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Integrity Initiative Bulletin, 2017

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[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] Did Awans Cut A Deal January Court Date Mysteriously Disappears From Docket

Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a really interesting player as for DNC leak... This Anan brothers story is simply incredible and probably hides some really nasty staff related to DNC espionage over congress members.
Notable quotes:
"... To briefly recap, our report from last week , the Awan family - which was employed by quite a number of House Democrats, had full access to highly sensitive Congressional computer systems , both on-site and remotely from Pakistan , with which they are suspected of committing a variety of crimes - including brokering classified information to hostile foreign governments. ..."
"... would frequently simply go across the street to longstanding dealership called AAA Motors and get one. ..."
"... While Imran and Abid Awan ran their car dealership in Falls Church, Va. in the early part of the decade, Drug Enforcement Agency officials a few miles away in Chantilly were learning that the Iranian-linked terrorist group frequently deployed used car dealerships in the US to launder money and fund terrorism , according to an explosive new Politico expose. - Daily Caller ..."
"... "Based on the modest way Awan was living, it is my opinion that he was sending most of his money to a group or criminal organization that could very well be connected with the Pakistani government ," said Wayne Black - a private investigator who worked in Janet Reno's Miami public corruption unit, adding " My instincts tell me Awan was probably operating a foreign intelligence gathering operation on US soil." ..."
"... In February, the Daily Caller dropped two bombshells: that the Awans were under criminal investigation after being caught accessing congressional computers without permission, and they had borrowed, laundered, and never repaid $100,000 from a shady Iraqi expat physician – Dr. Ali al-Attar , a Hezbollah-linked fugitive who led a group of other expats which regularly advised the Bush administration on their plans to invade Iraq in 2002-2003 ( source ). ..."
"... Al-Attar's license to practice medicine was revoked by the Maryland State Board of Physicians and he had to pay a $50,000 fine for unprofessional conduct, healthcare fraud, and failure to cooperate with an investigation. ..."
"... It's not clear where the dealership's money was going, because it was sued by at least five different people on all ends of a typical car business who said they were stiffed. ..."
"... CIA didn't pay the security deposit, rent or taxes for its building, it didn't pay wholesalers who provided cars, and it sold broken cars to people and then refused to honor the warranties, the lawsuits say . ..."
"... Moreover, when the Awans' shady car dealership ran into money troubles, Florida Congressman Theo Deutch began paying a monthly salary to a man who had threatened to sue the Awans . ..."
"... The brothers had numerous additional sources of income, all of which seemed to disappear. While they were supposedly working for the House, the brothers were running a car dealership full-time that didn't pay its vendors, and after one -- Rao Abbas -- threatened to sue them, he began receiving a paycheck from Rep. Theodore Deutch (D-FL), who like Wasserman Schultz represents Florida. - Daily Caller ..."
"... " It was in the garage. They recycled cabinets and lined them along the walls. They left in a huge hurry," the Marine said. " It looks like government-issued equipment. We turned that stuff over ." ..."
"... If the Awans cut a deal , one might speculate that a liberal prosecutor and a DNC-friendly court might be conducting a dog-and-pony show. For months, rumors swirled that brother of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Wasserman was handling the prosecution - however court filings reveal that assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Marando is handling the case. Marando is married to JoAnna Wasserman - an employee of the U.S. Holocaust Museum in D.C. ..."
"... While the notion that Imran Awan cut a deal based on his name vanishing from the court calendar, Federal prosecutors certainly have enough evidence against the Awan clan to put them away for a long time. Perhaps they've decided they like the outside of a prison cell better than the alternative. ..."
Dec 28, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Luke Rosiak of The Daily Caller pointed out a mysterious twist in the case of Pakistani national and long-time DNC IT contractor, Imran Awan - who was arrested in July at Dulles Airport while trying to flee the country after having wired nearly $300,000 to Pakistan .

Awan's court date on four counts related to bank fraud, which had already been reschedule twice, has disappeared from the docket altogether:

Which begs the question - did Imran Awan cut a deal with Federal prosecutors?

Of note - Imran's wife, Hina Alvi - who had fled to Pakistan in March with the Awan children, struck a deal with federal prosecutors in September to return to the U.S. and face charges. One wonders why Alvi would willingly leave the relative security of her family in Pakistan to face arraignment in the United States?

To briefly recap, our report from last week , the Awan family - which was employed by quite a number of House Democrats, had full access to highly sensitive Congressional computer systems , both on-site and remotely from Pakistan , with which they are suspected of committing a variety of crimes - including brokering classified information to hostile foreign governments.

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

Of note, the Awans had access to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence - whose members have top secret clearance and are looking into Russian election interference.

The Pakistani nationals also operated a shady used car dealership in Falls Church, VA operating under the title "CIA" which Luke Rosiak of The Daily Caller reported has all the signs of a money laundering operation .

On its Facebook page, CIA's "staff" were fake personalities such as "James Falls O'Brien," whose photo was taken from a hairstyle mode l catalog, and "Jade Julia," whose image came from a web page called "Beautiful Girls Wallpaper."

If a customer showed up looking to buy a car from Cars International A, often referred to as CIA, Abid Awan -- who was managing partner of the dealership while also earning $160,000 handling IT for House Democrats -- would frequently simply go across the street to longstanding dealership called AAA Motors and get one.

While Imran and Abid Awan ran their car dealership in Falls Church, Va. in the early part of the decade, Drug Enforcement Agency officials a few miles away in Chantilly were learning that the Iranian-linked terrorist group frequently deployed used car dealerships in the US to launder money and fund terrorism , according to an explosive new Politico expose. - Daily Caller

"Based on the modest way Awan was living, it is my opinion that he was sending most of his money to a group or criminal organization that could very well be connected with the Pakistani government ," said Wayne Black - a private investigator who worked in Janet Reno's Miami public corruption unit, adding " My instincts tell me Awan was probably operating a foreign intelligence gathering operation on US soil."

In February, the Daily Caller dropped two bombshells: that the Awans were under criminal investigation after being caught accessing congressional computers without permission, and they had borrowed, laundered, and never repaid $100,000 from a shady Iraqi expat physician – Dr. Ali al-Attar , a Hezbollah-linked fugitive who led a group of other expats which regularly advised the Bush administration on their plans to invade Iraq in 2002-2003 ( source ).

The money which the Awans borrowed was moved from Ali Al-Attar through accounts intended for Fairfax County real estate. Both Imran Awan and Khattak -- who also put up $200,000 in cash as an investor in CIA -- had realtors licenses.

Dr. Ali al-Attar

Al-Attar's license to practice medicine was revoked by the Maryland State Board of Physicians and he had to pay a $50,000 fine for unprofessional conduct, healthcare fraud, and failure to cooperate with an investigation.

It's not clear where the dealership's money was going, because it was sued by at least five different people on all ends of a typical car business who said they were stiffed.

CIA didn't pay the security deposit, rent or taxes for its building, it didn't pay wholesalers who provided cars, and it sold broken cars to people and then refused to honor the warranties, the lawsuits say .

Moreover, when the Awans' shady car dealership ran into money troubles, Florida Congressman Theo Deutch began paying a monthly salary to a man who had threatened to sue the Awans .

Rep Theo Deutch (D-FL), Awan Benefactor

The brothers had numerous additional sources of income, all of which seemed to disappear. While they were supposedly working for the House, the brothers were running a car dealership full-time that didn't pay its vendors, and after one -- Rao Abbas -- threatened to sue them, he began receiving a paycheck from Rep. Theodore Deutch (D-FL), who like Wasserman Schultz represents Florida. - Daily Caller

The Awans were also turned into the Navy Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) by two renters occupying a home they owned , after they found "wireless routers, hard drives that look like they tried to destro y, laptops, [and] a lot of brand new expensive toner" in the garage.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity over concerns for his wife's naval career, the former Marine told the Daily Caller:

" It was in the garage. They recycled cabinets and lined them along the walls. They left in a huge hurry," the Marine said. " It looks like government-issued equipment. We turned that stuff over ."

If the Awans cut a deal , one might speculate that a liberal prosecutor and a DNC-friendly court might be conducting a dog-and-pony show. For months, rumors swirled that brother of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Wasserman was handling the prosecution - however court filings reveal that assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Marando is handling the case. Marando is married to JoAnna Wasserman - an employee of the U.S. Holocaust Museum in D.C.

While JoAnna Wasserman shares a maiden name with Debbie Wasserman Schultz, her parents are named Mark and Donna, while Debbie Wasserman Shultz's parents are Larry and Ann Wasserman. Plus, if there's any relation, JoAnna Wasserman got all of the family's good genetics.

US Attorney Michael J. Marando and wife JoAnna Wasserman (top). Steve Schultz and wife Debbie Wasserman Schultz (bottom)

While the notion that Imran Awan cut a deal based on his name vanishing from the court calendar, Federal prosecutors certainly have enough evidence against the Awan clan to put them away for a long time. Perhaps they've decided they like the outside of a prison cell better than the alternative.

[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] 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 23, 2017] Debunking Mainstream Economists on Secular Stagnation and the Loanable Funds Fallacy by Servaas Storm

Notable quotes:
"... By Servaas Storm, Senior Lecturer at Delft University of Technology, who works on macroeconomics, technological progress, income distribution & economic growth, finance, development and structural change, and climate change. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website ..."
"... Forget the myth of a savings glut causing near-zero interest rates. We have a shortage of aggregate demand, and only public spending and raising wages will change that. ..."
"... ceteris paribus ..."
"... simultaneously ..."
"... private households ..."
"... See original post for references ..."
"... This is the night of the expanding man I take one last drag as I approach the stand I cried when I wrote this song Sue me if I play too long This brother is free I'll be what I want to be ..."
Dec 22, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

by Yves Smith Yves here. This is a terrific takedown of the loanable funds theory, on which a ton of bad policy rests.

By Servaas Storm, Senior Lecturer at Delft University of Technology, who works on macroeconomics, technological progress, income distribution & economic growth, finance, development and structural change, and climate change. Originally published at the Institute for New Economic Thinking website

Forget the myth of a savings glut causing near-zero interest rates. We have a shortage of aggregate demand, and only public spending and raising wages will change that.

Introduction

Nine years after the Great Financial Crisis, U.S. output growth has not returned to its pre-recession trend, even after interest rates hit the 'zero lower bound' (ZLB) and the unconventional monetary policy arsenal of the Federal Reserve has been all but exhausted. It is widely feared that this insipid recovery reflects a 'new normal', characterized by "secular stagnation" which set in already well before the global banking crisis of 2008 (Summers 2013, 2015).

This 'new normal' is characterized not just by this slowdown of aggregate economic growth, but also by greater income and wealth inequalities and a growing polarization of employment and earnings into high-skill, high-wage and low-skill, low-wage jobs -- at the expense of middle-class jobs (Temin 2017; Storm 2017). The slow recovery, heightened job insecurity and economic anxiety have fueled a groundswell of popular discontent with the political establishment and made voters captive to Donald Trump's siren song promising jobs and growth ( Ferguson and Page 2017 ).

What are the causes of secular stagnation? What are the solutions to revive growth and get the U.S. economy out of the doldrums?

If we go by four of the papers commissioned by the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) at its recent symposium to explore these questions, one headline conclusion stands out: the secular stagnation is caused by a heavy overdose of savings (relative to investment), which is caused by higher retirement savings due to declining population growth and an ageing labour force (Eggertson, Mehotra & Robbins 2017; Lu & Teulings 2017; Eggertson, Lancastre and Summers 2017), higher income inequality (Rachel & Smith 2017), and an inflow of precautionary Asian savings (Rachel & Smith 2017). All these savings end up as deposits, or 'loanable funds' (LF), in commercial banks. In earlier times, so the argument goes, banks would successfully channel these 'loanable funds' into productive firm investment -- by lowering the nominal interest rate and thus inducing additional demand for investment loans.

But this time is different: the glut in savings supply is so large that banks cannot get rid of all the loanable funds even when they offer firms free loans -- that is, even after they reduce the interest rate to zero, firms are not willing to borrow more in order to invest. The result is inadequate investment and a shortage of aggregate demand in the short run, which lead to long-term stagnation as long as the savings-investment imbalance persists. Summers (2015) regards a "chronic excess of saving over investment" as "the essence of secular stagnation". Monetary policymakers at the Federal Reserve are in a fix, because they cannot lower the interest rate further as it is stuck at the ZLB. Hence, forces of demography and ageing, higher inequality and thrifty Chinese savers are putting the U.S. economy on a slow-moving turtle -- and not much can be done, it seems, to halt the resulting secular stagnation.

This is clearly a depressing conclusion, but it is also wrong.

To see this, we have to understand why there is a misplaced focus on the market for loanable funds that ignores the role of fiscal policy that is plainly in front of us. In other words, we need to step back from the trees of dated models and see the whole forest of our economy.

The Market for Loanable Funds

In the papers mentioned, commercial banks must first mobilise savings in order to have the loanable funds (LF) to originate new (investment) loans or credit. Banks are therefore intermediaries between "savers" (those who provide the LF-supply) and "investors" (firms which demand the LF). Banks, in this narrative, do not create money themselves and hence cannot pre -finance investment by new money. They only move it between savers and investors.

We apparently live in a non-monetary (corn) economy -- one that just exchanges a real good that everybody uses, like corn. Savings (or LF-supply) are assumed to rise when the interest rate R goes up, whereas investment (or LF-demand) must decline when R increases. This is the stuff of textbooks, as is illustrated by Greg Mankiw's (1997, p. 63) explanation:

In fact, saving and investment can be interpreted in terms of supply an demand. In this case, the 'good' is loanable funds, and its 'price' is the interest rate. Saving is the supply of loans -- individuals lend their savings to investors, or they deposit their saving in a bank that makes the loan for them. Investment is the demand for loanable funds -- investors borrow from the public directly by selling bonds or indirectly by borrowing from banks. [ .] At the equilibrium interest rate, saving equals investment and the supply of loans equals the demand.

But the loanable funds market also forms the heart of complicated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models, beloved by 'freshwater' and 'saltwater' economists alike (Woodford 2010), as should be clear from the commissioned INET papers as well. Figure 1 illustrates the loanable funds market in this scheme. The upward-sloping curve tells us that savings (or LF-supply) goes up as the interest rate R increases. The downward-sloping curve shows us that investment (or LF-demand) declines if the cost of capital (R) goes up. In the initial situation, the LF-market clears at a positive interest rate R0 > 0. Savings equal investment, which implies that LF-supply matches LF-demand, and in this -- happy -- equilibrium outcome, the economy can grow along some steady-state path.

To see how we can get secular stagnation in such a loanable-funds world, we introduce a shock, say, an ageing population (a demographic imbalance), a rise in (extreme) inequality, or an Asian savings glut, due to which the savings schedule shifts down. Equilibrium in the new situation should occur at R1 which is negative. But this can't happen because of the ZLB: the nominal interest cannot decline below zero. Hence R is stuck at the ZLB and savings exceed investment, or LF-supply > LF-demand. This is a disequilibrium outcome which involves an over-supply of savings (relative to investment), in turn leading to depressed growth.

Ever since Knut Wicksell's (1898) restatement of the doctrine, the loanable funds approach has exerted a surprisingly strong influence upon some of the best minds in the profession. Its appeal lies in the fact that it can be presented in digestible form in a simple diagram (as Figure 1), while its micro-economic logic matches the neoclassical belief in the 'virtue of thrift' and Max Weber's Protestant Ethic, which emphasize austerity, savings (before spending!) and delayed gratification as the path to bliss.

The problem with this model is that it is wrong (see Lindner 2015; Taylor 2016 ). Wrong in its conceptualisation of banks (which are not just intermediaries pushing around existing money, but which can create new money ex nihilo ), wrong in thinking that savings or LF-supply have anything to do with "loans" or "credit," wrong because the empirical evidence in support of a "chronic excess of savings over investment" is weak or lacking, wrong in its utter neglect of finance, financialization and financial markets, wrong in its assumption that the interest rate is some "market-clearing" price (the interest rate, as all central bankers will acknowledge, is the principal instrument of monetary policy), and wrong in the assumption that the two schedules -- the LF-supply curve and the LF-demand curve -- are independent of one another (they are not, as Keynes already pointed out).

Figure 1: The Loanable Funds Market: A Savings Glut Causing Secular Stagnation

I wish to briefly elaborate these six points. I understand that each of these criticisms is known and I entertain little hope that that any of this will make people reconsider their approach, analysis, diagnosis and conclusions. Nevertheless, it is important that these criticisms are raised and not shoveled under the carpet. The problem of secular stagnation is simply too important to be left mis-diagnosed.

First Problem: Loanable Funds Supply and Demand Are Not Independent Functions

Let me start with the point that the LF-supply and LF-demand curve are not two independent schedules. Figure 1 presents savings and investment as functions of only the interest rate R, while keeping all other variables unchanged. The problem is that the ceteris paribus assumption does not hold in this case. The reason is that savings and investment are both affected by, and at the same time determined by, changes in income and (changes in) income distribution. To see how this works, let us assume that the average propensity to save rises in response to the demographic imbalance and ageing. As a result, consumption and aggregate demand go down. Rational firms, expecting future income to decline, will postpone or cancel planned investment projects and investment declines (due to the negative income effect and for a given interest rate R0). This means that LF-demand curve in Figure 1 must shift downward in response to the increased savings. The exact point was made by Keynes (1936, p. 179):

The classical theory of the rate of interest [the loanable funds theory] seems to suppose that, if the demand curve for capital shifts or if the curve relating the rate of interest to the amounts saved out of a given income shifts or if both these curves shift, the new rate of interest will be given by the point of intersection of the new positions of the two curves. But this is a nonsense theory. For the assumption that income is constant is inconsistent with the assumption that these two curves can shift independently of one another. If either of them shift, then, in general, income will change; with the result that the whole schematism based on the assumption of a given income breaks down In truth, the classical theory has not been alive to the relevance of changes in the level of income or to the possibility of the level of income being actually a function of the rate of the investment.

Let me try to illustrate this using Figure 2. Suppose there is an exogenous (unexplained) rise in the average propensity to save. In reponse, the LF-supply curve shifts down, but because (expected) income declines, the LF-demand schedule shifts downward as well. The outcome could well be that there is no change in equilibrium savings and equilibrium investment. The only change is that the 'natural' interest is now R1 and equal to the ZLB. Figure 2 is, in fact, consistent with the empirical analysis (and their Figure of global savings and investment) of Rachel & Smith. Let me be clear: Figure 2 is not intended to suggest that the loanable funds market is useful and theoretically correct. The point I am trying to make is that income changes and autonomous demand changes are much bigger drivers of both investment and saving decisions than the interest rate. Market clearing happens here -- as Keynes was arguing -- because the level of economic activity and income adjust, not because of interest-rate adjustment.

Figure 2: The Loanable Funds Market: Shifts in Both Schedules

Second Problem: Savings Do Not Fund Investment, Credit Does

The loanable funds doctrine wrongly assumes that commercial bank lending is constrained by the prior availability of loanable funds or savings. The simple point in response is that, in real life, modern banks are not just intermediaries between 'savers' and 'investors', pushing around already-existing money, but are money creating institutions. Banks create new money ex nihilo , i.e. without prior mobilisation of savings. This is illustrated by Werner's (2014) case study of the money creation process by one individual commercial bank. What this means is that banks do pre-finance investment, as was noted by Schumpeter early on and later by Keynes (1939), Kaldor (1989), Kalecki, and numerous other economists. It is for this reason that Joseph Schumpeter (1934, p. 74) called the money-creating banker 'the ephor of the exchange economy' -- someone who by creating credit ( ex nihilo ) is pre-financing new investments and innovation and enables "the carrying out of new combinations, authorizes people, in the name of society as it were, to form them." Nicholas Kaldor (1989, p. 179) hit the nail on its head when he wrote that "[C]redit money has no 'supply function' in the production sense (since its costs of production are insignificant if not actually zero); it comes into existence as a result of bank lending and is extinguished through the repayment of bank loans. At any one time the volume of bank lending or its rate of expansion is limited only by the availability of credit-worthy borrowers." Kaldor had earlier expressed his views on the endogeneity of money in his evidence to the Radcliffe Committee on the Workings of the Monetary System, whose report (1959) was strongly influenced by Kaldor's argumentation. Or take Lord Adair Turner (2016, pp. 57) to whom the loanable-funds approach is 98% fictional, as he writes:

Read an undergraduate textbook of economics, or advanced academic papers on financial intermediation, and if they describe banks at all, it is usually as follows: "banks take deposits from households and lend money to businesses, allocating capital between alternative capital investment possibilities." But as a description of what modern banks do, this account is largely fictional, and it fails to capture their essential role and implications. [ ] Banks create credit, money, and thus purchasing power. [ ] The vast majority of what we count as "money' in modern economies is created in this fashion: in the United Kingdom 98% of money takes this form .

We therefore don't need savings to make possible investment -- or, in contrast to the Protestant Ethic, banks allow us to have 'gratification' even if we have not been 'thrifty' and austere, as long as there are slack resources in the economy.

It is by no means a secret that commercial banks create new money. As the Bank of England (2007) writes, "When bank make loans they create additional deposits for those that have borrowed" (Berry et al. 2007, p. 377). Or consider the following statement from the Deutsche Bundesbank (2009): "The commercial banks can create money themselves ." Across the board, central bank economists, including economists working at the Bank for International Settlements (Borio and Disyatat 2011), have rejected the loanable funds model as a wrong description of how the financial system actually works (see McLeay et al . 2014a, 2014b; Jakab and Kumhof 2015). And the Deutsche Bundesbank (2017) leaves no doubt as to how the banking system works and money is created in actually-existing capitalism, stating that the ability of banks to originate loans does not depend on the prior availability of saving deposits. Bank of England economists Zoltan Jakab and Michael Kumhoff (2015) reject the loanable-funds approach in favour of a model with money-creating banks. In their model (as in reality), banks pre-finance investment; investment creates incomes; people save out of their incomes; and at the end of the day, ex-post savings equal investment. This is what Jakab and Kumhoff (2015) conclude:

" . if the loan is for physical investment purposes, this new lending and money is what triggers investment and therefore, by the national accounts identity of saving and investment (for closed economies), saving. Saving is therefore a consequence, not a cause, of such lending. Saving does not finance investment, financing does. To argue otherwise confuses the respective macroeconomic roles of resources (saving) and debt-based money (financing)."

Savings are a consequence of credit-financed investment (rather than a prior condition) -- and we cannot draw a savings-investment cross as in Figure 1, as if the two curves are independent. They are not. There exists therefore no 'loanable funds market' in which scarce savings constrain (through interest rate adjustments) the demand for investment loans. Highlighting the loanable funds fallacy, Keynes wrote in "The Process of Capital Formation" (1939):

"Increased investment will always be accompanied by increased saving, but it can never be preceded by it. Dishoarding and credit expansion provides not an alternative to increased saving, but a necessary preparation for it. It is the parent, not the twin, of increased saving."

This makes it all the more remarkable that some of the authors of the commissioned conference papers continue to frame their analysis in terms of the discredited loanable funds market which wrongly assumes that savings have an existence of their own -- separate from investment, the level of economic activity and the distribution of incomes.

Third Problem: The Interest Rate Is a Monetary Policy Instrument, Not a Market-Clearing Price

In loanable funds theory, the interest rate is a market price, determined by LF-supply and LF-demand (as in Figure 1). In reality, central bankers use the interest rate as their principal policy instrument (Storm and Naastepad 2012). It takes effort and a considerable amount of sophistry to match the loanable funds theory and the usage of the interest rate as a policy instrument. However, once one acknowledges the empirical fact that commercial banks create money ex nihilo , which means money supply is endogenous, the model of an interest-rate clearing loanable funds market becomes untenable. Or as Bank of England economists Jakab and Kumhof (2015) argue:

modern central banks target interest rates, and are committed to supplying as many reserves (and cash) as banks demand at that rate, in order to safeguard financial stability. The quantity of reserves is therefore a consequence, not a cause, of lending and money creation. This view concerning central bank reserves [ ] has been repeatedly described in publications of the world's leading central banks.

What this means is that the interest rate may well be at the ZLB, but this is not caused by a savings glut in the loanable funds market, but the result of a deliberate policy decision by the Federal Reserve -- in an attempt to revive sluggish demand in a context of stagnation, subdued wage growth, weak or no inflation, substantial hidden un- and underemployment, and actual recorded unemployment being (much) higher than the NAIRU (see Storm and Naastepad 2012). Seen this way, the savings glut is the symptom (or consequence ) of an aggregate demand shortage which has its roots in the permanent suppression of wage growth (relative to labour productivity growth), the falling share of wages in income, the rising inequalities of income and wealth (Taylor 2017) as well as the financialization of corporations (Lazonick 2017) and the economy as a whole (Storm 2018). It is not the cause of the secular stagnation -- unlike in the loanable funds models.

Fourth Problem: The Manifest Absence of Finance and Financial Markets

What the various commissioned conference papers do not acknowledge is that the increase in savings (mostly due to heightened inequality and financialization) is not channeled into higher real-economy investment, but is actually channeled into more lucrative financial (derivative) markets. Big corporations like Alphabet, Facebook and Microsoft are holding enormous amounts of liquidity and IMF economists have documented the growth of global institutional cash pools, now worth $5 to 6 trillion and managed by asset or money managers in the shadow banking system (Pozsar 2011; Pozsar and Singh 2011; Pozsar 2015). Today's global economy is suffering from an unprecedented "liquidity preference" -- with the cash safely "parked" in short-term (over-collateralized lending deals in the repo-market. The liquidity is used to earn a quick buck in all kinds of OTC derivatives trading, including forex swaps, options and interest rate swaps. The global savings glut is the same thing as the global overabundance of liquidity (partying around in financial markets) and also the same thing as the global demand shortage -- that is: the lack of investment in real economic activity, R&D and innovation.

The low interest rate is important in this context, because it has dramatically lowered the opportunity cost of holding cash -- thus encouraging (financial) firms, the rentiers and the super-rich to hold on to their liquidity and make (quick and relatively safe and high) returns in financial markets and exotic financial instruments. Added to this, we have to acknowledge the fact that highly-leveraged firms are paying out most of their profits to shareholders as dividends or using it to buy back shares (Lazonick 2017). This has turned out to be damaging to real investment and innovation, and it has added further fuel to financialization (Epstein 2018; Storm 2018). If anything, firms have stopped using their savings (or retained profits) to finance their investments which are now financed by bank loans and higher leverage. If we acknowledge these roles of finance and financial markets, then we can begin to understand why investment is depressed and why there is an aggregate demand shortage. More than two decades of financial deregulation have created a rentiers' delight, a capitalism without 'compulsions' on financial investors, banks, and the property-owning class which in practice has led to 'capitalism for the 99%' and 'socialism for the 1%' (Palma 2009; Epstein 2018) For authentic Keynesians, this financialized system is the exact opposite of Keynes' advice to go for the euthanasia of the rentiers ( i.e. design policies to reduce the excess liquidity).

Fifth Problem: Confusing Savings with "Loans," or Stocks with Flows

"I have found out what economics is,' Michał Kalecki once told Joan Robinson, "it is the science of confusing stocks with flows." If anything, Kalecki's comment applies to the loanable funds model. In the loanable fund universe, as Mankiw writes and as most commissioned conference papers argue, saving equals investment and the supply of loans equals the demand at some equilibrium interest rate. But savings and investment are flow variables, whereas the supply of loans and the demand for loans are stock variables. Simply equating these flows to the corresponding stocks is not considered good practice in stock-flow-consistent macro-economic modelling. It is incongruous, because even if we assume that the interest rate does clear "the stock of loan supply" and "the stock of loan demand", there is no reason why the same interest rate would simultaneously balance savings ( i.e. the increase in loan supply) and investment ( i.e. the increase in loan demand). So what is the theoretical rationale of assuming that some interest rate is clearing the loanable funds market (which is defined in terms of flows )?

To illustrate the difference between stocks and flows: the stock of U.S. loans equals around 350% of U.S. GDP (if one includes debts of financial firms), while gross savings amount to 17% of U.S. GDP. Lance Taylor (2016) presents the basic macroeconomic flows and stocks for the U.S. economy to show how and why loanable funds macro models do not fit the data -- by a big margin. No interest rate adjustment mechanism is strong enough to bring about this (ex-post) balance in terms of flows , because the interest rate determination is overwhelmed by changes in loan supply and demand stocks . What is more, and as stated before, we don't actually use 'savings' to fund 'investment'. Firms do not use retained profits (or corporate savings) to finance their investment, but in actual fact disgorge the cash to shareholders (Lazonick 2017). They finance their investment by bank loans (which is newly minted money). Households use their (accumulated) savings to buy bonds in the secondary market or any other existing asset. In that case, the savings do not go to funding new investment -- but are merely used to re-arrange the composition of the financial portfolio of the savers.

Final Problem: The Evidence of a Chronic Excess of Savings Over Investment is Missing

If Summers claims that there is a "chronic excess of savings over investment," what he means is that ex-ante savings are larger than ex-ante investment. This is a difficult proposition to empirically falsify, because we only have ex-post (national accounting) data on savings and investment which presume the two variables are equal. However, what we can do is consider data on (global) gross and net savings rates (as a proportion of GDP) to see if the propensity to save has increased. This is what Bofinger and Ries (2017) did and they find that global saving rates of private households have declined dramatically since the 1980s. This means, they write, that one can rule out 'excess savings' due to demographic factors (as per Eggertson, Mehotra & Robbins 2017; Eggertsson, Lancastre & Summers 2017; Rachel & Smith 2017; and Lu & Teulings 2017). While the average saving propensity of household has declined, the aggregate propensity to save has basically stayed the same during the period 1985-2014. This is shown in Figure 3 (reproduced from Bofinger and Reis 2017) which plots the ratio of global gross savings (or global gross investment) to GDP against the world real interest rate during 1985-2014. A similar figure can be found in the paper by Rachel and Smith (2017). What can be seen is that while there has been no secular rise in the average global propensity to save, there has been a secular decline in interest rates. This drop in interest rates to the ZLB is not caused by a savings glut, nor by a financing glut, but is the outcome of the deliberate decisions of central banks to lower the policy rate in the face of stagnating economies, put on a 'slow-moving turtle' by a structural lack of aggregate demand which -- as argued by Storm and Naastepad (2012) and Storm (2017) -- is largely due to misconceived macro and labour-market policies centered on suppressing wage growth, fiscal austerity, and labour market deregulation.

Saving/Investment Equilibria and World Real Interest Rate, 1985-2014 Source: Bofinger and Reis (2017), Figure 1(a).

To understand the mechanisms underlying Figure 3, let us consider Figure 4 which plots investment demand as a negative function of the interest rate. In the 'old situation', investment demand is high at a (relatively) high rate of interest (R0); this corresponds to the data points for the period 1985-1995 in Figure 3. But then misconceived macro and labour-market policies centered on suppressing wage growth, fiscal austerity, and labour market deregulation began to depress aggregate demand and investment -- and as a result, the investment demand schedule starts to shift down and to become more steeply downward-sloping at the same time. In response to the growth slowdown (and weakening inflationary pressure), central banks reduce R -- but without any success in raising the gross investment rate. This process continues until the interest rate hits the ZLB while investment has become practically interest-rate insensitive, as investment is now overwhelmingly determined by pessimistic profit expectations; this is indicated by the new investment schedule (in red). That the economy is now stuck at the ZLB is not caused by a "chronic excess of savings" but rather by a chronic shortage of aggregate demand -- a shortage created by decades of wage growth moderation, labour market flexibilization, and heightened job insecurity as well as the financialization of corporations and the economy at large (Storm 2018).

Figure 4: Secular Stagnation As a Crisis of Weak Investment Demand

Conclusions

The consensus in the literature and in the commissioned conference papers that the global decline in real interest rates is caused by a higher propensity to save, above all due to demographic reasons, is wrong in terms of underlying theory and evidence base. The decline in interest rates is the monetary policy response to stalling investment and growth, both caused by a shortage of global demand. However, the low interest rates are unable to revive growth and halt the secular stagnation, because there is little reason for firms to expand productive capacity in the face of the persistent aggregate demand shortage. Unless we revive demand, for example through debt-financed fiscal stimulus or a drastic and permanent progressive redistribution of income and wealth in favour of lower-income groups (Taylor 2017), there is no escape from secular stagnation. The narrow focus on the ZLB and powerless monetary policy within the framing of a loanable-funds financial system blocks out serious macroeconomic policy debate on how to revive aggregate demand in a sustainable manner. It will keep the U.S. economy on the slow-moving turtle -- not because policymakers cannot do anything about it, but we choose to do so. The economic, social and political damage, fully self-inflicted, is going to be of historic proportions.

It is not a secret that the loanable funds approach is fallacious (Lindner 2015; Taylor 2016; Jakab and Kumhof 2015). While academic economists continue to refine their Ptolemaic model of a loanable-funds market, central bank economists have moved on -- and are now exploring the scope of and limitations to monetary policymaking in a monetary economy. Keynes famously wrote that "Practical men who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back." In 2017, things seem to happen the other way around: academic economists who believe themselves to be free thinkers are caught in the stale theorizing of a century past. The puzzle is, as Lance Taylor (2016, p. 15) concludes "why [New Keynesian economists] revert to Wicksell on loanable funds and the natural rate while ignoring Keynes's innovations. Maybe, as [Keynes] said in the preface to the General Theory, "'The difficulty lies not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones ..' (p. viii)"

Due to our inability to free ourselves from the discredited loanable funds doctrine, we have lost the forest for the trees. We cannot see that the solution to the real problem underlying secular stagnation (a structural shortage of aggregate demand) is by no means difficult: use fiscal policy -- a package of spending on infrastructure, green energy systems, public transportation and public services, and progressive income taxation -- and raise (median) wages. The stagnation will soon be over, relegating all the scholastic talk about the ZLB to the dustbin of a Christmas past.

See original post for references

gtggtg , December 22, 2017 at 10:08 am

"Forget the myth of a savings glut causing near-zero interest rates. We have a shortage of aggregate demand, and only public spending and raising wages will change that."

But isn't "a savings glut" just the same as "a shortage of aggregate demand"? Or is Keynes so out of favor that this is outre thinking?

gtggtg , December 22, 2017 at 10:10 am

I mean, I just have this image of economists going, "It's the chicken! It's the chicken, I say!" "No! It's the egg, dammit!"

MisterMr , December 22, 2017 at 11:58 am

I second this.

The point is that the "saving glut" is caused bi unequal distribution of income, so it's a good thing that the "shortage of aggregate demand" is stressed, but still it's just two names for the same thing.

In the end the "money creation" is needed because there is not a "money circulation", IMO.

jsn , December 22, 2017 at 4:45 pm

Putting money into the broadest possible distribution and circulation is the key. It could be done with existing money through taxation or with new money through the federal fiscal lever.

Given the "Tax Reform" just passed, odds on the first option look vanishingly long. The second option is what the elites do whenever they want something, normally a war or tax cut. If they want a robust economy, eventually they will pull the fiscal lever.

Feudalism, however, may look better to our depraved current elite crop than any kind of broadly robust economy.

TroyMcClure , December 22, 2017 at 11:49 am

There was a link to an article yesterday called "I write because I hate" that described how incorrect and even dangerous metaphors can be when it comes to understanding the world. Yours is a case in point.

Jamie , December 22, 2017 at 12:00 pm

But isn't "a savings glut" just the same as "a shortage of aggregate demand"

I'm not sure I entirely understand your complaint, but at a first glance a savings glut is one kind of demand shortage, but not every kind of demand shortage can reasonably be called a savings glut. In one situation you have plenty of resource but no use for it other than possible future use (savings glut -- you have everything you need so cease purchasing) and in another situation you have insufficient resource (demand shortage -- you cease purchasing because you can't afford to purchase) but no savings glut. You don't even have the resources you need for today, never mind saving for tomorrow.

artiste-de-decrottage , December 22, 2017 at 1:54 pm

Aye, that's exactly how I understand it, so it is not exactly a chicken-or-the-egg conflation to try to distinguish a savings glut from a lack of demand.

James McFadden , December 22, 2017 at 3:25 pm

You seem to have missed the point. The problem is wealth distribution. Mainstream economists don't distinguish who has the savings in their simplistic models. When the rich already have a widget in every room of their mansion, they are not going to buy more widgets no matter how low the price of widgets sink. And when the poor have no money, they will not be able to buy the widgets no matter how much they want them. Demand is not just a function of price. To increase demand, we need a more equitable form of wealth distribution.

Skip Intro , December 23, 2017 at 9:30 am

One major difference, according to the author, is that the lack of aggregate demand exists, while the savings glut does not. The fact of companies sitting on liquidity, is detached from investment, for which they borrow. That investment is lacking because they do not see good investments, because of a lack of aggregate demand. if they did invest, it would not be constrained by their 'savings'.

Larry , December 22, 2017 at 12:58 pm

"But this time is different: the glut in savings supply is so large that banks cannot get rid of all the loanable funds even when they offer firms free loans -- that is, even after they reduce the interest rate to zero, firms are not willing to borrow more in order to invest."

That needs some explanation. Banks are not offering US businesses free money (excerpt briefly during the Crash). BBB bonds yields are aprox 4.3% -- and most businesses cannot borrow at that rate (excerpt when posting collateral).

For comparison over long time horizons, the real (ex-CPI) BBB corporate bond rate is 2.5% to 3% -- in the middle of its range from 1952-1980.

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/BAA

John Wright , December 22, 2017 at 1:45 pm

Banks are enjoying the privilege of loaning excess deposits to a risk free client, the Federal Reserve.

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/EXCSRESNS

This is at 1.5% per https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/reqresbalances.htm as of 12-14-2017

Why should banks risk lending money to entities who might not pay it back?

Loan it to the Fed at 1.5%

Altandmain , December 22, 2017 at 1:17 pm

The real reason why the political system won't make any effort to address aggregate demand is because it would help the people.

I suspect that the elite know the truth. They just want to pretend to be ignorant to prevent the system from helping the people who need it.

Let's bring up Michal Kalecki again:
https://mronline.org/2010/05/22/political-aspects-of-full-employment/

We have considered the political reasons for the opposition to the policy of creating employment by government spending. But even if this opposition were overcome -- as it may well be under the pressure of the masses -- the maintenance of full employment would cause social and political changes which would give a new impetus to the opposition of the business leaders. Indeed, under a regime of permanent full employment, the 'sack' would cease to play its role as a 'disciplinary measure. The social position of the boss would be undermined, and the self-assurance and class-consciousness of the working class would grow. Strikes for wage increases and improvements in conditions of work would create political tension. It is true that profits would be higher under a regime of full employment than they are on the average under laissez-faire, and even the rise in wage rates resulting from the stronger bargaining power of the workers is less likely to reduce profits than to increase prices, and thus adversely affects only the rentier interests. But 'discipline in the factories' and 'political stability' are more appreciated than profits by business leaders. Their class instinct tells them that lasting full employment is unsound from their point of view, and that unemployment is an integral part of the 'normal' capitalist system.

In other words, one potential reason for business to oppose any efforts at addressing the problem is that the people would have more bargaining power. The elite are not after absolute wealth or power, but relative power over the rest of us.

Imagine for example if the alternative was passed say some form of social democracy with full employment and MMT policy.

This would undermine in their view their ability to dominate over the rest of us. Now they may arguably be richer (ex: we might see more money for productive parts of society like say, disease research), but they are willing to give that up for dominating us. That is what we are up against.

Mike , December 23, 2017 at 10:17 am

If what you say is true (re social democracy + MMT policies), how then to consider for even one second the further existence of a business cadre dedicated to upending such an agreement? We always theorize as if an actual resistance to "our" policies will melt away with the displacement of elite political control. I remember Chile and the "strikes" called to bring down Allende.

The innocence of our imaginations is not only disturbing, but dangerous. Once power is gained and capital has been put in its place, the fight begins right there, anew. Unless we wish to fall into Stalinist methods of "resolution", consideration for alternate methods of economic control, and an anticipation of backlash, are in demand if the "people" are to prevail.

Mark Anderlik , December 23, 2017 at 10:33 am

In my experience as a union organizer and negotiator the opposition by many employers to unions is not particularily because of money, but because of power and the erosion of the employer's grip of it by the collective action of workers. Many times in my experience employers have spent a boatload more money on fighting workers and hiring union-busting attorneys than whatever wage and benefit increase is being proposed. These employers are acting from their political self-interest rather than the narrow economic self-interest that is commonly assumed.

Cat Burglar , December 23, 2017 at 3:43 pm

Great comments -- the motivation behind the ideas is a need for power and control.

You can look at the first 20 years of the Cold War as a domestic experiment in social control: incomes were allowed to rise for most people, and inequality was moderated in the interest of politically consolidating the country to support arming and fighting the war.

By the early 70s our handlers -- as shown in the Powell Memo, say -- had tired of the experiment. With more income, free time, and education, women, students, non-white people, and the newly prosperous working class were entering into contention on every terrain imaginable -- and that had to reduced to a manageable level. So they "leaned-out the mix", reduced income for most people, and bumped up the level of indebtedness and indoctrination.

Now the fuel-air mix is so lean that the engine is starting to miss (for example, the Trump election and the Sanders challenge to the Dem elite). But it looks like they have no other idea but to double-down on austerity. I guess they assume they can maintain global financial and military hegemony on the backs of a sick, unfit, indebted, and politically fractious population -- an iffy proposition. No wonder they seem desperate.

paul , December 22, 2017 at 2:03 pm

unemployment is an integral part of the 'normal' capitalist system.

That is both the long and short of it.

To engineer the scarcity of the ability to sustain is the the greatest sin

Paul Hirschman , December 22, 2017 at 2:46 pm

The Trump/Republican tax law tells us (if we needed another message) that the link between economic policy and economic theory is so weak as the bring into question the point of theorizing in the first place, apart, of course, from convincing (semi)-smart but fearful people to remain timid in the face of powerful lunacy. Government spending to replace worn out capital, to satisfy basic material needs of the population, and to underwrite investment in an environmental and educational future worth creating is, OBVIOUSLY, a no-no to Wall Street, war profiteers, and the large population of yes-men and women who promote fear among the middle class. We should spend less time contesting economic thinking that is nonsense. Instead why not spend time proposing and explaining fairly obvious fiscal strategies that will promote a better society, as well as the time that will be needed to defend these life-affirming proposals against the scholastic nonsense that our saltwater and freshwater scaredy-cat friends will put out every day to explain why what we propose will wreck Civilization. Let's go on the offense for a change.

redolent , December 22, 2017 at 8:14 pm

let's go on the offensive for a change

precisely, but for the forementioned scholastic nonsense of our salty and fresh feline friends, one would need a salient and orchestrated defense, as to why such meddling with traditional economic trajectories, will mean that: by foregoing my 'short sided 2018 increase in my personal deduction', will I actually allow myself to feel benign about the sagging state of civilization, that those 'cats of all breeds', have so eloquently perpetuated upon a 'generation of our peers'.

calling 'message central', the 'greater good awaits'. Yes

Jabawocky , December 22, 2017 at 2:50 pm

I still can't get my head around the fact that these models can persist in the economics literature whilst everyone knows they are based on flawed assumptions. In science these would quickly end up as part of some distant history. Someone would publish another model, and slowly everyone would start working with it if it had strong explanatory power. Imagine the grief that climate modellers would get if theirs models were so poorly grounded.

Left in Wisconsin , December 22, 2017 at 6:33 pm

You could almost think it was ideology trumping evidence.

Susan the other , December 22, 2017 at 2:57 pm

Thank you for this post. It was as good as Michael Hudson and all the clear thinkers you post for us. Since we got rid of Greenspan (who admitted that interest rates had no effect on the economy but still freaked out about inflaltion), Bernanke and then Yellen have had better instincts – not straightforward, but better. If central banks know the loanable funds theory to be nonsense, the battle is mostly won. MMT will be the logical next step. Public spending/infrastructure is just good grassroots policy that serve everyone. Even dithering goofballs like Larry Summers. And, as implied above, public spending takes care of the always ignored problem of private debt levels which suck productive spending and investment out of the economy, because unemployment. It's hard to believe that academics have been so wrong-headed for so long without any evidence for their claims. Steve Keen's premise, that these academics ignore both the existence of private debt and the importance of dwindling energy sources is also addressed above. Storm's point – also made by both old hands and new MMT – that there is not a problem with inflation (too much) if there are slack resources seems to have morphed into an ossified rule whereby some inflexible academics see slack resources as scarce resources. What is slack is always a political definition. What is slack today is a filthy environment; there is a great surplus of it. Enormously slack. That's the good news.

cnchal , December 22, 2017 at 3:07 pm

What are the causes of secular stagnation?

Globalization is a disaster wherever you care to look.

Big corporations like Alphabet, Facebook and Microsoft are holding enormous amounts of liquidity . . .

A better example is Apple, with it's roughly 1/4 trillion dollar cash hoard, beaten out of their Chinese work force in collusion of the Chinese elite. With wages crushed here and there, because they don't want to pay anyone anything anywhere, where will demand come from? The Chinese peasant slaving away on an Apple farm has a few square feet of living space, like a broiler chicken in a Tyson cage so where is she going to put the new furniture she can't afford?

Banks create credit, money, and thus purchasing power. [ ] The vast majority of what we count as "money' in modern economies is created in this fashion: in the United Kingdom 98% of money takes this form .

The banks are the MMT practicing intermediary between the federal government and the peasants.

Enquiring Mind , December 23, 2017 at 11:19 am

Was the Tax Cut a Hail Mary to get more aggregate demand? Perhaps the Administration is practicing anti-loanable funds on the sly.

knowbuddhau , December 22, 2017 at 3:22 pm

So much goodness, don't know where to start. It's a long post. It's my day (singular) off. I'm going long. Deacon Blues* applies.

This:

Ever since Knut Wicksell's (1898) restatement of the doctrine, the loanable funds approach has exerted a surprisingly strong influence upon some of the best minds in the profession. Its appeal lies in the fact that it can be presented in digestible form in a simple diagram (as Figure 1), while its micro-economic logic matches the neoclassical belief in the 'virtue of thrift' and Max Weber's Protestant Ethic, which emphasize austerity, savings (before spending!) and delayed gratification as the path to bliss.

Now we're talking. This puts the doctrine in the context of its parent beliefs.

The way I see it, beliefs:economics as operating system:application as mythology:religion. So shorter Storm: The LFF is a BS application for a BS OS.

Been dawning on me lately how neoliberalism is the spawn of a degenerate parent belief system, too. I was even thinking of Weber just the other day.

By speaking in apparently objective, pragmatic, "realistic" terms, public figures are notorious for "dog-whistling" their occult beliefs in terms their congregations hear loud and clear. When Her Royal Clinton's even more notoriously damned to hell half the population as "deplorables," she tipped her hand. The obscure term, ephors, is very instructive here.

To refesh the readers memory, "Schumpeter (1934, p. 74) called the money-creating banker 'the ephor of the exchange economy' -- someone who by creating credit (ex nihilo) is pre-financing new investments and innovation and enables "the carrying out of new combinations, authorizes people, in the name of society as it were, to form them."

Not so fast, though. Who were the original ephors?

Herodotus claimed that the institution was created by Lycurgus, while Plutarch considers it a later institution. It may have arisen from the need for governors while the kings were leading armies in battle. The ephors were elected by the popular assembly, and all citizens were eligible for election. They were forbidden to be reelected. They provided a balance for the two kings, who rarely cooperated with each other. Plato called them tyrants who ran Sparta as despots, while the kings were little more than generals. Up to two ephors would accompany a king on extended military campaigns as a sign of control, and they held the authority to declare war during some periods in Spartan history.[2]

According to Plutarch,[3] every autumn, at the crypteia, the ephors would pro forma declare war on the helot population so that any Spartan citizen could kill a helot without fear of blood guilt.[4] This was done to keep the large helot population in check.

The ephors did not have to kneel down before the Kings of Sparta and were held in high esteem by the citizens, because of the importance of their powers and because of the holy role they earned throughout their functions.

Ain't that something. We don't call it "class war" for nothing. More on the crypteia:

The Crypteia or Krypteia (Greek: κρυπτεία krupteía from κρυπτός kruptós, "hidden, secret things") was an ancient Spartan state institution involving young Spartan men. Its goal and nature are still a matter of discussion and debate among historians, but some scholars (Wallon) consider the Krypteia to be a kind of secret police and state security force organized by the ruling classes of Sparta, whose purpose was to terrorize the servile helot population. Others (Köchly, Wachsmuth) believe it to be a form of military training, similar to the Athenian ephebia.

So Schumpeter's metaphor is way too apt for comfort. Gets right under my skin.

For a modern equivalent of the pro forma declaration of civil war, I'm thinking "election cycle." Hippie-punching and all that goes a long way back, eh?

Let's cut to the chase: what's all this talk of econ as religion telling us? ISTM arguing with neoliberals as they frame the debate is like arguing with theologians in their terms. My learning psych professor, Robert Bolles, regarding the dismantling of ascendant BS models, always said, you don't take down an enormous tree leaf by leaf, you go where it meets the ground. Where does neoliberalism meet the ground? And its parent belief system?

Neoliberalism is so poorly grounded, it's shorting out all over the place. This could be easier than it looks. Storm's argument is compelling (at least to this newbie). What are its other weakest links? (Not being rhetorical here. I really don't know. A little help?)

Speaking of Weber, one of the major factors in the Reformation was the utter failure of the Catholic church to be able to produce a valid calendar . The trouble is of course, in their mythos, you have to perform the proper rituals at the proper time and often in the proper place, or you will fry in hell forever and ever amen.

Obviously, then, the calculation of the equinox assumed considerable and understandable importance. If the equinox was wrong, then Easter was celebrated on the wrong day and the placement of most of the other observances -- such as the starts of Lent and Pentecost -- would also be in error.

As the Julian calendar was far from perfect, errors did indeed begin to creep into the keeping of time. Because of the inherent imprecision of the calendar, the calculated year was too long by 11 minutes and 14 seconds. The problem only grew worse with each passing year as the equinox slipped backwards one full day on the calendar every 130 years. For example, at the time of its introduction, the Julian calendar placed the equinox on March 25. By the time of the Council of Nicea in 325, the equinox had fallen back to March 21. By 1500, the equinox had shifted by 10 days.

The 10 days were of increasing importance also to navigation and agriculture, causing severe problems for sailors, merchants, and farmers whose livelihood depended upon precise measurements of time and the seasons. At the same time, throughout the Middle Ages, the use of the Julian calendar brought with it many local variations and peculiarities that are the constant source of frustration to historians. For example, many medieval ecclesiastical records, financial transactions, and the counting of dates from the feast days of saints did not adhere to the standard Julian calendar but reflected local adjustments. Not surprisingly, confusion was the result.

The Church Saves Time

[Doncha just love that succinct bit of myth-making? smh]

The Church was aware of the inaccuracy, and by the end of the 15th century there was widespread agreement among Church leaders that not celebrating Easter on the right day -- the most important and most solemn event on the calendar -- was a scandal.

A functioning mythology tells one how to be human right now. The Catholic church couldn't even tell people what date it was, putting not just ephemeral souls in peril should one die, even more of a daily dread in those days, but lives and property were increasingly at risk.

ISTM we're in an analogous situation. Our two high holies, Wall Street and Washington, DC, are increasingly irrelevant to us helots. They're of no use to us in ordering our daily lives. In fact, they've becoming openly hostile, dropping any pretense of governing for the common good, and I'm not referring only to Trump, eg, whatever happened to habeas corpus ? "If you like your health plan, you can keep it." The betrayals come fast and furious, too fast to keep up.

Others are rejecting science. A schism here, a schism there, pretty soon it all cracks up one day "outta nowhere." And I do mean "one day."

Moving right along, let's look at "the virtue of thrift."

Like the "virtues" of the LF fallacy, it arises from a parent belief system. This is from Some Call for Reclaiming the Virtue of Thrift (emphasis added).

In the formative years of United States history, prominent thinkers such as Ben Franklin promoted a "thrift ethic" that encouraged hard work, frugal spending on self and generous giving to charity, he asserted, maintaining "thrift" was simply the secular term for the religious stewardship principle . And institutions developed to support that ethic, he noted.

That's what I'm saying: secular institutions are the operationalizations, the applications, of belief systems, and further, we can study them instead of just saying "religion = bad = no further analysis required" and then dismissing it all out of hand.

As with LF-supply and LF-demand, secular and sectarian are not the independent variables they're made out to be, as argued so well by Cook & Ferguson right here on NC in The Real Economic Consequences of Martin Luther , eg, "[Henry VIII] did not abolish the papacy so much as take the pope's place." Same goes for today, IMNSHO: Our "secular" leaders are sectarian high priests in mufti.

The Baptist article also goes on to say what the flock people should do: ignore Wall St. and DC. Unsuprisingly, it's also chock full of punching downwards and victim-blaming. Payday lending and lotteries are to blame, they say. People just need to be more thrifty , which apparently means, impoverish yourself for the betterment of your betters. Or else.

When HRC damned half of us to Hell, she was dog-whistling loud and clear in a tradition going at least as far back as the wars of the ephors on the helots. When the high priests of our high holy temples of finance tell us we need more austerity, although they speak in terms apparently objective and especially dispassionate, it's nothing but the failed preachings of the failed priests of a failed church.

Looked at as comparative mythology, and speaking empirically as well (much obliged to the present author and our hosts, sincerely) neoliberalism is no way of being human.

Sure, us nerds get that. But wonky discussions don't move people. The execrable Mario Cuomo is credited with saying, "You campaign in poetry, you govern in prose," and I think it's profoundly true. Telling my friends we've debunked the Loanable Funds Fallacy will get me nowhere.

Oy vey. The immense satisfaction I had been feeling, of seeing through neoliberalism all the way to its core, sure was short lived. Now I need to know what MMT says about being human. This is what happens when you start thinking in words, you know. It never ends!

I've heard Steve Keen's writing won't be much help in popularizing MMT in time. Who's a witty MMTer? Who can express its way of being human in one-liners? Who's punchy?

(Administrivia: "Suppose there is an exogenous (unexplained) *rise* in the average propensity to save. In reponse, the LF-supply curve shifts down ." Shouldn't that be "drop"?)

* This is the night of the expanding man
I take one last drag as I approach the stand
I cried when I wrote this song
Sue me if I play too long
This brother is free
I'll be what I want to be

knowbuddhau , December 22, 2017 at 4:23 pm

Oops left out two links https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ephor

knowbuddhau , December 22, 2017 at 4:23 pm

And https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crypteia

susan the other , December 23, 2017 at 12:11 pm

Very interesting rant, Knowbuddhau. Imo all we have to do is get over gold. It made sense before the days of sovereign fiat that you saved your coins before you spent them. How else? But fiat is the essential spirit of money while gold was/is a craze. And the Neoliberals are unenlightened just like the Neocons against whom they pretend to react. But they are reactionaries regardless. That's their problem. All reaction, no action. When Storm refers to Kalecki above saying the original sin of economics was confusing stocks with flows, I take it to mean confusing fiat with gold in a sense. Once upon a time a store of value (a pouch full of gold coins) was the same thing as a medium of exchange. Not any more. Fiat is the only mechanism, spent in advance to promote social well being, that can create an "economy" in this world of zillions of people.

JustAnObserver , December 22, 2017 at 5:16 pm

Isn't a bit of an irony that the academic papers being debunked here were commissioned by the Institute for *New* Economic Thinking ? Sad to see its also been corrupted by the neoliberal virus (political Ebola).

ewmayer , December 22, 2017 at 8:11 pm

The author writes about the fuctional LF paradigm: "Banks, in this narrative, do not create money themselves and hence cannot pre -finance investment by new money. They only move it between savers and investors." -- Note that that narrative doesn't even make sense *within* the loanable-funds model, because with fractional reserve banking, even if banks were required to loan against pre-existing deposits, they could amplify each dollar of same into multiple units of newly-created credit money. The fact that what really happens goes even further and entirely omits the need for pre-existing funds from the banks' monetary legerdemain is the reason for my pet term for the "loans create deposits" reality: "fictional reserve banking."

Dan , December 23, 2017 at 12:40 am

Aggregate demand increases investment only to the extant that it increases profitable opportunities. If costs remain constant, then obviously an increase in demand increases profitability. But an increase in wages doesn't merely increase aggregate demand, it also increases aggregate costs because that's what a wage is to a firm. If aggregate wages were boosted by $1 trillion, consumption will be boosted by less than 100% of that (workers will save some of their increased income) while firms will have to pay the full $1 trillion in increased wages if they are to employ the workers. So how is increasing wages supposed to increase profitability and investment? It seems like it would do the opposite.

We really need to look more at profit. The aggregate profit rate is determined by the cost of the total capital employed in relation to the output. If the costs rise faster than productivity growth, then profitability falls. How do aggregate costs rise? By capital accumulation, by an increase in savings and investment. Thus, it would seem that stagnation can only be reached if too much capital has been accumulated without a corresponding increase in productivity. This hypothesis doesn't rely on the loanable funds theory (it doesn't matter whether the money exists before it is spent), but it is more similar to the savings glut explanation because it is the accumulation of capital that leads to the fall in profitability. The suppression of wages is an effect, an attempt to create profitable opportunities when there are none.

Steven Greenberg , December 23, 2017 at 11:29 am

Your model is correct when you limit yourself to the variables in your model. Real life economies are complex, dynamic interactions of many variables. At different times some variable become more important than others.

I think your variable, capital accumulation, is itself a complicated mix of many variables. Sometimes the cost of "capital accumulation" may be controlling, and sometimes not. It also depends on which variables within capital accumulation are having the most impact.

Steven Greenberg , December 23, 2017 at 10:42 am

I think one of the major problems of the theory of supply and demand is that it may be true as a static model (all other things being equal), but the economy (and life) are not static. Unless you can take dynamic effects into account, then this static or even quasi-static model will just not represent what actually happens. This is just another way of saying what this article says. Over time, the supply curve and the demand curve interact. There is hardly, if any, point in time when all other things aren't changing.

In my world of simulating the behavior of integrated circuits, the problem involves non-linear differential equations, not just non-linear algebraic equations.

Steven Greenberg , December 23, 2017 at 10:55 am

Here is another problem. " by the national accounts[,] identity of saving and investment (for closed economies),"

Accounting is also a static snapshot of a dynamic system. A bank creates a loan payable in let's say 30 years. The spending occurs immediately. In accounting terms these two items balance. However, on impact on the economy, they do not balance. Why else would capitalism have noticed the value of buy now, pay later?

Steven Greenberg , December 23, 2017 at 11:02 am

This is no longer a chicken and egg problem of which came first, the chicken or the egg. In real life, there are lots of chickens and lots of eggs. Which came first is irrelevant. Chickens create eggs and eggs create chickens.

Steven Greenberg , December 23, 2017 at 11:23 am

Models are a simplification of reality. They apply best when the things that were simplified away don't matter much. They fail when the things that were simplified away become important. So, when does the loanable funds model apply?

IMHO, the loanable funds model applies when there is a run on the bank. When the fractional reserve banking system is running smoothly, the loanable funds model is irrelevant. That's why banks have reserves and monetary systems have central reserve banks. These reserve systems let us ignore loanable funds models.

Cat Burglar , December 23, 2017 at 3:56 pm

These are great comments! You put the whole process in time.

[Dec 23, 2017] What Did John Brennan and Anonymous Sources Really Say by Philip Giraldi

The rule for retired intelligence officials is to keep their mouth shut and disappear from the public view. This not the case with Brennan. Probably worried about his survival chances in case of failure, Brennan tries to justified the "putsch" of a faction of intelligence officials against Trump. Nice... Now we have indirect proof that he conspired with Michael Morell to depose legitimately elected president.
Now the question arise whether he worked with MI6 to create Steele dossier. In other words did CIA supplied some information that went to the dossier.
Moreover, since JFK assassination, the CIA is prohibited from spying on American citizens, especially tracking the activities of associates of a presidential candidate, which is clearly political activity.
This alone should have sent warning bells off for Congress critters, yet Brennan clearly persisted in following this dangerous for him and CIA trail. Very strange.
Notable quotes:
"... Speaking to a Russian becomes treasonous ..."
"... The article states that Brennan during the 2016 campaign "reviewed intelligence that showed 'contacts and interaction' between Russian actors and people associated with the Trump campaign." Politico was also in on the chase in an article entitled Brennan: Russia may have successfully recruited Trump campaign aides . ..."
"... The precise money quote by Brennan that the two articles chiefly rely on is "I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. It raised questions in my mind whether or not Russia was able to gain the co-operation of those individuals." ..."
"... At a later point in his testimony Brennan also said that "I had unresolved questions in my mind about whether or not the Russians had been successful in getting US persons, involved in the campaign or not, to work on their behalf, again, either in a witting or unwitting fashion," clearly meant to imply that some friends of Trump might have become Russian agents voluntarily but others might have cooperated without knowing it. ..."
"... It is a line that has surfaced elsewhere previously, most notably in the demented meanderings of former acting Director of Central Intelligence Michael Morell. As the purpose of recruiting an intelligence agent is to have a resource that can be directed to do things for you, the statement is an absurdity and Brennan and Morell, as a former Director and acting Director of the CIA, should know better. ..."
"... In his testimony, Brennan also hit the main theme that appears to be accepted by nearly everyone inside the beltway, namely that Russian sought to influence and even pervert the outcome of the 2016 election. Interpreting his testimony, the Post article asserts that "Russia was engaged in an 'aggressive' and 'multifaceted 'effort to interfere in our election." As has been noted frequently before, even though this assertion has apparently been endorsed by nearly everyone in the power structure AKA (also known as) "those who matter," it is singularly lacking in any actual evidence. ..."
"... Last Wednesday, the New York Times led off its front page with a piece entitled Top Russian Officials Discussed How to Influence Trump Aides Last Summer . Based, as always, on anonymous sources citing "highly classified" intelligence, the article claimed that "American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers " The "discussions," which are presumably NSA intercepts of phone calls, reportedly focused on two aides in particular, Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, both of whom had established relationships with Russian businessmen and government officials. ..."
"... It would appear that the New York Times ' editors are unaware that the United States routinely interferes in elections worldwide and that the action taken in various places including Ukraine goes far beyond phone conversations. In some other places like Libya, Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan the interference is particularly robust taking place at the point of a bayonet, but the Times and Washington Post don't appear to have any problem when the regime change is being accomplished ostensibly to make the world more democratic, even if it almost never has that result. ..."
"... "The "discussions," which are presumably NSA intercepts of phone calls, reportedly ." ..."
"... US is now like USSR? https://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2017/05/29/forget-russian-collusion-we-are-russia/ ..."
"... The end result of Brennan's fulminations likely is nuclear war, since he seems to consider even contact with the Russians treasonous. His view is both fascist and nihilist and treasonous to civilization itself and a threat to our survival. ..."
"... Of course those, their mouth pieces Washpost, CNN and NYT, who still want USA control of the world, have aligned their careers on this policy, do anything to get rid of Trump. As Russia is seen by them as the next country to be subjugated, any talk with this 'enemy' to them is high treason. ..."
"... Mr. Clapper finally found the answer to this 1 billion dollar question why US is suffering in his NBC interview -- it is because Russians are untermensch. Russian genetics is wrong and we all were so sweating and suffering over this whole mess., while the answer was so close, on the surface. ..."
"... "If you put that in context with everything else we knew the Russians were doing to interfere with the election, and just the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique. So we were concerned." ..."
"... This is a fact showing the US' direct meddling in the affairs of another state and in creating a war on a border with Russian federation. Brennan has been so much immersed in lies and politicking and war crimes that it is impossible to expect any decent reasoning from this miserable opportunist. ..."
"... What Goering did say – cogently and precisely – is that, regardless of the form of government, the people can always be quite easily stirred up to want war. The key sentence is this: "All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger". That is exactly what the US, UK and European governments have been doing for years to justify their terrorist scares and their wars of aggression. And Goering was absolutely right to point out that it works just the same in democracies (or "democracies") as under dictatorships. ..."
"... "Apparently we need to focus on protecting our vote from our own government". I very much doubt if the Deep State needs to resort to such small-scale and easily-detected trickery to retain control. As Philip Berrigan pointed out long ago, "If voting made any difference, it would be illegal". ..."
May 30, 2017 | www.unz.com

Speaking to a Russian becomes treasonous

The Washington Post and a number of other mainstream media outlets are sensing blood in the water in the wake of former CIA Director John Brennan's public testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. The Post headlined a front page featured article with Brennan's explosive testimony just made it harder for the GOP to protect Trump . The article states that Brennan during the 2016 campaign "reviewed intelligence that showed 'contacts and interaction' between Russian actors and people associated with the Trump campaign." Politico was also in on the chase in an article entitled Brennan: Russia may have successfully recruited Trump campaign aides .

The precise money quote by Brennan that the two articles chiefly rely on is "I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. It raised questions in my mind whether or not Russia was able to gain the co-operation of those individuals."

Now first of all, the CIA is not supposed to keep tabs on American citizens and tracking the activities of known associates of a presidential candidate should have sent warning bells off, yet Brennan clearly persisted in following the trail. What Brennan did not describe, because it was "classified," was how he came upon the information in the first place. We know from the New York Times and other sources that it came from foreign intelligence services, including the British, Dutch and Estonians, and there has to be a strong suspicion that the forwarding of at least some of that information might have been sought or possibly inspired by Brennan unofficially in the first place. But whatever the provenance of the intelligence, it is clear that Brennan then used that information to request an FBI investigation into a possible Russian operation directed against potential key advisers if Trump were to somehow get nominated and elected, which admittedly was a longshot at the time. That is how Russiagate began.

But where the information ultimately came from as well as its reliability is just speculation as the source documents have not been made public. What is not speculative is what Brennan actually said in his testimony. He said that Americans associated with Trump and his campaign had met with Russians. He was "concerned" because of known Russian efforts to "suborn such individuals." Note that Brennan, presumably deliberately, did not say "suborn those individuals." Sure, Russian intelligence (and CIA, MI-6, and Mossad as well as a host of others) seek to recruit people with access to politically useful information. That is what they do for a living, but Brennan is not saying that he has or saw any evidence that that was the case with the Trump associates. He is speaking generically of "such individuals" because he knows that spies, inter alia , recruit politicians and the Russians presumably, like the Americans and British, do so aggressively.

At a later point in his testimony Brennan also said that "I had unresolved questions in my mind about whether or not the Russians had been successful in getting US persons, involved in the campaign or not, to work on their behalf, again, either in a witting or unwitting fashion," clearly meant to imply that some friends of Trump might have become Russian agents voluntarily but others might have cooperated without knowing it.

It is a line that has surfaced elsewhere previously, most notably in the demented meanderings of former acting Director of Central Intelligence Michael Morell. As the purpose of recruiting an intelligence agent is to have a resource that can be directed to do things for you, the statement is an absurdity and Brennan and Morell, as a former Director and acting Director of the CIA, should know better. That they don't explains a lot of things about today's CIA

Brennan confirms his lack of any hard evidence when he also poses the question "whether or not Russia was able to gain the co-operation of those individuals." He doesn't know whether the Americans were approached and asked to cooperate by Russian intelligence officers and, even if they were, he does not know whether they agreed to do so. That means that the Americans in question were guilty only of meeting and talking to Russians, which was presumably enough to open an FBI investigation. One might well consider that at the time and even to this day Russia was not and is not a declared enemy of the United States and meeting Russians is not a criminal offense.

In his testimony, Brennan also hit the main theme that appears to be accepted by nearly everyone inside the beltway, namely that Russian sought to influence and even pervert the outcome of the 2016 election. Interpreting his testimony, the Post article asserts that "Russia was engaged in an 'aggressive' and 'multifaceted 'effort to interfere in our election." As has been noted frequently before, even though this assertion has apparently been endorsed by nearly everyone in the power structure AKA (also known as) "those who matter," it is singularly lacking in any actual evidence.

Nor has any evidence been produced to support the claim that it was Russia that hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC) server, which now is accepted as Gospel, but that is just one side to the story being promoted. Last Wednesday, the New York Times led off its front page with a piece entitled Top Russian Officials Discussed How to Influence Trump Aides Last Summer . Based, as always, on anonymous sources citing "highly classified" intelligence, the article claimed that "American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers " The "discussions," which are presumably NSA intercepts of phone calls, reportedly focused on two aides in particular, Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, both of whom had established relationships with Russian businessmen and government officials.

The article goes on to concede that "It is unclear, however, whether Russian officials actually tried to directly influence Mr. Manafort and Mr. Flynn ," and that's about all there is to the tale, though the Times wanders on for another three pages, recapping Brennan and the Flynn saga lest anyone has forgotten. So what do we have? Russians were talking on the phone about the possibility of influencing an American's presidential candidate's advisers, an observation alluded to by Brennan and also revealed in somewhat more detail by anonymous sources. Pretty thin gruel, isn't it? Isn't that what diplomats and intelligence officers do?

It would appear that the New York Times ' editors are unaware that the United States routinely interferes in elections worldwide and that the action taken in various places including Ukraine goes far beyond phone conversations. In some other places like Libya, Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan the interference is particularly robust taking place at the point of a bayonet, but the Times and Washington Post don't appear to have any problem when the regime change is being accomplished ostensibly to make the world more democratic, even if it almost never has that result.

How one regards all of the dreck coming out of the Fourth Estate and poseurs like John Brennan pretty much depends on the extent one is willing to trust that what the government, its highly-politicized bureaucrats and the media tell the public is true. For me, that would be not a lot. The desire to bring down the buffoonish Donald Trump is understandable, but buying into government and media lies will only lead to more lies that have real consequences, up to and including the impending wars against North Korea and Iran. It is imperative that every American should question everything he or she reads in a newspaper, sees on television "news" or hears coming out of the mouths of former and current government employees.

RobinG , May 30, 2017 at 5:20 am GMT

Thanks for the reassurance, Phil. It's lonely standing against the tide, and many are trying to fabricate excuses for the lack of evidence.

Take Melvin Goodman, author of Whistleblower at the CIA, for instance. (I realize CIA is a big place, but did you know him?) I've met Mr. Goodman, and he struck me as thoughtful, rational and capable of objective discussion. However, in his talk at the Gaithersburg Book Festival, he seemed a rather different person. At the end of Q&A, he said that he was trying to figure out how the Russians had laundered the "hacked" DNC emails to make it look like they were leaked by an insider. He's sure the Russians did it. With such creative speculation, who needs facts?

The book, though, is probably pretty good. Which makes it that much stranger that he's taking the political line on the DNC emails!

https://www.c-span.org/video/?427995-3/whistleblower-cia

Melvin A. Goodman talked about his book, Whistleblower at the CIA: An Insider's Account of the Politics of Intelligence.

animalogic , May 30, 2017 at 5:32 am GMT

Ah, another day, another disgraceful display by the media. Incidentally: "The "discussions," which are presumably NSA intercepts of phone calls, reportedly ."

"Presumably" here is quite generous: I'd be tempted to presume a whole string of lies .

Anon , May 30, 2017 at 5:51 am GMT

US is now like USSR? https://pjmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2017/05/29/forget-russian-collusion-we-are-russia/

The Alarmist , May 30, 2017 at 5:54 am GMT

It's like climate change: The MSM tells us that 17 intelligence agencies agree that the Russians hacked the election and thereby influenced it, but when you dig a little you find that NSA, for example, did not express a high degree of confidence that this might have actually been the case. Nevertheless, the case is settled. Pravda and Izvestia should have been so convinced in their day.

exiled off mainstreet , May 30, 2017 at 6:15 am GMT

The end result of Brennan's fulminations likely is nuclear war, since he seems to consider even contact with the Russians treasonous. His view is both fascist and nihilist and treasonous to civilization itself and a threat to our survival.

jilles dykstra , May 30, 2017 at 8:00 am GMT

It all seems quite simple to me. After WWI the USA people decided that their sons should not die ever more for imperialism. Isolation, neutrality laws. In 1932 Roosevelt was brought into politics to make the USA great, great as the country controlling the world. Trump and his rich friends understand that this policy is not just ruining the USA, but is ruining them personally. If I'm right in this, it is the greatest change in USA foreign policy since 1932.

Of course those, their mouth pieces Washpost, CNN and NYT, who still want USA control of the world, have aligned their careers on this policy, do anything to get rid of Trump. As Russia is seen by them as the next country to be subjugated, any talk with this 'enemy' to them is high treason.

Russ , May 30, 2017 at 8:39 am GMT

Lisa Frank has recently (5/18/2017) written beautifully on the topic of Comey in the FBI: http://stateofthenation2012.com/?p=72788

Just as Ms. Frank dissects Comey's background and motivations, so a similar dissection is now in order for Mr. Brennan.

LauraMR , May 30, 2017 at 9:32 am GMT

@exiled off mainstreet The end result of Brennan's fulminations likely is nuclear war, since he seems to consider even contact with the Russians treasonous. His view is both fascist and nihilist and treasonous to civilization itself and a threat to our survival.

Is he an Anglo-Zionist? I kind of missed a reference to the true puppet-masters in the article

Renoman , May 30, 2017 at 10:08 am GMT

I'll say it again "what has Russia ever done to the USA"? The answer is Nothing!

mp , May 30, 2017 at 10:30 am GMT

Is someone going to look in to how the Izzys influence our politicians and elections? No. Why? Because Russia is the "enemy" and Israel is our "ally." Can someone explain in simple terms why Russia is the enemy? Yes. Because Jews don't like them very much. Can someone explain in simple terms why Israel is our ally? Because of New York City, Hollywood, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, CBS and NBC, the major newspapers, Wall Street, porn, military subsidies, dual citizenship, etc. And because every president just can't wait to wear the beanie and genuflect at some wall. Any other questions?

Tom Welsh , May 30, 2017 at 10:52 am GMT

" One might well consider that at the time and even to this day Russia was not and is not a declared enemy of the United States and meeting Russians is not a criminal offense".

Although in point of fact the USA has committed, and continues to commit, acts of war against Russia.

Tom Welsh , May 30, 2017 at 10:53 am GMT

@Renoman "[W]hat has Russia ever done to the USA"?

Er, supported the US government during the American Civil War? Given it Alaska for a token payment? Won WW2 for it?

RealAmerican , May 30, 2017 at 11:23 am GMT

How many congressmen and other politicians in Washington are already suborned by AIPAC? Is that not AIPAC's raison d'etre ?

DanCT , May 30, 2017 at 11:33 am GMT

"Because of New York City, Hollywood, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, CBS and NBC, the major newspapers, Wall Street, porn, military subsidies, dual citizenship, etc. "

Let's not forget 911 and it's ongoing coverup, the State Dept's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs exemplifying our bestest ally's parallel command and control apparatus in every federal agency such as the FBI, etc

Wizard of Oz , May 30, 2017 at 12:30 pm GMT

The only problem I have with the article is understanding the vehemence with which Brennan and Morell are denounced for, as I read it, blathering about unwitting agents who might have co-operated without knowing it. I construed the objection to be based on a foreign intelligence service necessarily seeking to "direct" its agents. It would indeed follow that the agents could not help knowing what they were doing. However .

Is there not a category of people who Brennan and Morell might be referring to who could be aptly described as useful idiots. You meet them at a writer's festival, invite them to accept your country's generous and admiring hospitality and soon have them spouting the memes you have made sure they are fed as well inadvertently feeding you useful titbits of information, especially about people.

alexander , May 30, 2017 at 12:31 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh

I think something fascinating is going on, Tom. Our leaders made a choice to defraud us into the Iraq war. Russia didn't. This is a very serious crime for which there has been zero accountability. It seems that all the various people who should be in federal prison for having done this, are the one's "braying the loudest" about the Russian threat.

The real crisis in our country is the absence of accountability for the heinous crimes THEY committed, not anything the Russians did. If we allow acts of "war fraud" to go unprosecuted, then War Fraud becomes acceptable behavior. I do not know of one American, anywhere, who feels this is okay.

Do you ?

Andrei Martyanov , Website May 30, 2017 at 12:50 pm GMT

Nor has any evidence been produced to support the claim that it was Russia that hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC) server

It doesn't matter. Mr. Clapper finally found the answer to this 1 billion dollar question why US is suffering in his NBC interview -- it is because Russians are untermensch. Russian genetics is wrong and we all were so sweating and suffering over this whole mess., while the answer was so close, on the surface.

"If you put that in context with everything else we knew the Russians were doing to interfere with the election, and just the historical practices of the Russians, who typically, almost genetically driven to co-opt, penetrate, gain favor, whatever, which is a typical Russian technique. So we were concerned."

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/james-clapper-trump-russia-ties-my-dashboard-warning-light-was-n765601

Agent76 , May 30, 2017 at 1:19 pm GMT

I know some others actually know you cannot believe spies. Some on the other hand so not.

Mar 22, 2017 How the CIA Plants News Stories in the Media. It is no longer disputed that the CIA has maintained an extensive and ongoing relationship with news organizations and journalists, and multiple, specific acts of media manipulation have now been documented.

August 30, 2015 THE CIA AND THE MEDIA: 50 FACTS THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW By Prof. James F. Tracy

Since the end of World War Two the Central Intelligence Agency has been a major force in US and foreign news media, exerting considerable influence over what the public sees, hears and reads on a regular basis.

https://www.intellihub.com/the-cia-and-the-media-50-facts-the-world-needs-to-know-2/ 

Tom Welsh , May 30, 2017 at 1:53 pm GMT

@alexander Alexander, I definitely don't think it's OK, but I am not American – I am British (Scottish, to be exact). Although we have exactly the same problem over here – in miniature – with our local pocket Hitlers strutting around in their jackboots just salivating for the blood of foreigners.

I think the people who are braying about Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, etc. are doing so largely to distract attention from their own crimes. The following celebrated dialogue explains very clearly how it works.

-------------------------------------–
We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.

"Why, of course, the people don't want war," Goering shrugged. "Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship."

"There is one difference," I pointed out. "In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars."

"Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

- Conversation with Hermann Goering in prison, reported by Gustave Gilbert

jilles dykstra , May 30, 2017 at 2:23 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh I suppose the story is meant to show that Goering wanted war. The opposite is true, he sent the Swedish negotiator Dahlerus several times to London in his plane, taking himself care, telephoning with the Dutch authorities, that the Junckers could fly safely over the Netherlands. What Goering did not know was that Britain had been preparing for war at least since 1936. The march 1939 guarantee to Poland was meant to provoke Hitler to attack Poland. The trap worked.

jilles dykstra , May 30, 2017 at 2:29 pm GMT

@Agent76 That even Senator Moynihan, of the CIA Oversight Committee, was lied to by the CIA director, about laying mines in Havana harbour, says enough. The CIA is not a secret service, it is a secret army. This secret army began drugs production in Afghanistan, mainly for the USA market, when funds for the CIA's war in Afghanistan were insufficient.

Agent76 , May 30, 2017 at 2:32 pm GMT

This CIA director? May 19, 2010 Obama advisor John Brennan speaks about the beauty of Islam

jilles dykstra , May 30, 2017 at 2:34 pm GMT

@alexander It is.
After an investigation of some seven years the lies of Tony Blair were exposed, in a report of considerable size. What happened ? Nothing. Instead of being in jail, the man flies aroud in a private jet, with an enormous income, paid by whom for what, I do not have a clue.

Agent76 , May 30, 2017 at 2:43 pm GMT

Dec 12, 2016 Georgia Official Says Homeland Security Tried To Hack Their State's Voter Database

While most of the country frets over Russia's role in the 2016 election, the state of Georgia has come forward saying that they've traced an IP from a hack of their voter database right back to the offices of the Department of Homeland Security. Apparently we need to focus on protecting our vote from our own government.

annamaria , May 30, 2017 at 2:50 pm GMT

@exiled off mainstreet

The end result of Brennan's fulminations likely is nuclear war, since he seems to consider even contact with the Russians treasonous. His view is both fascist and nihilist and treasonous to civilization itself and a threat to our survival. Brennan is just a regular profiteering opportunist. Someone needs to remind the scoundrel that the civil war in Ukraine (initiated by an illegal Kievan junta sponsored and installed by the US), had started immediately upon Brennan's arrival to Kiev in 2014. He tried to make the visit secret but this did not work and Brennan's presence in Ukraine became widely known: https://sputniknews.com/world/20140415189240842-ANALYSIS-CIA-Director-Brennans-Trip-to-Ukraine-Initiates-Use-Of/

"CIA Director John Brennan visited Ukraine over the weekend, information that was confirmed by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Monday, after being reported by media on Sunday.

Over the same weekend, Kiev authorities cracked down on pro-federalization protests in eastern Ukraine. Regime troops advanced toward a number of cities in eastern Ukraine Tuesday to attack the protesters. "Brennan's appearance in Kiev just before the announcement of a violent crackdown in eastern Ukraine is just too timely to assume that it is a coincidence," Turbeville [an American international affairs expert] said.

"Brennan, who has been actively involved in arming insurgents in Libya, Syria and Venezuela, has a reputation for using thuggish tactics in pursuit of CIA goals," Wayne Madsen, an American investigative journalist told RIA Novosti."

This is a fact showing the US' direct meddling in the affairs of another state and in creating a war on a border with Russian federation. Brennan has been so much immersed in lies and politicking and war crimes that it is impossible to expect any decent reasoning from this miserable opportunist.

alexander , May 30, 2017 at 2:58 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh Excellent quote, Tom.

.And so true.

Agent76 , May 30, 2017 at 3:08 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

Unfortunately for you and myself there are literally millions of people in America who do not think or challenge what they read or view as we do apparently. Thanks, *government schooling* .

Mar 6, 2017 Drug Boss Escobar Worked for the CIA

The notorious cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar worked closely with the CIA, according to his son. In this episode of The Geopolitical Report, we look at the long history of CIA involvement in the international narcotics trade, beginning with its collaboration with the French Mafia to using drug money to illegally fund the Contras and overthrow the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.

Tom Welsh , May 30, 2017 at 3:29 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

I suppose the story is meant to show that Goering wanted war. The opposite is true, he sent the Swedish negotiator Dahlerus several times to London in his plane, taking himself care, telephoning with the Dutch authorities, that the Junckers could fly safely over the Netherlands. What Goering did not know was that Britain had been preparing for war at least since 1936. The march 1939 guarantee to Poland was meant to provoke Hitler to attack Poland. The trap worked.

What Goering did say – cogently and precisely – is that, regardless of the form of government, the people can always be quite easily stirred up to want war. The key sentence is this: "All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger". That is exactly what the US, UK and European governments have been doing for years to justify their terrorist scares and their wars of aggression. And Goering was absolutely right to point out that it works just the same in democracies (or "democracies") as under dictatorships.

As for your point about Britain having deliberately fomented the war, I don't think that holds water. Britain was grossly – almost grotesquely – underarmed in 1939, and came very close indeed to being conquered in 1940. In my view, it was FDR and his friends who assiduously wound up the Nazis and the Poles to fight one another, and then persuaded the British and French to give Poland guarantees. Everyone believed that, if war came, the USA would immediately join Britain and France in fighting Germany. Alas, they were very much mistaken.

Tom Welsh , May 30, 2017 at 3:31 pm GMT

@Agent76 "

"Apparently we need to focus on protecting our vote from our own government". I very much doubt if the Deep State needs to resort to such small-scale and easily-detected trickery to retain control. As Philip Berrigan pointed out long ago, "If voting made any difference, it would be illegal".

Agent76 , May 30, 2017 at 3:57 pm GMT

@Tom Welsh Well, another ruler also stated this, "Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed." Joseph Stalin

Rurik , Website May 30, 2017 at 4:06 pm GMT

@annamaria

Brennan is just a regular profiteering opportunist. Someone needs to remind the scoundrel that the civil war in Ukraine (initiated by an illegal Kievan junta sponsored and installed by the US), had started immediately upon Brennan's arrival to Kiev in 2014. He tried to make the visit secret but this did not work and Brennan's presence in Ukraine became widely known: https://sputniknews.com/world/20140415189240842-ANALYSIS-CIA-Director-Brennans-Trip-to-Ukraine-Initiates-Use-Of/
"CIA Director John Brennan visited Ukraine over the weekend, information that was confirmed by White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Monday, after being reported by media on Sunday.
Over the same weekend, Kiev authorities cracked down on pro-federalization protests in eastern Ukraine. Regime troops advanced toward a number of cities in eastern Ukraine Tuesday to attack the protesters. "Brennan's appearance in Kiev just before the announcement of a violent crackdown in eastern Ukraine is just too timely to assume that it is a coincidence," Turbeville [an American international affairs expert] said.
"Brennan, who has been actively involved in arming insurgents in Libya, Syria and Venezuela, has a reputation for using thuggish tactics in pursuit of CIA goals," Wayne Madsen, an American investigative journalist told RIA Novosti."
This is a fact showing the US' direct meddling in the affairs of another state and in creating a war on a border with Russian federation. Brennan has been so much immersed in lies and politicking and war crimes that it is impossible to expect any decent reasoning from this miserable opportunist.

the civil war in Ukraine (initiated by an illegal Kievan junta sponsored and installed by the US), had started immediately upon Brennan's arrival to Kiev in 2014

I wouldn't so much call it a civil war, as a ZUSA imposed putsch, installing a Zio-bankster-quisling.

PG:

the United States routinely interferes in elections worldwide and that the action taken in various places including Ukraine goes far beyond phone conversations.

getting to the crux of the matter

when Russia released the phone conversation where ZUS State Dept. – Kagan klan / Zio-bitch Nuland was overheard deciding who was going to be the next president of Ukraine (some democracy), it was this breach of global oligarch protocol that has riled the deepstate Zio-war-scum ever since. Hence all the screeching and hysterics about "Russian hacking".

The thug Brennan, (as you correctly call him [imagine this mug coming into the room as you're about to be 'enhanced interrogated'])

http://www.frontpagemag.com/sites/default/files/uploads/2015/03/John_Brennan.jpg

has his fingerprints not just all over the war crimes and atrocities in Ukraine, but Syria and elsewhere too.

All these war criminals are all scrambling to undermine Trump in the fear that he'll eventually hold some of them accountable for their serial crimes, treasons, and treachery. Which brings us to this curious comment..

The desire to bring down the buffoonish Donald Trump is understandable,

what the hell does Mr. G think will replace him?!

So far the "buffoonish Donald Trump" has not declared a no-fly zone in Syria, as we know the war sow would have by now. He's not materially harmed the Assad regime, but only made symbolic attempts to presumably mollify the war pigs like McBloodstain and co in the zio-media/AIPAC/etc..

His rhetoric notwithstanding, he seems to be making nice with the Russians, to the apoplectic hysteria of people like Brennan and the Stain.

In fact the more people like Brennan and Bloodstain and the zio-media and others seem on the brink of madness, the better Trump seems to me every day.

And if it puts a smelly sock in the mouths of the neocons and war pigs to saber rattle at Iran, with no possibility to actually do them any harm, because of the treaty and Europe's need to respect it, then what's the harm of Trump sounding a little buffoonish if it gets them off his back so that he can circle himself with a Pretorian guard of loyalists and get to the bottom of all of this. I suspect that is what terrifies people like Brennan more than anything else.

[Dec 21, 2017] In Unexpected Move, Trump Enacts Obama-era Law Opening US Arms Sales To Ukraine

Notable quotes:
"... the same week that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be handling Trump like "an asset". ..."
Dec 21, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Though WaPo's Josh Rogin characterizes the decision as intended to appease hawks while seeking to avoid broader conflict escalation based on "limited arms sales" (and not approving some of the heavier weaponry sought by Kiev), the move is likely to further ratchet up tensions with Russia, which is ironic for the fact that the decision comes the same week that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be handling Trump like "an asset".

Or perhaps we will be assured this is just more 4-dimensional chess playing between Trump and Putin to prove that not Putin but the Military Industrial Complex is once again "unexpectedly" in charge?

[Dec 21, 2017] Former Intel chief Putin is handling Trump like 'an asset' by Olivia Beavers

Notable quotes:
"... "I think this past weekend is illustrative of what a great case officer Vladimir Putin is. He knows how to handle an asset, and that's what he's doing with the president," Clapper said on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper," clarifying that he means this "figuratively." ..."
"... Clapper took aim at the news that Putin called Trump on Sunday to thank him and the CIA for sharing information that helped prevent a terrorist attack in St. Petersburg, describing the move as a "rather theatric gesture." ..."
"... He said the U.S. and Russia have shared such intelligence "for a long time" and it seemed over the top for Putin to call Trump " for something that goes on below the radar and is not all that visible." ..."
"... The remarks come after Trump said the U.S. is in competition with "revisionist" powers like Russia and China in a policy release about national security, while also stating in a speech that he wants to form a "great partnership" with them. Clapper said he found the message to be contradictory. ..."
"... Clapper's remarks on CNN come after he and over a dozen other former national security, intelligence and foreign policy officials filed an amicus brief in a lawsuit earlier this month against the Trump campaign and Republican operative Roger Stone. The brief details how Russia uses "active measures" and "actors" to spread disinformation and influence politics worldwide. "These actors include political organizers and activists, academics, journalists, web operators, shell companies, nationalists and militant groups, and prominent pro-Russian businessmen," the brief reads. ..."
Dec 18, 2017 | thehill.com

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be handling President Trump Donald John Trump House Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for 'serious case of amnesia' after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don't want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE like "an asset."

"I think this past weekend is illustrative of what a great case officer Vladimir Putin is. He knows how to handle an asset, and that's what he's doing with the president," Clapper said on CNN's "The Lead with Jake Tapper," clarifying that he means this "figuratively."

Clapper took aim at the news that Putin called Trump on Sunday to thank him and the CIA for sharing information that helped prevent a terrorist attack in St. Petersburg, describing the move as a "rather theatric gesture."

He said the U.S. and Russia have shared such intelligence "for a long time" and it seemed over the top for Putin to call Trump " for something that goes on below the radar and is not all that visible."

The former intelligence chief said Putin likely learned to recruit assets to help with his interests when he served as an officer in the KBG, which was the Soviet Union's main security agency.

"You have to remember Putin's background. He's a KGB officer, that's what they do. They recruit assets. And I think some of that experience and instincts of Putin has come into play here in his managing of a pretty important account for him, if I could use that term, with our president," he continued.

The remarks come after Trump said the U.S. is in competition with "revisionist" powers like Russia and China in a policy release about national security, while also stating in a speech that he wants to form a "great partnership" with them. Clapper said he found the message to be contradictory.

He also pointed to his previous experiences of trying to share intelligence with the Kremlin, stemming back to the early 1990s, describing the attempts as a "one-way street."

Clapper's remarks on CNN come after he and over a dozen other former national security, intelligence and foreign policy officials filed an amicus brief in a lawsuit earlier this month against the Trump campaign and Republican operative Roger Stone. The brief details how Russia uses "active measures" and "actors" to spread disinformation and influence politics worldwide. "These actors include political organizers and activists, academics, journalists, web operators, shell companies, nationalists and militant groups, and prominent pro-Russian businessmen," the brief reads.

"They 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," it continues.

[Dec 18, 2017] The Scary Void Inside Russia-gate by Stephen F. Cohen

Highly recommended!
"A looming, aggressive enemy (so portrayed) is needed to sustain the US's parasitic surveillance, "security", and "defense" ecosystems." Well said. National security parasites are so entrenched (and well fed by MIC) that any change of the US foreign policy is next to impossible. The only legitimate course is more wars and bombing.
Notable quotes:
"... This is unprecedented, preposterous, and dangerous, potentially more so than even Joe McCarthy's search for "Communist" connections. It would suggest, for example, that scores of American corporations doing business in Russia today are engaged in criminal enterprise. ..."
"... To suggest that such contacts are in any way criminal is to slur hundreds of reputations and to leave U.S. policy-makers with advisers laden with ideology and no actual expertise. It is also to suggest that any quest for better relations with Russia, or détente, is somehow suspicious, illegitimate, or impossible, as expressed recently by Andrew Weiss in The Wall Street Journal and by The Washington Post , in an editorial . This is one reason why I have, in a previous commentary , argued that Russia-gate and its promoters have become the gravest threat to American national security. ..."
"... Russia-gate began sometime prior to June 2016, not after the presidential election in November, as is often said, as an anti-Trump political project. (Exactly why, how, and by whom remain unclear, and herein lies the real significance of the largely bogus "dossier" and the still murky role of top U.S. intel officials in the creation of that document.) ..."
"... As Greenwald points out, all of the now retracted stories, whether by print media or cable television, were zealous promotions of Russia-gate and virulently anti-Trump. They, too, are examples of Russia-gate without Russia. ..."
"... Tillerson may be the last man standing who represents the possibility of some kind of détente. ..."
"... Unfortunately, and I can't believe I'm going to concede this, but FOX News, regarding this one particular issue: the baloney of Russiagate, is probably the most accurate mainstream source out there right now. Despite everything else they get wrong, FOX News, pertaining to Russiagate, is generally (generally) accurate from the bits and pieces I've seen. ..."
"... I agree. It seems sort of like the Nazi regime with more advanced technology and more complete ability for the gestapo to exercise control or more aptly like the Soviet Union where people actually believe the regime's propaganda. ..."
"... The neocon perpetrators of the Russia-gate hoax will continue putting their own greed (for money and power) ahead of American national security. That's who they are and what they do. They conflate global domination with American national security because it benefits them to do so. Sure, they don't want a hot war with Russia because they are neither psychotic nor suicidal. But they are power-crazed: delusional to the extent they think they can prevent the Russian-American hostility provoked by their own machinations from spinning out of control. ..."
"... Reason #3: A looming, aggressive enemy (so portrayed) is needed to sustain the U.S.'s parasitic surveillance, "security", and "defense" ecosystems. ..."
"... Thanks, Professor Cohen, and I happen to think that this phony Russia hacking fabrication is breaking down, along with many other false narratives of the West. So many things are exposing the lies and there are truly good investigators who are weighing in, so I am hopeful that the neocons will be finally outed as hopelessly behind the times. ..."
Dec 15, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Despite a lack of evidence at its core – and the risk of nuclear conflagration as its by-product – Russia-gate remains the go-to accusation for "getting" the Trump administration, explains Russia scholar Stephen F. Cohen.

The foundational accusation of Russia-gate was, and remains, charges that Russian President Putin ordered the hacking of Democratic National Committee e-mails and their public dissemination through WikiLeaks in order to benefit Donald Trump and undermine Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, and that Trump and/or his associates colluded with the Kremlin in this "attack on American democracy."

As no actual evidence for these allegations has been produced after nearly a year and a half of media and government investigations, we are left with Russia-gate without Russia. (An apt formulation perhaps first coined in an e-mail exchange by Nation writer James Carden.) Special counsel Mueller has produced four indictments: against retired Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump's short-lived national-security adviser, and George Papadopolous, a lowly and inconsequential Trump "adviser," for lying to the FBI; and against Paul Manafort and his partner Rick Gates for financial improprieties. None of these charges has anything to do with improper collusion with Russia, except for the wrongful insinuations against Flynn.

Instead, the several investigations, desperate to find actual evidence of collusion, have spread to "contacts with Russia" -- political, financial, social, etc. -- on the part of a growing number of people, often going back many years before anyone imagined Trump as a presidential candidate. The resulting implication is that these "contacts" were criminal or potentially so.

This is unprecedented, preposterous, and dangerous, potentially more so than even Joe McCarthy's search for "Communist" connections. It would suggest, for example, that scores of American corporations doing business in Russia today are engaged in criminal enterprise.

More to the point, advisers to U.S. policy-makers and even media commentators on Russia must have many and various contacts with Russia if they are to understand anything about the dynamics of Kremlin policy-making. I myself, to take an individual example, was an adviser to two (unsuccessful) presidential campaigns, which considered my wide-ranging and longstanding "contacts" with Russia to be an important credential, as did the one sitting president whom I advised.

To suggest that such contacts are in any way criminal is to slur hundreds of reputations and to leave U.S. policy-makers with advisers laden with ideology and no actual expertise. It is also to suggest that any quest for better relations with Russia, or détente, is somehow suspicious, illegitimate, or impossible, as expressed recently by Andrew Weiss in The Wall Street Journal and by The Washington Post , in an editorial . This is one reason why I have, in a previous commentary , argued that Russia-gate and its promoters have become the gravest threat to American national security.

Russia-gate began sometime prior to June 2016, not after the presidential election in November, as is often said, as an anti-Trump political project. (Exactly why, how, and by whom remain unclear, and herein lies the real significance of the largely bogus "dossier" and the still murky role of top U.S. intel officials in the creation of that document.)

That said, the mainstream American media have been largely responsible for inflating, perpetuating, and sustaining the sham Russia-gate as the real political crisis it has become, arguably the greatest in modern American presidential and thus institutional political history. The media have done this by increasingly betraying their own professed standards of verified news reporting and balanced coverage, even resorting to tacit forms of censorship by systematically excluding dissenting reporting and opinions.

(For inventories of recent examples, see Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept and Joe Lauria at Consortiumnews . Anyone interested in exposures of such truly "fake news" should visit these two sites regularly, the latter the product of the inestimable veteran journalist Robert Parry.)

Still worse, this mainstream malpractice has spread to some alternative-media publications once prized for their journalistic standards, where expressed disdain for "evidence" and "proof" in favor of allegations without any actual facts can sometimes be found. Nor are these practices merely the ordinary occasional mishaps of professional journalism.

As Greenwald points out, all of the now retracted stories, whether by print media or cable television, were zealous promotions of Russia-gate and virulently anti-Trump. They, too, are examples of Russia-gate without Russia.

Flynn and the FBI

Leaving aside possible financial improprieties on the part of General Flynn, his persecution and subsequent prosecution is highly indicative. Flynn pled guilty to having lied to the FBI about his communications with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, on behalf of the incoming Trump administration, discussions that unavoidably included some references, however vague, to sanctions imposed on Russia by President Obama in December 2016, just before leaving office.

Those sanctions were highly unusual -- last-minute, unprecedented in their seizure of Russian property in the United States, and including a reckless veiled threat of unspecified cyber-attacks on Russia. They gave the impression that Obama wanted to make even more difficult Trump's professed goal of improving relations with Moscow.

Still more, Obama's specified reason was not Russian behavior in Ukraine or Syria, as is commonly thought, but Russia-gate -- that is, Putin's "attack on American democracy," which Obama's intel chiefs had evidently persuaded him was an entirely authentic allegation. (Or which Obama, who regarded Trump's victory over his designated successor, Hillary Clinton, as a personal rebuff, was eager to believe.)

But Flynn's discussions with the Russian ambassador -- as well as other Trump representatives' efforts to open "back-channel" communications with Moscow – were anything but a crime. As I pointed out in another commentary , there were so many precedents of such overtures on behalf of presidents-elect, it was considered a normal, even necessary practice, if only to ask Moscow not to make relations worse before the new president had a chance to review the relationship.

When Henry Kissinger did this on behalf of President-elect Nixon, his boss instructed him to keep the communication entirely confidential, not to inform any other members of the incoming administration. Presumably Flynn was similarly secretive, thereby misinforming Vice President Pence and finding himself trapped -- or possibly entrapped -- between loyalty to his president and an FBI agent. Flynn no doubt would have been especially guarded with a representative of the FBI, knowing as he did the role of Obama's Intel bosses in Russia-gate prior to the election and which had escalated after Trump's surprise victory.

In any event, to the extent that Flynn encouraged Moscow not to reply in kind immediately to Obama's highly provocative sanctions, he performed a service to U.S. national security, not a crime. And, assuming that Flynn was acting on the instructions of his president-elect, so did Trump. Still more, if Flynn "colluded" in any way, it was with Israel, not Russia , having been asked by that government to dissuade countries from voting for an impending anti-Israel U.N. resolution.

Removing Tillerson

Finally, and similarly, there is the ongoing effort by the political-media establishment to drive Secretary of State Rex Tillerson from office and replace him with a fully neocon, anti-Russian, anti-détente head of the State Department. Tillerson was an admirable appointee by Trump -- widely experienced in world affairs, a tested negotiator, a mature and practical-minded man.

Originally, his role as the CEO of Exxon Mobil who had negotiated and enacted an immensely profitable and strategically important energy-extraction deal with the Kremlin earned him the slur of being "Putin's pal." This preposterous allegation has since given way to charges that he is slowly restructuring, and trimming, the long bloated and mostly inept State Department, as indeed he should do. Numerous former diplomats closely associated with Hillary Clinton have raced to influential op-ed pages to denounce Tillerson's undermining of this purportedly glorious frontline institution of American national security. Many news reports, commentaries, and editorials have been in the same vein. But who can recall a major diplomatic triumph by the State Department or a Secretary of State in recent years?

The answer might be the Obama administration's multinational agreement with Iran to curb its nuclear-weapons potential, but that was due no less to Russia's president and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which provided essential guarantees to the sides involved. Forgotten, meanwhile, are the more than 50 career State Department officials who publicly protested Obama's rare attempt to cooperate with Moscow in Syria. Call it by what it was: the sabotaging of a president by his own State Department.

In this spirit, there are a flurry of leaked stories that Tillerson will soon resign or be ousted. Meanwhile, however, he carries on. The ever-looming menace of Russia-gate compels him to issue wildly exaggerated indictments of Russian behavior while, at the same time, calling for a "productive new relationship" with Moscow, in which he clearly believes. (And which, if left unencumbered, he might achieve.)

Evidently, Tillerson has established a "productive" working relationship with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, the two of them having just announced North Korea's readiness to engage in negotiations with the United States and other governments involved in the current crisis.

Tillerson's fate will tell us much about the number-one foreign-policy question confronting America: cooperation or escalating conflict with the other nuclear superpower, a détente-like diminishing of the new Cold War or the growing risks that it will become hot war. Politics and policy should never be over-personalized; larger factors are always involved. But in these unprecedented times, Tillerson may be the last man standing who represents the possibility of some kind of détente. Apart, that is, from President Trump himself, loathe him or not. Or to put the issue differently: Will Russia-gate continue to gravely endanger American national security?

Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University and a contributing editor of The Nation , where a version of this article first appeared.

Abe , December 15, 2017 at 1:49 pm

"Thanks to Flynn's indictment, we now know that the Israeli prime minister was able to transform the Trump administration into his own personal vehicle for undermining Obama's lone effort to hold Israel accountable at the UN. A clearer example of a foreign power colluding with an American political operation against a sitting president has seldom, if ever, been exposed in such glaring fashion.

"Kushner's deep ties to the Israeli right-wing and ethical breaches

"The day after Kushner was revealed as Flynn's taskmaster, a team of researchers from the Democratic Super PAC American Bridge found that the presidential son-in-law had failed to disclose his role as a co-director of his family's Charles and Seryl Kushner Foundation during the years when his family's charity funded the Israeli enterprise of illegal settlements. The embarrassing omission barely scratched the surface of Kushner's decades long relationship with Israel's Likud-led government. [ ]

"A Clinton mega-donor defends Kushner's collusion

"So why isn't this angle of the Flynn indictment getting more attention? An easy explanation could be deduced from the stunning spectacle that unfolded this December 2 at the Brookings Institution, where the fresh-faced Kushner engaged in a 'keynote conversation' with Israeli-American oligarch Haim Saban. [ ]

""The spectacle of a top Democratic Party money man defending one of the Trump administration's most influential figures was clearly intended to establish a patina of bipartisan normalcy around Kushner's collusion with the Netanyahu government. Saban's effort to protect the presidential son-in-law was supplemented by an op-ed in the Jewish Daily Forward headlined, 'Jared Kushner Was Right To 'Collude' With Russia -- Because He Did It For Israel.'

"While the Israel lobby ran interference for Kushner, the favorite pundits of the liberal anti-Trump "Resistance" minimized the role of Israel in the Flynn saga. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, who has devoted more content this year to Russia than to any other topic, appeared to entirely avoid the issue of Kushner's collusion with Israel.

"There is simply too much at stake for too many to allow any disruption in the preset narrative. From the journalist pack that followed the trail of Russiagate down a conspiracy infested rabbit hole to the Clintonites seeking excuses for their mind-boggling campaign failures to the Cold Warriors exploiting the panic over Russian meddling to drive an unprecedented arms build-up, the narrative must go on, regardless of the facts."

Michael Flynn's Indictment Exposes Trump Team's Collusion With Israel, Not Russia
By Max Blumenthal
https://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/flynn-indictment-exposes-collusion-israel

Drew Hunkins , December 15, 2017 at 2:19 pm

Unfortunately, and I can't believe I'm going to concede this, but FOX News, regarding this one particular issue: the baloney of Russiagate, is probably the most accurate mainstream source out there right now. Despite everything else they get wrong, FOX News, pertaining to Russiagate, is generally (generally) accurate from the bits and pieces I've seen.

One quick example -- a few months ago the otherwise execrable Hannity actually had on his show the great Dennis Kucinich who railed against the deep state for attacking Trump b/c of his overtures toward peace with Moscow and how the deep state was using Russiagate to do it, etc. Kucinich was sensational. I doubt Maddow would ever have given him such a platform to voice the truth like Hannity did on this particular occasion.

Patrick Lucius , December 15, 2017 at 2:27 pm

I may have to take a look at Fox again–I bet you are right. Hannity as an arbiter of truth–oh my god

Drew Hunkins , December 15, 2017 at 3:35 pm

On this one particular issue, Hannity gets things right.

Rob , December 16, 2017 at 2:00 pm

If Hannity ever reports a story correctly, it's only because it coincides with his deeply partisan interests. Being truthful is something about which he cares little, if at all.

Skip Scott , December 15, 2017 at 3:05 pm

Yeah Drew-

For years I railed against Fox, but nowadays they seem to be the relatively sensible ones. Tucker Carlson is exceptionally bright, and I have no idea what got into Hannity. I used to loathe him to no end. Him giving Dennis Kucinich a chance to speak his mind is something I never would have imagined.

Drew Hunkins , December 15, 2017 at 3:36 pm

Isn't it something Mr. Scott?

Dave P. , December 15, 2017 at 11:34 pm

Drew and Skip Scott – Yes, I agree with you. I watched Dennis Kucinich too. Hannity and Carlson have been doing some very good reporting on these issues. It is amazing how the things have changed. Fox News was "No" for progressives to go to.

Annie , December 15, 2017 at 4:25 pm

Prior to Trump's presidency I would never watch Fox News, but on this issue,, they are a more accurate source of information then any other broadcasting media. Rachel Maddow does nothing but rave, as if she had her own personal agenda, and maybe she does, ousting Trump, and that a woman didn't win the White House. I too saw the interview with Kucinich, and indeed it was a very good one.

RamboDave , December 15, 2017 at 5:27 pm

Tucker Carlson, on Fox (right before Hannity), has had Glenn Greenwald on several times.

David G , December 16, 2017 at 9:08 am

That basically maps directly onto the fact that Russia is the one issue Trump is right on.

Patrick Lucius , December 15, 2017 at 2:20 pm

Great article. Has America gone off the deep end? I just watched the first ten minutes of an anti-Putin and anti-Russian Frontline on television two nights ago. I have never seen more blatant or shameless propaganda. Because my mom watches tv all day and I am taking care of her, I see the same slop, drivel, and gibberish parroted all day long on the major news outlets. Perhaps I should state that more professionally: I see the same shameless propaganda parroted daily by the mainstream news media And it occurs to me–these young news commentators are not part of a conspiracy, willfully lying–they actually believe the propaganda. We are in trouble. I think as a group we act much more like bees in a hive or monkeys in a troop than we do as rational beings, and I mean no disrespect to bees or monkeys.

exiled off mainstreet , December 15, 2017 at 2:56 pm

I agree. It seems sort of like the Nazi regime with more advanced technology and more complete ability for the gestapo to exercise control or more aptly like the Soviet Union where people actually believe the regime's propaganda.

Annie , December 15, 2017 at 4:35 pm

Personally I believe that many do know that there is nothing to the Russia-gate story, but go along to get along, and they are no different then politicians, who bow before the Israeli Lobby, or NRA, or corporate groups to get reelected, and maintain their standing in their party. Another way of putting it, is to say they are willing to prostitute themselves. I can't see myself doing that.

occupy on , December 16, 2017 at 12:36 am

I, too, saw this scurrilous 'documentary' – "Putin's Revenge" – and made a point of writing down the names of a good number of those commentators moving the narrative along. All of them are well-known active Zionists or children of American Zionists who've helped create and ardently protect the State of Israel. I wish I could remember now at least some of the commentors' names. I didn't see Frontline' "Putin's Revenge" on PBS. It was on a National Geographic channel that traditionally shows those anthropological 'documentaries' about "Ancient Alien Visitors," "Gods from Outer Space, etc .pleasant programs to fall to sleep by. 'Putin's Revenge', however, was grotesque in its downright lies – making me furiously wide awake until I could google info on those names.

alley cat , December 15, 2017 at 2:36 pm

"Or to put the issue differently: Will Russia-gate continue to gravely endanger American national security?"

The neocon perpetrators of the Russia-gate hoax will continue putting their own greed (for money and power) ahead of American national security. That's who they are and what they do. They conflate global domination with American national security because it benefits them to do so. Sure, they don't want a hot war with Russia because they are neither psychotic nor suicidal. But they are power-crazed: delusional to the extent they think they can prevent the Russian-American hostility provoked by their own machinations from spinning out of control.

exiled off mainstreet , December 15, 2017 at 2:54 pm

This is a great article by one of the most intelligent and knowledgeable commentators on Russia remaining active despite the ongoing dangerous propaganda storm. Those responsible for this storm are threatening our continued existence. Because of this depressing salient fact, the democratic party, which has been fully on board with this, has totally sacrificed its legitimacy and degenerated to a clear and present existential danger. Clear thinking people have to view it as such and take necessary action based upon that fact, which is serious in its implications, since it is difficult in the extreme to supplant an existing party in a two party system (which has degenerated into a two faction one party state some time ago) in light of the media propaganda, intelligence and police control exercised by this odious system.

Bill , December 15, 2017 at 3:11 pm

Really glad, Mr, Cohen, to see your article in Consortium. Your voice is always a wise one. Weekly listener.

Very important and accurate information, for the most part, in my view, though I have a few caveats.

Unfortunately for our perception of the 'goodness' of those in power, I tend to think the level of knowledge and intention of those who spread Russiagate are more cynical than you imagine.

When we read certain articles from hardline think-tanks and serious political commentary from those publications and outlets which sustain the current 'scandal' we see a surprising awareness of Russia's true intentions and nature. Sober, and reasonable. The problem is that this commentary is not what is used to persuade any element of the public toward a certain view on Russia. You instead see it within the establishment essentially talking amongst themselves.

The problem, as I see it, is that these people are fully aware of the truth, as well as Russia's intentions. They are just quite simply spinning vast lies to the contrary whenever they speak to, or in front of, the public. For two main reasons:

The remainder of this piece refers to #2.

Russia is an 'enemy' now, more than anything else, because, for whatever it's self-interested motivations, it is a loud, prominent, powerful voice actively and methodically criticizing and opposing US imperial hypocrisy, double-standards, and deception.

Russia is a fake enemy, talked about in a fake way, by fake people in an increasingly fake democracy. Respectfully, Mr. Cohen, I don't think ideology is the problem. I don't think those at the helm of US foreign policy have had an ideology in a long, long time. I think they have, with few exceptions, a 'prime directive': The retention and expansion of Oligarchic corporate power.

Nowadays, fearmongering over immigrant crime, terrorists, non-state cyber-criminals, or whatever else conjured to make the extremely safe-from-foreign-threats (To this day no war on our soil since the Civil War. Itself a domestic threat) American people feel afraid, and thus controllable and ignorant, is no longer working. Only a big fish like Russia can even hope to do the job. Plus that big fish is one of the factors 'sowing chaos' by giving a voice to anti-imperialists in the West to spread the truth of the government we actually live under.

In short, Russiagate, and it's accompanying digital censorship efforts, are a desperate attempt to rest control back over the American people and away from honest, rational truth.

Even shorter, our rulers underestimated the power of the internet.

Kind regards,
Bill

Lois Gagnon , December 15, 2017 at 8:57 pm

Thank you. That is a really truthful post. It really is all about maintaining imperial hegemony at all costs. Unfortunately, the cost could be the end of life on Earth. These weasels controlling the machinery of state from the darkness must be exposed as the treacherous criminals they are.

David G , December 16, 2017 at 9:22 am

Reason #3: A looming, aggressive enemy (so portrayed) is needed to sustain the U.S.'s parasitic surveillance, "security", and "defense" ecosystems.

Jessica K , December 15, 2017 at 3:27 pm

Thanks, Professor Cohen, and I happen to think that this phony Russia hacking fabrication is breaking down, along with many other false narratives of the West. So many things are exposing the lies and there are truly good investigators who are weighing in, so I am hopeful that the neocons will be finally outed as hopelessly behind the times.

And Twitter is helping because western media sources will not tell the truth and people are taking to it to push back. I agree that at this time Fox is more interested in the facts than MSNBC, and particularly Tucker Carlson. (The sex scandals, now another witch hunt, are showing what a fouled-up society America has become. It is feminist McCarthyism, sadly, and I am glad Tavis Smiley is fighting back.)

Yesterday I had a conversation with a loud mouth believer of the "Putin did it" fable and told him some details, that outright it was a fabrication, and someone nearby in the coffee shop actually joined to support the pushback with other facts. So, I am hopeful that people are waking up. And Nikki Haley has just been called by people on Twitter for her lies about Iran provocation in Yemen. Plus documents on NATO expansion after Gorbachev was assured would not happen, have just been revealed. I do think people are waking up.

Bill , December 15, 2017 at 3:30 pm

Jessica,

That's what it takes. The political battle of our times. Good on you. I think you're right. The beginnings of which seem to have motivated Russiagate in the first place. I did a longer post on this above. Please keep spreading sense. I'll do the same.

Best wishes,
Bill

RnM , December 15, 2017 at 9:25 pm

It's good to be optimistc, but let us not forget the long history (short by Old World standards) of the oligarchy of doing anything and everything to get what they want.

The present cock-up of Russia-gate (Geez, I hate using that MSM concocted jingo term) points, not to the oligarchs losing their groove, but to an incompetent but persistent bunch of Clinton/Obama synchophants. Their days in any kind of power are, thankfully, numbered. But the snakes are lurking in the bushes, as are the deeper parts of the deep state. It's the long game that they are in for.

Martin - Swedish citizen , December 15, 2017 at 6:37 pm

Thanks, Jessica,
A hopeful comment! Here, too, I sense at least some more dissent among us citizens with the prevailing lies.
When the bubble bursts, the boy has cried and everyone "realises" the emperor is naked, I wonder, will our governments, politicians and media survive? Everyone, practically, is complicit.

Jessica K , December 15, 2017 at 3:35 pm

Thanks, Bill, and I think we're at a profound crossroads in world history. I saw an interview on YouTube with young Americans who did not even know who won the Civil War nor why it was fought! We all must speak out with conviction and without anger.

Realist , December 15, 2017 at 3:44 pm

My parents always used to use the old argument to keep my thinking on track and avoid conforming to dangerous groupthink: "if everyone else decided to jump off the cliff, in the river or out the 10th floor window, would you just follow the crowd?" Professor Cohen is one of the rare little boys who either learned that lesson well or has always had strong innate instincts to avoid following the crowd or jumping on self-destructive bandwagons. Most of the readers of this site seem to have similar predilections and are among the very few Americans not being led by the Pied Pipers of all-encompassing self-destructive Russophobia. (Is there some common childhood experience or shared gene in our personal biographies that compel our rigorous adherence to the principles we all uphold?) As other posters have noted here, those few media personalities with a seeming immunity to the pathological groupthink now infecting most of America are indeed a very curious lot, with little else in the way of ideological conformity, but thank heavens for them for any restoration of mass sanity will surely have to originate from within their ranks, examples and leadership. I, for one, am pulling for Professor Cohen to be among those leading this country out of the wilderness of lock-step madness.

Bob Van Noy , December 15, 2017 at 3:47 pm

We remember an era before 11/22/1963

Joe Tedesky , December 15, 2017 at 4:30 pm

Realist I'm glad you brought up the readers on consortiumnews, and their not falling for this Russia-Gate nonsense. People posting comments here in support of 'no Russian interference' have been accused of being Trump supporters, but that was never the case. No, instead many here just saw through the fog of propaganda, and certainly saw this Russia-Gate idiocy as it being nothing more than an instigated coup. This defense of Trump could have been for any newly elected president, but the division between Hillary supporters, and Trump backers, has been the biggest obstacle to overcome, while attempting to explain your thought. I truly think that if the shoe had been on the other foot, that the many posters of comments here on consortiumnews would have been on Hillary's side, if it had been the same kind of coup that had been put in place. It's time to tell John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, and Robert Mueller, to call Hillary and say, 'well at least we tried Madam Secretary', and then be done with it.

Dave P. , December 16, 2017 at 2:43 pm

Realist and Joe – I always enjoy reading your thoughtful comments. Those of us who have been reading professor Stephen Cohen's articles for more than four decades now , know that he is the foremost authority on Russia. Instead of being courted to give his valuable input into the relations with Russia, he and others like him are being vilified as Putin apologists. It is the sign of the times we live in now.

As many comments posters here on this site had noted, the Russia-Gate has been deliberately created to confront Russia at this time rather than later on. Russia is in the way for final push for World domination – the Neoliberal Globalization.

Nobody, in Washington or elsewhere in the Country seems to ask why and for whom they, The ruling Powers want to establish this World Empire at any cost – even at the risk of a nuclear war. This process of building an Empire has changed the country as I had seen it more than half a century ago.

NeoLiberal Globalization, building this World wide Empire during the last three or four decades had its real winners and losers. Lot of wealth has been created all over the World under neoliberal global economy.

The big time winners are top .01% and another about 10% are also in the winners category, and have accumulated lot of wealth. From all over the World; China, India . . . this top 10% class send their kids to the best universities in the West for professional education; Finance, High tech, Sciences, and other professions and they get the jobs all over in Silicon Valley, and big financial Institutions and other professional fields in U.S. , U.K., Australia Canada . . .

The losers are middle class in U.S. – whom Hillary called deplorables – especially in those once mighty Industrial States in the Midwest, and East. With my marriage here , I inherited lots of relatives more than forty five years ago, most of them in the Midwest. As somebody commented a few weeks ago on this site about these middle class people that their " Way of Life " has been destroyed. It is true. All these people voted for Trump. With the exception of two, all our relatives in the Midwest and elsewhere on my wife's side voted for Trump. They are good, hard working people. It is painful to look at those ruined and abandoned factories in those States and ruined lives of many of those Middle Class people. Globalization has been disastrous for the middle class people in U.S. It is a race to the bottom for those people.

Ask those relatives if they have ever read anything about Russia during 2016. Not one of them have ever read or listened to anything related to Russian media or other Russian source. They did not even know if anything like RT or Sputnik News ever existed. Most of them don't even know now. And it is true of the people we associate with here where we live. None of them have time to read anything let alone Russian Media. I came to know about RT during events in Ukraine in 2014, and about Sputnik News over a year ago when this Russia- Gate commotion began. And I had read lot of Russian literature in my young age.

As several articles on this website have pointed out those email leaks were an inside job. Russia-Gate is just a concocted scheme to bring down Trump. And to destabilize Russia – a hurdle to Globalization and West's domination.

Skip Scott , December 17, 2017 at 8:39 am

Dave P-

Yours is a very accurate portrayal of the heartland of America. I live in a very rural area of the southwest, and you describe reality there to a "T". They are much too busy trying to survive to dig too deeply into world affairs. Thank goodness at least they've got Tucker Carlson at Fox to contrast the propaganda spewers on the other networks. They know the latte sippers and their government has abandoned them, but they don't fully understand the PNAC empire's moves in pursuit of global domination, and many wind up in the military jousting at windmills.

Realist , December 17, 2017 at 4:46 pm

I totally concur, Dave. I'm 70 and well remember, as a little kid, as a teenager and as a young man, folks talking about a far-off ideal of world unity, wherein all people on earth would share in earth's bounty and have the same democratic rights. The UN was supposed to be one of the first steps in that general direction. However, nobody thought that the eventual outcome would be what the movement has transmogrified into today: neoliberal globalism in which a tiny fraction of the top 1% own and control everything, with the rest of us actually suffering a drastic drop in our standard of living and a blatant diminution of our political rights.

It's been fifty years since I lived in Chicago, and about 45 since I last lived in the Midwest, but I was born and raised there and well recognise everything you have said about the place and the people in your remark to be entirely correct. It's also true for most of the other regions of this country in which I have lived, but the "Rust Belt" has paid the price in spades to satiate the neoliberal globalist "free traders." (Remember when THAT catchphrase was first sold to the working classes by Slick Willie's DLC wing of the Democratic party? He and Al Gore basically ended up doubling the ranks of "Reagan Democrats" whether they intended to do so or not. And, Hillary was so delusional as to assume those people would be on her side!)

Dave P. , December 17, 2017 at 11:36 pm

Yes, Realist. That Slick Willie and Gore did the most damage to the working class than any other administration in the recent American history. And being progressive democrats, we worked hard for their election as volunteers registering voters. At that time Rolling Stone Magazine called them as Saviors after Reagan and Bush era of greed – as they called it. Clintons sold the Democratic Party to the Wall Street and to Neoliberal Globalization. Tony Blair did the same in U.K. to the Labor Party.

Then we put faith in Hopey changey Obama and worked for his election. And he turned out to be big fraud too. After his Libya intervention and then on to Syria, I finally got turned off from Democratic Party politics. My wife, and I had started with McGovern Campaign in 1972.

Talking about Chicago, I landed at O'Haire fifty two years ago during snowy Winter, with just a few hundred dollars in my pocket enough for one semester on my way to Graduate School. You can not do it these days. America was at it's best. Ann Arbor was a Republican town those days with very friendly people. Compared to Europe, and other cultures, I found Americans the least prejudiced people, very open to other cultures. The factories In Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana . . . were humming. Never on Earth, such a prosperous middle class on such a scale has ever been created; made of good, hard working people in those small and big towns. The workers were back bone of the Democratic Party. And every thing looked optimistic. I, and couple of my friends thought it can not get better than this on Earth.

And all this seems like a past history now. Life is still good but that stability and that optimism of 1960's is gone. I visited Wisconsin and Michigan last Spring and in Fall again this year. It is painful to look at those gigantic factories shut down and in ruins. I lived for a decade in Michigan. As I said in my comments above, the biggest loser in this NeoLiberal Globalization is American Middle Class.

Piotr Berman , December 15, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Jessica K: The sex scandals, now another witch hunt, are showing what a fouled-up society America has become.

One could say that there is nothing bad about a witch hunt, provided that it genuinely goes after evil witches. Perhaps the worst hitch hunt in my memory was directed at preschool teachers accused of sexual molestation and sometimes satanism. Probably we are not in this Animal Kingdom story (yet):

Denizens of AK see a hare running very fast and they ask "what happen?" Mr. hare answers "They are castrating camels!" "But you are a hare, not a camel!" "Try to prove that you are not a camel!".

Abe , December 15, 2017 at 5:02 pm

"In a dramatic development in the trial in Kiev of several Berkut police officers accused of shooting civilians in the Maidan demonstrations in February 2014, the defence has produced two Georgians who confirm that the murders were committed by foreign snipers, at least 50 of them, operating in teams. The two Georgians, Alexander Revazishvili and Koba Nergadze have agreed to testify [ ]

"This dramatic and explosive evidence was first brought to light by the Italian journalist Gian Micalessin on November 16 in an article in the Italian journal Il Giornale and is again brought to the world's attention by a lawyer with some courage picking up on that report and speaking with the witnesses himself. These witnesses stated to Gian Micalessin, even more explosively, that the American Army was directly involved in the murders.

"The clear objective of the Maidan massacre in Kiev on February 20, 2014 was to sow chaos and reap the fall of the democratically elected, pro-Russian Yanukovych government. People were slaughtered for no other reason than to destroy a government the NATO powers, especially the United States and Germany, wanted removed because of its opposition to NATO, the EU, and their hegemonic drive to open Ukraine and Russia to American and German economic expansion. In other words, it was about money and the making of money.

"The western media and leaders quickly blamed the Yanukovych government for the killings during the Maidan demonstrations, but more evidence has become available indicating that the massacre in Kiev of police and civilians – which led to the escalation of protests, leading to the overthrow of the Yanukovych government – was the work of snipers working on orders of government opponents and their NATO controllers using the protests as a cover for a coup.

"One of the snipers already admitted to this in February 2015, thereby confirming what had become common knowledge just a few days after the massacre in Kiev and in a secretly recorded telephone call, the Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet reported to the EU head of Foreign Policy, Catherine Ashton, in early March 2014, that there was widespread suspicion that "someone from the new coalition" in the Kiev government may have ordered the sniper murders. In February 2016, Maidan activist Ivan Bubenchik confessed that in the course of the massacre, he had shot Ukrainian police officers. Bubenchik confirmed this in a film that gained wide attention.

'Dr. Ivan Katchanovski, at the University of Ottawa, published a devastating paper on the Maidan killings setting out in extensive detail the conclusive evidence that it was a false flag operation and that members of the present Kiev regime, including Poroshenko himself were involved in the murders, not the government forces. [ ]

"In the November 16 article in the Italian journal Il Giornale, and repeated on Italian TV Canale 5, journalist Gian Micalessin revealed that 3 Georgians, all trained army snipers, and with links to Mikheil Saakashvili and Georgian security forces were ordered to travel to Kiev from Tbilisi during the Maidan events. It is two of these men that are now being called to testify in Kiev."

The Maidan Massacre: US Army Orders: Sow Chaos
By Christopher Black
https://journal-neo.org/2017/12/15/the-maidan-massacre-us-army-orders-sow-chaos/

Abe , December 15, 2017 at 5:12 pm

The pretext for the western-supported overthrow of Ukrainian President Yanukovych was the massacre of more than a hundred protestors in Kiev in February 2014, which Yanukovych allegedly ordered his forces to carry out. Doubts have been expressed about the evidence for this allegation, but they have been almost entirely ignored by the western media and politicians.

Ukrainian-Canadian professor Ivan Katchanovski has carried out a detailed study of the evidence of those events, including videos and radio intercepts made publicly available by pro-Maidan sources, and eye witness accounts. His findings point to the involvement of far-right militias in the massacre and a cover-up afterwards:

– The trajectories of many of the shots indicate that they were fired from buildings that were then occupied by Maidan forces.
– Many warnings were given by announcers on the Maidan stage about snipers firing from those buildings.
– Several leaders of the then opposition felt secure enough to give speeches on the Maidan around the time that gunmen in nearby buildings were shooting protestors dead, and those leaders were not targeted by the gunmen .
– Many of the protesters were shot with an outdated type of firearm that was not used by professional snipers but was available in Ukraine as a hunting weapon.
– Recordings of all live TV and Internet broadcasts of the massacre by five different TV channels were either removed from their websites immediately after the massacre or not made publicly available.
– Official results of ballistic, weapons, and medical examinations and other evidence collected during the investigations have not been made public, while crucial evidence, including bullets and weapons, has disappeared.
– No evidence has been given that links the then security forces' weapons to the killings of the protesters.
– No evidence has been given of orders to shoot unarmed protestors even though the new government claimed that Yanukovych issued those orders personally.
– So far the only three people have been charged with the massacre, one of whom has disappeared from house arrest.

http://www.academia.edu/8776021/The_Snipers_Massacre_on_the_Maidan_in_Ukraine

Bob Van Noy , December 15, 2017 at 6:16 pm

Thank you Abe that article could change everything

Martin - Swedish citizen , December 15, 2017 at 6:54 pm

Abe,
Thanks for advocating Dr Katchanovski! I have been reading some of his papers since a year or two and his work seems very thorough! He uses physical facts like trajectories of bullets to determine where shots originated.

Another expert in the field who knows Mr Katchanovski fully endorsed his academic work without any hesitation when I asked him recently. He is being published by publishers with the highest demands. His work can be found in academia.com or is it .org, login is free of charge.
His work deserves the attention of real journalists.

Martin - Swedish citizen , December 15, 2017 at 6:57 pm

Oh, sorry, I see u already mentioned academia.edu!
No harm repeating though.
And it is .edu. :)

Litchfield , December 15, 2017 at 9:51 pm

Ditto with the airliner shootdown.
Russia is accused and evidence is destroyed/suppressed.
The pattern is quite clear. Russiagate is merely an extension of the same pattern.
Remember those intelligence tests that consist of presenting a series of numbers, and the test taker has to figure out what the next number in the pattern is . . .
So, the Russiagate thing is merely the next item that continues the pattern of Maidan, plane shootdown and cover-up, shootdown of plane in Sinai, etc. etc. etc.
I think the deep state REALLY went apoplectic when Snowden escaped to Russia.

They will have their revenged, at any price, to the USA, to Russia, to the world. These are madmen.

Joe Tedesky , December 16, 2017 at 12:32 am

It's prove Abe that 'only if you live long enough' applies to learning these newly uncovered facts regarding the Maiden Square riots. Let's hold out hope that the truth to MH17 comes out soon. Another thing, how can these sanctions against Russia stay in place while everything known as a narrative to that event comes unraveled.

Marko , December 15, 2017 at 5:31 pm

That's a good article , worth reading in its entirety. Thanks.

occupy on , December 16, 2017 at 1:23 am

Abe, thank you so much for this information. US fingerprints are all over Ukraine's sickening economic 'reforms', too! Have you read the House Ukraine Freedom Support Act – passed by both houses in the middle of the night Dec. 2014? I have. Wade through until nearly the end where it gives President Obama #1. the power to work toward US corporations exploring and developing Ukraine's natural resources (including fracking) once 'reforms' have been put in place (privatization); #2. the power to ask the World Bank to extend special loans for US corporations to develop those natural resources; #3. the power to install 'defensive' missile sites all along Russia's western borders; #4. the power to free US NGO's in Russia from their previously non-partisan restraints and allow them to work with anti-Putin political groups.

I urge you to google Dennis Kucinich/Ron Paul/Ukraine Freedom Support Act -2014. You won't believe how that bill got through the House of Representatives and Senate. And you'll have to laugh when you hear the word "democracy" in any context with "the USA".

Annie , December 15, 2017 at 6:48 pm

I also see the sexual allegations made against Trump, as another opportunity to oust him from his presidency. I in no way condone such behavior, but it's disturbing to think the main motivation driving this is another means of trying to oust him from his presidency. I don't believe, as these women claim, that they felt "left out", in the recent outings of men who have misused their positions of power to exploit women sexually.

Litchfield , December 15, 2017 at 9:58 pm

Yep, the Weinstein thing is being trumpeted and amplified to the extent that it synergizes wtih attempts to oust Trump. It is handy to the deep state. Trump qua political figure is being tarred with the Weinstein brush. That is the main reason we are seeing such a heavy dose of stories on male bad behavior. We would not be seeing this if Hillary were in power. Just a few stories but not full-court press. Because too many of these bad actors are actually in the Hillary camp. Like, most of Hollywood. The story wouldn't help her, politically, if she were in power. It only helps politically to drag down Trump. Before the Weinstein thing came along, we arleady had teh golden showers fairy tale. In fact it would not surprise me at all if Rose McGowan had some kind of political support and encouragement to "go public."
this is no way means that I think this kind of thing is OK. But, things are not straightforward in our world. It is a political as well as a "moral" or lifestyle story. One of the political targets is Trump. Notice that the heads of studios who knew all about this behavior and did nothing are not being forced to step down. Let's check out their political donations . . .

Joe Tedesky , December 16, 2017 at 12:44 am

What if the 'Sexual Predator Purge' stories along with the 'Get Trump Out of Office' campaign were but two stories colliding into each other? I mean a reporter in our TMZ world we live in would need paid a handsome sum to continually stay quiet over a Harvey Weinstein kind of scoop, so eventually these scandals had to come out. And then there's hateable loud mouth the Donald, who must be stopped by any means. Put the two together, and hey with how all these big shot perv's are going down, why not corral Trump and force him to resign. It's even cheaper than impeachment.

So the conniving once again craft together a piece of fiction, mixed in with some reality, and take the American conscience off into another realm of fantasy. Hate can get anybody carted off to the guillotine, if the timings right.

Joe Tedesky , December 16, 2017 at 12:55 am

Andrew Bacevich mentions the Weinstein scandal, and then goes on to suggest what the conversation should be.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48429.htm

Litchfield , December 16, 2017 at 9:12 am

Bacevich is fine as far as he goes
But he never quite "turns the corner" himself in taking the story as far as it needs to be taken and laying out the conclusions that the public needs to grasp.

David G , December 16, 2017 at 9:32 am

Yes! That! Thank you, Litchfield.

Bacevich is knowledgeable and worth reading. But he never, afaik, ventures to look deeply enough into the imperial heart of darkness – "turn the corner", as you say.

Leslie F. , December 15, 2017 at 7:11 pm

So the investigation isn't really about Russia. It is about corruption, money laundering, tax evasion, etc. All worthy of investigation. Not to mention the conspiracy to kidnap the Turkish cleric and collusion with Israel This investigation should not be shut down because the deep state and the press are in a conspiracy to blame it all on Russia. It is up to you guys in the press to convince your colleagues to call it what it really is, and expose those members who continue to misrepresent reality. The press, as a whole, has dropped the ball in a big way on this, but that is not Mueller's responsibility. The 4th estate is a mess and you should be trying to figure out how to clean it up without violating the constitution.

Annie , December 15, 2017 at 7:58 pm

This is one of the reasons I no longer support Democracy Now. As Mr. Cohen said, " worse, this mainstream malpractice has spread to some alternative-media publications once prized for their journalistic standards, "

God, help us, everyone including mental health professionals have no sense of professionalism, but they sure know how to make a buck, and try to undo a presidency.

"There are Thousands of Us": Mental Health Professionals Warn of Trump's Increasing Instability

https://www.democracynow.org/2017/12/8/there_are_thousands_of_us_mental

Litchfield , December 15, 2017 at 10:00 pm

Ditto, The Nation. See my post.

Annie , December 15, 2017 at 11:22 pm

I read your post, and of course I agree. Some of the allegations are so minor, as he hugged me and gave me a kiss on my mouth. He touched my breast. I was in the dressing room when he came in unannounced, and my hair was in curlers, and I was only wearing a robe, but I was nude underneath. Of course some were more disconcerting then those I mentioned, but all claim to be traumatized. I have no doubt their agenda is to bring him down and the whole thing has been orchestrated to do just that. Where is all the concern, and coverage of rape in this country where the estimates go from 300,000 to over a million women raped each year? Where are the stories about sexual trafficking of children, or the children who are sexually abused in their own homes? I've never seen coverage on these issues like what is happening now. That is another reason I find this whole thing appalling. Not to mention using sexual harassment as a political tool to bring down a president.

David G , December 16, 2017 at 9:41 am

So many examples of this. There's an alternative newspaper comic I used to like, "Tom the Dancing Bug" – smart, subversive, and "progressive". But the writer has completely bought into Scary Putin/Puppet Trump. It's depressing.

BobH , December 15, 2017 at 8:33 pm

"unprecedented, preposterous, and dangerous" sums it up nicely. It was also good to have Professor Cohen's endorsement of this website's courageous initiatives in combatting the Russia-gate farce.

Bob Van Noy , December 16, 2017 at 11:15 am

I'll happily second that thought BobH. And thanks

Litchfield , December 15, 2017 at 9:29 pm

Thank god Consortium News keeps up the pressure on the Russia-gate scam.
And glad to see Stephen Cohen published here.
Readers of this site need to keep reminding themselve of the basic background on this -- at least, I do -- in case opportunities comes along to deflate others' credulousness.

One question for Stephen Cohen:
Your wife is the editor of The Nation.
What has The Nation done to stop the madness?
Not enough. What's the story?
In fact, during the campaign and post-election, The Nation shamefully lent itself to the craziness on the left that sought to devalidate not only the results of the election but Trump himself qua human being. Nothing has been too far below the belt for Nation editors and writers to strike. I have had the ongoing impression that The Nation's editorial board really cannot see below the surface on any of this and have driven a very superficial anti-Trump, "resist" narrative dangerous in its implications. I think I have seen just one story, by a Patrick someone, that seriously questioned the russia-gate narrative. The Nation has fallen right in to the trap of "I hate Trump so much and am so freaked out by his election that I will make common cause with any one and any forces in our polity that will get rid of him somehow." The nation seems too scared of facing head on the reality of deep state actors in the USA. Or is too wedded to its version of reality to see what has become incraseingly clear to growing numbers of Americans.
As many an intelligent and more knowledgeable than I person has said: There is plenty to decry about Trump. But worse is the actions taken in the name of ridding the country of him and his presidency.
Because of this consistent cluelessness I have canceled all gift subscriptions to The Nation. I'll pay for my own sub, to see where this magazine goes, but others will have to pay their own way with The Nation if they so choose.
So, please clean up at home and get the act together on what is left of the left.
First.

Herman , December 15, 2017 at 9:32 pm

Thought the acronym PEPs was clever, Progressives Except for Palestine. Now it has morphed into PEPIRs pronounced Peppers, Progressives Except for Palestine, Iran and Russia. Actually could be PEPIRS adding Syria. If we added Iraq it could be PIEPIRS or Peepers. Actually, I have little regard for such people whose aims include killing and maiming for land and money.

Professor Cohen's credentials are very impressive and his voice and pen are badly needed. People like him are precious resources for America and the world.

Herman , December 16, 2017 at 11:08 am

PIEPIRS is incorrect with the I before the E making Pipers. So we have PEPs, Peppers and Pipers. Please excuse the frivolous comments but it feels good to try to expose their hypocrisy in any way you can, that is of the Peps, Peppers and Pipers.

Gregory Herr , December 15, 2017 at 9:43 pm

What has really been astonishing to me -- beyond a lack of evidence for all the "Russia-gate" allegations–is the utterly preposterous nature of the narrative in the first place. Robert Parry has addressed this, but the voice of Stephen Cohen–with the perspective of specialized scholarship and experience vis-a-vis Russia–is a welcome voice indeed.

David G , December 16, 2017 at 9:55 am

The NY Times printed an allegedly explanatory graphic a couple of days ago showing the Trump/Russia "scandal" as a basically a proliferating root system descending from the central "collusion" premise, with the roots and rootlets branching down to encompass all the disjointed facts (and "facts") and allegations that have appeared in the media.

The graphic was unintentionally revealing of the phoniness of the whole business: instead of showing numerous observations leading to a deeper truth, it accurately depicted "Russia-gate" as a pre-existing (fact-free) conceit that has chaotically complexified to accommodate random developments. That's the definition of a weak and useless theory!

Gregory Herr , December 16, 2017 at 4:37 pm

It seems to that as a representative of the incoming Administration's foreign policy team Flynn was just doing his job speaking with the Russian ambassador about the sudden and striking maneuvers of Obama during the transition. And in trying to defuse potential fallout and escalation due to those sanctions he was doing his job well. Was it not perfectly legal and well within the parameters of his duties to establish some baselines of discussion with counterparts?
Flynn's expression of thoughts on policy to counterparts were, to my mind, subject to the approval of the head of the incoming Administration -- namely Trump, and Trump only.

By the time the FBI questioned Flynn, he surely must have had an idea his conversation with the Ambassador had been under surveillance. What was the "lie"? Was he forgetful of a detail and just caught in a nitpicking technicality? Or did he deliberately manufacture a falsehood? When he gets past his legal entanglement, I sure hope he sits down to a candid interview. I'd like him to demystify me about all this.

I like your phraseology David this nonsense has been chaotically complexified to accommodate random developments!

David G , December 16, 2017 at 6:46 pm

Thanks, Gregory Herr. In your earlier comment that I replied to, you reference "the utterly preposterous nature of the narrative". That's not bad phraseology either.

And it also gets to something I've been thinking all along: I'd like to hear a "Russia-gate" proponent, such as an MSNBC host, actually supply what they consider a plausible narrative that fits all these breathless Trump/Russia "scoops".

I'm not demanding they prove anything, but just want to hear a story that makes sense. Because it seems to me that all the little developments they rush toward with their hummingbird attention spans don't fit together, *even if you concede all the dubious and debatable "facts"*.

dhinds , December 16, 2017 at 7:28 am

An important interview, for anyone that wants to understand Russia, today.

https://youtu.be/E_WPk6Rxx00

Megyn Kelly Interview Vladimir Putin

June, 2017

Damn good Interview (on the part of Putin – He said what was needed to be said. including "well, this is just more nonsense Have you lost your mind over there, or something)? He then continued to wrap it up, in a reasonable and and diplomatic manner.

Effectively, the USA continues locked into denial, refusing to accept responsibility for it's own current state of affairs. (The mass delusion is so thick you could eat it with a spoon, if it wasn't so putrid).

Warmongering, terrorist and refugee creating Regime Change and mass assassinations (with neither congressional oversight nor due process), arms and influence peddling profiteering, the creation of a mass surveillance society and militarized police state that kills minorities, the homeless and poor with impunity, mass incarceration in private for profit prisons, increasingly gross inequality and the excessive cost of health care and education; show the USA to be a society adrift and devoid of fundamental values. (And that's me talking, not Vladimir Putin)

The Clintons, Bush's and their supporters are to blame and should be held accountable, but mainly a new course for society must be charted and neither of the two corrupt major political parties is capable of that at this time.

A new coalition is called for.

James , December 16, 2017 at 10:13 am

Thank you Mr. Cohen for your ever insightful and reasoned commentary on this disturbing trend.

Clif , December 16, 2017 at 5:04 pm

Yes, thank you Dr. Cohen.

The lack of scrutiny is alarming. I'd like to offer Victoria Nuland and Robert Kagan as possible figures who are working the lines and should be drawn into the light.

rosemerry , December 16, 2017 at 5:53 pm

Professor Cohen is one of the few who really knows about Russia, so of course so any of the Fawning Corporate Media (to quote Ray McGovern) denigrate his work. Even in GWBush's time he often explained "the Cold War is over", and Obama's intemperate rush to expel diplomats and push ahead the Russophobia after Trump's election had no basis in fact and just encouraged the Hillary-Dems and neocons to continue the unjustified destruction of the one aspect of Trump's "plan" that would have benefited the USA and peace.

Bill , December 17, 2017 at 12:03 pm

Do you really think that Obama was misled by others? I don't believe it. Obama and Hillary are the origin of the fabrications. Will anyone hold their feet to the fire?

Jerry Alatalo , December 17, 2017 at 1:56 pm

"It's the state-sponsorship of terrorism, stupid." The largest-scale, ongoing, organized war criminal operation in the history of the world has murdered millions.

Jessica K , December 17, 2017 at 9:10 pm

Vox has an article "The Left Shouldn't Make Peace With Neocons -- Even to Defeat Trump", by Robert Wright. Bill Kristol of American Conservative and many other neocons including Robert Kagan have dual US-Israel citizenship, and they push the MICC toward war. They'll be pushing for war with Iran and maybe Russia.

Tim , December 18, 2017 at 10:13 am

Sadly, quite a concise, clear picture of the muddy waters called Russia-gate, Intel's baby, and the faint possibilities of Tillerson and Lavrov holding fast against sabotage. Let's hope against all hope.

[Dec 18, 2017] Russia-Gate Is State-Sponsored Paranoia by Gilbert Doctorow

It's pretty interesting fact: "Even today more than half of the US Senators do not possess passports, meaning they have never been abroad, barring possible trips to Canada using their driver's licenses as ID."
While you can't exclude that Russia favored Trump over Clinton and might be provided some token of support, you can't compare Russia and Israel as for influence on the US domestic and foreign policy. And GB also have a say and connections (GB supported Hillary and MI6 probably used dirty methods). KSA provided money to Hillary. Still there is multiple investigations of Russia influence and none for those two players. That makes the current Russiagate current witch hunt is really scary.
The main theme of American political life right now is McCarthyism and anti-Russian hysteria
Notable quotes:
"... The American public is now experiencing mass paranoia that is called Russia-gate. Obnoxious and dangerous as this officially encouraged madness may be, it is, alas, nothing new. As from 9/11, the same kind of group hypnosis was administered from the Nation's Capital on the body politic to serve the then agenda of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, turning back civil liberties that had accrued over generations without so much as a whimper from Congress, our political elites and the country at large. ..."
"... Foreign policy issues are instrumentalized for domestic political objectives. In 2001 it was the threat of Islamist terrorists in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world attacking the American homeland. Today it is the alleged manipulation of our open political system by our enemies in the Kremlin. ..."
"... There is in the United States a significant minority of journalists and experts who have been setting out the facts on why the Russia-gate story is deeply flawed if not a fabrication from the get-go. In this small but authoritative and responsible field, Consortium News stands out for its courage and dogged fact-checking and logic-checks. Others on the side of the angels include TruthDig.com and Antiwar.com . ..."
"... Perhaps the most significant challenge to the official US intelligence story of Russian hacking released on January 6, 2017 was the forensic evidence assembled by a group of former intelligence officers with relevant technical expertise known as VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity). Their work, arguing that the attack on the DNC computers was an inside job by someone with access to the hardware rather than a remote operation by persons outside the Democratic Party hierarchy and possibly outside the United States, was published in Consortium News ("Intel Vets Challenge 'Russia Hack' Evidence") on July 24, 2017. ..."
"... The final word on Russia's electoral preferences during the October 20 show was given by the moderator, Vladimir Soloviev: "There can be no illusions. Both Trump and Clinton have a very bad attitude to Russia. What Trump said about us and Syria was no compliment at all. The main theme of American political life right now is McCarthyism and anti-Russian hysteria." ..."
"... "America is a very complex country. It does not pay to demonize it. We have to understand precisely what we like and do not like. On this planet there is no way to avoid them. Whoever becomes president of the USA, the nuclear parity forces us to negotiate and reach agreement." ..."
"... "The US has opened its doors to the most intelligent people of the world, made it attractive for them. Of course, this builds their exceptionalism. All directors, engineers, composers head there. Our problem is that we got rid of our tsar, our commissars but people are still hired hands. The top people go to the States because the pay is higher." ..."
"... How are we to understand the discrepancy between the very low marks the panelists gave the US presidential race and their favorable marks for the US as an economic and military powerhouse. It appears to result from their understanding that there is a disconnect between Washington, the presidency and what makes the economy turn over. The panelists concluded that the USA has a political leadership at the national level that is unworthy and inappropriate to its position in the world. On this point, I expect that many American readers of this essay will concur. ..."
"... Even today more than half of the US Senators do not possess passports, meaning they have never been abroad, barring possible trips to Canada using their driver's licenses as ID. ..."
"... And for those Americans who do travel abroad, the world outside US borders is all too often just an object of prestige tourism, a divertissement, where the lives of local people, their concerns and their interests do not exist on the same high plateau as American lives, concerns and interests. It is not that we are all Ugly Americans, but we are too well insulated from the travails of others and too puffed up with our own exceptionalism. ..."
"... It is not surprising that in the US foreign policy is not a self-standing intellectual pursuit on a chessboard of its own but is strictly a subset of domestic policy calculations, and in particular of partisan electoral considerations. ..."
"... As regards the Russian Federation, the ongoing hysteria over Russia-gate in particular, and over the perceived threat Russia poses to US national interests in general, risks tilting the world into nuclear war. ..."
"... JFK murder was about replacing the president elected by the people. Russia-gate has the same goal. ..."
"... As shown in this article, the American media has a long track record of misreporting key news items: ..."
"... The current cycle of fake news about Russia is definitely not a new phenomenon in the United States. ..."
"... Can someone tell the big fat cowards exercising around North Korea to please shut the hell up? Cowards make a lot of noise. When Libya was invaded there were no exercises, when Iraq was invaded there were no exercises...... when Vietnam was invaded there were no exercises.... ..."
"... It is obvious to the world that the fat cowards cannot attack a nuclear armed country. They are too yellow bellied to do anything but beat their chest like some stupid gorilla in an African jungle ..."
"... All the while the real diplomacy is going on between South Korea and China with North Korea paying close attention, I am sure. The Russian / Chinese proposal of a rail system from South Korea through North Korea and into China connecting to the connection grid of all of Asia is a far greater prospect for the peace initiative than the saber rattling presently outwardly being displayed. ..."
"... They keep raising the ante, and the North Koreans keep calling their bluff. They are made to look ridiculous as they don't have a winnable hand and the North Koreans know it. ..."
"... "American media simply were not interested in knowing what Russians were thinking since that might get in the way of their construction of what Russians should be thinking". ..."
"... Reminds me of the classic American boss's remark: "Any time I want your opinion, I'll tell you it". ..."
"... This is actually quite a neat and elegant example of the kind of deceptive language routinely used by politicians and the media. It is, of course, entirely true that no conclusive proof has surfaced. Indeed, that must follow from the equally true and indisputable fact that no proof of any kind has surfaced. Actually, nothing even vaguely resembling proof has surfaced. There is no evidence at all - not the slightest scrap. ..."
"... But by slipping in that little adjective "conclusive" the journalist manages to convey quite a strong impression that there is proof - only not quite conclusive proof. ..."
"... It is just as dishonest and cynical as Ronald Reagan's 1984 campaign remark, "I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience". ..."
"... Russiangate is concocted BS, to keep the ignorant American sheep , from understanding Israel picked the "president of the USA". ..."
"... I think at times the CIA is actually assisting the Russian security services with terror operations. I realize it doesn't make sense with Langley assisting ISIS in Syria, but that's the world we appear to have: selective cooperation. ..."
"... After Uranium One, it would make sense to assume Russia would have preferred Hitlery in the White House ..."
"... Of course they also know Hitlery is a massive warmongering Nazi terrorist, but then again, looks like Trump doesn't differ very much from her on that. ..."
"... Funny how the CIA has better intel on terrorism in Russia than the Russians do, even stranger than the RF leadership doesn't seem to question the situation what so ever. ..."
"... Got to hand it to the Americans, a couple of months ago Putin joked about RF "cells" in the USA and now the CIA hands the RF a real cell all ready to go murder some Russians. ..."
"... "German media reported on Saturday that BND covertly provided a number of journalists with information containing criticism of Russia before the data were disclosed by the agency." ..."
Dec 18, 2017 | russia-insider.com

"The two (Trump and Clinton) cannot greet one another on stage, cannot say goodbye to one another at the end. They barely can get out the texts that have been prepared for them by their respective staffs. Repeating on stage what one may have said in the locker room."

"Billions of people around the world conclude with one word: Disgrace!"

- Vladimir Zhirinovsky - prominent Russian politician, leader of a major party in parliament.

The American public is now experiencing mass paranoia that is called Russia-gate. Obnoxious and dangerous as this officially encouraged madness may be, it is, alas, nothing new. As from 9/11, the same kind of group hypnosis was administered from the Nation's Capital on the body politic to serve the then agenda of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, turning back civil liberties that had accrued over generations without so much as a whimper from Congress, our political elites and the country at large.

This time the generalized paranoia started under the nominally left of center administration of Barack Obama in the closing months of his presidency. It has been fanned ever since by the centrists in both Democratic and Republican parties who want to either remove from office or politically cripple Donald Trump and his administration, that is to say, to overturn the results at the ballot box on November 8, 2016.

Foreign policy issues are instrumentalized for domestic political objectives. In 2001 it was the threat of Islamist terrorists in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world attacking the American homeland. Today it is the alleged manipulation of our open political system by our enemies in the Kremlin.

Americans are wont to forget that there is a world outside the borders of the USA and that others follow closely what is said and written in our media, especially by our political leadership and policy elites. They forget or do not care how the accusations and threats we direct at other countries in our domestic political squabbling, and still more the sanctions we impose on our ever changing list of authoritarians and other real or imagined enemies abroad might be interpreted there and what preparations or actions might be taken by those same enemies in self-defense, threatening not merely American interests but America's physical survival.

In no case is this more relevant than with respect to Russia, which, I remind readers, is the only country on earth capable of turning the entire Continental United States into ashes within a day. In point of fact, if Russia has prepared itself for war, as the latest issue of Newsweek magazine tells us, we have no one but our political leadership to blame for that state of affairs. They are tone deaf to what is said in Russia. We have no concern for Russian national interests and "red lines" as the Russians themselves define them. Our Senators and Congressmen listen only to what our home grown pundits and academics think the Russian interests should be if they are to fit in a world run by us. That is why the Senate can vote 98-2 in favor of making the sanctions against Russia laid down by executive order of Barack Obama into sanctions under federal legislation as happened this past summer.

There is in the United States a significant minority of journalists and experts who have been setting out the facts on why the Russia-gate story is deeply flawed if not a fabrication from the get-go. In this small but authoritative and responsible field, Consortium News stands out for its courage and dogged fact-checking and logic-checks. Others on the side of the angels include TruthDig.com and Antiwar.com .

The Russia-gate story has permutated over time as one or another element of the investigation into Donald Trump's alleged collusion with the Kremlin has become more or less promising. But the core issue has always been the allegation of Russian hacking of DNC computers on July 5, 2016 and the hand-over of thousands of compromising documents to Wikileaks for the purpose of discrediting putative Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and throwing the election to Donald Trump, who had at that time nearly clinched the Republican nomination.

Perhaps the most significant challenge to the official US intelligence story of Russian hacking released on January 6, 2017 was the forensic evidence assembled by a group of former intelligence officers with relevant technical expertise known as VIPS (Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity). Their work, arguing that the attack on the DNC computers was an inside job by someone with access to the hardware rather than a remote operation by persons outside the Democratic Party hierarchy and possibly outside the United States, was published in Consortium News ("Intel Vets Challenge 'Russia Hack' Evidence") on July 24, 2017.

The VIPS material was largely ignored by mainstream media, as might be expected. An editorial entitled "The unchecked threat from Russia" published by The Washington Post yesterday is a prime example of how our media bosses continue to whip up public fury against collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin even when, by their own admission, "no conclusive proof has surfaced."

The VIPS piece last July was based on the laws of physics, demonstrating that speed limitations on transfer of data over the internet at the time when the crime is alleged to have taken place rendered impossible the CIA, NSA and FBI scenario of Russian hacking In what follows, I will introduce a very different type of evidence challenging the official US intelligence story of Russian hacking and meddling in general, what I would call circumstantial evidence that goes to the core issue of what the Kremlin really wanted. Let us consider whether Mr. Putin had a motive to put his thumb on the scales in the American presidential election.

In the U.S., that is a slam-dunk question. But that comes from our talking to ourselves in the mirror. My evidence comes precisely from the other side of the issue: what the Kremlin elites were saying about the US elections and their preferred candidate to win while the campaign was still going on. I present it on a privileged basis because it is what I gathered on my several visits to Moscow and talks with a variety of insiders close to Vladimir Putin from September through the start of November, 2016. Moreover, there is no tampering with this evidence on my part, because the key elements were published at the time I gathered them, well before the US election. They appeared as incidental observations in lengthy essays dealing with a number of subjects and would not have attracted the attention they merit today.

* * * *

Political talk shows are a very popular component of Russian television programming on all channels, both state-run and commercial channels. They are mostly carried on prime time in the evening but also are showing in mid-afternoon, where they have displaced soap operas and cooking lessons as entertainment for housewives and pensioners. They are broadcast live either to the Moscow time zone or to the Far East time zone. Given the fact that Russia extends over 9 time zones, they are also video recorded and reshown locally at prime time. In the case of the highest quality and most watched programs produced by Vesti 24 for the Rossiya One channel, they also are posted in their entirety and in the original Russian on youtube, and they are accessible worldwide by anyone with a computer or tablet phone using a downloadable free app.

I underline the importance of accessibility of these programs globally via live streaming or podcasts on simple handheld gadgets. Russian speaking professionals in the States had every opportunity to observe much of what I report below, except, of course, for my private conversations with producers and panelists. But the gist of the mood in Moscow with respect to the US elections was accessible to anyone with an interest. As you know, no one reported on it at the time. American media simply were not interested in knowing what Russians were thinking since that might get in the way of their construction of what Russians should be thinking.

The panelists appearing on these different channels come from a rather small pool of Russian legislators, including chairmen of the relevant committees of the Duma (lower house) and Federation Council (upper house), leading journalists, think tank professors, retired military brass. The politicians are drawn from among the most visible and colorful personalities in the Duma parties, but also extend to Liberal parties such as Yabloko, which failed to cross the threshold of 5% in legislative elections and received no seats in parliament.

Then there are very often a number of foreigners among panelists. In the past and at the present, they are typically known for anti-Kremlin positions and so give the predominantly patriotic Russian panelists an opportunity to cross swords, send off sparks and keep the audience awake. These hostile foreigners coming from Ukraine or Poland are Russian speakers from their childhood. The Americans or Israelis who appear are generally former Soviet citizens who emigrated, whether before or after the fall of Communism, and speak native Russian.

"Freshness" is an especially valued commodity in this case, because there is a considerable overlap in the names and faces appearing on these talks whatever the channel. For this there is an objective reason: nearly all the Russian and even foreign guests live in Moscow and are available to be invited or disinvited on short notice given that these talk programs can change their programming if there is breaking news about which their audiences will want to hear commentary. In my own case, I was flown in especially by the various channels who paid airfare and hotel accommodation in Moscow as necessary on the condition that I appear only on their shows during my stay in the city. That is to say, my expenses were covered but there was no honorarium. I make this explicit to rebut in advance any notion that I/we outside panelists were in any way "paid by the Kremlin" or restricted in our freedom of speech on air.

During the period under review, I appeared on both state channels, Rossiya-1 and Pervy Kanal, as well as on the major commercial television channel, NTV. The dates and venues of my participation in these talk shows are as follows:

For purposes of this essay, the pertinent appearances were on September 11 and 26. To this I add the Sixty Minutes show of October 20 which I watched on television but which aired content that I believe is important to this discussion.

My debut on the number one talk show in Russia, Sunday Evening with Vladimir Soloviev, on September 11 was invaluable not so much for what was said on air but for the exchange I had with the program's host, Vladimir Soloviev, in a five minute tête-à-tête in the guests' lounge before the program went on air.

Soloviev obviously had not yet read his guest list, did not know who I am and stood ready to respond to me when I walked up to him and unceremoniously put to him the question that interested me the most: whom did he want to see win the US presidential election. He did not hesitate, told me in no uncertain terms that he did not want to see Trump win because the man is volatile, unpredictable and weak. Soloviev added that he and others do not expect anything good in relations with the United States in general whoever won. He rejected the notion that Trump's turning the Neocons out of government would be a great thing in and of itself.

As I now understand, Soloviev's resistance to the idea that Trump could be a good thing was not just an example of Russians' prioritizing stability, the principle "better the devil you know," meaning Hillary. During a recent chat with a Russian ambassador, someone also close to power, I heard the conviction that the United States is like a big steamship which has its own inertia and cannot be turned around, that presidents come and go but American foreign policy remains the same. This view may be called cynical or realistic, depending on your taste, but it is reflective of the thinking that comes out from many of the panelists in the talk shows as you will find below in my quotations from the to-and-fro on air. It may also explain Soloviev's negativism.

To appreciate what weight the opinions of Vladimir Soloviev carry, you have to consider just who he is. That his talk show is the most professional from among numerous rival shows, that it attracts the most important politicians and expert guests is only part of the story. What is more to the point is that he is as close to Vladimir Putin as journalists can get.

In April, 2015 Vladimir Soloviev conducted a two hour interview with Putin that was aired on Rossiya 1 under the title "The President." In early January 2016, the television documentary "World Order," co-written and directed by Soloviev, set out in forceful terms Vladimir Putin's views on American and Western attempts to stamp out Russian sovereignty that first were spoken at the Munich Security Conference in February 2007 and have evolved and become ever more frank since.

Soloviev has a Ph.D. in economics from the Institute of World Economics and International Relations of the USSR Academy of Sciences. He was an active entrepreneur in the 1990s and spent some time back then in the USA, where his activities included teaching economics at the University of Alabama. He is fluent in English and has been an unofficial emissary of the Kremlin to the USA at various times.

For all of these reasons, I believe it is safe to say that Vladimir Soloviev represents the thinking of Russian elites close to their president, if not the views of Putin himself.

On September 27 , I took part in the Sixty Minutes talk show that was presented as a post mortem of the first Trump-Clinton debate the day before. I direct attention to this show because it demonstrates the sophistication and discernment of commentary about the United States and its electoral process. All of this runs against the "slam-dunk" scenario based on a cartoon-like representation of Russia and its decision makers.

The show's hosts tried hard to convey the essence of American political culture to their audience and they did some effective research to this end. Whereas French and other Western media devoted coverage on the day after the debates to the appearance of the American presidential candidates and especially to Hillary (what else attracts comment from the male world of journalism if not a lady's hair styling and sartorial choices), 'Sixty Minutes' tweaked this aspect of the debates to find politically relevant commentary.

To make their point, presenter Yevgeny Popov came on stage in a blue suit and blue tie very similar in coloring to Trump's, while his wife and co-presenter Olga Skabeyeva was wearing a garment in the same red hue as Hillary. They proceeded to note that these color choices of the candidates represented an inversion of the traditional colors of the Democratic and Republican parties in American political tradition. And they took this a step further by declaring it to be in line with the inversion of policies in the electoral platforms of the candidates. Hillary had taken over the hawkish foreign policy positions of the Republicans and their Neoconservative wing. Donald had taken over the dovish foreign policy positions normally associated with Democrats. Moreover, Donald also had gone up against the free trade policies that were an engrained part of Republican ideology up until now and were often rejected by Democrats with their traditional financial backers from among labor unions. All of these observations were essentially correct and astute as far as the campaigns went. It is curious to hear them coming from precisely Russian journalists, when they were largely missed by West European and American commentators.

As mentioned above, foreigners are often important to the Russian talk shows to add pepper and salt. In this case, we were largely decorative. The lion's share of the program was shared between the Russian politicians and journalists on the panel who very ably demonstrated in their own persona that Russian elites were split down the middle on whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton was their preferred next occupant of the Oval Office

The reasons given were not what you heard within the USA: that Trump is vulgar, that Trump is a bigot and misogynist. Instead the Russian Trump-skeptics were saying that he is impulsive and cannot be trusted to act with prudence if there is some mishap, some accidental event occurring between US and Russian forces in the field, for example. They gave expression to the cynical view that the positions occupied by Trump in the pre-election period are purely tactical, to differentiate himself from all competitors first in his own party during the primaries and now from Hillary. Thus, Trump could turn out to be no friend of Russia on the day after the elections.

A direct answer to these changes came from the pro-Trump members of the panel. It was best enunciated by the senior politician in the room, Vyacheslav Nikonov. Nikonov is a Duma member from Putin's United Russia party, the chair of the Education Committee in the 6th Duma. He is also chair of a government sponsored organization of Russian civil society, Russian World, which looks after the interests of Russians and Russian culture in the diaspora abroad.

Nikonov pointed to Trump's courage and determination which scarcely suggest merely tactical considerations driving his campaign. Said Nikonov, Trump had gone up against the entire US political establishment, against the whole of corporate mainstream media and was winning. Nikonov pointed to the surge in Trump poll statistics in the couple of weeks preceding the debate. And he ticked off the 4 swing states which Trump needed to win and where his fortunes were rising fast. Clearly his presentation was carefully prepared, not something casual and off-the-cuff.

During the exchange of doubters and backers of Trump among the Russians, one doubter spoke of Trump as a "non-systemic" politician. This may be loosely interpreted a meaning he is anti-establishment. But in the Russian context it had an odious connotation, being applied to Alexei Navalny and certain members of the American- and EU-backed Parnas political movement, and suggesting seditious intent.

In this connection, Nikonov put an entirely different spin on who Trump is and what he represents as an anti-establishment figure. But then again, maybe such partiality runs in the family. Nikonov is the grandson of Molotov, one of the leading figures who staged the Russian Revolution and governed the young Soviet state.

Who won the first Trump-Clinton debate? Here the producers of Sixty Minutes gave the final verdict to a Vesti news analyst from a remote location whose image was projected on a wall-sized screen. We were told that the debate was a draw: Trump had to demonstrate that he is presidential, which he did. Clinton had to demonstrate she had the stamina to resist the onslaught of 90 minutes with Trump and she also succeeded.

The October 20 program Evening with Vladimir Soloviev, which I watched on television from abroad, was devoted to the third Clinton-Trump debate. My single most important conclusion from the show was that, notwithstanding the very diverse panel, there was a bemused unanimity among them regarding the US presidential electoral campaign: that it was deplorable. They found both candidates to be disgraceful due to their flagrant weaknesses of character and/or records in office, but they were also disturbed by the whole political culture. Particular attention was devoted to the very one-sided position of the American mass media and the centrist establishments of both parties in favor of one candidate, Hillary Clinton. When Russians and former Russians use the terms "McCarthyism" and "managed democracy" to describe the American political process as they did on the show, they know acutely well whereof they speak.

Though flamboyant in his language the nationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the LDPR Party, touched on a number of core concerns that bear repeating extensively, if not in full:

"The debates were weak. The two cannot greet one another on stage, cannot say goodbye to one another at the end. They barely can get out the texts that have been prepared for them by their respective staffs. Repeating on stage what one may have said in the locker room.

Billions of people around the world conclude with one word: disgrace! This is the worst electoral campaign ever. And mostly what we see is the style of the campaign. However much people criticize the USSR – the old fogies who ran it, one and the same, supposedly the conscience of the world.

Now we see the same thing in the USA: the exceptional country – the country that has bases everywhere, soldiers everywhere, is bombing everywhere in some city or other. They are making their 'experiments.' The next experiment is to have a woman in the White House. It will end badly.

Hillary has some kind of dependency. A passion for power – and that is dangerous for the person who will have her finger on the nuclear button. If she wins, on November 9th the world will be at the brink of a big war "

Zhirinovsky made no secret of his partiality for Trump, calling him "clean" and "a good man" whereas Hillary has "blood on her hands" for the deaths of hundreds of thousands due to her policies as Secretary of State. But then again, Zhirinovsky has made his political career over more than 30 years precisely by making outrageous statements that run up against what the Russian political establishment says aloud. Before Trump came along, Zhirinovsky had been the loudest voice in Russian politics in favor of Turkey and its president Erdogan, a position which he came to regret when the Turks shot down a Russian jet at the Syrian border, causing a great rupture in bilateral relations.

The final word on Russia's electoral preferences during the October 20 show was given by the moderator, Vladimir Soloviev: "There can be no illusions. Both Trump and Clinton have a very bad attitude to Russia. What Trump said about us and Syria was no compliment at all. The main theme of American political life right now is McCarthyism and anti-Russian hysteria."

This being Russia, one might assume that the deeply negative views of the ongoing presidential election reflected a general hostility to the USA on the part of the presenter and panelists. But nothing of the sort came out from their discussion. To be sure, there was the odd outburst from Zhirinovsky, who repeated a catchy line that he has delivered at other talk shows: essentially that the USA is eating Russia and the world's lunch given that it consumes the best 40% of what the world produces while it itself accounts for just 20% of world GDP. But otherwise the panelists, including Zhirinovsky, displayed informed respect and even admiration for what the United States has achieved and represents.

The following snippets of their conversation convey this very well and do not require attribution to one or another participant:

"America has the strongest economy, which is why people want to go there and there is a lot for us to borrow from it. We have to learn from them, and not be shy about it."

"Yes, they created the conditions for business. In the morning you file your application. After lunch you can open your business."

"America is a very complex country. It does not pay to demonize it. We have to understand precisely what we like and do not like. On this planet there is no way to avoid them. Whoever becomes president of the USA, the nuclear parity forces us to negotiate and reach agreement."

"The US has opened its doors to the most intelligent people of the world, made it attractive for them. Of course, this builds their exceptionalism. All directors, engineers, composers head there. Our problem is that we got rid of our tsar, our commissars but people are still hired hands. The top people go to the States because the pay is higher."

How are we to understand the discrepancy between the very low marks the panelists gave the US presidential race and their favorable marks for the US as an economic and military powerhouse. It appears to result from their understanding that there is a disconnect between Washington, the presidency and what makes the economy turn over. The panelists concluded that the USA has a political leadership at the national level that is unworthy and inappropriate to its position in the world. On this point, I expect that many American readers of this essay will concur.

* * * *

Ever since his candidacy took off in the spring of 2016, both Liberal Interventionists and Neoconservatives have been warning that a Donald Trump presidency would mean abandonment of US global leadership. They equated Donald's "America First" with isolationism. After all, it was in the openly "isolationist period" of American political history just before the outbreak of WWII that the original America First slogan first appeared.

However, isolationism never left us, even as the United States became engaged in and eventually dominated the world after the end of the Cold War. Even today more than half of the US Senators do not possess passports, meaning they have never been abroad, barring possible trips to Canada using their driver's licenses as ID.

And for those Americans who do travel abroad, the world outside US borders is all too often just an object of prestige tourism, a divertissement, where the lives of local people, their concerns and their interests do not exist on the same high plateau as American lives, concerns and interests. It is not that we are all Ugly Americans, but we are too well insulated from the travails of others and too puffed up with our own exceptionalism.

It is not surprising that in the US foreign policy is not a self-standing intellectual pursuit on a chessboard of its own but is strictly a subset of domestic policy calculations, and in particular of partisan electoral considerations. Indeed, that is very often the case in other countries, as well. The distinction is that the US footprint in the world is vastly greater than that of other countries and policy decisions taken in Washington, especially in the past 20 years of militarized foreign-policy making, spell war or peace, order or chaos in the territories under consideration.

As regards the Russian Federation, the ongoing hysteria over Russia-gate in particular, and over the perceived threat Russia poses to US national interests in general, risks tilting the world into nuclear war.

It is a luxury we manifestly cannot afford to indulge ourselves.

TONY LANE , December 17, 2017 9:59 AM

But we all have to agree that the USA is the more infantile of all The Nations, and since the end of the last war they have made no effort to grow up. They have created RussiaGate where no other nation would dream up such Trivia.

Kjell Hasthi -> TONY LANE , December 17, 2017 1:50 PM

JFK murder was about replacing the president elected by the people. Russia-gate has the same goal. When the American president is enemy, you are not American

Jimmy Robertson , December 17, 2017 9:22 AM

As shown in this article, the American media has a long track record of misreporting key news items:

https://viableopposition.bl...

The current cycle of fake news about Russia is definitely not a new phenomenon in the United States.

tom -> Jimmy Robertson , December 17, 2017 9:23 AM

"Remember the Maine!"

GKW -> tom , December 17, 2017 2:13 PM

Don't forget the Turner Joy and the gulf of Tonkin.

John Tosh , December 17, 2017 9:47 AM

Can someone tell the big fat cowards exercising around North Korea to please shut the hell up? Cowards make a lot of noise. When Libya was invaded there were no exercises, when Iraq was invaded there were no exercises...... when Vietnam was invaded there were no exercises....

It is obvious to the world that the fat cowards cannot attack a nuclear armed country. They are too yellow bellied to do anything but beat their chest like some stupid gorilla in an African jungle.

Please cut out the announcements of exercises after exercises, it is clogging the airwaves. We are all tired of your stupid exercises... if you want to attack go ahead and get your fat asses whipped like a slave running away from its masters.

Shameless cowards are now becoming highly annoying... it can be called Propaganda terrorism. Cut that nonsense out. You cannot beat North Korea, you know it, the rest of the world knows it. You cannot fight China or Russia, the rest of the world knows it ... so please shut up once and for all.

You are terrorizing the airwaves with your exercise after exercise after exercise. Practice control of the ships that are becoming a maritime hazzard to commercial ships. That is what you need to practice.

Nobody is impressed with your over-bloated expensive war equipment which fail under war conditions. Cut out the exercises before we start turning off our ears for your propaganda.

YELLOW BELIED COWARDS!!!!! Go poison an innocent person or kill a child....it may make you feel better... Big fat cowards.!

Guy -> John Tosh , December 17, 2017 1:16 PM

I am also very tired of the bluster . They flap their gums and taunt. Enough already . You have made fools of yourselves in the eyes of the world .

All the while the real diplomacy is going on between South Korea and China with North Korea paying close attention, I am sure. The Russian / Chinese proposal of a rail system from South Korea through North Korea and into China connecting to the connection grid of all of Asia is a far greater prospect for the peace initiative than the saber rattling presently outwardly being displayed.

ALTERNATE HISTORY -> John Tosh , December 17, 2017 6:15 PM

They keep raising the ante, and the North Koreans keep calling their bluff. They are made to look ridiculous as they don't have a winnable hand and the North Koreans know it.

tom , December 17, 2017 9:39 AM

"American media simply were not interested in knowing what Russians were thinking since that might get in the way of their construction of what Russians should be thinking".

Reminds me of the classic American boss's remark: "Any time I want your opinion, I'll tell you it".

Emmet Sweeney , December 17, 2017 4:31 PM

The whole thing is orchestrated by the Zionist state within a state which controls not only America but most of the West - and own the entire mainstream media. They cannot forgive Trump for wanting to make peace with Russia. Their hatred of Christian Russia is visceral and unhinged.

tom , December 17, 2017 9:20 AM

'...by their own admission, "no conclusive proof has surfaced."'

This is actually quite a neat and elegant example of the kind of deceptive language routinely used by politicians and the media. It is, of course, entirely true that no conclusive proof has surfaced. Indeed, that must follow from the equally true and indisputable fact that no proof of any kind has surfaced. Actually, nothing even vaguely resembling proof has surfaced. There is no evidence at all - not the slightest scrap.

But by slipping in that little adjective "conclusive" the journalist manages to convey quite a strong impression that there is proof - only not quite conclusive proof.

It is just as dishonest and cynical as Ronald Reagan's 1984 campaign remark, "I am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience".

CaperAsh -> tom , December 17, 2017 4:17 PM

Yes, but R's comment was delightfully witty, and a great 'high ground manoeuvre.'

John C Carleton , December 17, 2017 7:20 AM

Russiangate is concocted BS, to keep the ignorant American sheep , from understanding Israel picked the "president of the USA".

That American children are murdering innocent children in foreign lands, for the benefit of, not Israel, it is just a figment of the imagination, as the USSR was, and the USA is, but the owners of Israel, City of London, Usury bankers.
Pedophile scum!

Kjell Hasthi -> John C Carleton , December 17, 2017 1:43 PM

- understanding Israel picked the "president of the USA".

The fraud is in every election district. Israel cannot afford the bussing of Liberals. This is too large for some poor nation like Israel. You are making up "Israel", just like Gordon Duff. It tells me you are the same as Gordon Duff.

rosemerry , December 17, 2017 3:29 PM

What an excellent article. If only people who have a very small knowledge of Russia/USA relations would bother to read this and reflect upon it, a lot of misconceptions could be cleared up if goodwill is part of the picture.

thomas malthaus -> Nationalist Globalist Oligarch , December 17, 2017 4:08 PM

I think at times the CIA is actually assisting the Russian security services with terror operations. I realize it doesn't make sense with Langley assisting ISIS in Syria, but that's the world we appear to have: selective cooperation.

I don't know if the FSB has the levels of electronics signals intelligence the US has, I do know the US and Russia may have cooperated in raids resulting in deaths of two Caucaus Emirates leaders in 2014-2015. I believe that group has since disbanded and members probably blended into other terror groups.

rosewood11 , December 17, 2017 2:03 PM

The thing that is absolutely ridiculous is that the American media and Deep State are what is causing this trouble. I don't know why they want to have a World War so badly, but the only thing keeping our two countries from destruction is Vladimir Putin's hard work and good nature, and Trump's defiance of his "staff."

These Deep State actors in the US have hidey-holes they can run to in case of the unthinkable, but they couldn't care less about the people of the US -- let alone Russia. Their day is coming, and they'll be praying for their mountains to fall on them when it does.

Anyone in the US that's paying any attention at all knows the real story on this, and none of those who do are blaming anyone in Russia. If the day ever comes that the US Deep State takes to their bunkers, they better be prepared to stay in there--Balrogs or no Balrogs--because those of us who manage to survive above will be looking for their sorry azzes when they come out!!!

You can call me Al -> rosewood11 , December 17, 2017 5:59 PM

I think that is a great comment.

Just to take your comment a little further ;- get to know every plumber and builder in your area as I am, get on a friendly basis and ask about these "Deep State actors in the US have hidey-holes" over a pint or two.

Then I am starting a crowdfunding fund to bring in "hundreds of thousands" to pay them to screw up their sewage facilities in their hidey-holes SO THEY CAN down in their own BS.

Stop Bush and Clinton , December 17, 2017 8:41 PM

After Uranium One, it would make sense to assume Russia would have preferred Hitlery in the White House - Uranium One gives Russia something they know all the details of and something they know the US public won't take lightly, so they could easily have blackmailed Hitlery with leaking those details.

Of course they also know Hitlery is a massive warmongering Nazi terrorist, but then again, looks like Trump doesn't differ very much from her on that.

Nationalist Globalist Oligarch , December 17, 2017 2:54 PM

No need for paranoia, it is a veritable American love fest at the Kremlin, RIA, etc., ever since the CIA informed Moscow that they had "information" on an imminent attack in Russia.

Funny how the CIA has better intel on terrorism in Russia than the Russians do, even stranger than the RF leadership doesn't seem to question the situation what so ever.

Got to hand it to the Americans, a couple of months ago Putin joked about RF "cells" in the USA and now the CIA hands the RF a real cell all ready to go murder some Russians.

Some people talk a good game while some people actually take action.

Guy , December 17, 2017 1:07 PM

For those of you that have some video viewing time available , you will probably enjoy the lecture at the National Press Club , not nearly well attended I might add for this quality venue, of Gilbert Doctoro.

http://www.informationclear...

I would highly recommend his latest book also .I am approx half way already and well worth the read.

Superior Europe , December 17, 2017 11:12 AM

New legatum prosperity index is up: Europeans enjoy the greatest quality of life worldwide, Russians fall into more impoverishment and low quality of life. Its no secret that, for the past 150 years, Russian's wealth, quality of life and life expectancy is unacceptably low for European standards).

Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands and Denmark occupying the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th 7th and 8th places respectively.

Kjell Hasthi -> Superior Europe , December 17, 2017 1:37 PM

- low for European standards ... ) .... Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden Netherlands and Denmark

When you do copyworks, include your source. RI is not for illiterate globalist bots who cannot read an answer. The quality of trolls is now too low. The globalists are now hiring junk?

"German media reported on Saturday that BND covertly provided a number of journalists with information containing criticism of Russia before the data were disclosed by the agency."

Superior Europe is employed by Zionist BND?

[Dec 17, 2017] President Trump: I'm Not Considering Firing Robert Mueller, But It's Not Looking Good

This is a political battle between two faction of oligarchy. Mueller represents Clinton wing: neoliberal globalists and neocons.
Dec 17, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
rumors , denials, whistleblowers , backlash , demands, threats, lies , bias, and anti-bias surrounding Robert Mueller and his investigation, President Trump said Sunday that he is not considering firing the Special Counsel.

"No, I'm not," Trump told reporters, when asked if he intended to fire Mueller, according to Politico .

The president was returning to the White House from a weekend at the Camp David presidential retreat.

Trump's allies complained this weekend about the way Mueller's team went about obtaining from the presidential transition. Mueller's spokesman Peter Carr said Sunday that the office had followed appropriate steps to obtain the transition emails. Pro-Trump lawmakers and pundits also have accused the special counsel's office of bias after it was revealed that two FBI officials who previously served on Mueller's team had exchanged anti-Trump text messages.

And while Trump said "I'm not," Axios notes that he did criticize the fact that Mueller accessed "many tens of thousands" of emails from the presidential transition, saying it was "not looking good."

Son of Loki -> DingleBarryObummer , Dec 17, 2017 6:46 PM

Who is Seth Rich?

jeff montanye -> Son of Loki , Dec 17, 2017 8:45 PM

seth? he was the guy that stole the dnc and podesta emails (well at least the dnc emails) and got them to julian assange. after he was murdered (well at least shot twice) on the streets of d.c. (he actually died in a hospital; probably bears some looking into), julian offered a reward for info on it, making many believe he was wiki's source.

seymour hersh, who followed the case closely, thinks the same, but agrees with the d.c. police that he was just mugged, not shot by say hillary and podesta using imran awan or something. http://archive.is/lD4BV if so, for a lucky lady that hillary clinton has some real bad luck. but it is poetically fitting that someone who actually killed dozens of people as a private citizen (and maybe a million as a public servant), would be convicted in the public's eye of the one she didn't really do.

first as tragedy, then as farce.

azusgm -> shitshitshit , Dec 17, 2017 8:47 PM

YO!!! TYLERS!! OVER HERE.

Looks like Andrew McCabe may be a double agent!!!!!

https://truepundit.com/comey-mueller-ignored-mccabes-ties-to-russian-cri...

grunk , Dec 17, 2017 6:16 PM

Mueller WANTS Trump to fire him.

It's Mueller's only face-saving way out of this cluster fuck.

Kayman -> grunk , Dec 17, 2017 6:17 PM

Mueller has painted himself into a cesspool that is exploding. If he had an ounce of sense or honor he would get the eff out before he has to start covering his own tracks. But don't bet on Mueller doing the right thing. His pals in politics and the press have made him out to be some kind of saint when he really is all t'aint, no saint (don't ask me what t'aint is, ask someone else.)

Don't fire Mueller now- the cesspool is bursting at the seems and Mueller is standing right under it.

grunk , Dec 17, 2017 6:14 PM

Robert Mueller is D.C.'s Tomás de Torquemada.

Mzhen , Dec 17, 2017 8:04 PM

It makes little sense to me that if Seth Rich was an idealistic young man, standing on principle and conviction, who along with his brother contacted WikiLeaks and arranged to give it evidence of Hillary's and Debbie's treachery against Sanders, why he would then have been reported to be looking forward to joining the Hillary campaign staff in the Brooklyn headquarters.

CrowdStrike (run by Shawn Henry, who is a former FBI official, promoted by Mueller), which provided the narrative to the DNC that the "Russians did it," has never been independently verified in their conclusions by the FBI. Or Mueller. Pull that thread and the sweater starts to unravel.

Kelley , Dec 17, 2017 9:26 PM

Mueller doesn't have it in him to step aside. Therefore he needs to be indicted for prosecutorial abuse. Slap his ass down hard. Handcuffs would be a nice touch.

Mueller didn't oppose the raid of Paul Manafort at 5 a.m. in the morning with guns drawn. Sounds like a good law enforcement technique for the buzzard.

[Dec 16, 2017] Trump's doubts about NATO, including his demands that European members pay more, are presented as evidence (it is hinted) of his collusion with the evil Putin.

Notable quotes:
"... History is bunk, as ol' Henry Ford said: Americans live in the eternal now. Our PDS (Putin Derangement System) journos insist that Putin is bad to the bone, as all Russkis are, and there's just no reason for it except for their dark slavic hearts which contrast so painfully with our bright pure red white 'n blue ones. :-( ..."
Dec 16, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Jim Haygood , , December 15, 2017 at 7:26 am

Nice timing for the release of these archives on Dec 12th. Yesterday the WaPo posted an article "based on interviews with more than 50 current and former U.S. officials" titled "Doubting the Intelligence: Trump Pursues Putin and Leaves a Russian Threat Unchecked":

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/world/national-security/donald-trump-pursues-vladimir-putin-russian-election-hacking/

Axiomatic to the WaPo hacks authors is that NATO ranks right up there with the 1776 Declaration and the Constitution as a bedrock US principle. Trump's doubts about NATO, including his demands that European members pay more, are presented as evidence (it is hinted) of his collusion with the evil Putin.

Naturally the new archives released by GWU play no part in the WaPo story two days later, since they aren't "fitted to the narrative."

History is bunk, as ol' Henry Ford said: Americans live in the eternal now. Our PDS (Putin Derangement System) journos insist that Putin is bad to the bone, as all Russkis are, and there's just no reason for it except for their dark slavic hearts which contrast so painfully with our bright pure red white 'n blue ones. :-(

[Dec 16, 2017] Any time you hear or read a Russian conspiracy theory in the MSM or elsewhere, substitute the words "Jews" for "Russians" and the words "International Jewry" for "Russia". Then re-read the sentence.

Dec 16, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Sid Finster , , December 15, 2017 at 11:16 am

Any time you hear or read a Russian conspiracy theory in the MSM or elsewhere, substitute the words "Jews" for "Russians" and the words "International Jewry" for "Russia". Then re-read the sentence.

See how ugly that sentence now looks?

So why should we rightfully decry such racism against Jews or others, but applaud the same sort of racism when it is directed against Russians?

[Dec 16, 2017] Seth Rich murder: The facts so far by Kit

Aug 11, 2016 | OffGuardian

Last month Seth Rich, a data analyst who worked for the DNC, was shot near his home in Washington DC. He was on the phone to his girlfriend when it happened. Police were called to the scene and discovered the young man's body at roughly 4.20am. It was reported that Rich was "covered in bruises", shot "several times" and "at least once in the back".

The New York Daily News reported:

" police have found little information to explain his death. At this time, there are no suspects, no motive and no witnesses in Rich's murder.

While initial theories were that the killing was robbery or mugging gone wrong, the Washington Post said:

" There is no immediate indication that robbery was a motive in the attack but it has not been ruled out as a possibility."

Rich's family have also reported that nothing was taken:

" [Rich's] hands were bruised, his knees are bruised, his face is bruised, and yet he had two shots to his back, and yet they never took anything."

On August 9th Julian Assange gave an interview on Dutch television in which he seemed to imply that Rich's death was politically motivated, and perhaps suggest he had been a source for the DNC e-mail leak:

That same day wikileaks tweeted that they were offering a $20,000 dollar reward for information on the killing of Mr Rich.

These are the facts of the case, so far. And they are undisputed.

I'm not going to take a position on the motive for Mr Rich's killing, or possible suspects. But I do want to point out the general level of media silence. Take these facts and change the names – imagine Trump's email had been hacked, and then a staffer with possible ties to wikileaks was inexplicably shot dead. Imagine this poor young man had been a Kremlin whistleblower, or a Chinese hacker, or an Iranian blogger.

If this, as yet unsolved, murder had ties to anyone other than Hillary Clinton, would it be being so ritually and rigourously ignored by the MSM?

[Dec 15, 2017] Wikileaks has offered a reward to speed up a search for the Seth Rich murderers, whereas DNC did nothing. Nothing! But the DNC was very active when certain Mr. Awan needed legal protection

Notable quotes:
"... How is your Debbie Wasserman doing -- did not she threatened the DC police investigator for doing his job of investigating the Awan affair? Debbie has been a major protector of the Awan family that accomplished the greatest breach of the US cybersecurity. And how is your Nobel Peace Laureate doing -- collecting nice fees from banksters for his betrayal of democracy in the US? ..."
Dec 15, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Anna , December 14, 2017 at 1:27 am

Are you shocked about Seth Rich murder? Wikileaks has offered a reward to speed up a search for the murderers, whereas DNC did nothing. Nothing! But the DNC was very active when certain Mr. Awan needed legal protection.

How is your Debbie Wasserman doing -- did not she threatened the DC police investigator for doing his job of investigating the Awan affair? Debbie has been a major protector of the Awan family that accomplished the greatest breach of the US cybersecurity. And how is your Nobel Peace Laureate doing -- collecting nice fees from banksters for his betrayal of democracy in the US?

[Dec 15, 2017] James Clapper Corrects Left's Narrative On Russia Election Interference 'Not All 17' Intel Agencies Affirmed

Notable quotes:
"... Aaron Klein is Breitbart's Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, " ..."
"... Aaron Klein Investigative Radio ..."
"... ." Follow him on ..."
"... Twitter @AaronKleinShow. ..."
"... Follow him on ..."
"... With research by Joshua Klein. ..."
May 09, 2017 | www.breitbart.com

During yesterday's Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing, James Clapper, former director of national intelligence, put the kibosh on a major anti-Donald Trump talking point that 17 federal intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

That talking point was amplified last October, when Hillary Clinton stated the following at the third presidential debate: "We have 17, 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber-attacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin. And they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing."

Clinton was referring to an October 7, 2016 joint statement from the Homeland Security Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence claiming, "The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of emails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations."

The statement was followed by a January 6, 2017 U.S. Intelligence Community report assessing Russian intentions during the presidential election.

While the U.S. Intelligence Community is indeed made up of 17 agencies, Clapper made clear in his testimony yesterday that the community's assessments regarding alleged Russian interference were not the product of all seventeen agencies but of three – the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the National Security Agency (NSA).

Referring to the assessments, Clapper stated : "As you know, the I.C. was a coordinated product from three agencies; CIA, NSA and the FBI, not all 17 components of the intelligence community. Those three under the aegis of my former office."

Later in the hearing, Clapper corrected Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) when Franken claimed that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concluded Russia attempted to influence the election.

Here is a transcript of that exchange :

FRANKEN: And I want to thank General Clapper and – and Attorney General Yates for – for appearing today. We have – the intelligence communities have concluded all 17 of them that Russia interfered with this election. And we all know how that's right.

CLAPPER: Senator, as I pointed out in my statement Senator Franken, it was there were only three agencies that directly involved in this assessment plus my office

FRANKEN: But all 17 signed on to that?

CLAPPER: Well, we didn't go through that – that process, this was a special situation because of the time limits and my – what I knew to be to who could really contribute to this and the sensitivity of the situation, we decided it was a constant judgment to restrict it to those three. I'm not aware of anyone who dissented or – or disagreed when it came out.

The January 6 U.S. intelligence community report is titled, "Background to 'Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections': The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution."

The report makes clear it is a product of three intelligence agencies and not 17.

The opening states: "This report includes an analytic assessment drafted and coordinated among the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the National Security Agency (NSA), which draws on intelligence information collected and disseminated by those three agencies."

Following Clinton's presidential debate claim about "17 intelligence agencies," PolitiFact rated her statement as "true."

However, within its ruling, PolitiFact conceded:

We don't know how many separate investigations into the attacks there were. But the Director of National Intelligence, which speaks for the country's 17 federal intelligence agencies, released a joint statement saying the intelligence community at large is confident that Russia is behind recent hacks into political organizations' emails.

PolitiFact's "true" judgement was the basis for a USA Today piece titled, "Yes, 17 intelligence agencies really did say Russia was behind hacking."

Aaron Klein is Breitbart's Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, " Aaron Klein Investigative Radio ." Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

With research by Joshua Klein.

[Dec 15, 2017] Protecting the Shaky Russia-gate Narrative by Robert Parry

Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times continues its sorry pattern of falsifying the record on Russia-gate, giving its readers information that the newspaper knows not to be true, reports Robert Parry. ..."
"... Trimming the total down to $44,000 and admitting that only a few of those ads actually dealt with Clinton and Trump would be even worse for the Russia-gate narrative. ..."
"... The only acceptable conclusion, it seems, is "Russia Guilty!" ..."
"... America's Stolen Narrative, ..."
Dec 15, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

The New York Times continues its sorry pattern of falsifying the record on Russia-gate, giving its readers information that the newspaper knows not to be true, reports Robert Parry.

If Russia-gate is the massive scandal that we are told it is by so many Important People -- across the U.S. mainstream media and the political world -- why do its proponents have to resort to lies and exaggerations to maintain the pillars supporting the narrative?

A new example on Thursday was The New York Times' statement that a Russian agency "spent $100,000 on [Facebook's] platform to influence the United States presidential election last year" – when the Times knows that statement is not true.

According to Facebook, only 44 percent of that amount appeared before the U.S. presidential election in 2016 (i.e., $44,000) and few of those ads addressed the actual election. And, we know that the Times is aware of the truth because it was acknowledged in a Times article in early October.

As part of that article, Times correspondents Mike Isaac and Scott Shane reported that the ads also covered a wide range of other topics: "There was even a Facebook group for animal lovers with memes of adorable puppies that spread across the site with the help of paid ads."

As nefarious as the Times may think it is for Russians to promote a Facebook page about "adorable puppies," the absurdity of that concern – and the dishonesty of the Times then "forgetting" what it itself reported just two months ago about the timing and contents of these "Russian-linked ads" – tells you a great deal about Russia-gate.

On Thursday, the Times chose to distort what it already knew to be true presumably because it didn't want to make the $100,000 ad buy (which is not a particularly large sum) look even smaller and less significant by acknowledging the pre-election total was less than half that modest amount – and even that total had little to do with the election.

Why would the Times lie? Because to tell the truth would undercut the narrative of evil Russians defeating Hillary Clinton and putting Donald Trump in the White House – the core narrative of Russia-gate.

Another relevant fact is that Facebook failed to find any "Russian-linked" ads during its first two searches and only detected the $100,000 after a personal visit from Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a leading legislator on Internet regulation.

In other words, Facebook's corporate executives dredged up something to appease Warner. That way, Warner and the Democrats could blame Russia for the Trump presidency, sparing further criticism of Clinton's dreadful campaign (in which she labeled half of Trump's voters "deplorables") and her neo-liberal economic policies (and neo-conservative foreign policies) that have alienated much of America's working class as well as many progressives.

Leaving Out Context

The Times also might have put the $100,000 in "Russian-linked" ads over a two-year period in the context of Facebook's $27 billion in annual revenue, but the Times didn't do that – apparently because it would make even the full $100,000 look like a pittance.

Trimming the total down to $44,000 and admitting that only a few of those ads actually dealt with Clinton and Trump would be even worse for the Russia-gate narrative.

Ironically, the Times' latest false depiction of the $100,000 in ads as designed "to influence" the 2016 election appeared in an article about Facebook determining that other Russian-linked ads, which supposedly had a powerful effect on Great Britain's Brexit vote, totaled just three ads at the cost of 97 cents. (That is not a misprint.)

According to Facebook, the three ads, which focused on immigration, were viewed some 200 times by Britons over four days in May 2016. Of course, the response from British parliamentarians who wanted to blame the Brexit vote on Moscow was to assert that Facebook must have missed something. It couldn't be that many Britons had lost faith in the promise of the European Union for their own reasons.

We have seen a similar pattern with allegations about Russian interference in German and French elections, with the initial accusations being widely touted but not so much the later conclusions by serious investigations knocking down the claims. [See, for instance, Consortiumnews.com's " German Intel Clears Russia on Interference. "]

The only acceptable conclusion, it seems, is "Russia Guilty!"

These days in Official Washington, it has become almost forbidden to ask for actual evidence that would prove the original claim that Russia "hacked" Democratic emails, even though the accusation came from what President Obama's Director of National Intelligence James Clapper acknowledged were "hand-picked" analysts from the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency.

These "hand-picked" analysts produced the evidence-lite Jan. 6 "assessment" about Russia "hacking" the emails and slipping them to WikiLeaks – a scenario denied by both WikiLeaks and Russia.

When that "assessment" was released almost a year ago, even the Times' Scott Shane noticed the lack of proof, writing : "What is missing from the [the Jan. 6] public report is what many Americans most eagerly anticipated: hard evidence to back up the agencies' claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack. Instead, the message from the agencies essentially amounts to 'trust us.'"

But the Times soon "forgot" what Shane had inconveniently noted and began reporting the Russian "hacking" as accepted wisdom.

The 17-Agencies Canard

Whenever scattered expressions of skepticism arose from a few analysts or non-mainstream media, the doubts were beaten back by the claim that "all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies" concurred in the conclusion that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered the hacking to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump. And what kind of nut would doubt the collective judgment of all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies!

Though the 17-agency canard was never true, it served an important purpose in establishing the Russia-gate groupthink. Wielding the "all 17 intelligence agencies" club, the U.S. mainstream media pounded politicians and policymakers into line, making any remaining skeptics seem more out of step and crazy.

So, in May 2017, when Clapper (along with former CIA Director John Brennan) admitted in congressional testimony that it wasn't true that all 17 agencies concurred in the Russian hacking conclusion, those statements received very little attention in the mainstream media.

The New York Times among other major news outlets just continued asserting the 17-agency falsehood until the Times was finally pressured to correct its lie in late June , but that only led to the Times shifting to slightly different but still misleading wording, citing a "consensus" among the intelligence agencies without mentioning a number or by simply stating the unproven hacking claim as flat fact.

Even efforts to test the Russian-hack claims through science were ignored or ridiculed. When former NSA technical director William Binney conducted experiments that showed that the known download speed of one batch of DNC emails could not have occurred over the Internet but matched what was possible for a USB-connected thumb drive -- an indication that a Democratic insider likely downloaded the emails and thus that there was no "hack" -- Binney was mocked as a "conspiracy theorist."

Even with the new disclosures about deep-seated anti-Trump bias in text messages exchanged between two senior FBI officials who played important early roles in the Russia-gate investigation, there is no indication that Official Washington is willing to go back to the beginning and see how the Russia-gate story might have been deceptively spun.

In a recently released Aug. 15, 2016 text message from Peter Strzok, a senior FBI counterintelligence official, to his reputed lover, senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page, Strzok referenced an apparent plan to keep Trump from getting elected before suggesting the need for "an insurance policy" just in case he did. A serious investigation into Russia-gate might want to know what these senior FBI officials had in mind.

But the Times and other big promoters of Russia-gate continue to dismiss doubters as delusional or as covering up for Russia and/or Trump. By this point – more than a year into this investigation – too many Important People have bought into the Russia-gate narrative to consider the possibility that there may be little or nothing there, or even worse, that it is the "insurance policy" that Strzok envisioned.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com ).

WC , December 15, 2017 at 3:39 pm

http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/taking-liberty/

Sally Snyder , December 15, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Here is an article that looks at how Google is proposing to "protect us" from all things Russian:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.lt/2017/11/how-google-manages-fake-news.html

George Orwell was right, he was just a few decades ahead of his time. Non-government actors in the United States, including Google, have learned an important lesson from the 2016 election and we can pretty much assure ourselves that the next election will see significant massaging when it comes to what we read and hear.

ranney , December 15, 2017 at 4:43 pm

Lately I've heard on PBS and other news shows that Russia "invaded Ukraine" and also attacked Crimea and essentially stole the island back to Russia. I forget the exact words used about Crimea but that was the gist. I have heard several times people on PBS using the the words Russia "invaded Ukraine" to describe what happened there. Like the N.Y.T. PBS is supposed to be the go to place for unbiased news and now they are blatantly lying to the public – and have been lying certainly as far back as 2014, if not before.

It's very discouraging to know that there are so few places where one can go to get actual facts. Consortium is one and, surprisingly RT is often another – at least RT tells us about stuff going on in other parts of the world that we never hear about in the MSM. Boy! talk about being an insular country! America is the most isolated country in the world when it comes to knowledge about other lands. We go on about how narcissistic Trump is, but the fact is that our whole government and our MSM is totally narcissistic and has been for quite a while – all we think about is us- and our government is willing to kill and lay waste anyone or any country that doesn't do exactly what we want, even when what we want is disasterous for not only other countries, but also disasterous for our own country. We are so narcissistic that we can't see it.

Padtie , December 15, 2017 at 6:09 pm

Well ranney, while I look at and read this site regularly, I gotta say that Trump is merely a doppelgänger for our country's collective psyche. This country is off the rails in every way possible. Yes, that includes those bad apples of the deep state AND compliant hamster citizens who vote and are currently scurrying about on the wheel of capitalism in pursuit of the Christmas Machine. All the hand wringing done on this web-site ain't gonna change any of it.

Mr. Parry would do everyone justice by taking his excellent skills and expanding his writing repertoire beyond Russia-gate. I'm seriously beginning to wonder what's up with him that he repeatedly beats the same old sorry drum- like the MSM- only on the opposite side. It's getting tiresome. How about proposing solutions to what ails us?

Sorry to ruin everyone's party.

Abe , December 15, 2017 at 4:46 pm

"major media outlets have made humiliating, breathtaking errors on the Trump-Russia story, always in the same direction, toward the same political goals. Here is just a sample of incredibly inflammatory claims that traveled all over the internet before having to be corrected, walked back, or retracted -- often long after the initial false claims spread, and where the corrections receive only a tiny fraction of the attention with which the initial false stories are lavished:

– Russia hacked into the U.S. electric grid to deprive Americans of heat during winter (Wash Post)
– An anonymous group (PropOrNot) documented how major U.S. political sites are Kremlin agents (Wash Post)
– WikiLeaks has a long, documented relationship with Putin (Guardian)
– A secret server between Trump and a Russian bank has been discovered (Slate)
– RT hacked C-SPAN and caused disruption in its broadcast (Fortune)
– Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app (Crowdstrike)
– Russians attempted to hack elections systems in 21 states (multiple news outlets, echoing Homeland Security)
– Links have been found between Trump ally Anthony Scaramucci and a Russian investment fund under investigation (CNN) [ ]

"But what it means most of all is that when media outlets are responsible for such grave and consequential errors as the spectacle we witnessed yesterday, they have to take responsibility for it by offering transparency and accountability. In this case, that can't mean hiding behind P.R. and lawyer silence and waiting for this to just all blow away.

"At minimum, these networks -- CNN, MSNBC, and CBS -- have to either identify who purposely fed them this blatantly false information or explain how it's possible that 'multiple sources' all got the same information wrong in innocence and good faith. Until they do that, their cries and protests the next time they're attacked as 'Fake News' should fall on deaf ears, since the real author of those attacks -- the reason those attacks resonate -- is themselves and their own conduct."

The U.S. Media Suffered Its Most Humiliating Debacle in Ages and Now Refuses All Transparency Over What Happened
By Glenn Greenwald
https://theintercept.com/2017/12/09/the-u-s-media-yesterday-suffered-its-most-humiliating-debacle-in-ages-now-refuses-all-transparency-over-what-happened/

JOHN L. OPPERMAN , December 15, 2017 at 4:49 pm

Hilary gave it away, as the (anti-democratic)"Democratic Party" gave it all away and has been doing it for decades.
Whereas the right has wisely (for it's purposes) built long term infrastructure of funded think tanks, media, fundamentalist ideologists, etc; the Democratic Establishment has dumped on it's base at practically ever turn, never really showing actual support for it's public community, and has joined with the right to destroy all attempt to build an actual peoples' political party.
I just turned 84 and have witnessed the ever-growing weakness and right-leaning of the Party" since I was a little kid and have seen it only become more disgustingly lame and disingenuous in all these years since, with extended travel, 20-year military service and work around the world, in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
And we are largely to blame, being humans and Americans, we sit back-busy with our lives, and neglect our responsibilities to our fellow man and community.
Get up off your ass, guys

JOHN L. OPPERMAN , December 15, 2017 at 4:53 pm

I must add, the so-called Party has quite consistently ACTIVELY fought against labor, consumers, t's own loyal public.

Joe Tedesky , December 15, 2017 at 5:10 pm

Among the many great comments posted here I find in your resume Mr Opperman a ton of experienced words worth listening too. In fact, it is people such as yourself that I feel our younger generation should be learning from. Your traveling, and working for the government has given you an insight that many of us do not have, nor will get since we are all not like you John. So keep posting, and tell us what you think America should do next, as we go forward. Thank you for your remarks, they are respected for what you have earned. Joe

Padtie , December 15, 2017 at 6:11 pm

Thanks for this post John.

Skip Scott , December 15, 2017 at 4:52 pm

In the end, this whole RussiaGate scandal may actually have a positive impact if it can be proven that it was a conspiracy cooked up by the "Deep State" as insurance in case of a Trump victory. If this is proven and actually becomes common knowledge, people like Brennan and Clapper, and their MSM mouthpieces, will never be trusted again. Though heads didn't roll after the exposure of the "weapons of mass destruction" lie, this one might tip the balance. Their argument that the "intelligence was mistaken" won't fly, as RussiaGate is so obviously a purposely constructed lie. It would be even greater if this led to a counter-investigation where all the perps were exposed and publicly prosecuted, and the Intelligence Agencies were "broken into 1000 pieces." Maybe while they were at it, they could get around to auditing the Pentagon. I like to dream big.

My hope is that websites like this one can continue to build an audience and speak truth to power now that net neutrality appears dead.

Joe Tedesky , December 15, 2017 at 4:59 pm

Funny how the NYT will try and make hay with a collection of various Russian disjointed ads on Facebook with an investment of $44,000.xx out weights the 4.9 billion dollars worth of free media coverage the MSM gave Trump through the whole 2016 presidential campaign, and nobody thinks nothing of it. If there was any type of collusion to help Trump win the White House then why not question this free media give away?

As a side note, should we investigate Jared Kushner and Michael Flynn for colluding with Israel?

Senator Mark Warner plays the part of the inquisitor well, and for that reason he has loss my respect, if he ever had it to begin with. Enough of covering up for Hillary's guilt complex to why she loss the election. Someone should just tell her, that even though she has done everything there is in her power to take Putin out of power, that her presidential loss is all on her. Putin didn't need to interfere, since by Hillary just being Hillary was enough to keep her out of reach of the Oval Office.

I hope that in the coming year, that by some stroke of luck, that William Binney will get the praise he deserves. We need more people like Binney working in our government, and without him we all are left vulnerable to the many who don't represent our citizen values. I thought the MSM's treatment of William Binney was disgraceful, to say the least.

Lastly, I would only hope that whoever it was that started this Russia-Gate nonsense would be revealed, but hope doesn't prosecute anyone, but knowledge at least allows you too see who and what is behind the curtain.

Marko , December 15, 2017 at 5:46 pm

" a collection of various Russian disjointed ads on Facebook with an investment of $44,000.xx .."

Yes , it was amazing that Russia was able to control our election so cheaply , but really , that was nothing. They swung the UK Brexit vote with Facebook ads costing them only 97 cents ! :

http://russia-insider.com/en/brilliant-russians-engineered-brexit-97-cents-facebook-ads/ri21937

mike k , December 15, 2017 at 5:34 pm

This whole Russiagate fraud could serve to awake a lot of Americans, if they would only look into it. You are not going to find a more blatant example of fake news by every major media, and also those supposedly upstanding Senators and Representatives, FBI and Justice Icons. If the public ignores opportunities to wake up to this outrageous scam being perpetrated on them now, there is little hope that they ever will. I try to get my friends interested in researching Russiagate, and a few of them have become curious and started asking questions – that's how awakening begins .

Marko , December 15, 2017 at 5:55 pm

Agreed. It's important to have just one or a few topics at most that you can suggest to your uninformed friends as being worthy of their own time to research , with the ultimate goal of " waking up ". Russia-gate is perfect. The Syrian War is another good one.

Pablo Diablo , December 15, 2017 at 5:55 pm

Also, a convenient excuse to discredit the "Special Counsel" Mueller investigation. "Witch hunt", "Fake News", which will come in handy if any real crimes are exposed. Reminds me of one criminal mob taking over territory from the current bunch of criminals.
Sad to see. The definition of "government" is that it represents "the people". Yet, I wonder if any government on Earth does represent "the people".

Brendan , December 15, 2017 at 6:02 pm

In spite of all the blatant lies that it publishes, the New York Times is still highly regarded by the political and media establishment, even in Europe.

In Hamburg on 3 December 2017, the NYT was awarded the Marion Dönhoff Prize for International Understanding and Reconciliation. In his presentation speech, the German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier described the NYT as an authority of enlightenment and a beacon of reason.

Steinmeier even managed to sneak in some fake news when he said "We are paying tribute to a flagship of freedom of the press in an age in which independent newspapers are branded as foreign agents in Russia".
http://www.bundespraesident.de/SharedDocs/Reden/EN/Frank-Walter-Steinmeier/Reden/2017/12/171203-Doenhoff-Prize.html

In fact, none of the media outlets that were recently declared foreign agents by Moscow is either independent or a newspaper. That list consists only of the US government financed VOA and RFE/RL and a number of websites and broadcasters that VOA and RFE/RL control.

Apart from that, the Russian "foreign agents" list is just a direct retaliation against Washington for doing exactly the same thing to RT and Sputnik, who were forced to register as foreign agents. Apparently the "freedom of the press" isn't so important when it applies to Russian media organisations working in the USA.

[Dec 15, 2017] Russia-gate serves the Democrat party because it masks their corruption and their collusion with Israel

Notable quotes:
"... Russia-gate serves the Democrat party because it side-steps their collusion with Israel. It serves the Republicans less because of collusion with corporations in the effort to destroy democracy and the social programs of the New Deal, and Russia is in on it. What is the purpose of all this collusion? It's to bring Iran, North Korea, and Cuba into the New World Order. ..."
"... Washington Post today, in another story relying solely on anonymous sources, breathlessly states: "Nearly a year into his presidency, Trump continues to reject the evidence that Russia waged an assault on a pillar of American democracy and supported his run for the White House. The result is without obvious parallel in U.S. history, a situation in which the personal insecurities of the president -- and his refusal to accept what even many in his administration regard as objective reality -- have impaired the government's response to a national security threat." Objective reality? ..."
"... The "Red Herring" is a major distraction to what is fundamentally a very corrupted election process from within and non-action by both parties to pursue fair, transparent "un-rigged" elections, taking the money out of the elections, getting rid of the electoral college, ranked voting and more. ..."
"... "Israel's collusion with the Trump presidential transition team points to more than just Trump, Kushner, and Flynn violating the Logan Act of 1799, an arcane law prohibiting American citizens from engaging in their own foreign policies. By convincing Trump, Kushner, and Flynn that Obama was behind Resolution 2443, Israel co-opted the Trump transition team to do its bidding. The Logan Act is immaterial when Trump, Kushner, Flynn, and others committed virtual treason against their own country to further the political aims of Israel. ..."
"... "The phoniest aspect of so-called 'Russiagate' is that the political scandal involving Trump, Kushner, Flynn, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, Trump advisers Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, and others hardly involves the Russian government. Instead, Eastern European-Israeli oligarchs, along with their thousands of offshore shell corporations located in places as far-ranging as the British Virgin Islands and the Isle of Jersey to the Marshall Islands and Seychelles, along with well-placed American agents-of-influence for Israel, are front-and-center in the scandal that now threatens to bring down the Trump administration." ..."
"... Mueller Names Trump's Foreign 'Colluding' Power: Israel By Wayne Madsen ..."
"... Liars always become very touchy when confronted with their falsehoods. They will inevitably attack there accusers with more lies to make them look bad. This is a fundamental reflex all liars respond to critics with. "I'm not lying, you are!" Those who want to believe the real liar love this response, because it gives them an excuse not to investigate if the accuser may be right. Then they can just turn on the accuser and blame them for false accusation – without the slightest proof, of course. ..."
Dec 15, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

Gregory Kruse , December 14, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Russia-gate serves the Democrat party because it side-steps their collusion with Israel. It serves the Republicans less because of collusion with corporations in the effort to destroy democracy and the social programs of the New Deal, and Russia is in on it. What is the purpose of all this collusion? It's to bring Iran, North Korea, and Cuba into the New World Order.

China and Russia are only nominal adversaries in the world economy. They also want to impoverish the majority of the world's population even at the cost of enriching some individuals to the point of becoming gods. In a sense, this is what liberals have wanted, to level the field that the poor people of the world exist on.

jaycee , December 14, 2017 at 2:26 pm

Washington Post today, in another story relying solely on anonymous sources, breathlessly states: "Nearly a year into his presidency, Trump continues to reject the evidence that Russia waged an assault on a pillar of American democracy and supported his run for the White House. The result is without obvious parallel in U.S. history, a situation in which the personal insecurities of the president -- and his refusal to accept what even many in his administration regard as objective reality -- have impaired the government's response to a national security threat." Objective reality?

Colleen O'Brien , December 14, 2017 at 2:30 pm

All the layers of deceit, denial and distraction bode ill for the Democratic Party and MSM. Thank you Robert Parry for standing up to all this disinformation & propaganda. The "Red Herring" is a major distraction to what is fundamentally a very corrupted election process from within and non-action by both parties to pursue fair, transparent "un-rigged" elections, taking the money out of the elections, getting rid of the electoral college, ranked voting and more.

Reforming our election process is the most important issue because what we have now and what came before is because of the money which owns the politicians and who no longer represent the American People! Nothing will change until we fix this!

Abe , December 14, 2017 at 4:32 pm

"Israel's collusion with the Trump presidential transition team points to more than just Trump, Kushner, and Flynn violating the Logan Act of 1799, an arcane law prohibiting American citizens from engaging in their own foreign policies. By convincing Trump, Kushner, and Flynn that Obama was behind Resolution 2443, Israel co-opted the Trump transition team to do its bidding. The Logan Act is immaterial when Trump, Kushner, Flynn, and others committed virtual treason against their own country to further the political aims of Israel.

"There has never been a successful prosecution under the Logan Act and likely there will never be one. However, those who possessed access to classified information – Trump, Kushner, Flynn, Haley, and others – who were simultaneously taking orders from Israel on matters of US national security, could be found guilty of violating the US Espionage Act. Israel's 'Greek Chorus' of supporters in the US news media and Congress brought up the Logan Act to minimize the damage caused by collusion between Israel's skink-like ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, Netanyahu, Kushner, Flynn, Trump, and Haley to kill the resolution. If the Logan Act had any enforcement teeth, it would have been used a long time ago to indict George Soros, Sheldon Adelson, Haim Saban, Paul Singer, and other pro-Israeli billionaire influence-peddlers, who represent the interests of other nations and engage in their own foreign policies.

"The phoniest aspect of so-called 'Russiagate' is that the political scandal involving Trump, Kushner, Flynn, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, Trump advisers Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, and others hardly involves the Russian government. Instead, Eastern European-Israeli oligarchs, along with their thousands of offshore shell corporations located in places as far-ranging as the British Virgin Islands and the Isle of Jersey to the Marshall Islands and Seychelles, along with well-placed American agents-of-influence for Israel, are front-and-center in the scandal that now threatens to bring down the Trump administration."

Mueller Names Trump's Foreign 'Colluding' Power: Israel By Wayne Madsen https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/12/04/mueller-names-trump-foreign-colluding-power-israel.html

mike k , December 14, 2017 at 4:51 pm

Liars always become very touchy when confronted with their falsehoods. They will inevitably attack there accusers with more lies to make them look bad. This is a fundamental reflex all liars respond to critics with. "I'm not lying, you are!" Those who want to believe the real liar love this response, because it gives them an excuse not to investigate if the accuser may be right. Then they can just turn on the accuser and blame them for false accusation – without the slightest proof, of course.

Mild -ly - Facetious , December 14, 2017 at 5:29 pm

... The new Reunion of Ismael and Issac

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/12/13/trump-netanyahu-mohammad-bin-salman-destroyers-neoliberal-world-order.html

Mild -ly - Facetious , December 14, 2017 at 7:16 pm

To whom it may concern: Forgive me, this isn't meant to be Hasbara .

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/11/30/us-foreign-policy-another-trump-organization-inc-property.html

[Dec 14, 2017] With the 2018 midterms on the horizon, Moscow proposed a sweeping noninterference agreement with the United States. The Trump administration said no

Highly recommended!
Here you have it – a self-confession from the highest D.C. officials, that "democracy promotion = meddling in the elections"! Oh, but that's not all:
Notable quotes:
"... "To test the possibility of a mutual agreement, Putin dispatched Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov to Washington for a July 17 meeting with Under Secretary Tom Shannon, the No. 3 official at the State Department. The official US account of the meeting offered only a bland summary of conversations on "areas of mutual concern." But three US administration officials, including one inside the meeting, said Ryabkov handed over a document containing a bold proposal: A sweeping noninterference agreement between Moscow and Washington that would prohibit both governments from meddling in the other's domestic politics. ..."
"... After examining the proposal, which has not previously been reported, US officials told Moscow there would be no deal. ..."
"... "We said 'thank you very much but now is not the time for this,'" said a senior State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic discussions." ..."
"... Here you have it – a self-confession from the highest D.C. officials, that "democracy promotion = meddling in the elections"! Oh, but that's not all: ..."
Dec 12, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Lyttenburgh , December 10, 2017 at 5:59 pm

C for Chutzpah.

ButtFeed: How Secret Talks With Russia to Prevent Election Meddling Collapsed

With the 2018 midterms on the horizon, Moscow proposed a sweeping noninterference agreement with the United States, US officials tell BuzzFeed News. The Trump administration said no.

"To test the possibility of a mutual agreement, Putin dispatched Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov to Washington for a July 17 meeting with Under Secretary Tom Shannon, the No. 3 official at the State Department. The official US account of the meeting offered only a bland summary of conversations on "areas of mutual concern." But three US administration officials, including one inside the meeting, said Ryabkov handed over a document containing a bold proposal: A sweeping noninterference agreement between Moscow and Washington that would prohibit both governments from meddling in the other's domestic politics.

After examining the proposal, which has not previously been reported, US officials told Moscow there would be no deal.

"We said 'thank you very much but now is not the time for this,'" said a senior State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic discussions."

Here you have it – a self-confession from the highest D.C. officials, that "democracy promotion = meddling in the elections"! Oh, but that's not all:

[Dec 13, 2017] All the signs in the Russia probe point to Jared Kushner. Who next?

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... More like he's denying the story peddled by the Democrats in some vain attempt at reducing his legitimacy over smashing Hillary in the elections. ..."
"... What is he going to prison for, again? Colluding with Israel? ..."
"... The most anger in the media against the POTUS seems to be directed against Russia gate. Time and energy is wasted on conjecture, most 'probables will not stand in a court of law. This media hysteria deflects from the destruction of the affordable healthcare act and the tax changes good for the rich against the many. I think the people are being played. ..."
"... In the 1990s and 2000s a large section of the American establishment was effectively bought off by people like Prince Bandar. These are the ones that are determined that the anti-Russian policy then instigated be continued, even at the cost of slandering the current President's son-in-law. The irony is that in the meantime an effective regime change has taken place in Saudi and Bandar's bandits are mostly locked up behind bars. ..."
"... True, and not just hypocrisy either. This has to be seen in the context of a war, cold for now, on Russia - with China, via Iran and NK, next in line. Dangerous times, as a militarily formidable empire in economic decline looks set to take us all out. For the few who think and resist the dominant narrative - and are thereby routinely called out as 'kremlin trolls' - it is dismaying how easily folk are manipulated. ..."
"... Your points are valid but, alas, factual truths are routinely trumped (!) by powerful mythology. Fact is, despite an appalling record since WW2, Washington and its pet institutions - IMF/World Bank/WTO - are still seen as good guys. How? Because (a) all western states have traded foreign policy independence for favoured status in Washington, (b) English as global lingua franca means American soft propaganda is lapped up across the world via its entertainment industry, and (c) all 'our' media are owned by billionaire corps or as with BBC/Graun, subject to government intimidation/market forces. ..."
"... Truth is, DRT is not some horrifically new entity. (Let's not forget how HRC's 'no fly zone' for Syria promised to take us into WW3, nor her demented "we came, we saw, he died - ha ha" response to Gaddafi's sodomisation by knife blade, and more importantly to Libya's descent into hell.) As John Pilger noted, "the obsession with Trump the man – not Trump as symptom and caricature of an enduring system – beckons great danger for all of us". ..."
"... If all Meuller has is Flynn and the Russians during the transition period, he's got nothing. ..."
"... It's alleged that Turkey wanted Flynn to extradite Gullen for his alleged involvement in Turkey's failed coup. Just this weekend, Turkey have issued an arrest warrant for a former CIA officer in relation to the failed coup. So, IF the CIA were behind the failed coup and Flynn knows this - well, a good way to silence him would be to charge him with some serious crimes and then offer to drop them in return for his silence. But, like your theory, it's just speculation. ..."
"... The secret deep state security forces haven't been this diminished since Carter cleared the stables in the 70's - they fought back and stopped his second term ... ..."
"... Seeing how the case against Trump and Flynn is based on 'probable' and not hard proof its 'probable that the anti Trump campaign is directed from within the murky enclaves of the US intelligence community. ..."
"... Hatred against Trump deflects the anger, see the system works the US is still a democracy. Well it isn't, its a sick oligarchy run by the mega rich who own the media, 90% is owned by 5 corporations. Americans are fed the lie that their vast military empire with its 800 overseas bases are to defend US interests. ..."
"... Wow this is like becoming McCarthy Era 2.0. I'm just waiting for the show trials of all these so-called colluders. ..."
"... the interest of (Russian Ambassador) Kislyak in determining the position of the new administration on sanctions is not unheard of in Washington, or necessarily untoward to raise with one of the incoming national security advisers. Ambassadors are supposed to seek changes in policies and often seek to influence officials in the early stages of administrations before policies are established. Flynn's suggestion that the Russians wait as the Trump administration unfolded its new policies is a fairly standard response of an incoming official ..."
"... "The problem is charging Flynn for lying. A technicality. But not charging Hillary for email server. Another technicality. That's all the public will see if no collusion proved, and will ruin credibility of the FBI and the Dems" ..."
"... It's not just collusion is it, what about the rampant, naked nepotism, last seen on this unashamed scale in ancient Rome? ..."
"... So he lobbied for Israel not Russia then? Whoops. How does the author even know where Mueller's probe is heading, and which way Flynn flipped? Flynn worked much longer for the Obama administration than for Trump's. ..."
"... You can easily impeach Trump for bombing Syria's military airfield, which is by UN definition war crime of war aggression, starting war without the Congress approval; and doing so by supporting false flag of AQ, is support of terrorists and so on ..."
"... Oh you can't do it, of course, it was so - so presidential to bomb another country and it is just old habit and no war declaration, if country is too weak to bomb you back. And you love this exiting crazy balance of global nuclear annihilation too much, so you prefer screaming Russia, Russia to keep it hot, for wonderful military contracts. ..."
"... If the US wanted to do itself a massive favour it should shine the spotlight on Robert Mueller, the man now in charge of investigating the President of these United States for "collusion" with Russia and possible "obstruction of justice" himself obstructed a congressional investigation into the 9/11 terrorist attacks. ..."
"... Dealing with western backed coups on its own doorstep and being the only country actually to be legally fighting in Syria - a war that directly threatens its security - does not amount to global belligerence. ..."
"... Clinton lied under oath ..."
"... The logan act is a dead law no one will be prosecuted for a act that has never been used... plus the president elect can talk to any foreign leader he or she wishes to use and even talk deals even if a current president for 2 months is still in office... ..."
"... Should all countries which try to influence elections be treated as enemies? Where do you set the threshold? If we go by the actual evidence, Russia seems to have bought some Facebook ads and was allegedly involved in exposing HRC's meddling with the Democratic primaries. Compare that to the influence that countries like Israel and the Gulf Arabs exert on American politics and elections. Are you seriously claiming that Russia's influence is bigger or more decisive? ..."
"... The goal of weakening the US is also highly debatable. Accepting for a moment that Russia tried to tip the balance in favor of Trump, would America be stronger if it were engaged more actively in Syria and Ukraine? Is there a specific example where Trump's administration weakened the American position to the advantage of Russia? And how is the sustained anti-Russian information warfare helping anyone but the Chinese? ..."
"... The clues that Kushner has been pulling the strings on Russia are everywhere... He then pushed Flynn hard to try to turn Russia around on an anti-Israel vote by the UN security council. ..."
"... And Russia didn't turn, so hardly a clue that Kushner was pulling strings with any effect. What this clue does suggest however, is that Israel pressured/colluded with the Trump Team to undermine the Obama administrations policy towards a UN resolution on illegal settlements. The elephant in the room is Israels influence on US politics. ..."
"... In relation to the "lying" charge - In December, Flynn (in his role as incoming National Security Advisor) was told to talk to the Russians by Kushner (in his role as incoming special advisor). In these conversations, Flynn told the Russians to be patient regarding sanctions as things may change when Trump becomes President. All of this is totally legal and is what EVERY new adminstration does. Flynn had his phoned tapped by the FBI so they knew he had talked to the Russian about sanctions - they also knew the conversation was totally legal - but when they asked him about it, he said he didn't discuss sanctions. So Flynn is being charged about lying about something that was totally legal for him to do. That's it. ..."
"... All those thinking this is the beginning of the end of Trump are going to be disappointed. Just look at the charges so far. Manafort has been charged with money laundering and not registering as a foreign agent - however, both of those charges pre-date him working for Trump. Flynn has been charged with lying to the FBI about speaking to the Russians - even though him speaking to the Russians in his role as National Security Advisor to the President-elect was not only totally legal, it was the norm. And this took place in December, after the election. ..."
"... So the 2 main players have been charged with things that have nothing to do with the Trump campaign, and lets not forget the point of the investigation is to find out if Trump's campaign colluded with the Russians to win the election. Manafort's charges related to before working for the Trump campaign whilst Flynn's came after Trump won the Presidency, neither of which have anything to do with the election. As much as I wish Trump wasn't President, don't get your hopes up that this is going anywhere ..."
"... Gross hypocrisy on the US governments side. They have, since WW2 interfered with other countries elections, invaded, and killed millions worldwide, and are still doing so. Where were the FBI investigations then? Non existent. US politicians and the military hierarchy are completely immune from any prosecutions when it comes down to overseas illegal interference. ..."
"... America like all governments are narcissistic, they will cheat, steal, kill, if it benefits them. It's called national interest, and it's number one on any leader's job list. Watch fog of war with Robert McNamara, fantastic and terrifying to see how it works. ..."
"... The US has also been meddling in other countries elections for years, and doubtless most Americans neither know or care about that! So it's perhaps it's best to simply term them a 'rival', most people should be able to agree on that ..."
"... Gallup have been polling Americans for the past couple of decades on this. The last time I read about it a couple of years ago 70% of Americans had unfavourable views of Russia, ranging from those who saw them as an enemy (a smaller amount) through to those who saw them as a threat. ..."
Dec 13, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

polpont , 4 Dec 2017 08:32

Mueller will have to thread very carefully because he is maneuvering on a very politically charged terrain. And one cannot refrain from comparing the current situation with the many free passes the democrats were handed over by the FBI, the Department of Justice and the media which make the US look like a banana republic.

The mind blowing fact that Clinton sat with the Attorney General on the tarmac of the Phoenix airport "to chit-chat" and not to discuss the investigation on Clinton's very wife that was being overseen by the same AG, leaves one flabbergasted.

And the fact that Comey essentially said that Clinton's behaviour, tantamount in his own words to extreme recklessness, did not warrant prosecution was just inconceivable.

Don't forget that Trump has nearly 50 M gun-toting followers on Tweeter and that he would not hesitate to appeal to them were he to feel threatened by what he could conceive as a judicial Coup d'Etat. The respect for the institutions in the USA has never been so low.

ID1456161 -> Canadiman , 4 Dec 2017 08:30

...a judge would decide if the evidence was sufficient to warrant a trial.

Actually, in the U.S. a grand jury would decide if the evidence was sufficient to warrant formal charges leading to a trial. There is also the possibility that Mueller has uncovered both Federal and NY State offenses, so charges could be brought against Kushner at either level. Mueller has been sharing information from his investigation with the NY Attorney General's Office. Trump could pardon a federal offense, but has no jurisdiction to pardon charges brought against Kushner by the State of NY.

Anna Bramwell -> etrang , 4 Dec 2017 08:28
I watched RT for 24 months before the US election. They favoured Bernie Saunders strongly before he lost to Hilary. Then they ran hustings for the smaller US parties, eg Greens, and the Libertarians , which could definitely be seen as an interference in the US election, but which as far as I know, was never mentioned in the US. They were anti Hilary but not pro Trump. And indeed, their strong anti capitalist bias would have made such support unlikely.
EduardStreltsovGhost -> JonShone , 4 Dec 2017 08:28
What's he lying about? More like he's denying the story peddled by the Democrats in some vain attempt at reducing his legitimacy over smashing Hillary in the elections.

Obama and Hillary met hundreds of foreign officials. Were they colluding as well?

pretzelattack -> Atticus_Finch , 4 Dec 2017 08:28
What is he going to prison for, again? Colluding with Israel?
oddballs -> Taf1980uk , 4 Dec 2017 08:26
The most anger in the media against the POTUS seems to be directed against Russia gate. Time and energy is wasted on conjecture, most 'probables will not stand in a court of law. This media hysteria deflects from the destruction of the affordable healthcare act and the tax changes good for the rich against the many. I think the people are being played.
Krautolivier , 4 Dec 2017 08:21
In the 1990s and 2000s a large section of the American establishment was effectively bought off by people like Prince Bandar. These are the ones that are determined that the anti-Russian policy then instigated be continued, even at the cost of slandering the current President's son-in-law. The irony is that in the meantime an effective regime change has taken place in Saudi and Bandar's bandits are mostly locked up behind bars.
It's all too funny.
zerohoursuni -> damientrollope , 4 Dec 2017 08:19
True, and not just hypocrisy either. This has to be seen in the context of a war, cold for now, on Russia - with China, via Iran and NK, next in line. Dangerous times, as a militarily formidable empire in economic decline looks set to take us all out. For the few who think and resist the dominant narrative - and are thereby routinely called out as 'kremlin trolls' - it is dismaying how easily folk are manipulated.

Your points are valid but, alas, factual truths are routinely trumped (!) by powerful mythology. Fact is, despite an appalling record since WW2, Washington and its pet institutions - IMF/World Bank/WTO - are still seen as good guys. How? Because (a) all western states have traded foreign policy independence for favoured status in Washington, (b) English as global lingua franca means American soft propaganda is lapped up across the world via its entertainment industry, and (c) all 'our' media are owned by billionaire corps or as with BBC/Graun, subject to government intimidation/market forces.

Truth is, DRT is not some horrifically new entity. (Let's not forget how HRC's 'no fly zone' for Syria promised to take us into WW3, nor her demented "we came, we saw, he died - ha ha" response to Gaddafi's sodomisation by knife blade, and more importantly to Libya's descent into hell.) As John Pilger noted, "the obsession with Trump the man – not Trump as symptom and caricature of an enduring system – beckons great danger for all of us".

cookcounty , 4 Dec 2017 08:15
I missed Jill Abramson's column about all the meetings the Obama administration held -- quite openly -- with foreign governments during the transition period between his election and his first inauguration.

But since she's been demonstrably and laughably wrong about predicting future political events in the USA (see her entire body of work during the 2016 election campaign), why should she start making sense now?

It's completely possible, of course, that some as-yet-to-be-revealed piece of evidence will prove collusion -- before the election and by candidate Trump -- with the Russians. But the Flynn testimony certainly isn't it. All the heavy breathing and hysteria is simply a sign of how the media, yet again, always gravitates toward the news it wishes were true, rather than what really is true. If all Meuller has is Flynn and the Russians during the transition period, he's got nothing.

themandibleclaw -> SteveMilesworthy , 4 Dec 2017 08:12
Flynn was charged with far more serious crimes which were all dropped and he was left with a charge that if he spends any time in prison, it will be about 6 months. Now, you could say for him to agree to that, he must have some juicy info - and he probably does - but what that juicy info is is just speculation. And if we are speculating, then maybe what he traded it for was nothing to do with Trump? After all, one of the charges against him was failing to register as a foreign agent on behalf of Turkey.

It's alleged that Turkey wanted Flynn to extradite Gullen for his alleged involvement in Turkey's failed coup. Just this weekend, Turkey have issued an arrest warrant for a former CIA officer in relation to the failed coup. So, IF the CIA were behind the failed coup and Flynn knows this - well, a good way to silence him would be to charge him with some serious crimes and then offer to drop them in return for his silence. But, like your theory, it's just speculation.

WallyWillage , 4 Dec 2017 08:05
Still no evidence of Russian collusion in Trump campaign BEFORE the election...... whatever happened after being president elect is not impeachable unless it would be after taking office.

The secret deep state security forces haven't been this diminished since Carter cleared the stables in the 70's - they fought back and stopped his second term ...

EduardStreltsovGhost -> CitizenOfTinyBlue , 4 Dec 2017 08:03

You can easily impeach Trump for bombing Syria's military airfield, which is by UN definition war crime of war aggression

if that were the case, Clinton, Bush and Obama would be sitting in jail right now.
oddballs -> Taf1980uk , 4 Dec 2017 07:58
Seeing how the case against Trump and Flynn is based on 'probable' and not hard proof its 'probable that the anti Trump campaign is directed from within the murky enclaves of the US intelligence community.

Trumps presidency could have the capability of galvanising a powerful resistance against the 2 party state for 'real change, like affordable healthcare and affordable education for ALL its people. But no its not happening, Trump is attacked on probables and undisclosed sources. A year has passed and nothing has been revealed.

Hatred against Trump deflects the anger, see the system works the US is still a democracy. Well it isn't, its a sick oligarchy run by the mega rich who own the media, 90% is owned by 5 corporations. Americans are fed the lie that their vast military empire with its 800 overseas bases are to defend US interests.

Well their not, their only function is, is to spend tax dollars that otherwise would be spent on education, health, infrastructure, things that would 'really' benefit America. Disagree, well go ahead and accuse me of being a conspiracy nut-job, in the meantime China is by peaceful means getting the mining rights in Africa, Australia, deals that matter.

The tax legislation for the few against the many is deflected by the anti-Trump hysteria based on conjecture and not proof.

EduardStreltsovGhost , 4 Dec 2017 07:52
Wow this is like becoming McCarthy Era 2.0. I'm just waiting for the show trials of all these so-called colluders.
RelaxAndChill -> Silgen , 4 Dec 2017 07:46
Crimea was and is Russian. Your mask is slipping, Vlad .

Your ignorance is showing. I have no connection to Russia what so ever. Crimea was legally ceded to Russia over 200 years ago, by the Ottomans to Catherine the Great. Russia has never relinquished control. What the criminal organization the USSR did under Ukrainian expat Khrushchev, is irrelevant. And as Putin said , any agreement about respecting Ukraine's territorial integrity was negated when the USA and the EU fomented and financed a rebellion and revolution.

StillAbstractImp , 4 Dec 2017 07:40
Decelerating Fascism - Is Kushner a Putin operative, too?
mikedow -> Karantino , 4 Dec 2017 07:35
Australia, Canada, and S. Africa supply the lion's share of gold bullion that London survives on. And the best uranium in the world. All sorts of other precious commodities as well. If you're not toeing the line on US foreign policies religiously, the Yanks will drop you.
themandibleclaw -> Toastface_Killah , 4 Dec 2017 07:34

You are selectively choosing to refer to this one instance, but even here Obama administration were still in charge - so not very legal, was it.

I am "selectively choosing to refer to this one instance" because that's all Flynn has been charged with. Oh, and it is totally legal for a member of the incoming administration to start talks with their foreign counterparts. Here's a quote from an op-ed piece in The Hill from a law professor at Washington University.

the interest of (Russian Ambassador) Kislyak in determining the position of the new administration on sanctions is not unheard of in Washington, or necessarily untoward to raise with one of the incoming national security advisers. Ambassadors are supposed to seek changes in policies and often seek to influence officials in the early stages of administrations before policies are established. Flynn's suggestion that the Russians wait as the Trump administration unfolded its new policies is a fairly standard response of an incoming official .

http://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/362813-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-of-the-flynn-indictment

backstop -> EdwardFatherby , 4 Dec 2017 07:31
"The problem is charging Flynn for lying. A technicality. But not charging Hillary for email server. Another technicality. That's all the public will see if no collusion proved, and will ruin credibility of the FBI and the Dems"

It's not just collusion is it, what about the rampant, naked nepotism, last seen on this unashamed scale in ancient Rome?

BustedBoom , 4 Dec 2017 07:31

He then pushed Flynn hard to try to turn Russia around on an anti-Israel vote by the UN security council.

So he lobbied for Israel not Russia then? Whoops. How does the author even know where Mueller's probe is heading, and which way Flynn flipped? Flynn worked much longer for the Obama administration than for Trump's.
CitizenOfTinyBlue , 4 Dec 2017 07:26
You can easily impeach Trump for bombing Syria's military airfield, which is by UN definition war crime of war aggression, starting war without the Congress approval; and doing so by supporting false flag of AQ, is support of terrorists and so on

Oh you can't do it, of course, it was so - so presidential to bomb another country and it is just old habit and no war declaration, if country is too weak to bomb you back. And you love this exiting crazy balance of global nuclear annihilation too much, so you prefer screaming Russia, Russia to keep it hot, for wonderful military contracts.

Oh, and I have to be supporter of Putin's oligarchy with dreams of great tsars of Russia, if I care about humans survival on this planet and have very bad opinion about suicidal fools playing this stupid games.

ConCaruthers , 4 Dec 2017 07:25
If the US wanted to do itself a massive favour it should shine the spotlight on Robert Mueller, the man now in charge of investigating the President of these United States for "collusion" with Russia and possible "obstruction of justice" himself obstructed a congressional investigation into the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
moonsphere -> Hydro , 4 Dec 2017 07:24
Dealing with western backed coups on its own doorstep and being the only country actually to be legally fighting in Syria - a war that directly threatens its security - does not amount to global belligerence.
etrang -> CraftyRabbi , 4 Dec 2017 07:14

Mueller could charge/indict Kushner or Trump Jr under New York state criminal statutes

But not for crimes relating to federal elections or conspiring with Russia.

John Edwin -> OlivesNightie , 4 Dec 2017 07:13
Clinton lied under oath
John Edwin -> SoAmerican , 4 Dec 2017 07:11
The logan act is a dead law no one will be prosecuted for a act that has never been used... plus the president elect can talk to any foreign leader he or she wishes to use and even talk deals even if a current president for 2 months is still in office...
emiliofloris -> Sowester , 4 Dec 2017 07:08

I am not sure any level of scandal will make much difference to Trump or his supporters. They simply see this as an elitist conspiracy and not amount of evidence of wrongdoing will have an impact.

So far the level of scandal is below that of Whitewater/Lewinsky, and that was a very low level indeed. What "evidence of wrongdoing" is there? Nothing, that's why they charged Flynn with lying to investigators. It's important to keep in mind that the he did nor lie about actual crimes. Perhaps that's going to change as the investigation proceeds, but so far this is nothing more than a partisan lawfare fishing expedition.

Billsykesdoggy -> reinhardpolley , 4 Dec 2017 06:55
<blockquoteSpecifically, it prohibits citizens from negotiating with other nations on behalf of the United States without authorization.>

So Trump authorized Obama's talks with Macron last week?

Don't think so.

braciole -> Karantino , 4 Dec 2017 06:55

Because they attempted to covertly influence a general election in order to weaken the US.

And your evidence for this is what exactly? As for countries trying to influence elections in other countries, I'm all for it particularly when one of the candidates is murderous, arrogant and stupid.

BTW, in Honduras after supporting a coup against the democratically-elected president because he sought a referendum on allowing presidents to serve two terms, you'd think the United States would interfere when his non-democratically-elected replacement used a "packed" supreme court to change the constitution to allow presidents to serve more than one term to at least stop him stealing an election as he is now doing/has done. But they didn't and that hasn't stopped the United States whining that Evo Morales is being undemocratic by trying to extend the number of terms he can serve.

emiliofloris -> Karantino , 4 Dec 2017 06:53

Because they attempted to covertly influence a general election in order to weaken the US.

Should all countries which try to influence elections be treated as enemies? Where do you set the threshold? If we go by the actual evidence, Russia seems to have bought some Facebook ads and was allegedly involved in exposing HRC's meddling with the Democratic primaries. Compare that to the influence that countries like Israel and the Gulf Arabs exert on American politics and elections. Are you seriously claiming that Russia's influence is bigger or more decisive?

The goal of weakening the US is also highly debatable. Accepting for a moment that Russia tried to tip the balance in favor of Trump, would America be stronger if it were engaged more actively in Syria and Ukraine? Is there a specific example where Trump's administration weakened the American position to the advantage of Russia? And how is the sustained anti-Russian information warfare helping anyone but the Chinese?

technotherapy , 4 Dec 2017 06:46
The clues that Kushner has been pulling the strings on Russia are everywhere... He then pushed Flynn hard to try to turn Russia around on an anti-Israel vote by the UN security council.

And Russia didn't turn, so hardly a clue that Kushner was pulling strings with any effect. What this clue does suggest however, is that Israel pressured/colluded with the Trump Team to undermine the Obama administrations policy towards a UN resolution on illegal settlements. The elephant in the room is Israels influence on US politics.

themandibleclaw -> Simon Denham , 4 Dec 2017 06:44

Can someone please actually tell us what Flynn/Jared/Trump is supposed to have done.

In relation to the "lying" charge - In December, Flynn (in his role as incoming National Security Advisor) was told to talk to the Russians by Kushner (in his role as incoming special advisor). In these conversations, Flynn told the Russians to be patient regarding sanctions as things may change when Trump becomes President. All of this is totally legal and is what EVERY new adminstration does. Flynn had his phoned tapped by the FBI so they knew he had talked to the Russian about sanctions - they also knew the conversation was totally legal - but when they asked him about it, he said he didn't discuss sanctions. So Flynn is being charged about lying about something that was totally legal for him to do. That's it.

moonsphere -> SoAmerican , 4 Dec 2017 06:44
These days "US influence" seems to consist of bombing Middle Eastern countries back to the bronze age for reasons that defy easy logic. Anything that reduces that kind of influence would be welcome.
reinhardpolley -> Simon Denham , 4 Dec 2017 06:33
The Logan Act (18 U.S.C.A. § 953 [1948]) is a single federal statute making it a crime for a citizen to confer with foreign governments against the interests of the United States. Specifically, it prohibits citizens from negotiating with other nations on behalf of the United States without authorization.
https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Logan+Act
themandibleclaw , 4 Dec 2017 06:22
All those thinking this is the beginning of the end of Trump are going to be disappointed. Just look at the charges so far. Manafort has been charged with money laundering and not registering as a foreign agent - however, both of those charges pre-date him working for Trump. Flynn has been charged with lying to the FBI about speaking to the Russians - even though him speaking to the Russians in his role as National Security Advisor to the President-elect was not only totally legal, it was the norm. And this took place in December, after the election.

So the 2 main players have been charged with things that have nothing to do with the Trump campaign, and lets not forget the point of the investigation is to find out if Trump's campaign colluded with the Russians to win the election. Manafort's charges related to before working for the Trump campaign whilst Flynn's came after Trump won the Presidency, neither of which have anything to do with the election. As much as I wish Trump wasn't President, don't get your hopes up that this is going anywhere.

damientrollope , 4 Dec 2017 06:15
Gross hypocrisy on the US governments side. They have, since WW2 interfered with other countries elections, invaded, and killed millions worldwide, and are still doing so. Where were the FBI investigations then? Non existent. US politicians and the military hierarchy are completely immune from any prosecutions when it comes down to overseas illegal interference.

But now this Russian debacle, and at last they've woken up, because another country had the temerity to turn the tables on them. And I think if this was Bush or Obama we would never have heard a thing about it. Everybody hates the Dotard, because he's an obese dick with an IQ to match.

Boojay , 4 Dec 2017 06:15
Nothing will happen to Trump, It's all bollocks. You've all watched too many Spielberg films, bad guys win, and they win most of the time.
Trump is the real face of America, America like all governments are narcissistic, they will cheat, steal, kill, if it benefits them. It's called national interest, and it's number one on any leader's job list. Watch fog of war with Robert McNamara, fantastic and terrifying to see how it works.
formerathlete -> vacantspace , 4 Dec 2017 06:15

when American presidents were rational, well balanced with progressive views we had.... decent American healthcare? Equality of opportunity? Gun laws that made it safe to walk the streets?

Say who, what an a where now????????? Since when has the US EVER had any of the three things that you mentioned???

If ever, then it was a loooooong time before the pilgrim fathers ever landed.

Hugh Mad -> JonShone , 4 Dec 2017 06:10

The US has also been meddling in other countries elections for years, and doubtless most Americans neither know or care about that! So it's perhaps it's best to simply term them a 'rival', most people should be able to agree on that.

That is the bottom line, yes. People view the world through west = good and Russia = bad, while both make economic and political decisions that serve the interests of their people respectively. Ultimately, I think people are scared that the West's monopoly on global influence is slipping, to as you said, a rival.

JonShone -> Hugh Mad , 4 Dec 2017 06:06
You are right that calling Russia the US enemy needs justification, but these threads often deteriorate into arguments of the yes it is/no it isn't variety.

Gallup have been polling Americans for the past couple of decades on this. The last time I read about it a couple of years ago 70% of Americans had unfavourable views of Russia, ranging from those who saw them as an enemy (a smaller amount) through to those who saw them as a threat.

It's certain that their ideals and goals run counter to those generally held in the US in many ways. But let's not forget that the US' ideals are often, if not generally, divergent from their interests and US foreign policy since 1945 has been responsible for countless deaths, perhaps more than Russia's.

The US has also been meddling in other countries elections for years, and doubtless most Americans neither know or care about that! So it's perhaps it's best to simply term them a 'rival', most people should be able to agree on that.

RelaxAndChill , 4 Dec 2017 05:59
All the signs in the Russia probe point to ..

How the liberals and the Democrats don't give a damm about the USA or the world's political scene, just some endless 'sore loser' witch hunt. So much could be achieved by the improving of relations with Russia. Crimea was and is Russian. Let Trump have a go as POTUS and then judge him. He wants to befriend Putin and if done it would help solve Syrian, Nth Korean and other global problems.

variation31 -> Sowester , 4 Dec 2017 05:50

They simply see this as an elitist conspiracy and not amount of evidence of wrongdoing will have an impact

Whereas if it's a Democrat in the spotlight, these same dipshits see it as an élitist cover-up and no lack of evidence of wrongdoing will have an impact. If anything, lack of evidence is evidence of cover-up which is therefore proof of evidence.

These cynical games they play with veracity and human honesty are a very pure form of evil.

[Dec 13, 2017] The U.S. Media Suffered Its Most Humiliating Debacle in Ages by Glenn Greenwald

Notable quotes:
"... publicly available ..."
"... Greenwald's lamenting of the US media's lack of transparency and accountability is touchingly high-minded, but it is also naive. These people are not in the business of informing their viewers; they are in the business of delivering their viewers to a preestablished agenda set by powerful and wealthy people. Until Mr. Greenwald understands this, he will continue to feel disappointment and dissonance. ..."
"... The massive deception operation that goes by the name of "US media" will continue so long as the audience tolerates it, which is probably indefinitely. Over and over again, I have showed members of that audience that they are being lied to. Their reaction is always the same: anger with me for discomforting them. The audience does not watch the US media in order to be informed, they watch the media in order to be comforted, and the media know this and exploit this. This show will run for a long, long time. ..."
"... Well put. Lying is not a special occasion for the US media. It's an everyday occurrence, whereas telling the truth is quite rare. As a person who was born and grew up in Ukraine and has lots of relatives and acquaintances all over that disintegrating country, I can testify that 80% of the reports in the US media about Ukraine since 2014 were blatant lies, whereas in the remaining 20% truth was twisted beyond recognition. ..."
"... There is a minute of breaking news. Then 3 minutes of ads. Then a minute of news. Then 3 minutes of ads. Then what news is up next for 2 minutes. Then 3 minutes of ads. Then a minute of news. ..."
Dec 09, 2017 | www.unz.com

FRIDAY WAS ONE of the most embarrassing days for the U.S. media in quite a long time. The humiliation orgy was kicked off by CNN, with MSNBC and CBS close behind, with countless pundits, commentators and operatives joining the party throughout the day. By the end of the day, it was clear that several of the nation's largest and most influential news outlets had spread an explosive but completely false news story to millions of people, while refusing to provide any explanation of how it happened.

The spectacle began on Friday morning at 11 a.m. EST, when the Most Trusted Name in News™ spent 12 straight minutes on air flamboyantly hyping an exclusive bombshell report that seemed to prove that WikiLeaks, last September, had secretly offered the Trump campaign, even Donald Trump himself, special access to the DNC emails before they were published on the internet. As CNN sees the world, this would prove collusion between the Trump family and WikiLeaks and, more importantly, between Trump and Russia, since the U.S. intelligence community regards WikiLeaks as an "arm of Russian intelligence," and therefore , so does the U.S. media.

This entire revelation was based on an email which CNN strongly implied it had exclusively obtained and had in its possession. The email was sent by someone named "Michael J. Erickson" -- someone nobody had heard of previously and whom CNN could not identify -- to Donald Trump, Jr., offering a decryption key and access to DNC emails that WikiLeaks had "uploaded." The email was a smoking gun, in CNN's extremely excited mind, because it was dated September 4 -- 10 days before WikiLeaks began promoting access to those emails online -- and thus proved that the Trump family was being offered special, unique access to the DNC archive: likely by WikiLeaks and the Kremlin.

It's impossible to convey with words what a spectacularly devastating scoop CNN believed it had, so it's necessary to watch it for yourself to see the tone of excitement, breathlessness and gravity the network conveyed as they clearly believed they were delivering a near-fatal blow on the Trump/Russia collusion story:

There was just one small problem with this story: it was fundamentally false, in the most embarrassing way possible. Hours after CNN broadcast its story -- and then hyped it over and over and over -- the Washington Post reported that CNN got the key fact of the story wrong.

The email was not dated September 4, as CNN claimed, but rather September 14 -- which means it was sent after WikiLeaks had already published access to the DNC emails online. Thus, rather than offering some sort of special access to Trump, "Michael J. Erickson" was simply some random person from the public encouraging the Trump family to look at the publicly available DNC emails that WikiLeaks -- as everyone by then already knew -- had publicly promoted . In other words, the email was the exact opposite of what CNN presented it as being.

Read the Entire Article at The Intercept

Jim Christian , December 11, 2017 at 12:57 pm GMT

The real cartoon network if you ask me. Once people blow it, their public character becomes that of a cartoon character. Franken, Conyers, Hillary, Weinstein and the Weiners. Why is CNN and liberal media exempt? Oh. They aren't.
Almost Missouri , December 11, 2017 at 1:11 pm GMT
Kudos to Greenwald for calling the US media out on this occasion, but in reality the US media humiliates itself weekly, if not daily, if not hourly, with its false reports, poorly concealed agenda and generally propagandistic approach to everything.

Greenwald's lamenting of the US media's lack of transparency and accountability is touchingly high-minded, but it is also naive. These people are not in the business of informing their viewers; they are in the business of delivering their viewers to a preestablished agenda set by powerful and wealthy people. Until Mr. Greenwald understands this, he will continue to feel disappointment and dissonance.

The massive deception operation that goes by the name of "US media" will continue so long as the audience tolerates it, which is probably indefinitely. Over and over again, I have showed members of that audience that they are being lied to. Their reaction is always the same: anger with me for discomforting them. The audience does not watch the US media in order to be informed, they watch the media in order to be comforted, and the media know this and exploit this. This show will run for a long, long time.

anonymous , • Disclaimer December 11, 2017 at 2:50 pm GMT
@Almost Missouri

Yes. Most of our fellows are willfully ignorant cowards. I also believe that many cope by turning on Confederate statues, getting worked up over bathrooms, etc.

Svigor , December 11, 2017 at 4:01 pm GMT
Missouri, how the fuck anyone finds Big Media comforting is beyond me. Their contempt for America and Americans isn't hard to suss out.
Anon , • Disclaimer December 12, 2017 at 1:31 am GMT
@Almost Missouri

Well put. Lying is not a special occasion for the US media. It's an everyday occurrence, whereas telling the truth is quite rare. As a person who was born and grew up in Ukraine and has lots of relatives and acquaintances all over that disintegrating country, I can testify that 80% of the reports in the US media about Ukraine since 2014 were blatant lies, whereas in the remaining 20% truth was twisted beyond recognition.

anarchyst , December 12, 2017 at 1:43 pm GMT
The mainstream media has always been dishonest...

... ... ...

The media has become a "fifth column" of the government and is not to be trusted.

To our advantage, we now have the internet, which gives the ability for ordinary citizens to be real "journalists", quite often getting and reporting the story TRUTHFULLY before the mainstream media.

In fact, there are calls by "mainstream media" to "license" journalists, in an attempt to keep these "citizen journalists" out twenty years ago, any journalist suggesting such a scheme would have been thrown out, but nowadays

Alden , December 12, 2017 at 10:32 pm GMT
@Achmed E. Newman

But do they really watch the TV? The news shows are terrible for getting a coherent message across.

There is a minute of breaking news. Then 3 minutes of ads. Then a minute of news. Then 3 minutes of ads. Then what news is up next for 2 minutes. Then 3 minutes of ads. Then a minute of news.

In an hour of a news show its probably 15 minutes, broken into 1 minute segments of actual news. The rest is just flashing lights and ads and what news will be next. Except for PBS and NPR of course which are just liberal propaganda. Democracy Now, Charlie Rose, Travis Smiley have fewer ads, but who can listen to them or look at them? I'd like to smash Charley Rose' sanctimonious face. And Amy Goodman, why women shouldn't be allowed to vote or hold elected or appointed office.

It's so chopped up with ads and what's up next I don't see how anyone could have the patience to sit through it and figure out what they are blathering about.

Some White Guy , December 13, 2017 at 4:51 pm GMT
I'm sure everyone at CNN has completely forgotten about it by now.
jacques sheete , December 13, 2017 at 11:53 pm GMT
@Alden

It's so chopped up with ads and what's up next I don't see how anyone could have the patience to sit through it and figure out what they are blathering about.

I agree but I'm not sure it would take patience so much as total lack of self respect as well as a hopeless amount of gullibility.

Speaking of ads

for I knew nothing of the facts. I read no newspaper now but Ritchie's, and in that chiefly the advertisements, for they contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.

Thomas Jefferson, letter to To Nathaniel Macon
Monticello, January 12, 1819

[Dec 12, 2017] With the 2018 midterms on the horizon, Moscow proposed a sweeping noninterference agreement with the United States, US officials tell BuzzFeed News. The Trump administration said no

Notable quotes:
"... "To test the possibility of a mutual agreement, Putin dispatched Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov to Washington for a July 17 meeting with Under Secretary Tom Shannon, the No. 3 official at the State Department. The official US account of the meeting offered only a bland summary of conversations on "areas of mutual concern." But three US administration officials, including one inside the meeting, said Ryabkov handed over a document containing a bold proposal: A sweeping noninterference agreement between Moscow and Washington that would prohibit both governments from meddling in the other's domestic politics. ..."
"... After examining the proposal, which has not previously been reported, US officials told Moscow there would be no deal. ..."
"... "We said 'thank you very much but now is not the time for this,'" said a senior State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic discussions." ..."
Dec 12, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Lyttenburgh , December 10, 2017 at 5:59 pm

C for Chutzpah.

ButtFeed: How Secret Talks With Russia to Prevent Election Meddling Collapsed
With the 2018 midterms on the horizon, Moscow proposed a sweeping noninterference agreement with the United States, US officials tell BuzzFeed News. The Trump administration said no.

"To test the possibility of a mutual agreement, Putin dispatched Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov to Washington for a July 17 meeting with Under Secretary Tom Shannon, the No. 3 official at the State Department. The official US account of the meeting offered only a bland summary of conversations on "areas of mutual concern." But three US administration officials, including one inside the meeting, said Ryabkov handed over a document containing a bold proposal: A sweeping noninterference agreement between Moscow and Washington that would prohibit both governments from meddling in the other's domestic politics.

After examining the proposal, which has not previously been reported, US officials told Moscow there would be no deal.

"We said 'thank you very much but now is not the time for this,'" said a senior State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomatic discussions."

Here you have it – a self-confession from the highest D.C. officials, that "democracy promotion = meddling in the elections"! Oh, but that's not all:

[Dec 12, 2017] The Acceleration of Censorship in America by Joe Lauria

Notable quotes:
"... BuzzFeed , of course, is the sensationalist outlet that irresponsibly published the Steele dossier in full, even though the accusations – not just about Donald Trump but also many other individuals – weren't verified. Then on Nov. 14, BuzzFeed reporter Jason Leopold wrote one of the most ludicrous of a long line of fantastic Russia-gate stories, reporting that the Russian foreign ministry had sent money to Russian consulates in the U.S. "to finance the election campaign of 2016." The scoop generated some screaming headlines before it became clear that the money was to pay for Russian citizens in the U.S. to vote in the 2016 Duma election. ..."
"... A lesson of the 2016 campaign was that growing numbers of Americans are fed up with three decades of neoliberal policies that have fabulously enriched the top tier of Americans and debased a huge majority of everyone else. The population has likewise grown tired of the elite's senseless wars to expand their own interests, which they to conflate with the entire country's interests. ..."
"... Careerist journalists readily acquiesce in this suppression of news to maintain their jobs, their status and their lifestyles. Meanwhile, a growing body of poorly paid freelancers compete for the few remaining decent-paying gigs for which they must report from the viewpoint of the mainstream news organizations and their wealthy owners. ..."
"... Their solution has been to brand the content of the Russian television network, RT, as "propaganda" since it presents facts and viewpoints that most Americans have been kept from hearing. ..."
"... Now, these American transgressions are projected exclusively onto Moscow. There's also a measure of self-reverence in this for "successful" people, like some journalists, with a stake in an establishment that underpins the elite, demonstrating how wonderfully democratic they are compared to those ogres in Russia. ..."
"... The Jan. 6 intelligence assessment on alleged Russian election meddling is a good example of this. A third of its content is an attack on RT for "undermining American democracy" by reporting on Occupy Wall Street, the protest over the Dakota pipeline and, of all things, holding a "third party candidate debates," at a time when 71% of American millennials say they want a third party. ..."
"... According to the Jan. 6 assessment, RT's offenses include reporting that "the US two-party system does not represent the views of at least one-third of the population and is a 'sham.'" RT also "highlights criticism of alleged US shortcomings in democracy and civil liberties." In other words, reporting newsworthy events and giving third-party candidates a voice undermines democracy. ..."
"... The assessment also says all this amounts to "a Kremlin-directed campaign to undermine faith in the US Government and fuel political protest," but those protests by are against privileges of the wealthy and the well-connected, a status quo that the intelligence agencies were in essence created to protect. ..."
"... There are also deeper reasons why Russia is being targeted. The Russia-gate story fits neatly into a geopolitical strategy that long predates the 2016 election. Since Wall Street and the U.S. government lost the dominant position in Russia that existed under the pliable President Boris Yeltsin, the strategy has been to put pressure on getting rid of Putin to restore a U.S. friendly leader in Moscow. There is substance to Russia's concerns about American designs for "regime change" in the Kremlin. ..."
"... But the "deranking" isn't only aimed at Russian sites; Google algorithms also are taking aim at independent news sites that don't follow the mainstream herd – and thus are accused of spreading Russian or other "propaganda" if they question the dominant Western narratives on, say, the Ukraine crisis or the war in Syria. A number of alternative websites have begun reporting a sharp fall-off of traffic directed to their sites from Google's search engines. ..."
"... the European Union is spending €3.8 million to counter Russian "propaganda." It is targeting Eurosceptic politicians who repeat what they hear on Russian media. ..."
"... Less prominent figures are targeted too. John Kiriakou, a former CIA agent who blew the whistle on torture and was jailed for it, was kicked off a panel in Europe on Nov. 10 by a Bernie Sanders supporter who refused to appear with Kiriakou because he co-hosts a show on Radio Sputnik . ..."
"... At the end of November, Reporters Without Borders, an organization supposedly devoted to press freedom, tried to kick journalist Vanessa Beeley off a panel in Geneva to prevent her from presenting evidence that the White Helmets, a group that sells itself as a rescue organization inside rebel-controlled territory in Syria, has ties to Al Qaeda. The Swiss Press Club, which hosted the event, resisted the pressure and let Beeley speak. ..."
"... Much of this spreading mania and intensifying censorship traces back to Russia-gate. Yet, it remains remarkable that the corporate media has failed so far to prove any significant Russian interference in the U.S. election at all. Nor have the intelligence agencies, Congressional investigations and special prosecutor Robert Mueller. His criminal charges so far have been for financial crimes and lying to federal authorities on topics unrelated to any "collusion" between the Trump campaign and Russians to "hack" Democratic emails ..."
"... As journalist Yasha Levine tweeted: "So the country that influenced US policy through Michael Flynn is Israel, not Russia. But Flynn did try to influence Russia, not the other way around. Ha-ha. This is the smoking gun? What a farce." ..."
"... There's also the question of how significant the release of those emails was anyway. They did provide evidence that the DNC tilted the primary campaign in favor of Clinton over Sanders; they exposed the contents of Clinton's paid speeches to Wall Street, which she was trying to hide from the voters; and they revealed some pay-to-play features of the Clinton Foundation and its foreign donations. But – even if the Russians were involved in providing that information to the American people – those issues were not considered decisive in the campaign. ..."
"... As for vaguer concerns about some Russian group "probably" buying $100,000 in ads, mostly after Americans had voted, as a factor in swaying a $6 billion election, it is too silly to contemplate. ..."
"... RT and Sputnik 's reach in the U.S. is minuscule compared to Fox News , which slammed Clinton throughout the campaign, or for that matter, MSNBC, CNN and other mainstream news outlets, which often expressed open disdain for Republican Donald Trump but also gave extensive coverage to issues such as the security concerns about Clinton's private email server. ..."
"... Without convincing evidence, I remain a Russia-gate skeptic. I am not defending Russia. Russia can defend itself. However, amid the growing censorship and the dangerous new McCarthyism, I am trying to defend America -- from itself. ..."
"... Lauria's article is an excellent review of the hydra-headed MSM perversion of political journalism in this era of the PATRIOT Act, with special focus on 2016-2017. With one small exception that still is worth noting. Namely the inclusion of "North Koreans" along with Palestinians, Russians and Iranians as those whose viewpoints are never represented in the Western media. ..."
"... Without factual support James calls Putin an organized criminal. US NGO staff who have actually dealt with Putin characterize him as a strict legalist. In fact, Putin's incorruptibility is what drives CIA up the wall. Ask any upper-echelon spook. Putin's cupidity deficit short-circuits CIA's go-to subversion method, massive bribes. Putin has an uneasy relationship with the kleptocrats CIA installed while their puppet Yeltsin staggered around blind drunk. But Putin has materially curbed kleptocratic corruption and subversion. Russians appreciate that. ..."
"... It seems to be the same in Germany. The German journalist Udo Ulfkotte, he died maybe a year ago, he worked long for the prestigious newspaper FAZ, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, wrote a book about bought journalism. His explanation for the disappearence of discussion sites with newspapers is that the journalists discovered that the reactions got far more attention than the articles. Very annoying, of course. With us here, Follow The Money, and The Post Online behave as childish as German newspapers. ..."
"... And if that same central bank would give out loans -- that never get repaid -- to the same ethnic gangsters that would then would use those loans to buy up over 90% of the host nations MSM outlets to forever ensure that a steady drip, drip, drip of propaganda went into the host nation's residents, ever so slowly turning them into mindless sheep always bleating for more wars to help the ethnic gangsters steal their way to an Eretz state? ..."
"... Reminds me of a contemporary Russian joke: "Everything communists told us about socialism turned out to be a lie. However, everything they told us about capitalism is perfectly true". ..."
Dec 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

Under increasing pressure from a population angry about endless wars and the transfer of wealth to the one percent, American plutocrats are defending themselves by suppressing critical news in the corporate media they own. But as that news emerges on RT and dissident websites, they've resorted to the brazen move of censorship, which is rapidly spreading in the U.S. and Europe. I know because I was a victim of it.

At the end of October, I wrote an article for Consortium News about the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign paying for unvetted opposition research that became the basis for much of the disputed story about Russia allegedly interfering in the 2016 presidential election.

The piece showed that the Democrats' two paid-for sources that have engendered belief in Russia-gate are at best shaky. First was former British spy Christopher Steele's largely unverified dossier of second- and third-hand opposition research portraying Donald Trump as something of a Russian Manchurian candidate.

And the second was CrowdStrike, an anti-Putin private company, examining the DNC's computer server to dubiously claim discovery of a Russian "hack." CrowdStrike, it was later discovered, had used faulty software it was later forced to rewrite . The company was hired after the DNC refused to allow the FBI to look at the server.

My piece also described the dangerous consequences of partisan Democratic faith in Russia-gate: a sharp increase in geopolitical tensions between nuclear-armed Russia and the U.S., and a New McCarthyism that is spreading fear -- especially in academia, journalism and civil rights organizations -- about questioning the enforced orthodoxy of Russia's alleged guilt.

After the article appeared at Consortium News , I tried to penetrate the mainstream by then publishing a version of the article on the HuffPost, which was rebranded from the Huffington Post in April this year by new management. As a contributor to the site since February 2006, I am trusted by HuffPost editors to post my stories directly online. However, within 24 hours of publication on Nov. 4, HuffPost editors retracted the article without any explanation.

.... ... ...

Support from Independent Media

Like the word "fascism," "censorship" is an over-used and mis-used accusation, and I usually avoid using it. But without any explanation, I could only conclude that the decision to retract was political, not editorial.

I am non-partisan as I oppose both major parties for failing to represent millions of Americans' interests. I follow facts where they lead. In this case, the facts led to an understanding that the Jan. 6 FBI/NSA/CIA intelligence "assessment" on alleged Russian election interference, prepared by what then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called "hand-picked" analysts, was based substantially on unvetted opposition research and speculation, not serious intelligence work.

The assessment even made the point that the analysts were not asserting that the alleged Russian interference was a fact. The report contained this disclaimer: "Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation, and precedents."

Under deadline pressure on Jan. 6, Scott Shane of The New York Times instinctively wrote what many readers of the report must have been thinking: "What is missing from the public report is what many Americans most eagerly anticipated: hard evidence to back up the agencies' claims that the Russian government engineered the election attack. Instead, the message from the agencies essentially amounts to 'trust us.'"

Yet, after the Jan. 6 report was published, leading Democrats asserted falsely that the "assessment" represented the consensus judgment of all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies – not just the views of "hand-picked" analysts from three – and much of the U.S. mainstream media began treating the allegations of Russian "hacking" as fact, not as an uncertain conclusion denied by both the Russian government and WikiLeaks, which insists that it did not get the two batches of Democratic emails from the Russian government.

Yet, because of the oft-repeated "17 intelligence agencies" canard and the mainstream media's over-hyped reporting, the public impression has built up that the accusations against Russia are indisputable. If you ask a Russia-gate believer today what their faith is based on, they will invariably point to the Jan. 6 assessment and mock anyone who still expresses any doubt.

For instance, an unnamed former CIA officer told The Intercept last month, "You've got all these intelligence agencies saying the Russians did the hack. To deny that is like coming out with the theory that the Japanese didn't bomb Pearl Harbor."

That the supposedly dissident Intercept would use this quote is instructive about how unbalanced the media's reporting on Russia-gate has been. We have film of Japanese planes attacking Pearl Harbor and American ships burning – and we have eyewitness accounts of thousands of U.S. soldiers and sailors. Yet, on Russia-gate, we have only the opinions of "hand-picked" intelligence officials who themselves admit their opinions aren't fact. No serious editor would allow a self-interested and unnamed source to equate Russia-gate and Pearl Harbor in print.

In this atmosphere, it was easy for HuffPost editors to hear complaints from readers and blithely ban my story. But before it was pulled, 125 people had shared it. Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst, then took up my cause, being the first to write about the HuffPost censorship on his blog. McGovern included a link to a .pdf file that I captured of the censored HuffPost story. It has since been republished on numerous other websites.

Journalist Max Blumenthal tweeted about it. British filmmaker and writer Tariq Ali posted it on his Facebook page. Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams interviewed me at length about the censorship on their TV program. ZeroHedge wrote a widely shared piece and someone actually took the time, 27 minutes and 13 seconds to be exact, to read the entire article on YouTube. I began a petition to HuffPost 's Polgreen to either explain the retraction or restore the article. It has gained more than 2,000 signatures so far. If a serious fact-check analysis was made of my article, it must exist and can and should be produced.

Watchdogs & Media Defending Censorship

Despite this support from independent media, a senior official at Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, I learned, declined to take up my cause because he believes in the Russia-gate story. I also learned that a senior officer at the American Civil Liberties Union rejected my case because he too believes in Russia-gate. Both of these serious organizations were set up precisely to defend individuals in such situations on principle, not preference.

In terms of their responsibilities for defending journalism and protecting civil liberties, their personal opinions about whether Russia-gate is real or not are irrelevant. The point is whether a journalist has the right to publish an article skeptical of it. I worry that amid the irrational fear spreading about Russia that concerns about careers and funding are behind these decisions.

One online publication decidedly took the HuffPost's side. Steven Perlberg, a media reporter for BuzzFeed, asked the HuffPost why they retracted my article. While ignoring me, the editors issued a statement to BuzzFeed saying that "Mr. Lauria's self-published" piece was "later flagged by readers, and after deciding that the post contained multiple factually inaccurate or misleading claims, our editors removed the post per our contributor terms of use." Those terms include retraction for "any reason," including, apparently, censorship.

Perlberg posted the HuffPost statement on Twitter. I asked him if he inquired of the editors what those "multiple" errors and "misleading claims" were. I asked him to contact me to get my side of the story. Perlberg totally ignored me. He wrote nothing about the matter. He apparently believed the HuffPost and that was that. In this way, he acquiesced with the censorship.

BuzzFeed , of course, is the sensationalist outlet that irresponsibly published the Steele dossier in full, even though the accusations – not just about Donald Trump but also many other individuals – weren't verified. Then on Nov. 14, BuzzFeed reporter Jason Leopold wrote one of the most ludicrous of a long line of fantastic Russia-gate stories, reporting that the Russian foreign ministry had sent money to Russian consulates in the U.S. "to finance the election campaign of 2016." The scoop generated some screaming headlines before it became clear that the money was to pay for Russian citizens in the U.S. to vote in the 2016 Duma election.

That Russia-gate has reached this point, based on faith and not fact, was further illustrated by a Facebook exchange I had with Gary Sick, an academic who served on the Ford and Carter national security staffs. When I pressed Sick for evidence of Russian interference, he eventually replied: "If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck " When I told him that was a very low-bar for such serious accusations, he angrily cut off debate.

When belief in a story becomes faith-based or is driven by intense self-interest, honest skeptics are pushed aside and trampled. True-believers disdain facts that force them to think about what they believe. They won't waste time making a painstaking examination of the facts or engage in a detailed debate even on something as important and dangerous as a new Cold War with Russia.

This is the most likely explanation for the HuffPost 's censorship: a visceral reaction to having their Russia-gate faith challenged.

Why Critical News is Suppressed

But the HuffPos t's action is hardly isolated. It is part of a rapidly growing landscape of censorship of news critical of American corporate and political leaders who are trying to defend themselves from an increasingly angry population. It's a story as old as civilization: a wealthy and powerful elite fending off popular unrest by trying to contain knowledge of how the elite gain at the others' expense, at home and abroad.

A lesson of the 2016 campaign was that growing numbers of Americans are fed up with three decades of neoliberal policies that have fabulously enriched the top tier of Americans and debased a huge majority of everyone else. The population has likewise grown tired of the elite's senseless wars to expand their own interests, which they to conflate with the entire country's interests.

America's bipartisan rulers are threatened by popular discontent from both left and right. They were alarmed by the Bernie Sanders insurgency and by Donald Trump's victory, even if Trump is now betraying the discontented masses who voted for him by advancing tax and health insurance plans designed to further crush them and benefit the rich.

Trump's false campaign promises will only make the rulers' problem of controlling a restless population more difficult. Americans are subjected to economic inequality greater than in the first Gilded Age. They are also subjected today to more war than in the first Gilded Age, which led to the launch of American overseas empire. Today American rulers are engaged in multiple conflicts following decades of post-World War II invasions and coups to expand their global interests.

People with wealth and power always seem to be nervous about losing both. So plutocrats use the concentrated media they own to suppress news critical of their wars and domestic repression. For example, almost nothing was reported about militarized police forces until the story broke out into the open in the Ferguson protests and now the story has been buried again.

Careerist journalists readily acquiesce in this suppression of news to maintain their jobs, their status and their lifestyles. Meanwhile, a growing body of poorly paid freelancers compete for the few remaining decent-paying gigs for which they must report from the viewpoint of the mainstream news organizations and their wealthy owners.

To operate in this media structure, most journalists know to excise out the historical context of America's wars of domination. They know to uncritically accept American officials' bromides about spreading democracy, while hiding the real war aims.

Examples abound: America's role in the Ukraine coup was denied or downplayed; a British parliamentary report exposing American lies that led to the destruction of Libya was suppressed ; and most infamously, the media promoted the WMD hoax and the fable of "bringing democracy" to Iraq, leading to the illegal invasion and devastation of that country. A recent example from November is a 60 Minutes report on the Saudi destruction of Yemen, conspicuously failing to mention America's crucial role in the carnage.

I've pitched numerous news stories critical of U.S. foreign policy to a major American newspaper that were rejected or changed in the editorial process. One example is the declassified Defense Intelligence Agency document of August 2012 that accurately predicted the rise of the Islamic State two years later.

The document, which I confirmed with a Pentagon spokesman, said the U.S. and its Turkish, European and Gulf Arab allies, were supporting the establishment of a Salafist principality in eastern Syria to put pressure on the Syrian government, but the document warned that this Salafist base could turn into an "Islamic State."

But such a story would undermine the U.S. government's "war on terrorism" narrative by revealing that the U.S.-backed strategy actually was risking the expansion of jihadist-held territory in Syria. The story was twice rejected by my editors and to my knowledge has never appeared in corporate media.

Another story rejected in June 2012, just a year into the Syrian war, was about Russia's motives in Syria being guided by a desire to defeat the growing jihadist threat there. Corporate media wanted to keep the myth of Russia's "imperial" aims in Syria alive. I had to publish the article outside the U.S., in a South African daily newspaper.

In September 2015 at the U.N. General Assembly, Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed my story about Russia's motives in Syria to stop jihadists from taking over. Putin invited the U.S. to join this effort as Moscow was about to launch its military intervention at the invitation of the Syrian government. The Obama administration, still insisting on "regime change" in Syria, refused. And the U.S. corporate media continued promoting the myth that Russia intervened to recapture its "imperial glory."

It was much easier to promote the "imperial" narrative than report Putin's clear explanation to French TV channel TF1, which was not picked up by American media.

"Remember what Libya or Iraq looked like before these countries and their organizations were destroyed as states by our Western partners' forces?" Putin said. "These states showed no signs of terrorism. They were not a threat for Paris, for the Cote d'Azur, for Belgium, for Russia, or for the United States. Now, they are the source of terrorist threats. Our goal is to prevent the same from happening in Syria."

But don't take Putin's word for it. Then Secretary of State John Kerry knew why Russia intervened. In a leaked audio conversation with Syrian opposition figures in September 2016, Kerry said: "The reason Russia came in is because ISIL was getting stronger, Daesh was threatening the pos­sibility of going to Damascus, and that's why Russia came in because they didn't want a Daesh government and they supported Assad."

Kerry admitted that rather than seriously fight the Islamic State in Syria, the U.S. was ready to use its growing strength to pressure Assad to resign, just as the DIA document that I was unable to report said it would. "We know that this was growing, we were watching, we saw that Daesh was growing in strength, and we thought Assad was threatened. We thought, how­ever, we could probably manage that Assad might then negotiate, but instead of negotiating he got Putin to support him." Kerry's com­ment suggests that the U.S. was willing to risk the Islamic State and its jihadist allies gaining power in order to force out Assad.

Why Russia Is Targeted

Where are independent-minded Western journalists to turn if their stories critical of the U.S. government and corporations are suppressed? The imperative is to get these stories out – and Russian media has provided an opening. But this has presented a new problem for the plutocracy. The suppression of critical news in their corporate-owned media is no longer working if it's seeping out in Russian media and through dissident Western news sites.

Their solution has been to brand the content of the Russian television network, RT, as "propaganda" since it presents facts and viewpoints that most Americans have been kept from hearing.

As a Russian-government-financed English-language news channel, RT also gives a Russian perspective on the news, the way CNN and The New York Times give an American perspective and the BBC a British one. American mainstream journalists, from my experience, arrogantly deny suppressing news and believe they present a universal perspective, rather than a narrow American view of the world.

The viewpoints of Iranians, Palestinians, Russians, North Koreans and others are never fully reported in the Western media although the supposed mission of journalism is to help citizens understand a frighteningly complex world from multiple points of view. It's impossible to do so without those voices included. Routinely or systematically shutting them out also dehumanizes people in those countries, making it easier to gain popular support to go to war against them.

Russia is scapegoated by charging that RT or Sputnik are sowing divisions in the U.S. by focusing on issues like homelessness, racism, or out-of-control militarized police forces, as if these divisive issues didn't already exist. The U.S. mainstream media also seems to forget that the U.S. government has engaged in at least 70 years of interference in other countries' elections, foreign invasions, coups, planting stories in foreign media and cyber-warfare, which Russian media crucially points out.

Now, these American transgressions are projected exclusively onto Moscow. There's also a measure of self-reverence in this for "successful" people, like some journalists, with a stake in an establishment that underpins the elite, demonstrating how wonderfully democratic they are compared to those ogres in Russia.

The overriding point about the "Russian propaganda" complaint is that when America's democratic institutions, including the press and the electoral process, are crumbling under the weight of corruption that the American elites have created or maintained, someone else needs to be blamed.

The Jan. 6 intelligence assessment on alleged Russian election meddling is a good example of this. A third of its content is an attack on RT for "undermining American democracy" by reporting on Occupy Wall Street, the protest over the Dakota pipeline and, of all things, holding a "third party candidate debates," at a time when 71% of American millennials say they want a third party.

According to the Jan. 6 assessment, RT's offenses include reporting that "the US two-party system does not represent the views of at least one-third of the population and is a 'sham.'" RT also "highlights criticism of alleged US shortcomings in democracy and civil liberties." In other words, reporting newsworthy events and giving third-party candidates a voice undermines democracy.

The assessment also says all this amounts to "a Kremlin-directed campaign to undermine faith in the US Government and fuel political protest," but those protests by are against privileges of the wealthy and the well-connected, a status quo that the intelligence agencies were in essence created to protect.

There are also deeper reasons why Russia is being targeted. The Russia-gate story fits neatly into a geopolitical strategy that long predates the 2016 election. Since Wall Street and the U.S. government lost the dominant position in Russia that existed under the pliable President Boris Yeltsin, the strategy has been to put pressure on getting rid of Putin to restore a U.S. friendly leader in Moscow. There is substance to Russia's concerns about American designs for "regime change" in the Kremlin.

Moscow sees an aggressive America expanding NATO and putting 30,000 NATO troops on its borders; trying to overthrow a secular ally in Syria with terrorists who threaten Russia itself; backing a coup in Ukraine as a possible prelude to moves against Russia; and using American NGOs to foment unrest inside Russia before they were forced to register as foreign agents.

Accelerated Censorship in the Private Sector

The Constitution prohibits government from prior-restraint, or censorship, though such tactics were imposed, largely unchallenged, during the two world wars. American newspapers voluntarily agreed to censor themselves in the Second World War before the government dictated it.

In the Korean War, General Douglas MacArthur said he didn't "desire to reestablish wartime censorship" and instead asked the press for self-censorship. He largely got it until the papers began reporting American battlefield losses. On July 25, 1950, "the army ordered that reporters were not allowed to publish 'unwarranted' criticism of command decisions, and that the army would be 'the sole judge and jury' on what 'unwarranted' criticism entailed," according to a Yale University study on military censorship.

After excellent on-the-ground reporting from Vietnam brought the war home to America, the military reacted by instituting, initially in the first Gulf War, serious control of the press by "embedding" reporters from private media companies. They accepted the arrangement, much as World War II newspapers censored themselves.

It is important to realize that the First Amendment does not apply to private companies, including the media. It is not illegal for them to practice censorship. I never made a First Amendment argument against the HuffPost , for instance. However, under pressure from Washington, even in peacetime, media companies can do the government's dirty work to censor or limit free speech for the government.

In the past few weeks, we've seen an acceleration of attempts by corporations to inhibit Russian media in the U.S. Both Google and Facebook, which dominate the Web with more than 50 percent of ad revenue, were at first resistant to government pressure to censor "Russian propaganda." But they are coming around.

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Alphabet, Google's parent company, said on Nov. 18 that Google would "derank" articles from RT and Sputnik in the Google searches, making the stories harder for readers to find. The billionaire Schmidt claimed Russian information can be "repetitive, exploitative, false, [or] likely to have been weaponized," he said. That is how factual news critical of U.S. corporate and political leadership is seen by them: as a weapon threatening their rule.

"My own view is that these patterns can be detected, and that they can be taken down or deprioritized," Schmidt said. Though Google would essentially be hiding news produced by RT and Sputnik , Schmidt is sensitive to the charge of censorship, even though there's nothing legally to stop him. "We don't want to ban the sites. That's not how we operate," Schmidt said cynically. "I am strongly not in favor of censorship. I am very strongly in favor of ranking. It's what we do."

But the "deranking" isn't only aimed at Russian sites; Google algorithms also are taking aim at independent news sites that don't follow the mainstream herd – and thus are accused of spreading Russian or other "propaganda" if they question the dominant Western narratives on, say, the Ukraine crisis or the war in Syria. A number of alternative websites have begun reporting a sharp fall-off of traffic directed to their sites from Google's search engines.

Responding to a deadline from Congress to act, Facebook on Nov. 22 announced that it would inform users if they have been "targeted" by Russian "propaganda." Facebook's help center will tell users if they liked or shared ads allegedly from the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, which supposedly bought $100,000 in ads over a two-year period, with more than half these ads coming after the 2016 U.S. election and many not related to politics.

The $100,000 sum over two years compares to Facebook's $27 billion in annual revenue. Plus, Facebook only says it "believes" or it's "likely" that the ads came from that firm, whose links to the Kremlin also have yet to be proved.

Facebook described the move as "part of our ongoing effort to protect our platforms and the people who use them from bad actors who try to undermine our democracy." Congress wants more from Facebook, so it will not be surprising if users will eventually be alerted to Russian media reports as "propaganda" in the future.

While the government can't openly shut down a news site, the Federal Communications Commission's upcoming vote on whether to deregulate the Internet by ending net neutrality will free private Internet companies in the U.S. to further marginalize Russian and dissident websites by slowing them down and thus discouraging readers from viewing them.

Likewise, as the U.S. government doesn't want to be openly seen shutting down RT operations, it is working around the edges to accomplish that.

After the Department of Justice forced, under threat of arrest, RT to register its employees as foreign agents under the Foreign Agents Registration Act , State Department spokeswoman Heather Nuaert said that "FARA does not police the content of information disseminated, does not limit the publication of information or advocacy materials, and does not restrict an organization's ability to operate." She'd earlier said that registering would not "impact or affect the ability of them to report news and information. We just have them register. It's as simple as that."

The day after Nuaert spoke the Congressional press office stripped RT correspondents of their Capitol Hill press passes, citing the FARA registration. "The rules of the Galleries state clearly that news credentials may not be issued to any applicant employed 'by any foreign government or representative thereof.' Upon its registration as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), RT Network became ineligible to hold news credentials," read the letter to RT.

But Russia-gate faithful ignore these aggressive moves and issue calls for even harsher action. After forcing RT to register, Keir Giles, a Chatham House senior consulting fellow, acted as though it never happened. He said in a Council on Foreign Relations Cyber Brief on Nov. 27: "Although the Trump administration seems unlikely to pursue action against Russian information operations, there are steps the U.S. Congress and other governments should consider."

I commented on this development on RT America. It would also have been good to have the State Department's Nuaert answer for this discrepancy about the claim that forced FARA registrations would not affect news gathering when it already has. My criticism of RT is that they should be interviewing U.S. decision-makers to hold them accountable, rather than mostly guests outside the power structure. The decision-makers could be called out on air if they refuse to appear.

Growing McCarthyite Attacks

Western rulers' wariness about popular unrest can be seen in the extraordinary and scurrilous attack on the Canadian website globalresearch.ca . It began with a chilling study by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization into the relatively obscure website, followed by a vicious hit piece on Nov. 18 by the Globe and Mail, Canada's largest newspaper. The headline was: "How a Canadian website is being used to amplify the Kremlin's view of the world."

"What once appeared to be a relatively harmless online refuge for conspiracy theorists is now seen by NATO's information warfare specialists as a link in a concerted effort to undermine the credibility of mainstream Western media – as well as the North American and European public's trust in government and public institutions," the Globe and Mail reported.

"Global Research is viewed by NATO's Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence – or StratCom – as playing a key accelerant role in helping popularize articles with little basis in fact that also happen to fit the narratives being pushed by the Kremlin, in particular, and the Assad regime." The website never knew it had such powers. I've not agreed with everything I've read on the site. But it is a useful clearinghouse for alternative media. Numerous Consortium News articles are republished there, including a handful of mine. But the site's typical sharing and reposting on the Internet is seen by NATO as a plot to undermine the Free World.

"It uses that reach to push not only its own opinion pieces, but 'news' reports from little-known websites that regularly carry dubious or false information," the he Globe and Mail reported. " At times, the site's regular variety of international-affairs stories is replaced with a flurry of items that bolster dubious reportage with a series of opinion pieces, promoted on social media and retweeted and shared by active bots."

The newspaper continued, "'That way, they increase the Google ranking of the story and create the illusion of multi-source verification,' said Donara Barojan, who does digital forensic research for [StratCom]. But she said she did not yet have proof that Global Research is connected to any government."

This sort of smear is nothing more than a blatant attack on free speech by the most powerful military alliance in the world, based on the unfounded conviction that Russia is a fundamental force for evil and that anyone who has contacts with Russia or shares even a part of its multilateral world view is suspect.

Such tactics are spreading to Europe. La Repubblica newspaper in Italy wrote a similar hit piece against L'Antidiplomatico, a dissident website. And the European Union is spending €3.8 million to counter Russian "propaganda." It is targeting Eurosceptic politicians who repeat what they hear on Russian media.

High-profile individuals in the U.S. are also now in the crosshairs of the neo-McCarthyite witch hunt. On Nov. 25 The Washington Post ran a nasty hit piece on Washington Capitals' hockey player Alex Ovechkin, one of the most revered sports figures in the Washington area, simply because he, like 86 percent of other Russians , supports his president.

"Alex Ovechkin is one of Putin's biggest fans. The question is, why?" ran the headline. The story insidiously implied that Ovechkin was a dupe of his own president, being used to set up a media campaign to support Putin, who is under fierce and relentless attack in the United States where Ovechkin plays professional ice hockey.

"He has given an unwavering endorsement to a man who U.S. intelligence agencies say sanctioned Russian meddling in last year's presidential election," write the Post reporters, once again showing their gullibility to U.S. intelligence agencies that have provided no proof for their assertions (and even admit that they are not asserting their opinion as fact).

Less prominent figures are targeted too. John Kiriakou, a former CIA agent who blew the whistle on torture and was jailed for it, was kicked off a panel in Europe on Nov. 10 by a Bernie Sanders supporter who refused to appear with Kiriakou because he co-hosts a show on Radio Sputnik .

At the end of November, Reporters Without Borders, an organization supposedly devoted to press freedom, tried to kick journalist Vanessa Beeley off a panel in Geneva to prevent her from presenting evidence that the White Helmets, a group that sells itself as a rescue organization inside rebel-controlled territory in Syria, has ties to Al Qaeda. The Swiss Press Club, which hosted the event, resisted the pressure and let Beeley speak.

But as a consequence the club director said its funding was slashed from the Swiss government.

Russia-gate's Hurdles

Much of this spreading mania and intensifying censorship traces back to Russia-gate. Yet, it remains remarkable that the corporate media has failed so far to prove any significant Russian interference in the U.S. election at all. Nor have the intelligence agencies, Congressional investigations and special prosecutor Robert Mueller. His criminal charges so far have been for financial crimes and lying to federal authorities on topics unrelated to any "collusion" between the Trump campaign and Russians to "hack" Democratic emails.

There will likely be more indictments from Mueller, even perhaps a complaint about Trump committing obstruction of justice because he said on TV that he fired Comey, in part, because of the "Russia thing." But Trump's clumsy reaction to the "scandal," which he calls "fake news" and a "witch hunt," still is not proof that Putin and the Russians interfered in the U.S. election to achieve the unlikely outcome of Trump's victory.

The Russia-gate faithful assured us to wait for the indictment of retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, briefly Trump's national security adviser. But again there was nothing about pre-election "collusion," only charges that Flynn had lied to the FBI about conversations with the Russian ambassador regarding policy matters during the presidential transition, i.e., after the electi