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Putin-did-it fiasco: Obama repeat Bush's WMD fiasco

Putin-did-it conspiracy theory has too many holes in it

"Russian Hackers" is a more palatable way of saying that Trump stole the election.

News Demonization of Putin Recommended Links Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Cold War II Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Neoconservatism Obama: a yet another Neocon
Fake news accusations as projection Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ?  Conversion of Democratic Party into War Party and Hillary Clinton policy toward Russia Color revolutions Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative Deception as an art form Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Conspiracy theory label as a subtle form of censorship
 Diplomacy by deception US and British media are servants of security apparatus  The Deep State Predator state  Hillary as a pathological liar  Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Noble Lie Doublespeak  
Pathological Russophobia of the US elite Cold War II Demonization of Putin Machiavellism Mayberry Machiavellians Neocons Credibility Scam Leo Straus as the godfather of neocons Nation under attack meme
Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Neocons Credibility Scam Leo Strauss and the Neocons Neoliberalism and Christianity  Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite   Politically Incorrect Humor Etc
  The original falsehood behind the Iraq War was that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and intended to use them against America either directly or by giving them to al-Qaeda. The opening lie about the Ukraine crisis was that Russian President Vladimir Putin instigated the conflict as part of some Hitlerian plan to conquer much of Europe.

Yet, while the Hussein-WMD claim was hard for the common citizen to assess because it was supposedly supported by U.S. intelligence information that was kept secret, the Putin-Ukraine lie collapses under the most cursory examination based simply of what’s publicly known and what makes sense.

Robert Parry

The tempest over whether Russian state hackers were behind the WikiLeaks release of Democratic Party emails is really a battle for the narrative of the 2016 Presidential election. Just as Bush v Gore gave birth to the slogan of an illegitimate Bush presidency, so do the Democrats (and some Republican anti-Trumpists) want “Putin stole the election for his friend Trump” to be the narrative of the Trump Presidency. With the Republicans in control of Congress and the Presidency, the Russian hacking story is the last weapon in the Democrats’ arsenal. They will pursue it with vigor. We need desperately to study Russian hybrid warfare, but not in a narrow political forum.

The Battle Over Russian Hacking Is Over The Legitimacy Of The Trump Presidency

Hacking accusation is a perfect propaganda tool, because usually nothing can be proven as form the time operation was performed to the time it was detected most traces are gone. And indirect evidence such as IP from which the attack came, code style, code page of discovered malware code, etc can easily be faked. Also unscrupulous security firms, hungry for funding, serve as a powerful amplifier, predicting rich variety of  propaganda warmongering alarmist nonsense the initiators want for free.  As most of such firms depends on government funding in no way they can say: Obama administration is lying, even is they see blatant discrepancies in the evidence presented. But discrepancies or complete absence of evidence is not a barrier for launching powerful propaganda campaign, brainwashing public in anti-Russian paranoia in cane of Obama administration, anti-Russian compaign. Not that Russians are perfect, but this is a clear case of pot calling the kettle black. 

When it is the USA or its allied did it in Iran with Flame and Stuxnet they were protected by the USA status of superpower. There were no US resolution condeming the USA for such blatant disregard of international norms and launching of new phase of cyber war.  Most methods used in those works are not entered the arsenal of regular criminals, especially those sho specialize on banking fraud. 

Who would risk calling the USA government irresponsible and gangrenous cybercriminals. But other countries are a fair play and can be scapegoated any time it is convenient. And what is more dangerous cyber attacks are perfect for false flag operations.

My impression is that if there were attempts to hack US sites from Russian IP space a false flag operation. As one commenter noted: "The Ukranian government have been trying to drive a wedge between the West and Russia for years for their own political advantage."

If so the agenda outside obvious attempt to poison US-Russian relations just before Trump assumes presidency coincide with internal need of neocon fifth column in Washington, DC.  Neocon in Washington are really afraid of losing their level of influence and their lucrative positions. And there is the whole colony of such "national security professionals" in Washington DC. For example,  what other employment Robert Kagan can find, if he can't do anything useful outside his favorite Russophobic agenda? He might well to became  unemployed along with his wife, who brought us the Ukrainian disaster.  So in way there is some kind of neocon coupe which is centered on undermining the legitimacy of Trump election (The Battle Over Russian Hacking Is Over The Legitimacy Of The Trump Presidency):

The tempest over whether Russian state hackers were behind the WikiLeaks release of Democratic Party emails is really a battle for the narrative of the 2016 Presidential election. Just as Bush v Gore gave birth to the slogan of an illegitimate Bush presidency, so do the Democrats (and some Republican anti-Trumpists) want “Putin stole the election for his friend Trump” to be the narrative of the Trump Presidency. With the Republicans in control of Congress and the Presidency, the Russian hacking story is the last weapon in the Democrats’ arsenal. They will pursue it with vigor. We need desperately to study Russian hybrid warfare, but not in a narrow political forum.

The Washington Post’s “Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House” cites unnamed sources “briefed on the matter” that "intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman."  The Post article cites an unnamed senior U.S. official that the "consensus view" of the intelligence committee is that Russia's goal was to get Trump elected.

President-elect Donald Trump's transition team has challenged the credibility of the CIA’s secret assessment: "These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction…The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and 'Make America Great Again.'"

The third player in this drama, Vladimir Putin, has remained consistent in his denials. In an interview carried by his foreign propaganda arm, RT, Putin declared:

“I wouldn’t know anything about it [hacked emails]. You know, there are so many hackers today and they work with such finesse, planting a trail where and when they need. Not even their own trail but masquerade their actions as those of other hackers acting from other territories, nations. It’s difficult to trace, if even possible. Anyway, we certainly don’t do such things on the state level.”

Putin’s press secretary denied Russian interference in the US election: “Russia will never intervene in the internal affairs, much less electoral process of other countries. Moscow scrupulously avoids any actions or words that could be regarded as direct or indirect interference in an electoral process.”

... ... ..

Trump has resisted pressure to agree that Russia was behind the hacks and was trying to get him elected. Instead, Trump has stated that “once they hack if you don't catch them in the act you're not going to catch them. They have no idea if it's Russia or China or somebody. It could be somebody sitting in a bed some place. I mean, they have no idea.” Trump’s political instincts are again serving him well. If he were to endorse the leaked intelligence community’s “high level of confidence” not only in the hacking but also in its intent, he would be signing on to the illegitimate President narrative the Democrats are pushing.

Here Ukrainians would be ery convenient tools for  Putin-did-it agenda, especially during post election Monday morning quarterbacking. 200PM Water Cooler 12-30-2016 naked capitalism

UPDATE “With Russia sanctions move, Obama leaves Trump with tough choices” [Japan Times].

FWIW, I view Obama’s moves as half-hearted, particularly given that Clintonites regard Trump as a witting agent of Putin (that is, a traitor (hence, should be prevented from taking office on January 20 by any means necessary)). If Obama wanted to send a strong signal, he wouldn’t be closing down Russian compounds that have been around 44 years, he’d be recalling our Ambassador from Moscow.

I think he’s out to make life hard for Trump, and to get the Clintonites — and The Blob — off his back, and not much more.

We’ll see what the long-promised report shows, but my guess is that there will be no exposed evidence, and no named sources. That is, Obama’s case will be even worse than the case Bush put together to justify the Iraq War, which at least had the status of a National Intelligence Estimate and the benefit of an inter-agency process that produced dissent (in the form of footnotes).

... ... ...

“By all accounts, Bill and Hillary Clinton never had any such qualms, and now their quarter-century project to build a mutual buy-one, get-one-free Clinton dynasty has ended in her defeat, and their joint departure from the center of the national political stage they had hoped to occupy for another eight years. Their exit amounts to a finale not just for themselves, but for Clintonism as a working political ideology and electoral strategy” [Politico]. If this article, and Yglesias’s “Smoking Rubble” piece in Vox, are indicative of the political class hive mind, whatever the Clintonites are ginning up with their Russian War Scare isn’t going to work (ergo, Trump will take the oath of office on January 20.)

Yes, in a way Obama’s case is even worse than the case Bush put together to justify the Iraq War, which at least had the status of a National Intelligence Estimate and the benefit of an inter-agency process that produced dissent (in the form of footnotes).


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[Feb 20, 2018] Nunes FBI and DOJ Perps Could Be Put on Trial

Feb 20, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , February 19, 2018 at 5:59 pm

Related news: Kim Dotcom: "Let Me Assure You, The DNC Hack Wasn't Even A Hack", https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-18/kim-dotcom-let-me-assure-you-dnc-hack-wasnt-even-hack (Kim Dot Com claims personal knowledge on who took the DNC emails (Seth Rich) and his lawyers wrote to Mueller twice, offering his testimony, but never heard back from Mueller).

Bob Van Noy , February 19, 2018 at 7:18 pm

Thank you Paul E. Merrell, J.D. I have been convinced from the beginning of all of this that this was the line to Wikileaks. Now if we could only get a real investigation into Seth's murder.

Stop Bush and Clinton , February 19, 2018 at 7:34 pm

"We found that they broke a vast number of laws, did surveillance of a competitor with a warrant based on fake evidence, all adding up to treason worse than Watergate. But we think that no reasonable prosecutor would file charges .." -- The FBI

[Feb 20, 2018] Russophobia is a futile bid to conceal US, European demise by Finian Cunningham

Highly recommended!
This is an old method to unite the nation against external enemy. Carnage (with so much oil and gas) needs to be destroyed. And it's working only partially with the major divisions between Trump and Hillary supporters remaining open and unaffected by Russiagate witch hunt.
Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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." ..."
"... 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." ..."
"... 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? ..."
"... 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". ..."
"... Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, 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. For over 20 years he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organizations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Now a freelance journalist based in East Africa, his columns appear on RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation and Press TV. ..."
Feb 20, 2018 | www.rt.com

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

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 (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, 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. For over 20 years he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organizations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Now a freelance journalist based in East Africa, his columns appear on RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation and Press TV.

[Feb 19, 2018] Nunes FBI and DOJ Perps Could Be Put on Trial by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
Nunes chances to bring perpetrators to justice are close to zero. The Deep State controls the Washington, DC and can withstand sporadic attacks.
It is an extremly courageous of Devin Nunes to give this interview.
Notable quotes:
"... Throwing down the gauntlet on alleged abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by the Department of Justice and the FBI, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) stated that there could be legal consequences for officials who may have misled the FISA court. "If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial," he said. "The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created." ..."
"... Nunes took this highly unusual, no-holds-barred stance during an interview with Emmy-award winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson , which aired on Sunday. ..."
"... He unapologetically averred that, yes, a criminal trial might well be the outcome. "DOJ and FBI are not above the law," he stated emphatically. "If they are committing abuse before a secret court getting warrants on American citizens, you're darn right that we're going to put them on trial." ..."
"... The stakes are very high. Current and former senior officials -- and not only from DOJ and FBI, but from other agencies like the CIA and NSA, whom documents and testimony show were involved in providing faulty information to justify a FISA warrant to monitor former Trump campaign official Carter Page -- may suddenly find themselves in considerable legal jeopardy. Like, felony territory. ..."
"... On the other hand, the presumptive perps have not run into a chairman like Nunes in four decades, since Congressmen Lucien Nedzi (D-Mich.), Otis Pike (D-NY), and Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho) ran tough, explosive hearings on the abuses of a previous generation deep state, including massive domestic spying revealed by quintessential investigative reporter Seymour Hersh in December 1974. (Actually, this is largely why the congressional intelligence oversight committees were later established, and why the FISA law was passed in 1978.) ..."
"... At this point, one is tempted to say plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose ..."
"... One glaring sign of the media's unwillingness to displease corporate masters and Official Washington is the harsh reality that Hersh's most recent explosive investigations, using his large array of government sources to explore front-burner issues, have not been able to find a home in any English-speaking newspaper or journal. ..."
"... On this point, Nunes said, "In the last administration they were unmasking hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of Americans' names. They were unmasking for what I would say, for lack of a better definition, were for political purposes." ..."
"... It is real courageous of Devin Nunes to give this interview. It is not only the accountability to law that is at stake in U.S., but the Whole World is imperiled with what happens in Washington. But as many have written before in comments about this complete moral collapse of the Entire West, I am afraid, it is all going to be swept under the rug. We have to just keep the fingers crossed. ..."
"... I have never seen such media bias against a sitting president in my lifetime, not even against Richard Nixon when they at least practiced decorum and feigned objectivity even if they were secretly cheering on his demise. I will reiterate here that I do not champion the man but rather due process under our constitution, which has been made a travesty from the moment of Clinton's loss at the polls. ..."
"... I completely agree with you Realist. I am not Trump's fan or supporter of his agenda, in fact, in many things quite the opposite of it. However, he raised some very valid points about the the domestic economy and other issues, and about the need to stop interventions in foreign countries, and getting along Russia, and the need to rebuild country's manufacturing system again. He was duly elected by the people, and he should have been given the support to pursue what he promised. But it did not happen. ..."
"... Although it's being done for the wrong reasons, I am nevertheless looking forward to seeing our out-of-control intelligence agencies being put in their place. If I were president and my party controlled both houses of Congress, you'd better believe I'd be looking to dismantle the national surveillance state and reduce the military budget to a "mere" $250 billion annually. ..."
"... The post 9-11 wars of aggression, massive surveillance, torture and other war crimes were sold to the American public as only to be inflicted on foreigners, i.e. "we fight them over there so we don't fight them here." But the blowback has now turned America's schools, malls, workplaces, concerts and churches into war zones and little by little, the disinformation ops, "regime change" know-how and other accoutrements of perpetual war (the fool's errand of gaining full spectrum dominance over the rest of the world) have been turned inward on the American people, including powerful American officials themselves. So it would seem to be a good thing that some politicians like Nunes have finally seen the light exactly as Frank Church did -- only when they themselves began to reap the negative consequences of what they thought would only negatively impact other, lesser people. ..."
"... But there is more to it, as some have pointed out in comments above, there are some intra-party quarrels going on in Washington to take the upper hand. Regarding foreign policy, National Security State and surveillance, and other such issues, both parties are joined at the hip. ..."
"... It is instructive to read the comments on any NYT article on this subject. The comments are clearly written by intelligent, well-educated individuals – who parrot the Deep State's anti-Russian propaganda as if they were the dumbest of the "Better dead than Red!" 50s McCarthyites. ..."
"... The new McCarthyites are actually stupider and more authoritarian than their sad fore-bearers, because they could pierce the Deep States lies with 30 minutes of online research, but they prefer tribalism and ignorance, instead. ..."
"... Trump started going head to head with the intel folks, but has backed down a lot now. Let's hope Nunes et al hang in there and keep the pressure on these despicable criminals who hide behind governmental powers. ..."
"... Somehow I don't think Nunes or his committee is capable of reigning in Frankenstein. His "constitutuents"" are not likely to allow it and although the monster was pieced together from many body parts its instincts for self-preservation are formidable. Nevertheless, I would applaud anyone who makes the effort. ..."
"... Note that after saying the Russians are indicted for interfering in the election, and spending 5 minutes on this, at the 5 minute 20 second mark Rosenstein says there is no evidence that the Russians had any affect [sic] on the election! So what we have is the Deputy Attorney General of the United States announcing an indictment for which he says there is no evidence! ..."
"... In the world of cypher espionage I have no knowledge, but if Russia does hang out in it well then I'm sure the U.S. is already there to do what it must to defend it's cypher security. So that's a wash, but this insane Russia-Gate distraction was originally a way to deflect attention from Hillary & Debbie's putting the screws to Socialist Sanders . then Russia-Gate became a MSM driven coup to oust Trump from his Electoral won presidential office. ..."
"... Impossible to get the whole Gorgon's head, anyway, in such a corrupt system as we have ..."
"... Ray, do you think Trump has made a deal: he'll allow escalations against Russia, and in return the Deep State will leave him alone? If so, does that portend that this will fizzle out? ..."
"... While the shiny ball, smoke and mirrors psychological operation known as "Russiagate" has begun running on fumes before the gas tank finally runs dry, the major revelation of the Clinton WikiLeaks emails describing Saudi/Qatari financing of ISIS drops further down the memory hole. There's nothing like success ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes has stated that "DOJ and FBI are not above the law," and could face legal consequences for alleged abuses of the FISA court, reports Ray McGovern.

Throwing down the gauntlet on alleged abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by the Department of Justice and the FBI, House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) stated that there could be legal consequences for officials who may have misled the FISA court. "If they need to be put on trial, we will put them on trial," he said. "The reason Congress exists is to oversee these agencies that we created."

Nunes took this highly unusual, no-holds-barred stance during an interview with Emmy-award winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson , which aired on Sunday.

Attkisson said she had invited both Nunes and House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) but that only Nunes agreed. She asked him about Schiff's charge that Nunes' goal was "to put the FBI and DOJ on trial." What followed was very atypical bluntness -- candor normally considered quite unacceptable in polite circles of the Washington Establishment.

Rather than play the diplomat and disavow what Schiff contended was Nunes' goal, Nunes said, in effect, let the chips fall where they may. He unapologetically averred that, yes, a criminal trial might well be the outcome. "DOJ and FBI are not above the law," he stated emphatically. "If they are committing abuse before a secret court getting warrants on American citizens, you're darn right that we're going to put them on trial."

Die Is Cast

The stakes are very high. Current and former senior officials -- and not only from DOJ and FBI, but from other agencies like the CIA and NSA, whom documents and testimony show were involved in providing faulty information to justify a FISA warrant to monitor former Trump campaign official Carter Page -- may suddenly find themselves in considerable legal jeopardy. Like, felony territory.

This was not supposed to happen. Mrs. Clinton was a shoo-in, remember? Back when the FISA surveillance warrant of Page was obtained, just weeks before the November 2016 election, there seemed to be no need to hide tracks, because, even if these extracurricular activities were discovered, the perps would have looked forward to award certificates rather than legal problems under a Trump presidency.

Thus, the knives will be coming out. Mostly because the mainstream media will make a major effort -- together with Schiff-mates in the Democratic Party -- to marginalize Nunes, those who find themselves in jeopardy can be expected to push back strongly.

If past is precedent, they will be confident that, with their powerful allies within the FBI/DOJ/CIA "Deep State" they will be able to counter Nunes and show him and the other congressional investigation committee chairs, where the power lies. The conventional wisdom is that Nunes and the others have bit off far more than they can chew. And the odds do not favor folks, including oversight committee chairs, who buck the system.

Staying Power

On the other hand, the presumptive perps have not run into a chairman like Nunes in four decades, since Congressmen Lucien Nedzi (D-Mich.), Otis Pike (D-NY), and Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho) ran tough, explosive hearings on the abuses of a previous generation deep state, including massive domestic spying revealed by quintessential investigative reporter Seymour Hersh in December 1974. (Actually, this is largely why the congressional intelligence oversight committees were later established, and why the FISA law was passed in 1978.)

At this point, one is tempted to say plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose -- or the more things change, the more they stay the same -- but that would be only half correct in this context. Yes, scoundrels will always take liberties with the law to spy on others. But the huge difference today is that mainstream media have no room for those who uncover government crimes and abuse. And this will be a major impediment to efforts by Nunes and other committee chairs to inform the public.

One glaring sign of the media's unwillingness to displease corporate masters and Official Washington is the harsh reality that Hersh's most recent explosive investigations, using his large array of government sources to explore front-burner issues, have not been able to find a home in any English-speaking newspaper or journal. In a sense, this provides what might be called a "confidence-building" factor, giving some assurance to deep-state perps that they will be able to ride this out, and that congressional committee chairs will once again learn to know their (subservient) place.

Much will depend on whether top DOJ and FBI officials can bring themselves to reverse course and give priority to the oath they took to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. This should not be too much to hope for, but it will require uncommon courage in facing up honestly to the major misdeeds appear to have occurred -- and letting the chips fall where they may. Besides, it would be the right thing to do.

Nunes is projecting calm confidence that once he and Trey Gowdey (R-Tenn.), chair of the House Oversight Committee, release documentary evidence showing what their investigations have turned up, it will be hard for DOJ and FBI officials to dissimulate.

In Other News

In the interview with Attkisson, Nunes covered a number of other significant issues:

The committee is closing down its investigation into possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign; no evidence of collusion was found. The apparently widespread practice of "unmasking" the identities of Americans under surveillance. On this point, Nunes said, "In the last administration they were unmasking hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of Americans' names. They were unmasking for what I would say, for lack of a better definition, were for political purposes." Asked about Schiff's criticism that Nunes behaved improperly on what he called the "midnight run to the White House," Nunes responded that the stories were untrue. "Well, most of the time I ignore political nonsense in this town," he said. "What I will say is that all of those stories were totally fake from the beginning."

Not since Watergate has there been so high a degree of political tension here in Washington but the stakes for our Republic are even higher this time. Assuming abuse of FISA court procedures is documented and those responsible for playing fast and loose with the required justification for legal warrants are not held to account, the division of powers enshrined in the Constitution will be in peril.

A denouement of some kind can be expected in the coming months. Stay tuned.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Savior in inner-city Washington. He was a CIA analyst for 27 years and is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).


Skip Scott , February 19, 2018 at 9:38 am

Thanks Ray for another great article. One can only hope that Nunes is successful. However, like you say, the MSM is now complicit with the "Deep State", so the fight for justice becomes much harder. One also has to remember Schumer's "six ways from Sunday" applies equally to the congress as it does to the president. I hardly ever watch TV news, but recently I've been subjected to it, and I've seen a deluge of fluff pieces on our so-called Intelligence Agencies. I would love to see Trump give a speech (instead of a tweet) directly to the American people letting them know what rascals like Brennan, Clapper, et al have been up to.

Bob Van Noy , February 19, 2018 at 12:51 pm

This may be the best broadcast tv journalism in many years, read Sharyl Attkisson's story, "Stonewalled" (I will link the commentary page to that book for thorough readers). And thank you Nat, Ray McGovern & CN

https://www.amazon.com/Stonewalled-Obstruction-Intimidation-Harassment-Washington/dp/0062322850/ref=sr_1_1/140-4375232-2286101?ie=UTF8&qid=1519058613&sr=8-1&keywords=stonewalled#customerReviews

Dave P. , February 19, 2018 at 2:29 pm

An excellent and very timely article by Ray McGovern. Lawlessness, greed, complete subservience to Wall Street Finance and other Powers, insanity, and utter inhumanity prevails in present day Ruling Establishment in Washington. Obama, "the hope and change" Con Artist for whose election, being democrats we worked so hard in 2008 turned to be the biggest perpetrator of this lawlessness and responsible for fanning the flames still further in starting a new Cold War.

It is real courageous of Devin Nunes to give this interview. It is not only the accountability to law that is at stake in U.S., but the Whole World is imperiled with what happens in Washington. But as many have written before in comments about this complete moral collapse of the Entire West, I am afraid, it is all going to be swept under the rug. We have to just keep the fingers crossed.

Howard Dean just said yesterday that Nunes and people like him belong in jail. Now can you believe it, how low these so called liberal democrats have come to? Looking at the pictures of Adam Schiff, Howard Dean, and others in their company, I literally feel sick in the stomach. And one asks the essential question: "did not their parents teach them any honesty or moral principles in young age?".

Abbybwood , February 19, 2018 at 3:54 pm

But what he said is very confusing. First he says that Congress has no way to prosecute the DOJ/FBI for wrong doing then at the end he says Congress will need to prosecute the DOJ/FBI if necessary. Either Congress has the ability to prosecute the DOJ/FBI and issue indictments and set up Grand Juries or they don't.

Somebody needs to find out, Constitutionally, what the solution is when the DOJ/FBI at the highest levels become the criminals. WHO has the power to indict/convict these individuals??

Sam F , February 19, 2018 at 10:36 pm

A special prosecutor (Mueller's position) is appointed by the Pres or AG.

Annie , February 19, 2018 at 3:20 pm

From what I've heard expressed by a few FBI people, you don't come before a court, but a judge, one person, and they are known to rubber stamp almost everything. So they should be investigated too.

Realist , February 19, 2018 at 5:02 pm

I have never seen such media bias against a sitting president in my lifetime, not even against Richard Nixon when they at least practiced decorum and feigned objectivity even if they were secretly cheering on his demise. I will reiterate here that I do not champion the man but rather due process under our constitution, which has been made a travesty from the moment of Clinton's loss at the polls.

Dave P. , February 19, 2018 at 7:56 pm

I completely agree with you Realist. I am not Trump's fan or supporter of his agenda, in fact, in many things quite the opposite of it. However, he raised some very valid points about the the domestic economy and other issues, and about the need to stop interventions in foreign countries, and getting along Russia, and the need to rebuild country's manufacturing system again. He was duly elected by the people, and he should have been given the support to pursue what he promised. But it did not happen. We would not know now what he actually wanted to accomplish.

Sam F , February 19, 2018 at 10:41 pm

Yes, neither party nor the mass media shows concern for the Constitution or for the people. As the propaganda agency, the mass media are primarily responsible. The zionist/WallSt/MIC oligarchy have consolidated control over mass media, secret agencies, and elections, but not without factions.

Michael , February 19, 2018 at 10:00 am

Although it's being done for the wrong reasons, I am nevertheless looking forward to seeing our out-of-control intelligence agencies being put in their place. If I were president and my party controlled both houses of Congress, you'd better believe I'd be looking to dismantle the national surveillance state and reduce the military budget to a "mere" $250 billion annually.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 11:09 am

Michael I hear ya. Yes, there is a civil war of sorts going on in DC, and yes it would be a wonderful thing to rid our bureaucracy of all the slim that is in it, but taking Jiminy Cricket's good advice to heart would be so much more fruitful to if you and I would only sing;

'When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires will come to you"

Now that song will be stuck in my head all day .got any Journey? Joe

Coleen Rowley , February 19, 2018 at 3:27 pm

It's true that people generally do not care when bad practices, policies or violence is inflicted on others and not on themselves. Of course that's stupid because it's just a matter of time before "blowback" occurs (as the CIA euphemistically labeled how doing unto others eventually boomerangs back on perpetrators). Going back to the Church Committee and how that bit of accountability finally happened, it only got off the ground when Frank Church and other Senators found THEMSELVES in the crosshairs of FBI Cointelpro; CIA's "CHAOS" and NSA's "Minaret" surveillance. http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/09/25/secret-cold-war-documents-reveal-nsa-spied-on-senators/ (To this day, only 7 of the 1000 or so Americans targeted by the NSA during the Vietnam War have been discovered but their identities are telling.)

The post 9-11 wars of aggression, massive surveillance, torture and other war crimes were sold to the American public as only to be inflicted on foreigners, i.e. "we fight them over there so we don't fight them here." But the blowback has now turned America's schools, malls, workplaces, concerts and churches into war zones and little by little, the disinformation ops, "regime change" know-how and other accoutrements of perpetual war (the fool's errand of gaining full spectrum dominance over the rest of the world) have been turned inward on the American people, including powerful American officials themselves. So it would seem to be a good thing that some politicians like Nunes have finally seen the light exactly as Frank Church did -- only when they themselves began to reap the negative consequences of what they thought would only negatively impact other, lesser people.

BobS , February 19, 2018 at 4:50 pm

" the blowback has now turned America's schools, malls, workplaces, concerts and churches into war zones"

"blowback" is doing a lot of work in that sentence, if you're referring specifically to "post 9-11 wars of aggression, massive surveillance, torture and other war crimes". Whenever the incidents have had a political agenda attached, it's more often than not been of the domestic right-wing variety. And of course, all of them have been facilitated by easy civilian access to hardware that was originally developed by the military (ours and the Soviets) to efficiently kill/incapacitate large numbers of enemy fighters.

Gregory Herr , February 19, 2018 at 7:30 pm

BobS fails to understand that blowback encapsulates more than "revenge". "Forever war" and all Colleen mentions that goes with it has had societal impact because violence is glorified as a "solution" and feelings of suspicion and antagonism become part of the dark undertow.

Sam F , February 19, 2018 at 10:54 pm

Well said, Colleen. Let us hope that Nunes is not merely acting the part. I wonder whether the greatest secrets of domestic spying are now so compartmentalized and controlled that only those most dependent upon their agency could blow the whistle.

Annie , February 19, 2018 at 4:23 pm

This is not to be compared to spying on citizens, which is unacceptable, but they tried to undermine a presidency, whether you like Trump or not, and at the same time it allowed them to push their cold war agenda. I remember Clinton's campaign manager coming out right after the e-mail dump that said the Russians did it. And didn't Obama send a lot of those Russian ambassadors packing? They should be investigated, as should the FISA court itself. Perhaps if Trump didn't have this charge of colluding with Russia he might have been able to be more diplomatic on that score. Now, they made sure he would never be getting along with Russia. What they have now is a bunch of Russians acting on their own that allegedly interfered in our elections and created political discord, which is absurd, since the democrats are mainly responsible for this nonsense, as is the FBI and DOJ. I was a democrat, but no more.

Dave P. , February 19, 2018 at 4:52 pm

Annie, you are right on that. However, Coleen Rowely has also made some very good observations in her comments. But there is more to it, as some have pointed out in comments above, there are some intra-party quarrels going on in Washington to take the upper hand. Regarding foreign policy, National Security State and surveillance, and other such issues, both parties are joined at the hip.

Gregory Herr , February 19, 2018 at 7:42 pm

I wouldn't completely discount the idea that Nunes' sense of responsibility has been activated by being a close witness to what is blatant wrongdoing. But then my cynicism is still tempered by the belief that sometimes people are compelled to do what's right just because it's what's right. Silly me.

Virginia , February 19, 2018 at 10:34 am

Me, too, Michael, to " dismantle the national surveillance state and reduce the military budget to a 'mere' $250 billion annually."

Thanks to Ray McGovern for another good article with link to interview. Good to hear they will finally be closing the Mueller investigation (Nunes was straightforward about that, no there there) and will likely be investigating the FBI and DOJ.

Applause goes to David Nunes. Keep up the good work.

Abbybwood , February 19, 2018 at 4:03 pm

But I see where Trump asked for nearly one TRILLION dollars for the military and got it.

Pandas4peace , February 19, 2018 at 10:24 am

Where can we get access to Seymour Hersh's "recent explosive investigations" even if they are written in German?

Cherrycoke , February 19, 2018 at 11:57 am

https://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article165905578/Trump-s-Red-Line.html

There is more at the bottom of the page.

Ray McGovern , February 19, 2018 at 12:11 pm

Try this link: http://raymcgovern.com/?s=hersh+welt or simply search on consortiumnews.com webpage.

ray

mike k , February 19, 2018 at 2:54 pm

"On June 25th 2017 the German newspaper, Welt, published the latest piece by Seymour Hersh, countering the "mainstream" narrative around the April 4th 2017 Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack in Syria."

Ray McGovern , February 19, 2018 at 9:35 pm

Ranney,

Please have a look at this: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/06/25/intel-behind-trumps-syria-attack-questioned/

Consortiumnews.com publishes and comments on everything Pulitzer Prize winning Sy Hersh does. The problem is that he is BANNED from English-language pubs -- simply banned and even kept off erstwhile "liberal" TV and radio programs. Amy Goodman, for example, has ALWAYS had Sy on when he had a new story until this one. She would not touch it; these days prefers to go with the "White Helmets" of this world. O Tempora, O Mores. Sad.

So, in sum, the problem is a very basic one. Sy does not publish until he has nailed down every significant detail and, since he is so well plugged in with many longtime, trusted sources to sift through, that takes a while for a bit story -- as all of them are. And when he is ready to publish, he hears folks whisper "Leper" as he gets close to an editorial office. It really IS that bad. We owe the op-ed editor at die Welt our thanks.

Btw: The Consortiumnews.com main page has a SEARCH button that I find very handy. Try to search on Seymour Hersh. Same goes for easily searchable raymcgovern.com, my website.

Ray

David Otness , February 19, 2018 at 5:37 pm

The London Review of Books has been publishing Hersh's work. That's one source.

Ray McGovern , February 19, 2018 at 9:51 pm

David,

Not for his latest of last June. See explanation of LRB cave in at: https://consortiumnews.com/2017/06/25/intel-behind-trumps-syria-attack-questioned/

The ostracizing of Sy Hersh is a major -- if highly depressing -- story in and of itself. But he is irrepressible. I do not think he is going to silently steal away any time soon.

Ray McGovern

Kim Dixon , February 19, 2018 at 10:32 am

Can anyone imagine the Neocon WashPo, or the NYT (or CBS, or CNN, or ) committing actual journalism, as this story progresses?

That, and the DNC's commitment to the DNC to the Russia Did It!™ canard, will ensure that real revelations go nowhere.

It is instructive to read the comments on any NYT article on this subject. The comments are clearly written by intelligent, well-educated individuals – who parrot the Deep State's anti-Russian propaganda as if they were the dumbest of the "Better dead than Red!" 50s McCarthyites.

The new McCarthyites are actually stupider and more authoritarian than their sad fore-bearers, because they could pierce the Deep States lies with 30 minutes of online research, but they prefer tribalism and ignorance, instead.

Lois Gagnon , February 19, 2018 at 1:01 pm

You got that right! I live in the 5 college area in Massachusetts. Plenty of those types around here playing activists. They fit your description. I can't stand to be in the same room with any of them. They may as well be from Mars.

Nancy , February 19, 2018 at 2:47 pm

I agree. The average working person has more common sense than the so-called intelligent, educated class. I suspect their views reflect the fact that they are very comfortable, financially, with the status quo, and don't want any real change.

mike k , February 19, 2018 at 10:35 am

Trump started going head to head with the intel folks, but has backed down a lot now. Let's hope Nunes et al hang in there and keep the pressure on these despicable criminals who hide behind governmental powers. When you allow people to do whatever they want in secret with no oversight, you can expect them to abuse their power. The basic question all this leads to is "who is running this country and making crucial decisions about war and peace, or fascism and democracy"?

BobH , February 19, 2018 at 10:52 am

Somehow I don't think Nunes or his committee is capable of reigning in Frankenstein. His "constitutuents"" are not likely to allow it and although the monster was pieced together from many body parts its instincts for self-preservation are formidable. Nevertheless, I would applaud anyone who makes the effort.

BobH , February 19, 2018 at 6:43 pm

Here's where Mueller's investigation didn't go https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-2_Bc_7Pos

Bob Van Noy , February 19, 2018 at 7:11 pm

Thanks BobH, that's an excellent rant, thanks for passing it along.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 10:58 am

The only way any trail that Nunes could even begin to make magically appear to happen before our weary eyes will happen only, and I say only, will appear because it will be good for tv ratings. Enforcing Constitutional law, I mean who does that anymore? Why today in our nation's capital we have congressional people asking the opposite of what Ben Franklin warned us good citizens about as the swamp critters are saying, 'Constitution how can we lose it'. You know this Ray that these crooks and crookettes in DC think that the U.S. Constitution is so passé and so anciently colonial that they hear Jefferson saying, 'ignore this stupid document, I was drunk with Adams and Franklin when I wrote it. It was all a big mistake.' Or something like that, but Constitutional law we don't need no stink'n Constitutional law, now get back to your part time work. (Whip cracking sound)

Hey Ray this whole fiasco does what is most important in this new American century, this fiasco is entertaining and the ratings are going through the roof so with that what more could a red blooded good American ask for now pass the tv remote.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 11:29 am

Paul Craig Roberts may have nailed this thing: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/02/18/cbs-contradicts-muellers-report/

blimbax , February 19, 2018 at 9:21 pm

Paul Craig Roberts wrote,

Note that after saying the Russians are indicted for interfering in the election, and spending 5 minutes on this, at the 5 minute 20 second mark Rosenstein says there is no evidence that the Russians had any affect [sic] on the election! So what we have is the Deputy Attorney General of the United States announcing an indictment for which he says there is no evidence!

If we take Roberts' statement at face value, he may have inadvertenly mischaracterized Rosenstein's statement. According to Roberts, Rosenstein said there is no evidence of an effect on the election, but it does not follow from that that Rosenstein is saying that there is no evidence of interference. There may have been "interference" that had no impact. And, of course, there is the question, just what is meant by "interference" in this context?

I share the frustration many commenters have about the entire "Russiagate" narrative, but I think it is important to be careful in how we evaluate these statements. It may all be a "nothinburger," but it is important to describe things carefully and correctly. Otherwise, one ends up inadvertently setting up a straw man for someone else to knock down.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 10:25 pm

I share the stress you do blimblax that you and all who stay on this Russia-Gate pay-ops suffer, but the way this crooked nail investigation has been going, mostly distorted by the press coverage, your argument about the interpretation of Rosenstein's words to the general public will be like splitting hairs with bald people . they just won't get it, and why, because I'm not sure the vast amount of Americans get it now. They got turned off along time ago back when the FBI didn't produce Trump performing his much heard about Steele Dossier acclaimed Water Sports in his Moscow Obama's Presidential Suite sick, yes, but it's the truth. No pictures, no believe you.

Personally I have never doubted any Russian influence in the way of statements, or essays, but this contribution of opinion is to be expected from any well thinking country, or nation if you'd rather of the world. Plus the Russians spending wasn't even close to any real fraction of what both U.S. Presidential candidate spend on their campaigns, get real.

In the world of cypher espionage I have no knowledge, but if Russia does hang out in it well then I'm sure the U.S. is already there to do what it must to defend it's cypher security. So that's a wash, but this insane Russia-Gate distraction was originally a way to deflect attention from Hillary & Debbie's putting the screws to Socialist Sanders . then Russia-Gate became a MSM driven coup to oust Trump from his Electoral won presidential office.

We could argue to how Trump,should be questioned, or even brought up on impeachment charges, but not for this particular Russia interference into our so well guarded American democracy. In fact we Americans don't need any Russian help at bringing our American democracy down, because we Americans already did that with the Patriot Act as among a few many other things. Joe

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 11:59 am

Here is a rant by Charles Hugh Smith: http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2018/02/russian-meddling-gagging-on-irony.html

SocraticGadfly , February 19, 2018 at 1:35 pm

Neither Dems nor GOP truly care about the First Amendment. Ray won't write about that. I have, re the Mueller indictments: http://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2018/02/internet-research-agency-butt-hurt.html

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 2:14 pm

That was a terrific read, and so is this: http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/02/mueller-indictement-the-russian-influence-is-a-commercial-marketing-scheme.html#more

Enjoy. Joe

Bill , February 19, 2018 at 11:48 am

Somehow many Democrats are convinced that the FBI/DOJ did nothing wrong with regards to the FISA warrants. And they're still convinced that Trump colluded with Putin. Nothing will change their minds, it's hopeless.

Lois Gagnon , February 19, 2018 at 4:17 pm

It is indeed surreal to watch people who classify themselves as the left undermining the left by supporting the very agencies whose sole purpose from their inception is to destroy the left.

As David William Pear put it at OpEd News, "I don't think even Orwell has a scene like this: anti-authoritarian dissidents endorse more authoritarian means to weed out authoritarians resulting in authoritarians having more control to weed out dissidents."

I have a headache.

Jessika , February 19, 2018 at 11:55 am

The Deep State is very, very deep, and we're "Knee Deep in the Big Muddy" (Pete Seeger). Anybody knows the US Deep State was thoroughly entrenched by Reagan's time. It's overdue not to let this deep state corruption harden to concrete. I support neither party until there is a course correction, and Nunes makes valid points in support of a correction. Thanks, Ray.

BobS , February 19, 2018 at 11:58 am

Thin skinned too, eh Ray?
You're right, of course- Russia analysts at the CIA did stellar work in the 1980s.

Joe Tedesky , February 19, 2018 at 12:01 pm

No BobS it's you with your thickhead that doesn't get it. Keep it up BobS, because eventually you are going to say something funny. Take care. Joe

SocraticGadfly , February 19, 2018 at 1:34 pm

Ray continues to engage in two-siderism. He ignores digging into legit critiques of Mueller, as I have. http://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2018/02/internet-research-agency-butt-hurt.html

Charles Misfeldt , February 19, 2018 at 11:58 am

Will Nunes or any conservative go after the thousands of illegal acts perpetrated by conservatives??? NO! Nunes, along with every conservative traitor in America (republican or democrat) needs to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. The conservative agenda is not moral or constitutional.

BobS , February 19, 2018 at 1:09 pm

Considering their disregard for law as well as their worship of authoritarianism (exercised against the proper targets, of course), I'd say it's more than "self-enrichment" that drives conservatives, both ancient and modern.

Deniz , February 19, 2018 at 1:58 pm

Perhaps that is an issue, but I am unclear precisely what is wrong in Nunes position that he is relying on Gowdy, an undeniably sharp, precise, prosecutor, to review the examined material. Watching both Nunes and Gowdy in sessions, I would have probably, and gladly, made the same decision. It also make sense politically that they cover for each other, one person is expendable and takes the heat – Nunes, while the other – Gowdy, an upward star of the party, who probably ran the whole investigation anyway, keeps his hands clean.

BobS , February 19, 2018 at 2:09 pm

The always partisan "upward star" Trey 'BENGHAZI!!!' Gowdy announced his retirement from congress last month due to his being "sick of hyper-partisanship". And let me show you this bridge I'm selling

Deniz , February 19, 2018 at 2:32 pm

In fact, I would greatly enjoy a discussion on weapons transfers from Libya to Erdogan to Al – Qaeda via Clinton. This is actually one of my favorite topics. So have it.

Deniz , February 19, 2018 at 5:34 pm

So what is your argument, that we should be loyal to our crime family and not theirs?

Or do you think Hillary, "We came, we saw, he died" or Mueller, of nothing to see here on 9/11 notoriety are the sort of people we should be defending.

Jessika , February 19, 2018 at 12:07 pm

Impossible to get the whole Gorgon's head, anyway, in such a corrupt system as we have. Why else are we in such a mess? Both GOP and Democrats have not served the people, so we should therefore give up trying to address any abuse?

Antiwar7 , February 19, 2018 at 12:35 pm

Ray, do you think Trump has made a deal: he'll allow escalations against Russia, and in return the Deep State will leave him alone? If so, does that portend that this will fizzle out?

Gregory Herr , February 19, 2018 at 8:14 pm

So you are privy to the briefings in question. Just because Reagan bloated the military budget doesn't mean he was being fed false intelligence by McGovern.

On the other hand, it is well publicized that Cheney twisted arms at Langley and Tenet obliged and Rummy worked the Iraq angle as well. We also had the Downing Street Memo and the Powell fiasco and Valerie Plame. Ray was right to be indignant.

Jerry Alatalo , February 19, 2018 at 3:50 pm

While the shiny ball, smoke and mirrors psychological operation known as "Russiagate" has begun running on fumes before the gas tank finally runs dry, the major revelation of the Clinton WikiLeaks emails describing Saudi/Qatari financing of ISIS drops further down the memory hole. There's nothing like success

Drew Hunkins , February 19, 2018 at 3:59 pm

Good point Mr. Alatalo. The Saudi-Zio Terror Network gets away with murder, literally and figuratively and of course the Saudi-Zio Terror Network NEVER, EVER interferes in ANY elections in the United States, no never.

(sarcasm)

Paul E. Merrell, J.D. , February 19, 2018 at 5:59 pm

Related news: Kim Dotcom: "Let Me Assure You, The DNC Hack Wasn't Even A Hack", https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-18/kim-dotcom-let-me-assure-you-dnc-hack-wasnt-even-hack (Kim Dot Com claims personal knowledge on who took the DNC emails (Seth Rich) and his lawyers wrote to Mueller twice, offering his testimony, but never heard back from Mueller).

Bob Van Noy , February 19, 2018 at 7:18 pm

Thank you Paul E. Merrell, J.D. I have been convinced from the beginning of all of this that this was the line to Wikileaks. Now if we could only get a real investigation into Seth's murder.

Stop Bush and Clinton , February 19, 2018 at 7:34 pm

"We found that they broke a vast number of laws, did surveillance of a competitor with a warrant based on fake evidence, all adding up to treason worse than Watergate. But we think that no reasonable prosecutor would file charges .." -- The FBI

[Feb 19, 2018] The Russiagate Intelligence Wars What We Do and Don't Know

Highly recommended!
Mueller was the person responsible for investigation of 911. That fact alone tells you all as for what we can expect.
Notable quotes:
"... NO actual physical proof has been presented to the public to substantiate claims that Russia hacked the DNC ..."
"... There is NO proof (only allegations) of collusion between Trump's campaign and the Kremlin ..."
"... Social media efforts by Russian trolls to influence the election were minimal in the extreme, laughably amateurish and completely ineffective ..."
"... Glenn Greenwald has spent the past year documenting in detail the large volume of fake anti-Russian "news" generated by the MSM (see GG at The Intercept) ..."
"... There is NO connection between the Russian government and the 13 private citizens recently indicted for their pathetic and ineffectual activity as part of a troll farm ..."
"... Thanks to the paranoid, xenophobic, Russia-bashing nationalistic propaganda that is being promoted by our military-industrial-intelligence-media complex, the U.S. now believes it is acceptable to launch a first strike nuclear attack in retaliation for breeches of cyber security ..."
"... Trump won't be impeached over Russiagate for the simple reason that Russiagate is nothing but a psyops perpetrated against the American people by the national-security bureaucracy (and their corporate media propagandists) for the purposes of reigniting a second Cold War and maintaining U.S. global hegemony. ..."
"... Thanks to the hysterical McCarthyism now rampant among Democrats - and that is being used to great effect by Washington's bipartisan neocon warmongers - we may just end up in a nuclear war. The good news: it will be a short war and the Democrats will never have to accept responsibility for Clinton's loss. ..."
"... How about that Clinton got the CIA to partner with neo-Nazis in Ukraine to stage a coup, kick out Putin's friend, and install a billionaire capitalist as President? - something the media never mentions. ..."
"... Ultimately, I see the Russia story as getting its legs from the efforts of the dominant Hillary wing of the Democratic party, backed by big media, to continue to assert that Hillary really won the presidency in 2016, and that their wing should continue to have control of the party. ..."
"... That an immensely dangerous war fever is being whipped up in the process is of no importance to them. And, by no means incidentally, they are ignoring all of the real atrocities being committed by the Trump administration against the American people and the earth's environment. ..."
"... It has been thus since the creep moved into the White House. Dreyfuss, perky Rachel Maddow, Colbert, Maher, and many others have been the true "useful idiots". ..."
"... This same media never gave Sanders any media exposure during the primary. ..."
"... I would add that the election manipulations which the Clinton forces engaged in to defeat Sanders during the Democratic primaries dwarfs, by orders of magnitude, anything alleged against the Russians by even the most hawkish backers of the Russia probe. ..."
"... tweet by Peter Van Buren, former US foreign intelligence officer "Just did a quick read of the '13 Russian' indictment. Missing are a) any connections between the 13 and the Russian government and/or Trump campaign; b) any discussion of the impact (if any) their social media efforts had. It describes them buying Facebook ads, but nothing about if it affected votes; c) no connection shown between any of this and DNC, Wikileaks, hacking of emails; d) no discussion of motive; e) assumption that anything anti-Clinton was defacto pro-Bernie and/or pro-Trump. And all indicted persons are Russians, and outside the U.S., so highly unlikely this is going anywhere further legally. ..."
"... BTW, today the media put up that scumbag Podesta as a spokesperson for the Democrats. ..."
"... Seems that the end justifies the means. No matter what is the truth. In the mean-time, they're actually harming the opposition to Trump. I suppose nobody asked Podesta why the DNC never offered their computers for FBI forensics. ..."
"... The MSM never asks the hard questions anymore. It seems all pre-scripted and sanitized for corporate media. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... So we are going to limit global free speech by spending $Trillions more on building a nuclear arsenal - total madness - driven by [un] Democratic whining. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... You mean like Clinton and the CIA did in Ukraine, for economic domination over Russia, don't you? ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... Stephen Cohen's take on Russiagate makes a lot of sense, to me. I've followed Russia/soviet/US relations very closely since Gorbachev. Open your eyes, Mattis has labeled Russia our mortal enemy, we just upped defense spending to an obscene level that shall keep our schools, hospitals, social services, and infrastructure in their bad state. ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | www.thenation.com

Cara Marianna says: February 19, 2018 at 4:36 pm

Here's what we know:

  1. NO actual physical proof has been presented to the public to substantiate claims that Russia hacked the DNC
  2. There is NO proof (only allegations) of collusion between Trump's campaign and the Kremlin
  3. Social media efforts by Russian trolls to influence the election were minimal in the extreme, laughably amateurish and completely ineffective
  4. Glenn Greenwald has spent the past year documenting in detail the large volume of fake anti-Russian "news" generated by the MSM (see GG at The Intercept)
  5. There is NO connection between the Russian government and the 13 private citizens recently indicted for their pathetic and ineffectual activity as part of a troll farm
  6. Thanks to the paranoid, xenophobic, Russia-bashing nationalistic propaganda that is being promoted by our military-industrial-intelligence-media complex, the U.S. now believes it is acceptable to launch a first strike nuclear attack in retaliation for breeches of cyber security

Read number six again and think about it. The U.S. is ready and willing to launch a preemptive nuclear attack against any nation it accuses of undermining our cyber security - no proof necessary. The Democratic establishment, which has spent the past year engaging in baseless Kremlin-baiting (and very little else), is directly responsible for this insanity.

Trump won't be impeached over Russiagate for the simple reason that Russiagate is nothing but a psyops perpetrated against the American people by the national-security bureaucracy (and their corporate media propagandists) for the purposes of reigniting a second Cold War and maintaining U.S. global hegemony.

Thanks to the hysterical McCarthyism now rampant among Democrats - and that is being used to great effect by Washington's bipartisan neocon warmongers - we may just end up in a nuclear war. The good news: it will be a short war and the Democrats will never have to accept responsibility for Clinton's loss.

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:30 pm

Who gives a shit really?

How about that Clinton got the CIA to partner with neo-Nazis in Ukraine to stage a coup, kick out Putin's friend, and install a billionaire capitalist as President? - something the media never mentions.

Caleb Melamed says: February 18, 2018 at 9:12 am

As I open the online edition of The Nation this morning, there are two lead stories. One of them tells how Trump is planning to evict 5 million poor people from public housing. A very important story.

The second story by Bob Dreyfuss is probably the 10,000th one I've seen about the Russia probe. The public housing story is obviously much more important and substantial, yet the Democrats have been focusing almost exclusively on the flimsy Russia probe. Not even the pressing need to regulate assault rifles has really grabbed their full attention, even in the wake of the latest dreadful Florida high school massacre. In perusing the news stories this Sunday morning, the Russia probe continues to hold first place in coverage by a big margin.

Ultimately, I see the Russia story as getting its legs from the efforts of the dominant Hillary wing of the Democratic party, backed by big media, to continue to assert that Hillary really won the presidency in 2016, and that their wing should continue to have control of the party.

That an immensely dangerous war fever is being whipped up in the process is of no importance to them. And, by no means incidentally, they are ignoring all of the real atrocities being committed by the Trump administration against the American people and the earth's environment.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 18, 2018 at 9:52 am

Amen, Caleb
It has been thus since the creep moved into the White House. Dreyfuss, perky Rachel Maddow, Colbert, Maher, and many others have been the true "useful idiots".

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:33 pm

This same media never gave Sanders any media exposure during the primary.

Caleb Melamed says: February 18, 2018 at 9:42 am

I would add that the election manipulations which the Clinton forces engaged in to defeat Sanders during the Democratic primaries dwarfs, by orders of magnitude, anything alleged against the Russians by even the most hawkish backers of the Russia probe.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 18, 2018 at 8:24 am

FYI
tweet by Peter Van Buren, former US foreign intelligence officer "Just did a quick read of the '13 Russian' indictment. Missing are a) any connections between the 13 and the Russian government and/or Trump campaign; b) any discussion of the impact (if any) their social media efforts had. It describes them buying Facebook ads, but nothing about if it affected votes; c) no connection shown between any of this and DNC, Wikileaks, hacking of emails; d) no discussion of motive; e) assumption that anything anti-Clinton was defacto pro-Bernie and/or pro-Trump. And all indicted persons are Russians, and outside the U.S., so highly unlikely this is going anywhere further legally.

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:37 pm

There is nothing illegal or unethical about any individual of government supporting one candidate over another. BTW, today the media put up that scumbag Podesta as a spokesperson for the Democrats.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 19, 2018 at 9:02 am

Seems that the end justifies the means. No matter what is the truth. In the mean-time, they're actually harming the opposition to Trump. I suppose nobody asked Podesta why the DNC never offered their computers for FBI forensics.

Fred Caruso says: February 19, 2018 at 12:31 pm

The MSM never asks the hard questions anymore. It seems all pre-scripted and sanitized for corporate media.

Richard Phelps says: February 18, 2018 at 2:52 am

There is one issue that no media is talking about regarding the "memos". Trump is clearly a "person of interest", if not a suspect in some parts of the investigation. Given Trump's entanglement how is it not an absolute conflict of interest for Trump being the person who decides what memos get to be public and what redactions must be made.

Imagine a judge being a suspect in a crime or a major stockholder in a corporate civil suit. S/he would never be allowed to make any rulings on what evidence the jury gets to see or anything about the case. Some non-interested 3rd party needs to make those decisions.

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:38 pm

Quit feeding this beast.

Jeffrey Harrison says: February 16, 2018 at 8:15 pm

The other interesting and fun fact not mentioned anywhere. Three Names won by 3 million votes. Crafty Ruskis.

Carla Skidmore says: February 16, 2018 at 7:33 pm

This investigation by Mueller is just beginning. In other words, and to use the vernacular, "We "ain't seen nothing," yet."

Fred Caruso says: February 18, 2018 at 9:40 pm

You are right. This is nothing but bullshit and it may be just the beginning. The Democrats have an endless supply of donkey-shit.

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

Clark M Shanahan says: February 18, 2018 at 10:28 am

Since when have you been so trusting of our FBI & CIA, Carla? From what we've experienced together from the Gulf of Tonkin onward, I'm a wee-tad taken aback. Please read the ex-foreign intelligence officer's twitter posting that I posted above.

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.

Fred Caruso says: February 19, 2018 at 3:35 pm

So we are going to limit global free speech by spending $Trillions more on building a nuclear arsenal - total madness - driven by [un] Democratic whining.

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.

Fred Caruso says: February 19, 2018 at 3:37 pm

You mean like Clinton and the CIA did in Ukraine, for economic domination over Russia, don't you?

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.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 17, 2018 at 10:13 am

Yes David, I'm still a skeptic. In fact, I think this move to indict 13 suspects, that have a snowball in Hell's chance of ever being tried, is simply a dog and pony show to placate the public. Debrief yourself, read Binney's report and listen to Stephen F Cohen's latest, here on the Nation.

Clark M Shanahan says: February 17, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Stephen Cohen's take on Russiagate makes a lot of sense, to me. I've followed Russia/soviet/US relations very closely since Gorbachev. Open your eyes, Mattis has labeled Russia our mortal enemy, we just upped defense spending to an obscene level that shall keep our schools, hospitals, social services, and infrastructure in their bad state.

As if Hill, who stole the primaries actually ran a competent campaign.

[Feb 19, 2018] Kim Dotcom Let Me Assure You, The DNC Hack Wasn t Even A Hack Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... All fucking Kabuki. All of it. ..."
"... The Deep State (Oligarchs and the MIC) is totally fucking loving this: they have Trump and the GOP giving them everything they ever wanted and they have the optics and distraction of an "embattled" president that claims to be against or a victim of the "deep state" and a base that rally's, circles the wagons around him, and falls for the narrative. ..."
"... They know exactly who it was with the memory stick, there is always video of one form or another either in the data center or near the premises that can indicate who it was. They either have a video of Seth Rich putting the stick into the server directly, or they at least have a video of his car entering and leaving the vicinity of the ex-filtration. ..."
"... This would have been an open and shut case if shillary was not involved. Since it was involved, you can all chalk it up to the Clinton body count. I pray that it gets justice. It and the country, the world - needs justice. ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Kim Dotcom: "Let Me Assure You, The DNC Hack Wasn't Even A Hack"

by Tyler Durden Mon, 02/19/2018 - 07:51 3.4K SHARES

Kim Dotcom has once again chimed in on the DNC hack, following a Sunday morning tweet from President Trump clarifying his previous comments on Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

In response, Dotcom tweeted " Let me assure you, the DNC hack wasn't even a hack. It was an insider with a memory stick. I know this because I know who did it and why," adding "Special Counsel Mueller is not interested in my evidence. My lawyers wrote to him twice. He never replied. 360 pounds! " alluding of course to Trump's "400 pound genius" comment.

Dotcom's assertion is backed up by an analysis done last year by a researcher who goes by the name Forensicator , who determined that the DNC files were copied at 22.6 MB/s - a speed virtually impossible to achieve from halfway around the world, much less over a local network - yet a speed typical of file transfers to a memory stick.

The local transfer theory of course blows the Russian hacking narrative out of the water, lending credibility to the theory that the DNC "hack" was in fact an inside job, potentially implicating late DNC IT staffer, Seth Rich.

John Podesta's email was allegely successfully "hacked" (he fell victim to a phishing scam ) in March 2016, while the DNC reported suspicious activity (the suspected Seth Rich file transfer) in late April, 2016 according to the Washington Post.

On May 18, 2017, Dotcom proposed that if Congress includes the Seth Rich investigation in their Russia probe, he would provide written testimony with evidence that Seth Rich was WikiLeaks' source.

On May 19 2017 Dotcom tweeted "I knew Seth Rich. I was involved"

Three days later, Dotcom again released a guarded statement saying "I KNOW THAT SETH RICH WAS INVOLVED IN THE DNC LEAK," adding:

"I have consulted with my lawyers. I accept that my full statement should be provided to the authorities and I am prepared to do that so that there can be a full investigation. My lawyers will speak with the authorities regarding the proper process.

If my evidence is required to be given in the United States I would be prepared to do so if appropriate arrangements are made. I would need a guarantee from Special Counsel Mueller, on behalf of the United States, of safe passage from New Zealand to the United States and back. In the coming days we will be communicating with the appropriate authorities to make the necessary arrangements. In the meantime, I will make no further comment."

Dotcom knew.

While one could simply write off Dotcom's claims as an attention seeking stunt, he made several comments and a series of tweets hinting at the upcoming email releases prior to both the WikiLeaks dumps as well as the publication of the hacked DNC emails to a website known as "DCLeaks."

In a May 14, 2015 Bloomberg article entitled "Kim Dotcom: Julian Assange Will Be Hillary Clinton's Worst Nightmare In 2016 ": "I have to say it's probably more Julian," who threatens Hillary, Dotcom said. " But I'm aware of some of the things that are going to be roadblocks for her ."

Two days later, Dotcom tweeted this:

Around two months later, Kim asks a provocative question

Two weeks after that, Dotcom then tweeted "Mishandling classified info is a crime. When Hillary's emails eventually pop up on the internet who's going to jail?"

It should thus be fairly obvious to anyone that Dotcom was somehow involved, and therefore any evidence he claims to have, should be taken seriously as part of Mueller's investigation. Instead, as Dotcom tweeted, "Special Counsel Mueller is not interested in my evidence. My lawyers wrote to him twice. He never replied. "

chunga Sun, 02/18/2018 - 21:59 Permalink

Pffft...this guy sounds like the reds with their "blockbuster" memo. Honest Hill'rey is laughing!

SethPoor -> chunga Sun, 02/18/2018 - 22:00 Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_8VaMbPjUU

Bes -> J S Bach Sun, 02/18/2018 - 22:17 Permalink

All fucking Kabuki. All of it.

The Deep State (Oligarchs and the MIC) is totally fucking loving this: they have Trump and the GOP giving them everything they ever wanted and they have the optics and distraction of an "embattled" president that claims to be against or a victim of the "deep state" and a base that rally's, circles the wagons around him, and falls for the narrative.

Meanwhile they keep enacting the most Pro Deep State/MIC/Police State/Zionist/Wall Street agenda possible. And they call it #winning

----

pathetic.

bigkahuna -> CheapBastard Mon, 02/19/2018 - 09:58 Permalink

"Had to be a Russian mole with a computer stick. MSM, DNC and Muller say so."

They know exactly who it was with the memory stick, there is always video of one form or another either in the data center or near the premises that can indicate who it was. They either have a video of Seth Rich putting the stick into the server directly, or they at least have a video of his car entering and leaving the vicinity of the ex-filtration.

This would have been an open and shut case if shillary was not involved. Since it was involved, you can all chalk it up to the Clinton body count. I pray that it gets justice. It and the country, the world - needs justice.

StarGate -> CheapBastard Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:23 Permalink

Don't forget the "hack" analysis of Russian owned "Crowdstrike" since the FBI did and continues to, refuse to analyze the DNC computers.

KuriousKat -> CheapBastard Mon, 02/19/2018 - 13:26 Permalink

Isn't Alperovitch the Only Russian in there?.. When you rule out the impossible...whatever remains probable.. probably is..

wildbad -> IntercoursetheEU Mon, 02/19/2018 - 03:05 Permalink

Kim is great, Assange is great. Kim is playing a double game. He wants immunity from the US GUmmint overreach that destroyed his company and made him a prisoner in NZ.

Good on ya Kim.

His name was Seth Rich...and he will reach out from the grave and bury Killary who murdered him.

NumberNone -> wildbad Mon, 02/19/2018 - 10:04 Permalink

There are so many nuances to this and all are getting mentioned but the one that also stands out is that in an age of demands for gun control by the Dems, Seth Rich is never, ever mentioned. He should be the poster child for gun control. Young man, draped in a American flag, helping democracy, gunned down...it writes itself.

They either are afraid of the possible racial issues should it turn out to be a black man killing a white man (but why should that matter in a gun control debate?) or they just don't want people looking at this case. I go for #2.

Socratic Dog -> Buckaroo Banzai Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:09 Permalink

Funny that George Webb can figure it out, but Trump, Leader of the Free World, is sitting there with his dick in his hand waiting for someone to save him.

Whatever he might turn out to be, this much is clear: Trump is a spineless weakling. He might be able to fuck starlets, but he hasn't got the balls to defend either himself or the Republic.

verumcuibono -> Buckaroo Banzai Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:26 Permalink

Webb's research is also...managed. But a lot of it was/is really good (don't follow it anymore) and I agree re: SR piece of it.

I think SR is such an interesting case. It's not really an anomaly because SO many Bush-CFR-related hits end the same way and his had typical signatures. But his also squeels of a job done w/out much prior planning because I think SR surprised everyone. If, in fact, that was when he was killed. Everything regarding the family's demeanor suggests no.

verumcuibono -> NumberNone Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:41 Permalink

MANY patterns in shootings: failure in law enforcement/intelligence who were notified of problem individuals ahead of time, ARs, mental health and SSRIs, and ongoing resistance to gun control in DC ----these are NOT coincidences. Nor are distractions in MSM's version of events w/ controlled propaganda.

Children will stop being killed when America wakes the fuck up and starts asking the right questions, making the right demands. It's time.

KJWqonfo7 -> wildbad Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:15 Permalink

Kim is awesome to watch, I remember his old website of pics of him on yachts with hot girls and racing the Gumball Rally.

verumcuibono -> wildbad Mon, 02/19/2018 - 14:28 Permalink

I don't think you know how these hackers have nearly ALL been intercepted by CIA--for decades now. DS has had backdoor access to just about all of them. I agree that Kim is great, brilliant and was sabotaged but he's also cooperating. Otherwise he'd be dead.

StarGate -> Billy the Poet Mon, 02/19/2018 - 11:48 Permalink

Bes is either "disinfo plant" or energy draining pessimist. Result is the same - to deflate your power to create a new future.

Trump saw the goal of the Fed Reserve banksters decades ago and spoke often about it. Like Prez Kennedy he wants to return USA economy to silver or gold backed dollar then transition to new system away from the Black Magic fed reserve/ tax natl debt machine.

The Globalist Cabal has been working to destroy the US economy ever since they income tax April 15th Lincoln at the Ford theater. 125 years. But Bes claims because Trump cannot reverse 125 years of history in one year that it is kabuki.

Pessimism is its own reward.

[Feb 19, 2018] With the almost non stop Russian bashing in the US one has to wonder if something else is at play here. Like priming the US psych to cheer on an inevitable war with Russia.

More like attempt to unite the nation which crumbles die to crisis of neoliberalism and decimation of neoliberal ideology. And resore even on false pretext trust for neoliberal ruling elite that is sitting in Congress and major government institutions.
As well as swipe Hillary political fiasco under the rug and prevent loss of power by Clinton wing of Democratic Party.
Feb 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

not dead vet Fri, 02/16/2018 - 23:43 Permalink

With the almost non stop Russian bashing in the US one has to wonder if something else is at play here. Like priming the US psych to cheer on an inevitable war with Russia. If one digs into the revelations it's obvious they are bunk, unless your reading Wapo, New York Times, Time, and other neocon mouthpieces which are full of fiction not facts, but America is a soundbite nation. We stop reading after the headline and the way stories are structured that do have some truth in them never get read.

No matter what the US has done to crash the Russian economy Putin has strengthened it and is working hard to make it impervious to outside forces.

Unlike the US where the government and the CEO's can't destroy it fast enough while filling their wallets. The more successful Putin is, especially on foreign policy, the more desperate and dangerous the neocons will become. Remember they have nice luxurious bunkers to wait out the inevitable while you die a slow death.

[Feb 19, 2018] America Is Descending Into a Dangerous Psychosis by James Howard Kunstler

Notable quotes:
"... The author is a prominent American social critic, blogger, and podcaster , and we carry his articles regularly on RI . His writing on Russia-gate has been highly entertaining. ..."
"... He is one of the better-known thinkers The New Yorker has dubbed 'The Dystopians' in an excellent 2009 profile , along with the brilliant Dmitry Orlov, another regular contributor to RI (archive) . These theorists believe that modern society is headed for a jarring and painful crack-up. ..."
"... You can find his popular fiction and novels on this subject, here . To get a sense of how entertaining he is, watch this 2004 TED talk about the cruel misery of American urban design - it is one of the most-viewed on TED. ..."
"... If you like his work, please consider supporting him on Patreon . ..."
"... Why Does Trump Ignore Top Officials' Warnings on Russia? , ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Sport's Illustrated ..."
"... Actually the Times's editorial seems to have CIA / NSA fingerprints all over it, or at least Deep State paw prints. By stating that the Russians are already "meddling" in 2018 elections that haven't happened yet, aren't our own security agencies setting up the public to lose faith in the electoral process and fight over election results? Oh, by the way, the Times ..."
"... The longer this fantasy about Russia continues from the Left side of the political transect, the deeper the nation sinks into a dangerous collective psychosis. After all this time, the only known instances of American political figures "colluding" with Russians involve the shenanigans between the DNC, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and US intel services including the FBI and CIA, in paying for the "Steele Dossier" and the activities of the Fusion GPS company that claimed Russia hacked Hillary's and John Podesta's email. ..."
"... There is now a ton of evidence about all this monkey business, and no sign (yet) that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller may be taking a good hard look at it, not to mention the professional misconduct of a half dozen senior FBI, NSA, and CIA officials, especially former CIA chief John Brennan, who has now morphed into a CNN "analyst," taking an active role in what amounts to a psy-ops campaign to shove the public toward war. ..."
"... We are already choking this polity to death by endlessly litigating the past, insuring that the country doesn't have the time or the fortitude to deal with much more important quandaries of the present -- especially a financial system that is speeding into the most colossal train wreck in history. That will de-rail Mr. Trump soon enough, and then all the rest of us will have enough to do to keep our lives together or to refashion them in some that will work in a very different economy. ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | russia-insider.com
The author is a prominent American social critic, blogger, and podcaster , and we carry his articles regularly on RI . His writing on Russia-gate has been highly entertaining.

He is one of the better-known thinkers The New Yorker has dubbed 'The Dystopians' in an excellent 2009 profile , along with the brilliant Dmitry Orlov, another regular contributor to RI (archive) . These theorists believe that modern society is headed for a jarring and painful crack-up.

You can find his popular fiction and novels on this subject, here . To get a sense of how entertaining he is, watch this 2004 TED talk about the cruel misery of American urban design - it is one of the most-viewed on TED.

If you like his work, please consider supporting him on Patreon .

Forget about sharks. In their Valentine's Day editorial: Why Does Trump Ignore Top Officials' Warnings on Russia? , The New York Times jumped several blue whales (all the ones left on earth), a cruise ship, a subtropical archipelago, a giant vortex of plastic bottles, and the Sport's Illustrated swimsuit shoot. The lede said:

The phalanx of intelligence chiefs who testified on Capitol Hill delivered a chilling message: Not only did Russia interfere in the 2016 election, it is already meddling in the 2018 election by using a digital strategy to exacerbate the country's political and social divisions.

Hmmm . After almost two years of relentless public paranoia about Russia and US elections, don't you suppose these Ruskie gremlins would find some other way to make mischief in our world -- maybe meddle in the NHL playoffs, or hack WalMart's bookkeeping department, or covertly switch out the real Dwayne Johnson with a robot? I kind of completely and absolutely doubt that they'll bother with our elections.

Actually the Times's editorial seems to have CIA / NSA fingerprints all over it, or at least Deep State paw prints. By stating that the Russians are already "meddling" in 2018 elections that haven't happened yet, aren't our own security agencies setting up the public to lose faith in the electoral process and fight over election results? Oh, by the way, the Times presented no evidence whatsoever that this alleged "meddling" is taking place. They just assert it, as if it were already adjudicated.

But then they take it another step, making the case that because Mr. Trump does not go along with the Russian Meddling story, he is obstructing efforts to prevent Russian interference in the elections that haven't happened yet, and is therefore by implication guilty of treason. A fine piece of casuistry.

The longer this fantasy about Russia continues from the Left side of the political transect, the deeper the nation sinks into a dangerous collective psychosis. After all this time, the only known instances of American political figures "colluding" with Russians involve the shenanigans between the DNC, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and US intel services including the FBI and CIA, in paying for the "Steele Dossier" and the activities of the Fusion GPS company that claimed Russia hacked Hillary's and John Podesta's email.

There is now a ton of evidence about all this monkey business, and no sign (yet) that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller may be taking a good hard look at it, not to mention the professional misconduct of a half dozen senior FBI, NSA, and CIA officials, especially former CIA chief John Brennan, who has now morphed into a CNN "analyst," taking an active role in what amounts to a psy-ops campaign to shove the public toward war.

The "resistance" may think it is getting some mileage out of this interminable narrative, but its arrant inconsistencies only undermine faith in all our political institutions, and that is really playing with fire.

We are already choking this polity to death by endlessly litigating the past, insuring that the country doesn't have the time or the fortitude to deal with much more important quandaries of the present -- especially a financial system that is speeding into the most colossal train wreck in history. That will de-rail Mr. Trump soon enough, and then all the rest of us will have enough to do to keep our lives together or to refashion them in some that will work in a very different economy.

... ... ...

[Feb 19, 2018] Russian Meddling Was a Drop in an Ocean of American-made Discord by AMANDA TAUB and MAX FISHER

Highly recommended!
Very weak analysis The authors completely missed the point. Susceptibility to rumors (now called "fake new" which more correctly should be called "improvised news") and high level of distrust to "official MSM" (of which popularity of alternative news site is only tip of the iceberg) is a sign of the crisis and tearing down of the the social fabric that hold the so social groups together. This first of all demonstrated with the de-legitimization of the neoliberal elite.
As such attempt to patch this discord and unite the US society of fake premises of Russiagate and anti-Russian hysteria look very problematic. The effect might be quite opposite as the story with Steele dossier, which really undermined credibility of Justice Department and destroyed the credibility o FBI can teach us.
In this case claims that "The claim that, for example, Mrs. Clinton's victory might aid Satan " are just s a sign of rejection of neoliberalism by voters. Nothing more nothing less.
Notable quotes:
"... It has infected the American political system, weakening the body politic and leaving it vulnerable to manipulation. Russian misinformation seems to have exacerbated the symptoms, but laced throughout the indictment are reminders that the underlying disease, arguably far more damaging, is all American-made. ..."
"... A recent study found that the people most likely to consume fake news were already hyperpartisan and close followers of politics, and that false stories were only a small fraction of their media consumption. ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | www.nytimes.com

That these efforts might have actually made a difference, or at least were intended to, highlights a force that was already destabilizing American democracy far more than any Russian-made fake news post: partisan polarization.

"Partisanship can even alter memory, implicit evaluation, and even perceptual judgment," the political scientists Jay J. Van Bavel and Andrea Pereira wrote in a recent paper . "The human attraction to fake and untrustworthy news" -- a danger cited by political scientists far more frequently than orchestrated meddling -- "poses a serious problem for healthy democratic functioning."

It has infected the American political system, weakening the body politic and leaving it vulnerable to manipulation. Russian misinformation seems to have exacerbated the symptoms, but laced throughout the indictment are reminders that the underlying disease, arguably far more damaging, is all American-made.

... ... ...

A recent study found that the people most likely to consume fake news were already hyperpartisan and close followers of politics, and that false stories were only a small fraction of their media consumption.

Americans, it said, sought out stories that reflected their already-formed partisan view of reality. This suggests that these Russians efforts are indicators -- not drivers -- of how widely Americans had polarized.

That distinction matters for how the indictment is read: Though Americans have seen it as highlighting a foreign threat, it also illustrates the perhaps graver threats from within.

An Especially Toxic Form of Partisanship

... ... ...

"Compromise is the core of democracy," she said. "It's the only way we can govern." But, she said, "when you make people feel threatened, nobody compromises with evil."

The claim that, for example, Mrs. Clinton's victory might aid Satan is in many ways just a faint echo of the partisan anger and fear already dominating American politics.

Those emotions undermine a key norm that all sides are served by honoring democratic processes; instead, they justify, or even seem to mandate, extreme steps against the other side.

Advertisement Continue reading the main story

In taking this approach, the Russians were merely riding a trend that has been building for decades. Since the 1980s , surveys have found that Republicans and Democrats' feelings toward the opposing party have been growing more and more negative. Voters are animated more by distrust of the other side than support for their own.

This highlights a problem that Lilliana Mason, a University of Maryland political scientist, said had left American democracy dangerously vulnerable. But it's a problem driven primarily by American politicians and media outlets, which have far louder megaphones than any Russian-made Facebook posts.

"Compromise is the core of democracy," she said. "It's the only way we can govern." But, she said, "when you make people feel threatened, nobody compromises with evil."

The claim that, for example, Mrs. Clinton's victory might aid Satan is in many ways just a faint echo of the partisan anger and fear already dominating American politics.

Those emotions undermine a key norm that all sides are served by honoring democratic processes; instead, they justify, or even seem to mandate, extreme steps against the other side.

[Feb 18, 2018] Here s how Mueller s latest indictment further discredits the Trump Dossier by Alexander Mercouris

Notable quotes:
"... As the days since Mueller's latest indictment have passed, the failure of his investigation to make any claim of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia has begun to sink in, even amongst some of Donald Trump's most bitter enemies. ..."
"... Even the Guardian – arguably the most fervid of Donald Trump's British media critics, and the most vocal supporter of the Russiagate conspiracy theory – has grudgingly admitted that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has "once again failed to nail Donald Trump" ..."
"... In fact the latest indictment when considered properly is a further huge nail in the coffin of the Russiagate conspiracy theory and in the already disintegrating credibility of the Trump Dossier, which is the foundation document for that theory ..."
"... Notwithstanding claims to the contrary, the Russiagate conspiracy theory is laid out in its most classic form in the Trump Dossier, and it is the Trump Dossier which remains the primary and indeed so far the only 'evidence' for it ..."
"... This theory holds that Donald Trump was compromised by the Russians in 2013 when he was filmed by Russian intelligence performing an orgy in a hotel room in Moscow, and he and his associates Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Michael Cohen subsequently engaged in a massive criminal conspiracy with Russian intelligence to steal the election from Hillary Clinton by having John Podesta's and the DNC's emails stolen by Russian intelligence and passed on by them for publication by Wikileaks. ..."
"... The Trump Dossier never mentions Jared Kushner's four conversations with Russian ambassador Kislyak, including the famous meeting between Kislyak and Kushner in Trump Tower on 1st December 2016 (which Michael Flynn also attended) over the course of which the setting up of a backchannel to discuss the crisis in Syria is supposed to have been discussed (Kushner denies that it was). ..."
"... The last entry of the Trump Dossier is dated 13th December 2016 ie. twelve days after this meeting took place, and given its high level a genuinely well-informed Russian source familiar with the private ongoing discussions in the Kremlin might have been expected to know about it. ..."
"... Nor does the Trump Dossier mention the now famous meeting in Trump Tower between the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Donald Trump Junior – which Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner also attended – which took place on 9th June 2016. ..."
"... Now Special Counsel Mueller has provided further details in his latest indictment of actual albeit unknowing contacts between members of the Trump campaign and various Russian employees of Yevgeny Prigozhin's Internet Research Agency, LLC, apparently both in person and online. ..."
"... The Trump Dossier has however nothing to say about these contacts either, just as it has nothing to say about the Internet Research Agency, LLC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, or the entire social media campaign set out in such painstaking detail by Special Counsel Mueller in his indictment. ..."
"... I only remembered Helmer's 18th January 2017 article about the Trump Dossier after I wrote my article about Senator Grassley's and Senator Lindsey Graham's memorandum to the Justice Department on 6th February 2018. ..."
"... This is most unfortunate, not only because Grassley's and Lindsey Graham's memorandum resoundingly vindicates Helmer's reporting, but because it shows that a genuine expert about Russia like Helmer was able to spot immediately the holes in the Trump Dossier, which only now – a whole year and months of exhaustive investigations later – are starting to be officially admitted. ..."
"... Heroic efforts to elevate Papadopoulos's case and the meeting between Donald Trump Junior and the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya into 'evidence' of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia which exists supposedly independently of the Trump Dossier fail because as I have discussed extensively elsewhere (see here and here ) they in fact do no such thing. ..."
"... With the Trump Dossier – the lynchpin of the whole collusion case – not just unverified and discredited but proved repeatedly to have been completely uninformed about events which were actually going on, why do some people persist in pretending that there is still a collusion case to investigate? ..."
Feb 19, 2018 | theduran.com

As the days since Mueller's latest indictment have passed, the failure of his investigation to make any claim of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia has begun to sink in, even amongst some of Donald Trump's most bitter enemies.

Even the Guardian – arguably the most fervid of Donald Trump's British media critics, and the most vocal supporter of the Russiagate conspiracy theory – has grudgingly admitted that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has "once again failed to nail Donald Trump"

There will be understandable disappointment in many quarters that the latest indictments delivered by Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, once again failed to nail Donald Trump. Although the charges levelled against 13 Russians and three Russian entities are extraordinarily serious, they do not directly support the central claim that Trump and senior campaign aides colluded with Moscow to rig the vote.

The Times of London meanwhile has admitted that the latest indictment contains "no smoking gun"

The Department of Justice, however, offered no confirmation to those still smarting from the election in Nov­em­ber 2016, who believe that, in the absence of Russian interference, Hillary Clinton would be in the White House today. Friday's allegations offered no evidence that the outcome had been affected. Sir John Sawers, former head of MI6, said yesterday that Donald Trump's victories in the key swing states were his own.

There was further comfort for Mr Trump, which he was quick to celebrate with a tweet. The investigation uncovered no evidence "that any American was a knowing participant in the alleged unlawful activity". That includes, so far, anybody involved in the Trump campaign. If there is a smoking gun it has yet to emerge, though Robert Mueller's investigation will grind on. Presi­dent Vladimir Putin is a malign and dangerous mischief maker. It has not been proved that he is an evil genius with the ability to swing a US election.

In fact the latest indictment when considered properly is a further huge nail in the coffin of the Russiagate conspiracy theory and in the already disintegrating credibility of the Trump Dossier, which is the foundation document for that theory.

Notwithstanding claims to the contrary, the Russiagate conspiracy theory is laid out in its most classic form in the Trump Dossier, and it is the Trump Dossier which remains the primary and indeed so far the only 'evidence' for it

This theory holds that Donald Trump was compromised by the Russians in 2013 when he was filmed by Russian intelligence performing an orgy in a hotel room in Moscow, and he and his associates Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Michael Cohen subsequently engaged in a massive criminal conspiracy with Russian intelligence to steal the election from Hillary Clinton by having John Podesta's and the DNC's emails stolen by Russian intelligence and passed on by them for publication by Wikileaks.

Belief in this conspiracy dies hard, and an interesting article in the Financial Times by Edward Luce provides a fascinating example of the dogged determination of some people to believe in it. Writing about Mueller's latest indictment Luce has this to say

Mr Mueller's report hints at more dramatic possibilities by corroborating contents of the "Steele dossier", which was compiled in mid-2016 by the former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele -- long before the US intelligence agencies warned of Russian interference. Mr Steele, who is in hiding, alleged that the Russians were using "active measures" to support the campaigns of Mr Trump, Bernie Sanders, the Democratic runner-up to Hillary Clinton, and Jill Stein, the Green party nominee. Mr Mueller's indictment confirms that account.

Likewise, Mr Mueller's indictment confirms the Steele dossier's claim that Russia wished to "sow discord" in the US election by backing leftwing as well as rightwing groups. Among the entities run by the IRA were groups with names such as "Secured Borders", "Blacktivists", "United Muslims of America" and "Army of Jesus".

What is fascinating about these words is that none of them are true.

Christopher Steele is not in hiding.

The actua l Trump Dossier does not allege "that the Russians were using "active measures" to support the campaigns of Mr Trump, Bernie Sanders, the Democratic runner-up to Hillary Clinton, and Jill Stein, the Green party nominee".

Bernie Sanders is mentioned by the Trump Dossier only in passing. By the time the Trump Dossier's first entries were written Bernie Sanders's campaign was all but over and it was already clear that Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic Party's candidate for the Presidency.

Jill Stein is mentioned – again in passing – only once, in a brief mention which refers to her now infamous visit to Russia where she attended the same dinner with President Putin as Michael Flynn.

Nor does the Trump Dossier anywhere claim that "Russia wished to "sow discord" in the US election by backing leftwing as well as rightwing groups".

On the contrary the Trump Dossier is focused – exclusively and obsessively – on documenting at fantastic length the alleged conspiracy between the Russian government and the campaign of the supposedly compromised Donald Trump to get him elected US President.

Supporters of the Russiagate conspiracy theory need to start facing up to the hard truth about the Trump Dossier.

At the time the Trump Dossier was published in January 2017 little was known publicly about the contacts which actually took place between members of Donald Trump's campaign and tranisiton teams and the Russians during and after the election.

Today – a full year later and after months of exhaustive investigation – we know far more about those contacts.

What Is striking about those contacts is how ignorant the supposedly high level Russian sources of the Trump Dossier were about them.

Thus the Trump Dossier never mentions Jeff Sessions's two meetings with Russian ambassador Kislyak, or the various conversations Michael Flynn is known to have had with Russian ambassador Kislyak, some of which apparently took place before Donald Trump won the election.

The Trump Dossier never mentions Jared Kushner's four conversations with Russian ambassador Kislyak, including the famous meeting between Kislyak and Kushner in Trump Tower on 1st December 2016 (which Michael Flynn also attended) over the course of which the setting up of a backchannel to discuss the crisis in Syria is supposed to have been discussed (Kushner denies that it was).

The last entry of the Trump Dossier is dated 13th December 2016 ie. twelve days after this meeting took place, and given its high level a genuinely well-informed Russian source familiar with the private ongoing discussions in the Kremlin might have been expected to know about it.

Nor does the Trump Dossier mention the now famous meeting in Trump Tower between the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Donald Trump Junior – which Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner also attended – which took place on 9th June 2016.

This despite the fact that the Trump Dossier's first entry is dated 20th June 2016 i.e. eleven days later, so that if this meeting really was intended to set the stage for collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia – as believers in the Russiagate conspiracy theory insist – a well informed Russian source with access to information from the Kremlin would be expected to know about it.

Nor does the Trump Dossier have anything to say about George Papadopoulos, the Trump campaign aide who had the most extensive contacts with the Russians, and whose drunken bragging in a London bar is now claimed by the FBI to have been its reason for starting the Russiagate inquiry.

In fact George Papadopoulos is not mentioned in the Trump Dossier at all.

This despite the fact that members of Russia's high powered Valdai Discussion Club were Papadopoulos's main interlocutors in his discussions with the Russians, and Igor Ivanov – Russia's former foreign minister, and a senior albeit retired official genuinely known to Putin – was informed about the discussions also, making it at least possible that high level people in the Russian Foreign Ministry and conceivably in the Russian government and in the Kremlin were kept informed about the discussions with Papadopoulos, so that a genuinely well-informed Russian source might be expected to know about them.

By contrast none of the secret meetings between Carter Page and Michael Cohen and the Russians discussed at such extraordinary length in the Trump Dossier have ever been proved to have taken place.

Now Special Counsel Mueller has provided further details in his latest indictment of actual albeit unknowing contacts between members of the Trump campaign and various Russian employees of Yevgeny Prigozhin's Internet Research Agency, LLC, apparently both in person and online.

The Trump Dossier has however nothing to say about these contacts either, just as it has nothing to say about the Internet Research Agency, LLC, Yevgeny Prigozhin, or the entire social media campaign set out in such painstaking detail by Special Counsel Mueller in his indictment.

The only conclusion possible is that if the Trump Dossier's Russian sources actually exist (about which I am starting to have doubts) then they were extraordinarily ignorant of what was actually going on.

That of course is consistent with the fact – recently revealed in the heavily redacted memorandum sent to the Justice Department by Senators Grassley and Lindsey Graham – that many of the sources of the Trump Dossier were not actually Russian but were American.

John Helmer – the most experienced journalist covering Russia, and a person who has a genuine and profound knowledge of the country – made that very point – that many of the Trump Dossier's sources were American rather than Russian – in an article he published on 18th January 2017, ie. just days after the Trump Dossier was published.

In that same article Helmer also made this very valid point about the Trump Dossier's compiler Christopher Steele

Steele's career in Russian intelligence at MI6 had hit the rocks in 2006, and never recovered. That was the year in which the Russian Security Service (FSB) publicly exposed an MI6 operation in Moscow. Russian informants recruited by the British were passed messages and money, and dropped their information in containers fabricated to look like fake rocks in a public park. Steele was on the MI6 desk in London when the operation was blown. Although the FSB announcement was denied in London at the time, the British prime ministry confirmed its veracity in 2012.Read more on Steele's fake rock operation here , and the attempt by the Financial Times to cover it up by blaming Putin for fabricating the story.

Given that Steele was outed by Russian intelligence in 2006, with his intelligence operation in Russia dismantled by the FSB that year, it beggars belief that ten years later in 2016 he still had access to high level secrets in the Kremlin.

What we now know in fact proves that he did not.

I only remembered Helmer's 18th January 2017 article about the Trump Dossier after I wrote my article about Senator Grassley's and Senator Lindsey Graham's memorandum to the Justice Department on 6th February 2018.

This is most unfortunate, not only because Grassley's and Lindsey Graham's memorandum resoundingly vindicates Helmer's reporting, but because it shows that a genuine expert about Russia like Helmer was able to spot immediately the holes in the Trump Dossier, which only now – a whole year and months of exhaustive investigations later – are starting to be officially admitted.

For my part I owe Helmer an apology for not referencing his 18th January 2017 article in my article of 6th February 2018. I should have done so and I am very sorry that I didn't.

I have spent some time discussing the Trump Dossier because despite denials it remains the lynchpin of the whole Russiagate scandal and of the claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Heroic efforts to elevate Papadopoulos's case and the meeting between Donald Trump Junior and the Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya into 'evidence' of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia which exists supposedly independently of the Trump Dossier fail because as I have discussed extensively elsewhere (see here and here ) they in fact do no such thing.

Despite Edward Luce's desperate efforts to argue otherwise, Mueller's latest indictment far from corroborating the Trump Dossier, has done the opposite.

With the Trump Dossier – the lynchpin of the whole collusion case – not just unverified and discredited but proved repeatedly to have been completely uninformed about events which were actually going on, why do some people persist in pretending that there is still a collusion case to investigate?

[Feb 18, 2018] America Is Descending Into a Dangerous Psychosis by James Howard Kunstler

Notable quotes:
"... The author is a prominent American social critic, blogger, and podcaster , and we carry his articles regularly on RI . His writing on Russia-gate has been highly entertaining. ..."
"... He is one of the better-known thinkers The New Yorker has dubbed 'The Dystopians' in an excellent 2009 profile , along with the brilliant Dmitry Orlov, another regular contributor to RI (archive) . These theorists believe that modern society is headed for a jarring and painful crack-up. ..."
"... You can find his popular fiction and novels on this subject, here . To get a sense of how entertaining he is, watch this 2004 TED talk about the cruel misery of American urban design - it is one of the most-viewed on TED. ..."
"... If you like his work, please consider supporting him on Patreon . ..."
"... Why Does Trump Ignore Top Officials' Warnings on Russia? , ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Sport's Illustrated ..."
Feb 18, 2018 | russia-insider.com
The author is a prominent American social critic, blogger, and podcaster , and we carry his articles regularly on RI . His writing on Russia-gate has been highly entertaining.

He is one of the better-known thinkers The New Yorker has dubbed 'The Dystopians' in an excellent 2009 profile , along with the brilliant Dmitry Orlov, another regular contributor to RI (archive) . These theorists believe that modern society is headed for a jarring and painful crack-up.

You can find his popular fiction and novels on this subject, here . To get a sense of how entertaining he is, watch this 2004 TED talk about the cruel misery of American urban design - it is one of the most-viewed on TED.

If you like his work, please consider supporting him on Patreon .

Forget about sharks. In their Valentine's Day editorial: Why Does Trump Ignore Top Officials' Warnings on Russia? , The New York Times jumped several blue whales (all the ones left on earth), a cruise ship, a subtropical archipelago, a giant vortex of plastic bottles, and the Sport's Illustrated swimsuit shoot. The lede said:

The phalanx of intelligence chiefs who testified on Capitol Hill delivered a chilling message: Not only did Russia interfere in the 2016 election, it is already meddling in the 2018 election by using a digital strategy to exacerbate the country's political and social divisions.

Hmmm . After almost two years of relentless public paranoia about Russia and US elections, don't you suppose these Ruskie gremlins would find some other way to make mischief in our world -- maybe meddle in the NHL playoffs, or hack WalMart's bookkeeping department, or covertly switch out the real Dwayne Johnson with a robot? I kind of completely and absolutely doubt that they'll bother with our elections.

Actually the Times's editorial seems to have CIA / NSA fingerprints all over it, or at least Deep State paw prints. By stating that the Russians are already "meddling" in 2018 elections that haven't happened yet, aren't our own security agencies setting up the public to lose faith in the electoral process and fight over election results? Oh, by the way, the Times presented no evidence whatsoever that this alleged "meddling" is taking place. They just assert it, as if it were already adjudicated.

But then they take it another step, making the case that because Mr. Trump does not go along with the Russian Meddling story, he is obstructing efforts to prevent Russian interference in the elections that haven't happened yet, and is therefore by implication guilty of treason. A fine piece of casuistry.

The longer this fantasy about Russia continues from the Left side of the political transect, the deeper the nation sinks into a dangerous collective psychosis. After all this time, the only known instances of American political figures "colluding" with Russians involve the shenanigans between the DNC, the Hillary Clinton campaign, and US intel services including the FBI and CIA, in paying for the "Steele Dossier" and the activities of the Fusion GPS company that claimed Russia hacked Hillary's and John Podesta's email.

There is now a ton of evidence about all this monkey business, and no sign (yet) that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller may be taking a good hard look at it, not to mention the professional misconduct of a half dozen senior FBI, NSA, and CIA officials, especially former CIA chief John Brennan, who has now morphed into a CNN "analyst," taking an active role in what amounts to a psy-ops campaign to shove the public toward war.

The "resistance" may think it is getting some mileage out of this interminable narrative, but its arrant inconsistencies only undermine faith in all our political institutions, and that is really playing with fire.

We are already choking this polity to death by endlessly litigating the past, insuring that the country doesn't have the time or the fortitude to deal with much more important quandaries of the present -- especially a financial system that is speeding into the most colossal train wreck in history. That will de-rail Mr. Trump soon enough, and then all the rest of us will have enough to do to keep our lives together or to refashion them in some that will work in a very different economy.

PS: Readers may wonder why I did not devote this space to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. It is exactly what you get in a society that wants to erase behavioral boundaries. It is especially dangerous where adolescent boys are concerned. The country has a gigantic boundary problem.

We have also created perfect conditions -- between the anomie of suburbia and the dreariness of our school systems -- to induce explosions of violent despair. That's why these things happen.

Until we change these conditions, expect ever more of it.

[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 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] 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] 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] 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.
http://ray032.com/2013/09/01/signs-of-the-times/

refirex · 55 minutes ago
https://warsclerotic.com/2017/01/07/cartoons-and-...
Take Placid · 43 minutes ago
Bulldoze them Georgia Guidestones.
Erase that Denver Airport Artwork.
Send Lady Liberty back to France.
Neandertals, behaving badly.
Stars and Stripes gilded cheap pennant should be changed to Skull n Bones.
Guest99 · 5 minutes ago
What the U.S. political and Deep State accused of Russia today is exactly what they themselves have done to much of the world. Entire Wikipedia is not big enough to write about the dirty tricks of the CIA and NSA.

Russia of course has no need to do what was accused. But they are surely laughing at being accused. Indeed, keep the accusation coming. The more the accusations, the longer they last, the more sure Russia know the corrupt terror empires of the west are going down.

Without firing a single shot. Now isn't that funny? Just ask the Chinese!

[Feb 15, 2018] Dutch FM Admits Lying About Putin - Russia

Feb 15, 2018 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

February 14, 2018 " Information Clearing House " - Every empire needs a scary external threat, led by a singular menacing villain, to justify its massive military expenditures, consolidation of authoritarian powers, and endless wars. For the five decades after the end of World War II, Moscow played this role perfectly. But the fall of Soviet Union meant, at least for a while, that the Kremlin could no longer sustain sufficient fear levels. After some brief, largely unsuccessful auditions for possible replacements -- Asian actors like China and a splurging Japan were considered -- the post-9/11 era elevated a cast of Muslim understudies to the starring role: Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, ISIS and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and "jihadism" generally kept fear alive.

The lack of any 9/11-type catastrophic attack on U.S. (or any Western) soil for the past 17 years, along with the killing of a pitifully aged, ailing bin Laden and the erosion of ISIS, has severely compromised their ongoing viability as major bad guys. So now -- just as a film studio revitalizes a once-successful super-villain franchise for a new generation of moviegoers -- we're back to the Russians occupying center stage.

That Barack Obama spent eight years (including up through his final year-end news conference) mocking the notion that Russia posed a serious threat to the U.S. given their size and capabilities, and that he even tried repeatedly to accommodate and partner with Russian President Vladimir Putin, is of no concern: In the internet age, "2016" is regarded as ancient history, drowned out by an endless array of new threats pinned by a united media on the Russkie Plague. Moreover, human nature craves a belief in an existential foreign threat because it confers a sense of purpose and cause, strengthens tribal unity and identity, permits scapegoating, shifts blame for maladies from internal to external causes, and (like religion) offers a simplifying theory for understanding a complex world.

One of the prime accusations sustaining this script is that the Kremlin is drowning the West in "fake news" and other forms of propaganda. One can debate its impact and magnitude, but disinformation campaigns are something the U.S., Russia, and countless other nations have done to one another for centuries, and there is convincing evidence that Russia does this sort of thing now. But evidence of one threat does not mean that all claimed threats are real, nor does it mean that that tactic is exclusively wielded by one side.

Over the past year, there have been numerous claims made by Western intelligence agencies, mindlessly accepted as true in the Western press, that have turned out to be baseless, if not deliberate scams. Just today, it was revealed that Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra lied when he claimed he was at a meeting with Putin, in which the Russian president "said he considered Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic states as part of a 'Greater Russia.'"

"Fake news" is certainly something to worry about when it emanates from foreign adversaries, but it is at least as concerning and threatening, if not more so, when emanating from one's own governments and media. And there are countless, highly significant examples beyond today's of such propaganda that emanates from within.

... ... ...

If there's any lesson that should unite everyone in the West, it's that the greatest skepticism is required when it comes to government and media claims about the nature of foreign threats. If we're going to rejuvenate a Cold War, or submit to greater military spending and government powers in the name of stopping alleged Russian aggression, we should at least ensure that the information on which those campaigns succeed are grounded in fact. Even a casual review of the propaganda spewing forth from Western power centers over the last year leaves little doubt that the exact opposite is happening.

This article was originally published by " The Intercept "


Zeesso 101p · 4 hours ago

Russia accusations are a false flag!!-No evidence-Zero NADA!!
Rather than Russia how about Mossad false flags??!
More likely .............and the silence is deafening.......... at theZionist owned MSMs in the USA!!!!
Dollars to Doughnuts-Israel is the perpetrator
Invictus · 2 hours ago
I suppose I am too naive to understand the
hysteria and indignation that claims of Russia
Interference in the 2016 american electoral process garners.
The US openly calls for regime change in Syria. Hung Saddam
Hussein after a show trial. Arranged Muammar Gaddafi's sodomization
and assassination.
Do americans not realize that in levelling the accusation that Putin-Russia
successfully subverted the US electoral process that you are conceding that Russia has the power to subjugate (bring under domination or control, especially by conquest.) the US electoral process, its government, institutions and public perception.
If americans are going to continue to make this outlandish claim for which no evidence has yet to be produced then Putin's Russia must be recognized as the world hegemon and the indispensable- Exceptional nation. What does that do to the narrative of the "shining city set upon a hill".
The US is blinded by its own conceit.
fudmier · 1 hour ago
Frankly, what I have seen in the past 20 years, the people in San Francisco might be better off under Russian federation management than it has been under the selected, elected, salaried, privileged 527 USA neo clowns who manage Americans in America. At least the Russians might not give USA money to foreigners, prevent Americans from drilling their own gas and oil, tax Americans so the USA can give the tax revenues to the corporations, and send American jobs and educational knowledge to far away places; as the NEO CLOWN management has done.

My personal experience with Russia people with whom I have worked is they are just exactly like Americans, quite a bit better educated, may be a little more honest.. so the question becomes under which managing government would 340,000,000 Americans be better off: the Russian Federation or the 527 neocon-selected, media-elected, salaried, privileged USA neo clowns? Actually, i think both governments are in need of being better arranged to respond to the needs and intentions of their people instead of using those they govern to satisfy the Oligarchs.

beanhead001 102p · 1 hour ago
"9/11-type catastrophic attack on U.S." a self-inflicted "catastrophic attack". Perhaps the USI should quit murdering people at home and abroad... maybe that way some semblence of symathy could be mustered up.
Oh and the "shooter" in Florida.. notuce it's not a "terrorist"? So this kid was a "shooter". Pfft. Call it what it is. He was and is a terrorist. Treat him as one would treat the invented funded and propped up "terrorists" abroad. Send the kid to 'Gitmo' (how i loathe that americanized word)

[Feb 14, 2018] BuzzFeed Suing DNC For Proof They Were Hacked Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... As part of their defense, BuzzFeed issued a subpoena to the DNC for information which might help them defend against Gubarev's lawsuit by verifying claims in the dossier - including "digital remnants left by the Russian state operatives," as well as a full version of the hacking report prepared by cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike. ..."
"... Since the DNC wouldn't let the FBI look at the server and instead relied on the report prepared by CrowdStrike (founded by Russian expat Dimitri Alperovitch - who sits on the very Anti-Russian Atlantic Council along with Evelyn " oops! " Farkas. The AC is funded by the US State Department, NATO, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukranian Oligarch Victor Pinchuk, who apparently owns the Ukrainian gas company Joe Biden's son is on the board of). ..."
"... If the DNC is compelled to turn over the full CrowdStrike report and "digital remnants," perhaps Gubarev would then present a counter-analysis by researcher Forensicator which CrowdStrike apparently "missed" - revealing that the DNC files were copied at 22.6 MB/s - all but confirming that the files had to have been copied locally by an inside source. Many have speculated that DNC IT staffer Seth Rich, whose murder is still unsolved, was the source of the emails provided to WikiLeaks. ..."
"... Word of BuzzFeed's suit against the DNC comes on the heels of a Monday revelation that the news outlet hired a former top FBI and White House cybersecurity official to fly around the globe on a secret mission to corroborate various claims in the dossier. ..."
"... The probe is being conducted by Anthony Ferrante - formerly the FBI's top official in charge of "cyber incident response" at the U.S. National Security Council under the Obama administration. Ferrante is leading the investigation from his new employer, D.C.-based business advisory firm, Forensic Technologies International (FTI) consulting reports Foreign Policy ..."
"... Wouldn't it be funny if BuzzFeed proves the DNC wasn't hacked? ..."
Feb 14, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

BuzzFeed is suing the cash-strapped Democratic National Committee (DNC) to force them to hand over information related to the "Steele Dossier" that might help the news outlet defend itself against a lawsuit lodged by a Russian businessman who was named in the document. Three separate lawsuits have been launched against BuzzFeed in connection to the January 11, 2017 publication of the dossier, which states that Russian tech executive Aleksej Gubarev used his web hosting companies to hack into the DNC's computer systems.

The dossier, without substantiation, said Gubarev's U.S.-based global web-hosting companies, XBT and Webzilla, planted digital bugs, transmitted viruses and conducted altering operations against the Democratic Party leadership.

While one key name in the dossier was blackened out by BuzzFeed, Gubarev's was not. He alleges that he was never contacted for comment, suffering reputational harm in the process. - Foreign Policy

As part of their defense, BuzzFeed issued a subpoena to the DNC for information which might help them defend against Gubarev's lawsuit by verifying claims in the dossier - including "digital remnants left by the Russian state operatives," as well as a full version of the hacking report prepared by cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike.

Since the DNC wouldn't let the FBI look at the server and instead relied on the report prepared by CrowdStrike (founded by Russian expat Dimitri Alperovitch - who sits on the very Anti-Russian Atlantic Council along with Evelyn " oops! " Farkas. The AC is funded by the US State Department, NATO, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukranian Oligarch Victor Pinchuk, who apparently owns the Ukrainian gas company Joe Biden's son is on the board of).

"As part of the discovery process, BuzzFeed is attempting to verify claims in the dossier that relate to the hacking of the DNC," said BuzzFeed spokesman Matt Mittenhal in a statement. "We're asking a federal court to force the DNC to follow the law and allow BuzzFeed to fully defend its First Amendment rights."

Last month, the DNC claimed that providing the requested information would expose the DNC's internal operations and harm the party politically (it's always someone else's fault, no?).

"If these documents were disclosed, the DNC's internal operations, as well as its ability to effectively achieve its political goals, would be harmed ," said DNC lawyers.

If the DNC is compelled to turn over the full CrowdStrike report and "digital remnants," perhaps Gubarev would then present a counter-analysis by researcher Forensicator which CrowdStrike apparently "missed" - revealing that the DNC files were copied at 22.6 MB/s - all but confirming that the files had to have been copied locally by an inside source. Many have speculated that DNC IT staffer Seth Rich, whose murder is still unsolved, was the source of the emails provided to WikiLeaks.

Word of BuzzFeed's suit against the DNC comes on the heels of a Monday revelation that the news outlet hired a former top FBI and White House cybersecurity official to fly around the globe on a secret mission to corroborate various claims in the dossier.

The probe is being conducted by Anthony Ferrante - formerly the FBI's top official in charge of "cyber incident response" at the U.S. National Security Council under the Obama administration. Ferrante is leading the investigation from his new employer, D.C.-based business advisory firm, Forensic Technologies International (FTI) consulting reports Foreign Policy .

At FTI, Ferrante launched what's now been a months-long stealth effort chasing down documents and conducting interviews on the ground in various countries around the world. His team directed BuzzFeed lawyers to subpoena specific data and testimony from dozens of agencies or companies across the country and assembled a cyber ops war room to analyze that dat a, according to sources familiar with the work.

Considering that much of the Steele dossier came from a collaboration with high level Kremlin officials (a collusion if you will), one has to wonder exactly what channels Ferrante and FTI have tapped in order to access such information.

Wouldn't it be funny if BuzzFeed proves the DNC wasn't hacked?

[Feb 14, 2018] Recused Judge in Flynn Prosecution Served on FISA Court

Highly recommended!
Feb 14, 2018 | www.unz.com

Clyde, February 14, 2018 at 11:20 am GMT

@Ozymandias

"It's worth noting that intentionally deceiving a federal judge is a felony."
It's also worth noting that sometimes the judge is in on it.

For the Trump Admin surveillance warrants the FISA judge was probably Contreras. So goes the rumor. He was probably in on it or halfway in on it. All the major players in DC know each other and trade favors.

And Gen Mike Flynn is in the process of getting his case dismissed. The only thing left to determine is how much the Federales will have to reimburse him for his lawyers fees, which are a million plus.

FISA Judge Rudolph Contreras EXPOSED – twitter.com

Rudolph Contreras was the FISA Judge who issued a warrant to spy on Carter Page because of a Yahoo News article and a Phony Probably have already. He needs to go

Recused Judge in Flynn Prosecution Served on FISA Court

https://www.infowars.com/recused-judge-in-flynn-prosecution-served&#8230 ;

Did Judge Contreras OK electronic surveillance of Recused Judge in Flynn Prosecution Served on FISA Court Did Judge Contreras OK electronic surveillance of

Federal FISA Judge Recuses Himself From Michael Flynn Case

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/12/07/federal-fisa-judge&#8230 ;

Blows the whole FISA Court to hell in a hand basket and Judge Contreras is getting the hell out of dodge. This a helluva mess for the FISA Court and it's victims. Rule 5. Authority of the Judges. (b) Referring Matters to Other Judges.

[Feb 14, 2018] The Anti-Trump Coup by Michael S. Rozeff

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... One objective is to keep in place an anti-Russian policy. The coup's instigators want to prevent Trump from letting up on the pressure (sanctions) on Russia and from cooperating with Russia. The coup forces are all anti-Russia, and that serves to unite them. A second objective is to maintain the positions, power, and influence of the coup's seekers. ..."
"... This is a "seed crystal" coup. The model for the seed crystal coup is the Watergate scandal. The operational goal is to crystallize and solidify the disunited Trump opposition into a movement that has irresistible momentum. In much the same way that seed crystals can accelerate a phase change from liquid to solid, the coup perpetrators introduce reports, accusations, and leaks over time in order to create the impression that a widening scandal is occurring. Each component has no merit but the media accept them at face value and provide publicity that creates new adherents and coherence among the anti-Trump forces. The anti-Trump forces are anxious to replicate the success in getting Nixon to resign. ..."
"... The anti-Trump media are critical in this effort. The anti-Trump media keep up a drumbeat of anti-Trump reporting. They slant the news, manufacture stories, repeat them and create fake news. ..."
"... The media must paint Russia and Putin as enemies for this propaganda effort to succeed. The media provide a focal point that coordinates the coup's backers even if they never sit down and conspire with one another. Everyone can observe the media stories and through that the effects of their anti-Trump leaks, reports, and innuendos. This allows them to plan their next moves. ..."
"... Social media have played a role in uprisings during the Arab Spring. The same thing can happen in America. There is a host of groups who are anti-Trump on grounds other than Russia. They can coordinate through social media. These groups seek to de-legitimize Trump so as to maintain items on their agenda. Aides to Hillary Clinton's failed campaign are now piling on to the effort. ..."
"... Positing a coup attempt is the simplest and most comprehensive hypothesis that ties together and explains a host of known facts that we know have occurred. Being a model of events, it is imperfect; but it's better than no model because it still helps us to understand what's going on. We are not seeing a train of unconnected events that just happen to be anti-Trump. It is easier to understand it as a concerted effort going on to emasculate the Trump presidency and possibly see him replaced; and that effort is centered in the CIA. ..."
"... The second victim of the coup is Michael T. Flynn, who resigned as Trump's National Security Advisor after only three weeks in that post. Leaks of tapped phone calls showed that intelligence operatives were behind this shark attack ..."
"... Mainly, unnamed intelligence officials and operatives who are in the CIA or recently retired from such. A number of media outfits are exceptionally active in propagating negative headlines and stories about Trump and his administration. Elements of other intelligence agencies and departments of government are possibly involved. We do not know the names of those operating against Trump, and this is a weakness of the coup hypothesis. ..."
Feb 21, 2017 | www.lewrockwell.com

Q. Will the coup succeed in removing Trump from office?

A. Not in its present form. It is currently destined to fail because the investigating agencies and enemies of Trump haven't found a smoking gun against him on the basis of Russian ties or influence. No one can prove that Trump is being controlled by Putin, and so he won't resign for that reason. The coup will peter out unless it comes up with new and more explosive anti-Trump material that's not obviously specious or doubtful as much of the current material is. Furthermore, Trump hasn't yet counterattacked and he has plenty of ammunition.

Q. What are the objectives of the coup?

A. One objective is to keep in place an anti-Russian policy. The coup's instigators want to prevent Trump from letting up on the pressure (sanctions) on Russia and from cooperating with Russia. The coup forces are all anti-Russia, and that serves to unite them. A second objective is to maintain the positions, power, and influence of the coup's seekers.

Q. How is the coup being conducted?

A. This is a "seed crystal" coup. The model for the seed crystal coup is the Watergate scandal. The operational goal is to crystallize and solidify the disunited Trump opposition into a movement that has irresistible momentum. In much the same way that seed crystals can accelerate a phase change from liquid to solid, the coup perpetrators introduce reports, accusations, and leaks over time in order to create the impression that a widening scandal is occurring. Each component has no merit but the media accept them at face value and provide publicity that creates new adherents and coherence among the anti-Trump forces. The anti-Trump forces are anxious to replicate the success in getting Nixon to resign.

Q. What is the role of the establishment media in the coup?

A. The anti-Trump media are critical in this effort. The anti-Trump media keep up a drumbeat of anti-Trump reporting. They slant the news, manufacture stories, repeat them and create fake news. They try to convince the public that the coup's promoters are on the side of the angels (as in protecting national security and the election system's purity) and Trump is on the side of the devils (as in making concessions to a dangerous foe and being too respectful to Putin). The media must paint Russia and Putin as enemies for this propaganda effort to succeed. The media provide a focal point that coordinates the coup's backers even if they never sit down and conspire with one another. Everyone can observe the media stories and through that the effects of their anti-Trump leaks, reports, and innuendos. This allows them to plan their next moves.

Q. What is the role of social media in the coup attempt?

A. Social media have played a role in uprisings during the Arab Spring. The same thing can happen in America. There is a host of groups who are anti-Trump on grounds other than Russia. They can coordinate through social media. These groups seek to de-legitimize Trump so as to maintain items on their agenda. Aides to Hillary Clinton's failed campaign are now piling on to the effort.

These groups are distinct from the coup's perpetrators. They might launch a coup attempt of their own or they may become a front line of the existing coup, that is, merge with it as a force to reckon with that Trump has to address.

Q. How do you answer those who deny that there is an ongoing coup attempt?

A. Positing a coup attempt is the simplest and most comprehensive hypothesis that ties together and explains a host of known facts that we know have occurred. Being a model of events, it is imperfect; but it's better than no model because it still helps us to understand what's going on. We are not seeing a train of unconnected events that just happen to be anti-Trump. It is easier to understand it as a concerted effort going on to emasculate the Trump presidency and possibly see him replaced; and that effort is centered in the CIA.

The people behind the coup are operating partly openly and partly covertly. They are not so far using military means or physically threatening means so that the coup is not clearly recognizable as such. They are more like sharks circling their intended victims, with each one being hungry and attacking its own, as opposed to making pre-arranged attacks. Their coordination is achieved through publicity and a common goal.

We can see these attacks, and they show a pattern, a common goal and a recognizable origin, primarily among U.S. intelligence agencies, especially the CIA.

Q. What attacks are you referring to?

A. The first victim was Paul Manafort who resigned in mid-August 2016 as Trump's campaign chairman. His lobbying efforts on behalf of the ousted head of Ukraine, Victor Yanukovych, resulted in a dirt campaign against him. That attack stemmed from anti-Russian sources in Ukraine whom the U.S. government supports. Attacks from foreign origins conceal their true U.S. origins. They are a sign of a CIA operation behind the scenes.

The second victim of the coup is Michael T. Flynn, who resigned as Trump's National Security Advisor after only three weeks in that post. Leaks of tapped phone calls showed that intelligence operatives were behind this shark attack .

Q. Who is behind the coup attempt ?

A. Mainly, unnamed intelligence officials and operatives who are in the CIA or recently retired from such. A number of media outfits are exceptionally active in propagating negative headlines and stories about Trump and his administration. Elements of other intelligence agencies and departments of government are possibly involved. We do not know the names of those operating against Trump, and this is a weakness of the coup hypothesis.

... ... ...

Michael S. Rozeff [ send him mail ] is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York. He is the author of the free e-book Essays on American Empire: Liberty vs. Domination and the free e-book The U.S. Constitution and Money: Corruption and Decline .

[Feb 12, 2018] Vault 8 and false-flag allegations: The US Intelligence Community reiterates its conclusion that dog bites man

Informative YouTube video
Notable quotes:
"... In today's podcast, we hear how Vault 8 has succeeded Vault 7 among WikiLeaks dumps (but it's still all CIA all the time from Mr. Assange and company). GCHQ expresses concerns about Kaspersky anti-virus products. ..."
"... The US Intelligence Community reiterates its conclusion that dog bites man, or rather, that Russia wants to work mischief with the United States ..."
Nov 13, 2017 | www.youtube.com

In today's podcast, we hear how Vault 8 has succeeded Vault 7 among WikiLeaks dumps (but it's still all CIA all the time from Mr. Assange and company). GCHQ expresses concerns about Kaspersky anti-virus products.

Media reports suggest that NSA is in the middle of a big mole hunt. Equifax begins to tally up the costs of its breach.

The US Intelligence Community reiterates its conclusion that dog bites man, or rather, that Russia wants to work mischief with the United States...

[Feb 12, 2018] A CIA Cyber False Flag by Federico Pieraccini.

Notable quotes:
"... Hardware and software vendors that are complicit -- most of which are American, British or Israeli -- give the CIA the opportunity to achieve informational full-spectrum dominance, relegating privacy to extinction. Such a convergence of power, money and technology entails major conflicts of interest, as can be seen in the case of Amazon AWS (Amazon's Cloud Service), cloud provider for the CIA , whose owner, Jeff Bezos, is also the owner of The Washington Post ..."
"... In general, when the 16 US spy agencies blamed Russia for the hacking of the elections, they were never specific in terms of forensic evidence. Simply put, the media, spies and politicians created false accusations based on the fact that Moscow, together with RT ..."
"... Now what is revealed through Wikileaks' publications in Vault 7 is the ability of a subsection of the CIA, known as Umbrage , to use malware, viruses, trojans and other cyber tools for their own geopolitical purposes. The CIA's Umbrage collects, analyzes and then employs software created variously from foreign security agencies, cyber mafia, private companies, and hackers in general. ..."
"... These revelations are yet more reason why countries targeted by Washington, like China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, should get rid of European and American products and invest in reducing technological dependence on American products in particular. ..."
"... This article first appeared on Strategic-Culture.org and was authored by Federico Pieraccini. ..."
Feb 08, 2018 | wearechange.org

Article via Strategic-Culture

New revelations from Wikileaks' 'Vault 7' leak shed a disturbing light on the safeguarding of privacy. Something already known and largely suspected has now become documented by Wikileaks. It seems evident that the CIA is now a state within a state, an entity out of control that has even arrived at the point of creating its own hacking network in order to avoid the scrutiny of the NSA and other agencies.

Reading the revelations contained in the documents released by WikiLeaks and adding them to those already presented in recent years by Snowden, it now seems evident that the technological aspect regarding espionage is a specialty in which the CIA, as far as we know, excels. Hardware and software vendors that are complicit -- most of which are American, British or Israeli -- give the CIA the opportunity to achieve informational full-spectrum dominance, relegating privacy to extinction. Such a convergence of power, money and technology entails major conflicts of interest, as can be seen in the case of Amazon AWS (Amazon's Cloud Service), cloud provider for the CIA , whose owner, Jeff Bezos, is also the owner of The Washington Post . It is a clear overlap of private interests that conflicts with the theoretical need to declare uncomfortable truths without the need to consider orders numbering in the millions of dollars from clients like the CIA.

While it is just one example, there are thousands more out there. The perverse interplay between media, spy agencies and politicians has compromised the very meaning of the much vaunted democracy of the land of the Stars and Stripes. The constant scandals that are beamed onto our screens now serve the sole purpose of advancing the deep interest of the Washington establishment. In geopolitical terms, it is now more than obvious that the deep state has committed all available means toward sabotaging any dialogue and détente between the United States and Russia. In terms of news, the Wikileaks revelations shed light on the methods used by US intelligence agencies like the CIA to place blame on the Kremlin, or networks associated with it, for the hacking that occurred during the American elections.

Perhaps this is too generous a depiction of matters, given that the general public has yet to see any evidence of the hacking of the DNC servers. In addition to this, we know that the origin of Podesta's email revelations stem from the loss of a smartphone and the low data-security measures employed by the chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. In general, when the 16 US spy agencies blamed Russia for the hacking of the elections, they were never specific in terms of forensic evidence. Simply put, the media, spies and politicians created false accusations based on the fact that Moscow, together with RT and other media (not directly linked to the Kremlin), finally enjoy a major presence in the mainstream media. The biggest problem for the Washington establishment lies in the revelation of news that is counterproductive to the interests of the deep state. RT, Sputnik, this site and many others have diligently covered and reported to the general public every development concerning the Podesta revelations or the hacking of the DNC.

Now what is revealed through Wikileaks' publications in Vault 7 is the ability of a subsection of the CIA, known as Umbrage , to use malware, viruses, trojans and other cyber tools for their own geopolitical purposes. The CIA's Umbrage collects, analyzes and then employs software created variously from foreign security agencies, cyber mafia, private companies, and hackers in general. These revelations become particularly relevant when we consider the consequences of these actions. The main example can be seen in the hacking of the DNC. For now, what we know is that the hacking – if it ever occurred – is of Russian origin. This does not mean at all that the Kremlin directed it. It could actually be very much the opposite, its responsibility falling into the category of a cyber false-flag. One thing is for sure: all 16 US intelligence agencies are of the view that "the Russians did it". That said, the methods used to hack vulnerabilities cannot be revealed, so as to limit the spread of easily reusable exploits on systems, such as the one that hosted the DNC server. It is a great excuse for avoiding the revelation of any evidence at all.

So, with little information available, independent citizens are left with very little information on which to reliably form an opinion on what happened. There is no evidence, and no evidence will be provided to the media. For politicians and so-called mainstream journalists, this is an acceptable state of affairs. What we are left with instead is blind faith in the 16 spy agencies. The problem for them is that what WikiLeaks revealed with Vault 7 exposes a scenario that looks more likely than not: a cyber false-flag carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency using engineered malware and viruses made in Russia and hypothetically linking them back to hacking networks in Russia. In all likelihood, it looks like the Democrats' server was hacked by the CIA with the clear objective of leaving Russian fingerprints and obvious traces to be picked up by other US agencies.

In this way, it becomes easier to explain the unique views of all 16 spy agencies. Thus, it is far more likely that the CIA intentionally left fake Russian fingerprints all over the DNC server, thereby misleading other intelligence agencies in promoting the narrative that Russia hacked the DNC server. Of course the objective was to create a false narrative that could immediately be picked up by the media, creating even more hysteria surrounding any rapprochement with Russia.

Diversification of computer systems.

The revelations contained in the Wikileaks vault 7 ( less than 1 % of the total data in Wikileaks' possession has been released to date) have caused a stir, especially by exposing the astonishing complicity between hardware and software manufacturers, often intentionally creating backdoors in their products to allow access by the CIA and NSA. In today's digital environment, all essential services rely on computer technology and connectivity. These revelations are yet more reason why countries targeted by Washington, like China, Russia, Iran and North Korea, should get rid of European and American products and invest in reducing technological dependence on American products in particular.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/9678427951402854?pubid=ld-4970-8393&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwearechange.org&rid=duckduckgo.com&width=550

The People's Republic has already started down this track, with the replacement of many network devices with local vendors like Huawei in order to avoid the type of interference revealed by Snowden. Russia has been doing the same in terms of software, even laying the groundwork to launch of its own operating system, abandoning American and European systems. In North Korea, this idea was already put into practice years ago and is an excellent tool for deterrence for external interference. In more than one computer security conference, US experts have praised the capabilities of the DPRK to isolate its Internet network from the rest of the world, allowing them to have strong safety mechanisms. Often, the only access route to the DPRK systems are through the People's Republic of China, not the easiest way for the CIA or NSA to infiltrate a protected computer network.

An important aspect of the world in which we live today involves information security, something all nations have to deal with. At the moment, we still live in a world in which the realization of the danger and effect of hacking attacks are not apparent to many. On the other hand, militarily speaking, the diversification and rationalization of critical equipment in terms of networks and operability (smartphones, laptops, etc) has already produced strong growth in non-American and European manufacturers, with the aim of making their systems more secure.

This strengthening of technology also produces deleterious consequences, such as the need for intelligence agencies to be able to prevent the spread of data encryption so as to always enjoy access to any desired information. The birth of the Tor protocol, the deployment of Bitcoin, and apps that are more and more encrypted (although the WikiLeaks documents have shown that the collection of information takes place on the device b efore the information is encrypted ) are all responses to an exponential increase in the invasion of privacy by federal or American government entities.

We live in a world that has an enormous dependence on the Internet and computer technology. The CIA over the years has focused on the ability to make sure vulnerable systems are exploited as well as seeking out major security flaws in consumer products without disclosing this to vendors, thereby taking advantage of these security gaps and leaving all consumers with a potential lack of security. Slowly, thanks to the work and courage of people like Snowden and Assange, the world is beginning to understand how important it is to keep personal data under control and prevent access to it by third parties, especially if they are state actors. In the case of national security, the issue is expanded exponentially by the need to protect key and vital infrastructure, considering how many critical services operate via the Internet and rely on computing devices.

The wars of the future will have a strong technological basis, and it is no coincidence that many armed forces, primarily the Russian and Chinese, have opted in recent years to training troops, and conducting operations, not completely relying on connectivity. No one can deny that in the event of a large-scale conflict, connectivity is far from guaranteed. One of the major goals of competing nations is to penetrate the military security systems of rival nations and be able to disarm the internal networks that operates major systems of defense and attack.

The Wikileaks revelations are yet another confirmation of how important it is to break the technological unipolar moment, if it may be dubbed this way, especially for nations targeted by the United States. Currently Washington dictates the technological capacities of the private and government sectors of Europe and America, steering their development, timing and methods to suit its own interests. It represents a clear disadvantage that the PRC and its allies will inevitably have to redress in the near future in order to achieve full security for its vital infrastructure.


This article first appeared on Strategic-Culture.org and was authored by Federico Pieraccini.

[Feb 11, 2018] DemoRats and neoliberal MSM are using Russiagate to empower the military-security complex

Notable quotes:
"... The Apprentice ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... The Atlantic ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... The Daily Beast ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... Rachel Maddow, the top-rated cable-news host who covers Russiagate more than all other issues combined , has speculated that Putin was responsible for the hiring of Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; is inducing Trump to "weaken" the State Department and " bleed out " the FBI; and, via the infamous "pee tape" alleged by Steele, may blackmail Trump into withdrawing US forces near Russia's border . ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
"... Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists ..."
"... The Wall Street Journal ..."
"... Far beyond Israelgate, Russiagate allows them to oppose Trump while obscuring key areas where they either share his priorities or have no viable alternative. Democrats can claim to be Trump's opposition without having to confront many of the failings that handed them one of the most stunning defeats in US political history. ..."
"... The DP is a neoliberal party which has been able to distinguish itself from Republicans by campaigning like progressives, but governing as neoliberals. ..."
"... Trump ran his campaign as a populist who would "drain the swamp." He opposed trade deals, and corporations relocating their factories outside the US. The Clinton campaign ran mostly negative personal attacks at Trump's failed marriages, his university, business bankruptcies, abuse of women, and his Russian connection. ..."
"... The DP has a real problem, how can they continue to be a neoliberal party, and cooperate with the RP, while pretending to support progressive causes when more and more people realize the charade and are demanding real progressive change? ..."
"... This whole "we lost the election because of Russian interference" argument appears to be roughly on the same level as "the dog ate my homework" dodge. ..."
"... The bottom line of any Trump association is financial - whether or not an association will protect and increase his wealth. Trump most likely believed that Russians were hacking the DNC (and the RNC) and favored him over Clinton, but that is a far cry from proof that he was colluding with a foreign government that committed crimes. The Democrats knee-jerk obsession with Russia serves to inoculate Trump from any real crimes that the Mueller investigation uncovers. Mostly those crimes will be financial, money laundering being the foremost. Democrats, in a 'the sky is falling' tone, breathlessly proclaim the latest revelation that Trump wanted a reset of Russia relations, or that some Trump official actually talked to a Russian official, as proof positive that Trump is a traitor. That Russia is the enemy is a fait accompli. ..."
"... To go on any liberal forum and point out that we really do need a better foreign policy with Russia than demonizing Putin is to bring forth a cascade of vituperation. Russia is the enemy and Trump colluded with the enemy, end of story they say. It's really way more complicated than that. It goes to the heart of the financialization of governments, including ours, to the point where finance can no longer be separated from government, and everything in government becomes a business transaction. Trump views the presidency as just another tool for self-enrichment, on a continuum from his global wheeling-dealing working on the boundaries of the law. The Russian state works in much the same way, a government that is run by a confederation of oligarchs and mob figures. ..."
"... In indulging themselves in Russiagate, Democrats have solidified the current provocative foreign policy that benefits the arms industry while putting civilization in danger. They are closing out all the sane options, and engaging in the same asinine fearmongering that Republicans do. On foreign policy, both parties deserve contempt. ..."
Feb 11, 2018 | www.thenation.com

Originally from: What We've Learned in Year 1 of Russiagate by Aaron Maté ( The Nation)

... ... ...

Neither "Proven nor Disproven"

Both scenarios also call into question another foundation of Russiagate, the series of Clinton-campaign-funded intelligence reports written by former British spy Christopher Steele. The premise of the Steele dossier is of a "well-developed conspiracy of cooperation" in which Russia has been "cultivating, supporting and assisting Trump for at least five years," beginning back when Trump was hosting The Apprentice . Russia gives Trump "and his inner circle a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals." As an insurance policy, Steele contends, at least two years after their conspiracy began, the Russians collected a videotape of Trump hiring and watching prostitutes "perform a 'golden showers' (urination) show," in a Moscow Ritz-Carlton hotel room.

This questionable narrative is perhaps why, according to the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner, after one year and multiple investigations, the dossier's allegations remain neither "proven nor, conversely, disproven" -- in other words, not proven. According to Fox News, "when pressed [in recent congressional testimony] to identify what in the salacious document the bureau had actually corroborated [then–FBI Deputy Director Andrew] McCabe cited only the fact that Trump campaign adviser Carter Page had traveled to Moscow." It would not have been difficult for the FBI -- or Steele -- to figure that out, given that it was reported in The Washington Post and Russian media in early July. (Steele reports it only on July 19.)

"Missing Hard Evidence"

The shaky evidentiary basis for collusion extends to Russiagate's other central pillars. It has been over a year since the release, shortly before Trump's inauguration, of a US intelligence report alleging a Russian-government campaign to elect Trump through e-mail hacking and covert propaganda. Amid the ensuing uproar, some quietly noted at the time that the public version of the report "does not or cannot provide evidence for its assertions" ( The Atlantic ); contained "essentially no new information" ( Susan Hennessy , Lawfare ); and was "missing what many Americans most eagerly anticipated: hard evidence to back up the agencies' claims" ( The New York Times ).

If "hard evidence" is what "many Americans most eagerly anticipated" in January 2017, they have continued to wait in vain. The Russian government may well have hacked Democratic Party e-mails, but evidence of it beyond unsubstantiated claims has yet to arrive.

In its place is a bipartisan fearmongering campaign that recalls the height of the Cold War. The nation is said to face "an ongoing attack by the Russian government through Kremlin-linked social media actors directly acting to intervene and influence our democratic process" ( Democrats Representative Adam Schiff and Senator Dianne Feinstein ); in which "Russia continues to disseminate propaganda designed to weaken our nation" ( former acting CIA director Michael Morell and former Republican Representative Mike Rogers ); which means that we cannot "simply sit back and hope that we do not face another attack by a hostile foreign power" (Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen).

A credulous national media has helped disseminate the panic. When news of Russian-linked Facebook ads (in reality, Russian troll farms ) broke open, The Daily Beast calculated that the "Russian-funded covert propaganda posts were likely seen by a minimum of 23 million people and might have reached as many as 70 million," meaning that "up to 28 percent of American adults were swept in by the campaign." National audiences were soberly informed of covert Russian attempts to dupe them via Pokemon Go . CNN reported -- and multiple outlets repeated -- that "highly sophisticated" Russian Facebook ads targeted "the states that turned out to be pivotal," including "Michigan and Wisconsin, two states crucial to Donald Trump's victory last November." The New York Times consulted with "analysts" to ponder over the mysterious significance of a Russian-linked "Facebook group for animal lovers with memes of adorable puppies":

The goal of the dog lovers' page was more obscure. But some analysts suggested a possible motive: to build a large following before gradually introducing political content. Without viewing the entire feed from the page, now closed by Facebook, it is impossible to say whether the Russian operators tried such tactics.

We may never know if vulnerable American dog-lovers were compromised by the Russian puppy-gandists. But "analysis" and "exclusives" like these have drowned out the actual evidence. In brief, more than half of the relatively paltry $100,000 in Facebook ads bought by "Russian-linked" accounts ran after the election. They were mostly related not to the election but to social issues and were often juvenile and written in broken English. Those that were "geographically located" came mostly during the primaries. The ads that ran in battleground states were, as one study noted , "microscopic": Fewer than a dozen ran in Michigan and Wisconsin combined, and the majority were seen fewer than 1,000 times. Purported Russian ad spending amounted to $1,979 in Wisconsin -- all but $54 of that during the primary -- $823 in Michigan, and $300 in Pennsylvania.

Summarizing available data, The Washington Post 's Philip Bump concludes : "what we actually know about the Russian activity on Facebook and Twitter: It was often modest, heavily dissociated from the campaign itself and minute in the context of election social media efforts."

"Theories With Virtually No Fact"

The impact of Russiagate panic has been magnified by a preponderance of influential exponents wading into imaginative territory. And their audience happens to be millions of people aggrieved by Trump's presidency and seeking hope that it can be reversed.

Rachel Maddow, the top-rated cable-news host who covers Russiagate more than all other issues combined , has speculated that Putin was responsible for the hiring of Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson; is inducing Trump to "weaken" the State Department and " bleed out " the FBI; and, via the infamous "pee tape" alleged by Steele, may blackmail Trump into withdrawing US forces near Russia's border .

The Russian influence theory is so ingrained that Democrats see no irony in invoking it to dismiss the conspiracy theories of Republicans. Denouncing the current right-wing uproar over alleged anti-Trump bias at the FBI, Senator Chuck Schumer cautioned that in pushing "conspiracy theories with virtually no fact," the Republicans "wittingly or unwittingly are acting as allies of Russia's disinformation campaigns," ultimately "playing right into Putin's hands."

Such is our Trump-era political spectrum: a Republican Party that has graduated from birtherism to now pushing fears of an anti-Trump FBI "secret society," versus a Democratic Party whose counterattack is to accuse its foes of doing Putin's bidding.

... ... ...

As it ramps up its armed presence near Russia, the Pentagon's new National Defense Strategy declares that the US military advantage over Russia and China is "eroding," and that reversing it is now more of a priority than stopping ISIS or Al Qaeda. "Great power competition, not terrorism, is now the primary focus of U.S. national security," Defense Secretary James Mattis declared. Russia is the top threat invoked in Trump's Nuclear Posture Review. The plan's centerpiece is the development of smaller, so-called "low-yield" nuclear weapons, small enough to ensure that Russia fears their actual use. The review attributes this to the "deterioration of the strategic environment" -- "a nod toward existing tensions with Russia in particular," The Washington Post observes .

Tensions between the world's two major nuclear powers have helped lead the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to move its Doomsday Clock to its highest point since 1953. "Nuclear risks have been compounded by US-Russia relations that now feature more conflict than cooperation," the Bulletin warns . "Coordination on nuclear risk reduction is all but dead. For the first time in many years, in fact, no US-Russian nuclear arms control negotiations are under way."

The nuclear risks may also be compounded by a US opposition party that has made "more conflict than cooperation" a defining trait. "Never before has a U.S. president so clearly ignored such a grave threat, and a growing threat, to U.S. national security," declares Senator Ben Cardin . In not imposing new sanctions, Trump has "let Russia off the hook yet again," says Representative Eliot Engel . In releasing the House Republican memo, Trump has "Vladimir Putin there smiling like he gave Donald Trump the script" ( Representative Jackie Speier ) and has "just sent his friend Putin a bouquet" ( Representative Nancy Pelosi ). It is difficult to imagine Democrats leading the charge to reduce nuclear tensions with Russia when they expend more energy urging Trump to be confrontational.

With Trump's actual Russia policies receiving less attention than Russiagate, it also makes sense that his administration has begun to take advantage of the opportunities that the distraction provides. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster has warned that there are "initial signs" of Russian "subversion and disinformation and propaganda" in Mexico's upcoming presidential election . McMaster did not cite any evidence, but perhaps he had in mind the multiple polls that show leftist candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador as the front-runner so far .

Top Priorities

The focus on still-absent evidence of Trump-Russia collusion while ignoring increasing US-Russia tensions coincides with the indifference that has greeted the most concrete case of Trump collusion with a foreign government so far: the Trump transition's effort to undermine President Obama's abstention on a United Nations Security Council vote condemning Israeli settlements in December 2016. Undertaken at the request of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, "derailing the vote was Mr. Trump's top priority at that time," The Wall Street Journal reports .

But for Democrats and thought leaders to oppose the Trump transition's "top priority" would mean challenging one that they uphold. "While [the UN effort] might have otherwise given the Democrats a welcome political opportunity to underscore the perfidy of the Trump team," Stephen Zunes observes , "they are hindered by the fact that the majority of Congressional Democrats opposed Obama and supported Trump's position on the vote."

It is here that Russiagate performs a critical function for Trump's political foes. Far beyond Israelgate, Russiagate allows them to oppose Trump while obscuring key areas where they either share his priorities or have no viable alternative. Democrats can claim to be Trump's opposition without having to confront many of the failings that handed them one of the most stunning defeats in US political history.

In focusing on a foreign villain, there is also little need for Democrats to challenge the powerful sectors of US society that many Trump voters were duped into thinking that they were voting against -- and whose interests many Democrats have deftly served. In fact, the outside enemy offers Democrats new opportunities to cater to powerful donors: increased militarism towards a nuclear power is a boon for the military-security establishment, and lawmakers who promote it have been duly rewarded .

Less understandable is how Democrats and partisan media outlets can continue to prioritize Russiagate over factors that likely cost their party far more votes than any stolen e-mails or Facebook ads: gerrymandering , voter suppression , declining unionization , exhaustive Trump media coverage , and the unregulated, worsening " dark-money " takeover of political campaigns. Or any number of domestic outrages around which large segments of the population, not just liberals , could be mobilized.

After more than one year of its engulfing our politics, perhaps that could be Russiagate's most helpful contribution: guiding us to the challenges that it helps us avoid.

  1. Victor Sciamarelli says: February 10, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    An interesting article especially the conclusion under "Top Priorities" where it states, "It is here that Russiagate performs a critical function for Trump's political foes. Far beyond Israelgate, Russiagate allows them [democrats] to oppose Trump while obscuring key areas where they either share his priorities or have no viable alternative."

    This is important and I largely agree, but the observation could have gone further. The DP is a neoliberal party which has been able to distinguish itself from Republicans by campaigning like progressives, but governing as neoliberals.

    Trump ran his campaign as a populist who would "drain the swamp." He opposed trade deals, and corporations relocating their factories outside the US. The Clinton campaign ran mostly negative personal attacks at Trump's failed marriages, his university, business bankruptcies, abuse of women, and his Russian connection. Jill Stein was attacked and brought before the Senate Intelligence Committee because the dossier claimed, falsely, that she accepted payment from Russia to attend a RT event in Moscow. And we all know what happened to the Sanders' campaign.

    None of this would matter because Clinton was expected to win. Trump is a hypocrite and a fake populist but the populist message resonated with voters. Bernie Sanders, the real deal populist, remains the most popular politician in America and he is the most popular democratic politician among Republican voters.

    The recent FISA reauthorization bill passed with 65 House Democrats who joined Trump and the Republicans. In 2002 the DP controlled the Senate, but 29 Dems joined Republicans to pass the Iraq War Resolution along with 82 House Dems. And was the Republican regime change in Iraq better than the Democratic regime change in Libya? And recall that Hugo Chavez, who was democratically elected, governed constitutionally, and complied with international law, and if he ever crossed a line it was trivial compared to the lines Bush crossed, was labeled a dictator and attacked much like Putin is today.

    The DP has a real problem, how can they continue to be a neoliberal party, and cooperate with the RP, while pretending to support progressive causes when more and more people realize the charade and are demanding real progressive change?

    Maintaining a neoliberal course on behalf of elite interests is more important than winning elections. Thus, while Trump is investigated, the DP and supportive media are preparing to demonize progressives and any alternative voices as nothing more than Russian puppets.

  2. Jeffrey Harrison says: February 10, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Articles like this one on The Nation surprise me. The Nation seems to be in the pockets of the DNC and their Hillary-bots. While this is a great article, I'm left with a sense of dissatisfaction based on what was missing from it. Nobody seems to see the forest for the trees.

    The first thing missing is the reality that Three Names won the election by about 3 million votes. Mr Maté does a good job of pointing out the weaknesses of the whole facebook/twitter meme but leaves out that Three Names' problem was not a lack of votes but a lack of breadth of votes. She won the major population centers but not the countryside and thus lost the state. Folks in the countryside are much less likely to be on facebook and twitter than their city cousins and thus will be relatively immune from the influence of ads on those platforms. If you want to see real meddling, take a look at what AIPAC is doing.

    The other thing that's missing is the danger behind sanctions. There's another name for sanctions - economic warfare. These are actually forbidden by the UN charter unless authorized by the UN but the US has never let its promises keep the US from doing exactly what it wanted to. In the past, sanctions have, in fact, led to shooting wars. What we are doing is perpetrating economic warfare on the only country capable of destroying the United States.

    In what way could this be considered wise?

  3. Matthew Walsh says: February 10, 2018 at 11:30 am

    I appreciate this article--and I agree with many of its arguments--but it contains some layered irony that is important to address. The author is correct in asserting that there is irony in the Democrats' claim that Republicans' opposition to the investigation is not based in fact.

    But I find it ironic that the author is accusing the Democrats of using Russiagate to empower the military-security complex. It's a highly plausible prospect, but it's certainly no more plausible than Russian collusion accusations.

  4. Dan Swanson says: February 10, 2018 at 8:36 am

    Superb article. My only quibble is that Trump probably did collude with Russians -- not over the election, but over his business interests, and that exposing this will damage his overall popularity, even among some of his supporters. But the article's major point still stands -- putting all the opposition eggs into the Russiagate basket is a big risk, especially now that the Republicans will take aim at Social Security and Medicare. Among major politicians, only Bernie Sanders has recognized that Russiagate distracts from Trump's true evils.

  5. Robert Borneman says: February 10, 2018 at 2:29 am

    Kudos to Mr. Maté for keeping a clear eye out on the facts and evidence of the case against Russia having thrown the election to Hillary (which is paltry at best, and falsely exculpatory of HRC's own disaster on the simple surface). Kudos to The Nation for not swallowing the same establishment DNC pill which seeks to provide cover for the neo-liberal wing of the Democratic Party by blaming Russia instead of their own (DNC's own) anti-democratic machinations and poor decisions.

  6. Philip Gerard says: February 9, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    This whole "we lost the election because of Russian interference" argument appears to be roughly on the same level as "the dog ate my homework" dodge. The democrats just can't admit that they blew the 2016 election . If they did they would have to look for answers and this is something they really do not want to do. Why? I suspect that they all ready know what they need to do to win but that would mean cutting ties with their corporate "constituents" and that is something they simply can not bring themselves to do.

  7. Michael Robertson says: February 9, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    The bottom line of any Trump association is financial - whether or not an association will protect and increase his wealth. Trump most likely believed that Russians were hacking the DNC (and the RNC) and favored him over Clinton, but that is a far cry from proof that he was colluding with a foreign government that committed crimes. The Democrats knee-jerk obsession with Russia serves to inoculate Trump from any real crimes that the Mueller investigation uncovers. Mostly those crimes will be financial, money laundering being the foremost. Democrats, in a 'the sky is falling' tone, breathlessly proclaim the latest revelation that Trump wanted a reset of Russia relations, or that some Trump official actually talked to a Russian official, as proof positive that Trump is a traitor. That Russia is the enemy is a fait accompli.

    To go on any liberal forum and point out that we really do need a better foreign policy with Russia than demonizing Putin is to bring forth a cascade of vituperation. Russia is the enemy and Trump colluded with the enemy, end of story they say. It's really way more complicated than that. It goes to the heart of the financialization of governments, including ours, to the point where finance can no longer be separated from government, and everything in government becomes a business transaction. Trump views the presidency as just another tool for self-enrichment, on a continuum from his global wheeling-dealing working on the boundaries of the law. The Russian state works in much the same way, a government that is run by a confederation of oligarchs and mob figures.

    To say that the Russians hacked the election is to say nothing. There is nothing that they have putatively done that we haven't done to them. The Facebook posts that are evidence of high-level psychological manipulation are indistinguishable from Republican spin. In indulging themselves in Russiagate, Democrats have solidified the current provocative foreign policy that benefits the arms industry while putting civilization in danger. They are closing out all the sane options, and engaging in the same asinine fearmongering that Republicans do. On foreign policy, both parties deserve contempt.

  8. Brian Cairns says: February 9, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    Excellent job, Aaron! And thanks to The Nation for not getting swept up in the Russiagate hysteria like so many other progressive outlets have.

[Feb 11, 2018] Republican investigations put Blumenthal in spotlight

Notable quotes:
"... Steele also gave the dossier to Winer, who flagged to his superiors at the State Department, according to the source. Kerry was eventually briefed on its existence, and that it wasn't known how much was true. ..."
Feb 11, 2018 | www.cnn.com

How Shearer's notes got to Steele

Shearer, an independent journalist, decided to investigate potential Trump-Russia connections after seeing stories about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee, the source said.

Shearer's so-called dossier is actually a set of notes based on conversations with reporters and other sources, according to the person who spoke to CNN, and he circulated those notes to assorted journalists, as well as to Blumenthal.

Blumenthal then passed the notes to Jonathan Winer, who was a State Department special envoy for Libya under former Secretary of State John Kerry, the source said. Winer had a previous relationship with Steele, and he passed it along to Steele in order to get his assessment.

Carter Page struggles to explain how he could advise both Kremlin and Trump team

Related Article: Carter Page struggles to explain how he could advise both Kremlin and Trump team

Blumenthal, according to the source, did not know that Winer would consult Steele on the Shearer document, and said Winer made that decision on his own.

After Winer gave Steele the notes from Shearer, Steele wrote that he found it interesting and it tended to corroborate some of what he found, but he also noted that it was uncorroborated, the source said.

Shearer's notes, a copy of which were obtained by CNN, make uncorroborated allegations involving Trump and Russia, and they cite unnamed Russian intelligence and Turkish sources.

Steele provided Shearer's notes to the FBI in October 2016.

What are the GOP allegations? Steele was being paid for his research by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which was hired by a law firm on behalf of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee. A key allegation in last week's Nunes memo was that Steele's political connections to Democrats were not told to the FISA court, and Republicans are charging that Shearer's involvement could show Steele was receiving information from Clinton associates that went into the dossier he gave to the FBI. The criminal referral from Grassley and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham -- which was unclassified with some redactions this week -- states that Shearer's notes went to Steele through an official at the State Department and another person who was a "friend of the Clinton's." "It is troubling enough that the Clinton Campaign funded Mr. Steele's work, but that these Clinton associates were contemporaneously feeding Mr. Steele's allegations raises additional concerns about his credibility," the senators wrote in the criminal referral, which does not accuse Steele of wrongdoing but urges the Justice Department to investigate the matter. Winer worked with Steele from 2014 through 2016, according to another source familiar with their interactions. Steele provided Winer with reports related to the conflict in Ukraine and Russia as a courtesy, which was not unusual and considered one source among many used for assessing the situation on the ground in Ukraine, the source said.

Former CIA Director Brennan says Nunes 'abused his office' Steele also gave the dossier to Winer, who flagged to his superiors at the State Department, according to the source. Kerry was eventually briefed on its existence, and that it wasn't known how much was true.

Senior State Department officials showed the dossier to Kerry once it was clear the document was in wide circulation around Washington, according to the source. Kerry was not briefed on the Shearer document, the source said. Lee Wolosky, an attorney for Winer, said in a statement that Winer was "concerned in 2016 about information that a candidate for the presidency may have been compromised by a hostile foreign power." "Any actions he took were grounded in those concerns," Wolosky said.

"Today's attacks are nothing more than a further attempt to undermine the independence and credibility of special (counsel Robert) Mueller's ongoing investigation into those and related issues." What are Republicans saying? Republicans haven't come out and accused Blumenthal of any wrongdoing, but they've hinted in public appearances that raw intelligence may have been distributed for partisan purposes. Rep. Trey Gowdy, who chairs the House Oversight Committee and is a senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, discussed Nunes' State Department investigation a Fox News interview Tuesday, saying he was "troubled" by the role the State Department played. Gowdy read the classified FISA documents that the Justice Department gave congressional committees access to on the condition that only one member of the majority and minority would view them. "When you hear who the source, or one of the sources of that information is, you're going to think, 'Oh, my gosh, I've heard that name somewhere before. Where could he possibly have been?'" the South Carolina Republican said.

Gowdy: Memo has no impact on Russia probe "A domestic source. I'm trying to think of Secretary Clinton defined him. I think she said he was an old friend who emailed her from time to time," Gowdy continued. "Sidney Blumenthal?" Fox News' Martha MacCallum asked. "That would be really warm," Gowdy concluded. Nunes made headlines over the weekend when he predicted more memos would be coming from his committee, but he says that the investigation into the State Department has already been in the works. "We have an active investigation into the State Department. That has been ongoing for a while now," Nunes told Fox News' Sean Hannity.

Nunes has repeatedly declined to discuss his investigations with CNN, saying he doesn't discuss committee business "in the halls." Graham declined to discuss Blumenthal's role in the committee's investigation into Steele, but said the State Department is one element of it. "There's some connections outside the Department of Justice and the dossier that we're looking at. One of them goes to the State Department," Graham told CNN. "It's clear to me he was using the dossier for political purposes and that should have been more alarming than it was."

Who are the players?

Blumenthal is no stranger to congressional investigations, playing a role in the House Benghazi Select Committee investigation that was led by Gowdy. Blumenthal testified behind closed doors as part of the Benghazi investigation, and he provided the committee with emails he exchanged with Clinton , who was secretary of state when the 2012 Benghazi attack occurred. Blumenthal sent Clinton dozens of emails while she was secretary of state on various foreign policy topics, some of which were unsolicited and others that were requested by Clinton.

A former journalist, Blumenthal has known the Clintons for more than 30 years, and he worked in the Clinton White House as senior adviser from 1997 to 2001. He's been by the family's side during difficult moments, including President Bill Clinton's impeachment trial.

[Feb 11, 2018] None Dare Call It Treason by James Kirkpatrick

Notable quotes:
"... Trump: Democrats 'Un-American,' 'Treasonous,' During State of the Union ..."
"... National Review ..."
"... Is Trump Serious about 'Treasonous' Democrats? ..."
"... But Trump's "joke" really should be taken seriously. The likes of Nancy Pelosi are traitors in the most literal sense -- in that they openly and explicitly oppose the interests of American citizens ..."
"... Pelosi is entranced by 3 million 'Dreamer' illegals, insults Americans' children ..."
"... This year kicks off the new 3.8 billion yearly to Israel up from 3.1 billion and another 775 million for Israel missile defense and undoubtly more incremental aid bills as the year goes on. ..."
Feb 11, 2018 | www.unz.com

President Trump, allegedly humorously, later described the [neoliberal] Democrats' behavior during his State of the Union speech as "treasonous" and "un-American," prompting the usual hysteria [ Trump: Democrats 'Un-American,' 'Treasonous,' During State of the Union , by Jessica Taylor, NPR, February 5, 2018].

The chutzpah is breathtaking considering how journalists and their pet elected officials in the Democrat party have waged a nonstop insurgency against the President of the United States since his inauguration , accusing him of being a puppet of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Indeed, as even Never Trump cuckservatives at National Review wearily pointed out, Democrats have habitually and quite seriously called Republicans not only traitors but " terrorists " for opposing their various policies. [ Is Trump Serious about 'Treasonous' Democrats? , by Dan McLaughlin, February 5, 2018]

But Trump's "joke" really should be taken seriously. The likes of Nancy Pelosi are traitors in the most literal sense -- in that they openly and explicitly oppose the interests of American citizens and advocate their replacement with foreigners. Pelosi's ludicrous claim that the Founding Fathers (who created the Naturalization Act of 1790 ) would support the mass influx of "Dreamers" and that illegals are "more American than Americans" is as definitive a statement of hatred for American citizens as can be imagined [ Pelosi is entranced by 3 million 'Dreamer' illegals, insults Americans' children , by Neil Munro, Breitbart, February 7, 2018].

renfro , February 9, 2018 at 8:46 am GMT

Hell, they are ALL traitors here is how they spend their time in congress

That's 376 bills, more than one a day and I haven't even gotten into the trade and appropriation categories where they bury other bills for Israel that would take several days of reading. This year kicks off the new 3.8 billion yearly to Israel up from 3.1 billion and another 775 million for Israel missile defense and undoubtly more incremental aid bills as the year goes on.

Hang them all and let God sort them out.

[Feb 11, 2018] Hope Hicks: Trump s confidante finds herself center stage in scandal

Feb 11, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

Throughout Donald Trump's campaign and relentlessly chaotic presidency, the single constant presence at his side, outside of his family, has been the 29-year-old former Ralph Lauren model and White House communications director Hope Hicks.

While aides and advisers fall in and out of favor, Hicks has remained Trump's Oval Office gatekeeper, companion and sounding board, offering consistent loyalty.

But now Hicks has herself been cast into two plotlines currently playing out in the presidential daytime reality-soap.

In one, Hicks features as a likely target in the special counsel Robert Mueller's effort to acquire cooperating witnesses in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Hicks has reportedly been interviewed by Mueller's investigators.

In the other, her prized judgment is being called into question over Rob Porter, the senior White House aide accused of physically abusing two ex-wives and whom Hicks has reportedly been dating.

Publicly, Trump has offered his support for Hicks, saying: "Hope is absolutely fantastic. She was with the campaign from the beginning, and I could not ask for anything more. Hope is smart, very talented and respected by all."

But in private, the president is believed to have issued rare criticism of a woman who by some estimates is the most influential figure in the administration after Trump himself.

At issue is whether Hicks, who also served as communications director during the campaign, relaxed her judgment owing to her relationship with Porter.

White House officials have said Hicks knew that an ex-girlfriend of Porter's had informed aides that both of Porter's ex-wives had said he was violent. Hicks continued to see him and did not tell the president. Porter denies the allegations against him.

If the unfolding episode calls into question the maturity of Hicks' judgement, she clearly is invaluable as a personal assistant. In his campaign memoir, Let Trump Be Trump, Corey Lewandowski, the early campaign strategist – with whom, coincidentally, Hicks also had an affair – described her steaming Trump's suit while he is wearing it.

"She's really quite talented and able," Christopher Ruddy, a close friend of the president and chief executive of the conservative website Newsmax, told the Washington Post .

But her professional experience, especially where is comes to matters that carry potentially legal consequences, is limited. Hicks came to the Trumps through a PR firm that represented the Trump Organization. The family later hired her away to work exclusively for them, furnishing her with responsibilities that included working on Ivanka Trump's fashion line.

A GQ magazine profile in June 2016 described her: "She is a hugger and a people pleaser, with long brown hair and green eyes, a young woman of distinctly all-American flavor – the sort that inspires Tom Petty songs, not riots."

But her looks and fashion background can cause people to underestimate her. She has a background in PR and is a graduate of Dallas' Southern Methodist University.

[Feb 10, 2018] American Think Tanks Are Hired Purveyors of Fake News by Paul Craig Roberts

Notable quotes:
"... think tanks are essentially lobby groups for their donors. The policy analyses and reform schemes that they produce are tailored to support the material interests of donors. None of the studies are reliable as objective evidence. They are special pleading. ..."
"... Think tanks, such as the American Enterprise Institute, Brookings Institution, and the Atlantic Council, speak for those who fund them. Increasingly, they speak for the military/security complex, American hegemony, corporate interests, and Israel ..."
"... Bryan MacDonald lists those who support the anti-Russian think tanks such as the Atlantic Council, the Center for European Policy Analysis, German Marshall Fund of the US, and Institute for Study of War. The "experts" are mouthpieces funded by the US military security complex. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48755.htm US government agencies use taxpayer dollars to deceive taxpayers. ..."
Feb 10, 2018 | www.unz.com

A couple of decades or more ago when I was still in Washington, otherwise known as the snake pit, I was contacted by a well-financed group that offered me, a Business Week and Scripps Howard News Service columnist with access as a former editor also to the Wall Street Journal, substantial payments to promote agendas that the lobbyists paying the bills wanted promoted.

To the detriment of my net worth, but to the preservation of my reputation, I declined. Shortly thereafter a conservative columnist, a black man if memory serves, was outed for writing newspaper columns for pay for a lobby group.

I often wondered if he was set up in order to get rid of him and whether the enticement I received was intended to shut me down, or whether journalists had become "have pen will travel"? (Have Gun -- Will Travel was a highly successful TV Series 1957-1963).

Having read Bryan MacDonald's article on Information Clearing House, "Anti-Russia Think Tanks in US: Who Funds them?," I see that think tanks are essentially lobby groups for their donors. The policy analyses and reform schemes that they produce are tailored to support the material interests of donors. None of the studies are reliable as objective evidence. They are special pleading.

Think tanks, such as the American Enterprise Institute, Brookings Institution, and the Atlantic Council, speak for those who fund them. Increasingly, they speak for the military/security complex, American hegemony, corporate interests, and Israel.

Bryan MacDonald lists those who support the anti-Russian think tanks such as the Atlantic Council, the Center for European Policy Analysis, German Marshall Fund of the US, and Institute for Study of War. The "experts" are mouthpieces funded by the US military security complex. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/48755.htm US government agencies use taxpayer dollars to deceive taxpayers.

In other words insouciant Americans pay taxes in order to be brainwashed. And they tolerate this.

[Feb 10, 2018] Martin Armstrong Asks Is George Soros One Of The Greatest Threats Against Society

Feb 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

BobEore -> Captain Chlamydia Feb 10, 2018 12:04 PM Permalink

Soros is mid level management

The firm employs him in a variety of roles, the better to smoke screen the real agendas in play

George deals in politicians as much or more as 'currencies'

Red/blue... what's it to you. Like the man always sez|

joomanji gonna git you!

Ckierst1 -> BobEore Feb 10, 2018 2:34 PM Permalink

My guess is that he is a very highly paid lackey for the Rothschilds, much as was J. P. Morgan. The world would be better off without him, obviously, but the "darkside" globalist remain, and ultimately they are the real eminence gris control freaks working for instability, corruption, financial manipulation, fiat money, violence, strife, illegal immigration, drug epidemics, human trafficking and bad economics, such as mercantilistic, false capitalism cronyism, among other anti-middle class and anti-liberty movements/phenomena occurring around the world. G. Edward Griffin might be right! Wikipedia has one of the most negative bios of him that I've ever read, to his credit, I suppose!

Expendable Container -> OverTheHedge Feb 10, 2018 2:24 PM Permalink

Being a genuine psychopath (they are not quite human due to brain differences) Soros certainly enjoys his sense of power. They cannot experience conscience nor empathy and that emotional vacuum can only be filled by a sense of P O W E R over others. Psychopathy used for political purposes for evil is called Political Ponerology. We watch the movies and think psychos are out killing prostitutes - we never consider Snakes In Suits! Despite all this Soros is working for the Zionist World Domination plan (check out the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion).

Expendable Container -> Trader Maximus Feb 10, 2018 2:31 PM Permalink

No, Soros is not just a threat to the 'American way of life'. He organizes color revolutions around the world including Asia so he is a threat to all nations' sovereignty but then national sovereignty is to be 'removed' for the Neoliberal World totalitarian goal.

Gadfly Feb 10, 2018 1:55 PM Permalink

Soros is a front man for the Rothschilds. Plain and simple. That's where he gets the billions he needs to engage in global activities that destroy religion, morals, values, gender, nationalism and society. This is the agenda of the Rothschilds, the private central bankers, and the New World Order.

Do you really think Soros is some kind of investing genius who's made billions on his own, who is then willing to give it all away for so called "philanthropic" reasons? Bullshit. He's a hired gun. A front man. A cover for the Rothschilds who have spent two hundred years hiding in the shadows while others go about doing their dirty work to reshape society for their own selfish ends – a private, worldwide financial system they own and control.

Just like he pimped for the Nazis, Soros is now pimping for the Rothschilds. He has no moral center or compass, and has admitted as much in a televised interview. (He said if he hadn't turned in Jews to the Nazis for money, someone else would have done it.) Wake up people. Soros is the Sammy the Bull Gravano for the Rothschilds. The Luca Brasi to the Godfather. He needs to be brought to justice. And so do the Rothschilds.

[Feb 10, 2018] More on neoliberal newspeak of US propaganda machine

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The "Newspeak" we experience is straight out of Orwell's 1984. From Wikipedia: Newspeak is the fictional language in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, written by George Orwell. It is a controlled language created by the totalitarian state Oceania as a tool to limit freedom of thought, and concepts that pose a threat to the regime such as freedom, self-expression, individuality, and peace. Any form of thought alternative to the party's construct is classified as "thoughtcrime". ..."
"... It is truly scary how Orwellian our current situation has become reminding me that there are always two two takeaways from any story or historical record. Those that view it as a cautionary tale and those who use it as an instruction manual. ..."
"... We are also controlled through Doublespeak another Orwellian concept. From Wikipedia: Doublespeak is a language that deliberately obscures, disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. Some common examples are the branding of liberals by pundits in the media as Fascists in order to eliminate the historical understanding of exactly what that word refers to. Another example is the appearance of the term Alt Right which is used to confuse and obscure the true nature of these groups. A great example of the doublespeak the media exercises in service to the state is the instantaneous adoption of the term Alt Right and nary ever a mention of its former names such as White Supremacist, Neo Nazi, Racist, Hate Group etc. They just rename these movements and hide all the other terms from sight. Another example is scapegoating the same group of people but under a different term. Today the term is Liberal but in the past, the Nazi movement called them Jews, Communists, Intellectuals etc. Whatever the term, the target of these attacks are always the ones that threaten the Power Structure. ..."
"... Joseph Goebbels was in charge of the war propaganda for the Nazis during WWII. He said: "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State." ..."
Feb 10, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

CitizenOne , February 10, 2018 at 11:58 am

The reason we are in the pickle barrel is exactly the reasons stated in the article and by Annie. We are exposed to exactly what they want to show us and are blinded by other narratives which do not support the group think. It is as if the politicians, the intelligence community and the media are all involved in a conspiracy. Remember that word means a plan by two or more people. No tin foil hat required. But anyone suggesting conspiracy is instantly branded a nut hence the universal use of the term conspiracy nut as a derogatory term to label anyone with a different message that somehow captures the attention of a wider audience. It is not so much that all Holly Wood stars are liberal socialists. They are a diverse group. However they all have one thing in common which is they have the public's ear. They are also not on point with the approved messaging and so must be continuously branded as conspiracy nuts and socialist subversives. We all have seen the 24/7 bashing of these folks. Control is the reason.

The "Newspeak" we experience is straight out of Orwell's 1984. From Wikipedia: Newspeak is the fictional language in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, written by George Orwell. It is a controlled language created by the totalitarian state Oceania as a tool to limit freedom of thought, and concepts that pose a threat to the regime such as freedom, self-expression, individuality, and peace. Any form of thought alternative to the party's construct is classified as "thoughtcrime".

It is truly scary how Orwellian our current situation has become reminding me that there are always two two takeaways from any story or historical record. Those that view it as a cautionary tale and those who use it as an instruction manual.

I am appalled by how the media at first put Trump in the game in the first place for economic gain (see Les Moonvies article) and then created another fictional fantasy which serves the goal of permawar and control of the citizenry through fear, confusion and ignorance. We are all exposed to the Daily Two Minutes of Hate another Orwellian concept. From Wikipedia: The Two Minutes Hate, from George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, is a daily period in which Party members of the society of Oceania must watch a film depicting the Party's enemies (notably Emmanuel Goldstein and his followers) and express their hatred for them for exactly two minutes. The difference is we can find it 24/7 on our technological wonder machines.

Another Orwellian concept is The Ministry of Truth: The Ministry of Truth (in Newspeak, Minitrue) is the ministry of propaganda. As with the other ministries in the novel, the name Ministry of Truth is a misnomer because in reality it serves the opposite: it is responsible for any necessary falsification of historical events. From Wikipedia: As well as administering truth, the ministry spreads a new language amongst the populace called Newspeak, in which, for example, "truth" is understood to mean statements like 2 + 2 = 5 when the situation warrants. In keeping with the concept of doublethink, the ministry is thus aptly named in that it creates/manufactures "truth" in the Newspeak sense of the word. The book describes the doctoring of historical records to show a government-approved version of events.

We are also controlled through Doublespeak another Orwellian concept. From Wikipedia: Doublespeak is a language that deliberately obscures, disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. Some common examples are the branding of liberals by pundits in the media as Fascists in order to eliminate the historical understanding of exactly what that word refers to. Another example is the appearance of the term Alt Right which is used to confuse and obscure the true nature of these groups. A great example of the doublespeak the media exercises in service to the state is the instantaneous adoption of the term Alt Right and nary ever a mention of its former names such as White Supremacist, Neo Nazi, Racist, Hate Group etc. They just rename these movements and hide all the other terms from sight. Another example is scapegoating the same group of people but under a different term. Today the term is Liberal but in the past, the Nazi movement called them Jews, Communists, Intellectuals etc. Whatever the term, the target of these attacks are always the ones that threaten the Power Structure.

Joseph Goebbels was in charge of the war propaganda for the Nazis during WWII. He said: "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."

If these things seem eerily similar to what is going on today then we probably have a power structure which is a grave threat for peace. Okay, we do have a power structure that is a grave threat to peace but oddly not democracy. Noam Chomsky wrote about propaganda stating, "it's the essence of democracy" This notion is contrary to the popular belief that indoctrination is inconsistent with democracy. The point is that in a totalitarian state, it doesn't much matter what people think because you can control what they do. But when the state loses the bludgeon, when you can't control people by force and when the voice of the people can be heard, you have to control what people think. And the standard way to do this is to resort to what in more honest days used to be called propaganda. Manufacture of consent. Creation of necessary illusions.

The folks who contribute here on this website are few indeed and what lies beyond the haven of the oasis is a vast barren dessert filled with scorpions, snakes and a whole bunch of lies.

Well said for Annie and the authors.

Democracy may be the ultimate tool of control of the masses.

More wisdom from Goebbels:

I like that last one a lot but unfortunately it will not come to pass until things get bad.

CitizenOne , February 10, 2018 at 11:59 am

Link to article: http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-trump-moonves-snap-htmlstory.html

Elaine Sandchaz , February 10, 2018 at 5:34 pm

Citizen One – You have beautifully & precicely nailed the means ( "how" ) the USA has gotten in such a mess : Newspeak, Daily Two Minutes of Hate, The Ministry of Truth, DoubleSpeak and the way and why of how Propaganda actually works. George Orwell was a seer.

AND now it would be helpful to understand "why" the USA has gotten in such a mess. The polarity of American politics tells a very long story but in short, polarity means there are only two ways and when the going gets tough, each way is in the extreme – the right way or the wrong way, it flips depending on each individual's political persuasion. When the going gets tough the extremes become the tail that wags the dog.

So my question is : WHY after the seemingly happy years under Obama did the going get so tough so fast?
My pet theory is that Trump threatened to "drain the swamp" which was understood – seemingly now quite rightly – that he was going to expose some very significant wrong doing in very high places. I believe that he was on "NYC/DC" friendly terms with the Clintons and both parties knew each other for the true devil they were. Thus the big red flag he waved in her face brought about what is turning in to a multi billion dollar ongoing attempt to discredit him in the eyes of the people, in the eyes of the World and in the eyes of the highest courts " America be damned".

And politically this is quite necessary because she is not only an icon of all that is American,"apple pie and motherhood"; she is to the under 45 age group the great white mother of democracy via Democrat rule. And the bad part of that iconography is that if she goes down so does the party. It was also critical for her to win because of all the swamp people who had chosen to compromise their life's work, thus had to continue in that compromise in the hope that they would come out clean since they believed that both Trump and the ordinary American were so naive, thus would be easily played for fools.

So all this crap to destroy Trump is about saving her hide to save the party. Things are so desperate now because there is nothing yet in place to replace her in the mind's eye of the Democratic half the voting public. All who might have been in 2nd place were kept diminished to raise her higher. It now is quite obvious that she has been told to shut up and lie low, to come out only when she is in safe company – as at the Golden Globes. So the big picture today as is being painted and hyped to intensify mass hysteria is that Mueller needs to be protected from Trump where really what is needed are the names and numbers to be called on for more $$$, more social media propaganda pages and to vote in November 2018.

Why only that? Because Trump is not going to fire Mueller; remember Mueller was a Bush man and so was Comey. They have a long history of going both ways. Survival is tricky business – especially in DC. The scapegoats are already cornered; possibly the new "lie" is already in draft form. Remember – "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."

It is going to be an interesting next few months!! But we can hope that, from this one of many previous American political exercises in democracy, the ordinary defenders of those democratic values (the voters) will learn some significant truths about governance, transparency and the rule of law. The guys at the top are not gods and are not above the law; they must not only do right but be seen to do right.

CitizenOne , February 10, 2018 at 7:57 pm

The only thing I can tell you is that the conspirators who concocted Russia Gate have figured out all the pieces to the puzzle of how to control events via the means I mentioned and many other means. We are as manipulated as a light switch. One way we are all fired up about some BS and flip the switch and we are all calm and mellow. Hopefully if you follow the threads here you will find out a lot of alternative information much of it thoroughly researched by highly respected and qualified individuals who are in a position to know the truth.

Mariam , February 10, 2018 at 7:11 pm

I agree with you wholeheartedly. They call themselves "liberals" in fact they are "new liberals."
Alas, these false ("new) liberals" are very well represented by the Obamas, the Clintons, the Trudeaus, the Macrons and so on.
If you truly believe in the "left" and call yourself "progressive" you couldn't stand for useless and pointless wars, period.

[Feb 08, 2018] Charge of neoliberal MSM brigade against Trump

Notable quotes:
"... Only two ways in which Trump candidacy could be destroyed once he was nominated. Official: Trump is charged with conspiring with a foreign government to materially damage America. Public: Trump is maligned as being an tool of the Russians. ..."
"... Official is unlikely as no evidence to date has any chance of being used for an indictment. Not saying that the charges are false just that what was released prior to election was insufficient. ..."
"... Public: most likely avenue. But the details released were not impressive or determinative to the majority of Trump supporters who I see as being more anti-establishment than anti-Russian. True, you could expect the GOP elite to be disturbed but they were anti-Trump before his nomination and wedded to him after. ..."
Feb 08, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

wisedupearly Ceo , 07 February 2018 at 06:42 PM

Addendum: can we all agree that if the STEELE intel was a genuine attempt to ensure Trump's failure in the election then the effort was the most inept operation in a long time?

Only two ways in which Trump candidacy could be destroyed once he was nominated. Official: Trump is charged with conspiring with a foreign government to materially damage America. Public: Trump is maligned as being an tool of the Russians.

Official is unlikely as no evidence to date has any chance of being used for an indictment. Not saying that the charges are false just that what was released prior to election was insufficient.

Public: most likely avenue. But the details released were not impressive or determinative to the majority of Trump supporters who I see as being more anti-establishment than anti-Russian. True, you could expect the GOP elite to be disturbed but they were anti-Trump before his nomination and wedded to him after.

[Feb 08, 2018] The FBI Hand Behind Russia-gate by Ray McGOVERN

Feb 08, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

But the "assessment" served a useful purpose for the never-Trumpers: it applied an official imprimatur on the case for delegitimizing Trump's election and even raised the long-shot hope that the Electoral College might reverse the outcome and possibly install a compromise candidate, such as former Secretary of State Colin Powell, in the White House. Though the Powell ploy fizzled, the hope of somehow removing Trump from office continued to bubble, fueled by the growing hysteria around Russia-gate.

Virtually all skepticism about the evidence-free "assessment" was banned. For months, the Times and other newspapers of record repeated the lie that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies had concurred in the conclusion about the Russian "hack." Even when that falsehood was belatedly acknowledged , the major news outlets just shifted the phrasing slightly to say that U.S. intelligence agencies had reached the Russian "hack" conclusion. Shane's blunt initial recognition about the lack of proof disappeared from the mainstream media's approved narrative of Russia-gate.

Doubts about the Russian "hack" or dissident suggestions that what we were witnessing was a "soft coup" were scoffed at by leading media commentators. Other warnings from veteran U.S. intelligence professionals about the weaknesses of the Russia-gate narrative and the danger of letting politicized intelligence overturn a constitutional election were also brushed aside in pursuit of the goal of removing Trump from the White House.

It didn't even seem to matter when new Russia-gate disclosures conflicted with the original narrative that Putin had somehow set Trump up as a Manchurian candidate. All normal journalistic skepticism was jettisoned. It was as if the Russia-gate advocates started with the conclusion that Trump must go and then made the facts fit into that mold, but anyone who noted the violations of normal investigative procedures was dismissed as a "Trump enabler" or a "Moscow stooge."

The Text Evidence

But then came the FBI text messages, providing documentary evivdence that key FBI officials involved in the Russia-gate investigation were indeed deeply biased and out to get Trump, adding hard proof to Trump's longstanding lament that he was the subject of a "witch hunt."

[Feb 08, 2018] Control of narrative means that creation of the simplistic picture in which the complexities of the world are elided in favor of 'good guys' vs. 'bad guys' dichotomy

Highly recommended!
StratCom is a new synonym of propaganda.
Notable quotes:
"... What 'StratCom' means in practical terms is propaganda, usually involving the creation of a 'narrative' -- in which the complexities of the world are elided in favour of a simplistic picture of 'good guys' versus 'bad guys.' Commonly it is difficult to know how far the people doing this are deliberately dishonest, how far they have simply succumbed to 'double think' and 'crimestop.' ..."
"... It has become amply apparent that with MI6, and other intelligence and indeed law enforcement agencies, the activity of attempting to understand the world has become inextricably involved with that of trying to shape it by covert action and 'perception management', or 'StratCom.' ..."
"... The structures involved, moreover, are inextricably linked with ostensibly non-governmental institutions, like King's College and the Atlantic Council, and related organisations in a range of countries, as Rid's career strongly suggests. ..."
"... It has also however become amply apparent that these structures create ample opportunities for 'information operations' groups such as those which were associated with the late Boris Berezovsky and the Menatep oligarchs. ..."
Feb 08, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

David Habakkuk -> turcopolier ... , 08 February 2018 at 12:32 PM

In response to #63.

Colonel Lang,

My apologies -- it was sloppy of me to use the term.

I was using it interchangeably with 'propaganda.' One reason for this is that I have been looking at the website of the 'Department of War Studies' at King's College London. This has a 'Centre for Strategic Communications', which 'aims to be the leading global centre of expertise on strategic communications.'

(See https://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/warstudies/kcsc/experts.aspx .)

An 'Associate Fellow' is my sometime BBC Radio colleague Mark Laity, who, according to his bio on the site, 'is the Chief Strategic Communications at SHAPE, the first post holder, and as such he has been a leading figure in developing StratCom within NATO.' In this capacity, he produces presentations with titles like ' "Bocca della veritas" or "Perception becomes Reality."

(See http://www.natoschool.nato.int/Media/News/2015/20150910_StratCom .)

The same ethos penetrates other parts of the War Studies Department -- Eliot Higgins is involved, as also Thomas Rid, who backed up the claims made by Dmitri Alperovitch of 'CrowdStrike', along with the former GCHQ person Matt Tait. (It appears that Rid, who has now moved to SAIS at Johns Hopkins, is a German who has earlier worked at IFRI in Paris, RAND, and in Israel.)

What 'StratCom' means in practical terms is propaganda, usually involving the creation of a 'narrative' -- in which the complexities of the world are elided in favour of a simplistic picture of 'good guys' versus 'bad guys.' Commonly it is difficult to know how far the people doing this are deliberately dishonest, how far they have simply succumbed to 'double think' and 'crimestop.'

It has become amply apparent that with MI6, and other intelligence and indeed law enforcement agencies, the activity of attempting to understand the world has become inextricably involved with that of trying to shape it by covert action and 'perception management', or 'StratCom.'

The structures involved, moreover, are inextricably linked with ostensibly non-governmental institutions, like King's College and the Atlantic Council, and related organisations in a range of countries, as Rid's career strongly suggests.

It has also however become amply apparent that these structures create ample opportunities for 'information operations' groups such as those which were associated with the late Boris Berezovsky and the Menatep oligarchs.

So in describing what these people got up to I sloppily used 'StratCom', when I should have said propaganda.

[Feb 08, 2018] The Nunes Memo and the Death of American Journalism

Notable quotes:
"... Here's the real deal: FISA, the notion of what is essentially a Federal secret police force, most of our post-9-11 infrastructure and our pathetic lack of regulation of information technology has been a problem built by both parties for decades. ..."
Feb 08, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

BCZ February 6, 2018 at 3:40 am

We know that FISA knew the dossier was politically motivated and unconfirmed. Even Nunes acknowledges this . now.

And this is the issue, and the irony of this article. 'Wasn't it nice before journalists stopped reporting and pushing narratives?' Yes, it was narrative pusher.

Here's the real deal: FISA, the notion of what is essentially a Federal secret police force, most of our post-9-11 infrastructure and our pathetic lack of regulation of information technology has been a problem built by both parties for decades. I find it literally impossible that the most scandal free 'weak kneed' administration was doing anything other than business as usual in this increasingly dystopian context .

. but now here comes the GOP to try to turn this in to a partisan weapon, and journalists like you to help them do it increasing division over an issue that should be the people versus the elites into democrats versus republicans.

And, frankly that was so blatantly the intent given the manner this whole thing has been handled that only a true hack wouldn't note it in the context of an article like this.

But here's the thing I think deep down you are just too blind to acknowledge that all this security apparatus, tough on terror, 'freedom-isn't-free-but-I'll-sell-it-for-a-security-from-attacks-less-likely-than-lightning-strikes' cowardice is the problem.

OF COURSE FISA'S BEING ABUSED (along with the whole intelligence apparatus) it was custom designed by decades of elites to be so!

What fits the facts more? That the FBI simultaneously conspired to help, and then hurt the Clinton campaign, all the while saying that they are all just doing their jobs .

Or

That they were just doing their jobs, and this kind of stuff happens all the time.

I'm going door number two.

https://www.washingtonpost.com

[Feb 07, 2018] Capitalism Collapsing from Inequality... Blame Russia! by Finian CUNNINGHAM

Nov 11, 2017 | www.strategic-culture.org

New figures published this week on obscene inequality show how the capitalist economic system has become more than ever deeply dysfunctional. Surely, the depraved workings of the system pose the greatest threat to societies and international security. Yet, Western leaders are preoccupied instead with other non-existent threats – like Russia.

Take British prime minister Theresa May who this week was speaking at a posh banquet in London. She told the assembled hobnobs, as they were sipping expensive wines, that "Russia is threatening the international order upon which we depend". Without providing one scrap of evidence, the British leader went to assert that Russia was interfering in Western democracies to "sow discord".

May's grandstanding is a classic case study of what behavioral scientists call "displacement activity" – that is, when animals find themselves in a state of danger they often react by displaying unusual behavior or making strange noises.

For indeed May and other Western political leaders are facing danger to their world order, even if they don't openly admit it as such. That danger is from the exploding levels of social inequality and poverty within Western societies, leading to anger, resentment, discontent and disillusionment among increasing masses of citizens. In the face of the inherent, imminent collapse of their systems of governance, Western leaders like May seek some relief by prattling on about Russia as a threat.

This week European bank Credit Suisse published figures showing that the wealth gap between rich and poor has reached even more grotesque and absurdist levels. According to the bank, the world's richest 1% now own as much wealth as half the population of the entire planet. The United States and Britain are among the top countries for residing multi-millionaires, while these two nations have also emerged as among the most unequal in the world.

The data calling out how dysfunctional the capitalist system has become keeps on coming. It is impossible to ignore the reality of a system in deep disrepair, yet British and American politicians in particular – apart from notable exceptions like Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders – have the audacity to block out this reality and to chase after risible phantoms. (The exercise makes perfect sense in a way.)

Last week, a report from the US-based Institute of Policy Studies found that just three of America's wealthiest men – Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett – own the same level of wealth as the poorest half of the entire US population. That is, the combined monetary worth of these three individuals – reckoned to be $250 billion – is equivalent to that possessed by 160 million citizens.

What's more, the study also estimates that if the Trump administration pushes through its proposed tax plans, the gap between rich elite and the vast majority will widen even further. This and other studies have found that over 80% of the tax benefits from Trump's budget will go to enrich the top 1% in society.

All Western governments, not just May's or Trump's, have over the past decades overseen an historic trend of siphoning wealth from the majority of society to a tiny elite few. The tax burden has relentlessly shifted from the wealthy to the ordinary workers, who in addition have had to contend with decreasing wages, as well as deteriorating public serves and social welfare.

To refer to the United States or Britain as "democracies" is a preposterous misnomer. They are for all practical purposes plutocracies; societies run by and for a top strata of obscenely wealthy.

Intelligent economists, like the authors at the IPS cited above, realize that the state of affairs is unsustainable. Morally, and even from an empirical economics point of view, the distortion of wealth within Western societies and internationally is leading to social and political disaster.

On this observation, we must acknowledge the pioneering work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels who more than 150 years ago identified the chief failing of capitalism as being the polarization of wealth between a tiny few and the vast majority. The lack of consumption power among the masses owing to chronic poverty induced by capitalism would result in the system's eventual collapse. Surely, we have reached that point in history now, when a handful of individuals own as much wealth as half the planet.

Inequality, poverty and the denial of decent existence to the majority of people stands out as the clarion condemnation of capitalism and its organization of society under private profit. The human suffering, hardships, austerity and crippled potential that flow from this condition represent the crisis of our time. Yet instead of an earnest public debate and struggle to overcome this crisis, we are forced by our elites to focus on false, even surreal problems.

American politics has become paralyzed by an endless elite squabble over whether Russia meddled in the presidential elections and claims that Russian news media continue to interfere in American democracy. Of course, the US corporate-controlled news media, who are an integral part of the plutocracy, lend credibility to this circus. Ditto European corporate-controlled media.

Then we have President Donald Trump on a world tour berating and bullying other nations to spend more money on buying American goods and to stop cheating supposed American generosity over trade. Trump also is prepared to start a nuclear war with North Korea because the latter is accused of being a threat to global peace – on the basis that the country is building military defenses. The same for Iran. Trump castigates Iran as a threat to Middle East peace and warns of a confrontation.

This is the same quality of ludicrous distraction as Britain's premier Theresa May this week lambasting Russia for "threatening the world order upon which we all depend". By "we" she is really referring to the elites, not the mass of suffering workers and their families.

May and Trump are indulging in "perception management" taken to absurdity. Or more crudely, brainwashing.

How can North Korea or Iran be credibly presented as global threats when the American and British are supporting a genocidal blockade and aerial slaughter in Yemen? The complete disconnect in reality is testimony to the pernicious system of thought-control that the vast majority of citizens are enforced to live under.

The biggest disconnect is the obscene inequality of wealth and resources that capitalism has engendered in the 21 st century. That monstrous dysfunction is also causally related to why the US and its Western allies like Britain are pushing belligerence and wars around the planet. It is all part of their elitist denial of reality. The reality that capitalism is the biggest threat to humanity's future.

Do we let these mentally deficient, deceptive political elites and their media dictate the nonsense? Or will the mass of people do the right thing and sweep them aside?

[Feb 07, 2018] Why do you, dummy, not believe this junk? ...because Don Lemon and Rachel Maddow said so?

Feb 07, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

vofreason Feb 7, 2018 9:56 AM Permalink

Why do you dummies believe this junk? ...because Hannity said so? The "memo" is an altogether ridiculous idea, it's just a piece of paper of what all these liars thought about something,....it has no weight on anything anymore than if someone came on tv and gave their opinion..........and in this case it's just the opinion, like all the rest, of an incompetent group of people that have no business being in their positions.

This isn't the usual Dems' vs Repuplican stuff where they fight about issues ........ this is our government taken over by reality tv personalities, rich housewives and greedy leeches of the worst kind.

They're the dummy at the McDonalds counter that can't understand your order and should all be working some harmless minimum wage job where they aren't responsible for anything important or that requires any sort of intellect.

Stan522 -> vofreason Feb 7, 2018 10:15 AM Permalink

Why do you, dummy, not believe this junk? ...because Don Lemon and Rachel Maddow said so?

The "memo" is an altogether review of the evidence at hand that uses what has been derived from evidence found much through the Inspector General's report and the testimony from witnesses (that means documented in writing), both in the House and Senate, plus what has been released by the DOJ and FBI through both lawsuits and Congressional requests... Again, it's all documented and irrefutable.

The dem memo is just a piece of paper of what all these dem liars thought about something,....it has no weight on anything anymore than if someone came on tv and gave their opinion..........and in this case it's just the opinion, like all the rest, of an incompetent group of people that have no business being in their positions in the dem party and the left leaning dem carrier pigeons in the MSM.

This isn't the usual Dems' vs Repuplican stuff where they fight about issues ........ this is the democrat party desparately trying to block EVERYTHING because they fully realize what the outcome will be if all id disclosed.

It will be the end of their party for decades (similar to republicans during Watergate - I was in DC then and I know). The dem sycophants like you are the dummy at the McDonalds counter that can't understand your order and should all be working some harmless minimum wage job where they aren't responsible for anything important or that requires any sort of intellect.

[Feb 07, 2018] 'Deep State' Veterans find New Homes in Mainstream Media by Caitlin Johnstone

Notable quotes:
"... purchase of the Washington Post ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers ..."
"... Trump doesn't wear the pretty face mask that most recent Presidents had. In that, he is showing that the Emperor has no clothes (and the Empire no morals). This could be a good thing as people realize the one truth he campaigned on – "the system is rigged" is still true. But this Administration's faux "war" with the Establishment is serving to blind many from the reality that it is continuing and even expanding the horrible NeoCon foreign policies and Neoliberal economic policies that the Establishment desires. ..."
"... This Reality TV Show Presidency is sweeping up most USAmericans. Like all Reality TV Shows, we in the audience cheer our favorites and jeer their opponents as if it was real, and not a fully-scripted performance. ..."
"... I feel your pain cmp thank you for your post. For you and others interested in this combination of Student Anti-War activism and Government Surveillance, I'd like to recommend a truly insightful book entitled, "Subversives": The FBI's War On Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise To Power by Seth Rosenfeld. Matt Taibbi remarked in a review of this book which now seems understated, that "Domestic intelligence forces will tend to use all the powers they're given (and even some that they're not) to spy on people who are politically defenseless, irreverent from a security standpoint and targeted for all the wrong reasons". ..."
"... "Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley's push to force the DOJ to open a criminal investigation into ex-British spy and 'Trump dossier' author Christopher Steele is being met with resistance from the bureau, the latest sign that it doesn't want information about its relationship with Steele to be shared with the public." ..."
Feb 07, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

'Deep State' Veterans find New Homes in Mainstream Media February 5, 2018

NBC News' hiring of former CIA Director John Brennan is the latest in a wave of intelligence community stalwarts being given jobs in the media, raising concerns over conflicts of interests, reports Caitlin Johnstone.

"Former CIA director John Brennan has become the latest member of the NBC News and MSNBC family, officially signing with the network as a contributor," chirps a recent article by The Wrap, as though that's a perfectly normal thing to have to write and not a ghastly symptom of an Orwellian dystopia. NBC reports that the former head of the depraved , lying, torturing , propagandizing , drug trafficking , coup-staging , warmongering Central Intelligence Agency "is now a senior national security and intelligence analyst."

Brennan, who played a key role in the construction of the establishment's Russia narrative that has been used to manufacture public consent for world-threatening new cold war escalations , is just the latest addition in an ongoing trend of trusted mainstream media outlets being packed to the gills with stalwarts from the U.S. intelligence community. Brennan joins CIA and DoD Chief of Staff Jeremy Bash on the NBC/MSNBC lineup, who is serving there as a national security analyst, as well as NBC intelligence/national security reporter and known CIA collaborator Ken Dilanian.

Former Director of National Intelligence, Russiagate architect, and known Russophobic racist James Clapper was welcomed to the CNN "family" last year by Chris " It's Illegal to Read WikiLeaks " Cuomo and now routinely appears as an expert analyst for the network. Last year CNN also hired a new national security analyst in Michael Hayden , who has served as CIA Director, NSA Director, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, and an Air Force general.

Former CIA analyst and now paid CNN analyst Phil Mudd, who last year caused Cuomo's show to have to issue a retraction and apology for a completely baseless claim he made on national television asserting that WikiLeaks' Julian Assange is "a pedophile", is once again making headlines for suggesting that the FBI is entering into a showdown with the current administration over Trump's decision to declassify the controversial Nunes memo.

More and more of the outlets from which Americans get their information are being filled not just with garden variety establishment loyalists, but with longstanding members of the U.S. intelligence community. These men got to their positions of power within these deeply sociopathic institutions based on their willingness to facilitate any depravity in order to advance the secret agendas of the U.S. power establishment, and now they're being paraded in front of mainstream Americans on cable news on a daily basis. The words of these "experts" are consistently taken and reported on by smaller news outlets in print and online media in a way that seeds their authoritative assertions throughout public consciousness.

The term "deep state" does not refer to a conspiracy theory but to a simple concept in political analysis which points to the undeniable reality that (A) plutocrats, (B) intelligence agencies, (C) defense agencies, and (D) the mainstream media hold large amounts of power in America despite their not being part of its elected government. You don't need to look far to see how these separate groups overlap and collaborate to advance their own agendas in various ways. Amazon's Jeff Bezos, for example, is deeply involved in all of the aforementioned groups : (A) as arguably the wealthiest person ever he is clearly a plutocrat, with a company that is trying to control the underlying infrastructure of the economy ; (B) he is a CIA contractor ; (C) he is part of a Pentagon advisory board ; and (D) his purchase of the Washington Post in 2013 gave him total control over a major mainstream media outlet.

Bezos did not purchase the Washington Post because his avaricious brain predicted that newspapers were about to make a profitable resurgence; he purchased it for the same reason he has inserted himself so very deeply into America's unelected power infrastructure – he wants to ensure a solid foundation for the empire he is building. He needs a potent propaganda outlet to manufacture support for the power establishment that he is weaving his plutocratic tentacles through. This is precisely the same reason other mass media-controlling plutocrats are stocking their propaganda machines with intelligence community insiders.

Time and again you see connections between the plutocratic class which effectively owns America's elected government , the intelligence and defense agencies which operate behind thick veils of secrecy in the name of "national security" to advance agendas which have nothing to do with the wishes of the electorate, and the mass media machine which is used to manufacture the consent of the people to be governed by this exploitative power structure.

America is ruled by an elite class which has slowly created a system where money increasingly translates directly into political power , and which is therefore motivated to maintain economic injustice in order to rule over the masses more completely. The greater the economic inequality, the greater their power. Nobody would willingly consent to such an oppressive system where wealth inequality keeps growing as expensive bombs from expensive drones are showered upon strangers on the other side of the planet, so a robust propaganda machine is needed.

And that's where John Brennan's new job comes in. Expect a consistent fountain of lies to pour from his mouth on NBC, and expect them to all prop up this exploitative power establishment and advance its geopolitical agendas . And expect clear-eyed rebels everywhere to keep calling it all what it is.

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 .


Cold N. Holefield , February 5, 2018 at 10:29 am

Yeah, I noticed this too and it disgusts me. It doesn't surprise me, though. Ever since Oliver North got his own show and has been a regular contributor at Fox News, this has been the trend. CNN also gives plenty of Air Time to the disgraced John Dean of Watergate Infamy.

It underscores how vital it is We The People take back The Media from the Corporate Thieves who now own it. We need to reverse consolidation in the Media Industry and in fact, reverse the trend of Media as an Industry.

Ol' Hippy , February 5, 2018 at 1:58 pm

There appears to be two types of media these days. The first type plays by the "rules" of the corporate/banking/military state and gets prestigious jobs with all the perks, i.e. Nice house, good salary, steady work, etc. The second type works independent from the power structures. They have integrity; Robert Parry being a prime example. They also become media pariahs. They work hard for less pay, get denigrated, marginalized, called liars, etc. Without them we would all be as clueless as those that only read and watch MSM. Thank goodness for these brave people.

Cold N. Holefield , February 5, 2018 at 2:52 pm

They work hard for less pay, get denigrated, marginalized, called liars, etc. Without them we would all be as clueless as those that only read and watch MSM. Thank goodness for these brave people.

Yes, I agree. Thank goodness for the few of us who still remain and persist against all odds with no support.

Joe Tedesky , February 5, 2018 at 10:48 am

The culture in DC being described recently as 'critters in the swamp', does not nearly come close to describing the choking filth that has taken our government over. To be clear, this coup toke place a very longtime ago, but don't announce that to any good red blooded American Patriot, that is unless you want to be titled 'un-American'.

My hesitation to get excited over the 'Nunes Memo', is my frustration over what all is missing from this Congressional members flaming Memo. Like where is Brennan, Clapper, or any DNC Operatives, as if we should have expected the MSM to be mentioned? Why, just go after a couple of cheating lovers?

Seeing Brennan join the NBC staff, is like watching him walk across the hall at Langley only to start his mischief in another CIA department. I'd love to wish the old spook good luck on his first day at his new job, but then that would be like condoning that pain be inflicted upon more unsuspecting poor souls, so I won't.

Joe Tedesky , February 5, 2018 at 11:49 am

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/02/05/will-conspiracy-trump-american-democracy-go-unpunished/

Realist , February 5, 2018 at 3:17 pm

Inserting guys like that into the center of the storm within the corporate media whose job it *should* be to expose the truth to the public is clearly a conflict of interest (because they themselves are prime suspects in the purported criminal activities) and obvious obstruction of justice because we know they are actually snow-jobbing the public and hiding the truth to protect themselves and their puppetmasters.

In all fairness, when does General Flynn, Paul Manafort, Carter Page or Jared Kushner get to have a regular segment on the Rachel Maddow show? Why doesn't the media interview Barack Obama himself to find out what he knows and when he first knew it, or to force him into self-incriminating or at least highly-suspicious obfuscations? It was his justice department that targeted the Trump campaign on highly problematic grounds. Or, put a microphone in front of Hillary's face and ask her how the administration (of which she was an organic outgrowth) interfaced with the FISA court, allegedly on her behalf to spy on the competition.

This caper is not only worse than Watergate (Watergate was conducted in the shadows), this crime and subsequent cover-up are being carried out in broad daylight with the full complicity of the media. They don't care who knows because those people, regardless of their substantiated facts, will never get a hearing in the media which now creates our moment-to-moment reality, as far as 99% of Americans know or care about.

Joe Tedesky , February 5, 2018 at 3:48 pm

Our MSM is lacking the honor and truthfulness of Robert Parry.

Realist, I always like reading your comments, and with this comment of yours you don't disappoint. I too would like to know when the truth will be broadcast over our airways, and printed in our national news outlets. Although, I could watch the grass grow, or the snow melt, and have better results to jump up and down about, before the MSM will shoot straight with us viewers. I have come to the conclusion that what hurts our nation most, is we have to much corporate control, like our infamous corporate owned MSM. These pundits, and news anchors only do what they do best, and that is they promote themselves. I mean, the omissions of facts, and the over the top characterizations of world leaders and national political opponents goes to the degree of slander, and yet life goes on. I know it would be an impossible task, but wouldn't it be great to if we news junkies could sue the MSM for fraud?

Realist , February 5, 2018 at 8:44 pm

I could have been more strident than I was, Joe. I might have called the FISA court outright illegal and unconstitutional like Jimmy Dore did yesterday. I mean, what the hell is its role in America today? It serves as a SECRET COURT which gives permissions to intelligence agencies to SPY without limits on any American citizen they choose to target, including, apparently, their supposed boss, the president of the United States. As if the carte blanch, full spectrum eavesdropping done by DARPA on every American weren't enough of a violation of our constitutional rights, they have to dress up some of their spying with special judicial privilege. Useful tools like Brennan, Clapper, Mueller and Comey have been justifying or fallaciously LYING about this imposition on our citizens for years now. Remember when the KGB was disbanded and folks were publicly rooting through the files in a carnival atmosphere after the Soviet Union collapsed? This country needs a dose of the same thing. We need more of our freedoms back and less of the so-called "order" imposed by the Deep State and its string pullers. I don't believe for a moment that the Russians, the Chinese, ISIS, Al Queda, Kim Yung-Un, the Ayatollahs or a squadron of Klingon battle cruisers are waiting just outside our borders preparing to attack the United States and we all must be defended by the "Intelligence Community" by living like Winston Smith.

Joe Tedesky , February 5, 2018 at 9:57 pm

The U.S. is so shallow at even their attempting to address its citizens with the appropriate truth, that after 50 years to prepare for the public more information on the JFK Assassination that when the time come the government wasn't even ready for the release. What an insult to the nation.

The purge you spoke of Realist is a dream in this purist eye. I really do welcome a much broader investigation of panoramic proportions of our nation's massive bureaucracy, and the discovery of the elements who only conspire to enact their agendas could then be exposed.

You are right about our freedoms. We Americans are in the end going to need to put our foot down to our governments police state rules, and all of us will need to brave it out when going into public places. (Oh boy what false flag bate) At some point it will be necessary to say, enough is enough, and hopefully catch them while at their game. Joe

Ps that last part I doubt will ever happen.

Gregory Herr , February 6, 2018 at 12:52 am

I think you touched upon something really important referring to the "moment-to-moment reality" that media "creates". A big problem with television "news" and the funny papers is the failure to.contextualize what's going on today with related events or issues–even from the relatively recent past. It's almost always about a myopic and usually distorted focus on just one particularly vexing item that generates competing opinions that must be paired and parsed to death–until there's something else to "talk" about. Yeah, yeah! Pick a team–partisanship is entertaining don't ya know! Rachel's got ratings and Hannity's one of us!

Just one for instance:
Obama relaxed constraints on sharing of NSA raw data as a parting blow to privacy that also makes it easier to "leak" and cover up the leaking. He signed a Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act which essentially is a way for government to make it harder to "counter" their disinformation and propaganda. Google and Facebook are are all in on the filter and censor project. Yet with all this and much more there isn't a peep of a national discussion about the First Amendment and the value of protecting free and diverse expression. Oh, I know why. The Court says money is speech so all the "important" people can buy their freedom of expression. Guess that will leave me out.

Bob Van Noy , February 5, 2018 at 11:16 am

Thank you Caitlin Johnstone!

I'm going to refer readers to an off-guardian article running now and specifically to the comment pages where one can see Noam Chomsky's (as a young researcher) explain cointelpro. This is an exceptional explination

I will attempt a link below

Bob Van Noy , February 5, 2018 at 11:17 am

Here is the link mentioned above:

https://off-guardian.org/2018/02/05/bought-journalists-postscript-to-udo-olfkottes-suppressed-book/#comments

Bob Van Noy , February 5, 2018 at 11:49 am

Here is the link to Wikipedia on COINTELPRO https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/COINTELPRO

Virginia , February 5, 2018 at 11:51 am

Thanks, Caitlin. People need to learn more about Deep State and and also the One World Order. There are lots of videos on the Internet, including some featuring former CIA (whistleblower-type) agents who feel impelled to divulge the hidden government. Thanks for your links, Bob. I'll take a look.

Erin , February 5, 2018 at 11:51 am

Don't watch, don't watch, don't watch!

Skip Scott , February 5, 2018 at 12:42 pm

Erin-

I agree. I think people need to turn off their TV sets. They are mind numbing. People like Brennan belong in jail, not on television.

Nancy , February 5, 2018 at 2:24 pm

I don't think the majority of people are watching this crap anymore. It's mainly a bunch of circle jerks mouthing off in an echo chamber. Problem is, the rest of the population is either preoccupied with making a living or playing with their gadgets to find out what's really going on. People seem to have given up on the idea of democracy, justice and fairness and in a way I don't blame them.
It's kind of a curse to still have this notion that a better world is possible.

Cold N. Holefield , February 5, 2018 at 2:49 pm

Good points. I agree. It's as though "The News" is intended for the Oligarchs and the Political Class. The ads are a dead giveaway that's the target market. The products they are selling are not for the Average Joe who can't afford such luxuries.

Bob Van Noy , February 5, 2018 at 12:00 pm

Now finally for the most adventurous of you I'll introduce you to a man I discovered in an agonizingly slow way over the course of years. His name is Carl Oglesby and as a young worker at a defense industry job he started doing research on the Vietnam War. He ultimately wrote a book called "The Yankee and Cowboy Wars" that surprisingly accurately describes our current condition. It is one of those books long out of print worth thousands of dollars in resale.
I will post a link to Spartacus
Educational below but you can find it on your own..
I promise to now shut-up and listen

Bob Van Noy , February 5, 2018 at 12:02 pm

Here is the link:
http://spartacus-educational.com/JFKoglesby.htm

geeyp , February 5, 2018 at 12:25 pm

I saw that recent Mudd comment regarding President Trump = 13 months vs. Hoover Org. = since 1908. The President needs to eliminate this agency. Then we can watch this asshole cough up his spleen LIVE on t.v.! I guess these creatures have license to claim anything they want and get away with it. His Assange accusation falls out of his mouth and gets repeated endlessly. Then when the weak retraction occurs, it never gets the same press/traction and the damage is already done.

Babyl-on , February 5, 2018 at 12:25 pm

Nothing particularly new here, this has been established practice for decades. What is new about this issue and so many others now is that it is done openly, without any pretense that there is a constitution. The Imperial institutions housed in the US now act openly for the interests of an overarching transnational oligarchy.

Trump has destroyed the dominate narrative this is by far the deepest wound I have seen the Empire receive. No one really believes Clapper any more – whether it is a plurality or a majority is not the point, enough people don't believe them that the Empire has lost control of the message. That is the source of their panic. Trotting out their apparatchiks once worked and worked for decades but – "It's all over now baby blue."

Trump has exposed much of the ways things have been done behind the seines for many years and unwittingly forced them into the open – this has been his biggest contribution to the weakening of the Imperial structures. Leaving them naked in their policies of slaughter. The Empire has nothing now but a huge military which it can't use without destroying civilization so it goes around the world destroying countries and cities in its helpless thrashing around slaughtering innocent people as it looses on every front. The last gasp of Empire – kill them all if they will not submit. In its death throws the Empire will do untold damage and create vast human suffering, it might very well destroy civilization with its nuclear weapons rather that accept a place as one part of the human community not the ruler of humanity.

Daniel , February 5, 2018 at 6:13 pm

Trump doesn't wear the pretty face mask that most recent Presidents had. In that, he is showing that the Emperor has no clothes (and the Empire no morals). This could be a good thing as people realize the one truth he campaigned on – "the system is rigged" is still true. But this Administration's faux "war" with the Establishment is serving to blind many from the reality that it is continuing and even expanding the horrible NeoCon foreign policies and Neoliberal economic policies that the Establishment desires.

This Reality TV Show Presidency is sweeping up most USAmericans. Like all Reality TV Shows, we in the audience cheer our favorites and jeer their opponents as if it was real, and not a fully-scripted performance.

exiled off mainstreet , February 5, 2018 at 12:29 pm

Yankee media has degenerated into an echo chamber for the deep state structure. This is just further proof of that salient fact.

No More Neos , February 5, 2018 at 1:35 pm

Maybe we should view this as a good sign that they need to "call in the National Guard" for corporate media back-up reinforcements. The propaganda machine is sputtering and sparking, overheated from working OT to push flimsy narrative, which only accentuates the cartoonish spectacle of it all.

Neoliberalism rests on a fragile foundation of financial myths that are beginning to come crashing down, aside from shooting itself in the foot in the 2008 crash. They had to admit that:

Global banks are global in health and national in death. ~ Mervyn King

A growing number of economics students are demanding to be taught economic history and not just neoclassical economics. Hayek, Friedman, Greenspan and the Apostles of Doublespeak in the academic and corporate media realm have lost all credibility. Heterodox economists like Steve Keen, Michael Hudson, Bill Mitchell and Stephanie Kelton are gaining popularity in their blinders-off clarity of how the economy actually works, sans the political spin.

Even Russia and China have decided to not allow Monsanto to control the world's food supply, have no desire to continue working with the IMF and World Bank and are wise enough to see the futility in acquiescing to a unipolar world view. Ultimately, the US will be the bigger loser by going it alone and not accepting the vast multipolar opportunities that await, based on faulty principle. But that won't deter them from continuing provocations in Ukraine, Venezuela (and other Latin American countries), etc., even though Western agenda's neoliberal offerings are now considered to be an appalling joke internationally.

But this has been known for some time. It was just a matter of time before the "market society" experiment crashed and burned:

"To allow the market mechanism to be the sole director of the fate of human beings and their natural environment would result in the demolition of society." ~ Karl Polanyi, 1944

"In 1945 or 1950 if you had seriously proposed any of the ideas and policies in today's standard neo-liberal toolkit, you would have been laughed off the stage or sent off to the insane asylum." ~ Susan George

Do not confuse the economic -- oikos nomia -- the norms of running home and community with chrematistics -- krema atos -- the accumulation of money. ~ Aristotle

Bob Van Noy , February 6, 2018 at 8:50 am

Many thanks No More Neos. I was unaware of most of what you wrote. I have noted the names that you mentioned and I will pay more attention to them. I do know of Michael Hudson and admire his work.

It has occurred to me that there will be Rich academic histories written about the organized management of subject matter by TPTB. See my Response To cmp below.

Stephen J. , February 5, 2018 at 1:55 pm

Re, The Deep State and the "media."Do: "Birds of a feather produce propaganda together?
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
December 25, 2015
Are the Corporate Media and Others Covering Up The Treachery of The War Criminals?

There is plenty of evidence that people in positions of power planned and plotted a number of "illegal" wars [1] in "defiance of international law." Unfortunately, this information is suppressed and censored in most of the corporate monopoly media. Instead we are fed propaganda that attempts to disguise the truth, and covers up the massive human suffering caused by the warmongering criminals of these 21st century war crimes. This has resulted in the creation of millions of refugees, [1a] many soldiers dead and maimed, countries destroyed, millions dead, children dead and contaminated, and the war criminals are FREE. [2]
[read more at link below]
http://graysinfo.blogspot.ca/2015/12/are-corporate-media-and-others-covering.html

Bob Van Noy , February 5, 2018 at 2:52 pm

Thank you Stephan J. Here is a link that you provided from a Robert Parry piece.

If one goes through the commentary, you will see that comments have always been decent, informative and educational on this truly wonderful site.

Man oh man I miss Robert Parry and F. G. Sanford where are you?
(Caitlin Johnstone you're our new leader, and apparently another fine journalist. Thank You)

https://consortiumnews.com/2015/12/19/neocons-object-to-syrian-democracy/

Ol' Hippy , February 5, 2018 at 2:09 pm

This article by Caitlin just helps me to be glad that I never bought cable TV. I didn't realize how many former government criminals/ex-officials populated their polluted networks. Former head spook Mike Morell on CBS doesn't seem like an anomaly any more. The hens are fattening the foxes guarding the air and cable waves. No wonder those with little time, due to work and family matters, know so little about what's actually going on.

j. D. D. , February 5, 2018 at 2:25 pm

Looks like the Obama/British connected warmongering intel agents have decided to eliminate the "middle-men" (and women) and go directly on record. Rachel, Chris, Jim and Wolfe, your jobs are in jeopardy, Not to be left out, I expect that Comey, McCabe, Strzok, and perhaps Mueller, are filling out their own applications right now.

, , February 5, 2018 at 2:45 pm

Johnstone tells it like it is. It's a pure pleasure to read her ripping out the guts of the oligarchic monster creating our present deepening dystopia. Wouldn't it be nice if every American could read her little piece, and think about what it says? Maybe I can get a few of my friends to read it. You have to start somewhere to wake people up. If enough of us gently encourage our friends to take a brief dip into reality, who knows what might come from it?

Realist , February 5, 2018 at 2:48 pm

Mainstream liberal pundits used to talk like this, blasting the privileged insiders "feeding at the trough" and such. Now they have become just a bunch of crybaby spoilers and haters because their push for power via the Hildebeast movement came crashing down. If they can't have it, they'd rather break it. They couldn't beat the warmongering neocons or the rapacious neoliberals, so they joined 'em. They became what they always professed to hate.

Their followers, being just mindless tribalists rather than the perspicacious philosophers they are told they are, leap in lockstep over the precipice. They can never give you a coherent or logical reason why, just vapid slogans usually diametrically at odds with any real truth. All that matters to them is receiving daily affirmation from their fellow ranks of sloganeering nincompoops. In their newfound McCarthyism they've morphed into the lost boys from "Lord of the Flies" who went so far as to kill Piggy, Piggy's counterpart being Al Franken and his career as a champion of liberal causes in the U.S. senate.

But, in a world where one can purportedly choose any identity one pleases with no basis in reality, these self-immolations merely win accolades from the right-thinking media clerics as society in general goes into a death spiral. Living the "theatre of the absurd" has become the new "American way of life." Now, if we could just quickly get out of the way of the rest of the world, things might turn out all right for the rest of humanity. Unfortunately, they've designed an "app" to prevent that, it's called the MIC, and it's not user friendly.

Tom K. , February 5, 2018 at 3:05 pm

As exposed by Julian Assange: https://swprs.org/the-american-empire-and-its-media/

Daniel , February 5, 2018 at 6:57 pm

We are all victims of the pernicious 24/7 scientifically-designed propaganda apparatus. It has little to do with the victim's intelligence since almost all human opinions are formed by emotional reactions that occur even before the conscious mind registers the input.

Through critical thinking, we can overcome these emotional impulses, but only with effort, and a pre-existing skepticism of all information sources. And even still, I have no doubt that all of us who are aware of the propaganda still accept some falsehoods as true.

It could be that having former Intelligence Agency Directors as "news" presenters, and Goldman Sachs alum and Military/Industrial complex CEOs running important government agencies makes clear to some the reality that we live in an oligarchy with near-tyrannical powers. But most people seem too busy surviving and/or being diverted by the circus to notice the depths of the propaganda.

Chris , February 5, 2018 at 3:43 pm

"America is ruled by an elite class which has slowly created a system where money increasingly translates directly into political power, and which is therefore motivated to maintain economic injustice in order to rule over the masses more completely. The greater the economic inequality, the greater their power. " This is backwards. The elite does not create economic injustice to maintain and solidify their power for then there would have been no French, Russian, Cuban, Chinese revolutions. The capitalist system leads to economic injustice because it steals unpaid labour power from the working class and puts into the hands of the capitalists. The reason they keep wages lower is to increase the rate of profit not to keep power thought they try to hold on to the power to maintain that system. And the more that inequality is produced the weaker they become because the working class then realises it has nothing to lose and revolts. This is basic marxism which the writer seems to be unaware of. The greater the economic inequality, the greater the distress of the working class is and greater the motivation to change their condition.

backwardsevolution , February 5, 2018 at 4:01 pm

Chris – you are right, conditions must be favorable for any action to take place. It is when the crowd gets a taste of fear that they move.

Daniel , February 5, 2018 at 7:02 pm

Cold, you may know that the original use of the term "American Exceptionalism" was Stalin's description of how the USAmerican working classes seem incapable of revolting against capitalist exploitation, no matter how egregious it becomes. We are "the exception" to Marx's theories about the tipping points for revolutions.

cmp , February 5, 2018 at 4:20 pm

Just what does democracy look like to these cowards who sell prejudice, discrimination, hate and violence?

Here is an example of how much they think of their (our) own kids, if they even dare to speak to the teachers & preachers:

On May 2nd 1970, Governor James A. Rhodes (R-OH), says of student protesters at Kent State University:
"They're worse than the brown shirts and the communist element and also the night riders and the vigilantes. They're the worst kind of people we harbor in America. I think that we're up against the strongest, well-trained, militant revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America. We're going to eradicate the problem, we're not going to treat the symptoms." Two days later, on May 4th, National Guardsmen kill four unarmed students on the Kent State campus and wounded nine others.
~ Jim Hunt; 'They Said What?'; 9/1/ 2009

On May 5th 1970, Governor Ronald Reagan (R-CA) says of the efforts to stop student protests on university campuses:
"If it takes a bloodbath, then let's get it over with.."
~ Jim Hunt; 'They Said What?'; 9/1/ 2009

.. And, 10 years later, in 1980, America elected who??

Who will the sellers offer up in 2024? Are we closing in on the end of the era of the puppet?

Perhaps it will be a pro. (with media experience on the resume, to boot) .. A John Brennan-ite?

If there is a hell, then certainly there must be a special spot reserved for those who are the worst of the guru's in greed. But, in the meantime, for America's own good, maybe someday soon, the International Community will close Guantanamo.. .. And, do all of the citizens of the planet a great justice by reopening it in the middle of the Mohave Desert. These cowards that corporatize & commercialize prejudice, discrimination, hate and violence, they can be the honorary members. And since it is they who have long killed their conscience, then maybe that desert heat will serve as a small reminder for what a little heat really feels like.

Bob Van Noy , February 6, 2018 at 8:31 am

I feel your pain cmp thank you for your post. For you and others interested in this combination of Student Anti-War activism and Government Surveillance, I'd like to recommend a truly insightful book entitled, "Subversives": The FBI's War On Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise To Power by Seth Rosenfeld. Matt Taibbi remarked in a review of this book which now seems understated, that "Domestic intelligence forces will tend to use all the powers they're given (and even some that they're not) to spy on people who are politically defenseless, irreverent from a security standpoint and targeted for all the wrong reasons".

cmp , February 6, 2018 at 4:43 pm

Bob, "Thank You!" I have made a note to look for Lansdale, Carl Oglesby, and now Seth Rosenfeld. All of this I know, will be such great reading for me!

I also sent you some follow up on the 28th. Did you receive those two? Would you like for me to send them again?

I look forward to all of your posts – Keep up all of your great work Bob!

backwardsevolution , February 5, 2018 at 4:31 pm

Sean Hannity on Fox is doing a stellar job of exposing the Department of Justice, FBI, and all of the other characters re the Steele dossier and Russiagate. Every night more information is revealed; it's like a spy novel. None of the other outlets are even talking about this stuff. Crickets. If you want the latest on criminality, go there. Meanwhile, Zero Hedge says:

"Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley's push to force the DOJ to open a criminal investigation into ex-British spy and 'Trump dossier' author Christopher Steele is being met with resistance from the bureau, the latest sign that it doesn't want information about its relationship with Steele to be shared with the public."

The Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC had paid Steele for his dossier. But the FBI also hired Steele, and just before they paid out $50,000.00 to Steele for his work, they discovered he lied, didn't pay him, but still continued to spy on Trump and his team. With Steele's dossier now discredited in the eyes of the FBI, they should have stopped their spying, but they didn't. Russiagate has been based on this Steele dossier, and yet there was "no there there", and the DOJ and the FBI knew it.

Zero Hedge goes on:

"Furthermore, a section on a second memo by Steele says he received information from the State Department, which in turn got it from a foreign source who was in touch with 'a friend of the Clintons.'

'It is troubling enough that the Clinton Campaign funded Mr. Steele's work, but that these Clinton associates were contemporaneously feeding Mr. Steele allegations raises additional concerns about his credibility,' Grassley and Graham wrote in their criminal referral."

So Steele was receiving information from the State Department and a friend of the Clinton's? How impartial is that?

backwardsevolution , February 5, 2018 at 4:33 pm

Link for the above Zero Hedge piece:

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-05/grassley-graham-blast-fbi-censoring-memo-calling-criminal-probe-trump-dossier

Daniel , February 5, 2018 at 7:16 pm

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,

~ The Bard

The Reality TV Show Presidency has great ratings.

Do you think Nikki Haley got the red rose? Apparently Michael Wolf, the author of "Fire and Fury," is backing down on that bit of salacious gossip "news."

backwardsevolution , February 6, 2018 at 4:39 pm

Daniel – and a line I like to quote from Shakespeare applies so well to the Clinton's:

"Hell is empty, and all the devils are here."

backwardsevolution , February 5, 2018 at 4:36 pm

John Brennan – "By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes." That guy is evil, and nothing good will come of this.

Mark Thompson , February 5, 2018 at 8:13 pm

Really happy to see Caitlin writing on this forum. Keep up the good work Caitlin. You'll never be short on material to write about. If what we're witnessing in this point in time is any barometer, we're in for a world of hurt. Orwell is in his grave wishing he had two more hands. He has to choose whether to cover his eyes or ears. What a sad state of affairs

Lois Gagnon , February 5, 2018 at 11:18 pm

It becomes more evident by the day that we live in a military dictatorship. One of the incidents that brought this realization home to me was when John Kerry had negotiated a deal with the Russians regarding military operations in Syria. The military took it upon themselves to nullify that deal when it purposely attacked and killed 60 Syrian soldiers. That was a clear case of insubordination that should have led to firings of the military brass who ordered that strike. Instead, Obama just carried on as if nothing happened except that the negotiated deal was null and void.

And of course the press said nothing about the blatant criminality of the military action.

What president is willing to stand up to the military and the Department of Skullduggery AKA the CIA anymore? Who is really calling the shots?

Diana Lee , February 6, 2018 at 2:52 pm

Thank you Caitlin! Good job! I especially like: "Nobody would willingly consent to such an oppressive system where wealth inequality keeps growing as expensive bombs from expensive drones are showered upon strangers on the other side of the planet, so a robust propaganda machine is needed." I agree! NO ONE is "willfully ignorant". NO ONE chooses to be under the influence of government mass mind control/propaganda. Mind control is something that is "done to" people -- – whether the perpetrator is a psychopathic spouse or cult leader; religious indoctrinator, military boot camp sargeant, and/or the voice of government control of the media. Blaming victims of mind control for being mind controlled and therefore being "willfully ignorant" is just another form of mind control used to discount the reality of mind control.

[Feb 07, 2018] I don't talk to parasites and pressitutes

Notable quotes:
"... You even had Eleanor Clift and Clarence Page on The McLaughlin Group emphatically stating that the Steele Dossier was 90% factual which is just repeating what Steele said just after the release of the dossier. The veracity has since tumbled as questions arose about the allegations and their sources. But, there is a Cabal that still hang their hopes on the "90%". ..."
"... Seriously, explain to me the difference between the two things. Trump may have sought out dirt on Hillary from Russia and Hillary may have sought out dirt on Trump from an former British spy. ..."
"... We will see what the other memo says but simply as speculation I think the chances are that Democrats probably would be better off cutting ties with Steele, GPS Fusion, Comey, Page, Ohr, Strzok, Lynch even and maybe more, than to parse out why this FISA warrant was not a bad idea. It really is never, ever too late to turn back, but the animus against Donald Trump is clouding a lot of otherwise clear thinking Democrats. "Yeah, that whole mess sure was a screw-up and now let's talk about how terrible Trump's immigration policies would be for the country." ..."
"... the Wall Street Journal calls "disturbing facts about how the FBI and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court appear to have been used to influence the 2016 election and its aftermath." ..."
"... When is somebody going to read United states vs Leon that stands for the rule of law that if a cop (fbi) knowingly or recklessly includes facts in an application for a warrant that the cop knows are false or recklessly includes, then the warrant is quashed and and all evidence is suppressed ..."
"... This whole thing stinks to high heaven. The left is deliberately trying to steer discussion away from the elephant in the room -- the FBI under Obama was no longer neutral but was being used as a political tool to undermine the opposition. This is a serious threat to our democratic process and cannot be taken lightly. Jeff Sessions needs to appoint a special counsel to investigate the Nunes Memo allegations. Rod Rosenstein, Robert Mueller and Christopher Wray all need to be suspended while the investigation is ongoing. ..."
"... The NYT and the [neo]liberal media in general have lost all their journalistic integrity in the way they've been covering up for all of Democrats' corruption and abuse of power the last two decades. The way they fawned over Obama was downright sickening. Watergate was billed as the greatest scandal ever because it was done by a Republican president. What Obama did not just with the 2016 election meddling but with covering for Clinton's Uranium One pay to play scheme was far, far worse. ..."
"... The people aren't as stupid as the liberal elites think we are. That's why the fake news media is losing their stranglehold on news as people turn to alternative news sources thanks to the internet. The Times can print whatever they want, they are only further discrediting themselves as a legitimate news source with each passing day. The delirious, foam at the mouth reader comments that they deemed fit to print just show how hysterical and out of touch the left have become. ..."
Feb 07, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Jay Dee February 6, 2018 at 12:22 pm

Some years ago, my father-in-law was pursued by the press after witnessing an armed robbery. His response? "I don't talk to parasites."
ArtR , says: February 6, 2018 at 12:24 pm
You even had Eleanor Clift and Clarence Page on The McLaughlin Group emphatically stating that the Steele Dossier was 90% factual which is just repeating what Steele said just after the release of the dossier. The veracity has since tumbled as questions arose about the allegations and their sources. But, there is a Cabal that still hang their hopes on the "90%".
Terence Kivlan , says: February 6, 2018 at 1:02 pm
NYT reporters have always been part of the [neo]liberal Democratic flea circus. They are just more open about it now.
MM , says: February 6, 2018 at 1:21 pm
ArtR: "You even had Eleanor Clift and Clarence Page on The McLaughlin Group emphatically stating that the Steele Dossier was 90% factual which is just repeating what Steele said."

Yeah, I caught that doozy over the weekend. Clift, a so-called journalist, also claimed that Steele and the dossier had been funded by the GOP, which is a false statement that's still widely circulated, for no good reason.

Katy Tur, another so-called journalist, was calling Nunes "treasonous" on par with Snowden before the memo release, and is now laughing about it after the fact. When the press acts like that, not in the public interest but in defense of government secrecy, you can bet something rotten is going on in the bureaucracy.

Add to that Senators Blumenthal and Booker claiming the release of this memo, and by extension the public's right to know, would constitute "obstruction of justice" and "treason", essentially repackaging claims by the intelligence agencies that the release would jeopardize national security. And again, this was all before the memo release.

Why so much fear-mongering and lying? It suggests there's something to hide. But that could describe Trump's behavior, too.

Donald (the left leaning one) , says: February 6, 2018 at 1:35 pm
"That you CAN'T combine the two speaks of a deeper rot. The opposition researcher was working with agents of the exact same country and they knew it."

This makes sense to me. I am and continue to be somewhat agnostic and bemused by this whole russiagate thing. Without defending Trump, who I just assume is corrupt and surrounded by corrupt people, it is more than a little hard to believe that Steele and the Clinton side was entirely innocent. On the one hand we are supposed to be scared to death of the mighty Russian propaganda machine and yet on the other hand people on the left don't stop and ask whether someone sent to Russia to gather dirt on Trump might have had contact, witting or not, with Russian intelligence. If they wanted to sow confusion, wouldn't they try to do it on both sides? Wouldn't they know what Steele was up to? It wasn't like anyone thought Trump had a good shot of winning, so why wouldn't they play both sides if they wanted to sow confusion?

Personally, I don't give a crap about any of this. Much of the outrage, I think, is being fueled by people who want a new Cold War with Russia. Russiagate, true or false, helps keep the all important fear and loathing of Russia on the front page.

Roman Reigns , says: February 6, 2018 at 1:36 pm
"The brilliant conservative mind at work.

One side collaborating with an adversary nation (Russia) that harms our national interests is a threat to national security.

The other side is hiring an opposition researcher.

The fact that you can combine the two and compare them speaks of deep the rot is."

Well, I'm not a conservative, so there's that. Second, Russia wasn't an adversary nation up until about two seconds ago when Democrats suddenly needed a scapegoat for Hillary's flame-out. Russia wasn't an adversary nation for nearly the entirety of 20th century while they were being run by a series of despots, but now they're an adversary nation. I think it was Obama who said, "The 80's called and they want their foreign policy back."

Seriously, explain to me the difference between the two things. Trump may have sought out dirt on Hillary from Russia and Hillary may have sought out dirt on Trump from an former British spy.

Eric377 , says: February 6, 2018 at 1:41 pm
We will see what the other memo says but simply as speculation I think the chances are that Democrats probably would be better off cutting ties with Steele, GPS Fusion, Comey, Page, Ohr, Strzok, Lynch even and maybe more, than to parse out why this FISA warrant was not a bad idea. It really is never, ever too late to turn back, but the animus against Donald Trump is clouding a lot of otherwise clear thinking Democrats. "Yeah, that whole mess sure was a screw-up and now let's talk about how terrible Trump's immigration policies would be for the country."
MikeJC , says: February 6, 2018 at 2:10 pm
The entire episode brings three possibilities.

1. All reporters, FBI agents, intel agents and congressional investigators -- Dem and GOP are so incompetent that they can't find "collusion" after nearly 20 months.

2. Trump is a master genius who has engineered the most successful cover-up in US history -- keeping all direct evidence of collusion hidden. or

3. Hillary hated Trump so much she paid for phony Russian dirt and then spread it to law enforcement and media to ensure that there would not a repeat of Obama snatching the Presidency away from her.

Since no evidence of collusion has shown up, #3 is most obvious. Of course, Democrats think "evidence" is "Joe lied about the perfectly legal act of drinking milk, so that means he must have stolen some milk." Actually, they don't care; any old lie will do.

balconesfault , says: February 6, 2018 at 3:02 pm
what the Wall Street Journal calls "disturbing facts about how the FBI and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court appear to have been used to influence the 2016 election and its aftermath."

Judge not, lest ye be judged.

ADBrooks , says: February 6, 2018 at 3:25 pm
When is somebody going to read United states vs Leon that stands for the rule of law that if a cop (fbi) knowingly or recklessly includes facts in an application for a warrant that the cop knows are false or recklessly includes, then the warrant is quashed and and all evidence is suppressed
KD , says: February 6, 2018 at 3:40 pm
It really does seem like an alternate reality.

The FBI should not be conducting political surveillance on opposition candidates in national elections. If you want to talk about the real Putinization of America, that would be it.

Further, the fact that the FBI was conducting political surveillance based on unvetted opposition research which was so badly concocted even the media wouldn't run it for libel fears, combined with a drunk quip, that is really pathetic.

On the other hand, Machiavelli noted something to the effect that the ends sometimes justify the means, and its not clear that democracy dies in darkness, it dies in the kind of anti-constitutional partisanship we are witnessing today, with the media in the Amen corner.

b. , says: February 6, 2018 at 4:29 pm
"If the FBI obtained permission from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor Trump aide Carter Page based on information from the Christopher Steele dossier, that in itself is a monumental scandal." If the FBI knew that the allegations of Steele's now-famous dossier remained unverified and used them anyway, that would constitute an abuse of power and an effort to manipulate the FISA court [..] what the Wall Street Journal calls "disturbing facts about how the FBI and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court appear to have been used to influence the 2016 election and its aftermath."

Dodgy "intel" stovepiped through "dodgy intelligence?
FBI discredited for unconstitutional searches?
FISA secret court revealed as abuse of government power?

This whole affair must be a cunning liberal plot to turn Republicans against themselves

I will never understand what satisfaction any citizen could draw from the joys of being a "partisan" of either collection of half-wits that make for our schizoid duopoly of political "parties". Those "parties", thrown – always – at our expense, are a lot more educational and even entertaining if you have no dog in this fight, given the inbreeding on the two lousy, rapid dogs involved.

Tempest in a sh*thole.

The media fails , says: February 6, 2018 at 5:16 pm
This whole thing stinks to high heaven. The left is deliberately trying to steer discussion away from the elephant in the room -- the FBI under Obama was no longer neutral but was being used as a political tool to undermine the opposition. This is a serious threat to our democratic process and cannot be taken lightly. Jeff Sessions needs to appoint a special counsel to investigate the Nunes Memo allegations. Rod Rosenstein, Robert Mueller and Christopher Wray all need to be suspended while the investigation is ongoing.

The NYT and the [neo]liberal media in general have lost all their journalistic integrity in the way they've been covering up for all of Democrats' corruption and abuse of power the last two decades. The way they fawned over Obama was downright sickening. Watergate was billed as the greatest scandal ever because it was done by a Republican president. What Obama did not just with the 2016 election meddling but with covering for Clinton's Uranium One pay to play scheme was far, far worse.

The people aren't as stupid as the liberal elites think we are. That's why the fake news media is losing their stranglehold on news as people turn to alternative news sources thanks to the internet. The Times can print whatever they want, they are only further discrediting themselves as a legitimate news source with each passing day. The delirious, foam at the mouth reader comments that they deemed fit to print just show how hysterical and out of touch the left have become.

[Feb 05, 2018] Schiff's Latest Bizarre Claim: Russian Ads Promote 2nd Amendment 'So We All Kill Each Other'

www.trendli.net

The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms... and, as The Duran's Alex Christoforou writes, according to California Congressman Adam Schiff, those pesky Russians are using bots to promote the second amendment with an ultimate goal of having Americans"'kill each other."

Once again, another brilliant plan hatched by Putin... good thing Schiff caught on to it and can now begin seizing American's guns so as to thwart Russia's evil plan.

On Thursday Democrat Schiff spoke to a crowd at the University of Pennsylvania, where the TDS – "Russia hysteria virus" infected Schiff told the crowd Russian ads promoted the Second Amendment during the 2016 election "so we will kill each other."

NTK Network reports...

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said Thursday that Russia promoted content that supported the Second Amendment on social media during the 2016 election because they wanted Americans to kill one another.

[Feb 04, 2018] There are heroes out there, Dobson of F F, Binney, Drake, Snowden and others. But the ration of truth tellers to neoliberal feral dogs in MSM is abysmally small. And that s why the majority of the US population is thoroughly brainwashed and kept in the dark

"Robust regime of oversight" is a joke. Powerful intelligence agencies which are immanent feature of the national security state tend to acquire control off MSM and never relinquish it.
Notable quotes:
"... There are heroes out there, Dobson of F&F, Binney, Drake, Snowden and others. But the majority of the ppl are kept in the dark via the enemedia. Those who make waves are sent to job Siberia ..."
"... So guilty or not, Carter Page is in the clear. And if the FBI's knowledge of Mike Flynns payment for "lobbying" for Turkey were discovered while the FBI was monitoring Page and his known associates, then the charges against Flynn will be dropped and he will be free and clear as well. ..."
Feb 04, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

It wasn't the bombshell everyone hoped for. But the release of the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) memo did corroborate what we already knew: the government is corrupt.

In fact, the contents of the memo should be disturbing to everyone. But Bill Binney, Thomas Drake, and Edward Snowden revealed much worse. Americans are desensitized to immense abuses of their rights.

The FISA Memo Overview: The Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Clinton Campaign paid Christopher Steele $160,000 to dig up information on Trump team members including Carter Page. Steele also provided this information to the FBI.

The FBI and DOJ asked the FISC (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) for permission to surveil Page, using the Steele Dossier as evidence. They did not disclose that Steele was paid by political opponents of their target to compile the information presented to the court. Based on probable cause from the information amassed by a democrat operative, the court granted their surveillance request.

So the Republicans are upset a government agency targeted a GOP ally based on information provided by political opponents. That seems like a valid complaint.

[Flashback: Trump Administration settles IRS Tea Party targetting lawsuits for peanuts.]

... ... ...

We should note that the FISA memo specifically states that "DOJ and FBI sought and received a probable cause order (not under title VII) authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from FISC."

That just means that are other parts of FISA that also use secretive proceedings to ignore due process.

So the GOP likes some mass surveillance that violates rights, just not when it targets one of their own.

They seem to think if we just had the right people in power then the government could work for good!


VWAndy Feb 3, 2018 6:22 PM Permalink

Basic logic says you could not have this level of corruption if they have this much access to everyones data. Unless it was all being used by the corrupt only.

nmewn -> VWAndy Feb 3, 2018 7:15 PM Permalink

Its a fair point. It took years to find out "most of the truth" about Fast & Furious and the weaponizing the IRS (again) against political opponents, surely if there were any "boy scouts believing in truth, justice and the American way", they would have came forward. But they didn't.

Gardentoolnumber5 -> nmewn Feb 3, 2018 7:30 PM Permalink

There are heroes out there, Dobson of F&F, Binney, Drake, Snowden and others. But the majority of the ppl are kept in the dark via the enemedia. Those who make waves are sent to job Siberia or have their homes raided as an example to future whistle blowers. Just like the populace, too many followers willing to accept their 30 pieces of silver for quiet instead of standing for principle.

nmewn -> Gardentoolnumber5 Feb 3, 2018 8:56 PM Permalink

Agreed. But are there enough is the question. People being what they are, they come with all sorts of personalities and belief systems. There are those who blindly follow orders without any moral or ethical compass, just doing what they are paid for. Then, there are those with that compass who follow orders anyways knowing its wrong in the hope someone else will straighten it out.

Then you have the Snowdens, Binneys etc of the world who are willing to face ostracization, the character assassination (or real assassination), loss of family, liberty and possessions for what is a right for all of us.

I would hazard a guess that its less than 10% but on the optimistic side...I think that number is growing ;-)

VWAndy -> nmewn Feb 3, 2018 9:33 PM Permalink

Id like to see where they stand if there is no chance of a payday for them. A put up or shut up moment is needed. The boy scouts to feral ratio looks pretty bad.

Richard Chesler -> VWAndy Feb 4, 2018 10:25 AM Permalink

So the US gov is nothing more than the covert ops unit of the DNC.

VWAndy -> Richard Chesler Feb 4, 2018 10:36 AM Permalink

Bankers run the joint. Both parties do their bidding.

Anonymous_Bene -> VWAndy Feb 4, 2018 12:12 PM Permalink

Funny. You would think it would be more obvious to everyone that Trump is repaying a debt.

Gerrilea -> nmewn Feb 3, 2018 10:54 PM Permalink

Ummm...wait...didn't we have Manning, Snowden and Drake? They came forward and told us the truth. All of them were branded traitors and 2 out of the 3 were prosecuted for telling us.

Gardentoolnumber5 Feb 3, 2018 7:20 PM Permalink

Black Pigeon Speaks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WM_guk9LC8g

grunk Feb 3, 2018 7:48 PM Permalink

The intelligence agencies are going to pull down this country just to save themselves. Those in leadership positions are psychotics.

Reaper Feb 3, 2018 8:48 PM Permalink

Now, more future jurors will know the government hacks (FBI, prosecutors forensic examiners) cannot be trusted. The FBI forms 302 were a tool for absolute corruption. https://boingboing.net/2013/05/07/dont-ever-speak-to-the-fbi-w.html

Mustafa Kemal Feb 3, 2018 10:17 PM Permalink

Excellent article. One of the take aways is: if you think that this is going to manifest itself in any improvement in these practices, you are sorely mistaken. Did Trump undo Obama's 11th hour executive order distributing the NSA US-surveillance information to all other intelligence agencies? Not.

AurorusBorealus Feb 3, 2018 11:28 PM Permalink

Secret police, secret courts, secret investigations, using secret police against political opponents, news media performing as instruments of propaganda, widespread surveillance of all public communications, and conspiring with foreign agents to overthrow a government. The U.S. has arrived at the Finland Station. To any clear thinking person in the U.S. government, these secret police agencies, their endless abuses of the ability to "classify" information, their secret courts, and their secret investigations must come to an end and be constrained by the rule of law and subject to some form of public of scrutiny. Therefore, why have Trump and his junta and the Republicans in congress not begun legislation to end the totalitarian regime that Washington has become?

There can be only one reason. They have not ended these totalitarian measures because they seek to use them. Against who? Against all the "enemies of the state." Who is an "enemies of the state?" Whoever the military decides is an enemy of the state. That could be you. Get out of that country, right now.

hootowl -> AurorusBorealus Feb 4, 2018 9:56 AM Permalink

Get out of the U.S.........and go where??? The U.S. is the last, best, hope of mankind in this fallen world. When we fall, darkness will descend upon all of mankind.

Our constitution was designed to govern a moral and religious people. The U. S. was founded by geniuses. We are now being governed and led by self-serving idiots.

......And we are no longer a moral and religious people.

Trifecta Man Feb 3, 2018 11:47 PM Permalink

Too many crooks in high positions. FISA is not Constitutional. Many years ago, pro wrestling champ Verne Gagne started out a match with Mad Dog Vashon by viciously attacking him. He broke the rules. But Mad Dog Vashon readily broke the rules repeatedly in all his matches. Sometimes the good guys break the rules to get rid of the bad guys who pay no attention to them. Same here.

bshirley1968 -> Trifecta Man Feb 4, 2018 9:35 AM Permalink

It is NEVER right to do wrong...to do right! The ends NEVER justify the means. Once you go down that slippery slope as a man, society, government, etc., you are DONE. It is only a matter of time, Mr. Lincoln.

libertyanyday Feb 4, 2018 12:42 AM Permalink

trying to blame the GOP for the indiscriminate abuses of the Democrats is reprehensible. Appointing a chief of police does NOT authorize the rampant lawlessness he may produce......... when the inofrmants lie to the cops, bad results occur....

7thGenMO -> libertyanyday Feb 4, 2018 8:10 AM Permalink

+1, but having been involved with Repugnican politics, the memo shouldn't be used to reinforce the illusion that Repugnicans are in true opposition to the DemonRats. In reality, we have a Uniparty system. The memo does expose .gov's total lack of credibility because its own law enforcement agencies are corrupt.

NuYawkFrankie Feb 4, 2018 2:34 AM Permalink

In its deeper context, what the FISA Memo CONFIRMED is that.. the America you thought existed, if it ever did, is now just a fantasy, a fond 'Norman Rockwell' memory... superceded by ZOG USSA, a Rogue Entity - beholden to a 5th Column Cabal of Mega Criminals controlling over 5000 nuclear weapons - masquerading as a "Legitimate Government". JFK had his brains blown out for even suggesting such an eventuality - that has now transpired - in his last public speech.

Son of Loki Feb 4, 2018 6:57 AM Permalink

Fewer then 40% of Americans now trust the fbi. Unless Wray or Congress does something, their cred will drop further and crime will increase since 90% of obeying the law is psychological respect for the law enforcement agencies. If they don't get that back, people will just spit in their faces when they come to the door.

bshirley1968 -> Son of Loki Feb 4, 2018 9:48 AM Permalink

What planet are you on? "Spit in their faces"? Lol, that's funny right there. All over the western world, governments are breaking laws, stomping on rights, invading their own countries with 3rd world, radical foreigners, taking out debt so they can live off the backs of several generations that haven't even been born yet.......and what are the people doing about it? Not one damn meaningful thing. All they know to do is trust in another goobermint agency to fix another goobermint agency.

What do you think happens when you find out your cook and butler have slowly been poisoning you for weeks? You think they say, "Oh, gee, we're sorry and won't ever do it again."? No, the jig is up, and they pull out a revolver and shoot you in the head, or wrestle you down and smother your weak ass. Either way, "finding out the truth" only hastens your demise, unless you or a brother who just happened to show up can kill them before they kill you.

All we have done here is acquire the truth we are being killed by those who are supposed to serve us. You wait until they come to your door, and you are dead already. "Spitting" or any action on that level is a joke.

JailBanksters Feb 4, 2018 7:36 AM Permalink

It's not the Agencies that are corrupt, it's is the people in these Agencies that are Corrupt.

And it's these People the Public can not vote for or get rid of them. Even the President can't Fire anybody in these Agencies. Just removing one or two bad Apples is not going to save the Bunch, and that's the real problem. Does the USA really need all these, NOT so secret Spy Agencies ? But in true US Fashion, they will probably add another Spy Agency to Spy on the other US Agencies.

7thGenMO -> JailBanksters Feb 4, 2018 8:12 AM Permalink

"Who watches the watchmen?" - Satires of the Roman Poet Juvenal

nekten Feb 4, 2018 7:45 AM Permalink

"They are just fighting for the upper hand over their political opponents. This is not freedom versus tyranny. It is a war of factions ."

Exactly right. It was hypocritical to withhold the FISA memo until after the vote on extending and expanding 702. It's not just the FBI and DOJ who are corrupt. That said, Nunes provided a weapon to begin ferreting out these weasels. It needs to be used with maximum effectiveness. Long live the Republic!

SirBarksAlot Feb 4, 2018 8:33 AM Permalink

Agreed.

However, they need to keep it the way it is until they rout out the components of the government that are controlled by the elite international power-brokers.

Just like J. Edgar Hoover had everyone in Congress blackmailed, the elite have evidence of everyone in the government they need to control in compromised status. The elite lost control of the USA Corporation in 2016, when Puerto Rico filed bankruptcy. Now there is a fight by the heads of that corporation to try to wrestle back control of our nation. Let them use whatever tools they need to use until the wicked witch is dead!

Joshua2415 Feb 4, 2018 8:58 AM Permalink

A tid-bit that should not be lost on us when we consider the origins of the Clinton-Steele dossier is that Steele admitted to PAYING his russian "informants" for the information that he included in his report. So not only is the information he used "salacious and unverified", it is also inadmissible as evidence in US court...ANY US court. So even IF, the FBI did not know that the DNC paid for the dossier, and even IF, the FBI believed the allegations to be true, the FISA warrant they obtained is invalid and any evidence gathered as a result is inadmissible.

So guilty or not, Carter Page is in the clear. And if the FBI's knowledge of Mike Flynns payment for "lobbying" for Turkey were discovered while the FBI was monitoring Page and his known associates, then the charges against Flynn will be dropped and he will be free and clear as well.

jin187 -> Joshua2415 Feb 4, 2018 10:26 AM Permalink

I still haven't figured out why Trump hasn't blanket pardoned everyone in his administration. He can pardon a cocksucking illegal immigrant slavelord, but can't pardon Manafort and Flynn for procedural crimes? WTF...

SirBarksAlot Feb 4, 2018 9:00 AM Permalink

https://nypost.com/2017/07/05/vatican-cops-bust-drug-fueled-gay-orgy-at

Start at 1:50:

Leo Zagami interview on elite pedophile rings: https://youtu.be/S_kj2TN-3ZI

Neil Keenan on elite pedophile rings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcqTA8NY75Y

jin187 Feb 4, 2018 10:22 AM Permalink

I don't think people are desensitized to the corruption. We just know that when the smoke clears, none of the big players are going to jail, and it'll be business as usual. Trump needs an epic win against the swamp, with someone bigger than a deputy assistant whatever going to prison.

Fred box Feb 4, 2018 10:42 AM Permalink

This $tory has much more to play out. > But Bill Binney, Thomas Drake, and Edward Snowden revealed much worse . Americans are desensitized to immense abuses of their rights <The daily brain washing of the Boogy Man coming, as well as the implementing of The Patriot Act is the biggest thief of rights. But as George says: Your either with us, or your against us!

Consuelo Feb 4, 2018 11:49 AM Permalink

'What the FISA Memo Reveals about the FBI, DNC, GOP–and the sketchy timeline' That the rule of law is effectively, Dead. Here, try this on for a headline, TDB: 'What the failure to prosecute Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals about the rule of law in America'

[Feb 04, 2018] Imran Awan, the former DNC staffer who was arrested this week while trying to flee the United States, was with Seth Rich the night of his murder, according to new photographic evidence

Feb 04, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Vote up! 0 Vote down! 0 dot_bust Feb 3, 2018 12:33 PM Permalink

I'm wondering where Seth Rich fits into the whole scenario.

Did he discover the Hillary/DNC plot? Was he going to leak that information? I'm not sure if the timeline surrounding his death fits, but I'm curious about it.

Can someone here add some clarification on this hypothesis?

hooligan2009 -> dot_bust Feb 3, 2018 1:57 PM Permalink

long winded, but you could start here for some lite bg reading on the events of the summer of 2016:

July 10, 2016 : DNC staffer Seth Rich, whose title is reported as "voter expansion data director," is murdered in the street near his home in Washington, DC. The police will attribute his murder to robbery, although nothing was stolen from Rich. His murder remains unsolved.

Here, thanks to William Craddick of Disobedient Media , is the crime report, which tells us that three of the officers at the scene were wearing body cams.

http://dianawest.net/Home/tabid/36/EntryId/3559/A-Seth-Rich-Chronology-

one of the awan brothers (of "all congress software and hardware belong to us" fame) has been implicated also.

http://yournewswire.com/imran-awan-seth-rich/

" I mran Awan, the former DNC staffer who was arrested this week while trying to flee the United States, was with Seth Rich the night of his murder, according to new photographic evidence.

Police who originally investigated the murder suggested that Seth Rich might have been killed by someone he knew, due to the lack of struggle. The killer also took nothing from the victim, leaving behind his wallet containing $2000, watch and phone.

The photo, which directly links Imran Awan to Seth Rich, also links Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Awan's former employer, to the former Seth Rich's death.

there's bunches more available via your favorite search engine, but that might pique your curiosity.

[Feb 03, 2018] This Putin paranoia is insane and ridiculous. Our homegrown problems regarding every aspect of government far exceed, by orders of magnitudes, Putin tinkering.

Notable quotes:
"... This Putin paranoia is insane and ridiculous. Our homegrown problems regarding every aspect of government far exceed, by orders of magnitudes, Putin tinkering. All of you making hysterical claims about Putin and impugning Americans as Russian stooges are diverting attention from our real homegrown problems. ..."
"... The root of the situation is FISA, as amended after September 11. ..."
"... History tells us that if a government gets a law enforcement tool, somebody in the government will try to abuse it in ways the legislators who provided the tool did not think of. History also teaches us to keep a sharp eye on the law enforcement organizations – trust but verify! ..."
"... Law enforcement is made of normal people, who bring with them all the qualities and defects of human nature. Abusing power is one of the defects, and since September 11, we gave law enforcement much power ..."
"... We need to find out if any of the candidates broke the law. We need to find out if the FBI and the DOJ abused their power. This is not about political preferences, this is about keeping the country a democracy. For those who might have forgotten it, I will remind what Martin Niemöller said: "First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out -- Because I was not a Socialist Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came_ ..."
"... The land of the surreal; I see the usual in denial left-wing commenters hanging around Buchanan columns are now defending a corrupt, politicized FBI. ..."
"... After Mr. Trump secured the nomination, Fusion GPS was hired on behalf of Mrs. Clinton's campaign and the D.N.C. by their law firm, Perkins Coie, to compile research about Mr. Trump, his businesses and associates -- including possible connections with Russia. It was at that point that Fusion GPS hired Mr. Steele, who has deep sourcing in Russia, to gather information. ..."
"... Is is surprising that all the hoopla for both Republicans, Democrats, the media is about "Trump did it", "Clinton did it, "Putin did it". Only one reader – #Max Charles – made the very intelligent observation that the real beneficiaries of the situation are the Chinese. ..."
"... Democrats and liberals had nothing but disdain for the FBI and other spook organizations until they were 'militarized' by King 'Bama and became the Democrat secret police. Now they love the FBI. This scandal must be dragged into the light of day and cleaned up, folks fired and/or charged and put in prison. OR it will be settled in the streets. When half of the country is 'down with a one party state and secret police,' we're on the same glide path that Venezuela was on. ..."
Feb 03, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Jack February 2, 2018 at 12:27 pm

This Putin paranoia is insane and ridiculous. Our homegrown problems regarding every aspect of government far exceed, by orders of magnitudes, Putin tinkering. All of you making hysterical claims about Putin and impugning Americans as Russian stooges are diverting attention from our real homegrown problems. Look in the mirror everyone. It is in the reflection that you will find what really ails us.
peter , says: February 2, 2018 at 12:45 pm
The root of the situation is FISA, as amended after September 11.

History tells us that if a government gets a law enforcement tool, somebody in the government will try to abuse it in ways the legislators who provided the tool did not think of. History also teaches us to keep a sharp eye on the law enforcement organizations – trust but verify!

Law enforcement is made of normal people, who bring with them all the qualities and defects of human nature. Abusing power is one of the defects, and since September 11, we gave law enforcement much power

We need to find out if any of the candidates broke the law. We need to find out if the FBI and the DOJ abused their power. This is not about political preferences, this is about keeping the country a democracy. For those who might have forgotten it, I will remind what Martin Niemöller said: "First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out -- Because I was not a Socialist Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came_

Andrew , says: February 2, 2018 at 12:51 pm
The land of the surreal; I see the usual in denial left-wing commenters hanging around Buchanan columns are now defending a corrupt, politicized FBI.
russ , says: February 2, 2018 at 1:29 pm
@Craig: And, BTW, the Steele dossier was originally paid for/hired by the REPUBLICANS running against Trump!

From the NY Times, you'll learn you're wrong :

After Mr. Trump secured the nomination, Fusion GPS was hired on behalf of Mrs. Clinton's campaign and the D.N.C. by their law firm, Perkins Coie, to compile research about Mr. Trump, his businesses and associates -- including possible connections with Russia. It was at that point that Fusion GPS hired Mr. Steele, who has deep sourcing in Russia, to gather information.

collin , says: February 2, 2018 at 1:51 pm
Update:

Memo released and 90% of the country yawns!

peter , says: February 2, 2018 at 2:02 pm
Is is surprising that all the hoopla for both Republicans, Democrats, the media is about "Trump did it", "Clinton did it, "Putin did it". Only one reader – #Max Charles – made the very intelligent observation that the real beneficiaries of the situation are the Chinese.

Since the departure of the Great Helmsman, Chairman Mao, China has followed a highly focused and highly effective path towards becoming #1 in the world.
There is a combination of economic policy, internal policy and foreign policy which brought this country to move quietly into such a position. Could they be behind the circus?

It is very possible, since the Chinese are now using what Fukuyama presented as "the good emperor" model. An intelligent, non-democratic system can be so efficient!

Dan Green , says: February 2, 2018 at 2:25 pm
How does this play into the impeachment strategy ? That is all that counts.
Paul Clayton , says: February 2, 2018 at 2:30 pm
Democrats and liberals had nothing but disdain for the FBI and other spook organizations until they were 'militarized' by King 'Bama and became the Democrat secret police. Now they love the FBI. This scandal must be dragged into the light of day and cleaned up, folks fired and/or charged and put in prison. OR it will be settled in the streets. When half of the country is 'down with a one party state and secret police,' we're on the same glide path that Venezuela was on.
Mike , says: February 2, 2018 at 2:34 pm
Pat,

The so called facts should not be released unless all of the facts are released – not simply an interpretation of the facts, least of all Nunes' (or maybe the Whitehouse's?)

You are being disingenuous in simply stating that all memos should be released when you know that the Schiff memo will never be placed in the public sphere.
There is also an impact on the public which is being overlooked. No person in their right mind will ever come forward with information for the FBI ever again. Everyone now knows that if some political opportunist wants to "out you" and embarrass you, you do not stand a chance. This release made no pretense that it was a political hit, not some kind of sunlight on a nefarious practice.

That is not to say that a political hit piece is not legitimate or has its proper place – because it does. Its just that this memo masquerades as something that it is not, and as a man of intellectual integrity, you should say so.

KD , says: February 2, 2018 at 3:23 pm
Pat:

Can you remind us of what the lib's said about Nixon's operation engaging in political surveillance of his opponent?

Also, what was the date that Putin and the Trump campaign met and agreed to hack the DNC servers? They were hacked from the outside, right? We have proof?

Does this mean it is now fair game if the Trump campaign hires some hack to meet with foreign operatives who make up nasty stories about his Democratic opponent, Trump's DOJ can go to the FISA court and get permission to spy on his opponents during the campaign, and then get a Special Prosecutor to "investigate" fabricated allegations and try to snare the new leadership in process crimes? Or is this a special right that only Democrats get to exercise because they wear white hats?

[Feb 03, 2018] Can The Impending Collapse Of Russiagate Halt The Slide Toward A Nuclear 1914 Zero Hedge

Feb 03, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by James George Jatras via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

In the period preceding the World War I how many Europeans suspected that their lives would soon be forever changed – and, for millions of them, ended?

Who in the years, say, 1910 to 1913, could have imagined that the decades of peace, progress, and civilization in which they had grown up, and which seemingly would continue indefinitely, instead would soon descend into a horror of industrial-scale slaughter, revolution, and brutal ideologies?

The answer is, probably very few, just as few people today care much about the details of international and security affairs. Normal folk have better things to do with their lives.

To be sure, in that bygone era of smug jingosim , there was always the entertainment aspect that "our" side had forced "theirs" to back down in some exotic locale, as in the Fashoda incident (1898) or the Moroccan crises (1906, 1911). Even the Balkan Wars of 1912-13 seemed less a harbinger of the cataclysm to come than local dustups on the edge of the continent where the general peace had not been disturbed even by the much more disruptive Crimean or Franco-Prussian wars.

Besides, no doubt level-headed statesmen were in charge in the various capitals, ensuring that things wouldn't get out of hand.

Until they did.

A notable exception to the prevailing mood of business-as-usual, nothing-to-see-here-folks was Pyotr Durnovo, whose remarkable February 1914 memorandum to Tsar Nicholas II laid out not only what the great powers would do in the approaching general war but the behavior of the minor countries as well. Moreover, he anticipated that in the event of defeat, Russia, destabilized by unchecked socialist "agitation" amid wartime hardships, would "be flung into hopeless anarchy, the issue of which cannot be foreseen." Germany, likewise, was "destined to suffer, in case of defeat, no lesser social upheavals" and "take a purely revolutionary path" of a nationalist hue.

When the great powers blundered into war in August 1914, each confident of its ability speedily to dispatch its rivals, the price (adding in the toll from the 1939-1945 rematch) was upwards of 70 million lives. But the cost of a comparable mistake today might be literally incalculable – if there's