Softpanorama

Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Bigger doesn't imply better. Bigger often is a sign of obesity, of lost control, of overcomplexity, of cancerous cells

NeoMcCartyism as a smoke screen to hide the crisis of neoliberalism

Election of Trump is the sign of crisis of neoliberal ideology and decadence of US elite; warmongering neocon Hillary was the establishment candidate that was rejected by votes and which represented a grave threat to the US national security

A case study of state-fuelled paranoia designed to provide a smoke screen over crisis of neoliberalism in the USA which led to Trump victory.

News Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Recommended Links Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin US and British media are servants of security apparatus Nation under attack meme Steele dossier Putin-did-it meme
Fake news hysteria in US MSM as a method of suppressing dissent against neoliberalism and militarism Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war Media as a weapon of mass deception MSM as fake news industry Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Anti Trump Hysteria in MSM Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections? Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool
Pathological Russophobia of the US elite National Security State The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies How FBI swiped under the carpet Hillary Clinton email scandal Trump vs. Deep State Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite MSM as an attack dogs of color revolution  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"
Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections Color revolutions "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Conspiracy theory label as a subtle form of censorship Brennan elections machinations Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Two Party System as polyarchy Frustrated underachievers
Conversion of Democratic Party into War Party and Hillary Clinton policy toward Russia History of American False Flag Operations Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoconservatism New American Militarism FBI Mayberry Machiavellians PeterStrzok and Strzok-gate Andrew McCabe James Comey role in preventing election of Sanders
Machiavellism Mayberry Machiavellians Neocons Credibility Scam Doublespeak Leo Straus as the godfather of neocons Demonization of Putin Cold War II Predator state Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite
Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy Diplomacy by deception Obama: a yet another Neocon Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Skeptic Quotations Politically Incorrect Humor Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy

Introduction

  It is impossible to overstate the stakes involved in the latest controversy over Russia. They involve trillions of dollars in warfare largess to the tens of thousands of bureaucratic warfare-state parasites who are sucking the lifeblood out of the American people.

Jacob G. Hornberger, December 15, 2016

We must remember that in time of war what is said on the enemy’s side of the front is always propaganda, and what is said on our side of the front is truth and righteousness, the cause of humanity and a crusade for peace.

Walter Lippmann

"Trump is somewhat less thrilled with tilting with Russia for the American empire which is as moral as Nero's Rome." And that annoys neocons, including a part of CIA, Pentagon, and a large part of State Department. Dumping Kristol's PNAC crowd will definitely strengthen the republic. But it is not an easy teas as all those national security parasites are well entrenched in Washington, DC. The classic question is "Who, whom ?" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who,_whom%3F

Economist's View   comment

"... 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. ..."

Gilbert Doctorow

 

While there might be better labels, we will call this new Anti-Russian hysteria neo-McCarthyism, because it is pretty diligent replication of "Red Scare" (which BTW lasted a decade)  in which Communist agents are replaced with "Russian agents" who are everywhere. It might well be a symptom of the USA society getting  a dangerous political auto-immune disease.

This new McCarthyism-style campaign against Russia symbolizes the crisis of neoliberalism in the USA.  A strong and confident ruling class welcomes criticism and is ready to brush it all off with a smile and a shrug. When they start running scared and pretending that the level of dissent is the work of "foreign enemies", well, this is a sign of decadence of elite and profound weakness of neoliberal ideology.  As Professor Cohen noted this is a real threat to the USA national security:

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.

This is  the sign the  US elite is losing the battle of ideas can't find solutions to the US problems. All that really stands between them and a social revolution is a thin veneer of 'authority' and status (as well as 18 intelligence agencies), and that's really not enough anymore. So fueling paranoia is a defensive  move, that allow to shift the focus to "external enemy" and rally the nation under the flag.

Samuel Johnson saying  "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. " can be modified to "McCarthyism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."

That why the Russian threat argument is not only popular, but became one of the main "themes" within the MSM and the American political establishment. This witch  hunt is encouraged by foreign governments who, for reasons of self-interest, want to see Washington embroiled in the confrontation (Israel as well as Polish, Baltic and Ukrainian nationalists comes to mind). The result is the construction of the new peril, a process similar to re-construction (actually more realistic, as technology of propaganda improved since 50th) of Red Menace.

This process which  we will call neo-McCarthyism has its own logic and rules.  Red scare was actually greatly beneficial to the USA in 50th as along with crushing of dissent it helped to kept cannibalistic instinct of the US elite in check.  The fear of the USSR prevented looting of middle class  till 1980th. In other word the mere existence of the USSR on the world scene suppressed cannibalistic instinct of the US elite for more than a half the century. That why the post-war period as a the real gold-age period for the US middle class an population in general.  Cannibalistic instincts of the US elite returned only after the collapse of the USSR.  Fueled by ascendance of neoliberalism.

The analogy of "Russiagate" with McCarthy witch hunt in very strong indeed but is incomplete. Here in addition to the attempt to crush the opposition to neoliberal globalization painting tit as Russian stooges and suppress disappointment with neoliberalism by rallying that nation around the flag, there is a distinct smell of color revolution against President Trump.  There are several facts which suggest that employees of CIA, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), sympathetic to the neoliberal/globalist wing of Democrat Party (Clinton wing), used the power of their offices and (with the assistance of foreign nationals) tried to influence the 2016 election in favor of Hillary Clinton, first to exonerate her and then obtain information to prevent the election of Donald Trump, to collect "insurance" -- compromising materials on him in case he win, and  after his surprise win, to provide a basis for his impeachment and removal from the Office by forcing on his  administration the Special Prosecutor.

Like in any color revolution the hysteria in MSM plays very important role in demonizing Russian and by extension the current administration. Similar to "Red Menace" witch hunt  opposing to neoliberalism ideas are perceived as a cancer spreading around the globe, undermining the legitimacy of Western values and political systems.  That's why we see frantic attempt to raise anti-Russian sentiments in the USA to this level of nation-wide paranoia ("Russians under  every bed" level) too. To fake it as the "battle of ideas (BTW Russia is just another neoliberal state; it just wants to be less dependent for Washington, not a pitiful vassal like Western Europeans countries) and make it "strategic" confrontation. Russian policies are distorted to the level which make them a caricature completely detached  from the reality. And the assumption the the US President can unilaterally change the USA foreign policy actually is an insult to intelligence.

Under the cover of this hysteria Washington is trying to adopt a long term diplomatic and military strategy of containing Russia; to forge new alliances which might slow down or prevent ascendance of the economic block of Russia and China (with Iran, turkey and India as possible members). And like in  in Orwell 1984 novel to prepare the American people for a never ending struggle of "good and evil".

Neo-McCarthyism undermines the USA security

The problem with the USA neoliberal elite  and neoliberal MSM is that the last thing US neoliberals are interested in  is how the world outside the bubble of "full spectrum dominance" they inhabit after 1980 operates, and their absolutely contempt for 'deplorables', be they Russian, British, Arab or American. This can lead to political misjudgements like invasion of Libya,  and support of jihadists to partition Syria. 

The whole situation with Russia, including but not limited her economy, history, military, culture etc., is not known to those people. And this represent a strong empirical evidence of a complete professional inadequacy of most people populating this neoliberal/neocon  "full spectrum dominance" bubble. Which makes them a bunch of seedy, squalid bastards selling the security of the USA and  balancing on the edge of nuclear war for 20 silver coins for themselves and their  families. Many of the them look like (and most probably are) little men, drunkards, henpecked husbands, or civil servants playing cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten little lives or present to be a stong men in the yeys of thier  mistresses.  Do you think they sit like monks balancing right against wrong in such tricky subject as relations with Russia ? No. Thier approach is simplistick and wrong "Russia is an aurotirarisnce state" so  "Carnage should be destroyed." And they are playing this game for their petty and selfish motive.  Steele dossier attests that in the USA there is a fully formed and influences caste of "national security parasites." The caste that is deeply interested in keeping the heat in Russiagate as it brings them money, influence as well as personal security in their lucrative positions in State Department,  US papers or TV channels at the expense of security of the USA as a country.

The US and British neoliberal MSM now have fallen below any journalistic standard. It is prudent to view them as evil propaganda tools used by rogue elements in the US and British intelligence agencies. They do not have their own opinions. Puppets. All of them.  And as somebody aptly said those overzealous "journalists" like Rachel Madcow  or "analysts" like Max Boot "should be demoted to painting houses, instead of painting Russia black".

That might be just my old age problem, that  that's how I see it ;-)

And as far as I cal tell most of those people are badly educated  by  European standards (I am not talking about worthless formal degrees they hold), they are deeply provincial, and often clueless Mayberry Machiavellians. They actually enjoy their "confirmation bias"  toward Russia (which to me is a modern form of anti-Semitism, displacement of hatred to Jews if you wish, which is so common among Irish Catholics ;-). In a simple human terms I would call them ignorant snobs. That is why this neoliberal academic-political-media "environment" prefers openly anti-Russian "sources" because those "sources" reiterate to them what they want to hear to start with. Thus is classic "Chalabi Moment" reproduced with a quite different, nuclear armed  country and as such much more dangerous.

In case of Iraq it was and  still is a tragedy (that cost life of million or more of Iraqis), but at least the world is relatively safe. With Russia, as I stated many times for years -- they simply have no idea what they are dealing with.  Those guy know how to fight. But they are  briefed by "sources" such as Russian fugitives in London (who buy this way their non-extradition to Russia for their crimes) and are happy to get the confirmation of their biases.  Also they have information form fringe urban Russian fifth column, especially feminists and lesbians (Masha Gessen is a good example here; although even she has now reservations about Russiagate) 

Again, the level of "Russian Studies" in the Anglophone world in general and in the USA in particular is appalling. And this dismal level represents a  "clear and present danger"  since removes or misinterprets crucial information about the only nation in the world which can completely annihilate the USA. And dramatically increases the  danger of a disastrous military confrontation which can easily slide into full scale nuclear war. they are constantly baiting and humiliating Russia, which so far (to be fare to Putin) did not bite the bait. But a more stupid and more nationalistic person can come to power after Putin, kind of Russian Trump.   And then what ?

I would say that US military brass on average is much better aware of Russia and not only in purely military terms.  Current trends in the USA foreign policy (and they are not new) are so  worrisome that, paradoxically, the US military are my only hope.

Some notes on history of the present Neo-McCarthysim compaign

The key reason for this propaganda campaign is that Putin stance on international relations (multi-polar world) is in conflict that neoliberals/neocons idea of the USA full spectrum domination. Also the alliance of China  and Russia represents  geo-political thereat to the neoliberal empire led by USA. And Russia is a weaker link is this fledging alliance with stronger and more numerous fifth column (which in China is much weaker outside Hong Cong). Also Russia is less nationalistic then China and has traditionally strong pro-Europeian faction of the elite which can be used as the fifth column. So logically this is a country which can be attached first. 

Subduing, of better, dismembering of Russia, also cuts an important source of hydrocarbons to China and fully encircles China. And  the idea to appropriate Russian hydrocarbons was the idea fix of the Us neoliberal elite since Clinton. And during "Drunken Yeltsin" presidency they almost succeeded (Khodorkovsky was on the wedge of selling his holdings to the USA when he was arrested), but them this success was partially reversed with the ascendance of Putin. So this McCarthyism campaign and Putin demonization has a stamp on it "Nothing personal, only business."

The problem with such a policy which is consistent for all administration starting with Bush II (probably the first in a long string of former CIA operatives who became the USA presidents) is that Russia is a nuclear armed state and such tactics literally means balancing on the edge of nuclear war. 

The campaign started in late 2013 and early 2014 around the time of Sochi Olympics. After Maydan color revolution in Ukraine Russia was hit with sanctions for not obeying Washington dictat and geo-political interests. But that was only a start. At this time full scale campaign for demonization of President Putin and  successfully associating him with the word "thug" started . In three year this campaign brought pretty amazing result:  over 80% of population is now completely brainwashed and view Putin as evil kleptocrat, who should be deposed by all means possible. While in reality he is just a very moderate Russian nationalist and  pretty talented and reserved politician  who avoids open confrontation with the USA despite constant and un-relenting bating.  This demonization of Putin is one of the most visible successes of neo-McCarthyism campaign in the USA and GB (to lesser extent in France and Germany, as well) 

The next wave stated in 2016. First with the accusation that Kremlin  hacked Hillary Clinton bathroom  server and then it  reached full speed with the attempt to blame DNC hacks on Russians (which now looks like false flag operation by Crowdstrike to to present internal leak as a Russian hack)

The third wave which reached really hysterical pitch started with the election of Trump as "insurance policy" to prevent his cabinet from implementing any measure that can hurt neoliberal globalization and neocon foreign policy.

They are constantly developing new containment policies, new doctrines. The side effect of all this frantic activities is feeding of MIC as well as a group of people, who we call "national security parasites".  This new cadre of Russophobes are recruited mostly from neocons ( "dirty scoundrels of Washington" ) and neoliberal (Clinton) wing of Democratic  Party. There is also a large strata of politicians, who more than willing to exploit this opportunity to feed military industrial complex, such as Senator McCain.  In any case they now constitute the dominant faction of the US elite and dominate the USA foreign policy. So this is another iteration of "Carnage needs to be destroyed" hysteria with a specific for Washington set of cheerleaders and "experts."

Since around  late November 2017 there is some oppostion to this neo-McCarthyism wave. Opposition is much weaker and compaign still proceed at full speed, but certain  elements of Republican Party now oppose this witch hunt, if for purely partisan reasons. And that was clearly demonstrated by recent hearings of the Capitol Hill, especially Rosenstein testimony  before  House Judiciary Committee called over concern about possible bias of Mueller investigation (surprise, surprise).

Who was behind ne "Red Perl" hysteria

The central role in the creation of the new "Red  peril" is played by US intelligence agencies. They word using time tested patterns of war propaganda. Demonization of the enemy is the task number one in this  game. The fueling of this hysteria  usually starts with mysterious "sources" and unnamed "intelligence officials" who leak information, float trial balloons, and warn about the coming threat. Their information is then augmented by colorful intelligence reports that finger exotic cybersecurity threats and retired CIA brass like Michael Morell, John O. Brennan, supported by several other figures from the US intelligence community like old Cold War warrior James Clapper and  neocons in Pentagon such as Ashton Carter (neocons were extremely well represented in Obama administration, starting with Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State):

3 Dec 2014 18:41
Ashton Carter was one of the most extreme of the neocon hawks in the upper levels of the Bush Admin. His specific assignment was to ensure there could never be a "peer competitor" by throwing money at the bleeding cutting edge of weapons technology.

Along the way, he was one of only two senior people openly advocated for a pre-emptive attack on N. Korea. Even Bush thought that was too much, and even Cheney did not support it, but Carter pushed it. One can wonder how a neocon, wife of a leading neocon, came to be in charge in Ukraine, to declaim "f-the-EU" and boast of spending billions to promote this second color revolution, giving cookies to open Nazis along the way.

However, now with Carter we see that the neocons have captured the policy part of the Obama Admin -- it wasn't an accident, it was design that we did that, and now will go back into Iraq, attack Syria, and attack Iran.

Anti-Russia stories are instantly get the front coverage in NYT, WaPo and other prominent neoliberal publications as well as neoliberal channels sympathetic to Democrats (CNN, MSNBC, CBS). Journalists then search for the people named by those leaks. This part of media (which remains under control of 5 corporation and CIA) forms an informal coalition with the sources within the US intelligence agances and plays important role in fueling color revolution against President Trump.

This process actually was very similar to creation of Green Peril  after the collapse of the USSR, which proved to be self-fulfilling prophecy and culminated in 9/11 (see, for example, https://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/green-peril-creating-islamic-fundamentalist-threat The "Green Peril": Creating the Islamic Fundamentalist Threat By Leon T. Hadar August 27, 1992)

In addition, think tanks launch another "frontal propaganda attack" producing all kind of position papers, op-ed pieces, interviews, and such which adds momentum to the official spin. Their publication is followed by congressional hearings, policy conferences, and public press briefings. A governmental policy debate ensues, producing studies, working papers, and eventually doctrines and policies that become part of the media's spin. The new villain is now ready to be integrated into the popular culture to help to mobilize public support for a new crusade. In the case of the Russian threat this process has been under way for more then a year. The current anti-Russian witch hunt in the media was started by Hillary campaign in early 2016 as a smoke screen to shadow weakness of their candidate.

The Democratic Party nomenklatura is embarked on a massive media campaign to divert and reframe the election issues away from the economic and inequality concerns expressed by the Sanders campaign. No to "break up the banks", no to "free public college", no to "Medicare for all", no campaign funding reform. Now it reached the intensity of a new "Red Scare" hysteria of McCarthyism years. What is interesting is the propaganda behaves exactly like brainwashing in high demand cult -- they do not care if it is true of not -- they just force feed you with it until you internalize it (which is the definition of being brainwashed). 

MSM role in the witch hunt

Official narrative dominates MSM and is endlessly repeated (http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/01/13/why-ridiculous-official-propaganda-still-works/):

The primary aim of official propaganda is to generate an “official narrative” that can be mindlessly repeated by the ruling classes and those who support and identify with them. This official narrative does not have to make sense, or to stand up to any sort of serious scrutiny. Its factualness is not the point. The point is to draw a Maginot line, a defensive ideological boundary, between “the truth” as defined by the ruling classes and any other “truth” that contradicts their narrative.

The current “Russian hacking” hysteria is a perfect example of how this works. No one aside from total morons actually believes this official narrative (the substance of which is beyond ridiculous), not even the stooges selling it to us. This, however, is not a problem, because it isn’t intended to be believed … it is intended to be accepted and repeated, more or less like religious dogma.

If Russian hackers did not exist, it would be necessary for the CIA to invent them via some kind of false operation.  As long as the neoliberal empire's geopolitical agenda of putting Russia in its place is thereby advanced, the truth of the allegations is irrelevant. And they skillfully played the fact that nobody wants any foreign power influencing a US election. But along with Russia there were definitely other players with strong interest in particular outcome and wast capabilities in this area. For example, Israel, GB, KSA, Iran, China, Pakistan, and India. To name just a few. They probably should be investigated with the same vigor (How the Israel Lobby Works - The Unz Review):

norman ravitch June 3, 2014 at 12:11 pm GMT
The unholy alliance of Evangelicals and Zionists dominates our foreign policy in the Middle East. The first group has fantastic notions from the Books of Revelations and Daniel about the coming war between good and evil. The second group, whose ideology is based on integral nationalism which easily metasthesizes into Fascism, cares nothing about US interests.

It is not the first time that groups in American favor anti-American policies in favor of another country; think only of pro-IRA politicians in the Northeast, beginning with Congressman Peter King. But it is time to reject the irrationality of Evangelicals and Zionists and strive for an American foreign policy. Israel should be no more no less important to us than, say, Finland.

laurais says: June 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm GMT

We hear constantly of the power of the so-called Jewish Lobby, but no one ever explains how and why the Lobby has dome to have such power.

If this Lobby weren’t useful to interests that transcend and ultimately have little to do with Jewish/Israeli interests, few politicians would pay the Lobby any mind. Geopolitically, Israel is a useful tool of global elites. If the Israeli government were to make serious peace overtures to the Palestinian factions and if these factions were to respond favorably, any peace effort would be nipped in the bud by those who have a strong interest in keeping these entities from cooperating with one another. Many Israelis know this. In fact, their alternative media shout it from the rooftops.

How the Israel Lobby Works | Council for the National Interest says: June 3, 2014 at 6:09 pm GMT 

[…] The major organizations that comprise the Israel Lobby are well known: the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the American Jewish Committee (AJC), the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations and Christians United For Israel (CUFI). All are well known, benefiting from large budgets and staffs. They are extremely effective, having excellent access to politicians and the media to promote their points of view, and are, as a group, regular visitors to the White House. AIPAC is without doubt the most powerful lobby in the United States that is focused on a foreign policy issue. […] 

Painting Russia as the principal US enemy was a typical neoliberal elites trick that help them to push for the New World Order

Painting Russia as the principal US enemy was a typical neoliberal elites trick that help them to push for the New World Order (the US led global neoliberal empire, which is way resembles the dream of Trotsky about "World Revolution" which would create "World Communist State"). And it is not the first time they use intelligence agencies as their propaganda machine. The fake news chant is just an addition to the anti-Russian BS. The goal like with original McCarthyism is to delegitimize any voice other than neocon war mongers (original McCarthyism also probably served as a smoke screen to hide large influx of specialists from Nazi Germany in the US. switch the public attention to "communists infiltrators"; communism as an ideology was dead after 1945, when soviet solders saw the standard of living of common folks in "capitalist" Central and Western Europe; it took another 45 years for it to collapse this quasi-religious society aka theocrathy called the USSR ). 

Yellowcake was probably the most well know recent case of fake news propagated by US government, the company of mass disinformation of American people for nefarious ends.  If involved  a prominent US neocon Michael Ledeen (the author of Ledeen doctrine "Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business"):

Yellowcake forgery allegations[edit]

Main article: Niger uranium forgeries

According to a September 2004 article by Joshua Micah Marshall, Laura Rozen, and Paul Glastris in Washington Monthly:[10]

"The first meeting occurred in Rome in December, 2001. It included Franklin, Rhode, and another American, the neoconservative writer and operative Michael Ledeen, who organized the meeting. (According to UPI, Ledeen was then working for Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith as a consultant.) Also in attendance was Ghorbanifar and a number of other Iranians."
... ... ...
Regarding the "pre-emptive" invasion of Iraq, in 2002 Ledeen criticized the views of former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, writing:[12]
He fears that if we attack Iraq "I think we could have an explosion in the Middle East. It could turn the whole region into a cauldron and destroy the War on Terror."
One can only hope that we turn the region into a cauldron, and faster, please. If ever there were a region that richly deserved being cauldronized, it is the Middle East today. If we wage the war effectively, we will bring down the terror regimes in Iraq, Iran, and Syria, and either bring down the Saudi monarchy or force it to abandon its global assembly line to indoctrinate young terrorists.
That's our mission in the war against terror.

This whole "Russian hacking" storyline looks so infantile that it is demeaning to the dignity of the United States.  If would be especially funny if this Russiagate operation was hatched in CIA, or Israel or some other state, as a false flag. another question here is: "Is the United States the victim of an unprovoked cyber and media attack by Russia, or are the chickens coming home to roost after Washington’s own promotion of such activity worldwide?" What was the role of the USA in Russia presidential elections of 2011-2012 after which Ambassador McFaul left the country and NED was expelled?

Field Marshall Montgomery said that the first rule of war is "Don't march on Moscow". But those who rule America ignore the wise. Russia is a peaceful and friendly nation, but its elite does although converted to neoliberalism does not want vassal status (and Russia briefly was the vassal of the USA  under Yeltsin.)

We had the Russian hacking accusations for for over a year ( stemming mainly from Hillary campaign operatives),  but in 2017 they reached fervent pitch.  The globalists and Democratic Party nomenklatura launched massive media campaign to divert and reframe the election issues to save Clinton clan skin after election fiasco. This campaign is designed to distract the population and specifically democratic electorate away from the economic and inequality concerns expressed by the Sanders campaign and prevent shedding Clinton nomenklarura to the dustbin of history. Clinton clan want to preserver their power over Democratic Party at all costs, even war with Russia is a the right price for them. 

During Hillary campaign those accusations served as a shrewd deflection maneuver which helped to swipe her "private email server" and "DNC corruption scandal" under the carpet. "Look, its Russians, who brought you those news. They are evil. Dismiss them" was the message.

Now this is amplified by the reaction of neocon lobby and other "national security parasites" (the  fastest growing part of the US military industrial complex with annual budget over 66 billions) to the new, less comfortable for them, political reality. In which some of their current lucrative positions in national security establishment and as MIC lobbyists might no longer be available.  thee are jointed the gorwing part of the US elite which directly depends on the existence of global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  The fear (proved to be unfounded, like it was the case with Obama ;-) initially was that this "change we can believe in", if implemented by Trump, also signifies career end of many prominent neocons such as Victoria Nuland in State Department, or Ashton B. Carter  in Pentagon.

In both cases this is a smoke screen to distract voters from the real problems facing the neoliberalism in USA and the rejection of neoliberal globalization by the US population. The rejection of Hillary is tied to the fact that the American people are finally becoming sick and tired of rampant militarism (aka New American Militarism, as Professor Bacevich called it) with the costs in people lives and treasure.  In this sense for some in Washington, the new Cold War looks like a viable solution of problems that the USA faces now. Nothing personal, just business, Mr. Putin (The Unz Review):

In our recent history, however, the most dangerous moment of all may have been one of next to no fears, only of expectations for the glories of an all-American world. I’m thinking of the years TomDispatch regular Andrew Bacevich, author of America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History, returns to today, the ones after the Berlin Wall was first breeched and the Soviet Union, that “evil empire” of Cold War fame, simply vanished, leaving behind only… well, us.

That was the moment when the political and intellectual elite who had fought the Cold War and the corporate elite, including the warrior corporations of the military-industrial complex who had risen to power and fortune inside it, were suddenly staggered to discover that there seemed to be no one left to oppose them, nothing to stop them from doing their damnedest.

They no longer support the neocon attempt to create global neoliberal empire led by the USA.  They want to solve domestic problems first and especially the problem of unemployment, which became rampant under neoliberalism. While "Obama recovery created some jobs", it produced mostly McJobs in the service sector as well as "perma-temp" --  contractor jobs without benefits and health insurance within the USA, while continuing shipping previous highly paid permanent jobs to other countries. this is how IT was outsourced (with disastrous results, which are swiped under the carpet as the top brass does not care about negative consequences,  as long as annual bonuses increase or at least stay the same). 

The USA needs to find the way out of the hole, which neoliberals dug for the majority of the US population

The real problem that the country faces is that neoliberalism (aka Trotskyism for the rich) after around 40 years of world dominance, like Bolshevism previously,  had run its course. Ideology was discredited by events of 2008 but neoliberal state is still strong (but without viable ideology it is like a zombie, equally bloodthirsty and dangerous).

The USA needs to find the way out of the hole, which neoliberals dug for the majority of the US population.  the election of Trump signifies among other thing, that people reject status quo.  May we need be to restore major parts of New Deal (neo New Deal).   After 2008, neoliberal rationality is suspect and there is a strong blowback against continuation of neoliberal globalization which demonstrated itself in Brexitelection of Trump, and Renzi defeat in Italian referendum, which is huge win for EuroSkeptics.  This disillusionment with the neoliberalism is very deep for at least lower 80% of the US population.

There is no realistic way to establish where hacks came from after the fact, unless NSA did it when the hack occurred due to multiple levels of indirection via zombie computers in various countries. There are botnets, which are definitely assessable to many hackers with thousands, if not millions of computers in them.

All those insinuations that are published are really low level rumors reflecting the agenda of interested parties, as well as attempts to deceive gullible public. They do not look convincing and many security professionals provided devastating critique of their content and implied methodology (mainly IP space based).

Unless you understand that there is a larger agenda behind all this propaganda campaign, this level of concentration of MSM hype on Russians looks strange,  as if other pretty capable players (including some agencies in the USA and Israel, the supposed countries of origin for Flame and Stuxnet).

Moreover Hillary (and, especially, Bill) did not inspire much love in a lot of people, including probably some people within NSA. 

Also the hypothesis that this is a hack, not a leak is rather weak and was refute by research by Intelligence  professionals for sanity.  The death of one of DNC staffer also was pretty suspicious and might be connected with the case. There was no open investigation whether the death was connected with the leaks of DNC emails to Wikileaks, but Seth Rich was definitely was in position to be a source the leak.

The fact the DNC computer security level (like Hillary personal email server) was dismal is well established -- they simply did not pay the necessary amount of money to people and for the equipment to create a secure (even by weak standards of NIST guidelines)  infrastructure for running the campaign. They were operating mostly as a regular non-profit IT-wise. And that's while spending over billion bucks on Hillary campaign. If someone is that stupid, he/she needs to face consequences.

And if you can't prove something it is better to shut up, not to incite anti-Russian hysteria to shade unpleasant facts revealed, Among them the fact that DNC was a part of Hillary campaign and essentially had thrown Sanders under the bus.

And BTW the US government did tried to interfere in Russian Presidential election in 2011-2012. At least one US NGO (National Endowment for Democracy - NED ) was kicked out the country after the elections exactly for this activity.

McCarthyism as political auto-immune disease

Each state has the right to defend itself from attempt to destabilize it, especially by external forces, which can guide internal fifth column (in case of neoliberal it is neoliberal fifth column and the type of government destabilization used is known as color revolutions). In a typical color revolution scenario their are set of efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the government.  The USA was one of the first recognizing this threat at time fascism was such a danger, with enacting Sedition act and Foreign Agents Registration Act.

But like with human body sometime immune system starts to dysfunction. That's why we have allergies and auto-immune diseases. In those case the immune system attacks and kills healthy cells.  I view McCarthyism as modern political auto-immune disease.  In no way a skeptical view of the US neoliberal society and critique of neoliberalism, even a sharp one,  is equivalent to pro-Russian propaganda. 

Also Russia as a target is suspect, unless we subscribe to neocon agenda.  Russia is just another Westernized neoliberal society.  They watch the same Hollywood junk and US citizens ;-).  Major western propaganda channels like BCC are freely available in Russia for anybody to view. They are not jammed, like in days of the USSR (which actually only increased their popularity).  Unlike KSA they do not behead over 100 people a year and prohibit woman to drive. And KSA is considered to be an ally. 

All it does is weakly resist attempts to convert it into Washington vassal. In no way it challenges neoliberalism as a social system. Putin brought Russia in WTO and Medvedev government is hell-bent of privatization of state assets. The fact that they do not want to feed NYC financial sharks is of secondary importance.

Rumors as improvised news and a symptom of loss of trust in establishment and official communication channels

Fake news is modern day rumors spread via Internet. The rise of rumors (aka "improvised news") signify a dramatic fall in the trust to the establishment and official channel of distribution of information. This phenomenon is well known for anybody who studying Brezhnev's rule in the USSR.   Tamotsu Shibutani pioneered the study of this sociological phenomenon in his book Improvised News A Sociological Study of Rumor - Tamotsu Shibutani (1966).  Here is the TOC:

1. ALTERNATIVE CONCEPTIONS OF RUMOR I

2. THE FAILURE OF FORMAL NEWS CHANNELS 31

3. PROBLEM-SOLVING THROUGH DELIBERATION 63

4. SUGGESTIBILITY AND BEHAVIORAL CONTAGION 95

5. THE FORMATION OF POPULAR BELIEFS

6. A SOCIOLOGICAL THEORY OF RUMOR

7. THE POLITICAL MANIPULATION OF RUMOR

Later this pioneering study was continued in a (much weaker) book The Global Grapevine: Why Rumors of Terrorism, Immigration, and Trade Matter by By Gary Alan Fine, Bill Ellis (2010)

Far from mere idle tales, rumors are a valuable window into our anxieties and fears. Rumors let us talk as a community about some very inflammatory issues--issues that may be embarrassing or disturbing to discuss-allowing us to act as if we are talking about real events, not personal beliefs. We can air our hidden fears and desires without claiming these attitudes as our own.

Contemporary rumors can provide us with important information about the fears and pressures of globalization that the US population now experiences. According to Fine&Ellix there are several connected with neoliberal globalization themes that emerge over and over again:

I would add to it persistent rumors about sexual perversion of the elite, including pedophilia (for example, "pizzagate").  Rumors, which in view of existing conviction in "Lolita express" case, are not completely without substance.

Various rumors tell us how Americans react to perceived global threats, how much they trust their own government (9/11 and especially the sub-story of  "Collapse of Building 7" are pretty telling examples here), how they interpret covert CIA actions that became known (Operation Mockingbird, JFK assasination) and deception that cost the US so dearly (Iraq WMD scare). And most importantly how they interpret decimation of the "New Deal" and the new, much less charitable to lower 90% of population neoliberal society in which they are now forced to live. As "New Deal" society is almost completely dismantled with Medicare and Social Security being two major leftovers, which are under attack from neoliberals and constant attempts to privatize them.

In their book authors argue that rumors also reflect our anxieties and fears about contact with foreign cultures -- whether we believe foreign competition to be poisoning the domestic economy or that foreign immigration to be eroding American values. That's why immigration theme was so hot in the recent Presidential elections.

The dramatic collapse of Hillary Clinton campaign that had led to the election of Trump led to attempt to erect a post-election smokescreen of this historic defeat of neoliberal establishment candidate supported by the leadership both parties in Congress and all major MSM.  And instead of analyzing the problems facing the US society, the problems which led to the election of Trump, Democrats and Obama administration decided to play  "Russians are coming" smoke screen.  

With the concentration of DNC leak and Podesta email hack (the latter is due to the blunder, committed by Podesta  himself, who make a blunder and essentially provided his password to attackers on the plate. In reality, the real issue with DNC leaks is the fact that Sanders campaign was sabotaged by crooks in DNC. 

Those who wipe up anti-Russian hysteria should probably reread materials of Church commission and history of interference of the US intelligence agencies into the domestic politics. They might also and ask themselves a simple question:  "Do they have any moral right to to be sp indignant about supposed (not proved, but supposed)  foreign interference in the US elections, if such an interference is the cornerstone of the US foreign policy?"

Those who wipe up Russian hacking hysteria should probably reread materials of Church commission and history of interference of the US intelligence agencies into the domestic politics, including, but not limited to JFK assassination  

While Russia represents an obstacle on the path of establishing global neoliberal empire led by the USA, it is not a threat. Unlike the USSR it just another neoliberal society and Putin can be  viewed as "soft globalist", not as isolationalist. He does want to work with Western nation, but on more equal terms then the USA and EU prefer.  He does not want Russia to became EU protectorate, or the USA vassal (as it was under drunkard Yeltsin). The latter is unacceptable for the US neoliberal elite which is hell-bent on world domination.  Many positions in the Russian government  are occupied by staunch, even by the USA standard, neoliberals, determined to conduct the privatizing of government property and government companies, cutting social services to the bones, and generally adhering to the postulates of Washington consensus as much as Chicago boys in the past.

Relations with Russia deteriorated after the USA launched in best Trotskyites style of (World Communist Revolution) the "Great World Neoliberal Revolution", a series of  "color revolutions" (starting with attack on Serbia) initiating "regime change" for  "not neoliberal enough" governments of countries with natural resources, or of some geopolitical value. All this under the smoke screen promoting the democracy, as it it exist in the USA (which became a typical oligarchic republic (a democracy but only for the top 1% or 10%, who are the only one able to select the candidate from two major parties), with two party system undistinguishable in its major aspects from Soviet one party system; see  Two Party System as Polyarchy )   Also it is not clear why Russia would prefer Trump to Hillary. They definitely have a lot of dirt of Hillary, and, especially, Clinton Foundation,  probably much more then on Trump. Here is one post that addresses this issues (Economist's View What’s Behind a Rise in Ethnic Nationalism Maybe the Economy, Oct 14, 2016):

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

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

JohnH remark is actually very apt and you should not "misunderestimate" the level of understanding of the US political system by Russians. They did learn a lot about machinations of the neoliberal foreign policy, especially about so called "color revolutions."

Hillary&Obama has had a bloody nose when they tried to stage a "color revolution" in 2011-2012 in Russia (so called "white revolution). A typical US citizen probably never heard about it or heard only about "Pussy riot", Navalny and couple of other minor figures. At the end poor ambassador Michael McFaul was recalled. NED was expelled. Of course Russia is just a pale shadow of the USSR power-wise, so Obama later put her on sanctions using MH17 incident as a pretext with no chances of retaliation. They also successfully implemented regime change in Ukraine -- blooding Putin nose in return.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is the situation of "king is naked" -- the state that teaches other countries about democracy has a completely corrupted election process within each party, like a typical banana republic. That what  Wikileak revelations proved. In his post Is Russia our enemy?  Colonel W. Patrick Lang is a retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces (The Green Berets) aptly stated:

The Democratic Party convention and the media are full of the assumption that Russia is the enemy of the United States.  What is the basis for that assumption?

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

We should all sober up.

The anti-Russian theme has  been such an most important in Hillary presidential campaign that the subsequent full-scale anti-Russian hysteria after her defeat is not surprising. 
Hillary always preferred to join ranks with neocons, military-industrial complex and plain-vanilla Russophobes (katehon.com, Jul 28. 2016) and neocon are afraid of losing some power and lucrative, well paid positions. Look how easily Robert Kagan defected to Democratic Party. Several important US Departments such as Department of State, Department of Defense, and CIA are staffed mainly with neocons:. They will fight the idea of normalization of relations with Russia until better end:

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

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

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

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

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

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

While Congress now is trying to create "ministry of Truth", the fearmonring that the US MSM are now propagating is a variation of the well known McCarthyism theme  "The Russians are Coming".  And can be legitimately called Neo-McCartyism.  Here is nice satire on the topic (washingtonsblog.com):

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

Putin: Yes.

MC: Yes! Are you serious?

Putin: I’m quite serious.

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

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

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

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

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

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

DNC hack or DNC leak ?

As for DNC hack (or was it a leak ?) there is no realistic way to establish where hacks came from after the fact. All those insinuations that are published are really low level crap, attempts to deceive gullible public. I do not understand this level of concentration of MSM hype on Russians, as if other pretty capable players (including some in the USA) do not exist and do not have any motivation to look closely into DNC files. Hillary (and, especially, Bill) did not inspire much love in a lot of people.

Also the hypothesis that this is a hack, not a leak is rather weak. The death of one of DNC staffer was pretty suspicious and might be connected with the case.

likbez said in reply to im1dc... , December 18, 2016 at 07:15 PM

Can you please explain to me why you are thinking that this was a hack, not a leak by an insider?

One DNC staffer, 27-year-old Seth Rich, the DNC’s director of voter expansion, was killed around this time in pretty strange circumstances. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/07/12/democratic-national-committee-staffer-shot-and-killed-in-washington.html

Former British Ambassador and current Wikileaks operative Craig Murray recently said he has met the person who leaked DNC and Clinton campaign emails, and they aren’t Russian.

http://www.thepoliticalinsider.com/bombshell-wikileaks-figure-says-insider-russia-hack/

Or it can come from a dissident within the US agency that did have access to all emails.

Do you remember such a person as Edward Snowden ? It might be very educational for you to read his opinion about this case:

While he is highly critical of Wikileaks, he suggests that without NSA coming forward with hard data obtained via special program that uncover multiple levels of indirection, those charges are just propaganda and insinuations. And BTW after the fact it is usually impossible to discover who obtained the information, as they use multiple levels of indirection and Russia might be just one of those indirection levels. Use of Russian IP-space or Russian IPS might be just an attempt to create a false trail and to implicate a wrong party.

As in any complex case you should not jump to conclusions so easily.

The fact the DNS computer security level (like Hillary personal email server) was dismal is well established -- they simply did not pay the necessary amount of money to people and for the equipment to created a viable (according to NIST guidelines) secure infrastructure for running the campaign. They were operating mostly as a non-profit IT-wise. And that's while spending  over billion bucks on Hillary campaign. If somebody is that stupid, he/she needs to face consequences.

And if you can't prove something it is better to shut up, not to incite anti-Russian hysteria to hide under this smokescreen very unpleasant facts revealed -- that DNC was a part of Hillary campaign and essentially had thrown Sanders under the bus.

And BTW the US government did tried to interfere in Russian Presidential election in 2011-2012. At least one US NGO was kicked out the country after the elections exactly for this.

DNC and Clinton pushed the Russian card very hard in anticipation of further stories and revelations of corruption, money laundering, etc.  See DNC emails leak

Technical analysis of this "hack" (which can well be, and probably is a "leak") provided by MSM is by-and-large idiotic, entry level nonsense. The fact that hacking case are complex and fuzzy makes them perfect smokescreen -- powerful tools for deflecting attention from a read content of messages revealed as well as the most plausible source to Russians. Such scapegoating achieve two goals: unite the population swiping important differences under the carpet and an accepting inferior candidate in the name of "unity" in the face of powerful and ruthless enemy, and deflecting unpleased questions revealed by email as enemy propaganda.

BTW stories about Russian codepage used, ec are very suspect. In such cases the originator might deside to use to provide a direct the investigation in the wrong direction. also many countries on the globe such as Germany, Israel, GB and USA has a large Russian speaking population, that is well represented in IT industry (and by extension in corresponding part of three letter agencies).

When the USA (or Israel) opened this can of worm with Stixnet (discovered around mid 2010) and Flame (discovered around 2012), they did not expect a powerful blowback. Now it start coming: those days it is simply impossible to secure "normal" Microsoft-based IT system against any sophisticated adversary.  Not very difficult, but impossible.

To say nothing about stock systems that DNC and Hillary used (as if they have not money to harden them to the level recommended by at least NIST guidelines). They also did not have adequate intrusion alarm system and restricted IP space for clients (client of such systems should exist only on VPN).

Remember that we live in the period when developed by NSA and probably their foreign "friends" Flame and Stixnet worm are part of the recorded history of malware.  And  technologies used in them are well studied by all major world three letter agencies. They means that  methods of this level of complexity became a part of their workbook.  And the response to their devilishness they generated even more devilish methods of attack of any IT infrastructure based on Microsoft technologies, to say nothing about such low hanging fruit as stock Microsoft software installation with semi-competent IT staff using Microsoft Exchange based email system on public network: (naked capitalism):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And :

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

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

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

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

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

Readers, thoughts?

Update Addition by Yves:

Another reader, Hacker, observed (emphasis original):

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

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

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

Thomas Rid wrote:

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

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

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

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

NOTES

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

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

Pavel , July 28, 2016 at 4:01 am

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

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

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

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

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

pretzelattack , July 28, 2016 at 4:15 am

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

dk , July 28, 2016 at 4:59 am

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

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

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

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

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

Another name for the trick DNC used is "Catch a chief" -- a deflection of attention from their own criminal behaviour. But they should now be really afraid about what can come next from Wikileaks or elsewhere. I don't think Hillary was capable to understand how easy it is to find corruption, especially when there's a email trail.  And this lack of understanding is a typical feature of a sociopath (http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/could-hillary-clinton-be-a-sociopath/ ). As Guardian reported (The Guardian) Clinton campaign also tried old "dog eat my homework" trick blaming everything on Putin and trying to ignore the content of them and the dirty laundry they expose:

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

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

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

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

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

Classic scapegoating. As Guardian commenter noted "Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak?? "As life exceeds satire, one can Wikileaks later produced large parts of Hillary's Wall Street speeches, following the appeal from Trump.

In any case a major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't like behaviors like a Mafioso clan, and when caught red handed start to deflect attention via corrupt and subservant MSM, changing focus into Russia and Putin instead. Great journalism!" The Guardian

 atopic 

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

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

 
Chanze Jennings ->  atopic

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

BTW there are some real experts on this and they have a different opinion. Check comments for the blog post: 

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/07/nsa-whistleblower-not-so-fast-on-claims-russia-behind-dnc-email-hack.html

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

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

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

Kintbury  -> Mr. Fusion 21 hours ago

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

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

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

William Carr > Know Mei •

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

America needs international monitors to oversee our elections

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

What the USA really needs is international observers on the next Presidential elections. Instead the US Congress adopted  S. 3274 “Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act”  which essentially create the US variant of the USSR "Ministry of Propaganda and Agitation". As if NED, USAID, State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), the International Republican Institute (IRI), the Center for Independent Private Enterprise (CIPE), and the American Center for International Labor Solidarity ("Solidarity Center") are not enough (Soft Power Democracy-Promotion and U.S. NGOs - Council on Foreign Relations)

That suggests that the US lawmakers at last realized that promoted by them color revolution techniques practiced by the USA on xUSSR and other countries may come home  to roost but reacted to this threat the way that bureaucracy typically react to such things -- creating a new organization (in this case the USSR style Ministry of Propaganda and Agitation)  that should address this issue:

114th CONGRESS
2d Session S. 3274

To counter foreign disinformation and propaganda, and for other purposes. IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES July 14, 2016 Mr. Portman (for himself and Mr. Murphy) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations A BILL To counter foreign disinformation and propaganda, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,  

SECTION 1. Short title. 

This Act may be cited as the “Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act”.

SEC. 2. Center for information analysis and response.

(a) Establishment.—Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall establish a Center for Information Analysis and Response (in this section referred to as the “Center”). The purposes of the Center are— (1) to coordinate the sharing among government agencies of information on foreign government information warfare efforts, including information provided by recipients of information access fund grants awarded using funds made available under subsection (e) and from other sources, subject to the appropriate classification guidelines;

(2) to establish a process for integrating information on foreign propaganda and disinformation efforts into national strategy; and

(3) to develop, plan, and synchronize interagency activities to expose and counter foreign information operations directed against United States national security interests and advance narratives that support United States allies and interests.

(b) Functions.—The Center shall carry out the following functions:

(1) Integrating interagency efforts to track and evaluate counterfactual narratives abroad that threaten the national security interests of the United States and United States allies, subject to appropriate regulations governing the dissemination of classified information and programs.

(2) Analyzing relevant information from United States Government agencies, allied nations, think-tanks, academic institutions, civil society groups, and other nongovernmental organizations.

(3) Developing and disseminating thematic narratives and analysis to counter propaganda and disinformation directed at United States allies and partners in order to safeguard United States allies and interests.

(4) Identifying current and emerging trends in foreign propaganda and disinformation, including the use of print, broadcast, online and social media, support for third-party outlets such as think tanks, political parties, and nongovernmental organizations, in order to coordinate and shape the development of tactics, techniques, and procedures to expose and refute foreign misinformation and disinformation and proactively promote fact-based narratives and policies to audiences outside the United States.

(5) Facilitating the use of a wide range of information-related technologies and techniques to counter foreign disinformation by sharing expertise among agencies, seeking expertise from external sources, and implementing best practices.

(6) Identifying gaps in United States capabilities in areas relevant to the Center’s mission and recommending necessary enhancements or changes.

(7) Identifying the countries and populations most susceptible to foreign government propaganda and disinformation.

(8) Administering and expending funds made available pursuant to subsection (e).

(9) Coordinating with allied and partner nations, particularly those frequently targeted by foreign disinformation operations, and international organizations and entities such as the NATO Center of Excellence on Strategic Communications, the European Endowment for Democracy, and the European External Action Service Task Force on Strategic Communications, in order to amplify the Center’s efforts and avoid duplication.

(c) Interagency manager.— (1) IN GENERAL.—The President is authorized to designate an official of the United States Government to lead an interagency team and to manage the Center. The President shall delegate to the manager of the Center responsibility for and presumptive authority to direct and coordinate the activities and operations of all departments, agencies, and elements of the United States Government in so far as their support is required to ensure the successful implementation of a strategy approved by the President for accomplishing the mission. The official so designated shall be serving in a position in the executive branch by appointment, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.

(2) INTERAGENCY STEERING COMMITTEE.—

(A) COMPOSITION.—The Interagency Manager shall establish a Steering Committee composed of senior representatives of agencies relevant to the Center’s mission to provide advice to the Manager on the operations and strategic orientation of the Center and to ensure adequate support for the Center. The Steering Committee shall include one senior representative designated by each of the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, and the Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors .

(B) MEETINGS.—The Interagency Steering Committee shall meet not less than every 3 months.

(C) PARTICIPATION AND INDEPENDENCE.—The Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors shall not compromise the journalistic freedom or integrity of relevant media organizations. Other Federal agencies may be invited to participate in the Center and Steering Committee at the discretion of the Interagency Manager.

(3) SCOPE OF RESPONSIBILITY AND AUTHORITY.—

(A) LIMITATION ON SCOPE.—The delegated responsibility and authority provided pursuant to paragraph (1) may not extend beyond the requirements for successful implementation of the mission and strategy described in that paragraph.

(B) APPEAL OF EXECUTION OF ACTIVITIES.—The head of any department, agency, or other element of the United States Government may appeal to the President a requirement or direction by the official designated pursuant to paragraph (1) for activities otherwise in support of the mission and strategy described in that paragraph if such head determines that there is a compelling case that executing such activities would do undue harm to other missions of national importance to the United States.

(4) TARGETED FOREIGN AUDIENCES.— (A) IN GENERAL.—The activities under this subsection of the Center described in paragraph (1) shall be done only with the intent to influence foreign audiences. No funds for the activities of the team under this section may be used with the intent to influence public opinion in the United States.

(B) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this subsection may be construed to prohibit the team described in paragraph (1) from engaging in any form of communication or medium, either directly or indirectly, or coordinating with any other department or agency of the United States Government, a State government, or any other public or private organization or institution because a United States domestic audience is or may be thereby exposed to activities or communications of the team under this subsection, or based on a presumption of such exposure.

(d) Staff.— (1) COMPENSATION.—The President may fix the compensation of the manager of the Center and other personnel without regard to chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5, United States Code, relating to classification of positions and General Schedule pay rates, except that the rate of pay for the executive director and other personnel may not exceed the rate payable for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of that title.

(2) DETAIL OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES.—Any Federal Government employee may be detailed to the Center without reimbursement, and such detail shall be without interruption or loss of civil service status or privilege.

(3) PROCUREMENT OF TEMPORARY AND INTERMITTENT SERVICES.—The President may procure temporary and intermittent services under section 3109(b) of title 5, United States Code, at rates for individuals which do not exceed the daily equivalent of the annual rate of basic pay prescribed for level V of the Executive Schedule under section 5316 of that title.

(e) Funds.—Of amounts authorized to be appropriated for fiscal year 2017 for the Department of Defense and identified as undistributed fuel cost savings, up to $250,000,000 may be available for purposes of carrying out this section and the grant program established under section 3. Once obligated, such funds shall remain available for such purposes until expended.

SEC. 3. Information access funds.

(a) Grants and contracts of financial support.—The Center may provide grants or contracts of financial support to civil society groups, journalists, nongovernmental organizations, federally funded research and development centers, private companies, or academic institutions for the following purposes: (1) To support local independent media who are best placed to refute foreign disinformation and manipulation in their own communities.

(2) To collect and store examples in print, online, and social media of disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda directed at the United States and its allies and partners.

(3) To analyze tactics, techniques, and procedures of foreign government information warfare with respect to disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda.

(4) To support efforts by the Center to counter efforts by foreign governments to use disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda to influence the policies and social and political stability of the United States and United States allies and partners.

(b) Funding availability and limitations.—All organizations that apply to receive funds under this section must undergo a vetting process in accordance with the relevant existing regulations to ensure their bona fides, capability, and experience, and their compatibility with United States interests and objectives.

SEC. 4. Inclusion in Department of State education and cultural exchange programs of foreign students and community leaders from countries and populations susceptible to foreign manipulation. The President shall ensure that when the Secretary of State is selecting participants for United States educational and cultural exchange programs, the Secretary of State gives special consideration to students and community leaders from populations and countries the Secretary deems vulnerable to foreign propaganda and disinformation campaigns.

SEC. 5. Reports.

(a) In general.—Not later than one year after the establishment of the Center, the President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report evaluating the success of the Center in fulfilling the purposes for which it was authorized and outlining steps to improve any areas of deficiency.

(b) Appropriate congressional committees defined.—In this section, the term “appropriate congressional committees” means— (1) the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate; and

(2) the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Homeland Security, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.

SEC. 6. Termination of center and steering committee. The Center for Information Analysis and Response and the interagency team established under section 2(c) shall terminate 15 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 7. Rule of construction regarding relationship to intelligence authorities and activities. Nothing in this Act shall be construed as superseding or modifying any existing authorities governing the collection, sharing, and implementation of intelligence programs and activities or existing regulations governing the sharing of classified information and programs.


Top Visited
Switchboard
Latest
Past week
Past month

NEWS CONTENTS

Old News ;-)

Home 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013

For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section

NeoMcCartyism 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014

[Feb 23, 2019] Guardian neoliberal presstitutes: Trump's bid to upend Russia inquiry unprecedented, experts say

Feb 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

pretzelattack , Feb 22, 2019 9:58:52 AM | link

for the first time in weeks (months?) i don't see anything about mueller or russia on the featured articles at the guardian. are they implicitly going to admit it was all bullshit, without ever acknowledging it? (by "they" i mean the msm).
Ghost Ship , Feb 22, 2019 1:06:41 PM | link
>>>>: pretzelattack | Feb 22, 2019 9:58:52 AM | 3
for the first time in weeks (months?) i don't see anything about mueller or russia on the featured articles at the guardian

You spoke too soon :

'Even Nixon wasn't like him': Trump's bid to upend Russia inquiry unprecedented, experts say

And now they've gone "live" about Manafort .

One last hurrah, one Hail Mary before Mueller says there was no provable collusion.

[Feb 23, 2019] Well I'd rather Mueller spend time looking into the activities at Epstein island than this Russian crap

Feb 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Nice timing. Right after a prostitution sting nets some pretty high-profile players in . . . S. Florida.


bh2 , 5 hours ago

It isn't Epstein who they were most trying to protect, even though he was the one directly charged.

It was all the cronies in political life who hung out with him on his island "paradise". Perhaps now the underage women who were molested will be able to name names. Could be interesting.

Trump should dump Acosta like a hot rock.

NiggaPleeze , 4 hours ago

Well I'd rather Mueller spend time looking into the activities at Epstein island than this Russian crap. There's a real threat to national security if the Orangutan is compromised, which IMO, he very much seems to be. And IMO, that is where the real "collusion" probably lies.

Of course it shouldn't be Mueller, he's probably on video there too. I bet ((Mossad)) has video on a lot of the "goy" D.C. traitors.

GUS100CORRINA , 5 hours ago

Judge Rules Plea Deal For "Orgy Island Billionaire" Broke Federal Law

My response : I would bet money that there are a whole lot of "plea deals" that broke federal law. I think the new AG BARR needs to look at all of these deals. The ones that come to mind are the plea deals given to members of both the CLINTON and 'OBOZO' administrations.

sodbuster , 4 hours ago

Start with the Awan bros!!!!!!!!!!!

spoonful , 5 hours ago

"Epstein will likely live out his life as a free man (unless new offenses are committed, or if other victims of his sex trafficking in different jurisdictions come forward. There's no statute of limitations on sex trafficking)." If the prosecutor was corrupt, then the above is not a true statement - the case can be retried as a fraud on the court by a so-called "officer of the court" - the new Labor Secretary . . . drumroll please . . . Alex Acosta . . . appointed as a cabinet member by the President, who just so happens to be a potential witness in the very same case.

sixsigma cygnusatratus , 5 hours ago

"... ferried Bill Clinton and actor Kevin Spacey to his "Orgy Island" aboard his plane, which has been termed "the Lolita Express... "

Wait, so is he going to be CEO of Disney or will it be Netflix?

Old Poor Richard , 5 hours ago

Losing focus here.... Russia! Russia! Russia!

[Feb 22, 2019] FBI Official Admits To Infiltrating Trump Campaign - Just Don't Call It Spying

Feb 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
A top FBI official admitted to Congressional investigators last year that the agency had contacts within the Trump campaign as part of operation "Crossfire Hurricane," which sounds a lot like FBI "informant" Stefan Halper - a former Oxford University professor who was paid over $1 million by the Obama Department of Defense between 2012 and 2018, with nearly half of it surrounding the 2016 US election.

According to portions of transcripts published on Tuesday by the Epoch Times of a Aug. 31, 2018 deposition by Trisha Anderson, the FBI relied on sources who "already had campaign contacts" in order to surveil the Trump team.

"To my knowledge, the FBI did not place anybody within a campaign but, rather, relied upon its network of sources, some of whom already had campaign contacts, including the source that has been discussed in the media at some length beyond Christopher Steele ," said Anderson - who was the #2 attorney at the FBI's Office of General Counsel, and had extensive involvement with the Trump counterintelligence investigation.

Halper is reportedly a longtime CIA and FBI informant, and has been involved in US politics at the highest levels for decades, becoming George H.W. Bush's National Director for Policy Development during his presidential campaign. After Bush lost to Reagan, Halper worked as Reagan's Deputy Assistant Secretary of State - where he served under three different Secretaries .

He then became a senior advisor to the Department of Defense and DOJ between 1984 and 2001. Halper's former father-in-law was Ray Cline, former Deputy Director of the CIA . He also allegedly spied on the Carter administration - collecting information on foreign policy (an account disputed by Ray Cline).

Halper's involvement in surveilling the Trump campaign was exposed by the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross, who reported that the 74-year-old spook was enlisted by the FBI to befriend and spy on three members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 US election .

Halper received a DoD contract from the Obama administration for $411,575 - made in two payments, and had a start date of September 26, 2016 - three days after a September 23 Yahoo! News article by Michael Isikoff about Trump aide Carter Page, which used information fed to Isikoff by "pissgate" dossier creator Christopher Steele . The FBI would use the Yahoo! article along with the unverified "pissgate" dossier as supporting evidence in an FISA warrant application for Page. Halper approached Page during an election-themed conference at Cambridge on July 11, 2016, six weeks after the September 26 DoD award start date. The two would stay in contact for the next 14 months, frequently meeting and exchanging emails .

He said that he first encountered the informant during a conference in mid-July of 2016 and that they stayed in touch. The two later met several times in the Washington area. Mr. Page said their interactions were benign. - New York Times

And as the Daily Caller reports, Halper used a decades-old association with Paul Manafort to break the ice with Page.

In September 2016, the FBI would send Halper to further probe Trump aide George Papadopoulos on an allegation he made that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton. According to Papadopoulos in an interview with Dan Bongino, Halper angrily accused him of working with Russia before storming out of a meeting.

Halper essentially began interrogating Papadopoulos, saying that it's "obviously in your interest to be working with the Russians" and to "hack emails." " You're complicit with Russia in this, isn't that right George " Halper told him. Halper also inquired about Hillary's hacked emails, insinuating that Papadopoulos possessed them. Papadopoulos denied knowing anything about this and asked to be left alone. - Bongino.com

https://youtu.be/45m5DP1xfRg

Just don't call Halper a spy...


hugin-o-munin , 1 hour ago link

All of these blatant crimes done by the Democrat cheerleading swamp creatures NEVER get investigated and I am starting to wonder what the hell Trump is doing. Is he stupid or is all of this just a charade and they are all on the same team. How could this creep Rod Rosenstein have been left at his position until this time? It makes no sense to me. Sure all of these rodents have control files on each other but come on how scared are they? It's ridiculous. If Trump soon gets impeached I'll hold him responsible himself for not doing anything.

schroedingersrat , 59 minutes ago link

They are all on the same team. Trump was never your saviour. He was designed to be a distraction so the 0.01% that own both parties can rape you some more.

hugin-o-munin , 57 minutes ago link

Correct. It's all a big lie and show for the uninformed masses. God help these liars when all the Qanon followers wake up to this truth. All this 'tremendous winning' bs will boomerang back big time.

donkey_shot , 5 hours ago link

The above Halper story has been circulating for about a year now, so this isn`t actually big news. As for the FBI and the CIA subverting just about every political campaign or social movement in existence: Well, duh. The deep state and its satanic minions will remain in control as long as such "intelligence" and State Security agencies (the FBI is essentially nothing but a US version of the SS) are allowed to exist.

youshallnotkill , 5 hours ago link

Not a word on here on the breaking news in the Epstein case.

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5745926-Epstein-Order.html

Typical.

punchasocialist , 1 hour ago link

Alex Acosta works out an illegal deal for Epstein = Trump gives Acosta a cabinet position = Trump is a protector of Pedo protectors = Trump doesn't give 2 shits about Pedos

[Feb 22, 2019] Adam Schiff should really recuse himself from any further investigations from the House. He met with Glen Simpson in Aspen and needs to answer for that

Feb 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

TWTRShadowBanned , 15 minutes ago link

Adam Schiff should really recuse himself from any further investigations from the House. He met with Glen Simpson in Aspen and needs to answer for that. But let's talk about Paul Manafort, longtime friend and partner of Podesta, knew Stefan Halper for years, was he the sacrificial lamb.

Co-hen. Officers raided by the Mueller team (illegal), his tax record leaked to Stormy Daniel's attorney Michael Avenetti, now being charged with the leak, and pleads guilty to Campaign Fraud, even though he could NOT be charged with campaign fraud.

Andrew McCabe. Either this guy is the dumbest smart person in history or there's some method behind his recent confessions for sedition, leaking classified information about his Gang of Eight meetings, and believing that the 25th amendment coup would even work out constitutionally...? He's going down in flames and this guy started the whole investigation into trump for obstruction, even though firing Comey was Rosenstein's idea. More to come.

DECLASSIFICATION of all the FISA docs, emails and text for an illegal and politically driven investigation, coup attempt, is coming before the wind from the Mueller probe hits the edge of Barr's desk.

In conclusion, the House can start all the investigations they want, but it too late. Everything we know about all these illicit uses of government powers to bring down a sitting president is KNOWN by the investigators, who are now Trump allies. Everything they try at this point moving forward is just more annoying to the public that wants the truth to come out, and the releases about to happen will turn the table on the media once it becomes clear they've been complicit in a modern day coup d'tat. In other words, shits about to hit the fan for the deep state of nonsense the American public has been asked to buy with their attention. AND, there one more surprise coming that will give it sand.

Traitors Justice.

joego1

Adam **** is protecting all of his A list Hollywood pedo buddies from what he knows is coming next. Adam is going to Satan's parties I'm sure. Must be lots of videos used as blackmail available.

DaBard51

Election interference? There's the case of Seth Rich...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Seth_Rich

Francis Marx

Amazing how so many people can give blessing to such immorality. They really have to realize it is a symptom of a damned soul. Change please. I'm sure your children don't want you to go to hell.


[Feb 22, 2019] Neo-McCarthyism is used to defend the US empirical policies. Branding dissidents as Russian stooges is a loophole that allow to suppress dissident opinions

Highly recommended!
Unfortunately the article does not mention the term McCarthyism, which is fully applicable. Also the role of CNN of the voice of Clinton wing of Democratic Party presuppose the attitudes the Caitlin is complaining about. This is a party MSM masquerading as impendent new outlet. This are neoliberal presstitutes and warmongers, for the lack of stronger worlds.
Also correlation with RT policies does undermine the US foreign policy. We need only decide whether this is a good or bad thing and whether the US imperial policies are good for American people, or only for large transnational corporations. I think Tucker Carlson also undermines the US foreign policy and as such you can find a correlation between his positions and RT position. Now what ?
Money quote: "the possibility of an American opposing US warmongering and the political establishment which drives it without being ordered to by a rubles-dispensing FSB officer was a completely alien idea to them."
Yes, they actually care only in the "politically correct" reason for suppression. So the only new moment is blatant hypocrisy. But that's how all societies work and in this sense there is nothing special in the fact that dissident voices are suppressed. In middle ages heretics were burned at the stake.
The situation is interesting because neoliberalism is definitely on the decline and as such represent now (unlike say 10 year ago) and rich target of attack and as the USA support it neoliberal empire such attacks usually attack the US foreign policy. The real question is what alternative the particular outlet proposes -- the return to the New Deal Capitalism in some form or shape, or new socialist experiment is some form of shape.
Notable quotes:
"... CNN knew that Facebook was going to be suspending the pages of her company Maffick Media before she did, suggesting a creepy degree of coordination between the two massive outlets to silence an alternative media platform. ..."
"... the US government has found a legal loophole to suppress speech, in this case speech that is critical of destructive US government policies around the world. ..."
"... Thirdly, and in my opinion weirdest of all, the article goes to great lengths to make the fact that a dissident media outlet supports the same foreign policy positions as Russia look like something strange and nefarious, instead of the normal and obvious thing that it is. ..."
"... the possibility of an American opposing US warmongering and the political establishment which drives it without being ordered to by a rubles-dispensing FSB officer was a completely alien idea to them. ..."
"... Nimmo said the tone of Maffick's pages is 'broadly anti-US and anti-corporate. That's strikingly similar to RT's output. Maffick may technically be independent, but their tone certainly matches the broader Kremlin family.' ..."
"... This is a truly obnoxious mind virus we're seeing the imperial narrative controllers pushing more and more aggressively into mainstream consciousness today : that anyone who opposes the beltway consensus on western interventionism is not simply an individual with a conscience who is thinking critically for themselves, but is actually "boosting the Kremlin narrative" ..."
"... Don't even subscribe to an anti-establishment subreddit. Those things are all Russian. Listen to Big Brother instead. Big Brother will protect you from their filthy Russian lies. ..."
"... "If CNN would like to hire me to present facts against destructive US wars and corporate ownership of our political system, I'll gladly accept," Khalek told me when asked for comment ..."
"... Russian media influence is not their actual target. Their actual target is leftist, antiwar and anti-establishment voices. That's what they're really trying to eliminate. ..."
"... It doesn't take any amount of sympathy for Russia to see that the unipolar empire is toxic for humanity, and most westerners who oppose that toxicity have no particular feelings about Russia any more than they have about Turkey or the Philippines ..."
Feb 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Caitlin Johnstone Exposes "The Truly Obnoxious Mind Virus" Of Imperial Narrative Controllers

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

In an extremely weird article titled " Russia is backing a viral video company aimed at American millennials ", CNN reports that Facebook has suspended popular dissident media outlet "In The Now" and its allied pages for failing to publicly "disclose" its financial ties to a subsidiary of RT.

According to CNN, such disclosures are not and have never been an actual part of Facebook's official policy, but Facebook has made the exceptional precondition of public disclosure of financial ties in order for In The Now to return to its platform.

I say the article is extremely weird for a number of reasons.

Firstly , according to In The Now CEO Anissa Naouai, CNN knew that Facebook was going to be suspending the pages of her company Maffick Media before she did, suggesting a creepy degree of coordination between the two massive outlets to silence an alternative media platform.

Secondly , the article reports that CNN found out about Maffick's financial ties thanks to a tip-off from the German Marshall Fund, a narrative control firm which receives funding from the US government. In The Now 's Rania Khalek has described this tactic as "a case where the US government has found a legal loophole to suppress speech, in this case speech that is critical of destructive US government policies around the world."

Thirdly, and in my opinion weirdest of all, the article goes to great lengths to make the fact that a dissident media outlet supports the same foreign policy positions as Russia look like something strange and nefarious, instead of the normal and obvious thing that it is.

The article repeatedly mentions the fact that all the people working for In The Now "claim" to be editorially independent as opposed to being told what to report by Kremlin officials, a notion which Khalek says was met with extreme skepticism when she was interviewed for the piece by CNN. As though the possibility of an American opposing US warmongering and the political establishment which drives it without being ordered to by a rubles-dispensing FSB officer was a completely alien idea to them.

Check out the following excerpt, for example of this bizarre attitude:

"Ben Nimmo, a senior fellow for information defense at the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab, told CNN that while Russian state-backed outlets claim to be editorially independent, 'they routinely boost Kremlin narratives, especially those which portray the West negatively.'

"Nimmo said the tone of Maffick's pages is 'broadly anti-US and anti-corporate. That's strikingly similar to RT's output. Maffick may technically be independent, but their tone certainly matches the broader Kremlin family.' "

This is a truly obnoxious mind virus we're seeing the imperial narrative controllers pushing more and more aggressively into mainstream consciousness today : that anyone who opposes the beltway consensus on western interventionism is not simply an individual with a conscience who is thinking critically for themselves, but is actually "boosting the Kremlin narrative". If you say it in an assertive and authoritative tone like Mr Nimmo does, it can sound like a perfectly reasonable position if you don't think about it too hard. If you really look at it directly, though, what these manipulators are actually saying is "Russia opposes western interventionism, therefore anyone who opposes western interventionism is basically Russian."

Which is of course a total non-argument. You don't get to just say "Russia bad" for two years to get everyone riled up into a state of xenophobic hysteria and then say "That's Russian!" at anything you don't like. That's not a thing. More to the point, though, there is no causal relationship between the fact that Russia opposes western interventionism and the fact that many westerners do.

As we discussed recently , there will necessarily be inadvertent agreement between Russia and westerners who oppose western interventionism, because Russia, like so many other sovereign nations, opposes western interventionism. If you discover that an American who opposes US warmongering and establishment politics is saying the same things as RT, that doesn't mean you've discovered a shocking conspiracy between western dissidents and the Russian government, it means people who oppose the same things oppose the same things.

We're seeing this absurd gibberish spouted over and over again by the mainstream media now. The other day the delightful pro-Sanders subreddit WayOfTheBern was smeared as a Russian operation by the Washington Times, not because the Washington Times had any evidence anywhere supporting that claim, but because the subreddit's members are hostile to Democratic presidential hopefuls other than Sanders, and because its posts "consistently support positions that would be amenable to the Kremlin." All this means is that the subreddit is full of people who support Bernie Sanders and oppose US government malfeasance, yet an entire article was published in a mainstream outlet treating this as something dangerous and suspicious.

If you really listen to what the CNNs and Ben Nimmos and Washington Timeses are actually trying to tell you, what they're saying is that it's not okay for anyone to oppose any part of the unipolar world order or the establishment which runs it . Never ever, under any circumstances. Don't work for a media outlet that's funded by the Russian government even though no mainstream outlets will ever platform you. Don't even subscribe to an anti-establishment subreddit. Those things are all Russian. Listen to Big Brother instead. Big Brother will protect you from their filthy Russian lies.

"If CNN would like to hire me to present facts against destructive US wars and corporate ownership of our political system, I'll gladly accept," Khalek told me when asked for comment.

"But the corporate media doesn't allow antiwar voices a platform. In The Now does. I've worked for dozens of different outlets, from Vice to Al Jazeera to RT, and my message has always been the same: leftist, antiwar and pro justice and equality. People should be asking why US mainstream media outlets that claim to be free and independent refuse to air critical and adversarial voices like mine."

Why indeed? Actually, if CNN is so worried about Russian media influence in America, all they'd have to do is put on a few shows featuring leftist, antiwar and pro-justice voices and that would be the end of it. They could easily out-spend RT by a massive margin, buy up all the talent like Khalek, Lee Camp and Chris Hedges, put on a sleek, high-budget show and steal RT America's audience, killing it dead and drawing all anti-establishment energy to their material.

But they don't. They don't, and they never will. Because Russian media influence is not their actual target. Their actual target is leftist, antiwar and anti-establishment voices. That's what they're really trying to eliminate.

So yes, Moscow will of course elevate some western voices who oppose the power establishment that is trying to undermine and subvert Russia. Those voices will not require any instruction to speak out against that establishment, since that's what they'd be doing anyway and they're just grateful to finally have a platform upon which to speak. And it is good that they're getting a platform to speak. If western power structures have a problem with it, they should stop universally refusing to platform anyone who opposes the status quo that is destroying nations abroad and squeezing the life out of citizens at home.

It doesn't take any amount of sympathy for Russia to see that the unipolar empire is toxic for humanity, and most westerners who oppose that toxicity have no particular feelings about Russia any more than they have about Turkey or the Philippines. Sometimes Russia will come in and give them a platform in the void that has been left by the mainstream outlets which are doing everything they can to silence them. So what? The alternative is all dissident voices being silenced. The fact that Russia prevents a few of them from being silenced is not the problem. The problem is that they are being silenced at all.

* * *

Thanks for reading! My articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of my sweet merchandise , buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone , or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

[Feb 22, 2019] Sic Semper Tyrannis Analytic piece on staged chemical attacks

Feb 22, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Analytic piece on staged chemical attacks " ... weaponized disinformation campaigns, staged videos and fake news are common approaches used by the US military and special services to promote their own agenda around the world. The US was actively using these tools during its intervention in Iraq and after it.

According to the later revelations, the employed programs were varying from placing Pentagon-provided articles in Iraqi newspapers as "unbiased news" to producing footage, which were made to look as if they had been "created by Arabic TV," and CDs with fake al-Qaeda videos, which then distributed through various channels.

The employed propaganda approaches are constantly evolving. Therefore, propaganda coverage of the conflict in Syria has some differences with those which were observed in Iraq. Now, mainstream media, the Pentagon, the intelligence services and diplomats are actively using Hollywood-style approaches. This style of the coverage is based on providing catchy, even if horrible, pictures and videos influencing the emotions of the audience rather than convincing it with logical conclusions.

Just like with Hollywood movies, the mainstream news has increasingly been turning away from the logical narration of stories with realistic motivations to emotional judgements based on anonymous sources, non-verified images, pocket citizen journalists and even open speculation. The content developed within the framework of this approach is usually based on the results of social and psychological research. This allows results to be maximised by the targetted development of content and appropriate segmentation of the audience. An interesting and successful example of this audience reaction modelling can be seen in the mainstream media coverage of the Salisbury incident, which gave rise to large-scale hysteria in Western countries about Russian spies." SF

-------------

Well, pilgrims, you heard it first here and often over the last years. This piece speaks for itself. pl

https://southfront.org/staged-chemical-attack-videos-and-other-trends-in-modern-propaganda/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wag_the_Dog

Fred , 5 hours ago

"mainstream news... to emotional judgements based on anonymous sources, non-verified images, pocket citizen journalists and even open speculation. " That fits the latest news events from the Right to Life March or the Jussie Smollett hate hoax.

"weaponized disinformation campaigns" I was thinking of writing something along the lines of "Where have all the good communists gone". It sure seems their agitprop tactics are alive and well.

[Feb 21, 2019] Russiagate In Flames No Evidence Of Collusion, New Findings Challenge DNC Hack Narrative

Feb 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Russiagate In Flames: No Evidence Of Collusion, New Findings Challenge DNC Hack Narrative

by Tyler Durden Wed, 02/20/2019 - 18:50 791 SHARES

Authored by Elizabeth Lea Vos via Disobedient Media ,

In the last few weeks, we have witnessed two pillars of the Russiagate narrative continue to disintegrate and erode. First, we heard that a bipartisan inquiry by the Senate Intelligence Committee admitted that they have yet to find evidence indicating that the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia in the run-up to the 2016 US Presidential election. Secondly, new light was shed on the process by which the DNC Emails published by WikiLeaks may have been sourced, thanks to two reports: one authored by former NSA Technical Director Bill Binney and former CIA analyst Larry Johnson, with the other work penned by Disobedient Media's Adam Carter.

Of course, this does not entail that the establishment-backed media will stop promoting the neo-McCarthyist insanity that has held legacy press audiences captive for the last two and a half years.

No Evidence For Trump-Russia Collusion

A recent report from NBC related an admission from both Democratic and Republican members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, indicating that they have discovered no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion to date. NBC's report reads in part:

"The Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation into the 2016 election has uncovered no direct evidence of the Trump campaign conspiring with Russia, Democrats and Republicans on the committee told NBC News. But different parties' investigators in the probe, which is winding down, disagree over the implications of a pattern of contacts between Trump associates and Russians."

Let's review that again: the only thing the Democrats and Republicans disagree on is the significance of an alleged "Pattern of contacts between Trump associates and Russians."

Note: the "pattern" here does not specify that the "Russians" in question were associated in any sense with the Russian government. One should not have to stress the significance of differentiating between a nationality versus affiliation with the Kremlin. Meanwhile, the characterization of "Trump associates" is entirely vague.

To conclude from such sentiments that anyone who so much as has "contacts" with "Russians" (again, not the same thing as contacts with proxies or employees of the Russian state) must be working at the behest of Putin would represent an intense strain of xenophobia, if not outright racism.

Independent journalist and comedian Jimmy Dore also commented on NBC's report, saying: "For two and a half years, [Rachel Maddow] has been an out-of-her-mind conspiracy theorist. She said that Russia is going to freeze you when it gets cold... These people are the biggest conspiracy liars in the world."

One does not have to rely on the statements of the Senate Intelligence Committee to understand that no shred of evidence of Trump-Russia collusion has yet been shown to the public. Last month, The Nation's Aaron Mate wrote:

"Not a single Trump official has been accused of colluding with the Russian government or even of committing any crimes during the 2016 campaign. As The New York Times recently noted, "no public evidence has emerged showing that [Trump's] campaign conspired with Russia."

In the wake of the latest news regarding such lack of evidence, Mate wrote via Twitter :

The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald also chimed in on NBC's report, writing via Twitter: "When even NBC, [Ken Dilanian] and Democrats (excuse the redundancy) are admitting this so clearly in the first paragraph of their article, it's time for people to start facing some facts about what they've been telling people."

Of course, many have long pointed to evidence countering the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, expecting such contrary evidence to become the " death of Russiagate. " Unfortunately for the sake of truth and sanity, it seems that this writer's opinion on the immortality of Russiagate is going to continue to prove true, as long as the saga serves the establishment's need for deflection from real election interference and other pressing domestic issues.

As this author opined last year :

"Standing on the shoulders of this methodical evidence, it seems at this point that no amount of contrary evidence, exposure or implosion will ultimately kill the undead Russiagate monster. If that were possible, the Thing would have been put irrevocably into the ground over a year ago. Or six months ago. Or a few weeks ago."

Russian Hacking Narrative Implodes

The Russian hacking aspect of the scandal was also severely discredited in recent days, in the wake of two new reports . One article was authored by Disobedient Media's Adam Carter, with a separate piece published by Bill Binney and Larry Johnson . Binney is a former NSA Technical Director; Johnson an ex-CIA analyst. Both are active members of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

The two articles discussed revelations arising from studies of the DNC Emails released by WikiLeaks in 2016. We remind our readers that, while Adam Carter, Disobedient Media, The Forensicator, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, Stephen McIntyre, and others have regularly reported regarding documents published by the Guccifer 2.0 persona, the latest pieces focus instead on the DNC Emails as published days before the DNC convention.

Though this writer will not attempt to present every aspect or technical detail contained in the articles, we will endeavor to make our readers aware of the essential points which Carter , Binney, and Johnson have raised.

Carter's work suggests that the DNC Emails were originally accessed via a USB thumb drive or similar device, concluding: "The evidence strongly suggests that the first three batches of DNC emails were transferred via a USB storage device at some stage between acquisition and then subsequently being published by WikiLeaks."

As noted by Carter, such a scenario aligns with allegations made by former UK Ambassador Craig Murray, who claimed that he was the recipient of the files via an intermediary rather than the original source. Carter adds: "However, transfer speeds observed for the batches with last-modified dates matching the dates of acquisition indicate that they were transferred at approximately 3 megabits/second, a lot slower than we would expect if it were a local or LAN transfer, so the transfer we're looking at likely involved a remote transfer at some point between acquisition and delivery ."

Carter continued: "... It seems likely that the original emails were copied soon after acquisition... The (hypothetical) existence of an intermediary doesn't tell us anything about the individual (or individuals) who originally acquired the emails. Thus, this scenario does not necessarily rule out the possibility of an insider acquiring the emails. If we contemplate the intermediate use of cloud storage, this could have been used as a method to decouple the acquisition of the emails from delivery to another party that subsequently delivered them to Wikileaks."

The article by Binney and Johnson also discusses the relevance of indications that the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks were likely accessed via a storage device, rather than leaked. They state in part:

"An examination of the Wikileaks DNC files do not support the claim that the emails were obtained via spearphishing. Instead, the evidence clearly shows that the emails posted on the Wikileaks site were copied onto an electronic media, such as a CD-ROM or thumb-drive before they were posted at Wikileaks... We believe that Special Counsel Robert Mueller faces major embarrassment if he decides to pursue the indictment he filed--which accuses 12 Russian GRU military personnel and an entity identified as, Guccifer 2.0, for the DNC hack -- because the available forensic evidence indicates the emails were copied onto a storage device."

Binney and Johnson conclude: "Taken together, these disparate data points combine to paint a picture that exonerates alleged Russian hackers and implicates persons within our law enforcement and IC taking part in a campaign of misinformation, deceit and incompetence. It is not a pretty picture."

The Real Cost Of Russiagate

Though Russiagate may be summed up as a never-ending theatrical performance designed to hold attention rather than prove itself, that ineffability does not mean that the saga has had no tangible effects in the real world. Regardless of what one makes of the legitimacy of Russiagate or any one of its sub-narratives, we can all agree that it has wreaked havoc directly and indirectly on many fronts.

Journalist and award-winning author Patrick Lawrence wrote a ground-breaking article with The Nation in August of 2017, covering a Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) memorandum to President Trump. The memo, and Lawrence's article, indicated that the Guccifer 2.0 persona had published documents that were likely accessed locally, rather than hacked remotely.

The repercussions for Lawrence - professional, financial, personal - continued for many months. In an interview, Lawrence told Disobedient Media: "My working principle from the first is that disagreements and other such matters internal to a publication - any publication - shouldn't be aired outside the newsroom door. When I was trained, you'd be summarily fired if you went public with such a stunt. I thought this at the time my article came out, and on that same principle, I won't comment now." Lawrence concluded: "I should add I have no reason to retract a single syllable of what I wrote."

A hit-piece authored last year by Duncan Campbell saw the doxxing of Disobedient Media's Adam Carter, putting his livelihood in jeopardy and conflating anonymity with wrongdoing, among other things. Campbell's text received much criticism from this outlet and others for its disastrously inaccurate depiction of the opinion of Bill Binney and other VIPS members.

NSA Whistleblower Thomas Drake was also quoted in the piece , comparing CIA veteran and VIPS co-founder Ray McGovern with George W. Bush's politicization of intelligence in the lead-up to the Iraq War.

Most readers do not require the reminder that McGovern and other members of VIPS were strongly opposed to the faulty intelligence used by the Bush administration as a pretext for the 2003 war in Iraq. This history makes Drake's comparison particularly odious and is additionally damaging because like McGovern, Drake is a respected member of VIPS. Disobedient Media reached out to Drake for comment on this point and others, to which we received no reply by the time of publication.

McGovern spoke with Disobedient Media, saying:

" I knew Tom Drake to be a straight shooter, an impression strengthened by our teamwork in Moscow presenting Ed Snowden with the Sam Adams integrity award that Tom himself had won two years before. I normally cut Tom some slack, in view of all he has been through. But when he belatedly took issue with the key VIPS memo of July 24, 2017 on "Russian hacking," and made claims unsupported by evidence (claims strongly challenged by his fellow NSA "alumni" in VIPS), I, as chair of that memo, had to call him out of order. He reacted poorly and seems now to be in for further embarrassment."

Disobedient Media also spoke with Bill Binney, who told this author:

"Tom has been a friend of mine for about 20 years. During that time he has demonstrated sound analytic judgment on technical issues with the exception of one. That is the issue of Russiagate and association with the Trump campaign and administration. In this case, I believe he has allowed himself to be diverted by the rather large hoard of emotionally motivated who are intent on associating the Russians with Trump to form the basis for impeachment. They have and continue to convict Trump based on statements made by large numbers of people - as if that were proof of anything. So, on this issue, a good chunk of the US population have lost their objectivity and instead of demanding proof based on observable facts (available to be inspected) they accept assertions generated by emotion. The true test will be in a court of law where all these assertions would be treated as hearsay and inadmissible as none are first-hand observers."

Disobedient Media has been separately smeared by entities like Media Bias Fact Check , whose report appraising this outlet laughably alleged that we have been a "defender" of the Guccifer 2.0 persona. While such an absurd statement would carry no weight with even the most cursory of Disobedient Media's readers, it is nonetheless noteworthy in that it specifically uses a false neo-McCarthyist narrative to attempt to assassinate the credibility of this outlet.

When asked about the real-world implications of Russiagate thus far, Ray McGovern - who, as we remind our readers, is a former CIA analyst with decades of experience during the cold war period - expressed deep concern, saying:

"I worry about what conclusions President Putin may draw from attempts to demonize him and to make Russia a pariah. Inflammatory rhetoric can be prelude to war. Worse still, the temperament and hubris of President Trump's advisers are a far cry from the sage, sober advice Ambassador Llewellyn Thompson, for example, gave President Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. Shattered, at this point, is any residual hope Putin may have harbored that Trump would be able to improve ties with Russia. Trump is not his own man. Putin, thus, must prepare for the worst. This is the most serious damage from the Russia-gate narrative so far."

Patrick Lawrence also appraised the damage done by Russiagate in a piece published via Consortium News, writing: "Numerous sets of sanctions against Russia, individual Russians, and Russian entities have been imposed on the basis of this great conjuring of assumption and presumption."

As described by McGovern and Lawrence, the tensions raised between two major nuclear powers is perhaps the most important real-world result of over two years of neo-McCarthyist fervor in the US. However, the smearing of members of the independent press and the worsening division amongst VIPS members comprise additional serious damage stemming from a scandal-that-never-was.

In terms of the larger political picture, Russiagate has been endlessly hyped to deflect from public outrage that rightfully erupted in response to overt election interference by the Democratic Party in the 2016 primary season. It has been used in an attempt to mask the failure of the Democrats and specifically Hillary Clinton as a Presidential candidate.

As long as the legacy press continues to use Russiagate to gaslight the public from focusing on ongoing domestic election interference, it remains imperative to point out that Russiagate, to date, has no basis whatsoever in fact. For that reason, Disobedient Media will continue to report on the subject as it develops.


youshallnotkill , 1 hour ago link

Really have to admire what Burr did there.

... they have yet to find evidence indicating that the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia in the run-up to the 2016 US Presidential election.

He was very careful in saying that they did not find direct evidence. Knowing very well that it would be reported like this as the public does not know what this legal technical term means.

And that is exactly what is needed right now to give Mueller the space he needs. Beautifully played.

Schroedingers Cat , 2 hours ago link

Don't you find it suspicious that Russiagate is abruptly winding down. Mueller waits until a week later to issue his non-report when nobody is paying attention. Russiagate is disappearing and the only reason big enough for that is WAR. They want "unity" between the parties so we can all be good patriots and start Iraq V2.0 or WWIII. The last time the parties buried the hatchet like this was before invading Iraq after 911 attacks.

youshallnotkill , 1 hour ago link

Don't you find it suspicious that Russiagate is abruptly winding down

It isn't. It just looks that way.

youshallnotkill , 2 hours ago link

ongoing domestic election interference

Like the election fraud in NC?

https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article226492265.html

brane pilot , 3 hours ago link

The only collusion was between the FBI and a foreign national to create a phony dossier of bald faced lies in an attempt to take down the POTUS and invalidate a free and fair election.

Somehow, the Leftist media does not think that is newsworthy.

lowkeyjc , 3 hours ago link

Seth Rich

CatInTheHat , 3 hours ago link

These narratives, like the build up to the Iraq war, have a foreign policy context to them, for which unsuspecting Americans know nothing about

This war on Russia accelerated under Obama's watch.

How many RUSSIAGATERS know about Obama/Nuland/McCain regime change in Ukraine that put neonazis on RUSSIAS border?

How many Russiagaters know that Obama ordered the Ukies to blow up flight MH-17 with 298 people onboard in a false flag attack to justify FRAUDULENT sanctions on Russia?

How many Russiagaters know that it is dual Israeli Democrats pushing this narrative most? Schumer, SCHIFF, CARDIN, who was responsible for the fraudulent Magnistsky Act, along with fraud Bill Browder, a CIA asset who owes hundreds of millions to the Russian government in back taxes ? There are more dual Israelis involved from Congress too.

Lastly, how many Russiagaters know anything about foreign policy?

What a convenient narrative to throw out in blaming Russia for Clinton's loss, but which serves the deep state well that has Russia on it's target list for regime change and balkanizing by a bunch of dual Israeli psychopaths & two whack Christian Zionist extremists (Pompeo, Pence)

It always comes down to ISRAEL, doesn't it? Russia did the unthinkable in interfering in Greater Israhell! Stopping the US, Saudi Israhelli war on Syria.

Most Russiagaters can't find Russia on a map

I do wonder how many Americans really buy this ********

100 million did not vote in 2016 and my guess is that most Americans don't give one hoot about Russia at all. Busy just trying to survive.

A couple of years ago, CNN did a poll asking Americans how they see Russia, and most DID NOT care nor think about Russia. The reporter who helped with the poll laughed when asked why CNN continued to go on and on about Russia knowing people didn't care.

Just laughed. Coming from the same crowd at CNN that called viewers dumbshits and were laughing about that too .I can't recall verbatim what they said but maybe someone here can recall better than I.

Russiagate is a neocunt war narrative. Russiagate is a smokescreen for Israhelli influence in our government

Russiagate is a cover-up for many crimes committed by Democrats and the DNC, including but not limited to primary rigging and election fraud and URANIUM ONE in which Mueller himself was involved .

francis scott falseflag , 1 hour ago link

foreign policy context

more important than having a foreign policy context, is their

"Totalitarianism for Dummies" aspect

How many RUSSIAGATERS know about Obama/Nuland/McCain regime change

how many russiagaters don't think there's anything hypocritical about Obama not returning the Peace Prize to the Nobels.

it is dual Israeli Democrats pushing this narrative most? Schumer, SCHIFF, CARDIN,

won't they be surprised when a new Israeli Government expects their support for some pro-Russian, anti-US controversy about foreign policy, trade, military, etc. legislation or action?

can't find Russia on a map

hyperbole

I seem to agree with you on most of the important things, except for your ending.

a smokescreen for Israhelli influence in our government

I think God named the Jews His Chosen People, but He never mentions what they were chosen for or chosen to do. The point being that if you believe in God, then Jews' self-promoting, self-aggrandizing chosenness is irrefutable evidence of the Existence Of God.

Not the God of Forgiveness like Christ. But the God of the Cities of the Plain.

I wonder if Christians can ever accept the fact that the God that Christ became was first God the Creator, who gave mankind its choice between good and evil?

Good and Evil. The two parts of <ONE GOD>

Moving and Grooving , 3 hours ago link

I'm going to see what's being reported in Moscow about this.

iSage , 4 hours ago link

More learning for ya

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

StheNine , 4 hours ago link

Send the bill for this clown show to the Clintons and Soros.

East Indian , 4 hours ago link

This world has indeed come to a fork in the road. If what is common knowledge to one set of people is "discovery" to another set, then they are not even living in the same universe. There are two roads here onwards. Either we eliminate the purveyors of false narratives or we are turning the population into ignorant masses again.

lurker since 2012 , 4 hours ago link

Rosenstein Mueller are unconstitutional Brief from Miller in regards to Mueller being duly appointed..........

"

1

STATEMENT OF JURISDICTION

The district court had subject-matter jurisdiction to enforce a subpoenaissued by the Special Counsel to Appellant to appear before the grand jury on June29, 2018. After denying the motion to quash the subpoena on July 31, 2018, thecourt issued a contempt order on August 10, 2018, but stayed the order pendingappeal. Appellant filed his notice of appeal on August 13, 2018. This Court has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. 1291 to review the final order.

STATEMENT OF THE ISSUES

1. Whether Congress, under the Appointments Clause of Article II, § 2, of

the U.S. Constitution, "established by law" the appointment of a private attorney toserve as a special counsel as an "Officer of the United States."

2. Whether Special Counse

l Robert S. Mueller III (the "Special Counsel")was unconstitutionally appointed because he is a "principal officer" under the

Appointments Clause of Article II, and thus was required to be

--

but was not

--

appointed by the President with the Advice and Consent of the Senate.

3. Whether Congress "by Law vest[ed] the Appointment" of the SpecialCounsel as an "inferior Officer []" in "Head of the [Justice] Department[ ]," andthus, under the "Excepting Clause," was unconstitutionally appointed because he

2

was required to be

--

but was not

--

appointed by Attorney General Jeff Sessionsrather than by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.""

http://nlpc.org/2018/09/12/brief-makes-compelling-case-that-mueller-appointment-is-unconstitutional/

bh2 , 4 hours ago link

The War Party (AKA Democrats) do not regard inflaming tensions with a nuclear power abroad if the result is to deliver political power into their own hands at home.

They are defective psychopaths, dangerous people who should be tried for treason and incarcerated for life as a merciful alternative to hanging in the gallows which they so richly deserve.

William Dorritt , 4 hours ago link

Who murdered Seth Rich ?

The FBI never investigated the server break in, they took the DNCs word for it.

Moving and Grooving , 3 hours ago link

That has to be a piece of this. The entire affair had 'Clinton' all over it.

iSage , 4 hours ago link

Watch and learn folks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7Y1g6amvPQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OECaqtQWqw

pparalegal , 4 hours ago link

Funny that we have not heard a peep from the usual klacking bullhorns Hillary and Obama.

Yars Revenge , 4 hours ago link

All the people responsible for Russiagate, politicians, rogue intelligence and the media, should be sent to Gitmo.

Theyve brought the world to the edge of disaster through nuclear war and deserve to be punished accordingly.

Lie_Detector , 4 hours ago link

Long overdue. Get Mueller off the federal payroll!

smacker , 4 hours ago link

Yes, put him on the prison workgang payroll ;-)

commiebastid , 4 hours ago link

another will take its place

Dickweed Wang , 4 hours ago link

With the majority of the left and quite a few Republicans (who for all intents and purposes are Democrats with an "R" next to their name) Russiagate has become just like the man-made global warming scam. They continue to believe it like a religion, regardless of mounting facts to the contrary, because it serves a purpose for them.

Cheap Chinese Crap , 4 hours ago link

They don't believe it. You get to be a politician by being lazy, evil, and calculating-- not happily naive and trusting.

The narrative is custom tailored to suit their purposes and veracity is not part of the calculation at all.

fersur , 2 hours ago link

Most all of them start out in Law school, their Lawyers by default, lesson number one, truths assided !

DIGrif , 4 hours ago link

WE THE PEOPLE, want our millions back that was spent on this ********. Deduct it from the Democrats paychecks.

flatearther , 4 hours ago link

Money? Hell! there will not even be an apology OR any admission it was a witch hunt. Such is the nature of our MASTERS.

commiebastid , 4 hours ago link

pocket change compared to the overall hoovering

Herdee , 4 hours ago link

Former CIA Officer explains:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOu4TpvydUI

Occams_Razor_Trader_Part_Deux , 4 hours ago link

Isn't about time for a "Stormy" sighting- or an allegation from the admitted liar Michael Cohen?

south40_dreams , 4 hours ago link

Democrat are ******* liars. The End.

commiebastid , 4 hours ago link

it is a bi partisan pastime

2willies , 5 hours ago link

Is that Richard Branson a psycho or what? he gives me the English willies

Schroedingers Cat , 5 hours ago link

Suddenly, the Democrats want to support Trump, the man they insisted was a dangerous foreign agent, in leading us to war with Venezuela. Demotards are truly insane fucked up little moppets with **** for brains!!!

fersur , 5 hours ago link

Haters Shoo' Shoo Fly Shoo, been bugging me, arms tired of giving a Whiping !

aloha_snakbar , 5 hours ago link

Uncle Scam needs to be put down like the rabid dog he has become...

2willies , 5 hours ago link

rabid dog is to nice

Francis Marx , 5 hours ago link

The Russian sanctions are a farce. I think they are using them so that Russia will hand over Snowden, nothing else. Its just kept quiet.

[Feb 19, 2019] THE NEW YORK TIMES IS A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION

That's too harsh, but the commenter has a point: NYT times is mostly a propaganda outlet. That does not exclude publishing rare objective articles.
Feb 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

Rational says: February 18, 2019 at 6:29 am GMT 100 Words

Thanks for the article, Sir. Welcome to unz.com.

The media in most countries report the news in a neutral manner. Since the Judaists bought the media, they turned media into weapons of terror, by:

a. Fake news -- outright lies (eg. calling alien invaders "migrants").
b. Manufacturing scandals that THEY make up eg. blackface.
c. Harassing and abusing patriots and others and calling them racists, getting them fired from jobs, etc.

None of these are legitimate jobs of the media. The New York Times and most Zionists controlled media in this country are therefore criminal enterprises and terrorist organizations and these criminals belong in prison.

[Feb 18, 2019] "After Putin" anxiety in Russia

Feb 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Grieved , Feb 16, 2019 8:16:54 PM | link


Grieved , Feb 16, 2019 8:52:46 PM | link

@33 Fiona Jenkins and others

I've read the article by Dugin now, and gone back to read Surkov. I probably need to read them both again, perhaps forever, because I think they illustrate the nation of Russia trying to find its way forward into "life beyond Putin", and both articles are of extreme importance as two sides of a dialog.

I think Dugin is correct when he says that Putin has fallen short of creating a new system of state that can itself endure. And that the oligarchs will naturally attempt, after Putin, to rule the state as in the old way. He is correct in saying that no alternative to Putin has come forth in all this time, and that this is a failing of the situation. He is also correct, as many friends of Russia here would agree, that the day of reckoning for the fifth column and the corrupt vested interests has not come under Putin, and that it remains yet to happen - if at all - after Putin.

And this is the crux. Will that day of reckoning come, or will evil gain in strength again when Putin is gone?

Dugin says that the Russian people have to have this fight and overthrow that privileged, non-patriotic, class of people. I personally would call it a class revolution of sorts that establishes a formal strain of socialism into the system - creating a hard-wired system that Dugin himself would trust to endure, regardless of leaders.

Surkov meanwhile is saying that the people are the source of all power, and that Putin's genius is that he is naturally plugged into that source. And that any successive leaders must follow the Putin model and be plugged into the people. Surkov seems to think that this will happen because it must, by force of the dynamic itself, and its imperative itself. Maybe this is so. And maybe it happens because of advocates like Surkov in attendance to its birth.

What I take from both these sides of the one argument - which is simply and purely how to envision a world beyond Putin - is that Putin has not left a changed system but he has left a spiritual benchmark for the goodness of the state, and it is intimately bound up with the well being of the people. This benchmark will endure, for a time, after Putin, but how the people rise to fill the void and create a more perfect system, I think remains to be seen, remains to happen. In this regard, I see no reason for despair or complacency.

karlof1 , Feb 16, 2019 9:06:26 PM | link
I humbly thank those thanking me. It's very gratifying!

Jose Garcia @59 distilled much into his short appraisal, to which I only endorse. I see the following caught b's eye and those of others:

"Russia ... returned to its natural and its only possible condition: that of a great and growing community of nations that gathers lands. It is not a humble role that world history has assigned to our country, and it does not allow us to exit the world stage or to remain silent among the community of nations; it does not promise us rest and it predetermines the difficult character of our governance."

Any open-minded, closely watching, student of Russian history would easily understand what's meant by the bolded text; although presently, the lands being gathered are those of its allies. And in those words, the author admits Russia remains an Empire, although diminished somewhat from its greatest extent. However, it's a Communal Empire, embracing over 100 different ethnic groups, numerous tongues, and every major religion. Yet, the "Nationality Question" that so intrigued Sovietologists as a possible way to implode the USSR provides the inner core of Russia's "deep nation," and on almost every public occasion I've seen Putin attend he shows a pride in Russia's diversity Trump and ilk are completely incapable of.

And what would be the state of the world today if not for Russia? What coalition would have been capable of stopping Napoleon if Russia hadn't sacrificed first? The Kaiser's racial war for dominance between Teutons and Slavs, which would've likely been a slam-dun repeat of 1870 if not for the need for two fronts. The 25+ Million Soviets and other nationalities that allied on the Eastern Front to defeat Hitler's Armies. And perhaps I'll go outside the box and allege that if not for the USSR, post-war USA would have colonized the planet as it still desires.

But what of "Putinism." We should return to Jose's sharp analysis and add: Putin insists on the dedicated involvement of his fellow citizens; that they work just as hard and diligently as he; and that they also play and enjoy life just as much. In return, he will be as honest and open with his fellows as possible--which is really rather amazing to observe and is of another universe from what we get "treated" to in the West. He wants feedback--positive and negative--he wants to hear about the problems he never gets to hear about--his humanism is startling, again, as it's so diametrically different. And he's almost always positive--even when he's being negative. If he errs, he owns up. Then there's the courage of his convictions and constancy of being morally, ethically, and legally correct--which in Russia means he's also politically correct. Does it really require someone special to have those traits? I don't think so, although there're personality types that would never be capable of performing as does Putin. I think it's all related to the basics: Parenting, schooling, mentoring, but also the overall context of growing up in what is truly a cosmopolitan nation that's accepting of Others--again, to be Russian means to embrace Russianness, which is unique amongst national cultures as noted above. In short, only a Russian is capable of emulating Putin.

But, the question's begged: Would Putin fit as head-of-state for a Western nation, or would that be impossible due to the vastly differing contexts?

veritas semper vincit , Feb 16, 2019 9:38:37 PM | link
This was one of your best articles, and there's no short supply here. Thank you, Mr. B.
Russia is fulfilling old prophecies.
The country is an enormous mass land, between East and West, and because of this and its history, I believe it is the world 's balancer.
Russia has been to Hell and back and in the process managed to learn from past mistakes( and we have to remember that some of those mistakes, like the Bolshevik revolution, were financed by the west: Trotsky( Bronshtein) and his 2 Bil in today's money from Kuhn and Loeb Bank, Jacob Schiff, Lenin with millions in gold from Germany).
What did not kill Russia, made her stronger. Russia witnessed the "superior" US system, liberalism, during Yeltsin's era, not only communism. And Russia chose neither.
She chose Mr. Putin, a real patriot, who took Russia from her knees and elevated her to the role she has today: a superpower.
I don't think the Russians wanted this role, but they didn't have a choice. Somebody has to fight the psychopaths.
As for US, the coup d'erat was incremental: the cornerstone was in 1913, with the creation of the private Federal Reserve, with its 9 big banks shareholders,the root of all evil .Money created as debt( credit) and loaned to people with interest. Fractional reserve banking later. Everything else is bribes and blackmails.
Then 1963, the removal of the only semi independent president, who would have put a stop to their NWO.
1970's with replacement of Bretton Woods with the petro-dollar deal and the subsequent wars .
And 2001 as the grand finale: total control.
Now US has to protect the petro-dollar, the only think giving it relevance; This explains our wars, enemies, allies( like KSA).
Some say that US was a FreeMason construct from the very beginning. And looking at all Masonic signs: dollar bill, Statue of Liberty, apotheosis of Washington , Washington DC plans, most founding fathers, etc. they may be right.

[Feb 18, 2019] The problem of unrealistic expectations and its role in the collapse of the USSR

Feb 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

wagelaborer , Feb 16, 2019 1:03:08 PM | link

I was listening to a podcast and one speaker asserted that Venezuelans would be grateful for their improved living conditions and remain loyal to Maduro, and the other speaker said that people tend to take their improvements for granted and demand more. https://cprnews.podbean.com/e/cpr-news-february-11-2019/
As I understand it, that is what happened in the USSR. The recovery of housing and food after the destruction of WW2 was completed by the 80s, and then people wanted more. The leaders started increasing meat production, leading to buying grain from the US, and then the US bribed top KGB officials and bureaucrats, and then Yeltsin and the bribed leaders of Ukraine and Belarus signed away the USSR, against the wishes of the vast majority of the population.

Only brainwashed westerners would announce that that the destruction of the Soviet Union was "bloodless". That ignores the bombing of the White House, the murders of opposition leaders and the mass die off of millions of people, referred to in the West as "life expectancy dropped dramatically" (because the west is the undisputed king of spin and propaganda).

The population of Russia is only now recovering to their 1990 level, but let us blather on and on about how wonderful the destruction of the USSR was.

It wasn't so great for the rest of the world, either. Our gloating leader, George H. W. Bush, flush with delight and greed, as Russia lay prostrate and ready for plundering, in 1991, announced "There is now a New World Order", meaning that the USA would rule the world. We can all see what that means for the rest of the world, and for the population of the US, now also stripped and looted, increasingly in the last 26 years. The US went on a worldwide killing spree, while at home, with no USSR as a good example, or to support rational left politics, we have lost our unions, our jobs, our houses and our damn common sense. Now they are telling us that men can be women and vice versa, in the final Big Brother control of reality and perception. War is Peace, check. Ignorance is Strength, check. It is possible to change your biological body with the power of your mind, check.
They have turned us into blithering idiots, fit only to bicker as the final looting commences.


[Feb 18, 2019] Who will lead Russia after Putin

Feb 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

The Scalpel , Feb 16, 2019 9:00:22 AM | link

This is a "big picture" article short on detail. Putin will go down as one of the great leaders of Russian (and world) history. Fine. What comes after him? What is the plan to transfer power to a subsequent COMPETENT leader? It is fine to trust Putin, power flowing from Putin outward, but what if after Putin Russia gets another Gorbachov? What then?


vk , Feb 16, 2019 9:16:13 AM | link

@ Mister Roboto | Feb 16, 2019 7:50:25 AM | 3

On the contrary: evidence shows us the military was the last resistance against the desintegration of the USSR. The thing here is that it didn't need to desintegrate to reform.

The main problem with the USSR is that it created a system where any reform could only be radical. It wasn't a question of "ideological rigidity": the Soviets knew their problems since at least the 1950s (and, even before that, when Lenin was still alive, after the Kronstadt tragedy, an event that triggered the NEP - the reforms which would, 58 years later, inspire the new Chinese socialist model).

DontBelieveEitherPropaganda , Feb 16, 2019 9:30:03 AM | link
One thing to add:
While Surkov writes that people in the west are losing faith in their politicians and now would be looking at Russia as a positive example of a political system:
The problem for the majority of people in the western country i live in (Germany) and IMHO for the most other so called western countrys is NOT that the demoocratic system itself would be the problem, but that this system has been corrupted by politicians, neoliberals, neocons, and anti democratic cancers like deep state elites and the like.
Here most people HATE e.g. the social democrats NOT because they are social democrats, but because the are now only social democrats by NAME ONLY.
The democratic system may be flawed, but it still is without any real alternative for the majority of non extremist people.
Scrapping that for toothless pseudo opposition like in Russia would not be in the interest for the majority of people.

This is IMHO a different story for every country. Russia IMHO needs to go its own way, and like Putin said himself, is not ready for a full democracy. It would lead directly back into the 90s, and the huge majority of Russians know that, and therefore vote for the much lesser "evil".
This may be hard to understand for a western person, but IMHO it is a sane and consious decision for the russians.

But again, every country is different. This is why the right for every people and country to develop in its own pace and values is to important, and why globalism is creating faliure for each and everyone exepct some rich SOBs.

Michael Droy , Feb 16, 2019 10:51:50 AM | link
The 'western' view of the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the "long-lost meaningless war", is that it was the catastrophic for the Soviet Union and led to its demise (pdf). That view is wrong. The war was neither meaningless, nor lost.

I think that is the "western" view that justifies throwing money at Nazis or terrorists in order to create problems for US enemies.
John Dowser , Feb 16, 2019 11:27:46 AM | link
@Ellis "I get stuck understanding what gathering lands might mean in this context"

It would seem to refer to the traditional move to expand the sphere to what is believed by some in Russia to be their "natural" dimensions: to add by various means including annexation all the Russian territories, East Slavic lands, Belarus and the Ukrainian regions

See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivan_III_of_Russia#Gathering_of_Rus%27_lands

In that light the Russian view of the conflict in Ukraine has to be understood: not just as reaction towards to expansion of EU and NATO but more as reaction against the EU/NATO's interference with Ukraine's direction of moving closer to the Russian sphere over time, seen as something inevitable unless countered with lots of effort, promises and energizing of radical movements or other nationalistic or young, pro-West groups.

In other words, some claims that the Kremlin desires to expand are not wholly unjustified. But as explained in the article some Russian leaders might see expansion as unavoidable and therefore deep down rational to pursue. One can counter this view with the remark that it's almost like some echo of the Soviet (and pseudo-Marxist) view of historical materialism. Ending at the time with transporting intellectuals who differed, to re-education camps as one concluded that something wrong "had to be wrong" with them, opposing the inevitable and rational! Search for the term "psycho-pathological mechanisms of dissent" to see how it might reflect some of the elite thinking in Russia still today!

Jackrabbit , Feb 16, 2019 11:47:39 AM | link
Surkov supports the 'Deep State' in Russia and elsewhere to the extent that he derides/undermines democratic process.

Surkov's viewpoint is aligned with that of the neocons. Neocons argue that democratic processes can not properly weigh matters that concern the 'Deep State'. Those that benefit from Deep State largess (MIC, intel agencies, oligarchs, and large corporations) naturally support that view.

The "Deep State" is ultimately class warfare. IMO the best that we can hope for (for now) is that 'Deep States' of the major powers will try to improve the lives of the ordinary people they govern as part of the State-to-State competition. A unilateral world order would have no such virtue. In such a world we would quickly feel the truth of: "We are all black, we are all Palestinian, we are all ... a plaything or a nuisance of the oligarchic in-group.

Hoarsewhisperer , Feb 16, 2019 12:14:10 PM | link Red Ryder , Feb 16, 2019 12:26:14 PM | link
There are a number of commenters here who, living up to their former ignorance on many topics, expose their lack of knowledge and understanding of things Russian.

Russia is a civilization. It's psyche is neither East nor West. It's vocabulary and syntax are not Western, either.

Surkov's work, even by ideologues of vast disparate differences is recognized as a political-literary work whose translation requires deft handling.
Think of de Tocqueville or some of Tom Paine.

And all Russian commenters at the highest level perceive exactly what his words and his construction means.

You might try reading Dmitri Orlov's translation. http://thesaker.is/putins-lasting-state-translated-by-dmitri-orlov/

You also, those of you who think you are more intelligent than Surkov, should want to read his article of last year. In that, he describes Russia's unique path forward. Use Yandex for a translation.

https://globalaffairs.ru/global-processes/Odinochestvo-polukrovki-14-19477

You will see the linkage from last year's article and this year's work. Surkov is a gifted "grey cardinal" whose intellect is valued by Putin.
When he speaks, and especially, when he writes, Sukov has the top echelon of Russia paying "deep attention".

If you fall for the word usage of Deep in this present work and equate it with our Western Deep State, you do not comprehend the Russian context.

Trailer Trash , Feb 16, 2019 12:38:36 PM | link
>The Deep State wants no competition, just obedience.
> Posted by: stonebird | Feb 16, 2019 8:33:39 AM | 10

This. This is the central organizing principle of Uncle Sam Land. Every interaction with the police and other state actors says: "Obey or Die". And they mean it, a thousand dead civilians a year. Every year.

Its not only black and brown people. I live in the whitest part of the whitest US state. It is rural, remote, and sparsely populated. White skin did not save my neighbor's brother who was gunned down in his own home. What really happened? Only the cops know, and they ain't sayin.

My conclusion is that the US police state is the inevitable result of imposing a top-down hierarchy on society. This is why skin color, clothes, education, religion, sex, income, etc. are so important: these characteristics and others are used to put everyone in their proper slot in the hierarchy, and to make sure everyone knows their place, and stays there.

Uncle Sam Land is a downwardly-mobile society. The fear of downward mobility keeps people passive, afraid, and easier to control. The lack of labor strife is a good example. After decades of failure, workers understand that most strikes and other job actions will end with less pay and worse working conditions.

The psychopathic scum at the top like it there and intend to stay, regardless of the cost to the peons, who only exist to serve the state. Therefore everyone is disposable. None of this is new, of course, but Bull-in-the-China-Shop Trump has done an excellent job of unintentionally shredding the facade of "freedom". It is now getting difficult even for establishment elites to ignore the nature of the machine they are dedicated to sustaining.

The Dear Leaders will not take a hint and step down, or work to create a more humane society where just being alive is good enough reason to get access to the Earth's bounty. Instead they will use even more violence to impose obedience. A near-monopoly on violence is what makes a nation-state, so violence is the only tactic it knows.

Can Russian really be a nation-state that is not based on hierarchy, violence and coercion? I'd like to think it could be possible, but I remain very, very skeptical.

Fiona Jenkins , Feb 16, 2019 1:01:10 PM | link
This is one of the few times I strongly disagree with (the brilliant political commentator) Moon of Alabama. A better perspective can be found here:

https://www.fort-russ.com/2019/02/its-time-for-super-putin-dugin-on-surkovs-putin-analysis/

And here is an excerpt:

I find that in the article of Surkov the main message is sincere and reflects the will of the current elites to self-preservation and to preserve the regime in an unchanged state and in the post-Putin period. So that Putin himself does not decide to change something by chance, he is reassured: everything is perfect. But sincerity does not mean truth. The solipsism of the ruling elite still cannot replace history and political logic. Therefore, Surkov's analysis of the state of the political regime in modern Russia is entirely and completely false in its very foundations.

Lohmann , Feb 16, 2019 1:10:09 PM | link Noirette , Feb 16, 2019 1:28:28 PM | link
Re. Surkov piece. http://thesaker.is/putins-lasting-state-translated-by-dmitri-orlov/

Any message that praises Russia and goes against demonising + slandering it is welcome to me. If it can prod some to re-think, I'm all for it.

The text is superficial, a straightforward 'bash others' and Laud the True Nation essay, close to school-boy-ish, grade 12.

The ability to hear and to understand the nation, to see all the way through it, through its entire depth, and to act accordingly -- that is the unique and most important virtue of Putin's government.

Is v. similar to the USA's mealy mouthed enshrining of demo-crassy, freee-dom and equality, etc. Putin may be doing a good job, is imho, but seeing into the entire depth etc. is hyperbole, .. OK, cultural standards differ.

It is adequate for the needs of the people, it follows the same course with it, and this means that it is not subject to destructive overloads from history's countercurrents. This makes it effective and long-lasting.

Many Kings Queens Despots Tyrants touted the same. Meaningless.

The various branches of government come together at the person of the leader and are considered valuable not in and of themselves but only to the extent to which they provide a connection with him. Aside from them, and acting around formal structures and elite groups, operate informal methods of communication.

Translation may be poor, styles of writing vary greatly in diff. cultures, etc. But what does it mean? Note the 'person of the leader'

Our state is not split up into deep and external; it is built as a whole, with all of its parts and its manifestations facing out.

Should be queried.

Missing is anything of substance, ex. method of Gvmt. of a large Federation (geographical, climate, cultural, variations..), which would be interesting to know about, put forward, for praise. E.g. health care, housing, transport, education - Relations with China, for ex.

Yes! I get it, that was not the point.

Puff Pieces don't address such practical matters.

Why is this article praised on MoA? One might write something very similar about Trump, Macron, Erdogan or Italy, etc.


vk , Feb 16, 2019 2:50:19 PM | link
I disagree with Surkov in the sense that, albeit it may have a political purpose for the specific historical time it was written, it doesn't have scientific value.

Modern Russia is a full-fledged capitalist country, therefore equally subject to the inner contradictions of the system. No, I don't think Russia is some kind of "third system". No, I don't think it is a stable society: it is full of inner contradictions. Yes, it has a different culture from the West. Yes, it is good Russia still exist. But let not kiss the cross: this Russia is not the future for humanity; unless it suddenly becomes socialist again, there's nothing there.

Jen , Feb 16, 2019 3:57:22 PM | link
The underlying message of Vladislav Surkov's essay is that the relationship between a leader and the nation he leads must be based on mutual trust, and that trust must be based on a system of governance that is transparent to all, and on foundations and values that a would-be leader must respect and with which s/he must align her/his own values and beliefs.

The foundations and values on which government relies and which the leader must always bear in mind (and heart as well) arise from the history or histories and the beliefs of the nation the leader governs.

The Chinese have a similar concept known as the Mandate of Heaven.

If the West ever had something similar to what Surkov is suggesting, it was embodied in the Social Contract.

The significant difference is that the West with its Roman Catholic / Protestant view of humans as having been born in sin and needing to be saved by belief in Jesus as their saviour (and the corollary that human nature essentially is incapable of moral and spiritual improvement, and can only be made perfect by being forced into the right spiritual path), has long been governed by a set of values that based on suspicion and mistrust of others. In a sense, much of European history (with its history of small states at constant war or rivalry against one another, which they later took beyond European bounds during the 15th century and after) and why it was so, compared to other parts of the world, might be explained as a result of societies based around a particular set of beliefs, values and view of the human condition.

The US Constitution with its checks and balances on the executive, legislative and judiciary functions of government reflects something of the view of humans as untrustworthy and essentially moral and spiritual infants, obsessed with their own immediate self-gratification and short-term interests. Much classical economics (with the belief in the free market and the idea that competing interests eventually reach a balance or equilibrium point) is based on this despairing view of humans; the neoliberal incarnation of classical economics exalts this view and portrays it as the ideal.

veritas semper vincit , Feb 16, 2019 9:38:37 PM | link
This was one of your best articles, and there's no short supply here. Thank you, Mr. B.
Russia is fulfilling old prophecies.
The country is an enormous mass land, between East and West, and because of this and its history, I believe it is the world 's balancer.
Russia has been to Hell and back and in the process managed to learn from past mistakes( and we have to remember that some of those mistakes, like the Bolshevik revolution, were financed by the west: Trotsky( Bronshtein) and his 2 Bil in today's money from Kuhn and Loeb Bank, Jacob Schiff, Lenin with millions in gold from Germany).
What did not kill Russia, made her stronger. Russia witnessed the "superior" US system, liberalism, during Yeltsin's era, not only communism. And Russia chose neither.
She chose Mr. Putin, a real patriot, who took Russia from her knees and elevated her to the role she has today: a superpower.
I don't think the Russians wanted this role, but they didn't have a choice. Somebody has to fight the psychopaths.
As for US, the coup d'erat was incremental: the cornerstone was in 1913, with the creation of the private Federal Reserve, with its 9 big banks shareholders,the root of all evil .Money created as debt( credit) and loaned to people with interest. Fractional reserve banking later. Everything else is bribes and blackmails.
Then 1963, the removal of the only semi independent president, who would have put a stop to their NWO.
1970's with replacement of Bretton Woods with the petro-dollar deal and the subsequent wars .
And 2001 as the grand finale: total control.
Now US has to protect the petro-dollar, the only think giving it relevance; This explains our wars, enemies, allies( like KSA).
Some say that US was a FreeMason construct from the very beginning. And looking at all Masonic signs: dollar bill, Statue of Liberty, apotheosis of Washington , Washington DC plans, most founding fathers, etc. they may be right.
Peter AU 1 , Feb 16, 2019 11:00:21 PM | link
psychohistorian "My thought is that Putin knows that the only way to limit the control of his internal oligarchs is to insure the fall of the private finance led Western system that they need to execute their perfidy."

I have watched a youtube video of Putin talking about the CIA victory parade in Moscow in the early nineties. I looked for this when I read Grieved's comment but could not find it. There was lot of anger - savagery perhaps a better word - in his voice.
When the US pulled out of the ABM treaty in, I think 2002, he initiated the research and development of deterrent that would bypass and make obsolete any US ABM system.
I think Putin will see out the US empire. Like the next gen weapons that were unveiled last year with the publication of Trump's Nuclear Posture Review, I believe Putin would have been working on the downfall of the US empire since the day he took office as president of the Russian federation.

Jackrabbit , Feb 16, 2019 11:30:35 PM | link
Jen, Grieved

The Mandate of Heaven is similar but IMO there are important differences.

1) Putinism is grounded in the people, not a heavenly authority.

2) It appears that Putinism has, or will have, specific mechanisms that are meant to keep the leader in tune with the people.

I wonder if the Orthodox church is part of that mechanism, given reporting by John Helmer:

PUTIN PROMOTES PATRIARCH'S PUTSCH


THE RUSSIAN COMMUNIST PARTY AND THE REVIVAL OF THE TSAR'S IDEOLOGY – ORTHODOXY, AUTOCRACY, NATIONALITY

3) Putinism is (by design?) transferable 0 it's being offered as a practical model that other countries can adopt / are adopting.

4) My sense is that Putinism transcends politics. There is a cultural aspect that rejects Western philosophy and theology.

The Western church has failed its moral mission. It was always compromised but now that "God is dead", Western political elites pay little heed to moral principle. Heartless neolibs and neocons meet with virtually no resistance as they comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted.

Coinciding with the moral decay, "checks and balances" have also failed. Western government debt has soared. Western political elites circumvent Constitutional rights and government oversight (by using cut-outs and foreign funding). Wealthy Westerners (the "people that matter") do not speak up - instead they keep tens of trillions "off-shore". And Western corporate presstitutes serve as a propaganda mouthpiece.

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

As many details are yet unknown, it's difficult to access how robust the "Deep Putin" model of politics and governance may be.

Russia's delineating their own independent path is somewhat good news for the West. It means that they will not be subservient to China. But Western neocon asshats might muck that up by probing every possible way of undermining Russia.

Repeating what I've said before: countries don't have friend's, the have interests -BUT- if a country hopes to rule the world, those interests must include some sort of morality. The West is reaping what it sowed. Will they take that to heart, or succumb to neocon asshats that always seek to double-down?

Peter AU 1 , Feb 16, 2019 11:58:59 PM | link
The American reality of today is the the polar opposite of what is known as the American Dream.

Putinism and the American Dream.
https://patrickarmstrong.ca/2018/06/20/yes-putin-once-dreamed-the-american-dream/

Putin began laying a solid foundation for a fair democracy in Russia shortly after coming to office.

Kalen , Feb 17, 2019 12:42:34 AM | link
Deep state exists in any state officially under any political system democracy and autocracy. As for Tsar letters from 1917 who confirmed that his was abandoned and power was taken over by security apparatus, the same was in 2014 in Ukraine that his personal security unit mutined while he, his family and two security guard we saved due to Russian help as they were evacuated from Donbass where rhetoric fled. Electoral theater makes no difference to deep state that continues until real and bloody revolution occurs, to create new deep state protecting ruling elite interests same in Russia, same in the US as Mills noticed over a century ago.

As they posited, when men want to rule without seeming to do so, .. because they cannot [openly] lay claim to the required legitimacy, they will rule invisibly and "benignly," shielding themselves behind the rhetoric of popular rule.

Although "authority [in the US supposedly] formally resides 'in the people,' . . . the power of initiation is in fact held by small circles of men."[In hands of behind the scenes ruling oligarchic elite]. This is not to be known. There is the risk that power becomes identified by its true colors. "That is why the standard strategy of manipulation is to make it appear that the people . . . 'really made the decision'" (ibid., 317).

This is the idea behind allowing people or as Lippmann described them "meddlesome spectators" to go through in fact meaningless voting ritual.

[In the US we have,] .. to use Sheldon Wolin's terminology, .. a "managed democracy," political form in which governments are legitimated by elections that they have learned to control," form of government that attempts to keep alive appearance of democracy while simultaneously defeating democracy's primary purpose, self-government.

As quoted above both, Tocqueville and Mills, identified hidden menacing power structure of fused state and private tyranny [also called Deep State] and its rules of control that are hidden, subtle unutterable, unspoken about, power that denies itself as power under guise of false free choice and propaganda of democratic participation.

The mere existence or if necessary exertion of this hidden power is the key ingredient in fragmenting population, producing masses of "sheeple" who lack capacity of self-understanding or even recognizing that they are being directly controlled both individually and collectively, that acquire their irrational/self-defeating behavior within a political realm.

Peter AU 1 , Feb 17, 2019 1:22:43 AM | link
Deep Russia.

Yeltsin had a lot of faults. He also appointed and sacked many prime ministers. He appointed Putin prime minister, then appointed Putin president to serve out the remainder of his own term. For all Yeltsin's faults, in appointing and sacking pm's, he was looking for somebody who could lead Russia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVitEiKkRZ8

I have watched this speech several times. Now I would have to term it Deep Russia.

Steve D Keith , Feb 17, 2019 2:41:26 AM | link
Back to the Future
George Orwell was born in Bihar, India. The name Bihar comes from the root word, Vihar, which means temple. An auspicious place. A place where we can understand the idea of time; the past, present and future as one. Mr Orwell certainly achieved this feat; perhaps destined to by virtue of the circumstances of his birth. He was, or at least his writings were, prophetic. He could see the reality of how the world was, because of how the people were and consequently he could see how the future would unravel, logically. He was not wrong then and he is not wrong in these darkened days in which we are dying.

In his masterpiece, 1984, he introduces us to a dystopian reality that has encompassed the globe; three fascistic power blocs of the northern hemisphere, Oceania, Eurasia and East Asia fighting each other for the resources of the southern hemisphere. London was the capital of Airstrip One, an offshore island and part of the superstate of Oceania (North America and the British Isles). She was at endless war with her neighbours, rivals and enemies in the battle for global domination, Eurasia (Europe and Russia) and East Asia (China and the states that border her today).

The debacle which has enveloped the United Kingdom and the European Union over the former's decision to withdraw from the latter's club, has created the opportunity for two thirds of this fiction to become real facts, eventually and inevitably forcing the hand of the Peoples Republic to realise a historical belief and vision, espoused many years before on the BBC's Dateline London programme by a Chinese TV journalist (London correspondent, probably), that if it looks Chinese, then it is Chinese. Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos would return to the bosom of the motherland, as Austria, the Sudatenland etc was annexed to the German fatherland.

All this because Russia and the Europeans would have come together, probably quite naturally, in response to Great Britain and Ireland having joined as the fifty first, second, third and fifty fourth states, of the United States. These four ancient nations will find no other way to resolve the #Brexit conundrum and they will see this as the only logical option - an English speaking block, based on common free trade ideals, that guarantees their sovereignty. It would appeal to each of the four nations, the English, Scots, Welsh and Irish, perhaps for different reasons but they would be accepting because their national ego's will be satisfied with this international recognition of each of their sovereign rights.

There is a certain historical inevitability about the whole thing. As a man who spent the formative years of his life in India, he will be aware of the darkness of the age in which we live, an age that the Hindus know as the age of Kali, Kal Yug. An age of darkness and destruction, of deviance and distrust. It is an age that has come before and that will come again, just as the golden ages have come and in time must pass again, back into history. Each has their time and their place. The creatures born in such an age must accept it and refuse to capitulate to it's mesmerising illusions. Of course they won't - it is all too mesmeric, the illusion too beautiful. The illusion of self, of nation, of country, of power, of right and of wrong. It is the illusion of the physical, of the material, of the possibilities of each, that will drive nations together into the power structures from which there will be no escape until the Armageddon, that is theoretically believed in by many of the participants, will arrive and the age will turn, again.

Montreal , Feb 17, 2019 4:03:32 AM | link
"Glubina" also means the Russian countryside (an analogy would be "la France profonde") - everywhere outside the cities is the "glubina" for which the people have a mystical attachment.

Western sanctions have been a great boon to Russian agriculture, as well cementing national solidarity. The new sanctions being contemplated in Washington will, if they are confirmed, act as a spur for Russia to quarantine itself against the next western financial collapse. My impression has always been that VVP greatly values stability and a reacts to attacks from the outside only reluctantly and after great thought as to where Russia's fundamental interests lie.

QuietRebel , Feb 17, 2019 4:18:22 AM | link
@james 37

Do you also agree with donkeytale's glibe comparison of the Putin go ernment to the Nazi Hitler regime and the Trump administration?

mourning dove , Feb 17, 2019 4:32:08 AM | link
I think that imperialism has invaded the Western psyche to such an extent that many people, particularly in the 5Eyes countries, seem to believe that their first impressions are of such weight and credibility that thoughtful consideration of a subject is unnecessary. This is apparent in so many of the comments here which come off as edicts or proclamations from on high and which treat alternative viewpoints with derision and contempt.

Conversely, many of the comments are thoughtful and well reasoned, open to other's views, but these are often drowned out. I can't be the only one who's noticed that someone here is using numerous identities in order to dominate the discussion, create consensus, and to "gang up" on people. It creates a microcosm of imperialism which, to me, speaks louder than any position or ethic that this keyboard emperor(ess) professes.

somebody , Feb 17, 2019 4:37:44 AM | link
Posted by: Pft | Feb 16, 2019 5:01:40 PM | 60

Yep. It is a joke.

somebody , Feb 17, 2019 4:54:50 AM | link
Add: This is John Helmers unsentimental summary on the recent attempt to find an "official" justification for power.

The issue is not political. It is the economic success of the Chinese model (which is very different from the Russian one, but Russia might get closer to it, than it is to Western neoliberalism).

And China is the present technological leader.

Jen , Feb 17, 2019 5:51:29 AM | link
Jack Rabbit @ 76:

In the doctrine of the Mandate of Heaven, the concept of Heaven encompasses the order of the natural world where the ruler governs the people, and is not merely concerned with humanity's relations with the spiritual world. If the natural world is beset by drought, famine or other natural disasters, that is a sign that the ruler is not caring for the people and the people have the right to overthrow that ruler.

The effects of drought, famine, flooding and some other natural disasters can be prevented, minimised or alleviated, sometimes to the extent that life can even carry on as if the disaster had not happened, so in the past emperors did have reason to fear prolonged or repeated disasters from one year to the next - because those disasters could very well be consequences of past inaction or past actions that were wrong or corrupt.

The concept doesn't advise or tell leaders how to stay in touch with the people; they presumably must figure this out for themselves to be effective leaders.

Spike , Feb 17, 2019 9:08:07 AM | link
"Globalization" would be the diminishing of the strength of the nation-states with the corresponding increase in the strength of the trading entities, the corporations. That's easy to reject!

But when the nation-states fade away because the traders have faded away and there's no longer any need to control and regulate them, then you have the dreamed about condition.

One can formulate any philosophy of government one wants, but it is certainly better that one not see trade as being natural and eternal.

Piotr Berman , Feb 17, 2019 9:14:50 AM | link
Understanding of Russia perplexed Westerners of centuries (Chinese did not seem to care too much). Genuine curiosity can be detected in news sections not related to politics, as it can be witnessed by an article in Forbes, Food and Drink section. Title and a quote:

Want To Find A Rich Person In Russia? Look For The Lemons
Lizzy Saxe Contributor, "I write about the future of food, business, and culture." Food & Drink

Quote: Harold noticed that "Russians consume a lot more lemons per capita than many other parts of the world. I was wondering, is that because they drink a lot of vodka? Is it because they're big tea drinkers? Why are they using so many lemons?" He started to investigate. He discovered that the answer wasn't quite that universal.

Unsurprisingly, lemons don't grow in Russia. It's too cold to produce them, so you have to buy them from far, far away. That makes the sour yellow citrus expensive. So expensive, in fact, that, "wealthy Russians really like to incorporate lemons into their lifestyle. It communicates to people that they have the means to be able to afford them. They call it the bling of produce."

====

Someone sold simple-minded Lizzy a tall story, and Russians and Russophiles have a hilarious stream of twits today. For a journalist in a business publication that should know a thing or two about marketing, the fact that a product has high per capita consumption should suggest that it is not restricted to the rich, unless the country in question has reversed income pyramid, enormous percentage of status seeking rich folks. In fact, since long time, tea drinking was popular in Russia, perhaps because their Siberian holdings required them to sell furs, Chinese mandarins like to have fur hats and fur trimmed robes, and China had to offer products to pay for those furs, and that was tea. Russians got hooked on tea -- as were the Mongols, Tibetans, all nations of Central Asia, iran etc. Tea that trades well at long distances was black and bitter. However, even a relatively small amount of vitamin C reduces bitterness a lot as it reacts with tea tannins (the same holds for another bitter drink, mate, but coffee bitterness is not caused by tannins, so adding lemon to coffee was never popular). The result was that even peasant families would possess samovars for making hot water for tea and brew tea in a hot spot at the samovar top, and would add thin slices of lemons to tea.

As a product needed for the welfare of the working class, lemon supplies were one of Communist priorities, I kid you not. In my youth in Communist Poland, a kilo of bananas and oranges would cost 40, while a kilo of lemons mere 30. The communist blocks produced some lemons, and was getting the rest from barter agreements with India, Brazil etc. In the stores, bananas and oranges could appear and disappear, but lemons were always there.

Of course, a household where lemons are always present would find some other uses. For example, borsch is an ubiquitous dish and it is based on beets that should be fermented for several days to create a sour taste, but in an urban household, beets were sliced, a lemon was squeezed and a borsch would be cooked right away. Fish would always be garnished with lemon etc. In other words, every urban household would use lemons every day, and those slices could add up (I am not sure about villages, there are also forest berries with vitamin C and sour taste, and villagers would collect a lot of them).

As posted on Twitter, the current store price of lemons in Russia is 1 dollar per kilogram, apparently the authorities keep lemon prices low, a tradition inherited from the Communist predecessors. Allegedly, this is the same as average lemon price in the international trade, but (a) Russia has long standing import tradition with low cost producers like India (b) the markup on lemons is low.

That said, it is quite possible that the Russian rich display lemons on their table, but the reasons are not as Harold surmised. In eastern and central Europe there is a strong conviction that the traditional food is healthy, good for soul and body. When my family visited Poland (we lived in USA), it was striking that tourist dominated town sections would have lots of foreign cousines, while the business section would have predominantly traditional food, stuff that "every" household would cook at home.

Noirette , Feb 17, 2019 9:17:57 AM | link
Sasha posted, 50:

..for Surkov unveiling all the Russian policy, internal and external, and that is too much asking

Yes, but I couldn't read beyond it (= between the lines, underneath, etc.), as you say:

Being his personal style of writing most of the time kind of confusing and always sounding like including hided and double meanings/senses

Maybe some stuff went over my head. I failed to grasp a deeper / more intruiging, vital, novel meaning or message.

Jen 54 points out that Good-Gvmt. is based on Trust, sure, like satisfactory business dealings, happy families and solid marriages .. not flash news.

The Saker is potty about Putin and will post anything that idolises the Great Leader (say.)

I'm a 'fan', of Putin and Lavrov myself, and have nothing against Surkov, but going overboard on personalia vs. pol / economic systems, resources, geography etc. is a distraction.

If framed properly it is OK: Who is the nicer person, Ocasio-Cortez or Gabbard? Would Megan M. be a better Queen than Kate M.? Etc.

donkeytale , Feb 17, 2019 10:03:38 AM | link
@james 37

Do you also agree with donkeytale's glibe comparison of the Putin go ernment to the Nazi Hitler regime and the Trump administration?

Posted by: QuietRebel | Feb 17, 2019 4:18:22 AM | 83

Of course he doesn't agree with that "glib comparison."

Neither do I.

What I introduced was a simile to illustrate my implication that Surkov is hardly an objective observer of the Russian political system and thus not creditable in this instance.

But nice bit of of setting a trap for James to keep him captured within community standards of subjectivity. Lol

Also, y'know, if you have any issues with my comment you could, y'know, raise them with me directly.

I will state that Trump would of course enjoy the comparison with Putin, since he is on record as an admirer, would also love to jail his political opponents at election time (as Putin does), clearly enjoys using his political power to enrich himself (as Putin also does), and surely would love to find a way to circumvent term limits to remain President for life (as Putin does). This last may be necessary to keep himself, his family and flunkies out of prison.

In other notes, LMAO at all the high falutin rhetorical flights of fancy in this thread extolling the Godlike virtues of the Russian people and Putin, the Chinese "Mandate of Heaven" etc.

This is doubtlessly inspired by Surkov's own flight of fancy in his essay. Yes, the Russian people are to be commended for their centuries of struggle to overcome their historically sad socioeconomic plight and of course for defeating the Nazis (don't know how much credit I can give the Russian people for defeating Napoleon---that one seemed much more like a win for the czarist forces of oppression as opposed to liberation of the masses).

Putin is a great leader and statesman, easily the most accomplished on the world scene today. The problem lies not with him necessarily. The problem is with Surkov's fantasy as it infects the usual suspects in this thread, who should know well but will never admit (because their goal is to rhetorically reinforce a prevailing blog narrative rather than strive to attain the synthesis of truth--that is, the honest intellectual pursuit of knowledge through debate, point and counterpoint) that one man can never successfully embody the political system and the political system cannot adequately reflect the greatness of one man --- for more than the life of that one man --- because that one man is not a god and will eventually wither away and die.

Thus the system he embodies and animates with his greatness cannot be replicated indefinitely after he goes, if it can be sustained even with his immediate successor.

This is a lesson obtained from history, religious texts, legends, mythology. Man is weak, evil, greedy, all the seven sins. Someone mentioned the US Constitution was formulated as a defense mechanism against agains the perfidy of man and of course it was! Lol. Imperfect as it is look we can fight off Trump much better than the Russians will be able to fight off a future Trumpkov.

The Chinese could not reach their present level of capitalist/imperialist success until Mao was long gone, his cult of personality repudiated and replaced by a "communist" party from which succession is dependent more on bureaucrats than charismatic leaders.

Hatred of the Evil Empire doesn't automatically confer righteousness to its opponents no matter how flowery the oratory supporting such contention.

Especially when the so-called opponents aren't even truly ideological opponents but in fact erely represent differing spheres of influence and trading blocs, at worst.

Mike , Feb 17, 2019 11:33:10 AM | link
donkeytale | Feb 17, 2019 10:03:38 AM | 91

That's an awfully long way of just saying that Russia after Putin is very unlikely to be an improvement along commonly accepted metrics over Russia with Putin, or that whatever Putin has changed will guarantee a modicum of continuity past the next, say, two Russian leaders. Same type of thing for China, but for both you seem to amplify the effects of the few pro-Russia/pro-China posts into more than they are, including a narrative that you attribute to the owner of the blog (b)? And I don't see anyone making the argument that "hatred" of the "Evil Empire" automatically confers righteousness to the adversary(ies) other than perhaps that, given the history, it's nice to see there might actually be some adversaries who may not simply fold and fall in line. They still may, but unlikely.

I kinda wish someone would have talked about - or at least explicitly - the fact that all the praise being heaped on Putin is still just praise for a man and his accomplishments, which to my knowledge don't involve concrete changes to the Russian constitution (or equivalent - not much of a Russia scholar myself) that might serve to "guarantee" (insofar as it's ever possible) that future leaders in his position are constrained or empowered in such a fashion that they are most likely to govern in Putin-esque terms.

I dunno, maybe I should read the essay linked by b, but I can't muster much interest in reading propaganda no matter where it's coming from. To me it's sufficient to know that even if they're just different spheres of influence or competing trading blocs, it's nice that the world isn't necessarily doomed to unipolar US/UK dominance - again, given their sordid history, including the very recent. AND I think it's good that the other side is being presented in such a manner as to reach at least a small western audience given the way the corporate MSM has openly censored any such prose and banned any such thought.

I also happen to think that presenting the other side humanizes the Russians and even Putin and provides a bit of understanding into how they view themselves, all of which and all of the above being helpful in synthesizing a worldview on those matters as well as choosing an appropriate lens through which to view the one-sided, hysterical, often evidence-free, accusations of election tampering, utility grid hacking, and the supposed desire to see "western democracy" toppled, as you might expect to see from someone on NBC or from craigsummers.

QuietRebel , Feb 17, 2019 11:55:52 AM | link
@donkeytale
You blame me for misinterpting you comment, but you are the one who added the Nazi and Trump tropes. If you just wanted to make a point about propaganda you you have just posted the first part of your comment,but you went on. Putin is often seriously compared to Hitler,and you expect me to be able to read your mind when you make a comparison of Putin to Hitler. I stand by my original comment.
donkeytale , Feb 17, 2019 12:02:48 PM | link
Mike, I'm nothing if not longwinded....lol.

I also tend to add layers of digressions which lengthen my statements but don't help me necessarily because it gives more ammo to attack me on one of those instead of my main point.

I don't disagree with anything you say here. Also, as often happens after I post I notice Noirette has also posted a more concise, better made point right above mine.

Noirette rocks.

The Surkov essay is well worth reading, IMHO and shouldn't be dismissed because it's propaganda. It reads more liek self-justification to me but it has blatant logical/historical issues as Noirette points out.

As for the comments by others who drive in automatic extoll the virtues mode all the time, perhaps it is just a figment of my overheated imagination.

Montreal , Feb 17, 2019 12:09:23 PM | link
@93. "Putin enjoys using his political power to enrich himself." Now, you may be right, or you may be wrong, but I am damned if I know how you know. Over the years, the number of times I have been told that Putin secretly owns MTS, Surgutneft, etc etc, that his money is looked after in Zurich (and someone knows his fund managers!). The point being of course is to brand him as a greedy self-serving bandit like all the rest.

I would very much doubt that he keeps wealth outside Russia. Given the theme of this discussion, this is an important distinction. The Panama Papers showed, for example, that Poroshenko has stashed obscene sums of money, presumably looted from Ukraine, in the Caribbean (as have thousands of Russians), so when the time for looting is over, they can go and live the life of rich men in the West.

Putin lives and dies with Russia - there will be no comfortable retirement for him in Switzerland, assuming that he wanted it, which I am sure he doesn't. The Russians know this.

Constantine , Feb 17, 2019 12:15:26 PM | link
I would heartily recommend Dugin's respond to Surkov's essay. Whatever views one holds for Dugin's various works, this is a very somber analysis.

https://www.fort-russ.com/2019/02/its-time-for-super-putin-dugin-on-surkovs-putin-analysis/

donkeytale , Feb 17, 2019 12:16:41 PM | link
QR,

No worries, I'm not blaming you at all, and I'm not asking you to retract or anything. I disagree with you that I was making a glib comparison. In quickly searching for similes I came up with those 2, mainly because I thought they were funny.

Of course, Russia today doesn't compare with Nazi Germany. I apologise if I offended you even though a comparison was not my intent. In my way of seeing the blogosphere, it is always on the writer when the reader miscomprehends. I sought to clarify not blame you.

Quite frankly, the US, China and Russian systems all have much more in common than any of them do with Nazi Germany.

David , Feb 17, 2019 12:18:14 PM | link
It's important to note that the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan was not an invasion. The legitimate Afghan government requested Soviet military intervention, and the Soviets actually hesitated to send military assistance.

From this phone conversation between Taraki (President of Afghanistan) and Kosygin (Soviet Premier), Taraki says:

We ask you that you extend practical and technical assistance, involving people and arms.

In the phone conversation, Taraki begs for military aid from the Soviet Union, but is greeted with hesitation since "It is a very complex matter", as Kosygin put it.

Russia's cause in Afghanistan and Syria are the same -- fighting terrorism -- but only the former is dubbed an "invasion" when it was a perfectly legal police action (unlike the Yankee aggression against Vietnam) under international law.

juliania , Feb 17, 2019 12:28:47 PM | link
Grieved @67 and 68

I agree with your understandings but would take them further:

1)"...that inherent genius of Putin to identify with the ordinary people..."

Here I would expand the term to include all the people, the elites as well as the ordinary (supposing that to mean less well-off). It is important to remember that Putin did offer the wealthy a choice - either to leave or be prosecuted, or to use their wealth in service to the nation. Surov doesn't just mean 'deep nation' to be the earthy folk - he wants every stratum included, and that is what makes it such an all-encompassing enigmatic force. It would include Putin's political opposition as well as the old vestiges of the communist state. All of these are being given the opportunity to contribute, just as all ethnic communities do. And each will be at one point or another asked to sacrifice - as for instance seniors with respect to their pensions - when the need arises. The difference here is that they are not being 'told' this is what is going to happen, like it or lump it - they are given detailed explanations and apologies that this needs to happen for the short term to enable the long term to happen - how different this from what goes on in the US when it comes to state policy![to be continued]

Jackrabbit , Feb 17, 2019 12:29:38 PM | link
Jen

In MoH doctrine the people are an agent of Heaven. Surkov's Deep Putin(tm)/Putinism is an agent of the People. That's why I write @ "Les gens, c'est moi").

MoH Dynastic change includes war/foreign intrigue. That is dangerous in today's world. Under MoH, for example, a Color Revolution stoked by foreign interests becomes a divine manifestation.

Immediate context: It seems to me that there is still much resistance to the turn away from the West, despite it's being forced upon Russia. Many Russian elites could benefit greatly by a reversal. These elites form a competing 'Deep State'.

Piotr Berman , Feb 17, 2019 1:10:20 PM | link
"This unique Russian system makes it superior:

The contemporary model of the Russian state starts with trust and relies on trust. This is its main distinction from the Western model, which cultivates mistrust and criticism. And this is the source of its power."

This is propagandist picture, the reality is less bright for sure, but not THAT bleak. As we are all to well aware, trust is something that can be earn or inculcated by other means. However, it a government wants to be trusted, it helps to focus on what people want.

For example, after the oil prices declined from 90-100 range to 40-ties with subsequent oscillation -- now ca. 55 (Brent and Urals ca. 65), Putin responded with almost terrifying decisiveness. Rubble depreciated by factor 2 or more, in line with oil. Imports were slashed correspondingly. Positive balance of trade was maintained. A huge chunk of foreign reserves was pulled back and Russian debt was sharply reduced. Real incomes were allowed to drop, to meagerly rise afterwards. HOWEVER, as a commentator noted very briefly, the employment did not drop, and thus the number of people severely affected was small. There was a drop in construction, but a rise in agriculture and to lesser extend, manufacturing. Russia engaged in "import substitution". Russian lost growth of incomes but preserved stability, and the majority preferred it that way: oil crisis in an oil country must foster an economic crisis, so the choice was for some minority to loose a lot or everybody loosing a little.

These choices perplexed observers in Western media. Just because it is popular, Russia decreased free trade, competition and "mobility of labour" that The Economist tirelessly advocates. And forget about "free financial markets". But what about "necessary painful reforms"?

Actually, being a budget freak, Putin does have painful stuff on the agenda. Russia amassed reserves during "fat years", but with oil contributing much less to the budget, some taxes have to go up and some benefits have to go down. Road tolls were introduced and truckers rebelled. Retirement age was increased and the popularity of Putin dropped. However, in each case the government modulated the "reforms" with concessions, and of course, it keeps making the case why the reforms are needed, so truckers are still trucking, and the retirement reforms were not entirely abandoned. The popularity is still quite healthy, if not in the stratosphere.

In other words, Putin's government is very cautious and strategic about "necessary painful" stuff that Western politicians dish quite freely. What insanity overtook them to keep pushing for "ever more free trade"? Or foreign interventions -- where are the crowds of Britons of France being jubilant that a few countries got destroyed and refugees are flooding in, documenting the superiority of the economic/political system, voting with their legs?

But what about Putin's own interventions? Again, we can see strategic and careful approach. In the case of Crimea, ca. 80% are glad that it was absorbed by Russia, and in Crimea itself the percentage may be higher. In the case of Syria, Russia made a huge effort to keep costs down, both in treasure and blood, and effects up, Syrians being trained to do the bulk of heavy lifting, and ACTUALLY doing that -- unlike hapless Afghan army etc.

Lastly, the deep state. In Russian there is a newish word "siloviki" = "people of strength/power", and they are definitely a material phenomenon rather than a myth. The main difference is that in the West, the smart people work for financial services, or big pharma etc., and intellectually, the "deep state" is very, very mediocre, the casting of The Ministry of Silly Walks.

Jackrabbit , Feb 17, 2019 1:27:24 PM | link
Putinism sounds a lot like Erdogan's MB-infused nationalism. Erdogan propagandists/apologists conflate the people's interests and Erdogan's policies/actions to the point that they are essentially the same. Erdogan thus embodies the people and critics are perceived as traitors.

Kurov hints at an institutional mechanism(s) that:

1) ensures Putinism remains connected to the people/people's interests, and

2) is able to be adoptable by other countries.


Looking forward to details of this mechanism that might elevate Kurov's Deep Putin(tm) from propaganda to political model.
Piotr Berman , Feb 17, 2019 3:29:35 PM | link
Piotr Berman @107

So you're saying that Putinism is a philosophical approach to governance that doesn't have (or has no need for) institutional mechanism(s) for correctness and longevity? Jackrabbit | Feb 17, 2019 1:42:39 PM

I am not a great believer in "philosophical approaches". More precisely, you can design a mechanism that will surely work badly, but you cannot assure good outcomes with a "mechanism". US constitution is pretty good, but if the Congress members, President etc. choose to be beholden to special interests and the population tolerates it, then hard to see how it could be improved with, say, proportional representation, ban on moving from key political and administrative position to lucrative posts in private sector etc.

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

Someone compared Putin to Erdogan. One big difference is that Putin is very careful, plans long term and gets approval from a decisive majority, using "dirty tricks" like actually paying attention to what people want. Erdogan gets 50% of popular support and when in doubt, increases repressions, censorship etc. If you compare with Turkey, China, etc., the hand of the state in Russia is pretty light, opposition minded people may have newspapers, websites, if demonstrations are "illegal" the demonstrators are released quickly etc. If you are a policeman or a prison guard in Russia who killed a person, the chances of getting seriously sentenced are much higher than in USA where those professions enjoy considerable impunity -- which is used.

brian , Feb 17, 2019 3:46:11 PM | link
'Why Russia no longer regrets its invasion of Afghanistan'

FYI russia nver 'invaded' afghanistan! it was asked to help by the legit govt in Kabul

james , Feb 17, 2019 4:24:34 PM | link Blooming Barricade , Feb 17, 2019 4:26:54 PM | link
It's a shame that they "apologised" to begin with. They were wrong to have ever done so. The recent dialogue over this war by the US media laughing at Trump and telling him off for calling the Mujahideen terrorists (which they were) as opposed to "freedom fighters" has amazingly been phrased as "Trump's comments aren't in line with what the US believed at the time," as opposed to citing actual opinion, ie the US's opinion is "reality" on every given event regardless of the facts. By far the worst part of this is that I don't even think that the individual journos are purposefully propagandising the public, they actually believe that the US tells the truth. Similarly, the New York Times intelligence editors wrote that they learn the most from the official DNI presentation meetings. Aren't reporters supposed to go beyond what the government tells them? Sad, so sad....
Grieved , Feb 17, 2019 5:51:12 PM | link
Not only were the Russians invited - even beseeched - into Afghanistan, the locals still remember them with great fondness and respect. Andre Vltchek took a drive through that country in 2017 and reported that very fact:

Andre Vltchek: On the road in Afghanistan - Lies, legends and myths

karlof1 , Feb 17, 2019 7:03:33 PM | link
Grieved @126--

Yes, the last chapter in the Anti-Communist Crusade consists of the massive Big Lie about the USSR and Afghanistan--many within the Outlaw US Empire think Rambo-3 was based on fact, particularly the Soviet Sadism. The Truth is almost the exact opposite of the West's propaganda as was even clear at the time for those of us who relied on different print sources and already knew not to believe the false narrative generated by the Crusade.

hopehely , Feb 17, 2019 8:31:02 PM | link
Posted by: vk | Feb 17, 2019 5:34:14 PM | 124
Even Russian banks still bow the Americans:
Russia's Gazprombank freezes accounts of Venezuela's PDVSA: source

PDVSA denies it.

donkeytale , Feb 17, 2019 9:10:39 PM | link
vk, james, pft, et al

One would have to be incredibly naive on the order of say a 3 year old or maybe Forrest Gump to believe Putin isn't a very wealthy man who will never want for anything as long as he has billionaire cronies indebted to him politically in one way or the other.

Of course, some people must cling to their illusions, er I mean their idealism, of others no matter what. Dog knows why.

Thomas Piketty :

More generally, the Soviet disaster led to the abandon of any ambition of redistribution. Since 2001, income tax is 13%, whether your income be 1,000 roubles or 100 billion roubles. Even Reagan and Trump have not gone as far in the destruction of progressive taxation. There is no tax on inheritance in Russia, nor in the People's Republic of China. If you want to pass on your fortune in peace in Asia, it is better to die in the ex-Communist countries and definitely not in the capitalist countries such as Taiwan, South Korea or Japan where the tax rate on inheritance on the highest estates has just risen from 50% to 55%.

But while China has succeeded in conserving a degree of control on capital outflows and private accumulation, the characteristic of Putin's Russia is an unbounded drift into kleptocracy. Between 1993 and 2018, Russia had massive trade surpluses: approximately 10% of GDP per annum on average for 25 years, or a total in the rage of 250% of GDP (two and a half years of national production). In principle that should have enabled the accumulation of the equivalent in financial reserves. This is almost the size of the sovereign public fund accumulated by Norway under the watchful gaze of the voters. The official Russian reserves are ten times lower – barely 25% of GDP.

Where has the money gone? According to our estimates, the offshore assets alone held by wealthy Russians exceed one year of GDP, or the equivalent of the entirety of the official financial assets held by Russian households. In other words, the natural wealth of the country, (which, let it be said in passing, would have done better to remain in the ground to limit global warming) has been massively exported abroad to sustain opaque structures enabling a minority to hold huge Russian and international financial assets. These rich Russians live between London, Monaco and Moscow: some have never left Russia and control their country via offshore entities. Numerous intermediaries and Western firms have also recouped large crumbs on the way and continue to do so today in sport and the media (sometimes this is referred to as philanthropy). The extent of the misappropriation of funds has no equal in history.


evilempire , Feb 17, 2019 10:03:14 PM | link
It might be that russia has invested its surplus into massive internal
investment, like the military with projects such as the technopolis and
rebuilding its industrial base and technical expertise. I've read that
russia was acutely consciousness of the demonic game empire was playing
and maybe that accounts for the concentration on the military. Russia is again
a military superpower and that requires enormous expenditure and investment. For
the well-nigh impossible task of simultaneously being a servant of the people
and a servant of the supreme being, putin seems to be doing as admirable a job
as any human being is capable. He is certainly supremely intelligent, maybe a
political genius, and a decent person, but as the article points out he is
just the tip of the iceberg of the deep russian culture and spirit, honed by
centuries of suffering. Didn't dostoevsky say that suffering was the beginning of
consciousness? This is where russia has the decadent west beaten, because obscene
wealth corrupts obscenely. Italy also seems to have found decent leadership.
Grieved , Feb 17, 2019 10:16:17 PM | link
There's a great clip at Vesti News right now, with Karen Shakhnazarov on Vladimir Soloviev's show. It's 12 minutes but I highly recommend it. He talks around the 6 minute mark about how Russia has not developed an economic model, and needs to get one. The US has one, China has one, Russia needs one.

This evolves into the concept that a nation has to have an IDEA of what it's doing and where it's going, something that it believes in. Soloviev joins in at the end with some excellent commentary too.

Russia is looking for its way forward, and the debate is open and intense throughout the country.

The clip also has the usual matter-of-fact, clear-eyed perspective on the US - hence the title of the clip by the headline-lovin' gang at Vesti - but in the end it's about the crucial survival value of meaning in a nation's life, with lives being lived meaningfully, from the soul.

Top Russian Expert: American Elites Too Busy Swindling Their Own People to Fight Russo-Sino Alliance

evilempire , Feb 18, 2019 12:41:36 AM | link
There is an article over at russia insider that debunks the picketty report;
https://russia-insider.com/en/business/west-attacks-russia-pickettys-
overblown-claims-abour-oligarch-wealth/ri24927
pogohere , Feb 18, 2019 1:34:24 AM | link
somebody @86

A very useful interview of John Helmer, an Australian journalist who began reporting from Russia in 1989.

2-14-19

John Helmer and a special, Gorilla Radio double-yolker, getting to know too much about Russia.

~52 min

As the first cracks of the Soviet Empire's eroding iron facade opened, Australian-born author, political essayist, professor of political science, and policy advisor to presidents and prime ministers, John Helmer headed for Moscow, determined to establish what was to become the longest continuously operating foreign press bureau in the capital.

From his position as an independent of single-national, or commercial sponsorship reporter, he ventured into the country's unpredictable, and often precarious economic transition period; a time that would see coup attempts, the undoing of international political superstar, Mikhail Gorbachev, and fall of Russia's communist system itself. It would too usher in the tempestuous Age of the Oligarchs.

Some of John Helmer's book titles include: 'The Deadly Simple Mechanics of Society', 'Drugs and Minority Oppression', (with Claudia Wright) 'The Jackal's Wedding – American Power, Arab Revolt', 'Grand Strategy for Small Countries, Case Studies in Transforming Weakness into Power,' (and with Ajay Goyal) 'Uncovering Russia'. His latest book is the newly out political and personal memoir, 'The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia'.


pogohere , Feb 18, 2019 1:34:24 AM | link pogohere , Feb 18, 2019 2:04:52 AM | link
evilempire @ 141

Awara link to RI article

THE CASE AGAINST THOMAS PIKETTY. LIES, DAMNED LIES, AND STATISTICS. THE TRUE LEVEL OF INCOME AND WEALTH INEQUALITY IN RUSSIA.

evilempire , Feb 18, 2019 4:06:20 AM | link
For the real scoop on russia read Andrei Martyanov
at his Reminiscence of the Future blog:

https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com

Peter AU 1 , Feb 18, 2019 5:02:41 AM | link
The "Deep Nation of Russia". An apt title.
Earlier in the thread I put up a link to Yeltsin's speech. Putin when asked in interviews about some of the things that happened in the 90's is exceptionally angry, yet when asked of his views on Gorbachev and Yeltsin, he says that everybody knew Russia, or the Soviet Union at that time, had to change, but nobody knew how.
Russia like China cannot be looked at in the same perspective as so called western nations, who's politics and outlook derives from westminster.
China is east. Russia is where east meets west.
vk , Feb 18, 2019 7:28:37 AM | link
PDVSA has just denied the Reuters story:

Pdvsa desmiente falsa noticia sobre bloqueo de banco ruso

But I think my point in general stands: Russia is still vulnerable to American sanctions in the financial sector. Otherwise, it wouldn't be working on another system and buying gold.

[Feb 18, 2019] See the real connection between the fake Steele Dossier and the Skipal hoax

Feb 18, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

war is coming , February 17, 2019 at 9:37 pm

See the real connection between the fake Steele Dossier and the Skipal hoax.

The UK MI6 is behind everything with Australia and Nato. War with Russia is coming to avoid the Brexit. It has been planned 5 years ago. The Brexit is just a good excuse.

The continued NATO harassment, sanctions and campaigns of lies and false accusations against Russia, including the blatant war rhetoric of the British Defence Secretary, do not bode well for the future. For the US to tear up nuclear arms treaties and then blame Russia is beyond shameful: it is destroying all possibility of negotiations to avert war. The Kerch Strait incident staged by the puppet regime in Kiev, sending gunboats into the Kerch Strait without observing the 2003 Protocol requiring them to notify in advance the Port of Kerch (a protocol observed by the dozens of ships that go through the Strait peacefully every day) was clearly part of a NATO plan to set up a major naval clash in the Black Sea.

That clash (followed by an attempt to recapture Crimea or at least blow up its magnificent bridge, a reproach to a man who cannot even build a wall) may be expected in coming months, perhaps as a distraction from Brexit or a way of derailing it. NATO, in short, is on a clear trajectory towards war with Russia, which their deluded worldview convinces them they can win.

Their initial use of Russia as a scapegoat and bogeyman to unite the NATO vassals against a common threat, keeping Europe in subjection to America, has got out of hand, and is heading, under the impetus of hysterical rhetoric, towards actual war. Unless decent people unite to stop this escalation then the nuclear catastrophe will occur.

Exposing the barefaced lie of the Skripal false flag attack may be a step towards averting that global cataclysm.

http://thesaker.is/the-alternative-skripal-narrative/

[Feb 18, 2019] Spreading The Fake Smollett MAGA Country Hate Crime A Mainstream Media Montage

Feb 18, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Yes CNN, the walls are closing in ... on the mainstream media.

Meanwhile perhaps it's time for CNN's "media janitor", Brian Stelter, who is oh so quick to point out the bias in every other network except his own, tackle the most difficult and embarrassing question : why were the mainstream - and fringe - journalists who were skeptical of Smollett's claims, attacked and forced to self-censor when the case was unfolding, and will continue to self-censor knowing that if they criticize Smollett directly they would be accused of homophobia and racism?


hooligan2009 , 28 minutes ago link

congress passed the "magnitsky act" that allows the seizure of assets of anyone deemed to be a political enemy of libtard socialist welfare statists (despite the fact that Magnitsky did the books for Browder who evaded Russian taxes in the hundreds of millions of dollars as part of a western conspiracy to strip mine the Russian economy - even Magnitsky mother said that he was not murdered by the Russian police).

there needs to be a "smollett act" that penalizes anyone that publicly demonizes a race, color, creed or religion by inciting malice/hatred/discrimination against another race/color/religion/creed without proof.

blacks/whites/yellows/browns can be racist, sexist, agist, mithandristic, mysogynistic or any other form of discrimination. 95% of all people are not that way. positive discrimination is just as evil as negative discrimination.

time to enforce and strengthen race hate laws.

the penalties should start with a BAN on using social media or the MSM to further their views that "guilty by gossip, conjecture and fomentation of societal discord (aka. disturbing the peace) " overturns the basic legal tenet of "innocent until proven guilty".

NiggaPleeze , 2 hours ago link

Instead we once again see CNN and virtually all other left-leaning mainstream outlets spreading legitimately fake news like wild-fire

Right, and when Booker and Fairfax were accused of sexual assault/rape, all of the right-leaning mainstream outlets were very skeptical. https://video.foxnews.com/v/6000182150001/#sp=show-clips

Fact is partisanship is a mental disease that affects the Left and Right - ends justify the means. Obvious example: if Obama were to use a National Emergency to take action Congress expressly rejected and Obama signed into law, people on the right would call for impeachment and make all kinds of nasty accusations; when Trump does it, they cheer. There is no principle there, it's pure partisanship.

Perfect example also is the Fox news clip linked above. The Fox pundit asks increduously "why would these women smear him? what do they have to gain?", but I can guarantee you he wasn't asking those same questions when Kavanaugh was being accused.

Partisanship - an evil consuming little minds.

Ophiuchus , 3 hours ago link

When you own the medium, you own the message.

We are completely fucked with no way out until the grid goes down.

Quit gaslighting the country. Give the worthy a break, Trump; please shut the grid down and leave it down for a year.

Drop-Hammer , 3 hours ago link

This is a classic Christ-killing *** tactic straight from Saul Alinsky (Hillary's mentor). Since the kikes control all U.S. media from print media to broadcast media to Internet social media, they will never be called to account. They simply either make up the lie or they spread/broadcast/'retweet' the lie until it is a meme. If they are caught in the act, they merely let it drop or issue some half-assed mea culpa, but the damage is done/the innocent are tarred until the next lie is fabricated or spread. Of course, the lies/mendacity are against only white Christian Heritage Americans. Kikery at its most demonic. Someone once said that 'A lie has made its way around the world, before the truth has gotten out of bed.'

Oh, off topic but important to note that the *** press also spikes/stifles relevant facts in stories such as the fact that yesterday's Aurora, Illinois shooter (who killed five white people and shot and injured five police officers) was a ******. If he had been white, the guy's face would be plastered over every page and screen in America with the *** media screaming for gun control.

[Feb 17, 2019] Trump is Russian asset memo is really neocon propaganda overkill

Highly recommended!
The ability of those in power to manipulate the ways ordinary people think, act and vote has allowed for an inverted totalitarianism which turns the citizenry into their own prison wardens, allowing those with real power to continue doing as they please unhindered by the interests of the common man.
In neoliberal MSM there is positive feedback loop for "Trump is a Russian agent" stories. So the meme feeds on itself.
Notable quotes:
"... And yet the trending, most high-profile stories about Trump today all involve painting him as a Putin puppet who is working to destroy America by taking a weak stance against an alarming geopolitical threat. This has had the effect of manufacturing demand for even more dangerous escalations against a nuclear superpower that just so happens to be a longtime target of U.S. intelligence agencies. ..."
"... the mass media is not in the business of reporting facts, it's in the business of selling narratives. Even if those narratives are so shrill and stress-inducing that they imperil the health of their audience. ..."
"... Trump is clearly not a Russian asset, he's a facilitator of America's permanent unelected government just like his predecessors, and indeed as far as actual policies and administration behavior goes he's not that much different from Barack Obama and George W Bush. Hell, for all his demagogic anti-immigrant speech Trump hasn't even caught up to Obama's peak ICE deportation years ..."
"... Used to be that the U.S. mass media only killed people indirectly, by facilitating establishment war agendas in repeating government agency propaganda as objective fact and promulgating narratives that manufacture support for a status quo which won't even give Americans health insurance or safe drinking water ..."
"... Now they're skipping the middle man and killing them directly by psychologically brutalizing them so aggressively that it ruins their health, all to ensure that Democrats support war and adore the U.S. intelligence community . ..."
"... The social engineers responsible for controlling the populace of the greatest military power on the planet are watching France closely, and understand deeply what is at stake should they fail to control the narrative and herd ordinary Americans into supporting U.S. government institutions. ..."
"... The ability of those in power to manipulate the ways ordinary people think, act and vote has allowed for an inverted totalitarianism which turns the citizenry into their own prison wardens, allowing those with real power to continue doing as they please unhindered by the interests of the common man. ..."
Jan 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The always excellent Moon of Alabama blog has just published a sarcasm-laden piece documenting the many, many aggressive maneuvers that this administration has made against the interests of Russia, from pushing for more NATO funding to undermining Russia's natural gas interests to bombing Syria to sanctioning Russian oligarchs to dangerous military posturing.

<picture deleted>

And yet the trending, most high-profile stories about Trump today all involve painting him as a Putin puppet who is working to destroy America by taking a weak stance against an alarming geopolitical threat. This has had the effect of manufacturing demand for even more dangerous escalations against a nuclear superpower that just so happens to be a longtime target of U.S. intelligence agencies.

If the mass media were in the business of reporting facts, there would be a lot less "Putin's puppet" talk and a lot more "Hey, maybe we should avoid senseless escalations which could end all life on earth" talk among news media consumers. But there isn't, because the mass media is not in the business of reporting facts, it's in the business of selling narratives. Even if those narratives are so shrill and stress-inducing that they imperil the health of their audience.

Like His Predecessors

Trump is clearly not a Russian asset, he's a facilitator of America's permanent unelected government just like his predecessors, and indeed as far as actual policies and administration behavior goes he's not that much different from Barack Obama and George W Bush. Hell, for all his demagogic anti-immigrant speech Trump hasn't even caught up to Obama's peak ICE deportation years.

If the mass media were in the business of reporting facts, people would be no more worried about this administration than they were about the previous ones, because when it comes to his administration's actual behavior, he's just as reliable an upholder of the establishment-friendly status quo as his predecessors.

Used to be that the U.S. mass media only killed people indirectly, by facilitating establishment war agendas in repeating government agency propaganda as objective fact and promulgating narratives that manufacture support for a status quo which won't even give Americans health insurance or safe drinking water.

Now they're skipping the middle man and killing them directly by psychologically brutalizing them so aggressively that it ruins their health, all to ensure that Democrats support war and adore the U.S. intelligence community .

They do this for a reason, of course. The Yellow Vests protests in France have continued unabated for their ninth consecutive week , a decentralized populist uprising resulting from ordinary French citizens losing trust in their institutions and the official narratives which uphold them.

The social engineers responsible for controlling the populace of the greatest military power on the planet are watching France closely, and understand deeply what is at stake should they fail to control the narrative and herd ordinary Americans into supporting U.S. government institutions. Right now they've got Republicans cheering on the White House and Democrats cheering on the U.S. intelligence community, but that could all change should something happen which causes them to lose control over the thoughts that Americans think about their rulers.

Propaganda is the single most-overlooked and under-appreciated aspect of human society. The ability of those in power to manipulate the ways ordinary people think, act and vote has allowed for an inverted totalitarianism which turns the citizenry into their own prison wardens, allowing those with real power to continue doing as they please unhindered by the interests of the common man.

The only thing that will lead to real change is the people losing trust in corrupt institutions and rising like lions against them. That gets increasingly likely as those institutions lose control of the narrative, and with trust in the mass media at an all-time low, populist uprisings restoring power to the people in France, and media corporations acting increasingly weird and insecure , that looks more and more likely by the day.

[Feb 17, 2019] Kremlin Spokesman Says U.S. Sanctions Bill Borders on Racketeering

Feb 17, 2019 | larouchepub.com

Feb. 14, 2019 (EIRNS) -- Responding to the U.S. Senators' efforts to impose new sanctions on Russia by proposing a bill on Feb. 13 called the "Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKA)" of 2019, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said behind such proposals

"there is an absolutely concrete, pragmatic and aggressive trading approach, having nothing to do with international trade rules.... This policy sometimes borders on racketeering. I mean various provisions of the draft law aimed at disrupting various energy projects of Russian companies, undermining the activities of Russian banks with state participation,"

Peskov said, reported TASS.

The proposed legislation, an updated version of an earlier bill that did not muster enough support, seeks to increase economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Russia "in response to Russia's interference in democratic processes abroad, malign influence in Syria, and aggression against Ukraine, including in the Kerch Strait," said Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who proposed the bill with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), among other members of the Foreign Relations Committee.

[Feb 16, 2019] MSM Begs For Trust After Buzzfeed Debacle by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... This is the behavior of a media class that is interested in selling narratives, not reporting truth. And yet the mass media talking heads are all telling us today that we must continue to trust them. ..."
"... More accountability in media than in politics, Chuck? Really? Accountability to whom? Your advertisers? Your plutocratic owners? Certainly not to the people whose minds you are paid exorbitant sums to influence; there are no public elections for the leadership of the mass media. ..."
"... CNN, for the record, has been guilty of an arguably even more embarrassing Russiagate flub than Buzzfeed 's when they wrongly reported that Donald Trump Jr had had access to WikiLeaks' DNC email archives prior to their 2016 publication, an error that was hilariously due to to the simple misreading of an email date by multiple people ..."
"... The mass media, including pro-Trump mass media like Fox News, absolutely deserves to be distrusted. It has earned that distrust. It had earned that distrust already with its constant promotion of imperialist wars and an oligarch-friendly status quo, and it has earned it even more with its frenzied promotion of a narrative engineered to manufacture consent for a preexisting agenda to shove Russia off the world stage. ..."
"... The mainstream media absolutely is the enemy of the people; just because Trump says it doesn't mean it's not true. The only reason people don't rise up and use the power of their numbers to force the much-needed changes that need to happen in our world is because they are being propagandized to accept the status quo day in and day out by the mass media's endless cultural engineering project . ..."
"... They are the reason why wars go unopposed, why third parties never gain traction, why people consent to money hemorrhaging upward to the wealthiest of the wealthy while everyone else struggles to survive. The sooner people wake up from the perverse narrative matrix of the plutocratic media, the better. ..."
Jan 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

Following what the Washington Post has described as "the highest-profile misstep yet for a news organization during a period of heightened and intense scrutiny of the press," mass media representatives are now flailing desperately for an argument as to why people should continue to place their trust in mainstream news outlets.

On Thursday Buzzfeed News delivered the latest "bombshell" Russiagate report to fizzle within 24 hours of its publication, a pattern that is now so consistent that I've personally made a practice of declining to comment on such stories until a day or two after their release. "BOOM!" tweets were issued by #Resistance pundits on Twitter, "If true this means X, Y and Z" bloviations were made on mass media punditry panels, and for about 20 hours Russiagaters everywhere were riding the high of their lives, giddy with the news that President Trump had committed an impeachable felony by ordering Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about a proposed Trump office tower in Moscow, a proposal which died within weeks and the Kremlin never touched .

There was reason enough already for any reasonable person to refrain from frenzied celebration, including the fact that the story's two authors, Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier, were giving the press two very different accounts of the information they'd based it on, with Cormier telling CNN that he had not personally seen the evidence underlying his report and Leopold telling MSNBC that he had. Both Leopold and Cormier, for the record, have already previously suffered a Russiagate faceplant with the clickbait viral story that Russia had financed the 2016 election, burying the fact that it was a Russian election .

Then the entire story came crashing down when Mueller's office took the extremely rare step of issuing an unequivocal statement that the Buzzfeed story was wrong , writing simply, "BuzzFeed's description of specific statements to the special counsel's office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen's congressional testimony are not accurate."

According to journalist and economic analyst Doug Henwood, the print New York Times covered the Buzzfeed report on its front page when the story broke, but the report on Mueller's correction the next day was shoved back to page 11 . This appalling journalistic malpractice makes it very funny that NYT's Wajahat Ali had the gall to tweet , "Unlike the Trump administration, journalists are fact checking and willing to correct the record if the Buzzfeed story is found inaccurate. Not really the actions of a deep state and enemy of the people, right?"

This is the behavior of a media class that is interested in selling narratives, not reporting truth. And yet the mass media talking heads are all telling us today that we must continue to trust them.

"Those trying to tar all media today aren't interested in improving journalism but protecting themselves," tweeted NBC's Chuck Todd.

"There's a lot more accountability in media these days than in our politics. We know we live in a glass house, we hope the folks we cover are as self aware."

More accountability in media than in politics, Chuck? Really? Accountability to whom? Your advertisers? Your plutocratic owners? Certainly not to the people whose minds you are paid exorbitant sums to influence; there are no public elections for the leadership of the mass media.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/rMY-zTxPCuY

"Mueller didn't do the media any favors tonight, and he did do the president one," griped the odious Chris Cuomo on CNN. "Because as you saw with Rudy Giuliani and as I'm sure you'll see with the president himself, this allows them to say 'You can't believe it! You can't believe what you read, you can't believe what you hear! You can only believe us. Even the Special Counsel says that the media doesn't get it right.'"

"The larger message that a lot of people are going to take from this story is that the news media are a bunch of leftist liars who are dying to get the president, and they're willing to lie to do it, and I don't think that's true" said Jeffrey Toobin on a CNN panel , adding "I just think this is a bad day for us."

"It does reinforce bad stereotypes about the news media," said Brian Stelter on the same CNN panel.

"I am desperate as a media reporter to always say to the audience, judge folks individually and judge brands individually. Don't fall for what these politicians out there want you to do. They want you to think we're all crooked. We're not. But Buzzfeed now, now the onus is on Buzzfeed. "

CNN, for the record, has been guilty of an arguably even more embarrassing Russiagate flub than Buzzfeed 's when they wrongly reported that Donald Trump Jr had had access to WikiLeaks' DNC email archives prior to their 2016 publication, an error that was hilariously due to to the simple misreading of an email date by multiple people.

The mass media, including pro-Trump mass media like Fox News, absolutely deserves to be distrusted. It has earned that distrust. It had earned that distrust already with its constant promotion of imperialist wars and an oligarch-friendly status quo, and it has earned it even more with its frenzied promotion of a narrative engineered to manufacture consent for a preexisting agenda to shove Russia off the world stage.

The mainstream media absolutely is the enemy of the people; just because Trump says it doesn't mean it's not true. The only reason people don't rise up and use the power of their numbers to force the much-needed changes that need to happen in our world is because they are being propagandized to accept the status quo day in and day out by the mass media's endless cultural engineering project .

They are the reason why wars go unopposed, why third parties never gain traction, why people consent to money hemorrhaging upward to the wealthiest of the wealthy while everyone else struggles to survive. The sooner people wake up from the perverse narrative matrix of the plutocratic media, the better.

* * *

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My articles are entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of my sweet new merchandise , buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone , or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers .

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

[Feb 16, 2019] Death Of Russiagate: Mueller Team Tied To Mifsud s Network

Highly recommended!
Looks like all of them were Brennan men. CIA used FBI counterintelligence and counter-terrorism personnel to kick start the investigation/scandal.
Notable quotes:
"... We return, now, to this issue and specifically the research of Chris Blackburn, to place the final nail in the coffin of the Trump-Russia collusion charade. Blackburn's insights are incredible not only because they return us to the earliest reporting on the role of British intelligence figures in manufacturing the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, but because they also implicate members of Mueller's investigation. ..."
"... If you factor in the dreadful reporting to discredit Joseph Mifsud and leaks, it is pretty clear something rather strange happened to George Papadopoulos during the campaign while he was shuttling around Europe and the Middle East. He was working with people who have intelligence links at the London Centre of International Law Practice ..."
"... A recent article in The Telegraph also alludes to MI5, MI6, and CIA using counter-terrorism assets which would tie into the London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP), and its sister organizations, doing counter-terrorism work for the Australian, UK and US governments. They quote anonymous officials who believe that their intelligence agencies used counter-terrorism personnel to kick start the investigation/scandal." ..."
"... Continuing, Blackburn pinpointed the significance of defining counter-terrorism as the starting point of the investigation, saying: "It shows that there is a high probability that intelligence was deliberately abused to make Papadopoulos' activities look like they were something else. ..."
"... It's more likely that the CIA played the FBI with the help of close allies who were suspicious and frightened of a Trump presidency." ..."
"... Zainab Ahmad , a member of Mueller's legal team, is the former Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York. As pointed out by Blackburn , Ahmad attended a Global Center on Cooperative Security event in 2017 ..."
"... "Zainab Ahmad was one of the first DOJ prosecutors to have seen the Steele dossier. In May 2017, she attended a counter-terrorism conference in New York with the Global Center on Cooperative Security (GCCS), an organization which Joseph Mifsud, the alleged Russian spy, had been working within London and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia ..."
"... I don't think it's a coincidence that Global Center on Cooperative Security is connected to various elements that popped up in the Papadopoulos case. The fact that a prosecutor on Mueller's team was at Global Center before Mueller was appointed as special counsel is also troubling ..."
"... Days ago, The Hill reported on Congressional testimony by Bruce Ohr, revealing that when served as a DOJ official, he warned FBI and DOJ figures that the Steele dossier was problematic and linked to the Clintons ..."
"... Last year, Blackburn noted the connection between Mifsud and Arvinder Sambei , writing: "LCILP director and FBI counsel, works with Mike Smith at the Global Center. They ran joint counter-terrorism conferences and training with Mifsud's London Academy. Sambei then brought Mifsud over to the [London Centre of International Law Practice]. [Global Center works with Aussies, UK and US State too." ..."
"... Disobedient Media previously reported that Robert Hannigan, then head of British spy agency GCHQ, flew to Washington DC to share 'director-to-director' level intelligence with then-CIA Chief John Brennan in the summer of 2016. This writer noted that " The Guardian reported Hannigan's announcement that he would step down from his leadership position with the agency just three days after the inauguration of President Trump, on 23 January 2017. ..."
"... Jane Mayer, in her profile of Christopher Steele published in the New Yorker, also noted that Hannigan had flown to Washington D.C. to personally brief the then-CIA Director John Brennan on alleged communications between the Trump campaign and Moscow. What is so curious about this briefing "deemed so sensitive it was handled at director-level" is why Hannigan was talking director-to-director to the CIA and not Mike Rogers at the NSA, GCHQ's Five Eyes intelligence-sharing partner." ..."
"... There are more and more articles saying that the FBI, CIA, M14 15,16 yada yada, were overly concerned about Trump. Their sin...caring too much for the USA. They attempted a coup de'etat for "our" own good...we... being "we the people". To quote Abe Lincoln "You will find that all the arguments in favour of kingcraft were of this class; they always bestrode the necks of the people, -- not that they wanted to do it, but because the people were better off for being ridden." Lincoln did not mince words ..."
Jan 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Via Disobedient Media

In April last year, Disobedient Media broke coverage of the British involvement in the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, asking why All Russiagate Roads Lead To London , via the quasi-scholar Joseph Mifsud and others.

The issue was also raised by WikiLeaks's Julian Assange , just days before the Ecuadorian government silenced him last March. Assange's Twitter thread cited research by Chris Blackburn , who spoke with Disobedient Media on multiple occasions covering Joseph Mifsud's ties to British intelligence figures and organizations, as well as his links to Hillary Clinton's Presidential campaign, the FBI, CIA and the private cyber-security firm Crowdstrike.

We return, now, to this issue and specifically the research of Chris Blackburn, to place the final nail in the coffin of the Trump-Russia collusion charade. Blackburn's insights are incredible not only because they return us to the earliest reporting on the role of British intelligence figures in manufacturing the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, but because they also implicate members of Mueller's investigation. What we are left with is an indication of collusion between factions of the US and UK intelligence community in fabricating evidence of Trump-Russia collusion: a scandal that would have rocked the legacy press to its core, if Western establishment-backed media had a spine.

In Disobedient Media's previous coverage of Blackburn's work, he described his experience in intelligence:

"I've been involved in numerous investigations that involve counter-intelligence techniques in the past. I used to work for the 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism , one of the biggest tort actions in American history. I helped build a profile of Osama bin Laden's financial and political network, which was slightly different to the one that had been built by the CIA's Alec Station , a dedicated task force which was focused on Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. Alec Station designed its profile to hunt Osama bin Laden and disrupt his network. I thought it was flawed. It had failed to take into account Osama's historical links to Pakistan's main political parties or that he was the figurehead for a couple of organizations, not just Al-Qaeda."

"I also ran a few conferences for US intelligence leaders during the Bush administration. After the 9/11 Commission published its report into the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon it created a public outreach program. The US National Intelligence Conference and Exposition ( Intelcon ) was one of the avenues it used. I was responsible for creating the 'View from Abroad' track. We had guidance from former Senator Slade Gorton and Jamie Gorelick, who both sat on the 9/11 Commission. We got leaders such as Sir John Chilcot and Baroness Pauline Neville Jones to come and help share their experiences on how the US would be able to heal the rifts after 9/11."

"The US intelligence community was suffering from severe turf wars and firewalls, which were hampering counter-terrorism efforts. They were concentrating on undermining each other rather than tackling terrorism. I had mainly concentrated on the Middle East, but in 2003 I switched my focus to terrorism in South Asia."

Counter Terrorism, Not Counter Intelligence, Sparked Probe

In an article published by The Telegraph last November, the paper acknowledged the following:

"It forces the spotlight on whether the UK played a role in the FBI's investigation launched before the 2016 presidential election into Trump campaign ties to the Kremlin... Mr. Trump's allies and former advisers are raising questions about the UK's role in the start of the probe, given many of the key figures and meetings were located in Britain... One former top White House adviser to Mr. Trump made similar insinuations, telling this newspaper: "You know the Brits are up to their neck." The source added on the Page wiretap application: "I think that stuff is going to implicate MI5 and MI6 in a bunch of activities they don't want to be implicated in, along with FBI, counter-terrorism and the CIA. " [Emphasis Added]

The article cites George Papadopoulos, who asked why the "British intelligence apparatus was weaponized against Trump and his advisers." Papadopoulos has also addressed the issue at length via Twitter. In response to the Telegraph's coverage of the issue, Chris Blackburn wrote via Twitter :

"The Telegraph story on Trump Russia acknowledges that activities involving counter-terrorism are at the heart of the scandal...not counter-intelligence. If the [London Centre for International Law Practice] was British state, not private, some Commonwealth countries are going to be seriously pissed off."

Blackburn spoke with Disobedient Media, saying:

" If you factor in the dreadful reporting to discredit Joseph Mifsud and leaks, it is pretty clear something rather strange happened to George Papadopoulos during the campaign while he was shuttling around Europe and the Middle East. He was working with people who have intelligence links at the London Centre of International Law Practice.

A recent article in The Telegraph also alludes to MI5, MI6, and CIA using counter-terrorism assets which would tie into the London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP), and its sister organizations, doing counter-terrorism work for the Australian, UK and US governments. They quote anonymous officials who believe that their intelligence agencies used counter-terrorism personnel to kick start the investigation/scandal." [Emphasis Added]

Blackburn discussed this differentiation with Disobedient Media:

"Counter-terrorism is obviously involved in more kinetic, violent political actions-concerning mass casualty events, bombings, assassinations, poisonings, and hacking. But, the lines are blurring between them. Counter-intelligence cases have been known to stretch for decades- often relying on nothing more than paranoia and suspicion to fuel investigations. Counter-terrorism is also a broader discipline as it involves tactical elements like hostage rescue, crime scene investigations, and explosive specialists. Counter-Terrorism is a collaborative effort with counter-terrorism officers working closely with local and regional police forces and civic organizations. There is also a wider academic field around countering violent, and radical ideology which promotes terrorism and insurgencies. Cybersecurity has become the third major discipline in intelligence. The London Center of International Law Practice, the mysterious intelligence company that employed both Papadopoulos and Mifsud , had also been working in that area."

Continuing, Blackburn pinpointed the significance of defining counter-terrorism as the starting point of the investigation, saying: "It shows that there is a high probability that intelligence was deliberately abused to make Papadopoulos' activities look like they were something else.

As counter-terrorism and counterintelligence are close in tactics and methods, it would seem that they were used because they share the same skill sets - covert evidence gathering and deception. It's basically sleight of hand. A piece of theatre would be more precise. However, we don't know if the FBI knew it was real or make-believe. It's more likely that the CIA played the FBI with the help of close allies who were suspicious and frightened of a Trump presidency."

Mueller's Team And Joseph Mifsud

Zainab Ahmad , a member of Mueller's legal team, is the former Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York. As pointed out by Blackburn , Ahmad attended a Global Center on Cooperative Security event in 2017. In recent days, Blackburn wrote via Twitter :

"Zainab Ahmad is a major player in the Russiagate scandal at the DOJ. Does she work for SC Mueller? She was at a GCCS event in May 2017. Arvinder Sambei, a co-director of the [London Centre of International Law Practice], worked with Joseph Mifsud, [George Papadopoulos] and [Simona Mangiante]. She's a GCCS consultant."

Blackburn told this author:

"Zainab Ahmad was one of the first DOJ prosecutors to have seen the Steele dossier. In May 2017, she attended a counter-terrorism conference in New York with the Global Center on Cooperative Security (GCCS), an organization which Joseph Mifsud, the alleged Russian spy, had been working within London and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia."

Zainab Ahmad (AHMAD). Image via the Combatting Terrorism Center, West Point

"Richard Barrett, the Former Chief of Counter-Terrorism at MI6, Britain's foreign intelligence department traveled with Mifsud to Saudi Arabia to give a talk on terrorism in 2017. Ex-CIA officers, US Defense, and US Treasury officials were also there. The London Centre of International Law Practice's relationship to the Global Center had been established in 2014. The Global Center on Cooperative Security made Martin Polaine and Arvinder Sambei consultants, they then became directors at the London Centre of International Law Practice."

"The Global Center on Cooperative Security's first major UK conference was at Joseph Mifsud's London Academy of Diplomacy (LAD). Mifsud then followed Arvinder Sambei and Nagi Idris over to the London Centre of International Law Practice. Sources have told me that Mifsud was moonlighting as a specialist on counter-terrorism and Islamism while working at LAD which explains why he went to work in counter-terrorism after LAD folded."

"I don't think it's a coincidence that Global Center on Cooperative Security is connected to various elements that popped up in the Papadopoulos case. The fact that a prosecutor on Mueller's team was at Global Center before Mueller was appointed as special counsel is also troubling."

Days ago, The Hill reported on Congressional testimony by Bruce Ohr, revealing that when served as a DOJ official, he warned FBI and DOJ figures that the Steele dossier was problematic and linked to the Clintons. Critically, The Hill writes:

"Those he briefed included Andrew Weissmann, then the head of DOJ's fraud section; Bruce Swartz, longtime head of DOJ's international operations, and Zainab Ahmad , an accomplished terrorism prosecutor who, at the time, was assigned to work with Lynch as a senior counselor. Ahmad and Weissmann would go on to work for Mueller, the special prosecutor overseeing the Russia probe." [Emphasis Added]

This point is essential, as it not only describes Ahmad's role in Mueller's team but places her at a crucial pre-investigation meeting.

Last year, Blackburn noted the connection between Mifsud and Arvinder Sambei , writing: "LCILP director and FBI counsel, works with Mike Smith at the Global Center. They ran joint counter-terrorism conferences and training with Mifsud's London Academy. Sambei then brought Mifsud over to the [London Centre of International Law Practice]. [Global Center works with Aussies, UK and US State too."

Sambei has been described elsewhere as a "Former practising barrister, Senior Crown Prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Service of England & Wales, and Legal Adviser at the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ), Ministry of Defence." [British spelling has been retained]

Arvinder Sambei. Image via the Public International Law Advisory Group

That Sambei has been so thoroughly linked to organizations where Mifsud was a central figure is yet another cause of suspicion regarding allegations that Joseph Mifsud was a shadowy, unknown Russian agent until the summer of 2016 . She is also a direct link between Robert Mueller and Mifsud.

Blackburn wrote via Twitter : "Arvinder Sambei helped to organize LCILP's counter-terrorism and corruption events. She used her contacts in the US to bring in Middle Eastern government officials that were seen to be vulnerable to graft. Lisa Osofsky, former FBI Deputy General Counsel, was working with her." Below, Arvinder is pictured at a London Centre of International Law Practice (LCILP) event.

Arvinder Sambei, pictured at an LCILP event. Image via Chris Blackburn, Twitter

As Chris Blackburn told this author:

" Mifsud and Papadopoulos's co-director Arvinder Sambei was also the former FBI British counsel working 9/11 cases for Robert Mueller. She also runs a consultancy which deals with Special Investigative Measure (SIMs) which is just a posh description for covert espionage and evidence gathering. She has worked for major intelligence and national law agencies in the past. She wore two hats as a director of London Centre and a consultant for the Global Center on Cooperative Security (GCCS), a counter-terrorism think tank which is sponsored by the Australia, Canada, UK and US governments. Alexander Downer's former Chief of Staff while at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade now works for the Global Center. Mifsud was also due to meet with Australian private intelligence figures in Adelaide in March 2016. So. Australia is certainly a major focus for the investigation." [Emphasis Added]

Below, former FBI Deputy General Counsel Lisa Osofsky is pictured at a London Centre for International Law Practice event . Osofsky also served as the Money Laundering Reporting Officer with Goldman Sachs International. Since 2018, she has served as the Director of the UK's Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

Lisa Osofsky, pictured at an LCILP event. Image via Chris Blackburn, Twitter

An Embarrassment For John Brennan?

Disobedient Media previously reported that Robert Hannigan, then head of British spy agency GCHQ, flew to Washington DC to share 'director-to-director' level intelligence with then-CIA Chief John Brennan in the summer of 2016. This writer noted that " The Guardian reported Hannigan's announcement that he would step down from his leadership position with the agency just three days after the inauguration of President Trump, on 23 January 2017.

Jane Mayer, in her profile of Christopher Steele published in the New Yorker, also noted that Hannigan had flown to Washington D.C. to personally brief the then-CIA Director John Brennan on alleged communications between the Trump campaign and Moscow. What is so curious about this briefing "deemed so sensitive it was handled at director-level" is why Hannigan was talking director-to-director to the CIA and not Mike Rogers at the NSA, GCHQ's Five Eyes intelligence-sharing partner."

Blackburn told Disobedient Media:

"Former Congressman Trey Gowdy, who has seen most of the information gathered by Congress from the intelligence community concerning the Russia investigation, said that if President Trump were to declassify files and present the truth to the American public, it would " embarrass John Brennan ." I think that is pretty concrete for me, but it's not definitive. I know the polarization and spin in Washington has become perverse, but that statement is pretty specific for me. If Brennan is involved, it is most probably through Papadopoulos who sparked off the 'official' investigation at the FBI. He also made sure the Steele dossier was spread through the US government."

Blackburn added: "Chris Steele was also working on FIFA projects, and a source has told me that he was working to investigate the Russian and Qatari World Cup bids. The London Centre of International Law Practice has been working with Majed Garoub, the former Saudi legal representative of FIFA, the world governing body for soccer. He's also been working against the Qatari bid. Steele likes to get paid twice for his investigations."

"Mifsud has also been associated with Prince Turki the former Saudi intelligence chief, Mifsud and the London Academy of Diplomacy used to train Saudi diplomats and intelligence figures while Turki was the Saudi Ambassador to London. Turki is a close friend of Bill Clinton and John Brennan. Nawaf Obaid was also courting Mifsud and tried to get him a cushy job working with CNN's Freedom Project at Link Campus in Rome. He also knows John Brennan. Intelligence agencies like to give out professional gifts like this plum academic position for completing missions. In the US, it is widely known that intelligence agencies gift the children of assets to get them into prestigious Ivy League schools."

At minimum, we can surmise that Mifsud was not a Russian agent, but was an asset of Western intelligence agencies. We are left with the impression that the Mifsud saga served as a ploy, whether he participated knowingly or not. It seems reasonable to conclude that the gambit was initially developed with participation of John Brennan and UK intelligence. Following this, Mueller inherited and developed the Mifsud narrative thread into the collusion soap opera we know today.

Ultimately, we are faced with the reality that British and US interests worked together to fabricate a collusion scandal to subvert a US Presidency, and in doing so, intentionally raised tensions between the West and a nuclear-armed power.


snodgrass , 2 hours ago link

What ********. Britain was part of the group pulling of 911 along with the American and Jewish establishment. Blackburn was the inside guy, posing as an outsider, to deflect attention from the real perpetrators. These people always have agents on both sides of every issue in the same way they fund two "opposing" political parties and fund two "opposing" sides in the media.

freedommusic , 3 hours ago link

Ultimately, we are faced with the reality that British and US interests worked together to fabricate a collusion scandal to subvert a US Presidency , and in doing so, intentionally raised tensions between the West and a nuclear-armed power .

It's called TREASON .

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies , giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere , is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years

Jung , 3 hours ago link

SteeleGate---his mate Skripal, boss Pablo Miller----novichok---Porton Down---anything to blame Russia in the end. After 30 dys of shutdown personnel of CIA, FBI and DOJ can be changed legally: draining of the swamp and DECLAS can begin with proper Military Tribunals in place. This according to Q who shared all of this, so it was not a conspiracy theory that the Q team exposed, but just MSM and Deep State in their last panic mode. Justice will now be able to follow: maybe rel end of endless wars too!

boooyaaaah , 3 hours ago link

There are more and more articles saying that the FBI, CIA, M14 15,16 yada yada, were overly concerned about Trump. Their sin...caring too much for the USA. They attempted a coup de'etat for "our" own good...we... being "we the people". To quote Abe Lincoln "You will find that all the arguments in favour of kingcraft were of this class; they always bestrode the necks of the people, -- not that they wanted to do it, but because the people were better off for being ridden." Lincoln did not mince words

So now we have an international conspiracy of care. Not one power grubber in the group. A syndicate of misunderstood do gooders.

But not having the consent of the people, but rather trying to undo, and foil the consent of the people.

This part of the Declaration applies

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Last of the Middle Class , 4 hours ago link

Ultimately, we are faced with the reality that British and US interests worked together to fabricate a collusion scandal to subvert a US Presidency, and in doing so, intentionally raised tensions between the West and a nuclear-armed power..."

Why do you not call it a coup d'etat? That is what it is, nothing less. If it were about something Trump did you would use the harshest possible language. Why not tell the truth here. Let the American people know what happened.

[Feb 16, 2019] All roads lead to Obama

Feb 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

05/27/2018

macholatte -> Richard Chesler Sun, 05/27/2018 - 10:30 Permalink

All roads lead to Obama.

Trump's BIGGEST single mistake was making Sessions AG and then failing to fire Sessions after Sessions recused himself. We now know Sessions is Trump's Judas Iscariot.

How about the very well documented and obvious Crimes & Felonies:
1. On Rosenstein's advice, Sessions recused himself from getting involved with any Trump campaign related investigations - here come the Trump campaign related investigations.
2. Sessions appoints Rosenstein assistant AG.
3. Rosenstein recommends that Comey be fired.
4. Trump fires Comey.
5. Rosenstein recommends Wray, good buddy of Comey & Mueller, to be new FBI director.
6. Comey testifies that he leaked a memo (stuff he made up) because he knew it would trigger a special council to investigate the Trump campaign for Russia collusion (how did Comey know that? Was it part of the plan with Rosenstein?)
7. Rosenstein appoints Mueller (good friend of Rosenstein & Comey) as the special council with open authority to investigate "collusion", a suspected activity that is not a crime if it did exist. We now know Mueller's appointment & authority might be illegal.
8. Rosenstein & Wray stonewall congressional investigations into DOJ & FBI criminality.
9. Sessions refuses to appoint special council to investigate obvious Hitlary, DOJ & FBI criminality.
10. Sessions appoints John Huber, Obama appointee & swamp rat, to assist Inspector General without any power to subpoena or seat a Grand Jury.
11. Stormy Daniels is used to demoralize Trump and is assisted by FBI. Since when does the FBI get involved in the kind of civil actions raised by a prostitute?
12. Michael Cohen is raided by FBI regarding an issue that should be reserved for state court. Attorney client privilege is violated. This alone is a criminal act but nobody to prosecute it.
13. Months before the Cohen raid, Rosenstein-Mueller used the Cohen-Stormy situation to launch investigation into Cohen and thereby spy on Trump conversations with his attorney.
14. Judge appointed to hear the Cohen case is Prog Hack & Soros-Clinton crony Kimba Wood.

Conclusion: Sessions, Rosenstein, Comey, Wray and Mueller conspired to assist the "Soros-Clinton-Obama Resistance" to thwart all efforts to indict Clintons and Obama and expose the corruption at the FBI, DOJ and State Dept.

[Feb 16, 2019] Guccifer 2.0's American Fingerprints Reveal An Operation Made In The USA

Feb 16, 2019 | disobedientmedia.com

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , May 31, 2018 at 4:53 am

Guccifer 2.0's American Fingerprints Reveal An Operation Made In The USA: https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/05/guccifer-2-0s-american-fingerprints-reveal-an-operation-made-in-the-usa/

[Feb 13, 2019] MoA - Russiagate Is Finished

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... You can take this to the bank. Hardcore Russiagaters will never give up their belief in collusion and Russian influence in the 2016 campaign -- never. Congress and Mueller will be accused of engaging in a coverup. ..."
"... Thus, even if the Mueller report is underwhelming, I think that the Democrats and TDS-saturated Trump opponents will attempt to rehabilitate it by pretending that it contains important loose ends that need to be pursued. In other words, to perpetuate the Mueller-driven political Russophobia by all other available means. ..."
"... Russiagate has exposed the great degree of corruption within the Justice Department bureaucracy, particularly within FBI, and within the entire Democrat Party. ..."
"... Since this is obviously not going to be allowed to happen, and since these people get away with everything, expect this to never end, despite all evidence to the contrary. It doesn't matter if they've been exposed as CIA propagandists or Integrity Initiative stooges, the game goes on...and on.... the job security of these disgraced columnists is the greatest in the Western world. ..."
"... Stephen Cohen discusses how rational viewpoints are banned from the mainstream media, and how several features of US life today resemble some of the worst features of the Soviet system. https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/12/stephen-cohen-on-war-with-russia-and-soviet-style-censorship-in-the-us/ ..."
"... The US needs an enemy, how else can they ask NATO members to cough up 2% of GDP [just for one example Germany's GDP is nearly 4 Trillion dollars [2017] for defence spending, what a crazy sum all NATO members must fork out to please the US, but then most of that money must be spent on the US MIC 'interoperability' of course. ..."
"... Another great damage of Russiagate was the instigating of a nuclear arms race directed primarily at Russia, and ideologically justified by its diabolical policies. ..."
"... Russiagate was very successful. You just have to understand the objectives. It was a great distraction. Diverting peoples attention from the continued fleecing of the "real people" which are the bottom 90% by the "Corporate People" and their Government Lackeys. ..."
"... It provided an excuse for the acting CEO (a figurehead) of the Corporate Empire to go back on many of the promises made that got him elected, and to fill the swamp with Neocon and Koch Brother creatures with the excuse the Deep State made him do it. More proof that there is no deception that is too ridiculous to be believed so long as you have enough pundits claiming it to be so ..."
"... If you've done just a cursory look into Seth Rich, you'd be very suspicious about the story of his life and death. IMO Assange/Wikilleaks were set up. And Flynn was set up too. What they are doing is Orwellian: White Helmets, election manipulation, propaganda, McCarthism, etc. If you're not angry, you're not paying attention. ..."
"... See also this primer on Mueller's MO. ..."
"... The button pushers behind the Trump collusion and Russia election hacking false narratives got what they wanted: to walk the democrats and republicans straight into Cold War v2; to start their campaign to suppress alternative voices on the internet; to increase military spending; and more, more, more war. ..."
"... Russiagate was very successful <=pls read, re-read Pft @ 46.. he listed many things. divide and conquer accomplished. a nation state is defined as an armed rule making structure, designed by those who control a territory, and constructed by the lawyers, military, and wealthy and run by the persons the designers appoint, for the appointed are called politicians. ..."
"... At the beginnng of Russiagate, I wrote on Robert Parry's Consirtium News that Russiagate is Idiocracy piggy-backing on decades and literally billions of dollars of anti-Soviet and anti-Russian propaganda. How hard would it be to brainwash an already brainwashed population? ..."
"... The purveyors of Russiagate will re-compose themselves, brush off all reports and continue on. One just cannot get away from one's nature, even when that nature is pure idiocy. ..."
"... Russiagate will not go away unfortunately because it has evolved in the "Russiagate Industry". As mentioned by others, the Russiagate Industry has been very profitable for many industries and people. Russiagate has generated an entire cottage industry of companies around censorship and "find us a Russian". Dow Jones should have an index on the Russiagate Industry. ..."
Feb 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

For more than two years U.S. politicians, the media and some bloggers hyped a conspiracy theory. They claimed that Russia had somehow colluded with the Trump campaign to get him elected.

An obviously fake 'Dirty Dossier' about Trump, commissioned by the Clinton campaign, was presented as evidence. Regular business contacts between Trump flunkies and people in Ukraine or Russia were claimed to be proof for nefarious deals. A Russian click-bait company was accused of manipulating the U.S. electorate by posting puppy pictures and crazy memes on social media. Huge investigations were launched. Every rumor or irrelevant detail coming from them was declared to be - finally - the evidence that would put Trump into the slammer. Every month the walls were closing in on Trump.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/qjUvfZj-Fm0

At the same time the very real Trump actions that hurt Russia were ignored.

Finally the conspiracy theory has run out of steam. Russiagate is finished :

After two years and 200 interviews, the Senate Intelligence Committee is approaching the end of its investigation into the 2016 election, having uncovered no direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to both Democrats and Republicans on the committee.
...
Democrats and other Trump opponents have long believed that special counsel Robert Mueller and Congressional investigators would unearth new and more explosive evidence of Trump campaign coordination with Russians. Mueller may yet do so, although Justice Department and Congressional sources say they believe that he, too, is close to wrapping up his investigation.

Nothing, zero, nada was found to support the conspiracy theory. The Trump campaign did not collude with Russia. A few flunkies were indicted for unrelated tax issues and for lying to the investigators about some minor details. But nothing at all supports the dramatic claims of collusion made since the beginning of the affair.

In a recent statement House leader Nancy Pelosi was reduced to accuse Trump campaign officials of doing their job:

"The indictment of Roger Stone makes clear that there was a deliberate, coordinated attempt by top Trump campaign officials to influence the 2016 election and subvert the will of the American people. ...

No one called her out for spouting such nonsense.

Russiagate created a lot of damage.

The alleged Russian influence campaign that never happened was used to install censorship on social media. It was used to undermine the election of progressive Democrats. The weapon salesmen used it to push for more NATO aggression against Russia. Maria Butina, an innocent Russian woman interested in good relation with the United States, was held in solitary confinement (recommended) until she signed a paper which claims that she was involved in a conspiracy.

In a just world the people who for more then two years hyped the conspiracy theory and caused so much damage would be pushed out of their public positions. Unfortunately that is not going to happen. They will jump onto the next conspiracy train continue from there.

Posted by b on February 12, 2019 at 01:38 PM | Permalink

Comments next page " Legally, Maria Butina was suborned into signing a false declaration. If there were the rule of law, such party or parties that suborned her would be in gaol. Considering Mueller's involvement with Lockerbie, I am not holding my breath. FWIW the Swiss company that made the timers allegedly involved in Lockerbie have some comments of its own .


james , Feb 12, 2019 2:00:14 PM | link

thanks b..

I will be really glad when this 'get Russia' craziness is over, but I suspect even if the Mueller investigation has nothing, all the same creeps will be pulling out the stops to generate something... Skripal, Integrity Initiative, and etc. etc. stuff like this just doesn't go away overnight or with the end of this 'investigation'... folks are looking for red meat i tell ya!

as for Maria Butina - i look forward to reading the article.. that was a travesty of justice but the machine moves on, mowing down anyone in it's way... she was on the receiving end of all the paranoia that i have come to associate with the western msm at this point...

Zanon , Feb 12, 2019 2:03:26 PM | link
Considering Mueller hasn't produced its report nor the House dito, its way to early to say Russia gate is "finished".
Jackrabbit , Feb 12, 2019 2:11:44 PM | link
And Russiagate was used ...
... by Hillary to justify her loss to Trump

Hillary's loss is actually best explained as her throwing the election to Trump . The Deep State wanted a nationalist to win as that would best help meet the challenge from Russia and China - a challenge that they had been slow to recognize.

=
... to smear Wikileaks as a Russian agent

The DNC leak is best explained as a CIA false flag.

=
... to remove and smear Michael Flynn

Trump said that he fired Flynn for lying to VP Pence but Flynn's conversations with the Russian Ambassador after Obama threw them out for "meddling" in the US election was an embarrassment to the Administration as Putin's Putin's decision not to respond was portrayed as favoritism toward the Trump Administration.

Rob , Feb 12, 2019 2:28:50 PM | link
You can take this to the bank. Hardcore Russiagaters will never give up their belief in collusion and Russian influence in the 2016 campaign -- never. Congress and Mueller will be accused of engaging in a coverup. This is typical behavior for conspiracy theorists.
bj , Feb 12, 2019 2:30:41 PM | link
Jimmy Dore on same: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kgBxfHdb4OU Enjoy!
Ort , Feb 12, 2019 2:34:14 PM | link
I hope that Russiagate is indeed "finished", but I think it needs to be draped with garlic-clove necklaces, shot up with silver bullets, sprinkled with holy water, and a wooden stake driven through its black heart just to make sure.

I don't dispute the logical argument B. presents, but it may be too dispassionately rational. I know that the Russiagate proponents and enthralled supporters of the concept are too invested psychologically in this surrealistic fantasy to let go, even if the official outcome reluctantly admits that there's no "there" there.

The Democratic Party, one of the major partners mounting the Russophobic psy-op, has already resolved to turn Democratic committee chairmen loose to dog the Trump administration with hearings aggressively flogging any and all matters that discredit and undermine Trump-- his business connections, social liaisons, etc.

They may hope to find the Holy Grail: the elusive "bombshell" that "demands" impeachment, i.e., some crime or illicit conduct so heinous that the public will stand for another farcical impeachment proceeding. But I reckon that the Dems prefer the "soft" impeachment of harassing Trump with hostile hearings in hopes of destroying his 2020 electability with the death of a thousand innuendoes and guilt-by-association.

Thus, even if the Mueller report is underwhelming, I think that the Democrats and TDS-saturated Trump opponents will attempt to rehabilitate it by pretending that it contains important loose ends that need to be pursued. In other words, to perpetuate the Mueller-driven political Russophobia by all other available means.

Put more succinctly, I fear that Russiagate won't be finished until Rachel Maddow says it's finished. ;)

worldblee , Feb 12, 2019 2:38:17 PM | link
Once a hypothesis is fixed in people's minds, whether true or not, it's hard to get them to let go of it. And let's not forget how many times the narrative changed (and this is true in the Skripal case as well), with all past facts vanishing to accommodate a new narrative.

So I, like others, expect the fake scandal to continue while many, many other real crimes (the US attempted coup in Venezuela and the genocidal war in Yemen, for instance) continue unabated.

karlof1 , Feb 12, 2019 2:43:34 PM | link
Putin solicits public input for essential national policy goals . If ever there was a template to follow for an actual MAGAgenda, Putin's Russia provides one. While US politicos argue over what is essentially Bantha Pudu, Russians are hard at work improving their nation which includes restructuring their economy.

Russiagate has exposed the great degree of corruption within the Justice Department bureaucracy, particularly within FBI, and within the entire Democrat Party.

BlunderOn , Feb 12, 2019 2:48:51 PM | link
mmm...

I very much doubt it it is over. Trump is corrupt and has links to corrupt Russians. Collusion, maybe not, but several stinking individuals are in the frame for, guess what - ...bring it on... The fact that Hilary was arguably even worse (a point made ad-nauseum on here) is frankly irrelevant. The vilification of Trump will not affect the warmongers efforts. He is a useful idiot

james , Feb 12, 2019 2:52:33 PM | link
for a take on the alternative reality some are living in emptywheel has an article up on the nbc link b provides and the article on butina is discussed in the comments section... as i said - they are looking for red meat and will not be happy until they get some... they are completely zonkers...
Blooming Barricade , Feb 12, 2019 2:55:18 PM | link
Now that this racket has been admitted as such, I expect all of the media outlets that devoted banner headlines, hundreds of thousands of hours of cable TV time, thousands of trees, and free speech online to immediately fire all of their journalists and appoint Glenn Greenwald as the publisher of the New York Times, Michael Tracey at the Post, Aaron Matte at the Guardian, and Max Blumenthal at the Daily Beast.

Since this is obviously not going to be allowed to happen, and since these people get away with everything, expect this to never end, despite all evidence to the contrary. It doesn't matter if they've been exposed as CIA propagandists or Integrity Initiative stooges, the game goes on...and on.... the job security of these disgraced columnists is the greatest in the Western world.

jayc , Feb 12, 2019 3:03:51 PM | link
Stephen Cohen discusses how rational viewpoints are banned from the mainstream media, and how several features of US life today resemble some of the worst features of the Soviet system. https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/12/stephen-cohen-on-war-with-russia-and-soviet-style-censorship-in-the-us/
Heath , Feb 12, 2019 3:18:29 PM | link
It turned out getting rid of the Clintons has been a long term project.
Harry Law , Feb 12, 2019 3:21:58 PM | link
The US needs an enemy, how else can they ask NATO members to cough up 2% of GDP [just for one example Germany's GDP is nearly 4 Trillion dollars [2017] for defence spending, what a crazy sum all NATO members must fork out to please the US, but then most of that money must be spent on the US MIC 'interoperability' of course.

Then of course Russia has to be surrounded by NATO should they try and take over Europe by surging through the Fulda gap./s

Then of course there are the professional pundits who have built careers on anti Russian propaganda, Rachel Maddow for instance who earns 30,000$ per day to spew anti Russian nonsense.

folktruther , Feb 12, 2019 3:27:32 PM | link
Another great damage of Russiagate was the instigating of a nuclear arms race directed primarily at Russia, and ideologically justified by its diabolical policies.

I'm sorry b is so down on Conspiracy Theories, since they reveal quite real staged homicidal false flag operations of US power. Feeding into the stigmatizing of the truth about reality is not in the interests of the earth's people.

frances , Feb 12, 2019 3:31:11 PM | link
somehow I see this "revelation: tied to Barr's approaching tenure. I think they (FBI/DOJ) didn't want his involvement in their noodle soup of an investigation and the best way to accomplish that was to end it themselves. I also suspect that a deal has been made with Trump, possibly in exchange for leaving his family alone.

So we will see no investigation of Hillary, her 650,000 emails or the many crimes they detailed (according to NYPD investigation of Weiner's laptop) and the US will continue to be at war all day, every day. Team Swamp rules.

Ash , Feb 12, 2019 3:35:06 PM | link
Meanwhile, MSM is prepping its readers for the possibility that the Mueller report will never be released to us proles. If that's the case, I'm sure nobody will try to use innuendo to suggest it actually contains explosive revelations after all...
Heath , Feb 12, 2019 3:38:37 PM | link
@16

Harry, its vitally important as the US desperately wants to keep Europe under its thumb and to stop this European army which means Europe lead by Paris and Berlin becomes a world power. Trump's attempts to make nice with Russia is to keep it out of the EU bloc.

Anne Jaclard , Feb 12, 2019 3:54:47 PM | link
Well, the liberal conspiracy car crash ensured downmarket Mussolini a second term, it appears...Hard Brexit Tories also look likely to win thanks to centrist sabatoge of the left. You reap what you sow, corporate presstitutes!
wagelaborer , Feb 12, 2019 4:05:25 PM | link
Sane people have predicted the end of Russiagate almost as many times as insane people have predicted that the "smoking gun that will get rid of Trump" has been found. And yet the Mighty Wurlitzer grinds on, while social media is more and more censored.

I expect it all to continue until the 2020 election circus winds up into full-throated mode, and no one talks about anything but the next puppet to be appointed. Oops, I mean "elected".

Jen , Feb 12, 2019 4:15:57 PM | link
Ort @ 7:

You also need to behead the corpse, stuff the mouth with a lemon and then place the head down in the coffin with the body in supine (facing up) position. Weight the coffin with stones and wild roses and toss it into a fast-flowing river.

Russiagate won't be finished until a wall is built around Capitol Hill and all its inhabitants and worker bees declared insane by a properly functioning court of law.

Jackrabbit , Feb 12, 2019 4:16:59 PM | link
frances @18:
I also suspect that a deal has been made with Trump, possibly in exchange for leaving his family alone. So we will see no investigation of Hillary ...
Underlying your perspective is the assumption that USA is a democracy where a populist "outsider" could be elected President, Yet you also believe that Hillary and the Deep State have the power to manipulate government and the intelligence agencies and propose a "conspiracy theory" based on that power.

Isn't it more likely that Trump made it clear (behind closed doors, of course) that he was amenable to the goals of the Deep State and that the bogus investigation was merely done to: 1) cover their own election meddling; 2) eliminate threats like Flynn and Assange/Wikileaks; 3) anti-Russian propaganda?

Jackrabbit , Feb 12, 2019 4:33:16 PM | link
Jen

Steven Cohen once lamented that there were no "wise men" left in foreign policy. All the independent realists were shut out.

Michael McNulty , Feb 12, 2019 4:49:32 PM | link
US anti-Russian hysteria is moving into that grey area beyond McCarthyism approaching Nazism.
Circe , Feb 12, 2019 4:58:40 PM | link
Dowd, Trump's former lawyer on Russiagate stated there may not even be a report. If this is the case then the Zionist rulers have gotten to Mueller who no doubt figured out that the election collusion breadcrumbs don't lead to Putin, they lead to Netanyahu and Zionist billionaire friends! So Mueller may have to come up with a nothing burger to hide the truth.
Danny , Feb 12, 2019 5:02:34 PM | link
B is the only alternative media blogger I've followed for a significant amount of time without becoming disenfranchised. Not because he has no blind spot - his is just one I can deal with... optimism.

hopehely , Feb 12, 2019 5:14:49 PM | link

I will believe Russiagate is finished when expelled Russian staff gets back, when the US returns the seized Russian properties, when the consulate is Seattle reopens and when USA issues formal apology to Russia.

Posted by: hopehely | Feb 12, 2019 5:14:49 PM | link

bevin , Feb 12, 2019 5:16:18 PM | link
Nobody has ever advanced the tiniest shred of credible evidence that 'Russia' or its government at any level was in any way implicated either in Wikileaks' acquisition of the DNC and Podesta emails or in any form of interference with the Presidential election.

This has been going on for three years and not once has anything like evidence surfaced.

On the other hand there has been an abundance of evidence that those alleging Russian involvement consistently refused to listen to explore the facts.

Incredibly, the DNC computers were never examined by the FBI or any other agency resembling an official police agency. Instead the notorious Crowdstrike professionally russophobic and caught red handed faking data for the Ukrainians against Russia were commissioned to produce a 'report.'

Nobody with any sense would have credited anything about Russiagate after that happened.

Thgen there was the proof, from VIPS and Bill Binney (?) that the computers were not hacked at all but that the information was taken by thumbdrive. A theory which not only Wikileaks but several witnesses have offered to prove.

Not one of them has been contacted by the FBI, Mueller or anyone else "investigating."

In reality the charges from the first were ludicrous on their face. There is, as b has proved and every new day's news attests, not the slightest reason why anyone in the Russian government should have preferred Trump over Clinton. And that is saying something because they are pretty well indistinguishable. And neither has the morals or brains of an adolescent groundhog.

Russiagate is over, alright, The Nothingburger is empty. But that means nothing in this 'civilisation': it will be recorded in the history books, still to be written, by historians still in diapers, that "The 2016 Presidential election, which ended in the controversial defeat of Hillary Clinton, was heavily influenced by Russian agents who hacked ..etc etc"

What will not be remembered is that every single email released was authentic. And that within those troves of correspondence there was enough evidence of criminality by Clinton and her campaign to fill a prison camp.

Another thing that will not be recalled is that there was once a young enthusiastic man, working for the DNC, who was mugged one evening after work and killed.

Baron , Feb 12, 2019 5:16:49 PM | link
The 'no collusion' result will only spur the 'beginning of the end' baboons to shout even more, they'll never stop until they die in their beds or the plebs of the Republic made them adore the street lamp posts, you'll see. The former is by far more likely, the unwashed of American have never had a penchant for foreign affairs except for the few spasms like Vietnam.
Circe , Feb 12, 2019 5:20:11 PM | link
There was collusion alright but the only Russians who helped Trump get elected and were in on the collusion are citizens of ISRAEL FIRST, likewise for the American billionaires who put Trump in the power perch. ISRAEL FIRST.

That's why Trump is on giant billboards in Israel shaking hands with the Yahoo. Trump is higher in the polls in Israel than in the U.S. If it weren't that the Zionist upper crust need Trump doing their dirty work in America, like trying today get rid of Rep. Omar Ilhan, then Trump would win the elections in Ziolandia or Ziostan by a landslide cause he's been better for the Joowish state than all preceding Presidents put together. Mazel tov to them bullshet for the rest of us servile mass in the vassal West and Palestinians the most shafted class ever. Down with Venezuela and Iran, up with oil and gas. The billionare shysters' and Trump's payola is getting closer. Onward AZ Empire!

Les , Feb 12, 2019 5:24:36 PM | link
He proved himself so easy to troll during the election. It wouldn't surprise me if aim of the domestic intelligence agencies all along was to get him elected and have a candidate they could manipulate.
Zachary Smith , Feb 12, 2019 5:38:03 PM | link
@ Harry Law #16

At least Germany has the good sense not to throw taxpayer money at the F-35. German F-35 decision sacrifices NATO capability for Franco-German industrial cooperation I don't know what they have in mind with a proposed airplane purchase. If they need fighters, buy or lease Sweden's Gripen. If attack airplanes are what they're after, go to Boeing and get some brand new F-15X models. If the prickly French are agreeable to build a 6th generation aircraft, that would be worth a try.

Regarding Rachel Maddow, I recently had an encounter with a relative who told me 1) I visited too many oddball sites and 2) he considered Rachel M. to be the most reliable news person in existence. I think we're talking "true believer" here. :)

Zachary Smith , Feb 12, 2019 5:43:19 PM | link
@ Les @42
It wouldn't surprise me if aim of the domestic intelligence agencies all along was to get him elected and have a candidate they could manipulate.

Considering how those "intelligence agencies" are hard pressed to find their own tails, even if you allow them to use both hands, it would surprise me.

That Trump would turn out to be a tub of jello in more than just a physical way has been a surprise to an awful lot of us.

Pft , Feb 12, 2019 5:44:54 PM | link

Russiagate was very successful. You just have to understand the objectives. It was a great distraction. Diverting peoples attention from the continued fleecing of the "real people" which are the bottom 90% by the "Corporate People" and their Government Lackeys.

It provided an excuse for the acting CEO (a figurehead) of the Corporate Empire to go back on many of the promises made that got him elected, and to fill the swamp with Neocon and Koch Brother creatures with the excuse the Deep State made him do it. More proof that there is no deception that is too ridiculous to be believed so long as you have enough pundits claiming it to be so

Allowed the bipartisan support for the clamp down on alt media with censorship by social media (Deep State Tools) and funded by the Ministry of Truth set up by Obama in his last days in office to under the false pretense of protecting us from foreign governments interference in elections (except Israel of course) . Similar agencies have been set up or planned to be in other countries followig the US example such as UK, France, Russia, etc.

Did anyone really expect Mr "Cover It Up " Mueller to find anything? Mueller is Deep State all the way and Trump is as well, not withstanding the "Fake Wrestling " drama that they are bitter enemies. All the surveillance done over the past 2-3 decades would have so much dirt on the Trumpet they could silence him forever . Trump knew that going in and I sometimes wonder if he was pressured to run as a condition to avoid prosecution. Pretty sure every President since Carter has been "Kompromat"

Jackrabbit , Feb 12, 2019 6:29:51 PM | link
james, bevin

If you've done just a cursory look into Seth Rich, you'd be very suspicious about the story of his life and death. IMO Assange/Wikilleaks were set up. And Flynn was set up too. What they are doing is Orwellian: White Helmets, election manipulation, propaganda, McCarthism, etc. If you're not angry, you're not paying attention.

stevelaudig , Feb 12, 2019 6:34:12 PM | link
Russians and likely at the behest of the Russian state interfered and it was fair payback for Yeltsin's election. It is time to move on but not in feigned ignorance of what was done. Was it "outcome" affecting, possibly, but not clearly and if the US electoral college and electoral system generally is so decrepit that a second level power in the world can influence then its the US's fault.

It's not like the 2000 election wasn't a warning shot about the rottenness of system and a system that doesn't understand a warning shot deserves pretty much what it gets. But there's enough non-hype evidence of acts and intent to say yes, the Russians tried and may have succeeded. They certainly are acting guilty enough. but still close the book move and move on to Trump's 'real' crimes which were done without a Russian assist.

spudski , Feb 12, 2019 6:52:50 PM | link
@38 bevin @47 james

I seem to recall former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray saying that it was not a hack and that he had been handed a thumb drive in a field near American University by a disgruntled Democrat whistleblower. Further, I seem to recall William Binney, former NSA Technical Leader for intelligence, conducting an experiment to show that internet speeds at the time would not allow the information to be hacked - they knew the size of the files and the period over which they were downloaded. Plus, Seth Rich. So why does anyone even believe it was a hack, @32 THN?

Johan Meyer , Feb 12, 2019 6:55:54 PM | link
Just another comment re Mueller. There is a great documentary by (Dutch, not Israeli---different person) Gideon Levy, Lockerbie Revisited. The narration is in Dutch, but the interviews are in English, and there is a small segment of a German broadcast. The documentary ends abruptly where one set of FBI personnel contradict statements by another set of FBI personnel. See also this primer on Mueller's MO.
frances , Feb 12, 2019 7:11:07 PM | link
reply to Les 42
"It wouldn't surprise me if aim of the domestic intelligence agencies all along was to get him elected and have a candidate they could manipulate."

Not the intelligence agencies, the Military IMO. They knew HC for what she was; horrifically corrupt and,again IMO,they know she is insane.

They saw and I think still see Trump as someone they could work with, remember Rogers (Navy) of the NSA going to him immediately once he was elected? That was the Military protecting him as best they could.

They IMO have kept him alive and as long as he doesn't send any troops into "real" wars, they will keep on keeping him alive.
This doesn't mean Trump hasn't gone over to the Dark Side, just that no military action will take place that the military command doesn't fully support.

Again, I could be wrong, he could be backed by fiends from Patagonia for all I really know:)

AriusArmenian , Feb 12, 2019 8:44:27 PM | link
The button pushers behind the Trump collusion and Russia election hacking false narratives got what they wanted: to walk the democrats and republicans straight into Cold War v2; to start their campaign to suppress alternative voices on the internet; to increase military spending; and more, more, more war.
james , Feb 12, 2019 9:34:59 PM | link
ot - further to @65 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kK5YFos56ZU and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kK5YFos56ZU

as jr says - welcome to the rabbit hole..

ben , Feb 12, 2019 10:11:05 PM | link
Hope you're right b. Maybe now we can get on with some real truths.
  1. That there is really only one party with real influence, the party of $.
  2. That most of the Dems belong to that club, and virtually all the Repubs.
  3. That the U$A is not a real democracy, but an Oligarchy.
  4. That the corporate empire is the greatest purveyor of evil the world has ever known.

And these are just a few truths. Thanks for the therapy b, hope you feel better...

Circe , Feb 12, 2019 10:52:22 PM | link
Boy, I hope Jackrabbit sees this. Everyone knows I believe Trump is the anointed chosen of the Zionist 1%. There was no Russia collusion; it was Zionist collusion with a Russian twist...
Circe , Feb 12, 2019 11:11:17 PM | link
Oh yeah! Forgot to mention the latest. Trump is asking Kim to provide a list of his nuclear scientists! Before Kim acts on this request, he should call up the Iranian government for advise 'cause they have lots of experience and can warn Kim of what will happen to each of those scientists. They'll be put on a kill-list and will be extrajudicially wacked as in executed. Can you believe the chutzpah? Trump must think Kim is really stupid to fall for that one!

Aye! The thought of six more years of Zionist pandering Trump. Barf-inducing prospect is too tame.

PHC , Feb 13, 2019 2:25:44 AM | link

Russiagate is finished. So, now is the time to create Chinagate. But how ??

V , Feb 13, 2019 2:25:48 AM | link
The view from the hermitage is, we are in the age of distractions. Russiagate will be replaced with one of a litany of distractions, purely designed to keep us off target. The target being, corruption, vote rigging, illegal wars, war crimes, overthrowing sovereign governments, and political assasinations, both at home and abroad. Those so distracted, will focus on sillyness; not the genuine danger afoot around the planet. Get used to it; it's become the new normal.
Circe , Feb 13, 2019 3:53:19 AM | link
@76Hw
I have yet to read anything more delusional, nay, utterly preposterous. Methinks you over-project too much. Even Trump would have a belly-ache laugh reading that sheeple spiel. You're the type that sees the giant billboard of Zionist Trump and Yahoo shaking hands and drones on and on that our lying eyes deceive us and it's really Trump playing 4-D chess. I suppose when he tried to pressure Omar Ilhan into resigning her seat in Congress yesterday, that too was reverse psychology?

Trump instagramed the billboard pic, he tweeted it, he probably pasted it on his wall; maybe with your kind of wacky, Trump infatuation, you should too!

Starring role

Circe , Feb 13, 2019 4:15:37 AM | link
Russiagate is finished because Mueller discovered an embarrassing fact: The collusion was and always will be with Israel. Here's Trump professing his endless love for Zionism: Trump Resign
snake , Feb 13, 2019 5:13:14 AM | link

Russiagate was very successful <=pls read, re-read Pft @ 46.. he listed many things. divide and conquer accomplished.
a nation state is defined as an armed rule making structure, designed by those who control a territory, and constructed by the lawyers, military, and wealthy and run by the persons the designers appoint, for the appointed are called politicians.

Most designs of armed nation states provide the designers with information feedback and the designers use that information to appoint more obedient politicians and generals to run things, and to improve the design to better serve the designers. The armed rule making structure is designed to give the designers complete control over those targeted to be the governed. Why so stupid the governed? ; always they allow themselves to be manipulated like sheep.

When 10 angry folks approach you with two pieces of ropes: one to throw over the tree branch under which your horse will be supporting you while they tie the noose around your neck and the other shorter piece of rope to tie your hands behind ..your back you need at that point to make your words count , if five of the people are black and five are white. all you need do is say how smart the blacks are, and how stupid the whites are, as the two groups fight each other you manage your escape. democrat vs republican= divide to conquer. gun, no gun = divide to conquer, HRC vs DJT = divide to conquer, abortion, no abortion = divide to conquer, Trump is a Russian planted in a high level USA position of power = divide to conquer, They were all in on it together,, Muller was in the white house to keep the media supplied with XXX, to keep the law enforcement agencies in the loop, and to advise trump so things would not get out of hand ( its called Manipulation and the adherents to the economic system called Zionism
For the record, Zionism is not related to race, religion or intelligence. Zionism is a system of economics that take's no captives, its adherents must own everything, must destroy and decimate all actual or imaginary competition, for Zionist are the owners and masters of everything? Zionism is about power, absolute power, monopoly ownership and using governments everywhere to abuse the governed. Zionism has many adherents, whites, blacks, browns, Christians, Jews, Islamist, Indians, you name it among each class of person and walk of life can be found persons who subscribe to the idea that they, and only they, should own everything, and when those of us, that are content to be the governed let them, before the kill and murder us, they usually end up owning everything.

snake , Feb 13, 2019 6:08:16 AM | link
Here might the subject matter that Russia Gate sought to camouflage https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/02/13/588433/US-Saudi-Arabia-nuclear-deal-nuclear-weapons 'This comes as US Energy Secretary Rick Perry has been holding secret talks with Saudi officials on sharing US nuclear technology.'

Finally, a hypothesis to explain

1. why the Joint non nuclear agreement with Iran and the other nuclear power nations, that prevented Iran from developing nuclear weapons, was trashed? Someone needs to be able to say Iran is developing ..., at the right time.

2. Why Netanyohu made public a video that claimed Iran was developing nuclear stuff in violation of the Iran non nuclear agreement, and everybody laughed,

3. Why the nuclear non proliferation agreement with Russia, that terminated the costly useless arms race a decade ago, has been recently terminated, to reestablish the nuclear arms race, no apparent reason was given the implication might be Russia could be a target, but

4. why it might make sense to give nukes to Saudi Arabia or some other rogue nation, and

5. why no one is allowed to have nuclear weapons except the Zionist owned and controlled nation states.

Statement: Zionism is an economic system that requires the elimination of all competition of whatever kind. It is a winner get's all, takes no prisoners, targets all who would threaten or be a challenge or a threat; does not matter if the threat is in in oil and gas, technology or weapons as soon as a possibility exist, the principles of Zionism would require that it be taken out, decimated, and destroyed and made where never again it could even remotely be a threat to the Empire, that Zionism demands..

Hypothesis: A claim that another is developing nuclear weapon capabilities is sufficient to take that other out?

Kiza , Feb 13, 2019 8:26:29 AM | link
I am glad that most commenters understand that Russiagate will not go away. But the majority appear to miss the real reason. Russiagate is not an accusation, it is the state of mind.

At the beginnng of Russiagate, I wrote on Robert Parry's Consirtium News that Russiagate is Idiocracy piggy-backing on decades and literally billions of dollars of anti-Soviet and anti-Russian propaganda. How hard would it be to brainwash an already brainwashed population?

The purveyors of Russiagate will re-compose themselves, brush off all reports and continue on. One just cannot get away from one's nature, even when that nature is pure idiocy. Of course, the most ironic in the affair is that it is the so called US "intellectuals", academics and other assorted cretins who are the most fervent proponents. If you were wondering how Russia can make such amazing defensive weapons that US can only deny exist and wet dream of having, there is your answer. It is the state of mind. The whole of US establishment are legends in their on lunch time and totally delusional about the reality surrounding them - both Russiagate and MAGA cretins, no report can help the Russiagate nation.

Finally, I am thinking of that crazy and ugly professor bitch from the British Cambridge University who gives her lectures naked to protest something or other. I am so lucky that I do not have to go to a Western university ever again. What a catastrophic decline! No Brexit can help the Skripal nation.

NemesisCalling , Feb 13, 2019 8:46:48 AM | link
Russiagate is finished, but is DJT also among the rubble?

Hardly any money for the border wall and still lingering in the ME?

If Hoarsewhisperer proves to be correct above re: DJT, he will really have to knock our socks off before election 2020. To do this he will have to unequivocally and unceremoniously withdraw from the MENA and Afghanistan and possibly declare a National Emergency for more money for the wall.

The problem is, when he does this, he will look impulsively dangerous and this may harm his mystique to the lemmings who need a president to be more "presidential."

My money is on status quo all the way to 2020 and the rethugz hoping the Dems will eat their own in an orgy of warring identities.

I would love to be proven wrong.

morongobill , Feb 13, 2019 9:52:25 AM | link
Rush Limbaugh has been on a roll with his analysis of Russiagate, in fact, his analysis is in line with the writer/editor here at MOA.
Bart Hansen , Feb 13, 2019 10:52:12 AM | link
The collusion story may be faltering, but the blame for Russia poisoning the Skripals lives on. The other night on The News Hour, "Judy" led off the program with this: "It has been almost a year since Kremlin intelligence officers attempted to kill a Russian defector in the British city of Salisbury by poisoning him with a nerve agent. That attack, and the subsequent death of a British woman, scared away tourists and shoppers, but authorities and residents are working to get the town's economy back on track. Special correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports."
Erelis , Feb 13, 2019 12:15:48 PM | link

Russiagate will not go away unfortunately because it has evolved in the "Russiagate Industry". As mentioned by others, the Russiagate Industry has been very profitable for many industries and people. Russiagate has generated an entire cottage industry of companies around censorship and "find us a Russian". Dow Jones should have an index on the Russiagate Industry.

Here is one recent example. You know the measles outbreak in the US Pacific Northwest. Yup, the Russians. How do we know. A government funded research grant. The study found that 899 tweets caused people to doubt vaccines. Looks like money is to be had even by academics for the right results.

Measles outbreak: Anti-vaccination misinformation fueled by Russian propagandists, study finds
https://www.oregonlive.com/clark-county/2019/02/measles-outbreak-anti-vaccination-misinformation-fueled-by-russian-propagandists-study-finds.html

[Feb 13, 2019] After Collusion Case Collapses, House Dems Set To Launch Vast Russia Probe 2.0

Feb 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Barely a day has passed since Richard Burr signaled that the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia had turned up nothing substantive - and certainly not a "contract signed in blood" declaring "hey Vlad, we're going to collude".

And already, more details are leaking out about the Democrats' plans to launch a wide ranging investigation that not only will re-litigate the collusion narrative, but will also reportedly focus on allegations of money laundering and other financial improprieties.

Mueller is just the beginning. House Democrats plan a vast probe of President Trump and Russia -- with a heavy focus on money laundering -- that will include multiple committees and dramatic public hearings, and could last into 2020.

Here's more from Axios:

The state of play: The aggressive plans were outlined yesterday by a Democratic member of Congress at a roundtable for Washington reporters. The member said Congress plans interviews with new witnesses, and may go back to earlier witnesses who "stonewalled" under the Republican majority.

Why it matters: The reporters, many of them steeped in the special counsel's investigation, came away realizing that House Dems don't plan to depend on Robert Mueller for the last word on interference in the 2016 election.

Instead, Dems will use their new subpoena power to produce a voluminous exposé of their own.

The investigation will involve multiple committees, and by all accounts be far more critical than the House probe that ended last year.

At least three committees are already involved: The House Intelligence Committee is taking the lead, coordinating with House Financial Services on money-laundering questions and with House Foreign Affairs on Russia.

Democrats are considering ways to uncover what was said in a Trump private meeting with Putin, "whether that's subpoenaing the notes or subpoenaing the interpreter or other steps."

On the issue of Trump family finances, the president said he's "not in a position to draw red lines."

"I am concerned that he may have drawn a red line that the Department of Justice may be observing."

"If we didn't look at his business...we wouldn't know what we know now about his efforts to pursue what may have been the most lucrative deal of his life, the Trump Tower in Moscow - something the special counsel's office has said stood to earn the family hundreds of millions of dollars."

"Now, most of his stuff isn't building anymore: It's licensing , and it doesn't make that kind of money. So, this would have been huge."

"[T]he fact that the president says now: 'Well, it's not illegal and I might have lost the election. Why should I miss out, basically, on all that money?' He may very well take the same position now: 'I might not be re-elected, and so why shouldn't I...still pursue it?'"

Of course, none of this should come as a surprise: Maxine Waters and Adam Schiff (who are two prime candidates for the source of the latest round of leaks) have made no secret of their plans to subpoena Deutsche Bank to learn more about its lending relationship with the president. And as Dems prepare to let the subpoeanas fly, we imagine we'll be learning more in the near future.


alfbell , 52 minutes ago link

Adam Schitt, a real slimy, corrupt politician. Maxine Waters, another financial and political criminal. If you could get them to spill their guts you'd be amazed at all the transgressions they have committed during their careers (they'd go to prison for certain). These two should be shot off into space or something. Shouldn't be allowed to continue harrassing the POTUS.

Lynn Trainor , 1 hour ago link

Since the Mueller probe is ending and no longer serves as a shield from having to answer questions concerning his own corruption, Adam Schiff had to get a new probe going so he'd have an excuse to conveniently remain silent on questions he'd rather not address. Schiff is the very one who should be investigated.

Bokkenrijder , 2 hours ago link

I think the Dems have switched tactics; forget about impeaching Donnie's while he's in office when he could theoretically pardon himself, and instead focus on dragging out the investigation(s) until he has left office.

When Donnie realizes this, he'll be EVEN MORE compliant with serving the neocons, the Deep State and The Swamp.

I always doubted that Donnie ever intended to "drain the swamp," but I fear that he'll become an even bigger neocon warmonger now that the Dems have him checkmate.

The results of the investigation don't matter, the Dems will simply pull more ******** out of their collective Go-Green asses and start new investigations, all financed by the taxpayers of course.

The real collusion of course is between Trump and Israel/AIPAC, but ssshhhhhhh, you're not allowed to talk about that. That's a big """""secret.""""

[Feb 13, 2019] Sic Semper Tyrannis WHY THE DNC WAS NOT HACKED BY THE RUSSIANS by Binney and Johnson

Looks like Gussifer 2.0 person is a fake created to cover tracks and ofload the blame to Russians.
Notable quotes:
"... The phrase, "moderate confidence" is intelligence speak for "we have no hard evidence." ..."
"... Instead, the NSA only claimed to have moderate confidence in the judgement regarding Russian meddling. If the NSA had hard intelligence to support the judgement the conclusion would have been stated as "full confidence." ..."
"... Why does a cyber security company wait 45 days after allegedly uncovering a massive Russian attack on the DNC server to take concrete steps to safeguard the integrity of the information held on the server? This makes no sense. ..."
"... We know one thing for certain -- CrowdStrike did not take steps to shutdown and repair the DNC network until 18 days after the last email was copied from the server. ..."
"... Taken together, these disparate data points combine to paint a picture that exonerates alleged Russian hackers and implicates persons within our law enforcement and intelligence community taking part in a campaign of misinformation, deceit and incompetence. ..."
Feb 13, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

By William Binney, former Technical Director NSA & Larry Johnson, former State CT and CIA

The FBI, CIA and NSA claim that the DNC emails published by WIKILEAKS on July 26, 2016 were obtained via a Russian hack, but more than three years after the alleged "hack" no forensic evidence has been produced to support that claim. In fact, the available forensic evidence contradicts the official account that blames the leak of the DNC emails on a Russian internet "intrusion". The existing evidence supports an alternative explanation--the files taken from the DNC on between 23 and 25May 2016 and were copied onto a file storage device, such as a thumb drive.

If the Russians actually had conducted an internet based hack of the DNC computer network then the evidence of such an attack would have been collected and stored by the National Security Agency. The technical systems to accomplish this task have been in place since 2002. The NSA had an opportunity to make it clear that there was irrefutable proof of Russian meddling, particularly with regard to the DNC hack, when it signed on to the January 2017 "Intelligence Community Assessment," regarding Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election :

We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump's election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.

The phrase, "moderate confidence" is intelligence speak for "we have no hard evidence." Thanks to the leaks by Edward Snowden, we know with certainty that the NSA had the capability to examine and analyze the DNC emails. NSA routinely "vacuumed up" email traffic transiting the U.S. using robust collection systems (whether or not anyone in the NSA chose to look for this data is another question). If those emails had been hijacked over the internet then NSA also would have been able to track the electronic path they traveled over the internet. This kind of data would allow the NSA to declare without reservation or caveat that the Russians were guilty. The NSA could admit to such a fact in an unclassified assessment without compromising sources and methods. Instead, the NSA only claimed to have moderate confidence in the judgement regarding Russian meddling. If the NSA had hard intelligence to support the judgement the conclusion would have been stated as "full confidence."

We believe that Special Counsel Robert Mueller faces major embarrassment if he decides to pursue the indictment he filed -- which accuses 12 Russian GRU military personnel and an entity identified as, Guccifer 2.0, for the DNC hack -- because the available forensic evidence indicates the emails were copied onto a storage device.

According to a DOJ press release on the indictment of the Russians, Mueller declares that the emails were obtained via a "spearphising" attack:

In 2016, officials in Unit 26165 began spearphishing volunteers and employees of the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, including the campaign's chairman. Through that process, officials in this unit were able to steal the usernames and passwords for numerous individuals and use those credentials to steal email content and hack into other computers. They also were able to hack into the computer networks of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) through these spearphishing techniques to steal emails and documents, covertly monitor the computer activity of dozens of employees, and implant hundreds of files of malicious computer code to steal passwords and maintain access to these networks.

The officials in Unit 26165 coordinated with officials in Unit 74455 to plan the release of the stolen documents for the purpose of interfering with the 2016 presidential election. Defendants registered the domain DCLeaks.com and later staged the release of thousands of stolen emails and documents through that website. On the website, defendants claimed to be "American hacktivists" and used Facebook accounts with fictitious names and Twitter accounts to promote the website. After public accusations that the Russian government was behind the hacking of DNC and DCCC computers, defendants created the fictitious persona Guccifer 2.0. On the evening of June 15, 2016 between 4:19PM and 4:56PM, defendants used their Moscow-based server to search for a series of English words and phrases that later appeared in Guccifer 2.0's first blog post falsely claiming to be a lone Romanian hacker responsible for the hacks in the hopes of undermining the allegations of Russian involvement.( https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/grand-jury-indicts-12-russian-intelligence-officers-hacking-offenses-related-2016-election )

Notwithstanding the DOJ press release, an examination of the Wikileaks DNC files do not support the claim that the emails were obtained via spearphising. Instead, the evidence clearly shows that the emails posted on the Wikileaks site were copied onto an electronic media, such as a CD-ROM or thumbdrive before they were posted at Wikileaks. The emails posted on Wikileaks were saved using the File Allocation Table (aka FAT) computer file system architecture.

An examination of the Wikileaks DNC files shows they were created on 23, 25 and 26 May respectively. The fact that they appear in a FAT system format indicates the data was transfered to a storage device, such as a thumb drive.

How do we know? The truth lies in the "last modified" time stamps on the Wikileaks files. Every single one of these time stamps end in even numbers. If you are not familiar with the FAT file system, you need to understand that when a date is stored under this system the data rounds the time to the nearest even numbered second.

We have examined 500 DNC email files stored on Wikileaks and all 500 files end in an even number -- 2, 4, 6, 8 or 0. If a system other than FAT had been used, there would have been an equal probability of the time stamp ending with an odd number. But that is not the case with the data stored on the Wikileaks site. All end with an even number.

The DNC emails are in 3 batches (times are GMT).

Date       Count Min Time Max Time FAT Min Id Max Id
2016-05-23 10520 02:12:38 02:45:42 x    3800  14319
2016-05-25 11936 05:21:30 06:04:36 x       1  22456
2016-08-26 13357 14:11:36 20:06:04 x   22457  44053    

The random probability that FAT was not used is 1 chance in 2 to the 500th power or approximately 1 chance in 10 to the 150th power - in other words, an infinitely high order. This data alone does not prove that the emails were copied at the DNC headquarters. But it does show that the data/emails posted by Wikileaks did go through a storage device, like a thumbdrive, before Wikileaks posted the emails on the World Wide Web.

This fact alone is enough to raise reasonable doubts about Mueller's indictment accusing 12 Russian soldiers as the culprits for the leak of the DNC emails to Wikileaks. A savvy defense attorney will argue, and rightly so, that someone copied the DNC files to a storage device (Eg., USB thumb drive) and transferred that to Wikileaks.

We also tested the hypothesis that Wikileaks could have manipulated the files to produce the FAT result by comparing the DNC email files with the Podesta emails (aka Larter file) that was released on 21 September 2016. The FAT file format is NOT present in the Podesta files. If Wikileaks employed a standard protocol for handling data/emails received from unknown sources we should expect the File structure of the DNC emails to match the file structure of the Podesta emails. The evidence shows otherwise.

There is further compelling technical evidence that undermines the claim that the DNC emails were downloaded over the internet as a result of a spearphising attack. Bill Binney, a former Technical Director of the National Security Agency, along with other former intelligence community experts, examined emails posted by Guccifer 2.0 and discovered that those emails could not have been downloaded over the internet as a result of a spearphising attack. It is a simple matter of mathematics and physics.

Shortly after Wikileaks announced it had the DNC emails, Guccifer 2.0 emerged on the public stage, claiming that "he" hacked the DNC and that he had the DNC emails. Guccifer 2.0 began in late June 2016 to publish documents as proof that "he" had hacked from the DNC.

Taking Guccifer 2.0 at face value -- i.e., that his documents were obtained via an internet attack -- Bill Binney conducted a forensic examination of the metadata contained in the posted documents based on internet connection speeds in the United States. This analysis showed that the highest transfer rate was 49.1 megabytes per second, which is much faster than possible from a remote online connection. The 49.1 megabytes speed coincides with the download rate for a thumb drive .

Binney, assisted by other colleagues with technical expertise, extended the examination and ran various tests forensic from the Netherlands, Albania, Belgrade and the UK. The fastest rate obtained -- from a data center in New Jersey to a data center in the UK--was 12 megabytes per second, which is less than a fourth of the rate necessary to transfer the data, as it was listed from Guccifer 2.

The findings from the examination of the Guccifer 2.0 data and the Wikileaks data does not prove who copied the information to a thumbdrive, but it does provide and empirical alternative explanation that undermines the Special Counsel's claim that the DNC was hacked. According to the forensic evidence for the Guccifer 2.0 data, the DNC emails were not taken by an internet spearphising attack. The data breach was local. It was copied from the network.

There is other circumstantial evidence that buttresses the conclusion that the data breach was a local effort that copied data.

First there is the Top Secret information leaked by Edward Snowden. If the DNC emails had been hacked via spearphising (as alleged by Mueller) then the data would have been captured by the NSA by means of the Upstream program (Fairview, Stormbrew, Blarney, Oakstar) and the forensic evidence would not modify times - the data would be presented as sent.

Second, we have the public reporting on the DNC and Crowdstrike, which provide a bizarre timeline for the alleged Russian hacking.

It was 29 April 2016, when the DNC claims it became aware its servers had been penetrated (see https://medium.com/homefront-rising/dumbstruck-how-crowdstrike-conned-america-on-the-hack-of-the-dnc-ecfa522ff44f ). No claim yet about who was responsible.

According to CrowdStrike founder, Dimitri Alperovitch, his company first detected the Russians mucking around inside the DNC server on 6 May 2016. A CrowdStrike intelligence analyst reportedly told Alperovitch that :

Falcon had identified not one but two Russian intruders: Cozy Bear, a group CrowdStrike's experts believed was affiliated with the FSB, Russia's answer to the CIA; and Fancy Bear, which they had linked to the GRU, Russian military intelligence.

( https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a49902/the-russian-emigre-leading-the-fight-to-protect-america/ )

And what did CrowdStrike do about this? Nothing. According to Michael Isikoff, CrowdStrike claimed their inactivity was a deliberate plan to avoid alerting the Russians that they had been "discovered." This is nonsense. If a security company detected a thief breaking into a house and stealing its contents, what sane company would counsel the client to do nothing in order to avoid alerting the thief?

We know from examining the Wikileaks data that the last message copied from the DNC network is dated Wed, 25 May 2016 08:48:35. No DNC emails were taken and released to Wikileaks after that date.

CrowdStrike waited until 10 June 2016 to take concrete steps to clean up the DNC network. Alperovitch told Esquire's Vicky Ward that :

Ultimately, the teams decided it was necessary to replace the software on every computer at the DNC. Until the network was clean, secrecy was vital. On the afternoon of Friday, June 10, all DNC employees were instructed to leave their laptops in the office.

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a49902/the-russian-emigre-leading-the-fight-to-protect-america/

Why does a cyber security company wait 45 days after allegedly uncovering a massive Russian attack on the DNC server to take concrete steps to safeguard the integrity of the information held on the server? This makes no sense.

A more plausible explanation is that it was discovered that emails had been downloaded from the server and copied onto a device like a thumdrive. But the culprit had not yet been identified. We know one thing for certain -- CrowdStrike did not take steps to shutdown and repair the DNC network until 18 days after the last email was copied from the server.

The final curiosity is that the DNC never provided the FBI access to its servers in order for qualified FBI technicians to conduct a thorough forensic examination. If this had been a genuine internet hack, it would be very easy for the NSA to identify when the information was taken and the route it moved after being hacked from the server. The NSA had the technical collection systems in place to enable analysts to know the date and time of the messages. But that has not been done.

Taken together, these disparate data points combine to paint a picture that exonerates alleged Russian hackers and implicates persons within our law enforcement and intelligence community taking part in a campaign of misinformation, deceit and incompetence. It is not a pretty picture.

[Feb 13, 2019] My understanding is that the Democratic Party person who passed the USB stick to Craig Murray was not Seth Rich

Feb 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Feb 12, 2019 10:54:05 PM | link

James @ 65, Spudski @ 54, Bevin @ 38:

My understanding is that the Democratic Party person who passed the USB stick to Craig Murray was not Seth Rich. Seth Rich died on 10 July 2016 and Murray received the USB stick in September of the same year. So there were quite a few disgruntled Democratic Party whistleblowers at the time.

spudski , Feb 12, 2019 11:48:22 PM | link
@Jen 70

You're right - Seth Rich was not alive in September 2016. Craig Murray says he received a package in a wooded area near the American University in Washington DC in September 2016 from "the source" and that the leak source was the deed of a disgruntled Democrat employee.

james , Feb 13, 2019 1:12:42 AM | link
@71 jen / 73 spudski... i went and checked craigs site, but was unable to find him mentioning this.. i did re-read his post from july 3rd 2017 that came up in a search of seth rich.. The Stink Without a Secret

to quote from it.. "That is it. To this day, that is the sum total of actual "evidence" of Russian hacking. I won't say hang on to it as a fact, because it contains no relevant fact. But at least it is some form of definable allegation of something happening, rather than "Russian hacking" being a simple article of faith like the Holy Trinity.

But there are a number of problems that prevent this being fact at all. Nobody has ever been able to refute the evidence of Bill Binney, former Technical Director of the NSA who designed its current surveillance systems. Bill has stated that the capability of the NSA is such, that if the DNC computers had been hacked, the NSA would be able to trace the actual packets of that information as those emails travelled over the internet, and give a precise time, to the second, for the hack. The NSA simply do not have the event – because there wasn't one. I know Bill personally and am quite certain of his integrity.

As we have been repeatedly told, "17 intelligence agencies" sign up to the "Russian hacking", yet all these king's horses and all these king's men have been unable to produce any evidence whatsoever of the purported "hack". Largely because they are not in fact trying. Here is another actual fact I wish you to hang on to: The Democrats have refused the intelligence agencies access to their servers to discover what actually happened. I am going to say that again.

The Democrats have refused the intelligence agencies access to their servers to discover what actually happened." - why is that???

Jackrabbit , Feb 13, 2019 7:21:34 AM | link
james, jen, spudski, bevin

Look at the interviews of Seth Rich's family on Youtube. The interviews are just weird. And the Seth Rich family has acted in a weird way too.

pantaraxia , Feb 13, 2019 8:07:59 AM | link
Seymour Hersh, surreptitiously taped while discussing Seth Rich's murder.

Seymour Hersh discussing Wikileaks DNC leaks Seth Rich & FBI report (6:30 min)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJpQPGeUeQY

Jackrabbit , Feb 13, 2019 8:39:31 AM | link
As you consider the weirdness of the Rich family, also keep in mind the substantial efforts made to discredit and disable Assange/Wikileaks and Trump's call, in summer 2016) for Putin to release Hillary's lost emails.

The timeline is as follows:

January 2016
FBI report says Hillary emails contained highly classified info
By this time, Trump has all but locked up the GOP nomination - Michael Bloomberg makes urgent public announcement that may enter the race to prevent Sanders and Trump from winning.

February 2016
Never Trump Movement is born

March/April 2016
Trump hires Manafort

May 2016
DNC is hacked

June 2016
Trump Jr. meets with Russians that say they have info about Hillary

July 2016
Wikileaks publishes DNC emails (July 22)
Trump">https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/28/us/politics/donald-trump-russia-clinton-emails.html">Trump calls on Putin to release Hillary's lost emails (July 28)

July 2016
Manafort resigns/is fired

September 2016
Flynn signs agreement with Turk company Inovo BV: $500k "sweatheart deal"

October 2016
Assange's Internet access is terminated for the first time due to "election interference" by publishing DNC emails

November 2016
Flynn's agreement with Turk company ends on election day (Nov 8)
Flynn accepts position as National Security Advisor (Nov 18)

January 2017
Flynn is under investigation due to his work for Inovo BV
Chuck Schumer says Intel agencies "have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you"

February 2017
Trump fires Flynn after he is evasive/untruthful about his conversation with Russian Ambassador

>> Trump's positioning as pro-Russia was bolstered by his hiring pro-Russia Manafort who has links to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. This is a strange choice for the "America First" Trump campaign.

>> Assange/Wikileaks and Flynn are all ultimately snared by anti-Russia hysteria. Wikileaks would later be described as a "hostile intelligence agency" and Assange as a "Russian agent".

spudski , Feb 13, 2019 10:38:17 AM | link
james @75

CM does say this in a December 2016 post:

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/12/cias-absence-conviction/
[The overall extract is between the lines below.]
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I had a call from a Guardian journalist this afternoon. The astonishing result "was that for three hours, an article was accessible through the Guardian front page which actually included the truth among the CIA hype:

"The Kremlin has rejected the hacking accusations, while the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has previously said the DNC leaks were not linked to Russia. A second senior official cited by the Washington Post conceded that intelligence agencies did not have specific proof that the Kremlin was "directing" the hackers, who were said to be one step removed from the Russian government.
Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, who is a close associate of Assange, called the CIA claims "bullshit", adding: "They are absolutely making it up."
"I know who leaked them," Murray said. "I've met the person who leaked them, and they are certainly not Russian and it's an insider. It's a leak, not a hack; the two are different things.
"If what the CIA are saying is true, and the CIA's statement refers to people who are known to be linked to the Russian state, they would have arrested someone if it was someone inside the United States.
"America has not been shy about arresting whistleblowers and it's not been shy about extraditing hackers. They plainly have no knowledge whatsoever."

But only three hours. While the article was not taken down, the home page links to it vanished and it was replaced by a ludicrous one repeating the mad CIA allegations against Russia and now claiming – incredibly – that the CIA believe the FBI is deliberately blocking the information on Russian collusion.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

jackrabbit

Thanks for the info. The Seth Rich story always bothered me. I also recall that in one article CM was quoted as saying that who he got the leaked materials was not "the source." Was the original source SR?

james , Feb 13, 2019 12:18:47 PM | link
@84/87 jr / @91 spudski... thanks for all that..

i tend to believe julian assange when he says the stakes are very high when one is involved in sharing information that could be detrimental others - a large organization in particular, and etc..

I suppose the 2 choices here are one believes either Seth Rich was murdered in a bad part of Washington dc - conceivable, or that someone knew he had passed the emails and wanted to kill him for it..

If you believe 2 - then you have to come up with a reason for why they had to kill him.. The reason jr appears to offer is it makes Russia and WikiLeaks the 2 main suspects, as opposed to seth rich.. and on and on it goes..

I lean towards the later view which jr articulates, but i don't expect to ever find out..

[Feb 13, 2019] Stephen Cohen on War with Russia and Soviet-style Censorship in the US by Russell Mokhiber

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... War with Russia. ..."
"... Cohen said the censorship that he has faced in recent years is similar to the censorship imposed on dissidents in the Soviet Union. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... "Katrina and I had a joint signed op-ed piece in the New York Times ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... "The alternatives have been excluded from both. I would welcome an opportunity to debate these issues in the mainstream media, where you can reach more people. And remember, being in these pages, for better or for worse, makes you Kosher. This is the way it works. If you have been on these pages, you are cited approvingly. You are legitimate. You are within the parameters of the debate." ..."
"... "When I lived off and on in the Soviet Union, I saw how Soviet media treated dissident voices. And they didn't have to arrest them. They just wouldn't ever mention them. Sometimes they did that (arrest them). But they just wouldn't ever mention them in the media." ..."
"... "And something like that has descended here. And it's really alarming, along with some other Soviet-style practices in this country that nobody seems to care about – like keeping people in prison until they break, that is plea, without right to bail, even though they haven't been convicted of anything." ..."
"... "That's what they did in the Soviet Union. They kept people in prison until people said – I want to go home. Tell me what to say – and I'll go home. That's what we are doing here. And we shouldn't be doing that." ..."
"... Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter.. ..."
Feb 12, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

On stage at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C. this past week was Princeton University Professor Emeritus Stephen Cohen, author of the new book, War with Russia: From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate.

Cohen has largely been banished from mainstream media.

"I had been arguing for years -- very much against the American political media grain -- that a new US/Russian Cold War was unfolding -- driven primarily by politics in Washington, not Moscow," Cohen writes in War with Russia. "For this perspective, I had been largely excluded from influential print, broadcast and cable outlets where I had been previously welcomed."

On the stage at Busboys and Poets with Cohen was Katrina vanden Heuvel, the editor of The Nation magazine, and Robert Borosage, co-founder of the Campaign for America's Future.

During question time, Cohen was asked about the extent of the censorship in the context of other Americans who had been banished from mainstream American media, including Ralph Nader, whom the liberal Democratic establishment, including Borosage and Vanden Heuvel, stiff armed when he crashed the corporate political parties in the electoral arena in 2004 and 2008.

Cohen said the censorship that he has faced in recent years is similar to the censorship imposed on dissidents in the Soviet Union.

"Until some period of time before Trump, on the question of what America's policy toward Putin's Kremlin should be, there was a reasonable facsimile of a debate on those venues that had these discussions," Cohen said. "Are we allowed to mention the former Charlie Rose for example? On the long interview form, Charlie would have on a person who would argue for a very hard policy toward Putin. And then somebody like myself who thought it wasn't a good idea."

"Occasionally that got on CNN too. MSNBC not so much. And you could get an op-ed piece published, with effort, in the New York Times or Washington Post ."

"Katrina and I had a joint signed op-ed piece in the New York Times six or seven years ago. But then it stopped. And to me, that's the fundamental difference between this Cold War and the preceding Cold War."

"I will tell you off the record – no, I'm not going to do it," Cohen said. "Two exceedingly imminent Americans, who most op-ed pages would die to get a piece by, just to say they were on the page, submitted such articles to the New York Times , and they were rejected the same day. They didn't even debate it. They didn't even come back and say – could you tone it down? They just didn't want it."

"Now is that censorship? In Italy, where each political party has its own newspaper, you would say – okay fair enough. I will go to a newspaper that wants me. But here, we are used to these newspapers."

"Remember how it works. I was in TV for 18 years being paid by CBS. So, I know how these things work. TV doesn't generate its own news anymore. Their actual reporting has been de-budgeted. They do video versions of what is in the newspapers."

"Look at the cable talk shows. You see it in the New York Times and Washington Post in the morning, you turn on the TV at night and there is the video version. That's just the way the news business works now."

"The alternatives have been excluded from both. I would welcome an opportunity to debate these issues in the mainstream media, where you can reach more people. And remember, being in these pages, for better or for worse, makes you Kosher. This is the way it works. If you have been on these pages, you are cited approvingly. You are legitimate. You are within the parameters of the debate."

"If you are not, then you struggle to create your own alternative media. It's new in my lifetime. I know these imminent Americans I mentioned were shocked when they were just told no. It's a lockdown. And it is a form of censorship."

"When I lived off and on in the Soviet Union, I saw how Soviet media treated dissident voices. And they didn't have to arrest them. They just wouldn't ever mention them. Sometimes they did that (arrest them). But they just wouldn't ever mention them in the media."

"Dissidents created what is known as samizdat – that's typescript that you circulate by hand. Gorbachev, before he came to power, did read some samizdat. But it's no match for newspapers published with five, six, seven million copies a day. Or the three television networks which were the only television networks Soviet citizens had access to."

"And something like that has descended here. And it's really alarming, along with some other Soviet-style practices in this country that nobody seems to care about – like keeping people in prison until they break, that is plea, without right to bail, even though they haven't been convicted of anything."

"That's what they did in the Soviet Union. They kept people in prison until people said – I want to go home. Tell me what to say – and I'll go home. That's what we are doing here. And we shouldn't be doing that."

Cohen appears periodically on Tucker Carlson's show on Fox News. And that rankled one person in the audience at Busboys and Poets, who said he worried that Cohen's perspective on Russia can be "appropriated by the right."

"Trump can take that and run on a nationalistic platform – to hell with NATO, to hell with fighting these endless wars, to do what he did in 2016 and get the votes of people who are very concerned about the deteriorating relations between the U.S. and Russia," the man said.

Cohen says that on a personal level, he likes Tucker Carlson "and I don't find him to be a racist or a nationalist."

"Nationalism is on the rise around the world everywhere," Cohen said. "There are different kinds of nationalism. We always called it patriotism in this country, but we have always been a nationalistic country."

"Fox has about three to four million viewers at that hour," Cohen said. "If I am not permitted to give my take on American/Russian relations on any other mass media, and by the way, possibly talk directly to Trump, who seems to like his show, and say – Trump is making a mistake, he should do this or do that instead -- I don't get many opportunities – and I can't see why I shouldn't do it."

"I get three and a half to four minutes," Cohen said. "I don't see it as consistent with my mission, if that's the right word, to say no. These articles I write for The Nation , which ended up in my book, are posted on some of the most God awful websites in the world. I had to look them up to find out how bad they really are. But what can I do about it?"

Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Russell Mokhiber

Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter..

[Feb 13, 2019] The US neoliberal MSM are engaged in a "privilege protection racket"

Notable quotes:
"... Maté explains why he thinks this narrative ultimately aligns with the longstanding interests of U.S. establishment power. He calls it a "privilege protection racket" that thrives on distraction and misdirection, turning the public away from a real critique of the rise of Trumpism that would otherwise implicate the neoliberal policies of democrats and conservatives alike, foreign policy think tanks, and the media. ..."
Feb 13, 2019 | teamhuman.fm

Aaron is gong to break down "Russiagate," taking a sober look at the media frenzy of "bombshell" stories asserting a Russian conspiracy behind the 2016 election.

Maté explains why he thinks this narrative ultimately aligns with the longstanding interests of U.S. establishment power. He calls it a "privilege protection racket" that thrives on distraction and misdirection, turning the public away from a real critique of the rise of Trumpism that would otherwise implicate the neoliberal policies of democrats and conservatives alike, foreign policy think tanks, and the media.

[Feb 12, 2019] Watch MSNBC Host Squirm During Live Update On No Collusion Intel Committee News

Feb 12, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

And in a prior NBC News article Tuesday morning, Dilanian spelled out :

After two years and 200 interviews , the Senate Intelligence Committee is approaching the end of its investigation into the 2016 election, having uncovered no direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia , according to both Democrats and Republicans on the committee.

MSNBC anchor Hallie Jackson and her guest panelists' faces looked visibly confused and uncomfortable as they learned the Senate report is going in the opposite direction of everything MSNBC and other mainstream outlets have been breathlessly reporting on a near 24/7 basis.

More importantly, if this is a precursor of what the Mueller report concludes in a few weeks/months, the TV station that built its current reputation on the premise of Russian collusion, may have no option but to go on indefinite hiatus.

Watch the segment below, with host Hallie Jackson appearing to grow exasperated by the 2:20 mark : "If and when the president, as he may inevitably do, points to these conclusions and says look, the Senate intelligence committee found I am not guilty of conspiracy... he would be correct in saying that? "

https://www.youtube.com/embed/a4DKItxvKfU

Dilanian noted that while the Republican chair of the committee made what he characterized as "partisan" comments the week prior, it turned out be unanimous fact. "What I found," he said, "is that Democrats don't dispute that characterization ."

But perhaps sensing how "contrary" to the network's own hysterical 'Russiagate' coverage his reporting was, he tried to soften the blow, saying, "But, again, no direct proof of a conspiracy. As one democratic aide said to me, 'we never thought we were going to find a Democrat between Trump and Vladimir Putin saying let's collude, but the question is how do we interpret all these various contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia.'"

Hallie Jackson followed with further probing: "Not to put too fine a point on it, but I want to make sure I'm understanding this..." and asked "If and when the president, as he may inevitably do, points to these conclusions and says look, the Senate intelligence committee found I'm not guilty of conspiracy... he would be correct in saying that? "

Her face looking rather incredulous at this point, Dilanian responded by invoking the Mueller investigation, reassuring her his inquiry is not complete and likely could uncover more information. But then the bottom line: "That said, Trump will claim vindication through this, and he'll be partially right," he said. But Dilanian also noted the Senate intel committee has access to classified material, which means "if there was an intercept between officers suggesting they were conspiring with the Trump campaign, [the committee] would see that. And that has not emerged."

"So that evidence does not exist, and Trump will claim vindication," he repeated.

Yet after all this, during the full segment Vice News guest panelist Shawna Thomas actually invoked impeachment in what appeared a desperate attempt to grasp for anything . "There's two things I question about [the report]," she began.

"Number one, if and when the report finally comes out from the Senate intelligence committee, is there anything in there that will cause, especially some of these new House Dems, to start to clamor, even if there isn't 'conspiracy' or 'collusion', for impeachment?" said Thomas.

But then she tried to deflate the whole thing, upsetting as it was for purveyors of the collusion narrative: "The other thing is, based on what Ken is saying, it's all stuff we knew already," she said.

Right... cause in MSNBC's Russiagate-land "the walls are closing in" on Trump, constantly. Except the network just woke up to the reality that it's not the case.

We only wonder what Rachel Maddow will be left with after this.

[Feb 09, 2019] Putin General Wesley Clark on destruction of the Middle East - YouTube

Feb 09, 2019 | www.youtube.com

4TruthBeTrue 9 months ago Putin is the most articulate leader I have seen. He demonstrates clear understanding of the issues and causes at the core of the situation. Very intelligent. The world needs more leaders of this calibre. The USA have stuck there beak in and stirred up a hornets nest, and now there is unrest and instability in the land that has caused scores of people to perish or be dislocated. And the repercussions a still being felt today. Obscure Shadow 2 years ago Putin speaks with the common sense & diplomacy of a true statesman. Compared to him, US speak like a bunch of immature imbeciles. Many blessings & protection to him. 100+% support to him & Russia from this American. I wish we could clone him here...

[Feb 09, 2019] Did The Department Of Justice Protect Brenda Snipes From Prosecution For Ballot Destruction by Elizabeth Lea Vos

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... it is important to remember that Wasserman-Schultz and Snipes are merely the public faces of an extensive, deeply problematic system of corruption. It is then also essential to understand who, and what mechanisms, have allowed figures like Wasserman-Schultz, Snipes, the Awan brothers, and others to go unprosecuted. ..."
"... As readers may recall , Snipes illegally destroyed ballots from the 2016 primary race between Wasserman-Schultz and Tim Canova. The Sun Sentinel explained Snipes's direct involvement in the destruction of ballots, writing: ..."
"... Canova's contention that US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein may have been responsible for preventing legal consequences for Brenda Snipes is profoundly concerning. Last year, Rosenstein faced heavy criticism in the wake of the publication of the infamous FISA Memo. Last year, The Daily Beast described the memo's account of surveillance abuse, saying: "[The memo] specifically names FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein along with former FBI Director James Comey." ..."
"... Needless to say, the fact that Rosenstein was directly involved with the strongly partisan activities documented by the FISA memo makes it unsurprising that he would interfere on behalf of associates of Hillary Clinton. ..."
"... Setting the possibility that Wasserman-Schultz's brother may also have been involved in protecting Snipes from prosecution aside for the moment, Canova's allegations raise a myriad of new questions, including: who benefits from protecting Snipes? ..."
"... "In stories like this, the image painted of the Department of Justice is one of a federal agency that functions in a manner far more akin to organized crime than to a governmental body." ..."
Feb 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Via Disobedient Media.

A vast caldera of public rage has rightfully been aimed at Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Brenda Snipes over the last few years. However, it is important to remember that Wasserman-Schultz and Snipes are merely the public faces of an extensive, deeply problematic system of corruption. It is then also essential to understand who, and what mechanisms, have allowed figures like Wasserman-Schultz, Snipes, the Awan brothers, and others to go unprosecuted.

This issue became clearer earlier this week when former congressional candidate Tim Canova Tweeted:

As readers may recall , Snipes illegally destroyed ballots from the 2016 primary race between Wasserman-Schultz and Tim Canova. The Sun Sentinel explained Snipes's direct involvement in the destruction of ballots, writing:

"Canova, who was checking for voting irregularities in the race, sought to look at the paper ballots in March 2017 and took Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes to court three months later when her office hadn't fulfilled his request. Snipes approved the destruction of the ballots in September, signing a certification that said no court cases involving the ballots were pending. Snipes called the action a "mistake" during testimony she gave in the case, saying the boxes were mislabeled and there was "nothing on my part that was intentional" about destroying the contested ballots."

Big League Politics also reported: "On May 11, 2018, the Florida Circuit Court granted Plaintiff Canova summary judgment, and found that Snipes had violated numerous state and federal statutes, including laws punishable as felonies with up to five years in prison. The Court's ruling made clear that Snipes' destruction of ballots was illegal on several separate counts."

Disobedient Media spoke with Tim Canova, who told us:

"I was recently informed by election officials in Florida that it's the Deputy AG, Rod Rosenstein, who would have been the DOJ official making the decision not to move forward with a criminal investigation in our ballot destruction case. I also believe that Steve Wasserman, an Assistant US Attorney at the DOJ headquarters in Washington, DC, may well have been involved in the decision, particularly since Wasserman spoke out publicly against prosecuting Awan in the days before Awan's sentencing."

A Floridian official set to prosecute Snipes was also said to have backed down after a trip to Washington DC, which involved meetings with the DOJ. Canova stated:

"Last May, the acting US Attorney for South Florida, Ben Greenberg, was about to open a criminal investigation into Snipes's destruction of our ballots when he flew to DC for a week of meetings at DOJ. When he returned, the investigation was off."

Canova's contention that US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein may have been responsible for preventing legal consequences for Brenda Snipes is profoundly concerning. Last year, Rosenstein faced heavy criticism in the wake of the publication of the infamous FISA Memo. Last year, The Daily Beast described the memo's account of surveillance abuse, saying: "[The memo] specifically names FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein along with former FBI Director James Comey."

The Washington Times reported: "The memo from Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee shows that at least one questionable surveillance warrant application was signed by Mr. Rosenstein, who already had a difficult relationship with President Trump. The memo said information supporting the application was obtained from a partisan anti-Trump dossier funded by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic Party."

Needless to say, the fact that Rosenstein was directly involved with the strongly partisan activities documented by the FISA memo makes it unsurprising that he would interfere on behalf of associates of Hillary Clinton.

Setting the possibility that Wasserman-Schultz's brother may also have been involved in protecting Snipes from prosecution aside for the moment, Canova's allegations raise a myriad of new questions, including: who benefits from protecting Snipes?

Undeniably, the most obvious answer is Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the alleged beneficiary of Snipes's illegal ballot destruction. Similarly, one wonders what connection such a decision may have with the DOJ's refusal to prosecute the Awan scandal, a move from which Debbie Wasserman-Schultz also directly benefited.

In light of this, we are led to ask: Who benefits from shielding Debbie Wasserman-Schultz from the blowback of multiple national scandals? What would induce the DOJ to prop up such an embarrassment?

Farts and Leaves,

"In stories like this, the image painted of the Department of Justice is one of a federal agency that functions in a manner far more akin to organized crime than to a governmental body."

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck...

Taras Bulba

Dis ob Media-good report-thanks.

This abolute outrageous info about snipes, the wassermanschultzes, awans, dimocrats in congress shouts loudly that we really have no system of justice in this country, at least for the powerful and connected. This is outrageous-where in the hell is the DOJ, oh, that is the problem with ,rosenstein, prob the clintons, et al

My guess is wasserman schultz is mossad-to my mind, there can be no other explanation.

It appears that George Webb has been shut down, he was bird dogging this info, now daily caller luke has cut him off.

The vomit factor on this one is off the scale!

Ajax-1

At the very least, why hasn't Trump or his new AG fired Rosenstein?

space junk

Probably because the stay behind networks from the Sessions/Obama/Holder and even Bush eras, have so much entanglement into the system, that change cannot be made in quick order. One only can hope that T-man will chop off the head of the snake and not just the tail.

hooligan2009

the two key extracts from the article are these:

"... the Department of Justice is one of a federal agency that functions in a manner far more akin to organized crime than to a governmental body. The DOJ's refusal prosecute the Awans, and Rosenstein's alleged decision to prevent legal consequences for Brenda Snipes shows us that corruption allowed to stagnate in Broward County affected the whole country. "

and

"... the Department of Justice refuses to prosecute such crimes as detailed in the Awan scandal and as committed by Snipes, how can the public hope to hold their government accountable for election interference and other forms of corruption? "

the case is clear. the DoJ has, again, acted against the national interest and the staff involved are guilty of electoral fraud, sedition and treason. the awan brothers sold congressional secrets to Pakistan (and mossad probably).

cui bono? from not prosecuting these blatant, obvious AND DISCLOSED crimes? there is a fetid swamp of criminality here and a flagrant, in your face, contempt for the american people and their security.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? where is the oversight of this criminality? the inspector general? internal affairs? where are the lawyers that leap to defend civil rights abuses against covington schoolkids, but not issues such as this?

hooligan2009, 7 hours ago

h/t anthony aaron's link below

http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/the-tale-of-the-brothers-awan/

" Congress paid the Awans more than $4 million between 2004 and 2016 at their $165,000 salary level, a sum that some sources suggest to be three or four times higher than the norm for government contractor IT specialists performing similar work at the same level of alleged competence. "

-ALIEN-

The US Dept of INjustice is a criminal organization, of course it is protecting those who subvert elections at the direction of the Oligarchs.

Our whole system of voting has been carefully crafted and tuned to ensure the USA Citizen has almost no effect on the functioning of government.

boattrash

One thing not mentioned in the article, was the dead body of federal prosecutor Beranton J. Whisenant Jr. found on the beach in Debbie's District...Dead from a suicide gunshot to the head...he used a "magic gun" I suppose, because local police think in "floated off in the surf" FFS

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article167403992.html

GotGalt

It is pretty amazing how the story of the Awan brothers is *already* swallowed into the black hole of media silence.

They are winning... :-(

[Feb 09, 2019] Mueller Annoyed By Chipper, Overeager Adam Schiff Constantly Sending Him Evidence He's Already Uncovered

Feb 09, 2019 | politics.theonion.com

WASHINGTON -- Expressing frustration at the obnoxious, nonstop attempts to aid his investigation, special counsel Robert Mueller was reportedly annoyed Friday that a chipper, overeager Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) keeps constantly sending him evidence he's already uncovered. "Christ, he just emailed me ...

[Feb 08, 2019] Is Putin a Russian Nationalist ?

Feb 08, 2019 | angrybearblog.com
  1. Barkley Rosser , February 8, 2019 2:15 am

    While China is clearly a concern, the main beneficiaries of the INF treaty were neither US nor USSR/Russia. It was European nations, especially the western ones on the continent. So iit should be no surprise that they opposed ending the treaty, even as Russia was violating it, and Trump withdrew from it unilaterally with Russia immediately following.

    Putin is not already a "hard core nationalist"? Compared to Putin, Trump looks very much like a soft core one. Has he pulled anything remotely as hard core nationslist as annexing Crimea?

likbez , February 8, 2019 3:14 pm

Barkley,

You should probably read more Professor Stephen F. Cohen on Russia, not NYT or WaPo.

Of course, as you do not know the language, it is difficult for you to access the situation on the ground. And in this sense reading Stephen F. Cohen might be very helpful as he operates with Russian language sources, nor NYT or WaPo propaganda. Also traveling to Moscow on vacations might help to access the situation in a more rational style ;-)

> Putin is not already a "hardcore nationalist"? Compared to Putin, Trump looks very much like a softcore one.

FYI Putin a "soft neoliberal," and as such he can't be the hardcore nationalist. For those, you need to look at Ukraine's political scene. At best he can be "cultural nationalist," but I doubt even that. He is a Philo-German politician, I think.

I think the main countervailing force that prevents Russians from jailing Yeltsin close circle of neoliberal reformers (like Chubais, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatoly_Chubais , aka the most hated man in Russia) is Putin.

The only guy who IMHO might qualify as a hardcore nationalist I think is Zhirinovsky ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Zhirinovsky ). But I do not know much about Russia anyway, so there might be more. In any case, it looks like nationalism is on the upswing in Russia like in most European countries. Especially after Euromaidan, when pro-Western neoliberals in Russia were decimated and lost all political influence.

Putin also keeps Medvedev as the Prime minister and recently appointed Kudrin to an important office. Both are neoliberals, proponents of "free markets" and privatization. Both might well be jailed without Putin.

Trump also is a neoliberal politician (his tax cuts were clearly a neoliberal act), but his main and defining features are incompetence and impulsivity.

He betrayed all his key promises to the electorate and thus can be called Republican Obama.

To qualify for a far-right politician, you need to adhere to key points of NSDAP program of 1920:

7. We demand that the state is charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens. If it is impossible to sustain the total population of the State, then the members of foreign nations (non-citizens) are to be expelled from the Reich.

8. Any further immigration of non-citizens is to be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans, who have immigrated to Germany since 2 August 1914, be forced immediately to leave the Reich.

9.All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.

10.The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently, we demand:

11.Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.

12.In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore, we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

13.We demand the nationalization of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).

14.We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.

15.We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.

16.We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.

17.We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.

18.We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.

21.The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.

22. We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.

[Feb 08, 2019] Venezuela Guardian sparing neocon blushes

Notable quotes:
"... The Guardian's Latin America correspondent, Tom Phillips, an inveterate liar-by-omission , could easily have included this information. He chose not to, if paid propagandists can ever be said to have a choice in what they print. ..."
Feb 08, 2019 | off-guardian.org

This website started as a way to air opinions that The Guardian would not allow in their comments section. Over time it evolved into fact-checking. Rarely has it been so simple. This is The Guardian's latest story on the unfolding crisis in Venezuela, it is headlined:

Venezuela: Maduro accuses US of trying to 'get hands on our oil'

That headline is technically true. Nicolas Maduro – the beseiged Venezuelan President and the MSM's current "monster of the week" – did accuse the USA of wanting to control Venezuela's vast crude oil deposits. He cited Iraq and Libya as recent examples of similar behaviour.

What The Guardian did NOT mention is that John Bolton, Donald Trump's neocon National Security Advisor, admitted that Maduro was right. He told Fox Business that Venezuela's oil was a big motivation for Trump's admin:

We're in conversation with major american companies now I think we're trying to get to the same end result here it will make a BIG difference to the American economy if we could have American oil companies invest in, and produce, Venezuela's oil capabilities."

There you have it – straight from the Walrus' mouth. The US is interested in Venezuela's oil. He also refered to it as a "big business opportunity" . (Here is a second link to it , just in case Fox News decided to take the (embarrassing) admission off their website.)

This fact clashes with the false narrative The Guardian , and their co-conspirators in the media, are trying to push on their public. The state-sponsored narrative is that Maduro is lying or crazy. A paranoid dictator desperately clinging to power, and spinning fairy tales to defend himself. John Bolton's admission smashes that lie to pieces. So, of course, it is not mentioned.

The Guardian's Latin America correspondent, Tom Phillips, an inveterate liar-by-omission , could easily have included this information. He chose not to, if paid propagandists can ever be said to have a choice in what they print.


USAma Bin Laden says Feb, 5, 2019

The Guardian: Mouthpiece for the liberal wing of British imperialism.

Of course, the USA wants to gain control of Venezuelan oil–note control does not mean merely accessto but more importantly control over the currency that this oil is sold in so as to maintain the American Empire's Holiest of Holies: the American PetroDollar.

But then again, the Guardian would also have you believe that America and its (snicker) Free World allies are really fighting a War on Terrorism–even though they have been arming and sponsoring jihadist terrorism like the Libyan Islamic Fight Group (against Libya) and similar groups like Al-Nusra Front (the Al-Queda affiliate in Syria) for years.

So it's not surprising that the Guardian would regurgitate American and Western regime war propaganda.

Gezzah Potts says Feb, 6, 2019
USAma Bin Laden: and that's exactly what the Guardian is for: disseminators of pro war, pro imperialist, pro humanitarian intervention . To save the targeted countries from themselves. And install an Empire friendly puppet who will bend over for his/her master's. Sheer coincidence that nearly every country that needs 'saved' also has large amounts of oil and gas.
Brupo says Feb, 1, 2019
The Guardian is a shame!
DunGroanin says Feb, 2, 2019
Tom Phillips in Caracas.

The banality of the Obssesive Grauniad reaches new depths.

Reporting mass protests that haven't yet happened!

Fake 'news' and they don't care who knows. Blatant and bare faced pretenders.

Loftwork says Jan, 31, 2019

Quite right. I also find it depressingly unsurprising that the Graun is not concerned about the appointment of Elliot Abrams as Trump's lead man in Venezuela. Once upon a time the Graun cared about things like Iran Contra. Now, who knows where it hides its principles, if it hasn't simply sold them all.
lundiel says Jan, 31, 2019
I think it kept what was left of its principals in a hard drive along with the Snowden files.

[Feb 08, 2019] So don't miss James Corbett's "FAKE NEWS AWARD"

Feb 08, 2019 | off-guardian.org

Joerg says Feb, 7, 2019

"Everything (to the contrary) is propaganda"
Yes, they will never stop. Just think of this brand-new propaganda lie of Maduro allegedly preventing aid shipment to come into Venezuela. See BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-47143492 : " Venezuelan soldiers have blocked the crossing ahead of a delivery arranged by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has declared himself interim president ".

Notice the word " ahead " in this sentence. This word appears because there was never a " delivery " (truck) with aid shipment at the bridge!
The Venezuelan government ("Maduro") blocked the bridge only because of war-threatening Columbia and USA.

If you want to send aid shipment to Venezuela you can send as much as you want anytime. Of course you have to respect the regulations of the custom (like in every other country!). But that's all!

Whets foul with this story?

Well, this aid " delivery " cannot have been collected in Colombia – and thus being taken away from the people of Colombia, who are much poorer than the people of Venezuela. So it would have to come from other country (USA, Europe, China, Japan). And then you would not land this aid shipment in Columbia (a harbour, an airport), drive it, in hot-humid air, through half of Colombia to the border crossing bridge of Cúcuta. Then cross the bridge and then drive it through half of Venezuela!

Instead aid shipments for Venezuela would be landed directly in Venezuela – in an Venezuelan harbour or airport.

"Everything (to the contrary) is propaganda". Or "Fake News"! So don't miss James Corbett's "FAKE NEWS AWARD" – https://www.corbettreport.com/episode-351-the-2nd-annual-real-fake-news-awards/

[Feb 07, 2019] The British government has made very little of the evidence behind its stupid claims public, and what they have made public doesn't add up.

Feb 07, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Ghost Ship , Feb 7, 2019 4:06:14 PM | link

>>>>: james | Feb 7, 2019 2:51:13 PM | 4

... ... ..

Finally for all you Skripal conspiracy theorists out there, that other source of "fake news" run by the Kremlin, Sputnik News, has an article by Kit Klarenberg about that Bellingcat, The Guardian and MI6 favourite Dan Kaszeta who was the first person apparently to suggest that it was Novichok wot did it.

I ran into Dan Kazeta a number of times at Bellingcat because of his dodgy claims about Khan Sheikhoun and chemical weapons (Why has the green tube involved in delivering the alleged chemical weapon never appeared in the west? Because it ain't what the jihadists claimed it was and forensic tests would prove that?)

BTW, with Skripal, there can only be conspiracy theorists out in the wild because the British government has made very little of the evidence behind its stupid claims public, and what they have made public doesn't add up.

[Feb 06, 2019] Bari Weiss Has the Stupidest Take on Tulsi Gabbard Yet

Notable quotes:
"... "Am I crazy?" -Bari Weiis Well Bari Weiis you're either crazy or you're a yet another worthless establishment shill whose job is spread deliberate misinformation about the most genuine anti-war candidate running at a time when the entire MSM, MIC, and the neoliberal rightwing establishment (including AIPAC) is deliberately smearing her to immediately kill her campaign. And you didn't come across as crazy so... ..."
Feb 06, 2019 | www.youtube.com

the op kingdom , 1 week ago (edited)

This woman had NO CLUE what she was talking about. She thought she was on a show that would just tow the party line and let her get away with wrong statements. She's just repeating what critics say with no idea of the truth. What a fool. As a woman, THIS IS WHY I WON'T JUST VOTE FOR ANY WOMAN. We are just as capable of being stupid as anyone else.

FrozenWolf150 , 1 week ago

Bari: "I think Tulsi Gabbard is an Assad toadie." Joe: "What do you mean by toadie?" Bari: "Oh, I don't know what that means." Joe: "Okay, I looked it up, and it's like a sycophant." Bari: "Then Tulsi is like an Assad sycophant." Joe: "So what do you mean by that?" Bari: "I'm not sure what sycophant means either." Joe: "I looked up the definition, it's like a suck-up." Bari: "All right, Tulsi is an Assad suck-up." Joe: "Could you explain that further?" Bari: "I don't know what suck means." Joe: "It's what you're doing right now."

Jeff Oloff , 1 week ago

Bari Weiss is a tool of Zionist war mongers that promote perpetual war. She has no thoughts of her own.

Joe Smith , 1 week ago

I hate Bari Weiss....I just don't why.

Nicholas Pniewski , 1 week ago

Tulsi also recently clarified her position of Assad and Syria on CNN, where she said she would have diplomacy rather than war

Captain Obvious , 1 week ago

"Am I crazy?" -Bari Weiis Well Bari Weiis you're either crazy or you're a yet another worthless establishment shill whose job is spread deliberate misinformation about the most genuine anti-war candidate running at a time when the entire MSM, MIC, and the neoliberal rightwing establishment (including AIPAC) is deliberately smearing her to immediately kill her campaign. And you didn't come across as crazy so...

[Feb 06, 2019] NYT Columnist Calls Tulsi Gabbard 'Assad Toady,' Can't Define or Spell Term

I will be very surprised if neocons would not frame her Putin toady as well. This is how this system works. It eliminates undesirable to the neoliberals candidates with 100% efficiency.
They serve as local STASI and some former STASI official might well envy neocons efficiency of silencing opponents (with much less blood and overt repression, by pure magic of neocon propaganda ).
Notable quotes:
"... She has "monstrous ideas, she's an Assad toady," Weiss tells Rogan. ..."
"... Rogan then reads the definition: "Toadies. The definition of toadies: A person who flatters or defers to others for self-serving reasons." "A sycophant. So I did use it right!" Weiss exclaims. "So she's an Assad sycophant? Is that what you're saying?" "Yeah, that's, proven -- known -- about her." ..."
"... When Rogan asks what Gabbard has said that qualifies her as a sycophant, Weiss replies: "I don't remember the details." ..."
"... Gabbard, who announced her presidential campaign on January 11, has drawn incredible amounts of ire from mainstream Democrats tripping over themselves for war with Syria because in January 2017, Gabbard met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and denounced the opposition rebels in the country's civil war as "terrorists." ..."
"... She has also expressed skepticism about accusations that Assad's government has used chemical weapons during the conflict and spoken out against cruise missile attacks by the US and its allies against the country. ..."
Feb 06, 2019 | sputniknews.com
Monday to discuss current events, but things got embarrassing when she went in on Gabbard, a progressive Democrat whose foreign policy positions have turned more than a few heads.

Neocon NY Times columnist Bari Weiss smeared Tulsi Gabbard (who bravely opposed regime change and US support for Salafi-jihadist contras) as an "Assad toady," then couldn't spell/define toady or offer any evidence to prove her smear. Embarrassingly funny pic.twitter.com/m0MLaHFPiX

-- Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) January 22, 2019

She has "monstrous ideas, she's an Assad toady," Weiss tells Rogan.

US Representative Tulsi Gabbard speaks during Day 2 of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 26, 2016 © AFP 2018 / Timothy A. CLARY Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard Speaks the Truth on Syria, Gets Smeared by the Mainstream Media

When Rogan asks for clarification, she says, "I think that I used that word correctly." She then asks someone off camera to look up what toady means. "Like toeing the line," Rogan says, "is that what it means?" "No, I think it's like, uh " and Weiss drones off without an answer. She then attempts to spell it, and can't even do that. "T-O-A-D-I-E. I think it means what I think it means "

Rogan then reads the definition: "Toadies. The definition of toadies: A person who flatters or defers to others for self-serving reasons." "A sycophant. So I did use it right!" Weiss exclaims. "So she's an Assad sycophant? Is that what you're saying?" "Yeah, that's, proven -- known -- about her."

When Rogan asks what Gabbard has said that qualifies her as a sycophant, Weiss replies: "I don't remember the details."

In this Nov. 6, 2018, file photo, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, greets supporters in Honolulu. Gabbard has announced she's running for president in 2020 © AP Photo / Marco Garcia 'Assad's Mouthpiece in Washington': Controversial Dem. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard Announces 2020 Run

"We probably should say that before we say that about her -- we should probably read it, rather, right now, just so we know what she said," Rogan notes. "I think she's, like, the motherlode of bad ideas," Weiss then says. "I'm pretty positive about that, especially on Assad. But maybe I'm wrong. I don't think I'm wrong." It seems to us here at Sputnik that such claims should be made with a bit more confidence than this. So let's set the record straight.

Gabbard, who announced her presidential campaign on January 11, has drawn incredible amounts of ire from mainstream Democrats tripping over themselves for war with Syria because in January 2017, Gabbard met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and denounced the opposition rebels in the country's civil war as "terrorists."

She has also expressed skepticism about accusations that Assad's government has used chemical weapons during the conflict and spoken out against cruise missile attacks by the US and its allies against the country.

A general view shows damaged buildings at al-Kalasa district of Aleppo, Syria in Aleppo, Syria, February 2, 2017 © REUTERS / Omar Sanadiki US Lawmakers Call for Syria Strategy Where Assad Leaving Post, Russian Military Pulls Out

"Initially I hadn't planned on meeting him," Gabbard, an Iraq War veteran, told CNN's Jake Tapper following the meeting. "When the opportunity arose to meet with him, I did so, because I felt it's important that if we profess to truly care about the Syrian people, about their suffering, then we've got to be able to meet with anyone that we need to if there is a possibility that we could achieve peace. And that's exactly what we talked about."

"I have seen this cost of war firsthand, which is why I fight so hard for peace," Gabbard said. "And that's the reality of the situation that we're facing here. It's why I have urged and continue to urge [US President Donald] Trump to meet with people like Kim Jong Un in North Korea, because we understand what's at stake here. The only alternative to having these kinds of conversations is more war."

Moreover, in a March 2016 speech before Congress, Gabbard called Assad "a brutal dictator," noting that her opposition to what she called a "war bill" was over the legal ramifications that she feared would lead to the overthrow of Assad, which she opposes on anti-interventionist grounds.

"[T]oppling ruthless dictators in the Middle East creates even more human suffering and strengthens our enemy, groups like ISIS and other terrorist organizations, in those countries," Gabbard said at the time.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York speak to reporters about the Congressional Budget Office projection that 14 million people would lose health coverage under the House Republican bill dismantling former President Barack Obama's health care law, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, March, 13, 2017. © AP Photo/ J. Scott Applewhite House Democrats Will Expand Russiagate in 2019 to Push Trump Toward War

Gabbard has been thoroughly demonized for her pro-peace views by global liberal media, as Trump has been for his moves to end the war in Syria and avoid another on the Korean Peninsula. For example, The Daily Beast's article announcing her candidacy called Gabbard "Assad's Favorite Democrat" in its headline; a Haaretz headline from last week say she had "Tea With Assad," and the Washington Post has called her "Assad's Mouthpiece in Washington." The UK Independent called her a "defender of dictators."

It's not clear what Weiss had in mind when she called Gabbard a "sycophant" and a "toady," since the congresswoman's rhetoric about Assad has consisted of skepticism and opposition to intervention, and she hasn't hesitated to call the Syrian president a "brutal dictator." What Gabbard's treatment has demonstrated is that a Democrat who steps out of line from the party's pro-regime change agenda in Syria and who condemns Muslim extremists associated with Daesh and al-Qaeda should be prepared to suffer for it in the mainstream media.

[Feb 06, 2019] Tulsi Gabbard Rips Interventionism In First Campaign Ad

Feb 06, 2019 | www.youtube.com


Tacet the Terror , 1 week ago

Sanders/Gabbard 2020 is the only non-"lesser of two evils" choice.

kamran5461 , 1 week ago

Now you see why the establishment really hates her.

Zero Divisor , 1 week ago

Tulsi Gabbard went to Standing Rock. She has my support.

it's show buiness kiddo , 1 week ago

I wwant tulsi to defeat Kamala in the primaries. Kamala is a fake progressive and the establishment already coronated her. I can't trust her.

Voitan , 1 week ago

I'm voting Tulsi Gabbard. Uncompromising commitment to no more interventions and wars.

malena garcia , 1 week ago

I love Tulsi; her ad was great. She's the only dem I would vote for at this point. Kamala is an evil hypocrite. And Tulsi's right, love is the most powerful force in the planet.

Jurgen K , 1 week ago

Tulsi is hated by the establishment the most not Bernie , this is the reason I say Tulsi2020

Jay Smathers , 1 week ago (edited)

Wake up folks -Tulsi would not have run if Bernie was going run. Bernie will endorse her early on and she will have a much tougher fight than he did, because while Sanders caught the corporate establishment sleeping in 2016, they are now frightened and see Gabbard coming. They will use every dirty trick at their disposal to keep her from catching fire -and that begins with dividing progressives like us. Tulsi is not perfect because no one is perfect. But she is young, bright and fucking fearless compared to other politicians about putting the long term good of the American people above the moneyed interests who think they own our media and our government. This is why the establishment despises her more than even Sanders. 2020 will reveal weather or not we can retake ownership of our media and our government. That fight will require all of us - so Kyle get on the bus!

FujiFire , 1 week ago

Tulsi is an amazing candidate in her own right, but IMO she would be a perfect VP pick for Bernie. She has the amazing foreign policy cred and would really shore up Bernie's weakest areas.

D. Martin , 1 week ago (edited)

I remember Obama ripping interventionism too. And Trump.

rolled oats , 1 week ago

Tulsa Gabbard's ad doesn't mention the people who die in the countries we invade. That's 600k people in Iraq for example. A significant omission me thinks.

Wayne Chapman , 1 week ago

The Aloha Spirit Law is a big deal in Hawaii. Government officials are required to approach dignitaries from other countries or states with the spirit of aloha. "Aloha" means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return. Aloha is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence. I think that's what we want in a President or a diplomat.

madara uchiha , 1 week ago

She's great and unique as she doesnt fall back to identity politics and sjwism as much as the standard left politicians. I hope she doesnt bend her ethics when the sjws come for her. I'm putting my trust in her. I hope she wins. And if she isn't in the race, i wont be voting.

David , 1 week ago (edited)

The question I would love her to address specifically is will her campaign focus on decreasing military spending like Bernie Sanders? She has a military background and the US loves war. This ad is good but it is tip toing around the MIC ( military industrial complex) She can be non interventionist but not decrease military spending is what worries me

GoLookAtJohn PodestasEmails , 1 week ago

This is why we need Gabbard on the debate stage. She will push the Overton window on revealing to the public what our military is actually doing overseas. She's also a staunch progressive. Bernie/Tulsi 2020. Their weakness match well with each other, and Tulsi was one of the first to jump ship on the sinking DNC ship when Hillary got caught cheating being the DNC. Keep small donations going into your favorite progressive candidates to hear their voice. It doesn't work any other way folks.

Geoff Daly , 1 week ago

Intervention isn't only an issue about morality. As Dwight Eisenhower put it (even though he himself was far from an anti imperialist), you can't have an endless stream of money dedicated to military endeavors AND a sufficient investment in domestic public priorities. This easily explains why we have increasingly decrepit infrastructure, increasingly worse performing education, increasingly worse performing health care, absurdly insufficient regulation between government and business (although the pay to play system certainly is the top reason) and a generally decaying public atmosphere. Beyond the fact that getting involved everywhere creates humanitarian crises, countless dead people, hopelessly destroyed countries, and so much more, even if other countries haven't in return bombed our shores from sea to sea, even if generally speaking those who consider not only the US but Americans the "enemies" haven't overwhelmed with non stop attacks, this non stop and ever growing appetite for more money for more war priorities has created the very decline we see in our country today. Until there is a change in priorities in general, these problems in the US will only continue to get worse.

Tom Pashkov , 1 week ago

Gabbard for Sec. of Defense in the Sanders/Warren administration.

Jacob Serrano , 1 week ago

Man, Tulsi made me tear up. She's my girl. This message reminds me more of the message of Jesus than many of the fundamentalists. She's not even Christian, yet represents Christ very well. I love this woman.

Ny3 43 , 1 week ago

Prepare for BAE, Systems, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and other weapons corporations and their bum lickers to launch a viscous smear campaign against her suggesting she's somehow a Neo Nazi communist anti Semitic islamophobic islamist.

Gem Girlla , 1 day ago (edited)

Tulsi 2020 she's saying some of the same things Trump said in his 2016 campaign. Unfortunately, he didn't deliver. Per the corporate Democrates, making America better is a bad thing.

GiantOctopus0101 , 1 day ago

Tulsi can actually beat Trump...if she gets the nomination. The wars are the elephant in the room, and whoever is willing to take that on full force, can win.

[Feb 05, 2019] NYTimes Journo Melts Down On Joe Rogan s Show

Feb 05, 2019 | www.youtube.com

nywvblue , 1 day ago

Bari Weiss is the monstrous motherlode of ineptitude, it would appear.

tom burton , 15 hours ago

Bari Weiss's next column: Joe Rogan is a toady of Tulsi Gabbard.

Robert Harper , 17 hours ago

Now it is easy to understand why I stopped my nyt subscription.

Mike Honcho , 17 hours ago

Unbelievable! It's like Joe is interviewing an airhead middle school mean girl.

[Feb 05, 2019] When Conspiracy Is The Only Explanation For Failed Neo-Liberal Dreams by William S. Smith

Muller investigation is at least 50% about the masking cracks in neoliberal facade with Russia interference smoke screen (and, especially Hillary fiasco as War Party candidate) , as it is about deposing of Trump. It also puts pressure of Trump to behave as War Party expect him, or...
Looks like the "United War Party" (which encompass most Republicans and Democrats) felt the threat to the money flows and acted accordingly. Add to this interest of Deep State (especially CIA) are completely opposite to the end of foreign wars that Trump professed.
Notable quotes:
"... What causes otherwise intelligent people to put their faith in conspiracy theories? A common explanation on the Right is that these conspiracies are cynically concocted to overthrow the Trump presidency. Another explanation points to declining standards of journalism, i.e., reporters being too incompetent to refute groundless claims. Both reasons have merit yet both fail to explain the peculiar estrangement from reality that a belief in baseless conspiracies represents. ..."
"... When the luminescence of France began to fade and the revolutionary army began to falter, the Jacobins felt there could only be one explanation: conspiracy. Only a deep-seated plot could be preventing France the Savior from vanquishing retrograde monarchs. From the beginning, the virtuous Jacobins saw themselves as fighting a conspiracy against the rights of humanity. Hence the Reign of Terror, with the guillotine deployed against priests and nobles who were seen as forming the core opposition to a better world. ..."
"... Idealism and conspiracy theories are, it seems, opposite sides of the same coin. When the dream fails to materialize, its validity is not questioned; instead the search to find those who connived against it begins. ..."
"... Fukuyama's Hegelianism was both warmed over and unmoored from reality. And yet the foreign policy establishment swooned over him. The Bush 43 administration fell so hard for him that they tried to give history a little push by invading Iraq. ..."
"... Or consider the globalist dreaming of the elites that Samuel P. Huntington labeled "Davos men." In the Davos dream, culture, history, and religion are archaic relics of a world fading away. National borders are disappearing, and a new global order is emerging, led by secular multilateral institutions staffed by an all-knowing "cosmopolitan" elite ..."
"... With cultures clashing, nationalism on the march, and religious wars raging, the Davos men continue to worship their dream from the safety of their Gulfstream jets. ..."
"... And to the Davos men, only a conspiracy can explain the election of Donald Trump. How else could such a regressive development have occurred when history is cascading toward open borders, democracy, and international institutions? How could an American president question the value of NATO and other alliances whose glorious mission is to midwife the end of history by democratizing everything from Lisbon to the Urals? ..."
"... But Trump and Putin will not be permitted to conspire against the dream. Their conspiracy must be destroyed, even at the risk of nuclear war. Special counsels must be created, eavesdropping must be expanded, foreign spies must be employed, and jackbooted agents must break down every door linked to this insidious conspiracy. The ruling elites are prepared to tear up the Constitution itself to save humanity from this diabolical cabal. ..."
"... The resilience of the Russia conspiracy in the minds of our establishment should remind us that the primary obstacle to a sensible foreign policy is our ideologized culture, in which the Western outlook of common sense has been eroded by a Romantic utopian idealism. When people within reach of massive military power are this estranged from reality, the situation can only be described as frightening. ..."
"... With you on "Davos Man" (Love that expression!) and the Trump conspiracy idiocy, though! Two thumbs up! ..."
"... You are making this much too complicated. The cultural stuff had some importance, but much more fundamentally Trump threatened the money/power game of the War Party. They have just about won anyway, because Trump is stupid. So, maybe they will just let Russia-gate fade out. ..."
"... Neolibs and neocons are . Dreamers. GIGO. Whoever wrote the headline and lede made sense, the author might want to match that. The text as is is a useful exhibit for: "to see the world how they wish it to be rather than how it is." Jacobins at Davos? Idealists with lots of loot? ..."
"... At one time, any occurrence that the establishment of the day didn't like was automatically blamed on Jews. No evidence necessary. Because Jews. If you questioned the conspiracy theory, you were instantly accused of being in league with "them". Today's establishment does the same, except they substitute "Russia" for "Jews". Anything they don't like is automatically blamed on Russia. No evidence necessary. Because Russia. Question the conspiracy theory and get accused of being a "Russian troll". ..."
"... If only HRC and her friends were in the White House all these current conspiracies and Mueller investigation wouldn't be an issue. Be the eighth wonder of the world, if Trump survives the deep state. ..."
"... Unfortunately, this article overreaches. I agree that Russiagate is an excuse that liberals embrace to excuse the disastrous failures of Clinton and the Democratic Party, but you don't need to connect this with some grand theorizing about the history of conspiracy theories. People simply don't want to admit their side did anything wrong. ..."
"... And as SteveK9 points out, it's really about how the mainstream War Party wants to keep Trump in line. Trump is a loose cannon. They want a steady reliable warmonger. ..."
"... Call me a child, then, but wisdom often comes from the mouth of babes. There is no evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Read The phoney indictment of the Internet Research Institute. It admits it was a commercial enterprise. It was nothing but a commercial click bait operation. Similarly, the DNC was not hacked, the data was downloaded to a USB, probably by a disaffected Sanders supporter, possibly Seth Rich. Also, Germany, Macedonia, the Netherlands have investigated alleged Russian interference in their elections, and found none. ..."
Feb 05, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The Intercept 's Glenn Greenwald recently compiled a list of the top 10 "most embarrassing media failures on the Trump-Russia story." All of them exhibit a common theme: Russian conspiracies are undermining American interests everywhere. Greenwald's piece was followed by a bizarre New York Times story from January 16 with the headline: "Trump and Putin: Five Meetings Infused With Mystery." The story implied something sinister in undisclosed conversations between the two leaders while offering no evidence whatsoever.

What causes otherwise intelligent people to put their faith in conspiracy theories? A common explanation on the Right is that these conspiracies are cynically concocted to overthrow the Trump presidency. Another explanation points to declining standards of journalism, i.e., reporters being too incompetent to refute groundless claims. Both reasons have merit yet both fail to explain the peculiar estrangement from reality that a belief in baseless conspiracies represents.

In the early stages of the French Revolution, the Jacobins imagined that the beacon of a democratic France would shine across the world and tyrannical kings would topple before its luminescence. The Jacobin imagination was polluted by utopian idealism, the ideology that causes people to see the world how they wish it to be rather than how it is.

When the luminescence of France began to fade and the revolutionary army began to falter, the Jacobins felt there could only be one explanation: conspiracy. Only a deep-seated plot could be preventing France the Savior from vanquishing retrograde monarchs. From the beginning, the virtuous Jacobins saw themselves as fighting a conspiracy against the rights of humanity. Hence the Reign of Terror, with the guillotine deployed against priests and nobles who were seen as forming the core opposition to a better world.

Idealism and conspiracy theories are, it seems, opposite sides of the same coin. When the dream fails to materialize, its validity is not questioned; instead the search to find those who connived against it begins.

Like the Jacobins, the foreign policy establishment in the United States has for decades hitched its wagons to idealistic dreaming. The Romantic ideas of Hegel and Rousseau permeate their thinking. Consider the establishment's obsequious reaction to Francis Fukuyama's " end of history " thesis. Fukuyama presented himself as the all-seeing gnostic who had divined the direction of all human history. One does not need the acumen of an Aristotle to know that this was far from an original thesis. Fukuyama's Hegelianism was both warmed over and unmoored from reality. And yet the foreign policy establishment swooned over him. The Bush 43 administration fell so hard for him that they tried to give history a little push by invading Iraq.

Or consider the globalist dreaming of the elites that Samuel P. Huntington labeled "Davos men." In the Davos dream, culture, history, and religion are archaic relics of a world fading away. National borders are disappearing, and a new global order is emerging, led by secular multilateral institutions staffed by an all-knowing "cosmopolitan" elite .

The reality of a borderless world is global migration that threatens to extinguish much of Western civilization in a generation or two. With cultures clashing, nationalism on the march, and religious wars raging, the Davos men continue to worship their dream from the safety of their Gulfstream jets.

Venezuela Presents an Opportunity for Peace With Russia Russia Sure Behaves Strangely for a Country Bent on Conquest

And to the Davos men, only a conspiracy can explain the election of Donald Trump. How else could such a regressive development have occurred when history is cascading toward open borders, democracy, and international institutions? How could an American president question the value of NATO and other alliances whose glorious mission is to midwife the end of history by democratizing everything from Lisbon to the Urals?

For those in a dream world, the only possible explanation for Trump is a conspiracy. His presidency was hatched by Vladimir Putin, the world leader with the strongest reasons for slowing the progressive march of history. Trump won the election because Putin has the powers of a Rasputin. He can thwart history by crossing his eyes, pulling secret levers, and deploying hackers.

But Trump and Putin will not be permitted to conspire against the dream. Their conspiracy must be destroyed, even at the risk of nuclear war. Special counsels must be created, eavesdropping must be expanded, foreign spies must be employed, and jackbooted agents must break down every door linked to this insidious conspiracy. The ruling elites are prepared to tear up the Constitution itself to save humanity from this diabolical cabal.

The resilience of the Russia conspiracy in the minds of our establishment should remind us that the primary obstacle to a sensible foreign policy is our ideologized culture, in which the Western outlook of common sense has been eroded by a Romantic utopian idealism. When people within reach of massive military power are this estranged from reality, the situation can only be described as frightening.

William S. Smith is research fellow at and managing director of the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at The Catholic University of America.


cka2nd February 3, 2019 at 9:43 pm

"In the early stages of the French Revolution, the Jacobins imagined that the beacon of a democratic France would shine across the world and tyrannical kings would topple before its luminescence. The Jacobin imagination was polluted by utopian idealism, the ideology that causes people to see the world how they wish it to be rather than how it is."

And yet, idealism or not, republican ideals DID spread around the world and WERE taken up to oppose, undercut, reign in or overthrow monarchies from Latin America through the Middle East, and from Europe (e.g., the bourgeois members of the Duma singing "La Marseillaise" after the abdication of the Tsar) to Asia and Africa.

"When the luminescence of France began to fade and the revolutionary army began to falter, the Jacobins felt there could only be one explanation: conspiracy. Only a deep-seated plot could be preventing France the Savior from vanquishing retrograde monarchs. From the beginning, the virtuous Jacobins saw themselves as fighting a conspiracy against the rights of humanity. Hence the Reign of Terror, with the guillotine deployed against priests and nobles who were seen as forming the core opposition to a better world."

I don't doubt the pernicious influence of conspiracy theories, I really don't – I'm a Trotskyist, for Heaven's sake! – but the author might also acknowledge the reality of the threats that the Jacobins faced. The armies of the united crowned heads of Europe that had been sent against France, for instance. That the church and aristocracy WERE parts of the old order (official estates, remember?), some of whose members WERE actually fighting to restore the old regime and then drown, as they always drowned past peasant and popular rebellions, in blood.

With you on "Davos Man" (Love that expression!) and the Trump conspiracy idiocy, though! Two thumbs up!

SteveK9 , says: February 3, 2019 at 10:48 pm
You are making this much too complicated. The cultural stuff had some importance, but much more fundamentally Trump threatened the money/power game of the War Party. They have just about won anyway, because Trump is stupid. So, maybe they will just let Russia-gate fade out.
b. .. . ... ... . , says: February 4, 2019 at 9:51 am
Neolibs and neocons are . Dreamers. GIGO. Whoever wrote the headline and lede made sense, the author might want to match that. The text as is is a useful exhibit for: "to see the world how they wish it to be rather than how it is." Jacobins at Davos? Idealists with lots of loot?
Sid Finster , says: February 4, 2019 at 10:10 am
At one time, any occurrence that the establishment of the day didn't like was automatically blamed on Jews. No evidence necessary. Because Jews. If you questioned the conspiracy theory, you were instantly accused of being in league with "them". Today's establishment does the same, except they substitute "Russia" for "Jews". Anything they don't like is automatically blamed on Russia. No evidence necessary. Because Russia. Question the conspiracy theory and get accused of being a "Russian troll".
CLW , says: February 4, 2019 at 1:43 pm
Are we supposed to take this seriously? Your entire "argument" against the so-called Russia Conspiracy is itself nothing more than a conspiracy theory: an overwrought, paranoid, absurd conspiracy theory involving The Establishment, Davos Elites, Neo Liberals, et al.

There isn't enough publicly-disclosed evidence to support the claim that Russian interference tilted the 2016 election decisively in Trump's favor or that Trump has conspired with or been compromised by Russia. But only a child would believe that Russia didn't actively interfere in the election, or that various Trump associates didn't have inappropriate contacts and dealings with Russian entities, which they then lied about and continue to lie about.

You can do better than this, TAC.

fabian , says: February 4, 2019 at 2:20 pm
SteveK, the military won but not because he is stupid. He just doesn't want to end up like JFK. Nor did Barrack by the way.
, the , says: February 4, 2019 at 3:22 pm
If only HRC and her friends were in the White House all these current conspiracies and Mueller investigation wouldn't be an issue. Be the eighth wonder of the world, if Trump survives the deep state.
Sid Finster , says: February 4, 2019 at 4:13 pm
CLW produces an argument from ignorance. "Just because we have no publicly available evidence to prove that Trump is in fact Mickey Mouse just means we need to look harder! In the meantime, we can safely assume that Trump has round black ears and a tail.".

In the meantime, I suggest you learn about the burden of proof – the burden of proof is on those asserting the existence of a conspiracy (and you in particular are mighty short on details!) and not on those debunking it.

Donald , says: February 4, 2019 at 6:49 pm
Unfortunately, this article overreaches. I agree that Russiagate is an excuse that liberals embrace to excuse the disastrous failures of Clinton and the Democratic Party, but you don't need to connect this with some grand theorizing about the history of conspiracy theories. People simply don't want to admit their side did anything wrong.

And as SteveK9 points out, it's really about how the mainstream War Party wants to keep Trump in line. Trump is a loose cannon. They want a steady reliable warmonger.

S , says: February 5, 2019 at 4:43 am
CLW says "But only a child would believe that Russia didn't actively interfere in the election, or that various Trump associates didn't have inappropriate contacts and dealings with Russian entities, which they then lied about and continue to lie about." It took a child to point out that the emperor had no clothes on, while the adults pretended that a falsehood was tru. Perhaps more children are needed today to point out the truth and ignore blatant propaganda.
Brendan , says: February 5, 2019 at 1:42 pm
Call me a child, then, but wisdom often comes from the mouth of babes. There is no evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. Read The phoney indictment of the Internet Research Institute. It admits it was a commercial enterprise. It was nothing but a commercial click bait operation. Similarly, the DNC was not hacked, the data was downloaded to a USB, probably by a disaffected Sanders supporter, possibly Seth Rich. Also, Germany, Macedonia, the Netherlands have investigated alleged Russian interference in their elections, and found none.

[Feb 04, 2019] The US aggression against Venezuela as a diagnostic tool by The Saker

Feb 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

Remember the almost universal reaction of horror when Bolton was appointed as National Security Advisor? Well, apparently, either the Neocons completely missed that, which I doubt, or they did what they always do and decided to double-down by retrieving Elliott Abrams from storage and appointing him US Special Envoy to Venezuela. I mean, yes, of course, the Neocons are stupid and sociopathic enough not to ever care about others

But in this case I think that we are dealing with a "Skripal tactic": do something so ridiculously stupid and offensive that it places all your vassals before a stark choice: either submit and pretend like you did not notice or, alternatively, dare to say something and face with wrath of Uncle Shmuel (the Neocon's version of Uncle Sam).

And it worked, in the name of "solidarity" or whatever else, the most faithful lackeys of the Empire immediate fell in line behind the latest US aggression against a sovereign nation in spite of the self-evident fact that this aggression violates every letter of the most sacred principles of international law.

This is exactly the same tactic as when they make you clean toilets with a toothbrush or do push-ups in the mud during basic training: not only to condition you to total obedience, but to make you publicly give up any semblance of dignity.

[Feb 04, 2019] Trump s Revised and Rereleased Foreign Policy: The World Policeman is Back

Highly recommended!
This article from 2017 looks like it was written yesterday. Trump betrayal of his elctorate on multiple levels, essentially on all key poin of his election program mkes him "Republican Obama".
What is interesting about Trump foreign policy is his version of neoliberal "gangster capitalism" on foreign arena: might is right principle applied like universal opener. Previous administrations tried to put a lipstick on the pig. Trump does not even bother.
In terms of foreign policy, and even during the transition before Trump's inauguration, there were other, more disturbing signs of where Trump would be heading soon. When Fidel Castro died on November 25, 2016, Trump seemed jubilant as if he had somehow been vindicated, and took the opportunity to slander Castro as a "brutal dictator" who "oppressed his own people" and turned Cuba into a "totalitarian island".
Notable quotes:
"... However, when he delivered his inaugural address on January 20, 2017, Trump appeared to reaffirm his campaign themes of anti-interventionism. In particular he seemed to turn the government's back on a long-standing policy of cultural imperialism , stating: "We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone". In addition he said his government would "seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world," and he understood the importance of national sovereignty when he added, "it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first". ..."
"... Yet when it came to Russia, Trump could have instantly removed sanctions that were imposed by Obama in his last weeks in office -- an irresponsible and dangerous act by Obama, where foreign policy was used as a partisan tool in the service of shoring up a crummy conspiracy theory about "Russian hacking" in order to deny the Democrats any culpability in their much deserved defeat. ..."
"... The entire conflict with Russia that has developed in recent years, on the US side, was totally unnecessary, illogical, and quite preventable. ..."
"... Just two weeks after violating his promise to end the US role as the world's policeman and his vow to extricate the US from wars for regime change, Trump sold out again. "I love WikiLeaks -- " -- this is what Trump exclaimed in a speech on October 10, 2016. Trump's about-face on WikiLeaks is thus truly astounding. ..."
"... AP: If I could fit a couple of more topics. Jeff Sessions, your attorney general, is taking a tougher line suddenly on Julian Assange, saying that arresting him is a priority. You were supportive of what WikiLeaks was doing during the campaign with the release of the Clinton emails. Do you think that arresting Assange is a priority for the United States? ..."
"... AP: But that didn't mean that you supported what Assange is doing? ..."
"... AP: Can I just ask you, though -- do you believe it is a priority for the United States, or it should be a priority, to arrest Julian Assange? ..."
"... While there is no denying the extensive data about the severe impacts of NAFTA on select states and industries in the US, witnessed by the closure of tens of thousands of factories and the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, there is little support for the claim that Canada and Mexico, as wholes, have instead fared well and that the US as a whole has been the loser thanks to them. ..."
"... Since NAFTA was implemented, migration from Mexico to the US skyrocketed dramatically. US agricultural industries sent millions of Mexican farmers into food poverty, and ultimately drove them away from agriculture ..."
"... As for per capita GDP, so treasured by economists, NAFTA had no positive impact on Mexico -- in fact, per capita GDP is nearly a flat line for the entire period since 1994. Finally, Trump does not mention that in terms of the number of actual protectionist measures that have been implemented, the US leads the world . ..."
"... To put Trump's position on NAFTA in bold relief, it is not that he is decidedly against free trade. In fact, he often claims he supports free trade, as long as it is "fair". However, his notion of fairness is very lopsided -- a trade agreement is fair only when the US reaps the greater share of benefits. ..."
"... As argued in the previous section, if Trump is to be the newfound champion of this imperialism -- empire's prodigal son -- then what an abysmally poor choice he is ..."
"... On the one hand, he helped to unleash US anti-interventionism (usually called "isolationism" not to call it anti-imperialism, which would then admit to imperialism which is still denied by most of the dominant elites). On the other hand, in trying to now contain such popular sentiment, he loses credibility -- after having lost credibility with the groups his campaign displaced. ..."
"... As for Trump's domestic opposition, what should be most pertinent are issues of conflict of interest and nepotism . Here members of Trump's base are more on target yet again, when they reject the presence of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner in the White House ("we didn't elect Ivanka or Jared"), than are those distracted by identity politics. ..."
"... As Trump leverages the presidency to upgrade the Trump family to the transnational capitalist class, and reinforces the power of US imperialism which that class has purchased, conflict of interest and nepotism will be the main political signposts of the transformation of the Trump presidency, but they could also be the targets for a refined strategy of opposition. ..."
Aug 09, 2017 | zeroanthropology.net

Trump could have kept quiet, and lost nothing. Instead what he was attacking -- and the irony was missed on his fervently right wing supporters -- was someone who was a leader in the anti-globalist movement, from long before it was ever called that. Fidel Castro was a radical pioneer of independence, self-reliance, and self-determination.

Castro turned Cuba from an American-owned sugar plantation and brothel, a lurid backwater in the Caribbean, into a serious international actor opposed to globalizing capitalism. There was no sign of any acknowledgment of this by Trump, who instead chose to parrot the same people who would vilify him using similar terms (evil, authoritarian, etc.). Of course, Trump respects only corporate executives and billionaires, not what he would see as some rag-tag Third World revolutionary. Here Trump's supporters generally failed, using Castro's death as an opportunity for tribal partisanship, another opportunity to attack "weak liberals" like Obama who made minor overtures to Cuba (too little, too late).

Their distrust of "the establishment" was nowhere to be found this time: their ignorance of Cuba and their resort to stock clichés and slogans had all been furnished to them by the same establishment they otherwise claimed to oppose.

Just to be clear, the above is not meant to indicate any reversal on Trump's part regarding Cuba. He has been consistently anti-communist, and fairly consistent in his denunciations of Fidel Castro. What is significant is that -- far from overcoming the left-right divide -- Trump shores up the barriers, even at the cost of denouncing others who have a proven track record of fighting against neoliberal globalization and US interventionism. In these regards, Trump has no track record. Even among his rivals in the Republican primaries, senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul had more of an anti-interventionist track record.

However, when he delivered his inaugural address on January 20, 2017, Trump appeared to reaffirm his campaign themes of anti-interventionism. In particular he seemed to turn the government's back on a long-standing policy of cultural imperialism , stating: "We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone". In addition he said his government would "seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world," and he understood the importance of national sovereignty when he added, "it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first".

Russia

Yet when it came to Russia, Trump could have instantly removed sanctions that were imposed by Obama in his last weeks in office -- an irresponsible and dangerous act by Obama, where foreign policy was used as a partisan tool in the service of shoring up a crummy conspiracy theory about "Russian hacking" in order to deny the Democrats any culpability in their much deserved defeat.

Instead, Trump continued the sanctions, as if out of meek deference to Obama's policy, one founded on lies and antagonism toward Trump himself. Rather than repair the foul attempt to sabotage the US-Russian relationship in preparation for his presidency, Trump simply abided and thus became an accomplice. To be clear, Trump has done precisely nothing to dampen the near mass hysteria that has been manufactured in the US about alleged -- indeed imaginary -- "Russian intervention".

His comments, both during the electoral campaign and even early into his presidency, about wanting good relations with Russia, have been replaced by Trump's admissions that US relations with Russia are at a low point (Putin agreed: "I would say the level of trust [between Russia and the US] is at a workable level, especially in the military dimension, but it hasn't improved. On the contrary, it has degraded " and his spokesman called the relations " deplorable ".)

Rather than use the power of his office to calm fears, to build better ties with Russia, and to make meeting with Vladimir Putin a top priority, Trump has again done nothing , except escalating tensions. The entire conflict with Russia that has developed in recent years, on the US side, was totally unnecessary, illogical, and quite preventable. Russia had actively facilitated the US' war in Afghanistan for over a decade, and was a consistent collaborator on numerous levels. It is up to thinking American officials to honestly explain what motivated them to tilt relations with Russia, because it is certainly not Russia's doing. The only explanation that makes any sense is that the US leadership grew concerned that Russia was no longer teetering on the edge of total socio-economic breakdown, as it was under the neoliberal Boris Yeltsin, but has instead resurfaced as a major actor in international affairs, and one that champions anti-neoliberal objectives of enhanced state sovereignty and self-determination.

WikiLeaks

Just two weeks after violating his promise to end the US role as the world's policeman and his vow to extricate the US from wars for regime change, Trump sold out again. "I love WikiLeaks -- " -- this is what Trump exclaimed in a speech on October 10, 2016. Trump's about-face on WikiLeaks is thus truly astounding.

After finding so much use for WikiLeaks' publication of the Podesta emails, which became incorporated into his campaign speeches, and which fuelled the writing and speaking of journalists and bloggers sympathetic to Trump -- he was now effectively declaring WikiLeaks to be both an enemy and a likely target of US government action, in even more blunt terms than we heard during the past eight years under Obama. This is not mere continuity with the past, but a dramatic escalation. Rather than praise Julian Assange for his work, call for an end to the illegal impediments to his seeking asylum, swear off any US calls for extraditing and prosecuting Assange, and perhaps meeting with him in person, Trump has done all of the opposite. Instead we learn that Trump's administration may file arrest charges against Assange . Mike Pompeo , chosen by Trump to head the CIA, who had himself cited WikiLeaks as a reliable source of proof about how the Democratic National Committee had rigged its campaign, now declared WikiLeaks to be a " non-state hostile intelligence service ," along with vicious personal slander against Assange.

Trump's about-face on WikiLeaks was one that he defended in terms that were not just a deceptive rewriting of history, but one that was also fearful -- "I don't support or unsupport" WikiLeaks, was what Trump was now saying in his dash for the nearest exit. The backtracking is so obvious in this interview Trump gave to the AP , that his shoes must have left skid marks on the floor:

AP: If I could fit a couple of more topics. Jeff Sessions, your attorney general, is taking a tougher line suddenly on Julian Assange, saying that arresting him is a priority. You were supportive of what WikiLeaks was doing during the campaign with the release of the Clinton emails. Do you think that arresting Assange is a priority for the United States?

TRUMP: When Wikileaks came out never heard of Wikileaks, never heard of it. When Wikileaks came out, all I was just saying is, "Well, look at all this information here, this is pretty good stuff." You know, they tried to hack the Republican, the RNC, but we had good defenses. They didn't have defenses, which is pretty bad management. But we had good defenses, they tried to hack both of them. They weren't able to get through to Republicans. No, I found it very interesting when I read this stuff and I said, "Wow." It was just a figure of speech. I said, "Well, look at this. It's good reading."

AP: But that didn't mean that you supported what Assange is doing?

TRUMP: No, I don't support or unsupport. It was just information .

AP: Can I just ask you, though -- do you believe it is a priority for the United States, or it should be a priority, to arrest Julian Assange?

TRUMP: I am not involved in that decision, but if Jeff Sessions wants to do it, it's OK with me. I didn't know about that decision, but if they want to do it, it's OK with me.

First, Trump invents the fictitious claim that WikiLeaks was responsible for hacking the DNC, and that WikiLeaks also tried to hack the Republicans. Second, he pretends to be an innocent bystander, a spectator, in his own administration -- whatever others decide, is "OK" with him, not that he knows about their decisions, but it's all up to others. He has no power, all of a sudden.

Again, what Trump is displaying in this episode is his ultimate attachment to his class, with all of its anxieties and its contempt for rebellious, marginal upstarts. Trump shuns any sort of "loyalty" to WikiLeaks (not that they ever had a working relationship) or any form of gratitude, because then that would imply a debt and therefore a transfer of value -- whereas Trump's core ethics are those of expedience and greed (he admits that much). This move has come with a cost , with members of Trump's support base openly denouncing the betrayal. 6

NAFTA

On NAFTA , Trump claims he has not changed his position -- yet, from openly denouncing the free trade agreement and promising to terminate it, he now vows only to seek modifications and amendments, which means supporting NAFTA. He appeared to be awfully quick to obey the diplomatic pressure of Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and Mexico's President, Enrique Peña Nieto. Trump's entire position on NAFTA now comes into question.

While there is no denying the extensive data about the severe impacts of NAFTA on select states and industries in the US, witnessed by the closure of tens of thousands of factories and the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, there is little support for the claim that Canada and Mexico, as wholes, have instead fared well and that the US as a whole has been the loser thanks to them.

This really deserves to be treated at length, separately from this article. However, for now, let's keep in mind that when Trump complains about Canadian softwood lumber and dairy exports to the US, his argument about NAFTA is without merit. Neither commodity is part of the NAFTA agreement.

Moreover, where dairy is concerned, the problem is US overproduction. Wisconsin alone has more dairy cows than all of Canada . There is a net surplus , in the US' favour, with respect to US dairy exports to Canada. Overall, the US has a net surplus in the trade in goods and services with Canada. Regarding Mexico, the irony of Trump's denunciations of imaginary Mexican victories is that he weakens his own criticisms of immigration.

Since NAFTA was implemented, migration from Mexico to the US skyrocketed dramatically. US agricultural industries sent millions of Mexican farmers into food poverty, and ultimately drove them away from agriculture.

As for per capita GDP, so treasured by economists, NAFTA had no positive impact on Mexico -- in fact, per capita GDP is nearly a flat line for the entire period since 1994. Finally, Trump does not mention that in terms of the number of actual protectionist measures that have been implemented, the US leads the world .

To put Trump's position on NAFTA in bold relief, it is not that he is decidedly against free trade. In fact, he often claims he supports free trade, as long as it is "fair". However, his notion of fairness is very lopsided -- a trade agreement is fair only when the US reaps the greater share of benefits.

His arguments with respect to Canada are akin to those of a looter or raider. He wants to block lumber imports from Canada, at the same time as he wants to break the Canadian dairy market wide open to absorb US excess production. That approach is at the core of what defined the US as a "new empire" in the 1800s. In addition, while Trump was quick to tear up the TPP, he has said nothing about TISA and TTIP.

Mexico

Trump's argument with Mexico is also disturbing for what it implies. It would seem that any evidence of production in Mexico causes Trump concern. Mexico should not only keep its people -- however many are displaced by US imports -- but it should also be as dependent as possible on the US for everything except oil. Since Trump has consistently declared his antagonism to OPEC, ideally Mexico's oil would be sold for a few dollars per barrel.

China

Trump's turn on China almost provoked laughter from his many domestic critics. Absurdly, what figures prominently in most renditions of the story of Trump's change on China (including his own), is a big piece of chocolate cake. The missile strike on Syria was, according to Wilbur Ross, the " after-dinner entertainment ". Here, Trump's loud condemnations of China on trade issues were suddenly quelled -- and it is not because chocolate has magical properties. Instead it seems Trump has been willing to settle on selling out citizens' interests , and particularly those who voted for him, in return for China's assistance on North Korea. Let's be clear: countering and dominating North Korea is an established favourite among neoconservatives. Trump's priority here is fully "neocon," and the submergence of trade issues in favour of militaristic preferences is the one case where neoconservatives might be distinguished from the otherwise identical neoliberals.

North Korea

Where North Korea is concerned, Trump chose to manufacture a " crisis ". North Korea has actually done nothing to warrant a sudden outbreak of panic over it being supposedly aggressive and threatening. North Korea is no more aggressive than any person defending their survival can be called belligerent. The constant series of US military exercises in South Korea, or near North Korean waters, is instead a deliberate provocation to a state whose existence the US nearly extinguished. Even last year the US Air Force publicly boasted of having "nearly destroyed" North Korea -- language one would have expected from the Luftwaffe in WWII. The US continues to maintain roughly 60,000 troops on the border between North and South Korea, and continues to refuse to formally declare an end to the Korean War and sign a peace treaty . Trump then announced he was sending an "armada" to the Korean peninsula, and boasted of how "very powerful" it was. This was in addition to the US deploying the THAAD missile system in South Korea. Several of his messages in Twitter were written using highly provocative and threatening language. When asked if he would start a war, Trump glibly replied: " I don't know. I mean, we'll see ". On another occasion Trump stated, "There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely". When the world's leading military superpower declares its intention to destroy you, then there is nothing you can do in your defense which anyone could justly label as "over the top". Otherwise, once again Trump posed as a parental figure, the world's chief babysitter -- picture Trump, surrounded by children taking part in the "Easter egg roll" at the White House, being asked about North Korea and responding "they gotta behave". Trump would presume to teach manners to North Korea, using the only tools of instruction that seem to be the first and last resort of US foreign policy (and the "defense" industry): bombs.

Syria

Attacking Syria , on purportedly humanitarian grounds, is for many (including vocal supporters) one of the most glaring contradictions of Trump's campaign statements about not embroiling the US in failed wars of regime change and world policing. During the campaign, he was in favour of Russia's collaboration with Syria in the fight against ISIS. For years he had condemned Obama for involving the US in Syria, and consistently opposed military intervention there. All that was consigned to the archive of positions Trump declared to now be worthless. That there had been a change in Trump's position is not a matter of dispute -- Trump made the point himself :

"I like to think of myself as a very flexible person. I don't have to have one specific way, and if the world changes, I go the same way, I don't change. Well, I do change and I am flexible, and I'm proud of that flexibility. And I will tell you, that attack on children yesterday had a big impact on me -- big impact. That was a horrible, horrible thing. And I've been watching it and seeing it, and it doesn't get any worse than that. And I have that flexibility, and it's very, very possible -- and I will tell you, it's already happened that my attitude toward Syria and Assad has changed very much. And if you look back over the last few weeks, there were other attacks using gas. You're now talking about a whole different level".

Bending to the will of the prevailing Cold War and neo-McCarthyist atmosphere in the US, rife with anti-Russian conspiracy theories, Trump found an easy opportunity to score points with the hostile media, ever so mindful as he is about approval ratings, polls, and media coverage. Some explain Trump's reversals as arising from his pursuit of public adulation -- and while the media play the key role in purveying celebrity status, they are also a stiff bastion of imperialist culture. Given his many years as a the host of a popular TV show, and as the owner of the Miss Universe Pageant, there is some logical merit to the argument. But I think even more is at work, as explained in paragraphs above. According to Eric Trump it was at the urging of Ivanka that Donald Trump decided to strike a humanitarian-militarist pose. He would play the part of the Victorian parent, only he would use missiles to teach unruly children lessons about violence. Using language typically used against him by the mainstream media, Trump now felt entitled to pontificate that Assad is "evil," an " animal ," who would have to go . When did he supposedly come to this realization? Did Assad become evil at the same time Trump was inaugurated? Why would Trump have kept so silent about "evil" on the campaign trail? Trump of course is wrong: it's not that the world changed and he changed with it; rather, he invented a new fiction to suit his masked intentions. Trump's supposed opponents and critics, like the Soros-funded organizer of the women's march Linda Sarsour, showed her approval of even more drastic action by endorsing messages by what sounded like a stern school mistress who thought that 59 cruise missiles were just a mere "slap on the wrist". Virtually every neocon who is publicly active applauded Trump, as did most senior Democrats. The loudest opposition , however, came from Trump's own base , with a number of articles featuring criticism from Trump's supporters , and one conservative publication calling him outright a " weakling and a political ingrate ".

Members of the Trump administration have played various word games with the public on intervention in Syria. From unnamed officials saying the missile strike was a "one off," to named officials promising more if there were any other suspected chemical attacks (or use of barrel bombs -- and this while the US dropped the biggest non-nuclear bomb in existence on Afghanistan); some said that regime change was not the goal, and then others made it clear that was the ultimate goal ; and then Trump saying, "Our policy is the same, it hasn't changed. We're not going into Syria " -- even though