Softpanorama

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

Obama: a yet another Neocon in foreign policy

Obama like Clinton before him is yet another "CIA-democrat". He managed to inflate a giant, empty balloon of promises of hope and change for working Americans in domestic policy delivering goods and protecting ruling neoliberal kleptocracy

Thos who claim that Obama was born in Kenya miss the point: he was incubated by CIA

News Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Recommended Links Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton New American Militarism Hillary Clinton and Obama created ISIS
Obama, the Prince of Bait-and-Switch Did Obama order wiretaps of Trump conversations Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Robert Kagan Samantha Power Wolfowitz Doctrine
 "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Hillary Clinton email scandal Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Madeleine Albright Color revolutions Leo Strauss and the Neocons
Neoliberalism as a New form of Corporatism Deception as an art form The History of Media-Military-Industrial Complex Concept The ability and willingness to employ savage methods Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism  IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement
Mayberry Machiavellians John Dilulio letter Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Big Uncle is Watching You Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization Anatol Leiven on American Messianism
Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization Guardian paper LA Times Paper by Neal Gabler Washington Post paper by Mike Allen  From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Hong Cong Color Revolution of 2014
Mayberry Machiavellians Corporatism Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few American Exceptionalism Politically Incorrect Humor Etc


It would be wrong to excuse the inaction of the Obama DOJ and SEC crews as being the result of some larger “corrosion of our collective values.”

The capos in those crews are the people doing the corroding, and not one of them was forced to (not) do what they did.

Notice that every last one of the initial bunch is presently being paid, by Wall Street, to the tune of millions of dollars per year. They opted to cover up crimes and take a pay-off in exchange. And they are owed punishment.

Obama said all the right things while methodically doing the bidding of oligarchy. He captured the imagination of millions, if not billions, around the world with his soaring rhetoric, yet rarely skipped a beat when it came to the advancement of imperial policies. He made bailing out Wall Street, droning civilians and cracking down on journalists seem progressive. He said one thing, did another, and people ate it up. This is an extraordinarily valuable quality when it comes to a vicious and unelected deep state that wants to keep a corrupt empire together.

Valissa -> jsn... , 01 March 2018 at 07:44 PM

Obama became famous as the first President who used counterintelligence powers to investigate the opposition party’s presidential campaign. In this case Trump campaign. There was no criminal deeds to justify an investigation of any Trump-campaign official. So, the FBI did not open a criminal investigation. Instead, the bureau opened a counterintelligence investigation and hoped that evidence of crimes committed by Trump officials would emerge. Such an abuse of power to use counterintelligence powers, including spying and electronic surveillance, is a sign of a mature "national security state". An interesting nuance was the Obama used British MI6 too to spy on Trump. His head of CIA was involved in creation and dissimilation of Steele dossier, which was MI6 product.  

He also produced several other notable dirty tricks including his unprecedented "bait and switch" scam.   That's why his election slogan -- "Change we can believe in"  -- became a synonym for snake oil in the modern English. According to Wikipedia

Bait-and-switch is a form of fraud used in retail sales but also employed in other contexts. First, customers are "baited" by merchants' advertising products or services at a low price, but when customers visit the store, they discover that the advertised goods are not available, or the customers are pressured by sales people to consider similar, but higher priced items ("switching").

 Obama is perhaps the most lethal combination of neolib & neocon, a darling of the "deep state". While deception was used by all presidential candidates, past and present, Obama can be called Prince of bait and switch tactics. Even "Slick Willy"  with his "it's economy stupid" did not reach the higher of betrayal of the electorate delivered by Obama  with his famous and completely fraudulent "change we can believe it" slogan.  

Nicknamed "Barack CIA 0bama" and 'teleprompter" he actually represents the second president closely allied with CIA (the first was Bush the Older; Obama might be the third, as Bill Clinton connections with  CIA during his time in Arkansas recently resurfaced too).  He symbolized the merger of  economic/financial interests of financial oligarchy (neolib) with the imperial ambitions of neocon -- both well represented in US intelligence  services, especially CIA, which was actually created by Wall Street lawyers for Wall Street policies enforcement, despite initial desire of Truman to see it as an informational agency, and not as a "cloak and dagger" agency.  And in just 15 year the agency start playing a political role on the USA as it was instrumental in JFK assassination. After Triumphal march of neoliberalism from late 70th till late 90th and quote coup against the New Deal under Reagan, the viability of the USA and the USA led global neoliberal empire is now closely tied to the viability of the transnational corporations, for whom the USA Department of State, CIA and the USA military are serving as an enforcer.

Actually it is proper not to view Obama as a person. Obama is more of an artificially created political brand. He was brought to power by the pure force of advertizing, which exploit the fact that you can project wishes of electorate into any person with no political history (the trick later repeated with Trump). That's how famous  fake slogan "change we can believe in" was created. Political promises that later will be  discarded with impunity were the rule of the political game in the USA probably since Reagan. With Obama they just achieved  a new level in which the person itself was also an artificial construct, an actor. 

They managed to prove that the real person does not matter (similarly to how Caligula wanted to make his  horse a senator). A constructed "image" is enough.  And absence of previous political experience is ideal prerequisite for the construction of the fake image that electorate wants (which is the essence of "change we can believe in" trick.) BTW, during Presidential elections cycle Obama managed to outspend republican McCain (the darling of MIC) mostly due to financial industry contributions. Tell me who is paying for your election, and I will tell what policies you will pursue ;-)

And Obama campaign once again demonstrated old truth: Democratic Party just plays the role of destroyer of radical left, while Republican Party plays the same role for radical right. This provides a kind of political stability. Those two parties being two wings of a singles "Neoliberal Party of the USA."  See also   Trump vs. Deep State.

And Obama was preselected by the same "deep state" handlers, which preselected Bill and Hillary Clinton. All talks about democracy after 1963, when "shadow government" came in power in the USA is akin to a slick advertizing trick. All the US people are allowed to do is to confirm one two preselected by deep state politicians (who later can prove to be a complete puppets, or not), providing political legitimacy.

Obama has close ties with the "deep state" are undeniable. Historically Obama spend some time working in Business International Corporation, the CIA outlet (Wikipedia)

In the late summer of 1983, future United States President Barack Obama interviewed for a job at Business International Corporation. He worked there for "little more than year."[3] As a research associate in its financial services division, he edited Financing Foreign Operations, a global reference service, and wrote for Business International Money Report, a weekly financial newsletter.[4] His responsibilities included "interviewing business experts, researching trends in foreign exchange, following market developments. . . . He wrote about currency swaps and leverage leases. . . . Obama also helped write financial reports on Mexico and Brazil.[5]

See also Verified CIA Front, Business International Corp, Paid for Obama’s Columbia College Tuition

 Export Blueprint

After graduating from Columbia University in 1983, Barack Obama went to work for a firm called Business International Corporation (BIC), a firm that was linked to economic intelligence gathering for the CIA.

For one year, Obama worked as a researcher in BIC’s financial services division where he wrote for two BIC publications, Financing Foreign Operations and Business International Money Report, a weekly newsletter. An informed source has told WMR that Obama’s tuition debt at Columbia was paid off by BIC.

In addition, WMR has learned that when Obama lived in Indonesia with his mother and his adoptive father Lolo Soetoro, the 20-year-old Obama, who was known as “Barry Soetoro,” traveled to Pakistan in 1981 and was hosted by the family of Muhammadmian Soomro, a Pakistani Sindhi who became acting President of Pakistan after the resignation of General Pervez Musharraf on August 18, 2008. WMR was told that the Obama/Soetoro trip to Pakistan, ostensibly to go “partridge hunting” with the Soomros, related to unknown CIA business.

The covert CIA program to assist the Afghan mujaheddin was already well underway at the time and Pakistan was the major base of operations for the CIA’s support. Obama also reportedly traveled to India, again, on unknown business for U.S. intelligence. WMR has been told by knowledgeable sources that Obama has, in the past, traveled on at least three passports: U.S., Indonesian, and British. BIC also maintained a European subsidiary, Business International S.A., in Geneva. BIC had long been associated with CIA activities since being founded by Eldridge Haynes, a self-professed liberal Democrat. The BIC headquarters was located at the prestigious address of 1 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in Manhattan. BIC held a series of off-the-record, no press, meetings between top U.S. business executives and top government officials, including the President, and the Secretaries of State, Defense, Treasury, Commerce, and Labor; the Attorney General, Senate leadership, and the heads of the Export-Import Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. BIC held international meetings in locations like Brussels and Mexico City.

In 1986, BIC was bought by the Economist Group in London and its operations were merged with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). There have been a number of reports that the EIU works as closely with Britain’s MI-6 intelligence service as BIC once worked with or for the CIA. One of BIC’s directors was the late Lord Pilkington, who was also a director of the Bank of England.

Obama’s work for a company having ties to the CIA barely registered a blip on the 2008 presidential campaign radar screen. At the very least, Obama helped in providing economic intelligence to the CIA as a contract employee. At most, Obama was, like previous BIC employees who operated abroad for the CIA, a full-fledged non-official cover (NOC) agent. Since President Obama has backpedaled on CIA renditions and torture, as well as warrantless electronic surveillance by U.S. intelligence, he owes the American people a full explanation of the circumstances behind his being hired by BIC, what his job actually entailed, and whether he continued to have a relationship with BIC or any other CIA operation while attending Harvard Law School and thereafter.

In foreign policy Obama was simply a close variation of Bush II, and can well be called Bush III. He behaved like a staunch neocon (like Hillary Clinton to whom he "outsourced" his foreign policy during his first term in the office). He was a firm believer in American Exceptionalism (which is a flavor of radical nationalism), in the necessity of the US global dominance at all costs, in the maintenance and expansion of global neoliberal empire led by the USA. He managed to destroy one country (Libya) and institute a regime change operation in other (Ukraine), unleashing civil war in both. He also unleashed  regime change operations and civil war in Syria, essentially creating ISIS.

During his presidency he never got tied of imperial adventures and bombing poor brown people (The Bush-Obama-Neocon Doctrine):

It’s official: When it comes to foreign policy, Barack Obama’s first term is really George W. Bush’s third. Bill Kristol, son of the late neoconservative godfather Irving Kristol and editor of the Weekly Standard, declared that Obama is “a born-again neocon” during a March 30 appearance on the Fox News Channel’s Red Eye w/Greg Gutfeld. Kristol’s remark came in the context of a discussion of Obama’s consultation with Kristol and other influential columnists prior to his March 28 address to the nation about his military intervention in Libya. Gutfeld quizzed Kristol about the President’s asking him for “help” with his speech. Kristol denied that Obama had sought his help. Instead, Kristol said,

In case anyone missed the significance of Kristol’s comment, Gutfeld made it clear: “We’ve got the drones. We’ve got military tribunals. We’ve got Gitmo. We’re bombing Libya. People who voted for Obama got four more years of Bush.”

Kristol agreed, adding: “What’s the joke — they told me if I voted for McCain, we’d be going to war in a third Muslim country…. I voted for McCain and we’re doing it.”

Of course, to Kristol, calling someone a neocon is a compliment. Indeed, Kristol praised Obama’s speech on the Weekly Standard blog, saying the President “had rejoined — or joined — the historical American foreign policy mainstream.” The speech was “reassuring,” Kristol explained, saying, “The president was unapologetic, freedom-agenda-embracing, and didn’t shrink from defending the use of force or from appealing to American values and interests.” In other words, it was a neocon speech, cloaking the use of violence in the language of liberty and treating the U.S. military as the President’s personal mercenaries to reshape the globe rather than as defenders of the territorial United States.

This is not the first time Kristol and other neocons have lauded Obama’s foreign policy. After Obama made a speech in 2009 announcing he was sending more troops to Afghanistan — that is, he was replicating Bush’s Iraq “surge” in another location — Michael Goldfarb, a Weekly Standard writer, asked Kristol for his reaction to the speech. “He said he would have framed a few things differently,” Goldfarb related, “but his basic response was: ‘All hail Obama!’”

Similarly, when the President last August claimed that “the American combat mission in Iraq has ended” while asserting that “our commitment to Iraq’s future is not” ending, New York Post resident neocon John Podhoretz applauded Obama for his “rather neoconservative speech, in the sense that Neoconservatism has argued for aggressive American involvement in the world both for the world’s sake and for the sake of extending American freedoms in order to enhance and preserve American security.” [Emphasis in original.]

Sheldon Richman, writing in Freedom Daily, reminded readers of just exactly what neocon policies have wrought:

Just to be clear, the neocons were among the key architects of the war against Iraq in 1991, followed by the embargo that killed half a million children. That war and embargo set the stage for the 9/11 attacks, which were then used to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq (an ambition long predating 9/11) and the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, American’s [sic] longest military engagement — all of which have killed more than a million people, wreaked political havoc, and made life in those countries (and elsewhere) miserable. Let’s not forget the drone assassination and special ops programs being run in a dozen Muslim countries. The neocon achievement also has helped drive the American people deep into debt.

Nice crowd Obama is hanging with these days. And that’s no exaggeration. Frederick Kagan, one of the top neocon brains and a signatory of the Project of the New American Century imperial manifesto, now works for Gen. David Petraeus.

Barack Obama, the candidate of “change we can believe in,” turned out to be the President of “more of the same.” Lest there remain any doubt about this, one need only turn to establishment news organ Time magazine. There Mark Halperin, explaining “why Obama’s Libya address was strong,” states quite bluntly: “George W. Bush could have delivered every sentence.”

In foreign policy the crown achievement of Obama was putsch in Ukraine, which brought in power far right government of Western Ukrainian nationalists, destroyed the Ukrainian economy, plunging the majority of population into abysmal, Central-African-level poverty (less then $2 a day) and unleashed civil war in Donbass region. But strategically it cut the most important of post-Soviet Republics from Russia, and that all that matters for Obama and his handlers. 

In internal, domestic  policy Obama was iether criminally negligent or criminally complicit , serving as a stooge of financial oligarchy. Essentially trying to imitate worst features of Clinton administration (despite deep hate between Obama and Clinton families, especially Michelle and Hillary; the later called Hillary Hilderbeast). He continued, but is much slower page (as after 2008 the wind changed the direction) the same deregulation policies and destruction the remnants of the New Deal.

The crown achievement of Obama is the push for TPP (derailed by Trump), which would  impoverish working Americans, proliferate McJobs and contractor jobs instead of normal full-time well paying jobs (that were the cornerstone of the New Deal) and enlarge the third country that exists within the USA today (50 million Americans who are on food stamps are in reality not a regular "upscale" US citizens, that world wants to imitate, but a citizens of this third world country within the USA).  In other words he was a selloff. The neoliberal transformation of the economy that all three last administrations advocated proved to be a cruel joke.

If you do not pay people well they can't buy the products on their income and go deeply into debts, trying to maintain their sliding standard of living.  While debt is freely available under neoliberalism to "shmucks" (lower 99% of the US population; the upper 0.1% is called  the "Masters of the Universe"), people can carry only so much of it and at some point the system goes into deep crisis and debt reached the critical mass and sink the economy. 

So you get into "let them eat cakes" situation, in which Obama and Hillary Clinton found themselves during the Democratic convention, when Sanders supporters walked out, it is understandable why they unleashed the new McCarthyism campaign against Russia. They faced the problem of  Demexit and fueling anti-Russian hysteria was a convenient way of offloading the responsibility for this political fiasco and preventing Demexit  from becoming a catastrophe for the neoliberalized by Bill Clinton Democratic Party, which betrayed its working class and lower middle class voters in favor of Wall street financial oligarchy.   

The rise of Trump and Bernie Sanders in the recent presidential election also signify the crisis of neoliberal governance within the USA. People simply became fed of immigration,. globalization and, most important, destruction of jobs and the standard of living for the majority of the population.

People are just fed up with the establishment and the prince of "bait and switch Obama, despite  much better  popularly ratings at the end of his presidency, he is as a disastrous president as Buss II was. Just with slightly darker skin, and without the same speech mistakes. Although it is difficult to say for any teleprompter loving President what was his actual level of conversation. Obama mostly avoid "open questions" interviews during his presidency which suggest that he was afraid of such encounters, where teleprompter is not available. 

What features defines the neocon foreign policy

 

The essence of imperial hubris is the belief that one's country is omnipotent; that the country can shape and create reality. The country's main aspiration is to create clients, dependencies and as the Godfather Zbigniew Bzrezinski candidly put it, "vassals".

Such a mindset does not just appreciate the reality of contingency; it also does not appreciate the nature of complex systems. The country's elites believe that both soft and hard power should be able to ensure the desired outcomes. But resistance to imperial designs and blowback from the imperial power's activities induce cognitive dissonance. Instead of such cognitive crises leading to a return to reality, they lead to denial amongst this elite. This elite lives in a bubble. Their discourse is intellectually incestuous and anybody that threatens this bubble is ostracized. Limits are set to what can be debated.

That is why realists like John Mearsheimer, Steve Walt, Michael Scheuer and Stephen Cohen are ignored by this elite even though their ideas are very germane. If other countries don't bow down to their dictates, they have only a combination of the following responses: sanctions, regime change and chaos. The paradox is that the more they double down with their delusions the more the country's power continues to decline. My only hope is that this doubling down will not take the world down with it.

Makutwa Omutiti | Aug 4, 2017 3:51:17 PM | 25

The neoconservative impulse became visible in modern American foreign policy since Reagan but became dominant ideology and foreign policy practice during criminal George W. Bush administration, which unleashed disastrous for American people Iraq war and destabilized the region, which eventually led to creation of ISIS. Those disastrous neoconservative policies were continued during Obama administration ("Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place. Especially sinister role was played  Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton  while she was the Secretary of State. She was the butcher of Libya and Syria.

Unlike traditionalist conservatism (which in the USA survived in the form of Paleoconservatism) and preaches noninterventionism, Neoconservatism has nothing to do with conservative doctrine at all. This is neoliberal interpretation of Trotskyism -- neoTrotskyism. Like neofascism it glories militarism (in the form of New American Militarism as described by Professor Bacevich),. emphasizes confrontation, and regime change in countries hostile to the interests of global corporation and which are a barrier of spread of neoliberalism and extension of global, US dominated neoliberal empire. It is extremely jingoistic creed.

The unspoken assumptions of neocon cult have led the United States into a senseless, wasteful, and counter-productive posture of nearly perpetual wars of neoliberal conquest. It also led to destabilization of the whole regions, creation of political Islam and at the end creation of ISIS and "institutionalization" of  suicide bombings as the only means to fight against global neoliberal empire by people deprived of regular military means.  From which many nations, suffered especially in Russia and Europe.  In Russia neocons supported radical Islam and Wahhabism preaching extremists (sponsored by Saudi Arabia and Gulf monarchies), considering it the lesser evil, and were trying to dismember Russia.  In Ukraine neocons supported far right nationalists with distinct national socialism leanings and history of crime against humanity (Massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia - Wikipedia), which make the country a debt slave of IMF and dropped already low standard of living of population almost three times. Making the Ukraine probably the poorest country in Europe where large percent of population (especially pensioners and single mothers) needs to survive of less the $3 a day. Average (note the word "average")  pension in Ukraine is about $1500 grivna which at the current exchange rate is approximately $60. It was three times higher before the Maydan color revolution which State Department so skillfully organized. Everywhere they bring wars and disasters. And they impoverish the US middle class. To say nothing about desperate, completely robbed 50 or so million people with Mcjobs, who are liming essentially in the third world country that exists within the USA now  (Food Stamp Beneficiaries Exceed 46,000,000 for 38 Straight Months ).  They are concerned mainly with enriching themselves and their masters from military industrial complex and bloating government bureaucracy. In other words they behave like the USSR nomenklatura -- a privileged, above the law class, degeneration of which eventually led to collapse of the USSR. Such a conservatives. And not unlike Party bureaucracy of the Third Reich, despite being disproportionally Jewish. 

And in foreign policy they were a real, unmitigated  disaster.  Or more correctly series of disaster of varying magnitudes. Iraq was a huge, humiliating disaster. Probably the biggest one.  Afghanistan was a disaster of lesser scale. Libya were another, more small scale disaster. Syria is a potentially huge disaster, due to international consequences of creating ISIS in this region.  Ukraine is a huge and very expensive disaster, which might lead to the WWIII, a nuclear holocaust (neocons like to speculate on tragedy of Jewish population during the WWII).   which revived the threat of nuclear war with Russia (and probably was done in the name of US security, as neocons understand it ;-). Moreover it moved Russia closer to China, which is no way is in the USA geopolitical interests. Starting from Clinton administration their attitude to Russia was essentially was: be our vassal, or you have no right to exist. Which is reckless attitude to the second most powerful nuclear armed state in the world.  Even taking into account huge difficulties and huge deterioration of the Russia military capabilities after the dissolution of the USSR they are playing with fire. And enjoying every minute of it. Just look at Robert Kagan (the husband of Victoria Nuland, who was appointed as advisor to State Department by Hillary Clinton) face during his public speeches. This man is definitely enjoying himself and his wit. 

An assertion that the fundamental determinant of the relationship between states rests on military power and the willingness to use it is clearly wrong. It is a foreign policy equivalent to Al Capone idea that "You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone". It is very close to neo-Nazi idea that "War is a natural state, and peace is a utopian dream that induces softness, decadence and pacifism." The problem here is that it's the person who promotes this creed can be shot. Of course neocons are chickenhawks and prefer other people die for their misguided adventures.  

The idea  that disagreement about this postulate is tantamount to defeatism is simply silly. "Global unilateralism" is capable to bankrupt the USA.  Democracy promotion was a nice racket until probably 2008, but now way too many countries understand what it is about. The same is true about color revolutions.

It created level of anti-American sentiment at Middle East unheard before,  provoked rearmament of Russia and armament of China which together represent a formidable force able to turn the USA into radioactive ash no less effectively then the USA can turn them. 

Despite disastrous results of the Neocon foreign policy neocons remain a powerful, dominant political force in Washington. In recent Presidential race neocons are represented by Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton.


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

Home 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015

For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section

[Dec 14, 2019] You Backing The Russians, Boy - Illinois Man Charged With Threatening To Murder GOP Congressman

Looks like Professor Karlan operated on the level very close to this man.
Notable quotes:
"... Rodney Lee Davis ..."
"... "I just saw you ... on the TV. You backing the Russians, boy?" ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

It would appear all the escalating rhetoric from a month of impeachment hearings - including one Democratic congressman asking fellow lawmakers to imagine the teenage daughter of Ukraine's president tied up in Trump's basement - have sparked more than just verbal assaults on Republicans ( just as Maxine Waters would had suggested previously ).

The Hill reports that a man in Illinois has been charged after allegedly threatening to shoot Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and accusing the congressman of "backing the Russians."

Rodney Lee Davis

64-year-old Randall Tar of Rochester, Ill. was charged with communicating threats to injure a person and threatening to assault, kidnap or murder a federal official, according to court documents released this week (full release below).

Contacted at his home Thursday, Tarr said he saw a television ad in which Davis, a Republican from Taylorville, claimed that Ukraine, not Russia, was responsible for meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections , and it angered him enough to call.

Prosecutors say Tarr called Davis's district office last month and left a profanity-filled voicemail, saying:

"I just saw you ... on the TV. You backing the Russians, boy?"

"Stupid son of a bitch, you're gonna go against our military and back the Russians?" he allegedly added.

"I'm a sharpshooter. ... I'd like to shoot your f---ing head off you stupid motherf---er."

Tarrlater reportedly told The Associated Press :

"I screwed up," Tarr said.

"I don't even have a weapon to do it, is the silliest thing."

"I wish I could just take it all back and just say he's a lousy (expletive) for backing the Russian theory."

Of course, the only problem with all this is that the Democrats' constant spewing of the narrative that Ukraine did not 'meddle' in the 2016 election is entirely false .


Dr Anon , 45 minutes ago link

The bigger story is the number of mentally unstable Americans. When you go driving next, remember that about 20% of them are gorked on prescribed medications. The behavior you will observe makes complete sense in that context.

greek mafia , 46 minutes ago link

Damn...64 and still stupid as hell

Pendolino , 47 minutes ago link

" I'm a sharpshooter "

Well he certainly knows how to shoot his mouth off.

[Dec 14, 2019] Trump Impeachment Is Approved While Republicans Rant by Jonathan Bernstein

Neoliberal shill about failed impeachment ;-)
Dec 14, 2019 | www.bloomberg.com

It's surprisingly easy to get bogged down in the nonsense of the moment when this is what's actually happening: the impeachment of the president, and a struggle over the power of the presidency and of the Congress, over the integrity of elections in the United States, and over the Constitution and the republic.

We're almost certainly heading for a party-line vote in the House with only a handful of defections, and there's every reason to believe the Senate trial will yield similar results. But there are some unanswered questions that could prove quite important in the long term.

Will Trump, and will future presidents, be more restrained because even impeachment and acquittal is still a sufficient punishment? Or will it backfire? Will Trump believe, if he is not removed, that pressuring a foreign nation to help his re-election bid and then stiff-arming Congress when they investigate it now has a seal of approval? We don't know. Nor do we really know how the specifics of the Senate trial -- whether witnesses are called, what the final vote is -- will matter.

[Dec 14, 2019] Federal Judge Unseals Nancy Pelosi's Alcoholic Treatment Records ALLOD Bustatroll.org

Dec 14, 2019 | bustatroll.org

Judge Marcus Alfonso Paralapalos of the conservative 51st District Court of Warrants, has ordered the medical treatment files for Nancy Pelosi's alcoholism unsealed and available to the general public. While technically a violation of about 11 laws, Judge Paralopolos stands by his ruling, fully expecting it to be overturned:

Harvard Study Shows How to Stay More Youthful LCR Health x Ads by Revcontent Find Out More > 15,514

"The public has a right to know if the Speaker of the House is undergoing treatment for alcoholism and bloogie addiction. The 9th Circuit Court will certainly overrule this, but I cannot in good conscience deny the motion to the plaintiff."

The plaintiff, Rudy Giuliani on behalf of the people of the United States, will now have to find a way to convince a panel of liberals that it's in the country's best interests to see the private treatment notes of one of our most powerful elected officials.

Let's face it. Even Trump had his doctor weigh in on his mental and physical well-being, calling him the healthiest 78-year-old of all time. It's not like they're asking for her tax returns. Nancy Pelosi should have to be seen and certified by a mental health professional. She sits way too close to power not to.

[Dec 14, 2019] Will Pelosi have the Votes to Impeach by Renée Parsons

This whole Schiff-Show is just bizarre. Why are the Dems doing this? In an election year to boot? There is just zero chance that the Senate will remove Trump from office, and the case against him is a total laughing stock anyway. All that's going to happen is that the senators are going to start discussing L'affaire Biden openly and loudly, thereby killing the Dem's current front-runner. Is that what Pelosi wants? Meanwhile, none of their other three dozen or so candidates are going to get any media at all, once this impeachment sucks all the oxygen right out of the room. Is that intentional?
Notable quotes:
"... Stating that he had not voted for Trump in 2016, GWU Law P rofessor Jonathan Turley who is a registered Democrat (as is yours truly) opened with a brilliant statement as he set the tone for an extraordinarily compelling testimony throughout the day, carefully explaining to the Democrats why they had not met a credible legal threshold for impeachment. ..."
"... Factually concise with rational, impartial explanations, Turley effectively disputed Democratic claims that an abuse of power stemming from a presumed effort to help one's own re-election is " inferred " and does not constitute proof of intent or direct knowledge of what was in the President's mind. ..."
"... What the Democrats fail to grasp is the double-standard that every politician makes decisions based on what is best for their reelection just as the Dems are hoping to benefit electorally in 2020 with the farcical impeachment. ..."
"... After his testimony, Mr. Turley tweeted. " Before I finished my testimony, my home and office were inundated with (death) threatening messages and demands that I be fired from GW. " ..."
"... For instance, Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala) asked the defining question regarding the purpose of the hearing with "no fact witnesses " via a process that has been " insufficient, unprecedented and grossly inadequate ." Roby pointed out that the Dems had apparently not considered: that a constitutional law panel should come " only after specific charges have been made known and underlying facts presented in full due to an exhaustive investigation. How does anyone expect a panel of law professors to weigh in on legal grounds for impeachment prior to knowing what the grounds brought by this Committee are going to be ? ..."
"... Did any of those 31 notice when the Constitutional law experts were asked by Rep. Matt Gaetz " Can you identify one single material fact in the Schiff Report? – all four remained silent. ..."
"... As the Democratic party appears to have lost whatever is left of its sanity and integrity, the question remains why are the Democrats willing to sacrifice losing some of those 31 House seats in 2020? ..."
"... You recall Bill Maher's comment before a previous election. "The Republicans have shifted to the right and the Dems have shifted right into the insane asylum." ..."
"... It is always good to hear of committed political activsts demanding that their own party stick to fundamental principles of justice, adherence to the Constitution etc etc. There does come a point when you have to ask whether this is temporary insanity or metastatic terminal cancer. If it is the latter, America needs new political parties ..."
Dec 12, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Despite an inadequate performance last week by Constitutional law experts before the House Judiciary Committee, Chair Jerrold Nadler released a unilateral committee report on Saturday entitled " Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment ." The Report came the day after Speaker Nancy Pelosi's press conference in which she directed the formation of Articles of Impeachment.

As has become apparent to any objective observer; that is one who prefers facts over fiction, the Democrats remain locked in an imaginary world struggling to maintain relevance, a stature of standing that no longer exists.

Presumably with no Quid Pro Quo, no allegation of criminal conduct, no legally substantial evidence or factual basis and no bipartisan support, in defiance of previous impeachment norms, the Democrats are hell bent on making public jackasses out of themselves.

In a hearing with Constitutional legal experts expected to score big legal points in support of impeachment, the witnesses instead turned out to be smug, hyper partisan activists as they were consistently unpersuasive and unimpressive .

All three displayed not a wit of objectivity or neutrality while touting their own personal political agenda with a foreign policy ax to grind, leaving the unmistakable impression that their testimonies were nothing short of conflated.

Condescending as if pontificating to a class of mediocre law students, Professor Noah Feldman had suggested in 2017 that Presidential tweets could be grounds for impeachment, indicative of the depth of his thinking as he repeatedly impressed himself with his own rhetoric.

Professor Pamela Karlan opened with a shrillness that grew into a hyperbole spewing divisiveness among the American people and went on to revisit the Russiagate and foreign electoral influence myth ad nauseam. Those dim witted Democrats on the committee repeated the mantra as if held in a spellbound trance whenever "Russiagate" was mentioned. There was no mention of Israel interference in US elections. Testimony of Professor Michael Gerhardt .

Stating that he had not voted for Trump in 2016, GWU Law P rofessor Jonathan Turley who is a registered Democrat (as is yours truly) opened with a brilliant statement as he set the tone for an extraordinarily compelling testimony throughout the day, carefully explaining to the Democrats why they had not met a credible legal threshold for impeachment.

Factually concise with rational, impartial explanations, Turley effectively disputed Democratic claims that an abuse of power stemming from a presumed effort to help one's own re-election is " inferred " and does not constitute proof of intent or direct knowledge of what was in the President's mind.

However, it did not appear that any of the Democrats had the acute sensibility to understand Turley's point as there is an edge of lunacy to the collective Democratic mind these days.

What the Democrats fail to grasp is the double-standard that every politician makes decisions based on what is best for their reelection just as the Dems are hoping to benefit electorally in 2020 with the farcical impeachment.

After his testimony, Mr. Turley tweeted. " Before I finished my testimony, my home and office were inundated with (death) threatening messages and demands that I be fired from GW. "

While it was surprising that there was no Democratic Star on either the Intel or Judiciary Committees who stepped forward to make a credible, cogent case for impeachment, it was somewhat surprising that the Republicans had an energetic array of participating Members not limited to Intel ranking member Devin Nunes (Calif), Judiciary ranking minority Rep. Doug Collins (NC), Rep. Jim Jordan (Oh), Rep. John Ratcliffe (Texas) and Rep. Mark Gaetz (R-Fla) all of whom can be expected to continue their Bulldog approach as the Committee begins preparing Articles of Impeachment.

For instance, Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala) asked the defining question regarding the purpose of the hearing with "no fact witnesses " via a process that has been " insufficient, unprecedented and grossly inadequate ." Roby pointed out that the Dems had apparently not considered: that a constitutional law panel should come " only after specific charges have been made known and underlying facts presented in full due to an exhaustive investigation. How does anyone expect a panel of law professors to weigh in on legal grounds for impeachment prior to knowing what the grounds brought by this Committee are going to be ?

At her news conference the day after the Judiciary committee hearing, Pelosi was asked by a reporter " Do you hate President Trump ?" Pelosi responded with a shaky false piety as if she knows the votes are not there:

We don't hate anybody. Not anybody in the World. And as a Catholic, I resent your using the word 'hate' in a sentence that addresses me. I don't hate anyone. I was raised in a way that is full – a heart full of love and always pray for the president, And I still pray for the president. I pray for the president all the time, So don't mess with me when it comes to words like that.

It is a curiosity that with the 2020 election a scant twelve months away, the Democrats have not made the case for the urgency of why impeachment needs to occur right now, immediately, before the Christmas holidays when the Spirit of Good Cheer, Universal Love and Peace for all Americans should take precedence over the Democrat's divisive animosity, pitting one American against another.

In 2018, thirty-one new Democrats were elected to the House; predominately from districts that voted for Trump in 2016 assuring a tough 2020 re-election campaign.

Let's assume that every one of those 31 newbies have been paying very close attention to the Intel and Judiciary committee hearings with two questions in mind:

Is there sufficient legal evidence to convince my constituents to support Articles of Impeachment and is this flawed impeachment campaign worth losing my seat in Congress?

Did any of those 31 notice when the Constitutional law experts were asked by Rep. Matt Gaetz " Can you identify one single material fact in the Schiff Report? – all four remained silent.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-0SC) has already indicated that he does not intend to 'whip" the Dems in preparation for an Impeachment vote on the House floor and that the Dems "expect to lose some votes."

Let's do the math: With 233 Dems and 197 Republicans, if 18 of the 31 House newbies do not vote to impeach, the Democratic Motion to approve Articles of Impeachment will fail with a tie of 215 votes. Whether the Dems lose 18 votes or less, the damage will be irreversible.

As the Democratic party appears to have lost whatever is left of its sanity and integrity, the question remains why are the Democrats willing to sacrifice losing some of those 31 House seats in 2020?


Seamus Padraig ,

This whole Schiff-Show is just bizarre. Why are the Dems doing this? In an election year to boot? There is just zero chance that the Senate will remove Trump from office, and the case against him is a total laughing stock anyway. All that's going to happen is that the senators are going to start discussing L'affaire Biden openly and loudly, thereby killing the Dem's current front-runner. Is that what Pelosi wants? Meanwhile, none of their other three dozen or so candidates are going to get any media at all, once this impeachment sucks all the oxygen right out of the room. Is that intentional?

All I can say is, you have to really dig all the way to the bottom of the tinfoil-cooler to find an explanation for this one. Others it makes no sense whatsoever.

wardropper ,

This person has made herself ridiculous by refusing to impeach GWB in 2003, when she knew he was lying about Iraq's weapons.
What has Trump done which is comparable to that death toll?
Proof enough that Washington has nothing more to say to human beings.
The place belongs in The Book of Revelation – and not in the optimistic part

George Cornell ,

So your argument consists essentially of name-calling to exercise your own demons. You make Trump look good, like the other stark raving lunatics opining on this , many in the Democratic Party. You have zero chance of unseating Trump by impeachment and by the looks of things that might not be such a bad thing, he said, making the sign of the cross and mouthing pagan incantations, begging forgiveness from the ether.

You recall Bill Maher's comment before a previous election. "The Republicans have shifted to the right and the Dems have shifted right into the insane asylum."

Rhys Jaggar ,

Would Ms Parsons like to write an OpEd on the US Senate pushing forward false narratives that Russia is 'a promoter of terrorism'?

The biggest promoter of terrorism workdwide since 1945 is the USA, be it through OSS, CIA, or other outsourced channels of coup-promoting violence .

Is it not time a motion were voted upon in the UN on precisely that postulate?

wardropper ,

Unfortunately, as you know, the UN, like NATO, to all intents and purposes actually IS the USA, and vetoes all criticism of itself. And if vetoing doesn't work, it just ignores the criticism. Other recent farces at the UN show the US and Israel sitting alone while the rest of the world condems them, and the condemnation is simply shrugged off.

Astonishing that educated adults put up with it, but there it is.

Rhys Jaggar ,

It is always good to hear of committed political activsts demanding that their own party stick to fundamental principles of justice, adherence to the Constitution etc etc. There does come a point when you have to ask whether this is temporary insanity or metastatic terminal cancer. If it is the latter, America needs new political parties

wardropper ,

This person has made herself ridiculous by refusing to impeach GWB in 2003, when she knew he was lying about Iraq's weapons.
What has Trump done which is comparable to that death toll? Proof enough that Washington has nothing more to say to human beings.
The place belongs in The Book of Revelation – and not in the optimistic part

[Dec 14, 2019] The impeachment

Dec 14, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The impeachment . The two articles of impeachment are so anemic as to invite ridicule.

1. "Abuse of power" by expressing concern over thievery by Ukrainians and Americans? This is a charge? The Washington Post has been running a series of articles based on "leaked" US Afghan IG reports and interviews with people involved in that wretched place. These articles reveal the massive scale of the thievery that lost America enormous amounts of money taken through graft and bribery. Was it unreasonable for this president to solicit the Ukrainian president's cooperation in trying to deal with a similar situation in that country. He mentioned Uncle Joe Biden and his drug addled son? Well, why not? The younger of the two has IMO been used as the family bag man for collecting protection money. Joe Biden himself looks to me to be a political version of Jimmy Hoffa the mobbed up Teamsters boss of long ago, but, with less charm, "a little for you, a lot for me," etc. He was potentially a rival for the 2020 election? He was not then a candidate. Is every human or semi-human to be exempt from investigation and prosecution because he MIGHT become a political rival? The Democrats know full well this would be absurd.

2. "Obstructing congress" What we are seeing in the behavior of the Democratic majority in the House and minority in the senate is an attempt to seize control of the federal government using the constitutional powers to "advise and consent" on appointments and the ability to impeach in the House.. They have not yet tried to impeach federal judges appointed by the other party but IMO they will try that soon. In this article of impeachment they claim that the president has obstructed their function by relying on the doctrine of Executive Privilege to deny them access to his present and past staff. Trump did not invent this doctrine. It is a well established feature of American law. Without it no president could conduct internal policy discussions or confidential discussions with foreign leaders. The Democrats know full well that the principal of Executive Privilege is often contested in the courts. That is what they should have done this time, but instead they have chosen to charge the president for impeachment for claiming Executive Privilege. They do not claim this is a violation of law. They merely stamp their feet and scream that they are unhappy and want him gone.

This farce will end in a trial in the US Senate with the Chief Justice of SCOTUS presiding. The Republicans control the senate and will not allow Trump to be deposed. The senate can dismiss the charges by a simple majority vote and that is what Senator Lindsey Graham wants to see happen. Trump does not want that. He wants to be tried for the purpose of turning the tables on the Democrats.

I think he is correct in wanting that. If that occurs, witnesses must be subpoenaed and examined in open court. The Bidens must be so called to demonstrate the reasonable nature of Trump's concern over their behavior in Ukraine . pl


Enrico Malatesta , 13 December 2019 at 12:52 PM

I don't think that Trump gets what he wants from the Senate - the Swamp is too deep in the US Congress.
James Lung , 13 December 2019 at 01:21 PM
Just wondering. Suppose the Senate dismisses the Impeachment. Won't the Chief Justice have to rule on the question of whether or not there is at least probable cause for the democrats' determination that this is probable cause to Impeach?
Factotum said in reply to James Lung... , 13 December 2019 at 09:32 PM
Chief Justice could rule on a demurrer which would dismiss the case without a trial - failure to present prima facie elements of the underlying charge. Therefore nothing of fact is triable - case dismissed.

Which is probably why Democrats ditched the more specific treason, bribery and extortion charges, leaving only the garbage can of "abuse of power" and "obstruction" behind. By what standards of evidence are both those remaining elements - abuse of power and obstruction -- even tried, let alone judged?

blue peacock said in reply to srw... , 13 December 2019 at 03:10 PM
That's obvious.

Biden on camera bragging about a quid pro quo to fire a prosecutor examining corruption at a company where Biden's son is on the board taking a fat paycheck with no experience or expertise to have that position.

Bill Wade , 13 December 2019 at 01:39 PM
Am wondering if President Trump can force the trial or if he has to defer to Senator Graham's wishes? TIA
Diana C , 13 December 2019 at 01:41 PM
I agree that Trump should get his wish. He has endured a lot of false "reporting." And those untruths need to be shown for what they are. I wonder if Mitch McConnell would be able to arrange that despite Graham.

I know that Trump's personality attracts that sort of shocked response from some people. Heck, I'm a Republican and was first also opposed to Trump because of his personality. But I'm of the opinion that the Democrats and their fawning media characters have earned a lot of the same sort negative responses and disgust on the part of the people because their personalities are pretty off-putting also.

I'm still suffering from cognitive dissonance because Adam Schiff has somehow actually remained in his elected position. I can't imagine a high school principal allowing someone who does "parody" to continue as a student council candidate.

I do believe that Nancy Pelosi may be really sinking into dementia or alcoholism--just on the basis of her inability to control her dentures. To have those two criticize the character of Trump really seems strange. I feel that I'm watching a Dickens novel performed on national news each day. I can't laugh, though, because this is happening in reality.

JohninMK , 13 December 2019 at 02:04 PM
Given the corruption on both sides of the Senate it is probable that no-one wants an in depth trial during which unwanted facts might accidentally appear. Much better to whisk it through without it touching the sides so to speak.

OK so Trump doesn't get the exoneration he wants but then nothing will explode in his face. Its not a win win but then its not a lose either and it is unlikely to seriously affect his chances next November. Plus as a quid pro quo he might have got his defence spending increase and the trade bill through.

turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 02:57 PM
johninMK

"the corruption on both sides of the Senate" OK Brit. Explain to us in detail what you think is the "corruption on both sides of the seanate."

John Merryman said in reply to turcopolier ... , 13 December 2019 at 10:14 PM
I'm trying to remember the site I read it on, maybe south front, where the point was made the graft flows through these governments we give billions to, back through the various institutes and global initiatives the US politicians set up. McCain and Clinton being the two mentioned. So neither side wants it looked into too deeply.
turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 03:02 PM
SRW

A conversation between two heads of state is not and should not be conducted as though the subject matter of the conversation is subject to the rules and assumptions of a court of justice.

turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 03:04 PM
james Lung

No. Their vote would end the matter. The chief justice would not have a role if the senate votes not to have a trial.

blue peacock , 13 December 2019 at 03:15 PM
Col. Lang

Graham has a vested interest in not having an extensive trial with many witnesses as it may uncover his own culpability in the Ukraine corruption. And of course may drag in Saint McCain too!

His and Mitch's argument to Trump likely would be, that with no trial they can guarantee acquittal but with a trial they can't.

turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 03:20 PM
blue peacock

There is no chance that that the senate will remove Trump from office. None!

Paul Damascene , 13 December 2019 at 03:39 PM
An article in the Duran indicates that and why Senate Republicans may buck Trump's wishes, as they are as deep in Ukraine corruption as any of the Dems are. Lindsay, the late John M and Sleep Joe are perhaps the most deeply planted ...
Fred -> Paul Damascene... , 13 December 2019 at 06:37 PM
Paul,

You mean that with the same investigative power the Obama administration had he has none of the alleged evidence on senators you allude to? What a wonderful implication from a Cyprus based media outlet founded in 2016 and run by the host of an RT political show.
https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/the-duran/

Dave Schuler , 13 December 2019 at 03:46 PM
As of today Trump's approval rating is 43.9% and Congress's approval rating is 24%. I gather that the House Democrats don't realize how unpopular they are and how many Americans support "obstruction of Congress". Are they trying to turn Trump into a national hero?
Harper , 13 December 2019 at 03:57 PM
In the legitimate focus on the impeachment, a stunning revelation in the Horowitz report has been largely overlooked. In January 2017, the FBI conducted three interviews with the key source to Christopher Steele for his dossier. He told interviewed on all three occasions that the material he passed on to Steele was gossip and second and third-hand rumors with no proof. He even said that the sexual allegations were actually a joke and he never meant for them to be taken serious. The FBI in seeking the follow-on FISA warrant merely reported they interviewed Steele's source and he was "cooperative and candid." No content reported.

In addition, Horowitz found email exchanges between FBI and CIA, in which the FBI inquired if Carter Page was a CIA source. Three times the CIA responded "yes." But the FBI agent preparing the affidavit for the FISA renewal lied and wrote "no" to the question of Page's CIA work. That was the false statement Horowitz referred to.

These are serious crimes by FBI officials and they should not go unnoted in the MSM or left to be ignored. I hope that Durham is carefully reading every word of the Horowitz report for points of criminal misconduct to present to his Federal grand jury.

You can't fully discuss impeachment of Trump without going back to the first cause, and in this case it was clearly criminal misconduct by Federal law enforcement.

Cortes , 13 December 2019 at 04:59 PM
b of Moonofalabama speculates

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/12/the-impeachment-deal-between-the-house-and-the-senate.html#comments

that a bipartisan agreement exists that the Democrats can introduce the impeachment but the majority Republicans will vote it out without trial.

An approach which seems plausible. But after nigh on four full years of a campaign against initially a candidate and for the majority of the time the holder of the presidential office involving lurid allegations might not a trial be helpful in restoring some public confidence in the body politic? And in reducing the levels of vitriol.

turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 06:25 PM
cortes

I have warned people against using SST as a bulletin board for other blogs. why should I not ban you?

turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 06:31 PM
Paul Damascene

What is "the Duran?"

robt willmann , 13 December 2019 at 09:14 PM
Earlier today a person asked me what was going to happen in the impeachment trial, and I said that the senate will decide that after the case gets to them. The rules of procedure and rules of evidence (if any!) will be determined by the senate.

The U.S. Constitution says in Article 1, section 3 that--

"The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: and no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two-thirds of the Members present.

"Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, trust, or profit, under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment, and Punishment, according to Law".

Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Repub. Kentucky) appeared on the Sean Hannity television show on FoxNews and said in essence that how a trial will proceed is up in the air, as he explains at the 1 minute mark until 2 minutes and 17 seconds into the video--

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJ-qnp9QLV8

McConnell, as usual, carefully maintains his position, and says that everything he does about an impeachment trial, "I am coordinating with White House counsel". And, "There will be no difference between the president's position and our position as to how to handle this to the extent that we can".

What McConnell is obviously doing is protecting himself no matter what the political effect of the content of the trial may be.

He says: "We all know how it's going to end. There is no chance the president is going to be removed from office".

turcopolier , 13 December 2019 at 10:24 PM
John Merryman

It is worse than that. Groups of current or former high level employees band together to bid on large scale development contracts. They have local partners and the loot is tremendous.

[Dec 14, 2019] Full Interview: Barr Criticizes Inspector General Report On The Russia Investigation

Highly recommended!
Clapper and Brennan will be shaking in their boots after watching Barr's interview: done in "bad faith" = SEDITION !!!! Deep State operatives...ie, Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Stork, Lisa, McCabe, should be held accountable. Obama should probably be impeached.
The hard fact is, that the top of the FBI knew, in advance, that the "dossier" was just bs invented by Russian liars, for money, to be used as political lies for kilary's campaign. It Wasn't evidence and Comey knew far in advance of crossfire hurricane. I can't see less than 20 years in comey's future. That same includes barak, brennan and clapper, who were all informed, willing accomplices in this crime.
10:30 Whoever in FBI that intentionally misled the court using the Steele dossier knowing that the dossier was "total rubbish" as Barr states, needs to be inditing immediately. Why we are continuing to investigate instead of inditimg while continuing to investigate. Until these people are held accountable I don't think our country will begin to heal and media and others apologize to the country for the damage they have done.
7:49 - "Comey refused to sign back up for his security clearance, and therefore couldn't be questioned about classified matters." Well now, isn't that interesting. Haven't heard that one before.
Dec 14, 2019 | www.youtube.com

In an exclusive interview, Attorney General William Barr spoke to NBC News' Pete Williams about the findings on the Justice Department Inspector General's report on the Russia investigation and his criticisms of the FBI.


grabir01 , 3 days ago

It appears that none of AG Barr's answers were what Pete Williams wanted to hear.

Gary Ellis , 2 days ago

I sincerely hope that the Durham investigation brings people to justice for what they have done to our country.

greg j , 2 days ago

The man just admitted "this may be the biggest conspiracy in U.S Political History." Ouch!

Jeremy Elice , 3 days ago

Shame we didn't get to see Pete William's face during Barr's answer accusing "an irresponsible press of fanning the flames."

JOHN DRUMHELLER , 2 days ago

Here's the adult in the room. Look out children.

Hart , 1 day ago

This is like if Watergate was on steroids and then some. Everyone involved should be prosecuted including the person who bought the dossier

Russell McAfee , 1 day ago (edited)

The FBI never got the actual DNC server. Crowdstrike has it. The FBI got a 'forensic copy'

Richard McLeod , 1 day ago

The FBI has now been proven to be corrupt at its' highest levels.

King Eris , 1 day ago

I could listen to AG Barr talk for hours. He's so calm and professional.

Noble Victory , 1 day ago

Barr is so intelligent and just. He's smoothe like the way he plays the Bagpipes. Pretty amazing! 🇺🇸👍

Nolan Gleason , 3 days ago

Death to the swamp

ctafrance , 1 day ago

The press is hopelessly corrupt. If we didn't know it already, this interview proves it.

Roman King , 1 day ago (edited)

I'm So glade we have a competent attorney General pushing back on the massive disinformation narrative that comes from Giant News outlets of which are used to being unchallenged, unchecked by today's "journalistic standards"

Clarion Call , 2 days ago

I so respect and admire this man's brain and logical thinking. His vocabulary is great as well.

wkcw1 , 2 days ago

NBC realizing they need to take a bath on this whole thing. Probably a bit too late now.

barbandrob1 , 1 day ago

Barr just basically clarified and justified Fox news reporting over the last 2 years.. Thanks NBC

Faris Hamarneh , 3 days ago

I love Barr's nonchalant style. But this is real big and heads are going to roll

Craig Bigelow , 2 days ago

Obama spied on Trump. Obama should have known about the FISA warrant!

Luis Santiago , 1 day ago

so this guy really asked Bahr"why not open an investigation even with little evidence?" because is a violation of civil liberties to invade the privacy of law abiding citizens. You need compelling evidence for something so huge

macfan128 , 1 day ago

17:44 "Why should the Attorney General care that the FBI was spying on a presidential candidate?" LOLOLOLOL Our media is a jooooooooke.

David , 3 days ago

NBC did a straight up interview??? This is shocking. Who told them that they could start doing journalism again?

Bill the Cat , 2 days ago

Clapper and Brennan will be shaking in their boots after watching Barr's interview.

Alan Sullivan , 1 day ago

Horowitz should be instructed to edit or update his Report to discuss The Question of Bias and Evidence of Bias. He has clearly misguided Americans with his choice of words and has omitted important facts underpinning bias.

MegaTrucker65 , 1 day ago

I haven't looked into Ukraine YET.

Gamer John3:18 , 1 day ago

AG Barr is an outstanding role model, a man of integrity and wisdom, calm in a raging political storm. I have full confidence he will make those who fabricated evidence and hid exculpatory evidence finally face justice. AG Barr for President 2024!

Yo Mama , 2 days ago

Barr is a straight shooter and I love it. It sounds like we will get to the real truth eventually through Durhams investigation I just hope it doesnt take another year to get to the prosecutions.


Direbear Coat , 1 day ago

So, I watched the interview... The video is called, "Full Interview: Barr Criticizes Inspector General Report On The Russia Investigation." Not once did I hear him criticize the I.G.'s report. In fact, A.G. Barr clarified that the I.G.'s report was limited in scope because of the limitations put on the I.G. He said that the report was appropriate.

Wolverines Fight , 1 day ago

It's scary to see how powerful the corruption of the Democratic Party has grown. It represents a serious threat to all our personal freedom. The Democratic Party has to be stopped.

Benny .Burmeister Jørgensen , 3 days ago

Ok after watching this interview its quite clear that Barr and Durham is going after these criminals and people are going to jail. Maybe there is hope for US yet becuase this dane consider US atm a banana republic. Spying on political candidates? Forging documents? You FBI behaving like Stalins secret police. Lets see what happen.

Mike Dorsey , 1 day ago

God Bless Bill Barr. I'm glad there's still some adults in government that will speak their mind intelligently, rationally and unabashedly.

protochris , 1 day ago

This guy is brilliant; he's clearly exposing the FBI and the barking dogs on the alphabet networks.

Dan Kuo , 1 day ago

Amazing for the AG to go in deep into enemy territory at the heart of the opposition media to lay out a case for the criminal activities that undermined our country prior to and after the 2016 election. The deep state is trembling at the prospect of being held accountable after all the facts are laid out to the american people that these activities cannot be brushed aside or swept under the carpet if we are to continue as a country.

Jbyrd Texas , 2 days ago

The corrupt media is trying to act like they have not been involved in this treasonous scam since the beginning working directly with the treasonous cabal. The media has been lying and pushing fake news for 3 years calling Trump a Russia agent and called him treasonous. I knew the whole time that they were lying there was evidence from day one that this was all lies and if I can see that from the public then they can definitely see that from the inside they are purposefully lying.

Stephan Coutts , 1 day ago

I dare anyone on here to research Barr's History back to his involvement in the assignation of JFK, the cover up, defending Nixon, Epstein, and many other illegal and immoral activities. After reviewing the evidence, I walked away believing that Barr is trying to cover up his tracks so he does do jail time. No need to reply. Either take my dare or not. God Bless America and ALL her people, Stephan

Worlds Best Metal Detectorist , 2 days ago

The public are sick of waiting . I find myself skipping through a half hour news show in 5 minutes flat looking for arrests ,whereas before I was rivited to every minute of the half hour show but it goes on and on and at the there is Nothiing .The Democrats are the masters , it's obvious . If they break the law they get off scott free . If you are republican wave bye bye , you will be in jail for years . America is not the free and fair country it is all cracked up to be . It is corrupted by the democrats who have peoiple in high places that thwart real justice.

Right Thinking , 3 days ago

Mifsud approached George! Who was Mifsud working for (western asset) and why did he approach George? He’s the one who offered George dirt on Hill. Then invited him to meet the fake “niece”, of Putin, in England! What about this information? Someone set George up to make this happen outside the US, because of EO 12333. It had to happen outside the US so they could go to the fisa court!

dethtrk Jones , 3 days ago

I dont trust Christopher Wrey. He keeps slow-walking all the FBI documents and declassifications. He also fights judicial watch and judges that rule in their favor and continue not giving over what is ordered! This last judge was ready to hold him in contempt for refusing to cooperate with court ordered documents.

Brad Brown , 2 days ago

Why did the FBI continue to investigate Trump after January when the case collapsed? To try and find a way to impeach Trump. Remember the Washington Post headlined article right after the inauguration "The effort to impeach President Donald John Trump is already underway." The FBI "insurance" policy was essential!

[Dec 14, 2019] In politics there are no accidents by Harry Truman

Notable quotes:
"... While the typical BubisAmericanus will have forgotten all the details by then, me thinks the hard core democrats, I mean nomal'ish people that usually vote blue, simply stay home. ..."
"... Was this whole impeachment thing completely designed for the dems to fall on their sword and put the Donald back in for another 4? Dunno. ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

squid, 7 hours ago link

They want to do it by Christmas in the vain hope that this circus will all blow over by November. I think not.

While the typical BubisAmericanus will have forgotten all the details by then, me thinks the hard core democrats, I mean nomal'ish people that usually vote blue, simply stay home.

Part of me, however, thinks back to something that Harry Truman said, "in politics there are no accidents" .

Was this whole impeachment thing completely designed for the dems to fall on their sword and put the Donald back in for another 4? Dunno.

The Republicans will have both houses when in 2024 the the tax take will barley cover interest.

Meme Iamfurst , 6 hours ago link

designed for the dems to fall on their sword and put the Donald back in for another 4? Dunno.

Been thinking along the same lines. May be the last thing they want is to be "on line" in 2021. I even wonder if CNN and BSNBC, etc, are there to DRIVE the decent Democrat to the Republicians.

I do think that things are not adding up.

[Dec 14, 2019] FISA Court Falls Under Congressional Scrutiny Following IG Report

Notable quotes:
"... And in the case of Carter Page, the FISA judges initially denied a warrant to surveil the former Trump aide until the agency padded the application with the wildly unverified Steele Report , lying about Steele's credibility, and then fabricating evidence to specifically say Page was not an "operational contact" for the CIA , when in fact he was - and had a "positive assessment." ..."
"... Let's not forget that FISA court judge Rudolph Contreras recused himself from overseeing the case of former national security adviser Michael Flynn due to his personal friendship with former FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok. ..."
"... And the only reason Contreras did so was because his friendship with Strzok was revealed in their anti-Trump text messages found by the Inspector General. ..."
Dec 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The shadowy Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA court) and the processes behind obtaining a warrant from it has fallen under harsh scrutiny by lawmakers following the release of the DOJ Inspector General's report which found that the FBI was able to easily mislead the judges to surveil Trump adviser Carter Page.

FISA Judge Rudolph Contreras, who recused himself from the Mike Flynn case after his friendship with former FBI agent Peter Strzok was revealed in text messages.

"The goal is to make sure this doesn't happen again, so you tighten up the system right," said Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC), adding: "Quite frankly, I'm looking at the FISA court itself. ... I'm looking for the court to tell the public, 'Hey, we're upset about this too,' and, you know, take some corrective steps."

Graham said his committee will look into legislation to introduce more "checks and balances" to the FISA process, according to The Hill .

When asked if he thought there would be bipartisan support for FISA reform, Sen. Dick Durban (D-IL) said "I hope so," adding "This was a real wake-up call that three different teams can screw this up at the FBI."

The renewed interest comes after five hours of partisan barb trading during a Judiciary hearing Wednesday with Horowitz that resulted in one clear bipartisan interest: overhauling the FISA court.

"One of the only points I've heard with bipartisan agreement today is a renewed interest in reforming the FISA process," said Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.). - The Hill

Created under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, the FISA court is made up of 11 judges who are chosen by the chief justice of the Supreme Court to serve seven-year terms. They are responsible for approving warrant applications for intelligence gathering purposes and national security operations, which - as The Hill notes, "more often than not, they sign off."

And in the case of Carter Page, the FISA judges initially denied a warrant to surveil the former Trump aide until the agency padded the application with the wildly unverified Steele Report , lying about Steele's credibility, and then fabricating evidence to specifically say Page was not an "operational contact" for the CIA , when in fact he was - and had a "positive assessment."

Last year the government filed 1,117 FISA warrant applications, including 1,081 for electronic monitoring. The court signed off on 1,079 according to a DOJ report.

That said, reform may come slowly.

But the timeline for any legislative reforms is unclear. Congress already faces a mid-March deadline to extend expiring surveillance authorities under the USA Freedom Act.

Durbin suggested the discussions could merge, while Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), a longtime privacy advocate, appeared skeptical that Republicans would ultimately get on board with broader changes to surveillance powers.

"Why after YEARS of blocking bipartisan FISA reforms are senior Republicans suddenly interested in it? There is no question that we need to improve transparency, accountability and oversight of the FISA process," Wyden tweeted. - The Hill

Still, the IG report appears to have 'enlightened' some GOP lawmakers who previously resisted the notion of reining in FISA courts . Several GOP senators gave credit to their libertarian-minded colleagues on the hill, who have pushed for surveillance reform after accurately predicting the potential for abuse.

Those who have long-advocated for reform include GOP Sens. Thom Tillis (N.C.) and Ben Sasse (Neb.), according to Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT).

"I wish Mike Lee weren't sitting here two people from me right now, because as a national security hawk I've argued with Mike Lee in the 4 1/2 or five years that I've been in the Senate that stuff just like this couldn't possibly happen at the FBI and at the Department of Justice," said Sasse during the Horowitz testimony, who added that the IG's findings marked a "massive crisis of public trust" since we should know about FISA applications that aren ' t as high-profile as Page's.

Horowitz reported a total of 17 "significant inaccuracies and omissions" in the applications to monitor Page , taking particular issue with applications to renew the FISA warrant and chastising the FBI for a lack of satisfactory explanations for those mistakes.

Horowitz stressed that he would not have submitted the follow-up applications as they were drafted by the FBI . Kevin Clinesmith, an FBI lawyer, altered an email related to the warrant renewal application, according to Horowitz's report.

" [The] applications made it appear as though the evidence supporting probable cause was stronger than was actually the case ," Horowitz said. " We also found basic, fundamental and serious errors during the completion of the FBl's factual accuracy reviews. "

Horowitz also found that there were errors that "represent serious performance failures by the supervisory and non-supervisory agents with responsibility over the FISA applications." - The Hill

Let's not forget that FISA court judge Rudolph Contreras recused himself from overseeing the case of former national security adviser Michael Flynn due to his personal friendship with former FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok.

And the only reason Contreras did so was because his friendship with Strzok was revealed in their anti-Trump text messages found by the Inspector General.

[Dec 14, 2019] To date, not a single shred of actual evidence has ever been produced to prove Russian involvement or interference in the 2016 presidential election

Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Md4 , 8 hours ago link

No reputable legal authority would fear ensuring due process for an accused, unless it had no evidence of an actual crime to justify prosecution...but DID have ulterior motives and nefarious purposes for doing so.

Let's be clear.

To date, not a single shred of actual evidence has ever been produced to prove Russian involvement or interference in the 2016 presidential election.

***.

Nada.

We have the opinion of domestic intelligence agencies, but we have no physical or direct evidence.

On the contrary, we have as much reason to believe some or all of them interfered in the Trump campaign, to orchestrate and execute a foreign interference hoax against Trump, before and after his election.

Daily, and throughout this sick prog left congressional abuse of power, we have repeatedly heard claims of an "ongoing war with Russia" in Ukraine.

Which war is this? Is this a continuation of the non-invasion of the Donbas in 2014? The specious and false claims of Russian troop concentrations, and tanks rolling, that even spy satellites didn't see? Are we still lying about this? If so, where are the media reports of Russian airstrikes, burning Ukrainian villages, or body bags?

In any "on-going" war with Russia, we would've been treated to near-constant news video of Russian armor all over eastern Ukraine. Have we? Perhaps this war they keep telling us about is like the Russian "invasion" of Crimea that didn't happen either.

We clearly remember the two Crimean-initiated referenda which put them back in their ancestral Russian homelands, but none of that had anything to do with invading Russians, who already had a substantial military presence in Crimea for decades.

No sir, Professor Turley. ​​​​​​

There is no basis whatsoever for Trump's impeachment.

There is mounting evidence of a continued coup against this president, and the substantial number of Americans who actually elected him.

We too are closely monitoring the actual situation...

[Dec 14, 2019] Warmongeing is the national sport for the neoliberal elite in the USA

As Tony Kevin reported (watch-v=dJiS3nFzsWg) at one small fundraiser Bill Clinton made an interesting remark. He said that the USA should always have enemies. That's absolutely true, this this is a way to unite such a society as we have in the USA. probably the only way. And Russia simply fits the bill. Very convenient bogeyman.
Notable quotes:
"... The experience of the USSR in that country should have sent up all kinds of red flags to the invading US military but it apparently did not. Both USSR and America lost thousands of military lives -- but nothing has changed in the country. Life in Afghanistan is actually worse now than before the multiple invasions. The only think which has improved is the cultivation of poppies and the export of opium. ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

Twolfe , 10 Dec 2019 16:30

One aspect of this report in the NYT is very troubling but not a great surprise to those who pay attention to Asian affairs.

The reports that US military leaders had no idea of what to do in Afghanistan and constantly lied to the public should rouse citizens in America to take a different view of military leaders. That view must be to trust nothing coming from the Pentagon or from spokespersons for the military. Included must be any and all secretaries of defence, and all branches of the military.

It is totally unacceptable that 1-2 trillion dollars and several thousand lives were spent by America for some nebulous cause. This does not include many thousands of civilians.

During the Vietnam disaster, it became obvious that American military was lying to the public and taking many causalities in an unwinnable war. Nothing was learned about Asia or Asian culture because America entered Afghanistan without a real plan and no understanding of the country or it's history.

The experience of the USSR in that country should have sent up all kinds of red flags to the invading US military but it apparently did not. Both USSR and America lost thousands of military lives -- but nothing has changed in the country. Life in Afghanistan is actually worse now than before the multiple invasions. The only think which has improved is the cultivation of poppies and the export of opium.

[Dec 14, 2019] A Determined Effort to Undermine Russia

Highly recommended!
The USA "Full Spectrum Dominance" doctrine requires weakening and, if possible, partitioning Russia.
Retired Australian diplomat Tony Kevin tells the audience that Skripals poisoning was a false flag operation. 7:00
He also point several weak points in Western politicians narrative about MH17
Notable quotes:
"... Cold War patterns of thinking about Russia show no sign of weakening in America ..."
"... Putin made it clear when he said the next war would not be fought inside Russia. The troglodytes in the West are unable to grasp not only what that means, but why he said it. ..."
"... The latest efforts at attacking Russia via smear, allegation and Doublespeak have been, are via that US supported supposed oversight committee, WADA which has done what the US-UK wanted: banned Russia for four years from international sporting events including the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and World Cup (Football – soccer to Americans). ..."
"... I am really sick of the smearing of Russia done by the US and UK. The Skripal as well as the MH17 case are plain ridiculus. Anybody can see through these silly plants. US and UK obviously don't feel obliged to respect any international rules any more. (The one person who is suffering most at the moment from the decline in respect is Julian Assange, an Australian citizen!) ..."
"... There is "cause." Russia was our latest vassal under Yeltsin. Putin stopped the looting, and worked to benefit average Russian citizens. Just watch "The Magnitsky Act, behind the scenes" to know the "cause". ..."
"... Much of the West (i.e. Germany) has been dragged by force into damage control mode. The Magnitsky Act monster, the election interference hysteria, are just 2 crying examples met with shock and disbelief across the pond. The Fiona Hill testimony was a very telling moment for the inner workings of a self perpetuating logic. ..."
"... "Russia is no lightweight by any means, and not always friendly. But it has regularly done the right thing in international conflicts which the Kremlin seems to understand better than all of "the Western" intelligence combined." ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Retired Australian diplomat Tony Kevin, in conversation with former Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr, says the West is unnecessarily determined to undermine Russia.

A t an event last week in Sydney, Kevin and Carr discussed how the West, led by the United States, has been on an aggressive campaign to destabilize Russia, without cause.

When Kevin said he returned to Russia after more than 40 years in 2016 he realized he "had to take sides" in the U.S.-Russia standoff when all Nato countries boycotted the Moscow celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

"I had to take a moral position that it is not right for the West to be ganging up on Russia," Kevin says in his conversation with the former Australian foreign minister.

The New Cold War can traced back to a broken promise made to Moscow on Nato expansion eastward. "London and Washington are orchestrating a disinformation" campaign today against Russia, as the New Cold War has heated up over Syria, Ukraine, NATO troops on Russia's borders and Russiagate.

Watch the hour-long in depth discussion which was filmed and produced by Consortium News' CN Live! Executive Producer Cathy Vogan.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/dJiS3nFzsWg?feature=oembed

Tags: Bob Carr Russia Russiagate Russophobia Tony Kevin Vladimir Putin


Tom Culpeper , December 11, 2019 at 16:03

Putin & the Russian citizenry play chess on this 3-dimensional world.! The Americas and their inane elites attempt checkers on their flat Earth . Pity, some such as Noam Chomsky are admirable world citizens..! Pity again.! WE will miss men of this honest calibre and down- to-earth intelligence. Bob Carr is of this cohort.

Eugenie Basile , December 10, 2019 at 03:36

The 'Russia did it' mantra is a gift for the powers in the Kremlin. It rallies most Russians behind their leaders because they are proud of their country and don't accept the West's moral hypocrite grandstanding.

Just recently the WADA proclaimed sporting ban against Russia is a perfect example. It excludes all Russian athletes because they happen to represent their country while U.S. athletes who have been caught cheating in the past are allowed to participate .

Jerry Alatalo , December 10, 2019 at 00:30

It is very encouraging to know there are good people like Mr. Tony Kevin and Mr. Bob Carr alive and sharing their powerful wisdom at this dangerous historical point on planet Earth. Mr. Kevin and Mr. Carr's immensely important and courageously honest discussion should become – immediately, and for many years to come – required study in university classrooms and government halls around this world.

Peace.

ElderD , December 9, 2019 at 15:03

Tony's (especially!) and Bob's sane and sensible view of this dangerous and destructive state of affairs deserve the widest possible distribution and attention.

George McGlynn , December 9, 2019 at 13:27

A quarter century has passed since the fall of the Soviet Union, and little has changed. Cold War patterns of thinking about Russia show no sign of weakening in America. The further we distance ourselves from the end of the Cold War, the closer we come to its revival. Hostility to Russia is the oldest continuous foreign policy tradition in the United States. It is now so much of a part of America's identity that it is unlikely to be ever cured.

peter mcloughlin , December 9, 2019 at 10:45

It is a dangerous miscalculation to think the "New Cold War" will end like the first. Russia (the USSR) had a buffer zone then, it doesn't today. For Moscow the coming war (world war) will be about survival. All that is left is the fall-back position of nuclear deterrence doctrine – annihilation. I don't think western capitals see how perilous the situation is.

Lois Gagnon , December 9, 2019 at 17:30

I agree. Putin made it clear when he said the next war would not be fought inside Russia. The troglodytes in the West are unable to grasp not only what that means, but why he said it.

AnneR , December 9, 2019 at 07:48

The latest efforts at attacking Russia via smear, allegation and Doublespeak have been, are via that US supported supposed oversight committee, WADA which has done what the US-UK wanted: banned Russia for four years from international sporting events including the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and World Cup (Football – soccer to Americans).

Then there were allegations – of those "highly likely" (therefore one knows to be untrue and unadulterated propaganda to increase Russophobia) sort – about Russian hackers (always giving the impression that the "Kremlin" is behind itl) being the Labour Party's source of the Tory party's US-UK trade deal which would/will deliberately and finally destroy the NHS and replace it with (of course) US "health" insurance company profiteering.

(Always the Tory intention from the NHS's initiation in May of 1948; only its popularity among many Tory party supporters among the working and lower middle classes prevented them from a full-frontal killing off the NHS; the Snatcher's government began the undermining, via installing a top-heavy bureaucratization, siphoning off a sizable proportion of the funds that would otherwise have gone to medical care, demanding that hospitals not "lose" money – a concept completely beyond the remit of the NHS as originally conceived and constructed and like exactions.)

Then there are snide remarks about the meeting today concerning the Ukrainian Azov (Neo-Nazi) attacks on the Donbass (NOT how either the BBC or NPR speaks of this of course) in France. This struggle, between the Russian-speaking Donbass peoples and the neo-Nazis of western Ukraine, has killed many thousands of people (most likely mostly those of the Donbass). The Donbass fighters are spoken of as "Russian-supported" in an attempt to deny them and the reasons for their struggle *any* legitimacy (meanwhile the support for the neo-Nazis goes unmentioned, leaving the listener with the impression that they are the Ukrainian military, thus legitimately fighting a foreign funded and manned insurgency).

Someone even suggested that President Putin needed to be diplomatic. Really? From what I've read the man is the most diplomatic and intelligent politician (not just political leader) along with Xi Jinping and the Iranian government that exist on the world stage. None of them are hubristic, solipsistic, eager beaver killers of peoples in other countries. Unlike their western "world" political counterparts.

Jeff Harrison , December 8, 2019 at 18:30

Mad Dog Mattis spoke the truth when he said that an opponent wasn't defeated until they agreed they were defeated. The US merely assumed that Russia agreed that they were defeated and are doubling down when they now suddenly realize that Russia never said any such thing.

St. Ronnie's whole thing back in the 80's was to outspend Russia militarily and it worked well. We're trying to do it again but Russia isn't playing the same game this time and now it is the US that has a mountain of debt and Russia that doesn't.

SIPIRI tags US military spending at $650B and Russian military spending at $62B. But we know that the $650B number is bogus because it doesn't include our in-violation-of-the-NNPT nuclear program which is in the energy department or our veteran's expenses which are in HHS. I don't know what's missing from Russia's $62B but I'll bet they can sustain that a whole lot better than we can sustain our $650B and rising bill.

Antonio Costa , December 9, 2019 at 13:17

Good point regarding Russia's downsizing the Soviet Union. From Gorbachev to Putin there was NEVER a surrender, intended in any way. The intent has been multilateral partnerships. For Russia the US/West won nothing at all except the opportunity to live and work in peace. (By the way this policy has a long Russian history.)

They gave up the Warsaw Pact and America with our worthless "word" expanded NATO.

The US foreign policy has lost even the semblance of sanity. Our naked aggression is clear as never before, a mad man throwing a global fit armed with megaton nuclear projectiles on trigger first strike alert. What could go wrong?

nondimenticare , December 8, 2019 at 15:56

If, magically, Consortium News/CN Live! were a mass-distribution network/magazine (hence universally consulted), allowing the light in for the mass of the viewing and listening public, it could change the world – both an exalting and despairing thought.

Lily , December 8, 2019 at 09:52

It is a great joy to listen to this conversation!

I am really sick of the smearing of Russia done by the US and UK. The Skripal as well as the MH17 case are plain ridiculus. Anybody can see through these silly plants. US and UK obviously don't feel obliged to respect any international rules any more. (The one person who is suffering most at the moment from the decline in respect is Julian Assange, an Australian citizen!)

I wish people would have the courage to break away from the group pressure originated by a nation which has been started by killing more than 90% of the indigenous people in their country and since then has turned the worl into a very insecure place.

Chapeau, Tony Kevin! Thanks to Bob Carr and Consortiums News.

Lily , December 9, 2019 at 01:18

It seems that some facts are beginning to be realized in the military department.

www(dot)zerohedge(dot)com/geopolitical/pentagon-alarmed-russia-gaining-sympathy-among-us-troops

JOHN CHUCKMAN , December 8, 2019 at 07:30

"At an event last week in Sydney, Kevin and Carr discussed how the West, led by the United States, has been on an aggressive campaign to destabilize Russia, without cause."

The American establishment's problem with Russia is simply that Russia is the only country on earth capable of obliterating the United States. Not even China has yet reached that capacity.

"Carthago delenda est"

Skip Scott , December 9, 2019 at 06:13

There is "cause." Russia was our latest vassal under Yeltsin. Putin stopped the looting, and worked to benefit average Russian citizens. Just watch "The Magnitsky Act, behind the scenes" to know the "cause".

Bruno DP , December 8, 2019 at 02:34

The West is ganging up on Russia? Replace "West" by "United States of America", and I will agree.

Much of the West (i.e. Germany) has been dragged by force into damage control mode. The Magnitsky Act monster, the election interference hysteria, are just 2 crying examples met with shock and disbelief across the pond. The Fiona Hill testimony was a very telling moment for the inner workings of a self perpetuating logic.

Russia is no lightweight by any means, and not always friendly.

But it has regularly done the right thing in international conflicts which the Kremlin seems to understand better than all of "the Western" intelligence combined.

Martin Schuchert , December 8, 2019 at 17:33

I'm German, living in the US, and I agree with your comment. I especially love the last two sentences:

"Russia is no lightweight by any means, and not always friendly. But it has regularly done the right thing in international conflicts which the Kremlin seems to understand better than all of "the Western" intelligence combined."

[Dec 14, 2019] Impeachment trial would be amusing to watch. However, the end result is a lose-lose for The United States no matter who wins.

Dec 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

D. Fuller , December 13, 2019 at 6:31 pm

It would be amusing to watch. However, the end result is a lose-lose for The United States no matter who wins.

Crook(D) v Crook(R) is the perception – much as it is with impeachment with Pelosi playing the part of Biden – with Trump standing a good chance to win. As of right now, the 2020 election is Democrats to lose. They are doing a great job of that so far and it is not even 2020.

Centrist Democrats will be trying to court the same voters – suburban center-right Republicans – that Trump will be angling to get. Should it be Biden that wins the nomination.

If Sanders somehow is nominated and Trump refuses to engage in debats? Run a "Trump Tucks Tail and Runs" campaign with a massive highlight of his policy failures. Trump excels in the arena of personal attacks. Biden would lose. Sanders could keep it clean and focused on policy, dropping nuke after nuke on Trump. With Biden? Given how Centrist Democrats and Republicans are both guilty of cooperating on issues such as Syria, Libya, Wall Street, torture, Iraq, etc?

Centrist Democrats have no powder or if they do? Their powder is all wet. It was amazing the number of policy attacks and opportunities that Centrist Democrats had to use against Trump in 2016 yet were too afraid to. Opting for personal attacks. I still remember that ambush by Andersen Cooper and Hillary Clinton against Trump at the 2nd(?) debate discussing the allegations against Trump regarding rape, etc.

Never mind that Hillary Clinton had Bill with his prior allegations of sexual abuse. That was the lamest ambush I've ever seen. You could practically see Hillary Clinton's vein pop out on her forehead when Trump responded. I thought she was going to have a stroke. That ambush wasted approximately 25 minutes of debate time and achieved less than nothing.

As we've seen with the latest funding bill? Centrist Democrats gave Trump what he wanted. So, what do Centrist Democrats have to run on?

Practically nothing.

[Dec 14, 2019] McConnell: There's No Chance The President's Going To Be Removed

Dec 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

In a rare interview on Fox News' "Hannity" Thursday night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) expressed certainty that President Donald Trump would stay in office despite the fact that there has yet to be a vote on impeachment .

"There's no chance the President's going to be removed from office," McConnell told Hannity.

Further, McConnell said he expects all Republicans and even some Democrats to vote against impeachment.

"This is a thoroughly political exercise. It's not like a courtroom experience, It's a political exercise. They've been trying to do this for three years. They've finally screwed up their courage to do it," McConnell said.

He continued,

" It looks to me like it may be backfiring on them particularly in swing districts that the Speaker's party managed to win in order to get the majority. Most of the nervousness I see on this issue with politicians since it's a political process is on the Democratic side."

House Democrats charged the President with abuse of power and obstruction of congress earlier this week. Soon after, the House Judiciary Committee began debating those charges. They were expected to hold an official vote late Thursday after debating the articles for fourteen hours, but the Committee's Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) delayed that vote .

[Dec 14, 2019] Impeachment vote represents a trap for Sanders

Dec 14, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

drumlin woodchuckles , December 14, 2019 at 12:54 am

When the Impeachment gets finally voted on in the Senate, what will Sanders do? He will do best by being true to his own self, regardless of what votes he loses whichever way he votes.

But I hope that being true to himself involves voting NOT to remove. Because depending on how bitter the Democratic Convention is, a Nominee Sanders may get few or zero Clintonite Democratic votes by definition, regardless of what he does. Whereas if he votes TO remove, he will lose any votes, or even respectful hearing, that he might have had otherwise among the deplorables.

[Dec 13, 2019] The Impeachment Deal Between The House And The Senate

Notable quotes:
"... the Deep State is "deep" because it is supposed to be hidden far below ( "deep" below) surface appearances. The fact that people are now openly discussing it in and of itself constrains the actions of the Deep State. If this attention on the Deep State continues it could lead the public to demanding legal remedies, and you can safely bet the Deep State doesn't want that to happen. ..."
"... the Congress Critters are principally servants of the business elites (and Big Finance elites most of all) and that the Deep State is a tool used by those business elites to get their way, so why would those elites deliberately hamper their own servants and damage their own tools? ..."
"... damage control on these two points is precisely the reasoning behind the impeachment deal that our host discusses. ..."
"... First, the empire is ruled by an oligarchy, but the oligarchs all have differing bases of power and wealth. The most powerful of the oligarchs are, of course, the Big Finance power brokers... the bankers, basically. They make money with money. They need almost no fixed capital to maintain and feed their wealth. The finance oligarchs are not tied to any location and can easily move their wealth from place to place as their profit needs dictate. At the other extreme are oligarchs whose wealth is based upon real estate. These oligarchs cannot shift their wealth around to avoid local problems. In between are oligarchs whose wealth is based upon tangible fixed capital (factories, for example) who can move their wealth around somewhat, but such moves impact their profits. ..."
Dec 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , Dec 13 2019 13:23 utc | 57

Hopefully readers can now clearly see that the bunny persona is disingenuous and is here primarily for spin management.

psychohistorian @36 , on the other hand, is quite legit and raises points that are worth discussing.

So we have to ask, cui bono? Lets start answering that question by identifying who is not benefitting:
  1. The American public economically...except the top X%
  2. The Congress Critters that are being made to look corrupt
  3. The Deep State of various branches of government
  4. Many, but not all national and multi-national corporations

Point #1 is no big surprise. The elites (including Trump) firmly believe that what is good for them personally is good for everyone. What is good for the lord of the land is good for his serfs, right? There is, however, a caveat to this that I want to touch on later.

Points #2 and #3 are problematic. ...the credibility of the Congress Critters is undeniably taking a severe hit. As well the Deep State is "deep" because it is supposed to be hidden far below ( "deep" below) surface appearances. The fact that people are now openly discussing it in and of itself constrains the actions of the Deep State. If this attention on the Deep State continues it could lead the public to demanding legal remedies, and you can safely bet the Deep State doesn't want that to happen.

So points #2 and #3 are absolutely true, but they are problematic because they conflict with the narrative that the circus we've been watching play out in D.C. since the 2016 elections is all intentional and choreographed by the elites. I don't think anyone here would dispute that the Congress Critters are principally servants of the business elites (and Big Finance elites most of all) and that the Deep State is a tool used by those business elites to get their way, so why would those elites deliberately hamper their own servants and damage their own tools?

No, these two points by themselves expose the falsity of the notion that what we are witnessing playing out in the imperial capital was the intended outcome of the 2016 elections. Furthermore, damage control on these two points is precisely the reasoning behind the impeachment deal that our host discusses.

Point #4 about who is not benefiting, "Many, but not all national and multi-national corporations" , is related to the caveat that I mentioned above.

First, the empire is ruled by an oligarchy, but the oligarchs all have differing bases of power and wealth. The most powerful of the oligarchs are, of course, the Big Finance power brokers... the bankers, basically. They make money with money. They need almost no fixed capital to maintain and feed their wealth. The finance oligarchs are not tied to any location and can easily move their wealth from place to place as their profit needs dictate. At the other extreme are oligarchs whose wealth is based upon real estate. These oligarchs cannot shift their wealth around to avoid local problems. In between are oligarchs whose wealth is based upon tangible fixed capital (factories, for example) who can move their wealth around somewhat, but such moves impact their profits.

The reader should be able to see that not all oligarchs are created equal. While all of the oligarchs share the imperative of maintaining the oligarchy itself and expanding the empire that it operates within, their interests begin to diverge outside of those issues. In particular, finance oligarchs and real estate oligarchs have a natural antagonism. This antagonism also exists between the finance oligarchs and the fixed-capital oligarchs. Current imperial policy strongly favors the finance oligarchs. The other oligarchs are willing to accept that so long as the economy continues to grow in real terms, but that hasn't been happening for years now within the empire. Because of this we are now seeing infighting among the oligarchs, with Trump being on the side of the non-finance underdogs.

Does this mean that the reader should become a fan of Trump? Not if one is prone to latching onto powerful individuals as saviors. If, on the other hand, personal emotional attachment can be kept at the level of rooting for one stranger in a drunken bum fight over the other stranger then it should be perfectly acceptable. It doesn't hurt to cheer the oligarchs on when they fight among themselves.


William Gruff , Dec 13 2019 13:26 utc | 58

"Do I have that right?" --polecat @50

That sounds about right!

vk , Dec 13 2019 13:41 utc | 59
@ Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Dec 13 2019 13:14 utc | 56

The problem is that you don't got to change the rules when they don't fit you anymore. The USA has deprived the rest of the world of "dignity" for 70 years. Now that China is being better than the USA at its own game, it's going to change the game?

Unfortunately to the likes of Rubio, that's not how the real world works, because the real world is not a game.

--//--

Speaking of the USA:

American households see increasingly heavier debt burden

The aggregate household debt balances in the U.S. increased to a record high of $13.95 trillion, or 73 percent of the country's GDP, in the third quarter of 2019, said a recent report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Mortgage balances accounted for 2/3 of the total household debt balances, followed by student loans that took 11 percent of the share. Besides, auto loans and credit card balances also stood at a high level.

Each household in the U.S. carrying at least one form of debt owed an average of $144,100, said a report issued by America's Debt Help Organization.

For comparison, the American manufacturing sector makes only 12% of its GDP. Manufacturing is so tiny in the USA that we had recession in the sector this year and that didn't moved its GDP growth rate at all.

That's why the USA -- which has been failing in this trade war against China -- will ultimately fail in its Trumpian attempt to revert to isolationism: the empire is now essentially a financial superpower. To maintain your status as a financial superpower, you have to keep yourself economically open, otherwise the financial architecture that sustains the Dollar Standard will crumble (since the USD is fiat money).

If your country wants to be the world's sole superpower in a capitalist world, it has to have two titles/belts: financial and industrial superpower.

In 1946, the USA was both, hence it was the sole capitalist superpower. When Germany and mainly Japan threatened its title as the sole industrial superpower in the 1970s, the USA maneuvered to curb their developments in the Plaza Accord of 1985, which forced both nations to value their respective currencies in relation to the Dollar.

The maneuver was providential, but it worked. Germany and Japan would enter into recession in the early 1990s, to never recover again. However, it came with a cost to the USA: it had to outsource its manufacturing sector to China and content itself in being just to retain the financial champion belt, scattering the industrial champion belt around Asia, thus letting this "title" vacant. It stayed "vacant" for 20 years, until China, thanks to its socialist doctrine, was able to free itself from the commodity cycle and middle income traps to launch itself in the direction of gaining the industrial superpower status.

div> Some people seem to think that for an entity to be classified as an "empire" there needs to be a guy at the top who likes to wear shiny metal hats. If such individuals cannot update their archaic definitions then perhaps it would be better for the discussion if new terminology were introduced that does not contain baggage for those individuals. Maybe something like "supranational wealth extraction gang" would help?

Posted by: William Gruff , Dec 13 2019 13:46 utc | 60

Some people seem to think that for an entity to be classified as an "empire" there needs to be a guy at the top who likes to wear shiny metal hats. If such individuals cannot update their archaic definitions then perhaps it would be better for the discussion if new terminology were introduced that does not contain baggage for those individuals. Maybe something like "supranational wealth extraction gang" would help?

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 13 2019 13:46 utc | 60

Cynica , Dec 13 2019 14:23 utc | 61
@William Gruff

Excellent posting thus far. Just one thing to add to your analysis: the non-finance oligarchs are more dependent on the finance oligarchs than the other way around.

ohm , Dec 13 2019 15:01 utc | 62

b's posting says:
"The only reason why the Senate will go the soft way and just vote the impeachment down is because a deal was made between Leader McConnell and Speaker Pelosi.."

I can't see those two trusting each other on anything. And the Senate Majority Leader, McConnell, appeared on Fixed News last night and insisted that he will defer to Trump's lawyers in all strategic matters, including whether or not to call witnesses. Given that the House Democrats have threatened that if this impeachment doesn't work, they will impeach him again on some other matter; plus Trump's insane craving for vindication; or for the need to produce juicy sound bites for the re-election campaign; or simply to stretch out the process past the Iowa caucuses, it is likely that this impeachment will have a more or less full process, saving the summary treatment for the predictable follow-on impeachments.

Who was it that said "Repeating the same mistake, over and over, and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity"?

J.L.Seagull , Dec 13 2019 15:25 utc | 63
This strikes me as a George Zimmerman style impeachment.

Zimmerman's prosecutor purposefully charged him with murder, a case doomed to fail, rather than manslaughter, where it was likely to fail but would have been more damning in the failure -- i.e. more facts would have been brought in and a big mess would have been created.

Pelosi purposefully charges Trump with a very narrow impeachment, which is doomed to fail in the Senate, rather than conducting a months-long investigation that would dig up what Biden was really doing in Ukraine and who he got permission from to operate there. The investigation wouldn't have made impeachment more likely to succeed, it would have just made a bigger mess.

joseph k jr , Dec 13 2019 16:09 utc | 64
interesting that trump's numbers have risen so spectacularly in the last couple of weeks with this impeachment thing in my view because it puts him (falsely or not) squarely back into the "maverick" role that the Public is ravenous to see, with all its anger and desire to strike back at "the government" which is not doing well by the way (60% country moving in the wrong direction; 17% approval of congress)--so, to me, the question is: Can Donald resist playing his cowboy savior maverick role and pretending to straighten things out or not. Will he "do a deal" because McConnell is so convincing to him and he can pass up a wonderful opportunity to put the Dems on trial for their obvious bullshit in the past three years, including what impetus will be (coming right up) from Durham? I tend to believe the Donald Ego will welcome a Big Fight in The Impeachment Corral much as he once delighted in phony wrestling.

interesting times, at least we could say that

Johnny Law , Dec 13 2019 16:42 utc | 65
Deal is as follows:

--Patriot Act renewed
--New NAFTA passed this week
--New massive Defense bill passes
--New Paid Parental Leave for Fed employees(Clinton and Obama ignored this)

--Maybe a budget or at least easy continuing resolutions.

--Jews now nationality??? not too sure, more like the usual Trump stuff like moving embassy.
This stuff all happened in the last week or so after nothing happened for years.

Perimetr , Dec 13 2019 17:39 utc | 66
Everyone is in on the deal. LOL

"Government is the Entertainment Division of the Military-industrial Complex." Frank Zappa

Piotr Berman , Dec 13 2019 19:12 utc | 67
To me this proves that there really is no difference between Ds and Rs, both side made (are still making) money on the plundering of Ukraine after the coup.

I don't think McConnell wants to help Trump win re-election and a drawn out impeachment trial will just be more free campaign time on the TV for Trump.

Both parties need an establishment president in 2020, a short trial is the least shitty option for the establishment.

Posted by: Ed | Dec 12 2019 19:12 utc | 5

=====================

The imperialist foreign policy entails "bipartisan consensus", "interagency consensus" etc. Sometimes I think that establishment Democrats are patriots [in their self-image] who prefer a political calamity over the betrayal of that consensus. Trump is an incoherent idiot and he may be attacked in many ways. Should he be attacked for disastrous breach of international agreements, starting with the crown jewel of Obama's tenure, multilateral agreement with Iran? Or for a mockery he made from negotiations with North Korea? Or inflicting misery across the globe with "maximal sanctions" policies, pretty much against everybody*? No, no and no.

As some of the incoherent statements of Trump were "friendly toward Russia" (while he continued Nuland-Boland policies), THAT was selected as the main target. So we are going back to 2016. In 2018 Democrats switched gears for the duration of election campaign focusing on health care, something that Trump monumentally botched, but the imperialist circus is back. Lamentably, the "deplorables" are not impressed and the electorally wobbly Rustbelt may be lost again in 2020 because of this inanities, but the consensus (bipartisan, inter-agency etc.) will be preserved. History will remember the selfless sacrifice of these idiots.

=====
* I read an article in Russia, full of gleeful satisfaction, about Lithuanian dairy producers being hit by a round of Trumpian sanctions, in spite of indefatigable efforts of Lithuanian government to be the most obedient (if often neglected) poodle of USA.

Piotr Berman , Dec 13 2019 19:22 utc | 68
[Rubio's] Defending against the global mercantilist aspirations of China is a very responsible course of action for a policymaker.

Posted by: Nemesiscalling | Dec 13 2019 13:14 utc | 56

I wonder if Rubio will stay on this topic for full 15 minutes. It is actually very much against GOP ideology, industrial policy coordinated by the federal government -- is a 5-year plan (as Stalin practiced) next? Or will he revert to plan B, assuring that American families live better than those in the Marxist hell that is Venezuela through sanctions, sabotage etc.? Plan A, actually doing something about USAians having decent jobs, would make the likes of Rubio vomiting and defecating uncontrollably as they couldn't digest it. So my bet is that he will stay with plan B.

Lorna MacKay , Dec 13 2019 19:50 utc | 69
Maybe I am dim, but I have read the transcript of the infamous phone call between Trump and Zelensky several times and I do not understand how it is being interpreted as Trump trying to pressure the Ukrainian president to smear Biden. As I read the transcript, the favour Trump asked was for Ukraine to look into Crowdstrike. It seems to me that asking about the Bidens was almost an afterthought, not the main thrust of the conversation.

I'm not American, maybe I am missing something that is culturally obvious to Americans? Do Americans read the transcript and see something I don't? Would it not be in the USA's interest to know if Crowdstrike was involved in the activities that are said to have been an interference in the last election?

Not trying to derail the discussion here, but genuinely puzzled.

Russ , Dec 13 2019 20:18 utc | 70
Posted by: Lorna MacKay | Dec 13 2019 19:50 utc | 69

"Do Americans read the transcript and see something I don't?"

Only the ones that are Trump-Deranged. Everyone else sees what you saw, standard operating procedure among all US elites including of course all presidents and high officials. Both Obama and Sec. of State Hillary made dozens of calls exactly like that.

polecat , Dec 13 2019 20:20 utc | 71
Lorna MacKay @ 69

I'll give it a 2-finger shot. The Credentialed 20%ers, along with their center-left-turned-right House masters are furiously clutching their rosery bead (heres hatin on you and your pitiful brethren, Nancy!) .. while the Red Senators are all taking turns hold Satan's pitchfork, hoping they don't get pricked .. or worse!, as the republican mope's support starts to melt away like an iceberg at the equator !!

polecat , Dec 13 2019 20:29 utc | 72
As an aside .. all one has to do is read the comments over at the Hedge, to see that many (but not all, by far ..) have, over these past 3+ years, have gone through a phase-change, seeing the blatant bs .. from both legasy parties, without eyes wide shut !
wagelaborer , Dec 13 2019 20:43 utc | 73
Both Trump and Zelensky were elected on platforms of peace with Russia. What was in that phone call that got Pelosi onboard with impeachment, after years of taking it off the table?
I doubt very much that it was the claimed statement of Trump asking for help with a corruption investigation. (Which is perfectly legal under a 1998 Treaty signed by Clinton).
Something got that CIA spy running to Adam Schiff, and something got Pelosi to move forward. Did Trump and Zelensky speak of the Forbidden thing, making peace?
Biden was not the front runner until they needed him to be. You would be hard pressed to find an actual Biden supporter. They are telling us this, because otherwise the ridiculous impeachment charge would not make sense. (Not that it makes a whole lot of sense anyway).
In the Foreign Relations speech in which Biden bragged about getting the prosecutor fired, he also said that he was still in touch with Ukrainian oligarchs, and he then would pass the word to Pence. Pence?
Don't be too surprised if the Senate votes to replace Trump with Pence.
Lorna MacKay at 69, when the media tells you something, it doesn't mean it is true. Of course, the transcript doesn't show anything wrong. The only Americans who are culturally programmed to see anything there are the ones whose brains have been turned to mush by TDS. (Trump Derangement Syndrome).
It's not you, it's us.
Really?? , Dec 13 2019 20:55 utc | 74
Joseph K @ 64

Agree.

If I had money to put on the impeachment trial in the Senate, it would be on Donald NOT doing a deal to save various butts and FOR going for the Dems' jugualar(s) and let the chips fall where they may on the Repug side.

I just cannot see him acting "statesmanlike" and forgoing seeking vindication after the provocations of the past three years.

Would you? I mean, even normal-size egos have a "Make my day" threshold. I reckon that Trump's threshold was the beginning of the actual impeachment "hearing."

We'll soon see.

Jackrabbit , Dec 13 2019 21:40 utc | 75
Lorna MacKay @69:
It seems to me that asking about the Bidens was almost an afterthought

This is what I have contended. Trump didn't need to mention Biden at all.

Did he do it innocently? Was it an ego-driven mistake?

Maybe.

But Trump has done other things that suggest that he did so as kayfabe . He engaged in a heated campaign with Hillary and promised to have a special prosecutor investigate her if he was elected. But within days of being elected announced that he would not do so (his first broken promise). Was the Hillary-Trump battle really as contentious as it appeared?

Trump invited Nancy Pelosi to a White House meeting days before the vote for Speaker of the House. This gave Pelosi a boost at a time when Democrats were grumbling that she didn't deserve to be Speaker (she had worked closely with GW Bush Administration). Result: Pelosi was elected Speaker.

Lastly, it's strange that Hilllary and Pelosi were adamantly against impeachment wrt Russiagate (the Mueller Report cited possible obstruction of justice), saying that voters should decide in 2020 but approved impeachment for Ukrainegate where the grounds for impeachment are arguably worse. Their refusal to allow impeachment after the Mueller Report was widely seen (by progressives) as the establishment protecting Trump. Impeachment over Ukrainegate conveniently ended such speculation .

Impeachment over Russiagate could have brought unwanted public scrutiny of CIA-MI6 and the Deep State. Instead, AG Wm Barr will make sure things are 'sorted' in a way that safeguards the Deep State. Not surprisingly, he just announced that the FBI acted in "bad faith" - a mild rebuke that almost guarantees that no one will be held accountable.

Some believe that the political disaster that Democrats reap from impeachment will be hung around the neck of the progressives that clamored for impeachment in Spring 2019 (after the Mueller Report). IMO that 'hunch' is likely to prove accurate.

!!

uncle tungsten , Dec 13 2019 21:49 utc | 76
Paul Damascene #21
Whereas it is very likely that not just Hunter but Joe Biden can be brought down, it would come at the expense of a massive draining of a bipartisan Congressional / Senatorial money laundering swamp, with millions, perhaps billions in US tax dollars being recycled back into campaign contributions, etc. Many heads might roll, including several on the Republican side of the Senate chamber.

Thank you and exactly that.

There has been brief mention of Biden shenanigans in China too but now studiously avoided. Perhaps the same boondoggle there as well or maybe that is the country behind the threat from Biden to Lindsay Graham re going down big time.

They are a bunch of thieving thugs.

uncle tungsten , Dec 13 2019 21:57 utc | 77
Lorna MacKay #69
Would it not be in the USA's interest to know if Crowdstrike was involved in the activities that are said to have been an interference in the last election?

I fully agree with you. The Crowdstrike bust would give Trump the material needed to truly unravel the CIA (Brennan) and FBI (Comey/Mueller)saboteurs. These pigs set out to smash Trump and his family, and Presidency. He will no doubt find a way to extract revenge as he is known for that.

Pressing Zelensky on the Crowdstrike element is mighty good politics as it would likely disable the Democrat machinery for many election cycles if the dogs of war are loosed on the DNC internal malevolence.

Jackrabbit , Dec 13 2019 22:08 utc | 78
continuing @75:

The Agreement to have limited charges (nothing related to Russiagate!) and no calling of witnesses (Bidens are safe) was likely agreed in late Spring 2019 when the kayfabe was arranged.

Also, although there's been much hand-wringing about Joe Biden's electoral prospects, the kayfabe has helped Biden as he now says that Trump focused on him because Trump fears him as a political opponent. This plays into the establishment's main electoral ploy: electability!

!!

uncle tungsten , Dec 13 2019 22:10 utc | 79
wagelaborer #73
In the Foreign Relations speech in which Biden bragged about getting the prosecutor fired, he also said that he was still in touch with Ukrainian oligarchs, and he then would pass the word to Pence. Pence?

Don't be too surprised if the Senate votes to replace Trump with Pence.


Fascinating proposition. The Senate calls no witnesses and votes for impeachment? Unlikely, but I wont dismiss either that or a drawn out trial and votes for impeachment - or not. Strange theatre this stuff.

One thing for sure - if the Senate votes to impeach all hell will break out in the Repugnant party. The USA political serenity has been totally disturbed by Trump's election (or should I say Hillary Clinton's capitulation and not campaign in three key states).

[Dec 13, 2019] In the Shadow of Impeachment, Neoliberal Democrats Hand Trump a Victory With USMCA (NAFTA 2.0)

Dec 13, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

If Trump gets re-elected, if Big Tech continues to evade accountability, if imperial adventures continue abroad, if migrant farmworkers cannot feed their families, you can trace it back to this Tuesday, and the actions a House Speaker took while nobody was paying attention .
-- David Dayen, The American Prospect (emphasis added)

As the Impeachment Drama lumbers to a 2020 conclusion, morphing into its variant selves and sucking life from every other story the media most folks attend to are inclined to tell, unwatched things are happening in its shadow.

Nancy Pelosi has used end-of-year urgency and the impeachment distraction to pass four pieces of major legislation, three of which will become law, all on the same day.

NAFTA 2.0 is one of them. Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO, agreed under pressure to approve Pelosi's House version of NAFTA 2.0, rebranded "USMCA," or United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, for obvious reasons. This is a deal he should never have made, yet he made it.

Consider who Trumka is -- a bridge between the neoliberal mainstream of the Democratic Party and the (presumably further left) labor movement that supports and sustains it. In other words, he's the person who blesses neoliberal policies as "progressive" (thus retaining mainstream Democratic Party approval) while modifying those policies in the margins to be less terrible (thus retaining the approval of progressives, who want to think of him as opposed to neoliberalist policies).

He's the person, in other words, who makes the labor movement look less like a puppy of the Democratic Party establishment to progressives, while keeping the labor movement (and himself) firmly in the Party establishment tent. The drama of "Will Trumka approve USMCA?" we recently witnessed exemplified this role.

To anyone with two cells in their brain, it was obvious as soon as the question was asked that he would approve USMCA. The stage was set; his arrival on it announced; the spotlight was ready and bright. Would he really walk onto this stage at this late date and say no to Party leaders? Of course not.

Would he have been able to stay in his lofty perch if he had? His job was to bless the cake after it had been baked, not to unbake it.

What pressure was Trumka under? First, obviously, from the Democratic Party and its billionaire donors, to give them what they and the Republicans -- and Donald Trump -- all wanted, a neoliberal-lite trade deal that could become in Nancy Pelosi's words "a template for future trade agreements a good template."

Second, Trumka was under pressure from his union base itself (so say some, including David Dayen in the piece linked below), many of whom are Trump supporters, to give President Trump a signature first-term victory, just in time for the start of his second-term campaign.

Do I believe this latter explanation? No, but I believe Trumka believes it. And if indeed it is true that Trumka has to serve Trump, at least in part, in order to serve his own base, it's further evidence of the careerism of his actions, in contrast to behavior from actual labor-movement principles.

Here's Dayen on this sordid tale (emphasis added):

Pelosi got AFL-CIO president Rich Trumka to sign off on the U.S.–Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), handing Trump a political victory on one of his signature issues. Predictably, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham immediately gushed, calling USMCA "the biggest and best trade agreement in the history of the world."

It's, um, not that. Economically, USMCA is a nothingburger; even the most rose-colored analysis with doubtful assumptions built in shows GDP growth of only 0.06 percent per year. There's one good provision: the elimination of the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision that allowed corporations to sue governments in secret tribunals over trade violations. There's one bad provision: the extension of legal immunity for tech platforms over user-generated content, put into a trade deal for the first time. This will make the immunity shield, codified in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, much harder to alter in the future. Pelosi has called this deal a "template" for future agreements, though trade reformers have called it a bare minimum floor.

Pelosi tried to remove the immunity shield , but abandoned the request. She did succeed in removing a provision for Big Pharma that extended exclusivity periods for biologics. The Sierra Club has termed the deal an " environmental failure " that will not have binding standards on clean air and water or climate goals. But the threshold question on the USMCA was always going to be labor enforcement: would the labor laws imposed on Mexico hold, improving their lot while giving U.S. manufacturing workers a chance to compete? There was also the open question of why the U.S. would reward Mexico with a trade deal update when trade unionists in the country continue to be kidnapped and killed.

In his statement, Trumka lauds the labor enforcement, noting provisions that make it easier to prove violations (including violence against workers), rules of evidence for disputes, and inspections of Mexican facilities, a key win. But I've been told that the AFL-CIO did not see the details of the text before signing off, which is unforgivable , especially on trade where details matter. There was no vote by union leaders , just a briefing from the AFL-CIO.

At least one union, the Machinists, remains opposed , and others were noncommittal until they see text. The Economic Policy Institute, which is strongly tied to labor, called the agreement " weak tea at best ," a tiny advance on the status quo that will not reverse decades of outsourcing of U.S. jobs.

Meanwhile, back at the Trump re-election ranch:

While the economics are negligible (and potentially harmful on tech policy), on the politics activists are losing their mind at the prospect of a Trump signing ceremony, with labor by his side, on a deal that he will construe as keeping promises to Midwest voters . "Any corporate Democrat who pushed to get this agreement passed that thinks Donald Trump is going to share the credit for those improvements is dangerously gullible," said Yvette Simpson, CEO of Democracy for America, in a statement. Only a small handful of Democratic centrists were pushing for a USMCA vote, based mostly on the idea that they had to "do something" to show that they could get things done in Congress. Now they've got it, and they'll have to live with the consequences.

I guess helping re-elect the " most dangerous president ever " pales in comparison to passing bipartisan-approved neoliberal trade deals.

One of Richard Trumka's jobs, if he wants to stay employed, is to make sure neoliberal Party leaders like Nancy Pelosi are happy and well served while simultaneously keeping progressives thinking that Big Labor is still in their corner even on issues the donor class most cares about.

At that he does very well, and did so here.

[Dec 13, 2019] NY Post Editorial Board Names Eric Ciaramella As Whistleblower

Notable quotes:
"... Ciaramella notably contacted House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff's (D-CA) office before filing his complaint , on a form which was altered to allow for second-hand information, after going to a Democratic operative attorney who will neither confirm nor deny his status as the whistleblower. ..."
Dec 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

NY Post Editorial Board Names Eric Ciaramella As Whistleblower by Tyler Durden Fri, 12/13/2019 - 10:30 0 SHARES

The New York Post Editorial Board has named CIA analyst Eric Ciaramella as the whistleblower at the heart of the Trump impeachment saga, confirming an October 30 report by RealClearInvestigation 's Paul Sperry which has been widely cited in subsequent reports.

Eric Ciaramella poses for a photo with former President Barack Obama at the White House. (Via the Washington Examiner )

Whistleblower lawyers refuse to confirm or deny Ciaramella is their man. His identity is apparently the worst-kept secret of the Washington press corps . In a sign of how farcical this has become, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said his name as part of a series of names during a live hearing Wednesday night aired on television. He never called him the whistleblower, just said he was someone Republicans thought should testify, yet Democrats angrily denounced the "outing." If you don't know the man's name, how do you know the man's name? - New York Post

Ciaramella, a registered Democrat, is a CIA analyst who specializes in Russia and Ukraine, and ran the Ukraine desk at the National Security Council (NSC) in 2016. He previously worked for then-NSC adviser Susan Rice, as well as Joe Biden when the former VP was the Obama administration's point-man for Ukraine. He also worked for former CIA Director John Brennan, and was reportedly a highly valued employee according to RedState ' s Elizabeth Vaughn. He also became former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster's personal aide in June 2017, was called out as a leaker by journalist Mike Cernovich that same month.

He also worked with Alexandra Chalupa , a Ukrainian-American lawyer and Democratic operative involved in allegations that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 US election by releasing the so-called 'Black Ledger' that contained Paul Manafort's name.

In 2017, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon wanted Ciaramella kicked off the National Security Council over concerns about leaks.

Earlier this year, Ciaramella ignited the Democratic impeachment efforts against President Trump when, using second-hand information, he anonymously complained that Trump abused his office when he asked Ukraine to investigate corruption allegations against Joe Biden and his son Hunter, as well as claims related to pro-Clinton election interference and DNC hacking in 2016.

Ciaramella notably contacted House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff's (D-CA) office before filing his complaint , on a form which was altered to allow for second-hand information, after going to a Democratic operative attorney who will neither confirm nor deny his status as the whistleblower.

Mzhen , 3 minutes ago link

Steve Bannon was only on the National Security Council for two months, and was removed in early April 2017 at the direction of the President. So the story about Bannon valiantly trying to save the day is probably more of his resume padding.

Epstein101 , 5 minutes ago link

He looks like the sort of guy who follows Rachel Maddow on Twitter, and is still 'friends' with several of his ex-girlfriends.

[Dec 13, 2019] Why did so many people -- from government contractors and high-ranking military officers, to state department and National Security Council officials -- feel the need to lie about the wars the USA is engaged?

Notable quotes:
"... This is because it's easy cash cow for the old boys club by sending working class kids to be killed in a far off land. ..."
Dec 13, 2019 | discussion.theguardian.com

yemrajesh , 10 Dec 2019 16:54

Why did so many people -- from government contractors and high-ranking military officers, to state department and National Security Council officials -- feel the need to lie about how the war in Afghanistan was going?

This is because it's easy cash cow for the old boys club by sending working class kids to be killed in a far off land.

The pentagon with the full cooperation of MSM will sell it as we are defending our ways of life by fighting a country 10,000 kms away. This show the poor literacy, poor analytical thinking of US population constantly brain washed by MSM, holy men, clergy, other neo con organisations like National rifle club etc.

sorrymess , 10 Dec 2019 15:00

i been to Cambodia a few years ago.

I never knew USA dropped 2.7 millions tons of bombs and now so many left unexploded and its same in Vietnam, Cambodia as neutral,
but i met so many injured kids etc from the bombs,.

the total MADNESS OF USA IS NAZI SM AT ITS BEST,.NO SHAME OR COMPASSION FOR THE VICTIMS.

I cannot comprehend the money it cost USA,. AN ALSO PROFITS FOR SOME,.

Heisham , 10 Dec 2019 14:10
With the exceptions of two attacks on American soil-Pearl Harbor and 911- the American people and for the most part their legislative representatives in Congress- will always remain cluless what the United States Government does overseas.

This country runs on its own drum beats. The ordinary man on the street needs to take care of his economic needs. The Big Boys always take care of themselves. That includes the military establishment, that is always entitled to an absurd amounts of monies, fueled by an empire building machinery, pushed by the elites that control the fate of economic might, and political orchestra that feeds its ego and prestige.
Time and again, our American sociopaths in power have a strangle hold on us, regardless of the destruction and animosity they heap on distant peoples and lands the world over in the name of national security and the democratic spiel, as they like to tell us ....
Richard Nixon, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson- Vietnam and the South East Asian countries of Laos , Cambodia, are an example .
Years later, the establishment manufactures blatant cover-ups with lies upon lies to accuse on record, as general Powell eloquently presented at the United Nations: That Iraq has weapons of mass destruction and needs to be held accountable.And now, this report on Afghanistan with all this pathological violence.

Is it reasonable to conclude that our democracy and its pathological actors in government and big business will always purchase it by demagoguery and self vested interest, because the ordinary man whose vote should count will never have the ultimate say when it comes to war and destruction!

[Dec 13, 2019] The True Soviet History of Lt. Col. Vindman by Andrew Rosenthal

Nov 01, 2019 | finance.yahoo.com

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- In testimony before Congress this week, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, an Army officer with more than 20 years of service, told lawmakers that he had heard the president try to pressure Ukraine's president to unearth dirt on a political rival. In response, the president's allies have decided to make an issue of Vindman's birthplace. They say his infanthood in Kiev -- he left at age 3 -- reveals something about his character and his allegiances. They are right, but in exactly the wrong way.

Here, you should pardon the expression, are some facts and a little bit of history. When Vindman was born on June 6, 1975, Ukraine was enveloped in the Soviet Union. At birth, Vindman would have been added temporarily to his parents' internal passports, a document that all Soviet citizens were required to carry starting at 16, mostly to make sure they were not residing somewhere without official permission.

That passport contained the infamous "fifth line" or "pyati punkt," in Russian, which had been created under Josef Stalin and listed the holder's "nationality." Vindman was born in Ukraine, but that line would not have said "Ukrainian" unless his parents had chosen to defy the law. It would have said "Jew."

In the Soviet Union, Jews were considered separate and apart from other nationalities, especially in two of the republics, Russia and Ukraine, where the local party enforcers were particularly happy to do the Kremlin's dirty work. You could be born in Minsk or Pinsk, or Omsk or Tomsk, or even Alexandrovsk or Petropavlovsk, and if you were born to Jewish parents, your passport was likely stamped "Jew."

When I first learned this, upon arriving in Moscow in May 1983 as a reporter for the Associated Press, I was outraged. I saw it like the Nazi's yellow star. I couldn't imagine how Jewish people could stand it.

Until one day, I put that question to Naum Meiman, a Jewish mathematician who was part of Andrei Sakharov's circle of dissidents. The answer was simple and humbling.

He didn't want "Russian," or any other so-called Soviet nationality, in his passport. Russians didn't consider him Russian, officially or otherwise, and he didn't want the label. "I'm a Jew who is forced to live in Russia, not a Russian," he said more than once.

I am certainly not speaking for Vindman, whom I do not know, but I have never met a Jew who fled the Soviet Union and felt any kind of loyalty to the country -- one where Jews were spurned from birth and then imprisoned within the state's borders until it decided to allow them to leave. In those days, the Soviet Union revoked émigré's citizenships, in what was supposed to be a final act of deep humiliation, but was invariably a badge of pride.

"Here we have a U.S. national security official who is advising Ukraine while working inside the White House, apparently against the president's interest," Fox News host Laura Ingraham told viewers Monday.

The circumstances of Vindman's birth argue for a different interpretation. They show him to be part of a tradition of 20th century Eastern European Jews who suffered under tyrannies of the left and the right. These people fled the first chance they had to a country that would accept them as fellow citizens, one where they would not be constantly questioned about their loyalties. For many decades, that country was the United States.

To contact the author of this story: Andrew Rosenthal at andyrosenthal269@gmail.com

[Dec 13, 2019] Looks like Vindman spend two years in Moscow including one during US sponsored colore revolution which failed

Dec 13, 2019 | news.yahoo.com

Retired Brigadier General Peter Zwack spoke to "Nightline" ahead of Vindman's testifying before the House Intelligence Committee during a public impeachment hearing of President Trump.

Former democrat

21 days ago Mr Vindman looks more like a doorman, than a Army Officer in that uniform ! Larry

21 days ago

What's that "thing" on his ring finger (appears wooden)? Is that from his partner "Husband"? In my US Army years, soldiers were dishonorable discharged from this "Criminal Offense" !

[Dec 13, 2019] Retired Army Officer Remembers Lt. Col. Vindman as Partisan Democrat Who Ridiculed America Flopping Aces

Dec 13, 2019 | www.floppingaces.net

A retired Army officer who worked with Democrat "star witness" Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman in Grafenwoher, Germany, claims Vindman "really talked up" President Barack Obama and ridiculed America and Americans in front of Russian military officers.

In an eye-opening thread on Twitter last week, retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel Jim Hickman said that he "verbally reprimanded" Vindman after he heard some of his derisive remarks for himself. " Do not let the uniform fool you," Hickman wrote. "He is a political activist in uniform."

Hickman's former boss at the Joint Multinational Simulation Center in Grafenwoehr has since gone on the record to corroborate his story.

Hickman, 52, says he's a disabled wounded warrior who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and who received numerous medals, including the Purple Heart.

The retired officer said that Vindman, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Ukraine, made fun of the United States to the point that it made other soldiers "uncomfortable." For example, Hickman told American Greatness that he heard Vindman call Americans "rednecks" -- a word that needed to be translated for the Russians. He said they all had a big laugh at America's expense.

Vindman, who serves on the National Security Council (NSC), appeared last week before the House Intelligence Committee and testified that he'd had "concerns" about the July phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Vindman's testimony rested on his negative opinions of the call, rather than any new facts about the call.

Vindman's former boss, NSC Senior Director for European Affairs Tim Morrison, threw cold water on Vindman's claims in his own testimony later in the week, saying he didn't have concerns that "anything illegal was discussed" in the phone call. Morrison also testified that Ukrainian officials were not even aware that military funding had been delayed by the Trump Administration until late August 2019, more than a month after the Trump-Zelensky call.

"Completely Beyond Reproach"

Hickman said he decided to come forward because Vindman "disobeyed a direct order from the commander-in-chief, his boss," made his testimony "about his foreign policy opinions versus facts," and "wore his Army service uniform to make a political statement" against the president.

"Then right on cue, the mainstream media began calling him a war hero with a purple heart, and completely beyond reproach," Hickman wrote in a statement to American Greatness and another journalist. "Knowing his political bias, backed by his somewhat radical left-leaning ideology, it was my obligation, indeed my duty, to come forward with this information. I couldn't go to the same mainstream media to put it out, nor could I go to the Army, as they're backing Vindman, so I took to Twitter, a source for getting the truth out," he added.

According to Hickman, Vindman was the Defense Department attaché at the Russian embassy in Germany when he met him in 2013. He told American Greatness that he also met Vindman's twin brother Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman while he was stationed in Germany.

"I know LTC Alex Vindman from a Combined US-Russian exercise called Atlas Vision [13] in Grafenwoher," Hickman wrote on Twitter. "He worked with the Russian Embassy and I was assigned to the JMTC (Joint Multinational Training Command), within USAREUR (US Army Europe). He worked coordination w/the Russian 15th Peacekeeping Brigade, and I was in charge of all Simulations planning, as well as assisting the USAREUR Lead Planner as the Senior Military Planner."

[Dec 13, 2019] Eugene Vindman, Alexander Vindman's Twin Brother: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know by Jessica McBride

Nov 19, 2019 | heavy.com

Like his twin, Eugene Vindman has forged a career in White House civil service. In fact, The Wall Street Journal reported that it's possible Eugene Vindman might also be called to testify. Alexander Vindman has stated that Eugene Vindman, also called Yevgeny Vindman, "witnessed (the) decision to move Trump-Zelensky call's transcript to a top secret server," The Journal reported of the president's call to the president of Ukraine.

Vindman's twin brother lists his title as attorney at the White House on his Facebook page. Born Yevgeny Vindman, he goes by Eugene Vindman on social media.

The twin's Facebook page explains that he is an attorney at The White House and a former Attorney at Judge Advocate General's Corps, United States Army. He also says that he is a former Senior Trial Counsel at U.S. Army and former Major at United States Army.

According to JTA , Eugene Vindman is a lawyer on the national security council. CNN called Eugene Vindman "the chief ethics counsel at NSC."

His Facebook page also provides the following biographical details about Eugene:

Studied Law School at University of Georgia
Studied General Administration at Central Michigan University
Studied at UGA School of Law
Studied History at SUNY Binghamton
Went to Franklin D.Roosevelt High School
Lives in Washington, District of Columbia
From Brooklyn, New York


2. Eugene Vindman Was a Campaign Strategist for a Democratic Congressional Candidate

The Vindman brothers.

Eugene Vindman's Facebook page also describes him as a "former Campaign Strategist at Bobby Saxon for Congress (GA District 10)."

Saxon ran as a Democrat. According to an article in The Red & Black , Saxon was running for public office for the first time and called himself a "regular guy."

The 2008 article describes him as saying, "I'm 46-years-old, and I've never run for an office. Most of all, I'm a frustrated American who's mad that politicians have no clue what it's like to be one of us. We need regular people with common sense in Washington D.C."

Like Eugene Vindman, Saxon had an Army background. "I'm a major in the Georgia Army National Guard," he explained.


3. Eugene Vindman Was Involved in Efforts to Find Roadside Bombers in Iraq

A 2010 NPR article on the U.S. connecting dots to find roadside bombers quoted Eugene Vindman. "Maj. Eugene Vindman, a JAG officer, or judge advocate general" said that a "network analysis course put him and other military lawyers in a better position to carry out oversight responsibilities in Iraq," the article stated.

"[You could] maybe do a little bit of analysis on your own or ask some intelligent questions of the targeteers," Eugene Vindman said to NPR, "to make sure that the target they've identified is not a guy that might have made a wrong phone call to a bad guy but actually has enough links to that bad guy through other activities to actually be a bad guy and therefore be a legal military target."

Alexander Vindman is also similarly invested in American government work. "Since 2008, I have been a Foreign Area Officer specializing in Eurasia," he wrote. "In this role, I have served in the United States' embassies in Kiev, Ukraine and Moscow, Russia. In Washington D.C., I was a politico-military affairs officer for Russia for the Chairman of Joint Chiefs where I authored the principle strategy for managing competition with Russia. In July 2018, I was asked to serve at the National Security Council."

... ... ...

There is another Vindman brother. He's older than the twins and his name is Leonid Simon Vindman.

Leonid Simon Vindman is the "Founder and Managing Partner, Tungsten Capital Advisors" and "has approximately thirty years of experience in the financial markets," his company website states.

"During the past twenty five years, he has been focusing predominantly on Central Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia where he completed some of the biggest investment and advisory transactions in the region," according to the website. "He also completed transactions in the Middle East, and traveled extensively in Asia and Africa."

The page continues: "Prior to founding Tungsten he was a Managing Director responsible for investment banking origination and client coverage activities for Russia and CIS region at UniCredit Group – the largest international bank in Central and Eastern Europe at that time. Previously he worked as a Vice President Investment Banking at JPMorgan Chase, Principal Banker at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (the EBRD), Senior Associate at Bankers Trust and Manager at Central Europe Trust."

Leonid Vindman "received his Bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business," his company website says.

The company's founding and managing partner Maria Starkova-Vindman is described as "an art historian and art advisor" who previously "worked at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow as an assistant keeper and curator, and taught on the Courtauld MA course on global contemporary art."

[Dec 13, 2019] Vindman reveals that he had been offered a position as defense minister of Ukraine

Dec 13, 2019 | www.washingtonexaminer.com

me name=

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman admitted that he had been offered to serve as minister of defense for Ukraine.

Vindman, 44, explained during his impeachment testimony that he had been offered the position three times but declined the position because of his loyalty to the United States. The lieutenant colonel was born in Ukraine, but his family immigrated to the U.S. when he was a toddler.

Vindman claimed he did not know why he was offered the high ranking position of defense minister.

[ Watch: House Intelligence Committee holds public impeachment hearing featuring Vindman ]

"Every single time, I dismissed it. Upon returning, I notified my chain of command and the appropriate counterintelligence folks about the offer," said Vindman, later adding, "I think it would be a great honor, and frankly, I'm aware of service members that have left service to help nurture the developing democracies in that part of the world."

He declined the offer and told Congress, "I'm an American. I came here when I was a toddler, and I immediately dismissed these offers. I did not entertain them."

Vindman added that he found the offer "rather comical," saying, "I was being asked to consider whether I would want to be the minister of defense, I did not leave the door open at all. But it is pretty funny for a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army, which really is not that senior, to be offered that illustrious of a position."

He explained that he had no follow-up questions about the position with his chain of command. Vindman said he was not concerned about a "perception of a conflict of interest" following his offer because he only valued the opinion of his American colleagues.

"Frankly, if they were concerned with me being able to continue my duties, they would have brought that to my attention," said Vindman.

Vindman is the top Ukraine specialist on the National Security Council. He testified that he raised concerns about President Trump's phone call with President Zelensky, calling it "improper."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_xjVgO3oJ8Y

[Dec 13, 2019] 'Pushing a coup' Fellow soldiers slam Vindman for testifying in uniform

Dec 13, 2019 | www.washingtonexaminer.com

me name=

'Pushing a coup': Fellow soldiers slam Vindman for testifying in uniform by Russ Read | November 08, 2019 03:49 PM Print this article S ome of Alexander Vindman's fellow soldiers have blasted him for testifying in uniform during the House impeachment hearings, accusing him of politicizing the military by stating personal opinions that were highly critical of President Trump.

Vindman, 44, the National Security Council's Ukraine director , was thrust into the political spotlight when he testified before Congress on Oct. 29 as one of the few people who listened in on a July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

His appearance in uniform has been a point of contention. Military members detailed to the NSC typically wear suits but Vindman gave his testimony in uniform, and was lauded for having been awarded a Purple Heart for being wounded in Iraq, and a Combat Infantryman's Badge.

"This is a bad look for him to be in uniform," an active duty military officer stationed at the Pentagon told the Washington Examiner. "He makes it look like the Army is behind this. Like the Army is pushing a coup."

Another officer was concerned that Vindman's testimony veered too much into personal assessment. "I don't care what he thinks, he's entitled to his opinion," the officer said. "But it's an opinion and he should give it without the uniform."

A third officer said that Vindman's weight indicated he would be unlikely to pass the Combat Fitness Test even though he had achieved a Ranger tab earlier in his career.

Matt Zeller, an Afghanistan veteran and fellow at the American Security Project, defended Vindman. "I think he's a patriot, and how he's been treated is an abomination," Zeller told the Washington Examiner . "All he is is a public servant doing his duty."

Vindman might have been required to wear his uniform, Zeller said, although where Army regulations come down on the issue is unclear. The Army's Training and Doctrine Command did not respond to questions from the Washington Examiner .

H.R. McMaster, who was an active duty lieutenant general in the Army during his tenure as national security adviser, did not normally wear his uniform at the White House.

Military personnel such as Vindman detailed to the NSC operate within a unique system. Unlike other troops who report to military commanders, military NSC staffers fall under directors within the NSC itself. As a Ukraine expert, Vindman reports to civilian Andrew Peek, who replaced Tim Morrison as the NSC's senior director for European and Russian affairs after Morrison announced his departure last Wednesday, one day before he testified before the House impeachment proceeding.

Military detailees generally are assigned to a unit within the Department of Defense for administrative issues such as leave and pay. Performance reports, however, are handled by the individual's boss on the NSC.

Most NSC staffers are drawn from the military and various other government agencies. They generally are recruited via word-of-mouth, another change from typical government agencies that are notorious for their long application processes.

The Reagan administration's NSC included Lt. Gen. Colin Powell and Lt. Col. Oliver North, . Powell was national security adviser from 1987 to 1989 and went on to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State . North was on the NSC from 1981 to 1986 and testified in uniform during the Iran-Contra hearings.

Vindman returned to work after his testimony and is expected to stay on at the NSC until his appointment ends next summer.

[Dec 13, 2019] The Inspector General's Report on 2016 FBI Spying Reveals a Scandal of Historic Magnitude: Not Only for the FBI but Also the U.S. Media by Glenn Greenwald

Notable quotes:
"... a single American ..."
Dec 12, 2019 | theintercept.com
Just as was true when the Mueller investigation closed without a single American being charged with criminally conspiring with Russia over the 2016 election, Wednesday's issuance of the long-waited report from the Department of Justice's Inspector General reveals that years of major claims and narratives from the U.S. media were utter frauds .

Before evaluating the media component of this scandal, the FBI's gross abuse of its power – its serial deceit – is so grave and manifest that it requires little effort to demonstrate it. In sum, the IG Report documents multiple instances in which the FBI – in order to convince a FISA court to allow it spy on former Trump campaign operative Carter Page during the 2016 election – manipulated documents, concealed crucial exonerating evidence, and touted what it knew were unreliable if not outright false claims.

If you don't consider FBI lying, concealment of evidence, and manipulation of documents in order to spy on a U.S. citizen in the middle of a presidential campaign to be a major scandal, what is? But none of this is aberrational: the FBI still has its headquarters in a building named after J. Edgar Hoover – who constantly blackmailed elected officials with dossiers and tried to blackmail Martin Luther King into killing himself – because that's what these security state agencies are. They are out-of-control, virtually unlimited police state factions that lie, abuse their spying and law enforcement powers, and subvert democracy and civic and political freedoms as a matter of course.

In this case, no rational person should allow standard partisan bickering to distort or hide this severe FBI corruption. The IG Report leaves no doubt about it. It's brimming with proof of FBI subterfuge and deceit, all in service of persuading a FISA court of something that was not true: that U.S. citizen and former Trump campaign official Carter Page was an agent of the Russian government and therefore needed to have his communications surveilled.

[Dec 13, 2019] Rudy Giuliani Can Barely Contain Himself Over His Ukraine Findings

Dec 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Rudy Giuliani Can Barely Contain Himself Over His Ukraine Findings by Tyler Durden Fri, 12/13/2019 - 17:05 0 SHARES

Rudy Giuliani is grinning like the Cheshire cat. His standard smile.

For the past several weeks, the personal attorney to President Trump has been in Ukraine, interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence to shed light on what the Bidens were up to during the Obama years, and get to the bottom of claims that Kiev interfered in the 2016 US election in favor of Hillary Clinton. He has enlisted the help of former Ukrainian diplomat, Andriy Telizhenko, to gather information from politicians and ask them to participate in a documentary series in partnership with One America News Network (OANN) - which will make the case for investigating the Bidens as well as Burisma Holdings - the natural gas firm which employed the son of a sitting US Vice President in a case which reeks of textbook corruption.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/zi2UWTO2DyY

According to the Journal , Giuliani will present findings from his self-described "secret assignment" in a 20-page report .

Trump and Giuliani say then-Vice President Biden engaged in corruption when he called for the ouster of a Ukrainian prosecutor who had investigated a Ukrainian gas company where Hunter Biden served on the board. The Bidens deny wrongdoing, and ousting the prosecutor was a goal at the time of the U.S. and several European countries . - Wall Street Journal

( Note the Wall Street Journal's use of a straw man when they write: "The allegations of Ukrainian election interference are at odds with findings by the U.S. intelligence community that Russia was behind the election interference ."

Apparently the three journalists who collaborated on the article didn't get the memo that two countries can meddle at the same time, nor did any of them read the January, 2017 Politico article: Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire - which outlines how Ukrainian government officials conspired with a DNC operative to hurt the Trump campaign during the 2016 election - a move which led to the disruptive ouster of campaign chairman Paul Manafort).

Rudy Giuliani's trip to Kyiv this month, which he described as a "secret assignment," included a meeting with Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Derkach. PHOTO: PRESS OFFICE OF ANDRIY DERKACH/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Telizhenko, the former diplomat, tells the Journal that the plan for the series was conceived during the impeachment hearings as a way for Giuliani to tell his side of the story. The former Ukrainian diplomat flew to Washington on November 20 to film with Giuliani, while in early December he accompanied America's Mayor on the Kiev trip - stopping in Budapest, Vienna and Rome.

Rudy comes home

Upon his return to New York on Saturday, Giuliani says he took a call from President Trump while his plane was still taxiing down the runway, according to the Wall Street Journal .

" What did you get? " Trump asked. " More than you can imagine ," answered the former New York mayor who gained notoriety in the 1980s for taking down the mob as a then-federal prosecutor.

According to the 77-year-old Giuliani, Trump instructed him to brief Attorney General William Barr and GOP lawmakers on his findings. Soon after, the president then told reporters at the White House, " I hear he has found plenty ."

Rudy has been working on this project for a while. In late January, he conducted phone interviews with former Ukrainian prosecutors Viktor Shokin and Yiury Lutsenko. On the call was George Boyle - Giuliani's Chief Operating Officer and Director of Investigations. Boyle started as a NYPD beat cop in 1987, and was promoted to detective - eventually joining the Special Victims Squad. In short, the ever-grinning Giuliani has some serious professionals working on this.

" When he believes he's right, he loves taking on fights ," said longtime Giuliani friend, Tony Carbonetti.

NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST

ZEROHEDGE DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX

Receive a daily recap featuring a curated list of must-read stories.

Please enter a valid email Thank you for subscribing! Something went wrong. Please refresh and try again.

That said, Giuliani's efforts have not gone off without a hitch. In October, two associates - Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, both of whom assisted with his Ukraine investigation, were related in October on campaign-finance charges. Both men have pleaded not guilty, while Giuliani denies wrongdoing and says they did not lobby him. Parnas, notably, was also on the January call with Shokin and Lutsenko as a translator.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/tc4nQD6eiW4

In pressing ahead on Ukraine, Mr. Giuliani has replaced the translation skills of Messrs. Parnas and Fruman with an app he downloaded that allows him to read Russian documents by holding his phone over them . But on his recent trip, he said, "despite whatever else you can say, I missed them." - Wall Street Journal

Trump opponents insist Giuliani is conducting shadow foreign policy and orchestrated the ouster of former US Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch - who Ukraine's new president Volodomyr Zelensky complained on a now-famous July 25 phone call accused of not recognizing his authority.

In the impeachment hearings, witnesses accused Mr. Giuliani of conducting a shadow foreign policy and orchestrating the ouster of the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. He was described as "problematic" and "disruptive" and, in testimony that cited former national security adviser John Bolton, likened to a "hand grenade that's going to blow everybody up." Mr. Giuliani has said he kept the State Department apprised of his efforts and that he was working at the president's behest. - Wall Street Journal

" Just having fun while Dems and friends try to destroy my brilliant career ," Giuliani wrote in a text message while conducting his investigation overseas.


Surftown , 8 minutes ago link

If it doesn't fit the Mueller narrative.

It doesn't fit the Horowitz narrative.

It fits the impeachment narrative.

- Pelosi, Podestas, Bidens, Clinton, Soros, washing foreign aid money, -- So the manufactured whistleblower handlers including DNI IG are dirty.

- But if nobody heard a conversation they Only heard "about" -- who in NSA or CIA ( Ciaramella) gave the illegal surveillance to Schiff?

That sounds like Brennan still doing his dirty work.

His name was Seth Rich.

J S Bach , 12 minutes ago link

Never forget... Giuliani was up to his neck in the treasonous happenings on 9/11. For that, he can NEVER be forgiven... no matter how much dirt he digs up in this inane Ukranian circus.

SolidGold , 6 minutes ago link

I get it. 911 was a deep state, CIA, Mossad type deal.

Giuliani was just the mayor.

rosiescenario , 12 minutes ago link

Maybe Rudy discovered just what the Ukraine arms dealer got in return from Pelosi and Schiff for their money?

precarryus , 18 minutes ago link

Three j ournalists also wrote a WSJ piece October 22, '19; one author same as December 13 piece. ( Identify a narrative?)

Excerpts:
" Mr. Trump and Mr. Giuliani have repeatedly promoted an unsubstantiated theory that Ukraine was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee before the 2016 election, and that a related computer server is now located there. That theory is sharply at odds with the findings of a special counsel investigation and a 2017 U.S. intelligence community report that found Russia was responsible for the hack and leak of Democratic emails as part of a broader operation intended to aid Mr. Trump."... ...

... ... " Mr. Giuliani, who didn't respond to a request for comment, had for months pressed for Ukraine to investigate issues related to the 2016 election as well as Mr. Biden, a potential 2020 rival of Mr. Trump. As vice president under President Obama, Mr. Biden led an anti-corruption drive in Ukraine at the same time as his son received $50,000 a month for sitting on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, an arrangement Mr. Trump has called corrupt. Mr. Biden and his son have denied any wrongdoing, and no evidence of wrongdoing has been presented. "

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-diplomat-urged-ukrainian-president-to-convince-trump-he-would-investigate-corruption-11571770997?mod=hp_lead_pos6

[Dec 12, 2019] The Democrats have insisted on impeaching by Christmas: the problem is with the absence of the evidentiary record. It remains both incomplete and conflicted

This deal confirms the hypothesis that the DNC is fighting a "war on two fronts": one against Trump and another against the socialist faction of its own party.
Notable quotes:
"... Professor Turley correctly points out that there are several other serious issues over which Trump could (and should) probably be impeached. So why did House Speaker Pelosi allow only such a narrow and weak impeachment resolution? The text of the impeachment resolution is currently in the Judiciary Committee where it will be discussed today. The language may still get sharpened a bit but there will be no additions to its core. ..."
"... The Senate could interrupt the campaigning of several sitting Senators who run in the primaries to stand as the Democratic presidential candidate. It could call Joe and Hunter Biden and the 'whistleblower' as witnesses. It could dig deeper into Russia-gate. The risk for the Democrats during this process would be enormous. ..."
"... The piece goes on to say that the Republicans allegedly fear that they may not have the votes to call witnesses. That is of course nonsense. The Republicans have 53 Senate seats and the Democrats have 47. And digging into the sleaze of Joe Biden would surely bring additional voter support and not risk any Senate seats. ..."
"... The only reason why the Senate will go the soft way and just vote the impeachment down is because a deal was made between Leader McConnell and Speaker Pelosi. The deal prevented an extensive impeachment inquiry and trial that could have hurt both sides with uncertain outcome. ..."
"... That a deal was made explains why Pelosi has chosen impeachment and not censure even as polls were showing opposition to impeachment. It explains why she allowed only a narrow resolution based on weak evidence. It explains why the House agreed to Trump's ginormous defense budget in the same week that it produced an impeachment resolution against him. It also guarantees that there would be no deeper digging by Democrats against Trump. It guarantees the he will under no circumstances be found guilty and impeached. ..."
"... Both sides can live with the results of this narrow process. The Democrats demonstrate to their core constituency that they are willing to take on Trump. The Republicans show that they stand with their president and against the lame accusations. ..."
"... my hunch is that he is in on the deal. The narrowness of the impeachment resolution prevents that some other dirty deals by him might come to light. It makes another real impeachment process more unlikely. It guarantees his political survival. ..."
"... So, after indulging her caucus, Pelosi has thus cut a deal to make sure it ends quickly. I think the double-dealing is harming her health, both physical and mental. ..."
"... I don't think McConnell wants to help Trump win re-election and a drawn out impeachment trial will just be more free campaign time on the TV for Trump. Both parties need an establishment president in 2020, a short trial is the least shitty option for the establishment. ..."
"... The "political circus" is ongoing like some crazed Broadway production for 3+ years already and destined for more. That genuine articles of impeachment that ought to gain a conviction weren't employed is glaringly obvious to those few patriots that are watching. But the Congressional insanity continues as noted in my other comments made today. ..."
"... The average Republican in the Senate still does not like DJT. The average Republican in the Senate does not like where the DJT-phenomenon is leading the country (into the light) and therefore prefers a course of action to not only minimize the gain that POTUS could incur as a result of a full-blown impeachment, but also minimizes the damage to Democrats and their constituents that are still littered with true-believers suffering from massive TDS. ..."
"... he Repub decision for an expedited impeachment benefits everyone, including Biden, except Trump! ..."
"... Biden is still the front-runner (to my great surprise). A show in the senate could sink him, and then someone else would be nominated. Someone stronger, perhaps. Thus, tactically it might make sense to let Biden get the nomination, and then attack him with full force... ..."
"... If Biden was disposable, the impeachment would go on in its full or there would be simply a censure. The reason the DNC is going so far to save Joe Biden is because centrism is in survival mode. ..."
"... Yep, and not just centrism, but the whole neo-liberal philosophy. Not to worry though, big organised $ will win the day. ..."
"... ...another reason might be that a lot of politicians from both parties are so corrupt that going after Biden could open a flood of scandals. ..."
"... I'm sure when Biden said "Lindsey [Graham] is about to go down in a way that I think he's going to regret his whole life" he meant something. They're all in the same boat. ..."
Dec 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

The Impeachment Deal Between The House And The Senate

Two weeks ago we analyzed the consequences of an impeachment process of President Donal Trump. We found that the Democrats would lose by impeaching him and would therefore likely censure him instead . We were wrong. A week later Pelosi announced to proceed with impeachment.

Only today did I understand where I was wrong and what had since happened. Let me walk you through it.

The earlier conclusion was based on this table of possible outcomes of an impeachment resolution:

If more Democratic swing-state representatives defect from the impeachment camp, which seems likely, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will have a big problem. How can she proceed?

The Republican led Senate has two choices:

Should the House vote for impeachment the Senate is likely to go the second path.

Looking at the choices it is quite curious why Pelosi took that decision and there has been so far no in-depth explanation for it.

The rather short House Resolution (also here ) Pelosi let pass has only two articles of impeachment of Trump. The issues over which he is supposed to be impeached for are very limited :

Democratic leaders say Trump put his political interests above those of the nation when he asked Ukraine to investigate his rivals, including Democrat Joe Biden, and then withheld $400 million in military aid as the U.S. ally faced an aggressive Russia.
They say he then obstructed Congress by stonewalling the House investigation.

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky himself said that he did not know that Trump withheld the $400 million for Ukraine when he had the phone call with the president in which Trump asked him to dig into the Burisma/Biden affair. The request itself is legitimate as Biden has lots of dirt in Ukraine. But there was no quid-quo-pro and no bribery, at least not in the phone call the CIA 'whistleblower' and some of the witnesses complained about. Where then is the evidence that Trump abused his power?

The obstruction of Congress accusation is equally weak. Trump had rejected the House subpoenas to his staff because he wanted a judicial review of their legality. They might indeed infringe on certain presidential privileges. The court process would take several months but the Democrats simply do not want to wait that long. So who is really obstructing the legal process in this?

Law professor Jonathan Turley, who is not a Trump fan and had testified in front of the House Judiciary Committee, finds both points the Democrats make extremely week :

For three years, the same Democratic leadership told the public that a variety of criminal and impeachable acts were proven in the Mueller investigation. None of those crimes are now part of this impeachment.

Why? Because it would have been too easy an impeachment? Hardly.

Instead, the House will go forward on the only two plausible grounds that I outlined in my testimony - abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Unlike the other claims, the problem is not with the legal basis for such impeachable offences but the evidentiary record.

This record remains both incomplete and conflicted. The Democrats have insisted on impeaching by Christmas rather than build a record to support such charges.
...
This is now the fastest investigation with the thinnest record supporting the narrowest impeachment in modern history.
...
The Democrats just gave Trump the best Christmas gift he could hope for under these two circumstances ...

Professor Turley correctly points out that there are several other serious issues over which Trump could (and should) probably be impeached. So why did House Speaker Pelosi allow only such a narrow and weak impeachment resolution? The text of the impeachment resolution is currently in the Judiciary Committee where it will be discussed today. The language may still get sharpened a bit but there will be no additions to its core.

The House will then vote on it within the next week. The Senate will launch the impeachment trial in January.

Which brings me back to the possible outcomes table:

The Republican led Senate has two choices:

The Senate could interrupt the campaigning of several sitting Senators who run in the primaries to stand as the Democratic presidential candidate. It could call Joe and Hunter Biden and the 'whistleblower' as witnesses. It could dig deeper into Russia-gate. The risk for the Democrats during this process would be enormous.

But Pelosi still took that way and allowed for only a very weak impeachment resolutions. That led me to assume that a deal was made that allowed Pelosi to go that way. But there was no sign that such a deal was made. Only today do we get the confirmation, as open as we will ever get it, that a deal has indeed been made.

The Republican led Senate will not dig into the Democrats but will vote against impeachment without using the process to hit at the political enemy :

Senate Republicans are coalescing around a strategy of holding a short impeachment trial early next year that would include no witnesses , a plan that could clash with President Trump's desire to stage a public defense of his actions toward Ukraine that would include testimony the White House believes would damage its political rivals.

Several GOP senators on Wednesday said it would be better to limit the trial and quickly vote to acquit Trump, rather than engage in what could become a political circus.

"I would say I don't think the appetite is real high for turning this into a prolonged spectacle," Senate Majority Whip John Thune (S.D.), the chamber's ­second-ranking Republican, told The Washington Post on Wednesday when asked whether Trump will get the witnesses he wants in an impeachment trial.
...
Most notably, a quick, clean trial is broadly perceived to be the preference of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) , who wants to minimize political distractions in an election year during which Republicans will be working to protect their slim majority in the chamber.

The piece goes on to say that the Republicans allegedly fear that they may not have the votes to call witnesses. That is of course nonsense. The Republicans have 53 Senate seats and the Democrats have 47. And digging into the sleaze of Joe Biden would surely bring additional voter support and not risk any Senate seats.

The only reason why the Senate will go the soft way and just vote the impeachment down is because a deal was made between Leader McConnell and Speaker Pelosi. The deal prevented an extensive impeachment inquiry and trial that could have hurt both sides with uncertain outcome.

The narrowness and weakness of the impeachment resolution that can not hurt the president was in exchange for a no-fuzz process in the Senate that will not dig into Biden and will not hurt the Democrats during next year's election.

That a deal was made explains why Pelosi has chosen impeachment and not censure even as polls were showing opposition to impeachment. It explains why she allowed only a narrow resolution based on weak evidence. It explains why the House agreed to Trump's ginormous defense budget in the same week that it produced an impeachment resolution against him. It also guarantees that there would be no deeper digging by Democrats against Trump. It guarantees the he will under no circumstances be found guilty and impeached.

Both sides can live with the results of this narrow process. The Democrats demonstrate to their core constituency that they are willing to take on Trump. The Republicans show that they stand with their president and against the lame accusations.

Trump will loudly claim that he does not like that the Senate will shut down the issue as soon as possible. He will twitter that the Senate must tear into Biden and other Democrats. He will play deeply disappointed when it does not do that.

But my hunch is that he is in on the deal. The narrowness of the impeachment resolution prevents that some other dirty deals by him might come to light. It makes another real impeachment process more unlikely. It guarantees his political survival.

The question left is if there were additional elements in this deal. What could those be about?

(This is a Moon of Alabama fundraiser week. Please consider to support our work .)

Posted by b on December 12, 2019 at 18:44 UTC | Permalink


c1ue , Dec 12 2019 18:52 utc | 1

Don't forget Sanders. Pelosi pulling back from any impeachment attempt would only serve to underscore the pusillanimity of the Democratic leadership. If the Democrats *must* do an impeachment but would be hurt by a Republican Senate hit back, this deal makes perfect sense.
M , Dec 12 2019 19:01 utc | 2
Clearly Trump doesn't care about doling out money to corrupt countries. If he did, he would be stopping aid to Israel where Netanyahu has actually been indicted on multiple counts of corruption.
rucio , Dec 12 2019 19:01 utc | 3
So, after indulging her caucus, Pelosi has thus cut a deal to make sure it ends quickly. I think the double-dealing is harming her health, both physical and mental.
M , Dec 12 2019 19:07 utc | 4
Dems will be able to paint swing state republicans that have been trying to distance themselves from Trump as Trump lackeys for their 2020 reelection bids. Saying these GOP senators are perfectly fine with inviting foreign interference into elections.
Ed , Dec 12 2019 19:12 utc | 5
To me this proves that there really is no difference between Ds and Rs, both side made (are still making) money on the plundering of Ukraine after the coup.

I don't think McConnell wants to help Trump win re-election and a drawn out impeachment trial will just be more free campaign time on the TV for Trump. Both parties need an establishment president in 2020, a short trial is the least shitty option for the establishment.

dbriz , Dec 12 2019 19:29 utc | 8
@c1ue #6

Not sure. McConnell may actually prefer working against a Dem prez than working for a Pub. Especially a Pub loose cannon like Trump. To date, McConnell has a better record in obstructing Dem execut8ve plans than passing GOP proposals.

Bernard makes a lot of sense today. The swamp is on the verge of eating its own and neither Pelosi or McConnell desire that.

karlof1 , Dec 12 2019 19:32 utc | 9
rucio @3--

Pelosi remains alive only through the deal she made with the Devil decades ago which she continues to honor daily.

This quote from the cited WaPost article is too funny:

"Several GOP senators on Wednesday said it would be better to limit the trial and quickly vote to acquit Trump, rather than engage in what could become a political circus ." [my emphasis]

The "political circus" is ongoing like some crazed Broadway production for 3+ years already and destined for more. That genuine articles of impeachment that ought to gain a conviction weren't employed is glaringly obvious to those few patriots that are watching. But the Congressional insanity continues as noted in my other comments made today.

Someone wrote that this is the season of pantomime, and to that I must agree. Fantasies and falsehoods peddled as realities all for the purpose of further enriching the few while the many rejoice in their collective gullibility. Please, add another shot of brandy to my eggnog!

Nemesiscalling , Dec 12 2019 19:33 utc | 10
B, you are right that deals have been made, but you are wrong to think Trump is in on it.

He may go along with it, but that does not mean he is arguing from a point of weakness.

Here is the fact:

The average Republican in the Senate still does not like DJT. The average Republican in the Senate does not like where the DJT-phenomenon is leading the country (into the light) and therefore prefers a course of action to not only minimize the gain that POTUS could incur as a result of a full-blown impeachment, but also minimizes the damage to Democrats and their constituents that are still littered with true-believers suffering from massive TDS.

If they look weak towards POTUS, the Dems will have signaled their acknowledgment that this whole affair is in fact a distraction.

Therefore, you can see that the Repub decision for an expedited impeachment benefits everyone, including Biden, except Trump!

It can be inferred that the Repubs are still dreaming of DJT's eventual dethronement and a return to the standard operating procedure of the pre-DJT era.

Thank you for helping me understand it more, b!

Mao Cheng Ji , Dec 12 2019 19:35 utc | 11
Biden is still the front-runner (to my great surprise). A show in the senate could sink him, and then someone else would be nominated. Someone stronger, perhaps. Thus, tactically it might make sense to let Biden get the nomination, and then attack him with full force...

Who knows. They have consultants to tell them how to play the game.

vk , Dec 12 2019 19:42 utc | 12
This deal confirms my long-held hypothesis that the DNC is fighting a "war on two fronts": one against Trump and another against the socialist faction of its own party.

If Biden was disposable, the impeachment would go on in its full or there would be simply a censure. The reason the DNC is going so far to save Joe Biden is because centrism is in survival mode.

LIkklemore , Dec 12 2019 19:46 utc | 13
On mobile and Unable to link to the

Two articles on Zerohedge citing Wapo and Derskowitz

ben , Dec 12 2019 19:57 utc | 14
vk @ 7 said;"The reason the DNC is going so far to save Joe Biden is because centrism is in survival mode."

Yep, and not just centrism, but the whole neo-liberal philosophy. Not to worry though, big organised $ will win the day.

Mao Cheng Ji , Dec 12 2019 20:03 utc | 15
...another reason might be that a lot of politicians from both parties are so corrupt that going after Biden could open a flood of scandals.

I'm sure when Biden said "Lindsey [Graham] is about to go down in a way that I think he's going to regret his whole life" he meant something. They're all in the same boat.

[Dec 12, 2019] The FBI - Pushed By John Brennan - Lied To The Court Seven Times To Spy On The Trump Campaign

Highly recommended!
And behind Brennan we can can see the Nobel Peace Price winner.
Notable quotes:
"... A major role in directing the plot has fallen to Obama's consigliere John Brennan, the current director of the CIA. ..."
"... One part of the still ongoing deligitimization campaign was the FBI investigation of alleged Russian connections of four members of the Trump election campaign. ..."
"... The FBI agents and lawyers intentionally lied to the court. Their violations were not mistakes. All 51 of them were in favor of further spying on members of the Trump campaign and on everyone they communicated with. ..."
"... The FBI has used the Steele dossier to gain further FISA application even after it had talked with Steele's 'primary source' (who probably was the later 'buzzed' Sergei Skripal ) and after it had learned that the allegations in the dossier were no more than unconfirmed rumors. ..."
"... That the dossier was mere dreck was quite obvious to any sober person who read it when it was first published ..."
"... That summer, GCHQ's then head, Robert Hannigan, flew to the US to personally brief CIA chief John Brennan. The matter was deemed so important that it was handled at "director level", face-to-face between the two agency chiefs. ..."
"... (This is a Moon of Alabama fundraiser week. Please consider to support our work .) ..."
"... Occam's razor: CIA-MI6, with approval of US Deep State (Clintons, Bush, McCain, Brennan, Mueller, etc.), meddled to elect Trump and pointed fingers at Russia to initiate a new McCarthyism. ..."
"... "Sergey Lavrov: In my opinion, Congress sounds rather obsessed with destroying our relations. It continues pursuing the policy started by the Obama administration. As I mentioned, we are used to this kind of attack. We know how to respond to them. I assure you that neither Nord Stream-2 nor Turkish Stream will be halted." ..."
"... ... the current anti-Russian idiocy was started by Obama's team and was designed for Clinton to escalate ... ..."
"... It's Kissinger's WSJ Op-Ed of August 2014 that provides the answer. In this Op-Ed, Kissinger calls for a restored US Empire that is essentially Trump's MAGA. Kissinger is writing immediately after the Donbas rebels have won. The Russians refused to heed Kissinger's advice (to back down) and it has become apparent that Russia's joining the West is no longer an inevitability as the US elite had assumed. ..."
"... Good chance Steele had little to do with writing the Dossier. "Simpson-Ohr Dossier", anyone? Steele was needed as a credible looking intelligence officer with Russia ties and a past working relationship with US Intel, as cover to sell to FBI, FISA Court, and the public (meeting with Isikoff, Yahoo News story). ..."
"... Glenn Simpson and wife Mary Jacoby had written articles for the WSJ in 2007 and 2008 with a script and language similar to the Dossier. Devin Nunes seems to believe this scenario, and it is discussed in detail in books by Dan Bongino and Lee Smith, among others. ..."
"... physchoh @ 60; The difference, at least in my mind, is that, the "Russia did it" meme, is the weakest of all cases against DJT. Corbyn, on the other hand, may actually be hurt by the bogus charges. IMO, what this shows is coordination between the elites to bring down a progressive in the UK, who fancies public control over major finances instead of private concerns. ..."
"... So Horowitz was technically correct when he did not find bias. What he might have been reluctant to spell out is that he did find malice. ..."
Dec 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

On January 6 2017 this author concluded :

When Hillary Clinton was defeated in the U.S. presidential election the relevant powers launched a campaign to delegitimize the President elect Donald Trump.

The ultimate aim of the cabal is to kick him out of office and have a reliable replacement, like the Vice-President elect Pence, take over. Should that not be possible it is hoped that the delegitimization will make it impossible for Trump to change major policy trajectories especially in foreign policy. A main issue here is the reorientation of the U.S. military complex and its NATO proxies from the war of terror towards a direct confrontation with main powers like Russia and China.

...

A major role in directing the plot has fallen to Obama's consigliere John Brennan, the current director of the CIA.

One part of the still ongoing deligitimization campaign was the FBI investigation of alleged Russian connections of four members of the Trump election campaign.

The Inspector General of the U.S. Justice Department Michael Horowitz has investigated the FBI operation against the election campaign of Donald Trump. Yesterday he published his report, Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane Investigation (pdf). It is 480 pages long and quite thorough but unfortunately very limited in its scope.

Horowitz finds that the FBI was within the law when it opened the investigation but that the FBI's applications to the FISA court, which decides if the FBI can spy on someone's communications, were based on lies and utterly flawed.

Your host unfortunately lacked the time so far to read more than the executive summary. But others have pointed out some essential findings.

Matt Taibbi remarks :

The Guardian headline reads: " DOJ Internal watchdog report clears FBI of illegal surveillance of Trump adviser ."

If the report released Monday by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz constitutes a "clearing" of the FBI, never clear me of anything. ...

Much of the press is concentrating on Horowitz's conclusion that there was no evidence of "political bias or improper motivation" in the FBI's probe of Donald Trump's Russia contacts, an investigation Horowitz says the bureau had "authorized purpose" to conduct.

...

However, Horowitz describes at great length an FBI whose "serious" procedural problems and omissions of "significant information" in pursuit of surveillance authority all fell in the direction of expanding the unprecedented investigation of a presidential candidate (later, a president).

...

There are too many to list in one column, but the Horowitz report show years of breathless headlines were wrong. Some key points:

The so-called "Steele dossier" was, actually, crucial to the FBI's decision to seek secret surveillance of Page. ...

...

The "Steele dossier" was "Internet rumor," and corroboration for the pee tape story was "zero." ...

John Solomon finds :

Appendix 1 identifies the total violations by the FBI of the so-called Woods Procedures, the process by which the bureau verifies information and assures the FISA court its evidence is true.

The Appendix identifies a total of 51 Woods procedure violations from the FISA application the FBI submitted to the court authorizing surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page starting in October 2016.

A whopping nine of those violations fell into the category called: "Supporting document shows that the factual assertion is inaccurate."

For those who don't speak IG parlance, it means the FBI made nine false assertions to the FISA court. In short, what the bureau said was contradicted by the evidence in its official file.

The FBI agents and lawyers intentionally lied to the court. Their violations were not mistakes. All 51 of them were in favor of further spying on members of the Trump campaign and on everyone they communicated with.

The FBI has used the Steele dossier to gain further FISA application even after it had talked with Steele's 'primary source' (who probably was the later 'buzzed' Sergei Skripal ) and after it had learned that the allegations in the dossier were no more than unconfirmed rumors.

That the dossier was mere dreck was quite obvious to any sober person who read it when it was first published . Here is what we wrote about it at that time:

The anonymous former British operator hears from an anonymous compatriot that two anonymous sources, asserted to have access to inner Russian circles, claimed to have heard somewhere that something happened in the Kremlin.

They assert that Trump was supported and directed by Putin himself five years ago while even a year ago no one would have bet a penny on Trump gaining any political significant position or even the presidency.

There is a lot more of such nonsense in these new Hitler diaries. It is bonkers from a to z.

Those who thought otherwise should question their judgment.

It is now claimed that the FBI is exculpated because the Horowitz report did not find "political bias or improper motivation". But that omits the fact that at least four high ranking people in the FBI and Justice Department who were involved in the case were found to be politically biased and were removed from their positions.

It also omits that the scope of Horowitz's investigation was limited to the Justice Department. He was not able to investigate the CIA and its former director John Brennan who was alleging Russia-Trump connections months before the FBI investigation started:

Contrary to a general impression that the FBI launched the Trump-Russia conspiracy probe, Brennan pushed it to the bureau – breaking with CIA tradition by intruding into domestic politics: the 2016 presidential election. He also supplied suggestive but ultimately false information to counterintelligence investigators and other U.S. officials.

The current CIA director Gina Haspel was CIA station chief in London during that time and while several of the entrapment attempts of Trump campaign staff by the FBI investigation happened. Horowitz spoke with neither of them.

Peter Van Buren concludes :

The current Horowitz Report, read alongside his previous report on how the FBI played inside the 2016 election vis-a-vis Clinton, should leave no doubt that the Bureau tried to influence the election of a president and then delegitimize him when he won. It wasn't the Russians; it was us.

That is correct, but the whole conspiracy was even deeper. It was not the FBI which initiated the case.

My hunch is still that the FBI investigation was a case of parallel construction which is often used to build a legitimate case after a suspicion was found by illegitimate means. In this case it was John Brennan who in early 2016 contacted the head of the British GCHQ electronic interception service and asked him to spy on the Trump campaign. GHCQ then claimed that something was found that was deemed suspicious :

That summer, GCHQ's then head, Robert Hannigan, flew to the US to personally brief CIA chief John Brennan. The matter was deemed so important that it was handled at "director level", face-to-face between the two agency chiefs.

The FBI was tipped off on the issue and on July 31 2016 started an investigation to construct a parallel legal case. It send out British and U.S. agents to entrap Trump campaign members. It used the obviously fake Steele dossier to gain FISA court judgments that allowed it to spy on the campaign. Downing Street was informed throughout the whole affair. A day after Trump's inauguration the UK's then Prime Minister Theresa May fired GHCQ chief Robert Hannigan.

One still open question is to what extend then President Barack Obama was involved in the affair.

There is another ongoing investigation by U.S. Prosecutor John Durham. That investigation is not limited to the Justice Department but will involve all agencies and domestic as well as foreign sources. Durham has the legal rights to declassify whatever is needed and he can indict persons should he find that they committed a crime. His report will hopefully go much deeper than the already horrendous stuff Horowitz delivered.

(This is a Moon of Alabama fundraiser week. Please consider to support our work .)

Posted by b on December 11, 2019 at 16:16 UTC | Permalink


Antoinetta III , Dec 11 2019 16:27 utc | 1

Do we have any idea when the Durham report will be coming out?

Antoinetta III

casey , Dec 11 2019 16:30 utc | 2
Anyone taking bets on Durham/Barr making indictments in this mess? My guess is a whole lot of horse trading is going on behind the scenes now, as in, "I'll trade you a censure for all potential indictments going down the memory hole."
Kabobyak , Dec 11 2019 16:54 utc | 3
Typical dog and pony show which will change nothing relating to interventionist foreign policy and the new cold war with Russia. Too many saw benefits from the corruption in Ukraine to dig deep there; the Bidens were just the most blatant, Lindsey Graham and others from both parties were involved so don't expect much from the Senate hearings. The bipartisan major goals are a fait accompli; universal acceptance that Russia worked to undermine our elections (and to destroy our "Democracy") and are thus an enemy we must fight, and it's universally accepted by all that we MUST provide Ukraine with Javelin missiles and other lethal aid to fight "Russian Aggression" (with little mention that even Obama balked at that reckless option). All of these proceedings are great distractions, but the weapons of war will not be diminished.
c1ue , Dec 11 2019 17:08 utc | 4
@Kabobyak #3

Very possibly, but the Afghanistan papers have made an impact on some people: American Conservative editor is outraged, including militating against his children serving in the military and taxpayers funding it

jayc , Dec 11 2019 17:10 utc | 5
Another candidate for Steele's "primary source" is Stefan Halper. Svetlana Lhokova suggested that this past Sunday.
Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 17:12 utc | 6
Unfortuneately, few will question the findings of these investigations or consider the possibility that the investigations themselves are misdirection/cover-up.

Repeating my comment from yesterday on the Open Thread :

IMO the Lavrov-Pompeo presser is notable mostly for Lavrov's discussion of Russiagate (about 6 minutes in).

Lavrov tells us that the Russian's repeatedly sought to clarify their noninterference by publishing correspondence - which the Trump Administration didn't respond to. And he actual mentions McCarthyism!

Wait, wot?

Yeah, during the worst of the Russiagate accusations, Trump wouldn't do things that would've helped to prove that Russiagate was a farce!!

So, during the election, Trump called on Putin to publish Hillary's emails (the very act of making such a request is likely illegal because at the time it was known that her emails contained highly classified info) but he wouldn't accept Russia's publication of exculpatory info about Russiagate?!?!

This would cause cognitive dissonance galore in an Americans that hear it - so one can be sure that it will not be reported.

Occam's razor: CIA-MI6, with approval of US Deep State (Clintons, Bush, McCain, Brennan, Mueller, etc.), meddled to elect Trump and pointed fingers at Russia to initiate a new McCarthyism.

Meanwhile in bizarroland (aka USA), Barr says Russiagate is a fantasy based on FBI "bad faith" - yet Pompeo still presses on with the "Russia meddled" bullshit.

!!

james , Dec 11 2019 17:24 utc | 7
thanks b... i like your example in the comment - ''those who thought otherwise should question their judgment''.. good example!

i am a bit concerned like @ 2 casey, that most of this is going to go down the memory hole and there will be that made in america stamp on it - ''no accountability''... i wish i was wrong, but getting worked up at the idea anyone is going to be held accountable for any actions of the usa, or the insiders playing the usa, is clearly a fools game at this point.. all i mostly see is the needed collapse and waiting for that to happen..

Kabobyak , Dec 11 2019 17:27 utc | 8
@c1ue #4

Thanks for that, there are definitely cracks in the armor and we should promote that narrative as you do in your link. Tulsi Gabbard has also expanded the awareness, hopefully she will make the upcoming debates despite strong efforts to silence her. I'll try more to focus on the positive!

james , Dec 11 2019 17:27 utc | 9
@ 6 jr.. there is a press release on all what was said here for anyone interested..

lavrov quote and etc. etc.. "We suggested to our colleagues that in order to dispel all suspicions that are baseless, let us publish this closed-channel correspondence starting from October 2016 till November 2017 so it would all become very clear to many people. However, regrettably, this administration refused to do so. But I'd like to repeat once again we are prepared to do that, and to publish the correspondence that took place through that channel would clear many matters up, I believe. Nevertheless, we hope that the turbulence that appeared out of thin air will die down, just like in 1950s McCarthyism came to naught, and there'll be an opportunity to go back to a more constructive cooperation."

evilempire , Dec 11 2019 17:44 utc | 10
I continue to believe that the FBI and Horowitz perjured themselves in the FISA report. To correct a mistake in a previous post I made, I believe they lied when the claimed the Steele Dossier was not a predicate for opening crossfire hurricane. How can the Steele dossier not be instrumental in the opening of the investigation when bruce ohr's wife nellie ohr was working at fusion gps when bruce ohr met with steele to discuss the dirty dossier.

In other words, the FBI was concocting Operation Crossfire Hurricane prior to the time they had any knowledge of the phony Papadopoulus predicate that the russians were proferring the clinton emails to the trump campaign.

The FISA report claim that Operation Crossfire Hurricane was predicated solely on the Papadopolous allegations is therefore a lie. There was, in fact, no real predicate for Operation Crossfire Hurricane. The predications cited were all fictions and inventions fabricated in a conspiracy between MI6(the FFC or

friendly foreign country cited in the Horowitz report), the DOJ and the FBI. Operation Crossfire Hurricane was a massive Psyop from its inception.

Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 18:19 utc | 12
james @9

What major publications have picked up this info from the State Dept PR? Which of them are questioning why Trump didn't agree to let the Russians publish the exonerating information? And how many of those are linking this strange fact to other strange facts and thus raising troubling questions about the 2016 election?

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

It's not just that Trump refused to publish exculpatory material. Anyone that's been reading my comments (and/or my blog) knows that Trump also:

- hired Manafort - whose work for pro-Russian candidates in Ukraine had drawn the ire of CIA - despite Manafort's having no recent experience with US elections;

- helped Pelosi to be elected Speaker of the House by inviting her to attend a White House meeting about his border wall (along with Chuck Schumer) prior to the House vote to elect a Speaker.

- initiated Ukrainegate by talking with Ukraine's President about investigating an announced candidate - he didn't have to do this(!) he could've let subordinates work behind the scenes .

And then there's a set of suspicious activity that is difficult to explain, such as: ...

- Kissinger's having called for MAGA in August 2014 (Trump announced his campaign 10 months later and he was the ONLY MAGA candidate and the ONLY populist in the Republican primary) ;

- London as a nexus for the US 2016 campaign (Cambridge Analytica; GPS Fusion; Halper, etc.) ;

- Hillary's making mistakes in the 2016 campaign that no seasoned politician would make;

- the settling of scores via entrapments of Flynn, Manafort, and Wikileaks/Assange (painted as a hostile intelligence agency and Russian agent).

All of these and more support the conclusion that CIA-MI6 elected MAGA Trump and initiated Russiagate.

!!

Piotr Berman , Dec 11 2019 18:28 utc | 13
The anonymous former British operator hears from an anonymous asserted compatriot what two anonymous sources, asserted to have access to inner Russian circles, claim to have heard somewhere that something happened in the Kremlin. <-- Perhaps it is too much to add that the entire conversation happen in a pub, like an eyewitness account of a trout caught by an angler that was larger than a tiger shark [the trout was so large, not the angler].

Really?? , Dec 11 2019 18:31 utc | 14
James #11

I am a great fan of Dmitri Orlov and have just read a large portion of his linked post.

What I do not see Orlov doing is taking into account--in his takedown of "scientific" models---evidence of global warming/change such as *actual* observations of *actual, current* phenomena that are being measured today, such as the condition of the world's coral reefs; the rate of melting of permafrost and release of methane gas; the melting of Greenland (and other) glaciers and release of fresh water into the oceans; acidification of oceans; and quite a lot of evidence for sea level rise, such as saltwater intrusion into freshwater swamps, aquifers, etc.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 18:38 utc | 15
More can be gleaned by the manner in which BigLie Media spin the investigation's results. At The Hill , Jonathon Turley makes that clear in the first paragraph:

"The analysis of the report by Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz greatly depends, as is often the case, on which cable news channel you watch. Indeed, many people might be excused for concluding that Horowitz spent 476 pages to primarily conclude one thing, which is that the Justice Department acted within its guidelines in starting its investigation into the 2016 campaign of President Trump."

The further he goes the worse it gets for the Ds. And he's 100% correct about the biases present in reporting about the Report. Remarks made by Lavrov at the presser were likely done prior to anyone from Russia's delegation having digested any of the Report. What I found important was the following revelation by Lavrov:

"Let me remind you that at the time of the first statements on this topic, which was on the eve of the 2016 US presidential election, we used the communications channel that linked back then Moscow and the Obama administration in Washington to ask our US partners on numerous occasions whether these allegations that emerged in October 2016 and persisted until Donald Trump's inauguration could be addressed. The reply never came. There was no response whatsoever to all our proposals when we said: look, if you suspect us, let's sit down and talk, just put your facts on the table. All this continued after President Trump's inauguration and the appointment of a new administration. We proposed releasing the correspondence through this closed communications channel for the period from October 2016 until January 2017 in order to dispel all this groundless suspicion. This would have clarified the situation for many. Unfortunately, this time it was the current administration that refused to do so. Let me reiterate that we are ready to disclose to the public the exchanges we had through this channel . I think that this would set many things straight. Nevertheless we expect the turbulence that appeared out of thin air to calm down little by little, just as McCarthyism waned in the 1950s, so that we can place our cooperation on a more constructive footing." [My Emphasis]

Lavrov on Mueller Report: "It contains no confirmation of any collusion." End of story. But we do have all this compiled evidence within our communications we're ready to publish is the USA

agrees.

The Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) organization has yet to publish anything about the report. However, Matt Taibbi often writes for that outlet, so his reporting at Rolling Stone ought to be seen as a proxy FAIR report.

Michael Droy , Dec 11 2019 18:42 utc | 16
Great stuff as ever. How useful is it that Skripal is Unavailable but not Dead? For example does it affect redaction of material linked to him?
Jon Carter , Dec 11 2019 18:59 utc | 17
Now that we know Carter Page was working for the CIA as an informant in 2016, is it reasonable to speculate that Page was planted in the Trump campaign by the CIA?
GeorgeV , Dec 11 2019 19:11 utc | 18
The Inspector General of the Department of Justice, Micheal Horowitz's report on the move to delegitimize the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is clear proof of the massive rot that lies at the heart of the US' political system. If this matter is whitewashed over by the MSM, then one more step will have been taken to a violent and bloody revolution in the US of A.
JR , Dec 11 2019 19:41 utc | 20
By now Steele's credibility is zero. Time to revisit Steele's involvement with the debunked "Russia bought the soccer World Champion games", the Litvinenko polonium poisening and the Skripal novichok poisening. The timing of the Skripal matter deserves some scrutiny in relation to Skripal possibly being Steele's source for the infamous Trump dossier. There might be a motive hidden there.
Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 19:44 utc | 21
Jon Carter @17:
... is it reasonable to speculate that Page was planted in the Trump campaign by the CIA?

And then there's Simon Bracey Lane in the Sanders campaign as described here: British Spies Infiltrated Bernie Sanders' Campaign?

Plus we have the strange goings-on of Halper and Mifsud as well as Gina Haspel in London also.

!!

uncle tungsten , Dec 11 2019 20:04 utc | 22
karlof1 #15

Thank you for posting Lavrov's words. Between those words and the IG report the kabuki farce is revealed. Why was Trump ignoring the Russian offer you might ask. Because it suited him to have this nonsense dominate the news cycle, you might conclude. Trump and Comey and Brennan deserve each other.

Lavrov's words condemn the three of them.

S , Dec 11 2019 20:25 utc | 24
Twitter account @Techno_Fog lists MSM shills who assured the public the FISA warrant on Page was not based on Steele dossier (h/t Zero Hedge).
james , Dec 11 2019 20:26 utc | 25
just like 9-11... this is an inside job... does anyone really think the truth is going to come to light in any of it?? i'm still with @ 2 caseys view...
karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 20:48 utc | 27
uncle tungsten @22--

Thanks for your reply! Yes, agreed, and I'd add Obama and Clinton. Lavrov also held another presser at the conclusion of his visit that provides additional info not covered in the first. The following is one I thought important:

"Question: The day before, US Congress agreed on a draft military budget, which includes possible sanctions against Nord Stream-2 and Turkish Stream. Have you covered this topic? The Congress sounds very determined. How seriously will the new restrictions affect the completion of our projects?

"Sergey Lavrov: In my opinion, Congress sounds rather obsessed with destroying our relations. It continues pursuing the policy started by the Obama administration. As I mentioned, we are used to this kind of attack. We know how to respond to them. I assure you that neither Nord Stream-2 nor Turkish Stream will be halted."

I must emphatically agree with Lavrov's opinion and was very pleased he answered forthrightly. What seems quite clear is the current anti-Russian idiocy was started by Obama's team and was designed for Clinton to escalate, with bipartisan Congressional backing. That she lost didn't stop the anti-Russian wheel from being turned. So, logic tells us to discover the reason for Obama to alter policy. Over the years I've written here why I think that was done--to continue the #1 policy goal of attaining Full Spectrum Dominance over the planet and its people regardless of its impossibility given the Sino-Russo Alliance made reality by that policy goal. That a supermajority in Congress remain deluded is clearly a huge problem, and those continuing to vote for the War Budget need to be removed.

ben , Dec 11 2019 21:03 utc | 28
b posted, in part;"When Hillary Clinton was defeated in the U.S. presidential election the relevant powers launched a campaign to delegitimize the President elect Donald Trump."

It doesn't take HRC and her resident scum-bag sycophants to deligitimize DJT, his sorry life-style, and his past record do that quite nicely, IMO.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 21:07 utc | 29
This tweet sums up things nicely in ways BigLie Media won't:

With only 9% approval, it ought to be easy to toss out most Congresscritters, excepting that part of the Senate not up for reelection.

ben , Dec 11 2019 21:18 utc | 30
Jrabbit @ 12 said; "All of these and more support the conclusion that CIA-MI6 elected MAGA Trump and initiated Russiagate."

YEP!!!!!

Paul Damascene , Dec 11 2019 21:24 utc | 32

Karlof1 @ 29--

Are you aware of any means by which a member of congress or of a congressional committee can be impeached or otherwise censured for the misconduct of official duties? That would at least be Schiff...

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Dec 11 2019 21:24 utc | 32

james , Dec 11 2019 21:25 utc | 33
@ 31 john.. i didn't know i had to read the orlov article to say what i did to you!! your post @11 never make any internet link to orlov... what am i missing? does this mean i can only speak with you after i have read another orlov article? lol...
james , Dec 11 2019 21:27 utc | 34
i see it now.. my comment still stands though... people seem especially pugnacious today..
William Gruff , Dec 11 2019 21:27 utc | 35
"It doesn't take HRC and her resident scum-bag sycophants to deligitimize DJT, his sorry life-style, and his past record do that quite nicely, IMO." --ben @28

Ah, but that would be legitimate deligitimization, like attacking his actual policies. Those are rocks that would break the Democrats' own windows as well as Trump's.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 21:30 utc | 36
29 Cont'd--

And Congress continues to alienate allies :

"So far on Dec 11:

1. Senate Foreign Relations Comm passed Turkey sanctions bill

2. Pentagon Chief warned Turkey moving away NATO

3. U.S. lawmakers introduce legislation to curb Turkey's nuclear weapon obtainment"

Finally, the pretense of being nice to Turkey has come to an end. It will now intensify its looking East, and pursue its national interests. IMO, the Eastern Med's energy issues will now become a major headache.

ben , Dec 11 2019 21:40 utc | 37
karlof @ 29: The head Dems know their pushing the " Russia did it"meme is weak, but the PTB

insist on it, to keep the MIC funds flowing.

The "no-brainer" charges should be; "Obstruction" and "Emoluments" violations. Charges the public can grasp.

What happens if you, or any average person, ignores a summons to appear? They are arrested.

Funneling govt. funds for personal gain is a violation of law, if you are POTUS.

These are violations average Americans can grasp, not the current circus of he said, she said, going on in D.C. lately.

Guess my point is, this hearings are built to fail, because most of our so-called leaders like things the way they are. The rape of the workings classes will continue.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 21:41 utc | 38
Paul Damascene @32--

Yes. The impeachment process is the same as for Trump. Censuring is much easier but doubt it will occur as too many are deserving. We're seeing the reason Congressional elections are held every two years--vote 'em out if they're no good!

Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 22:01 utc | 40
karlof1 @27:

... the current anti-Russian idiocy was started by Obama's team and was designed for Clinton to escalate ...

I don't agree that the baton would be passed to Clinton. The Deep State uses the two-party system as a device. It's not tied to partisan concerns. If the Deep State and the establishment really wanted Clinton elected, they would've made that happen. Few expected Trump to win and few would've been outraged if he had lost. Yet he won. Against all odds. Furthermore, Clinton wasn't the MAGA candidate as called for by Kissinger - Trump was. And he was from the beginning of his candidacy.

Russiagate was based on suspicions of a populist that was compromised by Russia. Hillary has too much baggage to play populist or nationalist - including Bill's involvement with Epstein.

Also, you're forgetting the set ups of Manafort, Flynn, and Wikileaks/Assange - which were important parts of Russiagate and also a convenient way of settling scores. These set-ups required the Russiagate-tainted candidate (Trump) to win.

And Trump's beating Hillary makes him the classic come-from-behind hero - giving Trump a certain legitimacy that an establishment candidate wouldn't have. That's important when contemplating taking the country to war in the near future.

It's strange to me that people can think that Hillary was the 'chosen candidate', and be OK with that but find a possible selection of a different candidate (Trump, as it turns out) to be outrageous and inconceivable.

=

... with bipartisan Congressional backing . That she lost didn't stop the anti-Russian wheel from being turned.

Since the Deep State and the Establishment desired an effort to restore the Empire, they would turn to whomever could most effectively accomplish that task.

Once again: It didn't have to be Hillary that was selected. In fact, for many reasons (that I've previously expressed) Hillary would have been a poor choice.

=

So, logic tells us to discover the reason for Obama to alter policy. Over the years I've written here why I think that was done--to continue the #1 policy goal of attaining Full Spectrum Dominance over the planet and its people ...

FSD is US Mil policy, not a political goal. It states that US Mil will strive to have superiority in weapons and capability in every sphere of combat.

Politically, FSD is just one of several means to an end. IMO that end is the maintenance and expansion of the Anglo-Zionist Empire (aka New World Order).

Also, your dominance theory doesn't answer the question of WHY NOW? (more on that below)

... regardless of its impossibility given the Sino-Russo Alliance ...

Firstly, US Deep State believes that it is possible. And I personally don't buy the notion that Russia and China are fated to prevail. If that were obvious, then the moa bar would have no patrons.

Secondly (and again), WHY NOW? The Sino-Russo Alliance was long in the making. Why did USA suddenly take note?

It's Kissinger's WSJ Op-Ed of August 2014 that provides the answer. In this Op-Ed, Kissinger calls for a restored US Empire that is essentially Trump's MAGA. Kissinger is writing immediately after the Donbas rebels have won. The Russians refused to heed Kissinger's advice (to back down) and it has become apparent that Russia's joining the West is no longer an inevitability as the US elite had assumed.

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

I've written many times of Kissinger's Op-Ed and of indications that the Deep State selected MAGA Trump to be President while also initiating a new McCarthyism. Why is it STILL so difficult to believe a theory that makes so much sense?

!!

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 22:08 utc | 41
ben @37--

Yes, the status quo is very generous to the Current Oligarchy and its tools, but not so for the vast public majority which is clamoring for change. IMO, much can be learned from the UK election tomorrow, of which there's been very little discussion here despite its importance. I suggest following the very important developments from the past few days at Criag Murray's Twitter and at his website , the linked article being a scoop of sorts.

Also harder to follow but important as well are ballot initiatives within the states. This site has current listing . I just looked over those for California where there are a few good ones, but the threshold for signatures is getting higher, close to one million are now needed in CA.

Cortes , Dec 11 2019 22:34 utc | 43
Lavrov's comments about the offers to open up normally closed communications really only highlight two obvious issues:
AshenLight , Dec 11 2019 22:38 utc | 44
@ Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 11 2019 21:07 utc | 29
With only 9% approval, it ought to be easy to toss out most Congresscritters, excepting that part of the Senate not up for reelection.

You'd think so, but somehow the numbers pretty much reverse when these same people consider their own rep, and the incumbency reelection rate is shockingly high (haven't looked recently but IIRC it has hovered around 90% for decades). Apparently it is amazingly easy to convince the masses that their guy is the one good apple in the bunch.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 22:39 utc | 45
Jon Schwartz reminds me why I don't stop and peruse magazine stands anymore. Seeing the words and this picture would've sparked lots of unpleasant language:

"The best part of Michelle Obama explaining she shares the same values as George W. Bush is she was being interviewed on network TV by Bush's daughter. There's nothing more American than our ruling class making us watch them discuss how great they all are."

And the escalation wasn't rigged for Clinton to initiate--yeah, sure, whatever the rabbit says.

steven t johnson , Dec 11 2019 22:42 utc | 46
Until there is some comparison of how the FISA court usually works, none of this chatter means a thing. Violations of Woods procedures and assertions not supported by documents are SOP. The FISA court is always a joke.

Delgeitimizing Trump, reversing the election, all simple-minded drviel, as only nitwits see Trump as anything but the loser.

Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 23:08 utc | 48
Jen, that's a really interesting post. Thanks.

Skripal knows something that US-UK either 1) don't want the Russians to know OR 2) don't want ANYONE to know.

What could that be? 1) That Steele dossier is bullshit? We know that. 2) That Steele dossier was meant to be bullshit ? Well, that raises a whole host of questions, doesn't it?

!!

Kabobyak , Dec 12 2019 0:45 utc | 51
Good chance Steele had little to do with writing the Dossier. "Simpson-Ohr Dossier", anyone? Steele was needed as a credible looking intelligence officer with Russia ties and a past working relationship with US Intel, as cover to sell to FBI, FISA Court, and the public (meeting with Isikoff, Yahoo News story).

Glenn Simpson and wife Mary Jacoby had written articles for the WSJ in 2007 and 2008 with a script and language similar to the Dossier. Devin Nunes seems to believe this scenario, and it is discussed in detail in books by Dan Bongino and Lee Smith, among others.

daffyDuct , Dec 12 2019 2:26 utc | 56
c1ue @4

The Afghanistan report outlines a *massive fraud*. $14 billion/month, 90% of the world's opium, no "progress", oh, and lying to Congress for two decades.

ben , Dec 12 2019 3:24 utc | 59
OT, but this seems to be going around..Eh?

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/12/11/jeremy-corbyn-faces-russiagate-smear-campaign-before-uk-vote/#more-17822

ben , Dec 12 2019 4:47 utc | 62
physchoh @ 60; The difference, at least in my mind, is that, the "Russia did it" meme, is the weakest of all cases against DJT. Corbyn, on the other hand, may actually be hurt by the bogus charges. IMO, what this shows is coordination between the elites to bring down a progressive in the UK, who fancies public control over major finances instead of private concerns.
Piotr Berman , Dec 12 2019 5:03 utc | 63
Fox News, now: Biden blames staff, says nobody 'warned' him son's Ukraine job could raise conflict. In a TV comedy Seinfeld, one of the main characters, George, is a compulsive liar with a knack of getting in trouble. Sometimes he has a job. Final scene of one of those jobs:
evilempire , Dec 12 2019 5:34 utc | 64
I have theory about why Horowitz did not bias in the FBI. The definition of bias is to harbor a deeply negative feeling that clouds one's judgement about a person or subject. However, the conspirators' judgement was not clouded in this case. Their negative feelings focused their intent to destroy the object of

their feeling. The precise term for this is malice.

So Horowitz was technically correct when he did not find bias. What he might have been reluctant to spell out is that he did find malice.

Perimetr , Dec 12 2019 6:03 utc | 65
Re Really?? | Dec 11 2019 18:31 utc | 14 and AshenLight | Dec 11 2019 19:36 utc | 19

I agree with you. Orlov is a brilliant, insightful analyst, who is also very funny. But he is off the mark with his dismissal of global warming and also with his endorsement of nuclear power. The immense amounts of waste from uranium mining all the way to hundreds of thousands of tons of high-level waste in spent fuel pools pose a huge threat to current and future generations . . . like the next 3000 generations of humans (and all other forms of life) that will have to deal with this. Mankind has never built anything that has lasted a fraction of the 100,000 years required for the isolation of high-level wastes from the biosphere. Take a look at Into Eternity which is a great documentary on the disposal of nuclear waste in Finland.

Orlov's analysis is superficial, unfortunately, in these areas.

[Dec 12, 2019] The Skripals residing on US territory would definitely indicate that the US has been the senior partner in the "Skripal operation"

Notable quotes:
"... The FBI agents and lawyers intentionally lied to the court. Their violations were not mistakes. All 51 of them were in favor of further spying on members of the Trump campaign and on everyone they communicated with. ..."
"... The FBI has used the Steele dossier to gain further FISA application even after it had talked with Steele's 'primary source' (who probably was the later 'buzzed' Sergei Skripal ) and after it had learned that the allegations in the dossier were no more than unconfirmed rumors. ..."
Dec 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

The FBI agents and lawyers intentionally lied to the court. Their violations were not mistakes. All 51 of them were in favor of further spying on members of the Trump campaign and on everyone they communicated with.

The FBI has used the Steele dossier to gain further FISA application even after it had talked with Steele's 'primary source' (who probably was the later 'buzzed' Sergei Skripal ) and after it had learned that the allegations in the dossier were no more than unconfirmed rumors.

Michael Droy , Dec 11 2019 18:42 utc | 16
Great stuff as ever. How useful is it that Skripal is Unavailable but not Dead? For example does it affect redaction of material linked to him?
JR , Dec 11 2019 19:41 utc | 20
By now Steele's credibility is zero. Time to revisit Steele's involvement with the debunked "Russia bought the soccer World Champion games", the Litvinenko polonium poisening and the Skripal novichok poisening. The timing of the Skripal matter deserves some scrutiny in relation to Skripal possibly being Steele's source for the infamous Trump dossier. There might be a motive hidden there.
Jen , Dec 11 2019 22:27 utc | 42
I know on a recemt MoA Open Thread comments forum that there was a link to this recent John Helmer / Dances With Bears article mentioning that Sergei and Julia Skripal were being held at an airbase in Gloucestershire being used by the United States Air Force (USAF) at the time that Julia Skripal was interviewed by a Reuters representative in May last year. I consider that link and the news worth mentioning again in this comments thread as some commenters have already mentioned Sergei Skripal in connection with Christopher Steele's dossier.

As early as August 2018 , there had been speculation that the Skripals were being held at USAF Fairford airbase, based on audiovisual evidence in the background garden scene where the interview took place. Helmer's sources (they requested anonymity) spotted a chicken coop in the background which they say is a crow ladder trap. This is one indication that the garden scene was located near a runway. Background noises included the roar of jet engines.

If Helmer's information is correct, then we can now understand why the British government never gave Russian embassy staff access to the Skripals: London was in no position to do so, the Skripals were on US territory.

One implication of this new information is that the Skripals may no longer be in Britain and may now be living in North America somewhere with new identities. Should something happen to them (or have happened to them already), they will not be missed by their new neighbours. The Skripals will never be allowed to return to Russia and Sergei Skripal will never see or be allowed to communicate with his elderly mother again.

It really does look as if Sergei Skripal may have had something to do with that Orbis dossier after all, even if as a minor source or as a reference rather than the primary source of disinformation about Donald Trump's past activities in Moscow. What other work has Skripal done for his American masters?

Jen , Dec 11 2019 22:44 utc | 47
JR @ 20:

It looks as if Sergei Skripal may not be the primary source of the disinformation in Christopher Steele's dossier. Perhaps the person who is the primary source is not a Russian at all.

RJPJR , Dec 11 2019 23:56 utc | 50
JR | Dec 11 2019 19:41 utc | 20 brings up a revisiting of the Litvinenko polonium poisoning.

It is worth mentioning that a tiny but crucial and virtually never mentioned detail of the official inquiry (considered the last word on the matter) is that those conducting the official inquiry were never allowed access to the autopsy report -- which should have been (which would have been, in any honest effort at inquiry) the bedrock starting point. The report has right along been sequestered by Scotland Yard in the interests of... you guessed it: national security. Go figure...

bevin , Dec 12 2019 1:46 utc | 53
It strikes me that the best explanation of the attack on the Skripals is not that he was responsible for the Steele Dossier in any way, but that he could easily prove that it was a fantasy. And was planning to do so.

He knew better, though, than to say so in the UK which suggests that he was on his way home with his daughter when MI6 caught up with him and poisoned them both.

Steele, Pablo Miller and Skripal were old partners in crime.

I'm wondering whether the mistake Sergei made was not to leave the house -- probably worth lotsa rubles -- behind and just go. On the other hand he was almost certainly under constant surveillance.

@50 The Official Report to which you refer was also very careful to enter extensive caveats regarding its conclusions for which there was almost no real evidence.

Cynica , Dec 12 2019 1:48 utc | 54

@Jackrabbit #12, @karlof1 #15

It seems important to note that Mr. Lavrov refers to administrations in his comments, not presidents per se. As there are many staff in presidential administrations, it seems entirely possible that 1) the requests from the Russians never reached Obama or Trump personally, and 2) either or both presidents were therefore not even aware of the requests. In the case of Trump, that would be consistent with the fact that many members of his administration have been revealed to have operated contrary to his wishes.

@Jen #42

The Skripals residing on US territory would definitely indicate that the US has been the senior partner in the "Skripal operation". This seems to be part of a general pattern.

@Jackrabbit #48

For the Steele dossier to be intentional bullshit (meaning its creator(s) knew it was false when they created it) doesn't seem all that surprising. Intelligence agencies promote disinformation all the time. That in no way means that Trump is in on the game.

pretzelattack , Dec 12 2019 2:04 utc | 55
by this point i don't know if either Skripal is still alive. Why keep them alive if they could debunk the oh so precious propaganda?
karlof1 , Dec 12 2019 3:20 utc | 58
Cynica @54--

Both Putin and Lavrov have stated that they talked directly with Obama and Trump about the issues involved with their relations, so there's no excuses or obfuscation possible is this case.

[Dec 11, 2019] The belief that Trump is the victim of a vast and ongoing conspiracy is a crucial element of the president's enduring appeal to his supporters.

Dec 11, 2019 | www.theatlantic.com

If the allegations against the president are all completely false, then his supporters can continue to back him with a clear conscience, because anything and everything negative they hear about the president must be false. The consistency of that message is more important than the actual details, which frequently end up contradicting complex explanations for the president's innocence that are often incongruous with each other, such as the insistence that Robert Mueller's investigation was a "total exoneration" of the president, but also " total bullshit ."

[Dec 11, 2019] The neocon narrative that Ukraine did not interfere in 2016 elections started to crumple

Notable quotes:
"... Meet the Press ..."
"... Yes, something happened, but it was because Ukraine did it and not us ..."
"... David Hale, an undersecretary in Trump's own State Department, expressed that concern at a Senate hearing on Tuesday. When asked about the national-security ramifications of the rhetoric, Hale said pointedly, "It does not serve our interests." ..."
Dec 11, 2019 | www.theatlantic.com

This new front opened when Representative Devin Nunes of California, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, repeatedly insisted during last month's impeachment hearings that Ukraine had meddled in the 2016 election against Trump. That drew a stern rebuke from one witness asked to testify, the former Trump National Security Council adviser Fiona Hill, who warned that congressional Republicans were spreading "a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves."

Read: The first impeachment witness to go after Republicans

But Hill's words have not stopped Republicans from reprising those arguments. In late November, Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana claimed during a television interview that Ukraine, not Russia, might have hacked the Democratic National Committee's computers in 2016. After retreating from that claim , he went on Meet the Press on Sunday and equated public criticism of Trump by some Ukrainian officials with Russia's systematic interference campaign in 2016. The Senate Intelligence Committee, during its investigation of 2016 election meddling, found no evidence of Ukrainian interference . But when asked about Kennedy's comments this week, Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, the committee's chairman, came closer to endorsing rather than repudiating them.

"Every elected official in the Ukraine was for Hillary Clinton," Burr told NBC . "Is that very different than the Russians being for Donald Trump?" Burr went on to liken Russia's massive intelligence and hacking campaign to occasional public comments by Ukrainian officials critical of Trump. "The president can say that they meddled because they had a preference, the elected officials," Burr said . Other Republican senators, including John Barrasso of Wyoming, offered similar arguments this week. The report released on Monday by House Republicans likewise blurred the difference. "Publicly available -- and irrefutable -- evidence shows how senior Ukrainian government officials sought to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election in opposition to President Trump's candidacy," the report insisted.

Tucker Carlson took these arguments to new heights on his show Monday night, not only minimizing Russian involvement in 2016 but questioning why the U.S. was opposing its incursion into Ukraine at all. "I think we should probably take the side of Russia if we have to choose between Russia and Ukraine," Carlson insisted.

Republican foreign-policy experts are still worried about the attempts by GOP leaders to defend Trump by disparaging Ukraine.

"For starters, you end up validating the Kremlin line which they have been peddling since 2016: Yes, something happened, but it was because Ukraine did it and not us ," says Richard Fontaine, who runs the nonpartisan Center for a New American Security and was the top foreign-policy adviser to the late Senator John McCain of Arizona. "It's one thing if Putin says these things, or if Kremlin spokespeople say these things; people, I hope, will take it with a gigantic mountain of salt. But when you have U.S. elected leaders saying these things, it gives it a significant dose of credibility, and that's not a good thing."

David Hale, an undersecretary in Trump's own State Department, expressed that concern at a Senate hearing on Tuesday. When asked about the national-security ramifications of the rhetoric, Hale said pointedly, "It does not serve our interests."

The accusations against Ukraine have drawn forceful pushback this week from Democrats, but only a few Republicans -- most directly Senator Mitt Romney of Utah -- have openly condemned them. "What you are seeing unfortunately is Republicans wanting to just adopt and parrot the Trump talking points, which also coincide with the Putin talking points," Van Hollen said.

[Dec 11, 2019] Senate Republicans To Let Bidens Off The Hook May Skip Witnesses In 'Expedited' Impeachment Trial

Notable quotes:
"... According to the Washington Examiner , the GOP-controlled Senate have no plans to call key witnesses to testify in an impeachment trial. This means Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, John Kerry's stepson, Alexandra Chalupa and Ukrainian prosecutors involved in the Burisma case won't set foot in the Senate. ..."
"... Washington Examiner ..."
"... Washington Examiner ..."
"... That may not play well with Trump's base, who was expecting to see a doddering Joe Biden and his cokehead son Hunter answer tough questions about Ukraine. ..."
"... Without witness testimony, the Senate proceedings would take roughly two weeks according to the report. ..."
"... On Tuesday, House Democrats introduced two articles of impeachment accusing President Trump of abusing his power and obstructing Congress. Notably, there is no mention "extortion" or "quid-pro-quo" - accusations Democrats have been pounding on throughout the process. ..."
Dec 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

https://www.dianomi.com/smartads.epl?id=4777 Senate Republicans To Let Bidens Off The Hook? May Skip Witnesses In 'Expedited' Impeachment Trial by Tyler Durden Tue, 12/10/2019 - 19:45 0 SHARES

While House Democrats are about to impeach President Trump for asking Ukraine to investigate the Bidens for what looks like obvious corruption - Senate Republicans have no interest in calling witnesses to determine whether Trump's request was justified in the first place.

According to the Washington Examiner , the GOP-controlled Senate have no plans to call key witnesses to testify in an impeachment trial. This means Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, John Kerry's stepson, Alexandra Chalupa and Ukrainian prosecutors involved in the Burisma case won't set foot in the Senate.

Their reasoning? Senate Republicans have "no appetite" for it.

Senate impeachment rules require a majority vote to call witnesses, and with just two out of 53 votes to spare, there is no "appetite" among Republicans to pursue testimony from people that Democrats blocked Republicans from subpoenaing during the House investigation . Indeed, Republicans might forgo calling witnesses altogether, saying minds are made up on Trump's guilt or innocence and that testimony at trial on the Senate floor would draw out the proceedings unnecessarily. - Washington Examiner

Instead, top Senate Republicans are leaning towards calling a quick vote to acquit Trump once House Democrats and the White House have delivered their arguments.

"At that point, I would expect that most members would be ready to vote and wouldn't need more information," said Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming - the #3 ranked Senate Republican. "Many people have their minds pretty well made up."

"Here's what I want to avoid: this thing going on longer than it needs to," said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). " I want to end this. "

The president is not in danger of being removed from office by the Senate, a move that requires 67 votes.

But in a trial, he is seeking exoneration . Some Republicans question whether that's possible without hearing from witnesses, whether it be these or other less politically charged figures. " Not sure how you have a fair trial without calling witnesses ," said one Trump ally in the House.

But with some Senate Republicans facing uncertain 2020 reelection contests and others privately unhappy with Trump's behavior, mustering 51 GOP votes for Trump's dream witness list appears impossible.

" How many senators would enjoy a Trump rally? That's probably your whip count for calling Hunter, " a Republican senator said, requesting anonymity to speak candidly. Senate Democrats are not expected to provide any votes to call Biden or the others. Or they might ask so high a price, demanding that in exchange, they be allowed to call Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence, that Republicans balk. - Washington Examiner

"It becomes endless motions to call people, and I'm not sure what anybody gains from all that," said #2 Senate Republican, John Thune of South Dakota.

That may not play well with Trump's base, who was expecting to see a doddering Joe Biden and his cokehead son Hunter answer tough questions about Ukraine.

"President Trump's allies will want to see witnesses called. How many, and which witnesses, will quickly become a dividing line," said former Trump adviser Jason Miller, who co-hosts an impeachment-centric podcast with Steve Bannon.

Without witness testimony, the Senate proceedings would take roughly two weeks according to the report.

On Tuesday, House Democrats introduced two articles of impeachment accusing President Trump of abusing his power and obstructing Congress. Notably, there is no mention "extortion" or "quid-pro-quo" - accusations Democrats have been pounding on throughout the process.


LEEPERMAX , 39 seconds ago link

AS PREDICTED: LINDSEY GRAHAM DOES NOT WANT SCHIFF OR OTHER CONGRESSMEN TO TESTIFY AT SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL

American Thinker

07564111 , 1 minute ago link

ROFLMFAO @ americans

The swamp will NEVER be punished.

The Swamp will NEVER be drained.

Both teams are in on the scam.

Justapleb , 1 minute ago link

Calling us stupid:

But with some Senate Republicans facing uncertain 2020 reelection contests and others privately unhappy with Trump's behavior, mustering 51 GOP votes for Trump's dream witness list appears impossible.

Oh, you mean their own corruption will be exposed.

They take us for idiots.

Bear , 2 minutes ago link

Democrats will claim that it was a rush to 'Political Judgement' and that they did all the investigating and the Senate did nothing ... which will be true.

We need a complete Senate trial to bring to light the truth ... the IG report did not do it and the DOJ seem impossibly incapable ... only chance is complete witnessed Senate trial

south40_dreams , 5 minutes ago link

Impeachment is to distract from the HUGE money being laundered through Ukraine and many many other countries. The numbers must be staggering

surf@jm , 7 minutes ago link

I,m just curious to see if anybody has the balls to publish the names of all the grifting family members of Senators and Congressmen and the details of what they are skimming and where.......

I Guess Peter Schweitzer is the closest we will get.....

A true unsung hero.....

Collectivism Killz , 7 minutes ago link

Well, I just watched Nadler's Articles of Impeachment presser. Jeez, I never saw the dems so scarred and glum. Nancy looked like a zombie, as did all the rest. Check out the fat, ugly bitch in the red jacket near Adam Schiff. Tells you all you need to know about the dems.

[Dec 11, 2019] Not Steele dossier, but FBI/CIA/MI6 operation of George Papadopoulos entrapment was the real star of Russiagate

This is selective quotes from anti-Trump of neocon author. The general tone of the article is completely different from presented quotes.
Notable quotes:
"... ..."This was an overthrow of government, this was an attempted overthrow -- and a lot of people were in on it," Trump declared , while Barr insisted , in a more lawyerly fashion, "The Inspector General's report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken." ..."
Dec 11, 2019 | www.theatlantic.com

The report confirmed that the Russia investigation originated, as has been previously reported, with the Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos bragging to an Australian diplomat about Russia possessing "dirt" on Hillary Clinton, which the IG determined "was sufficient to predicate the investigation." The widespread conservative belief that the investigation began because of the dubious claims in the Steele dossier was false. "Steele's reports played no role" in the opening of the Russia investigation, the report found, because FBI officials were not "aware of Steele's election reporting until weeks later."

...The IG also "did not find any records" that Joseph Mifsud, the professor who told Papadopoulos the Russians had obtained "dirt" on Clinton, was an FBI informant sent to entrap him.

...Page "did not play a role in the decision to open" the Russia investigation, and that Strzok was "was not the sole, or even the highest-level, decision maker as to any of those matters."

...the IG did determine that the Page FISA application was "inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported by appropriate documentation," which misled the court as to the credibility of the FBI's evidence when seeking authority to surveil Page.

..."This was an overthrow of government, this was an attempted overthrow -- and a lot of people were in on it," Trump declared , while Barr insisted , in a more lawyerly fashion, "The Inspector General's report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken."

Adam Serwer is a staff writer at The Atlantic , where he covers politics.

[Dec 10, 2019] FBI Didn't Tell Surveillance Court That Carter Page Was Operational Contact For CIA With Positive Assessment

Dec 10, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

FBI Didn't Tell Surveillance Court That Carter Page Was "Operational Contact" For CIA With "Positive Assessment" by Tyler Durden Tue, 12/10/2019 - 07:55 0 SHARES

Authored by Chuck Ross via National Interest,

The FBI failed to inform surveillance court judges that Carter Page was an "operational contact" for the CIA for years , and that an employee at the spy agency gave the former Trump aide a "positive assessment," according to a Justice Department report released Monday.

The finding is included in a list of seven of the FBI's "significant inaccuracies and omissions" in applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Page, a longtime energy consultant who joined the Trump campaign in March 2016.

(emphasis ours)

The report said the FBI "omitted" information it obtained from another U.S. government agency about its prior relationship with Page.

The agency approved Page as an "operational contact" from 2008 to 2013, according to the report.

"Page had provided information to the other agency concerning his prior contacts with certain Russian intelligence officers, one of which overlapped with facts asserted in the FISA application," the report stated.

Page told the Daily Caller News Foundation he believes the agency in question is the CIA. Page has previously said he provided information to the CIA and FBI before becoming ensnared in the bureau's investigation of the Trump campaign.

The report stated an employee with the CIA assessed Page "candidly" described contact he had with a Russian intelligence officer in 2014. But the FBI cited Page's contact with the officer to assert in its FISA applications that there was probable cause to believe that Page was working as a Russian agent.

The IG faulted the FBI for failing to disclose to FISA judges that Page was an operational contact for the CIA for five years, and that "Page had disclosed to the other agency contacts that he had with Intelligence Officer 1 and certain other individuals."

The report also stated that the FBI omitted that "the other agency's employee had given a positive assessment of Page's candor."

The IG said the FBI's failure to disclose Page's relationship with the CIA "was particularly concerning" because an FBI attorney had specifically asked an FBI case agent whether Page had a current or prior relationship with the other federal agency.

***

[editor's note: Not only that, an FBI employee - undoubtedly 'resistance' lawyer Kevin Clinesmith , altered an email to specifically state that Page was "not a source" for the CIA . ]

The FBI agent falsely asserted Page's relationship was "outside scope" of the investigation because it dated back to when Page lived in Moscow from 2004 to 2007.

"This representation, however, was contrary to information that the other agency had provided to the FBI in August 2016, which stated that Page was approved as an 'operational contact' of the other agency from 2008 to 2013 (after Page had left Moscow)," the IG report stated.

The report also said Page's CIA contacts considered him to have been candid about his interactions with a suspected Russian intelligence officer who was later indicted for acting as an unregistered agent of Russia.


Occams_Razor_Trader_Part_Deux , 8 minutes ago link

I sometimes think Page was a plant- he's vigorously defended Trump and slammed the CIA and the hoax of the spying- but that could all be a ruse.

In my mind the jury is still out.

Papadopolous on the other hand- was clearly used, honey pot and all.

SnatchnGrab , 13 minutes ago link

Is the phrase ""significant inaccuracies and omissions" code for LYING?

Asking for a friend.

Old Hippie Patriot , 29 minutes ago link

The entire "Russian collusion" investigation is another example of the Feds manufacturing false evidence. Mitsud, supposedly a Russian agent, was actually an asset of US intelligence. Ever since the foisting of the 17th Amendment, which destroyed the veto of the several states of Washington excesses and corruptions, Washington D.C. has been the only REAL enemy that the people have ever had.

Teamtc321 , 42 minutes ago link

Rudy is going to take a huge Trump Dump, right on the heads of the Libtards this week....... Open wide Retards..........

=============

Breaking: Ukrainian Official Reveals Six Criminal Cases Opened in Ukraine Involving the Bidens

Trump told the waiting reporters that his personal attorney former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani "found plenty" of "good information" during his recent trip to Ukraine and Europe.

Trump then added that he believes Giuliani wants to present a report to the Attorney General William Barr and to Congress. Trump added Giuliani has not told him what he found.

Giuliani reportedly traveled to Budapest and Ukraine this past week to meet with several Ukrainian officials about corruption.

OAN reporter Chanel Rion has been traveling with Rudy Giuliani and reporting on his investigations in Hungary and Kiev, Ukraine.

In her report released on Sunday night Chanel Rion mentioned that Ukrainian officials showed her six criminal cases involving the Bidens, Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/12/breaking-ukrainian-official-reveals-six-criminal-cases-opened-in-ukraine-involving-the-bidens/

Charlie_Martel , 48 minutes ago link

The CIA-FBI put a lot of "assets" into and around Trump's 2016 campaign to rig the election for Hillary.

simpson seers , 1 hour ago link

FBI employee - undoubtedly 'resistance' lawyer Kevin Clinesmith , altered an email to specifically state that Page was "not a source" for the CIA . ]

if it's murican and it's mouth is open it's lying.......it's been a tradition since 1776.....

two hoots , 1 hour ago link

A more powerful force is at work here, the agencies are their tools, operators. We need to get our heads out of the weeds if we are to identify the source. Whatever it is, it is likely internal, thought a higher cause and convincing as CIA, FBI have bought in?

enough of this , 1 hour ago link

DOJ IG Horowitz delivered up another costly whitewash, just like he did with his investigation of the FBI's handling of Clinton's emails.

https://www.investmentwatchblog.com/doj-inspector-general-michael-horowitz-does-it-again-with-another-whitewash/

Drop-Hammer , 1 hour ago link

I read the linked article. Quite fascinating that Hillary and her minions were treated with kid gloves (and nothing at all about Obama, Lynch, Holder, Jarrett, et al) and extended every courtesy and soft-pedal, yet Roger Stone and Paul Manafort were greeted with platoons of FBI ninjas and armored vehicles in early morning raids akin to those in Stalinist Russia.

Equinox7 , 1 hour ago link

The FBI didn't tell the FISA court a lot of things. The FBI failed to tell the FISA court the interview with Papadopoulos revealed there to be absolutely NO Russian collusion. The FBI deliberately withheld exculpatory evidence that would have freed General Flynn and ended the investigations.

Instead, the FBI covered up the truth with omissions and lies. That what I call bias.

Call it willful blindness by omission, but I prefer to call it a criminal act and sedition against a President.

tedstr , 1 hour ago link

This guy is an Annapolis grad and CIA contact and they destroyed him. Hes gonna get very rich with lawsuits now. The thing that amazes me no one is talking about.........motivation. All of these major and minor infractions add up to one thing.....an orchestrated attempt to frame and over throw the President.\ of the United States

[Dec 10, 2019] Former Ukrainian Prosecutor Exposes Yovanovich Perjury, George Kent's Motive To Impeach Trump by Sundance

Notable quotes:
"... Ms. Rion spoke with Ukrainian former Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko who outlines how former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch perjured herself before Congress . ..."
"... What is outlined in this interview is a problem for all DC politicians across both parties. The obviously corrupt influence efforts by U.S. Ambassador Yovanovitch as outlined by Lutsenko were not done independently. ..."
"... Senators from both parties participated in the influence process and part of those influence priorities was exploiting the financial opportunities within Ukraine while simultaneously protecting Joe Biden and his family. This is where Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham were working with Marie Yovanovitch. ..."
Dec 10, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Former Ukrainian Prosecutor Exposes Yovanovich Perjury, George Kent's Motive To Impeach Trump by Tyler Durden Mon, 12/09/2019 - 19:40 0 SHARES

Authored by Sundance via the Conservative Treehouse

In a fantastic display of true investigative journalism, One America News journalist Chanel Rion tracked down Ukrainian witnesses as part of an exclusive OAN investigative series. The evidence being discovered dismantles the baseless Adam Schiff impeachment hoax and highlights many corrupt motives for U.S. politicians.

Ms. Rion spoke with Ukrainian former Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko who outlines how former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch perjured herself before Congress .

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

What is outlined in this interview is a problem for all DC politicians across both parties. The obviously corrupt influence efforts by U.S. Ambassador Yovanovitch as outlined by Lutsenko were not done independently.

Senators from both parties participated in the influence process and part of those influence priorities was exploiting the financial opportunities within Ukraine while simultaneously protecting Joe Biden and his family. This is where Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham were working with Marie Yovanovitch.

Imagine what would happen if all of the background information was to reach the general public? Thus the motive for Lindsey Graham currently working to bury it.

You might remember George Kent and Bill Taylor testified together.

It was evident months ago that U.S. chargé d'affaires to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, was one of the current participants in the coup effort against President Trump. It was Taylor who engaged in carefully planned text messages with EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland to set-up a narrative helpful to Adam Schiff's political coup effort.

Bill Taylor was formerly U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine ('06-'09) and later helped the Obama administration to design the laundry operation providing taxpayer financing to Ukraine in exchange for back-channel payments to U.S. politicians and their families.

In November Rudy Giuliani released a letter he sent to Senator Lindsey Graham outlining how Bill Taylor blocked VISA's for Ukrainian 'whistle-blowers' who are willing to testify to the corrupt financial scheme.

Unfortunately, as we are now witnessing, Senator Lindsey Graham, along with dozens of U.S. Senators currently serving, may very well have been recipients for money through the aforementioned laundry process. The VISA's are unlikely to get approval for congressional testimony, or Senate impeachment trial witness testimony.

U.S. senators write foreign aid policy, rules and regulations thereby creating the financing mechanisms to transmit U.S. funds. Those same senators then received a portion of the laundered funds back through their various "institutes" and business connections to the foreign government offices; in this example Ukraine. [ex. Burisma to Biden]

The U.S. State Dept. serves as a distribution network for the authorization of the money laundering by granting conflict waivers , approvals for financing (think Clinton Global Initiative), and permission slips for the payment of foreign money. The officials within the State Dept. take a cut of the overall payments through a system of "indulgence fees", junkets, gifts and expense payments to those with political oversight.

If anyone gets too close to revealing the process, writ large, they become a target of the entire apparatus. President Trump was considered an existential threat to this entire process. Hence our current political status with the ongoing coup.

Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator John McCain meeting with corrupt Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko in December 2016.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out , because, well, in reality all of the U.S. Senators (both parties) are participating in the process for receiving taxpayer money and contributions from foreign governments.

A "Codel" is a congressional delegation that takes trips to work out the payments terms/conditions of any changes in graft financing. This is why Senators spend $20 million on a campaign to earn a job paying $350k/year. The "institutes" is where the real foreign money comes in; billions paid by governments like China, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Ukraine, etc. etc. There are trillions at stake.

[SIDEBAR: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell holds the power over these members (and the members of the Senate Intel Committee), because McConnell decides who sits on what committee. As soon as a Senator starts taking the bribes lobbying funds, McConnell then has full control over that Senator. This is how the system works.]

The McCain Institute is one of the obvious examples of the financing network. And that is the primary reason why Cindy McCain is such an outspoken critic of President Trump. In essence President Trump is standing between her and her next diamond necklace; a dangerous place to be.

So when we think about a Senate Impeachment Trial; and we consider which senators will vote to impeach President Trump, it's not just a matter of Democrats -vs- Republican. We need to look at the game of leverage, and the stand-off between those bribed Senators who would prefer President Trump did not interfere in their process.

McConnell has been advising President Trump which Senators are most likely to need their sensibilities eased. As an example President Trump met with Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski in November. Senator Murkowski rakes in millions from the multinational Oil and Gas industry; and she ain't about to allow horrible Trump to lessen her bank account any more than Cindy McCain will give up her frequent shopper discounts at Tiffanys.

Senator Lindsey Graham announcing today that he will not request or facilitate any impeachment testimony that touches on the DC laundry system for personal financial benefit (ie. Ukraine example), is specifically motivated by the need for all DC politicians to keep prying eyes away from the swamps' financial endeavors. WATCH:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/HnMb1R1XsyM

This open-secret system of "Affluence and Influence" is how the intelligence apparatus gains such power. All of the DC participants are essentially beholden to the various U.S. intelligence services who are well aware of their endeavors.

There's a ton of exposure here (blackmail/leverage) which allows the unelected officials within the CIA, FBI and DOJ to hold power over the DC politicians. Hold this type of leverage long enough and the Intelligence Community then absorbs that power to enhance their self-belief of being more important than the system.

Perhaps this corrupt sense of grandiosity is what we are seeing play out in how the intelligence apparatus views President Donald J Trump as a risk to their importance.


bhakta , 48 minutes ago link

It is all about cash. Nothing else matters to these people in DC.

Helg Saracen , 42 minutes ago link

Everyone loves money. I like money. The only question is how to earn them. Neither I, nor you, nor many of us will cross a certain moral and ethical line (border), but there are people without morality, without ethical standards, without conscience. We all look the same outwardly, but we are all completely different inside.

Colonel Klinks Ghost , 59 minutes ago link

Jesus Christ I'm glad McStain is gone. So many other corrupt officials need a good brain cancer.

Helg Saracen , 47 minutes ago link

You are an evil person. It was a tragedy. Surgeons failed to save the unfortunate tumor from McCain. ;)

Helg Saracen , 1 hour ago link

Ukraine is Obama's **** , this is not Trump's ****. Trump's stupidity was only one - he got into this ****. I wrote, but I repeat - USA acted as the best friend in relation to Russia, having taken off a leech from Russia and hanging it on itself. Do you know such an estate of Rothschilds - called Israel and its role in the life of USA?

So, Ukraine was for the Russians the same Israel in terms of meaningless spending. Look at Vlad, in 2014 he looked like a fox who was eating a chicken, and on January 1, 2020 he will look like a fox who eating a whole brood of chickens. I think he has portraits of Obama and Trump in his bedroom.

Cat Daddy , 4 hours ago link

Yes, indeed. Lindsey will bury the story, he is on the take. Your tax dollars at work. By the way, the Fed picked up all of the Ukies gold for safekeeping at 33 Liberty St. NY, with Yats permission, of course.... https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-18/ukraine-admits-its-gold-gone

hanekhw , 4 hours ago link

A glimpse into how elected officials accumulate millions, retire wealthy, pampered and privileged....and I'm not talking pensions I'm talking corruption. Obama, Biden, Hillary, Kerry, Holder, Rice and ALL the senior Obama Administration officials knew of each other's corrupt sinecures.

Soloamber , 4 hours ago link

I am willing to give Graham the benefit of doubt because the alternative means some serious **** is coming .

The politicians have gotten comfortable that people will do nothing . BIG mistake .

Biden seems see oblivious to what he's done and perhaps this explains it . It's ******* routine .

Lets see their financial records from the day they were elected to the present .

SoDamnMad , 20 minutes ago link

You will find very little information. City of London offshore trusts cover their tracks.

Dumpster Elite , 4 hours ago link

The author actually seems to know what's going on behind the curtain, and not just blindly speculating.

docloxvio , 2 hours ago link

Well, it is based on a OAN story. Believe it or not, they actually sent a reporter to Ukraine to talk to people with knowledge of the matter and look what they came up with. Kind of makes you wonder why other well funded news organizations never thought to do something like that.

peippe , 2 hours ago link

it's been known for at least weeks that the embassy Kunt withheld travel visas for Ukraine State attorneys.

so this in endemic,

till Trump. I love this.

Soloamber , 4 hours ago link

How does Obama buy a $ 11+ million water front estate ?

Book sales ? Nah don't think so .

You know what it costs to operate a house and property that big each year plus all the other trappings ?

He ain't driving a 64 Cricket automatic .

Gore left politics with what $2 million and now has over $200 million .

Saving the planet pays big doesn't ?

If Lindsey Graham is part of this where does it end ?

The politicians and central bankers are bankrupting the country , dumping $trillions in debt on kids that can't vote

and now we find out they are taking massive bribes ?

Really not sure if Trump can fix the broken system by himself .

If this is true the Senate will vote him out .

Serrano , 4 hours ago link

Sen. Graham tells Maria Bartiromo he will end impeachment quickly: 1 min. 27 sec.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DZDDzoG-SI

Birdbob , 5 hours ago link

Shocker Lindsay Graham willing to betray public trust for Dollars? That is what we deserve.

Lord Raglan , 4 hours ago link

I don't know that we deserve this. We are all working people, with families to raise, taxes to pay and the Dems and Commies have been working against us 24/7. And most of them get paid to do so from government jobs that pay them 8 hours a day when many work 1 hour a day, all the while scheming against us.

If Trump wins a second term, he is gonna **** these people up good.

PrideOfMammon , 3 hours ago link

No he isnt. He IS these people.

teolawki , 5 hours ago link

Now that I've read the article, I'm both shocked and appalled at learning that Ukraine is a money laundering operation for the politically connected. (They provide many other 'perks' as well.)

I've warned about light in the loafers Lindsey as well as McConnell before and more than once. Sessions should also be denied a re-admission into the swamp. There are others.

[Dec 10, 2019] It is common knowledge that Congress, too, is corrupt and sells out the national interest in favor of their own political and personal interests on a daily basis. They have no moral credibility here by saying:

Dec 10, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Wherefore President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office, and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. President Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.

Clyde Schechter 6 hours ago

I agree with everything you say in the article, Mr. Larison. And yet, I have serious qualms about whether Congress should impeach and remove Trump.

From a purely legal perspective, they should. But impeachment is a blend of legalism and politics. And the politics here are murky at best. The problem is that Congress does not come to these issues with clean hands. It is common knowledge that Congress, too, is corrupt and sells out the national interest in favor of their own political and personal interests on a daily basis. They have no moral credibility here; who are they to judge the President? Neither the impeachment itself, nor the subsequent, apparently inevitable, acquittal by the Senate will be seen as legitimate, except by partisans of the respective acts. It is all the more problematic because an election is less than a year away.

Yes, I want Trump out of office, too. But unfortunately our Congress lacks the moral legitimacy to do this; the impeachment and trial will serve only to reinforce each party's views of the other as treasonous. The impeachment will be seen as an attempted coup, and the acquittal will be seen as a whitewash and cover-up. (If by some odd circumstance he is removed rather than acquitted, it will be seen as a successful coup, an undoing of the 2016 election.)

There are no really good outcomes from this scenario. It would, I think, be better for the the country were the Democrats to reverse course and leave the removal of Trump to the people next November. We have survived nearly three years of him, we can survive one more. I fear the fallout from impeachment and trial will create more problems than are solved.

likbez Clyde Schechter
I agree. I also respectfully disagree with Larrison's judgment and consider this development as very dangerous for the Republic. We need to weight our personal animosity toward Trump with the risks of his forceful removal on dubious charges.

Please remember that nobody was impeached for the Iraq war. That creates a really high plank for the impeachment. And makes any Dems arguments for Trump impeachment not only moot but a joke.

The fundamental question is: How is lying the country into the Iraq war not impeachable, and this entrapment impeachable?

The furor over Russian interference in the election, which was extremely minor, if existed at all, compared to what Churchill did in 1940, was primarily about excusing the corrupt and incompetent Clinton wing of Democratic Party leadership (Neoliberal Democrats.) Political "shelf life" for whom is over in any case as neoliberalism is dead as an ideology and entered zombie ( bloodthirsty ) stage. Hillary political fiasco taught them nothing. Russiagate was and still is a modern witch hunt, the attempt to patch with Russophobia the cracks in the neoliberal facade. Neo-McCarthyism, if you wish.

In view of the Iraq war, the impeachment of Trump means the absolute contempt for the plebs. Again, Trump's election happened because neoliberalism as ideology died in 2008, and plebs in 2016 refused to follow corrupt neoliberal democrats and decided to show them the middle finger. They will not follow the neoliberal elite in 2020, impeachment, or no impeachment. So the whole "Pelosi gambit" (and from the point of view of Nuremberg principles she is a war criminal like Bush II and Co ) will fail.

The House Democrats did not act as ethical prosecutors. They have failed to develop the evidentiary record, and provide the equality of procecutor and the defense in the process which is the fundamental part of the Due Process prior to filing charges. A large part of their witnesses (Karlan, Hill, Vindman) were just "true believers" (Karlan) or corrupt Deep Staters (Hill, Vindman) taking a stand to defend their personal well-being, which is based on warmongering. And protect their illegal role in formulating the USA foreign policy (actually based on the quality of Fiona Hill book alone, she should be kept at mile length from this area; she is a propagandist not a researcher/analyst)

Among State Department witnesses there could well be those who were probably explicitly or implicitly involved in the money laundering of the US aid money via Ukraine (Biden-lights so to speak)

The article of impeachment saying:

Wherefore President Trump, by such conduct, has demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law. President Trump thus warrants impeachment and trial, removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.

opens a huge can of worms (this is essentially the Moscow show trials method of removing politicians.) This is equivalent to a change in the Constitution, introducing the vote of no confidence as the method removal of the top members of the executive branch.

Impeachment is always a political decision. And here I am not sure the "Pelosi gambit" will work. I think many independents, who would stay home or would vote for Dems in 2020 now will vote for Trump as a protest against the abuse of impeachment by the Neoliberal/Corporate Dems.

[Dec 10, 2019] Sad old political clown Pelosi forgot her behaviour when the House tried to impeach Bush II for Iraq war by Lambert Strether

Notable quotes:
"... This is merely political theater and a way to stiffen their spines of jello for their coup. Heaven forfend that President Evo Morales Donald Trump be ousted in a coup by the American Deep State. Our ruling class and their servants really are stupid enough to believe that destroying the norms, both written and unwritten, that our society is actually governed by is a good thing. ..."
"... For the powers that be war crimes are not impeachable offenses. ..."
"... The MSM is reporting the "impeachment" as if it was a serious (approved by expert academics) endeavor. However, the veil is lifting. The revealed face of the ruling class is Neo-Orwellian. ..."
"... Turley says he is now getting threatening phone calls as well people trying to get him fired as professor because he dared to pooh pooh the case for impeachment. ..."
"... The insanity of [neo]liberals strikes me as the actions of the philosophically bankrupt, the hysterical demonizing of Trump being their desperate way to avoid recognizing that fact. ..."
"... Nadler, like Schiff before him, is putting on a diversionary show. The big rush in both shows has been to construct narratives to sow doubt in the minds of viewers and voters, on a tight schedule. That schedule has been known for some time, with a big component dropping today in the IG report. ..."
"... Whether it's Iraq I, Iraq II, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and any others I've missed, I want to know how many of these rats had / have financial interests in these wars ..."
"... The verdict is prepared before the charges! ..."
"... The House Dems started to boil when Trump suggested the Magnitsky Act was not impartial and Browder might be a crook, heaven forbid. But when Trump really started to focus on the Ukraingate stuff the House shifted into high gear. ..."
"... Schiff started to look like a cornered animal, the expression on his face went from moral superiority to downright angst. His eyes started to bug out. Nancy went from no impeachment to, almost overnight, yes impeachment. And Rudy Giuliani was accused of Treason for questioning their favorite operative, Joe Bagman. ..."
"... Let the last stage of the Great Looting of the Planet begin. ..."
"... I think there are too many moving parts to allow any meaningful analysis of such a soon-to-be-fait accompli. Justice, fairness, Constitution, "rule of law" are the shibboleths of the weak. None of those are anything but fig leafs over tumescent power, mentioned occasionally and clearly without adherence or conviction by that tiny set of front people and spokespersons for the even smaller set that actually move the levers of power. In the end, of course, as with all the climax events of the last few generations, we mopes will never get more than a modified limited hangout of an inkling to what actually happened, and not even that while the play's afoot. ..."
"... "However hurried a court may be in its efforts to reach the merits of a controversy, the integrity of procedural rules is dependent upon consistent enforcement because the only fair and reasonable alternative thereto is complete abandonment." Miller v. Lint, 62 Ohio St. 2d 209 (1980). ..."
"... Proceeding to a vote on this incomplete record is a dangerous precedent to set for this country. Removing a sitting President is not supposed to be easy or fast. It is meant to be thorough and complete. This is neither. ..."
"... A thorough investigation is the missing step before a case is presented to the Senate (or to a jury). The White House stonewalled the House Intelligence Committee. Just like with the Nixon impeachment inquiry the first step must be to litigate in the courts the assertion of Executive Privilege. ..."
"... JeffK above is correct that there is a subtle distinction between the Venn circles of "leverage" and "extortion" -- the distinction being whether pressure is being exerted on behalf of the state in pursuit of a stated foreign policy objective (however misguided that policy may be) or whether it is intended for the personal political or financial benefit of an official. These are "gray areas" in which understanding the subjective intent of the actor is crucial. ..."
"... As a veteran prosecutor, to me this is where the House Democrats are failing to act as ethical prosecutors. They have failed to develop the evidentiary record, which is their fundamental Due Process duty prior to filing charges. " I know he's good for it " isn't evidence. ..."
Dec 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. –Matt 23:24

Patient readers, I had originally intended to compare and contrast the statements of the four lawyers (Feldman, Karlan, Gerhardt, and Turley) appearing before the House Judiciary Committee . But I changed course, for a few reasons: First, Feldman, Karlan, and Gerhardt simply didn't produce serious documents; all were short, and Karlan's wasn't even footnoted, whether to facts, or to law.

Turley's statement at least showed signs of legal reasoning, as opposed to preaching to the choir, but there's no point my summarizing it; you can just read it .[1]

Second, since the House Judiciary's report on the " Constitutional Grounds for Impeachment " followed so soon after the lawyers' testimony that it could hardly have been influenced by it, their testimony was evidently for show. Finally, this abbreviated Season 2 of Impeachment! , "UkraineGate," reminds me of nothing so much as Gish Gallop : There's too much to track in the time frame available, the few trustworthy interpreters are overwhelmed, and that's by intent. (Season 1, "RussiaGate," was more of a Gish stroll by comparison.)

So I'm going to do something completely different. Conventional wisdom agrees that when impeaching a President, the House plays the role of the prosecutor, and brings and prosecutes the indictment; and the Senate then tries the case. From Senate.gov , just as a change from citing the Federalist Papers, which I too shall get to:

In impeachment proceedings, the House of Representatives charges an official of the federal government by approving, by majority vote, articles of impeachment. A committee of representatives, called "managers," acts as prosecutors before the Senate.

(The Senate has a useful potted history of impeachment as well.) One of innumberable quotes to this effect: " The House is just acting like a prosecutor or grand jury, deciding on charges to be filed."

The question nobody seems to be asking is whether the House, in this impeachment inquiry, is acting as a prosecutor should act[2]. That is the question I will ask in this post. (I'm sensible that we have actual prosecutors in the readership, and so I'm going out on a limb here; the fact that nobody I can find has gone out on this particular limb doesn't mean that it is, or is not, a good limb to go out on. We'll see!)

So, assuming the House to be performing the role of a prosecutor, how should a good prosecutor act? From the American Bar Association, " Criminal Justice Standards for the Prosecution Function ":

The primary duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice within the bounds of the law, not merely to convict . The prosecutor serves the public interest and should act with integrity and balanced judgment to increase public safety both by pursuing appropriate criminal charges of appropriate severity, and by exercising discretion to not pursue criminal charges in appropriate circumstances. The prosecutor should seek to protect the innocent and convict the guilty, consider the interests of victims and witnesses, and respect the constitutional and legal rights of all persons, including suspects and defendants.

What then is justice? Philosophers differ, but here is a defintion from which "the rule of law" (of which we hear so much) can be derived. From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy :

The third aspect of justice to which Justinian's definition draws our attention is the connection between justice and the impartial and consistent application of rules – that is what the 'constant and perpetual will' part of the definition conveys. Justice is the opposite of arbitrariness. It requires that where two cases are relevantly alike, they should be treated in the same way . Following a rule that specifies what is due to a person who has features X, Y, Z whenever such a person is encountered ensures this. And although the rule need not be unchangeable – perpetual in the literal sense – it must be relatively stable. This explains why justice is exemplified in the rule of law, where laws are understood as general rules impartially applied over time. Outside of the law itself, individuals and institutions that want to behave justly must mimic the law in certain ways (for instance, gathering reliable information about individual claimants, allowing for appeals against decisions).

The Law Dictionary conceptualizes the requirement for "impartial and consistent application of rules" as fairness. From " The Four Pillars of the Rule of Law ":

It's one thing for the laws to be written fairly, but if they are enforced in such a way that is either arbitrary or unfair then the rule of law begins to break down. For example, if a jurisdiction passes laws against drug use, but then only enforces those laws against a particular ethnic minority or social group, then the laws are not being enforced fairly. Citizens living under a rule of law system have a right to know that the laws are being administered and enforced in a way that is fair and accessible.

There are many theories of justice, but surely the "impartial and consistent application of rules" is understood by lay readers as fundamental. From the Washington Post, " The U.S. court system is criminally unjust ":

We like to believe that decisions made in U.S. courts are determined by the wisdom of the Constitution, and guided by fair-minded judges and juries of our peers.

Unfortunately, this is often wishful thinking. Unsettling research into the psychology of courtroom decisions has shown that our personal backgrounds, unconscious biases about race, gender and appearance, and even the time of day play a more important role in outcomes than the actual law.

Having established that the House, when impeaching a President, acts as a Prosector, that the duty of a prosecutor is not merely to seek conviction, but justice, let's now ask ourselves whether the House, assuming it to have impeached Trump, will have acted in accordance with its duties, or not.

As a sidebar, it may be urged that unlike a prosecutor's office, the House has no permanent prosecutorial function. Indeed, House.gov seems, unlike the Senate, to have no page on impeachment at all; and the House is structured very differently :

The House is the only branch of government that has been directly elected by American voters since its formation in 1789. Unlike the Senate, the House is not a continuing body. Its Members must stand for election every two years, after which it convenes for a new session and essentially reconstitutes itself -- electing a Speaker, swearing-in the Members-elect, and approving a slate of officers to administer the institution. Direct, biennial elections and the size of the membership (currently 435 voting Representatives) have made the House receptive to a continual influx of new ideas and priorities that contribute to its longstanding reputation as the "People's House."

It could be argued, then, that the "rules" for impeachment need only to be consistent during the two years of a House session, and could then be changed at the next session, an evident absurdity since the President serves for four years, and could presume himself acting unimpeachably for two years, and then be impeached, for the same acts , in the third. Clearly, some sort of institutional memory of what is impeachable and what is not, even if tacit, must be shared among the three branches of government and the public -- even if not adhered to by all. Fortunately, for Trump's impeachment, we have such repository in the person of the Leader of the House -- one might call them the Chief Prosecturor -- Nancy Pelosi, to whose remarkable statement I now turn. End sidebar.

Here is how Nancy Pelosi describes her past exercise of her prosecutorial function (in this case, declining to prosecute:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Former Pres. Bill Clinton was impeached "for being stupid." #PelosiTownHall https://t.co/F4LwDf7emf pic.twitter.com/jVu5yxZ5GY

-- CNN (@CNN) December 6, 2019

Here is the transcript, which is extremely verbose :

DEAN CHIEN, STUDENT, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY: So, Speaker Pelosi, you resisted calls for the impeachment of President Bush in 2006, and President Trump, following the Mueller report earlier this year.

This time it's different. Why did you impose – why did you oppose impeachment in the past? And what is your obligation to protect our democracy from the actions of our President now?

PELOSI: Thank you. Thank you for bringing up the question about – because when I became Speaker the first time, there was overwhelming call for me to impeach President Bush, on the strength of the war in Iraq[3], which I vehemently opposed, and again not – again, I – I say "Again," I said – said at other places that I – that was my we – all has always (ph) Intelligence.

I was Ranking Member on the Intelligence Committee even before I became part of the leadership of Gang of Four. So, I knew there were no nuclear weapons in Iraq . It just wasn't there.

They had to show us now – to show the Gang of Four all the Intelligence they had. The Intelligence did not show that that – that was the case. So, I knew it was a – a misrepresentation to the public. But having said that, it was a, in my view, not a ground for impeachment. That was – they won the election. They made a representation . And to this day, people think – people think that that it was the right thing to do.

If people think that Iraq had something to do with the 9/11, I mean it's as appalling what they did. But I did – and I've said, if somebody wants to make a case, you bring it forward.

(Remarkably, or not, Pelosi kept her knowledge that the Iraq War was built on lies secret from the public. This doesn't strike me as the right approach to " a Republic, if you can keep it .") First, apparently a President's "misrepresentation to the public" that led to war -- a war that resulted, even in the early years of the war, in tens of thousands of civilian deaths, thousands of American deaths, hundreds of billions of dollars, and the Abu Ghraib torture scandal -- is not a "high crime or misdemeanor." Pelosi would have us believe that Bush's disinformation campaign was not, as Madison writes in Federalist 65 , a case of "misconduct of public men, or, in other words the abuse or violation of some public trust." And why? Because "[Bush] won the election." Except Pelosi gets the timeline wrong. Bush won his election in 2004. The Democrats took back the House in 2006 -- how we cheered, then; it was almost as satisfying as Obama's inaugural -- based in large part on Bush's botched handling of Iraq. Pelosi "won the election." And then didn't do anything with her power.

Let's ask a little consistency from our Chief Prosecutor, shall we? Because that's what justice demands? If "misrepresentation to the public the public" in service of taking the country into war -- the aluminum tubes, the yellowcake, all the whackamole lies that Bush put forth -- is not impeachable, then how on earth is what Trump did, even under the very worst intepretation, impeachable? Are we really going to convict Trump because he -- Bud from Legal insists I insert the word "allegedly" -- tried to muscle Zelensky? Here is what Turley, who approached his statement as a lawyer would, did with that accusation . I'm going to quote a great slab of this, because the whole thing ticks me off so much:

Presidents often put pressure on other countries which many of us view as inimical to our values or national security. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama reportedly put pressure on other countries not to investigate the U.S. torture program or seek the arrest of those responsible.103 President Obama and his staff also reportedly pressured the Justice Department not to initiate criminal prosecution stemming from the torture program.104 Moreover, presidents often discuss political issues with their counterparts and make comments that are troubling or inappropriate. However, contemptible is not synonymous with impeachable. Impeachment is not a vehicle to monitor presidential communications for such transgressions. That is why making the case of a quid pro quo is so important – a case made on proof, not presumptions. While critics have insisted that there is no alternative explanation, it is willful blindness to ignore the obvious defense. Trump can argue that he believed the Obama Administration failed to investigate a corrupt contract between Burisma and Hunter Biden. He publicly called for the investigation into the Ukraine matters. Requesting an investigation is not illegal any more than a leader asking for actions from their counterparts during election years.

Trump will also be able to point to three direct conversations on the record. His call with President Zelensky does not state a quid pro quo. In his August conversation with Sen. Ron Johnson (R., WI.), President Trump reportedly denied any quid pro quo. In his September conversation with Ambassador Sondland, he also denied any quid pro quo. The House Intelligence Committee did an excellent job in undermining the strength of the final two calls by showing that President Trump was already aware of the whistleblower controversy emerging on Capitol Hill. However, that does not alter the fact that those direct accounts stand uncontradicted by countervailing statements from the President. In addition, President Zelensky himself has said that he did not discuss any quid pro quo with President Trump. Indeed, Ambassador Taylor testified that it was not until the publication of the Politico article on September 31st that the Ukrainians voiced concerns over possible preconditions. That was just ten days before the release of the aid. That means that the record lacks not only direct conversations with President Trump (other than the three previously mentioned) but even direct communications with the Ukrainians on a possible quid pro quo did not occur until shortly before the aid release. Yet, just yesterday, new reports filtered out on possible knowledge before that date -- highlighting the premature move to drafting articles of impeachment without a full and complete record.105

Voters should not be asked to assume that President Trump would have violated federal law and denied the aid without a guarantee on the investigations. The current narrative is that President Trump only did the right thing when "he was caught." It is possible that he never intended to withhold the aid past the September 30th deadline while also continuing to push the Ukrainians on the corruption investigation. It is possible that Trump believed that the White House meeting was leverage, not the military aid, to push for investigations. It is certainly true that both criminal and impeachment cases can be based on circumstantial evidence, but that is less common when direct evidence is available but unsecured in the investigation. Proceeding to a vote on this incomplete record is a dangerous precedent to set for this country. Removing a sitting President is not supposed to be easy or fast. It is meant to be thorough and complete. This is neither.

Put Turley's justifiable polemic against a childish West Wing view of international relations aside. Just look at the triviality of the subject matter, whether you think Trump is guilty or not . White House appearances. Military aid. Corruption investigations. How is lying the country into the Iraq war not impeachable, and this mass of anodyne trivialities im peachable? When it's the same prosecutor declining to indict for Iraq, and deciding to indict for Ukraine? Whatever this is, it's not "the impartial and consistent application of rules", and that means the House is failing in its prosecutorial duty to seek justice, and not merely conviction.

NOTE Yes, I'm leaving the national security aspects of Ukraine aside. We can take up the question of whether the interagency process should run foreign policy, or the President, and the Blob's peculiar view of the national interest another time.


Lee , December 9, 2019 at 5:50 pm

The detestable in full pursuit of the deplorable.

With apologies to Mr. Wilde.

JBirc4049 , December 9, 2019 at 6:21 pm

I agree with this analysis, but Madam Speaker Pelosi and her fellow players are not doing what they are doing for the Republic's, the law, ethics, morality, and certainly not for justice's sake. If they were, Pelosi would not have mentioned her prewar knowledge of President Bush's and his Administration's lies on the reasons given for going to war.

This is merely political theater and a way to stiffen their spines of jello for their coup. Heaven forfend that President Evo Morales Donald Trump be ousted in a coup by the American Deep State. Our ruling class and their servants really are stupid enough to believe that destroying the norms, both written and unwritten, that our society is actually governed by is a good thing.

Maybe TPTB truly believe that an increasingly ungovernable, immiserated, and desperate society in an increasingly unpredictable climate is just another chance to consume the poor instead of the poor consuming them.

rob , December 10, 2019 at 7:41 am

I agree

The democrats couldn't go after the bush administration for falsely leading this country to invade iraq, for one big reason . they were JUST as guilty . They, including clinton; voted, and went on all the air waves, did op eds; all justifying the charade, that was the run up to the iraq invasion.

People ought not forget,

EVERY bit of information proving the iraq war was a lie . was in plenty of places BEFORE the invasion. And every establishment shill did their level best to not only ignore the truth, but to discredit it with pathetic lies and rhetoric.

The democrats were just as guilty for iraq as the republicans.

And when the terrorists who were used as a ploy to blow up the twin towers, were being protected by the fbi between 1998 and 2000.(look at Robert Wright and John Vincent fbi agents from chicago office, who were told by superiors to "let sleeping dogs lie".. after a two year investigation of two of the "were to become terrorists"and yasin al-qadi. their money man who was a co owner of P-TECH(above top secret clearances at :cia,fbi,nsa,faa,secret service,norad,nro,etc.) and later a donor to the MITT Romney campaign) The clintons and the democratic elite were right there pretending nothing was happening. And have since pretended that "the war on freedom",,,,or as they call it "the war on terror" is justified.
whether it was the democratic party or the new york times or la times or washington post of the weekly standard or fox news or PBS EVERY media powerhouse was on the side of "the big lie"..

Pathetic logic fails were fed to the american population 24/7/365 The truth be damned and still is

Michael Mooney , December 10, 2019 at 6:37 pm

When you have a Democrat do away with Glass-Steagall, who needs Republican villains. Both totally corrupt parties are beholden to the banks and corporations, and need to be voted out of office.

Anthony G Stegman , December 9, 2019 at 6:21 pm

For the powers that be war crimes are not impeachable offenses.

Jeotsu , December 9, 2019 at 6:51 pm

Question, is there a statute of limitations for impeachable offenses? Because the Speaker of the House admitted on the public record of implicitly participating (by her silence) in an orchestrated lie that led to the deaths and maiming of thousands of American soldiers. Should we be taking that public statement and calling for her impeachment? Can you impeach the Speaker of the House?

d , December 9, 2019 at 7:03 pm

Congress and senators are impeachable. impeachment only applies to judges, president and vice president. and very very few others

inode_buddha , December 9, 2019 at 11:01 pm

Congress and senators are impeachable. impeachment only applies to judges, president and vice president. and very very few others

Time to impeach Pelosi, then. I'm not in Cali, but I wonder what it would take to get that ball rolling.

The Rev Kev , December 9, 2019 at 6:57 pm

Maybe the Democrats are hoping that once it reaches the Senate, that one of their number will step up, make a stirring West-Wing style speech which will cause all those present – Republicans included – to rise to their feet and clap and cheer as they vote for Trump to be finally kicked out of the White House. Then in their newfound maturity, they will make Mike Pence the new President of the United States as they work together for a better country with new respect for each other.

The End.

clarky90 , December 9, 2019 at 7:06 pm

The MSM is reporting the "impeachment" as if it was a serious (approved by expert academics) endeavor. However, the veil is lifting. The revealed face of the ruling class is Neo-Orwellian.

"Nadler's committee will likely vote to impeach Trump. In a report defining what it considers impeachable offenses, the committee states that even if Trump did not actually break any laws in his supposed "quid pro quo" dealings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, he can still be impeached for his unstated motives.

"The question is not whether the president's conduct could have resulted from permissible motives. It is whether the president's real reasons, the ones in his mind at the time, were legitimate, " it stated."

https://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980918000328

Certainly they are working on mind wave tech, to scan us for "unstated motives" as we live our day to day lives?

Carolinian , December 9, 2019 at 7:42 pm

Turley says he is now getting threatening phone calls as well people trying to get him fired as professor because he dared to pooh pooh the case for impeachment.

There has been a vast and irrational response to Trump from day one–perhaps based on the fantasy that the presidency really is like The West Wing whereas the reality is likely closer to the HBO comedy Veep. From "now watch this drive" Dubya to Obama and his "propeller heads" our presidents are a series of vain peacocks with Trump merely the extreme case. Impeach them all–or none.

flora , December 9, 2019 at 7:49 pm

The party of unprincipled, self-interested grasping. I'm not talking about the GOP. Thanks for this post.

DJG , December 9, 2019 at 7:52 pm

This observation by Lambert Strether sums it up: "Karlan's wasn't even footnoted, whether to facts, or to law." She is supposedly a professor of law, supposedly advising the Congress about the process of impeachment. She didn't even try to do her job. One may not agree with Turley, although the long excerpt brings a broad perspective to what is criminality and to how much criminality we now consider normal in the U.S. government. To his credit, Turley marshals facts into a synthesis.

What the Republicans don't seem to get is that will to power isn't all that matters and that their commitment to economic degradation and looting the citizenry have thrown them into a crisis (as the paleo-conservatives keep pointing out). Among liberals like Pelosi (and Karlan), the cluelessness is breathtaking. American liberalism is in a profound crisis, with Karlan's disquisition being particulary breathtaking for clichés-a-minute, sheer vulgar thinking, and kitsch.

This is the end. For those of us on the left, and I hesitate to advise non-action, it may be time simply to let these two rotten structures and ways of thinking collapse. It is like watching two ghost ships engaged battle, desparately trying to sink one another into a putrid ocean.

On a lighter (!) note, I will quote Gramsci:

The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying away and the new cannot yet be born; during this break in continuity, unhealthy events of every kind are happening.

La crisi consiste appunto nel fatto che il vecchio muore e il nuovo non può nascere: in questo interregno si verificano i fenomeni morbosi piú svariati.

Antonio Gramsci -- Prison Notebooks

Dirk77 , December 10, 2019 at 12:15 am

I think your last quote hits the nail on the head. It should be painted on every highway overpass. The insanity of [neo]liberals strikes me as the actions of the philosophically bankrupt, the hysterical demonizing of Trump being their desperate way to avoid recognizing that fact. I can understand that almost all people crave certainty, but Jesus its time to let it go and strike out to elsewhere.

flora , December 9, 2019 at 7:58 pm

An old lawyer adage: If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither the facts nor the law , pound the table.

Karlan was pounding the table.

Off The Street , December 9, 2019 at 8:47 pm

Nadler, like Schiff before him, is putting on a diversionary show. The big rush in both shows has been to construct narratives to sow doubt in the minds of viewers and voters, on a tight schedule. That schedule has been known for some time, with a big component dropping today in the IG report.

They had seen enough in SCIFs and elsewhere to know that Team Dem was going to get slammed due to its supporters in the FBI and DOJ. That much is evident in reviewing the report and scores of other documents available to the public. What hasn't been made available, like the Atkinson piece, also provide further support to the Schiff and Nadler accelerants.*

In a way, I almost feel sorry for Rep. Schiff as he was sent on a fool's errand. History will be unkind to him, among others.

Of greater concern during their proceedings is the absolute lack of regard for the principles like Due Process established in our US Constitution, and the rule of law.

*Accelerant – fuel in arson cases.

Henry Moon Pie , December 10, 2019 at 4:08 am

"Rep. Schiff as he was sent on a fool's errand"

At least they had the right man for the job.

ChrisPacific , December 9, 2019 at 8:48 pm

So Pelosi didn't support impeaching Bush because she was an accessory?

urblintz , December 9, 2019 at 8:58 pm

exactly

Elizabeth , December 9, 2019 at 10:35 pm

Then she's a war criminal too! I also remember her saying, "well, we didn't want to ruin our chances" (in the next election). My fondest wish is that GW Bush, Jr. and the gang who lied us into the war in Iraq be prosecuted and convicted for war crimes. A somewhat hopeless wish – that.

ChrisPacific , December 9, 2019 at 11:17 pm

She can be surprisingly frank about these things sometimes. She is saying the same thing in this quote ("people think that that it was the right thing to do" = opposing this would have cost us votes). I can't understand why anybody would ever trust her again after a revelation like that.

Shiloh1 , December 9, 2019 at 11:02 pm

Whether it's Iraq I, Iraq II, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and any others I've missed, I want to know how many of these rats had / have financial interests in these wars including daily drone-fests a few years ago.

The war drums have been beating on the Ukraine vs Russian for a few years now. Pelosi is worth over $100,000,000 on mere $200,000 humble public servant salary, many others on both Team Blue and Team Red similar.

If Team Red Senate votes to summarily dismiss impeachment it is the tell that there were / are many more cockroaches they do not want to expose, such as Lindsey Graham, Mitt, McCain, Kerry, not to forget Rummy, Wolfe, Condi, Cheney, W, O, Hillary, Poppy and so on.

Any 20 somethings in those households die or maimed "over there"? Let them all hang, dig their corpses up if you have to. Trump should double-dog dare them all to do it.

I voted for Trump solely as a bull in the china shop, with everything preceding him the past ~ 40 years as the china shop. Andy Jackson was not on the ballot 3 years ago, so I had to settle.

Samuel Conner , December 9, 2019 at 8:53 pm

I agree that DJT's misdeeds (at least the ones we know about) do not approach those of the Bush/Cheney presidency (the ones we know about). I wonder what lies beneath the D determination to impeach. I have been getting emails from various D-oriented organizations asserting that control of the Senate is within reach for the Ds in 2020, and asking for funds.

Given the near certainty that the Senate will not vote to convict (either through ~20Rs voting with Ds or ~30Rs simply not voting), perhaps it is hoped that a failure to convict in the Senate would help Ds make the case for an extra heavy base turnout in 2020 to deliver the Senate to the Ds.

They can't, or won't, govern. But with control of both houses, they might be able to impeach and convict.

JBird4049 , December 9, 2019 at 9:29 pm

If the Democratic Party refuses to govern, just why should they be in office? Unless it is Goldman Sach, Jeff Bezos, and their fellow oligarchs, it is just mendacity masquerading as seriousness. The Republicans also do not govern, but loot the lower 80% of the population while dismantling the government.

Just before the Civil War, Republican Party replaced the American Whigs and the Democratic Party split in two and looked like it too was going away as well. Let's have a clean sweep this time and maybe prevent another war.

oaf , December 9, 2019 at 9:01 pm

The verdict is prepared before the charges!

Susan the Other , December 9, 2019 at 9:05 pm

It seemed that the Democrats started out focused on a Trump connection to laundered Russian money. They didn't like his friendliness toward Putin. The FBI and Mueller went straight for Manafort and got him cold. It's possible they can't get Trump because he dealt through DeutscheBank and DB has been protected so far from prosecution.

Every bank in the EU seems to have laundered Russian money. So to start prosecuting would/will be a total circus.

The House Dems started to boil when Trump suggested the Magnitsky Act was not impartial and Browder might be a crook, heaven forbid. But when Trump really started to focus on the Ukraingate stuff the House shifted into high gear.

Schiff started to look like a cornered animal, the expression on his face went from moral superiority to downright angst. His eyes started to bug out. Nancy went from no impeachment to, almost overnight, yes impeachment. And Rudy Giuliani was accused of Treason for questioning their favorite operative, Joe Bagman.

And how impolite of Trump and Rudy to suggest that Joe's doofus son could be up to the same corruption as daddy. So the fear in the House is visible. I'm thinking there are lotsa members who might be not just complicit in the coup but complicit having received money for favors. Or in the case of Browder, helping an international thief and conman with high connections here and in the UK. High connections usually means political bribes. So Trump knows where the skeletons are buried imo and it freaks them out beyond any possible just proceeding. And Nancy's an idiot with a gavel.

John , December 9, 2019 at 9:11 pm

Prosecutors seeking justice? On what alien planet do you suppose that might be happening? Prosecutorial misconduct, caprice, and inconsistency is a hallmark of the US criminal carcerial system. Our Gulag doesn't just fill itself it needs prosecutors to keep the ball rolling. Sorta like insurance delivering healthcare.

Katniss Everdeen , December 9, 2019 at 9:11 pm

How is lying the country into the Iraq war not impeachable, and this mass of anodyne trivialities impeachable?

It's not. The system has broken completely down, although many americans don't know it yet. The democrats need to back off, although I wouldn't put money on it.

Vegetius , December 9, 2019 at 10:11 pm

If not one puts a stop to it, Unsettling Research is going to fatally undermine the foundations of Liberalism as such. Then what?

JTMcPhee , December 9, 2019 at 10:16 pm

Good to remember the ultimate frame that bounds this Gong Show Trial: "In the long run we are all dead."

What's going on here seems to me to have the same overall flavor of what's happening in Britain. Let the last stage of the Great Looting of the Planet begin.

I think there are too many moving parts to allow any meaningful analysis of such a soon-to-be-fait accompli. Justice, fairness, Constitution, "rule of law" are the shibboleths of the weak. None of those are anything but fig leafs over tumescent power, mentioned occasionally and clearly without adherence or conviction by that tiny set of front people and spokespersons for the even smaller set that actually move the levers of power. In the end, of course, as with all the climax events of the last few generations, we mopes will never get more than a modified limited hangout of an inkling to what actually happened, and not even that while the play's afoot.

And what good would it doe us to know all the details? What power do American mopes, for sure, atomized and fearful and befuddled, have to "bend the arc of history toward justice"?

inode_buddha , December 10, 2019 at 8:09 am

Well, I think we made a credible effort to bend the arc of history in 1776, and again in 1865. I have little doubt that history will eventually repeat itself, or at least rhyme quite nicely.

Rhondda , December 10, 2019 at 9:41 am

Strong, evocative words, JTMcPhee. Memorable and worth remembering. Thank you.

"Justice, fairness, Constitution, "rule of law" are the shibboleths of the weak. None of those are anything but fig leafs over tumescent power "

Besides, who would want Pence for president?

ambrit , December 10, 2019 at 2:21 am

Pence represents a large cohort of Evangelicals who are not averse to using 'direct action' to advance their causes. Think of the abortion doctors who were shot by 'right wing nutters,' and the horrific tactics used against women trying to enter and leave abortion clinics.

One of Pence's strengths is his unswerving adherence to a particular ideology. He has focus, and that aspect of his character gives him strength and purpose.
Even Napoleon realized the value of the Moral in human affairs.

Also consider groups within the Government and Military aligned with the Evangelical mind set. Pence has ample resources to manage the job of President. History shows that relatively small groups of committed and coordinated True Believers can take over and run governments. Pence is the figurehead for such a group. Beware.

Carolinian , December 9, 2019 at 10:58 pm

Biden was asked if he would comply if subpoenaed for the Senate trial and he said no. So Trump is to be impeached for his "crimes" while his potential opponent defies the law and that's ok because .why was that ok again?.

Stupendous Man - Defender of Liberty, Foe of Tyranny , December 9, 2019 at 10:55 pm

"However hurried a court may be in its efforts to reach the merits of a controversy, the integrity of procedural rules is dependent upon consistent enforcement because the only fair and reasonable alternative thereto is complete abandonment." Miller v. Lint, 62 Ohio St. 2d 209 (1980).

"We have granted discretionary review because a majority of a Court of Appeals panel has refused to follow a long line of decisions of the highest court of this state in violation of S.C.R. 1.030(8)(a) which provides:

'The Court of Appeals is bound by and shall follow applicable precedents established in the opinions of the Supreme Court and its predecessor court.'

The rule is fundamental and is absolutely necessary in a hierarchical judicial system. If every tier of courts in the judicial hierarchy were free to disregard the decisions of a higher court, the Court of Appeals could freely disregard the decisions of the Supreme Court, the circuit courts could freely ignore the decisions of the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court and our District Courts would be bound by no law at all, free to ignore the decisions of all higher courts. The result of that course is anarchy." Special Fund v. Francis, 708 S.W.2d 641 (Ky. 1986).

The above favorable articulations notwithstanding what I've been seeing the past decade, or so, is something much more akin to "The Rule of Whimsy," with said rule of whimsy having replaced "The Rule of Law."

JeffK , December 10, 2019 at 12:10 am

I don't think the comparative impeachable offenses argument adds any clarification. The distinction is that the current proceedings are about potential extortion that impacts the next election; the impeachable lies and corruption that led to the Iraq war took two years for the public to perceive. Future versus past. Even if Kerry won in 2004, there would not have been convictions because the conflict was still in progress. Besides, those that carry out orders are the ones that get convictions, not the commanders. Oh, and let's not forget "the fog of war" – a very useful alibi for top military advisers and political leaders.

I think the problem with the current impeachment mess can be Venn diagrammed. Imagine two circles. Once circle titled political leverage, the other circle titled extortion. Move the circles together to partially overlap. Where they overlap is titled Joe Biden. A distinction can usually be made between political leverage and extortion by asking who the stakeholders are. Leverage (with military aid) is always going on, and it benefits "regional stability" and "national security". Extortion benefits the requester, weakens his rivals, creates a compromising dependency the supplicant. In the overlap area the extorted political smear gets executed and the goods get delivered. I think the GOP's argument is that as long as the goods get delivered it is acceptable political leverage. They want to minimize the effect of smearing Joe Biden on the election. They want to blur the distinction between extortion and leverage.

Back to future versus past: The current mess may originate with an lack of conflict of interest oversight during/by the Obama administration by sending Joe Biden and John Kerry to Ukraine to negotiate anti-corruption deals favorable to the US, knowing that their family members were involved with Burisma. Surely there were others in the state Department that could have been direct envoys of the administration. If Burisma wants to stack their board with influential people and pay them a ridiculous sum for doing nothing – just to attract investors – well you can chalk that up to corporate stupidity. It's not necessarily corruption, especially if it works. How many US private equity firms have high-visibility dead weight board members?

inode_buddha , December 10, 2019 at 6:47 am

It took me all of one week to connect corruption with the Iraq war, back when it was beginning. The comparison of past with present is quite useful because it highlights the injustice that is going on right now. Even if Trump committed impeachable offenses, does not give the House any moral authority to engage in selective prosecution for the exact same type of behavior that they themselves, and past presidents have engaged in. This whole circus is nothing but politics, it certainly isn't about justice, nor doing what is actually good for the country. Disclaimer: I voted for Jill Stein. Deal with it.

SteveB , December 10, 2019 at 6:33 am

I can only watch small snippets of the "impeachment hearings" before screaming at the TV like an insane man. Even if one accepts the argument that Trump was using leverage to influence US election: BIDEN WAS NOT THE NOMINEE !!!!!!!!!!! there were many others vying for the position. How can you use leverage for personal gain on an event which hasn't and may not occur ?

It only works if he becomes the nominee. Trump was very effective at portraying his opponents as he wanted during the 2016 campaign ("Crooked Hillary" ) with all the self inflicted gaffs "Uncle Joe" makes it would seem to be shooting fish in a barrel for Trump in 2020 Why work through Ukraine, when he'd have it so easy destroying him on national TV while stroking his own ego at the same time

@pe , December 10, 2019 at 9:13 am

So, in Myanmar, should the Hague not act because it's hands aren't clean? It hasn't acted against the US, for example, which was a much more dangerous agressor in the ME recently (not to speak of other cases), and so clearly, the investigation into Myanmar is "merely" political. Even if investigating the US is impractical, it could investigate smaller countries that have been involved in that case -- but they haven't, since this is merely "political".

In fact, following this to the reduction to absurdity, no court ever has clean hands -- everything is corrupt to some extent, self-interested and hypocritical. Do we abandon all pretense at systems of justice? Or is the case presented here "special" in some sense, whereby we should look at the goals of the accusers beyond and above the acts and goals of the accused?

katiebird , December 10, 2019 at 10:10 am

Thank you, Lambert this is a great piece. I haven't been able to follow this impeachment thing at all. But your final question and answer pulls it together for me.

It doesn't make sense because it really doesn't make sense. Also why now, when we are about to have an election?

I just wish I had the nerve and moral strength to share your post.

katiebird , December 10, 2019 at 12:31 pm

OK. I posted the link to Facebook. I really wonder what my family and friends will say. (Yikes!)

Lambert, I really like this post. Thank you.

inode_buddha , December 10, 2019 at 12:01 pm

So, you're ok with liars and hypocrites not only representing us, but also causing mass deaths? OK, gotcha.

Matthew G. Saroff , December 10, 2019 at 11:27 am

The are two answers to the question, "How is lying the country into the Iraq war not impeachable, and this mass of anodyne trivialities impeachable?"

The optimistic answer is, "Because the former is a matter of statecraft, and the latter is using official power to derive a direct personal benefit, and the standards for impeachment based statecraft are much higher." (Congress in rejected Cambodia based articles of impeachment in 1974)

The cynical answer is, "Because everyone in Washington, DC has sad-sack children who get jobs because of their political power, and Trump must not be allowed to infringe on our privilege."

The thing is, BOTH answers are true for different people.

For folks like Pramila Jayapal or AOC, I think that they see this as bribery and an abuse of office for personal gain. (This group has been calling for impeachment for a while)

For someone like Nancy Pelosi, whose kids have clearly had opportunities as a result of her position, I think that it is the latter.

How these two categories are split in the Democratic caucus, and there are probably some in the, "Both," camp, is beyond me.

However, even by a relatively strict interpretation if impeachable offense, we have obstruction of justice in the Mueller report, obstruction of Congress right now, tax and bank fraud (though those were done when he was a private citizen), connections to the mob, both domestic and Russian, witness intimidation, and bribery off the top of my head. (Ignoring campaign finance violations, because seriously, who cares)

I have always felt the the furor over Russian interference in the election, which was minor compared to what Churchill did in 1940, was primarily about excusing the corrupt and incompetent Democratic Party (mis)leadership, and you will notice that I have not included any of that, though obviously the cover-up flowed from that in some cases.

synoia , December 10, 2019 at 11:31 am

I'm sensible that we have actual prosecutors in the readership

Spellcheck strikes again?

The problem with computers is they they flawlessly execute one's mistakes. Over and over and over again.

Ames Gilbert , December 10, 2019 at 11:55 am

No, one of the meanings of 'sensible' is, cognizant of. A little out of fashion, perhaps, but correctly used.

David in Santa Cruz , December 10, 2019 at 1:32 pm

As Lambert knows, I'm retired after working as a prosecutor in Silicon Valley for 32 years. I think that Lambert is "on to something" here, but doesn't quite hit the mark. Selective Prosecution is a huge issue in this country, but it isn't the issue here.

I agree that for years , Presidents have been committing "impeachable offenses" without being impeached. Unlike the decision to prosecute an ordinary citizen, impeachment is a political decision . However, the question being asked by the House Judiciary Committee, whether attempting to extort the investigation of a political rival through the withholding of foreign aid or favors to a foreign head of state is only one small facet of the impeachment inquiry. If Trump were to have engaged in such conduct, I believe that it would certainly constitute an impeachable offense . Whether to proceed with an investigation into such an offense is a political decision. I happen to agree that Trump is a turd and that he should be investigated.

Once this political decision has been made, the potentially impeachable offense must be investigated and prosecuted . The House leadership are engaging in the typical mistake of the rookie prosecutor: saying to him/herself " I know he's good for it " and filing charges without conducting a complete and thorough investigation . This is where Professor Turley is correct:

Proceeding to a vote on this incomplete record is a dangerous precedent to set for this country. Removing a sitting President is not supposed to be easy or fast. It is meant to be thorough and complete. This is neither.

A thorough investigation is the missing step before a case is presented to the Senate (or to a jury). The White House stonewalled the House Intelligence Committee. Just like with the Nixon impeachment inquiry the first step must be to litigate in the courts the assertion of Executive Privilege. JeffK above is correct that there is a subtle distinction between the Venn circles of "leverage" and "extortion" -- the distinction being whether pressure is being exerted on behalf of the state in pursuit of a stated foreign policy objective (however misguided that policy may be) or whether it is intended for the personal political or financial benefit of an official. These are "gray areas" in which understanding the subjective intent of the actor is crucial.

This is where hard evidence such as tapes and transcripts of the actual words used become critical. This evidence apparently exists, but House Democrats have failed to file suit to obtain them. Only when we know the words used and the surrounding circumstances can we draw inferences about the subjective intent of the actors. In the criminal law we draw such inferences about an actor's subjective intent all the time . However, we apply special rules when drawing inferences about a person's intent. Those inferences must not only be reasonable , they must be the only reasonable inferences that can be drawn from the facts and circumstances presented.

As a veteran prosecutor, to me this is where the House Democrats are failing to act as ethical prosecutors. They have failed to develop the evidentiary record, which is their fundamental Due Process duty prior to filing charges. " I know he's good for it " isn't evidence.

David in Santa Cruz , December 10, 2019 at 1:32 pm

As Lambert knows, I'm retired after working as a prosecutor in Silicon Valley for 32 years. I think that Lambert is "on to something" here, but doesn't quite hit the mark. Selective Prosecution is a huge issue in this country, but it isn't the issue here.

I agree that for years , Presidents have been committing "impeachable offenses" without being impeached. Unlike the decision to prosecute an ordinary citizen, impeachment is a political decision . However, the question being asked by the House Judiciary Committee, whether attempting to extort the investigation of a political rival through the withholding of foreign aid or favors to a foreign head of state is only one small facet of the impeachment inquiry. If Trump were to have engaged in such conduct, I believe that it would certainly constitute an impeachable offense . Whether to proceed with an investigation into such an offense is a political decision. I happen to agree that Trump is a turd and that he should be investigated.

Once this political decision has been made, the potentially impeachable offense must be investigated and prosecuted . The House leadership are engaging in the typical mistake of the rookie prosecutor: saying to him/herself " I know he's good for it " and filing charges without conducting a complete and thorough investigation . This is where Professor Turley is correct:

Proceeding to a vote on this incomplete record is a dangerous precedent to set for this country. Removing a sitting President is not supposed to be easy or fast. It is meant to be thorough and complete. This is neither.

A thorough investigation is the missing step before a case is presented to the Senate (or to a jury). The White House stonewalled the House Intelligence Committee. Just like with the Nixon impeachment inquiry the first step must be to litigate in the courts the assertion of Executive Privilege.

JeffK above is correct that there is a subtle distinction between the Venn circles of "leverage" and "extortion" -- the distinction being whether pressure is being exerted on behalf of the state in pursuit of a stated foreign policy objective (however misguided that policy may be) or whether it is intended for the personal political or financial benefit of an official. These are "gray areas" in which understanding the subjective intent of the actor is crucial.

This is where hard evidence such as tapes and transcripts of the actual words used become critical. This evidence apparently exists, but House Democrats have failed to file suit to obtain them. Only when we know the words used and the surrounding circumstances can we draw inferences about the subjective intent of the actors. In the criminal law we draw such inferences about an actor's subjective intent all the time . However, we apply special rules when drawing inferences about a person's intent. Those inferences must not only be reasonable , they must be the only reasonable inferences that can be drawn from the facts and circumstances presented.

As a veteran prosecutor, to me this is where the House Democrats are failing to act as ethical prosecutors. They have failed to develop the evidentiary record, which is their fundamental Due Process duty prior to filing charges. " I know he's good for it " isn't evidence.

[Dec 10, 2019] FISA Report Reveals Clinton Meddled In 2016 Election

Notable quotes:
"... If Russia spending $100,000 on Facebook ads constitutes election interference, and Donald Trump asking Ukraine to investigate the Bidens is too - then Hillary Clinton takes the cake when it comes to influence campaigns designed to harm a political opponent. ..."
"... The article suggests that former Trump campaign aide Carter Page "has opened up private communications with senior Russian officials - including talks about the possible lifting of economic sanctions if the Republican nominee becomes president." ..."
"... Steele told us that in September [of 2016] her and Simpson gave an "off-the-record" briefing to a small number of journalists about his reporting, " reads page 165 of the FISA report, which says that Steele "acknowledged that Yahoo News was identified in one of the court filings in the foreign litigation as being present. " ..."
"... Put another way, Hillary Clinton paid Christopher Steele to feed information to the MSM in order to harm Donald Trump right before the 2016 election . Granted, there were intermediaries; the Clinton campaign paid law firm Perkins Coie, which paid Fusion GPS, which paid Steele. And if asked, we're guessing Clinton would claim she had no idea this happened - which simply isn't plausible given the stakes. Whatever the case - the act of Simpson paying Steele to peddle fiction to the media for the purpose of harming Trump, by itself , constitutes blatant election meddling by every standard set by the left over the past three years. ..."
Dec 10, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

If Russia spending $100,000 on Facebook ads constitutes election interference, and Donald Trump asking Ukraine to investigate the Bidens is too - then Hillary Clinton takes the cake when it comes to influence campaigns designed to harm a political opponent.

Contained within Monday's FISA report by the DOJ Inspector General is the revelation that Fusion GPS, the firm paid by the Clinton campaign to produce the Steele dossier, " was paying Steele to discuss his reporting with the media. " ( P. 369 and elsewhere)

(h/t @wakeywakey16 )

And when did Steele talk with the media - which got him fired as an FBI source ? Perhaps most notably was Yahoo News journalist Michael Isikoff , who says he was invited by Fusion GPS to meet a "secret source" at a Washington restaurant . That secret source was none other than Christopher Steele , who fed Isikoff information from his now-discredited dossier - and which appeared in a September 23, 2016 article roughly six weeks before the election - which likely had orders of magnitude greater visibility and impact coming from a widely-read, MSM source vs. $100,000 in Russian Facebook ads.

The article suggests that former Trump campaign aide Carter Page "has opened up private communications with senior Russian officials - including talks about the possible lifting of economic sanctions if the Republican nominee becomes president."

This claim was found by special counsel Robert Mueller report to be false . Moreover, the FBI knew about it in December, 2016, when DOJ #4 Bruce Ohr told the agency as much.

Steele told us that in September [of 2016] her and Simpson gave an "off-the-record" briefing to a small number of journalists about his reporting, " reads page 165 of the FISA report, which says that Steele "acknowledged that Yahoo News was identified in one of the court filings in the foreign litigation as being present. "

Put another way, Hillary Clinton paid Christopher Steele to feed information to the MSM in order to harm Donald Trump right before the 2016 election . Granted, there were intermediaries; the Clinton campaign paid law firm Perkins Coie, which paid Fusion GPS, which paid Steele. And if asked, we're guessing Clinton would claim she had no idea this happened - which simply isn't plausible given the stakes. Whatever the case - the act of Simpson paying Steele to peddle fiction to the media for the purpose of harming Trump, by itself , constitutes blatant election meddling by every standard set by the left over the past three years.

We're sure Hillary can explain that if and when she jumps into the 2020 race.

[Dec 10, 2019] Watch Live Dems Present Plans For At Least 2 Articles In Impeachment Push

Schiff behaviour was egregious and as such it is now DemoRats liability...
Goldman finding are all bogus as they can't be compared with crimes on Obama and Clinton family.
Notable quotes:
"... Castor accused Democrats of sustaining a months-long quest to find an issue on which to impeach Trump. After Mueller's investigation didn't deliver the results they wanted, he said Democrats now are focusing on Trump's interactions with Ukraine, particularly his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. ..."
"... "The record in the Democrats' impeachment inquiry does not show that President Trump abused the power of Congress or obstructed Congress," Castor said. "To impeach a president who 63 million people voted for over eight lines in a call transcript is baloney." ..."
Dec 10, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

... ... ...

Here's the Democratic position, according to their lawyers...

"The evidence is overwhelming that the president abused his power" by trying to get Ukraine to help his prospects for re-election by announcing an investigation into a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden," said Barry Berke, counsel to House Judiciary Democrats.

He and Daniel Goldman, counsel for Democrats on the Intelligence Committee, also cited numerous instances of the Trump administration withholding documents and other evidence sought by Congress in connection with the Ukraine probe.

...and the Republican position.

The panel's Republican counsel, Steve Castor, reiterated one of the chief defenses of the president that's been put forward by Trump allies: "The impeachment inquiry's record is riddled with hearsay, presumptions and speculation."

He accused Democrats of pursuing an "artificial and arbitrary political deadline" to overturn the 2016 election and impeach Trump's before the Christmas holiday.

Goldman detailed what he called four "critical" findings from the investigation, according to Dems. All of these points will likely feature prominently in the articles.

  • Trump used the power of his office to pressure and induce the newly-elected president of Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 presidential election for Trump's personal and political benefit.
  • In order to increase the pressure on Ukraine to announce the politically-motivated investigations that the president wanted, he withheld a coveted Oval Office meeting and $391 million of essential military assistance from Ukraine.
  • Trump's conduct undermined the U.S. election process and poses an imminent threat to our national security.
  • Faced with the revelation of his pressure campaign against Ukraine, Trump directed an unprecedented effort to obstruct Congress' impeachment inquiry into his conduct.

Meanwhile, Republicans insist that the Dems' impeachment drive was a waste of time because it doesn't show abuse of power.

Castor accused Democrats of sustaining a months-long quest to find an issue on which to impeach Trump. After Mueller's investigation didn't deliver the results they wanted, he said Democrats now are focusing on Trump's interactions with Ukraine, particularly his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

"The record in the Democrats' impeachment inquiry does not show that President Trump abused the power of Congress or obstructed Congress," Castor said. "To impeach a president who 63 million people voted for over eight lines in a call transcript is baloney."

Unfortunately, the impeachment hearing blitz has done little to shift public opinion. Poll averages compiled by FiveThirtyEight and RealClear Politics show that Americans are evenly divided with roughly 47% to 48% supporting impeachment and 44% to 45% opposing. Some individual polls have found that more than eight in ten people say their minds are made up.

Though Nadler says he hasn't yet made a final decision, it looks like evidence from the Mueller probe will be left out of the articles of impeachment by Democrats (probably not a bad idea).

[Dec 10, 2019] Those geriatric crazies like Pelosi, or Hillary, or completly corrupt, bought by lobbies politicos like Schumer or Schiff, and their stooges like "linguist" Ciaramella, "politruk", master of arts in Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian studies Vindman, or Soros-connected rabid neocon Fiona Hill do not know what seven minutes on launch means

They poisoned with the USA with Russophobia for decades to come, and that really increases the risk of nuclear confrontation, which would wipe out all this jerks, but also mass of innocent people.
Notable quotes:
"... The only way to prevent it, IMHO, is having a Western public shifting just 5 % of their "breads and circuses" paradigm to that issue. Just 5. Not holding my breath I am afraid. ..."
"... Which proves the main point of mine: access to information means shit in the real world of power play. Sheeple didn't care then; they care even less now (better distractions). ..."
Dec 10, 2019 | www.unz.com

peterAUS , says: December 10, 2019 at 8:07 pm GMT

O.K.

I was, actually, thinking about: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pershing_II#Protests Or, just follow this trend of "who has a bigger dick" as it is.

Sooner or later you'll have this, IMHO: Reaction time 7 minutes . You know, decision-making time to say "launch" or not. The decision-maker in the White House, Downing Street and Elysees Palace either a geriatric or one of this new multiracial breed. Just think about those people

Add to that the level of overall expertise by the crews manning those systems, its maintenance etc. Add increased automation of some parts of the launch process with hardware/software as it's produced now (you know, quality control etc.).

It will take a miracle not to have that launch sooner or later. Not big, say .80 KT. What happens after that is anybody's guess. Mine, taking the second point from the fourth paragraph .a big bang.

The only way to prevent it, IMHO, is having a Western public shifting just 5 % of their "breads and circuses" paradigm to that issue. Just 5.
Not holding my breath I am afraid.

My 2 cents, anyway.

Anon [138] Disclaimer , says: December 10, 2019 at 9:30 pm GMT
@peterAUS The rational actor false supposition has it that the biologics can't be used because they don't recognize friend from foe.

Rational actors? Where? Anthrax via the US mail.

One rational actor point of view is that you have to be able to respond to anything. Anything. In a measured or escalating response. Of course biologics are being actively pursued to the hilt. Just like you point out about Marburg.

But, the view from above is that general panic in the population cannot be allowed, and so all biologics have to be down played. "of course we would never do anything like that, it would be insane to endanger all of humanity". Just like nukes. So professors pontificate misdirection, and pundits punt.

So don't expect real disclosure, or honest analysis. "We only want the fear that results in more appropriations. Not the fear that sinks programs." Don't generate new Church commissions. Hence the fine line. some fear yes, other fears, no.

peterAUS , says: December 10, 2019 at 10:23 pm GMT
@Anon

Rational actors? Where?

Well Washington D.C.
Hahahahaha sorry, couldn't resist.

So don't expect real disclosure, or honest analysis.

I don't.

But I also probably forgot more about nuclear war than most of readers here will ever know. And chemical, when you think about it; had a kit with atropine on me all the time in all exercises. We didn't practice much that "biologics" stuff, though. We knew why, then. Same reason for today. Call it a "stoic option" to own inevitable demise.

Now, there is a big difference between the age of those protests I mentioned and today. The Internet. The access to information people, then, simply didn't have.

Which proves the main point of mine: access to information means shit in the real world of power play. Sheeple didn't care then; they care even less now (better distractions).

Well, they will care, I am sure. For about ..say in the USA ..several hours, on average.

We here where I am typing from will care for "how to survive the aftermath" .. for two months.Tops.

[Dec 10, 2019] The revealed face of the the USA ruling class during Trump impeachment is Neo-Orwellian.

Dec 10, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

clarky90 , , December 9, 2019 at 7:06 pm

The MSM is reporting the "impeachment" as if it was a serious (approved by expert academics) endeavor. However, the veil is lifting. The revealed face of the ruling class is Neo-Orwellian.

"Nadler's committee will likely vote to impeach Trump. In a report defining what it considers impeachable offenses, the committee states that even if Trump did not actually break any laws in his supposed "quid pro quo" dealings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, he can still be impeached for his unstated motives.

"The question is not whether the president's conduct could have resulted from permissible motives. It is whether the president's real reasons, the ones in his mind at the time, were legitimate, " it stated."

https://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13980918000328

Certainly they are working on mind wave tech, to scan us for "unstated motives" as we live our day to day lives?

[Dec 10, 2019] Nation reporter to Tucker: Strange to see media pretending Ukraine meddling didn t happen

Dec 05, 2019 | www.foxnews.com

'The Nation' contributor Aaron Maté tells 'Tucker Carlson Tonight' host Tucker Carlson that pundits attacking Sen. John Kennedy are ignoring facts

It's "strange to see" mainstream media pretending Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 presidential election didn't happen, The Nation contributor Aaron Maté said Wednesday.

Appearing on "Tucker Carlson Tonight," Maté said Ukraine's efforts to tamper in the election are "no secret."

"Ukrainian officials -- they leaked information that exposed some apparent corruption by Paul Manafort and it was consequential. It led to Paul Manafort's resignation from the Trump campaign," he said. "And, the stated intent of Ukrainian officials was to weaken the Trump campaign because they wanted to help elect Hillary Clinton ."

TRUMP RIPS 'SLEEPY EYES CHUCK TODD' FOLLOWING FIERY INTERVIEW WITH SEN. KENNEDY: 'MEET THE DEPRESSED!'

Yet, when Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., told "Meet The Press" host Chuck Todd Sunday that reports from various media outlets indicated that former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko favored Clinton over now-President Trump, Todd accused him of parroting Russian President Vladimir Putin's talking points.

"Are you at all concerned that you've been duped?" Todd asked.

"No, just read the articles," said Kennedy.

Video

On the same network, anchor Nicolle Wallace and her guest The Bulwark Editor-at-Large Charlie Sykes echoed Todd, agreeing that Kennedy "comes off as an addled Russian asset on television" after "peddling Vladimir Putin's talking points."

"I don't understand the proactive work on behalf of Putin's Kremlin," said Wallace.

Maté told Carlson that what these pundits are trying to do is "conflate that with a different theory by Ukrainian meddling. Which is not proven -- it's true."

"And, that is the one that Trump tried to put forward in this phone call with Zelenksy where he appears to be saying that it wasn't Russia that was behind the hacking of the DNC and that it might have been Ukraine," he continued.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

"It's true there's no evidence for that theory, and it's fair enough to point out that. But. what's also ironic here is that the people who are indignant about that claim by Trump are accepting the claim that Russia hacked the DNC," Maté stated, adding that journalists should be demanding to see the underlying evidence used by U.S. intelligence to draw that conclusion.

Carlson said the mainstream media now accuses anyone who questions their narrative of being a "traitor to the country" and supporting Russia. Julia Musto is a reporter for Foxnews.com

[Dec 10, 2019] Tucker: Media proclaims FBI is innocent

So CIA agent Carter Page joins Trump campaign and then do several "improper" moves like travel to Moscow and contracts with Russian officials things in order to create a pretext for FBI investigation. Which of course was promptly started. This is called false flag operation.
From comments: "He wasn’t a victim, he was an asset. When actors portray a victim, they are ACTING!!!"
Notable quotes:
"... "The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses". - the esteemed Malcolm X. ..."
"... Seth Rich downloaded the emails on a potable drive. Was he Russian? ..."
"... DNC/ FBI/ CIA/ CNN/ NBC have merged into the 5 headed serpent. ..."
"... Roger Stone got some minor facts wrong and is facing jail time, Brennan and Comey outright lied to Congress, when are they going to jail? ..."
"... "June 2017, CIA told FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith that Carter Page was working for them (the CIA)." Clinesmith then changed that notification so he could submit the last (FISA) renewal. ..."
"... "Lets hope Carter Page spends the rest of his life sueing everyone..." lol Thats the meanest thing ive ever heard you say! O:) ..."
Dec 10, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Greg Wootton , 4 hours ago

John Brennan lied to Congress, why is he not behind bars?

der Jakob 🇺🇸 , 5 hours ago

Falsifying documents is a crime

Robin John , 5 hours ago

I will believe the swamp is draining when the arrests begin.

Electric Eclectic , 5 hours ago

There are so many crooked actors and actresses hired by the MSM it is just pathetic. They are not reporters, they are there only to put on a show for the masses.

Christopher , 5 hours ago

"The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses". - the esteemed Malcolm X.

Patton Was Right , 5 hours ago

"WE DEFEATED THE WRONG ENEMY!" Now we are paying the price

2legit B , 5 hours ago

Seth Rich downloaded the emails on a potable drive. Was he Russian?

LB Helms , 4 hours ago

DNC/ FBI/ CIA/ CNN/ NBC have merged into the 5 headed serpent.

Mr.762 , 4 hours ago

The FBI and CIA need to be dismantled!

Silly Goose , 5 hours ago

Roger Stone got some minor facts wrong and is facing jail time, Brennan and Comey outright lied to Congress, when are they going to jail?

reminaya , 4 hours ago

"June 2017, CIA told FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith that Carter Page was working for them (the CIA)." Clinesmith then changed that notification so he could submit the last (FISA) renewal.

Theta Kongpancake , 4 hours ago

5:55 - "Lets hope Carter Page spends the rest of his life sueing everyone..." lol Thats the meanest thing ive ever heard you say! O:)

Christopher Wojciechowski , 2 hours ago

The FBI was never innocent. They're guilty as hell and heads need to roll over.


Blue -eyed , 2 hours ago

Allowing ONE person to decide if crimes where done by the most powerful people in america for decades. Horowitz was bought one way or another.

Joe Montano , 4 hours ago

1:52 - This is what a paid shill looks like. If the money is good, they'll read whatever is on the prompter. Years from now when they're demonized by the corrupt media they'll scratch their head and ask... What happened to integrity in our country???

lrm21 , 46 minutes ago

High crimes and misdemeanors. Where is John Brennan?

P MA , 2 hours ago

If you asked me 20 years ago wether I would be watching Fox News to get the most rational point of view in politics, I would have said you were crazy. Another great job Tucker! In my opinion, you’re one of the best news men of our current time; questioning needless wars, and calling out politicians, gvmnt officials and your counterparts at other news desks with rational arguments. Well done sir!

ita-glo jgv , 41 minutes ago

Personally seen these types of things/cases in lower levels, police chiefs and officials, judges, prosecutors, mayor, FBI, and so on. Not surprisingly it happens elsewhere. ...But very disappointed of it all.

cat nerp , 4 hours ago

Politics is like religion. Facts mean very little before the over powering light of belief

TaggsR85 , 1 hour ago

How does Horowitz believe this wasn’t politically motivated? What was the motivation to lie to surveillance to be put on carter page?

VAMPYRE ANGELUS , 4 hours ago

fbi is the mafia with badges..

Bruce Lee , 4 hours ago

The FBI has too much power. It’s not about a few bad apples, it’s what can happen with a few bad apples.

Duncan McCockiner , 33 minutes ago

If I were an American citizen, I'd be very concerned about the utter incompetence of the FBI that the IG report exposed. The dems don't seem to be bothered by this at all. Go figure.

Patrick Ryan , 1 hour ago

The Establishment has played this game many times before .. remember PM Harold Wilson was put up as a Russian Agent .. sure they won that game but NOT this time .. they fear President Trump because the have nothing over him .

Richard Ralph Roehl , 5 hours ago

NOTHING will happen. There will be no indictments of any major deep-$tate players.

tamimerkaz , 2 hours ago

The Democ-rats and the media (I repeat myself) are shamelessly LYING through their teeth to the American People. There was NO Russian collision—it's a HOAX made by LOSERS who can't accept their loss in 2016 so they were up to smear the winner, President Trump, by all means, possible including Illegal surveillance, fraud and manipulation—ABUSE of government power for political prosecution.

Cherrie Dee , 5 hours ago

Steele dossier......fake evidence bought and payed for by the democrats and presented to the FISA court by James Comey...........FELONY FELONY FELONY!......this one can’t be talked away!

Scott Thompson , 4 hours ago

Tucker, thank you for being a constant drumbeat for the criminal activity undertaken by the FBI and CIA to ultimately unseat a duly elected President. No rest until they are held accountable.

Aisha Mohammed , 52 minutes ago

How could the FBI be innocent? We saw the emails. We saw them cover up for Bill Gates, Clinton, Epstein, Brunel, and all the others. We saw how they protected these abusers of children. We saw how they worked to overthrow a sitting president. We saw how they protected the Awan’s and Huma.

BC Stud , 4 hours ago

THE FIX WAS IN - People are saying that Nellie Orr the Russian Expert is best friends with the IG's Horowitz wife - So nice - Bruce your husband is a lap dog and works for the FBI . People should be outraged as the cover up continues . Just like OJ - they have 10 times the evidence that would convict anyone else - have them charged , arrested , tried and jailed . Different rules for corrupt politicians and their friends in law enforcement .

2 Cent , 5 hours ago

Michael Cohen In prison, Papadopulos went to prison, Flynn is going to prison, Roger Stone is going to prison, Manafort is in prison and Devin Nunes and Rudy Giuliani are under investigation.....Lock them up, lock them up!!!!

Jessica Greene , 4 hours ago

CIA tells FBI who in turn uses their corrupt media to spread the lies as truth. The less intelligent among us believe them as gospel and thus we get "Russian Collusion, or Quid Pro Quo, or Iraq has weapons of mass destruction " and on and on.....

Susan Byers , 2 hours ago

Carter Page is scarcely a victim, he was a CIA informant. He was a plant. He was an excuse to do surveillance EVERYONE.

Jennifer Griffin , 2 hours ago

Ukraine and Barisma may be corrupt, but after reading the summary of this report, this country better not be calling any country corrupt. The USA is following Rome. Soon it will die.

kenh2o , 4 hours ago

FBI is totally corrupted by it's unchecked power, these deep states have the guts to repeatedly use FALSE Information again & again to spy on the opposition political party presidential candidate campaign. The Fake News medias continue to cover for them, it is sickening!

Rick Atkins , 5 hours ago

The FBI based on the IG report are either criminally liable for deceiving FISA courts, or the most inept, bumbling criminal investigation agency ever. Looks like both to me. Any FBI agent or employee who knew the FBI was breaking the law, and remained silent needs to be fired immediately and prosecuted along with the principals, for aiding and abetting criminal activity. This sounds like RICO violations.

Daryl Leckt , 34 minutes ago (edited)

if Carter Page didn't run the 2016 "Trump Election Campaign Committee of Moscow" from the ROSNEFT bureau offices inside the Kremlin, where did Carter Page run the "Trump Election Campaign Committee of Moscow" ?

BrianC6234 , 2 hours ago

Horowitz needs to stop being a wuss and tell the whole truth. His report is a big lie. The whole thing was a political attack. It started with John McCain and he handed it off to Obama and Crooked Hillary. There was no reason at all to investigate Trump. Is the IG part of the deep state? Democrats are acting like this report is good news for them.

Pal VB , 1 hour ago (edited)

Steele was not the author of the fake dossier, DNC FusionGPS Glen Simpson was, and Steele used as cover. Coming in the Durham findings. 17 FBI "mistakes" in a row all against Trump? No bias? B S.

Me King , 4 hours ago

How Trump has "conned" the American tax payer: This is just a few of his fraud actions!He set up a foundation to benefit the military, then him and his family pocketed our money.He started a Fake University, then stole the money from the American people.He cheated on his wives, then paid them to keep quiet so it wouldn't damage his chances in the election.He stiffed 100's of worker's he hired and then made up an excuse y they didn't get paid

Maclain Hunter , 2 hours ago

If Donald Trump was a Russian spy it would’ve been the deepest cover of any secret agent ever....he came here after his lgb training as a young man and became a celebrity for 30 years before finally putting his dastardly plan to go from pageant owner to president into action! If that were anywhere close to true the Russians did so much work I think they earned the 4-8 years in the White House! I know that at this point I’d rather have Vladimir Putin as President than any of the top democrats!

The World Through My Mind , 1 hour ago

Folks..All this soap opera is just a smoke screen to hide what is really important and is happening right now at this very minute. The Federal Reserve Banking cartel is pumping 100s of billions of dollars into insolvent banks again like they did in 2008. This time it is more and we taxpayers will again foot the bill. The banks are getting this money called REPO loans. Watch your cash everyone as the Federal Reserve has only 1 product and that is printing money( debt) that they will use to steal your assets and future.

lenchienlon , 3 hours ago

There are many opinions about the Horowitz report. As with a prior report Horowitz lays out damning evidence and then draws exactly the wrong conclusion. Why does he have to draw ANY CONCLUSIONS? His job is to present the facts and the evidence and to let "We the People' draw conclusions. Reminds me of Comey declaring that Hillary's actions were irresponsible but not criminal. Why? She didn't act with intent. She was just incompetent! Tucker is absolutely right! What does it matter what their motive was? Like Clinton, they behaved in a criminal fashion.

[Dec 10, 2019] The level of Neo-McCarthyism and the number of lunitics this NYT forums is just astonishing: When it comes to Donald Trump and Russia, everything is connected.

Highly recommended!
The tread is reproduced as is. And out 100 posts available in NYT "all view mode 90% can be classified as plain vanilla Neo-McCarthyism
If they are representative sample of the country, the country is crazy.
This editorial can also be classified as lunatic. But in reality it is much worse: the paper became completely subservant to intelligence agencies. Should probably be renamed the Voice of the CIA. .
Dec 10, 2019 | www.nytimes.com
Opinion With Trump, All Roads Lead to Moscow

Monday's congressional hearing and the inspector general's report tell a similar story.

By Jesse Wegman Mr. Wegman is a member of the editorial board.

When it comes to Donald Trump and Russia, everything is connected.

That's the most important lesson from the two big events that played out Monday on Capitol Hill -- the House Judiciary Committee's hearings on President Trump's impeachment and the release of the report on the origins of the F.B.I.'s investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

One of these involved the 2016 election. The other involves the 2020 election. Both tell versions of the same story: Mr. Trump depends on, and welcomes, Russian interference to help him win the presidency. That was bad enough when he did it in 2016, openly calling for Russia to hack into his opponent's emails -- which Russians tried to do that same day . But he was only a candidate then. Now that Mr. Trump is president, he is wielding the immense powers of his office to achieve the same end.

That is precisely the type of abuse of power that the founders were most concerned about when they created the impeachment power, and it's why Democratic leaders in the House are pressing ahead with such urgency on their inquiry. They are trying to ensure that the 2020 election, now less than a year away, is not corrupted by the president of the United States, acting in league with a foreign power. "The integrity of our next election is at stake," said Representative Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee. "Nothing could be more urgent."

On Monday morning, lawyers for the Democrats on the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees presented the clearest and most comprehensive narrative yet of President Trump's monthslong shakedown of the new Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, for Mr. Trump's personal political benefit. They explained in methodical detail how the president withheld a White House meeting and hundreds of millions of dollars in crucial, congressionally authorized military aid to Ukraine, all in an effort to get Mr. Zelensky to announce two investigations -- one into Mr. Trump's political rival, Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter, and another into Ukraine's supposed interference in the 2016 election.

David Leonhardt helps you make sense of the news -- and offers reading suggestions from around the web -- with commentary every weekday morning.

Who would benefit from these announcements? Mr. Trump, who believes his re-election prospects are threatened most by Mr. Biden, and Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, who has been working for years to make Ukraine the fall guy for his own interference in the 2016 election. Mr. Putin has not fooled serious people, like those in the American intelligence community who determined that his government alone was responsible for meddling on Mr. Trump's behalf . But he has fooled Republicans in Congress, who have degraded themselves and their offices by faithfully parroting Mr. Putin's propaganda in the mainstream press.

... ... ...


sdavidc9 Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut 12m ago

Republicans are in lawyer mode, advocating for Trump as if he were their client. Lawyers make the best case they can for their clients. It helps if they believe in the case, but it also helps to know the case's weaknesses so they can avoid them. The best lawyers can do both at the same time. Republicans are called on by the Constitution to exit lawyer mode and enter juror mode (which is, or should be, similar to why-did-this-aircraft-crash mode). So far, they are not heeding this call. From all appearances, they are mouthing the words of the Constitution while avoiding or refusing to hear or understand them. They took an oath to support the Constitution, but they are deaf to its call, or have moved to a place beyond understanding it.
Mark Larsen Cambria, CA 26m ago
The issue of whether to impeach was made by the President when he engaged in an abuse of his office for personal gain and then obstructed Congress' oversight function. We all understand the political downside arising from an acquittal in the Senate but that interest needs to be secondary to doing the right thing. On these facts, the decision representatives must make of whether to impeach really is no decision at all. Just do the right thing.
Twg NV 26m ago
When Senator John McCain died, he scripted his own funeral as a full bore defense against Trumpian Nationalism, and as an admonishment against a GOP too willing to sell the soul of our nation out to a cultist repudiation of objective fact, truth, and Constitutional order. McCain was a controversial maverick –a person I both admired and disliked in equal proportion. But there is one thing I will always admire him for: his final letter to the nation. It was a warning! He blew a golden bugle to sound the alarm against those entities both within and without our nation who wish to do our democratic republic harm. McCain, whether you agreed with the premise of the Vietnam war or not, was an American hero who served his country and his fellow soldiers with incontrovertible valor and love. President Donald Trump has no concept of what that dedication and sacrifice entails – and sadly, neither do many of the GOP members who continue to lie and make excuses for a president who is clearly abusing his office for personal gain. McCain characterized Trump's actions in Helsinki as an unfathomable 'abasement of the U.S. presidency.' All I can say is the GOP sure ain't the party of my father who fought in WWII against fascism and autocracy. It aggrieves me to no end to witness what too many members of Congress have become: tyrants toward the very meaning of American democracy. God save us from our own duplicity.
Jagmont Rousel Fresburg, Ca. 12m ago
@Twg Well said, and though I sometimes did not agree with McCain on matters of policy, I wish he were still with us, hopefully to show his fellow republicans what integrity looks like, and what America is supposed to be about. The Republican party I have known and respected is alas, like Senator McCain, no longer with us.
Consiglieri NYC 34m ago
Americans have to realize that the whole world is mocking us, and that doesn't necesarily inspire respect. That cold be dangerous. Many medical professionals have noticed a decay in the mental abilities of the president, and certain abnormalities. It would be wise to suggest to the family that maybe the best way forward, with minimal losses would be to motivate a retirement. That would be face saving for them, and save the country from a bitter impeachment spectacle that would not be positive for the USA.
Jennifer Francois Holland, Michigan 1h ago
I'm waiting for Trump's financial info to be released. There's something in there he doesn't even want his base to know . I think the logical conclusion is that whatever financials DJT has hidden do indeed lead to Moscow. Actually, all of this is very, very alarming. Does Putin have a political asset planted here? Y or N I wish the answer was no and that we had a different President. Can we as a nation hold things together when our leader wants to tear us apart?
AL NY 1h ago
All roads lead to the highest bidder(s). 21st century America in the era of Citizens United. Market pricing and the government is open for transactional business domestic and international. Alternate realities per GRU/FOX/GOP misinformation. Combine foreign money carefully grooming an in-need Trump, and a party worshipping money and you have a perfect storm removing any sense of civic duty. Hundreds of years to build and unwound in a few decades, the breathtaking and tragic fall of greatness and hope in our lifetime. It's not fiction, and every day I have to check if it's really happening, and shockingly it is.
DO5 Minneapolis 1h ago
There was no Russian meddling, only Ukraine who meddled in 2016 and they are still at it. Listening to the Judiciary Committee hearings, it seems that the Russians have hacked into the Republican Party servers and are sending talking points to Republicans who are defending the indefensible president.
We'll always have Paris Sydney, Australia 1h ago
At some point, Republicans have to ask themselves which is better for their party and the country. Slavish devotion to Trump, or losing an election and leaving Democrats a mess to clean up, as in 1932 and 2008?
Mike S. Eugene, OR 2h ago
Block witnesses from testifying, then say that the hearing is incomplete. Romney told America at the Republican Convention in 2012 that Russia was our biggest enemy, DJT wanted them to help Republicans win in 2016, said he believed Putin in 2018, and wants to convince us that it was really the Ukraine in 2019. The House has to impeach, even if politically it may be a bad move, because it is the right thing to do; indeed, the very actions I've seen in the past several weeks has given me glimmers of hope for the country.
Federalist California 2h ago
Trump will be reelected for the reason that the Russian intelligence agencies are still able to hack our election results, because Trump has blocked fixing the weaknesses. That is what happens when a Manchurian candidate is elected and then allowed to obstruct justice. It is not clear the US will survive Trump. One key thing he did was arrange to have the teams at DHS that watch for smuggled nuclear bombs were stood down and disbanded. See the report in the LA Times last July "Trump administration has gutted programs aimed at detecting weapons of mass destruction".
David Rochester 2h ago
I don't suppose a constructed transcript of Trump's meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov tomorrow will be offered up as a token of our leader's transparency.
Markymark San Francisco 2h ago
It's clear now that AG William Barr isn't interested in enforcing the rule of law with fellow republicans, and especially the president. How can there be no recourse when an attorney general completely sells out to a criminal president? Can the employees of the Justice Dept hold a vote of no confidence in the AG? Can 10,000 attorneys nationwide express the same? The prospect of Trump and Barr running roughshod over the rule of law for another year is truly frightening.
Aluetian Contemplation 2h ago
65,845,063 voters knew clearly who this man was from the beginning and voted for what would have been a better now and future. It was never any secret. 62,980,160 voters also knew clearly who this man was and voted for him anyway. If the Democrats can ensure that we have a fair election in 2020. I'm confident they will win the majority in the house and senate and retake the White House and the end game for Trump will be jail. The problem is, he might not be the only one who's crimes come to light and I suspect a good lot of the GOP are threatening and blackmailing each other to hold the line. If there's any good men or women left in the GOP, your country and history are calling you.
Edwin a physician, scientist and realist 2h ago
It has easy to predict Trump's next move for the last 3 years. Just ask, "What would both benefit Trump, and benefit Putin?" Trump supporters = Putin supporters.
Kevin CO 2h ago
Do you know the American people are fed up with the discourse of all politicians. The republicans are fed up with any decency for the republic. The democrats are fed up with the republicans not facing the common sense of a exec not capable of being the President of the United states. I as a person am fed up with a political system that is not working for all people, just a select few. It's time too have term limits for all positions in gov't. That means all people that serve the people whether it be judges, senators or congressmen/women. It's time to find common sense again in our society as a whole society. We on this earth are all HUMAN.
Eben Spinoza 2h ago
Unfortunately their are serious problems with term limits. Just consider yourself in the role of a Congressional Representative limited to 4 terms. You know that in 8 years, you'll be be back on the job market. You can selflessly work for the public and damage your ability to get a job or tend to people who can hire you after you leave office. You're rational. Which future would you pick?
REBCO FORT LAUDERDALE FL 2h ago
Trump needs to keep Putin happy lest he unleash with all the damaging info he has collected on Trump and his financial crooked deals with Russians over decades. THe Russian mob reports to Putin as a former KGB agent he knows how to collect compromat on a politician and how to use it to get Trump to break into a giddy smile when he sees Putin his master it's obvious to most keen observers.
M. Barsoum Philadelphia 2h ago
Folks it is simple. Can we hear what Trump and Putin said to each other a few months ago. It is recored and on a server it should not be on. I am not sure why nobody is talking about these transcripts.
Nelly Half Moon Bay 2h ago
Finally! We get someone stating the obvious fact of Trump/Putin. Why are the Dems not talking about this all the time? Why are Congressmen and women not asking the witnesses about this? This is the ONE thing the Republicans are afraid of, so it is the one thing Democrats should do. I have been disappointed that the Russian asset thing hasn't been brought up....It's as if it is purposely bold. Trump is a Russian asset, either witting or unwitting. I doubt if there is one upper Intelligence Official that wouldn't say this. So find the right one and have them sit as a witness for this inquiry. And now the Russian big wig Diplomat and KGb spy, Lavarov, is visiting tomorrow. Good grief! Everyone is thinking this, so get out and say it Dems! Dr. Fiona Hill tried to lead into this direction but still the Dem Committee would take it up and aske her what she thought. Say it: All of Trump's Roads Lead to Russia.
Ro Laren Santa Monica 2h ago
Any American adult who has made an effort to educate himself or herself about Mr. Mueller's investigation or these impeachment proceedings understands that yes, with Trump all roads lead to Russia. Now if the poll numbers mean anything, Trump's crimes and Russia's involvement only matter to about 60% of us. As Trump's poll numbers remain steady, some 40% of Americans don't care what lawbreaking he is involved with or whether other nations now control our elections. Stop and think about this for a minute. Trump supporters know but literally do not care that Russia is tampering with our elections (2016 and 2020). Their cult-like support for Trump is why the Republican Senate will not remove him. There is no other reason Trump will remain in office. Trump has mesmerized his supporters like a modern day Rasputin. They will do literally anything for him, and Senate Republicans know this. Trump voters do not mind that Putin controls our nation at the highest levels of decision making. Again - think about this - they know he does, and they do not care. So I ask the rest of us. Is this the America we want to live in? To raise our families in? Where a large, rabid minority is in thrall to a lunatic puppet whose strings are firmly in Putin's hands? Because this is very much the America we live in now. The time will come, though, when we, the majority, will no longer tolerate the Trump/Putin regime. But the longer we wait, the harder it will be oust these tyrants.
Tracy Washington DC 2h ago
In 2008, Donald Trump Jr. said Russia was an important source of funding for the Trump businesses. American banks wouldn't lend him money. Saudi Arabia likely bailed out Jared's disastrous real estate investment in NYC. Follow. The. Money.
Huge Grizzly Seattle 2h ago
You say that Mr. Putin "has fooled Republicans in Congress, who have degraded themselves and their offices by faithfully parroting Mr. Putin's propaganda in the mainstream press." You are correct on all counts, except that the Republicans have not been fooled by Putin. They have gone along, headlong and absolutely willingly, in a complete sellout of personal and national principle and integrity. They should not be forgiven for this conduct, any more than Mr. Trump should be forgiven for his sellout of America.
Look Ahead WA 2h ago
For Republicans who believe so fervently in their counterfactual narrative, there is an immediate remedy. Bring facts and evidence to the Committees and testify under oath. Without witnesses and evidence presented under oath, all of the GOP antics simply look foolish and very much like they are defending the guilty. It is unfortunate that there is no penalty for elected officials who share unfounded conspiracy theories, engage in innuendo and obstruct process in official Committee hearings. It is also regretable that this President is not held accountable for trying to intimidate witnesses in real time during testimony. And it is a sad reality that one of the most corrupt rulers in the world, who rules a hostile power, has managed to entirely win over one of our major parties.
Gerard PA 2h ago
The strangest defense advanced today was the idea that the alleged state of the economy was reason not to impeach the President: the Republicans assert that America, the Constitution, the principle of our government are for sale to be bought by the rising stock market and a plethora of low-wage jobs. We are Faust, and the smell of sulphur is nauseating.
richard wiesner oregon 2h ago
If the IG's report on the 2016 Russia investigation had found the only problem was that two of the agents involved had horrible hangnails, Barr and Trump would have condemned it.
Asian Philosopher Germany 2h ago
Whatever Trump is doing, he always care about his main benefactors, Putin and MBS. This is the first time I have witnessed in history that an American president became a Russian puppet with all his Republican followers at the Congress and Senate. American constitutional crisis happening right in front of the world. I heard the cries of James Madison, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin from their graves.
trudds sierra madre, CA 2h ago Times Pick
Sir, do you honestly think that House Republicans have been "fooled" by Mr. Putin? On the contrary, it's pretty obvious they understand and believe the conclusions from our Intel community. These are instead willful lies for political gain. And while some Americans may actually be misled by the theater presented as rebuttal to the impeachment, it's hard to imagine for most it's once again, not conviction but convenience that places such "patriots" solidly in Russia's back pocket.
Michele Seattle 2h ago Times Pick
The pattern of behavior is clear and compelling: Trump is selling out this country, its national security, its integrity and sovereignty, in order to keep power and avoid his own prosecution, and protect his financial interests. We must get the truth about his relationships and indebtedness to Putin, the Saudis, and Erdogan. Our country has been hijacked and Trump will continue to corrupt the US and turn it into an autocracy if he is not stopped and held accountable under the law.
Linus Internet 2h ago
The country voted for this President knowing he is a flawed man in many ways. I don't think anything changes here - the Senate will speedily acquit him and the voters in the swing states will have to decide if they want to give Mr. Trump a second chance while the rest of the country impotently watches.
David CT 2h ago
If one looks at all of his actions as "How could this benefit Russia?" most of it makes sense. Why start a trade war with China and Western allies? Why withdraw from Syria? Why try to polarize the American public? Effectively showing this to the public is critical.
Mark New York 2h ago
Excellent piece. We all know Trump, Inc. turned to Russian oligarchs after '08 for condo sales. It just so happened that those same oligarchs (read as kleptocrats) were laundering money through Deutsche Bank, who was the only bank willing to lend to Trump. Trump's loan officer amazingly was SC Justice Anthony Kennedy's son. Trump was and is a desperate man in need of cash/ Putin is a desperate man who knows that the geyser of oil money that funds his national budget, and has done so since the 1920's, is coming to an end. Russia has no large material economic exports other than oil and gas, but it does still have a large military, hence the military incursions into Moldova, Ossetia, Georgia, Ukraine and Syria. Desperate men do desperate things, and desperately try to project power with weak hands.
turbot philadelphia 2h ago
The Republicans in Congress were not fooled by the Russians. They believe in Trump no matter what the Russians do. The bottom line is - What does Putin have on Trump
stan continople brooklyn 2h ago
I don't understand why there hasn't been more of a pushback by the military. They went heavily for Trump in 20116, with many bases in the South and many recruits from economically devastated areas, but in the interim, they have seen his reckless, lurching foreign policy, worship of Putin, and clear evidence that somehow everything he does benefits Russia. A commander's first obligation is to their troops, so knowing the man in charge considers their lives subject to both Trump's whims, and Putin's whispers should provoke some reaction. No?
Steven Auckland 3h ago
Unfortunately - to put it mildly - impeachment will have no effect on the conduct of the 2020 election. The wheels are already turning, everyone knows their part, and only a massive commitment by an honest intelligence apparatus (if there is one) can stop it. One can only hope that, in 2020, the American people make a statement so overwhelming that there can be no doubt as to their intent, despite whatever meddling there may have been. It is entirely possible that there will never be a truly credible election again as long as there are bad actors who are power hungry or bent on destabilizing democratic governments. And make no mistake, these threats are coming from right wing autocracies, and they are in the ascendancy all over the world. American centrists and liberals are the only force that can change that. Are those stakes big enough for you?
Michael Kittle Vaison la Romaine, France 3h ago
We may finally have the answer as to why Trump is so accommodating to Putin. Trump has so many investments in Russia dependent on Putin's support. Trump financial reports will reveal this collusion between Trump and Putin. This should not come as a surprise to attentive Americans. Think of the worst an American president can do and that will bring you close to understanding Trump.
Ray Haining Hot Springs, AR 3h ago
Nobody's saying how Trump withholding military aid to Ukraine would benefit Putin and Russia in their WAR against Ukraine. It was, indeed, MILITARY aid he was withholding, was it not? I understand that this is not the impeachable offense of attempting to enlist a foreign government to win an election, but I believe this aspect of the situation should be brought out.
Socrates Downtown Verona. NJ 3h ago
The Republican Party has been officially reduced to a giant miasma of fraud, fiction, fantasy, conspiracy theory, deflection, misdirection and prevarication. After tax cuts for rich people and rich corporations...the GOP has no other public policy ideas (except for bankrupting the government). A civilized country needs little things like infrastructure, education, technology, voting rights, law and order, regulations, fair taxation and facts to move forward. But none of those things are ever mentioned by the Republican Party; conspiracy-mongering and tax cuts are now the official governing planks of the Grand Old Propaganda/Grand One Percent party. This is no way to manage a nation anywhere except into the ground. Americans need to hit the Trump-GOP eject button before these Lord of the Fly Republicans take us over a very steep right-wing cliff of insanity.
Bob Hudson Valley 3h ago
The Republican Party is now Trump's party and the Republicans know it and are acting accordingly. You could call them opportunists following the way the political winds are blowing. The Constitution is based on members of Congress caring about the Constitution and searching for the truth. Since this is now not the case when if comes to the Republicans the Constitution has no remedy for this situation. The only remedy is an election and if Trump can manipulate elections to his advantage using foreign powers then there is no remedy and the system of government set up by the founders will be no more. The new system replacing it will be controlled by Trump. Putin figured out how to control Russian elections so he always wins and it is likely that Trump has a goal of imitating Putin. Ultimately this would mean taking over the press as Putin did. Trump cannot declare total victory as long as the there is a free press which he has labeled the enemy of the people.
DAWGPOUND HAR NYC 3h ago
From an acute perspective ..indeed shocking to say the least of the nature of this peculiar relationship. But looking at the big picture as evidence by all that has occurred in his or during this eye opening period for all the world to see....not so much so...For me, this dynamic is much expected.
James Ricciardi Panama, Panama 3h ago
"The witness has used language which impugns the motives of the president and suggests he's disloyal to his country, and those words should be stricken from the record and taken down," Mr. Johnson said. The Johnson rule effectively reads the impeachment power out of the constitution. How can you impeach a president if no one can say anything bad about him/her?
Bruce Rozenblit Kansas City, MO 3h ago
We have yet to plow the most fertile road yet. What does Trump care about over all else? Trump. How does Trump gauge his progress? His money. Where does his money come from? Good question. We all know he has filed for bankruptcy 6 times. We all know that because of those bankruptcies, American banks will not loan him any money. We all know he has significant financial dealings with Deutsche Bank. Now, who put the money in Deutsche Bank that ended up financing Trump's business.? That is the two billion dollar question. We also know that Russian oligarchs deal in billions of dollars. We also know that Trump has close relations with Russian business interests. We also know that Trump kowtows to Putin like Pence kowtows to him. We also know that Trump is doing everything possible to conceal his financial dealings from everyone and everything. So, we know that one billion plus one billion equals two billion. But does it also equal Trump? This money road is one we should take a ride on. Will it also take us to Putin?
Mark New York 2h ago
@Bruce Rozenblit No, but it will take us to those who are surrogates for him. Those whose wealth only continues because of Vova's "good will."
Gluscabi Dartmouth, MA 3h ago
The first Democratic candidate who labels Trump a "Russian agent" will own the simplest and most effective tag line going into the general election, provided of course that that candidate does his best to channel his inner Trump by never backing down but instead doubling down every chance he or she gets. Is Trump a Russian agent, paid for and accounted for? Not easy to say without some doubt, but that doesn't really matter because he sure as shoottin' acts like one. And when have the facts ever stopped Trump from going on the attack? The more Trump denies the label, the more he'll be digging his own grave. The real crime here is not so much the strong arming of Zelenskyy for a Biden investigation. That's small potatoes compared to Trump's withholding congressionally designated US military aid from a country engaged in a hot war with Russia, the same cast of characters who starved anywhere from one to eleven million Ukrainians during the 1930's. The Russian agent must go.
Alan Columbus OH 3h ago
I would not say Trump's lying "is effective", I would say it "has been effective". At some point, the public and his party may have had it with the thuggery and we do not know when that breaking point is.
abigail49 georgia 3h ago
For the sake of protecting our 2020 elections from Russian hackers and disinformation, the House is justified in moving forward fast, over the process howls of Republicans, with the compelling evidence they have surrounding Ukraine. But they need to continue investigating his business and financial ties to Russia and any other autocratic governments and their oligarchs, e.g. Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Especially if he is not convicted and removed by the Senate and stands for re-election, Americans need to know what conflicts of interest he has in making foreign policy and military decisions because American soldiers' lives are at stake. The Mueller investigation did not go down that road. Any businessman with global interests is automatically compromised, even more than a vice president whose son sits on a foreign corporation's board of director. Trump's own children continue to do business in foreign countries and we have no idea what Ivanka and Jared, sitting in the White House with top security clearances, are doing. In short, Ukraine should not be the only concern of congressional oversight committees. There's a lot more.
Peter Portland OR 3h ago
Trump must believe that Russian help in 2016 did help him to win. He must feel that fake evidence presented by an "independent" investigator such as a foreign government appears to carry more weight that the same fake evidence from a partisan investigator. Otherwise why would he be taking such chances to duplicate via Ukraine what he got from the Russians in 2016. But now that the Russian connection is outed, he can't go back to that well.
NA Wilson Massachusetts 3h ago
I worry it's all for naught. Dems in the House vote to impeach, GOP in the Senate vote to acquit. Trump remains highly competitive in 2020 election, Russia and other adversaries interfere, Trump stays put. Then what?
Rafael SC 3h ago
@NA Wilson Think of this situation differently. To have all possible scope to defeat him, we must support everything we can to undermine him. Lack of impeachment would have been business as usual. At some point his finances will get out and then all bets are off.
Tracy Washington DC 2h ago
@NA Wilson: It's all Hands on deck to save the country. Don't just vote, donate what money you can, work for candidates, knock doors, make calls. It's the only way out of this nightmare.
N. Smith New York City 3h ago
The Impeachment hearings weren't really necessary to prove what most everyone who's been paying attention knows. With Trump, all roads lead to Moscow. In fact, he's already acting very Putin-esque in his own way by forbidding anyone in the White House to respond to subpoena, by installing the fear of God in those who do, by punishing anyone who dares to think or act on their own, and then there's the act of holding a foreign country ransom until they agree to do his bidding -- not to mention inviting outside interference in our presidential elections. All the signs are not only there but they are ominous. By holding himself above the U.S. Constitution, Trump has declared war on this country and all the laws that govern it. And while entertainment-starved Americans laugh and cheer at his rallies, he and the Republicans drain our right to vote, and with it our Democracy. Today wasn't an epiphany. It was a warning.
bl rochester 3h ago
There seems to be no discussion of the financial backing trump received after '08-09 from sources inside Russia and how these actors would have expressed their support (or conditions for their silence) to the trump campaign during '15-16. Did the FBI not identify and investigate the funders behind trump and their interactions with the campaign during 2016? Would this not have been reasonable for an investigation to look into when its entire raison d'etre was to detect sources of Russian influence?
Jim TX 3h ago
I wonder if Mr. Wegman believes that this editorial will change anyone's mind or influence how anyone votes in the upcoming presidential election. Basically, this is classic preaching to the choir and sadly mostly a wasted effort. I would like to read articles with proven ideas that worked to change the minds of Republicans and other like them. Such articles might give me some better ideas to convince my pro-Trump friends and neighbors to Vote for America next November.
Kingfish52 Rocky Mountains 3h ago
"When it comes to Donald Trump and Russia, everything is connected." This! This is the central fact of all the things Trump has done (so far), and yet, the Democrats have failed to make this the central focus of the case against him. Instead, they've focused on one incident, and not even the most egregious one, to justify impeachment and removal from office. This was a terrible miscalculation. No, there is no doubt that Trump attempted to coerce Ukraine into helping with his re-election by announcing a bogus investigation of the Bidens. Nor any doubt that this constituted "high crimes and misdemeanors". But this was not the highest of crimes he's committed, nor have the Dems been able to convince any Republicans, or many independents, that this deserves Trump's removal. Moreover, they failed to produce the "smoking gun" of one witness or document in Trump's own words directing the quid pro quo. They gave plenty of room for the Republican attack machine to cast enough doubt and confusion that all but ensures Trump's acquittal in the Senate. Instead of focusing only on this one incident, the Democrats should have built their case around the theme that "with Trump, all roads lead to Russia". That is a crime that even the most skeptical doubter can grasp, and when linked together, all of his crimes can be shown to be of a pattern of serving Putin, and not the people of the United States. All roads lead to Putin, but the Democrats chose to follow a dead end.
DW Philly 2h ago
@Kingfish52 I completely agree with you and truly don't understand why the Democrats have not been shouting this from the rooftops. For mercy's sake! The problem is not just that the president solicited help from a foreign power for his own personal gain! That's bad enough, but isn't the point that he did this because he is beholden to Russia? Russia. is. not. our. friend. Why aren't the Democrats explaining this clearly to the American people? Trump is Putin's puppet and it could not be more obvious! Don't people understand that it doesn't just happen to be Ukraine that Trump took a notion to squeeze for his "personal gain"? He doesn't just want to win because it is so nice to win elections. He has to do what Putin tells him. Obviously, every last Republican in Congress understands this clearly. Why can't the Democrats explain it to the American people clearly?
Mike Republic Of Texas 4h ago
Obama did not provide lethal aid to Ukraine, after the Russians invaded Crimea. Obama did not Russia prevent the Iranian nuclear deal. Trump cancelled the Iranian nuclear deal, then provided lethal aid to Ukraine. Now I get it. Trump is working for Putin.
Mick Montclair 3h ago
By March 2015, the US had committed more than $120 million in security assistance for Ukraine and had pledged an additional $75 million worth of equipment including UAVs, counter-mortar radars, night vision devices and medical supplies, according to the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency. That assistance also included some 230 armored Humvee vehicles. Trump appears to be echoing a critique leveled at the Obama administration by the late Republican Sen. John McCain. "The Ukrainians are being slaughtered and we're sending blankets and meals," McCain said in 2015. "Blankets don't do well against Russian tanks." While it never provided lethal aid, many of the items that the Obama administration did provide were seen as critical to Ukraine's military. Part of the $250 million assistance package that the Trump administration announced (then froze and later unfroze) included many of the same items that were provided under Obama, including medical equipment, night vision gear and counter-artillery radar. The Trump administration did approve the provision of arms to Ukraine, including sniper rifles, rocket launchers and Javelin anti-tank missiles, something long sought by Kiev.
Ivan Memphis, TN 2h ago
@Mike Trump was not the one providing lethal aid to Ukraine. It was the house and senate that proposed and forced this aid into an appropriation bill - against the wishes of the Trump administration. After Trump realized he could not block this funding he did the second best thing - he used it to blackmail the Ukraine government to provide him with dirt on Biden and support for Putin's favorite narrative (that it was Ukraine not Russia that interfered in the 2016 election).
Mark New York 2h ago
@Mike It also took two acts of Congress to get the aid to Ukraine. Trump had nothing to do with it. Only the Impound Inclusion Act for foreign aid allows the President to time the release of the funds, which Trump did not follow. The Act was created because Nixon, like Trump, was playing fast and loose with our tax dollars. Who was the last President who asked for help from a foreign intelligence agency? Which President favored foregn intelligence agencies over his own? Answer no one other than Trump. If that doesn't show he's in someone's pocket, nothing does.

[Dec 10, 2019] Gutfeld: Impeachment is one big, fat prank being played on you and me - YouTube

The idea that Trump wanted to derail Biden is very weak. Biden is optimal opponent for Trump. He can just wipe floor with him because of his long recoprd in Congress and dirty deals he was involved, including Burisma.
Notable quotes:
"... It's funny because 3 out of 4 of those people screaming "Framers" had frames on.. so is it the framed trying to frame the framers or is it the presidents framers framing the framed..wait a minute!.. uhhmm ..."
"... Professor Karlan I believe has tanked her career ..."
Dec 10, 2019 | www.youtube.com

The Democrats have orchestrated a phony show trial using your tax dollars and my cable channel.


Harry Ross , 23 hours ago

"Pelosi is like an incoming asteroid." No, that would be her dentures flying across the room when the tequila melts her Polident.

Shaz Dave , 18 hours ago

The take on Schiff is brilliant. He really looks like him

Laura Huston , 13 hours ago

"I see guilty people" Spit out my drink when I heard that the first time.

jim ramsey , 1 day ago

Armageddon on the hill. The four horseman from academia just diminished their institutions reputation. Intellectual equity should not engage in bias.

da don , 21 hours ago

It's funny because 3 out of 4 of those people screaming "Framers" had frames on.. so is it the framed trying to frame the framers or is it the presidents framers framing the framed..wait a minute!.. uhhmm

soylentdean , 1 day ago

The NATO leaders reminded me of feminists who want to be treated as equals, then get mad when you ask then to pick up their share of the dinner check.

little girl lost , 1 day ago

Professor Karlan I believe has tanked her career

Maina Fridman , 18 hours ago

Pamela Karlan looks as what she is- an educated fool!

[Dec 10, 2019] The brats are spoilt beyond belief and 100% believe they're entitled to having Full Spectrum Dominance because of their exceptionalist ideology

Dec 10, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Dec 8 2019 22:32 utc | 45

To the Bar--

What I see is copious amounts of wailing from the usual sources about the demise of what was supposed to be an era of Unipolar dominance by the Evil Outlaw US Empire and blame being thrown in all directions hoping some sticks instead of directing it at themselves for they are he true authors of the Empire's decline--they being the Current Oligarchy and their Congressional, Administrative, and BigLie Media accomplices. The Empire's current "defense" doctrine calls for war to be waged against the nation(s) impeding the Empire's unilateralism. The brats are spoilt beyond belief and 100% believe they're entitled to having Full Spectrum Dominance because of their exceptionalist ideology--they've destroyed their own basic law to attain that goal; the impeachment derangement is just the most overt symptom being shown at the moment. Just look at the unanimity on the two recent anti-China votes--Congress is in almost 100% lockstep with Marco Rubio's insanity.

IMO, there were saner heads in 1962 than now, particularly in Congress. What's worse than an Evil Outlaw US Empire is it's becoming deranged.

[Dec 09, 2019] If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.

Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

TJ , Dec 8 2019 21:03 utc | 38

@29 john brewster

A long time ago I watched "Manufacturing Consent" and have since assumed that what passes for mainstream "news" is nothing more than propaganda, and that Mark Twain was entirely correct in his observation that if you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed. Though it is sad when I see the likes of the once great Nature engage in such, all things must pass and I am sure they will too, most of what I read these days comes straight off arxiv.org so they have already been disintermediated in my life.

@32 c1ue

That will be £1,000,000 for linking to my post, please pay within 24 hours or legal action will be taken!

Do you see the point now?

[Dec 09, 2019] For fools rush in where angels fear to tread

Dec 09, 2019 | jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com

For fools rush in where angels fear to tread
Distrustful sense with modest caution speaks,
It still looks home, and short excursions makes;

But rattling nonsense in full volleys breaks,
And, never shocked, and never turned aside.
Bursts out, resistless, with a thundering tide."

Alexander Pope, Essay on Criticism

[Dec 09, 2019] The Untold Facts of John Brennan s Career of Treachery by Richard Galustian

Notable quotes:
"... Hillary Clinton, Her husband Bill and Barak Obama are all deep cover CIA agents in addition to their other positions, as documented in the book "CIA: Crime Incorporated of America". ..."
"... The arms came from more places than simply Libya, although Libya was the central shipping and gathering point to go to Turkey and then on to Syria. Turkey was part of the Obama enablers of ISIS and ISIL big time ! Obama made sure ISIS got all the weapons and munitions and equipment we left behind and did literally nothing to stop them at all. He, Brennan, Hillary as well as Kerry all have massive blood on their hands via the atrocities of ISIS ! ..."
"... Not forgetting William Browder, part of the same gang, whose grandfather was the Leader of the US Communist Party. No doubt with close ties to Allen Dulles and ''peration Paperclip'. ..."
"... Will never forget Brennan, going to Ukraine, with instructions, just prior to 2 May 2014 and the Odessa Trade Union Massacre. Coincidence or what? ..."
"... Brennan may well have already been CIA when he joined the CPUSA. In any case, he's scum. ..."
"... Tucker Carlson and the author of this article asks, How can someone like Brennan be provided security clearance for top secrets in the CIA. A very easy answer: the entire American financial/judicial/military/spy organizations have become highly corrupt. Meanwhile, millions of adult Americans could care less. ..."
"... "When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America...America will triumph over you". https://t.co/uKppoDbduj -- John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) March 17, 2018 ..."
May 11, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Let's get something clear from the start. In 1976, in his 20s, John Brennan was a card carrying communist who supported the then Soviet Union, at the height some might say of the Cold War, so much so he voted and assisted Gus Hall, the communist candidate for President against a devout Christian, Jimmy Carter who ultimately won the Presidency.

Yet under four years later, just after the then Soviet Union invaded, just weeks before, Afghanistan and months after the tumultuous Iranian revolution of 1979, which at the time many thought the Soviet Union had a hand in, Brennan was accepted into the CIA as a junior analyst.

At that time, John Brennan should have never got into the CIA, or any Western Intelligence agency given his communist background.

Think on that carefully as you continue to read this.

Also reflect on the fact that Brennan, later in his CIA career, was surprisingly elevated from junior analyst to the prestigious position of Station Chief in Saudi Arabia where he spent a few years.

Its said he was appointed purely for 'political' reasons, alleged to have been at the direct request of Bill Clinton and other Democrats not because of a recommendation or merit from within the Agency.

Its further said that the Saudis liked Brennan because he became very quickly 'their man' so to speak. Some reports, unsubstantiated, even allege Brennan became a Muslim while there to ingratiate himself with the Saudis.

Important to read is an NBC news article entitled 'Former Spooks Criticize CIA Director John Brennan for Spying Comments' by Ken Dilanian dated March 2nd, 2016.

The article contains many revealing facts and evidence, while giving a flavour, of the feelings of many in the CIA who felt that Brennan was totally unsuitable and unqualified to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

(This is the link to the above referenced article: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/ us-news/brennan-joking-when- he-says-cia-spies-doesn-t- steal-n529426. )

A final controversy is the little known fact of Brennan's near four year departure from the CIA into the commercial world, having been 'left out in the cold' from the CIA, from November 2005 to January 2009 when he was CEO of a private company called 'The Analysis Corporation'.

So why was he then reinstated into the CIA, to the surprise of CIA's senior management, by newly elected President Obama, to head the CIA? No answer is available as to why he left the CIA in 2005.

(An important link that gives background to his experience in the commercial world can be read here: https://www.thedailybeast.com/ cia-slammed-brennans- disingenuous-contract-bid- wikileaks-show)

Lastly let's not forget Brennan's many failures as CIA head in recent years, one most notable is the Benghazi debacle and the death of a US Ambassador and others there. Something else to ponder.

Back to the present an the issue of security clearances.

In early August, on the well known American TV Rachel Maddow Show, Brennan back tracked on his Trump traitor claim by saying "I didn't mean he (Trump) committed treason. I meant what he has done is nothing short of treasonous." Rachel Maddow responded correctly "If we diagram the sentence, 'nothing short of treason' means it's treasonous?"

A simple question follows. Since he is no longer in the CIA, why does he need a security clearance other than to commercially exploit it?

Tucker Carlson explains succinctly here:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Kzxf9TcJ_3k

Last month what can be described as 200+ 'friends of Brennan', former CIA officials of varying rank, responded against the removal of former CIA Director Brennan's security clearances, in support of him.

These men and women too most likely will have their clearances revoked.

And why not?

Since the only purpose they retain it is to make money as civilians?

A potentially more serious issue than 'the Brennan controversies' is that the US intelligence community has around 5 million people with security clearances as a whole includes approximately 1.4m people holding top secret clearances. It is patently a ridiculously high number and makes a mockery of the word secret.

Former CIA veteran Sam Faddis is one of the few people brave enough and with the integrity required, that has stood up and told some of the real truths about Brennan in an 'Open Letter', yet this letter's contents have hardly at all been reported in the media.

Generally by nature, CIA Officers sense of service and honour to their Country, their professionalism and humility, and disdain for publicity has dissuaded most of them to enter the current very public Brennan controversy; but for how much longer?

As stated earlier, former CIA professional Sam Faddis explains what's wrong with Brennan in his revealing letter, abbreviated for space below. A link to the complete letter is: http://thepoliticsforums.com/ threads/107849-Scathing-Open- Letter-to-Mr-Brennan-by-Retired-CIA-Case-Officer:

Dear Mr. Brennan,

I implore you to cease and desist from continuing to attempt to portray yourself in the public media as some sort of impartial critic concerned only with the fate of the republic. I beg you to stop attempting to portray yourself as some sort of wise, all-knowing intelligence professional with deep knowledge of national security issues and no political inclinations whatsoever.

None of this is true.

You were never a spy. You were never a case officer. You never ran operations or recruited sources or worked the streets abroad. You have no idea whatsoever of the true nature of the business of human intelligence. You have never been in harm's way. You have never heard a shot fired in anger.

You were for a short while an intelligence analyst. In that capacity, it was your job to produce finished intelligence based on information provided to you by others. The work of intelligence analysts is important, however in truth you never truly mastered this trade either.

In your capacity as an analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, while still a junior officer, you were designated to brief the President of the United States who was at that time Bill Clinton. As the presidential briefer, it was your job to read to the president each morning finished intelligence written by others based on intelligence collected by yet other individuals. Period.

While serving as presidential briefer you established a personal relationship with then President Bill Clinton. End of story.

Everything that has transpired in your professional career since has been based on your personal relationship with the former president, his wife Hillary and their key associates. Your connection to President Obama was, in fact, based on you having established yourself by the time he came to office as a reliable, highly political Democratic Party functionary.

All of your commentary in the public sphere is on behalf of your political patrons. It is no more impartial analysis then would be the comments of a paid press spokesman or attorney. You are speaking each and every time directly on behalf of political forces hostile to this president. You are, in fact, currently on the payroll of both NBC and MSNBC, two of the networks most vocally opposed to President Trump and his agenda.

There is no impartiality in your comments. Your assessments are not based on some sober judgment of what is best for this nation. They are based exclusively on what you believe to be in the best interests of the politicians with whom you long since allied yourself.

It should be noted that not only are you most decidedly not apolitical but that you have been associated during your career with some of the greatest foreign policy disasters in recent American history.

Ever since this President was elected, there has been a concerted effort to delegitimize him and destabilize him led by you. This has been an unprecedented; to undermine the stability of the republic and the office of the Presidency, for solely partisan political reasons. You and your patrons have been complicit in this effort and at its very heart.

You abandoned any hope of being a true intelligence professional decades ago and became a political hack. Say so.

Sam Faddis

EPILOGUE:

I decided to update this article with this epilogue that summarises events since its first publication, but by not writing more. By simply adding links showing Brennan speaking in March just before Meuller's Report was released, and excerpts of other interviews and commentaries.

In this way, reader's can judge for themselves Brennan's essentially undoubtable despicable character which shines through by watching and reading the below 8 links up to 1st April 2019. There are many more, but in consideration of space, I've selected these links.

These are not in chronological order, date/time wise.

I would add that, for his own 'survival', and that of his co-conspirators, there will, I predict, over the coming days and weeks, be an attempt by Brennan to STILL try and fabricate 'dirt' on President Trump to justify his treacherous behaviour against importantly more than just Trump, but 'the Office of the President', something for which, in my opinion, he and those involved should be prosecuted for, even some jailed for.

Most particularly in addition to Brennan is clearly Obama himself, Clinton, Clapper and Comey et al.

1. Brennan https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/04/john-brennan-is-lying-no-way-he-wasnt-involved-with-russia-hoax-from-the-beginning/

2. Brennan's treasonous behaviour. https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/ex-cia-director-john-brennan-admits-he-may-have-had-bad-information-regarding-president-trump-and-russia.amp?__twitter_impression=true

3. John Brennan Now Says His Months of Attacks on Trump "May Be Based on Bad Information"!

https://www.youtube.com/embed/bQvY4aD7T9o

4. Ex-CIA Boss Got "Bad Information", Now "Relieved" Trump Not a Criminal. https://www.youtube.com/embed/g5X3MbGShRg

5. Fox News – John Brennan Admits He had 'Bad Information' on Mueller Report.

6. Ex-CIA director Brennan backs down from calling Trump's claims of no collusion 'hogwash'

https://www.youtube.com/embed/wXVLgB6SbsE

7. Deep State former CIA Director John Brennan is unhinged and in deep trouble (Video) – August 2018

Deep State former CIA Director John Brennan is unhinged and in deep trouble (Video)

8. Russian collusion was no more than "conspiracy porn" created by Clinton and Obama.


Herbert Dorsey 17 days ago ,

The CIA operation in Benghazi was smuggling weapons captured from the Libyan army to Syria via Jordan and Turkey to arm the anti Assad forces. This operation was directed by Brennan, Clinton, Obama and General Petraeus and was in total violation of national and international law.

Ambassador Stevens was aware of this operation and allowed to die by delaying a military rescue operation, as part of a cover up of this illegal operation. Dead men tell no tales.

Herbert Dorsey AM Hants 17 days ago ,

Hillary Clinton, Her husband Bill and Barak Obama are all deep cover CIA agents in addition to their other positions, as documented in the book "CIA: Crime Incorporated of America".

They don't like Trump because he is the first non CIA President in a long while (George W. Bush was not CIA but under his father's influence) and not part of the secret team. Hopefully, they eventually will be punished for their crimes. Qanon gives hope!

Down to Earth Thinking Herbert Dorsey 14 hours ago ,

The arms came from more places than simply Libya, although Libya was the central shipping and gathering point to go to Turkey and then on to Syria. Turkey was part of the Obama enablers of ISIS and ISIL big time ! Obama made sure ISIS got all the weapons and munitions and equipment we left behind and did literally nothing to stop them at all. He, Brennan, Hillary as well as Kerry all have massive blood on their hands via the atrocities of ISIS !

AM Hants Garry Compton 17 days ago ,

Not forgetting William Browder, part of the same gang, whose grandfather was the Leader of the US Communist Party. No doubt with close ties to Allen Dulles and ''peration Paperclip'.

Which provided safe passage and new identities for the Nazi and Bolshevik Elite. Funny how the stench behind the overthrow of he Russian Empire, can still be found, firmly embedded in the swamps of the 21st century.

Will never forget Brennan, going to Ukraine, with instructions, just prior to 2 May 2014 and the Odessa Trade Union Massacre. Coincidence or what?

Wasn't McCain's father also good friends with Allen Dulles? Wonder where Clinton fitted into the work of Dulles?

Taras77 17 days ago ,

One of the more murky issues is the murder of Michael Hastings. A lot of information died with his murder but some info indicates that he was working on a major report on Brennan. He reportedly advised his friends that the fbi was working on an investigation on him and he was fearful for his survival

As many will recall, Hastings died in June 2013 in fiery crash of his Mercedes which was speeding at up to 100 mph in a calif neighborhood.

Also, many will recall, the leaking of "Vault 7" by wikileaks indicated that one of the tools revealed was the ability to remotely control a vehicle without any input from the driver, positive or negative. This ability is described in detail in the following:

https://www.wired.com/2015/...

A "conspiracy theory" article summarizes the murkiness of the death of Michael Hastings:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/ne...

Nassim7 Taras77 17 days ago ,

How do you think the Royal Family killed princess Diana? If they can control a drone on the other side of the globe, they can certainly control the accelerator, brakes and steering of a motor vehicle.

Billo 16 days ago ,

Only the most creepy evil people are allowed to be in our government. They have done a terrible job. Our country is like a plane in a death spiral, and the same list of creeps keeps getting into the White House. The same people no matter who we elect. Trump has the same people, or worse than Obama or Hillary or Bush had. It's past time to try and salvage whatever is left of this country.

Bill Rood 4 hours ago ,

Brennan may well have already been CIA when he joined the CPUSA. In any case, he's scum.

Marv Sannes 14 hours ago ,

100 Stinger shoulder launch ground-to-air missiles. Stevens tried to block the shipment, the embassy was attacked by a highly skilled, armed, assault team - the story told by "Tonto", one of the military contractors involved in the attempted rescue. All those Americans in Benghazi were sacrificed in the same way the USS Liberty crew was sacrifice.

Greater Israel is the base of all this violence. Incidentally, "Tonto" and his mates had to commandeer a private jet, after the fire-fight, that got them to Germany - the US/CIA/State Dept., etc. left them to their own methods and they got out, to the consternation of the Obama/Clinton Administration.

Chelsea Yorkshire 15 days ago ,

Tucker Carlson and the author of this article asks, How can someone like Brennan be provided security clearance for top secrets in the CIA. A very easy answer: the entire American financial/judicial/military/spy organizations have become highly corrupt. Meanwhile, millions of adult Americans could care less.

Well............Those two contrasts will be intriguing to watch how the grandchildren and great-grandchilren will fare when the US Empire becomes so degraded, that the young will have to forage on their own for housing, water, and food.

Sam Adams Sean Kuyler 16 days ago ,

It is axiomatic that the Democrats always accuse others of what they themselves are guilty of. Never forget that.

Sean Kuyler 16 days ago ,

"When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America...America will triumph over you". https://t.co/uKppoDbduj -- John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) March 17, 2018

luluka 16 days ago ,

He has to be part of a CIA "cleansing" operation. Better put him in jail with no rights whatsoever . Let that turd rot in some humid dungeon . That's for the rats like this one .

[Dec 09, 2019] There is something to the idea that American political culture is becoming increasingly Sovietized

Notable quotes:
"... there is something to the idea that American political culture is becoming increasingly Sovietized ..."
"... This article below inadvertently illustrates the obsession with malign foreign influences, like that which pervaded Soviet discourse and remains a bad smell in Russia to this day. ..."
"... Another rapidly creeping Soviet trait is the weaponization of politics, turning any disagreement into an existential struggle, opponents into enemies, the way words like "treason" or "Russian asset" have become common coin ..."
"... increasingly they have that "enemy of the people" ring to them. The growing prominence of the intelligence services in political life, and their alumni on cable TV news shows, is another worrisome trend to watch. ..."
Dec 09, 2019 | eastwestaccord.com

There is something to the idea that American political culture is becoming increasingly Sovietized, writes Weir .

This is becoming quite the meme. Upon reflection, I do think there is something in it. Not this idiotic suggestion that Repubicans have somehow morphed into borscht-swilling, shapka-wearing, Putin-loving Russkies. Indeed, there are hardly any actual Russians like that.

But there is something to the idea that American political culture is becoming increasingly Sovietized. Of course it's two separate camps, not a monolith, and the Democrats are at least as guilty as Republicans.

This article below inadvertently illustrates the obsession with malign foreign influences, like that which pervaded Soviet discourse and remains a bad smell in Russia to this day. Russians scoff at the idea that Putin is able to get his own man elected president of the US when he can't even fix the governor in Irkutsk. But the author of this piece implies that Putin is somehow pulling the strings, not only of Trump but all Republicans?

Another rapidly creeping Soviet trait is the weaponization of politics, turning any disagreement into an existential struggle, opponents into enemies, the way words like "treason" or "Russian asset" have become common coin. And they are not just deployed as simple insults: increasingly they have that "enemy of the people" ring to them. The growing prominence of the intelligence services in political life, and their alumni on cable TV news shows, is another worrisome trend to watch.

Also, it looks like big part of the media have become almost Pravda-like, making ideological mission their main priority. I spend some of my down-time perusing shows from Fox News and MSNBC, which an alien from outer space would think were the propaganda organs of two different, mutually-hostile states -- but both very Soviet-like.

... ... ...

THEATLANTIC.COM
The Russification of the Republican Party
GOP lawmakers used to oppose the president's embrace of Putin and the Kremlin. Not anymore.
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/12/impeachment-republican-party-russia/603088/?fbclid=IwAR1EC0-CDBEx-3SMS1lJTMT2m0xVjfaguZehK4BIeZ5Bov41Ds1XFi_Cbkg

[Dec 09, 2019] The Interagency Isn t Supposed to Rule in Foreign Policy

Notable quotes:
"... I first heard of the interagency in Baghdad in 2009. I was there as part of a Council on Foreign Relations delegation to Iraq. As a U.S. Army general briefed us on how the war was being fought, he spoke of the interagency as the source of the strategy he was executing. Naively, I asked why he wasn't operating according to orders from his military superiors or the secretary of defense. ..."
"... He explained that American war-fighting was being guided by a "whole of government" philosophy. Incredibly, he explained that the war couldn't be won without, among other agencies, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Justice and Labor. Iraq needed economic expansion, modern farming, business statistics, new hospitals, a working court system and workplace regulations. The strategy framed by the interagency was nothing less than a yearslong engagement in nation building -- precisely what President George W. Bush had rejected in his 2000 campaign. ..."
"... When the war on terror opened, with all the secret activity it required, professional cadres in the diplomatic corps, the military and the nation's many intelligence agencies were able to transform interagency cooperative agreements that had existed since the Cold War into a de facto agency -- a largely informal and virtual bureaucracy -- with the assumed power, if need be, to determine and execute a foreign policy at odds with the intent of the president and Congress. ..."
"... Last month's testimony before the Intelligence Committee shed light on this club whose members are a permanent shadow government credentialed by family histories, elite schools and unique career experiences. This common pedigree informs their perspective of how America should relate to the world. The dogmatists of the interagency seem to share a common discomfort with a president who probably couldn't describe the doctrine of soft power, doesn't desire to be the center of attention at Davos, and wouldn't know that Francis Fukuyama once decided that history was over. ..."
Dec 09, 2019 | www.wsj.com

Enthusiasm over entrepreneurship is now found in every corner of society -- even, apparently, within the federal bureaucracy. Witness after witness in last month's House impeachment inquiry hearings referred to "the interagency," an off-the-books informal government organization that we now know has enormous power to set and execute American foreign policy.

The first to testify before the House Intelligence Committee, State Department official George Kent, seemed to conceive of the interagency as the definitive source of foreign-policy consensus. That Mr. Trump's alleged decision to withhold military aid to Ukraine deviated from that consensus was, for Mr. Kent, prima facie evidence that it was misguided.

Next up, Ambassador William Taylor told the committee that it was the "unanimous opinion of every level of interagency discussion" that the aid should be resumed without delay. Fiona Hill, a former National Security Council official, gave the game away by admitting how upset she was that Gordon Sondland, President Trump's ambassador to the European Union, had established an "alternative" approach to helping Kyiv. "We have a robust interagency process that deals with Ukraine," she said.

What is the interagency, and why should its views guide the conduct of American diplomatic and national-security professionals? The Constitution grants the president the power to set defense and diplomatic policy. Where did this interagency come from?

I first heard of the interagency in Baghdad in 2009. I was there as part of a Council on Foreign Relations delegation to Iraq. As a U.S. Army general briefed us on how the war was being fought, he spoke of the interagency as the source of the strategy he was executing. Naively, I asked why he wasn't operating according to orders from his military superiors or the secretary of defense.

How Did Adam Schiff Get Devin Nunes's Phone Records? How did Adam Schiff get Devin Nunes's phone records? bb0282a3-e4cb-42ba-9988-2f3df57fd912@1.00x Created with sketchtool.

He explained that American war-fighting was being guided by a "whole of government" philosophy. Incredibly, he explained that the war couldn't be won without, among other agencies, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Justice and Labor. Iraq needed economic expansion, modern farming, business statistics, new hospitals, a working court system and workplace regulations. The strategy framed by the interagency was nothing less than a yearslong engagement in nation building -- precisely what President George W. Bush had rejected in his 2000 campaign.

Interagency cooperative agreements have been around for decades. The Justice Department, for example, has opioid-interdiction programs that require it to work with the Department of Homeland Security. Today a dictionary of more than 12,500 official terms exists to guide bureaucrats in writing interagency contracts that repurpose federal funds appropriated to various executive departments. Often these interdepartmental initiatives devised by bureaucrats are unknown to Congress. It's hard to imagine that the legislative branch wouldn't object to these arrangements, if only it were aware of them.

When the war on terror opened, with all the secret activity it required, professional cadres in the diplomatic corps, the military and the nation's many intelligence agencies were able to transform interagency cooperative agreements that had existed since the Cold War into a de facto agency -- a largely informal and virtual bureaucracy -- with the assumed power, if need be, to determine and execute a foreign policy at odds with the intent of the president and Congress.

Last month's testimony before the Intelligence Committee shed light on this club whose members are a permanent shadow government credentialed by family histories, elite schools and unique career experiences. This common pedigree informs their perspective of how America should relate to the world. The dogmatists of the interagency seem to share a common discomfort with a president who probably couldn't describe the doctrine of soft power, doesn't desire to be the center of attention at Davos, and wouldn't know that Francis Fukuyama once decided that history was over.

The impeachment hearings will have served a useful purpose if all they do is demonstrate that a cabal of unelected officials are fashioning profound aspects of U.S. foreign policy on their own motion. No statutes anticipate that the president or Congress will delegate such authority to a secret working group formed largely at the initiation of entrepreneurial bureaucrats, notwithstanding that they may be area experts, experienced in diplomatic and military affairs, and motivated by what they see as the best interests of the country.

However the impeachment drama plays out, Congress has cause to enact comprehensive legislation akin to the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, which created more-efficient structures and transparent processes in the Defense Department. Americans deserve to know who really is responsible for making the nation's foreign policy. The interagency, if it is to exist, should have a chairman appointed by the president, and its decisions, much like the once-secret minutes of the Federal Reserve, should be published, with limited and necessary exceptions, for all to see.

Mr. Schramm is a university professor at Syracuse. His most recent book is "Burn the Business Plan."

[Dec 09, 2019] As is usual when members of neo-Nazi groups carry out political attacks, the Right Sector and their former battalion commander fraudulently attempted to distance themselves from Lavrega and Semenov, claiming they had lost contact with them since they left Ukraine's armed forces in June. These claims are not credible.

Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Dec 8 2019 19:17 utc | 25

"A botched assassination attempt against Ukrainian politician and businessman Vyacheslav Sobolev has resulted in the death of his three-year-old son, Alexander.

"While Sobolev and his wife were leaving his high-end restaurant "Mario" in Kiev this past Sunday, right-wing thugs opened fire on Sobolev's Range Rover, missing him but hitting his son who was seated in the back of the vehicle. The three-year-old died on the way to the hospital.

"Police later apprehended two men who had fled the scene in a black Lexus sedan, Oleksiy Semenov, 19, and Andrei Lavrega, 20. Both are veterans of the war in Donbass in eastern Ukraine where they served as members of the fascist Right Sector's paramilitary formation until June of this year.
"The Right Sector was instrumental in the US- and EU-backed, fascist-led coup in February 2014 that toppled the Yanukovitch government and replaced it with a pro-Western and anti-Russian regime. Since then, the Right Sector has been among the far-right forces that have been heavily involved in the war against Russian-backed separatists in East Ukraine.

"As is usual when members of neo-Nazi groups carry out political attacks, the Right Sector and their former battalion commander fraudulently attempted to distance themselves from Lavrega and Semenov, claiming they had lost contact with them since they left Ukraine's armed forces in June. These claims are not credible.

"Lavrega, who has been identified as the principal shooter in the killing, has been a member of the Right Sector for at least half a decade. He had participated in the Maidan movement of 2014 as a member of the Right Sector and perfected his shooting skills as a sniper killing separatist soldiers in eastern Ukraine. According to his Right Sector battalion commander, Andrei Herhert, Lavrega -- also known as "Quiet" -- was "one of the best snipers in the war" and "very ideological."

"As a thanks for his service to the right-wing Kiev government, Lavrega received a military decoration from former President Petro Poroshenko for "courage" just last year, in October of 2018." ..........

"Whoever is ultimately responsible for ordering this political assassination and the murder of the three-year-old boy, it is clear that the same far-right forces that were instrumental in the coup in February 2014 and the civil war are now being employed to carry out political assassinations by the Ukrainian oligarchy.

"Since the 2014 coup, the number of targeted political assassinations by right-wing neo-Nazi groups like C14 and the Right Sector has skyrocketed. At least 15 people have been murdered in such hit jobs by the far right since 2014. Among them was the well-known Belarusian journalist Pavel Sheremet and the politician Kateryna Handziuk, who was killed in a horrific acid attack by right-wing thugs last year.

"In virtually all these cases, the perpetrators have been protected from serious legal prosecution. One of the murderers of Handziuk received a barely three-year prison sentence. A critical role in shielding the neo-Nazis is played by Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs' Arsen Avakov, who controls the country's police force and possesses well-known ties to Ukraine's most notorious fascist militia, the Azov Battalion.

"Avakov is one of the few members of the previous Poroshenko government that have remained in the current Cabinet of Ministers under President Volodmyr Zelensky. He was recently praised by former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch while testifying before the House of Representatives regarding the Trump impeachment investigation (see also: "The impeachment crisis and American imperialism").

"President Zelensky, who was elected in April this year on the basis of promises that he would bring an end to the widely despised civil war in eastern Ukraine that has claimed the lives of over 13,000 people, has maintained a conspicuous silence on this latest political assassination attempt by the far right. Instead, the day after the murder, he posted a message on Facebook to honor two Ukrainian soldiers who were killed while fighting in eastern Ukraine this past weekend."
The rest of the story can be found at the WSWS
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/12/07/ukra-d06.html

The Right Sector links with the former US Ambassador-Democratic heroine- are topical.


cirsium , Dec 9 2019 0:03 utc | 53

@bevin, 25. - this article from The Stalkerzone provides information on the killers and suggests that they intended to kill the child as a message to the father
https://www.stalkerzone.org/ato-monsters-in-ukraine-a-market-of-hired-serial-killers-appeared/
uncle tungsten , Dec 9 2019 8:19 utc | 75
psychohistorian #68

Thank you for that insight. I cannot see how Zelensky will manage the Nazi Ukrainians short of a virtual civil war against one western district. The USA will foment a major insurrection to destroy him if he does a deal with Gazprom. Your suggestion as to where those issues are discussed would be welcome.

A User #72

Thank you and well said. The eurocentric kabuki does mesmerise the information providers. I too seek escape from that dominance and spent a good time today researching the Power of Siberia implications and issues of South America. The global assault on all things African is a matter of deep despair for me and I feel totally powerless to reverse the relentless assault on their world.

[Dec 09, 2019] A Determined Effort to Undermine Russia

Notable quotes:
"... The New Cold War can traced back to a broken promise made to Moscow on Nato expansion eastward. "London and Washington are orchestrating a disinformation" campaign today against Russia, as the New Cold War has heated up over Syria, Ukraine, NATO troops on Russia's borders and Russiagate. ..."
"... Hostility to Russia is the oldest continuous foreign policy tradition in the United States. It is now so much of a part of America's identity that it is unlikely to be ever cured. ..."
"... It is a dangerous miscalculation to think the "New Cold War" will end like the first. Russia (the USSR) had a buffer zone then, it doesn't today. For Moscow the coming war (world war) will be about survival. All that is left is the fall-back position of nuclear deterrence doctrine – annihilation. I don't think western capitals see how perilous the situation is. ..."
"... Then there are snide remarks about the meeting today concerning the Ukrainian Azov (Neo-Nazi) attacks on the Donbass (NOT how either the BBC or NPR speaks of this of course) in France. This struggle, between the Russian-speaking Donbass peoples and the neo-Nazis of western Ukraine, has killed many thousands of people (most likely mostly those of the Donbass). The Donbass fighters are spoken of as "Russian-supported" in an attempt to deny them and the reasons for their struggle *any* legitimacy (meanwhile the support for the neo-Nazis goes unmentioned, leaving the listener with the impression that they are the Ukrainian military, thus legitimately fighting a foreign funded and manned insurgency). ..."
"... Mad Dog Mattis spoke the truth when he said that an opponent wasn't defeated until they agreed they were defeated. The US merely assumed that Russia agreed that they were defeated and are doubling down when they now suddenly realize that Russia never said any such thing. ..."
"... I am really sick of the smearing of Russia done by the US and UK. The Skripal as well as the MH17 case are plain ridiculus. Anybody can see through these silly plants. US and UK obviously don't feel obliged to respect any international rules any more. (The one person who is suffering most at the moment from the decline in respect is Julian Assange, an Australian citizen!) ..."
"... "From 1922 onwards the strategic purpose of the Soviet Union was to defend the Soviet Union not global domination, whereas the purpose of the "West" has always been global domination. " ..."
"... "At an event last week in Sydney, Kevin and Carr discussed how the West, led by the United States, has been on an aggressive campaign to destabilize Russia, without cause." ..."
Dec 08, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Retired Australian diplomat Tony Kevin, in conversation with former Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr, says the West is unnecessarily determined to undermine Russia. A t an event last week in Sydney, Kevin and Carr discussed how the West, led by the United States, has been on an aggressive campaign to destabilize Russia, without cause.

When Kevin said he returned to Russia after more than 40 years in 2016 he realized he "had to take sides" in the U.S.-Russia standoff when all Nato countries boycotted the Moscow celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

"I had to take a moral position that it is not right for the West to be ganging up on Russia," Kevin says in his conversation with the former Australian foreign minister.

The New Cold War can traced back to a broken promise made to Moscow on Nato expansion eastward. "London and Washington are orchestrating a disinformation" campaign today against Russia, as the New Cold War has heated up over Syria, Ukraine, NATO troops on Russia's borders and Russiagate.

Watch the hour-long in depth discussion which was filmed and produced by Consortium News' CN Live! Executive Producer Cathy Vogan.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/dJiS3nFzsWg?feature=oembed


ElderD , December 9, 2019 at 15:03

Tony's (especially!) and Bob's sane and sensible view of this dangerous and destructive state of affairs deserve the widest possible distribution and attention.

George McGlynn , December 9, 2019 at 13:27

A quarter century has passed since the fall of the Soviet Union, and little has changed. Cold War patterns of thinking about Russia show no sign of weakening in America. The further we distance ourselves from the end of the Cold War, the closer we come to its revival. Hostility to Russia is the oldest continuous foreign policy tradition in the United States. It is now so much of a part of America's identity that it is unlikely to be ever cured.

peter mcloughlin , December 9, 2019 at 10:45

It is a dangerous miscalculation to think the "New Cold War" will end like the first. Russia (the USSR) had a buffer zone then, it doesn't today. For Moscow the coming war (world war) will be about survival. All that is left is the fall-back position of nuclear deterrence doctrine – annihilation. I don't think western capitals see how perilous the situation is.

AnneR , December 9, 2019 at 07:48

The latest efforts at attacking Russia via smear, allegation and Doublespeak have been, are via that US supported supposed oversight committee, WADA which has done what the US-UK wanted: banned Russia for four years from international sporting events including the upcoming Tokyo Olympics and World Cup (Football – soccer to Americans).

Then there were allegations – of those "highly likely" (therefore one knows to be untrue and unadulterated propaganda to increase Russophobia) sort – about Russian hackers (always giving the impression that the "Kremlin" is behind itl) being the Labour Party's source of the Tory party's US-UK trade deal which would/will deliberately and finally destroy the NHS and replace it with (of course) US "health" insurance company profiteering.

(Always the Tory intention from the NHS's initiation in May of 1948; only its popularity among many Tory party supporters among the working and lower middle classes prevented them from a full-frontal killing off the NHS; the Snatcher's government began the undermining, via installing a top-heavy bureaucratization, siphoning off a sizable proportion of the funds that would otherwise have gone to medical care, demanding that hospitals not "lose" money – a concept completely beyond the remit of the NHS as originally conceived and constructed and like exactions.)

Then there are snide remarks about the meeting today concerning the Ukrainian Azov (Neo-Nazi) attacks on the Donbass (NOT how either the BBC or NPR speaks of this of course) in France. This struggle, between the Russian-speaking Donbass peoples and the neo-Nazis of western Ukraine, has killed many thousands of people (most likely mostly those of the Donbass). The Donbass fighters are spoken of as "Russian-supported" in an attempt to deny them and the reasons for their struggle *any* legitimacy (meanwhile the support for the neo-Nazis goes unmentioned, leaving the listener with the impression that they are the Ukrainian military, thus legitimately fighting a foreign funded and manned insurgency).

Someone even suggested that President Putin needed to be diplomatic. Really? From what I've read the man is the most diplomatic and intelligent politician (not just political leader) along with Xi Jinping and the Iranian government that exist on the world stage. None of them are hubristic, solipsistic, eager beaver killers of peoples in other countries. Unlike their western "world" political counterparts.

Jeff Harrison , December 8, 2019 at 18:30

Mad Dog Mattis spoke the truth when he said that an opponent wasn't defeated until they agreed they were defeated. The US merely assumed that Russia agreed that they were defeated and are doubling down when they now suddenly realize that Russia never said any such thing.

St. Ronnie's whole thing back in the 80's was to outspend Russia militarily and it worked well. We're trying to do it again but Russia isn't playing the same game this time and now it is the US that has a mountain of debt and Russia that doesn't. SIPIRI tags US military spending at $650B and Russian military spending at $62B. But we know that the $650B number is bogus because it doesn't include our in-violation-of-the-NNPT nuclear program which is in the energy department or our veteran's expenses which are in HHS. I don't know what's missing from Russia's $62B but I'll bet they can sustain that a whole lot better than we can sustain our $650B and rising bill.

Antonio Costa , December 9, 2019 at 13:17

Good point regarding Russia's downsizing the Soviet Union. From Gorbachev to Putin there was NEVER a surrender, intended in any way. The intent has been multilateral partnerships. For Russia the US/West won nothing at all except the opportunity to live and work in peace. (By the way this policy has a long Russian history.)

They gave up the Warsaw Pact and America with our worthless "word" expanded NATO.

The US foreign policy has lost even the semblance of sanity. Our naked aggression is clear as never before, a mad man throwing a global fit armed with megaton nuclear projectiles on trigger first strike alert. What could go wrong?

nondimenticare , December 8, 2019 at 15:56

If, magically, Consortium News/CN Live! were a mass-distribution network/magazine (hence universally consulted), allowing the light in for the mass of the viewing and listening public, it could change the world – both an exalting and despairing thought.

Lily , December 8, 2019 at 09:52

It is a great joy to listen to this conversation!

I am really sick of the smearing of Russia done by the US and UK. The Skripal as well as the MH17 case are plain ridiculus. Anybody can see through these silly plants. US and UK obviously don't feel obliged to respect any international rules any more. (The one person who is suffering most at the moment from the decline in respect is Julian Assange, an Australian citizen!)

I wish people would have the courage to break away from the group pressure originated by a nation which has been started by killing more than 90% of the indigenous people in their country and since then has turned the worl into a very insecure place.

Chapeau, Tony Kevin! Thanks to Bob Carr and Consortiums News.

Lily , December 9, 2019 at 01:18

It seems that some facts are beginning to be realized in the military department.

www(dot)zerohedge(dot)com/geopolitical/pentagon-alarmed-russia-gaining-sympathy-among-us-troops

Bob Van Noy , December 8, 2019 at 09:22

Simply, wonderful

OlyaPola , December 8, 2019 at 07:43

Words are catalysts of connotations and connotations are functions of expectations/framing..

Some conflate cause with purpose thereby limiting perception of cause and purpose.

Some understand that causation is interactive and in any lateral system the genesis of causation is difficult to determine.

Some understand that evaluation is a function of purpose and that purpose can be evaluated through such portals into wonderlands such as "What is the "United States of America" and how is it facilitated?"

As thumb-nailed in the comments section of the article Capitalism's suicidal trajectory – OlyaPola
December 6, 2019 at 07:46

"From 1922 onwards the strategic purpose of the Soviet Union was to defend the Soviet Union not global domination, whereas the purpose of the "West" has always been global domination. "

From 1922 onwards various tactics have been attempted by the "West" to facilitate their purpose, including attempts at "Orange revolution" in many areas which catalysed many lateral trajectories including the process of transcendence of the "Soviet Union" by the Russian Federation in the period from 1991 to 2005.

Consequently Mr. Suslov's observation re war of "The United States of America" can be extended into present times and hence no "New cold war" exists.

""What is the "United States of America"

An initial step through the portal is that "The United States of America" is – a regime of social relations to facilitate its purpose – the social relations not being restricted to the "nation state" presently self designated "The United States of America" but including classes in other "nation states".

Consequently alternative purposes and social relations pose an existential threat to "The United States of America"; this being perceived of lesser significance in regard to "The Soviet Union" and greater in regard to the Russian Federation.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , December 8, 2019 at 07:30

"At an event last week in Sydney, Kevin and Carr discussed how the West, led by the United States, has been on an aggressive campaign to destabilize Russia, without cause."

The American establishment's problem with Russia is simply that Russia is the only country on earth capable of obliterating the United States. Not even China has yet reached that capacity.

"Carthago delenda est"

Skip Scott , December 9, 2019 at 06:13

There is "cause." Russia was our latest vassal under Yeltsin. Putin stopped the looting, and worked to benefit average Russian citizens. Just watch "The Magnitsky Act, behind the scenes" to know the "cause".

Bruno DP , December 8, 2019 at 02:34

The West is ganging up on Russia? Replace "West" by "United States of America", and I will agree.

Much of the West (i.e. Germany) has been dragged by force into damage control mode. The Magnitsky Act monster, the election interference hysteria, are just 2 crying examples met with shock and disbelief across the pond. The Fiona Hill testimony was a very telling moment for the inner workings of a self perpetuating logic.

Russia is no lightweight by any means, and not always friendly.

But it has regularly done the right thing in international conflicts which the Kremlin seems to understand better than all of "the Western" intelligence combined.

Martin Schuchert , December 8, 2019 at 17:33

I'm German, living in the US, and I agree with your comment. I especially love the last two sentences:

"Russia is no lightweight by any means, and not always friendly.
But it has regularly done the right thing in international conflicts which the Kremlin seems to understand better than all of "the Western" intelligence combined."

[Dec 09, 2019] The military leadership are loaded with rapture believers, in particular the Air Force

Dec 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

SeekerofthePresence , says: Next New Comment December 8, 2019 at 5:51 pm GMT

@Moi You are quite correct. The overly sanguine attitude of many Christians toward nuclear war one might call "nuclear exceptionalism." They adopted the imaginary hope of Anglo-Irish 1800's cult leader John Nelson Darby: "Darby has been credited with originating the pre-tribulational rapture theory wherein Christ will suddenly remove His bride, the Church, from this world to its heavenly destiny before the judgments of the tribulation." (Wikipedia).

The military leadership are loaded with rapture believers, in particular the Air Force. So if the world nukes itself, that's fine by them; they have no skin in the "game."

Except that on Judgment Day they will have to give account for the lives they destroy by their recklessness. The turning of Christ into a war god is both blasphemy and idolatry, for which also they will give account. "My Kingdom is not of this world," said the Lord to Pilate. Christians are to contend for the Gospel through love, not war.

[Dec 09, 2019] WW2 men were realists and competent. And that their replacements were delusional fools. The level of incompetence was breath-taking by 1992 when NATO as the cloak of Empire undertook to bomb cities in Yugoslavia self evidently criminal and foolish officers went along

Dec 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

Walter , says: Next New Comment December 8, 2019 at 12:42 pm GMT

Both Saker reviews are important, and I'll get both books.

My own experience with US Army officers and enlisted – and this extended over40 years off and on, the last encounters six continuous years ending in 1992 – was that the WW2 men were realists and competent. And that their replacements were delusional fools. The level of incompetence was breath-taking by 1992 – when NATO as the cloak of Empire undertook to bomb cities in Yugoslavia – self evidently criminal and foolish officers went along And I said Adios MoFo

Saker knew another reality.

EoinW , says: Next New Comment December 8, 2019 at 2:03 pm GMT
@peterAUS Tactical nukes. Such a humane idea. Doesn't that make everyone feel warm and fuzzy all over. Nuclear war, even a first strike, is now acceptable. Isn't semantics wonderful! Tactical nukes are the thing, to NOT prick the conscience of the western public.

I do not envy the Russian position. They can't publicly warn the US/Israel against nuclear strikes. The MSM would take such a common sense position and spin into more Russian bullying. How dare they tell us what we can't do! The Russian message would quickly be lost in a wave of western hysterics.

On the other hand, a secret warning is of limited value. If they listen, great. What if they call Russia's bluff? Being secret, the Russians could back down and not even lose face. It seems obvious that the psychopathic thinking among western elites is based on the idea that they can get away with nuclear strikes against Iran because Russian retaliation will mean the end of humanity therefore they will not respond.

I'm sure the Russians have already calculated what is and is not acceptable when war comes to Iran. How much damage will nuking an entire country do to Russia and all of Asia? If the fall out is that extreme then they might treat such an attack as an attack on Russia itself. I do think the likely plan is to make the best of whatever happens. No matter how one spins it, a Russian nuclear response is the end of humanity. An extreme option the Russians will try to avoid if possible.

All this is based on the assumption Israel or America will use their nuclear arsenal. If Hitler had the bomb in 1945 would he have used it? Of course he would have. The people running the West have shown the same callous disregard for human life. There is no moral deterrent to stop these people. Plus all western propaganda the past 20 years has been aimed at making the use of nuclear weapons acceptable. Why would they be conditioning their public unless they wished to have the option to use them?

How do we get there? Yes the US military has the ability to drop lots of bombs and destroy many things. Yet in any war primary targets will all be hit fairly quickly. Then what? From Day Two they are into the phase of diminishing returns. This is what confronted the IDF in 2006. So you go to tactical nukes. However I see the nuclear attack coming on the heels of a ferocious Iranian counter attack. Psychologically can America handle even minimal losses? The most likely response will be a huge temper tantrum: "how dare they fight back!" The nuclear option will be taken because things will have gone wrong. It will be as much a show of weakness as strength. Plus it won't be just one of two bombs. Because the Iranians will not say "Uncle". The Japanese did after Nagasaki, however the Japanese were trying to surrender the entire time. The Iranians will never surrender. Therefore 80 million dead might not be unreasonable. Especially if there is no longer any Reason left in the western world.

This can be prevented but only by the western public. You know the most apathetic/ignorant and propagandized public on the planet. As Vietnam and Iraq proved, Americans have no conscience when it comes to dead foreigners. They get what they deserve for "starting" a war against Uncle Sam. Yet there are two Achilles Heels.

1) Americans hate losing. Iraq was a great success during the Mission Accomplished phase. The moment the narrative changed Americans quickly switched to hating their leadership for botching Iraq. So how long before Americans turn against an Iran War that isn't an easy win – and can't be won because the Iranians will never surrender. Or how well does the MSM do in turning such losses into part of a patriotic war that Americans' must support and win?

2) Quality of life. All westerners are the most spoiled people in human history. Consequently we have become the most materialistic and the most superficial people ever. We are an "end justifies the means" society. So long as we have our tvs and weekend football and our quality of life hasn't fallen too far, too fast, we are perfectly happy to give our political elites a blank cheque to do whatever they like. Bomb Yugoslavia, invade Afghanistan, destroy Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, murder Palestinians, sanction or threaten regime change the list is endless. Everything is on the table – likely nuclear holocaust too(so long as it's them doing the dying) – just don't mess with our Cozy Prisons! Support for war on Iran will evaporate pretty fast unless such a war can be prosecuted quickly and everything can return to normal fast. Definitely westerners – not just Americans – will support nuclear strikes. There will be some initial shock, which the MSM will cover over. Then everyone will fall into line because we'll need to win the war and get back to normal. Nuclear weapons will be seen as the convenient solution for the problem. End justifies the means.

Maybe I'm wrong about westerners and they still have a conscience. After 20 years of accepting endless wars, it doesn't seem likely.

Circle 2021 on your calendars. Once Trump is re-elected there will be nothing to stop him. If there are any history classes in the future then 2021 will be remember like 1914 or 1789 or 1066. I still hope it is remembered as the year the states of Israel and USA ceased to exist.

Jeff Albertson , says: Next New Comment December 8, 2019 at 4:41 pm GMT
@Jim Christian "Fact is, if the elites and corporate defense establishment of the US would become diplomatic, imagine the cooperation between us and Russia that could take place. Imagine the prosperity! Even the elites could share in it!"

Exactly so. This was the basis for my immediate initial support for Trump; his calling bullshit on the entire rationale behind the empire, and the potential benefits of a new detente. (Even if we were evil geni, it would make more sense to at least pretend to be non-threatening.) This is the root of the hostility to Trump, IMO.

Incidentally, this piece and it's commentary is greatly supportive of Ron's argument that heavy users should step up and financially support the UR. I haven't seen this sort of thing anywhere else easily available on the web. I don't comment much here (feeling somewhat too short for this ride ) but I do spend hours everyday, reading most of the articles and many comments. Would definitely donate.

Passer by , says: Next New Comment December 8, 2019 at 4:53 pm GMT
@Andrei Martyanov I suspect that the US is extremely concerned about Russia's decapitating first strike capability via nuclear armed Zircons (1-2 minutes flight time to Washington DC or New York) who are hard to detect, almost impossible to stop missiles. The US does not have a capability like this. This is why the whole talk about buying Greenland. It is very important to stop russian subs from reaching the Atlantic US Coast.

How can a US president sleep if he knows that a russian tactical nuclear missile could arrive in 1-2 minutes?

In 1-2 minutes the WhiteHouse, Congress, Federal Reserve HQ, CIA and NSA HQs, Pentagon, etc will be gone. No wonder Putin is trolling the US about selling some hypersonic weapons.

peterAUS , says: Next New Comment December 8, 2019 at 6:41 pm GMT
@EoinW

.the psychopathic thinking among western elites is based on the idea that they can get away with nuclear strikes against Iran because Russian retaliation will mean the end of humanity therefore they will not respond.

Something like that.

I'm sure the Russians have already calculated what is and is not acceptable when war comes to Iran.

Any interested state-level player has.

No matter how one spins it, a Russian nuclear response is the end of humanity.

Yep.

There is no moral deterrent to stop these people.

You mean TPTBs in the West? Yep ..

The Iranians will never surrender. Therefore 80 million dead might not be unreasonable.

Disagree.

This can be prevented but only by the western public. You know the most apathetic/ignorant and propagandized public on the planet.

Don't say.

So how long before Americans turn against an Iran War that isn't an easy win – and can't be won because the Iranians will never surrender.

The Iranian regime can surrender–>from then on there are a couple of scenarios.

As, for example:

So long as we have our tvs and weekend football and our quality of life hasn't fallen too far, too fast, we are perfectly happy to give our political elites a blank cheque to do whatever they like

And so long as I don't get drafted to be a part of occupying force in Iran among some other things.

Definitely westerners – not just Americans – will support nuclear strikes. There will be some initial shock, which the MSM will cover over. Then everyone will fall into line because we'll need to win the war and get back to normal. Nuclear weapons will be seen as the convenient solution for the problem. End justifies the means.

Yep.

Maybe I'm wrong about westerners and they still have a conscience. After 20 years of accepting endless wars, it doesn't seem likely.

I guess we'll see.

AnonFromTN , says: Next New Comment December 8, 2019 at 9:01 pm GMT
Now, the key question is, how is this relevant. I have no doubt that this and previous book contain good info, but can this info be ever digested by the US politicians and neocons? Of course not!

The US elites have degenerated to the point of no return. This always happens to the elites of dying empires. So, discussing the reality, military or economic, with them is like teaching madhouse inmates calculus. You might be right, but they won't appreciate it.

anon [137] Disclaimer , says: Next New Comment December 9, 2019 at 2:06 am GMT
@Jim Christian There is already some internal opposition to war with Iran. Out of the various recent provocations, the US has been reluctant to escalate. Maybe its Trump's skepticism regarding the list of options provided by the military. Or his political instincts. It would be an unpopular war without a rapid, decisive victory, which is unrealistic.

I think other than a rather weak veto power, Trump is too weak to prevent a war. So I think some other faction of the elite is resisting. Maybe the military. It would be logical for them to resist. They got their big budget without needing a war. And they would be stuck with the mess.

The war has been teed up for a Trump signoff two or three times lately. If the only missing piece is finding the sucker to take the blame, it is inevitable. Rather, I would infer that there is some deep opposition, that is lying low. The large defense contractors have it pretty good right now, but they probably aren't set up to oppose any war, however foolish.

steinbergfeldwitzcohen , says: Next New Comment December 9, 2019 at 3:40 am GMT
@Andrei Martyanov Our societies have been gutted by thieves and their accomplices while the thieves buddies look on and play loud music to confuse everyone. The thieves are the buzzard 'capitalists', the accomplices are the crooked politicians and the noise comes from the media.
The common denominator in the U.S., Canada, Australia, the U.K., NZ and others is that the thieves den is a triumvirate: Old Money 'elite' (read: scum), New Money Jews and the politicos (multi-generational civil servant families and the con artists talking head actors who play president, pm, etc.).
The West has been systematically destroyed. Every institution has been corrupted including our religions. The Vatican, for example, was completely corrupted in the early 1960's when, according to Father Malachi Martin, Satan formally enthroned himself in Vatican City.
There is a common denominator here gentlemen: destruction. Satan is always close to any such destruction which is why Communism has always been so anti-Christian and anti-religion (China destroyed Buddhism and is destroying Falun Gong, or trying to). Our elites and the elite Jews have a religion of their own: Luciferianism.
It is time to pray gentlemen. We need a miracle. It isn't too late to turn this ship around. We just need the willpower to do it. Prayer is the beginning of building the strength to do what is needed for our progeny.
Avery , says: Next New Comment December 9, 2019 at 3:52 am GMT
@Passer by { the US is extremely concerned about Russia's decapitating first strike capability}
{How can a US president sleep if he knows that a russian tactical nuclear missile could arrive in 1-2 minutes?}

By making sure US does not initiate a nuke strike on Russia.