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[May 11, 2019] Paul Craig Roberts Warns A CIA-led Coup Against American Democracy Is Unfolding Before Our Eyes by Paul Craig Roberts

The article is two years old now. Looks like Paul Craig Roberts was right. A very strange thing is that Trump proved to be very good for weapon industry and not so bad for neocons. Still the coup is continuing.
Notable quotes:
"... There is an "elite" coup attempt underway against the U.S. President-elect Trump. ..."
"... The coup is orchestrated by the camp of Hillary Clinton in association with the CIA and neoconservative powers in Congress. ..."
"... The plan is to use the CIA's "Russia made Trump the winner" nonsense to swing the electoral college against him. The case would then be bumped up to Congress. Major neocon and warmonger parts of the Republicans could then move the presidency to Clinton or, if that fails, put Trump's vice president-elect Mike Pence onto the throne. The regular bipartisan war business, which a Trump presidency threatens to interrupt, could continue. ..."
"... The institutional Trump enemies are: ..."
"... The weapons industry which could lose its enormous sales to its major customers in the Persian Gulf should a President Trump reduce U.S. interference in the Middle East and elsewhere. ..."
"... The neoconservatives and Likudniks who want the U.S. as Israel's weapon to strong arm the Middle East to the Zionists' benefit. ..."
"... The general war hawks, military and "humanitarian interventionists" to whom any reduction of the U.S. role as primary power in the world is anathema to their believes. ..."
"... The CIA-controlled European media, the politicians in Washington's European vassal states, NATO officials, and the brainwashed European peoples will support the coup against Trump. ..."
"... PCR has gone senile. Trump IS the elite ..."
"... And Trump will continue the MidEast wars. He made it clear. ..."
"... The CIA, along with Boeing and all the other contractors, banks, insurers, and rabble of the Wall Street machine are the Military Industrial Complex. ..."
"... Andrea Chalupa ‏@AndreaChalupa Dec 11 ..."
"... 1.) Electoral College meets Dec. 19. If Electors ignore #StateOfEmergency we're in, & Trump gets elected, we can stop him Jan. 6 in Congress ..."
"... 2.) If any objections to Electoral College vote are made, they must be submitted in writing, signed by at least 1 House member & 1 Senator ..."
"... 3.) If objections are presented, House & Senate withdraw to their chambers to consider their merits under procedures set out in federal law. ..."
Dec 17, 2016 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

This article by Moon of Alabama is not conspiracy theory : Read it carefully. Check out the links.

The below theses are thus far only a general outlay...

No general plan has been published. The scheme though is pretty obvious by now. However, the following contains some speculation.

The priority aim is to deny Trump the presidency. He is too independent and a danger for several power centers within the ruling U.S. power circles. The selection of Tillerson as new Secretary of State only reinforces this (Prediction: Bolton will not get the Deputy position.) Tillerson is for profitable stability, not for regime change adventures.

The institutional Trump enemies are:

Read more here...

The article is a documented and accurate description of a coup that is underway. The extraordinary lies that are being perpetrated by the media and by members of the US government have as their obvious purpose the prevention of a Donald Trump presidency. There is no other reason for the extraordinary blatant lies for which there is not a shred of evidence. Indeed, there is massive real evidence to the contrary. Yet the coup proceeds and gathers steam.

President Eisenhower warned us more than a half century ago of the danger that the military/security complex presents to US democracy. In the decades since Eisenhower's warning, the military/security complex has become more powerful than the American people and is demonstrating its power by overturning a presidential election.

Will the coup succeed?

In my opinion, former and present members of the US government and the media would not dare to so obviously and openly participate in a coup against democracy and an elected president unless they expect the coup to succeed.

It is an easy matter for the ruling interests to bribe electors to vote differently than their states. The cost of the bribes is miniscule compared to the wealth and income streams that a trillion dollar annual budget provides to the military/security complex. The fake news of a Putin/Trump election-stealing plot generated by unsupported allegations of present and former members of US intelligence, the lame-duck President Obama, and the presstitute media provide the cover for electors to break with precedent "in order to save America from a Russian stooge."

The CIA-controlled European media, the politicians in Washington's European vassal states, NATO officials, and the brainwashed European peoples will support the coup against Trump.

The only ones speaking against the coup are the voters who elected Trump-all of whom are alleged to have been deceived by Russian fake news -- the Russian government, and the 200 websites falsely described by the Washington Post and the secret organization PropOrNot as Russian agents.

In other words, those objecting to the coup are the ones described by the coup leaders as those who made the coup necessary.

I do not know that the coup will succeed, but looking at the commitment so many high level people have made to the coup, I conclude that those bringing the coup expect it to succeed.

Therefore, we should take very seriously the expectation of success that those who control levers of power are demonstrating.?

abyssinian , Dec 17, 2016 10:17 PM
CIA? You mean Bush?
Mano-A-Mano -> abyssinian , Dec 17, 2016 10:20 PM
PCR has gone senile. Trump IS the elite.
stizazz -> Mano-A-Mano , Dec 17, 2016 10:21 PM
And Trump will continue the MidEast wars. He made it clear.
lock-stock -> stizazz , Dec 17, 2016 10:22 PM
Yes he did. It's right there. http://bit.ly/2flWnRK
Save_America1st -> Moe Hamhead , Dec 17, 2016 10:59 PM
As usual, Paul Craig Roberts is dead-on correct. Just wish Mr. T. would hook him up in some way in the new admin as an economic adivosor of some sorts. He could make a yuuuuuuuge difference.
Mr. Universe -> Save_America1st , Dec 17, 2016 11:33 PM
Above and beyond what is going on behind the scenes they are pushing for all out civil war. If the electors vote for Trump then it's on to Jan.20 where multiple sources are calling out for an outright riot. Michael Moore is calling for a not a protest but a revolution. In response, Trump supporters are now being encouraged to be 2nd amendment patriots to defend against a left wing radical takeover. No matter what happens you can sure you won't hear the truth on the MSM. In fact TPTB are making sure right now they shut down the "alt- right" lest any more muppets awaken.
Perimetr -> techies-r-us , Dec 17, 2016 10:48 PM
A whole group of trolls has been assigned to denigrate PCR's warning, which underlines its importance.

Read also this warning https://www.abqjournal.com/910202/just-who-is-undermining-election-russians-or-cia.html

and this, too http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/12/17/only-a-counter-coup-can-save-...

Paul Kersey -> Perimetr , Dec 17, 2016 10:57 PM
"A whole group of trolls has been assigned to denigrate PCR's warning, which underlines its importance."

Count me in as one of those trolls, because I find PCR to be a sensationalist. In less than two weeks, limp-dick Obama won't have another word to say about the "Russian hack", aka bullshit, and nothing Hillbilery has to say about anything will make any more noise than a goose flying backwards and farting in a thunderstorm.

DaveyJones -> DownWithYogaPants , Dec 17, 2016 11:08 PM
The whole Russian Routine is ALMOST this silly

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEWWRbn4zG0

We should all be taking another look at this movie. It's pretty funy and the satire was not only historically planted, it was prescient

when these murderous thieving assholes piss me off, I remember the power of the artist and their license to peel away the absurdity of political power

Dιjΰ view -> Perimetr , Dec 17, 2016 11:01 PM
"In times of peace, the war party insists on making preparation for war. As soon as prepared for, it insists on making war"

"If there is no sufficient reason for war, the war party will make war on one pretext, then invent another"

"Before the war is ended, the war party assumes the divine right to denounce and silence all opposition to war as unpatriotic and cowardly".

"Every nation has its war party... It is commercial, imperialistic, ruthless. It tolerates no opposition"

~ Robert M. la Follette Sr.

http://www.azquotes.com/author/25317-Robert_M_La_Follette_Sr

ebworthen -> LetThemEatRand , Dec 17, 2016 10:46 PM
The CIA, along with Boeing and all the other contractors, banks, insurers, and rabble of the Wall Street machine are the Military Industrial Complex.

The Imperial City (D.C.) of Isengard and Mordor (Wall Street) want fresh bodies and blood to enrich themselves. No more pointless wars! No more body bags for blood money!

When the hell will the U.S. Military cut off the head of the beast and restore the Republic?

We can hope Trump can hack his way there, but if not, step up soldiers!

This may be the last chance, tipping point is here.

Blankone -> ebworthen , Dec 17, 2016 11:10 PM
And China keeps buying Boeing planes by the truck load. Why?
Xena fobe -> Blankone , Dec 17, 2016 11:34 PM
They were contracted for already and are partially assembled in China.
adanata -> sysin3 , Dec 17, 2016 10:32 PM

I have believed PCR is controlled opposition for a while now. I also believe the electors will, like the American People, deliver Trump to the Oval Office. I also believe this whole mess is mainly aimed at undermining Trump's mandate from the People so repugs in CONgress can give him a hard time. That won't work either because they'll be inundated with demands from their constituencies. Screw 'em.

natxlaw -> adanata , Dec 18, 2016 12:17 AM
That and convincing Democrat donors not to jump like rats from the sinking ship.
LetThemEatRand , Dec 17, 2016 10:20 PM
I agree with the premise of this article, but disagree that the deep state expects to succeed in a coup via the Electors. Using the tired metaphor, the deep state plays chess. They are merely laying the groundwork for something later.
Mustafa Kemal -> LetThemEatRand , Dec 17, 2016 10:43 PM
Yes, thinking long term, setting a narrative
GracchusBrothers , Dec 17, 2016 10:33 PM

Paul Craig Roberts...the Armed Forces are with Trump. The CIA are a bunch of effete college girly-boys that should be outed and either be arrested or die for crimes against the state.

FUCK THE CIA and their contractors. Whores for sale to the highest bidder. Enemies of the Republic. Death to them all!

DarthVaderMentor , Dec 17, 2016 10:40 PM
If the Defense-Industrial Complex does overturn the election, their victory will be their pyrrhic last stand and it will be the end of its dominance. The American people will totally destroy it.
Right Wing-Nut , Dec 17, 2016 10:49 PM
"Nothing has been published..." and . .. "it's only speculation..." so up to now it's a John LeCarre' novel!
El_Puerco , Dec 17, 2016 10:49 PM
HEY!...people!...are you aware how important is this if is a true story

{ https://youtu.be/wGZds4W1nEs }

I hope its a fake news, just passing through...

A comment:
C/P:

what the United States and NATO are doing on Russia's western frontier is similar to what the German Wehrmacht did in preparation for Operation Barbarossa.

I really hope this is "a Fake NEWS"...

Saludos...

ChaoKrungThep -> SillySalesmanQuestion , Dec 17, 2016 11:00 PM
...but we lost because every POTUS since JFK is a show pony or he goes to the glue factory (and he knows it). The establishment won again so we wait in the shadows for the aging angry beast to die...
King Tut , Dec 17, 2016 10:51 PM
Eisenhower was a SOB and oversaw the genocide of millions of German women, children and elderly at the end of WW2
dexter_morgan , Dec 17, 2016 10:52 PM
So, all indications are that he will receive > 270 electoral votes on 12/19, so the next day of action for this cabal is Jan. 6th when they can again attempt to overturn?

So we will have a lot of propaganda thrown at us yet again trying to influence that, but a) how many people actually pay attention to this crap expecially over the holiday season, and b) how many people pay attention to the MSM anymore anyhow.

That is a large part of their angst - nobody seems to be listening to their bullshit.

Joe A -> dexter_morgan , Dec 17, 2016 11:35 PM
I am not familiar with the American process leading up to the inauguration. What is on Jan. 6th?
dexter_morgan -> Joe A, Dec 17, 2016 11:46 PM
I think that's when the House actual gives there nihil obstat and impramatur to the electoral college votes, and so members can attempt to hang the process up there as per this below which was in the original article.

Andrea Chalupa ‏@AndreaChalupa Dec 11

1.) Electoral College meets Dec. 19. If Electors ignore #StateOfEmergency we're in, & Trump gets elected, we can stop him Jan. 6 in Congress

2.) If any objections to Electoral College vote are made, they must be submitted in writing, signed by at least 1 House member & 1 Senator

3.) If objections are presented, House & Senate withdraw to their chambers to consider their merits under procedures set out in federal law.
...

yellowsub , Dec 17, 2016 10:54 PM
What about Jefferson's warning about the bankers controlling the money supply?
RightLineBacker -> yellowsub, Dec 17, 2016 11:42 PM
Jefferson was right.
DarkPurpleHaze , Dec 17, 2016 10:55 PM
Once Trump gets in office the resultant corruption probe afterwards should be epic! We'll know by Monday if the electoral college stays the course or steers the country towards anarchy.
G-R-U-N-T , Dec 17, 2016 10:56 PM
Seems to me the CIA and the POTUS has made a complete mess of the world. Do the people really have a desire for them to solve the problem when they caused the problem??? I think not!
Atomizer , Dec 17, 2016 11:00 PM
An old book published in 1992. It's called, Snow Crash . Advise you read it.

" Snow Crash " Trailer - YouTube

Clever kids creating their aspersions of book.

DuneCreature , Dec 17, 2016 11:13 PM
I have CIA contacts. They are freaked. .. It is even affecting some of them in the physical health department. (Not enough of them. IMHO.)

Now is NOT the time to fold to intimidation or threats. Now is the time to double down and make them back up threats and/or expose themselves and show exactly which side they are on.

They DO NOT have enough manpower or assets in the states (or anywhere) to silence everyone.

If the Satanic Witch or other Ass Wipes Inc puppet other than Donald Trump (I'm not 100% sure about him but he is the best shot we have, IMO.) gets put into office, shaking off these assholes will be much harder or impossible all together.

And BTW, in case you think you can just close your eyes and tuck back in a hole until the battle is over they have plans well under way to kill you and your family anyway. .. I'm sure if you have read any of my previous posts you know what some of those ways are.

That's my field report and firm recommendations for 12/17/16.

Live Hard, The CIA / CeyeA Are Not The Good Guys Here, Not Even Close, Die Free

~ DC v4.0

samsara , Dec 17, 2016 11:07 PM
I notice Trump has more than a few ex military people around him. A few generals. I wonder if the would call to active military to stand down? Or to counter a coup?
RightLineBacker -> samsara, Dec 17, 2016 11:30 PM
My first thoughts after Trump selected the Generals was to organize a Military-lead counter coup. He has also aligned a massive amount of wealth by his other appointments. I pray & hope I am correct.
Kina , Dec 17, 2016 11:29 PM
The Republican electors their families and the GOP have way too much to lose. Republicans will never get elected again...and all their lives would be in danger. Plus you would get domestic terror groups spring up across the country. Remember Trump won most of the counties so his support is strong and getting stronger.

The soros and clintons of the world will not be able to control the backlash as they think..and you really would then see russia and china stiring up big trouble in america.

luna_man , Dec 17, 2016 11:28 PM
Donald Trump, doesn't strike me as the type of person, that would lay down for such criminality... and if he puts up a fight, like I think he will, anyone that supports him will fight with him. You can count me in that fighting group!

[Dec 30, 2017] On Luke Harding interview, give the guy who exposed him some credit if you have Twitter

Dec 30, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Dec 28, 2017 2:49:47 PM | 1

Finally an opportunity comes to offer B and MoA commenters a nice little Christmas present, courtesy of ZeroHedge who have in the past reposted some of B's articles on their site.

True, ZH reposted this priceless gift from Caitlin Johnstone's own site but she seems to have given her permission for the reposting.

Why priceless? - well who doesn't want to see the ever smug Luke Harding and his idiotic and baseless arguments about Russian intrigue and inteference in US and European politics taken down in a well-deserved thrashing by Aaron Mate?

Priceless to read the transcript and priceless to watch.

What Happens When A Russiagate Skeptic Debates A Professional Russiagater

Anonynmous , Dec 29, 2017 6:16:02 AM | 34
Jen / 1

Luke Harding gets exposed for the fraud he really is and in such a way then!
If b has time I think he should make a post just about that interview/harding because he seems to fool alot of people with these claims he is making.

Anonynmous , Dec 29, 2017 11:03:36 AM | 46
Re: On Luke Harding interview, give the guy who exposed him some credit if you have Twitter,
https://twitter.com/aaronjmate

Its is people like him, b etc that makes the big work these days researching and exposing the corruption of this world.

Tony_0pmoc , Dec 29, 2017 12:31:06 PM | 50
Anonymous @ 46

I did watch the Luke Harding interview, largely as a result of Caitlin Johnstone, who I have enormous respect for. However, I do not do Twitter. Incidentally, Julian Assange of all people, brilliantly exposed Luke Harding (and the Guardian) in 2015. You can smell the sense of betrayal.

http://www.newsweek.com/assange-how-guardian-milked-edward-snowdens-story-323480

[Dec 30, 2017] Bill Maher as a tool of deep state

It is interesting how easily Bill Maher was owned by Stone. Stone has higher level of IQ and that shows.
And Bill Maher is not that easy guy to own. Pretty slick political operative is this Roger Stone.
Notable quotes:
"... Bill Maher gets absolutely stumped. He can't stop stammering after what Roger says about the CIA. ..."
"... Bill Maher is a LIAR, and a very cunning one at that. ..."
Dec 30, 2017 | www.youtube.com

mrbossandbeast , 8 months ago

Stop, the anti trump bullshit just needs to stop. Terrible videos against him and his family is so wrong. It's getting old and people are finally understanding!

Diego Carrera , 8 months ago

Roger Stone nails it at 12:25 - 12:45 ish, and what our real problems are in America. The dude is spot on.

Lui Pietro , 8 months ago

You sound like a person that isn't open minded and is rather biased, leaning to the left. You sound just like one of these schmucks like Colbert, Samantha Bee, Maher, etc. "Hating Trump is not being liberal. It is being sane." Stfu.

These are the people who I constantly see in the trending section, all liberal propaganda that of course you must enjoy watching. But yet there is also conservative channels that get just as many views and likes but yet none of them are trending. You probably also believe that Russia hacked the polls when there is no evidence what so ever.

So, I feel that no matter what I say to you, you will simply dismiss is it and just keep on believing what you believe. Trump is just a puppet. You want someone to hate?

Why don't you hate the bankers like the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, and the Morgans who are controlling this country and leading us to all these problems. They are the ones who make all the decisions behind the curtains. Its just that the media doesn't like to talk about them because the CIA controls what they want you to see and believe and the bankers control them. If you don't go along with their agenda they will ruin your life. Just like they had JFK murdered for not going with their agenda. Inform yourself please.

This country is going to shit and you're being led to believe that Trump is the problem when the bankers are the ones fucking our government up. Once we get rid of them we can have our country back.

Patrick Corbett , 7 months ago (edited)

11:00 Bill Maher gets absolutely stumped. He can't stop stammering after what Roger says about the CIA.

Steven Paul , 4 months ago

Bill Maher is a LIAR, and a very cunning one at that.

Eric Courtois , 8 months ago (edited)

BILL MAHER IS SIMPLY A RUDE IDIOT!

[Dec 30, 2017] Stone Releases His Opening Statement

The opening statement can be also hear at Roger Stone Opening Statement for a Secret Session of the House Intel Committee, September 2017 - YouTube
Dec 30, 2017 | dailycaller.com

"I am most interested in correcting a number of falsehoods, misstatements, and misimpressions regarding allegations of collusion between Donald Trump, Trump associates, the Trump Campaign and the Russian state," Stone writes in the opening statement he provided to The Daily Caller.

外国人说中文 3 months ago Roger Stone is the MAN!!!

Steve McAtee 3 months ago

WAIT! Didn't Debbie Washerwoman Shultz's long term, computer team from Pakistan just get criminally charged with not only hacking over 30+ democrats in the House and possessing not only the DNC files and all of Shultz files but also of selectively sending secure DNC and congressional files to their own clandestine server, and then probably dispersing those files to various foreign parties or the highest bidders?

WHEN THIS WAS UNCOVERED IN PART, THE DEMOCRATS DESPERATELY COBBLED TOGETHER INFORMATION FROM A DOSSIER AND OTHER SOURCES AND ACCUSED TRUMP AND HIS CAMPAIGN OF COLLUDING WITH RUSSIANS! DUH!!!!!!!!!sm

Polydynamix 3 months ago

Well as long as this guy 'believes' it then I guess there's no need for evidence. Go forth, subservient minions and spread the fake news based on a Trump advisors 'feelings'. Because there's no incentive for a Trump advisor to say something negative about Democrats so by all means, spread it as if it were true and if ANYONE asks for evidence or says you're wrong don't you DARE give them any kind of evidence, or talk to them like they have a valid request- just get mad, freak out, call them a 'libtard'

[Dec 30, 2017] The Senate committee has deemed anyone "of Russian nationality or Russian descent" relevant to its Russiagate investigation

Dec 30, 2017 | theduran.com

The email reveals that the Senate committee has deemed anyone "of Russian nationality or Russian descent" relevant to its investigation , which means the Russiagate conspiracy theory and accompanying congressional investigation has officially jumped straight from neo-McCarthyism – smearing anyone that may have had contact with Russian government officials, diplomats or intelligence, and into xenophobia – eyeing any and all Russians or friends of Russians as a potential threat plain and simple , which is far down the slippery slope that many commentators have long predicted.

The American government has now gone full blown McCarthy.

The fact that Russia hating, progressive left news channel, The Young Turks, has uncovered and published this bombshell email should concern all Russian Americans that the witch-hunt against Russia may now be extended to US citizens, residents, and tourists in the United States no evidence needed except profiling based on Russian heritage.

Via Zerohedge

The Young Turks Network (TYT), a popular progressive YouTube channel and news site, has obtained a bombshell internal email related to the Senate committee probing alleged Russian interference in the American political system, and though currently being covered in Russian media, mainstream US media is passing it over without comment.

The email reveals that the Senate committee has deemed anyone "of Russian nationality or Russian descent" relevant to its investigation , which means the Russiagate conspiracy theory and accompanying congressional investigation has officially jumped straight from neo-McCarthyism – smearing anyone that may have had contact with Russian government officials, diplomats or intelligence, and into xenophobia – eyeing any and all Russians or friends of Russians as a potential threat plain and simple , which is far down the slippery slope that many commentators have long predicted.

[Dec 30, 2017] Russiagate Is Devolving Into An Effort To Stigmatize Dissent

Confident elite does not file such "amicus briefs". This is a sign of the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA. Frightened elite now was to stigmatize the dissent.
Notable quotes:
"... The amicus brief purports to explain to the court how Russia deploys "active measures" that seek "to undermine confidence in democratic leaders and institutions; sow discord between the United States and its allies; discredit candidates for office perceived as hostile to the Kremlin; influence public opinion against U.S. military, economic and political programs; and create distrust or confusion over sources of information." ..."
"... Professor Lears also observed that as regards Russiagate, "In its capacity to exclude dissent, it is like no other formation of mass opinion in my adult life, though it recalls a few dim childhood memories of anti-communist hysteria during the early 1950s." ..."
"... In trying to accuse Trump the Deep State is using a logical fallacy called "Begging the Question" a.k.a. "Guilt by Association". It's yet another sign of how desperate the Deep State is. How desperate are they? Read this and you might get the idea: https://voat.co/v/RepealSmithMundt/2240641 ..."
"... They are definitely desperate. Desperate people lose the ability to step back and observe how ridiculous their position is in context. ..."
"... Well, of course. Tailgunner Joe and all the rest of the commies-under-the-bed crowd. And its appeal is direct to all the bright younguns who've never lived through Cold War propaganda. Because they're trained to mindlessly howl at certain key words, 'racism' 'Nazi' 'homophobe' and the rest. Now they're being trained to howl at 'Russia'. ..."
"... Publishing any facts outside the official narrative is dangerous and criminal, because it might derail the training. ..."
Dec 30, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

In a new development, in early December, 14 former high-ranking US intelligence and national-security officials, including former deputy secretary of state William Burns; former CIA director John Brennan; former director of national intelligence James Clapper; and former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul (a longtime proponent of democracy promotion, which presumably includes free speech), filed an amicus brief as part of the lawsuit.

The amicus brief purports to explain to the court how Russia deploys "active measures" that seek "to undermine confidence in democratic leaders and institutions; sow discord between the United States and its allies; discredit candidates for office perceived as hostile to the Kremlin; influence public opinion against U.S. military, economic and political programs; and create distrust or confusion over sources of information."

The former officials portray the amicus brief as an offering of neutral ("Amici submit this brief on behalf of neither party") expertise ("to offer the Court their broad perspective, informed by careers spent working inside the U.S. government").

The brief claims that Putin's Russia has not only "actively spread disinformation online in order to exploit racial, cultural and political divisions across the country" but also "conducted cyber espionage operations to undermine faith in the U.S. democratic process and, in the general election, influence the results against Secretary Hillary Clinton."

Much of this has been said before. But where the briefers branch off into new territory is in their attempt to characterize journalism and political speech with which they disagree as acts of subversion on behalf of a foreign power.

According to the 14 former officials, Russia's active-measure campaign relies "on intermediaries or 'cut outs' inside a country," which are rather broadly defined as "political organizers and activists, academics, journalists, web operators, shell companies, nationalists and militant groups, and prominent pro-Russian businessmen."

Such "intermediaries" can range from "the unwitting accomplice who is manipulated to act in what he believes is his best interest, to the ideological or economic ally who broadly shares Russian interests, to the knowing agent of influence who is recruited or coerced to directly advance Russian operations and objectives."

In other words, a Russian "cut out" (or fifth columnist) can be defined as those "activists, academics, journalists, [or] web operators" who dissent from the shared ideology of the 14 signatories of the amicus brief.

In a recent essay for the London Review of Books, the historian Jackson Lears observed that "the religion of the Russian hack depends not on evidence but on ex cathedra pronouncements on the part of authoritative institutions and their overlords." And this amicus brief is one such pronouncement.

In spite of the brief's high-flown language ("The threat posed to our democracy by Russian active measures campaigns is serious, ongoing and will require vigilance on the part of the U.S. government and people"), it is little more than yet another effort to stigmatize political speech that questions the necessity of demonizing Russia -- political speech, in other words, with which these former high-ranking intelligence and national-security officials surely disagree.

Professor Lears also observed that as regards Russiagate, "In its capacity to exclude dissent, it is like no other formation of mass opinion in my adult life, though it recalls a few dim childhood memories of anti-communist hysteria during the early 1950s."

That is only too true; indeed, as of this writing, the Russia-Trump collusion narrative is fast devolving into an effort to stigmatize and marginalize expressions of dissent, with the overarching aim of short-circuiting and stifling debate over US-Russia policy.

Billy the Poet -> BlindMonkey Dec 29, 2017 9:32 PM

Knowledge is power, the truth will set you free. Background to "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections": The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution "Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries."

https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf

chubbar -> Billy the Poet Dec 29, 2017 10:29 PM

Not only no forgeries, which means the emails told the truth about what these morons were doing, but also it's been demonstrated that the emails could only have been downloaded to a thumb drive because of the speeds they were transmitted. Why these fucking dimwits keep overlooking that inconvenient truth is anyone's guess, likely because it doesn't dovetail with their scenario of a Russian hack. This lawsuit goes nowhere but is being used to slowdown and divert attention away from the crimes of the DNC, et al.

It burns me that Brennan and Clapper, those two fucking traitorous cunts, filed a brief supporting this bullshit. Those 2 assholes were running the illegal spy operation against Trump during his campaign.

AgLand Dec 29, 2017 9:07 PM

The US loses it's collective sanity in the "New McCarthyism"...

nmewn Dec 29, 2017 9:22 PM

"In a new development, in early December, 14 former high-ranking US intelligence and national-security officials, including former deputy secretary of state William Burns ; former CIA director John Brennan ; former director of national intelligence James Clapper ; and former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul (a longtime proponent of democracy promotion, which presumably includes free speech), filed an amicus brief as part of the lawsuit."

How revealing, the co-conspirators have filed an amicus brief ;-)

TheGhostOfJame Dec 29, 2017 9:23 PM

In trying to accuse Trump the Deep State is using a logical fallacy called "Begging the Question" a.k.a. "Guilt by Association". It's yet another sign of how desperate the Deep State is. How desperate are they? Read this and you might get the idea: https://voat.co/v/RepealSmithMundt/2240641

At the very minimum many high fliers who put on these Smith-Mundt hoaxes are going away for charity fraud. That's one reason they're so desperate.

MuffDiver69 -> TheGhostOfJame Dec 29, 2017 9:30 PM

They are definitely desperate. Desperate people lose the ability to step back and observe how ridiculous their position is in context. It's a bit like my wife when I tell her I'm not in the mood.. hehehehehe

scraping_by Dec 29, 2017 9:23 PM

"In its capacity to exclude dissent, it is like no other formation of mass opinion in my adult life, though it recalls a few dim childhood memories of anti-communist hysteria during the early 1950s."

Well, of course. Tailgunner Joe and all the rest of the commies-under-the-bed crowd. And its appeal is direct to all the bright younguns who've never lived through Cold War propaganda. Because they're trained to mindlessly howl at certain key words, 'racism' 'Nazi' 'homophobe' and the rest. Now they're being trained to howl at 'Russia'.

Publishing any facts outside the official narrative is dangerous and criminal, because it might derail the training.

Promethus Dec 29, 2017 9:26 PM

These people are TRAITORS.

They have violated their oaths of office and have conspired to over through the constitutionally elected President of the United States. Instead of filing amicus brief they should be swinging from ropes.

WTFUD -> Promethus Dec 29, 2017 9:42 PM

Yeah true, but think of the Army of New Recruits/Converts if Trump had the foresight/Inclination to Drain that SWAMP . . . . To have a modicum of credibility in my eyes he'd have to Deputize Deplorables to shoot these treasonous bastards in the face.

Billy the Poet -> Promethus Dec 29, 2017 9:44 PM

The mutineers must be held accountable according to the harshest possible terms.

MuffDiver69 Dec 29, 2017 9:26 PM

We see this thought pattern all over college and lower education now. People defending the right to censor and even criminalize things they don't believe in and often enough these people have nice penalties for not bowing down to our betters...We've come full circle back to King George the III and the American Revolution it seems..The founders had enough of this exact bullshit ...

WTFUD -> MuffDiver69 Dec 29, 2017 9:33 PM

'lower edumakation' at premium rates. lol

gwar5 Dec 29, 2017 9:29 PM

All nonsense. The Russians wanted Hillary to win. She (and everybody else) was already bought and paid for after Uranium One.

John Brennan still needs to answer for Passport Gate and the murder of his employee, Lt. Quarles Harris Jr., in 2008 two weeks before he was to testify. Brennan hacked the State department and tampered Obama's passport and was rewarded with the first post-election appointment. Before there was Seth Rich there was 24 year old, Lt. Quarles Harris Jr.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/apr/19/key-witness-in-passpor

WTFUD Dec 29, 2017 9:29 PM

Claptrap, Brennan . . . two warmongering Shadow Government Lackey's who should be in Orange Jumpsuits. 12 months on and NO jail sentences. MoFo Puppet!

otschelnik Dec 29, 2017 9:35 PM

Roger reemed the dem's on the house intel committee, only his opening statement has been made public.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJ6sgOpKeUM

so now the deep state trying to settle the score with Roger.

[Dec 29, 2017] Luke Harding on Trump, Russia, and 'Collusion' The Nation

So nations participates in the witch hunt, because they do not like Trump. Nice... The level of degradation of the remnants of US left is simply incredible.
And they cite "intelligence community conclusion" (a group of hacks personally selected by Brennan for hactchet job which, as we now know, included Peter Strzok)
And then Harding talks about Watergate he might be right: it might well be that CIA setup Nixon to remove him from the office. See Watergate Was A Setup - Business Insider, Why the CIA targeted Nixon for removal from office in 1972 - Watergate - The Education Forum and Did you know that Richard Nixon was set up in Watergate Yahoo Answers
Notable quotes:
"... Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win ..."
"... Couple that with the intelligence community's conclusions about Russia's active-measures campaign, and the fact that, as both a candidate and as president, Trump has consistently staked out positions that perfectly align with Moscow's, and it's clear that this is all far from a partisan "witch hunt." ..."
"... I think this is a huge story. Without wanting to come across as hyperbolic, I think it's bigger than Watergate because this isn't one set of Americans doing dirty tricks to another set of Americans, as was the case back in the '70s. This is one set of Americans basically contracting with a powerful foreign power to help it cripple an opponent, Hillary Clinton. The stakes are much larger. ..."
Dec 11, 2017 | www.thenation.com

[Dec 29, 2017] Luke Harding : the hack who came in from the cold by BlackCatte

Notable quotes:
"... Well, they didn't renew his accreditation, which is the same thing. They pretended it was because he didn't have the right paperwork for an extended visa and offered him a short extension so his kids could finish up at school. But Luke knew it was actually a Soviet-style expulsion. Because Luke can always see the real game when most of us just can't. ..."
"... He demanded to know if President Medvedev had been told – personally – that Luke was going home. The person in the press department he was speaking to just sort of looked at him and didn't say anything. Luke was pretty sure he worked for the FSB. So he went home, got on the lecture circuit and wrote a book all about his terrible experiences in Vladimir Putin's neo-Stalinist hell. ..."
"... Is Luke Harding: "the reporter Russia hated" an "enemy of Putin" a borderline psychotic paranoiac, whose narcissistic delusions have been deliberately encouraged and exploited by an intelligentsia that will use any old crap it can find to further its agenda a bit of a tosser ..."
"... Luke Harding is indeed a piss-poor journalist. He is one of the reasons I gave up on the Grauniad after 20 years; and I persuaded my siblings to look farther afield for real news. Such an irrational man, unless of course you assume that he is not a hack but a low-level CIA stooge. ..."
"... Being serious for a change, one has to ask: if Luke Harding is so lousy as a journalist, and The Guardian had to pay some compensation to The eXile for plagiarising Mark Ames and another guy's work, why didn't the paper send Harding back to journalism school to do an ethics course, as The Independent had to do with Johann Hari when he was caught plagiarising other work? Or why didn't The Guardian get rid of Harding? ..."
"... Is LDH with The Guardian for the same reason that American news media like The New York Times and The Washington Post among others always had someone in their offices who couldn't spell or write to save their own lives, much less others' lives, but who rose up the ranks quickly nevertheless – because they were really working for the CIA? ..."
"... In terms of honesty and journalistic integrity when it comes to geopolitics, he is simply the worst journalist I've ever had the misfortune to read. When the whole Ukraine thing started and the Guardian thought all their readers were insular and stupid, they had our hero writing a whole slew of anti-Russia articles .alongside opening their comments section. Bad "mistake" on their part. ..."
"... Luke saw Russian tanks cross the border into Ukraine despite being 26 miles from the border crossing with a Russian aid convoy ..."
"... Actually it was that other bastion of serous journalism Shaun Walker who saw the invisible invasion. Luke would be too scared of getting zapped by mind rays to get that close to a Russian tank. ..."
Sep 09, 2015 | off-guardian.org

Luke Daniel Harding (born 1968) studied English at University College, Oxford. While there he edited the student newspaper Cherwell . He worked for The Sunday Correspondent , the Evening Argus in Brighton and then the Daily Mail before joining The Guardian in 1996. He was the Guardian's Russia correspondent from 2007-11.

Aside from his more publicly known achievements, it's worth noting Harding was accused of plagiarism by Mark Ames and Yasha Levine of the eXile for publishing an article under his own name that lifted large passages almost verbatim from their work. The Guardian allegedly redacted portions of Harding's article in response to these accusations.

According to his own testimony , Luke Harding is the guy who realised he was in the siloviki cross hairs one day when, during his stay in Moscow as the Guardian's bureau chief, he came home and found one of his bedroom windows open.

A less situationally-aware person would have made the fatal mistake of thinking one of his kids or his wife had done it, or he'd done it himself and just forgotten, or that his landlord had popped in to air the rooms (a bit of a tendency in Russia apparently). But Luke was sure none of his family had opened the window. So it had to have been the FSB.

You see, Luke isn't confined as we are by the constraints of petty mundanity. That was why it had been so clear to him, even without any evidence , that the FSB had murdered Litvinenko. And that was why Luke took one look at that open window and realised the entire Russian intelligence machine was out to get him .

The dark symbolism of the open window in the children's bedroom was not hard to decipher: take care, or your kids might just fall out. The men – I assume it was men – had vanished like ghosts.

And that was only the start of the vicious campaign that was to follow. Tapes were left in his cassette deck, when he knew he hadn't put them there. An alarm clock went off when he knew he hadn't set it. Luke was filled with " a feeling of horror, alarm, incredulity, bafflement and a kind of cold rational rage."

Things developed rapidly. Luke went to visit a woman called Olga who warned him to take care, because he was "an enemy of Putin." He was sure someone had hacked his email account. Whenever he said the name "Berezovsky" his phone line would go dead, so he started using the word "banana" instead. A person from the Russian president's office called and asked for his mobile number. Unable to imagine a single good reason why a Russian government official would need a cell phone number for the Guardian's Russia bureau chief, he refused.

That wily Putin wasn't going to catch him that easily. The game of cat and mouse had begun.

A middle-aged woman with a bad haircut knocked at his door at 7am, and walked away when he opened it. Had she just gone to the wrong door? Of course not, it was the FSB taunting him. At the airport on his way back to London a man with a Russian accent (in Moscow!) tapped him on the back and told him there was something wrong with his jacket. Noticing the man was wearing a leather coat, which meant he must be from the KGB, Luke immediately rushed to the gents and took off all his clothes to find the "bugging device" the man had planted on him. He didn't find one, but that didn't mean it wasn't there.

When the Russian government launched its prosecution of Berezovsky for fraud, someone from the FSB phoned Luke and asked him to come in and make a statement about the interview he'd conducted with the man a short time before. They also advised him to bring a lawyer, which seemed sinister to Luke. A man called Kuzmin interviewed him for 55 minutes. Luke got quite thirsty, but wouldn't drink the fizzy water he was offered, because he was pretty sure it had been tampered with. Surprisingly Kuzmin didn't interrogate him as expected, but Luke decided this was because the FSB were trying to intimidate him. They probably didn't need to do an interrogation, thought Luke, since they'd been breaking in to his flat almost every day for like – ever , switching on his alarm clock and probably also bugging his phone.

After the western-backed Georgian invasion of South Ossetia Luke was amazed to note there was widespread antagonism toward western journalists in Moscow. And the FSB just would not leave him alone. Worried by this "campaign of brutishness" he decided to keep a log of the dreadful things they were doing. Reading this we find not only did they continue to regularly open his windows, they once turned off his central heating, made phantom ringing sounds happen in the middle of the night (Luke couldn't find where they were coming from), deleted a screen saver from his computer and left a book by his bed about getting better orgasms.

All this would have broken a lesser man. But Luke didn't break. Maybe that's why in the end, they knew they'd have to expel him like in the old Soviet days. Which is what they did. Well, they didn't renew his accreditation, which is the same thing. They pretended it was because he didn't have the right paperwork for an extended visa and offered him a short extension so his kids could finish up at school. But Luke knew it was actually a Soviet-style expulsion. Because Luke can always see the real game when most of us just can't.

He demanded to know if President Medvedev had been told – personally – that Luke was going home. The person in the press department he was speaking to just sort of looked at him and didn't say anything. Luke was pretty sure he worked for the FSB. So he went home, got on the lecture circuit and wrote a book all about his terrible experiences in Vladimir Putin's neo-Stalinist hell. But just when he thought all his espionage problems were over, they started up again when he began his book about Edward Snowden.

This time it was the NSA, GCHQ and a host of other western agencies stalking him. The PTB obviously realised that Luke's book would be much much more of a threat to national security than even Snowden himself, and did everything they could to try to stop him writing it. They followed him around (he knew they were agents because they had iPhones) and even used spy technology to remote-delete sentences from his computer – while he was typing them. Especially when he was writing mean things about the NSA. But after he typed "I don't mind you reading my manuscript but I'd be grateful if you don't delete it", they realised they'd met their match and stopped.

He wasn't sure if the culprits were NSA, GCHQ or a Russian hacker, but one thing it definitely wasn't was a glitchy keyboard.

I mean that would just be stupid.

NOTE: In case any of our readers are (understandably) inclined to think we must be making this up or exaggerating, we encourage them to read about it here and here in Luke's own words. You'll find we have merely summarised them.

Yes, he really does believe everything attributed to him in this article. He really does think the FSB were opening his windows. And he really did run to the public toilet and take all his clothes off because a man tapped him on the back in an airport.

We also recommend you take in this opinion piece by Julian Assange, and this one by a Brit ex-pat in Moscow.

After that feel free to complete the following questionnaire:

Is Luke Harding: "the reporter Russia hated" an "enemy of Putin" a borderline psychotic paranoiac, whose narcissistic delusions have been deliberately encouraged and exploited by an intelligentsia that will use any old crap it can find to further its agenda a bit of a tosser

Comments

PaulC says December 28, 2017

Luke Harding is indeed a piss-poor journalist. He is one of the reasons I gave up on the Grauniad after 20 years; and I persuaded my siblings to look farther afield for real news. Such an irrational man, unless of course you assume that he is not a hack but a low-level CIA stooge.
London Grad says December 28, 2017
The force once again fails to materialise for Luke as TheRealNews Aaron Maté sends him scurrying back to his conspiracy theories safespace during this brutal interview on Luke's latest fictional release titled "Collusion".

http://therealnews.com/t2/story:20761:Debate:-Where%27s-the-%27Collusion#pop1

Even the Soros-Worshipper cargo cultists running the Guardian must surely realise by now that Luke's becoming a liability.

https://twitter.com/jeremyscahill/status/945324064494714881

Alfred Nassim says October 9, 2016
Luke Harding's article on Grozny and Chechnya is a classic of the sour grapes variety. "The once war-torn country has been transformed, but change has come at a price" https://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/feb/22/russia To the best of my knowledge, Chechnya is still enjoying its peace and prosperity – totally unsupportable.
Flinx says August 13, 2016
You have to remember that without old Luke we'd not have as much fun reading pages like this!!! That's likely the only positive outcome of what he writes but a very important one.

In this 'insane asylum' light relief coupled with 'some decent perspectives' is a god send. For those that like this page / the humour you might like this site: http://ckm3.blogspot.co.uk/

Francis says September 11, 2015
So, the time has come. Surrounded by the KGB (they no longer exist Ed) Surrounded by the KGB (they no longer exist!! Ed) i, Luke Harding pen this my last will and testament. For though the end has come, (Hurrah! Ed) my enemies made one final mistake, by thinking they could take me alive. They left me the Book, the noble karma sutra

No Walter Mitty I, I carry no arsenic pills about me for such a mournful deed as this. No, I, a writer, a cavalier of the epistolary kind, shall use The Book they left me on my bedside table, the noble Kama sutra. And now, gently removing the cellophane – to my children I bequeath my writing talent, to Pussy Minor disturbance (here he seems to be attempting to outwit the KGB Ed.) my gift for self promotion, and to my wife, Phoebe, my greatest possession, my reputation. And now, gently removing the cellophane, (you see, phoebe, your bootless cries at bedtime fell not on deaf ears, I will use it once, as I promised) and turning the page, I see the very position with which to foil my enemies (who must almost be upon me, for I heard the catflap flap) – "Chicken Butter pasanda, also known as the headless chicken". (How ironic, Ed.) Like the chicken, my head also shall be hidden from view. Here goes! England, though I never knew you (very true, Ed) perhaps you will vouchsafe me a place among the poets? Here goes again! Butter? Tick. Dilate? Tick. Bloody hell, I never realised I had such a big head! Push! Push! They shall not catch me alive!

Like a candle in the wind .oooff! I really shouldn't have had extra beans. England, I do it for thee! But hold, what's this I see? Tracks? Caterpillar tracks? Tank tracks?!! My god! Wait till Shaun sees these, it's the biggest scoop of all time! And it's mine! I must stop this foolshness now. KGB, be damned! Maybe they'll now take me back at the Daily Mail. I must remove my head from my .

(at this point, the recording ends Ed. he will be missed Ed the world will be a sadder place Ed there will be less laughter in the world without him. Phew. Got it. Ed)

Jen says September 10, 2015
Being serious for a change, one has to ask: if Luke Harding is so lousy as a journalist, and The Guardian had to pay some compensation to The eXile for plagiarising Mark Ames and another guy's work, why didn't the paper send Harding back to journalism school to do an ethics course, as The Independent had to do with Johann Hari when he was caught plagiarising other work? Or why didn't The Guardian get rid of Harding?

Is LDH with The Guardian for the same reason that American news media like The New York Times and The Washington Post among others always had someone in their offices who couldn't spell or write to save their own lives, much less others' lives, but who rose up the ranks quickly nevertheless – because they were really working for the CIA?

Steven Lacey says September 10, 2015
Can you please do Lucas and the horrible Neo Con Weiss. Brilliant !
Eric_B says September 10, 2015
Luke wrote:

I ventured out the next morning. My laptop was in the unlocked safe. (It didn't contain any secrets; merely a work in progress.) A tall American immediately accosted me. He suggested we go sightseeing. He said his name was Chris. "Chris" had a short, military-style haircut, new trainers, neatly pressed khaki shorts, and a sleek steel-grey T-shirt. He clearly spent time in the gym. Tourist or spook? I thought spook.

I decided to go along with Chris's proposal: why didn't we spend a couple of hours visiting Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue? Chris wanted to take my photo, buy me a beer, go for dinner. I declined the beer and dinner, later texting my wife: "The CIA sent someone to check me out. Their techniques as clumsy as Russians." She replied: "Really? WTF?"

WTF indeed. Dude, Chris just fancied you.

Moscow Exile says September 10, 2015
Shortly before I was banned from Komment Macht Frei, Mr. Harding popped up in the CiF column in which I had just made a comment ridiculing his "journalism" to state that he believed that I am probably a member of the FSB.
Mark Chapman (@MarkCha40189515) says September 9, 2015
Luke Harding is not a journalist; he is the perennial centrefold in an imaginary magazine called "Smug Prick". There is an irreconcilable gap between the Luke Harding he sees in the mirror and the chowderhead we all know and mock. The Guardian keeps him on because it does not give a tin weasel why you read, just as long as you read. It does not care if you do so with gritted teeth, murmuring obscenities.
Bryan Hemming says September 9, 2015
Luke Harding, even tapping his name onto my keyboard makes me think he is watching over my shoulder. Get away! Luke! Get away!
Dipset says September 9, 2015
In terms of honesty and journalistic integrity when it comes to geopolitics, he is simply the worst journalist I've ever had the misfortune to read. When the whole Ukraine thing started and the Guardian thought all their readers were insular and stupid, they had our hero writing a whole slew of anti-Russia articles .alongside opening their comments section. Bad "mistake" on their part.

It did not take long for readers to start pointing out the hilarious lies, half truths and smears in Mr Harding's articles.

How did he/they respond ?

Not only did he start moderating comments himself, he (and Shaun Walker) had readers banned for highlighting the "inconsistency" in their reporting. Ha! Good luck with that.

It was quite pitiful to see him yesterday on the Grauniad's 'Troll Factory' story maoaning, whining and blaming the readers for not beliveing his "truthful" reporting on Russia haha.

It's going to be fascinating to see how he and his pals report the upcoming battle in Syria between Russia/Syria/Iran/China VS America/ISIS/Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Fun times

Eric_B says September 9, 2015
yes indeed, hilarious article on the Guardian about how people who dare to dispute their propaganda are either Russian or brainwashed.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2015/sep/08/russia-troll-army-red-web-any-questions

Way to go Guardian, vilify your regular readership. That should really sort out your revenue problems.

shatnersrug says April 7, 2016
Surely it's obvious to all that Luke Harding is an establishment stooge isn't it? He might even be MI5 (not 6 – he's not smart enough)
Jim Scott says December 24, 2017
Just started reviewing Harding's past articles and agree he is clearly a stooge but I can't decide whether he is Curly Larry or Mo.
Nino says September 9, 2015
"The dark symbolism of the open window in the children's bedroom was not hard to decipher: take care, or your kids might just fall out. The men – I assume it was men – had vanished like ghosts."

That there is just pure gold, it was written as a serious piece but even if it wasn't it would still be brilliant piece of comedy and sarcasm, but the fact that it's unintentionally funny and not a sarcasm is what makes it one of the greatest arrangements of words ever. Man sees an open window and "deciphers" that it was secret agents who opened it for the whole purpose of leaving him a "message" and then "vanished like ghosts". A whole script from an open window. Perhaps next time they will make an offer he can't refuse? Brilliant sketch, someone mentioned Inspector Clouseau in the comments but I have to say that Clouseau has nothing on this level of deduction skills, self importance and delusions of grandeur, or delusions in general. I read that thing many times now and its still hilarious as first time "The dark symbolism of the open window .."

There is a video of Carl Sagan where he explains how not to do science and logic and uses clouds on Venus as an example how to get a grand and completely wrong conclusion out of nothing, now know as The Venutian Dinosaur Fallacy:

"I can't see a thing on the surface of Venus. Why not? Because it's covered with a dense layer of clouds. Well, what are clouds made of? Water, of course. Therefore, Venus must have an awful lot of water on it. Therefore, the surface must be wet. Well, if the surface is wet, it's probably a swamp. If there's a swamp, there's ferns. If there's ferns, maybe there's even dinosaurs. -Observation: we can't see a thing on Venus. Conclusion: dinosaurs."

I think that Harding perhaps gave us even better example.

Eric_B says September 10, 2015
Who knows what the terrifying window openers might do on a subsequent visit? Perhaps give Luke and Phoebe an air freshener or even a pot pourri?
Rob Baggott says September 9, 2015
Luke saw Russian tanks cross the border into Ukraine despite being 26 miles from the border crossing with a Russian aid convoy. Despite there being a 5000 foot elevation between where he actually was to where the border crossing was.Despite there being EU monitors at the border crossing who did not see any tanks.When I pointed this out to Luke,as a comment on his Guardian article,the article comments section disappeared and the placement of Russian tanks at the border changed to a different border crossing.All of my previous comments were purged,any other comments were moderated meaning an effectual ban and Luke carried on as if nothing had happened.Something did happen,he stopped saying he personally saw Russian tanks because he had been busted.In my opinion he is paid handsomely to post,anything,negative against Russia and sometimes he just makes shit up when his wife needs a new kitchen appliance.He is obviously a tosser to boot.
BlackCatte says September 9, 2015
Actually it was that other bastion of serous journalism Shaun Walker who saw the invisible invasion. Luke would be too scared of getting zapped by mind rays to get that close to a Russian tank.
Eric_B says September 9, 2015
Yeah that was good old shaun. shaun also saw a Russian vehicle somewhere in ukraine with peacekeeping symbols from Chechnya. there was actually a photo of that one. unfortunately it was impossible to verify where and when the photo was taken and no other such vehicle with those markings has ever been seen before or since in ukraine. the woman who supposedly took the photo had a long history of photographing Russia vehicles in Chechnya.
Francis says September 10, 2015
Nice to see we're developing a decent comments section as well, keep it up .
astabada says September 23, 2015
Luke did take pictures of the Russian tanks entering Ukraine, but the FSB promptly deleted any footage.
Jennifer Hor says September 10, 2015
Luke wouldn't even have taken any photos of the Russian tanks. He would have thought the tanks were sent after him and he would taken off like a rabbit. Even if the tanks were going in the other direction.

BTW Luke's wife Phoebe Taplin (also a journalist) wrote a series of books about walking in Moscow at different times of the year according to season and exploring the city's parks and open spaces on foot while they were stationed there. Folks, make of that what you will.

"Moscow walks. Spring" by Phoebe Taplin goes on sale
http://themoscownews.com/ournews/20120503/189687562.html

Moscow Exile says September 11, 2015
Mrs. Harding's articles in the now defunct "Moscow News" were always an interesting and informative read, I thought.
Katherine Da Silva (@KathyDaSilva2) says September 9, 2015
I think he has survived as a journalist which is in a way commendable. However, he irritated Glenn Greenwald, when he interviewed him because Glenn could see the details Luke was interested in writing about were literally going to be the material for a book, and I think Glenn had not finished his own at that point! So a bit exploitive to say the least. It's an irony that the Snowden film produced/directed by Oliver Stone is going to be based on Luke's version not Glenn, guess who gains financially for example.
BlackCatte says September 9, 2015
Personally I'm not sure Luke has ever been anything definable as a journalist – but he definitely has survived.
Yonatan says September 9, 2015
Tricky – a mix of 3 and 4 might do it.

On the other hand, you have to give him credit for foresight – moving from the Daily Mail to the Guardian before it was fashionable. Maybe his talents alone explain the lack of substantive difference between these two organs of State.

Rhisiart Gwilym says September 9, 2015
E L Wisty used to shout "Get away, silly old government!" down his loo, because he knew they were bugging it.
Jen says September 9, 2015
If I didn't know that Luke Harding was a journalist, I'd have thought he was a comedian in the tradition of Peter Sellers overdoing Inspector Clouseau in too many Pink Panther sequels.
Eric_B says September 9, 2015
Mr Harding is a huge threat to the ruthless Russian government due to his fearless journalism, but rather than off him with some polonium tea or crumpets they decided to leave a sex manual by his bed.

Was the idea that Mr Harding would die from over exertion?

yalensis says September 10, 2015
When KGB left the orgasm manual, that was Putin's way of voting #4: "Tosser".
Jennifer Hor says September 10, 2015
Even the sudden appearance of the Kama Sutra in English by the bedside table would have aroused LDH's suspicions. What, he would have wondered, were the terrifying secrets encoded in the manual?
Brad Benson says September 10, 2015
Maybe his wife left the book because she was tired of walking through parks in Moscow by herself.

[Dec 29, 2017] washingtonpost.com - watergate scandal and deep throat update, e. howard hunt

Dec 29, 2017 | www.washingtonpost.com
E. Howard Hunt
E. Howard Hunt
Hunt was a member of the White House "plumbers," the secret team assembled to stop government leaks after defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers to the press. A former CIA operative, Hunt organized the bugging of the Democratic headquarters in the Watergate -- as well as a break-in at the office of Ellsberg's psychiatrist. Hunt's phone number in address books belonging to the Watergate burglars helped investigators -- and reporters -- connect the break-in to the president and his reelection campaign. Convicted of burglary, conspiracy and wiretapping, Hunt served 33 months in prison.

By the time of the Watergate burglary, Hunt was already moonlighting as a spy novelist. He has since penned dozens of books, including a memoir and "Dragon Teeth," a thriller published this May.

In 1981, Hunt won $650,000 in a libel suit against the Liberty Lobby for a 1978 article that appeared in the right-wing group's conspiracy-minded newspaper, The Spotlight. The article linked Hunt to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, suggesting the CIA man was in Dallas on the day of the 1963 shooting. Mark Lane, author of the best-selling "Rush to Judgment," successfully defended Liberty Lobby in a second trial in 1985, overturning the original libel award. Lane outlined his theory about Hunt's and the CIA's role in Kennedy's murder in a 1991 book, "Plausible Denial."

Hunt filed for bankruptcy protection from his creditors in June 1995. He died at a Miami hospital after a lengthy bout with pneumonia Jan. 23, 2007.

[Dec 29, 2017] Watergate Scandal Timeline

Dec 29, 2017 | www.historyonthenet.com

The Watergate Break-In
June 16, 1972: In room 214 of the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., seven men gathered to finalize their plans to break in to the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) headquarters, located on the sixth floor of one of the Watergate complex's six buildings. One of these men, G. Gordon Liddy , was a former FBI agent. Another, E. Howard Hunt , had retired from the CIA. James McCord would handle the bugging, Bernard Barker would photograph documents, and Virgilio Gonzalez would pick the locks. The remaining two, Eugenio Martinez and Frank Sturgis, would serve as lookouts. Several of these men were Cuban exiles who had met Hunt through their participation in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion back in 1961.

[Dec 29, 2017] Richard Helms The Intelligence Professional Personified -- Central Intelligence Agency

Notable quotes:
"... . . . it is sometimes difficult for us to understand the intensity of our public critics. Criticism of our efficiency is one thing, criticism of our responsibility quite another. I believe that we are . . . a legitimate object of public concern . . . I find it painful, however, when public debate lessens our usefulness to the nation by casting doubt on our integrity and objectivity. If we are not believed, we have no purpose. . . 30 ..."
Dec 29, 2017 | www.cia.gov

The Unraveling

During his later years at the CIA, Helms witnessed the Agency and the whole enterprise of intelligence fall into disrepute as Congress and the public subjected US foreign policy to unprecedented criticism. Helms took the occasion of his only public speech as DCI to affirm that "the nation must to a degree take it on faith that we too are honorable men devoted to her service." 28 By the end of his directorship, however, years of political protest, social upheaval, and revelations of government incompetence and wrongdoing had depleted much of that faith. Helms became a (not entirely blameless) casualty of that rapid and sweeping change in the American people's sense of what their government should and should not do. He had once said that Americans "want an effective, strong intelligence operation. They just don't want to hear too much about it." 29 But now prominent voices demanded of the CIA far more accountability than Helms was used to or thought appropriate. As he wrote in this journal in 1967:

. . . it is sometimes difficult for us to understand the intensity of our public critics. Criticism of our efficiency is one thing, criticism of our responsibility quite another. I believe that we are . . . a legitimate object of public concern . . . I find it painful, however, when public debate lessens our usefulness to the nation by casting doubt on our integrity and objectivity. If we are not believed, we have no purpose. . . 30

Photo: Helms testifying before a congressional committee in the 1970s. (U)

Helms testifying before a congressional
committee in the 1970s

Helms declined a presidential request to submit his resignation after the 1972 elections, not wanting to set a precedent that he thought would politicize the position of DCI. After he was forced out in 1973 -- he believed that Nixon was mad at him for refusing to use the CIA in the Watergate cover up -- Helms spent several years coping with controversies ensuing in part from some of his acts of omission and commission while at the Agency. He became a lightning rod for criticism of the CIA during its "time of troubles" in the mid-1970s. He was called back many times from his ambassadorial post in Tehran to testify before investigatory bodies about assassination plots, domestic operations, drug testing, the destruction of records, and other activities of dubious legality and ethicality known collectively as the "Family Jewels." He responded to inquiries about them cautiously, sometimes testily, as he tried to walk the increasingly fuzzy line between discretion and disclosure.

Helms ran into legal troubles resulting from his judgment about when and when not to reveal secrets. Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee just after leaving the Agency, he denied that the CIA had tried to influence the outcome of the Chilean presidential election in 1970. Helms described his quandary this way: "If I was to live up to my oath and fulfill my statutory responsibility to protect intelligence sources and methods from unauthorized disclosure, I could not reveal covert operations to people unauthorized to learn about them." 31 He eventually pleaded no contest to charges of not testifying "fully, completely and accurately" to the committee. His statement to the federal judge who was about to sentence him, although addressed to the immediate situation, could also summarize nearly his whole experience as DCI: "I was simply trying to find my way through a difficult situation in which I found myself

[Dec 29, 2017] Watergate Was A Setup - Business Insider

Notable quotes:
"... Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America's Invisible Government and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years ..."
"... Who Will Rid Me of This Troublesome Priest? ..."
"... ascribed to Henry II ..."
"... It sounded preposterous. Cubans in surgical gloves bugging the ..."
"... DNC! I dismissed it as some sort of prank . . . The whole thing ..."
"... made so little sense. Why, I wondered. Why then? Why in such a ..."
"... blundering way . . . Anyone who knew anything about politics ..."
"... would know that a national committee headquarters was a useless ..."
"... place to go for inside information on a presidential campaign. The ..."
"... whole thing was so senseless and bungled that it almost looked ..."
"... like some kind of a setup. ..."
"... HALDEMAN: . . . The FBI agents who are working the case, at this ..."
"... point, feel that's what it is. This is CIA . ..."
"... NIXON: Of course, this is a, this is a [E. Howard] Hunt [operation, ..."
"... and exposure of it] will uncover a lot of things. You open that ..."
"... scab there's a hell of a lot of things and that we just feel that it ..."
"... would be very detrimental to have this thing go any further. ..."
"... This involves these Cubans, Hunt, and a lot of hanky-panky that ..."
"... we have nothing to do with ourselves This will open the ..."
"... whole Bay of Pigs thing ..."
"... Also got cranking on the political problem. [President's] obviously ..."
"... concerned about reports (especially Buchanan's) that conservatives ..."
"... and the South are unhappy. Also he's annoyed by constant right- ..."
"... wing bitching, with never a positive alternative. Ordered me to assemble ..."
"... a political group and really hit them to start defending us, ..."
"... including Buchanan . . . [and political specialist Harry] Dent. ..."
"... HALDEMAN: The way to handle this now is for us to have [CIA ..."
"... deputy director Vernon] Walters call [FBI interim director] Pat ..."
"... Gray and just say, "Stay the hell out of this this is ah, business ..."
"... here we don't want you to go any further on it." ..."
"... Then I played Nixon's trump card. "The President asked me to tell ..."
"... you this entire affair may be connected to the Bay of Pigs, and if it ..."
"... opens up, the Bay of Pigs might be blown . . ." ..."
"... Turmoil in the room, Helms gripping the arms of his chair, ..."
"... leaning forward and shouting, "The Bay of Pigs had nothing to do ..."
"... with this. I have no concern about the Bay of Pigs." . . . I was ..."
"... absolutely shocked by Helms' violent reaction. Again I wondered, ..."
"... what was such dynamite in the Bay of Pigs story? ..."
"... In view of our discussion yesterday morning with regard ..."
"... to Cuba, I thought you might like to see a copy of the speech ..."
"... I made before the American Society of Newspaper Editors in ..."
"... which I directed remarks toward this problem. ..."
"... When I return from Europe I am looking forward to having ..."
"... a chance to get a further fill-in with regard to your experiences ..."
"... on the Bay of Pigs incident. ..."
"... 0900 Cols[on] -- re idea of getting pol. Commitments -- ..."
"... Sugar people are richest & most ruthless ..."
"... before we commit -- shld put screws on ..."
"... & get quid pro quo ..."
"... ie Fl[anigan] -- always go to Sugar lobby or oil etc. ..."
"... before we give them anything ..."
"... One of Mr. Kendall's great passions is international trade, and his ..."
"... interest in foreign affairs won him a footnote in a 1975 interim report ..."
"... of a Senate Select Committee. The report was called "Alleged ..."
"... Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders," and discussed in ..."
"... part the assassination of Salvador Allende Gossens, the Marxist ..."
"... Chilean president who was killed in 1973. ..."
"... The report stated that Mr. Kendall had requested in 1970 that ..."
"... Augustin Edwards, who was publisher of the Chilean newspaper ..."
"... El Mercurio, as well as a Pepsi bottler in Chile, meet with high ..."
"... Nixon Administration officials to report on the political situation ..."
"... in Chile. (Pepsi bottling operations were later expropriated by the ..."
"... regime.) That meeting, which included Mr. Kendall, Mr. Edwards, ..."
"... Henry Kissinger and John N. Mitchell, was indeed held, and later ..."
"... the same day, Mr. Nixon met with Dr. Kissinger and Richard ..."
"... Helms, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Mr. Helms ..."
"... later testified that President Nixon had ordered at the follow-up ..."
"... meeting that Chile was to be saved from Allende "and he didn't ..."
"... care much how." Mr. Kendall says he sees nothing sinister, or for ..."
"... that matter even controversial, in his action. ..."
"... Of all the silly things I've ever been asked to do in this life, traveling ..."
"... around with six thousand dollars to give the guy and say, "This ..."
"... is from Dick and Pat," was colossally bad . . . Now you crank me ..."
"... up, leave a paper trail a mile long and a mile wide of flight tickets, ..."
"... hotel reservations, rental cars, everything, and have me traipsing ..."
"... all over the country giving these guys six thousand dollars in cash, ..."
"... [and besides], the six thousand doesn't matter, doesn't get you anywhere. ..."
"... If we give you a quarter of a million, what's another six ..."
"... thousand? . . . The six thousand dollars itself was a disconnect, because ..."
"... everything else was largely done to keep the whole thing under wraps. ..."
"... A little-known lawyer in Newport Beach, Calif., has raised millions ..."
"... of dollars in campaign contributions as an unpublicized fund- ..."
"... raiser . . . [and] as Nixon's personal agent . . . to collect campaign ..."
"... checks from Republican donors Kalmbach helped to raise ..."
"... nearly $3 million in covert campaign money . . . The checks were ..."
"... sent through a townhouse basement used by former Nixon political ..."
"... aide Jack A. Gleason. But the operation was run from inside the ..."
"... White House by presidential assistant H.R. (Bob) Haldeman . . . ..."
"... Only a portion of this money has shown up on public records. The ..."
"... rest of the campaign checks have been funneled through dummy ..."
"... Baker told me of his interview with Martinez who said that there ..."
"... were no patient records in Dr. Fielding's office, that he, Martinez, ..."
"... was very disappointed when they found nothing there, but Hunt ..."
"... on the other hand seemed very pleased and as a matter of fact ..."
"... broke out a bottle of champagne when the three men returned ..."
"... from the job. Martinez says that he has participated in three hundred ..."
"... or four hundred similar CIA operations, that this was clearly ..."
"... a 'cover' operation with no intention of ever finding anything. ..."
"... Mitchell knew he had been set up. In later years, his mind reeled at ..."
"... the singular confluence of amazing characters that produced ..."
"... Watergate -- Dean, Magruder, Liddy, Helms, Hunt, McCord, ..."
"... Martinez -- and reckoned himself and the president, neither of ..."
"... whom enjoyed foreknowledge of the Watergate break-in, victims ..."
"... in the affair. "The more I got into this," Mitchell said in June 1987, ..."
"... "the more I see how these sons of bitches have not only done ..."
"... Nixon in but they've done me in." ..."
"... The [Watergate] tapes unmasked Nixon not as the take-charge boss ..."
"... of a criminal conspiracy but rather as an aging and confused politician ..."
"... lost in a welter of detail, unable to distinguish his Magruders ..."
"... from his Strachans, uncertain who knew what and when, what ..."
"... each player had told the grand jury, whose testimony was direct, ..."
"... Bob had come to us on very high recommendations from someone ..."
"... in the White House. He had been an intelligence officer in the ..."
"... Navy and had served in the Pentagon. He had not been exposed to ..."
"... any newspaper. We gave him a tryout because he was so highly ..."
"... recommended. We customarily didn't do that. We wanted to see ..."
"... some clips, and he had none of that. We tried him out, and after a ..."
"... week or two I asked my deputy, "What's with this guy?" And he ..."
"... said well, he's a very bright guy but he doesn't know how to put the ..."
"... paper in the typewriter. But he was bright, there was that intensity ..."
"... about him and his willingness, and he acted maturely. So we decided ..."
"... because he had come so highly recommended and he had ..."
"... shown certain strengths that we would help get him a job at the ..."
"... Montgomery County Sentinel. ..."
"... The CIA has been unable to determine whether Bob Woodward ..."
"... was employed by the agency. The agency claims to be having difficulty ..."
"... checking personnel files. Thompson says that he believes the ..."
"... delay merely means that they don't want to admit that Woodward ..."
"... was in the agency. Thompson wrote a lengthy memo to Baker last ..."
"... week complaining about the CIA's non-cooperation, the fact that ..."
"... they were supplying material piecemeal and had been very uncooperative. ..."
"... The memo went into the CIA relationship with the press, specifically ..."
"... Woodward. Senator Baker sent the memo directly to [CIA Director] Colby ..."
"... with a cover note and within a matter of a few hours, Woodward ..."
"... called Baker and was incensed over the memo. It had been immediately ..."
"... When Newsweek was purchased by the Washington Post Company, ..."
"... publisher Philip L. Graham was informed by Agency officials that ..."
"... the CIA occasionally used the magazine for cover purposes, according ..."
"... to CIA sources. "It was widely known that Phil Graham was ..."
"... somebody you could get help from," said a former deputy director ..."
"... of the Agency. "Frank Wisner dealt with him." Wisner, deputy director ..."
"... of the CIA from 1950 until shortly before his suicide in 1965, ..."
"... was the Agency's premier orchestrator of "black" operations, including ..."
"... many in which journalists were involved. Wisner liked to ..."
"... boast of his "mighty Wurlitzer," a wondrous propaganda instrument ..."
"... he built, and played, with help from the press. Phil Graham ..."
"... was probably Wisner's closest friend. But Graham, who committed ..."
"... suicide in 1963, apparently knew little of the specifics of any cover ..."
"... arrangements with Newsweek, CIA sources said. ..."
"... In 1965-66, an accredited Newsweek stringer in the Far East was ..."
"... in fact a CIA contract employee earning an annual salary of ..."
"... $10,000 from the Agency, according to Robert T. Wood, then a CIA ..."
"... officer in the Hong Kong station. Some Newsweek correspondents ..."
"... and stringers continued to maintain covert ties with the Agency ..."
"... into the 1970s, CIA sources said. ..."
"... Information about Agency dealings with the Washington Post ..."
"... newspaper is extremely sketchy. According to CIA officials, some ..."
"... Post stringers have been CIA employees, but these officials say ..."
"... they do not know if anyone in the Post management was aware of ..."
"... the arrangements. ..."
"... BUSH: We're getting hit a little bit, Mr. President . . . It's building, ..."
"... and the mail's getting heavier . . . ..."
"... NIXON: What do you think you can do about it? . . . We've got hearings ..."
"... coming up. The hearings will make it worse. ..."
"... BUSH: . . . I was speaking with the executives at the Bull Elephants ..."
"... The guy said to me, why doesn't the President ..."
"... send Dean? . . . The disclosure is what they're calling for. ..."
"... NIXON: We are cooperating They don't want any cooperation. ..."
"... They aren't interested in getting the facts. They're only interested ..."
"... in [politicalgains?] I wish there were an answer to Watergate, ..."
"... but I just don't know any . . . I don't know a damn thing ..."
"... to do. [emphasis added] ..."
"... DEAN: I think that one thing that we have to continue to do, and ..."
"... particularly right now, is to examine the broadest, broadest implications ..."
"... of this whole thing, and, you know, maybe about thirty minutes ..."
"... of just my recitations to you of facts so that you operate from ..."
"... the same facts that everybody else has. ..."
"... DEAN: I don't think -- we have never really done that. It has been sort ..."
"... of bits and pieces. Just paint the whole picture for you, the soft ..."
"... spots, the potential problem areas [emphasis added] ..."
"... NIXON: And so you are coming up, then with the idea of just a ..."
"... stonewall then? Is that -- ..."
"... DEAN: That's right. ..."
"... NIXON: Is that what you come down with? ..."
"... DEAN: Stonewall, with lots of noises that we are always willing to ..."
"... cooperate, but no one is asking us for anything. ..."
"... NIXON: I just want a general -- ..."
"... DEAN: An all-around statement. ..."
"... NIXON: That's right. Try just something general. Like "I have ..."
"... checked into this matter; I can categorically, based on my investigation, ..."
"... the following: Haldeman is not involved in this, that ..."
"... and the other thing. Mr. Colson did not do this; Mr. So- and- so ..."
"... did not do this. Mr. Blank did not do this." Right down the line, ..."
"... taking the most glaring things. If there are any further questions, ..."
"... please let me know. See? ..."
"... DEAN: Uh huh, I think we can do that. ..."
"... [The president] feels strongly that we've got to say something to get ..."
"... ourselves away from looking like we're completely on the defensive ..."
"... and on a cover-up basis. If we . . . are going to volunteer ..."
"... to send written statements . . . we might as well do the statements ..."
"... now and get them publicized and get our answers out. The problem ..."
"... is that Dean feels this runs too many leads out. [emphasis added] ..."
"... DEAN: Well, Chapin didn't know anything about the Watergate, and -- ..."
"... NIXON: You don't think so? ..."
"... DEAN: No. Absolutely not. ..."
"... NIXON: Did Strachan? ..."
"... NIXON: He knew? ..."
"... NIXON: About the Watergate? ..."
"... NIXON: Well, then, Bob knew. He probably told Bob, then. He may ..."
"... not have. He may not have. ..."
"... DEAN: He was, he was judicious in what he, in what he relayed, ..."
"... and, uh, but Strachan is as tough as nails. I -- ..."
"... NIXON: What'll he say? Just go in and say he didn't know? ..."
"... DEAN: He'll go in and stonewall it and say, "I don't know anything ..."
"... about what you are talking about." He has already done it twice, ..."
"... as you know, in interviews. ..."
"... NIXON: Now, you were saying too, ah, what really, ah, where the, ..."
"... this thing leads, I mean in terms of the vulnerabilities and so ..."
"... forth. It's your view the vulnerables are basically Mitchell, Colson, ..."
"... Haldeman, indirectly, possibly directly, and of course, the ..."
"... second level is, as far as the White House is concerned, Chapin. ..."
"... DEAN: And I'd say Dean, to a degree. ..."
"... NIXON: You? Why? ..."
"... DEAN: Well, because I've been all over this thing like a blanket. ..."
"... NIXON: I know, I know, but you know all about it, but you didn't, ..."
"... you were in it after the deed was done. ..."
"... DEAN: That's correct, that I have no foreknowledge . . . ..."
"... NIXON: Here's the whole point, here's the whole point. My point is ..."
"... that your problem is you, you have no problem. All the others ..."
"... that have participated in the God-damned thing, and therefore ..."
"... are potentially subject to criminal liability. You're not. That's the ..."
Dec 29, 2017 | www.businessinsider.com

This is the second installment of a three-part series, featuring chapters related to Nixon and Watergate from WhoWhatWhy editor Russ Baker's book, Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America's Invisible Government and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years .

Notes: (1) Although these excerpts do not contain footnotes, the book itself is heavily footnoted and exhaustively sourced. (2) To distinguish between George Bush, father and son, George H.W. Bush is sometimes referred to by his nickname Poppy, and George W. Bush by his, W. (3) Additional context can be found in the preceding chapters.

Before you read this second installment, please go here to read the first installment.

***********

Family of Secrets

Chapter 10: Downing Nixon: The Setup

Who Will Rid Me of This Troublesome Priest?
ascribed to Henry II

On June 17, 1972, a group of burglars, carrying electronic surveillance
equipment, was arrested inside the Democratic National
Committee offices at 2650 Virginia Avenue, NW, in Washington,
D.C., the Watergate building complex. The men were quickly identified as
having ties to the Nixon reelection campaign and to the White House.

Though at the time the incident got little attention, it would snowball into
one of the biggest crises in American political history, define Richard Nixon
forever, and drive him out of the White House.

Most historical accounts judge Nixon responsible in some way for the
Watergate burglary -- or at least for an effort to cover it up. And many people
believe Nixon got what he deserved.

But like other epic events, Watergate turns out to be an entirely different
story than the one we thought we knew.

Hanky-Panky, Cuban-Style

Almost no one has better expressed reasons to doubt Nixon's involvement
than Nixon himself. In his memoirs, Nixon described how he learned about
the burglary while vacationing in Florida, from the morning newspaper. He
recalled his reaction at the time:

It sounded preposterous. Cubans in surgical gloves bugging the
DNC! I dismissed it as some sort of prank . . . The whole thing
made so little sense. Why, I wondered. Why then? Why in such a
blundering way . . . Anyone who knew anything about politics
would know that a national committee headquarters was a useless
place to go for inside information on a presidential campaign. The
whole thing was so senseless and bungled that it almost looked
like some kind of a setup.

Nixon was actually suggesting not just a setup, but one intended to harm
him.

Perhaps because anything he might say would seem transparently self-
serving, this claim received little attention and has been largely forgotten.

Notwithstanding Nixon's initial reaction to the news of the break-in,
less than a week later he suddenly learned more -- and this gave him much
to ponder.

On June 23, Nixon's chief of staff, H. R. "Bob" Haldeman, came into the
Oval Office to give the president an update on a variety of topics, including
the investigation of the break-in. Haldeman had just been briefed by John
Dean, who had gotten his information from FBI investigators.

HALDEMAN: . . . The FBI agents who are working the case, at this
point, feel that's what it is. This is CIA .

Nixon's response would show that he had already realized this:

NIXON: Of course, this is a, this is a [E. Howard] Hunt [operation,
and exposure of it] will uncover a lot of things. You open that
scab there's a hell of a lot of things and that we just feel that it
would be very detrimental to have this thing go any further.
This involves these Cubans, Hunt, and a lot of hanky-panky that
we have nothing to do with ourselves This will open the
whole Bay of Pigs thing

Of course, it is important to remember that Nixon knew every word he
uttered was being recorded. Like his predecessors Kennedy and Johnson,
he had decided to install a taping system so that he could maintain a record
of his administration. He was, in a way, dictating a file memo for future historians.

But that doesn't make everything he said untrue. While Nixon undoubtedly
spun some things, he still had to communicate with his subordinates,
and the tape was rolling while he was trying to run the country. Those were
actual meetings and real conversations, tape or no tape. And though the
result was 3,700 hours of White House tape recordings, Nixon evinced
merely sporadic consciousness of the fact that the tape was rolling. Only after
his counsel John Dean defected to the prosecutors did Nixon appear to
be tailoring his words.

Nixon's memoirs, combined with the tape of June 23, make clear that
Nixon recognized certain things about the implementation of the burglary.
The caper was carried out by pros, yet paradoxically was amateurish, easily
detected -- an instigation of the crime more easily pinned on someone else.
A break-in at Democratic Party headquarters: On whom would that be
blamed? Well, who was running against a Democrat for reelection that
fall? Why, Richard Nixon of course. Nixon, who frequently exhibited a grim
and self-pitying awareness of how he generally was portrayed, might have
grasped how this would play out publicly. Dick Nixon: ruthless, paranoid,
vengeful -- Tricky Dick. Wouldn't this burglary be just the kind of thing that
that Dick Nixon -- the "liberal media's" version of him -- would do? Nixon's
opponent, George McGovern, made this charge repeatedly during the 1972
campaign.

Though Nixon would sweep the election, it would become increasingly
apparent to him that, where Watergate was concerned, the jury was stacked.
The path was set. Someone had him in a corner.

But who?

Many people, including those within Nixon's own base of support, were
not happy with him -- even from early in his administration. As Haldeman
noted in his diary, one month after the inauguration in 1969:

Also got cranking on the political problem. [President's] obviously
concerned about reports (especially Buchanan's) that conservatives
and the South are unhappy. Also he's annoyed by constant right-
wing bitching, with never a positive alternative. Ordered me to assemble
a political group and really hit them to start defending us,
including Buchanan . . . [and political specialist Harry] Dent.

There would be growing anger in the Pentagon about Nixon and Kissinger's
secret attempts to secure agreements with China and the Soviet Union without
consulting the military. And there were the oilmen, who found Nixon
wasn't solid enough on their most basic concerns, such as the oil depletion
allowance and oil import quotas.

As for the burglary crew, Nixon recognized them instantly, because he
knew what they represented. While serving as vice president, Nixon had
overseen some covert operations and served as the "action officer" for the
planning of the Bay of Pigs, of which these men were hard-boiled veterans.
They had been out to overthrow Fidel Castro, and if possible, to kill him.

Nixon had another problem. These pros were connected to the CIA, and
as we shall see, Nixon was not getting along well with the agency.

One of the main reasons we fundamentally misunderstand Watergate is
that the guardians of the historical record focused only on selected parts of
Nixon's taped conversations, out of context. Consider a widely cited portion
of a June 23 meeting tape, which would become known forever as the
"smoking gun" conversation:

HALDEMAN: The way to handle this now is for us to have [CIA
deputy director Vernon] Walters call [FBI interim director] Pat
Gray and just say, "Stay the hell out of this this is ah, business
here we don't want you to go any further on it."
NIXON: Um hum.

Short excerpts like this seem especially damning. This one sounds right
off the bat like a cover-up - Nixon using the CIA to suppress an FBI investigation
into the break-in.

But these utterances take on a different meaning when considered with
other, less publicized parts of the same conversation. A prime example:
Haldeman went on to tell Nixon that Pat Gray, the acting FBI director, had
called CIA director Richard Helms and said, "I think we've run right into
the middle of a CIA covert operation."

Although the first excerpt above sounds like a discussion of a cover-up,
when we consider the information about the CIA involvement, it begins to
seem as if Nixon is not colluding. He may well have been refusing to take the
rap for something he had not authorized -- and certainly not for something
that smelled so blatantly like a trap. Nixon would have understood that if the
FBI were to conduct a full investigation and conclude that the break-in was indeed
an illegal operation of the CIA, it would all be blamed squarely on the
man who supposedly had ultimate authority over both agencies -- him. And
doubly so, since the burglars and their supervisors were tied not just
to the CIA but also directly back to Nixon's reelection committee and the
White House itself.

Yet, however concerned Nixon certainly must have been at this moment,
he played it cool. He concurred with the advice that his chief of staff was
passing along from the counsel John Dean, which was to press the CIA to
clean up its own mess.

If the CIA was involved, then the agency would have to ask the FBI to
back off. The CIA itself would have to invoke its perennial escape clause --
say that national security was at stake.

This must have sounded to Nixon like the best way to deal with a vexing
and shadowy situation. He had no way of knowing that, two years later, his
conversation with Haldeman would be publicly revealed and construed as
that of a man in control of a plot, rather than the target of one.

Sniffing Around the Bay of Pigs

How could Nixon have so quickly gotten a fix on the Watergate crew? He
might have recognized that the involvement of this particular group of
Cubans, together with E. Howard Hunt -- and the evidence tying them back
to the White House -- was in part a message to him. One of the group leaders,
G. Gordon Liddy, would even refer to the team as a bunch of "professional
killers." Indeed , several of this Bay of Pigs circle had gone to Vietnam
to participate in the assassination-oriented Phoenix Program; as noted in
chapter 7, Poppy Bush and his colleague, CIA operative Thomas Devine,
had been in Vietnam at the peak of Phoenix, and Bush had ties to at least
some from this émigré group.

So Nixon recognized this tough gang, but this time, they weren't focused on
Fidel Castro; they were focused on Dick Nixon.

Hunt was a familiar figure from the CIA old guard. A near contemporary of
Poppy Bush's at Yale , Hunt had, as noted in earlier chapters, gone on to star in
numerous agency foreign coup operations, including in Guatemala. He had
worked closely with Cuban émigrés and had been in sensitive positions at the
time John F. Kennedy was murdered and Lee Harvey Oswald named the lone
assassin. Moreover, Hunt had been a staunch loyalist of Allen Dulles, whom
Kennedy had ousted over the failed Bay of Pigs invasion; he allegedly even
collaborated on Dulles's 1963 book, The Craft of Intelligence. Hunt was one
connected fellow, and his presence in an operation of this sort, particularly with
veterans of the Cuba invasion, was not something to pass over lightly.

Nixon had further basis for viewing the events of Watergate with special
trepidation. From the moment he entered office until the day, five and a half
years later, when he was forced to resign, Nixon and the CIA had been at
war. Over what? Over records dating back to the Kennedy administration
and even earlier.

Nixon had many reasons to be interested in the events of the early 1960s.
As noted, he had been the "action officer" for the planning of the Bay of Pigs
and the attempt to overthrow Castro. But even more interestingly, Nixon had,
by coincidence, been in Dallas on November 22, 1963, and had left the city
just hours before the man he barely lost to in 1960 had been gunned down.

Five years after the Kennedy assassination, as Richard Nixon himself assumed
the presidency, one of his first and keenest instincts was to try to learn more
about these monumental events of the past decade.

Both of Nixon's chief aides, Bob Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, noted
in their memoirs that the president seemed obsessed with what he called
the "Bay of Pigs thing." Both were convinced that when Nixon used the
phrase, it was shorthand for something bigger and more disturbing. Nixon
did not tell even those closest to him what he meant.

When Nixon referred to the Bay of Pigs, he could certainly have been using
it as a euphemism, because any way one thought about it, it spelled
trouble. The Bay of Pigs invasion itself had been a kind of setup of another
president. JFK had made clear that he would not allow U.S. military forces
to be used against Castro. When the invasion by U.S.-backed Cuban exiles
failed, the CIA and the U.S. military hoped this would force Kennedy to
launch an all-out invasion. Instead, he balked, and blamed Dulles and his
associates for the botched enterprise, and, to their astonishment, forced
them out of the agency. As noted in chapter 4, these were the roots of the hatred
felt by Hunt, Dulles, and the Bush family toward Kennedy.

Nixon was keenly aware that Kennedy's battle with powerful internal elements
had preceded JFK's demise. After all, governments everywhere have
historically faced the reality that the apparatus of state security might have
the chief of state in its gun sights -- and that it certainly possesses the ability
to act.

Moreover, Richard Nixon was a curious fellow. Within days of taking
office in 1969, Nixon had begun conducting an investigation of his own regarding
the turbulent and little-understood days leading up to the end of the
Kennedy administration. He had ordered Ehrlichman, the White House
counsel, to instruct CIA director Helms to hand over the relevant files, which
surely amounted to thousands and thousands of documents. Six months
later, Ehrlichman confided to Haldeman that the agency had failed to produce
any of the files.

"Those bastards in Langley are holding back something," a frustrated
Ehrlichman told Haldeman. "They just dig their heels in and say the President
can't have it. Period. Imagine that. The Commander-in-Chief wants to
see a document and the spooks say he can't have it . . . From the way they're
protecting it, it must be pure dynamite."

Nixon himself then summoned Helms, who also refused to help. Helms
would later recall that Nixon "asked me for some information about the Bay
of Pigs and I think about the Diem episode in Vietnam and maybe something
about Trujillo in the Dominican Republic" -- all events involving the
violent removal of foreign heads of state.

Fidel Castro had managed to survive not only the Bay of Pigs but also multiple
later assassination attempts. Diem and Trujillo were not so fortunate.
And President Kennedy, who made a lot of Cuban enemies after the botched
Bay of Pigs operations, had also succumbed to an assassin's bullet. This was a
legacy that might well seize the attention of one of Kennedy's successors.

The explosiveness of the mysterious "Bay of Pigs thing" became abundantly
apparent on June 23, 1972, the day Nixon instructed Haldeman to tell
CIA director Helms to rein in the FBI's Watergate investigation. Recalled
Haldeman:

Then I played Nixon's trump card. "The President asked me to tell
you this entire affair may be connected to the Bay of Pigs, and if it
opens up, the Bay of Pigs might be blown . . ."

Turmoil in the room, Helms gripping the arms of his chair,
leaning forward and shouting, "The Bay of Pigs had nothing to do
with this. I have no concern about the Bay of Pigs." . . . I was
absolutely shocked by Helms' violent reaction. Again I wondered,
what was such dynamite in the Bay of Pigs story?

Nixon made clear to his top aides that he was not only obsessed with the
CIA's murky past, but also its present. He seemed downright paranoid about
the agency, periodically suggesting to his aides that covert operatives lurked
everywhere. And indeed, as we shall see, they did.

In all likelihood, the practice of filling the White House with intelligence
operatives was not limited to the Nixon administration, but an ongoing effort.
To the intelligence community, the White House was no different than
other civil institutions it actively penetrated. Presidents were viewed less as
elected leaders to be served than as temporary occupants to be closely monitored,
subtly guided, and where necessary, given a shove.

If the CIA was in fact trying to implicate Nixon in Watergate (and, as we
shall see, in other illegal and troubling covert operations), the goal might
have been to create the impression that the agency was joined at the hip
with Nixon in all things. Then, if Nixon were to pursue the CIA's possible
role in the assassination of Kennedy, the agency could simply claim that
Nixon himself knew about these illegal acts, or was somehow complicit in
them.

A Little Exposure Never Hurts

Something had been gnawing at Nixon since November 22, 1963. Why had
he ended up in Dallas the very day the man who he believed had stolen the
presidency from him was shot? Nixon had been asked to go there just a few
weeks before, for the rather banal purpose of an appearance at a Pepsi-Cola
corporate meeting -- coinciding with a national soda pop bottlers' convention.
The potential implications could not have been lost on this most shrewd and
suspicious man.

Nixon was no shrinking violet in Dallas. He called a press conference in
his hotel suite on November 21, the day before Kennedy's murder, criticizing
Kennedy's policies on civil rights and foreign relations but also urging
Texans to show courtesy to the president during his visit.

More significantly, he declared his belief that Kennedy was going to replace
Vice President Johnson with a new running mate in 1964. This was
an especially incendiary thing to say, since the whole reason for Kennedy's
visit was to cement his links to Texas Democrats, help bridge a gap between
the populist and conservative wings of the state party, and highlight his partnership
with Johnson. Nixon's comment was hot enough that it gained a place in the
early edition of the November 22 Dallas Morning News, under the headline
"Nixon Predicts JFK May Drop Johnson."

This was likely to get the attention of Johnson, who would be in the motorcade
that day -- and of conservatives generally, the bottlers included, whom Johnson
had addressed as keynote speaker at their convention earlier in the week.

Nixon had finished his business and left the city by 9:05 on the morning
of the twenty-second, several hours before Kennedy was shot. He learned
of the event on his arrival back in New York City. Like most people, he no
doubt was shocked and perhaps a bit alarmed. Many people, Nixon included,
believed that Kennedy had stolen the presidential election in 1960 by fixing
vote counts in Texas and Illinois.

At the very least, the appearance of Nixon's November 21 press conference
remarks in the newspaper just hours before Kennedy's death was a
stark reminder of the large and diverse group of enemies, in and out of politics,
that JFK had accumulated.

Certainly, Nixon himself was sensitive to the notion that his appearance
in Dallas had somehow contributed to Kennedy's bloody fate. According to
one account, Nixon learned of the assassination while in a taxi cab en route
from the airport. He claimed at the time and in his memoirs that he was
calm, but his adviser Stephen Hess remembered it differently. Hess was the
first person in Nixon's circle to see him that day in New York, and he recalled
that "his reaction appeared to me to be, 'There but for the Grace of
God go I.' He was very shaken."

As Hess later told political reporter Jules Witcover: "He had the morning
paper, which he made a great effort to show me, reporting he had held a
press conference in Dallas and made a statement that you can disagree with
a person without being discourteous to him or interfering with him. He
tried to make the point that he had tried to prevent it . . . It was his way of
saying, 'Look, I didn't fuel this thing.' "

Nixon's presence in Dallas on November 22, 1963, along with LBJ's --
and Poppy Bush's quieter presence on the periphery -- created a rather remarkable
situation. Three future presidents of the United States were all present in a
single American city on the day when their predecessor was assassinated
there. Within days, a fourth -- Gerald Ford -- would be asked by LBJ to join
the Warren Commission investigating the event.

Bottled Up

Nixon's unfortunate timing resulted from a series of events that seem, in retrospect,
almost to have benefited from a guiding hand. In mid-1963, friends
had persuaded him that his long-term prospects required a move from California,
where he had lost the 1962 race for the governorship. Now that he
was a two-time loser, Nixon's best hope, they counseled, was to find a position
in New York that would pay him handsomely, and let him politick and
keep himself in the public eye. His friend Donald Kendall, the longtime head
of Pepsi's international operations, offered to make him chairman of the
international division. But the consensus was that a law firm job would suit
him better, so he joined the firm of Mudge, Stern, Baldwin, and Todd.
Kendall sweetened the deal by throwing the law firm Pepsi's lucrative legal
business. In September, Kendall himself was promoted to head the entire
Pepsi company.

On November 1, President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam, a corrupt
anti-Communist, was overthrown and assassinated. On November 7, Nixon
wrote to GOP strategist Robert Humphreys, expressing outrage over Diem's
death and blaming the Kennedy administration. "Our heavy-handed complicity
in his murder can only have the effect of striking terror in the hearts
of leaders of other nations who presumably are our friends."

Historians disagree on what exactly Kennedy knew about Diem's death,
though Kennedy registered shock at the news -- just as he had when Patrice
Lumumba, the Congolese independence leader, was assassinated in 1961.
Kennedy realized that he could be blamed. Later on, it would be established
by the Senate Intelligence Committee that the CIA had been attempting to
kill Lumumba.

Also of interest is a little-noticed comment made by President Lyndon
Johnson in 1966, caught by his own recording equipment, in which he
declared about Diem: "We killed him. We all got together and got a god-
damn bunch of thugs and assassinated him." It is not clear whom he
meant by "we."

Kendall asked Nixon to accompany him to Dallas for the Pepsi corporate
gathering coinciding with the bottlers' convention in late November. The
convention was an important annual event for Pepsi, and so would have
been on Kendall's schedule for a while, though the necessity of Nixon's
presence is less apparent. And with LBJ as keynote speaker, and appearances
by Miss USA, Yogi Berra, and Joan Crawford, Nixon, the two-time loser, did
not even appear at the convention.

For his part, Nixon seems to have agreed to go because it was an opportunity
to share the limelight surrounding Kennedy's visit. And since Nixon was
traveling as a representative of Pepsi, and flying on its corporate plane --
something noted in the news coverage -- Kendall was getting double duty out
of Nixon's play for media attention. That was something Kendall understood
well.

Donald Kendall was, like Nixon and Poppy Bush, a World War II Navy
vet who had served in the Pacific. But instead of politics, he had gone into
the business world, joining the Pepsi- Cola company and rising quickly
through the ranks. Like Nixon and Bush, he was enormously ambitious.
And in his oversight of Pepsi operations abroad, he also shared something
else with them: a deep concern about Communist encroachment -- which
was just about everywhere. Plus Kendall had a passion for covert operations.

Kendall's particular reason for being interested in Cuba was sugar, for
many years a key ingredient of Pepsi-Cola. Cuba was the world's leading
supplier; and Castro's expropriations, and the resulting U.S. embargo, had
caused chaos in the soft drink industry. (It also had affected the fortunes of
Wall Street firms such as Brown Brothers Harriman, which, as noted in
chapter 3, had extensive sugar holdings on the island.)

Indeed, articles from the Dallas papers anticipating the bottlers' convention
talked openly about all these problems with Cuba. One of the articles, titled
"Little Relief Seen for Sugar Problem," explains the pressure felt by soft drink
bottlers in light of a crisis concerning high sugar prices. The president of a major
New York-based sugar company is quoted explaining why the crisis had
not yet been averted: "The government probably thought the Castro regime
might be eliminated."

It is in this context that we consider a June 1963 letter from Nixon to
Kendall, then still running Pepsi's foreign operations. A researcher working
for me found it in Nixon's presidential library archives; it appears to be previously
unpublished.

Dear Don:
In view of our discussion yesterday morning with regard
to Cuba, I thought you might like to see a copy of the speech
I made before the American Society of Newspaper Editors in
which I directed remarks toward this problem.
When I return from Europe I am looking forward to having
a chance to get a further fill-in with regard to your experiences
on the Bay of Pigs incident.

Dick

The letter rings a little odd. Nixon and Kendall were close, and more than
two years had passed since the Bay of Pigs; it was unlikely that this would be
the first chance Nixon got to discuss the subject with his friend. Furthermore,
Kendall is not known to have had any "experiences" in relation to the invasion.
In a 2008 interview, Kendall, by then eighty-seven years old but still maintaining
an office at Pepsi and seeming vigorous, said that he could not recall the letter
nor provide an explanation for it.

Given this, the use of the phrase in the letter appears to be some form of
euphemism between friends, a sort of discreet wink. Nixon, the former
coordinator of covert operations under Ike, clearly knew that Kendall was
more than a soda pop man. Nixon's experiences representing Pepsi instilled
in him a lasting -- and not altogether favorable -- impression of what he
acidly termed "the sugar lobby." Haldeman got the message that treading
carefully was wise. Some of his notes are intriguing in this respect. He
urges special counsel Charles Colson:

0900 Cols[on] -- re idea of getting pol. Commitments --
Sugar people are richest & most ruthless
before we commit -- shld put screws on
& get quid pro quo
ie Fl[anigan] -- always go to Sugar lobby or oil etc.
before we give them anything

The CIA also knew the soft drink industry well. The agency used bottling
plants, including those run by Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and other companies, for
both cover and intelligence. Moreover, the local bottling franchises tended
to be given to crucial figures in each country, with ties to the military and
the ruling elites. It was not just bottlers that played such a role; there were
marketing monopolies for all kinds of products, from cars to sewing machines,
given out on recommendations of the CIA.

Kendall was a close friend of the Bush family and a fellow resident of
Greenwich, Connecticut. In 1988, he would serve in the crucial position of
finance chairman for Poppy Bush's successful run for the presidency. His
support for the Bushes included donating to George W. Bush's 1978 Midland
congressional campaign.

And as noted by the New York Times , Kendall was identified with the successful
effort to overthrow the elected democratic socialist president of Chile, Salvador
Allende.

As the Times would report in July 1976:

One of Mr. Kendall's great passions is international trade, and his
interest in foreign affairs won him a footnote in a 1975 interim report
of a Senate Select Committee. The report was called "Alleged
Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders," and discussed in
part the assassination of Salvador Allende Gossens, the Marxist
Chilean president who was killed in 1973.
The report stated that Mr. Kendall had requested in 1970 that
Augustin Edwards, who was publisher of the Chilean newspaper
El Mercurio, as well as a Pepsi bottler in Chile, meet with high
Nixon Administration officials to report on the political situation
in Chile. (Pepsi bottling operations were later expropriated by the
regime.) That meeting, which included Mr. Kendall, Mr. Edwards,
Henry Kissinger and John N. Mitchell, was indeed held, and later
the same day, Mr. Nixon met with Dr. Kissinger and Richard
Helms, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Mr. Helms
later testified that President Nixon had ordered at the follow-up
meeting that Chile was to be saved from Allende "and he didn't
care much how." Mr. Kendall says he sees nothing sinister, or for
that matter even controversial, in his action.

Like many on the right, quite a few bottlers regarded the Kennedy administration's
policy toward Castro's Cuba as dangerously soft. Declassified FBI
files show that, after Kennedy's death, one man contacted the FBI regarding
threatening remarks that his brother, a bottler, had made in reference to the
president. Another convention attendee was identified in FBI reports as
having had a drink with Jack Ruby, the assassin of Lee Harvey Oswald, on
the night of November 21.

Though unhappy with Kennedy, these independent businessmen clearly
wanted to hear what Johnson had to say, which is why the Texas-born vice
president was the convention's keynote speaker.

By some estimates, the convention included close to eight thousand
bottlers -- so many, in fact, that it had taken over Dallas's largest venue, the
new Market Hall. This meant that when Kennedy's trip planners determined
where he would speak on November 22, one of the very few sufficiently large
and central venues had long since been taken. The Dallas Trade Mart thereby
became the most likely location for Kennedy's speech, with the route through
downtown to the Trade Mart, past the Texas School Book Depository, as the
most likely for the presidential motorcade.

In fact, the Trade Mart was secured by that most unlikely group of "friends"
of JFK, the Dallas Citizens Council, whose members' views were described by
the New York Times as "very conservative and range rightward." The council
had cosponsored the luncheon as a putative peace offering to JFK. Indeed, it
seems that JFK's itinerary in Dallas was circumscribed by the bottlers and the
Citizens Council.

The mere fact that eight thousand strangers had poured into Dallas in
the days before JFK's arrival should presumably have been of interest, yet
the Warren Commission ignored the event altogether.

Another interesting thing about the bottlers' convention is that the Army
Reserves volunteered to help facilitate an unusual extracurricular activity.
As noted in chapters 6 and 7, Poppy Bush's friend Jack Crichton was head of
a local Army Intelligence unit. Associates of Crichton's who were involved
with the Army Reserves had managed to get into the pilot car of Kennedy's
procession, with one as the driver. Crichton would also provide the interpreter
for Marina Oswald after her husband's arrest as the prime suspect in
Kennedy's murder.

According to a short item in the Dallas Morning News the day before
Kennedy was shot, members of the Dallas unit of the 90th Artillery Division
of the Army Reserve would be providing trucks and drivers to transport two
hundred orphans to a livestock arena for a rodeo sponsored by the bottlers'
group. This was to take place at nine P.M. on the night before Kennedy's arrival.
The arena was at Fair Park, near the site under which Crichton's Dallas
Civil Defense maintained its underground emergency bunker and communications
facility. Putting aside the Dickensian aspect of moving orphans in
Army trucks within an affluent American city, this raises some questions
about the reason for this odd maneuver. Whatever the true purpose of a small
platoon of Army vehicles being permitted to move about Dallas on purportedly
unrelated civilian business as the president's arrival was imminent, it appears
investigators never considered this incident worthy of a closer look.

Cumulatively, the bottlers' convention was responsible for a number of
curious circumstances that may be said to have some relevance to the
events surrounding Kennedy's death:

• The convention brought Nixon to Dallas.
• It brought eight thousand strangers to Dallas.
• It sent army vehicles into action on city streets the night before the
assassination.
• Its early reservation of one large venue helped determine Kennedy's
ultimate destination and thus the motorcade route.

In any event, as Nixon's adviser Stephen Hess has recounted, the former
vice president emerged deeply shaken about the timing of his Dallas visit. It
served to remind him that if he ever occupied the Oval Office, he too could
be vulnerable and targeted -- by the very same players. And his presence in
this incriminating spot was suggestive of wheels within wheels, to which he
of all people would have been alert. Were these intrigues what fueled President
Nixon's obsession with the CIA and its cloak-and-dagger activities in
the Kennedy era? This little-noted tug-of-war, a struggle over both current
policy and past history, would become an ongoing theme throughout Nixon's
term in office.

The Loyalist in Chief

At one time, Poppy Bush had worked hard to position himself as Richard
Nixon's most loyal servant. An example appeared in a 1971 profile of Poppy
in his role as Nixon's United Nations ambassador. Under the banner headline
"Bush Working Overtime," the Dallas Morning News of September 19,
1971, portrayed the ambassador as poised at the center of world affairs.
Leaning forward at his desk, a large globe next to him, his lean face bearing
a look of calm intensity, George H. W. Bush looked almost presidential.

The reporter for the Texas paper picked up on that. But he was equally
struck by Poppy's devotion to the sitting president. Ambassador Bush, he
noted, "is loyal -- some say to a fault -- to President Nixon, and frequently
quotes him in conversation."

It was the image Poppy wanted to convey. Even when the reporter asked
for his own views, he quickly deferred. "I like to think of myself as a pragmatist,
but I have learned to defy being labeled," Bush said. "What I can say
is that I am a strong supporter of the President."

Of course, when someone defies being labeled, it gives him extraordinary
flexibility to move in different circles, to collect information, to spin on
a dime -- in short, to behave a lot like a covert intelligence officer.

The image of Poppy as the ultimate loyalist was one he would project for
three more years -- right up to the final days of the Nixon presidency. Not
even Nixon, who was famously distrustful, seemed to doubt it. After winning
the 1972 election in the midst of the Watergate scandal, Nixon decided
to hedge his bets and clean house.

Planning to fire all but his most trusted aides, Nixon instructed Ehrlichman
to "eliminate everyone except George Bush. Bush will do anything for
our cause." This trust endured to the end of Nixon's presidency.

If indeed Bush was ever a Nixon loyalist, he certainly flipped the moment
the tide turned. This new stance emerged with the 1974 public release of
the transcript of Nixon's smoking gun conversation with Haldeman. As
Bush would record in his diary after Nixon's final cabinet meeting, the taped
conversation was irrefutable proof that "Nixon lied about his knowledge of
the cover-up of the Watergate scandal . . . I felt betrayed by his lie . . . I want
to make damn clear the lie is something we can't support."

Added Poppy: "This era of tawdry, shabby lack of morality has got to end."

This purported diary entry was most likely part of Poppy's perennial alibi
trail. It could have been Bush family tradecraft, something like Barbara's
Tyler, Texas, hair salon letter from November 22, 1963 -- always intended
for public view. Perhaps the most revealing part is the point at which Bush
summarizes the content of the smoking gun conversation. Poppy selectively
paraphrases a tiny part of that session, making it look as if Nixon had
ordered Haldeman (as Bush put it) to "block the FBI's investigation of the
Watergate break-in." This, Poppy asserted, "was proof [that] the President
had been involved, at least in the cover-up."

What Poppy omitted were two key things: that it was actually John Dean's
suggestion, not Nixon's, to block the investigation -- and that the CIA was at
the center of the intrigue to begin with.

Watergate's Unknown Prelude

The series of scandals that undid Richard Nixon's presidency are principally
identified with the 1972 burglary at the Democratic party offices in the Watergate
complex. But one could argue that Watergate -- and Nixon's
downfall -- really began in late 1969, during Nixon's first year in office, with
a phone call from a man almost no one today has heard of.

An independent oilman named John M. King dialed in to offer ideas for
improving Nixon's hold over Congress. Former White House staffer Jack
Gleason remembered the episode: "[King] called one day in '69 and said,
'You know, we have to start planning for 1970.' "

King's call suggested he was principally concerned about helping Nixon,
but in retrospect, there may have been more at stake. For one thing, King
was a member of the fraternity of independent oilmen who were growing
increasingly unhappy with Nixon. As we saw in the last chapter, the oil barons
were up in arms over threats to the oil depletion allowance, convinced that
Nixon was not solidly enough in their corner. But they had other gripes.
As Haldeman noted in a diary entry in December 1969: "Big problem persists
on oil import quotas. Have to make some decision, and can't win. If
we do what we should, and what the task force recommends, we'd apparently
end up losing at least a couple of senate seats, including George Bush in
Texas. Trying to figure out a way to duck the whole thing and shift it to Congress."

On a more personal level, King was mired in problems. The Denver-based
King had assembled a global empire with oil drilling and mining operations
in a hundred countries; he was known for a high-flying lifestyle and a gift
for leveraging connections. He even had two Apollo astronauts on
his board. In 1968, King had donated $750,000 to Nixon, and as a big donor,
his calls always got attention. But King was, according to a Time magazine
article of the period, something of a huckster. By late 1969, his empire
was on the verge of collapse. In the end, he would face jail and ruin.

Perhaps he was looking to secure intervention from the White House.
Perhaps it was just general business insurance. Or perhaps he was speaking
on behalf of his fellow in dependent oilmen.

In any event, King's pitch sounded like a good idea. He was proposing
that the Nixon White House funnel money from big GOP donors directly to
Senate and House candidates of its choice, rather than following the customary
method: letting the Republican Party determine the recipients. To do this
without provoking the wrath of the GOP establishment, King suggested
it be kept under wraps.

This idea appealed to the White House brass, and soon, a special operation
was being convened.

"As it matured, we had a couple of meetings with Ehrlichman and Haldeman
and went over some of the ground rules," said Gleason. Haldeman
brought the bare bones of the idea to Nixon, who thought it sounded fine.
Anything that involved secrecy and centralized White House control was
likely to find a receptive ear. Gleason's recollection is confirmed by a notation
in Haldeman's diary of December 11: "I had meeting with [Maurice]
Stans, Dent, and Gleason about setting up our own funding for backing the
good candidates in hot races. A little tricky to handle outside the RNC but
looks pretty good."

The White House political unit assigned the job of organizing and running
the new fund to its operative Gleason, an experienced GOP fundraiser.
Gleason was instructed by his boss, Harry Dent, to find an office for the operation.
When he suggested renting space in one of those prefurnished office
suites that come with secretarial and other services, he was told that this
would be too expensive.

That struck Gleason as odd, since it would not have cost much more and
would have been a pittance in relation to the large sums that would be
raised. But he followed his orders and rented something cheaper and more
discreet. Dent directed him to a townhouse on Nineteenth Street, in a residential
area near Dupont Circle. The space was not just in a townhouse but
in the basement of a townhouse. And not only that, it was in the back of the
basement. Reporters would later describe it as a "townhouse basement back
room" -- an arrangement guaranteed to raise eyebrows if ever discovered.

The way in which the funds were to be handled also struck Gleason as
unnecessarily complicated, and even furtive. While donors could simply --
and legally -- have written a single check to each candidate's campaign committee,
they were instructed instead to break up their donations into a number of
smaller checks. The checks were then routed through the townhouse,
where Gleason would pick them up and deposit them in a "Jack
Gleason, Agent" account at American Security and Trust Bank. Gleason
then would convert the amounts into cashier's checks and send them on to
the respective campaign committees, often further breaking each donation
up into smaller ones and spreading them over more than one campaign
committee of each candidate.

The ostensible reason for these complex arrangements was to enable the
White House to control the money. The actual effect, however, was to create
the impression of something illicit, such as a money-laundering operation
aimed at hiding the identities of the donors.

Somewhere along the way Gleason began to detect an odor stronger than
that of quotidian campaign operations. What seemed suspect to him was
not that Nixon would help Republican candidates -- that was how things
worked. What bothered him were the operational details. Many seemed
positively harebrained, the kind of things with which no president should be
associated. But Gleason just figured that Richard Nixon, or his subordinates,
had a blind spot when it came to appearances of impropriety.

Deep-Sixing Nixon

Late in the election season, Gleason's superiors told him to add a new component
to the Townhouse Operation. Gleason found this new development
particularly disturbing. It was called the "Sixes Project." Launched in October
1970, when the midterm elections were almost over, it provided an extra
personal donation of six thousand dollars to each of thirteen Senate
candidates -- in cash.

Gleason's job was simple enough: get on a plane, fly out to meet each of
the candidates, and personally hand over an envelope of cash. He was to add
a personal message: "Here's a gift from Dick and Pat." And he was to keep
meticulous receipts, noting who received the cash and the date of the transaction.

Gleason was not happy about his role as dispenser of envelopes full of
cash. As he told me in a 2008 interview,

Of all the silly things I've ever been asked to do in this life, traveling
around with six thousand dollars to give the guy and say, "This
is from Dick and Pat," was colossally bad . . . Now you crank me
up, leave a paper trail a mile long and a mile wide of flight tickets,
hotel reservations, rental cars, everything, and have me traipsing
all over the country giving these guys six thousand dollars in cash,
[and besides], the six thousand doesn't matter, doesn't get you anywhere.
If we give you a quarter of a million, what's another six
thousand? . . . The six thousand dollars itself was a disconnect, because
everything else was largely done to keep the whole thing under wraps.

In those days, the campaign finance laws, most of which were at the state
level, were limited and rarely enforced. Reporting requirements were thin,
but those candidates who wanted to abide by the law made sure to report
any cash they received to their respective campaign committees. That posed
a challenge for a candidate caught in a grueling nonstop schedule, who was
handed an envelope of cash. It would be easy enough to forget to report it,
whether deliberately or accidentally.

Even back in 1973, Gleason could come to only one conclusion. When
special prosecutors in the Watergate investigation later grilled him about
the Townhouse Operation, he told them as much. "The purpose of these
contributions was to set up possible blackmail for these candidates later
on." However, at that point Gleason assumed that the sponsors of the
blackmail were Nixon loyalists -- perhaps even authorized by the president
himself.

Alarmed at this arrangement, and cognizant that he might be generating
myriad campaign law violations, Gleason asked the White House for a legal
analysis. But despite multiple requests, he never got it. Finally, he asked for
a letter stating that nothing he was being asked to do was illegal. (That letter,
Gleason later explained, would somehow disappear before it could arrive at
the offices of the Watergate prosecutors.)

Since the six-thousand-dollar donations were ostensibly generated by
"Dick and Pat," one could easily surmise that Richard Nixon, or those under
his authority, were indeed out to get something on Republican candidates.
Once they took the cash, the recipients would have to do as he wanted, or
else risk exposure. As Assistant Special Prosecutor Charles Ruff wrote to
his boss: "It has been our guess that [the Nixon White House] hoped to gain
some leverage over these candidates by placing cash in their hands which
they might not report."

Had this become known, Nixon would have had trouble explaining it.
Few would have believed that such a scheme could have been run under
White House auspices without Nixon's approval. And yet that seems to have
been the case. In fact, Nixon's name rarely appears in the Townhouse files of
Watergate prosecutors -- for whom the evidence of Nixon's wrongdoing
would have been the ultimate prize.

Even the complex and calculating Charles Colson, who served as special
counsel to the president in 1970, admitted to prosecutors that Nixon was
not involved. Colson said that he had sat in on a Townhouse planning meeting
and later briefed the president about "political prospects in that race" -
but "did not recall that the fundraising aspects were discussed with the
President."

John Mitchell, who was attorney general before he resigned in 1972 to
head up Nixon's reelection campaign, attended a meeting for "substantial
contributors" and later told prosecutors that "the President stopped by, but
was not present during discussions of campaign finances." Mitchell himself
denied participation in or knowledge of the Town house plan. Even
Herb Kalmbach, Nixon's personal lawyer, seems to have been involved only
in the most benign part of the operation: the legal solicitation of funds from
wealthy donors. Of course, all this could be about denials and deniability -
but as we shall see, it apparently was not.

Meet John Dean

At the time Town house was becoming operational, the position of counsel
to the president opened up. John Ehrlichman, Nixon's trusted aide, was
moving to head up domestic affairs, and Ehrlichman was looking for someone
to replace him -- a smart lawyer and good detail man who was also loyal
to the president. The man who came on board on July 27, 1970, was John
Wesley Dean III.

Dean arrived at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue just as President Nixon was
trying to figure out how to deal with massive street demonstrations against
the Vietnam War. A month before, a White House staffer named Tom Huston
had drawn up a plan to spy on the demonstrators through electronic
surveillance, recruitment of campus informants, and surreptitious entry
into offices and meeting places.

In hindsight, this sounds especially odious, and it was, but at the time, and
from the vantage point of the administration and its supporters in the "silent
majority," America was besieged. The general atmosphere in the country
and the domestic violence, actual and hinted, surrounding the Vietnam War
debate, felt like chaos was descending. Even so, Attorney General John
Mitchell shot down the notorious "Huston Plan." John Dean, however, took
an immediate interest in some of the proposals.

Although his official duties centered on giving the president legal advice --
often on arcane technical matters -- Dean was considered a junior staffer and
had virtually no contact with Nixon. Nevertheless, the White House neophyte
quickly began taking on for himself the far edgier and dubious mantle of
political intelligence guru.

Among the bits of intelligence Dean collected were the details of the
Townhouse Operation. In November 1970, following the midterm elections,
Jack Gleason turned over all his files to the White House, where
Haldeman had them delivered to Dean. Watergate investigators would later
discover that "Haldeman also gave Dean several little notebooks which pertained
to the 1970 fundraising." Those little notebooks would have told Dean who the
donors were, how much they gave, and the identity of the recipients.

Shortly after the files ended up in Dean's hands, the media began
receiving -- perhaps coincidentally -- leaks about the Townhouse Operation.
One of the first reports was an AP article with no byline that appeared
in the New York Times on December 27, 1970. It said that seven
ambassadors had received their positions as rewards for their contributions
to the Townhouse Operation: "Mr. Jack Gleason left the staff of a
White House political operative, Harry Dent, this fall to run the fund-
raising campaign from a basement back office in a Washington townhouse."
And there it was: Gleason caught up in something that sounded
sinister, complete with the townhouse basement back office, all purportedly
on behalf of Richard Nixon.

In February 1972, someone cranked Townhouse back up again. Jim Polk,
an investigative reporter at the Washington Star with an impressive track
record on campaign finance matters, got more information about the fund
from "inside sources."

Polk published an article headlined "Obscure Lawyer Raises Millions for
Nixon." It sounded even more disturbing than the previous one. Polk's article
did two things: it introduced the public to Nixon's personal lawyer Kalmbach
and it provided many new details about the Townhouse fund.

A little-known lawyer in Newport Beach, Calif., has raised millions
of dollars in campaign contributions as an unpublicized fund-
raiser . . . [and] as Nixon's personal agent . . . to collect campaign
checks from Republican donors Kalmbach helped to raise
nearly $3 million in covert campaign money . . . The checks were
sent through a townhouse basement used by former Nixon political
aide Jack A. Gleason. But the operation was run from inside the
White House by presidential assistant H.R. (Bob) Haldeman . . .
Only a portion of this money has shown up on public records. The
rest of the campaign checks have been funneled through dummy
committees.

When I spoke to Polk in 2008, not surprisingly, he no longer recalled the
identity of his source. But whoever had leaked this story to him was no
friend of Nixon's. Yet if it was intended to provoke further interest, it failed.
Someone had attempted to light a fuse with Townhouse, but it did not ignite.
Just four months later, however, another fuse was lit. And this one would
burn on and on.

The Brazen Burglary

If Townhouse was engineered to discredit Nixon, it had one potential flaw.
The wrongdoing involved technical financial matters that reporters might
find daunting. Watergate, on the other hand, was inherently sexy; it had all
the elements of the crime drama it became. The break-in was brazen and
easily grasped, and carried out in such a manner as to just about guarantee
both failure and discovery. It also involved a cast of characters that neither
reporters nor television cameras could resist (as the Watergate hearings later
would demonstrate). It was like a made-for-TV movie: burglars in business
suits, living in a fancy suite near the scene of the crime; Cuban expatriates;
documents in pockets leading to the White House. Even Nixon had to interrupt
his reelection campaign to confront it.

But the burglars didn't appear to take anything, so what was the intended
crime? Breaking and entering -- for what purpose?

As with the JFK assassination, theories abound. The burglars were found
with bugging equipment. But that made little sense; Nixon didn't have
much to worry about from his presumed Democratic opponent, George
McGovern. The risks of a bugging operation far outweighed any conceivable
gains. And if Nixon had really wanted inside dope on the McGovern
campaign, which he hardly needed, he could have sent teams into McGovern's
headquarters up on Capitol Hill, or to Miami, where the Democrats
would hold their convention.

If, on the other hand, the intent was to fire the public imagination, the
Watergate complex was far better -- and Washington itself a necessary locale
if the national press was to stay with the story week after week.

With all this in mind, Nixon's observation in his memoirs that "the whole
thing was so senseless and bungled that it almost looked like some kind of
a setup" seems on the mark.

If the Cubans were really trying to do the job, their supervisors were
guilty of malpractice. They might as well have called the D.C. police to reserve
an interrogation room.

The flubs were so obvious it was as if they were the work of amateurs --
which it was not. Burglary team member James McCord left tape horizontally
over a lock, so that it could be spotted, as it was, by a security guard
when the door was closed. If he had taped the lock vertically, it would have
been invisible to a passerby. And if the intent was to pull off a real burglary,
there was no need for tape anyway -- as the burglars were already inside.
Even so, after the security guard discovered and removed the tape, McCord
put it right back.

The entire operation reflected poor judgment. An experienced burglar
would have known not to carry any sort of identification, and certainly not
identification that led back to the boss. How elementary is that? Among the
incriminating materials found on the Watergate burglars was a check with
White House consultant E. Howard Hunt's signature on it -- and Hunt's
phone number at the White House, in addition to checks drawn on Mexican
bank accounts. Despite the obvious risks, the burglars were also instructed
by Hunt to register at the Watergate Hotel, and to keep their room keys in
their pockets during the mission. These keys led investigators straight back
to an array of incriminating evidence, not the least damaging of which was
a suitcase containing the burglars' ID cards. Everything pointed back to
CREEP and the White House.

The most interesting thing was that the materials identified the burglars
as connected not just to the White House, but to the CIA as well. And not
just to the CIA, but to a group within the CIA that had been active during
the controversial period that included the Bay of Pigs invasion and the
assassination of JFK.

Hunt, whose status in the CIA was described earlier, was a high-ranking
(GS-15) officer and a member of the "Plumbers," a White House special
investigations unit ostensibly dedicated to stopping government leaks to the
media. As discussed in chapter 6, Hunt had been a key player in the coup in
Guatemala and the Bay of Pigs invasion, in addition to working very closely
with Allen Dulles himself. As noted previously, Dulles was in Dallas shortly
before November 22.

And Hunt had been there on the very day of the assassination, according
to an account confirmed in 1978 by James Angleton, the longtime CIA
counterintelligence chief. Angleton, clearly concerned that investigations
would uncover Hunt's presence in Dallas anyway, went so far as to alert a
reporter and a House Committee to Hunt's being in the city that day, and
then opined that Hunt had been involved in unauthorized activities while
there; 'Some very odd things were going on that were out of our control."

Watergate burglar and electronic surveillance expert James McCord, like
Hunt, had also been a GS-15 agent, serving for over a decade in the CIA's
Office of Security. Around the time of the Kennedy assassination, he began
working with anti-Castro Cubans on a possible future invasion of the island.
Allen Dulles once introduced McCord to an Air Force colonel, saying,
"This man is the best man we have." Regarding Nixon, McCord dismissed
him to a colleague as not a team player, not "one of us."

In a long-standing tradition, both Hunt and McCord had officially "resigned"
from the agency prior to the Watergate time frame. But their continued
involvement in CIA-related cover operations suggested otherwise.
Indeed, as noted earlier in the book, many figures, including Poppy Bush's
oil business colleague Thomas J. Devine, officially took retirement prior to
participating in seemingly independent operations in which deniability was
crucial.

Though Hunt claimed to have cut his CIA ties, he actually went out of
his way to draw attention to those ties while working in the Nixon White
House. He ostentatiously ordered a limousine to drive him from the
White House out to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. It was as though
he was trying to broadcast the notion that Nixon was working closely with
the agency -- with which, as we now know, the president was in reality battling.

After Hunt's alleged retirement, he was employed at the Mullen Company,
a public relations firm that served as a CIA cover. In a 1973 memo, Charles
Colson recounted a meeting he'd just had with Senate Republican minority
leader Howard Baker. Charles Colson wrote, "Baker said that the Mullen
Company was a CIA front, that [Hunt's] job with the Mullen Company was
arranged by [CIA director] Helms personally." Baker also informed Colson
that, during Hunt's time at the Mullen Company, his pay had been adjusted to
the exact salary he would have been making had he stayed at the spy agency.

Eugenio Martinez, one of the anti-Castro Cuban burglars, was another
CIA operative in the break-in crew. Indeed, he was the one member of the
team who remained actively on the CIA payroll, filing regular reports on the
activities of the team to his Miami case officer. Then there was Bernard L.
Barker, who first worked as an FBI in formant before being turned over to
the CIA during the run-up to the Bay of Pigs. Frank Sturgis, too, had CIA
connections. Martinez, Barker, and Sturgis had worked with Hunt and Mc-
Cord on the Second Naval Guerrilla operation.

So Nixon, who had been trying to see the CIA's file on the Bay of Pigs,
was now staring at a burglary purportedly carried out in his name by veterans
of the same "Bay of Pigs thing" with strong CIA ties. It was like a flashing
billboard warning. CIA professionals, Cuban exiles, all tied to the events
of 1961 through 1963, suddenly appearing in the limelight and tying themselves
and their criminal activity to the president.

watergate burglars Encarta

Layers and Layers

If most of us ever knew, we have probably long since forgotten that before
the June 1972 Watergate break-in, there was another Watergate break-in
by the same crew. With this earlier one, though, they were careful to avoid
detection and were not caught. At that time, they installed listening devices.
The second burglary, the one that seemingly was designed for detection,
and designed to be traced back to the Nixon White House, ostensibly revolved
around removing listening devices installed earlier -- and therefore drawing
attention to the devices and the surveillance.

The conclusion one would likely draw from their being caught red-handed
is that Dick Nixon is up to yet another manifestation of his twisted and illegal
inclinations. And what were they listening to? Purportedly, DNC personnel
were arranging for "dates" for distinguished visitors with a call-girl ring. The
ring was operating from down the street, not far from where the bugs were
being monitored. The conclusion is that Nixon was perhaps trying to sexually
blackmail the Democrats. It got more and more objectionable.

But the fact is that no evidence shows Nixon wanting to sexually blackmail
Democrats, nor wanting to install bugs at the DNC, nor wanting to
order a burglary to remove the bugs. Yet somebody else clearly had a good
imagination, and a talent for executing a script that was magnificently inculpatory
of someone who would appear to deserve removal from the highest
office in the land.

Eventually, Americans would learn that the Watergate break-ins were
not the first such operation that made Nixon look bad, and not the first coordinated
by Hunt and featuring Cuban veterans of the Bay of Pigs invasion.
Back in September 1971, the team hit the Beverly Hills office of Dr.
Lewis Fielding, the psychiatrist of Daniel Ellsberg, the whistle-blower who
leaked the explosive Pentagon Papers to the New York Times. First, though,
Nixon, who was initially indifferent over the leak, was persuaded to take on
the Times for publishing the documents, a posture that would position him
as a foe of public disclosure. It also escalated his already adversarial relationship
with the news media -- a relationship that would become a severe
disadvantage to Nixon as the Watergate "revelations" began to emerge.
Nixon was also persuaded to authorize the formation of a leak-busting
White House group, which was soon dubbed "the Plumbers." Soon, purportedly
operating on Nixon's behalf -- but without his actual approval -- the
Hunt team broke into Dr. Fieldingís office, having been told to photograph
Ellsberg's patient files.

However, as with Watergate, the burglary appears to have had an ulterior
motive. Senator Baker, ranking Republican on the Senate Watergate Committee,
learned of this, according to White House special counsel Charles
Colson, when Baker interviewed the Cuban émigré Eugenio Martinez, who
participated in the burglaries of both Fielding's office and the DNC office in
Watergate:

Baker told me of his interview with Martinez who said that there
were no patient records in Dr. Fielding's office, that he, Martinez,
was very disappointed when they found nothing there, but Hunt
on the other hand seemed very pleased and as a matter of fact
broke out a bottle of champagne when the three men returned
from the job. Martinez says that he has participated in three hundred
or four hundred similar CIA operations, that this was clearly
a 'cover' operation with no intention of ever finding anything.

In fact, though the burglars were ostensibly seeking records while on a
covert mission, they did not act like people who wished to avoid discovery. In
addition to smashing the windows and prying open the front door with a crowbar,
the burglars proceeded to vandalize the office, scattering papers, pills, and
files across the floor. The result was to ensure the generation of a crime report,
establishing a record of the burglary. The break-in would not become public
knowledge until John Dean dramatically revealed it two years later --
and implicitly tied Nixon to it by citing the involvement of Egil Krogh, the man in
charge of Nixon's so-called Plumbers unit.

Dean and his lawyers showed far greater enthusiasm for pursuing the
Beverly Hills break-in than even the prosecutors. As Renata Adler wrote in
the New Yorker: "Dean's attorney, Charles Shaffer, practically had to spell it
out to [the prosecutors] that they would be taking part in an obstruction of
justice themselves if they did not pass the information on."

Like Watergate, the Fielding office break-in was on its face a very bad idea
that was not approved by Nixon but certain to deeply embarrass him and
damage his public standing when it was disclosed. The principal accomplishment
of the break-in was to portray Nixon as a man who had no decency
at all -- purportedly even stooping to obtain private psychiatric records
of a supposed foe. This was almost guaranteed to provoke public revulsion.

The notion that a group surrounding the president could be working to
do him in might sound preposterous to most of us. But not to veterans of
America's clandestine operations, where the goal abroad has often been to
do just that. And Nixon was a perfect target: solitary, taciturn, with few
friends, and not many more people he trusted. Because of this, he had to
hire virtual strangers in the White House, and as a result, the place was
teeming with schemers. Nixon was too distrustful, and yet not distrustful
enough. It was supremely ironic. Nixon, ridiculed for his irrational hatred
and "paranoia" toward the Eastern Establishment, may in the end have been
done in by forces controlled by that very establishment. Of course, it was
nothing less than that level of power to remove presidents, plural, one after
the other if necessary.

Among the myriad plots was the so-called Moorer-Radford affair, cited in
chapter 9, in which the military actually was spying on Nixon and stealing
classified documents in an attempt to gain inside information, influence
policy, and perhaps even unseat the president.

That Nixon could actually have been the victim of Watergate, and not the
perpetrator, will not sit well with many, especially those with a professional
stake in Nixon's guilt. Yet three of the most thoroughly reported books on
Watergate from the past three decades have come to the same conclusion:
that Nixon and/or his top aides were indeed set up. Each of these books takes
a completely different approach, focuses on different aspects, and relies on
essentially different sets of facts and sources. These are 1984's Secret Agenda,
by former Harper's magazine Washington editor Jim Hougan; 1991's Silent
Coup, by Len Colodny and Robert Gettlin; and 2008's The Strong Man, by
James Rosen.

Rosen's The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate is a biography
of Nixon's close friend, attorney general, and campaign chief, the
highest-ranking official ever to be sentenced to prison. The book, on which
Rosen labored for seventeen years, is based on sources not previously interviewed
and also on unprecedented access to documents generated by the Senate
Watergate Committee and Watergate special prosecutors. Rosen asserts
that the Watergate operation was authorized behind Mitchell's back by his
subordinate Jeb Magruder and by John Dean and was deliberately sabotaged
in its execution by burglar and former CIA officer James McCord. As Rosen
puts it:

Mitchell knew he had been set up. In later years, his mind reeled at
the singular confluence of amazing characters that produced
Watergate -- Dean, Magruder, Liddy, Helms, Hunt, McCord,
Martinez -- and reckoned himself and the president, neither of
whom enjoyed foreknowledge of the Watergate break-in, victims
in the affair. "The more I got into this," Mitchell said in June 1987,
"the more I see how these sons of bitches have not only done
Nixon in but they've done me in."

Rosen also writes:

The [Watergate] tapes unmasked Nixon not as the take-charge boss
of a criminal conspiracy but rather as an aging and confused politician
lost in a welter of detail, unable to distinguish his Magruders
from his Strachans, uncertain who knew what and when, what
each player had told the grand jury, whose testimony was direct,
whose hearsay.

My independent research takes the argument one step further, and the facts in a completely new direction. It leads to an even more disturbing conclusion as to what
was really going on, and why.

Woodward at His Post

The accepted narrative of Nixon as the villain of Watergate is based largely on
the work of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. They both were young reporters
on the Washington Post's Metro desk when the story fell into their laps.
When it was over, they were household names. Woodward in particular would
go on to become the nation's most visible investigative journalist, and indeed
the iconic representation of that genre. The work of "Woodstein" would play a
key role in enhancing the franchise of the Post itself. Yet this oeuvre -- in
particular the role of Woodward -- has become somewhat suspect among those
who have taken a second and third look -- including Columbia Journalism
Review contributing editor Steve Weinberg, in a November/December 1991
article.

Woodward did not fit the profile of the typical daily print reporter. Young,
midwestern, Republican, he attended Yale on an ROTC scholarship and
then spent five years in the Navy. He had begun with a top-secret security
clearance on board the USS Wright, specializing in communications, including
with the White House.

His commanding officer was Rear Admiral Robert O. Welander, who
would later be implicated in the military spy ring in the Nixon White
House, mentioned in chapter 9. According to Silent Coup, an exhaustive
study of the military espionage scandal, Woodward then arrived in Washington,
where he worked on the staff of Admiral Thomas Moorer, chief of naval
operations, again as a communications officer, this time one who provided
briefings and documents to top brass in the White House on national security
matters. According to this account, in 1969-70, Woodward frequently
walked through the basement offices of the White House West Wing with
documents from Admiral Moorer to General Alexander Haig, who served
under Henry Kissinger.

In a 2008 interview, Woodward categorically denied having any intelligence
connections. He also denied having worked in the White House or
providing briefings there. "It's a matter of record in the Navy what I did,
what I didn't do," Woodward said. "And this Navy Intelligence, Haig and so
forth, you know, I'd be more than happy to acknowledge it if it's true. It just
isn't. Can you accept that?"

Journalist Len Colodny, however, has produced audiotapes of interviews
by his Silent Coup coauthor, Robert Gettlin, with Admiral Moorer, former defense
secretary Melvin Laird, Pentagon spokesman Jerry Friedheim -- and
even with Woodward's own father, Al -- speaking about Bob's White House
service.

At a minimum, Woodward's entry into journalism received a valuable
outside assist, according to an account provided by Harry Rosenfeld, a retired
Post editor, to the Saratogian newspaper in 2004:

Bob had come to us on very high recommendations from someone
in the White House. He had been an intelligence officer in the
Navy and had served in the Pentagon. He had not been exposed to
any newspaper. We gave him a tryout because he was so highly
recommended. We customarily didn't do that. We wanted to see
some clips, and he had none of that. We tried him out, and after a
week or two I asked my deputy, "What's with this guy?" And he
said well, he's a very bright guy but he doesn't know how to put the
paper in the typewriter. But he was bright, there was that intensity
about him and his willingness, and he acted maturely. So we decided
because he had come so highly recommended and he had
shown certain strengths that we would help get him a job at the
Montgomery County Sentinel.

In 2008, some time after I spoke to Woodward, I reached Rosenfeld. He
said he did not recall telling the Saratogian that Woodward had been hired
on the advice of someone in the White House. He did, however, tell me that
he remembered that Woodward had been recommended by Paul Ignatius,
the Post's president. Prior to taking over the Post's presidency, Ignatius had
been Navy secretary for President Johnson.

In a 2008 interview, Ignatius told me it was possible that he had a hand
in at least recommending Woodward. "It's possible that somebody asked
me about him, and it's possible that I gave him a recommendation," Ignatius
said. "I don't remember initiating anything, but I can't say I didn't." I
asked Ignatius how a top Pentagon administrator such as himself would
even have known of a lowly lieutenant, such as Woodward was back in
those days, and Ignatius said he did not recall.

In September 1971, after one year of training at the Maryland-based Sentinel,
Woodward was hired at the Washington Post . The Post itself is steeped
in intelligence connections. The paper's owner, the Graham family, were, as
noted in chapter 3, aficionados of the apparatus, good friends of top spies,
and friends also of Prescott Bush. They even helped fund Poppy Bush's earliest
business venture. Editor Ben Bradlee was himself a Yale graduate who,
like Woodward, had spent time in naval intelligence during World War II.
(As noted earlier, Poppy Bush had also been associated with naval intelligence
during World War II: prior to beginning his work with the CIA, he had
been involved with top-secret aerial reconnaissance photography.)

Woodward demonstrated his proclivity for clandestine sources a month
before the Watergate break-in, in his coverage of the shooting and serious
wounding of presidential candidate George Wallace at a shopping center in
Washington's Maryland suburbs. A lone gunman, Arthur Bremer, would be
convicted. Woodward impressed his editors with his tenacity on the case,
and his contacts. As noted in a journalistic case study published by Columbia
University:

At the time, according to [Post editors Barry] Sussman and [Harry]
Rosenfeld, Woodward said he had "a friend" who might be able to
help. Woodward says his "friend" filled him in on Bremer's background
and revealed that Bremer had also been stalking other
presidential candidates.

As to Woodward's initial introduction to the newspaper, nobody seems to
have questioned whether a recommendation from someone in the White
House would be an appropriate reason for the Post to hire a reporter. Nor
does anyone from the Post appear to have put a rather obvious two and two
together, and noted that Woodward made quick work of bringing down the
president, and therefore wondered who at the White House recommended
Woodward in the first place -- and with what motivation.

Others, however, were more curious. After Charles Colson met with Senator
Howard Baker and his staff -- including future senator Fred Thompson --
he recounted the session in a previously unpublished memo to file:

The CIA has been unable to determine whether Bob Woodward
was employed by the agency. The agency claims to be having difficulty
checking personnel files. Thompson says that he believes the
delay merely means that they don't want to admit that Woodward
was in the agency. Thompson wrote a lengthy memo to Baker last
week complaining about the CIA's non-cooperation, the fact that
they were supplying material piecemeal and had been very uncooperative.
The memo went into the CIA relationship with the press, specifically
Woodward. Senator Baker sent the memo directly to [CIA Director] Colby
with a cover note and within a matter of a few hours, Woodward
called Baker and was incensed over the memo. It had been immediately
leaked to him.

Woodward's good connections would help generate a series of exclusive-
access interviews that would result in rapidly produced bestselling books.
One was Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA, 1981-1987, a controversial book
that relied in part, Woodward claimed, on a deathbed interview -- not
recorded -- with former CIA director William Casey. The 543-page book,
which came out as Poppy Bush was seeking the presidency, contained no
substantive mentions of any role on the part of Bush in these "secret wars,"
though Bush was both vice president with a portfolio for covert ops and a
former CIA director.

Asked how it was possible to leave Bush out of such a detailed account of
covert operations during his vice presidency, Woodward replied, "Bush was,
well, I don't think he was -- What was it he said at the time? I was out of the
loop?" Woodward went on to be blessed with unique access to George W.
Bush -- a president who did not grant a single interview to America's top
newspaper, the New York Times, for nearly half his administration -- and the
automatic smash bestsellers that guaranteed. Woodward would also distinguish
himself for knowing about the administration's role in leaking the
identity of CIA undercover officer Valerie Plame but not writing or saying
anything about it, despite an ongoing investigation and media tempest.
When this was revealed, Woodward issued an apology to the Post.

To its credit, the Washington Post in these years had other staffers doing
some of the best reporting on the intelligence establishment. Perhaps the
most revealing work came prior to Nixon's tenure, while Woodward was still
doing his naval service. In a multipart, front-page series by Richard Harwood
in early 1967, the paper began reporting the extent to which the CIA
had penetrated civil institutions not just abroad, but at home as well. "It was
not enough for the United States to arm its allies, to strengthen governmental
institutions, or to finance the industrial establishment through economic
and military programs," Harwood wrote. "Intellectuals, students, educators,
trade unionists, journalists and professional men had to be reached directly
through their private concerns." Journalists too. Even Carl Bernstein later
wrote about the remarkable extent of the CIA's penetration of newsrooms,
detailing numerous examples, in a 1977 Rolling Stone article. As for the Post
itself, Bernstein wrote:

When Newsweek was purchased by the Washington Post Company,
publisher Philip L. Graham was informed by Agency officials that
the CIA occasionally used the magazine for cover purposes, according
to CIA sources. "It was widely known that Phil Graham was
somebody you could get help from," said a former deputy director
of the Agency. "Frank Wisner dealt with him." Wisner, deputy director
of the CIA from 1950 until shortly before his suicide in 1965,
was the Agency's premier orchestrator of "black" operations, including
many in which journalists were involved. Wisner liked to
boast of his "mighty Wurlitzer," a wondrous propaganda instrument
he built, and played, with help from the press. Phil Graham
was probably Wisner's closest friend. But Graham, who committed
suicide in 1963, apparently knew little of the specifics of any cover
arrangements with Newsweek, CIA sources said.

In 1965-66, an accredited Newsweek stringer in the Far East was
in fact a CIA contract employee earning an annual salary of
$10,000 from the Agency, according to Robert T. Wood, then a CIA
officer in the Hong Kong station. Some Newsweek correspondents
and stringers continued to maintain covert ties with the Agency
into the 1970s, CIA sources said.

Information about Agency dealings with the Washington Post
newspaper is extremely sketchy. According to CIA officials, some
Post stringers have been CIA employees, but these officials say
they do not know if anyone in the Post management was aware of
the arrangements.

When the Watergate burglary story broke, Bob Woodward got the assignment,
in part, his editor Barry Sussman recalled, because he never
seemed to leave the building. "I worked the police beat all night," Wood-
ward said in an interview with authors Tom Rosenstiel and Amy S.
Mitchell, "and then I'd go home -- I had an apartment five blocks from the
Post -- and sleep for a while. I'd show up in the newsroom around 10 or 11
[in the morning] and work all day too. People complained I was working too
hard." So when the bulletin came in, Woodward was there. The result was
a front-page account revealing that E. Howard Hunt's name appeared in the
address book of one of the burglars and that a check signed by Hunt had
been found in the pocket of another burglar, who was Cuban. It went further:
Hunt, Woodward reported, worked as a consultant to White House counsel
Charles Colson.

Thus, Woodward played a key role in tying the burglars to Nixon.

Woodward would later explain in All the President's Men (coauthored with
Bernstein) that to find out more about Hunt, he had "called an old friend
and sometimes source who worked for the federal government." His friend
did not like to be contacted at this office and "said hurriedly that the break-
in case was going to 'heat up,' but he couldn't explain and hung up." Thus
began Woodward's relationship with Deep Throat, that mysterious source
who, Woodward would later report, served in the executive branch of government
and had access to information in the White House and CREEP.

Based on tips from Deep Throat, Woodward and Bernstein began to "follow
the money," writing stories in September and October 1972 on a political
"slush fund" linked to CREEP. One story reported that the fund had
financed the bugging of the Democratic Party's Watergate headquarters as
well as other intelligence-gathering activities. While Nixon coasted to a
landslide victory over the liberal Democrat George McGovern, the story
seemed to go on hiatus. But just briefly.

Poppy Enters, Stage Right

If someone did want to undermine the president from outside the White
House, he couldn't have found a better perch than the chairmanship of the
Republican Party.

Right after the election, Poppy Bush, again utilizing his pull with Nixon,
had persuaded the president to bring him back from his cushy U.N. post
and install him at the Republican National Committee. This put him at the
very epicenter of the nationwide Republican elite that would ultimately
determine whether Nixon would stay or go.

As chairman of the RNC, Poppy was expected to be the president's chief
advocate, especially to the party faithful. He would travel widely, interact
with big donors and party activists. If anyone would have their finger on the
pulse of the loyalist base, it was Poppy. He would have a good sense of what
would keep supporters in line, and conversely, what might convince them to
abandon ship.

But Poppy was unique among RNC chairmen over the years in that he
had convinced Nixon to let him maintain an official presence at the White
House. Just as Nixon had permitted him to participate in cabinet meetings
as U.N. ambassador, he now continued to extend that privilege while Poppy
ran the RNC. This was unprecedented for someone in such an overtly partisan
position.

Here was a man closely connected to the CIA, as we have seen, now both
running the Republican Party and sitting in on cabinet deliberations. An
intelligence officer couldn't have asked for a better perch. Moreover, this put
him in the catbird seat just as Watergate began heating up.

But Poppy was even more wired into Nixonworld. When he came to the
RNC, he hired Harry Dent and Tom Lias, the top officials of Nixon's Political
Affairs office, which had established the Town house Operation. Dent was
the architect of Nixon's Southern strategy, with which Poppy Bush and his
backers were closely allied. Lias had ties to Poppy from before working in
the White House. He had been a top organizer for the Republican Congressional
Campaign Committee, strategizing how to elect people like Poppy to
formerly Democratic seats in the South.

After Poppy came to Washington, the two often socialized. According to
Pierre Ausloos, stepfather of Lias's daughter, and a friend of the family, "On
weekends, Bush would always invite [Lias] for a barbecue party at his house
here in Washington." Ausloos also remembers that during the 1968
Republican convention, Liasís daughter's babysitter was Poppy's son, George
W. Bush.

Thus, at the time Dent and Lias were installed in the White House Political
Affairs office, they were already close with Bush. Indeed, right after the
1970 election and the termination of the Town house Operation, Bush took
Lias with him to New York, where Lias served as a top aide on Poppy's
United Nations staff. The U.N. choice struck people who knew Lias as odd.
Lias had no relevant qualifications or knowledge for the U.N. post, just as
Poppy himself didn't.

Poppy's decision, once he moved to the RNC, to hire both Lias and
Dent -- the two men supervising Jack Gleason's Town house Operation --
is surely significant.

Meanwhile, Poppy Bush and his team had already been in contact with
John Dean.

In a brief 2008 conversation, in which a prickly Dean sought to control
the conditions of the interview, I asked him whether he had any dealings
with Bush. "I think there are some phone calls on my phone logs, but I
never met with him personally," he said.

Indeed, phone logs show that on June 24, 1971, Ambassador Bush called
Dean, and on December 6, 1971, Tom Lias of Ambassador Bush's office
called. The logs show other calls from Lias as well. It is not clear -- nor did
Dean volunteer an opinion -- why Bush and Lias would have been calling
him at all.

Slumming in Greenwich

When the Senate created a committee to investigate Watergate, there was no
guarantee that anything would come of it. The perpetrators -- the burglars
and their supervisors, Hunt and Liddy -- were going on trial, and it was uncertain
whether the hearings would produce any further insights. Moreover,
the committee featured four rather somnolent Democrats and three Republicans,
two of them staunch Nixon loyalists.

This left only one wild card: Lowell Weicker, a liberal Republican from
Connecticut.

A freshman, and an independent one, Weicker was not disposed to knee-
jerk defense of Nixon. Furthermore, he saw himself as a crusader. At six feet
six, Weicker was imposing, considered basically well-intentioned, a little
naive, and in love with publicity. He had gotten his political start in the
Bush hometown of Greenwich, Connecticut; and like the Bushes, he was
heir to a family fortune, in his case from two grandfathers who owned the
Squibb pharmaceutical company.

But there the similarities ended. Weicker chose for his base Greenwich's
Third Voting District, which consisted almost entirely of working-class
Italians. "Just decent, hard-working, down-to-basics families," Weicker
would say. "Had I been raised as a typical Republican in the salons of Fair-
field County, discussing international issues at teas and cocktail parties,
I know my career would have been a short one once off the Greenwich
electoral scene." In 1960, Weicker aligned himself with Albert Morano,
a congressional candidate opposed by the Bush family. Now the Bushes
saw Weicker as a traitor to his class. Over the years, Weicker and Bush
would generally maintain a cool but civil relationship, driven by political
expediency.

"I think he was viewed as an outsider from day one, and it was a perspective
he relished," said Townhouse operative Jack Gleason. "Because he
always used to joke about 'the Round Hill boys out to get me again' every
time he was up for reelection."

Weicker had arrived in Washington in 1968, following his election to the
House of Representatives. Given the past, this would have made him a
not-very-welcome colleague of Poppy Bush. And Poppy probably was not
enthused when, after only two years in the House, Weicker was elected
to Prescott Bush's old Senate seat -- in the same year Poppy lost his second
Senate bid. Weicker's star was rising faster than Poppy's -- and in the Bush
home state to boot. It must have rankled.

Still, Weicker's least endearing qualities -- his considerable ambition,
love of publicity, and penchant for self-aggrandizement -- would shortly
prove useful in at least one respect: as a champion of the "truth" on the
Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities, commonly
known as the Watergate Committee. The same Republican maverick who
had no qualms about challenging his party's leadership in Connecticut
would soon debut his maverick persona on the national stage.

In his memoirs, Weicker writes that he was given the Watergate Committee
assignment because he was one of only two Republicans who volunteered
and that his interest in "campaign financing" and dwindling faith in
the democratic process spurred his personal interest. Interestingly, the
other Republican volunteer, stalwart conservative Edward J. Gurney of Florida,
had won his seat with the help of Bush's top political lieutenant, Jimmy
Allison -- and eldest son George W. Bush, who took the extraordinary step of
securing a leave from his National Guard unit in 1968, when he had barely
begun his military training. The other Republican on the committee was Minority
Leader Howard Baker, a moderate. Weicker was the only Republican
on the committee with the inclination to prove his independence from the
party and openly challenge the president.

By the spring of 1973, six defendants had been sentenced in the DNC burglary,
and the Watergate hearings were due to begin. There was now an opportunity
for Nixon to put the whole Watergate affair behind him, without
mortal damage to his presidency. Weicker, however, already saw his role as
an honest broker, and he criticized Nixon's attempts at tamping down the
matter. "I think the national interest is achieved by opening, not closing, the
White House doors," he said. He added that he would vote in favor of subpoenas
for White House officials to appear before the committee.

Poppy Bush apparently agreed. On March 20, the day after Weicker's remarks,
Poppy went to see Nixon at the Oval Office. In his usual oblique way,
ascribing his advice to others, he urged Nixon to send John Dean to testify.

BUSH: We're getting hit a little bit, Mr. President . . . It's building,
and the mail's getting heavier . . .
NIXON: What do you think you can do about it? . . . We've got hearings
coming up. The hearings will make it worse.
BUSH: . . . I was speaking with the executives at the Bull Elephants
The guy said to me, why doesn't the President
send Dean? . . . The disclosure is what they're calling for.
NIXON: We are cooperating They don't want any cooperation.
They aren't interested in getting the facts. They're only interested
in [politicalgains?] I wish there were an answer to Watergate,
but I just don't know any . . . I don't know a damn thing
to do. [emphasis added]

John Ehrlichman remembers that meeting well, as noted in his memoirs.
"Bush argued that the only way to blunt the current onslaught in the newspapers
and on television was for the president to be totally forthcoming -- to
tell everything he knew about all aspects of Watergate."

This was a significant moment, where Poppy demonstrates a possible
connection to and interest in Dean. It was a sort of specific advice that warrants
attention, because it is an indication that the outsider Bush is unusually
well informed about who knows what inside the White House --
and encourages Nixon to let Dean begin confessing his knowledge. When I
asked Dean in 2008 why he thought Poppy Bush was suggesting he testify,
he said he had no idea.

Nixon resisted Poppy's advice to have Dean testify because, Nixon maintained,
there was no White House staff involvement in Watergate, and
therefore Dean's testimony would serve only to break executive privilege,
once and for all. "The president can't run his office by having particularly
his lawyer go up and testify," Nixon told Poppy.

If Poppy Bush seemed to have unusually good intelligence as to what
was happening in the Oval Office, it might have had something to do with
a good friend of his who was right in there with Nixon and Dean during the
most critical days of Watergate. Richard A. Moore, a lawyer who served as a
kind of elder statesman off of whom Nixon and Mitchell could bounce
ideas, was, like Poppy, an alumnus of Andover, Yale, and Skull and Bones.
Moore served as special assistant to the chief of military intelligence during
World War II and is believed to have transitioned to civilian intelligence
after the war. Over the years, Moore was practically a member of the
extended Bush clan, exchanging intimate notes with Poppy and even joining
family dinners.

Moore shows up in background roles on a number of Nixon tapes, and
phone logs show a flurry of phone calls between Moore and Dean, especially
in the final weeks before Dean turned on Nixon. In a little-reported taped telephone
conversation from March 16, Dean tells Nixon that he and Moore are
working on a Watergate report; he also mentions that he and Moore drive
home together. On March 20, in an Oval Office meeting featuring Nixon,
Dean, and Moore -- just prior to Nixon's meeting with Poppy Bush --
Moore can be heard typing the report in the background.

Dean would later write that the term "cancer" as used in his famous "cancer
on the presidency" briefing had been suggested by Moore -- who though a close
Nixon adviser in these sensitive days, managed to emerge from Watergate
obscure and unscathed. His Watergate testimony did not support Dean, but
he tended to be ambiguous. As Time magazine noted on July 23, 1973,
"The Moore testimony was certainly not evidence that the President
had had prior knowledge of the Plumbers' felonious break-in. But it seemingly
betrayed a curious nonchalance on the President's part toward questionable
activities by White House staffers."

Later, with Nixon departing and Ford preparing to become president,
Moore urged Ford to make Poppy Bush his vice president, arguing that
Bush had strong economic credentials. Moore specifically cited Poppy's ties
to Wall Street through his father and grandfather, "both highly respected investment
bankers in New York." Moore would go on to work on all of Poppy
Bush's presidential campaigns, including his unsuccessful 1980 bid, and
would in 1989 be named by Poppy as his ambassador to Ireland.

Repeat After Me

Immediately after Poppy tried to convince Nixon to send Dean to testify,
Dean himself telephoned the president. Dean asked to urgently meet the
following morning and carefully explained to Nixon that there were important
details of which the president was unaware and that he would tell him
about these things -- but did not yet tell him:

DEAN: I think that one thing that we have to continue to do, and
particularly right now, is to examine the broadest, broadest implications
of this whole thing, and, you know, maybe about thirty minutes
of just my recitations to you of facts so that you operate from
the same facts that everybody else has.
NIXON: Right.
DEAN: I don't think -- we have never really done that. It has been sort
of bits and pieces. Just paint the whole picture for you, the soft
spots, the potential problem areas [emphasis added]

In other words, Dean was admitting, nine months into the scandal, that
he knew quite a bit about Watergate that he had never revealed to the president.
Now Dean planned to clue him in.

Nixon then inquired about the progress on a public statement Dean was
to be preparing -- and was made to understand that the statement was going
to try to avoid specifics, i.e., employ a common practice, stonewalling:

NIXON: And so you are coming up, then with the idea of just a
stonewall then? Is that --
DEAN: That's right.
NIXON: Is that what you come down with?
DEAN: Stonewall, with lots of noises that we are always willing to
cooperate, but no one is asking us for anything.

Nixon went on to pressure Dean to issue a statement to the cabinet explaining,
in very general terms, the White House's willingness to cooperate in any
investigations. Without going into detail, Nixon wanted to publicly defend the
innocence of White House officials whom he believed were innocent:

NIXON: I just want a general --
DEAN: An all-around statement.
NIXON: That's right. Try just something general. Like "I have
checked into this matter; I can categorically, based on my investigation,
the following: Haldeman is not involved in this, that
and the other thing. Mr. Colson did not do this; Mr. So- and- so
did not do this. Mr. Blank did not do this." Right down the line,
taking the most glaring things. If there are any further questions,
please let me know. See?
DEAN: Uh huh, I think we can do that.

But Dean apparently didn't intend to "do that." He was seemingly waiting
for the right moment to create the right effect -- and that moment would not
come until he had jumped the wall to the other side and become the key witness
for the prosecution.

In Haldemans diary entry of the same day, he observes that Nixon wants
to come clean, but that Dean is warning him not to:

[The president] feels strongly that we've got to say something to get
ourselves away from looking like we're completely on the defensive
and on a cover-up basis. If we . . . are going to volunteer
to send written statements . . . we might as well do the statements
now and get them publicized and get our answers out. The problem
is that Dean feels this runs too many leads out. [emphasis added]

Thus, according to this account, Nixon was interested in facing his problems.
This included, it appears, telling what they knew -- Nixon's version, in
any case.

And John Dean was urging Nixon not to do that. To make that case, Dean
was feeding Nixon's paranoia. In other words, Dean seemed to be saying:
Too many leads out. Let me control this process.

In response to a combination of events -- Weicker's call for more disclosure,
Bush's intervention with Nixon aimed at forcing Dean to testify, and
Dean's own insistence that there was more to the story -- Nixon met with
Dean the next day. That conversation, together with the smoking gun episode,
would help seal Nixon's fate.

On the morning of March 21, Nixon's White House counsel stepped
into the Oval Office and proceeded to deliver a speech that would make
Dean famous for the rest of his life. He would dramatically warn the president
of a "cancer on the presidency" soon to become inoperable. This
speech, which would shortly become Dean's principal evidence against
Nixon, may have been carefully calculated based on Dean's awareness
that the conversations were being taped. (Dean would later say he suspected
he was being taped, but as we shall see, he may have known for certain.)

In fact, for this dramatic moment, Dean had begun performing dress
rehearsals some eight days earlier. This is borne out by earlier taped
conversations -- ones whose very existence has been largely suppressed in
published accounts. In these earlier tapes, we hear Dean beginning to tell
Nixon about White House knowledge related to Watergate. (Most of these
tapes are excluded from what is generally considered the authoritative compendium
of transcripts, Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes, by Stanley Kutler,
who told me in a 2008 interview that he considers himself a close friend
of John Dean.)

In one unpublicized taped conversation, from March 13, Dean told Nixon
that Haldeman's aide Gordon Strachan had foreknowledge of the break-in,
was already lying about it in interviews, and would continue to do so before
a grand jury. The Watergate prosecutors, for whom Dean was a crucial witness,
had the March 13 tape, but did not enter it into evidence.

DEAN: Well, Chapin didn't know anything about the Watergate, and --
NIXON: You don't think so?
DEAN: No. Absolutely not.
NIXON: Did Strachan?
DEAN: Yes.
NIXON: He knew?
DEAN: Yes.
NIXON: About the Watergate?
DEAN: Yes.
NIXON: Well, then, Bob knew. He probably told Bob, then. He may
not have. He may not have.
DEAN: He was, he was judicious in what he, in what he relayed,
and, uh, but Strachan is as tough as nails. I --
NIXON: What'll he say? Just go in and say he didn't know?
DEAN: He'll go in and stonewall it and say, "I don't know anything
about what you are talking about." He has already done it twice,
as you know, in interviews.

This is significant since Strachan, a junior staff member, was essentially
reporting to Dean -- a fact that Dean failed to point out to Nixon. Although
Strachan was Haldeman's aide, when it came to matters like these, he
would, at Dean's request, deal directly with Dean.
"As to the subject of political intelligence-gathering," Strachan told the Senate Watergate Committee,
"John Dean was designated as the White House contact for the Committee

to Re-elect the President." Thus, if Strachan knew anything about Watergate,
even after the fact, it seems to have been because Dean included him in
the flow of "intelligence."

On March 17, in another tape generally excluded from accounts of Watergate,
Dean told Nixon about the Ellsberg break-in. He also provided a long list of
people who he felt might have "vulnerabilities" concerning Watergate,
and included himself in that list.

NIXON: Now, you were saying too, ah, what really, ah, where the,
this thing leads, I mean in terms of the vulnerabilities and so
forth. It's your view the vulnerables are basically Mitchell, Colson,
Haldeman, indirectly, possibly directly, and of course, the
second level is, as far as the White House is concerned, Chapin.
DEAN: And I'd say Dean, to a degree.
NIXON: You? Why?
DEAN: Well, because I've been all over this thing like a blanket.
NIXON: I know, I know, but you know all about it, but you didn't,
you were in it after the deed was done.
DEAN: That's correct, that I have no foreknowledge . . .
NIXON: Here's the whole point, here's the whole point. My point is
that your problem is you, you have no problem. All the others
that have participated in the God-damned thing, and therefore
are potentially subject to criminal liability. You're not. That's the
difference.

In the heavily publicized "cancer" speech of March 21, Dean essentially
reiterated what he had told Nixon previously, if in more detail. But he added
an important element -- one which would cause Nixon serious problems
when the "cancer" tape was played for the public: a request for one million
dollars in "hush money" for the burglars. Informed by Dean of a "continual
blackmail operation by Hunt and Liddy and the Cubans," Nixon asked how
much money they needed. Dean responded, "These people are going to cost
a million dollars over the next two years." There is debate as to whether
Nixon actually agreed with Dean's suggestion to pay money or merely ruminated
over it. He never did pay the money.

Dean's behavior did not appear to be that of a lawyer seeking to protect
his client, let alone advice appropriate to the conduct of the presidency.

Click here to read part 3 of Russ Baker's investigation >

Read the original article on WhoWhatWhy . Copyright 2012. Follow WhoWhatWhy on Twitter .

[Dec 29, 2017] Brennan and Morrell might work on creating UAE Intelligence agency modeled after CIA

Notable quotes:
"... It also appears that both Brennan and Morrell are knee deep in it as well. ..."
Dec 29, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

J , 27 December 2017 at 04:19 AM

Colonel, PT,

Has Larry Sanchez stepped over the line?

https://intelnews.org/tag/larry-sanchez/

J , 27 December 2017 at 04:19 AM
Colonel,

It also appears that both Brennan and Morrell are knee deep in it as well.

[Dec 28, 2017] The Harding book contains nothing but conjecture and shaky circumstantial evidence built upon a "dossier" filled with verifiable lies from an operative that was hired by the Clintons

Dec 28, 2017 | www.amazon.com

Amazon Customer , November 29, 2017

If there is a smoking gun that proves that Trump is beholden to Russia, I want to know about it. Having slogged through this book, though, I can tell you that the smoking gun is not here. That is disappointing, because the cover of the book implies that proof of collusion will be provided. Instead, the book provides a series of "it seemed as if something more was going on" types of speculations. It also restates everything you already know about the alleged scandal.

Some readers will be happy with this book -- primarily those who are already certain that Trump is controlled by Russia, despite the lack of evidence to that effect. If you are a liberal looking for confirmation bias, this book will make you nod knowingly.

Other readers should note that this book accepts the controversial "Russian dossier" about Trump on face value, even though the dossier has been debunked by Newsweek, Bob Woodward, and others, while the New York Times (embarrassed by initially treating the dossier as legitimate) has called it "unsubstantiated." This book's perspective on the dossier is to the left of even the New York Times. At one point, the book references the publication Mother Jones as a mainstream news source -- that says everything you need to know about the author's political slant.

This book provides no insight into Donald Trump himself. If you want to learn something about how Trump's mind works, try Scott Adams' excellent book, Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don't Matter .

Good source of confirmation bias, bad source of new information

azon.com/gp/customer-reviews/ROHSECZT4AORE/ref=cm_cr_getr_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0525562516">

By Amazon Customer on December 16, 2017
This book is very deceptive! beware of confirmation bias!

I just got through reading this and I have to say if you are looking for a book with nothing but conjecture and shaky circumstantial evidence built upon a "dossier" filled with VERIFIABLE lies from an operative that was hired by the Clintons, then this will be a delight to read! This book will do nothing but reinforce your confirmation bias!

[Dec 28, 2017] The New Zealand flagship National Radio channel interview with plagiarist Luke Harding

Notable quotes:
"... The irony of the NZ interviewer calling RT a Kremlin propaganda outlet while she works for a state run broadcaster and promotes Harding's rubbish book is stunning. ..."
Dec 28, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Thominus , Dec 27, 2017 2:52:00 AM | 81

@Ike , Dec 27, 2017 3:39:17 AM | 82

The New Zealand flagship National Radio channel recently played an interview of the above mentioned plagiarist Luke Harding https://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=2018624819 It is interesting to compare the free ride he is given by the interviewer, Kim Hill, noticeably anti-Russian, and the far more intelligent approach from Aaron Mate of the Real News.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1731&v=9Ikf1uZli4g

The irony of the NZ interviewer calling RT a Kremlin propaganda outlet while she works for a state run broadcaster and promotes Harding's rubbish book is stunning.

[Dec 28, 2017] Harding is a prime example of the Russiagate supporters in MSM A real bottom feeder

Notable quotes:
"... Well done interview Aaron. I want to see Trump go down, but we do need to have proof. That is called justice. He may have colluded to get dirt on Hilary, just like Hilary getting dirt on Obama and Trump as well but the outcome of our recent presidential election was the fault of the DNC itself. If PROOF comes out on Trumps wrong doing, then that is when you write a book about it. Not a book on trying to build a ridiculous connecting of the dots of similar situations. Yes, looking at past history is important but to make a fabricated scenario is irresponsible journalism. Until we have solid proof of actual tampering then we should do it the right way. I agree that Israel had more collusion and tampering with Trump yet this writer ignores that. Thank you Aaron for asking the real-questions. Much respect to you. Peace. ..."
"... Bravo Aaron! This interview made me even happier I was able to scrounge up a few bucks to throw your guys way recently. Harding seems a raging establishment shill, with his connections and past (journalist based in Russia, big opposition fan, Oxford educated, Guardian) I would be shocked if he isn't at the least friendly with Mi5/6. ..."
"... I see Russiagate as a reverse Birther - Obama might be a US citizen but he grew up in Indonesia so lets give him shit for it - All of Wall street has been taking Russian money for years, but if ur President? - so now they can slowly dig up innuendo and possibly evidence of dodgy transactions all the while minimizing Wikileaks and the systemic corruption it revealed - I think its mainly a containment strategy while keeping Trump isolated and its working well but for people paying attention we are seeing the system at work and what its capacities are, how much empty propaganda can be pushed even after something like the Iraq war. Also part of a pattern with past outlier presidencies where there is a concerted push to restrict them to one term and in this case amplified by embedded Clinton allies. ..."
"... Wait. Did he say Steele was involved in the Ukraine Coup? :)) ..."
"... A kitten trying to climb out of a wood chipper. This was not easy to watch. It bordered on abuse. The assault on this conspiracy opportunist parasite was a fine example of real investigative journalism. By publishing this nonsense and then agreeing to go on an interview about it in public, he subjects himself to the most brutal humiliation. ..."
Dec 28, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Sini Koncar , 4 days ago

How can this guy write a whole book about the "collusion" and not give a single clear proof in the interview. He is a prime example of the Russiagate supporters. Good Job Aaron!

RVGODZILLA , 4 days ago (edited)

That was the best interview I've watched in awhile about this trumprussia stuff // Aaron mate you did a stellar fckn job bro! Cheers!

MI55ION , 4 days ago

Aaron is boss in this interview... damn I've watched 5 mins so far and this "author" has shown himself already to be a complete tool. The only opportunist I see here is him cashing in on this anti Russian craze that only serve the interests of Intel agencies and the Democratic party insiders.

eglaham , 4 days ago

Thanks for keeping this joker honest, Aaron!

Peace Beuponyou , 4 days ago

Well done interview Aaron. I want to see Trump go down, but we do need to have proof. That is called justice. He may have colluded to get dirt on Hilary, just like Hilary getting dirt on Obama and Trump as well but the outcome of our recent presidential election was the fault of the DNC itself. If PROOF comes out on Trumps wrong doing, then that is when you write a book about it. Not a book on trying to build a ridiculous connecting of the dots of similar situations. Yes, looking at past history is important but to make a fabricated scenario is irresponsible journalism. Until we have solid proof of actual tampering then we should do it the right way. I agree that Israel had more collusion and tampering with Trump yet this writer ignores that. Thank you Aaron for asking the real-questions. Much respect to you. Peace.

M V , 4 days ago

Aaron Maté, you are gold. This so-called journalist was condescending and highly unprofessional throughout the interview to point where he most likely cut the line because he couldn't handle being interviewed by a real journalist and seeker of truth. His failure to directly answer Aaron's questions regarding evidence of collusion show his inability to be factual and impartial. The 'evidence' the author presents seems circumstantial at best and unconvincing. Thank you, the Real News Network. Your high standard of journalism is always appreciated by your loyal viewers.

Sergio Rico , 4 days ago

Good job Aaron for doing actual journalism and not simply taking statements with no evidence for granted

beelovedfuzz , 4 days ago

I love you, Aaron. You and the Real New are one of the few who actually challenges this ridiculous narrative. Trump is a horrible man but so is the rest of the US plutocracy. Making him out as some sort of special sort of evil is pathetic. He wasn't hired because of the Russians. He was hired because Americans cannot seem to understand that the changes they want from the economic system here in this country will not happen if they exclusively use voting as their change mechanism. Especially if they keep voting in the two fake opposition parties for all positions. Also, Mr. Harding, we don't need to read your book. We've been hearing this garbage through the mainstream media for over the last year. You are not providing anything new or any actual proof.

manti core , 4 days ago

That is just a brilliant destruction of the Russia hysteria. Harding just fell apart. Well done!

magicpony9 , 3 days ago (edited)

Aaron: "What evidence is there of this?" Luke: "I was a Moscow correspondent for four years!" Aaron: "What evidence is there of this?" Luke: "Trump is nice to Putin and rude to other world leaders!" Aaron: "What evidence is there of this?" Luke: "What do you think Russian spy agencies do all day if not spy? Huh?"

Luke O'Brien , 4 days ago (edited)

I despise Trump, but where the fuck is Harding's evidence for collusion? He responds to direct questions with, "weeell..." and goes onto talking about obscure meetings with musical producers or vague connections with Russian business men. Or, worse still, reminding us how awful Putin is (what does that prove in regards to collusion?). And how dare he claim that he's living in the "empirical world," when he can't substantiate his headline - collision. Stunningly, he even suggests later on that skeptical people can't appreciate Putin! Cash-in, little more. Good job, Aaron.

tom robbins , 4 days ago

Storyteller told on himself

rollofnickles , 4 days ago

Luke is full of shit as he pushes hacking of the 2016 election. William Edward Binney[3] is a former highly placed intelligence official with the United States National Security Agency (NSA)[4] turned whistleblower who resigned on October 31, 2001, after more than 30 years with the agency. He was a high-profile critic of his former employers during the George W. Bush administration, and later criticized the NSA's data collection policies during the Barack Obama administration. In 2016, he said the U.S. intelligence community's assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election was false. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Binney_(U.S._intelligence_official) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv0-Lnv0d0k https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoeJeWfoSpQ

Niding , 4 days ago

Aarons calm, but critical, questioning/demand for evidence is very refreshing. It has to be very uncomfortable for a guest that is acustomed to mainstream neo-libs/con journalists.

Marta K. , 4 days ago

I just ❤️ that look on Aaron's face at 11:47 ! Like "dude, you can't be serious... are you serious?"

Kristen Saunders , 3 days ago

Great interview! Awesome push back with facts! This should be done EVERYTIME!

Cartoonishly Inept , 4 days ago

So this guy's whole body of evidence can be summarized as because Russia engages in espionage then that proves the collusion? Great interview Aaron, he wasn't expecting you to call out his bullshit, thought he didn't seemed at all phased by it. 10:30 "I'm a story teller." I think that sums this guy up pretty nicely.

441rider , 4 days ago

Funny he lost his cool so fast and went into teacher mode, LOL! Good job interviewer this is how "stories" get vetted no matter how favorable they are to you position. :o)

MI55ION , 4 days ago

Shit just got real... one of the finest interviews I've seen in a while. Bravo Aaron, bravo! ));

frosty buckets , 4 days ago

This is why I watch real news network. They are willing to debate the issues

Michael Maxfield , 4 days ago

Watching this interview was like a breath of fresh air. You NEVER see a "journalist" challenge their guests on network TV (probably because guests are pre-screened to fit the prevailing orthodoxy). If we just had an army of Aarons doing the news, I think the world would be in a lot better shape.

Richard Gere , 4 days ago

Good job, Aaron, thank you. It's not the first time I've been impressed by your objective questioning and reasoning that may offend a guest but leads to the truth. Good, unbiased journalism seems very rare these days

Paul Randall , 4 days ago

Bravo Aaron! This interview made me even happier I was able to scrounge up a few bucks to throw your guys way recently. Harding seems a raging establishment shill, with his connections and past (journalist based in Russia, big opposition fan, Oxford educated, Guardian) I would be shocked if he isn't at the least friendly with Mi5/6.

And I wouldn't be surprised if he had done work for them, which means he effectively still works for them (you never leave the intelligence club, you keep getting fat wads of cash on occasion while understanding that very bad things will happen if you turn on them). Again and again, he presented arguments which were whole cloth bullshit, either 'facts' that were proven untrue (like the bare-faced lie about Russian interference in the French elections) with laughable ease by Aaron, or threw a word salad of tales of nefarious Russia being nefarious to somehow 'prove' something completely unrelated, that Russia got Trump elected with a bunch of random, laughably tiny, obtuse efforts (a couple of ads on FB, some supposed Twitter trolls, RT, Pokeman f-ing Go (!) ) which are all that has been openly claimed.

And there is NO REAL EVIDENCE for that crap either, just the word of the always trustworthy spooks (a hand selected group from 3 agencies, btw) and some heavily leaned on establishment toadies in Silicon Valley. This book (I am guessing here- no, I have not nor will I waste my time reading it) appears to be a disgusting cash grab on the level of 'What Happened?', selling self-serving vacuous BS to credulous morons looking to feel better about the epic failure of their disgusting, characterless idol. Also will undoubtedly be a big hit with the McCain wing of right wing nuts, who have been itching for the fun of a REAL WAR (oh boy oh boy oh boy! mass tank clashes in Poland! carrier battle groups attacking Vladivostok!!!) with the always evil Reds... errr, Russians.

Disinformation trolls like this guy are willing to put in their two cents toward making that happen. How the fuck they look themselves in the mirror, especially if the have young people they care about, baffles me. But considering the Oxford background and government connections, his kids sure as hell won't be digging a trench frantically in ESTONIA (which I also have heard of, btw, you pompous, pompous puke). THANK YOU REAL NEWS! MORE LIKE THIS PLEASE!! :)

Baal Baphomet , 4 days ago

this is another nothing burger by a member of the UK MSM this time who should know better - Citing Chris Steele as a source for info is a complete joke - this guy needs to go back to Journo school .

Michael , 4 days ago

What a great debate by Aaron. Slapped that jackass so many times & revealed how deceptive & outright false his position is. He has no evidence & is so condescending/arrogant despite the baselessness of his position.

Lissen Tome , 4 days ago

I'm not even a trump fan and dude there is no collusion this guy's a shill

Noss Cern , 4 days ago

I find blinking isn't usually a good sign - I do think Trump has had Russian money, some of it laundered, through his properties for decades and Russians probably have enough to place pressure on him in the same way Hillary could be compromised by Uranium One, he might have considerable debts owing. However Trump like Tillerson/Exxon and many others just want to get into Russia and start doing deals.

They are over this Brezinzski like need to crush Russia for all time that the deep state has got lined up.

I see Russiagate as a reverse Birther - Obama might be a US citizen but he grew up in Indonesia so lets give him shit for it - All of Wall street has been taking Russian money for years, but if ur President? - so now they can slowly dig up innuendo and possibly evidence of dodgy transactions all the while minimizing Wikileaks and the systemic corruption it revealed - I think its mainly a containment strategy while keeping Trump isolated and its working well but for people paying attention we are seeing the system at work and what its capacities are, how much empty propaganda can be pushed even after something like the Iraq war. Also part of a pattern with past outlier presidencies where there is a concerted push to restrict them to one term and in this case amplified by embedded Clinton allies.

arcanaco , 4 days ago (edited)

Wait. Did he say Steele was involved in the Ukraine Coup? :))

Paddy Flaco , 3 days ago

A kitten trying to climb out of a wood chipper. This was not easy to watch. It bordered on abuse. The assault on this conspiracy opportunist parasite was a fine example of real investigative journalism. By publishing this nonsense and then agreeing to go on an interview about it in public, he subjects himself to the most brutal humiliation.

miclewis55 , 4 days ago (edited)

Luke is part of the UK metropolitan liberal elite. Still in shock that HRC was rejected by the US voters . Still in shock that UK deplorables voted for Brexit . His monumental arrogance is such that he believes we were too stupid to understand the issues and therefore were 'guided' by Russian propaganda. Aaron exposes Lukes lack of evidence perfectly.

Anticapitalist X , 4 days ago

Kudos to Aaron Mate and the Real News for asking Harding serious questions; the upshot is that this Harding character did not have shit to prove that Russia meddled with the US election. Good job Aaron Mate and the Real News.

John Mina , 4 days ago

Well done Aaron. This guy is a liar, plain and simple.

[Dec 28, 2017] I think many British journalists work for the British secret service, and they were recruited at university and slotted into journalist employment

Notable quotes:
"... Tisdall's weekly spiel about the Evil Empire and its Dark Lord made many CiFers comment that he must report regularly to Chatham House, London, at weekends for briefings, after which he'd knock out some good, blood-curdling copy about Russia in order to please his masters. ..."
"... As a matter of fact, I think many British "journalists" – Tisdall and Harding being prime examples thereof – primarily work for the British not-so-secret secret service, that they were recruited at university and were slotted into journalist employment to do their business of propagandizing. ..."
Sep 15, 2012 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile says: September 15, 2012 at 11:58 am

Something went wrong there!

Here's Tisdall on Russia:

And on and on

Tisdall's weekly spiel about the Evil Empire and its Dark Lord made many CiFers comment that he must report regularly to Chatham House, London, at weekends for briefings, after which he'd knock out some good, blood-curdling copy about Russia in order to please his masters.

I don't think that's far from the truth actually. As a matter of fact, I think many British "journalists" – Tisdall and Harding being prime examples thereof – primarily work for the British not-so-secret secret service, that they were recruited at university and were slotted into journalist employment to do their business of propagandizing. That might explain why Harding is such a god awful journalist that has had on occasion to take recourse to a spot of cut and paste plagiarism.

Tisdall and Harding being prime examples thereof – primarily work for the British not-so-secret secret service, that they were recruited at university and were slotted into journalist employment to do their business of propagandizing. That might explain why Harding is such a god awful journalist that has had on occasion to take recourse to a spot of cut and paste plagiarism.

[Dec 28, 2017] Collusion Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win

The book contains nothing but conjecture and shaky circumstantial evidence built upon a "dossier" filled with verifiable lies from an operative that was hired by the Clintons
I think many British "journalists" – Tisdall and Harding being prime examples thereof – primarily work for the British not-so-secret secret service, that they were recruited at university and were slotted into journalist employment. But at the same time he is so pathetic that this would be embarrassment for MI6 to cooperate with such bottom feeders.
Notable quotes:
"... Luke Harding has found it, finally! The real, complete, final proof of COLLUSION between Donald Trump and the Russian government! Secret NSA intercepts, perhaps? Deep dark banking secrets? Sorry, folks. It's just Donald, Jr's email exchange with private lawyer and occasional Kremlin emissary Natalia Veselnitskaya. These emails have been picked through by every media organization in the world by now (why? Because Don Jr. made them public, all three of them), and they have all come up short. But for Harding, these emails finally gives us "proof of collusion." And it took him 249 pages just to get to this point, after spinning every looney-tunes conspiracy theory and crackpot allegation ever aired against Donald Trump. ..."
"... I call this the wouda-couda shouda school of pseudo-journalism, a crock pot spiced with insinuation and allusion. At one point, Harding even wants us to believe that Donald Trump's first wife, Ivana Zelnichova might have been a Czech spy! ..."
"... DNC CORRUPTION and GASLIGHTING with the Steele dossier being bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton herself. The knowledge that Hillary's emails were not stolen by Russian hackers but by DNCs failure to secure their systems and not click on phishing emails ..."
"... This seems like yet another attempt to divert blame from the guilty. Maybe Imran Awan should be asked, I bet he and his family have some interesting stories to tell about what was really happening at the DNC. This book is laughable, at best. None of the speculation within has been verified and has overall been disproven ..."
"... I am perplexed that Harding's account doesn't appear to coincide with Steele's under-oath court testimony. Was he lying to the courts or to this author? Can this book be used against Steele in the various libel lawsuits he is defending? ..."
Dec 28, 2017 | www.amazon.com

Kenneth Timmerman on December 22, 2017

A shoddy piece of work

Luke Harding has found it, finally! The real, complete, final proof of COLLUSION between Donald Trump and the Russian government! Secret NSA intercepts, perhaps? Deep dark banking secrets? Sorry, folks. It's just Donald, Jr's email exchange with private lawyer and occasional Kremlin emissary Natalia Veselnitskaya. These emails have been picked through by every media organization in the world by now (why? Because Don Jr. made them public, all three of them), and they have all come up short. But for Harding, these emails finally gives us "proof of collusion." And it took him 249 pages just to get to this point, after spinning every looney-tunes conspiracy theory and crackpot allegation ever aired against Donald Trump.

I call this the wouda-couda shouda school of pseudo-journalism, a crock pot spiced with insinuation and allusion. At one point, Harding even wants us to believe that Donald Trump's first wife, Ivana Zelnichova might have been a Czech spy! [p219]. As someone who has spent the past thirty-five years as a war correspondent and investigative journalist, I find it a bit disappointing to think that this is the best the Left has to offer. A more shoddy piece of work I have rarely seen.

Dawna Donaldson on November 27, 2017
DNC CORRUPTION and GASLIGHTING with the Steele dossier being bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton herself. The knowledge that Hillary's emails were not stolen by Russian hackers but by DNCs failure to secure their systems and not click on phishing emails.

This seems like yet another attempt to divert blame from the guilty. Maybe Imran Awan should be asked, I bet he and his family have some interesting stories to tell about what was really happening at the DNC. This book is laughable, at best. None of the speculation within has been verified and has overall been disproven.

Beverly Smith on November 16, 2017
Confusing

I am perplexed that Harding's account doesn't appear to coincide with Steele's under-oath court testimony. Was he lying to the courts or to this author? Can this book be used against Steele in the various libel lawsuits he is defending?

[Dec 28, 2017] Luke Harding is not a complete lunatic. He is just an intelligence asset who is paid to propagate all this nonsense

The book contains nothing but conjecture and shaky circumstantial evidence built upon a "dossier" filled with verifiable lies from an operative that was hired by the Clintons
I think many British "journalists" – Tisdall and Harding being prime examples thereof – primarily work for the British not-so-secret secret service, that they were recruited at university and were slotted into journalist employment. But at the same time he is so pathetic that this would be embarrassment for MI6 to cooperate with such bottom feeders.
Notable quotes:
"... Luke is just a fucking story teller, and thats it! Making money off of a book, in the middle of mass hysteria and group think! Great business move. I think ill write a book and call it "Got Him, Donald Trump will Eventually Go Down"! ..."
Dec 28, 2017 | www.youtube.com
Greg McKenzie , 4 days ago

The Problem With Espionage The purpose of espionage is to keep your opponent at a disadvantage by cultivating an alternate reality in their mind that is different from the facts. Whatever the government or agency they work for an agent wants to distort your impressions of them and their own personal capabilities. All agents want you to believe that they don't have the capabilities, contacts, or powers that they actually do posses. By the same token secret agents want you to believe that they DO have capabilities, contacts, or powers that they, in fact, do NOT have. When deception is such an integral part of the game you are playing it makes sense to assume that you know less than you think you do. That's what actual journalism is about -- particularly when dealing with spies and espionage. In this video Aaron Mate' is acting like a real journalist. Luke Harding is not. "Real News" is getting the story right. Thank you! We need more real journalism.

Zorro in Hell , 4 days ago

Luke is just a fucking story teller, and thats it! Making money off of a book, in the middle of mass hysteria and group think! Great business move. I think ill write a book and call it "Got Him, Donald Trump will Eventually Go Down"!

jones1351 , 4 days ago

Imho, this guy's full of shit. Not quite ready for a 'Reynolds Wrap' hat, but seeing smoke where there's mist. Takes me back to when there were definitely WMD's in Iraq. To TRN's credit, they did give him a hearing. Which is more than the MSM gives to say, Chomsky or Hedges.

Bryan Wallace , 1 day ago (edited)

He speaks Russian and has lived in Russia -- so I guess that settles it. LOL Maybe somebody ought to ask Sarah Palin about it, since you can actually see Russia from parts of Alaska. And the French intelligence report is inconclusive but if you get more context from reading his book, you will see that it may be inconclusive but is actually conclusive. (It's complicated.) And of course, he's lived in Berlin and he knows people there, so that proves the German elections were hacked too. And only the most hidebound skeptic could fail to see the smiley face connection. If you read his book you'll find out all this great context and facts that prove the Russians did it. It's too bad he couldn't provide any of that for us in this interview. (This whole thing has a sort of dog-ate-my-homework feel to it.)

bboucharde , 4 days ago

Luke, Now you should investigate the collusion between Russia and the Clinton Foundation---and the direct transfer of Russian funds to Bill Clinton.

Jared Greathouse , 4 days ago

The main question NOBODY'S been able to answer me is that "What policies has Trump enacted, political, economic, military or otherwise, that benefits the interests of the Russian state?" As far as I can tell, Trump is either indifferent to the interests of the state of Russia, or is hostile, directly or indirectly, to them.

dylan , 3 days ago

"I'm a storyteller."

Tochukwu Azubike , 4 days ago (edited)

I tried really hard to follow this story as credible without prejudice and it was just a bunch of babble without any evidence whatsoever.. this is just a re-print and re-title of the Steel dossier updated with MSNBC and CNN reportage

Consuelo Concepcion , 4 days ago

This entire collusion scheme is occurring because the Democrats can't admit that Hillary ran a horrible campaign and she's a murderer and a war criminal. I'm glad Mate is putting a fire under Harding's arse and trying to make him accountable for these specious speculations. I'm not a fan of either Putin or Trump, but this whole "scandal" has been little more than a massive distraction. I've speculated that the entire election was a CIA psychological operation to influence foreign policy to appease certain elements of the Deep State.

Raymoan Ford , 4 days ago

Aaron Mate should have read the book before interviewing the author about the book. LOL.

Dan Howard , 4 days ago

Great interview! Harding was getting uncomfortable.

HongPong , 1 day ago

this interview is a good example of how TheRealNews is careful at what they cover -- and how far a British accent can help to inflate fuzzy claims!

Animal Farm , 4 days ago (edited)

I dislike Trump as much as the next man but when the Guardian publishes this BS it will only bolster Trump when the lies dissolve over time and the facts eventually come out. Sadly you might have never heard of Dr Udo Ulfkotte and his exposure that the CIA has an army of journalists on its payroll, especially in Europe. So why are you not questioning the integrity of this individual in more detail. These are the type of CIA and MI6 stooges that Tony Blair used to promote the illegal war against Iraq. When this CIA stooge says, 08:25 "I think that Russia played a role in last year's election is a matter of fact. This is only what US intelligence agencies believe" he must be assuming the majority of the US population are just ignorant fools. The US Intelligence agencies also believed Iraq had WMDs and the British Intelligence believed Saddam was sourcing nuclear material from Africa. This deceitful idiot Harding still pushes the idea the MI6 published Trump-Putin Dossier when it has been shown it was paid for by the DNC. So would you believe any intelligence agency whose motive is a push for war? And the best way to achieve this goal and have the misinformed population back the corrupted corporate government would be to promote this BS from this sleazy CIA puppet. If you get a chance, have a look at some other YouTube videos of the BS this CIA journalist produces: "The KGB left a sex manual after breaking into my home" or "Putin is Building an Empire" or the ever popular "Putin May Secretly Be One Of The World's Richest Men". Then may I suggest you look at any story on Russia by the truth-tellers, the whistleblowers that have actually been prosecuted for telling the truth in this fascist system: William Binney, Thomas Drake, John Kiriakou, or Ray McGovern. So there will always be some imbeciles that believe this fabrication just as there were some that believed the New York Times and the Washington Post about the Bush-Blair Iraq War rhetoric when the oligarchs' real intentions were so clearly stated by General Wesley Clark in his admission of "7 countries in 5 years". I am interested to know if TRN approached Harding or Harding was offered up to TRN as a CIA stooge to spew their propaganda. It is sad to see the Guardian employ such a hack; sure they are now a mouthpiece for the Empire but they have done some good work over the years. It is clear that Harding writes to influence the apathetic and the stupid; he conflates innuendo and supposition with fact in his attempt to distort perception and for the imbecile with no intellectual honesty; this is very effective. I find it frustrating that TRN attempts to expose this garbage when the oligarchs' MSM would lap it up. You would never hear the BBC or Maddow questioning this MI6-CIA stooge like Aaron Maté did. Aaron has done a competent job; not an effective job like one would expect from Paul Jay at questioning this farce but sadly, this is the best TRN has to offer. There will always be a number of scared and pathetic individuals within the population that will always be incapable of differentiating between fact and fantasy or between truth and lies. These are the Useful Idiots of Empire and they have been used to justify and instigate Imperial aggression since the beginning of time.

Camcolito , 2 days ago

My God this guest is full of it.

J Scott Bryant , 1 day ago

What a joke-- rambling, deflecting, with no evidence presented in almost 20 minutes!

Pete Smith , 3 days ago

Host - So basically your proof of collusion = Putin is bad? Book author - No...but...yes...but...no...but...(logs off in a strop)

Pete Smith , 3 days ago

Host - So basically your proof of collusion = Putin is bad? Book author - No...but...yes...but...no...but...(logs off in a strop)

John Snow , 19 hours ago

Harding is an ordinary opportunist, useful idiot and evil man.

M.K. Styllinski , 17 hours ago (edited)

Maté wiped the floor with Harding. It's also interesting that Harding appeared to confuse Russian espionage with what is essentially Mossad-driven sexpionage when he mentioned the "swallows." He seems woefully ill-informed when it comes to dual nationality, Russian-Jewish mafia ties with Israel and Anglo-American foreign policy. This is also why Trump has been encircled with Russian corporate interests to a certain degree - they are connected to Russian-Israeli underworld objectives. Hence, the real conspiracy here is via Israeli intelligence working through its traditional syanim in both Russia and the United States.

Klub Svetnikov , 4 days ago

This lunatic Harding is trying to sell USA and CIA as pillars of truth, democracy and integrity, playing positive role in international affairs. How stupid and sold can a writer get?!

Jon Stephen , 3 days ago

Good job Aaron! Luke Harding is bathing in the kool aid.

Michael , 2 days ago

Can you imagine if the so-called journalists on MSM interviewed like Aaron. Think corporate MSNBC here, Chris Hayes, and Rachel Maddow.

Paul Jackson , 4 days ago

Good work again Aaron. Luke Harding and Marcy Wheeler would be such a cute couple, maybe populating the West with a new race of sycophants.

minkusmaz , 3 days ago

I love how this guy keeps harping the point that Mate should have read his entire book. This is so sad to watch, our media should be as critical as this, and this shows how far they are from that.

Ahmed Mansour , 2 days ago

Aaron was enjoying this a bit too much 😂😂👌🏽👌🏽. Great work

John Johnson , 1 day ago

Interviewer: "Your book is called Collusion. What evidence do you present for an act of collusion?" Author: "Well, you see, Russians are bad and they do bad things, and you have to see a pattern of bad things, and Trump is bad, so <waves hands> you know, context." Interviewer: "I didn't hear any actual evidence there" Author: "Did you read my book? Because I say stuff in there that suggests that my title is true. Also, go to Russia and ask Russians, because you can trust them about what they have to say about the US election. Don't listen to me, listen to them." At this point I'm wondering if the author read his own book...

Aaron Childers , 1 day ago

That guy had become unhinged by the end of the interview. This is the same behavior I've seen from Russia-gaters when every talking point they bring up gets immediately debunked. I'm surprised he didn't start ranting xenophobic nonsense about how the interviewer was also a Russian agent. I've seen this conversation play out this way so many times over the past year that the fact we're still talking about this is asinine.

scuddymud2 , 4 days ago

This is Journalism. You need to answer the questions with hard evidence, facts, links and ties. Names, Dates, Times these have to add up. Donate to The Real News!!

M Rede , 1 day ago

Brave Luke "kind of" Harding.

Charles Robertson , 4 days ago

Seems Luke wasn't expecting a grilling from an outlet like the real news. He's probably not used to a left-leaning American news outlet that tolerates dissenting opinions on the Russia narrative. A sad reflection on what the atmosphere must be like at the Guardian. Thanks again Aaron.

fearhungerpride , 4 days ago (edited)

This is a great exchange between a believer of Russiagate and a sceptic. Both guys did a great job pushing their arguments. Shame you don't see this on the msm. They're too busy pushing their editorial lines instead of being challenged.

Chill Bill , 4 days ago

Impressive dissection of this guy's factless assertions and parroted MSM hollow-headedness, Aaron.

David Ramsay Steele , 4 days ago

"Collusion" is to the left what birtherism was to the right.

Nick Mando , 4 days ago

What is easier? Russia pulling off collusion OR Russia convincing idiots that they pulled off collusion. I think that both have the same effect on delegitimizing our electoral process, one is just a lot easier.

Nick Mando , 4 days ago

ALSO if the kgb is so good and so well trained at this then why is it so obvious? The perfect crime is one that your enemy thinks you committed yet has no proof of, because spoiler, you didn't commit it.

Loyd Frontham , 4 days ago

Thank you, Aaron, for being one of the few reasonable voices in news today.

ThaddeusCorn , 4 days ago

Great job. Good guest and the interviewer didn't just let the guest go unquestioned.

Ramiiam , 4 days ago

Aaron Mate is your best journalist, among the new TRN crowd. You could do with more of him, less of people like the Noors.

Invisible Man , 18 hours ago

I loved Real News for years...but lately ur guys content exposing the blind Russiaphobia has been award winning caliber.

ZantherY , 4 days ago (edited)

Thank you Aaron for being a JOURNALIST unlike the guy trying to well a book, why not every body ids entitle to profit from a nation which from here seem to be populated by MORONS! The Guardian lost its way back in 2001 by toeing the official White House Line, it asked very little questions, it was very thick on speculation (a bit like this moron)!

Anthony George , 4 days ago

A "story-teller". Yep.

szymborska , 2 days ago

Aaron 1 - Other Guy - 0

Jonathan Mintram , 4 days ago

Well done Aaron. Your focus on evidence and proof was perfect. That guy makes me feel embarrassed to be British.

Busterpeek21 , 2 days ago

One of the best interviews I've seen in awhile! I put it up there with Jimmy Dore's recent interview with Jill Stein.

Doginu , 4 days ago

It sounds like your Butt hurt about getting thrown out of Russia..This guy is a Repeater, not a Reporter!

Karl Malone , 3 days ago

Bravo Aaron

craig robb , 4 days ago

nice job aaron, the dude was about5 seconds away from calling you a puppet of putin lol

Jen V , 1 day ago

This "author" or hack journalist is absolutely ignorant. Clearly he hates Russia and Puti. And is just fine to create lies and stories. This was a great interview by Aaron! Excellent job asking valid, intelligent questions and holding his feet (and fables) to the fire. People creating and spreading this type of propaganda should all be held to the standards Aaron just held this doofus to! When asked real questions, for proof of their statements of fact and confronted with opposing information, you just get stuttering and the same old line of Putin is bad so therefore my lies must be true! No proof yet people r still writing books and profiting from spreading a very dangerous type of propaganda!

wleao13 , 4 days ago

Luke 'alex jones' Harding what joke. he claim be a reporter

oldscorpion13 , 3 days ago

This is hilarious. Everytime TRN interviews anyone about the Russian case, they - the interviewee - ends up being flustered, frustrated. I am waiting for that obscenities laden outburst one of these interviews

TheSpiritOfTheTimes , 4 days ago

Very good Aaron! Finally someone's called out the fabulilt Harding, arguably the worst Anglophone reporter from Russia, and there's stiff competition.

The Solo Activist , 4 days ago

Refreshing!

truthcrusades , 4 days ago

I'm getting fed up with this shit. Trump just sent lethal weapons to Ukraine. This guy and his administration have done nothing but escalate tensions with Russia since he took office. Sanctions, banning RT, Syria strike, buzzing Russian jets, the latest Ukraine BS, that Obama refused to do because it would escalate tensions. I wish this guy was Putin's puppet, but he is more likely to give us a nuclear exchange with Russia.

Farero Lobos , 9 hours ago

10:29 Please, I beg you, Luke the fluke, decide if you are a journalist or a story teller.

Angel Tibbs , 1 day ago

"Saddam has WMDs!" - same agencies.

Doginu , 4 days ago

It was the USSR until 1991, then the US Oligarchs pillages the New formed Russia.I don't even think that Psychics would have fathomed Trump ever running for President 35+ years later... Idiot....

Ian Nixon , 3 days ago

Trump is crocked in my opinion, but who cares about my opinion--NO ONE. So why don't we just wait for the evidence to come forward after the investigation. If he is guilty of something then we will know. Clearly Mueller and his team is NOT going to put evidence out in the public if indeed they do have something at this time. So everyone is just speculating, BUT that does not mean the investigation should be over because SOME people feel there is nothing there. That just does not make sense to me. Let the investigation conclude just like they wanted it to conclude when Bill Clinton. By the way, he should read the book (not skim it) and then get quotes to ask. The author is right to call out the interviewer for not reading his book, but wants to talk about---the BOOK! Really?

Other Voices, Other Choices , 4 days ago

Just what is the proof that Trump is Putin's puppet? Is it the NATO troops moving ever eastward in Europe, holding war games on Russia's borders? Is it the extra billions earmarked for nuclear war preparations? Or perhaps the US troops and bases illegally placed in Russia's ally Syria? One has to be an idiot to believe this Russiagate nonsense.

Trevor R.N. , 2 days ago (edited)

Luke Harding is so full of shite, I'm surprised it's not oozing out of his pores. He says nothing new in this interview he just rehashes the narrative. Intentionality? Luke is obviously not used to being questioned on his storytelling.

Koot Orand , 4 days ago

This fella seems to be more interested in advertising his book than answering the questions. These Guardian article writers may as well write for Daily Express or The Sun or any other gutter press

RichardTheThird , 2 days ago

I wonder if Luke Harding thought that doing this interview would sell a few copies of his book. If so, he will be disappointed - he doesn't seem to be very knowledgeable, to say the least.

Luther Rhein , 3 days ago

this guy is pissed of with Putin, and thinks he knows everything just because he is a rich boy from Oxbridge elite, yet this wanker has not a single fact supported with solid evidence. That sums up the state of liberal fascists. Oh God!

Pete D. , 4 days ago (edited)

Harding never voiced any proof or real evidence of collusion. Speculation, speculation, speculation and inference. I'm so tired of this. And yes, Putin's not a nice guy.

zwergie256 , 20 hours ago

Omg, how embarrassing. ;))

Josh Lockie , 2 days ago

This guy is deep state and super bad at it lol

j bloggs , 17 hours ago

Great interview. Shows up Harding for what he is, an establishment shill.

GreySide , 23 hours ago (edited)

The guy said go to Russia, meet Navalny (a man with less than 1% support)..lol. go to any country on earth and meet the opposition and see if they will have anything positive to say about the running government.. they are opposition for a reason... smh

EveyMash , 4 days ago

Luke Harding is a conspiracy theorist.

bookashkin , 3 days ago (edited)

They say where there's smoke, there's fire. Sometimes there's fire without smoke. Like Luke Harding's pants.

Raph Tjoeb , 2 days ago

Jesus christ, did this Guardian guy take a fall flat on his face. Reality hit you 'ol fella.

shamanahaboolist , 4 days ago

Gerrymandering and the "Democrats" election fraud against Sanders was the cause of Trump's victory more than anything else.

Julius Galacki , 1 day ago

I heard a really, disappointing softball interview on KCRW (NPR affiliate in LA) with this same author where he was presenting correlations as causation and making the same broad generalizations with nary a challenge from Warren Olney (who could be an excellent interviewer) , but rather exclamations of approval. Aaron Mate on the other hand does a fabulous job of showing the Emperor has no clothes. So, big big kudos to him for leaving this fraud in a stumbling, stuttering pout of ineffective arguments. This author is at best making a buck jumping on the Russian hysteria bandwagon, and at worst is part of a concerted propaganda effort by those who would benefit from a new Cold War. One can oppose Trump for not only his vulgarity but more importantly he does, policy-wise. Unfortunately, many of those policies are the same or just a bit more radical than many of the politicians whose style is less overly vulgar and divisive.

Andrew Zibuck , 7 hours ago

At the end Harding implies that definitive proof of collusion would be Trump and Putin in a sauna. That would actually only be proof both men like a good steam.

kerpital , 1 day ago

If you remove "kind of" "sort of" "I think that" "I mean" "Uh" from that man's vocabulary, there's nothing left.

frosty buckets , 4 days ago

Russia is a paper tiger .. Let's focus on deescalation and saving humanity from over consumption and climate change .. Russia will follow.

War Dynamics , 12 hours ago

Aaron Mate not having any of this guys BS. Great interview.

bookashkin , 3 days ago

Luke: There are only two honorable ways to respond to the charge of lack of proof for your bold claims. 1. Point to proof 2. Admit there is no proof. Only a pathetic weasel with zero intellectual integrity would take another course. After this interview I don't even believe you know any Russian beyond "can I have the check please" Oh, and Hillary Clinton is a deranged mad woman. Who else would laugh like a hyena about being accessory to Qaddafi's gruesome murder?

Michael Maxfield , 4 days ago

I think Mr. Harding completely missed Sergey Nalobin's tongue-in-cheek sense of humor.

Hollywood Art Chick , 1 day ago

Mate' is nobody's fool. This is what an interview should be, not a beaming love-fest between "journalist" and guest. It's wonderful to see a strong journalist who's informed and not rubber-stamping BS to crawl up the ass of someone with connections. You go, Aaron!!! Much respect to RT.

deliciousmorton , 16 hours ago

Luke Harding is all over the place.

Peace and Love , 4 days ago

Aaron. Probably the best journalistic interview that I have ever seen. Anyone watching this will realise this collusion stuff is nonsense. And yes, i despise Trump and Putin's corruption.

adammontana9 , 16 hours ago

"The people who promote the "Russian influence" nonsense are political operatives or hacks. Take for example Luke Harding of the Guardian who just published a book titled Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win. He was taken apart in a Real News interview (vid) about the book. The interviewer pointed out that there is absolutely no evidence in the book to support its claims. When asked for any proof for his assertion Harding defensively says that he is just "storytelling" - in other words: its fiction. Harding earlier wrote a book about Edward Snowden which was a similar sham. Julian Assange called it "a hack job in the purest sense of the term". Harding is also known as plagiarizer. When he worked in Moscow he copied stories and passages from the now defunct Exile, run by Matt Taibbi and Mark Ames. The Guardian had to publish an apology." https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/12/27/from-snowden-russia-gate-cia-and-media.html

Simon and Gar Farkell , 1 day ago (edited)

This Real News host could teach "mainstream media" how to ask hard questions.

mrtriffid , 1 day ago

Thank you, Aaron, for convincingly exposing a shill for the Imperialist agenda and committed cheerleader for the "deep state." Harding could do nothing more, in the face of demands for evidence, than splutter endlessly on irrelevancies and assertions that the Russians don't like us (gee, I wonder why not?!?!?). Excellent job Aaron: you are a credit to true journalism.

ParrhesiaJoe , 1 day ago

Fantastic interview. All interviews should be like this :)

leboulenoire , 1 day ago

Great to see a REAL journalist make an absolute FOOL of this story teller. Wonder why you don't see this sort of debate on the corporate media.

Gabriel Olsen , 4 hours ago

This is the best video on the Russiagate conspiracy theory I have seen all year. I wish people would remember that there is equal evidence that the US kills journalists; when you hear people say that about other countries they're clearly propagandists.

Bim Star , 1 day ago

Nailed it.

Punk Rock Kick , 3 days ago

That was awkward viewing.....but you can see why people like me in England went from buying the guardian everyday to being dismayed to see the publication have such a skewed agenda on politics that I now avoid clicking on their online articles. Basically the media here is "London thinks this, so you should too"

HorstQueck , 2 days ago

Harding is a stumbling joker, but he's right when he says that he is a storyteller..

Kathy Smith , 1 day ago

Your sign off with a plug for the propagandist book, despite his abrupt fleeing of your interview, was very civilised. Great job, I enjoyed the squirm and deflecting done by Luke. I think he was well grilled by the time he left.

Ghassan Karwchan , 16 hours ago

OMG. He totally trashed him, with politeness and class

jjbeerj , 1 day ago (edited)

17:09 "Did they do this with Donald Trump? We don't know". Interview over.

Matthew Hamann , 1 day ago

This is one of the best owns I've ever seen. Well done Aaron Mate, I now hold you in high esteem. Chorus of applause on this side of the interwebs.

Paul Shippam , 16 hours ago

Well done for not reading the whole book Aaron. I hope you didn't pay for it either. Great interview.

Avalaon Adulwulf , 20 hours ago

It should be acrime for so called Journalists to be allowed to propagate this abaloute disgraceful nonsense. The guy is talking about 1987 - a single time Trump visited Russia during the 80's. Next time he wsa there was about 5 years ago for miss universe contest. Yet this is evidence or him being a Russian puppet. Total nonsense! No, this is communists realizing Trump is a sledgehammer to their narrative. They are looking at political wilderness across the west if Trump can do what he wants to do so in desperation they attempt to drag out anything they can to keep their bs narrative going even going back almost 30 years...

jerseygrl5 , 15 hours ago

Well, that's one book I won't be adding to my "Need to read" list.

tim measures , 4 days ago

thank Aaron mate this guy is just a fiction writer

Joel Rodriguez , 16 hours ago

Oh please, that is the best that guy had, read my book? The notion that russia influenced voters is absurd.

Auguste Comte , 4 days ago (edited)

Just to be clear: Russia hacked both DNC and Macron emails, and released them, mixed with false information, in a disinformation campaign. The DNC emails became source of conspiracy on facebook. Macron emails were never allowed to be published in any form.

joe564357 , 1 day ago

"Do you have any evidence that the Russian government interfered in the U.S. election or colluded with Trump?" "I can see Russia from my house!!!!"

joe564357 , 1 day ago

"I'm a journalist and a storyteller." Storyteller, yeah. Journalist, no.

his202 class , 4 days ago

When subjected to some skepticism, Harding's assertions collapse into vague "because the intel agencies told us" nonsense. Hats off to Aaron for knocking down the Russia hysteria once again.

Nick Mando , 4 days ago

It is like Project Veritas only on an international level. Disinformation 101. Also the author clearly has a personal vendetta against Russia.

AP CreativesLDN , 4 days ago (edited)

This man is Luke Harding he is owned by the British Conservative Friends of Israel. The biggest lobbyist in Britain. Nice try... Next!

godkingofspace , 4 days ago

Pretty embarrassing interview with this British guy... When he gives that snarky "oh too bad you didnt read the book.." line i really wanted to hear the interveiwer say "Oh its really too bad you didnt think to memorize one fact about the subject your being interveiwed about..."

Chris Ramsbottom Isherwood , 1 day ago

Check Mate!

teronnie richardson , 4 days ago

I see y'all trying to discredit him

Julie Rowan-Zoch , 1 day ago

Great work, Aaron. Thank you.

Mari Ma Cheri , 3 days ago

How Aaron kept a straight face, I don't know. He looked like he was going to laugh a time or two because of the absurdity of this Luke guy.

Drago Varsas , 1 day ago

What bollocks. The guardian has become less than toilet paper lately anyway.

Libby Arndt , 6 hours ago

Now he leans on whether Aaron has read the whole book or not. I know I won't read it, as the man as not said a convincing word in the entire interview.

izamugginzweebopalaba , 14 hours ago (edited)

Russiagate is a conspiracy theory. Let's be frank. It presupposes it's conclusion and finds circumstantial and hearsay evidence to support it. "Collusion-rejectionist" Mate points this out time and time again (not only to this guy) and this guy says 'go talk to people; the russians do things this way; everybody knows; you are a fringe character for not agreeing' - it just doesn't hold water. No doubt Trump has shady deals with Russians among others. The idea that such a buffoon been cultivated since the mid-80s by the KGB as a Manchurian Candidate wouldn't make for a plausible pop spy thriller plot - maybe a good satire of one, however.

lapsus5 , 1 day ago

I hope this fucker's factless conspiracy theory stops people from buying his shitty book.

crushsatan , 4 days ago

sounds like this guy just wrote his book off of watching the news.

maskedavenger777 , 4 days ago (edited)

Oh as if we don't have kleptocracy here in the States. And the assassination of Seth Richards is no where comparable to Putin's hits?

TheOldGods , 1 day ago

Omg this guy is unreal! Good job Aaron and thank you Real News for exposing frauds like this poophead

Se Lu , 4 days ago

Isn't it the authors job to sell his book rather than demand that the interviewer must have read it from cover to cover to question him?

Jen V , 1 day ago

OMG is Purim a former KGB agent? I had no clue😂😂 why did Putin quit the KGB? I bet he won't address that or tell the truth there, right?

Hello, Jerk! , 1 day ago

"Have you heard of Estonia?"

sinisa majetic , 4 days ago

Omg this was fun. Btw, we can all agree that Pyutin made Luke to wrote that idiotic book just to toss a doubt how he did not collude with Tryump, because there's no limit of his cunningness.

danmcc22 , 3 days ago

Luke's stories, just like the whole collusion theme, is a nothing burger left out of the fridge too long. So now it stinks and needs to be thrown in the garbage where it belongs.

allgoo19 , 3 days ago

He probably published the book half cooked just for the best timing of the sale. Maybe they need a better guests? This doesn't prove anything that Trump is clear of the allegation.. Far from it. Probe will continue.

Noosejunkie , 4 days ago

Crappiest interview ever. You don't read the book and then you spout your pre-conceived notions of the its subject matter. Cherry on top, with a pro-Trump bias.

nicolas grey , 4 days ago

He obviously didn't bother to read the book , why bother to interview the guy ? They are talking past each other , if he had read the book they could have had a descent debate . This is as bad a Fox News segment . Terrible .

Geoff Whyte , 3 days ago

Absolutely nothing in 28 mins to justify writing a book with evidently a faceless title.

red fury91 , 4 days ago

This clown only response is to stammer and stutter until the regurgitated corporate propaganda eventually spews out of his mouth with very very little confidence lol

Farero Lobos , 8 hours ago (edited)

21:11 Deripaska sits at the right hand of Putin?! Please, I beg you pardon.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48Kk7kobMQY

G. , 13 hours ago (edited)

This conspiracist has not listened to Putin speak. If he had, he would not be painting such a one-dimensional, comic book character of him. Can we please move on from such naively simplistic analyses of global power structures? Any leader unable to manage Intelligence is at the mercy of a Deep State -- as we have learned time and again in the US. Before cheerleading for World War, start by watching some of the hours and hours of footage showing Putin engaging deeply with citizens and world leaders. Try critiquing that. Maybe learn some history.

jacqueline thomson , 1 day ago

In watching the video interview it is obvious this 'Journalist' has his own Personal Agenda regarding Putin and wants to get Putin any which way he can even if it means lying to the America People. He is no true journalist. Great Interviewer!

ano nymous , 3 days ago

Great interview. The stories this guy keeps making up because of lack of evidence is jaw-dropping.

freespeech_zone , 4 days ago (edited)

The more I hear "experts" push this stupid Russia-phobic conspiracy theory the less I believe it...This is why I like the Real news and you're worth supporting. You haven't fallen for the mainstream narrative... There are many legitimise things to criticise Trump on. The Trump-Russia conspiracy theory is NOT one of them.

Patricia Leary , 4 days ago (edited)

Opposition Research on oligarch Hillary and Don Jr goes to find out what they've got. That's it? We already know that the DNC emails were an inside job and subsequent DNC coverup to blame Russia. We KNOW that (see VIPs report on consortium.) Stop blaming Russia! Luke Harding is a delusional red-baiting Russophobe. Were I the Guardian, I would sack him! He's an embarrassment! Don't buy his book!

Andi Amador , 4 days ago

Hillary's rush to threaten military action toward Russia over leaked/hacked DNC e-mails, which simply exposed some of their corruption during the Democratic primary process, likely did more to further harm her chances in the general election than any memes or any efforts by anybody else. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jz_dZ2SlPgw

Yuri muckraker , 4 days ago

aaron mate! thank you for putting this Guardian hack into account! brilliant stuff! once more the Real News is exceeding my expectations, this was superb journalism and holding the media gatekeepers an extension of the establishment into account.

No Way , 4 days ago

Luke kinda had his mind made up prior to setting up this interview. Russian collusion? IDK, but let's just see what turns up. Mueller's already indicted some people. The issue with the Russia investigation is the excitement over it on both sides. Everyone needs to just lay back and let it happen regardless of how you feel. Close your eyes and think of England, and maybe something comes out of it. I would rather we were investigating how we got into Iraq and the abuses that happened after we invaded, but no one should be opposed to an investigation where people have already been indicted. Media pushing the war with Russia narrative are being silly, but the same with media saying we shouldn't investigate anything about this. ON the left we also shouldn't expect too much to come from this. Great if we can use this investigation to get Trump out of office for something; if not, useful political theater if the Dems would just recognize the importance of that.

HighFieldLux , 2 days ago

Aaron is hot!

Peter Lermann , 4 days ago

How fair to give him a platform. Will you invite Alex Jones next? How about some flat earthers? ahh right, it's only ok when it's mainstream conspiracy theory, sorry, totally forgot

DootDoot , 4 days ago (edited)

Aaron challenges Russia assertion : Guy goes onto tell some story how he lived there and he just knows "Believe him" Because he lived in Russia for 4 years... ??????????? Goes to assert further... Aaron responds.. "proof" Response to that "Well the history from the 1970's.... " PROOOOOF?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Look. I am fine with the fact that Russia might have interfered with the election. JUST GIVE ME SOME FUCKING PROOF. Until then? Fuck off... There are real problems to deal with.

Robert , 4 days ago

LOL I loved Mate's performance in this interview. He totally flipped the script on this crackpot realist. He felt like a dissenting person feels on MSM, if they ever bother to have one on.

Jode Ville , 4 days ago

The collusion is with Israel.

John Mastroligulano , 1 day ago (edited)

Telling how this "person" being interviewed spouts of a word like empirical when it comes to an accusation with no supporting evidence so to him if you are accused of something that in itself is empirical evidence?=horse shit propagandist no offense to horses. He first won't accept there is no proof but when asked what the proof is he starts talking about his personal feelings as if they are proof(superiority complex).

ozwhistles , 4 days ago (edited)

So? The "real" news is now doing book-promos? Shame on you - this is unmitigated garbage. (edit: after watching the whole article, I'm still not satisfied. The problem with a public "hatchet-job" is you give oxygen to your "victim" and get seen with a hatchet in your hand. That does not look good. And in your victim's dying breaths, he will plant a curse on you via those who saw you with the hatchet. Sun Tzu warns us to not give your enemy no-way-out .. your forces are no match to those fighting for their very lives. It is abundantly clear from the actual evidence that the 2016 election was willfully lost by Hillary Clinton, not won by Trump. This is a result of Clinton being high in the cluster-B spectrum -she gets sexual pleasure from torture and ugly death [Qaddafi] - whereas, Trump is lower on the spectrum: not a sociopath/psychopath, but clearly a narcissist bordering on malignant. And I pause to add that probably ALL global leaders are on the cluster-B spectrum of personality disorder. The thing you have to know about cluster-B in this context, is that those within the cluster-B are outside of normal social influence, such as "honey-traps" etc, because they lack the compassion link to empathy - i.e. they do not respond to the tools which work on healthy humans and tend to only respond to their own "world-view" in which the entire universe is composed of themselves. Next: I tried to influence the US election by donating to Sanders - so who is investigating the Australian "collusion" .. gimme a break - we all wanted Sanders. Clinton gave us the choice of a sociopath against a narcissist - and we chose the narcissist. And there he is doing the work he was made to do - to destroy the entire world-order so we can, at least, start over. With Clinton - we all knew - it was lights-out for all of us. At least with trump, the game is still in play. The lesser of evils. SO stop giving gas to the commercial-distractionists - they are remnants of the lights-out brigade who are eating, drinking, and being merry, because tomorrow, they intend to die .. the self-condemned. And none of them asked me, or any of the others who would like to see life continue. The whole thing disgusts me - dust your feet and leave the show - the finale is not worth sticking around for.)

MsTree1 , 4 days ago (edited)

PS: NSA is currently monitoring, downloading and repeatedly viewing some of our children for "security reason" ... Youth who are legally earning a living in the US as porn stars on the net in order to eat, get an education pay student loan debt and survive in a nation which gives little F about providing the true security realized via the the provision of privacy, organic food from local heritage seed, pure potable H2O, clean air, access to free Integrated Medicine, free and equal education and a comfortable roof over their heads, NOT based on how much potential they have to move money for the corporatist-elite or the ethnicity of their forefathers. How low will, WE stoop? @TheRealNews Pathetic

Tony Smith , 3 days ago

Not Israeli collusion then?

Mr. Agnew , 4 days ago

That guy wants a war with Russia

Mr. Agnew , 4 days ago

The funny thing is usa/russia tied havent gotten better at all but are even worse than obamas time

Yarrski , 3 days ago

the little liar got HAD

Platewarp , 18 hours ago

Hillary lost because most Americans despise her not because of Russian hackers.

Dan , 4 days ago

Aaron Mate that was absolutely BRILLIANT!!! You picked his bullshit story apart. Another journalist making money on Russiagate. I can't believe I called him a journalist. Bill Binney has already solved the hacking issue....lets move on. Awesome interview. Keep up the great work...I bow to you.

Zedwoman , 11 hours ago

Luke Harding is pathetic. Absolutely pathetic.

G shawponee , 1 day ago

I've never heard of the interviewer needing to read the book before interviewing the author? Isn't it the author's "job" to plug his own book and inform the viewers of its contents? It's really obvious that Harding had nothing to counter with- it was awkward to watch as his Russian gate conspiracy fell to shit. Great job Mate!

Ahmad Reza Haj Saeedi , 4 days ago

Good journalism by Aaron. Thanks!

Robin Jagoda , 1 day ago

Ugh. Another opportunistic "journalist" trying to capitalize on Russia panic (PUTIN!). Great interview. You gave him plenty of time and room to make his case, and he just couldn't seem to defend his position.

Aniket Ghosh , 3 days ago

"Look, I'm a storyteller!"

Bryan Hemming , 18 hours ago

The Guardian was once a respectable news outlet. It both saddens and angers me that journalists such as Luke Harding and Shaun Walker, neither of whom seem to have any real grasp on the subjects they cover, are touted by The Guardian as leading experts on Putin and Russia. Almost as embarrassing as anger-making.

Bob Cicisly , 4 days ago

;)). :)) ;)):))

Ian Brown , 1 day ago (edited)

Sadly typical of what the Guardian has become. This reminds me why I can't read it anymore, just too much bullshit and innuendo sold off as fact. Good work, Aaron.

Cygnus X-321 , 3 days ago

Aaron: "Are you inferring that because two Russians used a smiley face that's proof that Manafort's associate was a tool of the Russian government?" 20:23 . HaHaHa!!! I don't miss Louis CK anymore. This is the goddamn funniest shit ever!

Cygnus X-321 , 3 days ago (edited)

Donald Trump just authorized the sale of sophisticated weapons to Ukraine. This ensures that fighting will intensify on Russia's border. We can thank Russia conspiracy theorists like Rachel Maddow, Marcy Wheeler and Luke Harding for providing a media environment that enabled/pushed Trump to move in this direction. Mission accomplished, propagandists! World War 3 in 2018?

fkujakedmyname , 4 days ago (edited)

the only collusion i saw in 2016 was rothschild zionazis, saudi arabia, isis, israhell,Fox msnbc cnn trump, and clinton against bernie sanders and the people

wilson lawson , 3 days ago (edited)

''Kind of, sort of....air quotes...sort of...'' If Trump colluded with anyone it was Netanyahu and other ultra nationalist Zionists inside Washington and Tel Aviv. It certainly is not in the interests of America to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. And who is Gerard Kushner batting for? America...or Israel?

wilson lawson , 3 days ago (edited)

I just discovered theRealNews recently and they're certainly not a fake news echo chamber... impressive.

David Hanks , 1 day ago

"Not sure if that was intentional or not ..." hahaha owned

danny j , 4 days ago

This Harding hack is a perfect example of why The Guardian - a once proudly liberal publication - has become another neoliberal propaganda rag. He also wrote articles cheering ISIL in Syria, literally comparing them to the Republican Brigade who went to Spain to fight against the Franco Fascists in Spain in the 1930s.

Shan Ri Ha , 4 days ago

This guy is a goose.

Shan Ri Ha , 4 days ago

No, "you don't have to just take a look", this is more BULLSHIT for book sales. No way Russia colluded in the election, no hacking either. This Russia story was thought up by Podesta back in 2015. Peace

hoodiewoman louisiana , 4 days ago

He's playing "5 degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon." So profound.

hoodiewoman louisiana , 4 days ago

"I'm a writer & I once lived in Russia so I have to be right!" AND he says, "I'm a storyteller." Well, that's the problem. Storytelling is also a synonym for lying.

Neil Mason , 4 days ago

This guy lives in a fairy tale land! STFU!

Philip Hall , 1 hour ago

Good job

Peter Smith , 1 hour ago

Aaron, Brilliant journalism. Well done sir that was a masterclass that should be studied in every journalism school across the globe.

lcrooks69 , 1 hour ago

wow. luke harding is a complete and utter moron. never thought a brit could make a british accent synonymous with stupidity.

Alexis Porter , 2 hours ago

That so-called journalist was so obviously bereft of facts and wore his blatant biases proudly. That kind of crap might play well on MSM shows, but doesn't work very well with a well-informed and neutral interviewer. Well done. "Collusion"? Maybe "My Cold War Fantasy World" would have been a better title for his book.

mysterbee06 , 3 hours ago

Excellent interviewer, disappointing interviewee. Harding's red herrings, guilt by association, appeals to "context," and repeated well-poisoning do not constitute *evidence*.

Kniteknite23A , 3 hours ago (edited)

@ 23:27 What is this "essentially a lie, kind of untrue" ? lol and "Now We know that...made... allegedly from kind of His activities..."and how does this schmuck expect to sell any books advertising it like this, unless His target group is 17-24 year old niblits.I almost forgot 30 is the new 20. Keep on talking and eventually Your mouth will come out with stuff. Silly~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NS7Gkv4NNA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zP0sqRMzkwo bonus~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJVROcKFnBQ

Abhishek Agarwal , 3 hours ago

It is because of these journalists is why I believe journalism is no longer a professional of finding and presenting the truth. It's more of floating around a narrative to serve the interests of their masters

MISTERASMODEUS , 4 hours ago

Brilliant and adversarial, yet respectful. Difficult combination to defeat.

hoochymama , 5 hours ago

Subscribed. Amazing job by the interviewer.

Angel O , 6 hours ago

Subscribed!

Evan Schulz , 6 hours ago

MI6 not sending their best.

Bob Boldt , 8 hours ago

The disturbing thing about this interview is Luke Harding not only is unable to respond to Aaron's request for evidence but he doesn't even seem to understand that his conclusions are based on surmise and implications gleamed from irrelevant material. I have to assume Harding has had some education in the journalistic rules of evidence, at least enough to land a prestigious job with the Guardian. And yet he is not only unable to submit forensic evidence of collusion between Trump and Putin but he doesn't seem to understand what would be required to actually identify that evidence to make his case. I have to assume the book only relies on inference and innuendo to establish its case: Putin is a bad man who will resort to anything to achieve his ends, hence he is guilty of resorting to any means to influence a Trump victory. This kind of "evidence" only goes to motivation and says nothing about ability or opportunity. (two of the three linchpins of circumstantial evidence. Of course this kind of shoddy thinking is nearly endemic today among not only journalists and pundits, who ought to know better, but also among the general public (most of my friends in particular). This epidemic is so vast and persistent that I am afraid it will only be staunched by a thermonuclear war. "We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield." George Orwell

Toni Feldstein Chicago Luxury Real Estate , 10 hours ago

Clearly no compelling, unbiased evidence yet.

DeNeice Kenehan , 10 hours ago

Maybe Aaro Mate can read the rest of the book when he stops laughing.

Nan Bread , 10 hours ago

This guy is Mr Word Salad, Aaron really twists his balls in the best possible way. What a pathetic shill, you can tell this idiot works for the Guardian. "Where is the evidence of collusion?" "Putin is bad." "Yes but where is the evidence?" "Estonia, France, my friends died, Putin is bad." "Where's the evidence?" "Putin is bad." Idiot.

Allan Ewart , 11 hours ago

https://medium.com/@Scifiscreen/presscoin-the-voice-of-sanity-in-a-world-of-chaos-71176010477f

John Barker , 11 hours ago

The interviewee is lost in his fantasy world, and patronizing at that.

Johnny Maudlin , 11 hours ago

It's ironic that Mate presents himself (by virtue of the association implied with Real News) as somehow different from the (again implied) not-so-real news and then pursues a pretty familiar "gotcha" approach to this interview. Mate appears more interested in proving himself correct with his skepticism rather than at all curious about the author's point of view as it applies to his work. This is more of the Same News I think. Or at least the same games that talking heads favour. Mate, in addition, seems very amused with himself. That's hardly productive to anyone interested in learning something about the author or the author's premise.

Stars Die , 13 hours ago

Wow, this guy really doesn't have much. Surprised he wrote a book out of this stuff.

mitrovdan , 13 hours ago

17:58 , BINGO...Maté strikes.

Alex Bakaev , 13 hours ago (edited)

I love how Aaron is making this guy squirm with simple, logical questions. Taking the guest's own advice, he should venture out into the reality world out of his book's bubble. The icing on the cake is when the guest starts (around 8 minute mark) flailing his arms like a monkey in a zoo, to the delight of children observing the animal.

sugarhigh4242 , 14 hours ago

No offense to my Estonian friends, but Harding using them as an example of the broader hacking trend seems bullshitty to me. I don't think any leftists skeptical of the Russiagate narrative would say that Russia doesn't hack, or Russia doesn't attempt to influence foreign elections. But if you're going to say that Russia has the capacity to do it in the USA, showing they did it in France or Germany would be a decent analog, Estonia (formerly occupied by the USSR and in Russia's sphere of geopolitical influence) is not. Am I missing something?

Soft Insubordination , 15 hours ago

I had no idea "rejectionist" was a real term. I'm going to continue to live in a world where it's not a real term.

Charles W R , 16 hours ago

Folks, this is a garbage production, no better than S Bannon or S Miller products. Trash this video.

Charles W R , 16 hours ago

It is NOT about Donald Trump. It is about USA and the foundational principles of our democracy. IF there is even a small chance that the formation of our government is influenced by the forces from a hostile nation, this IS the problem. Go to hell Aaron Mate. Idiot Aaron, go to Russia and meet and the HR activists and see what the country is truly like before you interview, mofo idiot Aaron Mate

Charles W R , 16 hours ago

TRNN and Aaron Mate, this is Alt-Right channel.

adammontana9 , 16 hours ago

Great job Aaron

steven bones , 16 hours ago

bullshit beyound belief.

Ardavon Yazdi , 16 hours ago

Even if Putin directly helped trump get elected using his own personal computer, these ppl are gonna fuck up proving it up tripping all over themselves with adolescent anticipation and opportunism

peterboy sonicat , 17 hours ago

Sounds like the Brits are stirring the pot, bringing the Russian 'axis of evil' back into the mix. Think.. Did we ever have US sovereignty? What really happened back in 1775? Maybe the US is just the military arm of the UK and is still hell bent on achieving global domination after all. And the US has been annexed by them all along. Why else is this Brit demanding that the Russians are still a cold war enemy when Trump obviously has nothing against them? I'm having serious questions as to the strategic alliance and geopolitical relationship we have with Britain because of this guy's views. That being said, there may well have been collusion by the Russians to help Trump get into office. But that alone, still doesn't prove Russia the 'axis of evil' or anything near to being our enemy. It's about global domination. The NWO remember? The Brits/Rothschild banking cartel have been hell bent for it for centuries. Russia? Not so much.

John Kelleher , 17 hours ago

Mr. Harding is definitely having a hard time finding any collusion and he wrote the book on it!? Instead of addressing our unfair, closed and black box elections we waste time on a guy who can't seem to form a coherent sentence!?

Fred Munoz , 18 hours ago (edited)

Although there may have been collusion, Russia did not help Trump win. Hillary's record helped Trump win. After learning of her speech to Wall st., it made it impossible for me to vote for her. How dare she tell them one story and tell us what she thinks we want to hear.

Denis Lee , 18 hours ago

Wow Aaron Mate. Great interview.

Frank , 18 hours ago

great interview Aaron, i also am very skeptical of the whole "Russia did it" meme. great job asking for proof, i didnt hear any either, color me not impressed with the interviewee or his hypothesis,

banjo234 , 19 hours ago

Harding's persona could not be more like Tony Blair if he was trying to do an impersonation. Trust him like you'd trust a rat in your underpants.

Andrew Ahonen , 19 hours ago

The first Cold War was a tragedy. This new one is a Farce.

Pique Dame , 20 hours ago

Manafort was a recommendation of Roger Stone, friend of Trump. Manafort and Stone had companies together since the eighties. Harding doesn't know what he is talking about.

Tellthetruth n/a , 23 hours ago

Wow, a real journalist. MSM would have covered this conspiracy theory as absolute truth. No questions asked, which is why nobody trusts them. Harding has nothing but speculation and an obvious bias. I wonder who paid him to write the book.

Nikolai Szép , 23 hours ago

what a laughable muppet!

nikita novikov , 1 day ago

That's is some grade A interviewing. Never seen an argument so thoroughly dismantled.

Jim James , 1 day ago

This guy (Harding) can't make a point.

DM R , 1 day ago

Ooh this Harding dude was squirming in his shoes. At the end, very sweatie, voice is cracking. It's impressive how he's able to lie for so long but he stayed consistent with his questioning

DM R , 1 day ago

This Harding guy is a silly man. Grow up and get some integrity and speak the truth

damenji , 1 day ago

Harding do you still believe in Santa Claus, show us the evidence you tool!

Kevin Schmidt , 1 day ago

Given Harding's long chain of illogical arguments in this interview, I suspect his four year stint in Russia was heavily influenced by Russian vodka, from which he has yet to recover.

Najat Madry , 1 day ago

proper journalism

texshelters , 1 day ago

That included a lot of criticism of Russia and Putin for a supposed Russian controlled new out let. Again, there is no direct evidence of collusion and no evidence that Russia cost Clinton the election

PJ Authur , 1 day ago

I can see both sides. I want the evidence, but can see strong links...

Syncopator , 1 day ago (edited)

The guy's got nothing. I'd love to see some real proof but this guy is equivocating at every turn. Re: the "France hacks" he says it was "inconclusive" but due to a laundry list of unrelated other examples of Russians possibly doing some nefarious stuff he's willing to accept it as a fact. That is not what I would call "empirical." "Muckraking" would be a better term...

John Keown , 1 day ago

this poor conspiracy author was depthcharged by this artfull and rather demeaning interviewer. it demonstrates the need to be able to back claims unless they are presented as theories. I have not read this book but apparently claims were made as"common knowledge" that could not be supported by "empiracle data". this also points out why no massive claims have been announced by Mueller's team. all conclusions must be backed by solid data. I believe one would be naive to conclude anything from this interview except that claims made in this book are not supported by accepteddata -- yet.

poofendorf , 1 day ago

By "collusion" he means smiley faces.

Lee Lull , 1 day ago

Much like the circular arguments put forth by the pro Hillary anti Stein people. No matter how much you request the EVIDENCE they keep repeating suspicion, someone said, everyone knows....and CANNOT produce any evidence....and do not understand how that type of response is acutely reminiscent of Joe McCarthy waving of the paper with those names...one never gots to see.

BlackTalkRadio , 1 day ago

On the allegation of Russian meddling in the French election, if I remember correctly, it was not Putin who cut a campaign video ad for one of the candidates, I remember correctly, it was Obama who cut a campaign ad for the French Candidate who won.

Kay Donnelly , 1 day ago

He doesn't prove collusion . Lol

lapsus5 , 1 day ago

This was a great interview. Thank you.

guttural truth , 1 day ago (edited)

Aaron, you fucking badass. Really top notch interview, brilliantly done.

R.V. Scheide Jr. , 1 day ago

Should have just said you're a speed reader, Aaron.

R.V. Scheide Jr. , 1 day ago

Is he a journalist or a story teller? Those can be two different things.

R.V. Scheide Jr. , 1 day ago

Nice job Aaron, not caving to the Russophobic Guardian writer.

Terry P , 1 day ago

The reason mainstream media focuses on Russia is because of ratings but it is a huge nothing burger. No proof no real connections and all the "smoking guns" turned out to be cigarette lighters and the lamestream never retracts it or anything just goes on like all is well. Good to see some journalistic integrity. The author was making a leap from "He's a repressive dictator ao he must be guilty" with no evidence at all.

garyweglarz , 1 day ago (edited)

Excellent interview Aaron. Crushed it. Your guest has 28 minutes to make at least one salient point and he is unable to do that. Wow! However, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for the next Russiagate shill to consent to an interview with you though Aaron. Just saying! :) :) PS - Oh, darn, I forgot and gave you the secret code of two Emoji smilies! Drats!

Matt Styles , 1 day ago (edited)

*slow clap*

Sear Tactical , 1 day ago (edited)

Luke Harding talks like he presumes all the rest of us just fell off the turnip truck 10 minutes ago. Uh... yeah dude... we DO know the history of the KGB and FSB, and yeah dude, we know about "honey pots" and that KGB and _______________________ (fill in Intel agency of your choice____) did them too... for... oh... lets see... a few centuries anyway. So what are you trying to sell? You constantly keep using past circumstance as "proof" when it is no such thing. You would get thrown out of a court for that... and ANYONE capable of critical thinking knows, all you are selling is "LOGICAL FALLACIES". Hey... I don't dispute that you will surely sell copies of your book to low information Kool Aid drinkers (You going to cite THAT as proof that your book is "true" now as well?)

MarStoryTime , 1 day ago

Of course he just left the conversation at the end. A complete fraud.

AttnJack , 1 day ago

That was painful and hilarious!

Song Mozart , 1 day ago

Is there any empirical evidence of Trump/Putin collusion in this fairy tale? Lol Why does Luke insist we read this without providing real, objective evidence? He expects us to just take his and his "sources'" word for it?

AD T , 1 day ago

Harding is so full of BS... good to see him being massacred. Good job!

mrtriffid , 1 day ago

Re-watching this interview, I'm absolutely astounded by the vacuity and ridiculous attempts on the part of Harding to misdirect the conversation at the same time that he tries to prop up his own credibility. This is literally a primer in the 'art' of Imperialist/careerist 'journalism.'

Nhoj737 , 1 day ago

Why H.R.C. 'lost'? "And it's deadly. Doubtless, Crosscheck delivered Michigan to Trump who supposedly "won" the state by 10,700 votes. The Secretary of State's office proudly told me that they were "very aggressive" in removing listed voters before the 2016 election. Kobach, who created the lists for his fellow GOP officials, tagged a whopping 417,147 in Michigan as potential double voters." http://www.gregpalast.com/trump-picks-al-capone-vote-rigging-investigate-federal-voter-fraud/

Song Mozart , 1 day ago

"Did they (Putin and Russia) do this with Donald Trump? We don't know."

Nhoj737 , 1 day ago

"it's opportunistic it's very often 04:45 pretty low-budget the kind of hacking 04:47 operation to hack the Democratic Party 04:49 was done by two separate groups of kind 04:52 of Kremlin hackers probably not owning 04:54 kind of huge sums of money and and so 04:58 some of it is kind of improvisational 05:00 the most important thing is that you you 05:02 have people with access which in this . . . " Wikileaks hacked the Democratic Party?

Greg Van , 1 day ago

The author who's own research is clearly dubious was chomping at the possibility of the host not reading the book. This man is made of straw.

Sleepy Alligator , 1 day ago

The lengths they go to take attention off of the content of the leaks.

godisgood603 , 1 day ago

Just outed himself, he has absolutely nothing, NADA, what a complete money grabbing douchbag. A TOTAL FAKE

Green Energy , 1 day ago

Luke Harding is a tool

Green Energy , 1 day ago

Oregon's Democrats vote for and support attacks on our civil liberties, love the emergence of censorship in social media and the press, vote for the criminalization of protest, vote for the militarization of police and the unconstitutional massive expansion of the surveillance state. Democrats Hate All Life on Mother Earth. Love torture. Love Killing millions of brown folk overseas. Democrats are steamy piles of Horse Manure. Republicans & Democrats are criminal organizations and are EVIL and war for profit groups; they do the bidding of foreign dictators before they listen to the American People. http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html

Green Energy , 1 day ago

Hi NRDC; I have made many monetary contributions to your organization. You are evoking the fear of Trump in this year end fund drive. Fighting against Trump is a democratic stance. Democrats cheated Bernie Sanders and gave us Trump; both parties are corrupt and enemies of all life on earth. Your organization is used for politics chiefly. I will find organizations to donate to that are for the people, not war and corruption and not run by selected leaders picked for their political powers and hate of common man and that actually love Mother earth. Politics is 100% lies and that makes you guys liars and cheats just like the democrats. Oregon Green Energy

Paulo Machado , 1 day ago

Hahahahah. One would expect a journalist/writer, who earns a living writing articles, to be a bit more, ahem, articulate. What a fool!

Song Mozart , 1 day ago

Harding, show us the evidence. If you had any real, objective evidence, you would all want to share it. You have shared NOTHING. None of you Russia-gaters share anything other than circumstantial. Nobody who is "skeptical," or who uses logic and critical thinking skills has ever said Russia and Putin weren't shady and oppressive, but that is not the argument.

Song Mozart , 1 day ago

You have to believe in fairy tales. Harding would have earned an F in my class.

Lloyd Succes , 1 day ago

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Glad that Aaron took Luke to task.

Danny White , 1 day ago

Ah- when something you claim to be true is actually inconclusive, it becomes "contextual". Got it.

00Billy , 1 day ago

crushing book sales in 30mins.

Ken Javor , 1 day ago (edited)

Why on Earth isn't Mueller investigating radical democrats for embezzling taxpayer money for the Climate Change hoax? Maybe Mueller needs to be investigated for fraud and collusion with North Korea and Iran.

Natural Theist , 1 day ago

Excellent job of interviewing! Actually asked important questions, unlike the way mainstream media simply parrots propaganda.

John Pagoto , 1 day ago

Nice job of keeping this insane relentlessly endless narrative of Russian's changing the election in any meaningful way. This is McCarthyism the modern day Maddowism. It's all mainstream wants to talk about. Meanwhile in real life: 1) The majority of the population doesn't have $500 in the bank to cover emergencies. 2) The War Machine continues to ramp up to epic levels 3) The USA continues to employ their regime change diplomacy 4) The Life Expediency in the USA is going down. Opiod's largely to blame 5) The USA is not even in the top ten among providing Quality Healthcare 6) The USA is Number ONE in passing on the HIGHEST COST Healthcare I could go, on it's exhausting....

Grant Jarvis , 1 day ago

Breath of fresh air. A journalist actually questions his interviewee.

Raphael Bernard , 2 days ago (edited)

This man is delusional there is no evidence of any collusion why is RealNews interviewing this hack...watch Aaron Mate show this hack up. The Guardian is a right wing rag now don't follow it end any association with them. Aaron Mate well done.

Buddy Lee , 2 days ago

The DNC/Hillary corruption was revealed in the emails and they have successfully distracted the public with a the dangerous fabrication of Russia collusion when the conversation should be about the corruption of the democratic process. There are too many complicit media and politicians so willing to go along with it but thankfully most Americans are awake to the scheme.

Ad year3 , 2 days ago

In order to read the book I would have to buy the book, get it? An author should be able to articulate their main arguments in an interview. The emoticons colluding was disturbing though.

Alien Robot , 2 days ago (edited)

If you ask for actual facts of collusion you are a 'collusion rejectionist'. Hillarious. Harding is a 'collusion conspiracy theorist'. Harding throws in the murder of Litvinenko as if this, in any way, relates to the US election. It doesn't. Yes, Russian, US and Israeli Intelligence kill people regularly for political reasons. Do I need to give Luke Harding a history lesson? The smiley face emoticon issue, which Harding tried to swerve away from, shows the level of journalistic quality Harding delivers. Harding deals in smear, supposition and innuendo to sell books. The misleading cover and title show his journalistic credibility. He actually raised as evidence of collusion, that Trump wasn't rude to Putin in interviews. Is he serious? What a hack writer. As a side note, the CIA wrote the book in interfering in other country's elections and governments. This indignation is a joke. If this is true they finally got some of their own back. See how it feels?

John Smith , 2 days ago (edited)

For the record, this is what these people sound like on Tucker Carlson, too. Tucker had Adam Schiff on and subjected him to real questions rather than the head-nodding interviews Schiff is used to. Needless to say, Schiff hasn't been on Tucker Carlson's show since. Pretty soon they'll start calling people skeptical of the evidence provided thus far "collusion deniers".

John Smith , 2 days ago

Noted right-wing hack Jeremy Scahill has it exactly right. This guy Harding is just an opportunist who knows what the audience wants. And he knows that 99% of the people who cite the book will never read beyond the cover; in fact, he's counting on it. Expect the rest of his little book tour to look like this: CNN, NPR, BBC, The Young Turks, The David Pakman Show (tee hee), Huff Po etc etc

psychanaut , 2 days ago

*You really should have read the book though. You could have seen that coming a mile away. Why give him the out? Read the book before you attempt to trap someone with it. You should still marry me though.

psychanaut , 2 days ago

whoever this Aarons guy is: 1/ you should be my husband 2/wonderful interviewing process

Nimo Ali , 2 days ago

Harding threw all the red herrings he could find! Just because the man has a British accent doesnt make him above scrutiny. Remember Louise Mensch? This was the sum (or scam) of all fears: the Cold War , "repressive regime, "opposition crackdown" ,Soviet KGB, throw in bits of Russian words.This was funny & painful at the same time. I nearly fell off my chair when Aaron said "emoticons", that part was kinda surreal.Talk to my friends! Go to Russia! I lived in Russia! I talked to the opposition! I speak Russian! I thought he was gonna add: my best friends are Russian! My wife is Russian!Niding is right Luke wasnt prepapred at all.Was it me or was Luke perspiring because he was struggling? Why was he throwing air quotes? Thanks Aaron!

Lola Lee , 2 days ago

Brutal interview and painful to watch. I never believed in the Trump/Russia collusion fake narrative. It doesn't exist. It was made up (FBI insurance policy) against Trump.

Terrence Alford , 2 days ago

Great job Aaron to hold this author's feet to the fire and discredit his conclusions of Trump/Russian collusion. I hate Trump and would love to see him kicked out of office, but this Russia-gate conspiracy theory so far has no legs and this author is a posture kid for this nonsense.

David Thompson , 2 days ago (edited)

The author repeatedly returns to his talking points when challenged for evidence to support his assertions. This is how ALL INTERVIEWS SHOULD BE CONDUCTED. And the claim that the interviewer had to read the whole book to rightly ask for evidence to support assertions is utterly ridiculous.

Ae Rein , 2 days ago

Inspiring work Aaron. Luke had to be thinking "Bugger off, asking for facts"-LOL

William Huston , 2 days ago

OMG! GREAT JOB!! by Aaron Maté, holding this guy's feet to the fire.

Vicki Kennedy , 2 days ago

Delusional, he has no evidence just hearsay. Just another Bolshevik

Juan Hdez. Vigueras , 2 days ago

This is a very biased interview. Mueller will tell the last word on Russia meddling Trump campaign. But you can not question the content of a book you had not read in advance as this young man does. I have followed the issue from the beginning in CNN and other media and I have read the book Collusion, which is worth reading, very informative about. So this debate lead me think this "journalist" may be paid by FSB/Putin.

nicolas grey , 2 days ago

I would say if you are going to critique the Christian idea of God it's essential you read the bible if you are going to do it in any meaningful way . I take it you also have not read the book . This is like debate climate denailists, it's the same tatic , they take some data and misrepresent it to prove an ideological point . What I don't understand is why . And that goes to my first point , why even bother debate it at all ? You say he offered no proof , but he was just defending matte attachs , which if you look into it, are not that credible either . If he thought he was going to debunk all the claims made in the book, he should of read it, as he just looks stupid . But if you have not read it either, it's easy to agree with him, as it's not a genuine debate .

Goberto Angela , 2 days ago

Another Libtard bites the dust, grand claims of collusion without the necessary proof. Going all the way back the 80' and 90' to justify hearsay. This libtard should be put in jail for defamation and slander for not have enough proof for those claims.

lxathos , 2 days ago

hehe.........

paganmaestro , 2 days ago

Luke's book is already discounted, being peddled for barely half of its list price. The man is a fraud with an anti-Putin vendetta he's trying to settle.

Act1veSp1n , 2 days ago

Luke uses CIA operation, opposition Navalny as a legitimate source....facepalm.

Bobby Cesspool , 2 days ago

His entire argument is a gish gallop fallacy......... They're throwing dozens of accusations at Trump, all of them individually weak arguments. If thier were actual fire, they wouldn't need all of the smoke & mirrors.

Act1veSp1n , 2 days ago

Russian KGB sent me here :)

Bobby Cesspool , 2 days ago

Well done.

Robert Kettering , 2 days ago

Dem Party media collusion.

roman brandle , 2 days ago

It seems (opinion = fact ) in the UK , just walk around and ask ordinary Russians what they think . The tactical guilt trip as a defensive tool , when you can't answer question . This is another propagandist colluding with we're not sure who? , believe me anyway , how dare you not believe me .

sheezle3 , 3 days ago

Good job, Aaron, thanks

S.E.L. 25 , 3 days ago (edited)

Wow!!! That's the best news interview I saw in ages... calmly, respectfully but surely exposing that joke of a journalist for what he is: a fraud. Tnx Aaron!!! Keep on truckin'...

madrussian1000 , 3 days ago

Great job,Aaron! What a sleazeball this Luke character is, jee wiz!

Andre De Angelis , 3 days ago

How did this clown manage to actually write a whole book based on zero evidence?

Kokoro Wish , 3 days ago (edited)

Russia seem to have gotten almost nothing out of this Presidency. If there was something transactional going on then Russian intelligence if far more incompetent than people are being led to believe.

Joanne Leon , 3 days ago

This is how every Russiagate interview should be conducted! Bravo.

Clint Warren , 3 days ago

This is painful to watch.

Joe shawn , 3 days ago

His answer to the very first Question explains everything, is the collusion ? we have to go way back to 1987. (I thought this was during the campaign) (IGNORE THE NOISE IN THE MEDIA) if you look at it, clinton payed many millions from KGB officers to get info on trump during the campaign.

Dave Klebt , 3 days ago

or it could just be a business trip to attract a successful real estate developer to invest in their country.

DanEMO592 , 3 days ago

This needs way more views. This is amazing

dylan , 3 days ago (edited)

Aaron did such a stellar job reigning this man's charade in 10:55

Thomastine , 3 days ago

"Uh, yes yes, I understand that, but let me dither on a bit more, offering non-evidence and avoiding your questions."

g00nther , 3 days ago

What a complete fraud this guy is. This is the book version of the "Steele Dossier", just a bunch of crap telling people what they want to hear to make a quick buck. Bottom feeders.

Martin Jančar , 3 days ago

i am thinking about writing a book about that collusion :-D doesn't seem much of an effort :-D what a BS :-)

0tube0user , 3 days ago

Why are we listening? Why did you interview an englishman of questionable character and background about a case that is in investigation and has not found a single connection. This book foremost is for profit and attention for the writer's benefit. Can he produce a single documents to back his statements? My guess is no. Everything he says is hearsay and fiction. The very first question asked is redirected... always when a question is redirected you can bet it's all garbage. He's just another babbling backward British pompous bozo looking to under mind and influence US citizens of our elected president. Brits by nature are globalist. The small island has for century plagued the world with globalist ideals of using people all over the world to enrich themselves. NEVER believe a Brit unless they are speaking ills of their own country which basically has 2 classes, rich and poor.

Denver Attaway , 3 days ago (edited)

Great work Aaron. Its great to see an interview that challenges the guest to rationally explain the basis of proof for this nonsense red herring issue. Harding could not do it without clear suppositions and assumptions - no proof. The Guardian - my how its prestige has fallen.....and that guy wrote the book on the collusion and could not justify his case. That is why his feed cut out - frustration he does not encounter thru corporate media softball.

Ilfart 218 , 3 days ago

Yeah don't trust evidence. Listen to "people" they'll tell ya something shifty is going on. This damn fool is all too common.

Zina J , 3 days ago

It is far too early to write off the investigation into Russian activities in the 2016 election or dismiss how long Russian operatives will cultivate a subject (POTUS Trump). They often do not know how or where the people they cultivate will eventually end up, but they do know that they have a hook in them, for future use. It's how they've done business for decades.

Sendan , 3 days ago

It was funny how the color of his face steadily changes:) OH NET NET did I put a smile face

MrDiogenes OfElmhurst , 3 days ago (edited)

Good job nailing him, however, " Putin is not a nice person" - what kind of BS is that? Not a nice person, comparing to whom? The Russians seem to like him just fine and that's the only thing that matters.

Steve Ennever , 3 days ago

Bravo Aaron. Bravo.

artcenterjo , 3 days ago

good on you Aaron Mate!

Frodo Ring , 3 days ago (edited)

Why he loses volume in the most critical parts of the video. He says """:the level of russians at the moment @#$%@#&$%@%#^$$&@^#""""" at minute 8:05

Hagbard Celine , 3 days ago

really i cringe listening to that guy - that's how that whole bullshit story implodes when not all parties follow some scripts. thanks aaron - well done. merry xmas @ all.

TheRedsRus , 3 days ago

@14.44 he talks about steele and trusted http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-12-24/wife-fusion-gps-founder-admits-her-husband-was-behind-fake-russiagate-story

Leo Jansen , 3 days ago

Luke Harding talks a lot of Nonsense and which kind of secret meetings? What the Hell? He just making Money with his Book and the truth doesn´t interst him whatsover!

TheJagjr4450 , 3 days ago

ONE SINGLE PIECE OF EVIDENCE... is all we ask... ONE POSITIVE PIECE.

TheJagjr4450 , 3 days ago (edited)

HARDING has no SHAME... the fact that he can blather this moronic nonsense without laughing is mind blowing. Aaron just wants to laugh out loud so many times... Harding loves to offer salacious antidotes regarding how evil Putin is, however there is ABSOLUTELY ZERO EVIDENCE!

TheJagjr4450 , 3 days ago (edited)

**IF THIS IS AN ACT OF WAR WE MUST HAVE EVIDENCE!** DID HARDING - "the reporter" (used loosely) contact the DNC in order to find out whether they allowed the FBI to inspect or examine the servers. This is PURE PROPAGANDA... Trump's phone calls have been monitored according to retired NSA whistle blowers since 2005. If there was any conversation it would have been leaked there is absolutely NO evidence what so ever of collusion. The FBI has no evidence and STEELE has testified in court that other than Carter Page's trip to Moscow the Dossier is ENTIRELY UNVERIFIED. When the entire thing is shown to have been a hoax will this idiot retract his drivel. PREET BAHARA -Hillary donor - is the US atty who allowed the Russian Lawyer into the country.

Tony Smith , 3 days ago

Guardian have always been estb. Clinton spent $10mn on opponent research w Russian collusion

hohaia rangi , 3 days ago

As soon as he started talking about Russian hacking of DNC he lost credibility. That claim has never been proven.

HighFieldLux , 3 days ago

10:30 "I'm a storyteller." Welp.

[Dec 28, 2017] Aaron interview is a case study of how to deal with the author of a shitty book

Notable quotes:
"... Russian collusion/ interference = FAKE NEWS; Israeli collusion/ interference = BINGO. Every Politician in the whole damn world knows this fact but nobody has the balls to say it, and ''Hello Jerusalem'' Wake up sheeple!!! ..."
"... I don't think that guy knows what the word "evidence" means. ..."
"... You know what's hilarious? This guy didn't even do the basic research required to know the kind of interview he was getting into. ..."
"... Thank you Aaron, you are now the most respected and honest journalist left in North America! Your professionalism and demeanor exemplify class and honesty, which so diametrically compared to Mr. Harding's lackings thereof, it illuminated how ridiculous and speculative this whole collusion fiction has become. ..."
"... This Luke is either a Shill trying to make a profit by selling to Trump haters or the worst journalist in the world, He has lotsa of innuendo but no hard proof. No evidence of tape that TRump agrees to Quid pro quo with Putin, No documents of a deal, nothing that could convict a spie, just innuendo. "Putin is a bad guy and hates America" That is all he has. ..."
"... I bet this clown sees Russian agents under his bed at night. ..."
"... This guy is better off appearing on Rachel Maddow show. he would get 0 push back from her ..."
"... Nowadays the facts and evidence are not part of the news .. it is enough giving a good speech and choose the correct words and you can even convince the people that the earth is flat ... the same is happening with the Russia gate, think tanks will continue with this no sense until the people give up and start believing in the Russia gate ..."
"... How many times & ways & years of Luke Harding being proven a fraudulent opportunist does it take for serious media platforms to simply stop paying him any attention?? ..."
"... the guardian, crap reporting innuendo and vague and propaganda ..."
"... Well done Aaron! This was a rare opportunity to dismantle a genuine, probably unwilling cog of corporate subversion and hysteria fueled by money chasing. Morons like this "storyteller" help harmful misunderstandings deepen. Wars and untold misery are started with stories like his. ..."
Dec 28, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Lear King of Albion , 3 days ago (edited)

This moronic Brit wrote an entire book? Beginning with a visit to trump tower by a soviet era diplomat who made a factual statement about how lovely Trump Tower is? It is a beautiful tower, and had I seen the Donald on the streets of NYC, I would have said the same thing. After a year of no implication.of collusion, we are left with delusion collusion. If the moron wants to make a great case, how about researching the names of tenants of projects to which Trump sold the right to his name? Or the Odessan taxi drivers who sometimes drove past Trump Tower? After 7 minutes, I wondered how the interviewer had any patience for the moron, except to get his worthless and lazy slime argument into the record. Click. The interviewer had patience.

freydenker , 3 days ago

Best joke: "I am not a storyteller" at around 10.00 : ]]]

Timothy Musson , 3 days ago (edited)

Another guy who, when asked for evidence to back up his assertions, answers with a non-specific hand-wave :'( Nice interview, Aaron - you asked him questions he didn't like, but you did it politely.

Luke, on the other hand, comes across as rude and petty... not a great way to present a viewpoint. BTW, I think it's great that TheRealNews interviews people with various opinions, and isn't afraid to ask them "hard" questions.

Jason Parker , 3 days ago

Russian collusion/ interference = FAKE NEWS; Israeli collusion/ interference = BINGO. Every Politician in the whole damn world knows this fact but nobody has the balls to say it, and ''Hello Jerusalem'' Wake up sheeple!!!

Michael Leone , 3 days ago

I don't think that guy knows what the word "evidence" means. He probably shouldn't use it methinks...

proudhon100 , 3 days ago

Now Jill Stein is being caught up in the witch hunt. Everyone's to blame for the election loss . . . except Hillary!

Ross Kolaric , 3 days ago

Just rubbish. Name the book collusion and sell lots of copies. Come on, get real.

Microsoft Word Technical Support , 3 days ago

You know what's hilarious? This guy didn't even do the basic research required to know the kind of interview he was getting into.

omlezna , 3 days ago

Thank you Aaron, you are now the most respected and honest journalist left in North America! Your professionalism and demeanor exemplify class and honesty, which so diametrically compared to Mr. Harding's lackings thereof, it illuminated how ridiculous and speculative this whole collusion fiction has become. e.g. Green Party Jill Stein's guilt for being at the same table that Putin sat at for mere minutes long enough to be included in a photo, now smeared by the press as a Russian asset. I never saw Aaron raise his hands and ape and gesticulate for added performance. Ultimately, when no evidence was ever presented (as there is none to be found), this hilariously unfunny supposed-journalist, moreover fiction author, invented the new term collusion-rejectionist, and promptly grabbed his mouse to click disconnect and terminate his utter embarassment so expertly elucidated in this interview. Thank You, Happy Holidays and best of luck in 2018 Aaron!

earthie48 Johnson , 4 days ago

Bullcrap! Hillary Clinton and her Cronies, secured Trumps win, by how they cheated Bernie during the 2016 Primary! Trump did not need Russia's, whatever you think they did, Hillary secured the win for Trump because of her DIRTY POLITICS, against the Democratic Base! Hillary and her thugs keep this up, they will secure the Republican Control in Washington, and quite honestly, its what they want! Because I firmly believe that the Clinton's and all whom support them ARE undercover Republicans, out to, and HAVE, destroyed the Democratic Party!

Citizens.Against.Corruption USA , 4 days ago

Hillary Clinton...COLLUSION!

tink2090 , 4 days ago

Having watched this interview, I feel the need to write the phrase: 'what a nutter.'

ValhalaFiveSix , 4 days ago

This Luke is either a Shill trying to make a profit by selling to Trump haters or the worst journalist in the world, He has lotsa of innuendo but no hard proof. No evidence of tape that TRump agrees to Quid pro quo with Putin, No documents of a deal, nothing that could convict a spie, just innuendo. "Putin is a bad guy and hates America" That is all he has.

MsTree1 , 4 days ago

This man is quite hilarious in that even if Putin did hack the election all this storyteller relates is predicated on the fact that, WE THE PEOPLE are entirely idiotic in in the US. 'Tis quite condescending @TheRealNews

Swinglow Alabama , 4 days ago

Remember some Tony Blair. Loud and big mouth and a big nought in the end.

Antman4656 , 4 days ago (edited)

LUKE= So I think there is proof from my point of view but I don't have any. Only a feeling and theories that can't be proven. No Evidence but Russia is bad. All oligarchs and billionaires work with each other to make more money. Of course Putin and Trump had meetings. So does Jeff Besos and the CIA.

Laura Cortez , 4 days ago

So basically he is saying that we should believe that Russia hacked elections in USA, France and Germany just because Putin is Baaaaad. 

drumsnbass , 4 days ago

I bet this clown sees Russian agents under his bed at night.

uche007us , 4 days ago

This guy is better off appearing on Rachel Maddow show. he would get 0 push back from her

tdr , 4 days ago

Good God I couldn't watch this silly yellow teeth Brit imperialist from the first few seconds. His accent is insufferable.

L G , 4 days ago

That's quite a title for a book that contains no evidence!

Laura Cortez , 4 days ago

Nowadays the facts and evidence are not part of the news .. it is enough giving a good speech and choose the correct words and you can even convince the people that the earth is flat ... the same is happening with the Russia gate, think tanks will continue with this no sense until the people give up and start believing in the Russia gate

Jared Greathouse , 4 days ago

One question: What kind of nation is modern day Russia? TOTALLY separate question: Did they conduct some insidious assault on American elections (as though corporations don't do this already)? These are totally unrelated issues. The human rights situation in Russia may be- and is- awful. But we can imagine an extremely murderous nation internally that doesn't happen to be much of a threat externally

Darwin Holmstrom , 4 days ago

Someone's trying to sell a book by giving it a hyperbolic title .

Jraymiami , 4 days ago

Omg these so called "journalists" opportunists are everywhere!!! Bravo Aaron Mate!

Canuck516 , 4 days ago

I guess to be hired by the Guardian, "opportunism" is a must-have!

DootDoot , 4 days ago

27:13 Sums up the entire book... And where the Author got his factless opinion.... How can a writer have such a clear comprehension problem?

Alan Mclemore , 4 days ago

Sez Corporatist Hack: "...The Russian media were portraying Hillary as some sort of warmonger madwoman." Hello: That's EXACTLY what she is. She said one of her first acts as President would be to declare a no-fly zone in Syria, which Gen. Dunford, testifying before Congress, said would require going to war with Russia.

But Clinton is a front for the neocon wing of the MIC, and they have been lusting for a new "Cold" War on the obvious grounds that it would increase the already appalling amount of US and world resources they suck up. The war corporations are so driven for profit that a little thing like the possibility of WWIII is of no concern to them. So they tell themselves the story that the Russians would back down and go home; the US would then be able to overthrow Assad so the oil companies could get their damned pipeline across southern Syria; and the Russians, angry at the loss of face, would ramp up their defense spending, which of course would require the US to ramp up theirs even more.

Neat plan for never-ending profits, brought to you by Hillary Clinton and the Warmongers. The problem is that Russia does not fear the US, and knows that it has the raw power to win a conflict in Syria if it wants to respond that strongly (look up "Zircon" hyper-sonic missile, which they have thousands of and against which US aircraft carriers have no defense). And Russia, being legally invited by the legally-elected President of Syria, and knowing the US to be acting illegally, might just decide to respond if the US attacks its planes.

And if they send a carrier to the bottom of the Gulf to stop American fighters from interfering with their legal activities in Syria, then President Clinton would have been faced with a choice: Go nuclear or go home. Which do you think she would have done? It's a damn good thing Trump won, detestable as he is. We are not at war with Russia, and that at least is ahead of where we very likely would have been if the Shill had slimed her way into power.

Dan Harris , 4 days ago

The interviewer totally owned that asshole. Awesome journalistic interview.

R Speechley , 4 days ago

Harding is a joke, he just talks nonsense

Alan Mclemore , 4 days ago

Sez Corporatist Hack: "I'm a story teller." No doubt about it, because he's told a bunch of stories on this video. The Guardian is worthless corporatist trash, and Luke Harding is a lying propagandist. I wonder who else KOFF*CIA*AHEM is paying his salary?

ZantherY , 4 days ago

It sounds as if someone has a book to flog! He should had stuck to CNN or Democracy Now, reporters there aren't likely to ASK anything intelligent!!

Joy Wilder , 4 days ago

How many times & ways & years of Luke Harding being proven a fraudulent opportunist does it take for serious media platforms to simply stop paying him any attention??

mic mccoy , 4 days ago

Luke Harding got his ass handed to him!!!!!!! Can't believe his book is a best seller as it states nothing provable.

mic mccoy , 4 days ago

This guy Luke Harding calls himself a journalist???? He is trying to sell a book based on no evidence.

mic mccoy , 4 days ago

This guy Luke Harding is a puppet of Main-Stream Media. What a joke!!!!!!

scheminsiman , 4 days ago

Aaron batting out the park these regular talking points so easily, It looked like Harding has never had pushback on this. Twas interesting seeing him on the backfoot.

marsmotion , 4 days ago

the guardian, crap reporting innuendo and vague and propaganda....what an ass. thanks aaron, for keeping his feet to the fire and not letting him get away with lying. very satisfying to see these a holes not get away with it for once.

Rick O'Brien , 4 days ago

Wow imagine governments having people killed. Outrageous! Can you say drone strikes? This guy Harding in not a serious person. Good job Aaron!

0 1 , 4 days ago (edited)

Everything this guy sites happens all the time with many countries involved. So the question is, why isolate one country? This another case of creating a narrative, and then looking for non existent facts to back up said narrative. Sounds zealous. I cannot finish watching this. Good job Aaron.

hypo krites , 4 days ago (edited)

Tough interview, while he has a point the book should have been read thoroughly, it was a shame he used that as a point to avoid answering the hard question, "where is the proof?". It was interesting to hear about "Trump's ties to Russia", I think it was a shame the author felt it was acceptable to defer to his mistrust (warranted) and bad feelings towards Putin/Russian power structure in order to seemingly (from my point of view) justify the position.

This interview goes to show how difficult REAL journalism is, and how REAL scholarship is very valuable. While the author has a lot of interesting points, on this issue, I only see this probe/issue as a political wedge used to disenfranchise the presiding elected president, and the best thing about this whole process is a clear illustration about how bankrupt and politically corrupt DC is.

The confidence game DC is pushing needs to be brought down a few levels, and some power needs to go back to the people. We all have our own part to play, and being a victim, I feel is a waste of time, except as a means of holding people accountable.

smoke and mirrors. The evidence is so over-whelming that if anything was going to be prosecuted the trial would already be completed.

old fan , 4 days ago

This is getting a lot more complicated than it needs to be. The buzzphrase that most Americans respond to (like Pavlov's dogs) is "Russia meddled in our election!" U.S. elections have always been "meddled" with. It's enough to say Trump, Kushner & their ilk made a lot of lucrative financial deals with Russia that turn out to be 1) conflicts of interest for ANY elected official and 2) abuse of (presidential) power. Isn't that enough?

ameighable , 4 days ago

I know that this person is trying to sell a book, but I see the investigation wrapping up. It would be pretty hard to carry on for another year. After all, Mueller has said it has completed all the WH interviews - and the ones at the top of an investigation are always the last ones questioned. Furthermore, in the first three week of November alone, 4,289 sealed cases have appeared in federal dockets throughout the nation - including the territories. There are probably more now. No one knows how many are Muellers, but the 4 unsealed cases are part of the initial group of filings. My prediction - nothing on Trump and Hillary goes to prison finally.

Marko Kraguljac , 4 days ago (edited)

Well done Aaron! This was a rare opportunity to dismantle a genuine, probably unwilling cog of corporate subversion and hysteria fueled by money chasing. Morons like this "storyteller" help harmful misunderstandings deepen. Wars and untold misery are started with stories like his.

rvaclavek , 4 days ago (edited)

If you live in the empirical world, you just believe the hearsay of the elites. DNC and Podesta hacks were empirically done with an external drive.

fahrout4 , 4 days ago

So, the Russians are running around the globe hacking elections?

Meta Vinci , 4 days ago

Seriously, RNN? Why do you give this puppets book play. Good for you Erin for questioning him. He's on the wrong side of this. There are so many connections among Obama FBI, DOJ, State Dept, Clinton and DNC to Fusion GPS that you're have to be a complete moron not to want to investigate THAT collusion to swing and election. They ere spying on trump and associates all last year. If there was collusion the leaky DC swamp would have spilled the beans.With regard to this collusion with Russia, Trump seems pretty clean. The NSA should know exactly who hacked the DNC servers the collect every oversees packet transfer. Given they have not come forward with that evidence I am more inclined to believe it was a leak, especially given Former NSA cryptographer and IC pro Bill Binney pretty much proved it was a leak when he showed the transfer rates were only achievable at a local port. Not over the Internet. Impossible! Trump is an international businessman, some as Clinton's who have just as much shady history with Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs. Follow the money there is a flow of money from Russian banks and players to the Clinton Foundation while she was SoS.

Lenore Olmstead , 4 days ago

So sad you cannot read the book and you cannot listen and dismiss a really serious threat to our elections. You did not even know what happened in Estonia. You demonstrate a real lack of willingness to explore the truth with an open mind.

Scott Turner , 4 days ago

That was great! The emoticon proof! Hahaha! His tenacity was quasi-religious, especially in the wrap-up and boils down to "There is evidence of collusion, even though I cannot point to any evidence."

doubtingmantis , 4 days ago

Luke's book is speculation. Thanks Aaron for holding his feet to the fire.

Colonel Chuck , 4 days ago

1987 all the way back when it was called the Soviet Union and was communist country. I am an Independent, but get a charge out of all the lying and BS going on in the USA and the 2 parties and their zombie followers. Empires going down and the 2 parties are just puppets for the Military Industrial Congressional Complex/Deep State. Big war coming and need lots of unemployeed young draftees.

CryinFester , 4 days ago (edited)

Good job, Aaron! What does the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko have to do with Donald Trump colluding with Russia to steal the election from the hideous witch?

[Dec 28, 2017] How CrowdStrike placed malware in DNC hacked servers by Alex Christoforou

Highly recommended!
If this is true, then this is definitely a sophisticated false flag operation. Was malware Alperovich people injected specifically designed to implicate Russians? In other words Crowdstrike=Fancy Bear
Images removed. For full content please thee the original source
One interesting corollary of this analysis is that installing Crowdstrike software is like inviting a wolf to guard your chicken. If they are so dishonest you take enormous risks. That might be true for some other heavily advertized "intrusion prevention" toolkits. So those criminals who use mistyped popular addresses or buy Google searches to drive lemmings to their site and then flash the screen that they detected a virus on your computer a, please call provided number and for a small amount of money your virus will be removed get a new more sinister life.
I suspected many of such firms (for example ISS which was bought by IBM in 2006) to be scams long ago.
Notable quotes:
"... Disobedient Media outlines the DNC server cover-up evidenced in CrowdStrike malware infusion ..."
"... In the article, they claim to have just been working on eliminating the last of the hackers from the DNC's network during the past weekend (conveniently coinciding with Assange's statement and being an indirect admission that their Falcon software had failed to achieve it's stated capabilities at that time , assuming their statements were accurate) . ..."
"... To date, CrowdStrike has not been able to show how the malware had relayed any emails or accessed any mailboxes. They have also not responded to inquiries specifically asking for details about this. In fact, things have now been discovered that bring some of their malware discoveries into question. ..."
"... there is a reason to think Fancy Bear didn't start some of its activity until CrowdStrike had arrived at the DNC. CrowdStrike, in the indiciators of compromise they reported, identified three pieces of malware relating to Fancy Bear: ..."
"... They found that generally, in a lot of cases, malware developers didn't care to hide the compile times and that while implausible timestamps are used, it's rare that these use dates in the future. It's possible, but unlikely that one sample would have a postdated timestamp to coincide with their visit by mere chance but seems extremely unlikely to happen with two or more samples. Considering the dates of CrowdStrike's activities at the DNC coincide with the compile dates of two out of the three pieces of malware discovered and attributed to APT-28 (the other compiled approximately 2 weeks prior to their visit), the big question is: Did CrowdStrike plant some (or all) of the APT-28 malware? ..."
"... The IP address, according to those articles, was disabled in June 2015, eleven months before the DNC emails were acquired – meaning those IP addresses, in reality, had no involvement in the alleged hacking of the DNC. ..."
"... The fact that two out of three of the Fancy Bear malware samples identified were compiled on dates within the apparent five day period CrowdStrike were apparently at the DNC seems incredibly unlikely to have occurred by mere chance. ..."
"... That all three malware samples were compiled within ten days either side of their visit – makes it clear just how questionable the Fancy Bear malware discoveries were. ..."
Dec 28, 2017 | theduran.com

Of course the DNC did not want to the FBI to investigate its "hacked servers". The plan was well underway to excuse Hillary's pathetic election defeat to Trump, and CrowdStrike would help out by planting evidence to pin on those evil "Russian hackers." Some would call this entire DNC server hack an "insurance policy."

... ... ...

[Dec 28, 2017] The CIA as Organized Crime How Illegal Operations Corrupt America and the World

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... By illuminating CIA programs and systems of surveillance, control, and assassination utilized against the civilian population of South Vietnam, we are presented with parallels with operations and practices at work today in America's seemingly perpetual war against terror. ..."
"... Through the policies of covert infiltration and manipulations, illegal alliances, and "brute force" interventions that wreak havoc on designated enemy states, destroy progress and infrastructure under the claim of liberation, degrade the standards of living for people in the perceived hostile nations, "...America's ruling elite empowers itself while claiming it has ensured the safety and prestige of the American people. Sometimes it is even able to convince the public that its criminal actions are 'humanitarian' and designed to liberate the people in nations it destroys." ..."
"... Want to know why the DEA is losing the war on drugs, how torture has become policy? Want to know why the government no longer represents your interests? Look no further. ..."
Nov 27, 2016 | www.amazon.com
Alan Dale on November 27, 2016

5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential Addition to an Essential Body of Work

Of the extraordinarily valuable and informative works for which Mr. Valentine is responsible, his latest, CIA As Organized Crime, may prove to be the best choice as an introduction to the dark realm of America's hidden corruptions and their consequences at home and around the world. This new volume begins with the unlikely but irrevocable framework by which Mr. Valentine's path led to unprecedented access to key Agency personnel whose witting participation is summarized by the chapter title: "How William Colby Gave Me the Keys to the CIA Kingdom."

By illuminating CIA programs and systems of surveillance, control, and assassination utilized against the civilian population of South Vietnam, we are presented with parallels with operations and practices at work today in America's seemingly perpetual war against terror.

Through the policies of covert infiltration and manipulations, illegal alliances, and "brute force" interventions that wreak havoc on designated enemy states, destroy progress and infrastructure under the claim of liberation, degrade the standards of living for people in the perceived hostile nations, "...America's ruling elite empowers itself while claiming it has ensured the safety and prestige of the American people. Sometimes it is even able to convince the public that its criminal actions are 'humanitarian' and designed to liberate the people in nations it destroys."

Mr. Valentine has presented us with a major body of work which includes: The Strength of the Wolf; The Strength of the Pack; The Pheonix Program, to which we may now add The CIA as Organized Crime, and for which we are profoundly indebted.

felixnola on December 6, 2016

5.0 out of 5 stars The Truth About the CIA and What is Instore For You

If you want the inside scoop on the CIA and it's criminal past; this is the book. Additionally, why the Phoenix Program is pertinent for our own times. This book connects the dots.

If you have been wondering why Homeland Security has fusion centers; why the USA Anti-Patriot Act, NDAA and Rex 84 have been passed by Congress; you will get your answer here.

A book every intelligent American needs to read and place in a prominent place in their library. Oh, and don't forget after you read it; spread the word !!! (this book is based upon actual face to face interviews and documents)

Jay Trout on January 2, 2017

5.0 out of 5 stars A crucial tool to understanding present reality. An absolute must read.

Run, don't walk, and get yourself a copy of this book. The author has been warning us for decades about the clear and present danger that is the CIA I was unaware of Valentine's work for most of those years, perhaps because our media outlets (even the "anti-establishment" ones like Democracy Now and The Intercept) have been compromised. Valentine's work has been suppressed since his ground-breaking book on the Phoenix Program.

Not that I didn't know anything about the sordid history. I knew about MK-Ultra, some of the agency's drug running and empire-building exploits. This work goes much deeper and paints a much bigger picture. The extent of the agency's influence is much greater than I had imagined.

This is not another history book about dirty tricks. It is not just about our insane foreign policy and empire building. The cancer of corruption, of outright crime, has metastasized into every agency of the government right here in the US itself. Those dirty tricks and crimes have become domestic policy- in fusion centers and Homeland Security, in the militarization of local police and in Congress, from Wall Street to Main Street. Border Patrol, the DEA, Justice and State have all been compromised.

Want to know why the DEA is losing the war on drugs, how torture has become policy? Want to know why the government no longer represents your interests? Look no further.

The problem is now. We are the new targets.

Read it and weep, but for God's sake, please read it.
A highly informative and comprehensive book, and a scathing, fearless indictment of government corruption.
I cannot overstate it's importance.

Andrew E. Belshaw on December 6, 2016

Disguising Obama's Dirty War Chapter 22

I just picked up this book and have not read it yet--but I am writing this to CORRECT THE RECORD regarding very basic information. There are 446 PAGES (not 286, as listed above). 160 Pages is a big difference--obviously, QUALITY is more important than quantity--but I do feel the listing needs be corrected.

The "Inside Look" feature is also cutting off the last 9 chapters of the book, which are as follows:

PART IV: MANUFACTURING COMPLICITY: SHAPING THE AMERICAN WORLDVIEW

John C. Landon on January 2, 2017

Expose of the CIA mafia

This is a devastating and must-read study of the social and political calamity created by the CIA over the last sixty years. The portrait shows the criminal character of the agency and finally of the government it is said to serve. The portrait is a double shock because it shows not just a sordid corruption but a malevolent 'dark side' mafia-style corruption of american civilization and government. That the CIA controls the drug trade is not the least of the stunning revelations of this history.

[Dec 28, 2017] Regime Change Comes Home: The CIA s Overt Threats against Trump by James Petras

Highly recommended!
This was written almost a year ago. Not author demonstrated tremendous insight which was confirmed by subsequent events.
Notable quotes:
"... The decisive shift to 'regime change' at home has been a continual process organized, orchestrated and implemented by elected and appointed officials within the Obama regime and by a multiplicity of political action organizations, which cross traditional ideological boundaries. ..."
"... The outgoing President Obama mobilized the entire leadership of the security state to fabricate 'dodgy dossiers' linking Donald Trump to the Russian President Vladimir Putin, insisting that Trump was a stooge or 'vulnerable to KGB blackmail'. The CIA's phony documents (arriving via a former British intelligence operative-now free lance 'security' contractor) were passed around among the major corporate media who declined to publish the leaked gossip. Months of attempts to get the US media to 'take the bite' on the 'smelly' dossier were unsuccessful. The semi-senile US Senator John McCain ('war-hero' and hysterical Trump opponent) then volunteered to plop the reeking gossip back onto the lap of the CIA Director Brennan and demand the government 'act on these vital revelations'! ..."
"... Under scrutiny by serious researchers, the 'CIA dossier' was proven to be a total fabrication by way of a former 'British official – now – in – hiding !' Undaunted, despite being totally discredited, the CIA leadership continued to attack the President-Elect. Trump likened the CIA's 'dirty pictures hatchet job' to the thuggish behavior of the Nazis and clearly understood how the CIA leadership was involved in a domestic coup d'ιtat. ..."
"... CIA Director John Brennan, architect of numerous 'regime changes' overseas had brought his skills home – against the President-elect. For the first time in US history, a CIA director openly charged a President or President-elect with betraying the country and threatened the incoming Chief Executive. He coldly warned Trump to ' just make sure he understands that the implications and impacts (of Trump's policies) on the United States could be profound " ..."
Jan 20, 2017 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

The norms of US capitalist democracy include the election of presidential candidates through competitive elections, unimpeded by force and violence by the permanent institutions of the state. Voter manipulation has occurred during the recent elections, as in the case of the John F. Kennedy victory in 1960 and the George W. Bush victory over 'Al' Gore in 2000. But despite the dubious electoral outcomes in these cases, the 'defeated' candidate conceded and sought via legislation, judicial rulings, lobbying and peaceful protests to register their opposition.

These norms are no longer operative. During the election process, and in the run-up to the inauguration of US President-Elect Donald Trump, fundamental electoral institutions were challenged and coercive institutions were activated to disqualify the elected president and desperate overt public pronouncements threatened the entire electoral order.

We will proceed by outlining the process that is used to undermine the constitutional order, including the electoral process and the transition to the inauguration of the elected president.

Regime Change in America

In recent times, elected officials in the US and their state security organizations have often intervened against independent foreign governments, which challenged Washington 's quest for global domination. This was especially true during the eight years of President Barack Obama's administration where the violent ousting of presidents and prime ministers through US-engineered coups were routine – under an unofficial doctrine of 'regime change'.

The violation of constitutional order and electoral norms of other countries has become enshrined in US policy. All US political, administrative and security structures are involved in this process. The policymakers would insist that there was a clear distinction between operating within constitutional norms at home and pursuing violent, illegal regime change operations abroad.

Today the distinction between overseas and domestic norms has been obliterated by the state and quasi-official mass media. The US security apparatus is now active in manipulating the domestic democratic process of electing leaders and transitioning administrations.

The decisive shift to 'regime change' at home has been a continual process organized, orchestrated and implemented by elected and appointed officials within the Obama regime and by a multiplicity of political action organizations, which cross traditional ideological boundaries.

Regime change has several components leading to the final solution: First and foremost, the political parties seek to delegitimize the election process and undermine the President-elect. The mass media play a major role demonizing President-Elect Trump with personal gossip, decades-old sex scandals and fabricated interviews and incidents.

Alongside the media blitz, leftist and rightist politicians have come together to question the legitimacy of the November 2016 election results. Even after a recount confirmed Trump's victory, a massive propaganda campaign was launched to impeach the president-elect even before he takes office – by claiming Trump was an 'enemy agent'.

The Democratic Party and the motley collection of right-left anti-Trump militants sought to blackmail members of the Electoral College to change their vote in violation of their own mandate as state electors. This was unsuccessful, but unprecedented.

Their overt attack on US electoral norms then turned into a bizarre and virulent anti-Russia campaign designed to paint the elected president (a billionaire New York real estate developer and US celebrity icon) as a 'tool of Moscow .' The mass media and powerful elements within the CIA, Congress and Obama Administration insisted that Trump's overtures toward peaceful, diplomatic relations with Russia were acts of treason.

The outgoing President Obama mobilized the entire leadership of the security state to fabricate 'dodgy dossiers' linking Donald Trump to the Russian President Vladimir Putin, insisting that Trump was a stooge or 'vulnerable to KGB blackmail'. The CIA's phony documents (arriving via a former British intelligence operative-now free lance 'security' contractor) were passed around among the major corporate media who declined to publish the leaked gossip. Months of attempts to get the US media to 'take the bite' on the 'smelly' dossier were unsuccessful. The semi-senile US Senator John McCain ('war-hero' and hysterical Trump opponent) then volunteered to plop the reeking gossip back onto the lap of the CIA Director Brennan and demand the government 'act on these vital revelations'!

Under scrutiny by serious researchers, the 'CIA dossier' was proven to be a total fabrication by way of a former 'British official – now – in – hiding !' Undaunted, despite being totally discredited, the CIA leadership continued to attack the President-Elect. Trump likened the CIA's 'dirty pictures hatchet job' to the thuggish behavior of the Nazis and clearly understood how the CIA leadership was involved in a domestic coup d'ιtat.

CIA Director John Brennan, architect of numerous 'regime changes' overseas had brought his skills home – against the President-elect. For the first time in US history, a CIA director openly charged a President or President-elect with betraying the country and threatened the incoming Chief Executive. He coldly warned Trump to ' just make sure he understands that the implications and impacts (of Trump's policies) on the United States could be profound "

Clearly CIA Director Brennan has not only turned the CIA into a sinister, unaccountable power dictating policy to an elected US president, by taking on the tone of a Mafia Capo, he threatens the physical security of the incoming leader.

From a Scratch to Gangrene

The worst catastrophe that could fall on the United States would be a conspiracy of leftist and rightist politicos, the corporate mass media and the 'progressive' websites and pundits providing ideological cover for a CIA-orchestrated 'regime change'.

Whatever the limitations of our electoral norms- and there are many – they are now being degraded and discarded in a march toward an elite coup, involving elements of the militarist empire and 'in`telligence' hierarchy.

Mass propaganda, a 'red-brown alliance, salacious gossip and accusations of treason ('Trump, the Stooge of Moscow') resemble the atmosphere leading to the rise of the Nazi state in Germany . A broad 'coalition' has joined hands with a most violent and murderous organization (the CIA) and imperial political leadership, which views overtures to peace to be high treason because it limits their drive for world power and a US dominated global political order.

James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York. http://petras.lahaine.org/

[Dec 28, 2017] From Snowden To Russia-gate - The CIA And The Media

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The promotion of the alleged Russian election hacking in certain media may have grown from the successful attempts of U.S. intelligence services to limit the publication of the NSA files obtained by Edward Snowden. ..."
"... In May 2013 Edward Snowden fled to Hongkong and handed internal documents from the National Security Agency (NSA) to four journalists, Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Ewen MacAskill of the Guardian and separately to Barton Gellman who worked for the Washington Post . ..."
"... In July 2013 the Guardian was forced by the British government to destroy its copy of the Snowden archive. ..."
"... In August 2013 Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post for some $250 million. In 2012 Bezos, the founder, largest share holder and CEO of Amazon, had already a cooperation with the CIA. Together they invested in a Canadian quantum computing company. In March 2013 Amazon signed a $600 million deal to provide computing services for the CIA. ..."
"... The motivation for the Bezos and Omidyar to do this is not clear. Bezos is estimated to own a shameful $90 billion. The Washington Post buy is chump-change for him. Omidyar has a net worth of some $9.3 billion. But the use of billionaires to mask what are in fact intelligence operations is not new. The Ford Foundation has for decades been a CIA front , George Soros' Open Society foundation is one of the premier "regime change" operations, well versed in instigating "color revolutions" ..."
"... It would have been reasonable if the cooperation between those billionaires and the intelligence agencies had stopped after the NSA leaks were secured. But it seems that strong cooperation of the Bezos and Omidyar outlets with the CIA and others continue. ..."
"... The Washington Post , which has a much bigger reach, is the prime outlet for "Russia-gate", the false claims by parts of the U.S. intelligence community and the Clinton campaign, that Russia attempted to influence U.S. elections or even "colluded" with Trump. ..."
"... The revelation that the sole Russiagate "evidence" was the so-called Steele Dossier - i.e. opposition research funded by the Clinton campaign - which was used by the intelligence community to not only begin the public assertions of Trump's perfidy but to then initiate FISA approved surveillance on the Trump campaign, that is truly astonishing. Instructive then that the NY Times, Washington Post, etc have yet to acknowledge these facts to their readers, and instead have effectively doubled down on the story, insisting that the Russiagate allegations are established fact and constitute "objective reality." That suggests this fake news story will continue indefinitely. ..."
"... What we see here is these bastions of establishment thinking in the USA promoting "objective reality" as partisan - i.e. there is a Clinton reality versus a Trump reality, or a Russian reality versus a "Western" reality, facts and documentation be damned. This divorce from objectivity is a symptom of the overall decline of American institutions, an indicate a future hard, rather than soft, landing near the end of the road. ..."
Dec 28, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

The promotion of the alleged Russian election hacking in certain media may have grown from the successful attempts of U.S. intelligence services to limit the publication of the NSA files obtained by Edward Snowden.

In May 2013 Edward Snowden fled to Hongkong and handed internal documents from the National Security Agency (NSA) to four journalists, Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Ewen MacAskill of the Guardian and separately to Barton Gellman who worked for the Washington Post . Some of those documents were published by Glenn Greenwald in the Guardian , others by Barton Gellman in the Washington Post . Several other international news site published additional material though the mass of NSA papers that Snowden allegedly acquired never saw public daylight.

In July 2013 the Guardian was forced by the British government to destroy its copy of the Snowden archive.

In August 2013 Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post for some $250 million. In 2012 Bezos, the founder, largest share holder and CEO of Amazon, had already a cooperation with the CIA. Together they invested in a Canadian quantum computing company. In March 2013 Amazon signed a $600 million deal to provide computing services for the CIA.

In October 2013 Pierre Omidyar, the owner of Ebay, founded First Look Media and hired Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras. The total planned investment was said to be $250 million. It took up to February 2014 until the new organization launched its first site, the Intercept . Only a few NSA stories appeared on it. The Intercept is a rather mediocre site. Its management is said to be chaotic . It publishes few stories of interests and one might ask if it ever was meant to be a serious outlet. Omidyar has worked, together with the U.S. government, to force regime change onto Ukraine. He had strong ties with the Obama administration.

Snowden had copies of some 20,000 to 58,000 NSA files . Only 1,182 have been published . Bezos and Omidyar obviously helped the NSA to keep more than 95% of the Snowden archive away from the public. The Snowden papers were practically privatized into trusted hands of Silicon Valley billionaires with ties to the various secret services and the Obama administration.

The motivation for the Bezos and Omidyar to do this is not clear. Bezos is estimated to own a shameful $90 billion. The Washington Post buy is chump-change for him. Omidyar has a net worth of some $9.3 billion. But the use of billionaires to mask what are in fact intelligence operations is not new. The Ford Foundation has for decades been a CIA front , George Soros' Open Society foundation is one of the premier "regime change" operations, well versed in instigating "color revolutions".

It would have been reasonable if the cooperation between those billionaires and the intelligence agencies had stopped after the NSA leaks were secured. But it seems that strong cooperation of the Bezos and Omidyar outlets with the CIA and others continue.

The Intercept burned a intelligence leaker, Realty Winner, who had trusted its journalists to keep her protected. It smeared the President of Syria as neo-nazi based on an (intentional?) mistranslation of one of his speeches. It additionally hired a Syrian supporter of the CIA's "regime change by Jihadis" in Syria. Despite its pretense of "fearless, adversarial journalism" it hardly deviates from U.S. policies.

The Washington Post , which has a much bigger reach, is the prime outlet for "Russia-gate", the false claims by parts of the U.S. intelligence community and the Clinton campaign, that Russia attempted to influence U.S. elections or even "colluded" with Trump.

Just today it provides two stories and one op-ed that lack any factual evidence for the anti-Russian claims made in them.

In Kremlin trolls burned across the Internet as Washington debated options the writers insinuate that some anonymous writer who published a few pieces on Counterpunch and elsewhere was part of a Russian operation. They provide zero evidence to back that claim up. Whatever that writer wrote (see list at end) was run of the mill stuff that had little to do with the U.S. election. The piece then dives into various cyber-operations against Russia that the Obama and Trump administration have discussed.

A second story in the paper today is based on "a classified GRU report obtained by The Washington Post." It claims that the Russian military intelligence service GRU started a social media operation one day after the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was illegally removed from his office in a U.S. regime change operation . What the story lists as alleged GRU puppet postings reads like normal internet talk of people opposed to the fascist regime change in Kiev. The Washington Post leaves completely unexplained who handed it an alleged GRU report from 2014, who classified it and how, if at all, it verified its veracity. To me the piece and the assertions therein have a strong odor of bovine excrement.

An op-ed in the very same Washington Post has a similar smell. It is written by the intelligence flunkies Michael Morell and Mike Rogers. Morell had hoped to become CIA boss under a President Hillary Clinton. The op-ed (which includes a serious misunderstanding of "deterrence") asserts that Russia never stopped its cyberattacks on the United States :

Russia's information operations tactics since the election are more numerous than can be listed here . But to get a sense of the breadth of Russian activity, consider the messaging spread by Kremlin-oriented accounts on Twitter, which cybersecurity and disinformation experts have tracked as part of the German Marshall Fund's Alliance for Securing Democracy.

The author link to this page which claims to list Twitter hashtags that are currently used by Russian influence agents. Apparently the top issue Russia's influence agents currently promote is "#merrychristmas".


bigger

When the authors claim Russian operations are "more numerous than can be listed here" they practically admit that they have not even one plausible operation they could cite. Its simply obfuscation to justify their call for more political and military measures against Russia. This again to distract from the real reasons Clinton lost the election and to introduce a new Cold War for the benefit of weapon producers and U.S. influence in Europe.

Cont. reading: From Snowden To Russia-gate - The CIA And The Media

11:53 AM | Comments (137)

G , Dec 26, 2017 12:10:03 PM | 1

If what you allege is true about Greenwald and the Intercept, then why hasn't Snowden spoken out about it yet? Surely he would have said something about the Intercept and Greenwald keeping important stories buried by now. Yet, as far as I can tell, he has a good relationship with Greenwald. I find it hard to believe hat a man who literally gave up everything he had in life to leak important docs would remain silent for so long about a publishing cover up. I don't really like the Intercept and I think your analysis of its content is accurate, but I do find it hard to believe that the NSA docs were "bought" back by the CIA.
Ort , Dec 26, 2017 1:41:21 PM | 16
@G | 1

If what you allege is true about Greenwald and the Intercept, then why hasn't Snowden spoken out about it yet?
_____________________________________________________

My understanding is that early on, Snowden placed his trove of documents in the exclusive care of Glenn Greenwald and his associates. Although Snowden has since become a public figure in his own right, and his opinions on state-security events and issues are solicited, as far as I know Snowden has no direct responsibility for managing the material he downloaded.

I haven't followed Snowden closely enough to know how familiar he may be with the contents of the reported "20,000 to 58,000 NSA files" turned over to GG/Omidyar. Snowden presumably took pains to acquire items of interest in his cache as he accumulated classified material, but even if he has extraordinary powers of recall he may not remember precisely what remains unreleased.

FWIW, I was troubled from the first by one of the mainstays of GG's defense, or rationale, when it became clear that he was the principal, and perhaps sole, executive "curator" of the Snowden material. In order to reassure and placate nervous "patriots"-- and GG calls himself a "patriot"-- he repeatedly emphasized that great care was being taken to vet the leaked information before releasing it.

GG's role as whistleblower Snowden's enabler and facilitator was generally hailed uncritically by progressive-liberals and civil-liberties advocates, to a point where public statements that should've raised skeptical doubts and questions were generally passively accepted by complacent admirers.

Specifically, my crap detectors signaled "red alert" early on, when Greenwald (still affiliated with "The Guardian", IIRC) took great pains to announce that his team was working closely with the US/UK governments to vet and screen Snowden's material before releasing any of it; GG repeatedly asserted that he was reviewing the material with the relevant state-security agencies to ensure that none of the released material would compromise or jeopardize government operatives and/or national security.

WTF? Bad enough that Greenwald was requiring the world to exclusively trust his judgment in deciding what should be released and what shouldn't. He was also making it clear that he wasn't exactly committed to disclosing "the worst" of the material "though the heavens fall".

In effect, as GG was telling the world that he could be trusted to manage the leaked information responsibly, he was also telling the world that it simply had to trust his judgment in this crucial role.

To me, there was clearly a subliminal message for both Western authorities and the public: don't worry, we're conscientious, patriotic leak-masters. We're not going to irresponsibly disclose anything too radical, or politically/socially destabilizing.

GG and the Omidyar Group have set themselves up as an independent "brand" in the new field of whistleblower/hacker impresario and leak-broker.

Like only buying NFL-approved merchandise, or fox-approved eggs, the public is being encouraged to only buy (into) Intercept-approved Snowden Leaks™. It's a going concern, which lends itself much more to the "modified limited hangout" approach than freely tossing all the biggest eggs out of the basket.

GG found an opportunity to augment his rising career as a self-made investigative journalist and civil-liberties advocate. Now he's sitting pretty, the celebrity point man for a lucrative modified limited hangout enterprise. What is wrong with this picture?

Bart Hansen , Dec 26, 2017 1:51:59 PM | 17
#1: I suspect that Snowden needs Glenn and Laura as liaisons to the outside world.
G , Dec 26, 2017 2:05:23 PM | 18
@16 I just see no evidence of that aside from fitting the narrative of people who are convinced of a cover up in leaked docs. Moreover, there is no way Russia would continue to offer Snowden asylum if he was gov agent. I'm sure Russian intelligence did a very thorough background check on him.

@17 that's simply not true. He regularly tweets, gives online talks and publishes on his own. He has not used either Poitras or Greenwald as a means of communication for years. And he has never dropped a single hint of being disappointed or frustrated with how documents and info was published.

It just seems so implausible given the total lack of any sign of Snowden's dissatisfaction.

jayc , Dec 26, 2017 2:31:15 PM | 22
The revelation that the sole Russiagate "evidence" was the so-called Steele Dossier - i.e. opposition research funded by the Clinton campaign - which was used by the intelligence community to not only begin the public assertions of Trump's perfidy but to then initiate FISA approved surveillance on the Trump campaign, that is truly astonishing. Instructive then that the NY Times, Washington Post, etc have yet to acknowledge these facts to their readers, and instead have effectively doubled down on the story, insisting that the Russiagate allegations are established fact and constitute "objective reality." That suggests this fake news story will continue indefinitely.

What we see here is these bastions of establishment thinking in the USA promoting "objective reality" as partisan - i.e. there is a Clinton reality versus a Trump reality, or a Russian reality versus a "Western" reality, facts and documentation be damned. This divorce from objectivity is a symptom of the overall decline of American institutions, an indicate a future hard, rather than soft, landing near the end of the road.

Jen , Dec 26, 2017 2:50:16 PM | 25
G @ 1 and 18: My understanding is that Edward Snowden has been advised (warned?) by the Russian government or his lawyer in Moscow not to reveal any more than he has said so far. The asylum Moscow has offered him may be dependent on his keeping discreet. That may include not saying much about The Intercept, in case his communications are followed by the NSA or any other of the various US intel agencies which could lead to their tracking his physical movements in Russia and enable any US-connected agent or agency (including one based in Russia) to trace him, arrest him or kill him, and cover up and frame the seizure or murder in such a way as to place suspicion or blame on the Russian government or on local criminal elements in Russia.

I believe that Snowden does have a job in Russia and possibly this job does not permit him the time to say any more than what he currently tweets or says online.

There is nothing in MoA's article to suggest that Glenn Greenwald is deliberately burying stories in The Intercept. B has said that its management is chaotic which could suggest among other things that Greenwald himself is dissatisfied with its current operation.

G , Dec 26, 2017 2:57:40 PM | 26
@21 I'm not disputing that moneyed interests might have been leaned on by the CIA to stop publishing sensitive info. What I'm disputing is the idea that people like Greenwald have deliberately with-held information that is in the public interest. I doubt that, regardless of the strength of the Intercept as a publication.

@25 What interest would the Russian gov have in helping protect NSA? I assume Russia loves the idea of the US Intel agencies being embarrassed. Snowden speaks his mind about plenty of domestic and international events in US. I have never seen him act like he's being censored.

Jen , Dec 26, 2017 3:46:44 PM | 31
G @ 25: Moscow would have no interest in helping protect the NSA or any other US intel agency. The Russians would have advised Snowden not to say more than he has said so far, not because they are interested in helping the NSA but because they can only protect him as long as he is discreet and does not try to say or publish any more that would jeopardise his safety or give Washington an excuse to pressure Moscow to extradite him back to the US. That would include placing more sanctions on Russia until Snowden is given up.

There is the possibility also that Snowden trusts (or trusted) Greenwald to know what to do with the NSA documents. Perhaps that trust was naively placed - we do not know.

Red Ryder , Dec 26, 2017 3:48:47 PM | 33
b, a big exposition of facts, rich in links to more facts.

This is important material for all to understand.

Snowden is "the squirrel over there!" A distraction turned into a hope.
Compared to Assange, who is being slow-martyred in captivity, Snowden is a boy playing with gadgets.

Why did not Snowden make certain a copy of his theft went to Wikileaks? That would have been insurance.
Since he did not, it all could be just a distraction.

What is known about the Snowden affair is we received proof of what we knew. Not much else. For those who didn't know, they received news.
And ever since, the shape of things from the Deep State/Shadow Government/IC has been lies and warmongering against American freedoms and world cooperation among nations.

Fascism is corporate + the police state. The US government is a pure fascist tyranny that also protects the Empire and Global Hegemony.

We connect the dots and it's always the same picture. It was this way in the 60s,70s,80s,90s, 00s, and this forlorn decade.
Fascism more bold each decade. Billionaires and millionaires have always been in the mix.

[Dec 28, 2017] On your surmise that Putin prefers Trump to Hillary and would thus have incentive to influence the election, I beg to differ. Putin is one smart statesman; he knows very well it makes no difference which candidates gets elected in US elections.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I accept your point that the Democrats and the Republicans are two sides of the same coin, but it's important to understand that Putin is deeply conservative and very risk averse. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton may be a threat to Russia but she knows the "rules" and is very predictable, while Trump doesn't know the rules and appears to act on a whim ..."
"... However, given the problems that Hillary Clinton had to overcome to get elected, backing her against Trump would be risky. So the highly risk averse Putin would logically stay out of the election entirely and all the claims of Russia hacking the election are fake news. ..."
"... As for the alleged media campaign, my response is "so what!". Western media, including state-owned media, interferes around the world all the time so complaining about Russian state-owned media doing the same is pure hypocrisy and should be ignored. ..."
Dec 28, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ghost Ship , Dec 27, 2017 10:17:37 AM | 92

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Dec 26, 2017 3:56:16 PM | 35
On your surmise that Putin prefers Trump to Hillary and would thus have incentive to influence the election, I beg to differ. Putin is one smart statesman; he knows very well it makes no difference which candidates gets elected in US elections.

I accept your point that the Democrats and the Republicans are two sides of the same coin, but it's important to understand that Putin is deeply conservative and very risk averse.

Hillary Clinton may be a threat to Russia but she knows the "rules" and is very predictable, while Trump doesn't know the rules and appears to act on a whim , so if Putin were to have interfered in the 2016 presidential election, logic would suggest that he would do so on Hillary Clinton's side. However, given the problems that Hillary Clinton had to overcome to get elected, backing her against Trump would be risky. So the highly risk averse Putin would logically stay out of the election entirely and all the claims of Russia hacking the election are fake news.

As for the alleged media campaign, my response is "so what!". Western media, including state-owned media, interferes around the world all the time so complaining about Russian state-owned media doing the same is pure hypocrisy and should be ignored.

[Dec 28, 2017] My Response To The McCarthyists – Extra Newsfeed

Dec 28, 2017 | extranewsfeed.com

Back in August of 2016, which feels like millions of years ago in terms of everything that's happened in American politics since that time, Glenn Greenwald published an article in The Intercept titled " Democrats' Tactic of Accusing Critics of Kremlin Allegiance Has Long, Ugly History in U.S. ". I took note of the article because I look up to Greenwald, but because of my focus on the US presidential election I couldn't really see the looming terror on the horizon that he was warning of at the time.

After the election I started getting comments on my anti-Democratic establishment articles accusing them of being "Kremlin propaganda", and I had no idea how to respond to this. I'm an Australian mother who started doing political commentary last year because I fell in love with Bernie Sanders; I've never been to Russia, I've never been involved with Russia, and at that point my interest in Russia amounted to an affection for Regina Spektor, those cool fur hats and the movie Spies Like Us . I'd certainly never in my life been accused of writing propaganda.

https://extranewsfeed.com/media/e3eac8cd5216d1c3f2fbea96b0d376d3?postId=ad769fcddc10

Now these comments have become a daily occurrence. I make unapologetically frequent use of social media blocking features, but I still get accused of being a Kremlin propagandist multiple times a day for my skepticism of the Russiagate conspiracy theory and my criticism of the Democratic party.

And now pro-establishment outlets are starting to publish attack editorials full of outright lies about me. Rantt News ran a hit piece on me last month which reported completely falsely that I'm a Russian shill hired "to spread alternative facts and false equivalencies in order to divide leftists and ensure Trump, Ryan, their cabal of billionaires, and their newfound Russian friends all continue to enjoy power at the expense of your civil rights." To substantiate his claim the author cited two articles of mine that I'd written for the Melbourne site Newslogue which were then republished without my permission by a website called Russia Insider, with whom I have never had contact apart from my recent request that they remove the articles.

As I pointed out in my response to the Rantt smear piece , Russia Insider very clearly labels those articles as copies that it took from elsewhere. Here is a screenshot from the first one , which very plainly labels the article as having come from Newslogue:

Here is a link to my original article from Newslogue . Here is a screenshot from that one:

Note the dates. Here is the second article Russia Insider published, again labeled as being from Newslogue:

And here is my original article.

[Dec 28, 2017] The Mueller investigation will delay and stall closing the investigation until the 2018 Congressional Elections, with the Dems presuming these elections will be won and Nunes removed

Notable quotes:
"... I sense The Duran and Zero Hedge are suspect for readers of this site, but however they may be seen as biased for Trump, they continually broadcast the sham the Mueller investigation has become. ..."
"... Why there is not more attention to the outright sham of the investigation is not clear to me. The Mueller case re election peddling rests entirely on the Steele dossier, now shown to be false. Instead, Mueller is going after unrelated matters in Trump re Russian business deals, or matters taking place AFTER the election, or stupidly investigating Jill Stein for attending a dinner with Putin present. Anything Russia is gobbled down by automatic demonizing as "them Russian bastards did it Oh for sure." Trump tweets and complains but apparently does nothing to create a new prosecutor going after Clinton, where the investigation should focus, possibly because Mueller is continually miscalculating and the near collapse of what the committee is doing. ..."
"... I don't comment on all this as a fan of Trump. Far be it. I'm very critical of Trump as essentially incompetent, an egotist, a foolhardy war-monger, and indeed I'll go with Tillerson's "fucking moron" assessment. But to concentrate simply on Trump, as moderate previous "liberals" are doing, is to ignore the other half of the problem in the corruption that is the current Washington. I want to see the farce of the Mueller investigation get more attention, and thank you b, for bringing it up here. ..."
Dec 28, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Sid2 , Dec 26, 2017 12:58:36 PM | 12

I sense The Duran and Zero Hedge are suspect for readers of this site, but however they may be seen as biased for Trump, they continually broadcast the sham the Mueller investigation has become.

Today Alexander Mercouris, to me one of the best reporters on this matter additional to b, indicates the Mueller investigation will delay and stall with this and that until the 2018 congressional elections, with the Dems presuming these elections will be won by Democrats, which will take the heat off Mueller's show by current Repubs led by Nunes--now shifting to investigate Clinton.

http://theduran.com/fbi-russiagate-strategy-stonewall-congressional-elections/

Why there is not more attention to the outright sham of the investigation is not clear to me. The Mueller case re election peddling rests entirely on the Steele dossier, now shown to be false. Instead, Mueller is going after unrelated matters in Trump re Russian business deals, or matters taking place AFTER the election, or stupidly investigating Jill Stein for attending a dinner with Putin present. Anything Russia is gobbled down by automatic demonizing as "them Russian bastards did it Oh for sure." Trump tweets and complains but apparently does nothing to create a new prosecutor going after Clinton, where the investigation should focus, possibly because Mueller is continually miscalculating and the near collapse of what the committee is doing.

I don't comment on all this as a fan of Trump. Far be it. I'm very critical of Trump as essentially incompetent, an egotist, a foolhardy war-monger, and indeed I'll go with Tillerson's "fucking moron" assessment. But to concentrate simply on Trump, as moderate previous "liberals" are doing, is to ignore the other half of the problem in the corruption that is the current Washington. I want to see the farce of the Mueller investigation get more attention, and thank you b, for bringing it up here.

[Dec 28, 2017] Jill Stein the first victim of the political Witch-hunt that has started by the exposed McCarthyism in America

Dec 28, 2017 | bit.ly

Posted by: nhs | Dec 26, 2017 12:20:37 PM | 5

[Dec 28, 2017] The irony and hypocrisy as well as the buffoonery of the US Beltway Junta is certainly in full display with it's latest Russophobe allegation of election tampering

Notable quotes:
"... With the insertion of Alexei Navalny, a well-known USA/Wall St. stooge who learned his chops at Yale University as a fellow of the Greenberg World Fellows Program, into the Russian political landscape the US State Department certainly is interfering with Russian politics. Navalny was involved directly in founding a movement funded by the US government ..."
"... The "Democratic Alternative" (AKA DA!) front group that Nalvany "co-founded" was fully funded (and created) by the US State Department's National Endowment for Democracy (irony alert). ..."
"... That Navalny is supported by hard right reactionaries pretending to be populists should set off alarms but worse this is a clear case of US meddling in the electoral politics (another irony alert) of Russia. ..."
Dec 28, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Allen , Dec 26, 2017 3:52:34 PM | 34

The irony and hypocrisy as well as the buffoonery of the US Beltway Junta is certainly in full display with it's latest Russophobe allegation of election tampering. Put aside all the obvious items such as, zero evidence, US elections are already rigged by the US elites before a single vote is cast, the US has been tampering in just about every countries elections for decades overtly and covertly- and just consider the more recent attempt BY THE US to tamper in Russian elections through the ever-handy NED.

With the insertion of Alexei Navalny, a well-known USA/Wall St. stooge who learned his chops at Yale University as a fellow of the Greenberg World Fellows Program, into the Russian political landscape the US State Department certainly is interfering with Russian politics. Navalny was involved directly in founding a movement funded by the US government

The "Democratic Alternative" (AKA DA!) front group that Nalvany "co-founded" was fully funded (and created) by the US State Department's National Endowment for Democracy (irony alert).

That Navalny is supported by hard right reactionaries pretending to be populists should set off alarms but worse this is a clear case of US meddling in the electoral politics (another irony alert) of Russia.

But yes, of course, let's Call it Democracy and have some pretend outrage in the US Propaganda Sector where the US Chattering Classes are aghast that Russia won't allow the NED to interfere in it's elections.

[Dec 27, 2017] Putin is one smart statesman; he knows very well it makes no difference which candidates gets elected in US elections. Any candidate that WOULD make a difference would NEVER see the daylight of nomination, especially at the presidential level. I myself believe all the talk of Russia interfering the 2016 Election is no more than a witch hunt

Highly recommended!
Neocons dominate the US foreign policy establishment.
In other words Russiagate might be a pre-emptive move by neocons after Trump elections.
Notable quotes:
"... The dogma does not come from questioning this conclusion. Because Putin, during the campaign, complimented Trump, does not support the conclusion with its insinuation that those who voted for Trump needed to be influenced by anything other than being fed up with the usual in American politics. Same with Brexit. That dissatisfaction continues, and it doesn't need Russian influence to feed it. This is infantile oversimplification to say so. ..."
"... "The centrepiece of the faith, based on the hacking charge, is the belief that Vladimir Putin orchestrated an attack on American democracy by ordering his minions to interfere in the election on behalf of Trump. The story became gospel with breathtaking suddenness and completeness. Doubters are perceived as heretics and as apologists for Trump and Putin, the evil twins and co-conspirators behind this attack on American democracy. Responsibility for the absence of debate lies in large part with the major media outlets. Their uncritical embrace and endless repetition of the Russian hack story have made it seem a fait accompli in the public mind. It is hard to estimate popular belief in this new orthodoxy, but it does not seem to be merely a creed of Washington insiders. If you question the received narrative in casual conversations, you run the risk of provoking blank stares or overt hostility – even from old friends. This has all been baffling and troubling to me; there have been moments when pop-culture fantasies (body snatchers, Kool-Aid) have come to mind." ..."
"... But I do believe Putin, and for that matter Xi Jinping of China too, should make efforts to infiltrate the USA election processes. It's an eye for an eye. USA has been exercising its free hands in manipulating elections and stirring up color revolutions all around the world, including the 2012 presidential election in Russia. They should be given a taste of their own medicine. In fact, I believe it is for this reason that the US MSM is playing up this hocus pocus Russian-gate matter, as a preemptive measure to justify imposing electioneering controls in the future. ..."
"... USA may not be vulnerable as yet to this kind of external nuisances, as the masses have not yet reached the stage of being easily stirred. But that time will come. ..."
Dec 27, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Rhett , Dec 26, 2017 2:18:30 PM | 20

I have great respect for the reporting on this site regarding Syria and the Middle East. I regret that for some reason there is this dogmatic approach to the issue of Russian attempts to influence the US election. Why wouldn't the Russians try to sway the election? Allowing Hillary to win would have put a dangerous adversary in the White House, one with even more aggressive neocon tendencies than Obama. Trump has been owned by Russian mobsters since the the 1990s, and his ties to Russian criminals like Felix Sater are well known.

Putin thought that getting Trump in office would allow the US to go down a more restrained foreign policy path and lift sanctions against Russia, completely understandable goals. Using Facebook/Twitter bots and groups like Cambridge Analytica, an effort was made to sway public opinion toward Trump. That is just politics. And does anyone really doubt there are incriminating sexual videos of Trump out there? Trump (like Bill Clinton) was buddies with billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Of course there are videos of Trump that can be used for blackmail purposes, and of course they would be used to get him on board with the Russian plan.

The problem is that everything Trump touches dies. He's a fraud and an incompetent idiot. Always has been. To make matters worse, Trump is controlled by the Zionists through his Orthodox Jewish daughter and Israeli spy son-in-law. This gave power to the most openly extreme Zionist elements who will keep pushing for more war in the Middle East. And Trump is so vile that he's hated by the majority of Americans and doesn't have the political power to end sanctions against Russia.

Personally, I think this is all for the best. Despite his Zionist handlers, Trump will unintentionally unwind the American Empire through incompetence and lack of strategy, which allows Syria and the rest of the world to breathe and rebuild. So Russia may have made a bad bet on this guy being a useful ally, but his own stupidity will end up working out to the world's favor in the long run.

Sid2 , Dec 26, 2017 3:17:40 PM | 27
@20

there is considerable irony in use of "dogmatic" here: the dogma actually occurs in the rigid authoritarian propaganda that the Russians Putin specifically interfered with the election itself, which now smugly blankets any discussion. "The Russians interfered" is now dogma, when that statement is not factually shown, and should read, "allegedly interfered."

The dogma does not come from questioning this conclusion. Because Putin, during the campaign, complimented Trump, does not support the conclusion with its insinuation that those who voted for Trump needed to be influenced by anything other than being fed up with the usual in American politics. Same with Brexit. That dissatisfaction continues, and it doesn't need Russian influence to feed it. This is infantile oversimplification to say so.

To suggest "possibly" in any argument does not provide evidence. There is no evidence. Take a look at b's link to the following for a clear, sane assessment of what's going on. As with:

"The centrepiece of the faith, based on the hacking charge, is the belief that Vladimir Putin orchestrated an attack on American democracy by ordering his minions to interfere in the election on behalf of Trump. The story became gospel with breathtaking suddenness and completeness. Doubters are perceived as heretics and as apologists for Trump and Putin, the evil twins and co-conspirators behind this attack on American democracy. Responsibility for the absence of debate lies in large part with the major media outlets. Their uncritical embrace and endless repetition of the Russian hack story have made it seem a fait accompli in the public mind. It is hard to estimate popular belief in this new orthodoxy, but it does not seem to be merely a creed of Washington insiders. If you question the received narrative in casual conversations, you run the risk of provoking blank stares or overt hostility – even from old friends. This has all been baffling and troubling to me; there have been moments when pop-culture fantasies (body snatchers, Kool-Aid) have come to mind."

this is b's link in URL form here:

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n01/jackson-lears/what-we-dont-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-russian-hacking

Oriental Voice , Dec 26, 2017 3:56:16 PM | 35
@20:

I echo you opinion that this site gives great reports on issues pertaining to Syria and the ME. Credit to b.

On your surmise that Putin prefers Trump to Hillary and would thus have incentive to influence the election, I beg to differ. Putin is one smart statesman; he knows very well it makes no difference which candidates gets elected in US elections. Any candidate that WOULD make a difference would NEVER see the daylight of nomination, especially at the presidential level. I myself believe all the talk of Russia interfering the 2016 Election is no more than a witch hunt.

But I do believe Putin, and for that matter Xi Jinping of China too, should make efforts to infiltrate the USA election processes. It's an eye for an eye. USA has been exercising its free hands in manipulating elections and stirring up color revolutions all around the world, including the 2012 presidential election in Russia. They should be given a taste of their own medicine. In fact, I believe it is for this reason that the US MSM is playing up this hocus pocus Russian-gate matter, as a preemptive measure to justify imposing electioneering controls in the future.

USA may not be vulnerable as yet to this kind of external nuisances, as the masses have not yet reached the stage of being easily stirred. But that time will come.

[Dec 27, 2017] Russia hacked the election. Never happened. No proof, no indication, all fabricated out of whole cloth. BS. The FBI constructs a crime and plants it on people. Like a misstatement in Flynn s case

Accepting a meme is what propaganda is all about
The key reason of Trump victory was the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA -- voters rejected candidates from two major and discredited parties and elected outsider -- Trump is vain hopes that he can change the situation for the better (similar hope were during lection of Obama who also positioned himself as an outsider). So far it looks like he betrayed his voters becoming "Republican Obama" with fame "Make America Great Again" slogan (great for whom, for military industrial complex ?) instead of Obama fake slogan "change we can believe in".
Notable quotes:
"... The Mueller case re election peddling rests entirely on the Steele dossier, now shown to be false. ..."
"... Instead, Mueller is going after unrelated matters in Trump re Russian business deals, or matters taking place AFTER the election, or stupidly investigating Jill Stein for attending a dinner with Putin present ..."
"... Trump has claimed he has no intention of sacking Mueller suggests that those who expect major revelations of a conspiracy between Putin and Trump are going to be disappointed. ..."
"... Flynn's lie is like Russia hacked the election. Totally ether. Never happened. No proof, no indication, all fabricated out of whole cloth. BS. The FBI constructs a crime and plants it on people. A misstatement or in Flynn's case, his duty is to deny, is not a lie. Accepting a meme is what propaganda is all about: ..."
Dec 27, 2017 | moonofalabama.org

Ghost Ship | Dec 27, 2017 10:38:32 AM | 93

>>>> Sid2 | Dec 26, 2017 12:58:36 PM | 12

Why there is not more attention to the outright sham of the investigation is not clear to me. The Mueller case re election peddling rests entirely on the Steele dossier, now shown to be false.

Instead, Mueller is going after unrelated matters in Trump re Russian business deals, or matters taking place AFTER the election, or stupidly investigating Jill Stein for attending a dinner with Putin present.

Is the investigation a sham? Most of what you read about it is supposition coming from partisan reporters working for partisan newspapers. The actual facts are few and far between.

Manafort was clearly influence-peddling but for Turkey and a Ukrainian oligarch. Flynn clear did lie but his actions, requesting Russia delay a response to the expulsion of diplomat and that Russia block a resolution against Israel, appear not to be of themselves illegal. Trump Jr holding a meeting with a Maltese professor of international relations, a Russian criminal lawyer and a "niece" of Putin who wasn't in fact a niece of Putin was neither here nor there unless Trump Jr. lied to the FBI.

There is no evidence that the Steele dossier corroborates any of the above acts, but if the Obama regime really used it to get a FISA warrant then that needs to be investigated. Even the author of the dossier admits it might be 30% wrong.

As for Jill Stein, it's news to me that Mueller is investigating her when it seems to be some Democrats in the Senate who are doing so.

There have been a lot of "leaks" about the Mueller investigation but most reports suggest none of the leaks come from the investigation itself which seems to be watertight. It's a matter of waiting and seeing what comes out later and that Trump has claimed he has no intention of sacking Mueller suggests that those who expect major revelations of a conspiracy between Putin and Trump are going to be disappointed. And nobody can then say that they weren't warned.

Red Ryder , Dec 27, 2017 12:29:58 PM | 102

@93, Ghost Ship, "Flynn clear did lie . . . "

What was the lie? You have the "lie" and no one else has it. There is no lie. There wasn't even a lie to Pence. Flynn was NSC advisor, prior campaign and transition advisor on Nation Security. He was protecting the President's "moves" and doing the President's business.

Flynn's lie is like Russia hacked the election. Totally ether. Never happened. No proof, no indication, all fabricated out of whole cloth. BS. The FBI constructs a crime and plants it on people. A misstatement or in Flynn's case, his duty is to deny, is not a lie. Accepting a meme is what propaganda is all about:

It's all memes for people to accept as facts. Mike Flynn's job is to lie to everyone but his commander-in-chief. That's what he did. In other words, he told "the truth" which everyone should know could be a lie. Flynn was working for President-elect Trump as his top Intel man. Of course, he would lie. He spent 33 years in military Intel, rose to the top and told a million lies. Spies lie. Espionage is about truth and untruth.

Ghost Ship , Dec 27, 2017 1:01:00 PM | 106

>>>> Red Ryder | Dec 27, 2017 12:29:58 PM | 102

So why did Flynn plead guilty to lying to the FBI? If he was that accustomed to/experienced in lying he would have known what to do. Such as:

  1. Knowing that with the FBI involved you don't lie but that doesn't mean you have to help them;
  2. Making sure he had a criminal lawyer with him before answering any question;
  3. Pleading the fifth amendment.

[Dec 27, 2017] The remarkable thing is to see the complete disappearance of the anti-war left.

Dec 27, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Christian Chuba , 26 December 2017 at 10:36 AM

A comment on Trump's national security doctrine, I read it as 'U.S. uber alles'.

The remarkable thing is to see the complete disappearance of the anti-war left. On CNN, their reaction was, Trump is talking the talk but not walking the walk. They were miffed that he had a polite phone conversation with Putin. It's not enough to send weapons to Ukraine, call the Russians and Chinese revisionist powers, have aggressive air patrols near Crimea, maintain sanctions in perpetuity, have a massive increase in Defense spending, and expand NATO, you have to be rude to Putin on every possible occasion, perhaps even allow a terrorist attack.

Some see this as a big fake out to satisfy the Neocons, he's got me eating grass too (picture Defensive End missing a Running Back in a football game). I guess we just have to wait to see what the next 3yrs bring.

BTW this link shows the flight pattern of U.S. surveillance aircraft as they take off from Bulgaria and fliesl along the coast of Sevastopol http://russia-insider.com/en/us-keeps-loitering-coast-russian-naval-base-sevastopol-russia-adds-second-s-400-air-defense-battery

Lyttenburgh , 26 December 2017 at 06:16 PM
On the new National Security Doctrine – excellent! The US does not mince words and states clearly, that both China and Russia are "resurgent" and "revisionist powers", who "threaten the world order". The US dominated unipolar world order that's it. Which, again, is true.

If Obama/Clinton had their way, Russia will be listed among the "threats to the national security" such as ISIL, Ebola and DPRK. Well – who remembers about Ebola's outbreak and ISIL is losing its memeticness by hour. The esteemed members of the establishment (the legislative branch) also would have liked to see Russia among such "top priority national security threats" as Iran and DPRK.

Instead we, Russia, are in China's company. Not bad, not bad at all. Cuz the US can't negotiate with Iran, North Korea and ISIL without losing a face. With China – now, here a sort of détente is possible.

D , 26 December 2017 at 07:23 PM
@EE

"Apparently they've collectively forgotten that it all started out as a con for the rubes."

Exactly. And that condition seems to appertain to the formation of most domestic and foreign policies emanating from Washington these day. That's what you get in a country where folks like to gorge themselves on the swill of cable news and talk radio.

[Dec 27, 2017] Susan Rice, Obama's Dirty Surveillance Rat

Apr 03, 2017 | strata-sphere.com
Published by AJStrata under All General Discussions

So now we know who requested the raw intelligence on Team Trump with the names of American Citizens 'unmasked'. It was then National Security Advisor Susan Rice:

White House lawyers last month discovered that the former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

The pattern of Rice's requests was discovered in a National Security Council review of the government's policy on "unmasking" the identities of individuals in the U.S. who are not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally. Normally those names are redacted from summaries of monitored conversations and appear in reports as something like "U.S. Person One."

Maybe she will claim a video caused her to commit a felony?

As I noted a while back , while Obama and Loretta Lynch authorized the expansion of who could request the unmasking of Americans caught up in surveillance, the process still required a paper trail of who the request was from and for what purpose. From the law itself:

For every entity in the US Intelligence Community involved with the intercepts of Team Trump, the head of that entity should have filled out this request, including:

  1. (U) Use of information. The IC element will explain how it will use the raw SIGINT, to include identifying the particular authorized foreign intelligence or counterintelligence missions or functions that are the basis for its request .

Skipping down, we get to another key item: who reviewed and approved these requests:

C. (U) Evaluation of requests. A high-level NSA official designated by the DIRNSA will review requests for raw SIGINT covered by these Procedures. NSA will document its approval decisions in writing and include a statement explaining how the request fully complies with paragraph A.

OK, a key person who should have participated in the legal distribution of intercepts involving members of Team Trump would be the Director of NSA and whomever they designated to review the requests.

Note that the Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) is accepting the requests made by the National Security Advisor (a different NSA). Today that would be one Michael Rogers, who had to review and concur on Rice's request.

Interesting enough, one would have thought the FBI would be the organization with due cause to unmask Americans for investigation. Why would the head of NSA be investigating Americans and violating their 4th Amendment rights?

Well, that seems pretty obvious given that all this ill-gotten information landed in the hands of the left wing news media, to fuel diversionary stories about some elusive Trump-Russian connection. The fact this information takes a left turn through the office of NSA on its way to the news media is telling in itself.

Clearly what caught Susan Rice was the paper trail of her requests, as is confirmed in the article:

In February Cohen-Watnick discovered Rice's multiple requests to unmask U.S. persons in intelligence reports that related to Trump transition activities. He brought this to the attention of the White House General Counsel's office, who reviewed more of Rice's requests and instructed him to end his own research into the unmasking policy.

The strange thing is, if not for all the leaks to the newspapers, I doubt this review of the logs would have happened! She and Team Obama triggered their own demise.

Of course, all this was leaked to a Dem-Friendly news outlet, which tried to spin this as a nothing-burger and claim this is not the smoking gun.

But of course it's the smoking gun!

Let's pick up where the left wing news media tried to stop us from proceeding. Who tipped off Rice on which raw data to unmask? And who was unmasked? The answers will inform us on her intentions.

For example, if Rice's request was broad and yielded a range of Americans unmasked that would be a general request without a target.

But if her request was against specific events with specific foreign players, which only yielded results that led to only Team Trump, then that is a different matter. That would be political targeting and a felony.

Finally, Susan Rice would never, ever do this on her own initiative. She would never risk "The Obama Legacy" over this. A legacy, I must say, that is now in tatters based on this news. It is just a question of whether the destruction of his legacy was due to ineptitude or criminal intent.

There is much more to learn here. Everyone who did this knew they were crossing some serious lines. They knew this because they had to put in place the processes to allow it. And since these unmasking processes were laid out in January of this year, everyone knew they were up to, if not over, those Constitutional lines.

Rice should be pulled in front of Congress and asked point blank under what authority was she, the National Security Advisor, requesting names of US Citizens and their communication contenrs? Recall, some of these requests are not related to Russia at all!

[Dec 27, 2017] More Rice Lies [Just Another Inspector Clouseau]

Notable quotes:
"... Please note the trip down memory lane above, when Susie and Hillary were cohorts at the UN ..."
"... – end update ..."
Apr 04, 2017 | strata-sphere.com

Please note the trip down memory lane above, when Susie and Hillary were cohorts at the UN .

Major Update : If you don't want to take my word for all this, how about Andrew McCarthy :

The thing to bear in mind is that the White House does not do investigations. Not criminal investigations, not intelligence investigations. Remember that.

In general, it is the FBI that conducts investigations that bear on American citizens suspected of committing crimes or of acting as agents of foreign powers. In the matter of alleged Russian meddling, the investigative camp also includes the CIA and the NSA.

Consequently, if unmasking was relevant to the Russia investigation, it would have been done by those three agencies.

Basically what these tools have done is confess to the crime. Rice did not deny she did this, she claims she had the authority to do this.

She did not.

Bring on the prosecutors – end update

Susan Rice (and her protectors in the news media – one of which is her husband at ABC News) have been putting out a new trial balloon to see if they can avoid the coming Constitutional crisis over the Obama administration using NSA surveillance data to data-mine their political opposition: a.k.a. Team Trump.

The contortions by which Rice and her news media allies (democrats all) are going through to deflect this smoking gun has hit the absurd :

Rice denied those charges Tuesday, saying she was "shocked" to read the claims when they emerged. She said the White House isn't responsible for ordering that type of surveillance.

She maintained, however, that asking for more information about names included in intelligence reports was a routine and necessary aspect of her job in protecting American security .

Uh – no. The White House – which is where she worked when National Security Advisor (please not the emphasis on "Advisor") – cannot investigate US citizens for criminal acts. The White House cannot even direct the FBI who to investigate or not!

Here is her job description :

The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA) is appointed by the President without confirmation by the Senate . [3] The influence and role of the National Security Advisor varies from administration to administration and depends not only on the qualities of the person appointed to the position but also on the style and management philosophy of the incumbent President. [4] Ideally, the APNSA serves as an honest broker of policy options for the President in the field of national security, rather than as an advocate for his or her own policy agenda. [5]

This role is to assist in drafting policies, strategies, regulations, etc.

So one has to ask, why was she unmasking these innocent people and violating their 4th Amendment Rights? She actually should have no ability to peak into the lives of Americans. None. Not in her job-jar.

The White House is NOT authorized to investigate – not even foreign players. Those authorities are given to a select few organizations in the federal government.

And when it comes to investigating US Citizens, that falls to one and only one federal organization: The FBI.

I know the Democrat News Media is trying to shield Rice and Obama from their bumbling, stumbling activities that will destroy their legacy.

But at least come up with something that passes the laugh test and does not remind us of another overly-clever sleuth protecting the masses:

Tags: National Security Advisor , Obama , Surveillance , Susan Rice , Team Trump

One response so far

[Dec 26, 2017] The role of intelligence agencies and NGOs in color revolution is to make a palace coup (of their sponsorship) look like a social revolution; to help fill the streets with fearless (and well paid) demonstrators and then institute a regime change installing their puppets projecting on them authenticity of popular democracy and revolutionary fervor

Color revolutions are false flag operations of regime change based on deception, fueling the resentment and delegitimization+ of the elected government and fake promises to population.
Notable quotes:
"... color revolutions are psychosocial operations of deception. ..."
"... It's a fact that Western governments (especially the US government) and various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) spend millions of dollars to co-opt and "channel" local populations of targeted countries against their own political leadership. ..."
"... Empty democracy slogans and flashy colors aside, we argue that color revolutions are good old-fashioned regime change operations: destabilization without the tanks. ..."
"... History shows that, to much of the power elite, humanity is seen as a collection of nerve endings to be pushed and pulled one way or the other, sometimes made to tremble in fear, sometimes made to salivate like Pavlov's dogs. ..."
"... to help deconstruct the deception ..."
"... A color revolution is only an instrument of foreign policy--only a tool -- the ultimate object being the geopolitical advantages gained by powerful financiers and the brain trust they employ ..."
Dec 26, 2017 | colorrevolutionsandgeopolitics.blogspot.com

Color revolutions are, without a doubt, one of the main features of global political developments today. Should the casual reader immediately wonder what a "color revolution" is, keep reading, our view here is unique, but we most certainly have some answers.

Let us first begin with the Wikipedia definition. That website introduces the concept by stating the following:

" Color revolution(s) is a term used by the media to describe related [political] movements that developed in several societies in the CIS (former USSR) and Balkan states during the early 2000s. Some observers have called the events a revolutionary wave .

"Participants in the color revolutions have mostly used nonviolent resistance , also called civil resistance . Such methods as demonstrations, strikes and interventions havebeen [used to] protest against governments seen as corrupt and/or authoritarian, and to advocate democracy; and they have also created strong pressure for change. These movements all adopted a specific color or flower as their symbol. The color revolutions are notable for the important role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and particularly student activists in organizing creative non-violent resistance.

"These movements have been successful in Serbia (especially the Bulldozer Revolution of 2000), in Georgia's Rose Revolution (2003), in Ukraine's Orange Revolution (2004), in Lebanon's Cedar Revolution and (though more violent than the previous ones) in Kyrgyzstan's Tulip Revolution (2005), in Kuwait's Blue Revolution (2005), in Iraq's Purple Revolution (2005), and in Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution (1989), but failed in Iran's Green Revolution (2009–2010) . Each time massive street protests followed disputed elections or request of fair elections and led to the resignation or overthrow of leaders considered by their opponents to be authoritarian ."

What the Wikipedia article fails to mention is the massive foreign funding, and at least any notion that color revolutions are psychosocial operations of deception.

It's a fact that Western governments (especially the US government) and various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) spend millions of dollars to co-opt and "channel" local populations of targeted countries against their own political leadership.

Empty democracy slogans and flashy colors aside, we argue that color revolutions are good old-fashioned regime change operations: destabilization without the tanks.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_9E75GWFDMec/SjXWwi-wPnI/AAAAAAAAAmc/Jlt2fAVGcgQ/s400/IranProtestor.jpg

The secret ingredient is a sophisticated science used to manipulate emotions and circumvent critical thinking. History shows that, to much of the power elite, humanity is seen as a collection of nerve endings to be pushed and pulled one way or the other, sometimes made to tremble in fear, sometimes made to salivate like Pavlov's dogs. These days the manipulation is so pervasive, so subtle, so effective, that even critical individuals at times must necessarily fail to recognize how often -- or in what context -- they have fallen prey.

Of course fear is the most obvious emotion played upon to effect massive social change. One need only to reflect upon the last ten years, since 9/11, to know that fear is a primary instrument used to initiate and justify dangerous shifts in public policy.

But as humanity has been physiologically equipped with a range of emotions, and is not merely arrested and controlled by fear alone, a strata of behavioral and political science also found it useful to master the flip-side of the emotional spectrum, and by that we mean desire, and all that drives groups of individuals to act, even in the face of fear, in pursuit of something worthwhile.

Many are the professions that utilize this type of understanding, including (but not limited to) marketing, advertising, public relations, politics and law-making, radio, television, journalism and news, film, music, general business and salesmanship; each of them selling, branding, promoting, entertaining, sloganeering, framing, explaining, creating friends and enemies, arguing likes and dislikes, setting the boundaries of good and evil: in many cases using their talents to circumvent their audiences' intellect, the real target being emotional, oftentimes even subconscious.

http://bmpr.com/chip_martin/blogs/images/chip_martin/Skyyad5.jpg (Legs for educational purposes only)

Looking beneath the facade of the color revolutionary movement we also find a desire-based behavioral structure, in particular one that has been built upon historical lessons offered by social movements and periods of political upheaval.

It then makes sense that the personnel of such operations include perception managers, PR firms, pollsters and opinion-makers in the social media. Through the operational infrastructure, these entities work in close coordination with intelligence agents, local and foreign activists, strategists and tacticians, tax-exempt foundations, governmental agencies, and a host of non- governmental organizations.

Collectively, their job is to make a palace coup (of their sponsorship) seem like a social revolution; to help fill the streets with fearless demonstrators advocating on behalf of a government of their choosing, which then legitimizes the sham governments with the authenticity of popular democracy and revolutionary fervor.

Because the operatives perform much of their craft in the open, their effectiveness is heavily predicated upon their ability to veil the influence backing them, and the long-term intentions guiding their work.

Their effectiveness is predicated on their ability to deceive, targeting both local populations and foreign audiences with highly-misleading interpretations of the underlying causes provoking these events.

And this is where we come in: to help deconstruct the deception .

But we will not just cover color revolutions here, as color revolutions are bound up in the larger geopolitical universe. A color revolution is only an instrument of foreign policy--only a tool -- the ultimate object being the geopolitical advantages gained by powerful financiers and the brain trust they employ . It follows that understanding geopolitical context (and motive) is necessary to understanding the purpose of the color revolution.

Toward that end, we will discuss and analyze relationships of global power in great detail. We will highlight specific institutions of power; identify what their power rests upon; draw attention to the individuals that finance and direct their activities; speculate upon some of their motives; and get to know the broad range of tools they use to achieve them, tools which include the color revolution.

As in-depth studies into the color revolution are far too rare, and as the issue itself is far too obscure, we hope to draw more attention to it; to spark discussion and even debate.

It is an issue that takes time and patience. And it is for those that are willing to provide this time and patience that we offer this site.

"Never utter these words: 'I do not know this, therefore it is false.' One must study to know; know to understand; understand to judge." --Apothegm of Narada

[Dec 26, 2017] A "color revolution" is under way in the United States by the Saker

This article and discussion now is almost one year old, but some people predicted that Trump will betray all his election promises with ease and will just try to survive color regulation against him and pander to Wall Street, Israel and neocons. Which is what he is currently doing. He proved to be far below the intellectual level required for a good president of such country as the USA. Blunders that he already did are inexcusable. May be this is age.
Notable quotes:
"... The forces which are currently trying to impeach, overthrow or murder President Trump are a clear and present danger to the United States as a country and to the US Federal Republic. They are, to use a Russian word, a type of "non-system" opposition which does not want to accept the outcome of the elections and which by rejecting this outcome essentially oppose the entire political system. ..."
"... It amazes me to see that the US pseudo-elites have as much hatred, contempt and fear of the American masses as the Russian pseudo-elites have hatred, contempt and fear of the Russian masses (the Russian equivalent or Hillary's "deplorables" would be a hard to pronounce for English speakers word "быдло", roughly "cattle", "lumpen" or "rabble"). ..."
"... It amazes me to see that the very same people which have demonized Putin for years are now demonizing Trump using exactly the same methods. ..."
"... My current opinion is that he is not neocon or part of color revolution, but he is not a champion of the people either. He is one of the competitors among the elite. (An anti-hero as Crosstalk recently characterized him?) ..."
"... He is pandering to neocons. He is result of people who fed up with the establishment. So he is result of revolution, maybe the first one of many to purge the system. ..."
"... Of course there is a color revolution in the US right now -- because all the sources of neoliberal fake-revolutionary ideology are right here. It's a poisonous ideology which really is popular with smug media elites, boosted by "nudges" from the deep state. It's just a lot of very corrupt, bad people. The ultimate, long-term objective of the deep state may not be readily apparent, but at a fairly serious medium-term level, their interests are precisely the same as what people like Michael Weiss, Dick Cheney, and Van Jones are making clear to us with their own words. ..."
"... Similarly, Trump found his support base from Wall Street/Masters of the Universe as outlined by Pepe Escobar. Of course he doesn't represent "the people" because "the people," whether left or right, are no longer interested in grassroots political organization for their own interests. Wall Street can do that, because they have a source of money independent from the gov't. The only question now is who gets more slices of a shrinking pie, and how radical either side is willing to go in overriding America's broken democratic process to make it happen. ..."
"... Had Clinton won, she could done much worse than Trump, and get away with public opinion. Neoliberal infrastructure would be live and well. ..."
"... A curious aspect of Trump and which "class" he belongs to: As a "kid from Queens" Donald Trump has always been an outsider to the Manhattan social elites. Even after he became far wealthier than they, even after his buildings transformed the New York City skyline he was never admitted into the club. He was only ever allowed in as a guest. ..."
Jan 28, 2017 | thesaker.is

The forces which are currently trying to impeach, overthrow or murder President Trump are a clear and present danger to the United States as a country and to the US Federal Republic. They are, to use a Russian word, a type of "non-system" opposition which does not want to accept the outcome of the elections and which by rejecting this outcome essentially oppose the entire political system.

... ... ...

It amazes me to see that the US pseudo-elites have as much hatred, contempt and fear of the American masses as the Russian pseudo-elites have hatred, contempt and fear of the Russian masses (the Russian equivalent or Hillary's "deplorables" would be a hard to pronounce for English speakers word "быдло", roughly "cattle", "lumpen" or "rabble").

It amazes me to see that the very same people which have demonized Putin for years are now demonizing Trump using exactly the same methods.

And if their own country has to go down in their struggle against the common people – so be it! These self-declared elites will have no compunction whatsoever to destroy the nation their have been parasitizing and exploiting for their own class interest. They did just that to Russia exactly 100 years ago, in 1917. I sure hope that they will not get away with that again in 2017.

J on January 28, 2017 · at 5:40 am UTC

Trump is part of neocon. If anything, trump is part of color revolution, not against it. I do not see his administration turn out well with his action so far. Trump is also a idiot. Any one pitch a fight with a neighbor like he is doing is not suit to deal with relation.

Talk about relation, check out internet video clips and see how much respect he give to his wife.

blue on January 28, 2017 · at 6:26 am UTC

My current opinion is that he is not neocon or part of color revolution, but he is not a champion of the people either. He is one of the competitors among the elite. (An anti-hero as Crosstalk recently characterized him?)

So who is there to champion the people and oppose the monstrous elite? Us -- just us. Each and all of us, and we need to get our acts together. If there is no 'great leader' then we have to lead ourselves: distributed leadership with collective intelligence and power.

J on January 28, 2017 · at 7:07 am UTC

He is pandering to neocons. He is result of people who fed up with the establishment. So he is result of revolution, maybe the first one of many to purge the system.

We need to make sure we take out garbage in every election, we will win in the end.

we can not only see things in one perspective. But it seems not something come naturally out side of east Asia.

J.L.Seagull on January 28, 2017 · at 8:26 am UTC

I don't understand why everything has to be either controlled opposition or controlled support.

Of course there is a color revolution in the US right now -- because all the sources of neoliberal fake-revolutionary ideology are right here. It's a poisonous ideology which really is popular with smug media elites, boosted by "nudges" from the deep state. It's just a lot of very corrupt, bad people. The ultimate, long-term objective of the deep state may not be readily apparent, but at a fairly serious medium-term level, their interests are precisely the same as what people like Michael Weiss, Dick Cheney, and Van Jones are making clear to us with their own words.

Similarly, Trump found his support base from Wall Street/Masters of the Universe as outlined by Pepe Escobar. Of course he doesn't represent "the people" because "the people," whether left or right, are no longer interested in grassroots political organization for their own interests. Wall Street can do that, because they have a source of money independent from the gov't. The only question now is who gets more slices of a shrinking pie, and how radical either side is willing to go in overriding America's broken democratic process to make it happen.

The readers of this website should cheer Trump's willingness to trample on the neoliberal narrative, but their own livelihoods will not be guaranteed by Trump or anyone else in power.

J on January 29, 2017 · at 4:52 am UTC

J.L.S

Had Clinton won, she could done much worse than Trump, and get away with public opinion. Neoliberal infrastructure would be live and well. So I am fully for get rid of her, and do not let Trump getting away with anything. So far, trump's actions are pity, until he cause some real war somewhere. I love to see MSM got taken down.

Sir Humphrey Appleby on January 28, 2017 · at 10:26 am UTC

Khrushchev says to Zhou Enlai, "The difference between the Soviet Union and China is that I rose to power from the peasant class, whereas you came from the privileged Mandarin class." Zhou replies, "True. But there is this similarity. Each of us is a traitor to his class."

I don't know if this is a true story, but Trump may end up obliged to betray his class like others have done in the past if we assume all rich people belong to the same class with homogeneous interests.

Anonymous on January 28, 2017 · at 1:32 pm UTC

A curious aspect of Trump and which "class" he belongs to: As a "kid from Queens" Donald Trump has always been an outsider to the Manhattan social elites. Even after he became far wealthier than they, even after his buildings transformed the New York City skyline he was never admitted into the club. He was only ever allowed in as a guest.

He isn't a member of "the elite" – other than the one of his own making. It's an odd thing but true.

[Dec 25, 2017] The Israel-gate Side of Russia-gate Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... In this case, what Flynn and Kushner were doing was going directly against US foreign policy, because Obama wanted the resolution to pass; He just didn't want to vote for it because that would cross the Israel lobby in the United States. The US finally ended up abstaining on the resolution and it passed 14-0. ..."
"... But before that happened, Flynn went to the Russians and to Egypt, both members of the Security Council, and tried to get the resolution delayed. But all of Israel's machinations to derail this resolution failed and that is what Mueller was investigating, the intervention and disruption of American foreign policy by private citizens who had no official role. ..."
"... While I think Bibi is an idiot, I also think the Logan Act is overinvoked, overstated, probably of dubious legal value and also of dubious constitutional value. ..."
"... In short, especially because Trump had been elected, though not yet inaugurated, I think he is not at all guilty of a Logan Act violation. This is nothing close to Spiro Agnew calling Anna Chenault from the airplane in August 1968. ..."
"... Probably true, although evidence of extreme collusion with Israel eliminates any case against Russia, with whom we have far more reasons for amity. Bringing out the Israel collusion greatly improves public understanding of political corruption. Perhaps it will awaken some to the Agnew-Chennault betrayal of the people of the US. ..."
"... It's ironic that Russia-gate is turning out to be Israel's effort to distract attention from its complete control over the Democratic party in 2016. From Israeli billionaires behind the scenes to Debbie Wasserman-Schultz at the helm. ..."
"... "Whether we like it or not, the former and current administration view Russia is as an enemy state." So that is how it works, the White House says it is an enemy state and therefore it is. The so called declaration is the hammer used for trying to make contact with Russia a criminal offense. We are not at war with Russia although we see our leaders doing their best to provoke Russia into one. ..."
"... The Israel connection disclosed by the malpracticer hack Mueller in the recent Flynn-flam just made Trump bullet-proof (so to speak). ..."
"... So Mueller caught Kushner and Flynn red-handed, sabotaging the Obama administration? What of it? He can't use that evidence, because it would inculpate the Zionist neocons that are orchestrating his farcical, Stalinist witchhunt. And Mueller, being an efficient terminator bot, knows that his target is Russia, not Israel. ..."
"... So Mueller will just have to continue swamp-fishing for potential perjurers ahem witnesses, for the upcoming show trials (to further inflame public opinion against Russia and Russia sympathizers). And continue he will, because (as we all know from Schwarzenegger's flicks), the only way to stop the terminator is to terminate him/it first. ..."
"... Trump and Kushner have nothing to worry about, even if a smoking gun is found that proves their collusion with Israel. That's because the entire political and media establishment will simply ignore the Israeli connection. ..."
"... Journalists and politicians will even continue to present Mike Flynn's contacts as evidence of collusion with Russia. They'll keep on repeating that "Flynn lied about his phone call to the Russian ambassador". But there will be no mention of the fact that the purpose of this contact was to support Israel and not any alleged Russian interference. ..."
"... I think you have it right Brendan. The MSM, Intelligence Community, and Mueller would never go down any path that popularized undue Israeli influence on US foreign policy. "Nothing to see here folks, move along." ..."
"... The Nice Zionists responsible for the thefts and murders for the past 69 years along with the "Jewish Community" in the rest of the world will resolve the matter so as to be fair to both parties. This is mind-boggling fantasy. ..."
"... FFS, Netanyahu aired a political commercial in Florida for Romney saying vote for this guy (against Obama)! I mean, it doesn't get any more overtly manipulative than that. Period. End of story. ..."
"... God, I hate to go all "Israel controls the media" but there it is. Not even a discussion. Just a fact. ..."
"... I also have to point out that he "fist pumped" Hillary Clinton at Mohammed Ali's eulogy. If he's as astute as he purports to be, he has to know that Hillary would have invaded Syria and killed a few hundred thousand more Syrians for the simple act of defiantly preserving their country. By almost any read of Ali's history, he would have been adamantly ("killing brown people") against that. But there was Silverstein using the platform to promote, arguably, perpetual war. ..."
"... Yeah I found a couple of Silverstein's statements to be closer to neocon propaganda than reality: "Because this is Israel and because we have a conflicted relationship with the Israel lobby . . ." "Instead of going directly to the Obama administration, with which they had terrible relations, they went to Trump instead." My impression was that the whole "terrible relationship between Obama and Netanyahu" was manufactured by the Israel lobby to bully Obama. However these are small blips within an otherwise solid critique of the Israel lobby's influence. ..."
Dec 25, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

The Israel-gate Side of Russia-gate December 23, 2017

While unproven claims of Russian meddling in U.S. politics have whipped Official Washington into a frenzy, much less attention has been paid to real evidence of Israeli interference in U.S. politics, as Dennis J Bernstein describes.

By Dennis J Bernstein

In investigating Russia's alleged meddling in U.S. politics, special prosecutor Robert Mueller uncovered evidence that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pressured the Trump transition team to undermine President Obama's plans to permit the United Nations to censure Israel over its illegal settlement building on the Palestinian West Bank, a discovery referenced in the plea deal with President Trump's first National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

President Donald J. Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel at the United Nations General Assembly (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

At Netanyahu's behest, Flynn and President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner reportedly took the lead in the lobbying to derail the U.N. resolution, which Flynn discussed in a phone call with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak (in which the Russian diplomat rebuffed Flynn's appeal to block the resolution).

I spoke on Dec, 18 with independent journalist and blogger Richard Silverstein, who writes on national security and other issues for a number of blogs at Tikun Olam .

Dennis Bernstein: A part of Michael Flynn's plea had to do with some actions he took before coming to power regarding Israel and the United Nations. Please explain.

Richard Silverstein:

The Obama administration was negotiating in the [UN] Security Council just before he left office about a resolution that would condemn Israeli settlements. Obviously, the Israeli government did not want this resolution to be passed. Instead of going directly to the Obama administration, with which they had terrible relations, they went to Trump instead. They approached Michael Flynn and Jared Kushner became involved in this. While they were in the transition and before having any official capacity, they negotiated with various members of the Security Council to try to quash the settlement resolution.

One of the issues here which is little known is the Logan Act, which was passed at the foundation of our republic and was designed to prevent private citizens from usurping the foreign policy prerogatives of the executive. It criminalized any private citizen who attempted to negotiate with an enemy country over any foreign policy issue.

In this case, what Flynn and Kushner were doing was going directly against US foreign policy, because Obama wanted the resolution to pass; He just didn't want to vote for it because that would cross the Israel lobby in the United States. The US finally ended up abstaining on the resolution and it passed 14-0.

But before that happened, Flynn went to the Russians and to Egypt, both members of the Security Council, and tried to get the resolution delayed. But all of Israel's machinations to derail this resolution failed and that is what Mueller was investigating, the intervention and disruption of American foreign policy by private citizens who had no official role.

This speaks to the power of the Israel lobby and of Israel itself to disrupt our foreign policy. Very few people have ever been charged with committing an illegal act by advocating on behalf of Israel. That is one of the reasons why this is such an important development. Until now, the lobby has really ruled supreme on the issue of Israel and Palestine in US foreign policy. Now it is possible that a private citizen will actually be made to pay a price for that.

This is an important development because the lobby till now has run roughshod over our foreign policy in this area and this may act as a restraining order against blatant disruption of US foreign policy by people like this.

Bernstein: So this information is a part of Michael Flynn's plea. Anyone studying this would learn something about Michael Flynn and it would be part of the prosecution's investigation.

Silverstein:

That's absolutely right. One thing to note here is that it is reporters who have raised the issue of the Logan Act, not Mueller or Flynn's people or anyone in the Trump administration. But I do think that Logan is a very important part of this plea deal, even if it is not mentioned explicitly.

Bernstein: If the special prosecutor had smoking-gun information that the Trump administration colluded with Russia, in the way they colluded with Israel before coming to power, this would be a huge revelation. But it is definitely collusion when it comes to Israel.

Silverstein: Absolutely. If this were Russia, it would be on the front page of every major newspaper in the United States and the leadi