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Bigger doesn't imply better. Bigger often is a sign of obesity, of lost control, of overcomplexity, of cancerous cells

Trump betrayal of his voters and election promises under the pressure of Deep State

While he betrayed everybody and almost everything on his election agenda, for some, unclear to me reason, Deep state is still now trying to depose Trump via color revolution mechanisms

But they did managed to eliminate his election-time stance against neoliberal globalization, against hostility with Russia, and neoliberal wars for the expansion of US-led global neoliberal empire

The last time America saw a strong paleo-conservative was Pat Buchanan in 1996. An early win in Louisiana caused Buchanan to place second in Iowa and first in New Hampshire. Lacking money, Buchanan was steamrolled by the establishment in Arizona and, in terms of paleo-conservatism, many thought he was the Last of the Mohicans. Trump's campaign is Buchananesque with one difference: Trump has money... --  by Joseph R. Murray II (Orlando Sentinel, Aug 12, 2015)
News Color revolutions Recommended Links NeoMcCartyism compaign as a smoke scrreen to hide the crisis of neoliberalism Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? FBI Mayberry Machiavellians Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition Final report of Special procecutor Mueller
Strzokgate Steele dossier Brennan elections machinations "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit Wolff revelations and slander of Trump administration Was Natalia Veselnitskaya meeting with Trump Jr. a trap DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin Susan Rice unmasking campaign as an attempt to derail Trump by Obama administration
Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections Adam Schiff Witch Hunt Post-Russiagate remorse -- the second Iraq WDM fiasco Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak MSM as an attack dogs of color revolution Anti Trump Hysteria in major neoliberal MSM MSM as fake news industry Rosenstein role in the "Appointment of the special prosecutor gambit" The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies
Nikki Haley -- yet another neocon Mike "we killed 200 Russians" Pompeo: yet another neocon Perma hawk James Mattis John Bolton Rosenstein key role in putsch against Trump: the appointment of the special prosecutor gambit Luke Harding: a pathetic author of book that rehash Steele Dossier Trump after his Colin Powell moment Sidelining of Bannon Sacrifice of Michael Flynn
Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few Trump vs. Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war National Security State Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Skeptic Quotations Politically Incorrect Humor Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy

The fact the American people discarded the neocon warmonger Hillary Clinton is encouraging, but Trump folded so quickly that he morphed into Hillary II (only sex change operation away from being a total copy). He proved to be unable, incapable and unwilling to deliver his key foreign policy promises, such a detente with Russia, and no new wars of neoliberal empire expansion. Or he will be co-opted by Washington neocons and gradually became Bush IV or Obama II.  Many noticed Trump betrayal and  his total subservience to Israel interests:

Greg Bacon ( Website), September 11, 2018 at 2:45 pm GMT

@Realist
Another great article by Mr. Giraldi. If Trump can't get the neocons out of the government, who possibly can?
If you believe Trump is trying to remove neocons(Deep State) from the government, explain Bolton and many other Deep State denizens Trump has appointed.

If you believe Trump is trying to remove neocons(Deep State) from the government, explain Bolton and many other Deep State denizens Trump has appointed.

Agreed.

Drain the Swamp? Trump and his sidekick Jared K inhabit the murkiest depths of that Swamp. But people will say Tubby's being forced into a corner and just has to appoint neoCON psychopaths like Bolton. Then explain Trump appointing Nutty Nikki to the UN, at the start of his presidency? Israeli PM wanted Nutty in that job and after watching her unhinged performances in the UNGA, I see why; she's a Shabbos Goy, more than willing to do anything Israel asks, and BTW, keep me in mind for that POTUS opening, OK guys?

MAGA was Trump's 'Hope and Change' mantra that many bought.

Trump made and lost four multi-billion dollar fortunes while using NYC as his home base. Then made another multi-billion dollar fortune. One doesn't do that in NYC unless you're in bed with the same gangsters that have been looting this nation for decades, those TBTF Wall Street banks that us peasants are forced to bail-out every 10 or so years.

Trump was bought and paid for a long time ago, now he's paying off his helpers by doing their dirty work around the word while the 'marks,' us Americans, get our pockets picked.

In this chess game, Trump was unable (or unwilling) to find people who are capable and ready to go and skillfully navigate around the neocon swamp and land mines. Instead of "Make America great again" we have the same neocon "Full Spectrum Dominance" policy. Essentially MIGA instead of MAGA.

But there were at least one minor success: Trump has put in new rules prohibiting lobbying for five years after service in his administration and total prohibition of being a lobbyist of any foreign state. That probably the only his achievement after the level of corruption of Clinton and Obama administrations, but this alone make Trump distinct from a typical Washington politicians (Mr. Trump and the markets Econbrowser):

Wall Street and Corporate America were almost certain of a Hillary victory. The crony capitalists, who contributed to Hillary’s campaign, to protect themselves from the economic policies of liberals, gave almost nothing to Trump. He doesn’t owe them a thing. And, Trump not only ran against the powerful Democrat machine, he ran against the Republican establishment, and the broadcast and print media, who were brutally against him. Winning under those circumstances puts Trump in a very strong and independent position.

He has waken enough Americans to the reality of elitism. It’s the beginning of the end of the long depression, the social destruction, and the foreign policy disasters. Trump will be a hard liner to right the ship.

Another achievement was criminal justice reform (probably with Kushner  help)

Yes another achievement that Trump raise the problem of immigration and while he failed to do anything cubsctital to prevent the flow of illegal immigrants to the USA, he at least make this a legitimate discussion topic in  Washington, DC.

So the good news is that Hillary Clinton won’t be starting World War III. The bad new the Trump might start it himself, at least his recent actions in Syria. Venezuela and, previously in North Korea (with greate help from this crazy neocon Bolton, who essentially is running the Trump administration foreign policy ).  Essentially both smirking Pompeo and Bolton looks like they were taken form the coterie of neocons in Bush II administration. 

So, thanks to Trump we are rid of the two most obnoxious and corrupt political families in recent American history, the Bushes and the Clintons. But his own family proved to be no less corrupt, especially Kushner.

On a bad site gradually Trump morphed into a typical neocon in foreign policy. Was it surrender or he was just Republican Obama  -- "bait and switch" specialist to managed to deceive Americans again it difficult to say. As of September 2018 Trump became clearly neocon in his foreign policy.

On trade policy,   job creation,   infrastructure development and preserving the standard of living of middle class, the positions Trump took during the campaign beat anything Hillary promised. Despite running as a Republican (but more correctly he run and an independent) Trump outflanked her from the left. But partially due to his own shortcomings, partially due to color revolution launched against him by rogue elements of intelligence agencies and Department of Justice (Strzokgate) as well as controlled by them neoliberal MSM, he was unable to deliver. In domestic policy he acted as a typical Republican President, like Bush III.

Still we need to remember "elections days Trump". As Professor  Andrew Levine wrote in Trouble Ahead With Trump and For Himon (CounterPunch, Nov 18, 2016).  

And his views on relations with Russia and China, regime change wars, and imperial overreach, as best they can be ascertained, are a lot wiser and less lethal than hers.  These are not so much left-right issues as matters of common sense.

Clinton’s overriding concern was and always has been to maintain and expand American world domination — in the face of economic decline, and at no matter what cost.  Trump wants, or says he wants, to do business with other countries in the way that he did with sleaze ball real estate moguls and network executives, people like himself.   He wants to make deals.

The Trump way is, as they say, “transactional.”  The idea is to wheel and deal on a case-by-case basis, with no further, non-pecuniary end in view.

... ... ...

Better that, though, than a foreign policy dedicated to keeping America the world’s hegemon. That is the foreign policy establishment’s aim; it is therefore Clinton’s too. It is the way of perpetual war. Trump’s way is far from ideal, but it is less wasteful, less onerous and less reckless.

During the campaign, Trump would sometimes speak out against banksters and financiers, especially the too-big-to-fail and too-big-to-jail kind. For some time, though, the “populist” billionaire has been signaling to his class brothers and sisters in the financial “industry” that he is more likely to deregulate than to regulate their machinations.

This will become even clearer once Trump settles on key Cabinet posts and on his economic advisors. It is already plain, though, that the modern day counterparts of Theodore Roosevelt’s “malefactors of great wealth” have little to fear; they and Trump are joined by indissoluble bonds of class-consciousness and solidarity.

Many of the rich and heinous were skeptical of Trump’s candidacy at first; because he is such a loose cannon. But now that he has won, the bastards are sucking up; and glee is returning to Wall Street.

Trump is now starting too to allay the fears of the movers and shakers of the National Security State. He still has a way to go, however. We can therefore still hope that they are right to worry. What is bad for them is good for the country.

Clinton’s defeat also seems to have unnerved their counterparts in European capitals, at NATO headquarters in Brussels, and in Japan, South Korea and other countries where the presence of the American military has been very very good for the few at the top, and disastrous for ordinary people.

If he means it, then more power to him. The United States and the rest of the world would be well rid of the American dominated military alliances now in place; NATO most of all. However, having talked with him, Obama is now telling the Europeans that Trump is fine with NATO. Time will tell.

Then there is Israel. Trump thinks that the blank check the ethnocratic settler state already gets from the United States isn’t nearly enough. So much for allies paying their own way!

However, even if Trump leaves America’s perpetual war regime and its military alliances intact, some good could come just from him being at the helm – not so much because, as a wheeler and dealer, he would be less inclined actually to start wars than has become the norm, but because he is vile enough, and enough of an embarrassment, to undermine America’s prestige, hastening the day when the hegemon is a hegemon no more.

This would be good for most Americans, and good for the world.

The election he won has already done a lot to explode the idea, more widely believed at home than abroad, that American “democracy” is somehow a model for the world.

The following  post from LewRockwell.com explains the power dynamic in Washington and distribution of power between POTUS and member of his cabinet.

What happens next in Washington? Trump fills out his administration. At the same time, Washington insiders attempt to capture Trump and influence his positions, policies and decisions. The presidency is an institution, not a man, not a president. The presidency is a network of enormous power with Trump now at its center. Washington insiders who live and breathe politics are now in a race for positions of power and influence. They hanker and vie for appointments. Trump must make appointments. He cannot operate alone. He must delegate power to make decisions. He cannot monitor all information pertinent to every issue in which the government has a hand.

The presidency is not 100 percent centralized. Decision-making power is allocated to levels below the president himself and to levels surrounding him. It also lies outside the presidency in Congress. Trump has his ideas and desires for actions, but their realization depends on the people he appoints. He loses control and locks himself in with every appointment that he makes. People around him want his power and want to influence him. They have a heavy influence on what he hears, whom he sees, the options presented to him, and the evaluations of competing personnel. Trump will likely form a very small team of offshoots of himself, people whom he trusts implicitly, in order to extend his capacity to choose people who will adhere to and execute his agenda.

Power in Washington is not simply the apparatus of administering the presidency that will take up headlines for the next few months. After the U.S. Treasury robs the tax-paying Americans, new robbers (the Lobby) appear to rob the Treasury using every device they can get away with. There is a second contingent, the power-seekers. Those who covet the exercise of power unceasingly work toward their own narrow aims. As long as Washington remains the place that concentrates unbelievably large amounts of money and powers, it will remain the swamp that Trump has promised to drain but won’t. He cannot drain it, not without destroying Washington’s power and he cannot accomplish that, nor does he even hint that he wants to accomplish that. His stated aims are the redirection of money and powers, not their elimination for the sake of a greater justice, a greater right, and a truly greater people and country.

The presidency is an establishment and Washington is another. By being elected, Trump struck a blow at the members of the establishment who will be packing their bags while weeping over their losses (see here and here.) But elections do not strike the roots of the presidency, the establishment or Washington. Neither will demonstrations against Trump.

The Obama establishment is dead. The Democratic establishment is dead, at least for 4 years. There was a time, a very brief time under the Articles of Confederation, when Americans recognized the evils of the establishment and avoided instituting one. This gave way almost immediately (in 1787) to the constitutional seed that planted the enormous tree that now cuts out the sun of justice from American lives. A domestic war failed to uproot that tree. Long live the establishment, the Union, the American state, and may they be possessed of immense powers over our lives — these became the social and political reality. Trump isn’t going to change it. He’s a president administering a presidency. He’s at the top of the heap. His credo is still “Long Live the Establishment!”

But they color revolution against Trump was launched and that poisoned his presidency (The Clintons And Soros Launch America's Purple Revolution by Wayne Madsen (

America’s globalists and interventionists are already pushing the meme that because so many establishment and entrenched national security and military «experts» opposed Trump’s candidacy, Trump is «required» to call on them to join his administration because there are not enough such «experts» among Trump’s inner circle of advisers. Trump must distance himself from sudden well-wishing neocons, adventurists, militarists, and interventionists and not permit them to infest his administration.

President-elect Trump cannot afford to permit those who are in the same web as Nuland, Hadley, Bolton, and others to join his administration where they would metastasize like an aggressive form of cancer. These individuals would not carry out Trump's policies but seek to continue to damage America's relations with Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, and other nations.

President-elect Trump is facing a two-pronged attack by his opponents. One, led by entrenched neo-con bureaucrats, including former Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency director Michael Hayden, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, and Bush family loyalists are seeking to call the shots on who Trump appoints to senior national security, intelligence, foreign policy, and defense positions in his administration. These neo-Cold Warriors are trying to convince Trump that he must maintain the Obama aggressiveness and militancy toward Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and other countries. The second front arrayed against Trump is from Soros-funded political groups and media. This second line of attack is a propaganda war, utilizing hundreds of anti-Trump newspapers, web sites, and broadcasters, that will seek to undermine public confidence in  the Trump administration from its outset.

Here is a nice anonymous story found on  Internet,  humor of which perfectly illustrates the point (What Donald Trump's First Day at the White House Might Look Like)

It is January 20th, 2017. President Donald J. Trump is presiding over his very first meeting with his national security team.

Trump : We must destroy ISIS immediately. No delays.

CIA: We cannot do that, sir. We created them.
Trump : The Democrats created them.
CIA : We created ISIS, sir. You need them or else you would lose funding from the natural gas lobby.

Trump : Stop funding Pakistan. Let India deal with them.

CIA: We can't do that.
Trump: Why is that?
CIA: India will cut Balochistan out of Pak.
Trump: I don't care.
CIA: India will have peace in Kashmir. They will stop buying our weapons. They will become a superpower. We have to fund Pakistan to keep India busy in Kashmir.

Trump : But you have to destroy the Taliban.

CIA : Sir, we can't do that. We created the Taliban to keep Russia in check during the 80s. Now they are keeping Pakistan busy and away from their nukes.

Trump : We have to destroy terror sponsoring regimes in the Middle East. Let us start with the Saudis.

Pentagon : Sir, we can't do that. We created those regimes because we wanted their oil. We can't have democracy there, otherwise their people will get that oil - and we cannot let their people own it.

Trump : Then, let us invade Iran.

Pentagon: We cannot do that either, sir.
Trump: Why not?
CIA: We are talking to them, sir.
Trump: What? Why?
CIA: We want our Stealth Drones back. If we attack them, Russia will obliterate us as they did to our buddy ISIS in Syria. Besides we need Iran to keep Israel in check.

Trump : Then let us invade Iraq again.

CIA: Sir, our friends (ISIS) are already occupying 1/3rd of Iraq.
Trump: Why not the whole of Iraq?
CIA: We need the Shi'ite govt of Iraq to keep ISIS in check.

Trump : I am banning Muslims from entering the US.

Homeland Security: We can't do that.
Trump: Why not?
Homeland Security: Then our own population will stop fearing terrorism and be harder to control.

Trump : I am deporting all illegal immigrants to south of the border.

Border patrol: You can't do that, sir.
Trump: Why not?
Border patrol: If they're gone, who will build the wall?

Trump: I am banning H1B visas.

USCIS: You cannot do that.
Trump: Why?
Chief of Staff: If you do so, we'll have to outsource White House operations to Bangalore. Which is in India.

Trump (sweating profusely by now): What the hell should I do as President???

CIA: Enjoy the White House, sir! We'll take care of the rest!


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[May 20, 2019] The dirty art of politicians entrapment: Blackmail, smear campaigns, various traps via honey or corruption, hookers, gay sex, pedophilia, or what-have-you, all or in combination

Highly recommended!
That remind me how old Kushner tried to smear his relative...
Notable quotes:
"... They are told that the daughter of a Russian billionaire plans large investments in Austria. It was said that she would like to help his party. The alleged daughter of the Russian billionaire, who is actually also Austrian, and her "friend" serve an expensive dinner. Alcohol flows freely. The pair offers a large party donation but asks for returns in form of mark ups on public contracts. ..."
"... The "Russian" female is notably very attractive with a slender build. There is a honey-trap angle here as well. This would likely inspire the boasting (in order to impress her) on the part of the wingnut politician. ..."
"... The far-right is the Troy Horse of transnational corporations and capital and already discredited neoliberal stablishment which comes now disguised under the softening label of "populists". Beware, there seems to be a coordinated effort at several blogs in the ten previous days of the European elections to whitewash the far-right. ..."
"... So this very much hints something more. Right now there is a debate of cocain being visible on the table but this accusation points more towards schnickle with a babe imho. The babe to his right is not that ugly, admittely. ..."
"... As expected the hysteria of "russian" meddling have now publicized to weaken FPÖ in the EU election. Winners? NATO/US parties. ..."
"... Seems indeed to be a honeypot aspect to the entrapment, and it's quite possible Strache stepped down at once to avoid that part to come to light, so that the public revelations would be limited to the economic shenanigans and influence-peddling level. ..."
"... Also, this goes to show that the bulk of our Western politicians, across all the political spectrum, are a bunch of mediocre and quite corrupt fools. For him not to smell that this was a setup from the very first minute, it must be that such proposals are common place all across the board - which will only reinforce my suspicion that our societies, peoples and mankind as a whole would only benefit if we fully wiped out our economic, financial and political establishment and started from scratches. ..."
"... Blackmail, smear campaigns, various traps via honey or corruption, hookers and blow, gay sex, paedofilia, or what-have-you, - all or in combination. Politicians are "all" compromised in these ways. Buck the system or threaten the status quo - whereby it gets somebody's serious attention and the shite hits the fan. ..."
"... The savages in this neoliberal order use the secret services to subvert democracy. Deception and manipulation are the means used to corrupt the public domain. They would push the most pliable and ruthless leaders into office. Catastrophe and violence and disinformation are their most powerful weapons. But I still think that political processes and elections do matter; and what counts is a struggle to improve and reform the system of government. Doing our best to protect and maintain the integrity of electoral processes is something that requires both protests and political campaigns. ..."
"... The very strong implication certainly seems to be that there may be further video of Strache sleeping with the honey pot. He obviously knows what happened that night. If there were video cameras hidden everywhere, that was obviously one of the intentions behind the sting from the outset. ..."
"... B, please do an article on the Nazi penetration of the German security services, Interior Ministry, Army, CDU etc, and links to the NSU affair, shredding of millions of documents by the Interior Ministry when demanded by the courts as evidence, links with the Board members and advisory board members of German big business especially Siemens and Deutche Bank and Bayer, etc. ..."
"... It is a wonder Strache's remark "Journalists are the biggest whores on the planet" and how he says he can subvert an entire media outlet to his political agenda by even firing the few remaining fringe elements. ..."
"... I don't think Strache is as harmless as you portray him, B. You fall for his defence strategy if you attribute all his statements to the influence of alcohol. At that time, the man was very confident that he would soon be at the levers of power, which then materialized. It remains to be proven whether he did not put into practice anything of what he talked about at that house in Ibiza. After all, he was talking about the by far most influential newspaper in Austria. ..."
"... Of course it is true that it is the neoliberal globalisers who have brought us to where we stand today. But that doesn' make people like Strache and Salvini any less dangerous. If they rise to total power, the result will be a naked dictatorship. Strache was beaten with his own weapons, you don't have to be under any illusions. ..."
"... Who could have ordered such an elaborate sting operation? ..."
"... The sophisticated operation using actors and a villa prepared with hidden cameras and microphones shows that this is hardly a normal case of dirty campaigning by political opponents. Most likely, either it was an action by a secret service or someone with deep pockets hired former secret agents. ..."
"... If it was an action by secret services, the most plausible explanation seems to be that Western secret services targeted Strache because FPÖ is one of the parties who is in favor of restoring normal relations with Russia ..."
"... François Fillon comes to mind, a French conservative candidate who also had a quite a friendly attitude towards Russia - shortly before the elections, it was revealed (at least claimed) that Fillon had given his wife ficticious employment, and Fillon lost popularity, which helped Macron enormously. ..."
"... Probably, some of the things Strache said during this sting operation were inacceptable, and Fillon may also not be innocent, but if there is a systematic selective targeting of European politicians who want to normalize relations with Russia by secret services, that would be a huge problem for democracy. ..."
"... In 2016, Joseph Mifsud invited George Papadopoulos to Rome and introduced him to "Putin's niece" with the intent of smearing Trump as "Russian puppet" and destroying his election chances. In 2017, someone (who?) invited Heinz-Christian Strache to Ibiza and introduced him to "Russian billionaire's niece" with the intent of smearing Strache as "Russian puppet" and destroying his party's election chances. Notice a pattern? ..."
"... This is a clear case of Germany interfering in Austrian elections. Austria should deport 60 German diplomats, shut down German embassy in Vienna, and impose sanctions on Germany. Also put a German girl interested in Austrian politics in jail for 18 months. ..."
"... Thinking about it, after revealing e-mail of HRC, Podesta etc. were published, their core supporters were enraged about the dirty trick and did not pay attention to the disclosed content, while for the core opponents of HRC she was already sufficiently vilified so the net change in voting intentions that can be attributed to that incident was modest. ..."
"... Anyone who does not directly have his or her family's nose in the EU trough at this point knows that the policies espoused by transatlantic puppets like Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron push our countries and our continent towards self-destruction. Life in Europe, post-1968 and pre-2013, has been pretty damn good. There's absolutely no good reason for us to rip up our traditions or turn into a continent of immigrants and mobile job seekers. ..."
"... As Strache explains in the video, Austrian dirty tricks are done "via another country". ..."
"... To those who fill that politics of Strache are obnoxious and that justifies entrapment, remembers that methods of that type are not improvised, and that means that there is an apparatus that does it. We noted similarities with provocations against George Papadopoulos. In the latter case the target was cautious, after all, we had to be well aware of such methods. But anyone who is despised by NATO establishment are similar group can be on the receiving end, think about Assange. ..."
May 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

During the last days a right wing politician in Austria was taken down by using an elaborate sting. Until Friday Heinz-Christian Strache was leader of the far right (but not fascist) Freedom Party of Austria (FPOe) and the Vice Chancellor of the country. On Friday morning two German papers, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Der Spiegel published (German) reports (English) about an old video that was made to take Strache down.

The FPOe has good connections with United Russia, the party of the Russian President Putin, and to other right-wing parties in east Europe. It's pro-Russian position has led to verbal attacks on and defamation of the party from NATO supporting and neoliberal circles.

In July 2017 Strache and his right hand man Johann Gudenus, who is also the big number in the FPOe, get invited for dinner to a rented villa on Ibiza, the Spanish tourist island in the Mediterranean. They are told that the daughter of a Russian billionaire plans large investments in Austria. It was said that she would like to help his party. The alleged daughter of the Russian billionaire, who is actually also Austrian, and her "friend" serve an expensive dinner. Alcohol flows freely. The pair offers a large party donation but asks for returns in form of mark ups on public contracts.

Unknown to Strache the villa is professionally bugged with many hidden cameras and microphones.


A scene from the video. Source: Der Falter (vid, German)

During the six hour long party several schemes get proposed by the "Russian" and are discussed. Strache rejects most of them. He insists several times that everything they plan or do must be legal and conform to the law. He says that a large donation could probably be funneled through an endowment that would then support his party. It is a gray area under Austrian party financing laws. They also discuss if the "Russian" could buy the Kronen Zeitung , Austria's powerful tabloid, and use it to prop up his party.

The evening goes on with several bottles of vodka on the table. Starche gets a bit drunk and boosts in front of the "oligarch daughter" about all his connections to rich and powerful people. He does not actually have these.

Strache says that, in exchange for help for his party, the "Russian" could get public contracts for highway building and repair. Currently most of such contracts in Austria go to the large Austrian company, STRABAG, that is owned by a neoliberal billionaire who opposes the FPOe. At that time Strache was not yet in the government and had no way to decide about such contracts.

At one point Strache seems to understand that the whole thing is a setup. But his right hand man calms him down and vouches for the "Russian". The sting ends with Strache and his companion leaving the place. The never again see the "Russian" and her co-plotter. Nothing they talked about will ever come to fruition.

Three month later Strache and his party win more than 20% in the Austrian election and form a coalition government with the conservative party OeVP led by Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. Even while the FPOe controls several ministries, it does not achieve much politically. It lacks a real program and the government's policies are mostly run by the conservatives.

Nearly two years after the evening on Ibiza, ten days before the European parliament election in which Strache's party is predicted to achieve good results, a video of the evening on Ibiza is handed to two German papers which are known to be have strong transatlanticist leanings and have previously been used for other shady 'leaks'. The papers do not hesitate to take part in the plot and publish extensive reports about the video.

After the reports appeared Strache immediately stepped down and the conservatives ended the coalition with his party. Austria will now have new elections.

On Bloomberg Leonid Bershidsky opines on the case:

Strache's discussion with the Russian oligarch's fake niece shows a propensity for dirty dealing that has nothing to do with idealistic nationalism. Nationalist populists often agitate against entrenched, corrupt elites and pledge to drain various swamps. In the videos, however, Strache and Gudenus behave like true swamp creatures, savoring rumors of drug and sex scandals in Austrian politics and discussing how to create an authoritarian media machine like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's.

I do not believe that the people who voted for the FPOe (and similar parties in other countries) will subscribe to that view. The politics of the main stream parties in Austria have for decades been notoriously corrupt. Compared to them Strache and his party are astonishingly clean. In the video he insists several times that everything must stay within the legal realm. Whenever the "Russian" puts forward a likely illegal scheme, Starche emphatically rejects it.

Bershidsky continues:

Strache, as one of the few nationalist populists in government in the European Union's wealthier member states, was an important member of the movement Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has been trying to cobble together ahead of the European Parliament election that will take place next week. On Saturday, he was supposed to attend a Salvini-led rally in Milan with other like-minded politicians from across Europe. Instead, he was in Vienna apologizing to his wife and to Kurz and protesting pitifully that he'd been the victim of a "political assassination" -- a poisonous rain on the Italian right-winger's parade.
...
This leaves the European far right in disarray and plays into the hands of centrist and leftist forces ahead of next week's election. Salvini's unifying effort has been thoroughly undermined, ...

This is also a misreading of the case. The right-wing parties will use the case to boost their legitimacy.

Strache was obviously set up by some intelligence services, probably a German one with a British assist. The original aim was likely to blackmail him. But during the meeting on Ibiza Strache promised and did nothing illegal. Looking for potential support for his party is not a sin. Neither is discussing investments in Austria with a "daughter of a Russian oligarch." Some boosting while drunk is hardly a reason to go to jail. When the incident provided too little material to claim that Strache is corrupt, the video was held back until the right moment to politically assassinate him with the largest potential damage to his party. That moment was thought to be now.

But that Strache stepped down after the sudden media assault only makes him more convincing. The right-wing all over Europe will see him as a martyr who was politically assassinated because he worked for their cause. The issue will increase the right-wingers hate against the 'liberal' establishment. It will further motivate them: "They attack us because we are right and winning." The new far-right block Natteo Salvini will setup in the European Parliament will likely receive a record share of votes.

Establishment writers notoriously misinterpret the new right wing parties and their followers. This stand-offish sentence in the Spiegel story about Strache's party demonstrates the problem:

In the last election, the party drew significant support from the working class, in part because of his ability to simplify even the most complicated of issues and play the common man, even in his role as vice chancellor.

The implicit thesis, that the working class is too dumb to understand the "most complicated of issues", is not only incredibly snobbish but utterly false. The working class understands very well what the establishment parties have done to it and continue to do. The increasing vote share of the far-right is a direct consequence of the behavior of the neoliberal center and of the lack of real left alternatives.

Last week, before the Strache video appeared, Craig Murray put his finger on the wound:

The massive economic shock following the banking collapse of 2007–8 is the direct cause of the crisis of confidence which is affecting almost all the institutions of western representative democracy. The banking collapse was not a natural event, like a tsunami. It was a direct result of man-made systems and artifices which permitted wealth to be generated and hoarded primarily through multiple financial transactions rather than by the actual production and sale of concrete goods, and which then disproportionately funnelled wealth to those engaged in the mechanics of the transactions.
...
The rejection of the political class manifests itself in different ways and has been diverted down a number of entirely blind alleys giving unfulfilled promise of a fresh start – Brexit, Trump, Macron. As the vote share of the established political parties – and public engagement with established political institutions – falls everywhere, the chattering classes deride the political symptoms of status quo rejection by the people as "populism". It is not populism to make sophisticated arguments that undermine the received political wisdom and take on the entire weight of established media opinion.

If one wants to take down the far right one has to do so with arguments and good politics for the working class. Most people, especially working class people, have a strong sense for justice. The political assassination of Christian Strache is unjust. What was done during the 2007-8 banking crisis was utterly corrupt and also unjust. Instead of going to jail the bankers were rewarded with extreme amounts of money for their assault on the well being of the people. The public was then told that it must starve through austerity to make up for the loss of money.

While I consider myself to be a strong leftist who opposes the right wherever possible, I believe to understand why people vote for Strache's FBOe and similar parties. When one talks to these people issues of injustice and inequality always come up. The new 'populist' parties at least claim to fight against the injustice done to the common men. Unlike most of the establishment parties they seem to be still mostly clean and not yet corrupted.

In the early 1990s Strache actually flirted with violent fascists but he rejected their way. While he has far-right opinions, he and his like are no danger to our societies. If we can not accept that Strache and his followers have some legitimate causes, we will soon find us confronted with way more extreme people. The neoliberal establishment seems to do its best to achieve that.

Posted by b on May 19, 2019 at 01:10 PM | Permalink


james , May 19, 2019 1:40:31 PM | 1

b - thanks .. i agree "elaborate sting" and "the video was held back until the right moment"... clearly this was a set up.. strache says he is going to pursue this legally..

"working class people, have a strong sense for justice. The political assassination of Christian Strache is unjust." injustices are being done on a constant basis now and being justified by the msm regularly.. i think this is part of the reason people are seeking alternatives - whatever they might be... power to the people..screw the neoliberal agenda and blackmail artists that are so rampant at present...

Bratislav Metulski , May 19, 2019 1:40:51 PM | 2
Funny thing is e.g.- a German comedian Jan Böhmerman knew before. Already in April he said in a Video call live in Austian television duringthe TV-prize-giving of the trophy "Romy" that he couldn´t attend personally to receive the price because right know he was sitting together with some FPÖ-buddies in a Russian oligarch-villa on Ibiza, sniffing cocain, drinking and negotiating the takeover of the "Krone-Zeitung" (the biggest rag in Austira, smth like the "Bild" in Germany or "The sun" in Britain).

Böhmers management released a statement yesterday that Böhermann did know before but didn´t name the source he knew it from.
https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article193725535/FPOE-Vize-Strache-Was-Boehmermann-mit-dem-Video-zu-tun-hat.html

Cui bono?

Paul Damascene , May 19, 2019 1:43:18 PM | 3
Your article here raises a number of important issues. More or less at random:

* If I understand your characterization of your political leanings, based on this and on the perspectives MoA offers, I share many of your views. And whereas there may be a certain Schadenfreude at seeing a right-wing, B-team operator reveal himself, I agree that the forces behind the sting itself are of potentially far greater interest (and danger)..

* For every sting and smear such as this that we see, how many others take place sub rosa, corrupting our political and social landscapes, leaving no evidence that might trigger criticism or resistance?

* I'm not sure of how this plays out legally, but this seems not just to have been a sting, but entrapment, in which (if these were law enforcement agents) we could protest that the only illegal activity being proposed, was by those conducting the sting.

* If this was, as you suggest, authored by the BND, then this would be a clear instance of election "meddling" -- though not of the sort that our shining democracies are now being warned against. (At least President Putin will not be accused of conducting it, for once. That oligarch's daughter could have come from anywhere, but of course Russia.) Russia gets smeared is probably the larger aim, rather than this particularly Austrian politician.

hallelujah hinton , May 19, 2019 1:55:07 PM | 4
The "Russian" female is notably very attractive with a slender build. There is a honey-trap angle here as well. This would likely inspire the boasting (in order to impress her) on the part of the wingnut politician.
somebody , May 19, 2019 1:56:55 PM | 5
I think the word is protofascist. b. you have got a blind spot seeing geopolitics everywhere. Truth is most of this is simply a battle of billionaires. The key to understand the Ibiza video is the product placement. Everybody there drinks Red Bull plus alcohol (I am not sure about the alcohol the loss of control of the politicians who are present suggests cocaine).

The owner of Red Bull is an Austrian billionaire called Dietrich Mateschitz. Mateschitz is a right wing crank building a media empire in Austria including an "investigative platform" called addendum that is something like the Austrian version of Breitbart.

For some reason "addendum" began to shoot against Rene Benzko, an Austrian real estate billionaire, who intends to take over Kronenzeitung.

And guess what, Rene Benzko was mentioned in the video "as a friend", and a large part of the conversation centered on taking over Kronenzeitung something Rene Benzko is involved in.

Strache, Vice Chancellor of Austria, explained in the video for every Austrian to understand, that his party's scheme is based on accepting illegal contributions via a ngo, and lowering taxes in return. According to what he says in the video he also intends to charge for water by selling the right to the Latvian/Russien "niece of a Russian oligarch" or someone else prepared to pay to his party's ngo.

Anybody who is not a billionaire voting for FPÖ after this must be braindead.

Arioch , May 19, 2019 1:58:49 PM | 6
> with United Russia, the party of the Russian President Putin

Putin himself though stresses his non involvement in that party, he also tried to bootstrap organizations that could supplant or even challenge U.R. at least in some niches.

While U.R. probably is party of Russian ruling elites, it is hardly one-man-show of LDPR/Zhirinovsky kind and whether Putin is "gray cardinal" of U.R. is very questionable.

Sasha , May 19, 2019 2:05:52 PM | 7
It is said that children and drunk people always say the truth... Why is it not to be taken into account what he said once drunk enough?

For to be a strong leftist, b, you spend a great effort in discharging this man, while whitewashing the far-right saying they are no danger for our societies and assuring that they are clean, when that is a thing you do not know since they have not had yet the possibility to rule.

They are neither cleaner nor inocuous for our societies. For starters they have chosen as scapegoat the migrants when who is to blame for the wave of migration is the US, NATO and their imperial ambitions, so as to throw poor against poor and that way the elites could continue quietly looting us, while we fight each other. You will never heard anything agsint banks ans elites from anybody in the far-right.

FYI, it is not Matteo Salvini who is forming a coalition of the far-right to conflude to European elections, but it is Bannon from his HQ in a Cisterciense monastery in Italy who is commanding this operation. Salvini is really a piece, having supported Guiado and the Venezuelan coup intend, and said what he would do with the Yellow Vests , "I don't go to the Yellow Vests with Molotov cocktails, if anything, I put them in prison" ...

Then it is AfD, who goes also in the block, whose members have claimed the Germans should be proud of the performance of the German Army during both WW....

Then Vox, financed by MEK and Israeli lobby and promoted by Bannon and the WH, who only wear clear neoliberal economic policies in their, for the rest, confusing program.

The best to test what the far-right will do in Europe is taking a look at what is happening in Brazil during these last days, an attack on education and research as if it was a military target ...This, after the moving of the embassy to Jerusalem and wide support to coup d´etat in Venezuela...He is also widely supported and financed by the US and Zionists.

The far-right is the Troy Horse of transnational corporations and capital and already discredited neoliberal stablishment which comes now disguised under the softening label of "populists". Beware, there seems to be a coordinated effort at several blogs in the ten previous days of the European elections to whitewash the far-right.

Bratislav Metulski , May 19, 2019 2:20:38 PM | 8
@4 hallelujah hinton
https://www.heise.de/tp/features/Neuwahlen-Der-gefeierte-Stratege-Kurz-hatte-keine-Optionen-mehr-4425362.html
Telepolis one of the oldest and biggest non-commercial online news and discussion platforms in Germany states in the following article, commenting on his statement at his resignation declaration:

"Glaubt er, man wäre bei Alkohol nachsichtiger? Offenbar schien er sich betrunken kaum mehr im Griff zu haben - und dies ist wohlgemerkt seine Erklärung für die Äußerungen im Video. Erst gegen Ende beginnt er eigenes Fehlverhalten einzuräumen und bittet insbesondere seine Frau um Verzeihung, mit der er ein wenige Monate altes Kind hat. Kenner Straches ahnten an dieser Stelle bereits, dass dieser sich bereits für Dinge entschuldigt, die zu diesem Zeitpunkt der Öffentlichkeit noch gar nicht bekannt sind."

Does he (Strache) really assume he would get more indulgence by blaming it on the alcolhol? Obviously when being drunken he wasn´t in control of himself anymore - and this is actually his explanation for his statements in the video. Somehow at the end he finally begins admitting own misconduct and especially asks his wife for forgiveness, with which he has a few months old child. Experts on Strache suspected from this moment on, that he apologized for things which at this moment are not known to the public, yet"

So this very much hints something more. Right now there is a debate of cocain being visible on the table but this accusation points more towards schnickle with a babe imho. The babe to his right is not that ugly, admittely.

Jackrabbit , May 19, 2019 2:26:38 PM | 9
somebody @5:
battle of billionaires.... Anybody who is not a billionaire voting for FPÖ after this must be braindead.
Anyone who believes voting will change anything is braindead. Only supporting protest Movements (like Gillet Jeune) and free press/citizen journalism (Wikileaks/Assange) will have any real effect.
Zanon , May 19, 2019 2:30:32 PM | 0
Great piece - I dont see how Strache actually made anything wrong or atleast nothing not normal to politicians that constantly seek out support by big, powerful people. Most likely the deep state in Austria struck FPÖ just like FBI struck Trump.

As expected the hysteria of "russian" meddling have now publicized to weaken FPÖ in the EU election. Winners? NATO/US parties.

Arioch , May 19, 2019 2:36:33 PM | 1
@hallelujah hinton #4

Also notice how she pretended to be a niece.

Not some very close relative like daughter or sister, which may be fearsome, as "russian mafia" oligarch could be expected to "protect" her of ladykillers viciously. But also not some far relative who would be seen alien and have no financial support.

Just enough distance to be safe to hit on and try to share the oligarch's money. It was both honey&gold trap.

Sasha , May 19, 2019 2:38:57 PM | 2
Anyone who believes voting will change anything is braindead.

@Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 19, 2019 2:26:38 PM | 9

If voting would be such a waste, why would had taken so hard and long to achieve voting for minorities and women? Why the parties go to such efforts to campaign and disguise themselves as wolves with sheepskin like the far-right?

Why would certain forces need to go to such editorial coordinated efforts through their several blogs out there to give an impression of certain candidates which is opposite to what they really are? Wikilieaks/Assange are part of this efforts, btw

Clueless Joe , May 19, 2019 2:44:05 PM | 4
Metulski:

Seems indeed to be a honeypot aspect to the entrapment, and it's quite possible Strache stepped down at once to avoid that part to come to light, so that the public revelations would be limited to the economic shenanigans and influence-peddling level.

Also, this goes to show that the bulk of our Western politicians, across all the political spectrum, are a bunch of mediocre and quite corrupt fools. For him not to smell that this was a setup from the very first minute, it must be that such proposals are common place all across the board - which will only reinforce my suspicion that our societies, peoples and mankind as a whole would only benefit if we fully wiped out our economic, financial and political establishment and started from scratches.

Sasha , May 19, 2019 2:44:10 PM | 5
Spanish Colonel ( ret.) Pedro Baños, who was postulated for head of the CNI by the Socialist government of Pedro Sanchez, was object of slander campiagn as "pro-Russian" by the Spanish cluster of Integrity Initiative, only for declarations on the prejudice of sanctions for Spain, and nobody made such noise....
hallelujah hinton , May 19, 2019 3:03:31 PM | 6
Blackmail, smear campaigns, various traps via honey or corruption, hookers and blow, gay sex, paedofilia, or what-have-you, - all or in combination. Politicians are "all" compromised in these ways. Buck the system or threaten the status quo - whereby it gets somebody's serious attention and the shite hits the fan.

Enforcement and and penalties are selective. Selective enforcement. It's how "The Law" operates. Not defending the wingnut pig in the article. I appreciate Sasha's Trojan Horse allegory above.

the pair , May 19, 2019 3:16:52 PM | 7
wow...a bunch of elitist neoliberals with contempt for anyone lacking 10 zeroes on their paychecks and zero useful policies use "russian collusion" to entrap and embarrass a pseudo-right wing politician. who could ever imagine such a scenario? and why learn from the masses you represent when james o'keefe gives you all the inspiration you need?

but at least they blocked the ascension of someone who would trade political favors for money. that kind of nonsense simply won't do in western society.

karlof1 , May 19, 2019 3:24:47 PM | 8
Thanks for this explanation, b! I first saw this reported at Geroman's Twitter and used machine translation of the article he linked, but it lacked the context which you provided. This incident is subsumed within the larger conflict that's trying to keep EU from combining with BRI/EAEU, which means its roots/culprits are NATO/Outlaw US Empire--it points to desperation on their part.
Jackrabbit , May 19, 2019 3:25:34 PM | 9
the pair @17

Some will fail to see the sarcasm. Best to use the /sarc tag.

somebody , May 19, 2019 3:34:51 PM | 0
Posted by: hallelujah hinton | May 19, 2019 1:55:07 PM | 4

Sorry, you don't see the Latvian/Russian woman. You see Gudenus' wife who is from Serbia. Whatever the publishing papers got, it was a copy. More will come out.

Copeland , May 19, 2019 4:01:44 PM | 1
The savages in this neoliberal order use the secret services to subvert democracy. Deception and manipulation are the means used to corrupt the public domain. They would push the most pliable and ruthless leaders into office. Catastrophe and violence and disinformation are their most powerful weapons. But I still think that political processes and elections do matter; and what counts is a struggle to improve and reform the system of government. Doing our best to protect and maintain the integrity of electoral processes is something that requires both protests and political campaigns.
BM , May 19, 2019 4:14:36 PM | 2
So this very much hints something more. Right now there is a debate of cocain being visible on the table but this accusation points more towards schnickle with a babe imho. The babe to his right is not that ugly, admittely.
Posted by: Bratislav Metulski | May 19, 2019 2:20:38 PM | 8

The very strong implication certainly seems to be that there may be further video of Strache sleeping with the honey pot. He obviously knows what happened that night. If there were video cameras hidden everywhere, that was obviously one of the intentions behind the sting from the outset.

---

On the issue of "populism" and right-wing parties I confess I have a problem. I certainly want to see the Establishment thrashed, and especially in next week's EU elections, and there is no question that at the moment the right-wing parties have far more potential to upset the establishment than the left. If "Populist" parties are able to radically upset the EU Parliament, that should bring a much-needed hammer and axe to the anti-populist activities of the EU, and hopefully lead to the breakup of the EU.

On the other hand, unlike B, I do have extremely strong worries about the rising power of the far right and their connections to Nazis and neo-Nazis. I am concerned - even without the involvement of Bannon, but far more so with - that the rise of "populism" is a calculated policy of a Nazi segment of the Establishment that is designed specifically to usher in an international Nazi movement across Europe and Latin America under the leadership of and proxies of the - ever more and more Nazi behaving - US (which itself is in so many very real ways descended from Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party and the Japanese war criminals including Bush's family, tight connections with Nazi war criminals in the CIA, and historical leadership figures in the CIA). The large scale and extremely high level infiltration of hardcore Nazis in the German security services, Interior Ministry, Army, and CDU politics is a ticking timebomb waiting for its moment. There seems to be similar high level Nazi infiltration in many other countries.

We have to be careful what we wish for!

B, please do an article on the Nazi penetration of the German security services, Interior Ministry, Army, CDU etc, and links to the NSU affair, shredding of millions of documents by the Interior Ministry when demanded by the courts as evidence, links with the Board members and advisory board members of German big business especially Siemens and Deutche Bank and Bayer, etc.

Sasha , May 19, 2019 4:21:50 PM | 3
On how there is real danger with these wolves on sheepskin who only try to divide and conquer the working masses of the world, this old article by Ho Chi Minh on the importance of class conscience and the great labor of the University of the East in the former USSR to get workers of the world conscous and united in the common struggle. Also on the importance of having the right to vote:
Colonialism is a leech with two suckers, one of which sucks the metropolitan proletariat and the other that of the colonies. If we want to kill this monster, we must cut off both suckers at the same time. If only one is cut off, the other will continue to suck the blood of the proletariat, the animal will continue to live, and the cut–off sucker will grow again. The Russian Revolution has grasped this truth clearly. That is why it is not satisfied with making fine platonic speeches and drafting "humanitarian" resolutions in favor of oppressed peoples, but it teaches them to struggle; and helps them spiritually, as proclaimed by Lenin in his theses on the colonial question. To the Baku Congress, twenty–one Eastern nations sent delegates. Representatives of Western workers' parties also participated in the work of this congress. For the first time, the proletariat of the conquering Western States and that of the subject Eastern countries fraternally joined hands and deliberated in common on the best means to defeat their common enemy, imperialism .

Following this historic congress, despite internal and external difficulties, revolutionary Russia has never hesitated to come to the help of peoples awakened by its heroic and victorious revolution. One of its first important acts was the founding of the University of the East.(...)

The sixty–two nationalities represented at the University form a "Commune." Its chairman and functionaries are elected every three months by all the students.

A student delegate takes part in the economic and administrative management of the University. All must regularly and in turn work in the kitchen, the library, the club, etc. All "misdemeanors" and disputes are judged and settled by an elected tribunal in the presence of all comrades. Once a week, the "Commune" holds a meeting to discuss the international political and economic situation. From time to time, meetings and evening parties are organized where the amateur artists introduce the art and culture of their country.

The fact that the Communists not only treat the "inferior natives of the colonies" like brothers, but that they get them to participate in the political life of the country, is highly characteristic of the "barbarity" of the Bolsheviks. Treated in their native country as "submissive subjects" or "protéges," having no other right but that to pay taxes, the Eastern students, who are neither electors nor eligible for election in their own country, from whom the right to express their political opinion is withdrawn, in the Soviet Union take part in the election of the Soviets and have the right to send their representatives to the Soviets. Let our brothers of the colonies who vainly seek a change of nationality make a comparison between bourgeois democracy and proletarian democracy.

These students have suffered themselves and have witnessed the sufferings of others. All have lived under the yoke of "high civilization," all have been victims of exploitation and oppression by foreign capitalists . Moreover, they passionately long to acquire knowledge and to study. They are serious and full of enthusiasm. They are entirely different from the frequenters of the boulevards of the Latin Quarter, the Eastern students in Paris, Oxford, and Berlin. It can be said without exaggeration that under the roof of this University is the future of the colonial peoples.

The colonial countries of the Near and Far East, stretching from Syria to Korea, cover an extent of more than 15 million square kilometers and have more than 1,200 million inhabitants. All these immense countries are now under the yoke of capitalism and imperialism. Although their considerable numbers should be their strength, these submissive peoples have never yet made any serious attempts to free themselves from this yoke. Not yet having realized the value of international solidarity, they have not known how to unite for the struggle. Relationships between their countries are not yet established as they are among the peoples of Europe and America. They possess gigantic strength and do not yet realize it. The University of the East, assembling all the young, active, and intelligent leaders of the colonized countries, has fulfilled a great task, namely:

-It teaches to the future vanguard militants the principles of class struggle, confused in their minds by race conflicts and patriarchal customs.
-It establishes between the proletarian vanguard of the colonies a close contact with the Western proletariat, thus preparing the way for the close and effective cooperation which will alone ensure the final victory of the international working class.
-It teaches the colonized people, hitherto separated from one another, to know one another and to unite, by creating the bases of a future union of Eastern countries, one of the wings of the proletarian revolution.
-It sets the proletariat of colonialist countries and example of what they can and must do in favor of their oppressed brothers
.

This is why it is needed to throw the workers from the West against the migrants from the East and South, to avoid the invincible force they would constitute together. This dirty work is made by the far-right in the name of corporate liberal elites. They can play that they fight each other, but as soon as they get seats at the European Parliament, you will find the previous allegedly opponents all together aligned in the same Eurogroup. Time to time.

Bacchante , May 19, 2019 4:38:44 PM | 4
It is a wonder Strache's remark "Journalists are the biggest whores on the planet" and how he says he can subvert an entire media outlet to his political agenda by even firing the few remaining fringe elements. Yet here we can still talk about he was drunk, how his being set up was unjust, and how the poor guy will have to miss his lovers' right cause in Italy. Those vulgar masses are at it again! There can be no justification about the masses' support of far-right causes and the clowns like him. If you think otherwise it is the likes of moonofalabama next in line to be "fired", or eliminated. Legitimize their causes and it is Germany in 1920s all over again.

Two wrongs do not make a right, unfortunately.

Walter , May 19, 2019 4:56:04 PM | 5
"Left/right", I agree, is nearly without semantic value. Nevertheless class interests remain...how is it that this is so? Think about that, comrades.

And then consider wsws report about "At the annual meeting of the Bundeswehr reserve in autumn 2016, Veith announced: "I dream that in 2026 there will be a provincial regiment in each state with a charismatic commander, a troop flag and an organization of between 800 and 2,000 reservists to support the police and the Bundeswehr in emergency situations." " see> "German government prepares troops for domestic missions" @ wsws.org

Considering the overall aspects, it's rational to expect all parties in Europe to make plans, is it not? Of course the working class is not permitted to make such plans...is it?

Pnyx , May 19, 2019 5:04:18 PM | 6
I don't think Strache is as harmless as you portray him, B. You fall for his defence strategy if you attribute all his statements to the influence of alcohol. At that time, the man was very confident that he would soon be at the levers of power, which then materialized. It remains to be proven whether he did not put into practice anything of what he talked about at that house in Ibiza. After all, he was talking about the by far most influential newspaper in Austria.

Of course it is true that it is the neoliberal globalisers who have brought us to where we stand today. But that doesn' make people like Strache and Salvini any less dangerous. If they rise to total power, the result will be a naked dictatorship. Strache was beaten with his own weapons, you don't have to be under any illusions.

I agree with you that this is not the big setback for the right the mainstream parties dream of. But it won't help the fascists in spe in the future either.

Adrian E. , May 19, 2019 5:25:25 PM | 7
Who could have ordered such an elaborate sting operation?

A first association might be the dirty, deceptive campaigning SPÖ used against Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) - the Silberstein affair -, but I think the methods that were chosen are too different to make a common source likely, Strache was targeted in a much more sophisticated way. The Silberstein affair may, however, be the reason why the tapes have partially been published now rather than before the last Austrian elections - at that time, dirty campaigning might have been discredited too much for the tape to have the desired effect,

The sophisticated operation using actors and a villa prepared with hidden cameras and microphones shows that this is hardly a normal case of dirty campaigning by political opponents. Most likely, either it was an action by a secret service or someone with deep pockets hired former secret agents.

If it was an action by secret services, the most plausible explanation seems to be that Western secret services targeted Strache because FPÖ is one of the parties who is in favor of restoring normal relations with Russia.

François Fillon comes to mind, a French conservative candidate who also had a quite a friendly attitude towards Russia - shortly before the elections, it was revealed (at least claimed) that Fillon had given his wife ficticious employment, and Fillon lost popularity, which helped Macron enormously.

Probably, some of the things Strache said during this sting operation were inacceptable, and Fillon may also not be innocent, but if there is a systematic selective targeting of European politicians who want to normalize relations with Russia by secret services, that would be a huge problem for democracy.

In the case of Strache and FPÖ, a different motive may also be plausible. There are connections between FPÖ and neonazis, and there are, in my view, legitimate concerns that Strache is too close to such far-right networks. I don't think it is good when right-wing populists whose rise is mainly due to the unpopularity of the neoliberal elites are equated with Nazis too quickly.

But in the case of FPÖ, this is less far-fetched than in the case of other European right-wing parties - historically, Nazis played an important role in FPÖ in post-war Austria, and it is one of the current right-wing parties that probably has more connections to the extreme right (e.g. via Burschenschaften) than others. I could imagine that someone might have ordered and financed the sting operation out of antifascist principles. While I may recognize the motivation as ethical and even partially agree with it, I don't think the right means were chosen, and such dirty methods can backfire.

Michael Droy , May 19, 2019 5:33:51 PM | 8
"While I consider myself to be a strong leftist who opposes the right wherever possible, I believe to understand why people vote for Strache's FBOe and similar parties"

Quite. It seems to me that only the Right and the Left have a clue right now, because they have an instinctive mistrust of what they are told in the media.
People like "b" and Craig Murray are to be thanked for explaining that to us middling voters.

You miss the most glaring "injustice". That which shows that GDP in most western countries had doubled in the last 30 odd years, that earnings for the top quartile have gone up by factors of 3 or 4. But that median earnings in US are unchanged, and in say UK are only up 10% or so (unless one is seeking to buy one's own house or flat).

All the improvements in inequality from 1930s to 1980s have been reversed in full. "Populists" (or better "anti-elitists") are driven mostly by sheer anger at how a small group had taken all the Economic gains of the last 35 years.

somebody , May 19, 2019 5:35:30 PM | 9
Posted by: Pnyx | May 19, 2019 5:04:18 PM | 26

I don't know what b. saw in the video what I saw was a discussion of an Orban like take over of Austria by FPÖ.

In other news people are arguing the following
- who will profit most - ÖVP
- why was the video not published after it was produced in 2017 - because ÖVP wanted a coalition with FPÖ
- why was it published now - ÖVP has been renting advertising space for weeks for an election in September (renting before the video came out), Sebastian Kurz will be the saviour who will get the disappointed FPÖ vote
add
- why the emphasis on Kronenzeitung,
who were the people producing the video
why Red Bull everywhere - Red Bull media empire billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz publicly announced that he would back Sebastian Kurz in 2017

ÖVP/Kurz/Mateschitz have moved so far to the right that there is not much space for FPÖ anyway. His problems will return when he needs another coalition.

brian , May 19, 2019 5:37:28 PM | 0
'The FPOe has good connections with United Russia, the party of the Russian President Putin, and to other right-wing parties in east Europe'

other?

Erelis , May 19, 2019 6:09:06 PM | 1
While the right wing parties in Europe don't have a problem with Putin, it does seem that much of the Western European establish has gone full McCarthyite hysterical where they see any contact for any reason with a Russian is automatically criminal. Aside from being a setup it relied the underlying false flag of presenting the woman as a Russian (and hence guility of some crime against the Austrians).

In fact, a suggestion for a column--personal impressions on whether everyday Europeans are falling for anti-Russian propaganda. Polls in the US indicate that Americans simply do not care (they could believe it, but not effecting their daily lives).

S , May 19, 2019 6:36:42 PM | 2
1. The ER (United Russia) party was founded by Sergey Shoygu, Yuriy Luzhkov, and Mintimer Shaymiev. Its chairman is Dmitriy Medvedev, not Vladimir Putin. Putin is not even a member of ER. Putin is the leader of ONF (All-Russia People's Front), which is a nation-wide discussion platform for politicians, professionals, and NGOs.

2. Russian billionaire Igor Makarov denies having a niece: "I was the only child in the family." ( Forbes.ru , in Russian).

3. In 2016, Joseph Mifsud invited George Papadopoulos to Rome and introduced him to "Putin's niece" with the intent of smearing Trump as "Russian puppet" and destroying his election chances. In 2017, someone (who?) invited Heinz-Christian Strache to Ibiza and introduced him to "Russian billionaire's niece" with the intent of smearing Strache as "Russian puppet" and destroying his party's election chances. Notice a pattern?

4. This is a clear case of Germany interfering in Austrian elections. Austria should deport 60 German diplomats, shut down German embassy in Vienna, and impose sanctions on Germany. Also put a German girl interested in Austrian politics in jail for 18 months.

Piotr Berman , May 19, 2019 6:37:32 PM | 3
Thinking about it, after revealing e-mail of HRC, Podesta etc. were published, their core supporters were enraged about the dirty trick and did not pay attention to the disclosed content, while for the core opponents of HRC she was already sufficiently vilified so the net change in voting intentions that can be attributed to that incident was modest.

Leaving aside the discussion of of various factors in that election, this public reaction is typical. Actually, in both cases the core supporters may be energized by the suspicion that this trick was performed by a foreign government. I do not think that there is a particular hostility toward Germany in Felix Austria, but the to the right wing Merkel government is like red cape for a bull. The women who unleashed a wave of refugees. On top of that, traditionally major parties of Austria gained reputation of dirty patronage, so the voters who care about that issue probably do not vote for them.

I do not expect Austrians to demand expulsions of German diplomats -- interference in our democracy -- or other sanctions, but nevertheless it stinks. Making sting operations on politicians has corrupt potential even if it is done by domestic law enforcement, but foreign intelligence services really do not have any excuse.

Thinking about it, the stings against George Papadopoulos described in his book were remarkably similar.

Piotr Berman , May 19, 2019 6:45:53 PM | 4
Great minds think alike, S!

That said, Austrians have a reputation of good manners etc., they will not unload their frustration on a girl. BTW, why there are suspicions of Germany being involved? Again, even extremist Austrians probably would like to have some proof before doing anything. I guess, America is indeed exceptional.

Uncoy , May 19, 2019 6:49:33 PM | 5
For all those of you whining about the corruption of Strache, this is how business and politics is done in Austria. Strache was just talking about the FPÖ's fair share after an election which they would win.

This all starts with Austrian's Presidential Election of 2016. The FPÖ won the presidential election a couple of years ago in May 2016. After the bell, postal votes overturned it! – postal votes more than 90% in favour of the establishment candidate Van der Bellen. Some constituencies full of Van der Bellen votes turned out to have 148% turn out. There was a court case by the FPÖ about procedure and hinting at ballot falsification. The case was judged by a (non-corrupt but under serious pressure) judge to have enough merit that the elections had to be annulled and the election rerun six months later . Austria went without a president at all for six months!

For six months the mainstream Austrian media campaigned non-stop against the FPÖ and Norbert Hofer. Huge efforts were made for voter turnout (it included huge bussing of potential anti-FPÖ constituencies and bribing pensioners to vote against the FPÖ via parties and cakes). With all of that, Van der Bellen scraped in on 4 December 2016, by 348,231 votes. Despite the non-stop anti-FPÖ propaganda and banging on drums, votes for Hofer's fell by less than 100,000 (95,993 votes to be exact). It's just that with six months to prepare the establishment had found enough "dead souls" to win the second round.

In the parliamentary elections of 15 October 2017, the FPÖ were set to win a strong majority in parliament. To defeat the FPÖ and Strache, the conservatives (Völkspartei) were forced to elect a male model non-university graduate 30 year old sex symbol with no work experience outside of politics as party leader. Of course Sebastian Kurz was mainly a figurehead for establishment figures in the venerable Völkspartei. Kurz does have a mind of his own though (I had the opportunity to interact with him personally at a local political discussion group in 2015) and it's hard to know exactly how much of his policy is dictated to him and how much is off his own bat.

Going back to Austrian corruption, there are enormous sums at stake. There is a long entrenched system of corruption in the establishment parties, the Völkspartei and the SPÖ. Strabag does win most of the government contracts. Favour is regularly granted on quid pro basis. The media landscape is very partisan and mostly for sale. Kurz's spiritual predecessor as a powerful head of the Völkspartei if not direct predecessor Wolfgang Schüssel was forced to retire from politics in 2011 due to never-ending corruption scandals. Schüssel's longstanding finance minister Karl-Heinz Grasser was caught carrying bags of cash to Lichtenstein and is still under investigation. If his mother-in-law were not the richest woman in Austria (Swarovski Crystal) and devoted to her daughter (Grasser's wife), he would long ago have been in jail.

Politically, Grasser knows where a lot of the bodies are buried from the Schlüssel political machine so either he has to be kept out of jail or he may take others down with him. In elite Austrian circles turning informant would be considered unsportsmanlike so there's an uneasy truce still fought to this day in the courts where Grasser is kept out of jail via procedural methods (detect a pattern) and Grasser doesn't rat out the others.

Strache's sin is not planning to use the advantages which accrue to the governing Austrian party but getting caught out talking about it. Strache is something of a lout, not terribly loyal (he was the Brutus who threw Jörg Haider under the bus in 2005 in a palace putsch). He's a smoker in power who used his power to overturn some very positive anti-smoking laws. But he's less corrupt than any of his equivalents in the Völkspartei and is only a nose ahead of the his equivalents in the SPÖ. His politics and policies of Austria for Austrians are pretty simple. Hence people vote for these policies.

Here's a sample of the SPÖ's wares in the 2010 Vienna elections:

The FPÖ has historically been weakest in Vienna but in 2010 they took 27% of the vote in this SPÖ stronghold, their first step in what has been a steady march to power.

Anyone who does not directly have his or her family's nose in the EU trough at this point knows that the policies espoused by transatlantic puppets like Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron push our countries and our continent towards self-destruction. Life in Europe, post-1968 and pre-2013, has been pretty damn good. There's absolutely no good reason for us to rip up our traditions or turn into a continent of immigrants and mobile job seekers. We instinctively abhor what is happening to our nations. By nature Strache is inclined this way himself (he's no great thinker) and has the good sense to ride the wave.

somebody , May 19, 2019 7:11:44 PM | 6
Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 19, 2019 6:45:53 PM | 34

As Strache explains in the video, Austrian dirty tricks are done "via another country".

somebody , May 19, 2019 7:21:16 PM | 7
For all those of you whining about the corruption of Strache, this is how business and politics is done in Austria. Strache was just talking about the FPÖ's fair share after an election which they would win.

So why did he step down?

Here's a sample of the SPÖ's wares in the 2010 Vienna elections:

You mean FPÖ wares .

Hoarsewhisperer , May 19, 2019 7:29:57 PM | 8
...
"This stand-offish sentence in the Spiegel story about Strache's party demonstrates the problem:"

In the last election, the party drew significant support from the working class, in part because of his ability to simplify even the most complicated of issues and play the common man, even in his role as vice chancellor.

"The implicit thesis, that the working class is too dumb to understand the "most complicated of issues", is not only incredibly snobbish but utterly false..."

I can't agree that Spiegel's attitude to Strache's party is condescending toward the working class. Right-wing parties tend to spout a lot of aggressively authoritarian spin tank bullshit to encourage voters to tune out when a R-w politician is telling them what to think. If Strache is adept at separating fact from fiction and superfluous verbiage, then people would appreciate his candor.

In a Democracy, and in theory at least, politicians are supposed to represent and defend the views of the people who voted for them, not vested intere$t$. Or so we've been led to believe...

I'll always remember Spiegel as the folks whose photo-journalists torpedoed Crooked Hillary's feeble-minded Cheonan (NK-SK) bullshit. That story vanished overnight. It's not even referred to in NK smear campaigns. Dead & buried.

somebody , May 19, 2019 8:15:54 PM | 9
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 19, 2019 7:29:57 PM | 38

In a Democracy, and in theory at least, politicians are supposed to represent and defend the views of the people who voted for them, not vested intere$t$. Or so we've been led to believe...

You are making this theory up.

Let's take the American constitution .

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,

That's it.

The German constitution is absolutely clear that members of parliament represent all of the people (ie different views and interests) and are bound by their own judgement and conscience only.

As we are discussing Austria, lets see what the Austrian constitution says. Austria has "linguistic and cultural diversity" and the protection of its grown native peoples in its constitution, this means Slovenian, Croatian, Czech, Slovakian, Roma and Hungarian. So the Austrian constitution has a concept of a multinational state where different peoples grow and are protected even if the Viennese "Stammtisch" does not like them.

There is no "democratic theory" that suggests representatives should follow the uninformed and prejudiced views of their electorate against their better judgement.

Strache seems to have specialized in "fake news" - ie mostly invented stuff claiming Muslims, immigrants or whoever were treated in a better way than native Austrians or threatened native Austrians.

It is a very convenient technique when you plan to cut social services, you have someone to blame.

Piotr Berman , May 19, 2019 9:05:45 PM | 0
To those who fill that politics of Strache are obnoxious and that justifies entrapment, remembers that methods of that type are not improvised, and that means that there is an apparatus that does it. We noted similarities with provocations against George Papadopoulos. In the latter case the target was cautious, after all, we had to be well aware of such methods. But anyone who is despised by NATO establishment are similar group can be on the receiving end, think about Assange.

[May 19, 2019] Obama s Top FBI Lawyer Distances Himself From Steele Dossier As DOJ Investigation Looms

Notable quotes:
"... James Baker, meanwhile, told Lawfare's Benjamin Wittes last week that he's 'nervous' about the DOJ Inspector General's ongoing investigation into FBI/DOJ conduct surrounding the 2016 election. ..."
"... The Steele Dossier is the most amateurish piece of garbage they could think of. It was born out of some comments made by Trump during the debates when both he and his opponents started talking about hand size. ..."
"... When and if Barr and Horowitz get the information compiled, this is going to look worse than a school election of a class president for the 9th grade. Mostly testosterone and no where to put it. ..."
"... Ultimate CYA swamp creature. What ever happened to the "Comey Memo"? Has anybody actually seen it? Was it written on Windows? Can we see the metadata to prove when it was written? or was it penned on a bar napkin, and can be edited at any time. ..."
"... This guy is a lawyer. He owed a duty to inform the judge that his bosses were lying about the warrant. He owed a duty to counsel his bosses to make them stop what they were doing and consider if it was a violation. ..."
"... Unless he did those two things, he should go to jail and also be disbarred and also be subject to civil suits for those who had to pay attorney fees during the investigation. ..."
"... Why are they bending over backwards to protect the British, who were the real interferers in the American election. Clinton mob-CIA-MI6-Steele-Pablo Miller-Skripal-Steele-Clinton mob. ..."
"... Recall the Podesta email, re: DNC "hack": We're gonna make an example of this guy. So, they seem to know who it is that stole the emails, and they are going to "make an example" of him. And do recall the statement of Donna Brazile, who expressed fear for her own safety in the wake of the Seth Rich murder: "you don't know what these people are capable of". ..."
"... When listening to an account of an event on TV or written in a blurb on the internet, always ask, why do they want us to know this stuff? The answer is usually so they can hide what they are really doing. ..."
May 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Obama's Top FBI Lawyer Distances Himself From Steele Dossier As DOJ Investigation Looms

by Tyler Durden Sun, 05/19/2019 - 13:11 759 SHARES

James Baker - the Obama FBI's top attorney (general counsel) said on Friday that he was skeptical about the Steele dossier, and "concerned" about its veracity when the agency received it prior to the 2016 US election, according to the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross.

" It was more information that we viewed, that I viewed, skeptically from the outset , and I was concerned about it and had a jaundiced eye, or looked at it with a jaundiced eye right from the outset," Baker told MSNBC 's Chuck Todd, adding "Steele was and had been a source that we thought was reliable. He's reporting all this information. It looks alarming. We took it seriously, but we tried to vet it. "

The dossier - a collection of memos compiled by an ex-British spy funded by Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign and the DNC - was used by the FBI to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Steele alleged that Page provided the Trump campaign a Kremlin backchannel during the election.

Baker also told Todd that he thinks the FISA warrants against Page would have been granted without the dossier, and took a pregnant pause when asked if the dossier was used to obtain FISA warrants on other people - saying "I don't think I should comment on that, I'm not sure what else the government has confirmed," and adding " I don't want to confirm or deny anything about other potential FISA applications. "

Watch:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ckBuIN5kz1w

Meanwhile, Obama's former intel chiefs are at odds over who exactly pushed the dossier .

According to Fox News , an email chain exists which indicates that Comey told bureau subordinates that Brennan insisted on the dossier's inclusion in the intelligence community assessment (ICA) on Russian interference . Also interesting is that the dossier was referred to as "crown material" in the emails - a possible reference to the fact that Steele is a former British spy.

In a statement to Fox, however, a former CIA official "put the blame squarely on Comey ."

Comey, meanwhile, has attacked Attorney General William Barr for investigating him, tweeting on Friday "The AG should stop sliming his own Department. If there are bad facts, show us, or search for them professionally and then tell us what you found."

Barr, has launched a wide-ranging investigation into FBI conduct during the 2016 election, making him public enemy #1 to the left . In a Friday interview with Fox News , Barr said that the use of the Steele Dossier in the FISA warrant was a "very unusual situation," especially one "that on its face had a number of clear mistakes and a somewhat jejue analysis. And to use that to conduct counterintelligence against the American political campaign would be a strange development."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/sZBb8uMoqdI?start=268

James Baker, meanwhile, told Lawfare's Benjamin Wittes last week that he's 'nervous' about the DOJ Inspector General's ongoing investigation into FBI/DOJ conduct surrounding the 2016 election.

Baker made clear that he wanted to speak "as openly as I possibly can" about the origin of the FBI's investigation into Donald Trump - " to reassure the American people that it was done for lawful, legitimate reasons, and was apolitical, " according to the Washington Examiner 's Jerry Dunleavy.

Things are getting hot in DC and it's only May...


youshallnotkill , 56 minutes ago link

Things you will never read here, but hey, this is from the "failing" NYT so clearly fake news ...

Anti-money laundering investigators at Deutsche Bank flagged to bank executives multiple suspicious transactions on President Donald Trump and Jared Kushner's accounts in 2016 and 2017.

Five current and former Deutsche Bank employees told the New York Times that after computer alerts flagged suspicious activity, the specialists would put together recommendations urging bank executives to report the activity to the Treasury Department.

However, executives refused to act on the recommendations and kept the reports from the Department.

Tammy McFadden, an ex-Deutsche Bank employee who reviewed such alerts, said she found that money had been moved from Kushner Companies to Russian individuals.

Amanita Virosa , 1 hour ago link

Was it Trump who joked that Gitmo will renamed Comey Island? Like Coney Island with the fun house replaced with the big house.

John_Coltrane , 3 hours ago link

Breaking: We now know positively that there was Russian collusion. But it was via Obama, the Demonrats and their lapdog propaganda apparatus the MSM, Trump was completely innocent. (Saul Alinsky-Always accuse your opponents of that for which you are guilty. Your students, Obuttboy and Killiary studied you well, sensei)

They used a CIA spy asset, Stephen Halper, to feed Russian disinformation via the commie traitor Brennan head of Obuttboy's CIA into their Demonrat Senate traitors who asked for an FBI investigation and that lying sack-0-**** Comey, head of the FBI, complied using the so-called Steele "dossier" to obtain an illegal FISA warrant(s) to spy on members of the Trump team such as Carter Page. Comey knew the dossier and the parallel constructed Brennan pack of lies were fiction yet put his signature on the FISA application anyway blinded by his hatred of Trump and his girly-man nature. They used parallel construction to give an air of credibility to the fictional script written by Glenn Simpson, head of Fusion GPS, employer of "hit by an ugly" stick Nellie Ohr and paid to Hilliary and the DNC to smear Trump. The script was written in 2007.

Want more details? Please listen to Dan Bongino's Friday show and laugh your ******* head off at these spygate idiots now caught naked as the tide recedes.

As Dan puts it so pithily, it's not James Bond, it's Bond, James. Its Gitmo for you morons and a Pulitzer to Dan Bongino. And yet the MSM seems not to be aware of this? How can that be? Perhaps, as the commies like to say the MSM needs to be deconstructed, literally!

Josef Stalin , 3 hours ago link

never trust ANYTHING amerikans say ... I am the default example after we saved the World from Nazism - something the amerikan rats are now funding and supporting - they betrayed me in 1945 and that traitor Gorby in 1986 with the NATO scam... and these parameters will ALWAYS into the future determine our level of trust with America ..... it will be ZERO

cryptohalo , 3 hours ago link

It's not Barr's FBI that would be slimed...it's Comey's FBI. But nice try, James.

RKae , 3 hours ago link

This is like watching a movie director, producers and actors blame each other for a flop. They all thought it was a great idea during pre-production, but after the critics take it apart and the public ignores it, they all turn on each other and say, "I knew this was a piece of **** from the start!"

oldanalyst , 3 hours ago link

Baker is lying. He should go to Leavenworth with the rest of the seditious conspirators.

AKKadian , 3 hours ago link

What gutless POS in DC! They don't mind leaking BS lies to the MSMutt's and taking bribes. DC is the biggest enemy the U.S. has in the entire world. Scam Lie Cheat Steal and are total nerd pussies.

ZD1 , 3 hours ago link

Arrest Obama, Hillary and all Democrat socialist traitors for their attempted coup.

TheCentralScrutinizer , 3 hours ago link

Yep.. Carter Page was such a "bad guy" that the FBI permitted him (and continues to do so) to walk around American and NEVER be arrested.. Yep.. that was a pretty strong amount of evidence you guys had there for that FISA warrant.. And you never told Trump either about this "Russian Mole" in his campaign as you're required to do (and as you did for the Chinese mole in Feinstein's office)..

Scrutinizer

OCnStiggs , 4 hours ago link

Bongino has the goods on them, in minute detail. https://bongino.com/ep-979-they-cant-keep-track-of-their-own-lies/

Glenn Simpson wrote the dossier with input from a Putin operative. They ran it through Steele simply to give it "credibility." Wheel out the guillotine and get it lubed up. This is gonna be a busy summer. NOTHING can stop what is coming. Nothing.

MrBoompi , 4 hours ago link

Dear Mr. Comey, there are numerous "bad facts" already out in public, many of them involving you, and many seem worthy of prison.

ducksinarow , 4 hours ago link

I have read many articles from many sources including reading the Mueller Report as it was released to the public and tedious it was.

I have come to the conclusions at this point that:

A. Many amateur actors not familiar with how to do counter intelligence were brought in by the Clinton campaign largely because no expert would have touched what she was trying to do.

B: No one can explain from the very beginning what happened, who knew what when, nor how they were going to answer for it when they got caught, if they got caught.

C. The Steele Dossier is the most amateurish piece of garbage they could think of. It was born out of some comments made by Trump during the debates when both he and his opponents started talking about hand size.

D. When and if Barr and Horowitz get the information compiled, this is going to look worse than a school election of a class president for the 9th grade. Mostly testosterone and no where to put it.

Mimir , 4 hours ago link

And yet FBI has said, that they took the Steele Report seriously because it confirmed a series of information, that FBi already had, but check every line of the report. What was the result of that FBI examination we don't know.

Amy G. Dala , 5 hours ago link

Yeah, right. Comey will email SUBORDINATES to go on record that it's not HIS idea . . .but we'll go with the dossier anyway. If you got a problem with Brennan, why not memorialize that in an email to Brennan?

Ultimate CYA swamp creature. What ever happened to the "Comey Memo"? Has anybody actually seen it? Was it written on Windows? Can we see the metadata to prove when it was written? or was it penned on a bar napkin, and can be edited at any time.

In an alternate universe, we would have Comey, Clapper and Brennan in adjacent rooms, two chairs a table and harsh lighting.

Ace006 , 5 hours ago link

Pretty rich for Comey to call for searching for facts professionally, like the clown car investigation under him was professional. Unh huh. Surrrre.

This Baker *** hat and Obongo and crew looovved the "dossier" and thought it was just the ticket to be used against Trump and his people. Just the most natural thing there was and oh so useful for their purposes. So WHAAAAT if the "dossier" stank like dead cow. Surrre. What Democrat DOESN'T want to pursue a decapitation strategy? And surrre the basis for one was right there in that socialist scumbag's "dossier." And, surrre, i believe Steele is no long were MI-6. Fisking Theresa May.

Surrre this *** hat was just brimming with effing skepticism and I'm surrre there are emails and memos expressing just that, his skepticism.

St. TwinkleToes , 5 hours ago link

I see parallels from the twenties with what's happening today. For example, Prohibition was meant to outlaw drinking. Instead, it made drinkers into outlaws. Breaking the law became commonplace. New York closed 15,000 legal saloons when prohibition began. Some 32,000 illegal speakeasy's replaced them. Upstanding citizens and mobsters became partners in crime, allied against federal agents in the battle for booze.

Today, that battle is against feds for truth and justice.

truthalwayswinsout , 5 hours ago link

This guy is a lawyer. He owed a duty to inform the judge that his bosses were lying about the warrant. He owed a duty to counsel his bosses to make them stop what they were doing and consider if it was a violation.

Unless he did those two things, he should go to jail and also be disbarred and also be subject to civil suits for those who had to pay attorney fees during the investigation.

jmNZ , 5 hours ago link

Why are they bending over backwards to protect the British, who were the real interferers in the American election. Clinton mob-CIA-MI6-Steele-Pablo Miller-Skripal-Steele-Clinton mob.

Had to be "buried" when Trump won, so MI6 took out Skripal and CIA took out Seth Rich.

Amy G. Dala , 5 hours ago link

Seth Rich and CIA? Don't think so. DNC has an army of lawyers, the kind that aren't in the phone book. They know lots of people who are willing to do things for a price.

Recall the Podesta email, re: DNC "hack": We're gonna make an example of this guy. So, they seem to know who it is that stole the emails, and they are going to "make an example" of him. And do recall the statement of Donna Brazile, who expressed fear for her own safety in the wake of the Seth Rich murder: "you don't know what these people are capable of".

CIA would involve too many people.

ducksinarow , 4 hours ago link

If this had not been an amateur job, we would still not know anything. There would be no investigation because the players would never have been identified like 95% of all counter intelligence work. Seth Rich was killed in plain sight as a message to some one else. He was probably the only innocent person involved at such a deep level.

When listening to an account of an event on TV or written in a blurb on the internet, always ask, why do they want us to know this stuff? The answer is usually so they can hide what they are really doing.

[May 19, 2019] How Russiagate replaced Analysis of the 2016 Election by Rick Sterling

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... What he said is, 'I Donald Trump am going to be a champion of the working class I know you are working longer hours for lower wages, seeing your jobs going to China, can't afford childcare, can't afford to send your kids to college. I Donald Trump alone can solve these problems.' What you have is a guy who utilized the media, manipulated the media very well. He is an entertainer, he is a professional at that. But I will tell you that I think there needs to be a profound change in the way the Democratic Party does business. It is not good enough to have a liberal elite. I come from the white working class and I am deeply humiliated that the Democratic Party cannot talk to the people where I came from." ..."
"... when the Clinton team first learned that Wikileaks was going to release damaging Democratic National Party emails in June 2016, they "brought in outside consultants to plot a PR strategy for handling the news of the hack the story would advance a narrative that benefited the Clinton campaign and the Democrats: The Russians were interfering in the US election, presumably to assist Trump." ..."
"... After losing the election, Team Clinton doubled down on this PR strategy. As described in the book Shattered (p. 395) the day after the election campaign managers assembled the communication team "to engineer the case that the election wasn't entirely on the up and up . they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument." ..."
"... A progressive team produced a very different analysis titled Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis . They did this because "the (Democratic) party's national leadership has shown scant interest in addressing many of the key factors that led to electoral disaster." The report analyzes why the party turnout was less than expected and why traditional Democratic Party supporters are declining. ..."
"... Since the 2016 election there has been little public discussion of the process whereby Hillary Clinton became the Democratic Party nominee. It's apparent she was pre-ordained by the Democratic Party elite. As exposed in the DNC emails, there was bias and violations of the party obligations at the highest levels. On top of that, it should now be clear that the pundits, pollsters and election experts were out of touch, made poor predictions and decisions. ..."
"... The 2016 election is highly relevant today. Already we see the same pattern of establishment bias and "horse race" journalism which focuses on fund-raising, polls and elite-biased "electability" instead of dealing with real issues, who has solutions, who has appeal to which groups. ..."
"... The establishment bias for Biden is matched by the bias against Democratic Party candidates who directly challenge Wall Street and US foreign policy. On Wall Street, that would be Bernie Sanders. On foreign policy, that is Tulsi Gabbard. With a military background Tulsi Gabbard has broad appeal, an inclusive message and a uniquely sharp critique of US "regime change" foreign policy. ..."
"... Blaming an outside power is a good way to prevent self analysis and positive change. It's gone on far too long. ..."
May 19, 2019 | dissidentvoice.org
An honest and accurate analysis of the 2016 election is not just an academic exercise. It is very relevant to the current election campaign. Yet over the past two years, Russiagate has dominated media and political debate and largely replaced a serious analysis of the factors leading to Trump's victory. The public has been flooded with the various elements of the story that Russia intervened and Trump colluded with them. The latter accusation was negated by the Mueller Report but elements of the Democratic Party and media refuse to move on. Now it's the lofty but vague accusations of "obstruction of justice" along with renewed dirt digging. To some it is a "constitutional crisis", but to many it looks like more partisan fighting.

Russiagate has distracted from pressing issues

Russiagate has distracted attention and energy away from crucial and pressing issues such as income inequality, the housing and homeless crisis, inadequate healthcare, militarized police, over-priced college education, impossible student loans and deteriorating infrastructure. The tax structure was changed to benefit wealthy individuals and corporations with little opposition. The Trump administration has undermined environmental laws, civil rights, national parks and women's equality while directing ever more money to military contractors. Working class Americans are struggling with rising living costs, low wages, student debt, and racism. They constitute the bulk of the military which is spread all over the world, sustaining continuing occupations in war zones including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and parts of Africa. While all this has been going on, the Democratic establishment and much of the media have been focused on Russiagate, the Mueller Report, and related issues.

Immediately after the 2016 Election

In the immediate wake of the 2016 election there was some forthright analysis. Bernie Sanders said , "What Trump did very effectively is tap the angst and the anger and the hurt and pain that millions of working class people are feeling. What he said is, 'I Donald Trump am going to be a champion of the working class I know you are working longer hours for lower wages, seeing your jobs going to China, can't afford childcare, can't afford to send your kids to college. I Donald Trump alone can solve these problems.' What you have is a guy who utilized the media, manipulated the media very well. He is an entertainer, he is a professional at that. But I will tell you that I think there needs to be a profound change in the way the Democratic Party does business. It is not good enough to have a liberal elite. I come from the white working class and I am deeply humiliated that the Democratic Party cannot talk to the people where I came from."

Days after the election, the Washington Post published an op-ed titled " Hillary Clinton Lost. Bernie Sanders could have won. We chose the wrong candidate ." The author analyzed the results saying , "Donald Trump's stunning victory is less surprising when we remember a simple fact: Hillary Clinton is a deeply unpopular politician." The writer analyzed why Sanders would have prevailed against Trump and predicted "there will be years of recriminations."

Russiagate replaced Recrimination

But instead of analysis, the media and Democrats have emphasized foreign interference. There is an element of self-interest in this narrative. As reported in "Russian Roulette" (p127), when the Clinton team first learned that Wikileaks was going to release damaging Democratic National Party emails in June 2016, they "brought in outside consultants to plot a PR strategy for handling the news of the hack the story would advance a narrative that benefited the Clinton campaign and the Democrats: The Russians were interfering in the US election, presumably to assist Trump."

After losing the election, Team Clinton doubled down on this PR strategy. As described in the book Shattered (p. 395) the day after the election campaign managers assembled the communication team "to engineer the case that the election wasn't entirely on the up and up . they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument."

This narrative has been remarkably effective in supplanting critical review of the election.

One Year After the Election

The Center for American Progress (CAP) was founded by John Podesta and is closely aligned with the Democratic Party. In November 2017 they produced an analysis titled " Voter Trends in 2016: A Final Examination ". Interestingly, there is not a single reference to Russia. Key conclusions are that "it is critical for Democrats to attract more support from the white non-college-educated voting bloc" and "Democrats must go beyond the 'identity politics' versus 'economic populism' debate to create a genuine cross-racial, cross-class coalition " It suggests that Wall Street has the same interests as Main Street and the working class.

A progressive team produced a very different analysis titled Autopsy: The Democratic Party in Crisis . They did this because "the (Democratic) party's national leadership has shown scant interest in addressing many of the key factors that led to electoral disaster." The report analyzes why the party turnout was less than expected and why traditional Democratic Party supporters are declining. It includes recommendations to end the party's undemocratic practices, expand voting rights and counter voter suppression. The report contains details and specific recommendations lacking in the CAP report. It includes an overall analysis which says "The Democratic Party should disentangle itself – ideologically and financially – from Wall Street, the military-industrial complex and other corporate interests that put profits ahead of public needs."

Two Years After the Election

In October 2018, the progressive team produced a follow-up report titled " Autopsy: One Year Later ". It says, "The Democratic Party has implemented modest reforms, but corporate power continues to dominate the party."

In a recent phone interview, the editor of that report, Norman Solomon, said it appears some in the Democratic Party establishment would rather lose the next election to Republicans than give up control of the party.

What really happened in 2016?

Beyond the initial critiques and "Autopsy" research, there has been little discussion, debate or lessons learned about the 2016 election. Politics has been dominated by Russiagate.

Why did so many working class voters switch from Obama to Trump? A major reason is because Hillary Clinton is associated with Wall Street and the economic policies of her husband President Bill Clinton. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), promoted by Bill Clinton, resulted in huge decline in manufacturing jobs in swing states such as Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Of course, this would influence their thinking and votes. Hillary Clinton's support for the Trans Pacific Partnership was another indication of her policies.

What about the low turnout from the African American community? Again, the lack of enthusiasm is rooted in objective reality. Hillary Clinton is associated with "welfare reform" promoted by her husband. According to this study from the University of Michigan, "As of the beginning of 2011, about 1.46 million U.S. households with about 2.8 million children were surviving on $2 or less in income per person per day in a given month The prevalence of extreme poverty rose sharply between 1996 and 2011. This growth has been concentrated among those groups that were most affected by the 1996 welfare reform. "

Over the past several decades there has been a huge increase in prison incarceration due to increasingly strict punishments and mandatory prison sentences. Since the poor and working class have been the primary victims of welfare and criminal justice "reforms" initiated or sustained through the Clinton presidency, it's understandable why they were not keen on Hillary Clinton. The notion that low turnout was due to African Americans being unduly influenced by Russian Facebook posts is seen as "bigoted paternalism" by blogger Teodrose Fikremanian who says, "The corporate recorders at the NY Times would have us believe that the reason African-Americans did not uniformly vote for Hillary Clinton and the Democrats is because they were too dimwitted to think for themselves and were subsequently manipulated by foreign agents. This yellow press drivel is nothing more than propaganda that could have been written by George Wallace."

How Clinton became the Nominee

Since the 2016 election there has been little public discussion of the process whereby Hillary Clinton became the Democratic Party nominee. It's apparent she was pre-ordained by the Democratic Party elite. As exposed in the DNC emails, there was bias and violations of the party obligations at the highest levels. On top of that, it should now be clear that the pundits, pollsters and election experts were out of touch, made poor predictions and decisions.

Bernie Sanders would have been a much stronger candidate. He would have won the same party loyalists who voted for Clinton. His message attacking Wall Street would have resonated with significant sections of the working class and poor who were unenthusiastic (to say the least) about Clinton. An indication is that in critical swing states such as Wisconsin and Michigan Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary race.

Clinton had no response for Trump's attacks on multinational trade agreements and his false promises of serving the working class. Sanders would have had vastly more appeal to working class and minorities. His primary campaign showed his huge appeal to youth and third party voters. In short, it's likely that Sanders would have trounced Trump. Where is the accountability for how Clinton ended up as the Democratic Party candidate?

The Relevance of 2016 to 2020

The 2016 election is highly relevant today. Already we see the same pattern of establishment bias and "horse race" journalism which focuses on fund-raising, polls and elite-biased "electability" instead of dealing with real issues, who has solutions, who has appeal to which groups.

Mainstream media and pundits are already promoting Joe Biden. Syndicated columnist EJ Dionne, a Democratic establishment favorite, is indicative. In his article " Can Biden be the helmsman who gets us past the storm? " Dionne speaks of the "strength he (Biden) brings" and the "comfort he creates". In the same vein, Andrew Sullivan pushes Biden in his article " Why Joe Biden Might be the Best to Beat Trump ". Sullivan thinks that Biden has appeal in the working class because he joked about claims he is too 'hands on'. But while Biden may be tight with AFL-CIO leadership, he is closely associated with highly unpopular neoliberal trade deals which have resulted in manufacturing decline.

The establishment bias for Biden is matched by the bias against Democratic Party candidates who directly challenge Wall Street and US foreign policy. On Wall Street, that would be Bernie Sanders. On foreign policy, that is Tulsi Gabbard. With a military background Tulsi Gabbard has broad appeal, an inclusive message and a uniquely sharp critique of US "regime change" foreign policy. She calls out media pundits like Fareed Zakaria for goading Trump to invade Venezuela. In contrast with Rachel Maddow taunting John Bolton and Mike Pompeo to be MORE aggressive, Tulsi Gabbard has been denouncing Trump's collusion with Saudi Arabia and Israel's Netanyahu, saying it's not in US interests. Gabbard's anti-interventionist anti-occupation perspective has significant support from US troops. A recent poll indicates that military families want complete withdrawal from Afghanistan and Syria. It seems conservatives have become more anti-war than liberals.

This points to another important yet under-discussed lesson from 2016: a factor in Trump's victory was that he campaigned as an anti-war candidate against the hawkish Hillary Clinton. As pointed out here , "Donald Trump won more votes from communities with high military casualties than from similar communities which suffered fewer casualties."

Instead of pointing out that Trump has betrayed his anti-war campaign promises, corporate media (and some Democratic Party outlets) seem to be undermining the candidate with the strongest anti-war message. An article at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) says, " Corporate media target Gabbard for her Anti-Interventionism, a word they can barely pronounce ."

Russiagate has distracted most Democrats from analyzing how they lost in 2016. It has given them the dubious belief that it was because of foreign interference. They have failed to analyze or take stock of the consequences of DNC bias, the preference for Wall Street over working class concerns, and the failure to challenge the military industrial complex and foreign policy based on 'regime change' interventions.

There needs to be more analysis and lessons learned from the 2016 election to avoid a repeat of that disaster. As indicated in the Autopsy , there needs to be a transparent and fair campaign for nominee based on more than establishment and Wall Street favoritism. There also needs to be consideration of which candidates reach beyond the partisan divide and can energize and advance the interests of the majority of Americans rather than the elite. The most crucial issues and especially US military and foreign policy need to be seriously debated.

Blaming an outside power is a good way to prevent self analysis and positive change. It's gone on far too long.

Rick Sterling is an investigative journalist who grew up in Canada but currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. He can be reached at rsterling1@gmail.com . Read other articles by Rick .

[May 19, 2019] Intel agencies of the UK and US are guilty of fabricating evidence, breaking the laws (certainly of the targeted countries, but also of the UK and US), providing fake analysis and operating as evil actors on the dark side of humanity

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... what is true is that May was judge, jury and executioner in convicting Russia of the poisoning and refused to follow an evidence based discovery process that lies at the heart of the UK justice system - by hiding behind those powers that the UK intelligence community "needs" in order to protect british (not russian, british) citizens from the sinister influences of foreign powers. ..."
"... the criminal activities of howler monkeys, like Strzok, Page, Brennan, McCabe, SUSAN RICE, Comey, Ohr, BIDEN, OBAMA, etc in the USA are bad enough (whilst hardly impacting civilian life in the US - BUT - the tactics used have been deployed to starve, cause disease, "dumb down", reduce life chances all over the middle east and elsewhere for countless millions of people. ..."
May 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Couple of factors not mentioned. one is Israel and the other is more sinister still and tied to the conclusions to be drawn from the Mueller report.

it may be true that Skripal helped Steele with some elements of the dossier compiled by Steele, via SKripals handler Pablo Miller. It may be true that Skripal went "stir crazy" and an attempt was made to silence him and his daughter - permanently, because they simply cold not be trusted. a similar motivation could be drawn up against Russia - with the two Russians visiting Salisbury used as diversionary "stool pigeons". It may be true that the "poisoning" was self inflicted and was in fact a murder/suicide attempt as a result of depression along the ines "what's the point of it all".

what is true is that May was judge, jury and executioner in convicting Russia of the poisoning and refused to follow an evidence based discovery process that lies at the heart of the UK justice system - by hiding behind those powers that the UK intelligence community "needs" in order to protect british (not russian, british) citizens from the sinister influences of foreign powers.

what ought to be apparent is

- the same tactics used by the special prosecutor to investigate the "Russia collusion" smoke screen erected by the howler monkeys in the US intel agencies (aided and abetter by howler monkeys in UK intel agencies) to stymie the US executive branch (Trump) are likely to be used by the the UK government and some more as well - in true Le Carre fashion, but with much dumber and less principled actors than Smiley's people.

these tactics prevented (and continue to prevent) investigation and prosecution of heinous corruption within the obama administration of the previous 8 years - these howler monkey intelligence agency tactics include(d) entrapment, honeypots, racketeering, blackmail, de facto kidnapping (in the case of Skripals), bribery, wire fraud, unauthorized wire-tapping, breach of authorized intel agency activities (like the FBI operating overseas and the CIA operating domestically in the US, false and unverified claims in FISA warrants, NSA providing unauthorized information to the CIA and FBI etc)

- given the howler monkey activities of the alphabet soup, it is not beyond the imagination to draw parallels with the CIA's reporting and analysis of situations on the ground wherever they operate to provide intel ahead of military activity. the DOD has already proved complicit by hiring Halper (for hundreds of thousands of dollars) to assist with the entrapment of Trump operative Papadopoulos. Mifsud is likely a CIA, not a Russian, asset.

- given that we have ample evidence of the howler monkeys in the alphabet soup seeking to facilitate a coup against a sitting US president, it is certainly plausible that - as with the US goverment sponsoring the mujaheedin, isis and al qaeda in afghanistan to fight the russians in late 80's early 90's, Iraq yellow cake and WMD - that the howler monkeys paid the white helmets to ovethrow assad and foment civil war in Syria - thus causing the migration of some 5 million syrians into europe, iraq, turkey, jordan, turkey and lebanon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Helmets_(Syrian_Civil_War)

so , the case is that howler monkey activity in intel agencies of the UK and US (add (F)rance to get FUKUS) are guilty of the manufacture of human conflict by fabricating evidence, breaking the laws (certainly of the targeted countries, but also of the UK and US), providing shitty analysis (howler monkeys are only good at swinging in trees and flinging ****) and generally operating as evil actors on the dark side of humanity.

this can only be brought into sharp relief if howler monkey activities were instead shown to be powers for good rather than the geo-political risks that persist in Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Yemen, Libya and so on and so forth.

Never mind how much past conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and so on relied on evidence and analysis thrown at us by the howler monkeys in the tree tops, how much of what we we are doing now is a fabrication causing needless suffering by civilian (not politicians or military engaged in conflict) populations?

the criminal activities of howler monkeys, like Strzok, Page, Brennan, McCabe, SUSAN RICE, Comey, Ohr, BIDEN, OBAMA, etc in the USA are bad enough (whilst hardly impacting civilian life in the US - BUT - the tactics used have been deployed to starve, cause disease, "dumb down", reduce life chances all over the middle east and elsewhere for countless millions of people.

there are equivalents of strzok, page, ohr right throughout the US and UK government "machines" operating overseas. think about that. crimes exposed by Barr et al in the US - against a sitting president - are replicated wherever howler monkeys operate overseas as well.

[May 19, 2019] The OPCW, Douma, The Skripals

Notable quotes:
"... The neocon faction in the US is usually (and reasonably) regarded as the motivator behind much of the western aggression in the Middle East. ..."
"... Granted the US has been looking for excuses to intervene ever more overtly in Syria since 2013, and in that sense this Douma "initiative" is a continuation of their longterm policy. It's also true Russia was warning just such a false flag would be attempted in early March. But in the intervening month the situation on the ground has changed so radically that such an attempt no longer made any sense. ..."
"... A false flag in early March, while pockets of the US proxy army were still holding ground in Ghouta would have enabled a possible offensive in their support which would prevent Ghouta falling entirely into government hands and thereby also maintain the pressure on Damascus. A false flag in early April is all but useless because the US proxy army in the region was completely vanquished and nothing would be gained by an offensive in that place at that time. ..."
"... The US media has been similarly, and uncharacteristically divided and apparently unsure. Tucker Carlson railed against the stupidity of attacking Syria. Commentators on MSNBC were also expressing intense scepticism of the US intent and fear about possible escalation. ..."
"... The official story is a hot mess of proven falsehoods, contradictions, implausible conspiracy theories, more falsehoods and inexplicable silences were cricket chirps tell us all we need to know. ..."
"... The UK government has lied and evaded on every key aspect. ..."
"... Indeed if current claims by Russian FM Lavrov turn out to be true, a "novichok" (whatever that precisely means in this case) may not have been the only substance found in those samples, and a compound called "BZ", a non-lethal agent developed in Europe and America, has been discovered and suppressed in the OPCW report (more about that later). ..."
"... The Skripals themselves were announced to be alive and out of danger mere days after claims they were all but certain to die. Yulia, soon thereafter, apparently called her cousin Viktoria only to subsequently announce, indirectly through the helpful agency of the Metropolitan Police, that she didn't want to talk to her cousin – or anyone else – at all. ..."
"... She is now allegedly discharged from hospital and has "specially trained officers helping to take care of" her in an undisclosed location. A form or words so creepily sinister it's hard to imagine how they were ever permitted the light of day. ..."
"... If a false flag chemical attack had taken place in Syria at the time Russia predicted, just a week or two after the Skripal poisoning, a lot of the attention that's been paid to the Skripals over the last month would likely have been diverted. Many of the questions being asked by Russia and in the alt media may never have been asked as the focus of the world turned to a possible superpower stand-off in the Middle East. ..."
"... So, could it be the Skripal event was never intended to last so long in the public eye? Could it be that it was indeed a false flag, or a fake event, as many have alleged, planned as a sketchy prelude to, or warm up act for a bigger chemical attack in Syria, scheduled for a week or so later in mid-March – just around the time Russia was warning of such a possibility? ..."
"... This would explain why the UK may have been pushing for the false flag to happen (as claimed by Russia) even after it could no longer serve much useful purpose on the ground, and why the Douma "attack" seems to have been so sketchily done by a gang on the run. The UK needed the second part to happen in order to distract from the first. ..."
"... If this is true, Theresa May and her cabinet are currently way out on a limb even by cynical UK standards. Not only have they lied about the Skripal event, but in order to cover up that lie they have promoted a false flag in Syria, and "responded" to it by a flagrant breach of international and domestic law. Worst of all, if the Russians aren't bluffing, they have some evidence to prove some of the most egregious parts of this. ..."
"... But even if some or all of our speculation proves false, and even if the Russian claims of UK collusion with terrorists in Syria prove unfounded, May is still guilty of multiple lies and has still waged war without parliamentary approval. ..."
"... The UK were the most vocal about Syria, and desperately tried to drum up support over Skripal, but it all came to nothing much in the end. ..."
"... Theresa May's political career still hangs by a thread, and her "Falklands moment", at best, staved off the inevitable for a few months. A washout in the EU elections, a very real threat from Farage's Brexit party, and rumblings inside her own party, make her position as unstable as ever. ..."
"... In the US, generally speaking, it seems that the Trump admin – or at least whichever interested parties currently have control of the wheels of government – have called time on war in Syria. Instead, they've moved on to projects in Venezuela and North Korea, and even war with Iran. ..."
"... The failure of the Douma false flag to cause the war it was meant to cause, and the vast collection of evidence that suggests it was a false flag, should be spread far and wide. Not just because it's a truth which vindicates the smeared minority in the alternate media. ..."
May 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Off-Guardian.org,

In view of the latest revelations from the leaked report, which seem to prove that at least some elements of the Douma "chemical attack" were entirely staged, we want to take look back at the chaotic events of Spring 2018.

The following is an extract from an article by Catte originally published April 14th last year, which takes on a greater weight in light of certain evidence – not only that the Douma attack was faked, but that the OPCW is compromised.

You can read the whole article here .

* * *

PRIMARILY UK INITIATIVE?

The neocon faction in the US is usually (and reasonably) regarded as the motivator behind much of the western aggression in the Middle East.

Since at least 2001 and the launch of the "War on Terror" the US has led the way in finding or creating facile excuses to fight oil wars and hegemonic wars and proxy wars in the region. But this time the dynamics look a little different.

This time it really looks as if the UK has been setting the pace of the "response".

The fact (as stated above) that Mattis was apparently telegraphing his own private doubts a)about the verifiability of the attacks, and b)about the dangers of a military response suggests he was a far from enthusiastic partaker in this adventure.

Trump's attitude is harder to gauge. His tweets veered wildly between unhinged threats and apparent efforts at conciliation. But he must have known he would lose (and seemingly has lost) a great part of his natural voter base (who elected him on a no-more-war mandate) by an act of open aggression that threatened confrontation with Russia on the flimsiest of pretexts.

Granted the US has been looking for excuses to intervene ever more overtly in Syria since 2013, and in that sense this Douma "initiative" is a continuation of their longterm policy. It's also true Russia was warning just such a false flag would be attempted in early March. But in the intervening month the situation on the ground has changed so radically that such an attempt no longer made any sense.

A false flag in early March, while pockets of the US proxy army were still holding ground in Ghouta would have enabled a possible offensive in their support which would prevent Ghouta falling entirely into government hands and thereby also maintain the pressure on Damascus. A false flag in early April is all but useless because the US proxy army in the region was completely vanquished and nothing would be gained by an offensive in that place at that time.

You can see why Mattis and others in the administration might be reluctant to take part in the false flag/punitive air strike narrative if they saw nothing currently to be gained to repay the risk. They may have preferred to wait for developments and plan for a more productive way of playing the R2P card in the future.

The US media has been similarly, and uncharacteristically divided and apparently unsure. Tucker Carlson railed against the stupidity of attacking Syria. Commentators on MSNBC were also expressing intense scepticism of the US intent and fear about possible escalation.

The UK govt and media on the other hand has been much more homogeneous in advocating for action. No doubts of the type expressed by Mattis have been heard from the lips of an UK government minister. Even May, a cowardly PM, has been (under how much pressure?) voicing sterling certitude in public that action HAD to be taken.

Couple this with the – as yet unverified – claims by Russia of direct UK involvement in arranging the Douma "attack", and the claims by Syria that the perps are in their custody, and a tentative storyline emerges. It's possible this time there were other considerations in the mix beside the usual need to "be seen to do something" and Trump's perpetual requirement to appease the liberal Russiagaters and lunatic warmongers at home. Maybe this time it was also about helping the UK out of a sticky problem.

THE SKRIPAL CONSIDERATION

Probably the only thing we can all broadly agree on about the Skripal narrative is that it manifestly did not go according to plan. However it was intended to play out, it wasn't this way. Since some time in mid to late March it's been clear the entire thing has become little more than an exercise in damage-limitation, leak-plugging and general containment.

The official story is a hot mess of proven falsehoods, contradictions, implausible conspiracy theories, more falsehoods and inexplicable silences were cricket chirps tell us all we need to know.

The UK government has lied and evaded on every key aspect.

  1. It lied again and again about the information Porton Down had given it
  2. Its lawyers all but lied to Mr Justice Robinson about whether or not the Skripals had relatives in Russia in an unscrupulous attempt to maintain total control of them, or at least of the narrative.
  3. It is not publishing the OPCW report on the chemical analyses, and the summary of that report reads like an exercise in allusion and weasel-wording. Even the name of the "toxic substance" found in the Skripals' blood is omitted, and the only thing tying it to the UK government's public claims of "novichok" is association by inference and proximity.

Indeed if current claims by Russian FM Lavrov turn out to be true, a "novichok" (whatever that precisely means in this case) may not have been the only substance found in those samples, and a compound called "BZ", a non-lethal agent developed in Europe and America, has been discovered and suppressed in the OPCW report (more about that later).

None of the alleged victims of this alleged attack has been seen in public even in passing since the event. There is no film or photographs of DS Bailey leaving the hospital, no film or photographs of his wife or family members doing the same. No interviews with Bailey, no interviews with his wife, family, distant relatives, work colleagues.

The Skripals themselves were announced to be alive and out of danger mere days after claims they were all but certain to die. Yulia, soon thereafter, apparently called her cousin Viktoria only to subsequently announce, indirectly through the helpful agency of the Metropolitan Police, that she didn't want to talk to her cousin – or anyone else – at all.

She is now allegedly discharged from hospital and has "specially trained officers helping to take care of" her in an undisclosed location. A form or words so creepily sinister it's hard to imagine how they were ever permitted the light of day.

Very little of this bizarre, self-defeating, embarrassing, hysterical story makes any sense other than as a random narrative, snaking wildly in response to events the narrative-makers can't completely control.

Why? What went wrong? Why has the UK government got itself into this mess? And how much did the Douma "gas attack" and subsequent drive for a concerted western "response" have to do with trying to fix that?

IS THIS WHAT HAPPENED?

If a false flag chemical attack had taken place in Syria at the time Russia predicted, just a week or two after the Skripal poisoning, a lot of the attention that's been paid to the Skripals over the last month would likely have been diverted. Many of the questions being asked by Russia and in the alt media may never have been asked as the focus of the world turned to a possible superpower stand-off in the Middle East.

So, could it be the Skripal event was never intended to last so long in the public eye? Could it be that it was indeed a false flag, or a fake event, as many have alleged, planned as a sketchy prelude to, or warm up act for a bigger chemical attack in Syria, scheduled for a week or so later in mid-March – just around the time Russia was warning of such a possibility?

Could it be this planned event was unexpectedly canceled by the leading players in the drama (the US) when the Russians called them out and the rapid and unexpected fall of Ghouta meant any such intervention became pointless at least for the moment?

Did this cancelation leave the UK swinging in the wind, with a fantastical story that was never intended to withstand close scrutiny, and no second act for distraction?

So, did they push on with the now virtually useless "chemical attack", botch it (again), leaving a clear evidence trail leading back to them? Did they then further insist on an allied "response" to their botched false flag in order to provide yet more distraction and hopefully destroy some of that evidence?

This would explain why the UK may have been pushing for the false flag to happen (as claimed by Russia) even after it could no longer serve much useful purpose on the ground, and why the Douma "attack" seems to have been so sketchily done by a gang on the run. The UK needed the second part to happen in order to distract from the first.

It would explain why the US has been less than enthused by the idea of reprisals. Because while killing Syrians to further geo-strategic interests is not a problem, killing Syrians (and risking escalation with Russia) in order to rescue an embarrassed UK government is less appealing.

And it would explain why the "reprisals" when they came were so half-hearted.

If this is true, Theresa May and her cabinet are currently way out on a limb even by cynical UK standards. Not only have they lied about the Skripal event, but in order to cover up that lie they have promoted a false flag in Syria, and "responded" to it by a flagrant breach of international and domestic law. Worst of all, if the Russians aren't bluffing, they have some evidence to prove some of the most egregious parts of this.

This is very bad.

But even if some or all of our speculation proves false, and even if the Russian claims of UK collusion with terrorists in Syria prove unfounded, May is still guilty of multiple lies and has still waged war without parliamentary approval.

This is a major issue. She and her government should resign. But it's unlikely that will happen.

So what next? There is a sense this is a watershed for many of the parties involved and for the citizens of the countries drawn into this.

Will the usual suspects try to avoid paying for their crimes and misadventures by more rhetoric, more false flags, more "reprisals"? Or will this signal some other change in direction?

We'll all know soon enough.

* * *

Back to today...

...and while things have moved on, we're still puzzling over all the same issues.

All these questions stand, and are important, but more important than all of that is the lesson: They tried it before, and just because it didn't work doesn't mean they won't try it again.

Last spring, the Western powers showed they will deploy a false flag if they need too, for domestic or international motives. And they have the motives right now.

The UK were the most vocal about Syria, and desperately tried to drum up support over Skripal, but it all came to nothing much in the end.

Theresa May's political career still hangs by a thread, and her "Falklands moment", at best, staved off the inevitable for a few months. A washout in the EU elections, a very real threat from Farage's Brexit party, and rumblings inside her own party, make her position as unstable as ever.

Britain had the most to gain, of all NATO countries, and that is still true. We don't know what they might do.

This time they might even receive greater support from France this time around – since Macron is facing a revolution at home and would kill (possibly literally) for a nice international distraction.

In the US, generally speaking, it seems that the Trump admin – or at least whichever interested parties currently have control of the wheels of government – have called time on war in Syria. Instead, they've moved on to projects in Venezuela and North Korea, and even war with Iran.

That's not to say Syria is safe, far from it. They are always just one carefully place false-flag away from all-out war. Last year, Mattis (or whoever) decided war with Syria was not an option – that it was too risky or complicated. That might not happen next time.

Clearly, the US hasn't totally seen sense in terms of stoking conflict with Russia – as seen by the decision to pull out of the INF Treaty late last year. And further demonstrated by their attempts to overthrow Russia's ally Nicolas Maduro. Another ripe candidate for a false flag.

The failure of the Douma false flag to cause the war it was meant to cause, and the vast collection of evidence that suggests it was a false flag, should be spread far and wide. Not just because it's a truth which vindicates the smeared minority in the alternate media.

But because recognising what they were trying to do last time , is the best defense when they try it again next time .

[May 18, 2019] Democracy works in the USA is you abstract from such minor things as the level of connection of past US presidents to CIA, money in politics, pervasive propaganda and so on

May 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , May 17, 2019 8:54:11 PM | link

lysias: A president doesn't have to obey the orders of the powers that be ...

Well, that's why they select the President beforehand to ensure there are no inconvenient difficulties with a new President.

In fact, our President's have generally had a connection to CIA: Bush Sr. was CIA, Clinton is said to allowed their flights into Arkansas, GW Bush was son of CIA, Obama is said to have come from a CIA family (grandfather and probably mother) , and some have pointed to Trump's first casino deal as a possible CIA tie (related to money laundering of CIA drug money)

Pretending otherwise furthers the democracy works! narrative. Isn't it already clear that the West is feudal and Empire First (aka globalist) - despite Trump's faux populist pretense? US foreign policy has been remarkably consistent for over 20 years. US congressmen takes oaths to Israel. Western propaganda sing the Deep State tune.

Welcome to the rabbithole.

Jackrabbit , May 17, 2019 9:26:14 PM | link
dltravers @53: hope Trump loses [the elections] and the policy is reversed

In other words: democracy works!

Just ignore:

  • money in politics;
  • pervasive propaganda;
  • things you CAN'T vote for (absolute support for Israel and military adventures);
  • CIA connections to past Presidents;
  • loyalty oaths to Israel;
  • jailing of Assange (after unprecedented break of asylum protection);
  • the lies of past Presidents;
  • Cold War imperatives;
  • Sanders sheep-dogging;
  • dirty tricks against protest movements like Gillet Jeune and Occupy.
Welcome to the rabbit hole/

[May 18, 2019] Is Trump a double dealer. Why Trump Administration Withholds Information That Could Debunk Russian Interference Claims

May 16, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

tom , May 16, 2019 at 15:23

Trump Administration Withholds Information That Could Debunk Russian Interference Claims

Lavrov responded first to the question. He said that there is no evidence that shows any Russian interference in the U.S. elections. He continued:

Speaking about the most recent US presidential campaign in particular, we have had in place an information exchange channel about potential unintended risks arising in cyberspace since 2013. From October 2016 (when the US Democratic Administration first raised this issue) until January 2017 (before Donald Trump's inauguration), this channel was used to handle requests and responses. Not so long ago, when the attacks on Russia in connection with the alleged interference in the elections reached their high point, we proposed publishing this exchange of messages between these two entities, which engage in staving off cyberspace incidents. I reminded Mr Pompeo about this today. The administration, now led by President Trump, refused to do so. I'm not sure who was behind this decision, but the idea to publish this data was blocked by the United States. However, we believe that publishing it would remove many currently circulating fabrications. Of course, we will not unilaterally make these exchanges public, but I would still like to make this fact known.

The communication channel about cyber issues did indeed exist. In June 2013 the Presidents of the United States and Russia issued a Joint Statement about "Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs)". The parties agreed to establishing communication channels between each other computer emergency response teams, to use the direct communication link of the Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers for cyber issue exchanges, and to have direct communication links between high-level officials in the White House and Kremlin for such matter. A Fact Sheet published by the Obama White House detailed the implementation of these three channels.

One inference from Lavrov's statement is that the "fundamental understanding on this matter" between the two presidents that has "not been fully implemented" is the release of the communications about cyberspace incidents. The Russians clearly think that a release of the communications with the Obama administration would exculpate them. That would also exculpate Trump from any further collusion allegations. Why then does the Trump administration reject the release? Who is blocking it?

Cont. reading: Trump Administration Withholds Information That Could Debunk Russian Interference Claims

https://www.moonofalabama.org/

[May 18, 2019] Is John Bolton the most dangerous man in the world? by Ben Armbruster

May 18, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

The US is closer to war with Iran than it has been since the Bush years, or perhaps ever. And Bolton is largely to blame

But Bolton is on a fast track, seemingly aware that Trump's time in office may be limited.' Photograph: Jim Young/Reuters Donald Trump's national security adviser John Bolton wants the United States to go to war with Iran .

We know this because he has been saying it for nearly two decades .

And everything that the Trump administration has done over its Iran policy, particularly since Bolton became Trump's top foreign policy adviser in April of 2018, must be viewed through this lens, including the alarming US military posturing in the Middle East of the past two weeks.

Just after one month on the job, Bolton gave Trump the final push he needed to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement, which at the time was (and still is, for now) successfully boxing in Iran's nuclear program and blocking all pathways for Iran to build a bomb. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – as the Iran deal is formally known – was the biggest obstacle to Bolton's drive for a regime change war, because it eliminated a helpful pretext that served so useful to sell the war in Iraq 17 years ago.

Since walking away from the deal, the Trump administration has claimed that with a "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran, it can achieve a "better deal" that magically turns Iran into a Jeffersonian democracy bowing to every and any American wish. But this has always been a fantastically bad-faith argument meant to obscure the actual goal (regime change) and provide cover for the incremental steps – the crushing sanctions, bellicose rhetoric, and antagonizing military maneuvers – that have now put the United States closer to war with Iran than it has been since at least the latter half of the Bush administration, or perhaps ever.

And Bolton has no qualms about manipulating or outright ignoring intelligence to advance his agenda, which is exactly what's happening right now.

In his White House statement 10 days ago announcing (an already pre-planned) carrier and bomber deployment to the Middle East, Bolton cited "a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings" from Iran to justify the bolstered US military presence. But multiple sources who have seen the same intelligence have since said that Bolton and the Trump administration blew it "out of proportion, characterizing the threat as more significant than it actually was". Even a British general operating in the region pushed back this week, saying he has seen no evidence of an increased Iranian threat.

What's even more worrying is that Bolton knows what he's doing. He's "a seasoned bureaucratic infighter who has the skills to press forcefully for his views" – and he has a long history of using those skills to undermine American diplomacy and work toward killing arms control agreements.

As a senior official in the George W Bush administration, he played key role in the collapse of the Agreed Framework, the Clinton-era deal that froze North Korea's plutonium nuclear program (the North Koreans tested their first bomb four years later).

He said he "felt like a kid on Christmas day" after he orchestrated the US withdrawal from the international criminal court in 2002. And now as a senior official in the Trump administration, he pushed for the US to withdrawal from a crucial nuclear arms treaty with Russia.

While it's unclear how much of a role he played in scuttling Trump's negotiations with Kim Jong-un in Hanoi last year, he publicly called for the so-called "Libya model" with the North Koreans (in other words, regime change by force). Just months before joining the administration, he tried to make the legal case for a preventive war against Pyongyang. And if you think he cares about the aftermath of war with North Korea, he doesn't. Bolton was reportedly "unmoved" by a presentation during his time in the Bush administration of the catastrophic consequences of such a war. "I don't do war. I do policy," he said then.

So far, Bolton has been successful in moving the United States toward his desired outcome with Iran – if getting the Pentagon to draw up plans to send 120,000 US troops to the region to confront Iran is any indication. There are hopeful signs that we can avoid war, as US officials and our European allies, seemingly alarmed by what Bolton is up to, are sounding the alarm about the Trump administration skewing intelligence on Iran.

But Bolton is on a fast track, seemingly aware that Trump's time in office may be limited. The question, ultimately, is whether the president can stick to his instincts of avoiding more military conflict, or acquiesce to a man hellbent on boxing him into a corner with no way out other than war with Iran.

Ben Armbruster is the communications director for Win Without War and previously served as National Security Editor at ThinkProgress

[May 18, 2019] What is the representative of Allmighty Nation doing un Russia?

May 18, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Bianca , May 16, 2019 at 06:46

So, what is the representative of Allmighty Nation doing un Russia? Why bothering to hint on better relations? Noted in the press conference was the absence of Pompeo's moralizing, limiting itself on US position on issues. What is the point in this flying back and forth?

Yes, Iran -- and arms control. Venezuela -- and arms control. North Korea -- and arms control. I think they are paranoid about Russian weapons. And if Iranians by any chance have some of the new weaponry, providing perfect testing ground, would Russia own to that? What was obvious, no concessions on any issue from Moscow. Not even softened language.

This time, it is different. The economic and military power has shifted east, Europeans forever without a spine this time are spineless in all directions, and it will come as a shock to the establishment that the presumed animosity towards Iran in Gulf, will nowhere to be found. Wil Saudis host US troops against Iran, Doubt that deeply.

[May 17, 2019] Andrew Weissmann, Top Mueller Prosecutor Who Built Paul Manafort Case, to Step Down

Mar 16, 2019 | www.thedailybeast.com

Andrew Weissmann -- who built the case against Paul Manafort and one of the most prominent members of Robert Mueller's team -- is reportedly stepping down from the special counsel investigation. It's the latest indication that Mueller's work is nearly complete. NPR reports that Weissmann will also leave the Justice Department and now plans to study and teach at New York University while working on preventing wrongful convictions. Manafort was sentenced to about 7 1/2 years in federal prison following two cases that stemmed from Mueller's investigation.

However, neither case involved alleged collusion with Russia.

One source told NPR that Weissmann's departure is a clear sign that Mueller's work is finally winding up -- it follows the departure of the most senior FBI agent working on the Mueller probe, Special Agent in Charge David Archey, who has started a new job as head of the FBI's office in Richmond, Virginia.

[May 17, 2019] What Putin And Pompeo Did Not Talk About

May 17, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 44 minutes ago link

US foreign policy under President Trump is remarkably similar to what it would have been under Hillary...

except even she wouldnt have put a Chabad Orthodox *** in charge of a mideast 'peace' plan, let alone a 'solution' for the illegal immigration crisis which Trump did nothing about when the GOP controlled both House and Senate

haruspicio , 1 hour ago link

I do not think Putin is an idiot...he has consistently made good decisions and judgements and outsmarted both Obama and Trump on every occasion. For some reason I am worried that he is palling up to the wrong guy. Trump and the US cannot be trusted to observe any agreement or treaty and have displayed this over and over again.

Putin should be aligning with China who can be trusted to honour deals made. A military alliance between Russia and China with mutual aid of attacked by a third party would make the best strategic sense. If Putin doesn't;t do this he will get weakened economically and then when he is weak, the US will invade.

admin user , 1 hour ago link

there have been secret talks among the three pillars of Eurasian integration – Russia, China and Iran – about Chinese and Russian guarantees

" We are at war with Eurasia. We have always been at war with Eurasia ." - Nineteen Eighty-Four

not dead yet , 2 hours ago link

As quoted by the Moon Of Alabama Lavrov claimed there were back channels between the US and Russia from 2013 to Trumps taking office. Lavov claims these communications would shed lots of light on the Russians not interfering in the election and other stuff the Russians have been falsely accused of. Russia wants to release these communications and will only do so if the US agrees which they have not. Pompeo was silent.

chunga , 2 hours ago link

Quite a contrast to what their DC counterparts would do; that's smear it all over fake news in a dishonest, sensational effort to malign.

[May 17, 2019] Judicial Watch Nellie Ohr Deleted Emails Exchanged with DOJ Husband Bruce Ohr - Judicial Watch

May 16, 2019 | www.judicialwatch.org

http://jwatch.us/qqkyvU

'I'm deleting these emails now'

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released an email revealing that Nellie Ohr, wife of former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr, informed him that she was deleting emails sent from Bruce Ohr's DOJ email account.

From: Nellie Ohr

Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 12:49 PM

To: Ohr, Bruce (ODAG)

Subject: Re: Analyst Russian Organized Crime – April 2016

Thanks! I'm deleting these emails now

The full email exchange is between Bruce Ohr, Lisa Holtyn, Nellie Ohr, and Stefan Bress, a first secretary at the German Embassy, and is part of 339 pages of heavily redacted records from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Judicial Watch obtained the records through a March 2018 Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed after the Justice Department failed to respond a December 2017 request ( Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00490)).

Nellie Ohr's email has the same subject line as an email exchange with the subject line "Analyst Russian Organized Crime – April 2016" in which Bress initiates a discussion with Bruce Ohr and his top aide, Lisa Holtyn, proffering some "Russian analysts" to discuss a variety of topics with Ohr, Holtyn, and other DOJ officials. Among those topics to be discussed is "Impact of Russian influence operations in Europe ('PsyOps/InfoWar')."

Holtyn responds with, "I haven't had a chance to confer with Bruce yet, but would certainly love to meet with the 'A Team'!" Bruce Ohr then says, "That time works for me as well." Bress then provides the personal details/passport numbers of the German analysts who will be meeting with Holtyn and Ohr. Holtyn tells Bress that the Ohr's would like to host the German delegation for dinner and notes that Joe Wheatley and Ivana Nizich (a husband/wife team of DOJ Organized Crime prosecutors and friends of the Ohr's) would join them as well.

Until he was demoted for his connection to the anti-Trump dossier, Bruce Ohr was a top official at DOJ. A House Intelligence Committee memo released by Chairman Devin Nunes said that Nellie Ohr was "employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump" and that Bruce Ohr passed the results of that research, which was paid for by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign, to the FBI. The " salacious and unverified " Dossier was used to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) surveillance warrant to spy on Carter Page.

These documents are part of Nellie Ohr's and the DOJ's communications about Russia. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) recently wrote up a criminal referral concerning her testimony before Congress that she had no knowledge of what was going on during the Russia investigation at DOJ.

"This email is disturbing and suggests documents relevant to the improper targeting of President Trump were destroyed," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

This production of documents also revealed that Bruce Ohr remained in regular contact with former British spy and Fusion GPS contractor Christopher Steele after Steele was terminated by the FBI in November 2016 for revealing to the media his position as an FBI confidential informant.

[May 17, 2019] Trump Administration Withholds Information That Could Debunk Russian Interference Claims

Notable quotes:
"... That is an interesting transcript to read. Much of what it says dovetails with the conversation Peter AU 1 and Karlof1 were having in the comments forum attached to B's previous post (comments 85 - 87) and my addition @ 96 with regard to psychological projection and the phenomenon of shared psychosis, the latter which is now well known in Australia due to a case involving five members of a family in Victoria in 2016. ..."
"... Maybe there is also a class warfare aspect to Russiagate as well, just as there was to the mass hysteria directed at Communism: both phenomena focus on particular scapegoats made to represent the manifestation of the fears of a ruling class that knows it does not deserve its position in society. ..."
"... Because it would constitute a great moral error for Russia and a blow to its rapidly rising credibility and trustworthiness. Here are several maxims: First and foremost--The Golden Rule; Second--you don't stoop to the level of your opponent; rather, expose the difference as much as possible. Third, and almost as important as #1--Honor & Dignity. ..."
"... the information is simply deemed too damaging to the USA soft power, to the point even Trump doesn't want to release it to the public; and/or the deep state is essentially blocking it from going public for the same reason. ..."
"... this Russophobe situation is not all that bad to the political faction in Russia who wants it to remain sovereign relative to the USA (i.e. the Eurasianists). Trade between the two countries was already almost null before the sanctions (less than 5% of each country's total trade), so they aren't really affecting their economies. Besides, Russia gains the rationale to stifle its neoliberals at home (Yeltsin and the liberals) and maintain United Russia in power. It also gives Putin a legitimate excuse to dump US Treasury bonds, build its own internet servers, increase its relations with China and drive a wedge between Europe and the US. ..."
"... What happened with the "US is rapidly collapsing" , "The breathtaking weakness of the Empire", "No one takes the US seriously" "World to US - you are fired" and so on alt media retardations? ..."
May 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Trump Administration Withholds Information That Could Debunk Russian Interference Claims karlof1 , May 16, 2019 3:44:02 PM | link

On Tuesday Russia's President Putin again rejected U.S. claims that his country interfered in the 2016 elections in the United States. Additional statements by Foreign Minister Lavrov provide that there is more information available about alleged Russian cyber issue during the election. He pointed to exchanges between the Russian and U.S. governments that Russia wants published but which the U.S. is withholding.

On Tuesday May 14 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Sochi to meet with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergej Lavrov and with the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. It was Pompeo's first official visit to Russia. Pompeo's meeting with Lavrov was followed by a joined news conference . The statements from both sides touched on the election issue.

The State Department published a full transcript and video of the press conference in English language. The Russian Foreign Ministry provided an official English translation of only Lavrov's part. Both translations differ only slightly.

Here are the relevant excerpts from the opening statements with regard to cyber issues.

Lavrov:

We agreed on the importance of restoring communications channels that have been suspended lately, which was due in no small part to the groundless accusations against Russia of trying to meddle in the US election. These allegations went as far as to suggest that we colluded in some way with high-ranking officials from the current US administration. It is clear that allegations of this kind are completely false. [...] I think that there is a fundamental understanding on this matter as discussed by our presidents during their meeting last year in Helsinki, as well as during a number of telephone conversations. So far these understandings have not been fully implemented .

Pompeo:

[W]e spoke, too, about the question of interference in our domestic affairs. I conveyed that there are things that Russia can do to demonstrate that these types of activities are a thing of the past and I hope that Russia will take advantage of those opportunities.

During the Q & A Shaun Tanron of AFP asked Pompeo about the election issue:

[I]f I could follow up on your statement about the election, you said that there are things that Russia could do to show that election interference is a thing of the past. What are those things? What do – what would you like Russia to do? Thank you very much.

Lavrov responded first to the question. He said that there is no evidence that shows any Russian interference in the U.S. elections. He continued:

Speaking about the most recent US presidential campaign in particular, we have had in place an information exchange channel about potential unintended risks arising in cyberspace since 2013. From October 2016 (when the US Democratic Administration first raised this issue) until January 2017 (before Donald Trump's inauguration), this channel was used to handle requests and responses. Not so long ago, when the attacks on Russia in connection with the alleged interference in the elections reached their high point, we proposed publishing this exchange of messages between these two entities, which engage in staving off cyberspace incidents. I reminded Mr Pompeo about this today. The administration, now led by President Trump, refused to do so. I'm not sure who was behind this decision, but the idea to publish this data was blocked by the United States. However, we believe that publishing it would remove many currently circulating fabrications. Of course, we will not unilaterally make these exchanges public, but I would still like to make this fact known.

The communication channel about cyber issues did indeed exist. In June 2013 the Presidents of the United States and Russia issued a Joint Statement about "Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs)". The parties agreed to establishing communication channels between each other computer emergency response teams, to use the direct communication link of the Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers for cyber issue exchanges, and to have direct communication links between high-level officials in the White House and Kremlin for such matter. A Fact Sheet published by the Obama White House detailed the implementation of these three channels.

One inference from Lavrov's statement is that the "fundamental understanding on this matter" between the two presidents that has "not been fully implemented" is the release of the communications about cyberspace incidents. The Russians clearly think that a release of the communications with the Obama administration would exculpate them. That would also exculpate Trump from any further collusion allegations. Why then does the Trump administration reject the release? Who is blocking it?

Pompeo did not respond to Lavrov's points. His next meeting that day was with President Putin.

Putin let him wait for three hours. Both sides issued short opening statements. The English translations of what Putin said differ. In the version provided by Russia Putin explicitely denies the alleged election interference:

For our part, we have said many times that we would also like to restore relations on a full scale. I hope that the necessary conditions for this are being created now since, despite the exotic character of Mr Mueller's work, he should be given credit for conducting what is generally an objective inquiry. He reaffirmed the lack of any trace or collusion between Russia and the current administration , which we described as sheer nonsense from the very start. There was no, nor could there be any interference on our part in the US election at the government level. Nevertheless, regrettably, these allegations have served as a reason for the deterioration of our interstate ties.

The State Department version does not include the Russian denial of election interference but doubles the rejection of the collusion claim:

On our behalf, we have said it multiple times that we also would like to rebuild fully fledged relations, and I hope that right now a conducive environment is being built for that, because, though, however exotic the work of Special Counsel Mueller was, I have to say that on the whole he had a very objective investigation and he confirmed that there are no traces whatsoever of collusion between Russia and the incumbent administration , which we've said was absolutely fake. As we've said before, there was no collusion from our government officials and it could not be there. Still, that was – that was one of the reasons certainly breaking our (inaudible) ties.

An English language live translation of that paragraph (vid) by the Russian sponsored Ruptly does not include the word 'election' in the highlighted sentence, nor does a live translation (vid) by PBS.

It seem that the Kremlin later inserted the explicit denial of election interference into Putin's statement. It is quite possible that Putin, who did not read from a prepared paper, mangled the talking point that Lavrov had already made.

After the meeting Putin, Pompeo held a short press availability with the U.S. journalists accompanying him. There is no mentioning of Lavrov's point.

There were secret communications between the Obama administration and the Russian government about the alleged election interference and 'hacks' of the DNC and of Clinton's campaign manager Podesta. They are not mentioned in the Mueller report nor in any other open source. As Russia wants these communications released it might be possible to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to press for their publication. The Trump administration response to such a FOIA request could at least reveal the reasons why it is withholding them.

The allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 elections are partly based on the fact that a commercial Russian enterprise used fake characters on Facebook to sell advertisement . A review of the themes and ideological positions those fake characters provided demonstrates that they were not designed to influence the U.S. elections.

In contrast to those Russian fakes other fake characters on Facebook, provided by an Israeli company and revealed today, were clearly designed to influence elections :

Facebook said Thursday it banned an Israeli company that ran an influence campaign aimed at disrupting elections in various countries and has canceled dozens of accounts engaged in spreading disinformation.
...
Many were linked to the Archimedes Group, a Tel Aviv-based political consulting and lobbying firm that boasts of its social media skills and ability to "change reality."
...
On its website, Archimedes presents itself as a consulting firm involved in campaigns for presidential elections.

Little information is available beyond its slogan, which is "winning campaigns worldwide," and a vague blurb about the group's "mass social media management" software, which it said enabled the operation of an "unlimited" number of online accounts.

Don't expect any protest from Washington DC about such obvious election interference in other countries.

---
Hat tip to Aaron Maté for pointing out Lavrov's statement

"... a release of the communications with the Obama administration would " be the logical, necessary first step in removing all the anti-Russian sanctions, theft of diplomatic property, and so forth--except--that isn't what the actual policy is toward Russia: Russia's the declared "existential threat" #1 of 2 to Outlaw US Empire National Security; so, any actual accommodation--"normalization of relations/communications--with Russia remains off the table.

Why?

The Controlling Oligarchy still believes it can overcome what's becoming an Eurasian Alliance to its Zero-sum plan for the planet. Such a conclusion clearly isn't determined by facts or logic but by the long entrenched metaphysical dogma in the Controlling Oligarchy's exceptionalism and that its God of Mammon is on its side. Fantastical delusion, certainly, that only operates within the alternative reality the Controlling Oligarchy's constructed for itself and its slaves/disciples. That construct has its roots in the ongoing denial of historical reality over the past 2,000+ years, whose true reality was recovered by Michael Hudson's Peabody Museum Team.


Symen Danziger , May 16, 2019 3:47:51 PM | link

The Trump administration probably wants to stretch this nothingburger well into 2020 to give Democrats a little taste of their own medicine.

The toxic cocktail of Ukrainian oligarchs/operatives and the Obama/Clinton/Kerry/Biden mafia is best served around election time.

Taffyboy , May 16, 2019 4:28:34 PM | link
Again, this is WWE kayfabe by Trump. He is such a bull shitter. If you can stand to watch without upchucking...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkghtyxZ6rc

... There you have it, one glorious president, same guy different year. But Lavrov, again shows grace under fire. This guy is amazing. He is more than a match for Trump, or any low brow now representing the USA.

Jackrabbit , May 16, 2019 4:45:14 PM | link
Taffyboy @15: kayfabe by Trump

Trump does engage in a lot of kayfabe - like his "fake news" conflict with our controlled press.

But the new McCarthyism is much more. This is a serious Deep State-approved policy to weaken Russia, kettle Europe, and stifle dissent.

lysias , May 16, 2019 4:46:00 PM | link Really? , May 16, 2019 4:46:10 PM | link
"And i know all the points made that Russia could not have hacked them, but all the opposing evidence is much stronger IMHO, "

This statement is quite worrisome.
It is akin to the Mueller investigation itself: evidence-free, or evidence bending and distorting.
IMO any hypothesis/theory of the crime has to account for all available physical evidence and forensics. If it doesn't either there is something wrong with the hypothesis, or with the evidence. Unless you can provide counter-evidence to Binney's assessment and evidence that there was a leak, not a hack, then I don't think your conclusion has much value--becomes a garbage in, garbage out situation.

WJ , May 16, 2019 4:57:38 PM | link
The problem with Jackrabbit's @3 account is that it takes seriously the notion that Trump is a "nationalist," which he's not. His rhetoric is nationalist, as is arguably his "trade war" with China, but every major foreign policy action he's undertaken could have been undertaken by any of the last four Presidents and most would have been undertaken by Clinton. I agree with Jackrabbit that the correct inference to draw from the Trump administration's failure to publish the exonerating correspondence is that the new McCarthyism is policy, on some level. The only difference between Trump and Clinton is that she knew this was the new policy going into the election and even had a hand in creating its pretext, while Trump was informed only later.

Why is this policy? Not because Henry Kissinger says so. It is because the last years of the Obama presidency leading into the 2016 election witnessed a noticeable rise of social and political disaffection among Americans due to rapidly increasing inequality post the 2008-09 bailout and this was perceived as threatening the viability (ie propagandistic utility) of the two major parties and corporate media narratives, these being the two institutions most captured by and useful for the oligarchic elites. The Russia-meddling narrative would have been put forward even if Clinton had won, though probably under a different guise. Its main function was to recapture domestic politics and party stability by creating a foreign enemy that could be presented to the masses as the cause of American social unrest. The masses, being stupid and gullible, would soon fall into line, and yearn for a "return" to the "normalcy"--ie the status quo iniquities--of the political order. This, in fact, is the very premise of Biden's--the favored restorationist's-- presidential campaign.

If there is a "reason" that Trump was allowed to be elected, it is probably that the collapse of the Democratic Party poses a bigger threat to the elite than the collapse of the Republican Party does, because the Democratic Party is meant to absorb and neuter social democratic movements coming from the Left. Hence there needed to be a mechanism whereby Democratic Party allegiance was strengthened. Russia-meddling narrative did exactly this. It successfully present social democratic critiques of Party leadership as suspicious and illegitimate and presented the Party itself as the victim of nefarious influence, thereby reinspiring the allegiance of its
members.

The whole theater surrounding the 2020 election is to prevent the populist upsurge of the 2016 election from taking hold. It is largely working. I suspect Biden will be nominated as Democratic nominee during the second ballot of the election, and he will narrowly beat it narrowly lose to Trump. Of course there are multiple parties that benefit from the Russia-meddling narrative. But I think that reestablishing narrative control over domestic politics was the chief purpose of the narrative, not Kissinger's foreign policy op ed.

I think that events subsequent to 2016 support this narrative.

somebody , May 16, 2019 5:06:44 PM | link
The problem is with the artificial construct of "election interference" which lots of countries do in the US by funding certain politicians. The Clinton Foundation is a big elephant.

Cambridge Analytica which has been closely connected to the British establishment pitched to all countries including Russia . As they deal in psychological warfare everybody must have been asleep - or not.
This is a Scottish take on Cambridge Analytica

Board members include an array of Lords, Tory donors, ex-British army officers and defense contractors. This is scandal that cuts to the heart of the British establishment.' A freedom of information request from August 2016, shows that the MOD has twice bought services from Strategic Communication Laboratories in recent years.

In 2010/11, the MOD paid £40,000 to SCL for the "provision of external training". Meanwhile, in 2014/2015, it paid SCL £150,000 for the "procurement of target audience analysis".

In addition, SCL also carries a secret clearance as a 'list X' contractor for the MOD. A List X site is a commercial site on British soil that is approved to hold UK government information marked as 'confidential' and above. Essentially, SCL got the green light to hold British government secrets on its premises.

Meanwhile, the US State Department has a contract for $500,000 with SLC. According to an official, this was to provide "research and analytical support in connection with our mission to counter terrorist propaganda and disinformation overseas." This was not the only work that SCL has been contracted for with the US government, the source added...

So Britain interfered in the US elections in two ways - as a psychological warfare company laying a trail to Russia and as a "private" secret service company - Orbis - claiming that there was a Russian conspiracy.

wagelaborer , May 16, 2019 5:08:37 PM | link
In order to believe that Russia tried to influence the US election by releasing information to American voters, you would have to believe that
1) Russia preferred one candidate over the others, (although Putin has pointed out that US policy marches on, unencumbered by any particular front man in the White House)
2) That Russia believes that American voters carefully research the candidates and base their votes on facts and reason. Why would Russia believe this? I certainly don't. And the reaction of the Dems to the Mueller Report makes it particularly obvious that facts don't penetrate into the minds of Dems. (It should go without saying that Reps are equally resistant to facts.)
3) That Russia knew that the DNC had emails which showed that the Clinton campaign rigged the primaries against Sanders. Why would Russia know that? And did Russia also shoot down Seth Rich, in order to make it look like Clinton racked up another body? As Jackrabbit points out, above, we are told that Clinton actually got 3 million more votes than Trump, so clearly, the leaks, the information and the dead body meant very little to American voters.

I also agree with Jackrabbit that this hysteria against Russia started before the 2016 election. Does no one remember the coup in Ukraine? The propaganda started then.

And the purposes of this propaganda push are obvious, and are playing out now.

A big part is the attempt of our owners to regain access to the wealth of Russia, as they had under their drunken puppet Yeltsin, in the 90s. The sanctions, the NATO expansion, the military "exercises" on the border...all justified (in their propaganda) by the "Russian threat".

Also to push for censorship and control over social media. Listen to their speeches, watch their actions, and it is very clear that they intend to shut down the horizontal flow of information between humans around the world that social media made possible, for a few, brief years.

And the ramping up of the divisions in the US population, by calling anyone who voted for Trump a "racist", which annoys the hell out of people, leading to anger and increased hostility, which is then blamed on the Russians, in a transparent (to normal people) case of psychological projection. They are pushing for civil war, in order to divide and conquer the people, and they are blaming the obvious increase of tensions on the Russians.

Kevin , May 16, 2019 5:09:57 PM | link
The "Russian interference" theory is useful for diverting attention away from the Israeli interference FACT. Trump is a willing stooge of the Israelis and therefore will do nothing substantial to bury the Russian interference theory.
Peter AU 1 , May 16, 2019 5:17:48 PM | link
@jackrabbit
Do you know of any links to the full Kissinger piece that are not hidden behind the WSJ paywall
Peter AU 1 , May 16, 2019 5:39:18 PM | link
NBTS

Sic Semper Tyrannis
https://turcopolier.typepad.com/

karlof1 , May 16, 2019 5:59:29 PM | link
WJ @21--

You raise some good points. Russiagate is very much about Narrative Control and thus about Masses Control since that's Narrative Control's purpose. However, enough insurgents were elected who are quite savvy and fearless, and who are getting media exposure to advance their issues. Furthermore, reality is crushing Narrative Control, and the insurgents are very good to link real life context to the issues they champion--that FOX in some respects is no longer a member of BigLie Media (Tucker Carlson, Sanders Town Hall, and others) is very important. Toss in the 737-MAX scandal and its immediate connections to 2008, and the Controlling Oligarchy has more than one big problem. As for Biden, IMO his association with Obama and Clinton along with his own gaffs will sink him well before the Convention.

karlof1 , May 16, 2019 6:48:28 PM | link
Peter AU 1, et al--

Like many, I hadn't read Kissinger's "Henry Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order" since it resided behind the WSJ's paywall. And it's hidden there for a very good reason--it's premised on a totally false version of the post-WW2 world and the actions of the Outlaw US Empire. Indeed, it's an excellent example of the alternative reality believed by the Controlling Oligarchy, which is the essay's intended audience. Here's a whopper from paragraph 2:

"The prevalent American view considered people inherently reasonable and inclined toward peaceful compromise and common sense; the spread of democracy was therefore the overarching goal for international order. Free markets would uplift individuals, enrich societies and substitute economic interdependence for traditional international rivalries."

Please compare that with the actual events--covert and overt--immediately following WW2 and the implementation of the UN Charter and Organization. The Cold War was already ongoing policy; the fundamental tenets of the UN Charter were already being undermined, and unilateral action was seen as required to control peoples deemed unreasonable--because they didn't want to follow the diktats of their former colonial masters. And that's just the beginning of a complete, utter fabrication of history.

Here's the paragraph that introduces the notion of a Rules-based Order:

"A world order of states affirming individual dignity and participatory governance, and cooperating internationally in accordance with agreed-upon rules, can be our hope and should be our inspiration. But progress toward it will need to be sustained through a series of intermediary stages."

Of course, such an order already exists--the UN and its and additional codices of International Law. Is Kissinger trying to remind his audience of the #1 policy goal of the Outlaw US Empire--Full Spectrum Domination--since enthusiasm for it was waning thanks to the Ukraine Crisis (which was deemed a crisis because Crimea wasn't taken)?

What pathology is Kissinger displaying? He's clearly lying deliberately, but how many in his intended audience know he's lying? Chomsky famously noted that delusional ideas can still be rational. I'm sure others will comment now that Kissinger's essay's no longer hidden.

Jen , May 16, 2019 7:03:55 PM | link
James @ 35:

That is an interesting transcript to read. Much of what it says dovetails with the conversation Peter AU 1 and Karlof1 were having in the comments forum attached to B's previous post (comments 85 - 87) and my addition @ 96 with regard to psychological projection and the phenomenon of shared psychosis, the latter which is now well known in Australia due to a case involving five members of a family in Victoria in 2016.

It's possible that what we have been seeing in Washington DC for decades (and what we are still seeing in one form or another) is a form of shared psychosis or mass hysteria. The hysteria over Communism during the 1950s never really went away; it has transformed into the Russiagate scandal of today with its focus on the Trump government.

Maybe there is also a class warfare aspect to Russiagate as well, just as there was to the mass hysteria directed at Communism: both phenomena focus on particular scapegoats made to represent the manifestation of the fears of a ruling class that knows it does not deserve its position in society.

karlof1 , May 16, 2019 7:16:04 PM | link
DontBelieveEitherPropaganda @34--

"Why would it be so bad if Russia finally did hit back the same way it has been treated?"

Because it would constitute a great moral error for Russia and a blow to its rapidly rising credibility and trustworthiness. Here are several maxims: First and foremost--The Golden Rule; Second--you don't stoop to the level of your opponent; rather, expose the difference as much as possible. Third, and almost as important as #1--Honor & Dignity.

In the eyes of the genuine International Community, Russia and China have striven extremely hard to differentiate themselves and their goals from that of the Outlaw US Empire and can now count @2/3s of the world's nations behind them, and that number grows daily while the reputation of the West sinks. Even stalwarts of the West admit this as Merkel did earlier today, which I linked on the previous thread. Thirty years ago, the USSR was coming apart at its seams because for decades it tried to continue a fantasy, a non-reality. Putin and his cadre demand honesty, reality, and accountability. Today Putin took part in the plenary session of The Truth and Justice Regional and Local Media Forum, which is part of an ongoing series aimed at the uplifting of Russia and Russians, and to try and attain the desired results, Putin must have unimpeachable credibility. And he does.

vk , May 16, 2019 7:40:12 PM | link
Assuming this theory is right (and I doubt it), then there's two main possibilities as to 1) why the USA is witholding it and 2) why Russia is in no hurry to release it. My guess is a combination of:

a) the information is simply deemed too damaging to the USA soft power, to the point even Trump doesn't want to release it to the public; and/or the deep state is essentially blocking it from going public for the same reason.

b) this Russophobe situation is not all that bad to the political faction in Russia who wants it to remain sovereign relative to the USA (i.e. the Eurasianists). Trade between the two countries was already almost null before the sanctions (less than 5% of each country's total trade), so they aren't really affecting their economies. Besides, Russia gains the rationale to stifle its neoliberals at home (Yeltsin and the liberals) and maintain United Russia in power. It also gives Putin a legitimate excuse to dump US Treasury bonds, build its own internet servers, increase its relations with China and drive a wedge between Europe and the US.

c) if Russia released unilaterally, it would be born lifeless, since the Western MSM would accuse this info was fake news fabricated by the "Russian propaganda machine", thus defeating its own purpose.

d) it would hurt Trump's own base, since his doctrine is that of the "Clash of Civilizations", i.e. that the world is defined at a macro level by a cultural war, whose ultimate antagonism lies between the Caucasian "Western Civilization" (Christian and white plus their honorable whites: the Japanese and South Korean) and the "Yellows" (Chinese). If the info released could paint a picture of cooperation between those "LGBT-loving" Democrats and the "Strong, Orthodox" Russians, then this fantasy world would shatter to pieces.

vk , May 16, 2019 7:40:12 PM | link Curtis , May 16, 2019 7:43:27 PM | link
The MSM portrayed this NOT as Russian denial of interference but Russia using US interference as an excuse for their own. It's the usual spin.

Haaretz. Isn't it amazing what they can print but our own media won't touch? That's why the alt-media in the US does so well and why the MSM and tech giants fight it.

ДжММ , May 16, 2019 7:45:21 PM | link
Piotr @7:
The Russian transcript which matches the Russian words Putin is shown speaking on video) does indeed speak specifically of elections [выборы]. That seems an important difference, and it is possible that Putin included that comment off-script. In which case, the english-language media, rather than actually translating what was said, simply transcribed a pre-conference script document prepared for them in advance.
Given the way the English-speaking media behaves, such behavior seems like it would be true-to-form.
Passer by , May 16, 2019 7:53:20 PM | link
OT

India joined the US and betrayed Iran. MK Bhadrakumar (who is not a fan of the US) himself admits it. India's betrayal of Iran is only the beginning - https://indianpunchline.com/indias-betrayal-of-iran-is-only-the-beginning/

What happened with the "US is rapidly collapsing" , "The breathtaking weakness of the Empire", "No one takes the US seriously" "World to US - you are fired" and so on alt media retardations?

You underestimate your opponents. Which makes a lot of your analyses garbage. And i don't like reading garbage. Improve the quality of your analyses, please.

Jackrabbit , May 16, 2019 7:53:50 PM | link
WJ @21

You're right, Trump is not actually a nationalist. I've often written that he's a faux populist . Trump was the only MAGA candidate and the ONLY populist on the right. His hiring of Manafort furthered the 'Russian collusion' narrative as well as his very public requests that Russia deliver Clinton emails and his praise of Putin. Trump said he wouldn't prosecute Hillary within days of winning, saying "they've been through a lot" and has strangely brought friends and has associates of his Deep State enemies into his Administration:

  • VP Pence was close to McCain;
  • CIA Director Gina Haspel is associated with Brennan;
  • AG Wm Barr is a long-time friend of Mueller (and Mueller is Comey's mentor);
  • Bolton is a neocon - neocons were "Never Trump".
Billosky , May 16, 2019 7:56:13 PM | link
"And i know all the points made that Russia could not have hacked them, but all the opposing evidence is much stronger IMHO, including analysis and inside knowlegde from current intelligence personal at SST."

Hmm, you sound just like all of the many clowns who have have been peddling the risible Russiagate hoax for the last 2 & 1/2 years! Always chirping about big fat masses of "evidence" that somehow they just can't reveal to the sorry unwashed masses of us, you know, "for reasons of national security," although they, just like you, evidently, will generously deign to provide us with "analysis and knowlegde [sic] from current intelligence personal [sic] at SST," -- whatever the Hell that silly esoteric acronymn is supposed to denominate, -- who are, of course, to be believed implicitly even though they have a very well-documented, seventy year record of spouting the most egregious lies in their quest to maximize their own increasingly mafia-like power. No thanks, "Don't believe either propaganda" I personally don't find your non-evidentiary propaganda nearly so compelling as the meticulous VIPS' refutation of the whole nonsense about "Russian hacking" of the DNC, a refutation which, by the way, has also been repeatedly corroborated by Julian Assange, whose record of veracity, I dare say, would put to shame any comparable record that could possibly be produced by you, or even any of the other self-appointed "analysts" at your so trusted "SST," -- if indeed that acronym refers to anything at all!!

ДжММ , May 16, 2019 7:59:19 PM | link
... also, per what Putin actually said, "Mueller confirmed the absence of any kind of traces and any kind of arrangements between Russia and the current administration, which [russia] has characterized since the beginning as total nonsense."

I am constantly dissatisfied with the quality of Russian-to-English translation from such official sources. It's no 'overload' button, but still , precision in words and grammar matters....

roza shanina , May 16, 2019 8:18:17 PM | link
Mr. Lavrov said, "we believe that publishing it (emails between the two entities communicating about cyberspace issues) would remove many currently circulating fabrications. Of course, we will not unilaterally make these exchanges public..."
I haven't seen the fabrications to which he is referring. Has anyone seen the fabrications of the messages he is speaking about?
Jackrabbit , May 16, 2019 8:21:35 PM | link
karlof1 @36

This is the part that's relevant to Trump as the MAGA candidate:

Even as the lessons of challenging decades are examined, the affirmation of America's exceptional nature must be sustained. History offers no respite to countries that set aside their sense of identity in favor of a seemingly less arduous course.

This is his prescription given after listing all the problems facing his cherished international order.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

This was my reaction when I first read it in 2014 :

I was skeptical of Kissinger's Op-ed of March 5th, saying (on April 28th): "Kissinger penned a "lets be reasonable" Op-ed in an attempt to head off Russian action and maintain the gains made via "facts on the ground".

Kissinger again feels the need to join the public conversation but I see his contribution very differently than Banger. My reading is that Kissinger is asserting that the US can and should do whatever it takes to keep the US preeminent – even if that means ignoring allies and/or the post-war international structure (UN, UNSC). That exceptional! message comes through loud and clear despite his 'triage' formalism. And it is a message that is comforting to the elite who read the WSJ (before a holiday weekend), though it should give Joe Sixpack nightmares if fully understood.

There is a lot more there which would take much longer to unpack. But I'll point to one more thing: Note how he forms an equivalence between all the troubles that the 'West' now face, and ignores US/Western actions that have contributed to these conflicts by conflating them. NC readers understand this via Merschemer's (in today's links) work on Ukraine and many links regarding ISIS (like this one).

This comforting message is needed because the Ukraine gambit has failed miserably – as many independent oberservers [sic] predicted– and a deeper conflict with Russia (possibly extending to others) is now in the cards. Like the true neocon that he is, Kissinger has doubled down on Nuland's obnoxious and misguided "f*ck the EU" with an exceptional! "f*ck the World".

God help us.

Don Bacon , May 16, 2019 8:24:54 PM | link
@ Passer 44
India joined the US and betrayed Iran. MK Bhadrakumar (who is not a fan of the US) himself admits it. . . i don't like reading garbage. Improve the quality of your analyses, please.

MKB didn't "admit it," he rued it. You left that part out.

Delhi falls in line with the US diktat on Iran sanctions, which of course will hit the Indian economy very badly, while the US is also at the same time aggressively demanding that India should open up its market for American exports. Why can't the Modi government prioritise India's economic concerns?. . . here

And MKB chastised India as cowards:
The running theme in all this is that India's strategic ties with Iran, Russia and China are coming under challenge from Washington. But the big question is how come Washington regards the "muscular" Modi government with a 56″ chest to be made of such cowardly stuff? Are the ruling elites so thoroughly compromised with the Americans? There are no easy answers.

I don't like reading garbage. Improve the quality of your analysis, please.
karlof1 , May 16, 2019 8:26:07 PM | link
Passer by @44--

Modi, if he gets reelected and given this decision that's a huge IF, India's economy will crash as Iranian oil was being bought at a discount. Also, this will greatly damage future BRI prospects and a host of other matters. IOW, Modi did NOT act in his or India's fundamental interest. Of course, it's even more likely now that he'll lose and the flow of Iranian oil will resume in order to keep India's economy alive. A more apt title for that item would be Modi's suicide.

Jen , May 16, 2019 8:26:52 PM | link
DBEP @ 8, 34:

Aside from the burden of proof you need to provide to back up your belief that the DNC emails were hacked by Russians - which others here have pointed out is not supported by available evidence - you need to say why you believe the moral and right thing for Russia to do is to get involved in a tit-4-tat cycle of revenge for wrongs both real and perceived.

The other problem with your argument is that it appears to be based on a narrow range of sources, and quite dubious sources at that, which happen to agree with one another. Intel agencies are as likely to rely on rumour, innuendo and fake news, to the extent of shaping reports of real events into something completely different, if they believe that will advance their aims.

This is why the CIA was mightily upset when in 2017 Wikileaks revealed the infamous hacking tools known as Vault 7 that the agency uses to hack information and then attach fake metadata to its hacking efforts to cover them and implicate foreign agencies.

Don Bacon , May 16, 2019 8:31:39 PM | link
I suppose that we can all agree that Kissinger is a terrible person, a demonstrated fact with no further proof required.
ДжММ , May 16, 2019 8:33:36 PM | link
roza @49

A HREF="http://www.mid.ru/ru/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/3646994">MFA transcript
The word Lavrov used, "измышления", means more literally, "things that have been made up". You are reading nuances into a word that was poorly-chosen as a translation.

ДжММ , May 16, 2019 8:35:59 PM | link
Dagnabbit. Sorry about the broken tags...
Don Bacon , May 16, 2019 8:39:31 PM | link
@ karlof1 52
As MKB pointed out, it's also in India's fundamental interest to retain its interests in Iran regarding the Chabahar port entrance into central Asia, in competition with China & Pakistan's Gwadar port. Modi is basically an anti-Muslim loser, keeping in mind that India has about as many Muslims as Pakistan has. I suppose he thinks it will help him in the election.
karlof1 , May 16, 2019 8:44:15 PM | link
Jackrabbit @50--

As I wrote, Kissinger was knowingly lying. If he actually believed those myths, he's more delusional than I imagined.

I highly suggest reading the transcript james linked @35. Kissinger can be lumped in with all the other deniers.

As I wrote above, the USSR crashed into an impenetrable wall called Reality. The USA is in the process of doing the same although the results will differ. Trump isn't MAGA; he's MAW--Make America Worse as that's the reality.

karlof1 , May 16, 2019 8:54:29 PM | link
Don Bacon @57--

Thanks for adding that. Our assessments of Modi are quite similar. I hope he's replaced. India has so much potential, but it's rarely had a leader to match.

Don Bacon , May 16, 2019 9:04:27 PM | link
@ karlof1 59
Yes India has potential, but meanwhile is quite backward especially compared to China in terms of transport and infrastructure. It's too bad, the people are wonderful, Hindus, Muslims and Christians getting along with no help from Modi.
Passer by , May 16, 2019 9:05:27 PM | link
Don Bacon | May 16, 2019 8:24:54 PM | 51

Did i say that they are not cowards? Does it matter? Does it matter if MK did not like it?

Are you an idiot? What kind of low quality thinking is that?

The point (at least for me) is not whether MK likes what happened or not. Or whether i like it. Sometimes in life bad things happen, no matter what your side is.

The point is already mentioned in the second part of my first comment.

karlof1 | May 16, 2019 8:26:07 PM | 52

Yes, India already has plenty of issues with BRI, especially CPEC. They refused to participate recently in one of the forums if i remember correctly. Yes, there is no doubt that there is a price to pay for India. Yet you can see what is happening with India and Brazil. The US is working towards the weakening of BRICS and multipolarity in general.

So: how do you explain the US gaining power in India and Brazil if the US is collapsing? Unless they are stronger than some people think.

james , May 16, 2019 9:13:59 PM | link
@37 jen.. yes - a bit like the previous conversation, but of relevance here too... i don't know how much of it is intentional, or a result of all drinking the same kooaid for so long, they become immune to an alternative viewpoint.. lots of room for speculation..
Indrid Cold , May 16, 2019 9:14:03 PM | link
This does not show the strength of the dying US empire, it shows the weakness of India's ruling class.
karlof1 , May 16, 2019 9:17:13 PM | link
Passer by @61--

In a word--Corruption. I'll leave it to you to explain to the hundreds of homeless I just finished walking amongst in Portland, Oregon, and the additional million+ nationwide that the USA isn't "collapsing."

In continuation of our discussion on the psychological issues at play within the Outlaw US Empire, I offer this assessment just published by The Saker which is filled with links to prove his assertions:

"[Sidebar: this issue is crucial to the understanding of the United States. The US is an extremely developed country, but not a civilized one. Oscar Wilde (and George Clemanceau) had it right: "America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between". There are signs of that everywhere in the USA: from the feudal labor laws, to the lack of universal healthcare, to absolutely ridiculous mandatory criminal sentences (the Soviet Penal Code under Stalin was MUCH more reasonable and civilized than the current US laws!), to the death penalty, to the socially accepted torture in GITMO and elsewhere, to racial tensions, the disgusting "food" constituting the typical "SAD" diet, to the completely barbaric "war on drugs", to the world record of incarcerations, to an immense epidemic of sexual assaults and rapes (1/5 of all women in the USA!), homosexuality accepted as a "normal and positive variation of human sexuality", 98 percent of men reported internet porn use in the last six months, – you can continue that list ad nauseam. Please don't misunderstand me – there are as many kind, intelligent, decent, honorable, educated, compassionate people in the USA as anywhere else. This is not about the people living in the USA: it is about the kind of society these people are living in. In fact, I would argue the truism that US Americans are the first victims of the lack of civilization of their own society! Finally, a lack of civilization is not always a bad thing, and sometimes it can make a society much more dynamic, more flexible, more innovative too. But yeah, mostly it sucks ]"

Passer by , May 16, 2019 9:19:11 PM | link
Indrid Cold | May 16, 2019 9:14:03 PM | 63

Sounds good. So India is retarded, Brazil is retarded, Europe is retarded, etc. You are smarter than them. (It is possible though :).

Well, if there are so many retards around in this world, no wonder the US has been ruling it for some time.

uncle tungsten , May 16, 2019 9:22:19 PM | link

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 16, 2019 7:55:46 PM | 46

I have a copy but I don't know if it's legal to post it.

Try sending it offshore. You could send it to b with a request. I am mystified at you obedience to law.

Indrid Cold , May 16, 2019 9:24:00 PM | link
Passer by, are you alright? It is just...I don't know...you sound a bit disturbed. Who said retarded other than you? Are you retarded? Hmmmm...

Now if you asked whether there are corrupt and worthless "leaders" in India and other places who are either too frightened or too greedy to stand up to murican demands.... oh wait, never mind....

The short bus is coming for you.....

Don Bacon , May 16, 2019 9:25:45 PM | link
On the other hand, the US has many secular and religious groups doing what they can alleviate the suffering that surely exists, a very civilized behavior. Community groups in action, the kind of society we live in, in areas where the government has failed. . .But I do feel left out, 98 percent of US men reported internet porn use in the last six months and I didn't get any. . . Had to do it myself!
hands gruber , May 16, 2019 9:27:11 PM | link
In his book, The Dönmeh Jews, D. Mustafa Turan writes that Wahhab's grandfather, Tjen Sulayman, was actually Tjen Shulman, a member of the Jewish community of Basra, Iraq. The Iraqi intelligence report also states that in his book, The Dönmeh Jews and the Origin of the Saudi Wahhabis, Rifat Salim Kabar reveals that Shulman eventually settled in the Hejaz, in the village of al-Ayniyah what is now Saudi Arabia, where his grandson founded the Wahhabi sect of Islam. The Iraqi intelligence report states that Shulman had been banished from Damascus, Cairo, and Mecca for his "quackery." In the village, Shulman sired Abdul Wahhab. Abdel Wahhab's son, Muhammad, founded modern Wahhabism.
the house of saud is kosher chabad stamp seal approved
Zachary Smith , May 16, 2019 9:27:45 PM | link
@ Peter AU 1 #25

Try this:

https://archive.org/details/pdfy-prJNYRBDTfomv6BU

Passer by , May 16, 2019 9:30:08 PM | link
karlof1 | May 16, 2019 9:17:13 PM | 64

Thanks for the comment. Tommorrow i may answer something.

Indrid Cold | May 16, 2019 9:24:00 PM | 67

Ok then. You can reread the same comment using your word "worthless" instead of my word "retarded". What i said in it still stands.

james , May 16, 2019 9:34:09 PM | link
@44 passer by.. have you always been such a simpleton? jesus.. i took you seriously in the previous threads, but not anymore!
Indrid Cold , May 16, 2019 9:37:52 PM | link
And it is still meaningless. You deliberately confuse the people of a nation with their leaders. What I said is on firmer ground and you know it's true. There will always be men who favor lining their own pockets in the short run rather than sticking to a course that pays off better in the long.
roza shanina , May 16, 2019 9:47:43 PM | link
@49 ДжММ - Spacibo for the link! Mr. Lavrov is my hero. Andrei Andreyevich Gromyko 2.0 for ColdWar 2.0 ®.
Passer by , May 16, 2019 9:49:26 PM | link
james | May 16, 2019 9:34:09 PM | 72

I see a problem with rose colored articles or over optimistic assessments. That's it.

Indrid Cold | May 16, 2019 9:37:52 PM | 73

I do see leaders as some kind of representation of their people. Did't they say that people get the leaders they deserve? What you said is that their elites are corrupt or worthless.

Well, what i say is that if there are so many worhless elites on this world, in the various parts of it, it is no wonder the US has been ruling it for some time.

james , May 16, 2019 9:49:27 PM | link
karlof1 shared the link peter au was looking for.. i know it is some effort to read others comments, and i am as guilty as the next, but if you want to read the link see @29 karlof1 where he shares what kissinger says in the wsj...
james , May 16, 2019 9:52:23 PM | link
@ 75 passer by...i think most folks here do too!

india is in the middle of an election.. it happens this weekend... politicians at election times have a habit of saying things that they don't necessarily keep... i think you overlook important details like this here... i think it makes your commentary that much weaker.

Passer by , May 16, 2019 10:01:32 PM | link
james | May 16, 2019 9:52:23 PM | 77

It is not me who says this is "only the beginning". But ok, let's wait for the elections.

Indrid Cold , May 16, 2019 10:01:50 PM | link
No, sadly, a people get the leaders they get...that is all. The choices are just not there. I mean, we got a choice between an orange freak of a reality show host and a gangland matriarch. Wonderful times! American leadership is the most corrupt in the world, no wonder their kindred souls in other lands gravitate towards them.
Jackrabbit , May 16, 2019 10:03:15 PM | link
Zachary Smith @70

Yeah, that's it.

The context is important.

Russia was instrumental in causing US to back down from their planned bombing of Syria in September 2013.

In February 2014 forces friendly to the West seized control of Ukraine. Nuland was recorded planning for the new Ukrainian government and saying "fuck the EU!". But Russia acted to support pro-Russian elements in Ukraine. Kissinger attempted to intervene as a 'voice of reason' saying that Russia and US should seek the least worst outcome for the two of them. But Russia didn't back down and accept the "facts on the ground". Crimea voted to be part of Russia in May and the Donbas rebels beat back Ukraine's army for the last time in August.

This was very different behavior that what the West had come to expect from Russia. It became clear that Russia had outsmarted the West (the parts of Ukraine the West got was a basket case) and was willing to act decisively when their interest were threatened. The Russia-China alliance was suddenly realized to be a real threat to Western NWO hegemony.

Jackrabbit , May 16, 2019 10:11:07 PM | link
Passer by

Passer by is right in this regard: the US Deep State are attempting to beat back the challenge from Russia and China.

It's not clear which side will win. Each side has a set of advantages and disadvantages that should not be overlooked or underestimated.

Don Bacon , May 16, 2019 10:21:37 PM | link
American leadership is the most corrupt in the world.

A big part of the "leader" problem is that we really don't need them, especially in a claimed (not actual) democracy. The president is constitutionally supposed to be an executive, one who executes laws.
Edward Abbey: "No man is wise enough to be another man's master. Each man's as good as the next -- if not a damn sight better."

Grieved , May 16, 2019 10:27:03 PM | link
@72 james

I have always regarded Passer by as a troll. Usually he is ignored. He scored a lot of engagement tonight. Who could have guessed that such an obviously confrontational and insulting approach would cause others to waste their time on him. It's a trick straight out of the manual.

I never understand why confrontational language prompts a response. One would think that in a world of courteous discourse, it would prompt complete disregard.

Passer by , May 16, 2019 10:44:00 PM | link
Posted by: Grieved | May 16, 2019 10:27:03 PM | 83

Then you are lucky because i won't bother you for the rest of the day like i'm supposed to. I will just say that i get called names in various places, even in places i'm supportive of. I'm pretty critical person and do not easily agree with others. This is how i'm. From time to time, not very often, i'm may come here, when i feel disturbed by something in geopolitics, to see what intelligent people think. That's it.

Don Bacon , May 16, 2019 10:46:30 PM | link
@ Grieved
I understand not responding to confrontation; I was responding to misstated facts. They shouldn't be allowed to stand. I didn't touch "Are you an idiot." . . .How would I know? :)
Grieved , May 16, 2019 11:00:36 PM | link
@35 james

Thank you for that link to the transcript of the Aaron Maté interview with Gabor, his father. I had downloaded the interview but not found time to watch it. Wonderful perspective from Gabor.

I think I've now read the first true diagnosis of US society and polity and they grapple with the appalling fact of Trump. All the terms he uses to describe the nation are terms we are very familiar with in describing individuals, but not quite with nations.

If this were an individual we were describing - an individual deeply traumatized and seeking to blame the external rather than to own the internal - them we would say the recommendation is for emotional intelligence. This is what we're seeing the US needs in its societal and institutional life: emotional intelligence. And the obvious lack of it describes the current time of the US perfectly.

Immense sanity from that interview. Thanks again for the link, and let me offer my own recommendation also to others to read it: America in denial: Gabor Maté on the psychology of Russiagate (Interview transcript)

Don Bacon , May 16, 2019 11:08:25 PM | link
@ Grieved
The "appalling fact of Trump" was entirely due to the appalling facts that caused Americans to vote for him, including professional politicians who entirely disregarded the populace in deference to themselves, especially starting wars and exporting jobs.
Zachary Smith , May 16, 2019 11:12:24 PM | link
@ Grieved #83

Troll? Probably. Previous samples:

2018 - Guys, Russia is in deep trouble. No wonder Putin is so silent, there will never be S-300 for Syria, Israel can bomb whatever it wants and russian officials are begging for a meeting with Trump. [...]

2018 - Is Putin capitulating? Pro US Alexei Kudrin could join new government to negotiate "end of sanctions" with the West.

Regular themes of incredibly weak Russia vs amazingly strong US

2018 - Do you know what the way for weakening the US is? Israel and the Zionists. You should tacitly support them...
Russia should actually covertly support AIPAC in the US.

Somebody in the pissant apartheid state believes this is a clever approach. Obama-style eleven dimensional chess?

Joost , May 16, 2019 11:57:57 PM | link
The Kissinger piece is also available at hoover.org.
dltravers , May 17, 2019 12:37:47 AM | link
karlof1 @ 61
Oscar Wilde (and George Clemanceau) had it right: "America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between"

What a great line.

I move from Trump losing the next election to Trump winning the next election each time another Democrat steps in the ring. The whole phony Russia interference story has left many around me disappointing and disillusioned. Shell shocked may be a better description. It was impossible to reason with them and talk things out. I made many enemies to the point of losing work just trying to discuss the silliness of the allegations from day 1.

I have long ago put the whole thing behind me but I see the Turd is turning the other way with the investigations on the investigators. He has two years to strategically trickle information out while the harebrained media makes martyrs out the purveyors of this trash to cover their own asses.

The average US voter literally has no clue as to how these type of operations work historically. They are driven by emotion and hysteria but many are seen thru the BS. More than I have ever seen in my lifetime.

WJ , May 17, 2019 1:21:16 AM | link
In defense of Passer By#84

I read Passer by as reminding us that the US continues to hold continents in its thrall while carrying out world-scale crimes and injustices with impunity. For all the talk of the "weakening" of the Anglo-Zionist empire--talk that is to some extent objectively rooted in fact but that also, if we are being honest with ourselves, is driven by our desire that it be true -- it still remains the most coordinated networked aggressive juggernaut of destruction on the planet. Delays and setbacks on one or two fronts here or there have not stopped its ongoing machinations and have not led other countries to withstand or counter its coercion. (The European and Indian capitulation on Iran being a case in point.) I take it that Passer by is angered at all this and means to counter what he/she takes to be somewhat rosy-eyed prognoses of the empire's imminent internal collapse. Maybe such anger leads Passer by to launch the occasional ad hominem, which I don't seek to justify but can certainly understand--having had a few intemperate internet exchanges of my own over the years. I don't think Passer by is a troll. I think Passer by is a pessimist. There is a place for honest pessimism in any ongoing dialectic that seeks understanding in my view. I sometimes don't like to read what Passer by writes because I would prefer that what he/she writes not be true. Maybe my fear that it *is* true--or is just as true as what I hold--is what irks me.

Just throwing some thoughts out there....

Soft Asylum , May 17, 2019 1:33:01 AM | link
"I conveyed that there are things that Russia can do to demonstrate that these types of activities are a thing of the past"

What is this fallacy called, is it Begging the Question? The same as "Have you stopped beating your wife?"?

In any event it strongly reminds me of a similar rhetorical trick used by US politicos and pundits from all across the ideological spectrum, concerning those still (and ever at any time) held in Gitmo. Things such as " the danger if we release them without trial, to willing countries, is that they'll return to the battlefield ". That's what the trial would be! To find out whether they were ever actually ON "the battlefield" in the first place! Instead of pointed to for a $50 reward by desperate or spiteful locals.

Their guilt, the prior assumption, that all of them were "on the battlefield" is simply assumed, even in the very same context that laments that the US has no actual evidence to convict them on that assumption. This kind of BS is infuriating, and even moreso since I can't recall it ever being questioned by the "most left" Democrat or pundit, to the "most libertarian" etc. A website I found a couple years ago that's been around much longer than my being ignorant, FAIR, does a good job paying attention to these little rhetorical and diction choices. "Regime" vs. "government, and so on. And there are probably books on this I haven't read so maybe this is redundant.

Ike , May 17, 2019 1:58:15 AM | link
@88
Nice detective work Zachary :)
blues , May 17, 2019 2:18:08 AM | link
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ //
What happened with the "US is rapidly collapsing" , "The breathtaking weakness of the Empire", "No one takes the US seriously" "World to US - you are fired" and so on alt media retardations?

You underestimate your opponents. Which makes a lot of your analyses garbage. And i don't like reading garbage. Improve the quality of your analyses, please.

Posted by: Passer by | May 16, 2019 7:53:20 PM | 44
// ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Consider:
=/ You underestimate your opponents. /=

Probably most of the individuals commenting here are USans, or are friends of the USans. So you are implying that we are somehow our own opponents. Such is not the case. We are opponents of the CIA Mafia that has taken control of our governments.

If we had real elections with strategic hedge simple score voting we might be able to cast away these parasitic usurpers. So until we get real democracy (and defeat the ranked choice voting (RCV/IRV) conspiracy) we will continue to object to the monstrous policies being foisted upon us by the CIA Mafia.

[May 17, 2019] Lavrov to Pompeo: And what's the US doing in the Eastern Hemisphere

May 17, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

That brings to mind the recent Arctic Council summit. Both Lavrov and Pompeo were there. Here's a significant exchange:

Lavrov: I believe you don't represent the South American region, do you?

Pompeo: We represent the entire hemisphere.

Lavrov: Oh, the hemisphere. Then what's the US doing in the Eastern Hemisphere, in Ukraine, for instance?

There was no response from Pompeo.

[May 16, 2019] FBI-CIA Dispute Erupts Over Whether Comey Or Brennan Pushed Steele Dossier

Notable quotes:
"... BREAKING: A high-level source tells me it was Brennan who insisted that the unverified and fake Steele dossier be included in the Intelligence Report... Brennan should be asked to testify under oath in Congress ASAP. ..."
"... As one example, in its FISA application, the bureau repeatedly and incorrectly assured the court in a footnote that it "does not believe" British ex-spy Christopher Steele was the direct source for a Yahoo News article implicating Page in Russian collusion, and instead asserted that the Yahoo article provided an independent basis to believe Steele. - Fox News ..."
"... Graham noted a report by The Hill 's John Solomon that the FBI was specifically told that Steele was "keen" to leak his salacious dossier for the purpose of influencing the 2016 US election . The agency also knew that the document's claims were either unverified or disproven , yet it was used anyway against Trump and his campaign. ..."
"... Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are now blaming Loretta Lynch for the botched Hillary/email investigation. ..."
May 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

FBI-CIA Dispute Erupts Over Whether Comey Or Brennan Pushed Steele Dossier

by Tyler Durden Thu, 05/16/2019 - 10:25 0 SHARES Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print A dispute has erupted over whether former FBI Director James Comey or his CIA counterpart, John Brennan, promoted the unverified Steele dossier as the Obama-era intelligence community targeted the Trump campaign.

According to Fox News , an email chain exists which indicates that Comey told bureau subordinates that Brennan insisted on the dossier's inclusion in the intelligence community assessment (ICA) on Russian interference . Also interesting is that the dossier was referred to as "crown material" in the emails - a possible reference to the fact that Steele is a former British spy.

In a statement to Fox, however, a former CIA official "put the blame squarely on Comey ."

"Former Director Brennan, along with former [Director of National Intelligence] James Clapper, are the ones who opposed James Comey's recommendation that the Steele Dossier be included in the intelligence report," said the official.

"They opposed this because the dossier was in no way used to develop the ICA," the official continued. "The intelligence analysts didn't include it when they were doing their work because it wasn't corroborated intelligence, therefore it wasn't used and it wasn't included. Brennan and Clapper prevented it from being added into the official assessment. James Comey then decided on his own to brief Trump about the document. "

James Comey, James Clapper, and John Brennan are starting to publicly argue who was pushing the dossier that ended up in the intelligence community assessment on Russian interference. The RATS are beginning to turn on each other.

I'm sure AG Barr is taking notes!

-- thebradfordfile™ (@thebradfordfile) May 15, 2019

Former GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy - a longtime defender of the FBI - told Fox News ' Martha MacCallum on Tuesday night that "Comey has a better argument than Brennan, based on what I've seen."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/A9lI-lUyjlc

In March, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) suggested over Twitter that Brennan had "insisted that the unverified and fake Steele dossier" be included in the January 2017 ICA .

BREAKING: A high-level source tells me it was Brennan who insisted that the unverified and fake Steele dossier be included in the Intelligence Report... Brennan should be asked to testify under oath in Congress ASAP.

-- Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) March 27, 2019

The dossier was ultimately not included in the ICA according to previous testimony by Clapper. Meanwhile, word that Comey had briefed President Trump personally on the dossier - "because he understood reporters already had that information and it could become public soon if journalists had a "news hook," according to the Associated Press . And as it so happens - the fact that Comey briefed Trump is what CNN and Buzzfeed caim legitimized their decision to publicly release the salacious and unverified dossier.

Whether the FBI acted appropriately in obtaining the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to Trump campaign aide Carter Page is now the subject not only of U.S. Attorney John Durham's new probe, but also the ongoing review by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz. U.S. Attorney for Utah John Huber has been conducting his own investigation separately, although details of his progress were unclear.

As one example, in its FISA application, the bureau repeatedly and incorrectly assured the court in a footnote that it "does not believe" British ex-spy Christopher Steele was the direct source for a Yahoo News article implicating Page in Russian collusion, and instead asserted that the Yahoo article provided an independent basis to believe Steele. - Fox News

On Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Fox News that he was pushing to declassify documents which would expose the FBI's dismal efforts to verify the claims within the dossier.

"There's a document that's classified that I'm gonna try to get unclassified that takes the dossier -- all the pages of it -- and it has verification to one side," said Graham. "There really is no verification, other than media reports that were generated by reporters that received the dossier."

Graham noted a report by The Hill 's John Solomon that the FBI was specifically told that Steele was "keen" to leak his salacious dossier for the purpose of influencing the 2016 US election . The agency also knew that the document's claims were either unverified or disproven , yet it was used anyway against Trump and his campaign.


LEEPERMAX , 26 seconds ago link

Whoa Nellie!!!

"I'm deleting these emails now"

https://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-nellie-ohr-deleted-emails-exchanged-with-doj-husband-bruce-ohr/

LEEPERMAX , 8 minutes ago link

"SPYGATE" FALLOUT? – ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER GIUSEPPE CONTÉ REQUESTS RESIGNATION OF INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS

https://aim4truth.org/2019/05/16/cat-report-32/

847328_3527 , 11 minutes ago link

Ben Shapiro tears a new one for far left BBC's leftie Andrew Neil - BBC News

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VixqvOcK8E

Ben makes a fool of the BBC and their pawn.

LEEPERMAX , 13 minutes ago link

As Rosenstein Departs, the Battlefield Is Now Ready: https://youtu.be/rhQhfmXLrl4

Teamtc321 , 21 minutes ago link

Italy has flipped on Brennan, turning over Joseph Mifsud

George Papadopoulos@GeorgePapa19

The Italian prime minister has suddenly requested resignations from 6 deputy directors of Italian intelligence agencies: DIS, AISI and AISE. This was all after I outed Mifsud in Rome and the president called the Italian prime minister. Italy has flipped and are giving up Brennan.

2:03 PM - May 16, 2019

The Italian prime minister has suddenly requested resignations from 6 deputy directors of Italian intelligence agencies: DIS, AISI and AISE. This was all after I outed Mifsud in Rome and the president called the Italian prime minister. Italy has flipped and are giving up Brennan.

https://www.citizenfreepress.com/breaking/italy-has-flipped-on-brennan-turning-over-joseph-mifsusd/

deus ex machina , 22 minutes ago link

Hang. Then draw and quarter all three POFS. Problem solved.

LEEPERMAX , 30 minutes ago link

What Was Obama's Roll in the Attempted Coup Of Donald Trump ???

https://youtu.be/yUT9Vb6Hc8c

Baron von Bud , 33 minutes ago link

These agency heads are all underlings. The directive came from above. This dossier job was approved by Obama and Hillary ran the plan. It's obvious.

Giant Meteor , 26 minutes ago link

But they are always insulated, protected, no? They know, and we know, that they know .. Everybody knows .,

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8IfmiKnZi3E

Koba the Dread , 43 minutes ago link

U.S. Attorney for Utah John Huber has been on the job for some months yet narry a peep out of him. There's not even any indication that he gets out of bed in the morning.

He's a member of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, I imagine that should he ever get out of bed, he will whitewash whichever agency has the most Mormons who might be affected by this scandal.

Back in the sixties, Jack Anderson, a serious investigative journalist and Mormon, noted that to Mormons the US Constitution is a sacred document given to the founding fathers by God himself. Let's hope Huber honors this Mormon tradition.

I love your wife , 57 minutes ago link

Comey was going to blackmail Trump and be the white knight he thinks he is. Even if it were true (which it isn't) Trump didn't give a ****. Especially after all the lies after lies of trash the Dems have sunk to (like with Kavanaugh). Never be ashamed of **** you do, and you will be blackmail proof....except for the pedophiles in DC. We know they are there, and when we find out who they are we will kill them. Comey's a douche.

Koba the Dread , 12 minutes ago link

If you kill all the pedophile in and associated with Washington, the streets will run with blood.

Imagine you or me. If we have a little sexual kink--even a little one--there is little we can do about it but fantasize or find an occasional person/animal/or vegetable to accommodate us. But if you hold great power or are super-rich, you don't need to fantasize. You can act out your little kink with impunity. If you hold great power or are super-rich and you have a very, very evil kink, you can exercise it with impunity. I often thought of that looking at **** Cheney's eyes. They're the eyes of a madman. He could have sliced and diced a man, woman, child or beast a day and gotten away with it. President Trump can grab them by the ***** (adult women) and why not. It's just a very personal way of shaking hands. But I see no insanity in his eyes at all. Hillary's eyes remind me of Norman Bates on a bad day. And Biden. . . . Wow! A pervert of the first water but also a complete coward. Thank God! One less sex monster in action.

Ban KKiller , 1 hour ago link

Sly **** show! Spy vs. Spy! Who done it?

Everyone knows that FBI, CIA, NSA etc., are all in the business of being in business. Helps that insider trading is not illegal for Congress. Corporate America directs intelligence outfits. My opinion...well, ok, my chickens told me.

I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 1 hour ago link

Trump is NOT Putin's Puppet

https://seriousguy.donclasen.com/trump-is-not-putins-puppet/

JBLight , 1 hour ago link

The hits just keep coming. It's not just Comey vs. Brennan. Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are now blaming Loretta Lynch for the botched Hillary/email investigation. Bruce Ohr is blaming DOJ and FBI officials for ignoring his "warnings" about Christopher Steele and the dossier.

Comey is bashing Strzok, Page, and now Rosenstein. Rosenstein is firing back at Comey. Andrew McCabe is attacking anyone pretty much with a pulse.

Popcorn is sold out!

JBLight , 1 hour ago link

She's trying to protect herself. She already testified and spilled the beans about herself and her husband. And they threw a criminal referral at her anyway. MARK MEADOWS REFERS NELLIE OHR TO DOJ FOR INVESTIGATION

https://dailycaller.com/2019/05/02/mark-meadows-nellie-ohr-doj/

On top of all that, this came out today:

Nellie Ohr deleted emails sent from husband's DOJ account

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/nellie-ohr-deleted-emails-sent-from-husbands-doj-account

JBLight , 1 hour ago link

This just gets juicier and juicier. Adm. Rogers of the NSA had found that FBI contractors were overusing the NSA database to run searches/spying so he shut them down. In April 2016! Friends, Fusion GPS wasn't hired just to fabricate dirt on Trump, they were hired to create cover for the spying that was already happening when they knew they got caught by Rogers. They were terrified of what Rogers would do. Enter Fusion/Steele/dossier/European & Australian intelligence. The cover-up will be the death of them. Wait until we find out who else they were spying on during this time.

Admiral Michael S. Rogers is a hero. He has everything. He knows exactly who was being spied on and when.

EDIT: So who the hell approved the original spying? We know Brennan pushed the dossier but who pushed Brennan? I smell Barry.

[May 16, 2019] What motive would they possibly have, these enormous corporate media conglomerates to disinform the Western masses, or to manufacture an official narrative that allows them to systematically eliminate any type of speech they deem to be Russian disinformation, or extremist content, or a conspiracy theory, or simply too dangerous, divisive, or confusing to circulate among the general public?

May 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

The Disinformationists, by C.J. Hopkins - The Unz Review

...what motive would they possibly have, these enormous corporate media conglomerates, and the transnational corporations that own them, and these intelligence agencies, and their fronts and cutouts, and corporate lobbyists and PR firms, and councils, and think tanks, and research institutes, to disinform the Western masses, or to manufacture an official narrative that allows them to systematically stigmatize, marginalize, criminalize, deplatform, demonetize, and otherwise eliminate any type of speech they deem to be "Russian disinformation," or "extremist content," or a "conspiracy theory," or simply too "dangerous," "divisive," or "confusing" to circulate among the general public?

No see? That makes no sense. That's just an example of the type of fascist disinformation these Putin-Nazi disinformationists are trying to spread to confuse us to the point where we can't even concentrate long enough to think anymore, or parse the meaningless jargon-laden nonsense they're trying to deceive us with, and just devolve into these Pavlovian imbeciles conditioned to respond to specific trigger words, like "extremist," "terrorist," "fascist," "populist," "anti-Semitic," "Russians," "hackers," and whatever other emotional stimuli we are being trained to instantly recognize and robotically react to like circus animals.

Or I don't know, maybe it isn't. I'm not even sure what I'm trying to say. Probably they've already got to me. I'd better get back down into my anti-disinformation bunker, pull up The Guardian , or The Washington Post , or Der Spiegel on my child-proof computer, and immerse myself in some objective journalism, before the Putin-Nazi spywhale makes its way up the Landwehrkanal, takes control of what's left of my mind, and forces me into going out and trying to vote for Hitler or something.

I recommend you do the same, and I'll see you when this nightmare over.

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant Paperbacks. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .

[May 16, 2019] The Disinformationists by C.J. Hopkins

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I don' know what are the revenues of NYT or The Guardian, but I know that the US government spends 750 million a year on the Agency for Global Media (formerly Broadcasting Board of Governors). If you think US or France is under attack by warmongers, you can't imagine how many propagandists are these 750 million hiring in low-COL places like Serbia, Burma, Venezuela. ..."
"... The situation is even worse today as the CIA and Pentagon have massive propaganda budgets and have infiltrated the media at every level , the public is unaware that each day they are brainwashed by the MSM to support the agenda of the "deep State' and the MIC. ..."
"... No mention of the journalists as CIA assets who publish planted stories? Isn't Dr Udo Ulfkotte one who did that, repented, told all in his best-seller Bought Journalists, and as a warning to others unselfishly dropped dead of a heart attack within a couple of years? ..."
"... The best sentence was the one expressing the Establishment's collective faux shock that anything other than Russian spybots could be responsible for the serfs' rejection of the "two centrist parties" that have sponged up lobbyist money for 3 decades, cashing in on the globalist-Neoliberal economy, as rents rose and wages fell. ..."
"... Not too sure about the US even remaining important as a continent wide farm.. The aquifers in the West and Midwest are being inexorably drawn down to sustain the current rate of farming, so it's possible North America's value would primarily be as a source of pockets of human talent in the sciences and technologies. ..."
May 16, 2019 | www.unz.com

paraglider , says: May 15, 2019 at 3:39 pm GMT

the hysteria emanating from the nyt, cnn and the rest of the msm is the result of a conscious or subconscious grasp that socialism dying worldwide. the great ponzi scam of forcing future generations to pay for the cookies and ice cream of the present generation has hit the math of the complete dearth of unencumbered assets from which to emit more unpayable debt, insufficient economic growth upon which to pretend the debt can be serviced forget about repayment and the simple fact demographichs throughout the west are so negative the government and public pension scheme blowup in the several years

the more intelligent members of the establishment know in their bones the jig is up. hence the great and urgent need to turn up .lets over throw sovereign nations so the plunder model ..venezuela, syria, russia, china et al.can find more unencumbered assets to be brought into the nyc, london orbit of banks from which new debt can be emitted.

the west is staring at its last decade of global rule, a rule that began 500 years ago. by the 2030's finance, manufacturing and all the global power and prestige that goes with it moves from ny, london to shanghai and moscow.

if the united states is lucky and remains intact, a giant IF, we may wind up as continent size farm with a smidgen of non competitive industry here and there.

the west has only disinformation with which to go to war against the rising east. the weapons of the west are powerful ONLY in their quantity. Russian weapons already are many years beyond anything the pentagon has in the field and the gap is only increasing, ergo the us treasury is forced to fight the battle using sanctions and other forms of restrictions, a long term losing strategy irrespective of any short terms gains.

so, cj worry not, the disinformation campaign is backed by nothing but hot air and the rage from being thwarted by china and russia as well as brave pipsqueakes like iran and venezuela.

see it for what it is, transparent sound and fury signifying nothing

Anon [232] Disclaimer , says: May 15, 2019 at 5:59 pm GMT
I don' know what are the revenues of NYT or The Guardian, but I know that the US government spends 750 million a year on the Agency for Global Media (formerly Broadcasting Board of Governors). If you think US or France is under attack by warmongers, you can't imagine how many propagandists are these 750 million hiring in low-COL places like Serbia, Burma, Venezuela.
Gordo , says: May 15, 2019 at 9:16 pm GMT
@Anon

I don' know what are the revenues of NYT or The Guardian, but I know that the US government spends 750 million a year on the Agency for Global Media (formerly Broadcasting Board of Governors). If you think US or France is under attack by warmongers, you can't imagine how many propagandists are these 750 million hiring in low-COL places like Serbia, Burma, Venezuela.

The UK gov't covertly subsidizes the Guardian.

9/11 Inside job , says: May 16, 2019 at 1:11 am GMT
In 1917 US Congressman Calloway informed Congress that J.P. Morgan interests had purchased 25 of the nations leading newspapers and replaced their editors in order to control the mass media for the benefit of the plutocrats/money interests who ran the country and who still do . The situation is even worse today as the CIA and Pentagon have massive propaganda budgets and have infiltrated the media at every level , the public is unaware that each day they are brainwashed by the MSM to support the agenda of the "deep State' and the MIC.
obwandiyag , says: May 16, 2019 at 3:18 am GMT
See, half a century after McCarthy, wingers got their noses into some (not all) Soviet files, and got to scream, nonstop and to this day, "See!@@#$% McCarthy was RIGHT!"

Betya in a half century, if we're still around, the same type people are going to get nosing in some files somewhere and find incontrovertible evidence that: "See!@#%$%^^ The New York Times was RIGHT!"

Same kind of people. They never change.

OEMIKITLOB , says: May 16, 2019 at 4:13 am GMT
@9/11 Inside job There is a virus-free link to a declassified CIA memo at the end of the article. It's interesting.

https://www.spyculture.com/cia-memos-on-task-force-on-greater-openness/

Nicolás Palacios Navarro , says: Website May 16, 2019 at 4:37 am GMT

And then there's the evil Russian spywhale, which the disinformationists want us to believe is just a harmless "therapy Beluga" for kids, but which has clearly been strapped with some sort of monstrous, mind-controlling apparatus that enables the Kremlin to remotely implant a host of dangerous "populist" ideas in the brains of defenseless Norwegian fishermen, weaponizing them into a horde of neo-Odinist Viking berserkers who will scream down out of Scandinavia and storm the EU Parliament in Brussels smelling of akvavit and fermented shark.

You had me doing a cartoon spit-take with this beaut!

Giuseppe , says: May 16, 2019 at 4:42 am GMT

these enormous corporate media conglomerates, and the transnational corporations that own them, and these intelligence agencies, and their fronts and cutouts, and corporate lobbyists and PR firms, and councils, and think tanks, and research institutes, to disinform the Western masses, or to manufacture an official narrative

No mention of the journalists as CIA assets who publish planted stories? Isn't Dr Udo Ulfkotte one who did that, repented, told all in his best-seller Bought Journalists, and as a warning to others unselfishly dropped dead of a heart attack within a couple of years?

" that enables the Kremlin to remotely implant a host of dangerous "populist" ideas in the brains of defenseless Norwegian fishermen, weaponizing them into a horde of neo-Odinist Viking berserkers who will scream down out of Scandinavia and storm the EU Parliament in Brussels smelling of akvavit and fermented shark "

It isn't the akvavit that does it, but you can't do it without the akvavit.

Biff , says: May 16, 2019 at 4:45 am GMT

And then there's the evil Russian spywhale, which the disinformationists want us to believe is just a harmless "therapy Beluga" for kids, but which has clearly been strapped with some sort of monstrous, mind-controlling apparatus that enables the Kremlin to remotely implant a host of dangerous "populist" ideas in the brains of defenseless Norwegian fishermen, weaponizing them into a horde of neo-Odinist Viking berserkers who will scream down out of Scandinavia and storm the EU Parliament in Brussels smelling of akvavit and fermented shark.

I had a good laugh at the Spy Whale schtick. One look at the thing, and you get the idea it should've been in a Pink Panther movie.

Made up shit that only a mind of a child could believe.

Endgame Napoleon , says: May 16, 2019 at 4:56 am GMT
The best sentence was the one expressing the Establishment's collective faux shock that anything other than Russian spybots could be responsible for the serfs' rejection of the "two centrist parties" that have sponged up lobbyist money for 3 decades, cashing in on the globalist-Neoliberal economy, as rents rose and wages fell.

The serfs have to love that. How could they not embrace it? Only spybots beaming up doom-and-gloom messages from halfway around the globe could persuade the thick-headed serfs that the part-time / churn / gig economy is anything but nirvana.

Alfa158 , says: May 16, 2019 at 5:18 am GMT
@paraglider I think you're probably right about the inevitable collapse of the West as the dominant global power.

Not too sure about the US even remaining important as a continent wide farm.. The aquifers in the West and Midwest are being inexorably drawn down to sustain the current rate of farming, so it's possible North America's value would primarily be as a source of pockets of human talent in the sciences and technologies.

Also Russia has been making some progress, but unless that continues it may not reach the level of competitiveness in science, industry and domestic product to be any more than a junior partner to China.

Whatever happens, a sea change in history seems unavoidable and it won't be what our present rulers think it will. I don't pretend to think I can reliably predict what is coming.

unit472 , says: May 16, 2019 at 5:19 am GMT
I used to know Russian disinformation when I saw it because it was obvious when it came from the USSR. Then the MSM peddled it as authentic as when, in response to Soviet deployment of IRBM in Europe, pinkos magically appeared to protest the American deployment of similar weapons. It was well funded too as Brezhnev had serious oil revenues to finance both his military and his disinformation campaigns and the USSR had 125% of America's population and a satellite Eastern Europe to boot.

Now I am to believe a motheaten "Russia' with less than half the US population, a hostile Ukraine and no Eastern European satrapies is able to exert more 'influence' in the West than the mighty USSR. Yet those same 'pinkos' would have me believe a castrated Russia is an existential threat. Come on!

[May 15, 2019] Russia-gate s Monstrous Offspring

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "Instead," McConnell went on, "the previous administration sent the Kremlin a signal they could get away with almost anything, almost anything. So is it surprising that we got the brazen interference detailed in special counsel Mueller's report?" ..."
"... Yes, Russia kicked most US NGOs out of the country. With good reason. Most of them were deliberately undermining the host country (this is not limited to Russia, they do that in most of their host countries, especially those we want to mess with). The National Endowment for Democracy is a classic case in point. The counter point here isn't RT. It's a news outlet that has proven to be far more reliable than the US corporate media. Does Russia send NGOs around the world to infest other countries with their vision of government? ..."
"... It is exactly as Mr. Lazare says, Americans think that their country can do no wrong. ..."
"... Several of my late husband's FB friends fall well into these categories and they really believe, wholeheartedly, the propaganda against Russia (and to some extent against China – Huawei, 5G, and so on), almost to the point of paranoia. The Demrat politicos and their corporate-capitalist-imperialist funders together with the despicable, groupthinking Orwellian media have done a real number on these people – usually the ones who *vote.* ..."
"... Most are Democrats who embrace the 'neoliberal groupthink' you referred to. There was a time I believed one of the conclusions of a famous study on authoritarian personalities that claimed the vast majority of authoritarians (active and passive) were Republicans. Just as the Democratic Party has morphed into the 80's Republican Party, so too have these liberals. Their cognitive dissonance is more powerful than any I have encountered in my lifetime. Their core belief system now includes incrementalism, lesser-evilism and an overwhelming sense of goodness that at least they are 'doing something positive' by supporting all Democrats at all costs. ..."
"... I don't get why, supposedly intelligent, informed people are wondering why Russia is being blamed for so much. Let me remind you that the extremely powerful Israel Lobby is VERY BUSY supporting the agenda of the right wing Likud government in Israel. ..."
"... One of the goals of Likud is the Zionist agenda that includes Greater Israel which requires Israel to acquire more water and land in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, Iran is a very strong supporter of the Palestinians and Syrian President Assad and Iraqi independence from US domination. ..."
"... Why, on this good earth, does anyone pay any attention to Schumer and Schiff and McConnell? Shills, do nothing crackpots and traitors to this nation; when you see that's what they are, you have to ignore them. ..."
May 14, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Russia-gate has shed any premise of being about Russian interference, writes Daniel Lazare, but the idea that America may in anyway be responsible for its own fate is of course unthinkable.

By Daniel Lazare
Special to Consortium News

Americans used to think that Russia-gate was about a plot to hack the 2016 election. They were wrong. Russia-gate is really about an immense conspiracy to do four things:

This was the takeaway from Mitch McConnell's devastating " case closed " speech last week in which the Senate majority leader jeered at President Barack Obama for mocking Mitt Romney's claim (seven years ago now) that Russia was America's "number one geopolitical foe ." As Obama famously replied during that presidential debate: "The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War's been over for 20 years."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/N0IWe11RWOM?feature=oembed

But that was so 2012. Now, says McConnell, it looks like Romney was right:

"We'd have been better off if the administration hadn't swept [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's invasion and occupation of Georgia under the rug or looked away as Russia forced out western NGO's and cracked down on civil society. If President Obama hadn't let Assad trample his red line in Syria or embraced Putin's fake deal on chemical weapons, if the Obama administration had responded firmly to Putin's invasion and occupation of Ukraine in 2014, to the assassination of Boris Nemtsov in 2015, and to Russia intervention in Syria -- maybe stronger leadership would have left the Kremlin less emboldened, maybe tampering with our democracy wouldn't have seemed so very tempting.

"Instead," McConnell went on, "the previous administration sent the Kremlin a signal they could get away with almost anything, almost anything. So is it surprising that we got the brazen interference detailed in special counsel Mueller's report?"

Lies and Distortions

Like so much out of Congress these days, this was a farrago of lies and distortions. It wasn't Moscow that started the 2008 Russo-Georgian War, but Tbilisi . While Russia has indeed cracked down on U.S.-backed NGO's, Washington has done the same by forcing Russia's highly successful news agency RT to register as a foreign agent and by sentencing Maria Butina, a Russian national studying at American University, to 18 months in prison for the crime of hobnobbing with members of the National Rifle Association. The charge that Syrian President Bashar al Assad "trampled" Obama's red line by using chemical weapons is hardly as clear-cut as imperial propagandists like to believe – to say the least – while the agreement between Putin and former Secretary of State John Kerry to rid Syria of chemical weapons was not fake at all, but an example, increasingly rare unfortunately, of diplomacy being used to prevent an international crisis from getting out of hand.

And so on ad nauseum . But what could Democrats say in response given that they've spent the last three years trying to out-hawk the GOP? Answer: nothing. All they could do was try to turn tables on McConnell by charging him with not being anti-Russian enough. Thus, New York's Sen. Chuck Schumer accused him of " aiding and abetting " Moscow while Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin accused him of running interference for Putin because he "feels the Russians were on the side of the Republicans in 2016 and just might be again in 2020."

Democrats Feed the Super Hawks

The result: a Democratic consensus that Russia can't be trusted and that America must put itself on a war footing to prevent Putin from "toppl[ing] the mighty oak that has been our republic for two hundred years," as Schumer put it. It's an across-the-board agreement that the long-awaited Mueller report has only strengthened by regurgitating the intelligence-community line that "[t]he Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion" and then cherry-picking the facts to fit its preconceived thesis. (See " Top Ten Questions About the Mueller Report ," May 6.)

Democrats claim to oppose National Security Advisor John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence, but the anti-Russian hysteria they promote strengthens the hand of such super-hawks. It makes military conflict more likely, if not with Russia then with perceived Russian surrogates such as Venezuela or Iran.

Schiff increasingly unhinged.

Simultaneously, it backfires on Democrats by making them look weak and foolish as they argue that even though the Mueller report says "the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government," somehow "significant evidence of collusion" still exists, as an increasingly unhinged Rep. Adam Schiff maintains . In the Alice-in-Wonderland world of congressional Democrats, no evidence does not mean no evidence. In fact, it means the opposite.

Voters are unmoved. Ten times more Americans – 80 versus 8 percent – care about healthcare than about Russia according to a recent survey . When CNN pollsters asked a thousand people in mid-March to name the issues that matter most, not one mentioned Russia or the Mueller probe . If they didn't care when collusion was still an open question, they care even less now that the only issue is obstruction plus a phony constitutional crisis that desperate Democrats have conjured up out of thin air.

Trump the Chief Beneficiary

Besides Fox News – whose ratings have soared while Russia-obsessed CNN's have plummeted – the chief beneficiary is Trump. Post-Mueller, the man has the wind in his sails. Come 2020, Sen. Bernie Sanders could cut through his phony populism with ease. But if Jeff Bezos's Washington Post succeeds in tarring him with Russia the same way it tried to tar Trump, then the Democratic nominee will be a bland centrist whom the incumbent will happily bludgeon. Former Vice President Joe Biden – the John McCain-loving , speech-slurring , child-fondler who was for a wall along the Mexican border before he was against it – will end up as a bug splat on the Orange One's windshield.

Trump ready to take on challengers. (Caricature/DonkeyHotey via Flickr)

Beto O'Rourke, the rich-kid airhead who declared shortly before the Mueller report was released that Trump, "beyond the shadow of a doubt, sought to collude with the Russian government," will not fare much better. Sen. Elizabeth Warren meanwhile seems to be tripping over her own two feet as she predicts one moment that Trump is heading to jail , declares the next that voters don't care about the Mueller report because they're too concerned with bread-and-butter issues, and then calls for dragging Congress into the impeachment morass regardless.

Such "logic" is lost on voters, so it seems to be a safe bet that enough will stay home next Election Day to allow the rough beast to slouch towards Bethlehem yet again.

Assange Convicted in Eyes of Press

Then there's Julian Assange, currently serving a 50-week sentence in a supermax prison outside of London after being ejected from the Ecuadorian Embassy. By claiming that the WikiLeaks founder was "dissembling" by denying that Russia was the source of the mammoth Democratic National Committee leak in July 2016, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has effectively convicted him in the eyes of Congress and the press.

The New York Times thus reports that Mueller has " revealed " that Russian intelligence was the source while, in a venomous piece by Middlebury College professor Allison Stanger, The Washington Post declared that Assange "is neither whistleblower nor journalist," but someone who helped Russian intelligence interfere in "the American electoral process."

Schumer thus greeted Assange's April 11 arrest by tweeting his "hope [that] he will soon be held to account for his meddling in our elections on behalf of Putin and the Russian government," while, in a truly chilling statement , Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia declared that "[i]t will be really good to get him back on United States soil [so] we can get the facts and the truth from him."

Now that Julian Assange has been arrested, I hope he will soon be held to account for his meddling in our elections on behalf of Putin and the Russian government.

-- Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) April 11, 2019

Assange is guiltier than ever. If Washington gets its hands on him, he'll no doubt be hauled before some sort of Star Chamber and then clapped in a dungeon somewhere until he confesses that Russian intelligence made him do it, even though a careful reading of the Mueller report strongly suggests the opposite. (See " The 'Guccifer 2.0' Gaps in Mueller's Full Report ," April 18.)

Assange languishing behind bars, war breaking out in Latin America or the Persian Gulf, Trump in the Oval Office for four years more – it's the worst of all possible worlds, and the Democratic Party's bizarre fixation with Vladimir Putin is what's pushing it.

Ultimately, Russia-gate is yet a variation on the tired old theme of American innocence. If something goes wrong, it can't be the fault of decent Americans who, as we all know, are too good for our deeply flawed world. Rather, it must be the fault of dastardly foreigners trying to hack our democracy. It's a deep-rooted form of xenophobia that has fueled everything from the criminalization of marijuana (smuggled in by evil Mexicans) to the 1950s Red Scare (a reaction to Communism smuggled in by evil Russians), and the war on terrorism (the work of evil Muslims). The idea that America may in anyway be responsible for its own fate is of course unthinkable.

But Russia-gate may be the greatest delusion of all. After decades of celebrating Donald Trump as the essence of American flash and hustle, the corporate media have decided that the only way he could have gotten into the White House is if Putin put him there. The upshot is a giant conspiracy to force Americans to turn their back on reality, an effort that can only end in disaster for all concerned, Democrats first and foremost.

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 .


Tick Tock , May 15, 2019 at 11:30

Sorry Folks but both Mr Lazare's text and the majority of the comments here clearly illustrate that the major problem for America and its Citizens is that they are way too full of themselves and easily manipulated because of that. Seriously, the vast majority of the Worlds population Could Not Give a Rat's Ass about America except when they are being attacked either with Real Bombs or Economically.

No normal Human Being wants to be Israel's Stooge. You have to think you are are really important for someone in another Country to want to select your leaders. Oh yes that is what the US Deep State does and now it's been clearly exposed it does the same thing at home.. Of course if your motto is that "You are god's chosen people!", it could get you into trouble now and then with the rest of God's People. Like Bob Dylan wrote a few years ago, "I used to care!" Only a fool would care now.

Jeff Harrison , May 15, 2019 at 11:23

This is where we learn the importance of an objective press and one that can bring all the threads of a story together. And it's also most likely to be a disaster.

Yes, Russia kicked most US NGOs out of the country. With good reason. Most of them were deliberately undermining the host country (this is not limited to Russia, they do that in most of their host countries, especially those we want to mess with). The National Endowment for Democracy is a classic case in point. The counter point here isn't RT. It's a news outlet that has proven to be far more reliable than the US corporate media. Does Russia send NGOs around the world to infest other countries with their vision of government?

The US/EU fomented the coup in Ukraine that resulted in Crimea deciding they didn't want to be associated with Ukraine any longer. Did the US press tell the truth here? No. They made it sound as if Crimea was a part of Ukraine when, in fact, the Turkic Muslims of Crimea were never a part of the Christian Slavs of Ukraine. They also didn't explain the terms by which Khrushchev administratively slapped the two together in 1957 which give the Crimeans the ability to opt out.

It is exactly as Mr. Lazare says, Americans think that their country can do no wrong. We don't see the coups we foist on other countries. We don't see the lies and fake news we spread in other countries we wish to undermine. They don't see the consequences of our abuse of our economic power. The myopia is powerful in this one as my representatives tried to tell me that Venezuela was a prosperous and happy country before Chavez and that their current travails are as a result of the socialism and not two coup attempts and a long string of sanctions from the US. We are remarkably good at blaming the victim.

There's a good chance that this will rise up and bite us in the ass and the American people will have no idea why ..

AnneR , May 15, 2019 at 08:52

Mr Lazare, while I would certainly agree with much you have written, on one point at least I am much less certain: that most Americans care less about Russia than about health care.

While this might be true for the majority of the population who are in the lower middle, working classes and poor, I am much less certain about the "well" educated, comfortably off, well health insured, middling and upper bourgeoisie. The sort who, even when on Medicare, are on the upper rungs of it (paying extra for better and more expansive treatment; and I do mean Medicare here). The sort who frequently have been privately educated.

Several of my late husband's FB friends fall well into these categories and they really believe, wholeheartedly, the propaganda against Russia (and to some extent against China – Huawei, 5G, and so on), almost to the point of paranoia. The Demrat politicos and their corporate-capitalist-imperialist funders together with the despicable, groupthinking Orwellian media have done a real number on these people – usually the ones who *vote.*

These same people evince absolutely, and I mean absolutely, NO concern or interest in the constant war-making and warmongering, the illegal invasions, electoral meddling/coups/"regime" changes, destruction of peoples that this country (and its allies) engage in. Not happening here, therefore not anything to do with "us."

I know that my late husband would be utterly devastated knowing that some of his students, with whom he worked assiduously to develop real critical thinking (via much difficult reading in historiography, sociology and philosophy, discussion and writing), have fallen hook, line and sinker for the neoliberal groupthink supporting the corporate-capitalist-imperialist (and of course, orientalist) line. One can only imagine that they were already well primed for this mindset.

MattZ , May 15, 2019 at 11:43

Anne -- your post resonates deeply with me. I would guess you and I are of similar ages and have similar friends and acquaintances. We certainly share the exact same experiences with these people. They are proud 'liberals' (lately donning the 'progressive' robe with equal exuberance). None are members of the elite one-percenters, but all belong to what Nader refers to as the 'contented class', that 9% buffer zone between the elite and the increasingly miserable lower 90%-ers.

Most are Democrats who embrace the 'neoliberal groupthink' you referred to. There was a time I believed one of the conclusions of a famous study on authoritarian personalities that claimed the vast majority of authoritarians (active and passive) were Republicans. Just as the Democratic Party has morphed into the 80's Republican Party, so too have these liberals. Their cognitive dissonance is more powerful than any I have encountered in my lifetime. Their core belief system now includes incrementalism, lesser-evilism and an overwhelming sense of goodness that at least they are 'doing something positive' by supporting all Democrats at all costs.

Appallingly, their new heroes are historically-proven liars, psychopaths and Deep State organizations like the CIA and FBI. Their Trump Derangement Syndrome has destroyed all ability to think critically or accept transparent and obvious truths. They accept no criticism of their actions and attack those who question them. To them, the 'end' of removing Trump justifies any evil.
Gaia help us all.

Skip Scott , May 15, 2019 at 08:04

The root of the Democrats problem is they feed from the same trough as the GOP. They can't do anything substantial about health care or the declining middle class because they'd piss off their donors. Since they can't stand for "the working man" any longer, they are trying to cobble together "Identity Politics" and "Political Correctness" to eke out a majority. Good luck with that! They can give us non gender specific restrooms with our Forever War! Why aren't we feeling the love?

I think the time has never been more ripe for a serious third party challenge than 2020.

Realist , May 15, 2019 at 10:42

Perfect thumbnail obituary for the Democratic Party, Skip. It got hijacked by corporatists who saw an opportunity to push the GOP agenda from both directions. Maybe that's what Hillary meant by "stronger together."

Herrman , May 15, 2019 at 07:56

If you want to be entertained and titillated turn on the national evening news shows. The 2020 election circus has already begun. Don't watch that, switch channels and watch the obstruction of justice infotainment. Want news, read between the lines of the major newspapers. Go to PBS to be rescued, good luck.

Has it always been thus. Maybe, but it's a much better show today.

Shock and awe. Can't wait for the next one.

O Society , May 15, 2019 at 04:52

https://opensociet.org/2018/10/20/the-real-danger-of-russiagate-always-has-been-the-martyrdom-of-trump/

If I could figure out long ago Russia-gate was going to lead to Trump's reelection (see above link), you would think Brennan/ Clinton/ Pelosi could figure it out too. Which begs the questions:

Is Trump good for business for the Democratic party financial patrons? Do they really want him impeached? Did the Pied Piper strategy ever end? Does Bernie Sanders scare them so much they'd rather promote Trump than have Sanders in the Oval Office?

Realist , May 15, 2019 at 10:35

Your last explanation is the one that Jimmy Dore seems to favor. The party string pullers are obviously desperate when they back one near-octogenarian (Crazy Joe Biden) for the nomination against another near-octogenarian (Sanders). Counter move by the GOPers may be to run Tricky Dick Nixon's head-in-a-bottle for the office, like in Futurama.

Realist , May 15, 2019 at 02:05

Wow, gotta hand it to McConnell. That man can shamelessly pack multiple whoppers into every single sentence uttered in his public speaking. Quite a tour de force of pure undiluted bullshit by the turtle. With his rhetorical skills to deliver talking points at a newly realised zenith, there's sure to be a job for him on Madison Avenue when he's finally kicked to the curb as happens to every politician when a better snake oil salesman inevitably comes along.

John Sanguinetti , May 15, 2019 at 00:05

I don't get why, supposedly intelligent, informed people are wondering why Russia is being blamed for so much. Let me remind you that the extremely powerful Israel Lobby is VERY BUSY supporting the agenda of the right wing Likud government in Israel.

One of the goals of Likud is the Zionist agenda that includes Greater Israel which requires Israel to acquire more water and land in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, Iran is a very strong supporter of the Palestinians and Syrian President Assad and Iraqi independence from US domination.

Russia, with it's very effective support for Assad and collaboration with Iran is blocking progress on the Zionist agenda. So, putting pressure on Russia is a way of trying to force them to back off from their support for Syria and Iran or at least to scare them with the power of our military and a crazy unpredictable leader who might do anything. Israel has besides it's VERY STRONG and active lobbies in the US and UK a large and VERY Active 5th column that spends a LOT of money and effort influencing the people who run our government.

CitizenOne , May 14, 2019 at 23:43

I believe it but with some editing of the authors original four things. I have deleted the case against Assange as a sideshow that does nor resonate with Americans any more than the nightly rumor mill about celebrities. Here goes.

Americans used to think that Russia-gate was about a plot to hack the 2016 election. They were wrong. Russia-gate is really about an immense conspiracy to do four things:

No. 1: Ratchet up tensions with Russia to ever more dangerous levels;

No. 2: Show that Democrats are even more useless than people imagined;

No. 3: Win the 2020 elections and reelect Trump and preserve the republican majority in the Senate and win back the democrat controlled House

No. 4: Wage wars in oil rich nations being Iran and Venezuela to fulfill the agenda of the energy companies via military action.

While McConnell rails against Obama for his weaknesses we have the historical record that Obama declared Venezuela as a national security threat, levied massive sanctions against Russia for their presumed invasion of Ukraine, launched a war against the Syrian government, preserved and supported our wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq.

We see today that Chuck Schumer is still committed to the theory that Russia is the single reason that the democrats lost the last election which is absurd and is rejected by not only a significant number of liberal journalists but also by a majority of Americans. Why do the democrats continue to promote conspiracy theories that the majority of Americans reject as nonsense?

The republicans have the democrats over a barrel and will push it over and watch the democrats wallow in the mud with much amusement.

This could not have have happened to the democrats without a complete lack of foresight or even a slightest attempt to rely on the truth to guide them.

From day one after the election, the democrats swallowed the bait hook line and sinker and now the hook is buried deep in their gullets and they still insist that they are free swimming fish on a mission to prove Russia was responsible for the last election. With every gulp they swallow the hook deeper apparently unaware that they are about to be reeled in and captured by their unfounded beliefs that the bait is is a real meal they can sustain themselves on. Just like a fooled fish they are on the hook.

The announcement that the AG is launching an investigation led by republicans to investigate the Russia Gate investigation will most certainly tarnish democrats and stain their efforts that will be seen as even more dull as the tarnish they try to put on Trump. Even uninformed citizens will ask what is up with the democrats who are trying to bring down Trump even though their reliable news sources tell them that Russia Gate is all a lie.

Meanwhile the democrats who have declared come up not only short on ideas but appear to be suicidal.

Elisabeth Warren has declared war on monopolies in an era where unlimited spending by corporations is legally protected as free speech. How can she hope to win by pledging to breakup monopolies that are well equipped to outspend her in their bid for survival?

The democrats have failed to do the math and their strategies for appealing to the masses will be shot down by the right wing controlled "free press". It is not a liberal press. It is the enemy of liberals controlled by wealthy liberal hating, libertarian loving billionaires. Public vows by democrats who pledge to destroy it will be met with the full force of their arsenal which includes complete control over the microphone that steers debate and is the chief influence of elections. As Mark Twain put it, " It is unwise to wage a war of words against men who buy ink by the barrel".

Howard Dean met his end when the major media outlets conspired to elevate "The Dean Scream" to levels questioning his sanity. The nearly constant barrage of over 4,000 replays of the Dean Scream leading up to the democratic primaries effectively put an end to his bid for nomination.

But why did all of the the major media outlets conspire to conduct a character assassination of the Howard Dean movement? Just two weeks before the Dean Scream was endlessly broadcasted by the media with news commentators chiming in that he was likely an insane man who must be exposed and stopped in his tracks he made a fatal flaw. He made a campaign speech where he said that if he was elected he would impose regulations on the media. Boom Boom out went the lights.

How can any democrat win when they oppose corporations that include the media corporations in America? How can Elisabeth Warren wither the name calling that she will suffer as Trump claims she has a Pocahontas syndrome while also alienating the largest campaign contributors with her pledge to destroy them? How will her insistence that she has Indian blood possibly win her fans when the majority of Americans will mock her. They have been honed on the strop of right wing money into believing that everything they hear and see is factual even though it is not factual or real. Such is the suicidal gamble of the soon to be defeated democratic party.

Why they continue to go down the path toward blind alleys where they will be trapped and defeated baffles me.

geeyp , May 15, 2019 at 11:32

Why, on this good earth, does anyone pay any attention to Schumer and Schiff and McConnell? Shills, do nothing crackpots and traitors to this nation; when you see that's what they are, you have to ignore them.

jmg , May 14, 2019 at 19:57

Daniel Lazare: "( ) it must be the fault of dastardly foreigners trying to hack our democracy. It's a deep-rooted form of xenophobia that has fueled everything ( ) The idea that America may in anyway be responsible for its own fate is of course unthinkable."

Yes, that's the way it is. About WikiLeaks, as they have repeated many times:

"Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, who is a close associate of Assange, called the CIA claims 'bullshit', adding: 'They are absolutely making it up.'

"'I know who leaked them,' Murray said. 'I've met the person who leaked them, and they are certainly not Russian and it's an insider. It's a leak, not a hack; the two are different things.'"

-- The Guardian, 2016-12-10
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/10/cia-concludes-russia-interfered-to-help-trump-win-election-report

[May 15, 2019] Barr s Investigator John Durham Once Probed Mueller In A Shocking Case

Highly recommended!
So Strzok worked with Mueller in Boston. Really close circle of friends.
Notable quotes:
"... In December 2000, Durham revealed secret FBI documents that convinced a judge to vacate the 1968 murder convictions of "four other FBI informants because they'd been framed by Robert Mueller's FBI. ..."
"... "In 2007," to help protect Whitey Bulger (that's what all those people were held in jail for) "the documents helped Salvati, Limone, and the families of the two other men who had died in prison to win a US $101.7 million civil judgment against the government." ..."
"... Durham got the two surviving framed men released from prison. Robert Mueller was knee-deep in this scandal, along with Andrew Weissman and the agent sent to prison, but because Reno gave him very limited authority, Durham was not able to prosecute Mueller, who was not in the FBI at the time. ..."
"... Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz, calling Mueller a "zealot," he reminded Mueller supporters about the former FBI director's role in protecting "notorious mass murderer" Whitey Bulger as an FBI informant. ..."
"... There is also the fact that Rod Rosenstein seems to think well of him. ..."
"... You can be sure there are a lot of people losing sleep knowing Durham is on the case. You might have noticed Rod Rosenstein, the former Deputy Attorney General, is out trashing Jim Comey. ..."
"... Strzok was in the Boston FBI office at the same time. ..."
"... Mueller was the perfect choice for special prosecutor because they have so much dirt on him he'll do whatever they tell him to do. Modus Operandi in DC for many many decades. ..."
May 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Barr's Investigator John Durham Once Probed Mueller In A Shocking Case

by Tyler Durden Wed, 05/15/2019 - 15:30 0 SHARES Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print Authored by S.Noble via IndependentSentinel.com,

Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham was appointed to investigate the origins of the Russia-Trump probe. Apparently, he has been on the job for weeks.

Durham is the perfect investigator for the job by all accounts and he had experience with Robert Mueller in the Whitey Bulger case. He did not side with Mueller and Mueller's agents suffered the consequences of Mueller's, some would say, corrupt leadership.

THE WHITEY BULGER CASE

Back in the late 1990s, there were "allegations that FBI informants James 'Whitey' Bulger and Stephen 'The Rifleman' Flemmi had corrupted their handlers. So, in 1999, Janet Reno appointed John Durham as Special Prosecutor and charged him with investigating FBI corruption in Boston. As it turned out, FBI agents aided mass murderer, Whitey Bulger and hid his crimes. Bulger was a protected informant. Durham sent one agent involved to prison for 10 years.

Then-US Attorney, Robert Mueller is probably the one who should have landed in the pen. He allowed four innocent men to be sent to prison for a murder he knew they didn't commit. He did it to protect Bulger. One of the four men was in Florida at the time of the murder and could not have committed the murder.

When Durham went through the documents. He found that the four men, Enrico Tameleo , Joseph Salvati , Peter J. Limone , and Louis Greco, had actually been framed. Four people who were innocent were kept in jail for years in order to protect the status of Whitey Bulger as an FBI informant.

The Boston Globe wrote:

"[Mike] Albano [former Parole Board Member who was threatened by two F.B.I. agents for considering parole for the men imprisoned for a crime they did not commit] was appalled that, later that same year, Mueller was appointed FBI director, because it was Mueller, first as an assistant US attorney then as the acting U.S. attorney in Boston, who wrote letters to the parole and pardons board throughout the 1980s opposing clemency for the four men framed by FBI lies. Of course, Mueller was also in that position while Whitey Bulger was helping the FBI cart off his criminal competitors even as he buried bodies in shallow graves along the Neponset "

In December 2000, Durham revealed secret FBI documents that convinced a judge to vacate the 1968 murder convictions of "four other FBI informants because they'd been framed by Robert Mueller's FBI.

"In 2007," to help protect Whitey Bulger (that's what all those people were held in jail for) "the documents helped Salvati, Limone, and the families of the two other men who had died in prison to win a US $101.7 million civil judgment against the government."

Durham got the two surviving framed men released from prison. Robert Mueller was knee-deep in this scandal, along with Andrew Weissman and the agent sent to prison, but because Reno gave him very limited authority, Durham was not able to prosecute Mueller, who was not in the FBI at the time.

Mueller kept four innocent people in jail for years to protect the informant status of Whitey Bulger, a mass-murdering Boston mobster who ended up dying in California, and it ended up costing the government $100 million plus in civil judgments.

ALAN DERSHOWITZ CALLED MUELLER A "ZEALOT"

Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz, calling Mueller a "zealot," he reminded Mueller supporters about the former FBI director's role in protecting "notorious mass murderer" Whitey Bulger as an FBI informant.

"I think Mueller is a zealot," Dershowitz told "The Cats Roundtable" on 970 AM-N.Y. ". . . I don't think he cares whether he hurts Democrats or Republicans, but he's a partisan and zealot.

"He's the guy who kept four innocent people in prison for many years in order to protect the cover of Whitey Bulger as an FBI informer. Those of us in Boston don't have such high regard for Mueller because we remember this story. The government had to pay out tens of millions of dollars because Whitey Bulger, a notorious mass murderer, became a government informer against the mafia . . .

"And that's regarded in Boston of one of the great scandals of modern judicial history . And Mueller was right at the center of it. So, he is not without criticism by people who know him in Boston."

HOW DID MUELLER BECOME THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR?

There were other cases in which Mueller behaved scandalously, here and here . Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Sydney Powell tells the same story. She calls them creeps on a mission and has a website of the same name detailing the offenses of Mueller and Weissman.

How did Robert Mueller end up as the Special Prosecutor? Thank a Democrat. The Democrats insisted he was a great man of inviolable character. They said he was the impeccable man and investigator.

There is also the fact that Rod Rosenstein seems to think well of him.

You can be sure there are a lot of people losing sleep knowing Durham is on the case. You might have noticed Rod Rosenstein, the former Deputy Attorney General, is out trashing Jim Comey.

For his part, Jim Comey hasn't written anything inspirational or anti-Trump on Twitter for four days. He has been giving a lot of public speeches lately. Maybe he should shut up.


DoctorFix , 7 minutes ago link

Weren't Comey and Mueller involved in other scandal with Comeys brother?

insanelysane , 1 hour ago link

Strzok was in the Boston FBI office at the same time. The entire FBI is crooked. They supposedly couldn't find Bulger for years. Then the case was going to be turned over to the US Marshal Service. And what do you know, someone in Greenland or Iceland called the FBI with a tip that Bulger was in California. And just like that the FBI goes and picks him up with less force than they used to pick up Roger Stone. The FBI is dirty. Every single one of them.

MrBoompi , 1 hour ago link

Mueller was the perfect choice for special prosecutor because they have so much dirt on him he'll do whatever they tell him to do. Modus Operandi in DC for many many decades.

MushroomCloud2020 , 1 hour ago link

John Durham Once Probed Mueller

Yeah, but did he do an investigation afterwards or did he just have a smoke and fall asleep?

Truthistheagenda , 2 hours ago link

The Rats can't abandon ship fast enough so they are starting to eat their own... more popcorn this movie is getting good.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/05/comey-turns-on-brennan-fired-fbi-chief-claims-brennan-pushed-junk-dossier-in-ic-report-video/

jaxville , 2 hours ago link

What about the frame up of Edgar J Steele ? Another victim of a corrupt FBI investigation and a corrupt jewdiciary.

I used to find Edgar's "nickle rants" entertaining. What happened to him gave me the biggest red pill of my life.

"Whenever you find something foul, when you peel back the layers; more often than not you find the same maggots underneath it all." Please forgive my quote may not be precise as I don't have my copy of Song of the Reich handy. I think you get the point though.

Anonymous IX , 2 hours ago link

Not for me. I simply assume government is corrupt beyond our wildest dreams. Remember the story of the Dutch banker who escaped the Illuminati and his story of laundering proceeds from Iranian oil sales when Iran was, once again, under sanctions in former years? That trucks and trucks pulled up to these German banks loaded with USD. His job was to make sure that money continued its journey...but not in a truck.

But I'm with Team. What the **** did I just read? This is like being in a small town and learning yet another tidbit in a scandelous affair. Soap opera-ville. Like, dude! What's goin' happen next?

misterlee , 2 hours ago link

Mueller appears to have been dirty for some time now. This speaks to the extent of the swamp more than anything else. Mueller is careful enough to not break criminal law so all he'll ever suffer is criticism for loading up his team with Trump haters. None of these people will go down for anything unless Weissman is tagged with withholding exculpatory evidence, again.

Zero Schmeero , 3 hours ago link

If convicted of sedition Mueller and Weissman can serve in the same prison they sent Bulger. Seems they have a lot of friends there.

TGDavis , 3 hours ago link

How do you cost your employer 100 million and still have a job? This is why I don't believe anything. If this true, then our country is really in bad shape. No American would do this.

LOL123 , 3 hours ago link

I tell you the Democrats are a cult not a representative party of ANY PEOPLE except the i(legal) mob.

Truthistheagenda , 2 hours ago link

Unfortunately it is not just Dems, it is the whole damn swamp except a few.

they want everyone divided because divided the people are weak, wake up and smell the Covfefe

lowscorewins , 3 hours ago link

Sadly Comey is not smart enough to shut up...

Sparehead , 3 hours ago link

There were so many "real dirty birds", but I'd add Hilliary, Holder, Lynch, and Clapper to round out the high-profile list. As an ex-President and the first "magic" one I expect Obama to get a pass.

LEEPERMAX , 3 hours ago link

CIA DESTROYS AMERICA FROM THE UK: https://aim4truth.org/2019/05/15/cia-destroys-america-from-the-uk/

The Herdsman , 3 hours ago link

Hey fellas, gee wiz. Turns out those guys we gave special rights, special power, specials guns, and special equipment too actually hurt people with them. Who'd'a thunk?

atlasRocked , 4 hours ago link

ERROR in the article? "... the United States Penitentiary, Hazelton , near Bruceton Mills , West Virginia . [22] Bulger, who was in a wheelchair, was found dead on October 30, 2018, at the age of 89. He was killed by inmates within hours of his arrival at Hazelton. "

Muddy1 , 4 hours ago link

"As it turned out, FBI agents aided mass murderer, Whitey Bulger and hid his crimes"

Over the past two years, I have heard Sean Hannity bad mouth the upper echelons of the FBI. He consistently goes on to grovel and talk about the thousands of agents in local offices who are hard working agents doing a great job. I always though his *** kissing was to good to be true. Now I read just how corrupt local agents are, willing to send innocent people to jail to protect some dirt bag.

I've come to the conclusion that the FBI is full of dirty agents from top to bottom. Time to abolish the FBI.

The Herdsman , 4 hours ago link

Every government agency is. Thats the nature of it. Power corrupts. You think you can create an agency of human beings, give them special powers, special rights, special guns, special equipment, turn them loose on society and think they are not going to dry **** everybody who gets in their way?

Koba the Dread , 3 hours ago link

The FBI (originally the BI) was first headed by Napoleon Bonaparte's grand nephew, a family not noted for republican sentiments. It was set up as a political police to persecute communists. Fair enough! But as Ward Churchill in his book by the same name calls the FBI, they are Agents of Repression . It could be communists one decade, conservatives the next, libertarians after that.

The FBI's reputation as an investigative body is very poor. Its crime lab has made hideous blunders. Its fingerprint section accused a man in Spain of finding his fingerprints on a bomb until other international fingerprint experts proved that the fingerprints definitely were not those of the man the FBI accused. Local and state police throughout the US universally loathe FBI interference with their cases because all the FBI does is interfere with their investigations and do it only so it (the FBI) can grandstand. It's investigation of the false flag 9-11event was a cover-up, as was its investigation of the false flag Boston Marathon "bombing". Two of the three "suspects" were shot to death by the FBI and the third is in prison for life for something he didn't even do.

shankster , 4 hours ago link

see the film 'Black Mass'

SRV , 4 hours ago link

The Bulger thing is peanuts... Mueller comes from a long line of Deep State criminals going back decades

shankster , 4 hours ago link

Don't forget that Mueller was also the 'clean-up' guy for Bush after 9II.

Joebloinvestor , 5 hours ago link

They are turning on each other. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7032973/Obamas-intel-chiefs-claim-told-Comey-NOT-use-golden-showers-dossier-warrant.html I can't wait till the "five eye" co-conspirators get it in their heads that Brennan or Clapper are going to rat them out.

Imagine That , 5 hours ago link

How much did Whitey Bulger give Mueller to earn protection? Therein lies the most critical issue of all. 'How much' could be how many mafia members the FBI brought down because of Bulger. It could also be how much Mueller benefited in other ways. Payoffs, anyone?

However, there may be another benefit. What did Bulger know about Mueller? To be black-mailable over many years, and to be truly effective, it must be devastating and run both ways--let's call it mutually assured blackmail.

It purports to be fiction, but DC, the Dark City is the inside story of how absolute power corrupts absolutely. It's a horror story and an eye-opener, politics viewed from inside the establishment.

insanelysane

The Bulger thing gets really interesting because Bulger's brother was the President of the Massachusetts Senate during the same time. Billy Bulger was a big time Democrat in Massachusetts, shocking of course. So you have 1 brother running the mob and the other brother, well, running a mob at the State House.

One story, link below, has an honest State Trooper try to search Whitey's bags at Logan Airport. Whitey throws a bag to a lackey and the lackey disappears. Trooper reports the incident and guess what happens. Trooper is reassigned to hell for interfering with the Brothers Bulger and the FBI.

https://www.southcoasttoday.com/article/19980929/news/309299966

[May 15, 2019] Graham reads Strzok f-bomb text in intense Barr hearing opener

Joe Biden was a part of this Obama mafia who was trying to take down Trump ...
Graham still buying Russiagate nonsense, so it is only half-right.
Notable quotes:
"... Who are the idiots now? Will, since this report has been revealed, like the Democrats screamed about, saying it that would expose Trump. It actually exposes Hillary and several others....and now is heading Obama's way. Put them behind Barrs! ..."
May 15, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Ann Cochenour , 2 weeks ago

I'm ashamed that once upon a time I was a Democrat. Never again. What lying crooks

EA B, 2 weeks ago

Who are the idiots now? Will, since this report has been revealed, like the Democrats screamed about, saying it that would expose Trump. It actually exposes Hillary and several others....and now is heading Obama's way. Put them behind Barrs!

Patricia Oakes, 2 weeks ago

Now ask that Feinstein witch about her traitorous dealings with China!

Dewey Self, 2 weeks ago

Have you ever noticed strzok,s eyes.he looks possesed..

The Goat, 2 weeks ago

Peter Strzoks text messages describe exactly what Hillary's presidency would turn out to be lol

Truthfan7 Tetelestai, 2 weeks ago

No Senator Graham, you're not going to find out that Russia provided the dossier. You are going to find out that Nellie Ohr (who is a CIA agent, one of Brennan's corrupt crew), and Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, constructed the dossier.

They then took it and washed it through the Ohr's buddy Christopher Steele. That was to give it a cache of foreign provenance. And then they got other willing participants like John McCain, and the lying media to do their part in forwarding the pretense that the dossier had some sort of legitimacy and the corrupt FBI leadership put it in front of a FISA judge to deceive them into granting the FISA warrant which allowed the FBI to spy all through the entire Trump campaign, and even to keep spying on Trump when he was seated in the Oval Office.

They participated in sedition and treason. ALL OF THEM should be hanged for this crime against the American people.

Anthony Emrick, 2 weeks ago

Bob Mueller is an Establishment STOOGE who, Along with James Comey, have been covering up for the Deep State and Shadow Government (SES) Cronies for over 20 years!!!

Joann Tague, 2 weeks ago

The man that bleached the computers and the lady that physically destroyed 2 computers with a hammier needed to be arrested......That is a start! Hillary Clinton is guilty of all the charges Trump was investigated for. President Trump is totally innocent.

So it's back to the Clinton Emails to start. Lets see how the news media reports that. The democrats are truly evil and dishonest.

darlingUSA, 12 weeks ago

Strzok and Page - those two people are your typical Clinton and Obama supporters. What does that say about her supporters. Only those two knew that as POTUS, Trump was going to do what was best for the People, not pay for play and not cover tracks of corrupt politicians. That's what they hated. That and the People of the U.S.A.

Jen X, 2 weeks ago

Dems want Barr to resign because he didn't give them the results they wanted. If Mueller and Barr found collusion, the Dems would say they did their job, and they did a fine job, and would say that we should accept it and move on.

kens 616, 1 week ago (edited)

Obama their coming after you.. This Russian hoax did not start at the bottom...it came from the top. You OBAMA..

[May 15, 2019] HARPER JOHN DURHAM'S NEW MISSION TO ROOT OUT RUSSIAGATE ORIGINS

Notable quotes:
"... Barr rejected the idea of appointing a new special prosecutor, and according to news accounts, this was a good decision. Durham, who has been quietly conducting his probe for weeks, is not restricted by the limited mandates of a special prosecutor. Barr has solicited and gotten cooperation from DNI Coats and CIA Director Haspel to extend the probe into involvement of intelligence officials (Brennan, Clapper and their key aides) in the foisting of the Trump-Russia saga and the obtaining of tainted "evidence" to secure FISA warrants. ..."
"... Durham will be closely coordinating his investigation with the work of DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who is nearing completion of his own investigation into DOJ and FBI corruption and political bias in the Trump-Russia probe. In recent meetings with Republican Member of Congress Jim Jordan, Horowitz indicated he was preparing criminal referrals as part of his final report. ..."
"... U.S. Attorney for Utah John Huber was appointed by former Attorney General Sessions to conduct a similar, but more limited probe into FBI and DOJ misconduct in the launching of Trumpgate/Russiagate but Republicans have been frustrated at the lack of progress. ..."
"... Why didn't US attorney Huber make any progress? Would the same issues hamper Durham? The big question, what is AG Barr's motivation in exposing potential misconduct at the DOJ, FBI, CIA, DNI? ..."
May 15, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Attorney General Barr has named U.S. Attorney John Durham of Connecticut to head a DOJ investigation into the origins of Russiagate. Durham appears to be an ideal choice. When nominated as U.S. Attorney in 2017, he had the support of both Democratic Senators from the state. He has a career as a prosecutor, which covered a wide range of high-profile cases, from FBI corruption in the "Whitey" Bolger dealings to CIA violations in aggressive interrogations.

Barr rejected the idea of appointing a new special prosecutor, and according to news accounts, this was a good decision. Durham, who has been quietly conducting his probe for weeks, is not restricted by the limited mandates of a special prosecutor. Barr has solicited and gotten cooperation from DNI Coats and CIA Director Haspel to extend the probe into involvement of intelligence officials (Brennan, Clapper and their key aides) in the foisting of the Trump-Russia saga and the obtaining of tainted "evidence" to secure FISA warrants.

Durham will be closely coordinating his investigation with the work of DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who is nearing completion of his own investigation into DOJ and FBI corruption and political bias in the Trump-Russia probe. In recent meetings with Republican Member of Congress Jim Jordan, Horowitz indicated he was preparing criminal referrals as part of his final report.

U.S. Attorney for Utah John Huber was appointed by former Attorney General Sessions to conduct a similar, but more limited probe into FBI and DOJ misconduct in the launching of Trumpgate/Russiagate but Republicans have been frustrated at the lack of progress.

Clearly, there is a good deal more confidence that Durham will go all-out to get to the bottom of the story.

Two recent FOIA cases have shed further light on the ambush of Trump during the final months of the campaign. A State Department deputy to Victoria Nuland met with former MI6 spook Christopher Steele in October 2016, and sent around a note to other State Department officials indicating Steele was anxious for his dossier to be published before the November 2016 elections. Steele has publicly denied he was shopping the dossier to the media. Now clearly a lie.

A second FOIA case brought by Judicial Watch obtained emails and text messages from Nellie Ohr, the wife of top DOJ official Bruce Ohr, who was working with Steele at Fusion GPS on the Trump-Russia dossier. She was a conduit for Steele's material to a number of DOJ officials. This, too, was prior to the 2016 elections, and was clearly aimed at impacting the outcome by pushing the counterintelligence investigation into candidate Trump. It didn't stop after his election, but accelerated.

Durham has a full plate of leads to explore.

blue peacock ,

Why didn't US attorney Huber make any progress? Would the same issues hamper Durham? The big question, what is AG Barr's motivation in exposing potential misconduct at the DOJ, FBI, CIA, DNI?

[May 15, 2019] Op-Ed-O-Matic Write Doomsday Screeds Like the Pros by Peter Van Buren

Notable quotes:
"... You know the ones: articles predicting whatever the news of the day will be The End of Democracy. Alongside The New York Times and The Washington Post , whose op-ed pages are pretty much a daily End of Days, practitioners include Chicken Little regulars Rachel Maddow , Lawrence Tribe, Malcolm Nance, David Corn, Benjamin Wittes, Charles Pierce, Bob Cesca, and Marcy Wheeler. ..."
"... We've gone from thinking the president is literally a Russian agent (since 1987, the last year your mom and dad dated!) to worrying the attorney general is trying to obstruct a House committee from investigating a completed investigation into obstruction by writing a summary not everyone liked of a report already released. But the actual content is irrelevant. What matters is there is another crisis to write about! The op-ed industry can't keep up with all the Republic-ending stuff Trump and his henchworld are up to. ..."
"... All persons with Russian-sounding names are Kremlin Agents(tm) *except* the alleged sources for The Dossier(tm). Those anonymous Russians can be trusted implicitly. ..."
"... Matt Tiabbi has a book out on hate, Hate Inc, and has done an excellent interview with Chris Hedges on RT. ..."
"... Rep. Eric Swalwell (D, California), who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, before Mueller finished his investigation, on Hardball on MSNBC, Jan. 2019: ..."
"... Matthews: "Do you believe the president, right now, has been an agent of the Russians?" Swalwell: "Yes, I think there's more evidence that he is-" Matthews: "Agent?" Swalwell: "Yes. and I think all the arrows point in that direction, and I haven't seen a single piece of evidence that he's not." Matthews: "An agent like in the 1940s where you had people who were 'reds,' to use an old term, like that? In other words, working for a foreign power?" Swalwell: "He's working on behalf of the Russians, yes." ..."
"... One of the best things to come from Trump's election has been the lengths some of his opponents will go to discredit themselves in the court of public opinion: Brennan, Clapper, Clinton, Comey, McCabe, the list goes on and on, often merely to make a buck. Even Watergate figures like Carl Bernstein and John Dean have demolished their own reputations, or what was left of them to begin with. If they only knew, or cared, how badly they look in hindsight. ..."
"... @MM: >>One of the best things to come from Trump's election has been the lengths some of his opponents will go to discredit themselves in the court of public opinion << ..."
"... These people don't care about "public opinion." They operate inside a circle-jerk echo chamber whose membership includes the powers dominating the culture, the media (both mainstream and social), the government, and, increasingly, the major corporations. In short, the bulk of what some call the Ruling Class. ..."
"... Facts, evidence, and truth have nothing to do with it. So an investigation, rigged though it was, nonetheless clears Trump of conspiring with Moscow, but the story becomes how Trump is guilty anyway. Orwell, a man well ahead of his time, had the whole thing figured out long ago. ..."
"... "Now tell me again it's all 'sound and fury, signifying nothing.'" On the issue of Trump/Russia collusion, it is, and always was, because we now know it started with the Clinton campaign and a now-discredited dossier. ..."
"... These are the people who we elect to "govern" us. If one looks back upon the 230 years or so during which this thing of ours has been in existence, the overwhelming majority of our elected officials (federal, state and local) have probably been, to one degree or another, narcissistic, mendacious and just generally dishonest incompetents. ..."
"... Lynch, Holder, Obama as silent as church mice. i:e who gave Comey his marching orders ? ..."
"... What "illegal things" were revealed in the Mueller report? Trump was trying to obstruct an INJUSTICE, i.e. the "soft coup" done by the anti-American, lawless leftist Dems. ..."
"... On the Big Ugly Lie*, what's their excuse? * Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election, an attack on par with Pearl Harbor and 9/11. ..."
May 13, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

You know the ones: articles predicting whatever the news of the day will be The End of Democracy. Alongside The New York Times and The Washington Post , whose op-ed pages are pretty much a daily End of Days, practitioners include Chicken Little regulars Rachel Maddow , Lawrence Tribe, Malcolm Nance, David Corn, Benjamin Wittes, Charles Pierce, Bob Cesca, and Marcy Wheeler.

You'd have thought after almost three years of wrong predictions (no new wars, no economic collapse, no Russiagate) this industry would have slam shut faster than a Rust Belt union hall. You would have especially thought these kinds of articles would have tapered off with the release of the Mueller Report. It turned out to be the opposite -- while Mueller found no conspiracy and charged no obstruction, the dang report turns out to be chock-a-block with hidden messages, secret road maps, and voices speaking in tongues (albeit only to Democrats) about obstruction.

We've gone from thinking the president is literally a Russian agent (since 1987, the last year your mom and dad dated!) to worrying the attorney general is trying to obstruct a House committee from investigating a completed investigation into obstruction by writing a summary not everyone liked of a report already released. But the actual content is irrelevant. What matters is there is another crisis to write about! The op-ed industry can't keep up with all the Republic-ending stuff Trump and his henchworld are up to.

Help has arrived. Now anyone can write their own fear-mongering article, using this handy tool, the op-ed-o-Matic. The GoFundMe for the AI-driven app version will be up soon, but for now, simply follow these simple steps to punditry!

Start with a terrifying cliche. Here are some to choose from: There is a clear and present danger; Dark clouds gather, the center cannot hold; It is unclear the Republic will survive; Democracy itself is under attack; We face a profound/unique/existential threat/crisis/turning point/test. Also, that "First they came for " poem is good. Be creative; The Washington Post calls the present state of things "constitutional nihilism." Snappy!

Be philosophical and slightly weary in tone, such as "I am in despair as I have never been before about the future of our experiment in self-rule." Say you're sad for the state of the nation. Claim time is short, but there just may be a chance to stop this. Add " by any means necessary."

Then choose a follow-on quote to reinforce the danger, maybe from: The Federalist Papers, especially Madison on tyranny; Lincoln, pretty much anything about "the people, government, test for our great nation, blah blah;" the Jack Nicholson character about not being able to handle the truth; something from the neocons like Bill Kristol or Max Boot who now hate Trump. Start with "even" as in " even arch conservative Jennifer Rubin now says "

After all that to get the blood up, explain the current bad thing Trump did. Label it "a high crime or misdemeanor if there ever was one." Use some legalese, such as proffer, colorable argument, inter alia, sinecure, duly-authorized, perjurious, and that little law book squiggly thingy (18 USC § 1513.) Be sure to say "no one is above the law," then a dramatic hyphen, then "even the president." Law school is overrated; you and Google know as much as anyone about emoluments, perjury, campaign finance regulations, contempt, tax law, subpoenas, obstruction, or whatever the day's thing is, and it changes a lot. But whatever, the bastard is obviously guilty. Your standard is tabloid-level , so just make it too good to be true.

Next, find an old Trump tweet where he criticized someone for doing just what he is doing. That never gets old! Reference burning the Reichstag. If the crisis you're writing about deals with immigration or white supremacy (meh, basically the same thing, right?), refer to Kristallnacht.

Include every bad thing Trump ever did as examples of why whatever you're talking about must be true. Swing for the fence with lines like "seeks to destroy decades of LGBTQIXYZ progress" or "built concentration camps to murder children." Cite Trump accepting Putin's word over the findings of "our" intelligence community, his "very fine people" support for Nazi cosplayers, the magic list of 10,000 lies, how Trump has blood on his hands for endangering the press as the enemy of the people, and how Trump caused the hurricane in Puerto Rico.

And Nixon. Always bring up Nixon. The context or details don't matter. In case Wikipedia is down, he was one of the presidents before Trump your grandpa liked for awhile and then didn't like after Robert Redford showed he was a clear and present danger to Saturday Night Live, or the Saturday Night Massacre, it doesn't matter, we all agree Nixon.

Focus on the villain, who must be unhinged, off the rails, over the edge, diseased, out of control, a danger to himself and others, straight-up diagnosed mentally ill , or under Trump/Putin's spell. Barr is currently the Vader-du-jour. The New York Times characterized him as "The transformation of William Barr from respected establishment lawyer to evil genius outplaying and undermining his old friend Robert Mueller is a Grand Guignol spectacle." James Comey went as far as describing Trump people as having had their souls eaten by the president. That's not hyperbole, it's journalism!

But also hold out for a hero, the Neo one inside Trumpworld who will rise, flip, or leak to save us. Forget past nominees like the pee tape, Comey, Clapper, Flynn, Page, Papadopoulos, Manafort, Cohen, Mattis, Kelly, Barr, Linda Sarsour (replace with Ilhan Omar,) Avenatti, and Omarosa to focus on McGahn. He's gonna be the one!

Then call for everyone else bad to resign, be impeached, go to jail, have their old statues torn down, delete their accounts, be referred to the SDNY, be smited by the 25th Amendment, or have their last election delegitimized by the Night King. Draw your rationale from either the most obscure corner of the Founding Founders' work ("the rough draft, subsection IIXX of the Articles of Confederation addendum, Spanish language edition, makes clear Trump is unfit for office") or go broad as in "his oath requires him to uphold the Constitution, which he clearly is not doing." Like Nancy Pelosi, mention how Trump seems unlikely to voluntarily cede power if he loses in 2020.

Cultural references are important. Out of fashion: Godfather memes especially about who is going to be Fredo, 'bots, weaponize, Pussy Hats, the Parkland Kids, Putin homophobe themes, incest "jokes" about Ivanka, the phrases the walls are closing in, tick tock, take to the streets, adult in the room, just wait for Mueller Time, and let that sink in.

Things you can still use: abyss, grifter, crime family, not who we are, follow the money. Also you may make breaking news out of Twitter typos. Stylistically anyone with a Russian-sounding name must be either an oligarch, friend of Putin, or have ties to the Kremlin. Same for anyone who has done business with Trump or used the ATM in the Deutsche Bank lobby in New York. Mention Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez somewhere because every article has to mention AOC somewhere now.

Finally, your op-ed should end either with this House Judiciary Committee chair Jerry Nadler faux Kennedy-esque quote, "The choice is simple: We can stand up to this president in defense of the country and the Constitution and the liberty we love, or we can let the moment pass us by. History will judge us for how we face this challenge" or, if you want to go old school, this one from Hillary Clinton saying, "I really believe that we are in a crisis, a constitutional crisis. We are in a crisis of confidence and a crisis over the rule of law and the institutions that have weathered a lot of problems over so many years. And it is something that, regardless of where you stand in the political spectrum, should give real heartburn to everybody. Because this is a test for our country."

Crisis. Test. Judgment of history. Readers love that stuff, because it equates Trump's dumb tweets with Lincoln pulling the Union together after a literal civil war that killed millions of Americans in brother-to-brother conflict. As long as the rubes believe the world is coming to an end, you might as well make a buck writing about it.

Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well : How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People , Hooper's War : A Novel of WWII Japan , and Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the 99% .

See also

Fran Macadam , says: May 13, 2019 at 2:48 am

Good rules for your wayward commenters Peter, themselves nattering nabobs of negativism. (Oops, there I go again.)

Can I mention how Hilarious still seems unlikely to voluntarily cede power since she lost in 2016?

Uncle Billy , says: May 13, 2019 at 6:41 am
Liberal journalists seem to think that Trump is either an ignorant oaf or an evil genius. These views are oppositional, but many liberal journalists seem to hold both of them.
mrscracker , says: May 13, 2019 at 6:58 am
I pretty much lost all respect for the Washington Post during the last election. Each WaPo anti-Trump op ed became increasingly apocalyptic until you imagined that the universe would implode should he be elected. It was that silly.

But other media promote "end of the world as we know it "scenarios also. TAC included.

Seriously, if I read one more article about how flyover America is a drug infested, impoverished wasteland inhabited by those not intelligent or ambitious enough to move to the coasts. Drama draws readers and online traffic. I guess it's up to the reader to sift through the competing narratives for the truth.

Gerard , says: May 13, 2019 at 10:11 am
On the one hand, I agree that it's laughable and ridiculous -- this flood of apocalyptic predictions and articles, wherein Trump, a juvenile buffoon who in fact does not even control the government he nominally heads, is depicted as some kind of unprecedented threat to democracy and Everything We Hold Dear.

I mean, OK, the judgment of the libs and neocons writing this stuff is clearly addled by their irrational and rabid hatred for Trump. Still, are they really that stupid or is it just that they are hopelessly dishonest? I lean toward the latter explanation.

That said, the abiding irony is that there is in fact a deepening crisis in this country. It's about an increasingly dysfunctional democracy, a bitterly alienated and divided citizenry, a set of ruling elites who despise a large percentage of their countrymen and have contrived an economic and political system that enriches themselves while consigning the despised percentage to permanent struggling status, a cultural establishment that rejects the traditional Judeo-Christian values that built Western civilization and, Jacobin-style, is busily overturning and replacing those values with their own would-be New Moral Order.

And so forth.

So yeah, there most definitely is a crisis and it might even be apocalyptic in dimension and character. (Heck, it put Trump in the White House.) But the actual crisis is not the one the fools are writing about. In fact, not only are they not writing about it -- they're in large part responsible for it.

Like I said: an abiding irony. One for the history books.

Scott in MD , says: May 13, 2019 at 10:13 am
Astroturf campaigns have been around since at least the 90's, surely you aren't just discovering them now
Sid Finster , says: May 13, 2019 at 10:18 am
All persons with Russian-sounding names are Kremlin Agents(tm) *except* the alleged sources for The Dossier(tm). Those anonymous Russians can be trusted implicitly.
Taras 77 , says: May 13, 2019 at 11:08 am
FWIW:

Matt Tiabbi has a book out on hate, Hate Inc, and has done an excellent interview with Chris Hedges on RT.

Jhawk , says: May 13, 2019 at 1:16 pm
Van Buren has apparently chosen to forget the apocalyptic rants from the right during the Obama administration. As for today's alarmists, as I write this the Dow is down over 700 points due to Trump's foolish trade war, his administration is ignoring two centuries of tradition by stonewalling Congress' legitimate oversight authority and John Bolton is trying to provoke a war with Iran. Now tell me again it's all "sound and fury, signifying nothing."
MM , says: May 13, 2019 at 1:42 pm
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D, California), who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, before Mueller finished his investigation, on Hardball on MSNBC, Jan. 2019:

Matthews: "Do you believe the president, right now, has been an agent of the Russians?"
Swalwell: "Yes, I think there's more evidence that he is-"
Matthews: "Agent?"
Swalwell: "Yes. and I think all the arrows point in that direction, and I haven't seen a single piece of evidence that he's not."
Matthews: "An agent like in the 1940s where you had people who were 'reds,' to use an old term, like that? In other words, working for a foreign power?"
Swalwell: "He's working on behalf of the Russians, yes."

The same congressman, who makes Joseph McCarthy look moderate, after Mueller completed his investigation, on Fox News, Mar. 2019:

Cavuto: "Would you say the president is not a Russian agent?"
Swalwell: "The president acts on Russia's behalf, I don't need to see the Mueller report for that."

And this month, after he had annouced his presidential bid, on Face the Nation:

Brennan: "But I know you have been talking because you are also in an intelligence role on that House committee saying a number of things that I want to quote back to you. Up until this point you said when you were asked in January, 'do you believe the president right now has been an agent of the Russians?' You said, 'yes,' you were asked again at the end of that month by a questioner, 'I'm still not hearing any evidence that he's an agent of Russia.' And you said, 'Yeah I think it's pretty clear it's almost hiding in plain sight.' The Mueller report did not substantiate any conspiracy or coordination with Russia. Do you regret prejudging the outcome?"

Swalwell: "No, actually I- I- I think I should have been louder."

And people say Denin Nunes politicized the House Intelligence Committee?

One of the best things to come from Trump's election has been the lengths some of his opponents will go to discredit themselves in the court of public opinion: Brennan, Clapper, Clinton, Comey, McCabe, the list goes on and on, often merely to make a buck. Even Watergate figures like Carl Bernstein and John Dean have demolished their own reputations, or what was left of them to begin with. If they only knew, or cared, how badly they look in hindsight.

Gene Smolko , says: May 13, 2019 at 1:54 pm
Uncle Billy

"Liberal journalists seem to think that Trump is either an ignorant oaf or an evil genius."

You're missing the point, it's Trump's ignorance, his extreme sense of entitlement and limitless ego that are a danger to our democracy. He doesn't understand the norms of democracy, otherwise known as American principles. All he understands is what he wants and his notion of American greatness, which has nothing to do with true American principles.

Gerard , says: May 13, 2019 at 2:16 pm
@MM: >>One of the best things to come from Trump's election has been the lengths some of his opponents will go to discredit themselves in the court of public opinion <<

These people don't care about "public opinion." They operate inside a circle-jerk echo chamber whose membership includes the powers dominating the culture, the media (both mainstream and social), the government, and, increasingly, the major corporations. In short, the bulk of what some call the Ruling Class.

In their minds, public opinion can be suppressed or at least controlled by their near monopoly on major media. The stories they want told will get told. The stories they don't want told will not get told. Except at more or less isolated right-wing websites and such whose audience and reach are limited.

Facts, evidence, and truth have nothing to do with it. So an investigation, rigged though it was, nonetheless clears Trump of conspiring with Moscow, but the story becomes how Trump is guilty anyway. Orwell, a man well ahead of his time, had the whole thing figured out long ago.

MM , says: May 13, 2019 at 2:51 pm
jhawk: "As I write this the Dow is down over 700 points."

This is the same Dow Jones that, even with today's drop is still 40% higher than it was right before the 2016 election, correct?

"Now tell me again it's all 'sound and fury, signifying nothing.'" On the issue of Trump/Russia collusion, it is, and always was, because we now know it started with the Clinton campaign and a now-discredited dossier.

Connecticut Farmer , says: May 13, 2019 at 3:36 pm
@MM

These are the people who we elect to "govern" us. If one looks back upon the 230 years or so during which this thing of ours has been in existence, the overwhelming majority of our elected officials (federal, state and local) have probably been, to one degree or another, narcissistic, mendacious and just generally dishonest incompetents. It seems that it's only when we hit rock bottom and the country's very survival is at stake that the cream rises to the top and the very best step to the plate, so given what we have in Washington now, maybe we haven't reached that point–at least not yet.

Dan Green , says: May 13, 2019 at 5:58 pm
Lynch, Holder, Obama as silent as church mice. i:e who gave Comey his marching orders ?
JohnT , says: May 13, 2019 at 8:16 pm
This is a hoot. Little Pettie strikes again! Projecting his own myopia as always! His Greater Leader, The Trumpster, and the sycophants who worship him daily (for a fee, of course) daily tweets or shouts from a podium the impending doom of our nations due to hoards of the "other" spreading disease and violence nationwide while supported by the great love of Evangelical "Christians" who faith not merely predicts but yearns for the end of the world!!!
Can't quite tell. It is hypocrisy or grand delusions blooming brightly at TAC!
MM , says: May 13, 2019 at 11:08 pm
CT Farmer: "If one looks back upon the 230 years or so during which this thing of ours has been in existence, the overwhelming majority of our elected officials have probably been, to one degree or another, narcissistic, mendacious and just generally dishonest incompetents."

No doubt, I only picked on him because he represents the crappiest district in the Bay Area, which I have personal experience on, and he's running for president on the "Trump is a Russian agent" platform, which even Joseph McCarthy was too timid to attempt.

That's either saying something, or it's nothing. I could've quoted another presidential candidate who's claimed that law enforcement and criminal justice in America is racist from top to bottom and front to back. Or I could've quoted a different presidential candidate who's stated unequivocally that every human being, not just American citizen, is entitled to free education and health care, without regard to cost or need.

Pick your poison

Cat , says: May 14, 2019 at 3:21 am
Just a few thoughts about comments above: Who "yearns for the end of the world"?? Give names please, stop slandering. What "illegal things" were revealed in the Mueller report? Trump was trying to obstruct an INJUSTICE, i.e. the "soft coup" done by the anti-American, lawless leftist Dems. The fact is that we are a nation of laws and illegals (no matter where they are from, Mars, Supitor; whether they are green, purple, whatever color) are a threat to our country. I heard report that about a third of the crimes in the USA are done by illegals, at a cost of billions. Well, more crap from brain washed boobs above, but I'm done trying to point them out ..
mrscracker , says: May 14, 2019 at 9:55 am
Rick Steven D.:

"Uh, have you met Rod-sky-is-falling-Dreher?"

***************
Yes, I met him at a very nice crawfish boil last year.
It's good to read your comments, too. I hope you've been well!

mrscracker , says: May 14, 2019 at 10:03 am
James from Durham:

" you know, we're all at it, breathing apocalyptic fire and brimstone, left and right. No point throwing stones at each other on this subject."

**************
My thoughts, too. It's difficult to sift through the hype on all sides & find anything solid. Outrage generates traffic, thoughtful discussion-not so much. So we end up with clickbait & tabloids.

David Smith , says: May 14, 2019 at 10:28 am
Maybe the Dems and their supporters should spend more time trying to understand why they lost and less time complaining about it. But then that's not nearly as much fun.
Patricus , says: May 14, 2019 at 11:17 am
Thanks for the voice of reason. A couple of complaints on Trump: he hasn't accomplished much on the border; budgets continue to bleed red ink. He at least could have vetoed the budgets.
Sean Nuttall , says: May 14, 2019 at 3:07 pm
Isn't it a bit rich to suggest that the outrage media started in 2016? How long have Limbaugh, Coulter, Ingraham, Levin, Hannity, .. been milking the Republican multiverse.
MM , says: May 14, 2019 at 5:38 pm
Sean: "Isn't it a bit rich to suggest that the outrage media started in 2016?"

That's a bit like saying because my neighbor ran over my dog, I'll then bulldoze his house. Besides, the left and the press are supposed to be superior to the right and the unwashed masses. They always fact-based, logical, reasonable, non-ideological, and consistent.

On the Big Ugly Lie*, what's their excuse?
* Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election, an attack on par with Pearl Harbor and 9/11.

[May 14, 2019] FOIA Docs Mueller Top Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann Hand-Picked Team of Angry Democrats

May 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

When Trump called the Mueller investigators " 18 angry Democrats ," he wasn't kidding.

According to 73 pages of records obtained by Judicial Watch , Mueller special counsel prosecutor Andrew Weissmann led the hiring effort for the team that investigated the Trump campaign .

Notably, Weissman attended Hillary Clinton's election night party in 2016, and wrote a positive email to former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates when she refused to defend the Trump administration's travel ban. And as you will see below, he was on a mission to recruit a politically biased fleet of lawyers for the Mueller probe .

"These documents show Andrew Weissmann, an anti-Trump activist, had a hand in hiring key members of Mueller's team – who also happened to be political opponents of President Trump," said Judicial Watch President, Tom Fitton. "These documents show that Mueller outsourced his hiring decisions to Andrew Weissmann. No wonder it took well over a year to get this basic information and, yet, the Deep State DOJ is still stonewalling on other Weissmann documents!"

Weissman's calendar shows that he began interviewing people for investigator jobs on the Mueller operation almost immediately after it was announced that he had joined the team in early June .

On June 5, 2017, he interviewed former Chief of the Public Corruption Unit of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York Andrew Goldstein . Goldstein was a Time magazine reporter. Goldstein contributed a combined $3,300 to Obama's campaigns in 2008 and 2012. His wife, Julie Rawe, was a reporter and editor for Time for 13 years, until 2013. He became a lead prosecutor for Mueller.

The next day, on June 6, 2017 Weissmann had a meeting with "FARA [Foreign Agents Registration Act] counsel."

Weissmann interviewed another prosecutor, Kyle Freeny , from the DOJ Money Laundering Section for the team on June 7, 2017. She contributed a total of $500 to Obama's presidential campaigns and $250 to Hillary Clinton's. She was later detailed to the Mueller investigation.

He interviewed a trial attorney who worked with him in the Criminal Fraud Section, Rush Atkinson , on June 9, 2017. Records show that Atkinson donated $200 to Clinton's campaign in 2016. He is a registered Democrat and contributed $200 to Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign . Atkinson also became part of the Mueller team.

Weissmann interviewed DOJ Deputy Assistant Attorney General Greg Andres for the team on June 13, 2017. Andres donated $2,700 to the campaign for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in 2018 and $1,000 to the campaign for David Hoffman (D) in 2009. Andres is a registered Democrat. His wife, Ronnie Abrams , a U.S. district judge in Manhattan, was nominated to the bench in 2011 by Obama. He joined the Mueller team in August 2017. - Judicial Watch

"Judicial Watch previously released documents showing strong support by Weissmann for former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates' refusal to enforce President Trump's Middle East travel ban executive order. Weissmann reportedly also attended Hillary Clinton's Election Night party in New York," the report concludes.

Sign in to comment filter_list Viewing Options arrow_drop_down


The Persistent Vegetable , 11 minutes ago link

This is such a risky approach. When the next dem comes in and gets investigated no republicans can do it? This **** gonna backfire down the road

warsev , 16 minutes ago link

Consider, who better to find the President not guilty of collusion and obstruction than "18 Angry Democrats"? It's damn near perfect. The Dems can't find fault with any of the investigators who found the President did not violate the law.

Tachyon5321 , 44 minutes ago link

Tump should have Andrew Weissmann fired for looking like Anthony Weiner

Biblicism, Deep State, Impressionism, Israhell Apartheid, Holohaust, warning graphic disturbing images etc usw...

Jackprong , 58 minutes ago link

When can the investigation of the investigators begin with Mueller's team of DNC hacks?

Stainless Steel Rat , 1 hour ago link

I Want To Believe

Justice will be done.

But I have my doubts...

GUS100CORRINA , 1 hour ago link

FOIA Docs: Mueller Top Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann Hand-Picked Team of "Angry Democrats"

My response; These people are evil & corrupt to the core!! They were responsible for the BIGGEST SCANDAL in US HISTORY and NEED TO GO TO JAIL!!!

2019 will be the YEAR of JUSTICE!! I wonder how AG BARR is going to handle this entire scandal as more information is revealed?

Treavor , 6 minutes ago link

Barr could go down in history as great AG but he has to hang some people Brennen and Comey and CLapper first.

American2 , 1 hour ago link

Now the legal system needs to treat Andrew Weissmann like he tried to treat Donald Trump. **** Weissmann big time.

newstarmist , 1 hour ago link

Weissman, Goldstein, et alia, all jews in a fabricated jewish drama to further demoralize us and to separate us from what was our Republic form of government. What we need is an immediate ubiquitous epiphany regarding these sleazy, slimy kikes and in the words of Andrew Jackson... "You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the Eternal God, I will rout you out."

[May 14, 2019] Gowdy on Barr assigning prosecutor to investigate Russia probe

Gowdy recommends that they should definitely look at Brennan, Clapper and Comey emails in late 2016. Also who insisted on including Steele dossier.
May 14, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Investigators to look at origins of Russia probe; reaction and analysis from Fox News contributor Trey Gowdy.


Val Schaub , 2 hours ago

Clapper, Brennan are blaming Comey, and Comey will blame Brennan and Clapper. All roads lead to Hilliary and Obama.

Jethro Bodeene , 3 hours ago

They used lies and Steele's word to verify the dossier for the FISA warrants... Get your things in order you're going to prison

Saint Michael , 3 hours ago

The Deep State is in a full blown panic right now. Their intimidation tactics haven't worked on AG Barr. They know that AG Barr is going to investigate and prosecute their crimes against our political system and President Trump. They cannot be allowed to get away with what they've done if we're going to have a political/criminal justice system that can be trusted.

k98killer , 2 hours ago (edited)

The funny thing is that after years of the lame stream media saying "the walls are closing in", they finally are -- on the corrupt Obama administration.

Capt. Tripps , 3 hours ago

They're all turning on Comey!

Dean Tait , 2 hours ago

Oh my, the demonic liberal left are turning on each other. Brennan and Comey need to pay. Many other's too! Go Barr and Durham, get em!

Shane Geer , 3 hours ago

Look at Brennan, clapper, Comey all run

Louis Smith , 3 hours ago

Treason on steroids. SCREW BRENNEN, AND comey,AND MAULLER, AND, AND AND, CLAPPER, CLINTON, OBAMA, KERRY, CLINTON again,, AND AND AND, SHIFF, aunt MAXINE, COMEY again, AND AND AND stroke, mcabe, AND the rest of the hee haw gang.

GFrank , 2 hours ago

Interesting to see how just a few months ago all of this stuff, the spying, FISA court applications, etc, etc, etc, was claimed to be fiction. "Trump is a traitor and a liar", they all screamed. Now these rats are claiming it was all done legally, by the book, and that it was the right thing to do for the sake of election integrity. Get yer popcorn, it's going to be a hell of a show.....

Danger Erin , 2 hours ago

"I dont know what a deep state is" - FBI Director Wray 2017 Fire him...

[May 14, 2019] Do Russia probe attorneys' donations to Democrats threaten their independence? by Glenn Kessler

Jan 04, 2018 | www.stamfordadvocate.com

Originally from WaPo, January 4, 2018 "The people that have been hired are all Hillary Clinton supporters. Some of them worked for Hillary Clinton. I mean the whole thing is ridiculous, if you want to know the truth, from that standpoint."- President Donald Trump, interview with "Fox & Friends," June 23, 2017 Recommended Video

In June, The Fact Checker examined claims by President Trump and his surrogates that the special counsel team headed by former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III was tainted by the fact that several of the prosecutors were supporters of Clinton or even worked for her. We dug into the political contributions of eight team members and found that four had made political contributions and four had no record of making such contributions. We ended up giving Trump Three Pinocchios because not all of the people hired had a record of supporting Clinton and it was false to claim that some had worked directly for Hillary Clinton.

A reader asked us to provide an update, given that many more of the team members had been identified. We now have a list of 15 team members; one of the people whose background we had previously checked (FBI lawyer Lisa Page) has since left the team. So that's an additional eight names.

(Another former team member, FBI official Peter Strzok, was removed by Mueller after the discovery of politically charged texts exchanged with Page, with whom he was romantically involved. But Strzok was not part of our original list.)

Let's take a look, breaking the team up into three categories.

The Facts

As we have noted before, federal regulations prohibit the Justice Department from considering the political affiliation or political contributions of career appointees, including those appointed to the Special Counsel's Office. So Mueller is legally prohibited from considering the political affiliations of the people he has hired. Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller, also has told Congress that it is not a disqualification for a lawyer in the Special Counsel's Office to have made a political donation.

Mueller, meanwhile, was a registered Republican when he was nominated to be FBI director in 2001, but is also considered apolitical. "A Justice Department senior staff meeting went quiet this year when Mueller ran through a list of people he considered qualified for top temporary jobs, most of them Democrats," The Washington Post reported at the time. "It had never occurred to him that Democrats and the new Republican administration might not mesh."

Mueller made two donations totaling $450 to then-Massachusetts Gov. William Weld's Senate campaign in 1996; Weld at the time was a Republican but he was the vice presidential nominee on the Libertarian Party ticket in 2016.

---

WilmerHale colleagues

Three members of the team came with Mueller from the law firm WilmerHale: James Quarles III, Jeannie Rhee and Aaron Zebley.

Zebley, a former counterterrorism FBI agent and assistant U.S. attorney, appears to have no record of donations, but he once represented Clinton aide Justin Cooper. But Quarles and Rhee have been noteworthy political donors.

Quarles, who was an assistant prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, donated to the last four Democratic presidential nominees: $2,700 to Hillary Clinton in 2016, $4,600 to Barack Obama in 2007 and 2008, $1,500 to John F. Kerry in 2003 and 2004 and $500 to Al Gore in 1999. He donated at least $15,000 to various other Democratic campaigns, but also gave $2,500 in 2015 to then Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, and $250 to then-Sen. George Allen, R-Va., in 2005.

Meanwhile, Rhee, who had a top post in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel under Obama, was an early donor to the Clinton and Obama campaigns and even maxxed out on her Clinton contributions. Rhee donated a total of $5,400 to Clinton's campaign in 2015 and 2016, and a total of $4,800 to a joint Obama-Democratic National Committee fund (Obama Victory Fund) in 2008 and 2011. She also made smaller donations to various Democrats and the DNC totaling $1,750. Rhee is part of the team listed as working on the George Papadopoulos case.

At WilmerHale, Rhee was a partner on the defense team representing the Clinton Foundation in a lawsuit over Clinton's use of her private email server.

(WilmerHale has also represented Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort, son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump.)

---

Prosecutors

Andrew Weissmann, described as Mueller's "legal pit bull" by the New York Times, served previously with Mueller, when he was general counsel of the FBI. He has also donated to Democrats - $2,300 to the Obama Victory Fund in 2008, $2,000 to the DNC in 2006 and $2,300 to the Clinton campaign in 2007.

Weissmann, who is involved in the case against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, has come under sustained attacks by Republicans after an email of his to then-acting attorney general Sally Yates was discovered. "I am so proud and in awe. Thank you so much. All my deepest respects," he wrote on Jan. 30, 2017, after she instructed the Justice Department not to defend the travel ban in the courts. Trump fired Yates, but the version she refused to defend was blocked in court.

Andrew D. Goldstein was the public corruption chief in New York under U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was fired by Trump. He donated $3,300 to Obama's campaigns in 2008 and 2012. He is listed as working on the Papadopoulos case.

Greg Andres, a former mob prosecutor who was a white-collar criminal defense attorney at the Davis Polk & Wardwell firm, is another veteran of the Obama Justice Department, where he headed the fraud unit from 2010 to 2012. He donated $2,700 to the campaign for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., in 2017 and $1,000 to the unsuccessful Senate campaign of David Hoffman, D, in 2009. He is also part of the team on the Manafort case.

Other prosecutors made minor or no contributions, federal records show.

Brandon Van Grack, a veteran national security prosecutor listed as involved in the guilty plea of Michael Flynn, donated $287 to Obama's campaign in 2008.

Kyle Freeny, a Justice Department trial attorney since 2007, most recently specializing in money laundering, made political contributions to Democratic presidential candidates after they clinched the nomination: $250 to both of Obama's presidential campaigns and $250 to Clinton's campaign in 2016. She is part of the team on the Manafort case.

Lawrence "Rush" Atkinson, a trial attorney in the Justice Department's fraud section, donated $200 to Clinton's campaign in 2016.

Aaron Zelinsky, an assistant U.S. attorney in Maryland, is working on the Papadopoulos case. Federal records show he has made no political donations.

Zainab Ahmad, an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York with a stellar record in counterterrorism cases, is part of the team working on the Flynn case. Federal records show she has made no political donations.

---

Appellate attorneys

The appellate attorneys are probably not on the front lines of prosecuting cases but provide legal advice and help evaluate whether federal laws have been broken. Only one of these lawyers have made political donations.

Elizabeth Prelogar, an assistant solicitor general, donated $250 each to Clinton's campaign and the Obama Victory Fund 2016 and 2012.

Michael Dreeben, a deputy solicitor general who has argued more than 100 cases before the Supreme Court, is essentially Mueller's legal counsel. He has made no political donations, though federal records list a man in Chicago with the same name.

Adam Jed, an appellate lawyer from the Justice Department's civil division, and Scott Meisler, an appellate attorney with the Justice Department's criminal division, round out the team. Federal records show neither have made political donations.

The Pinocchio Test

It now turns out that nine members of Mueller's team have made political donations to Democrats, compared to six with no record of such donations. Five of the 15 known members - Rhee, Quarles, Freeny, Prelogar and Atkinson - contributed to Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign.

So this leaves the team more unbalanced than the 4-4 split we found last June. But we are going to reaffirm the Three-Pinocchio rating. Trump asserted that the people who had been hired were "all Hillary Clinton supporters" and that obviously is not the case.

Moreover, Trump said "some of them worked for Hillary Clinton." But that is clearly wrong. Rhee, who donated the maximum amount to Clinton's campaign, represented the Clinton Foundation in a 2015 lawsuit. Zebley, who made no political donations, represented a Clinton aide at one point. That's not the same as working for Clinton.

In any case, the DOJ is legally barred from discriminating career appointees based on political affiliation. Mueller took action against Strzok when texts expressing anti-Trump sentiments were discovered. But he can't inquire about political leanings before hiring.

Three Pinocchios

[May 14, 2019] The Propaganda Multiplier How Global News Agencies and Western Media Report on Geopolitics

Highly recommended!
Images omitted.
Important article that shed some light on the methods of disinformation in foreign events used by neoliberal MSM
Notable quotes:
"... However, there is a simple reason why the global agencies, despite their importance, are virtually unknown to the general public. To quote a Swiss media professor: "Radio and television usually do not name their sources, and only specialists can decipher references in magazines." (Blum 1995, P. 9) The motive for this discretion, however, should be clear: news outlets are not particularly keen to let readers know that they haven't researched most of their contributions themselves. ..."
"... Much of our media does not have own foreign correspondents, so they have no choice but to rely completely on global agencies for foreign news. But what about the big daily newspapers and TV stations that have their own international correspondents? In German-speaking countries, for example, these include newspapers such NZZ, FAZ, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Welt, and public broadcasters. ..."
"... Moreover, in war zones, correspondents rarely venture out. On the Syria war, for example, many journalists "reported" from cities such as Istanbul, Beirut, Cairo or even from Cyprus. In addition, many journalists lack the language skills to understand local people and media. ..."
"... How do correspondents under such circumstances know what the "news" is in their region of the world? The main answer is once again: from global agencies. The Dutch Middle East correspondent Joris Luyendijk has impressively described how correspondents work and how they depend on the world agencies in his book "People Like Us: Misrepresenting the Middle East" : ..."
"... The central role of news agencies also explains why, in geopolitical conflicts, most media use the same original sources. In the Syrian war, for example, the "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" – a dubious one-man organization based in London – featured prominently. The media rarely inquired directly at this "Observatory", as its operator was in fact difficult to reach, even for journalists. ..."
"... Ulrich Tilgner, a veteran Middle East correspondent for German and Swiss television, warned in 2003, shortly after the Iraq war, of acts of deception by the military and the role played by the media: ..."
"... What is known to the US military, would not be foreign to US intelligence services. In a remarkable report by British Channel 4, former CIA officials and a Reuters correspondent spoke candidly about the systematic dissemination of propaganda and misinformation in reporting on geopolitical conflicts: ..."
"... "In all press systems, the news media are instruments of those who exercise political and economic power. Newspapers, periodicals, radio and television stations do not act independently, although they have the possibility of independent exercise of power." (Altschull 1984/1995, p. 298) ..."
Jun 01, 2016 | www.globalresearch.ca

By Swiss Propaganda Research Global Research, May 14, 2019 Swiss Propaganda Research Region: Europe , USA Theme: Media Disinformation

This study was originally published in 2016.

Introduction: "Something strange"

"How does the newspaper know what it knows?" The answer to this question is likely to surprise some newspaper readers: "The main source of information is stories from news agencies. The almost anonymously operating news agencies are in a way the key to world events. So what are the names of these agencies, how do they work and who finances them? To judge how well one is informed about events in East and West, one should know the answers to these questions." (Höhne 1977, p. 11)

A Swiss media researcher points out:

"The news agencies are the most important suppliers of material to mass media. No daily media outlet can manage without them. () So the news agencies influence our image of the world; above all, we get to know what they have selected." (Blum 1995, p. 9)

In view of their essential importance, it is all the more astonishing that these agencies are hardly known to the public:

"A large part of society is unaware that news agencies exist at all In fact, they play an enormously important role in the media market. But despite this great importance, little attention has been paid to them in the past." (Schulten-Jaspers 2013, p. 13)

Even the head of a news agency noted:

"There is something strange about news agencies. They are little known to the public. Unlike a newspaper, their activity is not so much in the spotlight, yet they can always be found at the source of the story." (Segbers 2007, p. 9)

"The Invisible Nerve Center of the Media System"

So what are the names of these agencies that are "always at the source of the story"? There are now only three global agencies left:

  1. The American Associated Press ( AP ) with over 4000 employees worldwide. The AP belongs to US media companies and has its main editorial office in New York. AP news is used by around 12,000 international media outlets, reaching more than half of the world's population every day.
  2. The quasi-governmental French Agence France-Presse ( AFP ) based in Paris and with around 4000 employees. The AFP sends over 3000 stories and photos every day to media all over the world.
  3. The British agency Reuters in London, which is privately owned and employs just over 3000 people. Reuters was acquired in 2008 by Canadian media entrepreneur Thomson – one of the 25 richest people in the world – and merged into Thomson Reuters , headquartered in New York.

In addition, many countries run their own news agencies. However, when it comes to international news, these usually rely on the three global agencies and simply copy and translate their reports.

The three global news agencies Reuters, AFP and AP, and the three national agencies of the German-speaking countries of Austria (APA), Germany (DPA) and Switzerland (SDA).

Wolfgang Vyslozil, former managing director of the Austrian APA, described the key role of news agencies with these words:

"News agencies are rarely in the public eye. Yet they are one of the most influential and at the same time one of the least known media types. They are key institutions of substantial importance to any media system. They are the invisible nerve center that connects all parts of this system." (Segbers 2007, p.10)

Small abbreviation, great effect

However, there is a simple reason why the global agencies, despite their importance, are virtually unknown to the general public. To quote a Swiss media professor: "Radio and television usually do not name their sources, and only specialists can decipher references in magazines." (Blum 1995, P. 9) The motive for this discretion, however, should be clear: news outlets are not particularly keen to let readers know that they haven't researched most of their contributions themselves.

The following figure shows some examples of source tagging in popular German-language newspapers. Next to the agency abbreviations we find the initials of editors who have edited the respective agency report.

News agencies as sources in newspaper articles

Occasionally, newspapers use agency material but do not label it at all. A study in 2011 from the Swiss Research Institute for the Public Sphere and Society at the University of Zurich came to the following conclusions (FOEG 2011):

"Agency contributions are exploited integrally without labeling them, or they are partially rewritten to make them appear as an editorial contribution. In addition, there is a practice of 'spicing up' agency reports with little effort; for example, visualization techniques are used: unpublished agency reports are enriched with images and graphics and presented as comprehensive reports."

The agencies play a prominent role not only in the press, but also in private and public broadcasting. This is confirmed by Volker Braeutigam, who worked for the German state broadcaster ARD for ten years and views the dominance of these agencies critically:

"One fundamental problem is that the newsroom at ARD sources its information mainly from three sources: the news agencies DPA/AP, Reuters and AFP: one German/American, one British and one French. () The editor working on a news topic only needs to select a few text passages on the screen that he considers essential, rearrange them and glue them together with a few flourishes."

Swiss Radio and Television (SRF), too, largely bases itself on reports from these agencies. Asked by viewers why a peace march in Ukraine was not reported, the editors said : "To date, we have not received a single report of this march from the independent agencies Reuters, AP and AFP."

In fact, not only the text, but also the images, sound and video recordings that we encounter in our media every day, are mostly from the very same agencies. What the uninitiated audience might think of as contributions from their local newspaper or TV station, are actually copied reports from New York, London and Paris.

Some media have even gone a step further and have, for lack of resources, outsourced their entire foreign editorial office to an agency. Moreover, it is well known that many news portals on the internet mostly publish agency reports (see e.g., Paterson 2007, Johnston 2011, MacGregor 2013).

In the end, this dependency on the global agencies creates a striking similarity in international reporting: from Vienna to Washington, our media often report the same topics, using many of the same phrases – a phenomenon that would otherwise rather be associated with "controlled media" in authoritarian states.

The following graphic shows some examples from German and international publications. As you can see, despite the claimed objectivity, a slight (geo-)political bias sometimes creeps in.

"Putin threatens", "Iran provokes", "NATO concerned", "Assad stronghold": Similarities in content and wording due to reports by global news agencies.

The role of correspondents

Much of our media does not have own foreign correspondents, so they have no choice but to rely completely on global agencies for foreign news. But what about the big daily newspapers and TV stations that have their own international correspondents? In German-speaking countries, for example, these include newspapers such NZZ, FAZ, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Welt, and public broadcasters.

First of all, the size ratios should be kept in mind: while the global agencies have several thousand employees worldwide, even the Swiss newspaper NZZ, known for its international reporting, maintains only 35 foreign correspondents (including their business correspondents). In huge countries such as China or India, only one correspondent is stationed; all of South America is covered by only two journalists, while in even larger Africa no-one is on the ground permanently.

Moreover, in war zones, correspondents rarely venture out. On the Syria war, for example, many journalists "reported" from cities such as Istanbul, Beirut, Cairo or even from Cyprus. In addition, many journalists lack the language skills to understand local people and media.

How do correspondents under such circumstances know what the "news" is in their region of the world? The main answer is once again: from global agencies. The Dutch Middle East correspondent Joris Luyendijk has impressively described how correspondents work and how they depend on the world agencies in his book "People Like Us: Misrepresenting the Middle East" :

"I'd imagined correspondents to be historians-of-the-moment. When something important happened, they'd go after it, find out what was going on, and report on it. But I didn't go off to find out what was going on; that had been done long before. I went along to present an on-the-spot report. ()

The editors in the Netherlands called when something happened, they faxed or emailed the press releases, and I'd retell them in my own words on the radio, or rework them into an article for the newspaper. This was the reason my editors found it more important that I could be reached in the place itself than that I knew what was going on. The news agencies provided enough information for you to be able to write or talk you way through any crisis or summit meeting.

That's why you often come across the same images and stories if you leaf through a few different newspapers or click the news channels.

Our men and women in London, Paris, Berlin and Washington bureaus – all thought that wrong topics were dominating the news and that we were following the standards of the news agencies too slavishly. ()

The common idea about correspondents is that they 'have the story', () but the reality is that the news is a conveyor belt in a bread factory. The correspondents stand at the end of the conveyor belt, pretending we've baked that white loaf ourselves, while in fact all we've done is put it in its wrapping. ()

Afterwards, a friend asked me how I'd managed to answer all the questions during those cross-talks, every hour and without hesitation. When I told him that, like on the TV-news, you knew all the questions in advance, his e-mailed response came packed with expletives. My friend had relalized that, for decades, what he'd been watching and listening to on the news was pure theatre." (Luyendjik 2009, p. 20-22, 76, 189)

In other words, the typical correspondent is in general not able to do independent research, but rather deals with and reinforces those topics that are already prescribed by the news agencies – the notorious "mainstream effect".

In addition, for cost-saving reasons many media outlets nowadays have to share their few foreign correspondents, and within individual media groups, foreign reports are often used by several publications – none of which contributes to diversity in reporting.

"What the agency does not report, does not take place"

The central role of news agencies also explains why, in geopolitical conflicts, most media use the same original sources. In the Syrian war, for example, the "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" – a dubious one-man organization based in London – featured prominently. The media rarely inquired directly at this "Observatory", as its operator was in fact difficult to reach, even for journalists.

Rather, the "Observatory" delivered its stories to global agencies, which then forwarded them to thousands of media outlets, which in turn "informed" hundreds of millions of readers and viewers worldwide. The reason why the agencies, of all places, referred to this strange "Observatory" in their reporting – and who really financed it – is a question that was rarely asked.

The former chief editor of the German news agency DPA, Manfred Steffens, therefore states in his book "The Business of News":

"A news story does not become more correct simply because one is able to provide a source for it. It is indeed rather questionable to trust a news story more just because a source is cited. () Behind the protective shield such a 'source' means for a news story, some people are quite inclined to spread rather adventurous things, even if they themselves have legitimate doubts about their correctness; the responsibility, at least morally, can always be attributed to the cited source." (Steffens 1969, p. 106)

Dependence on global agencies is also a major reason why media coverage of geopolitical conflicts is often superficial and erratic, while historic relationships and background are fragmented or altogether absent. As put by Steffens:

"News agencies receive their impulses almost exclusively from current events and are therefore by their very nature ahistoric. They are reluctant to add any more context than is strictly required." (Steffens 1969, p. 32)

Finally, the dominance of global agencies explains why certain geopolitical issues and events – which often do not fit very well into the US/NATO narrative or are too "unimportant" – are not mentioned in our media at all: if the agencies do not report on something, then most Western media will not be aware of it. As pointed out on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the German DPA: "What the agency does not report, does not take place." (Wilke 2000, p. 1)

America's "Righteous" Russia-gate Censorship. "Russia Bashing All the Time"

"Adding questionable stories"

While some topics do not appear at all in our media, other topics are very prominent – even though they shouldn't actually be: "Often the mass media do not report on reality, but on a constructed or staged reality. () Several studies have shown that the mass media are predominantly determined by PR activities and that passive, receptive attitudes outweigh active-researching ones." (Blum 1995, p. 16)

In fact, due to the rather low journalistic performance of our media and their high dependence on a few news agencies, it is easy for interested parties to spread propaganda and disinformation in a supposedly respectable format to a worldwide audience. DPA editor Steffens warned of this danger:

"The critical sense gets more lulled the more respected the news agency or newspaper is. Someone who wants to introduce a questionable story into the world press only needs to try to put his story in a reasonably reputable agency, to be sure that it then appears a little later in the others. Sometimes it happens that a hoax passes from agency to agency and becomes ever more credible." (Steffens 1969, p. 234)

Among the most active actors in "injecting" questionable geopolitical news are the military and defense ministries. For example, in 2009, the head of the American news agency AP, Tom Curley, made public that the Pentagon employs more than 27,000 PR specialists who, with a budget of nearly $ 5 billion a year, are working the media and circulating targeted manipulations. In addition, high-ranking US generals had threatened that they would "ruin" the AP and him if the journalists reported too critically on the US military.

Despite – or because of? – such threats our media regularly publish dubious stories sourced to some unnamed "informants" from "US defense circles".

Ulrich Tilgner, a veteran Middle East correspondent for German and Swiss television, warned in 2003, shortly after the Iraq war, of acts of deception by the military and the role played by the media:

"With the help of the media, the military determine the public perception and use it for their plans. They manage to stir expectations and spread scenarios and deceptions. In this new kind of war, the PR strategists of the US administration fulfill a similar function as the bomber pilots. The special departments for public relations in the Pentagon and in the secret services have become combatants in the information war. () The US military specifically uses the lack of transparency in media coverage for their deception maneuvers. The way they spread information, which is then picked up and distributed by newspapers and broadcasters, makes it impossible for readers, listeners or viewers to trace the original source. Thus, the audience will fail to recognize the actual intention of the military." (Tilgner 2003, p. 132)

What is known to the US military, would not be foreign to US intelligence services. In a remarkable report by British Channel 4, former CIA officials and a Reuters correspondent spoke candidly about the systematic dissemination of propaganda and misinformation in reporting on geopolitical conflicts:

Former CIA officer and whistleblower John Stockwell said of his work in the Angolan war,

"The basic theme was to make it look like an [enemy] aggression in Angola. So any kind of story that you could write and get into the media anywhere in the world, that pushed that line, we did. One third of my staff in this task force were covert action, were propagandists, whose professional career job was to make up stories and finding ways of getting them into the press. () The editors in most Western newspapers are not too skeptical of messages that conform to general views and prejudices. () So we came up with another story, and it was kept going for weeks. () [But] it was all fiction."

Fred Bridgland looked back on his work as a war correspondent for the Reuters agency: "We based our reports on official communications. It was not until years later that I learned a little CIA disinformation expert had sat in the US embassy, in Lusaka and composed that communiqué, and it bore no relation at all to truth. () Basically, and to put it very crudely, you can publish any old crap and it will get newspaper room."

And former CIA analyst David MacMichael described his work in the Contra War in Nicaragua with these words:

"They said our intelligence of Nicaragua was so good that we could even register when someone flushed a toilet. But I had the feeling that the stories we were giving to the press came straight out of the toilet." (Hird 1985)

Of course, the intelligence services also have a large number of direct contacts in our media, which can be "leaked" information to if necessary. But without the central role of the global news agencies, the worldwide synchronization of propaganda and disinformation would never be so efficient.

Through this "propaganda multiplier", dubious stories from PR experts working for governments, military and intelligence services reach the general public more or less unchecked and unfiltered. The journalists refer to the news agencies and the news agencies refer to their sources. Although they often attempt to point out uncertainties with terms such as "apparent", "alleged" and the like – by then the rumor has long been spread to the world and its effect taken place.

The Propaganda Multiplier: Governments, military and intelligence services using global news agencies to disseminate their messages to a worldwide audience.

As the New York Times reported

In addition to global news agencies, there is another source that is often used by media outlets around the world to report on geopolitical conflicts, namely the major publications in Great Britain and the US.

For example, news outlets like the New York Times or BBC have up to 100 foreign correspondents and other external employees. However, Middle East correspondent Luyendijk points out:

"Dutch news teams, me included, fed on the selection of news made by quality media like CNN, the BBC, and the New York Times . We did that on the assumption that their correspondents understood the Arab world and commanded a view of it – but many of them turned out not to speak Arabic, or at least not enough to be able to have a conversation in it or to follow the local media. Many of the top dogs at CNN, the BBC, the Independent, the Guardian, the New Yorker, and the NYT were more often than not dependent on assistants and translators." (Luyendijk p. 47)

In addition, the sources of these media outlets are often not easy to verify ("military circles", "anonymous government officials", "intelligence officials" and the like) and can therefore also be used for the dissemination of propaganda. In any case, the widespread orientation towards the Anglo-Saxon publications leads to a further convergence in the geopolitical coverage in our media.

The following figure shows some examples of such citation based on the Syria coverage of the largest daily newspaper in Switzerland, Tages-Anzeiger. The articles are all from the first days of October 2015, when Russia for the first time intervened directly in the Syrian war (US/UK sources are highlighted):

Frequent citation of British and US media, exemplified by the Syria war coverage of Swiss daily newspaper Tages-Anzeiger in October 2015.

The desired narrative

But why do journalists in our media not simply try to research and report independently of the global agencies and the Anglo-Saxon media? Middle East correspondent Luyendijk describes his experiences:

"You might suggest that I should have looked for sources I could trust. I did try, but whenever I wanted to write a story without using news agencies, the main Anglo-Saxon media, or talking heads, it fell apart. () Obviously I, as a correspondent, could tell very different stories about one and the same situation. But the media could only present one of them, and often enough, that was exactly the story that confirmed the prevailing image." (Luyendijk p.54ff)

Media researcher Noam Chomsky has described this effect in his essay "What makes the mainstream media mainstream" as follows: "If you leave the official line, if you produce dissenting reports, then you will soon feel this. () There are many ways to get you back in line quickly. If you don't follow the guidelines, you will not keep your job long. This system works pretty well, and it reflects established power structures." (Chomsky 1997)

Nevertheless, some of the leading journalists continue to believe that nobody can tell them what to write. How does this add up? Media researcher Chomsky clarifies the apparent contradiction:

"[T]he point is that they wouldn't be there unless they had already demonstrated that nobody has to tell them what to write because they are going say the right thing. If they had started off at the Metro desk, or something, and had pursued the wrong kind of stories, they never would have made it to the positions where they can now say anything they like. () They have been through the socialization system." (Chomsky 1997)

Ultimately, this "socialization process" leads to a journalism that generally no longer independently researches and critically reports on geopolitical conflicts (and some other topics), but seeks to consolidate the desired narrative through appropriate editorials, commentary, and interviewees.

Conclusion: The "First Law of Journalism"

Former AP journalist Herbert Altschull called it the First Law of Journalism:

"In all press systems, the news media are instruments of those who exercise political and economic power. Newspapers, periodicals, radio and television stations do not act independently, although they have the possibility of independent exercise of power." (Altschull 1984/1995, p. 298)

In that sense, it is logical that our traditional media – which are predominantly financed by advertising or the state – represent the geopolitical interests of the transatlantic alliance, given that both the advertising corporations as well as the states themselves are dependent on the US dominated transatlantic economic and security architecture.

In addition, our leading media and their key people are – in the spirit of Chomsky's "socialization" – often themselves part of the networks of the transatlantic elite. Some of the most important institutions in this regard include the US Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Bilderberg Group, and the Trilateral Commission (see in-depth study of these networks ).

Indeed, most well-known publications basically may be seen as "establishment media". This is because, in the past, the freedom of the press was rather theoretical, given significant entry barriers such as broadcasting licenses, frequency slots, requirements for financing and technical infrastructure, limited sales channels, dependence on advertising, and other restrictions.

It was only due to the Internet that Altschull's First Law has been broken to some extent. Thus, in recent years a high-quality, reader-funded journalism has emerged, often outperforming traditional media in terms of critical reporting. Some of these "alternative" publications already reach a very large audience, showing that the „mass" does not have to be a problem for the quality of a media outlet.

Nevertheless, up to now the traditional media has been able to attract a solid majority of online visitors, too. This, in turn, is closely linked to the hidden role of news agencies, whose up-to-the-minute reports form the backbone of most news portals.

Will "political and economic power", according to Altschull's Law, retain control over the news, or will "uncontrolled" news change the political and economic power structure? The coming years will show.

Case study: Syria war coverage

As part of a case study, the Syria war coverage of nine leading daily newspapers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland were examined for plurality of viewpoints and reliance on news agencies. The following newspapers were selected:

The investigation period was defined as October 1 to 15, 2015, i.e. the first two weeks after Russia's direct intervention in the Syrian conflict. The entire print and online coverage of these newspapers was taken into account. Any Sunday editions were not taken into account, as not all of the newspapers examined have such. In total, 381 newspaper articles met the stated criteria.

In a first step, the articles were classified according to their properties into the following groups:

  1. Agencies : Reports from news agencies (with agency code)
  2. Mixed : Simple reports (with author names) that are based in whole or in part on agency reports
  3. Reports : Editorial background reports and analyzes
  4. Opinions/Comments : Opinions and guest comments
  5. Interviews : interviews with experts, politicians etc.
  6. Investigative : Investigative research that reveals new information or context

The following Figure 1 shows the composition of the articles for the nine newspapers analyzed in total. As can be seen, 55% of articles were news agency reports; 23% editorial reports based on agency material; 9% background reports; 10% opinions and guest comments; 2% interviews; and 0% based on investigative research.

Figure 1: Types of articles (total; n=381)

The pure agency texts – from short notices to the detailed reports – were mostly on the Internet pages of the daily newspapers: on the one hand, the pressure for breaking news is higher than in the printed edition, on the other hand, there are no space restrictions. Most other types of articles were found in both the online and printed editions; some exclusive interviews and background reports were found only in the printed editions. All items were collected only once for the investigation.

The following Figure 2 shows the same classification on a per newspaper basis. During the observation period (two weeks), most newspapers published between 40 and 50 articles on the Syrian conflict (print and online). In the German newspaper Die Welt there were more (58), in the Basler Zeitung and the Austrian Kurier , however, significantly less (29 or 33).

Depending on which newspaper, the share of agency reports is almost 50% (Welt, Süddeutsche, NZZ, Basler Zeitung), just under 60% (FAZ, Tagesanzeiger), and 60 to 70% (Presse, Standard, Kurier). Together with the agency-based reports, the proportion in most newspapers is between approx. 70% and 80%. These proportions are consistent with previous media studies (e.g., Blum 1995, Johnston 2011, MacGregor 2013, Paterson 2007).

In the background reports, the Swiss newspapers were leading (five to six pieces), followed by Welt , Süddeutsche and Standard (four each) and the other newspapers (one to three). The background reports and analyzes were in particular devoted to the situation and development in the Middle East, as well as to the motives and interests of individual actors (for example Russia, Turkey, the Islamic State).

However, most of the commentaries were to be found in the German newspapers (seven comments each), followed by Standard (five), NZZ and Tagesanzeiger (four each). Basler Zeitung did not publish any commentaries during the observation period, but two interviews. Other interviews were conducted by Standard (three) and Kurier and Presse (one each). Investigative research, however, could not be found in any of the newspapers.

In particular, in the case of the three German newspapers, a journalistically problematic blending of opinion pieces and reports was noted. Reports contained strong expressions of opinion even though they were not marked as commentary. The present study was in any case based on the article labeling by the newspaper.

Figure 2: Types of articles per newspaper

The following Figure 3 shows the breakdown of agency stories (by agency abbreviation) for each news agency, in total and per country. The 211 agency reports carried a total of 277 agency codes (a story may consist of material from more than one agency). In total, 24% of agency reports came from the AFP; about 20% each by the DPA, APA and Reuters; 9% of the SDA; 6% of the AP; and 11% were unknown (no labeling or blanket term "agencies").

In Germany, the DPA, AFP and Reuters each have a share of about one third of the news stories. In Switzerland, the SDA and the AFP are in the lead, and in Austria, the APA and Reuters.

In fact, the shares of the global agencies AFP, AP and Reuters are likely to be even higher, as the Swiss SDA and the Austrian APA obtain their international reports mainly from the global agencies and the German DPA cooperates closely with the American AP.

It should also be noted that, for historical reasons, the global agencies are represented differently in different regions of the world. For events in Asia, Ukraine or Africa, the share of each agency will therefore be different than from events in the Middle East.

Figure 3: Share of news agencies, total (n=277) and per country

In the next step, central statements were used to rate the orientation of editorial opinions (28), guest comments (10) and interview partners (7) (a total of 45 articles). As Figure 4 shows, 82% of the contributions were generally US/NATO friendly, 16% neutral or balanced, and 2% predominantly US/NATO critical.

The only predominantly US/NATO-critical contribution was an op-ed in the Austrian Standard on October 2, 2015, titled: "The strategy of regime change has failed. A distinction between ‚good' and ‚bad' terrorist groups in Syria makes the Western policy untrustworthy."

Figure 4: Orientation of editorial opinions, guest comments, and interviewees (total; n=45).

The following Figure 5 shows the orientation of the contributions, guest comments and interviewees, in turn broken down by individual newspapers. As can be seen, Welt, Süddeutsche Zeitung, NZZ, Zürcher Tagesanzeiger and the Austrian newspaper Kurier presented exclusively US/NATO-friendly opinion and guest contributions; this goes for FAZ too, with the exception of one neutral/balanced contribution. The Standard brought four US/NATO friendly, three balanced/neutral, as well as the already mentioned US/NATO critical opinion contributions.

Presse was the only one of the examined newspapers to predominantly publish neutral/balanced opinions and guest contributions. The Basler Zeitung published one US/NATO-friendly and one balanced contribution. Shortly after the observation period (October 16, 2015), Basler Zeitung also published an interview with the President of the Russian Parliament. This would of course have been counted as a contribution critical of the US/NATO.

Figure 5: Basic orientation of opinion pieces and interviewees per newspaper

In a further analysis, a full-text keyword search for "propaganda" (and word combinations thereof) was used to investigate in which cases the newspapers themselves identified propaganda in one of the two geopolitical conflict sides, USA/NATO or Russia (the participant "IS/ISIS" was not considered). In total, twenty such cases were identified. Figure 6 shows the result: in 85% of the cases, propaganda was identified on the Russian side of the conflict, in 15% the identification was neutral or unstated, and in 0% of the cases propaganda was identified on the USA/NATO side of the conflict.

It should be noted that about half of the cases (nine) were in the Swiss NZZ , which spoke of Russian propaganda quite frequently ("Kremlin propaganda", "Moscow propaganda machine", "propaganda stories", "Russian propaganda apparatus" etc.), followed by German FAZ (three), Welt and Süddeutsche Zeitung (two each) and the Austrian newspaper Kurier (one). The other newspapers did not mention propaganda, or only in a neutral context (or in the context of IS).

Figure 6: Attribution of propaganda to conflict parties (total; n=20).

Conclusion

In this case study, the geopolitical coverage in nine leading daily newspapers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland was examined for diversity and journalistic performance using the example of the Syrian war.

The results confirm the high dependence on the global news agencies (63 to 90%, excluding commentaries and interviews) and the lack of own investigative research, as well as the rather biased commenting on events in favor of the US/NATO side (82% positive; 2% negative), whose stories were not checked by the newspapers for any propaganda.

*

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English translation provided by Terje Maloy.

[May 14, 2019] Pat Buchanan Reflects On A Nation At War With Itself

Notable quotes:
"... We're fighting all the subpoenas," Trump said Wednesday. "These aren't, like, impartial people. The Democrats are out to win in 2020 ..."
"... the Justice Department is withholding from the Oversight Committee subpoenaed documents dealing with the decision to include a question on the 2020 Census about citizenship status. ..."
"... These House investigations constitute a massive political assault, in collusion with a hostile media, to destroy my presidency. ..."
"... We do not intend to cooperate in our own destruction. We are not going to play our assigned role in this scripted farce. We will resist their subpoenas all the way to November 2020. Let the people then decide the fate and future of the Trump presidency -- and that of Nancy Pelosi's House. ..."
Apr 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org,

President Donald Trump has decided to cease cooperating with what he sees, not incorrectly, as a Beltway conspiracy that is out to destroy him.

"We're fighting all the subpoenas," Trump said Wednesday. "These aren't, like, impartial people. The Democrats are out to win in 2020."

Thus the Treasury Department just breezed by a deadline from the House Ways and Means Committee to deliver Trump's tax returns. Thus the White House will invoke executive privilege to deny the House Judiciary Committee access to ex-White House counsel Don McGahn, who spent 30 hours being interrogated by Robert Mueller's team. Thus the Justice Department is withholding from the Oversight Committee subpoenaed documents dealing with the decision to include a question on the 2020 Census about citizenship status.

Across the capital, the barricades are going up figuratively as they did physically in the 1960s and '70s. Once more, it's us against them. Cognizant of the new reality, Trump seems to be saying:

These House investigations constitute a massive political assault, in collusion with a hostile media, to destroy my presidency.

We do not intend to cooperate in our own destruction. We are not going to play our assigned role in this scripted farce. We will resist their subpoenas all the way to November 2020. Let the people then decide the fate and future of the Trump presidency -- and that of Nancy Pelosi's House.

In response to Trump's resort to massive resistance, Rep. Gerald Connolly said:

"A respect for the limits of your branch of government, a respect for the role of other branches of government, is sort of the oil that makes the machinery work. Absent that this breaks down. And I think we're definitely seeing that."

[May 14, 2019] Trump may provoke impeachment by obstructing investigations, says Russiagater Schiff

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's stonewalling of congressional oversight does add weight to calls for impeachment, Schiff said, adding: "But you know, part of our reluctance is we are already a bitterly divided country and an impeachment process will divide us further." ..."
May 14, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

Democrats are reluctant to impeach Donald Trump but he may provoke such a move by continuing to obstruct congressional efforts to oversee his administration, a senior lawmaker said on Sunday.

Adam Schiff, chair of the House intelligence committee, told ABC's This Week impeachment by the Democratic-run House would be divisive and unlikely to succeed in the Republican-run Senate.

"But [Trump] may get us there," Schiff said. "He certainly seems to be trying and maybe this is his perverse way of dividing us more he thinks that's to his political advantage, but it's certainly not to the country's advantage."

Trump's stonewalling of congressional oversight does add weight to calls for impeachment, Schiff said, adding: "But you know, part of our reluctance is we are already a bitterly divided country and an impeachment process will divide us further."

[May 14, 2019] Only a rabid Israel-firster and Clinton loyalist like Schiff could ignore the excellent report of the patriotic Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS); the report explains why Clinton/DNC emails were never hacked but "leaked."

Schiff is yet another witch hunter. He has a goal and this goal has nothing to do with justice.
Apr 24, 2019 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: April 24, 2019 at 1:50 am GMT

@dale ruff "As for Adam,Schiff, he is a very smart guy "
-- If you say so.

Actually, proclaiming the enormity of Adam Schiff intelligence is so funny that here is a take on the "intelligence" that is the basis for A. Schiff' well-publicized vitriols: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-24/making-shit-us-intelligence-community-collapse-driver "Making Shit Up" – The US Intelligence Community As 'Collapse Driver'

On a serious note, only a rabid Israel-firster and loyalist to Clintons could ignore the excellent report of the patriotic Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS); the report explains why Clinton/DNC emails were never hacked but "leaked."
True to the spirit of the DNC activists, the "progressives" and "liberals" are indifferent to the death of the young DNC operative Seth Rich.

https://consortiumnews.com/2019/03/13/vips-muellers-forensics-free-findings/
https://www.thenation.com/article/a-new-report-raises-big-questions-about-last-years-dnc-hack/

The centerpiece accusation of Kremlin "interference" in the 2016 presidential election was the charge that Russia hacked Democratic National Committee emails and gave them to WikiLeaks to embarrass Secretary Hillary Clinton and help Mr. Trump win.

In 2017, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair asked Comey whether he ever had "access to the actual hardware that was hacked." Comey answered, "In the case of the DNC we did not have access to the devices themselves. We got relevant forensic information from a private party "

we [VIPS] know for sure that the person had to have direct access to the DNC computers or servers in order to copy the emails. The apparent lack of evidence from the most likely source, NSA, regarding a hack may help explain the FBI's curious preference for forensic data from CrowdStrike.

Why the allegedly intelligent A. Schiff has never questioned the conclusions of a private CrowdStrike led by a Russophobic Jewish emigre from Moscow? For an honest person with a degree in law, Schiff should have been demanding an FBI investigation of the server in question. Instead, Adam has been at the forefront of the putsch against POTUS . So much for the "J.D. from Harvard Law School."

By the way, your attempts to impress the readers with your admiration for Harvard are funny.

[May 14, 2019] House Dems Issue Friendly Subpoena To Multiple Banks, Probing Different Form Of Trump-Russia Collusion

This is an easier way to prove Trump collision with Russians (real Isreal-Russians oligarchs ;-). But they forgot to ask a permission from Netanyahu...
Notable quotes:
"... " The potential use of the US financial system for illicit purposes is a very serious concern. The Financial Services Committee is exploring these matters, including as they may involve the president and his associates, as thoroughly as possible." ..."
"... Mad Maxine: " The potential use of the U.S. financial system for illicit purposes is a very serious concern." The biggest level of projection I've seen in my life. Especially coming from her, the multi-millionaire. Don't they understand every attack can then be used against them? Full insanity. ..."
"... So, Nana Pelosi has a net worth of 26.4 million dollars (now wait, this is the best part)... on a government salary ...lol. When is Adam Shits-Himself gonna call for Pelosi's tax records to be produced? I know for a fact there are some Samoan fishermen who can't wait to pour through them ;-) ..."
Apr 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Mon, 04/15/2019 - 20:10 10 SHARES

With just three days until the full (redacted) Mueller Report is released, shattering his entire raison d'etre, House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff refuses to give up on his search for Trump-Russia collusion.

Bloomberg reports that Congressional Democrats issued subpoenas to Deutsche Bank AG and other banks to obtain long-sought documents related to whether foreign nations tried to influence U.S. politics, signaling an escalation of their probes into President Donald Trump's finances and any dealings with Russians.

Schiff said in a statement the subpoenas issued included a "friendly subpoena to Deutsche Bank." The Financial Services Committee chair, Maxine Waters, said in a statement:

" The potential use of the US financial system for illicit purposes is a very serious concern. The Financial Services Committee is exploring these matters, including as they may involve the president and his associates, as thoroughly as possible."

Deutsche Bank spokeswoman Kerrie McHugh said Monday:

"Deutsche Bank is engaged in a productive dialogue with the House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees.

We remain committed to providing appropriate information to all authorized investigations in a manner consistent with our legal obligations. If you have questions concerning the investigative activities of the committees, we would refer you to the committees themselves."

Deutsche Bank had been Trump's go-to lender for decades, even as other commercial banks stopped doing business with him because of multiple bankruptcies.

Additionally, CNN reports that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has subpoenaed Trump financial information from Mazars, an accounting firm that once prepared several years' worth of President Donald Trump's financial statements, according to a Monday memo to committee members from Chairman Elijah Cummings.

Cummings had said he intended to issue a "friendly subpoena" because Mazars USA had requested it from the committee before providing records.

Cummings is requesting financial information dating back 10 years after Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen accused Trump of inflating his net worth in an attempt to buy the Buffalo Bills football team.

In the memo, Cummings said the subpoena is also based on "corroborating documents" that "raise grave questions about whether the President has been accurate in his financial reporting."

While possible financial leverage wasn't mentioned in Attorney General William Barr's four-page summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's findings from his 22-month probe of Russian election interference, Schiff remains unable to face his own cognitive dissonance, frequently noting that billionaire real-estate-developer Trump was pursuing a Trump Tower (real estate) project in Moscow during the presidential campaign...

"That's a different form of collusion, but it is equally compromising to the countr y because it means the president of the United States is looking out for his bank account and not for the United States of America," Schiff said in an interview on NBC in February.


JCW Industries , 1 minute ago link

The polls said Hillary had a 93% chance of winning. Why wouldn't Trump keep his business running and looking for more opportunities? That's what businessmen do. I do it every day, even on vacation. It's getting ******* old their little skunkworks strategy. Declassification needs to come now. Hang these fuckers. Schiff first.

Dragon HAwk , 2 minutes ago link

Don't stop there, lets check all of Congress's Bank Dealings. Hang em all.

Dr Anon , 3 minutes ago link

Just imagine what our country would be if these traitors spent half as much time, creativity and tenacity improving our country. Instead they cling to an imagined Russian collusion and are frantically searching for an investigation to fit that outcome.

If I wasn't paying taxes to watch this story unfold it would be ******* hilarious.

CHoward , 5 minutes ago link

Schiff, Cummings, Waters, et al wouldn't last 1 day under the same amount of scruitny they've put our president through these last 2 years. I pray one of these fuckers is on Nunes list for criminal referral to the DOJ.

steverino999 , 7 minutes ago link

How Trump has avoided catastrophe so far during his 25 months as President is more impressive than anything Houdini ever did. But he's got every finger and nine toes in the dike and his good fortune is nearing its inevitable conclusion. Thursday can't come fast enough.

chubbar , 20 minutes ago link

Anyone else sick of these ******* retarded assholes? At what point do they do the job they were hired to do instead of continually trying to dirty up Trump? Who gives a **** what they guy did 10 ******* years ago? He wasn't president. Everyone of these assholes needs to go, this is complete ********.

Johnny_Fing_Utah , 5 minutes ago link

They're like ******* mosquitoes.

HideTheWeenie , 4 minutes ago link

Callin' like it is ... Yeah, who isn't ... Plus, they have absolutely no viable interpretive skills with which to evaluate the information. And forget the tax returns. Unless you're very informed about the matters at hand you won't get it close, much less right. Totally stupid. And I'm a former forensic accountant at Ernst & Young.

JBLight , 21 minutes ago link

Mad Maxine: " The potential use of the U.S. financial system for illicit purposes is a very serious concern." The biggest level of projection I've seen in my life. Especially coming from her, the multi-millionaire. Don't they understand every attack can then be used against them? Full insanity.

navy62802 , 23 minutes ago link

They're scared of what is coming. This is their last-ditch effort to save the party, and it will fail miserably.

TruthAbsolute , 23 minutes ago link

So what has the democratic house actually done since wining majority? Like what do they get paid for? Maybe they need to investigate Trumps Barber after all isn't that where all those private conversation could lead to something, anything!

nmewn , 11 minutes ago link

So, Nana Pelosi has a net worth of 26.4 million dollars (now wait, this is the best part)... on a government salary ...lol. When is Adam Shits-Himself gonna call for Pelosi's tax records to be produced? I know for a fact there are some Samoan fishermen who can't wait to pour through them ;-)

[May 14, 2019] Well, Well, Well, Look Who Adam Schiff Has Family Ties To

Notable quotes:
"... I discovered just today that Adam Schiffs sister, Melissa Schiff SOROS, is married to George Soros' son! Hes a globalist pig! pic.twitter.com/icjzMYCnXM ..."
"... Last month, Schiff delivered the opening statements at a Congressional hearing where he laid out the case for alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. This reporter previously documented serious problems with Schiff's charges, which include wild conspiracy theories and heavy reliance on a questionable source. ..."
"... In largely forgotten history, Schiff's 2000 Congressional campaign against Republican incumbent Jim Rogan was openly aided by MoveOn.org. ..."
Mar 29, 2019 | truthfeednews.com

I discovered just today that Adam Schiffs sister, Melissa Schiff SOROS, is married to George Soros' son! Hes a globalist pig! pic.twitter.com/icjzMYCnXM

-- patriotwoman19 (@patriotwoman19) February 6, 2018

Per Breitbart, those family ties helped Adam Schiff score big bucks from Soros org MoveOn, to boost his political career.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, was previously financially aided by the George Soros-financed MoveOn.org to win his Congressional seat.

Schiff was also awarded the Toll Fellowship, which is sponsored by the Council of State Governments, a nonprofit that monitors federal government activities and is heavily financed by Soros's Open Society Foundations.

The Open Society and Soros-funded groups have additionally supported a number of Schiff's legislative efforts.

Schiff has been helping to lead the Democrats' unsubstantiated charges of alleged collusion between President Donald Trump and Moscow.

Last month, Schiff delivered the opening statements at a Congressional hearing where he laid out the case for alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. This reporter previously documented serious problems with Schiff's charges, which include wild conspiracy theories and heavy reliance on a questionable source.

In largely forgotten history, Schiff's 2000 Congressional campaign against Republican incumbent Jim Rogan was openly aided by MoveOn.org.

On January 1, 2000, the Wall Street Journal reported on the radical group's fundraising efforts for Schiff. The Congressional seat was particularly important since Rogan had gained fame after he was selected to be one of thirteen House Managers in the 1998 impeachment case of Bill Clinton. Rogan was supportive of Clinton's impeachment and became a hero in the Republican Party.

The divorce between Adam Schiff's sister and George Soros' brother was a messy one.

From Observer (7/2015)

With this property transfer, I thee divorce. Melissa Schiff Soros , the soon-to-be ex-wife of scion Robert Soros , has paid her estranged husband $10 million for the privilege of taking possession of the townhouse they once shared at 263 West 11th Street , city records show.

The couple, who are in the midst of a messy divorce, have provided the tabloids with some delightful fodder of late, including reports that Mr. Soros, the eldest son of George and president of his father's $28 billion firm, canoodled with his 29-year-old girlfriend in front of his wife on a eight-hour-plus flight from Italy.

The marriage foundered after Mr. Soros allegedly had an affair with model/"naked artist" Meredith Ostrom (who paints by rolling around a canvas naked in covered in paint), which sparked a lengthy court battle over how to divide up the very serious marital assets the Soroses had built up over the course of the their 22-year marriage. Ms. Schiff Soros' lawyer has argued that the prenup is ambiguous. And we're guessing the transfer of funds from Schiff to Soros is merely a perfunctory lob in what is likely to be an avalanche of assets flowing Ms. Schiff's way. (When your husband of more than two decades cheats on you with a "naked artist" ).

The couple also owns a country house in Rhinebeck, N.Y., and a $9 million waterfront "cottage" in Martha's Vineyard.

Ms. Schiff Soros, a filmmaker and photographer, apparently had a strong desire to hang onto their charming West Village townhome, broken or not. The house is notable for being where Thomas Wolfe wrote the first draft of his novel Look, Homeward Angel. The couple bought the house in 1993, a year after their marriage, according to city records, though the price they paid was not recorded; the Soroses have two college-aged children who might presumably wish to return to their old bedrooms.

  1. Herb Greene Just a note: A certain "lady" from CA (I think) also was/is "good friends" with George Sr. Remember the person who was raped by the latest Supreme Court nominee? Yeah, thats THE ONE! Reply March 1, 2019
  2. Camille Gilliam All I know is what i have figured out about anyone who takes money from Soros sells his soul to the Devil..The man is Evil. What he did to his own people during WW11, is unthinkable, and now he is trying to take down the world. Reply February 18, 2018
  3. Robin Last month, Schiff delivered the opening statements at a Congressional hearing where he laid out the case for alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. This reporter previously documented serious problems with Schiff's charges, which include wild conspiracy theories and heavy reliance on a questionable source. In largely forgotten history, Schiff's 2000 Congressional campaign against Republican incumbent Jim Rogan was openly aided by MoveOn. Reply February 14, 2018
  4. Jim Phillips Whether or not the reported Soros/Schiff relationship is factual, George Soros has used his money to undermine the United States Government by buying, thus controlling, the Clinton's, Obama, and other political whores. He and those who enriched themselves from his largess should be shot with shit and hung for stinking – after spending a decade in jail. Reply February 12, 2018
  5. whoopie Political inbreeding. Give Soros a call and let him know what you think: 212-262-6300 Reply February 7, 2018
  6. BruceClapiet Time to turn Soros over to Isreal Reply February 6, 2018
    • SOCAL LADY TURN THE POS SOROS TO RUSSIA. HE IS WANTED THERE TOO. I THINK ISREAL SHOULD HAVE FIRST DIBS THOUGH. Reply August 30, 2018
  7. RL You know this isn't true right? They aren't even related.
    interesting that a website call "truthfeed" posts something so easily proven fake. Reply February 6, 2018
    • Bruce Clapiet Ok prove it last week Obama was responsible for dow a couple of short days ok pretty short and its Trump. Your leaders are a bunch of Lying Hypocrites. You folks dont know whats up or down lots in lies and filth lucre. Not to mention the greed and outright stealing from whomever they can Reply February 7, 2018
      • Jorge Why don't you Russkies mind you own damned business? Reply February 12, 2018
  8. Mark Why does the MSM fail at every turn to provide accurate information on the Democrats and their financial despotic pals around the world? For somewhat who always worked for the government how dose this guy have assets in the millions? Reply February 6, 2018
  9. JD Evans Different Melissa Schiff. The former Ms. Soros has different parents and was raised in a different town than Adam Shiff. Not related.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Schiff#Personal_life
    http://www.nytimes.com/1992/05/24/style/weddings-melissa-schiff-robert-d-soros.html Reply February 6, 2018
    • Sandra Kathryn Now, you want to talk about your 1 in a million coincidences! This "different" woman has the same identical name as Schiff's sister, isn't his sister but is coincidentally married to Soros' son. WOW! Also, the 1st link to Wiki gives the hometown of the Congressman Schiff, not his sister. And the 2nd link, a wedding announcement, doesn't mention anything about her hometown. Neither one disputes the claim of this article nor substantiates your claim that they are different women. Reply February 9, 2018
  10. sam truthfeednews.com video-rnc-trolls-democrats-with-this-incredible-new-ad/ Reply February 6, 2018
  11. sam fullofshiff Reply February 6, 2018
  12. Anne Braun Well, They may all be tied together, and I don't doubt that, but for what it's worth, there's a lot more big money involved with all these filthy blood-sucking rich corrupt democrats and a few rhino republicans than just Soros money. Old Soros would run broke pretty quick if that were the case. There wouldn't be enough money for any one person involved with these big payola schemes to keep them all up in their non-ending lavish lifestyles and bulging net worth. Common sense will tell you be warned, there's more than just Soros dishing out the big bucks to these bottom dweller scum suckers! Reply February 6, 2018
    • Jorge Oh, like the Koch bros have America's best interest in their hearts? Reply February 12, 2018
  13. Trilby And yet Wikipedia lists Adam Schiff's parents as Edward and Sherrill Ann (Glovsky) Schiff and the 1992 NYT wedding announcement for Melissa Schiff lists her parents as Marlene S. Schiff of New York and the late Dr. Haskel Schiff. http://www.nytimes.com/1992/05/24/style/weddings-melissa-schiff-robert-d-soros.html
    Something is strange here with the schiff family. Or am I missing something? I don't doubt this article, I would doubt Wikipedia first as trying to hide something. Reply February 6, 2018

[May 14, 2019] An oxymoron

Notable quotes:
"... Adam Schiff, the man who every time he talks, shows his incompetence and lack of integrity, but he is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. ..."
May 01, 2019 | anamericancomment.blogspot.com
Adam Schiff, the man who every time he talks, shows his incompetence and lack of integrity, but he is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Think about that for a while.

[May 14, 2019] Transcript Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Face the Nation

What is funny is that MARGARET BRENNAN is to the right of Pompeo. That's a real achievement. Pompeo probably was surprised that he was put on the defensive from his right-wing position by this warmongering female neocon.
May 05, 2019 | www.cbsnews.com
MARGARET BRENNAN: You've got the whole world as your portfolio so let's move on to Venezuela and Russia. There was this phone call between Vladimir Putin and President Trump that just happened. The president described it to us in an Oval Office spray. Why didn't he bring up election interference on this phone call when he said he did discuss the findings of the Mueller Report which found sweeping and systematic Russian interference in 2016?

SEC. POMPEO: Well you'll have to ask the White House that question. The president's been very clear. The administration has taken great action. I wish the previous one had stopped the election interference that took place in 2016. They failed to do so. Between 2017 when President Trump came into office and 2018, we had a successful election year, a set of midterm elections. We're working diligently to ensure that the elections in 2020 aren't interfered with by Russia, by Iran, by North Korea or anyone else. We have enormous resource deployed against that challenge. And the American people should be sure that their government is working hard to keep our election safe and secure.

MARGARET BRENNAN: You said, this week, that Moscow has hundreds of people in Venezuela and you were very clear that you think it was Russia that convinced Nicolas Maduro not to get on a plane and to flee the country. Here's what the president said during his- after his phone call with Vladimir Putin.

*Take SOT*

MARGARET BRENNAN: There seems to be a difference in how the president described the situation and how you and Ambassador Bolton have described it.

SEC. POMPEO: No, no difference, no difference. The- the president has said, I think he in fact tweeted, that the Russians must leave Venezuela. We've asked every nation that is in- interfering with Venezuelan democracy- you've seen this. I- I was down on the border. We saw mothers who couldn't feed their children, fleeing the country. We saw families that had sick kids but couldn't get medicines, all sitting, was sitting within 50 miles of where we were located. And Maduro won't allow it to come in. The president's been very clear, we want the Cubans out. There are Iranians on the ground there. We want the Russians- we want everyone out so that the Venezuelan people can get the democracy they deserve. That includes Mr. Maduro leaving.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So when he says, the president says, "Putin is not looking to get involved at all in Venezuela," that is not the president accepting him at face value?

SEC. POMPEO: You'll- you'll have to leave- you'll have to look at--

MARGARET BRENNAN: He knows that that's not the case?

SEC. POMPEO: The- the president has tweeted that he wants the Russians out of Venezuela.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So he was just putting a positive spin on things in that moment?

SEC. POMPEO: We- we are working very diligently to ensure that Maduro leaves and we get free and fair elections in Venezuela. That will require the 2,300 Cuban security personnel, the- frankly, the people closest to Maduro who are protecting the in- tight security for Maduro, they've got to leave. We're working on that as well. We're working with the Cubans to try and get an outcome that will let the Venezuelans have this opportunity.

MARGARET BRENNAN: On this, I know you'll be meeting with the Russian foreign minister in the coming days. Is there a deal to be struck with Russia on this front? I mean, Russia benefits, right, by having Venezuelan oil off the market, by having a level of influence in America's backyard. Is the U.S. going to negotiate a deal with Russia on Venezuela?

SEC. POMPEO: I'll certainly bring up Venezuela, be one of many topics that Foreign Minister Lav- Lavrov and I speak about- speak about. Whether there's a particular deal that can be reached? Only time will tell.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina who I know you know well tweeted this week, "Cuba, Russia sent troops to prop up Maduro in Venezuela while we talk and have sanctions. Where's our aircraft carrier?" He seems to be calling a bluff here on your mention and mention from others that military options aren't off the table. What is actually being considered here because you can't refer to the use of military force lightly. Is there an actual option that you are considering deploying in the coming days?

[May 13, 2019] Alexander Downer funnelled millions in Australian tax dollars to the Clinton Foundation during Hillary's election campaign

May 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

IvannaHumpalot , 8 minutes ago link

INVESTIGATE AUSTRALIA

Alexander Downer former foreign minister is the one who was meddling - Australia's high commissioner to the UK in 2016

Started whole Russiagate investigation against Trump's campaign by telling the FBI that a drunken George Papadopoulos had said Russia had dirt on Hillary. Because of his diplomatic standing the FBI took Downer seriously and it was a major factor in their decision to investigate.

Alexander Downer also funnelled millions in Australian tax dollars to the Clinton Foundation during Hillary's election campaign

https://thepoliticalinsider.com/alexander-downer-clinton-foundation/

"Downer is suspected of helping to "dishonestly" obtain $25 million from the Australian government for the Clinton Foundation's Clinton HIV/AIDs Initiative (CHAI). Michael Smith (former Australian police detective) says that he gave materials to the FBI containing evidence that shows "corrupt October 2006 backdating of false tender advertisements purporting to advertise the availability of a $15 million contract to provide HIV/AIDS services in Papua New Guinea on behalf of the Australian government after an agreement was already in place to pay the Clinton Foundation and/or associates."

Smith also found evidence of a "$10 million financial advantage dishonestly obtained by deception between April 1, 2008, and Sept. 25, 2008, at Washington, D.C., New York, New York, and Canberra Australia involving an MOU between the Australian government, the 'Clinton Climate Initiative,' and the purported 'Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute Inc.'"

[May 13, 2019] Barr Appoints US Attorney To Investigate FBI-DOJ Spying On Trump; Has Investigated FBI Before

Notable quotes:
"... According to Fox , Barr is "serious" and has assembled a team from the DOJ to participate in the probe, adding that Durham is known as a "hard-charging, bulldog" prosecutor according to their source. ..."
"... Sources familiar with matter say the focus of the probe includes the pre-transition period -- prior to Nov. 7, 2016 - - including the use and initiation of informants , as well as potential Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses. ..."
"... An informant working for U.S. intelligence posed as a Cambridge University research assistant in September 2016 to try extracting any possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia from George Papadopoulos, then a Trump foreign policy adviser, it emerged earlier this month. Papadopoulos told Fox News the informant tried to "seduce" him as part of the "bizarre" episode. ..."
"... Durham has a history of serving as a special prosecutor, investigating wrongdoing among national security officials - including the FBI's ties to a Boston crime boss, as well as accusations of CIA detainee abuse. ..."
"... According to the report, Durham's review would run in parallel with the ongoing DOJ probe by Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz. Meanwhile, Republicans have been seeking answers from US Attorney for Utah, John Huber, who was appointed by former AG Jeff Sessions to review FBI and DOJ surveillance abuses, as well as authorities' handling of the probe into the Clinton Foundation . ..."
"... As part of the FBI's FISA application on Trump campaign aide Carter Page, the FBI cut-and-pasted from a disputed Washington Post article which suggested that the Trump campaign may have been compromised. The agency also repeatedly told the FISA court that it "did not believe" UK ex-spy Christopher Steele was the source of a Yahoo News article written by Michael Isikoff which implicated Page in Russian collusion. ..."
"... London court records , however, reveal that contrary to the FBI's statements, Steele had briefed Yahoo News and other media outlets in the fall of 2016 at the urging of his employer Fusion GPS - which the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had paid for anti-Trump opposition research. This information was withheld from FISA judges during the application to surveil Page. ..."
"... Steele told Kavalec that Russia had a "technical/human operation run out of Moscow targeting the election," which recruited US emigres to "do hacking and recruiting. Steele added that "Payments to those recruited are made out of the Russian consulate in Miami." ..."
"... Except that's a lie - as Kavalec debunked the assertion in a bracketed comment: " It is important to note that there is no Russian consulate in Miami. " ..."
"... Could it be that Mueller was in charge of the Boston mobster thing, and he ended up with a giant promotion to head of the agency? So what exactly happened as a result of that "investigation"? ..."
"... So, Huber was Sessions' special stooge put in place to help smother the truth? ..."
"... Catch 22. They all have the same paymaster. Kinda like asking whores to testify against their pimps. ..."
"... Alexander Downer also funnelled millions in Australian tax dollars to the Clinton Foundation during Hillary's election campaign ..."
May 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Attorney General William Barr has appointed US Attorney John H. Durham of Connecticut to examine the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation to determine if the FBI's spying on the Trump campaign was "lawful and appropriate," according to Fox News .

The move comes as the Trump administration has demanded answers over the use of "informants" on his 2016 campaign.

According to Fox , Barr is "serious" and has assembled a team from the DOJ to participate in the probe, adding that Durham is known as a "hard-charging, bulldog" prosecutor according to their source.

Sources familiar with matter say the focus of the probe includes the pre-transition period -- prior to Nov. 7, 2016 - - including the use and initiation of informants , as well as potential Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses.

An informant working for U.S. intelligence posed as a Cambridge University research assistant in September 2016 to try extracting any possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia from George Papadopoulos, then a Trump foreign policy adviser, it emerged earlier this month. Papadopoulos told Fox News the informant tried to "seduce" him as part of the "bizarre" episode.

Durham previously has investigated law enforcement corruption, the destruction of CIA videotapes and the Boston FBI office's relationship with mobsters. He is set to continue to serve as the chief federal prosecutor in Connecticut. - Fox News

Of note - in January House Republicans Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows wrote to Durham , saying that they had "discovered" he was "investigating former FBI General Counsel James Baker" over unauthorized leaks to the media, adding "We know the DOJ and FBI departed from traditional investigative and prosecutorial practices, and insufficiently adhered to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Durham has a history of serving as a special prosecutor, investigating wrongdoing among national security officials - including the FBI's ties to a Boston crime boss, as well as accusations of CIA detainee abuse.

According to the report, Durham's review would run in parallel with the ongoing DOJ probe by Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz. Meanwhile, Republicans have been seeking answers from US Attorney for Utah, John Huber, who was appointed by former AG Jeff Sessions to review FBI and DOJ surveillance abuses, as well as authorities' handling of the probe into the Clinton Foundation .

Not much has come of Huber's investigation, while Republicans have cautioned that he has spoken with few key witnesses and whistleblowers.

Durham's appointment comes about a month after Barr told members of Congress he believed "spying did occur" on the Trump campaign in 2016. He later said he didn't mean anything pejorative and was gathering a team to look into the origins of the special counsel's investigation.

Democrats have pummeled Barr in frustration following revelations in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report that the Trump campaign did not collude with Russian actors , despite numerous offers by Russians to assist the campaign. Mueller's final report has led to a bitter D.C. battle over the limited number of redactions in the report, which the DOJ says are legally necessary because they pertain to grand jury matters. - Fox News

As part of the FBI's FISA application on Trump campaign aide Carter Page, the FBI cut-and-pasted from a disputed Washington Post article which suggested that the Trump campaign may have been compromised. The agency also repeatedly told the FISA court that it "did not believe" UK ex-spy Christopher Steele was the source of a Yahoo News article written by Michael Isikoff which implicated Page in Russian collusion.

London court records , however, reveal that contrary to the FBI's statements, Steele had briefed Yahoo News and other media outlets in the fall of 2016 at the urging of his employer Fusion GPS - which the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had paid for anti-Trump opposition research. This information was withheld from FISA judges during the application to surveil Page.

What's more, the FBI could not verify the dodgy dossier Steele assembled . Speaking Fox on 'Sunday Morning Futures,' Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said "There's a document that's classified that I'm gonna try to get unclassified that takes the dossier -- all the pages of it -- and it has verification to one side," adding "There really is no verification, other than media reports that were generated by reporters that received the dossier."

Graham cited a recent report from The Hill 's John Solomon which reveals that the FBI was specifically informed that Steele had admitted he was "keen" to influence the 2016 election with his document.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec's written account of her Oct. 11, 2016, meeting with FBI informant Christopher Steele shows the Hillary Clinton campaign-funded British intelligence operative admitted that his research was political and facing an Election Day deadline . - The Hill

Solomon also reported last week that a high-ranking government official who met with Christopher Steele in October 2016 determined that information in the Trump-Russia dossier was inaccurate , and likely leaked to the media.

Ten days before the FBI used the now-discredited dossier to apply for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page, Steele met with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec, who took handwritten notes of the encounter.

Steele told Kavalec that Russia had a "technical/human operation run out of Moscow targeting the election," which recruited US emigres to "do hacking and recruiting. Steele added that "Payments to those recruited are made out of the Russian consulate in Miami."

Except that's a lie - as Kavalec debunked the assertion in a bracketed comment: " It is important to note that there is no Russian consulate in Miami. "

What makes this particularly damning is that the FBI swore on October 21, 2016 to the FISA judges that Steele's "reporting has been corroborated and used in criminal proceedings," and that the FBI deemed him to be "reliable" and was "unaware of any derogatory information pertaining" to the former British spy who was working for Fusion GPS - the firm paid by the DNC and the Clinton campaign to come up with dirt on Donald Trump.

And now U.S. Attorney John Durham will sort out exactly what happened, we can only hope.


sgorem , 2 minutes ago link

that rank stench hitting your nostrils is the clinton criminal syndicate. they have, from their beginning days in arkansas, killed, bribed, extorted, blackmailed, stole, and fucked their way through the political system. if you wonder why they aren't in Leavenworth, think of ALL the "government employees, i.e., representatives, diplomats, congressmen/women, etc., protecting these vermin from the light of the truth. they have found "the way" to find and keep friends in the deep state. they make you an offer you can't refuse............

deFLorable hillbilly , 4 minutes ago link

Something doesn't smell right on this one. Could it be that Mueller was in charge of the Boston mobster thing, and he ended up with a giant promotion to head of the agency? So what exactly happened as a result of that "investigation"?

This guy Durham has a very suspicious looking mustache. Comey may end up as Biden's VP. Just sayin'.

LEEPERMAX , 5 minutes ago link

As the sun sinks on the horizon . . .

PANIC MODE settles in across the Washington Swamp !!!

Chuck Walla , 5 minutes ago link

So, Huber was Sessions' special stooge put in place to help smother the truth?

VWAndy , 6 minutes ago link

Catch 22. They all have the same paymaster. Kinda like asking whores to testify against their pimps.

DeepThoughts , 7 minutes ago link

As a 45-year old man, I hope that they get to the bottom of this by the time my unborn grandkids grow old.

Md4 , 7 minutes ago link

"Steele told Kavalec that Russia had a "technical/human operation run out of Moscow targeting the election," which recruited US emigres to "do hacking and recruiting. Steele added that "Payments to those recruited are made out of the Russian consulate in Miami."

Except that's a lie - as Kavalec debunked the assertion in a bracketed comment: " It is important to note that there is no Russian consulate in Miami. "

Russian hacking...

...still no presented, credible evidence...

Herp and Derp , 7 minutes ago link

Great. Who is prosecuting Hillary? Who is going after Schiff for brains and the dozen other democrat congressional leakers?

Teamtc321 , 8 minutes ago link

Mueller Time is Over ... It's time to pay the BARR tab...............

IvannaHumpalot , 8 minutes ago link

INVESTIGATE AUSTRALIA

Alexander Downer former foreign minister is the one who was meddling - Australia's high commissioner to the UK in 2016

Started whole Russiagate investigation against Trump's campaign by telling the FBI that a drunken George Papadopoulos had said Russia had dirt on Hillary. Because of his diplomatic standing the FBI took Downer seriously and it was a major factor in their decision to investigate.

Alexander Downer also funnelled millions in Australian tax dollars to the Clinton Foundation during Hillary's election campaign

https://thepoliticalinsider.com/alexander-downer-clinton-foundation/

"Downer is suspected of helping to "dishonestly" obtain $25 million from the Australian government for the Clinton Foundation's Clinton HIV/AIDs Initiative (CHAI). Michael Smith (former Australian police detective) says that he gave materials to the FBI containing evidence that shows "corrupt October 2006 backdating of false tender advertisements purporting to advertise the availability of a $15 million contract to provide HIV/AIDS services in Papua New Guinea on behalf of the Australian government after an agreement was already in place to pay the Clinton Foundation and/or associates."

Smith also found evidence of a "$10 million financial advantage dishonestly obtained by deception between April 1, 2008, and Sept. 25, 2008, at Washington, D.C., New York, New York, and Canberra Australia involving an MOU between the Australian government, the 'Clinton Climate Initiative,' and the purported 'Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute Inc.'"

Lord Raglan , 3 minutes ago link

I agree with you. It is about branding. Coke versus Pepsi but more committed. I don't think that way but Democrats seem to. The ones I know are filled with hate. The real paradigm is World Government v. Nation States, not Dem v. Repub.

hxc , 1 minute ago link

The real fight is world government vs self-government.

Tapeworm , 13 minutes ago link

Congreff could have done some little thing about the DS aholes that lied in testimony, but a fat zero. Clapper was a slam dunk as they say at this time of year in bubble bouncing. Come to thing of it, and sing along with the bouncing ball----"I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles"......

Where is fabulous Q?

Md4 , 13 minutes ago link

They say the wheels of justice grind slowly.

Fine.

As long as they do so in the direction of truth...and consequences.

Proceed...

frankthecrank , 3 minutes ago link

if you have the guts and the stamina and push long enough and hard enough, you can make it happen.

DEDA CVETKO , 17 minutes ago link

Hillary will plea not guilty on account of having to escape nonexistent Sarajevo snipers.

Seal Team 6 , 16 minutes ago link

Barring (no pun intended) the images of Hillary and Obama being lead in cuffs into a black Tahoe on the 6 oclock news, I don't think it will go anywhere as the MSM won't report it.

steverino999 , 20 minutes ago link

Don't make me say it, Willie!

Willie the Pimp , 18 minutes ago link

Oh you will because you are a bitch. Go for it bitch. This is your life's work right here loser! HAHAHAA! Dumbass.

Tapeworm , 4 minutes ago link

steverino666 has it right. The likelihood of anything exhumed out of the slime in DC is a fat zero...

Blue Boat , 24 minutes ago link

All you people who recently said, "Nothing will happen. Wake me if anyone gets indicted." SEE? We told you the tide had turned with a new sheriff, Russia hoax investigation over. Now, the gauntlet drops. Talk about needing to buy some popcorn!

Blue Boat , 20 minutes ago link

Boston FBI .... https://www.nytimes.com/2002/05/24/us/trial-ending-for-boston-fbi-agent-accused-of-mob-ties.html

Mike Rotsch , 11 minutes ago link

Hey - the world is a giant toilet. And the laws of probability favor pessimism.

847328_3527 , 27 minutes ago link

Feinstein is looking for Durham's high school yearbook as we speak....

SenatorBlutarsky , 10 minutes ago link

+1!

[May 13, 2019] Barr Appoints Durham To Investigate FBI-DOJ Spying On Trump

May 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

847328_3527 , 27 minutes ago link

Feinstein is looking for Durham's high school yearbook as we speak....

SenatorBlutarsky , 10 minutes ago link

+1!

[May 13, 2019] Angry Bear Senate Democratic Jackasses and Elmer Fudd

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Looks like Robert Mueller was a dirty cop hired to confirm fairy tales of Russian collusion peddled by a Clinton wing of Dems (DemoRats) sing Trump. And he enjoyed the full support of several intelligence agencies brass (especially FBI brass; initially Stzkok was one of his investigators) ..."
"... Before that Mueller was in charge of 9/11 and Anthrax scare investigations. So he is a card caring member of the neoliberal elite which converted the USA into what can be called the "National Security State" ..."
"... In order for a person to obstruct justice, there must be some justice to obstruct. Hence, if the alleged obstructer did not commit the underlying crime being investigated, then his so-called obstruction did not impair justice; it just impaired a fruitless investigation ..."
"... the USA squabble over Parteigenosse Mueller Final Report between two factions of neoliberal elite makes the USA a joke in the eyes of the whole world ..."
"... Hopefully, a more sound part of the USA elite, which Barr represents, will put some sand into those wheels. His decision to investigate the origin of Russiagate produced almost a heart attack for Pelosi. And the fact that he decided to skip his auto-da-fé at the House adds insult to injury. Poor Pelosi almost lost her mind. ..."
"... Out of democratic challengers IMHO only Tulsi Gabbard can probably attract a sizable faction of former Trump supporters and she is the most reviled, ignored, and slandered by DNC liberals and neocons alike candidate. ..."
"... The truth is that the color revolution against Donald Trump (a soft coup if you wish) failed. Now he badly needs to win in 2020 to avoid an indictment in NY State when he leaves the Presidency. It is just a matter of survival for him. ..."
"... Neoliberal Democrats will help him by putting their weakest pro-war candidate like the aged, apparently slightly demented neocon Joe Biden. With his rabid neoliberal past, neocon foreign policy past, Ukrainian skeletons in the closet and probably participation in the Obama administration dirty and criminal attempt to derail Trump using intelligence agencies as the leverage. ..."
"... Just like is the case with Boeing the situation for neoliberal democrats does not look promising. The world is starting to crash all around them. ..."
May 04, 2019 | angrybearblog.com

likbez, May 4, 2019 8:24 pm

The F.B.I. surveillance didn't come out until after the election. Therefore it couldn't impact the election. McConnell threatened to shriek "partisan politics!" if Obama said anything publicly about the Russian issue. Obama didn't. Claims of partisan behavior? Bullshit.

What about proven attempts of entrapments and inserting spies into Trump campaign?

Mifsud and Halper's stories come to mind (Halper's story has an interesting "seduction" subplot with undercover FBI informant Azra Turk). FBI and Justice Department brass acted as dirty mafia style politicians. McCabe and Brennan are two shining examples here. Probably guided personally by Obama, who being grown in a family of CIA operatives probably know this color revolutions "kitchen" all too well.

BTW Hillary did destroy evidence from her "bathroom server" while under subpoena.

Looks like Robert Mueller was a dirty cop hired to confirm fairy tales of Russian collusion peddled by a Clinton wing of Dems (DemoRats) sing Trump. And he enjoyed the full support of several intelligence agencies brass (especially FBI brass; initially Stzkok was one of his investigators)

Before that Mueller was in charge of 9/11 and Anthrax scare investigations. So he is a card caring member of the neoliberal elite which converted the USA into what can be called the "National Security State"

Which looks like classic Mussolini Italy with two guiding principles of jurisprudence applied to political enemies:

(1) To my friends, everything; to my enemies, the law (originated in 1933) .
(2) Show me the man, and I'll show you the crime (that actually comes from Stalinism period of the USSR, but the spirit is the same) .

It was actually Barr who saved Trump from obstruction of justice charge. He based his defense on the interpretation of the statuses the following (actually very elegant) way:

In order for a person to obstruct justice, there must be some justice to obstruct. Hence, if the alleged obstructer did not commit the underlying crime being investigated, then his so-called obstruction did not impair justice; it just impaired a fruitless investigation

Of course, that upset DemoRats who want President Pence to speed up the destruction of the USA and adding a couple of new wars to list the USA is involved.

Mueller was extremely sloppy and one-sided in writing his final report. Which is given taking into account his real task: to sink Trump. As Nunes aptly observed about his treatment of Mifsud as a Russian agent :

"If he is, in fact, a Russian agent, it would be one of the biggest intelligence scandals for not only the United States, but also our allies like the Italians and the Brits and others. Because if Mifsud is a Russian agent, he would know all kinds of our intelligence agents throughout the globe

likbez , May 4, 2019 10:11 pm

run75441,

Yes, of course, in the current neo-McCarthyism atmosphere merely passing the salt to a Russian guest at a dinner party makes you "an unregistered foreign agent" of Russia bent on implementing Putin's evil plans and colliding with Russian government ;-).

It looks like you are unable/unwilling to understand the logic behind my post. With all due respect, the situation is very dangerous -- when the neoliberal elite relies on lies almost exclusively as a matter of policy (look at Kamala Harris questioning Barr -- she is not stupid, she is an evil, almost taken from Orwell 1984, character), IMHO the neoliberal society is doomed. Sooner or later.

Currently, the USA squabble over Parteigenosse Mueller Final Report between two factions of neoliberal elite makes the USA a joke in the eyes of the whole world and Democrats look like Italian Fascists in 30th: a party hell-bent of dominance which does not care about laws or legitimacy one bit and can use entrapment and other dirty methods to achieve its goals.

Hopefully, a more sound part of the USA elite, which Barr represents, will put some sand into those wheels. His decision to investigate the origin of Russiagate produced almost a heart attack for Pelosi. And the fact that he decided to skip his auto-da-fé at the House adds insult to injury. Poor Pelosi almost lost her mind.

Neoliberals and neoconservatives joined ranks behind Russiagate and continue to push it because otherwise they need to be held accountable for all the related neoliberal disasters in the USA since 1980th including sliding standard of living, disappearance of "good" jobs, sky-high cost of university education and medical insurance, and the last but not least, Hillary fiasco.

Trump ran to the left of Clinton in foreign policy and used disillusionment of working close with neoliberal Democratic Party to his advantage promising jobs, end of outsourcing, end of uncontrolled immigration, and increased standard of living. He betrayed all those promises, but, still, that's why he won.

And that why the neoliberal establishment must present his election as de facto illegitimate, because otherwise they would be forced to admit that the bipartisan consensus around both financialization driven economics (casino capitalism) and imperial, war on terror based interventionism that are the foundation of the USA neoliberal elite politics since Clinton has been a disaster for most ordinary Americans -- of all political persuasions.

Out of democratic challengers IMHO only Tulsi Gabbard can probably attract a sizable faction of former Trump supporters and she is the most reviled, ignored, and slandered by DNC liberals and neocons alike candidate.

The truth is that the color revolution against Donald Trump (a soft coup if you wish) failed. Now he badly needs to win in 2020 to avoid an indictment in NY State when he leaves the Presidency. It is just a matter of survival for him.

Neoliberal Democrats will help him by putting their weakest pro-war candidate like the aged, apparently slightly demented neocon Joe Biden. With his rabid neoliberal past, neocon foreign policy past, Ukrainian skeletons in the closet and probably participation in the Obama administration dirty and criminal attempt to derail Trump using intelligence agencies as the leverage.

Just like is the case with Boeing the situation for neoliberal democrats does not look promising. The world is starting to crash all around them.

[May 13, 2019] 'Politically motivated' Butina verdict a 'shameful stain' on US justice Russian Foreign Ministry -- RT World News

May 13, 2019 | www.rt.com

The Russian Foreign Ministry called the 18-month prison sentence for student Maria Butina a "politically motivated" decision "in the spirit of McCarthyism," adding that her only crime was being a Russian citizen in the US. "From the moment of her arrest we have pointed out that the accusations against her of attempting to influence internal American political processes were completely contrived and fabricated, " the ministry said in a statement on Friday. " Her confession, which was coerced through harsh imprisonment conditions and threats of a lengthy sentence, changes nothing."

Butina was sentenced on Friday to 18 months in prison and deportation from the US by a federal judge in Washington, DC. She was arrested by the FBI in June last year and charged with being an unregistered foreign agent. The nine months she has already spent in jail – much of it in solitary confinement – will count towards her sentence.

Also on rt.com 'Politically motivated' Butina verdict a 'shameful stain' on US justice – Russian Foreign Ministry

The American University graduate who sought to make connections with the National Rifle Association ended up pleading guilty in December to failing to register as an agent of the Russian government. Moscow has repeatedly said it had nothing to do with Butina, who prior to her studies in the US campaigned for American-style gun laws in Russia.

" Our compatriot's only crime was being a citizen of Russia. She became a victim of a bitter battle between political forces inside the US, and an unbridled anti-Russian campaign in the spirit of McCarthyism," the Foreign Ministry said on Friday, describing Butina's sentence as a "shameful stain on the American judicial system " that put itself in the service of a blatantly political agenda.

Butina's arrest came at the height of 'Russiagate' hysteria, as special counsel Robert Mueller investigated claims by Democrats that President Donald Trump and his campaign "colluded" with Russia during the 2016 US presidential election. Mueller's report, made public last week, found no collusion, but claimed – without evidence – that Russia did interfere in the election. Butina was not mentioned anywhere in its 448 pages .

Breathless media reports about Butina's indictment smeared her as a spy who traded sex for influence in order to embed herself into the US political establishment. That allegation persisted in the media even after prosecutors quietly dropped it and apologized for misreading one of her text messages.

[May 13, 2019] It's time for Trump to stop John Bolton and Mike Pompeo from sabotaging his foreign policy Mulshine

Bolton power over Trump is connected to Adelson power over Trump. To think about Bolton as pure advisor is to seriously underestimate his role and influence.
Notable quotes:
"... But I always figured you needed to keep the blowhards under cover so they wouldn't stick their feet in their mouths and that the public position jobs should go to the smoothies..You, know, diplomats who were capable of some measure of subtlety. ..."
"... A clod like Bolton should be put aside and assigned the job of preparing position papers and a lout Like Pompeo should be a football coach at RoosterPoot U. ..."
"... "Once he's committed to a war in the Mideast, he's just screwed," ..."
"... Not only Trump, at the same time the swamp creatures risk losing control over the Democrat primaries, too. With a new major war in the Mideast, Tulsi Gabbard's core message of non-interventionism will resonate a lot more, and that will lower the chances of the corporate DNC picks. A dangerous gamble. ..."
"... The other day I was thinking to myself that if Trump decides to dismiss Bolton or Pompeo, especially given how terrible Venezuela, NKorea, and Iran policies have turned out (clearly at odds with his non-interventionist campaign platform), who would he appoint as State Sec and NS adviser? and since Bolton was personally pushed to Trump by Adelson in exchange for campaign donation, would there be a backlash from the Jewish Republican donors and the loss of support? I think in both cases Trump is facing with big dilemmas. ..."
"... Tulsi for Sec of State 2020... ..."
"... Keeping Bolton and Pompeo on board is consistent with Trump's negotiating style. He is full of bluster and demands to put the other side in a defensive position. I guess it was a successful strategy for him so he continues it. Many years ago I was across the table from Trump negotiating the sale of the land under the Empire State Building which at the time was owned by Prudential even though Trump already had locked up the actual building. I just sat there, impassively, while Trump went on with his fire and fury. When I did not budge, he turned to his Japanese financial partner and said "take care of this" and walked out of the room. Then we were able to talk and negotiate in a logical manner and consumate a deal that was double Trump's negotiating bid. I learned later he was furious with his Japanese partner for failing to "win". ..."
"... You can still these same traits in the way that Trump thinks about other countries - they can be cajoled or pushed into doing what Trump wants. If the other countries just wait Trump out they can usually get a much better deal. Bolton and Pompeo, as Blusterers, are useful in pursuing the same negotiation style, for better or worse, Trump has used for probably for the last 50 years. ..."
"... I have seen this style of negotiations work on occasion. The most important lesson I've learned is the willingness to walk. I'm not sure that Trump's personal style matters that much in complex negotiations among states. There's too many people and far too many details. ..."
"... Having the neocons front & center on his foreign policy team I believe has negative consequences for him politically. IMO, he won support from the anti-interventionists due to his strong campaign stance. While they may be a small segment in America in a tight race they could matter. ..."
"... Additionally as Col. Lang notes the neocons could start a shooting match due to their hubris and that can always escalate and go awry. We can only hope that he's smart enough to recognize that. I remain convinced that our fawning allegiance to Bibi is central to many of our poor strategic decision making. ..."
"... I agree that this is Trump's style but what he does not seem to understand is that in using jugheads like these guys on the international scene he may precipitate a war when he really does not want one. ..."
"... "Perhaps the biggest lie the mainstream media have tried to get over on the American public is the idea that it is conservatives, that start wars. That's total nonsense of course. Almost all of America's wars in the 20th century were stared by liberal Democrats." ..."
"... Exceptions are: Korea? (Eisenhower); Grenada? (Reagan); Iraq? (Bush Sr.) ..."
"... So what exactly is Pussy John, then, just a Yosemite Sam-type bureaucrat with no actual portfolio, so to speak? I defer to your vastly greater knowledge of these matters, but at times it sure seems like they are pursuing a rear-guard action as the US Empire shrinks ..."
"... If were Lavrov, what would I think to myself were I to find myself on the other side of a phone call from PJ or the Malignant Manatee? ..."
May 12, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
It's time for Trump to stop John Bolton and Mike Pompeo from sabotaging his foreign policy | Mulshine

"I put that question to another military vet, former Vietnam Green Beret Pat Lang.

"Once he's committed to a war in the Mideast, he's just screwed," said Lang of Trump.

But Lang, who later spent more than a decade in the Mideast, noted that Bolton has no direct control over the military.

"Bolton has a problem," he said. "If he can just get the generals to obey him, he can start all the wars he wants. But they don't obey him."

They obey the commander-in-chief. And Trump has a history of hiring war-crazed advisors who