polish ex-President Kwasniewski; but it didn’t help him.

Poroshenko became furious that the fattened calf may escape him, and asked the Attorney General Shokin to investigate Burisma trusting some irregularities would emerge. AG Shokin immediately discovered that Burisma had paid these ‘stars’ between 50 and 150 thousand dollar per month each just for being on the list of directors. This is illegal by the Ukrainian tax code; it can’t be recognised as legitimate expenditure.

At that time Biden the father entered the fray. He called Poroshenko and gave him six hours to close the case against his son. Otherwise, one billion dollars of the US taxpayers’ funds won’t pass to the Ukrainian corruptioners. Zlochevsky, the Burisma owner, paid Biden well for this conversation: he received between three and ten million dollars, according to different sources.

AG Shokin said he can’t close the case within six hours; Poroshenko sacked him and installed Mr Lutsenko in his stead. Lutsenko was willing to dismiss the case of Burisma, but he also could not do it in a day, or even in a week. Biden, as we know, could not keep his trap shut: by talking about the pressure he put on Poroshenko, he incriminated himself. Meanwhile Mr Shokin gave evidence that Biden put pressure on Poroshenko to fire him, and now it was confirmed. The evidence was given to the US lawyers in connection with another case, Firtash case.

... ... ...

Two years ago, (that is already under President Trump) the United States began to investigate the allocation of 3 billion dollars; it was allocated in 2014, in 2015, in 2016; one billion dollars per year. The investigation showed that the documents were falsified, the money was transferred to Ukraine, and stolen. The investigators tracked each payment, discovered where the money went, where it was spent and how it was stolen.

As a result, in October 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice opened a criminal case for “Abuse of power and embezzlement of American taxpayers’ money”. Among the accused there are two consecutive Finance Ministers of the Ukraine, Mrs Natalie Ann Jaresko who served 2014-2016 and Mr Alexander Daniluk who served 2016-2018, and three US banks. The investigation caused the USAID to cease issuing grants since August 2019. As Trump said, now the US does not give away money and does not impose democracy.

The money was allocated with the flagrant violation of American law. There was no risk assessment, no audit reports. Normally the USAID, when allocating cash, always prepares a substantial package of documents. But the billions were given to Ukraine completely without documents. The criminal case on the embezzlement of USAID funds had been signed personally by the US Attorney General, so these issues are very much alive.

Sam Kislin was involved in this investigation. He is a good friend and associate of Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer and an ex-mayor of New York. Kislin is well known in Kiev, and I have many friends who are Sam’s friends [said Tsarev]. I learned of his progress, because some of my friends were detained in the United States, or interrogated in Ukraine. They briefed me about this. It appears that Burisma is just the tip of the scandal, the tip of the iceberg. If Trump will carry on, and use what was already initiated and investigated, the whole headquarters of the Democratic party will come down. They will not be able to hold elections. I have no right to name names, but believe me, leading functionaries of the Democratic party are involved.

Poroshenko was aware of that; he gave orders to declare Sam Kislin persona non grata. Once the old man (he is over 80) flew into Kiev airport and he was not allowed to come in; he spent the night in detention and was flown back to the US next day. Poroshenko had been totally allied with Clinton camp.

 

 

Of course, this was a strategic mistake, and Trump now will pay the price.  On a lighter note: Can you imagine the epic word salad that would be a Trump/Biden debate? It would make Lewis Carroll look like Strunk & White.

The real reason of this reacent feat by the Deep State probably were the skeletons in the Ukrainian closets left after 2016 elections  (especially related to CrowdStrike as well as getting dirt of Trump via Alexandra Chalupa.)  After Barr visit to Italy, the Deep staters felt the real danger and acted accordingly: pre-emptive attack is the best form of defense. 

Now let's watch John Brennan scramble as Barr and Durham proceed ahead with a criminal investigation into the roots of the Trump-Russia collusion hoax. Looks like John Brennan went out of channels to solicit Five Eyes help in running sting operations. It is perfectly appropriate that Barr is seeking cooperation from Australia, Italy and Ukraine in pursuing possible criminal misconduct by FBI, CIA and other Federal employees. But it was much less  appropriate for Trump to touch this in his conversation with Zelensky, while he is on the campaign trail.   I hope the probe develops court-admissible evidence that John Brennan committed fraud by claiming to have a top Kremlin source who gave eyewitness reports that Putin ordered Russian intelligence to boost Trump's election chances.

So it might well be that the  sufferings on John Brennan and Co after the collapse of Mueller witch hunt became unbearable. Now with Ukrainian material it became more plausible that while DNC was a leak by and disgruntled insider (possible Seth Rich), there was an subsequent to the leak additional operation of CIA with the goal to frame  Russia in the leak in which Ukrainians participated. False flag operations are  CIA specialty.

The most funny thing in this story is that Ukraine is not an independent country, so the "foreign influence" claim  is just a sad, cruel joke. Since 2014 coup d'état (aka EuroMaydan  color revolution, courtesy of Victoria "F*ck EU" Nuland) is fully controlled from Washington. So any reference about "foreign power" here is completely hypocritical. So for all practical purposes this is Russiagate 2.0. It helps CIA-democrats to hide evidence and create another constant pressure point on Trump. They also expect that they increase their chances in 2020 election, but in this case it should be Warren who faces Trump, not Biden.

As s side effect of Ukrainegate is that it sanctified arms supplies to Ukraine as the issue that enjoy bipartisan consensus. While Trump behave way too clumsy and sleazy,  the wisdom of supplying arms to Ukraine to prolong war in Donbass is greatly suspect.

In his Sept. 29, 2019 post "CIA sets terms for Democrats: impeachment inquiry into Trump’s crimes’, Joseph Kishore reports in part:

“The scandal over the Ukraine call has been instigated by the intelligence agencies. It was a CIA agent in the White House who prepared the report that is the basis of the inquiry. It was the decision by a group of Democrats drawn from the military and intelligence agencies that led Pelosi and Schiff, both with longstanding ties to these same agencies, to shift from their previous opposition to impeachment."

The more interesting thing is, why did Pelosi agreed to the impeachment inquiry? Of course, it removed Biden from the list of contenders, which is probably good because he's lost it. But more importantly it creates real and sustainable anti-Trump sentiment among electorate. She wants a nominee who will keep the status quo and defeat Trump.  Looks like they are currently putting all the apples in the Warren bucket. But Warren promises are far to the left of any establishment stooge and unless she is co-opted like Trump, think might became interesting.

Christopher Neiweem who is a GOP strategist said for all we know the Warren campaign could be pushing the story hoping indirectly take down both Biden and Trump.

Intelligence community strikes back

The catalyst for impeachment is the alleged CIA whistleblower and the team of intelligence community officials he is going to bat for. Trump picked a fight with the wrong crowd. Now, they’re fighting back, with the Constitution in one hand and evidence of Trump’s corruption in the other. Game on.

You might call this team, collectively, “Deep State Throat.” They’re a deep state, all right, but not like Trump thinks. They’re not rogues. They’re patriots. Let’s just buckle up and watch how this plays out over the coming weeks and months.

To me, the whistleblower appears to have taken a leadership role [ of the whole team ], sticking his neck out to protect subordinates in the intelligence community while conveying their information to appropriate authorities through appropriate channels. It’s easy to see how the intelligence community inspector general steered it to the Congressional Intelligence Committees, under the cover of great credibility

The sentence "They’re a deep state, all right, but not like Trump thinks. They’re not rogues. They’re patriots." is pure bullshit. They are rogues. They've anointed themselves as "saviors of democracy". Ignoring the fact that democracy requires elections, not deep state manipulation. Like it or not, Trump won the 2016 election under the rules in place at the time. Nothing he had done rises to an impeachable offense. And nobody has the right to overturn that election except voters in the next election.

Trump is a horrible president who is doing some very bad things, but this issue is not one on which Dems could built a solid impeachment case. It amounts to an attempted coup. Trumps "crimes" were to ask that Ukraine cooperate with the Attorney General's investigations. Anyone that has seen Biden's disgusting, arrogant comments at the Council on Foreign Relations would have to agree with Trump that it "sounds horrible." If you want evidence of withholding aid for political purposes you need look no farther than Biden and Obama. What sickens me, however, is how completely the MSM bough this narrative. They never mention Biden's comments at the Council of Foreign Relations. They never mention that the fired Prosecutor General testified that he was fired because he made Biden unhappy. They misconstrue, they misdirect and they simply lie. This, unfortunately, is not new. Recall Russiagate and the lead up to the invasion of Iraq, among other things. Trump is often called a fascist, but compared to John Brennon, John Bolton, their like-minded colleagues and their enablers, Trump is a rank and incompetent amateur whose great sin is to fuck up the US descent into neofascism.

Interestingly, the same neocon/neolib alliance which endorsed George W. Bush's case for war with Iraq is pretty much the same alliance that is now, all these years later, braying for confrontation with Russia. Including the same cast of characters reading from the Iraq-war era playbook.

The prevailing sentiment of the media establishment during the months prior to the disastrous March 2003 invasion of Iraq was that of certainty: George Tenet's now infamous assurance to President Bush, that the case against Iraq was a "slam drunk," was essentially what major newspapers and television news outlets were telling the American people at the time.

The Bush administration cynically engaged in what we would today call a "disinformation campaign against its own citizens" by planting false stories abroad, safe in the knowledge that these stories would "bleed over" and be picked up by the American press.

The Bush II neocons were able to launder what were essentially "fake news" stories, such as the aluminum tubes fabrication , by leaking to Michael R. Gordon and Judith Miller of The New York Times. We see the  same set of well coordinated leaks here.

By 2002, no one had any right to be surprised by what Bush and Cheney were up to; since at least 1898 (when the U.S. declared war on Spain under the pretense of the fabricated Hearst battle cry "Remember the Maine!") American governments have repeatedly lied in order to promote their agenda abroad. And in 2002-3, the media walked in lock step with yet another administration in pushing for an unnecessary and costly war.

Like The New York Times, The Washington Post also relentlessly pushed the administration's case for war with Iraq. According to the journalist Greg Mitchell , "By the Post 's own admission, in the months before the war, it ran more than 140 stories on its front page promoting the war." All this, while its editorial page assured readers that the evidence Colin Powell presented to the United Nations on Iraq's WMD program was "irrefutable." According to the Post, it would be "hard to imagine" how anyone could doubt the administration's case.

But the Post was hardly alone in its enthusiasm for Bush's war. Among the most prominent proponents of the Iraq war was The New Yorker's Jeffrey Goldberg , who, a full year prior to the invasion, set out to link Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. Writing for The New Yorker in March 2002, Goldberg retailed former CIA Director James Woolsey's opinion that "It would be a real shame if the C.I.A.'s substantial institutional hostility to Iraqi democratic resistance groups was keeping it from learning about Saddam's ties to Al Qaeda in northern Iraq."

Indeed, according to Goldberg , "The possibility that Saddam could supply weapons of mass destruction to anti-American terror groups is a powerful argument among advocates of regime change," while Saddam's "record of support for terrorist organizations, and the cruelty of his regime make him a threat that reaches far beyond the citizens of Iraq."

We see Deja Vu All Over Again in  case of Russiagate and Russiagate2 (aka Ukraingate).

From Ukraine With Love: The real story of Biden corruption

When DemoRats (Clinton wing of Democratic Party) dusted off and added Joe Biden to the already overclouded roster of candidates  (and falsified polls to show that he is a leader and thus artificially created a following for his candidacy), that was clearly a move directed on reelection of Trump, a very favorable for Trump event.  And it is true that DemoRats are afraid of Bernie Sanders more then of Trump.

In September three House committees announced earlier this month that they were investigating whether Trump used the withholding of military aid as leverage to get Ukraine’s new President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to probe the Bidens — an allegation that has been bolstered by a  "whistle-blower"( this person is not a whistle-blower but a leaker, as we are talking about potentially criminal actions by Biden which falled under Foreign Corrupt Practices Act , and which do deserve investigation both by the Ukrainian side and the Department of Justice)  complaint from inside the  intelligence community. Which makes it similar to Steele dossier. 

Democrats risked to discover that in the released transcript Trump did not cross the line and at this point you can say good-buy to Creepy Joe as the leader of the pack, if not as a candidate. So it could well be  that the "whistle-blower" is Warren sympathizer within the intelligence community and the whole operation was devised  to prop-up Warren and hurt Trump in best Russiagate style. Looks like powerful faction within the intelligence community clearly had a candidate in 2016. Do they also have one in 2020?

The US authorities now are obligated to conduct a full-scale inquiry of Biden behavior, but what is even worse tis that it will add a lot of additional air time to allegations about Biden criminality, linking their party’s 2020 presidential front-runner to Clinton family corruption.

The last thing Democrats want is another candidate on the defensive, after Trump was rolled over Hillary 2016.”  Also in view of the scandal voters may think Biden not only just too old to be the President, but that maybe that he carries was too much neoliberal baggage. The whistleblower incident is more likely to end the political career of Biden. The whole matter involving his son’s foreign business dealings not only raises unflattering questions but also provides plenty of reminders about his life in the swamp. Trump practically has been defined by his ability to outlive Democratic “witch hunts.'”

Trump probably will crush Creepy Joe even with all the negative factors he now has, or will acquire.  Creepy Joe (as WaPo nicknamed him) has three major skeletons in the closet:

  1. his narcoaddict son magically escaped justice when a crack pipe was found in his rental car
  2. Biden role in Ukrainian events which are disgusting if not outright criminal. Later after the EuroMaydan events he instrumental if firing Ukrainian Chief Persecutor to squash investigating of gas company Burisma (where his some do some reason got a position in the board of the company) which paid around $50K a month to his son) and his son financial dealings with China.  So his son fleeced impoverished Ukraine where standard living dropped 2-3 times after Euromaydan, which was converted into the debt slave of the  West and where most population live of $2 a day or less.

    The fact of the matter is that Hunter wasn’t on the board because of his expertise in Eastern European energy issues. He’s part of a long tradition of nepotism when family members of influential politicians profiting off a sense that it’s politically and economically useful to cultivate these connections.

    not to mention his past as the  "mentor" of Yanukovich whom he later backstabbed
  3. His China dealings also need careful investigation, and interpretation of some actions by Biden family in view of trade war with China might be very damaging for Biden.

At night on September 24, 2019 Pelosi  have announced they will pursue impeachment charges against President Trump because an unverified, hearsay whistleblower made a complaint about a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenski. 

In response Trump published the transcript of the call. Trump’s move to release the un-redacted transcripts of the phone call was the right move. But Dems did not stop. They just moved goalposts.

There are few hard facts: a leak claims a whistleblower in the intelligence community believes that during a July 25 phone call, Trump made unspecified “promises” to the Ukrainian president in return for his investigating Biden family corruption. The whistleblower did not have direct knowledge of what was said, and may have read a transcript or summary. Trump knew the call was monitored by multiple people yet said whatever he said anyway

The actual words matter a lot. If this whole thing looks like a dance around some flippant statement by the president about investigating corruption that may involve the Biden family turning it into a quid pro quo accusation, it will fail spectacularly with voters. If we all have to become whistleblower law experts the same way we all were obstruction experts just a few weeks ago, it fails.

Yet while the actual words matter, it should not be lost that none of what Trump was supposed to have really done — using military aid to get dirt on Biden — happened.  

No one claims the Ukrainians investigated Biden at Trump’s demand (and Dems insist there was no Biden wrongdoing anyway, so an investigation would be for naught). It is thus a big problem in this narrative that the long-promised military aid to the Ukraine was only delayed and then paid out, as if the bribe was given for nothing in return—which makes it hardly a bribe. Trump is apparently bad at bribing. Even though he made the decision to temporarily withhold the aid for some reason, the Ukrainians were never even told about it until weeks after the “extortion” phone call, meaning nobody’s arm got knowingly twisted. So no bribe was given, or to the Ukrainians’ knowledge, no money withheld.

In previous case FBI plot to entrap Trump with Moscow hotel  led to the Dems claim that they see a smoking gun. But there is no body on the ground under the muzzle. So will this devolve into another complicated thought crime, another “conspiracy” to commit without the committal?

“No explicit quid pro quo is necessary to betray your country,” helpfully tweeted Adam Schiff, chair of the House Intelligence Committee, a member of Congress Pro-isreal lobby. He does not even understand how right he is.

People became way too cynical following the collapse of Russiagate for Dems to have any level of success in derailing Trump.

Hunter Biden’s American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, was hired by the Ukrainian natural gas firm, Burisma Holdings in 2014. They gave Hunter Biden a seat on their board and paid Biden’s firm an average of $166,000 a month during his employment with them. The problem? Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin in the Ukraine started a widespread corruption probe into Burisma Holdings with specific plans to look at all board members – including Joe Biden’s son.  (Source)

As Vice President, Joe Biden traveled to Ukraine to give them the news that the United States was going to be granting Ukraine $1 Billion in loan guarantees. While there, he threatened to pull the guarantees if they did not fire Prosecutor Shokin, who was investigating the firm Biden’s son was a board member of. (Source)

Sure enough, Ukraine folded in order to not risk losing the loan guarantees and fired Prosecutor Shokin. The corruption investigation into Burisma Holdings was abandoned and no charges were brought against the firm or Hunter Biden. Last year, Joe Biden bragged on video about personally strong-arming the Ukrainians into firing the prosecutor. (Source)

Due to Ukraine-gate Biden is down and soon be out.
Warren emerged as the most probable nominee

The most logical reading of the situation, based on known facts is that Biden gone, the corporate Dems such as Kamala Harris are much weaker..

Biden got in big trouble and the most natural path for him is down and put. He can't recover from the barrage of Ukraine-related dirt and deny his connection to his narcoaddict son; Ukraine+China factor will sink him sooner or later.

Warren looks like the net beneficiary of Pelosi initiated impeachment hearrings. This is the only silver lining in this dark cloud.

But please note that "Full of Schiff" candidates, the candidates that endorsed the impeachment (the list that includes Warren, only Tulsi has thecorage to abstain) might sill later regret jumping into this bandwagon. Because resulting polarization greatly favors Trump. Here we again will be completely distracted from real and complex issues facing the country into yet another senseless mud slinging match courtesy to Obama/Brennan faction in CIA. And that favors Trump.

With some PR skills Trump now can definitely present Warren as "yet another corrupt neoliberal"  hell bent of trating corruption within Dem Party, including the corruption of Clinton family differently from everybody else, ruthless female opportunist who tries to capitalize on her identity and resorts to dirty tricks to get to power. Or, worse, as a malleable pretender without any spine. Iether already controlled by the establishment, or candidate which establishment will have for lunch in two or three months since inauguration (as happened with Trump ;-)

Both variants pose some danger for her candidacy,


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Nov 14, 2019] From Russiagate to Ukrainegate An Impeachment Inquiry by Renée Parsons

Notable quotes:
"... Love the Clapper claim (the same Clapper who lied to Congress) says he was just doing his duty in Russiagate. As GBS said, " when a scoundrel is doing something of which he is ashamed, he always says he is doing his duty". ..."
"... There is also a long and inglorious history of interference in domestic politics from the Zinoviev Letter onwards. Plots to stage a military coup against the Wilson government of the 60s and 70s, with Mountbatten as its figurehead. The more recent Skripal Hoax. The contrived Syrian Gas Attack Hoaxes and the White Helmets. They would not hesitate to do the same to Corbyn if they deemed it necessary. ..."
"... The CIA and FBI conspired with the UK and Ukrainian governments to prevent the election of Trump, and then to sabotage and smear his administration once he had been elected. The UK played a major part in this through MI6 and Steele. This is highly dangerous for this country, irrespective of your view of Trump. ..."
"... The Democrats, the Deep State, the MSM, and the Deranged Left were willing to support these conspiracies and hoaxes, and even suspend disbelief, for the greater good. The ends justify the means. All that matters is getting rid of Trump. Anything goes. The corrosive erosion of trust, credibility and integrity in all the institutions of the state is probably irreparable. The legislature and the political process in general. The judiciary. The spooks and police. About 9% of Americans now believe the MSM. ..."
"... No need to even discuss, until Western societies ALL get a grip on the depths of depravity that lie within the actions and "The History of the National Security State" you have to admit, that Julian Assange could not have picked a better book to firmly grip and signal with, than GORE Vidal's, when being manhandled out of the Ecuadorian Embassy, by Spooks who would sell their own mother, let alone nation, in their utter technological ignorance and adherence to anachronistic doctrines & mentality ! ..."
"... The most important thing for us and deliciously so now the election is happening is the BLOWBACK. Our DS lying murdering arses are going to get new ones drilled by Trump and BoBos bromance exploding in full technicolor. ..."
"... By sharing we disrupt the msm messages. Bernard at MoonofAlabama is also worth a daily visitation – priceless analysis on multiple subjects. ..."
"... I'd have thought that events like the spy in the holdall, the spies caught by farmers in Libya, the Skripal's, and the whole over-the-top reaction to the domestic terrorism threat and consequent successful pleas for extra funding, the obvious danger of creating terrorists by security services, the policy of giving asylum to foreign terrorists of countries we don't like and the whole concept of the 5 eyes and GCHQ needs more than ministerial oversight, a committee of yes men/women and an intelligence services commissioner. ..."
Oct 30, 2019 | off-guardian.org

As the Quantum field oversees the disintegration of institutions no longer in service to the public, the Democratic party continues to lose their marbles, perpetuating their own simulated bubble as if they alone are the nation's most trusted purveyors of truth.

Since the Mueller Report failed to deliver on the dubious Russiagate accusations, the party of Thomas Jefferson continues to remain in search of another ethical pretense to justify continued partisan turmoil. In an effort to discredit and/or distract attention from the Barr-Durham and IG investigations, the Dems have come up with an implausible piece of political theatre known as Ukrainegate which has morphed into an impeachment inquiry.

The Inspector General's Report, which may soon be ready for release, will address the presentation of fabricated FBI evidence to the FISA Court for permission to initiate a surveillance campaign on Trump Administration personnel. In addition, the Department of Justice has confirmed that Special Investigator John Durham's probe into the origin of the FBI's counter intelligence investigation during the 2016 election has moved from an administrative review into the criminal prosecution realm. Durham will now be able to actively pursue candidates for possible prosecution.

The defensive assault from the Democrat hierarchy and its corporate media cohorts can be expected to reach a fevered pitch of manic proportions as both investigations threatened not only their political future in 2020 but perhaps their very existence.

NBC s uggests that the Barr investigation is a ' mysterious ' review " amid concerns about whether the probe has any legal or factual basis " while the NY Times continues to cast doubt that the investigation has a legitimate basis implying that AG Barr is attempting to " deliver a political victory for President Trump." The Times misleads its readers with:

Trump has repeatedly attacked the Russia investigation, portraying it as a hoax and illegal even months after the special counsel closed it."

when in fact, it was the Russiagate collusion allegations that Trump referred to as a hoax, rather than the Mueller investigation per se.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va), minority leader of the Senate Intel Committee suggested that Attorney General William Barr " owes the Committee an explanation " since the committee is completing a " three-year bipartisan investigation " that has " found nothing to justify " Barr's expanded effort.

The Senator's gauntlet will be ever so fascinating as the public reads exactly how the Intel Committee spent three years and came up with " nothing " as compared to what Durham and the IG reports have to say.

On the House side, prime-time whiners Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Calif) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) commented that news of the Durham investigation moving towards criminal liability " raised profound concerns that Barr has lost his independence and become a vehicle for political revenge " and that " the Rule of Law will suffer irreparable damage ."

Since Barr has issued no determination of blame other than to assure a full, fair and rigorous investigation, it is curious that the Dems are in premature meltdown as if they expect indictments even though the investigations are not yet complete.

There is, however, one small inconvenient glitch that challenges the Democratic version of reality that does not fit their partisan spin. The news that former FBI General Counsel James Baker is actively cooperating with the BD investigation ought to send ripples through the ranks. Baker has already stated that it was a 'small group' within the agency who led the counterintelligence inquiry into the Trump campaign; notably former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Baker's cooperation was not totally unexpected since he also cooperated with the Inspector General's FISA abuse investigation which is awaiting public release.

As FBI General Counsel, Baker had a role in reviewing the FISA applications before they were submitted to the FISA court and currently remains under criminal investigation for making unauthorized leaks to the media.

As the agency's chief legal officer, Baker had to be a first-hand participant and privy to every strategy discussion and decision (real or contemplated). It was his job to identify potential legal implications that might negatively affect the agency or boomerang back on the FBI. In other words, Baker is in a unique position to know who knew what and when did they know it.

His 'cooperation' can be generally attributed to being more concerned with saving his own butt rather than the Constitution.

In any case, the information he is able to provide will be key for getting to the true origins of Russiagate and the FISA scandal. Baker's collaboration may augur others facing possible prosecution to step up since 'cooperation' usually comes with the gift of a lesser charge.

With a special focus on senior Obama era intel officials Durham has reportedly already interviewed up to two dozen former and current FBI employees as well as officials in the office of the Director of National Intelligence.

From the number of interviews conducted to date it can be surmised that Durham has been accumulating all the necessary facts and evidence as he works his way up the chain of command, prior to concentrating on top officials who may be central to the investigation.

It has also been reported that Durham expects to interview current and former intelligence officials including CIA analysts, former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper regarding Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.

In a recent CNN interview , when asked if he was concerned about any wrongdoing on the part of intel officials, Clapper nervously responded:

I don't know. I don't think there was any wrongdoing. It is disconcerting to know that we are being investigated for having done our duty and done what we were told to do by the President."

One wonders if Clapper might be a candidate for 'cooperating' along with Baker.

As CIA Director, Brennan made no secret of his efforts to nail the Trump Administration. In the summer of 2016, he formed an inter-agency taskforce to investigate what was being reported as Russian collusion within the Trump campaign. He boasted to Rachel Maddow that he brought NSA and FBI officials together with the CIA to ' connect the dots ."

With the addition of James Clapper's DNI, three reports were released: October, 2016, December, 2016 and January, 2017 all disseminating the Russian-Trump collusion theory which the Mueller Report later found to be unproven.

Since 1947 when the CIA was first authorized by President Harry Truman who belatedly regretted his approval, the agency has been operating as if they report to no one and that they never owe the public or Congress any explanation of their behaviour or activity or how they spend the money.

Since those days it has been a weak-minded Congress, intimidated and/or compromised Members who have allowed intel to run their own show as if they are immune to the Constitution and the Rule of Law. Since 1947, there has been no functioning Congress willing to provide true accountability or meaningful oversight on the intel community.

Renee Parsons has been a member of the ACLU's Florida State Board of Directors and president of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, an environmental lobbyist with Friends of the Earth and staff member of the US House of Representatives in Washington DC. She can be found on Twitter @reneedove31


Martin Usher
I don't think the Democratic leadership wanted a formal impeachment, they would prefer that Trump just faded away quietly before the 2020 election and were in the process of collecting information to reinforce this. They got cornered into formalizing the investigation by Trump's defense team baiting them as part of their overall strategy. It really doesn't change anything.

Whichever way you slice and/or dice it Trump is fundamentally incompetent, he's unable to fulfill the duties of the office of the President. He also refuses to distinguish between private interests and public service. His cabinet, a rag tag body of industry insiders and special interests, are busy trying to ride roughshod over opposition, established policy and even public opinion to grab as much as possible before the whole house of cards collapses. Its a mess, and its a mess that's quite obviously damaging US interests. Many constituency groups will have gone along with the program because they thought they could control things or benefit from them but as its become increasingly obvious Trump's unable to deliver they've been systematically alienated.

The DNC is playing this with a relatively weak field of potential candidates for 2020. Much as I personally like a Sanders or Warren they're just not going to fly in a Presidential contest -- as we found from the Obama presidency the ship of state just doesn't turn on a dime, you're not going to undo decades or generations of entrenched neoconservatism and a politically divided country overnight by some kind of Second Coming pronouncements. My concern is that if we don't get our collective acts together we're going to end up with a President Romney after 2020 -- a much more reasonable choice considering the last four years but also one that's guaranteed to change nothing. We need the journey but its only going to start with a few steps.

( and as for Trump/collusion we've spent the last three years confusing money with nation states. Trump's a businessman in a business that's notorious for laundering money from dubious sources (this doesn't mean he's involved, of course)(legal disclaimer!). I daresay that if Russia really wanted to sink Trump they could easily do so but why would they bother when he's doing such a great job unaided?)

Joerg
Please make sure You see the Interview-Video "MICHAEL FLYNN CASE UNRAVELS. US-UK DEEP STATE ENTRAPMENT PLAN" on https://youtube.com/channel/UCdeMVChrumySxV9N1w0Au-w – it's a must-see!
Jonathan Jarvis
Something much deeper going on?

http://thesaker.is/the-terrorists-among-us11-azov-battalion-and-american-congressional-support/

Latest in series of articles by the author re USA – Ukraine connections

"American Ukrainian nationalists don't like democracy. They don't understand the concept of it and don't care to learn. But they do understand nationalist fascism where only the top of society matters. They are behind the actors of the Intelligence coup going on in the US today .This is the mentality and politics the Diaspora is pushing into American politics today. Hillary Clinton and the DNC is surrounded with this infection which even includes political advisors.

Rest assured they all the related Diasporas are in a fight for their political lives. If Donald Trump wins, their ability to infect American politics might be broken. Many of the leadership will be investigated for attempting to overthrow the government of the United States."

Simon Hodges
"My thoughts on all this are that many of us have become distracted and failed to examine the timeline of events since 9/11. We look at news and conflict in isolation and move on to the next without seeing what is now a clear pattern."

In terms of the Middle East you need to go back further than the fortuitous event of 9/11 – at least to 1997 and the founding of the Project for the New American Century which was essentially the first explicit formalisation of the agenda for an imperialist Neoliberal and Neoconservative globalist new world order deployed through the media constructed conflicts of 'good' and 'evil' around the world and with it the call for the 'democratisation' of the Middle East under the alibi of humanitarian interventionism against broadly socialist governments, which since the fall of communism were constructed by Neoliberal fundamentalists as being patently heretical and ideologically illegitimate forms of government. If it is economically illogical to elect a socialist failed form of government then one can only assume that the election must have been rigged.

I started looking at this all a few years ago when I asked myself the question 14 years after the invasion of Iraq: where was the liberal outrage at what had subsequently taken place in the ME? The answer was that from the Invasion of Iraq onward in addition to fully embracing the economics of Neoliberalism as the end of economic history, the progressive 'left' quietly assimilated and reduplicated the fundamentalist illiberal political philosophy of the Neocons. The progressive 'left' both in the UK and US have subsequently become the far Neocon 'right' in all but name and their party hosts of Labour in the UK and the Democrats in the US remain blissfully unaware of all of this. How else can we explain why they would welcome 'Woke' Bill Kristol into their ranks? Once one accepts this hypothesis, then an awful lot falls into place in order to explain the 'Progressive' open support for regime change and the almost total lack of any properly liberal objections to what has taken place ever since.

One key point here is that the Neocons have nothing to do with conservatism or the right. What is striking and most informative about the history of Neo-conservatism is that it does not have its roots in conservatism at all, but grew out of disillusioned US left wing intellectuals who were Marxist, anti-Stalinist Trotskyites. This is important because at the heart of Neo-conservatism is something that appeals strongly to the die hard revolutionaries of the left who hold a strong proclivity for violence, conflict and struggle. If one looks at the type of people in the Labour party who gravitated to the 'progressive' Neoliberal imperialist camp they all exhibit similar personality traits of sociopathic control freaks with sanctimonious Messiah complexes such as Blair. These extremist, illiberal fundamentalists love violence and revolution and the bloodier the better. In Libya or Syria is did not matter that Gadaffi or Assad headed socialist governments, the Neo-colonised progressives would back any form of apparent conflict and bloody revolution in any notional struggle between any identifiable form of 'authority' or 'oppression' with any identifiable form of 'resistance' even if those leading the 'resistance' were head chopping, misogynist, jihadist terrorists. It makes no difference to the fundamentalist revolutionary mindset.

The original left wing who gradually morphed in the Neoconservatives took 30-40 years to make the transition for the 1960s to 1990s. The Labour party Blairites made the same journey from 1990 to 2003. Christopher Hitchens made the same journey in his own personal microcosm.

Gezzah Potts
When is this nausea inducing confected pile of crap going to end? Does anyone else think that Adam Schiff has a screw or three loose, and should be residing in an institution? And imagine if somehow Mike Pence became Prez. Now that would be something to scare the bejesus out of you.
Tim Jenkins
Adam Schiff should be shot for Treason, of the highest order, along with many others, including HRC, Brennan & Clapper ; and it should be a public execution, like in Saudi Arabia. This is war on the minds of the masses, that Schiff for brains cares nothing for.

As for Chuck Schumer, he can have a life sentence, as long as he manages to shut his utterly unfunny dumb vulgar cousin Amy up & keep her out of the public eye, forever

Gezzah, life may seem bad right now: but imagine if, you were Amy Schumer's Husband and father of her child. Talk about obnoxious and utterly nauseating 🙂 , with you Gezzah, all the way.

"When is this nausea inducing confected pile of crap going to end?"

vexarb
Pepe sends more news from the real world:

https://thesaker.is/the-age-of-anger-exploding-in-serial-geysers/

"The presidential election in Argentina was a game-changer and a graphic lesson. It pitted the people versus neoliberalism. The people won – with new President Alberto Fernandez and former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (CFK) as his VP.

Neoliberalism was represented by a PR marketing product, Mauricio Macri [a Micron look-alike]: former millionaire playboy, president of football legends Boca Juniors, obsessed with spending cuts, who was unanimously sold by Western MSM as a New Age paradigm.

Well, the paradigm will soon be ejected, leaving behind the usual New Age wasteland: $250 billion in foreign debt, less than $50 billion in reserves; inflation at 55 percent; 35.4 percent of Argentine homes can't make it); and (incredible as it may seem in an agriculturally self-sufficient nation) a food emergency."

vexarb
And from Yemen:

https://southfront.org/10000-sudanese-troops-to-potentially-withdraw-from-yemen-leaving-saudi-arabia-to-dry/

vexarb
Meanwhile, in the real world, the Denmark's Ukronazi-friendly regime has been brought to heel by Germany's common sense:

Some big natural gas news very significant for Russia, Germany and the Ukraine. The Danish pipeline sector has been stalled for a while now by anti-Russia, pro-Ukrainian forces within the Scandiwegian NATZO-friendly regimes. But it appears that Nordstream 2 _will_ get completed and that Ukraine's gas transit chokehold on the EU will come to an end when Russia's Nordstream 2 comes online for Europe.

-- -- -- -

Permit for the Nord Stream 2 project is reluctantly granted by the Danish Energy Agency. Nord Stream 2 AG has been granted a permit to construct natural gas pipelines on the Danish continental shelf.

The permit is granted pursuant to the Continental Shelf Act and in accordance with Denmark's obligations under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Denmark has been put under obligation to allow the construction of transit pipelines with respect to resources and the environment.

https://en-press.ens.dk/pressreleases/permit-for-the-nord-stream-2-project-is-granted-by-the-danish-energy-agency-2937696

Antonym
Gas is the second most firm green energy source after nuclear. Denmark manages only due to their undersea cables to Norway's hydro mountains.

In another field has far more common sense than neighbors Germany or Sweden: immigration / integration.

RobG
In my humble opinion, the Trump stuff is all total nonsense.

Donald Trump was a property speculator in New York (amongst other places) and was heavily involved with the Mafia. Likewise, Trump was heavily involved with Jeffery Epstein.

There's so much dirt on Trump that they could get him with the snap of fingers; but of course that's not what they really want. Trump is pure theatre; a ploy to divert the masses. 'RussiaGate', 'UkraineGate' are all utter rollocks.

Trump and Obama, and all the rest going back to the assassination of Kennedy, are just puppets.

American/ deep state policy doesn't change a jot with any of them.

Wilmers31
America is always presentation over substance, wrapper over content, and shoot the messenger if you don't like the message. In the meantime the adults in this world outside the US have to hold it all together. Why was for instance Hillary Clinton not in the dock for saying 'Assad must go'?? It was meddling in the highest order.
phree

I guess this just goes to show you that a person can be a member of the ACLU, even a leader apparently, and still be highly biased in favor of Trump.

Just because a witness is "cooperating" with an investigation does not entail that the witnesses testimony or evidence will favor any particular side.

And implying that Clapper's comments somehow shows guilt when he clearly says he knows of no wrongdoing is pretty over the top.

I've read a lot of what's out there about the start of the initial Russia investigation, and it does seem that some of the FBI personnel leading it (McCabe particularly) were anti-Trump.

Isn't the bigger question whether the investigation was justified based on the reports from the Australians that Trump was getting political dirt on Hillary from Russia? Is the FBI just supposed to ignore those reports? Really?

George Cornell
Love the Clapper claim (the same Clapper who lied to Congress) says he was just doing his duty in Russiagate. As GBS said, " when a scoundrel is doing something of which he is ashamed, he always says he is doing his duty".
mark
The Spook Organisations and the Dirty Cops are a greater threat to our way of life than any foreign army or terrorist group (most of which they created in the first place and which they directly control.) They are a law unto themselves and completely free of any genuine oversight or control.

This applies equally to the US and UK. "We lie, we cheat, we steal", as Pompeo helpfully explains. They also murder people, at home and abroad. JFK, David Kelly, Diana, Epstein. They plant bombs and blow people up. Many of the "terrorist atrocities" from Northern Ireland to the present day, were false flag spook operations. The same applies with Gladio on the continent and the plethora of recent false flags.

There is also a long and inglorious history of interference in domestic politics from the Zinoviev Letter onwards. Plots to stage a military coup against the Wilson government of the 60s and 70s, with Mountbatten as its figurehead. The more recent Skripal Hoax. The contrived Syrian Gas Attack Hoaxes and the White Helmets. They would not hesitate to do the same to Corbyn if they deemed it necessary.

The CIA and FBI conspired with the UK and Ukrainian governments to prevent the election of Trump, and then to sabotage and smear his administration once he had been elected. The UK played a major part in this through MI6 and Steele. This is highly dangerous for this country, irrespective of your view of Trump.

Trump has repaid the favour by meddling in Brexit and interfering in UK politics. It is not in his nature to turn the other cheek. We have spook organisations claiming for themselves a right of veto over election results and foreign policy. These people are poor servants and terrible masters. We see Schumer warning against crossing the spook organisations, begging the obvious question – who runs this country, you or the spooks?

The Democrats, the Deep State, the MSM, and the Deranged Left were willing to support these conspiracies and hoaxes, and even suspend disbelief, for the greater good. The ends justify the means. All that matters is getting rid of Trump. Anything goes. The corrosive erosion of trust, credibility and integrity in all the institutions of the state is probably irreparable. The legislature and the political process in general. The judiciary. The spooks and police. About 9% of Americans now believe the MSM.

The irony in all this is that it very much serves Trump's interests. He is extremely vulnerable, having failed to keep any of his promises. Building The Wall, Draining The Swamp, Bringing The Troops Home. Sorting out health care. Building "incredible, fantastic" infrastructure.

All the Democrats had to do was highlight these failures, find a suitable candidate, and put forward some sensible policies, and they were home and dry. Instead, they provided an endless series of diversions and distractions from Trump's failures by charging down every rabbit hole they could find, Russiagate, Ukrainegate, Impeachment. It couldn't work out better for Trump if he was paying them.

Expect to see the Orange Man in the White House for another 4 years. And another even more virulent outbreak of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Tim Jenkins
Enigmatic and brilliant synopsis, m8, lol: & surely BigB could only agree. And you never even mentioned HQ.Intel. inside.Israel, today & their illegal trespass of WhatsApp, via corporate 'subsidiaries' with 'plausible' denial of liability of spying on everything-everything & any body, that could possibly threaten corporate fascist computerised dictatorship: distributing backdoors, like Promis & Prism, liberally & worldwide, the Maxwells legacy . . . (yet)

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/oct/29/whatsapp-sues-israeli-firm-accusing-it-of-hacking-activists-phones

No need to even discuss, until Western societies ALL get a grip on the depths of depravity that lie within the actions and "The History of the National Security State" you have to admit, that Julian Assange could not have picked a better book to firmly grip and signal with, than GORE Vidal's, when being manhandled out of the Ecuadorian Embassy, by Spooks who would sell their own mother, let alone nation, in their utter technological ignorance and adherence to anachronistic doctrines & mentality !

Glad you mentioned 'good ole' cousin ChuckS.' >>> Lol, just for a laugh and a sense of perspective: yes, he is related to Amy Queen of Vulgarity & hideous societal distraction. What a family of wimps & morons: the 'Schumers' being perfect fodder for ridicule & intelligent humour, naturally . . . on a positive note, mark, think yourself lucky that you are not married to or the father of Amy Schumer's child 🙂

Dungroanin
Catching up Off-G. Excellent.

Larry C Johnson is at the vanguard on the debacle and is miles ahead on it. Check his output at sst. Here is a short speech outlining the conspiracy.
https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/10/my-speech-on-the-deep-state-plot-by-larry-c-johnson.html

Two more pieces there – it is moving fast now.

The most important thing for us and deliciously so now the election is happening is the BLOWBACK. Our DS lying murdering arses are going to get new ones drilled by Trump and BoBos bromance exploding in full technicolor.

Think May's dementia tax and Strong and Stable were bad?

Lol. This is going to be a FUN month of early xmases.

Chris Rogers
Dungroanin,

SST is essential reading for anyone concerned with US overseas policy and the corruption of the USA itself in the service of the security state, so, many thanks for posting this link.

Dungroanin
By sharing we disrupt the msm messages. Bernard at MoonofAlabama is also worth a daily visitation – priceless analysis on multiple subjects.
lundiel

Since those days it has been a weak-minded Congress, intimidated and/or compromised Members who have allowed intel to run their own show as if they are immune to the Constitution and the Rule of Law. Since 1947, there has been no functioning Congress willing to provide true accountability or meaningful oversight on the intel community.

Pretty much a carbon copy of our own oversight. We hear even less about our security services than Americans do of theirs. I'd have thought that events like the spy in the holdall, the spies caught by farmers in Libya, the Skripal's, and the whole over-the-top reaction to the domestic terrorism threat and consequent successful pleas for extra funding, the obvious danger of creating terrorists by security services, the policy of giving asylum to foreign terrorists of countries we don't like and the whole concept of the 5 eyes and GCHQ needs more than ministerial oversight, a committee of yes men/women and an intelligence services commissioner.

[Nov 14, 2019] Neocon US Ambassador tells impeachment panel what they want to hear about Trump-Ukraine Quid Pro Quo

This is how filthy neocon fifth column typically works: "The senior U.S. diplomat in Ukraine said Tuesday he was told release of military aid was contingent on public declarations from Ukraine that it would investigate the Bidens and the 2016 election, contradicting President Trump’s denial that he used the money as leverage for political gain." Who told him? Some State Dept. apparatchik? Unless it was directly from Trump it's just a hearsay and evidence of nothing whatsoever.
He clearly belongs to people described in Caitlin Johnstone famous 2017 article Neoconservatism Is An Omnicidal Death Cult, And It Must Be Stopped
"It’s absolutely insane that neoconservatism is still a thing, let alone still a thing that mainstream America tends to regard as a perfectly legitimate set of opinions for a human being to have. As what Dr. Paul Craig Roberts rightly calls “the most dangerous ideology that has ever existed,” neoconservatism has used its nonpartisan bloodlust to work with the Democratic party for the purpose of escalating tensions with Russia on multiple fronts, bringing our species to the brink of what could very well end up being a world war with a nuclear superpower and its allies."
This is not okay. Being a neoconservative should receive at least as much vitriolic societal rejection as being a Ku Klux Klan member or a child molester, but neocon pundits are routinely invited on mainstream television outlets to share their depraved perspectives.
Oct 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Taylor notably expressed his concerns in a Sept. 9 text message to US ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, saying: " I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign. "

To which Sondland replies " Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo's of any kind, " adding "I suggest we stop the back and forth by text."

On Tuesday, Mr. Taylor directly addressed accusations surrounding Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelensky, and Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company that employed Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., one of the leading Democratic candidates for president.

He "drew a very direct line in the series of events he described between President Trump's decision to withhold funds and refuse a meeting with Zelensky unless there was a public pronouncement by him of investigations of Burisma and the so-called 2016 election conspiracy theories," Ms. Wasserman Schultz said. - New York Times

As the Washington Post notes, Taylor said "By mid-July it was becoming clear to me that the meeting President Zelenskyy wanted was conditioned on the investigations of Burisma," the Ukrainian gas firm which employed Hunter Biden, "and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections."


HoserF16 , 24 seconds ago link

He's a Liar. There's no QPQ. We have the transcript of the call. No QPQ. This Frail looking Douche Bag is lying. He's obviously on the Ukrainian-Take like the rest of them. DNC kept Servers in the Ukraine. Why would they do that??? (wink, wink)

Jackprong , 3 minutes ago link

Democrats have called the testimony the most damaging account yet, as Taylor provided an "excruciatingly detailed" opening statement, according to the New York Times .

And they have Zero, Zilch, Nada!

Largebrneyes1 , 3 minutes ago link

Taylor was a democratic appointee from the Obama administration...shocker. And he was the only one suggesting this was politically motivated. Sondland corrected him immediately. Nobody else, including the Ukrainians, agree with his "interpretation".

south40_dreams , 8 minutes ago link

JOE BIDEN IN 1998;

"Even if the President should be impeached, history is going to question whether or not this was just a partisan lynching..."

He said a dirty word

slickrick , 9 minutes ago link

Schiff's bitch said it like he was told to. Nothing to see folks.

Bobzilla. Do not piss him off , 12 minutes ago link

Wasn't creepy uncle joe doing a quid pro quo when he said no billion $ unless you fir the prosecutor?? Seems the demonrats have two sets of rules. ******* hypocrites.

The Persistent Vegetable , 21 minutes ago link

Manaforts in prison

Cohens in prison

Stone? arrested

Flynn? convicted

Rudy? Soon to be arrested

Whose next in the most transparent administration in history? An administration which only arrests its own and lets the Dems skate?

William Dorritt , 10 minutes ago link

Trump forgot to fire 10,000 Obama Political Appointees

when he took office

Trump created this mess

he actually stiff armed conservatives who offered to help him

doubt many would now.

McConnell has systemically undermined Trump

blocking Trump's appointments and

blocking Trump from making recess appointments

KY needs to do the US a favor and retire McConnell

Rest Easy , 25 minutes ago link

Ex ******* scuse me, but didn't obumer and company start a civil war in Ukraine?

Ukraine is right next to ******* Russia. A nuclear power.

People have died here. Whatever else these ******* fuckers were up to, this seems pretty clearly criminally insane.

Let's cut the crap journalists. Start doing your jobs.

Dept. Of whatever Justice. And congress. This is unacceptable. And beyond irresponsible.

TahoeBilly2012 , 22 minutes ago link

That's right, I followed everything Ukraine in detail in 2013, so did my Mom who is 81. She knows more Ukraine than any of my dirtbag Democrat friends. Hunter Biden corruption old news.

Son of Loki , 25 minutes ago link

I definitely believe the neocon anti-Trumper.

He's so brave to come forward.

He even talked in a little gurl's voice!

#MeToo!

estradagold , 34 minutes ago link

Yet the average Ukrainian makes $300 a month and we have zero qualms about robbing their country blind. Some friend we are.

joego1 , 36 minutes ago link

First of all Ukraine had already started to investigate Biden and Burisma in March, second of all the aid was turned over to them already and there is no resolution to the investigation yet. Third, the Ukrainians have gone on the record saying there was no pressure. Last, the president has a responsibility to look into corruption even if it was a Demonrat.

[Nov 14, 2019] A Timeline Of Joe Biden's Intervention Against The Prosecutor General Of Ukraine

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Ukraine cancels arrest warrant against Zlochevsky and closes the case against him. ..."
"... Ukraine's prosecutor closes the case against Burisma after the company agrees to pay UAH 180 millions of tax liabilities. ..."
"... Burisma announces a donation of between $100,000 and 249,999 to the Atlantic Council ..."
"... U.S. supported National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) closes its case against Zlochevsky ..."
"... Joe Biden brags publicly how he blackmailed Poroshenko into firing Shokin. ..."
"... When put this way it is difficult to not ..."
"... Biden son's case is more than demonstrated right now and, in itself, is not even that impressive: it's just bread & butter patronage corruption, which happens all the time in Western Democracies, at all countries, at all levels. What's really impressive here is the scale, because an entire country was destroyed overnight. I mean, if a man as powerful as a vice-POTUS is willing to destroy entire nations just to give his son a sinecure, then no country is safe. ..."
"... A discussion to be followed by prison terms. ..."
"... "Here is to hoping that both sides continue the battle until the whole treasonous house of cards collapses." ..."
"... I agree with previous posters that the real crime was the 2014 coup, and people like Hillary, Victoria Noland and Biden are the greater criminals. But let's not make this a Dem vs Rep thing. Bush and Cheney lied us into a war in Iraq to steal their oil. Both war parties supported Poroshenko and unending anti-Russian invective. It is from that mindset that they argue over whether conditioning military aid to Ukraine constitutes quid pro quo. ..."
"... We've gone through a lot of news sources to see if we couldn't figure out what is going on in Ukraine as to why the Democrats, led by Jewish congressional representatives Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) who leads the impeachment committee, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) who is on the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.), Eliot Engel (D-New York) along with 21 other Jewish Democratic congressional representatives all calling for the impeachment of President Trump because of his phone call with President Zelensky of Ukraine. ..."
"... As I wrote in April 2015, there are very strong indications that Foreign Affairs Representative for the EU Catherine Ashton, IMF boss Christine Lagarde and Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland provided the united US/EU media front for the Ukraine coup, with Biden, Kerry and John McCain too publicity hungry to remain in the background like they were almost certainly supposed to. https://bryanhemming.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/double-double-toil-and-trouble-the-cauldron-of-kiev/ ..."
"... It is like a virtual country that wants to impose a distorted view of itself. Just imagine for a minute if California became independent and all of the sudden the official language is Spanish, all relations at schools, hospitals, state centers, banks, etc. etc. are to be held in Spanish only. Well, that's happening in that new "liberated" for democracy country, the priceless work of Nulands, Bidens et al, plus all the killing, that goes without saying. ..."
"... when a corrupt system lies to itself about its corruption there is some hope. ..."
"... We desperately need a bringer of light. Could it be Tulsi Gabbard? Perhaps, if she has the guts to turn away from Indian and Israeli nationalism and if the people choose to support her truth telling. It's a long shot, but she might be our last hope. ..."
www.theamericanconservative.com
Nov 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

This is a working thread intended to be updated when new details come to light.

The Washington Post provided a timeline of the 2015/206 intervention

by then-Vice President Joe Biden against the then-General Prosecutor of Ukraine, Viktor Shokin. Shokin was investigating Mykola Zlochevsky, the owner of the gas company Burisma Holdings which paid Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden at least $50,000 per month for being on its board.

We used that timeline to show that Biden's intervention reached its height shortly after the prosecutor confiscated Zlochevsky houses.

A new report by John Solomon, based on released State Department emails, supports the suspicion that Joe Biden and others intervened against Shokin on behalf of Burisma and on request of his son:

Hunter Biden and his Ukrainian gas firm colleagues had multiple contacts with the Obama State Department during the 2016 election cycle, including one just a month before Vice President Joe Biden forced Ukraine to fire the prosecutor investigating his son's company for corruption, newly released memos show.

During that February 2016 contact, a U.S. representative for Burisma Holdings sought a meeting with Undersecretary of State Catherine A. Novelli to discuss ending the corruption allegations against the Ukrainian firm where Hunter Biden worked as a board member, according to memos obtained under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

Just three weeks before Burisma's overture to State, Ukrainian authorities raided the home of the oligarch who owned the gas firm and employed Hunter Biden, a signal the long-running corruption probe was escalating in the middle of the U.S. presidential election.

Solomon points to the same Interfax-Ukraine report about the prosecutor's action against Burisma owner Zlochevsky that we have used to make our case against Biden. Other media have so far ignored that report and several have falsely claimed that the case against Burisma was "dormant" when Biden intervened to get the Prosecutor General fired.

Below is an integrated timeline which combines the one WaPo provided with the new dates from Solomon's reporting and from additional sources. It is intended as a working reference that can be updated when new details come to light.

  • Jul 2010 - Apr 2012 Mykola Zlochevsky heads the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources in Ukraine. Several oil and gas companies owned by Zlochevsky receive lucrative special drilling permits. Feb 23 2014 The U.S. supported Maidan 'regime change' coup overthrows the elected government of Ukraine. Mar 2014 The EU blocks funds of several Ukrainian oligarchs including Zlochevsky's. RFERL
  • Mar 11 2014 Britain blocks the transfer of $23 million owned by Mykola Zlochevsky companies and opens an investigation against him. Guardian
  • Spring 2014 Burisma hires Devon Archer and Hunter Biden as members of its board. Archer and Biden together own a firm called Rosemont Seneca Partners. Guardian
  • May 2014 Rosemont Seneca Partners starts to receive monthly checks of $166,000 from Burisma. JS
  • Nov 24 2014 U.S. government organ RFERL publishes a video report showing one of Zlochevsky's palaces near Kiev. It notes the Hunter Biden connection. RFERL
  • Dec 2 2014 Unknown Ukrainian prosecutor writes letter saying that Zlochevsky is not under suspicion. Guardian
  • Late 2014 Zlochevsky is put on Ukraine's most-wanted list for alleged economic crimes. RFERL
  • Late 2014 Zlochevsky leaves the Ukraine. Interfax
  • Jan 21 2015 Referring to the letter by the unknown Ukrainian prosecutor a British court orders the closure of the British case against Zlochevsky and to release the $23m. Guardian
  • Feb 10 2015 Victor Shokin nominated as Prosecutor General of Ukraine Interfax
  • Mar 2015 EU lifts blocking of funds of several Ukrainian oligarchs including Zlochevsky RFERL
  • May 27 2015 Hunter Biden meets then-Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken, a former national security adviser to Joe Biden who was promoted to the No. 2 job at State under then-Secretary John Kerry. JS
  • July 22 2015 Hunter Biden against meets with the State Department No. 2 Tony Blinken. JS
  • July 31 2015 Ukraine's prosecutor general issues an arrest warrant against Zlochevsky. RFERL
  • Sep 2015 Referring to the closed British case then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt gives a speech urging Ukrainian prosecutors to do more against corruption. Guardian
  • Oct 8 2015 Then-Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland testifies in Congress: "The Prosecutor General's Office has to be reinvented as an institution that serves the citizens of Ukraine, rather than ripping them off." WaPo
  • Oct 17 2015 Shokin announces a joint investigation with Britain of the Zlochevsky case. Interfax
  • Dec 7 2015 Joe Biden holds a press conference in Kiev and announces $190 million to "fight corruption in law enforcement and reform the justice sector." WaPo
  • Dec 7/8 2015 According to his then-National Security Advisor Colin Kahl VP Biden withholds the announcement of a $1 billion loan guarantee Ukraine was supposed to receive. WaPo
  • Dec 8 2015 Joe Biden speaks in the Ukrainian parliament and decried the "cancer of corruption" in the country. "The Office of the General Prosecutor desperately needs reform," he noted. WaPo
  • End of 2015 Shokin hands one case on Zlochevsky to the U.S. supported National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) Interfax
  • Jan 20 2016 Biden meets Poroshenko in Davos, Switzerland, when he also presses "the need to continue to move forward on Ukraine's anti-corruption agenda," according to a White House statement. Kahl said Biden at that meeting reinforced the linkage between the loan guarantee and the necessary reforms. WaPo
  • Feb 2 2016 Shokin confiscates several large properties and a Rolls-Royce Phantom owned by Zlochevsky. Interfax
  • Feb 4 2016 First public announcement of the confiscation of Zlochevsky's properties. Interfax
  • Feb 4 2016 Hunter Biden starts following Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken on Twitter. JS
  • Feb 12 2016 Biden speaks to Poroshenko by phone. "The two leaders agreed on the importance of unity among Ukrainian political forces to quickly pass reforms in line with the commitments in its IMF program, including measures focused on rooting out corruption," the White House said. WaPo
  • Feb 16 2016 Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says that he had advised Shokin to step down. Interfax
  • Feb 16 2016 Poroshenko announced he had asked Shokin to resign. WaPo
  • Feb 17 2016 Shokin goes on paid leave. Interfax
  • Feb 18 2016 Another call takes place between Biden and Poroshenko. WaPo
  • Feb 19 2016 The presidential press secretary Sviatoslav Tseholko says that Shokin's letter of resignation had arrived at the presidential administration. On the same day, Poroshenko tables a motion in parliament to dismiss Shokin. Interfax
  • Feb 19 2016 Poroshenko announces he has received Shokin's resignation letter. It still required parliamentary approval, and Shokin did not go away quietly. WaPo
  • Feb 19 2016 Biden speaks separately with Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. WaPo
  • Feb 22/23 2016 Karen Tramontano of Blue Star Strategies, a U.S. representative for Burisma Holdings, seeks a meeting with then-Undersecretary of State Catherine A. Novelli who oversees international energy issues to discuss ending the corruption allegations against Burisma. JS
  • Feb 24 2016 A State Department email exchange under the subject line "Burisma" notes that Karen Tramontano especially mentioned Hunter Biden while she tried to get the meeting. JS
  • Mar 1 2016 Tramontano is scheduled to meet Novelli and that State Department officials are scrambling to get answers ahead of time from the U.S. embassy in Kiev. JS
  • Mar 2 2016 Hunter Biden's fellow board member at Burisma, Devon Archer, has a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry. Secretary Kerry's stepson, Christopher Heinz, had earlier been a business partner with both Archer and Hunter Biden at the Rosemont Seneca investment firm. JS
  • Mar 3 2016 Shokin is back at work. Interfax
  • Mar 16 2016 Reports emerged that Shokin was back at work after having been on vacation. WaPo
  • Mar 22 2016 Biden and Poroshenko speak again by phone. WaPo
  • Mar 29 2016 The Ukrainian parliament, in a 289-to-6 vote, approves Shokin's dismissal. WaPo
  • undated "Mr. Zlochevsky's allies were relieved by the dismissal of Mr. Shokin, the prosecutor whose ouster Mr. Biden had sought, according to people familiar with the situation." NYT
  • Mar 31 2016 Poroshenko meets with Biden during a trip to Washington, and Biden emphasizes that the loan guarantee was contingent on further reform progress beyond Shokin's removal. WaPo
  • Apr 14 2016 Biden and Poroshenko have another call. Biden congratulates the president on his new cabinet and "stressed the urgency of putting in place a new Prosecutor General. WaPo
  • May 12 2016 Poroshenko nominated Yuriy Lutsenko as the new prosecutor general. WaPo
  • May 13 2016 In a phone call, Biden told Poroshenko he welcomed Lutsenko's appointment. WaPo
  • Undated "Mr. Zlochevsky's representatives were pleased by the choice, concluding they could work with Mr. Lutsenko to resolve the oligarch's legal issues, according to the people familiar with the situation." NYT
  • Jun 2016 Hunter Biden joins Zlochevsky at a Burisma organized event in Morocco. Guardian
  • Aug 22 2016 Joe Biden tells the Atlantic how he blackmailed Poroshenko into firing the "corrupt" Shokin. Atlantic
  • Sep 2016 Ukraine cancels arrest warrant against Zlochevsky and closes the case against him. Guardian
  • Jan 12 2017 Ukraine's prosecutor closes the case against Burisma after the company agrees to pay UAH 180 millions of tax liabilities. Interfax
  • Jan 19 2017 Burisma announces a donation of between $100,000 and 249,999 to the Atlantic Council Guardian
  • Aug 2017 U.S. supported National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) closes its case against Zlochevsky Interfax
  • Oct 27 2017 Zlochevsky is estimated to have $535 million in assets, more than double than a year earlier. Interfax
  • Jan 23 2018 Joe Biden brags publicly how he blackmailed Poroshenko into firing Shokin. CFR
  • Feb 1 2018 After more than three years abroad Zlochevsky returns to Ukraine. Interfax
  • May 14 2019 Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko says that the Zlochevsky case was reopened "several months ago". Interfax
  • Jul 2019 Shokin maintains his suspicions about the vice president's motives, accusing Biden of promoting his dismissal for personal reasons. He insists he had "no doubt" Biden wanted him gone in an effort to protect his son's new employer. ABCNews

Posted by b on November 5, 2019 at 20:13 UTC | Permalink


karlof1 , Nov 5 2019 20:34 utc | 1

Considering the deep peril the legitimacy of the Outlaw US Empire's electoral system enjoys as Elizabeth Vos reports, why put forth the effort to prize then reveal the truth of Ukrainegate or Russiagate.

The DNC will forward whomever it chooses to face Trump in 2020 -- the court determined that whomever the people choose through the primary and convention exercises doesn't matter as DNC can legally negate that choice.

Now I don't mean to belittle the great amount of effort b's done on those issues, but IMO the message within Vos's essay is what must be addressed.

William Gruff , Nov 5 2019 20:45 utc | 2
When put this way it is difficult to not see the corruption. How is Trump asking Ukraine's new president to investigate this obvious corruption more of a crime than the corruption that Trump is asking to be investigated? That will take some mental gymnastics for the establishment's spinmeisters to explain.
worldblee , Nov 5 2019 20:53 utc | 3
#2 @William Gruff

Totally agree, but want to add one more important point: How is Trump's melding his legitimate and personal interests together in a phone call also more serious than the original war crime of overthrowing the legal Ukrainian government in an armed coup? Biden's corruption is obvious upon logical review of the known facts, but along with ignoring this, the US elites also completely ignore the serious crime of otherthrowing a government (because, such things are not discussed in polite company, one supposes).

Nathan Mulcahy , Nov 5 2019 21:11 utc | 4
William Gruff | Nov 5 2019 20:45 utc | 2. Says "How is Trump asking Ukraine's new president to investigate this obvious corruption more of a crime than the crime itself?"

No problem for the TDS afflicted sheeple. Not much different than the position of the sheeple that the exposure of DNC machinations is the crime rather than the crimes of DNC themselves.

Nathan Mulcahy , Nov 5 2019 21:17 utc | 5
Continued from 4

... or the exposure of war crimes by Assange, Manning and John Kiriaku are the crimes rather than the exposed crimes. We live in a surreal world

james , Nov 5 2019 21:18 utc | 6
thanks b... as far as crimes go, biden corrupt is small potatoes and ditto trumps.. the big enchilada is the dynamic leading up to the coup of feb 23 2014.... that is what needs to be examined and of course it won't be, as that would highlight just how corrupt the whole usa system is here... that said, i agree with @1 karolf1 and @ 2 william gruffs comments.. in the greater scheme of things though - meddling in a foreign country, whether it be an election or outright war and everything in between is what the usa has excelled at for as long as i can remember - 60's forward... they are one bullshite country with a bullshite msm completing the propaganda loop that is on display 24/7... i am not sure what it takes to break it.. your work certainly helps!
vk, Nov 5 2019 21:23 utc | 7
Biden son's case is more than demonstrated right now and, in itself, is not even that impressive: it's just bread & butter patronage corruption, which happens all the time in Western Democracies, at all countries, at all levels. What's really impressive here is the scale, because an entire country was destroyed overnight. I mean, if a man as powerful as a vice-POTUS is willing to destroy entire nations just to give his son a sinecure, then no country is safe.
William Gruff , Nov 5 2019 21:25 utc | 8
worldblee @3

My thinking on the matter is that the Washington establishment is panicking over this relatively small issue because, like pulling a loose end of yarn on a sweater, they fear the whole cover story on the Ukraine covert actions will unravel if the Biden corruption investigation continues.

bevin , Nov 5 2019 21:42 utc | 9

The obvious explanation, for the way that the democrats have used all their energies to ensure that the entirety of this sordid scandal is made known to the world is that the John Birch Society entrists, such as the Clintons, are about ready to withdraw from the Democrats altogether and so, like good arsonists, they have poured flammable, explosive material everywhere, confident that a spark will ignite it.
In any case arguing that 'black is white' and 'up is down' is easy compared to convincing the world that Biden, his son, Kerry and all are not totally corrupt.

Jen , Nov 5 2019 21:49 utc | 10

Dear B,

According to Wikipedia, Vitaly Yarema was the Ukrainian Prosecutor General from 19 June 2014 to 10 February 2015. He was nominated to the position by President Petro Poroshenko.

A list of Prosecutor General title-holders is here at this link if you need to refer to it. The odd thing though is that while Yarema was Prosecutor General, he was all very much for bring Mykola Zlochevsky to justice in the London court (depending on who you read , of course).

The U.K. asked Ukraine to investigate whether Burisma's founder had benefited from criminal dealings with Sergei Kurchenko, a shadowy billionaire who acted as the alleged frontman for the money of Viktor Yanukovych and his older son, Oleksander Yanukovych. Prosecutor General Vityaly Yarema ordered Zlochevsky brought to court, which put him on what Ukrainians call their "wanted list."

According to that Daily Beast source, Zlochevsky was on the "wanted list" in January 2015.

On reading that Guardian article which you cite, the thought occurred to me that someone other than Yarema must have written and signed that letter sent from the Prosecutor General's office to the UK court, which then ordered the case against Zlochevsky to be dropped. That in itself would be worth an article, as the timeline seems to be a bit confused: did Zlochevsky go on the "wanted list" before the letter was sent to the UK and the money released or did he go on the "wanted list" AFTER the UK court dropped the case against him and ordered the release of the $23 million?

bevin , Nov 5 2019 21:52 utc | 11
karlofi@1

I agree about the Voss article, but there is nothing new in it is there? The DNC 'defence' has been in the public domain ever since it was first annunciated. As to the absolute scandal of the disenfranchiement of 100,000 Democrats in Bernie's hometown, it was obvious on the night that it was this which allowed HC to steal the New York Primary.

The problem was that the Sanders campaign seems to have done nothing about it- it is hard to believe that, back in 2016, they were thinking of 2020 and running Sanders again.
Were not the White primaries, a DNC favourite at the time, banned on just these grounds that public money and resources could not be used to disenfranchise large numbers of people?

You are right that the story, which reminds us that it was the democrats who invented dirty tricks and the NY Democrats, who used to meet at Tammany Hall, were on the cutting edge of electoral corruption, is one that cannot be too widely discussed. A discussion to be followed by prison terms.

snake , Nov 5 2019 22:19 utc | 12
Once again this Ukraine story shows that its not the government, its not the structure of the government, its not even the functions of the government, but instead its is the actors that run the government and the actors that benefit from the government being run by the actors-in-charge that make a strong case that an independent non governmental auditor is needed (one paid from a % of the taxes collected but one that answers only to the HR courts). So the government would not pay the auditors any salaries since the auditors are the governed. In other words, any qualified voter would be an eligible Auditor. Such people (auditors) would have the right to audit the-conduct of any person claiming or benefiting from a government interest.

The independent HR court would hear all charges made by any HR auditor. All persons claiming or benefiting in some way from a government interest would be subject to the jurisdiction of the HR courts. The HR court would be empowered to hear a claim of wrongful behavior made against any government person (elected, appointed, bureaucrats, military and contractors) and if the court agrees substantive facts exist, then the court would assemble a case, impanel a jury (from the ranks of the governed) and instruct that jury to hear the charges and to develop the case, and to decide on the innocence or guilt of the person charged, and if guilty then to decide on the penalty.

Important here is that the HR rights courts would hear cases against individuals that involve corruption, fraud, theft, self dealing, negligence and treason.. the HR rights courts are not government, they are courts made up of judges and juries that are appointed by the governed people.

karlof1 , Nov 5 2019 22:47 utc | 16
bevin @11--

Thanks for your reply! Did you note the number of people who committed multiple felonies that have yet to be prosecuted years now after-the-fact? The lack of justice being applied to those who broke the law and violated the public trust is also a big issue itself that I mentioned on the week in review. The bottom line: No democracy + no justice = no legitimacy, which appears to be the main point. I just finished listening to this interview with Dr. Hudson where in the last few minutes he says the DNC in 2020 aims at electing Donald Trump, which seems to be the consensus arrived at by us barflies and with which I agree. What Hudson doesn't touch on, nor is he asked, is what can be done to overturn the Reagan Revolution which installed the current policy direction, although we can make a few assumptions based on his preferences for Sanders and Gabbard and the movement to deal with student debt relief.

My comment to the article wasn't optimistic and has yet to be posted. I don't really have anything of substance to add to what b's proving about Biden as I've already called him out for his Capital Crimes and the usual corruption. Maybe I ought to throw up my arms in disgust and adopt a Don't Worry; Be Happy/What, Me Worry? escapist attitude and ignore it all for my remaining days and party like it's 1999. Too bad Styx didn't offer a solution to having Too Much Time on My Hands aside for that being a calamity for my sanity.


Mike Sylwester, Nov 5 2019 22:49 utc | 18
I offer my interpretation of the timeline.

General-Prosecutor Victor Shokin was being pressured -- mostly by the USA -- to prosecute corruption more effectively.

In response to such pressure, Shokin initiated an investigation of Mykola Zlochevsky on October 17, 2015. It seems that Britain had established an investigation of Zlochevsky in 2014, had suspended that investigation on January 21, 2015, but then resumed that investigation in October 2015. Shokin joined that British investigation on October 17, 2015.

It seems further that the USA eventually took unknown actions to prevent that joint British-Ukrainian investigation of Zlochevsky.

On December 7-8, 2015, Vice President Biden indicated that a large US grant of aid money would be conditional. However, the conditions seem to be secret.

In this situation, before the end of December 2015, General-Prosecutor Shokin transfered the Zlochevsky investigation to the so-called National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), which essentially was a creature of the US Government.

The situation seemed to remain quiet through the month of January 2016. On February 2, however, Shokin seized some of Zlochevsky's property, even though the NABU was supposed to be managing the Zlochevsky case.

Sholin's seizure of Zlochevsky's property on February 2 sparked a US-Ukraine crisis. The US (i.e. the Bidens) felt it had been double-crossed by Shokin.

Although the property seizure occurred on February 2, it was not announced publicly until February 4. On that same day, Hunter Biden began following the Twitter account of US Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken, who managed Ukrainian affairs. (I wonder if Blinken communicated in code to Hunter Biden by means of Twitter.)

On February 12, Vice President Joe Biden talked with Ukrainian President Poroshenko by telephone and ordered the firing of Shokin. The firing essentially happened later that same day.

Joe Biden's story about waiting for an airplane due to take off in six hours might be false or might refer to an airplane taking off in some country other than Ukraine.

Evelyn , Nov 5 2019 22:51 utc | 19
bevin @11
A discussion to be followed by prison terms.

Several (numerous?) topics so qualify. Either they're scarcely hinted at, or the lies and misdirections prevail. Applause for anyone brave enough to name the first three forbidden items that come to mind.

Roger , Nov 5 2019 22:52 utc | 20
Not sure how this fits in, but makes an interesting read.

https://theduran.com/debunking-some-of-the-ukraine-scandal-myths-about-biden-and-election-interference/?fbclid=IwAR0zTbfwwMQgG8fck6FZYMD1wVZk5ebUIyt9AjzInXmhvANAoqQUrwvnqX0

evilempire , Nov 5 2019 22:54 utc | 21
Are vlochevsky, kolomoisky, and pinchbuk partners in crime? $1.8 billion in imf loans "disappeared" in koilomoiski's
privat bank. After that privat bank was nationalized and kolomoiski
fled to the us. Was this how vlochevsky's asets doubled? Coincidentally
the chinese firm investment in rosemont seneca was over $1 billion. Some
have speculated that the bidens could have become billionaires from this.
Was the chinese firm a pass through for the embezzled $1.8 billion imf loan?
ben , Nov 6 2019 0:05 utc | 23
Come on' folks, there are no Dems, there are no Repubs, there are no Independants ,only reps who take the $ offered by the wealthy. In the U$A today, the party of $ owns the system. Case closed. We get who they want. The rules have been changed to favor them. Vote if you want, it's good therapy,but, the system is rigged.

Sanders, Warren, and Tulsi are history. Want some reality? Read this; https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-enemy-within/

Likklemore , Nov 6 2019 0:08 utc | 24
@ psychohistorian 17

"Here is to hoping that both sides continue the battle until the whole treasonous house of cards collapses."

exactly. A huge mistake the Dems made; all to deflect from Ukraine funding. Recall reports claiming Hillary said 'IF he wins, we will all hang"

Oh dear. Zerohedge just posted the latest report from John Solomon Obama Admin Coached Anti-Trump Ukraine Ambassador On Biden Scandal

The latest report from journalist John Solomon reveals that the Obama State Department saw Joe and Hunter Biden's brewing Burisma scandal as a "Biden problem" during the 2016 US election, and specificialy coached now-recalled US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch on how to answer awkward questions about it. [.]

Memos newly released through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the Southeastern Legal Foundation on my behalf detail how State officials in June 2016 worked to prepare the new U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, to handle a question about "Burisma and Hunter Biden."
In multiple drafts of a question-and-answer memo prepared for Yovanovitch's Senate confirmation hearing, the department's Ukraine experts urged the incoming ambassador to stick to a simple answer.

"Do you have any comment on Hunter Biden, the Vice President's son, serving on the board of Burisma, a major Ukrainian Gas Company?," the draft Q&A asked.
The recommended answer for Yovanovitch: "For questions on Hunter Biden's role in Burisma, I would refer you to Vice President Biden's office."[.]

Linda Amick , Nov 6 2019 0:28 utc | 26
The Media has created a story whose purpose it is to keep the public focused on some small details of goings-on in Ukraine mostly since 2014 and NOT the fact that this is a clear example of a US backed coup which destabilized the country enough to allow the US Corporate jackals in to strip off the booty. THAT is what all the participants in this scheme want to keep secret. Why? Because the American citizens benefit not one bit from any of this. Change will require something major to trigger it.
Citizen621 , Nov 6 2019 0:36 utc | 27
I agree with previous posters that the real crime was the 2014 coup, and people like Hillary, Victoria Noland and Biden are the greater criminals. But let's not make this a Dem vs Rep thing. Bush and Cheney lied us into a war in Iraq to steal their oil. Both war parties supported Poroshenko and unending anti-Russian invective. It is from that mindset that they argue over whether conditioning military aid to Ukraine constitutes quid pro quo.

In the meantime I wonder if Zelensky, who was elected over Porky with an end the war platform, is thinking "Why do these idiots think they can negotiate by offering me something I absolutely do not want?"

karlof1 , Nov 6 2019 0:57 utc | 31
I guess Caitlin Johnstone recently summarized it best:

"Remember when voters in 2016 were like 'can we please have even one major candidate who doesn't have something seriously wrong with them?', and the entire US political system was all 'LOL nope,' and then nobody burned that system to the ground and flushed it down the toilet? Good times."

Except IMO there were thousands of people willing and ready to burn down the system just as there are now--that's what ought to happen to things that are corrupt: they get exposed as illegitimate and get torched by the public is a fit of righteous outrage and exact justice collectively.

But that didn't happen within the Outlaw US Empire in 2016, nor did it happen when Obama backstabbed millions, broke the law he was supposed to enforce and gave billions to fraudulent banksters. Most all political riots--not police riots--during my life were against racism and its associated injustices long ongoing. Within the Outlaw US Empire historically, corruption in politics is as traditional as apple pie, meaning the people are mostly inured to its occurrence. As with customary bribery in some nations, political corruption is seen as a normal happening usually of little consequence until something morally repulsive occurs to raise awareness again. The problem of course is that corruption is always morally repulsive. Perhaps such leniency says more about a nation's public than anything else--tons of corruption's tolerated just as the killing of millions of innocents overseas is tolerated/abided/excused. Guess it's time for some Victory Gin as there's not much more to say.

juliania , Nov 6 2019 1:20 utc | 32
I think you've left out the Vietnam era, karlof1 - there were certainly riots against that war plus there was l968 in Chicago Democratic Convention. I'd call both of those political. And I would call the Occupy movement at least anti-political in its focus on the banksters. Plus protests against the invasion of Iraq. Those two latter 'thrusts' by the citizenry were indeed handled oppressively and not covered adequately or at all in the case of protests against the invasion and/or other political events. Just because they weren't covered doesn't mean they didn't happen or weren't part of the general malaise. Trump got elected on that premise. And just because you don't see it on TV doesn't mean the general public isn't totally unhappy with the way things are.

Do you see happy faces? I don't.

james , Nov 6 2019 2:23 utc | 37
@ 34 jr.. you asked, lol..

Since the beginning of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, the international energy group Burisma has been providing systematic and comprehensive assistance to the defenders of the Fatherland. Among the military, whom the Burisma Group has supported since 2014, is the Poltava Special Purpose Police Battalion, which has repeatedly served in the war zone in the Donbass. from one of their press releases - being the good nazis biden requested of them..

Jackrabbit, Nov 6 2019 2:48 utc | 38
james 37

AFAIK, Burisma supported regaining Donbas because that's where the fracking opportunity is.

Who else was an ardent supporter of regaining the Donbas? Kolomoyskyi, who is also militantly pro-Israel, and is rumored to be the real owner (or part owner?) of Burisma.

Biden is also a Zionist and what his son made is peanuts compared to what Biden has/could make if he plays along. Obama is said to have made $70 million after leaving the Presidency and has just bought a $15 million home. And where else is a fracking opportunity sought by a corrupt company that is connected to corrupt politicians? Golan Heights and Genie Energy..

NOBTS , Nov 6 2019 3:16 utc | 39
karlof1@16

I liked Dr. Hudson's remarks concerning that DNC's quest for a candidate most sure to lose to Trump. This of course accounts for their hysterical fear of Tulsi Gabbard, as she is the only one who would be certain to beat him! The DNC will probably be willing, this time around, to let Bernie sheepdog on into the general election if that's what it takes to stop Tulsi. It's very sad to see the would be left media falling in line with the Jacobin/Intercept/Omidyar psyops regime. The one slim hope is that actual voters not controlled by any of the usual gatekeepers might overwhelm the DNC rigging machine in early primaries. I'm encouraged whenever I'm out on the real street I frequently overhear people mentioning her name and passersby chime in. Don't hear a thing about any of the mediocrities supported by the DNC and the press.

Robert Snefjella , Nov 6 2019 4:20 utc | 40
Posted by: ben | Nov 6 2019 0:05 utc | 23

From the Chris Hedges article you linked to: "The deep state committed the greatest strategic blunder in American history when it invaded and occupied Afghanistan and Iraq."

The sentence quoted is an example of the murky self-assured but dubious 'wordscape' that we are so inundated by. This is not to imply that the author doesn't make many sensible points in this particular article, or to dismiss his work more generally. In my opinion he does lots of good work.

Note the use of the cryptic abstraction "deep state" to describe the 'perpetrator' of the 'invasions and occupations'.

Note the use of the abstract term "greatest" to describe the "strategic blunder". One can declare without deserving even a raised eyebrow 'that was the greatest day of my life!' or that was greatest number of apples I've ever eaten at one sitting, but never again!" But how does one calibrate those two wars of aggression as the "greatest" whatever?

Note that these particlular wars of aggression, the supreme crime, and both not coincidentally based on lies upon lies, have been verbally downgraded to "invasions". As in, say, the Normandy invasion, or an invasion of grasshoppers? And all the horrors that followed the wars of aggression are condensed by the summary word "occupation". Many of us have occupations.

And for who were these "strategic blunders?" From the perspective of the MIC, and PNAC, and 'strategic positioning' re Earthly heroin flows, say, perhaps these were "strategic blessings". Or even diabolically cunning?

The point I'm making here is that even in the 'good articles', even in 'noble efforts' its pretty hard not to slip into, what? Let's call it, Empire Speak. Or is that Swamp Speak?

psychohistorian

, Nov 6 2019 4:41 utc | 41

@ Robert Snefjella with the analysis of the wording of the Chris Hedges article that ben linked to

Nice work but I want to add that the real reason for going after Iraq and Afghanistan was because they were not yet owned and subservient to the Western private banking cult.

Like Libya before Hillary "We came, we saw, he died" Clinton served her masters.

Sorghum , Nov 6 2019 4:55 utc | 42

@ 42 Rboert
Personally, I don't care to dissect Hedges word choices. Those invasion were the greatest mistake, because they broke the US public image, its military, and its economy. No, not directly, but those overextensions were the watershed moments. While it has been quite lucrative for certain parties since then, it has been a huge quagmire and literal sand in the military's gears. It also destroyed the invincible image of the US military. Trillions of dollars, thousands of troops, millions of civilians and yet we are all negotiating to stay in Afghanistan against troops with tire scandals, no air force, and very limited mechanization.

@ 43 psycho I agree that the banking, and gold in particular, were reason for destroying the countries. Along with human trafficking, Sumerian artifacts, takfiri recruitment, etc.

uncle tungsten , Nov 6 2019 5:13 utc | 43
sorghum #35
Exactly, JR. The very limited amount of reporting on that quickly led to Jewish oligarchs and that has been studiously ignored since. Since then it has been an endless shit show of Biden's corruption and how the US foreign policy is handled with everyone trying to thinly slice the corruption of DC so as to only smear the other side.

There are some sites that think about these things.

We've gone through a lot of news sources to see if we couldn't figure out what is going on in Ukraine as to why the Democrats, led by Jewish congressional representatives Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) who leads the impeachment committee, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) who is on the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.), Eliot Engel (D-New York) along with 21 other Jewish Democratic congressional representatives all calling for the impeachment of President Trump because of his phone call with President Zelensky of Ukraine.

This site seems devoted to looking for links of this nature, but is often sketchy IMO. Where is O when you need an obsessive analysis.

uncle tungsten , Nov 6 2019 5:20 utc | 44

So if the Biden's and Rosemont Seneca were in Ukraine stealing IMF funds, what were they stealing in China?

Do they have no shame? Or is that Whitey Bulger's clan ethics at play. Is all currency ok as long as its stolen? How much bitcoin can they steal and convert or is that story yet to be told?

Jen , Nov 6 2019 5:28 utc | 45
Jack Rabbit @ 34, 38:

Did you say Ihor Kolomoisky is rumoured to be owner or part-owner of Burisma Holdings? Wonder no more ... Yves Smith / Naked Capitalism reposted an old 2014 article recently on Ihor Kolomoisky and his ownership of Burisma Holdings through his Privat Group.

That is the oldest trick in the book: owning a company as a subsidiary of another company that you own. The wonder is that Kolomoisky didn't insert another layer of another subsidiary between Privat Group and Burisma Holdings to cover his tracks even more.

Jen , Nov 6 2019 5:33 utc | 46
Oh my goodness ... here's a juicy tidbit from January 2017

to be filed away for future reference:

The largest private gas producer in Ukraine is establishing relations with the new US administration.

The Atlantic Council and the Burisma Group, Ukraine's largest independent gas producer, have signed a partnership agreement. The Atlantic Council, with the support of Burisma, will develop transatlantic relations programs with a focus on energy security in Europe and the world, the company said in an official press release.

For the Burisma Group, this is a new stage in the development of cooperation between the United States and European countries together with such an influential world institution as the Atlantic Council.

Relations with Ukraine and future programs with the Burisma Group will be overseen by an authoritative diplomat, US Ambassador to Ukraine (2003-2006) and Director of the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center (structure under the Atlantic Council) John Herbst.

"Support and cooperation with Burisma will allow us to expand our program development activities in Ukraine and create new platforms for discussing important and relevant issues," said John Herbst.

It is symbolic that the collaboration between the Atlantic Council and the Burisma Group coincided with the launch of the new US Presidential Administration Donald Trump. According to experts, this will allow for more efficient implementation of new joint projects in the energy sector and gain support from one of the most respected and influential organizations in the United States. The conclusion of an agreement between Burisma and the Atlantic Council and the full implementation of joint projects became possible after all charges against Burisma Group and its owner Nikolai Zlochevsky were dropped.

According to Mykola Zlochevsky, president of the Burisma Group, the Atlantic Council plays a key role in Ukraine in building transatlantic relations, democracy and energy security. "Ambassador Herbst has been and continues to be the lawyer of Ukraine, and Burisma is pleased to be able to support the work of the ambassador and the Atlantic Council," said Nikolai Zlochevsky.

The Atlantic Council (US Atlantic Council) is the largest American non-governmental analytical center for international relations of the Atlantic community, headquartered in Washington. It is one of the most influential non-governmental organizations in the United States, operates ten regional centers and functional programs that deal with issues of international security and global economic development.

The Atlantic Council and Burisma Holdings working together!

Stephen McIntyre , Nov 6 2019 5:43 utc | 47
A. Kravetz was prosecutor who sent letter in early Dec 2014 that was used in UK.
Bryan Hemming, Nov 6 2019 5:48 utc | 48
As I wrote in April 2015, there are very strong indications that Foreign Affairs Representative for the EU Catherine Ashton, IMF boss Christine Lagarde and Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland provided the united US/EU media front for the Ukraine coup, with Biden, Kerry and John McCain too publicity hungry to remain in the background like they were almost certainly supposed to. https://bryanhemming.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/double-double-toil-and-trouble-the-cauldron-of-kiev/
uncle tungsten , Nov 6 2019 6:24 utc | 49
Jen #47

Thank you for that link. Rolling up the naked capitalism story is this rather more profound analysis from the Saker. It is also linked to in the abel danger site I referenced earlier.

Paco , Nov 6 2019 8:21 utc | 51
Something that really shocks me about Ukraine is like the video about the kitsch palace of the Zlochevsky guy, the neighbors on the other side of the river complain about not being able to swim across anymore, as they used to do, but the whole interview is in Russian¡¡¡¡, I mean, it is supossed to be Kiev, not the east and everybody speaks in a language that does not have official status anymore.

It is like a virtual country that wants to impose a distorted view of itself. Just imagine for a minute if California became independent and all of the sudden the official language is Spanish, all relations at schools, hospitals, state centers, banks, etc. etc. are to be held in Spanish only. Well, that's happening in that new "liberated" for democracy country, the priceless work of Nulands, Bidens et al, plus all the killing, that goes without saying.

vk, Nov 6 2019 11:46 utc | 54
Dems think Bernie better on MOST policy issues, but will vote for Biden in hopes he dethrones Trump – poll

The same case happens in the UK (with Corbyn). They want the policies, but they don't want "socialism".

This is the great contradiction of the USA and other First World countries: they know they need to reform, but they don't want to give up the good things that capitalist imperialism gave them. Therefore, they want the best of both worlds.

Paul , Nov 6 2019 12:22 utc | 55
Great, true comment, vk. The people of America are willing participants in the American Dream, aka The American Death Cult. Let's give the American People full credit for the horror show they've inflicted on the world. They willfully chose this and continue to choose this and that is why they embrace horrific figures like Trump, Hillary, Biden, etc..

But the American People do have a better angel. They also want community. They want to see themselves as individually and collectively good. They want to believe that they are on the light side of the Force, not the dark side of the Force, so to speak. How it plays out is that they want the elites to tell them lies, sweet little lies...

For me the turning point of America, at least of the America that I've seen, was the Iraq War. The Libya War can be seen as a second stage of that war; same with the Syria War. It's not that such acts of global mayhem have been worse than what America has done before. It's that the American System has embraced the evil more knowingly than ever before, it seems to me. No one can credibly claim that they didn't see the US knowingly lie its way into war vs. Iraq. No one can credibly call that a just war.

when a corrupt system lies to itself about its corruption there is some hope. When it knows it is corrupt and embraces this anyway then there is no hope. The Ukraine controversey we are seeing play its way out now typifies and illustrates this state of affairs. What Trump did was brutal and corrupt, yet his fans continue to defend him and even to defend this. What Biden did was far far more brutal and corrupt, yet the Dems continue to defend him and what he did. Biden helped plunge a country into chaos and then feasted on the corpse. The Ukraine controversey is a journey into the heart of our darkness.

We desperately need a bringer of light. Could it be Tulsi Gabbard? Perhaps, if she has the guts to turn away from Indian and Israeli nationalism and if the people choose to support her truth telling. It's a long shot, but she might be our last hope.

As for Biden? Well I suppose he's a placeholder for Hillary Clinton.

vk, Nov 6 2019 13:22 utc | 56
We've already discussed this on the topic about American extreme pragmatism:

The US Military Is a Socialist Organization: Affordable housing and food, tuition assistance, and universal health care are hallmarks of a social welfare system -- and life in the armed forces.

The USA is a capitalist society. However, as Marx demonstrated in his opus, the development of capitalism tends to socialism. Socialism cannot be born out of manorialism or antiquity, but only from capitalism.

The American elite knows this, so they came up with a very interesting strategy: they keep the rest of the world down, in a permanent state of destruction and rebuild (groundhog day mode); and, at home, they try to preserve a minimum of industrial dynamism and life quality for their masses with "domesticated and restricted socialism". FDR did it during 1938-1944 and it worked; after the end of Bretton Woods and the establishment of the Dollar Standard, they adopted restricted socialism in a specific sector -- the Military -- in order to maintain its industrial and innovation capacity going in face of its inexorable tendency of "financialization".

Although the Pentagon by itself is socialist, the USA remains capitalist because of the way the Pentagon relates to the rest of the nation: it takes the infinite pool of taxpayer money (so the profit motivation is removed) but they give it back to private contractors, who are capitalist and thus have the profit motivation. Taxpayer money is then converted into money-capital through a socialist institution.

However, this comes at a price for the capitalists: as profits go down over time (as Marx also scientifically demonstrated), the share of the Pentagon on the overall American economy rises, thus rising the "socialist piece of the pie". Heterodox estimates put the Pentagon social architecture at 10% of the American economy; most still put it at around 5%, and some of then put it at an insignificant 3%. If think that, if you take out the ficitious part of the capitalist economy (i.e. Wall St.), the figures are much closer to the 10%, probably even more.

imo , Nov 6 2019 13:39 utc | 57
@56 -- "... it [Pentagon] takes the infinite pool of taxpayer money (so the profit motivation is removed) but they give it back to private contractors, who are capitalist and thus have the profit motivation. Taxpayer money is then converted into money-capital through a socialist institution."

State-base 'capitalism' just like China!

The only additional point is that a sizable % of the socialist $$$'s (more Fed than taxpayer these days) also flow from said funds into lobbying and then into the pockets of the politician du jour. The corrupt Clinton's were not the exception -- rather the rule. Was this systemic corruption not referred to previously as the military-industrial-congressional complex?

vk, Nov 6 2019 13:59 utc | 58
@ Posted by: imo | Nov 6 2019 13:39 utc | 58

No, it would be China if the contractors themselves were owned by the Government.

China is pretty much the polar opposite of the USA: it has a socialist system with some restricted pockets of capitalism. Capitalism there is restricted to the special economic zones, and private enterprise is restricted to non-strategic sectors.

That's why China's tax rates are actually lowering, not rising.

Goldhoarder , Nov 6 2019 14:01 utc | 59
@2 If you recall the media explained that Joe Biden's corruption is really Joe Biden fighting corruption. They create their own reality. We are just supposed to swallow it. The CFR video doesn't matter. Just like Victoria Nuland's call. Snowden's revelations, or the volumes of wikileaks documents proving the enormity of US self described "elite" corruption
karlof1 , Nov 6 2019 17:06 utc | 63
juliania @32--

I'd written a long detailed reply that I was about to post when my computer locked-up and I lost my entire effort, and that ended my contributions yesterday. Of the many observations I made, this IMO was the most important--When MLK was murdered, blacks nationwide rioted; but when JFK and RFK were murdered, nothing of the sort occurred. I'll also reinforce the notion of people rioting as the vast majority of what's deemed a riot by Media was in fact a Police Riot as they run amok amidst peaceful protesters just as they would do against striking workers, of which there's a long bloody history of massacres.

[Nov 14, 2019] America Is Wide Open for Foreign Influence by Stephen M. Walt

Notable quotes:
"... Nick Danforth , Daphne McCurdy ..."
Apr 08, 2019 | foreignpolicy.com
If you're an outsider with a political agenda, there's no better country to target than the United States. Ever since the Treaty of Westphalia, the idea of territorial sovereignty has been central to how most of us think about international politics and foreign policy. Although a huge amount of activity occurs across state borders, one of the chief tasks of any government is to defend the nation's territory and make sure -- to the extent it can -- that outsiders are not in position to interfere in harmful ways. But for all the effort and expense devoted to keeping harmful influences out, sometimes countries wind up locking and bolting the windows while leaving the front door wide open.

Take the mighty United States, for example. It has a vast Department of Homeland Security, whose job is to defend its borders from international terrorism, illegal migration, drug smuggling, customs violations, and other dangers. The United States has intelligence agencies monitoring dangerous developments all over the world to keep them from harming Americans at home. It has spent trillions of dollars on a sophisticated nuclear arsenal designed to deter a hostile country from attacking the U.S. homeland directly, and it's spent additional hundreds of billions of dollars pursuing the holy grail of missile defense. Americans now worry about cyberthreats of various kinds, including the possibility that foreign powers like Russia might be interfering in U.S. elections or sowing division and false information via social media. And then there's President Donald Trump's obsession with that southern wall, which he declares is necessary to keep the Republican base riled up -- oops, sorry, I meant to say "is necessary to protect us from impoverished refugees or other undesirables."

Given all the time, effort, and money the United States devotes to defending the realm against outside intrusions, it is ironic that the United States may also be the most permeable political system in modern history. More than any great power's that I can think of, America's political system is wide open to foreign interference in a variety of legitimate and illegitimate ways. I'm not talking about foreign bots infecting the national mind via social media -- though that is a worrisome possibility. I'm talking about foreign governments or other interests that use a variety of familiar avenues to shape U.S. perceptions and persuade the U.S. government to do things that these outsiders want it to do, even when it might not be in America's broader interest.

Suppose you were a foreign government, or perhaps an opposition movement challenging a foreign regime. Suppose further that you wanted to get America on your side, or maybe you just wanted to make sure that the United States didn't use its considerable power against you. What avenues of influence are available to achieve your goal?

Obviously, you can use traditional diplomatic channels. You can tell your official representatives (ministers, ambassadors, consular officers, envoys, etc.) to meet with the relevant U.S. counterparts and plead your case. While they're at it, your official representatives could also shmooz with other members of the executive branch and try to win them over too. There's nothing remotely dodgy here; it's just the usual workings of the normal diplomatic machinery. And sometimes that's all you'll need, especially when your interests and America's interests really do coincide.

But you don't have to stop there. For example, you could also take your case up to Capitol Hill. There are 435 representatives and 100 senators, and that's an awful lot of potential points of access. Most of them don't care a fig about foreign policy (and know even less), but some of them do care and a few of them have real clout. If you can win over a respected and well-placed representative or senator -- or even just persuade one of their top aides -- there's a good chance a lot of the other lawmakers will follow their lead. Back in the 1950s, for example, Sen. William Knowland (R-Calif.) was often derided as the "Senator from Formosa" because of his consistent opposition to communist China and ardent support for Taiwan. More recently, Beltway denizen Randy Scheunemann was both a paid lobbyist for the government of Georgia and a top foreign-policy aide to the late Republican Sen. John McCain during his 2008 presidential campaign, which may help explain why the latter was such an ardent defender of Georgia during its 2008 war with Russia.

On top of that, there are plenty of politicians outside Congress who might be enlisted to your cause as well. Over the past decade or more, for example, Democrats including former Vermont governor and Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean and Republicans such as former New York mayor (and Trump apologist) Rudy Giuliani or current National Security Advisor John Bolton have spoken at rallies sponsored by the Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) an Iranian exile group that was listed as a terrorist organization by the State Department from 1997 to 2012. The MEK is despised within Iran for its past collaboration with Iraq's Saddam Hussein, but that didn't prevent it from recruiting a wide array of prominent Americans to its side, many of whom received lucrative speakers' fees. See how easy this is?

But wait, there's more! Foreign governments, corporations, and opposition movements can also hire public relations firms and professional lobbyists to clean up their public image, lobby politicians directly, and try to get influential Americans to see them as valuable partners. In his amusing but disturbing book Turkmeniscam: How Washington Lobbyists Fought to Flack for a Stalinist Dictatorship, the journalist Ken Silverstein showed how eager D.C. PR firms were to serve as the paid agents of a ruthless Central Asian dictator, along with the various ways that savvy spin doctors can scrub a despot's reputation and get them access to influential people in Washington. The sad news is that Silverstein's saga is far from atypical.

And don't forget the rest of the Blob. In recent years, for example, we've learned that several prominent D.C. think tanks took millions of dollars from foreign governments eager to enhance their visibility, presence, and influence in Washington. The receiving organizations predictably denied that the money had the slightest influence on what they did, said, wrote, or believed, but former employees tell a different story . And yes, I know: Universities are not immune to temptation either.

The influence of self-interested foreigners increases even more when they can partner with domestic groups that share their objectives, and that will use their testimony to sell whatever course of action they are trying to promote. The most notorious recent example of this phenomenon was the infamous Iraqi schemer Ahmed Chalabi, who joined forces with American neoconservatives to help sell the Iraq War in 2003. Foreign voices like Chalabi's often exercise disproportionate influence because they are (falsely) perceived as objective experts with extensive local knowledge, making uninformed, gullible, or mendacious Americans more likely to heed their advice. It is usually a good idea to listen to what foreign witnesses have to say about conditions far away provided that one never forgets that they may be telling Americans what they think they want to hear or feeding Americans false information designed to advance their interests at America's expense.

Notice I haven't said a word about espionage, bribery, or more ordinary forms of corruption, though each can be another way for foreign powers to advance their aims inside America's borders. After all, when the U.S. president continues to defy the emoluments clause of the Constitution, and when his son-in-law and White House advisor is still financially connected to a real estate firm that recently got bailed out by a Qatari-backed investment company, one may legitimately wonder whether key foreign-policy decisions are being influenced by the personal financial interests of the president or his entourage. Trademarks in China, anyone ?

The debacle over Syria shows that neither party understands the country's real goals in the Middle East -- or what it would take to achieve them. Argument | Nick Danforth , Daphne McCurdy

Last but by no means least, foreign governments (or in some cases opposition groups) can also benefit from support by Americans with a strong attachment to the countries in question. Ethnic lobbying by Greek Americans, Polish Americans, Irish Americans, Indian Americans, Jewish Americans, and other ethnic groups has been part of the U.S. political scene for more than a century, and foreign governments understand that such groups can be a valuable asset. As an official Indian government commission noted back in 2002, Indian Americans "have effectively mobilised on issues ranging from the nuclear test in 1999 to Kargil and lobbied effectively on other issues of concern to the Indian community. The Indian community in the United States constitutes an invaluable asset in strengthening India's relationship with the world's only superpower."

To be clear: Americans holding strong attachments to a foreign country are free to express their views and try to influence what the government does, regardless of whether their particular attachment is based on ethnicity, ideology, family connections, or personal experience (such as tourism, a Peace Corps stint, or whatever). That's how our system of interest group politics works. Nonetheless, India and other countries have also recognized that Americans with powerful connections are a potent source of political influence, and it would be naive to expect them not to take advantage of it.

This issue is not one-sided, of course. The permeability of the U.S. political system allows more sources of information to penetrate U.S. politics and undoubtedly contributes to a broader understanding of complicated international problems in some cases. U.S. foreign policy would be even less effective if Americans tried to wall the country off -- sorry, Donald! -- or if they foolishly tried to bar politicians from talking to people from other parts of the world. So my warnings are not a recommendation for a head-in-the-sand approach to the outside world.

Rather, it is an argument for a more hardheaded, cynical, and realistic approach to the influence that foreigners invariably seek to exercise over U.S. foreign policy. As long as the U.S. political system is so permeable, it behooves Americans to treat foreign efforts to shape their thinking with due discretion. It also requires preserving a sophisticated and independent analytic capacity of their own, so that they can distinguish when they are gaining useful information and when they are being conned. Americans should always be willing to exchange ideas with others -- including their adversaries, by the way -- but let's try not to be foolish about it. Foreign policy is not a philanthropic activity, and even close allies think first and foremost about self-interest, which sometimes means trying to bamboozle the United States into doing what they want, even at some cost to Americans. If the United States is spending all this money securing the borders, leaving the national mind unlocked and ripe for manipulation is a tad short-sighted.

Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University.

[Nov 14, 2019] House Releases Transcripts From Recalled US-Ukraine Ambassador Yovanovitch And Michael McKinley

Tandem of CIA and the State Department against Trump ?
Notable quotes:
"... Yovanovitch, who was removed from her post in May, testified that President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani led a campaign to oust her as ambassador over unsubstantiated allegations that she badmouthed the president and was seeking to stop Ukraine from opening an investigation into Joe Biden and his son. -Axios ..."
"... Last month, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan reportedly told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Trump recalled Yovanovitch after Giuliani singled her out for having an anti-Trump agenda. ..."
"... McKinley testified to impeachment investigators that he resigned over the State Department's unwillingness to support foreign service officers caught up in the Ukraine scandal and the apparent "utilization of our ambassadors overseas to advance domestic political objectives. ..."
Nov 04, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
On Monday, the House committees conducting impeachment inquiries into President Trump released transcripts of testimony from several witnesses, including former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and career diplomat and former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Michael McKinley.

Yovanovitch, who was removed from her post in May, testified that President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani led a campaign to oust her as ambassador over unsubstantiated allegations that she badmouthed the president and was seeking to stop Ukraine from opening an investigation into Joe Biden and his son. -Axios

Yovanovitch, who left her position in May, testified that she "assumed" Trump's lack of support for her stemmed from a "partnership" between Giuliani and Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko .

Last month, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan reportedly told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Trump recalled Yovanovitch after Giuliani singled her out for having an anti-Trump agenda.

Read Yovanovitch's testomony below:

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/433409580/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&show_recommendations=false&access_key=key-JW1O5jjytc6cN8EftFrK

McKinley:

McKinley testified to impeachment investigators that he resigned over the State Department's unwillingness to support foreign service officers caught up in the Ukraine scandal and the apparent "utilization of our ambassadors overseas to advance domestic political objectives." -Axios

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/433408331/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&show_recommendations=false&access_key=key-TmEgYTw2yLgo0YEDXYq f

[Nov 14, 2019] The Impeachment Pantomime by PATRICK LAWRENCE

Notable quotes:
"... Sperry quotes Fred Fleitz, a former National Security Council official, thus: "Everyone knows who he is. CNN knows. The Washington Post knows. The New York Times knows. Congress knows. The White house knows . They're hiding him because of his political bias." ..."
"... why have the corporate media declined to name him? There can be but one answer to this question: If Ciaramella's identity were publicized and his professional record exposed, the Ukrainegate narrative would instantly collapse into a second-rate vaudeville act -- farce by any other name, although "hoax" might do, even if Trump has made the term his own. ..."
"... There is another half to this burlesque. While Schiff and his House colleagues chicken-scratch for something, anything that may justify a formal impeachment, a clear, documented record emerges of Joe Biden's official interventions in Ukraine in behalf of Burisma Holdings, the gas company that named Hunter Biden to its board in March 2014 -- a month, it is worth noting, after the U.S.–cultivated coup in Kiev. ..."
Nov 12, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Ten days ago Real Clear Investigations suggested that the "whistleblower" whose "complaint" last August set the impeachment probe in motion was in all likelihood a CIA agent named Eric Ciaramella. And who is Eric Ciaramella? It turns out he is a young but seasoned Democratic Party apparatchik conducting his spookery on American soil.

Ciaramella has previously worked with Joe Biden during the latter's days as veep; with Susan Rice, Obama's recklessly hawkish national security adviser; with John Brennan, a key architect of the Russiagate edifice; as well as with Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-born Democratic National Committee official charged during the 2016 campaign season with digging up dirt on none other than candidate Donald Trump.

For good measure, Paul Sperry's perspicacious reporting in Real Clear Investigations reveals that Ciaramella conferred with the staff of Rep. Adam Schiff, the House Democrat leading the impeachment process, a month prior to filing his "complaint" to the CIA's inspector general.

This information comes after Schiff stated on the record that the staff of the House Intelligence Committee, which he heads, had no contact with the whistleblower. Schiff has since acknowledged the Ciaramella connection.

Phantom in Plain Sight

No wonder no one in Washington will name this phantom in plain sight. The impeachment probe starts to take on a certain reek. It starts to look as if contempt for Trump takes precedence over democratic process -- a dangerous priority. Sperry quotes Fred Fleitz, a former National Security Council official, thus: "Everyone knows who he is. CNN knows. The Washington Post knows. The New York Times knows. Congress knows. The White house knows . They're hiding him because of his political bias."

Here we come to another question. If everyone knows the whistleblower's identity, why have the corporate media declined to name him? There can be but one answer to this question: If Ciaramella's identity were publicized and his professional record exposed, the Ukrainegate narrative would instantly collapse into a second-rate vaudeville act -- farce by any other name, although "hoax" might do, even if Trump has made the term his own.

There is another half to this burlesque. While Schiff and his House colleagues chicken-scratch for something, anything that may justify a formal impeachment, a clear, documented record emerges of Joe Biden's official interventions in Ukraine in behalf of Burisma Holdings, the gas company that named Hunter Biden to its board in March 2014 -- a month, it is worth noting, after the U.S.–cultivated coup in Kiev.

There is no thought of scrutinizing Biden's activities by way of an official inquiry. In its way, this, too, reflects upon the pantomime of the impeachment probe. Are there sufficient grounds to open an investigation? Emphatically there are. Two reports published last week make this plain by any reasonable measure.

[Nov 13, 2019] Vindman in his opening remarks made it clear that the consensus policy of experts (like John Bolton) had been following an agenda from the Obama administration (or before, but implemented under Obama, Biden and Nuland) and it is verboten to change anything, despite these people at best only having advisory roles. The Ukrainian Americans involved in the coup are deeply committed since 2014, and they expect to reap the benefits and are probably much more corrupt than Ukrainians governing their country before 2014.

Notable quotes:
"... So the Ukrainians traded their corrupt Ukrainian elected President, mostly accumulating stuff in Ukraine, for corrupt neocon/ neolib Democrat bureaucrats and Ukrainian/ Americans, who now cannot be denied their pound of flesh (which will quickly exit Ukraine, taking much of that country's value with it). ..."
"... Even the anti-corruption agencies are corrupt! So American policy now is set by such bureaucrats, who not only play military adventurism games (to justify all that money in loans, grants, and weapons), but even pass the corruption level of the Native Ukrainians in skimming that incoming money and getting rich, and of course steal whatever isn't nailed down (American policy as previewed in "Confessions of an Economic Hitman"). ..."
Nov 13, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

michael , November 13, 2019 at 10:50

"to a one they are turf-conscious careerists who think they set U.S. foreign policy and resent the president for intruding upon them. It is increasingly evident that Trump's true offense is proposing to renovate a foreign policy framework that has been more or less untouched for 75 years (and is in dire need of renovation)."

This may be even worse than Lawrence depicts. It is clear that Vindman in his opening remarks made it clear that the consensus policy of experts (like John Bolton) had been following an agenda from the Obama administration (or before, but implemented under Obama, Biden and Nuland) and it is verboten to change anything, despite constitutionally these people at best only having advisory roles to the President (and constitutionally the President can ask for their opinions in writing; CYA even back then!) The Ukrainian Americans involved in the coup (national security from Vindman's perspective) are deeply committed since 2014, and they expect to reap the benefits with no interference from Trump. And the Democrats/ Ukraine-Americans "running the show" are probably much more corrupt than Ukrainians governing their country before 2014.

I have started Oliver Bullough's "Money Land" and was aghast at the luxury items Yanukovich had stolen through corruption and accumulated at his many properties. Surely with so much money going to corrupt Yanukovich and his henchmen, the coup would have been a blessing for the Ukrainian people! Right? I was shocked to find that after the overthrow of Yanukovich in 2014, the median per capita household income in Ukraine, which had risen steadily from $2032 in 2010 to $2601 in 2013, had dropped over 50% to $1110 to $1135 in 2015 and 2016, and has only risen to $1694 in 2018 (ceicdata.com).

So the Ukrainians traded their corrupt Ukrainian elected President, mostly accumulating stuff in Ukraine, for corrupt neocon/ neolib Democrat bureaucrats and Ukrainian/ Americans, who now cannot be denied their pound of flesh (which will quickly exit Ukraine, taking much of that country's value with it).

Even the anti-corruption agencies are corrupt! So American policy now is set by such bureaucrats, who not only play military adventurism games (to justify all that money in loans, grants, and weapons), but even pass the corruption level of the Native Ukrainians in skimming that incoming money and getting rich, and of course steal whatever isn't nailed down (American policy as previewed in "Confessions of an Economic Hitman").

[Nov 13, 2019] Neocon vipers nest in the State Department wants to destory Trump

Our wonderful "pro-democracy" diplomats and Ukrainian far right. An interesting alliance...
Nov 13, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The ambassadors' testimony:

"Meet the witnesses: Diplomats start off impeachment hearings" [Associated Press]. "Diplomats and career government officials, they're little known outside professional circles, but they're about to become household names testifying in the House impeachment inquiry . The witnesses will tell House investigators -- and Americans tuning into the live public hearings -- what they know about President Donald Trump's actions toward Ukraine First up will be William Taylor, the charge d'affaires in Ukraine, and George Kent, the deputy Assistant Secretary in the European and Eurasian Bureau, both testifying on Wednesday." • You can read the full article for the bios. First, William Taylor:

"Op-Ed in Novoye Vremya by CDA Taylor: Ukraine's Committed Partner" [ U.S. Embassy in Ukraine ]. From November 10, 2019, the penultimate paragraph. I've helpfully underlined the dogwhistles:

But as everyone who promotes democracy knows, strengthening and protecting democratic values is a constant process, requiring persistence and steady work by both officials and ordinary citizens. As in all democracies, including the United States, work remains in Ukraine, especially to strengthen rule of law and to hold accountable those who try to subvert Ukraine's structures to serve their personal aims, rather than the nation's interests .

It's kind of Taylor to let the Ukrainians know who's really in charge of foreign policy, isn't it? Now, Kent–

"George Kent Opening Statement At Impeachment Hearing: Concerned About "Politically-Motivated Investigations" [ RealClearPolitics ]. From the full text as prepare for delivery:

Ukraine's popular Revolution of Dignity in 2014 forced a corrupt pro-Russian leadership to flee to Moscow.

By analogy, the American colonies may not have prevailed against British imperial might without help from transatlantic friends after 1776. In an echo of Lafayette's organized assistance to General George Washington's army and Admiral John Paul Jones' navy , Congress has generously appropriated over $1.5 billion over the past five years in desperately needed train and equip security assistance to Ukraine.

Similar to von Steuben training colonials at Valley Forge, U.S. and NATO allied trainers develop the skills of Ukrainian units at Yavoriv near the Polish border, and elsewhere.

Are these people out of their minds? See, e.g., "America's Collusion With Neo-Nazis" [ The Nation ]:

Not even many Americans who follow international news know the following, for example:

That the snipers who killed scores of protestors and policemen on Kiev's Maidan Square in February 2014, thereby triggering a "democratic revolution" that overthrew the elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, and brought to power a virulent anti-Russian, pro-American regime -- it was neither democratic nor a revolution, but a violent coup unfolding in the streets with high-level support -- were sent not by Yanukovych, as is still widely reported, but instead almost certainly by the neofascist organization Right Sector and its co-conspirators.

§ That the pogrom-like burning to death of ethnic Russians and others in Odessa shortly later in 2014 reawakened memories of Nazi extermination squads in Ukraine during World War II has been all but deleted from the American mainstream narrative even though it remains a painful and revelatory experience for many Ukrainians.

(To be fair, the Ukrainian neo-Nazis we supported weren't slaveholders, unlike to many of our own Founders. So there's that.)

Off The Street , November 13, 2019 at 2:26 pm

The Hearings should be in a room that lets in sunlight, that universal disinfectant. Make the Front Row Kid Careerists sit by the windows.

Thus far, my main reaction is that the State Department needs to be shaken up to get rid of those entrenched FRK'ing Careerists and to bring in some accountability. Inspector General positions and functions should not be optional at the whim of some SoS or other.

Not change for its own sake, just bringing things out of the shadows. In keeping with my light theme, a Sunset Provision would help, too. That is one step toward eliminating the hearsay, innuendo and nonsense suppression of Due Process as that is anti-Constitutional. The people, including back-row, dropouts and all, deserve better from their government.

[Nov 13, 2019] The Impeachment Pantomime - A Primer

Notable quotes:
"... Will the Democratic Party, this time in open collusion with the intelligence apparatus, succeed in its second attempt to depose President Donald Trump in what might fairly be called a bloodless coup? Whatever the outcome of the thus-far-farcical impeachment probe, which is to be conducted publicly as of Wednesday, did the president use his office to pressure Ukraine in behalf of his own personal and political interests? Did Trump, in his fateful telephone conversation last July 25 with Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine's president, put U.S. national security at risk, as is alleged? ..."
"... All good questions. Here is another: Will Joe Biden, at present the leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, get away with what is almost certain to prove his gross corruption and gross abuse of office when he carried the Ukraine portfolio while serving as vice president under Barack Obama? ..."
"... Ciaramella has previously worked with Joe Biden during the latter's days as veep; with Susan Rice, Obama's recklessly hawkish national security adviser; with John Brennan, a key architect of the Russiagate edifice; as well as with Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-born Democratic National Committee official charged during the 2016 campaign season with digging up dirt on none other than candidate Donald Trump. ..."
"... Here we come to another question. If everyone knows the whistleblower's identity, why have the corporate media declined to name him? There can be but one answer to this question: If Ciaramella's identity were publicized and his professional record exposed, the Ukrainegate narrative would instantly collapse into a second-rate vaudeville act -- farce by any other name, although "hoax" might do, even if Trump has made the term his own. ..."
"... There is another half to this burlesque. While Schiff and his House colleagues chicken-scratch for something, anything that may justify a formal impeachment, a clear, documented record emerges of Joe Biden's official interventions in Ukraine in behalf of Burisma Holdings, the gas company that named Hunter Biden to its board in March 2014 -- a month, it is worth noting, after the U.S.–cultivated coup in Kiev. ..."
"... There is no thought of scrutinizing Biden's activities by way of an official inquiry. In its way, this, too, reflects upon the pantomime of the impeachment probe. Are there sufficient grounds to open an investigation? Emphatically there are. Two reports published last week make this plain by any reasonable measure. ..."
Nov 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Now that "Russiagate" has failed and " Ukrainegate " neatly takes its place, many questions arise.

Will the Democratic Party, this time in open collusion with the intelligence apparatus, succeed in its second attempt to depose President Donald Trump in what might fairly be called a bloodless coup? Whatever the outcome of the thus-far-farcical impeachment probe, which is to be conducted publicly as of Wednesday, did the president use his office to pressure Ukraine in behalf of his own personal and political interests? Did Trump, in his fateful telephone conversation last July 25 with Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine's president, put U.S. national security at risk, as is alleged?

All good questions. Here is another: Will Joe Biden, at present the leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, get away with what is almost certain to prove his gross corruption and gross abuse of office when he carried the Ukraine portfolio while serving as vice president under Barack Obama?

Corollary line of inquiry: Will the corporate media, The New York Times in the lead, get away with self-censoring what is now irrefutable evidence of the impeachment probe's various frauds and corruptions? Ditto in the Biden case: Can the Times and the media that faithfully follow its lead continue to disregard accumulating circumstantial evidence of Biden's guilt as he appears to have acted in the interest of his son Hunter while the latter sat on the board of one of Ukraine's largest privately held natural gas producers?

Innuendo & Interference

It is not difficult to imagine that Trump presented Zelensky with his famous quid pro quo when they spoke last summer: Open an investigation into Biden père et fils and I will release $391 million in military aid and invite you to the White House. Trump seems to be no stranger to abuses of power of this sort. But the impeachment probe has swiftly run up against the same problem that sank the good ship Russiagate: It has produced no evidence. Innuendo and inference, yes. Various syllogisms, yes. But no evidence.

There is none in the transcript of the telephone exchange. Zelensky has flatly stated that there was no quid pro quo. The witnesses so far called to testify have had little to offer other than their personal opinions, even if Capitol Hill Democrats pretend these testimonies are prima facie damning. And the witnesses are to one or another degree of questionable motives: To a one, they appear to be Russophobes who favor military aid to Ukraine; to a one they are turf-conscious careerists who think they set U.S. foreign policy and resent the president for intruding upon them. It is increasingly evident that Trump's true offense is proposing to renovate a foreign policy framework that has been more or less untouched for 75 years (and is in dire need of renovation).

Ten days ago Real Clear Investigations suggested that the "whistleblower" whose "complaint" last August set the impeachment probe in motion was in all likelihood a CIA agent named Eric Ciaramella. And who is Eric Ciaramella? It turns out he is a young but seasoned Democratic Party apparatchik conducting his spookery on American soil.

Ciaramella has previously worked with Joe Biden during the latter's days as veep; with Susan Rice, Obama's recklessly hawkish national security adviser; with John Brennan, a key architect of the Russiagate edifice; as well as with Alexandra Chalupa, a Ukrainian-born Democratic National Committee official charged during the 2016 campaign season with digging up dirt on none other than candidate Donald Trump.

For good measure, Paul Sperry's perspicacious reporting in Real Clear Investigations reveals that Ciaramella conferred with the staff of Rep. Adam Schiff, the House Democrat leading the impeachment process, a month prior to filing his "complaint" to the CIA's inspector general.

This information comes after Schiff stated on the record that the staff of the House Intelligence Committee, which he heads, had no contact with the whistleblower. Schiff has since acknowledged the Ciaramella connection.

Phantom in Plain Sight

No wonder no one in Washington will name this phantom in plain sight. The impeachment probe starts to take on a certain reek. It starts to look as if contempt for Trump takes precedence over democratic process -- a dangerous priority. Sperry quotes Fred Fleitz, a former National Security Council official, thus: "Everyone knows who he is. CNN knows. The Washington Post knows. The New York Times knows. Congress knows. The White house knows . They're hiding him because of his political bias."

Here we come to another question. If everyone knows the whistleblower's identity, why have the corporate media declined to name him? There can be but one answer to this question: If Ciaramella's identity were publicized and his professional record exposed, the Ukrainegate narrative would instantly collapse into a second-rate vaudeville act -- farce by any other name, although "hoax" might do, even if Trump has made the term his own.

There is another half to this burlesque. While Schiff and his House colleagues chicken-scratch for something, anything that may justify a formal impeachment, a clear, documented record emerges of Joe Biden's official interventions in Ukraine in behalf of Burisma Holdings, the gas company that named Hunter Biden to its board in March 2014 -- a month, it is worth noting, after the U.S.–cultivated coup in Kiev.

There is no thought of scrutinizing Biden's activities by way of an official inquiry. In its way, this, too, reflects upon the pantomime of the impeachment probe. Are there sufficient grounds to open an investigation? Emphatically there are. Two reports published last week make this plain by any reasonable measure.

'Bursimagate'

John Solomon, a singularly competent follower of Russiagate and Ukrainegate, published a report last Monday exposing Hunter Biden's extensive contacts with the Obama State Department in the early months of 2016. Two developments were pending at the time. They lie at the heart of what we may well call "Burismagate."

One, the Obama administration had committed to providing Ukraine with $1 billion in loan guarantees. In a December 2015 address to the Rada, Ukraine's legislature, V–P Biden withheld an apparently planned announcement of the credit facility.

Two, coincident with Hunter Biden's numerous conferences at the State Department, Ukraine's prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin, was swiftly advancing a corruption investigation into Burisma's oligarchic owner, Mykola Zlochevsky, who was by early 2016 living in exile. Just prior to Biden's spate of visits to Foggy Bottom, Shokin had confiscated several of Zlochevsky's properties -- a clear sign that he was closing in. Joe Biden wanted Shokin fired. He is, of course, famously on the record boasting of his threat [starts at 52.00 in video below]to withhold the loan guarantee as a means to getting this done. Shokin was in short order dismissed, and the loan guarantee went through.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q0_AqpdwqK4

Solomon documents his report with memos he obtained via the Freedom of Information Act earlier this year. These add significantly to the picture. "Hunter Biden and his Ukrainian gas firm colleagues had multiple contacts with the Obama State Department during the 2016 election cycle," he writes, "including one just a month before Vice President Joe Biden forced Ukraine to fire the prosecutor investigating his son's company for corruption."

Last Tuesday, a day after Solomon published his report, Moon of Alabama , the much-followed web publication, posted a granularly researched and well-sourced timeline of the events surrounding Shokin's dismissal at Vice President Biden's request. This is the most complete chronology of the Burismagate story yet available.

In an ethical judicial system, it or something like it would now sit on a prosecutor's desk. There is no suggestion in the Moon of Alabama's timeline that Shokin had shelved his investigation into Burisma by the time Biden exerted pressure to get him sacked, as Biden's defenders assert. Just the opposite appears to be the true case: The timeline indicates Shokin was about to pounce. Indeed Shokin said so under oath in an Austrian court case, testifying that he was fired because of Biden's pressure not to conduct the probe.

It is important to note that there is no conclusive evidence that Joe Biden misused his office in behalf of his son's business interests simply because there has been no investigation. Given what is beginning to emerge, however, the need for one can no longer be in doubt. Can Democrats and the media obscure indefinitely what now amounts to very strong circumstantial evidence against Biden?

We live in a time when the corporate media make as much effort to hide information as they do to report it. But as in the case of Ciaramella's identity, it is unlikely these myriad omissions can be sustained indefinitely -- especially if Biden wins the Democratic nomination next year. Forecast: If only because of Burismagate, Joe Biden will never be president.

As everyone in Washington seems to understand, it is highly unlikely Trump will be ousted via an impeachment trial: The Republican-controlled Senate can be counted on to keep him in office. Whatever Trump got up to with Zelensky, there is little chance it will prove sufficient to drive him from office. As to the charge that Trump's dealings with the Ukrainian president threatened national security, let us allow this old chestnut to speak for itself.

Price of Irresponsible Theatrics

This leaves us to reckon the price our troubled republic will pay for months of irresponsible theatrics that are more or less preordained to lead nowhere.

More questions. What damage will the Democrats have done when Ukrainegate draws to a close (assuming it does at some point)? What harm has come to U.S. political institutions, governing bodies, judiciary and media? The corporate press has been profligately careless of its already questionable credibility during the years of Russiagate and now Ukrainegate. Can anyone argue there is no lasting price to pay for this?

More urgently, what do the past three years of incessant efforts to unseat a president tell us about the power of unelected constituencies? The CIA is now openly operating on American soil in clear breach of its charter and U.S. law. There is absolutely no way this can be questioned. We must now contemplate the frightening similarities Russiagate and Ukrainegate share with the agency's classic coup operations abroad: Commandeering the media, stirring discontent with the leadership, pumping up the opposition, waving false flags, incessant disinformation campaigns: Maybe it was fated that what America has been doing abroad the whole of the postwar era would eventually come home.

What, at last, must we conclude about the ability of any president (of any stripe) to effect authentic change when our administrative state -- "deep," if you like -- opposes it?

USAllDay , 35 seconds ago link

Impeachment less than year before an election is a bitch move and everybody knows it.

[Nov 13, 2019] Ilargi Vindman, the Expert

Notable quotes:
"... I might have to disagree with Vindman being labelled 'a bureaucrat among bureaucrats'. I would judge that his allegiances lay elsewhere and by that I do not mean the dual loyalty to the Ukraine, even though he appears to be acting in the roll of Kiev's man in Washington. I suppose that you would say that he is a member of the deep state and the policies that they formulate with little regard to who is in power. ..."
"... Burisma is just one of numerous examples of the payoffs and shady deals that poison the American political system and disgust citizens. Schiff has been given the impossible task of trying to defend that against mounting evidence of corruption. How can he or anyone else rationalize that little gas board activity, or countless others including those benefiting those people related to elected officials across the aisle. ..."
"... One of the wonderful aspects of Empire is that you get to house all the right-wing exiles from around the world. Whether it's Batista-ites from Cuba, Curveballs from Iraq, rich, right-wing "refugees" from Chavismo in South America or Ukrainians like Vindman. They're happy to use the host country to further a color revolution back home, and the CIA is happy to use them as cover for another Empire resource grab. ..."
Nov 13, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Ilargi: Vindman, the Expert Posted on November 13, 2019 by Yves Smith Yves here. While the main source for this piece on Alexander Vindman is Byron York of the Washington Examiner, bear in mind that the Examiner is a non-crazy right-leaning site and has even broken some important stories. It is telling that there are so few people on the left who have the patience and constitutional fortitude to pick through the impeachment evidence carefully, see what it amounts to and withstand the vitriol if what they find is not what Team Dem insists is there.

And that's before we get to our regular lament: why are the Dems choosing a line of inquiry which is a hairball (albeit less of one than Russiagate) and also has the Dems taking the position that the President is not in charge of foreign policy, and should defer to the CIA and other non-accountable insiders? Why not go after emoluments, which is in the Constitution as a Presidential no-no, where Trump has clearly abused repeatedly (you need go no further than the guest list in his DC hotel) and therefore easy to prove, and would have the added benefit of allowing Team Dem to rummage around in his finances?

By Raúl Ilargi Meijer, editor of Automatic Earth. Originally published at Automatic Earth

Let's see what shape I can give this. I was reading a piece by Byron York that has the first good read-out I've seen of the October 29 deposition by Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, self-labeled no. 1 Ukraine expert at the National Security Counsel, and I want to share that in a summarized form, with my comments. There'll be some longer quotes though. And I know there are people who may not like York, but just skip his opinions and focus on the facts then.

Overall, Vindman comes across to me as a bureaucrat among bureaucrats, who also appears to be on the edge what we think of when we mention the Deep State. And who seems to think his views and opinions trump Trump's own. ".. his greatest worry was that if the Trump-Zelensky conversation were made public, then Ukraine might lose the bipartisan support it currently has in Congress."

A US President is elected to determine foreign policy, but Vindman doesn't like things that way. He wants the policy to be set by people like him. It brings to mind Nikki Haley saying that Tillerson and Kelly wanted her to disobey the President, because they felt they knew better. That slide is mighty slippery. And unconstitutional too.

And the suspicion that Vindman's report of the call may be what set off "whistleblowing" CIA agent Eric Ciaramella is more alive after the testimony than before. But, conveniently, his name may not be spoken. For pete's sake, Vindman Even Testified He Advised Ukrainians to Ignore Trump .

Here's Byron York:

Democrats Have A Colonel Vindman Problem

House Democrats conducted their impeachment interviews in secret, but Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman still emerged as star of the show. Appearing at his Oct. 29 deposition in full dress uniform, the decorated Army officer, now a White House National Security Council Ukraine expert, was the first witness who had actually listened to the phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that is at the heart of the Democratic impeachment campaign. Even though lawmakers were forbidden to discuss his testimony in public, Vindman's leaked opening statement that "I did not think it was proper [for Trump] to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen" exploded on news reports.

Here are four problems with the Vindman testimony:

1) Beyond his opinions, he had few new facts to offer.

[..] Indeed, Vindman attested to the overall accuracy of the rough transcript, contrary to some impeachment supporters who have suggested the White House is hiding an exact transcript that would reveal everything Trump said to the Ukrainian president. As one of a half-dozen White House note-takers listening to the call, Vindman testified that he tried unsuccessfully to make a few edits to the rough transcript as it was being prepared. In particular, Vindman believed that Zelensky specifically said the word "Burisma," the corrupt Ukrainian energy company that hired Hunter Biden, when the rough transcript referred only to "the company." But beyond that, Vindman had no problems with the transcript, and he specifically said he did not believe any changes were made with ill intent.

"You don't think there was any malicious intent to specifically not add those edits?" asked Republican counsel Steve Castor. "I don't think so." "So otherwise, this record is complete and I think you used the term 'very accurate'?" "Yes," said Vindman. Once Vindman had vouched for the rough transcript, his testimony mostly concerned his own interpretation of Trump's words. And that interpretation, as Vindman discovered during questioning, was itself open to interpretation. Vindman said he was "concerned" about Trump's statements to Zelensky, so concerned that he reported it to top National Security Council lawyer John Eisenberg. (Vindman had also reported concerns to Eisenberg two weeks before the Trump-Zelensky call, after a Ukraine-related meeting that included Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.)

Vindman said several times that he was not a lawyer and did not know if Trump's words amounted to a crime but that he felt they were "wrong." That was when Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe, a former U.S. attorney, tried to get to the root of Vindman's concerns. What was really bothering him? "I'm trying to find out if you were reporting it because you thought there was something wrong with respect to policy or there was something wrong with respect to the law," Ratcliffe said to Vindman. "And what I understand you to say is that you weren't certain that there was anything improper with respect to the law, but you had concerns about U.S. policy. Is that a fair characterization?"

"So I would recharacterize it as I thought it was wrong and I was sharing those views," Vindman answered. "And I was deeply concerned about the implications for bilateral relations, U.S. national security interests, in that if this was exposed, it would be seen as a partisan play by Ukraine. It loses the bipartisan support. And then for -- " "I understand that," Ratcliffe said, "but that sounds like a policy reason, not a legal reason." Indeed it did.

Elsewhere in Vindman's testimony, he repeated that his greatest worry was that if the Trump-Zelensky conversation were made public, then Ukraine might lose the bipartisan support it currently has in Congress. That, to Ratcliffe and other Republicans, did not seem a sufficient reason to report the call to the NSC's top lawyer, nor did it seem the basis to begin a process leading to impeachment and a charge of presidential high crimes or misdemeanors.

So Vindman was so concerned that he contacted the National Security Council (NSC) top lawyer, John Eisenberg. However, when John Ratcliffe asked Vindman: "I'm trying to find out if you were reporting it because you thought there was something wrong with respect to policy or there was something wrong with respect to the law.." , it turns out, it was about policy, not the law. So why did he contact Eisenberg? He doesn't know the difference, or pretends he doesn't know? Moreover, Eisenberg's not the only person Vindman contacted. There were lots of others. And remember, this is sensitive material. Vindman was listening in on the President's phone call with a foreign leader, in itself a strange event. Presidents and PM's should be able to expect confidentiality.

2) Vindman withheld important information from investigators.

Vindman ended his opening statement in the standard way, by saying, "Now, I would be happy to answer your questions." As it turned out, that cooperation did not extend to both parties.

The only news in Vindman's testimony was the fact that he had twice taken his concerns to Eisenberg. He also told his twin brother, Yevgeny Vindman, who is also an Army lieutenant colonel and serves as a National Security Council lawyer. He also told another NSC official, John Erath, and he gave what he characterized as a partial readout of the call to George Kent, a career State Department official who dealt with Ukraine. That led to an obvious question: Did Vindman take his concerns to anyone else? Did he discuss the Trump-Zelensky call with anyone else? It was a reasonable question, and an important one. Republicans asked it time and time again. Vindman refused to answer, with his lawyer, Michael Volkov, sometimes belligerently joining in. Through it all, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff stood firm in favor of keeping his committee in the dark.

[..] Vindman openly conceded that he told other people about the call. The obvious suspicion from Republicans was that Vindman told the person who became the whistleblower, who reported the call to the Intelligence Community inspector general, and who, in a carefully crafted legal document, framed the issue in a way that Democrats have adopted in their drive to remove the president from office. Vindman addressed the suspicion before anyone raised it. In his opening statement, he said, "I am not the whistleblower I do not know who the whistleblower is and I would not feel comfortable to speculate as to the identity of the whistleblower."

Fine, said Republicans. We won't ask you who the whistleblower is. But if your story is that you were so concerned by the Trump-Zelensky issue that you reported it to Eisenberg, and also to others, well, who all did you tell? That is when the GOP hit a brick wall from Vindman, his lawyer Volkov, and, most importantly, Schiff. As chairman of the Intelligence Committee, charged with overseeing the intelligence community, Schiff might normally want to know about any intelligence community involvement in the matter under investigation. But in the Vindman deposition, Schiff strictly forbade any questions about it. "Can I just caution again," he said at one point, "not to go into names of people affiliated with the IC in any way." The purpose of it all was to protect the identity of the whistleblower, who Schiff incorrectly claimed has "a statutory right to anonymity."

Schiff's role is beyond curious. Sometimes you think he's the boy with his finger in the dike, mighty fearful that it could break at any moment. But then Vindman's lawyer jumps in as well:

That left Republicans struggling to figure out what happened. "I'm just trying to better understand who the universe of people the concerns were expressed to," said Castor. "Look, the reason we're objecting is not -- we don't want -- my client does not want to be in the position of being used to identifying the whistleblower, okay?" said Volkov. "And based on the chair's ruling, as I understand it, [Vindman] is not required to answer any question that would tend to identify an intelligence officer."

[..] Vindman's basic answer was: I won't tell you because that's a secret. After several such exchanges, Volkov got tough with lawmakers, suggesting further inquiries might hurt Vindman's feelings. "Look, he came here," Volkov said. "He came here. He tells you he's not the whistleblower, okay? He says he feels uncomfortable about it. Try to respect his feelings at this point." An unidentified voice spoke up. "We're uncomfortable impeaching the president," it said. "Excuse me. Excuse me," Volkov responded. "If you want to debate it, we can debate it, but what I'm telling you right now is you have to protect the identity of the whistleblower. I get that there may be political overtones. You guys go do what you got to do, but do not put this man in the middle of it."

Castor spoke up. "So how does it out anyone by saying that he had one other conversation other than the one he had with George Kent?" "Okay," said Volkov. "What I'm telling you right now is we're not going to answer that question. If the chair wants to hold him in contempt for protecting the whistleblower, God be with you. You don't need this. You don't need to go down this. And look, you guys can -- if you want to ask, you can ask -- you can ask questions about his conversation with Mr. Kent. That's it. We're not answering any others." "The only conversation that we can speak to Col. Vindman about is his conversation with Ambassador Kent?" asked Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin. "Correct," said Volkov, "and you've already asked him questions about it."

"And any other conversation that he had with absolutely anyone else is off limits?" "No," said Volkov. "He's told you about his conversations with people in the National Security Council. What you're asking him to do is talk about conversations outside the National Security Council. And he's not going to do that. I know where you're going." "No, actually, you don't," said Zeldin. "Oh, yes, sir," said Volkov. "No, you really don't," said Zeldin. "You know what?" said Volkov. "I know what you're going to say. I already know what you're going to do, okay? And I don't want to hear the FOX News questions, okay?"

[..] It should be noted that Volkov was a lawyer, and members of Congress were members of Congress. The lawyer should not be treating the lawmakers as Volkov did. Volkov was able to tell Republicans to buzz off only because he had Schiff's full support . And Republicans never found out who else Vindman discussed the Trump-Zelensky call with.

Looking at this, you get to wonder what the role is of GOP lawmakers, and why anyone would want to be one. Their peers across the aisle pretend they can tell them exactly what and what not to do or say. Is that why they are elected? I couldn't find one question or even word in here that would be labeled unfitting, or out of place, or aggressive or anything like that. But even then, they hit a brick wall.

So what makes Vindman the expert on Ukraine? I get the idea that it's his compliance with whatever anyone says is the desired and required policy, and in this case, what is not. He certainly doesn't appear to know everything. Maybe that's because he left the country at age three.

3) There were notable gaps in Vindman's knowledge.

Vindman portrayed himself as the man to see on the National Security Council when it came to issues involving Ukraine. "I'm the director for Ukraine," he testified. "I'm responsible for Ukraine. I'm the most knowledgeable. I'm the authority for Ukraine for the National Security Council and the White House." Yet at times there were striking gaps in Vindman's knowledge of the subject matter. He seemed, for instance, distinctly incurious about the corruption issues in Ukraine that touched on Joe and Hunter Biden.

Vindman agreed with everyone that Ukraine has a serious corruption problem. But he knew little specifically about Burisma, the nation's second-largest privately owned energy company, and even less about Mykola Zlochevsky, the oligarch who runs the firm. "What do you know about Zlochevsky, the oligarch that controls Burisma?" asked Castor. "I frankly don't know a huge amount," Vindman said. "Are you aware that he's a former Minister of Ecology"? Castor asked, referring to a position Zlochevsky allegedly used to steer valuable government licenses to Burisma. "I'm not," said Vindman.

"Are you aware of any of the investigations the company has been involved with over the last several years?" "I am aware that Burisma does have questionable business dealings," Vindman said. "That's part of the track record, yes." "Okay. And what questionable business dealings are you aware of?" asked Castor. Vindman said he did not know beyond generalities. "The general answer is I think they have had questionable business dealings," Vindman said.

[..] Vindman had other blind spots, as well. One important example concerned U.S. provision of so-called lethal aid to Ukraine, specifically anti-tank missiles known as Javelins. The Obama administration famously refused to provide Javelins or other lethal aid to Ukraine, while the Trump administration reversed that policy, sending a shipment of missiles in 2018. On the Trump-Zelensky call, the two leaders discussed another shipment in the future. "Both those parts of the call, the request for investigation of Crowd Strike and those issues, and the request for investigation of the Bidens, both of those discussions followed the Ukraine president saying they were ready to buy more Javelins. Is that right?" asked Schiff.

"Yes," said Vindman. "There was a prior shipment of Javelins to Ukraine, wasn't there?" said Schiff. "So that was, I believe -- I apologize if the timing is incorrect -- under the previous administration, there was a -- I'm aware of the transfer of a fairly significant number of Javelins, yes," Vindman said. Vindman's timing was incorrect. Part of the entire Trump-Ukraine story is the fact that Trump sent the missiles while Obama did not. The top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council did not seem to know that.

York goes on to explain just how much of a bureaucrat Vindman is, as exemplified by things like "..there's a fairly consensus policy within the interagency towards Ukraine," . The "interagency" doesn't set -foreign- policy, the President does.

4) Vindman was a creature of a bureaucracy that has often opposed President Trump.

One of his favorite words is "interagency," by which he means the National Security Council's role in coordinating policy among the State Department, Defense Department, the Intelligence Community, the Treasury Department, and the White House. [..] He says things such as, "So I hold at my level sub-PCCs, Deputy Assistant Secretary level. PCCs are my boss, senior director with Assistant Secretaries. DCs are with the deputy of the National Security Council with his deputy counterparts within the interagency." He believes the interagency has set a clear U.S. policy toward Ukraine. "You said in your opening statement, or you indicated at least, that there's a fairly consensus policy within the interagency towards Ukraine," Democratic counsel Daniel Goldman said to Vindman.

"Could you just explain what that consensus policy is, in your own words?" "What I can tell you is, over the course of certainly my tenure there, since July 2018, the interagency, as per normal procedures, assembles under the NSPM-4, the National Security Policy [sic] Memorandum 4, process to coordinate U.S. government policy," Vindman said. "We, over the course of this past year, probably assembled easily a dozen times, certainly at my level, which is called a subpolicy coordinating committee -- and that's myself and my counterparts at the Deputy Assistant Secretary level -- to discuss our views on Ukraine."

The "interagency" doesn't set policy, the President does -and with him perhaps the House and Senate. But not an alphabet soup of agencies.

I've said it before, and I fear I may have to say it again, this is a show trial. And no, it's not even a trial, that happens next in the Senate. Jonathan Turley said the other day that he thinks Nancy Pelosi wants a quick -before Christmas- resolution to the House part, but I'm not convinced.

The reason is that the Democrats lose the director's chair once this moves to the Senate. They can't silence the Republicans there the same way Adam Schiff does it in the House. Pelosi herself said in March that impeachment MUST be a bipartisan effort. It's unclear why she abandoned that position in August, but I think it could be panic, and that it was the worst move she could have made.

Because this thing in its present shape is unwinnable. To impeach Trump, the Dems would need Republican votes. But how could they possibly get those when they lock out the Republicans of the entire process?


Eustache de Saint Pierre , November 13, 2019 at 4:45 am

I certainly have no legal expertise & knowledge relating to what it takes to impeach a president, but it does all strike be as being pretty threadbare & if it it all falls apart only likely to strengthen Trump's support. I get the feeling that the only truly smart thing about these people is in their ability to constantly fill their rice bowls & perhaps we need an extra definition for that word.

Smart :

adj. Having or showing intelligence; bright. synonym: intelligent.
adj. Canny and shrewd in dealings with others.

IMO, I also don't believe that the above applies to gadgets, apps or whatever.

Ignacio , November 13, 2019 at 5:13 am

I always think of something similar to your second definition when I hear/read that someone is smart. It is a subclass of self-serving intelligence. If I put myself in Vindman's position, what would I do? What would be smart and what would be on the general interest?. His actions reflect where he feels his obligations belong and it shows clearly he was "obligued" to the interagency, not to the President. It is not clear to me if he thougth that the interagency represents, better than the president, the interest of the US or if he was being smart and thinking of his own career within the interagency.

The Rev Kev , November 13, 2019 at 5:12 am

I might have to disagree with Vindman being labelled 'a bureaucrat among bureaucrats'. I would judge that his allegiances lay elsewhere and by that I do not mean the dual loyalty to the Ukraine, even though he appears to be acting in the roll of Kiev's man in Washington. I suppose that you would say that he is a member of the deep state and the policies that they formulate with little regard to who is in power. That is the thing about these hearings. The moment that the Republicans pull at a loose thread of this narrative, the Democrats stomp on it before it goes any further. But the connections are all there on record and can be followed up. Here are some examples.

Burisma, who is at the heart of this whole matter, has been giving the Atlantic Council $100,000 a year for the past three years which is deep state central. You can see their name in the $100,000 – $249,999 section at https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/support-the-council/honor-roll-of-contributors/ and is just below the British Consulate General Istanbul and two entries above CNN. Burisma "also reimbursed speaker travel and event costs, which amounted to around [$50,000 to $70,000] per year." One of the staffers that went there was Thomas Eager who worked for Schiff's Intelligence Committee, and the group at one point met with Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine. Bill Taylor is now one of the main witnesses.
If any sort of proper investigations start then it will open up all these people and their connections and the lucrative payments that they have been receiving from places like Burisma. Maybe when this case first came up the DNC thought that this was an impeachment case to die for but they may very well get their wish. It is all there online and it does not take much to find a very dubious group of people, organizations and companies with it seems the Atlantic Council acting as some sort of clearing house. Below is just one article talking about some of this stuff as an example-

https://sports.yahoo.com/ukrainian-energy-company-tied-to-hunter-biden-supported-american-think-tank-paid-for-trips-015132322.html

Off The Street , November 13, 2019 at 9:13 am

Burisma is just one of numerous examples of the payoffs and shady deals that poison the American political system and disgust citizens. Schiff has been given the impossible task of trying to defend that against mounting evidence of corruption. How can he or anyone else rationalize that little gas board activity, or countless others including those benefiting those people related to elected officials across the aisle.

That defense of the widespread corruption permeating the DC culture is the real subject of Schiff's fool's errand. When he fails, that will set back whatever good works the Dems have been trying to accomplish, and undermine what remains of an alleged two-party system. That is the Hill upon which he has been sent to die.

divadab , November 13, 2019 at 5:18 am

How can the Party that inflicted Christine Blasey Ford on us and turned a Supreme Court nomination into a Jerry Springer show demean the institutions of the Republic further into disrepute? With this going nowhere piece of political theater.

What a crock of Schiff.

voteforno6 , November 13, 2019 at 5:42 am

I have a hard time believing that any Lieutenant Colonel could be sufficiently high enough in the food chain to have any impact on policy. I wonder if people are focusing on him too much, at the expense of what's really going on here.

This isn't just a matter of the bureaucracy at odds with the President – it's also Congress. Despite what many people seem to think, the President does not have carte blanche in the conduct of foreign policy. Congress passed legislation to provide military assistance to Ukraine. The President does not have the authority to decide on his own on whether to execute that legislation or not. Unless there are conditions attached to that legislation, or previously existing, the President cannot attach conditions of his own to that legislation.

The U.S. system of government, as clearly envisioned by the founders, was set up with the legislative branch to have more power than either the executive or judicial. Only Congress can initiate legislation, and if the President vetoes it, Congress has the power to override that veto. You can argue the merits of providing military assistance to the Ukraine (which I personally think is a bad idea), but Congress did approve of it in accordance with the Constitution. Trump withholding that assistance most likely did not. There are a lot of bad actors on both sides of this controversy, but that doesn't mean that there aren't certain principles worth defending. In my mind, Congress reasserting itself over the President is an important enough principle to support impeachment (assuming they make their case). Long term, such a position could also be used to reign in the blob.

Lambert Strether , November 13, 2019 at 5:44 am

I'm Alexander, this is my brother, Yevgeny, and this is my other brother, Yevgeny.

Henry Moon Pie , November 13, 2019 at 6:08 am

One of the wonderful aspects of Empire is that you get to house all the right-wing exiles from around the world. Whether it's Batista-ites from Cuba, Curveballs from Iraq, rich, right-wing "refugees" from Chavismo in South America or Ukrainians like Vindman. They're happy to use the host country to further a color revolution back home, and the CIA is happy to use them as cover for another Empire resource grab.

Trump has been getting in the way.

David , November 13, 2019 at 7:07 am

What I find amusing about all this is that there is an influential school of American political science writing going back to Huntington and Janowitz which shows an almost paranoid distrust of career military officers and their potential impact on policy, and advocates their close "control" by civilian political authorities to prevent them influencing government too much. Now, suddenly, every General who ever led a military coup because they feared that the government was doing things that were bad for the country will be feeling retrospectively justified. The position in any democracy is quite clear: the government makes the decisions in the context of existing laws, including the Constitution. Government officials, in uniform or not, are not there to substitute their judgement of the interests of the country for the judgement of the political leadership.

Carolinian , November 13, 2019 at 9:03 am

One might even entertain the suspicion that the reason so many keep accusing Trump of fascism is that they keep flirting with it themselves. That "interagency consensus" thing is much scarier than Trump and indeed some of his more despicable moves –Venezuela, Bolivia(?)–may track back to that very source. Some of us have long thought that what the USG does in Latin America is what they would like to do here if they could get away with it. The previous Clinton impeachment, Bush v Gore, the media's lockstep approval of imperialistic militaristic "narratives," the wild, over the top rejection of Trump's defeat of Hillary–all show a deep contempt for the democratic process by both parties. Letting military or IC figures opine on policy is part of this. How long before some general tells Trump he should resign to "restore order"?

Watt4Bob , November 13, 2019 at 8:44 am

These Deep-Staters, who aren't so deep anymore, remind me of those Japanese theatre stage hands that dress in black and by convention, are invisible to the audience, even though they move about the stage in plain sight.

They've gradually become more and more visible, what with color revolutions abroad, and election fraud at home, and finally, one would hope, they are throwing a tantrum, insisting not only that they are still ' invisible' but that their efforts to pull off regime change here at home are legitimate.

Which reminds me of a good friend's definition of a politician;

"A politician is a person who would try to steal a red-hot stove with their bare hands."

[Nov 13, 2019] In Washington you are judged by the men you've destroyed. By this criteria Trump is a weakling

Nov 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

Wilberweld says: November 7, 2019 at 2:11 pm GMT 100 Words Trump's problem was described in simple terms by John Connelly when talking with Henry Kissinger. "Henry", he said, "In Washington you are judged by the men you've destroyed". Trump has not destroyed anyone, not Comey, not Brennan, not Klapper. So he is viewed as weak, an easy target. So they just keep piling on. Attacking Trump is viewed as a "penalty-free activity

[Nov 13, 2019] CIA emerged as a Political Party

Notable quotes:
"... this impeachment isn't directed at Trump at all, it's about undermining the rising left-wing opposition in the Democratic party. They are plausibly on the verge of seizing the party agenda away from the neo-liberal consensus of the Clinton-Obama decades -- with issues like universal public health-care and equitable taxes. They've even found ways to fund campaigns without bowing to the corporate gods. ..."
"... Political parties are nothing more than gangs. To me, the Dems are like the Gambinos and the Repoops are like the Genovese. And they hate it when someone from outside their domain comes and disrupt their racket, when things are going smooth. ..."
"... To me Trump is like the mobster Joe Gallo, killed at Umberto's clam house in NYC. Gallo was a big shot, talked loud and fast, and wanted to start his own racket. And the other crime families would not let him do that. So they whacked him. The same thing both Dems and Repoops are trying to do with Trump. And yes Repoops don't like Trump, as in the latest from Drudge, that the Repoops are split when it comes to impeachment. ..."
"... Apropòs the articles about the 'deep state' meddling in US domestic politics, here's an oldie but a goodie from the World Socialist Web Site: The CIA Democrats . ..."
"... "The Mueller investigation has thus ultimately ended up prosecuting people for telling the same pack of lies that Mueller himself was pushing. The Clinton media, including CNN, the Washington Post and New York Times, are baffled by this. They follow the Stone trial assiduously from delight in seeing a long term Trump hanger-on brought down, and in the hope something will come out about Wikileaks or Russia. Their reporting, as that of the BBC, has been deliberately vague on why Stone is being charged, contriving to leave their audience with the impression that Stone's trial proves Trump connections to Wikileaks and Russia, when in fact it proves the precise opposite. A fact you will never learn from the mainstream media. Which is why I am doing this at 2am on a very cold Edinburgh night, for the small but vital audience which is interested in the truth." ..."
"... Of course, it stretches back to both parties, but that's what it is about - not high crimes and misdemeanors, but who lost the Ukraine - plus S, L, Y, and above all I & A!!! Gosh, we might get the entire alphabet included; ahoy all boats! ..."
"... Let me briefly sketch out an alternative narrative that more accurately captures our present predicament. Since the end of World War II, successive administrations have sought to devise a formula for assuring American consumers access to Persian Gulf oil while also satisfying pressing domestic political interests. Over a period of decades, that effort succeeded chiefly in giving birth to new problems. Out of these multiplying difficulties came the 9/11 attacks and their immediate sequel, a "war on terrorism" meant to settle matters once and for all. ..."
"... To state the matter bluntly, 9/11 was an expression of chickens coming home to roost, a massive strategic failure that the ensuing military campaigns beginning in 2001 and continuing to the present moment have affirmed. Given the dimensions of that failure, the likelihood of resuscitating X's illusory Pax is essentially zero. ..."
"... The very fact Bloomberg had to enter the Democratic Party presidential race is the definite proof Biden's corruption and involvement on the destruction of Ukraine is so overwhelming and difficult to hide that it will eventually be impossible to cover it with the NYT and WaPo power alone should he be chosen as the nominee. ..."
Nov 10, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bemildred , Nov 10 2019 15:41 utc | 1

I am amazed how the Impeachment Circus and the mainstream media continue to ignore the facts of this story:

Joe Biden has been a favorite target for Trump-allied lawmakers. Many have adopted Trump's unsubstantiated assertion that Biden pushed for the ouster of a Ukrainian prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, because he was investigating Burisma.

Other people get it:

The CIA is emerging as a domestic political party.
...
Brennan put a friendly finger on my chest. "The CIA is not involved in domestic politics," he said. "Period. That's on the record."

This he asserted confidently, at an event where he had just spoken about about influence campaigns on swing voters and implied that Hillary Clinton might be right in calling U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard a Russian asset. Even seasoned analysts, it seems, have their blind spots.

Motivation to impeach Trump is about control of Democratic Party - Rick Salutin, The Star

What shifted [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi] now? I'd say the answer is: this impeachment isn't directed at Trump at all, it's about undermining the rising left-wing opposition in the Democratic party. They are plausibly on the verge of seizing the party agenda away from the neo-liberal consensus of the Clinton-Obama decades -- with issues like universal public health-care and equitable taxes. They've even found ways to fund campaigns without bowing to the corporate gods.
I agree with Mr. Salutin, the impeachment is not about impeachment, although if impeachment results, I'm sure they will take it. And I agree it's about protecting the current Democratic Part "elites", both from scandal (Joe Biden, Clinton) and from the challenge on the left. A risky and desperate move .

I tend to think it was Trump going after the Ukraine cesspit that precipitated the impeachment, but other motives seem relevant. I have thought since Obama went all in with Russiagate that the current Dem leadership does not feel it can afford to relinquish control.


Walter , Nov 10 2019 15:54 utc | 2

@ "ince Obama went all in with Russiagate that the current Dem leadership does not feel it can afford to relinquish control."

How about that...geewhiz, one does speculate as to what crimes they fear might become known and public?

Everybody Knows...Brother Leonard Cohen... this they fear.

It's a mighty force. To the mat.

Jose Garcia , Nov 10 2019 16:59 utc | 4
Political parties are nothing more than gangs. To me, the Dems are like the Gambinos and the Repoops are like the Genovese. And they hate it when someone from outside their domain comes and disrupt their racket, when things are going smooth.

To me Trump is like the mobster Joe Gallo, killed at Umberto's clam house in NYC. Gallo was a big shot, talked loud and fast, and wanted to start his own racket. And the other crime families would not let him do that. So they whacked him. The same thing both Dems and Repoops are trying to do with Trump. And yes Repoops don't like Trump, as in the latest from Drudge, that the Repoops are split when it comes to impeachment.

pnyx , Nov 10 2019 17:58 utc | 10
Biden / Ukraine: Others begin to get it: 'Further scratches become visible on the picture of the Bidens in the Ukraine affair' (original in German: 'Am Bild der Bidens in der Ukraine-Affäre werden weitere Kratzer sichtbar' nzz 9.11.19, nzz.ch/international/ukraine-affaere-rolle-der-biden-familie-undurchsichtig-ld.1520759)
Seamus Padraig , Nov 10 2019 18:23 utc | 12
Apropòs the articles about the 'deep state' meddling in US domestic politics, here's an oldie but a goodie from the World Socialist Web Site: The CIA Democrats .
karlof1 , Nov 10 2019 18:24 utc | 13
Craig Murray has an exclusive interview with Randy Credico he prefaces with these remarks:

"The Mueller investigation has thus ultimately ended up prosecuting people for telling the same pack of lies that Mueller himself was pushing. The Clinton media, including CNN, the Washington Post and New York Times, are baffled by this. They follow the Stone trial assiduously from delight in seeing a long term Trump hanger-on brought down, and in the hope something will come out about Wikileaks or Russia. Their reporting, as that of the BBC, has been deliberately vague on why Stone is being charged, contriving to leave their audience with the impression that Stone's trial proves Trump connections to Wikileaks and Russia, when in fact it proves the precise opposite. A fact you will never learn from the mainstream media. Which is why I am doing this at 2am on a very cold Edinburgh night, for the small but vital audience which is interested in the truth."

That would include MoA barflies since we crave Truth. Murray has a bit more to say prior to the excerpt I provide, which I suggest be read, too.

juliania , Nov 10 2019 19:13 utc | 18
What a feast of links! I've only just started, with b's Daniel Lazare piece at Stretegic Culture.org - well done!

" ...This is what impeachment is about, not high crimes and misdemeanors, but who lost the Ukraine – plus Syria, Libya, Yemen, and other countries that the Obama administration succeeded in destroying – and why Trump should pay the supreme penalty for suggesting that Democrats are in any way to blame..."

Of course, it stretches back to both parties, but that's what it is about - not high crimes and misdemeanors, but who lost the Ukraine - plus S, L, Y, and above all I & A!!! Gosh, we might get the entire alphabet included; ahoy all boats!

chop stick , Nov 10 2019 19:17 utc | 19
Impeachment is about controlling where the attention is focused. When things get to close to home Pelosi says look over here at the orange head, look over there at the border but whatever you do, do not look over https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1KfU5ifhqE ">here.
b , Nov 11 2019 14:20 utc | 114
@pnyx - Thanks for linking the NZZ piece

"Biden / Ukraine: Others begin to get it: 'Further scratches become visible on the picture of the Bidens in the Ukraine affair' (original in German: 'Am Bild der Bidens in der Ukraine-Affäre werden weitere Kratzer sichtbar' nzz 9.11.19, nzz.ch/international/ukraine-affaere-rolle-der-biden-familie-undurchsichtig-ld.1520759)"

Funny it is mostly a recap of my findings of Biden in Ukraine. The piece links to William Bowles ( https://williambowles.info/2019/10/08/when-ukraines-prosecutor-came-after-his-sons-sponsor-joe-biden-sprang-into-action/) and attributes that the findings to him.

But it is not Bowles but a copy my piece here ( https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/10/biden-timeline.html).

So the Neue Züricher Zeitung, the most prestige Swiss outlet, is practically quoting MoA.

I am honored.

Bemildred , Nov 11 2019 14:35 utc | 115
Andrew J. Bacevich weighs in on US foreign policy:
Let me briefly sketch out an alternative narrative that more accurately captures our present predicament. Since the end of World War II, successive administrations have sought to devise a formula for assuring American consumers access to Persian Gulf oil while also satisfying pressing domestic political interests. Over a period of decades, that effort succeeded chiefly in giving birth to new problems. Out of these multiplying difficulties came the 9/11 attacks and their immediate sequel, a "war on terrorism" meant to settle matters once and for all.

To state the matter bluntly, 9/11 was an expression of chickens coming home to roost, a massive strategic failure that the ensuing military campaigns beginning in 2001 and continuing to the present moment have affirmed. Given the dimensions of that failure, the likelihood of resuscitating X's illusory Pax is essentially zero.

There is no going back to an imagined Golden Age of American statecraft in the Middle East. The imperative is to go forward, which requires acknowledging how wrongheaded U.S. policy in region has been ever since FDR had his famous tete-a-tete with King Ibn Saud and Harry Truman rushed to recognize the newborn State of Israel.t

So succinct.

The Blob: Still Chasing After Pax Americana

vk , Nov 11 2019 14:41 utc | 116
@ Posted by: b | Nov 11 2019 14:20 utc | 114

The very fact Bloomberg had to enter the Democratic Party presidential race is the definite proof Biden's corruption and involvement on the destruction of Ukraine is so overwhelming and difficult to hide that it will eventually be impossible to cover it with the NYT and WaPo power alone should he be chosen as the nominee.

[Nov 13, 2019] Is Whistleblower Aid a Charity Fraud by Larry C Johnson

Nov 13, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Is Whistleblower Aid a Charity Fraud? by Larry C Johnson There has been a lot of smoke and diversion put up with regards to alleged whistleblower Eric Ciaramella thanks to the work of his lawyer, Mark Zaid, and the charitable foundation supporting this effort--Whistleblower Aid. I think it is time to set the record straight and raise some serious questions about both Ciaramella and the charity backing him.

Eric Ciaramella, according to various press reports, is a CIA intelligence analyst who also has close ties to Democrats working against Donald Trump. Ciaramella worked at the National Security Council on the Ukraine issue and had repeated contacts with individuals, such as DNC operative Alexandra Chalupa, who were involved in the plot to smear Donald Trump as an agent of Russia. It also is reported that Ciaramella was suspected of being the source for a false story claiming that former FBI Director Comey was fired because Vladimir Putin told Trump to do it. And, most importantly, Ciaramella was back at CIA Headquarters when Donald Trump spoke with Ukraine's President Zelensky. He did not listen in on the call nor did he have access to the transcript.

Here's the bottomline--Ciaramella, lacking first hand information, does not qualify as a whistleblower. As a former intelligence analyst, like Ciaramella, I know that you must have first hand information. What qualifies as first hand? You listened in on the conversation. You read the transcript. Or, and no one has raised this, you have a piece of human or signals intelligence that tells a different story from the publicized transcript. ZERO evidence for any of this. Ciaramella's only qualification is that he does not like Trump and his policies towards Ukraine.

Then there is the indisputable fact that the Ukrainian President is on the record, in public, denying any pressure and denying any quid pro quo.

All of these facts justify bringing Mr. Ciaramella before Congress, putting him under oath and getting him to explain the foundation for his claims. But Democrats and anti-Trumpers are saying "no" and insisting that the identity of the whistleblower must be protected at all costs. That is bunk. There is only one legitimate reason to keep the whistleblower's identity secret--i.e., if he or she was undercover, either official or non-official. Ciaramella was not undercover. He is no different from any other civil servant who works in any other part of the Federal bureaucracy. He just happens to hold a Top Secret clearance.

I know several whistleblowers who have been vilified publicly by the very bureaucracies where they exposed wrong doing--Bill Binney (NSA), Kirk Wiebe (NSA), Ed Loomis (NSA), Russ Tice (NSA), Diane Roark (Congress), John Kiriakou (CIA) and Peter Van Buren (State). In none of these cases was there a public outcry to protect their identity. And there is one big difference between these whistleblowers and Ciaramella--they had first hand knowledge about wrongdoing in their respective organizations.

Which brings me to the not-for-profit organization that is backing Ciaramella--Whistleblower Aid. According to Wikipedia :

In September 2017, Tye and lawyer Mark Zaid cofounded Whistleblower Aid, a nonprofit law firm.

But public records tell a different story. Whistleblower Aid is a "doing-business-as" name. The incorporated name is Values United. It was incorporated in Louisiana in April 2009 . The incorporation subsequently was revoked in 2013 and reinstated on 13 March 2017. Here is the Louisiana document:

Louisiana Registration_Page_2
Louisiana Registration_Page_2

Values United was granted 501 (c) (3) status on 30 March 2017 (you can find the determination letter here .)

FinalLetter_26-4716045_VALUESUNITED_03242017

So, it was organized in March of 2017, not September. A minor point I suppose but a key fact.

What do we find when we look at the 990 tax return required for not-for-profits? The DBA name for Values United is Whistleblower Aid:

990 For 2017_Page_01

There is another oddity revealed in the tax return for Whistleblower Aid--huge liabilities. Total assets at the end of 2017 are $133,106.00. Total liabilities? $752,823.00. Where was the money going? Who was getting paid? And how is an organization with more than $600,000 in debt able to stay afloat. True not-for-profits are supposed to operate according to strict oversight and rules. Is Whistleblower Aid doing what it is chartered to do or is it acting as a partisan political organization, something a charitable group is not allowed to do. It is worth looking at.

Posted at 12:38 PM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink

Reblog (0) Comments


Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) , 10 November 2019 at 12:57 PM

and had repeated contacts with individuals, such as DNC operative Alexandra Chalupa

So, all roads, then, lead to a criminal undercover org of Taco Bell. When I thought it couldn't get any more tragicomic, it did. Now Taco Bell's commercials chihuahua comes in mind with "drop the Chalupa" line. I wonder what do they mean by "drop".

jd hawkins said in reply to Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) ... , 11 November 2019 at 03:51 AM
"I wonder what do they mean by "drop".

I think they were just informing us consumers not to be fooled by the Smooth-Talking Chalupa 'sellers'.

Factotum , 10 November 2019 at 01:27 PM
State attorney general offices provide charitable non-profit oversight and offer a complaint process. George Soros has been campaigning to buy up AG offices, since they wield so much power behind the spotlight. Someone is Louisiana needs to file an AG complaint.
nightsticker , 10 November 2019 at 01:38 PM
Larry
Excellent investigative reporting.
Maybe Fox News will pick it up and run
with it.
Semper Fi
Nightsticker
Elmo Zoneball , 10 November 2019 at 02:02 PM
Liabilities are explained on the attached schedules.

It appears the bulk of the liabilities (nearly $600k) are in the form of loans made TO "Values United" by the principal officer and his father.

They appear to have financed the bulk of the activity for 2017 via the loans.

They must not have filed a tax return for 2018 (or the IRS hasn't posted it yet.)

Note sure what is going on, but it does appear to be strange. Hard to tell what exactly they are spending the money on, other than nearly $300k for a flashy Media Strategy firm.

doug said in reply to Elmo Zoneball... , 10 November 2019 at 04:58 PM
Elmo,

Yeah. Looks more like a vanity charity. Charity fraud shows up on the expenses side that go to favored parties and has a lot of income that comes from "donors" that expect something in return. Certain well known foundations by former presidents come to mind. Charitable foundations are quite a racket.

Fred , 10 November 2019 at 02:13 PM
Whistleblower Aid isn't listed in Charity Navigator, so much for transparency.
Fred -> Fred ... , 10 November 2019 at 08:38 PM
Values United, not rated.
https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.profile&ein=264716045
akaPatience , 10 November 2019 at 02:17 PM
Is it merely coincidence that it was transformed into "Whistleblower Aid" this late Spring just when IC Inspector General Michael Atkinson was installed, the IG who changed whistle blower policies which now no longer require firsthand knowledge ?

This sure seems like one of Chuck Schumer's "6 ways from Sunday" the IC is trying, to get back at Trump. I wonder who funds this "charity"?

Larry Johnson -> akaPatience ... , 10 November 2019 at 03:01 PM
That's not right. It was September 2017.
akaPatience -> Larry Johnson ... , 10 November 2019 at 04:58 PM
Am I mistaken or isn't this form, so conveniently revised just this past August, 2019, the "whistleblower" form which now reflects the policy change of permitting secondhand information?

https://www.dni.gov/files/ICIG/Documents/Hotline/Urgent%20Concern%20Disclosure%20Form.pdf

akaPatience -> Larry Johnson ... , 10 November 2019 at 07:55 PM
Sorry Larry -- I see that you were correcting me for misstating the date that Values United began DBA Whistleblower Aid.
jd hawkins said in reply to akaPatience ... , 11 November 2019 at 04:08 AM
I believe you'd make a good tracker!
Factotum , 10 November 2019 at 03:42 PM
Who backed the significant debt of this operation is an equally interesting question? . What do the minutes of the board of directors meetings disclose. How did this significant debt conform to its stated charitable intent, that allowed its IRS tax exempt status. How "charitable" will it be if this organization defaults on this amount of debt? More information, please.

Why do the names "Values United" and "Volunteers United" sound so much like a counter-punch to "Citizens United", the anathema SCOTUS ruling to both Democrats and the big public sector unions.

ex PFC Chuck -> Factotum... , 10 November 2019 at 10:57 PM
"Why do the names "Values United" and "Volunteers United" sound so much like a counter-punch to "Citizens United", the anathema SCOTUS ruling to both Democrats and the big public sector unions.
The post-Clinton Deomcratic Party establishment has adapted to the Citizens United decision just fine, thank you very much. They just took their cue from Groucho Marx: "These are my principles! You don't like them? I have others."
Factotum said in reply to ex PFC Chuck ... , 10 November 2019 at 11:46 PM
Out West we get two standard slurs against all conservatives (aka alt right, far right, right wingers, Fox and Friends and white supremists:

Conservatives are tools of Citizen United and the Koch Bros. Boooo, hisss, booo!

Clinton swore the first thing she would do as POTUS was get a constitutional amendment against Citizens United. You report an interesting change of heart. Tell me more. Why is Citizens United now working for the Democrat Party - the post-Clinton Democrat party, soon to become the Neo-Clinton party?

blue peacock , 10 November 2019 at 04:11 PM
It seems to me that Trump is constantly on the back foot playing defense. He does not seem proactive in countering his opposition and directly taking the fight to his opponents.

He didn't declassify initially to avoid accusations of obstruction of the Mueller special counsel. Now that Mueller didn't lay the knockout punch, they've found another reason to claim obstruction with the Ukraine quid pro quo. All along he knew that Rosenstein played him by setting up Mueller, yet he did not fire him. Same with Wray. He's now passed the buck on to Barr who has his own agenda and prerogatives.

With LTC Vindman's testimony out there he should be all over his insubordination and as C-in-C should order his court martial.

The fact that none of the insiders in his administration have a paid any price for their acts of leaking and stories of innuendo and fanning the flames to have him impeached is only emboldening them to escalate and be even more brazen.

akaPatience -> blue peacock... , 10 November 2019 at 08:05 PM
Many are hoping the Durham investigation will settle the score and that justice, while not swift, is nevertheless sure. It'll be a huge disappointment (to say the least) if none of the malefactors pay a hefty price.

A while back, it took me 2 years and lots of legal expenses to finally get satisfaction from a flooring company, so I would expect something like SEDITIOUS CONSPIRACY to take a little longer!

Factotum said in reply to blue peacock... , 10 November 2019 at 11:48 PM
Trump is always getting ahead of their game, as well as punching back defensively. He is changing the dynamics. One must listen carefully. So little of his proactive charges filter through the media - even WSJ and now Fox are playing mind games against Trump. Give Kellyanne Conway some credit - she still gets ahead of the story like no one else.
Cortes , 10 November 2019 at 04:59 PM
b of Moonofalabama has a recent article on the UK "charity" Institute of Statecraft:

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/11/british-government-disinformation-shop-lost-charity-status-continues-in-new-format.html#more

Following a complaint, the Scottish Charity Regulator investigated and concluded that certain aspects of the IOS activities could not be classed as charitable.

Pharistotle , 10 November 2019 at 07:10 PM
FWIW:

For Spook aficionados, interesting commentary on the alleged biological relationship to the alleged "Whistleblower",Eric Ciaramella, and the former head of See Eye Aye Counterintelligence, James Jesus Angleton:

https://rense.com/general96/Is-The-WhistleBlower-A-Secret-Grandson-Of-Paranoiac-Spy-James-Angleton.php

catherine , 10 November 2019 at 07:27 PM
''Here's the bottomline--Ciaramella, lacking first hand information, does not qualify as a whistleblower.''

'If' Ciaramella is the whistleblower who set him up to be the whistleblower?
Could it be whistleblower Lt. Vindman, who was there, or his twin brother who is a lawyer in the NSC?

Currently staring in Congress Impeachment testimony against Trump

Lt. Vindman------------Ukraine Jewish refugee NSC
Amb Gordon Sondland----Russian Jewish refugee
Amb Marie Yovanovich- Russian Jewish refugee
Fiona Hill ------------Dual US-UK citizen. Studied under Richard Pipes, in 1998 at Harvard, Russian expert.

Currently staring in Congress Impeachment testimony against Trump

Lt. Vindman-Russian---Ukraine Jewish refugee NSC
Amb Gordon Sondland----Polish/Russian Jewish refugee
Amb Marie Yovanovitch - Russian Jewish refugee
Fiona Hill --Dual US-UK citizen. Studied under Richard Pipes, in 1998 at Harvard, Russian expert.

I have read the testimonies and several things jump out. All these people are outspoken anti Russia activist and pro Ukraine. According to their statements Russia is the ultimate evil. Vindman, Yovanovitch and Hill all use the same description...''Ukraine needs US aid because it is fighting for US interest and against Russian aggression'. Their testimonies were as much or more about why we should support Ukraine then about what Trump said or didn't say.

This Trump coup is coming from the NSC and the State Department, not the CIA this time.

Pharistotle , 10 November 2019 at 08:19 PM
Too Hot for YouTube

Calling All Patriots to Intelligence War, with Special Guest, Bill Binney


Less than 24 hours after our Nov. 7 live "fireside chat" broadcast, YouTube said our video was "was flagged for review" and they've made it unavailable for public viewing. While we're in the process of appealing this, we've made our broadcast available in Vimeo.

Clearly we've struck a nerve! In this too hot for YouTube broadcast, LaRouchePAC's Barbara Boyd is joined by William Binney (former NSA and member of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, VIPS). They give the latest in the coup attempt against President Donald Trump.

Mark Zaid, the attorney for the fake whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella, laid out the entire plot of what we now see unfolding before our eyes in a series of tweets, starting back in January of 2017. Zaid tweeted: "the coup has started" and "impeachment will follow ultimately." In July of 2017, Ciarmella said that CNN would play a key role in the coup and that, "We will get rid of him, and this country is strong enough to survive even him and his supporters." Zaid further promised that the coup would take place in a series of steps and that as one member of RESIST, within the Administration fell, two others would take their place.


https://action.larouchepac.com/fireside_chat

Factotum said in reply to Pharistotle... , 10 November 2019 at 11:51 PM
Judicial Watch just also had a youtube video yanked because Fitton talked about leaker Ciaramella. That too was too hot for youtube to handle.
J , 11 November 2019 at 02:30 PM
Larry,

Here's some more grit regarding Eric Ciaramella, and the coup against POTUS Trump

Facebook And YouTube Erase All Mentions Of Anti-Trump Whistleblower's Name. Not only are Facebook and YouTube's standards a form of censorship, they are an example of partisanship on the largest social media platforms in the world.

https://thefederalist.com/2019/11/10/facebook-and-youtube-erase-all-mentions-of-anti-trump-whistleblowers-name/

Dershowitz Likens Dem Impeachment Obsession to Stalin's KGB -- 'Show Me the Man, and I'll Find You the Crime'

https://www.breitbart.com/clips/2019/11/10/dershowitz-likens-dem-impeachment-obsession-to-stalins-kgb-show-me-the-man-and-ill-find-you-the-crime/

Nikki Haley claims top aides [Tillerson, Kelly] tried to recruit her to 'save the country' by undermining Trump

https://www.chron.com/news/article/Nikki-Haley-claims-top-aides-tried-to-recruit-her-14824057.php


Impeachment Will Hit a Brick Wall in Senate If House Shields Whistleblower, Graham Says

https://www.theepochtimes.com/impeachment-will-hit-a-brick-wall-in-senate-if-house-shields-whistleblower-graham-says_3142356.html


Rand Paul: No law stops me from saying whistleblower's name

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99cj1NJEQGE


[Nov 12, 2019] Currently staring in Congress Impeachment Ukraine testimony against Trump

Nov 12, 2019 | www.unz.com

renfro , says: Next New Comment November 12, 2019 at 7:23 pm GMT

Phil, you need to get on the State Department and NSC re the coup against Trump by the Ukraine cabal . The State Department has been stuffed with people like the below who try to set US policy according their personal loyalties and /or hatreds or love for any foreign country. And as we all know the State Department lost all objectivity when the Jews infiltrated it decades ago to run out the 'Arbarist".

Currently staring in Congress Impeachment Ukraine testimony against Trump

  • Lt. Vindman -- -- -- -- Ukraine Jewish refugee NSC
  • Amb Gordon Sondland -- -Russian Jewish refugee
  • Amb Marie Yovanovich- Russian Jewish refugee
  • Fiona Hill -- -- -- -- Dual US-UK citizen. Studied under Richard Pipes, in 1998 at Harvard, Russian expert.

I have read the testimonies and several things jump out. All these people are outspoken anti Russia activist and pro Ukraine. According to their statements Russia is the ultimate evil. Vindman, Yovanovitch and Hill all use the same description "Ukraine needs US aid because it is fighting for US interest and against Russian aggression'. .same spin Jews put on "Israel fighting for US and world interest against Iran'.

Their testimonies were as much or more about why we should support Ukraine then about what Trump said or didn't say.

It is clear and was even said by Hill in her testimony that they .."should formulate foreign policy, not they president'. And in several cases that is what they have done going even further with sanctions on countries then what was called for and the unattentive Trump just accepts it .

This Trump coup is coming from the Deep State of the NSC and the State Department, not the CIA this time.

[Nov 12, 2019] This Trump coup is coming from the NSC and the State Department, not the CIA this time. ''Here's the bottomline--Ciaramella, lacking first hand information, does not qualify as a whistleblower.''

Nov 12, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

'If' Ciaramella is the whistleblower who set him up to be the whistleblower?
Could it be whistleblower Lt. Vindman, who was there, or his twin brother who is a lawyer in the NSC?

Currently staring in Congress Impeachment testimony against Trump

Lt. Vindman------------Ukraine Jewish refugee NSC
Amb Gordon Sondland----Russian Jewish refugee
Amb Marie Yovanovich- Russian Jewish refugee
Fiona Hill ------------Dual US-UK citizen. Studied under Richard Pipes, in 1998 at Harvard, Russian expert.

I have read the testimonies and several things jump out. All these people are outspoken anti Russia activist and pro Ukraine. According to their statements Russia is the ultimate evil. Vindman, Yovanovitch and Hill all use the same description...''Ukraine needs US aid because it is fighting for US interest and against Russian aggression'. Their testimonies were as much or more about why we should support Ukraine then about what Trump said or didn't say.

This Trump coup is coming from the NSC and the State Department, not the CIA this time. Reply 10 November 2019 at 07:27 PM


Pharistotle , 10 November 2019 at 07:10 PM

FWIW:

For Spook aficionados, interesting commentary on the alleged biological relationship to the alleged "Whistleblower",Eric Ciaramella, and the former head of See Eye Aye Counterintelligence, James Jesus Angleton:

https://rense.com/general96/Is-The-WhistleBlower-A-Secret-Grandson-Of-Paranoiac-Spy-James-Angleton.php

Pharistotle , 10 November 2019 at 08:19 PM
Too Hot for YouTube

Calling All Patriots to Intelligence War, with Special Guest, Bill Binney


Less than 24 hours after our Nov. 7 live "fireside chat" broadcast, YouTube said our video was "was flagged for review" and they've made it unavailable for public viewing. While we're in the process of appealing this, we've made our broadcast available in Vimeo.

Clearly we've struck a nerve! In this too hot for YouTube broadcast, LaRouchePAC's Barbara Boyd is joined by William Binney (former NSA and member of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, VIPS). They give the latest in the coup attempt against President Donald Trump.

Mark Zaid, the attorney for the fake whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella, laid out the entire plot of what we now see unfolding before our eyes in a series of tweets, starting back in January of 2017. Zaid tweeted: "the coup has started" and "impeachment will follow ultimately." In July of 2017, Ciarmella said that CNN would play a key role in the coup and that, "We will get rid of him, and this country is strong enough to survive even him and his supporters." Zaid further promised that the coup would take place in a series of steps and that as one member of RESIST, within the Administration fell, two others would take their place.


https://action.larouchepac.com/fireside_chat

Factotum said in reply to Pharistotle... , 10 November 2019 at 11:51 PM
Judicial Watch just also had a youtube video yanked because Fitton talked about leaker Ciaramella. That too was too hot for youtube to handle.
J , 10 November 2019 at 11:51 PM
Larry,

Here's some more grit regarding Eric Ciaramella, and the coup against POTUS Trump

Facebook And YouTube Erase All Mentions Of Anti-Trump Whistleblower's Name
Not only are Facebook and YouTube's standards a form of censorship, they are an example of partisanship on the largest social media platforms in the world.

https://thefederalist.com/2019/11/10/facebook-and-youtube-erase-all-mentions-of-anti-trump-whistleblowers-name/


Dershowitz Likens Dem Impeachment Obsession to Stalin's KGB -- 'Show Me the Man, and I'll Find You the Crime'

https://www.breitbart.com/clips/2019/11/10/dershowitz-likens-dem-impeachment-obsession-to-stalins-kgb-show-me-the-man-and-ill-find-you-the-crime/


Nikki Haley claims top aides [Tillerson, Kelly] tried to recruit her to 'save the country' by undermining Trump

https://www.chron.com/news/article/Nikki-Haley-claims-top-aides-tried-to-recruit-her-14824057.php


Impeachment Will Hit a Brick Wall in Senate If House Shields Whistleblower, Graham Says

https://www.theepochtimes.com/impeachment-will-hit-a-brick-wall-in-senate-if-house-shields-whistleblower-graham-says_3142356.html


Rand Paul: No law stops me from saying whistleblower's name

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99cj1NJEQGE

[Nov 12, 2019] Is Whistleblower Aid a Charity Fraud by Larry C Johnson - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Nov 12, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Is Whistleblower Aid a Charity Fraud? by Larry C Johnson Larry Johnson-5x7

There has been a lot of smoke and diversion put up with regards to alleged whistleblower Eric Ciaramella thanks to the work of his lawyer, Mark Zaid, and the charitable foundation supporting this effort--Whistleblower Aid. I think it is time to set the record straight and raise some serious questions about both Ciaramella and the charity backing him.

Eric Ciaramella, according to various press reports, is a CIA intelligence analyst who also has close ties to Democrats working against Donald Trump. Ciaramella worked at the National Security Council on the Ukraine issue and had repeated contacts with individuals, such as DNC operative Alexandra Chalupa, who were involved in the plot to smear Donald Trump as an agent of Russia. It also is reported that Ciaramella was suspected of being the source for a false story claiming that former FBI Director Comey was fired because Vladimir Putin told Trump to do it. And, most importantly, Ciaramella was back at CIA Headquarters when Donald Trump spoke with Ukraine's President Zelensky. He did not listen in on the call nor did he have access to the transcript.

Here's the bottomline--Ciaramella, lacking first hand information, does not qualify as a whistleblower. As a former intelligence analyst, like Ciaramella, I know that you must have first hand information. What qualifies as first hand? You listened in on the conversation. You read the transcript. Or, and no one has raised this, you have a piece of human or signals intelligence that tells a different story from the publicized transcript. ZERO evidence for any of this. Ciaramella's only qualification is that he does not like Trump and his policies towards Ukraine.

Then there is the indisputable fact that the Ukrainian President is on the record, in public, denying any pressure and denying any quid pro quo.

All of these facts justify bringing Mr. Ciaramella before Congress, putting him under oath and getting him to explain the foundation for his claims. But Democrats and anti-Trumpers are saying "no" and insisting that the identity of the whistleblower must be protected at all costs. That is bunk. There is only one legitimate reason to keep the whistleblower's identity secret--i.e., if he or she was undercover, either official or non-official. Ciaramella was not undercover. He is no different from any other civil servant who works in any other part of the Federal bureaucracy. He just happens to hold a Top Secret clearance.

I know several whistleblowers who have been vilified publicly by the very bureaucracies where they exposed wrong doing--Bill Binney (NSA), Kirk Wiebe (NSA), Ed Loomis (NSA), Russ Tice (NSA), Diane Roark (Congress), John Kiriakou (CIA) and Peter Van Buren (State). In none of these cases was there a public outcry to protect their identity. And there is one big difference between these whistleblowers and Ciaramella--they had first hand knowledge about wrongdoing in their respective organizations.

Which brings me to the not-for-profit organization that is backing Ciaramella--Whistleblower Aid. According to Wikipedia :

In September 2017, Tye and lawyer Mark Zaid cofounded Whistleblower Aid, a nonprofit law firm.

But public records tell a different story. Whistleblower Aid is a "doing-business-as" name. The incorporated name is Values United. It was incorporated in Louisiana in April 2009 . The incorporation subsequently was revoked in 2013 and reinstated on 13 March 2017. Here is the Louisiana document:

Louisiana Registration_Page_2
Louisiana Registration_Page_2

Values United was granted 501 (c) (3) status on 30 March 2017 (you can find the determination letter here .)

FinalLetter_26-4716045_VALUESUNITED_03242017

So, it was organized in March of 2017, not September. A minor point I suppose but a key fact.

What do we find when we look at the 990 tax return required for not-for-profits? The DBA name for Values United is Whistleblower Aid:

990 For 2017_Page_01

There is another oddity revealed in the tax return for Whistleblower Aid--huge liabilities. Total assets at the end of 2017 are $133,106.00. Total liabilities? $752,823.00. Where was the money going? Who was getting paid? And how is an organization with more than $600,000 in debt able to stay afloat. True not-for-profits are supposed to operate according to strict oversight and rules. Is Whistleblower Aid doing what it is chartered to do or is it acting as a partisan political organization, something a charitable group is not allowed to do. It is worth looking at.

Posted at 12:38 PM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink

Reblog (0) Comments


Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) , 10 November 2019 at 12:57 PM

and had repeated contacts with individuals, such as DNC operative Alexandra Chalupa

So, all roads, then, lead to a criminal undercover org of Taco Bell. When I thought it couldn't get any more tragicomic, it did. Now Taco Bell's commercials chihuahua comes in mind with "drop the Chalupa" line. I wonder what do they mean by "drop".

jd hawkins said in reply to Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) ... , 11 November 2019 at 03:51 AM
"I wonder what do they mean by "drop".

I think they were just informing us consumers not to be fooled by the Smooth-Talking Chalupa 'sellers'.

Factotum , 10 November 2019 at 01:27 PM
State attorney general offices provide charitable non-profit oversight and offer a complaint process. George Soros has been campaigning to buy up AG offices, since they wield so much power behind the spotlight. Someone is Louisiana needs to file an AG complaint.
nightsticker , 10 November 2019 at 01:38 PM
Larry
Excellent investigative reporting.
Maybe Fox News will pick it up and run
with it.
Semper Fi
Nightsticker
Elmo Zoneball , 10 November 2019 at 02:02 PM
Liabilities are explained on the attached schedules.

It appears the bulk of the liabilities (nearly $600k) are in the form of loans made TO "Values United" by the principal officer and his father.

They appear to have financed the bulk of the activity for 2017 via the loans.

They must not have filed a tax return for 2018 (or the IRS hasn't posted it yet.)

Note sure what is going on, but it does appear to be strange. Hard to tell what exactly they are spending the money on, other than nearly $300k for a flashy Media Strategy firm.

doug said in reply to Elmo Zoneball... , 10 November 2019 at 04:58 PM
Elmo,

Yeah. Looks more like a vanity charity. Charity fraud shows up on the expenses side that go to favored parties and has a lot of income that comes from "donors" that expect something in return. Certain well known foundations by former presidents come to mind. Charitable foundations are quite a racket.

Fred , 10 November 2019 at 02:13 PM
Whistleblower Aid isn't listed in Charity Navigator, so much for transparency.
Fred -> Fred ... , 10 November 2019 at 08:38 PM
Values United, not rated.
https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.profile&ein=264716045
akaPatience , 10 November 2019 at 02:17 PM
Is it merely coincidence that it was transformed into "Whistleblower Aid" this late Spring just when IC Inspector General Michael Atkinson was installed, the IG who changed whistle blower policies which now no longer require firsthand knowledge ?

This sure seems like one of Chuck Schumer's "6 ways from Sunday" the IC is trying, to get back at Trump. I wonder who funds this "charity"?

Larry Johnson -> akaPatience ... , 10 November 2019 at 03:01 PM
That's not right. It was September 2017.
akaPatience -> Larry Johnson ... , 10 November 2019 at 04:58 PM
Am I mistaken or isn't this form, so conveniently revised just this past August, 2019, the "whistleblower" form which now reflects the policy change of permitting secondhand information?

https://www.dni.gov/files/ICIG/Documents/Hotline/Urgent%20Concern%20Disclosure%20Form.pdf

akaPatience -> Larry Johnson ... , 10 November 2019 at 07:55 PM
Sorry Larry -- I see that you were correcting me for misstating the date that Values United began DBA Whistleblower Aid.
jd hawkins said in reply to akaPatience ... , 11 November 2019 at 04:08 AM
I believe you'd make a good tracker!
Factotum , 10 November 2019 at 03:42 PM
Who backed the significant debt of this operation is an equally interesting question? . What do the minutes of the board of directors meetings disclose. How did this significant debt conform to its stated charitable intent, that allowed its IRS tax exempt status. How "charitable" will it be if this organization defaults on this amount of debt? More information, please.

Why do the names "Values United" and "Volunteers United" sound so much like a counter-punch to "Citizens United", the anathema SCOTUS ruling to both Democrats and the big public sector unions.

ex PFC Chuck -> Factotum... , 10 November 2019 at 10:57 PM
"Why do the names "Values United" and "Volunteers United" sound so much like a counter-punch to "Citizens United", the anathema SCOTUS ruling to both Democrats and the big public sector unions.
The post-Clinton Deomcratic Party establishment has adapted to the Citizens United decision just fine, thank you very much. They just took their cue from Groucho Marx: "These are my principles! You don't like them? I have others."
Factotum said in reply to ex PFC Chuck ... , 10 November 2019 at 11:46 PM
Out West we get two standard slurs against all conservatives (aka alt right, far right, right wingers, Fox and Friends and white supremists:

Conservatives are tools of Citizen United and the Koch Bros. Boooo, hisss, booo!

Clinton swore the first thing she would do as POTUS was get a constitutional amendment against Citizens United. You report an interesting change of heart. Tell me more. Why is Citizens United now working for the Democrat Party - the post-Clinton Democrat party, soon to become the Neo-Clinton party?

blue peacock , 10 November 2019 at 04:11 PM
It seems to me that Trump is constantly on the back foot playing defense. He does not seem proactive in countering his opposition and directly taking the fight to his opponents.

He didn't declassify initially to avoid accusations of obstruction of the Mueller special counsel. Now that Mueller didn't lay the knockout punch, they've found another reason to claim obstruction with the Ukraine quid pro quo. All along he knew that Rosenstein played him by setting up Mueller, yet he did not fire him. Same with Wray. He's now passed the buck on to Barr who has his own agenda and prerogatives.

With LTC Vindman's testimony out there he should be all over his insubordination and as C-in-C should order his court martial.

The fact that none of the insiders in his administration have a paid any price for their acts of leaking and stories of innuendo and fanning the flames to have him impeached is only emboldening them to escalate and be even more brazen.

akaPatience -> blue peacock... , 10 November 2019 at 08:05 PM
Many are hoping the Durham investigation will settle the score and that justice, while not swift, is nevertheless sure. It'll be a huge disappointment (to say the least) if none of the malefactors pay a hefty price.

A while back, it took me 2 years and lots of legal expenses to finally get satisfaction from a flooring company, so I would expect something like SEDITIOUS CONSPIRACY to take a little longer!

Factotum said in reply to blue peacock... , 10 November 2019 at 11:48 PM
Trump is always getting ahead of their game, as well as punching back defensively. He is changing the dynamics. One must listen carefully. So little of his proactive charges filter through the media - even WSJ and now Fox are playing mind games against Trump. Give Kellyanne Conway some credit - she still gets ahead of the story like no one else.
Cortes , 10 November 2019 at 04:59 PM
b of Moonofalabama has a recent article on the UK "charity" Institute of Statecraft:

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/11/british-government-disinformation-shop-lost-charity-status-continues-in-new-format.html#more

Following a complaint, the Scottish Charity Regulator investigated and concluded that certain aspects of the IOS activities could not be classed as charitable.

Pharistotle , 10 November 2019 at 07:10 PM
FWIW:

For Spook aficionados, interesting commentary on the alleged biological relationship to the alleged "Whistleblower",Eric Ciaramella, and the former head of See Eye Aye Counterintelligence, James Jesus Angleton:

https://rense.com/general96/Is-The-WhistleBlower-A-Secret-Grandson-Of-Paranoiac-Spy-James-Angleton.php

catherine , 10 November 2019 at 07:27 PM
''Here's the bottomline--Ciaramella, lacking first hand information, does not qualify as a whistleblower.''

'If' Ciaramella is the whistleblower who set him up to be the whistleblower?
Could it be whistleblower Lt. Vindman, who was there, or his twin brother who is a lawyer in the NSC?

Currently staring in Congress Impeachment testimony against Trump

Lt. Vindman------------Ukraine Jewish refugee NSC
Amb Gordon Sondland----Russian Jewish refugee
Amb Marie Yovanovich- Russian Jewish refugee
Fiona Hill ------------Dual US-UK citizen. Studied under Richard Pipes, in 1998 at Harvard, Russian expert.

Currently staring in Congress Impeachment testimony against Trump

Lt. Vindman-Russian---Ukraine Jewish refugee NSC
Amb Gordon Sondland----Polish/Russian Jewish refugee
Amb Marie Yovanovitch - Russian Jewish refugee
Fiona Hill --Dual US-UK citizen. Studied under Richard Pipes, in 1998 at Harvard, Russian expert.

I have read the testimonies and several things jump out. All these people are outspoken anti Russia activist and pro Ukraine. According to their statements Russia is the ultimate evil. Vindman, Yovanovitch and Hill all use the same description...''Ukraine needs US aid because it is fighting for US interest and against Russian aggression'. Their testimonies were as much or more about why we should support Ukraine then about what Trump said or didn't say.

This Trump coup is coming from the NSC and the State Department, not the CIA this time.

Pharistotle , 10 November 2019 at 08:19 PM
Too Hot for YouTube

Calling All Patriots to Intelligence War, with Special Guest, Bill Binney


Less than 24 hours after our Nov. 7 live "fireside chat" broadcast, YouTube said our video was "was flagged for review" and they've made it unavailable for public viewing. While we're in the process of appealing this, we've made our broadcast available in Vimeo.

Clearly we've struck a nerve! In this too hot for YouTube broadcast, LaRouchePAC's Barbara Boyd is joined by William Binney (former NSA and member of the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, VIPS). They give the latest in the coup attempt against President Donald Trump.

Mark Zaid, the attorney for the fake whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella, laid out the entire plot of what we now see unfolding before our eyes in a series of tweets, starting back in January of 2017. Zaid tweeted: "the coup has started" and "impeachment will follow ultimately." In July of 2017, Ciarmella said that CNN would play a key role in the coup and that, "We will get rid of him, and this country is strong enough to survive even him and his supporters." Zaid further promised that the coup would take place in a series of steps and that as one member of RESIST, within the Administration fell, two others would take their place.


https://action.larouchepac.com/fireside_chat

Factotum said in reply to Pharistotle... , 10 November 2019 at 11:51 PM
Judicial Watch just also had a youtube video yanked because Fitton talked about leaker Ciaramella. That too was too hot for youtube to handle.
J , 11 November 2019 at 02:30 PM
Larry,

Here's some more grit regarding Eric Ciaramella, and the coup against POTUS Trump

Facebook And YouTube Erase All Mentions Of Anti-Trump Whistleblower's Name. Not only are Facebook and YouTube's standards a form of censorship, they are an example of partisanship on the largest social media platforms in the world.

https://thefederalist.com/2019/11/10/facebook-and-youtube-erase-all-mentions-of-anti-trump-whistleblowers-name/

Dershowitz Likens Dem Impeachment Obsession to Stalin's KGB -- 'Show Me the Man, and I'll Find You the Crime'

https://www.breitbart.com/clips/2019/11/10/dershowitz-likens-dem-impeachment-obsession-to-stalins-kgb-show-me-the-man-and-ill-find-you-the-crime/

Nikki Haley claims top aides [Tillerson, Kelly] tried to recruit her to 'save the country' by undermining Trump

https://www.chron.com/news/article/Nikki-Haley-claims-top-aides-tried-to-recruit-her-14824057.php


Impeachment Will Hit a Brick Wall in Senate If House Shields Whistleblower, Graham Says

https://www.theepochtimes.com/impeachment-will-hit-a-brick-wall-in-senate-if-house-shields-whistleblower-graham-says_3142356.html


Rand Paul: No law stops me from saying whistleblower's name

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99cj1NJEQGE


[Nov 11, 2019] A Timeline Of Joe Biden's Intervention Against The Prosecutor General Of Ukraine

Nov 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Bemildred , Nov 10 2019 15:41 utc | 1

I am amazed how the Impeachment Circus and the mainstream media continue to ignore the facts of this story:

Joe Biden has been a favorite target for Trump-allied lawmakers. Many have adopted Trump's unsubstantiated assertion that Biden pushed for the ouster of a Ukrainian prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, because he was investigating Burisma.

Other people get it:
Why the Only Thing Democrats Will Succeed in Impeaching Is Their Own Integrity Daniel Lazzare, Strategic Culture
Why Is Christopher Steele Still a Thing? - Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone
The "Deep State" Is a Political Party - Jefferson Morley, New Republic

The CIA is emerging as a domestic political party.
...
Brennan put a friendly finger on my chest. "The CIA is not involved in domestic politics," he said. "Period. That's on the record."

This he asserted confidently, at an event where he had just spoken about about influence campaigns on swing voters and implied that Hillary Clinton might be right in calling U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard a Russian asset. Even seasoned analysts, it seems, have their blind spots.

Motivation to impeach Trump is about control of Democratic Party - Rick Salutin, The Star

What shifted [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi] now? I'd say the answer is: this impeachment isn't directed at Trump at all, it's about undermining the rising left-wing opposition in the Democratic party. They are plausibly on the verge of seizing the party agenda away from the neo-liberal consensus of the Clinton-Obama decades -- with issues like universal public health-care and equitable taxes. They've even found ways to fund campaigns without bowing to the corporate gods.
I agree with Mr. Salutin, the impeachment is not about impeachment, although if impeachment results, I'm sure they will take it. And I agree it's about protecting the current Democratic Part "elites", both from scandal (Joe Biden, Clinton) and from the challenge on the left. A risky and desperate move .

I tend to think it was Trump going after the Ukraine cesspit that precipitated the impeachment, but other motives seem relevant. I have thought since Obama went all in with Russiagate that the current Dem leadership does not feel it can afford to relinquish control.


Walter , Nov 10 2019 15:54 utc | 2

@ "ince Obama went all in with Russiagate that the current Dem leadership does not feel it can afford to relinquish control."

How about that...geewhiz, one does speculate as to what crimes they fear might become known and public?

Everybody Knows...Brother Leonard Cohen... this they fear.

It's a mighty force. To the mat.

Jose Garcia , Nov 10 2019 16:59 utc | 4
Political parties are nothing more than gangs. To me, the Dems are like the Gambinos and the Repoops are like the Genovese. And they hate it when someone from outside their domain comes and disrupt their racket, when things are going smooth. To me Trump is like the mobster Joe Gallo, killed at Umberto's clam house in NYC. Gallo was a big shot, talked loud and fast, and wanted to start his own racket. And the other crime families would not let him do that. So they whacked him. The same thing both Dems and Repoops are trying to do with Trump. And yes Repoops don't like Trump, as in the latest from Drudge, that the Repoops are split when it comes to impeachment.
pnyx , Nov 10 2019 17:58 utc | 10
Biden / Ukraine: Others begin to get it: 'Further scratches become visible on the picture of the Bidens in the Ukraine affair' (original in German: 'Am Bild der Bidens in der Ukraine-Affäre werden weitere Kratzer sichtbar' nzz 9.11.19, nzz.ch/international/ukraine-affaere-rolle-der-biden-familie-undurchsichtig-ld.1520759)
Seamus Padraig , Nov 10 2019 18:23 utc | 12
Apropòs the articles about the 'deep state' meddling in US domestic politics, here's an oldie but a goodie from the World Socialist Web Site: The CIA Democrats .
karlof1 , Nov 10 2019 18:24 utc | 13
Craig Murray has an exclusive interview with Randy Credico he prefaces with these remarks:

"The Mueller investigation has thus ultimately ended up prosecuting people for telling the same pack of lies that Mueller himself was pushing. The Clinton media, including CNN, the Washington Post and New York Times, are baffled by this. They follow the Stone trial assiduously from delight in seeing a long term Trump hanger-on brought down, and in the hope something will come out about Wikileaks or Russia. Their reporting, as that of the BBC, has been deliberately vague on why Stone is being charged, contriving to leave their audience with the impression that Stone's trial proves Trump connections to Wikileaks and Russia, when in fact it proves the precise opposite. A fact you will never learn from the mainstream media. Which is why I am doing this at 2am on a very cold Edinburgh night, for the small but vital audience which is interested in the truth."

That would include MoA barflies since we crave Truth. Murray has a bit more to say prior to the excerpt I provide, which I suggest be read, too.

juliania , Nov 10 2019 19:13 utc | 18
What a feast of links! I've only just started, with b's Daniel Lazare piece at Stretegic Culture.org - well done!

" ...This is what impeachment is about, not high crimes and misdemeanors, but who lost the Ukraine – plus Syria, Libya, Yemen, and other countries that the Obama administration succeeded in destroying – and why Trump should pay the supreme penalty for suggesting that Democrats are in any way to blame..."

Of course, it stretches back to both parties, but that's what it is about - not high crimes and misdemeanors,
but who lost the Ukraine - plus S, L, Y, and above all I & A!!! Gosh, we might get the entire alphabet included; ahoy all boats!

chop stick , Nov 10 2019 19:17 utc | 19
Impeachment is about controlling where the attention is focused. When things get to close to home Pelosi says look over here at the orange head, look over there at the border but whatever you do, do not look over https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1KfU5ifhqE ">here.
b , Nov 11 2019 14:20 utc | 114
@pnyx - Thanks for linking the NZZ piece

"Biden / Ukraine: Others begin to get it: 'Further scratches become visible on the picture of the Bidens in the Ukraine affair' (original in German: 'Am Bild der Bidens in der Ukraine-Affäre werden weitere Kratzer sichtbar' nzz 9.11.19, nzz.ch/international/ukraine-affaere-rolle-der-biden-familie-undurchsichtig-ld.1520759)"

Funny it is mostly a recap of my findings of Biden in Ukraine. The piece links to William Bowles ( https://williambowles.info/2019/10/08/when-ukraines-prosecutor-came-after-his-sons-sponsor-joe-biden-sprang-into-action/) and attributes that the findings to him.

But it is not Bowles but a copy my piece here ( https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/10/biden-timeline.html).

So the Neue Züricher Zeitung, the most prestige Swiss outlet, is practically quoting MoA.

I am honored.

[Nov 11, 2019] House Republicans release their impeachment inquiry witness wish list

Nov 11, 2019 | www.vox.com

Following the release of the letter, Trump gave his two cents, arguing the list ought to be expanded to include "Nervous Nancy Pelosi" and "Sleepy Joe Biden."

I recommend that Nervous Nancy Pelosi (who backed up Schiff's lie), Shifty Adam Schiff, Sleepy Joe Biden, the Whistleblower (who miraculously disappeared after I released the transcript of the call), the 2nd Whistleblower (who also disappeared), & the I.G., be part of the list!

[Nov 11, 2019] The Rule of Law or CIA Coup? by Scott Horton

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's real offense is waging an un-authorized, unconstitutional, illegal, treasonous and for-real genocidal war against the human beings of Yemen. His war crimes in Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Syria and Iraq have at least taken place in conflicts supposedly authorized by Congress, making the legal cases against actions there somewhat more complicated. ..."
"... But in Yemen, no law, only presidential orders, have authorized our military , spies , arms merchants and mercenaries to "lead from behind" in this disastrous war of the so-called "Saudi-led coalition" against the civilian population there. ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | original.antiwar.com

It's pretty obvious.

by Scott Horton Posted on November 07, 2019

Americans should support the impeachment and removal of President Donald Trump, but not for Ukrainegate . In fact, they should oppose his impeachment on Ukrainegate grounds completely.

Trump's real offense is waging an un-authorized, unconstitutional, illegal, treasonous and for-real genocidal war against the human beings of Yemen. His war crimes in Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Syria and Iraq have at least taken place in conflicts supposedly authorized by Congress, making the legal cases against actions there somewhat more complicated.

But in Yemen, no law, only presidential orders, have authorized our military , spies , arms merchants and mercenaries to "lead from behind" in this disastrous war of the so-called "Saudi-led coalition" against the civilian population there.

The previous Yemen war, the CIA and air force drone war against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which began in 2009, the lawyers argued, was legal under the Authorization to Use Military Force against the group that attacked the United States on September 11th 2001. They were, after all, involved in the attack , and had previously bombed the USS Cole in 2000. Of course that drone war only backfired , empowering the al Qaeda enemy by radicalizing the local population. It turns out a 500-pound bomb isn't a "scalpel" in real life, like they say in Washington.

But this is not that war . This is the war that President Barack Obama and then-Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman started back in March 2015. It's not a war against AQAP at all. In fact, from the very beginning it's been a war for AQAP and their allies against their deadly enemies, the Houthi movement of Zaidi Shi'ite tribes from the north of the country who seized the capital city of Sana'a at the end of 2014. The Houthis had been helping the U.S. to fight against AQAP .

Strikes against AQAP have continued as well, mostly to bad effect . But even the blowback from that failed policy amounts to nothing compared to the gains al Qaeda has made from fighting on what is now America's side in the war, mostly due to their association with the mercenary forces of the United Arab Emirites, a major partner in the U.S.-led coalition.

By the time Obama switched to their side in the war, AQAP had also inspired the Ft. Hood massacre , attempted to blow up a plane over Detroit , launched an attempted bomb attack on a U.S. cargo plane and massacred the staff of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, France in January 2015.

That same January, Obama's undersecretary of defense for intelligence, Gen. Michael Vickers, announced that the U.S. was working with the new regime against al Qaeda. Just two months later, Barack Obama betrayed the Houthis and sided with al Qaeda against them.

The AUMF does not cover that.

And let's get it straight. America is the "Superpower"; Saudi Arabia is our client state. Obama didn't have to do anything. In fact, to hear his war cabinet tell it, they can barely remember starting the war at all.

Robert Malley, Obama's coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and Gulf Region, recently wrote (get this):

"Why the U.S. got entangled in this war -- and why a president so determined to keep the country out of another Mideast military mess nonetheless got caught in this one -- makes for a painful a story. [sic] In March 2015, Saudi Arabia came to the U.S. with a request for support in a campaign it vowed to conduct regardless. After that, and although events took place a mere four years ago, memories blur. In our conversations, many former U.S. officials found it hard to recall what precisely the Saudis asked for, what specific commitments the administration made in response, and when certain types of assistance started to flow. Some, including one of us who attended the deliberations, recall a deeply ambivalent president who greenlighted U.S. support but insisted it be confined to the defense of Saudi territory and not extend to the war against the Houthis. Others don't recall hearing about that instruction, and struggle to reconcile it with what the U.S. actually did during the war -- including refueling coalition sorties and replenishing weapons stocks.

[laugh track]

"Yet all agree the decision ultimately came without much debate. The reason, at bottom, was straightforward: Here was a partner (Saudi Arabia) seeking help in restoring a government (that of President Hadi) the U.S. regarded as legitimate and a loyal ally in the war against al-Qaeda. That government had been toppled by an insurgent group (the Houthi or Ansar Allah); although the extent of its ties to Iran was debatable and debated, their existence was indisputable. Plus, all this came at a time when relations between Washington and Riyadh already were deeply damaged by disagreements over the Obama administration's response to the Arab uprisings and, even more so, its negotiations over a nuclear deal with Tehran. As Riyadh saw it, doing nothing would mean permitting control by a Hizbollah-like organization of its southern border, ensconcing a perpetual threat. Rebuffing the Saudi request at any time likely would have provoked a serious crisis in Saudi/U.S. bilateral relations. Doing so while the U.S. was seeking a landmark agreement with the kingdom's sworn enemy could have brought them to breaking point. That was a risk even a president skeptical of the wisdom of Saudi policies and willing to call into question elements of the relationship was not prepared to take.

Poor helpless President of the United States of America. Unlike, say, Iran's nuclear weapons program , the Houthis' "existence was indisputable ." What could Obama possibly do at that point than stab them, his actual anti-al Qaeda allies, in the back and take MBS and Ayman al Zawahiri's side against them? It's high treason His Royal Highness wants, it's high treason he gets.

So this treasonous war is unauthorized and therefore un-Constitutional . It's also a war that is in violation of the War Powers Resolution, and not only technically speaking. Lo and behold the unbelievable fact that both houses of the U.S. Congress have voted to invoke the War Powers Resolution, demanding an end to the war. They even passed the same version at the same time and sent it to the president's desk earlier this year. He 'vetoed' it . So the unauthorized, unconstitutional, treasonous war is also in the narrow sense, illegal.

But what's this about genocide? That could fall under the War Crimes Act . That's exactly what it is.

The strategy of the U.S.-Saudi campaign has been to target Yemen's water, electric and sewage systems, hospitals, markets and farms – where they bomb the grain silos, flocks of sheep in the field, irrigation systems and whatever else they can target to destroy the basic infrastructure supporting the lives of the civilian population, especially in the north of the country. During the last world's worst cholera outbreak in history before the current one , the U.S.A. and their Saudi friends bombed the cholera hospitals just to be sure to kill as many babies as possible.

All the while the U.S. Navy helps the Saudis and UAE keep the place under blockade , preventing virtually all international trade, and limiting the availability of humanitarian aid.

The most powerful nation in world history, barely hiding behind its proxy, is decimating the poorest, weakest country in the Middle East.

Yemen is not a country that ever attacked us or threatened us. Even the Houthis' anti-American slogans were only adopted to embarrass their then-enemy and later-ally, dictator Abdullah Saleh, for being so close to the George W. Bush administration in the 2000s.

As referenced above, the Houthis were helping the Obama government fight al Qaeda at the time he started bombing them. And he only did it to " placate the Saudis " over their unease about the possibility of a new (absolutely out of the question) American slant back toward Iran while negotiating the 2015 nuclear deal.

The latest numbers from the group ACLED Data have it that over 100,000 people have been killed in the violence of the war, while the UN recently said that more than 133,000 additional people had died in the war due to deprivation (starvation, otherwise easily treatable diseases, etc.). This includes 85,000 children under 5 years old , many thousands of whom died of cholera. That is, they vomited and defecated themselves to death.

[Insert mental image of a young child you know and love dying that way and you being absolutely unable to do anything about it here.]

From the very beginning it was known that this very poor country was heavily dependent on foreign food imports for their survival and that the state of war would immediately propel masses to famine . And so it has.

So you see, the war is un-authorized, unconstitutional, illegal, treasonous and genocidal all at the same time. It is as bad as Iraq War II at least. When the whole thing is finally over, we are virtually certain to find that the "excess death rate" for the Yemeni people during this time equates to over a million dead.

But Donald Trump could have stopped the war almost three years ago. He could stop it right now with one simple phone call to the secretary of defense. Instead he crows about how much money "we're" making helping Saudi's government kill.

This is the same reason why I have supported impeachment and removal against George Bush Sr., Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama before Trump: war crimes.

Not only should Trump be removed from office for this wanton murder, he should have to share a Supermax cell with his buddy Barack Obama for the rest of their lives over it too.

That would be the law and justice being applied to the powerful equally like in the theories they teach us in high school civics class about how our system is supposed to work.

But folks. Come on now. That is not what this current impeachment scandal is at all. America's secret police , formerly under John " Jabhat al Nusra " Brennan, are leading a coup against the elected leader of the national government. Cry as they might about how uncouth Trump is, the real motive for the entire Russiagate setup was their fear that he might actually mean some of the good things he said about " getting along with Russia ," his disregard for the NATO alliance and unwillingness to continue America's indefinite catastrophe in the Middle East.

Isolationism!

Like the fools who believed in him, all the hawks took what Trump said at face value and went crazy. Treat the Palestinians " fairly "?! Red Alert! DEFCON 1! Treason Summit!

But Trump has escalated every single one of the wars he inherited from Barack Obama in 2017. He's done everything the Israelis want. But it's just not enough. Trump doesn't believe in America's divine mission to dominate the planet earth – er, "lead" it – until the end of time. He doesn't demand the rest of us do either. His terrible trade policies also are " disruptive " to our system of permanent alliances around the world. That is why the "deep state" is out to get him.

After failing to stop Trump's inauguration with their false accusations that he conspired with the Russians to steal the 2016 election, and chucking the possibility that they could get his cabinet to overthrow him by invoking the 25th amendment, the feds settled on a project to " reign him in " at the very least by dragging out the fake Russia caper as long as they could.

Once the special council threw in the towel after another year of false Russiagate accusations, they switched to Plan B. Now that it's clear that the " whistleblower " Eric Ciaramella, formerly worked for Brennan, this entire thing should be cancelled. It doesn't matter that Trump was caught acting unethically with the Ukrainians, the presumption must be that Ciaramella was acting as a spy for the CIA against the elected president, sent there to find something, anything that could be used against Trump to take him down. Wait around a little while. It won't take long.

(Isn't it funny how most of the media still won't say the man's name, Eric Ciaramella , after it's already been published . Isn't their job now to either confirm it's true or not that he's the one who started this? Oh, no, they just love and want to protect whistleblowers now, right? That must be what's behind all the recent fawning coverage of Chelsea Manning's current sacrifice in federal prison.)

Opposing the U.S. coups in Ukraine in 2004 and 2014 and U.S. support of any kind for their Nazi-infested military forces, and being absolutely against Joe Biden and everything about him , and his scumbag , crackhead son and their roles in Ukraine after the last coup , I am therefore also very dubious about just what a terrible crime it is supposed to be that Trump would hold up this "vital" aid to Ukraine under these or any other circumstances. This is the narrative, you've noticed: Americans – you – owe Ukraine's government loyalty forever. To fail to give them the weapons they need to restart the horrible war against their countrymen in the east would be an unpardonable sin and so-forth. Call it another clue as to what is really going on around here.

To allow the CIA this win – after they've gotten away with using torture to lie us into war in Iraq and their presumption to challenge the authority of the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee by spying on her and attempting to have the Department of Justice prosecute her staffers for investigating that torture; after the revelations of their lawless NSA-like spying on Americans in the Vault 7 leak ; after their supporting al Nusra in Syria for 4 years leading to the rise of the Islamic State "caliphate" and Iraq War III; after they lied that the president of the United States was a guilty traitor who stole the 2016 election with the help of the Kremlin – would be no victory for justice at all.

After racking up a president's head as a trophy for their wall ( a second ?), just think what these monsters would be like then.

It's pretty easy to tell when there's a CIA coup going on. When they openly boast about it, as former acting CIA director John McLaughlin recently did , then you should be on the right side of it, against.

Any real effort to hold all politicians accountable for their crimes under the equal rule of law should be welcomed and supported. We'll believe it when we see Obama's indictment right next to Trump's.

Scott Horton is editorial director of Antiwar.com , director of the Libertarian Institute , host of Antiwar Radio on Pacifica, 90.7 FM KPFK in Los Angeles, California and podcasts the Scott Horton Show from ScottHorton.org . He's the author of the 2017 book, Fool's Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan and editor of the 2019 book, The Great Ron Paul: The Scott Horton Show Interviews 2004–2019 . He's conducted more than 5,000 interviews since 2003.

Scott's Twitter , YouTube , Patreon .

[Nov 11, 2019] Nunes Demands Schiff Testify After Lying; Also Wants Whistleblower And Hunter Biden To Appear

Notable quotes:
"... "As the American public is now aware, in August 2019 you and/or your staff met with or talked to the whistleblower who raised an issue with President Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. Although you publicly claim nothing inappropriate was discussed , the three committees deserve to hear directly from you the substance and circumstances surrounding any discussions conducted with the whistleblower, and any instructions you issued regarding those discussions. " ..."
"... " Given that you have reneged on your public commitment to let the committees interview the whistleblower directly, you are the only individual who can provide clarity as to these conversations," the letter reads. ..."
"... Schiff lied about his office's contacts with the whistleblower - initially claiming "We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower," when in fact the whistleblower, now known as CIA officer Eric Ciaramella, reached out to a committee aide who directed him to Democratic attorney Mark Zaid (who proudly obtained government security clearances for pedophiles and enjoys walking around children's theme parks alone). ..."
"... "Americans see through this sham impeachment process, despite the Democrats' efforts to retroactively legitimize it last week ," wrote Nunes. "To provide transparency to your otherwise opaque and unfair process, and after consultation with [House Oversight Committee] Ranking Member Jim Jordan and [House Foreign Affairs Committee] Ranking Member Michael McCaul, the American people deserve to hear from the following witnesses in an open setting ." ..."
"... Adam Schiff was tricked by Russian pranksters and tried to get Nude photos of Trump. Adam Schiff secretly met w/ Simpson during his investigation. Adam Schiff coached Cohen before his testimony. Adam Schiff colluded with traitor Eric Ciaramella. Adam Schiff belongs in prison. ..."
"... "Americans see through this sham impeachment process, despite the Democrats' efforts to retroactively legitimize it last week," wrote Nunes. At least this fellow is saying something. Of course nothing will come of it. The republicant's as a whole are some useless spineless sickening cowards. Hopefully this entire treasonous pack of democraps will be fully exposed. ..."
"... I think that Adam Schitt is getting closer to actually shitting his pants. He is a pathological liar, ..."
"... Why just subpoena Eric Ciaramella as a person of interest, instead of "the whistle blower"? Don't recognize him as the whistle blower, see what the response is from Schiff. ..."
Nov 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) made a formal request that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) testify in a closed-door session as part of the impeachment inquiry against President Trump.

"Prior to the start of your public show trial next week, at least one additional closed-door deposition must take place," reads a Friday letter from Nunes to Schiff.

"As the American public is now aware, in August 2019 you and/or your staff met with or talked to the whistleblower who raised an issue with President Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. Although you publicly claim nothing inappropriate was discussed , the three committees deserve to hear directly from you the substance and circumstances surrounding any discussions conducted with the whistleblower, and any instructions you issued regarding those discussions. "

" Given that you have reneged on your public commitment to let the committees interview the whistleblower directly, you are the only individual who can provide clarity as to these conversations," the letter reads.

Schiff lied about his office's contacts with the whistleblower - initially claiming "We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower," when in fact the whistleblower, now known as CIA officer Eric Ciaramella, reached out to a committee aide who directed him to Democratic attorney Mark Zaid (who proudly obtained government security clearances for pedophiles and enjoys walking around children's theme parks alone).

That said, Schiff maintains he hasn't personally spoken with Ciaramella, and that his committee was only given vague information as to the nature of the complaint.

... ... ...

Republicans, meanwhile, are gearing up for the public hearings by assembling a list of proposed witnesses - although Democrats have the final say over who can appear.

Nunes' and Republicans' effort to devise a strategy going forward comes after the House approved rules for the impeachment inquiry process last week . While Republicans opposed the resolution and complained the rules were unfair, Democrats still gave GOP lawmakers the ability to subpoena witnesses with the concurrence of Democratic committee chairs. If the chair does not consent, the minority can appeal to the full committee.

This process still gives Democrats final say over witnesses . A GOP source told Fox News this week that it's unlikely Democrats would go along with the efforts to call Schiff -- who is essentially leading the impeachment probe. - Fox News

On Saturday, Nunes wrote another letter to Schiff with a list of witnesses the GOP would like to call, including Joe Biden's son Hunter and Ciaramella .

"Americans see through this sham impeachment process, despite the Democrats' efforts to retroactively legitimize it last week ," wrote Nunes. "To provide transparency to your otherwise opaque and unfair process, and after consultation with [House Oversight Committee] Ranking Member Jim Jordan and [House Foreign Affairs Committee] Ranking Member Michael McCaul, the American people deserve to hear from the following witnesses in an open setting ."

While requesting testimony from the whistleblower, Nunes wrote that "Trump should be afforded an opportunity to confront his accusers," particularly over what he claims are "discrepancies" between the whistleblower's complaint and witnesses' closed-door testimony.

" It is imperative that the American people hear definitively how the whistleblower developed his or her information , and who else the whistleblower may have fed the information he or she gathered and how that treatment of classified information may have led to the false narrative being perpetrated by the Democrats during this process ," Nunes wrote.

In addition to the anonymous whistleblower, whose complaint about Trump's July 25 call with Ukraine is at the center of the impeachment inquiry, Republicans also plan to call Hunter Biden 's former business partner, Devon Archer.

Hunter Biden worked on the board of a natural gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch while his father served as vice president. Joe Biden pushed in 2016 for the dismissal of a Ukrainian prosecutor who had been accused of overlooking corruption in his own office, threatening to withhold money if the prosecutor was not fired. - The Hill

Last Sunday on CBS ' "Face the Nation," House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said that Schiff is the "fist person" who should be brought in, along with his staff.

"Come to the Judiciary Committee" said Collins, following the passage of Democrats' impeachment guidelines. "Be the first witness and take every question asked of you. Starting with your own involvement [with] the whistleblower."


Teamtc321 , 8 minutes ago link

Adam Schiff was tricked by Russian pranksters and tried to get Nude photos of Trump. Adam Schiff secretly met w/ Simpson during his investigation. Adam Schiff coached Cohen before his testimony. Adam Schiff colluded with traitor Eric Ciaramella. Adam Schiff belongs in prison.

Truth Eater , 9 minutes ago link

If the Repubs fail to get anything from the Demoncrat controlled house of representatives committees, they have NUMEROUS committees in the SENATE from which to start their own investigations. HELLOOOO... paging Mitch the bitch..... get out of your globalist shell Mr Turtleman and take action.

wmbz , 19 minutes ago link

"Americans see through this sham impeachment process, despite the Democrats' efforts to retroactively legitimize it last week," wrote Nunes. At least this fellow is saying something. Of course nothing will come of it. The republicant's as a whole are some useless spineless sickening cowards. Hopefully this entire treasonous pack of democraps will be fully exposed.

The one good thing about this whole fraud is that they can not contain all of their lies, since the MSM no longer controls the narrative.

I think that Adam Schitt is getting closer to actually shitting his pants. He is a pathological liar, and should be hung by the neck until dead.

chubbar , 19 minutes ago link

Why just subpoena Eric Ciaramella as a person of interest, instead of "the whistle blower"? Don't recognize him as the whistle blower, see what the response is from Schiff.

It's no secret who the whistle blower is, unless it's not Ciaramella. So just bring him in and ask him some leaker questions since it's fairly certain he has, at a minimum, been leaking classified intel to the media. They can also ask him about contact with Schiffs committee and staff.

[Nov 11, 2019] ee Pete Lavell and his fellas have addressed CT/RT) the name that may no longer be spoken.

Nov 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Walter , Nov 11 2019 9:13 utc | 98

see Pete Lavell and his fellas have addressed CT/RT) the name that may no longer be spoken...so I searched twitter for "Eric Ciaramella". Kinna fun.

When do we get T shirts?

[Nov 10, 2019] Republicans want to call Alexandra Chalupa, Nellie Ohr to testify

Nov 10, 2019 | www.vox.com

Chalupa, Nunes writes, can shed light on "the facts and circumstances surrounding Ukrainian involvement in the 2016 election."

According to Nunes, Ohr told committees in 2018 that Fusion GPS sources included high ranking Ukrainians. And Ohr, the lawmaker claims, can help illuminate "the facts and circumstances surrounding Ukrainian involvement in the 2016 election."

[Nov 09, 2019] Visitor Logs Reveal Whistleblower And DNC Contractor Visited Obama White House Multiple Times

Nov 09, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Visitor Logs Reveal 'Whistleblower' And DNC Contractor Visited Obama White House Multiple Times by Tyler Durden Sat, 11/09/2019 - 13:30 0 SHARES

Authored by Sara Carter via SaraACarter.com,

A controversial whistleblower who allegedly reported second-hand on President Donald Trump's private conversation with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the Obama White House on numerous occasions, according to Obama era visitor logs obtained by Judicial Watch.

Last week Real Clear Investigation's first reported the whistleblower's name. It is allegedly CIA officer Eric Ciaramella. His name, however, has been floating around Washington D.C. since the leak of Trump's phone call. It was considered an 'open secret' until reporter Paul Sperry published his article. Ciaramella has never openly stated that he is the whistleblower and most news outlets are not reporting his name publicly.

He was detailed to the National Security Counsel during the Obama Administration in 2015 and was allegedly sent back to the CIA in 2017, after a number of people within the Trump White House suspected him of leaking information to the press, according to several sources that spoke with SaraACarter.com .

Further, the detailed visitor logs reveal that a Ukrainian expert Alexandra Chalupa , a contractor that was hired by the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 election, visited the White House 27 times.

Chalupa allegedly coordinated with the Ukrainians to investigate then candidate Trump and his former campaign manager Paul Manafort. Manafort was forced out of his short tenure as campaign manager for Trump when stories circulated regarding business dealings with Ukrainian officials. Manafort was later investigated and convicted by a jury on much lesser charges then originally set forth by Robert Mueller's Special Counsel investigation. He was given 47 months in prison for basically failing to pay appropriate taxes and committing bank fraud.

Both Ciaramella and Chalupa are of interest to Republican's investigating the what some conservatives have described as the second Trump 'witch-hunt.' And many have called for the whistleblower to testify to Congress.

They are absolutely correct and within the law. There is so much information and evidence that reveals that this was no ordinary whistleblower complaint but one that may have been based on highly partisan actions targeting Trump.

Here's just one example : Ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes said its impossible to have a fair impeachment inquiry without the testimony of the alleged whistleblower because he is a 'fact foundational witness' who had met with Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-CA, previously. Schiff had originally denied that he had any contact with his committee and then had to walk back his statements when it was revealed that the whistleblower had met with the Democrats prior to filing his complaint to the Intelligence Inspector General about the President.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, said the visitor logs reveal that there is much lawmakers or the American public don't know about what happened during the 2016 presidential elections and moreover it raises very significant questions about the apparent partisan nature of the whistleblower.

"Judicial Watch's analysis of Obama White House visitor logs raises additional questions about the Obama administration, Ukraine and the related impeachment scheme targeting President Trump," said Fitton, in a press release Friday.

"Both Mr. Ciaramella and Ms. Chalupa should be questioned about the meetings documented in these visitor logs."

Read Below From Judicial Watch

The White House visitor logs revealed the following individuals met with Eric Ciaramella while he was detailed to the Obama White House:

  • Daria Kaleniuk: Co-founder and executive director of the Soros-funded Anticorruption Action Center (AntAC) in Ukraine. She visited on December 9, 2015

The Hill reported that in April 2016, during the U.S. presidential race, the U.S. Embassy under Obama in Kiev, "took the rare step of trying to press the Ukrainian government to back off its investigation of both the U.S. aid and (AntAC)."

  • Gina Lentine: Now a senior program officer at Freedom House, she was formerly the Eurasia program coordinator at Soros funded Open Society Foundations. She visited on March 16, 2016.
  • Rachel Goldbrenner: Now an NYU law professor, she was at that time an advisor to then-Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power. She visited on both January 15, 2016 and August 8, 2016.
  • Orly Keiner: A foreign affairs officer at the State Department who is a Russia specialist. She is also the wife of State Department Legal Advisor James P. Bair. She visited on both March 4, 2016 and June 20, 2015.
  • Nazar Kholodnitzky: The lead anti-corruption prosecutor in Ukraine. He visited on January 19, 2016.

On March 7, 2019, The Associated Press reported that the then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch called for him to be fired.

  • Michael Kimmage: Professor of History at Catholic University of America, at the time was with the State Department's policy planning staff where specialized in Russia and Ukraine issues. He is a fellow at the German Marshall Fund. He was also one of the signatories to the Transatlantic Democracy Working Group Statement of Principles. He visited on October 26, 2015.
  • James Melville: Then-recently confirmed as Obama's Ambassador to Estonia, visited on September 9, 2015.

On June 29, 2018, Foreign Policy reported that Melville resigned in protest of Trump.

  • Victoria Nuland: who at the time was assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs met with Ciaramella on June 17, 2016.

(Judicial Watch has previously uncovered documents revealing Nuland had an extensive involvement with Clinton-funded dossier . Judicial Watch also released documents revealing that Nuland was involved in the Obama State Department's "urgent" gathering of classified Russia investigation information and disseminating it to members of Congress within hours of Trump taking office.)

  • Artem Sytnyk: the Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Bureau director visited on January 19, 2016.

On October 7, 2019, the Daily Wire reported leaked tapes show Sytnyk confirming that the Ukrainians helped the Clinton campaign.

The White House visitor logs revealed the following individuals met with Alexandra Chalupa, then a DNC contractor:

  • Charles Kupchan: From 2014 to 2017, Kupchan served as special assistant to the president and senior director for European affairs on the staff of the National Security Council (NSC) in the Barack Obama administration. That meeting was on November 9, 2015.
  • Alexandra Sopko: who at the time was a special assistant and policy advisor to the director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, which was run by Valerie Jarrett. Also listed for that meeting is Alexa Kissinger, a special assistant to Jarrett. That meeting was on June 2, 2015.
  • Asher Mayerson: who at the time was a policy advisor to the Office of Public Engagement under Jarrett had five visits with Chalupa including December 18, 2015, January 11, 2016, February 22, 2016, May 13, 2016, and June 14, 2016.

Mayerson was previously an intern at the Center for American Progress. After leaving the Obama administration, he went to work for the City of Chicago Treasurer's office.

Mayerson met with Chalupa and Amanda Stone, who was the White House deputy director of technology, on January 11, 2016.

On May 4, 2016, Chalupa emailed DNC official Luis Miranda to inform him that she had spoken to investigative journalists about Paul Manafort in Ukraine.

[Nov 09, 2019] Donald Trump s Only Crime Is Defending Himself by Daniel McCarthy

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Impeachment is a game that Democrats are playing with Donald Trump, and the game's only rule is "heads I win, tails you lose." ..."
"... : by telling the president that he was not a subject of the probe and then refusing to issue a statement to that effect, Comey was making the point: Trump might be the country's elected executive, but men like Comey were the government. Officials could leak, they could issue anonymous quotes prejudicial to the president, and all Trump could do was wait until Comey decided to clear his name. ..."
"... by the time he issued his report, the protracted investigation, and all the hype about Trump and Russia that it sustained, had done its political damage and hammered the lesson home. Republicans suffered a bloodbath in the 2018 midterms, and the next president would think twice-and then twice again-about treating an FBI director as his underling. ..."
"... On January 11, 2017, Politico ran a news story under the headline "Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire." The story documented Ukraine's meddling on behalf of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Kenneth P. Vogel and David Stern summarized the findings: ..."
"... Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton's allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found. ..."
"... Trump was within his rights as president to demand answers from Ukraine. And if he stood to benefit politically it was because Ukraine had already involved itself in American politics on the side of Democrats: severing those dubious ties and preventing further manipulation of U.S. elections would necessarily come at the expense of the party that Ukrainians had cultivated when Barack Obama was in power and which they had hoped to keep in power by helping Hillary Clinton ..."
"... Ukraine may have failed to elect Hillary Clinton in 2016, but Democrats hope to use Ukraine to remove Trump now, either through impeachment-a longshot-or by weakening him and the GOP ahead of the 2020 election. And Democrats hope that Republican senators will be so embarrassed and perhaps divided by a trial in the Senate that they will lose control of that chamber in 2020, too. They know Trump will keep fighting, and the harder he fights, the more he refuses to play by the rigged rules of the game, the more opportunity Democrats see to frame his defensive moves as outrageous and impeachable offenses. With Nixon and Watergate, the cover-up was often said to be worse than the crime. With Trump, there is no crime, but his defiant acts of self-defense are enough to convict him-or so the Democrats and their allies hope. ..."
Nov 08, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

With Trump, there is no crime, but his defiant acts of self-defense are enough to convict him -- or so the Democrats and their allies hope.

by Daniel McCarthy
,

With Trump, there is no crime, but his defiant acts of self-defense are enough to convict him-or so the Democrats and their allies hope.

Impeachment is a game that Democrats are playing with Donald Trump, and the game's only rule is "heads I win, tails you lose." The president is familiar with these rules by now, as they're the same ones that governed the investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. FBI Director James Comey told Trump at the outset that he was not a target of the investigation.

Yet anonymous quotes and other questionably sourced reports continued to appear in the press claiming that Trump was a Russian asset-as Hillary Clinton might bluntly put it-and so the president asked Comey to say in public what he had told him in private. Comey refused, and Trump soon fired him.

This act of self-defense, or pique, depending on your point of view, triggered calls for the appointment of a special counsel to take over the investigation-which ballooned from an investigation that didn't center around Trump into one in which Trump's behavior toward Comey was grounds for investigating the president. Comey had made a power play: by telling the president that he was not a subject of the probe and then refusing to issue a statement to that effect, Comey was making the point: Trump might be the country's elected executive, but men like Comey were the government. Officials could leak, they could issue anonymous quotes prejudicial to the president, and all Trump could do was wait until Comey decided to clear his name.

Other politicians might play by those rules out the desire for self-preservation. Trump chose not to. And so, an ex-FBI director, who may have had hopes of becoming director once again, took over the investigation. Comey would not go unavenged. Mueller ultimately found nothing criminal or meriting a recommendation of impeachment in Trump's behavior. But by the time he issued his report, the protracted investigation, and all the hype about Trump and Russia that it sustained, had done its political damage and hammered the lesson home. Republicans suffered a bloodbath in the 2018 midterms, and the next president would think twice-and then twice again-about treating an FBI director as his underling.

The Ukraine corruption that is at the heart of the Democrats' impeachment project involves the same logic if somewhat different players. On January 11, 2017, Politico ran a news story under the headline "Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire." The story documented Ukraine's meddling on behalf of Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Kenneth P. Vogel and David Stern summarized the findings:

Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton's allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found.

If a foreign power involves itself is a U.S. election like that, shouldn't America ask questions? And shouldn't aid money to that foreign power be held up until those questions were answered-not least because withholding those funds might be necessary to compel cooperation with the investigation and to get the foreign interest to mend its ways? The questions Trump had to ask in this case, however, involving what ties Ukrainians had to prominent Democratic Party figures, could and would, of course, be portrayed by Democrats and the media sympathetic to them as a kind of election interference in its own right. Why, Trump was demanding a quid pro quo from Kiev-the funds in return for information about the Democrats or an investigation that would embarrass a possible 2020 nominee.

Again, as Trump's enemies would have it, he loses if he acts (by firing Comey, by urging Kiev to look into questionable behavior by or benefiting Democrats), and he loses if he doesn't act (and simply accepts mischaracterizations of the Russia investigation in the press or Kiev's intrigues with Democrats). Trump has a predilection to defy his enemies-something they might now have come to count on-so rather than taking the beating they want to mete out to him, he hits back, and then they cry foul. The media intensifies its insinuations that Trump has broken one or more laws (though just which law remains vague and hardly even argued, let alone proven), and the president's foes reach for their institutional weapons: the special counsel provisions and now impeachment proceedings. When Republicans do not go along with the kangaroo court, well-paid ex-conservatives are hauled out to bemoan the lost integrity of a party whose last president misled the country into ceaseless wars in the Middle East-with these very same ex-conservatives having led the cheers for those interventions.

Trump was within his rights as president to demand answers from Ukraine. And if he stood to benefit politically it was because Ukraine had already involved itself in American politics on the side of Democrats: severing those dubious ties and preventing further manipulation of U.S. elections would necessarily come at the expense of the party that Ukrainians had cultivated when Barack Obama was in power and which they had hoped to keep in power by helping Hillary Clinton.

Ukrainians are only acting in self-interest here: they understandably want to enlist U.S. power in every way possible as a check upon Russia. The prospect of American politics taking a turn toward rapprochement with Russia stirs Ukraine to take one side in our elections and Russia to take another. This is an old familiar pattern in American politics-as old as the Washington and Adams administrations, when revolutionary France and counter-revolutionary England had interests in our elections, and America's ideological factions were inclined to favor one power or another. Neutrality was the course that George Washington urged, and by and large, it was the one that won out, even when the French-sympathizing Thomas Jefferson and James Madison came to power.

A lesson from George Washington would stand the leaders in Washington, DC in good stead today. But Democrats in Congress have other ideas: Ukraine may have failed to elect Hillary Clinton in 2016, but Democrats hope to use Ukraine to remove Trump now, either through impeachment-a longshot-or by weakening him and the GOP ahead of the 2020 election. And Democrats hope that Republican senators will be so embarrassed and perhaps divided by a trial in the Senate that they will lose control of that chamber in 2020, too. They know Trump will keep fighting, and the harder he fights, the more he refuses to play by the rigged rules of the game, the more opportunity Democrats see to frame his defensive moves as outrageous and impeachable offenses. With Nixon and Watergate, the cover-up was often said to be worse than the crime. With Trump, there is no crime, but his defiant acts of self-defense are enough to convict him-or so the Democrats and their allies hope.

nopeace > jeremypw • 2 hours ago

The Jan 2017 piece referenced above disproves your entire post. It points out that Democrats used Ukraine n the 2016 election (long before Trump ever the Ukraine or Biden entered the race.

BTW, there wasn't just one country where the drug-abusing, bad discharged Biden-boy made gross amounts of money from countries trying to buy influence in the Obama administration through his father. There were several, including China. The difference is that his father admitted on video to threatening withdrawing billions in U.S. aid if the prosecutor of his son was not fired. True quid pro quo.

[Nov 09, 2019] The Media's Obsession With Personalities Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... Earlier in Stone's legal process his lawyers filed a motion to try to prove that Russia did not hack the DNC and Podesta emails. The motion revealed that CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC and Clinton campaign, never completed its report, and only gave a redacted draft to the FBI blaming Russia. The FBI was never allowed to examine the DNC server itself. ..."
"... Faced now with a criminal investigation into how the Russiagate conspiracy theory originated intelligence officers and their accomplices in the media and in the Democratic Party are mounting a defense by launching an offensive in the form of impeachment proceedings against Trump that is based on an allegation of conducting routine, corrupt U.S. foreign policy. ..."
"... Consortium News ..."
Nov 09, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Earlier in Stone's legal process his lawyers filed a motion to try to prove that Russia did not hack the DNC and Podesta emails. The motion revealed that CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC and Clinton campaign, never completed its report, and only gave a redacted draft to the FBI blaming Russia. The FBI was never allowed to examine the DNC server itself.

In the end, though, it doesn't matter if it were a hack or a leak by an insider. That's because the emails WikiLeaks released were accurate. When documents check out it is irrelevant who the source is. That's why WikiLeaks set up an anonymous drop box, copied by big media like The Wall Street Journal and others . Had the emails been counterfeit and disinformation was inserted into a U.S. election by a foreign power that would be sabotage. But that is not what happened.

The attempt to stir up the thoroughly discredited charge of collusion appears to be part of the defense strategy of those whose reputations were thoroughly discredited by maniacally pushing that false charge for more than two years. This includes legions of journalists. But principal among them are intelligence agency officials who laundered this "collusion" disinformation campaign through the mainstream media.

Faced now with a criminal investigation into how the Russiagate conspiracy theory originated intelligence officers and their accomplices in the media and in the Democratic Party are mounting a defense by launching an offensive in the form of impeachment proceedings against Trump that is based on an allegation of conducting routine, corrupt U.S. foreign policy.

Stone may be just a footnote to this historic partisan battle that may scar the nation for a generation. But he has the personality to be the poster boy for the Democrats' lost cause.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for T he Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe , Sunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

[Nov 09, 2019] Possible republican counter gambit -- sacrifice Trump and win elections

Notable quotes:
"... "John Bolton's Old Rivals Say Trump Should Be 'Very, Very Worried" ..."
"... If he does not go for a second term, his enemies will go after him legally and he would be without the protection of being President. The establishment would pin anything that they can (or make up) so as to teach any other future Presidential candidate that you do not become so without getting the nod from them first. So Roman that. ..."
Nov 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

FreeMarketApologist , November 8, 2019 at 3:29 pm

"John Bolton's Old Rivals Say Trump Should Be 'Very, Very Worried"

Way back when, it was taken as mostly-gospel that Trump was surprised as anybody that he won, and that he didn't really want the job. While it appears that he's having lots of fun being #1, maybe he's not so worried about an impeachment, because it will get him out of the White House, and back to making money. Impeachment could be Donald and the Repub's wet dream: they get rid of an odious figurehead (but one who has given them everything they have wanted), they get Mike Pence to finish off the term and run in 2020, and he can claim he was unjustly removed from office, all the while raking in the $$ from speaking engagements, new TV shows, merch sales, and additional influence peddling.

urblintz , November 8, 2019 at 5:19 pm

I've always felt that Trump's best move would be to not run again. It would be perfectly in character for him to say "been there done that" and exit with his middle finger extended. He's done it his whole life and his "brand" for those who ever bought it to begin with would be even stronger. Successful impeachment might slow him up a bit but does anyone really think he's just gonna go away with his tail between his legs after he leaves the White House? He's shameless and unless he goes to jail he will be with us forever which, loved or hated, is the only thing that matters to him

Carolinian , November 8, 2019 at 5:24 pm

This of course is the true hope of the impeachers–that he will just quit–since they know he won't really be impeached. They look fondly to the Nixon precedent.

HotFlash , November 8, 2019 at 9:13 pm

He won't do it if he thinks they want it.

The Rev Kev , November 8, 2019 at 6:25 pm

If he does not go for a second term, his enemies will go after him legally and he would be without the protection of being President. The establishment would pin anything that they can (or make up) so as to teach any other future Presidential candidate that you do not become so without getting the nod from them first. So Roman that.

[Nov 09, 2019] UN says 12,800 13,000 killed since April 2014. That's not enough. So Congress bought a pile of Javelin AT munitions

Nov 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

shinola , November 8, 2019 at 3:26 pm

From the Medium article "John Bolton's Old Rivals Say Trump Should Be Very, Very Worried"

"I don't think dirt-digging would offend Bolton. What would offend Bolton is interrupting military supplies to a country in a deadly battle with Russia. Doing something that for whatever reason appeases Putin," Thielmann said."

The country referred to is Ukraine. I guess I've missed all the msm articles detailing all those deadly clashes between Russian & Ukrainian military units along with casualty figures and all that. I suppose I need to pay closer attention (or something).

Misty Flip , November 8, 2019 at 5:46 pm

UN says 12,800–13,000 killed since April 2014. So Congress bought a pile of Javelin AT munitions, the ones with a top attack flight profile that will place a high explosive shape-charge of molten copper through tops of young Russian tank commanders' heads, who are sons of Putin's base, if there was a mechanized push further into Ukraine. [The political tolerance window for which is narrowing.]

Our benevolent leader said, "Hold-on. You gotta first get your FBI to clear my campaign and come up with some trumped-up charges against my political opponent. My FBI won't do it." Congressional impoundment, solicitation of a bribe for personal gain, and abuse of power. In any case, Ukraine's getting a smaller pile of missiles until next year, so, gross incompetent moves, both domestic and abroad.

Darthbobber , November 8, 2019 at 8:43 pm

You recall that the Obama administration opposed giving Ukraine any lethal assistance?

Congress has just come up with an excellent method of giving the Russians a lot of free Javelins if there were a serious fight. Which there continues to be no sign of.

Darthbobber , November 8, 2019 at 8:38 pm

The great bulk of (pro-government) Ukrainian casualties occurred in the course of ill-advised and poorly conducted offensives against the breakaway republics. When it only defends, the Ukrainian side doesn't suffer casualties. Because nobody attacks it.

[Nov 09, 2019] Right, one of his possibly effective lines of defense could be that he indeed made that request for the benefit of the country, and that it was just an unfortunate coincidence that it was regarding a political opponent. And he would have some backing evidence in the form of his other unusual requests like pressuring Sweden to release the rapper and all that.

Nov 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Drake , November 8, 2019 at 2:25 pm

"Trump is guilty of Bribery and Extortion."

I guess what I'm having trouble with is -- is there any foreign policy involving financial or military leverage that isn't bribery and/or extortion? The Marshall Plan? Alliance for Progress? Sanctions of any kind? Aid to Israel and Egypt? What isn't bribery and extortion? If it doesn't involve quid pro quo, then it's charity. I just can't see what Trump is supposed to be guilty of except making this transparent.

John Beech , November 8, 2019 at 2:31 pm

It's all a big joke. Impeach Trump, quickly move on Pence, and presto, President Pelosi (note the awesome alliteration) takes office! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

turtle , November 8, 2019 at 5:26 pm

The distinction I've heard being made is whether the bribery (or whatever they decide to call it) happened for personal gain or the public's/nation's gain. What's being alleged here is that this was a case where it was for personal gain.

In other words, whatever shady tactics a public representative uses to obtain concessions is just fine if it's to benefit those he or she represents, but not fine if it only benefits the representative him or herself.

I think this line of argument actually makes some sense, so I'm starting to come around to the idea of this impeachment.

Pat , November 8, 2019 at 7:02 pm

Clinton, Military aid to Saudi Arabia, Saudi donation to Clinton Foundation.
Biden threat to withhold aid from Ukraine unless prosecutor fired, son gets to keep five figure job AND stay out of Ukrainian prison.

I am pretty sure a fair case could be made for some other items in the Middle East and South America especially when you look at post government employment and positions.

If I thought any of this would actually change business as usual in DC, I would be all for it. But just as with Benghazi, those in charge of the investigation are trying to take out limited targets while keeping changing SOP out of it.

It is political show and directed by a group of people who should be limited to the same power I have, one vote.

turtle , November 8, 2019 at 7:40 pm

Unfortunately what you say rings true about the usual players trying to selectively prosecute. But at what point do (did?) we just throw our hands up and say (said?) "forget it, let's just ignore this part of the law (constitution)" even in the face of clear evidence that it happened?

As I learn more, this is starting to look to me like a clearer case for an impeachment trial than there was against Clinton, or even against Nixon, since bribery is very specifically mentioned in the constitution as a justification for impeachment (as opposed to the less specific "high crimes and misdemeanors", which I presume is what those other two cases fell under).

redleg , November 8, 2019 at 7:35 pm

If that's the case, then Trump's team has to show that the Bidens were being investigated for corruption. I'm sure that the GOP would gladly include a show-trial of sorts into impeachment proceedings to demonstrate this was the case even if it wasn't.
This whole thing is ridiculous and will only serve to boost Trump, especially when the Dems (again) force-feed a conservative through the convention as their nominee.

turtle , November 8, 2019 at 7:48 pm

Right, one of his possibly effective lines of defense could be that he indeed made that request for the benefit of the country, and that it was just an unfortunate coincidence that it was regarding a political opponent. And he would have some backing evidence in the form of his other unusual requests like pressuring Sweden to release the rapper and all that.

I also agree that this whole thing could possibly boost him, but not necessarily. It may well enrage his base, but it may turn away people in the middle who are still open to solid arguments and evidence.

I don't think the whole thing is ridiculous anymore, and feel that Pelosi decided that she finally had something substantial to start impeachment after talking about it for so long.

polecat , November 8, 2019 at 6:24 pm

The only things he is guilty of, is being an uncouth D.C. outsider that relishes pulling festering scabs off of the tony eastcoast pearl-clutchers, and giving the one-finger salute to California liberals ("I • Drink • Your • Impeachment • MILKSHAKE !, Nancy .. I DRINK IT UP siffft !!) .. when he's not bullchinashopping the Brunch Crowd, swilling the Dom Perrier before making off with the Belgian Waffles.

Titus , November 8, 2019 at 9:18 pm

Mhmmm, it's not a joke. As it seems received wisdom here @NC that trump will be re-elected, & liberal Dems don't get it & lefty can't get elected, what harm is there in holding trump accountable for something, whether you understand it or not, for something that he is actually responsible for?

It matters not if every other president is equally guilty which they are not. There are prices to be paid.

[Nov 09, 2019] Trump will go, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will stay

Nov 09, 2019 | www.thenation.com

"To the extent that Democrats any longer seriously discuss national security in the context of US-Russian relations, it mostly involves vilifying both Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. "

We have also learned that the heads of America's intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. Early on, I termed this operation " Intelgate ," and it has since been well documented by other writers, including Lee Smith in his new book . Intel officials did so in tacit alliance with certain leading, and equally Russophobic, members of the Democratic Party, which had once opposed such transgressions. This may be the most alarming revelation of the Trump years: Trump will leave power, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain.

§ We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream "free press" cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. Indeed, what the mainstream media -- leading national newspapers and two cable news networks, in particular -- chose to cover and report, and chose not to cover and report, made the abuses and consequences of Russiagate allegations possible. Even now, exceedingly influential publications such as The New York Times seem eager to delegitimize the investigation by Attorney General William Barr and his appointed special investigator John Durham into the origins of Russiagate. Barr's critics accuse him of fabricating a "conspiracy theory" on behalf of Trump. But the real, or grandest, conspiracy theory was the Russiagate allegation of "collusion" between Trump and the Kremlin, an accusation that was -- or should have been -- discredited by the Robert Mueller report.

Jeffrey Harrison says: November 6, 2019 at 9:30 pm

There are no more "honorable members of the Senate", Mr. Cohen. The members of both houses of Congress are partisan hacks who know nothing of how to run a country or exist in a multipolar world, they only know how to get elected.

[Nov 09, 2019] Facebook Scrubs All References To Alleged Whistleblower Eric Ciaramella

Nov 09, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Facebook Scrubs All References To Alleged Whistleblower Eric Ciaramella by Tyler Durden Fri, 11/08/2019 - 16:45 0 SHARES

Facebook announced on Friday that it would be removing an posts which name alleged Trump-Ukraine whistleblower Eric Ciaramella .

" We are removing any and all mentions of the potential whistleblower's name and will revisit this decision should their name be widely published in the media or used by public figures in the debate ," Facebook said in a statement in which they claim it violates their "coordinating harm" policy which prohibits content 'outing of witness, informant, or activist.'

On Wednesday, the social media giant removed ads naming Ciaramella which had been viewed several hundred thousand times according to the Washington Post .

On Friday, Breitbart ' s Allum Bohkari reported that the news outlet's posts containing references to Ciaramella had been scrubbed from the site.

Wednesday evening, Facebook removed Breitbart posts reporting on the fact other respected news outlets have reported the identity of the alleged whistleblower is Eric Ciaramella. Any Facebook user who attempts to click on that article on Facebook is now given a message that says, "this content isn't available at the moment."

To be clear, Breitbart did not "out" the alleged whistleblower but did provide additional relevant reporting about him ; he is, after all, a public figure, having served on the National Security Council . Moreover, his name has been used in the Mueller report (p283) and Ambassador Bill Taylor's testimony .

Administrators of Breitbart News' Facebook page began receiving notifications on Wednesday evening stating that Breitbart's page is "at risk of being unpublished" but were not given any details as to why, or even which posts were allegedly at issue. - Breitbart

Of note, it is not against the law for anyone except the Inspector General to disclose a whistleblower's name.

" There is no overarching protection for the identity of the whistleblower under federal law ," said attorney Dan Meyer, the former executive director of the intelligence community whistleblower program, adding "Congress has never provided that protection."

[Nov 08, 2019] One simple question about the USA foreign policy for Trump accusers

Nov 08, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Drake , November 8, 2019 at 2:25 pm

"Trump is guilty of Bribery and Extortion."

I guess what I'm having trouble with is -- is there any foreign policy involving financial or military leverage that isn't bribery and/or extortion? The Marshall Plan? Alliance for Progress? Sanctions of any kind? Aid to Israel and Egypt?

What isn't bribery and extortion?

If it doesn't involve quid pro quo, then it's charity.

I just can't see what Trump is supposed to be guilty of except making this transparent.

[Nov 08, 2019] On Schumer's concern for the welfare of whistleblowers

Nov 08, 2019 | off-guardian.org

mark

Schumer's concern for the welfare of whistleblowers may appear somewhat belated and unconvincing, given his previous pronouncements about Snowden, Assange and Manning, but I suppose we should all welcome a sinner come to repentance (or whatever the kosher equivalent is.)
Seamus Padraig

Chuck is now the ' shomer ' (guardian) of wistleblowers.

[Nov 08, 2019] Establishment s Coup Attempt Is Approaching End Game

This is Pelosi attempt to score some political points for coming elections, but it can backfire in Republicans in the Senate deside to wipe the floor with her and Schiff.
It would be totally ridiculous, unprecedented, and farcical for the losing party to impeach a president
Nov 08, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

stevek9 4 days ago

There was definitely treason all right, by elements of the CIA, FBI, and DNC, working with MI5 and Ukrainian oligarchs, to first interfere in the 2016 election in favor of Clinton, and after the surprise loss, to overturn the results with the ridiculous Russia-gate (and now Ukraine-gate) hoaxes.

Trump is an idiot, but his enemies are far worse.

J.E.Adams 4 days ago • edited
The Democrats will destroy themselves.Wikipedia: "Hoist with his own petard" is a phrase from a speech in Hamlet that has become proverbial. The phrase's meaning is literally that the bomb-maker...is blown up ("hoisted" off the ground) by his own bomb, and indicates an ironic reversal, or poetic justice.
The Other Sands 3 days ago
So if Trump's behavior is all kosher, I guess the DNC should hold a press conference tomorrow to officially ask every foreign country to search for dirt on Trump, his kids, Kushner, and their companies. They have been sleazing around a lot of countries making "deals" for a long long time.

If it is okay to ask foreign countries for help with domestic elections, the Dems should get all over that right away. Hmmmm, I wonder if Trump has offended any foreign countries in the last couple of years, who might like to help usher him out of office...? China, Mexico, half of Europe. Their intelligence agencies should give the DNC a call.

RCPreader The Other Sands 2 days ago
Too late; they did that long ago.

Re Ukraine alone, both Hillary and Senate Democratic leaders pressured it for dirt on Trump.

TISO_AX2 marqueemoons 2 days ago
Hypocrisy is in the eye of the beholder too, I guess. Unless you can define how the Federal Bribery Statute has historically been applied to US presidents dealing for foreign leaders. I'm sure the readers would be interested in seeing you make that case.

Asking for cooperation from an ally in exposing corruption has never been "charged" any other US president. If you want examples of other presidents' quid pro quos, just ask. Foreign aid is a political quid pro quo (as we have VP Joe Biden bragging about on camera). It is not, however, extortion in the jurusprudential meaning of the term. It's reckless and dishonest to claim that it is.

The Pandora's Box of criminializing heretofore normal presidential activities is one of the more egregious examples of leftwing ideologues scorching the earth of America's government.

George Hoffman 3 days ago
I sat out the last presidential election, because both candidates who were running were unacceptable to me, but Pat's analysis has cut through all the propaganda surrounding this clumsy coup attempt to overturn the choice that American voters made for who they wanted as their next president.

[Nov 08, 2019] Steve Bannon predicts Trump impeachment fallout in Fox News exclusive

YouTube
Bannon point: Debate all you want, Bidens are corrupt, investigate them first....
Notable quotes:
"... "Joe Biden is a hand grenade and Hunter is the pin". ..."
Nov 08, 2019 | www.youtube.com

supaglide , 4 days ago

Dems know that this is their last straw, they're going all in on this one and will ultimately fail AGAIN. Americans are sick of their non-stop BS.

Pj Cramer , 4 days ago

I never believe the polls , they are usually wrong.

America 1776 , 23 hours ago

"Joe Biden is a hand grenade and Hunter is the pin".

BK , 4 days ago

This impeachment is ridiculous. I don't trust this Fox poll. It's ridiculous.

D. L. Scruggs A Disciple Of Christ , 2 days ago

They think that we won't do anything if they impeach. They are very mistaken!

[Nov 08, 2019] There's no whistle to blow because there was no deal by Dan Bongino

This is an interesting, informative interview. The list of Adam Schiff lies is growing. It might reach critical mass soon.
If impeachment reach the Senate trail, identity of whistleblower should be revealed so that the President can face his accuser
Nov 08, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Fawnlee Greene , 3 days ago

Dan Bongino is the best and few commentators that Fox News has that speaks the truth.

Lone Ranger , 3 days ago

Schiff is protecting himself and the rest of the deepstate traitors...

Paul H , 3 days ago

"The White House always cooperates with congressional subpoenas." -- Donald Trump, October 2, 2019

USA Heart , 3 days ago

He's not a whistleblower!! He's a leaker, who's been fired before for leaking!!

matthew1995king , 3 days ago

Isn't perjury an impeachable offenses? Why isn't adam schift impeached?

[Nov 08, 2019] Did Biden pushed Provisional goverment of Yatsenyk-Turchinov for actions that helped to start the civil war in Ukraine? What is the real nature of the EuroMaydan coup d' tat which was spearheaded by Obama administration ?

Nov 08, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

steven t johnson 11.08.19 at 4:36 pm 77

...As for the notion that Biden started the civil war in Ukraine? Nonsense. What really kick started that was the attack on Russian speakers launched as the first order of business. Killing a bunch of people in Odessa by setting a building on fire and trapping them inside was motivation too.

Lee Arnold@72 speaks of democratic process. and Russian expansion. Both are imaginary. The process in Ukraine is fascist. It's true that the open fascists are not at the top, but then, this was true of Franco's Spain, where the Falange party was not on top either. But only a swindler would deny Franco's Spain was fascist.

The idea there was no rebellion against the fascists in Kyiv is preposterous on the face of it. Further, Kharkov nearly went with Donetsk and Lugansk, but the national government managed to keep control. There is no sane scenario where a Russian invasion doesn't take Kharkov, which shows it wasn't Russian invasion that started it. And, conclusively, incorporating Donetsk and Lugansk means ending the war in some fashion that leaves essential control to Moscow. Whatever military assistance Russia gives the rebels is about making sure they don't go too the left in fighting the fascists and making sure there are no embarrassing wave of Russian-speaking refugees from Ukrainian fascism. Endless war is not incorporation. It just means Putin is a fool for thinking one side won't eventually collapse. Lastly, as to Crimea, the simple truth is that the establishment of liberal democracies generally demands consolidation of the national territory, which generally demands redrawing boundaries and ethnic cleansing. The insistence that Ukrainian fascists have a "right" to make Russians in Crimea second-class citizens because of old maps is not becoming.

[Nov 08, 2019] When is a Whistleblower, not a Whistleblower by Renée Parsons

Notable quotes:
"... Bravo Renée: I loved this article, not least because I loathe Adam Schiff with a vengeance ..."
"... The USA is a deeply divided country. Split from the top to the bottom. The 'liberal' coastal cities on collision course with the rest of the country. ..."
"... The Democratic leadership have accepted that their real chances of winning the next presidential election are small, unless the economy goes into a sharp decline and the voters turn against Trump in their millions. This isn't happening. So Trump stands a really good chance of winning in 2020. Just a year from now. ..."
"... So, if the chances of defeating Trump democratically at the coming election are looking 'problematic' and increasingly remote; the alternative is to remove him from office by impeachment where the Law is used instead of the voting system, which is far harder to control these days. ..."
"... The real scandal over Ukraine lies in Biden threatening to withhold $1 billion from the country unless the prosecutor investigating Biden Junior was sacked – something he openly and publicly bragged about. ..."
"... That's all very nice but this individual is a spy, not a "whistleblower". ..."
"... Was he part of the 'taskforce' or is he part of the diversion from that taskforce or indeed the conspiracy against Ukraine by Obama/Clinton nazi promoting Nuland & co? ..."
www.zerohedge.com

For those readers who care more about Donald Trump, Obama's legacy or the Republican/Democrat parties rather than the Rule of Law and what remains of the US Constitution, the following scenario should be a Giant Wake up Call.

As the result of an anonymous "whistleblower" Complaint filed against President Trump on August 12, the House Intel Committee conducted a series of closed door hearings that violated Sixth Amendment protections while relying on an anonymous WB.

Right away, those hearings morphed into an impeachment inquiry that took on the spectacle of a clumsy kerfuffle not to be taken seriously – except they were.

There is an essential Ukraine backstory which began with the US initiating the overthrow of its democratically elected President Yanukovych in 2014.

Fast forward to Russiagate followed by Ukrainegate and an impeachment inquiry with Trump telling newly elected Ukraine President Zelensky in their now infamous July 25th conversation:

I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation in Ukraine; they say Crowdstrike. The server they say, Ukraine has it<."

In a nutshell, possession of the CrowdStrike server is crucial to revealing the Democratic hierarchy's role in initiating Russiagate as the Democrats are having a major snit-fit that now threatens the constitutional foundation of the country.

On October 31st the House voted to initiate a formal impeachment inquiry based on still mysterious Whistleblower's allegations. At the time, there was still no confirmation of who the shadowy Whistleblower was or whether a Whistleblower even existed.

It is a fact that most whistleblowers bring the transgression proudly forward into the public light for the specific purpose of exposing the deeds that deserve to be exposed. At great personal cost, they then provide a credible case for why this offense is illegal or a violation of the public trust and deserves to be made public.

This alleged WB, however, defies the traditional definition of a WB who most often experiences the wrong-doing first hand and from a personal vantage while revealing said wrong-doing as a function within an agency of their employment.

This WB's identity has been protected from public disclosure by TPTB, shrouded in mystery and suspicion as if fearful of public scrutiny or that his 'truth' would crumble under interrogation and not be greeted with unanimity. What is clear is that this WB had no direct experience but only second-hand knowledge of events which is defined as 'hear say' evidence. While inadmissible in a Court of law, why should 'hear say' be allowed when the subject is as profound as impeachment of a President?

Real-life CIA whistleblower Jon Kiriakou who served 22 months in prison, suggested this " whistleblower is not a whistleblower but a anonymous CIA analyst within the Democratic House staff ." When was the last time a real whistleblower was 'protected' by the government from public exposure.

There has been no explanation as to why this informant's identity is necessarily been kept secret – and not just from the public but from Members of Congress especially as Republican Members have been unable to question him.

There has been no further information regarding a second "Whistleblower" who allegedly came forward to corroborate the first WB although why it is necessary to corroborate that which has already been publicly revealed remains questionable.

In a once unimaginable example of CIA–Democratic collusion, it turns out that the identity of the alleged WB is not such a secret after all.

Far from the public eyes of Americans, there has been a coordinated effort to stifle any exposure of his identity; presumably to prevent any revelation of the underpinnings of exactly how this convoluted scheme of malfeasance was organized. And as his name and political history within the Obama Administration and Democratic party are publicly scrutinized, it makes perfect sense why the TPTB would prefer to prevent public hearings or keep the WB's identity under wraps.

His identity should have been public knowledge weeks ago and yet it took Real Clear Investigations , an alt-news website to publicly reveal what has been well known within the DC bubble for some weeks.

The answer to the title question is that this WB is instead a very well connected partisan lackey and CIA operative.

The alleged WB is said to be a 33 year old CIA analyst by the name of Eric Ciaramella who was an Obama White House holdover at the National Security Council until mid 2017.

Consequently, he has deep partisan ties to former VP Joe Biden, former CIA Director John Brennan and former National Security Advisor Susan Rice as well as the DNC establishment. And here's where it get especially interesting; Ciaramella specializes in Russia and Ukraine, is fluent in both languages, ran the Ukraine desk at the Obama NSC and had close association with Ukrainian DNC hyper-activist Alexandra Chalupa.

Ciaramella's bio reads like a litany of the political turmoil that has consumed the nation for the last three years as it is reported that he had a role in initiating the Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy while at the Obama White House and worked with Biden who was the Obama point-person on Ukraine issues in 2015 and 2016 when $3 billion USAID funding was being embezzled.

Clearly, Ciaramella has a wealth of information to share regarding the Biden Quid pro Quo scandal which is currently being muzzled by the corporate media.

With Ciaramella's identity revealed, a former NSC staffer who was present during the Trump-Zelensky July 25th conversation testified that he saw nothing illegal in the talk. Tim Morrison told the House Intel Committee that " I want to be clear, I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed" and that the transcript of the call which was declassified and released by the White House " accurately and completely reflects the substance of the call."

As a result, Ciaramella is now refusing to publicly testify before the House or Senate Intel Committees.

More recently, Mark Zaid, attorney for Ciaramella has said that his client would accept written questions from Republicans on the House Intel Committee and that his client " wants to be as bipartisan as possible throughout this process while remaining anonymous ."

Seriously? He's got to be kidding.

Did the reality of being required to testify in public just recently dawn on Ciaramella or was he not expecting that his every word and utterance would be scrutinized before the entire world? Is he so unfamiliar with the Sixth Amendment that he believes a Defendant's right to confront his accuser should not apply to him or in a Presidential impeachment inquiry?

Did he actually believe he could make anonymous impeachment accusations against the President of the US without a ripple or without having to directly face questions from House and Senate Republicans? Who did he think would protect him from public scrutiny?

Given Ciaramella's extensive partisan history since 2015 and his national security experience with Susan Rice in the Obama White House, it will be interesting if he receives a mention in the IG report on the abuse of FISA warrants and whether Ciaramella's name has moved to the top of the Durham interviewee list.


Stephen Morrell

These inquiries always spiral out of the control of their instigators, and this one is becoming positively delicious.
Seamus Padraig
Regarding the transcript of Trump's call, please tell me: what law/statute did he break? In order for there to be a high crime or misdemeanor, there must first be some kind of crime or misdemeanor.
Tom
You cannot be serious! How about EXTORTION? As in holding up the money from Ukraine until they agreed to look into his prime political opponent in the upcoming election (Biden). That's a crime.

Or perhaps they will call it BRIBERY. That's a crime also.

See:
The Actual Laws Trump Has Broken, Just With the Ukraine and China Affairs, Could Land Him 10 Years in Prison
October 10 2019
https://theintercept.com/2019/10/10/trump-crimes-law/

Or moving on, how about receiving money from foreign interests in the form of forbidden EMOLUMENTS, through, at a minimum, his Washington hotel or the foreign visitors spending heavily at his gold courses? These venues generate revenue for the Trump organization, which he never divested himself from.

And then there are the campaign finance crimes. See:
https://www.citizensforethics.org/a-campaign-to-defraud-2/

Take your hands off of your ears and remove the wool from your eyes.

JudyJ
Tom

You mention "Bribery", and you mention "receiving money from foreign interests" both in the context of Trump. I'm sorry but from where I stand there are far stronger suggestions of that in the context of Biden and the undenied international connections of his son. You appear to be taking the position that however serious the inferred misdemeanours (let me use the term 'corruption') of Biden are, he does whatever he does – unlike Trump, of course – to "put the health of the country first" (your words @ 8.41) and are by definition not deserving of investigation. He's all heart, isn't he? Foolish of me not to see this.

Tom
Biden isn't VP any longer. The Republicans had complete control of Congress AND the presidency for 2016/2017. If they wanted to investigate Biden, that would have been your best the time to do it. So why do you supposed they didn't investigate Biden then? Might it be that while Biden may have taken advantage of his political position, as so many politicians do, what he did was not judged to be illegal. Personally, I don't give a rat's arse about Biden one way or another.

The attempts by you and others in your camp and Trump himself to muddy the impeachment investigation and direct attention elsewhere are so transparent as to be almost ludicrous.

You need to focus on what is most import to the USA and the people of this country – the clear and present danger that President Trump represents!

Seamus Padraig
Here's the full transcript of the call with Zelensky. Now tell me: where's the "bribery" and "extortion" there? Trump just asked Zelensky a favor–that's all.
Tom
You never watched any mafia movies have you? Did you know that people have been convicted of murder and sent to death row when they never even found the body? It's called circumstantial evidence. The same legal concept applies to Trump's conversations. Trump thought he was being slick by not explicitly mentioning that the Ukraine president HAD to do this favor for him to get the allocation released to him. 'Hey, I need ya to do me a favor first'

But just as with circumstantial evidence, a direct request is not necessary. An implied one will do just as well. You are way out of your league trying to play lawyer here!

Martin Usher
I daresay they can get him on Emoluments and exceeding Constitutional authority. Impeachment isn't like a criminal trial, its really about whether the official went against their oath to "protect and defend the Constitution". This is the bit that President Trump doesn't quite understand; everyone who's part of government swears an oath to protect and defend the Constitution (so do naturalized citizens, BTW) and its this that they're loyal to, not an individual. The individual only holds power because the Constitution gives it to them -- temporarily. (At the time of the founding of the US this was a bit of a novelty, the idea that you owe fealty to an abstract concept rather than an individual, and many people even in this country still don't get it.)

Ultimately, though -- as we found with Clinton in the 90s -- its going to come down to "Because We Can". Personally I'd rather not bother, I'd just collect the information, put it out there and let the electorate decide what's best for the country, but I'm not running the show.

Martin Usher
This really didn't turn into an impeachment enquiry until the issue was forced by media partisanship. President Trump has already crossed numerous boundaries that would get a normal President into trouble and Ukraine was just another straw for the camel to carry. Next year is an election year and its starting to look like the Democrats could field an actual donkey and still win the Presidency.

What's probably more damning than the whistleblower's original complaint is the testimony of Marie Yovanaovitch, the US ambassador to Ukraine who had the rug pulled out from under her earlier this year. I don't want to comment on her role in that country or the US's role in bringing 'freedom and democracy' (aka "total chaos and economic ruin"), its more about the way that ill informed tweets and media punditry by Fox News commentators such as Sean Hannity are undermining the work of the State Department. Some might say this is a good thing but I personally believe that all this screwing around, both with foreign relations and the economy, is doing the US demonstrable harm and probably needs to have a stop put to it sooner rather later. This is not reality TV, this is serious stuff.

Those who've read my posts on this site will know that I've never been a fan of Russiagate or interested in a renewed Cold War, its a road to nowhere. This is why I don't see the 'hand ofPutin' everywhere, he's not the contemporary Illuminati and probably doesn't smoke (so no smoke filled rooms). However, if I wanted to play international zero sum I would suggest that all Putin (and Xi) needs to do to 'win' is to do nothing, just stand well back because the inevitable meltdown is going to get really messy.

Tim Jenkins
Bravo Renée: I loved this article, not least because I loathe Adam Schiff with a vengeance, as does anybody with the slightest degree of scientific & analytical know how: yet you managed to avoid any partisan accusations and mentioning his name: which would have been impossible in my case

Quality journalism Renée and the head of the House Intelligence Committee should be immediately investigated, prosecuted and may I add, Not thrown in Prison, but Shot at Dawn, for TREASON USA

Something I used to write regularly in the Guardian, before they banned me, was
Never in the field of Human Conflict, has so much been owed by so few to so many

MichaelK
The USA is a deeply divided country. Split from the top to the bottom. The 'liberal' coastal cities on collision course with the rest of the country.

The Democratic leadership have accepted that their real chances of winning the next presidential election are small, unless the economy goes into a sharp decline and the voters turn against Trump in their millions. This isn't happening. So Trump stands a really good chance of winning in 2020. Just a year from now.

The party top wants another 'conservative' and 'safe' candidate like Clinton so they can keep control of the party and banish the 'dangerous left' once more. Only the party activists don't want another 'Clinton' candidate that'll lead them towards another defeat.

So, if the chances of defeating Trump democratically at the coming election are looking 'problematic' and increasingly remote; the alternative is to remove him from office by impeachment where the Law is used instead of the voting system, which is far harder to control these days.

This process, removing political leaders using the Law, because they are corrupt, has been used in several countries recently, for example in Brazil, where Lula was imprisoned and unable to stand for election after a questionable trial.

Now, it's the turn of the USA. Whether the millions of Trump supporters will simply sit back and watch this kind of 'legal coup' unfold, is another story.

mark
I think the reason for impeachment is not a substitute for an elusive electoral victory on the part of the democrats. It is actually far worse than that. It is a case of "either we get him, or he gets us." "Either we walk over him, or he walks over us." They are simply trying to save their skins.

The Clinton/ Biden clans and their minions are now looking at serious jail time in a winner-takes-all, high stakes, no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners zero sum game. The Deep State, the Spooks, the Dirty Cops, Wall Street, MIC, Hollywood and the MSM, and the Democrat establishment, tried to rig the election to prevent Trump winning.

Having failed to achieve this, they tried to sabotage and delegitimise his administration by the Russiagate hoax, planting spies in the White House, and corrupt and politicised investigations and prosecutions of senior officials, using perjured and fabricated "evidence" from dubious foreign sources (Steele, Dearlove, MI6, Ukraine.)

This is now a busted flush. Russiagate has been comprehensively debunked, however much the MSM tries to pretend otherwise. Their criminality and corruption is being steadily and methodically exposed for all the world to see.

Trump knows that impeachment would be just the beginning, not the end. They would not be content to remove him from office, Nixon style. They want him broken, to make an example of him. They want him in jail, bankrupt, his businesses broken up and his assets confiscated, his children and his friends in jail with him. They won't settle for anything less than this.

The somewhat pathetic "Ukrainegate" saga is a smokescreen that his been thrown up in desperation at short notice to try to snatch victory from defeat. It is becoming less and less credible as more facts emerge. It seems to be based on little more than second or third hand gossip from rabidly anti Trump sources, and is rapidly being discredited. No matter how much the MSM tries to big this up, it will run its course leaving the anti Trump conspiracy even more nakedly exposed.

Trump and Barr have only to keep up the pressure to turn the tables.

Not that anyone should have any sympathy for Trump and his cronies. They all belong in jail, as do the anti Trump faction. Ideally, they should all go to jail. It's a pity they can't all lose.

If you think it's all dirty and down in the gutter now, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Let dog eat dog.

George Cornell
As your namesake Twain said, the more I see of people, the more I like of dogs. This is more akin to cannibalism? I agree that we are just seeing the opening warmup acts now. But more like unscripted unrehearsed professional wrestling every day.
nwwoods
Jail time? DC political elites? Not gone happen.
Tim Jenkins
MK Ultra good comment, upon which I could expand, but I don't want to give the game away, because I reckon Trump's planning, timing and strategy is unstoppable, after he wins the next election.

All will see and pretend that they knew all along what he was doing & going to do. I should add, I'm on record @TheGuardian, stating that he would definitely win in 2016, well in advance and nobody believed me, though it was easy to see & calculate, with sound analysis of the key factors. It was obvious and I switched off, long before the announcement,
that he'd won, when they were still predicting HRC, knowing I was right, on that night.

I will tell you this much: It would be very silly of him to 'fire' the FED, before the elections 😉

phree
I have to disagree with Kiriakou and the author on this one. I'm a lawyer and I've been involved in whistleblower cases on both sides. MANY whistleblowers do not want to go public. I'd say at least 50% in my experience. And most whistleblowers have personal interests in addition to wanting to protect the public interest -- they are looking for a pay day.

Plus, these attacks on this whistleblower for bias or lack of first hand knowledge really miss the point: His claims have been almost entirely verified. There clearly was a quid pro quo (not that one is necessary) as admitted by Mulvaney (before he tried to walk it back) and Sondland, and testified about by others involved with Ukraine at the time. Since many National Security people were aghast at these actions (including that die hard liberal Bolton), and Guliani says everything he was doing was on behalf of his private client, there is no reason to think that this was a matter of national security policy.

Indeed, the memo of Trump's phone call demonstrates the quid pro quo to any reasonable person -- it certainly would be enough to indict a gangster. Do me a "favor" if you want me to sell you missiles? That's not enough? Really? Especially when in order to buy the missiles you need the military assistance money Trump was blocking.

Bbbbut what about the Bidens some whimper. Investigate them through proper channels, not by blackmail through a back channel.

So, save your hair pulling for a whistleblower who's claims turn out to be false.

Northern
Your moral condemnation is evidently selective.

Bbbut what about the quid pro quo you whimper? Why don't you find some ordinary Ukrainian citizens and ask them which was the greater evil; being thrust into civil war by rampaging mobs of US sponsored neo-nazis, or the neo-nazi's not getting paid on time? Go re-asses your moral compass you fascist sympathizer.

mark
The real scandal over Ukraine lies in Biden threatening to withhold $1 billion from the country unless the prosecutor investigating Biden Junior was sacked – something he openly and publicly bragged about.
Tom
Biden wasn't alone. Much of the rest of Europe was making the same call because the prosecutor himself was corrupt. And why didn't the Republicans take this up when they had full control of Congress during 2016/2017? I bet you can't come up with any kind of sensible answer!
Tim Jenkins
Use your real name or you are talking BOLLOCKS !
nwwoods
That's all very nice but this individual is a spy, not a "whistleblower".
Tom
Doesn't matter. Is the information correct? That's what you SHOULD be focusing on but then you won't like how that further sullies the already awful reputation of your deity Trump.
mark
Schumer's concern for the welfare of whistleblowers may appear somewhat belated and unconvincing, given his previous pronouncements about Snowden, Assange and Manning, but I suppose we should all welcome a sinner come to repentance (or whatever the kosher equivalent is.)
Seamus Padraig

Chuck is now the ' shomer ' (guardian) of wistleblowers.

Dungroanin
Was he part of the 'taskforce' or is he part of the diversion from that taskforce or indeed the conspiracy against Ukraine by Obama/Clinton nazi promoting Nuland & co?

The report is – if not a whitewash – going to ruin as many trousers and underwear as any explosive diarrhetic fart!

From Barry's stupid peace prize – to our stupid DS outlaws.

Especially if the tories carry on as they have started this election – with masterful pratfalls, foot-in-mouths and devious lying, cheating and hiding.

A change is coming!

Petra Liverani

When is a Whistleblower, not a Whistleblower?

When they've been employed by the CIA I'd say very, very rarely.

Real-life CIA whistleblower Jon Kiriakou who served 22 months in prison

Did he now? 22 months in prison and sentenced on 22 October. They love their 22s. Just as Chelsea had 22 charges laid against her, was 22 at the time of her leaking and spent 22 hours a day in prison for some of her alleged 7 year sentence.

His Wikipedia story does not sound in the least compelling. He allegedly disclosed the torture of Abu Zubaydah, accused of being an aide to Osama bin Laden. So if bin Laden was an agent how real is Zubaydah?

On December 10, 2007, Kiriakou gave an interview to ABC News[16] in which he described his participation in the capture of Abu Zubaydah, who was accused of having been an aide to Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Kiriakou said that he did not witness Zubaydah's interrogation, but had been told by CIA associates that it had taken only a single brief instance of waterboarding to extract answers:

He was able to withstand the waterboarding for quite some time. And by that I mean probably 30, 35 seconds and a short time afterwards, in the next day or so, he told his interrogator that Allah had visited him in his cell during the night and told him to cooperate.[17]

Following the interview, Kiriakou's accounts of Abu Zubaydah's waterboarding were widely repeated and paraphrased,[Note 1][6] and he became a regular guest expert on news and public affairs shows on the topics of interrogation and counter-terrorism.

In 2009, however, it was reported that Abu Zubaydah had been waterboarded at least 83 times,[18] and that little or no useful additional information may have been gained by "harsh methods" of interrogation.[19][20] Kiriakou had been under the mistaken belief that Zubaydah was waterboarded only once, and even that single instance he had described as a form of torture while expressing reservations about whether the value of the information obtained was worth the damage done to the United States' reputation.[citation needed]

Kiriakou has said that he chose not to blow the whistle on torture through internal channels because he believed he "wouldn't have gotten anywhere" because his superiors and the congressional intelligence committees were already aware of it.[21]

OMG! Does the theatre ever stop?

Tim Jenkins
"OMG! Does the theatre ever stop?"

yep, it does actually: when you finally suss out what Bill Binney was telling you all about; about 6 years before you profess to have taken an interest in the events leading up to and including those that occurred on the 11th sept. 2001 and of course, the missing D.o.D $$$TRILLIONS$$$ and what they spent the money on >>>

Like "Parallel Platforms" !

mark
What's a mere missing $21 trillion between friends? Probably just fallen down the back of the sofa. Along with the 140 tons of Libyan gold and the 1,500 tons of German gold and the Ukrainian gold and the gold from WTC 7 and the Venezuelan gold .. There's a perfectly simple explanation for everything if you look hard enough.
mark
China is the biggest gold producer in the world, with over 400 tons a year, none of which is ever seen outside the country. There has been speculation that their holdings are over 10,000 tons, but nobody really knows. This follows the historical pattern over thousands of years, China exporting silk, spices, quality ceramics and tea, and taking silver bullion in payment. Europe was drained of silver until the looting of the New World. Some people believe that America has 8,300 tons, a figure unchanged since 1971. But then again some people believe in fairies and Father Christmas.

Democrats?. You just stand back and watch them implode. It's painful to watch some days I'll tell ya

George Cornell
Debbie does the Dems. Wasserperson Schultz , where are you when your party needs some deep corruption?

[Nov 08, 2019] Sen. Johnson All whistleblowers are not created equal - YouTube

Notable quotes:
"... Eric Ciaramella is not a 'whistleblower", he's a participant of coup d'etat. ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Jeton Ademaj , 12 hours ago

Eric Ciaramella is not a 'whistleblower", he's a participant of coup d'etat.

Jacob Allen , 12 hours ago

He tweeted back in 2017, "the coup begins". If that doesn't scream deep state, I don't know what does.

Joe Zappa , 10 hours ago

"How much U.S. taxpayer aid went to a Ukrainian company that was paying Joe Biden's son while Joe Biden was in charge of the aid?" Steve Hilton

Larry Johnson , 11 hours ago

Eric Ciaramella is a SPY CIA ANALYST in COLLUSION with Joe Biden John Brennan Adam Schiff COUP PLOT.

[Nov 08, 2019] Deep State On The National Security Council Colonel Vindman Is An Expert With An Agenda by Philip Giraldi

Keeping an émigré in charge of the foreign policy towards that country. What could go wrong?
Notable quotes:
"... Vindman apparently sees Ukraine-Russia through the established optic provided by the Deep State, which considers global conflict as the price to pay for maintaining its largesse from the US taxpayer. Continuous warfare is its only business product, which explains in part its dislike of Donald Trump as he has several times threatened to upset the apple cart, even though he has done precious little in reality. Part of Vindman's written statement (my emphasis) is revealing: ""When I joined the NSC in July 2018, I began implementing the administration's policy on Ukraine. In the Spring of 2019, I became aware of outside influencers promoting a false narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views of the interagency. This narrative was harmful to US government policy. While my interagency colleagues and I were becoming increasingly optimistic on Ukraine's prospects, this alternative narrative undermined US government efforts to expand cooperation with Ukraine." ..."
"... Alexander Vindman clearly was pushing a policy that might be described as that of the Deep State rather than responding to his own chain of command where it is the president who does the decision making. He also needs a history lesson about what has gone on in his country of birth. President Barack Obama conspired with his own version of Macbeth's three witches – Rice, Power and Jarett – to overthrow the legitimate government of Ukraine in 2014 because it was considered to be too close to Moscow. The regime change was brought about by "mavericks" like the foul-mouthed neocon State Department officer Victoria Nuland and the footloose warmonger Senator John McCain. Vice President Joe Biden also appeared on the scene after the "wetwork" was done, with his son Hunter trailing behind him. Since that time, Ukraine has had a succession of increasingly corrupt puppet governments propped up by billions in foreign aid. It is now per capita the poorest country in Europe. ..."
"... Colonel Vindman, who reported to noted hater of all things Russian Fiona Hill, who in turn reported to By Jingo We'll Go To War John Bolton, was in the middle of all the schemes to bring down Russia. His concern was not really over Trump vs. Biden. It was focused instead on speeding up the $380 million in military assistance, to include offensive weapons, that was in the pipeline for Kiev. And assuming that the Ukrainians could actually learn how to use the weapons, the objective was to punish the Russians and prolong the conflict in Donbas for no reason at all that makes any sense. ..."
"... Vindman's concern is all about Ukraine without any explanation of why the United States would benefit from bilking the taxpayer to support a foreign deadbeat one more time. One wonders if Vindman was able to compose his statement without a snicker or two intruding. He does eventually go on to cover the always essential national security angle, claiming that "Since 2008, Russia has manifested an overtly aggressive foreign policy, leveraging military power and employing hybrid warfare to achieve its objectives of regional hegemony and global influence. Absent a deterrent to dissuade Russia from such aggression, there is an increased risk of further confrontations with the West. In this situation, a strong and independent Ukraine is critical to US national security interests because Ukraine is a frontline state and a bulwark against Russian aggression ." ..."
"... The combined visions of Russia as an aggressive, expansionistic power coupled with the brave Ukrainians serving as a bastion of freedom is so absurd that it is hardly worth countering. Russia's economy is about the size of Italy's or Spain's limiting its imperial ambitions, if they actually exist. Its alleged transgressions against Georgia and Ukraine were both provoked by the United States meddling in Eastern Europe, something that it had pledged not to do after the Soviet Union collapsed. Ukraine is less an important American ally than a welfare case, and no one knows that better than Vindman, but he is really speaking to his masters in the US Establishment when he repeats the conventional arguments. ..."
"... Alexander Vindman does not say or write that the incorporation of Ukraine into NATO is his actual objective, but his comments about "integrating with the West" and the "Euro-Atlantic community" clearly imply just that. ..."
"... A certain colonel named "Colonel" Vindman is secretly running the White House's foreign policy with a secret globalist agenda right under the Donald Trump's nose (a "colonel" who, by the way, is about as battlefield hero as Melania Trump). The outcome? The American foreign policy in shambles, a total sham, a farce on steroids, a schizo chaos of competing special interests, payola, kickbacks, quid-pro-quo big-fish-eats-small clusterfuck, foreign influence-peddling and deepstatism. ..."
"... "It is now per capita the poorest country in Europe" (Ukraine). Well done boys. Another Libya? There is a pattern here. ..."
Nov 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Philip Giraldi via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The current frenzy to impeach President Donald Trump sometimes in its haste reveals that which could easily be hidden about the operation of the Deep State inside the federal government. Congress is currently obtaining testimony from a parade of witnesses to or participants in what will inevitably be called UkraineGate, an investigation into whether Trump inappropriately sought a political quid pro quo from Ukrainian leaders in exchange for a military assistance package.

The prepared opening statement by Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, described as the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council (NSC), provides some insights into how decision making at the NSC actually works. Vindman was born in Ukraine but emigrated to the United States with his family at age three. He was commissioned as an army infantry officer in 1998 and served in some capacity in Iraq from 2004-5, where he was wounded by a roadside bomb and received a purple heart. Vindman, who speaks both Ukrainian and Russian fluently, has filled a number of diplomatic and military positions in government dealing with Eastern Europe, to include a key role in Pentagon planning on how to deal with Russia.

Vindman, Ukrainian both by birth and culturally, clearly was a major player in articulating and managing US policy towards that country, but that is not really what his role on the NSC should have been. As more than likely the US government's sole genuine Ukrainian expert, he should have become a source of viable options that the United States might exercise vis-à-vis its relationship with Ukraine, and, by extension, regarding Moscow's involvement with Kiev. But that is not how his statement, which advocates for a specific policy, reads. Rather than providing expert advice, Vindman was concerned chiefly because arming Ukraine was not proceeding quickly enough to suit him, an extremely risky policy which has already created serious problems with a much more important Russia.

Vindman apparently sees Ukraine-Russia through the established optic provided by the Deep State, which considers global conflict as the price to pay for maintaining its largesse from the US taxpayer. Continuous warfare is its only business product, which explains in part its dislike of Donald Trump as he has several times threatened to upset the apple cart, even though he has done precious little in reality. Part of Vindman's written statement (my emphasis) is revealing: ""When I joined the NSC in July 2018, I began implementing the administration's policy on Ukraine. In the Spring of 2019, I became aware of outside influencers promoting a false narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views of the interagency. This narrative was harmful to US government policy. While my interagency colleagues and I were becoming increasingly optimistic on Ukraine's prospects, this alternative narrative undermined US government efforts to expand cooperation with Ukraine."

Alexander Vindman clearly was pushing a policy that might be described as that of the Deep State rather than responding to his own chain of command where it is the president who does the decision making. He also needs a history lesson about what has gone on in his country of birth. President Barack Obama conspired with his own version of Macbeth's three witches – Rice, Power and Jarett – to overthrow the legitimate government of Ukraine in 2014 because it was considered to be too close to Moscow. The regime change was brought about by "mavericks" like the foul-mouthed neocon State Department officer Victoria Nuland and the footloose warmonger Senator John McCain. Vice President Joe Biden also appeared on the scene after the "wetwork" was done, with his son Hunter trailing behind him. Since that time, Ukraine has had a succession of increasingly corrupt puppet governments propped up by billions in foreign aid. It is now per capita the poorest country in Europe.

Washington inside-the-beltway and the Deep State choose to blame the mess in Ukraine on Russian President Vladimir Putin and the established narrative also makes the absurd claim that the political situation in Kiev is somehow important to US national security. The preferred solution is to provide still more money, which feeds the corruption and enables the Ukrainians to attack the Russians.

Colonel Vindman, who reported to noted hater of all things Russian Fiona Hill, who in turn reported to By Jingo We'll Go To War John Bolton, was in the middle of all the schemes to bring down Russia. His concern was not really over Trump vs. Biden. It was focused instead on speeding up the $380 million in military assistance, to include offensive weapons, that was in the pipeline for Kiev. And assuming that the Ukrainians could actually learn how to use the weapons, the objective was to punish the Russians and prolong the conflict in Donbas for no reason at all that makes any sense.

Note the following additional excerpt from Vindman's prepared statement: " .I was worried about the implications for the US government's support of Ukraine . I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma, it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained ."

Vindman's concern is all about Ukraine without any explanation of why the United States would benefit from bilking the taxpayer to support a foreign deadbeat one more time. One wonders if Vindman was able to compose his statement without a snicker or two intruding. He does eventually go on to cover the always essential national security angle, claiming that "Since 2008, Russia has manifested an overtly aggressive foreign policy, leveraging military power and employing hybrid warfare to achieve its objectives of regional hegemony and global influence. Absent a deterrent to dissuade Russia from such aggression, there is an increased risk of further confrontations with the West. In this situation, a strong and independent Ukraine is critical to US national security interests because Ukraine is a frontline state and a bulwark against Russian aggression ."

The combined visions of Russia as an aggressive, expansionistic power coupled with the brave Ukrainians serving as a bastion of freedom is so absurd that it is hardly worth countering. Russia's economy is about the size of Italy's or Spain's limiting its imperial ambitions, if they actually exist. Its alleged transgressions against Georgia and Ukraine were both provoked by the United States meddling in Eastern Europe, something that it had pledged not to do after the Soviet Union collapsed. Ukraine is less an important American ally than a welfare case, and no one knows that better than Vindman, but he is really speaking to his masters in the US Establishment when he repeats the conventional arguments.

It hardly seems possible, but Vindman then goes on to dig himself into a still deeper hole through his statement's praise of the train wreck that is Ukraine. He writes "In spite of being under assault from Russia for more than five years, Ukraine has taken major steps towards integrating with the West . The US government policy community's view is that the election of President Volodymyr Zelensky and the promise of reforms to eliminate corruption will lock in Ukraine's Western-leaning trajectory, and allow Ukraine to realize its dream of a vibrant democracy and economic prosperity. The United States and Ukraine are and must remain strategic partners, working together to realize the shared vision of a stable, prosperous, and democratic Ukraine that is integrated into the Euro-Atlantic community ."

Alexander Vindman does not say or write that the incorporation of Ukraine into NATO is his actual objective, but his comments about "integrating with the West" and the "Euro-Atlantic community" clearly imply just that. The expansion of NATO up to Russia's borders by the rascally Bill Clinton constituted one of the truly most momentous lost foreign policy opportunities of the twentieth century. The addition of Ukraine and Georgia to the alliance would magnify that error as both are vital national security interests for Moscow given their history and geography. Vindman should be regarded as a manifestation of the Deep State thinking that has brought so much grief to the United States over the past twenty years. Seen in that light, his testimony, wrapped in an air of sanctimoniousness and a uniform, should be regarded as little more than the conventional thinking that has produced foreign policy failure after failure.


DEDA CVETKO , 2 minutes ago link

Exactly 100 years ago, in 1919, a certain colonel named "Colonel" House was secretly running the White House's foreign policy with a secret globalist agenda right under the Woodrow Wilson's nose (a "colonel" who, by the way, was neither an army officer, nor the battlefield hero - in fact, he was about as much of a colonel as Colonel Parker). The outcome? The post-World War 1 "new world order" (which was neither new, nor order, nor global in any sense) that was a nightmare on steroids, a humpty-dumpty Frankenstein that gave birth to both Nazism and Bolshevism as well as Globalist Elitism, American Exceptionalism, and New Deal Neoliberalism and was every satanist's wet dream. Short of procreating Beelzebub and Baphomet, "Colonel" House just about did 'em all.

Fast forward 100 years, back to the future: year 2019 AD. A certain colonel named "Colonel" Vindman is secretly running the White House's foreign policy with a secret globalist agenda right under the Donald Trump's nose (a "colonel" who, by the way, is about as battlefield hero as Melania Trump). The outcome? The American foreign policy in shambles, a total sham, a farce on steroids, a schizo chaos of competing special interests, payola, kickbacks, quid-pro-quo big-fish-eats-small clusterfuck, foreign influence-peddling and deepstatism.

So, yes, Karl Marx was, for once, right. History really does repeat itself. It first comes as a tragedy and then returns the second time around as an inbred farce. Or a slapstick.

East Indian , 4 minutes ago link

Keeping an émigré in charge of the foreign policy towards that country. What could go wrong?

youshallnotkill , 7 minutes ago link

Born in the Ukraine, and Jewish. So the knives are out - who cares that he is a vet awarded with a Purple Heart.

Someone Else , 4 minutes ago link

A vet with a Purple Heart can be a piece of crap just like anyone else. Neither status is akin to sainthood. In fact this guy should be ashamed of the way the US government has wronged Ukraine and he is a damned big part of it.

Soloamber , 9 minutes ago link

It is absolutely mind boggling how the Democrats get away with making up false claims over and over but the real losers are voters who are paying useless jack asses to do nothing. What has the House done ? Further testimony to the farce is Mr. Magoo , Sessions , thinking he might have some contribution to make .

Bear , 7 minutes ago link

Useless jackasses and exceptionally dangerous

J S Bach , 14 minutes ago link

From wikipedia...

Alexander Semyon Vindman (né Aleksandr Semenovich Vindman) and his identical twin brother Yevgeny were born to a Jewish family in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic , Soviet Union .

JLM , 20 minutes ago link

"It is now per capita the poorest country in Europe" (Ukraine). Well done boys. Another Libya? There is a pattern here.

Soloamber , 20 minutes ago link

And Vindman sat with his whistle up his *** while Biden played pay to play and blackmailed Ukraine into dropping the investigation of the company his under qualified over paid son sat on. Biden let his ego overtake reason and admitted on tape what he did . Held back payment to Ukraine unless a judge was off the case .

What did Vindman do about that ? Was he in on it ? Vindman is a patsy and a gossip . Nothing more . OK except for lying about his deep Democrat attachments . The guy looks like a deer in headlights but he is just being used .

Vooter , 23 minutes ago link

So the entire "Deep State" is basically just populated by monkeys...

Bear , 5 minutes ago link

Too generous a description ... Rats is better

Omega_Man , 26 minutes ago link

don't all the *** spies have an agenda?

Demologos , 26 minutes ago link

Vindman is a pasty-faced lying asshat. Later I'll let you know how I really feel.

East Indian , 4 minutes ago link

Keeping an emigre in charge of the foreign policy towards that country. What could go wrong?

Someone Else , 4 minutes ago link

A vet with a Purple Heart can be a piece of crap just like anyone else. Neither status is akin to sainthood. In fact this guy should be ashamed of the way the US government has wronged Ukraine and he is a damned big part of it.

[Nov 08, 2019] Inconvenient Truths by Stephen F. Cohen

Notable quotes:
"... The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes. Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor. ..."
"... We have also learned that the heads of America's intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. ..."
"... We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream "free press" cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. ..."
"... Opponents of Barr's investigation into the origins of Russiagate say it is impermissible or unprecedented to "investigate the investigators." But the bipartisan Church Committee, based in the US Senate, did so in the mid-1970s. It exposed many abuses by US intelligence agencies, particularly by the CIA, and adopted remedies that it believed would be permanent. Clearly, they have not been. ..."
"... However well-intentioned Barr may be, he is Trump's attorney general and therefore not fully credible. As I have also argued repeatedly, a new Church Committee is urgently needed. It's time for honorable members of the Senate of both parties to do their duty. ..."
Nov 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Almost daily for three years, Democrats and their media have told us very bad things about Donald Trump's life, character, and presidency. Some of them are true. But in the process, we have also learned some lamentable, even alarming, things about the Democratic Party establishment, including self-professed liberals. Consider the following:

The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes. Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor. But there was no "attack" in 2016, only, as I have previously explained , ritualistic "meddling" of the kind that both Russia and America have undertaken in the other's elections for decades. Little can be more phobic than the allegation or belief that one has been "attacked by a hostile" entity. And yet this myth and its false narrative persist in the Democratic Party's discourse, campaigning, and fund-raising. We have also learned that the heads of America's intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. Early on, I termed this operation " Intelgate ," and it has since been well documented by other writers, including Lee Smith in his new book . Intel officials did so in tacit alliance with certain leading, and equally Russophobic, members of the Democratic Party, which had once opposed such transgressions. This may be the most alarming revelation of the Trump years: Trump will leave power, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain. We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream "free press" cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. Indeed, what the mainstream media -- leading national newspapers and two cable news networks, in particular -- chose to cover and report, and chose not to cover and report, made the abuses and consequences of Russiagate allegations possible. Even now, exceedingly influential publications such as The New York Times seem eager to delegitimize the investigation by Attorney General William Barr and his appointed special investigator John Durham into the origins of Russiagate. Barr's critics accuse him of fabricating a "conspiracy theory" on behalf of Trump. But the real, or grandest, conspiracy theory was the Russiagate allegation of "collusion" between Trump and the Kremlin, an accusation that was -- or should have been -- discredited by the Robert Mueller report. And we have learned, or should have learned, that for all the talk by Democrats about Trump as a danger to US national security, it is their Russiagate allegations that truly endanger it. Consider two examples. Russia's new "hyper-sonic" missiles, which can elude US missile-defense systems, make new nuclear arms negotiations with Moscow imperative and urgent. If only for the sake of his legacy, Trump is likely to want to do so. But even if he is able to, will Trump be entrusted enough to conduct negotiations as successfully as did his predecessors in the White House, given the "Putin puppet" and "Kremlin stooge" accusations still being directed at him? Similarly, as I have asked repeatedly, if confronted with a US-Russian Cuban missile–like crisis -- anywhere Washington and Moscow are currently eyeball-to-eyeball militarily, from the Baltic region and Ukraine to Syria -- will Trump be as free politically as was President John F. Kennedy to resolve it without war? Here too there is an inconvenient truth: To the extent that Democrats any longer seriously discuss national security in the context of US-Russian relations, it mostly involves vilifying both Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. (Recall also that previous presidents were free to negotiate with Russia's Soviet communist leaders, even encouraged to do so, whereas the demonized Putin is an anti-communist, post-Soviet leader.)

The current state of US-Russian relations is unprecedentedly dangerous, not only due to reasons cited here -- a new Cold War fraught with the possibility of hot war. Whether President Trump serves one or two terms, he must be fully empowered to cope with the multiple possibilities of a US-Russian military confrontation. That requires ridding him and our nation of Russiagate allegations -- and that in turn requires learning how such allegations originated.

Opponents of Barr's investigation into the origins of Russiagate say it is impermissible or unprecedented to "investigate the investigators." But the bipartisan Church Committee, based in the US Senate, did so in the mid-1970s. It exposed many abuses by US intelligence agencies, particularly by the CIA, and adopted remedies that it believed would be permanent. Clearly, they have not been.

However well-intentioned Barr may be, he is Trump's attorney general and therefore not fully credible. As I have also argued repeatedly, a new Church Committee is urgently needed. It's time for honorable members of the Senate of both parties to do their duty.

[Nov 08, 2019] "Coup has started" Tweet by "whistleblower" attorney 10 days after Trump took office Sharyl Attkisson

Nov 08, 2019 | sharylattkisson.com

There has been extensive reporting alleging that Ukraine conspired with the Democratic National Committee to help Hillary Clinton win against Trump.

A Politico investigation concluded in 2017:

Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election. And they helped Clinton's allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found. A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation. The Ukrainian efforts had an impact in the race, helping to force Manafort's resignation and advancing the narrative that Trump's campaign was deeply connected to Ukraine's foe to the east, Russia. But they were far less concerted or centrally directed than Russia's alleged hacking and dissemination of Democratic emails.

Politico, January 11, 2017

Still, Trump critics insist the pressure the president exerted on Ukraine, and the desire to receive dirt on Biden for 2020, was implicit.

The same month of Zaid's 2017 "coup" tweet, Sen. Charles Schumer, a leader in the Democrat party, issued a public warning to Trump that if he took on the intelligence community, it has " six ways from Sunday " to "get back at you". MSNBC Host Rachel Maddow asked Schumer, "What would the intelligence community do?" Schumer answered, "I don't know," but went on to say the intel community was very upset with Trump.

On Aug. 15, 2016, after FBI counterespionage chief Peter Strzok and his FBI girlfriend Lisa Page met with Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, Strzok texted Page that they couldn't take the risk of Trump getting elected without having "an insurance policy" in place.

Another figure, Benjamin Wittes, chose the same phrase. In October 2016, in his Lawfare blog, Wittes wrote : "What if Trump wins? We need an insurance policy against the unthinkable: Donald Trump's actually winning the Presidency."

Wittes has acknowledged being a good friend of fired FBI Director James Comey . Wittes spoke to a New York Times reporter about Comey's interactions with President Trump , right after Robert Mueller 's appointment as special counsel.

In a 2016 blog post, Wittes wrote that his vision of an "insurance policy" against Trump would rely on a "Coalition of All Democratic Forces" to challenge and obstruct Trump, using the courts as a "tool" and Congress as "a partner or tool." He even mentioned impeachment -- two weeks before Trump was elected.

Read more: What would the intelligence community's "insurance policy" against Trump look like? Click the link below.

https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/401116-what-would-the-intelligence-communitys-insurance-policy-against-trump

[Nov 07, 2019] Imagine I worked for Putin, who was arming MS-13, and then Putin put me on trial because, for whatever reason, I stopped arming MS-13

Notable quotes:
"... How many establishment Dems (or even non-establishment Dems) have indicated that they have any objections to arming the Ukrainians? ..."
"... The Democrats position is that arming the Ukrainians is a good and moral thing to do and that Trump is terrible for threatening to stop it, which is far simpler, far more logical and, if one ignores its flagrant immorality, far easier to 'swallow'. ..."
"... As always 'reversing the polarities' gives clarity (imagine I worked for Putin, who was arming MS-13, and then Putin put me on trial because, for whatever reason, I stopped arming MS-13 .what would we think of Putin?). ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Hidari 11.05.19 at 1:54 pm 96

... How many establishment Dems (or even non-establishment Dems) have indicated that they have any objections to arming the Ukrainians? That would be in the region of about 'none', I would imagine.

... ... ...

The Democrats position is that arming the Ukrainians is a good and moral thing to do and that Trump is terrible for threatening to stop it, which is far simpler, far more logical and, if one ignores its flagrant immorality, far easier to 'swallow'.

As always 'reversing the polarities' gives clarity (imagine I worked for Putin, who was arming MS-13, and then Putin put me on trial because, for whatever reason, I stopped arming MS-13 .what would we think of Putin?).

[Nov 07, 2019] Nunes Schiff is a fact witness to this disaster - YouTube

Nov 07, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Dale Rhode Hard Luck Cowboy , 1 day ago

Schiff has made a career out of shady politics. It's his expertise...

Graham Sclater , 16 hours ago

"Whistleblower," the most overused word of fantasy in 2019....

Esra Erimez , 1 day ago

Whistleblower: Eric Ciaramella. Dossier 2.0

Chris C , 1 day ago

v> I keep hearing responses that this impeachment process is about 'procedure'. Are there criminal/ prosecutable consequences for pushing forth this impeachment process on an unfounded basis or political bias? How about false accusations and claims by Schiff? If this is just a stall to impede the progress of the President to prevent his and our success, especially with all the malfeasance and corruption that is being exposed the last three years from his opposition and previous administration, can and will there be legal consequences to Schiff and company's incompetence, ineffectivenesss, abuse, and attacks? What is it that can be held legally against those who have been pushing this impeachment without proper basis, just their contempt for the man with over 60 million votes who won an election rigged against him? Will there be an impeachment in every future administration on this current basis?

Jerri Croft , 1 day ago

Rep Nines is a hellluva fighter. Thank you sir

James Simmons , 1 day ago

Why is a man who has an obvious conflict of interest being allowed to chair the inquiry? Is this the American way? Apparently so.

[Nov 07, 2019] Steve Bannon sounds off on Russia probe, impeachment inquiry

YouTube

Poni Gurll , 1 week ago

When Schiff's mouth is moving, you know he's lying. Again.

June Martin , 1 week ago

Totally agree with Steve Bannon. Adam Schiff is a criminal that needs to be dealt with starting with taking away his security clearance.

Living Amongst Them , 1 week ago

Schiff is a "tool" of the SWAMP and he is a liar that cannot be trusted by anyone. The Demo-rats are done politically for a long time to come! Fact.

nymfe1 , 1 week ago

60 Minutes (Of Lies) interviewed Joe Biden allowing him a platform to do damage control about his crimes in Ukraine & spread lies against the Justice Department!

Bill Nelson , 3 days ago

Schiff: "Bill Barr is weaponizing the Justice Department". Wasn't it Stalin who said, "Accuse your enemies of what you are guilty of"?

[Nov 07, 2019] Only Bannon mentions CrowdStrike. Cooper is trying to present he this whole thin that Trump going after Biden. Biden is ideal opponent for Trump. And CrowdStrike is much more important

This is not an interview. They do not listen to each other. And only Bannon mentions CrowdStrike. Cooper is trying to present he this whole thin that Trump going after Biden. Biden is ideal opponent for Trump. And CrowdStrike is much more important
Nov 07, 2019 | www.youtube.com

A. G. T. , 2 days ago

Cooper, we had the Mueller investigation, impeachment hearing after hearing, opposition to supreme court picks etc. Aren't you interested in the truth, why can't investigations be launched in the other direction. Honest question! Why can't democrats be investigated? As if they could do no wrong! America has a problem within the DNC and with leftist politics.....

Eric Grosch , 2 days ago

ionlink " data-sessionlink="itct=CBQQtnUiEwi4paSI1tnlAhWF9ZwKHZhDBgw" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0HRyTTIyBA&t=232s"> 3:52 4:09 : Cooper: "the president has access to--we have corruption-fighters in the Treasury-Department. He could have called up Steve Minuchin and said, 'You know what? Give me a list of most corrupt players in Ukraine. I'll talk to the president about it.' He didn't. The only thing he cites as a favor is crowd-strike server Biden." Cooper exhibits a fundamental misunderstanding of the organizational hierarchy of the executive branch of the federal government. Subordinate federal officers, such as Treasury Secretary Minuchin and his "corruption-fighters," serve at the pleasure of the president. Trump could dismiss Minuchin any time. Minuchin serves the president. The president does not serve or take orders from his cabinet-officials. The president is not obliged to delegate tasks to his subordinates, though he may choose to do so, at his pleasure. The primary responsibility for enforcing law is the president's, not his subordinates' . Again, it is not the business of the US to investigate or prosecute corruption among Ukrainian officials. That is President Zelensky's duty. Trump''s duty is to investigate and prosecute corruption of US officials. 5:58 : Cooper: "Democrats would argue with you, saying, 'you know what hurts the United States is using taxpayer-money as a weapon, against an ally, who's fighting our enemy..' It's not like it's Donald Trump's money, saying, buying information about the Bidens." It's not only Trump's money, but he has a share in it, as a US taxpayer. As president, he is the custodian of that aid, until it is transferred to Ukraine. He has a duty to treat it prudently. Donald Trump prudently and judiciously delayed transfer of the aid to Ukraine until he was reasonably sure, from assurances from anti-corruption President Zelensky, that the aid would serve the purposed intended, to defend Ukraine against Russia, not vanish into the pockets of corrupt Ukrainian or US officials. That delay is rational, given the long track-record of Ukrainian corruption. Trump did not use the aid "as a weapon." 6:28 : Cooper: "...cite some specific thing. There's no evidence...The president hasn't cited any evidence. He's just throwing this out and he said, 'Oh, in China too.' He hasn't cited anything. There's no facts." Again, Cooper exhibits his fundamental misunderstanding of fundamental principles. Trump was calling for an investigation. He has not concluded anything yet. The infamous videotaped statements of Joe Biden that he threatened to withhold aid from Ukraine, unless the Ukrainians fired the prosecutor who was investigating his son's gas-company and that, within six hours, that prosecutor was fired and the aid delivered, raises suspicion of corruption, but only suspicion. The purpose of a criminal investigation is to collect and ascertain evidence. At the instigation of an investigation, the evidence is obviously not collected or ascertained yet. That collection and ascertainment comes with the passage of time and the effort of investigators. 8:51 Cooper: "I think a kid, being on a board, I think it's shady. I think it makes no sense." Bannon: "Shady? It's corrupt." Precisely, but only suspicion of corruption. Before, Cooper was objecting that Trump cited no evidence, because he, Trump, only had tentative suspicion of Biden's corruption, not conclusive evidence. In the last passage, Cooper concedes precisely the same sort of suspicion. He thus arguably contradicted himself.

[Nov 07, 2019] Steve Bannon predicts Trump impeachment fallout in Fox News exclusive

YouTube
Nov 07, 2019 | www.youtube.com

supaglide , 4 days ago

Dems know that this is their last straw, they're going all in on this one and will ultimately fail AGAIN. Americans are sick of their non-stop BS.

Pj Cramer , 4 days ago

I never believe the polls , they are usually wrong.

America 1776 , 23 hours ago

"Joe Biden is a hand grenade and Hunter is the pin". 😂☠️💯👏

BK , 4 days ago

This impeachment is ridiculous. I don't trust this Fox poll. It's ridiculous.

D. L. Scruggs A Disciple Of Christ , 2 days ago

They think that we won't do anything if they impeach. There very mistaken!

[Nov 07, 2019] Why neoliberal DemoRats claim that arming Ukraine is a good thing?

Nov 07, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Hidari 11.05.19 at 1:54 pm 96

'No, you don't. It's both psychologically possible and not at all inconsistent to object to a general strategy, and to object how the strategy is being used for personal gain.'

Possible but not likely. How many establishment Dems (or even non-establishment Dems) have indicated that they have any objections to arming the Ukrainians? That would be in the region of about 'none', I would imagine. While what I assume your position is logically consistent (although bizarre .'I think it's disgusting that the US is giving weapons to the Ukrainians although I'm not prepared to do anything about that, but Trump, who threatened to stop doing this, he must be impeached, because he was threatening to stop arming the Ukrainians, which, to repeat, I approve of, for the wrong reasons.' .it's a logically consistent but deeply weird argument), it's very obviously not the Democrats' position.

The Democrats position is that arming the Ukrainians is a good and moral thing to do and that Trump is terrible for threatening to stop it, which is far simpler, far more logical and, if one ignores its flagrant immorality, far easier to 'swallow'.

As always 'reversing the polarities' gives clarity (imagine I worked for Putin, who was arming MS-13, and then Putin put me on trial because, for whatever reason, I stopped arming MS-13 .what would we think of Putin?).

It's not even clear what motive Trump has. Biden has as much chance of being President as I have, he won't be the Presidential candidate, this wasn't an 'attack' on him, it was an attack on his son, who Biden could easily distance himself from even on its own terms the accusation make absolutely no sense. It does, however, focus a laser like light on the Bidens's activities in the Ukraine, which may not be something that the Democrats really want to happen, for all kinds of reasons.

[Nov 07, 2019] Deep State On The National Security Council Colonel Vindman Is An Expert With An Agenda

Nov 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Deep State On The National Security Council: Colonel Vindman Is An "Expert" With An Agenda by Tyler Durden Thu, 11/07/2019 - 23:05 0 SHARES

Authored by Philip Giraldi via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The current frenzy to impeach President Donald Trump sometimes in its haste reveals that which could easily be hidden about the operation of the Deep State inside the federal government. Congress is currently obtaining testimony from a parade of witnesses to or participants in what will inevitably be called UkraineGate, an investigation into whether Trump inappropriately sought a political quid pro quo from Ukrainian leaders in exchange for a military assistance package.

The prepared opening statement by Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, described as the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council (NSC), provides some insights into how decision making at the NSC actually works. Vindman was born in Ukraine but emigrated to the United States with his family at age three. He was commissioned as an army infantry officer in 1998 and served in some capacity in Iraq from 2004-5, where he was wounded by a roadside bomb and received a purple heart. Vindman, who speaks both Ukrainian and Russian fluently, has filled a number of diplomatic and military positions in government dealing with Eastern Europe, to include a key role in Pentagon planning on how to deal with Russia.

Vindman, Ukrainian both by birth and culturally, clearly was a major player in articulating and managing US policy towards that country, but that is not really what his role on the NSC should have been. As more than likely the US government's sole genuine Ukrainian expert, he should have become a source of viable options that the United States might exercise vis-à-vis its relationship with Ukraine, and, by extension, regarding Moscow's involvement with Kiev. But that is not how his statement, which advocates for a specific policy, reads. Rather than providing expert advice, Vindman was concerned chiefly because arming Ukraine was not proceeding quickly enough to suit him, an extremely risky policy which has already created serious problems with a much more important Russia.

Vindman apparently sees Ukraine-Russia through the established optic provided by the Deep State, which considers global conflict as the price to pay for maintaining its largesse from the US taxpayer. Continuous warfare is its only business product, which explains in part its dislike of Donald Trump as he has several times threatened to upset the apple cart, even though he has done precious little in reality. Part of Vindman's written statement (my emphasis) is revealing: ""When I joined the NSC in July 2018, I began implementing the administration's policy on Ukraine. In the Spring of 2019, I became aware of outside influencers promoting a false narrative of Ukraine inconsistent with the consensus views of the interagency. This narrative was harmful to US government policy. While my interagency colleagues and I were becoming increasingly optimistic on Ukraine's prospects, this alternative narrative undermined US government efforts to expand cooperation with Ukraine."

Alexander Vindman clearly was pushing a policy that might be described as that of the Deep State rather than responding to his own chain of command where it is the president who does the decision making. He also needs a history lesson about what has gone on in his country of birth. President Barack Obama conspired with his own version of Macbeth's three witches – Rice, Power and Jarett – to overthrow the legitimate government of Ukraine in 2014 because it was considered to be too close to Moscow. The regime change was brought about by "mavericks" like the foul-mouthed neocon State Department officer Victoria Nuland and the footloose warmonger Senator John McCain. Vice President Joe Biden also appeared on the scene after the "wetwork" was done, with his son Hunter trailing behind him. Since that time, Ukraine has had a succession of increasingly corrupt puppet governments propped up by billions in foreign aid. It is now per capita the poorest country in Europe.

Washington inside-the-beltway and the Deep State choose to blame the mess in Ukraine on Russian President Vladimir Putin and the established narrative also makes the absurd claim that the political situation in Kiev is somehow important to US national security. The preferred solution is to provide still more money, which feeds the corruption and enables the Ukrainians to attack the Russians.

Colonel Vindman, who reported to noted hater of all things Russian Fiona Hill, who in turn reported to By Jingo We'll Go To War John Bolton, was in the middle of all the schemes to bring down Russia. His concern was not really over Trump vs. Biden. It was focused instead on speeding up the $380 million in military assistance, to include offensive weapons, that was in the pipeline for Kiev. And assuming that the Ukrainians could actually learn how to use the weapons, the objective was to punish the Russians and prolong the conflict in Donbas for no reason at all that makes any sense.

Note the following additional excerpt from Vindman's prepared statement: " .I was worried about the implications for the US government's support of Ukraine . I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma, it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained ."

Vindman's concern is all about Ukraine without any explanation of why the United States would benefit from bilking the taxpayer to support a foreign deadbeat one more time. One wonders if Vindman was able to compose his statement without a snicker or two intruding. He does eventually go on to cover the always essential national security angle, claiming that "Since 2008, Russia has manifested an overtly aggressive foreign policy, leveraging military power and employing hybrid warfare to achieve its objectives of regional hegemony and global influence. Absent a deterrent to dissuade Russia from such aggression, there is an increased risk of further confrontations with the West. In this situation, a strong and independent Ukraine is critical to US national security interests because Ukraine is a frontline state and a bulwark against Russian aggression ."

The combined visions of Russia as an aggressive, expansionistic power coupled with the brave Ukrainians serving as a bastion of freedom is so absurd that it is hardly worth countering. Russia's economy is about the size of Italy's or Spain's limiting its imperial ambitions, if they actually exist. Its alleged transgressions against Georgia and Ukraine were both provoked by the United States meddling in Eastern Europe, something that it had pledged not to do after the Soviet Union collapsed. Ukraine is less an important American ally than a welfare case, and no one knows that better than Vindman, but he is really speaking to his masters in the US Establishment when he repeats the conventional arguments.

It hardly seems possible, but Vindman then goes on to dig himself into a still deeper hole through his statement's praise of the train wreck that is Ukraine. He writes "In spite of being under assault from Russia for more than five years, Ukraine has taken major steps towards integrating with the West . The US government policy community's view is that the election of President Volodymyr Zelensky and the promise of reforms to eliminate corruption will lock in Ukraine's Western-leaning trajectory, and allow Ukraine to realize its dream of a vibrant democracy and economic prosperity. The United States and Ukraine are and must remain strategic partners, working together to realize the shared vision of a stable, prosperous, and democratic Ukraine that is integrated into the Euro-Atlantic community ."

Alexander Vindman does not say or write that the incorporation of Ukraine into NATO is his actual objective, but his comments about "integrating with the West" and the "Euro-Atlantic community" clearly imply just that. The expansion of NATO up to Russia's borders by the rascally Bill Clinton constituted one of the truly most momentous lost foreign policy opportunities of the twentieth century. The addition of Ukraine and Georgia to the alliance would magnify that error as both are vital national security interests for Moscow given their history and geography. Vindman should be regarded as a manifestation of the Deep State thinking that has brought so much grief to the United States over the past twenty years. Seen in that light, his testimony, wrapped in an air of sanctimoniousness and a uniform, should be regarded as little more than the conventional thinking that has produced foreign policy failure after failure.


DEDA CVETKO , 2 minutes ago link

Exactly 100 years ago, in 1919, a certain colonel named "Colonel" House was secretly running the White House's foreign policy with a secret globalist agenda right under the Woodrow Wilson's nose (a "colonel" who, by the way, was neither an army officer, nor the battlefield hero - in fact, he was about as much of a colonel as Colonel Parker). The outcome? The post-World War 1 "new world order" (which was neither new, nor order, nor global in any sense) that was a nightmare on steroids, a humpty-dumpty Frankenstein that gave birth to both Nazism and Bolshevism as well as Globalist Elitism, American Exceptionalism, and New Deal Neoliberalism and was every satanist's wet dream. Short of procreating Beelzebub and Baphomet, "Colonel" House just about did 'em all.

Fast forward 100 years, back to the future: year 2019 AD. A certain colonel named "Colonel" Vindman is secretly running the White House's foreign policy with a secret globalist agenda right under the Donald Trump's nose (a "colonel" who, by the way, is about as battlefield hero as Melania Trump). The outcome? The American foreign policy in shambles, a total sham, a farce on steroids, a schizo chaos of competing special interests, payola, kickbacks, quid-pro-quo big-fish-eats-small clusterfuck, foreign influence-peddling and deepstatism.

So, yes, Karl Marx was, for once, right. History really does repeat itself. It first comes as a tragedy and then returns the second time around as an inbred farce. Or a slapstick.

East Indian , 4 minutes ago link

Keeping an emigre in charge of the foreign policy towards that country. What could go wrong?

youshallnotkill , 7 minutes ago link

Born in the Ukraine, and Jewish.

So the knives are out - who cares that he is a vet awarded with a Purple Heart.

Someone Else , 4 minutes ago link

A vet with a Purple Heart can be a piece of crap just like anyone else.

Neither status is akin to sainthood.

In fact this guy should be ashamed of the way the US government has wronged Ukraine and he is a damned big part of it.

youshallnotkill , 59 seconds ago link

He served our nation with distinction, and his testimony is in line with what we heard from the diplomats and Sandberg who keeps twisting himself into a brezel.

Soloamber , 9 minutes ago link

It is absolutely mind boggling how the Democrats get away with making up

false claims over and over but the real losers are voters who are paying useless jack asses to

do nothing. What has the House done ?

Further testimony to the farce is Mr. Magoo , Sessions , thinking he might have some contribution to make .

Bear , 7 minutes ago link

Useless jackasses and exceptionally dangerous

youshallnotkill , 5 minutes ago link

If the claims were false you'd have a point.

youshallnotkill , 10 minutes ago link

And the Strategic Culture Foundation has no agenda (*cough* Russia) whatsoever.

/s

harleyjohn45 , 12 minutes ago link

Col. Vindman needs to retire. Pronto.

Bear , 6 minutes ago link

Retire to Kiev

The Merovingian , just now link

Correction, he needs to be retired permanently.

J S Bach , 14 minutes ago link

From wikipedia...

Alexander Semyon Vindman (né Aleksandr Semenovich Vindman) and his identical twin brother Yevgeny were born to a Jewish family in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic , Soviet Union .

Every. Single. Time.

When you put most of the pieces of the "Deep State" puzzle together, you realize that the picture it finally reveals is a giant Star of David.

core68 , 19 minutes ago link

My head is reeling from these stupid conspiracies

JLM , 20 minutes ago link

"It is now per capita the poorest country in Europe" (Ukraine). Well done boys. Another Libya? There is a pattern here.

Soloamber , 20 minutes ago link

And Vindman sat with his whistle up his *** while Biden played pay to play and blackmailed Ukraine

into dropping the investigation of the company his under qualified over paid son sat on .

Biden let his ego overtake reason and admitted on tape what he did . Held back payment to Ukraine unless a judge was off the case .

What did Vindman do about that ? Was he in on it ?

Vindman is a patsy and a gossip . Nothing more . OK except for lying about his deep Democrat attachments .

The guy looks like a deer in headlights but he is just being used .

Vooter , 23 minutes ago link

So the entire "Deep State" is basically just populated by monkeys...

Bear , 5 minutes ago link

Too generous a description ... Rats is better

Omega_Man , 26 minutes ago link

don't all the *** spies have an agenda?

Proofreder , 9 minutes ago link

CONGRATULATIONS -

Managed to grab the 4th post in just a few seconds for your Jewz insertion. Keep up the bad work, true professional that you are - BTW, how much in American money ??? Per word or post ???

Another dipshitz, another thread; FOAD, please soon.

Demologos , 26 minutes ago link

Vindman is a pasty-faced lying asshat. Later I'll let you know how I really feel.

ken , 29 minutes ago link

Bind man, oVEY!!!

Kan , 31 minutes ago link

Every single player in this whole thing is CFR, but you still call them deep state like its some sort of guessing game at who they are.

East Indian , 4 minutes ago link

Keeping an emigre in charge of the foreign policy towards that country. What could go wrong?

Someone Else , 4 minutes ago link

A vet with a Purple Heart can be a piece of crap just like anyone else.

Neither status is akin to sainthood.

In fact this guy should be ashamed of the way the US government has wronged Ukraine and he is a damned big part of it.

Soloamber , 20 minutes ago link

And Vindman sat with his whistle up his *** while Biden played pay to play and blackmailed Ukraine

into dropping the investigation of the company his under qualified over paid son sat on .

Biden let his ego overtake reason and admitted on tape what he did . Held back payment to Ukraine unless a judge was off the case .

What did Vindman do about that ? Was he in on it ?

Vindman is a patsy and a gossip . Nothing more . OK except for lying about his deep Democrat attachments .

The guy looks like a deer in headlights but he is just being used .

[Nov 06, 2019] Trump Jr. Outs CIA Whistleblower Over Twitter

Nov 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The article , written by Breitbart senior investigative reporter New York Times bestselling author and Aaron Klein, details how Ciaramella was central to the Obama administration's Ukraine policy - including the eventual signing of a $1 billion US loan guarantee after former VP Joe Biden pressured them into firing the guy investigating an energy company paying his son to sit on their board , Burisma Holdings.

In response to Trump Jr. tweeting Ciaramella's name, journalist Yashar Ali (who worked for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign) contacted Don Jr., who told him " The outrage on this is BS. And those pretending that I would coordinate with The White House to send out a Breitbart link haven't been watching my feed for a long time ."

Don Jr. then tweeted "The entire media is #Triggered that I (a private citizen) tweeted out a story naming the alleged whistleblower. Are they going to pretend that his name hasn't been in the public domain for weeks now? Numerous people & news outlets including Real Clear Politics already ID'd him."

Trump Jr.'s 'outing' of Ciaramella comes one day after Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said he was considering releasing the whistleblower's name, and claimed that he may be involved in Ukraine corruption.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/99cj1NJEQGE

LEEPERMAX , 5 minutes ago link

Ciaramella interfaced about Ukraine with individuals who played key roles in facilitating the infamous anti-Trump dossier produced by Fusion GPS and reportedly financed by Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

ThomasEdmonds , 7 minutes ago link

As long as we're at it, did Victoria Nuland cash in on Ukraine?

Collectivism Killz , 4 minutes ago link

She’s a *** and her husband a super ***. So yes, they made money on the backs of Slavic dead, same as ever.

[Nov 06, 2019] Don't make the same stupid assumptions twice

Nov 06, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 11.05.19 at 5:50 pm 5

nastywoman 11.05.19 at 8:12 am

You have a realistic nickname I would say :-). The level of your detachment from reality is pretty amusing, not to say more. The feelings your posts incite are pretty eloquently reflected in the following comment ;-) :

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/civil-war-begins-when-the-constitutional-order-breaks-down/

Rick Porter > Mark B. • 20 hours ago

You two idiots show your lack of knowledge and understanding of rural culture now and southern culture during the civil war. Your elite attitudes were what nearly lost the civil war for the North during the first part of the war. A lack of understanding of the Souths strengths at the start of the civil war and rural cultures strengths now.

Your ignorance now is as blatantly stupid as many people during the first Battle of Bull Run thinking it would be a quick short war. It turned out to be much different.

Don't make the same stupid assumptions twice. If you imagine you can blissfully live on the coasts and discount the middle parts of the country your very ignorant. Shutting down travel between the coasts and any economic activity accross middle America would bring urban areas to heal very quickly.

All of us in flyover country would get along just fine without the coasts.

[Nov 06, 2019] It is a story of ripping the US taxpayer and the Ukrainian customer off for the benefit of a few corruptioners, American and Ukrainian

Nov 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Teamtc321 , 3 hours ago link

Obama Bin Biden and the crooked clan need to get back in the game somehow so they can rip off another 3 billion in US tax payer loans. What were they up to 44 Billion in fraudulent loans to Ukraine?

Interesting how they want to Impeach Trump over Ukraine, don't you think?

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/plundering-ukraine-corrupt-american-democrats

Oleg, you followed Biden story from its very inception. Biden is not the only Dem politician involved in the Ukrainian corruption schemes, is he?

Indeed, John Kerry, the Secretary of State in Obama's administration, was his partner-in-crime. But Joe Biden was number one. During the Obama presidency, Biden was the US proconsul for Ukraine, and he was involved in many corruption schemes. He authorised transfer of three billion dollars of the US taxpayers' money to the post-coup government of the Ukraine; the money was stolen, and Biden took a big share of the spoils.

It is a story of ripping the US taxpayer and the Ukrainian customer off for the benefit of a few corruptioners, American and Ukrainian. And it is a story of Kiev regime and its dependence on the US and IMF. The Ukraine has a few midsize deposits of natural gas, sufficient for domestic household consumption. The cost of its production was quite low; and the Ukrainians got used to pay pennies for their gas. Actually, it was so cheap to produce that the Ukraine could provide all its households with free gas for heating and cooking, just like Libya did. Despite low consumer price, the gas companies (like Burisma) had very high profits and very little expenditure.

After the 2014 coup, IMF demanded to raise the price of gas for the domestic consumer to European levels, and the new president Petro Poroshenko obliged them. The prices went sky-high. The Ukrainians were forced to pay many times more for their cooking and heating; and huge profits went to coffers of the gas companies. Instead of raising taxes or lowering prices, President Poroshenko demanded the gas companies to pay him or subsidise his projects. He said that he arranged the price hike; it means he should be considered a partner.

Burisma Gas company had to pay extortion money to the president Poroshenko. Eventually its founder and owner Mr Nicolai Zlochevsky decided to invite some important Westerners into the company's board of directors hoping it would moderate Poroshenko's appetites. He had brought in Biden's son Hunter, John Kerry, Polish ex-President Kwasniewski; but it didn't help him.

Poroshenko became furious that the fattened calf may escape him, and asked the Attorney General Shokin to investigate Burisma trusting some irregularities would emerge. AG Shokin immediately discovered that Burisma had paid these 'stars' between 50 and 150 thousand dollar per month each just for being on the list of directors. This is illegal by the Ukrainian tax code; it can't be recognised as legitimate expenditure.

At that time Biden the father entered the fray. He called Poroshenko and gave him six hours to close the case against his son. Otherwise, one billion dollars of the US taxpayers' funds won't pass to the Ukrainian corruptioners. Zlochevsky, the Burisma owner, paid Biden well for this conversation: he received between three and ten million dollars, according to different sources.

AG Shokin said he can't close the case within six hours; Poroshenko sacked him and installed Mr Lutsenko in his stead. Lutsenko was willing to dismiss the case of Burisma, but he also could not do it in a day, or even in a week. Biden, as we know, could not keep his trap shut: by talking about the pressure he put on Poroshenko, he incriminated himself. Meanwhile Mr Shokin gave evidence that Biden put pressure on Poroshenko to fire him, and now it was confirmed. The evidence was given to the US lawyers in connection with another case, Firtash case.

[Nov 06, 2019] US foreign policy is driven by "diaspora politics"

Nov 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Petri Krohn , Nov 5 2019 22:40 utc | 14

A SPY AND A TRAITOR

A week ago I commented on the Vindman story:

US foreign policy is driven by "diaspora politics" - double traitors who first betrayed their home country and are now betraying the US in the name of their nationalist Nazi ideology and their desire to wage war on Russia.

My friend George Eliason has expanded on the topic.

Alexander Vindman – Why Diaspora Ukrainians are Driving Sedition

Was it Vindman's American patriotism or Diaspora nationalism that led him to share the Oval Office transcript with Ukraine's president?

[Nov 06, 2019] Adam Schiff Announces First Public Impeachment Hearings

Nov 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

After weeks of secretive impeachment proceedings from which House Democrats have largely excluded Republican lawmakers, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) announced on Twitter Wednesday that his committee will hold its first public impeachment hearings next week .

Unsurprisingly, those with the most damaging testimony will be peddled out, while witnesses who gave exonerating testimony such as special envoy Kurt Volker and Ambassador Gordon Sondland are notably absent from the roster.

First up? On Wednesday, November 13 the panel will hear from Bill Taylor - the top US diplomat in Ukraine who told house investigators last month that he believes there was a quid pro quo between the Trump administration and Ukraine.

Amb. William B. Taylor, Jr.

Taylor notably expressed his concerns in a Sept. 9 text message to US ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, saying: " I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign. "

To which Sondland, dictating from Trump, replies " Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo's of any kind, " adding "I suggest we stop the back and forth by text."

Sondland, meanwhile, 'updated' his earlier testimony to clarify that he told a top Ukrainian official that the country would need to commit to investigating former VP Joe Biden and other Democrats in exchange for the release of nearly $400 million in US military aid.

"I said that resumption of the U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anticorruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks," said Sondland. That said, Sondland also testified that his quid pro quo comments were his opinion, and that President Trump specifically said he did not want one.

Also testifying next Wednesday will be State Department official George Kent , who testified that he was told to "lay low" on Ukraine matters, before being edged out on Ukraine policy by Sondland according to the New York Times .

Lastly, recalled US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch will testify on Friday . She privately told House investigators that Rudy Giuliani and his associates led a campaign to have her ousted based on claims that she was blocking Ukraine from investigating Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company paying Hunter Biden to sit on its board.

[Nov 06, 2019] This is a pro-wrestling type of exercise, a dirty media-oriented trick designed to increase the chances of Dem neoliberal candidate (supposedly Warren) to win the 2020 election?

Nov 06, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 11.05.19 at 7:22 pm

arcseconds 11.05.19 at 8:31 am

@libkez #80:

A good politician should of course be sensitive to both public opinion and to potential allies, so of course Pelosi should take into account Republicans who might want to nail Trump. If there were enough of those in the Senate, he might even get removed from office!

Do you suggest that this is not a pro-wrestling type of exercise, a dirty media-oriented trick designed to increase the chances of Dem neoliberal candidate (supposedly Warren) to win the 2020 election? And that Schiff serves any other role then reincarnation of Maddow, and want to get to the bottom of the dirty deals between the US officials and their Ukrainian puppets both adamant to fleece Ukrainian population via the debt trap and enrich themselves in the process (the standard of living in Ukraine dropped probably two times after 2014 and now is on the level of central African countries ($2 a day or so for bottom 50%) , while currency depreciated around 300%) ?

And truth be told Warren is just a careerist with sharp elbows, who does not challenge the establishment narrative (kind of Eisenhower republican) and while like Trump during election campaign she attacks FIRE sector, she most probably will fold in best Obama "change we can believe in" fashion and will continue imperial foreign policy, while giving some necessary but limited relief to deplorables domestically in order to prevent mass protests. I want to be wrong is this assessment, but we have what we have.

I would recommend you to read Matt Taibbi's Hate Inc., which might help to educate you about intricacies of the US neoliberal political scene. Among other things, he provides an interesting assessment of "MadCow" style media personalities and their assigned roles: FOX vs. MSBNC with Maddow "a depressingly exact mirror" of Hannity. Both Sean and Rachel maintain the bipartisan consensus for ever-increasing military budgets, for everlasting wars, for ever-expanding surveillance, for ever-growing bailouts of and tax breaks for multinationals and FIRE sector.

And how the range of opinions has been artificially and skillfully narrowed and emasculated long before you get to hear it.

The idea is to manufacture fake dissent in order to smother real dissent. That's by-and-large is what the impeachment process is about.

[Nov 06, 2019] This is not about Russia, or Ukraine, or quid pro quo in supplying weapons to Ukraine (it is unclear why Liberasts (note the Russian term) think that it is a good thing; it does not change the balance of power in the region and they might ends in the hands of Ukrainian far right; kind of Christian Taliban

Nov 06, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 11.06.19 at 7:56 am 8

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Faustusnotes 11.05.19 at 2:28 am

I can't take anyone seriously once they start denying the Russian influence operation.

Even if we abstract from a distinct neo-McCarthyism smell of such a statement, you are completely out of touch with reality.

This is not about Russia, or Ukraine, or quid pro quo in supplying weapons to Ukraine (it is unclear why Liberasts (note the Russian term) think that it is a good thing; it does not change the balance of power in the region and they might ends in the hands of Ukrainian far right; kind of Christian Taliban ) .

This is about out of control intelligence agencies (and first of all CIA) as well as factions of neoliberals/neocons in the Department of Justice, the Department of State, and Pentagon who want to prevent any change of the USA imperial policies.

In other words, this is about well-being of a loyal (and well paid) imperial troops who want to preserve their franchise and money flows despite the obvious signs of weakening and/or disintegration of the US led global neoliberal empire (China, Russia, Iran and other "axis of resistance" states; frictions with EU, Brexit, etc ) by deposing the current "Emperor" and installing their own puppet. Kind of Praetorian Guard ( https://www.britannica.com/topic/Praetorian-Guard ) revolt in a modern incarnation.

[Nov 06, 2019] Trump's Impeachment Lures Democrats Into A Cold War Mentality

As if they even left this mentality ;-)
Nov 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
by Tyler Durden Tue, 11/05/2019 - 22:45 0 SHARES

Authored by Aaron Maté via TheNation.com,

The hawkish mindset that liberals have embraced threatens not just their own political fortunes but also global peace...

Last week's vote by House Democrats to formally open an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump followed testimony that appeared to boost their case. Several US officials told Congress that the Trump administration sought to leverage US military aid to pressure Ukraine into opening politically tainted investigations. But liberals cheering on these developments should be mindful of their limitations -- and their potential consequences. The available testimony does not strike me as being as damning for Trump as it is being portrayed. More importantly, even if that proves to be a faulty interpretation, the impeachment frenzy is enrolling liberals in a dangerous Cold War mentality that could threaten their own election chances in 2020.

The Democrats' theory of the case is plausible: At the same time as Trump's chosen point man, EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, pressured Ukraine to launch politically beneficial investigations, the president froze military aid as a tool of added leverage. But although the available testimony helps the impeachment case so far, we have not uncovered a smoking gun.

Bill Taylor, the top US diplomat in Ukraine, says that Sondland told him that the military assistance was conditioned on a Ukrainian pledge to open investigations into Burisma, the company where Hunter Biden got his lucrative board seat, and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 US election. Taylor also offered the first known testimony that this demand was made explicit to the Ukrainian side: According to Taylor, National Security Council aide Tim Morrison told him that Sondland directly communicated the quid pro quo to Andriy Yermak, an aide to Ukraine's prime minister, Volodymyr Zelensky, at a meeting in Warsaw in September 1.

Morrison corroborated Taylor's testimony in his appearance last week. But we do not yet know whether Morrison witnessed the Sondland-Yermak conversation that he told Taylor about, or is relying on his recollection of what Sondland told him. This would allow Sondland to claim that Morrison misinterpreted him.

What is certain is that Morrison left some wiggle room for Trump. His opening statement says that he and Taylor "had no reason to believe that the release of the security sector assistance might be conditioned on a public statement reopening the Burisma investigation" until he spoke to Sondland in Warsaw on September 1. "Even then," he added, "I hoped that Ambassador Sondland's strategy was exclusively his own," and not Trump's. According to CNN, Morrison testified that he tried to find out whether Sondland was relaying demands to the Ukrainian side on Trump's behalf, or was "going rogue" as a "free radical." The fact that Morrison suspected that Sondland's "strategy was exclusively his own" means that his testimony did not directly implicate Trump. And it leaves Trump with the leeway to claim that Sondland, and perhaps Rudolph Giuliani, were indeed "going rogue."

It is perfectly reasonable to deduce from all of this that what Sondland relayed -- if that is what he did -- is exactly what Trump intended. Or indeed that Sondland was acting on Trump's orders. But a case that can only be made from inference may have limited impact beyond those who have already made up their mind. Even if Trump knew exactly what Sondland was doing, Morrison's testimony leaves him with the opportunity to throw Sondland under the bus. For his part, Sondland has said through his attorney that he rejects Taylor's characterizations and does not recall the Warsaw conversation that Taylor (and now Morrison) claim to have heard about.

For Taylor and Morrison's testimony to prove dispositive -- and to make a convincing case to the broader US public and the Senate Republicans who will decide Trump's fate -- corroborating testimony or evidence will have to emerge that Trump explicitly linked the military aid to investigations of Biden and that this demand was explicitly communicated to the Ukrainian side.

That corroboration has yet to come from Ukraine. The Ukrainian government has said that it did not feel pressured. The New York Times reported that Ukrainian officials were made aware that US military aid was on hold by the first week in August, earlier than previously known. Yet communications between US and Ukrainian officials, the Times writes, "did not explicitly link the assistance freeze to the push by Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani for the investigations." Nor was the aid freeze mentioned in Trump's July 25 phone call with Zelensky.

Yermak, reached via WhatsApp, did not respond to The Nation 's request for comment. His testimony will now be critical. As will follow-up testimony by Sondland. Perhaps Taylor and Morrison are accurately recounting Sondland's words. Or perhaps Sondland will contradict them, or claim that they are conflating the investigations that Trump sought from Ukraine. As I've argued previously , demanding an investigation of documented ( and openly acknowledged ) Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 elections is different from demanding one of a political rival.

All of this positions us for a "he said, he said" impeachment scandal: The question of whether or not Trump is guilty of attempting to extort Ukraine could come down to which US bureaucrat, one chooses to believe.

There is no reason to put faith in Sondland, who, in line with a longstanding tradition in US diplomacy, owes his plush diplomatic posting to a lucrative campaign donation to the winning presidential candidate. But before we embrace bureaucrats Taylor, Morrison, and another key witness, NSC official Alexander Vindman, as liberal heroes, it is worth taking stock of their impartiality and espoused views. Despite efforts to portray them as nonpartisan civil servants, the trio's opening statements show them to be Cold Warriors devoted to continuing the US-Russia proxy war in Ukraine. As their testimony makes clear, that proxy war was imperiled by the very action that Trump took -- briefly freezing the military aid that they all unabashedly support.

In the case of Taylor , arming Ukraine was a condition of his willingness to serve in the job. When the Trump administration asked him to take the position in Kiev, Taylor recalls thinking, "I could be effective only if the US policy of strong support for Ukraine were to continue." Taylor even told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, "If US policy toward Ukraine changed, he would not want me posted there and I could not stay." No wonder then, that Taylor was upset when he began to hear rumblings that US military assistance to Ukraine was in jeopardy.

Another star witness, Vindman, offers a similar outlook . Russia, he says, "has manifested an overtly aggressive foreign policy" necessitating "a deterrent." To Vindman, that deterrent is "a strong and independent Ukraine," which, he believes, is "critical to US national security interests because Ukraine is a frontline state and a bulwark against Russian aggression." Morrison concurs, declaring that the administration's policy "was to make sure the United States' longstanding bipartisan commitment to strengthen Ukraine's security remained unaltered." In his view, "security sector assistance is, therefore, essential to Ukraine."

Given their open dedication to ensuring the continuation of US military aid to Ukraine, it is reasonable to question if the trio's interpretations of decisions and conversations about freezing military aid were colored by their own policy preferences. As The Washington Post put it , Vindman "told lawmakers that he was deeply troubled by what he interpreted as an attempt by the president to subvert U.S. foreign policy." While undoubtedly many Democrats and Republicans share Vindman's foreign policy views, it should be up to the president, not unelected bureaucrats, to decide US foreign policy.

Even if their recollections are accurate, the consequence of embracing their collective worldview is worth considering. We do not need wade far into the intricacies of the Russia-Ukraine conflict to know that the position of Taylor, Vindman, and Morrison -- and by extension, the entire liberal political and media establishment now cheering them -- is well to the right of what the Democratic Party embodied just one administration ago.

The very US military assistance that Trump froze is the same that President Barack Obama refused to provide during his last years in office. Obama feared, as The New York Times noted in 2015, that US weapons sent to Ukraine " would only escalate the bloodshed " in the Donbass and possibly "[end] up in the hands of thugs " (a likely reference to far-right Ukrainians, which proved prescient).

In refusing to send that US military aid, Obama rejected intense pressure from the bipartisan DC foreign policy establishment. This includes Taylor himself, who, as he notes in his opening statement, unsuccessfully lobbied Obama to arm Ukraine. Taylor's contemporaneous view is captured in a December 2014 letter he wrote to The Washington Post . Taylor denounced an opinion article, co-authored by a former Obama State Department official, that had opposed sending US arms to Ukraine and advocated an agreement between NATO and Russia to resolve the Ukrainian crisis. Backers of such steps, Taylor wrote, are "advocating that the West appease Russia. Now is not the time for appeasement."

The very fact that Ukrainegate now has Democrats advocating a policy that Obama rejected should be enough to spark consideration of whether briefly not arming Ukraine is really the issue on which to pin removing a president from office. Moving toward impeachment over Ukraine policy also has potential electoral consequences: In 2016, voters rejected the neoconservative worldview that national security bureaucrats like Taylor, Vindman, and Morrison now espouse. Trump, after all, campaigned on improving ties with Russia and falsely presented himself as an opponent of the hawkish legacy that these star impeachment witnesses embody. On this note, the fact that John Bolton may become the Democrats' next star witness might also hasten some reflection.

The Cold War mindset that liberals have embraced threatens not just their own political fortunes but also global peace. Lost in the outrage over Trump's potential -- and ultimately unrealized -- interruption of US military assistance to Ukraine is that Zelensky, the new Ukrainian president, openly campaigned on ending the war with Russia that this military assistance fuels. Zelensky is now under heavy pressure from Ukraine's far right to abandon his pledge to make peace with Moscow. It does not bode well for Zelensky's chances if the official opposition party of his US patron is effectively joining hands with his country's own right-wing forces to continue the war.

The dangers extend beyond Ukraine's borders. The day after the House impeachment vote, Russia warned that there is not enough time left to renegotiate the New START Treaty, the last remaining accord limiting the US and Russian nuclear arsenals, before it expires in 2021. The treaty's demise, The New York Times notes , would leave the world's top two nuclear powers "free to expand their arsenals without limits" on "the most powerful weapons both sides can launch." According to Vladimir Leontyev, Russia's top arms control official, the Kremlin hopes to renew or revise the accord, but "the US administration is silent about it." The Russians' impression, Leontyev added, is that the Trump White House "is organically against any restrictions being imposed on the United States."

The Russian warning, the Times adds, is "the latest in a sobering list of signals that the great powers appear headed for a new arms race ," following Trump's earlier withdrawal from another critical nuclear accord, the INF Treaty. It is also the latest in a long list of Trump administration policies that have escalated tensions with nuclear-armed Russia -- including authorizing the US military assistance to Ukraine that Obama once opposed and that Democrats now seek to impeach him over. The fact that this list includes increasing the threat of nuclear conflict should be sobering to any liberal who continues to push the falsehood that Trump does Russia's bidding -- all the more so given that the propagation of this falsehood helps worsen, rather than reduce, those tensions.

There is another list worth being mindful of: The many Trump administration scandals that Ukrainegate, like Russiagate before it, overshadows. The day after the House impeachment vote also coincided with the end of the comment period for a Trump administration plan to cut food programs for low-income Americans. According to government estimates, around 3 million recipients face the loss of food stamp benefits and close to 1 million children are at risk of losing automatic placement in federal school lunch programs.

"Instead of declaring a war on poverty, this president has declared war on our most vulnerable citizens," Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH), the chairwoman of the House Agriculture Committee's subcommittee on nutrition, said last month . That is undoubtedly correct, which makes it all the more puzzling that Democrats are preoccupied with an impeachment scandal that overshadows Trump's attacks on the vulnerable and encourages him to escalate wars abroad. The same goes for their stance on Syria, which saw bipartisan opposition to an announced US withdrawal but next to no opposition to Trump's sudden reversal with the explicit aim of stealing Syria's oil .

It is true that polls currently show that a majority of Americans support impeachment . It is also encouraging that Democratic presidential candidates are sidelining the impeachment drama to focus on serious policy issues on the campaign trail. At the same time, it appears that Democrats are not moving the needle in the battleground states that will decide the next election. A new New York Times /Siena College poll of the six closest swing states that went Republican in 2016 finds that Trump's "advantage in the Electoral College relative to the nation as a whole remains intact or has even grown since 2016."

With 2020 on the horizon, the dangers of the Democratic establishment's priorities cannot be emphasized enough.


Lord Raglan , 17 minutes ago link

I find it hard to believe, as the author says, that a majority of Americans support impeachment. That's because no one would know why. It hasn't been disclosed or revealed what "crime" Trump committed. That leaves the question: Impeach him for what exactly?

What they aren't telling you is the poll probably asks, "If Pres. Trump was guilty of a serious felony, do you think he should be impeached?" To which a majority would answer, "yes"

Mike Rotsch , 30 minutes ago link

More importantly, even if that proves to be a faulty interpretation, the impeachment frenzy is enrolling liberals in a dangerous Cold War mentality that could threaten their own election chances in 2020.


Are you kidding me? They already ******* lost.

We gave them a serious ear, they fucked everything up, and this is their reaction to the world finally giving them the finger. The worse they behave, the better. If we're lucky, we'll end up with a civil war and subsequent ******* purge, so that our future is sealed for the next 50-100 years.

Lord Raglan , 27 minutes ago link

I'm 64 years old, a veteran, but I'd still go hand-to-hand with that ******* fat insubordinate traitor Col. Vindman. What a piece of **** he is. He should be deported back the Ukraine. As far as I'm concerned, he forfeited his citizenship here..........and people say we shouldn't criticize him. ********.

TeraByte , 46 minutes ago link

Cold war and the current insane lunatism do not make a perfect match. We are residing in an era of denial of all proven experimental science, but it would be nice too witness, what future historians will write about this epoch of a rock bottom of the Western civilization after 250 years of scientific progress.

J S Bach , 1 hour ago link

"Trump's Impeachment Lures Democrats Into A Cold War Mentality"

Liberals are always in war mode ... incessantly pushing pushing pushing for their destructive communist agenda. Think about it... they're NEVER satisfied. When was the last time you ever heard of a Leftist willingly giving an inch of ground on their ideologies or platforms? Never. Conservatives, on the other hand, have acquiesced so much in the last 50 years, that the term which defines them no longer has any meaning. There's nothing left to "conserve". I mean, John F. Kennedy was FAR more "conservative" by today's standards than ANY mainstream Republican politician. That is why the terms "populist" or "nationalist" are better labels for those on the right who truly want to change things.

tardpill , 1 hour ago link

George Carlin, George Carlin - We Like War

We like war! We're a war-like people! We like war because we're good at it! You know why we're good at it? Cause we get a lot of practice. This country's only 200 years old and already, we've had 10 major wars. We average a major war every 20 years in this country so we're good at it! And it's a good thing we are; we're not very good at anything else anymore! Huh? Can't build a decent car, can't make a TV set or a VCR worth a ****, got no steel industry left, can't educate our young people, can't get health care to our old people, but we can bomb the **** out of your country all right! Huh? Especially if your country is full of brown people; oh we like that don't we? That's our hobby! That's our new job in the world: bombing brown people. Iraq, Panama, Grenada, Libya, you got some brown people in your country, tell them to watch the **** out or we'll goddamn bomb them! Well when's the last white people you can remember that we bombed? Can you remember the last white--- can you remember ANY white people we've ever bombed? The Germans, those are the only ones and that's only because they were trying to cut in on our action. They wanted to dominate the world! ********! THAT'S OUR ******* JOB! !

one of my fav rants of his

Lonesome Cowboy Burt , 32 minutes ago link

He must have forgotten about Serbia/Yugoslavia?

Angry White Guy , 47 minutes ago link

The real problem is they appear to still be largely half the country. We keep letting more of them invade...demographics is destiny....I'm beginning to believe it's already a foregone conclusion.

LookAtMeme.com , 29 minutes ago link

I don't know. Seems like when they're approached properly there's plenty of motivation to walk away. Every person who bothered to make and upload a video probably represents hundreds or thousands of others.

#WalkAway Campaign

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDb4InP9mRZR9oogD1b2dOQ/videos

"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one."― Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

ebworthen , 1 hour ago link

The Democrats haven't had a ******* clue since J.F.K. in 1963.

Charlie_Martel , 52 minutes ago link

JKF was so clueless he asked the FBI to help him dismantle the CIA not knowing they are one in the same and they whacked him in broad daylight.

beenlauding , 35 minutes ago link

So sad, one lone gunman-so much destruction.

[Nov 06, 2019] Impeachment Inquiry Transcripts: Read Excerpts of Sondland's and Volker's Testimonies

Nov 06, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs said in reply to Fred C. Dobbs... , November 05, 2019 at 01:34 PM

Impeachment Inquiry Transcripts: Read Excerpts of Sondland's and Volker's Testimonies

House investigators on Tuesday released transcripts from two more closed-door depositions.

Gordon Sondland's Testimony
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/11/05/us/politics/sondland-testimony-transcript-impeachment.html

Kurt Volker's Testimony
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/11/05/us/politics/volker-testimony-transcript-impeachment.html

[Nov 06, 2019] A Timeline Of Joe Biden's Intervention Against The Prosecutor General Of Ukraine

Nov 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mike Sylwester , Nov 5 2019 22:49 utc | 18

I offer my interpretation of the timeline.

General-Prosecutor Victor Shokin was being pressured -- mostly by the USA -- to prosecute corruption more effectively.

In response to such pressure, Shokin initiated an investigation of Mykola Zlochevsky on October 17, 2015. It seems that Britain had established an investigation of Zlochevsky in 2014, had suspended that investigation on January 21, 2015, but then resumed that investigation in October 2015. Shokin joined that British investigation on October 17, 2015.

It seems further that the USA eventually took unknown actions to prevent that joint British-Ukrainian investigation of Zlochevsky.

On December 7-8, 2015, Vice President Biden indicated that a large US grant of aid money would be conditional. However, the conditions seem to be secret.

In this situation, before the end of December 2015, General-Prosecutor Shokin transfered the Zlochevsky investigation to the so-called National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), which essentially was a creature of the US Government.

The situation seemed to remain quiet through the month of January 2016. On February 2, however, Shokin seized some of Zlochevsky's property, even though the NABU was supposed to be managing the Zlochevsky case.

Sholin's seizure of Zlochevsky's property on February 2 sparked a US-Ukraine crisis. The US (i.e. the Bidens) felt it had been double-crossed by Shokin.

Although the property seizure occurred on February 2, it was not announced publicly until February 4. On that same day, Hunter Biden began following the Twitter account of US Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken, who managed Ukrainian affairs. (I wonder if Blinken communicated in code to Hunter Biden by means of Twitter.)

On February 12, Vice President Joe Biden talked with Ukrainian President Poroshenko by telephone and ordered the firing of Shokin. The firing essentially happened later that same day.

Joe Biden's story about waiting for an airplane due to take off in six hours might be false or might refer to an airplane taking off in some country other than Ukraine.

evilempire , Nov 5 2019 22:54 utc | 21

Are vlochevsky, kolomoisky, and pinchbuk partners in crime?

$1.8 billion in imf loans "disappeared" in koilomoiski's privat bank. After that privat bank was nationalized and kolomoiski fled to the us. Was this how vlochevsky's asets doubled? Coincidentally the chinese firm investment in rosemont seneca was over $1 billion.

Some have speculated that the Bidens could have become billionaires from this. Was the Chinese firm a pass through for the embezzled $1.8 billion IMF loan?

[Nov 06, 2019] 'Coup Has Started' Whistleblower's Attorney Vowed To 'Get Rid Of Trump' In 2017

Nov 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The Democratic operative attorney representing the anti-Trump whistleblower vowed to " get rid of Trump ", and said that the " #coup has started " in 2017 tweets.

Whistleblower attorney Mark S. Zaid

Mark Zaid, the John Podesta, Clinton and Schumer-linked attorney who founded the anti-Trump nonprofit 'Whistleblower Aid' in 2017, tweeted "It's very scary. We will get rid of him, and this country is strong enough to survive even him and his supporters. We have to. "

As Fox News reports, Zaid remarked in July 2017 " I predict @CNN will play a key role in @realdDonaldTrump not finishing out his full term as president. "

The posts, which came shortly after President Trump fired then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates for failing to defend federal laws in court, are likely to fuel Republican concerns that the whistleblower's complaint is tainted with partisanship.

"The whistleblower's lawyer gave away the game," the Trump campaign's communications director, Tim Murtaugh. told Fox News. "It was always the Democrats' plan to stage a coup and impeach President Trump and all they ever needed was the right scheme. They whiffed on Mueller so now they've settled on the perfectly fine Ukraine phone call. This proves this was orchestrated from the beginning."

Trump has repeatedly accused Democrats and partisans in the intelligence community of effectively plotting a coup against him, through selective leaks and lengthy investigations. - Fox News

"45 years from now we might be recalling stories regarding the impeachment of @realDonaldTrump. I'll be old, but will be worth the wait," he tweeted in June 2017 .

Hilariously, Zaid describes himself as a "non-partisan" attorney "handling cases involving national security, security clearances, govt investigations, media, Freedom of Information Act, & whistleblowing, according to Breitbart 's Aaron Klein, who noted that Zaid's "Whistleblower Aid" organization is heavily tied to far-left activist organizations and Democratic policies.

Whistleblower Aid was founded in September 2017 in the wake of Trump's presidency to encourage government whistleblowers to come forward.

The group did not sit around waiting for whistleblowers. Upon its founding, Whistleblower Aid actively sought to attract the attention of Trump administration government employees by reportedly blasting advertisements for its whistleblower services on Metro trains, using mobile billboards that circled government offices for 10 hours a day, and handing out whistles on street corners as a gimmick to gain attention.

When Whistleblower Aid was first formed, the main banner for the mission statement of its website contained clearly anti-Trump language.

"Today our Republic is under threat. Whistleblower Aid is committed to protecting the rule of law in the United States and around the world," read the previous statement which can still be viewed via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. - Breitbart

Zaid is also founder and director of the James Madison Project , which still lists Democratic operative John Podesta as a member of its board in a hidden area of the website ( archive here ).

[Nov 06, 2019] Rand Paul 'Subpoena Whistleblower, He May Be Involved In Corrupt Ukraine Dealings'

Nov 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has called on Congressional Republicans to subpoena the anti-Trump whistleblower, suggesting he may be involved in corrupt business dealings in Ukraine .

In a Tuesday interview, Paul said that the whistleblower - reported to be CIA officer Eric Ciaramella - " is a material witness to the possible corruption of Hunter Biden and Joe Biden, " and that Congress should investigate the whistleblower's ties to the Biden family and Burisma holdings , the Ukrainian gas company that paid Hunter Biden to sit on its board, according to BuzzFeed .

" [The whistleblower] might have traveled with Joe Biden to Ukraine for all we know . We should look at his writings. We should know all of this stuff to see whether or not he has any intersection with Burisma and with Hunter Biden," said Paul.

The president's most ardent supporters in Congress have long insisted the real corruption in Ukraine was done by former vice president Joe Biden and his family rather than by President Donald Trump. Many have also called for outing the anonymous intelligence official who filed a whistleblower complaint alleging Trump demanded a political quid pro quo from the Ukrainian government -- an investigation into the Biden family in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid. But, until now, they had not brought those two lines of attack together. - BuzzFeed

When asked if he has any evidence for his suppositions, Paul said " We don't know unless we ask. "

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was surprised at Paul's comments, saying "He needs to tell us. You can't ask a judge. You can't ask members [of Congress], ' Do you want to subpoena this guy? ' He might be this, he might be that."

Both Graham and Paul do agree, however, that the whistleblower's identity should be officially made public , with Paul telling reporters that he "probably will" disclose his name.

"I'm more than willing to, and I probably will at some point. ... There is no law preventing anybody from saying the name," said Paul.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/99cj1NJEQGE

Other lawmakers such as Sen. Mitt Romney, Roy Blunt, John Cornyn and Lisa Murkowski say he should remain anonymous. The whistleblower's attorney, Mark Zaid, said that Paul and others are using disinformation to distract from the substance of the allegations.

"I imagine at some point soon our client will be accused of masterminding JFK's assassination as well," he said. "Any Member of Congress who pushes to expose the whistleblower will not only undermine the integrity of the system but will be disgracing their office and betraying the interests of the Constitution and the American people."

[Nov 05, 2019] Most Americans Have 'Little To No Trust' In Impeachment Process, Would Rather Let Voters Decide In 2020

Nov 05, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

According to the survey, 73% of those polled have little to no trust in how the House impeachment inquiry has been conducted to date, while 59% say it would "make more sense" to wait until next year's election . The same poll found just 44% of Americans think that Trump should be impeached and removed from office .

"Even many who would like to impeach Trump seem to feel that beating him at the polls in 2020 is actually a better strategy for ousting him from office," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

What's more, 71% of respondents think it's unlikely the Senate would vote to remove Trump - which, as Nancy Pelosi warned, would simply empower Republicans after Democrats can't tank Trump for asking Ukraine to investigate whether former VP Joe Biden and his son Hunter engaged in a quid-pro-quo to personally enrich themselves.

That said, just over half of Americans think its a good idea for the House to conduct the inquiries, even if many of those people have 'little to no trust' in it!

Those who approve of the job Trump is doing rose to 42% from 41% in September, while 51% disapprove, down from 53% in September.

Of those who approve, 62% can't think of anything he could do that would cause them to stop supporting him .

Methodology: The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from Oct. 30 to Nov. 3 with a national random sample of 908 adults age 18 and older. The margin of error for the total sample is ± 3.3.

[Nov 05, 2019] Establishment's Coup Attempt Is Approaching End Game

Nov 05, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

"Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

These are the offenses designated in the Constitution for which presidents may be impeached and removed from office.

Which of these did Trump commit?

According to his accusers in this city, his crime is as follows:

The president imperiled our "national security" by delaying, for his own reasons, a transfer of lethal aid and Javelin missiles to Ukraine -- the very weapons President Barack Obama refused to send to Ukraine, lest they widen and lengthen the war in the Donbass.

Now, if Trump imperiled national security by delaying the transfer of the weapons, was not Obama guilty of a greater crime against our national security by denying the weapons to Ukraine altogether?

The essence of Trump's crime, it is said, was that he demanded a quid pro quo. He passed word to incoming President Volodymyr Zelensky that if he did not hold a press conference to announce an investigation of Joe Biden and son Hunter, he, Zelensky, would not get the arms we had promised, nor the Oval Office meeting that Zelensky requested.

Again, where is the body of the crime?

Did Zelensky hold the press conference Trump demanded? No.

Did Zelensky announce Ukraine was investigating the Bidens? No.

Did Zelensky get the Oval Office meeting? Yes.

Did Zelensky get the U.S. weapons? Yes, $400 million in arms and Javelin missiles.

Where then is the crime? When was it consummated?

Or was this a thought crime, a bluff to get Zelensky to look into how Hunter Biden got a $50,000-a-month seat on the board of the most corrupt company in Ukraine, days after Joe Biden was in Kyiv threatening to block a $1 billion loan guarantee to the regime.

By the way, what was Biden doing approving a $1 billion loan guarantee to Petro Poroshenko's regime, which was so corrupt that it ferociously fought not to fire a prosecutor whose dismissal all of Europe was demanding?

Should Biden be nominated and elected, a special prosecutor would have to be appointed to investigate this smelly deal, as well as the $1 billion Hunter got for his equity fund from the Chinese after his father visited the Middle Kingdom.

Given last week's party-line vote in the House, where all but two Democrats voted to proceed with the inquiry, the impeachment of President Donald Trump seems baked in the cake. Speaker Nancy Pelosi's designation of Adam Schiff to head the investigation tells us all we need to know about the sincerity of her pledge to make the inquiry bipartisan.

Suppose Zelensky had agreed to an investigation into how Hunter Biden, with no experience in the energy industry, got his sweetheart deal.

Would that be impeachable for Trump? How so?

Does not the U.S. have a right to put conditions on its foreign aid and to seek guarantees that our money will not be used as graft to grifters?

A few of those listening in on Trump's phone call with Zelensky have gone public asserting that withholding the arms transfer to Kyiv imperiled our national security.

But if east Ukraine rises up and secedes from Kyiv, as Kyiv itself seceded from the Russian Federation at the end of the Cold War, how does any of that endanger America's national security? Did not George H.W. Bush himself warn, three decades ago, that a declaration of independence by Ukraine from the Russian Federation would constitute an act of "suicidal nationalism"?

And who does the Constitution charge with making the decisions as to whether military aid goes to Ukraine?

The president, or some NSC staffer who sits on the Ukraine desk?

Since the U.S.-backed overthrow of the pro-Russian regime in Kyiv in 2014, and Vladimir Putin's counter-seizure of Crimea and support for pro-Russian secessionists in Donetsk and Luhansk, there has been a debate in the USA over how to deal with this faraway problem.

Obama decided not to send lethal aid or tank-killing Javelin missiles, lest the U.S. arms escalate a war between Russia and Ukraine that Kyiv could not win.

The Republicans argued the issue at their Cleveland convention. Trump's team won that argument, but lethal aid and Javelin missiles were eventually sent to Kyiv. Now Trump has sent even more weapons.

But again, the authority to make this decision resides in the Oval Office, not in the NSC, not in the CIA, and not with those in the "deep state" who have their own settled view of what U.S. foreign policy should be.

The authority lies with the elected president of the United States.

This impeachment battle will almost surely reach the Senate.

And in the end it will be about what it has been about since the beginning: An attempt by the deep state and its media, bureaucratic and political allies to overturn the democratic verdict of 2016 and to overthrow the elected president of the United States.

The establishment's coup attempt is now approaching end game.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. T

[Nov 05, 2019] The Foreign Policy Blob Versus Trump by Hunter DeRensis

Oct 30, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

Ever since the whistleblower complaint from inside the CIA first surfaced against President Donald Trump, a steady stream of national security and State Department officials have testified about their consternation at his dealings with Ukraine. The dominant impression that they have left, however, is that they are blurring the line between what constitutes unsavory behavior when it comes to pressuring Ukraine for information on domestic political opponents, on the one hand, and what are legitimate policy disagreements. Indeed, it appears that they are, more often than not, substituting their own political judgments for the president's when it comes to the conduct of American foreign policy-something that should concern Democrats as much as Republicans. A whole caste of government officials seems to believe that for an American president to aim to improve relations with Russia is an illegitimate, even treasonous, aspiration.

Today was no exception. Consider the testimony of State Department official Catherine Croft. In her brief opening statement, she declared, "As the Director covering Ukraine, I staffed the President's December 2017 decision to provide Ukraine with Javelin anti-tank missile systems. I also staffed his September 2017 meeting with then-President Petro Poroshenko on the margins of the UN General Assembly. Throughout both, I heard-directly and indirectly-President Trump describe Ukraine as a corrupt country." The implication was that Trump had no business complaining about corruption in Ukraine. But why not? The persistence of corruption, which President Volodymyr Zelensky was elected by an overwhelming majority to combat, is hardly a secret.

Perhaps even more revealing was Croft's declaration to the House Intelligence Committee that in November 2018 the White House refused to approve the release of a statement condemning Russia for seizing three Ukrainian ships located close to Crimea. It sounds damning at first glance. But once again, why shouldn't Trump have practiced restraint in this instance if he was intent on improving relations with Russia, a platform that he was elected on? As it happens, the Zelensky campaign depicted the ship incident as a political provocation on the part of the Poroshenko government.

The implicit assumptions that appear to guide these veteran members of the bureaucracy were even more obvious in the case of Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman. As the media has underscored, he is the first person to testify in the impeachment inquiry who participated in the July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Initially, Trump's defenders sought to portray him as guilty of "espionage" or dual loyalty because he emigrated to America as a toddler. But this was always preposterous. More telling is that Vindman, no less than Croft, epitomizes a mindset that seems to regard a deviation from the strictures of the foreign policy establishment as by definition unacceptable.

In his opening statement, Vindman declared, that Ukraine is a "frontline state and a bulwark against Russian aggression." He added, "the U.S. government policy community's view is that the election of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the promise of reforms will lock in Ukraine's Western-leaning trajectory, and allow Ukraine to realize its dream of a vibrant democracy and economic prosperity." But what if Trump has a different view of matters than the "U.S. government policy community's view"? After all, Trump was elected in part on his explicit declarations that he would not rely on the experts who had plunged America into Iraq and Libya.

Consider as well the attention that Vindman has lavished upon Trump's phone call with Zelensky. According to Vindman, portions of the call he considered important were not included in the document kept by the government that was released to the last month. This includes President Trump claiming there are recordings of former Vice President Joe Biden discussing Ukrainian corruption, and President Zelensky specifically referring to Biden's son's company, Burisma Holdings. The document released by the administration includes Zelensky talking about "the company" and Trump saying, "Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution," which is an interpretation of a video of Joe Biden describing how the Obama administration made firing Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin a prerequisite for receiving foreign aid. Vindman's recollection of the call does not change the substance of what was already understood. However, the changes in language are being portrayed as more analogous to Richard Nixon editing the White House tapes than the routine process that produced a routine document. "Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, who heard President Trump's July phone call with Ukraine's president and was alarmed, testified that he tried and failed to add key details to the rough transcript," blared the New York Times headline.

For two months, major media outlets have described the document as a "transcript," as a shorthand term. But as the document, and TNI's previous reporting makes clear, it is not a transcript in the strict sense of the term. "This is what's known as a memorandum of conversation: MEMCON. It is a standard tool that is used throughout the government and the procedures can vary from agency to agency, or who your boss is. But generally, they're all done about the same way," explains Peter Van Buren, a former Foreign Service Officer in the State Department.

"In my own experience in government for 24 years it's a pretty standardized practice. The idea is, for all sorts of reasons, most interactions are not recorded. Instead, they're memorialized through this process of MEMCON. Typically, while there are many people who may be listening in or present at a meeting, someone (or sometimes two people) are designated as official notetakers and they take down the conversation. And they're not trying necessarily to get an exact word-for-word account, but they're certainly trying to get an idea for idea. And in many cases when you're dealing at the White House level, they are getting it pretty much word for word," Van Buren tells TNI.

As a participant on the phone call, Vindman would have been one of the early editors. As the process continued, officials higher than him made changes, just like the editor of a magazine would for a writer. The precise reasons for the changes are open-ended and probably unknowable. There exists no evidence that the changes were nefarious or anything other than mundane word choice. The document released to the public is the official U.S. government record of what happ