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Anti-Russian hysteria 

Resurgence of anti-Russia hysteria (Neo-McCarthyism) has broad implications for US foreign policy as well as the health of internal political discourse

  Who are those "experts" who tell us that Russian interfered in 2016 elections? Mostly the same neocons who found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.  Or fake expects who claim that Hillary "bathroom email server" was not breached

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

News Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Recommended Links Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism DNC emails leak -- classic false flag operation to blame Vladimir Putin using Crowdstrike honchos Sanctions against Russia Demonization of Putin
Blob attacks Trump: Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukraingate Adam Schiff Witch Hunt Nancy Pelosi impeachment gambit Was Eric Ciaramella a part of Obama/Brennan "Trump Task force" ? Alexander Vindman role in Ukrainegate House Democrats attempt to backstab Barr and derail his investigation into the origin of Russiagate Creepy neocon Joe Biden and fleecing of Ukraine
Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Putin-did-it fiasco Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? UK Government, MI6 and "Integrity Initiative" Marina Butina case as classic neo-McCarthyism witch hunt Antirussian hysteria as a method of suppressing of dissent against neoliberalism and militarism Pathological Russophobia of the US elite
British attempts to contain Russia Nato expansion Conversion of Democratic Party into War Party and Hillary Clinton policy toward Russia  Deception as an art form US and British media are servants of security apparatus  Hillary Clinton email scandal Bill Clinton
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Female Sociopaths American Exceptionalism Color revolutions Israel lobby Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime
Diplomacy by deception Corruption of Regulators The Deep State Machiavellism Noble Lie Hillary role in cover up of Bill Clinton sexapades Nation under attack meme
Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism  Neocons Credibility Scam Leo Strauss and the Neocons Predator state The Iron Law of Oligarchy Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Media-Military-Industrial Complex

Introduction

These people have no shame.

USMarines, Guardian Jun 25, 2016

 

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

Only Jedi Knights can stop him.

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

 

Clinton campaign is trying to hide their political fiasco using old "Russians are coming" trick...   the current wave of Russophobia which is now threatening to overcome the USA reminds the anti-Soviet paranoia that defined the 1950s and early 1960s (in reality the USSR serves as inhibitor of cannibalistic instincts of the US elite and was major contribution to the period of general property from 1945 till 1970th). After the USSR was gone the wealth were very quickly redistributed at the expense of common people and now we have one of the most unequal societies in existence.  Which backfired in 2016 with election of Trump as people rejected the puppet of neoliberal elite --- neoliberal warmonger Hillary Clinton  in favor of "a "dark horse" Trump/ many voted for Trump just to show the middle finger to the neoliberal establishment.

As for fake DNC email leak (which was internal leak and blaming Russian were carefully planned false flag operation using Crowdstrike bottomfeeders as a tool). BTW all those presstitutes who wipe up anti-Russian hysteria should ask themselves a simple question. Do they have any moral right to ask question about the legitimacy of  foreign interference if this interference is the cornerstone of the US foreign policy. As in "color revolutions" and similar subversive actions against "not neoliberal enough" governments of countries with natural resources, or of some geopolitical value. 

Also it is not clear why Russia would prefer Trump to Hillary. Here is one post that addresses this issues (Economist's View What’s Behind a Rise in Ethnic Nationalism Maybe the Economy, Oct 14, 2016):

likbez -> pgl... , Friday, October 14, 2016 at 07:43 PM
Paradoxically Pravda in old times did have real insights into the US political system and for this reason was widely read by specialists. Especially materials published by the Institute of the USA and Canada -- a powerful Russian think tank somewhat similar to the Council on Foreign Relations.

As for your remark I think for many people in the USA Russophobia is just displaced Anti-Semitism.

JohnH remark is actually very apt and you should not "misunderestimate" the level of understanding of the US political system by Russians. They did learn a lot about machinations of the neoliberal foreign policy, especially about so called "color revolutions." Hillary&Obama has had a bloody nose when they tried to stage a "color revolution" in 2011-2012 in Russia (so called "white revolution). A typical US citizen probably never heard about it or heard only about "Pussy riot", Navalny and couple of other minor figures. At the end poor ambassador Michael McFaul was recalled. NED was expelled. Of course Russia is just a pale shadow of the USSR power-wise, so Obama later put her on sanctions using MH17 incident as a pretext with no chances of retaliation. They also successfully implemented regime change in Ukraine -- blooding Putin nose in return.

But I actually disagree with JohnH. First of all Putin does not need to interfere in a way like the USA did in 2011-2012. It would be a waist of resources as both candidates are probably equally bad for Russia (and it is the "deep state" which actually dictate the US foreign policy, not POTUS.)

The US political system is already the can of worms and the deterioration of neoliberal society this time created almost revolutionary situation in Marxists terms, when Repug elite was not able to control the nomination. Democratic establishment still did OK and managed to squash the rebellion, but here the level of degeneration demonstrated itself in the selection of the candidate.

Taking into account the level of dysfunction of the US political system, I am not so sure the Trump is preferable to Hillary for Russians. I would say he is more unpredictable and more dangerous. The main danger of Hillary is Syria war escalation, but the same is true for Trump who can turn into the second John McCain on a dime.

Also the difference between two should not be exaggerated. Both are puppets of the forces the brought them to the current level and in their POTUS role will need to be subservient to the "deep state". Or at least to take into account its existence and power. And that makes them more of prisoners of the position they want so much.

Trump probably to lesser extent then Hillary, but he also can't ignore the deep state. Both require the support of Republican Congress for major legislative initiatives. And it will very hostile to Hillary. Which is a major advantage for Russians, as this excludes the possibility of some very stupid moves.

Again, IMHO in no way any of them will control the US foreign policy. In this area the deep state is in charge since Allen Dulles and those who try to deviate too much might end as badly as JFK. I think Obama understood this very well and did not try to rock the boat. And there are people who will promptly explain this to Trump in a way that he understands.

In other words, neither of them will escape the limit on their power that "deep state" enforces. And that virtually guarantee the continuity of the foreign policy, with just slight tactical variations.

So why Russians should prefer one to another? You can elect a dog as POTUS and the foreign policy of the USA will be virtually the same as with Hillary or Trump.

In internal policy Trump looks more dangerous and more willing to experiment, while Hillary is definitely a "status quo" candidate. The last thing Russians needs is the US stock market crush. So from the point of internal economic policy Hillary is also preferable.

A lot of pundits stress the danger of war with Russia, and that might be true as women in high political position try to outdo men in hawkishness. But here Hillary jingoism probably will be tightly controlled by the "deep state". Hillary definitely tried to be "More Catholic then the Pope" in this area while being the Secretary of State. That did not end well for her and she might learn the lesson.

But if you think about the amount of "compromat" (Russian term ;-) on Hillary and Bill that Russians may well already collected, in "normal circumstances" she might be a preferable counterpart for Russians. As in "devil that we know". Both Lavrov and Putin met Hillary. Medvedev was burned by Hillary. Taking into account the level of greed Hillary displayed during her career, I would be worried what Russians have on her , as well as on Bill "transgressions" and RICO-style actions of Clinton Foundation.

And taking into account the level of disgust amount the government officials with Hillary (and this is not limited to Secret Service) , new leaks are quite possible, which might further complicate her position as POTUS.

In worst case, the first year (or two) leaks will continue. Especially if damaging DNC leaks were the work of some disgruntled person within the USA intelligence and not of some foreign hacker group. That might be a plus for Russians as such a constant distraction might limit her possibility to make some stupid move in Syria. Or not.

As you know personal emails boxes for all major Web mail providers are just one click away for NSA analysts. So "Snowden II" hypothesis might have the right to exist.

Also it is quite probably that impeachment process for Hillary will start soon after her election. In the House Republicans have enough votes to try it. That also might be a plus for s for both Russia and China. Trump is extremely jingoistic as for Iran, and that might be another area were Hillary is preferable to Russians and Chinese over Trump.

Also do not discount her health problems. She does have some serious neurological disease, which eventually might kill her. How fast she will deteriorate is not known but in a year or two the current symptoms might become more pronounced. If Bill have STD (and sometime he looks like a person with HIV; http://joeforamerica.com/2016/07/bill-clinton-aids/) that further complicates that picture (this is just a rumor, but he really looks bad).

I think that all those factors make her an equal, or even preferable candidate for such states as Russia and China.

This is the situation of "king is naked" -- the state that teaches other countries about democracy has completely corrupted election process, like a typical banana republic. That what  WikiLeaks revelations proved.  The DNC behavior was clearly criminal, yet like in a typical banana republic nobody went to jail.  Wasserman-Shultz was reelected and even manage to survive another huge scan with Awan brothers. Like old aristocracy neoliberal elite is clearly above the law.

In his post Is Russia our enemy?  Colonel W. Patrick Lang -- a retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces (The Green Berets) -- aptly stated:
The Democratic Party convention and the media are full of the assumption that Russia is the enemy of the United States.  What is the basis for that assumption?

The Obama Administration is apparently committed to a pre-emptive assertion that Russia is a world class committed enemy of the United States. The Borgist media fully support that. We should all sober up.

The Russophobia (or more correctly Russophenia ;-)  has become one of the most important themes in Hillary presidential campaign and she unsurprisingly is engaged in full-scale anti-Russian hysteria.  In other words, Hillary joined ranks with neocons, military-industrial complex and plain-vanilla Russophobes (katehon.com, Jul 28. 2016):

Speaking at a press conference in Florida, Trump called on Russia to hand over the 30,000 emails "missing" from the Hillary Clinton's email server in the US. Their absence is a clear sign that Clinton destroyed evidence proving that she used her personal e-mail server to send sensitive information. Democrats immediately accused Trump of pandering to Russian hackers, although in reality the multi-billionaire rhetorically hinted that the data that Clinton hid from the American investigation is in the hands of foreign intelligence services. So, Clinton is a possible target for blackmail.

Trump's statement that he is ready to discuss the status of Crimea and the removal of anti-Russian sanctions caused even more noise. This view is not accepted either in the Democrat or in the Republican mainstream. Trump also said that Vladimir Putin does not respect Clinton and Obama, while Trump himself hopes to find a common language with him. Trump appreciates Putin's leadership and believes that the US must work together with Russia to deal with common threats, particularly against Islamic extremism.
Hide The establishment's tantrum

Both Democrats and Republicans are taking aim at Trump. The vice-presidential candidate, Mike Pence, made threats to Russia. The head of the Republican majority in Congress, Paul Ryan, became somewhat hysterical. He said that Putin is "a thug and should stay out of these elections."

It is Putin personally, and the Russian security services, who are accused of leaking correspondences of top employees of the National Committee of the Democratic Party. This unverified story united part of the Republicans and all of the Democrats, including the Clinton and Barack Obama themselves. Trump supporters note that the Russian threat is used to divert attention from the content of these letters. And these show the fraud carried out during the primaries which favored Hillary Clinton.
Hide The pro-American candidate

The "Russian scandal" demonstrates that on the one hand the thesis of the normalization of relations with Russia, despite the propaganda, is becoming popular in US society. It is unlikely that Donald Trump has made campaign statements that are not designed to gain the support of the public in this election. On the other hand - Trump - a hard realist, like Putin, is not pro-Russian, but a pro-American politician, and therefore the improvement of relations with Russia in his eyes corresponds to the US's national interests. Trump has never to date done anything that would not be to his advantage. Sometimes he even said he would order US fighter jets to engage with Russian ones, and declared he would have a hard stance in relations with Russia.

Another thing is that his understanding of US national interests is fundamentally different from the dominant American globalist elite consensus. For Trump, the US should not be the source of a global liberal remaking of the world, but a national power, which optimizes its position just as efficiently as any commercial project. And in terms of optimizing the position of the United States, he says there should be a normal American interaction with Putin and Russia in the field of combating terrorism and preventing the sliding of the two countries into a global war. He claims this is to be the priority instead of issues relating to the promotion of democracy and the so-called fight against "authoritarian regimes".
 

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

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

Putin: Yes.

MC: Yes! Are you serious?

Putin: I’m quite serious.

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

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

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

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

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

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

DNC and Clinton wing of Democratic Party (neoliberal DemoRats) push the Russian card very hard in anticipation of further stories and revelations of corruption, money laundering, etc.  Technical analysis provided is some idiotic, entry level nonsense. And it should ne complete bulsh*t as those cases are very complex and can used smokescreen -- deflecting attention from a read source (for example Israel) to Russians (Israel has large Russian speaking population, that is well represented in security services of the country).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And :

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

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

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

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

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

Readers, thoughts?

Update Addition by Yves:

Another reader, Hacker, observed (emphasis original):

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

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

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

Thomas Rid wrote:

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

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

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

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

NOTES

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

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

Pavel , July 28, 2016 at 4:01 am

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

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

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

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

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

pretzelattack , July 28, 2016 at 4:15 am

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

dk , July 28, 2016 at 4:59 am

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

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

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

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

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

The dirty and effective trick DNC used is called "Catch a chief" -- a deflection of attention from their own criminal behaviour. Initially they were really afraid about what can come next from Wikileaks or elsewhere. I don't think Hillary was capable to understand how easy it is to find corruption in Clinton family and Clinton foundation, especially when there's a email trail.  And this lack of understanding is a typical feature of a sociopath (http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/could-hillary-clinton-be-a-sociopath/ )

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In any case a major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate platform of whom they did not like for deviation from classic neoliberalism matra. In other words they behaved like a classic Mafioso clan. Changing attention of public from committed  by them crimes to Russia and Putin instead. (The Guardian):

 atopic  

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

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

Chanze Jennings ->  atopic

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

So RICO statute is perfectlly applicable for them. but of couse they will never be procecuited.

Not it is clear that accusations of Russia in DNC hack was a classic false flag operation performed by the masters of this craft. But it is too late. The atmospefere is already poisoned.  

 

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

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

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

Kintbury  -> Mr. Fusion 21 hours ago

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

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

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

William Carr > Know Mei •

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

America needs international monitors to oversee our elections

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


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[Nov 14, 2019] Andrew Weissmann.... The dirtiest of Mueller's people

Notable quotes:
"... They say he intimidated witnesses by threatening indictments, created crimes that did not exist and, in one case, withheld evidence that could have aided the accused. At one hearing, an incredulous district court judge looked down at an Enron defendant and told him he was pleading guilty to a wire fraud crime that did not exist. ..."
Oct 30, 2017 | www.washingtontimes.com

Posted by Jjdoc

quote:

Today, Mr. Weissmann stands as special counsel Robert Mueller's top gun in a squadron of nearly 20 prosecutors and scores of FBI agents delving into Trump-Russia. Mr. Weissmann is leading the probe into the biggest target to date, Paul Manafort, President Trump's onetime campaign manager.

How Mr. Weissmann operated over a decade ago offers possible glimpses at how he carries out orders today from his longtime mentor, Mr. Mueller.


He's a dirty "cop"

quote:

The backstory: Defense attorneys say Mr. Weissmann bent or broke the rules. As proof, they point to appeals court decisions, exhibits and witness statements.

They say he intimidated witnesses by threatening indictments, created crimes that did not exist and, in one case, withheld evidence that could have aided the accused. At one hearing, an incredulous district court judge looked down at an Enron defendant and told him he was pleading guilty to a wire fraud crime that did not exist.


This is the man going after Trump.

quote:

Mr. Weissmann's cases against Andersen and Merrill Lynch lay in shambles just a few years later.

The Supreme Court, in a 9-0 vote in 2005, overturned the Andersen conviction. A year later, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals erased all the fraud convictions against four Merrill Lynch managers. The jury had acquitted another defendant.

"People went off to prison for a completely phantom of a case," said Mr. Kirkendall.

[Nov 14, 2019] The Inconsequential Nikki Haley

Notable quotes:
"... And, of course, it wouldn't be good, old-fashioned Washington gunslinging if she didn't pin the blame on somebody else. In this case, it was former secretary of state Rex Tillerson and former White House chief of staff John Kelly -- portrayed by Haley as duplicitous snakes who sought to undermine the president behind his back. ..."
Nov 14, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Her messaging confirms what many have long suspected: Nikki Haley is a human weathervane, trying to ingratiate herself to the boss (she knows Trump will remain a popular figure within Republican politics for years to come) while at the same time distancing herself from his most controversial actions.

And, of course, it wouldn't be good, old-fashioned Washington gunslinging if she didn't pin the blame on somebody else. In this case, it was former secretary of state Rex Tillerson and former White House chief of staff John Kelly -- portrayed by Haley as duplicitous snakes who sought to undermine the president behind his back.


Doug Wallis9 hours ago

She is a neocon and people arent going to vote for more war. She has no real accomplishments. I think she would make an interesting candidate. A republican woman is generally not as loopy left wing as the democratic women running just because their women. Personally Nikki does not represent my values and I wouldnt vote for her.
Fayez Abedaziz2 hours ago
Well, what does that tell ya about the continuing corruption and ruining of America's elections systems in this evolving, shallower society and the major 'news' media being 'neo-con' run or influenced as such?
It's ridiculous and I'm being kind, that people with no qualifications are seriously being given money and given media exposure such as- Buttgieg, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and some others with low IQ's and only want the ego tripping and be one of the 'elites' all their non-productive lives.
So, Nikki Haley is seriously one of those to lead America?
You now what, people who vote for these clowns, clowns that never worked in their lives, are just plain shallow too. But...the big donors give these characters money so that they will continue the terrible neo-con foreign policy.
Now, may I ask, as a fella that was born in another nation:
how come I use my real name but Nikki Haley and others do not?
I laugh, as did others, over the years when I say-you would think, that a guy with my name, being a Palestinian/Arab/Moslem heritage, would be the last one to do that!
Well, how 'bout that question in our great big country America? Dig?
PeaceObserver2 hours ago • edited
Opportunism of this one is so sky high that it resembles a cartoonish psychopath. Even her name is not real. A pathological liar who took up barking as a profession because that is what sells these days. Tragedy of America is that snakes move high and up.

[Nov 14, 2019] Fake news and its brainwashined supporters: Even if one tells them that one is not a Trump supporter, but rather a supporter of democracy who reviles the sadistic and criminal intel agencies and corporate Dems, they still heap scorn, mockery and ridicule.

Notable quotes:
"... The CIA is now openly operating on American soil in clear breach of its charter and U.S. law. There is absolutely no way this can be questioned. We must now contemplate the frightening similarities Russiagate and Ukrainegate share with the agency's classic coup operations abroad: Commandeering the media, stirring discontent with the leadership, pumping up the opposition, waving false flags, incessant disinformation campaigns: Maybe it was fated that what America has been doing abroad the whole of the postwar era would eventually come home. ..."
"... As we watch the latest US lead coup in Bolivia, my thoughts exactly. Using impeachment as a means of running a soft CIA coup is what we're witnessing. With the MSM in toe it's hard to know just how good or bad Trump is. What is the primary reason for going after him? Whatever it is, it has nothing to do with immigration or illegally lobbing bombs into Syria, or selling arms to the Saudis to bomb innocent Yemenis. These are all the right reasons, but hardly something the "deep state" cares about stopping. ..."
"... I think back to the Nixon and Clinton impeachments. None of them seemed to use pressing matters of international illegality (Cambodia/Laos and millions of SE Asians brutally killed, or in the case of Clinton the brutal killing of an estimated 500,000 Iraqi children). Instead the charges were about a 3rd rate burglary and lying about sex with an intern. ..."
Nov 14, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Drew Hunkins , November 13, 2019 at 13:41

To state something I've bemoaned b/f here on CN, in most liberal circles one is mocked and ridiculed for pointing out that a deep state is indeed orchestrating a coup to unseat Trump. Even if one tells them that one is not a Trump supporter, but rather a supporter of democracy who reviles the sadistic and criminal intel agencies and corporate Dems, they still heap scorn, mockery and ridicule.

There is a segment of the U.S. population that's completely beyond reach when it comes to this all important issue.

Rob , November 13, 2019 at 13:06

I have felt from the beginning that Ukrainegate was a thin reed upon which to base impeachment, especially when Trump has committed a large number of other genuinely impeachable offenses. The menu of his impeachment-worthy acts is almost as large as a menu in a Chinese restaurant. Yet none of them appear to matter to the Democratic leadership, or as Nancy Pelosi once put it: Trump's not worth impeaching.

Now it appears that the Deep State has forced the Dems hand, and rabid dog Adam Schiff is foaming at the mouth in anticipation of tearing off a large piece of Donald Trump's hide. But as Patrick Lawrence has clearly explained, Trump will not be removed from office, and Joe Biden's reputation and presidential aspirations are in jeopardy. At least that last part is something to celebrate.

Guy , November 13, 2019 at 12:56

Thank you for exposing what has happened and is happening to the US system of governance or lack thereof .It is becoming glaringly obvious that the system is broken and many wonder if indeed it can be fixed without actually starting over from a clean sweep .It is like a cancer that has metastasized beyond hope of a cure .It has been very hard to watch as the destroyers of nations continue to create chaos in the state that was once an example to the world or so we were told.

Antonio Costa , November 13, 2019 at 12:31

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

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

As we watch the latest US lead coup in Bolivia, my thoughts exactly. Using impeachment as a means of running a soft CIA coup is what we're witnessing. With the MSM in toe it's hard to know just how good or bad Trump is. What is the primary reason for going after him? Whatever it is, it has nothing to do with immigration or illegally lobbing bombs into Syria, or selling arms to the Saudis to bomb innocent Yemenis. These are all the right reasons, but hardly something the "deep state" cares about stopping.

So far it hasn't worked with Trump, but they may be hoping to bloody him enough to have the electorate do their dirty work, or will it backfire?

I think back to the Nixon and Clinton impeachments. None of them seemed to use pressing matters of international illegality (Cambodia/Laos and millions of SE Asians brutally killed, or in the case of Clinton the brutal killing of an estimated 500,000 Iraqi children). Instead the charges were about a 3rd rate burglary and lying about sex with an intern.

Amazing how screwed up our priorities .but than again they're NOT OUR priorities are they.

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

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

michael , November 13, 2019 at 10:50

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

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

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

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

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

[Nov 13, 2019] Zbigniew Brzezinski Death of an anti-Russian terrorist

Notable quotes:
"... The Polish born Brzezinski put the historic blood-feud of his mother country ahead of the interests of the United States. He openly opposed Nixon and Ford's policy of detente and orchestrated the use American power to arm and fund all those who sought to undermine the Soviet Union. ..."
"... This became most apparent when he decided to use US might to fund, arm and train the Arab Mujahideen in Afghanistan. Among the fighters Brzezinski's policy helped to arm was Osama bin-Laden, the founder of the Salafist terrorist group al-Qaeda. The group was later blamed for orchestrating and executing the September 11 terrorist atrocities in the United States. ..."
"... Brzezinski was happy to ally with blood soaked jihadists in order to topple the secular, modern government of Afghanistan, for the simple reason that the government was a Soviet ally. ..."
"... Brzezinski's jihadists took over the country in the 1990s and famously executed and then mutilated the corpse of Afghanistan's pro-Soviet President Dr. Mohammad Najibullah in 1996. Many blame the Brzezinski authored policies in Afghanistan for unleashing the plague of jihadist terrorism throughout the wider world. ..."
"... Brzezinski's time in the White House was limited to the single term of Jimmy Carter, but many of his policies lived long after his formal period in power. ..."
May 27, 2017 | theduran.com

by Adam May 27, 2017 11.9k Views

Richard Nixon had more foreign policy achievements that just about any modern American President. These achievements however, have generally been overshadowed by Nixon's scandal plagued White House.

Among his most important achievements was engaging in detente with the Soviet Union. Nixon's de-escalation of tensions with Moscow penultimately led to the signing of the Helsinki Accords in 1975, wherein America and its allies and also non-aligned states of Europe agreed to respect the borders and sovereignty of existing states, including that of the Soviet Union and her allies. The Helsinki Accords affirmed a renunciation of violence as a means of settling disputes and forced signatories to respect the right of self-determination among peoples.

This was a rare moment when the US admitted that the Cold War could not be won and that engagement and peaceful dialogue was preferable to threats against the Soviet superpower.

READ MORE: The importance of the Helsinki Accords: The last time the West respected Russia

In 1976, Jimmy Carter was elected the President of the United States after Nixon's former Vice-President Gerald Ford, failed to win an America hungry for change on the domestic front.

While Jimmy Carter is often remembered as a man of peace, his Presidency was anything but peaceful. The reason for this was the power behind the throne, Carter's National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski.

The Polish born Brzezinski put the historic blood-feud of his mother country ahead of the interests of the United States. He openly opposed Nixon and Ford's policy of detente and orchestrated the use American power to arm and fund all those who sought to undermine the Soviet Union.

This became most apparent when he decided to use US might to fund, arm and train the Arab Mujahideen in Afghanistan. Among the fighters Brzezinski's policy helped to arm was Osama bin-Laden, the founder of the Salafist terrorist group al-Qaeda. The group was later blamed for orchestrating and executing the September 11 terrorist atrocities in the United States.

Brzezinski was happy to ally with blood soaked jihadists in order to topple the secular, modern government of Afghanistan, for the simple reason that the government was a Soviet ally.

Brzezinski's jihadists took over the country in the 1990s and famously executed and then mutilated the corpse of Afghanistan's pro-Soviet President Dr. Mohammad Najibullah in 1996. Many blame the Brzezinski authored policies in Afghanistan for unleashing the plague of jihadist terrorism throughout the wider world.

Brzezinski's time in the White House was limited to the single term of Jimmy Carter, but many of his policies lived long after his formal period in power.

Throughout the rest of his life, Brzezinski continued to vocally advocate for policies designed to cripple Russia, including the expansion of NATO into eastern Europe.

He was a strong supporter of the 2014 coup against the legitimate Ukrainian government and more recently said that the Russian Federation would break up. Furthermore, he said that the US must help those wanting to break it up, irrespective of who they are. He continued to advocate sanctions against Russia until his dying day, in spite of the fact that the sanctions ended up hurting his native Poland more than the Russian Federation he sought to destroy.

Brzezinski was a deeply violent and hateful man. He was also dishonest, he told the last Shah of Iran that the US would give him America's full backing, knowing well that the White House was divided on the issue.

He was a man who brought ancient hatreds, hatreds which long pre-dated the existence of the United States, into the heart of American policy making.

At the age of 89, Brzezinski is dead. Even if he lived another hundred years, he would never see his dream, the death of Russia. Russia remains alive and well and in this sense, perhaps he died knowing that his entire reason for being was a failure.

[Nov 13, 2019] Understanding What Sidney Powell is Doing to Kill the Case Against Michael Flynn by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Peter Strzok was interviewed on 19 July 2017 by the FBI and, according to his affidavit, pretended that he was asked on the 24th of January 2017 to interview General Flynn. He implied this was a last minute request. But as noted in the preceding paragraph, which is based on an interview of Strzok's mistress, Lisa Page, a meeting took place the day before to orchestrate the ambush of General Flynn. ..."
"... What is truly remarkable is that Peter Strzok stated the following, which exonerates Flynn of the charges in the indictment cited above: Strzok and Pientka both had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying or did not think he was lying. Flynn struck Strzok as "bright, but not profoundly sophisticated." ..."
"... In fact, as noted by Sidney Powell, "the FBI and DOJ wrote an internal memo dated January 30, 2017, exonerating Mr. Flynn of acting as an "agent of Russia;" and, they all knew there was no Logan Act violation." ..."
"... The real problem for the Government's fraudulent case against Flynn are the 302s. There should only be one 302. Not at least four versions. The FBI protocol is to enter the 302 into the FBI Sentinel system within five days of the interview. In other words, the original 302 should have been put on the record on the 29th of January. But that original 302 is MISSING. The prosecutors claim they cannot find it. ..."
"... But the prosecutors finally did provide the defense, after repeated requests, multiple copies of 302s. They dated as follows--10 February 2017, 11 February 2017. 14 February 2017 and 15 February 2017. WTF??? This alone is prima facie evidence that something crooked was afoot. ..."
"... The final 302--dated 15 February 2017--painted General Flynn in the worst possible light. The "facts" of this 302 are not supported by the notes taken by Agents Strzok and Pientka. The conclusion is simple--the FBI fabricated a case against General Flynn. We now wait to see if Judge Sullivan will acknowledge this crooked conduct and exonerate the good General. Justice demands it. ..."
"... Poor George Popadopoulos, also "bright, but not profoundly sophisticated.", also had lawyers who rolled over to the FBI. If you read George's book, "Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump", the methods used on Flynn sound familiar. ..."
"... If the evidence provided by the defence in the Flynn case is even only a partial example of the capabilities and proclivities of the FBI, then how many other poor schmucks have been convicted and jailed unjustly at the hands of this organisation? ..."
"... The answer, given the size of the organisation must be : "thousands". The remedy is obvious and compelling if you want to remain something like a first world democracy. ..."
"... So instead of Flynn burning the agency down, they did just the opposite and got to him first. Just like Sen Schumer warned Trump: don't take on the IC, because they have six ways against Sunday to take you down. ..."
"... Maybe Flynn' s alleged post-inauguration audit plans is what triggered Brennan to get Obama to secretly keep his eyes on Flynn - maybe that was the second tier secret access they wanted, not necessarily Trump himself? ..."
"... Survival in DC is existential - my own in-house observation during the Watergate years. ..."
"... However, IMO the far more telling issue of the depths of IC's Coup effort. Are the exploits of Halper, Mifsud, MI6-CIA link. Which began back in 2015. This gives the impression, Flynn was being targeted for career destruction. Solely as retaliation for his departure from the Obama Administration, coupled with Flynn's open opposition to policies of Obama-Brennan (Iran-Syria-Libya). This took place way before he agreed to the NSA post with President Trump. ..."
"... Why did FLynn not have the Secret Service Detail arrest Sztrok and company on the spot for violating US security CFRs by knowing such conversations took place and knowing the contents thereof with out appropriate security clearances?? ..."
"... Many things about Spygate have puzzled me. The response by Trump after becoming POTUS to all the machinations by Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Rosenstein, et al has been baffling. It is like he does not understand the powers of his office. And after he learned about the covert action action against his campaign and him, to then staff his administration with folks who were in cahoots with the putschists is frankly bizarre. ..."
"... ........ "CrowdStrike, the cyber-security company that is involved in all this over and over again, is a an American company founded by a Ukrainian, Dmitri Alperovitch, who is extremely anti-Russia and who delights in implicating Russia in the DNC hacking event that probably did not happen......" ..."
Nov 09, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Sidney Powell, General Michael Flynn's magnificent lawyer, is in the process of destroying the bogus case that Robert Mueller and his gang of legal thugs tried to sneak past appropriate judicial review. To help you understand what she is doing we must first go back and review the indictment of Flynn and then look at what Ms. Powell, aka Honey Badger, has forced the prosecutors to admit.

Here are the nuts and bolts of the indictment

On or about January 24, 2017, defendant MICHAEL T. FLYNN did willfully and knowingly make materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations . . . to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that:

(i) On or about December 29, 2016, FLYNN did not ask the Government of Russia's Ambassador to the United States ("Russian Ambassador") to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia that same day; and FLYNN did not recall the Russian Ambassador subsequently telling him that Russia had chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of his request.

(ii) On or about December 22, 2016, FLYNN did not ask the Russian Ambassador to delay the vote on or defeat a pending United Nations Security Council resolution; and that the Russian Ambassador subsequently never described_to FLYNN Russia's response to his request.

Let me make a couple of observations before we dig into the notes and the 302 that FBI Agents Strzok and Pientka wrote up during and following their interview of Michael Flynn on January 24, 2017. First, Michael Flynn did nothing wrong or inappropriate in speaking to Russia's Ambassador Kislyak. He was doing his job as an incoming National Security Advisor to President Trump. Second, not "recalling" what Ambassador Kislyak said (or did not say) on 22 December is not lying. Third, even if Flynn did ask the Russian Ambassador on the 29th of December to "refrain from escalating the situation" in response to the U.S. sanctions imposed by Barack Hussein Obama, there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, that is wise counsel intended to defuse a situation.

Now, here is where the FBI, especially Agents Strzok and Pientka, are in so much trouble. The day prior to the "interview" of General Flynn the FBI plotters met to discuss strategy. According to Sidney Powell:

January 23, the day before the interview, the upper echelon of the FBI met to orchestrate it all. Deputy Director McCabe, General Counsel James Baker, , Lisa Page, Strzok, David Bowdich, Trish Anderson, and Jen Boone strategized to talk with Mr. Flynn in such a way as to keep from alerting him from understanding that he was being interviewed in a criminal investigation of which he was the target. (Ex.12). Knowing they had no basis for an investigation,6 they deliberately decided not to notify DOJ for fear DOJ officials would follow protocol and notify White House Counsel.

Peter Strzok was interviewed on 19 July 2017 by the FBI and, according to his affidavit, pretended that he was asked on the 24th of January 2017 to interview General Flynn. He implied this was a last minute request. But as noted in the preceding paragraph, which is based on an interview of Strzok's mistress, Lisa Page, a meeting took place the day before to orchestrate the ambush of General Flynn.

What is truly remarkable is that Peter Strzok stated the following, which exonerates Flynn of the charges in the indictment cited above: Strzok and Pientka both had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying or did not think he was lying. Flynn struck Strzok as "bright, but not profoundly sophisticated."

The fact that the FBI Agents Strzok and Pientka did not to show General Flynn the transcript of his calls to refresh his recollection, nor did they confront him directly if he did not remember, exposes this plot as a contrived scenario to entrap Michael Flynn rather than a legitimate, legally founded investigation.

In fact, as noted by Sidney Powell, "the FBI and DOJ wrote an internal memo dated January 30, 2017, exonerating Mr. Flynn of acting as an "agent of Russia;" and, they all knew there was no Logan Act violation."

But the malfeasance and misconduct of the FBI continued with the manipulation of the 302. " A FD-302 form is used by FBI agents to "report or summarize the interviews that they conduct"[3][4] and contains information from the notes taken during the interview by the non-primary agent."

The notes taken by Agents Strzok and Pientka during their interview of Michael Flynn are damning for the FBI. These notes are Exhibits 9 and 10 in the sur sureply filed by Sidney Powell on 1 November 2019. (I wrote recently on the fact that the FBI/DOJ mislabeled the notes from this interview--see here). Neither Strzok nor Pientka recorded any observation that Flynn lied about his contacts with Kislyak. Neither wrote down anything supporting the indictment by the Mueller crowd that "Flynn lied." To the contrary, Strzok swore under oath that he did not believe Flynn was lying.

The real problem for the Government's fraudulent case against Flynn are the 302s. There should only be one 302. Not at least four versions. The FBI protocol is to enter the 302 into the FBI Sentinel system within five days of the interview. In other words, the original 302 should have been put on the record on the 29th of January. But that original 302 is MISSING. The prosecutors claim they cannot find it.

But the prosecutors finally did provide the defense, after repeated requests, multiple copies of 302s. They dated as follows--10 February 2017, 11 February 2017. 14 February 2017 and 15 February 2017. WTF??? This alone is prima facie evidence that something crooked was afoot.

The final 302--dated 15 February 2017--painted General Flynn in the worst possible light. The "facts" of this 302 are not supported by the notes taken by Agents Strzok and Pientka. The conclusion is simple--the FBI fabricated a case against General Flynn. We now wait to see if Judge Sullivan will acknowledge this crooked conduct and exonerate the good General. Justice demands it.

These are not my facts. They are the facts based on documents submitted on the record to Judge Sullivan. I find it shocking that no journalist has had the energy or interest to cover this. Just one more reminder of the putrid state of journalism and investigative reporting. The charges levied against General Flynn by the Mueller prosecutors are without foundation. That is the stark conclusion facing any honest reader of the documents/exhibits uncovered by the Honey Badger. This kind of conduct by the FBI is just one more proof to support Colonel Lang's wise observation that this institution, along with the CIA, should be burned to the ground and new institutions erected in their stead that are committed to upholding the Constitution and preserving the rights of the individual.


Flavius , 09 November 2019 at 09:26 AM

General Flynn was the National Security Advisor to the President. Among his duties he would be expected to talk with foreign officials, including Russians, perhaps especially Russians. My question is what was the predicating evidence that gave rise to opening a criminal case with Flynn as the subject at all. What was the substantive violation; and why was there a need to convene a meeting of high level Bureau official to discuss an ambush interview. What was there to talk about in this meeting? My suspicion is that they expected, or hoped, at the outset to leverage Flynn against Trump which makes the scheme worse, much worse
akaPatience -> Flavius ... , 09 November 2019 at 02:33 PM
Re: predicate - IIRC, this is where the work of the FBI/CIA "ratfucker" Stefan Halper was instrumental, having propagated the bogus claim that scholar Svetlana Lokhova was a Russian agent with whom Gen. Flynn was having a sexual relationship.
Factotum said in reply to akaPatience ... , 09 November 2019 at 06:27 PM
Dennis Prager has a taped interview with Svetlana Lokhova linked on Red State.
Flavius said in reply to akaPatience ... , 10 November 2019 at 11:29 AM
There was a simpler time when even the least accomplished FBI Agent would have known enough to ask Mr Halper for the circumstantial details as to how he acquired the news that Flynn had any relationship at all with Lokhova, let alone a sexual relationship, who told him, how did he know, why was he telling him, when, etc. The same questions should have been resolved with respect to Lokhova before entertaining a conclusion that she was a Russian Agent of some sort. Finally, even if the allegation against Flynn had been true, which had not been established, and the allegation against Lokhova had been true, which as far as I know had not been established, the Agents should have laid those cards before Flynn from the outset as the reason he was being interviewed. If during the course of the interview he became suspect of having done something illegal, he should have been told what it was and given all his rights, including the right to an attorney. If the Agents suspected he was lying in matters of such significant import that he would be charged for lying, they should have been given a specific warning that lying was a prosecutable offense. That would have been playing it down the middle. Since none of this appears to have been done, the question is why not. The leading suspicion is that the carefully considered intent was to take down Flynn by any means necessary to advance another purpose.
Hindsight Observer -> Flavius ... , 10 November 2019 at 11:18 PM
There are two separate issues: The Russian-Flynn Spying connection was established in London back in 2015. IMO using Halper as an echo-chamber for Brennan's collusion fabrications. LTG Flynn at that time was being set-up, for a retaliatory career strike(TS Clearance issues, I submit).

The Flynn Perjury case was made in Jan 17 in DC, by the Secret Society, Comey, McCabe, Yates, Strozk and the unwitting, SA Joe Pientka (hopefully). This trap was drafted by Comey, specifically to take advantage of the newly elected President's inexperienced Cabinet, the WH in-chaos. Chaos reportedly generated by a well timed Leak to the media. Which suggested that LTG Flynn had Lied to VP Pence.

This FBI leak, now had the WH in a tail spin. Given the collusion beliefs at that time, had VP Pence admitted that acting NSA Flynn, did in fact speak with the Russian Kislyak re: Sanctions. The media would've screamed, the call demonstrated Russian Collusion.

Since VP Pence stated, he did not know that NSA Flynn had discussed the Sanctions with Kislyak. The media created the image that Flynn had lied to the VP...

This was the "Pretext" which Defense Council Powell referred to. This is the opportune moment, at which Comey sprang and later bragged about. Stating publicly that he took advantage of a inexperienced Trump oval office in turmoil. Claiming he decided "Screw IT" I'll send two agents in to question Flynn.
Without going through FBI-WH protocols. Because Comey knew that protocols would alert the entire WH Staff. Making the FBI's hopes for a Perjury Trap against NSA Flynn, impossible.

Accordingly, AAG Yates and McCabe then both set the stage, with calls to WH Counsel McGahn. Where they threatened charges against Flynn under the nonexistent "1799" Logan Act. As well as suggesting that Flynn was now vulnerable to Extortion by Russian agents. Since the Russians knew he had lied to the VP.

As Powell points out, by 24JAN17, the date of the Flynn interview. The entire world, knew Flynn had Lied. Making the extortion threat rather bogus. In fact reports stated, at that time even WHC McGahn had asked either Yates or McCabe (don't recall which). Why would the FBI give a damn, what the NSA had told the VP? However the Bureau persisted and they won out. McGahn is reported to have told Flynn, that he should sit down with these two FBI agents...

Once Flynn sat down and gave a statement. FWIW, I think Andy McCabe was going to find a Flynn misstatement or create one. Sufficient to justify the 1001 charge. It appears as though McCabe took the later option and simply Created one.

Flavius said in reply to Hindsight Observer... , 11 November 2019 at 11:04 AM
Excellent summation.

My question is does some combination of incompetence and bubblethink naivete explain how at the outset they could have gone all in on the Brennan/Halper information or did they just cynically exploit the opportunity that had been manufactured in order to take it to the next level -Trump. Taking it to the next level appears to be what drove the Papadopolis case where similar procedural abuses occurred.

Don Schmeling , 09 November 2019 at 10:08 AM
Poor George Popadopoulos, also "bright, but not profoundly sophisticated.", also had lawyers who rolled over to the FBI. If you read George's book, "Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump", the methods used on Flynn sound familiar.

Since George only served two weeks, I wonder if it would be worth while for him to tackle the FBI again?

PS When the FBI says you are not "sophisticated", does that mean that they view you as easy to trick?

Thank you Mr. Johnson for your work.

Factotum , 09 November 2019 at 12:58 PM
Papadopolis signed "confession" equally odd: string of disconnected facts topped off with what appears almost to be an added "conclusion" allegedly based on these irrelevant string of factual statements that damn him into eternity as well.

Was the conclusionary" confession" added later, or was it shoved in front of him to sign as a unwitting last minute alteration to a previously agreed set of facts is pror statements he had already agreed were true? Just me, but when I read this "confession some time ago, it simply did not pass the smell test.

The signed "confession: basically appeared to be accusing Papadopolus and by extension the Trump campaign of violating the Logan Act - violating Obama's exclusive right to conduct foreign policy.

(A SCHIFF PARAPHRAse)
Yes I was in Russia
Yes, I ate pork chops for dinner
Yes. I endeavored to meet with Russian individuals
Etc - benign
Etc - benign
Confession - al of the above are true
Kicker: Final Statement I INTENTIONALLY MET WITH TOP LEVEL RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT AGENTS TO DISCUSS US FOREIGN POLICY

jjc , 09 November 2019 at 02:05 PM
Papadopoulos' "lies" rest on subjective interpretation. For instance, one of the "lies" consist of a referral to Mifsud as "a nobody". A second "lie" is based on when he officially joined the Trump campaign: George P says it was when he first went to Washington and attended a campaign meeting, while the indictment says no it was when he participated in the phone call which invited him on board (a difference of a couple of weeks). It is very very thin gruel.
walrus , 09 November 2019 at 05:14 PM
I wonder if SST is missing the bigger picture. If the evidence provided by the defence in the Flynn case is even only a partial example of the capabilities and proclivities of the FBI, then how many other poor schmucks have been convicted and jailed unjustly at the hands of this organisation?

The answer, given the size of the organisation must be : "thousands". The remedy is obvious and compelling if you want to remain something like a first world democracy.

Hindsight Observer -> walrus ... , 09 November 2019 at 07:28 PM
How many others have there been? The genesis of the USA v Flynn, was a CIA-FBI hybrid. An international Co-Intel operation, aimed at targeting Donald Trump. As such "the Case" was initiated from the top down, under the secrecy of a T/S Counter-Intelligence operation.

These are not the normal beginnings of a Criminal matter. Which originates with a filed criminal Complaint, from the ground-up.

In short all of the checks and balances our federal statutes mandate. Steps where AUSA's, Bureau ASAC's and District Judges must review and approve. Even before convening a GJ. Were intentionally overridden or perjured by a select society of the highest officials inside DoJ. As such there were no higher authorities nor any of the Higher Loyalty for Jim Comey to seek his resolution from.

That is not the normal investigative process. This was a deliberate criminal act to target an innocent man (actually several innocent men). As such IMO, the associated political pressure, all of which was self-inflicted. Was the force which brought about the criminality on the part of Comey, McCabe, et al.

So, FWIW, you don't see those levels of personal involvement in criminal investigations. The classic, where the murder victim's brother is the town Sheriff. Hence you don't see cases of innocent people being dragged off to the Dungeons. Certainly not intentionally and not in the thousands, anyway.

Factotum said in reply to Hindsight Observer... , 09 November 2019 at 08:28 PM
On another blog, a commenter claimed Flynn was going to program audit the entire IC - money spent and results obtained.

So instead of Flynn burning the agency down, they did just the opposite and got to him first. Just like Sen Schumer warned Trump: don't take on the IC, because they have six ways against Sunday to take you down.

Maybe Flynn' s alleged post-inauguration audit plans is what triggered Brennan to get Obama to secretly keep his eyes on Flynn - maybe that was the second tier secret access they wanted, not necessarily Trump himself?

Survival in DC is existential - my own in-house observation during the Watergate years.

Hindsight Observer -> Factotum... , 10 November 2019 at 12:51 AM
The reports I've read tell of a long and sorted history between LTG Flynn, John Brennan, DNI Clapper and Obama. Some of the stories did remind me of the SST suggestion to, "Burn it all down". The General also supported this idea that DoD, should be the lead agency in the IC and CA. Since must of their modern day activity, does tend to be kinetic...

So LTG Flynn has made enemies in the Obama administration, CIA and DNI.

However, IMO the far more telling issue of the depths of IC's Coup effort. Are the exploits of Halper, Mifsud, MI6-CIA link. Which began back in 2015. This gives the impression, Flynn was being targeted for career destruction. Solely as retaliation for his departure from the Obama Administration, coupled with Flynn's open opposition to policies of Obama-Brennan (Iran-Syria-Libya). This took place way before he agreed to the NSA post with President Trump.

Then there's also LTG Flynn's direct rebuttal of DDFBI Andy McCabe. Seems McCabe was involved in a Bureau OPR dust-up over sexual harassment allegations. The female SA worked CT and was an acquaintance of Gen Flynn's. Flynn then made a public statement of support for the Agent. Which was reported to have angered Andy. Sydney Powell, suggests that McCabe was overhead to have said words to the effect or, First we F--- Flynn, then we F--- Trump. During one of his 7th floor, Secret Society meetings.

Again all of this happened, before General Flynn was Candidate Trump's NSA Designee. So the Six ways to Sunday, warning does resonate re: LTG Flynn as well.

Fred -> walrus ... , 09 November 2019 at 07:32 PM
Walrus,

Lots of them (not all or most politicians), which has been a generations long complaint of African Americans.

turcopolier , 09 November 2019 at 05:27 PM
walrus

I have said repeatedly that I saw both the FBI and DoJ prosecutors railroad defendants. That is why I stopped consulting for the courts.

Dr. George W Oprisko , 09 November 2019 at 05:51 PM
In my experience in the US armed forces.... having a top secret crypto clearance...

And later.... as a federal investigator...

I distinctly remember that conversations between the White house, particularly the president and his national security chief are "top secret -- eyes only for the president"

So.....

Why did FLynn not have the Secret Service Detail arrest Sztrok and company on the spot for violating US security CFRs by knowing such conversations took place and knowing the contents thereof with out appropriate security clearances??

And......

Why does'nt Trump have the AG charge them?

INDY

blue peacock said in reply to Dr. George W Oprisko ... , 09 November 2019 at 08:19 PM
"Why did FLynn not have the Secret Service Detail arrest Sztrok and company on the spot for violating US security CFRs.."

Many things about Spygate have puzzled me. The response by Trump after becoming POTUS to all the machinations by Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Rosenstein, et al has been baffling. It is like he does not understand the powers of his office. And after he learned about the covert action action against his campaign and him, to then staff his administration with folks who were in cahoots with the putschists is frankly bizarre.

Does anyone have any explanation for the actions or inactions of Trump & Flynn?

joekowalski98 -> blue peacock... , 10 November 2019 at 11:31 AM
"Does anyone have any explanation for the actions or inactions of Trump & Flynn?"

I have no comment relative to Flynn, but, in regards to Trump, IMO, Trump is stupid.

First, a little background. I did vote for Trump. I did have an hatred for national politics ever since the Cheney "presidency". In that period, I was a dissident with a very minor voice. But, I did study, as best as I could, the Bush (Cheney) and the Obama presidency. It was reasonably clear that president's. didn't count. IMO the real power lay with: a handful of Senate leaders, the CIA, the bureaucracy, and the powerful families that controlled the major multi-national corporations, such as, Exxon Mobile. The preceding constituted a powerful oligarchy that controlled the U.S. A dictatorship of sorts.

Trump had two major objectives for his presidency: MAGA and "drain the swamp". I concurred with both objectives. After six months of the Trump presidency, and after observing his choice of appointments and his actions, I concluded that he was a high school baseball player trying to compete with the major leagues. He didn't know what he was doing (and, still doesn't).

At that time, I concluded that if Trump really wanted to install MAGA and "drain the swamp" he should have concluded way before putting his hat in the ring, that the only way to accomplish his objective was to foster a coup after becoming president. Prior to his presidency, he would had to select a team which would be his appointees and develop a plan. After becoming president, he would have to ignore Congress and put his people in place including in the DOD. The team would stay in control regardless of Congress' views.

Of course, this is a dictatorship, but is this any less obnoxious to our current oligarchs dictatorship.

Does anyone have a better solution?

Larry Johnson -> joekowalski98 ... , 10 November 2019 at 12:40 PM
You're not wrong in criticizing Trump's personnel choices and inaction. When he entered office he was warned about the SES/SIS holdovers and the need to get his own people in place. He ignored that advice and is suffering the consequences. Trump played a character on TV of being a shrewd, tough judge of talent and ability. In reality, he is a bit of a goofball.

That said, his basic policy positions are solid with respect to putting America first, enforcing immigration laws, and disengaging from the foreign adventurism that has defined US foreign policy for the last 75 years.

My hope is that he now finally recognizes the threat.

SAC Brat said in reply to Larry Johnson ... , 10 November 2019 at 07:34 PM
I prefer thinking of Donald Trump as a World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Famer as it fits the context of what we are seeing more precise. Staged drama, personality pitted against personality, all a great spectacle.

If it makes the denizens of DC fall on their fainting couches with the image all the better.

Isn't Donald Trump suffering the same problem Jimmy Carter had that as a DC outsider he isn't able hire talent and the establishment has made it clear that a position in the Trump administration is a career killer?

Factotum said in reply to joekowalski98 ... , 10 November 2019 at 01:16 PM
Democrat's politics of personal destruction made it virtually impossible for Trump to hire or appoint the requisite people for the task you described. RINO's wouldn't touch him and Democrats were hell bent for revenge at any costs.

Amazing he did as well as he has done so far - considering his election was so toxic to any possible insiders who could have offered the necessary experience to warn him where the third rails were located.

Give him another four years and full control of GOP House and Senate back - this country needs his energy and resoluteness to finally get the real work done. Patriots at every level need to apply for appointed positions.

BTW: I was a rabid no-Trumper up to election night. Then Trump became my President. I have not looked back.

blue peacock said in reply to Factotum... , 10 November 2019 at 03:45 PM
Draining the Swamp can't be accomplished by hiring within the beltway or hiring any long-term Democrat or Republican operative including members of Congress.

Trump should have recognized when he learned that his transition team was being spied on that he had to hire people who believed in his agenda and had no ties to the Swamp.

By hiring folks like Haley, Pompeo, Bolton, Coats, Rosenstein, Wray, etc and not cleaning house by firing entire swathes of the bureaucracy and then not using the powers of his office to declassify but instead passing the buck on to Rosenstein, Sessions and Barr and only tweeting witch hunt he has enabled the Swamp to run circles around him.

IMO, he is where he is because of his inability to put together a coherent team that believes in his agenda and is willing to fight the Swamp with everything thy've got.

cali said in reply to joekowalski98 ... , 11 November 2019 at 07:42 AM
@joekovalski98: Pres. Trump came into office being very familiar with the intelligence operation against him.
Enter Admiral (ret) Mike Rogers who travelled secretly without approval by Clapper to brief the president of the spy operation.

Trump immediately move his administration to NJ.

Rogers and Flynn go back many years as Rogers was a protégé of Flynn. They both extensively informed president Trump.

"Drain the swamp" is en-route carried out partially by our military and Flynn's former DIA.

The stage was set and president Trump kept the left distracted via twitter while the operation is underway between our military, white hats and their allies abroad.

Mifsud was arrested by the Italian intelligence agents 3 days ago and brought back to Rome.

Trump is a long way from stupid - he has so far managed via twitter and his orthodox ways for the deep state to unmask themselves. Hiring enemies at times is a way to confuse those that try to destroy you.

"The Art of War" by Sun Tzu is Trump's methods.

Hindsight Observer -> cali... , 11 November 2019 at 10:30 AM
Mifsud's arrest could be key to unraveling or should I say, the Unmasking of. Rather large amounts of fraudulent intelligence that was laundered through the FISA Warrant Application process.

The AG reportedly now has Mifsud's Cellphones (2), which coupled with Mifsud's interview statements, if not his direct cooperation. Should reveal the CIA and/or SA Strozk, were responsible for providing Mifsud with the false Intelligence. Which he then fed into their Warrant Apps, through the person of George Papadopoulos.

Which in turn, could establish that Mifsud was never the alleged Russian Agent linked to Putin. But rather a western intelligence asset, linked to Brennan. Thus destroying the obvious Defensive strategy of Brennan, Comey and McCabe. Specifically the vaunted, "Hey who knew the intelligence was bad? I was just doing my JOB!

Certainly hope the reports are accurate...

Hindsight Observer -> Dr. George W Oprisko ... , 09 November 2019 at 08:54 PM
I believe it was because the FBI was intentionally lying about their authority to monitor the Flynn-Kysliak conversation. Claiming they were not monitoring the WH, rather they were monitoring the Russian Ambassador and LTG Flynn was merely, Caught-up in that conversation. Which at the time, was a good-enough-story. But recent disclosures seem to prove the 2 Agents along with Comey, McCabe as well as AAG Sally Yates. All knew at the time of their "Pretext" was establishing a Perjury Trap for the new NSA.
Factotum , 09 November 2019 at 06:25 PM
What set Brennan's hair on fire that instigated Brennan's secret memo to Obama who in turn created and authorized this multi-nation, IC secret surveillance and entrapment operation?

When will we learn why Samantha Powers demanded hundreds of FISA unmasking requests during the final hours of the Obama administration, after the election but before before the inauguration of Donald J Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America.

Why have Joseph Mifsud and Crowdstrike, yet again, disappeared from media interest.

fanto said in reply to Factotum... , 09 November 2019 at 10:05 PM
Why oh why, certain persons disappear from media interest? Why for example, did Ghislaine Maxwell disappear from media? Is she not involved in lawsuits? Do courts not know where she is now? The all-knowing Wikipedia English - does not know (as of today, I checked). The answer to all these troubling questions is in the comments to the Colonels piece on John Hannah. Am I becoming paranoid perhaps.?
Factotum said in reply to fanto... , 10 November 2019 at 12:42 AM
If the media continues endlessly about the Ukraine phone call, the quid pro quo yet fails to mention Crowdstrike "favor" in the same article, something is fishy. The phone call story did not drop out of sight; just a very salient detail. In fact the substance of the phone call is the story- and what Democrats are calling grounds for impeachment. Yet NO mention of the Crowdstrike favor. I find this odd. Don't you?
jd hawkins said in reply to fanto... , 10 November 2019 at 02:31 AM
Not paranoia if it's true!
Hindsight Observer , 09 November 2019 at 08:44 PM
Under the caption, "Nobody does it better" this explanation from Defense Counsel Powell's 04NOV19 Filing, pg 3 para 2

"The government has known since prior to January 24, 2017, that it intended to target Mr. Flynn for federal prosecution. That is why the entire investigation" of him was created at least as early as summer 2016 and pursued despite the absence of a legitimate basis. That is why Peter Strzok texted Lisa Page on January 10, 2017: "Sitting with Bill watching CNN. A TON more out. .

We're discussing whether, now that this is out, we can use it as a pretext to go interview some people." 3 The word "pretext" is key. Thinking he was communicating secretly only with his paramour before their illicit relationship and extreme bias were revealed to the world, Strzok let the cat out of the bag as to what the FBI was up to. Try as he might, Mr. Van Grack cannot stuff that cat back into that bag.4

Former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe as much as admitted the FBI's intent to set up Mr. Flynn on a criminal false statement charge from the get-go. On Dec. 19, 2017, McCabe told the House Intelligence Committee in sworn testimony: "[T]he conundrum that we faced on their return from the interview is that although [the agents] didn't detect deception in the statements that he made in the interview . . . the statements were inconsistent with our understanding of the conversation that he had actually had with the ambassador."

McCabe proceeded to admit to the Committee that "the two people who interviewed [Flynn] didn't think he was lying, [which] was not [a] great beginning of a false statement case." Ex. 1.
_____________
What's the saying? "Not much ambiguity there?"

Factotum , 10 November 2019 at 01:46 AM
Finally, on Nov 9, 2029 American Thinker in an article about Nancy Pelosi attempts at damage control, someone in the media actually mentions Crowdstrike and the alleged " DNChacking"

........ "CrowdStrike, the cyber-security company that is involved in all this over and over again, is a an American company founded by a Ukrainian, Dmitri Alperovitch, who is extremely anti-Russia and who delights in implicating Russia in the DNC hacking event that probably did not happen......"

Read more: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/11/is_pelosi_finally_sick_of_the_terrible_damage_schiff_is_doing_to_her_party.html#ixzz64r2Sctrw
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

[Nov 13, 2019] Trump will leave, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain

This is why the Deep State is called the Deep state. It is permanent
Nov 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

Biff , says: November 7, 2019 at 6:58 am GMT

Trump will leave power, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain.

Something the stupid voters never seem to realize – the permanent government doesn't give a rats ass about democracy, freedom, human rights, security, your dog, your property, and most of all – your integrity.
"Fuck you stupid voters – now go elect another moron – we've got governments to overthrow"

anonymous [128] Disclaimer , says: November 7, 2019 at 8:44 am GMT
" The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes."

As are the Republican establishment and even such faux dissidents as Andrew Napolitano and Patrick Buchanan in columns easily found here on The Unz Review.

Exceptionalia needs enemies to keep the sheep herded when the Red v Blue politics and increasingly absurd culture skirmishes aren't sufficiently distracting.

mark green , says: November 7, 2019 at 9:07 am GMT
Excellent summation of the current predicament involving Trump and his ruthless foes. The greatest and most ridiculous 'conspiracy theory' of all is Russiagate itself–yet this politicized hoax is not being allowed to die a natural death; thus the Demorat impeachment inquiry.

So now we have entered Stage Two of this toxic and unnecessary melodrama. We can thank the partisan, biased and subversive 'mainstream' media for this downward step.

Ironically, the media's rank dishonesty is turning Trump into a heroic figure. This is poetic justice.

Haven't our media overlords heard?–the Soviet Union is dead.

In its place is Christian Russia. So why the enmity?

Might these lingering tensions have more than a little to do with Putin's stubborn alliance with Syria and Iran? It sure looks that way.

It must be noted that Israel remains deeply disturbed over the Russia-Iran-Syria federation. But that's Israel's problem. America is not burdened by those historic antagonisms, regional rivalries, or security concerns. Americans should therefore be relieved. Only we're not allowed to be.

The Zionist state has deviously entwined its security interests with America's. Israel and Zio-America have been artificially conjoined at the political hip. Didn't you hear?

This political union is good for the Jews. The Americans?–less so. Far less.

Unless we can extricate ourselves, this unnatural 'partnership' may end in a cataclysm

Realist , says: November 7, 2019 at 1:55 pm GMT
@Biff

Something the stupid voters never seem to realize – the permanent government doesn't give a rats ass about democracy, freedom, human rights, security, your dog, your property, and most of all – your integrity.

The Deep State doesn't care about the unimportant internecine squabbles of the 'two parties' as long as their important issues are maintained. As a matter of fact it strengthens the false perception that there is a choice when voting.

Trump and the Deep State do not care what the American people want. They know that most American people are inane fools and will believe anything. Most Americans would rather watch America's Got Talent or Dancing With The Stars than be informed about important issues.

peter mcloughlin , says: November 7, 2019 at 1:58 pm GMT
I think if President Trump was faced with a Cuban Missile Crisis situation the outcome could be very different to the first time. On that occasion the two superpowers, despite coming close to open war, were able to contain and de-escalate. The conditions are very different today. As Professor Cohen says," The current state of US-Russian relations is unprecedentedly dangerous, not only due to reasons cited here -- a new Cold War fraught with the possibility of hot war." In this context it is essential the president is "fully empowered to cope with the multiple possibilities of a US-Russian military confrontation."
One problem is that the original Cold War was the peace, a post-world war environment: today we are in pre-world war environment. There is a dangerous misconception that a Cold War sequel will have the same peaceful ending. The world has experienced periods of peace (or relative peace) throughout history. The Thirty Years Peace between the two Peloponnesian Wars, Pax Romana, Europe in the 19th century after the Congress of Vienna, to name a few. The Congress System finally collapsed in 1914 with the start of World War One. That conflict was followed by the League of Nations. It did not stop World War Two. That was followed by the United Nations and other post-war institutions. But all the indications are they will not prevent a third world war.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/
Tsar Bomba 38-56-47 N, 77-9-32 W , says: November 7, 2019 at 2:10 pm GMT
"The New York Times seem eager to delegitimize the investigation by Attorney General William Barr and his appointed special investigator John Durham."

Ya know, the investigation would be a lot harder to delegitimize if it the guys doing it didn't whitewash Iran/Contra, like Barr, or systematic and widespread CIA torture, like Durham. You put lifelong CIA whores hot on the trail of illegal CIA domestic operations against political enemies? Come on. Nobody with a 3-digit IQ can keep a straight face.

You want this shit to stop? Then do to Langley what the Germans did to their Stasi. CIA investigation of CIA crimes do not pass the laff test anymore.

Wilberweld , says: November 7, 2019 at 2:11 pm GMT
Trump's problem was described in simple terms by John Connelly when talking with Henry Kissinger. "Henry", he said, "In Washington you are judged by the men you've destroyed". Trump has not destroyed anyone, not Comey, not Brennan, not Clapper. So he is viewed as weak, an easy target. So they just keep piling on. Attacking Trump is viewed as a "penalty-free activity
Norm Corin , says: November 7, 2019 at 3:18 pm GMT
@renfro Rand Paul, and possibly Bernie Sanders, are not honorable -- sufficiently honorable -- to propose if not accomplish this?
A123 , says: November 7, 2019 at 3:53 pm GMT

Russia's new "hyper-sonic" missiles, which can elude US missile-defense systems, make new nuclear arms negotiations with Moscow imperative and urgent. If only for the sake of his legacy, Trump is likely to want to do so

This makes little sense. Russia and the U.S. are not enemies, and are potentially allies. Why would a U.S.-Russia treaty be desirable? The U.S. wants to help Russia defend its South western border against dangerous nations, such as Turkey & Iran.

A U.S.-China treaty would be helpful, but China is unlikely to accept anything that might interfere with their colonial ambitions.
____

Also, the author is likely overestimating Russia's technical prowess. Does anyone remember the recent incident the Russians had with their nuclear powered "Skyfall" cruise missile? (1)

The mysterious explosion on August 8 at the Russian navy's range in Nyonoksa killed seven and spurred fears that Russia was testing its nuclear-powered Burevestnik missile, also known by the NATO codename 'Skyfall.' But U.S. intelligence indicates the fatal explosion occurred as Russia attempted to salvage a downed Skyfall missile from the ocean floor,

Russia has reportedly conducted five unsuccessful tests of Skyfall since November 2017, all resulting in loss of control and crashes. The longest test lasted for two minutes with the missile flying 22 miles, and the shortest lasted four seconds and five miles.

PEACE
_______

(1) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7409607/Russias-Skyfall-nuclear-cruise-missile-explosion-happened-salvage-mission-intel.html

follyofwar , says: November 7, 2019 at 9:40 pm GMT
@Giuseppe I'm a huge fan of Stephen Cohen's, but, with bi-partisanship dead, his calling for a new Church commission is pie-in-the-sky. Nothing good can happen until this impeachment farce is over.

In fact, I'd say that Barr and Durham better hurry up and indict someone. There is less than a year left before the next election, which only leaves a few weeks this year, and the first few months in 2020. Once there's like 3-4 months to go before the election it will be too late. And, BTW, where is the long-awaited IG Horowitz's report? Tick Tock guys.

Hail , says: Website November 7, 2019 at 11:21 pm GMT
@Peter Akuleyev

The fastest growing religion in Russia is Islam.

We've been hearing that for a long time, but one thing to remember is: Islam is a foreign(ers')-identity in Russia. It won't be taking over the political center in Russia anytime soon, nor getting any European-Russian converts.

Stochastic Determinist , says: November 8, 2019 at 6:22 am GMT
@Dan Hayes Russia hadn't seized anything. The Black Sea Fleet had always been stationed there. After the Ukrainian government proposed outlawing the Russian language and ethnic Ukrainians attacked the Crimean parliament, Crimeans, the vast majority of whom are ethnic Russians, moved to hold a referendum.
James N. Kennett , says: November 8, 2019 at 6:42 am GMT
@Giuseppe

As I have also argued repeatedly, a new Church Committee is urgently needed. It's time for honorable members of the Senate of both parties to do their duty.

The CIA activities restricted by the Church Committee never stopped. They continued "off the books", financed by drug trafficking, illegal arms sales, and (especially) by kickbacks from legitimate but overpriced arms contracts with Saudi Arabia. The close relationship with the Saudi royal family raises awkward questions about who this part of the CIA is really working for.

A new Church Committee would only be able to investigate the parts of the CIA that it can see. It is probably impossible for the US government to control the "off-books" parts of the CIA.

refl , says: November 8, 2019 at 6:59 am GMT

Here too there is an inconvenient truth: To the extent that Democrats any longer seriously discuss national security in the context of US-Russian relations, it mostly involves vilifying both Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. (Recall also that previous presidents were free to negotiate with Russia's Soviet communist leaders, even encouraged to do so, whereas the demonized Putin is an anti-communist, post-Soviet leader.)

Maybe, the fallacy is to think that Democrats were ever opposed to communism. As one can learn around here, WWII was the joint venture to destroy european national cultures and force them under globalist domination. The Roosevelt administration did about everything to strengthen communism. The current Russian leadership is as sanely nationalist as it gets. Possibly, that is the problem?

What struck me first, before I woke up, was that the ultimate accusation against Russia – before the Ukraine affair started – was that they were said to be homophopbic. While this can be a fault in the eyes of a dedicated liberal, to anyone who has lived through the Cold War, that accusation was outlandishly irrelevant.
The problem that liberal globalists have with Russia is exactly their sanity. Saying this, I do not want to insinuate that Republicans are sane, just for the record. They are the other side of the coin in the big charade.

GMC , says: November 8, 2019 at 7:09 am GMT
The Bolsheviks in Russia told everyone that they were a Political Party – just like the Communists Party etc. The Democrats and Republicans say the same thing , but they are more Bolshevik than any American wants to admit. The Wars, the Police state, the original European, African, Native American societies being destroyed is not the best example – if you are pushing for a NWO. It has failed but they are taking down as many as they can – along with their evil Order. This should one of the highest priority, of most writers today. Thanks Unz Rev.
Ilya G Poimandres , says: November 8, 2019 at 7:09 am GMT
@Dan Hayes From which entity? The country – existing as a unity upon the foundation of a constitution, known as Ukraine – stopped being that entity when a bunch of people toppled a constitutionally mandated government with an unconstitutional coup.

You demand peoples and regions of the former Ukraine remain united? Under what unifying law? The constitution? But the Maidan people tore it apart to get into power. Why would those that take the other side of the debate agree to be governed by law they know their opposition has already, and will again, trod on?

Practically speaking, Ukraine after Maidan is not the same entity as Ukraine before, as there is no social contract left that everyone is willing to be bound by.

Crimea being autonomous, had more freedom than the rest to jump ship, and so they did. But any region can now go, because anyone saying 'but the Constitution bans secession', forget that the people who speak this within Ukraine are those exact same people who tore the Constitution apart.

But don't think it'a just political entities such as Crimea that migrated to Russia of their own wills (as the UN Charter demands), millions of labourers have left for Russia from the remaining entity too, and there was no Putin there at each of their houses, giving personal pep talks over tea about how Russia is better, and how they should migrate accross the border. People chose with their own feet.

Here's a question – if tomorrow a bunch of gunmen threw out congress, the judiciary, and the executive from Washington DC, and replaced them with their own – would you consider that the individual states were then still bound to the federal government through the Constitution? Would you demand honour from one side, knowing fullwell that the other side is dishonourable?

S , says: November 8, 2019 at 7:59 am GMT

Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor.

What's seemingly bizarre is that these modern day Dems with their 'Russiagate' obsession are the very same people who not so many years back would eat up a 1966 movie like 'The Russians Are Coming, the Russians are Coming', with it's message that the Soviet Union along with its Communism was perfectly innocuous (just a laugh really), and the Cold War itself was all a big joke, and pay to see it multiple times.

It's not so bizarre, though, as there is an underlining continuity in all this, then and now.

They hate the organic Russian people and their culture, then and now. That hasn't changed.

A USSR of the past with the Russian people safely subjugated/crushed under Soviet Communism, they like and are okay with.

A Russian Federation where the Russian people appear to have moved away from Communism they don't like. That's dangerous.

Russians shouldn't necessarily feel too bad though about this as they are not the only people so hated. These sorts hate most peoples which attempt to express their physical and cultural identity, often even their own at times.

There's a hatred for most all of humanity there which stems from an underlying self hatred with these types.

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

Nov 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

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

[Nov 13, 2019] The CONCORD MANAGEMENT CONSULTING LLC (Internet Research Agency) trial is getting weird.

Nov 13, 2019 | www.courtlistener.com
The CONCORD MANAGEMENT & CONSULTING LLC (Internet Research Agency) trial is getting weird.

This (one page) Order, dated October 25, was filed on November 8:

https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.dcd.193580/gov.uscourts.dcd.193580.239.0_1.pdf

The main page for the trial is here:
https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6386795/united-states-v-internet-research-agency-llc/?filed_after=&filed_before=&entry_gte=&entry_lte=&order

[Nov 12, 2019] Understanding What Sidney Powell is Doing to Kill the Case Against Michael Flynn by Larry C Johnson - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Nov 12, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Understanding What Sidney Powell is Doing to Kill the Case Against Michael Flynn by Larry C Johnson Larry Johnson-5x7

Sidney Powell, General Michael Flynn's magnificent lawyer, is in the process of destroying the bogus case that Robert Mueller and his gang of legal thugs tried to sneak past appropriate judicial review. To help you understand what she is doing we must first go back and review the indictment of Flynn and then look at what Ms. Powell, aka Honey Badger, has forced the prosecutors to admit.

Here are the nuts and bolts of the indictment

On or about January 24, 2017, defendant MICHAEL T. FLYNN did willfully and knowingly make materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations . . . to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that:

(i) On or about December 29, 2016, FLYNN did not ask the Government of Russia's Ambassador to the United States ("Russian Ambassador") to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia that same day; and FLYNN did not recall the Russian Ambassador subsequently telling him that Russia had chosen to moderate its response to those sanctions as a result of his request.

(ii) On or about December 22, 2016, FLYNN did not ask the Russian Ambassador to delay the vote on or defeat a pending United Nations Security Council resolution; and that the Russian Ambassador subsequently never described_to FLYNN Russia's response to his request.

Let me make a couple of observations before we dig into the notes and the 302 that FBI Agents Strzok and Pientka wrote up during and following their interview of Michael Flynn on January 24, 2017. First, Michael Flynn did nothing wrong or inappropriate in speaking to Russia's Ambassador Kislyak. He was doing his job as an incoming National Security Advisor to President Trump. Second, not "recalling" what Ambassador Kislyak said (or did not say) on 22 December is not lying. Third, even if Flynn did ask the Russian Ambassador on the 29th of December to "refrain from escalating the situation" in response to the U.S. sanctions imposed by Barack Hussein Obama, there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, that is wise counsel intended to defuse a situation.

Now, here is where the FBI, especially Agents Strzok and Pientka, are in so much trouble. The day prior to the "interview" of General Flynn the FBI plotters met to discuss strategy. According to Sidney Powell:

January 23, the day before the interview, the upper echelon of the FBI met to orchestrate it all. Deputy Director McCabe, General Counsel James Baker, , Lisa Page, Strzok, David Bowdich, Trish Anderson, and Jen Boone strategized to talk with Mr. Flynn in such a way as to keep from alerting him from understanding that he was being interviewed in a criminal investigation of which he was the target. (Ex.12). Knowing they had no basis for an investigation,6 they deliberately decided not to notify DOJ for fear DOJ officials would follow protocol and notify White House Counsel.

Peter Strzok was interviewed on 19 July 2017 by the FBI and, according to his affidavit, pretended that he was asked on the 24th of January 2017 to interview General Flynn. He implied this was a last minute request. But as noted in the preceding paragraph, which is based on an interview of Strzok's mistress, Lisa Page, a meeting took place the day before to orchestrate the ambush of General Flynn.

What is truly remarkable is that Peter Strzok stated the following, which exonerates Flynn of the charges in the indictment cited above:

Strzok and Pientka both had the impression at the time that Flynn was not lying or did not think he was lying. Flynn struck Strzok as "bright, but not profoundly sophisticated."

The fact that the FBI Agents Strzok and Pientka did not to show General Flynn the transcript of his calls to refresh his recollection, nor did they confront him directly if he did not remember, exposes this plot as a contrived scenario to entrap Michael Flynn rather than a legitimate, legally founded investigation.

In fact, as noted by Sidney Powell, "the FBI and DOJ wrote an internal memo dated January 30, 2017, exonerating Mr. Flynn of acting as an "agent of Russia;" and, they all knew there was no Logan Act violation."

But the malfeasance and misconduct of the FBI continued with the manipulation of the 302. " A FD-302 form is used by FBI agents to "report or summarize the interviews that they conduct"[3][4] and contains information from the notes taken during the interview by the non-primary agent."

The notes taken by Agents Strzok and Pientka during their interview of Michael Flynn are damning for the FBI. These notes are Exhibits 9 and 10 in the sur sureply filed by Sidney Powell on 1 November 2019. (I wrote recently on the fact that the FBI/DOJ mislabeled the notes from this interview--see here). Neither Strzok nor Pientka recorded any observation that Flynn lied about his contacts with Kislyak. Neither wrote down anything supporting the indictment by the Mueller crowd that "Flynn lied." To the contrary, Strzok swore under oath that he did not believe Flynn was lying.

The real problem for the Government's fraudulent case against Flynn are the 302s. There should only be one 302. Not at least four versions. The FBI protocol is to enter the 302 into the FBI Sentinel system within five days of the interview. In other words, the original 302 should have been put on the record on the 29th of January. But that original 302 is MISSING. The prosecutors claim they cannot find it.

But the prosecutors finally did provide the defense, after repeated requests, multiple copies of 302s. They dated as follows--10 February 2017, 11 February 2017. 14 February 2017 and 15 February 2017. WTF??? This alone is prima facie evidence that something crooked was afoot.

The final 302--dated 15 February 2017--painted General Flynn in the worst possible light. The "facts" of this 302 are not supported by the notes taken by Agents Strzok and Pientka. The conclusion is simple--the FBI fabricated a case against General Flynn. We now wait to see if Judge Sullivan will acknowledge this crooked conduct and exonerate the good General. Justice demands it.

These are not my facts. They are the facts based on documents submitted on the record to Judge Sullivan. I find it shocking that no journalist has had the energy or interest to cover this. Just one more reminder of the putrid state of journalism and investigative reporting. The charges levied against General Flynn by the Mueller prosecutors are without foundation. That is the stark conclusion facing any honest reader of the documents/exhibits uncovered by the Honey Badger. This kind of conduct by the FBI is just one more proof to support Colonel Lang's wise observation that this institution, along with the CIA, should be burned to the ground and new institutions erected in their stead that are committed to upholding the Constitution and preserving the rights of the individual.

Posted at 08:41 AM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink

Reblog (0) Comments


Flavius , 09 November 2019 at 09:26 AM

General Flynn was the National Security Advisor to the President. Among his duties he would be expected to talk with foreign officials, including Russians, perhaps especially Russians. My question is what was the predicating evidence that gave rise to opening a criminal case with Flynn as the subject at all. What was the substantive violation; and why was there a need to convene a meeting of high level Bureau official to discuss an ambush interview. What was there to talk about in this meeting? My suspicion is that they expected, or hoped, at the outset to leverage Flynn against Trump which makes the scheme worse, much worse
akaPatience -> Flavius ... , 09 November 2019 at 02:33 PM
Re: predicate - IIRC, this is where the work of the FBI/CIA "ratfucker" Stefan Halper was instrumental, having propagated the bogus claim that scholar Svetlana Lokhova was a Russian agent with whom Gen. Flynn was having a sexual relationship.
Factotum said in reply to akaPatience ... , 09 November 2019 at 06:27 PM
Dennis Prager has a taped interview with Svetlana Lokhova linked on Red State.
Flavius said in reply to akaPatience ... , 10 November 2019 at 11:29 AM
There was a simpler time when even the least accomplished FBI Agent would have known enough to ask Mr Halper for the circumstantial details as to how he acquired the news that Flynn had any relationship at all with Lokhova, let alone a sexual relationship, who told him, how did he know, why was he telling him, when, etc. The same questions should have been resolved with respect to Lokhova before entertaining a conclusion that she was a Russian Agent of some sort. Finally, even if the allegation against Flynn had been true, which had not been established, and the allegation against Lokhova had been true, which as far as I know had not been established, the Agents should have laid those cards before Flynn from the outset as the reason he was being interviewed. If during the course of the interview he became suspect of having done something illegal, he should have been told what it was and given all his rights, including the right to an attorney. If the Agents suspected he was lying in matters of such significant import that he would be charged for lying, they should have been given a specific warning that lying was a prosecutable offense. That would have been playing it down the middle. Since none of this appears to have been done, the question is why not. The leading suspicion is that the carefully considered intent was to take down Flynn by any means necessary to advance another purpose.
Hindsight Observer -> Flavius ... , 10 November 2019 at 11:18 PM
There are two separate issues: The Russian-Flynn Spying connection was established in London back in 2015. IMO using Halper as an echo-chamber for Brennan's collusion fabrications. LTG Flynn at that time was being set-up, for a retaliatory career strike(TS Clearance issues, I submit).

The Flynn Perjury case was made in Jan 17 in DC, by the Secret Society, Comey, McCabe, Yates, Strozk and the unwitting, SA Joe Pientka (hopefully). This trap was drafted by Comey, specifically to take advantage of the newly elected President's inexperienced Cabinet, the WH in-chaos. Chaos reportedly generated by a well timed Leak to the media. Which suggested that LTG Flynn had Lied to VP Pence.
This FBI leak, now had the WH in a tail spin. Given the collusion beliefs at that time, had VP Pence admitted that acting NSA Flynn, did in fact speak with the Russian Kislyak re: Sanctions. The media would've screamed, the call demonstrated Russian Collusion.

Since VP Pence stated, he did not know that NSA Flynn had discussed the Sanctions with Kislyak. The media created the image that Flynn had lied to the VP...

This was the "Pretext" which Defense Council Powell referred to. This is the opportune moment, at which Comey sprang and later bragged about. Stating publicly that he took advantage of a inexperienced Trump oval office in turmoil. Claiming he decided "Screw IT" I'll send two agents in to question Flynn.
Without going through FBI-WH protocols. Because Comey knew that protocols would alert the entire WH Staff. Making the FBI's hopes for a Perjury Trap against NSA Flynn, impossible.

Accordingly, AAG Yates and McCabe then both set the stage, with calls to WH Counsel McGahn. Where they threatened charges against Flynn under the nonexistent "1799" Logan Act. As well as suggesting that Flynn was now vulnerable to Extortion by Russian agents. Since the Russians knew he had lied to the VP.

As Powell points out, by 24JAN17, the date of the Flynn interview. The entire world, knew Flynn had Lied. Making the extortion threat rather bogus. In fact reports stated, at that time even WHC McGahn had asked either Yates or McCabe (don't recall which). Why would the FBI give a damn, what the NSA had told the VP? However the Bureau persisted and they won out. McGahn is reported to have told Flynn, that he should sit down with these two FBI agents...

Once Flynn sat down and gave a statement. FWIW, I think Andy McCabe was going to find a Flynn misstatement or create one. Sufficient to justify the 1001 charge. It appears as though McCabe took the later option and simply Created one.

Flavius said in reply to Hindsight Observer... , 11 November 2019 at 11:04 AM
Excellent summation.
My question is does some combination of incompetence and bubblethink naivete explain how at the outset they could have gone all in on the Brennan/Halper information or did they just cynically exploit the opportunity that had been manufactured in order to take it to the next level -Trump. Taking it to the next level appears to be what drove the Papadopolis case where similar procedural abuses occurred.
Don Schmeling , 09 November 2019 at 10:08 AM
Poor George Popadopoulos, also "bright, but not profoundly sophisticated.", also had lawyers who rolled over to the FBI.

If you read George's book, "Deep State Target: How I Got Caught in the Crosshairs of the Plot to Bring Down President Trump", the methods used on Flynn sound familiar.

Since George only served two weeks, I wonder if it would be worth while for him to tackle the FBI again?

PS When the FBI says you are not "sophisticated", does that mean that they view you as easy to trick?

Thank you Mr. Johnson for your work.

Factotum , 09 November 2019 at 12:58 PM
Papadopolis signed "confession" equally odd: string of disconnected facts topped off with what appears almost to be an added "conclusion" allegedly based on these irrelevant string of factual statements that damn him into eternity as well.

Was the conclusionary" confession" added later, or was it shoved in front of him to sign as a unwitting last minute alteration to a previously agreed set of facts is pror statements he had already agreed were true? Just me, but when I read this "confession some time ago, it simply did not pass the smell test.

The signed "confession: basically appeared to be accusing Papadopolus and by extension the Trump campaign of violating the Logan Act - violating Obama's exclusive right to conduct foreign policy.

(A SCHIFF PARAPHRAse)
Yes I was in Russia
Yes, I ate pork chops for dinner
Yes. I endeavored to meet with Russian individuals
Etc - benign
Etc - benign
Confession - al of the above are true
Kicker: Final Statement I INTENTIONALLY MET WITH TOP LEVEL RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT AGENTS TO DISCUSS US FOREIGN POLICY

jjc , 09 November 2019 at 02:05 PM
Papadopoulos' "lies" rest on subjective interpretation. For instance, one of the "lies" consist of a referral to Mifsud as "a nobody". A second "lie" is based on when he officially joined the Trump campaign: George P says it was when he first went to Washington and attended a campaign meeting, while the indictment says no it was when he participated in the phone call which invited him on board (a difference of a couple of weeks). It is very very thin gruel.
walrus , 09 November 2019 at 05:14 PM
I wonder if SST is missing the bigger picture.

If the evidence provided by the defence in the Flynn case is even only a partial example of the capabilities and proclivities of the FBI, then how many other poor schmucks have been convicted and jailed unjustly at the hands of this organisation?

The answer, given the size of the organisation must be : "thousands". The remedy is obvious and compelling if you want to remain something like a first world democracy.

Hindsight Observer -> walrus ... , 09 November 2019 at 07:28 PM
How many others have there been? The genesis of the USA v Flynn, was a CIA-FBI hybrid. An international Co-Intel operation, aimed at targeting Donald Trump. As such "the Case" was initiated from the top down, under the secrecy of a T/S Counter-Intelligence operation.

These are not the normal beginnings of a Criminal matter. Which originates with a filed criminal Complaint, from the ground-up.

In short all of the checks and balances our federal statutes mandate. Steps where AUSA's, Bureau ASAC's and District Judges must review and approve. Even before convening a GJ. Were intentionally overridden or perjured by a select society of the highest officials inside DoJ. As such there were no higher authorities nor any of the Higher Loyalty for Jim Comey to seek his resolution from.

That is not the normal investigative process. This was a deliberate criminal act to target an innocent man (actually several innocent men). As such IMO, the associated political pressure, all of which was self-inflicted. Was the force which brought about the criminality on the part of Comey, McCabe, et al.

So, FWIW, you don't see those levels of personal involvement in criminal investigations. The classic, where the murder victim's brother is the town Sheriff. Hence you don't see cases of innocent people being dragged off to the Dungeons. Certainly not intentionally and not in the thousands, anyway.

Factotum said in reply to Hindsight Observer... , 09 November 2019 at 08:28 PM
On another blog, a commenter claimed Flynn was going to program audit the entire IC - money spent and results obtained.

So instead of Flynn burning the agency down, they did just the opposite and got to him first. Just like Sen Schumer warned Trump: don't take on the IC, because they have six ways against Sunday to take you down.

Maybe Flynn' s alleged post-inauguration audit plans is what triggered Brennan to get Obama to secretly keep his eyes on Flynn - maybe that was the second tier secret access they wanted, not necessarily Trump himself?

Survival in DC is existential - my own in-house observation during the Watergate years.

Hindsight Observer -> Factotum... , 10 November 2019 at 12:51 AM
The reports I've read tell of a long and sorted history between LTG Flynn, John Brennan, DNI Clapper and Obama. Some of the stories did remind me of the SST suggestion to, "Burn it all down". The General also supported this idea that DoD, should be the lead agency in the IC and CA. Since must of their modern day activity, does tend to be kinetic...

So LTG Flynn has made enemies in the Obama administration, CIA and DNI.

However, IMO the far more telling issue of the depths of IC's Coup effort. Are the exploits of Halper, Mifsud, MI6-CIA link. Which began back in 2015. This gives the impression, Flynn was being targeted for career destruction. Solely as retaliation for his departure from the Obama Administration, coupled with Flynn's open opposition to policies of Obama-Brennan (Iran-Syria-Libya). This took place way before he agreed to the NSA post with President Trump.

Then there's also LTG Flynn's direct rebuttal of DDFBI Andy McCabe. Seems McCabe was involved in a Bureau OPR dust-up over sexual harassment allegations. The female SA worked CT and was an acquaintance of Gen Flynn's. Flynn then made a public statement of support for the Agent. Which was reported to have angered Andy. Sydney Powell, suggests that McCabe was overhead to have said words to the effect or, First we F--- Flynn, then we F--- Trump. During one of his 7th floor, Secret Society meetings.

Again all of this happened, before General Flynn was Candidate Trump's NSA Designee. So the Six ways to Sunday, warning does resonate re: LTG Flynn as well.

Fred -> walrus ... , 09 November 2019 at 07:32 PM
Walrus,

Lots of them (not all or most politicians), which has been a generations long complaint of African Americans.

turcopolier , 09 November 2019 at 05:27 PM
walrus

I have said repeatedly that I saw both the FBI and DoJ prosecutors railroad defendants. That is why I stopped consulting for the courts.

Dr. George W Oprisko , 09 November 2019 at 05:51 PM
In my experience in the US armed forces.... having a top secret crypto clearance...

And later.... as a federal investigator...

I distinctly remember that conversations between the White house, particularly the president and his national security chief are "top secret -- eyes only for the president"

So.....

Why did FLynn not have the Secret Service Detail arrest Sztrok and company on the spot for violating US security CFRs by knowing such conversations took place and knowing the contents thereof with out appropriate security clearances??

And......

Why does'nt Trump have the AG charge them?

INDY

blue peacock said in reply to Dr. George W Oprisko ... , 09 November 2019 at 08:19 PM
"Why did FLynn not have the Secret Service Detail arrest Sztrok and company on the spot for violating US security CFRs.."

Many things about Spygate have puzzled me. The response by Trump after becoming POTUS to all the machinations by Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Rosenstein, et al has been baffling. It is like he does not understand the powers of his office. And after he learned about the covert action action against his campaign and him, to then staff his administration with folks who were in cahoots with the putschists is frankly bizarre.

Does anyone have any explanation for the actions or inactions of Trump & Flynn?

joekowalski98 -> blue peacock... , 10 November 2019 at 11:31 AM
"Does anyone have any explanation for the actions or inactions of Trump & Flynn?"

I have no comment relative to Flynn, but, in regards to Trump, IMO, Trump is stupid.

First, a little background. I did vote for Trump. I did have an hatred for national politics ever since the Cheney "presidency". In that period, I was a dissident with a very minor voice. But, I did study, as best as I could, the Bush (Cheney) and the Obama presidency. It was reasonably clear that president's. didn't count. IMO the real power lay with: a handful of Senate leaders, the CIA, the bureaucracy, and the powerful families that controlled the major multi-national corporations, such as, Exxon Mobile. The preceding constituted a powerful oligarchy that controlled the U.S. A dictatorship of sorts.

Trump had two major objectives for his presidency: MAGA and "drain the swamp". I concurred with both objectives. After six months of the Trump presidency, and after observing his choice of appointments and his actions, I concluded that he was a high school baseball player trying to compete with the major leagues. He didn't know what he was doing (and, still doesn't).

At that time, I concluded that if Trump really wanted to install MAGA and "drain the swamp" he should have concluded way before putting his hat in the ring, that the only way to accomplish his objective was to foster a coup after becoming president. Prior to his presidency, he would had to select a team which would be his appointees and develop a plan. After becoming president, he would have to ignore Congress and put his people in place including in the DOD. The team would stay in control regardless of Congress' views.

Of course, this is a dictatorship, but is this any less obnoxious to our current oligarchs dictatorship.

Does anyone have a better solution?

Larry Johnson -> joekowalski98 ... , 10 November 2019 at 12:40 PM
You're not wrong in criticizing Trump's personnel choices and inaction. When he entered office he was warned about the SES/SIS holdovers and the need to get his own people in place. He ignored that advice and is suffering the consequences. Trump played a character on TV of being a shrewd, tough judge of talent and ability. In reality, he is a bit of a goofball.

That said, his basic policy positions are solid with respect to putting America first, enforcing immigration laws, and disengaging from the foreign adventurism that has defined US foreign policy for the last 75 years.

My hope is that he now finally recognizes the threat.

SAC Brat said in reply to Larry Johnson ... , 10 November 2019 at 07:34 PM
I prefer thinking of Donald Trump as a World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Famer as it fits the context of what we are seeing more precise. Staged drama, personality pitted against personality, all a great spectacle.

If it makes the denizens of DC fall on their fainting couches with the image all the better.

Isn't Donald Trump suffering the same problem Jimmy Carter had that as a DC outsider he isn't able hire talent and the establishment has made it clear that a position in the Trump administration is a career killer?

Factotum said in reply to joekowalski98 ... , 10 November 2019 at 01:16 PM
Democrat's politics of personal destruction made it virtually impossible for Trump to hire or appoint the requisite people for the task you described. RINO's wouldn't touch him and Democrats were hell bent for revenge at any costs.

Amazing he did as well as he has done so far - considering his election was so toxic to any possible insiders who could have offered the necessary experience to warn him where the third rails were located.

Give him another four years and full control of GOP House and Senate back - this country needs his energy and resoluteness to finally get the real work done. Patriots at every level need to apply for appointed positions.

BTW: I was a rabid no-Trumper up to election night. Then Trump became my President. I have not looked back.

blue peacock said in reply to Factotum... , 10 November 2019 at 03:45 PM
Draining the Swamp can't be accomplished by hiring within the beltway or hiring any long-term Democrat or Republican operative including members of Congress.

Trump should have recognized when he learned that his transition team was being spied on that he had to hire people who believed in his agenda and had no ties to the Swamp.

By hiring folks like Haley, Pompeo, Bolton, Coats, Rosenstein, Wray, etc and not cleaning house by firing entire swathes of the bureaucracy and then not using the powers of his office to declassify but instead passing the buck on to Rosenstein, Sessions and Barr and only tweeting witch hunt he has enabled the Swamp to run circles around him.

IMO, he is where he is because of his inability to put together a coherent team that believes in his agenda and is willing to fight the Swamp with everything thy've got.

cali said in reply to joekowalski98 ... , 11 November 2019 at 07:42 AM
@joekovalski98: Pres. Trump came into office being very familiar with the intelligence operation against him.
Enter Admiral (ret) Mike Rogers who travelled secretly without approval by Clapper to brief the president of the spy operation.

Trump immediately move his administration to NJ.

Rogers and Flynn go back many years as Rogers was a protégé of Flynn. They both extensively informed president Trump.

"Drain the swamp" is en-route carried out partially by our military and Flynn's former DIA.

The stage was set and president Trump kept the left distracted via twitter while the operation is underway between our military, white hats and their allies abroad.

Mifsud was arrested by the Italian intelligence agents 3 days ago and brought back to Rome.

Trump is a long way from stupid - he has so far managed via twitter and his orthodox ways for the deep state to unmask themselves. Hiring enemies at times is a way to confuse those that try to destroy you.

"The Art of War" by Sun Tzu is Trump's methods.

Hindsight Observer -> cali... , 11 November 2019 at 10:30 AM
Mifsud's arrest could be key to unraveling or should I say, the Unmasking of. Rather large amounts of fraudulent intelligence that was laundered through the FISA Warrant Application process.

The AG reportedly now has Mifsud's Cellphones (2), which coupled with Mifsud's interview statements, if not his direct cooperation. Should reveal the CIA and/or SA Strozk, were responsible for providing Mifsud with the false Intelligence. Which he then fed into their Warrant Apps, through the person of George Papadopoulos.

Which in turn, could establish that Mifsud was never the alleged Russian Agent linked to Putin. But rather a western intelligence asset, linked to Brennan. Thus destroying the obvious Defensive strategy of Brennan, Comey and McCabe. Specifically the vaunted, "Hey who knew the intelligence was bad? I was just doing my JOB!

Certainly hope the reports are accurate...

Hindsight Observer -> Dr. George W Oprisko ... , 09 November 2019 at 08:54 PM
I believe it was because the FBI was intentionally lying about their authority to monitor the Flynn-Kysliak conversation. Claiming they were not monitoring the WH, rather they were monitoring the Russian Ambassador and LTG Flynn was merely, Caught-up in that conversation. Which at the time, was a good-enough-story. But recent disclosures seem to prove the 2 Agents along with Comey, McCabe as well as AAG Sally Yates. All knew at the time of their "Pretext" was establishing a Perjury Trap for the new NSA.
Factotum , 09 November 2019 at 06:25 PM
What set Brennan's hair on fire that instigated Brennan's secret memo to Obama who in turn created and authorized this multi-nation, IC secret surveillance and entrapment operation?

When will we learn why Samantha Powers demanded hundreds of FISA unmasking requests during the final hours of the Obama administration, after the election but before before the inauguration of Donald J Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America.

Why have Joseph Mifsud and Crowdstrike, yet again, disappeared from media interest.

fanto said in reply to Factotum... , 09 November 2019 at 10:05 PM
Why oh why, certain persons disappear from media interest? Why for example, did Ghislaine Maxwell disappear from media? Is she not involved in lawsuits? Do courts not know where she is now? The all-knowing Wikipedia English - does not know (as of today, I checked). The answer to all these troubling questions is in the comments to the Colonels piece on John Hannah. Am I becoming paranoid perhaps.?
Factotum said in reply to fanto... , 10 November 2019 at 12:42 AM
If the media continues endlessly about the Ukraine phone call, the quid pro quo yet fails to mention Crowdstrike "favor" in the same article, something is fishy. The phone call story did not drop out of sight; just a very salient detail. In fact the substance of the phone call is the story- and what Democrats are calling grounds for impeachment. Yet NO mention of the Crowdstrike favor. I find this odd. Don't you?
jd hawkins said in reply to fanto... , 10 November 2019 at 02:31 AM
Not paranoia if it's true!
Hindsight Observer , 09 November 2019 at 08:44 PM
Under the caption, "Nobody does it better" this explanation from Defense Counsel Powell's 04NOV19 Filing, pg 3 para 2

"The government has known since prior to January 24, 2017, that it intended to target Mr. Flynn for federal prosecution. That is why the entire investigation" of him was created at least as early as summer 2016 and pursued despite the absence of a legitimate basis. That is why Peter Strzok texted Lisa Page on January 10, 2017: "Sitting with Bill watching CNN. A TON more out. .
. We're discussing whether, now that this is out, we can use it as a pretext to go interview some people." 3 The word "pretext" is key. Thinking he was communicating secretly only with his paramour before their illicit relationship and extreme bias were revealed to the world, Strzok let the cat out of the bag as to what the FBI was up to. Try as he might, Mr. Van Grack cannot stuff that cat back into that bag.4

Former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe as much as admitted the FBI's intent to set up Mr. Flynn on a criminal false statement charge from the get-go. On Dec. 19, 2017, McCabe told the House Intelligence Committee in sworn testimony: "[T]he conundrum that we faced on their return from the interview is that although [the agents] didn't detect deception in the statements that he made in the interview . . . the statements were inconsistent with our understanding of the conversation that he had actually had with the ambassador."

McCabe proceeded to admit to the Committee that "the two people who interviewed [Flynn] didn't think he was lying, [which] was not [a] great beginning of a false statement case." Ex. 1.
_____________
What's the saying? "Not much ambiguity there?"

Factotum , 10 November 2019 at 01:46 AM
Finally, on Nov 9, 2029 American Thinker in an article about Nancy Pelosi attempts at damage control, someone in the media actually mentions Crowdstrike and the alleged " DNChacking"

........ "CrowdStrike, the cyber-security company that is involved in all this over and over again, is a an American company founded by a Ukrainian, Dmitri Alperovitch, who is extremely anti-Russia and who delights in implicating Russia in the DNC hacking event that probably did not happen......"

Read more: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/11/is_pelosi_finally_sick_of_the_terrible_damage_schiff_is_doing_to_her_party.html#ixzz64r2Sctrw
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

[Nov 11, 2019] Trump will leave, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain.

Nov 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

Biff , says: November 7, 2019 at 6:58 am GMT

Trump will leave power, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain.

Something the stupid voters never seem to realize – the permanent government doesn't give a rats ass about democracy, freedom, human rights, security, your dog, your property, and most of all – your integrity.
"Fuck you stupid voters – now go elect another moron – we've got governments to overthrow"

anonymous [128] Disclaimer , says: November 7, 2019 at 8:44 am GMT
" The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes."

As are the Republican establishment and even such faux dissidents as Andrew Napolitano and Patrick Buchanan in columns easily found here on The Unz Review.

Exceptionalia needs enemies to keep the sheep herded when the Red v Blue politics and increasingly absurd culture skirmishes aren't sufficiently distracting.

mark green , says: November 7, 2019 at 9:07 am GMT
Excellent summation of the current predicament involving Trump and his ruthless foes. The greatest and most ridiculous 'conspiracy theory' of all is Russiagate itself–yet this politicized hoax is not being allowed to die a natural death; thus the Demorat impeachment inquiry.

So now we have entered Stage Two of this toxic and unnecessary melodrama. We can thank the partisan, biased and subversive 'mainstream' media for this downward step.

Ironically, the media's rank dishonesty is turning Trump into a heroic figure. This is poetic justice.

Haven't our media overlords heard?–the Soviet Union is dead.

In its place is Christian Russia. So why the enmity?

Might these lingering tensions have more than a little to do with Putin's stubborn alliance with Syria and Iran? It sure looks that way.

It must be noted that Israel remains deeply disturbed over the Russia-Iran-Syria federation. But that's Israel's problem. America is not burdened by those historic antagonisms, regional rivalries, or security concerns. Americans should therefore be relieved. Only we're not allowed to be.

The Zionist state has deviously entwined its security interests with America's. Israel and Zio-America have been artificially conjoined at the political hip. Didn't you hear?

This political union is good for the Jews. The Americans?–less so. Far less.

Unless we can extricate ourselves, this unnatural 'partnership' may end in a cataclysm

Realist , says: November 7, 2019 at 1:55 pm GMT
@Biff

Something the stupid voters never seem to realize – the permanent government doesn't give a rats ass about democracy, freedom, human rights, security, your dog, your property, and most of all – your integrity.

The Deep State doesn't care about the unimportant internecine squabbles of the 'two parties' as long as their important issues are maintained. As a matter of fact it strengthens the false perception that there is a choice when voting.

Trump and the Deep State do not care what the American people want. They know that most American people are inane fools and will believe anything. Most Americans would rather watch America's Got Talent or Dancing With The Stars than be informed about important issues.

peter mcloughlin , says: November 7, 2019 at 1:58 pm GMT
I think if President Trump was faced with a Cuban Missile Crisis situation the outcome could be very different to the first time. On that occasion the two superpowers, despite coming close to open war, were able to contain and de-escalate. The conditions are very different today. As Professor Cohen says," The current state of US-Russian relations is unprecedentedly dangerous, not only due to reasons cited here -- a new Cold War fraught with the possibility of hot war." In this context it is essential the president is "fully empowered to cope with the multiple possibilities of a US-Russian military confrontation."
One problem is that the original Cold War was the peace, a post-world war environment: today we are in pre-world war environment. There is a dangerous misconception that a Cold War sequel will have the same peaceful ending. The world has experienced periods of peace (or relative peace) throughout history. The Thirty Years Peace between the two Peloponnesian Wars, Pax Romana, Europe in the 19th century after the Congress of Vienna, to name a few. The Congress System finally collapsed in 1914 with the start of World War One. That conflict was followed by the League of Nations. It did not stop World War Two. That was followed by the United Nations and other post-war institutions. But all the indications are they will not prevent a third world war.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/
Tsar Bomba 38-56-47 N, 77-9-32 W , says: November 7, 2019 at 2:10 pm GMT
"The New York Times seem eager to delegitimize the investigation by Attorney General William Barr and his appointed special investigator John Durham."

Ya know, the investigation would be a lot harder to delegitimize if it the guys doing it didn't whitewash Iran/Contra, like Barr, or systematic and widespread CIA torture, like Durham. You put lifelong CIA whores hot on the trail of illegal CIA domestic operations against political enemies? Come on. Nobody with a 3-digit IQ can keep a straight face.

You want this shit to stop? Then do to Langley what the Germans did to their Stasi. CIA investigation of CIA crimes do not pass the laff test anymore.

Wilberweld , says: November 7, 2019 at 2:11 pm GMT
Trump's problem was described in simple terms by John Connelly when talking with Henry Kissinger. "Henry", he said, "In Washington you are judged by the men you've destroyed". Trump has not destroyed anyone, not Comey, not Brennan, not Clapper. So he is viewed as weak, an easy target. So they just keep piling on. Attacking Trump is viewed as a "penalty-free activity
Norm Corin , says: November 7, 2019 at 3:18 pm GMT
@renfro Rand Paul, and possibly Bernie Sanders, are not honorable -- sufficiently honorable -- to propose if not accomplish this?
A123 , says: November 7, 2019 at 3:53 pm GMT

Russia's new "hyper-sonic" missiles, which can elude US missile-defense systems, make new nuclear arms negotiations with Moscow imperative and urgent. If only for the sake of his legacy, Trump is likely to want to do so

This makes little sense. Russia and the U.S. are not enemies, and are potentially allies. Why would a U.S.-Russia treaty be desirable? The U.S. wants to help Russia defend its South western border against dangerous nations, such as Turkey & Iran.

A U.S.-China treaty would be helpful, but China is unlikely to accept anything that might interfere with their colonial ambitions.
____

Also, the author is likely overestimating Russia's technical prowess. Does anyone remember the recent incident the Russians had with their nuclear powered "Skyfall" cruise missile? (1)

The mysterious explosion on August 8 at the Russian navy's range in Nyonoksa killed seven and spurred fears that Russia was testing its nuclear-powered Burevestnik missile, also known by the NATO codename 'Skyfall.' But U.S. intelligence indicates the fatal explosion occurred as Russia attempted to salvage a downed Skyfall missile from the ocean floor,

Russia has reportedly conducted five unsuccessful tests of Skyfall since November 2017, all resulting in loss of control and crashes. The longest test lasted for two minutes with the missile flying 22 miles, and the shortest lasted four seconds and five miles.

PEACE
_______

(1) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7409607/Russias-Skyfall-nuclear-cruise-missile-explosion-happened-salvage-mission-intel.html

follyofwar , says: November 7, 2019 at 9:40 pm GMT
@Giuseppe I'm a huge fan of Stephen Cohen's, but, with bi-partisanship dead, his calling for a new Church commission is pie-in-the-sky. Nothing good can happen until this impeachment farce is over.

In fact, I'd say that Barr and Durham better hurry up and indict someone. There is less than a year left before the next election, which only leaves a few weeks this year, and the first few months in 2020. Once there's like 3-4 months to go before the election it will be too late. And, BTW, where is the long-awaited IG Horowitz's report? Tick Tock guys.

Hail , says: Website November 7, 2019 at 11:21 pm GMT
@Peter Akuleyev

The fastest growing religion in Russia is Islam.

We've been hearing that for a long time, but one thing to remember is: Islam is a foreign(ers')-identity in Russia. It won't be taking over the political center in Russia anytime soon, nor getting any European-Russian converts.

Stochastic Determinist , says: November 8, 2019 at 6:22 am GMT
@Dan Hayes Russia hadn't seized anything. The Black Sea Fleet had always been stationed there. After the Ukrainian government proposed outlawing the Russian language and ethnic Ukrainians attacked the Crimean parliament, Crimeans, the vast majority of whom are ethnic Russians, moved to hold a referendum.
James N. Kennett , says: November 8, 2019 at 6:42 am GMT
@Giuseppe

As I have also argued repeatedly, a new Church Committee is urgently needed. It's time for honorable members of the Senate of both parties to do their duty.

The CIA activities restricted by the Church Committee never stopped. They continued "off the books", financed by drug trafficking, illegal arms sales, and (especially) by kickbacks from legitimate but overpriced arms contracts with Saudi Arabia. The close relationship with the Saudi royal family raises awkward questions about who this part of the CIA is really working for.

A new Church Committee would only be able to investigate the parts of the CIA that it can see. It is probably impossible for the US government to control the "off-books" parts of the CIA.

refl , says: November 8, 2019 at 6:59 am GMT

Here too there is an inconvenient truth: To the extent that Democrats any longer seriously discuss national security in the context of US-Russian relations, it mostly involves vilifying both Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. (Recall also that previous presidents were free to negotiate with Russia's Soviet communist leaders, even encouraged to do so, whereas the demonized Putin is an anti-communist, post-Soviet leader.)

Maybe, the fallacy is to think that Democrats were ever opposed to communism. As one can learn around here, WWII was the joint venture to destroy european national cultures and force them under globalist domination. The Roosevelt administration did about everything to strengthen communism. The current Russian leadership is as sanely nationalist as it gets. Possibly, that is the problem?

What struck me first, before I woke up, was that the ultimate accusation against Russia – before the Ukraine affair started – was that they were said to be homophopbic. While this can be a fault in the eyes of a dedicated liberal, to anyone who has lived through the Cold War, that accusation was outlandishly irrelevant.
The problem that liberal globalists have with Russia is exactly their sanity. Saying this, I do not want to insinuate that Republicans are sane, just for the record. They are the other side of the coin in the big charade.

GMC , says: November 8, 2019 at 7:09 am GMT
The Bolsheviks in Russia told everyone that they were a Political Party – just like the Communists Party etc. The Democrats and Republicans say the same thing , but they are more Bolshevik than any American wants to admit. The Wars, the Police state, the original European, African, Native American societies being destroyed is not the best example – if you are pushing for a NWO. It has failed but they are taking down as many as they can – along with their evil Order. This should one of the highest priority, of most writers today. Thanks Unz Rev.
Ilya G Poimandres , says: November 8, 2019 at 7:09 am GMT
@Dan Hayes From which entity? The country – existing as a unity upon the foundation of a constitution, known as Ukraine – stopped being that entity when a bunch of people toppled a constitutionally mandated government with an unconstitutional coup.

You demand peoples and regions of the former Ukraine remain united? Under what unifying law? The constitution? But the Maidan people tore it apart to get into power. Why would those that take the other side of the debate agree to be governed by law they know their opposition has already, and will again, trod on?

Practically speaking, Ukraine after Maidan is not the same entity as Ukraine before, as there is no social contract left that everyone is willing to be bound by.

Crimea being autonomous, had more freedom than the rest to jump ship, and so they did. But any region can now go, because anyone saying 'but the Constitution bans secession', forget that the people who speak this within Ukraine are those exact same people who tore the Constitution apart.

But don't think it'a just political entities such as Crimea that migrated to Russia of their own wills (as the UN Charter demands), millions of labourers have left for Russia from the remaining entity too, and there was no Putin there at each of their houses, giving personal pep talks over tea about how Russia is better, and how they should migrate accross the border. People chose with their own feet.

Here's a question – if tomorrow a bunch of gunmen threw out congress, the judiciary, and the executive from Washington DC, and replaced them with their own – would you consider that the individual states were then still bound to the federal government through the Constitution? Would you demand honour from one side, knowing fullwell that the other side is dishonourable?

S , says: November 8, 2019 at 7:59 am GMT

Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor.

What's seemingly bizarre is that these modern day Dems with their 'Russiagate' obsession are the very same people who not so many years back would eat up a 1966 movie like 'The Russians Are Coming, the Russians are Coming', with it's message that the Soviet Union along with its Communism was perfectly innocuous (just a laugh really), and the Cold War itself was all a big joke, and pay to see it multiple times.

It's not so bizarre, though, as there is an underlining continuity in all this, then and now.

They hate the organic Russian people and their culture, then and now. That hasn't changed.

A USSR of the past with the Russian people safely subjugated/crushed under Soviet Communism, they like and are okay with.

A Russian Federation where the Russian people appear to have moved away from Communism they don't like. That's dangerous.

Russians shouldn't necessarily feel too bad though about this as they are not the only people so hated. These sorts hate most peoples which attempt to express their physical and cultural identity, often even their own at times.

There's a hatred for most all of humanity there which stems from an underlying self hatred with these types.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Teamtc321 , 8 minutes ago link

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

Truth Eater , 9 minutes ago link

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

wmbz , 19 minutes ago link

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

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

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

chubbar , 19 minutes ago link

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

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

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

Nov 09, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

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

Authored by Sara Carter via SaraACarter.com,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Judicial Watch's analysis of Obama White House visitor logs raises additional questions about the Obama administration, Ukraine and the related impeachment scheme targeting President Trump," said Fitton, in a press release Friday.

"Both Mr. Ciaramella and Ms. Chalupa should be questioned about the meetings documented in these visitor logs."

Read Below From Judicial Watch

The White House visitor logs revealed the following individuals met with Eric Ciaramella while he was detailed to the Obama White House:

The Hill reported that in April 2016, during the U.S. presidential race, the U.S. Embassy under Obama in Kiev, "took the rare step of trying to press the Ukrainian government to back off its investigation of both the U.S. aid and (AntAC)."

On March 7, 2019, The Associated Press reported that the then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch called for him to be fired.

On June 29, 2018, Foreign Policy reported that Melville resigned in protest of Trump.

(Judicial Watch has previously uncovered documents revealing Nuland had an extensive involvement with Clinton-funded dossier . Judicial Watch also released documents revealing that Nuland was involved in the Obama State Department's "urgent" gathering of classified Russia investigation information and disseminating it to members of Congress within hours of Trump taking office.)

On October 7, 2019, the Daily Wire reported leaked tapes show Sytnyk confirming that the Ukrainians helped the Clinton campaign.

The White House visitor logs revealed the following individuals met with Alexandra Chalupa, then a DNC contractor:

Mayerson was previously an intern at the Center for American Progress. After leaving the Obama administration, he went to work for the City of Chicago Treasurer's office.

Mayerson met with Chalupa and Amanda Stone, who was the White House deputy director of technology, on January 11, 2016.

On May 4, 2016, Chalupa emailed DNC official Luis Miranda to inform him that she had spoken to investigative journalists about Paul Manafort in Ukraine.

[Nov 09, 2019] The Media's Obsession With Personalities Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... Earlier in Stone's legal process his lawyers filed a motion to try to prove that Russia did not hack the DNC and Podesta emails. The motion revealed that CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC and Clinton campaign, never completed its report, and only gave a redacted draft to the FBI blaming Russia. The FBI was never allowed to examine the DNC server itself. ..."
"... Faced now with a criminal investigation into how the Russiagate conspiracy theory originated intelligence officers and their accomplices in the media and in the Democratic Party are mounting a defense by launching an offensive in the form of impeachment proceedings against Trump that is based on an allegation of conducting routine, corrupt U.S. foreign policy. ..."
"... Consortium News ..."
Nov 09, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Earlier in Stone's legal process his lawyers filed a motion to try to prove that Russia did not hack the DNC and Podesta emails. The motion revealed that CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC and Clinton campaign, never completed its report, and only gave a redacted draft to the FBI blaming Russia. The FBI was never allowed to examine the DNC server itself.

In the end, though, it doesn't matter if it were a hack or a leak by an insider. That's because the emails WikiLeaks released were accurate. When documents check out it is irrelevant who the source is. That's why WikiLeaks set up an anonymous drop box, copied by big media like The Wall Street Journal and others . Had the emails been counterfeit and disinformation was inserted into a U.S. election by a foreign power that would be sabotage. But that is not what happened.

The attempt to stir up the thoroughly discredited charge of collusion appears to be part of the defense strategy of those whose reputations were thoroughly discredited by maniacally pushing that false charge for more than two years. This includes legions of journalists. But principal among them are intelligence agency officials who laundered this "collusion" disinformation campaign through the mainstream media.

Faced now with a criminal investigation into how the Russiagate conspiracy theory originated intelligence officers and their accomplices in the media and in the Democratic Party are mounting a defense by launching an offensive in the form of impeachment proceedings against Trump that is based on an allegation of conducting routine, corrupt U.S. foreign policy.

Stone may be just a footnote to this historic partisan battle that may scar the nation for a generation. But he has the personality to be the poster boy for the Democrats' lost cause.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for T he Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe , Sunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

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

Nov 09, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

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

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

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

[Nov 08, 2019] Scapegoating as the major neoliberal propaganda tool

Nov 08, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Orange Watch 11.07.19 at 5:11 pm 71

Donald@63 :

The tendency to scapegoat rather than make the case for one's own merit is very deeply ingrained in our top-down liberal democratic systems; the Democratic establishment is unfortunately just getting back to core principles by shifting almost exclusively to this mode of discourse over the past decade. From Guy Debord's 1988 Commentaries on the Society of the Spectacle :

This perfect democracy creates for itself its own inconceivable enemy, terrorism. In effect, it wants to be judged by its enemies moreso than by its results. The history of terrorism is written by the State; it is therefore instructive. The spectator populations certainly cannot know everything about terrorism, but they can always know enough to be persuaded that compared to terrorism, anything else must seem to be more or less acceptable, and in any case more rational and democratic.

[Nov 08, 2019] Assange lawyers links to US govt Bill Browder raises questions by Lucy Komisar

Notable quotes:
"... Browder is key in the U.S. demonization of Russia. Assange has exposed U.S. war crimes. For lawyers associated in the British legal system to take both sides on that conflict would appear to be an egregious conflict of interest. But it fits with the U.S.-UK support of the Browder-Magnitsky hoax and their cooperation in the attack on Assange. ..."
"... Bailin is a member of Matrix Chambers, which was founded by the wife of Tony Blair, the former neocon Labor British Prime Minister. He is solidly in the Browder camp. He represented Leonid Nevzlin, a major partner of Browder collaborator Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who according to filings with FARA (the Foreign Agents Registration Act), paid $385,000 for Congress to adopt the Magnitsky Act which has been used by the U.S. as a weapon against the Russian government. ..."
"... In 2017 British legal actions surrounding an inquest into the death of Alexander Perepilichnyy, he represented Browder, who claimed that the Russian, who died of a heart attack, was somehow a victim of Russian President Putin. Perepilichnyy had lost money in investments he was handling for clients and had to get out of town. ..."
"... Needing support, he decamped to London and gave Browder documents relating to his client's questionable bank transfers. He died after a jog, Browder claimed he was poisoned by a rare botanical substance, obviously ordered by Putin, but forensic tests found that untrue. Robertson accused local police of a cover-up. ..."
"... Why did Assange or his advisors choose lawyers associated with the interests of the U.S. government and Browder? Or how could those lawyers be so ignorant about the facts of Browder's massive tax evasion and his Magnitsky story fabrications? ..."
"... What we are seeing now is no different from the Lula case in Brazil or any one of a thousand similar cases in authoritarian regimes. Upset the Deep State and you face selected targeted application of the law and the destruction of your life and future. ..."
"... because of the peculiar quirks of the legal system in Britain that may include a great deal of secrecy about how aspects of it operate, is how Julian Assange came to have such a dubious legal representation with its various connections to Bill Browder and Mikhail Khodorkovsky ..."
"... who is going to foot these barristers' bills? ..."
Nov 08, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Assange lawyers' links to US govt & Bill Browder raises questions The network of lawyers in conflicting roles in Browder, Assange and US government cases raises questions about Julian Assange's defense. Editor

A US government lawyer in the Assange extradition case just wrote a London Times oped promoting the Browder Magnitsky hoax. Ben Brandon is one of five lawyers in a London network whose spokes link to convicted tax fraudster William Browder, the U.S. government, and to both sides of the extradition case against whistleblower publisher Julian Assange.

Here is how the British legal system works. Lawyers are either solicitors who work with clients or barristers who go to court in cases assigned by the solicitors. To share costs, barristers operate in chambers , which provide office space, including conference rooms and dining halls, clerks who receive and assign cases from solicitors, and other support staff. London has 210 chambers. There are not "partners" sharing profits, but members operate fraternally with each other.

Browder is key in the U.S. demonization of Russia. Assange has exposed U.S. war crimes. For lawyers associated in the British legal system to take both sides on that conflict would appear to be an egregious conflict of interest. But it fits with the U.S.-UK support of the Browder-Magnitsky hoax and their cooperation in the attack on Assange.

The law firm and chambers involved in the Browder-Assange stories are Mishcon de Reya, Matrix Chambers and Doughty Street Chambers.

Ben Brandon of Mishcon de Reya and Alex Bailin of Matrix Chambers co-authored an opinion article in The Times of London October 24, 2019 in which they repeated William Browder's fabrications about the death of his accountant Sergei Magnitsky.

The article aimed to promote the Magnitsky Act which builds a political wall against Russia. It is based on the fake claim that Magnitsky, the accountant who handled Browder's tax evasion in Russia, was really a lawyer who exposed a government scam.

Except that is not true, there is no evidence for it, and the lies are documented here . But the Act has prevented the Russians from collecting about $100 million Browder owes in back taxes and illicit stock buys.

Brandon's and Bailin's connections are notable. Law firms, at least in the U.S., tend to stake out their commitments. Lawyers who represent unions do not represent companies fighting unions. It appears to be different in Britain, where legal chambers have members on either side of some cases.

Bailin is a member of Matrix Chambers, which was founded by the wife of Tony Blair, the former neocon Labor British Prime Minister. He is solidly in the Browder camp. He represented Leonid Nevzlin, a major partner of Browder collaborator Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who according to filings with FARA (the Foreign Agents Registration Act), paid $385,000 for Congress to adopt the Magnitsky Act which has been used by the U.S. as a weapon against the Russian government.

Nevzlin's suit was for $50 billion against Russia for money allegedly lost by the nationalization of Yukos Oil. Yukos was obtained by Khodorkovsky in the mid-90s in one of then Russian President Boris Yeltsin's rigged auctions. Khodorkovsky's bank Menatep ran the auction.

He paid $309 million for a controlling 78 percent of the state company. Months later, Yukos traded on the Russian stock exchange at a market capitalization of $6 billion. Not surprising, after Yeltsin departed, the state wanted the stolen assets back.

To add insult to injury, Khodorkovsky laundered profits from Yukos through transfer-pricing and other scams.

Transfer pricing is when you sell products to a shell company at a fake low price, and the shell sells them on the world market at the real price, giving you the rake-off. It cheats tax authorities and minority shareholders. See how Khodorkovsky and Browder did this with Russian company Avisma, which Khodorkovsky also got through a rigged auction.

The Times oped co-author, Brandon of Mishcon de Reya, has a startling connection. The day after an extradition request targeting Julian Assange was signed by the UK home secretary , Brandon representing the U.S. government, formally opened the extradition case.

Now look at another Assange link. Mark Summers , who is representing Julian Assange is, along with Bailin, a member of Matrix Chambers.

But while he is Assange's lawyer, Summers is acting for Assange's persecutor, the U.S. government, in a major extradition case involving executives of Credit Suisse in 2013 making fake loans and getting kickbacks from Mozambique government officials.

Does Assange, or those who care about his interests, know he is part of chambers working for the U.S. government?

And where do you put this factoid? Alex Bailin is representing Andrew Pearse, one of the Credit Suisse bankers that the U.S. government, represented by Summers, is seeking to extradite!

But there's chambers where two members are each supporting both Browder and Assange.

Geoffrey Robertson is founder of Doughty Street Chambers. He is also a longtime Browder / Magnitsky story promoter. He has pitched implementation of a Magnitsky Act in Australia and has served Browder in UK court.

In 2017 British legal actions surrounding an inquest into the death of Alexander Perepilichnyy, he represented Browder, who claimed that the Russian, who died of a heart attack, was somehow a victim of Russian President Putin. Perepilichnyy had lost money in investments he was handling for clients and had to get out of town.

Needing support, he decamped to London and gave Browder documents relating to his client's questionable bank transfers. He died after a jog, Browder claimed he was poisoned by a rare botanical substance, obviously ordered by Putin, but forensic tests found that untrue. Robertson accused local police of a cover-up.

He is a legal advisor to Assange and is regularly interviewed by international media about the case.

Jennifer Robinson of Doughty Street Chambers also has a Browder connection. She is acting for Paul Radu a journalist and official of the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) which is being sued by an Azerbaijan MP. OCCRP is a Browder collaborator.

Browder admits in a deposition that OCCRP prepared documents he would give to the U.S. Justice Department to accuse the son of a Russian railway official of getting $1.9 million of $230 million defrauded from the Russian Treasury. The case was settled when the U.S. couldn't prove the charge, and the target declined to spend more millions of dollars in his defense. OCCRP got the first Magnitsky Human Rights award , set up for Browder's partners and acolytes.

Robinson is also the longest-serving member of Assange's legal team. She acted for Assange in the Swedish extradition proceedings and in relation to Ecuador's request to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights Advisory Opinion proceedings on the right to asylum.

Why did Assange or his advisors choose lawyers associated with the interests of the U.S. government and Browder? Or how could those lawyers be so ignorant about the facts of Browder's massive tax evasion and his Magnitsky story fabrications?

It raises questions about how they are handling the Assange defense.

The individuals cited were asked to respond to points made about them, but none did.

Here is my audio interview on this issue on Fault Lines, "The Avisma Scandal + The Link Between Browder & Assange." The Browder-Assange part starts 13:20 minutes in. Filed under: Assange Arrest , latest , Russia , United States Tagged with: Bill Browder , julian assange , Lucy Komisar , russia , Sergei Magnitsky , Wikileaks

can you spare $1.00 a month to support independent media


Adrian @ J'Accuse

The Telegraph reports on a 2015 private dinner in the home of Doughty Street 's Geoffrey Robertson at which the Magnitsky myth and sanctions against Russia are pitched to then-Labour-Party-leader Ed Miliband, and Doughty Street lawyer Amal Clooney and co.:

Revealed: Ed Miliband's dinner with George and Amal Clooney

Today we find aforementioned Browder/Magnitsky touts Alex Bailin, QC (Matrix lawyer and "legal writer for The Guardian, The Times and The Lawyer – co-writer of the bogus FT Magnitsky column with Ben Brandon), and Geoffrey Robertson, QC (Doughty Street's eminence grise), both on the Advisory Board of Amal Clooney's " TrialWatch " (part of the Clooney " Foundation for Justice "): TrialWatch® Advisory Board

universal
The tentacles of the deep state (no longer secret now) are clamping on our life so tightly that one would honestly wish that one of those extraterrestrial rocks would smash into this planet causing total annhilation –just in order to get rid of these psychopathic mongrels ruling over us.

I am not sure, though, fantasy could solve problems!

mark
We have a corrupt and politicised "justice" system used for the purposes of intimidation and political persecution. Some people still believe in fairy stories like the Rule of Law and an independent judiciary.

What we are seeing now is no different from the Lula case in Brazil or any one of a thousand similar cases in authoritarian regimes. Upset the Deep State and you face selected targeted application of the law and the destruction of your life and future.

Jen
Unfortunately what we don't get in Lucy Komisar's article, perhaps because of the peculiar quirks of the legal system in Britain that may include a great deal of secrecy about how aspects of it operate, is how Julian Assange came to have such a dubious legal representation with its various connections to Bill Browder and Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Who recommended Mishcon de Reya and other barristers to Assange and Wikileaks, and who is going to foot these barristers' bills? Are there no other barristers specialising in human rights cases in Britain who can take on Assange's case or was the case awarded to certain chambers in some kind of bidding arrangement or some other competitive arrangement?

BTW it's not unusual for law firms in Britain and Australia to have clients whose interests may be opposed, ie a law firm can represent both a company and a trade union whose members may be employed by that company. What usually happens is that different teams of lawyers work for the two sides and the work of one team is separated from the other team by internal firewalls. The firewalls include physical separations: the teams may even work on different floors so as not to share copiers or other office equipment and lawyers in opposing teams may be discouraged from socialising with each other during lunch and coffee breaks. Sounds bizarre but this does happen.

R Heybroek
With respect, you can't judge British law by US standards. Barristers are briefed by solicitors, not individual clients, and associate primarily in areas of competence, e.g. criminal, corporate or tax law. In their specialization, they generally follow the 'cab rank' principle and accept briefs from prosecution or defence as they arise. It's a strength of the system, not a problem.

Whatever I may think of some of the barristers in Matrix or Doughty, it would be foolish to assume that everyone in a chambers shares the same political views or attitudes. They do not. They argue like cats and dogs, usually with considerable professional respect.

I see nothing dubious about the range of experience of Assange's legal team. If his solicitor thinks a barrister has a conflict of interest, he will withdraw the brief. I'd suggest you direct your enquiries to the instructing solicitor.

RobG
Julian Assange was a dead man walking from the time he was taken (totally illegally) from the Ecuadorian embassy. Just about all the Wikileaks team are now totally corrupted; and as this article points out, most of Assange's legal team are also corrupted. The alleged mental deterioration of Assange, combined with harsh (and totally unnecessary) prison conditions, might account for some of this.
Jen
But surely it's odd that at the same time he is representing Julian Assange against the US government, Mark Summers is also acting for the United States government in another case in which three British-based Credit Suisse bankers are fighting extradition to the US on charges of security fraud and money laundering?
MLS
An important subsidiary question becomes, why aren't any of his high profile champions asking these questions? John Pilger? Craig Murray? They all bang on about stuff like 'torture' but never point out that his lawyers totally fail to address this pretty darn crucial issue. Craig Murray says 'Julian has great lawyers'. Really? If we step back and think for a minute, does it honestly look that way?

They can't even get him out of solitary or into a lower security prison. Shit, they can't even get his mail delivered adequately or uphold his right to get regular legal visitation! And yet no one, not even his parents, are complaining about these failures! And who is running Wikileaks these days? Do we have any way of being sure they aren't just a co-opted shell?

Betrayed planet
To be fair Pilger is one of the few real supporters of Julian along with a handful of musicians. His lone voice is not enough. I saw a clip of Pilger crying after the recent spectacle of a so called hearing. The presiding judge, The Honorary Upyourbottom should have been in the dock for perjury, fraud, lying before a court and crimes against humanity.
LawStudent
I'm a 2nd year law student and I can confirm that questions about the conduct of Assange's defence are legion in my school. MNynpeople talking about the inexplicable lapses. Just s fee usdyes often discussed: Why didn't the defense take up the judge's offer of bail application? To say 'well they would lose' is counter to the basics of jurisprudence.

Why is there no complaint being lodged about his detention in a maximum security facility when he's on remand – not serving a sentence – pending an extradition hearing? Why don't his lawyers lodge an appeal to the ECHR based on the testimony of the UN observers? Why are his lawyers keeping such low media profiles?

It's generally agreed something is very 'off' about this.

L Took
I think his lawyers stated that they were never offered a bail application, even though the judge claimed they had refused one. But I'm not sure; I had heard previous to this event that the lawyers would not ask because if they lost (the appeal?) Assange could be further punished for the loss. Is this accurate?
MaryD
It may be relevant that one of Assange's barristers also represents the corporate psyop Extinction Rebellion!
nottheonly1

Assange lawyers' links to US govt & Bill Browder raises questions. The network of lawyers in conflicting roles in Browder, Assange and US government cases raises questions about Julian Assange's defense.

Assange lawyers' links to US govt & Bill Browder raises only one question: What the?

I know it's not comedy, because people get seriously hurt and killed as a result of the transformation of a more or less democratic government into a well organized criminal organization. Who better to run the courts, than the mob? Mob 'Law' enforcement included. So, organized crime owns everything. The big club. The biggest profits are made with stuff that was bought to blow up something. Or somebody. One could ask: 'With links like these, who needs enemies?' Anybody interfering into, or compromising the Mob execution of the owners' plan, will be taken care of. Laws are written to owners' demands and are quickly as needed in show trials.

The eloquence in describing what is happening right now – and in all other show trials – is comforting.

As it is more like 'a gang of lawyers in revolving door roles in organized crime by Browder and US regime et al versus Julian Assange, providing Defense for Julian Assange in his case against the same people and the same regime.

I forgot where, but I have heard of such things before.

The World will have to understand that, without the immediate release of Julian Assange, no more rule of law exists on Earth. And to whomever has not connected the Assange affair with 'pre-emptive incarceration', might for a little longer enjoy playing outdoor chess on the deck of a sinking cruise ship.

Oh, and yes, the qualifier "six ways to/from Sunday" should also be mentioned as an exemplary business practice by the Mob regime. Actually, the Mob merged with the regime, with the regime belonging to the owners' club.

Northern
Good to see another article on this, seen several people raising concerns about these associations in independent media over the last few months, though it's no doubt one of those things that will never be 'officially' addressed. Many people with more knowledge than I have questioned the wisdom of certain decisions his legal team have made (or not, as the case may be) in recent proceedings. Craig Murray's account of Julian's recent court appearance reads like something you'd expect from a country with 'the people's democratic republic' in the name.

On a tangentially related note, anybody reading this who has the impetus to write to Julian in support;

The 'writetoJulian' website which appears at to the top of Google's search results for those who google how to go about such a thing, is either accidentally or deliberately (one can probably guess which) mis-advising its readers of the requirements. The website advises several times NOT to include Julian's prisoner number on any correspondence sent to him, but I know from direct knowledge of communicating with the incarcerated that without the prisoner number your correspondence will be destroyed and neither you nor the receiver will be notified. I hate to think how many well meaning messages of support for Julian have been 'legally' destroyed without him seeing them as a result of this.

Northern
Ah, in a limited sliver of good news; The aforementioned website seem to have cottoned on to their mistake after several people bringing it to their attention. They now advise you should include his number on all correspondence.

Mr Julian Assange
Prisoner #: A9379AY
HMP Belmarsh
Western Way
London SE28 0EB
UK

Betrayed planet
I have long suspected that Julian is not getting proper legal council. That his lawyers have not yet been able to get a proper hearing whilst he is left to rot in a maximum security prison is suspect in the extreme. The obvious Nazi style behaviour of the unlawful and fascist U.K. government and its lick spittle judiciary are apparent to all with absolutely no fight back from the excuse of a media nor indeed 99.9 percent of its compliant increasingly dumbed down and wilfully ignorant population.

What is obvious now to anyone with half an eye open is that the U.K. is now a rogue state where law and justice are meaningless, where bribery and corruption are common place. That Julian Assange is slowly dying in front of the whole world, will die without some kind of major intervention is a stain on every single aware English resident. Mind you with a population seemingly set to vote back in the same filthy vermin that have turned the country into the complete shithole it has become, it's hardly surprising.
Does anybody know if Gareth Pierce is still involved in his case?

nottheonly1
For quite some time now, an odd possibility offers itself – theoretically. Julian Assange is not the messenger. He is the message.

As a messenger, he is somewhat ineffective. He has not been able to convince people that the need for an uprising against lawlessness exists. That any form of government cannot work when the judiciary is corrupt and that there is no justice in a society ruled over by a regime.

As a message however, he is in the eyes of masses of people. Probably a majority of humans on Earth know who Julian Assange is. How many know who he is, where he came from and what it was exactly he did, before he published videos showing how well the 'Support our Troops' deserve was used up in the way it was intended, can only be a guess. Or a dedicated team of statisticians to hold polls in every country.

So, the published material, that was also leaked by a whistle blower, was proof of how deserving those soldiers were of our support – showing them killing innocent human beings and 'our Troops' having the greatest times of their lives doing it.

The message is simply: Look, if we can do this to Assange, what do you think we will do to you from Monday to Sunday – if you get any ideas?

No matter where you are. No matter who you are.

The only antidote to this insanity is the Truth and it be given its day(s) in court. 'Justice Mondays'.

Petra Liverani
I wonder if Alexander Perepilichnyy's death happened any which way – if indeed he was even a real person – there's only two photos of him as far as I can tell and the feeling of reality about his is not strong – as the Japan Times says, "What we know of Perepilichnyy is slight." Could he have just conveniently been invented and disappeared somehow? The story of him spending his last night with his 22 year-old mistress (the good old 22) in Paris, complaining about his dinner, vomiting and then having his wife the next day in London prepare his favourite food, sorrel soup, for lunch then going out jogging somehow doesn't ring true and we see a typical anomaly of faked stories, different versions:

The Guardian: "was found outside his Surrey home"
The Atlantic: "He collapsed on Granville Road, within 100 meters of the house he was renting"
Japan Times: "Then, 50 meters from his home, he staggered into the road and died."
Wikipedia: "[he] was found dead on the road by a neighbour" with a reference to a BBC story makes no mention of neighbour
BBC story: "[he] has been found dead near his home in Weybridge. had collapsed on a road early on the evening"

Collapsed on a road? Wouldn't you give the name of the road in a suburban area?

Rhys Jaggar
Same story in UK sports reporting corrupt industries raking in cash for unprincipled wordsmithery
DiggerUK
The defence team around Julian seems to be unfathomable at many levels. My main concern has been over the unproved allegations of chemical torture made during his incarceration in Bellmarsh Prison. Why has his defence team not asked for an independent medical assessment? Why have concerns not been raised with prison visitors who are allowed to investigate independently? https://www.imb.org.uk/independent-monitoring-boards/

Craig Murray who saw Julian on his last court appearance wrote of his condition . https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/10/assange-in-court/ is it as a result of drugs used during interrogations, or is it down to mental trauma after what he has been through. Either way, his defense team and close friends need to up their game.

This article is not the first time that concerns have been raised in a worrying manner about the defence team around Julian _

Rhys Jaggar
It is a standard Uk tactic to have someone try to beat you up then publicly say what a friend of yours they are. Happened to me four times: I called the lot of them out on it, something which gets them on their faux high horses very quickly
Harry Stotle
Amazing isn't it, the way the legal system goes into hyperdrive pursuing those who expose war crimes while nonchantly turning a blind eye to those who commit them (no matter how high the body count). Harder to find a more glaring example of the way hypocrisy defines the elite's relationship with things like morality, fairness or decency, not least because no western politician has ever been held to account for the havoc they have unleashed (in any court prosecuting war crimes).

Ellen DeGeneres hi-fiving with George Bush. British MPs pretending a courageous whistle blower is not being tortured to death just a few miles from parliament.

The one MP who did stand up for Assange has just been kicked out of Labour by the NEC. They should at least have the courage to make public the names of those who voted for Chris Williamson's expulsion. https://labour.org.uk/about/how-we-work/national-executive-committee/whos-on-the-nec/

Needless to say the MSM has fully sided with the criminals: first denigrating Julian Assange, then mocking his plight – this gave way to lies, and now silence.

The importance of Craig Murray's analysis of the way the law has been used to destroy a journalist cannot be overtstated.
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/10/assange-in-court/

Put simply can anyone expect justice in Britain if their actions conflict with the ethos of the gangsters who control Britain's economic, media and military interests?

Rhys Jaggar
We are actually approaching apartheid South Africa in that regard, namely contempt for legal due process. Not quite had the Met coppers beating Assange over the head like SA cops did to Steve Biko, but we are slowly getting there

[Nov 08, 2019] Inconvenient Truths by Stephen F. Cohen

Notable quotes:
"... The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes. Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor. ..."
"... We have also learned that the heads of America's intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. ..."
"... We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream "free press" cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. ..."
"... Opponents of Barr's investigation into the origins of Russiagate say it is impermissible or unprecedented to "investigate the investigators." But the bipartisan Church Committee, based in the US Senate, did so in the mid-1970s. It exposed many abuses by US intelligence agencies, particularly by the CIA, and adopted remedies that it believed would be permanent. Clearly, they have not been. ..."
"... However well-intentioned Barr may be, he is Trump's attorney general and therefore not fully credible. As I have also argued repeatedly, a new Church Committee is urgently needed. It's time for honorable members of the Senate of both parties to do their duty. ..."
Nov 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Almost daily for three years, Democrats and their media have told us very bad things about Donald Trump's life, character, and presidency. Some of them are true. But in the process, we have also learned some lamentable, even alarming, things about the Democratic Party establishment, including self-professed liberals. Consider the following:

The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes. Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor. But there was no "attack" in 2016, only, as I have previously explained , ritualistic "meddling" of the kind that both Russia and America have undertaken in the other's elections for decades. Little can be more phobic than the allegation or belief that one has been "attacked by a hostile" entity. And yet this myth and its false narrative persist in the Democratic Party's discourse, campaigning, and fund-raising. We have also learned that the heads of America's intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. Early on, I termed this operation " Intelgate ," and it has since been well documented by other writers, including Lee Smith in his new book . Intel officials did so in tacit alliance with certain leading, and equally Russophobic, members of the Democratic Party, which had once opposed such transgressions. This may be the most alarming revelation of the Trump years: Trump will leave power, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain. We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream "free press" cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. Indeed, what the mainstream media -- leading national newspapers and two cable news networks, in particular -- chose to cover and report, and chose not to cover and report, made the abuses and consequences of Russiagate allegations possible. Even now, exceedingly influential publications such as The New York Times seem eager to delegitimize the investigation by Attorney General William Barr and his appointed special investigator John Durham into the origins of Russiagate. Barr's critics accuse him of fabricating a "conspiracy theory" on behalf of Trump. But the real, or grandest, conspiracy theory was the Russiagate allegation of "collusion" between Trump and the Kremlin, an accusation that was -- or should have been -- discredited by the Robert Mueller report. And we have learned, or should have learned, that for all the talk by Democrats about Trump as a danger to US national security, it is their Russiagate allegations that truly endanger it. Consider two examples. Russia's new "hyper-sonic" missiles, which can elude US missile-defense systems, make new nuclear arms negotiations with Moscow imperative and urgent. If only for the sake of his legacy, Trump is likely to want to do so. But even if he is able to, will Trump be entrusted enough to conduct negotiations as successfully as did his predecessors in the White House, given the "Putin puppet" and "Kremlin stooge" accusations still being directed at him? Similarly, as I have asked repeatedly, if confronted with a US-Russian Cuban missile–like crisis -- anywhere Washington and Moscow are currently eyeball-to-eyeball militarily, from the Baltic region and Ukraine to Syria -- will Trump be as free politically as was President John F. Kennedy to resolve it without war? Here too there is an inconvenient truth: To the extent that Democrats any longer seriously discuss national security in the context of US-Russian relations, it mostly involves vilifying both Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. (Recall also that previous presidents were free to negotiate with Russia's Soviet communist leaders, even encouraged to do so, whereas the demonized Putin is an anti-communist, post-Soviet leader.)

The current state of US-Russian relations is unprecedentedly dangerous, not only due to reasons cited here -- a new Cold War fraught with the possibility of hot war. Whether President Trump serves one or two terms, he must be fully empowered to cope with the multiple possibilities of a US-Russian military confrontation. That requires ridding him and our nation of Russiagate allegations -- and that in turn requires learning how such allegations originated.

Opponents of Barr's investigation into the origins of Russiagate say it is impermissible or unprecedented to "investigate the investigators." But the bipartisan Church Committee, based in the US Senate, did so in the mid-1970s. It exposed many abuses by US intelligence agencies, particularly by the CIA, and adopted remedies that it believed would be permanent. Clearly, they have not been.

However well-intentioned Barr may be, he is Trump's attorney general and therefore not fully credible. As I have also argued repeatedly, a new Church Committee is urgently needed. It's time for honorable members of the Senate of both parties to do their duty.

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

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

Authored by Elizabeth Vos via ConsortiumNews.com,

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

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

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

Social Media Meddling

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

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

The Clinton camp was hardly absent from social media during the 2016 race. The barely-legal activities of Clintonite David Brock were previously reported by this author to have included $2 million in funding for the creation of an online " troll army " under the name Shareblue. The LA Times described the project as meant to "to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical." In other words, the effort attempted to create a false sense of consensus in support for the Clinton campaign.

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

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

DNC Fraud Lawsuit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tim Canova's Allegations

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

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

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

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

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

Study of Corporate Power

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

[Nov 07, 2019] Powell discusses Flynn's case, claims FBI tampered with interview notes - YouTube

Strzok and Lisa Page has known that this was an ambush
Nov 07, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Elizabeth Colson , 1 week ago

No surprise there. The Democrats need to be held accountable for their disgusting behavior.

[Nov 07, 2019] Scapegoating as the major neoliberal propaganda tool

Nov 07, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Orange Watch 11.07.19 at 5:11 pm 71

Donald@63 :

The tendency to scapegoat rather than make the case for one's own merit is very deeply ingrained in our top-down liberal democratic systems; the Democratic establishment is unfortunately just getting back to core principles by shifting almost exclusively to this mode of discourse over the past decade. From Guy Debord's 1988 Commentaries on the Society of the Spectacle :

This perfect democracy creates for itself its own inconceivable enemy, terrorism. In effect, it wants to be judged by its enemies moreso than by its results. The history of terrorism is written by the State; it is therefore instructive. The spectator populations certainly cannot know everything about terrorism, but they can always know enough to be persuaded that compared to terrorism, anything else must seem to be more or less acceptable, and in any case more rational and democratic.

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

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

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

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

The DNC defense lawyers then argued:

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

The brief continued:

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Nov 07, 2019] Imagine I worked for Putin, who was arming MS-13, and then Putin put me on trial because, for whatever reason, I stopped arming MS-13

Notable quotes:
"... How many establishment Dems (or even non-establishment Dems) have indicated that they have any objections to arming the Ukrainians? ..."
"... The Democrats position is that arming the Ukrainians is a good and moral thing to do and that Trump is terrible for threatening to stop it, which is far simpler, far more logical and, if one ignores its flagrant immorality, far easier to 'swallow'. ..."
"... As always 'reversing the polarities' gives clarity (imagine I worked for Putin, who was arming MS-13, and then Putin put me on trial because, for whatever reason, I stopped arming MS-13 .what would we think of Putin?). ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Hidari 11.05.19 at 1:54 pm 96

... How many establishment Dems (or even non-establishment Dems) have indicated that they have any objections to arming the Ukrainians? That would be in the region of about 'none', I would imagine.

... ... ...

The Democrats position is that arming the Ukrainians is a good and moral thing to do and that Trump is terrible for threatening to stop it, which is far simpler, far more logical and, if one ignores its flagrant immorality, far easier to 'swallow'.

As always 'reversing the polarities' gives clarity (imagine I worked for Putin, who was arming MS-13, and then Putin put me on trial because, for whatever reason, I stopped arming MS-13 .what would we think of Putin?).

[Nov 07, 2019] 3 Steps to Reviving the Russian Relationship

Notable quotes:
"... This period is when Clinton IMHO sent NATO in a wrong direction from being strictly defensive/political to getting involved in Yugoslavia which certainly irritated Russia. ..."
"... Then good old Obama and another Clinton deciding to overthrow Gaddafi and his whole Arab Spring foreign policy to include getting involved in Syria. These were disastrous decisions that the current POTUS inherited and is trying to change except the "deep state" is fighting him tooth and nail. ..."
"... Getting out of Ukraine would be a huge trust maker for Russia and it would be followed by sanctions being lifted allowing for a level playing field to begin working on the issues that need fixing. NATO isn't going away however the forward deployed forces in the Baltic's and Poland could over time in an agreed to reciprocal move say removing Iskander missiles from Kaliningrad could be accomplished. ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

J Urie Z'ing Sui 13 hours ago ,

You are 100% correct that trust is the number one point in coming to any agreement and currently there is very little trust on either side for varying reasons. One important fact that is overlooked by most people is the leadership of President George H. W. Bush and PM Margaret Thatcher during the transition from the Soviet Union/Warsaw pact to independent sovereign nations. The Bush was a WW II pilot and Thatcher earned the name Iron Lady for her decisive action in the Falklands War, both understood the world as it was in 1990. This statement highlights the view that prevailed from Bush at the time: "Not once, but three times, Baker tried out the "not one inch eastward" formula with Gorbachev in the February 9, 1990, meeting. He agreed with Gorbachev's statement in response to the assurances that "NATO expansion is unacceptable." Baker assured Gorbachev that "neither the President nor I intend to extract any unilateral advantages from the processes that are taking place," and that the Americans understood that "not only for the Soviet Union but for other European countries as well it is important to have guarantees that if the United States keeps its presence in Germany within the framework of NATO, not an inch of NATO's present military jurisdiction will spread in an eastern direction." (See Document 6)"

These were complicated issues that involved a multitude of parties being negotiated by just a few i.e. US, UK, France and West Germany a holdover from the WW II model. The Poles, Czechs and others were not consulted and IMHO had they been the situation would have become untenable. It must be remembered that Poland and Czechoslovakia suffered heavily due to "large important nations" giving them away pre and post WW II. There was no written agreement nor official treaty between the west and the Soviet Union soon to be Russian Federation and I believe that was intentional for the reason I give above. George H. W. Bush was not reelected in 1992 and Bill Clinton became POTUS and he pursued a foreign policy that was entirely different. Some of his ideas used Thatchers earlier idea of a more political NATO with less emphasis on the original military mission which brought in the Partnerships for Peace program. That program was IMHO quite good as it stabilized countries that were wobbly in the 1990's after the breakup occurred. The Clinton White House had Madeline Albright an immigrant from Czechoslovakia as secretary of State and Zbigniew Brzezinski a former secretary of State and an academic that influenced his policies which were pro eastern European anti Russian. It was during this time that NATO expanded. The US is a country of immigrants and there is a large Polish population as well as other eastern Europeans and political considerations are always come into play.

This period is when Clinton IMHO sent NATO in a wrong direction from being strictly defensive/political to getting involved in Yugoslavia which certainly irritated Russia.

G.W. Bush basically continued the trend with regard to NATO but was preoccupied with 9/11 more than anything else. Bush thought that he understood Putin and even invited him to his ranch in Crawford, Texas which Putin accepted and they did seem to get along.

However 2008 and the Georgia War began the slide in relations between the two countries. Then good old Obama and another Clinton deciding to overthrow Gaddafi and his whole Arab Spring foreign policy to include getting involved in Syria. These were disastrous decisions that the current POTUS inherited and is trying to change except the "deep state" is fighting him tooth and nail.

Getting out of Ukraine would be a huge trust maker for Russia and it would be followed by sanctions being lifted allowing for a level playing field to begin working on the issues that need fixing. NATO isn't going away however the forward deployed forces in the Baltic's and Poland could over time in an agreed to reciprocal move say removing Iskander missiles from Kaliningrad could be accomplished.

Gaugamela39 a day ago ,

Carthago delenda est. The policy of Cato the Censor should be applied in an unrelenting manner, leading to 'salting the earth' of Moscow.

dorotea Gaugamela39 a day ago ,

Many have tried, usually ended up in those infamous endless Russian fields, in long boxes. See Pushkin, for the exact quote. But historical trivialities aside, there should be a way to satisfy Imperial hubris without 'salting the grounds'. Hannibal's elephants did not carry nukes in their trunks. Trying for the sixth time in the last 4 centuries to get Moscow grounds salted might end badly for the entire planet.

The Chosen One dorotea a day ago ,

So it seems to me that only the advent of a nuclear weapon and the threat of an imminent deadly retaliation prevents a new "drang nach osten".

Z'ing Sui J Urie 39 minutes ago • edited ,

Trust was not breached by Russia, military buildup, hostile threatening military, NATO expansion and refusal to negotiate on these issues did not originate from Russia. Russia has tried to negotiate, concede and de-escalate before. The West did not respond to those moves. Even US sanctions placed on Soviet Union were not removed from Russia, despite there being no reason for them to remain in place. This and other recent events (libya, iran deal etc) tells Russia and other global players that de-escalating with the West doesn't work.

Even now, West seems to be interested to trade with Russia at least in some areas. And Europe is increasingly frustrated with the United States. There is reportedly a number of EU initiatives aimed at gradually limiting US economic levers created during the Cold War. Rising economies will gradually offer more opportunities outside of the Western world. Multipolar wolrd was a slogan in the 00s, in the 2040es it might be a reality.

We know NATO will not maintain ABM and CFE, and it is apparently not interested in INF and Open Skies, and even START is in question now. NATO will withdraw troops if only Russia does something? Please, you don't really believe that. With INF gone, Iskander is outdated, it was a treaty-limited weapon. Moving it a few hundred klicks will not make NATO concede anything now.

A huge trust maker would be for all NATO members to publically admit on their web page that pledges to Russia were broken and at least some NATO officials feel responsibility for that. They've spent 27 years denying any verbal assurances, now that those assurances are declassified, they build other narratives about how those pledges did not matter. For there to be trust, there needs to be an admission that trust was there, and was broken, and not by Russia. No troop movements necessary even.

J Urie mal a day ago • edited ,

Biden isn't going to win the next election Trump will be reelected in 2020. The current strain in relations with Russia has been inherited by Trump and even before he was elected the DNC and Hillary Clinton cooked up the "Russia colusion" story which after $46 million and 2 1/2 years no Russia collision. Of course now we have the Dems trying to impeach Trump which will not go anywhere in the Senate more waste of time and money. However there is the Justice Department I.G. report soon to be released and many of the people who brought you the Russia colusion hoax will be named. The Justice Department has an ongoing criminal investigation into the key players and will undoubtedly result in indictments and prosecutions.
The real reason all of this is going on is because the establishment both Dem's & Repub's along with the deep state look at Trump as an outsider who is tipping over their apple cart i.e. he is changing the foreign policy direction and they don't like it one bit so they create fake issues to try and stop him.
After his reelection I predict that more normal relations with Russia will resume.

dorotea Roma Ilto 14 hours ago ,

Nowadays the actual attacks are manifested as 'hybrid warfare'. Of course Russia took the US intervention and financing of Chechen rebels as an attack back in the 2000 ties. She took fermenting and financing of the Georgian rose revolution as a hybrid attack, same as promises made to pres. Saakashvili to support him militarily and politically after his attack on Tskhinvali were taken as a hybrid attack. Same goes for both of the first color revolution in Ukraine, and then the Revolution of dignity of 2014 that pushed ultra-right government to power in Ukraine. In fact the NATO promise to both Georgia and Ukraine to take them in as members in 2008 right after Putin's warning in 2007 was the first move in the 'hybrid war'. The West had been warned, yet it decided to bulldoze its way across Eurasia and triggered the confrontation. The placings of Aegises ashore in Poland and Romania was the cherry on top. There can be be no meaningful compromise until the West backs off on the NATO enlargement. That 2008 conference was what had reanimated the image of the collective West as adversary for Russia.

What both sides should strive for though is at the very least to diminish the degree of danger to the planet. Russia would not back off because she finds it easy enough to corner individual EU states into minimal economic cooperation - Germany is already in recession and there is no way they are going to continue damaging their economy for the sake of US politics. And then there is China. When the Russians cannot buy goods from Germans they go for made in China, which in turn gets China secure oil and gas from Russia. Which make the repeat of pre-WW II situation with blockade on Japan pretty much impossible. Get realistic, the West is loosing this one and should count her chickens already.

Roma Ilto dorotea 14 hours ago ,

Well, then the sanctions will continue, as will the policy of keeping Russian in check in the EU gas market.
What's interesting is that NATO never attacked Russia or threatened to attack Russia. Seems to me that Putin is simply using the expansion as a pretext for military aggression against the neighboring states. It's what the USSR did in 1939 against Finland. According the Soviet side, the war started after Finland attacked the Soviet Union...

dorotea Roma Ilto 14 hours ago ,

Russia *needs* the sanctions for at least another 5 years. Her milk and beef production is still lagging compared to the deceased USSR and the only way her greedy oligarchs will heavily invest in cow herd rearing is to continue to block the Eastern European milk products to enter Russia. Chicken, eggs, pork and veggies are already up to speed, wheat production is exploding, the salmon breeding programme have started so the Norway is not getting her market back, bu the cow herds take longer to rear.
The Power of Siberia pipeline is being certified and filled right now - China would receive her first delivery of piped Russian gas in 2020, so it is good that EU is prepping or the squeeze - they are not going to continue getting unlimited cheap Russian gas, because Power of Siberia II is in the works.

Every individual NATO member had attacked Russia in the past 4 centuries ( including small but meaningful US contingent in the 1918), and some non-member allies had stomped those fields as well. So the Russians are not taking any chances with the buffer zone. All of Russia expansions to the West have always started with West invading first - then being rolled back league by league. But seriously - ? Russians can live with Europe staying where she is - if in turn Europe can learn to respect her civilization borders. The move on Ukraine and Georgia was not a wise one.

[Nov 07, 2019] Note on the the degradation of the elite.

Notable quotes:
"... There is a collection of Democratic and Republican politicians and think tanks funded by various corporations and governments and bureaucrats in the government agencies mostly all devoted to the Empire, but also willing to stab each other in the back to obtain power. They don't necessarily agree on policy details. ..."
"... They don't oppose Trump because Trump is antiwar. Trump isn't antiwar. Or rather, he is antiwar for three minutes here and there and then he advocates for war crimes. ..."
"... He is a fairly major war criminal based on his policies in Yemen. But they don't oppose him for that either or they would have been upset by Obama. They oppose Trump because he is incompetent, unpredictable and easily manipulated. And worst of all, he doesn't play the game right, where we pretend we intervene out of noble humanitarian motives. This idiot actually say he wants to keep Syrian oil fields and Syria's oil fields aren't significant to anyone outside Syria. ..."
"... Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Donald 11.07.19 at 4:37 am 64

" In a sense, the current NeoMcCartyism (Russophobia, Sinophobia) epidemic in the USA can partially be viewed as a yet another sign of the crisis of neoliberalism: a desperate attempt to patch the cracks in the neoliberal façade using scapegoating -- creation of an external enemy to project the problems of the neoliberal society.

I would add another, pretty subjective measure of failure: the degradation of the elite. When you look at Hillary, Trump, Biden, Warren, Harris, etc, you instantly understand what I am talking about. They all look like the second-rate, if not the third rate politicians. Also, the Epstein case was pretty symbolic."

I had decided to stay on the sidelines for the most part after making a few earlier comments, but I liked this summary, except I would give Warren more credit. She is flawed like most politicians, but she has made some of the right enemies within the Democratic Party.

On Trump and " the Deep State", there is no unified Deep State. There is a collection of Democratic and Republican politicians and think tanks funded by various corporations and governments and bureaucrats in the government agencies mostly all devoted to the Empire, but also willing to stab each other in the back to obtain power. They don't necessarily agree on policy details.

They don't oppose Trump because Trump is antiwar. Trump isn't antiwar. Or rather, he is antiwar for three minutes here and there and then he advocates for war crimes.

He is a fairly major war criminal based on his policies in Yemen. But they don't oppose him for that either or they would have been upset by Obama. They oppose Trump because he is incompetent, unpredictable and easily manipulated. And worst of all, he doesn't play the game right, where we pretend we intervene out of noble humanitarian motives. This idiot actually say he wants to keep Syrian oil fields and Syria's oil fields aren't significant to anyone outside Syria.

But yes, scapegoating is a big thing with liberals now. It's pathetic. Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence .

For the most part, if we have a horrible political culture nearly all the blame for that is homegrown.

Donald 11.07.19 at 4:40 am (no link)

Sigh. Various typos above. Here is one --

Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence.
--

I meant to say I would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence.

[Nov 06, 2019] More Evidence that The Comey FBI was a Malevolent Clown Show by Larry C Johnson

Notable quotes:
"... If Flynn actually had lied to Strzok and Pientka that fact would have been reflected in the notes and the original 302. But that did not happen. A normal routine would be to write up the 302 and put it into final within five days. That did not happen. The original 302 still has not been produced. However, Ms. Powell has presented exhibits showing that there were other versions of the 302 generated and that substantive, unsupportable changes were made. The "final" 302 essentially made the case that Flynn lied. ..."
"... But Sidney Powell has produced documentary evidence showing that Strzok stated he did not believe that Flynn lied. And there was more FBI misconduct. General Flynn, for example, was not advised of the need to have a lawyer present nor was he shown the transcript of the call that was illegally recorded by the NSA. At no point was he given a chance to correct the record. It was a total setup and designed to paint Flynn as a liar and a collaborator with the Russians. This is malevolently diabolical conduct by law enforcement officers. ..."
Nov 06, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

I believe in repentance and redemption. But the FBI remains an unrepentant, vile sinner. Yesterday, Tuesday, the FBI and the Department of Justice made a stunning admission in the Michael Flynn case--they mislabeled evidence. DOJ sheepishly admitted that the notes of the interview of Michael Flynn taken by Agent Pientka actually belonged to Agent Strzok and that the notes attributed to Strzok actually belonged to Pientka. Holy Guacamole, Batman. It is still not clear that the FBI is freely confessing its sin and is committed to turning its bureaucratic life around.

There is no good news in this for the government's case. At a minimum it exposes the FBI as incompetent clowns. At worse, it may be evidence of a deliberate effort to deceive the defense and the judge. It has been exposed because of the insistent demands of the principled Sidney Powell, a relentless Honey Badger. That woman will not quit in demanding that General Flynn be treated fairly. She knows right from wrong. Cannot say the same for the FBI. The Bureau is a disgrace.

Now that we know that the FBI mislabeled the notes taken by the FBI agents during their interview of General Flynn, it would appear the entire case is in jeopardy. The foundation of the charge that Flynn lied about his conversation with the Russian Ambassador is predicated on the notes the FBI agents took and then turned into a 302 report. I asked one of my retired FBI buddies (he served as a Special Agent in Charge of a large US city) if the agents were required to date and sign their notes. He replied: No, we did not sign and date notes. They were placed in a 1-A (evidence) Envelope which had our name and the date collected along with the file number and, I believe, the case title. The 1-As were kept as part of the original case file. They were not entered into evidence like other things we collected.

Those notes should have been placed in an "evidence" envelope with the appropriate name and date on the envelope. How could so-called professionals screw up something this basic?

There was something more nefarious afoot. Let's put this into the broader context. If Flynn actually had lied to Strzok and Pientka that fact would have been reflected in the notes and the original 302. But that did not happen. A normal routine would be to write up the 302 and put it into final within five days. That did not happen. The original 302 still has not been produced. However, Ms. Powell has presented exhibits showing that there were other versions of the 302 generated and that substantive, unsupportable changes were made. The "final" 302 essentially made the case that Flynn lied.

But Sidney Powell has produced documentary evidence showing that Strzok stated he did not believe that Flynn lied. And there was more FBI misconduct. General Flynn, for example, was not advised of the need to have a lawyer present nor was he shown the transcript of the call that was illegally recorded by the NSA. At no point was he given a chance to correct the record. It was a total setup and designed to paint Flynn as a liar and a collaborator with the Russians. This is malevolently diabolical conduct by law enforcement officers.

Honey Badger Powell's terrific lawyering and insistence on getting her hands on the evidence the US Government is withholding has now backed the Mueller team into a corner. Sidney Powell has exposed staggering misconduct and malfeasance. Michael Flynn will be exonerated. The only real question is whether or not the prosecutors will be held in contempt and tried.


Jack , 06 November 2019 at 11:55 AM

Larry

Why doesn't the FBI, just record an interview? It's not that video cameras and tape recorders are a new invention. Is the objective to manipulate using written interpretations of conversations?

Mr Zarate , 06 November 2019 at 12:16 PM
I'm worried there won't be any popcorn left by the time we get to the end of this sorry saga. It would be nice to think that success by Sidney Powell might be the start of the finale in this duplicitous story but I doubt it. The world is upside down and to many this is now a matter of belief not evidence, something that has been largely caused be an entirely partisan mainstream media (interested only in improving its revenue stream) and what can only be described as a totally gullible section of the voting public.
Upstate NY'er , 06 November 2019 at 01:14 PM
One thing, Flynn has one hell of a lawsuit against his prior lawyers - a well known swamp law firm. Egregious malpractice if not outright conspiring with the prosecutors.

LA Sox Fan -> Jack... , 06 November 2019 at 06:16 PM

FBI interviews are not recorded because if they were, then the interview subject could not be falsely charged with the felony of lying to a federal investigator.
Coleen Rowley -> Jack... , 06 November 2019 at 10:32 PM
I need to write about the long history of the FBI honoring J. Edgar Hoover's policy, even countering former Director Louis Freeh, after a meeting in mid 1990's with a federal judge who had same suggestion, ORDERED the FBI to begin tape recording confessions and even after many states like Minnesota, began to find their own constitutions required tape-recording (at least of custodial confessions). After Freeh ordered the FBI to begin tape-recording, a number of SACs argued the advantages for prosecutorial purposes of sticking with the old policy of allowing Agents to write up, from memory and notes, what subjects and witnesses said. The SACs made the point that juries would always tend to believe agents over the word of defendants. So Freeh backed down. Flynn's attorney ought to request these memos documenting how FBI policy was deliberately kept antiquated because it was advantageous.
artemesia said in reply to Upstate NY'er... , 06 November 2019 at 06:12 PM
Perhaps Larry Johnson knows -- Does Michael Flynn have some form of redress agains the government, some established protocol for compensation for the misery and expense he's been put through? Or are lawsuits against former lawyers his only option to try to recoup legal expenses?

Strozk's caree/life is over. An interesting meditation: is he an evil man, or did he get caught up in something larger than he could handle? (He thought he had what it took to swim with the sharks, but he was just a barnacle. Or steelhead trout.)

The "unidentified" supposed whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella, is young - early 30s. Age of consent, for sure, but very young, the "age of youthful ambition," a different category from Strozk, the age of damn well should have known better. I would judge Eric -- whom I suspect was at very least put up to carrying out dirty deeds for Biden and careerism -- less harshly than Strozk.

Factotum , 06 November 2019 at 02:58 PM
How did Sidney Powell become involved in this long, on-going case? She can't ethically "solicit" the business, but someone must have put Flynn in touch with her -- at what point. What made Flynn seek legal advice elsewhere.

Flynn seemed so passive about facing these drummed up charges earlier in the case - what exactly was he trying to protect his son about that allegedly caused this legal passivity about his own case.

Love watching this unfold and the lessons in " big government" that come with it. But Flynn having to live out a modern day Greek tragedy is a very high price to pay for our civics lesson.

Factotum said in reply to Factotum... , 06 November 2019 at 07:46 PM
Asked and answered: Powell tussled dramatically in the past with Andrew Weissman over his role in the government's prosecution of Enron steam roller cases. She finally got court vindication for her clients 9 years later.

Why does Andrew Weissman's name keep popping up just about everywhere now, when one is looking in pari delitci (including our now famous Pierre Delecto)?

Brent , 06 November 2019 at 03:04 PM
From what I have read, I gather that the FBI in the Mueller / Comey era has made extensive use of "perjury traps". They then threaten charges to get someone to "flip" on someone bigger, in this case Trump. Flynn wouldn't flip even when they threatened to go after Flynn's son. So they decided to "F" him, as stated by Andrew McCabe.

The FBI has been thoroughly disgraced, and Wray is incapable of cleaning it up. He just wants to keep the dirt under the rug. It is too late for that, it is all coming out. US citizens deserve to know how dirty our FBI and CIA are - they are criminal organizations.

Andrei Martyanov (aka SmoothieX12) , 06 November 2019 at 04:07 PM
Is it just me (wink, wink) but I find it completely coincidental that both Strzok (100%) and Pientka (likely) are of Polish origins. Could it be my Russian paranoia. Nah, I am being unreasonable--those people never had a bad feeling towards Trump's attempts to boost Russian-American relations with Michael Flynn spearheading this effort. Jokes aside, however, I can only imagine how SVR and GRU are enjoying the spectacle. I can only imagine how many "free" promotions and awards can be attach to this thing as a free ride.

[Nov 06, 2019] Lisa Page, Special Counsel to Deputy Director McCabe, resigned; she edited Mr. Flynn's 302 and was part of a small, high-level group that strategically planned his ambush

Notable quotes:
"... "Page didn't recall whether she took part in editing the FD-302," the filing stated. Included was a discussion between Lisa Page and her paramour Peter Strzok talking about editing Flynn's 302 report. Strzok to Page: "I made your edits" Also discussion of misleading leadership re: picking up 302. Upon seeing her texts, Page "believes she must have seen it at some point " ..."
Nov 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Teamtc321 , 3 hours ago link

Another shoe is about to drop. Gen. Flynn was entrapped by the Obama Bin Biden clan.

General Flynn Attorney Sidney Powell: "We Will Seek to Move to Dismiss for Egregious Government Conduct"

Attorney Sidney Powell joined Lou Dobbs on Tuesday night to discuss the latest updates on US Government's court case against General Michael Flynn.

The Justice Department on Friday responded to Flynn's lawyer Sidney Powell's motion to compel production of Brady Material and to hold prosecutors in contempt.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/11/general-flynn-attorney-sidney-powell-we-will-seek-to-move-to-dismiss-for-egregious-government-conduct-video/

Sidney Powell filed a motion a couple weeks ago revealing that General Flynn was indeed set up by the FBI with an ambush, damaging leaks and altered 302 reports.

Powell revealed that former FBI lawyer Lisa Page EDITED General Mike Flynn's 302 report, then lied to the DOJ about the edits.

A 302 summary report consists of contemporaneous notes taken by an FBI agent when interviewing a subject.

"Lisa Page, Special Counsel to Deputy Director McCabe, resigned; she edited Mr. Flynn's 302 and was part of a small, high-level group that strategically planned his ambush." the filing said.

"Page didn't recall whether she took part in editing the FD-302," the filing stated. Included was a discussion between Lisa Page and her paramour Peter Strzok talking about editing Flynn's 302 report. Strzok to Page: "I made your edits" Also discussion of misleading leadership re: picking up 302. Upon seeing her texts, Page "believes she must have seen it at some point "

[Nov 06, 2019] The demonisation of Russia is all about the long term aim if destabilising, cracking it open and stealing it's resources

Nov 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Richard , Nov 5 2019 8:04 utc | 34

@13 Joost Your comment is spot on. The demonisation of Russia is all about the long term aim if destabilising, cracking it open and stealing it's resources. Russia is, in fact, the woreld's largets and most resource rich nation so its an irresistible target to the insane, greed-driven psychopath's who rule us.

First and foremost amongst those (and the most insane) is Hillary Clinton who it seems maybe preparing for another run at the presidency...a Hillary presidency risks a full out nuclear war.

You see, Hilary and the people who back her (and whom she faithfully serves) genuinely are psychopaths. They lack empathy, care, and humanity. They see only their own need and greed, only their own dysfunctional lust for power and wealth; they don't give a damn what it takes to satisfy their perverse desires and who dies in the process. Psychopaths (blinded by their own perversity) are also bad judges of risk and, in the minds of Hillary and her cabal of psychopaths, they actually do believe that the US could fight a 'limited' nuclear war against Russia, win it and steal all those lovely Russian resources.

The tragic misjudgement here, and why disgusting Hillary and her ilk are so dangerous, is that there is no such thing as a 'limited' nuclear war. A nuclear war would be global. And fatal.

https://richardhennerley.com/2019/10/21/hilary-clinton-is-back-be-afraid-very-afraid/

[Nov 06, 2019] British Government Disinformation Shop Lost Charity Status

Nov 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

The Integrity Initiative, as paid for by the British Foreign Office, Ministry of Defense, NATO and other such entities, will live on as a non-charitable entity with even less transparency. Its website, as well as that of Institute of Statecraft, is down. That it will now have to live in total secrecy will make it more difficult for it to recruit foreign journalists to spread its propaganda.

Since the Integrity Initiative was exposed the British government opened and financed a new secretive shop that will continue to spread anti-Russian disinformation :

On 3rd April, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) minister Alan Duncan revealed his department's 'Counter Disinformation and Media Development Programme' - which bankrolls the Institute for Statecraft and its Integrity Initiative subsidiary - was funding a new endeavour, Open Information Partnership (OIP).

The announcement, buried in a response to a written parliamentary question, was supremely light on detail - Duncan merely said the effort would "respond to manipulated information in the news, social media and across the public space". Official fanfare was also unforthcoming - there was no accompanying press release, briefing document, or even mention of the launch by any government minister or department via social media channels.

The original proposal for the Open Information Partnership , as released by 'anonymous' , included the Institute of Statecraft , a Media Diversity Institute , Bellingcat , DFR Lab (i.e. the Atlantic Council) and some others in a so called ZINC Network . On the current OIP website the Institute of Statecraft 'charity' is no longer named.

---
Previous Moon of Alabama reports on the issue:

Tim Hayward provides a list (scroll down) of a large number of articles written here and elsewhere about the Integrity Initiative . Speaking of Bellingcat:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BfLPJpRtyq4RFtHJoNpvWQjmGnyVkfE2HYoICKOGguA/mobilebas

Posted by: NOBTS | Nov 4 2019 18:45 utc | 2


karlof1 , Nov 4 2019 18:49 utc | 3

At Kit Klarenberg's Twitter , there's a long tweet thread further detailing what b has written above. I can't help be wonder how the Monty Python troop would have portrayed the Institute for Statecraft and its parent the Integrity Initiative. It appears that the governments of the English speaking nations became addicted to lying to their citizens @1900 and are unable to kick the habit and instead have actually deepened their addiction. Elsewhere on the planet, it seems that people are learning it's easier to talk straight and transparently with other people and to pool resources and combine efforts to form a community of nations and humanity to better one and all. Seems simple enough to determine which is functional and which isn't.
/div> Oops! Googlehidden. Here's one that might work. An interesting compendium: https://www.comsuregroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Bellingcats-Digital-Toolkit.pdf

Posted by: NOBTS , Nov 4 2019 18:51 utc | 5

Oops! Googlehidden. Here's one that might work. An interesting compendium: https://www.comsuregroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Bellingcats-Digital-Toolkit.pdf

Posted by: NOBTS | Nov 4 2019 18:51 utc | 5

Symen Danziger , Nov 5 2019 11:34 utc | 41
Bellingcat only serves one interest, a propaganda/info laundering shop for NATO, the military industrial complex and some very rich people. The blatant lies about MH17, chemical weapons in Syria, OPCW, Russia, the list goes on and on.

By the time the people in the Netherlands find out how they have been manipulated with the MH17 narrative and the role of Bellingcat in this operation, hopefully they will torch the office of Bellingcat in The Hague and club the survivors to death like the Uktainian Nazi friends of Bellingcat did in Odessa.

The Ukrainian army shot down MH17. It was no accident. The Dutch were also involved with the 2014 coup in the Ukraine. Putting the blame on Russia is a political decision, its not based on facts. Dutch politicians are very dirty people. Burn in hell.

[Nov 06, 2019] Hate Inc. Why Today's Media Makes Us Despise One Another eBook Matt Taibbi Kindle Store

Nov 06, 2019 | www.amazon.com

I thought I understood this and many other things about the journalism business at a young age. I even knew everything that "off the record" entails -- really knew, as if it were a religious tenet -- before I hit junior high. I thought I was an expert.

Then I read Manufacturing Consent .

The book came out in 1988 and I read it a year later, when I was nineteen. It blew my mind.

Along with the documentary Hearts and Minds (about the atrocities of the Vietnam War) and books like Soul on Ice, In the Belly of the Beast, and The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Manufacturing Consent taught me that some level of deception was baked into almost everything I'd ever been taught about modern American life.

I knew nothing about either of the authors, academics named Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky. It seemed odd that a book purporting to say so much about journalism could be written by non-journalists. Who were these people? And how could they claim to know anything about this business?

This was the middle of the George H. W. Bush presidency, still the rah-rah Top Gun eighties. Political earnestness was extremely uncool. America was awesome and hating on America was sad. Noam Chomsky was painted to me as the very definition of uncool, a leaden, hectoring bore.

But this wasn't what I found on the page. Manufacturing Consent is a dazzling book. True, like a lot of co-written books, and especially academic books, it's written in slow, grinding prose. But for its time, it was intellectually flamboyant, wild even.

The ideas in it radiated defiance. Once the authors in the first chapter laid out their famed propaganda model, they cut through the deceptions of the American state like a buzz saw.

The book's central idea was that censorship in the United States was not overt, but covert. The stage-managing of public opinion was "normally not accomplished by crude intervention" but by the keeping of "dissent and inconvenient information" outside permitted mental parameters: "within bounds and at the margins."

The key to this deception is that Americans, every day, see vigorous debate going on in the press. This deceives them into thinking propaganda is absent. Manufacturing Consent explains that the debate you're watching is choreographed. The range of argument has been artificially narrowed long before you get to hear it.

This careful sham is accomplished through the constant, arduous policing of a whole range of internal pressure points within the media business. It's a subtle, highly idiosyncratic process that you can stare at for a lifetime and nonetheless not see.

American news companies at the time didn't (and still don't) forbid the writing of unpatriotic stories. There are no editors who come blundering in, red pen in hand, wiping out politically dangerous reports, in the clumsy manner of Soviet Commissars.

Instead, in a process that is almost 100 percent unconscious, news companies simply avoid promoting dissenting voices. People who are questioners by nature, prodders, pains in the ass -- all good qualities in reporting, incidentally -- get weeded out by bosses, especially in the bigger companies. Advancement is meanwhile strongly encouraged among the credulous, the intellectually unadventurous, and the obedient.

As I would later discover in my own career, there are a lot of C-minus brains in the journalism business. A kind of groupthink is developed that permeates the upper levels of media organizations, and they send unconscious signals down the ranks.

Young reporters learn early on what is and is not permitted behavior. They learn to recognize, almost more by smell than reason, what is and is not a "good story."

Chomsky and Herman described this policing mechanism using the term "flak." Flak was defined as "negative responses to a media statement or program."

They gave examples in which corporate-funded think tanks like The Media Institute or the anti-communist Freedom House would deluge media organizations that ran the wrong kinds of stories with "letters, telegrams, phone calls, petitions, lawsuits" and other kinds of pressure.

What was the wrong kind of story? Here we learned of another part of the propaganda model, the concept of worthy and unworthy victims . Herman and Chomsky defined the premise as follows:

A propaganda system will consistently portray people abused in enemy states as worthy victims, whereas those treated with equal or greater severity by its own government or clients will be unworthy.

Under this theory, a Polish priest murdered by communists in the Reagan years was a "worthy" victim, while rightist death squads in U.S.-backed El Salvador killing whole messes of priests and nuns around the same time was a less "worthy" story.

What Herman and Chomsky described was a system of informal social control, in which the propaganda aims of the state were constantly reinforced among audiences, using a quantity-over-quality approach.

Here and there you might see a dissenting voice, but the overwhelming institutional power of the media (and the infrastructure of think-tanks and politicians behind the private firms) carried audiences along safely down the middle of a surprisingly narrow political and intellectual canal.

One of their examples was Vietnam, where the American media was complicit in a broad self-abnegating effort to blame itself for "losing the war."

An absurd legend that survives today is that CBS anchor Walter Cronkite, after a two-week trip to Vietnam in 1968, was key in undermining the war effort.

Cronkite's famous "Vietnam editorial" derided "the optimists who have been wrong in the past," and villainously imparted that the military's rosy predictions of imminent victory were false. The more noble course, he implied, was to face reality, realize "we did the best we could" to defend democracy, and go home.

The Cronkite editorial sparked a "debate" that continues to the present.

On the right, it is said that we should have kept fighting in Vietnam, in spite of those meddling commies in the media.

The progressive take is that Cronkite was right, and we should have realized the war wasn't "winnable" years earlier. Doing so would have saved countless American lives, this thinking goes.

These two positions still define the edges of what you might call the "fairway" of American thought.

The uglier truth, that we committed genocide on a fairly massive scale across Indochina -- ultimately killing at least a million innocent civilians by air in three countries -- is pre-excluded from the history of that period.

Instead of painful national reconciliation surrounding episodes like Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the CIA-backed anti-communist massacres in places like Indonesia, or even the more recent horrors in Middle Eastern arenas like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, we mostly ignore narrative-ruining news about civilian deaths or other outrages.

A media that currently applauds itself for calling out the lies of Donald Trump (and they are lies) still uses shameful government-concocted euphemisms like "collateral damage." Our new "Democracy Dies in Darkness" churlishness has yet to reach the Pentagon, and probably never will.

In the War on Terror period, the press accepted blame for having lost the most recent big war and agreed to stop showing pictures of the coffins coming home (to say nothing of actual scenes of war deaths).

We also volunteered to reduce or play down stories about torture ("enhanced interrogation"), kidnapping ("rendition"), or assassination ("lethal action," or the "distribution matrix").

Even now, if these stories are covered, they're rarely presented in an alarmist tone. In fact, many "civilian casualties" stories are couched in language that focuses on how the untimely release of news of "collateral damage" may hinder the effort to win whatever war we're in at the time.

"After reports of civilian deaths, U.S. military struggles to defend air operations in war against militants," is a typical American newspaper headline.

Can you guess either the year or the war from that story? It could be 1968, or 2008. Or 2018.

As Manufacturing Consent predicted -- with a nod to Orwell, maybe -- the scripts in societies like ours rarely change. 1

When it came time for me to enter the journalism business myself, I discovered that the Chomsky/Herman diagnosis was mostly right. Moreover, the academics proved prescient about future media deceptions like the Iraq War. Their model predicted that hideous episode in Technicolor.

But neither Herman nor Chomsky could have known, when they published their book in 1988, that the media business was going through profound change.

As it turned out, Manufacturing Consent was published just ahead of three massive revolutions. When I met and interviewed Chomsky for this book (see Appendix 2 ), we discussed these developments. They included:

1. The explosion of conservative talk radio and Fox-style news products. Using point of view rather than "objectivity" as commercial strategies, these stations presaged an atomization of the news landscape under which each consumer had an outlet somewhere to match his or her political beliefs. This was a major departure from the three-network pseudo-monopoly that dominated the Manufacturing Consent period, under which the country debated a commonly held set of facts.

2. The introduction of twenty-four-hour cable news stations, which shifted the emphasis of the news business. Reporters were suddenly trained to value breaking news, immediacy, and visual potential over import. Network "crashes" -- relentless day-night coverage extravaganzas of a single hot story like the Kursk disaster or a baby thrown down a well, a type of journalism one TV producer I knew nicknamed "Shoveling Coal For Satan" -- became the first examples of binge-watching. The relentless now now now grind of the twenty-four-hour cycle created in consumers a new kind of anxiety and addictive dependency, a need to know what was happening not just once or twice a day but every minute. This format would have significant consequences in the 2016 election in particular.

3. The development of the Internet, which was only just getting off the ground in 1988. It was thought it would significantly democratize the press landscape. But print and broadcast media soon began to be distributed by just a handful of digital platforms. By the late 2000s and early 2010s, that distribution system had been massively concentrated. This created the potential for a direct control mechanism over the press that never existed in the Manufacturing Consent era. Moreover the development of social media would amplify the "flak" factor a thousandfold, accelerating conformity and groupthink in ways that would have been unimaginable in 1988.

Maybe the biggest difference involved an obvious historical change: the collapse of the Soviet Union.

One of the pillars of the "propaganda model" in the original Manufacturing Consent was that the media used anti-communism as an organizing religion.

The ongoing Cold War narrative helped the press use anti-communism as a club to batter heretical thinkers, who as luck would have it were often socialists. They even used it as a club to police people who weren't socialists (I would see this years later, when Howard Dean was asked a dozen times a day if he was "too left" to be a viable candidate).

But the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet empire took a little wind out of the anti-communist religion. Chomsky and Herman addressed this in their 2002 update of Manufacturing Consent, in which they wrote:

The force of anti-communist ideology has possibly weakened with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the virtual disappearance of socialist movements across the globe, but this is easily offset by the greater ideological force of the belief in the "miracle of the market "

The collapse of the Soviets, and the weakening of anti-communism as an organizing principle, led to other changes in the media. Manufacturing Consent was in significant part a book about how that unseen system of informal controls allowed the press to organize the entire population behind support of particular objectives, many of them foreign policy objectives.

But the collapse of the Wall, coupled with those new commercial strategies being deployed by networks like Fox, created a new dynamic in the press.

Media companies used to seek out the broadest possible audiences. The dull third-person voice used in traditional major daily newspapers is not there for any moral or ethical reason, but because it was once believed that it most ably fulfilled the commercial aim of snatching as many readers/viewers as possible. The press is a business above all, and boring third-person language was once advanced marketing.

But in the years after Manufacturing Consent was published the new behemoths like Fox turned the old business model on its head. What Australian tabloid-merchant Rupert Murdoch did in employing political slant as a commercial strategy had ramifications the American public to this day poorly understands.

The news business for decades emphasized "objective" presentation, which was really less an issue of politics than of tone.

The idea was to make the recitation of news rhetorically watered down and unthreatening enough to rope in the whole spectrum of potential news consumers. The old-school anchorperson was a monotone mannequin designed to look and sound like a safe date for your daughter: Good evening, I'm Dan Rather, and my frontal lobes have been removed . Today in Libya

Murdoch smashed this framework. He gave news consumers broadcasts that were pointed, opinionated, and nasty. He struck gold with The O'Reilly Factor, hosted by a yammering, red-faced repository of white suburban rage named Bill O'Reilly (another Boston TV vet).

The next hit was Hannity & Colmes, a format that played as a parody of old news. In this show, the "liberal" Colmes was the quivering, asexual, "safe date" prototype from the old broadcast era, and Sean Hannity was a thuggish Joey Buttafuoco in makeup whose job was to make Colmes look like the spineless dope he was.

This was theater, not news, and it was not designed to seize the whole audience in the way that other debate shows like CNN's Crossfire were.

The premise of Crossfire was an honest fight, two prominent pundits duking it out over issues, and may the best man (they were usually men) win.

The prototypical Crossfire setup involved a bombastic winger like Pat Buchanan versus an effete liberal like New Republic editor Michael Kinsley. On some days the conservative would be allowed to win, on some days the liberal would score a victory. It looked like a real argument.

But Crossfire was really just a formalized version of the artificial poles of allowable debate that Chomsky and Herman described. As some of its participants (like Jeff Cohen, a pioneering media critic who briefly played the "liberal" on the show, about whom we'll hear more later) came to realize, Crossfire became a propagandistic setup, a stage trick in which the "left" side of the argument was gradually pushed toward the right over the years. It was propaganda, but in slow motion.

Hannity & Colmes dispensed with the pretense. This was the intellectual version of Vince McMahon's pro wrestling spectacles, which were booming at the time. In the Fox debate shows, Sean Hannity was the heel, and Colmes was the good guy, or babyface. As any good wrestling fan knows, most American audiences want to see babyface stomped.

The job of Colmes was to get pinned over and over again, and he did it well. Meanwhile rightist anger merchants like Hannity and O'Reilly (and, on the radio, Rush Limbaugh) were rapidly hoovering up audiences that were frustrated, white, and often elderly. Fox chief Roger Ailes once boasted, "I created a network for people 55 to dead." (Ailes is now dead himself.)

This was a new model for the media. Instead of targeting the broad mean, they were now narrowly hunting demographics. The explosion of cable television meant there were hundreds of channels, each of which had its own mission.

Just as Manufacturing Consent came out, all the major cable channels were setting off on similar whale hunts, sailing into the high demographic seas in search of audiences to capture. Lifetime was "television for women," while the Discovery Channel did well with men. BET went after black viewers. Young people were MTV's target audience.

This all seems obvious now, but this "siloing" effect that spread across other channels soon became a very important new factor in news coverage. Fox for a long time cornered the market on conservative viewers. Almost automatically, competitors like CNN and MSNBC became home to people who viewed themselves as liberals, beginning a sifting process that would later accelerate.

A new dynamic entered the job of reporting. For generations, news directors had only to remember a few ideological imperatives. One, ably and voluminously described by Chomsky and Herman, was, "America rules: pay no attention to those napalmed bodies." We covered the worthy victims, ignored the unworthy ones, and that was most of the job, politically.

The rest of the news? As one TV producer put it to me in the nineties, "The entire effect we're after is, 'Isn't that weird?'"

Did you hear about that guy in Michigan who refused to mow his lawn even when the town ordered him to? Weird! And how about that drive-thru condom store that opened in Cranston, Rhode Island? What a trip! And, hey, what happened in the O.J. trial today? That Kato Kaelin is really a doof! And I love that lawyer who wears a suede jacket! He looks like a cowboy!

TV execs learned Americans would be happy if you just fed them a nonstop succession of National Enquirer –style factoids (this is formalized today in meme culture). The New York Times deciding to cover the O.J. freak show full-time broke the seal on the open commercialization of dumb news that among other things led to a future where Donald Trump could be a viable presidential candidate.

In the old days, the news was a mix of this toothless trivia and cheery dispatches from the front lines of Pax Americana. The whole fam could sit and watch it without getting upset (by necessity: an important principle in pre-Internet broadcasting is that nothing on the air, including the news, could be as intense or as creative as the commercials). The news once designed to be consumed by the whole house, by loving Mom, by your crazy right-wing uncle, by your earnest college-student cousin who just came home wearing a Che T-shirt.

But once we started to be organized into demographic silos, the networks found another way to seduce these audiences: they sold intramural conflict.

The Roger Ailes types captured the attention of the crazy right-wing uncle and got him watching one channel full of news tailored for him, filling the airwaves with stories, for instance, about immigration or minorities committing crimes. Different networks eventually rose to market themselves to the kid in the Che T-shirt. If you got them in different rooms watching different channels, you could get both viewers literally addicted to hating one another.

There was a political element to this, but also not. It was commerce, initially. And reporters stuck in this world soon began to realize that the nature of their jobs had changed.

Whereas once the task was to report the facts as honestly as we could -- down the middle of the "fairway" of acceptable thought, of course -- the new task was mostly about making sure your viewer came back the next day.

We sold anger, and we did it mainly by feeding audiences what they wanted to hear. Mostly, this involved cranking out stories about people our viewers loved to hate.

Selling siloed anger was a more sophisticated take on the WWE programming pioneered in Hannity & Colmes . The modern news consumer tuned into news that confirmed his or her prejudices about whatever or whoever the villain of the day happened to be: foreigners, minorities, terrorists, the Clintons, Republicans, even corporations.

The system was ingeniously designed so that the news dropped down the respective silos didn't interfere with the occasional need to "manufacture" the consent of the whole population. If we needed to, we could still herd the whole country into the pen again and get them backing the flag, as was the case with the Iraq War effort.

But mostly, we sold conflict. We began in the early nineties to systematically pry families apart, set group against group, and more and more make news consumption a bubble-like, "safe space" stimulation of the vitriolic reflex, a consumer version of "Two Minutes Hate."

How did this serve the needs of the elite interests that were once promoting unity? That wasn't easy for me to see, in my first decades in the business. For a long time, I thought it was a flaw in the Chomsky/Herman model. It looked like we were mostly selling pointless division.

But it now seems there was a reason, even for that.

The news media is in crisis. Polls show that a wide majority of the population no longer has confidence in the press. Chomsky himself despairs at this, noting in my discussion with him (at the end of this book) that Manufacturing Consent had the unintended consequence of convincing readers not to trust the media.

There are many ways of mistrusting something, but people who came away from Manufacturing Consent with the idea that the media peddles lies misread the book. Papers like the New York Times, for the most part, do not traffic in outright deceptions.

The overwhelming majority of commercial news reporting is factual (with one conspicuous exception I'll get into later on), and the individual reporters who work in the business tend to be quite stubborn in their adherence to fact as a matter of principle. (Sadly, in the time it's taken to write this book, even this has begun to change some). Still, people should trust most reporters, especially local reporters, who tend to have real beats (like statehouses or courts), have few of the insular prejudices of the national media, and don't deserve the elitist tag. The context in which reporters operate is most often the problem.

Now, more than ever, most journalists work for giant nihilistic corporations whose editorial decisions are skewed by a toxic mix of political and financial considerations. Without understanding how those pressures work, it's very difficult for a casual news consumer to gain an accurate picture of the world.

This book is intended as an insider's guide to those distortions.

The technology underpinning the modern news business is sophisticated and works according to a two-step process. First, it creates content that reinforces your pre-existing opinions, and, after analysis of your consumer habits, sends it to you.

Then it matches you to advertisers who have a product they're trying to sell to your demographic. This is how companies like Facebook and Google make their money: telling advertisers where their likely customers are on the web.

The news, basically, is bait to lure you into a pen where you can be sold sneakers or bath soaps or prostatitis cures or whatever else studies say people of your age, gender, race, class, and political persuasion tend to buy.

Imagine your Internet surfing habit as being like walking down a street. A man shouts: "Did you hear what those damned liberals did today? Come down this alley."

You hate liberals, so you go down the alley. On your way to the story, there's a storefront selling mart carts and gold investments (there's a crash coming -- this billionaire even says so!).

Maybe you buy the gold, maybe you don't. But at the end of the alley, there's a red-faced screamer telling a story that may even be true, about a college in Massachusetts where administrators took down a statue of John Adams because it made a Hispanic immigrant "uncomfortable." Boy, does that make you pissed!

They picked that story just for you to hear. It is like the parable of Kafka's gatekeeper, guarding a door to the truth that was built just for you.

Across the street, down the MSNBC alley, there's an opposite story, and set of storefronts, built specifically for someone else to hear.

People need to start understanding the news not as "the news," but as just such an individualized consumer experience -- anger just for you.

This is not reporting. It's a marketing process designed to create rhetorical addictions and shut any non-consumerist doors in your mind. This creates more than just pockets of political rancor. It creates masses of media consumers who've been trained to see in only one direction, as if they had been pulled through history on a railroad track, with heads fastened in blinders, looking only one way.

As it turns out, there is a utility in keeping us divided. As people, the more separate we are, the more politically impotent we become.

This is the second stage of the mass media deception originally described in Manufacturing Consent .

First, we're taught to stay within certain bounds, intellectually. Then, we're all herded into separate demographic pens, located along different patches of real estate on the spectrum of permissible thought.

Once safely captured, we're trained to consume the news the way sports fans do. We root for our team, and hate all the rest.

Hatred is the partner of ignorance, and we in the media have become experts in selling both.

I looked back at thirty years of deceptive episodes -- from Iraq to the financial crisis of 2008 to the 2016 election of Donald Trump -- and found that we in the press have increasingly used intramural hatreds to obscure larger, more damning truths. Fake controversies of increasing absurdity have been deployed over and over to keep our audiences from seeing larger problems.

We manufactured fake dissent, to prevent real dissent.

[Nov 06, 2019] Manufacturing Fear and Loathing, Maximizing Corporate Profits! A Review of Matt Taibbi's Hate Inc. Why Today's Media Makes Us

Notable quotes:
"... "Manufacturing Consent," Taibbi writes, "explains that the debate you're watching is choreographed. The range of argument has been artificially narrowed long before you get to hear it" (p. 11). ..."
"... Americans were held captive by the boob tube affords us not only a useful historical image but also suggests the possibility of their having been able to view the television as an antagonist, and therefore of their having been able, at least some of them, to rebel against its dictates. Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets, the workings of which are so precisely intertwined with even the most intimate minute-to-minute aspects of our lives that our relationship to them could hardly ever become antagonistic. ..."
"... The massive political revolution was, going all the way back to 1989, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and then of the Soviet Union itself -- and thus of the usefulness of anti-communism as a kind of coercive secular religion (pp. 14-15). ..."
"... our corporate media have devised -- at least for the time being -- highly-profitable marketing processes that manufacture fake dissent in order to smother real dissent (p. 21). ..."
"... And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid. ..."
"... For Maddow, he notes, is "a depressingly exact mirror of Hannity . The two characters do exactly the same work. They make their money using exactly the same commercial formula. And though they emphasize different political ideas, the effect they have on audiences is much the same" (pp. 259-260). ..."
Nov 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Matt Taibbi's Hate Inc . is the most insightful and revelatory book about American politics to appear since the publication of Thomas Frank's Listen, Liberal almost four full years ago, near the beginning of the last presidential election cycle.

While Frank's topic was the abysmal failure of the Democratic Party to be democratic and Taibbi's is the abysmal failure of our mainstream news corporations to report news, the prominent villains in both books are drawn from the same, or at least overlapping, elite social circles: from, that is, our virulently anti-populist liberal class, from our intellectually mediocre creative class, from our bubble-dwelling thinking class. In fact, I would strongly recommend that the reader spend some time with Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas? (2004) and Listen, Liberal! (2016) as he or she takes up Taibbi's book.

And to really do the book the justice it deserves, I would even more vehemently recommend that the reader immerse him- or herself in Taibbi's favorite book and vade-mecum , Manufacturing Consent (which I found to be a grueling experience: a relentless cataloging of the official lies that hide the brutality of American foreign policy) and, in order to properly appreciate the brilliance of Taibbi's chapter 7, "How the Media Stole from Pro Wrestling," visit some locale in Flyover Country and see some pro wrestling in person (which I found to be unexpectedly uplifting -- more on this soon enough).

Taibbi tells us that he had originally intended for Hate, Inc . to be an updating of Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent (1988), which he first read thirty years ago, when he was nineteen. "It blew my mind," Taibbi writes. "[It] taught me that some level of deception was baked into almost everything I'd ever been taught about modern American life .

Once the authors in the first chapter laid out their famed propaganda model [italics mine], they cut through the deceptions of the American state like a buzz saw" (p. 10). For what seemed to be vigorous democratic debate, Taibbi realized, was instead a soul-crushing simulation of debate. The choices voters were given were distinctions without valid differences, and just as hyped, just as trivial, as the choices between a Whopper and a Big Mac, between Froot Loops and Frosted Mini-Wheats, between Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, between Marlboro Lites and Camel Filters. It was all profit-making poisonous junk.

"Manufacturing Consent," Taibbi writes, "explains that the debate you're watching is choreographed. The range of argument has been artificially narrowed long before you get to hear it" (p. 11). And there's an indisputable logic at work here, because the reality of hideous American war crimes is and always has been, from the point of view of the big media corporations, a "narrative-ruining" buzz-kill. "The uglier truth [brought to light in Manufacturing Consent ], that we committed genocide of a fairly massive scale across Indochina -- ultimately killing at least a million innocent civilians by air in three countries -- is pre-excluded from the history of the period" (p. 13).

So what has changed in the last thirty years? A lot! As a starting point let's consider the very useful metaphor found in the title of another great media book of 1988: Mark Crispin Miller's Boxed In: The Culture of TV . To say that Americans were held captive by the boob tube affords us not only a useful historical image but also suggests the possibility of their having been able to view the television as an antagonist, and therefore of their having been able, at least some of them, to rebel against its dictates. Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets, the workings of which are so precisely intertwined with even the most intimate minute-to-minute aspects of our lives that our relationship to them could hardly ever become antagonistic.

Taibbi summarizes the history of these three decades in terms of three "massive revolutions" in the media plus one actual massive political revolution, all of which, we should note, he discussed with his hero Chomsky (who is now ninety! -- Edward Herman passed away in 2017) even as he wrote his book. And so: the media revolutions which Taibbi describes were, first, the coming of FoxNews along with Rush Limbaugh-style talk radio; second, the coming of CNN, i.e., the Cable News Network, along with twenty-four hour infinite-loop news cycles; third, the coming of the Internet along with the mighty social media giants Facebook and Twitter.

The massive political revolution was, going all the way back to 1989, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and then of the Soviet Union itself -- and thus of the usefulness of anti-communism as a kind of coercive secular religion (pp. 14-15).

For all that, however, the most salient difference between the news media of 1989 and the news media of 2019 is the disappearance of the single type of calm and decorous and slightly boring cis-het white anchorman (who somehow successfully appealed to a nationwide audience) and his replacement by a seemingly wide variety of demographically-engineered news personæ who all rage and scream combatively in each other's direction. "In the old days," Taibbi writes, "the news was a mix of this toothless trivia and cheery dispatches from the frontlines of Pax Americana . The news [was] once designed to be consumed by the whole house . But once we started to be organized into demographic silos [italics mine], the networks found another way to seduce these audiences: they sold intramural conflict" (p. 18).

And in this new media environment of constant conflict, how, Taibbi wondered, could public consent , which would seem to be at the opposite end of the spectrum from conflict, still be manufactured ?? "That wasn't easy for me to see in my first decades in the business," Taibbi writes. "For a long time, I thought it was a flaw in the Chomsky/Herman model" (p. 19).

But what Taibbi was at length able to understand, and what he is now able to describe for us with both wit and controlled outrage, is that our corporate media have devised -- at least for the time being -- highly-profitable marketing processes that manufacture fake dissent in order to smother real dissent (p. 21).

And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid.

Or pretty much so. Taibbi is more historically precise. Because of the tweaking of the Herman/Chomsky propaganda model necessitated by the disappearance of the USSR in 1991 ("The Russians escaped while we weren't watching them, / As Russians do ," Jackson Browne presciently prophesied on MTV way back in 1983), one might now want to speak of a Propaganda Model 2.0. For, as Taibbi notes, " the biggest change to Chomsky's model is the discovery of a far superior 'common enemy' in modern media: each other. So long as we remain a bitterly-divided two-party state, we'll never want for TV villains" (pp. 207-208).

To rub his great insight right into our uncomprehending faces, Taibbi has almost sadistically chosen to have dark, shadowy images of a yelling Sean Hannity (in lurid FoxNews Red!) and a screaming Rachel Maddow (in glaring MSNBC Blue!) juxtaposed on the cover of his book. For Maddow, he notes, is "a depressingly exact mirror of Hannity . The two characters do exactly the same work. They make their money using exactly the same commercial formula. And though they emphasize different political ideas, the effect they have on audiences is much the same" (pp. 259-260).

And that effect is hate. Impotent hate. For while Rachel's fan demographic is all wrapped up in hating Far-Right Fascists Like Sean, and while Sean's is all wrapped up in despising Libtard Lunatics Like Rachel, the bipartisan consensus in Washington for ever-increasing military budgets, for everlasting wars, for ever-expanding surveillance, for ever-growing bailouts of and tax breaks for and and handouts to the most powerful corporations goes forever unchallenged.

Oh my. And it only gets worse and worse, because the media, in order to make sure that their various siloed demographics stay superglued to their Internet devices, must keep ratcheting up levels of hate: the Fascists Like Sean and the Libtards Like Rachel must be continually presented as more and more deranged, and ultimately as demonic. "There is us and them," Taibbi writes, "and they are Hitler" (p. 64). A vile reductio ad absurdum has come into play: "If all Trump supporters are Hitler, and all liberals are also Hitler," Taibbi writes, " [t]he America vs. America show is now Hitler vs. Hitler! Think of the ratings! " The reader begins to grasp Taibbi's argument that our mainstream corporate media are as bad as -- are worse than -- pro wrestling. It's an ineluctable downward spiral.

Taibbi continues: "The problem is, there's no natural floor to this behavior. Just as cable TV will eventually become seven hundred separate twenty-four-hour porn channels, news and commentary will eventually escalate to boxing-style, expletive-laden, pre-fight tirades, and the open incitement to violence [italics mine]. If the other side is literally Hitler, [w]hat began as America vs. America will eventually move to Traitor vs. Traitor , and the show does not work if those contestants are not eventually offended to the point of wanting to kill one another" (pp. 65-69).

As I read this book, I often wondered about how difficult it was emotionally for Taibbi to write it. I'm just really glad to see that the guy didn't commit suicide along the way. He does describe the "self-loathing" he experienced as he realized his own complicity in the marketing processes which he exposes (p. 2). He also apologizes to the reader for his not being able to follow through on his original aim of writing a continuation of Herman and Chomsky's classic: "[W]hen I sat down to write what I'd hoped would be something with the intellectual gravitas of Manufacturing Consent ," Taibbi confesses, "I found decades of more mundane frustrations pouring out onto the page, obliterating a clinical examination" (p. 2).

I, however, am profoundly grateful to Taibbi for all of his brilliantly observed anecdotes. The subject matter is nauseating enough even in Taibbi's sparkling and darkly tragicomic prose. A more academic treatment of the subject would likely be too depressing to read. So let me conclude with an anecdote of my own -- and an oddly uplifting one at that -- about reading Taibbi's chapter 7, "How the News Media Stole from Pro Wrestling."

On the same day I read this chapter I saw that, on the bulletin board in my gym, a poster had appeared, as if by magic, promoting an upcoming Primal Conflict (!) professional wrestling event. I studied the photos of the wrestlers on the poster carefully, and, as an astute reader of Taibbi, I prided myself on being able to identify which of them seemed be playing the roles of heels , and which of them the roles of babyfaces .

For Taibbi explains that one of the fundamental dynamics of wrestling involves the invention of crowd-pleasing narratives out of the many permutations and combinations of pitting heels against faces . Donald Trump, a natural heel , brings the goofy dynamics of pro wrestling to American politics with real-life professional expertise. (Taibbi points out that in 2007 Trump actually performed before a huge cheering crowd in a Wrestlemania event billed as the "battle of the billionaires." Watch it on YouTube! https://youtu.be/5NsrwH9I9vE -- unbelievable!!)

The mainstream corporate media, on the other hand, their eyes fixed on ever bigger and bigger profits, have drifted into the metaphorical pro wrestling ring in ignorance, and so, when they face off against Trump, they often end up in the role of inept prudish pearl-clutching faces .

Taibbi condemns the mainstream media's failure to understand such a massively popular form of American entertainment as "malpractice" (p. 125), so I felt more than obligated to buy a ticket and see the advertised event in person. To properly educate myself, that is.

... ... ...


Steve Ruis , November 5, 2019 at 8:13 am

I have stopped watching broadcast "news" other than occasional sessions of NPR in the car. I get most of my news from sources such as this and from overseas sources (The Guardian, Reuters, etc.). I used to subscribe to newspapers but have given them up in disgust, even though I was looking forward to leisurely enjoying a morning paper after I retired.

I was brought up in the positive 1950's and, boy, did this turn out poorly.

Dao Gen , November 5, 2019 at 8:59 am

Matt Taibbi is an American treasure, and I love his writing very much, but we also need to ask, Why hasn't another Chomsky (or another Hudson), an analyst with a truly deep and wide-ranging, synthetic mind, appeared on the left to take apart our contemporary media and show us its inner workings? Have all the truly great minds gone to work for Wall Street? I don't have an answer, but to me the pro wrestling metaphor, while intriguing, misses something about the Fourth Estate in America, if it indeed still exists. And that is, except for radio, there is a distinct imbalance between the two sides of the MSM lineup. On the corporate liberal side of the national MSM team you have five wrestlers, but on the conservative/reactionary side you have only the Fox entry. Because of this imbalance, the corruption, laziness, self-indulgence, and generally declining interest in journalistic standards seems greater among the corporate liberal media team, including the NYT and WaPo, than the Fox team.

I'm not a fan of either Maddow (in her current incarnation) or Hannity, but Hannity, perhaps because he thinks he's like David, often hustles to refute the discourse of the corporate liberal Goliath team. Hannity obviously does more research on some topics than Maddow, and, perhaps because he began in radio, he puts more emphasis on semi-rationally structured rants than Maddow, who depends more on primal emotion, body language, and Hollywood-esque fear-inducing atmospherics.

I'd wager that in a single five-minute segment there will often be twice as many rational distinctions made in a Hannity rant than in a Maddow performance. In addition, for the last three years Hannity has simply been demonstrably right about the fake Russiagate propaganda blitz while Maddow has been as demonstrably wrong from the very beginning as propaganda industry trend-setter Adam Schiff. So for at least these last three years, the Maddow-Hannity primal match has been a somewhat misleading metaphor. The Blob and the security state have been decisively supporting (and directing?) the corporate liberal global interventionist media, at least regarding Russia and the permanent war establishment, and because the imbalance between the interventionist and the non-interventionist MSM, Russia and Ukraine are being used as a wedge to steadily break down the firewalls between the Dem party, the intel community, and the interventionist MSM. If we had real public debates with both sides at approximately equal strength as we did during the Vietnam War, then even pro wrestling-type matches would be superior to what we have now, which is truthy truth and thoughtsy thought coming to us from the military industrial complex and monopolistic holding companies. If fascism is defined as the fusion of the state and corporations, then the greatest threat of fascism in America may well be coming from the apparent gradual fusion of the corporate liberal MSM, the Dem party elite, and the intel community. Instead of an MSM wrestling match, we may soon be faced with a Japanese-style 'hitori-zumo' match in which a sumo wrestler wrestles with only himself. Once these sumo wrestlers were believed to be wrestling with invisible spirits, but those days are gone . http://kikuko-nagoya.com/html/hitori-zumo.htm

coboarts , November 5, 2019 at 9:59 am

"If we had real public debates" and if they were even debates where issues entered into contest were addressed point by point with evidence

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , November 5, 2019 at 10:03 am

Today's Noam Chomksy? Chomsky was part of the machine who broke ranks with it. His MIT research was generously funded by the Military Industrial Complex. Thankfully, enough of his latent humanity and Trotskyite upbringing shone through so he exposed what he was part of. So I guess today that's Chris Hedges, though he's a preacher at heart and not a semiotician.

neighbor7 , November 5, 2019 at 10:04 am

Thank you, Dao Gen. An excellent analysis, and your final image is usefully haunting.

a different chris , November 5, 2019 at 12:11 pm

> In addition, for the last three years Hannity has simply been demonstrably right about the fake Russiagate propaganda blitz while Maddow has been as demonstrably wrong

Eh. Read whats-his-name's (Frankfurter?) book On Bullshit . You are giving Hannity credit for something he doesn't really care about.

jrs , November 5, 2019 at 12:21 pm

I don't believe the media environment as a whole leans corporate Dem/neoliberal.

T.V. maybe, but radio is much more right wing than left (yes there is NPR and Pacifica, the latter with probably only a scattering of listerners but ) and it's still out there and a big influence, radio hasn't gone away. So doesn't the right wing tilt of radio kind of balance out television? (not necessarily in a good way but). And then there is the internet and I have no idea what the overall lean of that is (I mean I prefer left wing sites, but that's purely my own bubble and actually there are much fewer left analysis out there than I'd like)

Self Affine , November 5, 2019 at 9:05 am

Also,

Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism

by Sheldon S. Wolin

Critical deep analysis of not just the media but the whole American political enterprise and
the nature of our "democracy".

DJG , November 5, 2019 at 9:20 am

The whole review is good, but this extract should be quoted extensively:

While Frank's topic was the abysmal failure of the Democratic Party to be democratic and Taibbi's is the abysmal failure of our mainstream news corporations to report news, the prominent villains in both books are drawn from the same, or at least overlapping, elite social circles: from, that is, our virulently anti-populist liberal class, from our intellectually mediocre creative class, from our bubble-dwelling thinking class.

In short, stagnation and self-dealing at the top. What could possibly go wrong?

Yves Smith Post author , November 5, 2019 at 11:51 am

Are you serious? Maddow called Trump a traitor and accused him of betrayal in Russiagate, and was caught out when that fell apart. This was pointed out all over the MSM .

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/03/27/rachel-maddows-deep-delusion-226266

https://www.salon.com/2018/07/17/rachel-maddow-hits-the-panic-button-after-trump-putin-summit-this-is-the-worst-case-scenario/

Carolinian , November 5, 2019 at 9:52 am

This is great stuff. Thanks.

One quibble: the author says

Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets

and then goes on to spend most of the article talking about television. I'd say television is still the main propaganda instrument even if many webheads like yours truly ignore it (I've never seen Hannity's show or Maddow's–just hear the rumors). Arguably even newspapers like the NYT have been dumbed down because the reporters long to be on TV and join the shouting. And it's surely no coincidence that our president himself is a TV (and WWE) star. Mass media have always been feeders of hysteria but television gave them faces and voices. Watching TV is also a far more passive experience than surfing the web. They are selling us "narratives," bedtime stories, and we like sleepy children merely listen.

Jerri-Lynn Scofield , November 5, 2019 at 9:54 am

This rave review has inspired me to add this to my to-read non-fiction queue. Currently reading William Dalrymple's The Anarchy, on the rise of the East India Company. Next up: Matt Stoller's Goliath. And then I'll get to Taibbi. Probably worth digging up my original copy of Manufacturing Consent as well, which I read many moons ago; time for a re-read.

Susan the Other , November 5, 2019 at 12:32 pm

almost every page of mine is dog-eared and marked along the edge with exclamation points

urblintz , November 5, 2019 at 1:41 pm

May I suggest Stephen Cohen's "War with Russia?" if it's not already on your list? In focusing on the danger emerging from the new cold war, seeded by the Democrats, propagated by corporate media (which he thinks is more dangerous than the first), Cohen clarifies the importance of diplomacy especially with one's nuclear rivals.

Imagine that

shinola , November 5, 2019 at 9:56 am

Support your local book store!

Off The Street , November 5, 2019 at 9:57 am

Us rubes knew decades ago about pro wrestling. There was a regional circuit and the hero in one town would become the villain in another town. The ones to be surprised were like John Stossel, who got a perforated eardrum from a slap upside the head for his efforts at in-your-face journalism with a wrestler who just wouldn't play along with his grandstanding. Somewhere, kids cheered and life went on.

The Historian , November 5, 2019 at 10:01 am

Ah, Ancient Athens, here we come – running back to repeat your mistakes! Our MSM media has decided that when we are not at our neighbor's throats, we should be at each other's throats!

teacup , November 5, 2019 at 10:11 am

I was watching old clips of the 'Fred Friendly Seminars' on YouTube. IMHO any channel that produced a format such as this would be a ratings bonanza. Imagine a round table with various media figures (corporate) left, (corporate) right, and independent being refereed by a host-moderator discussing topics in 'Hate, Inc.'. In wrestling it's called a Battle Royale. The Fourth Estate in a cage match!

@ape , November 5, 2019 at 10:12 am

And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid.

This is important, if people don't want to be naive about what democracy buys. Democracy in the end is a ritual system to determine which members of an elite would win a war without actually having to hold the war. Like how court functions to replace personal revenge by determining (often) who would win in a fight if there were one, and the feudal system replaced the genocidal wars of the axial age with the gentler warfare of the middle ages which were often ritual wars of the elite that avoided the full risk of the earlier wars.

That, I think, is important -- under a democracy, the winner should be normally the winner of the avoided violent conflict to be sustainable. Thus, it's enough to get most people to consent to the solution, using the traditional meaning of consent being "won't put up a fight to avoid it". If the choices on the table are reduced enough, you can get by with most people simply dropping out of the questions.

Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit

It shouldn't be a surprise that we've moved to "faking dissent" -- it's the natural evolution of a system where a lot of the effective power is in the hands of tech, and not just as in the early 20th century, how many workers you have and how many soldiers you can raise.

If you don't like it, change the technology we use to fight one another. We went from tribes to lords when we switch from sticks to advanced forged weapons, and we went from feudalism to democracy when we had factories dropping guns that any 15 year old could use (oversimplifying a bit). Now that the stuff requires expertise, you'd expect a corresponding shift in how we ritualize our conflict avoidance, and thus the organization of how we control communication and how we organize our rituals of power.

Aka, it's the scientists and the engineers who end up determining how everything is organized, and people never seem to bother with that argument, which is especially surprising that even hard-core Marxists waste their time on short-term politics rather than the tech we're building.

I'd be curious whether Taibbi thought about the issue of the nature of the technology and whether there are technological options on the horizon which drive the conflict in other directions. If we had only kept the laws on copyright and patent weaker, so that the implementation of communicative infrastructure would have stayed decentralized

Susan the Other , November 5, 2019 at 12:41 pm

Tabby's "manufacturing fake consent" was really the whole punchline – the joke's on us. Hunter S. Thompson, another of Taibbi's heroes, is, along with Chomsky, speaking to us through MT. Our media is distracting us from social coherence. Another thing it is doing (just my opinion) is it is overwhelming us to the point of disgust. Nobody likes it. And we protect ourselves by tuning it out. Turning it off. Once the screaming lunatics marginalize themselves by making the whole narrative hysterical, we just act like it's another family fight and we're gonna go do something else. When everyone is screaming, no one is screaming.

Jerry B , November 5, 2019 at 10:26 am

I have tried to read Hate Inc. and Taibbi's Griftopia but one of my main issues with Taibbi's writing is his lack of notes, references, or bibliography, etc. in his books. In skimming Hate Inc. it seems like a book I would enjoy reading, however my personal value system is that any book without footnotes, endnotes, citations, or at minimum a bibliography is just an opinion or a story. At least Thomas Frank's Listen Liberal has a section for End Notes/References at the end of the book. Again just my personal values.

Sbbbd , November 5, 2019 at 10:45 am

Another classic in the genre of manufactured consent through media from the age of radio and Adolf Hitler:

"The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception", in the book Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947), Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer.

Joe Well , November 5, 2019 at 11:04 am

I am from Greater Boston, far, far from flyover country (which I imagine begins in Yonkers NY), but I sure grew up with pro wrestling as part of the schoolyard discourse. I certainly knew it was as much of a family affair as Disney on Ice and have trouble believing he thought otherwise though I will not impugn his honesty. I am very grateful to the author for taking the time to write this, but is it possible for a male who grew up in the US to be as deeply embedded in the MSNBC demo as he claims to be?

Seriously, how is it possible for a male raised in the US to not at least have some working familiarity with pro wrestling? My family along with my community was very close to the national median income–do higher income boys really not learn about WWF and WWE?

Seriously, rich kids, what was childhood like? I know you had music lessons and sports camps, what else? Was it really that different?

Carolinian , November 5, 2019 at 11:59 am

And it's not just the US. See the British WWE movie: Fighting With My Family.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighting_with_My_Family

Yves Smith Post author , November 5, 2019 at 12:03 pm

Sorry, my blue collar, lifetime union member brother says your view is horseshit. All the knows about WWE and WWF is that they are big-budget fakery and that's why they are of no interest.

amfortas the hippie , November 5, 2019 at 1:38 pm

aye. in my blue to white collar( and back to blue to no collar) upbringing, wrestling was never a thing. it was for the morons who couldn't read. seen as patently absurd by just about everyone i knew. and this in klanridden east texas exurbia
wife's mexican extended familia oth luche libre is a big thing that all and sundry talked about at thanksgiving. less so these days possibly due to the hyperindiviualisation of media intake mentioned
(and,btw, in my little world , horseshit is a good thing)

BlueStater , November 5, 2019 at 11:11 am

Even allowing for my lefty-liberal bias, I do not see how it is possible to equate Fox Noise and MSNBC, or Hannity and Maddow, as "both-sides" extremists. Fox violates basic professional canons of fairness and equity on a daily basis. MSNBC occasionally does, but is quick to correct errors of fact. Hannity is a thuggish outer-borough New York schmuck without much education or knowledge of the world. Maddow is an Oxford Ph.D. and Rhodes Scholar. It is one of the evil successes of the right-wing news cauldron to have successfully equated these two figures and organizations.

Yves Smith Post author , November 5, 2019 at 12:05 pm

Huh? MSNBC regularly makes errors of omission and commission with respect to Sanders. They are still pushing the Russiagate narrative. That's a massive, two-year, virtually all the time error they have refused to recant.

The blind spots of people on the soi-disant left are truly astonishing.

semiconscious , November 5, 2019 at 1:08 pm

'Hannity is a thuggish outer-borough New York schmuck without much education or knowledge of the world. Maddow is an Oxford Ph.D. and Rhodes Scholar '

oh, well, then – end of conversation! i mean, god knows, it'd be a cold day in hell before a rhodes scholar, or even someone married to one, would ever lead us astray down the rosy neoliberal path to hell, while, at the same time, under the spell of trump derangement syndrome, actually attempt to revive the mccarthy era, eh?

Summer , November 5, 2019 at 12:11 pm

Actual drugs are being used to hinder debate as well as emotional drugs like hate.
They can't trust agency to be removed by words and images alone – the stakes are too high.
Now all of you go take a feel good pill and stop complaining!

McWatt , November 5, 2019 at 1:02 pm

I would like to know if Matt is doing any book signings any where around the states for this new title?

David , November 5, 2019 at 1:15 pm

I've been impressed with Taibbi's work, what I've read of it, but ironically this very article contains a quote from him which exemplifies the problem: his casual assertion that the US committed "genocide" in Indochina. Even the most fervent critics of US policy didn't say this at the time, for the very good reason that there was no evidence that the US tried to destroy a racial, religious, ethnic or nationalist group (the full definition is a lot more complex and demanding than that). He clearly means that the US was responsible for lots of deaths, which is incontestable. But the process of endless escalation of rhetoric, which this book seems to be partly about, means that everything now has to be described in the most extreme, absurd or apocalyptic tones, and at the top of your voice, otherwise nobody takes any notice. So any self-respecting war now has to be qualified as "genocide" or nobody will take any notice.

[Nov 05, 2019] Anti-Russian hysteria and the extensive disinformation campaign probably stems from a 'Five Eyes' strategy ... with the malign Uncle as its director.

Notable quotes:
"... Integrity Initiative. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... 'Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.' ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative, ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft, ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Open Information Partnership ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Media Diversity Institute ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Moon of Alabama ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Integrity Initiative. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... 'Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.' ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative, ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft, ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Open Information Partnership ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Media Diversity Institute ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Moon of Alabama ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
Nov 05, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

ben , Nov 4 2019 19:46 utc | 8

james @ 4 opined;"
thanks b... i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex"

I'm with ya' james, this demonization of Russia, and any countries that refuse the empire's beck and call, is around to stay I'm afraid.

And yes, it's all of the above, but, mostly about the $.


semiconscious , Nov 4 2019 20:11 utc | 9

james @ 4;

'i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex? what is the rationale?...'

They're the nuclear rival that don't import many of the u.s.'s consumer products. otherwise, it'd either be china, or both...

plus, of course, there's all them cold war memes that can be triggered in a sizable portion of the population's heads...

chet380 , Nov 4 2019 20:26 utc | 11
#4 James, #8 Ben --

I suspect the the antipathy to Russia and the extensive disinformation campaign stems from a 'Five Eyes' project and strategy ... with the malign Uncle as its director.

Joost , Nov 4 2019 20:41 utc | 13
@james #4 "i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia..."
Same motivation as all forgotten empires had. Even our cat want some of it, staring down on his employees from his basket high up on the fridge with that evil look on his face. We call it his World Domination Command Centre, WDCC for short. Global domination is what they crave. Kill the competition, loot its resources, more power, more money. America has been looted, devastated. Time for the locusts to move on to greener pastures. Russia is the promised land, the next wild west new world to colonize. Problem is, as always, the natives.
TEP , Nov 4 2019 21:11 utc | 14
I am hopeful that more and more of the population are realising that if an organisation is promoted by any western government as a source of information, then that organisation will provide disinformation by default. There are few, if any, journalists anywhere that are not part of the empirical disinformation program. Those that are not will be independent and, therefore, by alternate default, extremely wary of western government/government-funded/NGO sources. All the hegemon and it's vassals can do now is double-down and hope that the populations will go back to sleep.
Trisha , Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16
As with all things evil, the British oligarchy began in the 1830s targeting Russia as a threat to its autocratic interests, in this case "defending" the Ottoman Empire against Russia.

The Brits were further scared out of their wits when the 1917 Russian Revolution was on the verge of establishing an anti-capitalist system. So they, along with a ragtag bag of co-conspirators including the United States, launched a military invasion of Russia.

That's right, U.S. troops landed at two places in Russia and fought against Russian soldiers. The Brits/U.S/et. al. suffered a humiliating defeat, leaving so quickly that U.S. dead soldiers were left behind buried in Soviet soil, to be repatriated years later.

But it's Russia that is the threat to "us", right?

Ort , Nov 4 2019 22:23 utc | 19
@ Trisha | Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16
___________________________________________

Thanks for your informative comment. I'd started to reply to James that Russia has been a default "boogie-man" and Western scapegoat since the 19th Century, but that sounded unhelpfully circular-- and I didn't have the ambition to refresh my understanding with actual historical facts. ;)

The fact that a sort of Western "coalition of the willing" invaded Russia after the 1917 revolution is still a well-kept secret! It was never mentioned in my (US) school courses, from parochial school through the "Honors Survey of Western Civilization" course I took in college.


/div> " The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2019-64 , Main November 04, 2019 British Government Disinformation Shop Lost Charity Status - Continues In New Format

At the end of last year some enterprising 'anonymous' person released papers of the British Integrity Initiative. As we reported at that time:

The British government financed Integrity Initiative is tasked with spreading anti-Russian propaganda and thereby with influencing the public, military and governments of a number of countries. What follows is an contextual analysis of the third batch of the Initiative's internal papers which were dumped by an anonymous yesterday.

Christopher Nigel Donnelly (CND) is the co-director of The Institute for Statecraft and founder of its offshoot Integrity Initiative . The Initiative claims to "Defend Democracy Against Disinformation".

The Integrity Initiative does this by planting disinformation about alleged Russian influence through journalists 'clusters' throughout Europe and the United States.

Both, the Institute as well as the Initiative, claim to be independent Non-Government Organizations. Both are financed by the British government, NATO and other state donors.

There have been seven releases of Institute of Statecraft documents. They included proposals for large anti-Russian disinformation campaigns . The Institute of Statecraft suggested to impose anti-Russian sanctions as early as January 2015. Its head, the former NATO advisor and military spy Chris Donnelly , also proposed to synchronously expel a large number of Russian diplomats from western countries.

That plans seems to have been the blueprint for the March 2018 mass expulsion of Russian diplomats during the Skripal affair. Several of the other measures Donnelly and his ilk planned have since been implemented.

The Institute of Statecraft was registered as a charity under Scottish law. After the release of its papers the Scottish charity regulator OSCR investigated the status of the Institute . Unsurprisingly the OSCR found (pdf) that its shady behavior and its running of anti-Russian disinformation campaigns did not justify its status:

In the course of our inquiry we found that the charity was not meeting the charity test required for continuing registration as a charity in Scotland because:

The purpose of the charity was purportedly to educate the public. But the regulator found that the Integrity Initiative did not educate but only spread its own version of 'reality' i.e. disinformation. The charity lacked neutrality:

In addition, our Meeting the Charity Test guidance states that:

'Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.'

OSCR's view is that the Integrity Initiative expressed a particular perspective intended to persuade the public to a specific point of view and, given the nature of the subject matter, it was not sufficiently neutral to advance education.

The crocks who were running the charity were filling their own pockets with the public money the 'charity' received:

To pass the charity test any private benefit must be incidental to the organisation's activities that advance its purposes, that is, it must be a necessary result or by-product of the organisation's activities and not an end in itself.

We were concerned at the level of private benefit that a number of the charity's trustees were gaining from the exercise of its functions.

There was no clear explanation as to why the salaries being paid to charity trustees were considered reasonable and necessary, and we had concerns about the charity trustees' decision-making process around these payments. We do not consider that this private benefit was incidental to the organisation's activities that advanced its purposes.

The regulator also noted a lack of record keeping and a lack of documentation of decision making by the Institute's trustees.

Unfortunately the charity regulator will not close down the Institute of Statecraft. It accepted that it rectified its behavior by taking a number of measures:

The Integrity Initiative, as paid for by the British Foreign Office, Ministry of Defense, NATO and other such entities, will live on as a non-charitable entity with even less transparency. Its website, as well as that of Institute of Statecraft, is down. That it will now have to live in total secrecy will make it more difficult for it to recruit foreign journalist to spread its propaganda.

Since the Integrity Initiative was exposed the British government opened and financed a new secretive shop that will continue to spread anti-Russian disinformation :

On 3rd April, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) minister Alan Duncan revealed his department's 'Counter Disinformation and Media Development Programme' - which bankrolls the Institute for Statecraft and its Integrity Initiative subsidiary - was funding a new endeavour, Open Information Partnership (OIP).

The announcement, buried in a response to a written parliamentary question, was supremely light on detail - Duncan merely said the effort would "respond to manipulated information in the news, social media and across the public space". Official fanfare was also unforthcoming - there was no accompanying press release, briefing document, or even mention of the launch by any government minister or department via social media channels.

The original proposal for the Open Information Partnership , as released by 'anonymous' , included the Institute of Statecraft , a Media Diversity Institute , Bellingcat , DFR Lab (i.e. the Atlantic Council) and some others in a so called ZINC Network . On the current OIP website the Institute of Statecraft 'charity' is no longer named.

---
Previous Moon of Alabama reports on the issue:

Tim Hayward provides a list (scroll down) of a large number of articles written here and elsewhere about the Integrity Initiative .

Posted by b on November 4, 2019 at 17:57 UTC | Permalink

" The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2019-64 | Main November 04, 2019 British Government Disinformation Shop Lost Charity Status - Continues In New Format

At the end of last year some enterprising 'anonymous' person released papers of the British Integrity Initiative. As we reported at that time:

The British government financed Integrity Initiative is tasked with spreading anti-Russian propaganda and thereby with influencing the public, military and governments of a number of countries. What follows is an contextual analysis of the third batch of the Initiative's internal papers which were dumped by an anonymous yesterday.

Christopher Nigel Donnelly (CND) is the co-director of The Institute for Statecraft and founder of its offshoot Integrity Initiative . The Initiative claims to "Defend Democracy Against Disinformation".

The Integrity Initiative does this by planting disinformation about alleged Russian influence through journalists 'clusters' throughout Europe and the United States.

Both, the Institute as well as the Initiative, claim to be independent Non-Government Organizations. Both are financed by the British government, NATO and other state donors.

There have been seven releases of Institute of Statecraft documents. They included proposals for large anti-Russian disinformation campaigns . The Institute of Statecraft suggested to impose anti-Russian sanctions as early as January 2015. Its head, the former NATO advisor and military spy Chris Donnelly , also proposed to synchronously expel a large number of Russian diplomats from western countries.

That plans seems to have been the blueprint for the March 2018 mass expulsion of Russian diplomats during the Skripal affair. Several of the other measures Donnelly and his ilk planned have since been implemented.

The Institute of Statecraft was registered as a charity under Scottish law. After the release of its papers the Scottish charity regulator OSCR investigated the status of the Institute . Unsurprisingly the OSCR found (pdf) that its shady behavior and its running of anti-Russian disinformation campaigns did not justify its status:

In the course of our inquiry we found that the charity was not meeting the charity test required for continuing registration as a charity in Scotland because:
  • its purposes were not entirely charitable
  • one of its most significant activities, a project known as Integrity Initiative, did not provide public benefit in furtherance of the charity's purposes
  • private benefit to charity trustees was not incidental to the charity's activities that advance its charitable purpose

The purpose of the charity was purportedly to educate the public. But the regulator found that the Integrity Initiative did not educate but only spread its own version of 'reality' i.e. disinformation. The charity lacked neutrality:

In addition, our Meeting the Charity Test guidance states that:

'Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.'

OSCR's view is that the Integrity Initiative expressed a particular perspective intended to persuade the public to a specific point of view and, given the nature of the subject matter, it was not sufficiently neutral to advance education.

The crocks who were running the charity were filling their own pockets with the public money the 'charity' received:

To pass the charity test any private benefit must be incidental to the organisation's activities that advance its purposes, that is, it must be a necessary result or by-product of the organisation's activities and not an end in itself.

We were concerned at the level of private benefit that a number of the charity's trustees were gaining from the exercise of its functions.

There was no clear explanation as to why the salaries being paid to charity trustees were considered reasonable and necessary, and we had concerns about the charity trustees' decision-making process around these payments. We do not consider that this private benefit was incidental to the organisation's activities that advanced its purposes.

The regulator also noted a lack of record keeping and a lack of documentation of decision making by the Institute's trustees.

Unfortunately the charity regulator will not close down the Institute of Statecraft. It accepted that it rectified its behavior by taking a number of measures:

  • the charity has ceased to undertake any activity related to the Integrity initiative, and this is now undertaken by a non-charitable entity having no legal connection to the charity
  • the charity has ceased to remunerate any of its charity trustees
  • the charity is taking external guidance on governance
  • some charity trustees are to stand down as soon as replacement charity trustees can be identified

The Integrity Initiative, as paid for by the British Foreign Office, Ministry of Defense, NATO and other such entities, will live on as a non-charitable entity with even less transparency. Its website, as well as that of Institute of Statecraft, is down. That it will now have to live in total secrecy will make it more difficult for it to recruit foreign journalist to spread its propaganda.

Since the Integrity Initiative was exposed the British government opened and financed a new secretive shop that will continue to spread anti-Russian disinformation :

On 3rd April, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) minister Alan Duncan revealed his department's 'Counter Disinformation and Media Development Programme' - which bankrolls the Institute for Statecraft and its Integrity Initiative subsidiary - was funding a new endeavour, Open Information Partnership (OIP).

The announcement, buried in a response to a written parliamentary question, was supremely light on detail - Duncan merely said the effort would "respond to manipulated information in the news, social media and across the public space". Official fanfare was also unforthcoming - there was no accompanying press release, briefing document, or even mention of the launch by any government minister or department via social media channels.

The original proposal for the Open Information Partnership , as released by 'anonymous' , included the Institute of Statecraft , a Media Diversity Institute , Bellingcat , DFR Lab (i.e. the Atlantic Council) and some others in a so called ZINC Network . On the current OIP website the Institute of Statecraft 'charity' is no longer named.

---
Previous Moon of Alabama reports on the issue:

Tim Hayward provides a list (scroll down) of a large number of articles written here and elsewhere about the Integrity Initiative .

Posted by b on November 4, 2019 at 17:57 UTC | Permalink

div
NoOneYouKnow , Nov 4 2019 18:27 utc | 1
Thanks, B. It's a pity the people of the UK have no foreseeable recourse to stop shadow government operations like this that exist to disinform the people of the UK.
div> Speaking of Bellingcat:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BfLPJpRtyq4RFtHJoNpvWQjmGnyVkfE2HYoICKOGguA/mobilebas

Posted by: NOBTS , Nov 4 2019 18:45 utc | 2

Speaking of Bellingcat:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BfLPJpRtyq4RFtHJoNpvWQjmGnyVkfE2HYoICKOGguA/mobilebas

Posted by: NOBTS | Nov 4 2019 18:45 utc | 2

karlof1 , Nov 4 2019 18:49 utc | 3
At Kit Klarenberg's Twitter , there's a long tweet thread further detailing what b has written above. I can't help be wonder how the Monty Python troop would have portrayed the Institute for Statecraft and its parent the Integrity Initiative. It appears that the governments of the English speaking nations became addicted to lying to their citizens @1900 and are unable to kick the habit and instead have actually deepened their addiction. Elsewhere on the planet, it seems that people are learning it's easier to talk straight and transparently with other people and to pool resources and combine efforts to form a community of nations and humanity to better one and all. Seems simple enough to determine which is functional and which isn't.
james , Nov 4 2019 18:50 utc | 4
thanks b... i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex? what is the rationale? i agree with @ 1 - noyk - it is unfortunate the uk people are used as guinea pigs on such a regular basis.. i suspect a similar exercise is in operation in canada and the west, although it seems the msm fulfills this role here...
NOBTS , Nov 4 2019 18:51 utc | 5
Oops! Googlehidden. Here's one that might work. An interesting compendium: https://www.comsuregroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Bellingcats-Digital-Toolkit.pdf
erik , Nov 4 2019 18:54 utc | 6
It seems that often products or organizations, which contain superlatives or anodyne expressions in their names, are generally sketchy...
karlof1 , Nov 4 2019 19:19 utc | 7
The Federalist declares it's published a scoop :

"CIA, FBI Informant Was Washington Post Source For Russiagate Smears."

The article details a segment of Russiagate's overall unraveling and outs WaPost's David Ignatius as part of Operation Mockingbird. And I see no reason to dispute the item's conclusion:

"These close connections between the Washington Post's Ignatius and individuals connected to the American and British intelligence communities, and the false reporting that has taken place over the last three-plus years, raise grave concerns that the warfare of the soft coup aimed at President Trump includes using the media to push propaganda."

The longer the above conclusion's denied, the wider the polarization becomes between those guided by facts and those following media fantasies.

ben , Nov 4 2019 19:46 utc | 8
james @ 4 opined;"
thanks b... i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex"

I'm with ya' james, this demonetization of Russia, and any countries that refuse the empire's beck and call, is around to stay I'm afraid.

And yes, it's all of the above, but, mostly about the $.

semiconscious , Nov 4 2019 20:11 utc | 9
james @ 4;

'i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex? what is the rationale?...'

they're the nuclear rival that don't manufacture many of the u.s.'s consumer products. otherwise, it'd either be china, or both...

plus, of course, there's all them cold war memes that can be triggered in a sizable portion of the population's heads...

David G , Nov 4 2019 20:13 utc | 10
The OSCR report includes the Institute for Statecraft's own description of its purposes, but nothing about its actual operations, other than the ones now being deemed unsatisfactory under the charities law.

So now that the Institute has committed not to run the Integrity Initiative, and not to enrich its trustees, what are its legitimate "charitable" activities that OSCR is kindly allowing it to continue with?

chet380 , Nov 4 2019 20:26 utc | 11
#4 James, #8 Ben --

I suspect the the antipathy to Russia and the extensive disinformation campaign stems from a 'Five Eyes' project and strategy ... with the malign Uncle as its director.

James , Nov 4 2019 20:31 utc | 12
As an Irish citizen, I think the British deep state - the original deep state -have been very successful at demonising the enemies of 'freedom' and 'civilisation', the Irish yes, also the Indians, Africans, Germans, french, Spanish, Muslims and now the Russians. Our enemies are not each other rather the deep state. Let's recognise who our real enemy is
Joost , Nov 4 2019 20:41 utc | 13
@james #4 "i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia..."
Same motivation as all forgotten empires had. Even our cat want some of it, staring down on his employees from his basket high up on the fridge with that evil look on his face. We call it his World Domination Command Centre, WDCC for short. Global domination is what they crave. Kill the competition, loot its resources, more power, more money. America has been looted, devastated. Time for the locusts to move on to greener pastures. Russia is the promised land, the next wild west new world to colonize. Problem is, as always, the natives.
TEP , Nov 4 2019 21:11 utc | 14
I am hopeful that more and more of the population are realising that if an organisation is promoted by any western government as a source of information, then that organisation will provide disinformation by default. There are few, if any, journalists anywhere that are not part of the empirical disinformation program. Those that are not will be independent and, therefore, by alternate default, extremely wary of western government/government-funded/NGO sources. All the hegemon and it's vassals can do now is double-down and hope that the populations will go back to sleep.
james , Nov 4 2019 21:18 utc | 15
@8 ben / @ 9 semiconscious / @ 11 chet380.. yes, there is that too, but is that it? money as ben says rings true for me mostly... that is mostly how i see this...the agencies seem to be a front for western oligarchs.. the kleptomaniacs want access to all russian resources and have yet to be successful in getting it.. they succeeded in ukraine for the most part in having the kleptos gain control over much of ukraine.. the 2014 coop was meant to solidify more of that and poke russia in the eye too..

@ 13 joost... i would watch out for your cat! alas, we all seem to agree it is about wanting to loot russia... we share a similar viewpoint.. it is really sick how so many are ignorant pawns, or worse in all of this.. no wonder i make next to no money working in the music industry... i am in the wrong game and don't share a lack of ethics on such display with all these losers..

Trisha , Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16
As with all things evil, the British oligarchy began in the 1830s targeting Russia as a threat to its autocratic interests, in this case "defending" the Ottoman Empire against Russia.

The Brits were further scared out of their wits when the 1917 Russian Revolution was on the verge of establishing an anti-capitalist system. So they, along with a ragtag bag of co-conspirators including the United States, launched a military invasion of Russia.

That's right, U.S. troops landed at two places in Russia and fought against Russian soldiers. The Brits/U.S/et. al. suffered a humiliating defeat, leaving so quickly that U.S. dead soldiers were left behind buried in Soviet soil, to be repatriated years later.

But it's Russia that is the threat to "us", right?

Jen , Nov 4 2019 21:34 utc | 17
Reading through the OCSR's document at the PDF link in B's post, I am surprised (should I be?) that during the entire decade-long period when the Institute of Statecraft was registered as a charity, the OCSR did not see fit at any time to remind the organisation of its responsibilities to keep proper records of its activities and decision-making, to provide a proper formal and transparent structure for its activities that could be shown to demonstrate a public benefit, and to have proper formal structures generally for its day-to-day running and governance activities. The Scottish public have every right to hold the OCSR to much higher standards of being a regulatory organisation making sure that charities are run properly as charities and not simply accept those charities' word that they will improve their operations when they have spent 10 long years taking money (some of it taxpayers' money) and misusing it.
Jackrabbit , Nov 4 2019 21:46 utc | 18
james @15:
they succeeded in ukraine for the most part in having the kleptos gain control over much of ukraine..

Ukraine is an economic disaster. Donbas and Crimea were the most valuable parts.

Ort , Nov 4 2019 22:23 utc | 19
@ Trisha | Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16
___________________________________________

Thanks for your informative comment. I'd started to reply to James that Russia has been a default "boogie-man" and Western scapegoat since the 19th Century, but that sounded unhelpfully circular-- and I didn't have the ambition to refresh my understanding with actual historical facts. ;)

The fact that a sort of Western "coalition of the willing" invaded Russia after the 1917 revolution is still a well-kept secret! It was never mentioned in my (US) school courses, from parochial school through the "Honors Survey of Western Civilization" course I took in college.


Jackrabbit , Nov 4 2019 22:31 utc | 20
james @4

You ask too many questions... isn't it clear?

We hate THEM 'cause THEY hate US.

/snarc

Seriously, we've seen the movie and read the book. This is how "Red Scare" McCarthyism works.

!!

james , Nov 5 2019 0:10 utc | 21
@18 jr... disaster capitalism at its finest!!

@ 20..lol.. that is true... can't ver ask too many questions! and, it has been a repeat of mccarthyism.. it's bizarre to see so many otherwise intelligent people swallow this crap.. i think of emptywheel and how i used to think she was smart.. she is so busy looking at the trees, she's incapable of seeing the forest..

james , Nov 5 2019 0:21 utc | 22
@16 trisha... thanks... as i have mentioned here at moa numerous times, the book 'paris 1918' by Margaret Macmillan is an excellent book that gives an overview and discusses exactly what you are talking about.. i can't recommend the book enough..
https://www.bookbrowse.com/reviews/index.cfm/book_number/1135/Paris-1919
Ash Naz , Nov 5 2019 0:55 utc | 23
I ploughed through the Kit Klarenberg piece on Sputnik that b linked to and would have wept at the Orwellian inversions of truth in the OIP's 'mission statment' if I'd had any tears left after enduring the recent decades of lies and projection of the Empire's propaganda machine. The Mighty Wurlitzer at corporate-speak indeed. In fact all I could do was laugh like Group Captain Mandrake in Dr Strangelove when confronted with the madness of General Ripper.

Tragically, the opening paragraph of their statement sounded like something Caitlin Johnstone might pen, urging our side to be wary and vigilant of the propaganda of them .

"Democracy cannot thrive without honest, accurate and freely available information about the world around us We need to know where our information is coming from, we need to know the motives (good, bad or neither) of those providing the information, and be in the habit of thinking critically about everything we read and hear. Every one of us has the right to be properly informed – that knowledge gives us strength. Every one of us shares responsibility for informed engagement and critical thinking, to challenge the powerful and uncover the truth An engaged population, equipped with clarity and the truth, is the foundation for a world where we can all enjoy greater equality and greater peace."

"critical thinking"
"challenge the powerful"
"uncover the truth"

They are taking the tools that we need to deal with their perfidy, and pretending that they need to use them to "challenge the powerful and uncover the truth". I found this Orwellian inversion of the truth so chilling that I could only laugh.

In all seriousness, I can only presume that they actually believe their own lies.

vk , Nov 5 2019 3:10 utc | 26
The Wolfowitz Doctrine (1992) states that Russia should remain America's main enemy for the forseeable future because it inherited the USSR's nuclear arsenal. At least this is the official rationale.

But there may be another reason. Courtesy from Pepe Escobar's facebook page:

Francis Fukuyama interview: "Socialism ought to come back"

Trisha , Nov 5 2019 4:08 utc | 29
@22 James ... thanks for the "Paris 1919" book reference, luckily it's available at my local library. For a detailed history of (sadly) another in a long list of America's criminal acts of aggressive war, I highly recommend Russian Sideshow: America's Undeclared War, 1918-1920 by Robert L. Willett.
nietzsche1510 , Nov 5 2019 7:15 utc | 33
they are attacking Russia because they know that only military force can stop the collapse the fake Dollar & all the Jewish printed wealth which goes with it. "yes, the Dollar is our money, but, it is your problem" sort of imposed doctrine of the last half-century is coming to an end & no naval carriers could stop its fall.

[Nov 04, 2019] From Russiagate to Ukrainegate An Impeachment Inquiry by Renée Parsons

Notable quotes:
"... NBC s uggests that the Barr investigation is a ' mysterious ' review " amid concerns about whether the probe has any legal or factual basis " while the NY Times continues to cast doubt that the investigation has a legitimate basis implying that AG Barr is attempting to " deliver a political victory for President Trump." The Times misleads its readers with: ..."
"... There is, however, one small inconvenient glitch that challenges the Democratic version of reality that does not fit their partisan spin. The news that former FBI General Counsel James Baker is actively cooperating with the BD investigation ought to send ripples through the ranks. Baker has already stated that it was a 'small group' within the agency who led the counterintelligence inquiry into the Trump campaign; notably former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. ..."
"... Baker's cooperation was not totally unexpected since he also cooperated with the Inspector General's FISA abuse investigation which is awaiting public release. ..."
"... As FBI General Counsel, Baker had a role in reviewing the FISA applications before they were submitted to the FISA court and currently remains under criminal investigation for making unauthorized leaks to the media. ..."
"... As the agency's chief legal officer, Baker had to be a first-hand participant and privy to every strategy discussion and decision (real or contemplated). It was his job to identify potential legal implications that might negatively affect the agency or boomerang back on the FBI. In other words, Baker is in a unique position to know who knew what and when did they know it. ..."
"... Adds realist Dr.Assad: "I said before whatever the Americans say has no credibility, whether they say it to an enemy or a friend, the result is the same – it is unreliable. That is why we do not waste our time on things like this. " ..."
"... I don't think the Democratic leadership wanted a formal impeachment, they would prefer that Trump just faded away quietly before the 2020 election and were in the process of collecting information to reinforce this. They got cornered into formalizing the investigation by Trump's defense team baiting them as part of their overall strategy. It really doesn't change anything. ..."
"... Whichever way you slice and/or dice it Trump is fundamentally incompetent, he's unable to fulfill the duties of the office of the President. ..."
"... The DNC is playing this with a relatively weak field of potential candidates for 2020. Much as I personally like a Sanders or Warren they're just not going to fly in a Presidential contest -- as we found from the Obama presidency the ship of state just doesn't turn on a dime, you're not going to undo decades or generations of entrenched neoconservatism and a politically divided country overnight by some kind of Second Coming pronouncements. My concern is that if we don't get our collective acts together we're going to end up with a President Romney after 2020 -- a much more reasonable choice considering the last four years but also one that's guaranteed to change nothing. We need the journey but its only going to start with a few steps. ..."
"... Interesting updates, Joerg: however, it was obvious from the beginning that the interference in the US 2016 elections were Deep State gamers, from GCHQ-Ukro-Italian secret services, which was why they manufactured the Skripal Affair as Russians, Warning & Distraction, to cover their own backsides in the media: the same Skripal that worked on the Bum Steele Dossier, writing complete & utter fiction about Trump, that Comey then used as basis for his attempt with McCabe to enact Treason U$A, on wholly false trumped up charges, which were then transposed to the Russiagate-Hoax, Mueller &&& (yawn), . Still, it's good that Sid Powell has confirmed that they have Mifsud's phone . . . Get Mifsud, Now !? Strange how such USUK Agents become untraceable, when we simple folk would be harangued to hell, even with the odd ex-judicial killing, if we prove inconvenient to their narrative. ..."
"... "American Ukrainian nationalists don't like democracy. They don't understand the concept of it and don't care to learn. But they do understand nationalist fascism where only the top of society matters. They are behind the actors of the Intelligence coup going on in the US today .This is the mentality and politics the Diaspora is pushing into American politics today. Hillary Clinton and the DNC is surrounded with this infection which even includes political advisors. ..."
"... Rest assured they all the related Diasporas are in a fight for their political lives. If Donald Trump wins, their ability to infect American politics might be broken. Many of the leadership will be investigated for attempting to overthrow the government of the United States." ..."
Oct 30, 2019 | OffGuardian

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


vexarb

From a realist who deals with the real world, Syrian President Dr.Assad on why Trump is the best POTU$A:

"As for Trump, you might ask me a question and I give you an answer that might sound strange. I say that he is the best American President, not because his policies are good, but because he is the most transparent president. All American presidents perpetrate all kinds of political atrocities and all crimes and yet still win the Nobel Prize and project themselves as defenders of human rights and noble and unique American values, or Western values in general. The reality is that they are a group of criminals who represent the interests of American lobbies, i.e. the large oil and arms companies, and others. Trump talks transparently, saying that what we want is oil. We want money. This is the reality of American policy. What more do we need than a transparent opponent?"

vexarb
Adds realist Dr.Assad: "I said before whatever the Americans say has no credibility, whether they say it to an enemy or a friend, the result is the same – it is unreliable. That is why we do not waste our time on things like this. "

[Note: by "the Americans" Dr.Assad means the United $tates. A figure of speech, taking the whole to denote the part.]

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

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

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

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

Joerg
Please make sure You see the Interview-Video "MICHAEL FLYNN CASE UNRAVELS. US-UK DEEP STATE ENTRAPMENT PLAN" on https://youtube.com/channel/UCdeMVChrumySxV9N1w0Au-w – it's a must-see!
Tim Jenkins
Interesting updates, Joerg: however, it was obvious from the beginning that the interference in the US 2016 elections were Deep State gamers, from GCHQ-Ukro-Italian secret services, which was why they manufactured the Skripal Affair as Russians, Warning & Distraction, to cover their own backsides in the media: the same Skripal that worked on the Bum Steele Dossier, writing complete & utter fiction about Trump, that Comey then used as basis for his attempt with McCabe to enact Treason U$A, on wholly false trumped up charges, which were then transposed to the Russiagate-Hoax, Mueller &&& (yawn), . Still, it's good that Sid Powell has confirmed that they have Mifsud's phone . . . Get Mifsud, Now !? Strange how such USUK Agents become untraceable, when we simple folk would be harangued to hell, even with the odd ex-judicial killing, if we prove inconvenient to their narrative.

More importantly for me was the "Putin sends a clear Message to Macron and the EU" TDC, (Top dead centre) in your link: it was a (month old) pretty good longterm objective analysis of how the alliance between Russia & China was designed to be and has become truly rock-solid, moving forwards: and it's well discussed & documented what a moron ManuMacroni has been on the world stage >>> great translation of Putin's statement of intent and clear talk to Macron, who is exposed for the meaningless Deep State puppet he is >>> even, Putin had no need to mention the Gilets Jaunes, representing a degree of vision, trust & commitment far beyond that of the failing FUKUS empires: a vision that FUKUS cannot even financially entertain, in their present economic state of financial & moral depravity & bankruptcy.

Austerity my ass, let's keep raising national debt and keep funding bum wars & terrorism, for the MIC & National Security State, until society burns. How utterly shameful

It should be now very clear to all that the Russian-Chinese alliance is far more than just military, in every sense: together, the world's largest economy will plough on regardless of what Macron or any other arrogant manipulative untrustworthy Westerner has to say! And frankly, after NATZO's broken promises in Eastern Europe, (which I have personally observed here in Bulgaria since 2004, fully expected & awaited, I might add) and the events in the Ukraine and the self-destructive EU sanctions based on media lies & manipulations & omissions, I really do believe Putin has handled this all extremely wisely & astutely playing the long game, like the Chinese & avoiding incredible provocation, media wise. One day, however long it takes, the average ignorant Westerner will come to understand that they have been deceived & lied to, from the beginning, especially by their secret services; & have been lapdogs in the arms of US Deep State Corporate Fascist NATZO CIA & GCHQ morons, in "The History of the National Security State" and, that Julian Assange needs to be set FREE asap : and given the Seth Rich murder, which kinda' benefited Trump and his Fake News declarations, my guess is that Trump will not want Assange charged, in the end: but, we'll see ! ? Because first the British have to sort out the arrogant bastards in GCHQ, also in the Media and their own new 'attorney general' who will investigate secret services role in Deep State Corporate Deeds & prosecute people like Judge Arbuthnot, for not recusing herself >>> BoJo's job, actually, but who cares ? >>> drain UK Swampland. ? Myopic Corbyn seems to have missed the bus & significance on the Affair Assange, completely, which is somewhat inexplicable, given the Guardian Moderators infiltration by the British Military 77th Brigade, and their bias against Corbyn. At least, that appears to be Trump's agenda and the longer Assange remains 'Censored', the worse that societies throughout Europe will become, until we all address Communications & Media Law, with wholly wise, tech. savvy intelligent and independent JUDGES, not compromised by the HillBilly Clinton/Epstein Clan of NATZO CIA/GCHQ operatives. (maybe I'm not clarifying in the best way, but hopefully you get the drift?). Only a week or so ago, the Bulgarian President was complaining about appalling standards of journalism, too, with an obvious agenda from abroad, also in terms of ownership. (Not widely reported!) And, I'm sure you are aware of the incredible bias & censorship in the German MSM, just like Professor Dan Ganser & myself. 😉 R.i.P Udo Ulfkotte >>> when Secret Services dictate the News, not much point in listening to a word they have to say >>> HANG 'EM HIGH ! out to dry, in Public Eye ! They are FASCISTS ! The worst kind !
I don't say this lightly . . . after over 40 years studying their collective behaviours, in relation to the reality on the ground.

Joerg
@Tim Jenkins
Yes, You are right.
But let's look at the bigger picture.
23 Trillions(!) of $$ are missing in the Pentagon.
To that see the great James Corbett's video "Fitt's Trillions" – https://www.corbettreport.com/?s=fitts-trillions .

So 23 trillion $ are missing – and the congress decided not to follow that up.
Before that on 911 already 3 trillion $ (if I remember this right) were missing in the Pentagon. And surprise, surprise: On 911 the Pentagon building exploded exactly there where those accountants were placed, who tried to find out where all that money (3 trillion $) went. All accountants died. After that no one started again to find out where the money went.
Where did the stolen gold from under the Twin Towers go to? Mueller (than state attorney of NY) obviously did want to research that.

The US is already ruled by a mighty super-syndicate – or possibly by two or three of them. So mighty they could put the classical Mafia directly into kindergarten.
And with that much money stolen they can buy in the USA but also in Europe (and, yes, Germany) all politicians, judges and journalists. And those who don't comply, get fired by their (also bought) boss. Or they get murdered ("suicide"), or their career gets destroyed.

There are no classical politics anymore like, let's say, 50 years ago. Here in the west it is only the super-syndicates' power that rules.
By the way: In the end-time of the Roman Empire there were also no more free judges. They had to follow the orders of the local criminal gang – or they got killed. And I also believe that the fall of this impressive "Indus Valley Civilisation" (2000 B.C.) was caused by overwhelming and destructive power of Mafia/Syndicates. In the end the citizens of the Indus Valley civilisation simply fled the area – obviously to south India. So the Tamils may very well be the descendants of the old Indus people.

Joerg
Sorry, I meant this Corbett video: https://www.corbettreport.com/?s=Pentagon+trillions+skidmore
Tim Jenkins
With you all the way, Joerg: ironic you should mention the Tamils. I spent time alone in Jaffna, in the aftermath of genocide.

I'd better not start here & now on Sin-dication and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Suffice to say, if one wishes to speculate on the weather & commodities, with insider knowledge of what the D.o.D. did/do with electronics like HAARP, one would not be a particularly intelligent or moral person, scientifically speaking. And said person, would never wish to discuss the contents of WTC 7 and that Pentagon Wing. 😉

Ta, for the linkS :). Look forward to hearing more from you.
Viele Grüsse,
Tim

Simon Hodges
Sorry post below was posted to wrong article.
Jonathan Jarvis
Something much deeper going on?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gezzah Potts
When is this nausea inducing confected pile of crap going to end? Does anyone else think that Adam Schiff has a screw or three loose, and should be residing in an institution? And imagine if somehow Mike Pence became Prez. Now that would be something to scare the bejesus out of you.
Tim Jenkins
Adam Schiff should be shot for Treason, of the highest order, along with many others, including HRC, Brennan & Clapper ; and it should be a public execution, like in Saudi Arabia. This is war on the minds of the masses, that Schiff for brains cares nothing for.
As for Chuck Schumer, he can have a life sentence, as long as he manages to shut his utterly unfunny dumb vulgar cousin Amy up & keep her out of the public eye, forever 🙂
Gezzah, life may seem bad right now: but imagine if,
you were Amy Schumer's Husband and father of her child 😉
Talk about obnoxious and utterly nauseating 🙂 , with you Gezzah, all the way.

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

Gezzah Potts
I'm almost seriously thinking of buying a one way ticket to the Marquesas Islands Right in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, nowhere near anywhere; such is the mad bad state of the World.
Need to start up a Go Fund Me page tho!
As I almost (94.6% of the time) boycott the presstitute filth masquerading as journalists (cough) so, I 99% of the time boycott anything coming out of Hollywood, including alleged 'comedians'.
How are things in Bulgaria? What are the Fascist Stormtroopers up to, aka NATZO who all those you named have intimate connections with.
Listening to a gorgeous Russian band called: iamthemorning. Check them out – food for the soul. Enjoy your arvo..
vexarb
Pepe sends more news from the real world:

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

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

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

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

vexarb
And from Yemen:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wilmers31
America is always presentation over substance, wrapper over content, and shoot the messenger if you don't like the message.
In the meantime the adults in this world outside the US have to hold it all together.
Why was for instance Hillary Clinton not in the dock for saying 'Assad must go'?? It was meddling in the highest order.
Antonym
Pretty humble for an opinion 😀
phree
I guess this just goes to show you that a person can be a member of the ACLU, even a leader apparently, and still be highly biased in favor of Trump.

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

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

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

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

George Cornell
Love the Clapper claim (the same Clapper who lied to Congress) says he was just doing his duty in Russiagate. As GBS said, " when a scoundrel is doing something of which he is ashamed, he always says he is doing his duty".
mark
The Spook Organisations and the Dirty Cops are a greater threat to our way of life than any foreign army or terrorist group (most of which they created in the first place and which they directly control.)
They are a law unto themselves and completely free of any genuine oversight or control.
This applies equally to the US and UK.
"We lie, we cheat, we steal", as Pompeo helpfully explains.
They also murder people, at home and abroad. JFK, David Kelly, Diana, Epstein.
They plant bombs and blow people up.
Many of the "terrorist atrocities" from Northern Ireland to the present day, were false flag spook operations. The same applies with Gladio on the continent and the plethora of recent false flags.
There is also a long and inglorious history of interference in domestic politics from the Zinoviev Letter onwards. Plots to stage a military coup against the Wilson government of the 60s and 70s, with Mountbatten as its figurehead.
The more recent Skripal Hoax.
The contrived Syrian Gas Attack Hoaxes and the White Helmets.
They would not hesitate to do the same to Corbyn if they deemed it necessary.
The CIA and FBI conspired with the UK and Ukrainian governments to prevent the election of Trump, and then to sabotage and smear his administration once he had been elected. The UK played a major part in this through MI6 and Steele.
This is highly dangerous for this country, irrespective of your view of Trump.
Trump has repaid the favour by meddling in Brexit and interfering in UK politics. It is not in his nature to turn the other cheek.
We have spook organisations claiming for themselves a right of veto over election results and foreign policy. These people are poor servants and terrible masters.
We see Schumer warning against crossing the spook organisations, begging the obvious question – who runs this country, you or the spooks?
The Democrats, the Deep State, the MSM, and the Deranged Left were willing to support these conspiracies and hoaxes, and even suspend disbelief, for the greater good. The ends justify the means. All that matters is getting rid of Trump. Anything goes.
The corrosive erosion of trust, credibility and integrity in all the institutions of the state is probably irreparable. The legislature and the political process in general. The judiciary. The spooks and police. About 9% of Americans now believe the MSM.

The irony in all this is that it very much serves Trump's interests.
He is extremely vulnerable, having failed to keep any of his promises.
Building The Wall, Draining The Swamp, Bringing The Troops Home. Sorting out health care. Building "incredible, fantastic" infrastructure.
All the Democrats had to do was highlight these failures, find a suitable candidate, and put forward some sensible policies, and they were home and dry.
Instead, they provided an endless series of diversions and distractions from Trump's failures by charging down every rabbit hole they could find, Russiagate, Ukrainegate, Impeachment. It couldn't work out better for Trump if he was paying them.

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

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

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

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

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

mark
I think I'd prefer the female rhinoceros in Moscow Zoo, even if Putin has been blackmailing me with the photos ever since.
Tim Jenkins
Well, (ahem), you certainly got me all thorny & horny, more than AmyS. ever could, in her wildest dreams, or Chucks, (shucks) 🙂 talk about suckers . . . now, do tell, what was the female Rhino's name ? ! 🙂

Who cares about some BlackRhinoMail, today ?

They'll be dead and extinct, in no time with a legacy 😉
for passionate lovers of Black holes & eternal energy 🙂

Antonym
Is that the best money can buy these days in the US? I guess most of the 1% reside in the Caribbean these days, while Washington D.C. is stuffed with semi-stiffs.
Dungroanin
Catching up Off-G. Excellent.

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

Two more pieces there – it is moving fast now.

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

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

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

Chris Rogers
Dungroanin,
SST is essential reading for anyone concerned with US overseas policy and the corruption of the USA itself in the service of the security state, so, many thanks for posting this link.
Dungroanin
By sharing we disrupt the msm messages.
Bernard at MoonofAlabama is also worth a daily visitation – priceless analysis on multiple subjects.
lundiel

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

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

[Nov 04, 2019] Was MI6 aware of Steele's work investigating Trump's Russian connections from the start of the time Steele was doing that work?

Nov 04, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

English Outsider , 03 November 2019 at 04:05 PM

Mr Johnson - an amateur's question but it's a question that was relevant as soon as Mr Steele's work became public knowledge. Was MI6 aware of Steele's work investigating Trump's Russian connections from the start of the time Steele was doing that work?

The Washington Post article contains these assertions -

"In 2009, after more than two decades in public service, Steele turned to the private sector and founded a London-based consulting firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, drawing on the reputation and network he developed doing intelligence work."

"Steele brought far more: He was able to tap a network of human sources cultivated over decades of Russia work. He moved quickly, reaching out to Russian contacts and others he referred to as "collectors" who had other sources -- some of whom had no idea their comments would be passed along to Steele."

Earlier on SST the question was raised of whether Steele had used contacts made earlier during his official work. The view was that he could not do that as a retired Intelligence Officer - else any such retired Officer could launch into private business using MI6 networks freely for their own profit and possibly putting those networks at risk.

The Washington Post article is carefully written. Possibly to lend credibility to Steele's work it claims MI6 networks were used in assembling that work. That claim may not be true but if it is not true it throws into doubt the veracity of other claims in the article. If it is true it casts into doubt the veracity of the account of the meeting with Sir Richard Dearlove.

In any case, whether it's true that Steele used official networks or not, Steele's former employers must have kept a close eye on what Steele was doing collecting his information. They would not want a former Intelligence Officer working in much the same field without knowing what he was doing. There must therefore have been liaison with UK Intelligence from the start of Steele's investigation. There was in any case a good deal of contact between Steele and his former colleagues -

"In an interview, Dearlove said Steele became the "go-to person on Russia in the commercial sector" following his retirement from the Secret Intelligence Service."

Steele was therefore not a private enquiry agent retiring into business on retirement and seeing nothing of his former colleagues. He remained in close contact with them. Very close, one would imagine, if he was still using official networks as the article claims. Close in any case because he was a "go-to person."

So this section is bogus - "In the early fall, he and Burrows turned to Dearlove, their former MI6 boss, for advice. Sitting in winged chairs at the Garrick Club, one of London's most venerable private establishments, under oil paintings of famed British playwrights, the two men shared their worries about what was happening in the United States. They asked for his guidance about how to handle their obligations to their client and the public, Dearlove recalled."

Nonsense. Steele had been liaising with, or at least being supervised by, his former employers as soon as he started this assignment. Any problems or moral issues and those former employers would have been aware of it. To suggest that the meeting with Dearlove was the first time MI6 had heard of the affair is clearly misleading.

So this question - "Was MI6 aware of Steele's work investigating Trump's Russian connections from the start of the time Steele was doing that work?" must be answered with a "yes".

That work was extremely sensitive. It was nothing less than investigating an American Presidential candidate. Therefore some official in MI6 authorised that work from the start. Which leads to the question, at what level would that authorisation have been given?

blue peacock , 03 November 2019 at 05:58 PM
"Which leads to the question, at what level would that authorisation have been given?"

EO

If the scheme in the US was run by Brennan, Clapper & Comey, possibly with the knowledge and even at the instruction of Obama, then it would lead to a presumption that it was authorized at the highest level. Of course to also keep it under wraps, Brennan would have been in communication with his counterpart in the UK and maybe even enlisted him in his Trump Task Force.

Factotum , 03 November 2019 at 06:32 PM
Did Mueller find "nothing" on Trump and Russia because Mueller and friends did not want anyone else snooping into what had already been going on with the IC and Trump?

[Nov 04, 2019] Adam Schiff's Impeachment Witness Tampering Julie Kelly RUTHFULLY YOURS

Nov 04, 2019 | www.ruthfullyyours.com

Adam Schiff's Impeachment Witness Tampering Julie Kelly

Posted By Ruth King on October 19th, 2019

https://amgreatness.com/2019/10/18/adam-schiffs-impeachment-witness-tampering/

The House Intelligence Committee chairman has lied with impunity to the American public and to Congress. Now he's running a secret inquiry, withholding evidence from colleagues, and may have coached the "whistleblower" behind Ukraine-gate.

H ouse Republicans on Monday will attempt to force a vote to censure Representative Adam Schiff (D.-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. The resolution, authored by Rep. Andy Biggs (R.-Ariz.), has 170 Republican co-sponsors. (It's unclear why the remaining 27 GOP congressmen have not signed on.)

The motion condemns Schiff for actions that "misled the American people, bring disrepute upon the House of Representatives, and make a mockery of the impeachment process, one of this chamber's most solemn constitutional duties." It lists several specific offenses, including Schiff's repeated claims that he possessed solid evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, and his intentional misrepresentation of the July phone call between Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

If Schiff were a Republican, his own colleagues would have dispatched him long ago. Compare the way Schiff's caucus is condoning his misdeeds with the way House Republicans in 2017 signed on to a bogus House ethics inquiry into Rep. Devin Nunes (R.-Calif.), sidelining his nascent investigation into the corrupt origins of the FBI's Trump-Russia probe for eight crucial months. (He was cleared of any wrongdoing.)

Schiff has lied with impunity to the American public and to Congress. He is suspected of leaking nonpublic, and in some instances, classified material to the press.

At the same time, Schiff is denying access to his secret impeachment proceedings and withholding information from House members. Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee sent a letter to Schiff on Friday, accusing him of failing to furnish documents related to his "impeachment inquiry," a clear violation of House rules. Yet Schiff remains a media darling and a hero of #TheResistance.

Schiff's Possible Crimes

But Schiff's repeated witness tampering is not just a breach of House protocol, it is a crime. In a bombshell article, Breitbart reported this week that Thomas Eager, a top Schiff aide, traveled to Ukraine in late August and met with the acting U.S. ambassador to that country. The diplomat, Bill Taylor -- who is temporarily occupying the position following Trump's removal of the previous ambassador -- is scheduled to testify next week before Schiff's ongoing impeachment tribunal.

According to Breitbart , Eager traveled to Ukraine from August 24 to August 31; Eager's meeting with Taylor was the first item of business. (The trip was approved by Schiff, according to official documents.)

The timing of the trip is suspicious for several reasons: The junket occurred during the exact timeframe that the "whistleblower" complaint concerning Trump's call with Ukranian President Zelensky was under consideration by the intelligence community's inspector general. On August 28, Schiff ominously tweeted that "Trump is withholding vital military aid to Ukraine, while his personal lawyer seeks help from the Ukraine government to investigate his political opponent."

But the report had not been submitted officially to Schiff's committee. Inspector General Michael Atkinson did not alert Schiff's committee about the complaint until September 9 over an internal disagreement about Atkinson's assessment that the complaint was of "urgent concern."

Coincidentally (or not), on that very same day , Taylor sent a text to Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.

"As I said on the phone, I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign," Taylor wrote to Sondland, who seemed surprised by the message. "Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions," Sondland replied. "The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo's of any kind." The $250 million aid package was released two days later.

So, Schiff's lackey suddenly shows up in Ukraine at the end of August to meet with the fill-in American ambassador while his boss is concocting his latest collusion-based impeachment fantasy? What exactly did Eager and Taylor discuss?

Did Eager brief Taylor about the forthcoming "whistleblower" report , which also contained false accusations that Trump "is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election" while expressing alarm about a delay in American financial assistance to Ukraine? After all, there was no reason for Taylor to suggest the aid was tied to giving assistance to a political campaign since nothing of the sort had been reported by the news media. Why did Taylor send that text on the same day that Atkinson tattled to Schiff's committee about a hold-up of the "whistleblower" report?

Questions for Witnesses

Another question Republicans might want to ask Taylor is whether Eager told him that the committee already had talked to the "whistleblower" before the official report was prepared. In another example of his bad habit of tampering with witnesses, Schiff admitted that, despite his public protestations to the contrary, his committee had been approached by the "whistleblower" prior to filing the complaint on August 12.

An unnamed intelligence committee aide -- could it also be Eager? -- met with the still-anonymous "whistleblower" and advised the official how to proceed. He then notified his boss, Schiff, who later denied the pre-report rendezvous. Schiff told MSNBC on September 17 that "we have not spoken directly with the whistleblower." After the New York Times contradicted that claim on October 2, Schiff was forced to backpedal, insisting he should have been more clear. The Washington Post awarded Schiff four Pinocchios for his initial claim and subsequent excuse.

Now that his chicanery has been exposed, Schiff also is walking back his demand that the "whistleblower" immediately testify before his committee.

In addition to his most recent witness-tampering escapades, Schiff has a few more incidents on the books.

During his House testimony last February, Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal attorney, confessed that he had been in contact with the California Democrat in advance of the spectacle. "I spoke to Mr. Schiff about topics that were going to be raised at the upcoming hearing," Cohen told Rep. James Jordan (R.-Ohio). Reports later emerged that Schiff's staff traveled to New York on four separate occasions to meet with Cohen for more than 10 hours before his testimony, leading to legitimate questions about coaching a congressional witness.

And then there is the allegedly serendipitous meet-up in Aspen between Schiff and Glenn Simpson, the co-owner of Fusion GPS, as Simpson faced congressional scrutiny for his role in facilitating the bogus Trump-Russia collusion hoax and handling of the infamous Steele dossier. A few months after his encounter with Schiff in the summer of 2018, Simpson pleaded the Fifth before the House Intelligence Committee, which was controlled by Republicans at the time.

Tampering with a witness -- including attempts to "influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding" including a secret congressional tribunal -- is a federal offense . But although Schiff is a repeat offender, his Democratic colleagues refuse to denounce his bad behavior. Schiff is lucky he isn't a Republican. Julie Kelly Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review. She also

[Nov 03, 2019] The Saker interviews Michael Hudson by Michael Hudson and The Saker

Nov 03, 2019 | www.unz.com

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Introduction: I recently spoke to a relative of mine who, due to her constant and voluntary exposure to the legacy AngloZionist media, sincerely believed that the three Baltic states and Poland had undergone some kind of wonderful and quasi-miraculous economic and cultural renaissance thanks to their resolute break with the putatively horrible Soviet past and their total submission to the Empire since. Listening to her, I figured that this kind of delusion was probably common amongst those who still pay attention and even believe the official propaganda. So I asked Michael Hudson, whom I consider to be the best US economists and who studied the Baltics in great detail, to reply to a few very basic questions, which he very kindly did in spite of being very pressed on time. Once again, I want to sincerely thank him for his kind time, support and expertise.

* * *

The Saker: The US propaganda often claims that the three Baltic states are a true success, just like Poland is also supposed to be. Does this notion have a factual basis? Initially it did appear that these states were experiencing growth, but was that not mostly/entirely due to EU/IMF/US subsidies? Looking specifically at the three Baltic states, and especially Latvia, these were the "showcase" Soviet republics, with a high standard of living (at least compared to the other Soviet republics) and a lot of high-tech industries (including defense contracts). Could you please outline for us what truly happened to these economies following independence? How did they "reform" their economies going from an ex-Soviet one to the modern "liberal" one?

Michael Hudson: This is a trick question, because it all depends on what you mean by "success."

The post-Soviet neoliberalism has been a great success for kleptocrats at the top. They gave themselves the public domain, from key industries to prime real estate. But the Balts largely let their Soviet industries collapse, making no effort to salvage or reorganize them.

Much of the problem, of course, was that all the linkages to Soviet-era industry were torn apart as the Soviet Union was disbanded. With their supplier and final markets closed down from Russia to Central Asia, the Baltic economies had to start afresh – with a very right-wing tax policy and no government help whatsoever, as the government itself had become privatized in the hands of former officials and grabitizers.

Lithuania was marginally better in having some industrial policy. EU and NATO accession in 2004, along with easy credit, kicked off property bubbles in the Baltics, largely inflated by Swedish banks that made a bonanza off these countries that lacked their own banks or public credit creation. The resulting 2008 crashes were the largest in the world as a percent of GDP, with Latvia suffering the world's biggest contraction.

The neoliberal western advisors who took control of these economies – as if this was the only alternative to Soviet bureaucracy – imposed crushing austerity programs to restore macroeconomic "stability" meaning security of their land and infrastructure grabs. This was applauded by Europe's bankers, who thought the Balts had discovered a workable recipe allowing austerity governments to retain power in a seeming democracy. These policies would have collapsed governments anywhere else, but the ability to emigrate, plus ethnic divisions against Russian speakers, allowed these governments to survive.

It's a historically specific situation, but Europe's bankers promote it as a generalized model. George Soros's INET and his associated front institutions have been leaders in subsidizing this financialization-cum-grabitization. The result has been a massive exodus of prime working age people from Lithuania and Latvia. (Estonians simply commute to Finland.) Meanwhile, their economies are buoyed by foreign bank lending, which sends profits back to home countries and can be reversed at any time.

Politically, the neoliberal revolution also has been a success for U.S. Cold Warriors, who sent over native Balts from Georgetown and other universities to impose "free market" doctrine – that is, a market "free" of domestic regulation against theft of the public domain, against monopolies, against land taxes and other income taxes. The Baltic states, like most of the rest of the former Soviet Union, became the Wild East.

What was left to the Baltic countries was land and real estate. Their forests are being cut down to sell wood abroad. I describe all this in my book Killing the Host .

The Saker: After independence, the Baltic states had tried to cut as many ties with Russia as possible. This included building (rather silly looking) fences, to forcing the Russians to develop their ports on the Baltic, to shutting down large (or selling to foreign interests which then shut them down) and profitable factories (including a large nuclear plant I believe), etc. What has been the impact of this policy of "economic de-Sovietization" on the local economies?

Michael Hudson: Dissolution of the Soviet Union meant that Baltic countries lost their traditional markets, and had to shift their focus to Western Europe and, to some extent, Asia.

Latvia and Estonia had been assigned computer and information technology, and they have found this to be much in demand. When I was in Japan, for instance, CEOs told me that they were looking to Latvia above all to outsource computer work.

Banking also was a surviving sector. Gregory Lautchansky, former vice-rector at the University of Riga had been a major player already in the 1980s for moving out Russian oil and KGB money. (His company, Nordex, was sold to Mark Rich.) Many banks continued to shepherd Russian flight capital via offshore banking centers into the United States, Britain and other countries. Cyprus of course was another big player in this.

The Saker: Russians are still considered "non-citizens" in the Baltic republics; what has been the economic impact of this policy, if any, of anti-Russian discrimination in the Baltic states?

ORDER IT NOW

Michael Hudson: Russian-speakers, who do not acquire citizenship (which requires passing local language and history tests), are blocked from political office and administrative work. While most Russian speakers below retirement age have now acquired that citizenship, the means by which citizenship must be acquired has caused divisions.

Early on in independence, many Russians were blocked from government, and they went into business, which was avoided by many native Balts during the Soviet era because it was not as remunerative as going into government and profiting from corruption. For instance, real estate was a burden to administer. Russian-speakers, especially Jewish ones, have wisely focused on real estate.

The largest political party is Harmony Center, whose members and leadership are mainly Russian-speaking. But the various neoliberal and nationalist parties have jointed to block its ability to influence law in Parliament.

Since Russian speakers are only able to "vote with their feet," many have joined in the vast outflow of emigration, either back to Russia or to other EU countries. Moreover, the poor quality of social benefits has led to few children being born.

The Saker: I often hear that a huge number of locals (including non-Russians) have emigrated from the Baltic states. What has caused this and what has been the impact of this emigration for the Baltic states?

Michael Hudson: The Baltic states, especially Latvia, have lost about 30 percent of their population since the 1990s, especially those of working age. In Latvia, about 10 percent of the loss were Russians who exited shortly after independence. The other 20 percent have subsequently emigrated.

The European Commission forecasts that Latvia's working-age population will decline by 1.6% annually for the next 20 years, while the birth rate remains as stagnant as it was in the late 1980s. The retired population (over age 65) will rise to half a million people by 2030, more than a quarter of today's population, and perhaps about a third of what remains. This is not a domestic market that will attract foreign or local investment.

And in any case, the European Union has viewed the post-Soviet economies simply as markets for their own industrial and agricultural exports, not as economies to be built up by public subsidy as the European countries themselves, the U.S. and Chinee economies have done. The European motto is, "Give a man a fish, and he will be fed all day with your surplus fish and consumer goods – but give him a fishing rod and we will lose a customer."

Readers who are interested might want to look at the following books and articles. I think the leading work has been done by Jeffrey Sommers and Charles Woolfson.

The Saker: Finally, what do you believe is the most likely future for these states? Will the succeed in becoming a "tiny anti-Russia" on Russia's doorstep? The Russians appear to have been very successful in their import-substitution program, at least when trying to replace the Baltic states: does that mean that the economic ties between Russia and these states is now gone forever? Is it now too late, or are there still measures these countries could take to reverse the current trends?

Michael Hudson: Trump's trade sanctions against Russia hurt the Baltic countries especially. One of their strong sectors was agriculture. Lithuania, for instance, was known for its cheese, even in Latvia. The sanctions led Russian dairy farming to develop their own cheese-making, and agriculture has become one of Russia's strongest performing sectors.

This is a market that looks like it will be permanently lost to the Baltic states. In effect, Trump is helping Russia follow precisely the policy that made American agriculture rich: agricultural isolation has forced domestic replacement for hitherto foreign food. I expect that this will lead to consumer goods and other products as well.

The Saker: thank you for your time and replies!


PeterMX , says: November 3, 2019 at 7:01 am GMT

I am in Tallinn, Estonia right now. Just how good an economy is performing is often hard to determine by talking to people, because like economists, many people have different perceptions. I was just talking to a Russian-Estonian who was telling me how much better Lithuanians and Latvians are then Estonians at doing things and how much cheaper things are there. It is true that things are much cheaper in the other Baltic countries because Estonia (a tiny country of just over 1 million people) has taken off. Since the 2008 econmic collapse housing prices have shot up and in Tallinn there is building going on all over the city. But, my acquaintance is wrong about other things. Estonians do things very well and Tallinn is a very nice city, with beautiful cafes, clean and well kept streets and crime is very low. It is a very good city, except it is now very expensive, especially considering how much people make here. The weather is not nice, except for in the summer and there are friendly Estonians but they don't have a reputation for being particularly friendly, even among themselves. I have not been back to Latvia yet, but when I was in Riga years ago, it was a gorgeous city, bigger than Tallinn too. I think they do things very well there too. The Russians I speak to here are often friendly and based on what I have been told, relations between Russians and Estonians are much better than when I was here in the early 2000's.

No offense is intended to Russians, but the Baltic countries had large German populations that played a key role in the development of the cultures and peoples of these countries. There were also many Jews here prior to WW II. By the time WW II had begun the German populations were much smaller than they had been and at the end of the war the Jewish populations were much smaller. Jews were targeted in Latvia and Lithuania and many Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians were shipped off to far off places in the USSR during the war. I believe the Jews were largely pro communist and welcomed the Soviet takeover of these countries in 1940, while the Latvian and Estonian peoples were pro German, thus explaining the hard feelings between Balts and Jews.. They wanted independence and formed legions to fight alongside the German army during WW II.

These countries were very advanced before WW II, having engineering industries and the Russian Empire's first auto company was formed in Riga before WW I. While engineering may have been restarted after WW II, these countries populations were decimated and they never returned to their former heights. Perhaps they still can.

GMC , says: November 3, 2019 at 7:33 am GMT
I'm assuming that these 3 East European countries are being bombarded with the same propaganda as the Ukies are, so Russian speakers and those intelligent enough to see the game being played will be belittled and isolated. But the Russian folks living in Russia have a birds eye view of what is going on in the west and their puppet countries. Russia TV and debate programs, just have to show the delinquencies that are daily happenings in the States, and Europe, in order to make the Ru people say – No Thanks to that way of life. As far as the new Russian cheeses that are now in the markets -lol – they make a lightly smoked gouda that is really good and is about 120-140 roubles a kilo. And, they are making more cheddar that is a white medium taste as well. No scarcity of good natural food in Russia and No POlice state. Spacibo Unz Rev.
Anonymous [159] Disclaimer , says: November 3, 2019 at 8:18 am GMT
The trade volume between Russia and the Baltic states has actually risen, despite the sanctions. The Baltics send food products and booze to Russia (and another 150 countries, food exports to Russia actually grew in 2016-2018). As well as chemical products and pharmaceuticals. Meldonium, btw, is made in Latvia and is still being sent to Russia (as well as 20 other countries), not for athletes, but for regular folks. Work is being carried out on a new generation Meldonium pill (the biggest market will be Russia).

Growth in the Baltic states has been 3-4% in the last few years. GDP per capita, as well as HDI, is higher than in Russia. Foreign investment, including from Russia, has been growing (Russia was the second largest investor in Latvia in 2018). Savings rates are growing, too. After a relative quiet period after 2010, the number of Russian (and other tourists) has grown again.

Estonia's population stopped shrinking in 2016 and is now growing in fact. They've seen immigration from Finland, Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, as well as returning Estonians.

Emigration is a problem, of course, but this is partly because the Baltic states are the only former USSR republics whose citizens were even given work permits in the West, imagine what would happen if these permits were given to Russians from the regions.

Neo-liberal policies are of course bad and certain types of investment should be controlled, but to say that there are no social services in the Baltic states is complete nonsense. Due to generous parental payments, birthrates have risen significantly since the 1990s – in fact, birthrates in the Baltics are now slightly higher than the EU average. Life expectancy is also growing. Latvia covers IVF treatments in full. There are free school lunches.

Yes, it is true that some of the Soviet era factories should've been salvaged but the problem was they were not competitive globally at that time (and there was no capital to remodel them). The Soviet market was a closed one. However, some businesses were salvaged. There is local manufacturing (electronics, pharmaceuticals, etc).

Not everything is ideal, but it is also not the kind of gloom and doom as you paint.

Jake , says: November 3, 2019 at 11:46 am GMT
If the Anglo-Zionist Empire comes to save you, you should expect to be raped: culturally and religiously as well as economically.
onebornfree , says: Website November 3, 2019 at 3:48 pm GMT
Saker says: "Initially it did appear that these states were experiencing growth, but was that not mostly/entirely due to EU/IMF/US subsidies?"

"Foreign Aid Makes Corrupt Countries More Corrupt":

"Any time a government hands out money, not just foreign aid, it breeds corruption And there are few better examples than Ukraine – just don't tell the House impeachment hearings. Counting on foreign aid to reduce corruption is like expecting whiskey to cure alcoholism .If U.S. aid was effective, Ukraine would have become a rule of law paradise long ago . The surest way to reduce foreign corruption is to end foreign aid."

http://jimbovard.com/blog/2019/10/29/foreign-aid-makes-corrupt-countries-more-corrupt/

Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: November 3, 2019 at 5:16 pm GMT
@onebornfree The EU gives every year about 2,500 million euros to the 3 Baltic countries ( 6 million people the three of them ) , and 9000 million euros to Poland ( 38 million people ) , plus more billions to other eastern members .

Older members of the EU , specially the UK which is going out , Greece witch was tortured ( again ) economically by Germany , and south Europe in general are not very happy about admitting so many ex-soviets countries en the EU and subsidizing them .

AnonFromTN , says: November 3, 2019 at 9:31 pm GMT
@SeekerofthePresence

Recovery and self-sufficiency since Yeltsin show the brilliance of the Russian people

It's not so much brilliance as sheer necessity to survive under sanctions. But some results were better than anyone expected. Say, food before sanctions used to be so-so in the provinces and downright bad in Moscow because of abundance of imported crap. Now the food is exclusively domestic, fresh and tasty. Russia never had traditions of making fancy cheeses. Now, to bypass sanctions, quite a few Italian and French cheese-makers started production in Russia, so in the last 2-3 years domestically made excellent fancy cheeses appeared in supermarkets. Arguably, Russian agriculture benefited by sanctions more than any other sector, but there are success stories virtually in every industry. Sanctions and Ukrainian stupidity served as a timely wake up call for Russian elites, who earlier wanted to sell oil and natural gas and buy everything else. Replacing imports after the sanctions were imposed had a significant cost in the short run, but in the long run it made Russia much stronger, economically and militarily. Speak of unintended consequences.

Kazlu Ruda , says: November 3, 2019 at 11:58 pm GMT
My mom is from Lithuania and I've been there several times. We have second cousins our age.

Her father was a surveyor for the Republic in the 20s and 30s, charged with breaking up the manors and estates and the state distributing the land to the peasantry. It was near-feudalism. There was very little industrialization; that which existed were in a few urban centers. One interesting comment from her was that the "Jews were communists". From what I've read they were the urban working class, but perhaps part of the socialist/Jewish Bund?

There is no doubt that the Soviet period unleashed considerable industrialization and modernization. Lithuania had some of the best infrastructure in the USSR. Its traditional culture was really celebrated.

When I first visited, not long after the fall of the USSR, there were enormous, vacant industrial plants. The collective farms were in the process of being sold off the western European agribusiness firms. One relative through marriage was from the Ukraine, with a PhD in Physics and had been employed in the military industries -- she was cleaning houses thereafter.

Any usable industrial enterprises were quickly sold off. The utilities are all foreign owned. Part of EU mandates are "open" electricity "markets", which resulting in DC interconnections costing hundreds of millions with the west to import very high priced electricity. The EU has paid for "Via Baltica", a highway running from Poland to Estonia; it is choked with trucks carrying imports and there are huge distribution and fulfillment centers along the highway. Such progress, huh?

There had been good public transport in the earlier years of independence, but that has been replaced with personal automobiles -- usually western European used cars that pollute a lot. Trakai is a commuter town to Vilnius with a medieval castle (restored in Soviet times). First time I went it was very pleasant. Second time in 2018 the place was choked with cars and not very nice at all.

The impact of emigration cannot be over-stated. College educated young people leave by the hundreds of thousands. Those that remain are paid very low wages (e.g., 1000 euros for a veterinarian or dentist), but pay west European prices for many essentials. Housing is cheaper than the west.

Last time in Kazlu Ruda there were huge NATO exercises in progress and even bigger ones planned for 2020. German units were billeted at an airbase nearby, rumored to have been a CIA black site. How fitting, as the Germans with the Lithuanian Riflemens Union exterminated a quarter of a million Jews in a matter of months (see Jager Report on Wikipedia). There is a Red Army graveyard in the town that has the remains of perhaps 350 soldiers killed in the area driving out the Nazis. I was frankly surprised it was still there.

Lithuania hasn't been independent since the days of the Pagans and Vytautas. It surely isn't independent today.

Anecdotal -- yes. But based on personal observation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*

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

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

[Nov 03, 2019] Little mentioned is the server in Ukraine which was brought up in the phone call. Barr's investigation has become a criminal investigation and interested in a server in Ukraine. The impeachment farce is trying to put the focus on Biden, but the server may be what they are trying to protect

Nov 03, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU 1 , Nov 2 2019 1:00 utc | 82

Petri Krohn's comment @37 "ERIC CIARAMELLA IS NOT A WHISTLEBLOWER - HE IS A SUSPECT"

Little mentioned is the server in Ukraine which was brought up in the phone call. Barr's investigation has become a criminal investigation and interested in a server in Ukraine.

The impeachment farce is trying to put the focus on Biden, but the server may be what they are trying to protect.

This impeachment show looks to be a rearguard or defensive action to try and stop the Barr criminal investigation into russiagate.

[Nov 03, 2019] How Controlling Syria s Oil Serves Washington s Strategic Objectives by Nauman Sadiq

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Washington's basic purpose in deploying the US forces in oil and natural gas fields of Deir al-Zor governorate is to deny the valuable source of income to its other main rival in the region, Damascus. ..."
Nov 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Nauman Sadiq,

Before the evacuation of 1,000 American troops from northern Syria to western Iraq, the Pentagon had 2,000 US forces in Syria. After the drawdown of US troops at Erdogan's insistence in order for Ankara to mount a ground offensive in northern Syria, the US has still deployed 1,000 troops, mainly in oil-rich eastern Deir al-Zor province and at al-Tanf military base.

Al-Tanf military base is strategically located in southeastern Syria on the border between Syria, Iraq and Jordan, and it straddles on a critically important Damascus-Baghdad highway, which serves as a lifeline for Damascus. Washington has illegally occupied 55-kilometer area around al-Tanf since 2016, and several hundred US Marines have trained several Syrian militant groups there.

It's worth noting that rather than fighting the Islamic State, the purpose of continued presence of the US forces at al-Tanf military base is to address Israel's concerns regarding the expansion of Iran's influence in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Regarding the oil- and natural gas-rich Deir al-Zor governorate, it's worth pointing out that Syria used to produce modest quantities of oil for domestic needs before the war – roughly 400,000 barrels per day, which isn't much compared to tens of millions barrels daily oil production in the Gulf states.

Although Donald Trump crowed in a characteristic blunt manner in a tweet after the withdrawal of 1,000 American troops from northern Syria that Washington had deployed forces in eastern Syria where there was oil, the purpose of exercising control over Syria's oil is neither to smuggle oil out of Syria nor to deny the valuable source of revenue to the Islamic State.

There is no denying the fact that the remnants of the Islamic State militants are still found in Syria and Iraq but its emirate has been completely dismantled in the region and its leadership is on the run. So much so that the fugitive caliph of the terrorist organization was killed in the bastion of a rival jihadist outfit, al-Nusra Front in Idlib, hundreds of kilometers away from the Islamic State strongholds in eastern Syria.

Much like the "scorched earth" battle strategy of medieval warlords – as in the case of the Islamic State which early in the year burned crops of local farmers while retreating from its former strongholds in eastern Syria – Washington's basic purpose in deploying the US forces in oil and natural gas fields of Deir al-Zor governorate is to deny the valuable source of income to its other main rival in the region, Damascus.

After the devastation caused by eight years of proxy war, the Syrian government is in dire need of tens of billions dollars international assistance to rebuild the country. Not only is Washington hampering efforts to provide international aid to the hapless country, it is in fact squatting over Syria's own resources with the help of its only ally in the region, the Kurds.

Although Donald Trump claimed credit for expropriating Syria's oil wealth, it bears mentioning that "scorched earth" policy is not a business strategy, it is the institutional logic of the deep state. President Trump is known to be a businessman and at least ostensibly follows a non-interventionist ideology; being a novice in the craft of international diplomacy, however, he has time and again been misled by the Pentagon and Washington's national security establishment.

Regarding Washington's interest in propping up the Gulf's autocrats and fighting their wars in regional conflicts, it bears mentioning that in April 2016, the Saudi foreign minister threatened that the Saudi kingdom would sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets if the US Congress passed a bill that would allow Americans to sue the Saudi government in the United States courts for its role in the September 11, 2001 terror attack – though the bill was eventually passed, Saudi authorities have not been held accountable; even though 15 out of 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi nationals.

Moreover, $750 billion is only the Saudi investment in the United States, if we add its investment in Western Europe and the investments of UAE, Kuwait and Qatar in the Western economies, the sum total would amount to trillions of dollars of Gulf's investments in North America and Western Europe.

Furthermore, in order to bring home the significance of the Persian Gulf's oil in the energy-starved industrialized world, here are a few stats from the OPEC data: Saudi Arabia has the world's largest proven crude oil reserves of 265 billion barrels and its daily oil production exceeds 10 million barrels; Iran and Iraq, each, has 150 billion barrels reserves and has the capacity to produce 5 million barrels per day, each; while UAE and Kuwait, each, has 100 billion barrels reserves and produces 3 million barrels per day, each; thus, all the littoral states of the Persian Gulf, together, hold 788 billion barrels, more than half of world's 1477 billion barrels of proven oil reserves.

No wonder then, 36,000 United States troops have currently been deployed in their numerous military bases and aircraft carriers in the oil-rich Persian Gulf in accordance with the Carter Doctrine of 1980, which states: "Let our position be absolutely clear: an attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force."

Additionally, regarding the Western defense production industry's sales of arms to the Gulf Arab States, a report authored by William Hartung of the US-based Center for International Policy found that the Obama administration had offered Saudi Arabia more than $115 billion in weapons, military equipment and training during its eight-year tenure.

Similarly, the top items in Trump's agenda for his maiden visit to Saudi Arabia in May 2017 were: firstly, he threw his weight behind the idea of the Saudi-led "Arab NATO" to counter Iran's influence in the region; and secondly, he announced an unprecedented arms package for Saudi Arabia. The package included between $98 billion and $128 billion in arms sales.

Therefore, keeping the economic dependence of the Western countries on the Gulf Arab States in mind, during the times of global recession when most of manufacturing has been outsourced to China, it is not surprising that when the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia decided to provide training and arms to the Islamic jihadists in the border regions of Turkey and Jordan against the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the Obama administration was left with no other choice but to toe the destructive policy of its regional Middle Eastern allies, despite the sectarian nature of the proxy war and its attendant consequences of breeding a new generation of Islamic jihadists who would become a long-term security risk not only to the Middle East but to the Western countries, as well.

Similarly, when King Abdullah's successor King Salman decided, on the whim of the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, to invade Yemen in March 2015, once again the Obama administration had to yield to the dictates of Saudi Arabia and UAE by fully coordinating the Gulf-led military campaign in Yemen not only by providing intelligence, planning and logistical support but also by selling billions of dollars' worth of arms and ammunition to the Gulf Arab States during the conflict.

In this reciprocal relationship, the US provides security to the ruling families of the Gulf Arab states by providing weapons and troops; and in return, the Gulf's petro-sheikhs contribute substantial investments to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars to the Western economies.

Regarding the Pax Americana which is the reality of the contemporary neocolonial order, according to a January 2017 infographic by the New York Times, 210,000 US military personnel were stationed all over the world, including 79,000 in Europe, 45,000 in Japan, 28,500 in South Korea and 36,000 in the Middle East.

Although Donald Trump keeps complaining that NATO must share the cost of deployment of US troops, particularly in Europe where 47,000 American troops are stationed in Germany since the end of the Second World War, 15,000 in Italy and 8,000 in the United Kingdom, fact of the matter is that the cost is already shared between Washington and host countries.

Roughly, European countries pay one-third of the cost for maintaining US military bases in Europe whereas Washington chips in the remaining two-third. In the Far Eastern countries, 75% of the cost for the deployment of American troops is shared by Japan and the remaining 25% by Washington, and in South Korea, 40% cost is shared by the host country and the US contributes the remaining 60%.

Whereas the oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) – Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar – pay two-third of the cost for maintaining 36,000 US troops in the Persian Gulf where more than half of world's proven oil reserves are located and Washington contributes the remaining one-third.

* * *

Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based attorney, columnist and geopolitical analyst focused on the politics of Af-Pak and Middle East regions, neocolonialism and petro-imperialism.


ipsprez , 8 minutes ago link

I am always amazed (and amused) at how much smarter "journalists" are than POTUS. If ONLY Mr. Trump would read more and listen to those who OBVIOUSLY are sooo much smarter!!!! Maybe then he wouldn't be cowed and bullied by Erdogan, Xi, Jung-on, Trudeau (OK so maybe that one was too far fetched) to name a few. Please note the sarcasm. Do I really need to go in to the success after success Mr. Trump's foreign policy has enjoyed? Come on Man.

OLD-Pipe , 19 minutes ago link

What a load of BOLOCKS...The ONLY, I mean The Real and True Reason for American Armored presence is one thing,,,,,,,Ready for IT ? ? ? To Steal as much OIL as Possible, AND convert the Booty into Currency, Diamonds or some other intrinsically valuable commodity, Millions of Dollars at a Time......17 Years of Shadows and Ghost Trucks and Tankers Loading and Off-Loading the Black Gold...this is what its all about......M-O-N-E-Y....... Say It With Me.... Mon-nee, Money Money Mo_on_ne_e_ey, ......

Blue Steel 309 , 5 minutes ago link

This is about Israel, not oil.

ombon , 58 minutes ago link

From the sale of US oil in Syria receive 30 million. dollars per month. Image losses are immeasurably greater. The United States put the United States as a robbery bandit. This is American democracy. The longer the troops are in Syria, the more countries will switch to settlements in national currencies.

Pandelis , 28 minutes ago link

yeah well these are mafia guys...

uhland62 , 50 minutes ago link

"Our interests", "strategic interests" is always about money, just a euphemism so it doesn't look as greedy as it is. Another euphemism is "security' ,meaning war preparations.

BobEore , 1 hour ago link

...The military power of the USA put directly in the service of "the original TM" PIRATE STATE. U are the man Norm! But wait... now things get a little hazy... in the classic... 'alt0media fake storyline' fashion!

"President Trump is known to be a businessman and at least ostensibly follows a non-interventionist ideology; being a novice in the craft of international diplomacy, however, he has time and again been misled by the Pentagon and Washington's national security establishment."

Awww! Poor "DUmb as Rocks Donnie" done been fooled agin!

...In the USA... the military men are stirring at last... having been made all too aware that their putative 'boss' has been operating on behalf of foreign powers ever since being [s]elected, that the State Dept of the once Great Republic has been in active cahoots with the jihadis ...

and that those who were sent over there to fight against the headchoppers discovered that the only straight shooters in the whole mess turned out to be the Kurds who AGENT FRIMpf THREW UNDER THE BUS ON INSTRUCTIONS FROM JIHADI HQ!

... ... ...

[Nov 03, 2019] Ratcliffe rats out the Schiff show

Notable quotes:
"... A former federal prosecutor who sits on the committee tasked by Democrats with removing President Donald Trump from office blasted Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., as being unfit to oversee the process. Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Tex., told The Federalist on Friday that Schiff's problem isn't mere partisan political bias, it's that Schiff has a conflict of interest given his secret interactions with the anti-Trump whistleblower before his false complaint against Trump was even submitted. ..."
"... "It's more than just bias -- it's an actual legal conflict of interest," Ratcliffe told The Federalist. "Schiff is using his authority as a Chairman presiding over an impeachment inquiry to prevent the investigation and discovery of facts about his own actions or the actions of his staff." ..."
Nov 03, 2019 | www.citizenfreepress.com

John Ratcliffe @RepRatcliffe

This is impeachment effort 3.0 by Schiff. After twice falsely accusing the President of treason with Russia and obstructing justice, Democrats put Schiff in charge of impeachment 3.0 with someone who became a whistleblower after meeting with Schiff's staff.

A former federal prosecutor who sits on the committee tasked by Democrats with removing President Donald Trump from office blasted Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., as being unfit to oversee the process. Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Tex., told The Federalist on Friday that Schiff's problem isn't mere partisan political bias, it's that Schiff has a conflict of interest given his secret interactions with the anti-Trump whistleblower before his false complaint against Trump was even submitted.

"It's more than just bias -- it's an actual legal conflict of interest," Ratcliffe told The Federalist. "Schiff is using his authority as a Chairman presiding over an impeachment inquiry to prevent the investigation and discovery of facts about his own actions o