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Cold War II

Skepticism > Political Skeptic > Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization > Color revolutions

News Pathological Russophobia of the US elite Recommended Links British roots of US Rusoophobia Demonization of Putin Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism
Possibility of China-Russia military alliance Neoconservatism as an attack dog of neoliberalism Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Conversion of Democratic Party into War Party and Hillary Clinton policy toward Russia Trump foreign policy platform
Nulandgate Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? Putin stands up to US and G8 warmongers on Syria Hillary the warmonger Hillary role in Libya disaster Hillary role in Syria bloodbath
Neoliberal Propaganda MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage as prolog to war with Russia Russian Ukrainian Gas wars Russian foreign policy Ambush of Russian Su-24 over Syria Ukraine: From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss
Obama: a yet another Neocon To whom EuroMaidan Sharp-shooters belong? EU-brokered agreement on ending crisis The Far Right Forces in Ukraine Odessa Massacre of May 2, 2014 Suppression of Russian language and culture in Ukraine
Compradors Fifth column NGOs as braintrust of color revolutions Resurgence of ideology of neo-fascism Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair
Delegitimization of Ruling Party Two Party System as polyarchy Opposition as a way to get rid of feeling of inferiority Human right activists or globalism fifth column Exploiting "Revolutionary Romantics" as polit-technology The art of manufacturing of prisoners of consciousness
Secular Stagnation Economics of Peak Energy The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Foreign Agents Registration Act Russian Fifth column Humor Etc

The Russian and US perceptions of war are totally different: for a Russian the war is a fight for survival as an individual and as a nation, for a US person war and killing are just another day in the office. And that includes perception of the risks of "Cold War" turning into hot.  Jingoism of the current US elite is really crazy: ‘Kill Russians and Iranians, threaten Assad,’ says ex-CIA chief backing Clinton. And this is not some drunk schmuck in the pub.  This is a  top CIA official, who twice served as the acting director of the agency

In an interview with Charlie Rose in August 2016, Morell blamed Syrian President Assad, Russia, and Iran for the death toll in Syria.[28] He called on the moderate opposition in Syria to make Russia and Iran "pay a price" for their involvement in Syria, in part by targeting their military personnel in the country.[29] He also called on the US to begin bombing Syrian government targets in order to bring Assad to the negotiating table.[30] Regarding President Bashar al-Assad, Morell argued "I want to go after those things that Assad sees as his personal power base. I want to scare Assad."[29]

You would think that this guys is a crazy psychopath (thanks God he retired form CIA in 2013). But his views reflect the views of a large swat of Washington political establishment. And President Trump actually fulfilled Hillary bidding and attacked Assad's military installations, the action  which Morell argued for.   Which opened a new chapter in Cold War II history.

Key events of Cold War II

Generally we can think about Cold War II as consisting of several phases, signified by particular events:

  1. Phase I
    1. Prehistory (1991-1999). The USA, especially Bill Clinton administration,  wanted to weaken, isolate and subdue Russia since the dissolution of the USSR (using corrupt regime of drunk Yeltsin as a puppet and Harvard mafia as economic advisors; Russian neoliberals who came to power in Russia after the dissolution of the USSR  allowed fox to guard the chickens and faced consequences )  and encouraged efforts to dismember it (via support of Chechen radicals and islamists, in general).
    2. 1999: War against Yugoslavia as the demonstration of Russia neo-colonial status.  Primakov flight U-turn over Athlantic
    3. 2000: Putin ascendance to power as a reaction to Yeltsin regime failings and neo-colonization of Russia.  Kursk submarile disaster CBS news then broke the story that the United States had three ships in the vicinity observing the naval exercise that Kursk was taking part in. Two of the three ships were submarines, later determined to be USS Memphis and USS Toledo, type 688 Los Angeles class fast attack submarines which are often used for covert intelligence gathering.  USS Memphis, reported by Norway to be undergoing repairs at a Norwegian naval yard.
    4. 2001: Neocons get full power in Bush II administration and started to implement PNAC agenda. September 11, 2001 events. Invasion of Afghanistan with Russian support (via North Alliance) with large supplies of Russian arms.
    5. 2003: Colin Powell lies to UN in his speech about Iraq weapons of mass destruction(full text) falsely accusing Iraq regime of producing chemical weapons. Subsequent invasion of Iraq under false evidence and occupation of Iraq. The USA uses events in Afghanistan to establish military bases in former Soviet republics starting the operation of "encirclement" of Russia. For some period of time Russia allowed transport of military cargo via its territory. this stopped only after "NATO sanctions" were introduced in 2014.
    6. 2008: In august 2008 Georgia staged invasion of north Ossetia which resulted in Russian military operation against Georgia (called the war with Georgia). This was the first time Russia opposed US sanctioned actions of US allies. And did it militarily.
    7. 2011: "We say, we came, he died". The USA fooled Russian President Medvedev into supporting "no-fly zones" which were interpreted by West as the cart blanche for full scale bombing of Gaddafi regime. American and British naval forces fired over 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles,[20] the French Air Force, British Royal Air Force, and Royal Canadian Air Force[21] undertaking sorties across Libya and a naval blockade by Coalition forces. French jets launched air strikes against Libyan Army tanks and vehicles. The Libyan government response to the campaign was totally ineffectual. Regime soon fell and Gaddafi was brutally murdered.
    8. 2011-2012 attempt to stage a color revolution in Russia by Obama administration (with Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State), using the power of NGOs and neoliberal fifth column to prevent return of Putin to power ("white revolution" of 2012)
  2. Phase II
    1. 2014: Anti-Russian hysteria during Sochi Olympics, Ukrainian coup d'état and introduction of sanctions. Malaysian flight MH17  tragegy that points to a false flag operation
    2. 2015: Russian involvement in Syria and Ambush of Russian Su-24 bomber by Turkey.
    3. 2016: US deploy offensive and dangerous to Russian strategic forces "missile shield" in Poland and Romania, continuing the policy of encirclement of Russia. On May 12, 2016 US missile shield in Romania goes live to Russian fury
    4. 2016: Anti-Russian hysteria during and after Presidential elections. Democtatic Pary turns into the second War party in Washington and the level of jingoism and anti-Russian hysteria reached unprecedented level.
    5. 2017: As a reaction to Hillary loss in 2016 election fierce  Neo-Mccratyism campaign against Russia was launched, with the level of demonization of Russia justifiable only if the USA is reading population for a war.  The Congress starts the investigation of Russian meddling into the US Presidential Elections.
    6. April 2017: Hopes about Trump more reasonable approach to foreign policy and detente with Russia vanished. Under relentless attacks of neocons, which actually resemble a color revolution" (called Purple revolution) Trump folded. Attack on Syrian airbase followed, which actually signify direct attack on Russian involvement (and policy) in Syria. It was masked as a reaction on Khan Sheikhoun gas attack (which, most probably, was a false flag operation)

Sanction as official start of Cold War II

What is called "sanctions" is essentially the "official" start of Cold War II. Not everybody  understand this. Russians tend to obscure this fact with bravado. "Sanctions is not only a challenge, but also can serve as a useful resource for our country economic development" -- said the first deputy head of the Presidential Administration Vyacheslav Volodin, in his address to the seminar meeting with officials of the government of subjects of the Russian Federation and representatives of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation which took place Dec 1-3.

"Today, the state conducts an internal policy that really reflects the interests and enjoys the support of the absolute majority of the Russian people. For example, the reunification of the Crimea and Sevastopol to Russia has supported more than 93% of Russian citizens" noted Vyacheslav Volodin. "But the highest level of support for government policy - not a reason to calm down and relax. This is the issue of preversing this huge level of credibility, great expectations of people. It is important to use this social energy for development of the country, addressing major social and economic problems. "

"The current economic situation is today is an inflected on us stress test for the government, for the economy, for the country as a whole," - said Vyacheslav Volodin.

"This is an opportunity to see who is who. World leaders of the 20th century took place at different times this path - the path of development in the face of opposition of the environment, trade wars, sanctions and restrictions. Some of the countries, such as China, have been able, in spite of the sanctions regime, to build one of the strongest economies in the world and dramatically improve the quality of life of its citizens. Such an opportunity does exist for us too. "

According to Vyacheslav Volodin, economic recovery should be a continuing priority for the country. Sanctions - this is an additional opportunity to resolve overdue to restructure the domestic market, provided support for domestic manufactures.

"Import substitution and new industrialization, which we discussed back in the pre-election articles and messages of the President of the Russian Federation in 2012 and 2013 - a key aspect of state sovereignty,"

I would recommend Volodin to listen famous Russian song, almost a hymn of Russian navy Varyag.  Russia now faces the whole NATO alliance, which is by oprder or magnitute is more powerful economically.  

Putin assessed situation in more sober way (From 28 min Putin discuss sanctions), but still I think underestimated the capabilities of the "collective West" led by the USA to wreck Russian economy. And while Biden is a regular neocon chickenhawk (essentially Hillary in pants), behind him  like an aircraft carriers stand 500 largest US companies and the whole US military industrial complex which wants war: 

The U.S. and the European Union imposed sanctions on people and companies close to President Vladimir Putin after Russia annexed the Black Sea Crimea peninsula in March. Ukraine has accused Russia of supplying weapons, military vehicles and mercenaries to separatists, which Russia denies. The two nations are also in conflict over gas, with Russia cutting off supplies this week because of unpaid bills.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Putin's government faces the threat of further economic sanctions if it doesn’t do more “to exercise its influence among the separatists to lay down their weapons and renounce violence, both of which Russia has thus far failed to do,” according to a statement released by the White House yesterday.

And it is not accidental that  the World Bank, one of the cornerstones of world neoliberal economic order,  has designed two scenarios for the growth of the Russian economy in 2014 taking into account increased risks over the Crimean crisis (MOSCOW, March 26 (RIA Novosti)

The first variant is based on short-term influences of the events in Ukraine on Russia's economy, and the second, threats of a serious shock and downturn of the gross domestic product (GDP).

"The scenario with a low level of risk presupposes that actions over the Crimean crisis will be limited and short-term and with a prognosis of a slowing economic growth to 1.1 percent in 2014 and a slight increase to 1.3 percent in 2015,"

according to a World Bank report on the Russian economy published on Wednesday.

French politician Philippe de Villiers Without Russia Europe has no future by Viacheslav

Q: What do you think about the "war of sanctions" that Russia waged against the West?

Philippe de Villiers: I will answer you as a person, seriously studied history. It was not even a single case where sanctions would lead to the desired result. Moreover, they give the opposite result.

Country against which an embargo is introduced, usually finds the hidden reserves and becomes stronger. Sanctions by themselves - it is an act of war, they hurt the pride of the people, and those mobilized, concentrated, what is happening now in Russia. In French, one of the meanings of the word "sanctions" refers to a school dictionary. Teacher allowed to punish the student to apply to it "sanctions." But as far as I know, Mr. Putin is not a disciple of Mr Barroso. Sanctions lead to retaliatory sanctions to a dangerous chain of mutual blows.

Cooperation between countries - it is an act of peace. Our joint project of theme parks in Russia and indeed this is. Support him, President Putin has committed an act of peace. I appeal to all the French entrepreneurs to follow suit in order to strengthen ties and friendship between France and Russia.

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Dr. Ron Paul
former US Congressman, founder of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity
Dear Reader,

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William Bonner


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[Feb 20, 2018] How Russophobia wrecked normalization between US Russia -- RT Op-ed

Notable quotes:
"... gesture to the Kremlin that would enable the nascent Trump administration to see its desire for friendly relations with Russia would be reciprocated ..."
"... fit a pattern within the Trump administration of sidling up to Russia. Taken in sum, the pattern raises questions about whether Trump and his team are willing to pay Russia back for the Kremlin's role in the [presidential] election ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.rt.com

The baleful effect of this anti-Russian paranoia was illustrated in an article published last week by the Daily Beast. It was reported that a member of Trump's National Security Council proposed early in the new presidency last year that the US should scale back its military forces in the Baltic countries.

Russia has long complained that the buildup of US-led NATO forces on its European borders is a provocative threat to its national security.

The idea of repositioning US troops from the Baltic was pitched as a " gesture to the Kremlin that would enable the nascent Trump administration to see its desire for friendly relations with Russia would be reciprocated ."

READ MORE: Senate probe expanded to anyone 'of Russian descent or nationality' – email

Apparently, the proposal was quickly rebuffed out of concern about how it would fuel US media claims of Trump being a Russian puppet.

Another idea that was similarly rejected was the lifting of US sanctions on Russia's economy.

The Daily Beast goes on to make the pejorative editorial comment that the floated proposals " fit a pattern within the Trump administration of sidling up to Russia. Taken in sum, the pattern raises questions about whether Trump and his team are willing to pay Russia back for the Kremlin's role in the [presidential] election ."

Note how the article asserts as fact the dubious speculation about Russia interfering in US politics.

Reportedly the proposals for trying to restore relations with Russia have since dried up within Trump's National Security Council.

Indeed, the NSC official named as the originator of the ideas – Kevin Harrington – is understood to have led the team that produced the hawkish National Security Strategy published at the end of last year.

Thus, from reasonable proposals to engage with Russia floated at the start of Trump's first year in office, within 12 months the administration has absorbed and adopted the Russophobia narrative.

Anti-Russian group think espoused by US elites has become institutionalized, against the stated views of the president and the American electorate. Where's the democracy in that?

[Feb 20, 2018] Lavrov Russia ready for partnerships based on mutual respect

This attempt to offer West the "olive branch" is useless. The US neoliberal elite is trying to save itself from people anger and extent the coming to the end period of global dominance and Russia is a convenient scapegoat.
Notable quotes:
"... Commenting on the Moscow-Brussels ties, Lavrov said that the European Union has failed to find a golden mean in relations with Russia in the last decades, treating the country in 1990s as an "aprentice" that should be taught in accordance with western standards and values. Now, the other irrational myth about the so-called "Russian threat" is being exploited, Lavrov went on to note, with the western states accusing Moscow of meddling in every controversial event, including Brexit and the Catalan referendum on independence. ..."
"... Russia is open to an equal, mutually respectful partnership that will be based on the balance of interests with the EU in order to find effective solutions to the challenges of a present day. We are ready to build relations with the US and other countries basing on the same principles ..."
"... We believe that his idea of cooperation between the European Union, Russia, the United States and China to support the creation of the security architecture in the Middle East is very appreciated, and the same is true for the Gulf ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | theduran.com
Sputnik News reports:

Commenting on the Moscow-Brussels ties, Lavrov said that the European Union has failed to find a golden mean in relations with Russia in the last decades, treating the country in 1990s as an "aprentice" that should be taught in accordance with western standards and values. Now, the other irrational myth about the so-called "Russian threat" is being exploited, Lavrov went on to note, with the western states accusing Moscow of meddling in every controversial event, including Brexit and the Catalan referendum on independence.

Mr. Lavrov went further, though, to state that:

Russia is open to an equal, mutually respectful partnership that will be based on the balance of interests with the EU in order to find effective solutions to the challenges of a present day. We are ready to build relations with the US and other countries basing on the same principles

He also expressed hope that the EU remains unified and continues to serve the basic interests of each of its member states. He noted especially that he hoped that the EU countries would be autonomous in international affairs. He made a point that he believed that the EU member states should define for themselves how to develop their own economies and to satisfy their resource requirements, most particularly that of energy, a veiled reference to the pressure exerted on some EU nations by the Americans to buy American energy rather than the more easily available and cheaper Russian energy resources.

He went on to the discussion of Middle Eastern policy:

We believe that his idea of cooperation between the European Union, Russia, the United States and China to support the creation of the security architecture in the Middle East is very appreciated, and the same is true for the Gulf

Russia has been honest, but always rather tactful, pointing out that the Middle Eastern troubles especially dating from 2011 were caused or exacerbated by the foreign policy whims of the United States. Russia's collegial approach to solving these matters stands in contrast to the single-minded determination of the USA to exert its will in Middle Eastern affairs, as in much of the rest of the world.

[Feb 20, 2018] Hillary Clinton If I m President, We Will Attack Iran We Would be Able to Totally Obliterate Them. Global Research - Cent

Notable quotes:
"... Among Global Research's most popular articles in 2016. ..."
"... Hillary is Dangerous. She Means What She says? Or Does She? (M. C. GR. Editor) ..."
"... On July 3, 2015, presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton addressed a hand-picked audience at a Dartmouth College campaign event. She lied calling Iran an "existential threat to Israel I hope we are able to get a deal next week that puts a lid on (its) nuclear weapons program." ..."
"... Stephen Lendman ..."
"... lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. ..."
"... His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." ..."
"... http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

Hillary Clinton: "If I'm President, We Will Attack Iran We Would be Able to Totally Obliterate Them." By Stephen Lendman Global Research, February 19, 2018 Global Research 5 July 2015 Region: Middle East & North Africa , USA Theme: Militarization and WMD , US NATO War Agenda In-depth Report: IRAN: THE NEXT WAR?

Among Global Research's most popular articles in 2016.

Hillary is Dangerous. She Means What She says? Or Does She? (M. C. GR. Editor)

* * *

On July 3, 2015, presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton addressed a hand-picked audience at a Dartmouth College campaign event. She lied calling Iran an "existential threat to Israel I hope we are able to get a deal next week that puts a lid on (its) nuclear weapons program."

Even if we do get such a deal, we will still have major problems from Iran. They are the world's chief sponsor of terrorism.

They use proxies like Hezbollah to sow discord and create insurgencies to destabilize governments. They are taking more and more control of a number of nations in the region and they pose an existential threat to Israel.

We have to turn our attention to working with our partners to try to reign in and prevent this continuing Iranian aggressiveness.

Fact: US and Israeli intelligence both say Iran's nuclear program has no military component. No evidence whatever suggests Tehran wants one. Plenty indicates otherwise.

As a 2008 presidential aspirant, she addressed AIPAC's annual convention saying:

The United States stands with Israel now and forever. We have shared interests .shared ideals .common values. I have a bedrock commitment to Israel's security.

(O)ur two nations are fighting a shared threat" against Islamic extremism. I strongly support Israel's right to self-defense (and) believe America should aid in that defense.

I am committed to making sure that Israel maintains a military edge to meet increasing threats. I am deeply concerned about the growing threat in Gaza (and) Hamas' campaign of terror.

No such campaign exists. The only threats Israel faces are ones it invents.

Clinton repeated tired old lies saying Hamas' charter "calls for the destruction of Israel. Iran threatens to destroy Israel."

"I support calling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard what it is: a terrorist organization. It is imperative that we get both tough and smart about dealing with Iran before it is too late."

She backs "massive retaliation" if Iran attacks Israel, saying at the time:

" I want the Iranians to know that if I'm president, we will attack Iran. In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them."

She endorses using cluster bombs, toxic agents and nuclear weapons in US war theaters. She calls them deterrents that "keep the peace." She was one of only six Democrat senators opposed to blocking deployment of untested missile defense systems – first-strike weapons entirely for offense.

*

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

[Feb 20, 2018] Russophobia is a futile bid to conceal US, European demise by Finian Cunningham

Highly recommended!
This is an old method to unite the nation against external enemy. Carnage (with so much oil and gas) needs to be destroyed. And it's working only partially with the major divisions between Trump and Hillary supporters remaining open and unaffected by Russiagate witch hunt.
Notable quotes:
"... It is an age-old statecraft technique to seek unity within a state by depicting an external enemy or threat. Russia is the bête noire again, as it was during the Cold War years as part of the Soviet Union. ..."
"... Russophobia -- "blame it all on Russia" -- is a short-term, futile ploy to stave off the day of reckoning when furious and informed Western citizens will demand democratic restitution for their legitimate grievances. ..."
"... The dominant "official" narrative, from the US to Europe, is that "malicious" Russia is "sowing division;""eroding democratic institutions;" and "undermining public trust" in systems of governance, credibility of established political parties, and the news media. ..."
"... A particularly instructive presentation of this trope was given in a recent commentary by Texan Republican Representative Will Hurd. In his piece headlined, "Russia is our adversary" , he claims: "Russia is eroding our democracy by exploiting the nation's divisions. To save it, Americans need to begin working together." ..."
"... He contends: "When the public loses trust in the media, the Russians are winning. When the press is hyper-critical of Congress the Russians are winning. When Congress and the general public disagree the Russians are winning. When there is friction between Congress and the executive branch [the president] resulting in further erosion of trust in our democratic institutions, the Russians are winning." ..."
"... The endless, criminal wars that the US and its European NATO allies have been waging across the planet over the past two decades is one cogent reason why the public has lost faith in grandiose official claims about respecting democracy and international law. ..."
"... The US and European media have shown reprehensible dereliction of duty to inform the public accurately about their governments' warmongering intrigues. Take the example of Syria. When does the average Western citizen ever read in the corporate Western media about how the US and its NATO allies have covertly ransacked that country through weaponizing terrorist proxies? ..."
"... The destabilizing impact on societies from oppressive economic conditions is a far more plausible cause for grievance than outlandish claims made by the political class about alleged "Russian interference". ..."
"... Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, he is a Master's graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. For over 20 years he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organizations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Now a freelance journalist based in East Africa, his columns appear on RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation and Press TV. ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.rt.com

Russophobia - "blame it all on Russia" - is a short-term, futile ploy to stave off the day of reckoning when furious and informed Western citizens will demand democratic restitution for their legitimate grievances

It is an age-old statecraft technique to seek unity within a state by depicting an external enemy or threat. Russia is the bête noire again, as it was during the Cold War years as part of the Soviet Union.

But the truth is Western states are challenged by internal problems. Ironically, by denying their own internal democratic challenges, Western authorities are only hastening their institutional demise.

Russophobia -- "blame it all on Russia" -- is a short-term, futile ploy to stave off the day of reckoning when furious and informed Western citizens will demand democratic restitution for their legitimate grievances.

The dominant "official" narrative, from the US to Europe, is that "malicious" Russia is "sowing division;""eroding democratic institutions;" and "undermining public trust" in systems of governance, credibility of established political parties, and the news media.

This narrative has shifted up a gear since the election of Donald Trump to the White House in 2016, with accusations that the Kremlin somehow ran "influence operations" to help get him into office. This outlandish yarn defies common sense. It is also running out of thread to keep spinning.

Paradoxically, even though President Trump has rightly rebuffed such dubious claims of "Russiagate" interference as "fake news", he has at other times undermined himself by subscribing to the notion that Moscow is projecting a campaign of "subversion against the US and its European allies." See for example the National Security Strategy he signed off in December.

Pathetically, it's become indoctrinated belief among the Western political class that "devious Russians" are out to "collapse" Western democracies by "weaponizing disinformation" and spreading "fake news" through Russia-based news outlets like RT and Sputnik.

Totalitarian-like, there seems no room for intelligent dissent among political or media figures.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has chimed in to accuse Moscow of "sowing division;" Dutch state intelligence claim Russia destabilized the US presidential election; the European Union commissioner for security, Sir Julian King, casually lampoons Russian news media as "Kremlin-orchestrated disinformation" to destabilize the 28-nation bloc; CIA chief Mike Pompeo recently warned that Russia is stepping up its efforts to tarnish the Congressional mid-term elections later this year.

On and on goes the narrative that Western states are essentially victims of a nefarious Russian assault to bring about collapse.

A particularly instructive presentation of this trope was given in a recent commentary by Texan Republican Representative Will Hurd. In his piece headlined, "Russia is our adversary" , he claims: "Russia is eroding our democracy by exploiting the nation's divisions. To save it, Americans need to begin working together."

Congressman Hurd asserts: "Russia has one simple goal: to erode trust in our democratic institutions It has weaponized disinformation to achieve this goal for decades in Eastern and Central Europe; in 2016, Western Europe and America were aggressively targeted as well."

Lamentably, all these claims above are made with scant, or no, verifiable evidence. It is simply a Big Lie technique of relentless repetition transforming itself into "fact" .

It's instructive to follow Congressman Hurd's thought-process a bit further.

He contends: "When the public loses trust in the media, the Russians are winning. When the press is hyper-critical of Congress the Russians are winning. When Congress and the general public disagree the Russians are winning. When there is friction between Congress and the executive branch [the president] resulting in further erosion of trust in our democratic institutions, the Russians are winning."

As a putative solution, Representative Hurd calls for "a national counter-disinformation strategy" against Russian "influence operations" , adding, "Americans must stop contributing to a corrosive political environment".

The latter is a chilling advocacy of uniformity tantamount to a police state whereby any dissent or criticism is a "thought-crime."

It is, however, such anti-democratic and paranoid thinking by Western politicians -- aided and abetted by dutiful media -- that is killing democracy from within, not some supposed foreign enemy.

There is evidently a foreboding sense of demise in authority and legitimacy among Western states, even if the real cause for the demise is ignored or denied. Systems of governance, politicians of all stripes, and institutions like the established media and intelligence services are increasingly held in contempt and distrust by the public.

Whose fault is that loss of political and moral authority? Western governments and institutions need to take a look in the mirror.

The endless, criminal wars that the US and its European NATO allies have been waging across the planet over the past two decades is one cogent reason why the public has lost faith in grandiose official claims about respecting democracy and international law.

The US and European media have shown reprehensible dereliction of duty to inform the public accurately about their governments' warmongering intrigues. Take the example of Syria. When does the average Western citizen ever read in the corporate Western media about how the US and its NATO allies have covertly ransacked that country through weaponizing terrorist proxies?

How then can properly informed citizens be expected to have respect for such criminal government policies and the complicit news media covering up for their crimes?

Western public disaffection with governments, politicians and media surely stems also from the grotesque gulf in social inequality and poverty among citizens from slavish adherence to economic policies that enrich the wealthy while consigning the vast majority to unrelenting austerity.

The destabilizing impact on societies from oppressive economic conditions is a far more plausible cause for grievance than outlandish claims made by the political class about alleged "Russian interference".

Yet the Western media indulge this fantastical "Russiagate" escapism instead of campaigning on real social problems facing ordinary citizens. No wonder such media are then viewed with disdain and distrust. Adding insult to injury, these media want the public to believe Russia is the enemy?

Instead of acknowledging and addressing real threats to citizens: economic insecurity, eroding education and health services, lost career opportunities for future generations, the looming dangers of ecological adversity, wars prompted by Western governments trashing international and diplomacy, and so on -- the Western public is insultingly plied with corny tales of Russia's "malign influence" and "assault on democracy."

Just think of the disproportionate amount of media attention and public resources wasted on the Russiagate scandal over the past year. And now gradually emerging is the real scandal that the American FBI probably colluded with the Obama administration to corrupt the democratic process against Trump.

Again, is there any wonder the public has sheer contempt and distrust for "authorities" that have been lying through their teeth and playing them for fools?

The collapsing state of Western democracies has got nothing to do with Russia. The Russophobia of blaming Russia for the demise of Western institutions is an attempt at scapegoating for the very real problems facing governments and institutions like the news media. Those problems are inherent and wholly owned by these governments owing to chronic anti-democratic functioning, as well as systematic violation of international law in their pursuit of criminal wars and other subterfuges for regime-change objectives.

Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, he is a Master's graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. For over 20 years he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organizations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Now a freelance journalist based in East Africa, his columns appear on RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation and Press TV.

[Feb 19, 2018] Europe and Russia

A very interesting issue
Feb 19, 2018 | www.voltairenet.org

Current Concerns", n°32, December 31st, 2017

Partners | Zurich (Switzerland) | 3 January 2018

[Feb 19, 2018] Munich Conference: For The First Time In Decades We Are Facing Threat Of Nuclear Conflict Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... "For the first time since the end of the Cold War, we are now facing a nuclear threat, a threat of a nuclear conflict," Guterres told the gathering in the southern Bavarian city. ..."
"... Conference Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger opened the event by warning that the world has moved too close to a " major interstate conflict" and faces a "dire reality." "We have too many unresolved crises, instabilities, and conflicts," Ischinger warned. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov fired a shot at President Trump's new 74-page nuclear doctrine calling for a modernization of America's nuclear arsenal. ..."
"... Ian Bremmer, the founder of the Eurasia Group told Handelsblatt that, "We're in trouble, because, you know, pretty much every geopolitical conflict out there is escalating, none of them are getting fixed, and no one has any solutions. This was not a good meeting." ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Over the past fifty years, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) has traditionally reflected the current state of world military affairs. Each February, more than 450 senior decision-makers from around the globe descend into Munich, Germany, to discuss current and future security challenges.

And while there have been times in recent years when the MSC demonstrated signs of hope and optimism, none of that was evident this year. This year's motto " To the Brink – and Back ?"- which seems to be an accurate portrayal of the current geopolitical situations in most regions. After several days of senior decision-makers bickering back and forth, the negativity in the atmosphere only means one thing: A global conflict between nuclear superpowers is lingering.

"I was hoping when I opened this conference on Friday that, in concluding the conference, I would be able to say we can delete the question mark. In other words: 'We are back from the brink,'" former German diplomat Wolfgang Ischinger said in closing remarks of the MSC. "I'm actually not sure we can say that," he added.

The dangers of nuclear proliferation and talk of a "dire" global security situation dominated the security conference: from the ongoing war in eastern Ukraine, to U.S. allegations of Russia's election-meddling, to territorial disputes between ex-Soviet republics, and even discussions about the escalating tensions between Israel and Iran: geopolitical doom and gloom was not short in all conversations during the meeting.

And, in the latest escalation, Bloomberg reports that the most fiery subject of the conference were the tensions surrounding Russia and the U.S over nuclear arms controls.

Addressing a conference hall in Munich packed with dignitaries, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of the risks emanating from North Korea's nuclear activities, which have ratcheted up tensions between Pyongyang and Washington.

"For the first time since the end of the Cold War, we are now facing a nuclear threat, a threat of a nuclear conflict," Guterres told the gathering in the southern Bavarian city.

Conference Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger opened the event by warning that the world has moved too close to a " major interstate conflict" and faces a "dire reality." "We have too many unresolved crises, instabilities, and conflicts," Ischinger warned. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov fired a shot at President Trump's new 74-page nuclear doctrine calling for a modernization of America's nuclear arsenal.

U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster shot back at Lavrov's statements defending the U.S. nuclear posture, which calls for more low-yield atomic bombs and outlines explicitly Russia and China are the primary sources of security concern for the Pentagon.

"We will not allow Russia any of the power to hold the populations of Europe hostage," he declared Saturday in Munich, appearing on stage minutes after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov sounded the alarm on the U.S. military-industrial complex expansion since the collapse of Communism.

While the two countries have fulfilled the terms of another landmark nuclear weapons reduction treaty, New START, that accord expires in 2021 and there's political pressure on President Donald Trump to let it expire because of the alleged Russian non-compliance with the INF treaty. Moscow in turn accuses Washington of itself breaking the intermediate-range pact. So far, no formal negotiations are taking place on either issue.

And as the world devolves to another potential nuclear arms race, Javier Solana, NATO's former secretary-general, and Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's acting foreign minister, expressed alarm: " The most likely theater for nuclear conflicts would once again be here, in the center of Europe ," Gabriel told the conference.

Meanwhile Graham Allison, a Pentagon adviser under former U.S. President Ronald Reagan when the two superpowers were negotiating arms control, said he's skeptical momentum will be found to revive START and the INF.

Arms control was developed primarily to prevent the "insane" possibility that Russia and the U.S. would annihilate each other due to miscalculation or accident, despite not even wanting to go to war, said Allison, now a professor of government at Harvard University. "Those risks remain today."

Needless to say, a return to the nuclear arms race is the worst possible outcome:" according to Sergei Karaganov, a former Kremlin foreign policy adviser, the situation could get "much more dangerous" than during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, when the world was on the brink of nuclear war."

Under New START, which followed from the 1991 START treaty and was signed in 2010, the Russian and U.S. arsenals are restricted to no more than 1,550 deployed strategic warheads on no more than 700 deployed strategic missiles and bombers.

And, if that long-range missile pact isn't prolonged and the INF collapses, " you have a situation where there are no limits on Russian and American nuclear forces," said Steven Pifer, a former top State Department official and arms control expert, quoted by Bloomberg. In addition, Russia and the U.S. would stop exchanging data on each other's nuclear arsenals and permitting regular inspections. " It would be less predictable, less secure, less stable," Pifer said.

Russia would then likely respond to any U.S. move to station land-based intermediate-range missiles in Europe by deploying similar missiles to target "all the bases where these weapons will be," said Igor Korotchenko, director of the Center for Analysis of World Arms Trade in Moscow.

"And the U.S. can't stay safe over the ocean - we'll create the same risk for the U.S. as they do for us in Europe," he said.

In short: a full blown nuclear arms race coupled with Cold War 2.0.

* * *

Some experts, such as Thomas Graham, ex-White House adviser under George W. Bush, remain optimistic, and believe Russia and the U.S. will blink when faced with the prospect of stepping into a void without the security of arms control.

Russia has proposed a 5-year extension to New START, to 2026, though it's tying that to fixing complaints about the way the U.S. has complied with the treaty, the Interfax news service reported Feb. 16.

Others are not: "The chances are diminishing every day,'' said Konstantin Kosachyov, head of the foreign affairs committee of the Russian upper house of parliament.

Ian Bremmer, the founder of the Eurasia Group told Handelsblatt that, "We're in trouble, because, you know, pretty much every geopolitical conflict out there is escalating, none of them are getting fixed, and no one has any solutions. This was not a good meeting."

louie1 • Mon, 02/19/2018 - 22:16 Permalink

The US is the instigator and the aggressor. They are the problem.

Russia would sign an arms limitation treaty tomorrow. The US has broken every treaty it has signed!!!!

FoggyWorld • Mon, 02/19/2018 - 22:19 Permalink

McMaster scares me more than Lavrov.

[Feb 19, 2018] Nunes FBI and DOJ Perps Could Be Put on Trial by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Nunes chances to bring perpetrators to justice are close to zero. The Deep State controls the Washington, DC and can withstand sporadic attacks.
It is an extremly courageous of Devin Nunes to give this interview.
Notable quotes:
"... Throwing down the gauntlet on alleged abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by the Department of Justice and the FBI, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) stated that there could be legal consequences for officials who may have misled the FISA court. "If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial," he said. "The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created." ..."
"... Nunes took this highly unusual, no-holds-barred stance during an interview with Emmy-award winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson , which aired on Sunday. ..."
"... He unapologetically averred that, yes, a criminal trial might well be the outcome. "DOJ and FBI are not above the law," he stated emphatically. "If they are committing abuse before a secret court getting warrants on American citizens, you're darn right that we're going to put them on trial." ..."
"... The stakes are very high. Current and former senior officials -- and not only from DOJ and FBI, but from other agencies like the CIA and NSA, whom documents and testimony show were involved in providing faulty information to justify a FISA warrant to monitor former Trump campaign official Carter Page -- may suddenly find themselves in considerable legal jeopardy. Like, felony territory. ..."
"... On the other hand, the presumptive perps have not run into a chairman like Nunes in four decades, since Congressmen Lucien Nedzi (D-Mich.), Otis Pike (D-NY), and Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho) ran tough, explosive hearings on the abuses of a previous generation deep state, including massive domestic spying revealed by quintessential investigative reporter Seymour Hersh in December 1974. (Actually, this is largely why the congressional intelligence oversight committees were later established, and why the FISA law was passed in 1978.) ..."
"... At this point, one is tempted to say plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose ..."
"... One glaring sign of the media's unwillingness to displease corporate masters and Official Washington is the harsh reality that Hersh's most recent explosive investigations, using his large array of government sources to explore front-burner issues, have not been able to find a home in any English-speaking newspaper or journal. ..."
"... On this point, Nunes said, "In the last administration they were unmasking hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of Americans' names. They were unmasking for what I would say, for lack of a better definition, were for political purposes." ..."
"... It is real courageous of Devin Nunes to give this interview. It is not only the accountability to law that is at stake in U.S., but the Whole World is imperiled with what happens in Washington. But as many have written before in comments about this complete moral collapse of the Entire West, I am afraid, it is all going to be swept under the rug. We have to just keep the fingers crossed. ..."
"... I have never seen such media bias against a sitting president in my lifetime, not even against Richard Nixon when they at least practiced decorum and feigned objectivity even if they were secretly cheering on his demise. I will reiterate here that I do not champion the man but rather due process under our constitution, which has been made a travesty from the moment of Clinton's loss at the polls. ..."
"... I completely agree with you Realist. I am not Trump's fan or supporter of his agenda, in fact, in many things quite the opposite of it. However, he raised some very valid points about the the domestic economy and other issues, and about the need to stop interventions in foreign countries, and getting along Russia, and the need to rebuild country's manufacturing system again. He was duly elected by the people, and he should have been given the support to pursue what he promised. But it did not happen. ..."
"... Although it's being done for the wrong reasons, I am nevertheless looking forward to seeing our out-of-control intelligence agencies being put in their place. If I were president and my party controlled both houses of Congress, you'd better believe I'd be looking to dismantle the national surveillance state and reduce the military budget to a "mere" $250 billion annually. ..."
"... The post 9-11 wars of aggression, massive surveillance, torture and other war crimes were sold to the American public as only to be inflicted on foreigners, i.e. "we fight them over there so we don't fight them here." But the blowback has now turned America's schools, malls, workplaces, concerts and churches into war zones and little by little, the disinformation ops, "regime change" know-how and other accoutrements of perpetual war (the fool's errand of gaining full spectrum dominance over the rest of the world) have been turned inward on the American people, including powerful American officials themselves. So it would seem to be a good thing that some politicians like Nunes have finally seen the light exactly as Frank Church did -- only when they themselves began to reap the negative consequences of what they thought would only negatively impact other, lesser people. ..."
"... But there is more to it, as some have pointed out in comments above, there are some intra-party quarrels going on in Washington to take the upper hand. Regarding foreign policy, National Security State and surveillance, and other such issues, both parties are joined at the hip. ..."
"... It is instructive to read the comments on any NYT article on this subject. The comments are clearly written by intelligent, well-educated individuals – who parrot the Deep State's anti-Russian propaganda as if they were the dumbest of the "Better dead than Red!" 50s McCarthyites. ..."
"... The new McCarthyites are actually stupider and more authoritarian than their sad fore-bearers, because they could pierce the Deep States lies with 30 minutes of online research, but they prefer tribalism and ignorance, instead. ..."
"... Trump started going head to head with the intel folks, but has backed down a lot now. Let's hope Nunes et al hang in there and keep the pressure on these despicable criminals who hide behind governmental powers. ..."
"... Somehow I don't think Nunes or his committee is capable of reigning in Frankenstein. His "constitutuents"" are not likely to allow it and although the monster was pieced together from many body parts its instincts for self-preservation are formidable. Nevertheless, I would applaud anyone who makes the effort. ..."
"... Note that after saying the Russians are indicted for interfering in the election, and spending 5 minutes on this, at the 5 minute 20 second mark Rosenstein says there is no evidence that the Russians had any affect [sic] on the election! So what we have is the Deputy Attorney General of the United States announcing an indictment for which he says there is no evidence! ..."
"... In the world of cypher espionage I have no knowledge, but if Russia does hang out in it well then I'm sure the U.S. is already there to do what it must to defend it's cypher security. So that's a wash, but this insane Russia-Gate distraction was originally a way to deflect attention from Hillary & Debbie's putting the screws to Socialist Sanders . then Russia-Gate became a MSM driven coup to oust Trump from his Electoral won presidential office. ..."
"... Impossible to get the whole Gorgon's head, anyway, in such a corrupt system as we have ..."
"... Ray, do you think Trump has made a deal: he'll allow escalations against Russia, and in return the Deep State will leave him alone? If so, does that portend that this will fizzle out? ..."
"... While the shiny ball, smoke and mirrors psychological operation known as "Russiagate" has begun running on fumes before the gas tank finally runs dry, the major revelation of the Clinton WikiLeaks emails describing Saudi/Qatari financing of ISIS drops further down the memory hole. There's nothing like success ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes has stated that "DOJ and FBI are not above the law," and could face legal consequences for alleged abuses of the FISA court, reports Ray McGovern.

Throwing down the gauntlet on alleged abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by the Department of Justice and the FBI, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) stated that there could be legal consequences for officials who may have misled the FISA court. "If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial," he said. "The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created."

Nunes took this highly unusual, no-holds-barred stance during an interview with Emmy-award winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson , which aired on Sunday.

Attkisson said she had invited both Nunes and House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) but that only Nunes agreed. She asked him about Schiff's charge that Nunes' goal was "to put the FBI and DOJ on trial." What followed was very atypical bluntness -- candor normally considered quite unacceptable in polite circles of the Washington Establishment.

Rather than play the diplomat and disavow what Schiff contended was Nunes' goal, Nunes said, in effect, let the chips fall where they may. He unapologetically averred that, yes, a criminal trial might well be the outcome. "DOJ and FBI are not above the law," he stated emphatically. "If they are committing abuse before a secret court getting warrants on American citizens, you're darn right that we're going to put them on trial."

Die Is Cast

The stakes are very high. Current and former senior officials -- and not only from DOJ and FBI, but from other agencies like the CIA and NSA, whom documents and testimony show were involved in providing faulty information to justify a FISA warrant to monitor former Trump campaign official Carter Page -- may suddenly find themselves in considerable legal jeopardy. Like, felony territory.

This was not supposed to happen. Mrs. Clinton was a shoo-in, remember? Back when the FISA surveillance warrant of Page was obtained, just weeks before the November 2016 election, there seemed to be no need to hide tracks, because, even if these extracurricular activities were discovered, the perps would have looked forward to award certificates rather than legal problems under a Trump presidency.

Thus, the knives will be coming out. Mostly because the mainstream media will make a major effort -- together with Schiff-mates in the Democratic Party -- to marginalize Nunes, those who find themselves in jeopardy can be expected to push back strongly.

If past is precedent, they will be confident that, with their powerful allies within the FBI/DOJ/CIA "Deep State" they will be able to counter Nunes and show him and the other congressional investigation committee chairs, where the power lies. The conventional wisdom is that Nunes and the others have bit off far more than they can chew. And the odds do not favor folks, including oversight committee chairs, who buck the system.

Staying Power

On the other hand, the presumptive perps have not run into a chairman like Nunes in four decades, since Congressmen Lucien Nedzi (D-Mich.), Otis Pike (D-NY), and Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho) ran tough, explosive hearings on the abuses of a previous generation deep state, including massive domestic spying revealed by quintessential investigative reporter Seymour Hersh in December 1974. (Actually, this is largely why the congressional intelligence oversight committees were later established, and why the FISA law was passed in 1978.)

At this point, one is tempted to say plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose -- or the more things change, the more they stay the same -- but that would be only half correct in this context. Yes, scoundrels will always take liberties with the law to spy on others. But the huge difference today is that mainstream media have no room for those who uncover government crimes and abuse. And this will be a major impediment to efforts by Nunes and other committee chairs to inform the public.

One glaring sign of the media's unwillingness to displease corporate masters and Official Washington is the harsh reality that Hersh's most recent explosive investigations, using his large array of government sources to explore front-burner issues, have not been able to find a home in any English-speaking newspaper or journal. In a sense, this provides what might be called a "confidence-building" factor, giving some assurance to deep-state perps that they will be able to ride this out, and that congressional committee chairs will once again learn to know their (subservient) place.

Much will depend on whether top DOJ and FBI officials can bring themselves to reverse course and give priority to the oath they took to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. This should not be too much to hope for, but it will require uncommon courage in facing up honestly to the major misdeeds appear to have occurred -- and letting the chips fall where they may. Besides, it would be the right thing to do.

Nunes is projecting calm confidence that once he and Trey Gowdey (R-Tenn.), chair of the House Oversight Committee, release documentary evidence showing what their investigations have turned up, it will be hard for DOJ and FBI officials to dissimulate.

In Other News

In the interview with Attkisson, Nunes covered a number of other significant issues:

The committee is closing down its investigation into possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign; no evidence of collusion was found. The apparently widespread practice of "unmasking" the identities of Americans under surveillance. On this point, Nunes said, "In the last administration they were unmasking hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of Americans' names. They were unmasking for what I would say, for lack of a better definition, were for political purposes." Asked about Schiff's criticism that Nunes behaved improperly on what he called the "midnight run to the White House," Nunes responded that the stories were untrue. "Well, most of the time I ignore political nonsense in this town," he said. "What I will say is that all of those stories were totally fake from the beginning."

Not since Watergate has there been so high a degree of political tension here in Washington but the stakes for our Republic are even higher this time. Assuming abuse of FISA court procedures is documented and those responsible for playing fast and loose with the required justification for legal warrants are not held to account, the division of powers enshrined in the Constitution will be in peril.

A denouement of some kind can be expected in the coming months. Stay tuned.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Savior in inner-city Washington. He was a CIA analyst for 27 years and is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).


Skip Scott , February 19, 2018 at 9:38 am

Thanks Ray for another great article. One can only hope that Nunes is successful. However, like you say, the MSM is now complicit with the "Deep State", so the fight for justice becomes much harder. One also has to remember Schumer's "six ways from Sunday" applies equally to the congress as it does to the president. I hardly ever watch TV news, but recently I've been subjected to it, and I've seen a deluge of fluff pieces on our so-called Intelligence Agencies. I would love to see Trump give a speech (instead of a tweet) directly to the American people letting them know what rascals like Brennan, Clapper, et al have been up to.

Bob Van Noy , February 19, 2018 at 12:51 pm

This may be the best broadcast tv journalism in many years, read Sharyl Attkisson's story, "Stonewalled" (I will link the commentary page to that book for thorough readers). And thank you Nat, Ray McGovern & CN

https://www.amazon.com/Stonewalled-Obstruction-Intimidation-Harassment-Washington/dp/0062322850/ref=sr_1_1/140-4375232-2286101?ie=UTF8&qid=1519058613&sr=8-1&keywords=stonewalled#customerReviews

Dave P. , February 19, 2018 at 2:29 pm

An excellent and very timely article by Ray McGovern. Lawlessness, greed, complete subservience to Wall Street Finance and other Powers, insanity, and utter inhumanity prevails in present day Ruling Establishment in Washington. Obama, "the hope and change" Con Artist for whose election, being democrats we worked so hard in 2008 turned to be the biggest perpetrator of this lawlessness and responsible for fanning the flames still further in starting a new Cold War.

It is real courageous of Devin Nunes to give this interview. It is not only the accountability to law that is at stake in U.S., but the Whole World is imperiled with what happens in Washington. But as many have written before in comments about this complete moral collapse of the Entire West, I am afraid, it is all going to be swept under the rug. We have to just keep the fingers crossed.

Howard Dean just said yesterday that Nunes and people like him belong in jail. Now can you believe it, how low these so called liberal democrats have come to? Looking at the pictures of Adam Schiff, Howard Dean, and others in their company, I literally feel sick in the stomach. And one asks the essential question: "did not their parents teach them any honesty or moral principles in young age?".

Abbybwood , February 19, 2018 at 3:54 pm

But what he said is very confusing. First he says that Congress has no way to prosecute the DOJ/FBI for wrong doing then at the end he says Congress will need to prosecute the DOJ/FBI if necessary. Either Congress has the ability to prosecute the DOJ/FBI and issue indictments and set up Grand Juries or they don't.

Somebody needs to find out, Constitutionally, what the solution is when the DOJ/FBI at the highest levels become the criminals. WHO has the power to indict/convict these individuals??

Sam F , February 19, 2018 at 10:36 pm

A special prosecutor (Mueller's position) is appointed by the Pres or AG.

Annie , February 19, 2018 at 3:20 pm

From what I've heard expressed by a few FBI people, you don't come before a court, but a judge, one person, and they are known to rubber stamp almost everything. So they should be investigated too.

Realist , February 19, 2018 at 5:02 pm

I have never seen such media bias against a sitting president in my lifetime, not even against Richard Nixon when they at least practiced decorum and feigned objectivity even if they were secretly cheering on his demise. I will reiterate here that I do not champion the man but rather due process under our constitution, which has been made a travesty from the moment of Clinton's loss at the polls.

Dave P. , February 19, 2018 at 7:56 pm

I completely agree with you Realist. I am not Trump's fan or supporter of his agenda, in fact, in many things quite the opposite of it. However, he raised some very valid points about the the domestic economy and other issues, and about the need to stop interventions in foreign countries, and getting along Russia, and the need to rebuild country's manufacturing system again. He was duly elected by the people, and he should have been given the support to pursue what he promised. But it did not happen. We would not know now what he actually wanted to accomplish.

Sam F , February 19, 2018 at 10:41 pm

Yes, neither party nor the mass media shows concern for the Constitution or for the people. As the propaganda agency, the mass media are primarily responsible. The zionist/WallSt/MIC oligarchy have consolidated control over mass media, secret agencies, and elections, but not without factions.

Michael , February 19, 2018 at 10:00 am

Although it's being done for the wrong reasons, I am nevertheless looking forward to seeing our out-of-control intelligence agencies being put in their place. If I were president and my party controlled both houses of Congress, you'd better believe I'd be looking to dismantle the national surveillance state and reduce the military budget to a "mere" $250 billion annually.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 11:09 am

Michael I hear ya. Yes, there is a civil war of sorts going on in DC, and yes it would be a wonderful thing to rid our bureaucracy of all the slim that is in it, but taking Jiminy Cricket's good advice to heart would be so much more fruitful to if you and I would only sing;

'When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires will come to you"

Now that song will be stuck in my head all day .got any Journey? Joe

Coleen Rowley , February 19, 2018 at 3:27 pm

It's true that people generally do not care when bad practices, policies or violence is inflicted on others and not on themselves. Of course that's stupid because it's just a matter of time before "blowback" occurs (as the CIA euphemistically labeled how doing unto others eventually boomerangs back on perpetrators). Going back to the Church Committee and how that bit of accountability finally happened, it only got off the ground when Frank Church and other Senators found THEMSELVES in the crosshairs of FBI Cointelpro; CIA's "CHAOS" and NSA's "Minaret" surveillance. http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/09/25/secret-cold-war-documents-reveal-nsa-spied-on-senators/ (To this day, only 7 of the 1000 or so Americans targeted by the NSA during the Vietnam War have been discovered but their identities are telling.)

The post 9-11 wars of aggression, massive surveillance, torture and other war crimes were sold to the American public as only to be inflicted on foreigners, i.e. "we fight them over there so we don't fight them here." But the blowback has now turned America's schools, malls, workplaces, concerts and churches into war zones and little by little, the disinformation ops, "regime change" know-how and other accoutrements of perpetual war (the fool's errand of gaining full spectrum dominance over the rest of the world) have been turned inward on the American people, including powerful American officials themselves. So it would seem to be a good thing that some politicians like Nunes have finally seen the light exactly as Frank Church did -- only when they themselves began to reap the negative consequences of what they thought would only negatively impact other, lesser people.

BobS , February 19, 2018 at 4:50 pm

" the blowback has now turned America's schools, malls, workplaces, concerts and churches into war zones"

"blowback" is doing a lot of work in that sentence, if you're referring specifically to "post 9-11 wars of aggression, massive surveillance, torture and other war crimes". Whenever the incidents have had a political agenda attached, it's more often than not been of the domestic right-wing variety. And of course, all of them have been facilitated by easy civilian access to hardware that was originally developed by the military (ours and the Soviets) to efficiently kill/incapacitate large numbers of enemy fighters.

Gregory Herr , February 19, 2018 at 7:30 pm

BobS fails to understand that blowback encapsulates more than "revenge". "Forever war" and all Colleen mentions that goes with it has had societal impact because violence is glorified as a "solution" and feelings of suspicion and antagonism become part of the dark undertow.

Sam F , February 19, 2018 at 10:54 pm

Well said, Colleen. Let us hope that Nunes is not merely acting the part. I wonder whether the greatest secrets of domestic spying are now so compartmentalized and controlled that only those most dependent upon their agency could blow the whistle.

Annie , February 19, 2018 at 4:23 pm

This is not to be compared to spying on citizens, which is unacceptable, but they tried to undermine a presidency, whether you like Trump or not, and at the same time it allowed them to push their cold war agenda. I remember Clinton's campaign manager coming out right after the e-mail dump that said the Russians did it. And didn't Obama send a lot of those Russian ambassadors packing? They should be investigated, as should the FISA court itself. Perhaps if Trump didn't have this charge of colluding with Russia he might have been able to be more diplomatic on that score. Now, they made sure he would never be getting along with Russia. What they have now is a bunch of Russians acting on their own that allegedly interfered in our elections and created political discord, which is absurd, since the democrats are mainly responsible for this nonsense, as is the FBI and DOJ. I was a democrat, but no more.

Dave P. , February 19, 2018 at 4:52 pm

Annie, you are right on that. However, Coleen Rowely has also made some very good observations in her comments. But there is more to it, as some have pointed out in comments above, there are some intra-party quarrels going on in Washington to take the upper hand. Regarding foreign policy, National Security State and surveillance, and other such issues, both parties are joined at the hip.

Gregory Herr , February 19, 2018 at 7:42 pm

I wouldn't completely discount the idea that Nunes' sense of responsibility has been activated by being a close witness to what is blatant wrongdoing. But then my cynicism is still tempered by the belief that sometimes people are compelled to do what's right just because it's what's right. Silly me.

Virginia , February 19, 2018 at 10:34 am

Me, too, Michael, to " dismantle the national surveillance state and reduce the military budget to a 'mere' $250 billion annually."

Thanks to Ray McGovern for another good article with link to interview. Good to hear they will finally be closing the Mueller investigation (Nunes was straightforward about that, no there there) and will likely be investigating the FBI and DOJ.

Applause goes to David Nunes. Keep up the good work.

Abbybwood , February 19, 2018 at 4:03 pm

But I see where Trump asked for nearly one TRILLION dollars for the military and got it.

Pandas4peace , February 19, 2018 at 10:24 am

Where can we get access to Seymour Hersh's "recent explosive investigations" even if they are written in German?

Cherrycoke , February 19, 2018 at 11:57 am

https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article165905578/Trump-s-Red-Line.html

There is more at the bottom of the page.

Ray McGovern , February 19, 2018 at 12:11 pm

Try this link: http://raymcgovern.com/?s=hersh+welt or simply search on consortiumnews.com webpage.

ray

mike k , February 19, 2018 at 2:54 pm

"On June 25th 2017 the German newspaper, Welt, published the latest piece by Seymour Hersh, countering the "mainstream" narrative around the April 4th 2017 Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack in Syria."

Ray McGovern , February 19, 2018 at 9:35 pm

Ranney,

Please have a look at this: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/06/25/intel-behind-trumps-syria-attack-questioned/

Consortiumnews.com publishes and comments on everything Pulitzer Prize winning Sy Hersh does. The problem is that he is BANNED from English-language pubs -- simply banned and even kept off erstwhile "liberal" TV and radio programs. Amy Goodman, for example, has ALWAYS had Sy on when he had a new story until this one. She would not touch it; these days prefers to go with the "White Helmets" of this world. O Tempora, O Mores. Sad.

So, in sum, the problem is a very basic one. Sy does not publish until he has nailed down every significant detail and, since he is so well plugged in with many longtime, trusted sources to sift through, that takes a while for a bit story -- as all of them are. And when he is ready to publish, he hears folks whisper "Leper" as he gets close to an editorial office. It really IS that bad. We owe the op-ed editor at die Welt our thanks.

Btw: The Consortiumnews.com main page has a SEARCH button that I find very handy. Try to search on Seymour Hersh. Same goes for easily searchable raymcgovern.com, my website.

Ray

David Otness , February 19, 2018 at 5:37 pm

The London Review of Books has been publishing Hersh's work. That's one source.

Ray McGovern , February 19, 2018 at 9:51 pm

David,

Not for his latest of last June. See explanation of LRB cave in at: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/06/25/intel-behind-trumps-syria-attack-questioned/

The ostracizing of Sy Hersh is a major -- if highly depressing -- story in and of itself. But he is irrepressible. I do not think he is going to silently steal away any time soon.

Ray McGovern

Kim Dixon , February 19, 2018 at 10:32 am

Can anyone imagine the Neocon WashPo, or the NYT (or CBS, or CNN, or ) committing actual journalism, as this story progresses?

That, and the DNC's commitment to the DNC to the Russia Did It!™ canard, will ensure that real revelations go nowhere.

It is instructive to read the comments on any NYT article on this subject. The comments are clearly written by intelligent, well-educated individuals – who parrot the Deep State's anti-Russian propaganda as if they were the dumbest of the "Better dead than Red!" 50s McCarthyites.

The new McCarthyites are actually stupider and more authoritarian than their sad fore-bearers, because they could pierce the Deep States lies with 30 minutes of online research, but they prefer tribalism and ignorance, instead.

Lois Gagnon , February 19, 2018 at 1:01 pm

You got that right! I live in the 5 college area in Massachusetts. Plenty of those types around here playing activists. They fit your description. I can't stand to be in the same room with any of them. They may as well be from Mars.

Nancy , February 19, 2018 at 2:47 pm

I agree. The average working person has more common sense than the so-called intelligent, educated class. I suspect their views reflect the fact that they are very comfortable, financially, with the status quo, and don't want any real change.

mike k , February 19, 2018 at 10:35 am

Trump started going head to head with the intel folks, but has backed down a lot now. Let's hope Nunes et al hang in there and keep the pressure on these despicable criminals who hide behind governmental powers. When you allow people to do whatever they want in secret with no oversight, you can expect them to abuse their power. The basic question all this leads to is "who is running this country and making crucial decisions about war and peace, or fascism and democracy"?

BobH , February 19, 2018 at 10:52 am

Somehow I don't think Nunes or his committee is capable of reigning in Frankenstein. His "constitutuents"" are not likely to allow it and although the monster was pieced together from many body parts its instincts for self-preservation are formidable. Nevertheless, I would applaud anyone who makes the effort.

BobH , February 19, 2018 at 6:43 pm

Here's where Mueller's investigation didn't go https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-2_Bc_7Pos

Bob Van Noy , February 19, 2018 at 7:11 pm

Thanks BobH, that's an excellent rant, thanks for passing it along.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 10:58 am

The only way any trail that Nunes could even begin to make magically appear to happen before our weary eyes will happen only, and I say only, will appear because it will be good for tv ratings. Enforcing Constitutional law, I mean who does that anymore? Why today in our nation's capital we have congressional people asking the opposite of what Ben Franklin warned us good citizens about as the swamp critters are saying, 'Constitution how can we lose it'. You know this Ray that these crooks and crookettes in DC think that the U.S. Constitution is so passé and so anciently colonial that they hear Jefferson saying, 'ignore this stupid document, I was drunk with Adams and Franklin when I wrote it. It was all a big mistake.' Or something like that, but Constitutional law we don't need no stink'n Constitutional law, now get back to your part time work. (Whip cracking sound)

Hey Ray this whole fiasco does what is most important in this new American century, this fiasco is entertaining and the ratings are going through the roof so with that what more could a red blooded good American ask for now pass the tv remote.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 11:29 am

Paul Craig Roberts may have nailed this thing: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/02/18/cbs-contradicts-muellers-report/

blimbax , February 19, 2018 at 9:21 pm

Paul Craig Roberts wrote,

Note that after saying the Russians are indicted for interfering in the election, and spending 5 minutes on this, at the 5 minute 20 second mark Rosenstein says there is no evidence that the Russians had any affect [sic] on the election! So what we have is the Deputy Attorney General of the United States announcing an indictment for which he says there is no evidence!

If we take Roberts' statement at face value, he may have inadvertenly mischaracterized Rosenstein's statement. According to Roberts, Rosenstein said there is no evidence of an effect on the election, but it does not follow from that that Rosenstein is saying that there is no evidence of interference. There may have been "interference" that had no impact. And, of course, there is the question, just what is meant by "interference" in this context?

I share the frustration many commenters have about the entire "Russiagate" narrative, but I think it is important to be careful in how we evaluate these statements. It may all be a "nothinburger," but it is important to describe things carefully and correctly. Otherwise, one ends up inadvertently setting up a straw man for someone else to knock down.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 10:25 pm

I share the stress you do blimblax that you and all who stay on this Russia-Gate pay-ops suffer, but the way this crooked nail investigation has been going, mostly distorted by the press coverage, your argument about the interpretation of Rosenstein's words to the general public will be like splitting hairs with bald people . they just won't get it, and why, because I'm not sure the vast amount of Americans get it now. They got turned off along time ago back when the FBI didn't produce Trump performing his much heard about Steele Dossier acclaimed Water Sports in his Moscow Obama's Presidential Suite sick, yes, but it's the truth. No pictures, no believe you.

Personally I have never doubted any Russian influence in the way of statements, or essays, but this contribution of opinion is to be expected from any well thinking country, or nation if you'd rather of the world. Plus the Russians spending wasn't even close to any real fraction of what both U.S. Presidential candidate spend on their campaigns, get real.

In the world of cypher espionage I have no knowledge, but if Russia does hang out in it well then I'm sure the U.S. is already there to do what it must to defend it's cypher security. So that's a wash, but this insane Russia-Gate distraction was originally a way to deflect attention from Hillary & Debbie's putting the screws to Socialist Sanders . then Russia-Gate became a MSM driven coup to oust Trump from his Electoral won presidential office.

We could argue to how Trump,should be questioned, or even brought up on impeachment charges, but not for this particular Russia interference into our so well guarded American democracy. In fact we Americans don't need any Russian help at bringing our American democracy down, because we Americans already did that with the Patriot Act as among a few many other things. Joe

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 11:59 am

Here is a rant by Charles Hugh Smith: http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2018/02/russian-meddling-gagging-on-irony.html

SocraticGadfly , February 19, 2018 at 1:35 pm

Neither Dems nor GOP truly care about the First Amendment. Ray won't write about that. I have, re the Mueller indictments: http://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2018/02/internet-research-agency-butt-hurt.html

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 2:14 pm

That was a terrific read, and so is this: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/02/mueller-indictement-the-russian-influence-is-a-commercial-marketing-scheme.html#more

Enjoy. Joe

Bill , February 19, 2018 at 11:48 am

Somehow many Democrats are convinced that the FBI/DOJ did nothing wrong with regards to the FISA warrants. And they're still convinced that Trump colluded with Putin. Nothing will change their minds, it's hopeless.

Lois Gagnon , February 19, 2018 at 4:17 pm

It is indeed surreal to watch people who classify themselves as the left undermining the left by supporting the very agencies whose sole purpose from their inception is to destroy the left.

As David William Pear put it at OpEd News, "I don't think even Orwell has a scene like this: anti-authoritarian dissidents endorse more authoritarian means to weed out authoritarians resulting in authoritarians having more control to weed out dissidents."

I have a headache.

Jessika , February 19, 2018 at 11:55 am

The Deep State is very, very deep, and we're "Knee Deep in the Big Muddy" (Pete Seeger). Anybody knows the US Deep State was thoroughly entrenched by Reagan's time. It's overdue not to let this deep state corruption harden to concrete. I support neither party until there is a course correction, and Nunes makes valid points in support of a correction. Thanks, Ray.

BobS , February 19, 2018 at 11:58 am

Thin skinned too, eh Ray?
You're right, of course- Russia analysts at the CIA did stellar work in the 1980s.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 12:01 pm

No BobS it's you with your thickhead that doesn't get it. Keep it up BobS, because eventually you are going to say something funny. Take care. Joe

SocraticGadfly , February 19, 2018 at 1:34 pm

Ray continues to engage in two-siderism. He ignores digging into legit critiques of Mueller, as I have. http://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2018/02/internet-research-agency-butt-hurt.html

Charles Misfeldt , February 19, 2018 at 11:58 am

Will Nunes or any conservative go after the thousands of illegal acts perpetrated by conservatives??? NO! Nunes, along with every conservative traitor in America (republican or democrat) needs to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The conservative agenda is not moral or constitutional.

BobS , February 19, 2018 at 1:09 pm

Considering their disregard for law as well as their worship of authoritarianism (exercised against the proper targets, of course), I'd say it's more than "self-enrichment" that drives conservatives, both ancient and modern.

Deniz , February 19, 2018 at 1:58 pm

Perhaps that is an issue, but I am unclear precisely what is wrong in Nunes position that he is relying on Gowdy, an undeniably sharp, precise, prosecutor, to review the examined material. Watching both Nunes and Gowdy in sessions, I would have probably, and gladly, made the same decision. It also make sense politically that they cover for each other, one person is expendable and takes the heat – Nunes, while the other – Gowdy, an upward star of the party, who probably ran the whole investigation anyway, keeps his hands clean.

BobS , February 19, 2018 at 2:09 pm

The always partisan "upward star" Trey 'BENGHAZI!!!' Gowdy announced his retirement from congress last month due to his being "sick of hyper-partisanship". And let me show you this bridge I'm selling

Deniz , February 19, 2018 at 2:32 pm

In fact, I would greatly enjoy a discussion on weapons transfers from Libya to Erdogan to Al – Qaeda via Clinton. This is actually one of my favorite topics. So have it.

Deniz , February 19, 2018 at 5:34 pm

So what is your argument, that we should be loyal to our crime family and not theirs?

Or do you think Hillary, "We came, we saw, he died" or Mueller, of nothing to see here on 9/11 notoriety are the sort of people we should be defending.

Jessika , February 19, 2018 at 12:07 pm

Impossible to get the whole Gorgon's head, anyway, in such a corrupt system as we have. Why else are we in such a mess? Both GOP and Democrats have not served the people, so we should therefore give up trying to address any abuse?

Antiwar7 , February 19, 2018 at 12:35 pm

Ray, do you think Trump has made a deal: he'll allow escalations against Russia, and in return the Deep State will leave him alone? If so, does that portend that this will fizzle out?

Gregory Herr , February 19, 2018 at 8:14 pm

So you are privy to the briefings in question. Just because Reagan bloated the military budget doesn't mean he was being fed false intelligence by McGovern.

On the other hand, it is well publicized that Cheney twisted arms at Langley and Tenet obliged and Rummy worked the Iraq angle as well. We also had the Downing Street Memo and the Powell fiasco and Valerie Plame. Ray was right to be indignant.

Jerry Alatalo , February 19, 2018 at 3:50 pm

While the shiny ball, smoke and mirrors psychological operation known as "Russiagate" has begun running on fumes before the gas tank finally runs dry, the major revelation of the Clinton WikiLeaks emails describing Saudi/Qatari financing of ISIS drops further down the memory hole. There's nothing like success

Drew Hunkins , February 19, 2018 at 3:59 pm

Good point Mr. Alatalo. The Saudi-Zio Terror Network gets away with murder, literally and figuratively and of course the Saudi-Zio Terror Network NEVER, EVER interferes in ANY elections in the United States, no never.

(sarcasm)

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , February 19, 2018 at 5:59 pm

Related news: Kim Dotcom: "Let Me Assure You, The DNC Hack Wasn't Even A Hack", https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-18/kim-dotcom-let-me-assure-you-dnc-hack-wasnt-even-hack (Kim Dot Com claims personal knowledge on who took the DNC emails (Seth Rich) and his lawyers wrote to Mueller twice, offering his testimony, but never heard back from Mueller).

Bob Van Noy , February 19, 2018 at 7:18 pm

Thank you Paul E. Merrell, J.D. I have been convinced from the beginning of all of this that this was the line to Wikileaks. Now if we could only get a real investigation into Seth's murder.

Stop Bush and Clinton , February 19, 2018 at 7:34 pm

"We found that they broke a vast number of laws, did surveillance of a competitor with a warrant based on fake evidence, all adding up to treason worse than Watergate. But we think that no reasonable prosecutor would file charges .." -- The FBI

[Feb 19, 2018] US must immediately leave area it controls in southern Syria -- Lavrov

Feb 19, 2018 | www.defenddemocracy.press

19 Feb, 2018
US troops must immediately shut down their zone of control in southern Syria in the area of Al-Tanf, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov suggested when asked what should be done to help the Syrian peace settlement.

Lavrov was referring to an area on Syria's border with Jordan and Iraq, which the US declared to be under its protection last year. Among other things, it contains the Rukban refugee camp.

The facility is apparently used by radical militants, including members of UN-designated terrorist group best known by its former name Al-Nusra Front, to recover and raid other parts of Syria, Lavrov said at the Valdai Club conference on the Middle East in Moscow.

The US is turning a blind eye to such abuses of its protection, he added.

[Feb 19, 2018] The Russiagate Intelligence Wars What We Do and Don't Know

Highly recommended!
Mueller was the person responsible for investigation of 911. That fact alone tells you all as for what we can expect.
Notable quotes:
"... NO actual physical proof has been presented to the public to substantiate claims that Russia hacked the DNC ..."
"... There is NO proof (only allegations) of collusion between Trump's campaign and the Kremlin ..."
"... Social media efforts by Russian trolls to influence the election were minimal in the extreme, laughably amateurish and completely ineffective ..."
"... Glenn Greenwald has spent the past year documenting in detail the large volume of fake anti-Russian "news" generated by the MSM (see GG at The Intercept) ..."
"... There is NO connection between the Russian government and the 13 private citizens recently indicted for their pathetic and ineffectual activity as part of a troll farm ..."
"... Thanks to the paranoid, xenophobic, Russia-bashing nationalistic propaganda that is being promoted by our military-industrial-intelligence-media complex, the U.S. now believes it is acceptable to launch a first strike nuclear attack in retaliation for breeches of cyber security ..."
"... Trump won't be impeached over Russiagate for the simple reason that Russiagate is nothing but a psyops perpetrated against the American people by the national-security bureaucracy (and their corporate media propagandists) for the purposes of reigniting a second Cold War and maintaining U.S. global hegemony. ..."
"... Thanks to the hysterical McCarthyism now rampant among Democrats - and that is being used to great effect by Washington's bipartisan neocon warmongers - we may just end up in a nuclear war. The good news: it will be a short war and the Democrats will never have to accept responsibility for Clinton's loss. ..."
"... How about that Clinton got the CIA to partner with neo-Nazis in Ukraine to stage a coup, kick out Putin's friend, and install a billionaire capitalist as President? - something the media never mentions. ..."
"... Ultimately, I see the Russia story as getting its legs from the efforts of the dominant Hillary wing of the Democratic party, backed by big media, to continue to assert that Hillary really won the presidency in 2016, and that their wing should continue to have control of the party. ..."
"... That an immensely dangerous war fever is being whipped up in the process is of no importance to them. And, by no means incidentally, they are ignoring all of the real atrocities being committed by the Trump administration against the American people and the earth's environment. ..."
"... It has been thus since the creep moved into the White House. Dreyfuss, perky Rachel Maddow, Colbert, Maher, and many others have been the true "useful idiots". ..."
"... This same media never gave Sanders any media exposure during the primary. ..."
"... I would add that the election manipulations which the Clinton forces engaged in to defeat Sanders during the Democratic primaries dwarfs, by orders of magnitude, anything alleged against the Russians by even the most hawkish backers of the Russia probe. ..."
"... tweet by Peter Van Buren, former US foreign intelligence officer "Just did a quick read of the '13 Russian' indictment. Missing are a) any connections between the 13 and the Russian government and/or Trump campaign; b) any discussion of the impact (if any) their social media efforts had. It describes them buying Facebook ads, but nothing about if it affected votes; c) no connection shown between any of this and DNC, Wikileaks, hacking of emails; d) no discussion of motive; e) assumption that anything anti-Clinton was defacto pro-Bernie and/or pro-Trump. And all indicted persons are Russians, and outside the U.S., so highly unlikely this is going anywhere further legally. ..."
"... BTW, today the media put up that scumbag Podesta as a spokesperson for the Democrats. ..."
"... Seems that the end justifies the means. No matter what is the truth. In the mean-time, they're actually harming the opposition to Trump. I suppose nobody asked Podesta why the DNC never offered their computers for FBI forensics. ..."
"... The MSM never asks the hard questions anymore. It seems all pre-scripted and sanitized for corporate media. ..."
"... It's been a year since Mueller went to work and what's he got? A couple of Republican political operatives being political operatives. Their crime was not reporting to the USG that they were working for Ukraine. Now we're down to social media posts. You're probably one of those people who say, I saw it on the internet so it must be true. If the government is going to be upset about crap they see on social media from foreign parties, they need to start by telling said social media that they can't solicit advertising from foreign entities with political overtones as facebook did of RT. ..."
"... So we are going to limit global free speech by spending $Trillions more on building a nuclear arsenal - total madness - driven by [un] Democratic whining. ..."
"... Apparently, it comes down to trolls who planted various "fake news" stories. Stipulate to all of that; the worst of it. How does THAT begin to stack–up against the murderous coup that the USA OPENLY fomented in the Ukraine a couple of years earlier by bankrolling dozens of Non-governmental organizations whose sole purpose was "regime change"? ..."
"... Maybe come back to me about all of this when the FBI can convincingly prove that the Russian government armed and funded a Neo–nazi para–military group that assaulted and burned–down the North Carolina State House. ..."
"... You mean like Clinton and the CIA did in Ukraine, for economic domination over Russia, don't you? ..."
"... Tell me, as soon as you can, when having skepticism on the Russia/Election Meddling story is finally permitted. I heard tell, we've lately dropped the "Treason" narration. Now the spin du jour is that Trump & Co were all duped by them clever Ruskies. Whatever floats your boat. ..."
"... Stephen Cohen's take on Russiagate makes a lot of sense, to me. I've followed Russia/soviet/US relations very closely since Gorbachev. Open your eyes, Mattis has labeled Russia our mortal enemy, we just upped defense spending to an obscene level that shall keep our schools, hospitals, social services, and infrastructure in their bad state. ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | www.thenation.com

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

Here's what we know:

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

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

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

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

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:30 pm

Who gives a shit really?

How about that Clinton got the CIA to partner with neo-Nazis in Ukraine to stage a coup, kick out Putin's friend, and install a billionaire capitalist as President? - something the media never mentions.

Caleb Melamed says: February 18, 2018 at 9:12 am

As I open the online edition of The Nation this morning, there are two lead stories. One of them tells how Trump is planning to evict 5 million poor people from public housing. A very important story.

The second story by Bob Dreyfuss is probably the 10,000th one I've seen about the Russia probe. The public housing story is obviously much more important and substantial, yet the Democrats have been focusing almost exclusively on the flimsy Russia probe. Not even the pressing need to regulate assault rifles has really grabbed their full attention, even in the wake of the latest dreadful Florida high school massacre. In perusing the news stories this Sunday morning, the Russia probe continues to hold first place in coverage by a big margin.

Ultimately, I see the Russia story as getting its legs from the efforts of the dominant Hillary wing of the Democratic party, backed by big media, to continue to assert that Hillary really won the presidency in 2016, and that their wing should continue to have control of the party.

That an immensely dangerous war fever is being whipped up in the process is of no importance to them. And, by no means incidentally, they are ignoring all of the real atrocities being committed by the Trump administration against the American people and the earth's environment.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 18, 2018 at 9:52 am

Amen, Caleb
It has been thus since the creep moved into the White House. Dreyfuss, perky Rachel Maddow, Colbert, Maher, and many others have been the true "useful idiots".

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:33 pm

This same media never gave Sanders any media exposure during the primary.

Caleb Melamed says: February 18, 2018 at 9:42 am

I would add that the election manipulations which the Clinton forces engaged in to defeat Sanders during the Democratic primaries dwarfs, by orders of magnitude, anything alleged against the Russians by even the most hawkish backers of the Russia probe.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 18, 2018 at 8:24 am

FYI
tweet by Peter Van Buren, former US foreign intelligence officer "Just did a quick read of the '13 Russian' indictment. Missing are a) any connections between the 13 and the Russian government and/or Trump campaign; b) any discussion of the impact (if any) their social media efforts had. It describes them buying Facebook ads, but nothing about if it affected votes; c) no connection shown between any of this and DNC, Wikileaks, hacking of emails; d) no discussion of motive; e) assumption that anything anti-Clinton was defacto pro-Bernie and/or pro-Trump. And all indicted persons are Russians, and outside the U.S., so highly unlikely this is going anywhere further legally.

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:37 pm

There is nothing illegal or unethical about any individual of government supporting one candidate over another. BTW, today the media put up that scumbag Podesta as a spokesperson for the Democrats.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 19, 2018 at 9:02 am

Seems that the end justifies the means. No matter what is the truth. In the mean-time, they're actually harming the opposition to Trump. I suppose nobody asked Podesta why the DNC never offered their computers for FBI forensics.

Fred Caruso says: February 19, 2018 at 12:31 pm

The MSM never asks the hard questions anymore. It seems all pre-scripted and sanitized for corporate media.

Richard Phelps says: February 18, 2018 at 2:52 am

There is one issue that no media is talking about regarding the "memos". Trump is clearly a "person of interest", if not a suspect in some parts of the investigation. Given Trump's entanglement how is it not an absolute conflict of interest for Trump being the person who decides what memos get to be public and what redactions must be made.

Imagine a judge being a suspect in a crime or a major stockholder in a corporate civil suit. S/he would never be allowed to make any rulings on what evidence the jury gets to see or anything about the case. Some non-interested 3rd party needs to make those decisions.

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:38 pm

Quit feeding this beast.

Jeffrey Harrison says: February 16, 2018 at 8:15 pm

The other interesting and fun fact not mentioned anywhere. Three Names won by 3 million votes. Crafty Ruskis.

Carla Skidmore says: February 16, 2018 at 7:33 pm

This investigation by Mueller is just beginning. In other words, and to use the vernacular, "We "ain't seen nothing," yet."

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:40 pm

You are right. This is nothing but bullshit and it may be just the beginning. The Democrats have an endless supply of donkey-shit.

Jeffrey Harrison says: February 16, 2018 at 6:08 pm

It's interesting that the Russians set this all up to boost Trump and disparage Three Names before Trump even announced he was running. The basic set up for this was going on in 2014 whereas Trump announced in 2015.

Carla Skidmore says: February 16, 2018 at 7:29 pm

No, not really. Trump was making gestures of interest in the presidency in 2012

Clark M Shanahan says: February 18, 2018 at 10:28 am

Since when have you been so trusting of our FBI & CIA, Carla? From what we've experienced together from the Gulf of Tonkin onward, I'm a wee-tad taken aback. Please read the ex-foreign intelligence officer's twitter posting that I posted above.

Jeffrey Harrison says: February 16, 2018 at 8:30 pm

Pfui. He also made noises about running in the 2012 election. People don't set up organizations to do stuff just on the off chance that some politician or wannabe is going to run. These guys ain't got nothin'. It's been a year since Mueller went to work and what's he got? A couple of Republican political operatives being political operatives. Their crime was not reporting to the USG that they were working for Ukraine. Now we're down to social media posts. You're probably one of those people who say, I saw it on the internet so it must be true. If the government is going to be upset about crap they see on social media from foreign parties, they need to start by telling said social media that they can't solicit advertising from foreign entities with political overtones as facebook did of RT.

Fred Caruso says: February 19, 2018 at 3:35 pm

So we are going to limit global free speech by spending $Trillions more on building a nuclear arsenal - total madness - driven by [un] Democratic whining.

Francis Louis Szot says: February 16, 2018 at 6:05 pm

Apparently, it comes down to trolls who planted various "fake news" stories. Stipulate to all of that; the worst of it. How does THAT begin to stack–up against the murderous coup that the USA OPENLY fomented in the Ukraine a couple of years earlier by bankrolling dozens of Non-governmental organizations whose sole purpose was "regime change"?

Maybe come back to me about all of this when the FBI can convincingly prove that the Russian government armed and funded a Neo–nazi para–military group that assaulted and burned–down the North Carolina State House.

Fred Caruso says: February 19, 2018 at 3:37 pm

You mean like Clinton and the CIA did in Ukraine, for economic domination over Russia, don't you?

Clark M Shanahan says: February 16, 2018 at 3:44 pm

I'm hoping the hush-money passed on to two of Trump's romantic caprices, during the election, gets traction.

Tell me, as soon as you can, when having skepticism on the Russia/Election Meddling story is finally permitted. I heard tell, we've lately dropped the "Treason" narration. Now the spin du jour is that Trump & Co were all duped by them clever Ruskies. Whatever floats your boat.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 17, 2018 at 10:13 am

Yes David, I'm still a skeptic. In fact, I think this move to indict 13 suspects, that have a snowball in Hell's chance of ever being tried, is simply a dog and pony show to placate the public. Debrief yourself, read Binney's report and listen to Stephen F Cohen's latest, here on the Nation.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 17, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Stephen Cohen's take on Russiagate makes a lot of sense, to me. I've followed Russia/soviet/US relations very closely since Gorbachev. Open your eyes, Mattis has labeled Russia our mortal enemy, we just upped defense spending to an obscene level that shall keep our schools, hospitals, social services, and infrastructure in their bad state.

As if Hill, who stole the primaries actually ran a competent campaign.

[Feb 19, 2018] Internet Marketing - Why Is This Smelly Fish Priceless (updated)

Interesting illustration of how bots (in this case sole sleazy Dems operative with Slavic last name, not Russians ;-) work.
Notable quotes:
"... Democratic Coalition ..."
"... Progressive Army ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
about the Mueller indictment on Twitter some seemingly automated accounts retweeted my promotion.

The original piece is about an internet marketing scheme that is supposed to have influenced U.S. elections. It is thus amusing that the retweeting bots are part of an internet marketing scheme that is supposed to influence U.S. elections.

But why do they use the line "Omg. Fish is priceless"?

My original tweet:


WorldBLee , Feb 19, 2018 11:58:10 AM | 25

Commentators pointed out:

1. The first retweet shown above, which introduced the 'fish' line, is from a real person. Debbie Lusigman, the @saneprogessive , who has her own video channel with lots of legit content. The other tweets though are copies (not regular retweets) of the first retweet.
(h/t oldandyoung and integer )

2. The other personalities are likely bots that may well be run by one Scott Dworkin , a grifter who runs the fundraising campaign Democratic Coalition and channels most of the funds to a company he owns. Geoff Miami found the connection and reported on it at Progressive Army .
(h/t Demeter )

Posted by b on February 19, 2018 at 07:36 AM | Permalink

@saneprogressive is a real account; the rest appear to be bots. The bots RT some posts and appropriate others as their own. For instance, another one of @saneprogressives posts was also posted by @SenWarren2020 as its own yesterday. These are simple bots that attach themselves to certain accounts that have been deemed to be in the right ideological sphere, one suspects.

Demeter , Feb 19, 2018 12:01:23 PM | 26
I know those bots. @GeoffMiami has called them out as accounts controlled by Scott Dowrkin (@funder) and his "resistance organization" The Dem Coalition (@TheDemCoalition). "They hope to grift off Bernie supporters by using Bernie-themed bot accounts to push their propaganda."


More here - exposing Dworkin as a grifter Resistance Grift – How Scott Dworkin Turned the Resistance into a Personal Payday

Dworkin's Super PAC promotes fear through a repeating cycle of Russian-based propaganda, which garners donations, which pay consultants that generate those stories over and over again, garnering yet more donations. As to what purpose his Super PAC actually serves, it appears to be little more than a Möbius strip of self-serving opportunism.

b , Feb 19, 2018 12:16:49 PM | 27
@Bobby Mueller @6
"because they are not re-tweeting your post from MOA - they are re-tweeting @saneprogressive's re-tweet of your MOA post."

No - the 2nd to 8th account are not "retweeting" the 1st. They copied and reposted its content.
If those were legit one click "retweets" a la normal Twitter it would says so (XYZ retweeted ABC) and lock different. The form they used as shown above would require several clicks to 1. go to my original tweet, 2. retweet that with comment, 3. type (or copy) the fish line, 4. send.

These are for sure bots running on some script.

psychohistorian , Feb 19, 2018 1:00:03 PM | 28
I am not sure that I have taken enough of the right drugs but here goes

1. The retweets are secret messages from "saneprogressive" that bots are trained to retweet so others know to read your posting as it is priceless

2. The retweets are NSA manipulation to deprecate and make light of your posting by making it unserious

3. Twitter/NSA has developed bots behind the scene to manipulate public focus and it is just coming out of Beta testing

4. Some blogs have weekly cat pictures but this is clear evidence that MoA needs to have at least weekly sock puppet pictures.

5. All this focus on sock puppets and fish on America's president's day is unpatriotic and taking focus away from the current president's tweets which cannot be tolerated.

6. If this fish is so priceless, why is it stealing focus from humanity's more pressing problems like determining if this persons G in OMG is the same as that persons G in their OMG

It is just at freezing in Portland OR with a light dusting of snow from last night on all but the roads and the sun is shining.....Happy day/life to all!

b , Feb 19, 2018 1:00:16 PM | 29
@all -

I updated the piece above with the information provided by oldandyoung, integer, and Demeter.
Thanks folks!

Sebastian Dangerfield , Feb 19, 2018 1:57:44 PM | 30
This is an absolutely hilarious illustration of your argument. While I don't think the argument that the Internet Research Agency was a marketing endeavor is conclusive, it certainly is a compelling explanation, especially given the ridiculous nature of the content that it produced. It's like everyone simply ignored the fact that there are gazillions of these click-harvesting schemes and that the 2016 election, being a perpetual internet outrage machine, was especially fertile ground for them. They all (probably deliberately) ignored the reporting about, say, the Macedonian bullshit farm, which was generating mostly pro-Trump posts in order to harvest clicks. https://www.buzzfeed.com/craigsilverman/how-macedonia-became-a-global-hub-for-pro-trump-misinfo?utm_term=.ynwo9nn2#.rvBVyoo3
Jen , Feb 19, 2018 4:02:14 PM | 33
The sock puppet does look a bit like a fish and maybe Debbie Lusignan saw a pun in there that is lost on the bots retweeting her Tweet.

"Fish" is good for "fishing" and "phishing" = collecting clicks (and possibly personal information attached to metadata generated by clicks) to forward on to third parties willing to pay for that information.

Kat C , Feb 19, 2018 5:12:04 PM | 34
I have been tweeting your article, not the fish picture, frequently, as I am tired of even supporters of Trump spouting a false narrative. #IamnotaRussianbot or bot of any sort, just a human who wants to pass on the excellent info you wrote. I hope it gets new followers to your blog!
Daniel , Feb 19, 2018 5:31:41 PM | 35
I've been following Debbie Lusignan since early in the 2015/2016 Primaries. She was a Bernie supporter who documented the election fraud better than any other source. She has since come to see Bernie as a sell-out at least, if not a sheep dog from the start. And her focus since has been on discarding the "right/left paradigm" and joining in common causes against the global, plutocratic, warmongering powers.

I've posted links to MoA articles on her sites several times, so maybe her following b is my fault. ;-)

This is her Twitter feed:

https://twitter.com/saneprogressive

daffyDuct , Feb 19, 2018 8:42:02 PM | 42
Demeter@26

"Resistance Grift – How Scott Dworkin Turned the Resistance into a Personal Payday"

So he's kind of like the IRA chef?

[Feb 19, 2018] Goofy Indictments divert attention from Criminal Abuses at the FBI and DOJ by Mike Whitney

The fact that Mueller politicized the action of Russian Internet scammers (who are at best petty criminals) suggest that he has nothing more significant to offer hungry US Russophobes.
At this point Mueller turned his investigation into pure political propaganda
Notable quotes:
"... My impression has been that the "fake news" of dubious sources that circulates on social media is much better at generating money through clicks and shares in appealing to existing bias than it is at changing opinions. ..."
"... information that is true & irrefutable can hardly be considered harmful to the function of democracy, no matter the self-interested motive of the source: the electorate will consider it with their own self-interest in mind. And if any meaningful number of the American electorate – reaching up, say, to triple or even quadruple digits – was duped into texting their vote instead of going to their precinct then we need to resolve to get wise to this trick and not get fooled again. ..."
"... Poor Russia cant get a break, neither can Americans get a break from this USA 'get Russia' monkey circus. The monkeys now reach back a year ago to get Russia on a cyber attack. ..."
"... This a great article: it summarizes the poverty of the entire "Russians done it" meme. Let's not forget: this is another BIG LIE, on par, if not worse than the Iraq fiasco LIES ..."
"... "U.S. law bans foreign nationals from making certain expenditures or financial disbursements for the purpose of influencing federal elections. U.S. law also bars agents of any foreign entity from engaging in political activities within the United States without first registering with the Attorney General." When are we going to indict Israeli nationals for the above-mentioned crimes? When are we going to single out Bibi as a foreign national who engages with childlike enthusiasm in political activities within the United States? ..."
"... It's even more depressing than that. The indictments are against what is probably just (one of a million) commercial marketing scams. That is why the posts have no coherence. Some are for Trump, some against, some are for Hillary and some against, and of course there is the post that is for puppies. These are clickbait to establish the trolls as leaders so they can get advertisers to purchase ads. ..."
"... The word Lügenpresse has has entered German dictionaries, 'lying press', I hope a similar expression will enter USA dictionaries soon. In Germany this expression also is used with regard to TV. ..."
"... How creepy these pyschopaths are is hard for most people to understand, but gradually they are. Also, Trump has powerful opponents, one of which is the inability of most people to politically wake up quickly. He is the front man for a Military, Political, and Scientific Alliance making war against entrenched elitist, sociopathic, self-centered, control freak cabals that almost seized complete power in our country. Give him some slack okay. He's / they are doing pretty good considering the incredibly dangerous situation they took over. Keep writing Mike Whitney! ..."
"... It appears that Mueller is intent on prolonging his little fishing trip. My own cynicism suggests to me that his motive is, at least partially, financial. Sure, the media has said that he's being paid what will amount to only $200k or so per year for his "service" and that he has given up a position that pays him closer to $3 million for the same amount of time in order to act as Special Counsel. ..."
"... This indictment has publicised for the whole world that US has a 'law' that prohibits free speech by foreigners in foreign countries if they dare to speak disparagingly of US politicians. That is a PR disaster. People will be laughing about this for decades. Why do something so obviously stupid? ..."
"... Many countries have bad laws – in Thailand people can go to jail for offending the king. But to apply it to free speech by foreign people living abroad is self-destructive. To my best knowledge no country has ever attempted to charge people living abroad with 'disparaging comments' about their politicians. By that standard, literally millions of people are daily breaking the 'law' – e.g. all the bad stuff people say about Trump. During 2016 election there were literally millions of people in foreign countries who expressed 'disparaging' views about Trump. And some about Clinton. ..."
"... Doing nothing would had been better than becoming a laughing stock. How is Washington going to preach freedom of speech and internet after this self-inflicted fiasco? What if Russia starts 'indicting' millions of people who expressed negative comments about Putin? ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

Robert Mueller's Friday night indictment-spree, is a flagrant and infuriating attempt to divert attention from the damning revelations in the Nunes memo (and the Graham-Grassley "criminal referral") which prove that senior-level officials at the FBI and DOJ were engaged in an expansive conspiracy to subvert the presidential elections by spying on members of the Trump campaign. The evidence that the FBI and DOJ "improperly obtained" FISA warrants to spy on Trump campaign affiliate, Carter Page, has now been overshadowed by the tragic massacre in Parkland, Florida and the obfuscating indictments of 13 Internet "trolls" who have not been linked to the Russian government and who are being used to conceal the fact that the 18 month-long witch hunt has not yet produced even one scintilla of hard evidence related to the original claims of "hacking or collusion".

Think about what's Mueller is really up to: He's not just moving the goalposts, he's loading them onto a spaceship and putting them on another planet. Where's the evidence that Russia hacked the DNC computers and stole their emails? Where's the proof that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia? That's what we want to know, not whether some goofy Russian troll was spreading false information on Facebook. That has nothing to do with the original charges. It's just politically-motivated gibberish that proves Mueller has nothing to support his case. After a full year, the investigation has failed to produce anything but a big goose egg.

According to the indictment, the alleged Russian trolls "posted derogatory information about a number of candidates" and its "operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaging Clinton."

Big whoop. If people are so malleable that they can be brainwashed by some suggestive posting on Facebook, then maybe we should abandon democracy altogether. But that's not what this is really about, is it? Because if it was, Mueller would have posted the contents of those nefarious Russian comments in the indictment WHICH HE DIDN'T because he knows it's all obfuscating bullsh** designed to make the sheeple think evil Putin is dabbling in our precious elections.

Oh, and here's a little tidbit the MSM managed to overlook in their typically-hysterical coverage. This is from journalist Alexander Mercouris at the pro-Russia website, The Duran: (If you think your delicate mind might be brainwashed by Russian propaganda, please, shield your eyes!)

"The third thing to say about the indictment – and a point which has been almost universally overlooked in all the feverish commentary about it – is that it makes no claim that the Russian government was in any way involved in any of the activities of the persons indicted.

Nowhere in the indictment is the Russian government or any official of the Russian government or any agency of the Russian government mentioned at all. Nor at any point in the indictment is it suggested that any of the persons indicted were employed by the Russian government or were acting under its instructions or on its behalf ." (The Duran, Alexander Mercouris)

No Ruskis involved? But how can that be? We were assured that diabolical Russia is behind everything bad that happens in America. Has evil Putin been sleeping on the job??

Yes, it's true that the Internet Research Agency, LLC, is in fact located in St. Petersburg but–as yet–there is no known connection between the company and the government. And, if there was, you can bet that Mueller would have exploited it for all it's worth.

By the way, Mueller's presumption that the hackers were trying to influence the election, is just that, a presumption. It has no basis in fact whatsoever. It is mere speculation like the rest of the claptrap he's come up with. The more reasonable explanation is that the hackers were trying to make a little dough on "pageviews or clicks" rather than trying to persuade voters to vote for one candidate or the other. Here's more from the indictment:

" Defendants and their co-conspirators began to track and study groups on U.S. social media sites dedicated to U.S. politics and social issues. In order to gauge the performance of various groups on social media sites, the organization tracked certain metrics like the group's size, the frequency of content placed by the group, and the level of audience engagement with that content, such as the average number of comments or responses to a post."

WTF! Isn't this what everyone is doing, including the Intel agencies, advertisers, media and corporations? So now it's a crime? Give me a break!

Here's a blurb from the comments-line at Sic Semper Tyrannis:

"The "conspiracy" started in 2014, and cost a whopping $1.2 MILLION, which includes salaries, tech support, and bonuses. The indictment includes info that the Russians ran ads supporting Black Lives Matter, Muslims, Jill Stein, Ted Cruz, Rubio, and Trump. They also organized rallies in support of, and in opposition to Trump and Hillary Clinton. They continued their activities up into 2017, still organizing pro-Clinton and pro-Trump rallies. At one point, the indictment says that the Russians ran an ad that reached 59,000 people, which is laughable, people with a camera in their kitchen get more views than that. Essentially, after about 1.5 years of investigating "Russian collusion" this is all they've come up with." –London Bob, Sic Semper Tyrannis

And here's more from the indictment:

"U.S. law bans foreign nationals from making certain expenditures or financial disbursements for the purpose of influencing federal elections. U.S. law also bars agents of any foreign entity from engaging in political activities within the United States without first registering with the Attorney General."

This is mind-numbingly stupid. Does Mueller really think he can cobble together a case against 13 foreign-born defendants based on the thin gruel of Russian support for "Black Lives Matter, Jill Stein and Donald Trump?" Good luck with that, Bob.

Political analyst Paul Craig Roberts summarizes how absurd the indictments are in a Friday article tiled "The Result of Mueller's Investigation: Nothing":

"How did the 13 Russians go about sowing discord? Are you ready for this? They held political rallies posing as Americans and they paid one person (unidentified) to build a cage aboard a flatbed pickup truck and another person to wear a costume portraying Hillary in prison clothes ."

The whole thing is ridiculous and anyone with half a brain knows it's ridiculous. The only reason this fiasco continues to drag on, is because the mandarins in the US National Security State run everything in America and they've decided that they can invent whatever reality suits their foreign policy agenda and the rest of us will simply accept it in silence or be denounced as "Putin apologists" or "Kremlin stooges". Fortunately, facts and reason appear to be getting the upper hand which why the deep state powerbrokers are getting so desperate. They're now genuinely concerned about what might "come out" and who might be exposed.

Do the names John Brennan or Barack Obama ring a bell?

Indeed. I'm sure both names would factor quite large in any seriously impartial and thorough investigation of the Russiagate conspiracy.

One last thing for all you supporters of Donald Trump. I suggest you carefully examine his latest tweet on the topic. Here it is:

"Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!" Donald Trump, Twitter

As I expected, Trump is going to save his own skin, but allow the "Bigger Lie" to persist. It looks to me that Trump may have cut a deal with his deep state antagonists to support their spurious claims of Russian meddling as long as they exonerate him on the charges of collusion. That means, he will NOT use his power as President to try to uncover the roots of Russia-gate fabrication. (that would probably expose the former Directors of the CIA and NSA and, perhaps, even the former president of the United States, who likely gave Brennan the greenlight to set the wheels in motion.) All of these suspects will go uninvestigated, unindicted, and unpunished just like the perpetrators of the Iraq War, just like the perpetrators of the Financial Meltdown, and just like the perpetrators of all the major crimes against the American people. As always, it is complete and total immunity for Parasite Class while the rest of us have to play by the rules. But you probably already knew that.

Trump will get off the hook while the rest of us languish in permanent ignorance of how the shadow government really works. You heard it first here.


Svigor , February 18, 2018 at 6:23 am GMT

http://www.unz.com/proberts/rosenstein-and-mueller-running-for-cover-leaving-brennan-exposed/

What perhaps has surely happened

Now there's some tight writing. No wonder he insisted on disabling comments on his pieces.

El Dato , February 18, 2018 at 2:08 pm GMT
@Svigor

This is a perfectly valid and understandable turn of phrase for NuMerica 2018

https://imgur.com/DIVoxL5

fenster , February 18, 2018 at 2:31 pm GMT
<>

Beat you by one day, though you have more readers . . .

https://uncouthreflections.com/2018/02/17/wonton-speculation/

John Achterhof , February 18, 2018 at 6:48 pm GMT
After all of the concern expressed in the abstract I'd like to see some concrete examples of the material used to change opinions of American voters. My impression has been that the "fake news" of dubious sources that circulates on social media is much better at generating money through clicks and shares in appealing to existing bias than it is at changing opinions.

In any event, in this new environment – absent some form of censorship as with authoritarian states – any interested party such as a foreign government may introduce anonymously, by way of levels of remove, political content intended to change opinion. Of course, information that is true & irrefutable can hardly be considered harmful to the function of democracy, no matter the self-interested motive of the source: the electorate will consider it with their own self-interest in mind. And if any meaningful number of the American electorate – reaching up, say, to triple or even quadruple digits – was duped into texting their vote instead of going to their precinct then we need to resolve to get wise to this trick and not get fooled again.

Now, if this Mueller investigation would set out anew with a determination to find some Russian government involvement in fomenting the red hot molten lava of Identity Politics bubbling out of our universities – the obscene notion that a "patriarchy" of white males, acting as some kind of an informal fraternity in favoring themselves in the economy to the detriment of the outsiders, needs to get taken down in status in order to make America great – then they'd be cooking with gas toward the concern of harming the bonds of our civil union.

renfro , February 19, 2018 at 7:38 am GMT
Poor Russia cant get a break, neither can Americans get a break from this USA 'get Russia' monkey circus. The monkeys now reach back a year ago to get Russia on a cyber attack.

White House blames Russia for 'reckless' NotPetya cyber attack

https://www.reuters.com/ russia /white-house-blames-russia-for-reckless-notpetya-c&#8230 ;

3 days ago – WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) – The White House on Thursday blamed Russia for the devastating 'NotPetya' cyber attack last year , joining the British government in condemning Moscow for unleashing a virus that crippled parts of Ukraine's infrastructure and damaged computers in countries across the

Best advice for Americans believe nothing, trust nothing that issues from a government.

The experts:

John McAfee, founder of an anti-virus firm, said: "When the FBI or when any other agency says the Russians did it or the Chinese did something or the Iranians did something – that's a fallacy," said McAfee.

"Any hacker capable of breaking into something is extraordinarily capable of hiding their tracks. If I were the Chinese and I wanted to make it look like the Russians did it I would use Russian language within the code. "I would use Russian techniques of breaking into organisations so there is simply no way to assign a source for any attack – this is a fallacy."

I can promise you – if it looks like the Russians did it, then I can guarantee you it was not the Russians."

Wikileaks has released a number of CIA cyber tools it had obtained. These included software specifically designed to create false attributions.

Ronald Thomas West , Website February 19, 2018 at 7:38 am GMT
Naw, we didn't hear it here first, it's been glaringly obvious to about everyone outside of the USA propaganda loop, here's just one example:

http://ian56.blogspot.com/2018/02/the-spuious-mueller-indictments-of-13.html

Per the preceding, my own observation would be, when your lead investigator/special prosecutor's known history is framing people for crimes they didn't commit, sandbagging & sinking criminal investigations into international narcotics & arms trafficking, protecting related money laundering & hired killers, and providing cover for the perpetrators (intelligence agencies), we know why any reasonably honest & intelligent person wouldn't give two cents credibility to, and possess a rat's ass level of sympathy for, 'special' counsel Robert Mueller. The real question is, why the Boyd Cathy and Mike Whitney types don't go after these guys at the level the deserve; pointing to their established international criminal mafioso (read intelligence agency) crimes sprees and history of impunity:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2018/02/07/bob-manson-charlie-mueller/

^ It's 'alternative news' cowards won't take this s ** t on

Anonymous Disclaimer , February 19, 2018 at 7:45 am GMT
From a different Anonymous ..Mr. Whitney I can see the point of Donald Trump doing the kind of deal you suggest if there was enough for him to fear as you suggest but do not demonstrate. Why shouldn't we believe that it's all over, the indictments show there's nothing to be concrrned about?

Before your suggestion of the deal I had already concluded that you had not made a case against the indictments. Are you in fact willing to say that they should not have been instituted? If so, why?

Are they so completely hopeless in law, or as a matter of practicality in terms of their ever being got to court that it is an abuse if Mueller's position to support them? And if, as seems likely, nothing will come of them (certainly Russia won't help with extradition), is there not a case for using these indictments to clear the air on the law and, possibly, by the courts throwing the cases out on weakness of the matters of fact alleged? Could there even be a Machiavellian desire to have arguments put which would embarrass the Israel Lobby?

renfro , February 19, 2018 at 7:56 am GMT
@Anonymous

This should not be allowed either. CNN . 'Israel has 200,000 eligible American voters, according to the non-partisan organization IVoteIsrael, which registers American Israelis to vote.

Wizard of Oz , February 19, 2018 at 8:15 am GMT
Mike Whitney. Do you think Mueller should have avoided bringing the indictments even though US law appears to make what was done illegal? If so, why?

Could Mueller be justified by thinking it could help to sort out a bad law, especially if lawyers appear for the named defendants and move for the dismissal of the case on the facts alleged. Or, as has also been suggested, ia this a move which might allow the defendant's case to embarrass the Lobby? Would Mueller or the FBI be upset by that.

Tom Welsh , February 19, 2018 at 10:22 am GMT
"Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media
"Military's 'sock puppet' software creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propaganda

"Jeff Jarvis: Washington shows the morals of a clumsy spammer"

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks

Yet again, Washington is projecting its own vile schemes onto other countries.

jacques sheete , February 19, 2018 at 11:22 am GMT

Goofy Indictments Divert Attention from Criminal Abuses at the FBI and DOJ

I wonder how much of the Syrian troubles are diverting attention away from Netanyahoo's legal problems.

animalogic , February 19, 2018 at 12:31 pm GMT
This a great article: it summarizes the poverty of the entire "Russians done it" meme. Let's not forget: this is another BIG LIE, on par, if not worse than the Iraq fiasco LIES.

Nor is it, per se, about Trump. This is about State &political actors using State agencies & the MSM to prevent/ bring down an elected president. Its a plain unadorned assault on what's left of US democracy. (The fact that the vast majority of DNC voters can't -- WONT see this demonstrates how successful Elites have been in morally & psychologically corrupting the US public.

How many BIG LIE narratives can a State take ? Or do we just whistle & say " oh, but we live in a post truth age" as if that's not somehow morally equivalent to being a Moloch worshipper out for sunny day icecream.

journey80 , February 19, 2018 at 1:06 pm GMT
"U.S. law bans foreign nationals from making certain expenditures or financial disbursements for the purpose of influencing federal elections. U.S. law also bars agents of any foreign entity from engaging in political activities within the United States without first registering with the Attorney General." When are we going to indict Israeli nationals for the above-mentioned crimes? When are we going to single out Bibi as a foreign national who engages with childlike enthusiasm in political activities within the United States?
Redman , February 19, 2018 at 1:32 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz

Law enforcement of course doesn't bring every case which meets the definition of a crime. If it did, nearly everyone would be involved in the criminal justice system.

Discretion is used. And here, the evidence points directly to Mueller's discretion being used to protect the asses of the FBI and security state.

This indictment will not see the light of day. It's a bit like declaring faux victory in Iraq and leaving (what should have been done in that case). No lawyer will have the opportunity to refute th bull shit.

This is also why Meuller just indicted Gates, to strengthen the Manafort case. The only thing of note that will come out of this debacle of an investigation. He's giving up on Russia and going after Manafort, the low hanging fruit.

tjm , February 19, 2018 at 1:57 pm GMT
This is all nonsense, The very idea that Trump, or Clinton is being attacked by the FBI or CIA, or "Deep State", while doing exactly what he was hired to do, is ludicrous. Trump is a PRODUCT, just like Obama, and Clinton, all paid whores of the Zionist money machine.

The CIA and FBI are merely players in this game of distraction. The whole Russia gate BS was a cleaver rouse to further Zionists goals: Distract Americans from the real foreign interference by Zionist Jews, and to further demonize Christian Russia to the left, opening up the support for war with Russia.

Washington, Trump, Congress all lie, the media all lies, yet time and time again I see their lies playing as truth. Are you just stupid or part of the problem? Nothing comes form any of this, just distraction and divide and conquer. Trump continues to ACT like an Israeli firster while he TALKS about Ameirca first, and idiots keep focusing on his words and NOT HIS ACTIONS!

tjm , February 19, 2018 at 2:05 pm GMT
Trump ran on anti-immigration, building a wall, and getting out of conflicts. Yet, Trump is pushing for AMNESTY FOR DREAMERS, is building no wall, and is pushing conflict in the Middle East. Seems to me, this should be the ONLY topics of conversation. Trump is a wolf in sheep's clothing, a Zionist traitor, and these FBI/Russia/Clinton back and forth accusations are just the Zionist Jews giving Trump cover.

This is all theater, the Zionists rule DC, 9/11 was the culmination of their control over DC, and now they play is like a Hollywood movie, full of intrigue and misdirection. None of this amounts to anything, yet, time and again it is front page news, while TRUMP's TREASON, HIS AMNESTY GO IGNORED???!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It seems there is very little Zionist money cannot buy

LoodohLeaky , February 19, 2018 at 2:31 pm GMT
Does the writer want us to believe that a bunch of private Russians, with no connection to the government, decided for their own amusement to spend millions of dollars to play games with American voters' heads?
SteveK9 , February 19, 2018 at 2:40 pm GMT
It's even more depressing than that. The indictments are against what is probably just (one of a million) commercial marketing scams. That is why the posts have no coherence. Some are for Trump, some against, some are for Hillary and some against, and of course there is the post that is for puppies. These are clickbait to establish the trolls as leaders so they can get advertisers to purchase ads.

There is a lot of interesting detail here:

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

jilles dykstra , February 19, 2018 at 2:45 pm GMT
I think and hope that USA citizens have not lost their minds, but are using it, maybe just for the second time.
The first time then was when the USA refused to ratify Versailles, after USA citizens had discovered that their sons had die overseas for JP Morgan and British imperialism.

The word Lügenpresse has has entered German dictionaries, 'lying press', I hope a similar expression will enter USA dictionaries soon. In Germany this expression also is used with regard to TV.

Here in the Netherlands our Minister of Foreign Affairs Halbe Zijlstra had to resign after the newspaper Volkskrant, in very unusual opening a can of worms, publicised that Zijlstra never had been in Putin's dacha where Putin had explained what 'greater Russia' was: including White Russia, Ukraine, Baltic states and Khazakstan.
USA press, this time hitting the mark, called him 'the lying Dutchman'.

Zijlstra's friend, prime minister Rutte, already for years has the nickname Pinochio, his lies are well known.
Rutte must have known that Zijlstra lied at his party's congress, VVD, in 2016.
A poll now seems to show that more than half the Dutch have had enough with Rutte.

This seems to be the era in which nothing is trusted any more, politicians, media, experts, and so on.

jilles dykstra , February 19, 2018 at 2:56 pm GMT
@John Achterhof

For me one of the greatest nations on this earth is small insignificant Denmark.
It does not wage wars far from home, it does not allow foreigners to buy houses or land, it has an excellent pension system and social security system, and an excellent health care system.
It does not welcome large numbers of migrants, has a very low crime rate.
There may be very rich Danes, but they do not display their wealth.
The only thing I blame Denmark for is the oversized and luxurious post offices.
The country side is not impressive, nor what farmers produce, sugar beets.
And so the Danes are the happiest people on earth, surveys conclude.

Jake , February 19, 2018 at 3:00 pm GMT
"According to the indictment, the alleged Russian trolls "posted derogatory information about a number of candidates" and its "operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaging Clinton."

This is straight out of the Stalin and/or Mao playbook: those people thought bad thoughts and said some things that did not support us, which proves they are EVIL and must be destroyed for the good of all.

Jake , February 19, 2018 at 3:02 pm GMT
@LoodohLeaky

Do you mean the way that private Israelis, and Saudis, do that very thing, year after year? And with much, much more money?

Jake , February 19, 2018 at 3:06 pm GMT
@tjm

Jewish money 'bought' Oliver Cromwell, the chief epitome of WASP culture, not because it was an impossible offer to resist, but because Anglo-Saxon Puritanism was a Judiaizing heresy, and Cromwell naturally saw Jews as the best allies for WASPs.

You cannot solve the Jewish problem without also solving the WASP problem.

Joe Hide , February 19, 2018 at 3:33 pm GMT
To Mike Whitney,

Good article and thank you for keeping your presentation a reasonable length. Unreasonable length is a problem for many authors and preachers!

The Florida school massacre, can be orchestrated by simply ignoring significant warnings. For instance, a rogue FBI leadership intentionally ignores warnings from many different locations on the likely danger, and just waits for it to happen. When it does happen the rogue FBI cell can claim plausible deniability, claiming incompetence or stupidity, instead of intention. Then tens of millions of Americans are distracted from recently released information exposing the rogue FBI cell.

How creepy these pyschopaths are is hard for most people to understand, but gradually they are. Also, Trump has powerful opponents, one of which is the inability of most people to politically wake up quickly. He is the front man for a Military, Political, and Scientific Alliance making war against entrenched elitist, sociopathic, self-centered, control freak cabals that almost seized complete power in our country. Give him some slack okay. He's / they are doing pretty good considering the incredibly dangerous situation they took over. Keep writing Mike Whitney!

Anonymous Disclaimer , Website February 19, 2018 at 3:57 pm GMT
@anon

It's wide open, your packets are shooting all over the place, nice n' secure. Hail Fatherland Security! When you read propaganda, they know all about you and what you're reading in advance. Us, them, Russians – to the farm junior!

Twodees Partain , February 19, 2018 at 4:36 pm GMT
It appears that Mueller is intent on prolonging his little fishing trip. My own cynicism suggests to me that his motive is, at least partially, financial. Sure, the media has said that he's being paid what will amount to only $200k or so per year for his "service" and that he has given up a position that pays him closer to $3 million for the same amount of time in order to act as Special Counsel.

Still, the total cost of his exploration has been over $6.5 million so far. This, I would have to guess, is all in legal costs, fees paid to attorneys he has selected to do the investigative work. That amount of money is in excess of what he is supposedly giving up in order to conduct this investigation.

Looking at his motivation from this angle, it would make sense that a lawyer, especially a greedy, power hungry lawyer, would set up a system of kickbacks for attorneys he appoints to do the work. Mueller may be suspected of ensuring himself an equal income to what he is supposed to have given up.

Any time his fishing trip comes under fire for failing to catch any fish big enough for a meal, he issues indictments. This time he has indicted some foreign nationals who will probably never even be arrested, let alone prosecuted. Still, he's allowed to keep fishing.

phil , February 19, 2018 at 4:54 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra

All true. Good comment. Also, Denmark appears to have a genetic advantage when it comes to happiness, its lousy weather notwithstanding! See "National Happiness and Genetic Distance: A Cautious Exploration," by Eugenio Proto and Andrew J. Oswald, University of Warwick.

Abstract
This paper studies a famous unsolved puzzle in quantitative social science. Why do some nations report such high levels of mental well-being? Denmark, for instance, regularly tops the league table of rich countries' happiness; Britain and the US enter further down; some nations do unexpectedly poorly. The explanation for the long observed ranking -- one that holds after adjustment for GDP and other socioeconomic variables -- is currently unknown. Using data on 131 countries, the paper cautiously explores a new approach. It documents three forms of evidence consistent with the hypothesis that some nations may have a genetic advantage in well-being.

Anon Disclaimer , February 19, 2018 at 4:56 pm GMT
Anon from TN
People who generated lies have vested interest in perpetuating them. They will gladly use new lies to "confirm" the old ones. Even Trump figured that the red herring of Russian interference in the elections made the US a laughing stock in Russia. That's an understatement, though: this red herring made the US a laughing stock of 90% of the world population (the remaining 10% have no sense of humor).
Patriot Paddy , February 19, 2018 at 6:39 pm GMT
Where are the indictments of the foreign nationals in California, who openly attacked Trump supporters in San Jose? They attempted to affect the election through criminal assaults and batteries, much more than a simple Facebook post. This is the newly unveiled America, the citizens are not running anything, we are bought and paid for by interests that Gen. Washington would have deemed treasonous.
Verymuchalive , February 19, 2018 at 6:41 pm GMT

Goofy Indictments Divert Attention from Criminal Abuses at the FBI and DOJ

Lets be honest, Goofy would have done a better job. Mickey Mouse indictments seem more apt.

Jasken , February 19, 2018 at 6:57 pm GMT
How do US Courts have jurisdiction to prosecute speech originating in another country?

If is was said here out in public, fine, but saying something on the internet in another country does not seem to be prosecutable. Some countries have speech laws, and I would hate to find myself in their court system for something I say here that violates their deal.

Also, First Amendment?

Beckow , February 19, 2018 at 7:14 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz

Do you think Mueller should have avoided bringing the indictments even though US law appears to make what was done illegal?

This indictment has publicised for the whole world that US has a 'law' that prohibits free speech by foreigners in foreign countries if they dare to speak disparagingly of US politicians. That is a PR disaster. People will be laughing about this for decades. Why do something so obviously stupid?

Many countries have bad laws – in Thailand people can go to jail for offending the king. But to apply it to free speech by foreign people living abroad is self-destructive. To my best knowledge no country has ever attempted to charge people living abroad with 'disparaging comments' about their politicians. By that standard, literally millions of people are daily breaking the 'law' – e.g. all the bad stuff people say about Trump. During 2016 election there were literally millions of people in foreign countries who expressed 'disparaging' views about Trump. And some about Clinton.

Doing nothing would had been better than becoming a laughing stock. How is Washington going to preach freedom of speech and internet after this self-inflicted fiasco? What if Russia starts 'indicting' millions of people who expressed negative comments about Putin?

[Feb 19, 2018] Dems used to rightly hate Mueller for the Patriot Act, for abusing Fisa and for setting up terrorism hoaxes - now they love him. Sick.

Feb 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Noirette | Feb 19, 2018 10:40:11 AM | 21

More seriously. The Russkies, e.g. Zakharova and Lavrov have said that the USA has gone mad, is in the grip of a crazed delusional hysteria (or words to that effect.) Why the hype?

  1. Are we to see all this nonsense as merely an internal US matter, with the Dems planning an attack on Trump before he was elected, and subsequently promoting Russia as a blanket external enemy - as they can't accuse the Republicans, Banks or Big Corps, need an outside bogey, though they have post hoc also blamed the electorate, not smart.

    Neatly fitting with that Trump did propose 'good' ( ) relations with Russia, in an attempt to actually conserve some, or even a major part, of US hegemony in the new 'multipolar' world. (Trump wanted to control and 'annex' the weaker partner, not a bad calculation.)

    >> Russia is merely a mythical figure, breathing fire and red-clawed, in the wings, invisible, serving as a prop for the major contestants.

    Naturally, ordinary US citizens are of no account beyond their role as potentially duped followers, adherents, minions, serfs, ciphers on a page, etc. Influencing opinion(s) the most efficiently is part of the competition, actualised through media, TV, internet, etc. etc.

  2. The USA is *for real* gearing up for a meltdown war, against Russia in first place, and all the Media hype is aimed at getting US, NATO citizens to support it, or at least sleep in front of the TV and not object, and/or be controlled by various entities. The US PTB will never accept its loss of power/status and will destroy the world in a nukulear storm before it gives up.

Between 1-2 many intermediary scenarios exist.

?? - Sincere qu.

[Feb 19, 2018] Kim Dotcom Let Me Assure You, The DNC Hack Wasn t Even A Hack Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... All fucking Kabuki. All of it. ..."
"... The Deep State (Oligarchs and the MIC) is totally fucking loving this: they have Trump and the GOP giving them everything they ever wanted and they have the optics and distraction of an "embattled" president that claims to be against or a victim of the "deep state" and a base that rally's, circles the wagons around him, and falls for the narrative. ..."
"... They know exactly who it was with the memory stick, there is always video of one form or another either in the data center or near the premises that can indicate who it was. They either have a video of Seth Rich putting the stick into the server directly, or they at least have a video of his car entering and leaving the vicinity of the ex-filtration. ..."
"... This would have been an open and shut case if shillary was not involved. Since it was involved, you can all chalk it up to the Clinton body count. I pray that it gets justice. It and the country, the world - needs justice. ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Kim Dotcom: "Let Me Assure You, The DNC Hack Wasn't Even A Hack"

by Tyler Durden Mon, 02/19/2018 - 07:51 3.4K SHARES

Kim Dotcom has once again chimed in on the DNC hack, following a Sunday morning tweet from President Trump clarifying his previous comments on Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

In response, Dotcom tweeted " Let me assure you, the DNC hack wasn't even a hack. It was an insider with a memory stick. I know this because I know who did it and why," adding "Special Counsel Mueller is not interested in my evidence. My lawyers wrote to him twice. He never replied. 360 pounds! " alluding of course to Trump's "400 pound genius" comment.

Dotcom's assertion is backed up by an analysis done last year by a researcher who goes by the name Forensicator , who determined that the DNC files were copied at 22.6 MB/s - a speed virtually impossible to achieve from halfway around the world, much less over a local network - yet a speed typical of file transfers to a memory stick.

The local transfer theory of course blows the Russian hacking narrative out of the water, lending credibility to the theory that the DNC "hack" was in fact an inside job, potentially implicating late DNC IT staffer, Seth Rich.

John Podesta's email was allegely successfully "hacked" (he fell victim to a phishing scam ) in March 2016, while the DNC reported suspicious activity (the suspected Seth Rich file transfer) in late April, 2016 according to the Washington Post.

On May 18, 2017, Dotcom proposed that if Congress includes the Seth Rich investigation in their Russia probe, he would provide written testimony with evidence that Seth Rich was WikiLeaks' source.

On May 19 2017 Dotcom tweeted "I knew Seth Rich. I was involved"

Three days later, Dotcom again released a guarded statement saying "I KNOW THAT SETH RICH WAS INVOLVED IN THE DNC LEAK," adding:

"I have consulted with my lawyers. I accept that my full statement should be provided to the authorities and I am prepared to do that so that there can be a full investigation. My lawyers will speak with the authorities regarding the proper process.

If my evidence is required to be given in the United States I would be prepared to do so if appropriate arrangements are made. I would need a guarantee from Special Counsel Mueller, on behalf of the United States, of safe passage from New Zealand to the United States and back. In the coming days we will be communicating with the appropriate authorities to make the necessary arrangements. In the meantime, I will make no further comment."

Dotcom knew.

While one could simply write off Dotcom's claims as an attention seeking stunt, he made several comments and a series of tweets hinting at the upcoming email releases prior to both the WikiLeaks dumps as well as the publication of the hacked DNC emails to a website known as "DCLeaks."

In a May 14, 2015 Bloomberg article entitled "Kim Dotcom: Julian Assange Will Be Hillary Clinton's Worst Nightmare In 2016 ": "I have to say it's probably more Julian," who threatens Hillary, Dotcom said. " But I'm aware of some of the things that are going to be roadblocks for her ."

Two days later, Dotcom tweeted this:

Around two months later, Kim asks a provocative question

Two weeks after that, Dotcom then tweeted "Mishandling classified info is a crime. When Hillary's emails eventually pop up on the internet who's going to jail?"

It should thus be fairly obvious to anyone that Dotcom was somehow involved, and therefore any evidence he claims to have, should be taken seriously as part of Mueller's investigation. Instead, as Dotcom tweeted, "Special Counsel Mueller is not interested in my evidence. My lawyers wrote to him twice. He never replied. "

chunga Sun, 02/18/2018 - 21:59 Permalink

Pffft...this guy sounds like the reds with their "blockbuster" memo. Honest Hill'rey is laughing!

SethPoor -> chunga Sun, 02/18/2018 - 22:00 Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_8VaMbPjUU

Bes -> J S Bach Sun, 02/18/2018 - 22:17 Permalink

All fucking Kabuki. All of it.

The Deep State (Oligarchs and the MIC) is totally fucking loving this: they have Trump and the GOP giving them everything they ever wanted and they have the optics and distraction of an "embattled" president that claims to be against or a victim of the "deep state" and a base that rally's, circles the wagons around him, and falls for the narrative.

Meanwhile they keep enacting the most Pro Deep State/MIC/Police State/Zionist/Wall Street agenda possible. And they call it #winning

----

pathetic.

bigkahuna -> CheapBastard Mon, 02/19/2018 - 09:58 Permalink

"Had to be a Russian mole with a computer stick. MSM, DNC and Muller say so."

They know exactly who it was with the memory stick, there is always video of one form or another either in the data center or near the premises that can indicate who it was. They either have a video of Seth Rich putting the stick into the server directly, or they at least have a video of his car entering and leaving the vicinity of the ex-filtration.

This would have been an open and shut case if shillary was not involved. Since it was involved, you can all chalk it up to the Clinton body count. I pray that it gets justice. It and the country, the world - needs justice.

StarGate -> CheapBastard Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:23 Permalink

Don't forget the "hack" analysis of Russian owned "Crowdstrike" since the FBI did and continues to, refuse to analyze the DNC computers.

KuriousKat -> CheapBastard Mon, 02/19/2018 - 13:26 Permalink

Isn't Alperovitch the Only Russian in there?.. When you rule out the impossible...whatever remains probable.. probably is..

wildbad -> IntercoursetheEU Mon, 02/19/2018 - 03:05 Permalink

Kim is great, Assange is great. Kim is playing a double game. He wants immunity from the US GUmmint overreach that destroyed his company and made him a prisoner in NZ.

Good on ya Kim.

His name was Seth Rich...and he will reach out from the grave and bury Killary who murdered him.

NumberNone -> wildbad Mon, 02/19/2018 - 10:04 Permalink

There are so many nuances to this and all are getting mentioned but the one that also stands out is that in an age of demands for gun control by the Dems, Seth Rich is never, ever mentioned. He should be the poster child for gun control. Young man, draped in a American flag, helping democracy, gunned down...it writes itself.

They either are afraid of the possible racial issues should it turn out to be a black man killing a white man (but why should that matter in a gun control debate?) or they just don't want people looking at this case. I go for #2.

Socratic Dog -> Buckaroo Banzai Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:09 Permalink

Funny that George Webb can figure it out, but Trump, Leader of the Free World, is sitting there with his dick in his hand waiting for someone to save him.

Whatever he might turn out to be, this much is clear: Trump is a spineless weakling. He might be able to fuck starlets, but he hasn't got the balls to defend either himself or the Republic.

verumcuibono -> Buckaroo Banzai Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:26 Permalink

Webb's research is also...managed. But a lot of it was/is really good (don't follow it anymore) and I agree re: SR piece of it.

I think SR is such an interesting case. It's not really an anomaly because SO many Bush-CFR-related hits end the same way and his had typical signatures. But his also squeels of a job done w/out much prior planning because I think SR surprised everyone. If, in fact, that was when he was killed. Everything regarding the family's demeanor suggests no.

verumcuibono -> NumberNone Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:41 Permalink

MANY patterns in shootings: failure in law enforcement/intelligence who were notified of problem individuals ahead of time, ARs, mental health and SSRIs, and ongoing resistance to gun control in DC ----these are NOT coincidences. Nor are distractions in MSM's version of events w/ controlled propaganda.

Children will stop being killed when America wakes the fuck up and starts asking the right questions, making the right demands. It's time.

KJWqonfo7 -> wildbad Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:15 Permalink

Kim is awesome to watch, I remember his old website of pics of him on yachts with hot girls and racing the Gumball Rally.

verumcuibono -> wildbad Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:28 Permalink

I don't think you know how these hackers have nearly ALL been intercepted by CIA--for decades now. DS has had backdoor access to just about all of them. I agree that Kim is great, brilliant and was sabotaged but he's also cooperating. Otherwise he'd be dead.

StarGate -> Billy the Poet Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:48 Permalink

Bes is either "disinfo plant" or energy draining pessimist. Result is the same - to deflate your power to create a new future.

Trump saw the goal of the Fed Reserve banksters decades ago and spoke often about it. Like Prez Kennedy he wants to return USA economy to silver or gold backed dollar then transition to new system away from the Black Magic fed reserve/ tax natl debt machine.

The Globalist Cabal has been working to destroy the US economy ever since they income tax April 15th Lincoln at the Ford theater. 125 years. But Bes claims because Trump cannot reverse 125 years of history in one year that it is kabuki.

Pessimism is its own reward.

[Feb 19, 2018] Western Chauvinism Against Russia Gone Berserk

Notable quotes:
"... The whistle-blowers are holding their breath. The Russians and clean athletes are, too ..."
"... Substitute 'Russians' for some other group in such a negatively applied way and see the selective outrage. No NYT journo would write a bigoted comparison that differentiates between law abiding citizens and African-Americans, followed by a utilization of crime statistics as 'proof' for such a presented contrast ..."
"... *Michael Averko is a New York based independent foreign policy analyst and media critic. A closely related version of this article was initially placed at the Strategic Culture Foundation's website on February 8. ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | www.eurasiareview.com

For you non-sports minded Russia watchers, the ethically flawed antics of the IOC (International Olympic Committee), WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) and Western mass media at large, highlight a predominating anti-Russian bias that have a definite bigoted aspect. Having personally penned the title of this essay, let me say that the February 1 CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) decision favoring Russian athletes, is proof positive that not everyone in the West is motivated (subconsciously or otherwise) by anti-Russian sentiment.

Upon announcing its decision to ban Russia from the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics (with some Russian athletes competing under the Olympic flag and "Olympic Athlete from Russia" designation), the IOC indicated that the WADA propped McLaren report's claim of a Russian state-sponsored Olympic and Paralympic doping campaign hasn't been proven. Yet, this fact hasn't stopped the BBC and New York Times from falsely stating that the IOC decision is based on a primary Russian government culpability. Without definitively making the case in the open, the IOC said that there were testing irregularities at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, that favored some Russian athletes.

The February 1 CAS decision took into consideration that a good number of the IOC banned Russian athletes have been extensively tested inside and outside of Russia over a lengthy period of time, without ever being found guilty of a drug infraction. In addition, the CAS (on the known facts) reasonably concluded that the claimed 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic testing irregularities haven't been firmly concluded. Even if these irregularities occurred (something that remains unclear on account of the claim not being fully presented in the open), one then practically wonders whether it was with the knowledge of any or all of the effected Russian athletes and if their actual test results were indeed positive? Meantime, the prior and post 2014 Winter Olympic Olympic drug tests of a good number of these athletes reveal innocence.

In reply to these particulars, I've heard some Western chauvinist spin, saying that the CAS cleared Russians athletes aren't necessarily innocent, on account that they still could've cheated without getting caught. That very same logic applies to non-Russian athletes who might very well have succeeded in finding a way around the process.

The CAS found 11 Russian Olympians to have been previously found guilty of a drug infraction, that warranted a ban from Pyeongchang, as opposed to the hypocritically flawed IOC decision to implement a lifetime ban against them. The hypocrisy concerns the number of non-Russian athletes found guilty of doping, who didn't receive lifetime bans.

On the matter of gross anti-Russian hypocrisy, note famed US Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps' 2009 admission of smoking pot. Phelps wasn't banned from Olympic competition for that action. On the other hand, the IOC feels that it's appropriate to ban the Russian 1500 meter speed skating world record holder Denis Yuskov from the upcoming Winter Olympics, for a prior marijuana smoking episode in 2008. The unfairness of that move has been noted by some earnest folks in the West. Another of several repugnant anti-Russian IOC acts, concerns the banning of Russian short track speed skater Viktor Ahn.

As I've previously noted, Richard McLaren's claim that 1000 Russian athletes benefitted from a Russian government involved illicit regimen of cheating, would likely mean that ALL of the Russian athletes in question, would be shown beyond a reasonable doubt to have taken such a course. This hasn't been proven at all, with a note that the combined Russian Summer and Winter Olympic and Paralympic participating athletes is (if I'm not mistaken)under 1000.

On the US based National Public Radio, I heard the WADA connected American legal sports politico Travis Tygart (in rather self serving fashion) suggest his objectivity, by noting how he went after the legendary American cyclist Lance Armstrong. This is sheer BS, as Tygart never advocated banning all American cyclists and-or all US athletes from major competition. In comparison, Tygart (along with Canadian sports legal politico Dick Pound and some other pious blowhards) have favored a collective ban on all Russian athletes.

The likes of Tygart have a committed track record of extreme bias against Russia. In contrast, the IOC President Thomas Bach, comes across as a wishy washy sort, not fit to serve his position. It's a high point of chutzpah for Bach to second guess the CAS ruling on Russia, by saying that the CAS needs to be revamped. Bach and his fellow IOC cronies have belittled the CAS decision, with the announcement that none of the cleared Russian athletes will be invited to the upcoming Winter Olympics. Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko befittingly said that the IOC and WADA are in need of restructuring.

At the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, Bach took the position that the individual sports federations should decide on whether to restrict Russian partition. With rare exception, most of these IOC affiliated sports bodies decided (based on facts) that Russia shouldn't be penalized at that Olympiad. This time around, Bach has leaned towards the "pressure", as constantly rehashed by leading Western mass media outlets "to do something" against Russia.

A February 2 RT article , provides a healthy offset to the overall biased Western mass media reporting on the subject of Russian sports doping. The former details numerous reasons for not believing much of the negative allegations against Russian Olympians. Among the particulars, is the faulty notion that Russian athletes live and train under the same state manipulated structure. In actuality, a good number of them train outside Russia, with non-Russian coaches. Touching on this last point, The Washington Post's Sally Jenkins had an August 10, 2016 article , that showed how Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova, had taken performance enhancing drugs on her own, while training in the US, as opposed to some Russian state-sponsored method. (On the subject of Russian sports doping, Jenkins' aforementioned piece is an exception to the generally biased trend in Western mass media.)

It's matter of established record that Italy has the most Olympic sports dopers, despite having a smaller number of competing athletes when compared to Russia. Per capita, India, Turkey and Iran have higher rates of such doping infractions than Russia, with South Africa and Belgium having about the same percentage of positive doping as Russia. The December 24, 2017 Worlds Apart show , suggests that a disproportionate number of Western athletes have been given exemptions for drugs having a performance enhancing capability. (That RT show had earlier featured Dick Pound , which I followed up on .)

Moments before the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic opening ceremony, CAS came out with another decision on Russian athletes, which contradicts its February 1 ruling. Bigotry has been given a boost over the idea of judging people as individuals. To quote The New York Times' Juliet Macur: " The whistle-blowers are holding their breath. The Russians and clean athletes are, too ."

As I noted : " Substitute 'Russians' for some other group in such a negatively applied way and see the selective outrage. No NYT journo would write a bigoted comparison that differentiates between law abiding citizens and African-Americans, followed by a utilization of crime statistics as 'proof' for such a presented contrast ."

Along with numerous other Western mass media journalists, some of Macur's other commentary have a noticeable anti-Russian bias. I wonder if she learned that slant from her father , who she wrote about?

*Michael Averko is a New York based independent foreign policy analyst and media critic. A closely related version of this article was initially placed at the Strategic Culture Foundation's website on February 8.

[Feb 19, 2018] What the Arrest of the Russian Intel top Cyber-Crime Expert Has to Do With American elections

Feb 19, 2018 | thebell.io

Sergei Mikhailov was arrested one year ago, on Dec. 5, 2016. Officers of the agency's internal security division seized him at his office and led him away with a sack over his head. Mikhailov is a black belt in karate and the officers feared that he might resist, explained one of the colonel's acquaintances.

Prior to his arrest, Mikhailov was head of the 2nd Directorate of the FSB's Information Security Center (TsIB) and within Russian intelligence circles he was considered the main authority on cybercrime.

Now he and three other men -- Dmitry Dokuchayev , an FSB major and former criminal hacker, accused in the U.S. of hacking 500 million Yahoo! accounts in 2014; Ruslan Stoyanov , a former Kaspersky Lab employee; and Georgy Fomchenkov , a little-known internet entrepreneur -- are suspected of state treason. The four are being held in Moscow's high-security Lefortovo Prison

[Feb 19, 2018] The FSB breaks up Russia's most notorious hacker group

Notable quotes:
"... Rosbalt said that when Anikeyev's business reached national levels, he started using new techniques. For example, Anikeyev would go to restaurants and cafes popular among officials, and with the help of sophisticated equipment he created fake Wi-Fi and mobile phone connections. ..."
"... Unsuspecting officials would connect to the network through the channel created by the hacker and he would have access to the information on their devices. ..."
"... Through the Looking Glass, ..."
"... The Anonymous International website was opened in 2013 and content stolen from the phones and emails of Russian politicians immediately started appearing on it. According to Life News , only the correspondence of the public officials and businessmen who refused to pay was published. At the same time members of Shaltai-Boltai positioned themselves as people with an active civil stance. ..."
"... Mikhailov tracked down Anonymous International at the beginning of 2016 and decided to take it under his control, as well as make some money from blackmail along the way. According to Life News , there is another theory - that Mikhailov had been managing the Shaltai-Boltai business from the start. ..."
"... Whatever the truth, Mikhailov and Dokuchayev have now been charged with treason. Anikeyev and Stoyanov will be prosecuted under a different charge - "unauthorized access to computer information." According to Rosbalt , the treason charges against Mikhailov and Dokuchayev are to do with Anonymous International's involvement in leaking to Ukraine the private correspondence of presidential aide Vladislav Surkov. ..."
"... Shaltai-Boltai's website has not been updated since Nov. 26 and its Twitter account since Dec. 12. The group's remaining members, who are believed to live in Thailand and the Baltic States, have been put on an FSB wanted list. ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | www.rbth.com

The alleged leader of the Anonymous International hacker group, also known as Shaltai-Boltai, has been arrested along with important officials in the security services who collaborated with the group. For several years Shaltai-Boltai terrorized state officials, businessmen and media figures by hacking their emails and telephones, and threatening to post their private information online unless blackmail payments were made. "The price tag for our work starts at several tens of thousands of dollars, and I am not going to talk about the upper limit," said a man who calls himself Lewis during an interview with the news website, Meduza , in January 2015.

Lewis, whose name pays hommage to the author Lewis Carroll, is the leader of Anonymous International, the hacker group specializing in hacking the accounts of officials and businessmen. Another name for Anonymous International is Shaltai-Boltai, Russian for "Humpty-Dumpty."

Several years ago Lewis and his colleagues prospered thanks to extortion. They offered their victims the chance to pay a handsome price to buy back their personal information that had been stolen. Otherwise their information would be sold to third persons and even posted online. In the end, Russian law-enforcement tracked down Lewis, and in November he was arrested and now awaits trial . His real name is Vladimir Anikeyev.

Shaltai-Boltai's founding father

"One's own success is good but other people's failure is not bad either," said the profile quote on Vladimir Anikeyev's page on VKontakte , Russia's most popular social network.

Vladimir Anikeyev / Photo: anikeevv/vk.com

Rosbalt news website said that in the 1990s Lewis worked as a journalist in St. Petersburg and specialized in collecting information through various methods, including dubious ones. "He could go for a drink with someone or have an affair with someone's secretary or bribe people," Rosbalt's source said.

In the 2000s Anikeyev switched to collecting kompromat (compromising material). Using his connections, he would find the personal email addresses of officials and entrepreneurs and break into them using hackers in St. Petersburg, and then blackmail the victims. They had to pay to prevent their personal information from ending up on the Internet.

Fake Wi-Fi

Rosbalt said that when Anikeyev's business reached national levels, he started using new techniques. For example, Anikeyev would go to restaurants and cafes popular among officials, and with the help of sophisticated equipment he created fake Wi-Fi and mobile phone connections.

Unsuspecting officials would connect to the network through the channel created by the hacker and he would have access to the information on their devices.

In the beginning Anikeyev was personally involved in the theft of information but later he created a network of agents.

The business grew quickly; enormous amounts of information were at Anikeyev's disposal that had to be sorted and selected for suitability as material for blackmail. In the end, according to Rosbalt, Anonymous International arose as a handy tool for downloading the obtained information.

Trying to change the world

The second name of the group refers to the works of Lewis Carroll, according to Shaltai-Boltai members. The crazy world of Through the Looking Glass, with its inverted logic, is the most apt metaphor for Russian political life. Apart from Lewis Anikeyev, the team has several other members: Alice; Shaltai, Boltai (these two acted as press secretaries, and as a result of a mix-up, the media started calling the whole project, Shaltai-Boltai); and several others, including "technicians," or specialist hackers.

The Anonymous International website was opened in 2013 and content stolen from the phones and emails of Russian politicians immediately started appearing on it. According to Life News , only the correspondence of the public officials and businessmen who refused to pay was published. At the same time members of Shaltai-Boltai positioned themselves as people with an active civil stance.

"We can be called campaigners. We are trying to change the world. To change it for the better," Shaltai told the Apparat website. In interviews members of the group repeatedly complained about Russian officials who restricted Internet freedom, the country's foreign policy and barriers to participation in elections.

Hacker exploits

Shaltai-Boltai's most notorious hack was of an explicitly political nature and not about making money. It hacked Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's Twitter account. On Aug. 14, 2014 tweets were posted on the account saying that Medvedev was resigning because he was ashamed of the government's actions. The `prime minister' also had time to write that Putin was wrong, that the government had problems with common sense, and that the authorities were taking the country back to the past.

The scourge of banks and politicians: 4 famous Russian hackers

On the same day Anonymous International posted part of the prime minister's stolen archive, admitting that, "there is nothing particularly interesting in it."

"The posted material was provided by a certain highly-placed reptilian of our acquaintance," the hackers joked .

Medvedev is far from being Shaltai-Boltai's only victim. The hackers published the private correspondence of officials in the presidential administration: Yevgeny Prigozhin, a businessman close to Vladimir Putin; Aram Gabrelyanov, head of the pro-Kremlin News Media holding company; and of Igor Strelkov, one of the leaders of the uprising in east Ukraine. Lewis, however, insisted that only material that had failed to sell ended up on the Internet.

Law-enforcement links

Anikeyev was detained in November, and the following month Sergei Mikhailov, head of the 2nd operations directorate of the FSB Information Security Center, was also arrested. According to Kommersant , Mikhailov was a major figure in the security services who, "was essentially overseeing the country's entire internet business."

Mikhailov's aide, FSB Major Dmitry Dokuchayev, and a former hacker known as Forb, was also arrested. Shortly after, Ruslan Stoyanov, head of the department for investigating cybercrime at the antivirus software company Kaspersky Lab, was also detained. Stoyanov also worked closely with the secret services.

According to Rosbalt , Anikeyev revealed information about the FSB officers and the Kaspersky Lab computer expert and their close involvement with Shaltai-Boltai.

Mikhailov tracked down Anonymous International at the beginning of 2016 and decided to take it under his control, as well as make some money from blackmail along the way. According to Life News , there is another theory - that Mikhailov had been managing the Shaltai-Boltai business from the start.

Shaltai-Boltai had a big fall

Whatever the truth, Mikhailov and Dokuchayev have now been charged with treason. Anikeyev and Stoyanov will be prosecuted under a different charge - "unauthorized access to computer information." According to Rosbalt , the treason charges against Mikhailov and Dokuchayev are to do with Anonymous International's involvement in leaking to Ukraine the private correspondence of presidential aide Vladislav Surkov.

Shaltai-Boltai's website has not been updated since Nov. 26 and its Twitter account since Dec. 12. The group's remaining members, who are believed to live in Thailand and the Baltic States, have been put on an FSB wanted list.

Anyway, Shaltai-Boltai anticipated this outcome. "What awaits us if we are uncovered? Criminal charges and most likely a prison sentence. Each member of the team is aware of the risks," they said dispassionately in the interview with Apparat in 2015.

[Feb 19, 2018] Shaltai-Boltai's leader arrested by the FSB Crime

Notable quotes:
"... Anikeev immediately began to cooperate with the investigation and provide detailed evidence, which repeatedly mentioned Mikhailov as being associated with the Shaltai-Boltai's team," said the source of Rosbalt. And in December 2016, Mikhailov and his "right hand," another official of the Information Security Center, Dmitry Dokuchaev, were arrested. The Court took a decision on their arrest. Another ISC official was also detained, but after questioning, no preventive measures involving deprivation of liberty were applied to him. ..."
"... After the summer, Shaltai-Boltai began to work exclusively with the content given to it by the curator. ..."
"... later it switched to civil servants' email that contained information that could bring serious trouble. When it became known that Surkov's correspondence "leaked" to Ukraine, it broke the camel's back. "Mikhailov's a magnificent expert. Best in his business. One can say that the ISC is Mikhailov.. But he crossed all possible borders," told a source of Rosbalt. ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | rusletter.com

RusLetter

The story around the arrest of a high-ranking ISC official, Sergey Mikhailov, is becoming an actual thriller.

The creator of Shaltai-Boltai (Humpty Dumpty) website, which containted the correspondence of officials, journalist Vladimir Anikeev, better known in some circles as Lewis, was arrested on arrival from Ukraine, where he is supposed to have been involved in the publishing on a local site of presidential aide Vladislav Surkov's correspondence. In his testimony, Lewis said about the employee of the Information Security Center, Mikhailov.

As a source familiar with the situation told Rosbalt, Vladimir Anikeev was detained by the FSB officers at the end of October 2016, when he arrived in St. Petersburg from Ukraine. "The operation was the result of a long work. There was a complicated operative combination with the aim to lure Lewis from Ukraine, which he didn't indend to leave," said the source to the news agency. Anikeev was taken to Moscow, where the Investigation department of the FSB charged him under Article 272 of the Criminal Code (Illegal access to computer information).

First and foremost the counterintelligence was interested in the situation with the "leakage" of Vladislav Surkov's correspondence: by the time it was known that it was in the hands of the Shaltai-Boltai's team. Since it was e-mail with from the .gov domain, the situation caused great concern in theFSO. As a result of this, the correspondence was published on the website of a Ukrainian association of hackers called Cyber-Junta. In reality, it is suspected that Anikeev was involved in that affair. He'd been constantly visiting this country, his girlfriend lived there, and, according to available data, he was not going to return to Russia. Lewis was also asked about other officials' correspondence, which already appeared on the Shaltai-Boltai website.

" Anikeev immediately began to cooperate with the investigation and provide detailed evidence, which repeatedly mentioned Mikhailov as being associated with the Shaltai-Boltai's team," said the source of Rosbalt. And in December 2016, Mikhailov and his "right hand," another official of the Information Security Center, Dmitry Dokuchaev, were arrested. The Court took a decision on their arrest. Another ISC official was also detained, but after questioning, no preventive measures involving deprivation of liberty were applied to him.

According to the version of the agency's source, the situation developed as follows. At the beginning of 2016, the department headed by Mikhailov received an order to "work" with Shaltai-Boltai's website, which published the correspondence of civil servants. The immediate executor was Dokuchaev. Officers of the ISC were able to find out the team of Shaltai-Boltai, which participants nicknamed themselves after Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland": Alice, the March Hare, etc. The website creator and organizer, Anikeev, was nicknamed Lewis. In the summer there were searching raids in St. Petersburg, although formally for other reasons.

According to the Rosbalt's source, just after the summer attack the team of Shaltai-Boltai appeared to have the owner, or, to be exact, the curator. According to the source, it could be Sergey Mikhailov. As the result, the working methods of the Lewis's team also changed, just as the objects whose correspondence was being published for public access. Previously, Lewis's people figured out objects in places where mobile phone was used. They were given access to the phone contents by means of a false cell (when it came to mobile internet) or using a false-Wi-FI (if the person was connected to Wi-FI). Then the downloaded content was sent to member of the Lewis's team, residing in Estonia. He analyzed to to select what's to be put in the open access and what's to be sold for Bitcoins. The whole financial part of the Shaltai-Boltai involved a few people living in Thailand. These Bitcoins were cashed in Ukraine. Occasionally the Lewis published emails previously stolen by other hackers.

After the summer, Shaltai-Boltai began to work exclusively with the content given to it by the curator. Earlier, it published correspondence of rather an "entertaining" character, as well as officials whose "secrets" would do no special harm; but later it switched to civil servants' email that contained information that could bring serious trouble. When it became known that Surkov's correspondence "leaked" to Ukraine, it broke the camel's back. "Mikhailov's a magnificent expert. Best in his business. One can say that the ISC is Mikhailov.. But he crossed all possible borders," told a source of Rosbalt.

[Feb 19, 2018] Russian Lawyer Says FSB Officers, Kaspersky Manager Charged With Treason

Feb 19, 2018 | www.rferl.org

At the time of their arrests in December, Sergei Mikhailov and Dmitry Dokuchayev were officers with the FSB's Center for Information Security, a leading unit within the FSB involved in cyberactivities.

Pavlov confirmed to RFE/RL the arrest of Mikhailov and Dokuchayev, along with Ruslan Stoyanov, a former employee of the Interior Ministry who had worked for Kaspersky Labs, a well-known private cyber-research company, which announced Stoyanov's arrest last month.

The newspaper Kommersant reported that Mikhailov was arrested at a meeting of FSB officers and was taken from the meeting after a sack was put on his head.

The independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, meanwhile, said that a total of six suspects -- including Mikhailov, Dokuchayev, and Stoyanov -- had been arrested. The state news agency TASS reported on February 1 that two men associated with a well-known hacking group had also been arrested in November, but it wasn't immediately clear if those arrests were related to the FSB case.

There has been no public detail as to the nature of the treason charges against Mikhailov, Dokuchayev, and Stoyanov. The Interfax news agency on January 31 quoted "sources familiar with the situation" as saying that Mikhailov and Dokuchayev were suspected of relaying confidential information to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Pavlov told RFE/RL the individuals were suspected of passing on classified information to U.S. intelligence, but not necessarily the CIA.

[Feb 19, 2018] Russian-Turkish axis in Syria faces meltdown by M. K. Bhadrakumar

Feb 19, 2018 | www.atimes.com

Will Erdogan again turn towards the US? Feb 8, 2018 | 5,604 96
Two things differentiate the downing of a Russian Su-25 ground-attack jet in the western province of Idlib on February 3 from the drone attacks on the Russian air base at Hmeimim a month earlier.

One, Russia could thwart the attack on January 5 by a wave of drone aircraft but singularly failed to anticipate the use of man-portable air defense systems by extremists operating in Idlib under Turkish watch. Russia lost an ace fighter pilot in the latter attack.

Two, Moscow sensed an American hand in the drone attack on January 5, but this time around Russia's Tass news agency promptly highlighted an American denial on record. The Kremlin's Dmitry Peskov made a point of cautioning against speculations "before one gets precise information as to how terrorists in Syria got that particular man-portable air defense system and other weapons that they have."

Notably, however, an influential lawmaker – Dmitry Sablin, coordinator of the Russia-Syria parliamentary friendship group – went ahead to "speculate," saying: "We have information that the MANPADS used to bring down our jet was brought into Syria from a neighboring country several days ago. Countries from whose territory weapons arrive, that are then used against Russian servicemen, must understand that this will not go unpunished."

Curiously, the day after Sablin spoke, Turkey came out with a counter-allegation of its own, attributed to "security sources," to the effect that the weaponry used in the attack against a Turkish army tank on February 3 by Kurds in Afrin "might have been a Russian-made 9M113 Konkurs" and that the "claim is being evaluated." Five Turkish soldiers were killed in that attack.

Suffice to say, the air is thick with innuendos and dark hints that Russia and Turkey may have drawn each other's blood on February 3, despite notionally being allies in Syria's hybrid war.

In January, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reached out to President Vladimir Putin to clarify the situation. But over the latest incident, no such exchange has so far taken place, even though Erdogan is under obligation to initiate one – according to the understanding reached in talks in Astana last year following the Syrian ceasefire, Turkey is entrusted with setting up "observation posts" in Idlib to monitor the activities of extremist groups.

Meanwhile, on February 5, Putin sent an effusive message to Nicos Anastasiades congratulating him on his re-election as the President of the Republic of Cyprus. Putin's message expressed confidence that the "constructive dialogue" and "joint work" by the two countries are in the mutual interests of both and "in keeping with efforts to improve stability and security in Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean." Cyprus' relations with Turkey have been unfriendly ever since the Turkish invasion and occupation of the northern part of the country in 1974.

Typically, therefore, Erdogan will now seek a modus vivendi with the US. Of course, it will be a dream come true for the US if the hairline crack in the Russian-Turkish axis in Syria widens and becomes a rift in the coming weeks. In their opposition to the establishment of Russian bases in Syria, Washington and Ankara are on the same page.

On the other hand, the Pentagon will expect Erdogan to give up his plans to launch any military operation to attack the Kurds in Manbij. The US simply cannot accede to the Turkish demand that it break its alliance with Syria's Kurds. US Defence Secretary James Mattis hinted on Friday that talks are going on with Turkey to dissuade Erdogan from ordering an operation on Manbij.

For his part, Erdogan will seek a tradeoff with the Trump administration to create conditions for a broader rapprochement with the US. He is well aware that the US will see advantages in the developing situation to push its containment strategy against Iran more effectively in Syria and to isolate the Assad regime. Indeed, a rift in the Russian-Turkish axis in Syria opens an entirely new ball game in the country, one that enables the US to create new facts on the ground and negotiate harder on the terms of a future Syrian settlement. Israel is also a stakeholder here.

Erdogan all along hankered for an enhanced role for Turkey as the flag carrier in the West's strategies in Syria, fancying himself to be the role model for the Muslim Middle East. But President Barack Obama was disinterested in any such dalliance with the mercurial Sultan in Ankara.

Things are very much in flux, though. Erdogan met Pope Francis on Monday. It was the first time in 59 years that a Turkish President had visited the Vatican.

[Feb 19, 2018] In Raging Tweetstorm, Trump Says Russians Laughing Their Asses Off, Mocks Leakin' Monster Schiff

Trump has a point: "If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams..."
Trump is still better than Hillary but the margin is shrinking fast...
Feb 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
excoriating the FBI for failing to act on multiple tips about "professional school shooter" Nikolas Cruz's murderous intentions, and criticizing National Security Adviser HR McMaster over his Russia collusion comments, President Donald Trump shifted his focus toward one of his favorite targets, House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff, whom he "congratulated" for finally acknowledging that the Obama administration is responsible for any attempted interference by Russia during the 2016 election.

In one of his more memorable turns of phrase, Trump lauded " Liddle Adam Schiff ", whom he branded the " leakin monster of no control ", for finally " blaming the Obama Administration for Russian meddling in the 2016 Election. He is finally right about something. Obama was President, knew of the threat, and did nothing. Thank you Adam!"

Trump also expressed his amazement that nobody in federal law enforcement or Congress tried to stop the Obama administration from handing over nearly $2 billion in cash to Iran. The cash transfers were first reported by the Wall Street Journal in September 2016. The administration defended its actions by saying it was merely returning the money, which belonged to Iranian entities, but had been frozen because of sanctions.

... ... ...

Putting it all together, given the hysteria surrounding Russian interference during the 2016 election, the multiple investigations and countless public resources wasted, if it was Russia's intention to create chaos in the US, then they've "succeeded beyond their wildest dreams", Trump claimed."They're probably " laughing their asses off in Moscow," he added.


Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:02 Permalink

But wasn't I a great candidate?

Yes you were , and I voted for you, you lying flip-flopping piece of shit!

1. Jail Crooked Hillary – Flipped. During the Inauguration Dinner: "The Clintons are good people!"

2. Drain the Swamp – Flipped. The promise vanished like a fart in the wind.

3. I love WikiLeaks – Flipped. Assange is still marooned in the Embassy.

4. Get out of Syria – Flipped. Attacked Syria with 59 Tomahawks.

5. Reform or Disband NATO – Flipped.

6. Ban Foreign Lobbyists – Flipped. "Did I really promise that shit?"

7. Enact Term Limits – Flipped. Just another fart in the wind.

8. Eliminate Gun-Free Zones – Flipped. Should've pushed for that after the Florida School shooting.

Looney

FreeShitter -> Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:06 Permalink

Welcome to reality!

JimmyJones -> FreeShitter Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:12 Permalink

The interview with Sessions and Maria Bartiromo on fox is very good, watch it. Today at 10am

DingleBarryObummer -> JimmyJones Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:15 Permalink

fuck this bullshit

I want to know more about this:

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/561076/donald-trump-9-11-i
REVEALED: Donald Trump vows to 'reopen 9/11 probe'

brianshell -> BullyBearish Sun, 02/18/2018 - 12:47 Permalink

Dear Bully,

Do you agree with these points?

1. Pardon Edward Snowden and Julian Assange as a sign he WELCOMES whistle blowers and putting the PEOPLE'S business in the LIGHT

2. Begin to revoke the fed's charter by putting Ron Paul in charge of a special investigation of fed malfeasance and destruction of the currency

3. Immediately suspend weapon sales to ANY country or organization involved in a current conflict

4. Revoke israel's special exemption from foreign lobbying registration and fully audit AIPAC with an intention to uncover bribery and espionage

5. Immediately indict Bill and Hillary Clinton and others from the Clinton Foundation on charges of corruption, espionage, and theft

6. Rescind all future payments/allotments to the saudi arabia and israel until they are in compliance with international law and human rights standards

7. Cease saber rattling against Iran and Russia and work toward peaceful, complementary accommodations

8. Draw down the 600 plus U.S. military bases around the world and bring the Americans HOME

9. Initially shift 30% of the current military budget to domestic infrastructure needs with a mandate of further reductions of 10% per yea

Brazen Heist -> brianshell Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:04 Permalink

If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow.

Trump is right about the Russians laughing their asses off. But he still foolishly drinks the koolaid handed to him by his fellow swampsters that this was all a Russian plot.

Hubris does that. The swamp is full of it. And Trump is well over 50% in the swamp.

Billy the Poet -> Brazen Heist Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:16 Permalink

It is true that Russians, the intelligence agencies of every other nation and fat guys in their basement all hack and troll the Internet. That simple fact was blown up into a fake Trump-Russia collusion narrative.

Trump's latest tweets straighten that all out pretty well.

Deep Snorkeler -> Zero_Ledge Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:30 Permalink

Swinging Hunchbacks on Trump Tower

1. billions for defense, not one cent to protect children

2. tax cuts for the wealthiest, not one cent for debt reduction

3. privileges for giant corporations, attacks on the natural environment

4. a grand military parade and the collapse of democracy

5. trinkets for the middle class, gold for the billionaire caste

Deep Snorkeler -> FreeShitter Sun, 02/18/2018 - 12:39 Permalink

America all Opiated Up With Nowhere to Go

1. the pain of ignorance

2. the pain of obesity

3. the pain of TV watching

4. the pain of imperial collapse and military impotence

5. guns, guns and no fun

Duc888 -> Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 11:14 Permalink

1. Sessions has two investigations going on into Hillary. The heavy hitters in Military Int. are taking the lead so Sessions has no reason to dig deeper. the big boys are taking her down. So he did not flip. Clean up on aisle 6 is happening, albeit slowly.

2. Same thing, you'll see the Military Tribunals start in a few months. again, he did not flip... have you missed the fact that because of the ongoing investigations that about 30 congresspersons / Senators are not going up for re election? Most of the senior Staff in State dept is gone. Coney, out, Lynch, holder, Rice and a slew of others currently under investigation.

3. Is Trump supposed to be Assanges nanny or something?

4.That's more Tillersons mess and State dept. Most senior officials quit en mass months ago from State dept. Trump stopped all CIA funding going into Syria...

5. Easier said than done... I'm sure he didn't flip....but his priority now is the counter coup.

6. He took a round about approach in his Dec 21st EO. Blocked Soros dozens of bullshit non profit orgs...antifa funding...etc...

7. Flipped? Or did not get to it? Did he specifically SAY he was FOR term limits? Got a link?

SheHunter -> Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 11:54 Permalink

9. Build the wall - Windyfart.

10. Keep our money at home to rebuild America - Windyfart.

11. Stop our military intervention in ME and thrid-world countries - Flipped.

12. Put our tax money toward educating our younth - partial windfart.

The one thing I do applaud him for is succeeding in rattling the political/MSM/Deep Swamp cage. I give him credit for that much. MAGA.

343 Guilty Spark -> Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 12:02 Permalink

Looney I love you but you need to sit back and actually analyze the situation.

1. He extended an olive branch because of how crazy the divide was. She balked and he ramped up his rhetoric on investigating her.

2. WTF are you talking about?? He is pushing congress to investigate and push out publications on the corruption. He can't do shit on his own and expect people in the middle or left to believe it.

3. That is due to Britain putting out an arrest warrant. Has nothing to do with Trump.

4. The same Intel agencies you criticized in the past are giving him info. If they say Syria used chem weapons, he doesn't have any different information. With the info he had, he did the best option...gut the Airbase in question and not fully invade.

5. He got all the countries in question to up their spending, which was the biggest thing he gripped about.

6. I don't know anything about this point so I won't refute it.

7. That requires congress and a possible Constitutional Amendment. Give it time and we will see.

8. That requires congress and he has had a shit time with both Dems and RINOs. Give it time and we will see.

MoralsAreEssential -> Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 12:38 Permalink

People like you seem to think Trump can just wave a magic wand and POOF, fait accompli. Should he just declare himself Dictator, have a coup d'etat with the White Hat Military and we can go on from there? Do you have ANY idea the depth and breadth of the pollution and toxic information that if it was released at one time the created Zombie American public would literally implode and strike out at any and all, innocent or not? Trump has had to get himself into a powerful enough position to have a reason that the Zombies will accept even if they don't like it to rid himself of planted people NOT White Hats. Do you think he can just tell Goldman Sucks to F*** Off? What's wrong with you people? Look at what he's accomplished in one year AND HE HASN'T BEEN ASSASSINATED which in and of itself tells you how astute he is.

Bloodstock -> Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:11 Permalink

Mostly, I am disappointed in the war agenda and the continued kissing of Netanyaoo ass (although that was apparently going to happen throughout the campaign and election process.) With that said I do believe that getting his campaign promises all taken care of will be quite a chore and aren't going to happen in the short term. After 8 years of Obama, 8 years of Bush, I'm going to give Trump some more time before I try to fool some people that I've got a crystal ball. MAGA!

surf@jm -> Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:12 Permalink

I kinda agree, but I still thank god Hillary wasn`t elected......Don`t you?........

Plus no president in history has fulfilled 100% of promises......Besides not being practical, its probably impossible.....

Honest Sam -> Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:13 Permalink

You are a greedy son of a bitch. He did the single thing that forever saved us from another Clinton fiasco.

You either are a liar and did not vote for him, or you are an ignoramus about Presidential campaign promises, or you could be a DNC operative, attempting to infiltrate a friendly Trump website and sow seeds of discontent.

No matter what I still wake up every morning knowing that 61,000,000 of us destroyed 63,000,000 assholes' aspirations for corrupt criminal, turned Hollyweird ultra liberal predators in bowls of quivering jelly, and made Chris, Oliver, Colbert, Kimmel, most jews, nearly all of both coasts talking heads into blithering idiotic fools.

Count your blessing: No More Clintons!

brushhog -> Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:43 Permalink

1Gave you the biggest tax cut in history
2 Put an end to the TPP
3 Pulled us out of the NWO Paris climate accord
4 Rolled back regulations
5 Eliminated the obamacare mandate forcing you to buy communist insurance
6 Exposed more corruption in the intelligence, FBI, and DOJ than any other human being living or dead
7 Got rid of net neutrality

etc, etc, etc

The guy has made enormous progress toward his agenda within one year of taking office. What the hell do you want? You're no Trump voter, you lying SOS.

ProsperD9 -> Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:43 Permalink

You'd have to be VERY naive to think that Trump could just walk in and change everything. What do you think he has some magic button or something? He's in a very precarious situation and perhaps during his campaign he thought he would be able to easily make the changes that America so badly needs but the Deep State had another plans...and unfortunately, they have a lot of power. He has to play both-sides in order to ease his way into what needs to be done for the country and he's doing it. Think about it! North Korea and South Korea are starting to talk, he prevented WW3, he stopped the money that was flowing to the rebels in Syria, he hasn't changed his mind about NATO or the gun-free zones but what can he do now? You know Trump is actually not in charge of the military don't you? The military is a money machine and they don't want it to stop. Creating an enemy like Russia fits right into their hands. This goes for everything else you mentioned...as Trump is not entirely on the side of the Deep State they make it hard for him to do anything. You can't be so naive that you can't see the whole picture!

ReasonForLife -> Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:56 Permalink

Geez, the guy is 1 year in office and you've got sparks going off in your brain already?

Your impatience and lack of thinking depth is showing very strongly. One cannot come in and start slashing things with his sword, JFK tried that, they took him out. Now Trump wrote a little famous book called "The ART of the Deal", perhaps you may want to read it to understand how he works before you pass judgment. It takes great skill and TIME to be able to drain a swamp artfully.

Why don't you mention any of his great accomplishments he's made within first year as president you impatient fool?

chubbar -> Fishthatlived Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:22 Permalink

The hammer comes down with the IG report, wait for it. Sessions may be a bumbling old fool or he may be playing the long game here. Since Sessions is Trumps political appointee, the optics of him going after all of these assholes from the Obama administration before the general public is aware of the corruption would doom the clean up. We'd have months/years of the MSM screaming about political payback, etc. So these guys are just taking baby steps to out the corruption.

If the IG report is as damning as it is being touted as, even the MSM will be forced to cover it and Horowitz is not a Trump appointee, he will be considered above the fray. He has to be the guy on point. Then Sessions can act without it being seen as political. They (MSM, Deep state) can play that card, but it won't carry much weight and just further discredit the MSM.

The IG needs to lay it out so that the MSM can't spin it to look like a Trump operation to deflect attention from the Russia collusion story which just took a massive torpedo from the Mueller/Rosenstein indictment, which exonerated Trump.

The narrative is being laid out right now and Trump is helping it along with these tweets. When the truth finally comes out about this massive effort to overturn the election using the intelligence community, FBI, DOJ and State Dept, even the most libtarded Dem will be clamoring for heads to roll and this sedition/treason leads all the way through Clinton and into the White House. It's going to be epic!

[Feb 19, 2018] So "Russian interference" in our elections are some Facebook trolls?

Notable quotes:
"... Bottom line if Hillary was not such an abysmal candidate the Russians couldn't have affected anything. Any traction any narrative gained was a reflection of the dismal status of maybe the most corrupt candidate in American political history. ..."
"... This Russian gambit is to forestall prosecutions of Treason. Hillary was engaged in a Conspiracy to defraud a Federal election. Her campaign gave money to foreign nationals against the law. Conspiracy not collusion. From Brennan and Clapper and Comey in down you have obvious perjury. ..."
"... The Schiffs and the Warners have committed Treason by promulgating this patently false fairy tale to the detriment of the American people. ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

whosyerdaddy Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:47 Permalink

So "Russian interference" in our elections are some Facebook trolls? Are you freakin' kiddin' me? After 18 months of investigation not one shred of evidence has been presented. Has even one voting machine been hacked?

I seem to remember Nuland and McBraintumor on the barricades in the Ukraine.

These Russian trolls are exercising what used to be called Political speech. Good or bad I don't think you will be able to stop it.

Bottom line if Hillary was not such an abysmal candidate the Russians couldn't have affected anything. Any traction any narrative gained was a reflection of the dismal status of maybe the most corrupt candidate in American political history.

This Russian gambit is to forestall prosecutions of Treason. Hillary was engaged in a Conspiracy to defraud a Federal election. Her campaign gave money to foreign nationals against the law. Conspiracy not collusion. From Brennan and Clapper and Comey in down you have obvious perjury.

The Schiffs and the Warners have committed Treason by promulgating this patently false fairy tale to the detriment of the American people.

[Feb 19, 2018] Mueller's Investigation A Farce Files Joke Indictment Against Russian Trolls

Feb 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Disobedient Media

If one needed proof that Mueller's investigation was an utter farce, they were in for a treat this morning when the Deputy Attorney General announced the indictment of indicted 13 "Russian trolls," for allegedly interfering in the 2016 Presidential election by posting on social media accounts.

Laying Mueller's disregard of the First Amendment aside, the indictment is blatantly hypocritical in light of active social media intervention by pro-Clinton David Brock and his multi-million dollar efforts to 'Correct The Record.' Julian Assange tweeted on the matter:

The indictment alleges that: "Beginning in or around June 2014, the ORGANIZATION obscured its conduct by operating through a number of Russian entities, including Internet Research LLC, MediaSintez LLC, GlavSet LLC, MixInfo LLC, Azimut LLC, and NovInfo LLC."

The indictment further alleges that: "The ORGANIZATION sought, in part, to conduct what it called information warfare against the United States of America through fictitious U.S. personas on social media platforms and other Internet-based media."

According to the indictment, the co-conspirators "engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump."

The indictment represents the latest mutation of Russian interference allegations that have dragged on for over a year. As this author previously noted , the definition of Russian interference has shifted from unsubstantiated claims of Russian hacking, to Russian collusion, and finally to Russian social media trolling. Wikileaks tweeted on the subject:

The Washington Post reported in 2015 that David Brock's Correct The Record would work directly with the Clinton Campaign, "testing the legal limits" of campaign finance in the process. How did Correct The Record skirt campaign finance law? The Washington Post tells us: "by relying on a 2006 Federal Election Commission regulation that declared that content posted online for free, such as blogs, is off-limits from regulation." And post online, Brock's PAC did: "disseminating information about Clinton on its Web site and through its Facebook and Twitter accounts, officials said."

Time reported the opinion of a lawyer at the Campaign Legal Center who characterized Correct The Record as: "creating new ways to undermine campaign regulation." Meanwhile, The New York Times detailed the "outrage machine" that Brock and fellow Clinton supporter Peter Daou had created:

"Peter Daou sat with his team at a long wooden table last week, pushing the buttons that activate Mrs. Clinton's outrage machine. Mr. Daou's operation, called Shareblue , had published the article on Mr. Trump's comment on its website and created the accompanying hashtag. "They will put that pressure right on the media outlets in a very intense way," Mr. Daou, the chief executive of Shareblue, said of the Twitter army he had galvanized. "By the thousands."

Going further, the New York Times details fervently the $2 million budget of Daou's Shareblue and admits that the intent of the entire operation is interference in the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election in favor of Hillary Clinton: "Beyond creating a boisterous echo chamber, the real metric of success for Shareblue, which Mr. Brock said has a budget of $2 million supplied by his political donors, is getting Mrs. Clinton elected. Mr. Daou's role is deploying a band of committed, outraged followers to harangue Mrs. Clinton's opponents."

The New York Daily News put the matter most bluntly: "Hillary Clinton camp now paying online trolls to attack anyone who disparages her online." The LA Times described the active election interference: "It is meant to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical."

Despite the millions of dollars poured into a pro-Clinton 'outrage machine' bent on her support, Clinton inexplicably lost the election to Donald Trump, a fact which still seems not to have sunk in for the former First Lady and Secretary of State.

But why bring up this apparently old news, in the face of Mueller's latest mockery of the American judicial process and the First Amendment? Because it reveals in the words of the legacy press that by definition Mueller's circus has zero interest in campaign or election integrity and is solely interested in getting scalps for Clinton and for the unelected powers she represented.

Despite obvious hypocrisy given the actions of Shareblue and David Brock's Correct The Record, corporate media ignored all double standards and attempted to report on "Russian twitter trolling" with a straight face. Business Insider wrote: "Russian Twitter Trolls Tried To Bury Or Spin Negative Trump News Just Before Election," as if that wasn't what Correct The Record spent millions on doing for the benefit of Clinton.

The double standards applied to Clinton for her benefit goes beyond hypocrisy. Many have claimed that constantly metamorphosing allegations of Russian interference represents an insidious effort to silence dissent and anti-establishment political discourse: for example, by turning third-party, anti-establishment or conservative voices into "Russians" by proxy of their opposition to Clinton.

By converting legitimate American free speech into insidious "Russian bots," a pretext is created to silence dissent across the board. Without the Russian interference circus, the efforts to breach the First Amendment would be overtly authoritarian and would be inexcusable even by the most corrupt establishment media standards.

The results of such a clamp-down on free and effective speech have manifested in censorship crackdowns across large social media platforms including Twitter , Youtube, and Facebook , with Twitter admitting to actively censoring roughly 48% of tweets that included the "#DNCEmails" hashtag. It seems anyone with an opinion the establishment doesn't like is liable to be memory-holed.

This article was co-authored with Kenneth Whittle


Boscovius Fri, 02/16/2018 - 19:29 Permalink

These indictments are the worthless filler in your nothingburger. Mueller is covering his ass. That is all.

CuttingEdge -> are we there yet Sat, 02/17/2018 - 03:15 Permalink

Can we have a virtual standing ovation for our very own Boris avoiding Mueller's attentions (thus far)?

CuttingEdge -> CuttingEdge Sat, 02/17/2018 - 03:25 Permalink

This:

"The ORGANIZATION sought, in part, to conduct what it called information warfare against the United States of America through fictitious U.S. personas on social media platforms and other Internet-based media."

What in the statement hasn't been going on since the internet came into existence? The social internet was founded on bullshit personas. When you can open a Faecesbook account, and become an internet sensation as a fucking dog, what about the above doesn't look patently ridiculous?

These twats are living in La La Land, and its getting beyond disturbing.

nmewn -> Kayman Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:46 Permalink

And another thing, from what I understand Grand Inquisitor Mueller indicted these 13 Russian internet trolls for being "foreign agents" trying to affect the outcome of the 2016 election.

So when is he going to indict Christopher Steele for being an actual bonafide foreign agent trying to affect the outcome of the 2016 election? ;-)

DPLETTENBERG -> nmewn Sat, 02/17/2018 - 18:53 Permalink

Mueller has to know that none of these people will respond to his indictment, so why indict them them at all?

The only possible reason is to make it look like he is doing something as he knows no one in the MSM will question his actions

nmewn -> DPLETTENBERG Sat, 02/17/2018 - 20:26 Permalink

He knows.

None of them will be hopping on a plane to come here and I doubt very seriously that Vlad will play along with this kind of stupidity...although it would be a fun trial to have...lol.

Defense counsel opening statement: "My clients have voluntarily come here to America to assert their universal free speech rights in much the same way that Hillary crony David Brocks "Correct the Record" paid internet troll army from India did and we look forward to exposing all of Hillary's and Obama's astroturfing paid bots in this venue.

Grand Inquisitor Mueller: "Ahem. Your honor, may we approach the bench?"

And the rest as they say, would be jurisprudence history.

It was nothing but a contrived media ploy by Mueller to say he had found...RUSSIANS!...(insert audible gasp here) "somewhere" and surprisingly enough, he found them, in of all places, Russia...lol.

Its stupid to the tenth power...he's losing. Badly ;-)

Dame Ednas Possum -> nmewn Sun, 02/18/2018 - 05:44 Permalink

How about Israeli Zionist interference?

The Voldermort that cannot be mentioned.

nmewn -> Dame Ednas Possum Sun, 02/18/2018 - 08:25 Permalink

Well, I don't run my life trying to keep up with the comings & goings of Jews and what they may want or don't want but...

Weinstein raised money for Hillary. This crooked as a dogs hind leg Weissmann is Muellers lead attack dog and Rosenstein appointed Mueller.

On the other hand, Trumps son-in-law is Jewish so really to me this is more about left vs right...statists vs individuals.

Now I'm sure someone more consumed with "Just what the hell are (((they))) up to today?!" (lol) can pick my statement apart and call me a rabbi or hasbra troll or any other damned thing they want but I just don't live in that Catholic vs Protestant vs Black vs White vs Aryan vs Slav etc Balkanized world.

Not to the degree they do anyways.

It's clear to me a gross miscarriage of justice is happening (and has been happening) and those are just the facts, regardless of any skulking Israeli or Russian supermen others may see hiding behind every blade of grass who seem to "control everything" because clearly they do not or we wouldn't be having this conversation ;-)

[Feb 19, 2018] With the almost non stop Russian bashing in the US one has to wonder if something else is at play here. Like priming the US psych to cheer on an inevitable war with Russia.

More like attempt to unite the nation which crumbles die to crisis of neoliberalism and decimation of neoliberal ideology. And resore even on false pretext trust for neoliberal ruling elite that is sitting in Congress and major government institutions.
As well as swipe Hillary political fiasco under the rug and prevent loss of power by Clinton wing of Democratic Party.
Feb 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

not dead vet Fri, 02/16/2018 - 23:43 Permalink

With the almost non stop Russian bashing in the US one has to wonder if something else is at play here. Like priming the US psych to cheer on an inevitable war with Russia. If one digs into the revelations it's obvious they are bunk, unless your reading Wapo, New York Times, Time, and other neocon mouthpieces which are full of fiction not facts, but America is a soundbite nation. We stop reading after the headline and the way stories are structured that do have some truth in them never get read.

No matter what the US has done to crash the Russian economy Putin has strengthened it and is working hard to make it impervious to outside forces.

Unlike the US where the government and the CEO's can't destroy it fast enough while filling their wallets. The more successful Putin is, especially on foreign policy, the more desperate and dangerous the neocons will become. Remember they have nice luxurious bunkers to wait out the inevitable while you die a slow death.

[Feb 19, 2018] America Is Descending Into a Dangerous Psychosis by James Howard Kunstler

Notable quotes:
"... The author is a prominent American social critic, blogger, and podcaster , and we carry his articles regularly on RI . His writing on Russia-gate has been highly entertaining. ..."
"... He is one of the better-known thinkers The New Yorker has dubbed 'The Dystopians' in an excellent 2009 profile , along with the brilliant Dmitry Orlov, another regular contributor to RI (archive) . These theorists believe that modern society is headed for a jarring and painful crack-up. ..."
"... You can find his popular fiction and novels on this subject, here . To get a sense of how entertaining he is, watch this 2004 TED talk about the cruel misery of American urban design - it is one of the most-viewed on TED. ..."
"... If you like his work, please consider supporting him on Patreon . ..."
"... Why Does Trump Ignore Top Officials' Warnings on Russia? , ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Sport's Illustrated ..."
"... Actually the Times's editorial seems to have CIA / NSA fingerprints all over it, or at least Deep State paw prints. By stating that the Russians are already "meddling" in 2018 elections that haven't happened yet, aren't our own security agencies setting up the public to lose faith in the electoral process and fight over election results? Oh, by the way, the Times ..."
"... The longer this fantasy about Russia continues from the Left side of the political transect, the deeper the nation sinks into a dangerous collective psychosis. After all this time, the only known instances of American political figures "colluding" with Russians involve the shenanigans between the DNC, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and US intel services including the FBI and CIA, in paying for the "Steele Dossier" and the activities of the Fusion GPS company that claimed Russia hacked Hillary's and John Podesta's email. ..."
"... There is now a ton of evidence about all this monkey business, and no sign (yet) that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller may be taking a good hard look at it, not to mention the professional misconduct of a half dozen senior FBI, NSA, and CIA officials, especially former CIA chief John Brennan, who has now morphed into a CNN "analyst," taking an active role in what amounts to a psy-ops campaign to shove the public toward war. ..."
"... We are already choking this polity to death by endlessly litigating the past, insuring that the country doesn't have the time or the fortitude to deal with much more important quandaries of the present -- especially a financial system that is speeding into the most colossal train wreck in history. That will de-rail Mr. Trump soon enough, and then all the rest of us will have enough to do to keep our lives together or to refashion them in some that will work in a very different economy. ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | russia-insider.com
The author is a prominent American social critic, blogger, and podcaster , and we carry his articles regularly on RI . His writing on Russia-gate has been highly entertaining.

He is one of the better-known thinkers The New Yorker has dubbed 'The Dystopians' in an excellent 2009 profile , along with the brilliant Dmitry Orlov, another regular contributor to RI (archive) . These theorists believe that modern society is headed for a jarring and painful crack-up.

You can find his popular fiction and novels on this subject, here . To get a sense of how entertaining he is, watch this 2004 TED talk about the cruel misery of American urban design - it is one of the most-viewed on TED.

If you like his work, please consider supporting him on Patreon .

Forget about sharks. In their Valentine's Day editorial: Why Does Trump Ignore Top Officials' Warnings on Russia? , The New York Times jumped several blue whales (all the ones left on earth), a cruise ship, a subtropical archipelago, a giant vortex of plastic bottles, and the Sport's Illustrated swimsuit shoot. The lede said:

The phalanx of intelligence chiefs who testified on Capitol Hill delivered a chilling message: Not only did Russia interfere in the 2016 election, it is already meddling in the 2018 election by using a digital strategy to exacerbate the country's political and social divisions.

Hmmm . After almost two years of relentless public paranoia about Russia and US elections, don't you suppose these Ruskie gremlins would find some other way to make mischief in our world -- maybe meddle in the NHL playoffs, or hack WalMart's bookkeeping department, or covertly switch out the real Dwayne Johnson with a robot? I kind of completely and absolutely doubt that they'll bother with our elections.

Actually the Times's editorial seems to have CIA / NSA fingerprints all over it, or at least Deep State paw prints. By stating that the Russians are already "meddling" in 2018 elections that haven't happened yet, aren't our own security agencies setting up the public to lose faith in the electoral process and fight over election results? Oh, by the way, the Times presented no evidence whatsoever that this alleged "meddling" is taking place. They just assert it, as if it were already adjudicated.

But then they take it another step, making the case that because Mr. Trump does not go along with the Russian Meddling story, he is obstructing efforts to prevent Russian interference in the elections that haven't happened yet, and is therefore by implication guilty of treason. A fine piece of casuistry.

The longer this fantasy about Russia continues from the Left side of the political transect, the deeper the nation sinks into a dangerous collective psychosis. After all this time, the only known instances of American political figures "colluding" with Russians involve the shenanigans between the DNC, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and US intel services including the FBI and CIA, in paying for the "Steele Dossier" and the activities of the Fusion GPS company that claimed Russia hacked Hillary's and John Podesta's email.

There is now a ton of evidence about all this monkey business, and no sign (yet) that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller may be taking a good hard look at it, not to mention the professional misconduct of a half dozen senior FBI, NSA, and CIA officials, especially former CIA chief John Brennan, who has now morphed into a CNN "analyst," taking an active role in what amounts to a psy-ops campaign to shove the public toward war.

The "resistance" may think it is getting some mileage out of this interminable narrative, but its arrant inconsistencies only undermine faith in all our political institutions, and that is really playing with fire.

We are already choking this polity to death by endlessly litigating the past, insuring that the country doesn't have the time or the fortitude to deal with much more important quandaries of the present -- especially a financial system that is speeding into the most colossal train wreck in history. That will de-rail Mr. Trump soon enough, and then all the rest of us will have enough to do to keep our lives together or to refashion them in some that will work in a very different economy.

... ... ...

[Feb 19, 2018] Russian Meddling Was a Drop in an Ocean of American-made Discord by AMANDA TAUB and MAX FISHER

Highly recommended!
Very weak analysis The authors completely missed the point. Susceptibility to rumors (now called "fake new" which more correctly should be called "improvised news") and high level of distrust to "official MSM" (of which popularity of alternative news site is only tip of the iceberg) is a sign of the crisis and tearing down of the the social fabric that hold the so social groups together. This first of all demonstrated with the de-legitimization of the neoliberal elite.
As such attempt to patch this discord and unite the US society of fake premises of Russiagate and anti-Russian hysteria look very problematic. The effect might be quite opposite as the story with Steele dossier, which really undermined credibility of Justice Department and destroyed the credibility o FBI can teach us.
In this case claims that "The claim that, for example, Mrs. Clinton's victory might aid Satan " are just s a sign of rejection of neoliberalism by voters. Nothing more nothing less.
Notable quotes:
"... It has infected the American political system, weakening the body politic and leaving it vulnerable to manipulation. Russian misinformation seems to have exacerbated the symptoms, but laced throughout the indictment are reminders that the underlying disease, arguably far more damaging, is all American-made. ..."
"... A recent study found that the people most likely to consume fake news were already hyperpartisan and close followers of politics, and that false stories were only a small fraction of their media consumption. ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

That these efforts might have actually made a difference, or at least were intended to, highlights a force that was already destabilizing American democracy far more than any Russian-made fake news post: partisan polarization.

"Partisanship can even alter memory, implicit evaluation, and even perceptual judgment," the political scientists Jay J. Van Bavel and Andrea Pereira wrote in a recent paper . "The human attraction to fake and untrustworthy news" -- a danger cited by political scientists far more frequently than orchestrated meddling -- "poses a serious problem for healthy democratic functioning."

It has infected the American political system, weakening the body politic and leaving it vulnerable to manipulation. Russian misinformation seems to have exacerbated the symptoms, but laced throughout the indictment are reminders that the underlying disease, arguably far more damaging, is all American-made.

... ... ...

A recent study found that the people most likely to consume fake news were already hyperpartisan and close followers of politics, and that false stories were only a small fraction of their media consumption.

Americans, it said, sought out stories that reflected their already-formed partisan view of reality. This suggests that these Russians efforts are indicators -- not drivers -- of how widely Americans had polarized.

That distinction matters for how the indictment is read: Though Americans have seen it as highlighting a foreign threat, it also illustrates the perhaps graver threats from within.

An Especially Toxic Form of Partisanship

... ... ...

"Compromise is the core of democracy," she said. "It's the only way we can govern." But, she said, "when you make people feel threatened, nobody compromises with evil."

The claim that, for example, Mrs. Clinton's victory might aid Satan is in many ways just a faint echo of the partisan anger and fear already dominating American politics.

Those emotions undermine a key norm that all sides are served by honoring democratic processes; instead, they justify, or even seem to mandate, extreme steps against the other side.

Advertisement Continue reading the main story

In taking this approach, the Russians were merely riding a trend that has been building for decades. Since the 1980s , surveys have found that Republicans and Democrats' feelings toward the opposing party have been growing more and more negative. Voters are animated more by distrust of the other side than support for their own.

This highlights a problem that Lilliana Mason, a University of Maryland political scientist, said had left American democracy dangerously vulnerable. But it's a problem driven primarily by American politicians and media outlets, which have far louder megaphones than any Russian-made Facebook posts.

"Compromise is the core of democracy," she said. "It's the only way we can govern." But, she said, "when you make people feel threatened, nobody compromises with evil."

The claim that, for example, Mrs. Clinton's victory might aid Satan is in many ways just a faint echo of the partisan anger and fear already dominating American politics.

Those emotions undermine a key norm that all sides are served by honoring democratic processes; instead, they justify, or even seem to mandate, extreme steps against the other side.

[Feb 19, 2018] Trump says FBI missed Florida shooter 'signals' spending 'too much time trying to prove Russian collusion'

Feb 19, 2018 | www.legitgov.org
Trump says FBI missed Florida shooter 'signals' spending 'too much time trying to prove Russian collusion' | 17 Feb 2018 | President Trump late Saturday suggested the FBI could have stopped the shooter who killed 17 people and injured 14 others at a High School this week if they spent less time working on the Russia investigation.

"Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign - there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!" Trump tweeted.

His comment comes after the FBI said Friday that it had failed to follow "protocols" when it received a tip earlier this year about 19-year old Nikolas Cruz, the alleged shooter who went on a rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla on Wednesday.

[Feb 19, 2018] 'Absurd' meddling claims indictment of Russians show new US policy

Russia is a perfect scapegoat which ensure lucrative levels of funding for both intelligence agencies and MIC. "Though this be madness, yet there is method in't"
Notable quotes:
"... "Turns out, there've been 13 people, in the opinion of the US Justice Department. 13 people interfered in the US elections? 13 against billions budgets of special agencies? Against intelligence and counterespionage, against the newest technologies? Absurd? – Yes." ..."
"... The indictment, however, is the "modern American political reality," Zakharova added, jokingly suggesting that the number 13 was picked due to its negative associations. ..."
"... "The Americans are very emotional people, they see what they want to see. I have great respect for them. I am not at all upset that I am on this list. If they want to see the devil, let them," ..."
"... "supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump...and disparaging Hillary Clinton." ..."
"... "no allegations" ..."
"... On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that supporting Donald Trump has never been an official Russian policy, even if some Russians did express their backing of the new US leader. ..."
"... "It's a pity that under Donald Trump, for more than a year of his presidency, our relations have not improved compared to the period of the Democratic administration. Even worsened to a certain extent," ..."
"... "meddling saga," ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | www.rt.com
Mueller indicts 13 Russians

"Turns out, there've been 13 people, in the opinion of the US Justice Department. 13 people interfered in the US elections? 13 against billions budgets of special agencies? Against intelligence and counterespionage, against the newest technologies? Absurd? – Yes." Zakharova said in a Facebook post .

The indictment, however, is the "modern American political reality," Zakharova added, jokingly suggesting that the number 13 was picked due to its negative associations.

One of the indicted, Russian businessman Evgeny Prigozhin, said he was not really upset by the accusations.

Read more The US Department of Justice, Washington DC. © Bjoertvedt US indicts 13 Russians for 2016 election meddling, but 'no allegations' they influenced outcome

"The Americans are very emotional people, they see what they want to see. I have great respect for them. I am not at all upset that I am on this list. If they want to see the devil, let them," Prigozhin told RIA Novosti.

The entities and individuals were indicted by a US federal grand jury on Friday of "supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump...and disparaging Hillary Clinton."

However, there are "no allegations" that the suspected activities of the Russian nationals somehow affected the polls, according to the US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that supporting Donald Trump has never been an official Russian policy, even if some Russians did express their backing of the new US leader.

The Minister has expressed his discontent with the apparently continuing nosedive in the US-Russia relations. "It's a pity that under Donald Trump, for more than a year of his presidency, our relations have not improved compared to the period of the Democratic administration. Even worsened to a certain extent," Lavrov told Euronews.

The indictment of 13 Russians is the latest twist in the "meddling saga," which has persisted in the US politics and media for over a year. The illicit activities attributed to Russia include, but are not limited to, "hacking" into Democratic National Committee (DNC) computers during the 2016 elections campaign, maliciously leaking emails filled with unsavory revelations, meddling through media coverage and fake social media accounts. However, no solid evidence to back the numerous allegations has been presented yet.

[Feb 18, 2018] Western Chauvinism Against Russia Gone Berserk OpEd Eurasia Review

Notable quotes:
"... The whistle-blowers are holding their breath. The Russians and clean athletes are, too ..."
"... Substitute 'Russians' for some other group in such a negatively applied way and see the selective outrage. No NYT journo would write a bigoted comparison that differentiates between law abiding citizens and African-Americans, followed by a utilization of crime statistics as 'proof' for such a presented contrast ..."
"... *Michael Averko is a New York based independent foreign policy analyst and media critic. A closely related version of this article was initially placed at the Strategic Culture Foundation's website on February 8. ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | www.eurasiareview.com

For you non-sports minded Russia watchers, the ethically flawed antics of the IOC (International Olympic Committee), WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) and Western mass media at large, highlight a predominating anti-Russian bias that have a definite bigoted aspect. Having personally penned the title of this essay, let me say that the February 1 CAS (Court of Arbitration for Sport) decision favoring Russian athletes, is proof positive that not everyone in the West is motivated (subconsciously or otherwise) by anti-Russian sentiment.

Upon announcing its decision to ban Russia from the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics (with some Russian athletes competing under the Olympic flag and "Olympic Athlete from Russia" designation), the IOC indicated that the WADA propped McLaren report's claim of a Russian state-sponsored Olympic and Paralympic doping campaign hasn't been proven. Yet, this fact hasn't stopped the BBC and New York Times from falsely stating that the IOC decision is based on a primary Russian government culpability. Without definitively making the case in the open, the IOC said that there were testing irregularities at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, that favored some Russian athletes.

The February 1 CAS decision took into consideration that a good number of the IOC banned Russian athletes have been extensively tested inside and outside of Russia over a lengthy period of time, without ever being found guilty of a drug infraction. In addition, the CAS (on the known facts) reasonably concluded that the claimed 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic testing irregularities haven't been firmly concluded. Even if these irregularities occurred (something that remains unclear on account of the claim not being fully presented in the open), one then practically wonders whether it was with the knowledge of any or all of the effected Russian athletes and if their actual test results were indeed positive? Meantime, the prior and post 2014 Winter Olympic Olympic drug tests of a good number of these athletes reveal innocence.

In reply to these particulars, I've heard some Western chauvinist spin, saying that the CAS cleared Russians athletes aren't necessarily innocent, on account that they still could've cheated without getting caught. That very same logic applies to non-Russian athletes who might very well have succeeded in finding a way around the process.

The CAS found 11 Russian Olympians to have been previously found guilty of a drug infraction, that warranted a ban from Pyeongchang, as opposed to the hypocritically flawed IOC decision to implement a lifetime ban against them. The hypocrisy concerns the number of non-Russian athletes found guilty of doping, who didn't receive lifetime bans.

On the matter of gross anti-Russian hypocrisy, note famed US Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps' 2009 admission of smoking pot. Phelps wasn't banned from Olympic competition for that action. On the other hand, the IOC feels that it's appropriate to ban the Russian 1500 meter speed skating world record holder Denis Yuskov from the upcoming Winter Olympics, for a prior marijuana smoking episode in 2008. The unfairness of that move has been noted by some earnest folks in the West. Another of several repugnant anti-Russian IOC acts, concerns the banning of Russian short track speed skater Viktor Ahn.

As I've previously noted, Richard McLaren's claim that 1000 Russian athletes benefitted from a Russian government involved illicit regimen of cheating, would likely mean that ALL of the Russian athletes in question, would be shown beyond a reasonable doubt to have taken such a course. This hasn't been proven at all, with a note that the combined Russian Summer and Winter Olympic and Paralympic participating athletes is (if I'm not mistaken)under 1000.

On the US based National Public Radio, I heard the WADA connected American legal sports politico Travis Tygart (in rather self serving fashion) suggest his objectivity, by noting how he went after the legendary American cyclist Lance Armstrong. This is sheer BS, as Tygart never advocated banning all American cyclists and-or all US athletes from major competition. In comparison, Tygart (along with Canadian sports legal politico Dick Pound and some other pious blowhards) have favored a collective ban on all Russian athletes.

The likes of Tygart have a committed track record of extreme bias against Russia. In contrast, the IOC President Thomas Bach, comes across as a wishy washy sort, not fit to serve his position. It's a high point of chutzpah for Bach to second guess the CAS ruling on Russia, by saying that the CAS needs to be revamped. Bach and his fellow IOC cronies have belittled the CAS decision, with the announcement that none of the cleared Russian athletes will be invited to the upcoming Winter Olympics. Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko befittingly said that the IOC and WADA are in need of restructuring.

At the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, Bach took the position that the individual sports federations should decide on whether to restrict Russian partition. With rare exception, most of these IOC affiliated sports bodies decided (based on facts) that Russia shouldn't be penalized at that Olympiad. This time around, Bach has leaned towards the "pressure", as constantly rehashed by leading Western mass media outlets "to do something" against Russia.

A February 2 RT article , provides a healthy offset to the overall biased Western mass media reporting on the subject of Russian sports doping. The former details numerous reasons for not believing much of the negative allegations against Russian Olympians. Among the particulars, is the faulty notion that Russian athletes live and train under the same state manipulated structure. In actuality, a good number of them train outside Russia, with non-Russian coaches. Touching on this last point, The Washington Post's Sally Jenkins had an August 10, 2016 article , that showed how Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova, had taken performance enhancing drugs on her own, while training in the US, as opposed to some Russian state-sponsored method. (On the subject of Russian sports doping, Jenkins' aforementioned piece is an exception to the generally biased trend in Western mass media.)

It's matter of established record that Italy has the most Olympic sports dopers, despite having a smaller number of competing athletes when compared to Russia. Per capita, India, Turkey and Iran have higher rates of such doping infractions than Russia, with South Africa and Belgium having about the same percentage of positive doping as Russia. The December 24, 2017 Worlds Apart show , suggests that a disproportionate number of Western athletes have been given exemptions for drugs having a performance enhancing capability. (That RT show had earlier featured Dick Pound , which I followed up on .)

Moments before the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic opening ceremony, CAS came out with another decision on Russian athletes, which contradicts its February 1 ruling. Bigotry has been given a boost over the idea of judging people as individuals. To quote The New York Times' Juliet Macur: " The whistle-blowers are holding their breath. The Russians and clean athletes are, too ."

As I noted : " Substitute 'Russians' for some other group in such a negatively applied way and see the selective outrage. No NYT journo would write a bigoted comparison that differentiates between law abiding citizens and African-Americans, followed by a utilization of crime statistics as 'proof' for such a presented contrast ."

Along with numerous other Western mass media journalists, some of Macur's other commentary have a noticeable anti-Russian bias. I wonder if she learned that slant from her father , who she wrote about?

*Michael Averko is a New York based independent foreign policy analyst and media critic. A closely related version of this article was initially placed at the Strategic Culture Foundation's website on February 8.

[Feb 18, 2018] The FSB breaks up Russia's most notorious hacker group - Russia Beyond

Notable quotes:
"... Through the Looking Glass, ..."
"... Mikhailov tracked down Anonymous International at the beginning of 2016 and decided to take it under his control, as well as make some money from blackmail along the way. According to Life News , there is another theory - that Mikhailov had been managing the Shaltai-Boltai business from the start. ..."
"... Whatever the truth, Mikhailov and Dokuchayev have now been charged with treason. Anikeyev and Stoyanov will be prosecuted under a different charge - "unauthorized access to computer information." According to Rosbalt , the treason charges against Mikhailov and Dokuchayev are to do with Anonymous International's involvement in leaking to Ukraine the private correspondence of presidential aide Vladislav Surkov. ..."
"... Shaltai-Boltai's website has not been updated since Nov. 26 and its Twitter account since Dec. 12. The group's remaining members, who are believed to live in Thailand and the Baltic States, have been put on an FSB wanted list. ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | www.rbth.com

The alleged leader of the Anonymous International hacker group, also known as Shaltai-Boltai, has been arrested along with important officials in the security services who collaborated with the group. For several years Shaltai-Boltai terrorized state officials, businessmen and media figures by hacking their emails and telephones, and threatening to post their private information online unless blackmail payments were made. "The price tag for our work starts at several tens of thousands of dollars, and I am not going to talk about the upper limit," said a man who calls himself Lewis during an interview with the news website, Meduza , in January 2015.

Lewis, whose name pays hommage to the author Lewis Carroll, is the leader of Anonymous International, the hacker group specializing in hacking the accounts of officials and businessmen. Another name for Anonymous International is Shaltai-Boltai, Russian for "Humpty-Dumpty."

Several years ago Lewis and his colleagues prospered thanks to extortion. They offered their victims the chance to pay a handsome price to buy back their personal information that had been stolen. Otherwise their information would be sold to third persons and even posted online. In the end, Russian law-enforcement tracked down Lewis, and in November he was arrested and now awaits trial . His real name is Vladimir Anikeyev.

Shaltai-Boltai's founding father

"One's own success is good but other people's failure is not bad either," said the profile quote on Vladimir Anikeyev's page on VKontakte , Russia's most popular social network.

Vladimir Anikeyev / Photo: anikeevv/vk.com Vladimir Anikeyev / Photo: anikeevv/vk.com

Rosbalt news website said that in the 1990s Lewis worked as a journalist in St. Petersburg and specialized in collecting information through various methods, including dubious ones. "He could go for a drink with someone or have an affair with someone's secretary or bribe people," Rosbalt's source said.

In the 2000s Anikeyev switched to collecting kompromat (compromising material). Using his connections, he would find the personal email addresses of officials and entrepreneurs and break into them using hackers in St. Petersburg, and then blackmail the victims. They had to pay to prevent their personal information from ending up on the Internet.

Fake Wi-Fi

Rosbalt said that when Anikeyev's business reached national levels, he started using new techniques. For example, Anikeyev would go to restaurants and cafes popular among officials, and with the help of sophisticated equipment he created fake Wi-Fi and mobile phone connections.

Unsuspecting officials would connect to the network through the channel created by the hacker and he would have access to the information on their devices.

In the beginning Anikeyev was personally involved in the theft of information but later he created a network of agents.

The business grew quickly; enormous amounts of information were at Anikeyev's disposal that had to be sorted and selected for suitability as material for blackmail. In the end, according to Rosbalt, Anonymous International arose as a handy tool for downloading the obtained information.

Trying to change the world

The second name of the group refers to the works of Lewis Carroll, according to Shaltai-Boltai members. The crazy world of Through the Looking Glass, with its inverted logic, is the most apt metaphor for Russian political life. Apart from Lewis Anikeyev, the team has several other members: Alice; Shaltai, Boltai (these two acted as press secretaries, and as a result of a mix-up, the media started calling the whole project, Shaltai-Boltai); and several others, including "technicians," or specialist hackers.

The Anonymous International website was opened in 2013 and content stolen from the phones and emails of Russian politicians immediately started appearing on it. According to Life News , only the correspondence of the public officials and businessmen who refused to pay was published. At the same time members of Shaltai-Boltai positioned themselves as people with an active civil stance.

"We can be called campaigners. We are trying to change the world. To change it for the better," Shaltai told the Apparat website. In interviews members of the group repeatedly complained about Russian officials who restricted Internet freedom, the country's foreign policy and barriers to participation in elections.

Hacker exploits

Shaltai-Boltai's most notorious hack was of an explicitly political nature and not about making money. It hacked Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev's Twitter account. On Aug. 14, 2014 tweets were posted on the account saying that Medvedev was resigning because he was ashamed of the government's actions. The `prime minister' also had time to write that Putin was wrong, that the government had problems with common sense, and that the authorities were taking the country back to the past.

The scourge of banks and politicians: 4 famous Russian hackers The scourge of banks and politicians: 4 famous Russian hackers

On the same day Anonymous International posted part of the prime minister's stolen archive, admitting that, "there is nothing particularly interesting in it."

"The posted material was provided by a certain highly-placed reptilian of our acquaintance," the hackers joked .

Medvedev is far from being Shaltai-Boltai's only victim. The hackers published the private correspondence of officials in the presidential administration: Yevgeny Prigozhin, a businessman close to Vladimir Putin; Aram Gabrelyanov, head of the pro-Kremlin News Media holding company; and of Igor Strelkov, one of the leaders of the uprising in east Ukraine. Lewis, however, insisted that only material that had failed to sell ended up on the Internet.

Law-enforcement links

Anikeyev was detained in November, and the following month Sergei Mikhailov, head of the 2nd operations directorate of the FSB Information Security Center, was also arrested. According to Kommersant , Mikhailov was a major figure in the security services who, "was essentially overseeing the country's entire internet business."

Mikhailov's aide, FSB Major Dmitry Dokuchayev, and a former hacker known as Forb, was also arrested. Shortly after, Ruslan Stoyanov, head of the department for investigating cybercrime at the antivirus software company Kaspersky Lab, was also detained. Stoyanov also worked closely with the secret services.

According to Rosbalt , Anikeyev revealed information about the FSB officers and the Kaspersky Lab computer expert and their close involvement with Shaltai-Boltai.

Mikhailov tracked down Anonymous International at the beginning of 2016 and decided to take it under his control, as well as make some money from blackmail along the way. According to Life News , there is another theory - that Mikhailov had been managing the Shaltai-Boltai business from the start.

Shaltai-Boltai had a big fall

Whatever the truth, Mikhailov and Dokuchayev have now been charged with treason. Anikeyev and Stoyanov will be prosecuted under a different charge - "unauthorized access to computer information." According to Rosbalt , the treason charges against Mikhailov and Dokuchayev are to do with Anonymous International's involvement in leaking to Ukraine the private correspondence of presidential aide Vladislav Surkov.

Shaltai-Boltai's website has not been updated since Nov. 26 and its Twitter account since Dec. 12. The group's remaining members, who are believed to live in Thailand and the Baltic States, have been put on an FSB wanted list.

Anyway, Shaltai-Boltai anticipated this outcome. "What awaits us if we are uncovered? Criminal charges and most likely a prison sentence. Each member of the team is aware of the risks," they said dispassionately in the interview with Apparat in 2015.

[Feb 18, 2018] What the Arrest of the Russian Intel top Cyber-Crime Expert Has to Do With American elections -- The Bell

Feb 18, 2018 | thebell.io

Sergei Mikhailov was arrested one year ago, on Dec. 5, 2016. Officers of the agency's internal security division seized him at his office and led him away with a sack over his head. Mikhailov is a black belt in karate and the officers feared that he might resist, explained one of the colonel's acquaintances.

Prior to his arrest, Mikhailov was head of the 2nd Directorate of the FSB's Information Security Center (TsIB) and within Russian intelligence circles he was considered the main authority on cybercrime.

Now he and three other men -- Dmitry Dokuchayev , an FSB major and former criminal hacker, accused in the U.S. of hacking 500 million Yahoo! accounts in 2014; Ruslan Stoyanov , a former Kaspersky Lab employee; and Georgy Fomchenkov , a little-known internet entrepreneur -- are suspected of state treason. The four are being held in Moscow's high-security Lefortovo Prison

[Feb 18, 2018] Moscow Court Sentences 'Shaltai-Boltai' Hackers To Prison

Notable quotes:
"... A Moscow court has sentenced two Russian hackers to three years in prison each for breaking into the e-mail accounts of top Russian officials and leaking them. ..."
"... The 2016 arrests of the Shaltai-Boltai hackers became known only after Russian media reported that two officials of the Federal Security Service's cybercrime unit had been arrested on treason charges. ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | www.rferl.org

A Moscow court has sentenced two Russian hackers to three years in prison each for breaking into the e-mail accounts of top Russian officials and leaking them.

Konstantin Teplyakov and Aleksandr Filinov were members of the Shaltai-Boltai (Humpty Dumpty in Russian) collective believed to be behind the hacking of high-profile accounts, including the Twitter account of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

The two were found guilty of illegally accessing computer data in collusion with a criminal group.

Earlier in July, Shaltai-Boltai leader Vladimir Anikeyev was handed a two-year sentence after striking a plea bargain and agreeing to cooperate with the authorities.

The 2016 arrests of the Shaltai-Boltai hackers became known only after Russian media reported that two officials of the Federal Security Service's cybercrime unit had been arrested on treason charges.

Russian media reports suggested the officials had connections to the hacker group or had tried to control it.

[Feb 18, 2018] Notorious Russian Hacker With Links To FSB Scandal Sentenced To Prison

Feb 18, 2018 | www.rferl.org

A notorious Russian hacker whose exploits and later arrest gave glimpses into the intersection of computer crime and Russian law enforcement has been sentenced to two years in prison.

The Moscow City Court issued its ruling July 6 against Vladimir Anikeyev in a decision made behind closed doors, one indication of the sensitivity of his case.

[Feb 18, 2018] Making Sense of Russia's Cyber Treason Scandal

Notable quotes:
"... The stories implicating Mikhailov gained credence when Russian businessman Pavel Vrublevsky made similar accusations. He asserted that Mikhailov leaked details of Russian hacking capabilities to U.S. intelligence agencies. ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | worldview.stratfor.com

In January, the Kremlin-linked media outlet Kommersant suggested that the heads of Russia's Information Security Center (TsIB) were under investigation and would soon leave their posts. The TsIB is a shadowy unit that manages computer security investigations for the Interior Ministry and the FSB. It is thought to be Russia's largest inspectorate when it comes to domestic and foreign cyber capabilities, including hacking. It oversees security matters related to credit theft, financial information, personal data, social networks and reportedly election data -- or as some have claimed in the Russian media, "election rigging." Beyond its investigative role, it is presumed that the TsIB is fully capable of planning and directing cyber operations. A week after the initial Kommersant report surfaced, Andrei Gerasimov, the longtime TsIB director, resigned. Not long after Gerasimov's resignation at the end of January, reports emerged from numerous Kremlin-linked media outlets in what appeared to be a coordinated flood of information and disinformation about the arrests of senior TsIB officers. One of the cyber unit's operational directors, Sergei Mikhailov, was arrested toward the end of last year along with his deputy, Dmitri Dokuchaev, and charged with treason. Also arrested around the same time was Ruslan Stoyanov, the chief investigator for Kaspersky Lab, which is the primary cybersecurity contractor for the TsIB. There is much conjecture, but Mikhailov was apparently forcibly removed from a meeting with fellow FSB officers -- escorted out with a bag over his head, so the story goes -- and arrested. This is thought to have taken place some time around Dec. 5. His deputy, a well-respected computer hacker recruited by the FSB, was reportedly last seen in November. Kaspersky Lab's Stoyanov was a career cybersecurity professional, previously working for the Indrik computer crime investigation firm and the Interior Ministry's computer crime unit. Novaya Gazeta, a Kremlin-linked media outlet, reported that two other unnamed FSB computer security officers were also detained. Theories, Accusations and Rumors

Since the initial reports surfaced, Russian media have been flooded with conflicting theories about the arrests; about Mikhailov, Dokuchaev and Stoyanov; and about the accusations levied against them. Because the charges are treason, the case is considered "classified" by the state, meaning no official explanation or evidence will be released. An ultranationalist news network called Tsargrad TV reported that Mikhailov had tipped U.S. intelligence to the King Servers firm, which the FBI has accused of being the nexus of FSB hacking and intelligence operations in the United States. (It should be noted that Tsargrad TV tends toward sensationalism and has been used as a conduit for propaganda in the past.) The media outlet also claimed that the Russian officer's cooperation is what enabled the United States to publicly accuse Moscow of sponsoring election-related hacking with "high confidence."

The stories implicating Mikhailov gained credence when Russian businessman Pavel Vrublevsky made similar accusations. He asserted that Mikhailov leaked details of Russian hacking capabilities to U.S. intelligence agencies. Vrublevsky, however, had previously been the target of hacking accusations leveled by Mikhailov and his team, so it is possible that he has a personal ax to grind. To further complicate matters, a business partner of Vrublevsky, Vladimir Fomenko, runs King Servers, which the United States shut down in the wake of the hacking scandal.

[Feb 18, 2018] The FBI just indicted a Russian official for hacking. But why did Russia charge him with treason?

This article is almost a year old but contains interesting information about possible involvement of Shaltai Boltai in framing Russia in interference in the USA elections.
Notable quotes:
"... Also called Anonymous International, Shaltai-Boltai was responsible for leaking early copies of Putin's New Year speech and for selling off "lots" of emails stolen from Russian officials such as Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ..."
"... Later media reports said that the group's leader, Vladimir Anikeyev, had recently been arrested by the FSB and had informed on Mikhailov, Dokuchaev and Stoyanov. ..."
Mar 17, 2017 | www.washingtonpost.com

The FBI just indicted a Russian official for hacking. But why did Russia charge him with treason? - The Washington Post But what is less clear is why one of the men has been arrested and charged with treason in Russia. Dmitry Dokuchaev, an agent for the cyberinvestigative arm of the FSB, was arrested in Moscow in December. He's accused by the FBI of "handling" the hackers, paying "bounties" for breaking into email accounts held by Russian officials, opposition politicians and journalists, as well as foreign officials and business executives. The Russian targets included an Interior Ministry officer and physical trainer in a regional Ministry of Sports. (The full text of the indictment, which has a full list of the targets and some curious typos, is here .)

Reading this hackers indictment. I'm pretty sure there is no such position as the "deputy chairman of the Russian Federation" pic.twitter.com/DOWXYNoWjZ

-- Shaun Walker (@shaunwalker7) March 15, 2017

Dokuchaev's case is part of a larger and mysterious spate of arrests of Russian cyber officials and experts. His superior, Sergei Mikhailov, deputy chief of the FSB's Center for Information Security, was also arrested in December and charged with treason. According to Russian reports, the arrest came during a plenum of FSB officers, where Mikhailov had a bag placed over his head and was taken in handcuffs from the room. Ruslan Stoyanov, a manager at the Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab, was also arrested that month. Stoyanov helped coordinate investigations between the company and law enforcement, a person who used to work at the company said.

Below are some of the theories behind the Russian arrests. Lawyers for some of the accused have told The Washington Post that they can't reveal details of the case and, because of the secrecy afforded to treason cases, they don't have access to all the documents.

None of the theories below has been confirmed, nor are they mutually exclusive.

1. Links to U.S. election hacking : With attention focused on the hacking attacks against the U.S. Democratic National Committee allegedly ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, some Russian and U.S. media suggested that Dokuchaev and Mikhailov leaked information implicating Russia in the hack to the United States. The Russian Interfax news agency, which regularly cites government officials as sources, reported that "Sergei Mikhailov and his deputy, Dmitry Dokuchaev, are accused of betraying their oath and working with the CIA." Novaya Gazeta, a liberal, respected Russian publication, citing sources, wrote that Mikhailov had tipped off U.S. intelligence about King Servers, the hosting service used to support hacking attacks on targeted voter registration systems in Illinois and Arizona in June. That had followed reports in the New York Times, citing one current and one former government official, that "human sources in Russia did play a crucial role in proving who was responsible for the hacking."

Nakashima wrote yesterday that "the [FBI] charges are unrelated to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the FBI's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. But the move reflects the U.S. government's increasing desire to hold foreign governments accountable for malicious acts in cyberspace."

2. A shadowy hacking collective called Shaltai-Boltai (Humpty-Dumpty) : Also called Anonymous International, Shaltai-Boltai was responsible for leaking early copies of Putin's New Year speech and for selling off "lots" of emails stolen from Russian officials such as Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. In a theory first reported by the pro-Kremlin, conservative Orthodox media company Tsargrad, Mikhailov had taken control of Shaltai-Boltai, "curating and supervising" the group in selecting hacking targets. Later media reports said that the group's leader, Vladimir Anikeyev, had recently been arrested by the FSB and had informed on Mikhailov, Dokuchaev and Stoyanov. A member of the group who fled to Estonia told the Russian media agency Fontanka that they had recently acquired an FSB "coordinator," although he could not say whether it was Mikhailov. None of the hacks mentioned in the FBI indictment could immediately be confirmed as those carried out by Shaltai-Boltai.

Lawyers contacted by The Post said that in documents they had seen, there was no link to Shaltai-Boltai in the case.

3. A grudge with a cybercriminal : A Russian businessman who had specialized in spam and malware had claimed for years that Mikhailov was trading information on cybercriminals with the West. Mikhailov had reportedly testified in the case of Pavel Vrublevsky, the former head of the payment services company Chronopay, who was imprisoned in 2013 for ordering a denial of service attack on the website of Aeroflot, the Russian national airline. Vrublevsky claimed then that Mikhailov began exchanging information about Russian cybercriminals with Western intelligence agencies, including documents about Chronopay. Brian Krebs, an American journalist who investigates cybercrime and received access to Vrublevsky's emails, wrote in January : "Based on how long Vrublevsky has been trying to sell this narrative , it seems he may have finally found a buyer ."

4. Infighting at the FSB: The Russian government is not monolithic, and infighting between and within the powerful law enforcement agencies is common. The Russian business publication RBC had written that Mikhailov and Dokuchaev's Center for Information Security had been in conflict with another department with similar responsibilities, the FSB's Center for Information Protection and Special Communications. The conflict may have led to the initiation of a criminal case, the paper's sources said.

[Feb 18, 2018] Yahoo hack and Russia's cyber hacking

Feb 18, 2018 | www.businessinsider.com

As Leonid Bershidsky, founding editor of the Russian business daily publication Vedomosti, wrote in January, the dramatic arrests of two high-level FSB officers -- Sergei Mikhailov , the deputy head of the FSB's Information Security Center, and Major Dmitry Dokuchaev , a highly skilled hacker who had been recruited by the FSB -- on treason charges in December offers a glimpse into "how security agencies generally operate in Putin's Russia."

At the time of their arrest, Dokuchaev (who was one of the Russian officials indicted for the Yahoo breach) and Mikhailov had been trying to cultivate a Russian hacking group known as "Shaltai Boltai" -- or "Humpty Dumpty" -- that had been publishing stolen emails from Russian officials' inboxes, according to Russian media reports.

"The FSB team reportedly uncovered the identities of the group's members -- but, instead of arresting and indicting them, Mikhailov's team tried to run the group, apparently for profit or political gain," Bershidsky wrote. Shaltai Boltai complied, Bershidsky wrote, because it wanted to stay afloat, and didn't mind taking orders from "government structures."

"We get orders from government structures and from private individuals," Shaltai Boltai's alleged leader said in a 2015 interview. "But we say we are an independent team. It's just that often it's impossible to tell who the client is. Sometimes we get information for intermediaries, without knowing who the end client is."

It appears that Dokuchaev and Mikhailov got caught running this side project with Shaltai Boltai -- which was still targeting high-level Russian officials -- when the FSB began surveilling Mikhailov. Officials targeted Mikhailov after receiving a tip that he might have been leaking information about Russian cyber activities to the FBI, according to the Novaya Gazeta.

Short of working against Russian interests, hackers "can pursue whatever projects they want, as long as their targets are outside of Russia and they follow orders from the top when needed," said Bremmer, of Eurasia Group. The same goes for FSB officers, who are tactically allowed to "run private security operations involving blackmail and protection," according to Bershidsky.

US intelligence agencies have concluded that the hack on the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 election was likely one such "order from the top" -- a directive issued by Russian President Vladimir Putin and carried out by hackers hired by the GRU and the FSB.

It is still unclear if the Yahoo breach was directed by FSB officials at the instruction of the Kremlin, like the DNC hack, or if it was one of those "private security operations" Bershidsky alluded to that some Russian intelligence officers do on the side.

Bremmer said that it's possible the Yahoo breach was not done for state ends, especially given the involvement of Dokuchaev, who was already caught up in Shaltai Baltai's operations to steal and sell information for personal financial gain.

[Feb 18, 2018] Here s how Mueller s latest indictment further discredits the Trump Dossier by Alexander Mercouris

Notable quotes:
"... As the days since Mueller's latest indictment have passed, the failure of his investigation to make any claim of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia has begun to sink in, even amongst some of Donald Trump's most bitter enemies. ..."
"... Even the Guardian – arguably the most fervid of Donald Trump's British media critics, and the most vocal supporter of the Russiagate conspiracy theory – has grudgingly admitted that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has "once again failed to nail Donald Trump" ..."
"... In fact the latest indictment when considered properly is a further huge nail in the coffin of the Russiagate conspiracy theory and in the already disintegrating credibility of the Trump Dossier, which is the foundation document for that theory ..."
"... Notwithstanding claims to the contrary, the Russiagate conspiracy theory is laid out in its most classic form in the Trump Dossier, and it is the Trump Dossier which remains the primary and indeed so far the only 'evidence' for it ..."
"... This theory holds that Donald Trump was compromised by the Russians in 2013 when he was filmed by Russian intelligence performing an orgy in a hotel room in Moscow, and he and his associates Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Michael Cohen subsequently engaged in a massive criminal conspiracy with Russian intelligence to steal the election from Hillary Clinton by having John Podesta's and the DNC's emails stolen by Russian intelligence and passed on by them for publication by Wikileaks. ..."
"... The Trump Dossier never mentions Jared Kushner's four conversations with Russian ambassador Kislyak, including the famous meeting between Kislyak and Kushner in Trump Tower on 1st December 2016 (which Michael Flynn also attended) over the course of which the setting up of a backchannel to discuss the crisis in Syria is supposed to have been discussed (Kushner denies that it was). ..."
"... The last entry of the Trump Dossier is dated 13th December 2016 ie. twelve days after this meeting took place, and given its high level a genuinely well-informed Russian source familiar with the private ongoing discussions in the Kremlin might have been expected to know about it. ..."
"... Nor does the Trump Dossier mention the now famous meeting in Trump Tower between the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Donald Trump Junior – which Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner also attended – which took place on 9th June 2016. ..."
"... Now Special Counsel Mueller has provided further details in his latest indictment of actual albeit unknowing contacts between members of the Trump campaign and various Russian employees of Yevgeny Prigozhin's Internet Research Agency, LLC, apparently both in person and online. ..."
"... The Trump Dossier has however nothing to say about these contacts either, just as it has nothing to say about the Internet Research Agency, LLC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, or the entire social media campaign set out in such painstaking detail by Special Counsel Mueller in his indictment. ..."
"... I only remembered Helmer's 18th January 2017 article about the Trump Dossier after I wrote my article about Senator Grassley's and Senator Lindsey Graham's memorandum to the Justice Department on 6th February 2018. ..."
"... This is most unfortunate, not only because Grassley's and Lindsey Graham's memorandum resoundingly vindicates Helmer's reporting, but because it shows that a genuine expert about Russia like Helmer was able to spot immediately the holes in the Trump Dossier, which only now – a whole year and months of exhaustive investigations later – are starting to be officially admitted. ..."
"... Heroic efforts to elevate Papadopoulos's case and the meeting between Donald Trump Junior and the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya into 'evidence' of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia which exists supposedly independently of the Trump Dossier fail because as I have discussed extensively elsewhere (see here and here ) they in fact do no such thing. ..."
"... With the Trump Dossier – the lynchpin of the whole collusion case – not just unverified and discredited but proved repeatedly to have been completely uninformed about events which were actually going on, why do some people persist in pretending that there is still a collusion case to investigate? ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | theduran.com

As the days since Mueller's latest indictment have passed, the failure of his investigation to make any claim of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia has begun to sink in, even amongst some of Donald Trump's most bitter enemies.

Even the Guardian – arguably the most fervid of Donald Trump's British media critics, and the most vocal supporter of the Russiagate conspiracy theory – has grudgingly admitted that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has "once again failed to nail Donald Trump"

There will be understandable disappointment in many quarters that the latest indictments delivered by Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, once again failed to nail Donald Trump. Although the charges levelled against 13 Russians and three Russian entities are extraordinarily serious, they do not directly support the central claim that Trump and senior campaign aides colluded with Moscow to rig the vote.

The Times of London meanwhile has admitted that the latest indictment contains "no smoking gun"

The Department of Justice, however, offered no confirmation to those still smarting from the election in Nov­em­ber 2016, who believe that, in the absence of Russian interference, Hillary Clinton would be in the White House today. Friday's allegations offered no evidence that the outcome had been affected. Sir John Sawers, former head of MI6, said yesterday that Donald Trump's victories in the key swing states were his own.

There was further comfort for Mr Trump, which he was quick to celebrate with a tweet. The investigation uncovered no evidence "that any American was a knowing participant in the alleged unlawful activity". That includes, so far, anybody involved in the Trump campaign. If there is a smoking gun it has yet to emerge, though Robert Mueller's investigation will grind on. Presi­dent Vladimir Putin is a malign and dangerous mischief maker. It has not been proved that he is an evil genius with the ability to swing a US election.

In fact the latest indictment when considered properly is a further huge nail in the coffin of the Russiagate conspiracy theory and in the already disintegrating credibility of the Trump Dossier, which is the foundation document for that theory.

Notwithstanding claims to the contrary, the Russiagate conspiracy theory is laid out in its most classic form in the Trump Dossier, and it is the Trump Dossier which remains the primary and indeed so far the only 'evidence' for it

This theory holds that Donald Trump was compromised by the Russians in 2013 when he was filmed by Russian intelligence performing an orgy in a hotel room in Moscow, and he and his associates Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Michael Cohen subsequently engaged in a massive criminal conspiracy with Russian intelligence to steal the election from Hillary Clinton by having John Podesta's and the DNC's emails stolen by Russian intelligence and passed on by them for publication by Wikileaks.

Belief in this conspiracy dies hard, and an interesting article in the Financial Times by Edward Luce provides a fascinating example of the dogged determination of some people to believe in it. Writing about Mueller's latest indictment Luce has this to say

Mr Mueller's report hints at more dramatic possibilities by corroborating contents of the "Steele dossier", which was compiled in mid-2016 by the former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele -- long before the US intelligence agencies warned of Russian interference. Mr Steele, who is in hiding, alleged that the Russians were using "active measures" to support the campaigns of Mr Trump, Bernie Sanders, the Democratic runner-up to Hillary Clinton, and Jill Stein, the Green party nominee. Mr Mueller's indictment confirms that account.

Likewise, Mr Mueller's indictment confirms the Steele dossier's claim that Russia wished to "sow discord" in the US election by backing leftwing as well as rightwing groups. Among the entities run by the IRA were groups with names such as "Secured Borders", "Blacktivists", "United Muslims of America" and "Army of Jesus".

What is fascinating about these words is that none of them are true.

Christopher Steele is not in hiding.

The actua l Trump Dossier does not allege "that the Russians were using "active measures" to support the campaigns of Mr Trump, Bernie Sanders, the Democratic runner-up to Hillary Clinton, and Jill Stein, the Green party nominee".

Bernie Sanders is mentioned by the Trump Dossier only in passing. By the time the Trump Dossier's first entries were written Bernie Sanders's campaign was all but over and it was already clear that Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic Party's candidate for the Presidency.

Jill Stein is mentioned – again in passing – only once, in a brief mention which refers to her now infamous visit to Russia where she attended the same dinner with President Putin as Michael Flynn.

Nor does the Trump Dossier anywhere claim that "Russia wished to "sow discord" in the US election by backing leftwing as well as rightwing groups".

On the contrary the Trump Dossier is focused – exclusively and obsessively – on documenting at fantastic length the alleged conspiracy between the Russian government and the campaign of the supposedly compromised Donald Trump to get him elected US President.

Supporters of the Russiagate conspiracy theory need to start facing up to the hard truth about the Trump Dossier.

At the time the Trump Dossier was published in January 2017 little was known publicly about the contacts which actually took place between members of Donald Trump's campaign and tranisiton teams and the Russians during and after the election.

Today – a full year later and after months of exhaustive investigation – we know far more about those contacts.

What Is striking about those contacts is how ignorant the supposedly high level Russian sources of the Trump Dossier were about them.

Thus the Trump Dossier never mentions Jeff Sessions's two meetings with Russian ambassador Kislyak, or the various conversations Michael Flynn is known to have had with Russian ambassador Kislyak, some of which apparently took place before Donald Trump won the election.

The Trump Dossier never mentions Jared Kushner's four conversations with Russian ambassador Kislyak, including the famous meeting between Kislyak and Kushner in Trump Tower on 1st December 2016 (which Michael Flynn also attended) over the course of which the setting up of a backchannel to discuss the crisis in Syria is supposed to have been discussed (Kushner denies that it was).

The last entry of the Trump Dossier is dated 13th December 2016 ie. twelve days after this meeting took place, and given its high level a genuinely well-informed Russian source familiar with the private ongoing discussions in the Kremlin might have been expected to know about it.

Nor does the Trump Dossier mention the now famous meeting in Trump Tower between the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Donald Trump Junior – which Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner also attended – which took place on 9th June 2016.

This despite the fact that the Trump Dossier's first entry is dated 20th June 2016 i.e. eleven days later, so that if this meeting really was intended to set the stage for collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia – as believers in the Russiagate conspiracy theory insist – a well informed Russian source with access to information from the Kremlin would be expected to know about it.

Nor does the Trump Dossier have anything to say about George Papadopoulos, the Trump campaign aide who had the most extensive contacts with the Russians, and whose drunken bragging in a London bar is now claimed by the FBI to have been its reason for starting the Russiagate inquiry.

In fact George Papadopoulos is not mentioned in the Trump Dossier at all.

This despite the fact that members of Russia's high powered Valdai Discussion Club were Papadopoulos's main interlocutors in his discussions with the Russians, and Igor Ivanov – Russia's former foreign minister, and a senior albeit retired official genuinely known to Putin – was informed about the discussions also, making it at least possible that high level people in the Russian Foreign Ministry and conceivably in the Russian government and in the Kremlin were kept informed about the discussions with Papadopoulos, so that a genuinely well-informed Russian source might be expected to know about them.

By contrast none of the secret meetings between Carter Page and Michael Cohen and the Russians discussed at such extraordinary length in the Trump Dossier have ever been proved to have taken place.

Now Special Counsel Mueller has provided further details in his latest indictment of actual albeit unknowing contacts between members of the Trump campaign and various Russian employees of Yevgeny Prigozhin's Internet Research Agency, LLC, apparently both in person and online.

The Trump Dossier has however nothing to say about these contacts either, just as it has nothing to say about the Internet Research Agency, LLC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, or the entire social media campaign set out in such painstaking detail by Special Counsel Mueller in his indictment.

The only conclusion possible is that if the Trump Dossier's Russian sources actually exist (about which I am starting to have doubts) then they were extraordinarily ignorant of what was actually going on.

That of course is consistent with the fact – recently revealed in the heavily redacted memorandum sent to the Justice Department by Senators Grassley and Lindsey Graham – that many of the sources of the Trump Dossier were not actually Russian but were American.

John Helmer – the most experienced journalist covering Russia, and a person who has a genuine and profound knowledge of the country – made that very point – that many of the Trump Dossier's sources were American rather than Russian – in an article he published on 18th January 2017, ie. just days after the Trump Dossier was published.

In that same article Helmer also made this very valid point about the Trump Dossier's compiler Christopher Steele

Steele's career in Russian intelligence at MI6 had hit the rocks in 2006, and never recovered. That was the year in which the Russian Security Service (FSB) publicly exposed an MI6 operation in Moscow. Russian informants recruited by the British were passed messages and money, and dropped their information in containers fabricated to look like fake rocks in a public park. Steele was on the MI6 desk in London when the operation was blown. Although the FSB announcement was denied in London at the time, the British prime ministry confirmed its veracity in 2012.Read more on Steele's fake rock operation here , and the attempt by the Financial Times to cover it up by blaming Putin for fabricating the story.

Given that Steele was outed by Russian intelligence in 2006, with his intelligence operation in Russia dismantled by the FSB that year, it beggars belief that ten years later in 2016 he still had access to high level secrets in the Kremlin.

What we now know in fact proves that he did not.

I only remembered Helmer's 18th January 2017 article about the Trump Dossier after I wrote my article about Senator Grassley's and Senator Lindsey Graham's memorandum to the Justice Department on 6th February 2018.

This is most unfortunate, not only because Grassley's and Lindsey Graham's memorandum resoundingly vindicates Helmer's reporting, but because it shows that a genuine expert about Russia like Helmer was able to spot immediately the holes in the Trump Dossier, which only now – a whole year and months of exhaustive investigations later – are starting to be officially admitted.

For my part I owe Helmer an apology for not referencing his 18th January 2017 article in my article of 6th February 2018. I should have done so and I am very sorry that I didn't.

I have spent some time discussing the Trump Dossier because despite denials it remains the lynchpin of the whole Russiagate scandal and of the claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Heroic efforts to elevate Papadopoulos's case and the meeting between Donald Trump Junior and the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya into 'evidence' of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia which exists supposedly independently of the Trump Dossier fail because as I have discussed extensively elsewhere (see here and here ) they in fact do no such thing.

Despite Edward Luce's desperate efforts to argue otherwise, Mueller's latest indictment far from corroborating the Trump Dossier, has done the opposite.

With the Trump Dossier – the lynchpin of the whole collusion case – not just unverified and discredited but proved repeatedly to have been completely uninformed about events which were actually going on, why do some people persist in pretending that there is still a collusion case to investigate?

[Feb 18, 2018] In Raging Tweetstorm, Trump Says Russians Laughing Their Asses Off, Mocks Leakin' Monster Schiff

Trump has a point: "If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams..."
Feb 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
excoriating the FBI for failing to act on multiple tips about "professional school shooter" Nikolas Cruz's murderous intentions, and criticizing National Security Adviser HR McMaster over his Russia collusion comments, President Donald Trump shifted his focus toward one of his favorite targets, House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff, whom he "congratulated" for finally acknowledging that the Obama administration is responsible for any attempted interference by Russia during the 2016 election.

In one of his more memorable turns of phrase, Trump lauded " Liddle Adam Schiff ", whom he branded the " leakin monster of no control ", for finally " blaming the Obama Administration for Russian meddling in the 2016 Election. He is finally right about something. Obama was President, knew of the threat, and did nothing. Thank you Adam!"

Trump also expressed his amazement that nobody in federal law enforcement or Congress tried to stop the Obama administration from handing over nearly $2 billion in cash to Iran. The cash transfers were first reported by the Wall Street Journal in September 2016. The administration defended its actions by saying it was merely returning the money, which belonged to Iranian entities, but had been frozen because of sanctions.

... ... ...

Putting it all together, given the hysteria surrounding Russian interference during the 2016 election, the multiple investigations and countless public resources wasted, if it was Russia's intention to create chaos in the US, then they've "succeeded beyond their wildest dreams", Trump claimed."They're probably " laughing their asses off in Moscow," he added.


Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:02 Permalink

But wasn't I a great candidate?

Yes you were , and I voted for you, you lying flip-flopping piece of shit!

1. Jail Crooked Hillary – Flipped. During the Inauguration Dinner: "The Clintons are good people!"

2. Drain the Swamp – Flipped. The promise vanished like a fart in the wind.

3. I love WikiLeaks – Flipped. Assange is still marooned in the Embassy.

4. Get out of Syria – Flipped. Attacked Syria with 59 Tomahawks.

5. Reform or Disband NATO – Flipped.

6. Ban Foreign Lobbyists – Flipped. "Did I really promise that shit?"

7. Enact Term Limits – Flipped. Just another fart in the wind.

8. Eliminate Gun-Free Zones – Flipped. Should've pushed for that after the Florida School shooting.

Looney

FreeShitter -> Looney Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:06 Permalink

Welcome to reality!

JimmyJones -> FreeShitter Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:12 Permalink

The interview with Sessions and Maria Bartiromo on fox is very good, watch it. Today at 10am

DingleBarryObummer -> JimmyJones Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:15 Permalink

fuck this bullshit

I want to know more about this:

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/561076/donald-trump-9-11-i
REVEALED: Donald Trump vows to 'reopen 9/11 probe'

brianshell -> BullyBearish Sun, 02/18/2018 - 12:47 Permalink

Dear Bully,

Do you agree with these points?

1. Pardon Edward Snowden and Julian Assange as a sign he WELCOMES whistle blowers and putting the PEOPLE'S business in the LIGHT

2. Begin to revoke the fed's charter by putting Ron Paul in charge of a special investigation of fed malfeasance and destruction of the currency

3. Immediately suspend weapon sales to ANY country or organization involved in a current conflict

4. Revoke israel's special exemption from foreign lobbying registration and fully audit AIPAC with an intention to uncover bribery and espionage

5. Immediately indict Bill and Hillary Clinton and others from the Clinton Foundation on charges of corruption, espionage, and theft

6. Rescind all future payments/allotments to the saudi arabia and israel until they are in compliance with international law and human rights standards

7. Cease saber rattling against Iran and Russia and work toward peaceful, complementary accommodations

8. Draw down the 600 plus U.S. military bases around the world and bring the Americans HOME

9. Initially shift 30% of the current military budget to domestic infrastructure needs with a mandate of further reductions of 10% per yea

Brazen Heist -> brianshell Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:04 Permalink

If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow.

Trump is right about the Russians laughing their asses off. But he still foolishly drinks the koolaid handed to him by his fellow swampsters that this was all a Russian plot.

Hubris does that. The swamp is full of it. And Trump is well over 50% in the swamp.

Billy the Poet -> Brazen Heist Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:16 Permalink

It is true that Russians, the intelligence agencies of every other nation and fat guys in their basement all hack and troll the Internet. That simple fact was blown up into a fake Trump-Russia collusion narrative.

Trump's latest tweets straighten that all out pretty well.

Deep Snorkeler -> Zero_Ledge Sun, 02/18/2018 - 10:30 Permalink

Swinging Hunchbacks on Trump Tower

1. billions for defense, not one cent to protect children

2. tax cuts for the wealthiest, not one cent for debt reduction

3. privileges for giant corporations, attacks on the natural environment

4. a grand military parade and the collapse of democracy

5. trinkets for the middle class, gold for the billionaire caste

[Feb 18, 2018] Internet Research Agency Russian journalist who uncovered election interference left confounded by Mueller

And now supporting information started to flow from Russia. Is it forgery or real thing we probably will never know.
Feb 18, 2018 | www.washingtonpost.com

Internet Research Agency: Russian journalist who uncovered election interference left confounded by Mueller - The Washington Post A 37-page indictment issued by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's team on Friday brings fresh American attention to one of the strangest elements of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election: The Internet Research Agency (IRA), a state-sponsored "troll factory" in St. Petersburg.

But much of the information Mueller published on Friday about the agency's efforts to influence the election had already been published last October -- in an article by a Russian business magazine, RBC.

In a 4,500-word report titled " How the 'troll factory' worked the U.S. elections, " journalists Polina Rusyaeva and Andrey Zakharov offered the fullest picture yet of how the "American department" of the IRA used Facebook, Twitter and other tactics to inflame tensions ahead of the 2016 vote. The article also looked at the staffing structure of the organization and revealed details about its budget and salaries.

Расследование РБК: как "фабрика троллей" поработала на выборах в США https://t.co/iYHjucGX9t

-- РБК (@ru_rbc) October 17, 2017

Zakharov agreed to answer some questions for WorldViews about his reaction to the details about the IRA in Mueller's indictments (Rusyaeva left journalism after the story came out, although she stresses she did not do so because of a reaction to the story). Zakharov explained how it was a strange feeling seeing something he had so closely investigated become a major issue in the United States, when it had not been a "bombshell" when he published his report at home.

... ... ...

[Feb 18, 2018] Saudi paid good money to meddle in US elections, immigration policies among others. Israel arranges payback thru their countless organizations operating and manipulating US. Hey even the lightweight Ukraine paid good money.

Notable quotes:
"... Situation goes up and down based on money paid. Look at Saudi, things starts to go wrong the moment they try challenge US. Same goes for Israel too. But once the account is filled back up, every problem disappear. ..."
"... Russia stopped payment to Deep State and even dared to try expose Clinton their candidate. Of course Russians got to pay.... ..."
"... All you need to see to know the MSM is fake and biased is to look at the front page the last two weeks. Congressional memo detailing FBI malfeasance in obtaining secret warrants for surveillance of US citizens, two paragraphs on page 13. Mueller indicts random Russian internet trolls that will never be arrested or extradited, front page headline, all caps. ..."
"... We live at a time when every honest and decent person who can and wants to think on his own, automatically receives a label of a supporter of Russia and Putin personally. ..."
"... If 13 Internet trolls are really able to influence the choice of the president in a certain country, then this is a third world country. Or the fourth world. Thus, Mueller publicly recognized America, a third world country. Or the country of the fourth world. ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Wild E Coyote -> New_Meat Sat, 02/17/2018 - 04:22 Permalink

There is no double standards, It is always the same for everyone. Saudi paid good money to meddle in US elections, immigration policies among others. Israel arranges payback thru their countless organizations operating and manipulating US. Hey even the lightweight Ukraine paid good money.

Situation goes up and down based on money paid. Look at Saudi, things starts to go wrong the moment they try challenge US. Same goes for Israel too. But once the account is filled back up, every problem disappear.

Russia stopped payment to Deep State and even dared to try expose Clinton their candidate. Of course Russians got to pay....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XGAmPRxV48

jin187 -> jmack Sat, 02/17/2018 - 12:36 Permalink

All you need to see to know the MSM is fake and biased is to look at the front page the last two weeks. Congressional memo detailing FBI malfeasance in obtaining secret warrants for surveillance of US citizens, two paragraphs on page 13. Mueller indicts random Russian internet trolls that will never be arrested or extradited, front page headline, all caps. Flynn gets charged with lying to the FBI about something that had nothing to do with the investigation, and has resulted in no indictments, front page headline, all caps. Manafort indicted for errors in financial paperwork that happened before he even joined the campaign, and had nothing to do with Russia, front page, all caps.

You can go on like that all day.

silvermail -> Reaper Sat, 02/17/2018 - 07:01 Permalink

We live at a time when every honest and decent person who can and wants to think on his own, automatically receives a label of a supporter of Russia and Putin personally.

That is, if a person has reason, conscience and his own opinion different from the opinion of the Faux news and CNN, such a person will always receive accusations as a "secret agent of the Kremlin," regardless of his citizenship and nationality.

If 13 Internet trolls are really able to influence the choice of the president in a certain country, then this is a third world country. Or the fourth world. Thus, Mueller publicly recognized America, a third world country. Or the country of the fourth world.

GreatUncle -> silvermail Sat, 02/17/2018 - 07:48 Permalink

But every honest and decent person is realizing since 2008 the whole economy is a ponzi and in fact with ZIRP on pension growth the future looks like poverty on a massive scale.

World will go to rat shit now, as they try to raise rates on their centrally planned NIRP economy destroying the economy more when the economy is really calling out for NIRP across the board to make money cheap once again.

Mueller needs to keep spinning his tune for a long time as when the music stops the war starts.

Or he could be waiting for the economic implosion to kick it off.

jin187 -> GreatUncle Sat, 02/17/2018 - 12:53 Permalink

It's possible. If the economy crashes to depression levels while Trump is in office, which wouldn't shock most of us, what better time to try and impeach him than when he's got his own party gunning for him? That's the reason they went after him so quickly. They were trying to grab what they thought was low-hanging fruit, only to find nothing there, and now Trump's numbers are up, and Republicans have fallen in line, making impeachment impossible without a major smoking gun. Their only hope now is that the economy tanks. Hence all the wooden faces during the SotU speech, when Trump told them about how well the Democrat voting demographics were doing financially

[Feb 18, 2018] Facebook VP The Majority Of Russian Ad Spend Happened AFTER The Election

Feb 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Facebook VP of advertising, Rob Goldman, tossed a hand grenade in the Russian meddling narrative in a string of tweets responding to Mueller's indictment of 13 Russian nationals running a "bot farm" which, according to Mueller (via Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein), was unsuccessful at influencing the 2016 election.

... ... ...

Notably, Goldman points out that the majority of advertising purchased by Russians on Facebook occurred after the election - and was designed to "sow discord and divide Americans", something which Americans have been quite adept at doing on their own ever since the Fed decided to unleash a record class, wealth, income divide by keeping capital markets artificially afloat at any cost.

[Feb 18, 2018] The US-UK Deep State Empire Strikes Back 'It's Russia! Russia! Russia!' by James George JATRAS

This is a very good overview that presents convincing hypothesis why Mueller made himself a joke. Along with desire to preserve his franchise they needed a smoke screen to distract people from the evidence of a color revolution against Trump, a palace coup d'état which involved two dozens or so highly placed officials in Obama administration, including CIA (Brennan), FBI (Comey, McCabe, Strzok, James A. Baker, etc) and Justice Department (Loretta Lynch, Bruce Ohr to name a few . In other words this is nothing more then " a well-timed effort to distract Americans' attention from the real collusion rotting the core of our public life by shifting attention to a foreign enemy. Many of the people behind it are the very officials who are themselves complicit in the rot. But the sad fact is that it will probably work."
Notable quotes:
"... And yet, "collusion" still lives! But while there is no actual allegation (much less evidence) that any American, much less anyone on the Trump team, "colluded" with the indicted Russians, the indictment makes it clear that Moscow sought to support Trump and disparage Hillary. ..."
"... Any and every Russian equals Putin. Incredibly, nothing in the indictment points to any connection of those indicted to the Russian government! ..."
"... Are you reading this commentary? ..."
"... The Mueller indictment against the Russians is a well-timed effort to distract Americans' attention from the real collusion rotting the core of our public life by shifting attention to a foreign enemy. Many of the people behind it are the very officials who are themselves complicit in the rot. But the sad fact is that it will probably work. ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

For weeks the unfolding story in Washington has been how a cabal of conspirators in the heart of the American federal law enforcement and intelligence apparat colluded to ensure the election of Hillary Clinton and, when that failed, to undermine the nascent presidency of Donald Trump. Agencies tainted by this corruption include not only the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) but the Obama White House, the State Department, the NSA, and the CIA, plus their British sister organizations MI6 and GCHQ , possibly along with the British Foreign Office (with the involvement of former British ambassador to Russia Andrew Wood ) and even Number 10 Downing Street.

Those implicated form a regular rogue's gallery of the Deep State: Peter Strzok (formerly Chief of the FBI's Counterespionage Section, then Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division; busy bee Strzok is implicated not only in exonerating Hillary from her email server crimes but initiating the Russiagate investigation in the first place, securing a FISA warrant using the dodgy "Steele Dossier," and nailing erstwhile National Security Adviser General Mike Flynn on a bogus charge of "lying to the FBI "); Lisa Page (Strzok's paramour and a DOJ lawyer formerly assigned to the all-star Democrat lineup on the Robert Mueller Russigate inquisition); former FBI Director James Comey, former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and – let's not forget – current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, himself implicated by having signed at least one of the dubious FISA warrant requests . Finally, there's reason to believe that former CIA Director John O. Brennan may have been the mastermind behind the whole operation .

Not to be overlooked is the possible implication of a pack of former Democratic administration officials, including former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice , and President Barack Obama himself, who according to text communications between Strzok and Page "wants to know everything we're doing." Also involved is the DNC, the Clinton campaign, and Clinton operatives Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer – rendering the ignorance of Hillary herself totally implausible.

On the British side we have "former" (suuure . . . ) MI6 spook Christopher Steele, diplomat Wood, former GCHQ chief Robert Hannigan (who resigned a year ago under mysterious circumstances ), and whoever they answered to in the Prime Minister's office.

The growing sense of panic was palpable. Oh my – this is a curtain that just cannot be allowed to be pulled back!

What to do, what to do . . .

Ah, here's the ticket – come out swinging against the main enemy. That's not even Donald Trump. It's Russia and Vladimir Putin. Russia! Russia! Russia!

Hence the unveiling of an indictment against 13 Russian citizens and three companies for alleged meddling in U.S. elections and various ancillary crimes.

For the sake of discussion, let's assume all the allegations in the indictment are true, however unlikely that is to be the case. (While that would be the American legal rule for a complaint in a civil case, this is a criminal indictment, where there is supposedly a presumption of innocence. Rosenstein even mentioned that in his press conference, pretending not to notice that that presumption doesn't apply to Russian Untermenschen – certainly not to Olympic athletes and really not to Russians at all, who are presumed guilty on "genetic" grounds .)

Based on the public announcement of the indictment by Rosenstein – who is effectively the Attorney General in place of the pro forma holder of that office, Jeff Sessions (R-Recused) – and on an initial examination of the indictment, and we can already draw a few conclusions:

The Mueller indictment against the Russians is a well-timed effort to distract Americans' attention from the real collusion rotting the core of our public life by shifting attention to a foreign enemy. Many of the people behind it are the very officials who are themselves complicit in the rot. But the sad fact is that it will probably work.

[Feb 18, 2018] So "Russian interference" in our elections are some Facebook trolls?

Feb 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

whosyerdaddy Sun, 02/18/2018 - 13:47 Permalink

So "Russian interference" in our elections are some Facebook trolls? Are you freakin' kiddin' me? After 18 months of investigation not one shred of evidence has been presented. Has even one voting machine been hacked?

I seem to remember Nuland and McBraintumor on the barricades in the Ukraine. These Russian trolls are exercising what used to be called Political speech. Good or bad I don't think you will be able to stop it. Bottom line if Hillary was not such an abysmal candidate the Russians couldn't have affected anything. Any traction any narrative gained was a reflection of the dismal status of maybe the most corrupt candidate in American political history.

This Russian gambit is to forestall prosecutions of Treason. Hillary was engaged in a Conspiracy to defraud a Federal election. Her campaign gave money to foreign nationals against the law. Conspiracy not collusion. From Brennan and Clapper and Comey in down you have obvious perjury.

The Schiffs and the Warners have committed Treason by promulgating this patently false fairy tale to the detriment of the American people.

[Feb 18, 2018] America Is Descending Into a Dangerous Psychosis by James Howard Kunstler

Notable quotes:
"... The author is a prominent American social critic, blogger, and podcaster , and we carry his articles regularly on RI . His writing on Russia-gate has been highly entertaining. ..."
"... He is one of the better-known thinkers The New Yorker has dubbed 'The Dystopians' in an excellent 2009 profile , along with the brilliant Dmitry Orlov, another regular contributor to RI (archive) . These theorists believe that modern society is headed for a jarring and painful crack-up. ..."
"... You can find his popular fiction and novels on this subject, here . To get a sense of how entertaining he is, watch this 2004 TED talk about the cruel misery of American urban design - it is one of the most-viewed on TED. ..."
"... If you like his work, please consider supporting him on Patreon . ..."
"... Why Does Trump Ignore Top Officials' Warnings on Russia? , ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Sport's Illustrated ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | russia-insider.com
The author is a prominent American social critic, blogger, and podcaster , and we carry his articles regularly on RI . His writing on Russia-gate has been highly entertaining.

He is one of the better-known thinkers The New Yorker has dubbed 'The Dystopians' in an excellent 2009 profile , along with the brilliant Dmitry Orlov, another regular contributor to RI (archive) . These theorists believe that modern society is headed for a jarring and painful crack-up.

You can find his popular fiction and novels on this subject, here . To get a sense of how entertaining he is, watch this 2004 TED talk about the cruel misery of American urban design - it is one of the most-viewed on TED.

If you like his work, please consider supporting him on Patreon .

Forget about sharks. In their Valentine's Day editorial: Why Does Trump Ignore Top Officials' Warnings on Russia? , The New York Times jumped several blue whales (all the ones left on earth), a cruise ship, a subtropical archipelago, a giant vortex of plastic bottles, and the Sport's Illustrated swimsuit shoot. The lede said:

The phalanx of intelligence chiefs who testified on Capitol Hill delivered a chilling message: Not only did Russia interfere in the 2016 election, it is already meddling in the 2018 election by using a digital strategy to exacerbate the country's political and social divisions.

Hmmm . After almost two years of relentless public paranoia about Russia and US elections, don't you suppose these Ruskie gremlins would find some other way to make mischief in our world -- maybe meddle in the NHL playoffs, or hack WalMart's bookkeeping department, or covertly switch out the real Dwayne Johnson with a robot? I kind of completely and absolutely doubt that they'll bother with our elections.

Actually the Times's editorial seems to have CIA / NSA fingerprints all over it, or at least Deep State paw prints. By stating that the Russians are already "meddling" in 2018 elections that haven't happened yet, aren't our own security agencies setting up the public to lose faith in the electoral process and fight over election results? Oh, by the way, the Times presented no evidence whatsoever that this alleged "meddling" is taking place. They just assert it, as if it were already adjudicated.

But then they take it another step, making the case that because Mr. Trump does not go along with the Russian Meddling story, he is obstructing efforts to prevent Russian interference in the elections that haven't happened yet, and is therefore by implication guilty of treason. A fine piece of casuistry.

The longer this fantasy about Russia continues from the Left side of the political transect, the deeper the nation sinks into a dangerous collective psychosis. After all this time, the only known instances of American political figures "colluding" with Russians involve the shenanigans between the DNC, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and US intel services including the FBI and CIA, in paying for the "Steele Dossier" and the activities of the Fusion GPS company that claimed Russia hacked Hillary's and John Podesta's email.

There is now a ton of evidence about all this monkey business, and no sign (yet) that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller may be taking a good hard look at it, not to mention the professional misconduct of a half dozen senior FBI, NSA, and CIA officials, especially former CIA chief John Brennan, who has now morphed into a CNN "analyst," taking an active role in what amounts to a psy-ops campaign to shove the public toward war.

The "resistance" may think it is getting some mileage out of this interminable narrative, but its arrant inconsistencies only undermine faith in all our political institutions, and that is really playing with fire.

We are already choking this polity to death by endlessly litigating the past, insuring that the country doesn't have the time or the fortitude to deal with much more important quandaries of the present -- especially a financial system that is speeding into the most colossal train wreck in history. That will de-rail Mr. Trump soon enough, and then all the rest of us will have enough to do to keep our lives together or to refashion them in some that will work in a very different economy.

PS: Readers may wonder why I did not devote this space to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. It is exactly what you get in a society that wants to erase behavioral boundaries. It is especially dangerous where adolescent boys are concerned. The country has a gigantic boundary problem.

We have also created perfect conditions -- between the anomie of suburbia and the dreariness of our school systems -- to induce explosions of violent despair. That's why these things happen.

Until we change these conditions, expect ever more of it.

[Feb 18, 2018] The irony of this indictment is so thick that it is overwhelming

Feb 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Den Lille Abe | Feb 18, 2018 1:52:42 AM | 55

The irony of this indictment is so thick that it is overwhelming.

The US has as far back as I can recall, as an political aware person, say 1973, been implicated in regime change or meddling. In Europe less violent than the rest of the world, but never the less they were there, as was the USSR. Spending money, influencing, subverting, coercing and in some cases resorting to violence, in order to get their government of choice. Italy and Greece were places that were sought out because of the strong left. And things did get violent from both sides. Those not old enough , look it up, there is plenty of evidence, declassified documents available. Northern Ireland was another place they meddled quite openly.

In the rest of the world, especially in South America, it was far, far more violent and less covert, almost all South American countries suffered.

It is blatantly hysterical, mind boggling hysterical, that Israel's influence and is silently accepted, but Israeli influence is so huge that opposition can be suppressed.

To counter foreign "meddling" the US is quietly regulating the Internet, introducing the Great US Firewall. What a pathetic nation, what a joke....

[Feb 18, 2018] The people running these sites did not care who would win the election. But they found that stories about Trump generated MORE TRAFFIC than pro Clinton stories. (BTW: U.S. main stream media found the same and was therefore full of Trump stories.) More traffic/followers is their sole point. What Veles produced, though, was something more extreme still: an enterprise of cool, pure amorality, free not only of ideology but of any concern or feeling about the substance of the election. These Macedonians on Facebook didn't care if Trump won or lost the White House.

Feb 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
Kalen , Feb 18, 2018 3:38:32 AM | 62
For hundred times it is all provocation against Russia, psyop that intensified since Putin returned to power and started rebuilding Russian military after another western provocation in Georgia and later in Moldova, it became exponential after Ukrainian putsch in 2014.

Ultimately removal and Putin and now Xi who will follow Putin to be elected four times breaking the western imposed rotation of CIA agents in the Chinese and Russian leadership is the ultimate goal of the Western globalists to be replaced by oth Chinese and Russian oligarchs with more consmopolitan autlooke devoid of notions of nation states but rather global imperial provinces of US western emporium.

These are neocons sick dreams but as we see they will not be stopped without real bottom up anti oligarchic revolution and instead escalate into preprogrammed chaos and global conflict among people while harmony among oligarchy.

b , Feb 18, 2018 3:52:42 AM | 63
@liburl @20 - "Could you comment on this. All things being equal the marketing scheme would have spread
their positive and derogatory posts equally to any given candidate, yet Mueller says
Hillary was under attack."

Aside from the "Russian influence" there were commercial fake-news site created and run from Macedonia. These were widely reported about. for example by Wired: Inside the Macedonian Fake-News Complex .

The people running these sites did not care who would win the election. But they found that stories about Trump generated MORE TRAFFIC than pro Clinton stories. (BTW: U.S. main stream media found the same and was therefore full of Trump stories.) More traffic/followers is their sole point.

What Veles produced, though, was something more extreme still: an enterprise of cool, pure amorality, free not only of ideology but of any concern or feeling about the substance of the election. These Macedonians on Facebook didn't care if Trump won or lost the White House.
...

Trump groups seemed to have hundreds of thousands more members than Clinton groups, which made it simpler to propel an article into virality. (For a week in July, he experimented with fake news extolling Bernie Sanders. "Bernie Sanders supporters are among the smartest people I've seen," he says. "They don't believe anything. The post must have proof for them to believe it.") He posted under his own name but also under the guise of one of 200 or so bogus Facebook profiles that he'd purchased for this purpose. (A fake profile with a Russian name cost about 10 cents; for an American name, the price went up to 50 cents.)

[Feb 18, 2018] In other words, what Prigozhin's company is doing is hardly much different from what Facebook originally was set up to do: sell its followers, their details and their behaviours to paying customers

Feb 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Posted by: Jen | Feb 18, 2018 5:40:31 AM | 65

"... The sole point of creating a diverse army of sock-puppets with large following crowds was to sell the 'eyeballs' of the followers to the paying customers of the marketing company [Concord Catering] ..."

In other words, what Prigozhin's company is doing is hardly much different from what Facebook originally was set up to do: sell its followers, their details and their behaviours to paying customers, be they marketing organisations or the US government.

Rich , Feb 18, 2018 7:27:05 AM | 66
No Russian influence-just more fake news, more lies, more manipulation, more of the same pantomime politics starring puppet politicians and directed by the dangerous psychopaths who rule us and who are rushing us down a one way street to extinction...
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078L8K9H3

[Feb 18, 2018] Warehouses With Israeli-Produced Weapons Discovered in Deir ez-Zor

Feb 18, 2018 | www.defenddemocracy.press

Syrian government army units have discovered warehouses with weapons and ammunition, including those produced in Israel while patrolling areas in Deir Ez-Zor liberated from Daesh terrorist group (outlawed in Russia), the SANA news agency reported. The warehouses with a huge amount of rockets, mortars, tank shells and other ammunition were discovered in Al Boukamal and Al Mayadin areas, according to the Syrian state-run news agency. The weapons reportedly were produced in Israel.

A source told the media outlet that in one of the tunnels in the al-Sbikhan village to the east of al-Mayadin, the army units found a factory for manufacturing shells and explosives as well as barrels with a strange essence that could be used for manufacturing toxic substances.

Israel and Syria, which have a very embittered relations recently, and have a long history of troublesome controversies over the Golan Heights, have repeatedly exchanged fire, with the latest incident taking place in February.

In December 2017, Syrian Army units discovered a huge pile of the US and European-made weapons inside Daesh dens in Deir ez-Zor's countryside.

In October, local media reported that Syrian troops had found weapons in the city of Mayadin, which had been the largest Daesh stronghold in the region, with weapons from Belgium, Great Britain, and Israel. As the Syrian military noted, the jihadists supposedly received these weapons, which were allegedly bought under Pentagon programs, in order to help the allies.

Published at sputniknews.com

[Feb 18, 2018] Instead of Turning East, Turkey is Going It Alone by Nick Danforth

Notable quotes:
"... * Nick Danforth is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Bipartisan Policy Center. He completed a PhD in Turkish history at Georgetown University and has written widely on Middle Eastern politics. ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | www.defenddemocracy.press

What makes the current situation alarming is that anti-Western hostility, which extends far beyond Erdogan's base, now appears to be driving policy independent of pragmatic or specifically Islamist concerns. Erdogan, for example, is now courting U.S. sanctions by purchasing S-400 air defense systems from Moscow . His decision appears motivated in part by a genuine belief that he needs them for self-protection following a 2016 coup attempt that he, like a majority of his citizens, believes was orchestrated by the United States. By comparison, Ankara's anger over U.S. support for the YPG makes much more sense. But it has been dangerously inflamed by a climate of rampant nationalism . Most recently, Meral Aksener, a nationalist politician who has emerged as a potential challenger to Erdogan, called for Turkish forces to move east and attack territories where American soldiers are present.

Only against this backdrop is it possible to imagine a worst-case scenario where, say, direct fighting between U.S. and Turkish troops pushes both sides toward a decisive rupture that each hopes to avoid. Were this to happen, Ankara would face hard decisions about whether to try to pragmatically patch things up or embrace an unequal and unrewarding relationship with an unsympathetic power like Russia. It remains to be seen whether Ankara's lack of other options will be enough to save the U.S.-Turkish alliance. But Washington would do well not to count on it.

* Nick Danforth is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Bipartisan Policy Center. He completed a PhD in Turkish history at Georgetown University and has written widely on Middle Eastern politics.

Published at https://warontherocks.com/2018/02/turkey/

[Feb 18, 2018] If there HAD been any evidence of collusion , treason , or an attack by foreign state actors Donald Trump would have been pulled from the roster of presidential candidates by October 2016 at the latest.

Notable quotes:
"... Any country that would allow a traitor (or even a suspected traitor) to compete for the highest office in the land is not a country that is serious about "sovereignty" or "democracy" and should quite rightly be considered a failed state. ..."
"... As for the red-baiting and blatantly obvious attempts by the FVEYs to get Russia to throw a first punch -- so we can then jump in with all we've got and pin down the victory we thought we had back in 1998 (the big one that got away) -- I think we should all re-read that open letter signed by Dmitry Orlov, the Saker, and others which was posted in May of 2016 (yeah: right around the time this whole Russia narrative was being cooked up): https://cluborlov.blogspot.ca/2016/05/a-russian-warning.html ..."
"... Let's all just hope the warmongers end up exposing themselves as being the belligerent, immature a**holes that they are so everyone else can laugh and point and get back to building the peaceful, prosperous world that we want to live in. ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

LaNinya

no evidence is added to cohesively tie the establishment Russia narrative together

Right.
It's all been gossip and innuendo.

If there HAD been any evidence of "collusion", "treason", or an "attack" by foreign state actors, the intelligence and law-enforcement agencies would not have been playing games leaking to the press, but pressing forward with serious measures to harden the country's security system and neutralize the threat(s). Had there been any genuine evidence of malfeasance by the Trump campaign (outside of widely practiced and generally accepted instances of corruption), Donald Trump would have been pulled from the roster of presidential candidates by October 2016 at the latest.

Any country that would allow a traitor (or even a suspected traitor) to compete for the highest office in the land is not a country that is serious about "sovereignty" or "democracy" and should quite rightly be considered a failed state.

As for the red-baiting and blatantly obvious attempts by the FVEYs to get Russia to throw a first punch -- so we can then jump in with all we've got and pin down the victory we thought we had back in 1998 (the big one that got away) -- I think we should all re-read that open letter signed by Dmitry Orlov, the Saker, and others which was posted in May of 2016 (yeah: right around the time this whole Russia narrative was being cooked up):
https://cluborlov.blogspot.ca/2016/05/a-russian-warning.html

Let's all just hope the warmongers end up exposing themselves as being the belligerent, immature a**holes that they are so everyone else can laugh and point and get back to building the peaceful, prosperous world that we want to live in.

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 1:13 pm

Good letter, please read this one.

https://slavyangrad.org/2014/09/24/the-russia-they-lost/

LaNinya , February 17, 2018 at 1:48 pm

Wow. Good one, Joe. Beautifully written. Thanks for the link. The comments were interesting, too.

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 1:55 pm

Your welcome, and you are right about the comments. Let's read the very first one, as I'm also leaving off the commenters name which may be seen on the original comment board.

"As an American who has spent a lifetime studying his nation, I can tell you for a fact that America was never cool. At the end of WWI, American soldiers came home to lynch African-Americans in record numbers because they had gotten "uppity" in the soldiers' absence. After WWII, America protected Nazi war criminals and immediately attacked the real saviour of mankind (the Soviet Union), actually attacking Soviet citizens and starving the Soviet state of reconstruction monies. In the 1950s, America took over the British and French empires and became a National Security State with the growth of the CIA. Sixty-five years later, it is estimated by scholarly demographic studies that The United States is directly responsible for 40 million deaths. Even Nazi Germany, had it been victorious in WWII, could have not outstripped that record of carnage. Think about that! The world was saved from the Nazi conquest only to suffer the US conquest. And the latter was worse -- simply because the US was larger and richer and therefore more powerful and violent. You and your friends should never have been entranced. The Soviet Union provided its citizens with employment, housing, education, health-care, recreation, great art, science. The United States provided its citizens with job insecurity, homelessness, brainwashing, obesity, stress leading to mass killings, crap art, and laughable pseudo-science. I rather wonder what it might have been like for myself if I had been born on the USSR rather than the USA. I'd feel less rage and guilt, forty million fewer iota of rage and guilt; that is for certain. That would have been cooler."

What a great comment, and made with such historical accuracy. Joe

[Feb 18, 2018] Anti-Trumpists Use Mueller Indictments to Escalate Tensions With Nuclear-Armed Russia

Notable quotes:
"... Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's indictment of 13 alleged members of a Russian troll farm is leading to calls for escalation with Russia, exacerbating tensions that are already at historic – and dangerous – lows, observes Caitlin Johnstone.

By Caitlin Johnstone

U.S. empire loyalists are so close to telling the truth when they babble about "Russian propaganda." They are openly admitting that it is wrong to use media to manipulate the ways that Americans think and vote. Now all we need is for them to admit that they themselves do this constantly , and we'll be on the right track.

St. Petersburg's Internet Research Agency building, the alleged Russian troll factory that has sown discord in U.S. politics, according to Robert Mueller's indictment.

The word "Russians" is America's top trend on Twitter at the time of this writing because of a Mueller indictment of 13 alleged members of a Russian troll farm, those nefarious supervillains who posted pictures of puppies and promoted Bernie Sanders to "sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. election."

Predictably, no evidence is added to cohesively tie the establishment Russia narrative together with allegations of Russia hacking the Democratic Party and giving their emails to WikiLeaks, meeting with Donald Trump, Jr. at Trump Tower, any shenanigans with well-hydrated Russian prostitutes, or indeed anything tying the troll farm to Trump or the Russian government at all.

The focus instead is on people disguising their identities to troll Americans on social media, which we have now learned constitutes a "conspiracy to defraud the United States." As Disobedient Media's Elizabeth Lea Vos rightly points out , it is also behavior that the Hillary Clinton campaign is known to have funded and engaged in extensively.

In response to this underwhelming revelation, Democrats and Never-Trumpers are howling for new Cold War escalations with Russia. This despite the fact that this administration has already killed Russians in Syria , greatly escalated nuclear tensions with Russia, allowed the sale of arms to Ukraine (a move Obama refused for fear of angering Moscow), established a permanent military presence in Syria with the goal of effecting regime change, forced RT and Sputnik to register as foreign agents, expanded NATO with the addition of Montenegro, assigned Russia hawk Kurt Volker as special representative to Ukraine, shut down a Russian consulat e in San Francisco and expelled Russian diplomats as part of continued back-and-forth hostile diplomatic exchanges.

We are already at an extremely dangerous point in the ongoing trend of continuous escalations with a country that is armed with thousands of nuclear warheads. And these deranged lunatics want more.

"Special Counsel Mueller's indictments are further proof that Vladimir Putin directed a campaign to interfere with our elections, with the goal of tipping the outcome," tweeted Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. "Given these indictments, @realDonaldTrump should implement the sanctions that Congress passed immediately."

Steven Schmidt, MSNBC analyst and former strategist for George W. Bush and John McCain, said that the word "meddling" is not a sufficiently inflammatory word, because "What Russia did is ATTACK the United States. Trump and the Corrupted GOP majority refuse to defend the sovereignty of the country from this outside THREAT from a hostile state actor."

Congressmen Ted Lieu and Adam Schiff , Senator Bernie Sanders , popular commentators Preet Bharara and Joe Walsh have all joined in the pile-on, along with many, many others, all demanding that the president do more to escalate tensions with Russia even further than he already has.

This is exactly what renowned U.S.-Russian relations expert Stephen Cohen has been warning of : an extremely dangerous mixture of continually escalating Cold War tensions coexisting with hot proxy wars between two nuclear superpowers, with a president facing immense political pressures to keep advancing and never, ever back down. A narcissist in the White House being baited by his political enemies into a game of nuclear "chicken," without the ability to swerve when necessary.

Meanwhile what are Republicans talking about? Why, they're all crowing about the fact that these Russia revelations began on Obama's watch and don't show collusion, of course.

Do you see what is happening here? There is never, ever going to be any proof of Trump-Russia collusion, because that has never been what this is about. We've talked about this before : America's unelected power establishment doesn't care about impeaching Trump, it cares about hobbling Russia in order to prevent the rise of a potential rival superpower in its ally China. All this lunacy makes perfect sense when you realize this. The U.S. deep state is using the hysterical cult of anti-Trumpism to manufacture support for increasing escalations with Russia, and the anti-Trumpists are playing right along under the delusion that pushing for moves against Russia will hurt Trump.

Well they will not hurt Trump, because there has never been any Trump-Russia collusion. If there had been it would have been picked up by America's sprawling surveillance networks and leaked to the Washington Post before the end of 2016, and if Trump were a Putin puppet he wouldn't be continually escalating toward direct conflict with Russia in ways his predecessor Obama never would have dreamed of doing. They aren't hurting Trump with these loud cries for increased sanctions and hawkishness, they're imperiling us all.

Democrats, it is time to stop letting them bait you into calling for even more escalations with a nuclear superpower and start calling for detente instead. Republicans, it is time for you to stop putting partisan politics ahead of the survival of our species and start pushing against these dangerous escalations that your president has been playing right along with. These escalations are extremely dangerous and getting ever more so, and in the name of all that is holy I implore you to stop before the unthinkable happens.

On my knees I beg you all to stop this madness, for the sake of my children and yours. You lunatics on both sides of the political divide are going to get us all killed. In God's name, stop. Please.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium . Follow her work on Facebook , Twitter , or her website. She has a podcast and a new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . This article was re-published with permission.

[Feb 18, 2018] This Mueller revelation of 13 Russians flipping a combined campaign amount of 6.9 billion dollars spent by both American presidential candidates, is awl inspiring, and convinces me to if I were to run for public office I would do myself well to get these 13 Russians to work for my campaign

Notable quotes:
"... Besides that Rosenstein did his duty, as to redirect our attention from those nasty FISA court accusations, made by the Nunes Memo how conveniently timed. Although, Mueller's fantastic work (not my words but Rachel's) did not implicate any Russian involvement, and to the disappointment of many Democrates Mueller didn't imply that Vladimir Putin gave his permission to flip Hillary's win, but all the same .the Russians are up to no good, period. ..."
"... Mueller's Russia investigation is the le creme de le crumb of FBI investigations ..."
"... Fox news was thrilled, and patted themselves on the back for knowing it was a lie all along, at least the part where Russia helped Trump get elected. However they continued with their anti-Russia rhetoric and repeatedly brought up Hillary's sale of Uranium to Russia. Now Trump is out there acknowledging, yes Russia interfered in our elections. Our interventionism on a world wide scale makes this all quite nauseating. ..."
"... Those Russians created discord, well, they really didn't have to bother since Americans were so good at it, they didn't need any outside help. I haven't had the stomach to see how CNN, and MSNBC are going to handle this since they were such proponents of Russia-gate. ..."
"... Annie I'm glad you bring up the predictable timing of Rosenstein's release of the Mueller Russia-gate investigation, for these new allegations of Russian interference could replace the news of that awful shooting down in Florida ..."
"... I am now convinced that the indictment is a fraud upon the court deserving of sanctions being imposed on Mueller by the Court. ..."
"... The Mueller indictment is a highly unusual document. It's extraordinarily verbose for an indictment. Coupled with the fact that Mueller knew there was no way he would ever be required to prove what was charged (the U.S. has no extradition treaty with Russia), the indictment is not in reality addressed to a judge or jury; it's fodder for propaganda purposes and as discussed below, is intended to protect the indictment's entire subject matter from Freedom of Information Act requests. ..."
"... The document is overflowing with information that would be filed under seal if it was not fictional. A host of classified intelligence sources and methods would be on full display if the information in the indictment was factual. E.g., we get internal Russian company documents and private emails. Those records would have to be authenticated at trial with admissible proof of how DoJ and the FBI acquired them (sources and methods) if the indictment was intended for a judge and jury. But we get a 37-page detailed document without a single redaction for classified information. Are we to seriously believe that the Deep State is willing to burn the identities of private actor spies in Russia so they can testify that they stole company documents and emails in a foreign country? Or are we to believe that the FISA Court issued search warrants for FBI or NSA to penetrate the company's networks for a criminal rather than foreign intelligence purpose? ..."
"... Since we are purportedly dealing with Russians, one would also expect at least most of the quotes to be in Russian, requiring translation to English, yes? But we have here perfect English language smoking gun quotes and lots of them, without any indication that they have been translated from Russian as would be required if they had been. And they all speak for themselves, without need for interpretation. Even one such quote would be rare in criminal cases. But to have a bunch of them, all in English? It beggars belief. ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Joe Tedesky

This Mueller revelation of 13 Russians flipping a combined campaign amount of 6.9 billion dollars spent by both American presidential candidates, is awl inspiring, and convinces me to if I were to run for public office I would do myself well to get these 13 Russians to work for my campaign utterly amazing, these Russian trolls could flip such an overly expensive long term election with so little.

Besides that Rosenstein did his duty, as to redirect our attention from those nasty FISA court accusations, made by the Nunes Memo how conveniently timed. Although, Mueller's fantastic work (not my words but Rachel's) did not implicate any Russian involvement, and to the disappointment of many Democrates Mueller didn't imply that Vladimir Putin gave his permission to flip Hillary's win, but all the same .the Russians are up to no good, period.

This story barely tops the exclusion of Russian athletes from the Olympics for drug doping, but Mueller's Russia investigation is the le creme de le crumb of FBI investigations . Florida 19 year old shooter, not so much.

In the end, this will just be another day in an America life, while Mueller and company wind this thing down, and with the hopes the open sore FISA court insinuation goes away.

This whole thing is maddening.

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 1:20 pm

Here's some extra reading .

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/02/16/falsehoods-and-lies-inciting-war-war-crime.html

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 1:27 pm

Read this it shows the quality of stupidity that is running our country, or at least is a part of the small cabal that is lying to us.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/02/15/when-former-spies-turn-into-tv-experts.html

Annie , February 17, 2018 at 2:37 pm

Joe, you do have to ask yourself why Mueller came out with their non-findings on Friday when everyone's attention was drawn to the school shootings in Florida where the FBI was given warnings, but neglected to pay attention, and the governor of Florida is calling for Wray's resignation, and heads to roll.

Fox news was thrilled, and patted themselves on the back for knowing it was a lie all along, at least the part where Russia helped Trump get elected. However they continued with their anti-Russia rhetoric and repeatedly brought up Hillary's sale of Uranium to Russia. Now Trump is out there acknowledging, yes Russia interfered in our elections. Our interventionism on a world wide scale makes this all quite nauseating.

Those Russians created discord, well, they really didn't have to bother since Americans were so good at it, they didn't need any outside help. I haven't had the stomach to see how CNN, and MSNBC are going to handle this since they were such proponents of Russia-gate.

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 3:10 pm

Annie I'm glad you bring up the predictable timing of Rosenstein's release of the Mueller Russia-gate investigation, for these new allegations of Russian interference could replace the news of that awful shooting down in Florida.

I actually picture Mueller & Rosenstein as planning this long before the shooting, and I can just see them figuring out that during the next mass shooting on a Friday before a weekend news cycle, that bringing up the Russia thing would not only distract our attention away from how the FBI dropped the ball on catching a 19 year old shooter who had tons of red flags surrounding him, while adding some new life to all that is bad about Russians, was the go to point.

I'm not surprised, although disappointed, that FOX is on the anti-Russian band wagon. This keeping Russia in the dog house has been discussed, and written about on this comment board, so keeping Russia & especially Putin in the spot light of all that is evil, to me comes as no surprise.

It would appear that the U.S. is eventually going to go to war with Russia, or do we dare? Neocon's are good at dropping bombs on far away places, but will they be any good at ducking them when the bombs drop here?

And yes we Americans don't need any help from any Russians in order to screw up our democracy, we are perfectly great at doing that ourselves. Joe

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , February 17, 2018 at 7:46 pm

Annie, I'll reply to your question in another comment. But I'm going to pile onto your near-top comment to spread some important information in its own right before commenting. Bernard at Moon of Alabama has just convincingly put the lie to Mueller's indictment by building upon an article he posted last October. http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/02/mueller-indictement-the-russian-influence-is-a-commercial-marketing-scheme.html

I am now convinced that the indictment is a fraud upon the court deserving of sanctions being imposed on Mueller by the Court. I'll add some reasons for believing that in my follow-up comment.

Joe Tedesky , February 18, 2018 at 1:33 am

Paul that was the best so far of anything I read, or learned, about this Mueller/Rosenstein travesty. Joe

john wilson , February 18, 2018 at 6:04 am

Also Paul, did you know that the vice chairman of Face book has just announced that most of the Russian advertising spend happened AFTER the election. Read it for yourself on the zero hedge site.

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , February 18, 2018 at 6:14 am

Yes, Joe. I'd really like to see VIPS dive into what b presented.

The Mueller indictment is a highly unusual document. It's extraordinarily verbose for an indictment. Coupled with the fact that Mueller knew there was no way he would ever be required to prove what was charged (the U.S. has no extradition treaty with Russia), the indictment is not in reality addressed to a judge or jury; it's fodder for propaganda purposes and as discussed below, is intended to protect the indictment's entire subject matter from Freedom of Information Act requests.

As further indications that the document is a work of fiction not intended for a judge or jury:

1. The document is overflowing with information that would be filed under seal if it was not fictional. A host of classified intelligence sources and methods would be on full display if the information in the indictment was factual. E.g., we get internal Russian company documents and private emails. Those records would have to be authenticated at trial with admissible proof of how DoJ and the FBI acquired them (sources and methods) if the indictment was intended for a judge and jury. But we get a 37-page detailed document without a single redaction for classified information. Are we to seriously believe that the Deep State is willing to burn the identities of private actor spies in Russia so they can testify that they stole company documents and emails in a foreign country? Or are we to believe that the FISA Court issued search warrants for FBI or NSA to penetrate the company's networks for a criminal rather than foreign intelligence purpose?

2. There are way too many perfect smoking gun English language quotes. It's rare to get smoking gun quotes from defendants and they almost always require context to interpret them. Since we are purportedly dealing with Russians, one would also expect at least most of the quotes to be in Russian, requiring translation to English, yes? But we have here perfect English language smoking gun quotes and lots of them, without any indication that they have been translated from Russian as would be required if they had been. And they all speak for themselves, without need for interpretation. Even one such quote would be rare in criminal cases. But to have a bunch of them, all in English? It beggars belief.

3. In a normal criminal case, an indictment's allegations would be tested at a public trial and the public would then learn what the evidence actually is. But with a case where the defendants will never be extradited to stand trial, the entire case file is exempt from public disclosure under the law enforcement records Freedom of Information Act exemption so long as the investigation is ongoing. By vastly increasing the level of detail beyond what is required for an indictment, Mueller sweeps far more evidence into what is clearly exempt from public disclosure.

4. Grand jury procedure permits what bernard describes, although it is highly unethical and violates a lawyer's duty of candor to the grand jury and the court. In a grand jury, the prosecution is not required to show any evidence tending to establish the defendants' innocence. Just enough evidence for the grand jury to find that the prosecution can present a prima facie case of guilt. That means Mueller did not have to show the grand jury any of the Internet communications that favored Hillary Clinton rather than Trump. But we know from bernard's October article and from MSM reports when the Facebook ads were disclosed to Congress that the pro-Clinton communications exist too. In other words, Mueller apparently cherry picked the evidence to support his charge that the communications all favored Trump instead of Clinton.

5.The indictment presents a wacky theory that the defendants conspired to defraud the United States that is riddled with First Amendment issues. Conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, that's not obviously a bad argument. But that fraud conspiracy claim smells like a very long distance stretch to me (caveat, I have not yet researched it thoroughly). But what's fraudulent about reports you never filed with the FEC and DoJ? Why not just charge them with not filing the reports? Is it just so you can trumpet "conspiracy to commit fraud on the United States?"

There's more but those are the major points I've got so far.

[Feb 18, 2018] It pains me to once again be confronted with the fact that Sanders is a neocon hack

Feb 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Zachary Smith

Congressmen Ted Lieu and Adam Schiff, Senator Bernie Sanders , popular commentators Preet Bharara and Joe Walsh have all joined in the pile-on .

It pains me to once again be confronted with the fact that Sanders is a neocon hack.

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 1:30 pm

Your right Zachary in as much as Sanders has been inspiring, he along time ago should have dispelled this Russia-gate Bull, and went forward promoting his progressive goals. Joe

LaNinya , February 17, 2018 at 2:44 pm

I wrote off Bernie Sanders as a serious contender when, upon losing the Democratic nomination, instead of falling back on his life-long status as an Independent and socialist to throw his support to the Stein/Baraka ticket, he full-throatedly exhorted his supporters to vote for Hillary (Dick Cheney with lipstick) Clinton. Which, to me, indicated that he lacks faith in his own convictions.

It's interesting, though, that running as a "socialist" he attracted such great crowds and enthusiastic support. Remember how almost shocking that was? That anyone would be so bold as to run for president as a "socialist"?

And yet it hasn't been that long ago that the Communist Party itself would routinely field presidential candidates to run in the elections. Indeed, turns out John Brennan himself had voted for the communist candidate (Gus Hall) back in 1976.

When and how did the United States allow it's political discourse to get so cramped and narrow? Does anyone remember?

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 3:19 pm

I think the U.S. was captured into the net as far back as maybe starting with the midnight vote to establish the Federal Reserve in 1913. Another place would be the right wing Dem's putting Harry Truman on the VP ticket in 1944. And how could we analyze this downfall without including the assassination era, starting with JFK in 1963? Yes LaNinya it's been a long slow process, and it ain't over until the fascist take total control.

The public's yearning to hear Socialist Sanders, is interesting, but does anyone for one minute take the time to realize that Bernie at best is a tat to the right of an FDR new Dealer? Although you go with the best you got, it is a shame that there aren't more truly Leftist candidates, because I think Americans want them. Joe

mijkmild , February 17, 2018 at 3:39 pm

Add to that the end of the draft in 1973, which we thought was a victory, only to see a corporate military rise as the only means of access to "education" and "employment". A military corporation dedicated to war, death and destruction for profit, as well as censorship of its ultimate goals, and an industrial output of propaganda to encourage and prop up its agenda.

Rave on Sasha Alexandre. Rave on Jara. I am not your enemy. 173 Oudezijds Achterburgwal, Amsterdam Centrum.

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 4:04 pm

You raise a memorial point, milkmild. I just got off active duty around the time the draft was ended. As happy as I was, I also recall giving some thought to what would our military do, without all of us Constitutional pesky civilians around to nag the warmongering brass, as we did? Well now I know. Joe

mike k , February 17, 2018 at 3:07 pm

Sanders is a turncoat traitor to those he misled.

nonsense factory , February 17, 2018 at 3:51 pm

Sanders is interesting, in that he was basically running against Clinton just so she could say that she had an opponent. The Sanders platform is basically FDR-limited, in that if you look back to 1933 you can see FDR running on a very similar (but much more anti-Wall Street) platform.

My one piece of advice on Sanders is, don't trust politicians in this system to fix problems – we live in a seriously plutocratic system with remarkable similarities to Brezhnev's Soviet Union. Our politics is largely theater – Sanders was to be the foil to Clinton, and Trump's rise in the Republican Party was largely engineered by corporate allies of Hillary Clinton who thought he'd be easier to defeat than GW Bush. The Republican wing of the plutocracy wanted either Bush or Rubio, for similar reasons.

Trump was never supposed to win the general election, and Sanders was never supposed to get anywhere near Clinton in the primary. Somehow the whole program went off the rails, and the neolib/neocon crowd in Washington and Wall Street didn't see it coming. Now they're trying to pick up the pieces. . .

But I don't think all the king's horses and all the king's men, will be able to put the American Empire back together again. So I'm betting that the Soviet Union collapse scenario is going to play out in the United States; Gorbachev,Yeltsin, Putin. If we can find someone like Putin who will throw our politically-minded oligarchs in jail or exile them, as Putin did with Khodorkovsky, Berezovsky and Gusinsky, then we'll be much better off and the pain will not last as long.

As far as Russia vs. the USA, no, China holds all the cards, on renewable energy, on technology, on diplomacy. We should all learn to speak Chinese and Russian, anyway . . . Just so we can communicate with our equals on a level field. Bye bye Empire, bye bye. . .

[Feb 18, 2018] The Mueller indictment describes a common clickbait operation through a most hysterical and paranoid lens. Absurd madness. It's "commies are poisoning our vital bodily fluids" level stuff. Imposing controls on the internet is one endgame here

Feb 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Herman

"The U.S. deep state is using the hysterical cult of anti-Trumpism to manufacture support for increasing escalations with Russia, and the anti-Trumpists are playing right along under the delusion that pushing for moves against Russia will hurt Trump."

On the mark, but the strategy goes beyond the deep state which I take to mean actors within our government. Cui bono, and that includes suspects that make no pretense of what they are after. The problems with their plans is that it assumes they have their hand on the switch that can turn this putsch on and off and somewhere in between.

Jessika , February 17, 2018 at 5:28 pm

Absolutely, politics is mostly theater, as nonsense factory stated. Tom Welsh and mike k, what a great exchange on humans as stupid as sand fleas! The western nations are floundering because of their slavish dependence on money and military might, and the US is set for economic collapse soon with $20tn debt and unbelievable deficit and continuing to rise to aid oligarchs; meanwhile with desperate masses, many of whom can't even put a roof over their heads without help. The Goldman has Sacked US. Notice how Goldman Sachs has been in charge of the gold since Bill Clinton? These fiends are using displacement because they have made the bloodiest mess of American society so they blame Russia for what they do, they're psychopathic. We've got to call them on it. Do read that article at The Saker, "A Brief History of the Kremlin Trolls". The imprint of CIA is all over this.

jaycee , February 17, 2018 at 6:01 pm

The Mueller indictment describes a common clickbait operation through a most hysterical and paranoid lens. Absurd madness. It's "commies are poisoning our vital bodily fluids" level stuff. Imposing controls on the internet is one endgame here.

Gregory Herr , February 17, 2018 at 8:42 pm

I put myself through the excruciation of watching a bit of Chris Hayes tonight talking with Nadler (D-NY) and some guy from the Clinton campaign who were both calling the so-called "interference" an "attack" tantamount to Pearl Harbor. Hayes played the straight man and poohed the comparison a bit, but they were insistent and Hayes suggested the logical conclusion of what they were demanding in response was war. Nadler stopped short of that but said the Russians must pay a heavy price (more sanctions) and the other guy said the new war would be of the cyber variety. I think you are right that "imposing controls on the internet is one endgame here".

David G , February 17, 2018 at 9:30 pm

The rhetorical slippery slope started with "hacking the DNC" (not that I'm conceding the reality of that), and slid rapidly through:
"hacking the election" to
"hacking our democracy" to
"attacking our democracy" to
"attacking our country",
and now what you saw on MSNBC, Gregory Herr, is the norm.

I've seen: What is the difference between what the Russians did here and if they'd occupied the Aleutian Islands?

How to rationally engage with argle-bargle paranoia like that?

David G , February 17, 2018 at 9:19 pm

jaycee, I think that is actually a key point that should be foregrounded in commentary on this nonsense: the psychological drivers are concerns about *purity* and *contamination*.

I've read about studies that show such preoccupations correlate with right-wing, or "conservative", political orientation, which absolutely describes the Russia-gate construct, despite its demographic base on the Dem-partisan, allegedly liberal, side of the aisle/populace.

KiwiAntz , February 17, 2018 at 6:26 pm

I'm from NZ so I'm going to use a Lord of the Rings analogy? America & it's Deepstate is the evil "Sauron" of the World"? Sauron (like the US) is a cowardly bully who wants to dominate all life on earth using his Ork minions (MIC) & one ring (nuclear weapons) to rule them all? What did it take to stop Sauron (& what will it take to stop the US?) A last alliance of men, elves & all the other people's of middle earth (planet earth) uniting & standing together as one to confront this grave threat to life on earth?? JRR Toiken understood the situation only to well I think? Simplistic solution,but a time is coming when all Nations of the Earth are going to have to stand up too & destroy the greatest existential threat too life on Earth, that has ever been, which is the American Empire & USA? A greater threat than Nazi Germany ever was? The survival of the human race is at stake as your lunatic leaders are leading us to permanent destruction! You'd be surprised at the amount of rich Americans, think Peter Thiel for one example, buying end times, survival prepper, bolt holes in my Country of NZ as they can see what your insane, hysterical Nation is leading us too? When the rich start abandoning the Country, like rats leaving a sinking ship, ITS TIME TO TAKE NOTICE? Just as one small hobbit, the most unlikeliest of hero's changed the outcome & the fate of middle earth, it set a precedent that ordinary people or small people of the World could stand up to & unite against EVIL & become the most unlikeliest of heroes in order to SAVE our Earth? God help us all?

mike k , February 17, 2018 at 6:53 pm

Well said!

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 7:12 pm

My dying last warning to you KiwiAntz while I'm stuck here on the USA mainland is when those rich creeps of ours do come to your beloved New Zealand .immediately arrest them, and put then in jail. Since I'm not big on capital punishment that's the best advice I can give you, but if you would rather I could hand this over to my cousins in Jersey, because their good at making things disappear. Be careful, watch yourself KiwiAntz. Joe

Jessika , February 17, 2018 at 6:43 pm

Good one, KiwiAntz! I agree with you and I also think that Mother Earth is sending messages to humans, too. Too many people allowing (mis)leaders to lead us over a cliff.

mike k , February 17, 2018 at 7:00 pm

"Worse than Hitler" hits Uncle Sam right on the head. Our leaders learned a lot from Hitler and his gang, but they have gone far beyond what Hitler accomplished. Racism, power lust, torture, fiendish weapons, mass murder – we have the whole package now in spades.

Marko , February 18, 2018 at 8:26 am

Worse , indeed , but what bothers me most is that we ( the American people ) have allowed the situation to get this bad.

I used to wonder : " How could the German people have allowed Hitler to obtain and maintain his power ? Were they blind , or were they just as evil as he was ? " Now I don't have to wonder any more – I'm experiencing the phenomenon first-hand , in real time. If the Guiness Book of World Records ever comes up with a category called " Nation With the Most Irresponsible Populace " , Germany no longer has to fear being named the record-holder , thanks to us.

Euroyankee , February 17, 2018 at 7:38 pm

To say that what the Russians did had any effect on the election is like claiming it was the fly fart in the tornado that blew the roof off.

Zachary Smith , February 17, 2018 at 7:45 pm

Lately I've seen some quips which are really memorable. "Fly fart in a tornado" is great, and the one by mike k the other day also made my day:

Voting in a crooked system is like pissing in the ocean – it's OK if you have nothing better to do .

jose , February 17, 2018 at 8:32 pm

You are correct when you assert that : "It's all been gossip and innuendo" Somebody ought to tell Mr. Mueller " clay, clay, clay for without it, I cannot make bricks" I have not seen anything remotely resembling hard evidence. This entire Russia debacle reminds me of the 2007 movie of Batman in which at the end the joker states the following: "Madness as you know is like gravity, all it takes is a little push" The worse part in all this is that millions of Americans believe this Russia meddeling as a given without demanding any solid prove. The grip of the American doctrinal system is very powerful, indeed.

Rael Nidess, M.D. , February 17, 2018 at 10:02 pm

"In God's name, stop. Please."

The voice of sanity.

Jessika , February 17, 2018 at 10:34 pm

Everything written here by Caitlin Johnstone makes sense except that you can't beg a psychopath to stop what they're doing. Like asking a serial killer not to kill you.

MLS , February 17, 2018 at 11:25 pm

The more I see the same commenters congratulating themselves on their respective confident, cognitive bias-laden assertions, the more painfully obvious it becomes that while posters here may know what they have read and heard, none have any clue what is going on.

Where exactly is the factual basis, for example, for this stunning paragraph:

"Well they will not hurt Trump, because there has never been any Trump-Russia collusion. If there had been it would have been picked up by America's sprawling surveillance networks and leaked to the Washington Post before the end of 2016, and if Trump were a Putin puppet he wouldn't be continually escalating toward direct conflict with Russia in ways his predecessor Obama never would have dreamed of doing. They aren't hurting Trump with these loud cries for increased sanctions and hawkishness, they're imperiling us all."

?

Because Caitlin said so? If/then theoreticals? Please.

The great Robert Parry did research. Journalistic legwork.

The cynicism olympics of small-time blogsylvania is no substitute.

BobS , February 18, 2018 at 12:11 am

Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown.

backwardsevolution , February 18, 2018 at 4:35 am

MLS – well, where's the evidence? Please enlighten us.

[Feb 18, 2018] My question is, is the American public wittingly or nonwittingly going along for the ride on this Russia-gate bus to no where?

Feb 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Mild - ly - Facetious

Mueller Indictments Miss The Mark On Trump Russia Collusion

By Jonathan Turley
2/17/18

http://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/374312-mueller-indictments-still-miss-the-mark-on-trump-russia-collusion

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 2:05 pm

My question is, is the American public wittingly or nonwittingly going along for the ride on this Russia-gate bus to no where?

nonsense factory , February 17, 2018 at 4:00 pm

Based on what looks, at first glance, as widespread censorship of comment sections on this story in the corporate media across the English-speaking world, I'm guessing that the general public is not really buying it, outside the hardcore center of wealthy Clinton-Blair supporters and MIC insiders. That's just my impression, though.

When empires begin to collapse, the centers of wealth and power draw inwards and set up walls in a desperate bid to retain control; but the harder they try to grasp it the more slips through their fingers. They also tend to blame external forces for their own incompetence and Byzantine corruption, which is why all the finger-pointing at Russia. That's what I'm seeing, anyway.

Prophecy is never to be trusted; who knows how this will turn out? But it sure doesn't look good for the status quo of the Clinton-Bush-Obama era; those days are likely gone forever. Trump is ramping up wealth inequality with his massive tax cuts and huge military-industrial budget – again, much like the end days of the Soviet Union, when the apparatchiks had their Black Sea villas while the rest of the country lived in poverty.

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 4:06 pm

I'm growing to like hearing from you nonsense factory, thanks for your input. Joe

nonsense factory , February 17, 2018 at 8:24 pm

Thans Joe, I have used a wide variety of outlets to post my samizdat commentary but Consortium is one of the few places where both the publishers and the commentariat seem to be honest people, not playing some manipulative game.

Joe Tedesky , February 18, 2018 at 1:36 am

That's great, and you fit right in. Stay with us, we all might learn something. Joe

[Feb 18, 2018] Mueller No Collusion between Trump and Putin, but the Russia Card is Bigger than Ever by Boyd D. Cathey

Feb 18, 2018 | www.unz.com

Earlier in February, according to various Fox and Neoconservative pundits, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was close to being labeled "the devil incarnate," the man responsible for naming Robert Mueller as Special Counsel (and who had basically given him carte blanche to engage in a slow-burn campaign, an ideological investigative war, based on a spurious made-up dossier, against President Trump). Calls went out that Rosenstein should be replaced, even fired.

Now, a few days later -- and thirteen indictments from one of Mueller's grand juries, announced by the very same Rosenstein, specifically against more "Russian players" who reportedly "meddled" in the 2016 American elections, but without any connivance by the Trump campaign -- and Rosenstein is feted as a veritable savior of the republic by those same commenters. Those Neocons who now selectively support the president and those bitterly anti-Russian Fox pundits (with the possible exception of Tucker Carlson) are absolutely giddy with delight! For too long, in their defense of President Trump against the charge of collusion, they had found themselves in the extremely uncomfortable situation (for them) of having to mount an attempt to exculpate the Russians, or at least lessen their culpability.

But now, Rosenstein has presented them with one of those exquisite "Aha!" moments: at last, the onerous burden of disputing Russian connections with the Trump campaign has been lifted, but they can still, with more reason, keep those evil Russkies in the cross hairs as the supreme enemy of America!

And this fits to a tee their ideological predispositions. For the Neocons (and most of the Fox punditry) -- who are the dominant voice of the so-called contemporary "conservative movement" and the intellectual brain trust for much of the GOP -- are inveterate Russophobes. It makes no difference to them that Russia in 2018 is definitely not Russia of the old Soviet days; it makes little difference to them that since 1991 Russia has emerged as the leading global power in opposition to the secularist New World Order, and that its political and cultural trajectory is, if anything, more conservative and traditionalist. They ignore the fact that Gorbachev voluntarily agreed with George H. W. Bush to dissolve the Warsaw Pact (which he did), ending the Communist control of Eastern Europe, on condition that the United States not advance NATO further east (which is exactly what the United States then proceeded to do). They have repeatedly ignored and rejected Russian overtures for partnership, collaboration and cooperation (not the subinfeudation and subjection that Paul Wolfowitz and Charles Krauthammer demanded). They rip out of context Putin's statement that the dissolution of the old Soviet Union was "a monumental catastrophe" for Russia, failing to understand that his comments dealt specifically with the radical and disastrous ethnic and political consequences of the break up, with millions of ethnic Russians now in regions that were always part of Russia, now separated from the Mother Country, economically adrift and incapable of true independence.

Back on February 6 , in an effort to briefly explain some of the background for this zealous Russophobia, I wrote the following in a column:

"The Neocons, of course, owe their intellectual origin decades ago to that other major stream of Marxist thought, identified with Leon Trotsky and his zealous internationalism. Early on for those intellectual descendants of Trotsky their opposition to Soviet Communism was just as much a hatred for Russia, which they saw as anti-Semitic (e.g., the infamous "doctors' plot") and "reactionary," as it was for what they perceived as Stalin's (and Brezhnev's) perversion of the original "humanist" and "democratic core" of Marxist theory. Thus, even with the daily revelations, the reports and all the accounts of skulduggery by agents of the Deep State that seem to seep out, the narrative of "the Russians Did It!" must be maintained, by both Progressivists AND the Neocons. Either the Russians and that "new Hitler" (to use Neocon Max Boot's ill-chosen comparison) Putin were somehow directing Donald Trump like a puppet master controls a stick puppet, or the Russians and that "new Hitler" were working with Hillary and the DNC to blacken Donald Trump's good name and unseat him. Either way "the Russians Did It!"

So, now we hear the news from Rosenstein that thirteen individual Russians and Russian organizations, beginning back in 2014, two years prior to the 2016 elections (and before Donald Trump was even mentioned as a real candidate), are charged with "attempted meddling" in our national elections using mainly the Internet and social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). But no American citizens were compromised, and there was no collusion with the Trump campaign.

Duh. So? This is news? That a major world power spent a paltry million dollars (in a campaign in which a total of billions of dollars were spent) in some rather uniformly unsuccessful attempts to "meddle" here?

You would think that the Japs had bombed Pearl Harbor or that Putin's Cossacks had landed and seized Miami Beach! This story has nearly displaced the tragedy of the school shooting in Broward County, at least on Fox. With obvious satisfaction, Laura Ingraham (whom I do like on occasion), intoned on her Fox program: "I've been warning about the Russians for years!" But when she asked her guest former CIA director Admiral R. James Woolsey if we ever "meddled" in other countries' elections and governments, he simply laughed a bit nervously and attempted to avoid answering. (The answer is of course we do and have done so for decades : Guatemala, Iran, the Kennedy-approved assassination of President Diem, the recent Ukrainian coup against a popularly-elected but pro-Russian president, our funding of candidates subservient to our interests -- the list is endless.)

Another Fox pundit, Tucker Carlson on his program, briefly mentioned the "meddling" of Chinese operatives and organizations in the United States (where literally billions of dollars have been spent to shape American opinion and a major percentage of American commerce is now controlled by Beijing). Where is the Special Counsel investigating Chinese "meddling" and influence on American elections? Where are the congressional committees examining the extraordinary control by the Chinese of American business?

And what about Mexico which, using its various consulates scattered across the United States, helped engineer the registration of Mexican voters who would vote in the 2016 American elections? How many of those were -- are -- illegals? Except for such groups as ALIPAC, NumbersUSA, NC Listen, FAIR, VDare.com, and a few others, not a word and certainly, no congressional hearings.

Then, there is Saudi Arabia and the billions of oil-based petrodollars that have found their way into the coffers of American political leaders. When was the last time that you heard a serious critique of the Saudis (or their virtual, if remote responsibility for much of the Islamic extremism in the Middle East)?

And, lastly, and most significantly -- and this is the white elephant in the room -- what about the incredible influence of Israel in American politics? Okay, I recognize that you're not supposed to notice this, at least not mention it, lest you be labeled an "anti-semite" -- an accusation, a stain, like the charge of racism that is difficult, if not impossible, to expunge. Yet, can anyone rationally deny the immense influence of Israel -- and its "meddling" -- in our elections and politics?

I will make no judgments here whether the issues advanced by Israel and its supporters, the positions pushed, are good or bad, whether they are in our national interest or not. Israel has been an ally since its foundation in 1948, and the cultural and political bonds between our two nations have been and are very strong. But that doesn't change the facts: Israel is a major player in our politics, and such extremely powerful lobbying/public interest groups like AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) generally serve the interests of the State of Israel and attempt to identify them with American interests.

"Meddling" is an understatement when it comes to Israel. Remember the Jonathan Pollard espionage case? Pollard was a major American Israeli spy, whose spying and pilfering of top American secrets on behalf of Israel got him life imprisonment. And, politically, we only need to cast a brief glance to the past -- to the defeat of Senators J. William Fulbright (Arkansas) and Chuck Percy (Illinois), and Congressman Paul Findley (Illinois), and the attempted defeat of Representative Walter Jones Jr. more recently in North Carolina (e.g, Bill Kristol's million-dollar campaigns to defeat Jones in GOP primaries) -- all of whom refused to go along with unquestioning support of a pro-Israeli American agenda, or who raised some embarrassing questions, even in the most respectful and mildest manner.

Years ago, when working with the founder of the older conservative movement, Dr. Russell Kirk in Michigan, I met Dr. Alfred Lilienthal, a thoughtful Jewish opponent of Zionism and of the kind of international entanglements that he sincerely believed gave the Jewish state and Jews universally a negative reputation. Later on he presented me with copies of his major documented study on the topic, The Zionist Connection (original edition, 1978, and revised, 1982), which were revelatory for me.

More recently, Dr. Stephen J. Sniegoski's impressively documented, The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel (2008), and Drs. John Mearsheimer's and Stephen Walt's The Israel Lobby and U. S. Foreign Policy (2007) have deepened aspects of Dr. Lilienthal analysis. And additional research and discussion by such writers as Philip Giraldi ( "Are America's Jews Driving America's Wars," 2017), and such distinguished authors of Jewish descent as Professors Walter Block ( "Is It Permissible to Criticize Jews?" January 2018) and Paul Gottfried ( his review of Neil Jumonville's The New York Intellectuals , 2008, on the relationship between Russian Jewish emigres centered in New York and their powerful influence in American culture and politics), have raised questions that should be examined calmly and rationally, but probably won't.

The shadowy Russians purportedly spent a million dollars to "meddle" and "sow confusion" in American politics, beginning two years before the 2016 elections. And the Neocon narrative, the template that indicts Russia, is preserved, and that is all you need to know. An anti-Trump "demonstration" in New York with forty-five sullen attendees, some fake ads on Facebook (which is literally filled with millions of other fake ads), some cyber interference, some phony URLs -- and the Russophobes go literally wild.

And all the while the major players in meddling and espionage and influence here in the US -- they skate, are ignored with a wink-and-a-smile, dollar signs in the eyes of the supposed guardians of the Republic!

Sheer hypocrisy and crass dishonesty incarnate.

[A portion of this essay has appeared at: http://boydcatheyreviewofbooks.blogspot.com/2018/02/february-17-2018-my-corner-russians.html ]


Jonathan Mason , February 18, 2018 at 6:23 am GMT

Never mind, Mueller can now further boost his pension prospects by taking a leaf out of Kenneth Starr's book and start investigating Trumpian payoffs to bimbos, and consider indictments for adultery. That should give him another couple of years of pensionable Deep State service.
Ace , February 18, 2018 at 6:26 am GMT
** cultural and political bonds between our two nations **

Israel is an enemy and a financial parasite. There are no bonds between us.

NoseytheDuke , February 18, 2018 at 7:13 am GMT
Israel has been CALLED an ally. Israel has never actually been an ally.

[Feb 18, 2018] And, what about all the foreign nationals who post here in this forum on this blog? I daresay most offer opinions not complementary of the US government and its political menagerie.

"I swear that Russiagate is nothing more than trying to cover up the blatant corruption of the DNC, Hillary Clinton, the FBI, CIA and The Department of Justice. Keep everybody busy with Russiagate and don't allow the corruption (with the help of the press) to see the light of day. Otherwise, people in high places would be going to jail.
Notable quotes:
"... As many commentators have pointed out, we are a country of completely brain washed people now. Schiff, Schumer, Sanders . . . they are all cut from the same cloth. There is not one politician left in the country who will challenge the The Ruling Power Structure's narrative. Even in Russia, there are lot of opposition leadership voices who are making noises against the System they disagree with. ..."
"... They can't make "hacking" stick 'cause it's false. They can't make "Trump is a Putin puppet" stick 'cause it's false. So now the whole damn dumb show–regurgitated by either shameless war profiteers or straight-faced useful idiots–comes down to so-called Russian social media trolls exercising the same "speech" that we are supposedly so proud to call "free" in this country. ..."
"... The Thought Police use surveillance and psychological monitoring to find and eliminate members of society who challenge the party's authority and ideology. ..."
"... Anyone who has questioned the intelligence agencies narrative that Russians and Trump colluded to win the election are viewed with suspicion as potential enemies of the state. ..."
"... What is the end goal? The end goal is to prop up a long in the tooth multi-decade cold war with Russia to justify massive military spending. Do you want to know the answer to your question of whether or not the US defense industry and our intelligence agencies are trying to spark a war with Russia? ..."
"... The answer is yes they are. As crazy as that sounds, the hungry defense industry with its insatiable appetite for more weapons has decided to go for the ultimate win the lottery strategy and foment war with Russia. It had been happening under Obama and now it is happening under Trump. They are trying to box him into a corner where he will feel enough pressure to go against Russia. Perhaps they can goad him into attacking Russia which is what I believe they want to do. Our national