Softpanorama

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

DNC emails leak -- classic false flag operation to blame Vladimir Putin using Crowdstrike honchos

  Was it a false flag operation by rogues in one of three US intelligence agencies (CIA, NSA and FBI) which later produced Jan. 6 intelligence “assessment” ? Binney stated that if it were a “hack,” the NSA would have been able to detect it and make the evidence known.

Dems became the party of corruption: the DNC did conspire against Sanders

Who are those Crowdstrike "experts" who tell us those were Russians? Are those the same "experts" who found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Or the same who claim that Hillary bathroom email server was never breached?

“The same people on the Clinton team who made enormous efforts to claim her private email server—which operated unencrypted over the Internet for three months, including during trips to China and Russia, and which contained top-secret national-security data — was not hacked by the Russians now are certain that the DNC server was hacked by the Russians” http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/unpacking-the-dnc-emails/

News  CIA hacking and false flag cyber operations Recommended Links Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Strzokgate FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and very suspicious DNC leak saga Mueller invokes ghosts of GRU operatives to help his and Brennan case
Seth Rich murder Podesta emails hack "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Strzok-gate James "We are not weasels" Comey John "911 Coverup" Mueller History of American False Flag Operations
Hillary Clinton email scandal Questions about Huma Abedin email forwarding FBI Mayberry Machiavellians: CIA globalists dirty games against Sanders and Trump Brennan elections machinations Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Putin-did-it fiasco: Obama repeats Bush's WMD fiasco Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism
Obama: a yet another Neocon Nunes FISA Memo scandal FBI contractor Fusion GPS FBI Mayberry Machiavellians Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Deception as an art form Fake news hysteria in US MSM as a method of uppressing dissent against neoliberalism and militarism
Clinton Cash The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich Crisis of Character A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They O Who hacked whom propaganda game The Clintons' War on Women Roger Stone, Robert Morrow Amazon.com Books Bill Clinton New Gilded Age President Patrick J. Maney 9780700621941 Amazon.com Books The Secret Life of Bill Clinton The Unreported Stories Ambrose Evans-Pritchard  Amazon.com Books Partners in Crime The Clintons' Scheme to Monetize the White House for Personal Profit Jerome Corsi  Amazon
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Pathological lying Female Sociopaths American Exceptionalism Demonization of Putin Sandy Weill: the banker who bought Bill Clinton Financial Sector Induced Systemic Instability of Economy
Diplomacy by deception Corruption of Regulators The Deep State Machiavellism Noble Lie Hillary role in cover up of Bill Clinton sexapades Nation under attack meme
Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism  Neocons Credibility Scam Leo Strauss and the Neocons Predator state The Iron Law of Oligarchy Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Guccifer 2.0 false flag operation

Introduction

These people have no shame. Vote Trump!

USMarines, Guardian Jun 25, 2016

I didn’t have a conspiracy with that woman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz.  HRC

Today, while reading Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables ,
 I unexpectedly came across a passage which fittingly describes the DNC:

They are practiced politicians, every man of them, and skilled to adjust those
 preliminary measures which steal from the people, without its knowledge,
the power of choosing its own rulers…This little knot of subtle schemers
will control the convention, and, through it, dictate to the party.

Roland , July 28, 2016 at 7:39 am

Wikileaks proved beyond reasonable doubt that the Democratic National Committee under Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in fact, served as the Hillary Clinton Coronation Committee, operating, step by step, to ensure that the front-runner would become the party’s nominee. There nothing democratic about National Democratic Committee. It is an elitarian structure dominated by neoliberals (Clinton wing of the party), which have nothing to do with democracy, but a lot with Wall Street domination in the political life in the country.   They also served as a powerful catalyst of rising far right nationalism.  Essentially Bill Clinton created Trump.

There are strong reasons to beleave that DNS email hack was not hack but an internal leak, Here is a twit from Kim dotcom  (quoted from Zero Hedge ):

©Kim Dotcom @KimDotcom

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. Special Counsel Mueller is not interested in my evidence. My lawyers wrote to him twice. He never replied.

If this is true than Crowdstrike is really sinister and criminal organization which implanted Russian malware into DNC servers in order to frame Russians in the leak which from now on was presented as hack by Russian intelligence or some group pf hackers connected to the Russian government.

Instantly after the revelations about DNC hack (and later Podesta email breach -- Podesta essentially gave up his password to people who were behind primitive the fishing attack on his Gmail account) neocon propaganda machine and major neoliberal MSM like CNN and MCNBC was put in overdrive. They fed the US lemmings (aka voters)  that the diabolical Russian hackers were behind the DNC hack. Everything they do not like now is the result of Russian hack. Primitive but pretty effective strategy. In other words this Rove-style "bait and switch" trick to brainwash the public into believing that what the DNC actually did was not reprehensible, but its exposure was:

For Dem [media] tycoons, it’s habit. They stand behind Hill for Imperial hegemony and Full Spectrum Dominance wherever money can be extorted, always the case in our squalid, half-assed military debacles. They get that looting nations and winning wars are not the same, and only one of them matters. For Repub Capos it’s a stickier wicket but not much. For a Conservative to even consider backing a Democrat, and a Clinton at that, would have been unthinkable last May, but since no Republicans actually are conservative, they figure why cling to yesterday, and they go with their lack of principles. What horrifies them in Trump is not his racism, sexism, or crudity: those are their hole cards, beloved of their Redneck Division. What actually outrages them is that in knocking imperialism, policing the world and puppeteering NATO and Japan, in shrinking empire and friending Russia, he threatens directly the War Machine and its limitless sugar tit from Congress.

After Comey testimony some fragments of the picture of DNC hack fall into place and one interesting hypothesis is that it was a false flag operation performed by the CrowdStrike, the same firm which were later assigned to investigate the hack. Which would be in best CIA traditions, stemming from JFK murder investigation and Warren commission.

 

And I am now not surprised that nobody investigated Comey for outsourcing (or forced to outsource by threats) the "DNC hack" investigation to the very questionable firm with strong Ukrainian connections. Which might well be hired to perform the hack and blame it on Russian to hide Seth Rich story.

If Trump would not be such an idiot, he would site this as a reason of firing Comey (gross unprofessionalism and criminal negligence) and the level of fear in Clinton Mafia after that might help him to survive.

The truth is that FBI never has any access to DNC computers. None. Unlike in case of Hillary emailgate, they never were in possession of actual hardware. And they never explored Ukrainian connection, so to speak. They took all results from Cloudstrike investigation at face value.

So I suspect all opinions of US intelligence agencies about this hack are just a part of color revolution scenario: the attempt to delegitimize the sitting government and install a new government via a coup d'état.

The fighting against Russiagate is about the defense of remnants of Democracy in the USA.

Regurgitation of MSM stories, like Fred is doing, does not add much value to this blog. It is essentially a propaganda exercise. If your urge to share them is too strong, as Mr.Bill mentioned a simple link would be enough (actually the desire to read on this topic NYT might be considered as an early sign of dementia, or Alzheimer)

Despite all this "Russians are coming" smoke screen and attempt to divert attention on Russia that Clinton campaign tried to propagate via subservant MSM, the truth is that the Democratic National Committee under its Obama-installed leader Wasserman-Schultz (and that means with direct blessing of the Obama, who put his political weight behind Hillary and shielded Hillary from criminal prosecution) had from day one schemed against other primary candidates and first of all Bernie Sanders to get Clinton elected. Welcome to the USSR comrades: Politburo knows everything and will decide what is best for you. You need just relax and vote as they say.  Everything will be fine (100-Page Report Shows Staggering Evidence of Election Fraud in Democratic Primary Cosmoso)

A recent report from Election Justice USA shows as many as 184 delegates were stolen from Bernie Sanders due to election fraud in the Democratic Primary

While it’s unclear whether the super delegates would have voted for Sanders, the EJUSA report does make one thing clear: Bernie Sanders won the majority of pledged delegates in the Democratic Primary at 2030 to Hillary Clinton’s 2021.

These numbers were arrived at by EJUSA’s intensive research and verification into claims of voter suppression, unintended party affiliation changes, heavy voter purging, and registrations never being honored by the Board of Elections in various counties throughout the U.S. during the Democratic Primary. In some cases, signatures were even forged on party affiliation documents and evidence of computer hacking being involved has come to light.

The fact that the emails exposed a coordinated effort to rob Bernie (which is a criminal offence in any state that called itself democratic as it interfere with the will of the people) was swiped under the carpet.  The DNC emails released by WikiLeaks showed that the Democratic National Committee has been implementing a coordinated multi-staged plan to undermine Bernie Sanders’ campaign. It also reveled an attempt to control media coverage (so that it benefitted Hillary) and the neoliberal MSM collusion with the DNC. It is now clear that the democratic presidential primary was rigged from the start and Hillary is an illegitimate candidate.

If nothing else, the crooked primaries process revealed just how much the DNC has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Clinton family, that can't even maintain the pretense of neutrality or impartiality--as the DNC's charter requires. And it's also exposed just how much the Fourth Estate has abandoned even the pretense of being the public's watch-dogs for the role of being the Clinton's lapdogs -- fitting classic definition of the "courtier press".  Now they are shamelessly preying on peoples' lack of understanding of computers trying to hide their criminal behaviour by "Putin did it" smoke screen.  They are also shamelessly preying on naive peoples' trust in experts, which has serious downstream effects when these "experts" are debunked. The way that the Russia-Trump storyline has been pounded into our consciousness by the media and the Democratic Party, including at the convention in prime time, is a calculated effort to take our eye off the ball and is a classic “shoot the messenger” tactic.

Clinton is trying to market herself as the Serious/Safe candidate, but her campaign is acting completely hysterical. Intead of welcoming transparency and investigating corrupt DNC officials involved in the plot against Sanders, they try to "kill the messenger" trick. This whole Putin-hack thing if a pure anti-Russian hysteria. There is no proof that Russia or Russian hackers were involved.  And if hack was really sophisticated there will be no proof as after certain amount of time evidence (connection logs on routers and such) disappeared.  NSA might still have something but they typically do not revel what they know.

\Instead this is another demonstration of how corrupt Hillary is as a politician. Like mafia boss she will stop at nothing at achieving her goals -- in this case the goal is to become the President of the USA. And this is not the first instance of "Hillary" poisonous  effect on anything she touches. Let's remember that she went into State Department to get the foreign policy experience and now has a record on it that should have every sane person saying keep her away from sharp objects and things that go "boom".

Funny though, formally Schultz takes her orders from Obama, as the Chairman of the Party, the DNC Board of Directors and team Hillary.   If any blame should go around, it should splash onto all individuals in DNC, not just Schultz.  Moreover, her boss, "constitutional scholar" Obama, in this particular case also looks like a regular Chicago Mafiosi: he and his DNC accomplishes  swindle the millions of Americans who donated on average $27 to Bernie's campaign hoping (falsely as we know now) that it was a fair contest... 

Why did "Crooked Hillary" directed her puppets in DNC to sabotage Bernie? She didn't need to, as she got super delegates in her pocket from the very start.  But like many sociopaths she did because she can. Now many Bernie backers won't vote for her. 

This election is about establishment (and that means that people are not voting for, they're voting against) and Hillary is an establishment candidate. A female successor of neoliberal "bait and switch" king Obama; who is widely hated because of his support of TPP. )

I think she lost quit a bit of votes due to this scandal.  This election cycle the vote against establishment politicians might be stronger than the vote for them. That's why Jeb Bush lost.

We shouldn't get roped into discussing allegations about who leaked the emails. That's what Hillary wants the conversation to be about. It is the content of emails and thier authenticity  that matter. The fact is these emails show the DNC fixed the nomination for Hillary. This has been so downplayed by the mainstream media as it shows them in their true light.  Compare their coverage (or the lack of thereof) to the 24x7 coverage Melania Trump's plagiarised speech got.

We shouldn't get roped into discussing allegations about who leaked the emails. That's what Hillary wants the conversation to be about. It is the content of emails and their authenticity  that matter. The fact is these emails show the DNC fixed the nomination for Hillary. This has been so downplayed by the mainstream media as it shows them in their true light.  Compare their coverage (or the lack of thereof) to the 24x7 coverage Melania Trump's plagiarized speech got.

Michael109,   

Clinton, who received 3.1m from Wall Street for speeches last year, and who was "extremely careless" with national security and who clearly lied under oath to Congress had the entire system rigged in her favour and millions of mostly younger people who supported Sanders have received a slap in the face by a corrupt Dem Party.

Clinton has dragged the party into the sewer with her. They should have told her to step down months ago. This is a shameful Dem convention

Like Clinton foundation and its affiliate entities, the DNC, could be considered a criminal enterprise or racketing influenced organization. Those who haven’t realized that, or worse, who shill for them are willfully ignorant, amoral, or unethical.  Clinton has dragged the party into the sewer with her. They should have told her to step down months ago. This is a shameful Dem convention

VietnamVet

The 2016 election cannot be looked at in isolation. The wars for profit are spreading from Nigeria through Syria to Ukraine. Turkey was just lost to the Islamists and is on the road to being a failed state. The EU is in an existential crisis due to Brexit, the refugee crisis and austerity. Western leadership is utterly incompetent and failing to protect its citizens.

Globalization is failing. Its Losers are tipping over the apple cart. Humans are returning to their tribal roots for safety. The drums for war with Russia are beating. Clinton / Kaine are 100% Status Quo Globalists. Trump / Pence are candidates of change to who knows what. Currently I am planning on voting for the Green Party in the hope it becomes viable and praying that the chaos avoids Maryland.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and DNC staff served as part of Clinton campaign and designed and amplified phony attacks on Sanders. Krugman plays the role of Clinton surrogate, using campaign talking points and spin to claim that Sanders is “over the edge”. They launched a a systematic attack  basically questioning his authenticity. These are mostly cheap swiftboating attacks and straw man arguments coming from the mainstream media and DNC insiders. The attacks are usually passive-aggressive, as in the New York Times ignoring him for long stretches and then coming up with the occasional dismissive "he can't possibly win, because we say so" tripe. They often reek of cheerful condescension. See this and this.

Then there was more dangerous theme casting Sanders as a convenient prop for Hillary Clinton, a supporting actor who exists only for the cosmetic purpose of "pushing her to the left." This trope is becoming so over-used that people are beginning to notice that it is a dirty trick. These are dangerous times for non-establishment politicians due to domination of neoliberal Political Correctness and corporate neoliberal propaganda (The Swift-boating of Bernie Sanders ):

We had the expected political reaction—the DNC, under the enlightened leadership of Hillary supporter Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has decided PAC money from lobbyists is OK after all, thus freeing up David Brock’s Hillary PAC to do whatever the hell it wants. The head of the Democratic party in Iowa, who has a pro-Hillary license plate, has ruled out any sort of recount on the voting in Iowa, about which a number of questions had been raised, but the media appears to have moved on... 

Hillary definitely has the 1% vote locked up ... but they are, after all, just 1%.

The best analysis of DNC leak that I have found so far is Peter van Buren article in American Conservative Unpacking the DNC Emails The American Conservative (July 26, 2016), His 11 point really cover all the bases:

... ... ...
  1. The same people on the Clinton team who made enormous efforts to claim her private email server—which operated unencrypted over the Internet for three months, including during trips to China and Russia, and which contained top-secret national-security data—was not hacked by the Russians now are certain that the DNC server was hacked by the Russians.
  2. Many in Camp Clinton and the media labeled Bernie Sanders’ supporters paranoid when they claimed that the DNC was working against them. The hacked emails confirm that the DNC was in fact working against them. One official proposed getting “someone,” presumably a reporter, to ask Sanders if he’s an atheist to discredit him in religious areas.
  3. Claims of pro-Clinton media bias were dismissed during the primaries. The hacked emails confirm that the DNC was working closely with the media to seek negative coverage of Sanders and positive coverage of Clinton.
  4. Politico now admits it was a “mistake” sending the DNC an article draft in advance. The writer showed the draft to the DNC even before his own editors saw it.
  5. Facebook admits to blocking WikiLeaks links to the DNC email hack from its newsfeeds (but blames spam filters).
  6. The DNC appears to have expended significantly more effort against Bernie Sanders than it did against any of the Republican candidates.
  7. Instead of focusing on the contents of the hacked emails and the dirty tricks they exposed, many mainstream-media outlets headlined instead the Clinton-campaign talking point that the Russians hacked the emails and released them in an effort to derail her candidacy in favor of Donald Trump’s. Many of the same stories suggest Trump is some sort of pro-Putin stooge.
  8. On 60 Minutes, Clinton refused to say that intervention by the DNC to favor one candidate was “improper.” Her non-answer was edited out of the broadcast when it ran on Sunday; the network later released it online.
  9. After DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced her resignation following this week’s Democratic convention, the Clinton campaign announced Wasserman Schultz would be hired by them as “honorary chair of Hillary’s campaign’s 50-state program to elect Democrats in every part of the country, and as a surrogate for her campaign nationally.”
  10. Wasserman Schultz will be replaced as DNC chair by (only now former) CNN commentator Donna Brazile. Brazile argued the pro-Clinton side of debates on CNN throughout the primary season.
  11. In the hacked emails, Brazile said “I will cuss out the Sanders camp!” over complaints by Sanders of inadequate representation by the DNC. In March, while still employed by CNN, Brazile called Sanders’ decision to run as a Democrat (rather than an independent) for the additional media exposure “extremely disgraceful.”

Sadly, Bernie Sanders, his campaign sabotaged by the DNC—and what were once “paranoid” accusations now proved—still endorses Hillary Clinton and will still speak at the Democratic National Convention. It pains me to say, as his once-supporter, that the man has no courage. Even Ted Cruz stood up for himself in front of the Republicans in Cleveland. It is a sad day when we learn Ted Cruz has more guts than Bernie Sanders.

Those who are calling all this a coup of sorts—they’re wrong. It’s a surrender. But in the words of Hillary Clinton, what difference does it make?

Peter Van Buren blew the whistle on State Department waste and mismanagement during the “reconstruction” of Iraq in his book We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People. He writes about current events at We Meant Well. His latest book is Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99Percent. His next work will be a novel, Hooper’s War.

All this dirty tricks define the future of Democratic Party. Seriously. Less and less people are believing that Democrat represents them. I think half of trade union members will vote Trump. That's  a direct result of the sellout by Bill Clinton of Democratic Party to Wall Street.  A vote for Mrs Clinton means a continuation of the rule of financial oligarchy what we've experienced since Reagan, and that is not acceptable.  Another four years of amoral enrichment of transnational corporations that Hillary election guarantee is just kicking can down the road.

Attempt to blame Russians and Putin

Seems Putin controls Trump and Clinton! The man is amazing.

Only Jedi Knights can stop him.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,”
 Donald J. Trump said, referring to messages deemed personal by Hillary Clinton
 and deleted from her private email server.

 

Bullsh**t that MSM are now propagating is essentially a variation of the old theme  "The Russians are Coming".  Here is nice satire on the topic (washingtonsblog.com):

MC: President Putin, did the Russian government hack the DNC email server and then publically release those emails through Wikileaks the day before the Democratic convention?

Putin: Yes.

MC: Yes! Are you serious?

Putin: I’m quite serious.

MC: How can you justify this open meddling in United States politics?

MC: How can you justify this open meddling in United States politics?

Putin: Your question should be what took Russia so long. The US oligarchs and their minions surround us with military bases and nuclear missiles, damage our trade to Europe, and seek to destabilize our domestic politics.  These emails are nothing in the big picture. But they’re sort of funny, don’t you agree?

MC: I’m not sure that funny is the right word.  What do you mean by that?

Putin:   You’ve got Hillary Clinton running as a strong and independent woman. Of course, nobody would know who she is had she not married Bill Clinton. She’s not independent. Quite the contrary. She had to marry a philandering redneck to get to where she is. When it comes to strength, I can say only this. How strong can you be if you have to cheat and create a rigged game to win the nomination?

MC: Anything else about your leak to cheer us up?

Putin: This situation is the epitome of ironic humor. After the emails were released, the focus was all on DNC Chair and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. That’s fine for now but what happens when people start asking why Wasserman-Schultz had the DNC screw Sanders and boost Hillary? Did she just wake up one day and decide this on her own?. Not likely. She was and remains Hillary’s agent.   It will take people a while to arrive that answer. When enough people hear about Wasserman-Schultz’s key role in the Clinton campaign, everything will be clear.   It’s adios Hillary. That inevitable conclusion, by the way, is the reason the DNC made such a big deal about Russia hacking the DNC.  That was diversion one right out of the gate.

DNC and Clinton are going to push the Russian card very hard in anticipation of further stories and revelations of corruption, money laundering, etc.  Technical analysis provided is some idiotic, entry level nonsense. And it should ne complete bulsh*t as those cases are very complex and can used smokescreen -- deflecting attention from a read source (for example Israel) to Russians (Israel has large Russian speaking population, that is well represented in security services of the country; CIA can imitate Russian attack even better then Israel, actually they can imitate attacks from any country; hacks are a perfect opportunity to stage a false flag operation -- they there is not better specialists in this area that CIA ).

When the USA opened this can of worm with Stixnet (discovered around mid 2010) and Flame (discovered around 2012), they did not expect a blowback. Now it start coming: it is simply impossible to secure "normal" Microsoft-based IT system against any sophisticated adversary. Remember that we live in the period when developed by NSA and "friends" Flame and Stixnet worm are part of the recorded history. And  technologies used in them are well studied by all major world three letter agencies. They became a part of their workbook.  And the response to their devilishness they generated even more devilish methods of attack of any IT infrastructure based on Microsoft technologies, to say nothing about such low hanging fruit as completely  corrupt  DNC with semi-competent IT staff using pathetic Microsoft Exchange based email system: (naked capitalism):

However, in this short post I want to focus on a much narrower question: Can we ever know who hacked the DNC email? Because if we can't, then clearly we can't know the Russians did. And so I want to hoist this by alert reader JacobiteInTraining from comments :

Yup, as a former server admin it is patently absurd to attribute a hack to anyone in particular until a substantial amount of forensic work has been done. (read, poring over multiple internal log files…gathering yet more log files of yet more internal devices, poring over them, then – once the request hops out of your org – requesting logfiles from remote entities, poring over *those* log files, requesting further log files from yet more upstream entities, wash rinse repeat ad infinitum).

For example, at its simplest, I would expect a middling-competency hacker to find an open wifi hub across town to connect to, then VPN to server in, say, Tonga, then VPN from there to another box in Sweden, then connect to a PC previously compromised in Iowa, then VPN to yet another anonymous cloud server in Latvia, and (assuming the mountain dew is running low, gotta get cracking) then RDP to the target server and grab as many docs as possible. RAR those up and encrypt them, FTP them to a compromised media server in South Korea, email them from there to someones gmail account previously hacked, xfer them to a P2P file sharing app, and then finally access them later from a completely different set of servers.

In many cases where I did this sort of analysis I still ended up with a complete dead end: some sysadmins at remote companies or orgs would be sympathetic and give me actual related log files. Others would be sympathetic but would not give files, and instead do their own analysis to give me tips. Many never responded, and most IPs ended up at unknown (compromised) personal PCs, or devices where the owner could not be found anyway.

If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence you might get lucky – but that demographic mostly points back to script kiddies and/or criminal dweebs – i.e., rather then just surreptitiously exfiltrating the goods they instead left messages or altered things that seemed to indicate their own backgrounds or prejudices, or left a message that was more easily 'traced'. If, of course, you took that evidence at face value and it was not itself an attempt at obfuscation.

Short of a state actor such as an NSA who captures it ALL anyway, and/or can access any log files at any public or private network at its own whim – its completely silly to attribute a hack to anyone at this point.

So, I guess I am reduced to LOL OMG WTF its fer the LULZ!!!!!

And :

Just to clarify on the "…If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence…" – this is basically what I have seen reported as 'evidence' pointing to Russia: the Cyrillic keyboard signature, the 'appeared to cease work on Russian holidays' stuff, and the association with 'known Russian hacking groups'.

That's great and all, but in past work I am sure my own 'research' could easily have gotten me 'associated' with known hacking groups. Presumably various 'sophisticated' methods and tools get you closer to possible suspects…but that kind of stuff is cycled and recycled throughout the community worldwide – as soon as anything like that is known and published, any reasonably competent hacker (or org of hackers) is learning how to do the same thing and incorporating such things into their own methods. (imitation being the sincerest form of flattery)

I guess I have a lot more respect for the kinds of people I expect to be getting a paycheck from foreign Intelligence agencies then to believe that they would leave such obvious clues behind 'accidentally'. But if we are going to be starting wars over this stuff w/Russia, or China, I guess I would hope the adults in the room don't go all apesh*t and start chanting COMMIES, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!, etc. before the ink is dry on the 'crime'.

The whole episode reminds me of the Sony hack , for which Obama also blamed a demonized foreign power. Interestingly - to beg the question here - the blaming was also based on a foreign character set in the data (though Hangul, not Korean). Look! A clue!

JacobiteInTraining's methodology also reminds me of NC's coverage of Grexit. Symbol manipulators - like those in the Democrat-leaning creative class - often believe that real economy systems are as easy to manipulate as symbol systems are. In Greece, for example, it really was a difficult technical challenge for Greece to reintroduce the drachma, especially given the time-frame, as contributor Clive remorselessly showed. Similarly, it's really not credible to hire a consultant and get a hacking report with a turnaround time of less than a week, even leaving aside the idea that the DNC just might have hired a consultant that would give them the result they wanted (because who among us, etc.) What JacobiteInTraining shows us is that computer forensics is laborious, takes time, and is very unlikely to yield results suitable for framing in the narratives proffered by the political class. Of course, that does confirm all my priors!

Readers, thoughts?

Update Addition by Yves:

Another reader, Hacker, observed (emphasis original):

There is a problem with those who argue that these are sophisticated Nation State attackers and then point to the most basic circumstantial evidence to support their case. I'd bet that, among others, the Israelis have hacked some Russian servers to launch attacks from and have some of their workers on a Russian holiday schedule. Those things have been written about in attack analysis so much over the last 15-20 years that they'd be stupid not to.

Now, I'm not saying the Israelis did it. I'm saying that the evidence provided so far by those arguing it is Russia is so flaky as to prove that the Russia accusers are blinded or corrupted by their own political agenda.

Update [Yves, courtesy Richard Smith] 7:45 AM. Another Medium piece by Jeffrey Carr, Can Facts Slow The DNC Breach Runaway Train? who has been fact-checking this story and comes away Not Happy. For instance:

Thomas Rid wrote:

One of the strongest pieces of evidence linking GRU to the DNC hack is the equivalent of identical fingerprints found in two burglarized buildings: a reused command-and-control address - 176.31.112[.]10 - that was hard coded in a piece of malware found both in the German parliament as well as on the DNC's servers. Russian military intelligence was identified by the German domestic security agency BfV as the actor responsible for the Bundestag breach. The infrastructure behind the fake MIS Department domain was also linked to the Berlin intrusion through at least one other element, a shared SSL certificate.

This paragraph sounds quite damning if you take it at face value, but if you invest a little time into checking the source material, its carefully constructed narrative falls apart.

Problem #1: The IP address 176.31.112[.]10 used in the Bundestag breach as a Command and Control server has never been connected to the Russian intelligence services. In fact, Claudio Guarnieri , a highly regarded security researcher, whose technical analysis was referenced by Rid, stated that "no evidence allows to tie the attacks to governments of any particular country."

Mind you, he has two additional problems with that claim alone. This piece is a must read if you want to dig further into this topic.

NOTES

[1] More than a talking point but, really, less than a narrative. It's like we need a new word for these bite-sized, meme-ready, disposable, "throw 'em against the wall and see if they stick" stories; mini-narrative, or narrativelette, perhaps. "All the crunch of a real narrative, but none of the nutrition!"

[2] This post is not about today's Trump moral panic, where the political class is frothing and stamping about The Donald's humorous (or ballbusting, take your pick) statement that he "hoped" the Russians had hacked the 30,000 emails that Clinton supposedly deleted from the email server she privatized in her public capacity as Secretary of State before handing the whole flaming and steaming mess over to investigators. First, who cares? Those emails are all about yoga lessons and Chelsea's wedding. Right? Second, Clinton didn't secure the server for three months. What did she expect? Third, Trump's suggestion is just dumb; the NSA has to have that data, so just ask them? Finally, to be fair, Trump shouldn't have uttered the word "Russia." He should have said "Liechtenstein," or "Tonga," because it's hard to believe that there's a country too small to hack as fat a target as Clinton presented; Trump was being inflammatory. Points off. Bad show.

Pavel , July 28, 2016 at 4:01 am

For those interested, the excellent interviewer Scott Horton just spoke with Jeffrey Carr, an IT security expert about all this. It's about 30 mins:

Jeffrey Carr, a cyber intelligence expert and CEO of Taia Global, Inc., discusses his fact-checking of Josh Marshall's TalkingPointsMemo article that claims a close alliance between Trump and Putin; and why the individuals blaming Russia for the DNC email hack are more motivated by politics than solid evidence.

–The Scott Horton Show: 7/25/16 Jeffrey Carr

Carr makes the point that even supposed clues about Russian involvement ("the default language is Cyrillic!") are meaningless as all these could be spoofed by another party.

Separately it just shows again Team Clinton's (and DNC's) political deviousness and expertise how they –with the full support of the MSM of course –have managed to deflect the discussion to Trump and Russia from how the DNC subverted US democracy.

pretzelattack , July 28, 2016 at 4:15 am

and again, we see the cavalier attitude about national security from the clinton camp, aggravating the already tense relationship with russia over this bullshit, all to avoid some political disadvantage. clinton doesn't care if russia gets the nuclear launch codes seemingly, but impact her chances to win the race and it's all guns firing.

dk , July 28, 2016 at 4:59 am

"… all these could be spoofed by another party."

Well yeah, and I could be a bot, how do you know I'm not?

Absent any other evidence to work with, I can accept it as credible that a clumsy Russian or Baltic user posted viewed and saved docs instead of the originals; par for the course in public and private bureaucracies the world over. It would have been useful to see the original Properties metadata; instead we get crapped up copies. That only tells me the poster is something of a lightweight, and it at least somewhat suggests that these docs passed through multiple hands.

But that doesn't mean A) the original penetration occurred under state control (or even in Russia proper), much less B) that Putin Himself ordered the hack attempts, which is the searing retinal afterimage that the the media name-dropping and photo-illustrating conflation produces.

Unspoofed, the Cyrillic fingerprints still do not closely constrain conclusion to A, and even less to B.

Another name for the trick DNC used is "Catch a chief" -- a deflection of attention from their own criminal behaviour. But they should now be really afraid about what can come next from Wikileaks or elsewhere. I don't think Hillary was capable to understand how easy it is to find corruption, especially when there's a email trail.  And this lack of understanding is a typical feature of a sociopath (http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/could-hillary-clinton-be-a-sociopath/ )

As Guardian reported (The Guardian) Clinton campaign tried old "dog eat my homework" trick blaming everything on Putin and trying to ignore the content of them and the dirty laundry they expose:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has accused Russia of meddling in the 2016 presidential election, saying its hackers stole Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails and released them to foment disunity in the party and aid Donald Trump.

Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said on Sunday that “experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails, [and are] releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump”.

“I don’t think it’s coincidental that these emails are being released on the eve of our convention here,” he told CNN’s State of the Union, alluding to the party’s four-day exercise in unification which is set to take place this week in Philadelphia.

“This isn’t my assertion,” Mook said. “This is what experts are telling us.”

In a statement, the Clinton campaign repeated the accusation: “This is further evidence the Russian government is trying to influence the outcome of the election.”

Classic scapegoating. As Guardian commenter noted "Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak??

As life exceeds satire, one can imagine that within a week Wikileaks will produce those "missing e-mails". And later Hillary's Wall Street speeches, following the next appeal from Trump.

In any case a major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't like behaviors like a Mafioso clan, and when caught red handed start to deflect attention via corrupt and subservant MSM, changing focus into Russia and Putin instead. Great journalism!" The Guardian

 atopic  

I find very I interesting that, somehow, the initial DNC leak story failed to make a headline position (a day late, at that) on the Guardian, but now that it's blown up on other channels, the DNC's ridiculous conspiracy theory/distraction attempt gets top billing here. Ridiculous.

Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak?? A major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't like, and somehow we're talking about Putin instead. Great journalism.

 
Chanze Jennings ->  atopic

The Guardian has sunk to a new low and has entirely no shame. It's a sad day for journalism when Twitter has more integrity than most news outlets. And they wonder why newspapers are going the way of the Dodo. Remember when real journalists presented stories with little bias and tried hard to stick to the facts?

BTW there are some real experts on this and they have a different opinion. Check comments for the blog post: 

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/07/nsa-whistleblower-not-so-fast-on-claims-russia-behind-dnc-email-hack.html

Heat on Sanders for betrayal of his supporters

DNC betrayed Bernie Sanders and the rest of America. But at this moment Sanders already folded. In other words, the Clinton mafia again created a mess. And they are now turning to Sanders — the very one they betrayed — to come in and clean it up. In effect Clinton mafia wants Sanders persuade  his supporters not to harbor any ill feelings over being stabbed in the back. That gave him perfect opportunity to reneg of his promised and run as independent or with Green Party

Bernie caved. A pity really, but understandable given the fact that the collusion between a corrupt Hillary campaign and a mendacious "free" media meant that even getting to the Convention floor was a struggle.

NYT now is afraid to open comments on this as they will swamped with denunciation of Hillary.  Sanders lied to his supporters that Trump represents bigger danger then Killary. nobody represent bigger danger then Killary.  Bernie Sanders, hypocrite, or canny operator? Is this another hostage situation and with what Clinton criminal cartel threatened him ?  “This campaign is not really about Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, or any other candidate who sought the presidency,” Sanders told a New Hampshire crowd Tuesday in a speech endorsing Hillary Clinton. “This campaign is about the needs of the American people and addressing the very serious crisis that we face.” Posting under the hashtag #SandersSellsOut, sanders supporters drew parallels with a previous uncomfortable endorsement of a presidential candidate, labeling it “another hostage situation.” Most view his endorsement on Monday, as the infidelity in a relationship and a bad break up.

Democratic voters are now splintered over neoliberal globalization, much like Republican supporters. Most already made decisions whom they will support and Clinton mafia has little chances to move those who reject their criminality and support of neoliberal globalization. It was actually Bill Clinton who sold the party to Wall Street making it another wing on neoliberal party of globalist and transnational corporations.

The Democrats' dirty laundry was aired at a worse possibly time for Hillary and I hope she will pay for DNC manipulations full price. It is clear after the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s victory in the Republican presidential primaries that voters are revolting against the neoliberal globalization that dominated the US and Britain economic and foreign policy since the 1970th, if not earlier.  The willingness of people to be intimidated by bought neoliberal economists into supporting cosmopolitan outcomes appears for the moment to have been exhausted.

Corrupt to the core MSM ignore the event and try to distract readers with scapegoating nonsense

ABC and CNN are essentially part of the DNC propaganda wing. They and most other MSM were trying to reshape this mess to reduce the amount of damage.  Stephanopolis worked for Bill Clinton. And donated $75,000 to Hillary's campaign. And now he is trying to paint Trump as having ties to the Putin regime.

They try do not touch Hillary connections with Saudi, revive email scandal, touch Clinton cash skandal,  etc. They really behave like they are part of Clinton campaign. And readers noticed that as is evident from comments (The 4 Most Damaging Emails From the DNC WikiLeaks Dump - ABC News):

Kintbury  -> Mr. Fusion 21 hours ago

You are going to have to do a heck of a lot better than that. A Saudi Prince has admitted to funding a large portion of Hillary's campaign. That is a tie. All the money she took from those countries while benefiting them as Secretary of State is a tie.

Know Mei > deanbob
"Spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do," Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Oh, believe me, Debbie, the American people know what the Democratic Party and the Republican Party does. Both parties embellish, manipulate, grant high positions to big donors, plot, backstab and railroad the vote of the American electorate. However, business as usual did not work well for the Republican Party elitists this primary season. Donald Trump beat the Republican Party elitists at their game. Bernie Sanders attempted to do the same to the Democratic Party.
Alti  -> ADLives 2 days ago

I think they are being short-sighted. Trump will in all likelihood win now and I don't see him sticking to the script. The media has completely betrayed the American public on this story. From Facebook and Twitter blocking and deleting stories re: same initially - to now with the non-articles we are getting from the big news agencies. Finding decent, honest news coverage shouldn't be so hard.

William Carr > Know Mei •

“Both parties embellish, manipulate, grant high positions to big donors, plot, backstab and railroad the vote of the American electorate”

America needs international monitors to oversee our elections

In reality Wikileaks exposed the blatant corruption of the primary process for voters. The elephant was in the room, but the real situation with Democratic Party primary process is now  suppressed.

Mysterious assassination of Seth Rich

Seth Conrad Rich, a 27-year-old who worked for the Democratic National Committee as the voter expansion data director died of multiple gunshot wounds in the 2100 block of Flagler Place on July 10, 2017. The police reported it as a robbery, but nothing on Seth was taken. Seth’s cash, phone, and belongings were all still on him when he was found.

Before Seth started working at the DNC two years ago, Rich was a research associate for Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for two years, according to his LinkedIn page. The 2011 Creighton University graduate also worked for former Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson’s campaign and interned in his office.

There are a lot of rumors going around about his death and if it was a hit job. Below OAN reported on the murder and below that is a possible explanation of his assassination and all of the information is documented.

From /u/MyKettleIsNotBlack:
    The Clintons have known the Kleebs since at least 2008. Scott Kleeb started a business the Clinton Global Initiative was found fraudulently supporting. Seth Rich was deeply entrenched with the Kleebs from their Nebraska Democratic work. Seth Rich was hired onto a position in the DNC out of a job from a data consulting firm which had previously worked with President Clinton, which was opened up because the Clintons pushed for the Voter Expansion project so that 2008 didn’t happen to Hillary in 2016. Seth Rich has at least 2 connections to the Clintons. Jane Kleeb is a voracious environmentalist/Sanders supporter who might’ve prompted Seth Rich to leak the emails, especially after their business was one month earlier revealed for fraudulency. The best way to cover their tracks would be to make this seem like another right-wing conspiracy. His murder was deemed a robbery, but nothing was missing from his person.

    2007: Seth Rich works on Ben Nelson campaign for Senate as assistant field coordinator https://www.linkedin.com/in/sethrich1
    2004-2007: Jane Fleming is Executive Director for Young Democrats of America http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF17/20130919/101321/HHRG-113-IF17-Bio-KleebJ-20130919.pdf
    2006: Scott Kleeb is running for Nebraska’s 3rd Congr. Seat, beaten by Republicans due to GWBush visit in the district and robo-calls https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Kleeb
    2007: Scott Kleeb marries Jane Fleming Kleeb https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Kleeb
    2007: Scott is “grassroots” Candidate, should run against Nelson http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lane-hudson/draft-kleeb-in-nebraska-a_b_74236.html
    2008: Scott doesn’t run for Ben Nelson’s seat but takes Chuck Hagel’s vacated nomination https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Kleeb
    2008: Seth Rich works for Scott Kleeb for Senate https://www.linkedin.com/in/sethrich1
    2008: Hillary Loses Bid For President
    2009: Scott Kleeb launches Energy Pioneer Solutions https://www.linkedin.com/in/scott-kleeb-3335a625
    2010: Keystone Pipeline inspired Jane Kleeb (an environmentalist) to found Bold Nebraska in protest http://watchdog.org/99531/bold-nebraska-sees-keystone-xl-bogeyman-in-wrong-corner/ http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF17/20130919/101321/HHRG-113-IF17-Bio-KleebJ-20130919.pdf
    2010: Clinton Global Initiative gives innappropriate funds to Energy Pioneer Solutions at the behest of Bill Clinton Energy Pioneer Solutions is owned by Bill’s Friends http://nypost.com/2016/05/13/clinton-charity-arranged-2m-pledge-to-company-owned-by-bills-friend/
    McMahon, “Energizer” according to Secret Service for the Clintons, is 29% stakeholder. Kleebs, Weiner also stakeholders http://radaronline.com/celebrity-news/bill-clinton-mistress-energizer-julie-tauber-mcmahon-2-million-dollars-charity/ http://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2016/05/13/quid-pro-quo-clinton-foundation-gave-money-to-forprofit-company-run-by-clinton-friends-n2162288
    What happened to Hillary’s Keystone Pipeline stances? Bold Nebraska got what it wanted, but what did Bill get from Scott?
    2014: Clintons push for Voter Expansion Project with DNC http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2014/02/27/283550311/clintons-provide-firepower-behind-dnc-voter-expansion-project
    2014: Seth Rich is hired onto Voter Expansion Project in Data Director Role and away from another job at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner https://www.linkedin.com/in/sethrich1 http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/22/the-dnc-knows-everything-about-you.html
    Greenberg Quinlan Rosner is the same firm which advised Bill Clinton for his presidency: https://www.campaignsandelections.com/campaign-insider/greenberg-quinlan-rosner-launches-in-canada
    May 2016: Energy Pioneer Solutions scandal is uncovered, people assume Bill’s just cheating again
    June 2016: Jane Kleeb is a Bernie Supporter, and big time. Beats a Hillary supporter for chair of Nebraska DNC, risking Hillary’s delegates http://www.omaha.com/news/nebraska/jane-kleeb-elected-leader-of-state-democratic-party/article_95b44a9c-ea5b-58b9-ad7a-1feab2a7bf84.html
    July 2016: DNC emails obtained by someone with access and hatred towards Hillary-run DNC
    July 10: Seth Rich murdered
    July 14/15: DNC emails leak
    7/25/2016: Julian Assange hints at insider http://dailycaller.com/2016/07/25/julian-assange-any-dnc-staffer-could-have-been-the-leaker/
Seth Conrad Rich’s unsolved murder on a Washington D.C. street was very suspecious because he was a staffer and self-described data analyst for the Democratic National Committee and has access to the emails that were leaked.

WikiLeaks is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to a conviction in Rich’s death (that’s in addition to a previous $25,000 reward being offered in the case).

Most recently, Rod Wheeler, a private investigator recanted claims he made to Fox 5 in Washington D.C. about Rich and WikiLeaks – claims that are disputed by Rich’s own family. Newsweek has now reported that the FBI is not investigating the Rich murder, and is quoting the private investigator as denying he has any firsthand knowledge of purported Rich/WikiLeaks contact. According to the New York Times, the Rich family is demanding retractions from Fox.

For more details see

The leak of NSA document by Reality Winner

Skip Intro , June 12, 2017 at 4:36 pm

The NSA document was very important. It basically proved, according to Scott Ritter, that the NSA had no real evidence of any Russian involvement, and relied on speculation from a single source: DNC contractor CrowdStrike, which recently had to retract a similar claim about Russian hacking of Ukrainian artillery. The real story behind 'Reality Winner' remains, I am sure, unknown. This might well be a ploy to undermine the anti-Russia hype, though the media cartel has trumpeted it uncritically for the short-term rush of goosing the Comey spectacle.

This makes the refusal of the DNC to let the FBI examine those servers even more suspect. OTOH, one can see the thought processes in the DNC: A breach was discovered. If we blame the Russians not only do we further the neo-con agenda, but we also get to call anyone who publishes or cites the material taken from the servers a Russian tool.

In fact, if they knew they had internal leakers, it would still be worth claiming to have been hacked by the Russians, so that internally leaked material could be 'poisoned' as part of a Russian plot. Talking points to this effect were ubiquitous and apparently well coordinated, turning virtually every MSM discussion of the content of the leaks into a screed about stolen documents and Russian hackers. It also put a nice fresh coat of paint on the target painted on Assange, turning the undiscerning left against a once valuable ally.

Comey testimony

Comey was asked again about this curious oversight on June 8 by Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr:

BURR: "And the FBI, in this case, unlike other cases that you might investigate – did you ever have access to the actual hardware that was hacked? Or did you have to rely on a third party to provide you the data that they had collected?"

COMEY: "In the case of the DNC, and, I believe, the DCCC, but I'm sure the DNC, we did not have access to the devices themselves. We got relevant forensic information from a private party, a high-class entity, that had done the work. But we didn't get direct access."

BURR: "But no content?"

COMEY: "Correct."

BURR: "Isn't content an important part of the forensics from a counterintelligence standpoint?"

COMEY: "It is, although what was briefed to me by my folks – the people who were my folks at the time is that they had gotten the information from the private party that they needed to understand the intrusion by the spring of 2016."

Here is  Ray McGovern  analysis NBCs Kelly Hits Putin With a Beloved Canard
Jun 13, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

To prove their chops, mainstream media stars can't wait to go head-to-head with a demonized foreign leader, like Vladimir Putin, and let him have it, even if their "facts" are wrong, as Megyn Kelly showed

NBC's Megyn Kelly wielded one of Official Washington's most beloved groupthinks to smack Russian President Vladimir Putin over his denials that he and his government were responsible for hacking Democratic emails and interfering with the U.S. presidential election.

In her June 2 interview with Putin, Kelly noted that all "17 intelligence agencies" of the US government concurred in their conclusion of Russian guilt and how could Putin suggest that they all are "lying." It's an argument that has been used to silence skeptics for months and apparently is so useful that no one seems to care that it isn't true.

For instance, on May 8, in testimony before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper conceded publicly that the number of intelligence agencies involved in the assessment was three, not 17, and that the analysts assigned to the project from CIA, FBI and NSA had been "handpicked."

On May 23, in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, former CIA Director John Brennan confirmed Clapper's account about the three agencies involved. "It wasn't a full interagency community assessment that was coordinated among the 17 agencies," Brennan acknowledged.

But those public admissions haven't stopped Democrats and the mainstream media from continuing to repeat the false claim. In comments on May 31, failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton repeated the canard, with a flourish, saying: "Seventeen agencies, all in agreement, which I know from my experience as a Senator and Secretary of State, is hard to get."

A couple of days later, Kelly revived the myth of the consensus among the 17 intelligence agencies in her interview with the Russian president. But Putin passed up the opportunity to correct her, replying instead:

"They have been misled and they are not analyzing the information in its entirety. We have talked about it with former President Obama and with several other officials. No one ever showed me any direct evidence. When we spoke with President Obama about that, you know, you should probably better ask him about it – I think he will tell you that he, too, is confident of it. But when he and I talked I saw that he, too, started having doubts. At any rate, that's how I saw it."

As I noted in a Jan. 20 article about Obama's news conference two days earlier, "Did President Barack Obama acknowledge that the extraordinary propaganda campaign to blame Russia for helping Donald Trump become president has a very big hole in it, i.e., that the US intelligence community has no idea how the Democratic emails reached WikiLeaks? For weeks, eloquent obfuscation – expressed with 'high confidence' – has been the name of the game, but inadvertent admissions now are dispelling some of the clouds.

"At President Obama's Jan. 18 press conference, he admitted as much: 'the conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to whether WikiLeaks was witting or not in being the conduit through which we heard about the DNC e-mails that were leaked .'" [Emphasis added]

Explaining the Technology

More importantly, Putin in his interview with Kelly points out that "today's technology" enables hacking to be "masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one can understand the origin" of the hack. "And, vice versa, it is possible to set up any entity or any individual that everyone will think that they are the exact source of that attack. Modern technology is very sophisticated and subtle and allows this to be done. And when we realize that we will get rid of all the illusions. "

Later, when Kelly came back to the issue of hacking, Putin expanded on the difficulty in tracing the source of cyber attacks.

"Hackers may be anywhere," Putin said. "There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia. Can't you imagine such a scenario? In the middle of an internal political fight, it was convenient for them, whatever the reason, to put out that information. And put it out they did. And, doing it, they made a reference to Russia. Can't you imagine it happening? I can.

"Let us recall the assassination of President Kennedy. There is a theory that Kennedy's assassination was arranged by the United States special services. If this theory is correct, and one cannot rule it out, so what can be easier in today's context, being able to rely on the entire technical capabilities available to special services than to organize some kind of attacks in the appropriate manner while making a reference to Russia in the process. "

Kelly: "Let's move on."

However carefully Megyn Kelly and her NBC colleagues peruse The New York Times, they might well not know WikiLeaks' disclosure on March 31 of original CIA documents showing that the agency had created a program allowing it to break into computers and servers and make it look like others did it by leaving telltale signs (like Cyrillic markings, for example).

The capabilities shown in what WikiLeaks calls the "Vault 7" trove of CIA documents required the creation of hundreds of millions of lines of source code. At $25 per line of code, that amounts to about $2.5 billion for each 100 million code lines. But the Deep State has that kind of money and would probably consider the expenditure a good return on investment for "proving" the Russians hacked into Democratic Party emails.

In other words, it is altogether possible that the hacking attributed to Russia was actually one of several "active measures" undertaken by a cabal consisting of the CIA, FBI, NSA and Clapper – the same agencies responsible for the lame, evidence-free report of Jan. 6, that Clapper and Brennan acknowledged last month was not the consensus view of the 17 intelligence agencies.

There is also the issue of the forensics. Former FBI Director James Comey displayed considerable discomfort on March 20, explaining to the House Intelligence Committee why the FBI did not insist on getting physical access to the Democratic National Committee's computers in order to do its own proper forensics, but chose to rely on the examination done by the DNC's private contractor, Crowdstrike.

The firm itself has conflicts of interests in its links to the pro-NATO and anti-Russia think tank, the Atlantic Council, through Dmitri Alperovitch, who is an Atlantic Council senior fellow and the co-founder of Crowdstrike.

Strange Oversight

Given the stakes involved in the Russia-gate investigation – now including a possible impeachment battle over removing the President of the United States – wouldn't it seem logical for the FBI to insist on its own forensics for this fundamental predicate of the case? Or could Comey's hesitancy to demand access to the DNC's computers be explained by a fear that FBI technicians not fully briefed on CIA/NSA/FBI Deep State programs might uncover a lot more than he wanted?

Comey was asked again about this curious oversight on June 8 by Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr:

BURR: "And the FBI, in this case, unlike other cases that you might investigate – did you ever have access to the actual hardware that was hacked? Or did you have to rely on a third party to provide you the data that they had collected?"

COMEY: "In the case of the DNC, and, I believe, the DCCC, but I'm sure the DNC, we did not have access to the devices themselves. We got relevant forensic information from a private party, a high-class entity, that had done the work. But we didn't get direct access."

BURR: "But no content?"

COMEY: "Correct."

BURR: "Isn't content an important part of the forensics from a counterintelligence standpoint?"

COMEY: "It is, although what was briefed to me by my folks – the people who were my folks at the time is that they had gotten the information from the private party that they needed to understand the intrusion by the spring of 2016."

Burr demurred on asking Comey to explain what amounts to gross misfeasance, if not worse. Perhaps, NBC could arrange for Megyn Kelly to interview Burr to ask if he has a clue as to what Putin might have been referring to when he noted, "There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia."

Given the congressional intelligence "oversight" committees' obsequiousness and repeated "high esteem" for the "intelligence community," there seems an even chance that – no doubt because of an oversight – the CIA/FBI/NSA deep-stage troika failed to brief the Senate "oversight committee" chairman on WikiLeaks "Vault 7" disclosures – even when WikiLeaks publishes original CIA documents.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and CIA analyst for a total of 30 years and now servers on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). Reprinted with permission from Consortium News .

The mysterious role of CloudStike and Dmitry Alperovich

Credibility Of Cyber Firm That Claimed Russia Hacked The DNC Comes Under Serious Question Zero Hedge

Before I get to the meat of this post, we need to revisit a little history. The cyber security firm hired to inspect the DNC hack and determine who was responsible is a firm called Crowdstrike. Its conclusion that Russia was responsible was released last year, but several people began to call its analysis into question upon further inspection.

Jeffrey Carr was one of the most prominent cynics, and as he noted in his December post, FBI/DHS Joint Analysis Report: A Fatally Flawed Effort :

The FBI/DHS Joint Analysis Report (JAR) " Grizzly Steppe " was released yesterday as part of the White House's response to alleged Russian government interference in the 2016 election process. It adds nothing to the call for evidence that the Russian government was responsible for hacking the DNC, the DCCC, the email accounts of Democratic party officials, or for delivering the content of those hacks to Wikileaks.

It merely listed every threat group ever reported on by a commercial cybersecurity company that is suspected of being Russian-made and lumped them under the heading of Russian Intelligence Services (RIS) without providing any supporting evidence that such a connection exists.

If ESET could do it, so can others. It is both foolish and baseless to claim, as Crowdstrike does, that X-Agent is used solely by the Russian government when the source code is there for anyone to find and use at will.

If the White House had unclassified evidence that tied officials in the Russian government to the DNC attack, they would have presented it by now. The fact that they didn't means either that the evidence doesn't exist or that it is classified.

Nevertheless, countless people, including the entirety of the corporate media, put total faith in the analysis of Crowdstrike despite the fact that the FBI was denied access to perform its own analysis. Which makes me wonder, did the U.S. government do any real analysis of its own on the DNC hack, or did it just copy/paste Crowdstrike?

As The Hill reported in January:

The FBI requested direct access to the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) hacked computer servers but was denied, Director James Comey told lawmakers on Tuesday.

The bureau made "multiple requests at different levels," according to Comey, but ultimately struck an agreement with the DNC that a "highly respected private company" would get access and share what it found with investigators.

"We'd always prefer to have access hands-on ourselves if that's possible," Comey said, noting that he didn't know why the DNC rebuffed the FBI's request.

This is nuts. Are all U.S. government agencies simply listening to what Crowdstike said in coming to their "independent" conclusions that Russia hacked the DNC? If so, that's a huge problem. Particularly considering what Voice of America published yesterday in a piece titled, Cyber Firm at Center of Russian Hacking Charges Misread Data :

An influential British think tank and Ukraine's military are disputing a report that the U.S. cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike has used to buttress its claims of Russian hacking in the presidential election.

The CrowdStrike report, released in December , asserted that Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app, resulting in heavy losses of howitzers in Ukraine's war with Russian-backed separatists.

But the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) told VOA that CrowdStrike erroneously used IISS data as proof of the intrusion. IISS disavowed any connection to the CrowdStrike report. Ukraine's Ministry of Defense also has claimed combat losses and hacking never happened.

The challenges to CrowdStrike's credibility are significant because the firm was the first to link last year's hacks of Democratic Party computers to Russian actors, and because CrowdStrike co-founder Dimiti Alperovitch has trumpeted its Ukraine report as more evidence of Russian election tampering.

How is this not the biggest story in America right now?

Yaroslav Sherstyuk, maker of the Ukrainian military app in question, called the company's report "delusional" in a Facebook post . CrowdStrike never contacted him before or after its report was published, he told VOA.

VOA first contacted IISS in February to verify the alleged artillery losses. Officials there initially were unaware of the CrowdStrike assertions. After investigating, they determined that CrowdStrike misinterpreted their data and hadn't reached out beforehand for comment or clarification.

In a statement to VOA, the institute flatly rejected the assertion of artillery combat losses.

"The CrowdStrike report uses our data, but the inferences and analysis drawn from that data belong solely to the report's authors," the IISS said. "The inference they make that reductions in Ukrainian D-30 artillery holdings between 2013 and 2016 were primarily the result of combat losses is not a conclusion that we have ever suggested ourselves, nor one we believe to be accurate."

In early January, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense issued a statement saying artillery losses from the ongoing fighting with separatists are "several times smaller than the number reported by [CrowdStrike] and are not associated with the specified cause" of Russian hacking.

But Ukraine's denial did not get the same attention as CrowdStrike's report. Its release was widely covered by news media reports as further evidence of Russian hacking in the U.S. election.

In interviews, Alperovitch helped foster that impression by connecting the Ukraine and Democratic campaign hacks, which CrowdStrike said involved the same Russian-linked hacking group-Fancy Bear-and versions of X-Agent malware the group was known to use.

"The fact that they would be tracking and helping the Russian military kill Ukrainian army personnel in eastern Ukraine and also intervening in the U.S. election is quite chilling," Alperovitch said in a December 22 story by The Washington Post .

The same day, Alperovitch told the PBS NewsHour : "And when you think about, well, who would be interested in targeting Ukraine artillerymen in eastern Ukraine? Who has interest in hacking the Democratic Party? [The] Russia government comes to mind, but specifically, [it's the] Russian military that would have operational [control] over forces in the Ukraine and would target these artillerymen."

Alperovitch, a Russian expatriate and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council policy research center in Washington, co-founded CrowdStrike in 2011. The firm has employed two former FBI heavyweights: Shawn Henry, who oversaw global cyber investigations at the agency, and Steven Chabinsky, who was the agency's top cyber lawyer and served on a White House cybersecurity commission. Chabinsky left CrowdStrike last year.

CrowdStrike declined to answer VOA's written questions about the Ukraine report, and Alperovitch canceled a March 15 interview on the topic. In a December statement to VOA's Ukrainian Service, spokeswoman Ilina Dimitrova defended the company's conclusions.

In its report last June attributing the Democratic hacks, CrowdStrike said it was long familiar with the methods used by Fancy Bear and another group with ties to Russian intelligence nicknamed Cozy Bear. Soon after, U.S. cybersecurity firms Fidelis and Mandiant endorsed CrowdStrike's conclusions. The FBI and Homeland Security report reached the same conclusion about the two groups.

If the company's analysis was "delusional" when it came to Ukraine, why should we have any confidence that its analysis on Russia and the DNC is more sound?

Answer: We shouldn't.


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

[Nov 09, 2019] They're gettin' the old gang back together

Nov 09, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

lotlizard on Fri, 11/08/2019 - 1:12am

@on the cusp
Debbie Wasserman Schultz could come roaring back as House Appropriations Committee chair.

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article236811358.html

[Nov 07, 2019] Rigged Again Dems, Russia, The Delegitimization Of America s Democratic Process by Elizabeth Vos

Highly recommended!
Images removed.
Notable quotes:
"... The Clinton camp was hardly absent from social media during the 2016 race. The barely-legal activities of Clintonite David Brock were previously reported by this author to have included $2 million in funding for the creation of an online " troll army " under the name Shareblue. The LA Times described the project as meant to "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." In other words, the effort attempted to create a false sense of consensus in support for the Clinton campaign. ..."
"... In terms of interference in the actual election process, the New York City Board of Elections was shown to have purged over one hundred thousand Democratic voters in Brooklyn from the rolls before the 2016 primary, a move that the Department of Justice found broke federal law . Despite this, no prosecution for the breach was ever attempted. ..."
"... In 2017, the Observer reported that the DNC's defense counsel argued against claims that the party defrauded Sanders' supporters by favoring Clinton, reasoning that Sanders' supporters knew the process was rigged. Again: instead of arguing that the primary was neutral and unbiased in accordance with its charter, the DNC's lawyers argued that it was the party's right to select candidates. ..."
"... The DNC defense counsel's argument throughout the course of the DNC fraud lawsuit doubled down repeatedly in defense of the party's right to favor one candidate over another, at one point actually claiming that such favoritism was protected by the First Amendment . ..."
"... The DNC's shameless defense of its own rigging disemboweled the most fundamental organs of the U.S. body politic. This no indication that the DNC will not resort to the same tactics in the 2020 primary race, ..."
"... f Debbie Wasserman Schultz's role as disgraced chairwoman of the DNC and her forced 2016 resignation wasn't enough, serious interference was also alleged in the wake of two contests between Wasserman Schultz and professor Tim Canova in Florida's 23rd congressional district. Canova and Wasserman Schultz first faced off in a 2016 Democratic primary race, followed by a 2018 general congressional election in which Canova ran as an independent. ..."
"... Debacles followed both contests, including improper vote counts, illegal ballot destruction , improper transportation of ballots, and generally shameless displays of cronyism. After the controversial results of the initial primary race against Wasserman Schultz, Canova sought to have ballots checked for irregularities, as the Sun-Sentinel reported at the time: ..."
"... Ultimately, Canova was granted a summary judgment against Snipes, finding that she had committed what amounted to multiple felonies. Nonetheless, Snipes was not prosecuted and remained elections supervisor through to the 2018 midterms. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton's recent comments to the effect that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is being "groomed" by Russia, and that the former Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein is a "Russian asset", were soon echoed by DNC-friendly pundits. These sentiments externalize what Gabbard called the "rot" in the Democratic party outward onto domestic critics and a nation across the planet. ..."
"... Newsweek provided a particularly glaring example of this phenomenon in a recent op-ed penned by columnist Naveed Jamali, a former FBI double agent whose book capitalizes on Russiagate. In an op-ed titled: " Hillary Clinton Is Right. Tulsi Gabbard Is A Perfect Russian Asset – And Would Be A Perfect Republican Agent," ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Elizabeth Vos via ConsortiumNews.com,

Establishment Democrats and those who amplify them continue to project blame for the public's doubt in the U.S. election process onto outside influence, despite the clear history of the party's subversion of election integrity. The total inability of the Democratic Party establishment's willingness to address even one of these critical failures does not give reason to hope that the nomination process in 2020 will be any less pre-ordained.

The Democratic Party's bias against Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential nomination, followed by the DNC defense counsel doubling down on its right to rig the race during the fraud lawsuit brought against the DNC , as well as the irregularities in the races between former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Tim Canova, indicate a fatal breakdown of the U.S. democratic process spearheaded by the Democratic Party establishment. Influences transcending the DNC add to concerns regarding the integrity of the democratic process that have nothing to do with Russia, but which will also likely impact outcomes in 2020.

The content of the DNC and Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks demonstrated that the DNC acted in favor of Hillary Clinton in the lead up to the 2016 Democratic primary. The emails also revealed corporate media reporters acting as surrogates of the DNC and its pro-Clinton agenda, going so far as to promote Donald Trump during the GOP primary process as a preferred " pied-piper candidate ." One cannot assume that similar evidence will be presented to the public in 2020, making it more important than ever to take stock of the unique lessons handed down to us by the 2016 race.

Social Media Meddling

Election meddling via social media did take place in 2016, though in a different guise and for a different cause from that which are best remembered. Twitter would eventually admit to actively suppressing hashtags referencing the DNC and Podesta emails in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. Additional reports indicated that tech giant Google also showed measurable "pro-Hillary Clinton bias" in search results during 2016, resulting in the alleged swaying of between 2 and 10 millions voters in favor of Clinton.

On the Republican side, a recent episode of CNLive! featured discussion of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which undecided voters were micro-targeted with tailored advertising narrowed with the combined use of big data and artificial intelligence known collectively as "dark strategy." CNLive! Executive Producer Cathy Vogan noted that SCL, Cambridge Analytica's parent company, provides data, analytics and strategy to governments and military organizations "worldwide," specializing in behavior modification. Though Cambridge Analytica shut down in 2018, related companies remain.

The Clinton camp was hardly absent from social media during the 2016 race. The barely-legal activities of Clintonite David Brock were previously reported by this author to have included $2 million in funding for the creation of an online " troll army " under the name Shareblue. The LA Times described the project as meant to "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." In other words, the effort attempted to create a false sense of consensus in support for the Clinton campaign.

In terms of interference in the actual election process, the New York City Board of Elections was shown to have purged over one hundred thousand Democratic voters in Brooklyn from the rolls before the 2016 primary, a move that the Department of Justice found broke federal law . Despite this, no prosecution for the breach was ever attempted.

Though the purge was not explicitly found to have benefitted Clinton, the admission falls in line with allegations across the country that the Democratic primary was interfered with to the benefit of the former secretary of state. These claims were further bolstered by reports indicating that voting results from the 2016 Democratic primary showed evidence of fraud.

DNC Fraud Lawsuit

The proceedings of the DNC fraud lawsuit provide the most damning evidence of the failure of the U.S. election process, especially within the Democratic Party. DNC defense lawyers argued in open court for the party's right to appoint candidates at its own discretion, while simultaneously denying any "fiduciary duty" to represent the voters who donated to the Democratic Party under the impression that the DNC would act impartially towards the candidates involved.

In 2017, the Observer reported that the DNC's defense counsel argued against claims that the party defrauded Sanders' supporters by favoring Clinton, reasoning that Sanders' supporters knew the process was rigged. Again: instead of arguing that the primary was neutral and unbiased in accordance with its charter, the DNC's lawyers argued that it was the party's right to select candidates.

The Observer noted the sentiments of Jared Beck, the attorney representing the plaintiffs of the lawsuit:

"People paid money in reliance on the understanding that the primary elections for the Democratic nominee -- nominating process in 2016 were fair and impartial, and that's not just a bedrock assumption that we would assume just by virtue of the fact that we live in a democracy, and we assume that our elections are run in a fair and impartial manner. But that's what the Democratic National Committee's own charter says. It says it in black and white."

The DNC defense counsel's argument throughout the course of the DNC fraud lawsuit doubled down repeatedly in defense of the party's right to favor one candidate over another, at one point actually claiming that such favoritism was protected by the First Amendment . The DNC's lawyers wrote:

"To recognize any of the causes of action that Plaintiffs allege would run directly contrary to long-standing Supreme Court precedent recognizing the central and critical First Amendment rights enjoyed by political parties, especially when it comes to selecting the party's nominee for public office ." [Emphasis added]

The DNC's shameless defense of its own rigging disemboweled the most fundamental organs of the U.S. body politic. This no indication that the DNC will not resort to the same tactics in the 2020 primary race,

Tim Canova's Allegations

If Debbie Wasserman Schultz's role as disgraced chairwoman of the DNC and her forced 2016 resignation wasn't enough, serious interference was also alleged in the wake of two contests between Wasserman Schultz and professor Tim Canova in Florida's 23rd congressional district. Canova and Wasserman Schultz first faced off in a 2016 Democratic primary race, followed by a 2018 general congressional election in which Canova ran as an independent.

Debacles followed both contests, including improper vote counts, illegal ballot destruction , improper transportation of ballots, and generally shameless displays of cronyism. After the controversial results of the initial primary race against Wasserman Schultz, Canova sought to have ballots checked for irregularities, as the Sun-Sentinel reported at the time:

"[Canova] sought to look at the paper ballots in March 2017 and took Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes to court three months later when her office hadn't fulfilled his request. Snipes approved the destruction of the ballots in September, signing a certification that said no court cases involving the ballots were pending."

Ultimately, Canova was granted a summary judgment against Snipes, finding that she had committed what amounted to multiple felonies. Nonetheless, Snipes was not prosecuted and remained elections supervisor through to the 2018 midterms.

Republicans appear no more motivated to protect voting integrity than the Democrats, with The Nation reporting that the GOP-controlled Senate blocked a bill this week that would have "mandated paper-ballot backups in case of election machine malfunctions."

Study of Corporate Power

A 2014 study published by Princeton University found that corporate power had usurped the voting rights of the public: "Economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence."

In reviewing this sordid history, we see that the Democratic Party establishment has done everything in its power to disrespect voters and outright overrule them in the democratic primary process, defending their right to do so in the DNC fraud lawsuit. We've noted that interests transcending the DNC also represent escalating threats to election integrity as demonstrated in 2016.

Despite this, establishment Democrats and those who echo their views in the legacy press continue to deflect from their own wrongdoing and real threats to the election process by suggesting that mere discussion of it represents a campaign by Russia to attempt to malign the perception of the legitimacy of the U.S. democratic process.

Hillary Clinton's recent comments to the effect that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is being "groomed" by Russia, and that the former Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein is a "Russian asset", were soon echoed by DNC-friendly pundits. These sentiments externalize what Gabbard called the "rot" in the Democratic party outward onto domestic critics and a nation across the planet.

Newsweek provided a particularly glaring example of this phenomenon in a recent op-ed penned by columnist Naveed Jamali, a former FBI double agent whose book capitalizes on Russiagate. In an op-ed titled: " Hillary Clinton Is Right. Tulsi Gabbard Is A Perfect Russian Asset – And Would Be A Perfect Republican Agent," Jamali argued :

"Moscow will use its skillful propaganda machine to prop up Gabbard and use her as a tool to delegitimize the democratic process. " [Emphasis added]

Jamali surmises that Russia intends to "attack" our democracy by undermining the domestic perception of its legitimacy. This thesis is repeated later in the piece when Jamali opines : "They want to see a retreat of American influence. What better way to accomplish that than to attack our democracy by casting doubt on the legitimacy of our elections." [Emphasis added]

The only thing worth protecting, according to Jamali and those who amplify his work (including former Clinton aide and establishment Democrat Neera Tanden), is the perception of the democratic process, not the actual functioning vitality of it. Such deflective tactics ensure that Russia will continue to be used as a convenient international pretext for silencing domestic dissent as we move into 2020.

Given all this, how can one expect the outcome of a 2020 Democratic Primary -- or even the general election – to be any fairer or transparent than 2016?

* * *

Elizabeth Vos is a freelance reporter, co-host of CN Live! and regular contributor to Consortium News. If you value this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.

[Nov 07, 2019] DNC Lawyers Argue Primary Rigging Is Protected by the First Amendment

Notable quotes:
"... They also failed to note the voice-modulated phone calls received by the law offices of the Becks which contained a caller-ID corresponding to the law offices of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a defendant in the case. In light of this context, the Becks hardly appear to be peddlers of conspiracy theory. ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | archive.is

The defense counsel also took issue with Jared Beck for what they termed as: " Repeatedly promoted patently false and deeply offensive conspiracy theories about the deaths of a former DNC staffer and Plaintiffs' process server in an attempt to bolster attention for this lawsuit." This author was shocked to find that despite the characterization of the Becks as peddlers of conspiracy theory, the defense counsel failed to mention the motion for protection filed by the Becks earlier in the litigation process.

They also failed to note the voice-modulated phone calls received by the law offices of the Becks which contained a caller-ID corresponding to the law offices of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a defendant in the case. In light of this context, the Becks hardly appear to be peddlers of conspiracy theory.

The DNC defense lawyers then argued:

" There is no legitimate basis for this litigation, which is, at its most basic, an improper attempt to forge the federal courts into a political weapon to be used by individuals who are unhappy with how a political party selected its candidate in a presidential campaign ."

The brief continued:

" To recognize any of the causes of action that Plaintiffs allege based on their animating theory would run directly contrary to long-standing Supreme Court precedent recognizing the central and critical First Amendment rights enjoyed by political parties, especially when it comes to selecting the party's nominee for public office."

It appears that the defendants in the DNC Fraud Lawsuit are attempting to argue that cheating a candidate in the primary process is protected under the first amendment. If all that weren't enough, DNC representatives argued that the Democratic National Committee had no established fiduciary duty "to the Plaintiffs or the classes of donors and registered voters they seek to represent." It seems here that the DNC is arguing for its right to appoint candidates at its own discretion while simultaneously denying any "fiduciary duty" to represent the voters who donated to the Democratic Party under the belief that the DNC would act impartially towards the candidates involved.

Adding to the latest news regarding the DNC Fraud Lawsuit was the recent finding by the UK Supreme Court, which stated that Wikileaks Cables were admissible as evidence in legal proceedings.

If Wikileaks' publication of DNC emails are found to be similarly admissible in a United States court of law, then the contents of the leaked emails could be used to argue that, contrary to the defendant's latest brief, the DNC did in favor the campaign of Hillary Clinton over Senator Sanders and that they acted to sabotage Sanders' campaign.

The outcome of the appeal of the DNC Fraud Lawsuit remains to be seen.

Elizabeth Vos is the Co-Founder and Editor in Chief at Disobedient Media .

[Nov 03, 2019] Growing Indicators of Brennan's CIA Trump Task Force by Larry C Johnson - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Task Force also could carry out other covert actions, such as information operations. A nice sounding euphemism for propaganda, and computer network operations. There has been some informed speculation that Guccifer 2.0 was a creation of this Task Force. ..."
Nov 03, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Growing Indicators of Brennan's CIA Trump Task Force by Larry C Johnson Larry Johnson-5x7

The average American has no idea how alarming is the news that former CIA Director John Brennan reportedly created and staffed a CIA Task Force in early 2016 that was named, Trump Task Force, and given the mission of spying on and carrying out covert actions against the campaign of candidate Donald Trump.

This was not a simple gathering of a small number of disgruntled Democrats working at the CIA who got together like a book club to grouse and complain about the brash real estate guy from New York. It was a specially designed covert action to try to destroy Donald Trump.

A "Task Force" is a special bureaucratic creation that provides a vehicle for bring case officers and analysts together, along with admin support, for a limited term project. But it also can be expanded to include personnel from other agencies, such as the FBI, DIA and NSA. Task Forces have been used since the inception of the CIA in 1947. Here's a recently declassified memo outlining the considerations in the creation of a task force in 1958. The author, L.K. White, talks about the need for a coordinating Headquarters element and an Operational unit "in the field", i.e. deployed around the world.

A Task Force operates independent of the CIA " Mission Centers " (that's the jargon for the current CIA organization chart).

So what did John Brennan do? I am told by an knowledgeable source that Brennan created a Trump Task Force in early 2016. It was an invitation only Task Force. Specific case officers (i.e., men and women who recruit and handle spies overseas), analysts and admin personnel were recruited. Not everyone invited accepted the offer. But many did.

This was not a CIA only operation. Personnel from the FBI also were assigned to the Task Force. We have some clues that Christopher Steele's FBi handler, Michael Gaeta, may have been detailed to the Trump Task Force ( see here ).

So what kind of things would this Task Force do? The case officers would work with foreign intelligence services such as MI-6, the Italians, the Ukrainians and the Australians on identifying intelligence collection priorities. Task Force members could task NSA to do targeted collection. They also would have the ability to engage in covert action, such as targeting George Papadopoulos. Joseph Mifsud may be able to shed light on the CIA officers who met with him, briefed on operational objectives regarding Papadopoulos and helped arrange monitored meetings. I think it is highly likely that the honey pot that met with George Papadopoulos, a woman named Azra Turk, was part of the CIA Trump Task Force.

The Task Force also could carry out other covert actions, such as information operations. A nice sounding euphemism for propaganda, and computer network operations. There has been some informed speculation that Guccifer 2.0 was a creation of this Task Force.

In light of what we have learned about the alleged CIA whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella, there should be a serious investigation to determine if he was a part of this Task Force or, at minimum, reporting to them.

When I described this to one friend, a retired CIA Chief of Station, his first response was, "My God, that's illegal." We then reminisced about another illegal operation carried out under the auspices of the CIA Central American Task Force back in the 1980s. That became known to Americans as the Iran Contra scandal.

I sure hope that John Durham and his team are looking at this angle. If true it marks a new and damning indictment of the corruption of the CIA. Rather than spying on genuine foreign threats, this Task Force played a critical role in creating and feeding the meme that Donald Trump was a tool of the Russians and a puppet of Putin.

[Nov 03, 2019] The "Deep State" Has Been Redefined as Career Bureaucrats Doing Their Patriotic Duty by Edward Curtin

Notable quotes:
"... It gets funny, this shallow analysis of the deep state that is currently big news. There's something ghoulish about it, perfectly timed for Halloween and masked jokers. What was once ridiculed by the CIA and its attendant lackeys in the media as the paranoia of "conspiracy theorists" is now openly admitted in reverent tones of patriotic fervor. But with a twisted twist. ..."
"... The Council on Foreign Relations ..."
"... Foreign Affairs, ..."
"... Linguistic mind control is insidious like the slow drip of a water faucet. After a while you don't hear it and just go about your business, even as your mind, like a rotting rubber washer, keeps disintegrating under propaganda's endless reiterations. ..."
"... To think that the deep state is government employees just doing their patriotic duty is plain idiocy and plainer propaganda. ..."
Nov 01, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

By Edward Curtin Global Research, November 01, 2019 Region: USA Theme: Intelligence

It gets funny, this shallow analysis of the deep state that is currently big news. There's something ghoulish about it, perfectly timed for Halloween and masked jokers. What was once ridiculed by the CIA and its attendant lackeys in the media as the paranoia of "conspiracy theorists" is now openly admitted in reverent tones of patriotic fervor. But with a twisted twist.

The corporate mass-media has recently discovered a "deep state" that they claim to be not some evil group of assassins who work for the super-rich owners of the country and murder their own president (JFK) and other unpatriotic dissidents (Malcom X, MLK, RK, among others) and undermine democracy home and abroad, but are now said to be just fine upstanding American citizens who work within the government bureaucracies and are patriotic believers in democracy intent on doing the right thing.

This redefinition has been in the works for a few years, and it shouldn't be a surprise that this tricky treat was being prepared for our consumption a few years ago by The Council on Foreign Relations . In its September/October 2017 edition of its journal Foreign Affairs, Jon D. Michaels, in "Trump and the Deep State: The Government Strikes Back," writes:

Furious at what they consider treachery by internal saboteurs, the president and his surrogates have responded by borrowing a bit of political science jargon, claiming to be victims of the " deep state ," a conspiracy of powerful, unelected bureaucrats secretly pursuing their own agenda. The concept of a deep state is valuable in its original context, the study of developing countries such as Egypt, Pakistan, and Turkey, where shadowy elites in the military and government ministries have been known to countermand or simply defy democratic directives. Yet it has little relevance to the United States, where governmental power structures are almost entirely transparent, egalitarian, and rule-bound.

The White House is correct to perceive widespread resistance inside the government to many of its endeavors. But the same way the administration's media problems come not from "fake news" but simply from news, so its bureaucratic problems come not from an insidious, undemocratic "deep state" but simply from the state -- the large, complex hive of people and procedures that constitute the U.S. federal government.

Notice how in these comical passages about U.S. government transparency and egalitarianism, Michaels slyly and falsely attributes to Trump the very definition – "unelected bureaucrats" – that in the next paragraph he claims to be the real deep state, which is just the state power structures. Pseudo-innocence conquers all here as there is no mention of the Democratic party, Russiagate, etc., and all the machinations led by the intelligence services and Democratic forces to oust Trump from the day he was elected. State power structures just move so quickly, as anyone knows who has studied the speed with which bureaucracies operate. Ask Max Weber.

The Deep State Goes Shallow. "Reality-TV Coup d'etat in Prime Time"

Drip by drip over the past few years, this "state bureaucracy" meme has been introduced by the mainstream media propagandists as they have gradually revealed that the government deep-staters are just doing their patriotic duty in trying openly to oust an elected president.

Many writers have commented on the recent New York Times article, Trump's War on the 'Deep State' Turns Against Him" asserting that the Times has finally admitted to the existence of the deep state, which is true as far as it goes, which is not too far. But in this game of deceptive revelations – going shallower to go deeper – what is missing is a focus on the linguistic mind control involved in the changed definition.

In a recent article by Robert W. Merry, whose intentions I am not questioning – "New York Times Confirms: It's Trump Versus the Deep State" – originally published at The American Conservative and widely reprinted , the lead-in to the article proper reads: "Even the Gray Lady admits the president is up against a powerful bureaucracy that wants him sunk." So the "powerful bureaucracy" redefinition, this immovable force of government bureaucrats, is slipped into public consciousness as what the deep state supposedly is. Gone are CIA conspirators and evil doers. In their place we find career civil servants doing their patriotic duty.

Then there is The New York Times' columnist James Stewart who, appearing on the Today Show recently, where he was promoting his new book, told Savannah Guthrie that:

Well, you meet these characters in my book, and the fact is, in a sense, he's [Trump] right. There is a deep state there is a bureaucracy in our country who has pledged to respect the Constitution, respect the rule of law. They do not work for the President. They work for the American people. And, as Comey told me in my book, 'thank goodness for that,' because they are protecting the Constitution and the people when individuals – we don't have a monarch, we don't have a dictator – they restrain them from crossing the boundaries of law. What Trump calls the deep state in the United States is protecting the American people and protecting the Constitution. It's a positive thing in this sense.

So again we are told that the deep-state bureaucracy is defending the Constitution and protecting the American people, as James Comey told Stewart, "in my book, 'thank goodness for that,'" as he put it so eloquently. These guys talk in books, of course, not person to person, but that is the level not just of English grammar and general stupidity, but of the brazen bullshit these guys are capable of.

This new and shallow deep state definition has buried the old meaning of the deep state as evil conspirators carrying out coup d'états, assassinations, and massive media propaganda campaigns at home and abroad, and who, by implication and direct declaration, never existed in the good old U.S.A. but only in countries such as Egypt, Turkey, and Pakistan where shadowy elites killed and deposed leaders and opponents in an endless series of coup d'états. No mention in Foreign Affairs , of course, of the American support for the ruthless leaders of these countries who have always been our dear allies when they obey our every order and serve as our servile proxies in murder and mayhem.

Even Edward Snowden , the courageous whistleblower in exile in Russia, in a recent interview with Joe Rogan , repeats this nonsense when he says the deep state is just "career government officials" who want to keep their jobs and who outlast presidents. From his own experience, he should know better. Much better. Interestingly, he suggests that he does when he tells Rogan that "every president since Kennedy" has been successfully "feared up" by the intelligence agencies so they will do their bidding. He doesn't need to add that JFK, for fearlessly refusing the bait, was shot in the head in broad daylight to send a message to those who would follow.

Linguistic mind control is insidious like the slow drip of a water faucet. After a while you don't hear it and just go about your business, even as your mind, like a rotting rubber washer, keeps disintegrating under propaganda's endless reiterations.

To think that the deep state is government employees just doing their patriotic duty is plain idiocy and plainer propaganda.

It is a trick, not the treat it is made to seem.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Distinguished author and sociologist Edward Curtin is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. Visit the author's website here .

[Oct 28, 2019] My Speech on the Deep State Plot by Larry C Johnson

Regardless of what do you think about Donald Trump, what intelligence community did was a plain vanilla coup d'état approved by Obama and coordinated by run by Brennan faction in CIA. With active participation of factions of FBI (Counterintelligence department), Department of Justice (several highly placed officials) and State Department (which is a real neocon vipers nest so the majority of high level officials, especially connected with the Ukrainian color revolution participated) eagerly participated in the coup.
They left too many fingerprints in this and now Barr hopefully will brings some individuals to justice for this coup.
Notable quotes:
"... I was fortunate to participate in a forum in August sponsored by the Ron Paul Institute. Here is my presentation on the attempted coup by US Law Enforcement and the Intelligence Community. ..."
Oct 28, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

I was fortunate to participate in a forum in August sponsored by the Ron Paul Institute. Here is my presentation on the attempted coup by US Law Enforcement and the Intelligence Community.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/GgRJ6UuPWM0

Posted at 12:00 PM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink

Turcopolier , 28 October 2019 at 01:00 PM

All

I was invited to this meeting and regret now that I did not attend.

[Oct 15, 2019] The incredible luck of Comey is he was not arraigned after the IG report.

Oct 15, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs , October 12, 2019 at 03:49 AM

James Comey Would Like to Help
https://nyti.ms/3298iut
NYT - Matt Flegenheimer - October 12

James Comey slumps strategically in restaurants -- all 6-foot-8 of him, drooping faux-furtively with his back to the room -- and daydreams about deleting the civic-minded Twitter feed where a bipartisan coalition pronounces him a national disgrace.

He sleeps soundly -- nine hours a night, he ballparks -- and organizes the self-described "unemployed celebrity" chapter of his life around a series of workaday goals. "One of my goals has been to get to 10 consecutive pull-ups," Mr. Comey said in an interview, legs crossed on the back porch of his stately Virginia home. "I'm at nine now. So, I've been doing a lot of pull-ups."

He writes and thinks and reads and worries from a tidy downstairs office surrounded by the trinkets of his past: the White House place card from the night President Trump asked for his "loyalty" as F.B.I. director; a book by Nate Silver, the political data whiz who believes Mr. Comey's explosively ambiguous letter in October 2016 about the Hillary Clinton email investigation probably handed Mr. Trump the election; a page from a quote-of-the-day calendar, saved for its resonance: "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."

"It reminds me so much of the F.B.I.," Mr. Comey said.

But then, a lot of things have lately. Another Trump-branded election interference scandal is upon us. Institutions are wobbling. And Mr. Comey, as ever, cannot fight a nagging conviction about it all: James Comey can help. He must help.

"I feel stuck," he said. "Like I can't do something else. And I couldn't look myself in the mirror if I went and did something easy."

What he is doing, exactly, is not entirely clear even to him. Rather than proceed with the standard arc of an erstwhile intelligence leader -- think tanks, corporate boards, studied political silence -- Mr. Comey has pledged to spend the next 13 months working to drive Mr. Trump from power.

The former F.B.I. director, a lover of order, sees little of it in a norm-smashing president spiraling toward impeachment, riffing on "sick and deranged" Democrats at a recent rally and playacting the dialogue of F.B.I. officials like an insult comic. In this concern, Mr. Comey has ample company. In this company, he carries a kind of customized psychic baggage.

Who can know how it feels to wonder, to have everyone you meet wonder, if the president is standing behind that seal because of you?

"Thanks for giving us Donald Trump," an older woman heckled recently, adding an expletive as Mr. Comey strolled through a Yale Law School building, where he had come for a talk that focused largely on his fateful 2016 decisions and attendant personal anguish.

"Thank you for the feedback," he told her.

Divorced from its singular context, Mr. Comey's condition is somewhat typical of the wandering urgency with which many presidential critics are approaching the 2020 election. Last year's season of midterm activism has given way to a long electoral winter of Democratic primary skirmishes and an emphasis on just a few early-voting states, leaving Trump opponents to wrestle with how to contribute amid a gush of executive outrages they feel powerless to counteract.

Lawmakers can impeach. Whistle-blowers whistle-blow. What of the private citizen, determined to live publicly?

"It's hard for people who've had a lot of power to come to terms with the fact that there's actually very little you can do when you're not a candidate," said Jennifer Palmieri, a former top aide to Mrs. Clinton. "Or the F.B.I. director."

While short on formal authority, Mr. Comey has suffered no deficiency of platforms. He says he has signed a contract to write opinion pieces for The Washington Post. He is the subject of an upcoming mini-series, starring Jeff Daniels as Mr. Comey, based on his best-selling memoir. He travels the country giving speeches on ethical leadership, mixing pro bono appearances on college campuses with paid bookings that command a six-figure fee. ("It's a lot!" Mr. Comey enthused, while declining to name his precise rate. "Seriously, it's crazy.")

Over nearly two hours last month at his Northern Virginia home, whose coordinates he prefers not to publicize given the president's affection for lathering up supporters with tales of "Leakin' Lyin' James Comey," the former F.B.I. director could register as a spindly contradiction. He is at once a just-the-facts lawman and a prodigious feeler of feelings, introspective about the size of his ego and incapable of suppressing it entirely.

He says he is "not that important in the great sweep of American history" but believes his firsthand view into the president's psyche can offer uncommon value to the anti-Trump movement. He can hold forth in one breath on the humbling task of bird-feeder maintenance and in another invoke the teachings of the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. He says "dude" a lot.

At times, Mr. Comey can sound as if he is suggesting that the Twitter account from which he slings grave warnings and measured hope ("This country is so much better than this president") is yoked to the health of the nation.

"I have a fantasy about on January 21, 2021, deleting my Twitter and moving on to something else," he said. "But until then, I can't."

Closure has eluded some of his audiences, too. They lard Mr. Comey's public events with skeptical questions about his choices in 2016. The Justice Department's inspector general has lashed Mr. Comey for "insubordinate" conduct during that period, accusing him of breaking with longstanding policy by publicly discussing an investigation into Mrs. Clinton's use of a private email server, including in a letter to Congress less than two weeks before the election.

Mr. Comey has conceded that he may have allowed himself to be influenced subconsciously by the political consensus that Mrs. Clinton would win. But he has betrayed no major regrets, defending his chosen course as the best among bad options. "I wish like hell we hadn't been involved," he said. He predicted that history would judge him kindly for prizing disclosure over concealment (not, as some Clinton allies see it, opting for spectacle over discretion).

Asked if he cared about how he would be remembered for the ages, Mr. Comey, 58, said, "I was going to say I don't care. I'm sure I care a little," adding, "It frustrates me in general that millions of people have a false impression of me. I wish they knew I was funnier." ...

ilsm -> Fred C. Dobbs... , October 12, 2019 at 07:01 AM
The incredible feature of Comey is he was not arraigned after the IG report.

Maybe he goes down with the Mueller fish Durham fries!

How does Comey not go all in with the next phase of the coup?

[Sep 24, 2019] The Plan to Trip Up Trump Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... "I don't know what the fuck you're talking about," Papadopoulos replied according to his recent book , "Deep State Target." But what if he had instead chuckled or said something stupid in order to puff himself up? Based on previous FBI entrapment cases , the answer seems clear: after threatening him with prosecution, the bureau would have outfitted him with a wire so that he could bring down other campaign officials. It wouldn't have stopped until it snared the ultimate prize –Trump himself. ..."
"... Trump told reporters in May he wanted Australia's role to be investigated by the Justice Department. Comey's Trump Tower meeting was important because it led directly to the publication of the notorious dossier that would generate endless headlines and cripple the incoming Trump administration even though it was full of baloney. ..."
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
"... Instead of electing presidents, Americans would merely submit them to the FBI for review. ..."
"... With the Electoral College and the Supreme Court already overturning the popular vote in two of the last five presidential elections, voters would have a fourth branch to contend with – the intelligence community. ..."
"... As Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer told MSNBC'S Rachel Maddow at the height of the Russiagate madness: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community – they have six ways from Sunday of getting back at you." Had Comey succeeded in bringing down Trump, they may have had a seventh. ..."
"... Le Monde Diplomatique ..."
Sep 24, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Before the Trump Tower visit, Comey sat down with top FBI brass – Chief of Staff James Rybicki, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, General Counsel James Baker, and others involved with the Russiagate investigation – to strategize about the upcoming meeting.

Page 17 of the OIG report tells of what they were up to:

"Baker and McCabe said that they agreed that the briefing needed to be one-on-one, so that Comey could present the 'salacious' information in the most discreet and least embarrassing way. At the same time, we were told, they did not want the President-elect to perceive the one-on-one briefing as an effort to hold information over him like a 'Hoover-esque type of plot.' Witnesses interviewed by the OIG also said that they discussed Trump's potential responses to being told about the 'salacious' information, including that Trump might make statements about, or provide information of value to, the pending Russian interference investigation."

As the final sentence shows, Comey's job was to confront Trump about the alleged 2013 Moscow incident and see whether he would give the FBI reason to advance its Russiagate investigation to a whole new level, that of the presidency itself.

This was the same approach the FBI would employ a couple of weeks later after listening in on a telephone conversation between Mike Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and not liking what it heard about plans to bolster U.S.-Russian relations. The solution was to send a couple of agents to quiz the newly-appointed national security adviser and see how he would respond. After telling Flynn not to bother bringing along a lawyer because it was just a friendly chat and "they wanted Flynn to be relaxed, and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport" – as a follow-up memo noted – the agents caught the ever-voluble Flynn fudging various details. Three weeks later, he found himself out of office and in disgrace. Ten months after that, he was in federal court pleading guilty to making false and misleading statements.

Another Set-Up

Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department's inspector general. (Wikimedia Commons)

Now we know from the OIG report that this was apparently the goal with regard to Trump.

Russiagate began nine months earlier with a smallarmy of intelligence agents buzzing around a naïve young Trump adviser named George Papadopoulos. [See " Spooks Spooking Themselves ," May 31, 2018.] An Anglo-Maltese academic named Joseph Mifsud, an individual with strong Anglo-American intelligence connections, wined and dined him and told him that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails."

An Australian diplomat, former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer , who was similarly connected, invited him out for drinks and then passed along the fruits of the conversation to Canberra, which related them to Washington. A Belorussian-American businessman who worked for Steele offered Papadopoulos $30,000 a month under the table. A U.S. intelligence asset named Charles Tawil presented him with $10,000 in cash. A long-time CIA informant named Stefan Halper flew Papadopoulos to London and barraged him with questions:

"It's great that Russia is helping you and the campaign, right, George? George, you and your campaign are involved in hacking and working with Russia, right? It seems like you are a middleman for Trump and Russia, right? I know you know about the emails."

"I don't know what the fuck you're talking about," Papadopoulos replied according to his recent book , "Deep State Target." But what if he had instead chuckled or said something stupid in order to puff himself up? Based on previous FBI entrapment cases , the answer seems clear: after threatening him with prosecution, the bureau would have outfitted him with a wire so that he could bring down other campaign officials. It wouldn't have stopped until it snared the ultimate prize –Trump himself.

Trump told reporters in May he wanted Australia's role to be investigated by the Justice Department. Comey's Trump Tower meeting was important because it led directly to the publication of the notorious dossier that would generate endless headlines and cripple the incoming Trump administration even though it was full of baloney.

Most of what we know about that meeting in the early days of the Trump administration comes from a memo that Comeydashed off minutes later and then lightly revised the next morning.

According to his memo, Comey met one-on-one with Trump to tell him about the Steele dossier because

"the content [was] known at IC [intelligence community] senior level and I didn't want him caught cold by some of the detail . I said I wasn't saying this was true, only that I wanted him to know both that it had been reported and that the reports were in many hands. I said media like CNN had them and were looking for a news hook. I said it was important that we not give them the excuse to write that the FBI has the material and that we were keeping it very close-hold."

But Comey's memo was disingenuous, starting with his line about not wanting to give the media "the excuse to write that the FBI has the material." Leaks are an integral part of Washington, as an insider and a leaker like Comey knows.

As Comey must have also known, his very decision to brief Trump on the dossier wound up triggering press attention to it.

Four days later, Buzzfeed posted the dossier on its website. The source remains anonymous but it's easy to imagine that either Director of National Intelligence James Clapper or CIA Director John Brennan spilled the beans. They both accompanied Comey to the meeting and were appalled by Trump's call for a rapprochement with Russia.

Comey's memo also rings false where it says he "wasn't saying this was true, only that I wanted him to know both that it had been reported and that the reports were in many hands."

Glenn Simpson, the ex- Wall Street Journal reporter whose private Washington intelligence firm, Fusion GPS, commissioned the dossier on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC, told the House intelligence committee that Steele began sharing his findings with the FBI "in July or late June" of 2016. (See p. 60 of testimony transcript ).

That means that the bureau had the Moscow Ritz-Carlton report in hand six months prior to the Trump Tower meeting. Surely, this is enough time to reach some conclusion as to its veracity.

'Might Make Statements'

Had Trump fallen into Comey's trap, millions of Americans would no doubt have cheered – and given Trump's dismal record in office, who can blame them? But the implications are chilling, and not just for rightwing dissidents. Instead of electing presidents, Americans would merely submit them to the FBI for review.

With the Electoral College and the Supreme Court already overturning the popular vote in two of the last five presidential elections, voters would have a fourth branch to contend with – the intelligence community.

As Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer told MSNBC'S Rachel Maddow at the height of the Russiagate madness: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community – they have six ways from Sunday of getting back at you." Had Comey succeeded in bringing down Trump, they may have had a seventh.

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


Richard A. , September 24, 2019 at 15:13

I think Russiagate is more than just smearing Trump, it's also about smearing Russia. The war lobby here in the US and the UK are trying to manipulate public opinion in to hating Russia.

R Zarate , September 24, 2019 at 05:02

And now there are calls to impeach Trump for asking for an investigation into Biden! It speaks volumes about the MSM that there was no uproar when H.B. took the job at Bursima, I remember the White House putting out a release at the time saying they could see no conflict of interest, I guess the lack of conflict was it was par for the course to enrich family members.

By the bye. So Trump gets impeached, then what? Didn't do Clinton any harm.

CitizenOne , September 23, 2019 at 23:26

It is an interesting history filled with plots within plots to destroy Trump for the audacity to win the presidential election. True he won the election with a lot of help from Cambridge Analytica and his election team which included Roger Stone, George Papadopoulos (the nube) Paul Manafort (the former partner in the Black, Stone, Manafort and Kelly lobby firm) , Rick Gates and Michael Flynn.

All these people were indicted under the Mueller probe but yet Trump escaped without a scratch on his record. To pull this off Trump abandoned all of them in turn claiming he hardly knew them and had no involvement. How Trump escaped from the Mueller investigation has nothing to do with his innocence and everything to do with the lack of evidence tying him to the crimes his associates admitted to under intense scrutiny by the Mueller Special Council Investigation into the alleged Russian Hacks which supposedly threw the election toward Trump. Michael Cohen, Trump's long time lawyer was also convicted of paying off two women that alleged Trump arranged for sex with the women and later paid them off handsomely allegedly by orders from Trump.

It is like Trump won his freedom because there was no evidence to convict him despite the many people who were closely associated with himwho fell as victims to the special prosecutors zeal for indictments of Trump's inner guard.

In the end the Mueller report all but exonerated Trump with Mueller claiming Trump had committed impeachable evidence but that Mueller could do nothing about that leaving his conclusions up to the court of popular appeal as to whether or not Trump was guilty of obstruction of justice in the entire Russia Gate story.

Trump accurately called out the testimony of Comey before Congress into what he knew about the Russian attempt to hack the election as fake news. Trump banked on what the intelligence community would share about the election result and he won big time when the Mueller investigation into Russian hacking of the election produced no tangible connection between Trump and the alleged hackers. The Steel dossier was also l shown to be just more fake news paid for by the democrats.

The longer Trump remains in charge the less likely that he will be implicated in a scandal although the new allegations that he attempted to get the Ukrainian government to investigate Joe Biden has the potential to raise a new round of fake news decrying that the president has engaged in yet more impeachable offenses.

robert e williamson jr , September 23, 2019 at 21:23

Beware of the Department of Justice, mad dogs and dogs of war.

Appears to be FBI disruption of the domestic governmental tranquility for the unique purpose of disrupting a duly elected president.

I mean the FBI bill themselves as the domestic counter intelligence apparatus and CIA apparently agrees. Maybe CIA is actually running another of their counter intelligence covert mission that involves the undoing of Ole Donny J. .

No I didn't say it, no mention of the dreaded "executive action" my me.

My assumption is that this may be simply collateral damage from the investigation into the Russia meddling in the 2016 elec . . . . .

. . . and the beat goes on, la da da dee . . . !

That far away look in the eyes of the old democratic leaders is the look of "the fear" (H.S.T.). They watch as the repugs, their partners in crime get skewered , by the same DOJ that will skewer them in a New York second given a chance.

DOJ and the USAG leading the shock troops of the National Socialists take over.

Sandra Thompson , September 23, 2019 at 20:58

One of your best lines: "Instead of electing presidents, Americans would merely submit them to the FBI for review." Liked last couple of paragraphs too. Thank you

Abby , September 23, 2019 at 19:43

So Comey knowingly and blatantly lied to the incoming president and it was that incoming president that got investigated? How the hell does that make sense to the Russia Gaters? And then they elevated Comey after he got fired? This makes as much sense as people thinking that Robert Mueller was going to save the country.

After reading Parry's essay on Joe ByeDone from 2014 after the Obama coup in Ukraine that showed how corrupt the powerful people in our government are I don't even know why people bother to vote anymore. The country is run by people behind the scenes who use congress critters to do their dirty work and give them cover. And with our corrupt military industrial complex setting the world on fire I think it's time for the empire to burn.

Ray McGovern , September 23, 2019 at 18:46

VERY GOOD PIECE, DAN. THANKS. Ray McGovern

Martin , September 23, 2019 at 15:27

I read somewhere early on that someone was peddling the steele-dossier to many different outlets weeks or even months before trump's briefing, but they wouldn't bite (too fantastic) until the feds legitimized it. The people should be informed about these mechanics.

Dan Anderson , September 23, 2019 at 15:09

Here's the warning before being sworn in:
January 3, 2017 – Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday to get back at you. So, even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he is being really dumb to do this."
Rachel Maddow: "What do you think the intelligence community would do if they were motivated to?"
Schumer: "I don't know, but from what I am told, they are very upset with how he has treated them and talked about them," -- The Rachel Maddow Show Jan 3, 2017

[Sep 10, 2019] Being called a narcissist by Jim Comey is akin to being accused of having sex with underage girls by the late Jeffrey Epstein by Larry C Johnsons

Highly recommended!
Sep 04, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Diana C ,

"Being called a narcissist by Jim Comey is akin to being accused of having sex with underage girls by the late Jeffrey Epstein."

As usual, your analogy here is spot on. I'm still giggling.

[Sep 10, 2019] Justice declined to pursue Comey leaks as a criminal case

Notable quotes:
"... The most alarming aspect of the Trump–Russia investigation, and of the stark difference between the aggression with which it was pursued and the see-no-evil passivity of the Clinton emails caper, is the way the investigative process was used to influence political outcomes. ..."
"... Ardent Trump supporters are growling over news that the FBI's former director, James Comey, will not be prosecuted by the Justice Department for the mishandling of memoranda he wrote about his contacts with the president. The news has been reported by The Hill 's John Solomon and the Washington Post 's Devlin Barrett , among others. ..."
"... Indications are that Horowitz referred the memos issue to the Justice Department for possible prosecution and that, after reviewing the IG's findings, Justice declined to pursue the matter as a criminal case. ..."
Sep 10, 2019 | www.nationalreview.com

A free society cannot stay free for long if the criminal-justice system becomes a political weapon, if that becomes our norm.

The most alarming aspect of the Trump–Russia investigation, and of the stark difference between the aggression with which it was pursued and the see-no-evil passivity of the Clinton emails caper, is the way the investigative process was used to influence political outcomes.

The way to right that wrong is to prevent it from becoming the new normal, not to turn the tables of abuse when power shifts from one side to the other. We can only make things worse by losing the distinction between rebuking errors in judgment and criminalizing them.

Ardent Trump supporters are growling over news that the FBI's former director, James Comey, will not be prosecuted by the Justice Department for the mishandling of memoranda he wrote about his contacts with the president. The news has been reported by The Hill 's John Solomon and the Washington Post 's Devlin Barrett , among others.

Comey's handling of his memos is one aspect of probes related to investigations attendant to the 2016 election, which are being conducted by Justice Department independent counsel Michael Horowitz. Indications are that Horowitz referred the memos issue to the Justice Department for possible prosecution and that, after reviewing the IG's findings, Justice declined to pursue the matter as a criminal case.

[Sep 09, 2019] Robert Mueller was "special counsel" in name only. The real boss was Andrew Weissman

Notable quotes:
"... The "report" was his work. Mueller never looked for anything, never found anything and never wrote anything. ..."
"... The entire charade was part of the "resistance" to straight jacket Trump until the mid term elections, a strategy put in motion by Comey and Brennan, which achieved the desired result: Republicans lost the House. ..."
"... Of course there was "little Russia in Russiagate." The narrative was all disinformation set loose by Crowdstrike and Fusion GPS, paid for by Hillary and the DNC with the blessing of President Obama. Welcome to the tin foil hat brigade as contributor. ..."
Sep 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

Officially, at least in the FBI's version, its operation "Crossfire Hurricane," the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign that began in mid-2016 was due to suspicious remarks made to visitors by a young and lowly Trump aide, George Papadopoulos. This too is not believable, as I pointed out previously . Most of those visitors themselves had ties to Western intelligence agencies. That is, the young Trump aide was being enticed, possibly entrapped, as part of a larger intelligence operation against Trump. (Papadopoulos wasn't the only Trump associate targeted, Carter Page being another.)

But the question remains: Why did Western intelligence agencies, prompted, it seems clear, by US ones, seek to undermine Trump's presidential campaign? A reflexive answer might be because candidate Trump promised to "cooperate with Russia," to pursue a pro-détente foreign policy, but this was hardly a startling, still less subversive, advocacy by a would-be Republican president. All of the major pro-détente episodes in the 20th century had been initiated by Republican presidents: Eisenhower, Nixon, and Reagan.

So, again, what was it about Trump that so spooked the spooks so far off their rightful reservation and so intrusively into American presidential politics? Investigations being overseen by Attorney General William Barr may provide answers -- or not.

... ... ...

It is true, of course, that Barr and Durham, as Trump appointees, are not the ideal investigators of Intel misdeeds in the Russiagate saga. Much better would be a truly bipartisan, independent investigation based in the Senate, as was the Church Committee of the mid-1970s, which exposed and reformed (it thought at the time) serious abuses by US intelligence agencies. That would require, however, a sizable core of nonpartisan, honorable, and courageous senators of both parties, who thus far seem to be lacking.

There are also, however, the ongoing and upcoming Democratic presidential debates. First and foremost, Russiagate is about the present and future of the American political system, not about Russia. (Indeed, as I have repeatedly argued, there is very little, if any, Russia in Russiagate.) At every "debate" or comparable forum, all of the Democratic candidates should be asked about this grave threat to American democracy -- what they think about what happened and would do about it if elected president. Consider it health care for our democracy.

Anon [421] • Disclaimer says:

September 9, 2019 at 5:24 pm GMT • 100 Words

"former special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of "collusion."

Let me unpack that for you, esteemed professor: RM was "special counsel" in name only. The real boss was Andrew Weissman. The "report" was his work. Mueller never looked for anything, never found anything and never wrote anything.

The entire charade was part of the "resistance" to straight jacket Trump until the mid term elections, a strategy put in motion by Comey and Brennan, which achieved the desired result: Republicans lost the House.

Of course there was "little Russia in Russiagate." The narrative was all disinformation set loose by Crowdstrike and Fusion GPS, paid for by Hillary and the DNC with the blessing of President Obama. Welcome to the tin foil hat brigade as contributor.

Kolya Krassotkin , says: September 9, 2019 at 5:02 pm GMT

Given the impunity with which Israel nakedly interferes in American elections, worrying about Russian interference is laugh-out-loud funny.

But I forgot. Israel is our best "friend."

[Sep 04, 2019] Jim Comey, Have the Grace to Shut Up!! by Larry C Johnson

Sep 04, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

You think that a guy who has been repeatedly rebuked by the Department of Justice Inspector General for violating DOJ and FBI policies and procedures would have the grace to be silent. You would be wrong. Jim Comey has anointed himself as the Jesus Christ of America. Only Jim is wise and good. Only Jimmy can save us from that anti-Christ, Donald Trump.

And Comey's latest? Trump's a narcissist. Being called a narcissist by Jim Comey is akin to being accused of having sex with underage girls by the late Jeffrey Epstein. Jim Comey tweeted out the following today (Sunday):

James Comey ‏ Verified account @ Comey 4h 4 hours ago

It's Sunday morning. A devastating hurricane is approaching. A gunman just slaughtered innocents in Texas. But the President of the United States is wasting time airing personal grievances and live-Tweeting Fox. Narcissism is not leadership. America deserves better. Could not agree more. Except the narcissist in Chief is not Trump. It is you, Jimmy Comey. It was not Donald Trump who overstepped his authority and read out a detailed list of charges against Hillary Clinton. It was not Donald Trump that sat on the news that Anthony "Little Dick" Weiner's laptop contained more classified Hillary emails. It was not Donald Trump who then belatedly announced the discovery of said emails.

Jimmy Comey has achieved new lows in smug sanctimony. His self-righteous bullshit has passed the point of tiresome. It is just annoying. I spoke with a retired FBI buddy today. He was one of the first ones detailed to CIA Headquarters in the late 1990s in an effort to improve inter-agency coordination (and that mission failed in large measure because of the behavior of another narcissist, the CIA Chief of Alec Station). He was beyond sad and embarrassed at the spectacle and conduct of Jim Comey. My friend told me that he used to happily introduce himself as a "retired FBI agent." No longer. He simply says that he worked for the Government and tries to avoid saying anything about having served with the FBI. The big hammer is still to drop and Comey is not likely to walk away a free man. He lied to a Federal Court. He needs to be held accountable.

Posted at 08:52 AM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink


Factotum , 03 September 2019 at 11:22 AM

Trey Gowdy also long warned us about the self-annointed Saint James Comey. I sense a trend among knowledgable pundits.
Rob Naardin , 04 September 2019 at 11:00 AM
I can't wait to see the dark forces of the deep state in bright orange prison jumpsuits.

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/kudos-andy-for-ball-of-collusion/

Diana C , 04 September 2019 at 11:40 AM
"Being called a narcissist by Jim Comey is akin to being accused of having sex with underage girls by the late Jeffrey Epstein."

As usual, your analogy here is spot on. I'm still giggling.

My literary analogy would have been that Comey is the very inept Walter Mitty of today's America. He does imagine himself as the "voice crying in the wilderness."

It sounds, however like a braying donkey wanting some attention. He was one of the Democrats' "useful idiots." Too bad they didn't realize that they might actually get a certified idiot.

[Sep 04, 2019] What We Still Do Not Know About Russiagate by Stephen F. Cohen's

Notable quotes:
"... It must again be emphasized: It is hard, if not impossible, to think of a more toxic allegation in American presidential history than the one leveled against candidate, and then president, Donald Trump that he "colluded" with the Kremlin in order to win the 2016 presidential election -- and, still more, that Vladimir Putin's regime, "America's No. 1 threat," had compromising material on Trump that made him its "puppet." Or a more fraudulent accusation. ..."
"... Was it plausible, for example, that Trump, a longtime owner and operator of international hotels, would commit an indiscreet act in a Moscow hotel that he did not own or control? Or that, as Steele also claimed, high-level Kremlin sources had fed him damning anti-Trump information even though their vigilant boss, Putin, wanted Trump to win the election? ..."
"... Nor was Russian "meddling" in the election anything akin to a "digital Pearl Harbor," as widely asserted, and it was certainly far less and less intrusive than President Bill Clinton's political and financial "interference" undertaken to assure the reelection of Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1996. ..."
"... Nonetheless, Russiagate's core allegation persists, like a legend, in American political life -- in media commentary, in financial solicitations by some Democratic candidates for Congress, and, as is clear from my own discussions, in the minds of otherwise well-informed people. The only way to dispel, to excoriate, such a legend is to learn and expose how it began -- by whom, when, and why. ..."
"... Why did Western intelligence agencies, prompted, it seems clear, by US ones, seek to undermine Trump's presidential campaign? ..."
"... the repeatedly hapless Comey seems incapable of having initiated such an audacious operation against a presidential candidate, still less a president-elect. As I have long suggested, John Brennan and James Clapper, head of the CIA and Office of National Intelligence under Obama respectively, are the more likely culprits. ..."
"... First and foremost, Russiagate is about the present and future of the American political system, not about Russia. (Indeed, as I have repeatedly argued, there is very little, if any, Russia in Russiagate.) ..."
"... At every "debate" or comparable forum, all of the Democratic candidates should be asked about this grave threat to American democracy -- what they think about what happened and would do about it if elected president. Consider it health care for our democracy. ..."
Sep 04, 2019 | www.thenation.com

It must again be emphasized: It is hard, if not impossible, to think of a more toxic allegation in American presidential history than the one leveled against candidate, and then president, Donald Trump that he "colluded" with the Kremlin in order to win the 2016 presidential election -- and, still more, that Vladimir Putin's regime, "America's No. 1 threat," had compromising material on Trump that made him its "puppet." Or a more fraudulent accusation.

Even leaving aside the misperception that Russia is the primary threat to America in world affairs, no aspect of this allegation has turned out to be true, as should have been evident from the outset. Major aspects of the now infamous Steele Dossier, on which much of the allegation was based, were themselves not merely "unverified" but plainly implausible.

Was it plausible, for example, that Trump, a longtime owner and operator of international hotels, would commit an indiscreet act in a Moscow hotel that he did not own or control? Or that, as Steele also claimed, high-level Kremlin sources had fed him damning anti-Trump information even though their vigilant boss, Putin, wanted Trump to win the election? Nonetheless, the American mainstream media and other important elements of the US political establishment relied on Steele's allegations for nearly three years, even heroizing him -- and some still do, explicitly or implicitly.

Not surprisingly, former special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of "collusion" between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. No credible evidence has been produced that Russia's "interference" affected the result of the 2016 presidential election in any significant way. Nor was Russian "meddling" in the election anything akin to a "digital Pearl Harbor," as widely asserted, and it was certainly far less and less intrusive than President Bill Clinton's political and financial "interference" undertaken to assure the reelection of Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1996.

Nonetheless, Russiagate's core allegation persists, like a legend, in American political life -- in media commentary, in financial solicitations by some Democratic candidates for Congress, and, as is clear from my own discussions, in the minds of otherwise well-informed people. The only way to dispel, to excoriate, such a legend is to learn and expose how it began -- by whom, when, and why.

Officially, at least in the FBI's version, its operation "Crossfire Hurricane," the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign that began in mid-2016 was due to suspicious remarks made to visitors by a young and lowly Trump aide, George Papadopoulos. This too is not believable, as I pointed out previously . Most of those visitors themselves had ties to Western intelligence agencies. That is, the young Trump aide was being enticed, possibly entrapped, as part of a larger intelligence operation against Trump. (Papadopoulos wasn't the only Trump associate targeted, Carter Page being another.)

But the question remains: Why did Western intelligence agencies, prompted, it seems clear, by US ones, seek to undermine Trump's presidential campaign? A reflexive answer might be because candidate Trump promised to "cooperate with Russia," to pursue a pro-détente foreign policy, but this was hardly a startling, still less subversive, advocacy by a would-be Republican president. All of the major pro-détente episodes in the 20th century had been initiated by Republican presidents: Eisenhower, Nixon, and Reagan.

So, again, what was it about Trump that so spooked the spooks so far off their rightful reservation and so intrusively into American presidential politics? Investigations being overseen by Attorney General William Barr may provide answers -- or not. Barr has already leveled procedural charges against James Comey, head of the FBI under President Obama and briefly under President Trump, but the repeatedly hapless Comey seems incapable of having initiated such an audacious operation against a presidential candidate, still less a president-elect. As I have long suggested, John Brennan and James Clapper, head of the CIA and Office of National Intelligence under Obama respectively, are the more likely culprits.

The FBI is no longer the fearsome organization it once was and thus not hard to investigate, as Barr has already shown. The others, particularly the CIA, are a different matter, and Barr has suggested they are resisting. To investigate them, particularly the CIA, it seems, he has brought in a veteran prosecutor-investigator, John Durham.

Which raises other questions. Are Barr and Durham, whose own careers include associations with US intelligence agencies, determined to uncover the truth about the origins of Russiagate? And can they really do so fully, given the resistance already apparent? Even if so, will Barr make public their findings, however damning of the intelligence agencies they may be, or will he classify them? And if the latter, will President Trump use his authority to declassify the findings as the 2020 presidential election approaches in order to discredit the role of Obama's presidency and its would-be heirs?

Equally important perhaps, how will mainstream media treat the Barr-Durham investigation and its findings? Having driven the Russiagate narrative for so long and so misleadingly -- and with liberals perhaps finding themselves in the incongruous position of defending rogue intelligence agencies -- will they credit or seek to discredit the findings?

It is true, of course, that Barr and Durham, as Trump appointees, are not the ideal investigators of Intel misdeeds in the Russiagate saga. Much better would be a truly bipartisan, independent investigation based in the Senate, as was the Church Committee of the mid-1970s, which exposed and reformed (it thought at the time) serious abuses by US intelligence agencies. That would require, however, a sizable core of nonpartisan, honorable, and courageous senators of both parties, who thus far seem to be lacking.

There are also, however, the ongoing and upcoming Democratic presidential debates. First and foremost, Russiagate is about the present and future of the American political system, not about Russia. (Indeed, as I have repeatedly argued, there is very little, if any, Russia in Russiagate.)

At every "debate" or comparable forum, all of the Democratic candidates should be asked about this grave threat to American democracy -- what they think about what happened and would do about it if elected president. Consider it health care for our democracy.

This commentary is based on Stephen F. Cohen's most recent weekly discussion with the host of The John Batchelor Show . Now in their sixth year, previous installments are at TheNation.com .

Stephen F. Cohen Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. A Nation contributing editor, his most recent book War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate is available in paperback and in an ebook edition. His weekly conversations with the host of The John Batchelor Show, now in their sixth year, are available at www.thenation.com .

[Aug 29, 2019] Comey Is A Proven Liar And Leaker White House Slams Former FBI Director After IG Report Zero Hedge

Aug 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Update (1455ET) : The White House has issued an extremely strong statement on the Inspector General's report:

Statement from the Press Secretory

James Comey is a proven liar and leaker. The Inspector General's report shows Comey violated the most basic obligations of confidentiality that he owed to the United States Government and to the American people, "in order to achieve a personally desired outcome."

Because Comey shamefully leaked information to the press - in blatant violation of FBI policies - the Nation was forced to endure the baseless politically-motivated, two-year witch hunt.

Comey disgraced himself and his office to further a personal political agenda, and this report further confirms that fact.

* * *

Update (1405ET) : President Trump has taken a momentary break from helping Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis batten down the hatches ahead of Hurricane Dorian's weekend landfall - and from doing everything he can to pump the market - by taking a shot at disgraced former FBI director James Comey following the Thursday publication of the DoJ's IG report, which confirmed that Comey violated both DoJ policy and the law, by leaking the contents of his memos to the press.

"Perhaps never in the history of our Country has someone been more thoroughly disgraced and excoriated than James Comey in the just-released Inspector General's Report," Trump tweeted. "He should be ashamed of himself!"

me title=

Of course, as we mentioned below, Comey doesn't see it that way. But maybe, someday, he'll at least acknowledge that he acted rashly - and put his subordinates in a very awkward position - by deciding to leak the memos as an unabashed strategy to try and undermine the newly inaugurated president of the country he claims to love so dearly.

* * *

In a long-awaited report released Thursday morning, the DOJ's inspector general revealed that former FBI Director James Comey's handling of the memos he took from meetings with President Trump before he was unceremoniously fired in early 2017 violated department policy and the law when he shared them with a longtime confidant, who then leaked their contents to the press.

"We conclude that Comey's retention, handling, and dissemination of certain Memos violated Department and FBI policies, and his FBI Employment Agreement," the Justice Department inspector general report states.

Fox News Host Sean Hannity warned that Comey should be worried about facing the repercussions for his decision to leak the contents of the memos.

"Without a doubt... [Comey] should be sweating a lot tonight about what might be in those reports. This report is expected to be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Jim Comey."

The IG's office had referred Comey for potential prosecution earlier this summer based on his handling of the memos, CNN reported. But the DoJ declined to bring a case, in part because prosecutors didn't believe there was evidence to show Comey knew and intended to violate laws pertaining to the handling of classified information.

Still, as Hannity said, things are "not looking good...for Mr. Super Patriot , a guy that knows better than us...we are told that the report will strongly rebuke the disgraced former FBI director, document his utter lack of candor. That means lying, " Hannity said.

As an earlier media report reminded us, the Comey report is separate from a larger report about how the DoJ handled the Russia investigation, though it's still not clear why the separate report is needed.

Comey infamously took created the memos after meetings with President Trump where Trump purportedly asked him to go easy on former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Comey then leaked the contents of these memos to a friend through a trusted confidant, helping to spur the launch of the Russia probe.

In a series of tweets replying to the report, Comey tried to spin the report's findings, highlighting a section of the report that was favorable to his narrative.

Here are some highlights from the report, starting with the conclusion:

Congress has provided the FBI with substantial powers and authorities to gather evidence as part of the FBI's criminal and counterintelligence mission. The FBI uses these authorities every day in its many investigations into allegations of drug trafficking, terrorism, fraud, organized crime, public corruption, espionage, and a host of other threats to national security and public safety. In the process, the FBI lawfully gains access to a significant amount of sensitive information about individuals, many of whom have not been charged, may never be charged, or may not even be a subject of the investigation. For this reason, the civil liberties of every individual who may fall within the scope of the FBI's investigative authorities depend on the FBI's ability to protect sensitive information from unauthorized disclosure.

As Comey himself explained in his March 20, 2017 testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, he was unable to provide details about the nature or scope of the FBI's ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election because the FBI is very careful in how we handle information about our cases and about the people we are investigating . Our ability to share details with the Congress and the American people is limited when those investigations are still open, which I hope makes sense. We need to protect people's privacy . We just cannot do our work well or fairly if we start talking about it while we're doing it.

However, after his removal as FBI Director two months later, Comey provided a copy of Memo 4, which Comey had kept without authorization, to Richman with instructions to share the contents with a reporter for The New York Times. Memo 4 included information that was related to both the FBI's ongoing investigation of Flynn and, by Comey's own account, information that he believed and alleged constituted evidence of an attempt to obstruct the ongoing Flynn investigation; later that same day, The New York Times published an article about Memo 4 entitled, "Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation."

The responsibility to protect sensitive law enforcement information falls in large part to the employees of the FBI who have access to it through their daily duties. On occasion, some of these employees may disagree with decisions by prosecutors, judges, or higher ranking FBI and Department officials about the actions to take or not take in criminal and counterintelligence matters. They may even, in some situations, distrust the legitimacy of those supervisory, prosecutorial, or judicial decisions. But even when these employees believe that their most strongly-held personal convictions might be served by an unauthorized disclosure, the FBI depends on them not to disclose sensitive information.

Former Director Comey failed to live up to this responsibility. By not safeguarding sensitive information obtained during the course of his FBI employment, and by using it to create public pressure for official action, Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees -- and the many thousands more former FBI employees -- who similarly have access to or knowledge of non-public information. Comey said he was compelled to take these actions "if I love this country and I love the Department of Justice, and I love the FBI." However, were current or former FBI employees to follow the former Director's example and disclose sensitive information in service of their own strongly held personal convictions, the FBI would be unable to dispatch its law enforcement duties properly, as Comey himself noted in his March 20, 2017 congressional testimony. Comey expressed a similar concern to President Trump, according to Memo 4, in discussing leaks of FBI information, telling Trump that the FBI's ability to conduct its work is compromised "if people run around telling the press what we do." This is no doubt part of the reason why Comey's closest advisors used the words "surprised," "stunned," "shocked," and "disappointment" to describe their reactions to learning what Comey had done.

We have previously faulted Comey for acting unilaterally and inconsistent with Department policy.103 Comey's unauthorized disclosure of sensitive law enforcement information about the Flynn investigation merits similar criticism. In a country built on the rule of law, it is of utmost importance that all FBI employees adhere to Department and FBI policies, particularly when confronted by what appear to be extraordinary circumstances or compelling personal convictions. Comey had several other lawful options available to him to advocate for the appointment of a Special Counsel, which he told us was his goal in making the disclosure. What was not permitted was the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome.

* * *

If he wanted to force the appointment of a special counsel, the report found that Comey had other lawful options besides leaking to the press, yet, he chose to ignore them.

Comey's unauthorized disclosure of sensitive law enforcement information about the Flynn investigation merits similar criticism. In a country built on the rule of law, it is of utmost importance that all FBI employees adhere to Department and FBI policies, particularly when confronted by what appear to be extraordinary circumstances or compelling personal convictions. Comey had several other lawful options available to him to advocate for the appointment of a Special Counsel, which he told us was his goal in making the disclosure. What was not permitted was the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome. The OIG has provided this report to the FBI and to the Department of Justice Office of Professional Responsibility for action they deem appropriate.

Even members of Comey's leadership team were "shocked" by the then-director's actions.

IG: Members of Comey's senior leadership team used the adjectives "surprised," "stunned," "shocked," and "disappointment" to describe their reactions to learning that Comey acted on his own to provide the contents of Memo 4, through Richman, to a reporter

As Ryan Saavedra pointed out, the IG found that Comey set a "dangerous example" for the tens of thousands of FBI employees working under him...

...And the "bottom line", as one reporter put it:

Even CNN conceded that the report was "damning" for Comey.

Several Twitter wits sifted through the reports findings pertaining to Comey memos 1 through 7.

Read the full report released on Thursday morning bellow.

o1902 by Zerohedge on Scribd

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/423675889/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-uDafDhGIwmWhJXW0r6gm&show_recommendations=true


Questan1913 , 10 minutes ago link

Toothless Trump. Pity him. THEY let him play deal maker.......and nothing more. From a citizens point of view this is a lawless, unconstitutional, rogue government. The assassination of Epstein by this criminal government while incarcerated in the most hi-tech federal prison in NYC which incidentally is ATTACHED to the New York office of the Justice Department speaks for itself.

Lord Raglan , 3 minutes ago link

and the video cameras being "under repair"............what a crock............that's a nice touch........

Aubiekong , 13 minutes ago link

Comey was directed by president Obama to obstruct justice and destroy evidence all to protect Hillary Clinton.

hooligan2009 , 10 minutes ago link

bingo! so was brennan, yates, lynch, rice, mills, samuelson etc etc

navy62802 , 15 minutes ago link

Without an indictment, this is all meaningless. Nothing more than sound and fury.

Indelible Scars , 36 minutes ago link

If this doesn't tell you that our intelligence services are politically biased from the top down, nothing will. It is disgusting that a person like him and frankly, most FBI/CIA tops, can make it into such a dangerous and powerful positions.

Lord Raglan , 36 minutes ago link

Comey and McCabe have such big balls and feel so protected by the Deep State that I wouldn't be surprised if they both run for President on the Dem ticket when a few more of them get washed out.

Lord Raglan , 5 minutes ago link

Oligarchs = Deep State ..............semantics...............

lakecity55 , 37 minutes ago link

I'll bet this ********** is never prosecuted; in fact, the (((people))) he works for will likely enrich him with even more cash. He will live out his life untouched with every convenience money can buy in a huge home within a wealthy enclave.

The US is finished. People like Cummie helped kill the United States. I hope this ******* **** is happy with his money.

Real Estate Guru , 55 minutes ago link
Giant Meteor , 55 minutes ago link

Look you mugs, no prosecution of high level players post " global financial crisis" ever occurred. As the official story went, sure, there was some perhaps bad, tsk, tsk, judgement by high level players, and corrupt revolving door " government enforcers", but no crimes were ever committed, the verdict.

Except some very smart folks, that most citizens never heard of, and never will hear of, whom received absolutely zero play in the mainstream, whom diligentlly, methodically, laid out their ironclad case for prosecution, law, and procedure, on a variety of ummm, inconsistencies, and existing law, pointing to this thing known as control fraud, top among the provable crimes of the nations top men,

Clear as a ******* bell ..

Then there was John Corzine. Anyone remember him?

Nope, the departnent of just us, under the Obama regime simply wouldn't hear of such heresy .. nor his own justice head, Eric the place holder, and thus, systemically important, to big too fail " entities" , their execs, and a bevy of non prosecution agreement, no admissions of guilt, were born again .. free to continue hold on to their assets, free to continue new crime waves ..

The point is .. this matter before you now, being another scale, another aspect, but drawing water from the same poisoned chalice if government service , is how should one say, business as usual. Now tell me again about all those differences, between red team and blue team.

Follow the fiat, the bribes, the control fraud, the control files, which of course all draws ALL power through, and from the money changers, and their system.

Roger Rabbit , 34 minutes ago link

Because, if you actually read the ******* article, the memos weren't classified. So there's not much to go after him with. HOWEVER, he signed off on a FISA warrant which Horowitz determined was illegal. He will be in trouble further down the line..

Real Estate Guru , 59 minutes ago link

DOJ declines to prosecute James Comey on inspector general referral for leaking classified info

by Daniel Chaitin

& Jerry Dunleavy

| July 31, 2019 09:33 PM

The Justice Department declined to prosecute former FBI Director James Comey following a criminal referral from the agency's independent watchdog, which concluded that Comey had leaked classified information and showed a lack of candor with investigators.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz reached out to prosecutors about one of the memos Comey leaked to a friend, which detailed a conversation he had with President Trump, after he was fired by President Trump in May 2017.

Although prosecutors found the watchdog's findings compelling, they decided against prosecution under classified information protection laws because of there being too much uncertainty surrounding Comey's intent, according to the Hill . A month after he was fired, Comey testified to Congress he had leaked his notes to a friend to give to the media, hoping that it would spark a special counsel investigation.

Then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel the day after the New York Times first reported on details from one of Comey's leaked memos, which claimed Trump pressed his FBI director to drop an investigation into his national security adviser Michael Flynn. That memo was classified as "confidential" -- the lowest classification level -- after Comey sent the information.

With other investigations focused on the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation underway, one source said the DOJ did not want to "make its first case against the Russia investigators with such thin margins and look petty and vindictive."

Comey's lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Spokespeople for the DOJ and its inspector general also did not immediately respond to the Washington Examiner's request for comment.

The news comes hours after conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch announced it had obtained an FBI log about special agents arriving at Comey's home in June 2017 to retrieve his memos. The notes show Comey handed over four of them to the FBI agents, and he said to the best of his recollection two might be missing.

Although the DOJ declined to prosecute in this case, Comey, who has become a vocal critic of the president since his ouster, is not yet in the clear.

Comey is also a possible target of Horowitz's separate investigation into alleged Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse. He signed three of the four FISA applications targeting former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page before being fired by Trump. Horowitz's report is expected to be released after Labor Day.

It is also likely that Comey's actions as FBI director will be scrutinized during the "investigation of the investigators," a review of the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, being led by Attorney General William Barr and the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, John Durham.

SHsparx , 47 minutes ago link

To what end though? There's a point where it veers from just delusion and starts looking like intentional disinfo.

freedommusic , 1 hour ago link

Their business model is STRESS... https://youtu.be/8Py2XuPTOQI?t=1042

puckles , 57 minutes ago link

OIG has no authority to indict (although their law enforcement arms can and do recommend for prosecution, which would not be produced here), but in most .GOV agencies their word is feared like that of almighty God. This report is utterly damning. If nothing results from it, it would be truly remarkable.

Anunnaki , 54 minutes ago link

Watch the pretzel logic for when the prosecutors decline to indict. It's a country club. They are all friends outside of work. Comey and Mueller took vacations together with their families for Chrissakes

Darracq , 1 hour ago link

Trump appointed deep state POS to key positions: Sessions then Barr, Wray at the FBI, Rosenshits gets to sneak away, Dan Coats gets to obstruct. Where are all the buckets of FISA documents that Trump ordered Barr to declassify? And tough guy "Mad Dog" Mattis is a ****** and sells out to Amazon. We are being had.

Anunnaki , 54 minutes ago link

Apparently the coup is ongoing

[Aug 28, 2019] Fabricating the Russian DNC Hack by Larry C Johnson

Aug 28, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

I will make this very simple. The DNC emails that ultimately were published on Wikileaks likely originated with a DNC staffer, Seth Rich. It was not the Russians. The decision to blame the Russians was an intelligence construct that was concocted once U.S. and British intelligence officials plotting against Donald Trump realized that Rich had downloaded the emails and was communicating with Julian Assange and his cohorts.

Here are the facts:

  1. It was 29 April 2016 , when the DNC claims it became aware its servers had been penetrated. No claim yet about who was responsible.
  2. According to CrowdStrike founder , Dimitri Alperovitch, his company first supposedly detected the Russians mucking around inside the DNC server on 6 May 2016. A CrowdStrike intelligence analyst reportedly told Alperovitch that:
    1. Falcon had identified not one but two Russian intruders: Cozy Bear, a group CrowdStrike's experts believed was affiliated with the FSB, Russia's answer to the CIA; and Fancy Bear, which they had linked to the GRU, Russian military intelligence.
  3. The Wikileaks data shows that the last message copied from the DNC network is dated Wed, 25 May 2016 08:48:35.
  4. 10 June 2016--CrowdStrike waited until 10 June 2016 to take concrete steps to clean up the DNC network. Alperovitch told Esquire's Vicky Ward that: 'Ultimately, the teams decided it was necessary to replace the software on every computer at the DNC. Until the network was clean, secrecy was vital. On the afternoon of Friday, June 10, all DNC employees were instructed to leave their laptops in the office."
  5. On June 14, 2016, Ellen Nakamura, a Washington Post reporter who had been briefed by computer security company hired by the DNC -- Crowdstrike--, wrote:
    1. Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach.
    2. The intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC's system that they also were able to read all email and chat traffic, said DNC officials and the security experts.
    3. The intrusion into the DNC was one of several targeting American political organizations. The networks of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were also targeted by Russian spies, as were the computers of some Republican political action committees, U.S. officials said. But details on those cases were not available.
  6. 15 June, 2016, an internet "personality" self-described as Guccifer 2.0 surfaces and claims to be responsible for the hacks but denies being Russian. However, the meta data in the documents posted by Guccifer 2.0 appear to be deliberately crafted to show "Russian" involvement.
  7. The DNC emails that were released on July 22, 2016 by Wikileaks covered the period from January 2015 thru 25 May 2016.

Continue reading "Fabricating the Russian DNC Hack by Larry C Johnson" "

Posted at 02:14 AM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink | Comments (2)

Mightypeon , 28 August 2019 at 03:48 AM

The FSB is not really Ruusias CIA equvalent though. It is more akin to an unholy alliance of homeland security and the FBI. GRU is kind of like DIA + the army, navy, air force and marine intelligence. Closest thing to the CIA Russia has would be the SVR, but their overall remit is still somewhat different.
Oscar Peterson , 28 August 2019 at 11:23 AM
Nice laydown. One really needs this sort of step-by-step letdown to get and keep the facts straight.

Some sort of link chart/diagram that could be updated as needed would be great.

Between the DNC emails, the Steele faux-dossier, Seth Rich, Guccifer 2.0, and whatever connection there might be to Skripal and the British, it's really challenging to keep all the players and actions in the right relationship to one another.

One side question: Where does DC Leaks fit into this?

[Aug 19, 2019] The Seth Rich story tells us how corruption spreads. The Mayor of DC, Muriel Bowser, tells Peter Newsham, the guy in charge of the Seth Rich investigation, to shut it down.

Aug 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

si1ver1ock , says: August 17, 2019 at 10:42 pm GMT

The Seth Rich story is coming back to life. A fellow named Butowski is exposing things.

He claims that Ellen Ratner of Fox News told him that Seth Rich and his brother Aaron gave Wikileaks Hillary's emails. Julian Assange is said to have told Ellen Ratner.

The story is that the cover-up came down from now disgraced FBI agent, Andrew McCabe, to the Mayor of DC and on down to the police. They were told to sit on the case.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/0M3Z4eE6cJA?feature=oembed

Twodees Partain , says: August 18, 2019 at 3:27 pm GMT
@si1ver1ock Here's a link to a detailed written article about the Butowski story and the lawsuit he has filed.

https://forbiddenknowledgetv.net/deep-state-have-finally-met-their-match-ed-butowsky/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Deep+State+Have+Finally+Met+their+Match+-+Ed+Butowsky

Not everyone prefers viewing a video.

Si1ver1ock , says: August 18, 2019 at 1:58 pm GMT
The Seth Rich story tells us how corruption spreads. The Mayor of DC, Muriel Bowser, tells Peter Newsham, the guy in charge of the Seth Rich investigation, to shut it down.

Then, a year later she promotes him to Chief of Police.

[Aug 12, 2019] RAY McGOVERN Rich's Ghost Haunts the Courts Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... That epithet has a sordid history in the annals of U.S. intelligence. Legendary CIA Director Allen Dulles used the "brand-them-conspiracy-theorists" ploy following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy when many objected -- understandably -- to letting him pretty much run the Warren Commission, even though the CIA was suspected of having played a role in the murder. The "conspiracy theorist" tactic worked like a charm then, and now. Well, up until just now. ..."
"... U.S. Courts apply far tougher standards to evidence than do the intelligence community and the pundits who loll around lazily, feeding from the intelligence PR trough. This (hardly surprising) reality was underscored when a Dallas financial adviser named Ed Butowsky sued National Public Radio and others for defaming him about the role he played in controversial stories relating to Rich. On August 7, NPR suffered a setback, when U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant affirmed a lower court decision to allow Butowsky's defamation lawsuit to proceed. ..."
"... NPR gave Isikoff 37 minutes on its popular Fresh Air program to spin his yarn about how the Seth Rich story got started. You guessed it; the Russians started it . No, we are not making this up. ..."
"... It is far from clear that Isikoff can be much help to NPR in the libel case against it. Isikoff's own writings on Russiagate are notably lacking in "verifiable statements of fact" -- information that cannot be verified. ..."
"... In any case, The Washington Post , had already debunked Isikoff's claim (which later in his article he switched to being only "purported") by pointing out that Americans had already tweeted the theory of Rich's murder days before the alleged Russian intervention. ..."
"... Butowsky's libel lawsuit can now proceed to discovery, which will include demands for documents and depositions that are likely to shed light on whatever role Rich may have played in leaking to WikiLeaks . If the government obstructs or tries to slow-roll the case, we shall have to wait and see, for example, if the court will acquiesce to the familiar government objection that information regarding Rich's murder must be withheld as a state secret? Hmmm. What would that tell us? ..."
"... During discovery in a separate court case, the government was unable to produce a final forensic report on the "hacking" of the Democratic National Committee. The DNC-hired cyber firm, CrowdStrike, failed to complete such a report, and that was apparently okay with then FBI Director James Comey, who did not require one. ..."
"... The thorny question of "persuasive sourcing," came up even more starkly on July 1, when federal Judge Dabney Friedrich ordered Robert Mueller to stop pretending he had proof that the Russian government was behind the Internet Research Agency's supposed attempt to interfere via social media in the 2016 election. Middle school-level arithmetic can prove the case that the IRA's use of social media to support Trump is ludicrous on its face. ..."
"... As journalist Patrick Lawrence put it recently: "Three years after the narrative we call Russiagate was framed and incessantly promoted, it crumbles into rubble as we speak." ..."
"... In a long interview with Lauria a few months ago in New Zealand aired this month on CN Live! , Kim Dotcom provided a wealth of detail, based on what he described as first-hand knowledge, regarding how Democratic National Committee documents were leaked to WikiLeaks in 2016. ..."
"... The major takeaway: the evidence presented by Dotcom about Seth Rich can be verified or disproven if President Trump summons the courage to order the director of NSA to dig out the relevant data, including the conversations Dotcom says he had with Rich and Rich may have had with WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange. ..."
"... Dotcom said he put Rich in touch with a middleman to transfer the DNC files to WikiLeaks . ..."
"... Mark Twain is said to have warned, "How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again!" After three years of "Russia-Russia-Russia" in the corporate -- and even in some "progressive" -- media, this conditioning will not be easy to reverse. ..."
Aug 12, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Simply letting the name "Seth Rich" pass your lips can condemn you to the leper colony built by the Washington Establishment for "conspiracy theorists," (the term regularly applied to someone determined to seek tangible evidence, and who is open to alternatives to "Russia-did-it.")

Rich was a young DNC employee who was murdered on a street in Washington, DC, on July 10, 2016. Many, including me, suspect that Rich played some role in the leaking of DNC emails to WikiLeaks . There is considerable circumstantial evidence that this may have been the case. Those who voice such suspicions, however, are, ipso facto , branded "conspiracy theorists."

That epithet has a sordid history in the annals of U.S. intelligence. Legendary CIA Director Allen Dulles used the "brand-them-conspiracy-theorists" ploy following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy when many objected -- understandably -- to letting him pretty much run the Warren Commission, even though the CIA was suspected of having played a role in the murder. The "conspiracy theorist" tactic worked like a charm then, and now. Well, up until just now.

Rich Hovers Above the Courts

U.S. Courts apply far tougher standards to evidence than do the intelligence community and the pundits who loll around lazily, feeding from the intelligence PR trough. This (hardly surprising) reality was underscored when a Dallas financial adviser named Ed Butowsky sued National Public Radio and others for defaming him about the role he played in controversial stories relating to Rich. On August 7, NPR suffered a setback, when U.S. District Court Judge Amos Mazzant affirmed a lower court decision to allow Butowsky's defamation lawsuit to proceed.

Judge Mazzant ruled that NPR had stated as "verifiable statements of fact" information that could not be verified , and that the plaintiff had been, in effect, accused of being engaged in wrongdoing without persuasive sourcing language.

Isikoff: Russians started it. (Wikipedia)

Imagine! -- "persuasive sourcing" required to separate fact from opinion and axes to grind! An interesting precedent to apply to the ins and outs of Russiagate. In the courts, at least, this is now beginning to happen. And NPR and others in similarly vulnerable positions are scurrying around for allies.??The day after Judge Mazzant's decision, NPR enlisted help from discredited Yahoo! News pundit Michael Isikoff (author, with David Corn, of the fiction-posing-as-fact novel Russian Roulette ). NPR gave Isikoff 37 minutes on its popular Fresh Air program to spin his yarn about how the Seth Rich story got started. You guessed it; the Russians started it . No, we are not making this up.

It is far from clear that Isikoff can be much help to NPR in the libel case against it. Isikoff's own writings on Russiagate are notably lacking in "verifiable statements of fact" -- information that cannot be verified. Watch, for example, his recent interview with Consortium News Editor Joe Lauria on CN Live!

Isikoff admitted to Lauria that he never saw the classified Russian intelligence document reportedly indicating that three days after Rich's murder the Russian SVR foreign intelligence service planted a story about Rich having been the leaker and was killed for it. This Russian intelligence "bulletin," as Isikoff called it, was supposedly placed on a bizarre website that Isikoff admitted was an unlikely place for Russia to spread disinformation. He acknowledged that he only took the word of the former prosecutor in the Rich case about the existence of this classified Russian document.

In any case, The Washington Post , had already debunked Isikoff's claim (which later in his article he switched to being only "purported") by pointing out that Americans had already tweeted the theory of Rich's murder days before the alleged Russian intervention.

' Persuasive Sourcing' & Discovery ??

Butowsky's libel lawsuit can now proceed to discovery, which will include demands for documents and depositions that are likely to shed light on whatever role Rich may have played in leaking to WikiLeaks . If the government obstructs or tries to slow-roll the case, we shall have to wait and see, for example, if the court will acquiesce to the familiar government objection that information regarding Rich's murder must be withheld as a state secret? Hmmm. What would that tell us?

Butowsky: Suit could reveal critical information. (Flickr)

During discovery in a separate court case, the government was unable to produce a final forensic report on the "hacking" of the Democratic National Committee. The DNC-hired cyber firm, CrowdStrike, failed to complete such a report, and that was apparently okay with then FBI Director James Comey, who did not require one.

The incomplete, redacted, draft, second-hand "forensics" that Comey settled for from CrowdStrike does not qualify as credible evidence -- much less "persuasive sourcing" to support the claim that the Russians "hacked" into the DNC. Moreover, CrowdStrike has a dubious reputation for professionalism and a well known anti-Russia bias.

The thorny question of "persuasive sourcing," came up even more starkly on July 1, when federal Judge Dabney Friedrich ordered Robert Mueller to stop pretending he had proof that the Russian government was behind the Internet Research Agency's supposed attempt to interfere via social media in the 2016 election. Middle school-level arithmetic can prove the case that the IRA's use of social media to support Trump is ludicrous on its face.

Russia-gate Rubble

As journalist Patrick Lawrence put it recently: "Three years after the narrative we call Russiagate was framed and incessantly promoted, it crumbles into rubble as we speak." Falling syllogism! Step nimbly to one side.

The "conspiracy theorist" epithet is not likely to much longer block attention to the role, if any, played by Rich -- the more so since some players who say they were directly involved with Rich are coming forward.

In a long interview with Lauria a few months ago in New Zealand aired this month on CN Live! , Kim Dotcom provided a wealth of detail, based on what he described as first-hand knowledge, regarding how Democratic National Committee documents were leaked to WikiLeaks in 2016.

The major takeaway: the evidence presented by Dotcom about Seth Rich can be verified or disproven if President Trump summons the courage to order the director of NSA to dig out the relevant data, including the conversations Dotcom says he had with Rich and Rich may have had with WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

Dotcom said he put Rich in touch with a middleman to transfer the DNC files to WikiLeaks . Sadly, Trump has flinched more than once rather than confront the Deep State -- and this time there are a bunch of very well connected, senior Deep State practitioners who could face prosecution .

Another sign that Rich's story is likely to draw new focus is the virulent character assassination indulged in by former investigative journalist James Risen.

Not Risen to the Challenge

Risen: Called Binney a "conspiracy theorist." (Flickr)

On August 5, in an interview on The Hill's "Rising," Risen chose to call former NSA Technical Director Bill Binney -- you guessed it -- a "conspiracy theorist" on Russia-gate, with no demurral, much less pushback, from the hosts.

The having-done-good-work-in-the-past-and-now-not-so-much Risen can be considered a paradigm for what has happened to so many Kool-Aid drinking journalists. Jim's transition from investigative journalist to stenographer is, nonetheless unsettling. Contributing causes? It appears that the traditional sources within the intelligence agencies, whom Risen was able to cultivate discreetly in the past, are too fearful now to even talk to him, lest they get caught by one or two of the myriad surveillance systems in play.

Those at the top of the relevant agencies, however, are only too happy to provide grist. Journalists have to make a living, after all. Topic A, of course, is Russian "interference" in the 2016 election. And, of course, "There can be little doubt" the Russians did it.

"Big Jim" Risen, as he is known, jumped on the bandwagon as soon as he joined The Intercept , with a fulsome article on February 17, 2018 titled " Is Donald Trump a Traitor? " Here's an excerpt:

"The evidence that Russia intervened in the election to help Trump win is already compelling, and it grows stronger by the day.

"There can be little doubt now that Russian intelligence officials were behind an effort to hack the DNC's computers and steal emails and other information from aides to Hillary Clinton as a means of damaging her presidential campaign. Russian intelligence also used fake social media accounts and other tools to create a global echo chamber both for stories about the emails and for anti-Clinton lies dressed up to look like news.

"To their disgrace, editors and reporters at American news organizations greatly enhanced the Russian echo chamber, eagerly writing stories about Clinton and the Democratic Party based on the emails, while showing almost no interest during the presidential campaign in exactly how those emails came to be disclosed and distributed." (sic)

Poor Jim. He shows himself just as susceptible as virtually all of his fellow corporate journalists to the epidemic-scale HWHW virus (Hillary Would Have Won) that set in during Nov. 2016 and for which the truth seems to be no cure. From his perch at The Intercept , Risen will continue to try to shape the issues. Russiagaters major ally, of course, is the corporate media which has most Americans pretty much under their thumb.

Incidentally, neither The New York Times, The Washington Post , nor The Wall Street Journal has printed or posted a word about Judge Mazzant's ruling on the Butowsky suit.

Mark Twain is said to have warned, "How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and [how] hard it is to undo that work again!" After three years of "Russia-Russia-Russia" in the corporate -- and even in some "progressive" -- media, this conditioning will not be easy to reverse.

Here's how one astute observer with a sense of humor described the situation last week, in a comment under one of my recent pieces on Consortium News:

" One can write the most thought-out and well documented academic-like essays, articles and reports and the true believers in Russiagate will dismiss it all with a mere flick of their wrist. The mockery and scorn directed towards those of us who knew the score from day one won't relent. They could die and go to heaven and ask god what really happened during the 2016 election. God would reply to them in no uncertain terms that Putin and the Russians had absolutely nothing to do with anything in '16, and they'd all throw up their hands and say, 'aha! So, God's in on this too!' It's the great lie that won't die."

I'm not so sure. It is likely to be a while though before this is over.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. Ray was a CIA analyst for 27 years; in retirement he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

[Aug 01, 2019] Comey Avoids DOJ Prosecution On Memo Leak; FISA Abuse Still On The Table

Aug 01, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Former FBI Director James Comey will avoid prosecution after illegally leaking personal memos in the hopes of instigating the special counsel's investigation into the 2016 US election, as reported yesterday by The Hill 's John Solomon and confirmed today by Fox News .

According to Solomon, DOJ Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz referred Comey for possible prosecution under laws governing the handling of classified information, however Attorney General William Barr has declined to prosecute - as the DOJ does not believe they have enough evidence of Comey's intent to violate the law.

"Everyone at the DOJ involved in the decision said it wasn't a close call," an official told Fox News . "They all thought this could not be prosecuted."

That said, it's important to note that this decision was the result of a 'carve-out' investigation separate of the IG probe on FISA abuse .

The Conservative Treehouse lays out the situation:

This is NOT the Inspector General Michael Horowitz report on DOJ and FBI FISA abuse.

This is a carve-out.

...

From the outset it was reported and confirmed that U.S. Attorney John Huber was assigned to assist Inspector General Michael Horowitz. Huber's job was to stand-by in case the IG carved out a particular concern, discovered during his investigation, that might involve criminal conduct.

Earlier this week Matt Whitaker said : "John Huber is reviewing anything related to Comey's memos and the like. "

Put the two data points together and what you realize is that during the OIG review of potential DOJ and FBI FISA abuse IG Horowitz investigated the Comey Memo's and then passed that specific issue along to John Huber for DOJ review.

The IG criminal referral for the James Comey memo leaking was a carve-out sent to U.S. Attorney John Huber.

...

This is not the inspector general report on DOJ and FBI FISA abuse. This is an IG report carved out of the larger investigation. - Conservative Treehouse

In short, we will first see an IG report just covering Comey, with a more comprehensive report to follow on FISA abuse. _arrow 1


chunga , 2 minutes ago

Every day this gets a little more humiliating.

libertysghost , 2 minutes ago

So it has to be proven that the head of the FBI knew what the frikin laws were that he was violating?

Knowing the laws were not in his job description?

Aside from that not being a standard for determining prosecution for anyone else aside from Deep Staters, the claim is laughable on its face. Did Comey's office (or Comey himself) ever provide evidence for the prosecution of ANY individual for ANYTHING where they argued "intent" didn't matter? I'm 100% sure he did. So why is this hard to point out in showing that "intent" doesn't matter?

FFS...this is a scam. I was leery as soon as Trump handing over declassification to Barr. We will know who is involved in the cover up by their response to this...in particular those claiming to be at the front lines of demanding consequences for the spying/coup.


Bavarian , 3 minutes ago

This was always small potatoes. FISA and the involvement in setting up the coup will involve the meat of his convictions anyway. Anyone thinking he's walking isn't paying attention.

I am Groot , 5 minutes ago

Comey: Oh I'm sorry, I didn't mean to help throw a coup.

Barr: Ok, no problem, we won't charge you. We know it was just an accident. You're all good. You can go on CNN and rub everybody's nose in it now

Real Estate Guru , 14 minutes ago

What makes you think that Comey didn't cut a deal with Barr to get the others, folks? Stay tuned!

You do the math.

I am Groot , 12 minutes ago

WHY THE **** WOULD BARR CUT A DEAL WITH ANY OF THOSE TREASONOUS ***** !

THEY ARE ALL GUILTY AS HELL ! ! !

Real Estate Guru , 11 minutes ago

I agree. But this fool might be naming Obama for all we know. That would be worth it, or Hillary.

Either way, he is going down on the FISA warrants. He signed off on them.

I am Groot , 8 minutes ago

Obama is fucked six ways to Sunday. They have the FBI text messages that prove he was directing all of this and was neck deep in it.

spyware-free , 12 minutes ago

Then why not state that as the reason? There is enough evidence to prosecute. They could have at the least waited and added the charge to future indictments instead of dismissing right away.

buckboy , 13 minutes ago

Prosecuting Comey by DOJ risks DOJ involvement and alike................just too many to protect.

TruthAbsolute , 13 minutes ago

haha the USA has a two tier justice system...You poor sick Patriots!

libertysghost , 21 minutes ago

Comey will walk and Trump will be impeached for "obstructing" an investigation into a non-existent crime, because he tried to defend himself against the coup proclaiming his innocents.

If this happens...

Cabreado , 22 minutes ago

Maintaining some sense of optimism just got a little harder...

enough of this , 23 minutes ago

All those dire pronouncements by conservative pundits that Comey would be nailed for taking classified information home from his office and releasing it to his friend, who in turn leaked it to the press was all ********. It turns out Comey could do it with impunity and he knew he would skate because his deep-state pals at the DOJ would never indict him for doing so. Rigged justice system = Rigged outcome.

SRV , 25 minutes ago

Flynn is facing 5 years for a clear FBI trap, after spying on everything he said in the WH... not a good start for Barr... and if he's a plant, it's over.

Real Estate Guru , 20 minutes ago

Flynn is a Patriot. He is not going down. He has not even been sent anywhere. Relax. if they had him, he would be in jail by now. He is like the invisible russians that Mueller convicted of nothing. They showed up by the way, and wanted to see the evidence...Mueller just blew them off. Mueller is a shill for Weissmann, he is clueless, feeble, and doesnt know one damn thing. No sentencing of anybody. Flynn is a hero, not a criminal. That tells you everything you need to know.

Real Estate Guru , 27 minutes ago

They have something far larger than this, and they don't want to lose the first case on him. Don't worry, the stuff that is coming out on this guy will easily convict him within weeks. It will involve the FISA warrants.

- Hannity, Soloman

Stay tuned...much more to come Patriots!

LookAtMeme.com , 14 minutes ago

Who said that they have to charge Comey piecemeal starting with smaller charges and therefore it's best to let him skate on those smaller charges? Prosecutors regularly load up charges against defendants.

RagaMuffin , 28 minutes ago

Unless he can be nailed on a larger charge, this is how the Swamp protects its own, particularly since intent is not the basis of whether the law was broken?

Roger Rabbit , 23 minutes ago

He IS going to be nailed on a much bigger charge: FISA abuse. It's already well established he lied to the FISA court. Too bad they are all Jesuit graduates though, hence why they've taken no corrective action, and never objected to what was obviously FISA fraud.

LookAtMeme.com , 16 minutes ago

It's already well established by Comey's own congressional testimony that he purposely leaked FBI documents in order to prompt an investigation of the President.

LookAtMeme.com , 5 minutes ago

If they intend to prosecute Comey for other crimes later then they don't have to "waste time" exonerating him now. They can throw the entire ball of wax at him at a later date. The man admitted to congress that he leaked FBI documents in order to prompt an investigation of the President. We all know this.

Ergo I.C. , 31 minutes ago

"... however Attorney General William Barr has declined to prosecute - as the DOJ does not believe they have enough evidence of Comey's intent to violate the law."

WTH! FBI agents went to Comey's house a month after he was fired to pick up documents he was not suppose to have. Not enough evidence to show intent my ***!

[Jul 28, 2019] Has it crossed anyone's mind that the reason the FBI weren't allowed to view the DNC servers was because they would discover evidence of massive DNC illegality

Notable quotes:
"... Perhaps evidence of direct communication between clapper, brennan, steele, Downer and the British IC in preparation for the attack on the Trump campaign? ..."
"... What if the RussiaGate campaign was planned to go ahead BEFORE the DNC was actually hacked, using faked evidence? What if Seth Rich became aware of this operation and tried to spike it? What if the DNC planned to fake the Russian penetration evidence themselves, but Seth Rich dumped the real stuff? ..."
"... Of course the FBI wasn't allowed to see the actual evidence nor did they request a subpoena to obtain it. ..."
Jul 28, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

walrus , 28 July 2019 at 02:07 AM

Has it crossed anyone's mind that the reason the FBI weren't allowed to view the DNC servers was because they would discover evidence of massive DNC illegality in the form of unattributable clickbait operations and suchlike? Perhaps evidence as well of direct collusion between the DOJ and IC community to destroy Trumps campaign as well?

Perhaps evidence of direct communication between clapper, brennan, steele, Downer and the British IC in preparation for the attack on the Trump campaign?

What if the RussiaGate campaign was planned to go ahead BEFORE the DNC was actually hacked, using faked evidence? What if Seth Rich became aware of this operation and tried to spike it? What if the DNC planned to fake the Russian penetration evidence themselves, but Seth Rich dumped the real stuff?

Fred -> walrus ... , 28 July 2019 at 02:07 AM
Walrus,

Of course the FBI wasn't allowed to see the actual evidence nor did they request a subpoena to obtain it.

[Jul 27, 2019] Understanding the Roots of the Obama Coup Against Trump by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Evidence accumulates that Obama was the real leader of this color revolution against Trump with Brannan as his chief lieutenant and Comey as a willing accomplice.
Now that the dust has settled, one must ask why the Deep State wanted Trump gone. Why does the Obama-Clinton mafia hates him so much? Is this due to Trump committed an unforgivable sin in suggesting we “get along with Russia” and thus potentially cut the revenues of military-industrial complex ? This is not true -- Trump inflated the Pentagon budget to astronomical height. Then why ?
Notable quotes:
"... The full details of the plot to take out Donald Trump remain to be revealed. But there should now be no doubt that his effort was not the work of a few rogue intelligence and law enforcement officials acting on their own. This was a full blown covert action undertaken with the full knowledge and blessing of Barack Obama. ..."
"... Operation Crossfire Hurricane was launched the end of July 2016. CIA Director John Brennan briefed key Democrat members of Congress in early August on allegations that Donald Trump was colluding with Vladimir Putin. And Peter Strzok traveled to London in early August 2016 to meet with the CIA and with Alexander Downer, who was claiming that George Papadopolous was talking up the Russians. Following that trip Strozk texted the following to his mistress, Lisa Page : ..."
"... We also know that Senior Obama Administration officials, such as NSC Director Susan Rice and UN Ambassdor Samantha Power, were pushing to "unmask" Trump campaign officials who were named in US intelligence documents. ..."
"... Let us look at this from another angle. If the Russians were actually trying to interfere in the 2016 election, then it was known to both US intelligence and law enforcement. Hell, we are told in the Mueller report that the FBI detected the Russians trying to hack the DNC way back in 2015. If there really was intelligence on Russian efforts to meddle why did the Obama Administration do nothing other than sanction FBI's Crossfire Hurricane? ..."
"... On what basis did Barack Obama insist it was impossible to rig the US Presidential election? This is a critical anomaly. Why was the Obama team asleep at the switch, especially on the intel front, it the Russians actually were engaged in rigging the election to install Donald Trump? ..."
"... Obama seemed to have got a taste for spying on his domestic political opponents from monitoring Israeli attempts to block the Iran nuclear deal. I think the lock her up stuff really scared the Obama people, who had much to hide. ..."
Jul 27, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The full details of the plot to take out Donald Trump remain to be revealed. But there should now be no doubt that his effort was not the work of a few rogue intelligence and law enforcement officials acting on their own. This was a full blown covert action undertaken with the full knowledge and blessing of Barack Obama.

As I have written previously , the claim that Russia tried to hijack our election is a damn lie. But you do not have to take my word for it. Just listen to Barack Obama speaking in October 2016 in response to Donald Trump's expressed concerns about election meddling :

"There is no serious person out there who would suggest that you could even rig America's elections, in part because they are so decentralized. There is no evidence that that has happened in the past, or that there are instances that that could happen this time," the president said to the future president in October 2016.

"Democracy survives because we recognize that there is something more important than any individual campaign, and that is making sure the integrity and trust in our institutions sustains itself. Becasue Democracy works by consent, not by force," Obama said.

"I have never seen in my lifetime or in modern political history, any presidential candidate trying to discredit the elections and the election process before votes have even taken place. It is unprecedented. It happens to be based on no fact. Every expert regardless of political party... who has ever examined these issues in a serious way will tell you that instances of significant voter fraud are not to be found. Keep in mind elections are run by state and local officials."

It is important to remember what had transpired in the Trump/Russia collusion case by this point. Operation Crossfire Hurricane was launched the end of July 2016. CIA Director John Brennan briefed key Democrat members of Congress in early August on allegations that Donald Trump was colluding with Vladimir Putin. And Peter Strzok traveled to London in early August 2016 to meet with the CIA and with Alexander Downer, who was claiming that George Papadopolous was talking up the Russians. Following that trip Strozk texted the following to his mistress, Lisa Page :

Strzok: And hi. Went well, best we could have expected. Other than [REDACTED] quote: " the White House is running this. " My answer, "well, maybe for you they are." And of course, I was planning on telling this guy, thanks for coming, we've got an hour, but with Bill [Priestap] there, I've got no control .

Page: Yeah, whatever (re the WH comment). We've got the emails that say otherwise.

The White House clearly knew. But Strzok's text is not the only evidence. We also know that Senior Obama Administration officials, such as NSC Director Susan Rice and UN Ambassdor Samantha Power, were pushing to "unmask" Trump campaign officials who were named in US intelligence documents.

There are only two possibilities:

  1. Obama was being briefed by Susan Rice and DNI James Clapper and CIA Director about the project to take out Trump, or
  2. Obama was kept in the dark.

Let us look at this from another angle. If the Russians were actually trying to interfere in the 2016 election, then it was known to both US intelligence and law enforcement. Hell, we are told in the Mueller report that the FBI detected the Russians trying to hack the DNC way back in 2015. If there really was intelligence on Russian efforts to meddle why did the Obama Administration do nothing other than sanction FBI's Crossfire Hurricane?

On what basis did Barack Obama insist it was impossible to rig the US Presidential election? This is a critical anomaly. Why was the Obama team asleep at the switch, especially on the intel front, it the Russians actually were engaged in rigging the election to install Donald Trump?


turcopolier , 26 July 2019 at 04:19 PM

All

My wife was for many years an election official in Virginia. IMO Obama was right in saying that a US presidential election is impossible to "rig." The US Constitution requires that federal elections be run by the states WITHOUT federal supervision. As a result the methods and equipment in the states and the various parts of the states vary widely and the state systems are not tied together with a national electronic network as, for example, the system is in France where the result of a national election is reported on TeeVee immediately when the polls close.

Bill H , 26 July 2019 at 04:51 PM
Asking the question, "Can you cite one specific case where a single vote was definitively changed by Russian meddling?" causes panic in a person who is declaiming about the evils of Russian meddling in our elections.
Alexandria , 26 July 2019 at 07:02 PM
Bill H,

When you ask that question, the invariable retort is that the Russians are so clever that you wouldn't know that you were being gulled; or, when I say that I have never seen a Russian produced facebook ad, the rejoinder is that the Russians concentrated on Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio and, of course, I would have been privy to the bot-sent emails and facebook ads generated by the Internet Research Agency.

Jack said in reply to The Twisted Genius ... , 27 July 2019 at 12:41 AM
TTG

You've maintained all along that the Russians interfered in the election, yet I believe it is your position that the Russians did not change a single vote. Is that correct or do you believe the Russians changed the votes before tabulation?

What did the Russians do that the Trump and Hillary campaigns did not do? Did they also turnout the tens of thousands who showed up for Trump rallies that Hillary could never muster? Are they still turning out thousands at recent Trump rallies? I'm curious how come Brennan and Clapper could not turn out thousands to Hillary's rallies when according to our German friend "b", the omnipotent US Intel services just turned out a quarter of the population of Hong Kong to protest CCP authoritarianism?

Did the Israeli, Saudi and Chinese governments interfere in the election? How would you compare what they did to what you believe the Russians did?

uieter about it. All that is very different from the absolute covert nature of the Russian IO in the 2016 election. I have no idea what China did or is doing.

Larry Johnson -> The Twisted Genius ... , 27 July 2019 at 11:36 AM
You have no evidence for the so-called Russian IO. It is a fabrication. The lies on this are enormous. If the FBI really had detected GRU hacking of the DNC in 2015, which is claimed in the fabricated meme, then you would expect the FBI and the other counter intel elements of the USG to take action. THEY DID NOTHING.

The issue of Russian hacking only emerged when Hillary and the DNC learned that DNC emails were going to be put out by WIKILEAKS. Again, not one shred of actual evidence that the Russians did it, but blaming the Russians became a convenient excuse in a bid to divert attention from the real story--i.e,. Hillary and the DNC colluded to defeat Bernie Sanders.

The only real solid evidence of colluding with foreigners, in this case the Ukraine, comes courtesy of Hillary and her campaign. Hiring a foreign intel officer (ie. Steele) who then takes info from Russians of questionable background and spread it around as "truth". That was not a Russian IO. Pure Clinton IO.

blue peacock said in reply to The Twisted Genius ... , 27 July 2019 at 12:29 PM
"What the Russians did was insert misattributed information and disinformation into the election cycle...That is what separates the Russian IO from anything Clinton, Trump or any of their supporters did."

I believe supporters of both candidates did exactly what you say the Russians did - insert misattributed information & disinformation into the media stream. If you watch MSNBC or Fox on any given day there is much assertion & opinion masquerading as news. And the Twitter & Facebook and blog universe are teeming with stories and innuendo that are more fiction than fact all from anonymous accounts.

The Russia Collusion hysteria is replete with examples of "misattributed information and disinformation". It seems that yellow journalism is as American as apple pie.

The whole opaque PAC structure with names like "Americans for Democracy" funded by chain structures hiding the real financiers and calling up down is something that we see growing in every election cycle and is already of significant scale both in terms of financing and dubiousness.

It is also rather common that "experts" who are called upon to opine on issues routinely never disclose their conflicts of interest. Jeffrey Sachs and so many others on the payroll of CCP entities never disclose those payments as they extoll the virtues of offshoring our industrial base to China and are apologists for CCP espionage.

The Twisted Genius -> blue peacock... , 27 July 2019 at 01:42 PM
Blue peacock, supporters of Clinton and Trump did not put out misattributed info. They both put out truth, innuendo, exaggerations, misleading info and even outright lies, but they put it out as themselves. They didn't represent themselves as someone other than who they were. The PAC structure comes close to skirting this requirement for truthful attribution, but a quick internet search blows away the facades of these PACs. What the Russians did was pure black propaganda.
Fred -> The Twisted Genius ... , 27 July 2019 at 09:23 AM
TTG,

You mean the kindly grandmother, Loretta Lynch, Attorney General of the United States, did not inform President Obama that the FBI had obtained a FISA warrant to surveil the Republican candidate for the presidency and members of his staff becasue he was working with Russians? Or do you mean that James Comey failed to tell his boss, Loretta Lynch; or do you mean John Brennan failed to tell Obama about that Steele dossier from Fusion GPS that Mueller know anything about; or do you mean that James Clapper failed to tell Jeh Johnson about that too? The Russians made them do all those things as part of an interference campaign, right? It couldn't have been they were corrupt and incompetant.

"Instead, Obama...." made an "If you like your doctor, you can keep you doctor" statement that he knew was completely false. Trump didn't win, Russians influenced Americans to vote for Trump, just ask the losers of the election, their paid sources and their colleagues in Congress. In fact Americans love Hilary so much she's just where in the polls right now?

catherine , 27 July 2019 at 12:20 AM
I continue to be astounded by the outrage at "Russian meddling". So some Russians used the internet to post true or false information on candidates in a election.... so what?...millions of American partisan trolls were doing the same thing for or against a candidate. We had tons of fake info written by American bloggers and posters all over the net, Facebook, twitter etc..

Its not like Putin came to the US and gave a speech to congress in favor of Trump ...as Netanyahu did in appearing before the US congress and urging them to go against President Obama's Syria policy for heaven's sake.
It is so ridiculous I have given up hope of finding enough IQs above that of a cabbage to form a sane government.

LondonBob , 27 July 2019 at 06:57 AM
Obama seemed to have got a taste for spying on his domestic political opponents from monitoring Israeli attempts to block the Iran nuclear deal. I think the lock her up stuff really scared the Obama people, who had much to hide.
J , 27 July 2019 at 12:27 PM
This has shown two things IMO

1. The FBI cannot be trusted to uphold defend and protect our Constitution, as they sought actively to overturn a duly elected POTUS.; and

2 - Mueller's incompetence is astounding.

Is the only entity of the Defense Department called the U.S. Army the only ones left actually upholding, defending, and protecting our Constitution and our Constitution processes? I don't see the other entities of the DOD called Navy and Air Force doing their jobs upholding our Constitution!

Thumbs up to the Army, thumbs down to the Navy and Air Force!

Mark Logan said in reply to J... , 27 July 2019 at 02:14 PM
J,

I'm a little more charitable to the FBI. The Trumps lied their asses off to the FBI about their foreign contacts. Which IMO, wrong or right, left the FBI all but no recourse but to investigate those lies. Even if the lies were simply based in long-seated personal habits, it takes investigation to prove that is the case.

plantman , 27 July 2019 at 12:55 PM
I believe Larry Johnson is right when he says:

"You have no evidence for the so-called Russian IO. It is a fabrication." In fact, Putin rejects the claim many times publicly saying that Russia does not meddle in foreign elections as a matter of policy. Maybe I'm gullible, but I find his disclaimer pretty convincing....

My question for Larry Johnson requires some speculation on his part: How did the claims of "Russia meddling" which began with the DNC and Hillary campaign, take root at the FBI, CIA and NSA???

Is there an unseen connection between the Democrat leadership and the Intel agencies??? And --if there is-- does that mean we are headed for a one-party system???

rg , 27 July 2019 at 01:46 PM
Larry, sorry to nitpick, but I have such regard for your work that it pains me to see the typographical error in your second sentence, where you say "his error" shortly after referring to Trump. I'm guessing that you meant to say "this error", but it reads as if it means "Trump's error".

And while I'm at it, your last sentence has "it" instead of "if".

Keep up your great work for this excellent website.

turcopolier , 27 July 2019 at 03:35 PM
Mark Logan

Sadly naive in that you think the conspirators were actually acting in good faith. You think they were right when they used the Steele Dossier in applying for a FISA warrant in Colyyer's Star Chamber? Steele was a paid informant for the FBI as was Page.

turcopolier , 27 July 2019 at 03:35 PM
Mark Logan

How do you know "they lied their asses off?" Mueller's report stated that no American had conspired with the Russians,

[Jul 24, 2019] RAY McGOVERN A Non-Hack That Raised Hillary's Hackles – Consortiumnews

Jul 22, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

On the third anniversary of the release by WikiLeaks of the DNC emails, Ray McGovern looks back at how the DNC diverted the damaging contents into a trumped up conspiracy blaming Russia with no evidence at all.

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

T hree years ago Monday WikiLeaks published a trove of highly embarrassing emails that had been leaked from inside the Democratic National Committee. As has been the case with every leak revealed by WikiLeaks , the emails were authentic. These particular ones, however, could not have come at a worse time for top Democratic Party officials.

The emails made it unmistakably clear that the DNC had tipped the scales sharply against Democratic insurgent Bernie Sanders, giving him a snowball's chance in hell for the nomination. The posting of the DNC emails is also widely seen as having harmed the the electoral prospects of Hillary Clinton, who could not escape responsibility completely, while a handful of the very top DNC officials were forced to immediately resign.

Relatively few Americans read the actual emails, their attention diverted to the incessant media-fostered question: Why Did the Russians Hack the DNC to Hurt Hillary? For the millions of once enthusiastic Democrats who favored Sanders, however, the disclosure that the nomination process had been fixed came as a bitter pill, leaving a sour taste in their mouths and a passive-aggressive reluctance to promote the candidacy of one they considered a usurper. Having had a huge stake in Bernie's candidacy, they had little trouble seeing through the diversion of attention from the content of the emails.

Clinton Prevails

A mere four days after the WikiLeaks release, a well orchestrated Democratic Convention nominated Clinton, while many Sanders supporters loudly objected. Thus, she began her campaign under a cloud, and as more and more Americans learned of the fraud that oozed through the DNC email correspondence -- including the rigging of the Democratic primaries -- the cloud grew larger and darker.

On June 12, 2016, six weeks before the convention, WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange had announced in an interview on British TV, "We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton We have emails pending publication."

Independent forensic investigations demonstrated two years ago that the DNC emails were not hacked over the Internet, but had been copied onto an external storage device -- probably a thumb drive. Additional work over recent months has yielded more evidence that the intrusion into the DNC computers was a copy, not a hack, and that it took place on May 23 and 25, 2016.

The DNC almost certainly knew what had happened -- not only that someone with physical access to DNC computers had copied thousands of emails, but also which ones they had copied, and thus how prejudicial to the Clinton campaign they would be when they saw the light of day.

And so, candidate Clinton, the DNC, and the mainstream media (forever quoting anonymous "current and former intelligence officials") appear to have colluded, deciding the best defense would be a good offense. No one knew how soon WikiLeaks would publish the emails, but the DNC offense/defense would surely have to be put in place before the convention scheduled to begin on July 25. That meant there were, at most, six weeks to react. On July 24, about 48 hours after the leaks were published, and a day before the convention, the DNC first blamed Russia for hacking their emails and giving them to WikiLeaks to sabotage Clinton.

A Magnificent Diversion

Clinton: Already blaming the Russians at DNC 2016 convention. (Wikipedia)

Granted, it was a stretch -- and the DNC would have to hire a pliable cybersecurity firm to back up their claim. But they had good reason to believe that CrowdStrike would perform that service. It was the best Clinton campaign manager Robbie Mook and associates could apparently come up with. If they hurried, there would be just enough time to prepare a PR campaign before the convention and, best of all, there was little doubt that the media could be counted on to support the effort full bore.

When WikiLeaks published the emails on July 22, 2016, just three days before the Democratic convention, the propagandists were ready to deflect attention from the damning content of the DNC emails by repeating incessantly that the Russians hacked the emails and gave them to WikiLeaks to hurt Clinton.

It pretty much worked like a charm. The late Senator John McCain and others were quick to call the Russian "hack" an "an act of war." Evidence? None. For icing on the cake, then-FBI Director James Comey decided not to seize and inspect the DNC computers. Nor, as we now know, did Comey even require a final report from CrowdStrike.

Eight months after the convention, in remarks at the Clinton/Podesta Center for American Progress on April 6, 2017, Clinton's PR director, Jennifer Palmieri, could scarcely contain her pride that, after a difficult start, she was ultimately successful in keeping the Russian bear front and center.

Transcribed below (verbatim) are some of Palmieri's more telling remarks when asked to comment, from her insider perspective, on "what was actually going on in late summer/early fall."

" I did appreciate that for the press to absorb the idea that behind the stage that the Trump campaign was coordinating with Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton was too fantastic for people to, um, for the press to process, to absorb . But then we go back to Brooklyn and heard from the -- mostly our sources were other intelligence, with the press who work in the intelligence sphere, and that's where we heard things and that's where we learned about the dossier and the other story lines that were swirling about And along the way the administration started confirming various pieces of what they were concerned about what Russia was doing. [Emphasis added.]

"And we did finally get to the point on October 7, when the administration came out with a very stunning [memorandum]. How stunning it was for both the Director of National Intelligence and the Director of Homeland Security to put out a statement – a long statement – that said with high confidence that Russia was interfering in the election and they were also directing the timing of the leaks. And it named the institutions – WikiLeaks, DC Leaks, and Guccifer – as being Russian-led, and how stunning that was to be that certain and that public. So I do think that the answer for the Democrats now in both the House and the Senate is to talk about it more and make it more real ."

And so, the Magnificent Diversion worked as intended.

Recognizing Liminal Time

But not all journalists fell for it. Patrick Lawrence (once of The Nation , now of Consortium News ) was onto the ruse from the start. He says he had "fire in the belly" on the morning of July 25, 2016, the day the Democratic convention began, and that he dashed off an article "in one long, furious exhale" within 12 hours of when the media started really pushing the "the Russians-did-it" narrative. The title of his article, pointed out to me a few months ago by VIPS member Todd Pierce, was "How the DNC fabricated a Russian hacker conspiracy to deflect blame for its email scandal a disturbing resemblance to Cold War red-baiting."

Lawrence's off-the-cuff ruminations , which Salon published the next day are extraordinarily prescient and worth reading in full. He instinctively recognized the email disclosure-cum-media-obfuscation campaign as a liminal event. Here are some excerpts, reprinted here with Lawrence's permission:

"Now wait a minute, all you upper-case "D" Democrats. A flood light suddenly shines on your party apparatus, revealing its grossly corrupt machinations to fix the primary process and sink the Sanders campaign, and within a day you are on about the evil Russians having hacked into your computers to sabotage our elections Is this how lowly you rate the intelligence of American voters?

The Sanders people have long charged that the DNC has had its fingers on the scale in favor of Hillary Clinton's nomination. The prints were everywhere Last Friday WikiLeaks published nearly 20,000 DNC email messages providing abundant proof that Sanders and his staff were right all along. The worst of these, involving senior DNC officers, proposed Nixon-esque smears having to do with everything from ineptitude within the Sanders campaign to Sanders as a Jew in name only and an atheist by conviction.

The caker came on Sunday, when Robby Mook appeared on ABC's "This Week" and CNN's "State of the Union" to assert that the D.N.C.'s mail was hacked "by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump." He knows this because "experts" -- experts he will never name -- have told him so.

the Clinton campaign now goes for a twofer. Watch as it advances the Russians-did-it thesis on the basis of nothing, then shoots the messenger, then associates Trump with its own mess -- and, finally, gets to ignore the nature of its transgression (which any paying-attention person must consider grave). Preposterous, readers. Join me, please, in having absolutely none of it. There is no "Russian actor" at the bottom of this swamp, to put my position bluntly. You will never, ever be offered persuasive evidence otherwise. [Emphasis added.]

Trump, to make this work, must be blamed for his willingness to negotiate with Moscow. This is now among his sins. Got that? Anyone who says he will talk to the Russians has transgressed the American code. I am developing nitrogen bends Which way for a breath of air?"

Sad Sequel

A year later Lawrence was commissioned by The Nation to write an investigative report on the so-called "Russian hack." On August 9, 2017, after he interviewed several Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, among others, The Nation published his findings in an article entitled "A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year's DNC Hack." Lawrence wrote, "Former NSA experts, now members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), say it wasn't a hack at all, but a leak -- an inside job by someone with access to the DNC's system."

Again, Lawrence got it right -- this time relying less on his own experience and intuition than on applied science as practiced by real technical experts with no axes to grind. But, sadly, that cut across the grain of the acceptable Russia-gate narrative, and a furor erupted among Hillary followers still licking their wounds over her loss. It proved simply too much for them to entertain the notion that Clinton was quite capable, with help from the likes of Mook, to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory -- without any help from Vladimir Putin.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. An ex-CIA analyst, his expertise on Russia goes back a half-century. He prepared and briefed The President's Daily Brief for Presidents Nixon, Ford, and Reagan, and in retirement he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

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

8197

Tags: DNC Hillary Clinton James Comey John McCain Patrick Lawrence Ray McGovern Robby Mook WikiLeaks

Post navigation ← PATRICK LAWRENCE: Brighter US-Iran Prospects When Warriors Become Saints → 77 comments for "RAY McGOVERN: A Non-Hack That Raised Hillary's Hackles"

Hide Comments


Curious , July 23, 2019 at 23:34

My comment went in where and landed in the ether. If it does get posted as a reply to Realist I apologize for the redundancy. Please delete second attempt

Curious , July 23, 2019 at 23:31

Test

Carolyn Grassi , July 23, 2019 at 23:31

Thanks again Ray for your detailed comprehensive coverage on what may be called The DNC coverup. If only my progressive left-leaning friends in California could see the light of day on this fiasco of Russian hacking. Several times I've sent your excellent analysis to these folks, whose only reply is Silence! Sad really that hatred of Trump and Hillary's loss has blinded them. So like in the McCarthy era out to get folks and today, of all things, with the help of the intelligence community, they used to criticize. I wonder what John le Carre would write about the state of affairs in America. Ray, you have company with Glenn Greenwald and Stephen F. Cohen. I call you Voices in the Wilderness. Keep on writing, speaking out. The country needs you more than ever! sincere thanks, Carolyn Grassi, Pacifica, CA

Hawaiiguy , July 23, 2019 at 16:28

Still waiting for her indictments to roll in, until I see one for jaywalking I'm in firm belief the deep state isn't as close to peril as some may think. Heck Jeffrey Epstein is long gone from the media and he was absolutely the most powerful pedophile walking thr streets. But the Borg is all mighty as defending silence proves once again.

Meremark , July 23, 2019 at 16:10

When the post is the truth, (Mr. McGovern: huzzah, huzzah!), then trolls clog the comments, usually (as in the present case) with by VOLUME, QUANTITY, arguing against a certain Clear Quality of tone in the sound of the ring of Truth.

When the post has little or no truth, then comments are few or self-defeating and the trolls needn't bother fogging the pen and so they don't?

IMO this post seems to have waaaay more comments than usual. hmmmm .

O Society , July 23, 2019 at 14:47

All I can do is shake my head. The 2020 election is on the visible horizon and not only did the actors who rigged the 2016 election for Donald Trump go unpunished and off the hook, we've allowed them to grow bigger and better, and we're going to let them do it again.

http://osociety.org/2019/07/22/the-great-hack-the-film-that-goes-behind-the-scenes-of-the-facebook-data-scandal

emma peele , July 23, 2019 at 18:03

But, but, but Putin

LIBERAL PROF: Big Tech moved 'rock bottom minimum' of 2.6 million votes to Hillary in 2016

A liberal professor and "very strong public supporter of Hillary Clinton" is raising the alarms about Google manipulation of millions of unwitting voters in recent elections, as well as the potential impact for 2020.
Dr. Robert Epstein, former editor of Psychology Today and acclaimed psychologist who founded the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, discussed his research before a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, and his testimony was mind-boggling.

"You testified before this committee that Google's manipulation of votes gave at least 2.6 million additional votes to Hillary Clinton in the year 2016. Is that correct?" Sen. Ted Cruz questioned

https://youtu.be/rNvgl38TLvI

robert e williamson jr , July 23, 2019 at 14:45

SWEET! HOWEVER–>> On my local cable satellite channel Vice channel carried a story all about how the russians did it.

You folks out there taking VICE at is word are being played, again, by the MSM.

But how sweet it is caught a clinton behaving worse that NIXON, have the repugniklans right where they belong but alas the dims are still clueless on who to run. So much for our highly touted and worthless 2 party system.

You cannot make this shit up. And to Bobby Kwasnik I can only say "What in the hell are you drinking son?"

Hawaiiguy , July 23, 2019 at 16:31

Took you long 3nough to figure that out, I did the first time they focused on hot Israeli women in forces. It's a total zionist rag.

Drew Hunkins , July 23, 2019 at 14:14

Great comment.

I especially liked "my late husband and I kept asking: where and when are they going to actually start discussing the *content* of the emails themselves? Never."

Alas, so true.

Stay strong AnneR. Don't let them get you down.

Dan , July 23, 2019 at 12:39

You're putting a lot of faith on former experts who got the DNC forensic evidence , how?
and assume that the evidence was not a breadcrumb left to mislead and implicate Seth Rich.
( In some circumstances the perfect hack would have no traces, but if the data will be leaked, the leaker would leave behind misleading evidence.)
Its within russian spycraft to leave behind misleading evidence, implicate someone and
have them killed to cover it up.
I have never seen why these experts have done more than fall for it.
don't know, just say'n

Rob Roy , July 23, 2019 at 14:31

Proof? Julian Assange said several times I heard him myself .so there you are. The emails were leaked from inside the DNC, not hacked by the Russians. That's why JA is being killed off and not allowed any access to the public. BTW, the DNC computers were never examined by the investigators. Why? The day Hillary said, "Seventeen intelligence agencies .." I knew it was a lie that she would build on forever. Besides, I know Putin.

David , July 23, 2019 at 14:46

You are putting a lot of faith in a dubious private entity in the hire of the DNC. No US legal authority examined the DNC's server. Crowdstrike, the dubious entity in the pay of the DNC made a claim that there was a Russian hack but provided no evidence. Not only did they not provide evidence, we have recently learned that they didn't even generate a report. CrowdSstrike claimed that it knew it was a Russian hack because they found Cyrillic writing and the name of a former KGB head. Sounds damned clumsy of the Russians.
William Binney, the former chief technical officer of the NSA was able to determine from the information that is available that it was technically infeasible for their to have been a hack originating in Russia. The material was down loaded internally on to a thumb drive. Binney's assessment corroborates ambassador Graig Muarry's assertion that he received the down loaded material. Both Maurry and Assange publicly requested that they be interviewed by the FBI. The FBI chose not to examine the DNC server. Mueller also chose to decline Maurry and Assange's request for an interview. Mueller stated that "It would have been better to have the FBI forensic experts examine the server but CrowdStrike is a high class outfit." It decidedly is not. Basing his conclusions on the claims of a private entity that was far from being a disinterested party is at best negligent and at worst corrupt. Mueller took extraordinary measures to avoid taking any steps that could yield a result different from what was claimed in his report.

It gets worst for the believers of Russian interference. A federal judge has threatened prosecutors with contempt of court making claims against the Russian internet company whose advertisements were alleged to be efforts to interfered in the US presidential elections that it has no evidence to support. The "Russian interference" hoax has been exposed.

Andrew Thomas , July 23, 2019 at 14:48

Dan, Ray I think if you go back and read everything that Ray was only able to summarize in this particular post, you will discover that the scenario you outlined just does not fit the known facts.

EricT , July 23, 2019 at 15:24

Misleading evidence being left behind is also within our own intelligence agencies as well. See the vault 7 releases.

Eddie , July 23, 2019 at 11:46

What is overlooked in all these shenanigans is the utter depravity that Mdm. Clinton and her cabal of fellow psychopaths reached in order obscure their crimes and to seize power. By blaming Russia and Vladimir Putin for "hacking" into DNC's emails, the Clinton crime family and their useful idiots in the corporate media increased tensions that could have led to a nuclear holocaust.

Clinton and the rest of the fetid cesspool that ran her campaign were willing to risk annihilating the planet so that Clinton could slither in the White House where the gravy train of bribes could flow like the Amazon River. Meanwhile, the corrupt to its core FBI fixed things so that Mdm. Clinton and her cronies did not wind up in the gulag that her husband created when he ran the gravy train.

Roland James , July 23, 2019 at 11:03

In the Dec 5, 2016 issue of The Nation is a column 'En la Lucha' (The fight continues) by Cesar Vargas, co-director of the Dream Action Coalition: "I had known that Trump would become president once it was revealed the Democratic Party had rigged the primary in favor of Hillary Clinton."
Clinton beat Sanders by 3.7 million votes. Sanders has never said that the Democratic primary was rigged, nor has he questioned the legitimacy of the result. Yes, the DNC was biased in favor of Clinton, who has been a Democrat her entire adult life, unlike Sanders, an Independent until he wanted to run for president. ("Progressives who refused to vote for Hillary Clinton in the general election made a 'bad mistake'."-Noam Chomsky. // In a 50R/50D country with a winner-take-all system, 3rd party candidates are the marginal difference. Especially this year in Wi, Mi and Pa.) More below**
My central concern over the last couple of decades has been the Global Climate Crisis, which will likely swamp everything else; the CO2 "bullets" from the Big American Way of Life are already causing death and destruction around the world. In 2015, though i was a Sanders supporter, i was worried that Sanders would 'sow the wind' but likely wouldn't win the Democratic primary. Then many of his energized supporters wouldn't support the Democratic nominee with their votes and/or with their poisonous and conspiratorial rhetoric adding to the Clinton pile-on led by the right wing hate machine. Therefore, the country and the whole world would 'reap the whirlwind' with 'climate change is a hoax' Donald Trump, accelerating the race to catastrophe.

Roland James

** "The infamous hack of DNC emails that "proved" the organization had its thumb on the scale for Clinton? Perhaps nothing has been more frustrating for people in the politics business to address, because the conspiracy is based on ignorance. Almost every email that set off the "rigged" accusations was from May 2016. (One was in late April; I'll address that below.)
Even in the most ridiculous of dream worlds, Sanders could not have possibly won the nomination after May 3 -- at that point, he needed 984 more pledged delegates, but there were only 933 available in the remaining contests. And political pros could tell by the delegate math that the race was over on April 19, since a victory would require him to win almost every single delegate after that, something no rational person could believe. Sanders voters proclaimed that superdelegates, elected officials and party regulars who controlled thousands of votes, could flip their support and instead vote for the candidate with the fewest votes.
In other words, they wanted the party to overthrow the will of the majority of voters.
That Sanders fans were wishing for an establishment overthrow of the electorate more common in banana republics or dictatorships is obscene. (One side note: Sanders supporters also made a big deal out of the fact that many of the superdelegates had expressed support for Clinton early in the campaign. They did the same thing in 2008, then switched to Obama when he won the most pledged delegates. Same thing would have happened with Sanders if he had persuaded more people to vote for him.)
This is important because it shows Sanders supporters were tricked into believing a false narrative. Once only one candidate can win the nomination, of course the DNC gets to work on that person's behalf. Of course emails from that time would reflect support for the person who would clearly be the nominee. And given that their jobs are to elect Democrats, of course DNC officials were annoyed that Sanders would not tell his followers he could not possibly be the nominee. Battling for the sake of battling gave his supporters a false belief that they could still win -- something that added to their increasingly embittered feelings.
According to a Western European intelligence source, Russian hackers, using a series of go-betweens, transmitted the DNC emails to WikiLeaks with the intent of having them released on the verge of the Democratic Convention in hopes of sowing chaos. And that's what happened -- just a couple of days before Democrats gathered in Philadelphia, the emails came out, and suddenly the media was loaded with stories about trauma in the party. Crews of Russian propagandists -- working through an array of Twitter accounts and websites, started spreading the story that the DNC had stolen the election from Sanders. (An analysis provided to Newsweek by independent internet and computer specialists using a series of algorithms show that this kind of propaganda, using the same words, went from Russian disinformation sources [like duran] to comment sections on more than 200 sites catering to liberals, conservatives, white supremacists, nutritionists and an amazing assortment of other interest groups.)
The fact that the dates of the most controversial emails -- May 3, May 4, May 5, May 9, May 16, May 17, May 18, May 21 -- were after it was impossible for Sanders to win was almost never mentioned, and was certainly ignored by the propagandists trying to sell the "primaries were rigged" narrative. (Yes, one of them said something inappropriate about his religious beliefs. So a guy inside the DNC was a jerk; that didn't change the outcome.) Two other emails -- one from April 24 and May 1 -- were statements of fact. In the first, responding to Sanders saying he would push for a contested convention (even though he would not have the delegates to do so), a DNC official wrote, "So much for a traditional presumptive nominee." Yeah, no kidding. The second stated that Sanders didn't know what the DNC's job actually was -- which he didn't, apparently because he had not ever been a Democrat before his run.
Bottom line: The "scandalous" DNC emails were hacked by people working with the Kremlin, then misrepresented online by Russian propagandists to gullible fools who never checked the dates of the documents. And the media, which in the flurry of breathless stories about the emails would occasionally mention that they were all dated after any rational person knew the nomination was Clinton's, fed into the misinformation.In the real world, here is what happened: Clinton got 16.9 million votes in the primaries, compared with 13.2 million for Sanders. The rules were never changed to stop him, even though Sanders supporters started calling for them to be changed as his losses piled up."-Kurt Eichenwald

AnneR , July 23, 2019 at 14:07

Would you by chance be a Dem shill? You certainly seem to be acting as such.

Russia (by which every Dem seems to mean "the Kremlin" "Putin") did *not* interfere in that election for or against the Strumpet, for or against HRC. Talk about "misinformation"!

So now you (and your ilk?) are blaming Sanders' supporters??

So far as I'm aware the neither the DNC (bought by the Clintons) nor HRC herself ever pointed the finger at Bernie's supporters or Bernie himself as culpable of the story you've come up with.

Andrew Thomas , July 23, 2019 at 15:00

You guys never give up, do you? If there is any actual "evidence" of a Russian, or for that matter any other "hack" that comes out tomorrow, I will be utterly amazed and happy to come back to this page to apologize. There will not be any. Mueller may try to suggest that it exists somewhere in the "redactions." But that will be bullshit.

emma peele , July 23, 2019 at 16:30

Trump and Clinton were the 2 most hated candidates in US history and Hillary even picked TRUMP .

with the help of the MSNBC and CNN both in the bag for Clinton,that helped give Trump 6 BILLION in free airtime

and MSNBC fired Ed Shultz fro wanting to cover Sanders ..but that not tampering in election right?

Americans' Distaste For Both Trump And Clinton Is Record-Breaking

No past candidate comes close to Clinton, and especially Trump, in terms of engendering strong dislike a little more than six months before the election.

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/americans-distaste-for-both-trump-and-clinton-is-record-breaking/

RECORD BREAKING!!

Hillary Clinton is more unpopular than Donald Trump. Let that sink in

"Donald Trump is one of the least popular politicians in the history of the United States. Yet, Trump is still more popular than Hillary Clinton. Let that sink in.

According to the latest Bloomberg National Poll, Trump has a net favorability of 41% whereas Clinton has a net favorability of 39%. If Democrats are to escape the political wilderness, they will have to leave Clinton and her brand of politics in the woods. "

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/19/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-unpopular-polling

There was plenty of fraud during the nomination process My parents waited in line for 6 hrs in AZ because they closed 90% of the polling places in Maricopa country and people had their parties changed from Democrat to republican.Even employees in the state house.

That never happened before.

Paul Merrell , July 23, 2019 at 16:43

Roland, you'll never convince me that Hillary Clinton was preferable to Donald Trump. Both were the product of scraping the bottom of the U.S political barrel, but Trump was never the war-monger that war criminal Hillary Clinton blatantly was and is. Since even Trump was equivocal about his willingness to use military force, neither one was qualified to be president in my book. I do not vote for war criminals or war criminal wannabes. (I've personally experienced war.) You have to be a Peace candidate to cross my threshold of eligibility. Maybe you are different, eager to have more blood on your hands. But do you realize that the U.S. has killed some 20 million foreign people since World War II ended? Do you feel no responsibility for that when you choose for whom to vote?

As for your Russia-Gate B.S., you are visiting the web site that has done more to prove that Russia-Gate has no basis in reality than any other. To begin your encounter with Russia-Gate reality, I recommend the following Google search query:

site: https://consortiumnews.com/ "Consortium News' Record on Russia-gate"

And perhaps top that off with https://consortiumnews.com/2019/07/12/concord-management-and-the-end-of-russiagate/

jmg , July 23, 2019 at 10:38

So, in summary, Brennan, Comey, Clinton, etc. didn't accept the lawful election results, and decided to just lie, like it's nothing, in order to -- in fact -- try to suspend American democracy, start an extremely lucrative -- for some -- second cold war with Russia as the chosen and needed "enemy", and give the power back to the deep state and war profiteers. Simple as that.

George Hebbard , July 23, 2019 at 10:31

This whole story is getting more bizarre. Beside the lying and the false news, and the questions about the potential thumb drive download by Seth Rich (who was later killed, like Jody Foster..) now we see https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-07-22/cia-wants-make-it-easier-jail-journalists-congress-isnt-stopping-it which says the government is complicit in destroying our first amendment rights to sensor their evil ways .
Ungh!

jmg , July 23, 2019 at 10:29

So, in summary, Brennan, Comey, Clinton, etc. didn't accept the lawful election results, and decided to just lie, like it's nothing, in order to -- in fact -- try to suspend American democracy and give the power back to the deep state and war profiteers. Simple as that.

jmg , July 23, 2019 at 16:35

Sorry, duplicate post. You can delete this one, thank you.

Perry Logan , July 23, 2019 at 07:19

"A forensic report claiming to show that a Democratic National Committee insider, not Russia, stole files from the DNC is full of holes, say cybersecurity experts.

"In short, the theory is flawed," said FireEye's John Hultquist, director of intelligence analysis at FireEye, a firm that provides forensic analysis and other cybersecurity services."

https://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/346468-why-the-latest-theory-about-the-dnc-not-being-a-hack-is-probably-wrong

David , July 23, 2019 at 17:20

Perry, why do you think the FBI chose not to use its own forensic experts? Why would Mueller base his highly inflammatory claims exclusively the of statements made by a private company that was hired by the DNC, a dubious entity that asserts it failed to even generate a report outlining it's conclusions? Why did the FBI decline the requests of Ambassador Maurry and Julian Assange for an interview? The fact is, Mueller failed to produce anything that a reasonable person would define as evidence. For some people, the lack of evidence does not matter. They are certain in the way that religious believers are certain.

Mueller worked assiduously to minimize the risk that he would find evidence that contradicted the result he intended to provide when he undertook his "investigation."

Realist , July 23, 2019 at 05:04

.

Marko , July 23, 2019 at 01:37

I smell a rat in the Hersh / Butowsky saga. Apparently there was a second phone call between Hersh and Butowsky, after the initial one that was so revealing , and which Butowsky wisely recorded. In the second call – not recorded as far we know – Hersh informs Butowsky that Andrew McCabe was his "Deep Throat" in the FBI , who fed him the info and/or documents. This looks like a poison pill to me , one that Hersh went along with either willingly ( more likely – so as to save his own skin ) , or unwillingly as a useful idiot (unlikely – Hersh isn't that dumb ).

The idea that McCabe was a "White Hat" feeding Hersh the info saying that Aaron and Seth Rich were the DNC leakers is laughable , and I think it's quite likely that Isikoff and/or Hersh will use this poison pill to paint Butowsky ( and , by extension , Ty Clevenger , his attorney) as conspiracy cranks. All Hersh has to do is say " Look , I fed this guy a bunch of crap , and he scarfed it up. Only a complete nutjob could believe that McCabe was my source. "

The first , recorded , call may have been all true , or it could have been a set-up from the beginning. I suspect the former. My guess is someone got to Hersh between the first and second call and suggested that he better remove himself from the battlefield , lest something unfortunate happen. The McCabe "poison pill' was his getaway ticket , and he was happy to use it.

Hersh appears to be throwing Butowsky under the bus , and Isikoff will describe the resulting carnage with glee.

I hope I'm wrong about all this.

Dr. William Fusfield , July 23, 2019 at 09:59

Marko you raise several interesting issues about Hersh's role in all this, but it is hard to say what it might actually be without having a transcript of the second phone call with Butowsky. Does such a transcript exist? Or are you going on some other source?

Rob Roy , July 23, 2019 at 14:47

Marko, first of all, Sy Hersh doesn't "throw people under the bus." Never. Second, he's the purist of all journalists. If you think otherwise, you don't know the man, a reporter of whom no other has higher standards in his profession.

geeyp , July 22, 2019 at 23:57

The DNC literally did shoot the messenger in my opinion. Innocent until proven guilty, I know. Hillary Clinton and her underlings need to ask for forgiveness from many, many people in this country. One of the saddest historical footnotes in our history. She is such a pant load.

Dr. William Fusfield , July 22, 2019 at 23:30

I also want to say how much I enjoyed the comments on this and Ray's previous articles. Evidently Consortium readers are an intelligent, clever, and sardonic bunch!!

Dr. William Fusfield , July 22, 2019 at 23:27

Another very fine article, Ray!! The simple truth of this sordid matter is finally going to get a hearing I believe. As for me, who like you and a few others, especially Patrick Lawrence, Glen Greenwald, Aaron Mate and Caitlin Johnstone, could smell the bullshit all the way from the chicken coup from the git-go, I can't wait to sit back, pour myself a nice Guiness in a tall glass, and watch Mr. Mueller fumble around nervously attempting to deal with all of the pointed questions from angry Dems who will be accusing him of not lying enough on behalf of their Russiagate ghost! Anyway, great work, as usual, Ray!!

Ray McGovern , July 23, 2019 at 16:08

Thanks Dr. Fusfield,

Just between us, I only drink on even-numbered days.*** So -- for me, at least -- it was GREAT news that the Mueller testimony would be tomorrow, the 24th, and not the 17th as formerly scheduled. Tomorrow will be a two-Guinness day. My tall glass is crystal-clean and the Guinness is already hidden away in the back of the refrigerator.

I cannot recall ever having had lower expectations from Congressional hearings, but it is, I suppose, always possible that something instructive might inadvertently escape. If so, I am confident the Guinness will be more help than hindrance as muse to any writing I might undertake at that point.

Ray

*** Re the even-numbered days: It's a self-imposed discipline -- a sensible way of coping with my problem of liking "the creature " (as one of my Irish grandmothers called it) far too much. Slainte!

Bill , July 22, 2019 at 22:07

What did Obama know and when did he know it?

Realist , July 23, 2019 at 05:01

Obama knew he was sandbagging the Russians to set them up as all-purpose fall guys later when he spoke to Medvedev about his "flexibility" of action in foreign policy prior to the 2012 election. (First I'll get re-elected, then we'll have a "reset," you'll bend over backwards to accommodate me, and you guys will never know what hit you when I deliver the sucker punch.) In fact, it started long before that conversation.

As soon as he was elected every action he took was against Russian interests or to besmirch their reputation in the public arena, even as Putin took several actions to save Obama's hide, such as giving him the opportunity to duck his rash "red line" statements on Syria when it was clear neither the American people nor the Congress wanted this country in another middle eastern war. Putin also bent over backwards to accommodate American sanctions against Iran in its phony crusade against Iran's non-existent nuclear weapons program.

He rolled Putin on anti-ballistic missile deployments in Romania and Poland, after Dubya had stuck the shiv in by "withdrawing" from the ABM treaty (otherwise known as breaking your word).

He, under the influence of Hitlery, lied to Putin about his true intentions to overthrow and assassinate Gaddaffi rather than simply protect some poor civilians caught between the gunsights of the "evil dictator" and the "brave freedom fighters" defending Benghazi, aka the head choppers from al Qaeda (or whatever their nom du jour). Springtime for Hitlery and al Nusra, winter for Gaddaffi and Libya. This is what happens to suckers who believe anything Washington says.

He and Hitlery set Victoria Nuland and John McCain loose on Ukraine where their minions overthrew the elected government in a bloody coup on the Maidan. Because he wasn't going to be fooled again, Putin acted quickly to preserve critical Russian interests (i.e., their only warm-water naval base and access to the Mediterranean in Crimea). Putin refrained from intervening on the side of the Russian population in the Donbass, nor did he entertain their pleas for annexation by Russia, though he got blamed for these things all the same by Obomber's propaganda machine.

Obama knew definitively that it was Ukraine that shot down the Malaysian passenger plane with a Buk missile, yet he suppressed all evidence of such in the kangaroo court that was held to smear Russia for this terrible event. In fact, I wouldn't put it past his den of spook advisors to have actually had a hand in Ukraine's actions, just as they had in the Maidan. Why does the president of Malaysia believe this? And why were they, the owners of the aircraft, not allowed to participate in the investigation? Just as Russia, which did have significant evidence to present, was not allowed any role in the process, while Ukraine was given a free hand to withhold and manipulate data? Bigger hoax here than the JFK, RFK, and MLK assassinations rolled into one.

Obama's propaganda machine repeatedly blamed Syria for using chemical weapons against civilians, and as a pretext for American involvement in the armed conflict on the side of his mercenary headchoppers, when he knew damned well Syria had no such weapons because the American navy had incinerated them after Assad turned them over via the agreement brokered by the Russians. Always more deception and betrayal directed against Putin and Russia. Are we seeing a pattern that started long before Hitlery masterminded "Russiagate" in the wake of the Wikileaks revelations?

Obama often used John Kerry in the many bait and switch ruses used against Putin and Assad. Putin lobbied hard both in Washington and at the UN for an alliance with the American backstabbers to contain "Isis/Daesh/al Nusra/ al Qaeda" terrorists within Syria. How many times did Putin and Assad think they had a deal, a carefully defined ceasefire, only to have the Syrian army strafed and decimated by American air forces long before the ink dried on the worthless agreements?

Who put the Turks up to downing the Russian fighter bomber as it approached, but didn't cross, the Turkish border? Cui bono? How did that help Turkey? Rather, whose agenda did it actually help? What did Hitlery promise but to escalate that tactic a hundred-fold with the irresponsible "no fly" zone she proposed as part of her foreign policy during the campaign? No doubt that reckless rush to start World War III took a lot of votes away from the witch.

Who helped the internal opposition inside of Turkey to organize the unsuccessful coup against Erdogan? Sure wasn't Putin who apparently saved the guy's life by warning him of more Washington skullduggery. If the Washington Deep State wants to blame someone for Erdogan's purchase of the Russian S-400 missiles defense system and his very fortunate escape from being saddled with that gigantic F-35 contract, blame Obomber and Hitlery for their ill-conceived strikes against foreign leaders. They both need to go back and re-read "the Prince" for comprehension.

I'm sure I'm forgetting most of the outrages and provocations that Obama and Madame President Clinton directed at Putin and Russia (which actual President Trump mindlessly continues). But the point is that this very virulent and focussed anti-Russian movement was hard core policy of the nominally-ruling Democrats from the day they received the baton from Dubya Bush. Obama continued it long after the catastrophic election that Hitlery lost. He continued it till the day Trump was inaugurated, stridently blaming the Russians for stealing the election from Hitlery and punishing them with massive diplomatic expulsions during the height of the holidays and the seizure of millions of dollars worth of uncompensated properties.

All without one iota of proof. Ever. Just like the ever-growing snowball of anti-Russian economic sanctions that Obama, and now Trump with the enthusiastic participation of Congress, started immediately after the coup in Ukraine never had a justifiable foundation and will seemingly never end. How could I nearly have forgotten the sanctions? I guess they get lost in the enormous mass of other groundless actions taken against Russia by Obomber and his muse Hitler. I wonder, will he be proud that he made it all possible if the nuclear-tipped missiles do start flying? Words do not describe how I have come to loathe that deceiving traitor to every principle he ran for office on.

Carry on, Mr. McGovern. I don't know how you can maintain the spirit to face the arduous task of trying to uncover all these depredations every day whilst the perpetrators work overtime trying to deceive and mislead you and other truth-seekers. It must be a stunning experience (not a joyful one) whenever you are able to turn over a relevant rock to expose the vile creatures underneath. Get them, Ray, get them all, before they take down the world in their pursuit of MIC profits and every last resource offered by the planet.

Rob Roy , July 23, 2019 at 14:54

Marko, first of all, Sy Hersh doesn't "throw people under the bus." Never. Second, he's the purist of all journalists. If you think otherwise, you don't know the man, a reporter of whom no other has higher standards in his profession.

Rob Roy , July 23, 2019 at 14:58

Wonderful commentary, Realist, per usual. You speak for me.
One caveat..according to an investigation by a German aeronautical engineer, a BUK didn't take down the airplane it was shot down from the air by another aircraft, not a Russian one.
He offers extensive proof.

Realist , July 23, 2019 at 16:50

Yes, I'm familiar with that possibility. Either could be correct. I didn't want to become too verbose and picayune. We'd need the actual data that Washington and the EU are suppressing to zero in on the truth. The only hypothesis that ought to be discarded upon cursory inspection is that Russia deliberately shot that plane down. That's as crazy as the claim that Putin invaded Ukraine to seize the Donbass. You'd have to assume he loves unnecessary and expensive quagmires the way the conflict has unfolded, when his troops could have occupied Kiev within 48 hours if he did invade. Quagmires are the hallmark of American military actions. Inquiring minds want to know why the Ukie pilot of the jet fighter prowling the vicinity at the time of the shoot-down never testified and later committed suicide. Parsimony says to me: guilty conscience.

Nearly forgot Obama's incendiary goodbye kiss to Putin when he promised retaliatory American action against Russia, perhaps in the form of a cyber attack "at a time and place of our choosing," for its alleged theft of the presidential election. Putin had too much character to use that threat as a constant all-purpose foil against never-ending American provocations. He simply moved on, always trying to improve relations, which some observers, such as PCR, feel is a mistake.

Thanks for the input, RR.

Anonymot , July 23, 2019 at 16:47

Essentially I agree with you, but even you are still riding the surface details. I've been writing for over a decade about this, but since I'm neither a journalist, politician or celebrity, no one pay much attention. That makes me a conspiracy theorist with all of its negative connotations. I'm not that either. Suffice it to say that I'm an American who has lived and worked in many places in the world and politics, domestic and international are a pet passion that I've followed for decades.

Obama and Hillary's anti-Russia drive has its roots in pre-WW II anti-communism when many significant capitalists were friends and financiers of Nazi-Germany. After the war the Dulles brothers took over all American foreign policy as Secretary of State and Director of the CIA. They were joined by many Senators from Joe McCarthy to Sen. Prescott Bush. No one else had the ear of Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson on foreign matters other than State and the CIA with the CIA having information to whisper deeper than State's. That's why we went in to lose Korea, , the Bay of Pigs, and Vietnam. Losses all, they still generates massive profits for the MIC and installed that state of mind throughout the DC bureaucracy. Then came Prescott's son, the CIA in person.

It is my personal assessment, having worked in Arkansas when Clinton was Governor and corruption was just part of the landscape, that the powers of the day had little trouble convincing Bill that he could become very, very wealthy if he just left foreign policy decisions to them and role played. They were right. And when Prescott's grandson, George, was mature enough, he stepped in with his extreme right wing crowd, ready to install regime changes everywhere.

After Bush, when a zebra with Democrat stripes could have won given the catastrophe of baby Bush, I am perfectly convinced that they sought two different minority figures, a woman obsessed by the idea of wealth and fame and very pro- a certain kind of feminism, plus a man who desired wealth, but also had the cause of the blacks to promote. "The loser at the DNC Convention will be President after the winner serves his or her term(s), but the foreign policy is ours and you will enunciate it." Bingo.

Hillary lost because she was unbelievably inept at lying and covering her double-tongued role with Democrats' speeches and Wall Street speeches. She also clearly didn't know anything about foreign affairs despite her flying all over the world for photo ops that gave the impression she did.

When Assange exposed her professional ineptitude and implied he had more (that might include her personal affairs,) who had the anti-Putin idea of returning to the Cold War? It certainly wasn't the well spoken, but ill-informed Hillary. It was classic intelligence agency.

And she lost to a different kind of mad person who thinks walking a tightrope is good foreign policy no matter what the risk. The mindset of the MIC and intelligence agencies have almost got him under control after 2 1/2 years, but the Democrats, still ruled by the Clinton crowd are so inept that we may end up crowded between a Trump win in 2020 or a straightforward coup d'etat.

Ray McGovern , July 23, 2019 at 21:42

Dear Anonymot,

Very helpful remarks: between you and Realist et al. -- what a rich, instructive discussion.

Ray

Ray McGovern , July 23, 2019 at 21:38

Dear Realist,

An excellent tutorial. Very much appreciated.

Ray

Curious , July 23, 2019 at 23:29

Realist, one of your best of the best comments.
Not only did the Nobel Peace winner gladly get involved in the Ukraine coup with 'Victory' Nuland, but they had to do it during Russia's shining moment to the world, the Winter Olympics in Sochi. What arrogance. And, when Obama said about Russia, "well, they don't make anything" my blood curdled.
You make another good point about the tragic downed airliner. Why send the black boxes to the UK? All we heard was 'there was nothing of interest in them', Right. We know Putin was flying back from Brazil that day and with the skill level shown by Ukraine these past few years, they could have mixed up planes. It's hard to say.

And then to have the USB lead the investigation (as Robert reported) with the Netherlands (and the Aussies. Again, why?) when it was reported the USB were the very organization that went to all the ATC towers and confiscated the recording tapes? Russia sent the raw radar data to the investigation team in the Netherlands and they came back with the retort "we can't read them" Russia offered technical experts to help and this was ignored, as was the 2 tests done by the makers of the Buks, Almez-Antey proving the blast pattern was an old model no longer in Russias' inventory but in Ukraines. And they get away with all this crap?
One last thought: Putin heads a country that has 11 time zones, and we have 3. Why do so many people think he is just sitting around twiddling his thumbs trying to upset a US election? And he raised a good point when he said, at that time the House and the Senate were Republican controlled. Did he do that too?
He sees the US invalidating international agreements left and right, causing more and more military activity on his borders because of NATO needing an enemy to stay relevant, not to mention the increased funding of course, which is many times more than his own military funding.
Why meddle in an election? He has enough on his plate with all his ethic issues, and now the encroachment on his borders by the 'good guys with guns and missiles'.
The US population has become more provincial and ethnocentric than I have ever witnessed and most of them don't know how large Russia is. It's a wonderful country.
Because of US ignorance about Russia it's almost as if they perceive it as a little country where Putin has all the time in the world to play games, instead of his real purpose. Which is now to protect his country from the US/NATO military propaganda machine and its hardware surrounding his country. This must take up all of his time, but the ignorant still think he has time to meddle in the corrupt US election system.
It's foolishness to the core. Only Mueller and his ilk have that kind of time and tax money to screw around with wasted time.

Annie , July 22, 2019 at 21:58

Immediately after the leak Robbie Mook immediately said the Russians did it, and I remember thinking how does he know, and saw it as ridiculous, laughable. I was a Sanders supporter, and I knew the Democratic party who is known to side lines their liberals wanted him gone from the beginning. MSNBC helped a lot, since throughout his campaign they would often refer to him as an old curmudgeon.

mbob , July 22, 2019 at 21:49

"Thus, she began her campaign under a cloud, and as more and more Americans learned of the fraud that oozed through the DNC email correspondence -- including the rigging of the Democratic primaries -- the cloud grew larger and darker."

Dear Ray,

The most detailed description of how the DNC rigged the primary process -- and the evidence in favor of it -- is in "Democracy Lost: A Report on the Fatally Flawed 2016 Democratic Primaries." (You can find it on the web.) It's independent of Wikileaks.

It provides at least 6 different sources of evidence supporting its allegation of DNC rigging. [1] Direct voter suppression that disproportionately affected Sanders. [2] Registration tampering (with photocopies of altered ballots.) [3] Inaccurate voting machine counts favoring Clinton (Clinton received unaccountably more votes in precincts using the most "hackable" machines. In all states, Clinton performed best on machines that don't leave a paper trail.) [4] Exit poll discrepancies of a unprecedented amount, which did not occur in Republican primaries held on the same day! [5] Eyewitness caucus abuses, as in Iowa and Nevada. [6] DNC collusion with media to smear Sanders.

It states that the combined effects of the rigging was more than enough to have thrown the nomination to Clinton.

I've never seen any debunking of this report which (at least superficially, appears sound and) was written by credible authors.

But, on the other hand, I've seen no independent validation of the report by anyone, including Consortium News.

Do you know anything about it?

Yours

mbob

John Drake , July 22, 2019 at 21:46

Way to go Ray. I find the comment about " Is this how lowly you rate the intelligence of American voters" interesting because it is so accurate-the lowly bit that is. With the assistance (collusion) of the MSM the whole sordid scam has become the dominant paradigm, especially as liberals grasp at the American tradition of red baiting (even though those former reds are devout capitalists) to find sketchy ways of ousting Trumpenfuhrer. Unfortunately these efforts are by passing his more real faults and making the Democrats looking like fools and sore losers. Now he can play the" oh poor me I am being picked on game."
The Clinton family has done tremendous damage to our nation, from financial deregulation, the bombing of Yugoslavia and Libya, influence peddling and fixing the election among many other sins.

Litchfield , July 23, 2019 at 11:51

Agree.
Only an idiot could think that trying to bring Trump down by, basically, bringing false charges against him was a good long-term strategy. Of course, they t hought the strategy only had to be short-term, until Hillary won the election, became president, and could then really deliver the corpse of Trump.

But some on the "left" are still hewing to this concept that Trump is so bad that Mueller must be right about *something.* They still do not get that this false accusation has *helped* Trump, not hurt him. Meanwhile he has gotten away with murder in another part of the forest.

These smart folks are so stupid.

Jeff Harrison , July 22, 2019 at 20:40

Thank you, Ray for a very good summary and thank you also for highlighting how shabbily The Nation treated Patrick after he gave them some very fine work. Now all we need is for people who write the narrative in the MSM to start telling the truth and that would be a neat trick.

Gary Steinberg , July 23, 2019 at 05:54

Once one sells his soul, he doesn't get it back And today, Brenner and Crapper work for MSM. RT probably more reality-based than CNN. This news coup is more than 50 years in the making and has taken quite a toll on the state of the American mind. So, quite a trick,
indeed.

Heman , July 22, 2019 at 19:08

Through all this, the media never focused on the emails themselves, at least to any real extent. Whether the information became available through a hack or download seems a minor issue that someone is deliberately trying to right the election of the president of the United States.

If for example, the worst sort of person fingered an actual murderer, would you ignore the murderer and go after the person who fingered them. It could only be accomplished if those who had the power to do that actually conspired to do it.

M. McGovern does an excellent job in the article making clear what happened. But was it really important, at least as important, that the evil Russians did or did not do it. An objective observer would be grateful that someone or some agency bought the information to light.

Of on top of it all is the gross hypocrisy surrounding the issue. We make Russia look like pikers when it comes to interference and comparing parties that interfere with our elections, do we really want to focus only on Russia?

AboutWhich , July 23, 2019 at 11:30

Heman, I'm surprised no one has attempted to respond to your two comments. They are both inane. Trolling are you?

As for Tulsi, she left the DNC way before these leaked emails, and for the same reason as what they exposed but which DEM-Americans ignored. What does her leaving say about her? That she's not easily duped. Honest truth-seekers usually aren't.

To Ray, great article!

Jack Schiht , July 22, 2019 at 18:18

All this resulting in the Seth Rich murder cover up, even Donna Brazille is still disturbed by the Seth Rich murder, but no one else in Washington DC is permitted to even remember the Seth Rich murder.
This cover up turned into an excuse for losing the election, and immediately after the election it was the outline of the coup, fleshed out by the professionals who do this to normally protect our country. This is a plot worthy of the professionals who wrote the script and starred in the roles.
The coup is ongoing and given legitimacy and dignity by all but a few in Washington DC.
No one dares do anything about it, Barr is waiting for the election to see if perhaps he can drop the charade of concern over this coup.
It may be up to we the people to stop this coup, and we don't have use of the courts. We have other options.

Uros Ruma , July 22, 2019 at 18:02

Brilliant article!

Eric32 , July 22, 2019 at 17:55

How much of this bizarre behavior and story lining can be compared to the behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics being told they're messed up – that they have a problem?

They're inside a fantasy, they need the fantasy, they're being told that it is a fantasy. Many people have seen how bizarre the antics, lying, avoidance, deception can get with such individuals. I think we're seeing it being played out by a group.

Anonymous , July 22, 2019 at 20:17

There is a massive difference – one uses it as a crutch to cover up a wound and make it through the day, the other uses it as a pogo stick. Politicians and bigshots don't need this fantasy – they knowingly use it as a weapon.

Nathan Mulcahy , July 22, 2019 at 17:46

Russian Collusion = Saddam's WMD 2.0.

Also a test to recognize the sheetlet from the thinking.

Heman , July 22, 2019 at 17:42

"Is this how lowly you rate the intelligence of American voters? " Quoted above from Lawrence article. That was 2016, it is now 2019, so now you know. Maybe something better to describe us than intelligence. Gullible,, conditioned, intellectually lazy and just too much to think about, all come to mind.

In all this Tulsi Gabbard comes to mind, resigning in protest. What does that say about her as a presidential candidate?

Fran Macadam , July 22, 2019 at 16:55

If only the truth could make it to the bought corporate media hacks, and not be spiked.

evelync , July 22, 2019 at 16:33

Thank you Ray (Veteran Intelligence Professional for Sanity) McGovern.
Your recounting of what really happened is like a balm for the open wound of having to hear the bullcrap shoveled on us ad nauseum .
And perhaps the saddest part of this very sad tale of the loss of a progressive candidate who could have changed the course of this country for the better – (victims of that kneecapping of the Sanders campaign include our democracy, the millions of people who lost so much as the neoliberal DNC machine including the Clintons helped shift the country away from New Deal protections and also include the millions of people around the world dislocated or destroyed by our corrupt foreign policy that feeds our MICIMATT)- the saddest part is that the political candidate who had fought for working people against the corruption of the DNC machine was then turned on for biting his lip and saying that Mrs Clinton was a better choice than Mr Trump possibly because Sanders may have considered it important, for example, that a Clinton Supreme Court choice would not have included a Kavanaugh .
Senator Sanders' key supporter then and now, philosopher Cornel West, did not follow that lead (nor did I but it was easy in Texas to cast a protest vote)

Human history I'm sure is filled with this kind of chicanery.
We're living a nasty lesson not least of which is how our courageous whistleblowers and their publishers are punished for simply sharing the truth when that truth hurts powerful people ..

Lies, cleverly spun, seem to be more easily accepted. Even though they never quite pass the smell test.
Yes, General Powell, that smell test included your sorry performance at the U.N.

And Secretary Clinton – if you had spun around in 2016 during that ill-fated presidential debate and said "back off fat man" more voters might have trusted you enough to cast their ballot for you.
But true to form for you, calculated political correctness, apparently, meant more to you than the honesty and courage to show your unhappiness with Trump's ill manners

ethan allen , July 22, 2019 at 20:51

Re: evelync
Excellent comment!! And thanks to Ray McGovern for acknowledging the prescience and professional journalism of Patrick Lawrence, not only his seeing through the duplicity and cowardly corruption of the political operatives and their sycophantic media stenographers, but for being determined to inform a disillusioned, confused and too often hostile electorate.
As Usual,
EA

Bobby Kwasnik , July 23, 2019 at 00:48

Please don't try to disguise your insanity in a veiled love-fest with Mr. McGovern. As evidenced by this weeks news about the inability for Sanders to even run the economics of his own 2020 campaign, why do you think that he could run the economics of a nation? And after everything Mr. McGovern has written, you still acquiesce to Clinton as the shining light on the hill. Delusional! All things being equal, at the very least, if President Trump was not elected none of us would even know about all the shams and shenanigans of Clinton and the DNC.

Susan J Leslie , July 23, 2019 at 08:32

Talk about delusional – you are the epitome. Trump is no better than the rest – he just can't stop his tiny fingers from twittering and his orange mouth from blithering

Blessthebeasts , July 23, 2019 at 12:12

It's unfortunate that the Republicans, like Mueller, are going along with the Russian meddling BS. This is the central piece of the whole sordid affair and of course has no basis in fact. Pull it out of the narrative and it all comes tumbling down. Tomorrow's testimony is the perfect setting to expose the sham but sadly, the Republicans will not seize the opportunity.

Mangy vermen , July 23, 2019 at 15:29

A man uncovers massive coordinated INTERNAL election fraud and corruption within the democratic party and was silenced to protect and secure the biggest election fraud in U S history, the 2016 DNC primary .the evidence on the DNC servers would not only reveal the insider who leaked, it could have exposed a hell of a lot of worse crimes..like voting infrastructure Fixing predicted outcomes..but also who covered it up,and the intelligence agencies involvement, including their MSM spokesman ..

evelync , July 23, 2019 at 12:33

Sorry Bobby Kwasnik, I did not intend to imply that Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is a shining light – far from it. I am unable to come up with anything she stood for or accomplished that did not seem calculated to achieve personal power for herself. Many of the policies she supported both foreign and domestic obviously served the financial interests of the oligarchs who are taking us down a dangerous path leading to unsustainability and planetary destruction.
The dangerous path I'm referring to is covered in today's Tomgram written by Andrew Bacevich.
Typing this into your search engine, if you're interested, should bring it up for you:
"Tomdispatch Andrew Bacevich future history"
Btw, as you may know, retired army colonel and Boston University history prof. Andrew Bacevich is I think a true conservative, so rare today.
Are you sure that Donald Trump's election had anything to do with the exposure of the "shams and shenanigans"? I think a lot of that credit goes to the work done by wikileaks and their sources.
(There are plenty of other publications that expose the Clinton machine – Clinton Cash by Peter Schweizer is one. BTW, the sleazy way Donald Trump earned his wealth is nothing to be proud of either.)
We're all caught up in a maelstrom of insanity, IMO. Believing that Donald Trump is anything but a self promoter and smooth talker and genius political manipulator may eventually leave you disappointed. He may occasionally do the right thing by the people of this country but only when he thinks it will serve his own momentary/monetary interests.
I'm willing to openly admit to you that my mental health is no better or worse than most ..
It's a wonder that we're not all running around screaming, lol.
Cheers.

b.grand , July 23, 2019 at 20:38

" .the saddest part is that [Sanders] . was then turned on for biting his lip and saying that Mrs Clinton was a better choice than Mr Trump "

No, he got what [the disdain] he deserved. The real saddest part was that he didn't really fight for the nomination. He was the PC "gentleman" who gave the Hildabeast an easy ride. Bobby Kwasnik got you more right than you realize. Trump was the better choice. Without him, all the DNC shenanigans would have been swept under the rug and almost everyone would have gone back to sleep. Instead of pussy hatted marchers, the "women" would have been swooning, like the Blacks swooned for Obama.

Bad as it is, this beats Pres. Hilligula, and Sanders weakness lost him much support that's not coming back, and shouldn't.

Clark M Shanahan , July 23, 2019 at 12:49

Sorry Bobby, Trump did win the electoral college.
and:
"As evidenced by this weeks news about the inability for Sanders to even run the economics of his own 2020 campaign,"

I really was annoyed with all those "Hillary's got the Chops" trolls, in 2016.

And today: Many in the "Cult of Mueller" need to acknowledge, just as Noam Chomsky stated, that Russiagate has probably procured the 2020 election for Trump.
The snark from the Cult is simply abusive. Besides being wrong with your contention, Sanders belongs nowhere in the subject at hand.

Stygg , July 23, 2019 at 13:40

So you think the President "runs the economics of a nation"?

Val Taire , July 23, 2019 at 13:08

Regarding your concluding paragraph: Hillary would never state "back off fat man" because it was she, Bill and DNC who approved Trump as her Presidential "Pied Piper" opponent. Any doubt, view Robert Reich's blog from early 206 to General Election 2016. Comments on his blog are littered with HRC trolls demanding our votes while we steadfastly maintained she was not worthy of our votes. Yes, based on her Wikileaks, based on her usurping Bernie, based on her CF, based on her support of rapist spouse while labeling us "misogynists", based on her Pied Piper Strategy -- we informed Reichwing HRC Camp that Trump would win the Presidency.

Hilly was lazy. Pied Piper campaign required no effort and MSM was more than happy to water carry the Pied Piper Strategy for Hilly. Hilly could though, campaign in Hollywood, Harvey's and Rothschild's Creme de la creme fundraisers in Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Hamptons -- but ignore Wisconsin and PA, correct?

I'll point out other points regarding her "ill-fated Presidential debate". Demanding Bernie"s tax records while CF had their CF charity license revoked in State of Massachusetts for financial and other irregularities; simultaneously, Eric Schneiderman was intentionally withholding investigation of CF. I'm fact, Clinton's were forced to revile NY CF tax records.

Goldman Sachs paid speeches by Hillary was the other Huuuge point raised during that "ill-fated" debate. She promised to release these yet failed to do so. How did we receive content of those speeches? Through leakers, yes GS employees and excerpts from WL.

Furthermore, it wasn't "political correctness" that kept Hilly from yelling "back off fat man". It was fear of being exposed for Pied Piper Strategy; after all, even WL had evidence of her Pied Piper gem. You refer also to Trump's ill manners in your last paragraph while ignoring Hillary's legendary ill manners. Eighteen years post BillyBoy's Cigar Capers, she has Vanity Fair disinvite Monica Lewinsky from a NY Gala which Monica had already RSVP'd to. There are man ex-SS employees who can attest to her ill manners as well.

In closing, I'll leave you with two names that speak volumes about Hilly's ill manners and seething anger upon being exposed for her lies and corruption. Harmon Wilfred and Julian Assange. Harmon was Hilly's first political refugee, simply because he had records of Gov. Clinton's financial corruption. He was forced to flee to Canada, where Hilly sent Michael Horowitz and other prosecutor goons to falsely imprison and litigate him. Later, when serving in DC, same Michael Horowitz (now IG Horowitz), had Harmon"s children removed from him. Yes, Horowitz was serving on a Child Abuse Advisory Board (voluntary position) and arranged for that gross miscarriage of justice. Twenty years later, Harmon sits in NZ, stateless, without a passport, imprisoned by Hilly's and Five Eyes Mafiaosa type agreement. Should Harmon attempt to leave NZ , he faces immediate extradition to US. Should his Canadian wife attempt to visit him, she is banned at most ports. She will face arrest.

Trump will win 2020. Bernie is not an option, he has been fully co-opted courtesy of Hilly and DNC. DNC has intentionally flooded Presidential race with twenty-one candidates, one of whom is an AWAN House Dem, Tim "AWAN" Ryan. Julian Castro is twin brother of Joacquin "AWAN" Castro. Should Castro win Presidency, or be selected VP, Castro would have ability to pardon his twin and thirty-one House AWAN Dems. And to be clear, we know this flooding of race is to keep Bernie from receiving highest number of electoral votes. So keep flooding, keep jerking with SuperDelegate rules. I DemExited 2016. The Pied Piper has won. Deal with it.

h , July 22, 2019 at 16:01

Hey Ray, have you read Ed Butowsky's lawsuit? If not, I highly recommend you and your team do so – https://www.scribd.com/document/417578836/Butowsky-Complaint

Chet Roman , July 22, 2019 at 23:27

And Ray should see the short video of Ellen Ratner confirming at a symposium on Nov. 9, 2016 that she had a 3-hour conversation with Assange a few days before (Nov. 5, 2016) and he said that it was not the Russians (as he has been saying for a long time) but was an inside job. In the video she doesn't state that it was Seth and Aaron Rich who gave the emails to Assange but Butowsky claims in his lawsuit that is exactly what Assange told Ratner and asked her to tell Rich's parents to give them some perspective regarding Seth's murder.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0M3Z4eE6cJA

Anonymous , July 22, 2019 at 15:55

If you are an individual and you invent and publish conspiracy theories, you could get sent off to a psychiatric ward and deprived of liberty (including religious liberty in many states) and property without due process – something which is otherwise reserved for enemy combatants ("terrorists") and now (at least seemingly) illegal immigrants.

If you work in mainstream journalism, politics, or public relations, you might get a promotion.

Drew Hunkins , July 22, 2019 at 15:43

The whole notion the Kremlin hacked the '16 prez election or that Moscow somehow interfered in it is the biggest propaganda accomplishment I've ever witnessed. In some ways it's even beyond the 2002/'03 "Saddam has WMD! Saddam's in bed with al-Qaeda" business.

Despite there being absolutely no credible evidence that any such interference existed, millions of otherwise semi-intelligent liberal minded folks have been lapping up this canard as if it were their mother's milk. Mueller's left with egg on his face after his report embarrassingly stated that the Russian's interfered. What a load of malarkey that judge Friedrich has easily seen as having no substance prompting her to slap a well deserved gag order on the prosecutor. A prosecutor who was probably aligned with the Winter Hill gang to one degree or another!

This disconcerting group-think from the liberal intelligentsia should elicit gales of laughter if it weren't so utterly imbecilic and dangerous.

AnneR , July 23, 2019 at 09:40

Yes, Drew H, the "liberal Intelligentsia" continue to indulge in this bizarro groupthink and clearly willingly. One might say, so much for being members of the (self designated) "intelligentsia."

As soon as this whole farrago hit the MSM fan and they began spraying out their DNC cover bullshit, my late husband and I kept asking: where and when are they going to actually start discussing the *content* of the emails themselves? Never.

So one can only conclude that the liberal intelligentsia (of whom many include my late husband's friends – few of whom have continued to be in touch with me because I am far more abrasive than he) are *true* Dem party supporters: i.e. thoroughly bourgeois, very soft left (identitarian politics with a little generalized medicare help for the masses thrown in) and Russophobic under their thin patina of "progressiveness" (whatever that really means).

One might be forgiven, surely, for asking: to what significant end all of that highly expensive secondary and tertiary education if you have fallen for, and remain wedded to, the Clintonite-DNC lies and more lies of Russiagate?

The only answer I can come up with is: that it fits in with their underlying worldview; that it allows them to continue to support the imaginary "left" headed side of the single party. Sanders is hardly a Leninist, but he was, it seems a little too "revolutionary" for the property-owning, deeply corporate-capitalist leaning liberal intelligentsia (as of course, being liberal they would be).

Skip Scott , July 23, 2019 at 15:05

The reason it fits with their "underlying world view" is they are passive consumers of MSM propaganda. They are not critical thinkers. They are also mostly isolated within their little clique, and are purposely separated from the seeing the horrible consequences of our war machine. As long as they can sip on their lattes in Starbucks, check their portfolio on their smart phone, and nobody does a drone strike on them, all is good with their world. The reason they hate Trump so much is that he has ripped off the mask and revealed the hypocrisy. When our "war criminal in chief" was a smooth talking blackish man it was easy to ignore the ugly underbelly of unrestrained capitalism seeking global hegemony. You could put a "Coexist" bumper sticker on your car and forget Obama was having his "Terror Tuesdays" in the company of John Brennan.

b.grand , July 23, 2019 at 21:36

AnneR, there are no heroes: Bernie endorses Russiagate. He's only revolutionary in rhetoric, most of which would never pass any Congress. The way he deferred to Hillary, what hope that he's stand up to R2P & hawkish Dems and the MIC?

[Jul 22, 2019] Comey Under DOJ Investigation For Misleading Trump While Targeting Him In FBI Probe

Notable quotes:
"... Former FBI Director James Comey has been under investigation for misleading President Trump - telling him in private that he wasn't the target of an ongoing FBI probe, while refusing to admit to this in public. ..."
"... Comey was essentially "running a covert operation" against Trump - which began with a private "defensive briefing" shortly after the inauguration. RCI 's sources say that Horowitz has pored over text messages between the FBI's former top-brass and other communications suggesting that Comey was in fact conducting a "counterintelligence assessment" of the president during their January 2017 meeting in New York. ..."
"... What's more, the FBI couldn't treat Trump as a suspect - formally, as they didn't have the legal grounds to do so according to former FBI counterintelligence lawyer Mark Wauck. " They had no probable cause against Trump himself for 'collusion' or espionage ," he said, adding "They were scrambling to come up with anything to hang a hat on, but had found nothing." ..."
"... According to House Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), Comey and the rest of the FBI's top team (including Peter Strzok and Lisa Page) were attempting to "stop" Trump's presidency for political reasons. ..."
"... "You have the culmination of the ultimate spying, where you have the FBI director spying on the president, taking notes [and] illegally leaking those notes of classified information" to the MSM, said Nunes in a recent interview. ..."
"... Comey is just the political class operative who they brought in to save Scooter Libby's butt in the Valerie Flame leak. Then he got a seven figure job as a reward at a hedge fund (with no prior experience in the financial industry). Then, they took him off the bench to be FBI director. ..."
"... The larger problem is that the "five eyes" system is broken in favor of British surveillance and interference in our elections, and, the Patriot Act practice of "masking" is a complete violation of the fourth amendment and a fraud. From a fourth amendment analysis, it's like letting the police search everyone's house every day as long as they don't look at the name on the address. ..."
"... This investigation would explain why Comey, Brennan, and other members of Barry Obama's regime are very quiet, while Congressional Democrats are freaking out. ..."
"... Does the DOJ investigate British agents? Serious question. ..."
Jul 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Former FBI Director James Comey has been under investigation for misleading President Trump - telling him in private that he wasn't the target of an ongoing FBI probe, while refusing to admit to this in public.

According to RealClearInvestigations ' Paul Sperry, "Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will file a report in September which contains evidence that Comey was misleading the president " while conducting an active investigation against him.

Even as he repeatedly assured Trump that he was not a target, the former director was secretly trying to build a conspiracy case against the president, while at times acting as an investigative agent . - RCI

According to two US officials familiar with Horowitz's upcoming report on FBI misconduct, Comey was essentially "running a covert operation" against Trump - which began with a private "defensive briefing" shortly after the inauguration. RCI 's sources say that Horowitz has pored over text messages between the FBI's former top-brass and other communications suggesting that Comey was in fact conducting a "counterintelligence assessment" of the president during their January 2017 meeting in New York.

What's more, Comey had an FBI agent in the White House who reported the activities of Trump and his aides, according to 'other officials familiar with the matter.'

The agent, Anthony Ferrante, who specialized in cyber crime, left the White House around the same time Comey was fired and soon joined a security consulting firm, where he contracted with BuzzFeed to lead the news site's efforts to verify the Steele dossier, in connection with a defamation lawsuit. -RCI

According to the report, Horowitz and his team have examined over 1 million documents and conducted over 100 interviews - including sit-downs with Comey and other current and former FBI and DOJ employees. "The period covering Comey's activities is believed to run from early January 2017 to early May 2017, when Comey was fired and his deputy Andrew McCabe, as the acting FBI director, formally opened full counterintelligence and obstruction investigations of the president."

McCabe's deputy, Lisa Page, appeared to dissemble last year when asked in closed-door testimony before the House Judiciary Committee if Comey and other FBI brass discussed opening an obstruction case against Trump prior to his firing in May 2017. Initially, she flatly denied it , swearing: "Obstruction of justice was not a topic of conversation during the time frame you have described." But then, after conferring with her FBI-assigned lawyer, she announced: " I need to take back my prior statement ." Page later conceded that there could have been at least "discussions about potential criminal activity" involving the president . -RCI

Comey coordination

Sperry notes that Comey wasn't working in isolation on the Trump effort. In particular, Horowitz has looked at the January 6, 2017 briefing on the infamous 'Steele Dossier' - a meeting which was used by BuzzFeed, CNN and others to legitimize reporting on the dossier's salacious and unsubstantiated claims .

Comey's meeting with Trump took place one day after the FBI director met in the Oval Office with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden to discuss how to brief Trump -- a meeting attended by National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and National Intelligence Director James Clapper, who would soon go to work for CNN. -RCI

While Comey claims in his book, "A Higher Loyalty" that he didn't have "a counterintelligence case file open on [Trump]," former federal prosecutor and National Review columnist Andrew McCarthy notes that just because Trump's name wasn't on a formal file or surveillance warrant doesn't mean that he wasn't under investigation.

"They were hoping to surveil him incidentally, and they were trying to make a case on him," said McCarthy. " The real reason Comey did not want to repeat publicly the assurances he made to Trump privately is that these assurances were misleading . The FBI strung Trump along, telling him he was not a suspect while structuring the investigation in accordance with the reality that Trump was the main subject ."

What's more, the FBI couldn't treat Trump as a suspect - formally, as they didn't have the legal grounds to do so according to former FBI counterintelligence lawyer Mark Wauck. " They had no probable cause against Trump himself for 'collusion' or espionage ," he said, adding "They were scrambling to come up with anything to hang a hat on, but had found nothing."

What remains unclear is why Comey would take such extraordinary steps against a sitting president . The Mueller report concluded there was no basis for the Trump-Russia collusion conspiracy theories. Comey himself was an early skeptic of the Steele dossier -- the opposition research memos paid for by Hillary Clinton's campaign that were the road map of collusion theories -- which he dismissed as "salacious and unverified." -RCI

According to House Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA), Comey and the rest of the FBI's top team (including Peter Strzok and Lisa Page) were attempting to "stop" Trump's presidency for political reasons.

"You have the culmination of the ultimate spying, where you have the FBI director spying on the president, taking notes [and] illegally leaking those notes of classified information" to the MSM, said Nunes in a recent interview.

Read the rest of Sperry's report here .


AI Agent , 4 minutes ago link

They will whitewash Comey. The deep state is alive and well, the DoJ and the FBI are as corrupt as they were the day before Trump took office.

Why do I say this? Well, the canary hasn't fallen off her perch yet. Hillary Clinton is still singing her song, and even making noises like she's going to run again, and she's not in prison. They have her solid on over a hundred felony counts of mishandling classified documents and they've not touched her. Proof of life that the Deep State is still in power.

MoreFreedom , 8 minutes ago link

So, was the Steele dossier the ex post facto excuse for illegally spying on Trump, or was it the ex post facto diversion for ALL of Obama's spying on politically powerful people, which we know included spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee, spying on reporters, and spying on Trump. I'll bet Obama hopes the investigation doesn't get into all of his spying activities, and I wouldn't be surprised government officials in charge of the spying equipment are keeping it covered up because they don't want to lose their jobs (for either allowing such to happen, or because they fear the spying apparatus will be eliminated).

Did Obama also spy on SCOTUS justices, Congressmen, other Senators and other rich and powerful people? I'll bet he did, because we haven't seen all the unmasking documentation, and Obama took it to his library so no one can see it (at least so he thinks). Further, look at the way Brennan, Clapper, Comey and Rice are disparaging Trump (they protest too much). And look at how all the allegations about Trump are blowing right back into the faces of the Democrats who've shown their MO is to accuse their political opponents, of the illegal activity in which the Democrats are engaged.

They need to go to jail, for a long time, if not be executed for treason.

SgtShaftoe , 4 minutes ago link

Did Obama spy on SCOTUS justices, et al? - Yes. Look up project HAMR or "Hammer". MI5/6 was spying on all Americans comms to circumvent legal frameworks (5 eyes). Google is now fully Chinese intelligence - TREASON. It's coming and it's gonna blow most people's minds.

dcmbuffy , 10 minutes ago link

Just the minute the FBI begins making recommendations on what should be done with its information, it becomes a Gestapo.

J. Edgar Hoover

i at least agree with him on this one thought.

peippe , 9 minutes ago link

you realize J.Edgar probably said the above with a smile on his face.

Playtime's Over , 8 minutes ago link

been going on for longer than Obongo, but he put an inner cooled turbo on it.

radar99 , 13 minutes ago link

it all started with Obama. Time to investigate him and hang him for treason

SgtShaftoe , 8 minutes ago link

It started a very long time ago. 1913 was a notable date, so was JFK's assassination. So was 9/11. So was Operation Paperclip. These monsters have been slithering around a while. Now it's time for them to go bye-bye. Dark to Light. Execute.

Indelible Scars , 13 minutes ago link

B-B-But Nadler said...

JaxPavan , 14 minutes ago link

This goes back to Obama asking MI6 to surveil Trump and his campaign, and to continue it past the inauguration.

JaxPavan , 13 minutes ago link

correction: GCHQ

JaxPavan , 6 minutes ago link

Comey is just the political class operative who they brought in to save Scooter Libby's butt in the Valerie Flame leak. Then he got a seven figure job as a reward at a hedge fund (with no prior experience in the financial industry). Then, they took him off the bench to be FBI director.

The larger problem is that the "five eyes" system is broken in favor of British surveillance and interference in our elections, and, the Patriot Act practice of "masking" is a complete violation of the fourth amendment and a fraud. From a fourth amendment analysis, it's like letting the police search everyone's house every day as long as they don't look at the name on the address.

That our broken secrecy system effectively legalized Watergate under Obama and the "five eyes" is the real problem that needs fixing.

Stainless Steel Rat , 1 hour ago link

Three Things We Know For Sure

1. Trump did not collude with Russia

2. Mueller was sent on a witch hunt

3. Somebody's going under the bus

If not Comey, then who?

StiffLittleFinger , 39 minutes ago link

“I executed the session exactly as planned,”* Comey reported back to his “sensitive matter team.”

*in the meeting with Obama the day before

Equinox7 , 45 minutes ago link

This investigation would explain why Comey, Brennan, and other members of Barry Obama's regime are very quiet, while Congressional Democrats are freaking out. The end of the Deep State is starting.

valerie24 , 21 minutes ago link

Let’s hope so. The clock is ticking and this needs to happen by early 2020 or it won’t happen at all.

carbonmutant , 1 hour ago link

Are Comey's phones being bugged?

punchasocialist , 43 minutes ago link

Does the DOJ investigate British agents? Serious question.

[Jul 18, 2019] Brennan used using Dmitri Alperovitch of 'Crowdstrike' as a tool to corrupt the processes of investigation of DNC leaks.

Notable quotes:
"... Moreover, if, as the memorandum asserted, 'British officials' were also aware that the 'most reliable intelligence' exonerated the Syrian government, rather fundamental questions arose as to how the JIC had felt able to claim precisely the reverse in support of David Cameron's unsuccessful attempt on 29 August to win Commons' support for British participation in air strikes. ..."
"... At the time, the Director General, Defence and Intelligence at the FCO was one Robert Hannigan, who in April 2014 would be appointed as Director of GCHQ. The National Security Adviser was a certain Sir Kim Darroch, whose appointment as Ambassador to the U.S. would be announced in August 2015. Both have been in the news, in relation to 'Russiagate.' ..."
"... Obviously, the same question arises about both of them as about Brennan: are they 'Gleiwitz types', who were actively complicit in preparing a murderous 'false flag', or were they simply part of a rather stupid Anglo-American 'dog', whom the 'tail', in the shape of the jihadists and their Turkish, Saudi and Qatari backers, could 'wag', as they chose? ..."
"... From the articles which Seymour Hersh published in the 'London Review of Books', and other materials, it became evident that the Defense Intelligence Agency, then headed by General Flynn, had been aware of the likelihood of fresh 'false flags' -- after the small scale incidents in spring 2013. ..."
"... An argument that 'Sundance' has repeatedly made is that a lot of what was happening in mid-2016, including the dossier attributed to Steele, had to do with the need to find justifications for these questionable surveillance operations. ..."
"... While I think there is something in this, I have long thought that the discovery that a mass of material exfiltrated from the DNC, and was going to be published by 'WikiLeaks', and the subsequent murder of Seth Rich, are likely to have been critically important triggers. ..."
"... panic-stricken improvisation found alike in the dossier, and the claims about the 'digital forensics' made by Dmitri Alperovitch of 'CrowdStrike', and the former GCHQ person Matt Tait. ..."
"... A week later, Butowsky filed a new action, in which the suggestion of a very-wide ranging conspiracy to suppress the truth about both the DNC leaks and Rich's murder was turned into a catalogue of defamation claims against a long list of people, including, as well as a variety of lawyers involved, CNN, the'Nw York Times', Vox, and the DNC. ..."
"... 'That Seth Rich was wacked because he stole the DNC emails and transferred them to Wikileaks is a conspiracy theory. It is possible and even plausible, but there is no evidence to confirm it. Many people seem to believe it because it makes more sense than the competing conspiracy theory, that Russia hacked the DNC and handed the emails to Wikileaks. Isikoff's claim, that Russia planted the Rich conspiracy theory, has no sound base. That theory existed before anything "Russian" mentioned it.' ..."
"... Reading the full text of Ms. Craven's report, I can see quite how well justified was Larry's suggestion in his post that Folkenflik and NPR were on a very sticky wicket indeed (as we say in England.) ..."
"... However, 'fools rush in', as the saying goes, so Isikoff decided to conspire with Deborah Sines, apparently the former U.S. assistant attorney in charge of investigating Seth Rich's murder, to suggest that suggestions that the victim had been the source of the material from the DNC published by 'WikiLeaks' originated as just another Russian plot. ..."
"... It appears that prior to the publication of his 'report', Isikoff talked to Butowsky, who in his efforts to dissuade him explained that his involvement in the whole affair began when Ellen Ratner, a news analyst with Fox, and sister of the late Michael Ratner, who had been an attorney for Assange, contacted him in Fall 2016 about a meeting she had with her that figure. ..."
"... And then, not particularly surprisingly, Butowsky and Clevenger abandoned their inhibitions about identifying Ellen Ratner as a source, and filled in a lot of 'blanks' in their 'narrative' about how Seth Rich lived and died. ..."
"... Among the many problems for Brennan and his co-conspirators -- among whom, on the British side, Hannigan and Darroch, and also Sedwill, are very important -- one relates to the way that the capabilities of 'scientific forensics', in all kinds of areas, have increased by leaps and bounds in recent years. ..."
"... This has meant that they have had little option but to corrupt the processes of investigation. The ludicrous claims by Dmitri Alperovitch of 'Crowdstrike' and the former GCHQ person Matt Tait, which nobody but a fool -- congenital 'useful idiot' one might say -- or a knave would dare to defend in public, are only one of many cases in point. ..."
Jul 18, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

David Habakkuk , 16 July 2019 at 01:14 PM

Larry,

One does not like to admit to having been one of John Brennan's 'useful idiots' -- I had thought I could see through any of the 'active measures' which he and his co-conspirators, on both sides of the Atlantic, could dream up. But I had swallowed whole the notion that Michael Flynn had been stupid enough knowingly to get involved in Erdoğan's feud with Gülen.

In fairness, however, I do think that when dealing with spiders like the former head of the CIA, a prudent fly needs to be sure he, or she, gets competent legal advice at the outset.

It may perhaps be interesting to put your account together with a post by 'Sundance' on the 'Conservative Treehouse' site on 14 July, headlined 'Devin Nunes Discusses Upcoming Mueller Testimony '

This takes up the issue, on which its author has commented extensively, of illegitimate access by contractors to the databases of NSA intercepts -- an issue which is clearly bound up with that of the use of such material to create the 'web' in which Flynn found himself hopelessly entangled.

The post by 'Sundance' suggests, just as you do, that the driving force behind what has happened was actually John Brennan. The April 2017 ruling by FISA Court Presiding Judge Rosemary Collyer does not definitely establish that the illegitimate access of contractors started in 2012, but it definitely strongly suggests that it did.

Reading the 6 September 'Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity' memorandum to Obama, entitled 'Is Syria a Trap?', whose signatories included both you and Colonel Lang, it seemed overwhelmingly likely to some of us who were familiar with both your writings that Brennan had to have been involved in a conspiracy with the Turks, Saudis, and Qataris.

(To my surprise, this can no longer be accessed at the 'Consortium News' site. However, it is still available at http://www.shoah.org.uk/2013/09/10/page/2/ .)

One relevant question related to whether the role of the Americans involved in this conspiracy was simply 'ex post facto' exploitation of the patent 'false flag' sarin atrocity at Ghouta the previous 21 August to attempt to inveigle the United States into toppling Assad, or whether there was 'ex ante' complicity.

Moreover, if, as the memorandum asserted, 'British officials' were also aware that the 'most reliable intelligence' exonerated the Syrian government, rather fundamental questions arose as to how the JIC had felt able to claim precisely the reverse in support of David Cameron's unsuccessful attempt on 29 August to win Commons' support for British participation in air strikes.

At the time, the Director General, Defence and Intelligence at the FCO was one Robert Hannigan, who in April 2014 would be appointed as Director of GCHQ. The National Security Adviser was a certain Sir Kim Darroch, whose appointment as Ambassador to the U.S. would be announced in August 2015. Both have been in the news, in relation to 'Russiagate.'

Obviously, the same question arises about both of them as about Brennan: are they 'Gleiwitz types', who were actively complicit in preparing a murderous 'false flag', or were they simply part of a rather stupid Anglo-American 'dog', whom the 'tail', in the shape of the jihadists and their Turkish, Saudi and Qatari backers, could 'wag', as they chose?

From the articles which Seymour Hersh published in the 'London Review of Books', and other materials, it became evident that the Defense Intelligence Agency, then headed by General Flynn, had been aware of the likelihood of fresh 'false flags' -- after the small scale incidents in spring 2013.

And it was clear enough, if one bothered to study the 'open source' material at all carefully, that the DIA had been a key locus of opposition to the strategies being pursued by Brennan, together with his British co-conspirators.

Accordingly, the fact that an 'interagency memorandum of understanding', which according to Collyer's judgement looks as though it may well date from 2012 -- the year Brennan was appointed to head the CIA -- appears to have led, in that year, to the granting of access to the material, through the FBI, to outside contractors, looks somewhat interesting. (This is well covered by 'Sundance'.)

So, I find myself asking whether in fact this gross abuse of the role of the NSA was not linked at the outset to the divisions within the American intelligence apparatus and military about policy towards the Middle East, and also whether this may not be relevant to assessing the role of Robert Mueller, who was FBI Director through until September 2013.

An argument that 'Sundance' has repeatedly made is that a lot of what was happening in mid-2016, including the dossier attributed to Steele, had to do with the need to find justifications for these questionable surveillance operations.

While I think there is something in this, I have long thought that the discovery that a mass of material exfiltrated from the DNC, and was going to be published by 'WikiLeaks', and the subsequent murder of Seth Rich, are likely to have been critically important triggers.

Among other things, I do not think that the version given by 'Sundance' can explain the air of panic-stricken improvisation found alike in the dossier, and the claims about the 'digital forensics' made by Dmitri Alperovitch of 'CrowdStrike', and the former GCHQ person Matt Tait.

I see that there has now been a dramatic escalation in the legal battles which began when Ed Butowsky bought his initial action against David Folkenflik and his 'NPR' colleagues in June 2018. The discovery process in that action was followed by an 'Amended Complaint' on 5 March this year.

A week later, Butowsky filed a new action, in which the suggestion of a very-wide ranging conspiracy to suppress the truth about both the DNC leaks and Rich's murder was turned into a catalogue of defamation claims against a long list of people, including, as well as a variety of lawyers involved, CNN, the'Nw York Times', Vox, and the DNC.

On 9 July, Michael Isikoff published a story alleging that the claims about Rich and his murder were the result of a Russian 'active measures' operation -- to use a favourite phrase of TTG's.

A useful account, with links, is provided by our colleague 'b', at 'Moon of Alabama', at https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/07/isikoff-who-first-peddled-the-fake-steele-dossier-invents-new-russian-influence-story.html .

Concluding his piece, 'b' wrote:

'That Seth Rich was wacked because he stole the DNC emails and transferred them to Wikileaks is a conspiracy theory. It is possible and even plausible, but there is no evidence to confirm it. Many people seem to believe it because it makes more sense than the competing conspiracy theory, that Russia hacked the DNC and handed the emails to Wikileaks. Isikoff's claim, that Russia planted the Rich conspiracy theory, has no sound base. That theory existed before anything "Russian" mentioned it.'

As it happens, Butowsky and his lawyer, Ty Clevenger, obviously decided it was time to, as it were, 'unmask their batteries', and provide some of the evidence they have been accumulating.

There is another useful post by 'Sundance', which in turn links to a very interesting post on the Gateway Pundit' site. From there, you can access both Clevenger's blog post, and the text of the 'Amended Complaint.'

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

It seems likely that Butowsky and Clevenger were pushed into acting a bit sooner than they had intended. The fact that the name of Ellen Ratner, clearly a pivotal participant, was misspellled 'Rattner' in the 'Amended Complaint', is likely to be an indication of this.

However, I also think that Clevenger, who seems to me a first-class 'ferret', could do with the services of an old-style secretary, who checked his productions before they went out.

turcopolier , 16 July 2019 at 02:34 PM
As I have previously mentioned, I testified several times in Collyer's Washington district court on non-FISA matters. My impression was that she is a very ambitious woman who wishes always to do DoJ's bidding.

David Habakkuk -> turcopolier ... , 18 July 2019 at 01:28 PM

Pat,

Your recollections of Collyer had, unfortunately, slipped my mind when I posted my comment above. So, unfortunately, had Larry's post on Judge Caroline M. Craven's denial in her report dated 17 April 2019 of the Motion to Dismiss filed by David Folkenflik and his NPR colleagues in the defamation case brought against them by Ed Butowsky.

At the time of his post, the full text of the judgement was only available on PACER, which requires a subscription. However, looking at the 'Court Listener' site, I now see that both it and some other key documents in the case are freely available.

(See https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/7244731/butowsky-v-folkenflik/ .)

Reading the full text of Ms. Craven's report, I can see quite how well justified was Larry's suggestion in his post that Folkenflik and NPR were on a very sticky wicket indeed (as we say in England.)

And I can also see more clearly why, following the judgement, Butowsky and Ty Clevenger felt they were in a position to launch an action both against some of the major legal players in the cover-up of the fact that the materials published by the DNC were leaked by Seth Rich, not hacked by the Russians, and also key disseminators of the cover-up, CNN, the NYT, and Vox.

The most important documents in that case are also now free available on 'Court Listener', at https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/14681570/butowsky-v-gottlieb/ .

What looks to have happened subsequently is a natural enough process of escalation.

Among those who rather actively promoted the hogwash attributed to Christopher Steele was Michael Isikoff, who is, apparently, chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News. In April, he was reported in 'Vanity Fair' conceding that 'I think it's fair to say that all of us should have approached this, in retrospect, with more skepticism'.

(See https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/04/the-steele-dossiers-moment-of-truth-arrives-journalists-argue-its-impact .)

Any 'investigative reporter' worth his or her salt would have done elementary checks on the dossier immediately, and not touched it with a bargepole -- again, as we used to say in England. Also, even among the incompetent and corrupt, common prudence might have suggested caution.

However, 'fools rush in', as the saying goes, so Isikoff decided to conspire with Deborah Sines, apparently the former U.S. assistant attorney in charge of investigating Seth Rich's murder, to suggest that suggestions that the victim had been the source of the material from the DNC published by 'WikiLeaks' originated as just another Russian plot.

(See https://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-the-true-origins-of-the-seth-rich-conspiracy-a-yahoo-news-investigation-100000831.html .)

It appears that prior to the publication of his 'report', Isikoff talked to Butowsky, who in his efforts to dissuade him explained that his involvement in the whole affair began when Ellen Ratner, a news analyst with Fox, and sister of the late Michael Ratner, who had been an attorney for Assange, contacted him in Fall 2016 about a meeting she had with her that figure.

Although Butowsky intended the conversation to be 'off the record', and the idea was emphatically not that Isikoff would contact Ellen Ratner, he did. It seems that -- not particularly surprisingly, in the current climate -- she lied to him, and he was stupid enough to think that this meant he could get away with publishing his story.

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

And then, not particularly surprisingly, Butowsky and Clevenger abandoned their inhibitions about identifying Ellen Ratner as a source, and filled in a lot of 'blanks' in their 'narrative' about how Seth Rich lived and died.

I am still in the process of digesting the new information. However, a couple of preliminary observations about the implications may be worth making.

Among the many problems for Brennan and his co-conspirators -- among whom, on the British side, Hannigan and Darroch, and also Sedwill, are very important -- one relates to the way that the capabilities of 'scientific forensics', in all kinds of areas, have increased by leaps and bounds in recent years.

This has meant that they have had little option but to corrupt the processes of investigation. The ludicrous claims by Dmitri Alperovitch of 'Crowdstrike' and the former GCHQ person Matt Tait, which nobody but a fool -- congenital 'useful idiot' one might say -- or a knave would dare to defend in public, are only one of many cases in point.

What is really dangerous for the conspirators, however, is when the problems they have in contesting rational arguments about the 'scientific forensics' come together with problems relating to more 'old-fashioned' kinds of evidence: crucially, 'witness testimony'.

This, I think, may now be happening.

It also seems to me quite likely that some of those 'in the know' -- including perhaps Rosemary Collyer -- had seen what was liable to happen a good while ago, and decided that a prudent 'rat' keeps its options open.

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

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

... ... ...

Requiem for 'Interference'

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

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

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

Judge to Mueller: Put Up or Shut Up

Mueller: Needs more time. (Flickr)

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

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

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

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

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

IRA Story a 'Stretch'

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Other Prong: Hacking the DNC

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

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

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

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

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

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


Carlos , July 17, 2019 at 12:52

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

cletus , July 17, 2019 at 05:29

just read your article at lewrockwell on 7/17.

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

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

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

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

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

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

There was no expert report showing hacking because the expert had found that the Russians did not hack. Simple as that. The way it works is, that an expert puts nothing in writing until AFTER orally consulting with the attorney who hired him. If the news is bad for said attorney, then t