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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 Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Nation under attack meme Steele dossier Putin-did-it fiasco
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 US and British media are servants of security apparatus 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.


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[Feb 18, 2018] The irony of this indictment is so thick that it is overwhelming

Feb 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Den Lille Abe | Feb 18, 2018 1:52:42 AM | 55

The irony of this indictment is so thick that it is overwhelming.

The US has as far back as I can recall, as an political aware person, say 1973, been implicated in regime change or meddling. In Europe less violent than the rest of the world, but never the less they were there, as was the USSR. Spending money, influencing, subverting, coercing and in some cases resorting to violence, in order to get their government of choice. Italy and Greece were places that were sought out because of the strong left. And things did get violent from both sides. Those not old enough , look it up, there is plenty of evidence, declassified documents available. Northern Ireland was another place they meddled quite openly.

In the rest of the world, especially in South America, it was far, far more violent and less covert, almost all South American countries suffered.

It is blatantly hysterical, mind boggling hysterical, that Israel's influence and is silently accepted, but Israeli influence is so huge that opposition can be suppressed.

To counter foreign "meddling" the US is quietly regulating the Internet, introducing the Great US Firewall. What a pathetic nation, what a joke....

[Feb 18, 2018] The people running these sites did not care who would win the election. But they found that stories about Trump generated MORE TRAFFIC than pro Clinton stories. (BTW: U.S. main stream media found the same and was therefore full of Trump stories.) More traffic/followers is their sole point. What Veles produced, though, was something more extreme still: an enterprise of cool, pure amorality, free not only of ideology but of any concern or feeling about the substance of the election. These Macedonians on Facebook didn't care if Trump won or lost the White House.

Feb 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
Kalen , Feb 18, 2018 3:38:32 AM | 62
For hundred times it is all provocation against Russia, psyop that intensified since Putin returned to power and started rebuilding Russian military after another western provocation in Georgia and later in Moldova, it became exponential after Ukrainian putsch in 2014.

Ultimately removal and Putin and now Xi who will follow Putin to be elected four times breaking the western imposed rotation of CIA agents in the Chinese and Russian leadership is the ultimate goal of the Western globalists to be replaced by oth Chinese and Russian oligarchs with more consmopolitan autlooke devoid of notions of nation states but rather global imperial provinces of US western emporium.

These are neocons sick dreams but as we see they will not be stopped without real bottom up anti oligarchic revolution and instead escalate into preprogrammed chaos and global conflict among people while harmony among oligarchy.

b , Feb 18, 2018 3:52:42 AM | 63
@liburl @20 - "Could you comment on this. All things being equal the marketing scheme would have spread
their positive and derogatory posts equally to any given candidate, yet Mueller says
Hillary was under attack."

Aside from the "Russian influence" there were commercial fake-news site created and run from Macedonia. These were widely reported about. for example by Wired: Inside the Macedonian Fake-News Complex .

The people running these sites did not care who would win the election. But they found that stories about Trump generated MORE TRAFFIC than pro Clinton stories. (BTW: U.S. main stream media found the same and was therefore full of Trump stories.) More traffic/followers is their sole point.

What Veles produced, though, was something more extreme still: an enterprise of cool, pure amorality, free not only of ideology but of any concern or feeling about the substance of the election. These Macedonians on Facebook didn't care if Trump won or lost the White House.
...

Trump groups seemed to have hundreds of thousands more members than Clinton groups, which made it simpler to propel an article into virality. (For a week in July, he experimented with fake news extolling Bernie Sanders. "Bernie Sanders supporters are among the smartest people I've seen," he says. "They don't believe anything. The post must have proof for them to believe it.") He posted under his own name but also under the guise of one of 200 or so bogus Facebook profiles that he'd purchased for this purpose. (A fake profile with a Russian name cost about 10 cents; for an American name, the price went up to 50 cents.)

[Feb 18, 2018] In other words, what Prigozhin's company is doing is hardly much different from what Facebook originally was set up to do: sell its followers, their details and their behaviours to paying customers

Feb 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Posted by: Jen | Feb 18, 2018 5:40:31 AM | 65

"... The sole point of creating a diverse army of sock-puppets with large following crowds was to sell the 'eyeballs' of the followers to the paying customers of the marketing company [Concord Catering] ..."

In other words, what Prigozhin's company is doing is hardly much different from what Facebook originally was set up to do: sell its followers, their details and their behaviours to paying customers, be they marketing organisations or the US government.

Rich , Feb 18, 2018 7:27:05 AM | 66
No Russian influence-just more fake news, more lies, more manipulation, more of the same pantomime politics starring puppet politicians and directed by the dangerous psychopaths who rule us and who are rushing us down a one way street to extinction...
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078L8K9H3

[Feb 18, 2018] If there HAD been any evidence of collusion , treason , or an attack by foreign state actors Donald Trump would have been pulled from the roster of presidential candidates by October 2016 at the latest.

Notable quotes:
"... Any country that would allow a traitor (or even a suspected traitor) to compete for the highest office in the land is not a country that is serious about "sovereignty" or "democracy" and should quite rightly be considered a failed state. ..."
"... As for the red-baiting and blatantly obvious attempts by the FVEYs to get Russia to throw a first punch -- so we can then jump in with all we've got and pin down the victory we thought we had back in 1998 (the big one that got away) -- I think we should all re-read that open letter signed by Dmitry Orlov, the Saker, and others which was posted in May of 2016 (yeah: right around the time this whole Russia narrative was being cooked up): https://cluborlov.blogspot.ca/2016/05/a-russian-warning.html ..."
"... Let's all just hope the warmongers end up exposing themselves as being the belligerent, immature a**holes that they are so everyone else can laugh and point and get back to building the peaceful, prosperous world that we want to live in. ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

LaNinya

no evidence is added to cohesively tie the establishment Russia narrative together

Right.
It's all been gossip and innuendo.

If there HAD been any evidence of "collusion", "treason", or an "attack" by foreign state actors, the intelligence and law-enforcement agencies would not have been playing games leaking to the press, but pressing forward with serious measures to harden the country's security system and neutralize the threat(s). Had there been any genuine evidence of malfeasance by the Trump campaign (outside of widely practiced and generally accepted instances of corruption), Donald Trump would have been pulled from the roster of presidential candidates by October 2016 at the latest.

Any country that would allow a traitor (or even a suspected traitor) to compete for the highest office in the land is not a country that is serious about "sovereignty" or "democracy" and should quite rightly be considered a failed state.

As for the red-baiting and blatantly obvious attempts by the FVEYs to get Russia to throw a first punch -- so we can then jump in with all we've got and pin down the victory we thought we had back in 1998 (the big one that got away) -- I think we should all re-read that open letter signed by Dmitry Orlov, the Saker, and others which was posted in May of 2016 (yeah: right around the time this whole Russia narrative was being cooked up):
https://cluborlov.blogspot.ca/2016/05/a-russian-warning.html

Let's all just hope the warmongers end up exposing themselves as being the belligerent, immature a**holes that they are so everyone else can laugh and point and get back to building the peaceful, prosperous world that we want to live in.

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 1:13 pm

Good letter, please read this one.

https://slavyangrad.org/2014/09/24/the-russia-they-lost/

LaNinya , February 17, 2018 at 1:48 pm

Wow. Good one, Joe. Beautifully written. Thanks for the link. The comments were interesting, too.

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 1:55 pm

Your welcome, and you are right about the comments. Let's read the very first one, as I'm also leaving off the commenters name which may be seen on the original comment board.

"As an American who has spent a lifetime studying his nation, I can tell you for a fact that America was never cool. At the end of WWI, American soldiers came home to lynch African-Americans in record numbers because they had gotten "uppity" in the soldiers' absence. After WWII, America protected Nazi war criminals and immediately attacked the real saviour of mankind (the Soviet Union), actually attacking Soviet citizens and starving the Soviet state of reconstruction monies. In the 1950s, America took over the British and French empires and became a National Security State with the growth of the CIA. Sixty-five years later, it is estimated by scholarly demographic studies that The United States is directly responsible for 40 million deaths. Even Nazi Germany, had it been victorious in WWII, could have not outstripped that record of carnage. Think about that! The world was saved from the Nazi conquest only to suffer the US conquest. And the latter was worse -- simply because the US was larger and richer and therefore more powerful and violent. You and your friends should never have been entranced. The Soviet Union provided its citizens with employment, housing, education, health-care, recreation, great art, science. The United States provided its citizens with job insecurity, homelessness, brainwashing, obesity, stress leading to mass killings, crap art, and laughable pseudo-science. I rather wonder what it might have been like for myself if I had been born on the USSR rather than the USA. I'd feel less rage and guilt, forty million fewer iota of rage and guilt; that is for certain. That would have been cooler."

What a great comment, and made with such historical accuracy. Joe

[Feb 18, 2018] Anti-Trumpists Use Mueller Indictments to Escalate Tensions With Nuclear-Armed Russia

Notable quotes:
"... Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's indictment of 13 alleged members of a Russian troll farm is leading to calls for escalation with Russia, exacerbating tensions that are already at historic – and dangerous – lows, observes Caitlin Johnstone.

By Caitlin Johnstone

U.S. empire loyalists are so close to telling the truth when they babble about "Russian propaganda." They are openly admitting that it is wrong to use media to manipulate the ways that Americans think and vote. Now all we need is for them to admit that they themselves do this constantly , and we'll be on the right track.

St. Petersburg's Internet Research Agency building, the alleged Russian troll factory that has sown discord in U.S. politics, according to Robert Mueller's indictment.

The word "Russians" is America's top trend on Twitter at the time of this writing because of a Mueller indictment of 13 alleged members of a Russian troll farm, those nefarious supervillains who posted pictures of puppies and promoted Bernie Sanders to "sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. election."

Predictably, no evidence is added to cohesively tie the establishment Russia narrative together with allegations of Russia hacking the Democratic Party and giving their emails to WikiLeaks, meeting with Donald Trump, Jr. at Trump Tower, any shenanigans with well-hydrated Russian prostitutes, or indeed anything tying the troll farm to Trump or the Russian government at all.

The focus instead is on people disguising their identities to troll Americans on social media, which we have now learned constitutes a "conspiracy to defraud the United States." As Disobedient Media's Elizabeth Lea Vos rightly points out , it is also behavior that the Hillary Clinton campaign is known to have funded and engaged in extensively.

In response to this underwhelming revelation, Democrats and Never-Trumpers are howling for new Cold War escalations with Russia. This despite the fact that this administration has already killed Russians in Syria , greatly escalated nuclear tensions with Russia, allowed the sale of arms to Ukraine (a move Obama refused for fear of angering Moscow), established a permanent military presence in Syria with the goal of effecting regime change, forced RT and Sputnik to register as foreign agents, expanded NATO with the addition of Montenegro, assigned Russia hawk Kurt Volker as special representative to Ukraine, shut down a Russian consulat e in San Francisco and expelled Russian diplomats as part of continued back-and-forth hostile diplomatic exchanges.

We are already at an extremely dangerous point in the ongoing trend of continuous escalations with a country that is armed with thousands of nuclear warheads. And these deranged lunatics want more.

"Special Counsel Mueller's indictments are further proof that Vladimir Putin directed a campaign to interfere with our elections, with the goal of tipping the outcome," tweeted Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. "Given these indictments, @realDonaldTrump should implement the sanctions that Congress passed immediately."

Steven Schmidt, MSNBC analyst and former strategist for George W. Bush and John McCain, said that the word "meddling" is not a sufficiently inflammatory word, because "What Russia did is ATTACK the United States. Trump and the Corrupted GOP majority refuse to defend the sovereignty of the country from this outside THREAT from a hostile state actor."

Congressmen Ted Lieu and Adam Schiff , Senator Bernie Sanders , popular commentators Preet Bharara and Joe Walsh have all joined in the pile-on, along with many, many others, all demanding that the president do more to escalate tensions with Russia even further than he already has.

This is exactly what renowned U.S.-Russian relations expert Stephen Cohen has been warning of : an extremely dangerous mixture of continually escalating Cold War tensions coexisting with hot proxy wars between two nuclear superpowers, with a president facing immense political pressures to keep advancing and never, ever back down. A narcissist in the White House being baited by his political enemies into a game of nuclear "chicken," without the ability to swerve when necessary.

Meanwhile what are Republicans talking about? Why, they're all crowing about the fact that these Russia revelations began on Obama's watch and don't show collusion, of course.

Do you see what is happening here? There is never, ever going to be any proof of Trump-Russia collusion, because that has never been what this is about. We've talked about this before : America's unelected power establishment doesn't care about impeaching Trump, it cares about hobbling Russia in order to prevent the rise of a potential rival superpower in its ally China. All this lunacy makes perfect sense when you realize this. The U.S. deep state is using the hysterical cult of anti-Trumpism to manufacture support for increasing escalations with Russia, and the anti-Trumpists are playing right along under the delusion that pushing for moves against Russia will hurt Trump.

Well they will not hurt Trump, because there has never been any Trump-Russia collusion. If there had been it would have been picked up by America's sprawling surveillance networks and leaked to the Washington Post before the end of 2016, and if Trump were a Putin puppet he wouldn't be continually escalating toward direct conflict with Russia in ways his predecessor Obama never would have dreamed of doing. They aren't hurting Trump with these loud cries for increased sanctions and hawkishness, they're imperiling us all.

Democrats, it is time to stop letting them bait you into calling for even more escalations with a nuclear superpower and start calling for detente instead. Republicans, it is time for you to stop putting partisan politics ahead of the survival of our species and start pushing against these dangerous escalations that your president has been playing right along with. These escalations are extremely dangerous and getting ever more so, and in the name of all that is holy I implore you to stop before the unthinkable happens.

On my knees I beg you all to stop this madness, for the sake of my children and yours. You lunatics on both sides of the political divide are going to get us all killed. In God's name, stop. Please.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium . Follow her work on Facebook , Twitter , or her website. She has a podcast and a new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . This article was re-published with permission.

[Feb 18, 2018] This Mueller revelation of 13 Russians flipping a combined campaign amount of 6.9 billion dollars spent by both American presidential candidates, is awl inspiring, and convinces me to if I were to run for public office I would do myself well to get these 13 Russians to work for my campaign

Notable quotes:
"... Besides that Rosenstein did his duty, as to redirect our attention from those nasty FISA court accusations, made by the Nunes Memo how conveniently timed. Although, Mueller's fantastic work (not my words but Rachel's) did not implicate any Russian involvement, and to the disappointment of many Democrates Mueller didn't imply that Vladimir Putin gave his permission to flip Hillary's win, but all the same .the Russians are up to no good, period. ..."
"... Mueller's Russia investigation is the le creme de le crumb of FBI investigations ..."
"... Fox news was thrilled, and patted themselves on the back for knowing it was a lie all along, at least the part where Russia helped Trump get elected. However they continued with their anti-Russia rhetoric and repeatedly brought up Hillary's sale of Uranium to Russia. Now Trump is out there acknowledging, yes Russia interfered in our elections. Our interventionism on a world wide scale makes this all quite nauseating. ..."
"... Those Russians created discord, well, they really didn't have to bother since Americans were so good at it, they didn't need any outside help. I haven't had the stomach to see how CNN, and MSNBC are going to handle this since they were such proponents of Russia-gate. ..."
"... Annie I'm glad you bring up the predictable timing of Rosenstein's release of the Mueller Russia-gate investigation, for these new allegations of Russian interference could replace the news of that awful shooting down in Florida ..."
"... I am now convinced that the indictment is a fraud upon the court deserving of sanctions being imposed on Mueller by the Court. ..."
"... The Mueller indictment is a highly unusual document. It's extraordinarily verbose for an indictment. Coupled with the fact that Mueller knew there was no way he would ever be required to prove what was charged (the U.S. has no extradition treaty with Russia), the indictment is not in reality addressed to a judge or jury; it's fodder for propaganda purposes and as discussed below, is intended to protect the indictment's entire subject matter from Freedom of Information Act requests. ..."
"... The document is overflowing with information that would be filed under seal if it was not fictional. A host of classified intelligence sources and methods would be on full display if the information in the indictment was factual. E.g., we get internal Russian company documents and private emails. Those records would have to be authenticated at trial with admissible proof of how DoJ and the FBI acquired them (sources and methods) if the indictment was intended for a judge and jury. But we get a 37-page detailed document without a single redaction for classified information. Are we to seriously believe that the Deep State is willing to burn the identities of private actor spies in Russia so they can testify that they stole company documents and emails in a foreign country? Or are we to believe that the FISA Court issued search warrants for FBI or NSA to penetrate the company's networks for a criminal rather than foreign intelligence purpose? ..."
"... Since we are purportedly dealing with Russians, one would also expect at least most of the quotes to be in Russian, requiring translation to English, yes? But we have here perfect English language smoking gun quotes and lots of them, without any indication that they have been translated from Russian as would be required if they had been. And they all speak for themselves, without need for interpretation. Even one such quote would be rare in criminal cases. But to have a bunch of them, all in English? It beggars belief. ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Joe Tedesky

This Mueller revelation of 13 Russians flipping a combined campaign amount of 6.9 billion dollars spent by both American presidential candidates, is awl inspiring, and convinces me to if I were to run for public office I would do myself well to get these 13 Russians to work for my campaign utterly amazing, these Russian trolls could flip such an overly expensive long term election with so little.

Besides that Rosenstein did his duty, as to redirect our attention from those nasty FISA court accusations, made by the Nunes Memo how conveniently timed. Although, Mueller's fantastic work (not my words but Rachel's) did not implicate any Russian involvement, and to the disappointment of many Democrates Mueller didn't imply that Vladimir Putin gave his permission to flip Hillary's win, but all the same .the Russians are up to no good, period.

This story barely tops the exclusion of Russian athletes from the Olympics for drug doping, but Mueller's Russia investigation is the le creme de le crumb of FBI investigations . Florida 19 year old shooter, not so much.

In the end, this will just be another day in an America life, while Mueller and company wind this thing down, and with the hopes the open sore FISA court insinuation goes away.

This whole thing is maddening.

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 1:20 pm

Here's some extra reading .

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/02/16/falsehoods-and-lies-inciting-war-war-crime.html

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 1:27 pm

Read this it shows the quality of stupidity that is running our country, or at least is a part of the small cabal that is lying to us.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/02/15/when-former-spies-turn-into-tv-experts.html

Annie , February 17, 2018 at 2:37 pm

Joe, you do have to ask yourself why Mueller came out with their non-findings on Friday when everyone's attention was drawn to the school shootings in Florida where the FBI was given warnings, but neglected to pay attention, and the governor of Florida is calling for Wray's resignation, and heads to roll.

Fox news was thrilled, and patted themselves on the back for knowing it was a lie all along, at least the part where Russia helped Trump get elected. However they continued with their anti-Russia rhetoric and repeatedly brought up Hillary's sale of Uranium to Russia. Now Trump is out there acknowledging, yes Russia interfered in our elections. Our interventionism on a world wide scale makes this all quite nauseating.

Those Russians created discord, well, they really didn't have to bother since Americans were so good at it, they didn't need any outside help. I haven't had the stomach to see how CNN, and MSNBC are going to handle this since they were such proponents of Russia-gate.

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 3:10 pm

Annie I'm glad you bring up the predictable timing of Rosenstein's release of the Mueller Russia-gate investigation, for these new allegations of Russian interference could replace the news of that awful shooting down in Florida.

I actually picture Mueller & Rosenstein as planning this long before the shooting, and I can just see them figuring out that during the next mass shooting on a Friday before a weekend news cycle, that bringing up the Russia thing would not only distract our attention away from how the FBI dropped the ball on catching a 19 year old shooter who had tons of red flags surrounding him, while adding some new life to all that is bad about Russians, was the go to point.

I'm not surprised, although disappointed, that FOX is on the anti-Russian band wagon. This keeping Russia in the dog house has been discussed, and written about on this comment board, so keeping Russia & especially Putin in the spot light of all that is evil, to me comes as no surprise.

It would appear that the U.S. is eventually going to go to war with Russia, or do we dare? Neocon's are good at dropping bombs on far away places, but will they be any good at ducking them when the bombs drop here?

And yes we Americans don't need any help from any Russians in order to screw up our democracy, we are perfectly great at doing that ourselves. Joe

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , February 17, 2018 at 7:46 pm

Annie, I'll reply to your question in another comment. But I'm going to pile onto your near-top comment to spread some important information in its own right before commenting. Bernard at Moon of Alabama has just convincingly put the lie to Mueller's indictment by building upon an article he posted last October. http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/02/mueller-indictement-the-russian-influence-is-a-commercial-marketing-scheme.html

I am now convinced that the indictment is a fraud upon the court deserving of sanctions being imposed on Mueller by the Court. I'll add some reasons for believing that in my follow-up comment.

Joe Tedesky , February 18, 2018 at 1:33 am

Paul that was the best so far of anything I read, or learned, about this Mueller/Rosenstein travesty. Joe

john wilson , February 18, 2018 at 6:04 am

Also Paul, did you know that the vice chairman of Face book has just announced that most of the Russian advertising spend happened AFTER the election. Read it for yourself on the zero hedge site.

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , February 18, 2018 at 6:14 am

Yes, Joe. I'd really like to see VIPS dive into what b presented.

The Mueller indictment is a highly unusual document. It's extraordinarily verbose for an indictment. Coupled with the fact that Mueller knew there was no way he would ever be required to prove what was charged (the U.S. has no extradition treaty with Russia), the indictment is not in reality addressed to a judge or jury; it's fodder for propaganda purposes and as discussed below, is intended to protect the indictment's entire subject matter from Freedom of Information Act requests.

As further indications that the document is a work of fiction not intended for a judge or jury:

1. The document is overflowing with information that would be filed under seal if it was not fictional. A host of classified intelligence sources and methods would be on full display if the information in the indictment was factual. E.g., we get internal Russian company documents and private emails. Those records would have to be authenticated at trial with admissible proof of how DoJ and the FBI acquired them (sources and methods) if the indictment was intended for a judge and jury. But we get a 37-page detailed document without a single redaction for classified information. Are we to seriously believe that the Deep State is willing to burn the identities of private actor spies in Russia so they can testify that they stole company documents and emails in a foreign country? Or are we to believe that the FISA Court issued search warrants for FBI or NSA to penetrate the company's networks for a criminal rather than foreign intelligence purpose?

2. There are way too many perfect smoking gun English language quotes. It's rare to get smoking gun quotes from defendants and they almost always require context to interpret them. Since we are purportedly dealing with Russians, one would also expect at least most of the quotes to be in Russian, requiring translation to English, yes? But we have here perfect English language smoking gun quotes and lots of them, without any indication that they have been translated from Russian as would be required if they had been. And they all speak for themselves, without need for interpretation. Even one such quote would be rare in criminal cases. But to have a bunch of them, all in English? It beggars belief.

3. In a normal criminal case, an indictment's allegations would be tested at a public trial and the public would then learn what the evidence actually is. But with a case where the defendants will never be extradited to stand trial, the entire case file is exempt from public disclosure under the law enforcement records Freedom of Information Act exemption so long as the investigation is ongoing. By vastly increasing the level of detail beyond what is required for an indictment, Mueller sweeps far more evidence into what is clearly exempt from public disclosure.

4. Grand jury procedure permits what bernard describes, although it is highly unethical and violates a lawyer's duty of candor to the grand jury and the court. In a grand jury, the prosecution is not required to show any evidence tending to establish the defendants' innocence. Just enough evidence for the grand jury to find that the prosecution can present a prima facie case of guilt. That means Mueller did not have to show the grand jury any of the Internet communications that favored Hillary Clinton rather than Trump. But we know from bernard's October article and from MSM reports when the Facebook ads were disclosed to Congress that the pro-Clinton communications exist too. In other words, Mueller apparently cherry picked the evidence to support his charge that the communications all favored Trump instead of Clinton.

5.The indictment presents a wacky theory that the defendants conspired to defraud the United States that is riddled with First Amendment issues. Conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, that's not obviously a bad argument. But that fraud conspiracy claim smells like a very long distance stretch to me (caveat, I have not yet researched it thoroughly). But what's fraudulent about reports you never filed with the FEC and DoJ? Why not just charge them with not filing the reports? Is it just so you can trumpet "conspiracy to commit fraud on the United States?"

There's more but those are the major points I've got so far.

[Feb 18, 2018] It pains me to once again be confronted with the fact that Sanders is a neocon hack

Feb 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Zachary Smith

Congressmen Ted Lieu and Adam Schiff, Senator Bernie Sanders , popular commentators Preet Bharara and Joe Walsh have all joined in the pile-on .

It pains me to once again be confronted with the fact that Sanders is a neocon hack.

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 1:30 pm

Your right Zachary in as much as Sanders has been inspiring, he along time ago should have dispelled this Russia-gate Bull, and went forward promoting his progressive goals. Joe

LaNinya , February 17, 2018 at 2:44 pm

I wrote off Bernie Sanders as a serious contender when, upon losing the Democratic nomination, instead of falling back on his life-long status as an Independent and socialist to throw his support to the Stein/Baraka ticket, he full-throatedly exhorted his supporters to vote for Hillary (Dick Cheney with lipstick) Clinton. Which, to me, indicated that he lacks faith in his own convictions.

It's interesting, though, that running as a "socialist" he attracted such great crowds and enthusiastic support. Remember how almost shocking that was? That anyone would be so bold as to run for president as a "socialist"?

And yet it hasn't been that long ago that the Communist Party itself would routinely field presidential candidates to run in the elections. Indeed, turns out John Brennan himself had voted for the communist candidate (Gus Hall) back in 1976.

When and how did the United States allow it's political discourse to get so cramped and narrow? Does anyone remember?

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 3:19 pm

I think the U.S. was captured into the net as far back as maybe starting with the midnight vote to establish the Federal Reserve in 1913. Another place would be the right wing Dem's putting Harry Truman on the VP ticket in 1944. And how could we analyze this downfall without including the assassination era, starting with JFK in 1963? Yes LaNinya it's been a long slow process, and it ain't over until the fascist take total control.

The public's yearning to hear Socialist Sanders, is interesting, but does anyone for one minute take the time to realize that Bernie at best is a tat to the right of an FDR new Dealer? Although you go with the best you got, it is a shame that there aren't more truly Leftist candidates, because I think Americans want them. Joe

mijkmild , February 17, 2018 at 3:39 pm

Add to that the end of the draft in 1973, which we thought was a victory, only to see a corporate military rise as the only means of access to "education" and "employment". A military corporation dedicated to war, death and destruction for profit, as well as censorship of its ultimate goals, and an industrial output of propaganda to encourage and prop up its agenda.

Rave on Sasha Alexandre. Rave on Jara. I am not your enemy. 173 Oudezijds Achterburgwal, Amsterdam Centrum.

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 4:04 pm

You raise a memorial point, milkmild. I just got off active duty around the time the draft was ended. As happy as I was, I also recall giving some thought to what would our military do, without all of us Constitutional pesky civilians around to nag the warmongering brass, as we did? Well now I know. Joe

mike k , February 17, 2018 at 3:07 pm

Sanders is a turncoat traitor to those he misled.

nonsense factory , February 17, 2018 at 3:51 pm

Sanders is interesting, in that he was basically running against Clinton just so she could say that she had an opponent. The Sanders platform is basically FDR-limited, in that if you look back to 1933 you can see FDR running on a very similar (but much more anti-Wall Street) platform.

My one piece of advice on Sanders is, don't trust politicians in this system to fix problems – we live in a seriously plutocratic system with remarkable similarities to Brezhnev's Soviet Union. Our politics is largely theater – Sanders was to be the foil to Clinton, and Trump's rise in the Republican Party was largely engineered by corporate allies of Hillary Clinton who thought he'd be easier to defeat than GW Bush. The Republican wing of the plutocracy wanted either Bush or Rubio, for similar reasons.

Trump was never supposed to win the general election, and Sanders was never supposed to get anywhere near Clinton in the primary. Somehow the whole program went off the rails, and the neolib/neocon crowd in Washington and Wall Street didn't see it coming. Now they're trying to pick up the pieces. . .

But I don't think all the king's horses and all the king's men, will be able to put the American Empire back together again. So I'm betting that the Soviet Union collapse scenario is going to play out in the United States; Gorbachev,Yeltsin, Putin. If we can find someone like Putin who will throw our politically-minded oligarchs in jail or exile them, as Putin did with Khodorkovsky, Berezovsky and Gusinsky, then we'll be much better off and the pain will not last as long.

As far as Russia vs. the USA, no, China holds all the cards, on renewable energy, on technology, on diplomacy. We should all learn to speak Chinese and Russian, anyway . . . Just so we can communicate with our equals on a level field. Bye bye Empire, bye bye. . .

[Feb 18, 2018] The Mueller indictment describes a common clickbait operation through a most hysterical and paranoid lens. Absurd madness. It's "commies are poisoning our vital bodily fluids" level stuff. Imposing controls on the internet is one endgame here

Feb 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Herman

"The U.S. deep state is using the hysterical cult of anti-Trumpism to manufacture support for increasing escalations with Russia, and the anti-Trumpists are playing right along under the delusion that pushing for moves against Russia will hurt Trump."

On the mark, but the strategy goes beyond the deep state which I take to mean actors within our government. Cui bono, and that includes suspects that make no pretense of what they are after. The problems with their plans is that it assumes they have their hand on the switch that can turn this putsch on and off and somewhere in between.

Jessika , February 17, 2018 at 5:28 pm

Absolutely, politics is mostly theater, as nonsense factory stated. Tom Welsh and mike k, what a great exchange on humans as stupid as sand fleas! The western nations are floundering because of their slavish dependence on money and military might, and the US is set for economic collapse soon with $20tn debt and unbelievable deficit and continuing to rise to aid oligarchs; meanwhile with desperate masses, many of whom can't even put a roof over their heads without help. The Goldman has Sacked US. Notice how Goldman Sachs has been in charge of the gold since Bill Clinton? These fiends are using displacement because they have made the bloodiest mess of American society so they blame Russia for what they do, they're psychopathic. We've got to call them on it. Do read that article at The Saker, "A Brief History of the Kremlin Trolls". The imprint of CIA is all over this.

jaycee , February 17, 2018 at 6:01 pm

The Mueller indictment describes a common clickbait operation through a most hysterical and paranoid lens. Absurd madness. It's "commies are poisoning our vital bodily fluids" level stuff. Imposing controls on the internet is one endgame here.

Gregory Herr , February 17, 2018 at 8:42 pm

I put myself through the excruciation of watching a bit of Chris Hayes tonight talking with Nadler (D-NY) and some guy from the Clinton campaign who were both calling the so-called "interference" an "attack" tantamount to Pearl Harbor. Hayes played the straight man and poohed the comparison a bit, but they were insistent and Hayes suggested the logical conclusion of what they were demanding in response was war. Nadler stopped short of that but said the Russians must pay a heavy price (more sanctions) and the other guy said the new war would be of the cyber variety. I think you are right that "imposing controls on the internet is one endgame here".

David G , February 17, 2018 at 9:30 pm

The rhetorical slippery slope started with "hacking the DNC" (not that I'm conceding the reality of that), and slid rapidly through:
"hacking the election" to
"hacking our democracy" to
"attacking our democracy" to
"attacking our country",
and now what you saw on MSNBC, Gregory Herr, is the norm.

I've seen: What is the difference between what the Russians did here and if they'd occupied the Aleutian Islands?

How to rationally engage with argle-bargle paranoia like that?

David G , February 17, 2018 at 9:19 pm

jaycee, I think that is actually a key point that should be foregrounded in commentary on this nonsense: the psychological drivers are concerns about *purity* and *contamination*.

I've read about studies that show such preoccupations correlate with right-wing, or "conservative", political orientation, which absolutely describes the Russia-gate construct, despite its demographic base on the Dem-partisan, allegedly liberal, side of the aisle/populace.

KiwiAntz , February 17, 2018 at 6:26 pm

I'm from NZ so I'm going to use a Lord of the Rings analogy? America & it's Deepstate is the evil "Sauron" of the World"? Sauron (like the US) is a cowardly bully who wants to dominate all life on earth using his Ork minions (MIC) & one ring (nuclear weapons) to rule them all? What did it take to stop Sauron (& what will it take to stop the US?) A last alliance of men, elves & all the other people's of middle earth (planet earth) uniting & standing together as one to confront this grave threat to life on earth?? JRR Toiken understood the situation only to well I think? Simplistic solution,but a time is coming when all Nations of the Earth are going to have to stand up too & destroy the greatest existential threat too life on Earth, that has ever been, which is the American Empire & USA? A greater threat than Nazi Germany ever was? The survival of the human race is at stake as your lunatic leaders are leading us to permanent destruction! You'd be surprised at the amount of rich Americans, think Peter Thiel for one example, buying end times, survival prepper, bolt holes in my Country of NZ as they can see what your insane, hysterical Nation is leading us too? When the rich start abandoning the Country, like rats leaving a sinking ship, ITS TIME TO TAKE NOTICE? Just as one small hobbit, the most unlikeliest of hero's changed the outcome & the fate of middle earth, it set a precedent that ordinary people or small people of the World could stand up to & unite against EVIL & become the most unlikeliest of heroes in order to SAVE our Earth? God help us all?

mike k , February 17, 2018 at 6:53 pm

Well said!

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 7:12 pm

My dying last warning to you KiwiAntz while I'm stuck here on the USA mainland is when those rich creeps of ours do come to your beloved New Zealand .immediately arrest them, and put then in jail. Since I'm not big on capital punishment that's the best advice I can give you, but if you would rather I could hand this over to my cousins in Jersey, because their good at making things disappear. Be careful, watch yourself KiwiAntz. Joe

Jessika , February 17, 2018 at 6:43 pm

Good one, KiwiAntz! I agree with you and I also think that Mother Earth is sending messages to humans, too. Too many people allowing (mis)leaders to lead us over a cliff.

mike k , February 17, 2018 at 7:00 pm

"Worse than Hitler" hits Uncle Sam right on the head. Our leaders learned a lot from Hitler and his gang, but they have gone far beyond what Hitler accomplished. Racism, power lust, torture, fiendish weapons, mass murder – we have the whole package now in spades.

Marko , February 18, 2018 at 8:26 am

Worse , indeed , but what bothers me most is that we ( the American people ) have allowed the situation to get this bad.

I used to wonder : " How could the German people have allowed Hitler to obtain and maintain his power ? Were they blind , or were they just as evil as he was ? " Now I don't have to wonder any more – I'm experiencing the phenomenon first-hand , in real time. If the Guiness Book of World Records ever comes up with a category called " Nation With the Most Irresponsible Populace " , Germany no longer has to fear being named the record-holder , thanks to us.

Euroyankee , February 17, 2018 at 7:38 pm

To say that what the Russians did had any effect on the election is like claiming it was the fly fart in the tornado that blew the roof off.

Zachary Smith , February 17, 2018 at 7:45 pm

Lately I've seen some quips which are really memorable. "Fly fart in a tornado" is great, and the one by mike k the other day also made my day:

Voting in a crooked system is like pissing in the ocean – it's OK if you have nothing better to do .

jose , February 17, 2018 at 8:32 pm

You are correct when you assert that : "It's all been gossip and innuendo" Somebody ought to tell Mr. Mueller " clay, clay, clay for without it, I cannot make bricks" I have not seen anything remotely resembling hard evidence. This entire Russia debacle reminds me of the 2007 movie of Batman in which at the end the joker states the following: "Madness as you know is like gravity, all it takes is a little push" The worse part in all this is that millions of Americans believe this Russia meddeling as a given without demanding any solid prove. The grip of the American doctrinal system is very powerful, indeed.

Rael Nidess, M.D. , February 17, 2018 at 10:02 pm

"In God's name, stop. Please."

The voice of sanity.

Jessika , February 17, 2018 at 10:34 pm

Everything written here by Caitlin Johnstone makes sense except that you can't beg a psychopath to stop what they're doing. Like asking a serial killer not to kill you.

MLS , February 17, 2018 at 11:25 pm

The more I see the same commenters congratulating themselves on their respective confident, cognitive bias-laden assertions, the more painfully obvious it becomes that while posters here may know what they have read and heard, none have any clue what is going on.

Where exactly is the factual basis, for example, for this stunning paragraph:

"Well they will not hurt Trump, because there has never been any Trump-Russia collusion. If there had been it would have been picked up by America's sprawling surveillance networks and leaked to the Washington Post before the end of 2016, and if Trump were a Putin puppet he wouldn't be continually escalating toward direct conflict with Russia in ways his predecessor Obama never would have dreamed of doing. They aren't hurting Trump with these loud cries for increased sanctions and hawkishness, they're imperiling us all."

?

Because Caitlin said so? If/then theoreticals? Please.

The great Robert Parry did research. Journalistic legwork.

The cynicism olympics of small-time blogsylvania is no substitute.

BobS , February 18, 2018 at 12:11 am

Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown.

backwardsevolution , February 18, 2018 at 4:35 am

MLS – well, where's the evidence? Please enlighten us.

[Feb 18, 2018] My question is, is the American public wittingly or nonwittingly going along for the ride on this Russia-gate bus to no where?

Feb 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Mild - ly - Facetious

Mueller Indictments Miss The Mark On Trump Russia Collusion

By Jonathan Turley
2/17/18

http://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/374312-mueller-indictments-still-miss-the-mark-on-trump-russia-collusion

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 2:05 pm

My question is, is the American public wittingly or nonwittingly going along for the ride on this Russia-gate bus to no where?

nonsense factory , February 17, 2018 at 4:00 pm

Based on what looks, at first glance, as widespread censorship of comment sections on this story in the corporate media across the English-speaking world, I'm guessing that the general public is not really buying it, outside the hardcore center of wealthy Clinton-Blair supporters and MIC insiders. That's just my impression, though.

When empires begin to collapse, the centers of wealth and power draw inwards and set up walls in a desperate bid to retain control; but the harder they try to grasp it the more slips through their fingers. They also tend to blame external forces for their own incompetence and Byzantine corruption, which is why all the finger-pointing at Russia. That's what I'm seeing, anyway.

Prophecy is never to be trusted; who knows how this will turn out? But it sure doesn't look good for the status quo of the Clinton-Bush-Obama era; those days are likely gone forever. Trump is ramping up wealth inequality with his massive tax cuts and huge military-industrial budget – again, much like the end days of the Soviet Union, when the apparatchiks had their Black Sea villas while the rest of the country lived in poverty.

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 4:06 pm

I'm growing to like hearing from you nonsense factory, thanks for your input. Joe

nonsense factory , February 17, 2018 at 8:24 pm

Thans Joe, I have used a wide variety of outlets to post my samizdat commentary but Consortium is one of the few places where both the publishers and the commentariat seem to be honest people, not playing some manipulative game.

Joe Tedesky , February 18, 2018 at 1:36 am

That's great, and you fit right in. Stay with us, we all might learn something. Joe

[Feb 18, 2018] Mueller No Collusion between Trump and Putin, but the Russia Card is Bigger than Ever by Boyd D. Cathey

Feb 18, 2018 | www.unz.com

Earlier in February, according to various Fox and Neoconservative pundits, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was close to being labeled "the devil incarnate," the man responsible for naming Robert Mueller as Special Counsel (and who had basically given him carte blanche to engage in a slow-burn campaign, an ideological investigative war, based on a spurious made-up dossier, against President Trump). Calls went out that Rosenstein should be replaced, even fired.

Now, a few days later -- and thirteen indictments from one of Mueller's grand juries, announced by the very same Rosenstein, specifically against more "Russian players" who reportedly "meddled" in the 2016 American elections, but without any connivance by the Trump campaign -- and Rosenstein is feted as a veritable savior of the republic by those same commenters. Those Neocons who now selectively support the president and those bitterly anti-Russian Fox pundits (with the possible exception of Tucker Carlson) are absolutely giddy with delight! For too long, in their defense of President Trump against the charge of collusion, they had found themselves in the extremely uncomfortable situation (for them) of having to mount an attempt to exculpate the Russians, or at least lessen their culpability.

But now, Rosenstein has presented them with one of those exquisite "Aha!" moments: at last, the onerous burden of disputing Russian connections with the Trump campaign has been lifted, but they can still, with more reason, keep those evil Russkies in the cross hairs as the supreme enemy of America!

And this fits to a tee their ideological predispositions. For the Neocons (and most of the Fox punditry) -- who are the dominant voice of the so-called contemporary "conservative movement" and the intellectual brain trust for much of the GOP -- are inveterate Russophobes. It makes no difference to them that Russia in 2018 is definitely not Russia of the old Soviet days; it makes little difference to them that since 1991 Russia has emerged as the leading global power in opposition to the secularist New World Order, and that its political and cultural trajectory is, if anything, more conservative and traditionalist. They ignore the fact that Gorbachev voluntarily agreed with George H. W. Bush to dissolve the Warsaw Pact (which he did), ending the Communist control of Eastern Europe, on condition that the United States not advance NATO further east (which is exactly what the United States then proceeded to do). They have repeatedly ignored and rejected Russian overtures for partnership, collaboration and cooperation (not the subinfeudation and subjection that Paul Wolfowitz and Charles Krauthammer demanded). They rip out of context Putin's statement that the dissolution of the old Soviet Union was "a monumental catastrophe" for Russia, failing to understand that his comments dealt specifically with the radical and disastrous ethnic and political consequences of the break up, with millions of ethnic Russians now in regions that were always part of Russia, now separated from the Mother Country, economically adrift and incapable of true independence.

Back on February 6 , in an effort to briefly explain some of the background for this zealous Russophobia, I wrote the following in a column:

"The Neocons, of course, owe their intellectual origin decades ago to that other major stream of Marxist thought, identified with Leon Trotsky and his zealous internationalism. Early on for those intellectual descendants of Trotsky their opposition to Soviet Communism was just as much a hatred for Russia, which they saw as anti-Semitic (e.g., the infamous "doctors' plot") and "reactionary," as it was for what they perceived as Stalin's (and Brezhnev's) perversion of the original "humanist" and "democratic core" of Marxist theory. Thus, even with the daily revelations, the reports and all the accounts of skulduggery by agents of the Deep State that seem to seep out, the narrative of "the Russians Did It!" must be maintained, by both Progressivists AND the Neocons. Either the Russians and that "new Hitler" (to use Neocon Max Boot's ill-chosen comparison) Putin were somehow directing Donald Trump like a puppet master controls a stick puppet, or the Russians and that "new Hitler" were working with Hillary and the DNC to blacken Donald Trump's good name and unseat him. Either way "the Russians Did It!"

So, now we hear the news from Rosenstein that thirteen individual Russians and Russian organizations, beginning back in 2014, two years prior to the 2016 elections (and before Donald Trump was even mentioned as a real candidate), are charged with "attempted meddling" in our national elections using mainly the Internet and social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). But no American citizens were compromised, and there was no collusion with the Trump campaign.

Duh. So? This is news? That a major world power spent a paltry million dollars (in a campaign in which a total of billions of dollars were spent) in some rather uniformly unsuccessful attempts to "meddle" here?

You would think that the Japs had bombed Pearl Harbor or that Putin's Cossacks had landed and seized Miami Beach! This story has nearly displaced the tragedy of the school shooting in Broward County, at least on Fox. With obvious satisfaction, Laura Ingraham (whom I do like on occasion), intoned on her Fox program: "I've been warning about the Russians for years!" But when she asked her guest former CIA director Admiral R. James Woolsey if we ever "meddled" in other countries' elections and governments, he simply laughed a bit nervously and attempted to avoid answering. (The answer is of course we do and have done so for decades : Guatemala, Iran, the Kennedy-approved assassination of President Diem, the recent Ukrainian coup against a popularly-elected but pro-Russian president, our funding of candidates subservient to our interests -- the list is endless.)

Another Fox pundit, Tucker Carlson on his program, briefly mentioned the "meddling" of Chinese operatives and organizations in the United States (where literally billions of dollars have been spent to shape American opinion and a major percentage of American commerce is now controlled by Beijing). Where is the Special Counsel investigating Chinese "meddling" and influence on American elections? Where are the congressional committees examining the extraordinary control by the Chinese of American business?

And what about Mexico which, using its various consulates scattered across the United States, helped engineer the registration of Mexican voters who would vote in the 2016 American elections? How many of those were -- are -- illegals? Except for such groups as ALIPAC, NumbersUSA, NC Listen, FAIR, VDare.com, and a few others, not a word and certainly, no congressional hearings.

Then, there is Saudi Arabia and the billions of oil-based petrodollars that have found their way into the coffers of American political leaders. When was the last time that you heard a serious critique of the Saudis (or their virtual, if remote responsibility for much of the Islamic extremism in the Middle East)?

And, lastly, and most significantly -- and this is the white elephant in the room -- what about the incredible influence of Israel in American politics? Okay, I recognize that you're not supposed to notice this, at least not mention it, lest you be labeled an "anti-semite" -- an accusation, a stain, like the charge of racism that is difficult, if not impossible, to expunge. Yet, can anyone rationally deny the immense influence of Israel -- and its "meddling" -- in our elections and politics?

I will make no judgments here whether the issues advanced by Israel and its supporters, the positions pushed, are good or bad, whether they are in our national interest or not. Israel has been an ally since its foundation in 1948, and the cultural and political bonds between our two nations have been and are very strong. But that doesn't change the facts: Israel is a major player in our politics, and such extremely powerful lobbying/public interest groups like AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) generally serve the interests of the State of Israel and attempt to identify them with American interests.

"Meddling" is an understatement when it comes to Israel. Remember the Jonathan Pollard espionage case? Pollard was a major American Israeli spy, whose spying and pilfering of top American secrets on behalf of Israel got him life imprisonment. And, politically, we only need to cast a brief glance to the past -- to the defeat of Senators J. William Fulbright (Arkansas) and Chuck Percy (Illinois), and Congressman Paul Findley (Illinois), and the attempted defeat of Representative Walter Jones Jr. more recently in North Carolina (e.g, Bill Kristol's million-dollar campaigns to defeat Jones in GOP primaries) -- all of whom refused to go along with unquestioning support of a pro-Israeli American agenda, or who raised some embarrassing questions, even in the most respectful and mildest manner.

Years ago, when working with the founder of the older conservative movement, Dr. Russell Kirk in Michigan, I met Dr. Alfred Lilienthal, a thoughtful Jewish opponent of Zionism and of the kind of international entanglements that he sincerely believed gave the Jewish state and Jews universally a negative reputation. Later on he presented me with copies of his major documented study on the topic, The Zionist Connection (original edition, 1978, and revised, 1982), which were revelatory for me.

More recently, Dr. Stephen J. Sniegoski's impressively documented, The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel (2008), and Drs. John Mearsheimer's and Stephen Walt's The Israel Lobby and U. S. Foreign Policy (2007) have deepened aspects of Dr. Lilienthal analysis. And additional research and discussion by such writers as Philip Giraldi ( "Are America's Jews Driving America's Wars," 2017), and such distinguished authors of Jewish descent as Professors Walter Block ( "Is It Permissible to Criticize Jews?" January 2018) and Paul Gottfried ( his review of Neil Jumonville's The New York Intellectuals , 2008, on the relationship between Russian Jewish emigres centered in New York and their powerful influence in American culture and politics), have raised questions that should be examined calmly and rationally, but probably won't.

The shadowy Russians purportedly spent a million dollars to "meddle" and "sow confusion" in American politics, beginning two years before the 2016 elections. And the Neocon narrative, the template that indicts Russia, is preserved, and that is all you need to know. An anti-Trump "demonstration" in New York with forty-five sullen attendees, some fake ads on Facebook (which is literally filled with millions of other fake ads), some cyber interference, some phony URLs -- and the Russophobes go literally wild.

And all the while the major players in meddling and espionage and influence here in the US -- they skate, are ignored with a wink-and-a-smile, dollar signs in the eyes of the supposed guardians of the Republic!

Sheer hypocrisy and crass dishonesty incarnate.

[A portion of this essay has appeared at: http://boydcatheyreviewofbooks.blogspot.com/2018/02/february-17-2018-my-corner-russians.html ]


Jonathan Mason , February 18, 2018 at 6:23 am GMT

Never mind, Mueller can now further boost his pension prospects by taking a leaf out of Kenneth Starr's book and start investigating Trumpian payoffs to bimbos, and consider indictments for adultery. That should give him another couple of years of pensionable Deep State service.
Ace , February 18, 2018 at 6:26 am GMT
** cultural and political bonds between our two nations **

Israel is an enemy and a financial parasite. There are no bonds between us.

NoseytheDuke , February 18, 2018 at 7:13 am GMT
Israel has been CALLED an ally. Israel has never actually been an ally.

[Feb 18, 2018] And, what about all the foreign nationals who post here in this forum on this blog? I daresay most offer opinions not complementary of the US government and its political menagerie.

"I swear that Russiagate is nothing more than trying to cover up the blatant corruption of the DNC, Hillary Clinton, the FBI, CIA and The Department of Justice. Keep everybody busy with Russiagate and don't allow the corruption (with the help of the press) to see the light of day. Otherwise, people in high places would be going to jail.
Notable quotes:
"... As many commentators have pointed out, we are a country of completely brain washed people now. Schiff, Schumer, Sanders . . . they are all cut from the same cloth. There is not one politician left in the country who will challenge the The Ruling Power Structure's narrative. Even in Russia, there are lot of opposition leadership voices who are making noises against the System they disagree with. ..."
"... They can't make "hacking" stick 'cause it's false. They can't make "Trump is a Putin puppet" stick 'cause it's false. So now the whole damn dumb show–regurgitated by either shameless war profiteers or straight-faced useful idiots–comes down to so-called Russian social media trolls exercising the same "speech" that we are supposedly so proud to call "free" in this country. ..."
"... The Thought Police use surveillance and psychological monitoring to find and eliminate members of society who challenge the party's authority and ideology. ..."
"... Anyone who has questioned the intelligence agencies narrative that Russians and Trump colluded to win the election are viewed with suspicion as potential enemies of the state. ..."
"... What is the end goal? The end goal is to prop up a long in the tooth multi-decade cold war with Russia to justify massive military spending. Do you want to know the answer to your question of whether or not the US defense industry and our intelligence agencies are trying to spark a war with Russia? ..."
"... The answer is yes they are. As crazy as that sounds, the hungry defense industry with its insatiable appetite for more weapons has decided to go for the ultimate win the lottery strategy and foment war with Russia. It had been happening under Obama and now it is happening under Trump. They are trying to box him into a corner where he will feel enough pressure to go against Russia. Perhaps they can goad him into attacking Russia which is what I believe they want to do. Our national media plays along and is in bed with the intelligence agencies as much as ever just like they spouted the lies of Chalabi in Iraq War II falsely believing his claims that Saddam Hussein had nuclear and chemical and biological weapons. ..."
"... "Yet still they want more as Caitlin Johnstone pointed out. What they want now to do is to do the same thing they have been doing under Obama and enlist Trump on the grandest military adventure of all. War with Russia." ..."
"... The Russiagate affair has been going on for almost a year and I would think Mueller is under a lot of pressure to find something to stick. This indictment may be it. ..."
"... Once again, Russia's reputation will be taken down a few notches and made to suffer another humiliation. And the US will move on to the next allegation, "UK and US blame Russia for the malicious NotPetya cyberattack" (headline on BBC). ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

"Realist , February 17, 2018 at 3:27 pm

Essentially, all Mueller did yesterday was to indict a bunch of private Russian citizens for expressing their opinions about the candidates in the last presidential election via public media (mainly Facedbook and Twitter), and the individual Russians contacted by the press about it did not deny doing so. Mueller made no links to the Russian government, Putin, the FSB or even their alleged puppet Donald Trump. Just private individuals being persecuted for expressing an opinion on American politics in public because they are foreigners. Doesn't matter whether the opinions were true, false, complementary or disparaging because they were subjective just like anyone else's opinions (you know, opinions are like a-holes, everybody's got one).

So, if that move by Mueller is allowed to stand and serve as a precedent in American jurisprudence, doesn't that mean that journalists from foreign lands, like Caitlin herself, are at risk of being indicated at any moment by the US Justice Department if they express opinions that the insiders in the Deep State do not like? And, what about all the foreign nationals who post here in this forum on this blog? I daresay most offer opinions not complementary of the US government and its political menagerie. And, to be honest, many do so in order to either change minds or solidify shared beliefs with others, including great swirling drifts of snowflake Americans.

This free exchange of thoughts is now to be verboten because someone other than Uncle Sam may have an influence or even change the mind of a precious American citizen? This is madness. That the most educated and articulate amongst us do not see this, but rather participate in the feeding frenzy upon the carcass of what is left of our liberal democracy is absolutely stupifying. As I have been saying for some time now, someone or some force must be imposing a form of mass hypnosis upon the population and only a few of us (including most here) seem to be immune to its effects. Maybe something we consume acts as an antidote. Perhaps your Italian grandma's muffalettas or calzones, Joe? Or my mother's German rouladen?

Dave P. , February 17, 2018 at 5:01 pm

Realist –

"As I have been saying for some time now, someone or some force must be imposing a form of mass hypnosis upon the population and only a few of us (including most here) seem to be immune to its effects."

You are dead right on that. My wife was yelling and screaming last night that why I was not watching this "Russia trolls" show with her on CNN, MSNBC, and PBS; to learn how the Russians have destroyed our beautiful democracy. She had seen the World too, mostly for fun and experiences; she taught English in Malaysia – British colony until 1957 – as a peace Corps volunteer during 1960's. There you have it. As many commentators have pointed out, we are a country of completely brain washed people now. Schiff, Schumer, Sanders . . . they are all cut from the same cloth. There is not one politician left in the country who will challenge the The Ruling Power Structure's narrative. Even in Russia, there are lot of opposition leadership voices who are making noises against the System they disagree with.

Gregory Herr , February 17, 2018 at 6:21 pm

They can't make "hacking" stick 'cause it's false. They can't make "Trump is a Putin puppet" stick 'cause it's false. So now the whole damn dumb show–regurgitated by either shameless war profiteers or straight-faced useful idiots–comes down to so-called Russian social media trolls exercising the same "speech" that we are supposedly so proud to call "free" in this country. They not only take us for moronic fools, but they can't even see that that they are insulting us further by insinuating that our voting decisions are completely unsophisticated and easily swayed to the point that 13 Russians could have an impact amidst a sea of election season campaign "propaganda" from both major parties and an array of special interest influence peddling. Like the Clinton campaign didn't hire Facebook trolls!
Bye Bye First Amendment no one in the halls of power takes it seriously enough to defend it unless you're spouting groupthink right Bernie?

Zachary Smith , February 17, 2018 at 8:00 pm

Essentially, all Mueller did yesterday was to indict a bunch of private Russian citizens for expressing their opinions about the candidates in the last presidential election via public media (mainly Facedbook and Twitter), and the individual Russians contacted by the press about it did not deny doing so.

I'll echo Drew Hunkins in calling this a brilliant condensation of the issue. What worries me is what the morons-in-charge might have in mind as a follow-up to this lunacy.

CitizenOne , February 18, 2018 at 2:31 am

Perhaps we are entering into the Orwellian dawn of Thought Crimes which are any feelings or thinking a Citizen has which are counter to the State Propaganda put out by the Ministry of Truth. The Thought Police (thinkpol in Newspeak) are the secret police of the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. It is their job to uncover and punish thoughtcrime. The Thought Police use surveillance and psychological monitoring to find and eliminate members of society who challenge the party's authority and ideology.

Anyone who has questioned the intelligence agencies narrative that Russians and Trump colluded to win the election are viewed with suspicion as potential enemies of the state.

It would appear to be allegations of thought crime because 15 foreign nationals posted things on social media. We have been under the perception that social media is a free forum for discourse but now, like China, we are seeing the formation of a witch hunt for foreign devils who have infiltrated the social mediascape and are on trial for the results of a national election.

We are literally burning some innocent teenager for the calamity we are convinced was not of our own making. We need to find a witch to brew some witchcraft to explain how our current situation has arisen.

Not sure if anyone alive today believes the Salem Witch Trials served justice and created a restoration of civil harmony. I'm fairly sure that everyone looks at those dark days as a travesty of justice.

Yes we are living in a time of universal deceit and the act of telling the truth has become a revolutionary act just as Orwell portrayed in his novel.

Thought crimes are fairly scary and they imply that our government is willing to indict the thoughts of whoever it deems to be an enemy of the state and bring the thinkers of thought crime as defined by the state as anyone who questions the official fake narrative of Russia Gate to "justice".

What is the end goal? The end goal is to prop up a long in the tooth multi-decade cold war with Russia to justify massive military spending. Do you want to know the answer to your question of whether or not the US defense industry and our intelligence agencies are trying to spark a war with Russia?

The answer is yes they are. As crazy as that sounds, the hungry defense industry with its insatiable appetite for more weapons has decided to go for the ultimate win the lottery strategy and foment war with Russia. It had been happening under Obama and now it is happening under Trump. They are trying to box him into a corner where he will feel enough pressure to go against Russia. Perhaps they can goad him into attacking Russia which is what I believe they want to do. Our national media plays along and is in bed with the intelligence agencies as much as ever just like they spouted the lies of Chalabi in Iraq War II falsely believing his claims that Saddam Hussein had nuclear and chemical and biological weapons.

Even the analysis on North Korea which opines that NK will use all weapons first as a first strike in a scenario the USA has called the "Use it or Lose it" fell short and was proved a false scenario or that there were really no actual WMDs in Iraq as the UN claimed.

Either way, the likely outcomes of a WMD armed Iraqi leader facing imminent demise which would cause him to use all available weapons at his disposal did not happen. There are only two conclusions to the outcome. Saddam did not have these weapons or the likely scenario of "Use it or Lose it" is all wrong.

Either way the premise of the war was shown to be false.

Unfortunately in the aftermath of that war there was no US counterpart to the British Chilcot Report and the US went on to engage in regime change in other nations like Ukraine, Syria, Libya and elsewhere.

There is no sense to it other than to destabilize nations, foment violence and create international tensions which have the effect of causing our elected leaders to pony up more money for defense to combat the new enemies we just created.

Yet still they want more as Caitlin Johnstone pointed out. What they want now to do is to do the same thing they have been doing under Obama and enlist Trump on the grandest military adventure of all. War with Russia.

I agree with her assessment that this is crazy. This is the most irresponsible thing yet but it has been enabled by a fake news press just as it was enabled by the fake news media all the times before.

I agree with you Joe that a form of mass hypnosis has gripped our democrat officials and a large segment of our population. We have been handed a leader they don't like and they are ready and able to make hay with the election outcome to persuade us by force to support more military adventures.

Dave P. , February 18, 2018 at 3:53 am

Citizen One –

"Yet still they want more as Caitlin Johnstone pointed out. What they want now to do is to do the same thing they have been doing under Obama and enlist Trump on the grandest military adventure of all. War with Russia."

I agree with her assessment that this is crazy. This is the most irresponsible thing yet but it has been enabled by a fake news press just as it was enabled by the fake news media all the times before."

Yes. This scenario is getting more and more likely. All steps point to that direction.

Skeptigal , February 17, 2018 at 11:10 pm

Unfortunately I'm not as confident. Here is the complete indictment at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43091945 . There are three counts (with almost 70 allegations): 1. Conspiracy to Defraud the United States 2. Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud And Bank Fraud and 3. Aggravated Identity Theft. It ends with a forfeiture allegation seeking property, real or personal from the defendants.

The Russiagate affair has been going on for almost a year and I would think Mueller is under a lot of pressure to find something to stick. This indictment may be it. Mueller will be the hero; Trump may be saved as the interference started in 2014, before his campaign began; the Hillary emails and Nunes memo will be cast aside; and the USA can say to the world "see I told you so."

Once again, Russia's reputation will be taken down a few notches and made to suffer another humiliation. And the US will move on to the next allegation, "UK and US blame Russia for the malicious NotPetya cyberattack" (headline on BBC).

Martin - Swedish citizen , February 18, 2018 at 1:15 am

If the allegations are true, they need to be put in perspective:
– what might be the rational behind? Eg tit-for-tat for Western meddling, arms race,
– do other nations engage in similar projects? What are the scale of those?

Starting in 2014 could it have been triggered by the Kiev coup and Nuland's was it five billion?

[Feb 18, 2018] This dangerous escalation of tensions with Russia is extremely lucrative for the war profiteers, the retired generals intelligence members who prostitute themselves as media pundits, the members of Congress who get $$$ from the war profiteers, and the corporate media which thrives on links to the war profiteers as well as on war reporting

Highly recommended!
Feb 18, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

REDPILLED

This dangerous escalation of tensions with Russia is extremely lucrative for the war profiteers, the retired generals & intelligence members who prostitute themselves as media pundits, the members of Congress who get $$$ from the war profiteers, and the corporate media which thrives on links to the war profiteers as well as on war reporting.

That's why we must all be kept fearful, so we don't demand that annual trillion dollar military "defense" budgets be slashed and that money instead be spent on social safety net programs and infrastructure.

That's also why tensions with not only Russia, but Iran, Syria, North Korea, and China must be maintained, and our endless wars and global empire of military bases continued.

As long as war and militarism are such profitable rackets, it doesn't matter that all life on earth is threatened. That is the essence of capitalism in a nutshell: profits are more important than life itself.

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 12:55 pm

You got that right, and the sooner the American public wise up to all these lies the better. If you want this maddening insanity to stop, well then my fellow Americans quit buying into their lies. Just go ahead and board the damn plane, oh BTW one of the reasons NFL attendance is down is well think of the new security rules put in place plus who knows the rules of football anymore (our football is even tainted with screwiness). Sorry for the rant, but we Americans got to start calling our officials out on this stuff. It's that plain and simple. Nice post REDPILLED. Joe

Virginia , February 17, 2018 at 1:06 pm

REDPILLED,

I'm just imagining how it must feel, if you're Putin, to be able to rein in your emotions, to not react no matter how much baited, and to stay above the fray while warmongers, like dogs, are barking at your feet. That degree of self-composure, resting on a strong necessity to try to prevent WWIII and nuclear annihilation, well, I'm afraid not many of us will ever know or feel that exactly, but we can imagine! To do this with grace and dignity, insult after insult! There are lessons to be learned here.

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 1:10 pm

Virginia we Americans better hope patient Putin stays in power. Joe

irina , February 17, 2018 at 3:19 pm

Exactly. I can't imagine who the Creatures of the Deep think would be a
good successor to Putin, but I do think they should be very careful of
what they wish for. Case in point, the Ukraine. What exactly happened
to "Our Man Yats" anyway ? He seems to have (been ?) disappeared. . .

Joe Tedesky , February 17, 2018 at 3:30 pm

There is a bit of a warring nature still left in this old fighter cat, and during these imaginary moments of destruction I struggle with I see Russian T72 tanks driving down Maiden Square looking for old Yats and his friends. Not to worry though, I seriously don't want anyone, anywhere, to have to suffer even one minute of war, but on a bad day, well need I say more? Joe

ranney , February 17, 2018 at 5:45 pm

I agree Virginia. I am so depressed by Mueller's actions my head swims. I had hoped that Mueller was actually an honest investigator who believed in the rule of law as everyone said. Now I can't imagine what game he is playing. Now it seems like all hope has vanished that anything even vaguely resembling the truth will come out.. Mueller"s indictments of these poor people seals the deal: Russia is the evil bugbear that must be destroyed and all right thinking patriots will agree to that when we launch nuclear war.
I keep feeling like we're all in a Kafka exercise or a Harold Pinter play where motives and truths are hidden behind an impenatrable wall. Even the new Consortium article by McGovern and Binney seems to hint at much more than they are telling, leaving me to wish they'd just come out and say what they are worried about given their knowledge and expertise. Instead I'm left with the sense that there is a coded message in there that I have missed.

So yes, I too worry about how patient Putin can be when we have already in so many ways performed a dozen or more acts of war on Russia in the past year and he has not reacted violently.

p.s. Once again Caitlin has provided great links. Click on one of the first about the government telling us lies. It'll get you a great 4 minute cartoon based on Chomskys book Manufacturing Consent. It's about propaganda. You'll like it.

Virginia , February 17, 2018 at 8:50 pm

Ranney -- One thing that has lifted my spirit somewhat, I heard a real thinker say that the Deep State (DS) is losing ground now because its anointed candidate HRC was defeated in 2016. So 2016 marks a positive time of turning and healing. Putin and Xi seem to both be working for the good of the world. Wonderful if Donald Trump could drain the swamp and get on board. Either way, those two Leaders together can lead us out of this morass.

There's a state of thought that remains composed no matter what the valley of the shadow of death. The more I learn -- and sometimes what I learn is vastly darker than I could ever conceive -- the deeper grows my joy. It's been a puzzle to me that I could read something truly devastating here on CN and walk away with more joy than I had before reading it (and believe me, it's not because of the evil news). It's partly because I'm grateful that my eyes have been opened. There is absolutely nothing I can do without being well informed about it. I feel I'm learning all this for a reason; a very real big good reason. Don't you? There's a state of thought that refuses to be fearful no matter what. Adopt that one, Ranney.

Just look at those Olympiads doing the impossible! They start with, "I can."

Dave P. , February 18, 2018 at 4:07 am

Virginia,

Yes. Regarding the barking dogs, I read some where this Putin's answer to a question a few days ago on that list of 200 sanctioned Russians put out by U.S. Treasury Department. Putin said: Let the barking dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.

[Feb 18, 2018] The faction in the USA that seems to desperately want a nuclear war is now prosecuting people who opposed their candidate who virtually promised that nuclear war as a part of her campaign platform.

Notable quotes:
"... That "faction" is the trump regime (cough) justice department. They are who indicted the 13. Do the math. The trump regime is the "deep state". ..."
"... The 13 indictments were brought by Special Prosecutor Mueller. Due to Jeff Sessions recusal, he is answerable only to Deep State Globalist, Asst. AG Rod Rosenstein. 0% Trump involvement. ..."
"... The indictments are so sketchy they are almost certain to collapse. https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/02/16/asst-attorney-general-rod-rosenstein-announces-robert-muellers-russian-election-interference-indictments/ ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | thesaker.is

Anonymous on February 16, 2018 , · at 2:38 pm UTC

On a related note . it is now apparently illegal to have opposed the Deep State's candidacy of Hillary for President. 13 people indicted by the US prosecutors for "supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaging Hillary Clinton."

https://www.rt.com/news/419044-us-election-meddling-indicts/

The faction in the USA that seems to desperately want a nuclear war is now prosecuting people who opposed their candidate who virtually promised that nuclear war as a part of her campaign platform. Trying to save humanity is no defence apparently against charges that one interfered with the Deep State's plans for nuclear war.

Note, that this is not an isolated ruling. The people like priests and nuns who've protested against America's nuclear arsenal have had judges rule in court that arguments about the illegality of such programs (in violation of nuclear non-proliferation treaty) nor the immorality of planning to kill every living human and wipe out the human race are not permissible defenses to make against the charges filed against them.

Apparently one is now free to either die in a nuclear holocaust or to spend probably years in a US prison. The land of the free!

vot tak on February 16, 2018 , · at 5:00 pm UTC
"The faction in the USA that seems to desperately want a nuclear war is now prosecuting people who opposed their candidate who virtually promised that nuclear war as a part of her campaign platform."

That "faction" is the trump regime (cough) justice department. They are who indicted the 13. Do the math. The trump regime is the "deep state".

A123 on February 16, 2018 , · at 10:59 pm UTC
The 13 indictments were brought by Special Prosecutor Mueller. Due to Jeff Sessions recusal, he is answerable only to Deep State Globalist, Asst. AG Rod Rosenstein. 0% Trump involvement.

The indictments are so sketchy they are almost certain to collapse. https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2018/02/16/asst-attorney-general-rod-rosenstein-announces-robert-muellers-russian-election-interference-indictments/

[Feb 17, 2018] Empire actually don t know what Russia don t know or do know. It has to be noted that the Kremlin is very silent on this subject. May be becuase speaking of paranoiacs with mania of world domination is not such a good idea

Russia became a standard punch ball in the US political games. As in "Russia dog eat my homework."
Notable quotes:
"... This article is very important and outlines the destructive effort being done to Russia by the USA. It should be noted and clearly displayed by the psychopathic nature of USA meddling in Russian affairs. ..."
"... "With the current uproar about Russia interfering in the USA elections. It has to be noted that the Kremlin is very silent on this subject." ..."
"... It is extremely difficult and time consuming for an ordinary person to find the truth in the millions of pages on the Internet, the ordinary mushroom knowing that the MSM only serves you sh't and keeps you in the dark. ..."
"... Yea, just a common internet malpractice called spoofing, that any IT professional, especially one working in IT security, knows about. I suspected all along that most or all of this "Russian Hacking" and "Russians did it" was exactly that. ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | thesaker.is

Nick on October 16, 2017 , · at 1:06 am UTC

With the current uproar about Russia interfering in the USA elections. It has to be noted that the Kremlin is very silent on this subject. It is more important now than ever to bring forth information from Russia in exposing how serious the problem is from the USA interfering in not only Russian affairs but how the intelligence community continues unabated in interfering in most countries.

This article is very important and outlines the destructive effort being done to Russia by the USA. It should be noted and clearly displayed by the psychopathic nature of USA meddling in Russian affairs.

One has to wonder why people cannot see how the current government of the USA is totally out of control around the world.

Everything has its cycle of life and the USA is no exception to this theory. When humanity is controlled in such a fashion, by that I mean that the USA is supported by the four pillars consisting of GREED, CORRUPTION, POWER and CONTROL. They are sitting on the top of these structures and are desperately trying to maintain their grip over the world.

smr on October 16, 2017 , · at 3:01 am UTC
"With the current uproar about Russia interfering in the USA elections. It has to be noted that the Kremlin is very silent on this subject."

thank goodness! Trying to reason with drunken punks is hopeless and makes you look like a fool yourself.

Anonymous on October 16, 2017 , · at 11:02 am UTC
Perhaps the purpose is to "open Russia" to debunk those silly "Kremlin hacking" claims and give Empire more important information inside Russia. E.g how to go deep through military security defense line.

Empire actually don't know what Russia don't know or do know. Is this chess where you have to sacrifice pawn or two or even knight to secure queen and king? Or why to shoot fly with cannon?

Den Lille Abe on October 16, 2017 , · at 7:47 pm UTC
"One has to wonder why people cannot see how the current government of the USA is totally out of control around the world." end quote.

It is extremely difficult and time consuming for an ordinary person to find the truth in the millions of pages on the Internet, the ordinary mushroom knowing that the MSM only serves you sh't and keeps you in the dark. The most reliable method (not 100 % though) is the "Follow the money" method, who has to gain by this or that development, but even that can lead to false conclusions. Always count on that everyone has a hidden agenda, but watch out you are not gripped by paranoia.

MarkinPNW on October 16, 2017 , · at 2:27 am UTC
Yea, just a common internet malpractice called spoofing, that any IT professional, especially one working in IT security, knows about. I suspected all along that most or all of this "Russian Hacking" and "Russians did it" was exactly that.
Tom Welsh on October 16, 2017 , · at 4:55 am UTC
What a pathetic waste of time. American society and government are really getting very low.

And, of course, reality is actually defined as "what you cannot change by speaking about it". You can change reality, a very little bit at a time, by doing honest physical work.

[Feb 17, 2018] The only member of Shaltay-Boltay left on the loose reveals details on their work

Notable quotes:
"... Much later, in mid-2013, the idea of Shaltay-Boltay appeared. ..."
"... Anikeev had sources of information, the information itself, important and interesting one. Anikeev decided to leave the information and analytical structure for which he had been working, and start his own project. ..."
"... His role has been greatly exaggerated. He's just our mutual old friend. When we were getting significant numbers of files that had to be processed, we would ask Teplyakov to help, for a fee. We knew him and trusted him. ..."
"... Just then, I was beginning to get annoyed with the country, I decided to go to Thailand. When I started discussing this project with Anikeev, it seemed okay: you could engage in an interesting and promising business from home. What did I expect in financial terms? Definitely not the sale of arrays of information. I was rather thinking about advertising or administration fee. Lite-version. ..."
"... All the information came from Anikeev. I published the received information, perhaps, by illegal means, but I have nothing to do with how it was obtained. Yesterday, I sent a letter to the former President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves. I think by our actions, especially in 2014, when we were working on the idea, I deserved asylum in Estonia. So far no response was received. ..."
"... The Anonymous International published a lot of information from the correspondence of officials and businessmen between 2014 and 2016. Among the disclosed information was Dmitry Medvedev's hacked Twitter, and e-mail, Facebook, iPhone and iPad of owner of NewsMedia Holding Aram Gabrellyanov; e-mail and WhatsApp of TV host Dmitry Kiselev, official correspondence between the employees of "Prosecutor's Office" and the "Ministry of State Security" of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, and a lot of other, equally interesting information. ..."
"... Before Anikeev's detention, Shaltay-Boltay also obtained the correspondence of the presidential assistant Vladislav Surkov. ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | en.crimerussia.com

St. Petersburg programmer Alexander Glazastikov, who was hiding under the mask of Shaltay-Boltay (Humpty Dumpty), hoping for a political asylum reached out to the former President of Estonia. He is the only member of Anonymous International who remains at large.

Fontanka has been chasing the last Shaltay-Boltay member for a week. One member of the mysterious hacker group, which has been leaking e-mails of businessmen and officials for three years was found in Estonia, but shied away from a direct talk.

After the news came that Anonymous International members Vladimir Anikeev, Konstantin Teplyakov, and Filinov were arrested, it was not difficult to single out their colleague Alexander Glazastikov. The 'scary hackers' themselves, as it turned out, were quite unrestrained on social networks and left striking marks on the Internet.

Five days ago, Alexander Glazastikov gave an evasive answer to the straight question sent by Fontanka via e-mail. Three days ago, he admitted to being one of the Anonymous International on condition of anonymity. Then, he agreed to an interview saying "Come to Estonia".

When, on the arranged day, a Fontanka reporter arrived to Tartu, Alexander dropped a bombshell: "I'm on my way to Tallinn: already twenty kilometers away from Tartu." He suggested: "I can wait at the gas station Valmaotsa. Drive up, let's go together." It was the offer, from which one cannot refuse. A taxi was found quickly.

When the meeting took place, the Shaltay-Boltay member, who was easily recognizable due to the photos from the web, surprised the journalist once again: he silently passed him the ignition keys from the SUV. After a question, he explained: "You will have to drive, I was drinking beer while waiting." There wasn't much of a choice, and the correspondent of Fontanka drove the hackers group member to Tallinn to meet with the crew of Dozhd TV-channel and Ksenia Sobchak. 180 kilometers and two hours of time was enough to have a decent conversation.

- Alexander, you are probably the only member of the Anonymous International who managed to remain at large. You're in Estonia, the Russian justice is far away, can I call you by your name and surname?

- Perhaps, you can. Anyway, tomorrow or the day after, I will officially reach out to the authorities for a political asylum. The FSB already knows my name.

- They know the surname. And who are you in the Anonymous International: Shaltay or Boltay?

- Shaltay, Boltay ... what a mess. Initially, when starting this project, Shaltay-Boltay was supposed to be a spokesman for the Anonymous International. Mainly, I was doing this job. Then, Anikeev started introducing himself to the reporters as Lewis and got everyone confused.

- How many people initiated the Anonymous International?

- Me, Anikeev. Teplyakov helped with some things, but purely technical aspects.

- Who is Filinov, whose arrest was reported in connection with Shaltay-Boltay?

- I don't know the man. He was not involved in the creation of the Anonymous International. I think this is Anikeev's acquaintance, who accidentally got under the press. I've heard his name for the first time, when the media wrote about his arrest.

- Have you known Anikeev and Teplyakov for a long time?

- For a long time... There was a resource called Damochka.ru. When basically no social networks existed, and VKontakte only began to emerge, everyone was on this website, it was one of the most fun projects. In the real world, meetings of the website users were held, some users just organized those parties – Dima Gryzlov, Nikolai Bondarik, and Anikeev. That's how we met. Much later, in mid-2013, the idea of Shaltay-Boltay appeared.

- How? Did you just decide that you would steal e-mails of bad people?

- Anikeev had sources of information, the information itself, important and interesting one. Anikeev decided to leave the information and analytical structure for which he had been working, and start his own project.

- Could this project be called a business?

- It depends It was assumed that the project will bring substantial financial result, but initially it was made partly out of ideological considerations.

- But Anikeev is not a hacker at all, judging by the stories of his former colleagues.

- True. If he needed to install any software on the computer, he would usually ask me to do it.

- But Teplyakov is a programmer.

- His role has been greatly exaggerated. He's just our mutual old friend. When we were getting significant numbers of files that had to be processed, we would ask Teplyakov to help, for a fee. We knew him and trusted him.

- And why did you join this project?

- Just then, I was beginning to get annoyed with the country, I decided to go to Thailand. When I started discussing this project with Anikeev, it seemed okay: you could engage in an interesting and promising business from home. What did I expect in financial terms? Definitely not the sale of arrays of information. I was rather thinking about advertising or administration fee. Lite-version.

- With a reference to the investigation, there was information that Shaltay-Boltay has a whole network of agents with special equipment, who, at places popular among local officials, steal information by creating fake Wi-Fi connections. Do you have a network?

- Complete nonsense. There were discussions about getting to know technical possibilities like this. As far as I know, and I know a lot, in fact, we didn't have it.

- Where did you get the information from, then?

- From specialized hacking sites, one can order hacking someone else's e-mail box for a few thousand rubles.

- It worked successfully. If you remember 2014 was the most fruitful year. Serious stories, serious figures, and no commerce. Strelkov, Prigozhin...

- Out of the three years that the project existed, 2014 was the most significant. I am proud of that year.

- But, from 2015, the Anonymous International has become almost a purely commercial project. How much money did you manage to earn?

- Only one or two million dollars.

- So, you are now a rich man?

- No. Most of the money was spent on operating expenses, so to speak. There were about fifty boxes in the work. Plus, there were variants in which a transaction was made not via bitcoins, but with the help of Anikeev's friends; these intermediaries could ask for two thirds of the whole amount.

- Was there anyone above you and Anikeev? For several years, people have been wondering who Shaltay-Boltay works for?

- Funny. Everyone is looking for conspiracy, but, in fact, it was a 'quick and dirty' project made by me and Anikeev. However, at some point, in the summer or in the spring of 2016, Anikeev said that some person from the FSB found us, he knew our names. Allegedly, military counterintelligence was looking for us, but the FSB found our meadow attractive and decided to take control of our petty pranks. They, supposedly, were uninterested in the commercial part of the project: the scale was much bigger, but they wanted to supervise the project and to have the veto right. Mikhailov's name was not voiced, in fact, no one's was. Nothing, actually, happened: no one used the veto right and no one leaked any information. If these mysterious people existed at all. And who turned whom in: they – Anikeev or Anikeev – them, or even third force got them all, I do not know.

- How quickly did you find out about Anikeev's arrest?

- The next morning. He sent me a selfie from Pulkovo Airport, wrote that he checked in and flies to Minsk. The next morning, it was reported that he was arrested and transported to Moscow. Given the subsequent events, it could be the game of the FSB. Then, he contacted me, convinced that he solved all the issues and now works under the control of the FSB, called in me to Russia, but I didn't believe him for some reason.

- Did Teplyakov believe?

- Teplyakov, in the summer of 2016, moved from Thailand to Kiev. He had no permanent earnings, he depended on Anikeev. When the game was on, and it was claimed that the project would continue, but he needs to come to Russia and work there under supervision, for safety reasons, as well, Teplyakov didn't have much of a choice. He went to Russia.

- Is there somewhere a chest with Shaltay-Boltay's information?

- Good question. I need to think how to respond. Well no, not really. What was sold and purchased by the clients was deleted. What was sold was fairly deleted and this information doesn't exist anymore. Perhaps, some of our customers are now concerned about this question, but what was declared, was implemented. Some operative material that we had been working on, I also deleted. Maybe a couple of screenshots were left in the trash bin, but nothing more.

- Alexander, you're going to submit a request for a political asylum. Aren't you afraid that Estonians will simply put you in a cell? In this country, they are very sensitive to computer security, and the specificity of computer crimes lies in the fact that, for committing them, one can be prosecuted in almost any country?

- My position is that I was not personally involved in the cracking of passwords and sending malicious links. To me all that information was already delivered in an open form. Yes, it was, probably, stolen...

- So were you ordering its thefts or not?

- No.

- Who did, then?

- All the information came from Anikeev. I published the received information, perhaps, by illegal means, but I have nothing to do with how it was obtained. Yesterday, I sent a letter to the former President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves. I think by our actions, especially in 2014, when we were working on the idea, I deserved asylum in Estonia. So far no response was received.

We drove to Tallinn. More and more texts came to Alexander's telephone from Dozhd TV journalists, who were preparing to shoot with Ksenia Sobchak. After leaving the car in the parking lot, we said goodbye. Alexander Glazastikov promised to inform when he receives a reply from the Estonian government.

It is to be recalled that Glazastikov's colleagues from the Anonymous International are awaiting trial in a predetention center. The law enforcement agencies arrested Vladimir Anikeev and his two probable accomplices: Konstantin Teplyakov and Alexander Filinov. The latter two were arrested as early as November 2016, and, on February 1, the judge of the Lefortovo District Court of Moscow extended their detention until April. The alleged leader of the Anonymous International, who was acting under the nickname Lewis, was arrested on January 28 after a short time spent in the company of police officers; he confessed.

All three are charged with the crimes stipulated under part 3 of Art. 272 of the Russian Criminal Code (Illegal access to legally-protected computer information, which caused a major damage or has been committed because of vested interest or committed by a group of persons by previous concert through his/her official position).

Initially, the media associated their criminal case with the investigation on the FSB staff and the manager of the Kaspersky Lab, who were accused of treason, but later, the lawyer of one of the defendants denied this information.

The Anonymous International published a lot of information from the correspondence of officials and businessmen between 2014 and 2016. Among the disclosed information was Dmitry Medvedev's hacked Twitter, and e-mail, Facebook, iPhone and iPad of owner of NewsMedia Holding Aram Gabrellyanov; e-mail and WhatsApp of TV host Dmitry Kiselev, official correspondence between the employees of "Prosecutor's Office" and the "Ministry of State Security" of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, and a lot of other, equally interesting information.

Before Anikeev's detention, Shaltay-Boltay also obtained the correspondence of the presidential assistant Vladislav Surkov.

[Feb 17, 2018] Russia condemned and defined as the enemy of America with laughably little evidence (effing Facebook posts being about the extent of it) .... not a word about JEWISH MONEY controlling the entire political system in the USA. When Netanyahu gets 29 standing ovations from Congress should that not have triggered an FBI Investigation

Taking oil price to 30th or 40th is a strategic goal of the USA in relation to Russia. Listen at 3:30.
Notable quotes:
"... Appeasing interview with a shockingly cheap incompetent former CIA head Woolsey. If this man seriously represents the intellectual level of the CIA, then the USA will implode even faster than in ten years. ..."
"... You are exactly right. U$ politicians are uninformed, stupid, detached from reality, selfish and they think like schoolyard kids do. ..."
"... They are the product of the US society as a whole. ..."
"... Craig Murray nailed this issue stone dead for all time a few years ago, when he wrote:"[neo]liberal interventionism, the theory that bombing brown people is good for them". ..."
"... In the former The Ukraine, the Jewish Quisling oligarch dictator, Poroshenko, has been appointing foreigners to positions of power (SackOfShvilli is but one). He supported this by stating: "Ukrainians are too corrupt to rule themselves." When will we in America hear such a statement from our leaders to justify the appointment of Jews and paid Judaeophiles to all positions of power? ..."
"... I'm just waiting for Yevgeny Prigozhin to hold a press conference in Russia to claim that Hillary Clinton paid him to run the Internet Research Agency to besmirch her opponent- watch the fireworks :) It's all a hall of mirrors. ..."
"... The Internet Research Agency couldn't have possibly been more ineffective, which points to it's main purpose being to besmirch Trump (more more likely it was just an unimportant hobby of Prigozhin). ..."
"... Sure the United States has, they have been doing it since 1953 with the overthrow of Iran, to as recently as 2012 Russian Election, 2014 Ukraine Election, the UK referendum on 23 June 2016 on Brexit and currently trying to overthrow it this year. These are just a few and there is a very long list of other countries also. The United States in now in Russia and Hungry today meddling it their elections. Got to get the right people in office so they will cow-tow to the United States. ..."
"... What an admission! trump doesn't want more drilling for oil to Americans to use. It is for export and for foreign interference ..."
"... and if the price of oil would go down to 30/40$ that would make a unhappy input and so would be the saudis and you fracking industry would go down the toilet and thy will drag the banks with them. What a moron. And US oil companies would like that alot too ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | theduran.com

Gano1 , February 17, 2018 10:31 AM

The USA has lost all morality, they are so hypocritical it is risible.

Patricia Dolan , February 17, 2018 10:25 AM

What Russian expansionism??? Look at the US expansionism..........get a grip!

Ann Johns Patricia Dolan , February 17, 2018 2:51 PM

Another tiresome, butthurt yank/wank? Between the new One Belt, One Road Chinese initiative, the Russians taking control of ME oil production and the fact that america has NO answers to help it's declining empire, it would seem to the non-partisan observer that america is well and truly f***ed. You must be talking about their debt expansionism, $20 TRILLION and rising by the second.

Vera Gottlieb Patricia Dolan , February 17, 2018 2:29 PM

US expansionism...really? Where? 😜

Mario8282 Vera Gottlieb , February 17, 2018 2:58 PM

Syria? Libya? Yemen? Africa, Afgh...

Vera Gottlieb Mario8282 , February 17, 2018 3:00 PM

And you left out Latin America...

Mario8282 Vera Gottlieb , February 17, 2018 3:05 PM

This is why I left with the dots... The list would end up with America itself (an endless spree of false flags and deception schemes).

Patricia Dolan Mario8282 , February 17, 2018 6:11 PM

Thank you Mario......let's not forget Ukraine, Kosovo, Bosnia, the entirety of eastern Europe, the entirety of northern Africa, Rwanda, the Congo, Venezuela, Chili, Guatemala, Panama, Jeeeeeeeze etc......

Patricia Dolan Vera Gottlieb , February 17, 2018 6:07 PM

get a grip......and turn your TV off!

Terry Ross Patricia Dolan , February 17, 2018 6:08 PM

'twas sarcasm Patricia.

Patricia Dolan Terry Ross , February 17, 2018 6:18 PM

I guess the WINKS need to be LARGER!!!! LOL

ThereisaGod , February 17, 2018 10:05 AM

Russia condemned and defined as the enemy of America with laughably little evidence (effing Facebook posts being about the extent of it) .... not a word about JEWISH MONEY controlling the entire political system in the USA. When Netanyahu gets 29 standing ovations from Congress should that not have triggered an FBI "Investigation"? Nah ... nothing happening there. It is breathtaking that THIS is the Alice-In-Wonderland world we inhabit.

Ton Jacobs, Human Guardians , February 17, 2018 10:02 AM

Appeasing interview with a shockingly cheap incompetent former CIA head Woolsey. If this man seriously represents the intellectual level of the CIA, then the USA will implode even faster than in ten years.

christianblood Ton Jacobs, Human Guardians , February 17, 2018 12:32 PM

(...If this man seriously represents the intellectual level of the CIA, then the USA will implode even faster than in ten years...)

You are exactly right. U$ politicians are uninformed, stupid, detached from reality, selfish and they think like schoolyard kids do.

Jesse Marioneaux christianblood , February 17, 2018 12:43 PM

They are the product of the US society as a whole.

christianblood Jesse Marioneaux , February 17, 2018 12:57 PM

They indeed are! U$A! U$A! U$A!

tom , February 17, 2018 11:14 AM

Craig Murray nailed this issue stone dead for all time a few years ago, when he wrote:"[neo]liberal interventionism, the theory that bombing brown people is good for them".

journey80 , February 17, 2018 12:37 PM

Yeah, that's hilarious. Join the murdering creep in a giggle, Laura, that's cute. Here's a global criminal who should have been hung years ago for crimes against humanity. No one in their right mind would treat this creep with anything but contempt and horror, let alone find him funny.

Franz Kafka , February 17, 2018 12:17 PM

In the former The Ukraine, the Jewish Quisling oligarch dictator, Poroshenko, has been appointing foreigners to positions of power (SackOfShvilli is but one). He supported this by stating: "Ukrainians are too corrupt to rule themselves." When will we in America hear such a statement from our leaders to justify the appointment of Jews and paid Judaeophiles to all positions of power?

journey80 Franz Kafka , February 17, 2018 12:34 PM

We don't need to hear it, we're living it.

Franz Kafka journey80 , February 17, 2018 3:33 PM

My profound and sincere condolences. You are getting the 'Democracy Treatment' by the West. I hope some of you survive to tell the tale and take revenge.

Franz Kafka , February 17, 2018 12:09 PM

Are those ears or bat-wings? WOW! Yet another Jewe, pretending not be be. I guess he would say that the USA murdered all the Indians and enslaved Africans 'for their own good' as well.
Talmudo-Satanism is the pernicious underlying ideology of the people who have taken over, not just the USA, but, lets face it, the entire West.

Vera Gottlieb , February 17, 2018 2:28 PM

What a bunch of ingrates we are...not appreciating all that the CIA is doing for us. We must thank them instead of complaining.

Trauma2000 , February 17, 2018 5:30 PM

Lets not forget that the U.$.A. meddled in Australia's election of the Whitlam Government. (And several governments there after as soon as they realised they could get away with it an nothing would happen to them). The United States are a bunch of sick puppies; really sick puppies the way they have treated Australia.

So much for being allies. With allies like the United States you don't need enemies (Unless the U.$. doctors them up for you to force you to pay them more money for weapons and protection).

And it makes me sick that so many 'naive' people around the world keep falling for the SH*T that comes out of their mouths.

When dealing with the United States there are a few rules to follow. (Apologies to the innocent Americans out there but 'they' allow their government to do some unspeakable horrors to the world.)

And that goes for the entire planet no matter who the United States is speaking to.

End of story.

Shue Trauma2000 , February 17, 2018 5:51 PM

Worst part is the our Gov can't think ahead, if they keep antagonising China on behalf of the Seppo's China will eventually pull their mineral imports and our economy will crash overnight.

HappyCynic , February 17, 2018 4:31 PM

Yes, nobody doubts that the US interferes with elections in other countries - we're the good guys, so this is ok :)

I'm just waiting for Yevgeny Prigozhin to hold a press conference in Russia to claim that Hillary Clinton paid him to run the Internet Research Agency to besmirch her opponent- watch the fireworks :) It's all a hall of mirrors.

The Internet Research Agency couldn't have possibly been more ineffective, which points to it's main purpose being to besmirch Trump (more more likely it was just an unimportant hobby of Prigozhin).

John R Balch Jr , February 17, 2018 6:31 PM

Sure the United States has, they have been doing it since 1953 with the overthrow of Iran, to as recently as 2012 Russian Election, 2014 Ukraine Election, the UK referendum on 23 June 2016 on Brexit and currently trying to overthrow it this year. These are just a few and there is a very long list of other countries also. The United States in now in Russia and Hungry today meddling it their elections. Got to get the right people in office so they will cow-tow to the United States.

Graeme Pedersen , February 17, 2018 6:11 PM

I believe john Key was sent from the U$A (Merrill Lynch) to ruin our economy in New Zealand as well.

janbn , February 17, 2018 5:37 PM

What an admission! trump doesn't want more drilling for oil to Americans to use. It is for export and for foreign interference.

Aidi Deduction , February 17, 2018 4:51 PM

Frederick the Great concluded that to allow governments to be dominated by the majority would be disastrous: "A democracy, to survive, must be, like other governments a minority persuading a majority to let itself be led by a minority."

General Kreeg , February 17, 2018 4:13 PM

Russian Trolls are all of a sudden the Russian Gov't.

fredd , February 17, 2018 3:18 PM

and if the price of oil would go down to 30/40$ that would make a unhappy input and so would be the saudis and you fracking industry would go down the toilet and thy will drag the banks with them. What a moron. And US oil companies would like that alot too

Mario8282 , February 17, 2018 2:56 PM

...and the US bombed half of the world's countries for their own good too. US made Libya a slave market for humanity's good as well. Oboomer even got the Nobel Peace Prize for it.

K Walker , February 17, 2018 2:55 PM

I would be greatly relieved if the USA government merely tweeted instead of invading and indulging in regime change.

Kevin S , February 17, 2018 12:55 PM

Talk about the pinnacle of hypocrisy!

[Feb 17, 2018] The US people swallowed the hogwash about Kremlin disinformation trolls working to undermine the West's irrepressible belief in itself

Notable quotes:
"... . As usual, the most appropriate response amounts to contemptuous, refined amusement ..."
"... It's not as though we have a lack of ludicrous, ridiculous material. As the inventor of this site once described, how did the people in the late-era Soviet Union fight their declining regime? Jokes. ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | thesaker.is

Nussiminen on October 18, 2017 , · at 3:20 pm UTC

Frankly, I don't really see too big a problem with people swallowing the hogwash about "Kremlin disinformation trolls" working to undermine the West's irrepressible belief in itself. As usual, the most appropriate response amounts to contemptuous, refined amusement:

"They seem to know indeed what they are talking about -- well worth their salary for doing honest work."

If you cannot change the Weltanschau of Ziomedia addicts, then at least you're fully entitled to have some fun at the slobs' expense.

Internal Exile USA on October 19, 2017 , · at 9:20 pm UTC
Absolutely, humor is one of the best weapons around. The more pompous a person is, the more they hate being dropped down to size. Pop goes the balloon of hot air.

Humor has probably woken more people up than any other method.

It's not as though we have a lack of ludicrous, ridiculous material. As the inventor of this site once described, how did the people in the late-era Soviet Union fight their declining regime? Jokes.

[Feb 17, 2018] A Brief History of the Kremlin Trolls The Vineyard of the Saker

Notable quotes:
"... Out of nowhere, my gentleman acquaintance brought up the topic of the day: Russia hacking the elections. The more things change, the more they are not the same anymore. ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | thesaker.is

Scott on October 17, 2017 · at 3:03 pm UTC

to Mujo

That's what my research is about, despite Ivan Pavlov's defense denying the connection between the Shaltay-Boltay group and former FSB officers convicted for treason. https://en.crimerussia.com/gromkie-dela/defendant-in-high-treason-case-personally-detained-shaltay-boltay-s-leader-/

But that's what a good defense is for, to deny.

Treason is very serious charge that includes working for foreign governments intelligence services. I believe I have enough to prove my point, using, of course, only information openly available on the internet. However, if these people worked for SBU or Mossad, I will write about this, also.

See also, Arrested Russian FSB Agents Allegedly Passed Information to CIA

http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/01/31/arrested-russian-fsb-agents-allegedly-passed-information-to-cia-trump-putin/ https://www.cbsnews.com/news/russia-treason-fsb-spies-kaspersky-labs-us-intelligence-denies-cia-hacking/ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/31/russian-cybersecurity-experts-face-treason-charges-cia https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/01/26/report-arrested-russian-intel-officer-allegedly-spied-us/97094696/ https://www.rbth.com/politics_and_society/2017/02/02/fsb-officers-charged-with-treason-media-claim-cia-ties_693641

You wrote "(2) Why did they defect from the FSB to join the CIA? Do we have any insight on this?"

Maybe they defected, or maybe they started working there after being recruited by the foreign intelligence services. We will find out. ­

Mujo on October 18, 2017 , · at 5:58 am UTC

Scott,

Thanks for these follow-up links -- very helpful.

I also found this interview with Alexander Glazastikov (Humpty), which you have probably read:

The only member of Shaltay-Boltay left on the loose reveals details on their work

As described by various media sources, the basic story about Shaltay-Boltay is that they formed in mid-2013 to hack e-mail, social media, and data of officials and businessmen in Russia, and then sold this data for large amounts of money through the digital underground. In particular, this happened through a portal called "Exchange of Information", a kind of anonymous auction site for stolen data. Glazastikov says Shaltay-Boltay "was supposed to be a spokesman for the Anonymous International", and was created by himself, Vladimir Anikeev, and Konstantin Teplyakov.

Although most all of the Western media sources insinuate some connection between Shaltay-Boltay, the FSB officers who were arrested, and the putative "hacking" of the 2016 U.S. election, Glazastikov denies any interest in targets outside Russia.

There is also disagreement around the connection between Shaltay-Boltay and the FSB. Glazastikov says that the FSB contacted him, saying they were aware of Shaltay-Boltay's activity, and wanted to assert "control" and veto power in exchange for not arresting them. Russia Beyond claims that it was Sergei Mikhailov (FSB) who took control of Shaltay-Boltay and "received kickbacks from its founder, Vladimir Anikeyev". However, Glazastikov's testimony contradicts that of Anikeev, his lawyer (Ruslan Koblev), and Ivan Pavlov, lawyer for one of the FSB defendants, all of whom deny any working relationship between Shaltay-Boltay and the FSB.

Interestingly, Glazastikov notes that neither Anikeev nor Teplyakov had technical expertise. Moreover, Glazastikov makes it sound like even he was not primarily involved in hacking, and the "Exchange of Information" admins claim no connection with Shaltay-Boltay. For the heavy lifting, Shaltay-Boltay would use "specialized hacking sites" where they outsourced pay-to-order hacks with IT mercenaries. A target e-mail address could be hacked for a few thousand rubles. And even this, Glazastikov states, wasn't really the original idea for Shaltay-Boltay. Instead, he imagined they would be doing "advertising or administration fee".

Perhaps more significantly, it has more recently been claimed that members of Shaltay-Boltay have admitted to forging some parts of the correspondence that they hacked. The putative aim was to boost the profile of their group.

Reading between the lines of this, I find more support for Scott's angle on this story. Shaltay-Boltay were indeed not hackers in a conventional sense. They were traders in an illicit information economy, and apparently weren't above fabricating that information if it would raise their profile. For the extent and nature of that fabrication, i look forward to Scott's next report!

Internal Exile USA on October 17, 2017 , · at 4:29 pm UTC
This is incredible research, you put most YTube new journalists to shame. I hope this material makes its way into your next book. "Enemy of the State" is an instant classic full of insights on how to live life that are a soothing balm to children of the Sick West with senses of humor somewhat intact.

On the east coast of the U.S., the mundane worlds of the Masters of (their imagined) Universe can be seen fairly easily, especially if you wander into places and act like you belong there.

Regarding the kinds of people that instigate the madness you describe above: I recently had the opportunity to visit a very interesting social club that was opened to the public for one day only. Three Ivy league schools I'm sure you've heard of. On the walls upstairs were listed all the latest presidents in different colors, like red for an "H" school: Obama, Clinton, Bush II, Bush I . Kennedy John Quincy Adams, etc. I can't remember Nixon or Carter being there, but I talked to someone who's name is on another wall, and it struck me that members of this club did not hate Trump because of his manners, parents, background, politics, or alleged business acumen. Instead, they hated the fact that his name couldn't be written on their wall. It's really only acceptable to be President if you've been BMOC at Harvard.

Out of nowhere, my gentleman acquaintance brought up the topic of the day: Russia hacking the elections. The more things change, the more they are not the same anymore.

There were pictures of famous football teams from years gone by, the place had a charm but it was shabby, and the ceiling looked like sprayed styrafoam, an aesthetic disgrace that these imaginary jocks failed to appreciate. The drinks, by the way, were terrible. They must make their highballs with Minute Maid. The creativity and intelligence, not to mention taste of the West are surely at a low ebb.

[Feb 17, 2018] Comment Set Free: the Mueller indictment

Notable quotes:
"... What this guy did (who is not "Putin's Chef", a term that uses the ever-favorite smear of putting something next to Putin to make people think there is guilt among both parties) is what every sleazy purveyor of fake profiles and fake likes does. If you have done any work in marketing or social platforms, you will have seen dozens of the same outfits. ..."
"... They're also happy to sell you ads that will target these fake people, pocketing the cash without achieving any results for the business owner buying the ads. Meanwhile, the US Cointelpro operation continues, masquerading as an actual investigatio ..."
"... Of course the New York Times and Washington Post have reacted to this like US Cavalry coming to the rescue in the last reel of a 1950's B-movie by demanding that Trump apologizes and accepts that their stories about Russian interference in the elections, were true and had nothing to do with 'fake news.' How convenient for them! After all this time, this is what Mueller can come up with, give me a break! ..."
"... Maybe they should sue Mueller for libel, go on the offensive? So Mueller's accusations are 'free', cause he knows the Russians can't really reply. It's a kind of smear. ..."
"... And what about conflating 'Russians' with 'Russia' all the time? A hacker or troll living in Russia doesn't represent 'Russia.' There's this ghastly wave of hysteria sweeping the United States and it's dangerous. ..."
"... With this indictment: Rod Rosenstein has come clean and delivered on solemn oath that the entire Russiagate farrago is baseless and evidence free. The only thing he has truly indicted is the obvious and continually developing disassociation of the American ruling class psyche from reality. ..."
"... "'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality." ..."
"... An empire of unreality that can no longer be connected to the experiential, discernible and true. Such men are the architects of the demise of the dominant culture of lies? ..."
"... "a grand jury would 'indict a ham sandwich,' if that's what you wanted." – Sol Wachtler ..."
"... Well, they (Cocaine Importing Authority) do have history ..."
"... I personally know almost all pro-Russian English-speakers that have an influence on English language alternative and social media. None of them are Russians. If they ever were, they emigrated decades ago. There is no one that can translate Russian talking points from Russian society and media into the English speaking world. ..."
"... When will we discover who in Britain gave Steele authority to send his Dossier to the Clinton campaign? He needed that approval because the information was gleaned when in post as the Head of the Russian Desk of MI6 in quite recent times, apart from the normal requirements of the Official Secrets Act. Given that MI6 are an Intelligence Agency it's fair to assume they knew the Dossier's destination and the purpose to which it was to be put. Wasn't that interfering in the US election? ..."
"... The absurdity is that America spends billions on doing exactly these sort of things. $5 billion on Ukraine before pulling off the coup, according to Nuland. But that's just a crumb of the total mis-information cake. It's what the CIA spends most of its time doing! ..."
"... Since 1992, the government has spent about $5.1 billion to support democracy-building programs in Ukraine, Thompson said, with money flowing mostly from the Department of State via U.S. Agency for International Development, as well as the departments of Defense, Energy, Agriculture and others. The United States does this with hundreds of other countries. ..."
"... About $2.4 billion went to programs promoting peace and security, which could include military assistance, border security, human trafficking issues, international narcotics abatement and law enforcement interdiction, Thompson said. More money went to categories with the objectives of "governing justly and democratically" ($800 million), "investing in people" ($400 million), economic growth ($1.1 billion), and humanitarian assistance ($300 million). ..."
"... The descriptions are a bit vague, which could lead people to think the money was used for some clandestine purpose. ..."
"... But let's be clear, by "democracy building programs" they mean sending in NGOs to promote the "values" of austerity and debt, and they mean funding candidates for elections approved by the IMF because they have agreed to promote austerity and debt. They aren't promoting democracy, they are promoting the western political belief system. They are also acting to disenfranchise and discredit people who don't support this system. Just as Yeltsin in Russia, so Yarushenko, Yatseniuk & Poroshenko in Ukraine – men prepare to tank the standard of living for ordinary people and asset-strip the country. ..."
"... An indictment is simply an accusation. Since all 13 (what a magical number) of these people are in Russia, and there's no extradition agreement with Russia, they will never be able to get a trial to exonerate themselves. ..."
"... Meanwhile, Clinton was running a fraudulent charity and accepted 145 million dollars in "donations" from Russian Banks. ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | off-guardian.org

David C. Lee (@worldblee) says February 18, 2018

Indeed, b was one this in 2017 as well.

What this guy did (who is not "Putin's Chef", a term that uses the ever-favorite smear of putting something next to Putin to make people think there is guilt among both parties) is what every sleazy purveyor of fake profiles and fake likes does. If you have done any work in marketing or social platforms, you will have seen dozens of the same outfits.

I've even seen them in operation, delivering tons of fake followers and such. The goal is straight up sleazy commerce, and it should be noted that ALL the social platforms, especially Facebook, not only tolerate this but turn a blind eye as it makes their platform appear to have more users than it actually does.

They're also happy to sell you ads that will target these fake people, pocketing the cash without achieving any results for the business owner buying the ads. Meanwhile, the US Cointelpro operation continues, masquerading as an actual investigation.

MichaelK says February 17, 2018
More dreadful stuff from the Guardian's conspiracy farm https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/feb/17/putins-chef-a-troll-farm-and-russias-plot-to-hijack-us-democracy

It's a really awful sign of the times we live in, when the Guardian, supposedly a beacon of truth and true liberal, left-of-centre values, is so eager to swallow stuff like this latest report from Mueller on face value alone without any examination of the wider internal US context; the people and forces Mueller represent.

MichaelK says February 17, 2018
Of course the New York Times and Washington Post have reacted to this like US Cavalry coming to the rescue in the last reel of a 1950's B-movie by demanding that Trump apologizes and accepts that their stories about Russian interference in the elections, were true and had nothing to do with 'fake news.' How convenient for them! After all this time, this is what Mueller can come up with, give me a break!

It's all so pathetic. There's no way these Russians will receive a fair trial in the US, even if they decided to turn up for a hearing. Maybe they should sue Mueller for libel, go on the offensive? So Mueller's accusations are 'free', cause he knows the Russians can't really reply. It's a kind of smear.

And what about conflating 'Russians' with 'Russia' all the time? A hacker or troll living in Russia doesn't represent 'Russia.' There's this ghastly wave of hysteria sweeping the United States and it's dangerous. What's appalling is how the left/liberal press, typified by the ghastly Guardian, goes along with it all, without a murmur of protest, criticism or real searching analysis.

intergenerationaltrauma says February 17, 2018
The title and description of the linked article is right from the Time Magazine web site:

(( Yanks to the Rescue: the Secret Story of How American Advisors Helped Yeltsin Win ))

article description from Time's site –

"THE SECRET STORY OF HOW FOUR U.S. ADVISERS USED POLLS, FOCUS GROUPS, NEGATIVE ADS AND ALL THE OTHER TECHNIQUES OF AMERICAN CAMPAIGNING TO HELP BORIS YELTSIN WIN"

https://ccisf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/201612201405.pdf

This is how you really "rig an election" to get "your puppet" into power in a foreign nation.

Binra (@onemindinmany) says February 17, 2018
What we do 'in secret' we must expect to be secretly arraigned against us, and the knowledge that we do such thinks enforces the conviction the 'Other' is a deceiver, whatever they say or do. Because such is our own false witness.
Big B says February 17, 2018
With this indictment: Rod Rosenstein has come clean and delivered on solemn oath that the entire Russiagate farrago is baseless and evidence free. The only thing he has truly indicted is the obvious and continually developing disassociation of the American ruling class psyche from reality.

"'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality."

An empire of unreality that can no longer be connected to the experiential, discernible and true. Such men are the architects of the demise of the dominant culture of lies?

TJ says February 17, 2018
"a grand jury would 'indict a ham sandwich,' if that's what you wanted." – Sol Wachtler

Grand Jury indicts Yevgeny V. Prigozhin of Concord Catering, that among other things does school meals such as ham sandwiches.

The USA is a farce, wrapped in a satire, inside a parody.

Kaiama says February 17, 2018
https://thesaker.is/a-brief-history-of-the-kremlin-trolls/

The best article on the "trolls" is here.

Mikalina says February 17, 2018
Well, they (Cocaine Importing Authority) do have history ..
MLS says February 18, 2018
Well the fact you find it per se impossible the CIA would run a fake "Russian troll" outfit says more about your utter naivety than anything else. I'm not completely convinced that is what is going on in Savushkina Street. I think MoA is closer in pointing out it's just a slightly dodgy internet marketing outfit who are paid to say nice or nasty things about a whole range of things, mostly non-political.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/02/mueller-indictement-the-russian-influence-is-a-commercial-marketing-scheme.html#more

mathiasalexander says February 17, 2018
Have you noticed how nearly everybody in charge of the Amerikan state is past retirement age?
vexarb says February 17, 2018
@Matthias. Same fate for Britain in brilliant 1985 film Brazil. "Can you help me totter to the loo, young man?"
rtj1211 says February 17, 2018
Well we had Goldman Sachs CEO splashed all over the BBC website demanding UK remain in EU. After the Referendum. We had The Black Dude threatening to send us to the back of the queue if we were not subservient little vassals voting Remain. That was Headline News too. None of us asked the Black Dude to interfere in Our Referendum, but he did it anyway, because America does what it wants and everyone else gets indicted if they do the same thing back.

Just ask yourselves this: if you had a mad dog fascist HillaryBilly campaigning for US President saying: ' NUKE (insert your nation's name HERE)!', you would just sit by and say, 'Oh, none of my business'.

Basic lesson to subnormal, cretinous Yanks: as soon as your election campaigns on foreign wars, foreign blockades, foreign threats to nation state sovereignty, it is no longer just your business. Any politician eho says otherwise, in fact any Yank who says otherwise, has lost all right to human rights. Why? Because you have said that the right to safety within a doctrine of self-determination for the rest of the world does not exist without kissing America's ass .

Stop treating Americans as anything other than violent, psychopathic cretins who should be incarcerated for the safety of the world.

It is pointless treating them as human beings when they never behave like human beings ..

Binra (@onemindinmany) says February 17, 2018
I treat others as I would in truth be treated, not as a result of any set of rules of 'deservability' made in my mind or acquired from any other, but because such is a core sanity of being that does not give worthship to hate and thereby become the think it hates.
Oh I can feel hateful feelings – but these are MINE. and as mine they are in my power to release, rather than be defined and driven by.
So I appreciate your points, but not your personal result.

The elites operate on this sort of thinking: "It is pointless treating them as human beings when they never behave like human beings ."
WHO defines what is a human being and how they 'should' behave? A set of rules?

I agree that cause and consequence belong together – for only in recognising and accepting consequence can we reconnect with true cause – and so cause a different life than an attempt to deny and displace consequence to 'others' deemed unlike our self.

Power class operates (manipulates) its population while people use others (manipulate) to evade their own responsibilities ie they give power away in exchange for what they get, or believe they have got rid of. For example, they have got rid of guilt by assigning blame to others who failed to act as their 'rules' required. Except the results of guilt are still active in their own minds and bodies and not in those who 'fail us'.

Manipulation in a pure sense would be for example holding a tool correctly so as to attain the desired result, but in the sense of manipulative deceit, it holds the consciousness in distortion so as to achieve a wished for result.

Manipulative thinking – not Americans – runs the global agenda – and whatever agencies serve purpose, including the USA. It does so while conferring some sense of power and protection, in self specialness.

If you are too angry to read and consider, that's ok. But to assign it to a blanket blaming of Americans as unworthy of their humanity is playing the 'god' of vengeance. Perhaps this 'god' is the nature of the Beast.

Playing 'god' is the attempt to make reality be as your own Word defines. The lack of support, encountered rejection and sense of betrayal that follows is the 'wound' of a terror that generates the 'god' of rage as power and protection.

With regard to 'headline news', what ISN'T a psyop?

Mikalina says February 17, 2018
Whilst I fully appreciate the wisdom in removing the log from your own eye before you touch the splinter in someone else's eye, there comes a time when you have to take the f***er out.
writerroddis says February 17, 2018
What, all Americans? The problem, surely, is America's ruling class (definition available on request).
Petri Krohn says February 17, 2018
THE "INTERNET RESEARCH AGENCY" IS A HOAX

Mueller's indictment rests on the false claim that the suspended 'Russia-connected' Twitter and Facebook accounts were controlled by a non-existent company and 13 Russian individuals in Saint Petersburg. The only thing that connects the anonymous U.S. accounts to Russia or the hoax " Internet Research Agency " is that they may have used some Russian VPN service to hide their identities from NSA and FBI spies.

Twitter and Facebook self suspended the accounts based on some connection to Russia, including use of Russian IP addresses or Cyrillic letters in administrator names. They had no way of knowing if all accounts were controlled from a single "troll factory" or if that troll factory was operated by a company named "Internet Research Agency". (If they had such information, they would have said so.)

The whole thing is hoax. It is impossible for Russians to impersonate American internet personalities, when they are unable to speak up in English under their own names. Russia does not have the people and skills needed to maintain English language accounts that would influence and resonate among the American audience and electorate – yet alone do this at a minimum wage in a "troll factory" sweatshop.

I personally know almost all pro-Russian English-speakers that have an influence on English language alternative and social media. None of them are Russians. If they ever were, they emigrated decades ago. There is no one that can translate Russian talking points from Russian society and media into the English speaking world.

DiD says February 17, 2018
The amerikans will be relying on the Russians never getting their day in an open court. Can't have a repetition of the George Galloway business see here now can we?

The 'grand' jury process is even more corrupt deceitful and one sided than so called senate inquiries. At least with shit hurled from the hill, a bloke does eventually get the opportunity to speak against the allegations – albeit in a controlled environment where the accuser chairs the meeting, but a Grand Jury, which is similarly controlled by the prosecutor, provides no room for a defense argument.

The carefully hand selected 'jurors' unlike amerika's senators, most of whom are graduates of amerika's prestigious law schools, lack any legal training.

The law they are charged with investigating breaches of, is complex, riven with contradictory precedents and completely outside any retired contractor's area of expertise. So they rely on the prosecutor to tell em what's what.

amerikans are forthright in their condemnation of everyone else's legal system but the amerikan one has to be the most corrupt power serving travesty known to man.

Ask J. Assange who lives under the shadow of a so-called 'sealed indictment' which he's not even meant to know exists, much less what is contained in it and what deceits have been told by alleged 'co-conspirators' aka jailhouse snitches.

Assange will find out should he ever be kidnapped and abducted to amerika and held in solitary isolation under the 1917 espionage act – otherwise like many others including hundreds who have never even set foot in that arsehole of the universe, the us, also stitched up by grand jury, he must live in ignorance of the accusations and with no right of reply.

summitflyer says February 17, 2018
Thank you for the link to George Galloway's interrogation. He sure told them in no uncertain terms. The US justice system seems to be corrupt beyond redemption. So glad I don't live there and feel sorry for the ones that do to be honest.
Paul says February 17, 2018
When will we discover who in Britain gave Steele authority to send his Dossier to the Clinton campaign? He needed that approval because the information was gleaned when in post as the Head of the Russian Desk of MI6 in quite recent times, apart from the normal requirements of the Official Secrets Act. Given that MI6 are an Intelligence Agency it's fair to assume they knew the Dossier's destination and the purpose to which it was to be put. Wasn't that interfering in the US election?
Big B says February 17, 2018
Former intel analyst and regular UK Column guest, Alex Thomson, named Sir Richard Dearlove (he of dodgy dossier No1, seems to have had a hand in dodgy dossier N02?) However, I can't find the exact day or time for reference.
Paul says February 17, 2018
The absurdity is that America spends billions on doing exactly these sort of things. $5 billion on Ukraine before pulling off the coup, according to Nuland. But that's just a crumb of the total mis-information cake. It's what the CIA spends most of its time doing!
Matt says February 17, 2018
That $5 billion figure has been debunked.

Politifact directly asked the State Department and looked at public information released by the U.S. government since 2009 to sample what the money was spent on:

http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/mar/19/facebook-posts/united-states-spent-5-billion-ukraine-anti-governm/

Since 1992, the government has spent about $5.1 billion to support democracy-building programs in Ukraine, Thompson said, with money flowing mostly from the Department of State via U.S. Agency for International Development, as well as the departments of Defense, Energy, Agriculture and others. The United States does this with hundreds of other countries.

About $2.4 billion went to programs promoting peace and security, which could include military assistance, border security, human trafficking issues, international narcotics abatement and law enforcement interdiction, Thompson said. More money went to categories with the objectives of "governing justly and democratically" ($800 million), "investing in people" ($400 million), economic growth ($1.1 billion), and humanitarian assistance ($300 million).

The descriptions are a bit vague, which could lead people to think the money was used for some clandestine purpose.

But even if it that were so, the money in question was spent over more than 20 years. Yanukovych was elected in 2010. So any connection between the protests and the $5 billion is inaccurate.

The State Department created ForeignAssistance.gov to help taxpayers, journalists and others find out where the money is going, but the data is limited in the number of years available and not reported by all agencies.

From that website, we calculated the United States spent $456.4 million in Ukraine since 2009. Again, that's an incomplete picture based on incomplete data reporting.

Some examples? The United States spent about $20 million on Peace Corps programs in Ukraine over the past four years. It spent about $40 million through U.S. AID on health programs in the countries since 2010 -- fighting HIV/AIDs, malaria and providing for maternal and child health. The United States spent an additional $80 million or so working on projects related to weapons of mass destruction , according to ForeignAssistance.gov.

MLS says February 18, 2018

Since 1992, the government has spent about $5.1 billion to support democracy-building programs in Ukraine .

But let's be clear, by "democracy building programs" they mean sending in NGOs to promote the "values" of austerity and debt, and they mean funding candidates for elections approved by the IMF because they have agreed to promote austerity and debt. They aren't promoting democracy, they are promoting the western political belief system. They are also acting to disenfranchise and discredit people who don't support this system. Just as Yeltsin in Russia, so Yarushenko, Yatseniuk & Poroshenko in Ukraine – men prepare to tank the standard of living for ordinary people and asset-strip the country.

Whether that $5 billion was spent over ten years or twenty the result has been the same.

The United States spent about $20 million on Peace Corps programs in Ukraine over the past four years. It spent about $40 million through U.S. AID on health programs in the countries since 2010 -- fighting HIV/AIDs, malaria and providing for maternal and child health. The United States spent an additional $80 million or so working on projects related to weapons of mass destruction, according to ForeignAssistance.gov.

Have you noticed how whatever money is allegedly spent on this worthy projects the countries receiving never seem to improve? They all become debt-slaves, they all end up exporting cheap goods to western countries and letting the IMF tell them how to run things.

Richard Wicks says February 17, 2018
An indictment is simply an accusation. Since all 13 (what a magical number) of these people are in Russia, and there's no extradition agreement with Russia, they will never be able to get a trial to exonerate themselves.

Meanwhile, Clinton was running a fraudulent charity and accepted 145 million dollars in "donations" from Russian Banks..

[Feb 17, 2018] Koroviev,Behemoth Woland LLP

Feb 17, 2018 | disqus.com

February 16, 2018 9:52 PM

Hide

[Feb 17, 2018] Mueller indicts some Russians; clears Trump campaign of collusion (detailed analysis of latest indictment) by Alexander Mercouris

Notable quotes:
"... There is no possibility that any of the Russians named in the indictment will ever be extradited to the US to stand trial there. Special Counsel Mueller cannot therefore obtain convictions against these people, which begs the question of why an indictment was issued at all. ..."
"... The short answer is that the indictment is intended to give credence to the claim of 'Russian meddling' in the US election, which has been made both privately and publicly ever since campaigning in the US began in 2015. ..."
"... Presumably, by giving that claim credence, more reasons can now be offered for keeping Special Counsel Mueller in his job. ..."
"... Nowhere in the indictment is the Russian government or any official of the Russian government or any agency of the Russian government mentioned at all. Nor at any point in the indictment is it suggested that any of the persons indicted were employed by the Russian government or were acting under its instructions or on its behalf. ..."
"... I would add that the indictment shows that US intelligence has successfully hacked the Internet Research Agency, LCC, a fact which by the way suggests that its internal security systems are very weak. The result is that US intelligence is very well informed about its structure, funding, personnel and activities. ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | theduran.com

Indictment describes botched and amateur attempt to use social media, but no one in the Trump Campaign was involved

A recurring pattern of the Russiagate investigation is that whenever pressure increases on the FBI and on Special Counsel Mueller an indictment appears.

This happened in October when following the FBI's admission that the Trump Dossier – the keystone in the "evidence" of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia – could not be verified and the Wall Street Journal called for Special Counsel Mueller to resign, indictments against Paul Manafort, Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos appeared.

It happened again in December when growing demands from Congress – from Senator Lindsey Graham in particular – for another Special Counsel to be appointed were followed by the indictment of Michael Flynn.

It has now happened again.

Hot on the heels of the publication of the GOP memorandum, which catalogued a succession of breaches of due process by the Justice Department and the FBI in seeking surveillance warrants against Carter Page, we have a new indictment, this time against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities.

In every case the indictment is received with rapture by the Russiagate conspiracy theorists.

In every case the indictment appears to be intended to give the impression that progress in the Russiagate investigation is being made, presumably so as to justify keeping Special Counsel Mueller in his job.

In every case it turns out that the indictment is a damp squib, taking the whole Russiagate conspiracy theory no further forward.

The latest indictment against 13 Russian citizens and three Russian entities is a case in point.

The first thing to say about this indictment is that it is entirely declamatory.

There is no possibility that any of the Russians named in the indictment will ever be extradited to the US to stand trial there. Special Counsel Mueller cannot therefore obtain convictions against these people, which begs the question of why an indictment was issued at all.

The short answer is that the indictment is intended to give credence to the claim of 'Russian meddling' in the US election, which has been made both privately and publicly ever since campaigning in the US began in 2015.

Presumably, by giving that claim credence, more reasons can now be offered for keeping Special Counsel Mueller in his job.

The second thing to say about the indictment is that as even Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has admitted , it makes no claim that any US citizen or any member of the Trump campaign in any way colluded with Russia or with any of the persons named in the indictment either before or after the election.

Rosenstein was very clear about this in the press conference he held directly following the publication of the indictment

Now, there is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election ..

QUESTION: On page 4 of the indictment, paragraph 6, it specifically talks about the Trump campaign, saying that defendants communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump campaign.

My question is, later in the indictment, campaign officials are referenced, not by their name; by "campaign official 1" or "2" or "3." Were campaign officials cooperative, or were they duped? What is their relationship with this?

ROSENSTEIN: Again, there's no allegation in this indictment that any American had any knowledge. And the nature of the scheme was the defendants took extraordinary steps to make it appear that they were ordinary American political activists, even going so far as to base their activities on a virtual private network here in the United States so, if anybody traced it back to that first jump, they appeared to be Americans.

President Trump is treating this admission as further confirmation that there was no collusion between his campaign and Russia, and he is right.

Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2018

The third thing to say about the indictment – and a point which has been almost universally overlooked in all the feverish commentary about it – is that it makes no claim that the Russian government was in any way involved in any of the activities of the persons indicted.

Nowhere in the indictment is the Russian government or any official of the Russian government or any agency of the Russian government mentioned at all. Nor at any point in the indictment is it suggested that any of the persons indicted were employed by the Russian government or were acting under its instructions or on its behalf.

Again Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's press conference is most revealing about this, with him speaking of the persons named in the indictment as if they were private persons

The indictment charges 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies for committing federal crimes while seeking to interfere in the United States political system, including the 2016 presidential election.

The defendants allegedly conducted what they called information warfare against the United States, with the stated goal of spreading distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general.

According to the allegations in the indictment, 12 of the individual defendants worked, at various times, for a company called Internet Research Agency, LLC, a Russian company based in St. Petersburg.

The other individual defendant, Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin, funded the conspiracy through companies known as Concord Management and Consulting, LLC; Concord Catering; and many affiliates and subsidiaries. The conspiracy was part of a larger operation called Project Lakhta. Project Lakhta included multiple components, some involving domestic audiences within the Russian Federation, and others targeting foreign audiences in multiple countries.

Internet Research Agency allegedly operated through Russian shell companies. It employed hundreds of people in its online operations, ranging from creators of fictitious personas, to technical and administrative support personnel, with an annual budget of millions of dollars.

Internet Research Agency was a structured organization headed by a management group and arranged into departments, including graphics, search engine optimization, information technology and finance departments.

In 2014, the company established a translator project focused on the United States. In July of 2016, more than 80 employees were assigned to the translator project. Two of the defendants allegedly traveled to the United States in 2014 to collect intelligence for their American influence operations.

Note that there is nothing here that ties any of the individuals or entities named by Rosenstein to the Russian government.

The arch conspirator is said to be a Russian businessman called Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is alleged to have masterminded and funded the whole project.

Prigozhin has in fact long been identified in Russia as the owner of the notorious Internet Research Agency, LLC, the supposed Russian "troll farm" operating out of a nondescript building in St. Petersburg (shown in caption photograph).

It has moreover often been suggested in Russia that Internet Research Agency, LLC, is Prigozhin's own personal project.

Certainly no public information linking the Internet Research Agency, LLC, to the Russian government or to any Russian state institution has ever come to light.

Perhaps Rosenstein and Mueller have information that Prigozhin was indeed acting at the behest and on behalf of the Russian government. Perhaps they may have some reason for not disclosing the fact in their indictment.

However, for what it's worth, the indictment lends support to the theory that the Internet Research Agency, LLC, is indeed Prigozhin's own personal project, and that the Russian government is not involved in it.

I would add that the indictment shows that US intelligence has successfully hacked the Internet Research Agency, LCC, a fact which by the way suggests that its internal security systems are very weak. The result is that US intelligence is very well informed about its structure, funding, personnel and activities.

That suggests that if there really was some connection between the Internet Research Agency, LLC, and the Russian government the US authorities would be well informed about it.

The fact that neither the indictment nor Rosenstein in his press conference had anything to say about such a connection rather suggests that no evidence for a connection has been discovered, probably because it does not exist.

I would add – though this will be fiercely denied by some people – that it would be a grave mistake to think that it is impossible for an agency like the Internet Research Agency, LLC, to be set up in Russia on someone's private initiative. On the contrary, those genuinely familiar with the country know that such things go on there all the time.

The fourth thing to say about the indictment is that it centres exclusively on the social media activities about which so much has been said in the last few months as the evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia has failed to appear.

I have said very little about this aspect of the Russiagate affair up to now because I have felt that this aspect of the affair was not in any way important.

This is because the social media activities of which the Internet Research Agency, LLC, and its employees have been accused of have looked both astonishingly incoherent (witness that the indictment says that they were promoting both pro- and anti-Trump rallies on the same day) and quantitatively insignificant, making their impact on the election inconsequential.

The indictment gives no reason to change that view.

The highest number of followers of any of the bogus social media accounts that were set up is alleged by the indictment to have been in the hundreds of thousands, whereas social media activity on any given day runs into the tens of millions.

The social media advertisements mentioned in the indictment appear to have been par for the course during the election, and to have attracted no special interest.

The indictment fails to give numbers for any of the rallies which the persons who have been indicted allegedly tried to organise via social media; that suggests that the number of persons who attended these rallies was insignificant.

The whole project seems to have cost around $1.2 million a month, spent it appears mostly on salaries in Russia, a trivial amount compared to the $2.4 billion spent in the 2016 US Presidential election as a whole, of which $768 million was spent by Hillary Clinton's campaign, and $398 million by Donald Trump's.

That even some of those involved were not taking the project wholly seriously is shown by this frivolous episode solemnly recorded in paragraphs 12 (a) and (b) of the indictment

a.PRIGOZHIN approved and supported the ORGANIZATION's operations, and Defendants and their co-conspirators were aware of PRIGOZHIN's role.

b.For example, on or about May 29, 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators, through an ORGANIZATION-controlled social media account, arranged for a real U.S. person to stand in front of the White House in the District of Columbia under false pretenses and hold a sign that read "Happy 55th Birthday Dear Boss." Defendants and their co-conspirators informed the real U.S. person that the sign was for someone who "is a leader here and our boss our funder." PRIGOZHIN's Russian passport identifies his date of birth as June 1, 1961.

This silly stunt provides more reason for thinking Prigozhin was the author of the whole project.

I do not wish to trivialise what happened.

Assuming that the claims made in the indictment are true – as I believe they are – then multiple serious crimes were committed.

These included cruel deceptions of innocent people, as well as cases of identity theft. The latter especially is a very serious crime, the impact or seriousness of which should not be minimised.

However I cannot believe that any of this activity – which looks like a botched and amateur attempt by Prigozhin to copy some of the highly professional 'colour revolution' activities carried out around the world by various US and Western NGOs – had any conceivable bearing on the outcome of the US election.

No less a person than Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has moreover said as much

There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election

QUESTION: Jack, is there concern that this -- the (ph) indictment undermines the outcome of the election?

ROSENSTEIN: Well, haven't I (ph) identified for you the allegations in the indictment? There's no allegation in the indictment of any effect on the outcome of the election.

In summary, the latest indictment to have come from Special Counsel Mueller's team, far from causing problems for President Trump, actually helps him.

In the one part of the Russiagate conspiracy theory in which some evidence of Russian activity exists – the part relating to social media – it turns out that President Trump's campaign was not involved, and those members of his campaign who got drawn into the activities of Prigozhin and his people were completely innocent dupes.

As for the activity itself, the indictment shows that it was carried out on far too small a scale and in far too amateur and disorganised a way for it to have had any impact on the election, and the US authorities do not claim that it did.

It is also my personal view that what we are looking at is a private project cooked up by Yevgeny Prigozhin, who appears to fancy himself a sort of Russian anti-Soros.

If I am right about that then it is clear that Prigozhin has neither the high level backing nor the skill to play that role successfully, and his clumsy attempts to do so have instead simply caused Russia embarrassment and trouble.

I accept that the latter view will be disputed by many – though the evidence in my opinion supports it – but even if I am wrong about that, it does not detract from the fundamental fact that no evidence of collusion between anyone in the Trump campaign and Russia appears in the latest indictment, and that the activities catalogued in the indictment can have had no effect on the outcome of the election, and the US authorities do not say that they did.

[Feb 17, 2018] Russia has paid for a few Facebook trolls. Boo hoo. Better that than the typical US method of kidnapping and torturing opposition leaders we don t like.

Feb 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Expat Sat, 02/17/2018 - 18:28 Permalink

How is this "news"? The US has been meddling in foreign elections for hundreds of years. When we can't change the results, we change the leader. We have assassinated foreign leaders. We have organized revolutions. We have carried out false flag "terrorist" attacks to destabilize countries.

Russia has paid for a few Facebook trolls. Boo hoo. Better that than the typical US method of kidnapping and torturing opposition leaders we don't like. Fuck America and it's brutish hypocrisy.

Son of Captain Nemo Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:59 Permalink

Woolsey is one of many profiles in the "machine" that turns out the worst socio/psychopaths called Langley!... Much like the Department of Defense they train them to believe they are the most highly intelligent and capable in espionage even when they "lose" and lose "badly"!

They look at themselves as superior beings in every way that deserve and expect no restraint. And are repeatedly rewarded with pay and responsibility even when failure on missions includes the worst "blowback"!

If there ever was a government agency alongside the DOD that deserves the honorary title of total betrayal to their motto " And You Shall Know The Truth And It Shall Set You Free "... that has economically and politically SINGLE HANDEDLY done the opposite of EVERYTHING DEMOCRACY STANDS FOR in it's TOTAL DESTRUCTION -- this agency is the personification without equal and "without question"!

[Feb 17, 2018] In the Mueller indictment it also notes (page 23) that "Trump is Not my President" NYC, Novermber 12 2016, was a Russian idea. So by Mueller logic the Resistance is a Russian idea. How many members of congress should get expelled over being Putin's puppets?

Notable quotes:
"... Is this all he has to show for millions of dollars and how many damned months of investigation? How about all the NGOs that get foreign donations? When the hell are they going to get investigated for "defrauding" the United States? Better not ask, that would violate the narrative . God help us. ..."
"... And then there was a pink-pussy D.C. riot and the DisruptJ20 protest group riot against Trump. Have Mueller and Rosenstein had a sudden onset of dementia and forgotten the mass protests? ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Fred ,

Publius,

In the Mueller indictment it also notes (page 23) that "Trump is Not my President" NYC, November 12 2016, was a Russian idea. So by Mueller logic the Resistance is a Russian idea. How many members of congress should get expelled over being Putin's puppets?

Is this all he has to show for millions of dollars and how many damned months of investigation? How about all the NGOs that get foreign donations? When the hell are they going to get investigated for "defrauding" the United States? Better not ask, that would violate the narrative . God help us.

Anna , 16 February 2018 at 03:14 PM
Russian meddling -- Finally some "evidence" for the gullible: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-16/special-counsel-robert-mueller-indicts-13-russians-hacking-during-us-election

"Defendant ORGANIZATION had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Defendants posted derogatory information about a number of candidates, and by early to mid-2016, Defendants' operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump ("Trump Campaign") and disparaging Hillary Clinton."

-- Really? Somehow the righteous Mueller and Rosenstein have missed very important Intel:

Comment section: "Sixteen thousand Facebook users said that they planned to attend a Trump protest on Nov. 12, 2016, organized by the Facebook page for BlackMattersUS, a Russian-linked group [?!!] that sought to capitalize on racial tensions between black and white Americans. The event was shared with 61,000 users. As many as 5,000 to 10,000 protesters actually convened at Manhattan's Union Square. They then marched to Trump Tower, according to media reports at the time. ... The group's protest was the fourth [4th!] consecutive anti-Trump rally in New York following election night, and one of many across the country." http://thehill.com/policy/technology/358025-thousands-attended-protest-organized-by-russians-on-facebook

-- And then there was a pink-pussy D.C. riot and the DisruptJ20 protest group riot against Trump. Have Mueller and Rosenstein had a sudden onset of dementia and forgotten the mass protests? Who was financing and organizing the logistics for the anti-Trump protests? Was there any investigation of the organizers of the protests against the elected POTUS? http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/what-i-saw-at-the-anti-trump-riot-in-dc/article/2612548
http://www.businessinsider.com/pussy-hats-womens-march-washington-trump-inauguration-2017-2

BillWade , 16 February 2018 at 03:14 PM
It sounds like the indictment makes 13 Russian trolls into felons. How many trolls do we have? Where do they work, will other governments decide they are felons as well? This isn't a "nothingburger", it's a "veginothingburger". Hasn't President Trump now been exonerated as well, "unwittings" versus "colluders"?
Keith Harbaugh , 16 February 2018 at 03:52 PM
Okay, let me try again. I tried to post what appears below the line to PT's post http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/02/pieces-of-the-coup-puzzle-fall-into-place-by-publius-tacitus.html but it was not accepted.

Given PT's reference to RFE/VoA in the post above, let me repeat the question:

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

I have read numerous accounts of how the U.S. has attempted to influence political developments in:

Back during the Cold War we were told that the USSR would try to block or jam VoA/RFE broadcasts from reaching their citizens.

So, my very sincere question is: Just how did U.S. efforts to influence the population of the USSR via the broadcasts of VoA/RFE differ from the alleged efforts of Russia to support what the media calls far-right parties and policies in the U.S. and Europe?

A Pols , 16 February 2018 at 03:52 PM
So these 13 Russians are accused of trolling and planting rumors?

Since the same thing is being done by Americans and, yes, Israelis, it seems ludicrous to suggest this is really "meddling" in the election. More like "feeding red meat to grey dogs" in the sense of stoking the fires of internecine culture wars already ongoing in this country.

If we actually end up arresting any of these individuals there will be tit for tat since there are still American financed NGOs operating in Russia whose personnel can be easily arrested on similar charges of promoting chaos and discord. Maybe the Germans can rent us that famous Berlin Bridge where "spies" were exchanged in various cold war movies.

Richardstevenhack , 16 February 2018 at 04:24 PM
See my comment in TTG's thread about who these "Internet Research Agency" people actually are. Scott Humor over at The Saker dug deep into these people and determined that they are actually anti-Russian Russians who were allegedly proven in court to be CIA spies!

I link to Scott's piece in the TTG thread. Hell, might as well link it here, too:

A Brief History of the "Kremlin Trolls" https://thesaker.is/a-brief-history-of-the-kremlin-trolls/

This is a clever move on Mueller's part -- indict a bunch of Russians who (some) already have been arrested by the Russians and therefore are in no position to defend themselves against a US indictment.

I suppose Brennan doesn't care that a bunch of Russians recruited as CIA assets get dumped on their own resources. Good luck recruiting any more Russians to help you!

It's a measure of Mueller's desperation, nothing more.

Keith Harbaugh , 16 February 2018 at 04:38 PM
PT, if I understand you correctly you think the 2017 IC "assessment" that Russia meddled does not really reflect an IC consensus. If that is your view, how do you reconcile it with these statements:

https://youtu.be/6AHaOwU0_ZY?t=45m50s

(By the way, I am not hostile to you or your view, but simply interested in the truth.)

Valissa , 16 February 2018 at 04:38 PM
"Russians Did Not Alter The Outcome Of The Elections": Highlights From Rosenstein's Press Conference https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-16/russians-did-not-alter-outcome-elections-highlights-rosensteins-press-conference

To summarize: in 2014, 13 Russians launched a campaign to interfere with the US political system by "disparaging" candidates. This continued until ultimately Trump was elected, meanwhile, "there is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the [Russians'] conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election."

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

How nice and simple and tidy. '13 Russians'... has nice ring to it... will make a great propaganda movie.

Seriously though, will this face saving result in any way encourage the Dems to pick a new strategy for "success" the Republicans? Or will they simply triple down on dumb?

BillWade , 16 February 2018 at 05:46 PM
Aren't the economic sanctions imposed upon Russia due to Russian meddling in our elections? Might it not be prudent for Putin to round the 13 yokels up and put them on the next flight to NY (with lots of publicity)?
iowa steve , 16 February 2018 at 05:47 PM
During the campaign any voter using social media could come across literally hundreds of posts effectively proclaiming "Hillary is trash" and "Trump is trash".

Or for that matter the voters could see much the same by reading the campaign literature in their mailboxes, or listening to speeches on television.

Yet, somehow, a few Russian trolls posting online claims that were indistinguishable from most of the "normal" election rhetoric is a threat to our democracy.

Imho, a far bigger threat to our elections is the massive amounts of money involved, and the funding of candidates by oligarchs. But the msm seems confortable with that.

And it goes without saying that one of the most immediate threats to our democracy generated by Russiagate are the ongoing attempts to silence alternative dissent to the status-quo and label it as coming from Russianbots.

bluetonga , 16 February 2018 at 07:17 PM
"anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have "unwittingly" been a collaborator of the 13 Russian "specialists" who cost Hillary the election"

Sounds even more desperate than simply dumb to me. Comey and his kins seem so pressed by (the lack of) facts and the overall incoherence of their ludicrous tale that they finally see no other choice than resorting to the ultimate weapon in store : direct scolding and shaming of ordinary citizen bold enough to object HRC's wrongdoings, past, present and future.

I this vein, I also read in earlier comment threads speculations regarding a new, very cunning objective of the putative Russian attackers : getting willfully spotted in order to spread chaos within the US politics and doubt within the heart of citizen. Frankly this sounds a wee bit far-fetched, like machiavelous 2.3 with Putin and the Kremlin gang upgrading to 4-D chess politics. Wouldn't it have been bold enough for them to bet on the universally predicted loser Trump? What sense does it make to interfere ostenteously when precisely their vowed nemesis is bound to win? How would that have tarnished her victory if she had won despite their meddling? Doesn't hold any water to me, but desperation stimulates imagination, and truly, confusion. Contenders of this view seem well engaged in a perillous intellectual twister game.

Besides, such an account shows very little appreciation for the intelligence and critical thinking of American voters. I bet that if many came to distrust their institutions, it is out of their own experience and reflexion rather than out of foreign engineering.

Delusion, desperation, confusion, stupidity, whatever. But for sure the seams are creaking.

Alves , 16 February 2018 at 07:20 PM
The funny thing is that it looks like the Russian government jailed several people from IRA last year. It would be prudent to look into it and try to figure out what is going on for real.
plantman , 16 February 2018 at 08:04 PM
One comment on the Timeline...

You say: "Harry Reid was briefed by John Brennan on 25 August 2016, according to a 6 April 2017 NY Times piece by Eric Lichtblau.

Well, now that's pretty convenient timing, don't you think? After all, Trump didn't become the GOP candidate for prez until the GOP convention on July 16, 2016. That gave the scheming Brennan a month to make up this dumb story and start passing it around Capitol Hill.

Yeah, Right , 16 February 2018 at 08:32 PM
"anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have "unwittingly" been a collaborator of the 13 Russian "specialists" who cost Hillary the election."

So the US-side-of-things isn't even a "conspiracy" any more, it has become a "collaboration" of dupes?

What next?

Is Mueller going to accuse Trump-followers of the heinous sin of "not being with the program"? Or of "bucking the system"?

Goddammit! Hillary was meant to be the winner. All the scales were tipped in her favour. How dare there be any other result! Heads. Must. Roll!!!

GeneO , 16 February 2018 at 09:20 PM
Publius Tacitus -

Regarding your claim that Mueller concluded "unwittingly collaborated":

According to the text of the indictment that our host, Pat Lang, posted Mueller made no such conclusion. I note you did not put it within quotation marks.

Is there a separate indictment floating around out there with those conclusions?

Fred -> Valissa... , 16 February 2018 at 09:20 PM
Valissa,

You mean Robby Mook is going to blow through $3 Billion next time out and still lose?

LondonBob said in reply to Richardstevenhack ... , 17 February 2018 at 06:19 AM
Well it is an organisation that has received a lot of publicity in the West for awhile so it is an odd choice, I would have thought they would want a less public organisation for any IO.

Comey was telling the truth: he was still in the delusional belief he could weasel out of it and continue on as FBI chief.

Peter AU , 17 February 2018 at 06:36 AM
PT, in the latest, US indictment against a number of Russians, as its only example, cites a US placard holder on the birthday of JFK as evidence of "Russian interference". Jeez, JFK was a Russian? What a friggin shambles the empire has become.
Bill H -> eakens... , 17 February 2018 at 10:30 AM
Yes indeed. As I said before in another thread. If the election is "disrupted" by voters altering their votes due to Russians posting on Facebook, then the problem is not that Russians are posting on Facebook, the problem is that voters are altering their votes based on posts they read on Facebook. There is little point in correcting the former problem without correcting the latter and vastly more serious problem.

The indictment accuses Russia of attempting to "diminish the public's faith in democracy," or some such thing. I really don't think our own voting public needs Russia's help in doing that.

J -> Bill H ... , 17 February 2018 at 11:51 AM
Nope, our crooked Politicians AND Intelligence/Law Enforcement entities are doing a good job of diminishing the public's faith. I don't know how many of my fellow Americans I have talked to have said to round them all the crooked politicians/intelligence/law enforcement and eradicate them from the earth permanently. That is why we see more and more the crooked politicians/intelligence/law enforcement understanding well their simmering public anger, and because of their fear of the angry public that they have created the surveillance grids (has nothing to do with misnomer terrorism), their legislation/laws that further restrict the public's ability to fight back against their crooked ways.

Diminished public faith, that's putting it mildly.

Sid_finster , 17 February 2018 at 02:32 PM
Mueller had a year and an unlimited budget, and all he has to show is an episode of "MTV's Catfish".

But that's not the point. The point is to distract from Deep State malfeasance, and use russiagate on domestic dissent.

Do you know whether that meme you are sharing didn't originate from.. RUSSIA!

different clue , 17 February 2018 at 03:26 PM
The Democrats remember how well the Republicans ( with help from Truman and others)
made Loyalty Oathism and HUACism and McCarthyism work for them. So the Democrats have decided to try making their own 2.0 version of Loyalty Oathism and HUACism and McCarthyism work for them. They will spend the next several-to-many years running their Reverse McCarthyism 2.0 operation.

They will accuse any Bitter Berners rejectful of yet-one-more-Clintonite of witless dupe-ness. If that doesn't win us over, they will accuse us of Russian subversive Fellow-Traveller-ism. If that doesn't win us over, they will accuse us of being Russian agents.

Of course they will try doing this to Republicans as well. If the Republicans complain, the Democrats will say such complaints are proof of Republican secret-Russian-agent subversionism; while quietly thinking to themselves " payback time for
McCarthy and HUAC").

DianaLC , 17 February 2018 at 03:26 PM
Thanks,PT, as usual.

I have no connection to intelligence agencies. I'm a mere citizen. I've been spending the last few days making cold calls to registered party members here in CO, trying to get them interested in the caucuses that are coming up. Remember how the caucuses became an issue when Trump was running?

Almost no one responded that they were going to attend. Several said they were so sick of politics they would definitely not attend. I'm beginning to believe that I and our precinct captain and her husband will be the only ones there.

What a sad state our country is in. Your last line is true, to a great extent, but I have to add to it. Yes, we need God to help American. And, yes, many Americans seem to have lost their mind. But what makes me sadder is that most of us who have not lost our minds are losing our belief that we could ever make a difference, to make things better.

[Feb 17, 2018] A federal judge has ordered Mueller to hand over all related documents to Flynn. If there is exculpatory evidence then Flynn could withdraw his plea and Mueller censured

Notable quotes:
"... I did read the indictment of the Russians and to my non-lawyer eyes, it read more like a political document rather than a criminal indictment. ..."
"... The charges seem very silly to me. And if ever there is a trial with these defendants challenging the prosecution I can see how they can win. But of course no one would pay any attention to the trial as the indictment is the desired endpoint that the media and the Democrats want. In comparison to the foreign money and influence operations of the zionists, the Saudis and of course many British politicians and their media during the last election, the operation by these Russians charged was more nonsensical. It would be absurd on the face of it that a bunch of Russian trolls could influence the election in any meaningful way. ..."
"... With respect to the potential conspiracy at the FBI, DOJ, and the IC, can Mueller really investigate his own colleagues and personal friends? I think he is a card carrying member of the Borg elite ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Jack

Sir

I agree with you that the questions you posed should be answered.

An interesting point in all this high stakes drama is that a federal judge has ordered Mueller to hand over all related documents to Flynn. If there is exculpatory evidence then Flynn could withdraw his plea and Mueller censured.

I did read the indictment of the Russians and to my non-lawyer eyes, it read more like a political document rather than a criminal indictment. Mueller provided both sides reinforcement of their talking points. Hillary and the Democrats can confirm she lost the election due to a bunch of Russian trolls who spent a few million dollars and upended her billion dollar campaign war chest. Trump gets to confirm that there was no collusion.

The charges seem very silly to me. And if ever there is a trial with these defendants challenging the prosecution I can see how they can win. But of course no one would pay any attention to the trial as the indictment is the desired endpoint that the media and the Democrats want. In comparison to the foreign money and influence operations of the zionists, the Saudis and of course many British politicians and their media during the last election, the operation by these Russians charged was more nonsensical. It would be absurd on the face of it that a bunch of Russian trolls could influence the election in any meaningful way.

With respect to the potential conspiracy at the FBI, DOJ, and the IC, can Mueller really investigate his own colleagues and personal friends? I think he is a card carrying member of the Borg elite.

[Feb 17, 2018] Former CIA Chief Admits US Meddling In Foreign Elections For Their Own Good

Notable quotes:
"... How about Brazil, Argentina, and South Africa? Fuck Allen Dulles, Mike Pompeo, and everybody in-between! ..."
"... BTW, Victoria Noodles will be very disappointed Ukraine didn't make the list after all of her hard work. ..."
"... Victoria "F*ck the EU" Nuland and the CIA were all over the Ukrainian "coup", but of course no mention of that on "Fair and Balanced". Laura Ingram is a typical Fox News Zio-Nazi bitch, hiding behind a cross, who apparently believes her own BS, and along others like Hannity have blood on their hands. ..."
"... You can always spot a psychopathic liar by their predisposition to smile or laugh at questions that are not humorous. Laura Ingraham is a neocon mouth-peice for the establishment. ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Former CIA chief James Woolsey appeared on Fox News to push the narrative of how dastardly 'dem Russkies' are in their meddling with the sacred soul of America's democracy.

Woolsey did his patriotic deep-state-duty and proclaimed the evils of "expansionist Russia" and dropped 'facts' like "Russia has a larger cyber-army than its standing army," before he moved on to China and its existential threats.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/SpWai3kZ-gM

But then, beginning at around 4:30 , the real debacle of the conversation begins as Ingraham asks Woolsey,

"Have we ever tried to meddle in other countries' elections?"

Hes responds, surprisingly frankly...

"Oh probably... but it was for the good of the system..."

To which Ingraham follows up...

"We don't do that now though? We don't mess around in other people's elections?"

Prompting this extraordinary sentence from a former CIA chief...

"Well...hhhmmm, numm numm numm numm... only for a very good cause...in the interests of democracy"

So just to clarify - yes, the CIA chief admitted that Democracy-spreading 'Murica meddled in the Democratic elections of other nations "in the interests of democracy."

In case you wondered which ones he was referring to, here's a brief selection since 1948...

2016: UK (verbal intervention against Brexit)
2014: Afghanistan (effectively re-writing Afghan constitution)
2014: UK (verbal intervention against Scottish independence)
2011: Libya (providing support to overthrow Colonel Gaddafi)
2009: Honduras (ousting President Zelaya)
2006: Palestine (providing support to oust Prime Minister Haniyeh)
2005: Syria (providing support against President al-Assad)
2003: Iran (providing support against President Khatami)-
2003: Iraq (ousting of President Hussein)
2002: Venezuela (providing support to attempt an overthrow of President Chavez)
1999: Yugoslavia (removing Yugoslav forces from Kosovo)
1994: Iraq (attempted overthrow of President Hussein)
1991: Haiti (ousting President Aristide)
1991: Kuwait (removing Iraqi forces from Kuwait)
1989: Panama (ousting General Noriega)
1983: Grenada (ousting General Austin's Marxist forces)
1982: Nicaragua (providing support
1971: Chile (ousting President Allende)
1967: Indonesia (ousting President Sukarno)
1964: Brazil (ousting President Goulart)
1964: Chile (providing support against Salvador Allende)
1961: Congo (assassination of leader Lumumba)
1958: Lebanon (providing support to Christian political parties)
1954: Guatemala (ousting President Arbenz)
1953: Iran (ousting Prime Minister Mossadegh)
1953: Philippines (providing support to the President Magsaysay campaign)
1948: Italy (providing support to the Christian Democrats campaign)

(h/t @Yogi_Chan)


gellero Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:18 Permalink

What?? No Ukrania ???

Stan522 -> gellero Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:23 Permalink

obama sent in operatives into Israel to mess with Bibi....... They missed that one too....

skbull44 -> Stan522 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:25 Permalink

It's always for the children...

https://olduvai.ca

TBT or not TBT -> skbull44 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:29 Permalink

Yeah, a little bit for the children, but primarily it's for the stockholders and upper management, with some serious trickle down to their children.

Looney -> TBT or not TBT Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:32 Permalink

How about Brazil, Argentina, and South Africa? Fuck Allen Dulles, Mike Pompeo, and everybody in-between!

Looney

Mango327 -> manofthenorth Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:01 Permalink

This Russia bullshit has gotta stop. For the love of God, it's been like two and a a half years now. If Vladimir Putin was as twice as evil as we're told, he still wouldn't be half as evil as the Clintons are on any given Thursday.

MUELLER IS A JOKE, ABOLISH the F.B.I.

https://youtu.be/wC_Ro80LlhE

SoilMyselfRotten -> skbull44 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:47 Permalink

Democracy? Annnnnnnd it's gone! No wonder the rest of the world thinks we've collectively lost our minds. BTW, Victoria Noodles will be very disappointed Ukraine didn't make the list after all of her hard work.

marysimmons -> SoilMyselfRotten Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:16 Permalink

Victoria "F*ck the EU" Nuland and the CIA were all over the Ukrainian "coup", but of course no mention of that on "Fair and Balanced". Laura Ingram is a typical Fox News Zio-Nazi bitch, hiding behind a cross, who apparently believes her own BS, and along others like Hannity have blood on their hands.

The whole purpose of the Mueller indictment was to give the mainstream outlets something to report so idiot Americans will believe the crap put out about Russia since the Winter Olympics in Sochi and set the tone to justify a military conflict with Russia that won't end well for anyone, IMO

veritas semper -> marysimmons Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:40 Permalink

And Victoria Nuland Kagan is now Senior Adviser in the Donald's Department of Defense. See, kids, how the swamp is drained?

New_Meat -> marysimmons Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:46 Permalink

mary, just a touch catty tonight, don't cha' think?

Zio-Nazi? How dat work?

Whole purpose of the Mueller indictments is to give the folks a show to prove that their money hasn't been wasted on a Trump collusion charge for collusion that started in 2014 when Trump was prolly out schlongin' some playmate or other..

TheSilentMajority -> Looney Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:47 Permalink

They didu sumtin.

Deep Snorkeler -> skbull44 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:38 Permalink

America plays political-economic pranks on the rest of the world for the good of the system. It's worked out well.

Dumpster Elite -> Stan522 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:28 Permalink

I kinda wondered why they missed that one, too. I've seen that list on here before. I guess messing with Israel's elections doesn't fit the ZH narrative?

Justin Case -> Stan522 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:36 Permalink

That anchor sounds like she would be a good candidate for a gender change, meat stick and tea bag.

Vilfredo Pareto -> Stan522 Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:00 Permalink

They missed post war Greece too, Albania, and a ton of others.

Bastiat -> Vilfredo Pareto Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:18 Permalink

. . . and Australia: watch The Falcon and the Snowman, if you haven't.

TheSilentMajority -> gellero Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:51 Permalink

Rothschilds at it again?

keep the basta -> gellero Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:53 Permalink

No Australia? Whitlam dismissal 11/11/1975 even wiki lists it

dirty fingernails Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:20 Permalink

The US is working hard to make banana republics look respectable

TBT or not TBT -> dirty fingernails Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:31 Permalink

We're The Most Interesting Banana Republic In The World.

Justin Case -> dirty fingernails Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:45 Permalink

to make banana republics look respectable

Not like a shit hole?

Bay Area Guy Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:20 Permalink

I generally can't stand Laura, but that was a spot on question. America is the quintessential "do as I say and not as I do" government.

chunga -> Bay Area Guy Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:33 Permalink

Among the many things sorely lacking in uncle sam is simple humility.

rwe2late Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:29 Permalink

Woolsey is an evil man. I doubt if he really believes. that the murders and tortures he presided over were for "their own good".

Ms No -> rwe2late Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:55 Permalink

No way he believes it. One thing about people who lack human empathy is that they would NEVER fall for the same tricks that the empathy having population does. They will always see the angle. It's what their brain is devoted to. All the capacity that we use to be reflective, emotional or caring all goes to angling for advantage with them. He knows exactly why people are tortured and couldn't give a shit less. You are either shark or mutilated gold fish as far as he is concerned.

New_Meat -> rwe2late Sat, 02/17/2018 - 17:51 Permalink

Woolsey is an evil man, for a certainty. But, au contraire, I bet he does believe it is for their own good. Whoever "they" are that he's doin' shit to. Like the Jesuits in Andalusia, purging the non-believers.

- Ned

dizzyfingers Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:29 Permalink

This repeats our own terrible history: Tom Landess on "The Dark Side of Abraham Lincoln," and the week in review at the Abbeville Institute.

serotonindumptruck Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:31 Permalink

You can always spot a psychopathic liar by their predisposition to smile or laugh at questions that are not humorous. Laura Ingraham is a neocon mouth-peice for the establishment.

Dumpster Elite Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:32 Permalink

It really would be a new dawn for this country if the entire Deep State were outed, and publicly executed. I know that sounds like tinfoil hat talk, but hey, I'm sure the NSA is all over me right about now. Too bad they can't seem to find serial killers that say they're going to shoot up a school online. Too busy trying to shut up those that don't like the Deep State.

Ms No Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:50 Permalink

They have always done this and every single other accusation that they have levied against other "tyrants". The crazy train continues to pick up speed.

OT: Wales may have had a fracking quake. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fM4Wcqe6s_s

This is pretty funny. "Footage" of quake. Fracking quakes usually are not that big but it did drop masonry off of buildings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEI4cSd4B38

Paracelsus Sat, 02/17/2018 - 16:52 Permalink

Ummm, Fidel Castro, Cuba, 1962 ? Leading up to Dallas? Which led to LBJ and ramp up of Indochina. If you look closely you will see that there was a huge little war going on in Laos, lots of bombing of the Ho Chi Minh trail from fighter bombers based in Thailand.

Also, Australia. The 1972 Whitlam dismissal was a bloodless coup d'état. Whitlam recognized North Vietnam which pissed off a bunch of people in Langley. The pilots were on strike and they couldn't fly parts and crew into Alice Springs (Pine Gap Satellite facility). The Aussies have long memories and it will be a cold day in hell before they trust the Yanks like before. This is a country with a strong sense of injustice. The Aussies still talk about the "bodyline" cricket scandal with the Brits, and that happened in the 1930's....

[Feb 17, 2018] DNC "hack" hoax should be investigated as that involves screwing with the investigation of a Federal crime and has counterintelligence implications and could lead to lots of indictments

Notable quotes:
"... We need a separate, really non-partisan investigation for the rest of the list. I think it would be possible to find competent investigators outside of the more politicized agencies who could be vetted for any political bias before being assigned. Investigation is investigation - you just need a place to start and a list of people to talk to. Facts then shake out. ..."
"... If Mueller does not look sufficiently into the "rolling Soft-Coup" aspects of all this, let us hope that the Congress and the Administration together can force into existence a Special Counsel with all of the powers and staff and funding that Mueller currently has/ will have. . . . to look into the "rolling Soft-Coup" aspects of all this. ..."
"... If such a counsel would look into the "letting Clinton off the e-mail hook" aspects of all this and esPECially into the "who shot Seth Rich" and "e-mails . . . hacked or leaked?" aspects of all this, so much the better. ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Richardstevenhack , 17 February 2018 at 03:07 PM

I agree that the list should be investigated - especially the DNC "hack" hoax as that involves screwing with the investigation of a Federal crime and has counterintelligence implications and could lead to lots of indictments.

However, as someone else pointed out in the last thread, Mueller's only remit was to find evidence of Russian government "meddling" in the election and/or "collusion" with Trump and the Trump campaign - which he has not found yet and is highly unlikely to find. The 13 indictments are a joke in that regard.

We need a separate, really non-partisan investigation for the rest of the list. I think it would be possible to find competent investigators outside of the more politicized agencies who could be vetted for any political bias before being assigned. Investigation is investigation - you just need a place to start and a list of people to talk to. Facts then shake out.

different clue , 17 February 2018 at 03:07 PM
If Mueller does not look sufficiently into the "rolling Soft-Coup" aspects of all this, let us hope that the Congress and the Administration together can force into existence a Special Counsel with all of the powers and staff and funding that Mueller currently has/ will have. . . . to look into the "rolling Soft-Coup" aspects of all this.

If such a counsel would look into the "letting Clinton off the e-mail hook" aspects of all this and esPECially into the "who shot Seth Rich" and "e-mails . . . hacked or leaked?" aspects of all this, so much the better.

[Feb 17, 2018] Rosenstein unaccountably failed to mention yesterday Mueller's having landed a really, really big fish on February 2, the unwitting colluder and witless Ricard Pinedo (age 28), a small town scammer who operates a fake ID business out of Santa Paula

Looks like now Rosenstein is a marked man.
Feb 17, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Newmarket

All very good questions and one more either related to, or subsumed within #s 3 and 6 is whether Steele/MI6 are "targetable" for having meddled in the 2016 election.

Rosenstein unaccountably failed to mention yesterday Mueller's having landed a really, really big fish on February 2, the unwitting colluder and witless Ricard Pinedo (age 28), a small town scammer who operates a fake ID business out of Santa Paula, CA, a 80% Hispanic farm worker town in boondocks California. Pinedo plead guilty to one count of identify fraud and had, apparently, profited to the extent of some $10,000 or so from the sale of identify and banking information on-line with only a minimal amount sourced from any of the 13 defendants in the indictments. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-richard-pinedo-mueller-investigation-20180216-story.html. The MSM, apparently, like Mr. Mueller has decided not to make a big deal out of the Pinedo indictment for reasons which remain the subject of speculation.

[Feb 17, 2018] Robert Mueller charges 13 Russians with interfering in US election to help Trump

Building a cage on a flatbed track with Hillary in prison uniform played by an actor inside is directly from Gene Sharp playbook and could be Otpor! activity ;-) No that bad idea for a anti-Hillary rally actually :-)
Was internet Research Agency a real company or fake ? One author think that it was a fake: A Brief History of the "Kremlin Trolls" by Scott Humor
Notable quotes:
"... Mueller alleged that Russian operatives "communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump campaign", but the indictment did not address the question of whether anyone else in Trump's team had knowingly colluded. ..."
"... Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, said at a press conference in Washington: "There is no allegation in this indictment that any American had any knowledge." Rosenstein added that the charges did not mean the Russian activity had an effect on the outcome of the election. ..."
"... In a statement on Friday, Trump suggested that what he called "outlandish partisan attacks, wild and false allegations, and far-fetched theories" relating to possible collusion were serving to further the Russian agenda. ..."
"... "This indictment serves as a reminder that people are not always who they appear to be on the internet," said Rosenstein. He alleged that the Russians had "worked to promote discord in the United States and undermine public confidence in democracy," adding: "We must not allow them to succeed." ..."
"... Prigozhin, who has also been linked to the Wagner Group, a shadowy Kremlin-linked private military contractor believed to be operating in Syria, -> was included on a US sanctions list in July . ..."
"... Speaking to the RIA Novosti state news agency on Friday, Prigozhin said: "The Americans are really impressionable people, they see what they want to see. I have great respect for them. If they want to see the devil -- let them see him." ..."
"... Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the allegations "absurd". "Thirteen people carried out interference in the US elections? Thirteen people against special services with a budgets of billions?" she wrote in a Facebook post. ..."
Oct 15, 2017 | -> www.theguardian.com
-> Robert Mueller , the special counsel, announced on Friday.

Mueller's office said 13 Russians and three Russian entities, including the notorious state-backed "troll farm" the Internet Research Agency, had been indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington DC .

A 37-page indictment alleged that the Russians' operations "included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J Trump ... and disparaging Hillary Clinton," his Democratic opponent.

Mueller alleged that Russian operatives "communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump campaign", but the indictment did not address the question of whether anyone else in Trump's team had knowingly colluded.

Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, said at a press conference in Washington: "There is no allegation in this indictment that any American had any knowledge." Rosenstein added that the charges did not mean the Russian activity had an effect on the outcome of the election.

Trump and the White House seized on Rosenstein's remarks to falsely claim that the indictment proved there had been no collusion and that the election result had definitely not been impacted.

In a statement on Friday, Trump suggested that what he called "outlandish partisan attacks, wild and false allegations, and far-fetched theories" relating to possible collusion were serving to further the Russian agenda.

The Russians allegedly posed as Americans to operate bogus social media accounts, buy advertisements and stage political rallies. They stole the identities of real people in the US to post online and built computer systems in the US to hide the Russian origin of their activity, according prosecutors.

"This indictment serves as a reminder that people are not always who they appear to be on the internet," said Rosenstein. He alleged that the Russians had "worked to promote discord in the United States and undermine public confidence in democracy," adding: "We must not allow them to succeed."

The charges state that from as far back as 2014, the defendants conspired together to defraud the US by "impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of government" through interference with the American political and electoral processes.

One defendant, Yevgeniy Prigozhin, is accused of using companies he controlled – including Concord Management and Consulting, and Concord Catering – to finance the operations against the US. The operation at one stage had a monthly budget of $1.25m, according to Mueller, which paid for operatives' salaries and bonuses.

Events were organised by Russians posing as Trump supporters and as groups opposed to Trump such as Black Lives Matter , according to prosecutors. One advertisement shortly before the election promoted the Green party candidate Jill Stein, who is blamed by some Clinton backers for splitting the anti-Trump vote.

In August 2016, Russian operatives communicated with Trump campaign staff in Florida through their "@donaldtrump.com" email addresses to coordinate a series of pro-Trump rallies in the state, according to Mueller, and then bought advertisements on social media to promote the events.

At one rally in West Palm Beach, a Russian operative is even alleged to have paid Americans to build a cage on a flatbed truck and to have an actor posing as Clinton in a prison uniform stand inside.

-> Facebook Twitter Pinterest 55 Savushkina Street, St Petersburg, said to be the headquarters of Russia's 'troll army'. Photograph: Shaun Walker for the Guardian

One defendant, Irina Kaverzina, is accused of admitting her involvement in the operation and a subsequent coverup in an email to a relative in September last year, after Mueller's inquiry had begun. "We had a slight crisis here at work: the FBI busted our activity," Kaverzina allegedly wrote, "so I got preoccupied with covering tracks together with the colleagues."

The Russians are also accused of working to suppress turnout among ethnic minority voters. They allegedly created an Instagram account posing as "Woke Blacks" and railed against the notion that African Americans should choose Clinton as "the lesser of two devils" against Trump.

In early November 2016, according to the indictment, the Russian operatives used bogus "United Muslims of America" social media accounts to claim that "American Muslims [are] boycotting elections today."

Following Trump's victory, the Russian operation promoted allegations of voter fraud by the Democratic party, according to Mueller's team. Around that time, Trump repeatedly claimed without evidence that he would have won the popular vote if not for large-scale voter fraud.

The individuals charged are Mikhail Ivanovich Bystrov, Mikhail Leonidovich Burchik, Aleksandra Yuryevna Krylova, Anna Vladislavovna Bogacheva, Sergey Pavlovich Polozov, Maria Anatolyevna Bovda, Robert Sergeyevich Bovda, Dzheykhun Nasimi Ogly Aslanov, Vadim Vladimirovich Podkopaev, Gleb Igorevitch Vasilchenko, Irina Viktorovna Kaverzina, Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin and Vladimir Venkov.

All were charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Three defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and five defendants were charged with aggravated identity theft.

Separately, Mueller's office announced that Richard Pinedo, of Santa Paula, California, had pleaded guilty to identity fraud . Pinedo, 28, admitted to running a website that offered stolen identities to help customers get around the security measures of major online payment sites. It was not made clear whether his service had been used by the Russian operatives.

Rosenstein said no contact had been made with Russian authorities regarding the charges so far, but that US officials intended to seek extradition of the defendants.

US intelligence agencies previously concluded that Russians mounted an attack on the US election system aimed at electing -> Donald Trump to the presidency.

Mueller is conducting a criminal inquiry into interference by Russians and possible collusion by Trump's campaign. Two Trump campaign advisers have pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Two others have been charged with federal crimes.

US investigators have long signalled their belief that Prigozhin, a 56-year-old billionaire businessman, is behind Russia's internet troll factories.

Nicknamed the "Kremlin's chef", Prigozhin once ran Putin's favourite restaurant in St Petersburg, after which he was awarded multi-billion pound state catering contracts. He provided catering for Dmitry Medvedev's presidential inauguration in 2008, and also has lucrative contracts to feed Russia's army and Moscow's schoolchildren.

Prigozhin, who has also been linked to the Wagner Group, a shadowy Kremlin-linked private military contractor believed to be operating in Syria, -> was included on a US sanctions list in July .

Speaking to the RIA Novosti state news agency on Friday, Prigozhin said: "The Americans are really impressionable people, they see what they want to see. I have great respect for them. If they want to see the devil -- let them see him."

Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the allegations "absurd". "Thirteen people carried out interference in the US elections? Thirteen people against special services with a budgets of billions?" she wrote in a Facebook post.

Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian media he had not yet had a chance to study the indictments.

[Feb 17, 2018] Isn t sowing discord like the main mission of the CIA, both here and in other countries? . Is the Internet Research Agency a CIA hacking group?

Notable quotes:
"... The Russian organization named in the indictment - the Internet Research Agency - and the defendants began working in 2014 - so one year before the Trump candidacy was even announced - to interfere in U.S. elections, according to the indictment in Washington. ..."
"... 2014.......um, yeah, what a crock of bullshit. ..."
"... Seriously though, what is illegal about what they did? Sowing discord? Hell CNN and all of Soros' org would be guilty of the same thing wouldn't they? Isn't 'sowing discord' like the main mission of the CIA, both here and in other countries? ..."
"... B-but the Russians conspired ... to commit free speech. They obstructed ... by speaking . (The story doesn't mention if what was said was true.) Mr. Mueller, please stop wasting our time and money. ..."
Feb 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

dexter_morgan Fri, 02/16/2018 - 16:03 Permalink

The Russian organization named in the indictment - the Internet Research Agency - and the defendants began working in 2014 - so one year before the Trump candidacy was even announced - to interfere in U.S. elections, according to the indictment in Washington.

They used false personas and social media while also staging political rallies and communicating with "unwitting individuals" associated with the Trump campaign, it said.

2014.......um, yeah, what a crock of bullshit.

Seriously though, what is illegal about what they did? Sowing discord? Hell CNN and all of Soros' org would be guilty of the same thing wouldn't they? Isn't 'sowing discord' like the main mission of the CIA, both here and in other countries?

Not a lawyer, but seems this cannot hold up in court.

Noktirnal Fri, 02/16/2018 - 16:14 Permalink

Sounds to me like they're being indicted for exercising free speech. Does that only apply to citizens?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It restricts Congress .

I believe political speech is the most protected form of speech. I think there's a Supreme Court ruling on that topic.

B-but the Russians conspired ... to commit free speech. They obstructed ... by speaking . (The story doesn't mention if what was said was true.) Mr. Mueller, please stop wasting our time and money.

SirBarksAlot Fri, 02/16/2018 - 17:09 Permalink

I'm re-posting this from an earlier post someone else made. The Internet Research Agency is a CIA hacking group!

The best way to get information is to make it up.

Everything what we know now about the so-called "Kremlin trolls from the Internet Research Agency paid by Putin's favorite chef," came from one source, a group of CIA spies that used the mascot of Shaltay-Boltay, or Humpty-Dumpty, for their collective online persona.

http://thesaker.is/a-brief-history-of-the-kremlin-trolls/

[Feb 17, 2018] Documents Show How Russia's Troll Army Hit America

This is the same online site which published Steele dossier
As for daily workloads those nasty Russians looks like real neoliberal slave owners not that dissimilar to Amazon packers, or WalMart cashiers ;-) "The documents show instructions provided to the commenters that detail the workload expected of them. On an average working day, the Russians are to post on news articles 50 times. Each blogger is to maintain six Facebook accounts publishing at least three posts a day and discussing the news in groups at least twice a day. By the end of the first month, they are expected to have won 500 subscribers and get at least five posts on each item a day. On Twitter, the bloggers are expected to manage 10 accounts with up to 2,000 followers and tweet 50 times a day. "
In A Brief History of the "Kremlin Trolls" The Vineyard of the Saker this "leak" is attributed to the Shaltay-Boltay group which was specializing of forgeries of compromising for Russia documents, claiming that those files were "hacked".
Notable quotes:
"... Osadchy told BuzzFeed he had never worked for the Internet Research Agency and that the extensive documents -- including apparent budgeting for his $35,000 salary -- were an "unsuccessful provocation." He declined to comment on the content of the leaks. The Kremlin declined to comment. The Internet Research Agency has not commented on the leak. ..."
"... "What, you think crazy Russians all learned English en masse and went off to comment on articles?" said Leonid Bershidsky, a media executive and Bloomberg View columnist. ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | www.buzzfeed.com

Plans attached to emails leaked by a mysterious Russian hacker collective show IT managers reporting on a new ideological front against the West in the comments sections of Fox News, Huffington Post , The Blaze, Politico , and WorldNetDaily .

The bizarre hive of social media activity appears to be part of a two-pronged Kremlin campaign to claim control over the internet, launching a million-dollar army of trolls to mold American public opinion as it cracks down on internet freedom at home.

"Foreign media are currently actively forming a negative image of the Russian Federation in the eyes of the global community," one of the project's team members, Svetlana Boiko, wrote in a strategy document. "Additionally, the discussions formed by comments to those articles are also negative in tone.

"Like any brand formed by popular opinion, Russia has its supporters ('brand advocates') and its opponents. The main problem is that in the foreign internet community, the ratio of supporters and opponents of Russia is about 20/80 respectively."

The documents show instructions provided to the commenters that detail the workload expected of them. On an average working day, the Russians are to post on news articles 50 times. Each blogger is to maintain six Facebook accounts publishing at least three posts a day and discussing the news in groups at least twice a day. By the end of the first month, they are expected to have won 500 subscribers and get at least five posts on each item a day. On Twitter, the bloggers are expected to manage 10 accounts with up to 2,000 followers and tweet 50 times a day.

They are to post messages along themes called "American Dream" and "I Love Russia." The archetypes for the accounts are called Handkerchief, Gay Turtle, The Ghost of Marius the Giraffe, Left Breast, Black Breast, and Ass, for reasons that are not immediately clear.

According to the documents, which are attached to several hundred emails sent to the project's leader, Igor Osadchy, the effort was launched in April and is led by a firm called the Internet Research Agency. It's based in a Saint Petersburg suburb, and the documents say it employs hundreds of people across Russia who promote Putin in comments on Russian blogs.

Osadchy told BuzzFeed he had never worked for the Internet Research Agency and that the extensive documents -- including apparent budgeting for his $35,000 salary -- were an "unsuccessful provocation." He declined to comment on the content of the leaks. The Kremlin declined to comment. The Internet Research Agency has not commented on the leak.

Definitively proving the authenticity of the documents and their authors' ties to the Kremlin is, by the nature of the subject, not easy. The project's cost, scale, and awkward implementation have led many observers in Russia to doubt, however, that it could have come about in any other way.

"What, you think crazy Russians all learned English en masse and went off to comment on articles?" said Leonid Bershidsky, a media executive and Bloomberg View columnist. "If it looks like Kremlin shit, smells like Kremlin shit, and tastes like Kremlin shit too -- then it's Kremlin shit."

Despite efforts to hire English teachers for the trolls, most of the comments are written in barely coherent English. "I think the whole world is realizing what will be with Ukraine, and only U.S. keep on fuck around because of their great plans are doomed to failure," reads one post from an unnamed forum, used as an example in the leaked documents.

[Feb 17, 2018] Neo-McCarthyite Hysteria at US Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing Global Research - Centre for Research on Globalization

Notable quotes:
"... The concern of the American ruling class is not Russian or Chinese "subversion," but the growth of social opposition within the United States. The narrative of "Russian meddling" has been used to justify a systematic campaign to censor the Internet and suppress free speech. ..."
"... World Socialist Web Site ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | www.globalresearch.ca

The concern of the American ruling class is not Russian or Chinese "subversion," but the growth of social opposition within the United States. The narrative of "Russian meddling" has been used to justify a systematic campaign to censor the Internet and suppress free speech.

Senator Mark Warner

The performance of Senator Mark Warner , the ranking Democrat on the committee, was particularly obscene. Warner, whose net worth is estimated at $257 million, appeared to be doing his best impersonation of Senator Joe McCarthy . He declared that foreign subversion works together with, and is largely indistinguishable from, "threats to our institutions from right here at home."

Alluding to the publication of the so-called Nunes memo, which documented the fraudulent character of the Democratic-led investigation of White House "collusion" with Russia, Warner noted,

"There have been some, aided and abetted by Russian Internet bots and trolls, who have attacked the basic integrity of the FBI and the Justice Department."

Responding to questioning from Warner, FBI Director Christopher Wray praised the US intelligence agencies' greater "engagement" and "partnership" with the private sector, concluding,

"We can't fully police social media, so we have to work with them so that they can police themselves."

Wray was referring to the sweeping measures taken by social media companies, working directly with the US intelligence agencies, to implement a regime of censorship, including through the hiring of tens of thousands of "content reviewers," many with intelligence backgrounds, to flag, report and delete content.

The assault on democratic rights is increasingly connected to preparations for a major war, which will further exacerbate social tensions within the United States. Coats prefaced his remarks by declaring that "the risk of inter-state conflict, including among great powers, is higher than at any time since the end of the Cold War."

As the hearing was taking place, multiple news outlets were reporting that potentially hundreds of Russian military contractors had been killed in a recent US air strike in Syria. This came just weeks after the publication of the Pentagon's National Defense Strategy, which declared,

"Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in US national security."

However, the implications of this great-power conflict are not simply external to the US "homeland." The document argues that "the homeland is no longer a sanctuary," and that "America is a target," for "political and information subversion" on the part of "revisionist powers" such as Russia and China.

Since "America's military has no preordained right to victory on the battlefield," the only way the US can prevail in this conflict is through the "seamless integration of multiple elements of national power," including "information, economics, finance, intelligence, law enforcement and military."

In other words, America's supremacy in the new world of great-power conflict requires the subordination of every aspect of life to the requirements of war. In this totalitarian nightmare, already far advanced, the police, the military and the intelligence agencies unite with media and technology companies to form a single seamless unit, whose combined power is marshaled to manipulate public opinion and suppress political dissent.

The dictatorial character of the measures being prepared was underscored by an exchange between Wray and Republican Senator Marco Rubio , who asked whether Chinese students were serving as spies for Beijing.

"What is the counterintelligence risk posed to US national security from Chinese students, particularly those in advanced programs in the sciences and mathematics?" asked Rubio.

Wray responded that

"the use of nontraditional collectors, especially in the academic setting, whether it's professors, scientists, students, we see in almost every field office that the FBI has around the country, not just in major cities, small ones as well, basically every discipline."

This campaign, with racist overtones, recalls the official rationale -- defense of "national security" -- used to justify the internment of some 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry during the Second World War.

In its open letter calling for a coalition of socialist, antiwar and progressive websites against Internet censorship, the World Socialist Web Site noted that

"the ruling class has identified the Internet as a mortal threat to its monopolization of information and its ability to promote propaganda to wage war and legitimize the obscene concentration of wealth and extreme social inequality."

It is this mortal threat -- and fear of the growth of class conflict -- that motivate the lies and hypocrisy on display at the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

The original source of this article is World Socialist Web Site Copyright © Andre Damon , World Socialist Web Site , 2018

[Feb 17, 2018] News Watch A Reading on Collective Angst naked capitalism

Notable quotes:
"... or like viewing old photos of the Robber Barons. The msm has stopped trying to convince middle class readers it's 'on their side', imo. A few have gone full plutocrat friendly. Anything that rocks the plutocrats boats must be caused by 'russians, russians, russians', or outside agitators, or foreigners of one kind or another – not 'real' Americans. ..."
"... Exactly the kind of things the robber barons and their press said 100+ years ago about working class workers striking for better wages and working conditions. ..."
"... I agree in the regard to the seeming reduction in analytical quantity and quality. I think you're right with it being caused by reductions in newsroom staff, but I think the type of journalists we have has also changed drastically. ..."
"... In this real world context, this guy wants to promote an unnecessary new cold war to get Democrats elected. Truly disgusting and insane. ..."
"... Not only disgusting and insane, but politically stupid. Any Democrat politician who thinks that promoting Unhinged Russia Hysteria is a winning political strategy is guilty of political malpractice. ..."
"... seems to be what she and they are pushing(unhinged Russia hysteria ) as a winning political strategy. ..."
"... That's what people are going to remember when they go to the voting booth in 2018 (if they even bother) – while the Democrats where whining about Putin and Russia and doing nothing productive whatsoever to improve people's lives, Trump gave everybody more $$$. ..."
"... The "official" narratives from much of the MSM are increasingly removed from any reality experienced by the majority. For example, the latest is a report from Hamilton that much of the social media activity concerning the Florida school shooting is now infested and promoted by Russian bots "to sow division". How more absurd could it be? ..."
"... I have it on good authority that the whole rebranding of the KKK first as the CCC than as the NRA was a long-term Soviet Russian plot to cause an epidemic of mass shootings that would undermine not only US 'Democracy', but the entire capitalist juggernaut! ..."
"... Following up on something Lambert wrote once, it seems that pundits who are incapable of using the term "working class" without somehow attaching the word "white" to it are -- besides not really being on the left -- also more likely than others to push the "Russia ate my Election" nonsense. ..."
"... I think what the horrid warmongering article in Useless News misses is that the flyover states, which supply the troops for the wars, are getting war weary (and why not). Trump capitalized on this in the election, and there was a positive correlation at IIRC the county level between war casualities and troop support. ..."
"... An anti-war candidate who could make the case in the flyover states might really make an impact. ..."
"... I wholeheartedly agree about how a significant factor is that the mainstream media insists on viewing everything through ridiculously contrived "lenses" (Trump, "Russia-gate", Brexit, harassment) and, intentionally I would claim, deliberately obscuring the real problems (wealth distribution, neoliberalism, collapse of the social contract). ..."
"... whatever other news there is seems weirdly predictable and is based around personalities, rather than communities and systems. ..."
"... Animals become agitated in advance of earthquakes. It may be that the reason for angst does not lie in the past, but in the future. In general, so many of the stories are predictable self-parodies, from the Democrats relentless pursuit of the mythical 'moderate insurgents' in republican suburbs, and their comical screeching about Putin, to the drumbeat stories attacking Trump for Obama policies, to the contortions of the neocon policy apparatus trying to justify occupation and regime change in Syria, without mentioning those goals ..."
"... For me, this is key. When I cast my eye upon the news I'm greeted with unrelenting bleakness. Trump's cruel and terrible health plan was big news for months, then his terrible tax cut plan, now his terrible budget. Foreign affairs are equally bleak: the Democrats are busy stirring up a second Cold War. There's no end in sight to the trillions of dollars our nation spends every year on waste and destructive mayhem. Sociopathic corporations and octogenarian billionaires own this country. It's difficult to see anything positive on the horizon. ..."
"... There are two Americas. The news is mostly for and from the one that protects the rentier or elite class. They send their children to private schools. The second one has children who go to public schools who get shot and killed by gunmen that the school and law authorities have been warned about and then decide it's not worth their attention. ..."
"... I think we have reached America's breaking point. Shitty jobs, shitty pay, shitty hours, no hope of affordable housing anywhere, no advancement, massive amounts debt, no easy access to medical care, uneven safety nets, denigration, lack of mutual respect, a lifetime of working with little hope of a safe retirement it's just not pretty out here. ..."
"... I think we are still in a Wile E. Coyote moment where he has gone off the cliff but gravity has not taken hold yet (cartoons don't understand parabolic arcs, similar to central banks and politicians). One of the purposes of financial crises like 2008 is to reset the playing field. The inequality and inefficiency of the Roaring 20s got reset in the 1930s where many people who had paper wealth, but large debt, collapsed and regulation followed that survived for 60 years in preventing similar scenarios. The 2009-2016 period missed that window of opportunity as the focus became preserving the people who had destabilized the system. That meant the damage was one-sided to the bottom 90%. The top 10% are largely disconnected, deliberately, from what is going on with the bottom 90% and as a result are baffled about the swelling unrest in the country. That unrest is still largely unfocused and just burps out random things right now like the Tea Party, Trump, Sanders etc. ..."
"... The only good news to come out of the Florida shooting is that the young people are beginning to realize that they are cannon fodder (literally) in the cynical political battles waged by their elders. ..."
"... I've done my stint in living through the chaotic end to the 1970's and endured the major social upheavals in Thatcher's show-no-mercy early 1980's. Those were bad times. But this is worse in a lot of ways, if only for the crushing atmosphere of a powerless proletariat. ..."
"... The Dem commitment to Russiagate has become their WMD story, it has to be stuck with lest its proponents admit their lying ..."
"... The Russo-Resistance strategy has had the effect of exacerbating divisions in the potential opposition to neoliberalism. Not a bug. ..."
"... Compare and contrast with Putin and Xi, who are personally untouched by corruption taint, and whom their population actually believes has their nations' long-term interests at heart ..."
"... The general consensus was that we simply cannot go on as we are. ..."
"... I think you've hit the nail on the head. Whether it's skyrocketing measures of income inequality, health insurance premiums rising faster than wages, college tuition rates and student loan balances rising faster than wages, mindlessly skyrocketing stock markets and asset bubbles fueled by stupid central bank policies, or whatever other unsustainable woe you choose to pick, these things cannot go on forever ..."
"... And we're incredibly divided. Most of the MSM has been sucked into personality conflicts and the us-vs-them mindset. They actively feed it now. You're expected to pick a team and learn to hate the other guys. ..."
"... I too suspect that "tweaking round the edges" will prove totally inadequate, but I have no desire for revolution. I've seen too many of them start off well but then go off the rails in horrible, terrifying directions. Revolutions can be terribly sloppy affairs, with real people getting hurt in the process. And they usually don't end where we really want them to. ..."
"... Just yesterday I was asked, "Aren't you a liberal Democrat?" I answered, "No, I hate both parties equally." That set them back on their laurels. They expected me to say "Yes." ..."
"... The general consensus was that we simply cannot go on as we are ..."
"... Waiting for Godot ..."
"... A seemingly endless loop of outrage that yields nothing, except the feeling of powerlessness -- that all that is important in life is out of our hands, and in the hands of those who look at us and see nothing but another source of revenue. ..."
"... I rather think that our "feeling of powerlessness" is the goal aimed for by the msm. And identity politics serves a divide and conquer function. (But you can buy T-shirts! so it's all good. /s) ..."
"... I hope to draw some response to the second part of my complaint, which is that in the dog-eat-dog world of a society ordered solely by markets, we are reduced: First, from being to citizens to consumers, then from being consumers to being marks, rubes, suckers. The "news" (such as it is) isn't reported to us, it's sold to us. ..."
"... Corporate media has been pumping out Trump Derangement Syndrome stories for 18+ months. [if you're cynical] not only because the media genuinely dislike trump, but to drive clickbait and subscription sign-ups ..."
"... From my reading of history, when countries have been in the grip of anxiety it is often a relief when a feared thing happens – such as when Japan bombed Pearl Harbour it was widely reported that the response of the public, including anti-war activists, was great relief. ..."
"... I've read that much the same feeling descended over much of Europe at the start of WWI. While the same situation doesn't quite apply in the US, I do fear that there is a craving for some sort of decision, a decisive act. ..."
"... I think Trump understands more than he reveals. I think we are looking at the tempered effects of MSM froth by all the good, sensible internet bloggers and commenters which serve to neutralize the nonsense. What I see is angst failure – nobody bought this farcical onslaught of propaganda. Everyone questioned it. Something happens to the "news" when opposite views and facts collide – it gets emulsified like vinegar and oil into much less drastic possibilities. ..."
"... Interesting reminds me of how some torturers have learned that the fear of the pain can be worse than the pain itself in terms of emotional distress and breaking down ego-barriers to cooperation/submission. When the fear is worse than the feared experience, the feared experience itself is a relief. ..."
"... ur–Angst? ..."
"... Our Jerri-Lynn, who mainly lives overseas, was briefly in the US last month and dropped by our NYC meetup. She commented to me that she was very eager to leave because she could sense how high the general tension level was. ..."
"... Few people I know feel secure; a lot of it is about the basic stuff, health care and jobs. ..."
"... True, but can they address those concerns? The Occupy movement was such an effort, but the police seem to have stifled it. Then Sen. Sanders appeared on the scene with his Presidential campaign and that too was suppressed. If people are in fact not engaged it probably indicates an absence of what is important and meaningful for them in the larger society ..."
"... The LAT had truly turned into a piece of garbage the past years, they'd get scooped on stories in their own backyard, the writing was what you'd expect from a newspaper emanating from a city of 48,424, and it would be a given that new reporter hires should go at least a page into google when investigating. ..."
"... We've been watching a German TV series called Babylon Berlin, which is set in Wiemar Germany, 1929, just before the crash. It's fascinating to compare those times to our own, there are many parallels. The show is extremely well done. https://newrepublic.com/article/147053/babylon-berlin-sees-weimar-republic ..."
"... ah, yes. this has been on my mind lately. More the best lacking all conviction and the worst full of passionate intensity than the rough beast part He's already ensconced in Washington and doesn't seem to be able to do much of anything [brain glancing off the specter of all those judges]. ..."
"... post the nation state ..."
"... When war comes it will not be fought by "post-nation states." ..."
"... These are middle aged and middle class professionals about to be thrown on the scrap heap. ..."
"... Colonel Smithers, I observed something similar during the Sanders campaign's peak here in Tucson. That would be during late 2015 and early 2016. Let's just say that people weren't flocking to Bernie because their lives were going well. ..."
"... If the subtext to the MSM's Trump coverage is, "He's a racist authoritarian so he must be stopped at all costs," then you'd think they'd cover police brutality every day. If they're so concerned about racism and authoritarianism. Instead, we're seeing the FBI, CIA, etc., cast in the role of 'oppressed minorities standing up to The System, Maaan!' ..."
"... Plus, as a fan of paranoia, I can say. . . I've never seen a more unsatisfying, overly-abstract conspiracy in my life. It's not that they are rehabilitating CIA goons, but they're doing so specifically in order to obsess over memos, and reports about memos, and memos about reports about leaks about other memos. ..."
"... It's like an episode of The Office if everyone in the office had nukes. ..."
"... that attitude is nearly universal, across all layers of society ..."
"... I am in my late 50s, and for most of my life there was an air of seriousness and competence about national leaders. Even when they were doing something you didn't like, you could generally assume they were adequate to the situation, or at least had access to people who were. E.g., the moronic Reagan at least supposedly had a coterie of serious people in his administration who could keep the train on the tracks. ..."
"... Now we seem to be at a point where the people in charge are unapologetic about their greed, their lack of ability or even interest in their jobs and consitiuents, their lack of intellect and integrity, and the absence of any pretense of doing anything useful for the population or the society ..."
"... I guess what I'm saying is, as one surveys the landscape, there is a marked loss of hope coupled with a tearing urgency that something needs to be done. It's a terrible, very volatile and dangerous condition. ..."
Feb 17, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Jim Haygood , February 16, 2018 at 7:42 am

' orthodox MSM outlets like the New York Times and the WaPo seem to be presenting us with stale fare right now '

Such as this [paywalled] bombshell from the WaPo: 'With McCain's retreat, some turn to Romney to carry his torch.'

Riveting. Like reviewing old photos of the Soviet Politburo to see who got airbrushed out. To paraphrase the WaPo's slogan, 'Democracy dies in decadence. '

flora , February 16, 2018 at 10:31 am

or like viewing old photos of the Robber Barons. The msm has stopped trying to convince middle class readers it's 'on their side', imo. A few have gone full plutocrat friendly. Anything that rocks the plutocrats boats must be caused by 'russians, russians, russians', or outside agitators, or foreigners of one kind or another – not 'real' Americans.

Exactly the kind of things the robber barons and their press said 100+ years ago about working class workers striking for better wages and working conditions.

Alex V , February 16, 2018 at 10:25 am

I agree in the regard to the seeming reduction in analytical quantity and quality. I think you're right with it being caused by reductions in newsroom staff, but I think the type of journalists we have has also changed drastically.

Most of the younger generation that is being brought in has gone directly to journalism school, but has no other experience in the real world. I think many of the older guard had other careers, expertise or experience before they started writing.

So much of what passes for "analysis" nowadays reveals very shallow knowledge of the subject being covered by the writer. This is often most apparent in tech or science articles. I would say some overlap to "management" culture – managers are interchangeable, no matter the industry, since they are experts on managing. Same thing with journalism – if you can write something, you can write about anything .

XXYY , February 16, 2018 at 2:59 pm

For one thing, the, MSM has become heavily dependent on election coverage in the last decade or so, both (I assume) in revenue from political advertising, and in fountains of easy-to-write daily horse race articles about the state of the election.

I think 2017, a post-election year, kind of got a free pass because of the election of Trump, who was either going to make everything great (again!) or blow everything up, and the media was able to sustain an electoral-style energy and reader involvement well beyond the 2016 elections.

Now that (a) Trump has turned out to be an incompetent and ineffectual idiot who does nothing but watch TV, (b) we are seeing the tired old GOP program of screwing the population instead of anything new, and ( c) the Dems have done absolutely nothing for 13 months beyond foam at the mouth about Trump, perhaps the energy of the 2016 election is finally wearing off.

In other words, this is a pre-2018 election lull.

Emorej a Hong Kong , February 16, 2018 at 6:44 am

How much does this weigh?

The article ( https://www.usnews.com/opinion/thomas-jefferson-street/articles/2018-02-13/democrats-should-use-patriotism-to-appeal-to-white-working-class-voters ) linked in yesterday's Water Cooler, seemed to be a major step forward in articulating and advocating a strategy of the Democratic establishment making anti-Russia hysteria (and resulting surveillance and military spending and probably adventures), as a core campaigning plank, the new normal, completely independent of any impeachment or even re-election defeat of Trump.

This strategy was already starting to become implicit, as the Mueller-related "wolf"-crying drags on (and counter-investigations of Clintons are brandished as a M.A.D. deterrent), and as we read that Trump's tax cuts are playing well among likely swing voters both in Congress and in the low-middle income electorate, while it gets ever-closer to "too late" (to be credible before the 2018 midterms) for the Democratic establishment to show any new seriousness about the issues raised and pursued by Bernie Sanders, and by the many local candidates being sabotaged (of necessity more openly than in the past) by the donor-addicted Democratic establishment.

Dwight , February 16, 2018 at 7:48 am

In the real world, we have growing social needs with an aging population that will require Social Security and Medicare. This guy is basically saying to ignore that, which will likely result in a mass die-off of the middle-aged and elderly like that which occurred in 1990s Russia when social programs were gutted under neoliberal shock-therapy "advisors" to the puppet Yeltsin.

Meanwhile, climate change advances requiring massive investment in adaptation, and mitigation if Democrat concerns about climate change are to be taken at face value. (I believe we are 30 years too late, but should do what we can. Democrats claim to be concerned about climate change with their posturing around the Paris Agreement – how does this new cold war lower emissions?)

Nuclear waste from nuclear power and weapons needs to be secured before climate change kicks in, but instead we are spending trillions on new weapons that will create new radioactive waste. The new arms race with Russia and China will be incredibly expensive and dangerous, taking money from real societal and economic needs. Arms spending by the US will result in arms spending in Russia and China, multiplying the problem on a global scale. Unsecured nuclear waste in Russia and China, like unsecured nuclear waste in the US, affects the entire globe.

In this real world context, this guy wants to promote an unnecessary new cold war to get Democrats elected. Truly disgusting and insane.

Big River Bandido , February 16, 2018 at 11:18 am

In this real world context, this guy wants to promote an unnecessary new cold war to get Democrats elected. Truly disgusting and insane.

Not only disgusting and insane, but politically stupid. Any Democrat politician who thinks that promoting Unhinged Russia Hysteria is a winning political strategy is guilty of political malpractice.

petal , February 16, 2018 at 12:22 pm

On that note, I'll try harder to go to that Sen. Jeanne Shaheen talk on Tuesday, as that seems to be what she and they are pushing(unhinged Russia hysteria ) as a winning political strategy.

lyman alpha blob , February 16, 2018 at 1:54 pm

It really is politically stupid.

I got paid today and since the Republican tax cut, my take home pay is larger. Not a dollar or two larger, but enough that it's very easy to notice.

That's what people are going to remember when they go to the voting booth in 2018 (if they even bother) – while the Democrats where whining about Putin and Russia and doing nothing productive whatsoever to improve people's lives, Trump gave everybody more $$$.

DHG , February 16, 2018 at 7:42 pm

Not everything is about money and its not going to affect the majority of people who will be going to the polls, we are already set in our objections of the POTUS and unless he becomes Presidential quickly none of us are changing our minds. This brought to you by a swing voting independent. I will not vote for a republican in 2018 sans what I said.

sleepy , February 16, 2018 at 8:05 am

. . . articulating and advocating a strategy of the Democratic establishment making anti-Russia hysteria (and resulting surveillance and military spending and probably adventures), as a core campaigning plank, the new normal, completely independent of any impeachment or even re-election defeat of Trump.

The "official" narratives from much of the MSM are increasingly removed from any reality experienced by the majority. For example, the latest is a report from Hamilton that much of the social media activity concerning the Florida school shooting is now infested and promoted by Russian bots "to sow division". How more absurd could it be?

I think that sort of disconnect produces both a numbness and an anxiety and a belief that we are governed and led by institutions completely clueless and out of control. Therefore, people just hunker down in disbelief.

taunger , February 16, 2018 at 8:41 am

this. this seems important. coupled with the fact that enough of the news consumers today are wholly cynical regarding any ability of the hoi poloi to make change.

Skip Intro , February 16, 2018 at 10:03 am

I have it on good authority that the whole rebranding of the KKK first as the CCC than as the NRA was a long-term Soviet Russian plot to cause an epidemic of mass shootings that would undermine not only US 'Democracy', but the entire capitalist juggernaut!

Fiery Hunt , February 16, 2018 at 11:05 am

Key phrase here "out of control".

I've definitely been noticing a fairly obvious breakdown in people's ability to be on top of even basic things. We're all fried. I've got really reliable clients suddenly bouncing payments, unable to track projects I've also had first hand encounters with both the law/court system and the medical industry/health care system and the IT processes are byzantine and hugely ineffective.

I think Lambert used the phrase "boom exhaustion ". I think it's apt. We're spinning so hard and nothings getting better or easier.

" the center can't hold.
Things fall apart."

I suggest we expect serious gyrations.

Andrew Watts , February 16, 2018 at 10:42 am

That story is a classic example of a dominant minority resorting to archaism to address the present crisis they face. It won't work either. The US government had an extraordinarily high amount of social trust and support heading into the external crisis that was the Cold War. They eventually frittered it away into the present and the expectation that events will turn out the same is why the creative minority of our past is now a dominant minority in the present. I've said it before, but I'll say it again, for the sake of clarity. We live in a target rich environment for people who've studied Toynbee.

will_f , February 16, 2018 at 12:53 pm

https://www.usnews.com/opinion/thomas-jefferson-street/articles/2018-02-13/democrats-should-use-patriotism-to-appeal-to-white-working-class-voters

Following up on something Lambert wrote once, it seems that pundits who are incapable of using the term "working class" without somehow attaching the word "white" to it are -- besides not really being on the left -- also more likely than others to push the "Russia ate my Election" nonsense.

Lambert Strether , February 16, 2018 at 4:50 pm

I think what the horrid warmongering article in Useless News misses is that the flyover states, which supply the troops for the wars, are getting war weary (and why not). Trump capitalized on this in the election, and there was a positive correlation at IIRC the county level between war casualities and troop support.

An anti-war candidate who could make the case in the flyover states might really make an impact. And the only candidate I can see doing that is Sanders, and I'm not sure Sanders has the inclination, or even the stones, to do it. That F-35 base in Vermont rankles. Is that really the kind of bacon to bring home?

windsock , February 16, 2018 at 7:14 am

A couple of thoughts:

1) Do you think this might be an age-related experience? The elders among us may have a feeling of deja-vu, been here, seen that there's not much new in the world, just the same scenes endlessly repeated with new actors, or an incremental worsening of situations that have already been in decline for years. How long can endless war be news? Or endless corruption? Or endless neo-liberalism etc?

2) Here in the UK, I personally am sick to death with everything being seen through the prism of Brexit. Yes it is an existential crisis for our politics and our way of life but no-one is addressing the ways in which it will improve/demolish our daily lives – food being an obvious one. Yes it is referred to but not in such terms as ordinary people can identify with. It's all about abstracts – treaties/reciprocal arrangements/customs and tariffs/values and volumes of exports/imports etc. And in the meantime, we get stories about how Europeans leaving us will damage our NHS and crop picking without addressing the underlying causes of WHY we need imported labour and why the NHS is still deteriorating despite having those immigrants.

3) Following on from 2, whatever other news there is seems weirdly predictable and is based around personalities, rather than communities and systems. Whatever source one chooses to read, this predictability leads one to end up agreeing with Mandy Rice-Davies "Well, he would say that, wouldn't he?", no matter who the subject is.

4) Now we are leaping on the Russiabus but it is largely met with a huge yawn, unless you like to foam at the mouth at ConservativeHome.

Clive , February 16, 2018 at 7:44 am

I wholeheartedly agree about how a significant factor is that the mainstream media insists on viewing everything through ridiculously contrived "lenses" (Trump, "Russia-gate", Brexit, harassment) and, intentionally I would claim, deliberately obscuring the real problems (wealth distribution, neoliberalism, collapse of the social contract).

Fiery Hunt , February 16, 2018 at 11:09 am

Yep.
And that discord is showing signs of sowing collapse.

sleepy , February 16, 2018 at 9:45 am

Here in the UK, I personally am sick to death with everything being seen through the prism of Brexit.

I read the following article from today's Links fully expecting it to be about Brexit and the political fallout from a possible hard border. Instead, the pivotal issue in the split between Sinn Fein and the DUP apparently revolves around efforts to secure offical status for the Irish language in the North. While that issue too may well be a distraction, it had nothing to do with Brexit, and I was surprised.

https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/02/could-direct-rule-solve-northern-irelands-political-crisis/

MoBee , February 16, 2018 at 10:30 am

whatever other news there is seems weirdly predictable and is based around personalities, rather than communities and systems.

This really hit home for me. Thank you!

Skip Intro , February 16, 2018 at 7:17 am

Animals become agitated in advance of earthquakes. It may be that the reason for angst does not lie in the past, but in the future. In general, so many of the stories are predictable self-parodies, from the Democrats relentless pursuit of the mythical 'moderate insurgents' in republican suburbs, and their comical screeching about Putin, to the drumbeat stories attacking Trump for Obama policies, to the contortions of the neocon policy apparatus trying to justify occupation and regime change in Syria, without mentioning those goals

" The centre does not hold, mere anarchy is loosed upon the world ".

Lee Robertson , February 16, 2018 at 7:22 am

It's the mind numbing parade of horrors.

Brooklin Bridge , February 16, 2018 at 10:55 am

Yes! I've never seen anything like this by any measure. It's the scope and magnitude and number and inter-relatedness and intractability of all the issues at once. Population, climate change, economic disaster systems as in Capitalism going nuts, exploding Military Industrial Complex and perpetual wars , 2 Bat -- - Crazy and utterly corrupt political parties playing nuclear Russian Roulette, Baghdad Bob like main stream media, transformation from a democracy into a police state, open and protected killing of blacks for being black (the fact that isn't exaggerated is mind-numbing), technological tsunamis being co-opted and twisted into iron fisted dystopias by all of the above.

The mind simply can't keep up with it – particularly the reality of it (as in the Democrats going stark raving mad with Russia-Gate – never mind just being corrupt and hypocritical to the core) and the body or something inside sends out a sort of anesthetic to help the mind deal with the increasing perception of the trauma.

I do "get" the analogy of calm before the storm and perhaps that is indeed what we are going through right now but to me it feels like we are simultaneously in the middle of the disaster and constantly waking up to just how horrific it really is.

John , February 16, 2018 at 10:57 am

"Slowed down by a sense of hopelessness in all his decisions and movements, he suffered from bitter sadness, and his incapacity solidified into a pain that often sat like a nosebleed behind his forehead the moment he tried to make up his mind to do something." -- Robert Musil, The Man Without Qualities

False Solace , February 16, 2018 at 4:39 pm

For me, this is key. When I cast my eye upon the news I'm greeted with unrelenting bleakness. Trump's cruel and terrible health plan was big news for months, then his terrible tax cut plan, now his terrible budget. Foreign affairs are equally bleak: the Democrats are busy stirring up a second Cold War. There's no end in sight to the trillions of dollars our nation spends every year on waste and destructive mayhem. Sociopathic corporations and octogenarian billionaires own this country. It's difficult to see anything positive on the horizon.

It could also come down to low Vitamin D and an unusually cold (thanks to climate change) winter.

Lambert Strether , February 16, 2018 at 4:52 pm

> the Democrats are busy stirring up a second Cold War

That's hardly fair; they're stirring up a second Civil War at home, because that's what an impeachment would amount to.

sd , February 16, 2018 at 7:24 am

There are two Americas. The news is mostly for and from the one that protects the rentier or elite class. They send their children to private schools. The second one has children who go to public schools who get shot and killed by gunmen that the school and law authorities have been warned about and then decide it's not worth their attention.

I think we have reached America's breaking point. Shitty jobs, shitty pay, shitty hours, no hope of affordable housing anywhere, no advancement, massive amounts debt, no easy access to medical care, uneven safety nets, denigration, lack of mutual respect, a lifetime of working with little hope of a safe retirement it's just not pretty out here.

rd , February 16, 2018 at 11:38 am

I agree with this. For example this article yesterday caught my attention: http://www.businessinsider.com/san-francisco-housing-crisis-home-sale-2018-2?r=UK&IR=T

Where I live, they post the real estate sales in the newspaper and there are many weeks where not a single house sold for over $500k. But in SF, it is news that something sold for $500k because nothing is ever that cheap.

So you have many areas of the country (not accidental they voted for Trump) where $500k is a fabulously high price for a house because the economies are in a rut but the places where all the people carrying huge student debt loads are supposed to go to work to be part of the future are completely unaffordable for all but a few.

I think we are still in a Wile E. Coyote moment where he has gone off the cliff but gravity has not taken hold yet (cartoons don't understand parabolic arcs, similar to central banks and politicians). One of the purposes of financial crises like 2008 is to reset the playing field. The inequality and inefficiency of the Roaring 20s got reset in the 1930s where many people who had paper wealth, but large debt, collapsed and regulation followed that survived for 60 years in preventing similar scenarios. The 2009-2016 period missed that window of opportunity as the focus became preserving the people who had destabilized the system. That meant the damage was one-sided to the bottom 90%. The top 10% are largely disconnected, deliberately, from what is going on with the bottom 90% and as a result are baffled about the swelling unrest in the country. That unrest is still largely unfocused and just burps out random things right now like the Tea Party, Trump, Sanders etc.

The only good news to come out of the Florida shooting is that the young people are beginning to realize that they are cannon fodder (literally) in the cynical political battles waged by their elders. We may start to see more passion for change occurring. https://www.thecut.com/2018/02/florida-school-shooting-survivors-share-powerful-messages.html Hopefully the 70 years old politicians will move out of the way and allow a new generation with new ideas to start to emerge. However, it will take a lot to displace the current political inertia from funding allowed for the wealthy 70 year olds by Citizens United.

Clive , February 16, 2018 at 7:25 am

Strangely enough, I've been thinking the exact same things, obviously from a U.K. framed perspective. I've not commented on this on posts nor have I discussed this with either Jerri-Lynn, Lambert, Yves, Richard Smith or any of the regular crowd here. I just passed it off to myself as my usual neurotic preoccupations.

I can't really put it into words properly. Which can be one of the reasons why I've not put my thoughts down in writing. Musing on this earlier this week, the best way I could come up with capturing the vibe was to quote from E M Forster who (describing an English country house, the people in it and as a metaphor for the country as a whole at the time) as "being not yet actually in decline, but in the torpor which precedes it". That fit both the mood that I sense and the cause of the pervasive anxiety.

It also, he says, opening a can of worms which he'll probably regret, but here goes, covers and explains several conversations I've had with fellow Brexit voters. The U.K. government is screwing things up royally with regards to the implementation of Brexit. The national division is just as bad as ever. And we're alienating the neighbors who we really need to keep in with for the sake of the long term. We may yet end up as being something akin to Mordor-on-Sea. But, among the friends and relatives I've had these discussions with, none of us could, if we were being honest, really say we cared that much. The nihilism was slightly shocking. What was the reason for that?

The general consensus was that we simply cannot go on as we are. Something -- anything -- is better than years and years, decades and decades of more of the same. A shake up is long overdue and we're way past the point that tweaking round the edges is going to be good enough.

I'm still slightly stunned to have stumbled across this unsettling zeitgeist.

I've done my stint in living through the chaotic end to the 1970's and endured the major social upheavals in Thatcher's show-no-mercy early 1980's. Those were bad times. But this is worse in a lot of ways, if only for the crushing atmosphere of a powerless proletariat.

I do think there are some safety valves. And at least in the past decade we've come to recognise in our shared culture the harms done by things like inequality and how corrupt our governments and corporations really are. And we've channels of common communication (like Naked Capitalism, amongst a few others) which didn't exist a decade or so ago. I'm just not sure they're enough.

windsock , February 16, 2018 at 7:55 am

Mordor-Sea ha! Mordor has better weather.

Completely agree with "none of us could, if we were being honest, really say we cared that much". My friends and I are in the same boat. I'm not sure it's nihilism sometimes I think this is the point of our news coverage – to grind us down with boring mediocrity until we accept whatever settlement suddenly becomes acceptable to TPTB. But then maybe THAT is nihilistic too.

hemeantwell , February 16, 2018 at 8:55 am

Important question! Let me serve up a goulash of inertial fear and loathing:

1. Attacks on Trump have failed to wing him legally. Passage of the corporatophilic tax bill is going to produce a short term stimulus that many of us suspect will undermine the reversal of fortune the policy-thin Dems hoped to pull off. So in part we're stuck with watching a dreary theme in political economy play out in as margin estimates drift downward.

2. The Dem commitment to Russiagate has become their WMD story, it has to be stuck with lest its proponents admit their lying. Down on the ground, I was flummoxed to get a forwarded MoveOn email from a friend encouraging me to participate in flash demonstration at the capitol if Mueller is fired. I was moved to explain that this worried me since it likely hinged on Russophobia. A coolness ensued. This is happening broadly. The Russo-Resistance strategy has had the effect of exacerbating divisions in the potential opposition to neoliberalism. Not a bug.

3. The Syrian conflict has entered yet another crucial phase. I expect the Israelis to kick over the table, and the Trump administration doesn't have the necessary resolution to stop them with guaranteed threats. Militaristic cretins might be given a chance to run with the ball. And then there's North Korea. Breath holding here.

4. Personally, I have very little gut-level understanding of the cadences of crisis politics. Given the seriousness of the issues and the obviousness of the targets, I'd expect Sanders or someone else to be sounding the trumpets. Instead, it seems to be more a matter of setting out rebuttals, worrying about exhausting or boring the audience. I realize that we're not in an "in the streets" phase, but are supposed to be building organizations, finding candidates, etc. But the methodical, deliberate pace of that effort starts to seem inadequate to the moment.

5. And then there's climate warming, which so easily gives rise to that deck chairs feeling. Hard to suppress it at times.

I hate to concede much to the importance of national leadership, but in the absence, as yet, of a broad, thoroughly anti-neoliberal social democratic organization that provides a "culture of solidarity," (as Rick Fantasia described it in his fine book) we need it. And so we're left with moods and presentiments, while trying to deflate fake leader trial balloons -- another Kennedy? Cory Booker?

chwee , February 16, 2018 at 9:42 am

I would argue that there's a basic need for most human beings to feel like part of something greater, that they're working towards something more meaningful than ever more crass consumerism, ala Kennedy's "Ask not what your country can do for you .."

So when push comes to shove, a credible national leader who is able to cajole everyone to start pulling together in the same direction can make a serious go at solving or at least addressing / amerliorating some of our pressing issues. I don't think there's anyone in the US political circles right now that fits the bill ..

Compare and contrast with Putin and Xi, who are personally untouched by corruption taint, and whom their population actually believes has their nations' long-term interests at heart

I'd say national leadership will make all the difference when push comes to shove. Been telling that to US friends for a couple of years, fwiw.

Grumpy Engineer , February 16, 2018 at 8:56 am

" The general consensus was that we simply cannot go on as we are. "

I think you've hit the nail on the head. Whether it's skyrocketing measures of income inequality, health insurance premiums rising faster than wages, college tuition rates and student loan balances rising faster than wages, mindlessly skyrocketing stock markets and asset bubbles fueled by stupid central bank policies, or whatever other unsustainable woe you choose to pick, these things cannot go on forever . Indeed, you can almost feel the "major social upheaval" lurking around the corner.

And we're incredibly divided. Most of the MSM has been sucked into personality conflicts and the us-vs-them mindset. They actively feed it now. You're expected to pick a team and learn to hate the other guys.

I too suspect that "tweaking round the edges" will prove totally inadequate, but I have no desire for revolution. I've seen too many of them start off well but then go off the rails in horrible, terrifying directions. Revolutions can be terribly sloppy affairs, with real people getting hurt in the process. And they usually don't end where we really want them to.

So where does this leave us? Unsettled and full of angst, to say the least, with no good solutions in sight.

perpetualWAR , February 16, 2018 at 9:38 am

Just yesterday I was asked, "Aren't you a liberal Democrat?" I answered, "No, I hate both parties equally." That set them back on their laurels. They expected me to say "Yes."

Lambert Strether , February 16, 2018 at 5:00 pm

> The general consensus was that we simply cannot go on as we are

Waiting for Godot :

ESTRAGON: I can't go on like this.

VLADIMIR: That's what you think.

(Bleakness mitigated by my view that Waiting for Godot is best read, and performed, in the tradition of slapstick comedy.)

bassmule , February 16, 2018 at 7:26 am

A seemingly endless loop of outrage that yields nothing, except the feeling of powerlessness -- that all that is important in life is out of our hands, and in the hands of those who look at us and see nothing but another source of revenue.

timotheus , February 16, 2018 at 7:48 am

Yes, I agree with the "endless loop of outrage" weariness that has set in, the best example being the (ho-hum) shooting of a dozen high school students that in a normal society would prompt mobilization for change and quick marginalization of any leader who said, Let's do nothing! When murder becomes routine, an overall numbness is unavoidable. I had a visitor from Mexico with me recently who asked why I was watching a documentary about serial killer John Wayne Gacey (as someone who hitchhiked nearby around that time, I take a personal interest) and remarked, "In Mexico serial killers are not news."

flora , February 16, 2018 at 10:51 am

"A seemingly endless loop of outrage that yields nothing, except the feeling of powerlessness–"

I rather think that our "feeling of powerlessness" is the goal aimed for by the msm. And identity politics serves a divide and conquer function. (But you can buy T-shirts! so it's all good. /s)

bassmule , February 16, 2018 at 11:39 am

I hope to draw some response to the second part of my complaint, which is that in the dog-eat-dog world of a society ordered solely by markets, we are reduced: First, from being to citizens to consumers, then from being consumers to being marks, rubes, suckers. The "news" (such as it is) isn't reported to us, it's sold to us.

flora , February 16, 2018 at 7:18 pm

Facebook's emotional contagion experiment comes to mind.

Louis Fyne , February 16, 2018 at 7:30 am

Corporate media has been pumping out Trump Derangement Syndrome stories for 18+ months. [if you're cynical] not only because the media genuinely dislike trump, but to drive clickbait and subscription sign-ups

but just as 'likes' juice the happy-chemical parts of your brain, Trump-related outrage stories juice the angry-chemical parts of your brain.

After 18 months of being triggered by the news media [sometimes by Trump, sometimes by DNC pundits, sometimes by real life], your brain basically says -- 'so what? i'm not angry any more.'

qed the overton Window has been moved.

PlutoniumKun , February 16, 2018 at 7:40 am

I was idly wondering yesterday where the current hysteria surrounding Trump will lead everyone. There have been hysterical political situations before, but they have tended to be 'single issue' ones – I can't recall any time when so many people on the main political parties have been so singlemindedly determined to whip up anger. When its a 'single issue' or generated by one side it can run out of steam or diffuse but when its multiple issues I think its liable to either result in an explosion, or, conversely, lead to a sort of nervous exhaustion. Looking at it from the outside, I would really fear what could happen in the US if there was a major economic reversal. A sense of a rising tide can ease over a lot of worries, but if things go into reverse, it can curdle into real anger. In historical situations it can help if the anger has a particular focus, but a huge problem in the US seems to me to be that there is no focus – its all so diffuse – anger at Trump, at inequality, at feminists, at equality, at Russia, at Iran, at pretty much everyone.

From my reading of history, when countries have been in the grip of anxiety it is often a relief when a feared thing happens – such as when Japan bombed Pearl Harbour it was widely reported that the response of the public, including anti-war activists, was great relief. A feeling that at least a course had been set, a key decision made, even if it was a potentially disastrous one.

I've read that much the same feeling descended over much of Europe at the start of WWI. While the same situation doesn't quite apply in the US, I do fear that there is a craving for some sort of decision, a decisive act. While I think Trump is by nature someone who prefers to stir the pot rather than take decisive action, he is also very sensitive to the darker drives of the public feeling. I do fear that he might feel inclined to do something really stupid, and there is nobody sensible around him to stop it happening.

susan the other , February 16, 2018 at 12:25 pm

I think Trump understands more than he reveals. I think we are looking at the tempered effects of MSM froth by all the good, sensible internet bloggers and commenters which serve to neutralize the nonsense. What I see is angst failure – nobody bought this farcical onslaught of propaganda. Everyone questioned it. Something happens to the "news" when opposite views and facts collide – it gets emulsified like vinegar and oil into much less drastic possibilities.

On the one hand – on the other hand. The internet was able to neutralize the MSM because the MSM does only superficial "reporting". There seems to be a state of angst withdrawal, lots of confusion, and no direction. As if "time goes on like nothing is important." And lately a very interesting thing has happened – there is almost no hysteria about "the debt. I have the vague feeling that there are some few people who are actually in control of their senses and the sea change is approaching critical mass. Things will change for the better not only because everyone is fed up but probably more because our dear leaders, including the banksters, are clueless and they don't know how to make capitalism work using the old rules. It's gonna be interesting. Thank you NC.

W , February 16, 2018 at 3:38 pm

Interesting reminds me of how some torturers have learned that the fear of the pain can be worse than the pain itself in terms of emotional distress and breaking down ego-barriers to cooperation/submission. When the fear is worse than the feared experience, the feared experience itself is a relief.

johnf , February 16, 2018 at 7:42 am

I am definitely sensing more Angst in Germany (the ur–Angst? ), but at the moment, that is probably going off topic.

Kevin , February 16, 2018 at 7:44 am

Our Jerri-Lynn, who mainly lives overseas, was briefly in the US last month and dropped by our NYC meetup. She commented to me that she was very eager to leave because she could sense how high the general tension level was.

I can assure you, what she feels is very, very real. My wife and I travel at least once a year back to Canada , where my wife is from – the difference in tension is palpable. I feel so loose and calm when I am there.

windsock , February 16, 2018 at 7:50 am

I feel the same when I leave UK and head to Italy or Portugal.

Lambert Strether , February 16, 2018 at 5:04 pm

> I feel so loose and calm when I am [in Canada]

I felt the very same thing when I lived there for a couple years in the late 90s. I think it's the lack of the imperial burden.

Norello , February 16, 2018 at 7:46 am

"Do you sense, as Lambert and I do, that the news tide has receded?"

My primary news source is the print edition of the Wall Street Journal and I've noted to myself a similar observation recently. The first time I saw the gymnist doctor sex abuse story featured prominetly on the first page I thought it odd. When the story was featured promintely on the front page multiple times after that it felt bizzare. My reaction was wondering how can this possibly be that important compared to everything else happening in the world.

"If so, to resort to Warren Buffett's image, who do you think it has exposed as swimming naked?"

My interpetation has been the news media has been exposed as swimming naked. They are unable or unwilling to spend the money required to deliver professional reporting. Since election season they have depended on reporting on Trump's controversies to fill their pages. That is cheap and easy to do. Without that they have to spend time, money and talent to report on other complex matters.

The quaility and quantity of the print edition of the WSJ has been a noticeable decline the last few years. Little things like a front page lead in to what was supposed to be on page B1 was instead on B4. I've been reading the WSJ for probably twenty years now and never seen that happen before.

Twice during the presidential election they had what looked like at first a normal section of the newspaper but was actually a "paid advertisement" from China and Japan. It was blatant propaganda from their governments. It was shocking that the WSJ would take money to print foreign government's propaganda on election matters. There have been many other observations like that which have lead me to the conclusion news reporting capabilities have been gutted more than most people realize.

Anonymous2 , February 16, 2018 at 4:18 pm

Taken over not so long ago by one R Murdoch? He has damaged every paper he has touched IMO.

Edward , February 16, 2018 at 7:52 am

Maybe this painting depicting ennui captures the current mood: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/sickert-ennui-n03846

Perhaps this is what happens when you are surrounded by nonsensical rubbish by press and government. But I have felt this way for years.

ChiGal in Carolina , February 16, 2018 at 9:17 am

They might be without purpose but they appear secure. Few people I know feel secure; a lot of it is about the basic stuff, health care and jobs.

Edward , February 16, 2018 at 10:02 am

True, but can they address those concerns? The Occupy movement was such an effort, but the police seem to have stifled it. Then Sen. Sanders appeared on the scene with his Presidential campaign and that too was suppressed. If people are in fact not engaged it probably indicates an absence of what is important and meaningful for them in the larger society.

Eustache De Saint Pierre , February 16, 2018 at 7:57 am

I have had the same or at a least similar feeling of late, but for the most part considered it as me reflecting my own circumstances on the world, as well as worrying items of news particularly from Syria. A bit like an increasing tightness of breath, within the increasingly stale & pressurized air of an expanding balloon.

Wukchumni , February 16, 2018 at 7:58 am

It has been a rather dull time for news, and i'm not really feeling any angst, other than when I went to a neighbor's dinner party surrounded by reign of error supporters that seemed to be doubling down on their choice in an assertive manner, with absolutely no prompting from me.

I found that disturbing, the group-sink mentality, a blackjack equivalent of doubling down on a 16, with the dealer showing a face card, why?

The LA Times got sold this week, which came with the SD Union Tribune as 2 for 1 deal for $500 million.

The LAT had truly turned into a piece of garbage the past years, they'd get scooped on stories in their own backyard, the writing was what you'd expect from a newspaper emanating from a city of 48,424, and it would be a given that new reporter hires should go at least a page into google when investigating.

Why would somebody pay half a billion for something that's broken down and even if you fixed it, where is the upside?

Sam Adams , February 16, 2018 at 7:59 am

My take is we are in the period just before WW1 and the last garden parties. Everything seems warm, slightly off. The skirts are hobbling, the hats large and the military medals shiny on gold braid. The politicians are making noise, but we all know that for all the strum and bother, they will come to a resolution.

Did you hear the Austrian heir and his wife were shot? Try the sandwiches .

JacobiteInTraining , February 16, 2018 at 10:36 am

Ummm, those sandwiches are simply MARVELOUS I *must* get your recipe.

My neighbors sons both joined the Uhlan Regiment, and we are organizing a party for them before they go to the academy. They look sooooo precious in their uniforms, I want to be sure we have the best in food and drink for their send off party!

And yes, those dang Serbians. Such troublemakers. Rest assured they will be dealt with swiftly and severely.

Lord Koos , February 16, 2018 at 2:19 pm

We've been watching a German TV series called Babylon Berlin, which is set in Wiemar Germany, 1929, just before the crash. It's fascinating to compare those times to our own, there are many parallels. The show is extremely well done. https://newrepublic.com/article/147053/babylon-berlin-sees-weimar-republic

Carolinian , February 16, 2018 at 7:59 am

There's an Ingmar Bergman film from the 1960s called Winter Light where one of the characters finds out the Red Chinese have acquired the bomb and kills himself. Surely it's the news media who are creating the current wave of high anxiety and even tragedies like school shootings seem to be egged on by the media since most shooters are copycats.

Which is why some of us have taken to getting our news from sites like this one. A sanity filter is needed. A sense of perspective may also be useful as in world historical terms there have been much worse periods than this. Time does heal wounds, perhaps even elites who have lost their marbles.

ChiGal in Carolina , February 16, 2018 at 9:29 am

ah, yes. this has been on my mind lately. More the best lacking all conviction and the worst full of passionate intensity than the rough beast part He's already ensconced in Washington and doesn't seem to be able to do much of anything [brain glancing off the specter of all those judges].

GERMO , February 16, 2018 at 9:46 am

This is an astute post by NC and lots of great comments -- little to add but I'll see your Yeats and raise you one Gramsci:

"The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear."

Bittercup , February 16, 2018 at 11:24 am

Well as long as we're talking poetry, I think Auden's September 1, 1939 might be even more relevant today than it was back when it was written. So much so that I can't decide which part of it to excerpt (and it's a bit too long to just quote the whole thing!).

Actually, no, I do know -- here is the last stanza of the poem, which just happens to describe exactly the kind of thing that NC -- at its best -- can provide in opposition to the "waves of anger and fear [ ] obsessing our private lives."

Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.

Katherine Calkin , February 16, 2018 at 10:15 pm

How about Sartre: Hell is other people.

Jay Jay , February 16, 2018 at 8:16 am

The DOJ Inspector General report will be out in March. After one look at a draft of the report, Randall Wray fired McCabe. And remember, the DOJIG has all of the Strzok e-mails, including the ones the FBI "inadvertently destroyed." Hopes–and fears–are high that this report will expose all of the Russiagate corruption in complete detail. If so, even mainstream media stars won't have a place to hide. They went all in too long ago and pushed the story way too hard.

So to answer Yves's questions: yes, there is deep fear that a receding tide is about to reveal a lot of naked swimmers and that yes, it will be a tsunami.

nv , February 16, 2018 at 8:16 am

Professor Kendall Thomas, director of the Center for the Study of Law and Culture at Columbia Law School, spoke at Goethe House New York recently. He designated Trump a 'post-president,' saying that the mythological status of the US presidency has been exploded (my word). An audience member asked if we were also post the nation state; Kendall replied that the questioner had answered his own question.

Perhaps here we have the source, or one major source, of the generalized angst? (No video, or no video yet, however, see https://www.goethe.de/ins/us/en/sta/ney/ver.cfm ? fuseaction=events.detail&event_id=21154521)

paul , February 16, 2018 at 12:48 pm

Now that is news I can use!

I suppose it might have been private eye, a very changed publication from my first introduction, suggested that the offspring of the firm were far more interested in discotheques and tax free beaches than than the fealty of the field mice in their property.

A little disinterested resignation might go a long way.

However

paul , February 16, 2018 at 1:21 pm

NCO smithers, sorry to hijack your thread; But if I'm going to do it within the headline post: Iraq war protests: The one in edinburgh was glorious, people flowing in from the mound, the west est end and leith street, blocking the roads, g galloway and t sheridan doing what they do best.

I retired and watched the news on the bbc and that is why I have hardly looked at since then.

What your have gifted me is contributions is that nothing is rational as family business, and extra-family is hopeless romance.

I'll jog along (to use the contemporary parlance),

The only weak point is the family.

Loneprotester , February 16, 2018 at 12:04 pm

When war comes it will not be fought by "post-nation states."

Great thread. Keep it going.

Weltschmerz , February 16, 2018 at 8:26 am

1) gaslighting with news that doesn't matter
2) feeeling of an echo chamber and the same ol same ol
3) unclear ways of taking action and identifying those persons who can fix the mess that those persons impmementing neoliberalism and warmongering have created

Colonel Smithers , February 16, 2018 at 8:58 am

Thank you.

I don't have much contact with the 1% now, having changed jobs in mid-2016, but agree with you and get that sense from friends / former colleagues who do.

I work in the City of London. To use the euphemism en vogue at my employer, many people will be "rolling off the platform", ours, over the spring. It's the same at my former employer and another firm I know well. These are middle aged and middle class professionals about to be thrown on the scrap heap.

One can observe Thatcherites becoming Corbynites.

Arizona Slim , February 16, 2018 at 11:40 am

Colonel Smithers, I observed something similar during the Sanders campaign's peak here in Tucson. That would be during late 2015 and early 2016. Let's just say that people weren't flocking to Bernie because their lives were going well.

Lambert Strether , February 16, 2018 at 5:10 pm

> "rolling off the platform"

What's the metaphor here?

ChiGal in Carolina , February 16, 2018 at 6:23 pm

Just to clarify, these are Bernie folks I'm talking about, with no love of corporate Dems/Hillary, but I fear they don't realize how very real the threat is that the energy of the base will be coopted by the leadership.

Norb , February 16, 2018 at 9:20 am

The news tide has receded because by blurring the line between news/information and entertainment, for most people, it looses all relevance in conducting daily life. People are tuned out and apathetic. Those watching the MSM closely are either entirely satisfied with society as is, brainwashed, social voyeurs titilated by the access to human suffering in ever expanding forms, or for professional interest. The weird atmosphere is that people realize how precarious their social positions have become, but are offered no outlet to relieve the growing anxiety. There is no leadership attempting to address these grievances, and when movements do surface, the same set of characters jump to the forefront and successfully diffuse the energy building for something different.
There is no accountability.

The MSM is ubiquitous in its constant drone of irrelevance. Just as the constant flashing of advertising becomes harder and harder to see, it just stops carrying any useful information regardless of what is being said or shown.

My sense for years has been the thought, "what will it take to break the malaise". Society has gone from the Deep Water Horizon disaster, Fukushima meltdown, endless small wars, and growing ecological disasters. Not to mention growing economic inequality with no end in sight. The response is indifference and obfuscation.

Democracy requires civic action, but without proper leadership, Democracy is impossible. Democracy requires institutions that citizens can participate in, and the current crop of leaders undermines that participation at every turn.

So what is left is that everyone conducts their lives on autopilot- until forced to act otherwise. It is a weird atmosphere where the general consensus is one of quiet despair, but easier to pretend that all is well.

Pat , February 16, 2018 at 9:25 am

I will note that years after I stopped biting my nails I have started again. And this time it is worse. I never endangered the quick, but am now so anxious And I have eliminated most traditional sources of news from my life.

I am powerless. A seismic event that should have caused at least a small path change has not. Instead the road is even more closed to alteration, the real news is the same or worse. And the bread and circuses is not considered necessary because nothing really changed. The shootings, the growing early deaths of the populace, and so on are normal. I do not know if the slow boil of the frogs/populace will only end with their total collapse and that we have merely turned up the heat to speed things up. Or if another seismic event that is more violent and revolutionary is going to happen as the restricted road is overrun by those supposed to die quickly and quietly. A Russian and French Revolution level up rising where our current system is bludgeoned to death.

I try to ignore that sense, that prediction. But as my admission makes clear I cannot. We are cursed to live in interesting times.

Dean , February 16, 2018 at 10:02 am

The firehose of information (shit?) being sprayed at me during my waking hours by the industrial-information complex was chipping away at my soul one clickbait headline at a time, one junk email at a time, one advertisement at a time. So I made a choice and l 'opted out' as best I could. I have only 3 news bookmarks (NC on of them). I dropped all social media in the summer of '16. I've been cable free for nearly two years.

My overall mood has improved greatly over this time. I am not feeling the angst but I see the effect the 24×7 bombardment is having on people close to me.

I am beginning to wonder if this constant bombardment is someone's grand design to wear us down, divide us, and keep us in a permanent state of fear and paralysis.

Loneprotester , February 16, 2018 at 12:37 pm

Brilliant! I felt a similar Lightness of Being after giving up Facebook a few months ago. But this has been undermined by recently taking up Twitter. Twitter is like having a stranger run up to you every few minutes shouting the same piece of nonsense in your face. Then someone else shouts the exact opposite. And so on and so on.

Lambert Strether , February 16, 2018 at 5:24 pm

Twitter demands extremely careful curation, and then it's incredibly valuable. Rather like life.

Kokuanani , February 16, 2018 at 1:06 pm

I share your sense of "bombardment," and for me it's an on-going fight with my husband who wants to watch MSNBC, CNN, etc. We have a very small house, so it's almost impossible for me to get away from the audio, and it's winter, so going outside to escape is more challenging.

I find the yelling of Rachel Maddow et al. actually like a physical assault on my senses. I say to my husband, "you know things in the world are crap. Do you need to have that fact repeated to you again and again? And don't you feel that this assault wears you down and makes you less able to take positive action? That's its effect on me."

[I wear my noise-cancelling earphones a lot.]

Eclair , February 16, 2018 at 1:37 pm

Gosh, Kokuanani, I am in much the same situation. My recently-retired husband turns the TV on first thing in the morning and almost never shuts it down until bedtime. We have downsized to a small condo, which fortunately has a small second bedroom/sitting room, so I can escape for a time.

He watches CNN and the local news stations a lot and, as I stroll through the living room or work in the adjacent kitchen, I am assaulted with the tension-laden voices of the news anchors, pushing the latest disaster. I was almost grateful for the school shooting, since it did make a change from the incessant prattling about l'affaire Porter.

What I find most horrifying are the daytime TV shows that feature white male authority figures telling hapless people who have supposedly screwed up their lives and relationships, exactly where they have gone wrong and what they need to do to straighten themselves out. The audience, or should it be the 'mob,' acts as a chorus, egging on the participants.

I now realize how insulated from the 'real world' I have been for decades.

It is interesting that you feel the verbal yelling as as an almost physical assault. I feel the same about constant background noise; it hurts. My spouse, on the other hand, seems to need the stimulation of the verbal stream. (Might have something to do with his dyslexia).

RMO , February 16, 2018 at 3:36 pm

I frequently like to have the television on – often as background while I do other things. I do have cable (as part of an integrated telephone/internet/television package) and when I have broadcast television playing, as opposed to DVD's etc., I find I gravitate to old comedy reruns. I've rewatched the entirety of the Mary Tyler Moore show multiple times this winter along with many other 50's through early 80's television. The only breakthrough from the hurricane of angst whirling through the U.S. media has been the commercials. The ads are often made up of 50% promotion of a new pharmaceutical or medical product and 50% an invitation to join a class action suit against the makers of a slightly older pharmaceutical or medical product. It's an odd juxtaposition.

Lambert Strether , February 16, 2018 at 5:26 pm

I visit friends who watch CNN all the time fairly regularly (and as readers know, I don't have a TV at all, so it's quite an experience for me).

Whatever's going on at CNN, it's clearly not news in any sense that I understand. It's demented, crazy-making.

John , February 16, 2018 at 10:07 am

The wheels keep turning in place with no movement forward, backward, or in a circle. Case in point: Yet one more mass shooting in a school. Yet one more disturbed, angry, and/or obsessed personal with a semi-automatic weapon. Shock, horror, thoughts, prayers; we need 'sensible' gun controls; it's not the time to talk about guns, etc., etc. Same script every time and it fades away until the next time. Does no one notice?

What can I add to what has already been said? I am sick to death of slippery empty words and sly tactics and thievery. I want to say to hell with it all, but I cannot not care.

Craig H. , February 16, 2018 at 10:11 am

The reason most news is dull is that most of it is fake. I was watching an old interview that Kerry Cassidy did with Jim Marrs the other day and he was riveting. A lot of people classify Marrs as a conspiracy nut but he described himself as a journalist. One of the most memorable things he said (this is not an exact quote) is that he still tried to do journalism, but we really don't have journals any more. They are more like advertising circulars and the stories are almost all government or corporate public relations pieces. There are plenty of stories to write. The pieces you guys run on Uber and Calpers are rare and not dull. It is obvious when a competent journalist has taken the time to do research and investigate and double-check things and think about what they are doing.

The manipulated dope the government releases on the latest shooting is not news. It is propaganda. It isn't worth reading.

schultzzz , February 16, 2018 at 2:08 pm

my 2 cents: the FOX NEWS-ification of the MSM is now complete, and that's why it's weird.

If the subtext to the MSM's Trump coverage is, "He's a racist authoritarian so he must be stopped at all costs," then you'd think they'd cover police brutality every day. If they're so concerned about racism and authoritarianism. Instead, we're seeing the FBI, CIA, etc., cast in the role of 'oppressed minorities standing up to The System, Maaan!'

Plus, as a fan of paranoia, I can say. . . I've never seen a more unsatisfying, overly-abstract conspiracy in my life. It's not that they are rehabilitating CIA goons, but they're doing so specifically in order to obsess over memos, and reports about memos, and memos about reports about leaks about other memos.

It's like an episode of The Office if everyone in the office had nukes. Sheesh, give me P2 and the Vatican Bank any day.

TLDR: It's weird because of the sudden growth of the disconnect between [the very real anxieties we news consumers feel in our daily lives] . . . . and the news reports which attempt to leverage those anxieties into outrage at [whatever media elites are mad at that day].

EGrise , February 16, 2018 at 2:13 pm

A question I'm pondering lately that may be related: suppose a general pulled a Julius Caesar, crossed the Rubicon/Potomac and seized control of the US government. What would the response be?

Sixty years ago, there would have been staunch support for the civilian government, politicians of both parties would have rallied their supporters to defend our democratic heritage, and I believe ordinary citizens would have actively opposed the military government in a number of ways up to and including taking up arms.

Today? I just can't see it. I don't know if anyone would really give a [family_blog] beyond some outrage on Facebook or Twitter. The nihilism and ennui are palpable.

Mark Blyth tells the story of speaking to a room full of fund managers and other monied types, and he asked them if they would have trusted the politicians they supported twenty or thirty years prior to manage one of their accounts, to general assent. But when he asked if they would trust any of the politicians they currently support to do the same, they all laughed out loud. In the US, that attitude is nearly universal, across all layers of society .

Could you see yourself risking your life to go fight for our democracy under the banner of Chuck Schumer? The DNC? Any of the ghouls in the GOP? I can't. And I think that's meaningful.

schultzzz , February 16, 2018 at 2:22 pm

If I didn't know any better, I'd say the MSM is getting revenge on us. They got the 2016 election wrong, were exposed as out-of-touch, and rightly ridiculed. Lacking credibility and unwilling to do stories that would upset their owners (i.e. stories ABOUT average American problems), the only tool left in their 'keep people reading us' toolkit is. . .'aaaaah read this or the country dies!!!!'

And what do you know, the 'anxiety' tool just also happens to inflict a lot of psychic punishment on the same news consumers that ridiculed them. So that's a two-fer!

Rosario , February 16, 2018 at 2:44 pm

I'm having trouble articulating the pile of words in my head to describe my thinking on current news media. I'll just say that I've suspected an "establishment agenda" in most news for years and Trump has mostly confirmed that suspicion. I'm sure it has, to some extent, always been that way with the press (we can't escape our culture), but the stakes of milquetoast (or outright nefarious) new media seem bigger now than ever (US empire collapse, climate change, ballooning global inequality). I'm only 31 so let me know if I'm off base thinking the sky is falling.

I think the hosts are right that the news seems to be drying up as of late, but I think that is more a feature than a bug. There is plenty to discuss and dissect. They are just not the kinds of things that capitalist media wants to even acknowledge much less cover.

I don't know if there are any Aussies in this thread, but I'll include a link to a comedian from Australia who has excellent and usually funny commentary on Australian politics. He posts a great deal on Youtube and has a pretty excellent take down of Vice News. BTW the ever edgy Vice has a 5% stake owned by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox and his boy James is/was a board member, figure that one out. The comedian says more pointedly what I was trying to say above to a particular example of the problem, and I think the critique of Vice News is within the topic of the thread. As a heads up, you may need to see his initial video to get any context. I recommend both.

XXYY , February 16, 2018 at 3:36 pm

I think one thing that is new recently is that the people supposedly driving the bus are *obviously* incompetent and in over their heads.

I am in my late 50s, and for most of my life there was an air of seriousness and competence about national leaders. Even when they were doing something you didn't like, you could generally assume they were adequate to the situation, or at least had access to people who were. E.g., the moronic Reagan at least supposedly had a coterie of serious people in his administration who could keep the train on the tracks. Various government departments were staffed by people who had a lifetime of experience in their affairs, and there was thus a deep bench of skill and experience the national leaders could rely on when needed. Government seemed serious and purposeful for the most part, and the nation seemed in reasonably good hands.

It's impossible to say how much of this sensibility was real and how much carefully maintained illusion; my guess is a lot of what was going on was the latter, but at least leaders and the media realized seriousness was an important front to maintain.

Now we seem to be at a point where the people in charge are unapologetic about their greed, their lack of ability or even interest in their jobs and consitiuents, their lack of intellect and integrity, and the absence of any pretense of doing anything useful for the population or the society. Important national institutions (e.g. the State Department! The CDC!) are being left to languish or being actively dismantled. Who will fill the void? No one cares. The media, meanwhile, not only fails to lament these things but actually seems to have some glee about the situation and delights in spotlighting incompetence and even criminality in the leadership

(I write from the US, obviously; however, the same seems to be true, perhaps even more so, in the UK, from what I read.)

As a result, a deadly sense of futility sets in. At best, we can head off the bigger disasters. Nothing is likely to actually improve. The will and leadership to face our many impending disasters (climate change, nuclear war, inequality, racism, financial collapse, infrastructure collapse) seems utterly absent.

I guess what I'm saying is, as one surveys the landscape, there is a marked loss of hope coupled with a tearing urgency that something needs to be done. It's a terrible, very volatile and dangerous condition.

jrs , February 16, 2018 at 7:40 pm

a sensible emotional response to Trump perhaps. Obama was bad in many ways, but Trump is something harder to make sense of than mere bad: he's absurd.

Jim , February 16, 2018 at 6:55 pm

The Crack-Up F.Scott Fitzgerald (1936)

"Before I go on with this short history, let me make a general observation -- the test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise."

Do we still have that will and can we find a way?

[Feb 16, 2018] Moscow charges ex-FSB Kaspersky staff with treason 'in interests of US' lawyer

Notable quotes:
"... "treason in favor of the US," ..."
"... "There is no mention of the CIA at all. [The entity] in question is the US, not the CIA," ..."
"... 'Shaltai Boltai' ..."
"... "no personnel changes" ..."
Feb 01, 2017 | www.rt.com

Two senior FSB officers and a high-level manager of Russia's leading cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab are facing official charges of treason in the interests of the US, a lawyer representing one of the defendants has confirmed to Interfax. Ruslan Stoyanov, head of Kaspersky Lab's computer incidents investigations unit, Sergey Mikhailov, a senior Russian FSB officer, and his deputy Dmitry Dokuchayev are accused of "treason in favor of the US," lawyer Ivan Pavlov said on Wednesday, as cited by Interfax. Read more © Michael Weber / Global Look Press 70mn cyberattacks, mostly foreign, targeted Russia's critical infrastructure in 2016 – FSB

Pavlov chose not to disclose which of the defendants he represents, adding, however, that his client denies all charges.

The charges against the defendants do not imply they were cooperating with the CIA, Pavlov added. "There is no mention of the CIA at all. [The entity] in question is the US, not the CIA," he stressed, according to TASS.

The lawyer maintained the court files included no mention of Vladimir Anikeev, an alleged leader of 'Shaltai Boltai', a hacking group that previously leaked emails from top Russian officials, including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

The hacking group's name was in the news earlier in January, when Russian media reports linked Mikhailov and Dokuchayev to 'Shaltai Boltai' . In an unsourced article last Wednesday, Rosbalt newspaper claimed Mikhailov's unit was ordered in 2016 to work with the group.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told RIA Novosti on Wednesday the treason charges do not relate to the US suspicions of Russia being behind the alleged cyberattacks on the 2016 presidential elections. He added that President Vladimir Putin is receiving regular updates on the current investigation.

Russian media reports said Mikhailov was arrested during a conference of top FSB leadership. He was reportedly escorted out of the room with a bag placed over his head. His deputy, Dokuchayev, is said to be a well-known hacker who allegedly began cooperating with the FSB several years ago. Kaspersky Lab manager Stoyanov was also placed under arrest several weeks ago.

Stoyanov is still employed by Kaspersky Lab, the company told RIA Novosti later on Wednesday, adding there were "no personnel changes" at this point.

Treason charges mean that the defendants could be handed a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. The treason charges also mean any trial will not be public due to its sensitive nature.

[Feb 16, 2018] What is the definition of a fake social media account ? What is the crime for operatine a fake social medial account? Is this the standard by which we will all be judged?

Notable quotes:
"... So, did Mueller address the crime committed by the then FBI head who refused to allow a FBI informant to address Congress on the Uranium One scam before it was authorized? Uh, that would be Mueller, his very self, so the answer is no. ..."
"... What is the definition of a "fake social media account"? What is the crime for operate a fake social medial account? Is this the standard by which we will all be judged? ..."
"... "In other words, anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have "unwittingly" been a collaborator of the 13 Russian "specialists" who cost Hillary the election." No, not "in other words." That's not what he said at all. Idiot propagandist. ..."
"... And Hillary has done nothing criminal in the last 40 years. All of the evidence has been a fabrication. The Russians perfected time travel technology in the 70's, and have been conspiring against her and planting evidence since then. ..."
"... The goal of the MSM was the opposite. To unfairly disparage Trump and assist the election of Hillary Clinton. So why no indictments of members of the American MSM? ..."
"... What a bunch of horseshit. Mueller did nothing to locate just as much foreign or Russian support for Hillary. Grand Jury is just another one-sided court that passes judgment without any input from the other side. Now where have we seen that before? FISA. ..."
"... What is wrong with anyone doing what they want to support a candidate? If that is somehow illegal interference, why is Soros running loose in the world? ..."
"... I have a friend that was a US Federal Prosecutor. He once told me that the most un-American concepts that exist are grand juries and conspiracy laws. I'm sure he would have included FISA if it existed then. ..."
Feb 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Genby Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:51 Permalink

Mueller effectively called himself an idiot and degenerate.

13 people won against the whole apparatus of FBI (including Mueller). That makes FBI a herd of idiots and degenerates (including Mueller).

SirBarksAlot -> rgraf Fri, 02/16/2018 - 16:44 Permalink

What crime?

Impersonating an American?

Practicing freedom of speech?

Trying to influence an election?

I don't see any crimes.

Joiningupthedots Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:31 Permalink

When does Mueller get charged? He is part of the fabric of the Clinton Gang along with Comey and others. How many people have posted derogatory comments about Clinton on ZH alone. This sounds like when they ludicrously charged and entire unit of the Chinese PLA.

FringeImaginigs Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:31 Permalink

Agreed, it's against the law to steal identities and operate bank accounts and all that. But really, compared to the fraud committed by just one bank - Wells Fargo- this is smal small potatoes.

And did I miss it or did the indictment not even mention the value of the ads bought on Facebook - $100,000. (nope, not missing any zeros).

And it all started in 2014 while Donald was playing golf and sticking his dick in some whore.

And a few ruskies got into the good ol USofA with false statements on their visas.

While the courts fought Trump on the fact that immigration from a few countries need to be stopped because there was not way of checking data. I get it - somebody driving too fast gets a speeding ticket, and Muellers investigation gets to issue an indictment. I'm sure we all feel better now.

Lostinfortwalton Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:32 Permalink

So, did Mueller address the crime committed by the then FBI head who refused to allow a FBI informant to address Congress on the Uranium One scam before it was authorized? Uh, that would be Mueller, his very self, so the answer is no.

Grandad Grumps Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:35 Permalink

What is the definition of a "fake social media account"? What is the crime for operate a fake social medial account? Is this the standard by which we will all be judged?

Or is it that Mueller has NOTHING and is too big of a corrupt idiot to admit it.

Rick Cerone Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:36 Permalink

Putin should define what a NGO is. He should tell the world how the US uses NGO's to destabilize elections. He wont do it because he's digging tunnels for the big day.

BigPunny Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:36 Permalink

"In other words, anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have "unwittingly" been a collaborator of the 13 Russian "specialists" who cost Hillary the election." No, not "in other words." That's not what he said at all. Idiot propagandist.

devnickle Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:36 Permalink

And Hillary has done nothing criminal in the last 40 years. All of the evidence has been a fabrication. The Russians perfected time travel technology in the 70's, and have been conspiring against her and planting evidence since then.

What planet am I living on again? We have now stepped into the twilight zone. Facepalm.....

moneybots Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:55 Permalink

"Ultimately, and this is the punchline, the goal was to disparage Hillary Clinton and to assist the election of Donald Trump."

The goal of the MSM was the opposite. To unfairly disparage Trump and assist the election of Hillary Clinton. So why no indictments of members of the American MSM?

Montana Cowboy Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:03 Permalink

What a bunch of horseshit. Mueller did nothing to locate just as much foreign or Russian support for Hillary. Grand Jury is just another one-sided court that passes judgment without any input from the other side. Now where have we seen that before? FISA.

What is wrong with anyone doing what they want to support a candidate? If that is somehow illegal interference, why is Soros running loose in the world?

I have a friend that was a US Federal Prosecutor. He once told me that the most un-American concepts that exist are grand juries and conspiracy laws. I'm sure he would have included FISA if it existed then.

dot_bust Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:03 Permalink

The indictment adds that the Russians " were instructed to post content that focused on 'politics in the USA' and to 'use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump -- we support them)' ."

Criticizing Hillary Clinton constitutes election interference? This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

Over half the United States said she was corrupt and morally bankrupt. Does that mean all those Americans interfered in the election?

Son of Captain Nemo Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:04 Permalink

"Some Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities."

I thought this was our "shtick" for subverting and overthrowing government(s) since 194_?... Fast forward to 2012 and subverting sovereign foreign government(s) using other means then election(s) ( https://jasirx.wordpress.com/ )

Just ask this person ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CL_GShyGv3o ) who handed out cookies before starting an "overthrow of a sovereign government" right before a Winter Olympics?... And while we're on the subject of subversion of sovereign Nation(s) "OCONUS" ask this fat shit how it's going in the Middle East with it's "partners" ( https://southfront.org/meeting-between-us-state-secretary-and-lebanese- ) Nor should we forget 22 within the Russian diplomatic community in the last 6 years "eliminated" for early retirement courtesy of the U.S. government...

And if all this is true why isn't Muelller indicting government officials within the FBI Department of immigration and Homeland Security that would allow "some defendants" to impersonate Americans after 9/11 and the security infrastructure we built around U.S. to prevent "future attacks" that were obviously (here illegally)???...

On second thought DON'T ANSWER THAT!!!

atabrigade Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:05 Permalink

Our enemies are not overseas. They are right here at home.

Son of Captain Nemo -> atabrigade Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:13 Permalink

That did this ( http://www.ae911truth.org/ ) to their own to grab oil everyplace else they didn't control it!

Concertedmaniac Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:08 Permalink

What a complete load of horseshit. Waste of time and money while the crimes of the clintons and collaborators remain unpunished, including Mueller himself.

wobblie Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:08 Permalink

"Mueller describes a sweeping, years-long, multimillion-dollar conspiracy by hundreds of Russians aimed at criticizing Hillary Clinton and supporting Senator Bernie Sanders and Trump"

Only in the idiot world of Liberalism and Conservatism is this not a laughable statement.

Stupid fucks.

https://therulingclassobserver.com/

Obamaroid Ointment Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:10 Permalink

13 Russian bots to get life sentences in Twitter jail? Is a prisoner exchange with Putin for American bots a possibility?

[Feb 16, 2018] The Russiagate Intelligence Wars What We Do and Don t Know

Steele dossier became hot potato for anti-Trump color revolution plotters. That's why probably 13 Russians were extracted from the back pocket
Feb 16, 2018 | www.thenation.com

In a recent interview, James Clapper, who served as President Obama's director of national intelligence, said explicitly that the Intelligence Community Assessment itself had nothing whatsoever to do with the dossier. "We briefed, John [Brennan, then CIA director] and I, briefed the president-elect [Trump] at the time, on January 6. He viewed what we presented to him, which had very high confidence levels in what we presented him, which by the way, a point I'll make, had nothing to do with the dossier. We did not draw on the dossier. The dossier, the infamous dossier, was not a part of our Intelligence Community Assessment," said Clapper. "His first reaction to it was that this caused a question about the legitimacy of his election."

Jeffrey Harrison says: February 16, 2018 at 6:08 pm

It's interesting that the Russians set this all up to boost Trump and disparage Three Names before Trump even announced he was running. The basic set up for this was going on in 2014 whereas Trump announced in 2015.

Carla Skidmore says: February 16, 2018 at 7:29 pm

No, not really. Trump was making gestures of interest in the presidency in 2012

Jeffrey Harrison says: February 16, 2018 at 8:30 pm

Pfui. He also made noises about running in the 2012 election. People don't set up organizations to do stuff just on the off chance that some politician or wannabe is going to run. These guys ain't got nothin'.

It's been a year since Mueller went to work and what's he got? A couple of Republican political operatives being political operatives. Their crime was not reporting to the USG that they were working for Ukraine.

Now we're down to social media posts. You're probably one of those people who say, I saw it on the internet so it must be true. If the government is going to be upset about crap they see on social media from foreign parties, they need to start by telling said social media that they can't solicit advertising from foreign entities with political overtones as facebook did of RT.

Francis Louis Szot says: February 16, 2018 at 6:05 pm

Apparently, it comes down to trolls who planted various "fake news" stories.

Stipulate to all of that; the worst of it.

How does THAT begin to stack–up against the murderous coup that the USA OPENLY fomented in the Ukraine a couple of years earlier by bankrolling dozens of Non-governmental organizations whose sole purpose was "regime change"?

Maybe come back to me about all of this when the FBI can convincingly prove that the Russian government armed and funded a Neo–nazi para–military group that assaulted and burned–down the North Carolina State House.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 16, 2018 at 3:44 pm

I'm hoping the hush-money passed on to two of Trump's romantic caprices, during the election, gets traction.

Tell me, as soon as you can, when having skepticism on the Russia/Election Meddling story is finally permitted. I heard tell, we've lately dropped the "Treason" narration. Now the spin du jour is that Trump & Co were all duped by them clever Ruskies.

Whatever floats your boat.

[Feb 16, 2018] Mueller indicts non-existent Internet Research Agency, also known as Putin's Troll Factory in Saint Petersburg

Feb 16, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Petri Krohn | Feb 16, 2018 2:36:54 PM

BREAKING: Mueller indicts non-existent Internet Research Agency , also known as Putin's Troll Factory in Saint Petersburg.

Mueller Accuses Russians of Pro-Trump, Anti-Clinton Meddling - Bloomberg

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller unveiled the details of a widespread and coordinated campaign by Russians to influence the U.S. presidential election in favor of Donald Trump, delivering on his initial mandate by the Justice Department.

In an indictment disclosed in Washington on Friday, Mueller describes a sweeping, years-long, multimillion-dollar conspiracy by hundreds of Russians aimed at criticizing Hillary Clinton and supporting Senator Bernie Sanders and Trump. He charged 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities and accused them of defrauding the U.S. government by interfering with the political process.

The Internet Research Agency, a Russian organization, and the defendants began working in 2014 to interfere in U.S. elections, according to the indictment. They used false personas and social media while also staging political rallies and communicating with "unwitting individuals" associated with the Trump campaign, it said.

Click here to read the indictment in full.

The documents point to a broader conspiracy beyond the pages of the indictment, saying the grand jury has heard about other people with whom the Russians allegedly conspired in their efforts.

[Feb 16, 2018] Mueller Drops Hammer with Indictment of 13 Russians in Election Meddling Conspiracy Breitbart

Notable quotes:
"... New York Times' ..."
Feb 16, 2018 | www.breitbart.com

Bloomberg News cited a "person with knowledge" of Mueller's investigation in a report on Friday afternoon to note that this indictment is just the beginning of actions to be expected and avenues to be explored by Mueller in the coming months ahead. Bloomberg's Chris Strohm wrote .:

Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his prosecutors haven't concluded their investigation into whether President Donald Trump or any of his associates helped Russia interfere in the 2016 election, according to a person with knowledge of the probe. Friday's indictment of a St. Petersburg-based "troll farm" and 13 Russian nationals should be seen as a limited slice of a comprehensive investigation, the person said. Mueller's work is expected to continue for months and also includes examining potential obstruction of justice by Trump, said the person, who requested anonymity to discuss an investigation that is largely confidential.

The indictment targets 13 Russians as well as Internet Research Agency, LLC, which is a Saint Petersburg-based organization that pushes influence operations on behalf of the Russian government. The indictment alleges that those 13 Russians and Internet Research Agency, as well as fellow Russian firms Concord Management and Consulting LLC and Concord Catering,

knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other (and with persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury) to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the government through fraud and deceit for the purpose of interfering with the U.S. political and electoral processes, including the presidential election of 2016.

The scheme, the indictment alleges, began as far back as 2014 and continued until after the 2016 presidential election. U.S. intelligence authorities and officials say the Russians intend to engage in similar actions in 2018's midterm elections here in the United States, and future elections thereafter.

While the indictment does not say how much money these Russian entities spent on this, it does say that Concord and Russian oligarch and Vladimir Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin "spent significant funds to further" the operations of Internet Research Agency and "to pay the remaining defendants" along with others not charged in this indictment but employed by Internet Research Agency.

In a Friday report filed from Saint Petersburg, the New York Times' Neil MacFarqhuar noted that Prigozhin is a Russian oligarch with deep connections to Putin.

"Despite his humble, troubled youth, Mr. Prigozhin became one of Russia's richest men, joining a charmed circle whose members often share one particular attribute: their proximity to President Vladimir V. Putin," MacFarqhuar wrote . "The small club of loyalists who gain Mr. Putin's trust often feast, as Mr. Prigozhin has, on enormous state contracts. In return, they are expected to provide other, darker services to the Kremlin as needed."

Prigozhin himself, per the Times quoting him via Russian state media outlet Ria Novosti, responded to the indictment in dark terms.

"The Americans are very impressionable people, they see what they want to see," Prigozhin said. "I have a lot of respect for them. I am not upset at all that I ended up on this list. If they want to see the devil, let them see him."

The Mueller indictment alleges that these Russian actors engaged in paid and other social media efforts as well as staging political rallies and sowing discord in the United States using identity politics by propping up causes like Black Lives Matter, pro-Islamic causes, religious entities, and more. And they did it by posing as U.S. persons with falsified or stolen identities. The indictment reads:

Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and creating false U.S. personas, operated social media pages and groups designed to attract U.S. audiences. These groups and pages, which addressed divisive U.S. political and social issues, falsely claimed to be controlled by U.S. activists when, in fact they were controlled by Defendants. Defendants also used the stolen identities of real U.S. to post on ORGANIZATION-controlled social media accounts. Over time, these social media accounts became Defendants' means to reach significant numbers of Americans for purposes of interfering with the U.S. political system, including the presidential election of 2016." Some of these Russia-based Defendants, the indictment alleges, "traveled to the United States under false pretenses for the purpose of collecting intelligence" and obtained and "procured and used computer infrastructure" that was partially American-based "to hide the Russian origin of their activities and to avoid detection by U.S. regulators and law enforcement.

The indictment also details contacts that these Russians, posing as Americans with assumed or stolen identities, had multiple contacts with "unwitting" campaign officials with President Trump's campaign.

Internet Research Agency, the indictment says, had a "strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system" and that the Defendants "posted derogatory information about a number of candidates, and by early to mid-2016, Defendants' operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump ('Trump Campaign') and disparaging Hillary Clinton." The indictment reads:

Defendants made various expenditures to carry out those activities, including buying political advertisements on social media in the names of U.S. persons and entities. Defendants also stages political rallies inside the United States, and while posing as U.S. grassroots entities and U.S. persons, and without revealing their Russian identities and ORGANIZATION affiliation, solicited and compensated real U.S. persons to promote or disparage candidates. Some Defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing Mueller's investigation after the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, said in a press appearance announcing these indictments that no real U.S. persons who communicated with these fake U.S. persons who were really Russians actually knew that they were talking with Russians about these activities. Presumably, Rosenstein's comments would include the various Trump campaign officials and associates who were in contact with them. Rosenstein said at the press conference:

There is no allegation in this indictment that any American had any knowledge, and the nature of the scheme was the Defendants took extraordinary steps to make it appear as though they were ordinary American political activists even going so far as to base their activities on a virtual private network based here in the United States. If anybody traced it back to that first jump, they would appear to be Americans.

Rosenstein also said there is nothing in this indictment that suggests that the outcome of the election was impacted. "There is no allegation in the indictment of any effect on the outcome of the election," Rosenstein said.

But the allegation does detail a sophisticated scheme by which Russians tried to influence the American political discourse at such a volatile time in U.S. politics -- and that they did it through "fraud and deceit" by "making expenditures in connection with the 2016 U.S. presidential election without proper regulatory disclosure" and "failing to register as foreign agents carrying out political activities within the United States" as well as "obtaining visas through false and fraudulent statements."

The indicted Russian organization Internet Research Agency allegedly created a team of "specialists" who were "tasked to create social media accounts that appeared to be operated by U.S. persons" then "divided into day-shift and night-shift hours and instructed to make posts in accordance with the appropriate U.S. time zone." Internet Research Agency also allegedly "circulated lists of U.S. holidays so that specialists could develop and post appropriate account activity" and that said specialists were "instructed to write about topics germane to the United States such as U.S. foreign policy and U.S. economic issues."

They created social media groups designed to enflame the fringes of American society, including pushing Black Lives Matter, immigration control, religious groups, and certain geographic areas inside the United States. Examples cited in the indictment include accounts called things like Blacktivist, United Muslims of America, Army of Jesus, Secured Borders, South United, and Heart of Texas.

"By 2016, the size of many ORGANIZATION-controlled groups had grown to hundreds of thousands of online followers," the indictment says.

The Defendants also allegedly bought social media ads starting in or around 2015 designed to promote their controlled entities, "spending thousands of U.S. dollars every month." They falsely made a Twitter account called @TEN_GOP to make it appear as though they were the Republican Party of Tennessee, a major political party in a U.S. State.

As Rosenstein detailed in the press conference, the indictment also explains how the Russians allegedly hid their Russian identities by buying "space on computer servers located inside the United States in order to set up virtual private networks ('VPNs')."

"Defendants and their co-conspirators connected from Russia to the U.S.-based infrastructure by way of these VPNs and conducted activity inside the United States -- including accessing online social media accounts, opening new accounts, and communicating with real U.S. persons -- while masking the Russian origin and control of the activity," the indictment says.

They also stole U.S. persons' identities -- or used stolen identities -- to engage in this scheme so they could create PayPal accounts. The indictment says:

In or around 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators also used, possessed, and transferred, without lawful authority, the social security numbers and dates of birth of real U.S. persons without those persons' knowledge or consent. Using these means of identification, Defendants and their co-conspirators opened account at PayPal, a digital payment service provider; created false means of identification, including fake driver's licenses; and posted on ORGANIZATION-controlled social media accounts using the identities of these U.S. victims. Defendants and their co-conspirators also obtained, and attempted to obtain, false identification documents to use as proof of identity in connection with maintaining accounts and purchasing advertisements on social media sites.

Regarding the 2016 election, the Defendants' efforts began per the indictment as far back as 2014 -- and over time became clearer as to their intentions. "They engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump," the indictment says.

In line-item number 45 on page 17 of the indictment, it says that the Russians "also used false U.S. personas to communicate with unwitting members, volunteers, and supporters of the Trump Campaign involved in local community outreach, as well as grassroots groups that supported then-candidate Trump."

"These individuals [the American Trump backers referenced] and entities at times distributed the ORGANIZATION's materials through their own accounts via retweets, reposts, and similar means," the indictment says. "Defendants and their co-conspirators then monitored the propagation of content through such participants."

In addition, via an Instagram account controlled by the Russian Internet Research Agency called "Woke Blacks," in the weeks before the general election the account encouraged American minorities not to vote at all. Another Russian-controlled Instagram account called "Blacktivist" urged black people to vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein, something that would hurt Hillary Clinton's chances. And in early November 2016, the indictment says a Russian controlled "United Muslims of America" account encouraged Muslims not to vote for Clinton.

The indictment also says that the Russians from April 2016 through November 2016, while using false identities, "began to produce, purchase, and post advertisements on U.S. social media and other online sites expressly advocating for the election of then-candidate Trump or expressly opposing Clinton."

"Defendants and their co-conspirators did not report their expenditures to the Federal Election Commission, or register as foreign agents with the U.S. Department of Justice," the indictment says about the ads.

In addition, to pay for the ads, the Russians "established various Russian bank accounts and credit cards, often registered in the names of fictitious U.S. personas created and used by the ORGANIZATION on social media." They also allegedly used PayPal accounts.

The ads, several examples of which are detailed on line-item number 50 in the indictment on page number 20, are expressly political pleas to vote for Trump or oppose Clinton.

Perhaps even more significantly, the indictment alleges that these Russian operatives engaged in the staging of political rallies in the United States to further their objectives, starting approximately in June 2016.

"To conceal the fact that they were based in Russia, Defendants and their co-conspirators promoted these rallies while pretending to be U.S. grassroots activists who were located in the United States but were unable to meet or participate in person," the indictment says, adding that the Russians used their social media presence and contacts at they had spent years building to promote the rallies.

One particularly interesting tidbit comes on line-item 53 on page 21, where it says the Russian-controlled group "United Muslims of America" promoted a rally titled: "Support Hillary. Save American Muslims," a July 9, 2016 rally in Washington, D.C.

"Defendants and their co-conspirators recruited a real U.S. person to hold a sign depicting Clinton and a quote attributed to her stating 'I think Sharia Law will be a powerful new direction of freedom,'" the indictment says. "Within three weeks, on or about July 26, 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators posted on the same Facebook page that Muslim voters were 'between Hillary Clinton and a hard place.'"

In June, July, and August 2016, the indictment says, other pro-Trump Russian-controlled social media accounts organized and promoted a variety of pro-Trump or anti-Clinton rallies in New York and "offered money to certain U.S. persons to cover rally expenses."

They also pushed to create pro-Trump rallies in Florida around this time, and in Pennsylvania. Then, after the election, the Russians organized rallies for and against then-President-elect Donald Trump.

In the case of the Florida efforts, the indictment details how the Russians created a false U.S. persona named "Matt Skiber" in August 2016 to communicate with real people connected with the Trump campaign. The indictment says:

On or about August 15, 2016, Defendants and their co-conspirators received an email at one of their false U.S. persona accounts from a real U.S. person, a Florida-based political activist identified as the 'Chair of the Trump Campaign' in a particular Florida county. The activist identified two additional sites in Florida for possible rallies. Defendants and their co-conspirators subsequently used their false U.S. persona accounts to communicate with the activist about logistics and an additional rally in Florida.

The Russians then allegedly used an Instagram account they controlled to buy ads to push the rally. The indictment continues:

On or about August 18, 2016, the real 'Florida for Trump' Facebook account responded to the false U.S. persona 'Matt Skiber' account with instructions to contact a member of the Trump Campaign ('Campaign Official 1') involved in the campaign's Florida operations and provided Campaign Official 1's email address at the campaign domain donaldtrump.com. On approximately the same day, Defendants and their co-conspirators used the email address of a false U.S. persona, joshmilton024@gmail.com, to send an email to Campaign Official 1 at that donaldtrump.com email account

In the email, which is partially quoted, the Russian posing an American writes to the unidentified unassuming Trump campaign official that they are organizing a rally on Aug. 20, 2016, to support Trump. The Russian wrote:

Let us introduce ourselves first. 'Being Patriotic' is a grassroots conservative online movement trying to unite people offline [W]e gained a huge lot of followers and decided to somehow help Mr. Trump get elected. You know, simple yelling on the Internet is not enough. There should be real action. We organized rallies in New York before. Now we're focusing on purple states such as Florida.

The email, per the indictment, identifies "thirteen 'confirmed locations' in Florida for the rallies and requested the campaign provide 'assistance in each location.'"

They also sent money via wire transfer to a separate U.S. person "to build a cage large enough to hold an actress depicting Clinton in a prison uniform" then communicated again with a second Trump campaign official via official email -- and then the Russians used the fake "Matt Skiber" Facebook account to communicate with a real third Trump campaign official in Florida. The indictment then details several other rallies in Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania that the fake Russians helped organize, including payment via interstate wire transfer for costs.

That all is part of count one in the indictment, Conspiracy to Defraud the United States. Count two, Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and Bank Fraud, as well as counts three through eight -- all Aggravated Identity Theft charges -- all build upon many of the revelations in the first part of the indictment.

[Feb 16, 2018] The defendants began working in 2014 - so one year before the Trump candidacy was even announced - to interfere in U.S. elections

Feb 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

dexter_morgan Fri, 02/16/2018 - 16:03 Permalink

The Russian organization named in the indictment - the Internet Research Agency - and the defendants began working in 2014 - so one year before the Trump candidacy was even announced - to interfere in U.S. elections, according to the indictment in Washington. They used false personas and social media while also staging political rallies and communicating with "unwitting individuals" associated with the Trump campaign, it said.

2014.......um, yeah, what a crock of bullshit.

Seriously though, what is illegal about what they did? Sowing discord? Hell CNN and all of Soros' org would be guilty of the same thing wouldn't they? Isn't 'sowing discord' like the main mission of the CIA, both here and in other countries?

Not a lawyer, but seems this cannot hold up in court.

[Feb 16, 2018] The United States, which has interfered in the domestic affairs of nearly every country on the planet, including not only elections but armed attacks, government overthrows and assassinations, was terribly hurt by some Facebook ads placed by people who conspired to defraud this helpless government. The horrors!

Feb 16, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Don Bacon | Feb 16, 2018 6:18:32 PM | 47

The United States, which has interfered in the domestic affairs of nearly every country on the planet, including not only elections but armed attacks, government overthrows and assassinations, was terribly hurt by some Facebook ads placed by people who conspired to defraud this helpless government. The horrors!

from the indictment

From in or around 2014 to the present, in the Dustrict of Columbia and elsewhere, Defendants, together with others known and unknown to the grand Jury, knowingly and intentionally conspired to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of State in administering federal requirements for disclosure of foreign involvement in certain domestic activities. . . here

[Feb 16, 2018] Isn t sowing discord like the main mission of the CIA, both here and in other countries? .  Is the Internet Research Agency a CIA hacking group?

Feb 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

dexter_morgan Fri, 02/16/2018 - 16:03 Permalink

The Russian organization named in the indictment - the Internet Research Agency - and the defendants began working in 2014 - so one year before the Trump candidacy was even announced - to interfere in U.S. elections, according to the indictment in Washington. They used false personas and social media while also staging political rallies and communicating with "unwitting individuals" associated with the Trump campaign, it said.

2014.......um, yeah, what a crock of bullshit.

Seriously though, what is illegal about what they did? Sowing discord? Hell CNN and all of Soros' org would be gulty of the same thing wouldn't they?

Isn't 'sowing discord' like the main mission of the CIA, both here and in other countries?

Not a lawyer, but seems this cannot hold up in court.

Noktirnal Fri, 02/16/2018 - 16:14 Permalink

Sounds to me like they're being indicted for exercising free speech.

Does that only apply to citizens?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It restricts Congress .

I believe political speech is the most protected form of speech. I think there's a Supreme Court ruling on that topic.

B-but the Russians conspired ... to commit free speech. They obstructed ... by speaking . (The story doesn't mention if what was said was true.)

Mr. Mueller, please stop wasting our time and money.

SirBarksAlot Fri, 02/16/2018 - 17:09 Permalink

I'm re-posting this from an earlier post someone else made. The Internet Research Agency is a CIA hacking group! The best way to get information is to make it up. Everything what we know now about the so-called "Kremlin trolls from the Internet Research Agency paid by Putin's favorite chef," came from one source, a group of CIA spies that used the mascot of Shaltay-Boltay, or Humpty-Dumpty, for their collective online persona.

http://thesaker.is/a-brief-history-of-the-kremlin-trolls/

[Feb 16, 2018] Did Russians tried to imitate Israelis?

So 13 Russians managed materially influence the USA elections. Nice... As ne ZeroHedge commenter noted "13 Russians can change the course of US history by going on-line and posting stuff. Okay, sure I buy that BS"
Feb 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Tachyon5321 Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:42 Permalink

This makes Mueller look like a clown.

For starters, MIKHAIL IVANOVICH BYSTROV is the former head of the Police in Moscow...While Yevgeny Viktorovich Prigozhin is a businessman(Friend of Putin) with high-end Russian restaurants all across the country(In Russia).

So now Russia will go after the NSA trolls and charge them with interfering with their election, which we did do...

Kernighan Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:23 Permalink

Part of the PsyOps going on as the US public (and really much of the world) becomes MORE and MORE familiar with the Deep State operation undertaken by three letter agencies, FBI and DOJ, and the White House in 2016 and expanded after Nov 2016. The Special Council now needs to provide material to the rabid "Resist" crowd, and even though this entire set of indictments cannot possibly demonstrate a material alteration of election results, in so large a country as the USA, this would serve to feed the crowd who will believe this all to be "definitive". These are primarily political battles, since no one is going to bring Russian nationals over to the USA to serve time. This helps also to show "results" of the expensive and mostly useless Special Counsel project.

Posa Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:26 Permalink

Wow. Desperation time for Mueller.

Around page 12 the indictments says a total of two (2) Russian nationals entered the US and toured for a short while. How they were able to get rally permits, hand out fliers organize speakers etc isn't stated. So those claims remain entirely bogus.

The rest of the nefarious plot includes re-posting articles from the MSM or BLM sites... zero impact... Pathetic nonsense.

Meanwhile Israeli agents and dual-passport types pour hundreds of millions into the election. Crickets.

escapeefromOZ -> SamAdams Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:28 Permalink

AIPAC against the wall . Shoot the bastards

JSBach1 -> SamAdams Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:54 Permalink

Yes they are paid for their hasbara work:

Plan: using students who go on delegations abroad on behalf of the Union (approximately 250 students a year) for hasbara purposes. Before each delegation the students will undergo a hasbara workshop on behalf of the Ministry of Hasbara, which will give them the tools and information to contend with the questions and the critical salvos and the ability to present in their stead "a different Israel."

After selecting the students for a delegation, the students will undergo a hasbara workshop given on behalf of the Ministry of Hasbara, where the logistics are coordinated by the Department head. This training will be a condition for the student's going on any delegation this year.

https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israels-pretty-face-h

"With Israel coming under ever-increasing criticism for its human rights abuses and war crimes against Palestinians and other Arabs, changing the subject is a common tactic for Israel's PR flacks and official propaganda or hasbara efforts .

Attempting to shift the conversation over to Israeli technology in this way is sometimes dubbed " techwashing ." Similar tactics include " greenwashing " – the effort to market Israel as supposedly environmentally friendly (something Israel21c is involved in too ) – and " pinkwashing " – the effort to market Israel as LGBT-friendly and progressive as well as a welcoming destination for gay-male sex tourism .

The main point about such cynical strategies is that, even were these stories all true, it would not in any way mitigate Israeli atrocities , such as its most recent round of slaughter in the Gaza Strip "

https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/israel-tech-site-pa

Hasbara "War rooms" at universities in Isreal

"But in fact, these are campaigns of organized lying, orchestrated with government-approved talking points and crowdsourced volunteers and stipend recipients," Shunra added..."

"...Working in 30 languages, the students working this comment far target online forums including so called "anti-Israel" pages on Facebook and comments sections of online media."

https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israel-student-union-

The Israel Project's 2009 GLOBAL LANGUAGE DICTIONARY ( Hasbara communication guide )

https://www.transcend.org/tms/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/sf-israel-proj

mkkby -> SamAdams Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:49 Permalink

Require valid ID to vote. How many mexicans vote multiple times? How many *activists* get bused around from county to county, voting multiple times?

The blue team loves this so no go. It's racist to require ID because blacks are too stupid to get one That's the democrats talking out of both sides of their mouths.

brianshell -> SamAdams Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:58 Permalink

Nominated for best comment.

Mueller may be trying to jump the shark and improve on Ken Starr's operation by diverting to the other side of the investigation.

Perhaps his prime directive is to obfuscate until the end of Trump's term.

War Machine -> SamAdams Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:18 Permalink

RT.com had to register as a foreign agent - and you know what, fair enough...

But AIPAC has been allowed to violate the law requiring them to do so by a DOJ that, admin to admin, never enforces the law as to Israel.

Meanwhile the Jewish/Israel Lobby, with the eager support of US politicians, are continuing their assault on the 1st Amendment. They want to criminalize boycotts and criticism of the state/govt of Israel.

And the media is, predictably, silent - and for the record a number of Jewish lawyers and libertarian writers have been vociferous in their opposition to the assault on free speech - but the ADL/AIPAC/neocon matrix is all in to criminalize speech that is both fair and factual.

Which brings me to this indictment, gents.

I'm no lawyer, and would be very happy to get comment/criticism/correction - but how in the fuck is posting anti-Hillary (or anti-anyone) comments on facebook not protected 1st Amendment speech?

So far as I know it is not a crime to pretend to be someone else on the internet absent actual fraud/theft. Israelis quite literally are paid to do so all the time, and while irritating - that's part of free speech and the free exchange of ideas.

This indictment, apart from more Deep State poking the bear, and distraction from the FBI's obstruction of justice and felony misrepresentation to a federal judge... is a direct assault on the 1st Amendment.

How is it 'interfering' with an election to present people with ideas? If presenting slanted, even false information to voters is now a crime - why arent the executives of CNN and the Times under indictment?

The Left's hatred of Trump (and I'm not a fan given his moves in Syria and deficit spending etc) has made them absolutely boond to the dangers to civil liberties, nevermind world war.

Apart from the idea of some internet trolls having any influence relative to the cia/dni controlled media being absurd on its face, how can an 'indictment' to 'conspire' to talk about some political issue even be brought given the 1st Amendment?

If they can indict some Russians for pretending to be Joe Six-pack to help a candidate - who else can they try to jail for saying the Establishment candidate is a lying cheating warmonger who belongs in prison?

Stuck on Zero -> SamAdams Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:41 Permalink

Add George Soros to the list of enemies of humanity.

any_mouse -> SamAdams Fri, 02/16/2018 - 16:01 Permalink

What about Soros?

The "Russians are coming!" is ridiculous.

Cloward Priven were Russians?

Alinsky was Russian?

Cruz was a Canadian until 2014. The People had enough with Obama.

The People had enough of Bush-Clinton from 1989 through 2008.

The odds are that Trump is controlled opposition.

The election process has been corrupted internally since the beginning.

Lincoln was installed by Northeast Industrialists and the Media. His opponent that was promoted by the large newspapers was the Democrat least likely to threaten Lincoln in an election.

Dr. Ron Paul received zero Media attention in 2012. Trump was in the news 24 by 7 in 2016.

escapeefromOZ -> Belrev Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:26 Permalink

Those people are only guilty of trolling and that is not a crime . I found ridiculous in the extreme that Mueller thinks he can seize the property of the agency in question is Russia ! ah,ah,ah, Nobody has told that ass hole that the USA has no Jurisdiction in other countries ? ah,ah,ah !

And then how many times that USA has in the past and in the present tried to interfere with Russian elections and those of other countries ? What about the coup d'etat in Kiev and the colored revolution ? Has that buffoon got no memory ?

That buffoon is out of his mind , Who believes his bullshit ? There are a lot personalities in the USA that buy favorable comments to their Facebook accounts . Thera ere firms specialist in opening FAKE accounts and writing fake favorable comments for customers . I am talking about tens of thousands and much more of favorable comments on Facebook and others social BLS networks . In conclusion this is a fake trumped up operation to continue with the farce

of the Russian / Trump investigation .

t0mmyBerg -> escapeefromOZ Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:36 Permalink

Exactly. They tried to change hearts and minds. Are we going to criminilaize politics then? PACs and millions of peoplel try to argue often using anonymous or false identities. What a load of horseshit this whole thing is.

Btw, the number 13 is a great number. That was my hockey jersey. Also my class rank after my bitch choir and glee club teacher got the grade for my last 2 years and gave me cs and ds despite the fact i was the president of the group. Dropped me from like 5th to 13th. Still pisses me off. And the Templars were burned at the stake on Friday the 13th werent they? Good enough for me

NumberNone -> Precious Hawk Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:49 Permalink

If we are chasing down foreign nationals attempting to influence the elections, I'm waiting on the indictment against Vincente Fox.

"Former Mexican President Vicente Fox is urging US voters to look before they leap. The global consequences would be dramatic if Donald Trump won the presidency, he told DW's James Blears in Mexico City."

I'm with Schiff, there's ample evidence of election hacking if you are willing to see it.

BlueGreen -> NumberNone Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:11 Permalink

So true, the hypocrisy and I'll say glee at watching the unintended consequences of their ill planned "findings", comments/ general stupidity (iq's just high enough to be a danger to society, but not high enough to keep society working well)

Killtruck -> Joe Davola Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:03 Permalink

Any news on the Secret Society indictments, Bob?

nmewn -> TeethVillage88s Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:36 Permalink

There is against the violation of a persons civil rights, perjury, using government resources for personal gain, knowingly introducing falsified evidence to a federal court, unmasking individuals found by use of said falsified evidence, theft and destruction of government documents.

Broadly called, a conspiracy and obstruction of justice ;-)

New_Meat -> nmewn Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:03 Permalink

I'm going to start a go-fund-me page to buy mirrors for Rosenstein and Mueller, and the love-birds (who I surmise have had their wings clipped) and others.

nmewn -> New_Meat Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:34 Permalink

As a point of interest, Rosenstein is the only one left of those who signed off on the now known to be specious FISA warrant or it's reauthorizations after this known false evidence had been submitted to a federal court.

The reauthorizations are key, they knew what the "Steele intel dossier" was by then.

And Rosenstein appointed Mueller on the basis of Comey stealing government documents and giving them to an unauthorized friend.

Basically, Mueller is illegitimate in everyone's eyes except the federal bureaucracies...hell, even one of the FISA judges recused himself after it came to light that the Hillary campaign paid Steele for what is, in essence, tabloid muck raking.

New_Meat -> nmewn Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:51 Permalink

Maybe we'll be able to afford two mirrors for Rosie, so he can be doubly sure who the bastards are.

Meanwhile, Mueller handing down these "indictments" is further making a joke of his investigation. He's surrounded himself with all of the Hillary partisans, keeping them closer. It will be worth all of the money and all of the spilled (digital) ink for the investigation to be a self-discrediting evolution.

I'll disagree with your "everyone" statement--it is only creeping to 50%. It needs to get up to landslide numbers (>60% or so) for a true black hole implosion.

That'll be fun ;-)

- Ned

SDShack -> nmewn Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:30 Permalink

Hey Bob, ever hear of Uranium One?

NumberNone -> nmewn Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:54 Permalink

This honestly looks like a surrender moment. He's saying there were bad people trying to portray Hillary in a negative light (as if anyone really needed to do that) but Trump's team were unwitting participants if they participated.

He had to show something for his work but clearly there's no trail of deliberate scheming and collusion leading to the Trump team. He even throws in the caveat that they were also working for Sanders.

Stick a fork in it..this is over and MSM once again are full of shit for all to see no matter how they spin it.

nmewn -> NumberNone Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:42 Permalink

In a land where freedom of speech is sacred, Mueller has just indicted thirteen people for exercising freedom of speech.

It will be interesting to see how those fine, freedom loving leftists try to spin a defense of him for that ;-)

Belrev -> Joe Davola Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:04 Permalink

13 Russians can influence US elections meanwhile US CIA and State Department spend $1 BIllion every year on opposition groups inside Russia without success.

curbjob -> Belrev Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:08 Permalink

"13 Russians can influence US elections meanwhile US CIA and State Department spend $1 BIllion every year on opposition groups inside Russia without success."

... and a billion is but a drop in the bucket compared to what Israel has spent influencing US elections over the last 4 decades.

Kafir Goyim -> Belrev Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:15 Permalink

Israel has built a money machine. They spend money to bribe politicians in the form of campaign contributions and PACS. They tell those politicians to vote on large aid packages to Israel. They take a small portion of the money from those aid packages and spend it to bribe politicians in the form of campaign contributions and PACS ... rinse and repeat forever. A wonderful machine that they have built for themselves to endlessly siphon blood and treasure from the USA for their benefit.

Lanka -> Kafir Goyim Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:42 Permalink

There are more than 50 Dem congressional reps that are dual citizens; start with deporting them.

FoggyWorld -> Kafir Goyim Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:57 Permalink

You left out trips to Israel for our congresspeople and their spouses to see Bethlehem up close and personal.

i poop pink ic -> Kafir Goyim Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:32 Permalink

Yes. THIS is the real scandal. Israhell using U.S. aid (U.S. taxpayer dollars) to buy off U.S. politicians who then undermine the U.S. taxpayers by increasing Israhelli control over U.S. politics.

silverserfer -> Belrev Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:16 Permalink

yes more JEW propaganda and their GOY puppets chasing their tails.

This investigation should be directed at Israel!

escapeefromOZ -> curbjob Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:37 Permalink

But according to Mueller the Zionist can buy members of Congress and the Senate , but Russian trolls are not allowed ........ ah,ah,ah,ah,

So there is the "good interference" , when it is done by the Rogue state in the Middle East and then there us the " bad " interference created by foreign trolls .

Pandelis -> Belrev Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:08 Permalink

it is like investing in bitcoin last january and getting out last december ... small cash big return - i suppose got to know how to do it.

TeethVillage88s -> Joe Davola Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:09 Permalink

Must be fake, Meuller never did anything in like 15 years as head of FBI.

ReasonForLife -> Joe Davola Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:13 Permalink

What a Mule!

BabaLooey -> Joe Davola Fri, 02/16/2018 - 16:04 Permalink

Akin to trying to arrest Ivan The Terrible....

Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeuuuuuler's in Dodge....Ivan's drinking vodka, watching porn and laughing...

..in a Gorky bar....

...................THIS is what we are blowing tax dollars for????

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck me!

Mueller? Bueller? ..................anyone?

Justin Case -> Joe Davola Fri, 02/16/2018 - 16:12 Permalink

Concord Catering was serving Smirnoff for sure. That's very influential and definitely swayed voters. The rest on the list are back ups in case.

What a farce this witch hunt is. USSA is on cruise control and everyone is in the back of the Winnebago swinging at each other. This is neglect of the electorate and the country as it spirals into bankruptcy. (again)

Moe Hamhead -> Pandelis Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:02 Permalink

Yeah, and it's Friday!

Moonchichi -> Pandelis Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:33 Permalink

" Pandelis ParkAveFlasher Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:00 Permalink "

innit

shankster -> Pandelis Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:37 Permalink

Nyet!

Dilluminati -> Pandelis Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:38 Permalink

Defendants posted derogatory information about a number of candidates, and by early to mid-2016, Defendants' operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump ("Trump Campaign") and disparaging Hillary Clinton .

(now what could these people possibly tell me about that ridiculous cunt Hillary that I didn't already know?)

divingengineer -> Pandelis Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:56 Permalink

"13 an interesting number ... it does not signal good things for the world"

I think its more complex than that.

1 and 3 are both prime numbers, 1 X 3 = 3 a prime number. 1+3=4, not a prime number. 3+4=7, another prime number!!!

What does all this mean? I have no fucking clue.

Russian boogey men.

Croesus -> Pandelis Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:23 Permalink

"Defendants also staged political rallies inside the United States, and while posing as U.S. grassroots entities" -

Meanwhile, George Soros runs free...give me a mother****ing break.

Bastiat -> ParkAveFlasher Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:01 Permalink

Is he indicting the DNC for subverting the primaries?

Normalcy Bias -> Bastiat Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:03 Permalink

The 'Real' Russian was named Seth Rich, but since he was MURDERED, Mueller can't indict him.

silverserfer -> Normalcy Bias Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:17 Permalink

I would love to abuduct Muller and tatoo "His name was Seth Rich" on his forehead.

BigJim -> Bastiat Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:08 Permalink

No, they were Americans who did that (or, at least, "dual citizens"). "Subverting" democracy in the US is only illegal if carried out by foreign agents.

... with the exception of Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar...

GUS100CORRINA -> Bastiat Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:11 Permalink

Special Counsel Robert Mueller Indicts 13 Russians For Hacking During US Election

My response: ROFL!!!! Since they (MARXIST PROGRESSIVE LIBERALS) could NOT get TRUMP, they have now decided that they are going after the RUSSIANS directly.

This action is probably really going to piss off PUTIN rightly or wrongly.

WAR DRUMS ARE BEATING AGAIN.

I now believe that a market CRASH is a real distinct possibility.

TeethVillage88s -> GUS100CORRINA Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:16 Permalink

Exactly, 17 intel agencies failed since the birth of the internet... then super icon steps in & makes them all look impotent.

- ROFLMAF

Omen IV -> Bastiat Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:18 Permalink

Mueller is cherry picking a small effect in the market place when there was huge subversion by Hillary et al - In NYC 125,000 registrations went missing and "the party in charge fired" at the Board of Elections who had direct line via family to Hillary - overwhelming number denied access to primary vote were young new residents - white people to Brooklyn - primarily Bernie voters

things elsewhere the same - Ohio / Iowa but not as much in your face

This is beginning of hit job by Mueller - is it sustainable?

Gold Pedant -> ParkAveFlasher Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:01 Permalink

...for Killary.

And afterward, thousands tried to subvert!

Thomas Paine -> ParkAveFlasher Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:03 Permalink

More likely with Russians

jfp661 -> ParkAveFlasher Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:27 Permalink

I'd like to see from Muellers analysis how many votes that swayed. Curious if it's as many as the illegal votes allowed in California. I'm sure the Russians had a huge impact in West Virginia (being sarcastic)

Bemused Observer -> khnum Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:48 Permalink

Let's allow them to hack the next one and see who they pick...maybe we should start thinking outside the box here...

God, this whole thing must just be an unending source of confusion for Putin. Guy's got to be watching this, thinking, "What the fuck is wrong with these people?". In fact, anyone expecting the US to be a source of leadership in the future has to feel like Shelley Duvall after she found out that Jack Nickolsen's months of work consisted only of typewritten sheets with "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." over and over and over again...Her face as she flips through all those pages is EXACTLY how I imagine Putin's expression as he watches this unfold...

"Oh my god, it's so much worse than I ever suspected, and winter's only half over..."

. . . _ _ _ . . . Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:06 Permalink

I don't see the word "hack" anywhere except in the title.

http://theduran.com/new-evidence-shows-dnc-server-files-were-downloaded

Thebighouse Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:07 Permalink

Where are the AwAN brothers? and washermouthoutwithsoap-schultz?

Who had seth rich killed.

Why isn't podesta behind bars with obummer for interference with an election.

Why isn't the fbi focused on arresting for assault all the assholes threatening either people or institutions when

they state they want to harm them.

Mueller belongs in hell with clintons and podesta and obummer and all the politicized FBI jerks. Treason is punishable by hanging

ChanceIs -> Thebighouse Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:16 Permalink

How about where was Mueller when the Tsarnov (sp) brothers (Boston Marathon) when Vladimir warned him about them.

I see that on January 5th, somebody phoned the FBI about the soon-to-be Florida shooter. This is not to be confused with the September contact which the FBI couldn't track down.

So where was the FBI? Certainly not manning up and resigning in protest about all of the corruption anybody could see/smell on the 7th floor. Probably watching porn and whacking off on the job like so many SEC employees.

Robert Peters: SEC pornography scandal shows harms of obscene material

New York City, N.Y., Apr 24, 2010 / 07:02 am ( CNA/EWTN News ).-

The exposure of workplace pornography use at the Securities and Exchange Commission while the 2008 financial crisis was unfolding shows ........

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/robert_peters_sec_pornography_s

Dumpster Elite Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:11 Permalink

SO, according to this indictment, if I'm reading it correctly, we also need to indict every single foreigner that spoke highly, in a positive way, or tried to influence an American citizen, about Killary? Looks like a lot of indictments to be handed out to pretty much every Globalist on the planet.

Mike Masr Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:12 Permalink

I thought Mueller's job was to find out if Trump colluded with Russia.

Over a year now and he hasn't found jack shit!

So now he is going off in different directions. Small fry Russian actors on social media.

There are MUCH bigger crooks in the DOJ and FBI to catch.

Roger Ramjet Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:13 Permalink

Per the indictment, "Individuals had a strategic goal of sowing discord in the U.S. political system"

That's a crock, we really didn't need Russian help to make our political system any more broken and divided than it already is.

Come on, do you really believe the Russians were responsible for the absolute dismal choice of the two candidates we were stuck with in the last election? And that their effort made any difference in the outcome.

The indictment seems a bit of a stretch.

Full Court Lug Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:15 Permalink

LOLOLOLOLOL

Read the documents. Read what Muller is actually accusing them of:

- Buying a few thousand bucks worth of ads

- Holding a sparsely attended fake rally

- Trying to contact members of the Trump campaign without identifying themselves (this right here is the full limit of their vaunted "collusion", if it's even true)

Are any of those things even illegal? Does anyone, anywhere, actually think any of those things influenced the election in the slightest?

Meanwhile the DNC was paying Russian spies for fake intel so they could use illegally-obtained surveillance warrants to spy on US citizens and try to stage a coup on a duly-elected President.

Tick tock, mofos

Dumpster Elite -> Full Court Lug Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:19 Permalink

These indictments are basically just Mueller running out of ideas to prolong his meddling. He had to do something, or else Congress was gonna start saying, "OK, so what do you have? This has gone on long enough."

Tiger Rocks Dale Fri, 02/16/2018 - 13:42 Permalink

Look at the phrasing, "hacking the elections" which is a general term. Doesn't specify they hacked any specific voting machines. Per CNBC

So basically trolling online. 13 Russian internet trolls swayed the ENTIRE election, therefore the entire anti-Russian rhetoric, sanctions and a new cold war is justified!.

CARONTE-RAPTOR Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:04 Permalink

20 security and espionage agencies! Hundreds of billions in counterintelligence operations around the world. A fire-armed uprising around RUSSIA! And with just 13 people a few accounts in faceboock and a few thousand dollars, what does not billions spent on political campaigns achieve ???? Damn Russians!!??

FoggyWorld -> J J Pettigrew Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:54 Permalink

Rosenstein explained it differently. He claims that these ads or whatever were done for the benefit of both candidates because Russia wanted to sow dissension and rip the US apart.

Soros did a much more effective job than that and certainly spent more than the Russians.

But Mueller doesn't chose to see things as they were and are.

hooligan2009 Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:23 Permalink

so ...is israel about to be indicted because of the spies listed on this link?

https://govbanknotes.files.wordpress.com/2017/06/us-senators-and-repres

all libtard socialist demoNrats - except Cantor.

[Feb 16, 2018] Some defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities

Notable quotes:
"... First defendant: The Internet Research Agency. On a very ..."
"... "Fake News and Bots May Be Worrisome, but Their Political Power Is Overblown" [ New York Times ]. "Much more remains to be learned about the effects of these types of online activities, but people should not assume they had huge effects. Previous studies have found, for instance, that the effects of even television advertising (arguably a higher-impact medium) are very small. According to one credible estimate, the net effect of exposure to an additional ad shifts the partisan vote of approximately two people out of 10,000. In fact, a recent meta-analysis of numerous different forms of campaign persuasion, including in-person canvassing and mail, finds that their average effect in general elections is zero." ..."
Feb 16, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

New Cold War

"The office of special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday announced indictments against 13 Russian nationals and a trio of Russian entities on charges related to the Kremlin's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election" [ Politico ]. "Charges in the indictment include conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud and aggravated identity theft "Some defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities," the indictment said." Here's the indictment . Finally we get to look at some evidence? First defendant: The Internet Research Agency. On a very quick read: The theory of the case is that the defendants used social media to "sow discord"; a search on "vot" yields zero hits.

Realignment and Legitimacy

UPDATE "Fake News and Bots May Be Worrisome, but Their Political Power Is Overblown" [ New York Times ]. "Much more remains to be learned about the effects of these types of online activities, but people should not assume they had huge effects. Previous studies have found, for instance, that the effects of even television advertising (arguably a higher-impact medium) are very small. According to one credible estimate, the net effect of exposure to an additional ad shifts the partisan vote of approximately two people out of 10,000. In fact, a recent meta-analysis of numerous different forms of campaign persuasion, including in-person canvassing and mail, finds that their average effect in general elections is zero."

"From Where I Sit, The Trump Era Began In 2014" [ FiveThirtyEight ]. "Numbers can't prove that 2014 was a pivotal year for the Trumpian political era to come, but they can show it was a year when Americans' institutional trust bottomed out, something that would come into play in 2016. A few days after the election, I wrote about the erosion of trust in American institutions over the past decade. There was a link, I wrote then, between our loss of trust and electing a man who promised to start a new American order. And in 2014, overall trust in American institutions, which started falling in the mid-2000s, hit 31 percent -- its lowest point since Gallup starting tracking the metric in 1993 . Trump's ultimately brilliant political intuition was to burrow deep into this recess of the American mind and to reflect back the sense of creeping disarray. He capitalized on racial and economic fears, but his campaign kickoff proclamation that "the American dream is dead" didn't just resonate with the people who might have voted for populist and nativist campaigns of the past. Trump's appeal was broad, resonating with the relatively well-off and the well-educated ."

UPDATE "A significant minority of Americans say they could support a military takeover of the U.S. government" [ WaPo ]. "Our research finds that, in fact, substantial numbers of U.S. adults say they would embrace ruptures in the constitutional order [and I thought I was the only one who used this term routinely], which is in keeping with Bright Line Watch findings that experts believe that measures of U.S. democracy have declined under President Trump . In 2017, about 25 percent of Democrats and 30 percent of Republicans said they favored a military intervention if the country faced rampant crime or corruption. The figure below shows the average support for a military coup when there is widespread corruption." More Third World stuff! Indeed: "U.S. public opinion on these questions resembles that of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, countries with a history of military coups and dictatorships." Let us not, however, focus only on the military! We have an intelligence community, too!


Rob P , February 16, 2018 at 2:23 pm

Don't see anything about the DNC or Podesta hacks in the indictment. Isn't that what this whole thing was about? Changing the 'Russian hacking' meme to mean social media posts was an amazing feat of goalpost-moving.

Lambert Strether Post author , February 16, 2018 at 3:28 pm

And changing "Russian puppet" to "Russian hacking" is also impressive.

That said, there may be more shoes to drop. People who are smarter about investigations than I am can determine whether this is indicting the small fry to catch the big fish, or not. As a layperson, it's not clear to me how you do that by indicting Russians, if, as my very quick reading of the Politico story (and not the indictment), witting cooperation by the Trump campaign is ruled out. No doubt there will be a good deal of commentary to come!

DJG , February 16, 2018 at 4:00 pm

Rob P and Lambert Strether: The "vindicated" regular Democrats on my FacetoBook thread are passing around Greg Sargent's WaPo column. Sargent's summary of the indictments:

"Falsely posing as Americans to operate social media to influence voters; employing active efforts to suppress the turnout of minority groups; creating additional fictional U.S. personas to sway public opinion; purchasing large numbers of ads on social media; and much more."

Russkies? Uber? Israelis? Saudis? Tell me more. And are those fictional personas swaying our opinions, ohh, say, Apple and other tax avoiders?

Next up? The Democratic Party praying for a coup, on the assumption that their children won't be dragged off to jail to be tortured. (Ask South Americans how that worked out.)

Carolinian , February 16, 2018 at 6:18 pm

Next up? The Democratic Party praying for a coup

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/02/16/a-significant-minority-of-americans-say-they-would-support-a-military-takeover-of-the-u-s-in-the-right-circumstances/

25 percent of Dems in the poll were open to a military takeover.

foghorn longhorn , February 16, 2018 at 6:23 pm

I am pretty sure it has already occurred.

Sid Finster , February 16, 2018 at 4:33 pm

What, you think that these indicted Russians will now flip?

This is a pure PR exercise.

rd , February 16, 2018 at 5:38 pm

I think these indictments are to show credibility of a Russian issue.

I think the Popadopolous and now potentially Gates roll-ups are the missing links to connect the dots between the campaign and the ongoing operation by the Russians. This really is how organized crime investigations generally work.

I don't think the claim was ever that the campaign started the Russians doing things; simply that they were willing to work with them towards a mutual goal. This would be similar to the GOP claims about the Steele dossier; they leave out that it was begun by a conservative GOP group and Clinton only got involved when the conservatives dropped out of the race.

Sid Finster , February 16, 2018 at 4:32 pm

Worse, now it is apparently unlawful for a non-US citizen to express in public a preference with regard to a US election.

This in spite of the fact that UK and other non-US papers do so all the time, and even put their preferences out there ON THE INTERNET where innocent trusting Americans may stumble upon them. Not only that, the the Guardian even organized phone banks for Brits to call Ohio voters in key districts and urge them to vote for Team D.

Surely indictments are forthcoming, right? But let's consider the implications – does Yves need to check the citizenship status of every poster in a political thread? If not, is she aiding and abetting "fraud against the United States"? Is Yves now an unindicted co-conspirator?

Seriously, the implications of this move are terrifying. If that weren't enough, the indictment was careful to mention Bernie Sanders' name at every opportunity. The insinuation being that if you support any candidate outside the mainstream of Team D or Team R, then you are supporting ..

RUSSIA!

Jim Haygood , February 16, 2018 at 2:23 pm

Inquisitor Mueller indicts thirteen Russians:

"They engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Lyin' Ted Cruz and Little Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump."

-- page 17 of Mueller's indictment

So now we know -- Bernie's candidacy was foisted on us by Russians sending thousands of tainted $27 donations. /snark

' The mountains labored, and brought forth a ridiculous mouse. ' -- Latin proverb

Carolinian , February 16, 2018 at 3:19 pm

Don't laugh. He'd better get a lawyer.

Hardball Chicago style.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , February 16, 2018 at 3:38 pm

It's interesting only Russians were interfering.

No other foes, or friends, bothered.

Why couldn't the Russians have just sent better-looking cheerleaders from Moscow to this country? Why did they keep their armies of beauties in their Motherland?

Tom Stone , February 16, 2018 at 4:14 pm

It's not interference when Israel does it.

Sid Finster , February 16, 2018 at 5:17 pm

Hell, UK papers express their preferred outcomes for US elections all the time. And ZOMG! on the INTERNET! where innocent Americans might stumble across them and be "influenced"! ZOMG!

The Guardian even organized phonebanking campaigns to urge Ohio voters in key districts to vote Team D.

So when is the indictment coming down?

Lambert Strether Post author , February 16, 2018 at 3:44 pm

The "sowing discord" argument makes me crazy, because it's exactly like "outside agitators" in the segregated South. If only it weren't for Russian bots, "those damned n*****s voters wouldn't have gotten uppity."

I mean, does anybody really believe there was no discord in American politics before the 2016 elections and social media?

(This is not a theory of the case; something can be wrong and/or illegal even if there are no ill effects; but to my cynical mind, this is all about creating a casus belli , and that does require ill effects, I would think.)

Lee , February 16, 2018 at 3:54 pm

"Is sowing discord a crime?" I googled it and got something interesting and perhaps instructive:

http://english.khamenei.ir/news/4438/Global-arrogance-sowing-discord-among-Muslims-since-2-centuries

Carolinian , February 16, 2018 at 4:02 pm

Speaking as a Southerner I'd say you are exactly right. The assumption seems to be that simple minded voters are the puppets of rabble rousers rather than intelligent beings able to think for themselves.

foghorn longhorn , February 16, 2018 at 4:11 pm

A couple of things,
Watched a lot of russians in the Olympics over the years and these names look incredibly fake.
Usually when you drop news on a Friday afternoon of a three day weekend you want it to get buried.

MIKHAIL IVANOVICH BYSTROV,
MIKHAIL LEONIDOVICH BURCHIK,
ALEKSANDRA YURYEVNA KRYLOVA,
ANNA VLADISLAVOVNA BOGACHEVA,
SERGEY PAVLOVICH POLOZOV,
MARIA ANATOLYEVNA BOVDA,
ROBERT SERGEYEVICH BOVDA,
DZHEYKHUN NASIMI OGLY ASLANOV,
VADIM VLADIMIROVICH PODKOPAEV,
GLEB IGOREVICH VASILCHENKO,
IRINA VIKTOROVNA KAVERZINA,
VLADIMIR VENKOV
YEVGENIY VIKTOROVICH PRIGOZHIN

NotTimothyGeithner , February 16, 2018 at 4:11 pm

America was pure as snow. In fact, Russians are responsible for Jim Crow. Bear with me. The Czar, an autocrat if there ever was one, sailed the White Fleet in support of Abraham Lincoln. Perhaps, the British and French would have intervened on behalf of the CSA, thus allowing the Southern states to secede. Logic dictates this would have meant no Jim Crow. Yes, slavery would have continued, but it would be in a different country.

Summer , February 16, 2018 at 4:54 pm

"Sowing discord"

Sounds like a typical election.

lyman alpha blob , February 16, 2018 at 5:15 pm

As I'm sure NC readers are aware, there are emails from the Clinton campaign talking about calling in favors with the media to promote Trump's primary campaign , the thought being Trump would be easier for Clinton to beat.

So if manipulating the media to promote Trump is a crime

Not sure why those debunking the Russiagate nonsense haven't been pushing this more.

Sid Finster , February 16, 2018 at 5:19 pm

Because manipulating an election is OK, except when a Russian person is accused.

voteforno6 , February 16, 2018 at 3:10 pm

Re: Mueller Indictments

As noted by Rob P above, there is no mention of email hacking. Maybe that's coming later, but I doubt it. Instead, they indicted alleged Russian operators of troll farms. The implication, I guess, is that these people somehow swayed the election in favor of Trump. Some questions I have:

– What was the volume of their social media posts? How does that compare to the total volume of election-related social media posts?
– When were these posts actually made? Did they all occur prior to the election?
– Did these troll farms make any posts in favor of Clinton? Were there other Russians posting items in favor of Clinton?
– Is there any indication that these posts had any demonstrable impact on the outcome of the election?

It would be interesting to see these people go on trial. I imagine that a competent defense attorney would have fun with discovery. But, there's a part of me that suspects that these Russians were indicted, with the expectation that they won't go on trial. After all, it's a lot easier to control the narrative, when there's nobody pushing back against it.

So, what we're left with is the impression that the Russians were responsible for all the bullshirt flying around during the election. Bullshirt being, of course, anything that was anti-Hillary, or promoted an opponent of hers. All the pro-Hillary stuff doesn't count, of course. I guess I'm a Russophile for asking the question, but is this really all that they've got?

Reply
voteforno6 , February 16, 2018 at 3:30 pm

Also, I haven't read the indictment, but is there any allegation that these troll farms were acting in any capacity on behalf of the Russian government?

Reply
PKMKII , February 16, 2018 at 3:46 pm

The indictment indicates that there was some pro-Hillary posts/activity, but the bulk of it was anti-Hillary/Pro-Trump. Posts were both prior to and after the election. It doesn't look like the indictment is outright arguing that their activities swayed votes, but just that the activities violated bank/wire fraud laws (including fraud via cryptocurrencies!) and electioneering laws (which does not mean that votes were swayed; handing out flyers too close to a polling site is a violation of electioneering laws).

Looks less like the ultimate smoking gun, and more like another move, such as with Manafort, to get the small fry to tell on someone higher up.

Reply
voteforno6 , February 16, 2018 at 4:08 pm

That's the expectation for how a criminal investigation should take place. But, this is not a normal criminal investigation. The small fry in this case are Russians, and I'm not sure if indicting them has the same impact that it would for, say, a similar group of Americans. How does Mueller flip these Russians? Doesn't he have to get them into custody first?

Reply
Elizabeth Burton , February 16, 2018 at 5:43 pm

Indeed. The article on this much ado about not much done by the BBC:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said there was no allegation that any American was "a knowing participant in this illegal activity" nor was it alleged that the meddling altered the election outcome.

Which, of course, doesn't prevent the brainwashed from dancing with glee and attacking as a Trump supporter anyone who so much as points out the above. The least offensive response I've had today was that these things are incremental so this is likely just the starting point. It no longer matters whether the alleged interference had any effect on the election -- all sense of logic on this subject has evaporated even among people I know are intelligent enough they should know better.

Reply
edmondo , February 16, 2018 at 3:53 pm

So Mueller spent 12 months to come up with enough "evidence" to produce one episode of MTV's Catfish ?

Are they going to indict all those Democratic Party superdelegates who "colluded

Lambert Strether Post author , February 16, 2018 at 3:57 pm

Why I added the information on how hard it is to actually change opinion. IIRC, most of the contemporary hash tag tracking is coming from the highly dubious Hamilton68 dashboard, which is being treated as an authority even though, last I checked, they hadn't exposed their data or methods.

Adding, which is pretty funny, when you think about it; depending on whether the IRA was a contractor for the Russian government, and what its actual mission was*, the Russian government probably has a stronger case for fraud against them then Mueller does.

* Provoke a Bush-like blundering over-reaction?

PKMKII , February 16, 2018 at 4:41 pm

Putin's government overpaid for a intelligence tech contractor that promised way more than it was capable of delivering? Perhaps the Russians aren't so different from us after all.

Lee , February 16, 2018 at 4:17 pm

I guess I'm a Russophile for asking the question .

Yeah, you're sowing discord, which in some countries, other and the U.S., is a crime. Oh, wait .

ewmayer , February 16, 2018 at 5:45 pm

o "Fake News and Bots May Be Worrisome, but Their Political Power Is Overblown" [New York Times] -- Oh, I dunno, methinks the Grey lady is being far too pessimistic here. After all, the NYT's own fake-news project re. Saddam's WMDs 15 years back led to an actual large-scale hot war, $trillions in juicy defense contracts for US and foreign mercenary/logistics firms and upwards of a million dead Iraqis whose 'sacrifice', as former SoS and heroic liberal R2P goddess Madeleine Albright reminded us, was "worth it". So maybe the high-profile-ness and political connections of the fake news source might play a crucial role in its impact?

will_f , February 16, 2018 at 6:27 pm

Madeleine Albright made that comment in response to a publishing of a study which found that the US economic sanctions against Iraq resulted in the deaths of more than 500,000 children.

https://www.reddit.com/r/conspiracy/comments/3183zk/madeleine_albright_the_deaths_of_500000_iraqi/

Otherwise your point is valid. As Yves herself has mentioned regarding Judith Miller, the NYT did indeed publish a lot of "fake news" (also known as "propaganda") in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq.

[Feb 16, 2018] Meet the 13 Russians charged in Mueller probe

Was internet Reserach Agency a real company ? Here the author is thinking that they were a fake: A Brief History of the "Kremlin Trolls" by Scott Humor
Notable quotes:
"... Thirteen Russian nationals were charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Three defendants were also charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud. Five defendants were charged with aggravated identity theft. Here's a rundown: ..."
Feb 16, 2018 | www.kgw.com
Takeaways from Mueller's indictment of Russian nationals who meddled in 2016 election

More: Information warriors: Here's how the U.S. is combating 'fake news' from Russia

The defendants are accused of working in conjunction with the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, which is also under indictment for allegedly conducting information operations to influence the 2016 election in the United States.

The Internet Research Agency operated what's become known as "troll farm" in Russian President Vladimir Putin's hometown that employed hundreds of English speakers to pose as Americans and gin up controversy and discord on Twitter, Facebook and other social media websites during the months leading up to the election.

The company, referred to as the "ORGANIZATION" in the indictment, "had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including... supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump and disparaging Hillary Clinton," according to the indictment.

Thirteen Russian nationals were charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States. Three defendants were also charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud. Five defendants were charged with aggravated identity theft. Here's a rundown:

Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin

Prigozhin, 56, is a businessman from St. Petersburg who's been called "Putin's chef" by Russian media because his restaurants and catering businesses have hosted dinners between Putin and foreign dignitaries.

Prigozhin is on the list of those sanctioned by the U.S., according to the Associated Press.

Prigozhin is accused of funding the Internet Research Agency, through companies he controlled -- Concord Management and Consulting, and Concord Catering -- and using them to launch operations against America. He paid the "ORGANIZATION," all the rest of the defendants and other unnamed employees, the indictment said.

Prigozhin's co-defendants arranged through social media for a U.S. person to stand in front of the White House on May 29, 2016, three days before Prigozhin's birthday, with a sign saying "Happy 55th Birthday Dear Boss."

"The Americans are very impressionable people, they see what they want to see," Prigozhin reportedly told the Russian state news agency Ria Novosti on Friday. "I have a lot of respect for them. I am not upset at all that I ended up on this list. If they want to see the devil, let them see him."

Mikhail Ivanovich Bystrov

Bystrov allegedly was named the general director of the Internet Research Agency, and served as the head of various other entities it used to mask its activities, including Glavset LLC, where he was also listed as general director.

He is accused of holding regular meetings with Prigozhin around 2015 and 2016. Bystrov is a retired police colonel, according to Voice of America.

Mikhail Leonidovich Burchik

According to the indictment, Burchik was named executive director of the "ORGANIZATION" as of March 2014, holding the second-highest ranking position. During operations to interfere in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 presidential election, Burchik was a manager involved in operational planning, infrastructure and personnel.

Burchik is described in a 2015 New York Times report as a young tech entrepreneur connected to the "Masss Post" tool used to create bulk social media postings.

Aleksandra Yuryevna Krylova

Krylova worked for the IRA from around 2013 to at least November 2014, according to the indictment, and was its third-highest ranking employee. She allegedly entered the U.S. on false pretenses in June 2014 and traveled through Nevada, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, Texas and New York to "gather intelligence."

Sergey Pavlovich Polozov

Polozov "served as the manager of the IT department and oversaw the procurement of US. servers and other computer infrastructure that masked the Russian location when conducting operations within the United States," according to the indictment.

An unnamed co-conspirator who worked for the company traveled to Atlanta in November 2016, and shared information gathered with Polozov, according to the indictment.

He traveled to the U.S. to create virtual private networks to hide his organization's ties to Russia, while communicating with U.S. citizens, the indictment said.

Anna Vladislavovna Bogacheva

According to the indictment, Bogacheva oversaw the IRA's data analysis group, and allegedly traveled through the U.S. in 2014 to gather intelligence along with Krylova.

Together with Krylova, Bogacheva planned travel itineraries, purchased equipment such as cameras, SIM cards and disposable phones and discussed security measures, including "evacuation scenarios" for defendants who traveled to the U.S., the indictment said.

Maria Anatolyevna Bovda

Bovda worked at the company from November 2013 to October 2014 as head of the translator project.

The project "focused on the U.S. population and conducted operations on social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter," according to the indictment.

Robert Sergeyevich Bovda

Robert Bovda served as deputy head of the translator project and tried to travel to the U.S. under false pretenses to collect intelligence but could not obtain a visa, according to the indictment.

Irina Viktorovna Kaverzina

The defendant is accused of admitting her involvement in the operation and a subsequent coverup in an email to a relative in September last year, after Mueller's probe had started.

"We had a slight crisis here at work: the FBI busted our activity," Kaverzina allegedly wrote, "so I got preoccupied with covering tracks together with the colleagues."

She also wrote: "I created all these pictures and posts and the Americans believed that it was written by their people."

Dzheykhun "Jay" Aslanov

Aslanov was described by a manager at the ORGANIZATION's "troll farm" in St. Petersburg," according to an October interview on Moscow's Dozhd TV with former employee Alan Baskayev. Baskayev was the third former troll to identify Aslanov as a supervisor at the facility, according to the Moscow Times , which described the interview.

"Jay was a really bad manager: not the most competent in this field, well, frankly speaking, generally incompetent, but he had assistants," Baskayev told Dozhd TV.

Vadim Vladimirovich Podkopaev

Podkopaev allegedly was responsible for conducting U.S.-focused research and drafting social media content for the IRA, according to the indictment.

Gleb Igorevich Vasilchenko

Vasilchenko was allegedly "responsible for posting, monitoring, and updating the social media content" for many IRA-controlled accounts "while posing as U.S. persons or U.S. grassroots organizations."

Vladimir Venkov

Venkov allegedly "operated multiple U.S. personas, which he used to post, monitor, and update social media content," the indictment stated.

[Feb 16, 2018] BREAKING Mueller concludes Russians posted mean things on social media about Hillary Clinton

Feb 16, 2018 | theduran.com

BREAKING: Mueller concludes Russians posted mean things on social media about Hillary Clinton Mueller indicts 13 Russians and 3 companies for hacking the US election.

by Alex Christoforou February 16, 2018, 22:21 687 Views

[Feb 16, 2018] Kremlin quick to respond to Mueller's conclusion that 13 Russian nationals outsmarted America's democracy

Feb 16, 2018 | theduran.com

The indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three entities over allegations by the DOJ that Russians interfered in US elections – but "did not alter the outcome of the 2016 election" nor that any American was a knowing participant in this activity – are absurd, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday.

"13 people interfered in the US elections?! 13 against an intelligence services budget of billions? Against intelligence and counterintelligence, against the latest developments and technologies? Absurd? Yes," Zakharova wrote in a post on Facebook .

Then again, what else could she say.

Furthermore, as noted in the DOJ complaint, the funding for the Russian operation came from catering and management companies controlled by defendant Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin, a Russian businessman often referred to as "Putin's chef" in the media because his organizations had hosted dinners for Russian President Vladimir Putin and foreign leaders, the AP reported.

Prigozhin was quoted in Russian state media responding to the indictments, saying, "Americans are really impressionable people. They see what they want to see. I greatly respect them. I'm not upset at all that I am on this list. If they want to see the devil, let them see him."

This probably means that Russia will not exactly rush to extradite the 13 named officials to the US.

"Have you had any assurances by the Russians that they will provide these individuals for prosecution?"
Rosenstein: "We have no communications with the Russians about this. We will follow the ordinary process of seeking cooperation and extradition." https://t.co/oShWvKYDRW pic.twitter.com/vOT0iH6Cu0

-- CBS News (@CBSNews) February 16, 2018

[Feb 16, 2018] My favorite parts of this indictment: 1. Trump and his campaign are no longer involved, 2. the Russians did NOT influence the election, 3. they were supposedly advocating for Bernie as well as Trump.

Feb 16, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

frances , Feb 16, 2018 3:33:09 PM | 37

re:So Mueller indict russians for... talking about the american election in russia? What farce have this become? Posted by: Anon | Feb 16, 2018 3:15:09 PM | 35
Farce is certainly the operative word; two of the 13 Russians are the former head of Moscow Police and the other is a restaurateur friend of Putin.
And if there were " millions" spent then their is a financial paper trail certainly. Can't wait to see it...

My favorite parts of this indictment: 1. Trump and his campaign are no longer involved, 2. the Russians did NOT influence the election, 3. they were supposedly advocating for Bernie as well as Trump.


Lastly,so much "news" in the last few days; we have a possible Florida false flag, Russia hacking the world and now this. What are we not meant to see?? My first thought is they are moving forward with the Syrian chemical attack psy op; next week perhaps?

Anon , Feb 16, 2018 3:40:09 PM | 38
frances

Yeah, apparentlty these Russians sought to expand the political commentary and voice support for candidates, how is this even illegal? Ridiculous but this will give the anti-russia actors 100% more fuel for decades to come. That Trump will even talk with Putin is out of the question by now unfortunately. WW3 just came closer sigh.

stonebird , Feb 16, 2018 3:49:41 PM | 39
francis @37

One of the best bits about the indictement is the mention ;"arranging for a Real US person to stand in front of the White House in the district of Colombia with a sign that read; "Happy 55th birthday dear boss" (May 29, in 2016)" America must have trembled. (or maybe they were shaking with laughter?).

NemesisCalling , Feb 16, 2018 4:14:31 PM | 40
People read these accusational headlines, probably just the headlines, and it acts as a virus and penetrates the membrane of the collective subconscious, without even a moments thought to question the assertion.

In time, the virus breaks down the will of the rational consumer to weigh evidence fairly, though it is also aided by further bombardment of fake news, which increases the rate of infection. The virus then blossoms into a fairly beautiful and uniform flower with clean, geometric edges and universal appeal which catches the gaze of others and so is able to double the rate of infection from this secondary source.

This flower, the Ruskiesdidittous, is the result of haphazard propogation, though its ability to survive and thrive is notable due to a carrier population already enfeebled by a diet of Dr. Pepper and a lack of discernible vegetables.

I tremble for my countrymen.

Don Bacon , Feb 16, 2018 4:25:01 PM | 41
...adding to the remarks in #40...

The indictment includes charges not yet proven in a court of law, yet prominent Americans are treating the indictment as fact. from CNN:

>House Speaker Paul Ryan called the Russians' alleged actions "a conspiracy to subvert the process, and take aim at democracy itself." "We have known that Russians meddled in the election, but these indictments detail the extent of the subterfuge," Ryan said in a statement.

>Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement that given the indictments, Trump should "immediately" implement the Russia sanctions that Congress passed last summer to punish Moscow for its election meddling. "The administration needs to be far more vigilant in protecting the 2018 elections, and alert the American public any time the Russians attempt to interfere," Schumer said.

>House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that the indictments "make absolutely clear" that Russians tried to influence the presidential election to support Trump's campaign and continue to try to interfere with our elections. "We are on the eve of the 2018 midterm elections," the statement added. "There is no time to waste to defend the integrity of our elections and our democracy."

>Robby Mook, Clinton's former campaign manager, tweeted: "The intelligence community has repeatedly told us Russia meddled. Now criminal indictments from DOJ. We were attacked by a foreign adversary. Will our Congress and President stand strong and take action? Or let it happen again?"

[Feb 16, 2018] New evidence shows DNC server files were downloaded directly to USB drive, not hacked by Russians by Alex Christoforou

Jul 12, 2017 | theduran.com

New evidence shows DNC server files were downloaded directly to USB drive, not hacked by Russians

Now that the liberal left mainstream media is fixated on their latest Trump-Russia collusion smoking gun, with the revelation that Donald Trump Jr., **GASP**, spoke with a lawyer from Russia about adoption stuff, it is important to take a step back and realize that this entire Hillary Clinton concocted Russia collusion narrative started with a DNC server hack that the FBI never investigated, and now (according to an independent researcher known as The Forensicator) was not even a hack, but a document download onto a USB drive.

The evidence points to a DNC inside job. Via Disobedient Media .

New meta-analysis has emerged from a document published today by an independent researcher known as The Forensicator, which suggests that files eventually published by the Guccifer 2.0 persona were likely initially downloaded by a person with physical access to a computer possibly connected to the internal DNC network. The individual most likely used a USB drive to copy the information. The groundbreaking new analysis irrevocably destroys the Russian hacking narrative, and calls the actions of Crowdstrike and the DNC into question.

The document supplied to Disobedient Media via Adam Carter was authored by an individual known as The Forensicator. The full document referenced here has been published on their blog . Their analysis indicates the data was almost certainly not accessed initially by a remote hacker, much less one in Russia. If true, this analysis obliterates the Russian hacking narrative completely.

Click here for the best news on Russia >>

The Forensicator specifically discusses the data that was eventually published by Guccifer 2.0 under the title "NGP-VAN." This should not be confused with the separate publication of the DNC emails by Wikileaks. This article focuses solely on evidence stemming from the files published by Guccifer 2.0, which were previously discussed in depth by Adam Carter .

Disobedient Media previously reported that Crowdstrike is the only group that has directly analyzed the DNC servers. Other groups including Threat Connect have used the information provided by Crowdstrike to claim that Russians hacked the DNC. However, their evaluation was based solely on information ultimately provided by Crowdstrike; this places the company in the unique position of being the only direct source of evidence that a hack occurred.

The group's President Shawn Henry is a retired executive assistant director of the FBI while their co-founder and CTO, Dmitri Alperovitch, is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, which as we have reported , is linked to George Soros. Carter has stated on his website that "At present, it looks a LOT like Shawn Henry & Dmitri Alperovitch (CrowdStrike executives), working for either the HRC campaign or DNC leadership were very likely to have been behind the Guccifer 2.0 operation." Carter's website was described by Wikileaks as a useful source of primary information specifically regarding Guccifer 2.0.

Carter recently spoke to Disobedient Media, explaining that he had been contacted by The Forensicator, who had published a document which contained a detailed analysis of the data published by Guccifer 2.0 as "NGP-VAN."

The document states that the files that eventually published as "NGP-VAN" by Guccifer 2.0 were first copied to a system located in the Eastern Time Zone, with this conclusion supported by the observation that "the .7z file times, after adjustment to East Coast time fall into the range of the file times in the .rar files." This constitutes the first of a number of points of analysis which suggests that the information eventually published by the Guccifer 2.0 persona was not obtained by a Russian hacker.

Disobedient Media , The Forensicator stated in their analysis that a USB drive was most likely used to boot Linux OS onto a computer that either contained the alleged DNC files or had direct access to them.

They also explained to Disobedient Media that in this situation one would simply plug a USB drive with the LinuxOS into a computer and reboot it; after restarting, the computer would boot from the USB drive and load Linux instead of its normal OS. A large amount of data would then be copied to this same USB drive.

In this case, additional files would have been copied en masse, to be "pruned" heavily at a later time when the 7zip archive now known as NGP-VAN was built. The Forensicator wrote that if 1.98 GB of data had been copied at a rate of 22.6 MB/s and time gaps t were noticed at the top level of the NGP-VAN 7zip file were attributed to additional file copying, then approximately 19.3 GB in total would have been copied. In this scenario, the 7zip archive (NGP-VAN) would represent only about 10% of the total amount of data that was collected.

The very small proportion of files eventually selected for use in the creation of the "NGP-VAN" files were later published by the creators of the Guccifer 2.0 persona. This point is especially significant, as it suggests the possibility that up to 90% of the information initially copied was never published.

The use of a USB drive would suggest that the person first accessing the data could not have been a Russian hacker. In this case, the person who copied the files must have physically interacted with a computer that had access to what Guccifer 2.0 called the DNC files. A less likely explanation for this data pattern where large time gaps were observed between top level files and directories in the 7zip file, can be explained by the use of 'think time' to select and copy 1.9 GB of individual files, copied in small batches with think time interspersed. In either scenario, Linux would have been booted from a USB drive, which fundamentally necessitates physical access to a computer with the alleged DNC files.

The Forensicator believed that using the possible 'think-time' explanation to explain the time-gaps was a less likely explanation for the data pattern available, with a large amount of data most likely copied instantaneously, later "pruned" in the production of the Guccifer 2.0's publication of the NGP-VAN files.

Both the most likely explanation and the less likely scenario provided by The Forensicator's analysis virtually exclude the possibility of a Russian or remote hacker gaining external access to the files later published as "NGP-VAN." In both cases, the physical presence of a person accessing a containing DNC information would be required.

Importantly, The Forensicator concluded that the chance that the files had been accessed and downloaded remotely over the internet were too small to give this idea any serious consideration. He explained that the calculated transfer speeds for the initial copy were much faster than can be supported by an internet connection. This is extremely significant and completely discredits allegations of Russian hacking made by both Guccifer 2.0 and Crowdstrike.

This conclusion is further supported by analysis of the overall transfer rate of 23 MB/s. The Forensicator described this as "possible when copying over a LAN, but too fast to support the hypothetical scenario that the alleged DNC data was initially copied over the Internet (esp. to Romania)." Guccifer 2.0 had claimed to originate in Romania. So in other words, this rate indicates that the data was downloaded locally, possibly using the local DNC network. The importance of this finding in regards to destroying the Russian hacking narrative cannot be overstated.

If the data is correct, then the files could not have been copied over a remote connection and so therefore cannot have been "hacked by Russia."

The use of a USB drive would also strongly suggest that the person copying the files had physical access to a computer most likely connected to the local DNC network. Indications that the individual used a USB drive to access the information over an internal connection, with time stamps placing the creation of the copies in the East Coast Time Zone, suggest that the individual responsible for initially copying what was eventually published by the Guccifer 2.0 persona under the title "NGP-VAN" was located in the Eastern United States, not Russia.

The implications of The Forensicator 's analysis in combination with Adam Carter 's work, suggest that at the very least, the Russian hacking narrative is patently false. Adam Carter has a strong grasp on the NGP-VAN files and Guccifer 2.0, with his website on the subject called a "good source" by Wikileaks via twitter. Carter told Disobedient Media that in his opinion the analysis provided by The Forensicator was accurate, but added that if changes are made to the work in future, any new conclusions would require further vetting.

On the heels of recent retractions by legacy media outlets like CNN and The New York Times, this could have serious consequences, if months of investigation into the matter by authorities are proven to have been based on gross misinformation based solely on the false word of Crowdstrike.

Assange recently lamented widespread ignorance about the DNC Leak via Twitter, specifically naming Hillary Clinton, the DNC, the Whitehouse and mainstream media as having "reason" to suppress the truth of the matter. As one of the only individuals who would have been aware of the source of the DNC Leaks, Assange's statement corroborates a scenario where the DNC and parties described in Adam Carter's work likely to have included Crowdstrike, may have participated in "suppressing knowledge" of the true origins and evidence surrounding the leak of the DNC emails by confusing them with the publication of the Guccifer 2.0 persona.

Despite Guccifer 2.0's conflicting reports of having both been a Russian hacker and having contact with Seth Rich, the work of The Forensicator indicates that neither of these scenarios is likely true. What is suggested is that the files now known as "NGP-VAN" were copied by someone with access to a system connected to the DNC internal network, and that this action had no bearing on the files submitted to Wikileaks and were most likely unassociated with Seth Rich, and definitively not remotely "hacked" from Russia.

[Feb 16, 2018] This whole thing hangs on the murder of Seth Rich. The Dossier and the Intelligence Assessment are fundamentally rooted to Trump and Russians hacking the DNC and using WikiLeaks to ruin Hillary Clinton. Without the DNC hack there is nothing to Russia's interference in the election or any Trump collusion. Seth Rich is the Redline.

Feb 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Vanmac Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:43 Permalink

This whole thing hangs on the murder of Seth Rich. The Dossier and the Intelligence Assessment are fundamentally rooted to Trump and Russians hacking the DNC and using WikiLeaks to ruin Hillary Clinton. Without the DNC "hack" there is nothing to Russia's interference in the election or any Trump collusion. Seth Rich is the Redline.

Hannity and CTH can go on and on about all of this but, not Seth Rich.

Mention Seth Rich and get your chain yanked. Everything now reflects a Limited Hangout. They've been caught, and they're cutting their losses. What will "they" do to keep Seth Rich's real killers hidden forever from public view?

whosyerdaddy Fri, 02/16/2018 - 14:44 Permalink

You folks are missing the point. Mueller has been at this for 9 months. He has come up with basically nothing, nada, zip, zilch. To make himself and Rosie look better they indict the evil Rooskies and say "aha I told you there was something there". It is a punt and a fairly transparent one.

The cases against Manafort and Flynn will be dropped for prosecutorial malfeasance, withholding of evidence, flawed FISA warrants etc.

It tells me there is no case against not only Trump but also no case against any higher ups in either the campaign or the administration. It is a way of saving face for Mueller and Rosenstein but they may have their own worries soon enough or perhaps a deal has already been made.

[Feb 16, 2018] Joe Rogan and Jimmy Dore deliver red pill truth on Seth Rich, Hillary and Obama (Video)

Notable quotes:
"... Article first appeared on RPT ..."
Feb 15, 2018 | theduran.com

Article first appeared on RPT


Joe Rogan and Jimmy Dore talk about the shady history of Hilary Clinton, and how Set Rich's murder may very well be attributed to Hillary and the DNC.

From the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast

http://www.youtube.com/embed/9bnoOounHAc?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

Click here for the best news on Russia >>

Rogan and Dore discuss Obama's corruption and how Hillary Clinton was not the lesser of two evils, just pure evil.

[Feb 16, 2018] The indictment includes charges not yet proven in a court of law, yet prominent Americans are treating the indictment as fact

Notable quotes:
"... People read these accusational headlines, probably just the headlines, and it acts as a virus and penetrates the membrane of the collective subconscious, without even a moments thought to question the assertion. In time, the virus breaks down the will of the rational consumer to weigh evidence fairly, though it is also aided by further bombardment of fake news, which increases the rate of infection. ..."
Feb 16, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
stonebird , Feb 16, 2018 3:49:41 PM | 39
francis @37

One of the best bits about the indictment is the mention ;"arranging for a Real US person to stand in front of the White House in the district of Colombia with a sign that read; "Happy 55th birthday dear boss" (May 29, in 2016)" America must have trembled. (or maybe they were shaking with laughter?).

NemesisCalling , Feb 16, 2018 4:14:31 PM | 40
People read these accusational headlines, probably just the headlines, and it acts as a virus and penetrates the membrane of the collective subconscious, without even a moments thought to question the assertion. In time, the virus breaks down the will of the rational consumer to weigh evidence fairly, though it is also aided by further bombardment of fake news, which increases the rate of infection.

The virus then blossoms into a fairly beautiful and uniform flower with clean, geometric edges and universal appeal which catches the gaze of others and so is able to double the rate of infection from this secondary source.

This flower, the Ruskiesdidittous, is the result of haphazard propogation, though its ability to survive and thrive is notable due to a carrier population already enfeebled by a diet of Dr. Pepper and a lack of discernible vegetables.

I tremble for my countrymen.

Don Bacon | Feb 16, 2018 4:25:01 PM | 41

...adding to the remarks in #40...

The indictment includes charges not yet proven in a court of law, yet prominent Americans are treating the indictment as fact. from CNN:

>House Speaker Paul Ryan called the Russians' alleged actions "a conspiracy to subvert the process, and take aim at democracy itself." "We have known that Russians meddled in the election, but these indictments detail the extent of the subterfuge," Ryan said in a statement.

>Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement that given the indictments, Trump should "immediately" implement the Russia sanctions that Congress passed last summer to punish Moscow for its election meddling. "The administration needs to be far more vigilant in protecting the 2018 elections, and alert the American public any time the Russians attempt to interfere," Schumer said.

>House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement that the indictments "make absolutely clear" that Russians tried to influence the presidential election to support Trump's campaign and continue to try to interfere with our elections. "We are on the eve of the 2018 midterm elections," the statement added. "There is no time to waste to defend the integrity of our elections and our democracy."

>Robby Mook, Clinton's former campaign manager, tweeted: "The intelligence community has repeatedly told us Russia meddled. Now criminal indictments from DOJ. We were attacked by a foreign adversary. Will our Congress and President stand strong and take action? Or let it happen again?"

karlof1 | Feb 16, 2018 5:04:57 PM | 42

My rebuttal of Pelosi's statement @41--

There has never been any "integrity" in US elections, nor is there such a thing as "democracy" within the USA.

IMO, Congresscritters have never before looked and acted so damn stupid -- clearly they are merely mutts being led by a leash and told to bray at a moon called Russia.

The Outlaw US Empire totally lacks integrity and clearly isn't a democracy; it is merely another of history's failed empires destroyed by its own hubris; it really needs to gouge its eyes out and wander in the forest until it dies.

[Feb 15, 2018] Russophobia a Futile Bid to Conceal US, European Decline by Finian Cunningham

Feb 14, 2018 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

It is an age-old statecraft technique to seek unity within a state by depicting an external enemy or threat. Russia is the bête noire again, as it was during the Cold War years as part of the Soviet Union. But the truth is Western states are challenged by internal problems.

Ironically, by denying their own internal democratic challenges, Western authorities are only hastening their institutional demise.

Russophobia -- "blame it all on Russia" -- is a short-term, futile ploy to stave off the day of reckoning when furious and informed Western citizens will demand democratic restitution for their legitimate grievances.

The dominant "official" narrative, from the US to Europe, is that "malicious" Russia is "sowing division;""eroding democratic institutions;" and "undermining public trust" in systems of governance, credibility of established political parties, and the news media.

This narrative has shifted up a gear since the election of Donald Trump to the White House in 2016, with accusations that the Kremlin somehow ran "influence operations" to help get him into office. This outlandish yarn defies common sense. It is also running out of thread to keep spinning.

Paradoxically, even though President Trump has rightly rebuffed such dubious claims of "Russiagate" interference as "fake news" , he has at other times undermined himself by subscribing to the notion that Moscow is projecting a campaign of "subversion against the US and its European allies." See for example the National Security Strategy he signed off in December.

Pathetically, it's become indoctrinated belief among the Western political class that "devious Russians" are out to "collapse" Western democracies by "weaponizing disinformation" and spreading "fake news" through Russia-based news outlets like RT and Sputnik.

Totalitarian-like, there seems no room for intelligent dissent among political or media figures.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has chimed in to accuse Moscow of "sowing division;" Dutch state intelligence claim Russia destabilized the US presidential election; the European Union commissioner for security, Sir Julian King, casually lampoons Russian news media as "Kremlin-orchestrated disinformation" to destabilize the 28-nation bloc; CIA chief Mike Pompeo recently warned that Russia is stepping up its efforts to tarnish the Congressional mid-term elections later this year.

On and on goes the narrative that Western states are essentially victims of a nefarious Russian assault to bring about collapse.

A particularly instructive presentation of this trope was given in a recent commentary by Texan Republican Representative Will Hurd. In his piece headlined, "Russia is our adversary" , he claims: "Russia is eroding our democracy by exploiting the nation's divisions. To save it, Americans need to begin working together."

Congressman Hurd asserts: "Russia has one simple goal: to erode trust in our democratic institutions. It has weaponized disinformation to achieve this goal for decades in Eastern and Central Europe; in 2016, Western Europe and America were aggressively targeted as well."

Lamentably, all these claims above are made with scant, or no, verifiable evidence. It is simply a Big Lie technique of relentless repetition transforming itself into "fact" .

It's instructive to follow Congressman Hurd's thought-process a bit further.

He contends: "When the public loses trust in the media, the Russians are winning. When the press is hyper-critical of Congress the Russians are winning. When Congress and the general public disagree the Russians are winning. When there is friction between Congress and the executive branch [the president] resulting in further erosion of trust in our democratic institutions, the Russians are winning."

As a putative solution, Representative Hurd calls for "a national counter-disinformation strategy" against Russian "influence operations" , adding, "Americans must stop contributing to a corrosive political environment".

The latter is a chilling advocacy of uniformity tantamount to a police state whereby any dissent or criticism is a "thought-crime."

It is, however, such anti-democratic and paranoid thinking by Western politicians -- aided and abetted by dutiful media -- that is killing democracy from within, not some supposed foreign enemy.

There is evidently a foreboding sense of demise in authority and legitimacy among Western states, even if the real cause for the demise is ignored or denied. Systems of governance, politicians of all stripes, and institutions like the established media and intelligence services are increasingly held in contempt and distrust by the public.

Whose fault is that loss of political and moral authority? Western governments and institutions need to take a look in the mirror.

The endless, criminal wars that the US and its European NATO allies have been waging across the planet over the past two decades is one cogent reason why the public has lost faith in grandiose official claims about respecting democracy and international law.

The US and European media have shown reprehensible dereliction of duty to inform the public accurately about their governments' warmongering intrigues. Take the example of Syria. When does the average Western citizen ever read in the corporate Western media about how the US and its NATO allies have covertly ransacked that country through weaponizing terrorist proxies?

How then can properly informed citizens be expected to have respect for such criminal government policies and the complicit news media covering up for their crimes?

Western public disaffection with governments, politicians and media surely stems also from the grotesque gulf in social inequality and poverty among citizens from slavish adherence to economic policies that enrich the wealthy while consigning the vast majority to unrelenting austerity.

The destabilizing impact on societies from oppressive economic conditions is a far more plausible cause for grievance than outlandish claims made by the political class about alleged "Russian interference".

Yet the Western media indulge this fantastical "Russiagate" escapism instead of campaigning on real social problems facing ordinary citizens. No wonder such media are then viewed with disdain and distrust. Adding insult to injury, these media want the public to believe Russia is the enemy?

Instead of acknowledging and addressing real threats to citizens: economic insecurity, eroding education and health services, lost career opportunities for future generations, the looming dangers of ecological adversity, wars prompted by Western governments trashing international and diplomacy, and so on -- the Western public is insultingly plied with corny tales of Russia's "malign influence" and "assault on democracy."

Just think of the disproportionate amount of media attention and public resources wasted on the Russiagate scandal over the past year. And now gradually emerging is the real scandal that the American FBI probably colluded with the Obama administration to corrupt the democratic process against Trump.

Again, is there any wonder the public has sheer contempt and distrust for "authorities" that have been lying through their teeth and playing them for fools?

The collapsing state of Western democracies has got nothing to do with Russia. The Russophobia of blaming Russia for the demise of Western institutions is an attempt at scapegoating for the very real problems facing governments and institutions like the news media. Those problems are inherent and wholly owned by these governments owing to chronic anti-democratic functioning, as well as systematic violation of international law in their pursuit of criminal wars and other subterfuges for regime-change objectives.

Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master's graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent.

This article was originally published by " RT "


Cathi · 4 hours ago

Anyone who believes MSM is totally indoctrinated since it has been proven over and over that they won't tell the truth of the matter. The only REAL thing this country supplies or produces is war. Most other industries have been outsourced and given subsidies to so, thus taking American jobs from our lives. And now they want to take Social Security and Medicare to PAY for our military buildup????
Jim P · 3 hours ago
This nation needs a complete chage. All Congress and Dual citizens must be removed!
vicenr · 4 hours ago
It is without a doubt true that the political class and their oligharchic owners are falling and falling fast. They need a war to sustain their enrichment and attempted control of the world. They have run out of potential victims , while on the home front the naive Amrikan is starting to reject their nonsense. They can't really afford to take on China as they could easily dump their US treasuries and sink the financing arrangements for a war. They would like to stop the OBOR ; but how? Ah Russia. Smaller population but lethal in central Europe and perhaps beyond. Good geographic position for cutting OBOR. After all why would anyone be allowed to put in such a mega project and not let the US oligharchic class control it?
Woopy · 3 hours ago
A big part of the problem with Washington DC is that they are ruled by the Rothschild oligarchs and function first and foremost for Rothschild interests such as Israel and other Rothschild programs. Washington is not focused on the states it was designed to serve. Rothschild's and other oligarchs, fascists and the like control Washington crippling them. Countries like China, Russia are making their own destinies while Washington languishes and dissolves under a Rothschild fascist flag.
the_chump · 3 hours ago
"Intel chief: Federal debt poses 'dire threat' to national security"

The above was the title to an article in The Hill, yesterday. The comment was attributed to Dan Coates, DNI in testimony to Congress. To me, since elected officials CREATE the federal debt, what the DNI is REALLY saying is that the elected officials are a dire threat to national security. Their spending and fake borrowing from the Federal Reserve is the threat-not Syria, Yemen, or other countries that have not attacked the US. The elected officials, both Democrat and Republicans are on the way to destroying the US. Not Russia, China, ISIS, or international terrorism.

Eric · 2 hours ago
I recently read a horrifying commentary by John Whitehead on the burgeoning sex trade in this country where young girls are abducted and sold for sexual favors to deviants in every major city in the US. Many of these girls are as young a three and four years old, and the average age of these victims is 13! Thousands of missing children end up as sex slaves and are forced to be with as many as 40 men a night.

This great evil has become extremely lucrative, and numerous monsters, both men, and women are reaping billions of dollars from the unspeakable crime of destroying children's lives, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well.

The West has reached a new level of rottenness. Moral decay is actively gnawing at the very fabric of our society. The Cabal and its rampant criminality in Washington is a reflection of this terrible decline we are witnessing around us.

The hypocritical cry and hue from our government officials about the terrible human rights abuses in other countries as they seek to deflect the attention away from their own criminality and murderous abuses at home and abroad is indeed sickening.

Ray Joseph Cormier 84p · 1 hour ago
UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold was killed in a suspicious plane crash in 1961. He dared speak Truth to the Power. His quote from over 60 years ago is so relevant to what is going on Today. It has spread like never before to affect the judgments of the Politicians, the news media, and the Public.

-The Assembly has witnessed over the last weeks how historical truth is established; once an allegation has been repeated a few times, it is no longer an allegation, it is an established fact, even if no evidence has been brought out in order to support it.

American propaganda is scapegoating Russia to absolve Americans of responsibility for creating their own political divisions.

Observing from CanaDa, this anti-Russia/Putin Propaganda is confirming this Vision of the Future published 41 years ago.

On September 13, 1976, the major daily THE KANSAS CITY TIMES published this Vision of the FUTURE: "He came to town for the Republican National Convention and will stay until the election in November TO DO GOD'S BIDDING: To tell the world, from Kansas City, this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered [...] He gestured toward a gleaming church dome. "The gold dome is the symbol of Babylon," he said." [...] He wanted to bring to the Public's attention an "idea being put out subtly and deceptively" by the government that we have to get prepared for a war with Russia.

It's taken over 40 years, but that 1976 FUTURE is NOW with the Revelation of the details GENERALLY unfolding in the spirit of the letter. The World is finally waking up to see Trump just may hasten "its days are numbered" part of the 1976 Public record.

Ray Joseph Cormier 84p · 1 hour ago
The KANSAS CITY TIMES did a follow up report on ALL SOULS DAY, November 2, 1976. When the TV movie 'THE DAY AFTER' Kansas City was incinerated in a Nuclear Holocaust appeared in 1983, most likely, I was the only Human on Earth, including the newspaper reporters, to note at the END, the movie pauses at the very same picture frame THE KANSAS CITY TIMES chose for the ALL SOULS DAY record 7 years earlier.

Any way you look at it, that HISTORICAL FACT is a confirming SIGN for our Generations, the World has arrived at this point of Decision, of an "idea being put out subtly and deceptively" by the government that we have to get prepared for a war with Russia."
Multitudes! Multitudes in the Valley of Decision. The Day of the LORD IS NEAR in the Valley of Decision.

Not many will recognize, "this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered" as the 1st two parts, of the 3 part 'Writing on the Wall" from Daniel 5 and the Captivity of Babylon some 2600 years ago. The whole world saw The Writing on the Wall for the 1st TIME at the same TIME, with the Global Financial Meltdown-Economic Pearl Harbour in September of 2008, even if the world does not recognize it as such.

The 3rd part of the Writing on the Wall tells of the decline of Babylon, the 1st Biblical model of the Nation that reaches Imperial Military-Economic Superpower Status, and the rise of Persia

Ancient Babylon is now Iraq, and ancient Persia is now Iran.

The US is the latest, greatest of all the Nations reaching Imperial Military-Economic Superpower Status in the 2600 year old Biblical Babylonian superstructure.

The TAIL struck the HEAD, causing the unravelling of the Earthly Babylonian superstructure and infrastructure, ushering in the Law of the Jungle to the Middle East and this World.

The Iranian Revolution happened in 1979, 2-1/2 years after the record in the 1976 KANSAS CITY TIMES Timeline.

All the chaos in the Middle East since then, including the carnage in Syria, is the consequence of the vain attempt to reverse that God ordained, repeat of History, as a SIGN for our Generations.