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Putin-did-it fiasco: Russiagate as a repretition of Bush's WMD fiasco

Putin-did-it conspiracy theory has too many holes in it. "Russian Hackers" is a way of saying that Trump stole the election from Hillary.

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.

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 campaign. Not that Russians are perfect, but this is a clear case of pot calling the kettle black. 

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.

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 UN resolution condemning the USA for such blatant disregard of international norms and unleashing  a new, more dangerous phase of cyber war.  Most methods used in those works are not entered the arsenal of state actors as well as regular criminals, especially those who 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 some of them were a false flag operation. As one commenter noted: "The Ukrainian 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 very 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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[Aug 14, 2018] Trump feuds with former 'apprentice' Omarosa in White House drama fit for reality TV

Notable quotes:
"... "Wacky Omarosa, who got fired 3 times on The Apprentice, now got fired for the last time. She never made it, never will. She begged me for a job, tears in her eyes, I said Ok," ..."
"... "People in the White House hated her. She was vicious, but not smart. I would rarely see her but heard really bad things. Nasty to people & would constantly miss meetings & work." ..."
"... "The Apprentice" ..."
"... "No, I don't think he's fit." ..."
"... "He's being puppeted, and that's very dangerous for this nation," ..."
"... "Omarosa? Omarosa what's going on? I just saw on the news that you're thinking about leaving? What happened?" ..."
"... "You know they run a big operation, but I didn't know it. I didn't know that. I don't love you leaving at all." ..."
"... "Unhinged: An Insider Account of the Trump White House." ..."
"... "The Apprentice." ..."
"... "Lowlife. She's a lowlife." ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | www.rt.com

13 Aug, 2018 Get short URL Trump feuds with former 'apprentice' Omarosa in White House drama fit for reality TV © Carlo Allegri / Reuters Donald Trump has taken time out of his busy presidential schedule to tweet insults at ex-White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, amid a rapidly-escalating feud between the two estranged reality television prima donnas. "Wacky Omarosa, who got fired 3 times on The Apprentice, now got fired for the last time. She never made it, never will. She begged me for a job, tears in her eyes, I said Ok," Trump tweeted on Monday. "People in the White House hated her. She was vicious, but not smart. I would rarely see her but heard really bad things. Nasty to people & would constantly miss meetings & work."

Wacky Omarosa, who got fired 3 times on the Apprentice, now got fired for the last time. She never made it, never will. She begged me for a job, tears in her eyes, I said Ok. People in the White House hated her. She was vicious, but not smart. I would rarely see her but heard....

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2018

...really bad things. Nasty to people & would constantly miss meetings & work. When Gen. Kelly came on board he told me she was a loser & nothing but problems. I told him to try working it out, if possible, because she only said GREAT things about me - until she got fired!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2018

While I know it's "not presidential" to take on a lowlife like Omarosa, and while I would rather not be doing so, this is a modern day form of communication and I know the Fake News Media will be working overtime to make even Wacky Omarosa look legitimate as possible. Sorry!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2018

The tweet comes hours after Newman, who starred in Trump's reality television series "The Apprentice" before joining the White House, told NBC's "Today" show that Trump was a puppet who was unfit to hold the nation's highest office.

When asked by Today host Savannah Guthrie if she thought Trump had the mental faculties needed to be president, Newman answered: "No, I don't think he's fit." She added that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly – who allegedly fired her without Trump's knowledge – was "running" the White House while Trump remained clueless about daily operations. "He's being puppeted, and that's very dangerous for this nation," Newman said.

"John Kelly is running this White House, and Donald Trump has no clue what's going on. He's being puppeted, and that's very dangerous for this nation." - @OMAROSA pic.twitter.com/tYfDkMF19y

-- TODAY (@TODAYshow) August 13, 2018

In an audio recording provided by Newman, Trump appears to be unaware that the former combative "Apprentice" contestant had been fired.

Read more Omarosa Onee Manigault-Newman © Drew Angerer Omarosa's tape from inside the Situation Room fuels massive freakout over security

"Omarosa? Omarosa what's going on? I just saw on the news that you're thinking about leaving? What happened?" Trump says in the recording, which Newman claims was made a day after she lost her job at the White House in December 2017.

After Newman tells the president that Kelly had fired her, Trump insists that nobody ever told him about it, adding: "You know they run a big operation, but I didn't know it. I didn't know that. I don't love you leaving at all."

Her appearance on the morning program is part of a press tour for her new book, "Unhinged: An Insider Account of the Trump White House." In it, Newman accuses Trump of regularly dropping N-bombs during tapings of the "The Apprentice." She also claims she was offered hush money in exchange for her silence about her tenure at the White House.

When asked over the weekend by a report if he felt betrayed by Newman, Trump shot back: "Lowlife. She's a lowlife."

[Aug 14, 2018] There was a news that in early July, Viktoria Skripal was invited by A Just Russia Party to run for a seat in Yaroslavl regional elections and she accepted.

Aug 14, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Aug 12, 2018 8:25:50 PM | 22

No idea though if the elections have been held and Viktoria won or lost.

https://en.crimerussia.com/gover/niece-of-skripal-runs-for-yaroslavl-regional-duma-deputy/

Viktoria Skripal spoke to her cousin Julia by phone twice in July: the first time on the 4th, when the two argued and Julia blamed Viktoria for the publicity over the poisoning; the second time towards the end of the month, when Julia apologised to Viktoria after getting Internet access and reading what had been reported in the media. In one of these phone calls, Julia revealed her father was still using a breathing tube.

https://www.theblogmire.com/if-yulia-skripal-now-understands-everything-what-did-they-tell-her-before/

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/sergei-skripal-still-breathing-machine-12987411

[Aug 14, 2018] Skripals affair now looks like a prologue to Russian sanctions imposed by the USA. And that probably was by design like was Magnitsky afair.

Notable quotes:
"... The area of contest is now the rest of the world. America will try to convince the rest of the world to join its sanctions against Russia. Russia will try to convince them not to. ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | russia-insider.com

MarcS • 4 hours ago ,

Hello,
All of this revolves around the imminent fact that the "honest" British spooks are about to get exposed when Trump declassifies the hoax documents about Russian interference (lol) in elections.

I don't understand why Russian economists believe they have to belong to the corrupt, bankrupt us monopoly dollar system? stop all exports of gas, oil to the europe cowards, and any other country that continues to steal the wealth of the Russian resources from its people. A very sick bunch in DC and London.

Turn all of these resources inward to allow the Russian people to prosper, with energy infrastructure, farming techniques with heated greenhouses, etc... hey you have a lot of real farmers in Africa that could spawn new agricultural developments in the east Russian territory, about 15,000 farmers, unbelievable opportunity and resources for Russia to help people from a racially, evil to the core, government in Africa. Boycott all of Africa. There are real people getting killed there, no fake news .

commonsenseadvocate 4 hours ago ,

Does anyone know whether the Skripals are Jewish?

Guy 7 hours ago ,

This is exactly how the West operates ,especially the US and UK. There you have it , right out in open for everyone to see.They have been doing this for a long time , especially since the CIA , part of the shadow government , took control of the Western world. Now it is no longer covert ,it is right in our face. And why they had JFK assassinated ,because he saw what he was up against . Kennedy wanted to smash these covert and corrupted organizations into pieces.

hellen • 10 hours ago ,

Colluding with West for so many years to put down smaller countries is certainly not a quality of an angelic government and the country as Russia has been sometimes painted. Why do we forget tens of millions of Russians abused just across Russian borders, never mentioned by the government that seems only to care about wellbeing of the criminal oligarchs? Why do we forget the collusion against Serbian people that lasted for approximately 20 years and led to the destruction of that small nation? Why do we forget Russian support to numerous UN ( Western) sanctions against many nations around the world? Why do we forget betrayal of Cuba in such devious way by Mr. Putin? Why such contempt towards own nation and its heroes by honouring a Nazi-like figure like Netanyahu on the Victory Parade? Why strangulation of N. Korea? Why ,why.. I actually tend to believe that God is finally acting upon many curses cast on Russian government and is using the US as his chosen tool. Quite a justice.

Truth Teller 11 hours ago ,

I was excoriated and accused of being a liar on RI over the weekend because I quoted this article, originally published in Pravda. The point was made by the one who did this that no Russian or Russian sympathizer (such as the author of this article would want additional sanctions on Russia.

The comparison was that a small amounts of certain types of medicine can be beneficial, but in large doses can be fatal. The gist of the comment was that a small amount of sanctions can be good to bring more independence to the Russian economy, but additional sanctions would be harmful.

Well, now RI itself publishes the article from the idiot Hinchey in asking for more and more sanctions because of how wonderful they will be for Russia.

wimroffel 12 hours ago ,

The area of contest is now the rest of the world. America will try to convince the rest of the world to join its sanctions against Russia. Russia will try to convince them not to.

[Aug 14, 2018] US Intelligence Community is Tearing the Country Apart from the Inside by Dmitry Orlov

Highly recommended!
This is an interesting analysis shedding some light on how the US intelligence services have gone rogue...
Notable quotes:
"... Most recently, British "special services," which are a sort of Mini-Me to the to the Dr. Evil that is the US intelligence apparatus, saw it fit to interfere with one of their own spies, Sergei Skripal, a double agent whom they sprung from a Russian jail in a spy swap. They poisoned him using an exotic chemical and then tried to pin the blame on Russia based on no evidence. ..."
"... the Americans are doing their best to break the unwritten rule against dragging spies through the courts, but their best is nowhere near good enough. ..."
"... That said, there is no reason to believe that the Russian spies couldn't have hacked into the DNC mail server. It was probably running Microsoft Windows, and that operating system has more holes in it than a building in downtown Raqqa, Syria after the Americans got done bombing that city to rubble, lots of civilians included. When questioned about this alleged hacking by Fox News, Putin (who had worked as a spy in his previous career) had trouble keeping a straight face and clearly enjoyed the moment. ..."
"... He pointed out that the hacked/leaked emails showed a clear pattern of wrongdoing: DNC officials conspired to steal the electoral victory in the Democratic Primary from Bernie Sanders, and after this information had been leaked they were forced to resign. If the Russian hack did happen, then it was the Russians working to save American democracy from itself. So, where's the gratitude? Where's the love? Oh, and why are the DNC perps not in jail? ..."
"... The logic of US officials may be hard to follow, but only if we adhere to the traditional definitions of espionage and counterespionage -- "intelligence" in US parlance -- which is to provide validated information for the purpose of making informed decisions on best ways of defending the country. But it all makes perfect sense if we disabuse ourselves of such quaint notions and accept the reality of what we can actually observe: the purpose of US "intelligence" is not to come up with or to work with facts but to simply "make shit up." ..."
"... The objective of US intelligence is to suck all remaining wealth out of the US and its allies and pocket as much of it as possible while pretending to defend it from phantom aggressors by squandering nonexistent (borrowed) financial resources on ineffective and overpriced military operations and weapons systems. Where the aggressors are not phantom, they are specially organized for the purpose of having someone to fight: "moderate" terrorists and so on. ..."
"... "What sort of idiot are you to ask me such a stupid question? Of course they are lying! They were caught lying more than once, and therefore they can never be trusted again. In order to claim that they are not currently lying, you have to determine when it was that they stopped lying, and that they haven't lied since. And that, based on the information that is available, is an impossible task." ..."
"... "The US intelligence agencies made an outrageous claim: that I colluded with Russia to rig the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. The burden of proof is on them. They are yet to prove their case in a court of law, which is the only place where the matter can legitimately be settled, if it can be settled at all. Until that happens, we must treat their claim as conspiracy theory, not as fact." ..."
"... But no such reality-based, down-to-earth dialogue seems possible. All that we hear are fake answers to fake questions, and the outcome is a series of faulty decisions. Based on fake intelligence, the US has spent almost all of this century embroiled in very expensive and ultimately futile conflicts. ..."
"... Thanks to their efforts, Iran, Iraq and Syria have now formed a continuous crescent of religiously and geopolitically aligned states friendly toward Russia while in Afghanistan the Taliban is resurgent and battling ISIS -- an organization that came together thanks to American efforts in Iraq and Syria. ..."
"... Another hypothesis, and a far more plausible one, is that the US intelligence community has been doing a wonderful job of bankrupting the country and driving it toward financial, economic and political collapse by forcing it to engage in an endless series of expensive and futile conflicts -- the largest single continuous act of grand larceny the world has ever known. How that can possibly be an intelligent thing to do to your own country, for any conceivable definition of "intelligence," I will leave for you to work out for yourself. While you are at it, you might also want to come up with an improved definition of "treason": something better than "a skeptical attitude toward preposterous, unproven claims made by those known to be perpetual liars. ..."
Jul 28, 2018 | russia-insider.com
In today's United States, the term "espionage" doesn't get too much use outside of some specific contexts. There is still sporadic talk of industrial espionage, but with regard to Americans' own efforts to understand the world beyond their borders, they prefer the term "intelligence." This may be an intelligent choice, or not, depending on how you look at things.

First of all, US "intelligence" is only vaguely related to the game of espionage as it has been traditionally played, and as it is still being played by countries such as Russia and China. Espionage involves collecting and validating strategically vital information and conveying it to just the pertinent decision-makers on your side while keeping the fact that you are collecting and validating it hidden from everyone else.

In eras past, a spy, if discovered, would try to bite down on a cyanide capsule; these days torture is considered ungentlemanly, and spies that get caught patiently wait to be exchanged in a spy swap. An unwritten, commonsense rule about spy swaps is that they are done quietly and that those released are never interfered with again because doing so would complicate negotiating future spy swaps.

In recent years, the US intelligence agencies have decided that torturing prisoners is a good idea, but they have mostly been torturing innocent bystanders, not professional spies, sometimes forcing them to invent things, such as "Al Qaeda." There was no such thing before US intelligence popularized it as a brand among Islamic terrorists.

Most recently, British "special services," which are a sort of Mini-Me to the to the Dr. Evil that is the US intelligence apparatus, saw it fit to interfere with one of their own spies, Sergei Skripal, a double agent whom they sprung from a Russian jail in a spy swap. They poisoned him using an exotic chemical and then tried to pin the blame on Russia based on no evidence.

There are unlikely to be any more British spy swaps with Russia, and British spies working in Russia should probably be issued good old-fashioned cyanide capsules (since that supposedly super-powerful Novichok stuff the British keep at their "secret" lab in Porton Down doesn't work right and is only fatal 20% of the time).

There is another unwritten, commonsense rule about spying in general: whatever happens, it needs to be kept out of the courts, because the discovery process of any trial would force the prosecution to divulge sources and methods, making them part of the public record. An alternative is to hold secret tribunals, but since these cannot be independently verified to be following due process and rules of evidence, they don't add much value.

A different standard applies to traitors; here, sending them through the courts is acceptable and serves a high moral purpose, since here the source is the person on trial and the method -- treason -- can be divulged without harm. But this logic does not apply to proper, professional spies who are simply doing their jobs, even if they turn out to be double agents. In fact, when counterintelligence discovers a spy, the professional thing to do is to try to recruit him as a double agent or, failing that, to try to use the spy as a channel for injecting disinformation.

Americans have been doing their best to break this rule. Recently, special counsel Robert Mueller indicted a dozen Russian operatives working in Russia for hacking into the DNC mail server and sending the emails to Wikileaks. Meanwhile, said server is nowhere to be found (it's been misplaced) while the time stamps on the files that were published on Wikileaks show that they were obtained by copying to a thumb drive rather than sending them over the internet. Thus, this was a leak, not a hack, and couldn't have been done by anyone working remotely from Russia.

Furthermore, it is an exercise in futility for a US official to indict Russian citizens in Russia. They will never stand trial in a US court because of the following clause in the Russian Constitution: "61.1 A citizen of the Russian Federation may not be deported out of Russia or extradited to another state."

Mueller may summon a panel of constitutional scholars to interpret this sentence, or he can just read it and weep. Yes, the Americans are doing their best to break the unwritten rule against dragging spies through the courts, but their best is nowhere near good enough.

That said, there is no reason to believe that the Russian spies couldn't have hacked into the DNC mail server. It was probably running Microsoft Windows, and that operating system has more holes in it than a building in downtown Raqqa, Syria after the Americans got done bombing that city to rubble, lots of civilians included. When questioned about this alleged hacking by Fox News, Putin (who had worked as a spy in his previous career) had trouble keeping a straight face and clearly enjoyed the moment.

He pointed out that the hacked/leaked emails showed a clear pattern of wrongdoing: DNC officials conspired to steal the electoral victory in the Democratic Primary from Bernie Sanders, and after this information had been leaked they were forced to resign. If the Russian hack did happen, then it was the Russians working to save American democracy from itself. So, where's the gratitude? Where's the love? Oh, and why are the DNC perps not in jail?

Since there exists an agreement between the US and Russia to cooperate on criminal investigations, Putin offered to question the spies indicted by Mueller. He even offered to have Mueller sit in on the proceedings. But in return he wanted to question US officials who may have aided and abetted a convicted felon by the name of William Browder, who is due to begin serving a nine-year sentence in Russia any time now and who, by the way, donated copious amounts of his ill-gotten money to the Hillary Clinton election campaign.

In response, the US Senate passed a resolution to forbid Russians from questioning US officials. And instead of issuing a valid request to have the twelve Russian spies interviewed, at least one US official made the startlingly inane request to have them come to the US instead. Again, which part of 61.1 don't they understand?

The logic of US officials may be hard to follow, but only if we adhere to the traditional definitions of espionage and counterespionage -- "intelligence" in US parlance -- which is to provide validated information for the purpose of making informed decisions on best ways of defending the country. But it all makes perfect sense if we disabuse ourselves of such quaint notions and accept the reality of what we can actually observe: the purpose of US "intelligence" is not to come up with or to work with facts but to simply "make shit up."

The "intelligence" the US intelligence agencies provide can be anything but; in fact, the stupider it is the better, because its purpose is allow unintelligent people to make unintelligent decisions. In fact, they consider facts harmful -- be they about Syrian chemical weapons, or conspiring to steal the primary from Bernie Sanders, or Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, or the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden -- because facts require accuracy and rigor while they prefer to dwell in the realm of pure fantasy and whimsy. In this, their actual objective is easily discernible.

The objective of US intelligence is to suck all remaining wealth out of the US and its allies and pocket as much of it as possible while pretending to defend it from phantom aggressors by squandering nonexistent (borrowed) financial resources on ineffective and overpriced military operations and weapons systems. Where the aggressors are not phantom, they are specially organized for the purpose of having someone to fight: "moderate" terrorists and so on.

One major advancement in their state of the art has been in moving from real false flag operations, à la 9/11, to fake false flag operations, à la fake East Gouta chemical attack in Syria (since fully discredited). The Russian election meddling story is perhaps the final step in this evolution: no New York skyscrapers or Syrian children were harmed in the process of concocting this fake narrative, and it can be kept alive seemingly forever purely through the furious effort of numerous flapping lips. It is now a pure confidence scam. If you are less then impressed with their invented narratives, then you are a conspiracy theorist or, in the latest revision, a traitor.

Trump was recently questioned as to whether he trusted US intelligence. He waffled. A light-hearted answer would have been:

"What sort of idiot are you to ask me such a stupid question? Of course they are lying! They were caught lying more than once, and therefore they can never be trusted again. In order to claim that they are not currently lying, you have to determine when it was that they stopped lying, and that they haven't lied since. And that, based on the information that is available, is an impossible task."

A more serious, matter-of-fact answer would have been:

"The US intelligence agencies made an outrageous claim: that I colluded with Russia to rig the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. The burden of proof is on them. They are yet to prove their case in a court of law, which is the only place where the matter can legitimately be settled, if it can be settled at all. Until that happens, we must treat their claim as conspiracy theory, not as fact."

And a hardcore, deadpan answer would have been:

"The US intelligence services swore an oath to uphold the US Constitution, according to which I am their Commander in Chief. They report to me, not I to them. They must be loyal to me, not I to them. If they are disloyal to me, then that is sufficient reason for their dismissal."

But no such reality-based, down-to-earth dialogue seems possible. All that we hear are fake answers to fake questions, and the outcome is a series of faulty decisions. Based on fake intelligence, the US has spent almost all of this century embroiled in very expensive and ultimately futile conflicts.

Thanks to their efforts, Iran, Iraq and Syria have now formed a continuous crescent of religiously and geopolitically aligned states friendly toward Russia while in Afghanistan the Taliban is resurgent and battling ISIS -- an organization that came together thanks to American efforts in Iraq and Syria.

The total cost of wars so far this century for the US is reported to be $4,575,610,429,593. Divided by the 138,313,155 Americans who file tax returns (whether they actually pay any tax is too subtle a question), it works out to just over $33,000 per taxpayer. If you pay taxes in the US, that's your bill so far for the various US intelligence "oopsies."

The 16 US intelligence agencies have a combined budget of $66.8 billion, and that seems like a lot until you realize how supremely efficient they are: their "mistakes" have cost the country close to 70 times their budget. At a staffing level of over 200,000 employees, each of them has cost the US taxpayer close to $23 million, on average. That number is totally out of the ballpark! The energy sector has the highest earnings per employee, at around $1.8 million per. Valero Energy stands out at $7.6 million per. At $23 million per, the US intelligence community has been doing three times better than Valero. Hats off! This makes the US intelligence community by far the best, most efficient collapse driver imaginable.

There are two possible hypotheses for why this is so.

First, we might venture to guess that these 200,000 people are grossly incompetent and that the fiascos they precipitate are accidental. But it is hard to imagine a situation where grossly incompetent people nevertheless manage to funnel $23 million apiece, on average, toward an assortment of futile undertakings of their choosing. It is even harder to imagine that such incompetents would be allowed to blunder along decade after decade without being called out for their mistakes.

Another hypothesis, and a far more plausible one, is that the US intelligence community has been doing a wonderful job of bankrupting the country and driving it toward financial, economic and political collapse by forcing it to engage in an endless series of expensive and futile conflicts -- the largest single continuous act of grand larceny the world has ever known. How that can possibly be an intelligent thing to do to your own country, for any conceivable definition of "intelligence," I will leave for you to work out for yourself. While you are at it, you might also want to come up with an improved definition of "treason": something better than "a skeptical attitude toward preposterous, unproven claims made by those known to be perpetual liars."

[Aug 14, 2018] Rand Paul Stands Up for Peace by Justin Raimondo

Please support antiwar.com -- a unique antiwar site in the climate of rabid militarism and jingoism...
Notable quotes:
"... "the unlikely, unholy alliance between Rand Paul and Donald Trump, one a libertarian iconoclast, the other the cancerous center of the Republican party" is upsetting to writer Tina Nguyen because the "far left and the far right" are "converging." Or something. Peace with nuclear-armed Russia? That qualifies the Senator as a "wacko bird" and "Putin's perfect stooge." ..."
"... Rand Paul has gone from being an overly cautious presidential candidate who seemed scared of his own noninterventionist shadow to a principled statesman unafraid to take a stand for peace. He is a living example of how people – yes, even politicians – learn and change. His trip to Russia to bring a message of peace and détente at a time when the wolves of the War Party are howling ever louder was an act of courage that should have every person of good will standing and applauding. Bravo, Senator! ..."
Aug 14, 2018 | original.antiwar.com

Libertarians are largely lost in the wilderness of the present era: wandering without a compass, either moral or ideological, and without a clue as to how to get home, never mind reach their ultimate goal of "freedom in our time." Yes, that was the old slogan that we libertarians started out with: an optimistic battle-cry that, today, seems unrealistic, at best. But is it? And if it isn't, who can show us the way forward?

My answer is simple: look at what Sen. Rand Paul is doing, and take a lesson. Instead of weeping and wailing about the loss of a "libertarian moment" that never really happened, Sen. Paul is making a difference. As Politico reports :

" Rand Paul has the ear, and the affection, of the most important person in the White House: President Donald Trump.

"Once bitter rivals on the Republican campaign trail, the Kentucky senator and the commander-in-chief have bonded over a shared delight in thumbing their noses at experts the president likes to deride as 'foreign policy eggheads,' including those who work in his own administration."

When Trump appointed the hawkish John Bolton as his National Security Advisor, the usual suspects crowed that "the neocons have taken over the White House." Never mind that a) Bolton is no neocon, and b) Trump is known for encouraging vigorous debate among his policy advisors while not necessarily agreeing with one or the other – these people, mostly alleged non-interventionists, hate the President for other reasons, and merely seized on the appointment as a convenient talking point. However, this narrative is contradicted by the reports of Sen. Paul's increasing influence in the Oval Office:

"While Trump tolerates his hawkish advisers, the aide added, he shares a real bond with Paul: 'He actually at gut level has the same instincts as Rand Paul.'"

"Paul has quietly emerged as an influential sounding board and useful ally for the president, who frequently clashes with his top advisers on foreign policy. The Kentucky senator's relationship with Trump, developed via frequent cellphone calls and over rounds of golf at the president's Virginia country club, became publicly apparent for the first time on Wednesday when the senator announced he had hand-delivered a letter to the Kremlin on Trump's behalf."

While the Beltway apparatus put together by the Kochs has jumped on the NeverTrump bandwagon with both feet, publicly declaring war on the administration and announcing a de facto alliance with the Democrats, Sen. Paul has made a difference in a key area that the Koch machine has largely abandoned or reversed itself: foreign policy. Here's Politico again:

"Both Paul and Trump routinely rail against foreign entanglements, foreign wars, and foreign aid – positions characterized as isolationist by critics and as 'America first' by the president and his supporters. Even on points of where they disagree, Paul has extracted small victories."

That one area is Iran, and even there it looks like Sen. Paul has his finger in the dike:

"But Trump has stopped short of calling for regime change even though Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and Bolton support it, aligning with Paul instead, according to a GOP foreign policy expert in frequent contact with the White House. '

Rand Paul has persuaded the president that we are not for regime change in Iran,' this person said, because adopting that position would instigate another war in the Middle East."

As the President launches peace initiatives from the Korean peninsula to the steppes of Russia, the virtue-signalers among us pretend that none of that is happening and obsessively descry the decision to exit the Iran deal. Yet where has all their moaning and groaning gotten them? Sen. Paul is single-handedly doing more for peace than any of these bloviating nonentities could dream of.

The hysteria aimed at the President is now directed at Sen. Paul, with the New York Times in what is perhaps mistakenly presented as a "news" article describing the Senator's relationship with the White House in words that are clearly over the top:

"Suddenly, in the mind of the junior senator from Kentucky, Mr. Trump has soared from lower than that speck of dirt to high enough for Mount Rushmore."

One imagines the foam-flecked computer screen of the author was quite a mess well before she reached the end of her jeremiad. Hatred for the President blends and merges with hatred for Russia as the Fourth Estate becomes an instrument in the hands of the War Party. Vanity Fair – that bastion of foreign policy expertise – shrieks that

"the unlikely, unholy alliance between Rand Paul and Donald Trump, one a libertarian iconoclast, the other the cancerous center of the Republican party" is upsetting to writer Tina Nguyen because the "far left and the far right" are "converging." Or something. Peace with nuclear-armed Russia? That qualifies the Senator as a "wacko bird" and "Putin's perfect stooge."

Yeah, suuure it does, Tina: anything you say. Just like those who wanted to end the Vietnam war were "stooges" of Ho Chi Minh. Just like Ronald Reagan getting rid of a whole category of nukes made him a "stooge" of Gorbachev.

And to get down to the real intellectual heavyweight: S. E. Cupp, whose credentials seem to be phony glasses and blondness, vomits up her considered opinion that Sen. Paul is now Putin's "errand boy." Which is far better than being Max Boot's errand girl , but don't anyone tell Iraq war-supporting Ms. Cupp that she has blood on her hands. She feels no need to apologize.

Oh yes, the heavies are out in force, sliming Sen. Paul for defending the President's Helsinki peace initiative with nuclear-armed Russia. Vanity Fair , S. E. Cupp – who's next? Madonna? Women's Wear Daily ?

Rand Paul has gone from being an overly cautious presidential candidate who seemed scared of his own noninterventionist shadow to a principled statesman unafraid to take a stand for peace. He is a living example of how people – yes, even politicians – learn and change. His trip to Russia to bring a message of peace and détente at a time when the wolves of the War Party are howling ever louder was an act of courage that should have every person of good will standing and applauding. Bravo, Senator!

[Aug 14, 2018] Latest Sanctions Against Russia Show Trump Not in Control of His Administration by F. Michael Maloof

It could be the Trump was already deposed as a President by Pompeo.
I never understood appointment of Haley and appointment of Bolton if we assume that Trump is not a neocon and does not want to continue previous administration policies. Haley is kind of Sikh variant of Samantha Power. Bolton is probably as bad as Wolfowitz. Pompeo also can be viewed as Hillary 2.0.
Notable quotes:
"... In addition, the US has delivered an ultimatum, saying that if Russia does not give assurances within 90 days that it will no longer use chemical weapons and allow international inspectors to inspect its production facilities, further sanctions will be implemented. But Russia denies it used chemical weapons. Unlike the US, it destroyed its chemical weapons stockpile in accordance with international treaties. ..."
"... The legislation gave a 60-day window to begin implementation of sanctions after the Trump administration determined that the now-British citizen Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by a strain of the Novichok nerve-agent. The US came to that conclusion following an initial determination by the British government. ..."
"... However, the US administration missed the deadline by more than a month. That prompted Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, to write a letter to Trump some two weeks ago slamming the president for ignoring the deadline. ..."
"... Strangely, a government research facility at Porton Down in Amesbury, not far from Salisbury where the alleged March poisoning took place, examined the strain of Novichok. Porton Down lab does work for British Defense Science and Technology Laboratory, run by the Ministry of Defense, and the Public Health England. ..."
"... All of this makes makes the issue as to why Britain, and even the US, never wanted to share samples taken from the poisoning of the Skripals with Moscow more concerning. Yet, they all went ahead in lock-step to condemn Moscow for the poisoning, without any evidence, suggesting a more sinister reason for lobbying increased sanctions against Russia with the goal of further isolating the country. ..."
"... It reflects the need especially by the US to have a demon in an effort to justify its defense spending to bolster NATO up to the border of the Russian Federation in the form of a new containment policy that launched the Cold War in the first place. ..."
"... With even further sanctions against Russia in the recently passed Defense Department Authorization Bill about to go into effect, it is becoming apparent that the allegations against Russia are politically-motivated, false flag allegations to be used as an excuse for a greater geostrategic reason -- to contain Russia just as the Trump administration is increasingly finding its US-led unilateral world order being challenged more than ever. ..."
"... Trump talks about better relations with Russia, but the actions of his own administration in demonizing Moscow dictate otherwise. ..."
Aug 10, 2018 | russia-insider.com
Forget about running the Empire or the American state. Trump isn't even in control of his team US President Donald Trump is not in control of his own administration, as evidenced by the latest round of sanctions imposed against Russia for the alleged involvement in the poisoning of the Skripals in the UK in March.

The sanctions came the same day that US Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced on a trip to Moscow that he had handed over a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin from Trump calling for better relations between the two countries. For that reason, the timing appears to be suspect, suggesting strongly that Trump has his own foreign policy while the Trump administration, comprised mainly of bureaucrats referred to as the Deep State, have their own. Right now, they appear to be in control, not President Trump, over his own administration, and it is having the adverse effect of further alienating Washington and Moscow.

The neocons, led by National Security Advisor John Bolton, along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, comprise the Trump " war cabinet " ostensibly aimed at directing a harder line toward Syria, North Korea, Iran but also Russia. Bolton, in particular, has been outspoken in calling for regime change in some of these countries. Trump not so much so. In fact, he has said just the opposite. Nevertheless, their anti-Russian flair in Washington has breathed new life into the neocons who, along with the Democrats, Deep State and much of the mainstream media, have pushed the false narrative of collusion between Russia and Trump.

This persistent anti-Russian rant and repeated sanctions which have been imposed have had the effect of leading to further threats of sanctions for questionable reasons, raising the potential prospect of suspension of diplomatic ties.

Even at the height of the Cold War, relations between the US and Russia never reached such low depths as they have now. The latest sanctions affect primarily dual-use technologies which are civilian products with potential military applications. They include gas turbine engines, electronics and integrated circuits which will now be denied. Previous sanctions going back to the Obama administration, however, already imposed bans on many of these dual-use technologies.

In addition, the US has delivered an ultimatum, saying that if Russia does not give assurances within 90 days that it will no longer use chemical weapons and allow international inspectors to inspect its production facilities, further sanctions will be implemented. But Russia denies it used chemical weapons. Unlike the US, it destroyed its chemical weapons stockpile in accordance with international treaties.

Implementation of the sanctions stem from provisions of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991.

The legislation gave a 60-day window to begin implementation of sanctions after the Trump administration determined that the now-British citizen Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by a strain of the Novichok nerve-agent. The US came to that conclusion following an initial determination by the British government.

However, the US administration missed the deadline by more than a month. That prompted Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, to write a letter to Trump some two weeks ago slamming the president for ignoring the deadline.

Curiously, the British government hasn't implemented similar sanctions, although the US has. It may reflect the continued uncertainty among some British politicians and experts over the origin of the Novichok and concern with Britain's trade dependency on Russia. But since the Americans opted to implement sanctions due to existing legislation, there was apparently no objection from London even though it initially implemented sanctions by kicking out Russian diplomats from the country.

Moscow, however, vehemently denied that it was involved in the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter. Novichok was created by Russian scientists during the Cold War but never used on the battlefield. Russian officials asked Britain for evidence of Russian involvement and called for a joint investigation to be conducted by the Kremlin and British governments.

The British government repeatedly turned down the offer, as did other Western members of the United Nations Security Council, the US and France, when Moscow sought such a joint investigation.

The US claimed that the information linking the poison to Russia was " classified ."

Strangely, a government research facility at Porton Down in Amesbury, not far from Salisbury where the alleged March poisoning took place, examined the strain of Novichok. Porton Down lab does work for British Defense Science and Technology Laboratory, run by the Ministry of Defense, and the Public Health England.

Results from the examination confirmed the poison was a form of Novichok but – importantly – could not determine where the poison had been created or who had used it. This development created further confusion and prompted disputes among politicians.

It is known that samples of Novichok have been in the hands of many NATO countries for years after the German foreign intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst, or BND, had reportedly obtained a sample from a Russian defector in the 1990s.

The formula was later shared with Britain, the US, France, Canada and the Netherlands, where small quantities of Novichok reportedly were produced in an effort to develop countermeasures. Porton Down labs similarly had received samples to study. Czech President Milos Zeman recently admitted that his country synthesized and tested a form of Novichok. Sweden and Slovakia also have the technical capability to produce the nerve agent, according to Russian officials.

All of this makes makes the issue as to why Britain, and even the US, never wanted to share samples taken from the poisoning of the Skripals with Moscow more concerning. Yet, they all went ahead in lock-step to condemn Moscow for the poisoning, without any evidence, suggesting a more sinister reason for lobbying increased sanctions against Russia with the goal of further isolating the country.

It reflects the need especially by the US to have a demon in an effort to justify its defense spending to bolster NATO up to the border of the Russian Federation in the form of a new containment policy that launched the Cold War in the first place.

With even further sanctions against Russia in the recently passed Defense Department Authorization Bill about to go into effect, it is becoming apparent that the allegations against Russia are politically-motivated, false flag allegations to be used as an excuse for a greater geostrategic reason -- to contain Russia just as the Trump administration is increasingly finding its US-led unilateral world order being challenged more than ever.

The reason, however, isn't due to anything that Moscow initiated but by Trump himself who isn't in control of his own administration, and maybe never has been. Many of his campaign promises such as dropping out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or Iranian nuclear agreement, the threat of sanctions against any company that trades with Iran, his tariff war with US allies are in conflict with each other, leading to increased world instability. At the same time, Trump talks about better relations with Russia, but the actions of his own administration in demonizing Moscow dictate otherwise.

F. Michael Maloof is a former Pentagon security analyst.

[Aug 13, 2018] FBI Reveals Maria Butina Traded Sex In Exchange For All 62,984,828 Votes Trump Received In 2016

Jul 19, 2018 | politics.theonion.com
WASHINGTON -- Saying that their investigation indicated her involvement in election interference went deeper than previously believed, the FBI revealed Thursday that Russian agent Maria Butina traded sex in exchange for all 62,984,828 votes Donald Trump received for president in 2016. "Our inquiry into Ms. Butina

[Aug 13, 2018] Cold War in the Sauna Notes From a Russian American by Pavel Kozhevnikov

Aug 13, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

I had just finished exercising and went to the sauna. The gym I go to is a modern facility with new equipment and is very popular in our city.

My favorite parts are the sauna and the steamer. Both remind me of my old country – Russia. Though, to be politically and geographically correct – I never lived in Russia: I was born and raised in one of the fifteen republics of the former USSR – the republic of Kazakhstan.

So, I am a Russian from Kazakhstan. It's kind of confusing for Americans, and when twenty-six years ago my American wife brought me here, the customs official gave me an alien card where my nationality was stated not Russian but Kazakh. My friends make fun of me, because Russians and Kazakhs are like apples and oranges. We look different

In 1992, when I arrived in America, the relationship between the two cold war rivals was excellent: Americans traveled to Russia, opening McDonalds, KFC's, Burger Kings, and other businesses, and Russians were opening not only their hearts but even the secrets of the overthrown KGB. Millions of Russians and Americans enjoyed such a "romance" between the two most powerful nuclear countries in the world.

Not anymore! Every morning I wake up to the words, "Russia is terrible," and go to sleep with the humiliating jokes of the "night-show-clowns" about "the dictator" Putin and "barbaric" Russians, whose 13 hackers changed the electoral minds of millions of naïve Americans. Wow! What a powerful "gasoline station country"- Russia, as Senator McCain calls it.

If in 1992 the people in my city who heard my accent were very nice to me and to Russia, now the usual reaction is to stare at me like a goat at the newly painted gates. One of my neighbors even yelled at me when I answered his question about my recent trip to Russia. I told him: "Russians like Putin because he saved their country from collapse. I saw with my own eyes how Russia has changed since my last trip there. I didn't see the impact of Obama's sanctions, Russians have better roads, than we have in Colorado; the shops, are filled with all kinds of products; the churches are restored "

My neighbor who didn't like Trump yelled at me: "If you like Russia go back to your country!" My answer was: "I love Russia but I am American – like your immigrant wife, like you. I love America for a lot of reasons, one of them – the right to speak! Nobody should privatize this right." He ran away, later coming to apologize

My wife, knowing my hard-tempered character asks me not to talk about policy – Putin-Trump anymore. And I don't, to a certain degree. However, when someone asks me about Russia or Putin I usually answer, giving my point of view; I just cannot be silent. I was silent for 40+ years living in the USSR, not anymore! Of course, not everyone likes my answers, like the man I am going to tell you about.

So, I went into the sauna; a stout man was sitting on the upper bench. He was the same age as I. Many of the older men in America call ourselves "old farts." The name is not offensive to us, because we really do not care about our image, and because we like to make jokes about everything, mostly about ourselves. Usually, we old farts are nice, we love to talk, even in the sauna. Young people nowadays do not talk. They turn on their phones even in the sauna – I bet they do not know how to talk with other people. They cover their "secrets" in towels while we do not – we do not have any secrets anymore.

Anyway, the man said hello to me, I answered, and he caught my slight accent.

"Where are you from?" It's a question I am usually asked.

"From here." I answered.

He was a little confused. I knew what usually followed if I had said – "from Kazakhstan." Usually, there would be an exchange of this type: "Where is it?" – "Between Russia and China," – "How do you like it here?" The silly film "Borat" helped me for a short period of time. People were smiling, as if they met Sasha Cohen, and I was happy that at least they knew some geography, though the film was silly and the geography in it was completely mistaken.

"No, I mean originally where are you from?" The guy, let's call him Tony, found the right question.

I decided not to check his geography skills and said that I came from Russia. The dialog that followed was remarkable. Here it is.

"Welcome to America! Your English is pretty good!"

"Yours, too." He didn't get my humor. "Just joking," I said, "As for welcoming, it's a little late: I have lived here for 25 years."

"Have you been in Russia lately?" He asked.

"Yes, I go there every year."

"Wow. So, what do you think about that crazy guy , Pyutin?"

"Sorry, honey," – I apologized to my wife in my thoughts and picked up the gauntlet. "You mean Putin? He is not crazy. Actually, he is one of the smartest rulers Russia ever had." I said.

Tony's eyes nearly leaped from their sockets. "But he is a dictator and kills people!"

"I wouldn't call him a dictator – he was just last week elected by nearly 67% of Russians. I would call him an authoritarian, strong ruler; but a weak ruler in Russia wouldn't survive a day. Besides, there were seven people opposed him in the election!"

Tony smiled. "You call it an election? He chose the opponents himself from his friends. The whole world knows that elections in Russia are a sham!"

"Who told you this nonsense, Tony? Did you listen to the debates? Did you hear how these people yelled at each other and cursed Putin, asking people to vote for them not for Putin. They really were as tough as Hillary to Donald! And besides, there were a lot of observers from 110 countries. They claimed the election was legitimate."

"No, I do not believe you."

"You may not believe me but I am citing the international organizations reports. You may check their reports on the Internet yourself. You may even sue these organizations if you wish."

Tony was silent for a minute, then turned his head to me and asked: "You know that Pyutin is evil even to his own people?"

"You mean Putin? Who told you? How many Russians share your opinion?"

"McCain."

"Is he Russian?"

"No, but he knows that Pyutin is KGB."

"His name is Putin!" I tried to correct at least this in his mind. "So, you do not believe me, a Russian, who just returned from Russia, but you believe this Senator, who hates Putin and Russia? Besides, there are no KGB anymore."

"But he used to be KGB?"

"Yes, and Bush H. was also a CIA agent. So, what? After the collapse of the Soviet Union there were no people who didn't work for government in that country, we all worked for government! Putin is good for Russia, he is the brightest politician nowadays. He is like a great Chess-master, and he is a dangerous player. We must be careful with him. Some Congressmen are underestimating Russia, calling it "a gasoline station with nukes," but I was there this summer and saw with my own eyes how much people love Putin, and how much he is doing to make that country great again."

"Yeh, yeh, yeh " Tony didn't know what to say. Then he recalled something and turned his red face to me. "Well, he invaded Crimea, and Ukraine!"

"No, he did not. Crimea was a harbor for the Russian navy, and according to the treaty between Ukraine and Russia there were sixteen thousand Russian troops stationed there on a permanent base. There were about twenty-three thousand Ukrainian troops there, too. So, when the thugs in Kiev took power, illegally kicking out president Yanukovych and killing the political opponents, the Crimean people decided to organize a referendum. Ninety-six percent decided to reunite with Russia, as they were Russians for nearly 400 years before the Communist dictator Khrushchev gave that peninsula to Ukraine as a present to his native land."

"But they had no right to secede from the main land of Ukraine!"

"Yes, they did. International law gives the right for self-determination to people. Remember, we split from the British Empire."

"But it was so long ago!"

"Okay, what about East and West Germany or Kosovo? The people in these countries also exercised their right of self-determination, but they didn't have any referendum as far as I know."

Tony looked at me attentively. "I don't believe you."

"You have the right not to believe me. You asked, I answered."

Tony was silent for a while. Then he threw out his last argument. "I hope you wouldn't deny that Putin killed British citizens recently, using KGB gas!"

Wow, he pronounced "Putin" correctly! I smiled. The nice face of my American wife appeared in my head again, and she was not happy! I kissed her in my thoughts and finished the conversation with my last knockout blow:

"I wouldn't deny it if the poisoning by Russians had been proved!"

"But it was proved by Teresa May!"

"Really? What did she say?"

"She said that it was Putin who poisoned the British citizens!"

"Not really, my friend. She said that it was "highly likely" that Russia did it! Besides, only Mr. Skripal is a British citizen, his daughter is a Russian citizen"

"Does it make any difference?"

"You mean, "highly likely" is proof to punish somebody? What about one of the main pillars of democracy – innocent until proven guilty?"

"But we believe our allies, not the Russians!"

That statement made me laugh. "You believe not facts but political statements without any facts? Wow! What kind of democracy is that?"

Tony's face became so red that I was afraid it would melt. He stood up from the bench and without looking at me firmly said:

"Russians are our enemies, and democracy does not apply to them."

He left, leaving me with a sudden fear of approaching nuclear war.

At night I prayed for peace. I prayed for American and Russian people-in-power who could easily destroy this fragile planet. If people refuse to understand each other, they fight. Kennedy and Khrushchev fortunately understood this. Will Putin and Trump understand?

Pavel Kozhevnikov was born in Kazakhstan. In 1992 he married an American woman and relocated to Colorado, USA, where he worked in a variety of business ventures and taught various subjects including Russian at Mitchell High School as well as at Pikes Peak Community College and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Pavel continues to enjoy teaching Russian at the local community college and university and devotes his free time to writing. He has published four books of stories and poems as well as numerous articles for newspapers and journals in Russia, Germany, Kazakhstan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

[Aug 11, 2018] President Trump the most important achivement

Highly recommended!
The FAKE NEWS media (failing @ nytimes , @ NBCNews , @ ABC , @ CBS , @ CNN ) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People! ~ Donald Trump
On Thursday, Mr. Trump expressed his distaste for journalists in more populist terms, saying, "much of the media in Washington, D.C., along with New York, Los Angeles in particular, speaks not for the people, but for the special interests."
"The public doesn't believe you people anymore," Mr. Trump added. "Now, maybe I had something to do with that. I don't know. But they don't believe you."
Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Financial Times, NBC, CNN, ABC ..."
Aug 11, 2018 | www.unz.com

President Trump has denounced and exposed the repeated deceits and ongoing fabrications of the mass media. Never before has a President so forcefully identified the lies of the leading print and TV outlets. The NY Times , Washington Post , the Financial Times, NBC, CNN, ABC and CBS have been thoroughly discredited in the eyes of the larger public. They have lost legitimacy and trust. Where progressives have failed, a war monger billionaire has accomplished, speaking a truth to serve many injustices.

[Aug 11, 2018] US State Dept sanctions against Russia aimed at 'undercutting' Trump, analysts say

Aug 11, 2018 | www.legitgov.org

US State Dept sanctions against Russia aimed at 'undercutting' Trump, analysts say | 09 Aug 2018 | The US State Department decision to blame Russia for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal without any evidence amounts to "flicking matches in a gasoline-filled room," former US diplomat Jim Jatras told RT.

The announcement of sanctions on Wednesday came despite the fact that the US is entirely aware that Russia was not responsible for the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, UK in March, he said.

"This is a political demand... this is designed to undercut the overtures from the Trump administration for President Trump directly and also Senator Rand Paul - now in Moscow - to warm relations with Russia." Former Pentagon official Michael Maloof echoed that sentiment, telling RT that "you have Donald Trump's foreign policy and you now have the Trump administration's foreign policy."

He added that the sanctions are being orchestrated by the deep state to "make the president look bad and basically to corner him."

[ Exactly. Poisoning was likely executed by MI6 or CIA, to sabotage the US relationship with Russia at the behest of the Deep State .]

[Aug 10, 2018] US slanders Russia with new sanctions over Skripal poisoning hoax

This is attack on ruble. Kind of Magnitsky II set of moves. Strange if view of Trump supposed attempt to split Russia and China in Helsinki. You should chose a single target in such cases.
Sanctions weaken the effect of Iranian sanctions. While the goal is to undermine the Russian economy -- the effect of negative expectations is always stronger than a onetime action -- 90 days allow to avoid big financial losses for major banks. The requirement of inspection of Russia objects is from Iraq war textbook.
Notable quotes:
"... Russian Ruble has fallen to a new 2018 low against the American dollar. Trading went over 66 rubles to the dollar. ..."
"... This marks almost a 20% devaluation in the currency since April of this year, and the worst valuation since mid-November, 2016. ..."
"... For our part, we reiterated our principle [sic] stands on the events in the UK, which the Embassy had been outlining in corresponding letters to the State Department. We confirmed that we continue to strongly stand for an open and transparent investigation of the crime committed in Salisbury and for bringing the culprits to justice , ..."
"... This pattern of throwing out destructive slander while refusing to provide opportunity for a real answer has permeated American policy towards the Russian Federation with increasing intensity since 2013. ..."
Aug 10, 2018 | theduran.com
sanctions was apparently enough to create jitters on the Russian stock exchanges, and the Russian Ruble has fallen to a new 2018 low against the American dollar. Trading went over 66 rubles to the dollar.

This marks almost a 20% devaluation in the currency since April of this year, and the worst valuation since mid-November, 2016.

This incident has not gone unanswered in Moscow. The Russian Embassy in the United States called for documentation about the source and reasoning behind these new sanctions, as reported by TASS:

The Russian embassy in the United States has called on the US Department of State to publish correspondence on the introduction of new sanctions on Moscow over the Skripal incident, the embassy said in a statement.

" For our part, we reiterated our principle [sic] stands on the events in the UK, which the Embassy had been outlining in corresponding letters to the State Department. We confirmed that we continue to strongly stand for an open and transparent investigation of the crime committed in Salisbury and for bringing the culprits to justice , " the statement reads.

"We suggested publishing our correspondence on this issue. No answer has followed so far," the Russian embassy added.

This pattern of throwing out destructive slander while refusing to provide opportunity for a real answer has permeated American policy towards the Russian Federation with increasing intensity since 2013. It reveals the machinations of a very divided American government, with the "deep State" or establishment politicians and foreign policy makers completely unwilling to even give Russia a fair shake at representing itself. This policy is shared by the United Kingdom, as this piece by The Duran's Editor in Chief, Alexander Mercouris shows, with this summary of violations of due process the British authorities are committing with regard to Russia:

(1) The British government is interfering in the conduct of a criminal investigation, with Prime Minister Theresa May and especially Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson pointing fingers at who they say is guilty (Russia) whilst the criminal investigation is still underway;

(2) The British government has said that unless Russia proves itself innocent within a specific time the British government will conclude that it is guilty. As I have explained previously this reverses the burden of proof : in a criminal case it is the prosecution which is supposed to prove the defendant's guilt, not the defendant who must prove his innocence;

(3) The British government refuses to share with Russia -- the party it says is guilty -- the 'evidence' upon which it says it has concluded that Russia is guilty, the evidence in this case being a sample of the chemical with which it says Sergey and Yulia Skripal was poisoned.

This violates the fundamental principle that the defendant must be provided with all the evidence against him so that he can properly prepare his defence;

(4) The British government is not following the procedure set out in Article IX (2) of the Chemical Weapons Convention to which both Britain and Russia are parties. This reads as follows

States Parties should, whenever possible, first make every effort to clarify and resolve, through exchange of information and consultations among themselves, any matter which may cause doubt about compliance with this Convention, or which gives rise to concerns about a related matter which may be considered ambiguous. A State Party which receives a request from another State Party for clarification of any matter which the requesting State Party believes causes such a doubt or concern shall provide the requesting State Party as soon as possible, but in any case not later than ten days after the request, with information sufficient to answer the doubt or concern raised along with an explanation of how the information provided resolves the matter.

(5) The British authorities are denying the Russians consular access to Yulia Skripal, though she is a Russian citizen who the British authorities say was subjected to a criminal assault on their territory.

This is a potentially serious matter since by preventing consular access to Yulia Skripal the British authorities are not only violating the interstate consular arrangements which exist between Britain and Russia, but they are preventing the Russian authorities from learning more about the condition of one of their citizens who has been hospitalised following a violent criminal assault, and are preventing the Russian authorities from carrying out their own investigation into the assault on one of their citizens which the British authorities say has taken place.

I would add that this obstruction of Russian consular access to Yulia Skripal has gone almost entirely unreported in the British and Western media.

The Americans are playing the same game here, and, regrettably, President Trump's overtures towards repairing this relationship are almost sure to be torn out from under him by the actions of this virulent group of people. It is quite possible that this is the very reason for these new sanctions.

The perspective of the American government as one divided, with a rabid force in favor of continuing to isolate and vilify a great power in the world for no good reason, is sure to have repercussions. However, given the gradual realignment of Russia and China to be in closer and closer partnership, and Russia's increasing prominence in Asian and Eastern Hemisphere affairs, the end result of this behavior is likely to damage the United States and its standing in the world over the long run.

Shadow1275 Thu, 08/09/2018 - 23:21 Permalink

The National Socialist Workers Party:

1. Implemented Health care

2. Outlawed firearms

3. Froze Wages

4. Focused on government work projects

5. Implemented controls on Free Speech

6. Focused on violence through brownshirt stormtroopers who beat up any who disagreed

7. Had an intelligence service which focused on crushing dissent and spying on its own people

8. Placed more power in the central government and state then any Nation before it.

All of the above are things proposed or carried out by leftists. It is almost as if the true parties espoused by people are those who support individualism and those who support collectivism. Spoiler alert for the Leftist retards: Power corrupts and Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Your Statist Sanders Utopia will never come to fruition. The "Kind Socialist Politicians" will sell you out to the elite in a heartbeat.

All you are doing is focusing the power of your society into one single glass for the Elite to sip as they assfuck you into oblivion, Death toll of all of these Statist Nations, IE Imperial Japan, Soviet Union, Communist China, the People's "Republic" of Korea, etc is over 200,000,000 and counting.

How is it that the acronym NAZI Literally has the word SOCIALIST in it and people still think they were right wing??? Why is this such a hard concept to grasp for the average individual?

.....And how is Trump like Hitler exactly???????

[Aug 10, 2018] Butina Case Neo-McCarthyism Engulfs America

Several US lobbing organizations leadership should probably also be arrested if the same criteria is applied...
Aug 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Phillip Giraldi via The Stratgeic Culture Foundation,

The United States Department of Justice would apparently have you believe that the Kremlin sought to subvert the five-million-member strong National Rifle Association (NRA) by having two Russian citizens take out life memberships in the organization with the intention of corrupting it and turning it into a mouthpiece for President Vladimir Putin.

Both of the Russians – Maria Butina and Alexander Torshin – have, by the way, long well documented histories as advocates for gun ownership and were founders of Right to Bear Arms, which is not an intelligence front organization of some kind and is rather a genuine lobbying group with an active membership and agenda.

Contrary to what has been reported in the mainstream media, Russians can own guns but the licensing and registration procedures are long and complicated, which Right to Bear Arms, modeling itself on the NRA, is seeking to change.

Maria Butina, a graduate student at American University, is now in solitary confinement in a federal prison, having been charged with collusion with Torshin and failure to register as an agent of the Russian Federation. It is unusual to arrest and confine someone who has failed to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, but she has not been granted bail because, as a Russian citizen, she is considered to be a "flight risk," likely to try to flee the US and return home. It is to be presumed that she is being pressured to identify others involved in her alleged scheme to overthrow American democracy through NRA membership.

Indeed, in any event, it would be difficult to imagine why anyone would consider the NRA to be a legitimate intelligence target. It only flexes its admitted powerful legislative muscles over issues relating to gun ownership, not regarding policy on Russia. In short, Butina and by extension Torshin appear to have done nothing wrong. Both are energetic advocates for their country and guns rights, which they appear to believe in, and Butina's aggressive networking has broken no law except not registering, which in itself assumes that she is a Russian government agent, something that has not been demonstrated. To put the shoe on the other foot, will every American who now travels to Russia and engages in political conversations with local people be suspected of acting as an agent of the US government? Once you open the door, it swings both ways.

One might dismiss the entire Affair Butina as little more than a reflection of the anti-Russia hysteria that has been sweeping the United States since Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election, but that would be unfair to those remaining honest FBI agents who may have investigated Butina and Torshin and come up with what they believed to be a plausible case for an indictment . There were possibly suspicious money transfers as well as email intercepts that might be interpreted as incriminating.

But two important elements are clearly missing.

The first is motive. Did the Kremlin seriously believe that it could get anything substantial out of having a gun totin' attractive young Russian woman as a life member in the NRA? What did the presumed puppet masters in Moscow expect to obtain apart from the sorts of group photos including Butina that one gets while posing with politicians at the annual NRA convention? Sure, the photo might even evolve into a cup of coffee together, but what is the end game?

Second is the lack of any of the hallmarks of an intelligence operation, which is referred to in the business as tradecraft. Spies meet secretly or at least outside the public eye with prospective agents whereas Maria operated completely in the open and she made no effort to conceal her love for her country and her desire that Washington and Moscow normalize relations. Spies also communicate securely, which means that they use encrypted systems or various cut-outs, i.e. mis-directions, when maintaining contact with those who are running them. Again, Maria did none of that, which is why the FBI has her emails. Also spies work under what is referred to as an "operating directive" in CIA-speak where they have very specific information that they seek to obtain from their contacts. There is no indication that Maria Butina in any way sought classified information or intelligence that would relate either to the security of the United States or to America's political system. And finally, Maria made no attempt to recruit anyone and turn them into an actual controlled Russian agent, which is what spies eventually seek to do.

It has come down to this: if you are a Russian and you are caught talking to anyone in any way influential, there is potentially hell to pay because the FBI will be watching you. You are automatically assumed to be part of a conspiracy. Once "evidence" is collected, you will be indicted and sent to prison, mostly to send a message to Moscow.

It is the ultimate irony that how the old Soviet Union's judiciary used to function is now becoming standing operating procedure in the United States.

[Aug 08, 2018] Ten Bombshell Revelations From Seymour Hersh's New Autobiography

Highly recommended!
Aug 08, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Here are ten bombshell revelations and fascinating new details to lately come out of both Sy Hersh's new book, Reporter , as well as interviews he's given since publication...

1) On a leaked Bush-era intelligence memo outlining the neocon plan to remake the Middle East

(Note: though previously alluded to only anecdotally by General Wesley Clark in his memoir and in a 2007 speech , the below passage from Seymour Hersh is to our knowledge the first time this highly classified memo has been quoted . Hersh's account appears to corroborate now retired Gen. Clark's assertion that days after 9/11 a classified memo outlining plans to foster regime change in "7 countries in 5 years" was being circulated among intelligence officials.)

From Reporter: A Memoir pg. 306 -- A few months after the invasion of Iraq, during an interview overseas with a general who was director of a foreign intelligence service, I was provided with a copy of a Republican neocon plan for American dominance in the Middle East. The general was an American ally, but one who was very rattled by the Bush/Cheney aggression. I was told that the document leaked to me initially had been obtained by someone in the local CIA station. There was reason to be rattled: The document declared that the war to reshape the Middle East had to begin "with the assault on Iraq. The fundamental reason for this... is that the war will start making the U.S. the hegemon of the Middle East. The correlative reason is to make the region feel in its bones, as it were, the seriousness of American intent and determination." Victory in Iraq would lead to an ultimatum to Damascus, the "defanging" of Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization, and other anti-Israeli groups. America's enemies must understand that "they are fighting for their life: Pax Americana is on its way, which implies their annihilation." I and the foreign general agreed that America's neocons were a menace to civilization.

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

* * *

2) On early regime change plans in Syria

From Reporter: A Memoir pages 306-307 -- Donald Rumsfeld was also infected with neocon fantasy. Turkey had refused to permit America's Fourth Division to join the attack of Iraq from its territory, and the division, with its twenty-five thousand men and women, did not arrive in force inside Iraq until mid-April, when the initial fighting was essentially over. I learned then that Rumsfeld had asked the American military command in Stuttgart, Germany, which had responsibility for monitoring Europe, including Syria and Lebanon, to begin drawing up an operational plan for an invasion of Syria. A young general assigned to the task refused to do so, thereby winning applause from my friends on the inside and risking his career. The plan was seen by those I knew as especially bizarre because Bashar Assad, the ruler of secular Syria, had responded to 9/11 by sharing with the CIA hundreds of his country's most sensitive intelligence files on the Muslim Brotherhood in Hamburg, where much of the planning for 9/11 was carried out... Rumsfeld eventually came to his senses and back down, I was told...

3) On the Neocon deep state which seized power after 9/11

From Reporter: A Memoir pages 305-306 -- I began to comprehend that eight or nine neoconservatives who were political outsiders in the Clinton years had essentially overthrown the government of the United States -- with ease . It was stunning to realize how fragile our Constitution was. The intellectual leaders of that group -- Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Perle -- had not hidden their ideology and their belief in the power of the executive but depicted themselves in public with a great calmness and a self-assurance that masked their radicalism . I had spent many hours after 9/11 in conversations with Perle that, luckily for me, helped me understand what was coming. (Perle and I had been chatting about policy since the early 1980s, but he broke off relations in 1993 over an article I did for The New Yorker linking him, a fervent supporter of Israel, to a series of meetings with Saudi businessmen in an attempt to land a multibillion-dollar contract from Saudi Arabia . Perle responded by publicly threatening to sue me and characterizing me as a newspaper terrorist. He did not sue.

Meanwhile, Cheney had emerged as a leader of the neocon pack. From 9/11 on he did all he could to undermine congressional oversight. I learned a great deal from the inside about his primacy in the White House , but once again I was limited in what I would write for fear of betraying my sources...

I came to understand that Cheney's goal was to run his most important military and intelligence operations with as little congressional knowledge, and interference, as possible. I was fascinating and important to learn what I did about Cheney's constant accumulation of power and authority as vice president , but it was impossible to even begin to verify the information without running the risk that Cheney would learn of my questioning and have a good idea from whom I was getting the information.

4) On Russian meddling in the US election

From the recent Independent interview based on his autobiography -- Hersh has vociferously strong opinions on the subject and smells a rat. He states that there is "a great deal of animosity towards Russia. All of that stuff about Russia hacking the election appears to be preposterous." He has been researching the subject but is not ready to go public yet.

Hersh quips that the last time he heard the US defense establishment have high confidence, it was regarding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He points out that the NSA only has moderate confidence in Russian hacking. It is a point that has been made before; there has been no national intelligence estimate in which all 17 US intelligence agencies would have to sign off. "When the intel community wants to say something they say it High confidence effectively means that they don't know."

5) On the Novichok poisoning

From the recent Independent interview -- Hersh is also on the record as stating that the official version of the Skripal poisoning does not stand up to scrutiny. He tells me: "The story of novichok poisoning has not held up very well. He [Skripal] was most likely talking to British intelligence services about Russian organised crime." The unfortunate turn of events with the contamination of other victims is suggestive, according to Hersh, of organised crime elements rather than state-sponsored actions –though this files in the face of the UK government's position.

Hersh modestly points out that these are just his opinions. Opinions or not, he is scathing on Obama – "a trimmer articulate [but] far from a radical a middleman". During his Goldsmiths talk, he remarks that liberal critics underestimate Trump at their peril.

He ends the Goldsmiths talk with an anecdote about having lunch with his sources in the wake of 9/11 . He vents his anger at the agencies for not sharing information. One of his CIA sources fires back: "Sy you still don't get it after all these years – the FBI catches bank robbers, the CIA robs banks." It is a delicious, if cryptic aphorism.

* * *

6) On the Bush-era 'Redirection' policy of arming Sunni radicals to counter Shia Iran, which in a 2007 New Yorker article Hersh accurately predicted would set off war in Syria

From the Independent interview : [Hersh] tells me it is "amazing how many times that story has been reprinted" . I ask about his argument that US policy was designed to neutralize the Shia sphere extending from Iran to Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon and hence redraw the Sykes-Picot boundaries for the 21st century.

He goes on to say that Bush and Cheney "had it in for Iran", although he denies the idea that Iran was heavily involved in Iraq: "They were providing intel, collecting intel The US did many cross-border hunts to kill ops [with] much more aggression than Iran"...

He believes that the Trump administration has no memory of this approach. I'm sure though that the military-industrial complex has a longer memory...

I press him on the RAND and Stratfor reports including one authored by Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz in which they envisage deliberate ethno-sectarian partitioning of Iraq . Hersh ruefully states that: "The day after 9/11 we should have gone to Russia. We did the one thing that George Kennan warned us never to do – to expand NATO too far."

* * *

7) On the official 9/11 narrative

From the Independent interview : We end up ruminating about 9/11, perhaps because it is another narrative ripe for deconstruction by sceptics. Polling shows that a significant proportion of the American public believes there is more to the truth. These doubts have been reinforced by the declassification of the suppressed 28 pages of the 9/11 commission report last year undermining the version that a group of terrorists acting independently managed to pull off the attacks. The implication is that they may well have been state-sponsored with the Saudis potentially involved.

Hersh tells me: "I don't necessarily buy the story that Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11. We really don't have an ending to the story. I've known people in the [intelligence] community. We don't know anything empirical about who did what" . He continues: "The guy was living in a cave. He really didn't know much English. He was pretty bright and he had a lot of hatred for the US. We respond by attacking the Taliban. Eighteen years later How's it going guys?"

8) On the media and the morality of the powerful

From a recent The Intercept interview and book review -- If Hersh were a superhero, this would be his origin story. Two hundred and seventy-four pages after the Chicago anecdote, he describes his coverage of a massive slaughter of Iraqi troops and civilians by the U.S. in 1991 after a ceasefire had ended the Persian Gulf War. America's indifference to this massacre was, Hersh writes, "a reminder of the Vietnam War's MGR, for Mere Gook Rule: If it's a murdered or raped gook, there is no crime." It was also, he adds, a reminder of something else: "I had learned a domestic version of that rule decades earlier" in Chicago. "Reporter" demonstrates that Hersh has derived three simple lessons from that rule:

  1. The powerful prey mercilessly upon the powerless, up to and including mass murder.
  2. The powerful lie constantly about their predations.
  3. The natural instinct of the media is to let the powerful get away with it.

* * *

... ... ...

[Aug 08, 2018] The Utility of the RussiaGate Conspiracy

Images deleted...
Notable quotes:
"... The election of Donald Trump came as a shock to many ( Independent , 11/5/16 ). ..."
"... The Washington Post ( 11/24/16 ) was one of the first media outlets to blame the election results on Russian "fake news." ..."
"... Thomas Friedman ( Morning Joe , 2/14/18 ) pointedly compared email hacking to events that the US responded to with major wars. ..."
"... Outlets like Slate ( 5/11/18 ) warned of a sinister connection between Black Lives Matter and Russia. ..."
"... "We are at war," Morgan Freeman assures us on behalf of the Committee to Investigate Russia. ..."
Jul 27, 2018 | fair.org

New McCarthyism allows corporate media to tighten grip, Democrats to ignore their own failings Alan MacLeod

The election of Donald Trump came as a shock to many ( Independent , 11/5/16 ).

To the shock of many, Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential elections, becoming the 45th president of the United States. Not least shocked were corporate media, and the political establishment more generally; the Princeton Election Consortium confidently predicted an over 99 percent chance of a Clinton victory, while MSNBC 's Rachel Maddow ( 10/17/16 ) said it could be a "Goldwater-style landslide."

Indeed, Hillary Clinton and her team actively attempted to secure a Trump primary victory, assured that he would be the easiest candidate to beat. The Podesta emails show that her team considered even before the primaries that associating Trump with Vladimir Putin and Russia would be a winning strategy and employed the tactic throughout 2016 and beyond.

With Clinton claiming , "Putin would rather have a puppet as president," Russia was by far the most discussed topic during the presidential debates ( FAIR.org , 10/13/16 ), easily eclipsing healthcare, terrorism, poverty and inequality. Media seized upon the theme, with Paul Krugman ( New York Times , 7/22/16 ) asserting Trump would be a " Siberian candidate," while ex-CIA Director Michael Hayden ( Washington Post , 5/16/16 ) claimed Trump would be Russia's "useful fool."

The day after the election, Jonathan Allen's book Shattered detailed, Clinton's team decided that the proliferation of Russian-sponsored "fake news" online was the primary reason for their loss.

Within weeks, the Washington Post ( 11/24/16 ) was publicizing the website PropOrNot.com , which purports to help users differentiate sources as fake or genuine, as an invaluable tool in the battle against fake news ( FAIR.org , 12/1/16 , 12/8/16 ). The website soberly informs its readers that you see news sources critiquing the "mainstream media," the EU, NATO, Obama, Clinton, Angela Merkel or other centrists are a telltale sign of Russian propaganda. It also claims that when news sources argue against foreign intervention and war with Russia, that's evidence that you are reading Kremlin-penned fake news.

The Washington Post ( 11/24/16 ) was one of the first media outlets to blame the election results on Russian "fake news."

PropOrNot claims it has identified over 200 popular websites that "routinely peddle Russian propaganda." Included in the list were Wikileaks , Trump-supporting right-wing websites like InfoWars and the Drudge Report , libertarian outlets like the Ron Paul Institute and Antiwar.com , and award-winning anti-Trump (but also Clinton-critical) left-wing sites like TruthDig and Naked Capitalism . Thus it was uniquely news sources that did not lie in the fairway between Clinton Democrats and moderate Republicans that were tarred as propaganda.

PropOrNot calls for an FBI investigation into the news sources listed. Even its creators see the resemblance to a new McCarthyism, as it appears as a frequently asked question on their website. (They say it is not McCarthyism, because "we are not accusing anyone of lawbreaking, treason, or 'being a member of the Communist Party.'") However, this new McCarthyism does not stem from the conservative right like before, but from the establishment center.

That the list is so evidently flawed and its creators refuse to reveal their identities or funding did not stop the issue becoming one of the most discussed in mainstream circles. Media talk of fake news sparked organizations like Google , Facebook , Bing and YouTube to change their algorithms, ostensibly to combat it.

However, one major effect of the change has been to hammer progressive outlets that challenge the status quo. The Intercept reported a 19 percent reduction in Google search traffic, AlterNet 63 percent and Democracy Now! 36 percent. Reddit and Twitter deleted thousands of accounts, while in what came to be called the "AdPocalypse," YouTube began demonetizing videos from independent creators like Majority Report and the Jimmy Dore Show on controversial political topics like environmental protests, war and mass shootings. (In contrast, corporate outlets like CNN did not have their content on those subjects demonetized.) Journalists that questioned aspects of the Russia narrative, like Glenn Greenwald and Aaron Maté, were accused of being agents of the Kremlin ( Shadowproof , 7/9/18 ).

The effect has been to pull away the financial underpinnings of alternative media that question the corporate state and capitalism in general, and to reassert corporate control over communication, something that had been loosened during the election in particular. It also impels liberal journalists to prove their loyalty by employing sufficiently bellicose and anti-Russian rhetoric, lest they also be tarred as Kremlin agents.

Thomas Friedman ( Morning Joe , 2/14/18 ) pointedly compared email hacking to events that the US responded to with major wars.

When it was reported in February that 13 Russian trolls had been indicted by a US grand jury for sharing and promoting pro-Trump and anti-Clinton memes on Facebook , the response was a general uproar. Multiple senior political figures declared it an "act of war." Clinton herself described Russian interference as a " cyber 9/11 ," while Thomas Friedman said that it was a " Pearl Harbor–scale event ." Morgan Freeman's viral video, produced by Rob Reiner's Committee to Investigate Russia, summed up the outrage: "We have been attacked," the actor declared ; "We are at war with Russia." Liberals declared Trump's refusal to react in a sufficiently aggressive manner further proof he was Putin's puppet.

The McCarthyist wave swept over other politicians that challenged the liberal center. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein refused to endorse the Russia narrative, leading mainstream figures like Rachel Maddow to insinuate she was a Kremlin stooge as well. After news broke that Stein's connection to Russia was being officially investigated, top Clinton staffer Zac Petkanas announced :

"Commentary" that succinctly summed up the political atmosphere.

In contrast, Bernie Sanders has consistently and explicitly endorsed the RussiaGate theory, claiming it is "clear to everyone (except Donald Trump) that Russia was deeply involved in the 2016 election and intends to be involved in 2018." Despite his stance, Sanders has also been constantly presented as another Russian agent, with the Washington Post ( 11/12/17 ) asking its readers, "When Russia interferes with the 2020 election on behalf of Democratic nominee Bernie Sanders, how will liberals respond?" The message is clear: The progressive wave rising across America is and will be a consequence of Russia, not of the failures of the system, nor of the Democrats.

Outlets like Slate ( 5/11/18 ) warned of a sinister connection between Black Lives Matter and Russia.

It is not just politicians who have been smeared as Russian agents, witting or unwitting; virtually every major progressive movement challenging the system is increasingly dismissed in the same way. Multiple media outlets, including CNN ( 6/29/18 ), Slate ( 5/11/18 ), Vox ( 4/11/18 ) and the New York Times ( 2/16/18 ), have produced articles linking Black Lives Matter to the Kremlin, insinuating the outrage over racist police brutality is another Russian psyop. Others claimed Russia funded the riots in Ferguson and that Russian trolls promoted the Standing Rock environmental protests.

Meanwhile, Democratic insider Neera Tanden retweeted a description of Chelsea Manning as a "Russian stooge," writing off her campaign for the Senate as "the Kremlin paying the extreme left to swing elections. Remember that." Thus corporate media are promoting the idea that any challenge to the establishment is likely a Kremlin-funded astroturf effort.

The tactic has spread to Europe as well. After the poisoning of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal, the UK government immediately blamed Russia and imposed sanctions (without publicly presenting evidence). Jeremy Corbyn, the pacifist, leftist leader of the Labour Party, was uncharacteristically bellicose, asserting , "The Russian authorities must be held to account on the basis of the evidence and our response must be both decisive and proportionate."

The British press was outraged -- at Corbyn's insufficient jingoism. The Sun 's front page ( 3/15/18 ) attacked him as "Putin's Puppet," while the Daily Mail ( 3/15/18 ) went with "Corbyn the Kremlin Stooge." As with Sanders, the fact that Corbyn endorsed the official narrative didn't keep him from being attacked, showing that the conspiratorial mindset seeing Russia behind everything has little to do with evidence-based reality, and is increasingly a tool to demonize the establishment's political enemies.

The Atlantic Council published a report claiming Greek political parties Syriza and Golden Dawn were not expressions of popular frustration and disillusionment, but "the Kremlin's Trojan horses," undermining democracy in its birthplace. Providing scant evidence, the report went on to link virtually every major European political party challenging the center, from right or left, to Putin. From Britian's UKIP to Spain's Podemos to Italy's Five Star Movement, all are charged with being under one man's control. It is this council that Facebook announced it was partnering with to help promote "trustworthy" news and weed out "untrustworthy" sources ( FAIR.org , 5/21/18 ), as its CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with representatives from some of the largest corporate outlets, like the New York Times , CNN and News Corp , to help develop a system to control what content we see on the website.

"We are at war," Morgan Freeman assures us on behalf of the Committee to Investigate Russia.

The utility of this wave of suspicion is captured in Freeman's aforementioned video . After asserting that "for 241 years, our democracy has been a shining example to the world of what we can all aspire to" -- a tally that would count nearly a century of chattel slavery and almost another hundred years of de jure racial disenfranchisement -- the actor explains that "Putin uses social media to spread propaganda and false information, he convinces people in democratic societies to distrust their media, their political process."

The obvious implication is that the political process and media ought to be trusted, and would be trusted were it not for Putin's propaganda. It was not the failures of capitalism and the deep inequalities it created that led to widespread popular resentment and movements on both left and right pressing for radical change across Europe and America, but Vladimir Putin himself. In other words, "America is already great."

For the Democrats, Russiagate allows them to ignore calls for change and not scrutinize why they lost to the most unpopular presidential candidate in history. Since Russia hacked the election, there is no need for introspection, and certainly no need to accommodate the Sanders wing or to engage with progressive challenges from activists on the left, who are Putin's puppets anyway. The party can continue on the same course, painting over the deep cracks in American society. Similarly, for centrists in Europe, under threat from both left and right, the Russia narrative allows them to sow distrust among the public for any movement challenging the dominant order.

For the state, Russiagate has encouraged liberals to forego their faculties and develop a state-worshiping, conspiratorial mindset in the face of a common, manufactured enemy. Liberal trust in institutions like the FBI has markedly increased since 2016, while liberals also now espouse a neocon foreign policy in Syria, Ukraine and other regions, with many supporting the vast increases in the US military budget and attacking Trump from the right.

For corporate media, too, the disciplining effect of the Russia narrative is highly useful, allowing them to reassert control over the means of communication under the guise of preventing a Russian "fake news" infiltration. News sources that challenge the establishment are censored, defunded or deranked, as corporate sources stoke mistrust of them. Meanwhile, it allows them to portray themselves as arbiters of truth. This strategy has had some success, with Democrats' trust in media increasing since the election.

None of this is to say that Russia does not strive to influence other countries' elections, a tactic that the United States has employed even more frequently ( NPR , 12/22/16 ). Yet the extent to which the story has dominated the US media to the detriment of other issues is a remarkable testament to its utility for those in power.

[Aug 08, 2018] George Stephanopoulos is trying to criminalize any contacts with Russia

Notable quotes:
"... STEPHANOPOULOS: And I gave you a chance to explain all the irregularities you thought you saw in the investigation. I asked you about that. You said no collusion. At first the White House said that there were no contacts with Russians. We now know there were at least 80 contacts. If the White House or anyone connected to the Trump campaign accepted information from the Russians, that could potentially be collusion. That would be -- that could be considered collusion, could be considered participating with a conspiracy. ..."
Aug 08, 2018 | crooksandliars.com

STEPHANOPOULOS: And I gave you a chance to explain all the irregularities you thought you saw in the investigation. I asked you about that. You said no collusion. At first the White House said that there were no contacts with Russians. We now know there were at least 80 contacts. If the White House or anyone connected to the Trump campaign accepted information from the Russians, that could potentially be collusion. That would be -- that could be considered collusion, could be considered participating with a conspiracy.

So that's also -- that's also the possibility of a legal violation there as well. But I do want to ask you about --

(CROSSTALK)

SEKULOW: -- in that allegation, though, you'd have to -- the -- the so-called collusion, which by the way is not a legal term, that's now what results in a -- a-- a issue of criminality. I mean, that's just one theory (ph). And by the way, you know, the phrasing here, especially at this late date is very important. So everyone is still talking about this collusion concept. And when Rudy Giuliani said collusion's not a crime, that was again rather unremarkable.

What was the fact? I mean what was the fact? Well the facts that we know is what is the violation or what violation has anybody put forward of an actual federal statute that's been violated by the – by the president of the United States?

And we've yet to seen (ph) it, and as I said, we've seen an awful lot of it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well that's one of the things that Robert Mueller's investigating. I agree with you on that.

[Aug 08, 2018] UK Poised To Demand Extradition Of Russian Suspects In Salisbury Nerve Agent Attack

Aug 08, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

08/06/2018 The British government has prepared an extradition request to Moscow for two Russians they claim carried out the Salisbury nerve agent attack, according to The Guardian , citing Whitehall and security sources.

Former Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a public bench in Salisbury in early March - which UK authorities believe was due to a nerve agent called Novichok.

Months later on June 30, nearby residents Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess, a 44-year-old mother of three, were subsequently treated for exposure to the nerve agent. Rowley recovered while Sturgess died.

Authorities are operating on the assumption that the Skripals were poisoned using a novichok-laced perfume bottle or a door handle smeared with the nerve agent, while Rowley may have picked up said bottle and given to Sturgess, who applied it to her wrists.

Sturgess received a much higher dose than the other three after apparently smearing the substance on her wrists, having sprayed it from the bottle. Rowley's recovery was helped, according to a source, by one of the first responders being familiar with the nerve agent, having been involved in helping the Skripals.

The Porton Down military defence laboratory near Salisbury has examined the novichok found on the Skripals' doorknob and the perfume bottle, but police have not yet said whether they are from the same batch. - The Guardian

UK authorities believe they have pieced together the movements of the two Russians, from their entry into the UK to their departure after the alleged assassination attempt.

Following the attack on the Skripals, European and US allies took Britain's side on the attack, ordering the largest expulsion of Russian diplomats since the height of the Cold War, reports Reuters . In response, Russia retaliated by expelling Western diplomats, while the Kremlin has repeatedly denied involvement in the attacks - while accusing the UK intelligence agencies of staging the attack in order to inflame anti-Russia tensions.

Oddly, Sergei Skripal was linked by The Telegraph to a consultant with former UK spy Christopher Steele's Orbis Business Intelligence, who he reportedly had repeated contacts with.

The motive for trying to assassinate the 66-year-old skripal is unknown. Skripal moved to the UK in a Kremlin-approved "spy swap" in 2010, causing many to question why they would suddenly try to take him out a decade later.

In July, journalist Rob Slane compiled 10 questions for the UK authorities on the ever-confusing Skripal case:

***

The two most basic claims made by the Government and investigators regarding the method and the mode in the Salisbury poisoning are these:

  1. That military grade nerve agent was used to poison Mr Skripal
  2. That it was applied to the door handle of his house

These claims raise a number of very obvious questions. For example, how did the assassin(s) apply such a powerful chemical without wearing protective clothing? How did the people who are said to have come into contact with the substance not die immediately, or at the very least suffer irreparable damage to their Central Nervous Systems? How did this military grade nerve agent manage not only to have a delayed onset, but also managed to affect a large 66-year-old man and his slim 33-year-old daughter, both of whom would have vastly different metabolic rates, at exactly the same time?

These are perfectly reasonable questions that deserve reasonable answers. I am aware, however, that no matter how obvious and rational such questions might be, doing so places one – at least in the eyes of the authorities – in the camp of the conspiracy theorist. This is disingenuous. One of the marks of a true conspiracy theorist is that he is someone who refuses to accept an explanation for an event, even after being presented with facts which fit and explain it coherently . But when the "facts" presented in a case do not fit the event they are supposed to explain, and are neither rational nor coherent -- as in the Salisbury case -- then calling the person who raises legitimate questions a "conspiracy theorist" is a bit rich, is it not?

Nevertheless, for the purposes of this piece, what I'd like to do is work on the assumption that the "Military Grade Nerve Agent on the Door Handle" claim is correct. And working from this assumption, I want to ask some questions about how the authorities have handled the case. The point is this: These questions are not really intended to challenge the official claims; rather the intention is to ask whether the authorities have handled the case correctly on their own terms .



1. Prior to the investigation's focus on the door handle, for a period of almost three weeks there were at least nine other theories proposed by the authorities as to where the Skripals came into contact with the poison. These included the restaurant, the pub, the bench, the cemetery, the car, the flowers, the luggage, the porridge and even a drone. During that time, police officers and investigators were entering and leaving the house, by the door, since it was not known to be the place where the poison was located.

Can the authorities explain how these officers and investigators were not poisoned?

2. Once the door handle theory was established, those who had been in and out of the property during the previous three weeks would naturally have been concerned about the possibility that they had been contaminated.

Can the authorities tell us what steps were taken to reassure these officers?

3. Every officer who entered the house after 4th March, and before the door handle became an object of interest, should have been given a medical examination to check for signs of poisoning.

Can the authorities confirm that this took place for every officer?

4. Initial reports about Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey stated that he was poisoned at the bench, after coming to the aid of Mr Skripal and Yulia. However, on 9th March, Lord Ian Blair stated that D.S. Bailey had actually become poisoned after visiting Mr Skripal's house. Since he was thought to have been poisoned with a military grade nerve agent, and since it was thought that this had occurred at Mr Skripal's house, the immediate next step should have been to seal off the house and set up a mobile decontamination unit outside. However, numerous photographs show officers in normal uniforms standing close to the door long after Lord Blair's claim.

Can the authorities confirm why the house was not sealed off and a decontamination unit set up immediately after it became known that D.S. Bailey had been there, and why officers with no protective clothing on were allowed to continue standing guard outside the house for the next few weeks?

5. Can the authorities explain how these decisions did not put the health and even the lives of those officers in jeopardy?

6. Before the door handle theory was settled on, the majority of competing theories put out by the authorities tended to assume that Mr Skripal was poisoned long before he went to Zizzis. For example, the flowers, the cemetery, the luggage, the porridge and the car explanations all assume this to be the case. What this means is that according to the assumptions of police at that time, when Mr Skripal fed the ducks near the Avon Playground with a few local boys, at around 1:45pm, he was already contaminated. Yet although this event was caught on CCTV camera, it was more than two weeks before the police contacted the parents of these boys.

Can the authorities explain why it took more than two weeks to track down the boys, who – as the CCTV apparently shows – were given bread by Mr Skripal?

7. Can the authorities comment on why they did not air the CCTV footage on national television, in an effort to appeal to the boys or their parents to come forward, and whether the delay in tracking them down might have put them in danger?

8. If the door handle was the place of poisoning, it is extremely likely that the bread handed by Mr Skripal to the boys would have been contaminated. Certainly, areas that he visited after this incident were deemed to be so much at risk that they were either closed down (for example, The Mill and Zizzis, which are both still closed), or destroyed (for instance, the restaurant table, the bench and – almost certainly – the red bag near the bench have all been destroyed).

Can the authorities comment on how the boys, who were handed bread by Mr Skripal, managed to avoid contamination?

9. It has been said that one of the reasons the Government is/was so sure that the ultimate culprit behind the poisoning was the Russian state, is the apparent existence of an "FSB handbook" which, amongst other things, allegedly features descriptions of how to apply nerve agent to a door handle. Given that the Prime Minister first made a formal accusation of culpability on 12th March in her speech to the House of Commons, the Government must therefore have been in possession of this manual prior to that day. However, claims about the door handle being the location of the poison did not appear until late March (the first media reports of it were on 28th March). What this means is there was a delay of several weeks between the Government making its accusation, based partly on the apparent existence of the "door handle manual", and the door handle of Mr Skripal's house being a subject of interest to investigators.

Can the authorities therefore tell us whether the Government's failure to pass on details of the "door handle manual" put the lives of the officers going in and out of Mr Skripal's house from 5th March to 27th March in jeopardy?

10. On 17th March, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said:

"We are learning more about Sergei and Yulia's movements but we need to be clearer around their exact movements on the morning of the incident. We believe that at around 9.15am on Sunday, 4 March, Sergei's car may have been in the areas of London Road, Churchill Way North and Wilton Road. Then at around 1.30pm it was seen being driven down Devizes Road, towards the town centre. We need to establish Sergei and Yulia's movements during the morning, before they headed to the town centre. Did you see this car, or what you believe was this car, on the day of the incident? We are particularly keen to hear from you if you saw the car before 1.30pm. If you have information, please call the police on 101."

Now that Sergei and Yulia Skripal have been awake and able to communicate for around four months, these details are presumably now all known to investigators. In the normal course of such a high profile investigation, details such as these would be relayed to the public in the hope of jogging memories to prompt more information. And in fact, many such details have been released to the public in this case. Yet, confirmation of Mr Skripal's and Yulia's movements that day remain conspicuous by their absence.

Can the authorities confirm that the movements of the Skripals that day are now understood, and that they will be made known shortly, in order that more information from the public might then be forthcoming?

These questions have nothing to do with any conspiracy theory. On the contrary, they are all based on the assumption that the two central claims made by the authorities regarding the mode and the method used in this incident are correct. They are, however, very serious and perfectly legitimate questions about the way the authorities have dealt with this incident, on their own terms and on the basis of their own claims .

We await their explanations.

besnook Mon, 08/06/2018 - 14:22 Permalink

the brits want to embarrass themselves.

EuroPox -> besnook Mon, 08/06/2018 - 14:25 Permalink

They already have - that was just more lies:

"Reports that the United Kingdom is planning to ask Russia to extradite suspects in a Salisbury poisoning incident are nothing more than a "speculation," a spokesperson for the UK Foreign Office told Sputnik on Monday.

"This is just more speculation. The police investigation is ongoing and anything on the record will need to come from the Police," the spokesperson said."

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201808061067000089-uk-no-request-salisbu

[Aug 08, 2018] Soros the 400k Question What constitutes 'foreign interference' in democracy

Notable quotes:
"... "Unproven Russian involvement in Brexit -- terrible! Impose more sanctions on Moscow! A £400k check from an American billionaire for an anti-Brexit campaigning group -- that's no problem; it's helping our democracy!" ..."
"... "By quitting Europe, I fear that we are hastening Putin's dream of the break-up of the EU -- and with it, potentially, western civilisation," ..."
"... "propaganda arms of the Russian government," ..."
"... "at the back of the queue" ..."
"... "This is not foreign interference This is not foreign interference!" ..."
"... " highly probable " ..."
"... "had conducted a thorough investigation around the Brexit referendum and found no evidence of Russian interference ." ..."
"... "Russian troll factory," ..."
"... "very low levels of engagement" ..."
"... "conspiracy theorist" ..."
"... "Just what does George Soros think he is doing pouring £400,000 into a campaign to stop Brexit. For a start he is not actually a resident of this country so it has nothing to do with him." ..."
"... "I don't know that the public understands the gravity of what the Russians were able to do and continue to do here in the United States. They've attacked us. They're trying to undermine our democracy," ..."
"... "I looked at them and said: 'I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money " ..."
"... "I said, 'I'm telling you, you're not getting the billion dollars," ..."
"... "Well, son of a b***h. He got fired." ..."
www.rt.com

You'd have to have a real sense of humor failure not to laugh. The news that US billionaire Soros donated £400k to an anti-Brexit group came on the day that YouTube said they found no evidence of Russian interference in Brexit. Repeat After Me (with robotic arm movements): "Unproven Russian involvement in Brexit -- terrible! Impose more sanctions on Moscow! A £400k check from an American billionaire for an anti-Brexit campaigning group -- that's no problem; it's helping our democracy!"

You don't have to own a brand new £999 state-of-the art Hypocrisy Detector from Harrods, to pick up on the double standards. Just having a few functioning brain cells and thinking for yourself will do. For months in the UK we've been bombarded with Establishment-approved conspiracy theories -- peddled in all the 'best' newspapers -- that Russia somehow 'fixed' Brexit. Getting Britain to leave the EU was all part of a cunning plot by Vladimir Putin, aka Dr. Evil, to weaken Europe and the 'free world.'

Read more Soros-backed anti-Brexit group is 'undemocratic' -- cofounder Gina Miller

Even West End musical composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber, who knows quite a bit about phantoms, seemed taken in by it. "By quitting Europe, I fear that we are hastening Putin's dream of the break-up of the EU -- and with it, potentially, western civilisation," the noble Lord declared in July.

Never mind that we don't have a single statement from Putin or other senior Kremlin figures saying that they actually supported Brexit. These Establishment Russia-bashers know exactly what The Vlad is thinking.

And never mind that RT and Sputnik, which we are repeatedly told are "propaganda arms of the Russian government," ran articles by pro- and anti-Brexit writers. The same people who told us Iraq had WMDs in 2003 were absolutely sure it was those dastardly Russkies who had got Britain to vote 'leave.' The irony is of course that there was significant foreign interference in Brexit. But it didn't come from Moscow.

Or Obama actually visiting the U.K. to urge people to vote Remain. Imagine if Putin did the same for Leave!

-- jeffreydujon (@vanremny) February 8, 2018

The US has always wanted Britain to stay in the EU. In April 2016, two months before the Referendum, President Obama made it clear what he wanted when he visited the UK. He warned that if Britain exited the EU it would be "at the back of the queue" for trade deals with the US .

Just imagine if Putin had said that. The Russophobes would have spontaneously combusted.

Then of course there was the backing the Remain camp had from the giants of US capital. Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan donated £500,000 each to the 'Britain Stronger in Europe' group, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley -- £250,000 each.

Again, repeat after me (with robotic arm movements): "This is not foreign interference This is not foreign interference!"

You've got to see the funny side of this: all that hysterical fake news about 'Russian interference' in Brexit & here we have one side receiving £400K from a US billionaire who is part of the US political establishment. Is that not 'interference' ?!! https://t.co/URzrB3ciLd

-- Neil Clark (@NeilClark66) February 8, 2018

The point is not whether we are for or against Brexit. Or whether we think George Soros is a malign influence who only acts out of self-interest or an old sweetie-pie with the good of humanity at heart. The point is the double standards that are causing our Hypocrisy Detectors to explode.

Let's think back to December 2016. Then, the pro-war and fiercely anti-Russian Labour MP Ben Bradshaw told Parliament that it was " highly probable " that Russia had interfered with Brexit.

Fourteen months on, what have we got? On Thursday, the global head of You Tube's public policy, Juniper Downs, said her company "had conducted a thorough investigation around the Brexit referendum and found no evidence of Russian interference ."

Read more © Sophia Kembowski / Global Look Press No Russian interference in Brexit referendum - YouTube exec tells parliamentary committee (VIDEO)

Twitter meanwhile says it detected 49 (yes, 49) accounts from what it claimed to be a "Russian troll factory," which sent all of 942 messages about Brexit -- amounting to less than 0.005% of all the tweets about the Referendum. Twitter said the accounts received "very low levels of engagement" from users. If the Kremlin had planned to use tweets to persuade us to vote 'leave,' they didn't really put much effort into it, did they?

Finally, Facebook said that only three "Kremlin-linked" accounts were found which spent the grand sum of 72p (yes, 72p) on ads during the Referendum campaign. Which amounts to the greater "interference" ? 72p or £400K? Erm tough call, isn't it?

You might have thought, given his concern with 'foreign interference' in British politics, that Ben Bradshaw would have been urging 'Best for Britain' to return George Soros' donation. Au contraire! His only tweets about it were retweets of two critical comments about the Daily Telegraph, and the BBC's coverage of the story. Conclusion: Those who rail about 'Russia meddling in Brexit' but not Soros' intervention aren't concerned about 'foreign interference' in UK politics, only 'foreign interference' from countries they don't approve of.

Those who are quite happy peddling ludicrous conspiracy theories about Russians shout "conspiracy theorist" (or worse) at those who report factually on proven meddling from others. The Daily Express hit the nail on the head in their Friday editorial which said: "Just what does George Soros think he is doing pouring £400,000 into a campaign to stop Brexit. For a start he is not actually a resident of this country so it has nothing to do with him."

That really is the rub of the matter. And Bradshaw and co. have no adequate response except to shoot the messenger.

If we look at the affair with an even wider lens, the hypocrisy is even greater. The US has been gripped by an anti-Russian frenzy not seen since the days of Senator Joe McCarthy. The unsubstantiated claim that Russia fixed the election for Donald Trump is repeated by 'liberals' and many neocons too, as a statement of fact. "I don't know that the public understands the gravity of what the Russians were able to do and continue to do here in the United States. They've attacked us. They're trying to undermine our democracy," film director Rob Reiner said .

But the number one country round the world for undermining democracy and interfering in the affairs of other sovereign states is the US itself.

Read more The US Vice President Joe Biden (L) jokes that Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko (R) is buying lunch, before sitting down to their bilateral meeting at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington March 31, 2016. © Jonathan Ernst 'Son of b***h got fired': Joe Biden forced Ukraine to sack prosecutor general 'in six hours'

While Establishment journos and pundits have been foaming at the mouth over 'Russiagate' and getting terribly excited over 'smoking guns' which turn out -- surprise, surprise -- to be damp squibs, there's been less attention paid to the boasts of former Vice President Joe Biden on how he got the allegedly 'independent' Ukrainian government to sack its prosecutor general in a few hours. "I looked at them and said: 'I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money "

"I said, 'I'm telling you, you're not getting the billion dollars," Biden said during a meeting of the US' Council on Foreign Relations. "Well, son of a b***h. He got fired."

Again, just imagine the furore if a leading Russian government figure boasted about how he used financial inducements to get another country's Prosecutor General to be sacked. Or if a tape was leaked in which the Russian Ambassador and a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson could be heard discussing who should or shouldn't be in the new 'democratic' government of another sovereign state. But we had the US Ambassador to Ukraine and the US Assistant Secretary of State doing exactly that in 2014 -- and the 'Russia is interfering in the Free World!' brigade were as silent as a group of Trappist monks.

It's fair to say that Orwell would have a field day with the doublespeak that's currently on show. The cognitive dissonance is there for all to see. Repeat After Me: Unproven Russian interference -- Bad. Proven interference from other external sources -- Good. What's your problem?

Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. He has written for many newspapers and magazines in the UK and other countries including The Guardian, Morning Star, Daily and Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Spectator, The Week, and The American Conservative. He is a regular pundit on RT and has also appeared on BBC TV and radio, Sky News, Press TV and the Voice of Russia. He is the co-founder of the Campaign For Public Ownership @PublicOwnership. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

[Aug 07, 2018] It s very profitable to be an anti-Russian talking head.

Aug 07, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

New Cold War

"Ex-FBI agent: Trump got elected, thanks to Russia" [ Yahoo News ]. • One thing to remember about RussiaRussiaRussia -- R 3 ? -- is that it's very profitable to be a talking head.

"DOJ Announces Public Release of the Cyber-Digital Task Force's First Report; Impact on and Role of the Private Sector Likely to be a Focus in the Coming Months" [ Compliance and Enforcement ]. "[Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein] lauded 'self-policing' efforts to remove 'fake accounts' and encouraged companies to 'consider the voluntary removal of accounts and content' that are linked by the FBI to foreign agents' activities, which he said 'violate terms of service and deceive customers.'" • What could go wrong?

flora , August 6, 2018 at 2:44 pm

re: Living in the Age of the Big Lie.

"The Death of Truth" by Pulitzer-Prize winning book critic Michiko Kakutani explores the waning of integrity in American society, particularly since the 2016 elections. Daniel Patrick Moynihan's observation that "everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts," is more timely than ever, Kakutani says: "polarization has grown so extreme that voters have a hard time even agreeing on the same facts." And no wonder: Two-thirds of Americans get at least some of their news through social media -- a platform that has been overwhelmed by trolls and bots, and which uses algorithms to decide what each of us gets to see.

Executives ignore the cultural shift away from honesty at their peril.

I would put the start date for the cultural shift away from honest at 2008; every one knew what caused the financial disaster, knew who the culprits were (and are), saw them get away with grand theft and govt protection, and knew they were being lied to by the sort of bs excuses like WF's "it was a computer glitch" that done it. Once it was clear the govt was going to protect the robbers, the new paradigm of dishonesty in high places trickled down. Ohhh, so that's how trickle down works.

[Aug 07, 2018] People. Don t miss out this recent and fascinating Interview featuring Bill Binney, former NSA IT guy and whistle blower . The host made him the right Questions. He speak on very important issues In Particular The Russian Hacking of the DNC, and even 9-11.

See more bout him at William Binney (intelligence official) - Wikipedia
Aug 07, 2018 | therealnews.com

neoconbuster Doug Latimer 8 hours ago ,

People. Don't miss out this recent and fascinating Interview featuring Bill Binney, former NSA IT guy and whistle blower . The host made him the right Questions. He speak on very important issues In Particular The Russian "Hacking" of the DNC, and even 9-11.

Binney is "The Expert" , Nobody can dispute his integrity.

-Bill Binney in His Own Words-

www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPqDmTftW94

Play Hide

[Aug 07, 2018] Comrade Stalin speaks from the grave, in support of Kommissar Hillary Clinton

Notable quotes:
"... First, the wrecking and diversionist-espionage work of agents of foreign countries , among whom a rather active role was played by the Trotskyists, affected more or less all, or nearly all, of our organizations-economic, administrative, and Party. ..."
"... Second, agents of foreign countries, among them the Trotskyites , penetrated not only into lower organizations, but also into certain responsible posts. ..."
Aug 07, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

clarky90 , August 3, 2018 at 5:15 pm

https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/stalin/works/1937/03/03.htm

Defects in Party Work and Measures for Liquidating Trotskyite and Other Double Dealers : March 3, 1937

"Comrades!

From the reports and the debates on these reports heard at this plenum, it is evident that we are dealing with the following three main facts.

First, the wrecking and diversionist-espionage work of agents of foreign countries , among whom a rather active role was played by the Trotskyists, affected more or less all, or nearly all, of our organizations-economic, administrative, and Party.

Second, agents of foreign countries, among them the Trotskyites , penetrated not only into lower organizations, but also into certain responsible posts.

Third, some of our leading comrades, both at the center and at the periphery, not only failed to discern the face of these wreckers, diversionists, spies, and killers, but proved to be so careless, complacent, and naive that at times they themselves assisted in promoting agents of foreign states to responsible posts.

These are the three incontrovertible facts which naturally emerge from the reports and the discussions on them "

[Aug 06, 2018] George Stephanopoulos is trying to criminalize any contacts with Russia

Notable quotes:
"... STEPHANOPOULOS: And I gave you a chance to explain all the irregularities you thought you saw in the investigation. I asked you about that. You said no collusion. At first the White House said that there were no contacts with Russians. We now know there were at least 80 contacts. If the White House or anyone connected to the Trump campaign accepted information from the Russians, that could potentially be collusion. That would be -- that could be considered collusion, could be considered participating with a conspiracy. ..."
Aug 06, 2018 | crooksandliars.com

STEPHANOPOULOS: And I gave you a chance to explain all the irregularities you thought you saw in the investigation. I asked you about that. You said no collusion. At first the White House said that there were no contacts with Russians. We now know there were at least 80 contacts. If the White House or anyone connected to the Trump campaign accepted information from the Russians, that could potentially be collusion. That would be -- that could be considered collusion, could be considered participating with a conspiracy.

So that's also -- that's also the possibility of a legal violation there as well. But I do want to ask you about --

(CROSSTALK)

SEKULOW: -- in that allegation, though, you'd have to -- the -- the so-called collusion, which by the way is not a legal term, that's now what results in a -- a-- a issue of criminality. I mean, that's just one theory (ph). And by the way, you know, the phrasing here, especially at this late date is very important. So everyone is still talking about this collusion concept. And when Rudy Giuliani said collusion's not a crime, that was again rather unremarkable.

What was the fact? I mean what was the fact? Well the facts that we know is what is the violation or what violation has anybody put forward of an actual federal statute that's been violated by the – by the president of the United States?

And we've yet to seen (ph) it, and as I said, we've seen an awful lot of it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well that's one of the things that Robert Mueller's investigating. I agree with you on that.

[Aug 06, 2018] UK Poised To Demand Extradition Of Russian Suspects In Salisbury Nerve Agent Attack Zero Hedge

Aug 06, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

UK "Poised" To Demand Extradition Of Russian Suspects In Salisbury Nerve Agent Attack

by Tyler Durden Mon, 08/06/2018 - 14:20 6 SHARES

The British government has prepared an extradition request to Moscow for two Russians they claim carried out the Salisbury nerve agent attack, according to The Guardian , citing Whitehall and security sources.

Former Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a public bench in Salisbury in early March - which UK authorities believe was due to a nerve agent called Novichok.

Months later on June 30, nearby residents Charlie Rowley and Dawn Sturgess, a 44-year-old mother of three, were subsequently treated for exposure to the nerve agent. Rowley recovered while Sturgess died.

Authorities are operating on the assumption that the Skripals were poisoned using a novichok-laced perfume bottle or a door handle smeared with the nerve agent, while Rowley may have picked up said bottle and given to Sturgess, who applied it to her wrists.

Sturgess received a much higher dose than the other three after apparently smearing the substance on her wrists, having sprayed it from the bottle. Rowley's recovery was helped, according to a source, by one of the first responders being familiar with the nerve agent, having been involved in helping the Skripals.

The Porton Down military defence laboratory near Salisbury has examined the novichok found on the Skripals' doorknob and the perfume bottle, but police have not yet said whether they are from the same batch. - The Guardian

UK authorities believe they have pieced together the movements of the two Russians, from their entry into the UK to their departure after the alleged assassination attempt.

Following the attack on the Skripals, European and US allies took Britain's side on the attack, ordering the largest expulsion of Russian diplomats since the height of the Cold War, reports Reuters . In response, Russia retaliated by expelling Western diplomats, while the Kremlin has repeatedly denied involvement in the attacks - while accusing the UK intelligence agencies of staging the attack in order to inflame anti-Russia tensions.

Oddly, Sergei Skripal was linked by The Telegraph to a consultant with former UK spy Christopher Steele's Orbis Business Intelligence, who he reportedly had repeated contacts with.

The motive for trying to assassinate the 66-year-old skripal is unknown. Skripal moved to the UK in a Kremlin-approved "spy swap" in 2010, causing many to question why they would suddenly try to take him out a decade later.

In July, journalist Rob Slane compiled 10 questions for the UK authorities on the ever-confusing Skripal case:

***

The two most basic claims made by the Government and investigators regarding the method and the mode in the Salisbury poisoning are these:

  1. That military grade nerve agent was used to poison Mr Skripal
  2. That it was applied to the door handle of his house

These claims raise a number of very obvious questions. For example, how did the assassin(s) apply such a powerful chemical without wearing protective clothing? How did the people who are said to have come into contact with the substance not die immediately, or at the very least suffer irreparable damage to their Central Nervous Systems? How did this military grade nerve agent manage not only to have a delayed onset, but also managed to affect a large 66-year-old man and his slim 33-year-old daughter, both of whom would have vastly different metabolic rates, at exactly the same time?

These are perfectly reasonable questions that deserve reasonable answers. I am aware, however, that no matter how obvious and rational such questions might be, doing so places one – at least in the eyes of the authorities – in the camp of the conspiracy theorist. This is disingenuous. One of the marks of a true conspiracy theorist is that he is someone who refuses to accept an explanation for an event, even after being presented with facts which fit and explain it coherently . But when the "facts" presented in a case do not fit the event they are supposed to explain, and are neither rational nor coherent -- as in the Salisbury case -- then calling the person who raises legitimate questions a "conspiracy theorist" is a bit rich, is it not?

Nevertheless, for the purposes of this piece, what I'd like to do is work on the assumption that the "Military Grade Nerve Agent on the Door Handle" claim is correct. And working from this assumption, I want to ask some questions about how the authorities have handled the case. The point is this: These questions are not really intended to challenge the official claims; rather the intention is to ask whether the authorities have handled the case correctly on their own terms .



1. Prior to the investigation's focus on the door handle, for a period of almost three weeks there were at least nine other theories proposed by the authorities as to where the Skripals came into contact with the poison. These included the restaurant, the pub, the bench, the cemetery, the car, the flowers, the luggage, the porridge and even a drone. During that time, police officers and investigators were entering and leaving the house, by the door, since it was not known to be the place where the poison was located.

Can the authorities explain how these officers and investigators were not poisoned?

2. Once the door handle theory was established, those who had been in and out of the property during the previous three weeks would naturally have been concerned about the possibility that they had been contaminated.

Can the authorities tell us what steps were taken to reassure these officers?

3. Every officer who entered the house after 4th March, and before the door handle became an object of interest, should have been given a medical examination to check for signs of poisoning.

Can the authorities confirm that this took place for every officer?

4. Initial reports about Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey stated that he was poisoned at the bench, after coming to the aid of Mr Skripal and Yulia. However, on 9th March, Lord Ian Blair stated that D.S. Bailey had actually become poisoned after visiting Mr Skripal's house. Since he was thought to have been poisoned with a military grade nerve agent, and since it was thought that this had occurred at Mr Skripal's house, the immediate next step should have been to seal off the house and set up a mobile decontamination unit outside. However, numerous photographs show officers in normal uniforms standing close to the door long after Lord Blair's claim.

Can the authorities confirm why the house was not sealed off and a decontamination unit set up immediately after it became known that D.S. Bailey had been there, and why officers with no protective clothing on were allowed to continue standing guard outside the house for the next few weeks?

5. Can the authorities explain how these decisions did not put the health and even the lives of those officers in jeopardy?

6. Before the door handle theory was settled on, the majority of competing theories put out by the authorities tended to assume that Mr Skripal was poisoned long before he went to Zizzis. For example, the flowers, the cemetery, the luggage, the porridge and the car explanations all assume this to be the case. What this means is that according to the assumptions of police at that time, when Mr Skripal fed the ducks near the Avon Playground with a few local boys, at around 1:45pm, he was already contaminated. Yet although this event was caught on CCTV camera, it was more than two weeks before the police contacted the parents of these boys.

Can the authorities explain why it took more than two weeks to track down the boys, who – as the CCTV apparently shows – were given bread by Mr Skripal?

7. Can the authorities comment on why they did not air the CCTV footage on national television, in an effort to appeal to the boys or their parents to come forward, and whether the delay in tracking them down might have put them in danger?

8. If the door handle was the place of poisoning, it is extremely likely that the bread handed by Mr Skripal to the boys would have been contaminated. Certainly, areas that he visited after this incident were deemed to be so much at risk that they were either closed down (for example, The Mill and Zizzis, which are both still closed), or destroyed (for instance, the restaurant table, the bench and – almost certainly – the red bag near the bench have all been destroyed).

Can the authorities comment on how the boys, who were handed bread by Mr Skripal, managed to avoid contamination?

9. It has been said that one of the reasons the Government is/was so sure that the ultimate culprit behind the poisoning was the Russian state, is the apparent existence of an "FSB handbook" which, amongst other things, allegedly features descriptions of how to apply nerve agent to a door handle. Given that the Prime Minister first made a formal accusation of culpability on 12th March in her speech to the House of Commons, the Government must therefore have been in possession of this manual prior to that day. However, claims about the door handle being the location of the poison did not appear until late March (the first media reports of it were on 28th March). What this means is there was a delay of several weeks between the Government making its accusation, based partly on the apparent existence of the "door handle manual", and the door handle of Mr Skripal's house being a subject of interest to investigators.

Can the authorities therefore tell us whether the Government's failure to pass on details of the "door handle manual" put the lives of the officers going in and out of Mr Skripal's house from 5th March to 27th March in jeopardy?

10. On 17th March, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said:

"We are learning more about Sergei and Yulia's movements but we need to be clearer around their exact movements on the morning of the incident. We believe that at around 9.15am on Sunday, 4 March, Sergei's car may have been in the areas of London Road, Churchill Way North and Wilton Road. Then at around 1.30pm it was seen being driven down Devizes Road, towards the town centre. We need to establish Sergei and Yulia's movements during the morning, before they headed to the town centre. Did you see this car, or what you believe was this car, on the day of the incident? We are particularly keen to hear from you if you saw the car before 1.30pm. If you have information, please call the police on 101."

Now that Sergei and Yulia Skripal have been awake and able to communicate for around four months, these details are presumably now all known to investigators. In the normal course of such a high profile investigation, details such as these would be relayed to the public in the hope of jogging memories to prompt more information. And in fact, many such details have been released to the public in this case. Yet, confirmation of Mr Skripal's and Yulia's movements that day remain conspicuous by their absence.

Can the authorities confirm that the movements of the Skripals that day are now understood, and that they will be made known shortly, in order that more information from the public might then be forthcoming?

These questions have nothing to do with any conspiracy theory. On the contrary, they are all based on the assumption that the two central claims made by the authorities regarding the mode and the method used in this incident are correct. They are, however, very serious and perfectly legitimate questions about the way the authorities have dealt with this incident, on their own terms and on the basis of their own claims .

We await their explanations.

besnook Mon, 08/06/2018 - 14:22 Permalink

the brits want to embarrass themselves.

EuroPox -> besnook Mon, 08/06/2018 - 14:25 Permalink

They already have - that was just more lies:

"Reports that the United Kingdom is planning to ask Russia to extradite suspects in a Salisbury poisoning incident are nothing more than a "speculation," a spokesperson for the UK Foreign Office told Sputnik on Monday.

"This is just more speculation. The police investigation is ongoing and anything on the record will need to come from the Police," the spokesperson said."

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201808061067000089-uk-no-request-salisbu

[Aug 06, 2018] It's very profitable to be an anti-Russian talking head.

Aug 06, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

New Cold War

"Ex-FBI agent: Trump got elected, thanks to Russia" [ Yahoo News ]. • One thing to remember about RussiaRussiaRussia -- R 3 ? -- is that it's very profitable to be a talking head.

"DOJ Announces Public Release of the Cyber-Digital Task Force's First Report; Impact on and Role of the Private Sector Likely to be a Focus in the Coming Months" [ Compliance and Enforcement ]. "[Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein] lauded 'self-policing' efforts to remove 'fake accounts' and encouraged companies to 'consider the voluntary removal of accounts and content' that are linked by the FBI to foreign agents' activities, which he said 'violate terms of service and deceive customers.'" • What could go wrong?

[Aug 05, 2018] Cooper was equally as unhinged as Boot: Neoliberal MSM is a real 1984 remake.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I'm somewhat puzzled why Trump and his people, when referring to the "fake news" and answering questions from hostile journalists, especially about the idea that the media are "enemies of the American people", fail to bring up the fact that the "fake news" and the "enemies of the people" are not the journalists themselves, but rather the management and ownership of the media. ..."
Aug 05, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
paul malfara , a day ago
I posted this one to my facebook page three or four days ago. It's brilliant. I have a few comments. First, I disagree with the analysis given by the fellow from the Duran in the introduction, something along the lines of "even Anderson Cooper was smirking because Cohen was demolishing Boot so badly".

If you pay attention to the questions and statements, you find that Cooper is equally as unhinged as Boot is, first hammering on the point that nobody knows what was discussed in the meeting, then after Cohen rattles off a list, Cooper shifts to the "you're believing Vladimir Putin on this" tactic, a nail that Cohen wisely smashes with a hammering statement, "I don't want to shock you, but I believe Vladimir Putin on several things."

Cooper continues to insist that the content of the meeting is unknown and unconfirmed, regardless of what Putin and Trump say. The sheer hubris of journalists today is unprecedented and outrageous.

I do admit that Cooper shuts up after being schooled by Cohen a second and third time and after Boot makes the mistake of calling Cohen an apologist for Putin and Russia. This leads me to a second point.

I'm somewhat puzzled why Trump and his people, when referring to the "fake news" and answering questions from hostile journalists, especially about the idea that the media are "enemies of the American people", fail to bring up the fact that the "fake news" and the "enemies of the people" are not the journalists themselves, but rather the management and ownership of the media.

\This would accomplish two important things, both necessary, in my opinion. First, it would put the front line journalists into their correct place, telling them that they are really nothing but mouthpieces, and we know that the real decisions on content are not made by them.

What a blow to their narcisstic self-esteem that would be!

Second, it would give the American people more information on how their consent is engineered, how the media has owners who have an agenda, and that agenda is not related to improving the lives of the American people, or even keeping them informed with accurate information.

[Aug 05, 2018] Cooper was equally as unhinged as Boot: Neoliberal MSM is a real 1984 remake.

Notable quotes:
"... I'm somewhat puzzled why Trump and his people, when referring to the "fake news" and answering questions from hostile journalists, especially about the idea that the media are "enemies of the American people", fail to bring up the fact that the "fake news" and the "enemies of the people" are not the journalists themselves, but rather the management and ownership of the media. ..."
Aug 05, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
paul malfara , a day ago
I posted this one to my facebook page three or four days ago. It's brilliant. I have a few comments. First, I disagree with the analysis given by the fellow from the Duran in the introduction, something along the lines of "even Anderson Cooper was smirking because Cohen was demolishing Boot so badly".

If you pay attention to the questions and statements, you find that Cooper is equally as unhinged as Boot is, first hammering on the point that nobody knows what was discussed in the meeting, then after Cohen rattles off a list, Cooper shifts to the "you're believing Vladimir Putin on this" tactic, a nail that Cohen wisely smashes with a hammering statement, "I don't want to shock you, but I believe Vladimir Putin on several things."

Cooper continues to insist that the content of the meeting is unknown and unconfirmed, regardless of what Putin and Trump say. The sheer hubris of journalists today is unprecedented and outrageous.

I do admit that Cooper shuts up after being schooled by Cohen a second and third time and after Boot makes the mistake of calling Cohen an apologist for Putin and Russia. This leads me to a second point.

I'm somewhat puzzled why Trump and his people, when referring to the "fake news" and answering questions from hostile journalists, especially about the idea that the media are "enemies of the American people", fail to bring up the fact that the "fake news" and the "enemies of the people" are not the journalists themselves, but rather the management and ownership of the media.

\This would accomplish two important things, both necessary, in my opinion. First, it would put the front line journalists into their correct place, telling them that they are really nothing but mouthpieces, and we know that the real decisions on content are not made by them.

What a blow to their narcisstic self-esteem that would be!

Second, it would give the American people more information on how their consent is engineered, how the media has owners who have an agenda, and that agenda is not related to improving the lives of the American people, or even keeping them informed with accurate information.

[Aug 05, 2018] Soros the 400k Question What constitutes 'foreign interference' in democracy -- RT Op-ed

Notable quotes:
"... "Unproven Russian involvement in Brexit – terrible! Impose more sanctions on Moscow! A £400k check from an American billionaire for an anti-Brexit campaigning group – that's no problem; it's helping our democracy!" ..."
"... "By quitting Europe, I fear that we are hastening Putin's dream of the break-up of the EU – and with it, potentially, western civilisation," ..."
"... "propaganda arms of the Russian government," ..."
"... "at the back of the queue" ..."
"... "This is not foreign interference This is not foreign interference!" ..."
"... " highly probable " ..."
"... "had conducted a thorough investigation around the Brexit referendum and found no evidence of Russian interference ." ..."
"... "Russian troll factory," ..."
"... "very low levels of engagement" ..."
"... "conspiracy theorist" ..."
"... "Just what does George Soros think he is doing pouring £400,000 into a campaign to stop Brexit. For a start he is not actually a resident of this country so it has nothing to do with him." ..."
"... "I don't know that the public understands the gravity of what the Russians were able to do and continue to do here in the United States. They've attacked us. They're trying to undermine our democracy," ..."
"... "I looked at them and said: 'I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money " ..."
"... "I said, 'I'm telling you, you're not getting the billion dollars," ..."
"... "Well, son of a b***h. He got fired." ..."
"... Follow Neil Clark @NeilClark66 ..."
Aug 05, 2018 | www.rt.com

Soros & the £400k Question: What constitutes 'foreign interference' in democracy? Neil Clark Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. He has written for many newspapers and magazines in the UK and other countries including The Guardian, Morning Star, Daily and Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Spectator, The Week, and The American Conservative. He is a regular pundit on RT and has also appeared on BBC TV and radio, Sky News, Press TV and the Voice of Russia. He is the co-founder of the Campaign For Public Ownership @PublicOwnership. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66 Published time: 9 Feb, 2018 16:32 Edited time: 19 Feb, 2018 09:39 Get short URL Soros & the £400k Question: What constitutes 'foreign interference' in democracy? © Wiktor Dabkowski / Global Look Press You'd have to have a real sense of humor failure not to laugh. The news that US billionaire Soros donated £400k to an anti-Brexit group came on the day that YouTube said they found no evidence of Russian interference in Brexit. Repeat After Me (with robotic arm movements): "Unproven Russian involvement in Brexit – terrible! Impose more sanctions on Moscow! A £400k check from an American billionaire for an anti-Brexit campaigning group – that's no problem; it's helping our democracy!"

You don't have to own a brand new £999 state-of-the art Hypocrisy Detector from Harrods, to pick up on the double standards. Just having a few functioning brain cells and thinking for yourself will do. For months in the UK we've been bombarded with Establishment-approved conspiracy theories – peddled in all the 'best' newspapers – that Russia somehow 'fixed' Brexit. Getting Britain to leave the EU was all part of a cunning plot by Vladimir Putin, aka Dr. Evil, to weaken Europe and the 'free world.'

Read more Gina Miller(R), George Soros(L) © Global Look Press Soros-backed anti-Brexit group is 'undemocratic' – cofounder Gina Miller

Even West End musical composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber, who knows quite a bit about phantoms, seemed taken in by it. "By quitting Europe, I fear that we are hastening Putin's dream of the break-up of the EU – and with it, potentially, western civilisation," the noble Lord declared in July.

Never mind that we don't have a single statement from Putin or other senior Kremlin figures saying that they actually supported Brexit. These Establishment Russia-bashers know exactly what The Vlad is thinking.

And never mind that RT and Sputnik, which we are repeatedly told are "propaganda arms of the Russian government," ran articles by pro- and anti-Brexit writers. The same people who told us Iraq had WMDs in 2003 were absolutely sure it was those dastardly Russkies who had got Britain to vote 'leave.' The irony is of course that there was significant foreign interference in Brexit. But it didn't come from Moscow.

Or Obama actually visiting the U.K. to urge people to vote Remain. Imagine if Putin did the same for Leave!

-- jeffreydujon (@vanremny) February 8, 2018

The US has always wanted Britain to stay in the EU. In April 2016, two months before the Referendum, President Obama made it clear what he wanted when he visited the UK. He warned that if Britain exited the EU it would be "at the back of the queue" for trade deals with the US .

Just imagine if Putin had said that. The Russophobes would have spontaneously combusted.

Then of course there was the backing the Remain camp had from the giants of US capital. Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan donated £500,000 each to the 'Britain Stronger in Europe' group, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley – £250,000 each.

Again, repeat after me (with robotic arm movements): "This is not foreign interference This is not foreign interference!"

You've got to see the funny side of this: all that hysterical fake news about 'Russian interference' in Brexit & here we have one side receiving £400K from a US billionaire who is part of the US political establishment. Is that not 'interference' ?!! https://t.co/URzrB3ciLd

-- Neil Clark (@NeilClark66) February 8, 2018

The point is not whether we are for or against Brexit. Or whether we think George Soros is a malign influence who only acts out of self-interest or an old sweetie-pie with the good of humanity at heart. The point is the double standards that are causing our Hypocrisy Detectors to explode.

Let's think back to December 2016. Then, the pro-war and fiercely anti-Russian Labour MP Ben Bradshaw told Parliament that it was " highly probable " that Russia had interfered with Brexit.

Fourteen months on, what have we got? On Thursday, the global head of You Tube's public policy, Juniper Downs, said her company "had conducted a thorough investigation around the Brexit referendum and found no evidence of Russian interference ."

Read more © Sophia Kembowski / Global Look Press No Russian interference in Brexit referendum - YouTube exec tells parliamentary committee (VIDEO)

Twitter meanwhile says it detected 49 (yes, 49) accounts from what it claimed to be a "Russian troll factory," which sent all of 942 messages about Brexit – amounting to less than 0.005% of all the tweets about the Referendum. Twitter said the accounts received "very low levels of engagement" from users. If the Kremlin had planned to use tweets to persuade us to vote 'leave,' they didn't really put much effort into it, did they?

Finally, Facebook said that only three "Kremlin-linked" accounts were found which spent the grand sum of 72p (yes, 72p) on ads during the Referendum campaign. Which amounts to the greater "interference" ? 72p or £400K? Erm tough call, isn't it?

You might have thought, given his concern with 'foreign interference' in British politics, that Ben Bradshaw would have been urging 'Best for Britain' to return George Soros' donation. Au contraire! His only tweets about it were retweets of two critical comments about the Daily Telegraph, and the BBC's coverage of the story. Conclusion: Those who rail about 'Russia meddling in Brexit' but not Soros' intervention aren't concerned about 'foreign interference' in UK politics, only 'foreign interference' from countries they don't approve of.

Those who are quite happy peddling ludicrous conspiracy theories about Russians shout "conspiracy theorist" (or worse) at those who report factually on proven meddling from others. The Daily Express hit the nail on the head in their Friday editorial which said: "Just what does George Soros think he is doing pouring £400,000 into a campaign to stop Brexit. For a start he is not actually a resident of this country so it has nothing to do with him."

That really is the rub of the matter. And Bradshaw and co. have no adequate response except to shoot the messenger.

If we look at the affair with an even wider lens, the hypocrisy is even greater. The US has been gripped by an anti-Russian frenzy not seen since the days of Senator Joe McCarthy. The unsubstantiated claim that Russia fixed the election for Donald Trump is repeated by 'liberals' and many neocons too, as a statement of fact. "I don't know that the public understands the gravity of what the Russians were able to do and continue to do here in the United States. They've attacked us. They're trying to undermine our democracy," film director Rob Reiner said .

But the number one country round the world for undermining democracy and interfering in the affairs of other sovereign states is the US itself.

Read more The US Vice President Joe Biden (L) jokes that Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko (R) is buying lunch, before sitting down to their bilateral meeting at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington March 31, 2016. © Jonathan Ernst 'Son of b***h got fired': Joe Biden forced Ukraine to sack prosecutor general 'in six hours'

While Establishment journos and pundits have been foaming at the mouth over 'Russiagate' and getting terribly excited over 'smoking guns' which turn out – surprise, surprise – to be damp squibs, there's been less attention paid to the boasts of former Vice President Joe Biden on how he got the allegedly 'independent' Ukrainian government to sack its prosecutor general in a few hours. "I looked at them and said: 'I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money "

"I said, 'I'm telling you, you're not getting the billion dollars," Biden said during a meeting of the US' Council on Foreign Relations. "Well, son of a b***h. He got fired."

Again, just imagine the furore if a leading Russian government figure boasted about how he used financial inducements to get another country's Prosecutor General to be sacked. Or if a tape was leaked in which the Russian Ambassador and a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson could be heard discussing who should or shouldn't be in the new 'democratic' government of another sovereign state. But we had the US Ambassador to Ukraine and the US Assistant Secretary of State doing exactly that in 2014 – and the 'Russia is interfering in the Free World!' brigade were as silent as a group of Trappist monks.

It's fair to say that Orwell would have a field day with the doublespeak that's currently on show. The cognitive dissonance is there for all to see. Repeat After Me: Unproven Russian interference – Bad. Proven interference from other external sources – Good. What's your problem?

Follow Neil Clark @NeilClark66

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

[Aug 05, 2018] Perils of Ineptitude

Notable quotes:
"... cordon sanitaire ..."
"... ANDREW LEVINE is the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). ..."
Aug 05, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

There is less shame in being undone by a "master of deceit."

When J. Edgar Hoover coined that description, he had Communists in mind. Back then, though, "Ruskies" and "Commies" – it was all the same. Americans were conditioned to live in fear that the Russians were coming.

That nonsense should have ended when Communism more or less officially expired in 1989, followed two years later by the demise of the Soviet Union itself. For a long time, it seemed that it had.

At first, the reaction in Western, especially American, political and media circles was triumphalist. The war was over and our side won.

Beneath the surface, however, there was mourning in America.

With the Cold War, the death merchants, the masters of war, the neocons, and a host of others had had a good thing going. Having been born into it, the political class was comfortable with the status quo too; and generations of Americans had grown up imbibing Russophobia in their mother's milk (or infant formula).

It turned out, though, that American triumphalism was only a phase. Before long, it became clear that our economic and political masters had nothing to worry about, that Cold War anti-Communism was more robust than Communism itself.

However, in the final days of Bush 41 and then at the dawn of the Clinton era, nobody knew that. Nobody gave America's propaganda system the credit it deserved.

Also, nobody quite realized how devastating Russia's regression to capitalism would be, and nobody quite grasped the savagery of the kleptocrats who had taken charge of what remained of the Russian state.

For more than a decade, the situation in that late great superpower was too dire to sustain the old fears and animosities. Capitalism had made Russia wretched again.

That suited Bill Clinton and his First Lady, the former Goldwater Girl. Boris Yeltsin, Russia's leader, was their man. He was a godsend, a Trump-like cartoon character and a drunkard to boot – with an economy in tatters, and no rightwing base egging him on.

But anti-Communism (without Communism) and its close cousin, Russophobia, could not remain in remission forever. The need for them was too great.

In the Age of Obama, the Global War on Terror, with or without that ludicrous Bush 43-era name, wasn't cutting it anymore. It was, and still is, good for keeping America's perpetual war regime going and for undoing civil liberties, but there had never been much glory in it, only endless misery for all. Also it was getting old and increasingly easy to see through.

The time was therefore right for a return of the repressed -- for full-blooded, fifties-style, anti-Communist (= anti-Russian) hysteria, or, since that still seemed far-fetched, for anti-Communist (= anti-Chinese) hysteria.

This was not the only factor behind the Obama administration's "pivot towards Asia," its largely failed attempt to take China down a notch or two, but it was an important part of the story.

However, by the time Obama and his team decided to pivot, China had become too important to the United States economically to make a good Cold War enemy. Worse still, it had for too long been an object of pity and contempt, not fear.

When the Soviet Union was an enemy, China was an enemy too, most glaringly during the Korean War. It remained an enemy even after the Sino-Soviet split became too obvious to deny. However, unlike post-1917 Russia, it had never quite become an historical foe.

Moreover, as Russia began to recover from the Yeltsin era, the Russian political class, and many of the oligarchs behind them, sensing the popular mood, decided that the time was ripe "to make Russia great again." Putin is not so much a cause as he is a symptom – and symbol – of this aspiration.

And so, there it was: the longed for new Cold War would be much like the one that seemed over a quarter century ago.

***

As everyone who has seen, heard or read anything about the 2016 election "knows," Russian intelligence services (= Putin) meddled. Everyone also "knows" that, with midterm elections looming, they are at it again.

This, according to the mainstream consensus view, is a bona fide casus belli , a justification for war. To be sure, what they want is a war that remains cold; ending life on earth, as we know it, is not on their agenda.

But inasmuch as cold wars can easily turn hot, this hardly mitigates the recklessness of their machinations. Humankind was extraordinarily lucky last time; there is no guarantee that all that luck will hold.

Exactly what "Putin," the shorthand name for all that is Russian and nefarious, did, or is still doing, remains unclear. But this does not seem to bother purveyors of the conventional wisdom.

Neither is ostensibly informed public opinion fazed by the fact that the evidence supporting the consensus view comes mainly from American intelligence services and from their counterparts in the UK and other allied nations.

Time was when anyone with any sense understood that these intelligence services, the American ones especially, are second to none in meddling in the affairs of other nations, and that the American national security state – essentially our political police -- is comprised, by design, of liars and deceivers.

How ironic therefore that nowadays it is mainly bamboozled Trump supporters in the Fox News demographic -- people who could care less about peace or, for that matter, about truth -- who are wary of the CIA and skeptical of the FBI's claims!

Try as they might, the manufacturers and guardians of conventional wisdom have so far been unable to concoct a plausible story in which Russian meddling affected the outcome of the 2016 election in any serious way. The idea that the Russians defeated Hillary, not Hillary herself, is, to borrow a phrase from Jeremy Bentham, "nonsense on stilts." Leading Democrats and their media flacks don't seem to mind that either.

They do not even seem to notice that what they allege, vague as it is, is trifling compared to the massive and very open meddling of American plutocrats, Republican vote suppressers and gerrymanderers, and the governments of supposedly friendly nations – like Saudi Arabia, the Gulf monarchies, and Israel.

Nevertheless, it probably is true that the Russians meddled. Cold War revivalists can therefore rest easy, confident that their propagandists will have at least a few facts with which they can work to restore the perils of their vanished youth.

Even so, the level of their hypocrisy is appalling. Russia, along with former Soviet republics and former members of the Warsaw Pact, has been bearing the brunt of far worse American meddling for far longer than anything sanctimonious defenders of so-called American "democracy" can plausibly allege.

Moreover, it should go without saying that the democracy they purport to care so much about has almost nothing to do with "the rule of the demos." It doesn't even have much to do with free and fair competitive elections – unless "free and fair" means that anything goes, so long as the principals and perpetrators are homegrown or citizens of favored nations.

Self-righteous posturing aside, Putin's real sin in the eyes of the American power elite is that, in his own small way, he has been defying America's "right" to run the world as it sees fit.

When Clinton was president, Serbia did that, and lived to regret it. Cuba has been suffering for nearly six decades for the same reason, and now Venezuela is paying its dues. The empire is merciless towards nations that rebel.

With Soviet support and then with sheer determination and grit, Cuba has been able to withstand the onslaught to some extent from Day One. Venezuela may not be so lucky – especially now that Republicans and Democrats feel threatened by the growing number of "democratic socialists" in their midst. Already, the propaganda system is targeting Venezuelan "socialism," blaming it for that country's woes, and warning that if our newly minted, homegrown socialists prevail, a similar fate will be in store for us.

This is ludicrous, of course – American hostility and the vagaries of the global oil market deserve the lion's share of the blame. But the on-going propaganda blitz could nevertheless pave the way for horrors ahead, should Trump decide to start a war America could actually win.

Inconsequential Russian meddling is a big deal on the "liberal" cable networks, on NPR, and in the "quality" press. Democrats and a few Republicans love to bleat on about it. But it is Ukraine that made Russia our "adversary" and its president Public Enemy Number One.

Hypocrisy reigns here too. It was the Obama administration – run through with neocons, liberal imperialists, and other holdovers from Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State – that did all it could to exacerbate longstanding tensions between that country's Ukrainian and Russian speaking populations, the better to complete NATO's encirclement of the Russian federation. And it was American meddling that led to the empowerment of virulently anti-Russian, fascisant Ukrainian politicians, much to the detriment of Russian speaking Ukrainians in the east.

But never mind: Putin – that is, the Russia government – violated international law by sending troops briefly into beleaguered Russian-speaking parts of the country. That they were generally welcomed by the people living there is of no importance.

Worst of all, Russia annexed Crimea – a territory integral to the Russian empire since the eighteenth century. Since long before the Russian Revolution, Crimea has been home to a huge naval base vital to Russia's strategic defense.

The story line back in the day was that anything that could be described as Russian aggression outside the Soviet Union's agreed upon sphere of influence had to do with spreading Communism. In fact, the Soviets did everything they could to keep Communist and other insurgencies from upending the status quo. The mainstream narrative was wrong.

Now Communism is gone and nothing has taken its place. Even so, the idea that Russia has designs on its neighbors for ideological reasons is hard to shake – in part because it is actively promoted by propagandists who have suddenly and uncharacteristically become defenders of international law.

Meanwhile, of course, the hypocrisies keep piling on. It is practically a tenet of the American civil religion that international law applies to others, not to the United States. This is why, when it suits some perceived purpose, America flaunts its violations shamelessly.

Thus nothing the Russians did or are ever likely to do comes close to the shenanigans Bill Clinton displayed – successfully, for the most part – in his efforts to tear Kosovo away from Serbia. Clinton even went so far as to bomb Belgrade; Putin never bombed Kiev.

The Cold War that began after World War II involved a clash of rival political economic systems. The Cold War that reignited a few years ago involves a clash of rival imperialist centers. Its world more nearly resembles the one that existed before World War I than the one that emerged after World War II.

However, the difference may be more superficial than it seems. The ease with which Cold War revivalists have been able to get the Cold War up and running again, even without Communism, suggests what a few observers have long maintained -- that the Cold War, on Russia's part, had little, if anything, to do with spreading Communism around the world, and everything to do with maintaining a cordon sanitaire around Russia's borders in order to protect against a demonstrably aggressive "free world."

George W. Bush claimed that 9/11 happened because "they hate our freedom." "They" would be radical Islamists of the kind stirred into action in Afghanistan by Zbigniew Brzezinski and his co-thinkers in the Carter administration. Their objective was to undermine the Soviet Union by getting it bogged down in a quagmire like the one that did so much harm to the United States in Vietnam.

That part of Brzezinski's plan was at least a partial success. But inasmuch as Bush's "they" are still there, still spreading murder and mayhem throughout the Greater Middle East, America and the world has been paying a high price for the benefits, such as they were, that ensued.

The never-ending wars set in motion by the "pivot" towards radical Islamism decades ago never quite succeeded in producing an enemy as serviceable as the USSR. But now that Putin's Russia has been pressed into service, that problem is potentially "solved."

However, the American public is not as naïve as it used to be, and it is impossible to say, at this point, how well this new story line will work.

Efforts to recycle Bush's "they hate our freedom" nonsense ought to be non-starters. But this is the best Cold War revivalists have come up with so far. The Russians, they say, simply cannot deal with the fact that we Americans are so damned free.

It is hard to believe, but there are people who are actually buying this but, with a lot of corporate media assistance, there are. No matter how clear it is that they are not worth being taken seriously, Cold War mythologies just won't die.

However, it is worth pondering why today's Russia would do what it is alleged to have done; and why, as is also alleged, it is still doing it.

From a geopolitical point of view, Russia does have an interest in doing all it can to ward off Western aggression. It also has an interest in undermining strategic alliances aimed at blocking anything and everything that challenges American supremacy. And, until sanity prevails in Washington and other Western capitals, it arguably also has an interest in aiding and abetting rightwing nationalists in order to exacerbate tensions within Western societies.

However, in view of prevailing power relations, these are interests it cannot do much to advance. Acting as if this were not the case only puts Russia in a bad light -- not for meddling, but for meddling stupidly.

No doubt, for reasons both fair and foul, Putin wanted Hillary to lose the election two years ago. So, but for one little problem, would anyone whose head is screwed on right. That problem's name is Donald Trump.

Clinton is bad, but Trump is worse -- not just by most measures but by all.

Her fondness for war and preparations for war was alarming; she was bellicosity personified. But it was plain even before the election that Trump, a mentally unhinged narcissist, would be even more likely than she to bring on massive devastation. A vote for Trump was and still is a vote for catastrophe.

Putin's enemy was Trump's enemy, and it is axiomatic that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" -- except sometimes it isn't. Sometimes, my enemy's enemy is an enemy far worse.

For reasons that remain obscure, Putin and Trump seem to have a "thing" going on between them. Some day perhaps we will know what that is all about. For now, though, the hard and very relevant fact is that Trump has done nothing to help, and quite a few things to harm, Russia.

It isn't just ordinary Russians who have been made worse off. Trump has been at least as hard on oligarchs close to Putin as Clinton would have been.

If those damned Russians were half as smart as they are made out to be, they would have realized long ago that, for getting anything done that bucks the tide, Trump is too inept to be of any use at all; and that anything he sets out to do is likely to turn out badly not just for America and its allies but for Russia too.

Therefore, if there really was Russian meddling, as there probably was, Putin should be ashamed – not so much for the DNC reasons laid out 24/7 on MSNBC and CNN, but for overestimating Trump's abilities and for underestimating the extent to which what started out as a maneuver of Hillary Clinton's, concocted to excuse her incompetence, would take a perilously "viral" turn, becoming a major threat to peace in a political culture that never quite got beyond the lunacy of the First Cold War. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Andrew Levine

ANDREW LEVINE is the author most recently of THE AMERICAN IDEOLOGY (Routledge) and POLITICAL KEY WORDS (Blackwell) as well as of many other books and articles in political philosophy. His most recent book is In Bad Faith: What's Wrong With the Opium of the People . He was a Professor (philosophy) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Research Professor (philosophy) at the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

[Aug 05, 2018] American Pravda the Nature of Anti-Semitism by Ron Unz

Aug 05, 2018 | www.unz.com

Ace , August 1, 2018 at 3:39 pm GMT

@Jeff Stryker

The Skripals' misadventure (contretemps, dust up, theater, bit of bother) is absurd but did the U.K. government embrace it with alacrity and a vengeance or what? The only thing missing was narration by Edgar R. Murrow. Not to mention the Skripals.

The very absurdity of it calls into question anything that preceded it with the same story line, viz., "Russians are animals."

What anyone needs to be wary of is the people who push this and other "narratives": "Animal Assad," "religion of peace," "multiculturalism," "propositional nation," "comprehensive immigration law reform," "living Constitution," "equality," "hate speech," "Iranchiefsponsorofterror," "regime change," "treason," "collusion," "McCarthyism," "humanitarian intervention," "global/climate freeze/warming/change/disruption," "anti-Semitism," "Judeo-Christian," "target civilians/hospitals," and such like.

[Aug 05, 2018] Bernie Sanders did everything he was told he should do. He supported the Democratic establishment candidate, and now he believes the Russiagate story.

Notable quotes:
"... While you are at it, you might also want to come up with an improved definition of "treason": something better than " a skeptical attitude toward preposterous, unproven claims made by those known to be perpetual liars. ..."
"... So you plan to continue this McCarthy Russian BS? You didn't speak out when you got cheated in the primaries, and you didn't seem to care that Hillary was using her own paid troll army. Integrity matters Bernie and you are losing yours. ..."
"... You stopped speaking for me and millions of others when you caved to crooked HRC. No it was NOT clear that Russia was "deeply involved in the election. What is CLEAR is your betrayal of your followers and cover up of the election fraud perpetrated by DNC! Everybody knows... ..."
"... Bernie, that's MIC propaganda. Stop helping it. There are millions of reasons Trump should not be president. We don't need a hyped up corporate fairytale to make that point https://t.co/7FAwb47LtB ..."
"... Democratic party jingoism in 2020 will be extra-ordinary with candidates each trying to out do each other how they will fuck over Putin and the Russian nation. There will be a shit load of public loyalty testing against any third party candidate by the democrats. ..."
Aug 05, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

It has been clear to everyone (except Donald Trump) that Russia was deeply involved in the 2016 election and intends to be involved in 2018. It is the American people who should be deciding the political future of our country, not Mr. Putin and the Russian oligarchs.

-- Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 16, 2018

However, Sanders had already committed the unforgivable sin of criticizing the Democratic establishment candidate from the left. There is simply no way of coming back from that treason.

Despite his stance, Sanders has also been constantly presented as another Russian agent, with the Washington Post (11/12/17) asking its readers, "When Russia interferes with the 2020 election on behalf of Democratic nominee Bernie Sanders, how will liberals respond?" The message is clear: The progressive wave rising across America is and will be a consequence of Russia, not of the failures of the system, nor of the Democrats.

It isn't just progressive politicians that are all traitors. Movements like Black Lives Matter are also traitors for Russia.

Slate: Russian Trolls Were Obsessed With Black Lives Matter
CNN: Her son was killed -- then came the Russian trolls
NY Times: The Propaganda Tools Used by Russians to Influence the 2016 Election

snoopydawg on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 6:32pm
Bernie's tweet is hysterical
It is the American people who should be deciding the political future of our country, not Mr. Putin and the Russian oligarchs.

Hey, Bernie. The American people were the ones who should have decided who won the primary, not Hillary, the DNC and the delegates. That you are blaming Her loss on Russia instead of admitting that the American people rejected her makes you nothing more than a democratic puppet. How embarrassing for you.

Every Black voter should abandon the DP until they apologize for their disrespect for the BLM and saying that they only started protesting cops killing Blacks because Russia manipulated them into doing so.

Eichenwald thinks that our intelligence agencies are patriots who have spent their lives working on keeping us safe does he? I agree with Dmitry Orlov's take on them.

US Intelligence Community is Tearing the Country Apart from the

The objective of US intelligence is to suck all remaining wealth out of the US and its allies and pocket as much of it as possible while pretending to defend it from phantom aggressors by squandering nonexistent (borrowed) financial resources on ineffective and overpriced military operations and weapons systems. Where the aggressors are not phantom, they are specially organized for the purpose of having someone to fight: "moderate" terrorists and so on.

....

the US intelligence community has been doing a wonderful job of bankrupting the country and driving it toward financial, economic and political collapse by forcing it to engage in an endless series of expensive and futile conflicts -- the largest single continuous act of grand larceny the world has ever known. How that can possibly be an intelligent thing to do to your own country, for any conceivable definition of "intelligence," I will leave for you to work out for yourself.

While you are at it, you might also want to come up with an improved definition of "treason": something better than " a skeptical attitude toward preposterous, unproven claims made by those known to be perpetual liars. "

And let's not forget how many coups and false flag events they had a hand in creating that have cost so much misery and death.

One major advancement in their state of the art has been in moving from real false flag operations, à la 9/11, to fake false flag operations, à la fake East Gouta chemical attack in Syria (since fully discredited). The Russian election meddling story is perhaps the final step in this evolution: no New York skyscrapers or Syrian children were harmed in the process of concocting this fake narrative, and it can be kept alive seemingly forever purely through the furious effort of numerous flapping lips.

It is now a pure confidence scam. If you are less then impressed with their invented narratives, then you are a conspiracy theorist or, in the latest revision, a traitor.

The real puppets are the ones who believe in this silly story that Russia is pulling Trump's strings and that the GOP are also Russian puppets. Good grief!

snoopydawg on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 6:55pm
The first tweet shows how people twist events

The others show that there are others out there that have seen through this propaganda crap. I'd like to see the breakdown of Hillary supporters that believe Russia Gate and the Bernie supporters that don't. Most of the Trump supporters think it's phony so what made Hillary's believe in something that everyone should be laughing at?

You deserve a lot of credit. Russia interfered in your favor, yet you are man enough to admit that they interfered. Thank you Bernie!

-- Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) February 16, 2018

So you plan to continue this McCarthy Russian BS? You didn't speak out when you got cheated in the primaries, and you didn't seem to care that Hillary was using her own paid troll army. Integrity matters Bernie and you are losing yours.

-- Underdawg47 (@Underdawg47) February 17, 2018

You stopped speaking for me and millions of others when you caved to crooked HRC. No it was NOT clear that Russia was "deeply involved in the election. What is CLEAR is your betrayal of your followers and cover up of the election fraud perpetrated by DNC! Everybody knows...

-- Logan (@KOMBUCHABABY) February 17, 2018

Bernie, that's MIC propaganda. Stop helping it. There are millions of reasons Trump should not be president. We don't need a hyped up corporate fairytale to make that point https://t.co/7FAwb47LtB

-- SanBernieDingDong (@noreallyhowcome) February 17, 2018

MrWebster on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 7:19pm
2020 dem candidates will try to out do each other on Russia

Democratic party jingoism in 2020 will be extra-ordinary with candidates each trying to out do each other how they will fuck over Putin and the Russian nation. There will be a shit load of public loyalty testing against any third party candidate by the democrats.

The democrats (and media cohorts) have become an apocolyptic death cult. The language that comes from them is infused with the language of conspiracies, violence, treason, aggression and demonization.

And here is the thing, Bernie to survive electorally will have to become a cult member. Effectively he will have to be pro-war with Russia. He will be giving from the the Left supposed support for aggressive action andmilitarism toward Russia.

I fear that if a democrat becomes president in 2020 (it won't be Bernie), is elected president that in the year of the midterms in 2022, the US will start a real war with Russia which has a highly likehood of going nuclear.

[Aug 05, 2018] Are you a Russiagate traitor by gjohnsit

Notable quotes:
"... There was NO hack. ..."
"... emphasis in original. ..."
"... "inside job" ..."
"... "Who's the insider?" ..."
"... -- William Powell, The Anarchist Cookbook (1971), from memory ..."
"... @thanatokephaloides ..."
"... Finally there's the meeting that Assange's lawyer set up with congress for him to testify to congress and tell them where he got the DNC emails that showed how they rigged the primary. Comey and Schaffer shot that down because it would have killed Russia Gate. Dead and buried and the country could move on. ..."
"... In this case, it is NOT a matter of opinion. It is a matter of FACT. The physical proof that we have right now tells us that the Wikileaks documents did not come from a "hack." We also have physical evidence that someone (no doubt Crowdstrike) manipulated copies of the leaked documents and embedded awkward amateurish evidence to make them look like they were taken by a "Russian" hacker. Here's how we know that: ..."
"... Assange's diplomatic trip to the US in mid-2017 to testify before Congress and prove where the documents came from was emergency-blocked by Comey and Rosenstein. As a consequence, Assange immediately released the extensive Vault 7 documents to the American people so we could forensically recognize the signature techniques that the US intelligence agencies would use to alter downloaded DNC documents and embed fake Russian "fingerprints." We have seen the physical evidence that that occurred. ..."
"... The US has no real physical evidence of a Russian hack or they would never have released the fake evidence. Yet they continue their attack to harm Russia's economy and the continue their attempts to provoke a hot war with Russia. The US motive for this has nothing to do with their fake hacking narrative; it is about crippling Russia (and China) to forestall the rapid rise of Eurasia, which is stripping the Neocons and war-profiteering corporations of their dream for the US to achieve total domination over all other nations. The Entitled Elite want their New American Century back! Their Empire was supposed to rule the world.... ..."
"... @Pluto's Republic ..."
"... While you are at it, you might also want to come up with an improved definition of "treason": something better than " a skeptical attitude toward preposterous, unproven claims made by those known to be perpetual liars. ..."
"... third run ..."
"... ~~Author Unknown ..."
"... ~~Martin Luther King Jr. ..."
"... @Unabashed Liberal ..."
"... @Unabashed Liberal ..."
"... ~~Martin Luther King Jr. ..."
"... Democratic party jingoism in 2020 will be extra-ordinary with candidates each trying to out do each other how they will fuck over Putin and the Russian nation. There will be a shit load of public loyalty testing against any third party candidate by the democrats. ..."
Aug 04, 2018 | caucus99percent.com

Russiagate may technically be about Trump, but in fact most of the "traitors" and Putin Puppets are progressives on the left. Russiagate officially started in 2015 long before the DNC hack and the Democratic primaries.

From: brentbbi@webtv.net To: john.podesta@gmail.com Date: 2015-12-21 12:09

Best approach is to slaughter Donald for his bromance with Putin

Russiagate never was actually about Russia. It's the Democrats' version of Obama's birth certificate. As Caitlin Johnstone puts it, Russiagate is 9/11 minus 9/11.

TWIT:

Kurt Eichenwald

@kurteichenwald

Bottom line: You either support the patriots in our intelligence community and law enforcement who work endlessly for our national security, and all of the intelligence agencies of our allies, or you support Putin.

You're either a patriot, a traitor or an idiot. Choose.

10:51 AM-16 Jul 2018

In reality, Russiagate started with Ralph Nader and the 2000 election .

They said a vote for Nader was a vote for Bush. You have a moral duty to vote for the Democrat and to be pragmatic. Your Naderite purity came at the expense of the poor. Only affluent selfish white guys could afford this type of virtue signaling. In fact, maybe some of these people were really Republicans in disguise. There were no Russian bots to blame just yet, but clearly some liberals are unable to imagine good faith criticism of Democrats coming from the left.

The terms " virtue signaling", " purity pony", and of course "White Berniebro" weren't coined yet, but the the stereotype they describe was formed in 2000. Gore lost and Nader and all his voters, in swing states or not, were vilified. They were worse than Republicans. They were traitors. Of all the factors that caused Gore's loss, the only one that Democratic partisans really cared about was Nader.

People that voted for Nader became responsible for the Iraq War, while Democrats who voted for Bush and the Iraq War got a free pass. Liberals, besides their obvious double-standards when allocating responsibility, made the dubious claim that morality requires being pragmatic in your voting. And then, as if to prove the basis of their claims to be false, they approach their target audience in a non-pragmatic way.

The anger on open display is the opposite of pragmatic politics. They don't try to persuade people to vote for the Democrat. They demand it. It is a moral litmus test, or rather, a judgement of one's very soul. Good people know they have to vote for the Democrat. Bad people vote for Republicans and the very worst people of all claim to be left, but vote for Stein or maybe even voted for Clinton, but criticized her. Democratic partisans have no interest in what you say about an issue if they perceive it as in any way an attack or a criticism of a Democrat. If you are a third party advocate you can forget about being taken seriously on any issue because you have already self identified as a Satanist and you need to be exorcised from the body politic. Even if you say you support the Democrat as the lesser evil, you speak as one of the damned and deserve no mercy. Sanders played the game in 2016 exactly the way people said Nader should have played it and he and his supporters were still dismissed.

Like Nader before her, Stein is the absolute worst traitor of all . Worse than Trump himself.

Jill Stein is a Russian agent.
Jill Stein is a Russian agent.
Jill Stein is a Russian agent.
Jill Stein is a Russian agent.
Jill Stein is a Russian agent.
Jill Stein is a Russian agent.
Jill Stein is a Russian agent.
Jill Stein is a Russian agent. https://t.co/qkDUe6yADd

-- Zac Petkanas (@Zac_Petkanas) 18 December 2017

Maddow cast suspicion on Stein's silence over alleged Russian attempts to interfere with the election to benefit Donald Trump, who she claimed during her own campaign would govern no differently than Hillary Clinton.

"So everybody's like, 'Wow, how come this like super, super aggressive opposition that we saw from these third-party candidates -- how come they haven't said anything since this scandal has broken?'" Maddow said.

"I don't know, Jill -- I can't pronounce it in Russian," Maddow said, with apparent sarcasm.

. @maddow spots something fishy going on between Jill Stein and Vladimir Putin. pic.twitter.com/Cah10YWx8p

-- DESUS & MERO (@desusandmero) 15 February 2017

Bernie Sanders, OTOH, did everything he was told he should do. He supported the Democratic establishment candidate, and believed the Russiagate story.

It has been clear to everyone (except Donald Trump) that Russia was deeply involved in the 2016 election and intends to be involved in 2018. It is the American people who should be deciding the political future of our country, not Mr. Putin and the Russian oligarchs.

-- Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 16, 2018

However, Sanders had already committed the unforgivable sin of criticizing the Democratic establishment candidate from the left. There is simply no way of coming back from that treason.

Despite his stance, Sanders has also been constantly presented as another Russian agent, with the Washington Post (11/12/17) asking its readers, "When Russia interferes with the 2020 election on behalf of Democratic nominee Bernie Sanders, how will liberals respond?" The message is clear: The progressive wave rising across America is and will be a consequence of Russia, not of the failures of the system, nor of the Democrats.

It isn't just progressive politicians that are all traitors. Movements like Black Lives Matter are also traitors for Russia.

Slate: Russian Trolls Were Obsessed With Black Lives Matter
CNN: Her son was killed -- then came the Russian trolls
NY Times: The Propaganda Tools Used by Russians to Influence the 2016 Election

That's because you, Russia, funded riots in Ferguson. See 0 hour I have your connections to Trump archived via Schiller and Scavino https://t.co/aTUDlCGkYi

-- Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) April 9, 2017

If you are still confused about what is treason and what isn't, ask yourself the question: Does the issue advance the narrative that the Democratic Party is a force for absolute good?

Oh my god: this is how deranged official Washington is. The President of the largest Dem Party think tank (funded in part by dictators) genuinely believes Chelsea Manning's candidacy is a Kremlin plot. Conspiracy theorists thrive more in mainstream DC than on internet fringes pic.twitter.com/e8g314iQHT

-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 15, 2018

We still have the 2018 election, and then the long lead-up to the 2020 election. There is nothing to indicate that the rhetoric won't get a lot more insane. The general indifference of the public doesn't seem to discourage the media and pundits. So how will it likely look in Fall 2020? Probably like it looked in 1952 .

The purpose of advancing the Communist issue was not to fix the Communist problem -- it was to exploit that problem for political and ideological advantage. That is how the Republican Party could produce its unhinged 1952 platform, which charged that the Democrats "have shielded traitors to the Nation in high places," "work unceasingly to achieve their goal of national socialism," and "by a long succession of vicious acts, so undermined the foundations of our Republic as to threaten its existence." (Does that kind of talk strike you as overheated? Then you, too, are failing to take the Russia issue seriously.)

There is little to no danger for conservatives and Republicans. All of the danger is for progressives and socialists, and the angry mob is the Democratic establishment trying to silence left-wing ideas. In comparison, the danger of the GOP to the left-wing is trivial.

Deja on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 5:04pm

Ffs, there was NO "hack"

Russiagate officially started in 2015 long before the DNC hack and the Democratic primaries.

I'm finding it harder and harder to believe that people keep posting it as common knowledge and factual -- especially on this site. Old dkos habits are hard to break, I guess. The speed at which the files were STOLEN prove it was done from within the network. Not from Russia, or from a van parked down the street. I can only guess that the DNC can't reveal whose network account was used to do so, because it would blow the bullshit lie of a hack out of the water.

There was NO hack.

thanatokephaloides on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 5:21pm
inside job

@Deja

The speed at which the files were STOLEN prove it was done from within the network. Not from Russia, or from a van parked down the street. I can only guess that the DNC can't reveal whose network account was used to do so, because it would blow the bullshit lie of a hack out of the water.

There was NO hack.

emphasis in original.

The term usually used by the perpetrator classes for this sort of thing is: "inside job" . And, as with all other inside jobs, the question really is: "Who's the insider?"

"The easiest way to raise a revolutionary army is to use someone else's; especially if it belongs to your enemy."
-- William Powell, The Anarchist Cookbook (1971), from memory

Deja on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 5:27pm
Dead men tell no tales

@thanatokephaloides
R.I.P. Seth Rich

Side note: I find it odd that his parents sued Fox News for saying he was murdered by the DNC. The judge sided with Fox.

gjohnsit on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 5:51pm
It makes no difference

@Deja

I've seen an article debunking the "hack was a leak" story, but it makes no difference anyway. In my book, the leak/hack just created a more informed electorate, and that's good for American democracy.

gjohnsit on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 6:25pm
"care about the truth"

@Deja
The truth is contained in the emails, not in their journey. Remember who else is telling you that the contents of the emails is less important than how they got there - the Democrats.

divineorder on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 8:22pm
Yes, 'shill' equals bad imo. I too, have read that the 'leak'

@Deja hypothesis has problems. Don't get me wrong, I think it holds more promise than the 'hack' hypothesis. But right now, really, we got shit for proof either way? Would honestly look forward to your proof either way, sans the critique of the essayist. Might I suggest that you criticize the point, not the person, please? Questions remain.

- DNC leak vs hack remains unproven (servers not provided)
- one party consent is complicated. On the tape, there was 3rd party on speaker phone. Were they in one party consent jurisdiction as well?
- How was CNN able to confirm that this tape was recorded in NY?

-- John LeFevre (@JohnLeFevre) July 25, 2018

snoopydawg on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 10:09pm
Leak or hack - there's no evidence that Russia was involved

@divineorder

in it. This is the point that matters to me. Assange has stated that the emails didn't come from Russia. Craig Murray said that he was involved with the person who got the information from the DNC computers and that there was no connection to Russia.

The CIAs Vault 7 shows how evidence on computers can be manipulated to make it seem like someone's dawg did the deed. I think it'd be very sloppy for trained hackers to leave their own footprints on the scene don't you think?

Finally there's the meeting that Assange's lawyer set up with congress for him to testify to congress and tell them where he got the DNC emails that showed how they rigged the primary. Comey and Schaffer shot that down because it would have killed Russia Gate. Dead and buried and the country could move on.

Pluto's Republic on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 10:34pm
Absolutely right.

@Deja

It matters profoundly. Knowing the facts surrounding critical political events or social earthquakes can be epigenetic events. Hard truths can trigger conscious evolution while we are alive and your advanced gene expressions can be physically inherited, changing the species.

By exercising our own critical thinking and working very hard to see through narratives to the core realities in the universe and in all things -- we are physically evolving the species into better and more enlightened generations of humans.

In this case, it is NOT a matter of opinion. It is a matter of FACT. The physical proof that we have right now tells us that the Wikileaks documents did not come from a "hack." We also have physical evidence that someone (no doubt Crowdstrike) manipulated copies of the leaked documents and embedded awkward amateurish evidence to make them look like they were taken by a "Russian" hacker. Here's how we know that:

Assange's diplomatic trip to the US in mid-2017 to testify before Congress and prove where the documents came from was emergency-blocked by Comey and Rosenstein. As a consequence, Assange immediately released the extensive Vault 7 documents to the American people so we could forensically recognize the signature techniques that the US intelligence agencies would use to alter downloaded DNC documents and embed fake Russian "fingerprints." We have seen the physical evidence that that occurred.

The US has no real physical evidence of a Russian hack or they would never have released the fake evidence. Yet they continue their attack to harm Russia's economy and the continue their attempts to provoke a hot war with Russia. The US motive for this has nothing to do with their fake hacking narrative; it is about crippling Russia (and China) to forestall the rapid rise of Eurasia, which is stripping the Neocons and war-profiteering corporations of their dream for the US to achieve total domination over all other nations. The Entitled Elite want their New American Century back! Their Empire was supposed to rule the world....

If that is what your instincts tell you, you should trust them. It's a biological imperative.

on the cusp on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 10:22pm
Perfect.

@Pluto's Republic At the very least, we should call it "alleged" hacks. I want some proof before we drop nukes.

Mickt on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 5:57pm
I saw this today

Just to lighten things up?

https://www.theonion.com/the-onion-reviews-christopher-robin-1828056997

The Aspie Corner on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 6:17pm
This whole thing is starting to look like

the plot to Beavis and Butt-head Do America.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/3eTqb_fgTAA

snoopydawg on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 6:32pm
Bernie's tweet is hysterical
It is the American people who should be deciding the political future of our country, not Mr. Putin and the Russian oligarchs.

Hey, Bernie. The American people were the ones who should have decided who won the primary, not Hillary, the DNC and the delegates. That you are blaming Her loss on Russia instead of admitting that the American people rejected her makes you nothing more than a democratic puppet. How embarrassing for you.

Every Black voter should abandon the DP until they apologize for their disrespect for the BLM and saying that they only started protesting cops killing Blacks because Russia manipulated them into doing so.

Eichenwald thinks that our intelligence agencies are patriots who have spent their lives working on keeping us safe does he? I agree with Dmitry Orlov's take on them.

US Intelligence Community is Tearing the Country Apart from the

The objective of US intelligence is to suck all remaining wealth out of the US and its allies and pocket as much of it as possible while pretending to defend it from phantom aggressors by squandering nonexistent (borrowed) financial resources on ineffective and overpriced military operations and weapons systems. Where the aggressors are not phantom, they are specially organized for the purpose of having someone to fight: "moderate" terrorists and so on.
....
the US intelligence community has been doing a wonderful job of bankrupting the country and driving it toward financial, economic and political collapse by forcing it to engage in an endless series of expensive and futile conflicts -- the largest single continuous act of grand larceny the world has ever known. How that can possibly be an intelligent thing to do to your
own country, for any conceivable definition of "intelligence," I will leave for you to work out for yourself. While you are at it, you might also want to come up with an improved definition of "treason": something better than " a skeptical attitude toward preposterous, unproven claims made by those known to be perpetual liars. "

And let's not forget how many coups and false flag events they had a hand in creating that have cost so much misery and death.

One major advancement in their state of the art has been in moving from real false flag operations, à la 9/11, to fake false flag operations, à la fake East Gouta chemical attack in Syria (since fully discredited). The Russian election meddling story is perhaps the final step in this evolution: no New York skyscrapers or Syrian children were harmed in the process of concocting this fake narrative, and it can be kept alive seemingly forever purely through the furious effort of numerous flapping lips. It is now a pure confidence scam. If you are less then impressed with their invented narratives, then you are a conspiracy theorist or, in the latest revision, a traitor.

The real puppets are the ones who believe in this silly story that Russia is pulling Trump's strings and that the GOP are also Russian puppets. Good grief!

Unabashed Liberal on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 6:53pm
Say it, Sister! ;-) The entire exercise--

@snoopydawg

meaning the 'Russia Ruse'--IMO, has been an exercise in setting up a scenario under which the PtB can put in place a system geared toward major social media 'censorship,' and, a face-saving exercise for FSC--just in case she decides to make a third run in 2020. Heaven forbid!

Mollie/Blue Onyx (Reverting to my original handle)

"Every time I lose a dog, he takes a piece of my heart. Every new dog gifts me with a piece of his. Someday, my heart will be total dog, and maybe then I will be just as generous, loving, and forgiving." ~~Author Unknown

"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way." ~~Martin Luther King Jr.

"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong." ~~W. R. Purche

MrWebster on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 7:51pm
Coates said the Russias are engaged in "messaging campaign"

@Unabashed Liberal @Unabashed Liberal

"... has been an exercise in setting up a scenario under which the PtB can put in place a system geared toward major social media 'censorship,'

Yup. Dan Coates directory of national intelligence came out and accused Russsia of engaging in a "messaging campaign". So how does one stop this messaging campaign. Well, back in the day, the answer was to answer bad speech with more and better speech.

Well, with Russiagate both the media and dem/gop establishment have to come to demand censorship from the major social media platforms. And they have responded. At first they actually didn't and thought the Russia charges were trivial. Until that is, they were theatened by House and Senate reps. And then they hopped to it.

And just a number of days ago, Facebook proudly announced they took down some nefarious pages who seemed to be engaging in a message campaign. And turns out they shut down a real group organizing an anti-fascist rally. There are other examples like this.

The censorship will continue becoming more and more brazen. (BTW, youtube started ths process earlier demonitizing and hurting a lot of popular, but alternative voices.)

BTW--the Young Turks showed the Coats clip and claimed "see the Russians are still hacking our elections".

Unabashed Liberal on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 8:17pm
Hi, Mr W!--good to see you. I couldn't

@MrWebster

agree more with all of your comments/sentiments.

I'm truly getting concerned regarding the direction our government appears to be taking when it comes to 'freedom of expression/speech.' Strangely, many on the 'left' don't seem very concerned. Indeed, because the MSM is so intent on going after DT, many so-called progressives--including the supposedly more liberal (cough, cough) lawmakers--have become major cheerleaders of the corporatist media. Go figure.

Mollie/Blue Onyx (Reverting to my original handle)

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went." ~~Will Rogers

"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way." ~~Martin Luther King Jr.

"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong." ~~W. R. Purche

snoopydawg on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 8:35pm
Dan Coates should be fired

@MrWebster

as well as every other person in Trump's administration that is working against him. This is insubordination and if Trump continues to let them run their mouths then I believe that he is in on this scam and is playing along with it. Why? Look at what has been happening since he became president. From the increasing Russian sanctions to the internet censorship to the increased military budget with money that goes to fighting cyber warfare and many other things that are being done because of this new and improved false flag.

As you stated YouTube has been removing lots of videos, Facebook and Twitter have been censoring alternative media sites that are not playing along with Russia Gate and Google changed its algorithms so that traffic to those sites are down up to 90% according to WSWS.

I once thought that this would eventually be exposed for the scam it is, but not any more. It's here to stay. And just like in 1984 where there was that place where history was changed to fit the narrative of the day, we are seeing that here. Things that happened last decade are being blamed on Russia hacking. I wouldn't be surprised if the KKK and Jim Crow were blamed on Russia. This is how out of control it's gotten. And I was so looking forward to seeing Rachel trying to explain to her viewers how she got things so wrong.

The Aspie Corner on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 8:46pm
Trumpy Boy is as complicit in this as the rest of the pigs.

@snoopydawg His erratic actions are the perfect distraction for the capitalist pigs the same as the "Obama is a Kenyan Muslim Marxist Communist Fascist Socialist Radical Leftist Feminazi SJW" crap that went on during the last capitalist puppet presidency. Either way, the world still burns and the pigs make out like bandits in the process. Keeping the plebs at each other's throats is just a bonus for them.

Alligator Ed on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 9:41pm
Rachel will never admit she's wrong.

@snoopydawg Remember whom you are discussing. Alas, you must be a Russian wolfhound to think R. Madcow could ever be wrong. Apologize, then stand in the corner until after the midterms when the GRU hauls off recalcitrant Dims and Repugnants failing to swear fealty to Vladimir Vladimirovich.

divineorder on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 7:18pm
sd yes Orlov calls it like it is.

@snoopydawg

Caitlin J. Interesting Twitter thread:

https://mobile.twitter.com/caitoz/status/1025482696628137986

"Russiagate is like a mirage. It looks so real from a distance you'll swear it's there and mock anyone who says otherwise, but once you get up close and examine its component parts you find it's made of nothing but innuendo, spin, unsubstantiated claims and dishonest omissions.
2:45 PM · Aug 3, 2018"

And....

https://mobile.twitter.com/caitoz/status/1025489710594945024Caitlin Johnstone

"
@caitoz
·
Aug 3
Nothing wrong with wanting a full investigation. There's something very, very wrong with pressuring a US president to continually escalate dangerous cold war tensions with a nuclear superpower without ever backing down based on an "idea" with no evidence. "

MrWebster on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 8:11pm
In 2020 Bernie will be a "strong" pro-war candidate

@snoopydawg Bernie will not be able to say "Oh evil Russia but let's not go to war with them." Diplomacy itself finally became full criminalized and made tresonous when Trump meet Putin in Finland. Any level of moderation will be attacked as soft on Putin and treasonous.

And I write "pro-war" and not "anti-Russian". One cannot be anti-Russian in any moderate way. Being anti-Russian means supporting a harsh and aggressive military stance toward their nation. The Russians are after all destroying Western civilization and this cannot be meant with diplomacy.

And from what I can, every national democratic candidate for House and Senate will follow suite.

divineorder on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 10:25pm
Hard to know what will happen by then but your guess

@MrWebster is as good as mine.

I wonder if this list is correct?

For reference, these are the only 10 senators who voted AGAINST giving Trump a $717 billion war budget:

Bernie Sanders
Elizabeth Warren
Ed Markey
Kirsten Gillibrand
Dick Durban
Kamala Harris
Jeff Merkley
Ron Wyden
Mike Lee (R)
Marco Rubio (R)
So much for #Resistance huh?

-- Clayton Farris (@ClaytonRFarris) August 3, 2018

Wars and rumours of wars...

This is OT, and some will say Bernie is sheepdogging these kids.

Thank you to the young people standing up to fossil fuel corporations and leading the movement to combat climate change. #ThisIsZeroHour pic.twitter.com/77f9KvY4og

-- Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) July 24, 2018

... ... ...

snoopydawg on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 6:55pm
The first tweet shows how people twist events

The others show that there are others out there that have seen through this propaganda crap. I'd like to see the breakdown of Hillary supporters that believe Russia Gate and the Bernie supporters that don't. Most of the Trump supporters think it's phony so what made Hillary's believe in something that everyone should be laughing at?

You deserve a lot of credit. Russia interfered in your favor, yet you are man enough to admit that they interfered. Thank you Bernie!

-- Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) February 16, 2018

So you plan to continue this McCarthy Russian BS? You didn't speak out when you got cheated in the primaries, and you didn't seem to care that Hillary was using her own paid troll army. Integrity matters Bernie and you are losing yours.

-- Underdawg47 (@Underdawg47) February 17, 2018

You stopped speaking for me and millions of others when you caved to crooked HRC. No it was NOT clear that Russia was "deeply involved in the election. What is CLEAR is your betrayal of your followers and cover up of the election fraud perpetrated by DNC! Everybody knows...

-- Logan (@KOMBUCHABABY) February 17, 2018

Bernie, that's MIC propaganda. Stop helping it. There are millions of reasons Trump should not be president. We don't need a hyped up corporate fairytale to make that point https://t.co/7FAwb47LtB

-- SanBernieDingDong (@noreallyhowcome) February 17, 2018

MrWebster on Sat, 08/04/2018 - 7:19pm
2020 dem candidates will try to out do each other on Russia

Democratic party jingoism in 2020 will be extra-ordinary with candidates each trying to out do each other how they will fuck over Putin and the Russian nation. There will be a shit load of public loyalty testing against any third party candidate by the democrats.

The democrats (and media cohorts) have become an apocolyptic death cult. The language that comes from them is infused with the language of conspiracies, violence, treason, aggression and demonization.

And here is the thing, Bernie to survive electorally will have to become a cult member. Effectively he will have to be pro-war with Russia. He will be giving from the the Left supposed support for aggressive action andmilitarism toward Russia.

I fear that if a democrat becomes president in 2020 (it won't be Bernie), is elected president that in the year of the midterms in 2022, the US will start a real war with Russia which has a highly likehood of going nuclear.

[Aug 04, 2018] The US establishment behind the Helsinki Summit, by Manlio Dinucci

So the US neoliberal establishment tried to sabotage Trump-Putin summit in doer to pursue "business as usual". In other words military-industrial complex is in control of the USA government...
Notable quotes:
"... It's no coincidence that, at the very moment when the President of the United States was about to meet with the President of Russia, special prosecutor Robert Mueller III charged twelve Russians with having manipulated the US presidential elections by hacking into the data networks of the Democratic party in order to hinder candidate Hillary Clinton. The twelve Russians, accused of being agents of the military secret services (GRU), were officially defined as " conspirators ", and found guilty of " conspiracy to the detriment of the United States ". Simultaneously, Daniel Coats, National Director of Intelligence and principal advisor to the President in these matters, accused Russia of working to " undermine our basic values and our democracy ". He then sounded the alarm about the " threat of cyber-attacks which have arrived at a critical point " similar to that which preceded 9/11, on behalf not only of Russia, " the most aggressive foreign agent ", but also China and Iran. ..."
"... At the same time, in London, British " investigators " declared that the Russian military secret service GRU, which had sabotaged the Presidential elections in the USA, is the same service which poisoned ex-Russian agent, Sergueï Skripal and his daughter, who, inexplicably, survived contact with an extremely lethal gas. ..."
"... The political objective of these " enquiries " is clear – to maintain that at the head of all these " conspirators " is Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom President Donald Trump sat down at the negotiating table, despite vast bi-partisan opposition in the USA. After the " conspirators " had been charged, the Democrats asked Trump to cancel the meeting with Putin. Even though they failed, their pressure on the negotiations remains powerful. ..."
"... In opposition to the easing of tension with Russia are not only the Democrats (who, with a reversal of formal roles, are playing the " hawks "), but also many Republicans, among whom are several highly-important representatives of the Trump administration itself. It is the establishment, not only of the US, but also of Europe, whose powers and profits are directly linked to tension and war. ..."
"... Even if an agreement on these questions were reached between Putin and Trump, would the latter be able to implement it? Or will the real deciders be the powerful circles of the military-industrial complex? ..."
Aug 04, 2018 | www.voltairenet.org

While the International Press distorted the content of the NATO Summit, the US establishment perfectly understood the unique issue – the end of enmity with Russia. Thus disturbing the bilateral summit in Helsinki between the USA and Russia became its priority. By all means possible, it had to prevent any rapprochement with Moscow.

We need to talk about everything, from commerce to the military, missiles, nuclear, and China " - this was how President Trump began at the Helsinki Summit. " The time has come to talk in detail about our bilateral relationship and the international flashpoints ", emphasised Putin.

But it will not only be the two Presidents who will decide the future relationships between the United States and Russia.

It's no coincidence that, at the very moment when the President of the United States was about to meet with the President of Russia, special prosecutor Robert Mueller III charged twelve Russians with having manipulated the US presidential elections by hacking into the data networks of the Democratic party in order to hinder candidate Hillary Clinton. The twelve Russians, accused of being agents of the military secret services (GRU), were officially defined as " conspirators ", and found guilty of " conspiracy to the detriment of the United States ". Simultaneously, Daniel Coats, National Director of Intelligence and principal advisor to the President in these matters, accused Russia of working to " undermine our basic values and our democracy ". He then sounded the alarm about the " threat of cyber-attacks which have arrived at a critical point " similar to that which preceded 9/11, on behalf not only of Russia, " the most aggressive foreign agent ", but also China and Iran.

At the same time, in London, British " investigators " declared that the Russian military secret service GRU, which had sabotaged the Presidential elections in the USA, is the same service which poisoned ex-Russian agent, Sergueï Skripal and his daughter, who, inexplicably, survived contact with an extremely lethal gas.

The political objective of these " enquiries " is clear – to maintain that at the head of all these " conspirators " is Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom President Donald Trump sat down at the negotiating table, despite vast bi-partisan opposition in the USA. After the " conspirators " had been charged, the Democrats asked Trump to cancel the meeting with Putin. Even though they failed, their pressure on the negotiations remains powerful.

What Putin tried to obtain from Trump is both simple and complex – to ease the tension between the two countries. To that purpose, he proposed to Trump, who accepted, to implement a joint enquiry into the " conspiracy ". We do not know how the discussions on the key questions will go – the status of Crimea, the condition of Syria, nuclear weapons and others. And we do not know what Trump will ask in return. However, it is certain that any concession will be used to accuse him of connivance with the enemy. In opposition to the easing of tension with Russia are not only the Democrats (who, with a reversal of formal roles, are playing the " hawks "), but also many Republicans, among whom are several highly-important representatives of the Trump administration itself. It is the establishment, not only of the US, but also of Europe, whose powers and profits are directly linked to tension and war.

It will not be the words, but the facts, which will reveal whether the climate of détente of the Helsinki Summit will become reality - first of all with a de-escalation of NATO in Europe, in other words with the withdrawal of forces (including nuclear forces) of the USA and NATO presently deployed against Russia, and the blockage of NATO's expansion to the East.

Even if an agreement on these questions were reached between Putin and Trump, would the latter be able to implement it? Or will the real deciders be the powerful circles of the military-industrial complex?

One thing is certain – we in Italy and Europe can not remain the simple spectators of dealings which will define our future. Manlio Dinucci

Translation
Pete Kimberley

Source
Il Manifesto (Italy)

Manlio Dinucci

Geographer and geopolitical scientist. His latest books are Laboratorio di geografia , Zanichelli 2014 ; Diario di viaggio , Zanichelli 2017 ; L'arte della guerra / Annali della strategia Usa/Nato 1990-2016 , Zambon 2016. The warmonger The warmonger's response to negotiation
"The Art of War"

[Aug 04, 2018] The warmonger s response to negotiation, by Manlio Dinucci

Aug 04, 2018 | www.voltairenet.org

The conflict between transnational financial capitalism and productive national capitalism has entered into a paroxystic phase. On one side, Presidents Trump and Putin are negotiating the joint defence of their national interests. On the other, the major daily newspaper for the US and the world is accusing the US President of high treason, while the armed forces of the US and NATO are preparing for war with Russia and China.

You have attacked our democracy. Your well-worn gamblers' denials do not interest us. If you continue with this attitude, we will consider it an act of war." This is what Trump should have said to Putin at the Helsinki Summit, in the opinion of famous New York Times editorialist Thomas Friedman, published in La Repubblica . He went on to accuse the Russian President of having "attacked NATO, a fundamental pillar of international security, destabilised Europe, and bombed thousands of Syrian refugees, causing them to seek refuge in Europe."

He then accused the President of the United States of having " repudiated his oath on the Constitution " and of being an " asset of Russian Intelligence " or at least playing at being one.

What Friedman expressed in these provocative terms corresponds to the position of a powerful internal and international front (of which the New York Times is an important mouthpiece) opposed to USA-Russia negotiations, which should continue with the invitation of Putin to the White House. But there is a substantial difference.

While the negotiations have not yet borne fruit, opposition to the negotiations has been expressed not only in words, but especially in facts.

Cancelling out the climate of détente at the Helsinki Summit, the planetary warmongering system of the United States is in the process of intensifying the preparations for a war reaching from the Atlantic to the Pacific:

When Trump meets Chinese President Xi Jinping, Friedman will no doubt accuse him of connivance not only with the Russian enemy, but also with the Chinese enemy. Manlio Dinucci

Manlio Dinucci Geographer and geopolitical scientist. His latest books are Laboratorio di geografia , Zanichelli 2014 ; Diario di viaggio , Zanichelli 2017 ; L'arte della guerra / Annali della strategia Usa/Nato 1990-2016 , Zambon 2016.

[Aug 03, 2018] Katrina vanden Heuvel We Need "Robust Debate" in Reporting on Russia, Not "Suffocating Consensus"

Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
Aug 03, 2018 | www.democracynow.org

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL : I think what Trump did on this trip, between Europe and the Helsinki summit, is he played to his base. He's reconfiguring the Republican Party so that it becomes more consistent with its isolationist roots, its roots as going it alone, not tethered by international institutions, and also sympathetic to strongmen. I mean, I think Trump is more a con man than a strongman, but he certainly has an affinity. I don't have much use for those who say, "Look, he's guilty, because he never says a bad word about Putin." Problem is, he never says a bad word about Bibi Netanyahu, doesn't say a bad word about the Saudi leaders, nor does he say a bad word about the murderous Duterte in the Philippines. So he does have an affinity for those strongmen, which I think does lead him and guide a kind of foreign policy. So we need, as small-D democrats, to counter and not accept -- what I talked to Amy about last week -- the failed bipartisan foreign policy establishment as our default. We should not go back to policing the world, indispensable nation, but instead have a demilitarized foreign policy that truly deals with the challenges of our time, which most of are not going to be met with a military solution.

... ... ...

KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL : The vilification of alternative, dissenting views or linking those views to a foreign power -- in many people's views, an implacably hostile foreign power -- is the degradation of our political media culture. When Rand Paul, who is interesting on foreign policy, reminds, as The New York Times has over the last -- you know, that America has meddled in other countries' elections, has interfered, has overthrown countries' governments, and MSNBC contributors tweet "traitor"? And I would also mention Glenn Greenwald. We talked of him earlier. Malcolm Nance, a very ubiquitous commentator on MSNBC on intelligence and other issues, said Glenn was -- I'm going to read it, because it's so outrageous -- "an agent of Trump & Moscow deep in the Kremlin's pocket." This is -- we've seen this in our history before. And I think it is -- it's dangerous when you have a suffocating consensus instead of a full, robust debate.

And it should be about issues. Juan is right. When we fix so much on personalities, we're feeding the beast, we've seen, of media malpractice, this obliteration of the line between news and entertainment, the conglomeratization, the decimation of local news. These are issues which collide with an administration which does want to delegitimize public accountability, if they know public accountability journalism, delegitimize any check on abuses. And we, as representatives of a media which seek to speak to the issues, seek debate, to foster, not police, debate, need to stand up and continue to do our work despite these fake news and -- people are despairing about the issue of news, about facts, about -- anyway. But I think what -- the tweeting, to call someone a traitor because they have a point of you don't agree with, we're in a dangerous territory.

[Aug 03, 2018] Anglo America Russophobes as Fake Miracle workers; the Post Christ Resurrections

Jun 05, 2018 | www.unz.com

Extracted from: Appeasement as Global Policy, by James Petras - The Unz Review

As part of the propaganda campaign to discredit and isolate Russia, the UK and the Ukraine, stalwart flunkies of Washington, accused Moscow of assassinations by poison and bullets. Both alleged victims appeared live and well in due time!

On March 4, 2018, the Prime Minister of the UK Theresa May claimed that Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were poisoned by Russian secret agents. Foreign Secretary Boris "Bobo" Johnson called the poison, 'the most-deadly agent known to man' (sic) – Novichok. According to "Terry and Bobo" the poison kills in 30 seconds. Two months later Sergei and Yulia were seen taking a stroll in a park.

The fake charges were promoted by the entire Anglo-Americans mass media. The UK proceeded to charge Putin with 'crimes against humanity' , backed additional diplomatic and economic sanctions, increased military spending for homeland defense and urged President Trump to take forceful action. Once the 'victims' 'rose from the dead' the media never questioned the regime's claim of a Russian conspiracy planned at the highest level.

The UK scored a few trivial merit points from Washington, which, however, did not prevent President Trump from slapping a double-digit tariff on British steel and aluminum exports (with more to come)!

The Ukraine joined the line of toadies trying to secure President Trump's approval by cooking up another Russian murder plot. This time Ukraine leaders claimed Kremlin agents assassinated one Arkady Babchenko, an anti-Russian journalist and self-proclaimed exile in Kiev.

On May 29, 2018, Arkady was found 'murdered' or so said the Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko and repeated, embellished and circulated by the entire western mass media.

On May 31, a wide-eyed 'Arkady' turned up alive and claiming his 'resurrection' was a planned plot to catch a Russian agent!

Western regimes systematic use of lies, plots and conspiracies are central to the imperial drive for world power.

In Syria, the US accused Damascus of using poisonous gas against its own people in order to justify NATO's terror bombing of Aleppo's civilian population!

In Libya, Obama and Clinton claimed President Gaddafi distributed Viagra to his armed forced to rape innocent civilians, precipitating the US-EU terror bombing of the country and rape and murder of President Ghaddafi.

The question is whether western leaders will seek papal recognition of CIA directed resurrections to coincide with Easter?

[Aug 02, 2018] Cohen - who Trump has severed ties with, was either a terrible unregistered lobbyist or ran a bait and switch operation

Notable quotes:
"... Authorities are investigating whether Mr. Cohen engaged in unregistered lobbying in connection with his consulting work for corporate clients after Mr. Trump went to the White House, according to people familiar with the probe ..."
"... Investigators are also examining potential campaign-finance violations and bank fraud surrounding, among other deals, Mr. Cohen's October 2016 payment to Stephanie Clifford , the former adult-film star called Stormy Daniels, to keep her from discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump, according to people familiar with the probe. Mr. Trump denies any encounter took place. - WSJ ..."
Aug 02, 2018 | www.youtube.com

Authorities are investigating whether Mr. Cohen engaged in unregistered lobbying in connection with his consulting work for corporate clients after Mr. Trump went to the White House, according to people familiar with the probe .

Investigators are also examining potential campaign-finance violations and bank fraud surrounding, among other deals, Mr. Cohen's October 2016 payment to Stephanie Clifford , the former adult-film star called Stormy Daniels, to keep her from discussing an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump, according to people familiar with the probe. Mr. Trump denies any encounter took place. - WSJ

[Aug 02, 2018] Neocon media Russiagate sham

Notable quotes:
"... It is a sham since no evidence of election influence by the Russians was provided and no preventive or corrective measures our government is taking to prevent Emmanuel Goldstein (The Russians) from further attacking and usurping our elections was put forth. ..."
Aug 02, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

CitizenOne , July 29, 2018 at 9:26 pm

Today on ABC Martha Raddatz hosted "This Week" which featured James Lankford a Republican from Oklahoma describing how Russia and Putin were actively trying to ruin our democracy and also were trying to influence elections at every possible turn. The Russian Bear and Putin according to Lankford were also trying to rewrite the Constitution, trying to upend every election and were seeking to disrupt our national electrical grid not to be confused with our national election grid which they were also trying to destroy as well as to control the most local elections by a means of electronic control that was beyond any means to control.

Of course no mention was made about possible solutions to thwart the Russians was mentioned and it is doubtful that there are any serious efforts to counteract the alleged Russian hacking of US elections since not one single preventive action to stop the Orwellian monster of Russia, like Emmanuel Goldstein in Orwell's novel "Nineteen Eighty Four" was put forth.

Apparently ABC and the other media are trying to convince Americans that there is an overwhelming force in Russia that is somehow able to infiltrate and control all our national elections. Apparently the Russians are unstoppable.

It is a sham.

It is a sham since no evidence of election influence by the Russians was provided and no preventive or corrective measures our government is taking to prevent Emmanuel Goldstein (The Russians) from further attacking and usurping our elections was put forth.

Instead the publishers of "This Week" on ABC were content to provide evidence-free incriminations of Russia and attribute all manner of influence in our elections to the incredibly sneaky and unstoppable Russian-Putin election Influencing machine which is unstoppable by our intelligence agencies.

What is missing from Martha Radditz's show? There will never be any admission that they have jobs because of Citizens United, their corporate benefactors (Koch Industries), Gerrymandering, Dark Money, Media Bias which ensures that the Iron Triangle of corporate election dark money flows to hand picked political candidates that will support conservative causes or that these are the real election influencing mechanisms which have the most power in our country to influence elections.

As long as ABC, NBC, CBS and other cable news shows fail to correctly identify the real reasons of election corruption which is our very near and dear corporate money funded political organizations we will continue to be duped by the free press to believe that Russia has control over our national elections and not believe that US Corporations hold all the power.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , July 29, 2018 at 5:51 am

Yes, but the great Putin Scare is not just the tactic of a political interest group or party

It feeds off of something more fundamental and much more pervasive and dangerous.

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/07/21/john-chuckman-comment-trump-is-out-maneuvering-his-enemies-on-russia-official-u-s-russophobia-is-epidemic-it-serves-real-interests-trump-does-not-have-leverage-he-cant-even-build-his-silly/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/john-chuckman-comment-putin-orders-air-force-to-prepare-for-a-time-of-war-he-is-wise-to-do-so-america-and-russia-today-a-completely-unnecessary-conflict-thanks-to-obama/

rosemerry , July 28, 2018 at 6:39 pm

Thanks to Norman for reminding us of the continued waste of time and effort on the 'russiagate' stories based on allegations and indictments, NOT evidence or possible reasons for such behavior. The USA is fully capable of unfair election practices, helped by the undemocratic system of electoral college, partisan gerrymandering, voter suppression, lack of response to voter desires .plus of course Israel being the very large external factor.
Trump's influence on workers, environment, USA's reputation are negative, but blaming Russia when this is in nobody's real interest is hardly the way forward for the Democratic Party.

Realist , July 27, 2018 at 9:26 pm

All those loons you mentioned are effectively practicing a religion, in which there is a dogma everyone must believe to be virtuous and a set of commandments every believer must live by to gain salvation. Don't toe the line on every bit of it and you are rejected as an apostate.

I'm surprised that some of those folks, notably Thom Hartmann, choose not to practice what they preach -- you know, the platitudes about studying the facts and coming to your own conclusions rather than following the herd. They rightly condemn acting on prejudice, out of pure self-interest, without verifiable facts (indeed at odds with empirical fact) and using group intimidation, as per McCarthyist tactics, and then they go ahead and embrace those vices to their own ends.

It is my process on everything in this life to learn as much as I can on my own, without being brainwashed by any group or movement, and only backing a cause if it is congruent with my own conclusions. Unfortunately, most people do the opposite: they are joiners first and analysts only if their biases are not threatened.

I feel entirely justified in agreeing with movements on some things and not others. I doubt that human beings have arrived at definitive answers about most phenomena in the real world or that any single organised group of us has it all down accurate and pat on everything. Listen to any casual debate on the questions big and small in science: the give and take, back and forth, can go on as long as the participants have the interest and energy. I never give my interlocutors any respite, because there is always one more thing to be considered or one more way of looking at a problem. I'm sure I would have been burned at the stake in many previous lives and so would a lot of the readers here.

Eddie , July 27, 2018 at 11:26 pm

Yes, good points Drew. I view Maddow as a liberal Rush Limbaugh, trying to win a Leni Riefenstahl award from the DNC, and having to be satisfied with her purported $9M/yr salary (which definitely DOES buy a LOT of co-opting).

In support of your argument, I would add that ultimately we should be voting for a candidate based on his/her POLICIES, as evidenced by their prior political voting record and whatever political actions they've taken, NOT based on what they SAY they believe -- that's 1st period high school civics as I recall. It's too easy for candidates to say this or that during a campaign. Trump's policy of detente w/Russia, is -- like the proverbial 'blind squirrel who occasionally finds a nut' -- probably random chance or perhaps a way to penetrate a relatively untapped market with his hucksterism. But so what?? For something as IMPORTANT as NOT having a nuclear war, I'm all for any honest, significant efforts in that direction. Even Nixon, whose presidency I disliked greatly, did a good thing by 'going to China' -- I don't recall anybody on the liberal side at that time saying he was Mao's dupe or foolishness like that. Did Nixon do it as a cynical ploy to draw attention away from other political problems, and did he previously help aggravate/perpetuate a lot of the conflict w/China? Sure, but the act of rapprochement w/China was in-and-of-itself desirable and laudable in that it moved the world a major step AWAY from possible nuclear war. And full-scale nuclear war trumps (no pun intended) virtually all other problems, with the possible exception of climate change, so a POTUS should devote extra energy to that task. Ideally, they should be ramping down the militarism and nationalism, but unfortunately those are campaign tactics that are too easy for either major party to set aside (with 1/2 the fault lying in the electorate who too often endorses those 'isms).

Nik , July 28, 2018 at 9:10 am

Is not Maddow well compensated for her anti-Russian stance that is so valued by the Military-Industrial Complex? She is a profiteer.
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-27/paul-craig-roberts-exposes-all-pervasive-military-security-complex

Jeff Harrison , July 27, 2018 at 1:56 pm

Re-reading this today for some reason really popped a few things up for me. The first one right in my face was: "Now, after a remarkable 46-minute news conference on foreign soil where Trump stood side by side with a former KGB agent to praise his 'strong' denials of election interference and criticize the FBI, those strategists believe the ground may have shifted."

Can someone explain to me what the hell "foreign soil" has to do with the price of tea in China? Trump has given plenty of pressers "on foreign soil" but that phrase nor anything like it is ever mentioned. Trump stood side by side with a former KGB agent.

Talk about a lack of respect and blatant bias. He stood side by side with the democratically elected President of the Russian Federation who, by the way, won his election by a clear majority of the vote unlike Mr. Trump who would have lost the election had it been held in Russia. One wonders what would have happened had WaPo and the NYT said something like Russian President Gorbachev stood side by side with the former head of the KGB I mean CIA without ever saying President Bush?

It's also blindingly obvious how screwed we are. We really only have one political party in the US -- the US Corporate Party. There is, indeed, very little reason to vote as a recent survey pointed out Congressional votes correspond to the people's preferences as determined by polling only about 5% of the time.

Gregory Herr , July 27, 2018 at 12:08 pm

Progressives, particularly those few taken tokens the Democrats allow for, should have realised long ago that MSNBC is all in on the corporatist controlled economy and leans heavily forward in the quest for War and Profits.

FAIR is correct to point to the "traditional centers of power" that MSNBC services, but the farcical "coverage" of Russiagate inanity certainly doesn't "preserve" a "progressive image" and is not "elegant" in any way.

The war on Yemen and the weapons contracting with the Saudi terrorist regime was already "steroidal" during Obama's Administration. In October 2016, warplanes bombed a community hall in Yemen's capital, Sana'a, where mourners had gathered for a funeral, killing at least 140 people and wounding hundreds. We should note that the U.S. provided intelligence assistance in identifying targets and mid-air refueling for Saudi aircraft and helped blockade the ports of Yemen during Obama's tenure.

[Aug 02, 2018] The plot thins How gel became a liquid and the whole Novichok affair began to smell to high heaven by George Galloway

Notable quotes:
"... "military-grade lethal nerve agent" ..."
"... Moreover, so little of their "training" ..."
"... "training manual" ..."
"... Some things are now clearer though. The settled narrative has been for months that the initial 'Novichok' attack on the Skripals had been via a "gel" ..."
"... The government claims that the #Novichok poison was a "gel" smeared onto Sergei Skripal's "front door handle". If the #Novichok was in the form of a gel, how could it be in a perfume bottle which are only designed to hold liquids? pic.twitter.com/BV0pUY5uAM ..."
"... More importantly, if this narrative were to be accepted, it doesn't explain how long (several hours) the substance took to work, nor the fact that it became effective on both Skripals at precisely the same moment – despite the huge divergence in their size, weight, age, and state of health. ..."
"... Mr Rowley of course was a criminal – he had been imprisoned for possession of 11 wraps of heroin in Salisbury only a couple of years before – and is still a daily drug-user. In those circumstances, in any normal police investigation, Mr Rowley would himself be a suspect rather than only a victim in this crime. So far as we know this is not the case, though no-one can ask him in his safe house, even through his non-existent television or undelivered newspapers. ..."
"... American filmmaker and radio host Lee Stranahan, who works out of Washington DC, was a house guest of mine last week. During his brief visit to England, he took his camera to Salisbury. Without wishing to spoil the documentary he's working on, I know he won't mind me saying that of the dozens of people he spoke to at the heart of the crime scene, not a single one of them believed the state version of events. ..."
"... "Russian criminals," ..."
"... "Not the Russian state then?" ..."
"... "They are the least likely suspects," ..."
"... "It was Ukraine." ..."
"... "military-grade deadly nerve agent." ..."
"... Think your friends would be interested? Share this story! ..."
Jul 24, 2018 | www.rt.com
'Novichok' survivor Charlie Rowley is in a "safe house" but has been denied access to television and newspapers, according to his brother. The ever-stranger case of the Salisbury-Amesbury poisonings gets curiouser and curiouser. Whoever said 'Novichok' was a "military-grade lethal nerve agent" doesn't know their tables.

For a program which Boris Johnson told us had been 10 years in the making, had cost (presumably) millions of dollars to develop (and "train" agents to put poison on a doorknob), a 20-percent success rate must have been a bitter disappointment.

Four out of five of those affected by 'Novichok' – Sergei and Yulia Skripal, Detective Sergeant Bailey, and Charlie Rowley – have survived the contact, with only poor Dawn Sturgess, a homeless alcoholic, succumbing to its "deadly" effects.

Read more 'Curiouser and Curiouser': Salisbury, the Skripals & the epic failure of the British Fairy Tale

A polythene bag would have been a rather more effective method of assassination.

Moreover, so little of their "training" had the assassins absorbed that they apparently "discarded" this valuable deadly nerve agent in a perfume bottle in a park, coincidentally close to the bench on which the Skripals had been found slumped four months previous. The bottle miraculously evaded the dragnet of "hundreds of anti-terror police" working on the case. Thus discarded, the perfume bottle carelessly provided evidence which could well lead to the indictment of the criminals involved. Doubtless such carelessness was not in the Russian "training manual" that Mr Johnson said was in the possession of British intelligence.

No information has emerged as to when or where Mr Rowley and/or the late Ms Sturgess happened upon this perfume bottle, or why in the middle of the swirl of the Salisbury events they picked it up, took it home, but either waited until the fateful day to spray it or alternatively the bottle had lain unattended for weeks – even months – despite the fine-tooth-comb search of the park by the authorities.

Some things are now clearer though. The settled narrative has been for months that the initial 'Novichok' attack on the Skripals had been via a "gel" on their front doorknob (in accordance with the manual and the 10-year training program). Not many believe this any longer, although unfortunately the taxpayer is committed to a way-above-market-price compulsory purchase of the house.

Apart from anything else, it is difficult to envisage a gel being dispensed via a spray from a perfume bottle.

The government claims that the #Novichok poison was a "gel" smeared onto Sergei Skripal's "front door handle".
If the #Novichok was in the form of a gel, how could it be in a perfume bottle which are only designed to hold liquids? pic.twitter.com/BV0pUY5uAM

-- Ian56 (@Ian56789) July 19, 2018

More importantly, if this narrative were to be accepted, it doesn't explain how long (several hours) the substance took to work, nor the fact that it became effective on both Skripals at precisely the same moment – despite the huge divergence in their size, weight, age, and state of health.

It has always seemed much more plausible to me that the Skripals were attacked either in the restaurant where they had a leisurely full lunch, and where Mr Skripal was initially reported as behaving oddly towards the end of the restaurant experience, or on the short walk from the restaurant to the park bench, or on the bench itself. This would be far more consistent with their simultaneous collapse and, of course, would explain the perfume bottle discarded nearby.

Read more We want to hear from Scotland Yard, not media reports on Skripals' case – Russian envoy to UK

The perfume bottle being thrown away at all casts significant doubt that this attack was by a state (any state) actor at all, unless that state actor wanted the substance to be found and wanted false inferences of its provenance to be drawn. It makes it much more likely to me at least that the assailants sprayed something at the Skripals for criminal rather than political purposes and for reasons we can only, for now, speculate upon.

Mr Rowley of course was a criminal – he had been imprisoned for possession of 11 wraps of heroin in Salisbury only a couple of years before – and is still a daily drug-user. In those circumstances, in any normal police investigation, Mr Rowley would himself be a suspect rather than only a victim in this crime. So far as we know this is not the case, though no-one can ask him in his safe house, even through his non-existent television or undelivered newspapers.

It will be evident that I think little of the official state narrative in the Salisbury-Amesbury affair, but you'd be surprised at the kind of people who agree with me.

American filmmaker and radio host Lee Stranahan, who works out of Washington DC, was a house guest of mine last week. During his brief visit to England, he took his camera to Salisbury. Without wishing to spoil the documentary he's working on, I know he won't mind me saying that of the dozens of people he spoke to at the heart of the crime scene, not a single one of them believed the state version of events.

I myself spoke to a senior British Army officer at a black-tie event in London last week. There were hundreds of them there, so I'm not giving his identity away. He asked me, who did I really think was responsible for the 'Novichok' affair?

"Russian criminals," I answered. "Not the Russian state then?" he pressed. "They are the least likely suspects," I said. At which point this heavily decorated soldier leant over and whispered in my ear, "It was Ukraine."

He offered no evidence, I should say, and – but for his rank and position – I wouldn't even bother relaying it. But that is what he said.

Finally, I wish to place on record another of my dissident views on this matter. I do not believe that the substance used to attack the Skripals, and which we are told killed Ms Sturgess, was 'Novichok' at all – or any other kind of "military-grade deadly nerve agent." I am on the trail of this matter and you will be the first to know when I've found it.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

George Galloway was a member of the British Parliament for nearly 30 years. He presents TV and radio shows (including on RT). He is a film-maker, writer and a renowned orator.

[Aug 02, 2018] Did God Send Us Donald Trump by Nick Pemberton

Notable quotes:
"... I Thought About Killing You ..."
"... No, my new theory about why Americans want conflict with Russia is because we know in our heart of hearts that the world is ending soon because of climate change. ..."
"... Nick Pemberton is a student at Gustavus Adolphus College. He is currently employed by Gustavus Dining Services. Nick was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. He can be reached at pemberton.nick@gmail.com ..."
Jul 27, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org
Did God Send Us Donald Trump?

Photo by Durán | CC BY 2.0

And I think about killing myself
And I love myself way more than I love you, so

-- Kanye West, I Thought About Killing You

For the past two years, I have been wondering why Americans have been so ready, if not eager, to reengage the Cold War with Russia, despite Russia showing no desire to do so. A war between Russia and the United States, given the nuclear arsenals, political allegiances around the world, and the unhinged nature of our President, could destroy the entire species. And for what? Russia's alleged crime of election meddling, is negligible at best when in comparison to what America has done in Russia, or what rich Americans have done in America. Xenophobia, historical revisionism, and an embrace of fake news are all on the rise in the age of Trump, and are surely all factors for blaming Russia. But lying and bigotry, while practiced routinely, is often shameful, not something to get excited about.

No, my new theory about why Americans want conflict with Russia is because we know in our heart of hearts that the world is ending soon because of climate change. Just as born-again Christians flock to Trump as they yearn for a Revelations-style apocalypse, liberals want a showdown with Russia. If the world is ending anyways, let's end it on our own terms seems to be the rationale. Other countries have reacted with a more rational response to the potential of the world ending -- namely doing something about it. The Republican Party stands alone, in terms of rich countries, in its blatant denial of climate change. This is why Noam Chomsky correctly calls them the most dangerous organization in human history. The Democratic Party, their hapless and willing enablers, are a close second.

The Republican Party though has seemed to stand alone in their tendency to live in an 'alternative facts' universe. As bad as Democrats are, they know better ways to lie. But since the election of Donald Trump, the Democrats have become just as paranoid and dishonest as their friends across the aisle. The Republicans may see a communist behind every corner, but the Democrats see a Russian behind every corner. This makes sense because Russia, or at least the Soviet Union, was seen as communist the first time around. And the Democrats have always been scared of communism too. Now Russia isn't communist, or even close, but what world power is? Poor Mr. Putin. He has tried so hard to be a ruthless capitalist, in fact he has succeeded at this goal, but it appears that America is too hotheaded to care.

In the age of Barack Obama, those who deal with life superficially could forget the coming Armageddon. If one could get by his arrogance and kill lists, Mr. Obama seemed like a pretty cool guy. And when it came to Russia, a better diplomat. One has to wonder if the fear of Trump has become so irrational that we are scared of anything he does, and that by simply forcing him into the opposite, we will be better off. There also is surely a part of the American psyche that is just rooting for Mr. Trump to fail. And who wouldn't want that? Anything that gets him out of office as soon as possible should be welcomed, no matter the undemocratic implications of Robert Mueller's agenda. Trump failing while in office though? It is unclear who this helps besides the anti-Trump resistance who may be more interested in being morally superior than stopping Trump's vicious agenda.

Regardless, what Donald Trump brings to America is the sense that we are powerless. He is unpredictable, reckless, stupid and vengeful. We now live in constant fear, and for good reason. But the legitimate fear of Trump manifests as illegitimate fear of Putin, even though there is little implication they actually like each other. We fear Putin's authoritarian state, when it is Donald Trump who is bringing authoritarianism home. Why? Well, many of the resistance are imperialists. We want an enemy we can bomb and scapegoat, not one that pervades all of our own crumbling American institutions. It is the same reason why Republicans blame immigrants that Democrats blame Russia. Someone to blame, not something to change.

This powerlessness we feel may remind us of our powerless future that can easily be forgotten in the age of mass distraction. However, with Donald Trump, he is both the distraction and the problem. He is useful to the rich because he distracts, but perhaps he is a little too close to the real problem to be the calming relaxer that our smartphones are. One can turn on the TV and see Trump said blank, or Russia did that, but any person could quickly be reminded that not only is Trump a petty scandal, but a serious one.

Such is the reason for this extreme level of neurosis. There is endless piffling Trump material to focus on, but the material is based in something far more alarming not yet examined in a serious way. Thus, Trump, while ever present, remains enticing simply because we are not yet at the root of our fear. Many Americans may fear Donald Trump will grope them, insult them or embarrass them but the real fear is that he is deregulating and privatizing everything, and killing us all in the process. This is not the focus of discourse though. In part because mass media and their ties to polluting companies won't allow it. But also in part because it is no longer fun gossip.

Russia somehow remains fun gossip. The game of bringing down Donald Trump continues. He messes up, we scold, nothing happens. Until we drop the bomb, it's all fun and games. It's endless flirtation without a lot of action. I imagine it is how Ted Cruz deals with his sexual urges. It is a whole lot of fun talking about them, but he knows he is going to hell if he ever does them. Likewise, Russia is fun to talk about, but if we ever act on our claim that they are the greatest threat to democracy since 9/11, we will be bringing the end times early.

If Donald Trump was impeached, what would war-mongering corporate liberals talk about? Expect them to ask Russia to rig it even harder in 2020 for Mr. Trump.

Trump has reminded us of the real cause for alarm: the mass extinction thundering towards us. We feel so uneasy, but what can we do? Climate change is depressing and horrifying and we can seemingly do nothing about it on an individual level. We then opt for the only thing that we have left to control: how we all die. Foolish, I think. As bad as Trump is, there is something left to live for, and if Trump were to blow up Russia, it would not be on our terms, but on his. In fact, he is only likely to blow up Russia if he feels he is being out-machoed by the neoliberal corporate class in combative rhetoric. As it stands, America is egging on this madman for no other purpose than a sense of control over our own demise. If anything lets Trump and the corporate overlords win, this is it.

It is worth detailing what has happened in the Russia scandal, if only to show nothing has really happened. The first charge, which is denied by the accused firm, is that a Russian company known as Internet Research Agency funded 'millions of dollars' in advertisements. There has been no link established between this company and the Russian government. The accusation, if it is true, is no different from the private American companies who invest billions in elections, sometimes illegally, but often legally. The second charge is related to the Russian government and the alleged hacking of the Democratic National Committee. Once again, this is only a charge, but the information released by hackers was potentially damaging to Hillary Clinton and the Democrats, simply because it was true. The irony is that the damaging information for the DNC was that they had rigged their own primary. The accused riggers only crime is exposing the proven riggers. There are allegations of state and local hacking too, but those were present before 2016. Did Russia do it? is hardly our biggest story now. For whatever it is, even if it did prevent the corporate warmonger Hillary Clinton from winning, it should be far less concerning than the obsessive, neurotic, fear-mongering, scapegoating, ominous mood in the United States since the 2016 election.

Why were Democrats tearing their hair out over a Trump-Putin meeting last week that seemed to offer zero conclusions about how Trump felt about anything? The whole week, which was typical Donald, was just another week of bullying the weak and submitting to the strong. Putin may be able to push some buttons in his own country, but when Trump, who never apologizes for anything, ran back his own words, it was clear that NATO would live to see another day, no matter the scattered thoughts of a wimpy man in over his head. The deranged response to the deranged Donald was enough for me to think long and hard about a theory given to me by a right-wing woman this past week.

Her theory was that God had in fact sent us Donald Trump. My first thought: highly unlikely. This man lacks the morals of the people God sends to us. In fact, I can hardly think of a worse human being. There may actually be no human being worse than Trump, save maybe Charles Koch, David Koch and whoever funds Adam Sandler movies. But I thought of the alternative the corporate media was telling me: Vladimir Putin is the real President of America and the real reason the entire country is undemocratic, poor, hungry, and in prison. Also, highly unlikely.

Yet the pamphlet this woman handed me at least admitted there was no rhyme or reason to this theory other than some guy hearing it from God: "I, like many of you, was shocked by the word I received regarding Donald Trump. Trust me when I say it was given with fear and trembling." Has the fear and trembling gone away?

The only biblical evidence of this theory the pamphlet provided was 1 Corinthians 15:52: "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." and 1 Thessalonians 4:16: " For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first." The problem with being a fundamentalist in the age of Trump is that you are taking a book word for word that you haven't even read. If you are going to take it literally, at least look for that capital T in trump, otherwise you have to take every trumpet player as a prophet. Next thing you know Trumpettes will be swapping out their Johnny Rebel records and replacing them with Lee Morgan. Still, the trail left by the Trumpettes was no less convincing than Robert Mueller's. There was as much evidence of Trump in the Bible as Trump in Putin's pocket.

It should come to no one's surprise that Donald Trump has not exactly been pro-Russia. A broken clock may strike right twice a day, but a doomsday clock never strikes right. Glen Greenwald points out that Barack Obama was actually more pro-Russia than Trump: "you look at President Obama versus President Trump, there's no question that President Obama was more cooperative with and collaborative with Russia and the Russian agenda than President Trump. President Trump has sent lethal arms to Ukraine -- a crucial issue for Putin -- which President Obama refused to do. President Trump has bombed the Assad forces in Syria, a client state of Putin, something that Obama refused to do because he didn't want to provoke Putin. Trump has expelled more Russian diplomats and sanctioned more Russian oligarchs than [Obama] has. Trump undid the Iran deal, which Russia favored, while Obama worked with Russia in order to do the Iran deal." Once again, liberals give Mr. Trump too much credit. He has no friends. He gets along with no one. There is no coherent plan here other than corruption.

As liberals resist Putin-Trump with homophobic memes, one has to wonder, how mad are these people? Do they realize that Donald Trump is crazy, even crazier than them? Why on earth do they want Trump armed and angry?

Anyone who can still bear to follow the news knows that the corporate media is still attempting to paint Russia as an aggressive and unreasonable foe. This is all with Mr. Trump as the President! It is hard to believe that anyone is more unreasonable and aggressive than Trump, but once again, the liberals let him off the hook. Despite military on Russia's borders, years of war-mongering rhetoric and hostile economic activity, meddling in Russia's own elections, and constant racism, Russia remains a reasonable actor in its relation to the United States. One wonders why Russia tries to reason with us at all, but the nuclear weapons certainly make things a little more complicated.

For all the talk about Putin destroying American democracy, no one mentions the real threats to U.S. democracy that led to Trump's election -- absurd campaign financing, a sensationalist profit-driven corporate media, and voter suppression. No one mentions that there was a proven election scandal in the United States in 2016. This scandal was the DNC rigging its primary for Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders. If the United States was a democracy, Bernie Sanders would be President right now.

Finding no comfort or coherence in the liberal narrative, I turned once again to my new right-wing friend. She told me that all these recent storms were punishment for the sins of a liberal society. Almost, actually. But her anti-choice, anti-immigrant complaints showed me she was as far from the truth as anyone else. Still, I found this to be a fascinating denial of climate change. It was not so much that she denied that it is happening, she just denied human involvement. Which goes to show, as climate change becomes increasingly hard to ignore, religion may be the only method left to explain it away.

I have always thought the war over public opinion is a losing battle though. After all, what is the prize if you win? It is far more rewarding to fight hunger, poverty, deregulation, incarceration and war. Beat those things and we will all be too cozy to have a worthwhile opinion anyways.

The public opinion debate too often turns into a qualification of other people's mental health, as if any skepticism deserves to be medicated by the liars who tell you that you need their drugs. Climate change skeptics should have a place in public discourse. The skeptics do at times have a financial interest in keeping us fooled, but then their problem isn't their skepticism, but their dishonesty, which almost proves the real skeptics right. Otherwise, these are sincere believers who are right to be skeptical of science, which has brought us eugenics, unnecessary mental health treatments, nuclear power, and the very pollutants we now oppose, and would have kept at it without government checks and populist skeptics. If only the same amount of skepticism could be applied to Fox News and the corporate hacks Donald Trump appoints.

In the spirit of skepticism, let's look at what Trump has done on climate change and the coming end of the world. As Noam Chomsky puts it, the Republicans are racing to the precipice. Among the recent sins by Mr. Trump:

1. Rolling back the Endangered Species Act.

2. Cutting NASA Climate monitoring.

3. A move to make details of scientific studies public, making sure that scientists will have to choose between privacy rights and conducting a study.

4. Rollback of car emissions standards

5. Repeal of Water of the United States rule, which threatens clean water for 117 million Americans.

6. Repeal of lead-risk reduction program

7. Reduction of chemical bans for methylene chloride, trichloroethylene and N-Methylpyrrolidone

8. Stripping rules for coal ash waste removal.

9. Pardoning despicable ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond

10. Appointing anti-EPA Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court

11. Pushing for drilling the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

If anything, God sent us Trump to punish us for our sins, not to save us from them.

Alas, while a worthwhile exercise to imagine that God indeed sent us Donald Trump, I was only reminded that the right-wing is just as bonkers as the neoliberal wing. A week of watching CNN will have you believing anything; even pushing one to believe that God really did send Donald Trump. But I will confirm, for anyone so tempted by a new way of thinking, the glove just doesn't fit. God did not send us Donald Trump. I can't prove it, but I am fairly certain. I then was left with one mystifying question: if God did not send Donald Trump, what does the corporate media have against him?

The common variable between Trumpettes and Russiaphobes is the end of the world narrative. Is it a reaction to climate change that both must make up stories about how the world will end? Is it the only power any of us have left? Is it the cancer patient learning they have a year to live and then shooting up a school just so they can end it on their own terms? Sorry, to all Cold War Warriors and all Donald Doomers, some of us just are not ready to die. There is, one has to believe, a rose growing in the concrete somewhere that makes these prophecies not worth an early exit. At the very least, must we go out on such fabricated and petty terms? Surely there is something worth dying for besides hating political correctness or Putin's soccer ball.

What is that nuclear taste? Is reviving Hillary's corpse really worth it? Or has the entire country given up and opted for a death they can blame on someone else? It is not so dissimilar from the apocalypse envisioned by the Trumpettes, who can blame every storm that Trump makes worse on the sins of a liberal society. If Trump and Putin were to blow each other up tomorrow, liberals would die on top. However, if we are to die slightly slower due to climate change, the entire industrialized world will have to know we played a part. And there will be those pesky Trumpettes who blame it on liberalism, not capitalism. To all this I say, who cares. Yes, we messed up. We shouldn't have drained the earth of all its resources, we shouldn't have elected Trump. But no need to feel guilty and embrace the end of the world! There is still good work to be done. Who will be laughing when the world dies by nuclear (a Russiaphobe wet dream) or fire (a Trumpette wet dream). There will be no moral high ground at that point. The apocalypse will be the great equalizer. Even in the age of Trump, the world is worth sticking around for, although She might as well be done with us as soon as She can be.

Surely the principle of lesser evilism still has a place, no? Can't we all agree that dying tomorrow is better than dying today? Who is more looney, the apocalyptic Trumpettes or the Russiaphobic corporate class? We will find out soon enough. While it is very likely that Trump will win reelection (poll numbers in the Republican Party for him are very positive), it is just as likely that the new Cold War will continue until Trump is gone, whether that be in 2 years, 6 years, or 14 years (Ivanka). The premise is that we will either have Trump's apocalypse or we will blow up Russia. There must be a winner. Given Trump's flair for winning and upending the liberal class, who would be surprised if it was he who ended up blowing up Russia, not for our reasons, but for his own. Therefore, it is equally important to get Trump, the Republicans and Democrats out of power as quickly as possible.

We are once again pawns to the powers that be. Sensing the end is coming, they wish to go out with a bang. It is true, the end is coming, whether that be by climate change, nuclear weapons or God Himself. The battle over how we end is worth fighting for. I for one have no interest in being killed by Trump, the neocons, or the ecocide maniacs. If God must take me, I will let Him, but giving the establishment the satisfaction of having the last word is too much to bear. To hear Hillary's cackle at my funeral with the words "We came, we saw, he died" across the headstone would be a tragedy too great for even a species sprinting towards the precipice. If Donald were to preside over my grave, he would simply say "I won, you tiny loser", but I would resent this option equally. If God exists, and wants the last word for Himself, He should start by kicking all with nuclear fever to the curb. For we all are dangerously close to becoming the latest item on America's war-mongering resume. Let's just hope Donald doesn't take the bait and one-up the liberals one last time.

Even if God doesn't exist, one would have a better chance reasoning with Him than either Donald or his yuppy resistance groupies. So I thanked my right-wing friend today. For even if she was no more sane than the neoliberals prattling to the abyss, she at least had a nice place to send me after the world ended; that is assuming, I was born in America, had as many babies as ejaculations, and voted for God's unconventional servant, Donald J. Trump. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Nick Pemberton

Nick Pemberton is a student at Gustavus Adolphus College. He is currently employed by Gustavus Dining Services. Nick was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota. He can be reached at pemberton.nick@gmail.com

[Aug 01, 2018] The word McCarthyism came to mean making accusations of treason without sufficient evidence

Aug 01, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

To some, that fear was not a problem but a tool -- one could defeat political enemies simply by accusing them of being Russian sympathizers. There was no need for evidence, so desperate were Americans to believe; just an accusation that someone was in league with Russia was enough. Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy fired his first shot on February 9, 1950, proclaiming there were 205 card-carrying members of the Communist Party working for the Department of State. The evidence? Nothing but assertions .

Indeed, the very word " McCarthyism " came to mean making accusations of treason without sufficient evidence. Other definitions include a ggressively questioning a person's patriotism, using accusations of disloyalty to pressure a person to adhere to conformist politics or discredit an opponent, and subverting civil and political rights in the name of national security.

Pretending to be saving America while he tore at its foundations, McCarthy destroyed thousands of lives over the next four years simply by pointing a finger and saying "communist." Whenever anyone invoked his Fifth Amendment right to silence, McCarthy answered that this was "the most positive proof obtainable that the witness is communist." The power of accusation was used by others as well: the Lavender Scare , which concluded that the State Department was overrun with closeted homosexuals who were at risk of being blackmailed by Moscow for their perversions, was an offshoot of McCarthyism, and by 1951, 600 people had been fired based solely on evidence-free "morals" charges. State legislatures and school boards mimicked McCarthy. Books and movies were banned. Blacklists abounded.

The FBI embarked on campaigns of political repression (they would later claim Martin Luther King Jr. had communist ties), even as journalists and academics voluntarily narrowed their political thinking to exclude communism.

[Jul 31, 2018] Neocon media Russiagate sham

Notable quotes:
"... It is a sham since no evidence of election influence by the Russians was provided and no preventive or corrective measures our government is taking to prevent Emmanuel Goldstein (The Russians) from further attacking and usurping our elections was put forth. ..."
Jul 31, 2018 | consortiumnews.com

CitizenOne , July 29, 2018 at 9:26 pm

Today on ABC Martha Raddatz hosted "This Week" which featured James Lankford a Republican from Oklahoma describing how Russia and Putin were actively trying to ruin our democracy and also were trying to influence elections at every possible turn. The Russian Bear and Putin according to Lankford were also trying to rewrite the Constitution, trying to upend every election and were seeking to disrupt our national electrical grid not to be confused with our national election grid which they were also trying to destroy as well as to control the most local elections by a means of electronic control that was beyond any means to control.

Of course no mention was made about possible solutions to thwart the Russians was mentioned and it is doubtful that there are any serious efforts to counteract the alleged Russian hacking of US elections since not one single preventive action to stop the Orwellian monster of Russia, like Emmanuel Goldstein in Orwell's novel "Nineteen Eighty Four" was put forth.

Apparently ABC and the other media are trying to convince Americans that there is an overwhelming force in Russia that is somehow able to infiltrate and control all our national elections. Apparently the Russians are unstoppable.

It is a sham.

It is a sham since no evidence of election influence by the Russians was provided and no preventive or corrective measures our government is taking to prevent Emmanuel Goldstein (The Russians) from further attacking and usurping our elections was put forth.

Instead the publishers of "This Week" on ABC were content to provide evidence-free incriminations of Russia and attribute all manner of influence in our elections to the incredibly sneaky and unstoppable Russian-Putin election Influencing machine which is unstoppable by our intelligence agencies.

What is missing from Martha Radditz's show? There will never be any admission that they have jobs because of Citizens United, their corporate benefactors (Koch Industries), Gerrymandering, Dark Money, Media Bias which ensures that the Iron Triangle of corporate election dark money flows to hand picked political candidates that will support conservative causes or that these are the real election influencing mechanisms which have the most power in our country to influence elections.

As long as ABC, NBC, CBS and other cable news shows fail to correctly identify the real reasons of election corruption which is our very near and dear corporate money funded political organizations we will continue to be duped by the free press to believe that Russia has control over our national elections and not believe that US Corporations hold all the power.

[Jul 31, 2018] Matt Tait may play the role of midwife in DNC hack conspiracy.

Notable quotes:
"... the error message in Cyrillic can only be generated via some technical contortions with the explicit intention of doing so. ..."
"... I would challenge anyone reading Adam Carter's work to conclude that the G2 persona is anything other than misdirection specifically designed to point to Russia. The indictment itself has zero new evidence that can be analyzed and I suspect all the GRU detail is aimed at giving it the appearance of authenticity - even when subject to scrutiny by the IC itself. I think John Helmer is closest to the truth when he says: "...it may be a signal that US cyber agents can fabricate Russian tracks to deceive other US cyber agents; Mueller too." ..."
Jul 31, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Barbara Ann , 13 days ago
Glad David's comment has been reproduced as a post in its own right, this is a critically important topic.

IMO Matt Tait plays the role of midwife in this conspiracy. His Twitter thread

View Hide

Now THIS is a really interesting development in #DncHack:
@Gawker has & is publishing the DNC's Trump oppo research

gawker.com/this-looks-lik...

4:33 PM - Jun 15, 2016

This Looks Like the DNC's Hacked Trump O...
A 200+ page document that appears to be a
Democratic anti-Trump playbook compiled by the
Democratic National Committee has leaked

gawker.com

Q? 398 Q 269 people are talking about this

of June 15th 2016 mentions several "opsec fail"s in respect of 'Russian' metadata which, as you say, were then picked up by Ars Technica & others. So the meme was born. A key claim is that an error message in Cyrillic script appeared because one of the leaked docs was converted to pdf before being sent to Gawker - one of 2 press outlets to get a preview before Guccifer 2.0 published the docs on his blog. Adam Carter (@with_integrity), at http://g-2.space/ citing theforensicator (link below) says this is not true and that the error message in Cyrillic can only be generated via some technical contortions with the explicit intention of doing so.

I would challenge anyone reading Adam Carter's work to conclude that the G2 persona is anything other than misdirection specifically designed to point to Russia. The indictment itself has zero new evidence that can be analyzed and I suspect all the GRU detail is aimed at giving it the appearance of authenticity - even when subject to scrutiny by the IC itself. I think John Helmer is closest to the truth when he says: "...it may be a signal that US cyber agents can fabricate Russian tracks to deceive other US cyber agents; Mueller too."

https://theforensicator.wor...

[Jul 31, 2018] The Comey, Brennan, Mueller claim - indeed a central one upon which the recent indictment rests- that Guccifer 2.0 was a Russian State agent that hacked the DNC- was discredited and put to rest last year by the forensics conducted by Bill Binney and his colleagues.

Jul 31, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

mlnw , 13 days ago

The Comey, Brennan, Mueller claim - indeed a central one upon which the recent indictment rests- that Guccifer 2.0 was a Russian State agent that hacked the DNC- was discredited and put to rest last year by the forensics conducted by Bill Binney and his colleagues. The Guccifer 2.0 metadata was analyzed for its transmission speed, and based on the internet speeds to and from numerous test locations abroad and in the U.S., it was determined to have been impossible for the so-called Guccifer 2.0 to have hacked the DNC computers over the internet. The transmission speed however did correspond to the speed of the transfer to a thumb drive. Additionally, it was found that the data had been manipulated and split into two parts to simulate a July and a September transfer, when in fact the parts merge perfectly as single file, and where, according to Binney, the probability of the split being a coincidence would be 100 to the 50th power.

As for the crude trace fingerprints (e.g. the referencing of Dzerzinsky), one of the Wikileaks data dumps (Vault 7 Marble) during a period when Assange was negotiating with the Administration - there were two at the time (Vault 7 Marble and Vault 7 Grasshopper), the release of which apparently enraged Mike Pompeo- was designed to obfuscate, fabricate and frame countries such as Russia, Iran or North Korea by pretending to be the target country, including in the use of target's alphabet and language.

VIPs has written numerous articles on this in Consortium News. See also the report by Patrick Lawrence Smith in The Nation at: https://www.thenation.com/a... . (It was apparently so hot at the time- and disputed by several other VIPs members- that The Nation sought an independent assessment by third party, though those comments were easily addressed and dismissed in seriatim by Binney in an annex to the article.)

Binney has explained his forensic analysis and conclusions at numerous forums, and in a sit-down with Secretary Pompeo in October, 2017- though Mueller, the FBI, and mainstream and some of the alternative press seem either deaf, dumb and blind to it all, or interested in discrediting the study. The irony is, I'd venture to guess, that Binney, with his 40 years of experience, including as Technical Director and technical guru at the NSA, is, even in retirement, more sophisticated in these matters than any one at the Agency, or the FBI, or CIA, or certainly, the Congressional Intelligence Committees. So, it is astounding that any or all of them could have, but did not, invite him to testify as an expert.

Moreover, the NSA has a record of every transmission, and also would have it on backup files. And, the FBI has been sitting on Seth Rich's computer and his communications with Wikileaks, and presumably has a report that it has not released. And of course, as Trump asked in his press conference, where's the DNC server, any or all of which would put this question to rest.

A recent interview with Binney can be found at:

Play Hide
mlnw -> mlnw , 11 days ago
The last clause of the first paragraph should have said: "according to Binney, the probability of the split being a coincidence would be one over 100 to the 50th power

[Jul 31, 2018] Guccifer 2.0 and GCHQ

Notable quotes:
"... There is a pattern of abuse of formerly well regarded institutions to achieve the propaganda aims of the Deep State establishment. The depths that were plumbed to push the Iraq WMD falsehoods are well known. Yet no one was held to account nor was there any honest accounting of the abuse. There have been pretenses like the Owen inquiry that you note. ..."
"... We see the same situation of sweeping under the rug malfeasance and even outright criminality through obfuscation and obstruction in the case of the meddling in the 2016 election by top officials in intelligence and law enforcement. Clearly less and less people are buying what the Deep State sells despite their overwhelming control of the media channels. ..."
"... What is to be gained by the leadership in Britain in promoting these biological weapons cases since Litvinenko? In the US it is quite apparent that the Deep State have become extremely powerful and the likelihood that Trump recognizes that resistance is futile is very high. Schumer may be proven right that they have six ways from Sunday to make you kowtow to their dictats. ..."
Jul 31, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

If you look at the 'Lawfare' blog, in which a key figure is James Comey's crony Benjamin Wittes, you will find a long piece published last Friday, entitled 'Russia Indictment 2.0: What to Make of Mueller's Hacking Indictment.'

Among the authors, in addition to Wittes himself, is the sometime GCHQ employee Matt Tait. It appears that the former head of that organisation, the Blairite 'trusty' Robert Hannigan, who must know where a good few skeletons are buried, is a figure of some moment in the conspiracy.

(See https://www.lawfareblog.com... .)

It was Matt Tait who, using the 'Twitter' handle @pwnallthethings, identified the name and patronymic of Dzerzhinsky in the 'metadata' of the 'Guccifer 2.0' material on 15 June 2016, the day after Ellen Nakashima first disseminated the BS from 'CrowdStrike' in the 'WP.'

The story was picked up the following day in a report on the 'Ars Technica' site, and Tait's own account appeared on the 'Lawfare' site, to which he has been a regular contributor, on 28 July.

(See https://arstechnica.com/inf... ; https://www.lawfareblog.com... .)

According to the CV provided in conjunction with the new article:

'Matt Tait is a senior cybersecurity fellow at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas at Austin. Previously he was CEO of Capital Alpha Security, a consultancy in the UK, worked at Google Project Zero, was a principal security consultant for iSEC Partners, and NGS Secure, and worked as an information security specialist for GCHQ.'


blue peacock , 13 days ago

How does the objective truth get disclosed in an environment of extreme deceit by so many parties?

How to trust western intelligence when they have such a long and sordid track record of deceit, lies and propaganda? At the same time there is such a long history of Russian and Chinese intelligence and information operations against the west.

Then there is the nexus among the highest levels of US law enforcement and intelligence as well as political elites in both parties and key individuals in the media complex.

We are living in a hall of mirrors and it seems the trend is towards confirmation bias in information consumption.

richardstevenhack , 13 days ago
Excellent post, especially the debunking of the 'Gerasimov doctrine' which I always thought was more hand-waving and Russian mind-reading.

It's important to realize that there are a number of people in the infosec community who have biases against Russia, just as there are in the general population. Then there are more cautious people, who recognize the difficulty in attributing a hack to any specific person absent solid, incontrovertible, non-circumstantial and non-spoofable (and preferably offline) evidence.

Tait doesn't appear to be one of the latter. Thomas Rid would be another. There are others.

Jeffrey Carr is one of the latter, and his familiarity with intelligence matters is clear from his organization of the annual "Suits and Spooks" Conference. I believe he was the first to raise questions about the DNC hack which didn't pass his smell test.

There are also a number of companies in infosec who rely on latching onto a particular strain of hacker, the more publicly exploitable for PR purposes the better, as a means of keeping the company name in front of potential high-profile and highly billable clients. CrowdStrike and its Russia obsession isn't the only one that's been tagged with that propensity.

Mandiant could be referred to as the "Chinese, all the time" company, for example. Richard Bejtlich was at Fireeye and the became Chief Security Officer when they acquired Mandiant. He spent quite a bit of effort on his blog warning about the Chinese military buildup as a huge threat to the US. He's former USAF so perhaps that's not surprising.

Bottom line: Confirmation bias is a real thing.

Barbara Ann , 13 days ago
Glad David's comment has been reproduced as a post in its own right, this is a critically important topic.

IMO Matt Tait plays the role of midwife in this conspiracy. His Twitter thread

View Hide
mlnw , 13 days ago
The Comey, Brennan, Mueller claim - indeed a central one upon which the recent indictment rests- that Guccifer 2.0 was a Russian State agent that hacked the DNC- was discredited and put to rest last year by the forensics conducted by Bill Binney and his colleagues. The Guccifer 2.0 metadata was analyzed for its transmission speed, and based on the internet speeds to and from numerous test locations abroad and in the U.S., it was determined to have been impossible for the so-called Guccifer 2.0 to have hacked the DNC computers over the internet. The transmission speed however did correspond to the speed of the transfer to a thumb drive. Additionally, it was found that the data had been manipulated and split into two parts to simulate a July and a September transfer, when in fact the parts merge perfectly as single file, and where, according to Binney, the probability of the split being a coincidence would be 100 to the 50th power.

As for the crude trace fingerprints (e.g. the referencing of Dzerzinsky), one of the Wikileaks data dumps (Vault 7 Marble) during a period when Assange was negotiating with the Administration - there were two at the time (Vault 7 Marble and Vault 7 Grasshopper), the release of which apparently enraged Mike Pompeo- was designed to obfuscate, fabricate and frame countries such as Russia, Iran or North Korea by pretending to be the target country, including in the use of target's alphabet and language.

VIPs has written numerous articles on this in Consortium News. See also the report by Patrick Lawrence Smith in The Nation at: https://www.thenation.com/a... . (It was apparently so hot at the time- and disputed by several other VIPs members- that The Nation sought an independent assessment by third party, though those comments were easily addressed and dismissed in seriatim by Binney in an annex to the article.)

Binney has explained his forensic analysis and conclusions at numerous forums, and in a sit-down with Secretary Pompeo in October, 2017- though Mueller, the FBI, and mainstream and some of the alternative press seem either deaf, dumb and blind to it all, or interested in discrediting the study. The irony is, I'd venture to guess, that Binney, with his 40 years of experience, including as Technical Director and technical guru at the NSA, is, even in retirement, more sophisticated in these matters than any one at the Agency, or the FBI, or CIA, or certainly, the Congressional Intelligence Committees. So, it is astounding that any or all of them could have, but did not, invite him to testify as an expert.

Moreover, the NSA has a record of every transmission, and also would have it on backup files. And, the FBI has been sitting on Seth Rich's computer and his communications with Wikileaks, and presumably has a report that it has not released. And of course, as Trump asked in his press conference, where's the DNC server, any or all of which would put this question to rest.

A recent interview with Binney can be found at:

Play Hide
mlnw -> mlnw ,