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|News||Anti Trump Hysteria||Recommended Links||Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism||Whataboutism as a thought crime||Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak|
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|Doublespeak||Discrediting the opponent as favorite tactic of neoliberals||The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment||Freedom of speech played by Western MSM as three card monte||Patterns of Propaganda||The importance of controlling the narrative|
|MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage||Cold War II||"Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place||Neoconservatism as the USA version of Neoliberal ideology||Charlie Hebdo - more questions then answers||New American Militarism|
|Swiftboating: Khan gambit against Trump at Democratic Convention||Pussy Riot Provocation and "Deranged Pussy Worship Syndrome"||Deception as an art form||The Deep State||National Security State||Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law|
|Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair||US and British media are servants of security apparatus||The attempt to secure global hegemony||American Exceptionalism||Co-opting of the Human Rights to embarrass governments who oppose neoliberalism||Manipulation of the term "freedom of press"|
|Lewis Powell Memo||Anatol Leiven on American Messianism||Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism||Edward Lucas as agent provocateur||Groupthink||Soft propaganda|
|Diplomacy by deception||Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources||Deconstructing neoliberalism's definition of 'freedom'||The Real War on Reality||Nation under attack meme||Bullshit as MSM communication method|
|Neo-fascism||Classic Hypocrisy of British Ruling Elite||Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ?||Big Uncle is Watching You||What's the Matter with Kansas||Media as a weapon of mass deception|
|Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass||The Good Soldier Svejk||Nineteen Eighty-Four||Propaganda Quotes||Humor||Etc|
|For more and more Americans, the other side isn’t merely misguided in the extreme. It’s
evil in the absolute, and virtue is measured by the starkness with which that evil is labeled
and reviled. There are emotional satisfactions to this. There is also a terrible price.
Frank Bruni, June 17, 2017
Liars always become very touchy when confronted with their falsehoods. They will inevitably attack there accusers with more lies to make them look bad. This is a fundamental reflex all liars respond to critics with. "I'm not lying, you are!" Those who want to believe the real liar love this response, because it gives them an excuse not to investigate if the accuser may be right. Then they can just turn on the accuser and blame them for false accusation – without the slightest proof, of course.
Comment at https://consortiumnews.com
The capacity to disseminate misinformation, in order to paint the opposition in wildly negative light, suppressing any rebuttal is now standard tactic of US MSM. It allows sharp polarization of the electorate, the classic "divide and conquer" strategy.
Over the past decade in particular, the internet and social media have changed the game. They speed people to like-minded warriors and give them the impression of broader company or sturdier validation than really exist. The fervor of those in the anti-vaccine movement exemplifies this.
Admirers can now coalesce quickly (like was the case during Sanders run), but the same is true for the opposite side. The Web becomes worldwide Hyde Park, where everyone shows up with his/her personal opinions, convictions, and, of course, truth.
But Web sites with forums of likeminded people create echo camera effect, “create a whole new permission structure, a sense of social affirmation for what was once unthinkable...” If words can inspire, then they can also incite or debase. As the result, people are surrendering restraint and a socially important thing called tact. And this "verbal extremism" guarantees to widen the divisions between us. That’s true whether those words are spoken from the right or from the left, and the monetization of partisan combat spans the ideological spectrum.
George Orwell’s “Looking Back on the Spanish War,” said that for him, “history stopped in 1936,” because it was there, in Spain, that he discovered for the first time “newspaper reports which did not bear any relation to the facts.”
It was there that he sensed that “the very concept of objective truth,” ruined by propaganda. more modern form including "mathiness" -- miring the obvious in a miasma of charts and graphs
Another interesting effect of Web is that now it is not necessary to suppress somebody opinion expressed say in the article on the Web. now it is enough to remove it from Google and couple of other popular search engines.
Also valid, valuable opinions became diluted in tremendous amount of "junk" - irrelevant or clearly erroneous information generated on the Web. If one read attentively Guardian forums (which are one of the most high quality forums on the Web), one can state that there is 5% or less commenters who really know the subject they are talking about; often better/deeper then the author of the article they discuss. But to find them one need to browse pages of irrelevant comments.
Whataboutism is a nickname MSM have given that dirty the tactic of discrediting the opponent, when the opponent questions the USA objectivity because it committed similar or worse crimes in the past. Which, of course, if nor deprive, but greatly diminish the USA status as an objective judge.
Neoliberal channels are ready to come up with numerous conspiracy theories, painting the opponent, especially Russia, as ruthless canning opportunists, devoid of any moral principles. But, unfortunately, this is true about the USA too.
The key idea of this cynical post-modern media strategy, perfected by neoliberal political technologists is to block/suppress/dilute all opposing views in the "neoliberal noise" (like air dominance in war the US MSM practice full airwave dominance). That's why Putin interview is edited in such a wya as to hide any substantial criticism of the US policy. And not only Putin. This is a universal strategy of deciet. Its goal of the US MSM is to confuse what’s true with what’s not, to the point that the truth vanishes. What it undeniable is that over the past year neoliberals created an artificial reality that matches or exceed the one that existed in the USSR. Along with demonization Russia they also greatly succeeded in demonization of Trump.
This color revolution that Clinton and their supporters in several intelligence agencies launched against Trump in election would be painfully familiar to one who observed , for example, Ukrainian Orange revolution. Templates are identical. just the goals are different (in case of Orange revolution delegitimization of elections to the extent that new elections were called; in case of anti-Trump color revolution the appointment of the Special Prosecutor (aka Grand Inquisitor) was the goal.
This is what must be done by free thinkers if they are to counter and reverse the collectivist nightmare of neoliberalism.
WJ , May 4, 2018 3:53:30 PM | 12The detail of b's analysis that stands out to me as especially significant and brilliant is his demolition of the Guardian's reuse of the Merkel "quote."
This one detail tells us so much about how propaganda works, and about how it can be defeated. Successful propaganda both depends upon and seeks to accelerate the erasure of historical memory. This is because its truths are always changing to suit the immediate needs of the state. None of its truths can be understood historically.
B makes the connection between the documented but forgotten past "truth" of Merkel's quote and its present reincarnation in the Guardian, and this is really all he *needs* to do.
What b points out is something quite simple; yet the ability to do this very simple thing is becoming increasingly rare and its exercise increasingly difficult to achieve. It is for me the virtue that makes b's analysis uniquely indispensable.
Related to the above, consider the nature of the recently christened thought-crime, "whataboutism." The crime may be defined as follows:
"Whataboutism" is the attempt to understand a truth asserted by propaganda by way of relation to other truths it has asserted contemporaneous with or prior to this one. It is to ask, "What about this *other* truth? Does this *other* truth affect our understanding of *this* truth? And if so, how does it?"
Whataboutism seems to proclaim that each asserted truth stands on its own, and has no essential relation to any other past, present, or future asserted truth.
Try to avoid false trick of "shaming" under some artificial labels like communist or racist: Social justice relies on shaming tactics, usually by slandering an opponent with a label that does not really apply to him, in order to control his arguments and behavior. If you don’t care about being called a bigot, a racist, a sexist, a misogynist, a homophobe, etc., then there is not really much that they can do to you.
Do not self-censor: This does not mean you should go out of your way to be antagonistic or act like an ass, but the thought police have power only if you give power to them. Say what you want to say when you want to say it, and do it with a smile. Let the PC police froth and scream until they have an aneurism. neoliberals are generally weaklings. They avoid physical confrontation like they avoid logic, so why fear them?
Demand facts to back claims: neoliberals tend to argue on the basis of opinion rather than fact. Present facts to counter their claims, and demand facts and evidence in return. Opinions are irrelevant if the person is not willing to present supporting facts when asked.
Do not play the game of "unconscious bias": If social justice cultists can't counter your position with facts or logic, they will invariably turn to the old standby that you are limited in your insight because you have not lived in the shoes of a - (insert victim group here). I agree. In fact, I would point out that this reality of limited perception also applies to THEM as well. They have not lived in my shoes, therefore they are in no position to claim I enjoy "privilege" while they do not. This is why facts and evidence are so important, and why anecdotal evidence and personal feelings are irrelevant where cultural Marxism is concerned.
Let neoliberals know their fears and feelings do not matter: No one is entitled to have their feelings addressed by others. And, a person’s fears are ultimately unimportant. Whether the issue is the nonexistent “rape culture” or the contempt neoliberals feel over private gun ownership, their irrational fears are not our concern. Why should any individual relinquish his liberties in the name of placating frightened nobodies?
Demand that banksters respect your inherent individual rights: Banksters message is that there is no such thing as inherent rights or liberties and that all rights are arbitrary and subject to the whims of the group or the state. This is false. I have written extensively in the past on inherent rights, inborn psychological contents and natural law, referencing diverse luminaries, scientists and thinkers, including Thomas Aquinas, Carl Gustave Jung, Steven Pinker, etc., and I welcome readers to study my many articles on individualism. Freedom is an inborn conception with universally understood aspects. Period. No group or collective is more important than individual liberty. No artificial society has preeminence over the individuals within that society. As long as a person is not directly impeding the life, liberty, prosperity and privacy of another person, he should be left alone.
Maintain your rights as long as they do not hurt other people: PC cultists will invariably argue that every person, whether he knows it or not, is indirectly harming others with his attitude, his beliefs, his refusal to associate, even his very breathing. "We live in a society", they say, "and everything we do affects everyone else...". Don’t take such accusations seriously; these people do not understand how freedom works.
Say, for instance, hypothetically, that I refuse to bake a gay wedding cake for a couple and I am accused of violating their rights in the name of preserving my own. I would immediately point out that no one is entitled to a gay wedding cake, baked by me or anyone else and I have every right to choose my associations based on whatever criteria I see fit. Now, a corrupt government entity may claim I do not have that right. But the fact is I do, and no one — not even government — can force me to bake a cake if I don’t want to. Also, I would point out that the gay couple in question has every right in a free society to bake their OWN damn cake or open their own cake shop to compete with mine. This is how freedom works. It is not based on collective entitlement; it is based on personal responsibility.
Refuse to deny the scientific fact of biological gender: Gender is first and foremost a genetic imperative. Society only partially determine gender roles; nature does the most. A man who chops up his body and takes hormone pills to look like a woman is not and will never be a woman. A woman who tapes down her breasts and gets a short haircut will never be a man. There is no such thing as “transgendered” people. No amount of social justice or wishful thinking will ever allow them to reverse their genetic proclivities. Their psychological and sexual leanings do not change their inborn biological reality.
By extension, we should refuse to play along with this nonsense. I will never refer to a man in a wig and dress as a “woman.” I will never refer to a woman with identity issues as “transgendered.” They are what nature made them, and we should not police our pronouns just to falsely reassure them that they can deny nature.
Deny both neoliberal idea of "greed is good" and the illusion of Utopian equality: "Greed is good" proved to be an effective instrument of destruction of the USA society in just 35 years. Now we have "Dis-united States of America." Not the "United States of America." Like traffic light regulation perform a vital fuinction and removing vital regulations inflict a heavy price of the society. Opposite is also true: too much regulations also inflict a price. There is no such thing as pure social equality. It was never achieved in societies that try it, such as early the USSR. Society is not a homogeneous entity, it is an abstraction built around a group of unique individuals. Individuals can be naturally gifted, or naturally challenged. But there will always be some people who are more apt towards success than others and the success of the society depends of promoting such people to more important roles. Financial remuneration actually can pray here secondary role, but different in status is unavoidable. Primates-related concept of 'alpha male" is a precursor to social differentiation in human societies.
I have no problem whatsoever with the idea of equality of opportunity, which is exactly what we have in this country (except in the world of elitist finance which is purely driven by nepotism). I do have a problem with the lie of universal equality through engineered means.
Standards of success should not be lowered in order to accommodate the least skilled people to facilitate artificial parity. For example, I constantly hear the argument that more people with victim group status should be given greater representation in positions of influence and regard within our culture, from science and engineering, to media, to business CEO's, to politics, etc. The key word here is "given", rather than "earned". There is nothing wrong with one group of people excelling in a field more than another group, and there is nothing wrong with inequality when it comes to individual achievement. We must begin refusing to reward people for mediocrity and punishing success simply because the winners are not part of a designated victim group.
If you are a man, embrace your role: I am a man and cannot claim to know what specific solutions women should take to counter cultural Marxism. I would love to read an article written on the subject by a woman in the Liberty Movement. I will say that men in particular have a considerable task ahead in terms of their personal endeavors if they hope to repair the destruction of social justice.
For thousands of years, men have been the primary industrial force behind human progress. Today, they are relegated to cubicles and customer service, to video games and Web fantasies, to drug addictions and a lack of responsibility. If we have any chance of undoing the damage of cultural Marxism, modern men must take on their original roles as producers, inventors, entrepreneurs, protectors, builders and warriors once again. They should do this for their own benefit, and not for the validation of others.
You don’t have to prove to anyone you do "manly things", just go out and do them. Most importantly, become dangerous. Men are meant to be dangerous beings. That does not mean we are meant to be indiscriminately violent (just as women aren’t meant to be indiscriminately violent), but we are supposed to be threatening to those who would threaten us. Modern society has NOT removed the need for masculinity and I believe people will begin realizing this the more our culture sinks into economic despair. Train in martial arts, learn tactical firearms handling, go hunting and don’t take lip from people. In my opinion, every man should know how to kill things, even if he never plans on using those abilities.
Resist neoliberal brainwashing of your children: It’s simple, if you don’t want your kids propagandized, if you truly want them to be free from collectivist conditioning, then you will make the sacrifice and extract them from public schooling. With the introduction of Common Core into U.S. schools in particular, there is no other recourse but home schooling to prevent the brainwashing of cultural Marxism. If you do not do this, you are relying on the hope that your children will escape with their critical thinking abilities intact. Some do, and some don’t. Others turn into mindless social justice zombies. You can give them an advantage by removing them from a poisonous environment, and that is what matters.
The insane lie that neoliberals seem to have conned themselves and others into believing is that their “activism” is somehow anti-establishment. In fact, social justice is constantly coddled and supported by the establishment.
From politicians to judges to media pundits to the blogosphere, the overwhelming majority of people in positions of traditional power (even in supposedly conservative circles) have been more than happy to become the enforcers of the neoliberal agenda (including "fake democratization" agenda). There is no establishment for the army of enforces of political correctness to fight; the establishment bias works vastly more in favor of their ideology than any other. Neoliberals ARE the establishment.
Apr 22, 2019 | www.youtube.comDarko Fius, 1 month ago
Decades long "image" of London's spy school fall spectacularly apart, apparently it is not populated with the high IQ, highly educated brass any more, average intelligence however cannot play on international stage, script is poor, directing mediocre, inconsistencies and deep holes in story negate logics...
it is time that London joins Washington, hand in hand, like lowers to seek fortunes elsewhere, the prey is still to be found in oligarchs of Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Romania and the like places with spineless political caricatures.
Go London go...there is no fortune for you in EU...and by now you stench of your morals and ethics reaches shores of smallest island on GMT+12 time scale.
Mar 08, 2019 | www.youtube.com
Subscribe to Vesti News https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa8M...
It's been a year since the Salisbury incident. We still don't have the investigative conclusion. We don't know who's responsible and how exactly the Skripals were poisoned or if they were even poisoned at all. But international relations sure were poisoned. It appears that our ambassador to Britain, the esteemed Alexander Yakovenko is a spy decorated with military medals.
Leon Allan Davis , 1 month ago08x840234 , 1 month ago
Why don't the Russians just lay out the facts of the story as told by the British? The Brits story is so stupid it makes zero sense... According to the British media Skripal and his daughter came into contact with "military grade" Novichok nerve agent and both survived... Even though they said a tiny drop can be fatal... The poor woman who did die was a homeless drug addict. Supposedly, her boyfriend found a bottle of "perfume" in a "perfume box" that was in a trash receptacle. The boyfriend retrieved it from the waste bin and gave it to to the unfortunate woman. She died. According to the British government, Russian spies put the Novichok in the perfume bottle and planted the bottle in the trash bin so the boyfriend would find it... Personally, I blame the death of the homeless woman on a "false flag" operation run by British intelligence. Someone had to die. Why not an "expendable"? Meanwhile, the Skripals remain under house arrest, cut off from the outside world... And no one in the British media has asked to talk to them. No one.anirudh mathur , 1 month ago
The British story about the Skripals is falling apart. First we were told an off duty police officer found them. Then we are told that an off duty nurse helped the police officer. Then it was the off duty nurse that found them and was helped by the police officer. Then it was the daughter of the off duty nurse that found them. Then the off duty nurse turned out to be Britain's highest ranking female military medic. Then we are told the police officer never attended them and had been sent to their house the following day. This week the local TV news channel (BBC Points West) interviewed a woman that said SHE was the first one to find the Skripals who were alone on the bench frothing at the mouth. She claims she walked over and was going to phone an ambulance when a female police officer arrived. Then the female police officer was interviewed and stated she was driving her police van and was the first on scene after someone had phoned them for help. She also stated that although she didn't know what was wrong with the Skripals, she thought the vomit on the ground was suspicious and requested a Hazmat team in full protective gear to remove the vomit.Kostas K , 1 month ago
Happy women day Mrs zakharhovaKnightInShiningASMR , 1 month ago
Maria is an intelligent in a very high level, fiery and articulate. The British political system would trade at least half of their politicians for one of her.Terry Bromley , 1 month ago
Vladimir,can you find out if England has just set up Ireland by sending someone there and having them post flammable packages back to England? The addresses were so vague that they should have alerted someone in the postal service,especially since England is on high alert for terror attacks.That says to me that the government knew they were coming.ISIS would claim responsibility for a silent fart in a packed room.No-one in Ireland has claimed responsibility for the packages,probably because it's "highly likely" that England has set up Ireland.If the Brits are found to be behind it,like black people and Israeli's have been caught out spraying racist graffiti against themselves,Salisbury will be even more questionable.Elliot Abrams shipped arms in "aid" convoys,so now no-one believes the aid to Venezuela isn't hiding weapons.What have the filthy Brits been caught doing in recent years that would make them look guilty like Elliot Abrams?johnrb88 , 1 month ago
Terry F Bromley, Brilliant, Maria Zacharova just smashing we look after herIstván Vicze , 1 month ago (edited)
Maria Zacharova may be simply too decent a human being to realise that the west is run by a mafia-like cabal that cares not a jot for their own peoples, let alone those in foreign realms. She looks for logical explanations that might account for actions, but needs to face the reality that monumental greed and corruption have hollowed out all corridors of power in western governments. Any semblance of an unbiased independent media went extinct a long time ago, replaced by well placed operatives from the intelligence agencies, who manage a vast array of pseudo "journalists". The western puppet regimes are simply useful idiots who obey instructions, they sell themselves for money and privilege. In other words, traitors to the people who put them in office. Those public officials and politicians who perhaps had a shred of integrity get eliminated, or compromised by indiscretions that are held over them, or by simple intimidation tactics -- the classic "carrot and stick" method. Russians lifted themselves from the disastrous days of "perestroika" and have restored their nation to near normalcy. The west may at some point do the same, but it will take a complete collapse of their present totalitarian regimes to start the healing, if it is to happen. With each passing day, the zombification of the masses continues, let us hope it has not already got to the stage where a return to a better world becomes unattainable.twaters57 , 1 month ago
Mrs Spokeswoman really nailed it: US & UK resort to this Dead Cat tactics everyday now. That was the Case with Kosovo, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, Syria & now Venezuela. However, they only manage to bait in their "Allies" (better said Vassals)- and then they fail to deliver since Syria. Russian Intervention & People waking up to their Lies makes their Case less and less credible. The paralel Universe they are creating inside their brainwashing Media is fading away. And that makes them the more dangerous...Bob Mitchell , 1 month ago
It's sad when the only real news people in the US can get is from the Russian media. The west is financially and morally bankrupt. Thank you Zacharova and Russia for telling the truth about the evil deeds of the west. Median approval of U.S. leadership across 134 countries and areas stands at a new low of 30%, according to a new Gallup report. Maybe the tide is finally turning and the evil deeds of the west will be exposed.Robin Wood , 1 month ago (edited)
I think the underlying cause of all the UK anti-Russia carry ons goes right back to the damage you did to them during the Crimean War...you bloodied their nose and they have never forgiven you...silly buggers! 💥💥💥🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺Nico Montinola , 1 month ago
The Roman-Israeli Brits are born liars, but liars will always fall apart because their stories never add up. I suspect that the Skripals were never even poisoned but paid by the British to confirm the lie. The Western politicians have become so corrupt that you cannot believe a word coming from their lying mouths. Over the decades they have become so confident that everybody would swallow their reckless lies that they don't even care what they say and what they do without thinking or caring about the consequences of their actions.kee yong loh , 1 month ago
Amazing how slick & classy the Russians are nowadays. I think US and US industrial standards are still higher but Russia has improved a lot!Robert Tony , 1 month ago
To UK & US: Please show some respect for world ordinary people. We are not stupid. We are intelligent & also kind compassionate human beings. U're insulting our intelligence!· doubleplusgood · ʞɐǝdsʞɔnp · , 1 month ago
I think they have completely lost the plot, relying on stupidity and arrogance to achieve the least amount possible in the messiest most insane way possible. Seriously, the publicly state the reality, conduct regime change operations, to get US troops into and country and then charge 150% of cost of that occupation, protection, straight out of a Mafioso playback, only their blind arrogance and ignorance, make that kind of public stance possible. Any government that signs onto it, traitors to their own people, selling out to an foreign occupation, using Americans forces to sustain autocratic control of that country, those citizens paying for the bullets Americans will use to kill them, should they try to end the occupation. The more forces required to quell the public, the more they bill the occupied country and the MORE PROFITABLE IT BECOMES, utter insanity. Only utterly blind stupidity could make that public statement possible, beyond something you would expect from a backward third world country and some despot drunk on power, nope, this from the USA, the not home of freedom, the not home of justice and clearly the not home of democracy, the best people killers on the planet, ready to back militarily any despot it puts in charge, at the expense of their victims. Any sane country would hide this embarrassment, nope the US proud.
Imagine a parallel universe where Maria is the British Prime Minister. The British politicians are not in her league. She is notionally just a spokeswoman, in Britain we don't have such free speaking spokesmen. It seems everything said in Britain has to be a lie. So refreshing and much more intellectually engaging to have the truth. There is the small matter of appearance, nobody in British politics now or ever is dressed as well as Maria. Or this show's host. I also like it how Maria has her notes on her phone.
Apr 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
As we now shift from the "witch hunt" against Trump to 'investigating the investigators' who spied on him - remember this; Donald Trump was supposed to lose the 2016 election by almost all accounts. And had Hillary won, as expected, none of this would have seen the light of day .
We wouldn't know that a hyper-partisan FBI had spied on the Trump campaign , as Attorney General William Barr put it during his April 10 Congressional testimony .
We wouldn't know that a Clinton-linked operative, Joseph Mifsud, seeded Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos with the rumor that Russia had 'Dirt' on Hillary Clinton - which would later be coaxed out of Papadopoulos by a Clinton-linked Australian ambassador, Alexander Downer, and that this apparent 'setup' would be the genesis of the FBI's " operation crossfire hurricane " operation against the Trump campaign.
We wouldn't know about the role of Fusion GPS - the opposition research firm hired by Hillary Clinton's campaign to commission the Steele dossier. Fusion is also linked to the infamous Trump Tower meeting , and hired Nellie Ohr - the CIA-linked wife of the DOJ's then-#4 employee, Bruce Ohr. Nellie fed her husband Bruce intelligence she had gathered against Trump while working for Fusion , according to transcripts of her closed-door Congressional testimony.
And if not for reporting by the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross and others, we wouldn't know that the FBI sent a longtime spook, Stefan Halper, to infiltrate and spy on the Trump campaign - after the Obama DOJ paid him over $400,000 right before the 2016 US election (out of more than $1 million he received while Obama was president).
According to the New York Times , the tables are turning, starting with the Steele Dossier.
[T]he release on Thursday of the report by the special counsel , Robert S. Mueller III, underscored what had grown clearer for months -- that while many Trump aides had welcomed contacts with the Russians, some of the most sensational claims in the dossier appeared to be false, and others were impossible to prove . Mr. Mueller's report contained over a dozen passing references to the document's claims but no overall assessment of why so much did not check out.
Now the dossier -- financed by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee , and compiled by the former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele -- is likely to face new, possibly harsh scrutiny from multiple inquiries . - NYT
While Congressional Republicans have vowed to investigate, the DOJ's Inspector General is considering whether the FBI improperly relied on the dossier when they used it to apply for a surveillance warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The IG also wants to know about Steele's sources and whether the FBI disclosed any doubts as to the veracity of the dossier .
Attorney General Barr, meanwhile, said he will review the FBI's conduct in the Russia investigation after saying the agency spied on the Trump campaign .
Doubts over the dossier
The FBI's scramble to vet the dossier's claims are well known. According to an April, 2017 NYT report , the FBI agreed to pay Steele $50,000 for "solid corroboration" of his claims . Steele was apparently unable to produce satisfactory evidence - and was ultimately not paid for his efforts:
Mr. Steele met his F.B.I. contact in Rome in early October, bringing a stack of new intelligence reports. One, dated Sept. 14, said that Mr. Putin was facing "fallout" over his apparent involvement in the D.N.C. hack and was receiving "conflicting advice" on what to do.
The agent said that if Mr. Steele could get solid corroboration of his reports, the F.B.I. would pay him $50,000 for his efforts, according to two people familiar with the offer. Ultimately, he was not paid . - NYT
Still, the FBI used the dossier to obtain the FISA warrant on Page - while the document itself was heavily shopped around to various media outlets . The late Sen. John McCain provided a copy to Former FBI Director James Comey, who already had a version, and briefed President Trump on the salacious document. Comey's briefing to Trump was then used by CNN and BuzzFeed to justify reporting on and publishing the dossier following the election.
Let's not forget that in October, 2016, both Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman John Podesta promoted the conspiracy theory that a secret Russian server was communicating with Trump Tower.
The report was debunked after internet sleuths traced the IP address to a marketing server located outside Philadelphia, leading Alfa Bank executives to file a lawsuit against Fusion GPS in October 2017, claiming their reputations were harmed by the Steele Dossier.
And who placed the Trump-Alfa theory with various media outlets? None other than former FBI counterintelligence officer and Dianne Feinstein aide Dan Jones - who is currently working with Fusion GPS and Steele to continue their Trump-Russia investigation funded in part by George Soros .
Russian tricks? The Times notes that Steele "has not ruled out" that he may have been fed Russian disinformation while assembling his dossier.
That would mean that in addition to carrying out an effective attack on the Clinton campaign, Russian spymasters hedged their bets and placed a few land mines under Mr. Trump's presidency as well.
Oleg D. Kalugin, a former K.G.B. general who now lives outside Washington, saw that as plausible. "Russia has huge experience in spreading false information," he said. - NYT
In short, Steele is being given an 'out' with this admission.
A lawyer for Fusion GPS, Joshua Levy, says that the Mueller report substantiated the "core reporting" in the Steele memos - namely that "Trump campaign figures were secretly meeting Kremlin figures," and that Russia's president, Vladimir V. Putin, had directed "a covert operation to elect Donald J. Trump."Of course, when one stops painting with broad brush strokes, it's clear that the dossier was fabricated bullshit.
The dossier tantalized Mr. Trump's opponents with a worst-case account of the president's conduct. And for those trying to make sense of the Trump-Russia saga, the dossier infused the quest for understanding with urgency.
In blunt prose, it suggested that a foreign power had fully compromised the man who would become the next president of the United States.
The Russians, it asserted, had tried winning over Mr. Trump with real estate deals in Moscow -- which he had not taken up -- and set him up with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel in 2013, filming the proceedings for future exploitation. A handful of aides were described as conspiring with the Russians at every turn.
Mr. Trump, it said, had moles inside the D.N.C. The memos claimed that he and the Kremlin had been exchanging intelligence for eight years and were using Romanian hackers against the Democrats , and that Russian pensioners in the United States were running a covert communications network . - NYT
And after a nearly two-year investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller and roughly 40 FBI agents and other specialists, no evidence was found to support the dossier's wild claims of "DNC moles, Romanian hackers, Russian pensioners, or years of Trump-Putin intelligence trading ," as the Times puts it.
Now that the shoe is on the other foot, and key Democrats backing away from talks of impeachment, let's see if lady justice will follow the rest of us down the rabbit hole.
Yippie21 , 2 minutes ago linkSan Pedro , 2 minutes ago link
This is why the whole FISA court is a joke. What is their remedy if their power is abused? What happens. Well,... the FISA courts was lied to and found out about it in the early 2000's. Mueller was FBI chief. So they got a strongly worded dressing-down, a mark in their permanent record from high school, and NO ONE was fired... no one was sanctioned, no agent was transferred to Alaska.
Fast forward 10 or 12 years and the FBI is doing this **** again. Lying to the court... you know the court where there are no Democrat judges or Republican judges.. they are all super awesome.... and what is the remedy when the FISA court is told they've been lied to by the FBI and used in a intel operation with MI6, inserting assets, into a freaking domestic Presidential campaign!!! and then they WON. Good god.
And what do we hear from our court? Nadda. Do we hear of some Federal Judges hauling FBI and DOJ folks in front of them and throwing them in jail? Nope. It appears from here... that our Federal Justices are corrupt and have no problem letting illegal police-state actions go on with ZERO accountability or recourse. They could care less evidently. It's all secret you know... trust us they say.. Why aren't these judges publicly making loud noises about how the judiciary is complicit , with the press, in wholesale spying and leaking for political reasons AND a coup attempt when the wrong guy won.???
Where is awesome Justice Roberts? Why isn't he throwing down some truth on just how compromised the rule of law in his courts clearly are in the last 10 years? The FISA court is his baby. It does no good for them to assure us they are concerned too, and they've taken action and sent strongly worded letters. Pisses me off. ? Right? heck of rant...Scipio Africanuz , 4 minutes ago link
When did Russians interfere in our elections?? 2016. Who was president when Russians interfered with elections?? oobama. Who was head of the CIA?? Brennan. Who was National Intelligence director?? Clapper. Who was head of the FBI when the Russians interfered in our elections?? Comey. The pattern is obvious. When Trump was a private citizen the oobama and all his cabinet appointees and Intel Managers had their hands on all the levers and instruments of Government..and did nothing . Your oobama is guilty of treason and failing his Oath Of Office...everybody knows this.King of Ruperts Land , 5 minutes ago link
This article is still a roundabout gambit to blame Russia.
Fair enough, where's Bill Browder? In England. Browder's allegations were utilized to try and damage Russia, even though Russia (not the USSR), is about the most reliable friend America has.
Russia helped Lincoln, and were it not for that crucial help, there'd be no America to sanction Russia today. The Tsar paid for that help with his dynasty, when Nicholas II was murdered, and dethroned.
Americans are truly ungrateful brutes..
Now, sanctions, opprobrium, and hatred are heaped on Russia, most cogently by chauvinistic racists, who look down their noses at Rus (Russ) and yet, cannot sacrifice 25 millions of their own people, for the sake of others.
Russians are considered subhuman, and yet, the divine spark of humanity resides solely in their breasts. The zionists claim a false figure of 6 million for a faux holocaust, and yet, nobody pays attention to the true holocaust of 25 millions, or the many millions before that disastrous instigated war.
That the Russians are childlike, believing others to be like them, loyal, self sacrificing, and generous, has now brought the world to the brink of armageddon, and still, they bear the burden of proof, though their accusers, who ought provide the evidence, are bereft of any..
Thomas Jefferson it was, who observing whatever he observed, exclaimed in cogent agitation, that "I fear for my countrymen, when I remember that God is Just, and His Justice does not repose forever".
Investigate Jared and Ivanka Kushner, along with Charles Kushner, and much ought be clear, no cheers...Sanity Bear , 15 minutes ago link
I don't buy that "Few bad apples at the top", "Good rank and file" Argument. I have never seen one. We should assume everyone from the top to the bottom of FBI, DOJ, and State, just to get started, probably every other three better agency is bad. At least incompotent, at worst treasonous.besnook , 20 minutes ago link
As there was spying, there must necessarily also have been channels to get the information thus gathered back to its original buyer - the Clinton campaign. Who passed the information back to Clinton, and what got passed?ClickNLook , 23 minutes ago link
the NYTt prints all the news a scumbag would. remember Judith Miller, the Zionazi reporter the NYT used to push the Iraq war with all sorts of ********? after the war was determined to be started under a false premise and became common knowledge there were no wmds in iraq the nyt came forward and reported the war was ******** as if they were reporting breaking news.
they have done the same thing here. they pushed the russiagate story with both barrels even though the informed populace knew it was ******** before trump was sworn in as potus. now that the all the holes in the story are readily apparent the nyt comes forward with breaking revelation that something is wrong with the story.I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 30 minutes ago link
Now we will have another 2 years of investigation and another expensive and meaningless report. WWE Soup Opera continues. Plot sickens.I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 30 minutes ago link
There was no 'hack.' That is the big, anti-Russia, pro-MIC lie which all the other lies serve.DaBard51 , 24 minutes ago link
There was no 'hack.' That is the big, anti-Russia, pro-MIC lie which all the other lies serve.
His name is Seth Rich.ClickNLook , 19 minutes ago link
The Seth Rich investigation; where is it now? Murder of a campaign staffer; tampering with or influencing an election, is it not? Hmmm... When nine hundred years old you become, look this good you will not.Amy G. Dala , 22 minutes ago link
Once upon a time there was a Bernie supporter. And his name was Seth Rich. Then there was a "botched robbery", which evidence that was concluded on, I have no idea. Do you? Anyhow, The End.ComeAndTakeIt , 10 minutes ago link
Seth Rich had the means and the motive. So did Imran Awan, but it would make no sense for Awan to turn anything over to wikileaks . . .he would have kept them as insurance.
Why wouldn't Assange name the source for the DNC emails? Is this a future bargaining chip? And what if he did name Seth Rich? He would have to prove it. Could he?Bricker , 32 minutes ago link
They've got Assange now...Maybe they should ask him if it was Seth Rich who gave him the emails?
Maybe even do it under oath and on national television. I don't think it's still considered "burning a source" if your source has already been murdered....Mike Rotsch , 35 minutes ago link
Until the real criminals are processed and the media can be restored you don't have a United States. This corruption is beyond comprehension. You had the (((media)) providing kickbacks to the FBI for leaked information. These bribes are how CNN was on site during Roger Stones invasion.
Treason and Sedition is rampant in America and all SPY roads lead to Clapper, Brennan and Obama...This needs attention.
The media is abusive and narrating attacks on a dully elected president
Oleg D. Kalugin, a former K.G.B. general who now lives outside Washington, saw that as plausible. "Russia has huge experience in spreading false information," he said. - NYT
You have got to be ******* kidding me. So now the narrative is, "We were wrong about Russian collusion, and that's Russia's fault"?!
Jan 19, 2019 | off-guardian.orgTwo days ago BuzzFeed published a front page story, under a "BREAKING" banner, headlined: President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project
In the article, Buzzfeed reporters Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier claim to have been told, by two anonymous sources, that Robert Mueller's "Russiagate" investigation had evidence Donald Trump had instructed his lawyer to lie to Congress. That would be a felony, and obviously an impeachable offence.
The reaction of the news media and associated twitterati was as quick as it was predictable. MSNCBC, CNN, the BBC, The Guardian the usual suspects. They were all over it within hours.
But then, less than a day later, Robert Mueller's spokesperson Peter Carr issued this statement :
BuzzFeed's description of specific statements to the special counsel's office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen's congressional testimony are not accurate,"
Despite this, BuzzFeed is sticking to its guns. Insisting that Mueller's statement is vague, and therefore does not undercut the heart of their story.
The rest of the mainstream media are sensing the tone though and jumping ship. The Washington Post – not known for their pro-Trump slant – ran an editorial pointing out the scarcity of Mueller's public comment (this the first statement Mueller has ever issued concerning evidence or claims in the press), and arguing that the rush to refute the BuzzFeed article means it is probably completely false.
Nevertheless, BuzzFeed has not retracted or altered their story in any way – except for putting in one small paragraph reporting that Mueller's office disputes their story. There is no note of the update, and the rest of the story remains unchanged .
There is a striking parallel here, with a story Luke Harding contributed to The Guardian in late November last year: "Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy"
The article claimed Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort had met with Julian Assange at least three times prior to the 2016 Presidential Election. No evidence was produced, save the word of "unnamed intelligence officials", "secret Ecuadorian documents" and the like. While the predictable news outlets picked up the story and ran with it with the eagerness of a 6-month-old Golden Retriever, we in the alternative media were quick to point out the logical and factual deficiencies in the story.
Within hours, The Guardian had edited its language to be rather more circumspect , and include the denials made by both accused parties. The edits made to the article were not noted or highlighted in any way, we only know they exist because of internet archives. The next day The Guardian released a brief, terse, defensive statement. That statement was itself refuted by both Manafort and WikiLeaks. As of today, WikiLeaks is actively pursuing legal action in this case.
Later, it was revealed that a key contributor to the story had been previously been convicted of forgery .
No apology has been made, and no retraction issued, no explanation given. Both the editor, Katherine Viner, and Luke Harding have been totally silent on the topic.
So, in the last 2 months both Buzzfeed and The Guardian have issued "BREAKING NEWS" stories that made bold claims, but were not backed up with any evidence. Both these stories were shown to be untrue in less than 24 hours.
Anonymous sources are a common area here – both stories rely exclusively on the word of "unnamed sources" from either "the intelligence services" or "government agencies". Anonymous sources are the batarangs on the propagandist's utility belt. Flexible, simple, timeless.
Anonymity allows government agencies to leak misinformation on purpose, without hurting their credibility. It allows newspapers to control public opinion without having any actual facts on hand. It allows intelligence agencies to plant narratives they may want to revisit, or to give targets of blackmail operations a warning. And, most obviously, it allows journalists to simply make stuff up.
I don't know which specific class these two stories fall into – but I do know it's one or all of them.
So we come to the question of motive: BuzzFeed and The Guardian must have known there was no evidence to back up their assertions (yet, anyway). They must know the "significant minority" of the population who believe "conspiracy theories about their own government" will research and refute these claims.
So why publish them?
Well, in the Guardian's case, every story demonising Assange discredits WikiLeaks' future output, whilst also softening public sympathy for Assange in preparation for potential extradition of to the US. All the mainstream press have turned on WikiLeaks, but The Guardian – for some reason – has a particularly strong institutional axe to grind with WikiLeaks, and specifically Julian Assange.
Similarly, every "Russia bad!" story primes the public to accept increased defence spending, increased control of the internet by the government and increased social media censorship. It is very much the gift that keeps on giving in that regard.
In BuzzFeed's case, it has been apparent for a while now that the Mueller investigation is likely to fizzle. Articles and interviews from various media sources have been prepping the public for a "let down" for a few weeks. At this point, there is no case for impeaching Trump. But the Deep State still needs to keep him over a barrel.
Trump has been a disappointment to his base and is yet to implement half the policies he discussed on the campaign trail, but he's not fully and totally being controlled by the warhawking Deep State yet, either. His policy of peace with North Korea and decisions to pull out of Syria and Afghanistan show that there is a tug-of-war ongoing inside the administration. It's probably no coincidence that this latest of many "bombshells" comes so quickly on the heels of Trump's announcement of the Syria withdrawal.
Careful "leaks", planted stories and social media witch-hunts remind Trump how precarious his position is, whilst simultaneously distracting the public – both pro-Trump and anti-Trump – from real issues.
The case-specific "why?" doesn't matter so much as the general aim of this type of manipulation. The important question is: Why does the media tell lies if they know they will be revealed as such?
Clearly, the lies serve a purpose, regardless of their retraction or qualification.
Telling a lie loudly and then taking it back quietly is an old propaganda trick – it allows the paper to maintain a facade of "accountability". The point of this practice is to propagate lies into the public consciousness. It's a method that can be used to distract and disseminate and divide.
The accuracy of the statement is immaterial. The point is, once it has been said it cannot be unsaid. There are countless examples: "Assange was working for Russia", "Trump ordered Cohen to lie to Congress", "Russia hacked the US election", "Donald Trump worked for the KGB", "Assad gassed his own people", "Jeremy Corbyn is an antisemite".
The list goes on and on and on. None these have been proven. All were asserted without evidence, fiercely defended as facts, and then discretely qualified.
That is the purpose of "fake news", to forge the Empire's "created reality" , and force us all to live in it. These are world-shaping, policy-informing, news-dominating narratives and are nothing but feathers in the wind .
A perfect examplar of this occurred just two days ago on the BBC's flagship Political debate show Question Time :
The (notionally impartial) host not only sided with right-wing author Isabel Oakeshott in criticising Labour's polling, but then joined in mocking the Labour MP Diane Abbott for attempting to correct the record.
Both Oakeshott and Fiona Bruce, the host, were factually incorrect – as shown a hundred times over since. But that doesn't matter. The lie was told, the audience laughed, the reality was created. "Labour are behind in the polls, anybody who says otherwise is a laughingstock" .
The lie goes around the world while the truth is still putting its boots on.
That's why fake news is so important to them, and so dangerous us.Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.
Anirudh says Mar, 1, 2019This is one of the biggest problems with mainstream media these days. They just give out fake stories or tailor-made stories out there and people on social media latch on to the stories without actually trying to find out what really happened.Chris Friel says Jan, 26, 2019
This is not the first time BuzzFeed it issuing an article like this one by now it has developed a reputation for propagating facts that are untrue. It is said to see what our media houses have come down too, gone are the days when news reports were based on facts.Here's a short piece on Muralgate as part of Israeli information warfare: Was the antisemitism crisis in the UK Labour Party designed as a distraction from Gaza? Very early on some complained that Jeremy Corbyn was a victim of a smear campaign, but might it be more accurate to say that UK politics witnessed a deliberate smokescreen? As controversial as this narrative is, I think that all the evidence points in that direction. https://www.academia.edu/38226258/MuralGate_as_a_Distraction_from_Gaza_Smear_and_SmokescreenMartin Usher says Jan, 28, 2019I've never thought of there being an antisemitism crisis in the Labour party but rather think of it as part of a concerted attack on anyone opposing Israeli policy towards Palestinians, occupied territories and so on. There's two reasons for this; one being that the intellectual base of left wing politics has historically has always included a lot of Jewish thinkers. The other is that we don't have a Labour party here in the US but any organization that's critical of these policies gets tarred in exactly the same way. Its a lazy 'fill in the blanks' approach that obviously does the job (because the media just takes up the banner and runs with it, it doesn't hang around to ask questions) but at the same time its really easy to see through if you know what to look for.axisofoil says Jan, 23, 2019This is very interesting https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/04/all-russiagate-roads-lead-to-london-as-evidence-emerges-of-joseph-mifsuds-links-to-uk-intelligence/David Eire says Jan, 22, 2019Buzzfeed is a complete scam. I remember the night of the Presidential election their running vote tallies were completely false – they had Hillary Clinton leading the whole time. They know exactly what they are doing. It's not like they are making mistakes.Lloyd says Jan, 21, 2019BuzzFeed is a useful outlet for fake news because no intelligent person takes the zine seriously. But CNN/MSNBC/etc. consumers only see hear the manic assertions and miss where the 'news' came from then later miss the corrections. If Brian Stelter is later pressed he can say "Well, it's BuzzFeed, I mean, come on. CNN had nothing to do with it." BuzzFeed says a couple of prostitutes peed on a bed to amuse Trump, the story is discredited, but a lot of people still believe it. And on and on.Martin Usher says Jan, 22, 2019
Now the story that Trump hat wearing high school kids were harassing black people who were quoting the Bible – and then laughed at an old Native American who stepped in to prevent the kids from assaulting the blacks – is falling apart. Seems odd that Anderson Cooper or Don Lemon haven't invited the Black Israelites on to talk about civil rights in 2019 – especially LGBT rights and anti-antisemitism..This is the classic way to insert stories in the main stream media. You use postings on Internet sites which reverberate -- they get reposted (which you may do a bit of as well) so they build up a veneer of credibility. They are then quoted as "authoritative" by more established media.axisofoil says Jan, 21, 2019
The technique isn't new and its not confined to politics. This is how product marketing works, using a combination of press releases, 'leaks', 'exclusive access' and so on to get 'buzz' about the product. As with politics it often finds itself in a gray area where it might be marketing a product that doesn't exist (yet), often to forestall a competitor's advantage. (Disclaimer -- I've never worked in marketing but I have spent my working life developing products and technologies. Sometimes what gets published about what you and your colleagues have developed is a bit of a surprise ..but that's just how business works!)Josh says Jan, 21, 2019
https://www.youtube.com/embed/FTeJWQMpX0E?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparentGood article Kit, just please correct the few times where I thought you missed a word. "All were asserted without evidence, fiercely defended as facts, and then discretely qualified." Did you not mean disqualified? Similarly at the very end.Mike Thornbury says Jan, 21, 2019No, his sentence makes perfect sense, and is constructed well.Admin says Jan, 21, 2019
"Qualified", in this context, means to frame a set of boundaries: 'he qualified his off-the-cuff remarks by asserting it was what he heard'Qualified was the intended wordBadger Down says Jan, 22, 2019But why "discretely qualified"?Badger Down says Jan, 20, 2019
Were they qualified separately?
Shouldn't it be "discreetly qualified"?Then there's fake news and no-news about the "israeli" invasion of Palestine:wardropper says Jan, 20, 2019
https://ifamericaknew.org/media/clues.htmlThe creation of chaos appears to be the aim.rtj1211 says Jan, 20, 2019
And it's working just fine.
When it gets bad enough, the engineers of the chaos just move in and reorganize things the way they have always wanted them.
It's what I would do if I were a soulless, incompetent fathead.There is of course another possibility: click bait.DunGroanin says Jan, 20, 2019
The public click thru absolutely outrageous headlines more than measured ones. They are like junkies neding a fix.
James Delingpole gets huge click thru metrics using a pre-adolescent puerile in-your-face rudeness. He has a captive audience of very right people, mostly on Breitbart.
There is similar behaviour on the left, equally calculated.
You want this sort of thing to stop, the general populace must turn away in huge droves from the click bait.Any idea what Cadwalladr is on about in her latest tweet?DunGroanin says Jan, 20, 2019
A girlfriend of an oligarch manhandled at a Moscow airport?
Still no mention of II/IoS and Caroles links with them and their anti Russian disinformation.
She mentions the usual bogeymen , trump, mannafort, farage, but not Murdoch, Mandy, Blair or Tory MP's.
Meanwhile the plot of a coup to by-pass parliamentry democracy reaches a denoument this week – all the neocon/lib forces are to be marshalled under the patrician Grieve and Cooper along with all the right-thinking forces of the land in the final fight between to regain the land for Mordor. A unholy alliance of the Willing to stop the Corbynite Hobbits ridding the land of the ancient powers!Latest bit of fake news by the Groaniadbevin says Jan, 20, 2019
'May's move comes as fresh polling evidence suggests the public are sanguine about the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.
A poll by ICM conducted in the wake of last week's historic government defeat and seen by the Guardian asked voters what should happen next.'
"seen by the Guardian" "the public are sangunie"
Look into my mystical crystal bowl eyes, you are sanguine, sanguine !
Do they even know what 'sanguine' means?
Dear Off-G you could do with a perma link to the ticker tape of all the twaddle the Obssesive Groaniad prints, we could all contribute."Dear Off-G you could do with a perma link to the ticker tape of all the twaddle the Obssesive Groaniad prints, we could all contribute "Andyoldlabour says Jan, 20, 2019
Yes. The obvious course is for OG to take on the task of exposing Hte Garuniad's lies and manipulations, in real time.
Not that this is a criticism of the excellent work currently being done."The lie goes around the world while the truth is still putting its boots on."binra says Jan, 20, 2019
This is one of the most pertinant phrases today, particularly with the speed of modern communications. The lies which led to the invasion of Iraq, the lies around so called chemical weapons attacks, the lies about the White Helmets, the media lies which lead to the demonisation of Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott
If the media keeps on propagating lies and misinformation, then we could find ourselves on the brink of a final catastrophic war.Illusions operate in place of true for that is their function, given them by those who hold them dear.axisofoil says Jan, 21, 2019
Belief you are separate (from life – each other and world) is the belief that truth is different for each one and that there is a hierarchy of illusions – where some are held as more true than others. Each must establish this for themself by attack on others to make their own true.
The errors seen in others are thus always a call for attack and not for undoing, healing or correction.
The mind is thus set at war with itself by war of self-reinforcing self-illusion with obviously distressing results to the willingness to those who give reality to its dictate.
If you see the underlying principles of a mind at war with (in active denial of) living truth, are recognisably insane but normal premise to human confusion, then you are no longer altogether listening to confusion.
That there is fear of truth in us would be more evident if we were not so active in the engagement within illusions as if some illusions can be victorious over other illusions.
The mind of deceit seems to be the saviour from confusion, while actually protecting and persisting it as the sin seen or flagged onto others. This protects 'sin' or irrevocable guilt that calls for punishment, as the framework of perception by the attempt to put it out on another and MAKE it true.
But then an underlying fear of truth is magnified by the fear that what we thought to get rid of, will come back to us and damn us. Which will SEEM true while we persist in seeing errors as uncorrectable AND as the means to protect and maintain defences for a false sense of possession and control.
Insane defences protect insanity against healing.
There is a work I companion with over many years as a daily inspiration that I associate with synchronicity of recognition or resonance of what is apparently going on, with emerging perspective of desire to see – rather than persistence in habits and patterns of thought that are brought to light by choosing not to automatically react as if true.
Illusions cannot 'save themselves' by struggle or assertion. But any awakening point of recognition of false as false is an opportunity to simply call on truth instead of trying to make true.
"Survival' within a battle of illusions is seeking a 'better' illusion within a self-damnation that can only arrive at its starting place. Releasing this as the point from which to receive identity is through the willingness or choice NOT to use it by opening to another in desire for a peace of being that is prior to – or beneath – the coverings of a buzz feed of fake news.
Questioning what we are, made a questionable mind and gave it the time of day to rob us of the joy in the day thereof. Another way to say this – is the interjecting of the mind of thought and control upon the flow of communication and relation that life already is the being and sharing of – as a 'self-consciousness' of inhibition and division.
This curious capacity to become both subject and object – and as if separate from fearful life – is associated with lack of power and lack of love by the drive to then regain it or protect the little we hath from a sense of total loss.Does this mean that it is safe to eat cheerios?Badger Down says Jan, 22, 2019only if you wanna say cheerio to gut healthmilosevic says Jan, 27, 2019see discussion of similar issues here:Gezzah Potts says Jan, 20, 2019
http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo/Edward Bernays, Walter Lippmann, Joseph Goebbels, Luke Harding (and his many vile clones in the Western media) Manufacturing Consent . You nail it Kit in one single article. The phrase 'created reality' says it all. Sort of a bit like the 2 minutes of hate thing from that famous book. And of course, now the slime have NewsGuard ready to roll out as well as many having their Facebook and Twitter accounts suspended or terminated. Incidentally, my Facebook account has been suspended 5-6 times now for 'breaching community standards'.milosevic says Jan, 27, 2019my Facebook account has been suspended 5-6 times now for 'breaching community standards'.Martin Usher says Jan, 20, 2019
It's almost like people who are capable of independent thought aren't wanted there.
Maybe there's a lesson in that.Another good bit of recent news misinformation was the story about the Chinese 'spy chip' that was embedded into server motherboards made in China. This story was well debunked by the technical community -- the general response was a combination of "If it was in the SKU we'd have noticed it" and "this is one fantastic part, where can I buy some?" but the story will still come up if you do a search on "Chinese spy chip" rather than the (numerous) rebuttals.Michael Leigh says Jan, 20, 2019
More sinister, and more important, is the global campaign against Huewei. You'll find numerous instances of countries banning their equipment because of fears that its spying for China, something the company has been at pains to prove false. There's two levels to this, though. One is the normal Cold War/Chinese intellectual property theft stuff, the other is commercial. Huawei is currently in a position to supply what's called '5G' wireless equipment, not just the phones but the entire infrastructure that's needed to make them work. US companies are somewhat behind in their ability to deploy this technology so it has become necessary to slow or eliminate the competition by political rather than technical means. There's a lot of money at stake, and as we know from the so-called energy sector threatening the hegemony has already caused several wars, coups and what-have-you so its not inconceivable that a similar measures might have to be taken with this technology. (There's more than money at stake as well -- control of the technology is vital if you want to use it for spying. Spying? Everyone does, in fact its gone commercial with the personalization of advertising, its just a question of who gets to reap the rewards.)Aside from the aforementioned warnings about HUAWEI' s ability to competively and profitably manufacture and markert so-called fifth generation wireless telephony systems and products, which are surely based upon simply; jealous commercial slander by Huawei's competitors.Martin Usher says Jan, 22, 2019
More important is the strange fact that this " fifth generation wireless technology " has not been to be a safe, or even a practical technology, by any of the necessary and acceptable ITU approved standards organisations.
This is more than a source of health and safety concerns all of the population most widely, and is still without he necessary approvals which are still absent, and thus it is an urgent matter for official precautions with health and safety, given the wide scope of this high-speed and wide-band emmission radio wave technology?So called "5G" encompasses a whole basket of technologies, some established and some still being tested. The role of the ITU is to set overall parameters for the technology with other industry groups dealing with the details. The process is well established, its used by all complex technologies that have to interoperate globally, and it invariably ends up with some kind of patent basket where participants share technologies (and spoils). (I've been involved peripherally in similar sorts of activities in the past so I've seen how these groups work.)Baron says Jan, 22, 2019
Since this technology is evolutionary rather than revolutionary its likely that equipment manufacturers will deliver it in phases so the race is to get your equipment placed because it can always be upgraded later (typically this will be firmware updates for the infrastructure kit). Here you notice that two of the big players in this are Chinese, they just happen to be ZTE and Huawei. One of the other players is Qualcomm, a company that you may not be familiar with but essentially had a stranglehold on previous generation wireless technology through its IP portfolio (it derives most of its income from licensing rather than manufacturing). Anyone who works in this business and figure out two plus two knows exactly what's going on when the US government goes after Chinese manufacturers and spying, health and safety and what-have-you are definitely not the real reasons. (the H&S angle I've not heard of but since 5G will mostly use existing frequencies there's no change -- anyway the whole electromagnetic radiation thing is one of those voodoo things put out by people who never studied physics at school or beyond)(we can put this into another thread, it doesn't belong here).
In many aspects of mobile technology the Chinese are, unfortunately, light years of us. (So are the Koreans, BTW.) Its a hard truth but one we must face if we're to do anything about being competitive.Years ago, a British company called Sportingbet was cornering the market for bets placed over the internet, punters could use credit cards, the Americans were caught unprepared, hastily put together a statute that got attached to another one (which was debated certain to pass) only hours before voting.Einstein says Jan, 20, 2019
At a stroke, the new law cut off the US punters, the share price of Sporting plummeted, eventually remnants of the company got sold. Within months, an American company emerged, no problem with using credit card placing bets. (The story's more complex, arrests of Sportingbet execs are a part of it, but the substance of it that matters is as Baron says).
That's what the American business does, it's ruthless beyond one's imagination.I see they've discovered the 'doc' who gave Julia Skripal CPR on the park bench.bevin says Jan, 20, 2019
It turns out the 'doc' was Colonel Alison McCourt, Chief Nursing Officer of the Army!
What a coincidence!See Moon of Alabama for more.balkydj says Jan, 21, 2019or, alternatively check Colonel McCourt's award winning daughter , as nominated by mummark says Jan, 19, 2019
Where would the Skripals be today, were it not for the astounding 'Lifesaver' military instincts instilled by mother ?
Maybe someone can get an interview with the daughter, now , as first responder . . . given the monetary value in bread & butter espionage fiction; even, she could write a book titled
Mother's Pride & Joy , (as 'Lifesaver') >>> itsa' miracle of modern medicine & Star Wars & all penned with a trick Bic tracheotomy in mindThese smears are all small change by US standards They are the daily fare of what passes for a political system.axisofoil says Jan, 20, 2019
Some recent far more entertaining smears:-
Barack Obomber is a Muslim illegal alien.
His wife, Michelle, is really a man.
Clinton is dead. Her place has been taken by a body double.
Trump is having an incestuous relationship with his daughter.
Melania is a hooker.
One Presidential candidate in the 1800s put it about that his opponent had just died. You can't vote for him, he's dead. Vote for me instead.
Britain clearly falls way behind in the smear stakes.
The best they can come up with is Steele's Golden Showers and Jezza is an anti Semite. How pathetic is that?Saturday Night Live is looking like the more grounded reality. Never loose your sense of humor.Martin Usher says Jan, 19, 2019
https://www.youtube.com/embed/x8CBF4aWwps?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparentThe BBC / Diane Abbott story is more interesting when you read reports that the host wound up the audience pre-show to get them to have a go at Ms Abbottt. One person described it as a 'roast'. The BBC has some serious credibility issues these days (John Reith must be spinning in his grave something rotten -- he established the idea that the BBC should be impartial, establishing a reputation that's been ruthlessly exploited and totally sullied in recent years).Toby Russell says Jan, 20, 2019
Planting stories in credulous or complicit media relies on journalists who might know how to write but know nothing about what they're writing about. They'll turn out copy on anything without asking questions. There are some, though, that seem to want to understand the story, that will ask questions and so on. We have to seek them out and -- most important -- find a way of paying them because while media is entirely dependent on eyeballs and clicks for income its essentially compromised. (See the articles in the current edition of "Time" magazine about digital media -- they're an important read.)"We have to seek them out and -- most important -- find a way of paying them"Philip Nash says Jan, 19, 2019
Via Off-Guardian and similar platforms?
As you say, it is indeed up to us. We have to put our money where our mouth is and develop an alternative, as-incorruptible-as-possible media platform that serious journalists can join. Thousands of people contributing a pound a month is a start, tens and hundreds of thousands would make a real difference.
So disinherit Auntie, stop paying the licence fee, and redirect you monies to where the truth get told.Thank you for a very nicely articulated article.vexarb says Jan, 19, 2019Quoted tweet: Ollie Richardson 7hYarkob says Jan, 20, 2019
"The funniest thing about GiletsJaunes: At no point in the Syrian war did the Syrian people march on the streets and chant "Assad is a dictator". But today the French people are on French streets calling Macron & Co dictators"
[Vexarb adds: The Yellow Jerkins shout, "Macron Must Go" -- facing tear gas, truncheons, armoured cars and lethal weapons deployed by the Rothschild Regime.]i see also that quite a few twitter commentators are calling the gov the Macron regime. delicious.tubularsock says Jan, 19, 2019Tubularsock has noticed that EVERY time the MSM produces clear information it is always misinformation.intergenerationaltrauma says Jan, 19, 2019
It is just the way it's done.
Funny how that works."That is the purpose of "fake news", to forge the Empire's "created reality", and force us all to live in it." – authorvexarb says Jan, 19, 2019
Here in the U.S. the deep state is working hard with "business" to limit access to any progressive media that might challenge the "Empire's created reality." Offering software to public libraries that facilitate suppressing the truth in favor of the empire's lie. Capitalism and the military state at work, joined at the hip. I believe that fits Benito's definition of "fascism" quite nicely.
https://consortiumnews.com/2019/01/18/narrative-control-firm-targeting-alternative-media/"A moderate House of Cards the greatest wit / Though he can start it cannot finish it." -- Wolfgang von Goethe, German scientist.
I am re-posting the following extract from previous thread, "Curious Bedfellows", because it is relevant to the present thread on Brassy, Barefaced Lying by criminal regimes.
"andrew belshaw Jan, 17, 2019
USA and Israel planned and carried out the FALSE FLAG 9/11 Attacks–
then blamed Afghananistan, Iraq, etc
FBI named their 9/11 investigation PENTTBOM
for PENtagon Twin Towers BOMbing
So where are the FBI explosive tests???
WHERE ARE THE FBI TESTS FOR EXPLOSIVES???
vexarb Jan, 18, 2019
Andrew, do you imply that the FBI actually tested for explosives -- and their report has been suppressed?
Or do you mean the FBI, like the committee which issued the Official Report, avoided the usual test for explosives in cases where modern buildings fall down?
I ask for clarification because I read at the time that the FBI said, they had no evidence against Osama Ben Laden or Saddam Hussein.
axisofoil Jan, 19, 2019
The FBI did extensive and thorough forensics and sample testing from the crime scene of 9/11 with the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The molecular examination of the remains and dust was conducted to the nano level. An admirable undertaking. The thoroughly documented results were printed up at a cost of over 8 Million tax payer dollars. _The documents were unfortunately misplaced._ the cost to duplicate the tests was deemed too much of a financial burden on the American public by law makers."
Apr 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
librul , Apr 19, 2019 9:01:53 AM | link
@5 I had listed some curious incidences of "training exercises" including a bioterrorism training exercise that happened in New York three
days before 9/11.
I am adding to my own personal notes another bioterrorism training exercise that happened just prior to the highly suspicious Skripal poisoning.
Add to the list, "Toxic Dagger", a biological/chemical training exercise held
just prior to the Skripal poisoning. Toxic Dagger is the largest annual British army
biological/chemical training exercise.
"Completing the training and exercising against these scenarios provides
a challenging programme for the Royal Marines to demonstrate their proficiency in
the methods to detect, assess and mitigate a CBRN threat."
The first person to discover the Skripals was the Chief Nursing Officer of the British Army (whose experience includes deployment to Sierre Leone to help fight Ebola).
"An experienced officer, highly connected, who is also known for handling highly infectious patients?"
The nurse claimed later that it was actually her daughter that was with her that detected and assessed the Skripal scenario.
The daughter was 16 at the time and we presume the Lifesaver Award she received would be a feather in her cap useful for her imminent application for admission to a university. Wonder if Lori Loughlin had thought of using such an angle?
Sunny Runny Burger , Apr 19, 2019 10:57:38 AM | linkBtw on the Skripal thing does that nurse also run over to every "spice" zombie she sees in public? Anyone in a puddle of their own partly digested booze? Does she go hunting under bridges for heroin addicts and glue sniffers? Does she check on everyone sleeping on a bench or in some doorway? It is England after all.
Weird hobby she's got and with her kid in tow too :P
(Yes I'm being facetious about a bullshit narrative straight out of the 1950ies).
Apr 17, 2019 | craigmurray.org.ukCharles Bostock , April 17, 2019 at 11:40John2o2o , April 17, 2019 at 19:07
Even if the Skripal affair WAS staged, you shouldn't get too excited about it. In fact, you should be rather pleased because it would demonstrate that the tired, incompetent old UK is still capable of mounting an operation of which young, vigorous, competent Russia would be proud.
The UK can fake events with the best of them! I would find that reassuring rather than deplorable because it's a nasty world out there.Tony_0pmoc , April 17, 2019 at 11:44
I shouldn't be anything. The whole thing shames the UK and is an insult to Russia and it's people.
The Government and the media, have not been telling the whole truth for a long time. Sometimes they blatantly lie. Most people still believe most of what they say, as there is an in-built trust of authority, for some very good historical reasons. The Skripal story, made it obvious to a large number of people, that some of it could not be true. Most still believe it or din't take much notice. The arrest of Julian Assange made it clearer, to an even larger number of people, that the government and the media, had lost all moral authority. Still many people didn't take much notice, or were convinced by the lies in the media, that he was a rapist and should be in jail.
The lies and corruption from government, is now increasingly out in the open. I believe that this is deliberate. I also think that it is exceedingly dangerous for society for multiple reasons. We are conditioned to accept authority as our moral guide. They act as an example of acceptable behaviour. If society as a whole, behaved like government, all trust would break down. Virtually all functions of society are based on trust. Without such trust, nothing will work.Corruption of government and media, is also exceedingly dangerous, for everyone's mental health. People begin to subconsciously know that they are being lied to, but they cannot accept it, because the lies conflict with their worldview, which quite naturally is based on trust for authority, and that nice man reading the news on TV.
I believe this has all been pre-planned, and it will result in a disastrous effect on all society, unless something happens to bring the governments and media back to truth and sanity. I have no idea what that might be, but I expect it will not be pleasant.
The following was an early warning of the mass insanity affecting The US Government. It has spread like a highly infectious disease.In 2004, Karl Rove in The Bush Government " Guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' [ ] 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do'
Apr 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Apr 17, 2019 2:19:31 PM | link
It seems highly reasonable to conclude the NY Times item has blown away any remaining truthfulness to the Skripal Saga and the entire Saga--like Russiagate--can be concluded to be a very serious hoax, and that there's no reason whatsoever to trust anything said by UK's Tory government.
Undaunted, Kit Klarenberg provides further Skripal update in an extensively detailed article that moves him to conclude:
"The official narrative of the Salisbury incident is ever-fluctuating. Seemingly each and every article, news segment, official statement or documentary about any element of the case contains new information, requiring the established account to be at least partially rewritten and/or contradicting established elements of the story....
"If nothing else, that Haynes was willing to transmit an apparently obvious fiction speaks volumes about the willingness of mainstream journalists to parrot each and every fresh claim in the Skripal case, even if it wildly conflicts with what they themselves have written previously."
Klarenberg's tweet response to Haynes is devastating:
"Difficult to verify your version of events given it involves nameless officials. Knowing you're often used by security services to peddle propaganda seemed a reasonable assumption they'd urged you to backtrack your earlier advocacy as story detonates official #Skripal narrative."
It seems highly reasonable to conclude the NY Times item has blown away any remaining truthfulness to the Skripal Saga and the entire Saga--like Russiagate--can be concluded to be a very serious hoax, and that there's no reason whatsoever to trust anything said by UK's Tory government.
S.O. , Apr 17, 2019 3:34:15 PM | linkOh dear oh dear.. It appears the UK may be denying there were any poor ducks involved...https://twitter.com/haynesdeborah/status/1118409471754153984
Apr 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
bevin , Apr 17, 2019 9:13:07 AM | link
Craig Murray has a piece on this today. There is nothing very new in what he writes but he sees the significance of this story, which is not about ducks or children or Donald Trump's personality but a concerted and thorough campaign, carried out largely by British state actors, to deepen the 'west's' isolation of Russia.
The real story of both the Cold War and the continually recurring propaganda stories about the "millions" of "victims of communism" is that the Soviet Union was manipulated throughout its history by capitalist control over the international economy. Like a demonic organist capitalist governments pulled out all the stops to control the moods and the policies of a state that the Bolsheviks never did get to rule.
In the end the Politburo gave in and did what the 'west' had always been wanted which is to hand over the country, lock, stock and population to the cannibals of capital.
The result being what was probably, after the 1930-45 war, the largest kill off of Russians in modern history: Yeltsin plus Harvard Business School being responsible for many more deaths than even the intoxicated propagandist Robert Conquest ever dreamed of.
It is that total control over Russia, through the manipulation of its economy, and the direction of its capitalists, that is behind the long series of sanctions, which are being added to every day: their purpose is to re-invent Yeltsinism, re-empower the Fifth Column in the Kremlin, and, in a stroke, re-establish the inevitable and eternal hegemony of the Washington centered Empire.
In this work the assistance of the 'cousins'in MI6 and GCHQ, plus the entire British military establishment has been crucial in a period in which the subservience of POTUS to the Deep State was, thanks to the underestimation of his electoral chances, very much in question. During a period in which Trump had to be tamed and brought under control the UK Establishment's assistance in coming up with a series of highly publicised interventions was crucia l.
Lysias points out that Haspel had acted as the CIA's Head of Station in London in 2016. It was in London that the entire "Russiagate" nonsense was put together, with British based actors continually prodding Congress, the media and the Democrats to act on revelations regarding Papadopolous, Mifsud, Stefan Halper.Skripal was just one more effort to tighten sanctions against Putin's allies in the Russian oligarchy and isolate Trump from foreign policy initiatives not approved by the Deep State. The significance of the NY Times story, then, is that, inadvertently it reinforces the reality that in the matter of Russiagate and Trump all roads lead to London, the Tory Establishment, which has been living off US-Russian tensions for seventy years and security agencies doing what the CIA cannot do for itself.
Apr 18, 2019 | craigmurray.org.uk
Peter , April 17, 2019 at 21:15Ian , April 17, 2019 at 21:49
I'm wondering what the purpose of the Guardian article is.
On the face of it it looks like just another Guardian attempt to besmirch Trump over his putative commitment and connections to Russia and Putin, but equally, it could be read as an, almost surreptitious, attempt to point up that Trump only responded as he did because he was deliberately (?) misinformed/duped by the American (and British?) security services, thereby questioning the aims, motives, methods and narrative of those security services.
You decide.giyane , April 17, 2019 at 22:17
If you read any of the books about behind the scenes at Trump's WhiteHouse you will find a familiar scenario which corroborates this account, where Trump is easily manipulable by his aides, who know very well how to push his buttons. Bolton, AIPAC, Bannon have all employed this strategy successfully and of course Fox News have a mainstream connection to his brain. So it sounds par for the course. As well as suggesting that Trump wouldn't have been inclined to agree to the UK's request without the nonsense pictures, which also rings true to form.
As for his general conduct, Simon Tisdall's excoriating account of his preference for his Saudi friend, overriding the American people's request to get out of the Yemen massacres, is on the ball, and sums up what a clear and present danger he is.Ian , April 17, 2019 at 22:40
Somehow I don't think Donald Trump is going to ignore every story in the papers and TV and listen to a professional manipulator from the CIA. More likely he saw an opportunity to talk fake tough on Russia in order to take some of the heat out of Mueller's investigations, buying time.
He must know Bolton's a neo-con nut-case and that the re-launching of dirty wars on South America on the pretext of Russian and Chinese interference is as much of a fatuous waste of time as the MacCarthyian idiocy.
Russia enters an era in which Western leadership is as unscrutable and bonkers as Stalin's.
China enters an era in which having spied on everything western, it now dreads itself being spied on by Western spies.
Politics is surely not so crude as village one-upmanship, where the loudest and most bombastic talkers get all the admiration from the community, just because they are too lazy or too busy to run the village themselves? Whatever outrageous claim lifts the town's skirts up ends up with the big gold chain.giyane , April 17, 2019 at 22:58
There's a lot of assumptions and projections of your own there, as well as mischaracterising what is being said about him. there is ample evidence of his manchild attitude – arrogance, bullying, narcissism, naivety, inability to concentrate, laziness and a fundamental lack of intelligence.Scottish Intelligence Service , April 17, 2019 at 22:09
I don't think Trump's reversing of Obama's creation and funding Islamic State shows a lack of intelligence or narcissism. He came into office and instead of veni vidi vici as per madame bloodsucker Clinton, he deployed Iran and Syrian Kurds to round them up and disperse them.
At last someone in the White House grew some nuts and nouse, for a change.
This report today in the Guardian appears to be not so much about the Scrotals, more about trying to portray Trump as a gullible idiot.
Just saying.Paul Barbara , April 17, 2019 at 23:21
Yet another piece of evidence to confirm what I wrote in the comments sections on here months ago. That the Skripal event was a total Psyop, carried out by the corrupt government. Same as the fabricated terror Psyops at Westminster, London Bridge and Manchester.Paul Barbara , April 18, 2019 at 01:45
@ Ian April 17, 2019 at 22:42
Ever hear of Operation Gladio? I suggest you read up on it, as you are very naive if you believe the PTB won't sacrifice innocents if it suits their plans. False Flag ops (and bald-faced lies) are the favoured way to spark off wars, or to introduce stricter limitations on the people's freedoms (Patriot Act, stuff like that).SA , April 18, 2019 at 01:38
@ Ian April 18, 2019 at 00:11
Do you accept that the Operation Gladio attacks were False Flag operations, murdering innocent European citizens in order to place the blame on the Reds? 'I have heard of so-called Operation Gladio ' sounds very much like you are dismissive of the attacks.
'..which has nothing to do with these allegations ' It has to do with the fact that False Flag ops killing one's own citizens is not an unknown phenomena, whilst you appear to have believed it was, by your response.
I am not claiming Manchester was a False Flag, though I may well suspect it was.
You would be surprised how much evidence many 'conspiracy theorists' have to back up their dismissal of government and MSM 'narratives'.
So we have a new contributor here by the name of Villanelle. This name has nothing to do with villains but is a French term meaning:
"a pastoral or lyrical poem of nineteen lines, with only two rhymes throughout, and some lines repeated."
[ Mod: "Villanelle" is merely the latest incarnation of a serial sockpuppeteer who comments under different names in nearly every thread. Craig has been kept informed. ]
So there are recurring rhymes or themes. An apparently simple but very open question based on a very non- specific enquiry: what evidence would convince you of a certain occurrence? I can imagine this as a famous punchline in a legal drama or the like.
A famous barrister just winding up the case of a convicted triple murderer with the line to the judge: " Your honour, you seem to have made many assumptions in this case, but please tell me what evidence would you require to prove that my client is innocent?"
Of course in real life the judge would tell the barrister to go where the sun does not shine. How can you ask such a question, repeatedly, then followed by next, when the case and all the evidence have already been discussed?
I think Alexander is on the right track. Villanelle is an agent provocateur. (S)he dominated this thread by also meticulously at least initially answering almost every single comment by deflection. But contrary to what Alexander says I think he is not CB but is more like our Wikipedia prolific commentator previously featuring here. Who knows whether this is not some form of fishing or phishing by something like the II?
Apr 17, 2019 | craigmurray.org.uk
Paul Barbara , April 18, 2019 at 02:27
'A police officer stands guard outside of the home of former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, in Salisbury, BritainNew York Times Accidentally Unravels UK Government's Official Skripal Narrative':
Latest from Sputnik: includes pic and reference to Craig's present blog post. ' There could be several explanations for this seeming anomaly. To name just some of the most unsettling:
Several children were hospitalised, and several ducks did die, and for reasons unclear the British government didn't inform the public and prevented the children and their parents from revealing they'd been affected, while secretly communicating the fact to other governments in literally graphic detail.
Counterfeit and/or misleading images may have been produced by persons unknown to bolster Britain's case for concerted international action, and further been relayed to Haspel (if not other overseas officials), conning her and Trump into backing its mass-expulsion policy.
Alternatively of course, perhaps the stirring tale of Haspel converting the reticent President with impactful images is mere gossip, or spin -- after all, the article's authors didn't discuss the episode with the CIA chief herself, but based their article on interviews "with more than a dozen current and former intelligence officials who have briefed or worked alongside her" .'
Spells it all out nicely, unlike our MSM.
Villanelle , April 17, 2019 at 13:27Paul Barbara , April 17, 2019 at 13:34
Is someone willing to explain what evidence would convince them that the Russian security services attempted, and failed to kill Sergei Skripal?Northern , April 17, 2019 at 13:42
@ Villanelle April 17, 2019 at 13:27
A hell of a lot more than the load of BS narrative served up by HMG in lieu of any evidence.
But I'll give you a question, as you appear to have swallowed HMG hogwash hook, line and sinker: Can you explain why neither Sergei nor Yulia have contacted their nonagenarian respective mother/grandmother for months, though she has begged HMG to allow contact?
Given that Sergei used to phone her every week or two, and that Yulia was her loving carer?
Is this not somewhat putting the cart before the horse? Last I was aware it was up to those making the accusation to prove their case. If you read the articles relating to the Skirpal case on here, you would see that most of the evidence put forward for this being a Russian assassination attempt has been widely discredited and comes from sources with dubious links to British security services. So something beyond speculation would be a start.
If I was to indulge in such speculation, I'd say it looks most likely to me on the back of what I've read that Sergei was attempting to return to Russia with some kind of information or material, and this whole affair was an ill planned and on the fly attempt to stop Sergei, and pin the blame on the Ruskies as a nice bonus.
David , April 17, 2019 at 13:46David , April 17, 2019 at 13:46
yes, good question.
howsabout, say , a widely respected and trusted Foreign Minister, standing up in the mother of all parliaments and saying "I, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, will immediately instigate a full and integral inquiry upon my own initiative and once all the facts are established, following institutional statecraft, we will then make a considered response to whichever agency bounced the UK into this mess"
"Serial liar Boris Johnson caught lying again?" Kevin Maguire, an editor at Daily Mirror,
https://www.theblogmire.com/boris-johnsons-statements-analysed-by-experts-and-found-to-contain-traces-of-the-ministry-grade-swerve-agent-govichock/Andyoldlabour , April 17, 2019 at 14:16
yes, good question.
howsabout, say , a widely respected and trusted Foreign Minister, standing up in the mother of all parliaments and saying "I, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, will immediately instigate a full and integral inquiry upon my own initiative and once all the facts are established, following institutional statecraft, we will then make a considered response to whichever agency bounced the UK into this mess"
"Serial liar Boris Johnson caught lying again?" Kevin Maguire, an editor at Daily Mirror,
https://www.theblogmire.com/boris-johnsons-statements-analysed-by-experts-and-found-to-contain-traces-of-the-ministry-grade-swerve-agent-govichock/Andyoldlabour , April 17, 2019 at 14:30
We have had so many contradictory stories from the media and government, that there is definitely something very wrong.
The Guardian has made no attempt to contradict the concocted story that ducks died and "sickened" children had to be hospitalised – it just didn't happen, it was "fake news" spread by the muderous gina Haspel.
Johnson told us that only Russia could have produced Novichok, which was a complete lie.
The policeman who was contaminated, was originally supposed to be one of the first on the scene, then he visited the Skripal's house, supposedly wearing police isswue gloves, which later turned out to be a full Hazchem suit.
He was put in isolation in hospital, with doctors and nurses wearing Hazchem suits, yet his wife and daughter were not required to wear them.
The two boys feeding the ducks in the park were not hurt, no ducks died from the Skripal contaminated bread fed to them.
When did the Skripals get poisoned?
Was it when they left the house – how did they manage to walk around for hours before collapsing? That is definitely not how military grade nerve agents work.
Where are the Skripals now?Paul Barbara , April 17, 2019 at 15:04
Here is the back up.
""One moment you'd have a nurse coming in with a sandwich for you dressed top to bottom in protective gear," he said,
However, they might be "closely followed" by his wife and children, who were "allowed to just walk in".
Villanelle, you have just come on here spouting pro government rubbish, and yet you seem to have no idea how much this case has been researched by Craig and the posters on here.James2 , April 17, 2019 at 13:49
@ Villanelle April 17, 2019 at 13:57
If as many contend it is a UK False Flag set-up, no evidence on earth would convince me that the Russians were responsible, because they weren't.
But the real question should be: what evidence is there for the government narratives (plural because they change with the weather)? To portray some one or group as guilty of a crime, it is normal to provide evidence. Maybe old fashioned, but things work better that way.
But of course, the UK has form: it went to war in Afghanistan without proof, just on Uncle Sam's say-so.
It bombed Syria over Chemical Weapon 'allegations', with no proof.
It attacked Iraq over alleged Chemical Weapons.
And it bombed Libya over false allegations.
So, yep, HMG has 'form' at fomenting false 'casus belli'.Goose , April 17, 2019 at 14:00
The first question is why would the Russians attempt to kill this man – and his daughter?
I have not heard a convincing reason for this.
-He was let go years ago from prison – so he was of no concern to them. In fact no one knew who this guy was on the Russian side.
– the daughter was living in Russia and visiting regularly her father / why attack her in the UK?
The whole story is built on stereotypes of malevolent Russians attacking someone because that's what they do. It's actually a very racist idea.
The Russians were accused within 24hours – this in itself was suspectPaul Barbara , April 17, 2019 at 15:19
Craig's listed various inconsistencies
·When did the Skripals return home to actually touch the door? Earliest door could've been coated around 12 noon. No cctv of their car returning and timeline is off.
· Why did they both fall ill later that afternoon at precisely same moment despite different body compositions?
·The fact the potential assassins walked up the street in broad daylight unconcerned about any CCTV, why did Sergei's house have no CCTV.
·The method – insanely risky given Skripal wasn't hiding, living at that address under his real name with no CCTV.
·The fact that for days after these events police stood outside, right next to the door in question with no protective clothing, this despite an officer apparently falling ill after 'forcing entry' – no sign of forced entry on that door.
· Why did Charlie Rowley and his brother insist in TV interviews he broke the bottle spilled a quantity on his hands and then wash it off? He even talked of its 'oily' consistency and its smell. A google search shows all the MSM reported the bottled 'splintered' into pieces. It's reported the sample handed to the OPCW was 98.3% pure.
· Ţhe fact both Skripals have all but vanished despite Yulia feeling the need to phone her cousin during her 'situation'.
There are many other inconsistencies.
If these are answered satisfactorily, I guess Craig and all other querying folk will be convinced.Tatyana , April 17, 2019 at 14:02
@ Villanelle April 17, 2019 at 14:09
The following should teach you all you need to know about the OPCW – it is afraid to deal honestly in cases which go against the Western (US) narrative:
'Was UK paying White Helmets to produce Syria 'chemical weapon' PR as cover for Jaish Al Islam?':
And in my estimation, Syria was what was behind the Salisbury Saga. The UK wanted to get across to the public the idea Russia used Chemical Weapons, in time for the next 'False Flag' CW ops (real or hoax) that the British founded and funded 'White Helmets' mercenary head-choppers' PR outfit organised in Syria.Mammoth , April 17, 2019 at 17:57
I am, Villanelle.
If only Sergey Skripal suddenly and unexplainably died in first year or two after he was swapped. You know, that type of death, like heart attack during your usual morning fitness, or falling out of the window, or perhaps you remember the guy who was found dead in his travel bag and somehow it was attributes to his sexual play with his gay partner. Something of this kind.
Gosh, even simple death of rat poison would do.
Not the absurd story about FSB trying to kill an ex-spy with secret warfare in rural England, near the fence of Porton Down, with the most experienced Army Nurse rushing to help and brave British doctors successfully treating Novichok poisoning. So successfully, that Yulia was able to read and write two languages, using complex grammar constructions She even didn't stumble on foreign words, reciting long text in front of cameras and her facial expressions are all relevant, healthy and telling of good self-possession.
So NO, I'm not convinced.Grhm , April 17, 2019 at 20:20
Villanelle has asked a silly question but provided no evidence for his/her/its belief in some "official" version of events which somehow involves Russian guilt. The simple fact is that there is no evidence for any Russian state involvement in the disappearance of the Skripals. As for their alleged poisoning – all samples went through Porton Down, a UK government agency – so there is no independent chain of custody. Just as with the OPCW "investigation" of the alleged Khan Sheykhoun CW "attack" in Syria where all samples were supplied through terrorists and their White Helmets associates. And OPCW itself refused to visit the Syrian airbase even when invited and guaranteed security for such a visit.
Russian visitors Petrov and Boshirov (there is no evidence that these are false identities) were in Salisbury on 3 and 4 March 2018 either as tourists or for some other purpose, but the police have been unable to link them in any way with the Skripals.
Craig Murray and others have pointed out innumerable logical impossibilities – not just inconsistencies – in official and media reports.
There is no case for Russia to answer. Russia needs no defence. The simple answer to Villanelle is that after all the official obfuscation by UK government and intelligence agencies, there is NOTHING that would now convince me of Russian guilt.Republicofscotland , April 17, 2019 at 13:39
The way honest people proceed is as follows:
Firstly, we assemble the known facts, and then secondly we invent an explanation that's consistent with those facts.
Villanelle evidently goes about things differently.
The question asked, in paraphrase, is:
"The explanation is that the KGB tried and failed to kill Skripal. What facts can we invent that would be consistent with that explanation?"
This is revealing, I feel.Northern , April 17, 2019 at 13:45
The whole Skripal affair is a British dead duck.
Charlie Rowley has even met with a Russian ambassador, asking him for help as the British government have kept him in the dark over the death of Dawn Sturgess, and the matter as a whole.
It amounts to a web of lies and deceit, a Gordian knot that even Alexander couldn't cut through.Conall Boyle , April 17, 2019 at 17:45
Even Charlie's meeting with the ambassador was spun though. I saw several information light reports on that in UK media, attempting to portray the meeting as a result of Russian stonewalling, not British.
As a 'Murrayista' I must say I do roll around with mirth every time Craig posts. I have no theories, banal geopolitics, only total incredulity at the official narrative. It is so hilarious, and yet they go on straight-faced putting it out. You Bostock, seem to be happy to accept the bizarre facts and somehow feel they prove something. Vilanelle just keeps popping up squeaking at some minor point or other.
There is a gigantic smell over the Salisbury incident, but it is not true that ALL the media just suck it up. One or two brave souls like Mary Djevsky ask simple basic journalistic questions and gets a pile of ordure poured over her for her trouble. The rest seem cowed into silence. Why does the establishment fear such questions?
Apr 18, 2019 | craigmurray.org.uk
Robyn , April 17, 2019 at 14:13Andyoldlabour , April 17, 2019 at 14:24
Rob Slane (blogmire.com) and his intrepid band of commenters are also poring over this dead duck story today. Somewhere on Rob's page is reference to the parents of the duck-feeding boys being told, two weeks after the event, to burn the children's clothes. To save myself time, I'm paste in here my comment on that aspect of the official script which I pasted under Rob's article.
So, two weeks after the duck feed, the parents were instructed to burn the boys' clothes. It seems like an extreme measure given that everyone else in Salisbury was advised just to launder any clothes under suspicion of contamination. Luckily for the boys and their family and community (if not the nation), the parents remembered exactly which clothes the boys had been wearing. Even more luckily, neither the boys nor their duck-feeding clothes had come into contact with anyone or anything in the intervening fortnight. It's a miracle.Andyoldlabour , April 17, 2019 at 15:13
This from 12th March 2018. Salisbury residents told to wash their clothes and use antiseptic wipes – you couldn't make it up!
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/11/salisbury-public-warned-wash-clothes-nerve-agent-attack/Northern , April 17, 2019 at 16:26
We have been told by many/various sources, that the Novichok was applied in gel form to the Skripal's door furniture.
Gel does not evaporate.
If the Novichock had in fact been applied by an atomiser spray, then there would have been no need to wear protective clothing and cordon off large areas of Salisbury because it would have evaporated.
Your serve Villanelle.John2o2o , April 17, 2019 at 18:11
Your own link provides the answer to that question, if you were actually processing it rather than selectively picking out the bits which support the government narrative.
The whole point of chemical weapons is to cause as much death, injury and incapacity as possible amongst the enemy, with the added bonus of it severely limiting or reducing their ability to operate in the affected area. So given what we know from the government's narrative of alleged Russian application to the doorknob – why would you chose an agent which burns off at atmospheric temperatures if it's known that there could be several hours between application and contact with the intended victim?
None of which adequately explains all of the other inconsistencies in the properties of this agent, either?
How were the samples tested by the OPCW of such high purity so long after the event? How do you tie this up with agent failing to kill the apparent targets? According to chemists, a minute dosage of this substance is enough to kill at such high purity?andygringo , April 17, 2019 at 17:30
What, the Fentanyl?Conall Boyle , April 17, 2019 at 17:56
Perhaps it would be better, Villanelle, if you could let everyone else know which parts of the "UK Govt. version", you find most compelling. Which pieces of evidence supplied by the UK Govt. do you find the most convincing?
Bearing in mind that this evidence is brought to you by Intelligence agencies and politicians with a track record of lying and dissembling, it is surely incumbent on any seeker of truth to treat with scepticism anything put out by known liars.
Do you believe that Saddam had WMD?
How about Syria? Have these same intelligence agencies and government officials, who you believe without question now, been truthful and consistent throughout the aggression against Syria?
I suspect, based on your half arsed attempts on this thread to whitewash the UK government, that you would literally believe anything you're told as long as it came from official sources.
It was pointed out to you earlier in the thread that you are way out of your depth on this forum. I second that.
If you really want to know more about the holes in the official version, which I doubt, then the archives on here as well as Moon of Alabama and the excellent Blogmire would help to fill in the obvious gaps in your knowledge. It would also stop you asking stupid questions and looking foolish.King of Welsh Noir , April 17, 2019 at 14:55
What would convince me? Even the slightest effort by HMG to produce credible explanations for the many lacunae that have been spotted in their narrative. Of course their point-blank refusal to do so doesn't prove they have something to hide. I often feel that with devious cunning they deliberately let dodgy narratives out into the public domain, then sit back and watch 'the usual suspects' run around in frustration. Thank goodness we have RT to point out the truth.Andyoldlabour , April 17, 2019 at 15:15
A lot of people take the piss out of the 'How to poison door knobs' manual, but through my connections in the security services I have managed to get hold of a copy.
I translated it using Google translate.
Here is a section on the special protective Hazmat suits that the two agents would obviously have worn to perform the job.
It's quite a long and complicated procedure because it is very hard to doff the suit afterwards without contaminating yourself.
First, you need a buddy to help you, and a mirror, a tent and and chlorine solution.
No doubt they carried these in the small knapsack one of them was wearing.
It takes half an hour and this is a small fraction of the necessary procedure:
Engage the trained observer.
Disinfect outer gloves.
Remove outer apron.
Disinfect outer gloves
Remove and discard outer gloves
Inspect and disinfect inner gloves
Remove face shield
Disinfect inner gloves
Remove surgical hood
Disinfect inner gloves
Remove the coverall
Disinfect inner gloves
Remove boot covers
Change inner gloves
Remove the N95 respirator
Disinfect the new inner gloves
Disinfect your shoes
Disinfect inner gloves
Remove and discard inner gloves
Perform hand hygiene
Examine body for contaminants
Exit the doffing area
Take a shower.
Go and feed ducks
For videos showing the procedure can be found here:
After reading the manual I have tremendous respect for the assassins: to do all that in broad daylight on a Sunday morning in Salisbury without being spotted.
Clearly they were real pros. So no more laughing please.Tatyana , April 17, 2019 at 18:34
King of Welsh Noir
I see no reason why they couldn't have performed those tasks without being spotted, causing alarm.
Sarcasm alert.John Goss , April 17, 2019 at 15:28
Ah, King of Welsh Noir, don't you know these are all unnecessary procedures with our New Enhanced Premium Baby Wipes!John Goss , April 17, 2019 at 15:55
"Possibly the Guardian and New York Times are inventing utter drivel, as in the Manafort meeting Assange story. That would in itself be worrying. "
To my mind they have been doing it for years. It is getting worse. Rusbridger, although he admitted to being controlled, was a real editor in comparison to Katherine Viner. There is no moral compass anymore. Yet there are still readers who have been reading it for years who think it is the same radical organ it was when known as the Manchester Guardian.WJ , April 17, 2019 at 17:18
Perhaps more important than the Stephen Davies letter is the diagnosis that fentanyl was the poison involved – quite a strong opoid. But it was quite clear from the start – as far as the medical profession is concerned – that there was no evidence of a nerve agent. Novichok is a word circulated by the west to point the finger at Russia. It means newcomer. This morning I joined a Russian website. Under my name it said Novichok.
https://johnplatinumgoss.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/fentanyl-poisoned-the-skripals-back-to-basics/Tony_0pmoc , April 17, 2019 at 17:00
Too bad there's not an established legal process in the Western world for adjudicating these claims. I am thinking of a venue where each side could openly present its case on the basis of whatever evidence each is able to supply, could ask questions of the other side, etc., and would agree to abide by whatever decision the citizens appointed by lot to administer this venue would decide.
No idea how something like this hypothetical structure or institution might be brought about, but it would seem helpful to have in cases like these, no?Goose , April 17, 2019 at 17:13
I take this discussion back to my original point, which to my amazement was published (unfortunately the joke wasn't) Tony_0pmoc
April 17, 2019 at 11:44 which starts
"The Government and the media, have not been telling the whole truth for a long time. Sometimes they blatantly lie."
Many people posting here, quite obviously still believe most of what is published in the mainstream media. Most people I know, rarely lie, and when they do, its pretty obvious. yet some people I know, are quite obviously compulsive liars. they are addicted to it, but unfortunately do not have exceedingly good memories, to remember all their lies. I never trust a word such people say any more, unless I know they are telling the truth, which sometimes they do.
Just Believe – The Magic of Novichok – Before Novichok – After Novichok
https://www.moonofalabama.org/images6/novichokbeforeafter2.jpgGoose , April 17, 2019 at 18:44
But they don't need good memories when the media don't raise inconsistencies that arise some time later.
'We are the United States of Amnesia, which is encouraged by a media that has no desire to tell us the truth about anything, serving their corporate masters who have other plans to dominate us.' – Gore Vidal
Some ask, why the obsession with the MSM, but they are all we've got holding power to account. Especially here in the UK with no written constitution. The reason powerful people give for being against the codified rules of a written constitution, is it'd restrict their room to act . But in fact, you really do need a set of 'codified' rules – a line that EVERYONE is afraid of crossing.Jones , April 17, 2019 at 17:56
The reason why we need a written constitution is because it's not clear where power and responsibility reside in the UK.The security services seem to have free rein so politicians can claim plausible deniability.
Look at the to and froing over historical accusations of UK involvement in torture, with Straw and Blair basically accusing Mi6 of going rogue. Both insist they never authorised torture in TV interviews last year (Straw on radio , Blair on Newsnight); they claim they never signed the documents, despite their signatures being on said documents. The whole situation is a mess and many MPs have called for a judge-led inquiry , both Blair and Straw have stated they are happy to cooperate. And yet
Theresa May however, has other ideas; the govt missed its own deadline \to respond last year and the whole thing seems to have been forgotten.John2o2o , April 17, 2019 at 18:07
more drivel from sycophant puppets that proves the US and UK is run by imbeciles who take the public for gullible idiots, anyone who believes a word they say is just that. Wishing Julian Assange well in his upcoming court appearance, it's a sick world that allows crooks to lock up brave and courageous lamplighters like Assange and Manning, their integrity shines brightly over the dung heap trying to silence them.Tatyana , April 17, 2019 at 18:47
My understanding is that they were Norwegian Blue ducks.
Staged? I would think so. Wonder what the CIA called this operation?John2o2o , April 17, 2019 at 19:39
I think " Operation Bollywood" or "Indian Cinema"
* enjoy this .gif video
https://m.pikabu.ru/story/besposhchadnoe_indiyskoe_kino_6646578Rob , April 17, 2019 at 18:25
Tatyana, thank you, my joke was a reference to a famous piece of humorous drama from UK television called the "Dead Parrot Sketch".
It's very silly – just like the whole idea of poisoned ducks! You may be able to watch it here:
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xoh8jmichael norton , April 17, 2019 at 19:39
That the official Skripal story is bogus should be clear to anyone with eyes, ears and the barest minimum of intellectual honesty. What is needed to send the story to its final resting place and raise a more interesting story is information on the whereabouts of the Skripals to this day. Their disappearance smells like month-old fish, and the best bet is that some highly placed people in the British Foreign Office and intelligence community have something very embarrassing to hide. Frankly, I am surprised that nothing has been leaked on this score.Goose , April 17, 2019 at 20:15
When the person who was home secretary for six years, then prime minister for a couple of years, steps down from her current role towards oblivion, new people can take up the baton.
New people will be able to ask new questions.
1) where are the Skripals?
2) why was all this fabricated?
3) who put all this twaddle in place?Alexander , April 17, 2019 at 18:31
I doubt very much any harm has come to them, they are either innocent victims or went along with 'spy games ' as Trump called it. But clearly someone doesn't want them giving any unscripted or unsupervised interviews were all the variables can't be controlled.
Most likely probably resettled somewhere now with new identities: US, Canada, NZ , Australia. Could be anywhere, take yer pick.
The unquestioning MSM, pretending as if they never existed, makes you feel like the country has gone to all hell.Dom C , April 17, 2019 at 22:14
I'm stuck here waiting for your answer to my earlier post. What's holding you up?
Whilst you are about it, could you kindly enlighten us as to the main aim of the Skripal "narrative" (Ugh – that word reminds me of A.Campbell).
A) To take Skripal out of circulation before the Steele dossier s**t hit the fan
B) To connect Russia to "chemical weapons" as part of the Syria deal
C) To further drive in the wedge between Trump and Russia
D) To Divert the Attention of the Dopey UK electorate from the Brexit mess
Please put in correct order of importance.
It's just occurred to me that you probably knock off at 1730. You are probably down on the river now the trout season has kicked off. What's the fishing like around Hermitage?
Do get back to us tomorrow!Ken Kenn , April 17, 2019 at 22:48
'The incident is cited as an example of the then deputy CIA director (now director). Gina Haspel.'
'She is said to have '
Both these quotes from the Guardian article imply (to me) there is no reliable source. It may not have happened.
Its an office rumour to big up the Director and piss off the boss. One would assume to piss of the boss you'd actually have to show him a picture of someone pissing on him and that's opening up a whole other can of worms.
I'll give you points for trying but nowhere does any report from the OPCWsay that the tests showed Novichok.
Their references are ' toxic chemical ' and even Porton Down's wording ( in the MSM you'll hate to know ) was similar to – It's what the government says it is.
Despite the waffle the above is not a very specific – is it?
Being as you know a few things answer a few questions please:
How many doors were at the front of the Skripal house and how many handles ( the MSM keep saying doorknobs) were tested in total?
Why was Charlies flat only given a cursory clean up with say Cilit Bang and the Skripal house dismantled being as Charlie and Dawn got a massive dose of alleged Novichok?
What was the actual cause of Dawn's death, bearing in mind her relatives said the first inquest showed no damage to her internal organs?
What colour was Yulia's hair in the Duck feeding ultra clear video(s) and what was Sergei wearing?
What colour hair did the young woman found on the bench have and what colour hair did the Salisbury Hospital staff notice?
If the ' Toxic Chemical ' was extremely deadly Russian Novichok , how is it that no-one else has died or been contaminated ( even slightly ) save three people from the alleged original attack and two later after opening a ' shrink wrapped sealed ' bottle of what the Authorities say was the same as that ' smeared ?' – ' sprayed ' on only one door handle.
If the above is true why didn't the Zizzis staff suffer from some contamination to or the pub staff who handled the Skripal's cutlery plates and drinks glasses as well as those who touched the handles of the doors the Skripl's touched with no bad effects?
How come the sprayers/sealers didn't die or fall ill themselves? Hazmat suits in a cul de sac on a Sunday?
That's just a few questions for an expert to be going on with.
Apr 18, 2019 | craigmurray.org.uk
SA , April 18, 2019 at 01:45
maybe Haspel should have added this disclaimer to her video or whatever evidence she presented to the POT ASS:
" This video was produced for propaganda purposes. We wish to stress that no actual children or ducks were harmed during the filming".
Apr 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Piotr Berman , Apr 17, 2019 1:53:14 PM | link
I am not sure if it is clear for folks on the far side of NYT paywall that NYT reported on "children and ducks" not merely as a quote of CIA director, but as a straight fact. This is the caption of one of the photos illustrating the article: "A former Russian intelligence officer, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter were poisoned last year in Britain in a slipshod attack that also sickened children, killed ducks and required careful cleanup.CreditWill Oliver/EPA, via Shutterstock"
Zachary Smith , Apr 17, 2019 1:59:53 PM | link@ Grieved #74karlof1 , Apr 17, 2019 5:44:31 PM | link
I'm willing to believe a lot of things about the Brits and Haspel, but "stupid" isn't one of them. That they tried the Skripal stunt demonstrates they had great confidence in their control of the UK and US press, and I'll concede that confidence was justified.
Note Haspel hasn't denied any aspect of the news item.
Why perpetrate a hoax like the Skripal Saga, which was all too real for the one confirmed dead.
Why? Previous sanctions not performing as anticipated--indeed, they are actually backfiring.
But if that policy line's already a proven failure, why double-down?
When faced with failure, Neocons always double-down.
Meanwhile, sanctions employed for almost 4 years when Skripal Act 1 begins clearly aren't working, which brings up the question of how Russia is actually perceived by the genuine International Community--did the provocations and sanctions diminish Russia's standing in the world prior to March 2018?
Given ever growing attendance to Russian sponsored and located symposiums, Russia's reputation seems to be growing at the expense of the smearing nations.
Motive for Skripal Hoax: To do what sanctions couldn't.
Outcome of Skripal Hoax: Russian reputation higher than ever. Indeed, the two hoaxes have had the opposite affect on Russia's international standing and the entire sanctions regime helped to make Russia stronger than it otherwise would be without their imposition.
Apr 17, 2019 | craigmurray.org.uk
Sharp Ears , April 17, 2019 at 12:06Crispa , April 17, 2019 at 12:07
Gina Haspel the CIA torturer extraordinaire.
Q. Where are the Skripals?N_ , April 17, 2019 at 12:34
I took note when I read that on the Guardian website late last night. What struck me was the treatment of the statement as if it could be true, but in more than one way.
The idea that Trump was kidded along in this way with photos of suffering children is similar to that which allegedly persuaded him to bomb Syria (along with the UK and France) after the more recent also alleged Douma chemical weapons attacks. So who actually was telling him porkies and why or is this just another myth to prove Trump's crassness – in which case there is no need to make anything up.
Even if the story is true, the article accepts it as fact and in no way qualifies it, which is just plain misrepresentation as Craig points out.
The reference to the two Russian operatives at that time is certainly a give away one way and another – but nothing in the article to highlight that inconsistency.
Strange timing too for the appearance of the article too. No doubt there will be a response from the Russian Embassy.N_ , April 17, 2019 at 12:23
Trump brings together stupidity, narcissistic mental illness and obnoxiousness such that when an official has to deal with him their attitude must surely be to tell the moron whatever gets him to do what they want as soon as possible, so they don't have to spend any more time than necessary in a room with him.
He lies all the time – the guy can't stop lying – nobody wants to spend time with a person like that – even his wife can't stand the sight of him – and it doesn't matter what it is that you tell him or show him.
Trump doesn't give a toss about suffering children or suffering anyone else, so it's not likely that he was persuaded by the kind of argument that runs from injured children to the need for US diplomatic action.
The question is who was behind the anti-Russian side of the Skripal story and why. Not much progress will be made without looking at the British defence review and the huge increase in military spending that warfare interests have moved Gavin Williamson's lips to call for.Ken Kenn , April 17, 2019 at 13:40
"(E)xtremely clear CCTV footage of the duck feeding"? So there are fixed cameras watching where the ducks swim in Queen Elizabeth's Park in Salisbury, are there? Because I haven't been able to find even some lamp posts they might be secured to. ( Some images .) Which is not to say the Skripals weren't photographed. And how's the Nikolai Glushkov inquest going?Phil , April 17, 2019 at 15:01
Trump forgets he lies in minutes. He'd not heard about Julian Assange? If I was reporter I would have played him his words from my laptop and ask: Mr President is this you or a fake President?
Actually he is a fake President as most US Presidents are. The man's a dunce. I thought after George W Bush US Presidents couldn't get any worse but know history hits us up the backside with a banjo yet again.
Simple really: Show the video of the Skripal actively feeding the ducks – blank the kids faces and we'll be able to see them in all of their pre poisoned glory.
All this has been done before by the MS – The London Bridge attackers – 7/7 and so on.
So why not show the video? Because it shows something(s) which they want to hide. I have my views as to why, as do others but once you start lying you have to develop a good memory and ' British Intelligence ' is a misnomer.
It's quackery.Nicholas Kollerstrom , April 17, 2019 at 12:26
Rob Slane from the Blogmire interviewed the mother of the children who fed the ducks and she said she was shown "extremely clear CCTV footage".N_ , April 17, 2019 at 12:37
Let us not for one moment forget: Yulia musty be alive somewhere. I reckon they did in Sergei – serve him right for being a double (or triple) agent – but Yulia must still be around. She TOLD US in her video she was fine and getting better.
Thank god for Craig Murray and the Off-Guardian, they have preserved our sanity over this mad story, this maddest of British Intel cockups.Gerard Hobley , April 17, 2019 at 12:27
@Nicholas – I'd advise delaying the conclusion that it was a cockup, except in the sense that in most military and intelligence operations something cocks up – until we hear what happens with British military spending plans.John2o2o , April 17, 2019 at 19:21
Someone said to me on Twitter that confirmation of Novichock was from a Mass Spec of the nerve agent bound to some enzyme (probably acetyl cholinesterase). Is this really the official line? If so it's rubbish. Whoever made such a claim was clearly no chemist. Acetyl Cholinesterase weighs about 66700 Daltons and the nerve agent weighed, say between 200 and 400 daltons. Firstly a mass spectrum of the protein would be that of the protein plus or minus anything upto about 300 water molecules Which makes the mass (69400 +/- 2700) and a multitude of other possible ions or other factors bound to it. The error in the mass of the protein clearly exceeds the mass of the nerve agent. Given that, because of the blinding uncertainties as to what species are actually hitting the detector in the mass spectrometer, no-one anywhere attempts to study ligands bound to proteins by mass spec and certainly not one of this size, why would they do it in this case?Casual Observer , April 17, 2019 at 12:45
They make it up Gerard.
Unfortunately most people are not chemists and therefore lack the required knowledge to be skeptical about such claims.Northern , April 17, 2019 at 13:29
Apply the smell test ?
The CIA Director tells outright lies to her boss, who as a result approves a stern national rebuke.
In a cartoon version of life where Dick Dastardly gets to be an intelligence supremo, and a total dummy gets to be President, this would be highly likely. Needless to say, to believe such a scenario would exist in the real world requires a massive suspension of logic.
More likely there's something coming down the track that requires Haspel, and or the CIA, to be discredited prior to its becoming visible to the public ?Brendan , April 17, 2019 at 13:04
What could possibly be coming down the track that isn't comparable to what we already know about Haspel and the CIA though?
If you can straight faced maintain support for an admitted and documented human rights abuser who heads a non accountable government spy agency that has been extra judicially torturing, assassinating and over throwing any who stands in its way for 70 years; what on earth could be about to come out that's suddenly going to convince our bought and paid for media, and by extension the general public, that these monsters have been discredited?John2o2o , April 17, 2019 at 19:22
UK spooks are switching to damage limitation mode, with the help of the Deborah Haynes of Sky and II:
"Update: UK security sources say they're unaware of children hospitalised because of #novichok or wildlife killed in #Skripal attack. May have been a photo of a dead swan though not evidence swan was killed by #Novichok. If that's true, I wonder what these images used by CIA were! "
https://twitter.com/haynesdeborah/status/1118409471754153984Goose , April 17, 2019 at 13:12
I'm not a conspiracy theorist –
I'm a conspiracy analyst.
Apr 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
john , Apr 17, 2019 7:10:14 AM | link
Therefore, where is a Western Solzhenitsyn to document artistically what transpires in a society deeply in debt and in social & moral decline
well, Dmitry Orlov, for one, is doing yeoman service. from his latest :
Then society breaks down. And only then, after all that, do people finally realize that the problem was inside their heads all along (cultural collapse). Quickly adopting a better, more right-thinking culture is, of course, a good idea. An alternative is to go through a Dark Age followed by an extended period of mindless slaughter
somebody , Apr 17, 2019 8:28:38 AM | linkPosted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 16, 2019 1:11:24 PM | 25
The New York Times article is too tongue in cheek for carelessness (of course the CIA director is NOT manipulating Trump ...). They had sent two reporters to Salisbury and indeed Russia to get impressions on the ground - that means money. And somehow their interest was very much if the British government story sticks or not ."Others fret about the ducks that used to gather on the Avon River near where the Skripals collapsed, saying they must have been quietly culled. (Mr. Dean, the City Council head, says they simply migrated downstream.) Others wonder why some places the Skripals went on the day of the poisoning, but not others, were cordoned off for safety reasons."
So somehow ducks are a running feature in the New York Times reporting.
It might be simply connected to this though
Tycoon Deripaska Sues U.S. Over SanctionsWhen Deripaska was hit with sanctions in April, the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) alleged that he and other rich and influential Russian oligarchs were profiting off their ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and from the state's "malign activity" around the world.
The lawsuit questions whether Treasury can really back up those claims. It asks the court to order OFAC to hand over evidence and other records and remove Deripaska from the sanctions list.
and this here
US said to have prepared new Russia sanctions for UK attackThe White House has received a long-awaited package of new sanctions on Russia, intended to punish the Kremlin for a 2018 nerve-agent attack on a former Russian spy in the U.K.
U.S. officials at the State and Treasury departments have vetted the sanctions and are awaiting approval from the White House to issue them, according to two people familiar with the matter who discussed the internal deliberations on condition of anonymity.
There is a lot of money in those ducks.
Apr 17, 2019 | craigmurray.org.uk
glenn_nl , April 17, 2019 at 10:43
Don't forget – a government minister told us (with a straight face!) that we've captured a special, secret Russian manual, which details just how to apply poison to door handles. Doubtless these spies had their own copy to refer to, in order to get the job done right.
Apr 17, 2019 | craigmurray.org.uk
Stubbs , April 17, 2019 at 10:29Villanelle , April 17, 2019 at 10:40
It was a dead duck from the moment they said the poison was on the door handle, which is just stupid. The official narrative has been a catalogue of stupidities aimed at political goals. Those who've taken it up are invested in the goals.
If anyone cared what had happened, the first point of enquiry would've been the guinea pigs, the clue is in the name.
OBTW Who was responsible for the clean up of Salisbury, after which Dawn Sturgess met her end ??Borncynical , April 17, 2019 at 11:22
I would recommend to watch a drama series called "Killing Eve". It was written, produced and released before the Skripal saga. There is a scene where a deadly poison is administered on a door handle. Clearly it isn't as far fetched as you suggest.
Coincidentally (?) there was also the joint Sky/US drama series 'Strike Back' broadcast in November 2017 featuring an attack by a Russian with 'Novichok'. But which came first? Fiction or 'reality'? Think about it.
Apr 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
S.O. , Apr 17, 2019 9:48:02 AM | link
The Steele dossier is british, Orbis intelligence = british, Institute for statecraft / Integrity Initiative = british, Skripal defection. Location, evidence, statements = british, the list goes on and on.
You'd think someone might have noticed something of a trend by now.
Gravatomic , Apr 17, 2019 10:07:57 AM | linkThey just don't bother anymore, the level of double black psy-ops and gaslighting is a mine feild of disinformation. That's what you get when Washington - Obama, gives the green light to propagandizing their people. It's escalated, like we haven't noticed, under Trump despite his pathetic attempts at assuring folks it's fake news.Gravatomic , Apr 17, 2019 10:20:02 AM | linkThe UK's propaganda machine rivals and even surpasses Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. I watched about 10 minutes of a documentary about Easter Island, as an example, and it was revisionist to the nth degree. Just absolute rubbish incinuating that white European travellers destroyed the Island. This is what British kids are now being marinated in, "He who controls the past"
Mar 18, 2018 | www.veteranstoday.com
Many in the USA have come to realize this stealth organization does not work on the behalf of the USA but rather to its own ends. And, in this realization, comes a jaded view of both the CIA and the government it represents.
This realization may have begun with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The Warren Commission, a congressional investigation was convened. The commission concluded there was a single lone shooter, a fringe outcast, Lee Harvey Oswald who acted alone in the assassination of the president. Many felt, in light of the facts, that the Warren Commission was a cover up of what really went down on November 22, 1963, in Houston, Texas.
In 1976, the Congress reopened the Kennedy investigation. They created The United States House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) to investigate the assassination of John F. Kennedy (and Martin Luther King Jr.).
The HSCA completed its investigation in 1978 and determined the Warren Commission was faulty and there was more than one shooter and there was indeed a conspiracy to kill the president. So much for the official narrative of the Warren Commission.
Why the Warren Commission cover up back then that even the Congress in 1976 (HSCA) reported was bogus? One theory April 25, 1966, The New York Times wrote, "And, President Kennedy, as the enormity of the Bay of Pigs disaster came home to him, said to one of the highest officials of his Administration, that he wanted to splinter the C.I.A. in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds."
Kennedy was no fan of the Director of the C.I.A. Allen Dulles or his agency, and in the autumn of 1961 he purged the C.I.A. of Dulles and his entourage. This included Deputy Director for Plans Richard M. Bissell Jr. and and Deputy Director Charles Cabell. You do not mess with Allen Dulles and the C.I A. Let's leave it at that. Kennedy was dead within two years.
Then there is 9/11. This one also has a USA government narrative that defies logic. This time it is so blatant and egregious that an organization called "Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth" was founded by Richard Gage, an architect with vast experience in steel structured buildings and fire. The organization demands on official investigation by Congress into exactly how the buildings came down.
By December 2014, over 2,300 architectural and engineering professionals had signed a petition for this investigation. If one looks at controlled demolitions and how the buildings actually came down it is obvious the collapse was not due to an airplane flying into the buildings, but rather a controlled demolition. 2,300 architects and engineers with verified credentials all testify that the narrative of the government is patently false and scientifically implausible if not impossible.
At about nine a.m. the Twin Towers are crashed into and collapse. At about five twenty p.m. that same day, Building Seven collapses. No planes fly into Building 7, it just collapses. Again, the videos show a controlled demolition.
There are various theories as to why 7 WTC was taken down. Theories range from 7 WTC being the operation center for the demolition of the Twin Towers to more nefarious motives. "
According to a statement reported by the BBC , Loose Change film producer Dylan Avery thinks the destruction of the building was suspicious because it housed some unusual tenants, including a clandestine CIA office on the 25th floor, an outpost of the U.S. Secret Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and New York City's emergency command center." Wikipedia
What is important to remember is that NO STEEL FRAME HIGH RISE HAS EVER TOTALLY COLLAPSED DUE TO FIRE.
These are but two examples of hundreds where we have been mislead by the official narrative of the government and its MSM news. Remember the Trump Dossier that was leaked and printed as fact? Or, the death of Seth Rich, a "botched" robbery? Or, the list of 200 news outlets in the USA that were Russian Propaganda fronts? All reported as fact by the New York Times and Washington Post. All fake news by the MSM fed to an unsuspecting American people.
So now we have Prime Minister, Teresa May, accusing Putin and Russia of the May 4 nerve agent attack of Sergei V. Skripal (66) and his daughter, Yulia (33), in Salibury, England. Both are in critical condition after being found unconscious on a bench outside The Maltings Shopping Center in Salibury. As we all know Russia is the new Antichrist. The harbinger of all evil. The enemy we all must view with the utmost fear and loathing. Daily, the MSM in USA recoils as they report story after story of Russia meddling in our elections, shaking the very foundations of our democracy.
Let's get this straight. Mr. Skripal was convicted of high treason in Russia in 2004. He was not tortured, killed or murdered, rather he was allowed to settle in Britain after a spy swap in 2010. Sounds pretty friendly to me, considering that Putin is portrayed as a sadistic monster out to settle scores with those who cross him, by the Western media.
Teresa May called the act "reckless" and "indiscriminate", and basically said Putin put innocent English bystanders at risk. She upped the ante by dismissing 23 Russian diplomats, the largest such expulsion in thirty years.
On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused May of grandstanding in her response to the incident. Russian news agency Interfax reported that The Kremlin denies involvement in the nerve agent poisoning, insisting one motive was to complicate Russia's hosting of the World Cup this summer. Ah, dear Kremin, the motive was much deeper than the World Cup games, which were only a bonus to the attack.
So, why now? Why this attempted assassination now? This is the question, dear reader. Why attempt to assassinate Mr. Skripal now? He was convicted of high treason 14 years ago. He has been in England for eight years. Russia knew at this point he was no threat to them with no new secrets to betray. What would be gained at this point by assassinating the man?
None. However, if the CIA took him out, or paid unscrupulous foreign mercenaries to take him out, much could be gained. The narrative of big bad Putin, in his big bad Russia, would be reinforced. Now, not only is he meddling in elections, getting the dastardly Trump elected, he is using nerve gas to take out enemies on foreign soil. My god, what will be next?
Nikki Haley, Ambassador to the UN tells us, "The United States of America believes that Russia is responsible for the attack on two people in the United Kingdom using a military-grade nerve agent," Haley said in her remarks at a UN Security Council emergency session, blasting the Russian government for flouting international law.
"If we don't take immediate concrete measures to address this now, Salisbury will not be the last place we see chemical weapons used," said Haley. "They could be used here in New York or in cities of any country that sits on this council." CNN Politics
The USA needs an enemy to foment fear to justify it's astronomical defense budget. It just loves a good cold war. However, now that Russia is no longer a pinko commie nation to be demonized, and is indeed a capitalist democracy, we have to resurrect a new straw man to hate.
It is remarkable the degree to which the liberal left has bought into this industrial-military-complex narrative. The USA always has to be bombing someone, droning someone or napalming someone to keep the monies flowing into the defense budget. Take a look at our spending compared to Russia or other nations.
Alas, it is certainly not out of the question that the CIA was behind the attack. After this amount of time Mr. Putin had nothing to gain in assassinating Mr. Skripal and his daughter. In fact, he had a lot to lose. The CIA? They had a lot to gain, and nothing to lose. Never underestimate the CIA and its brilliance in setting the narrative for its agenda. And, never underestimate Mr. Putin in his resolve not to become their lapdog.
Ms. Simpson was a radio personality in New York. She was a staff writer for The Liberty Report. A PBS documentary was done on her activism for human rights. She is a psychotherapist and political commentator.
Apr 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Koen , Apr 16, 2019 6:13:59 PM | link
B, here's a remarkable fact: The Skripal Novichok perfume bottle assassination story is is eerily similar to episode 2 of BBC show 'Killing Eve' where an assassin uses a perfume bottle to kill her target and where later an innocent person accidentally dies after coming into contact with said perfume bottle.
The episode aired around a month after the Skripal attack but well before the other 2 people fell ill and the perfume bottle theory emerged.
Apr 16, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
An ass kissing portrait of Gina Haspel, torture queen and director of the CIA, reveals that she lied to Trump to push for more aggression against Russia.
In March 2018 the British government asserted, without providing any evidence, that the alleged 'Novichok' poisoning of Sergej and Yulia Skripal was the fault of Russia. It urged its allies to expel Russian officials from their countries.The U.S. alone expelled 60 Russian officials. Trump was furious when he learned that EU countries expelled less than 60 in total. A year ago the Washington Post described the scene:President Trump seemed distracted in March as his aides briefed him at his Mar-a-Lago resort on the administration's plan to expel 60 Russian diplomats and suspected spies.
The United States, they explained, would be ousting roughly the same number of Russians as its European allies -- part of a coordinated move to punish Moscow for the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter on British soil.
"We'll match their numbers," Trump instructed, according to a senior administration official. "We're not taking the lead. We're matching."
The next day, when the expulsions were announced publicly, Trump erupted, officials said. To his shock and dismay, France and Germany were each expelling only four Russian officials -- far fewer than the 60 his administration had decided on.
The president, who seemed to believe that other individual countries would largely equal the United States, was furious that his administration was being portrayed in the media as taking by far the toughest stance on Russia.
The expulsion marked a turn in the Trump administration's relation with Russia:The incident reflects a tension at the core of the Trump administration's increasingly hard-nosed stance on Russia: The president instinctually opposes many of the punitive measures pushed by his Cabinet that have crippled his ability to forge a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The past month, in particular, has marked a major turning point in the administration's stance, according to senior administration officials. There have been mass expulsions of Russian diplomats, sanctions on oligarchs that have bled billions of dollars from Russia's already weak economy and, for the first time, a presidential tweet that criticized Putin by name for backing Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.
Today the New York Times portraits Gina Haspel's relation with Trump. The writers seem sympathetic to her and the CIA's position. They include an anecdote of the Skripal expulsion decision that is supposed to let her shine in a good light. But it only proves that the CIA manipulated the president for its own purpose:Last March, top national security officials gathered inside the White House to discuss with Mr. Trump how to respond to the nerve agent attack in Britain on Sergei V. Skripal, the former Russian intelligence agent.
London was pushing for the White House to expel dozens of suspected Russian operatives, but Mr. Trump was skeptical.
During the discussion, Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. director, turned toward Mr. Trump. She outlined possible responses in a quiet but firm voice, then leaned forward and told the president that the "strong option" was to expel 60 diplomats.
To persuade Mr. Trump, according to people briefed on the conversation, officials including Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia's attack.
Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives.
Ms Haspel was not the first to use emotional images to appeal to the president, but pairing it with her hard-nosed realism proved effective: Mr. Trump fixated on the pictures of the sickened children and the dead ducks. At the end of the briefing, he embraced the strong option.
The Skripal case was widely covered and we followed it diligently (scroll down). There were no reports of any children affected by 'Novichok' nor were their any reports of dead ducks. In the official storyline the Skripals, before visiting a restaurant, fed bread to ducks at a pond in the Queen Elizabeth Gardens in Salisbury.
They also gave duck-bread to three children to do the same. The children were examined and their blood was tested. No poison was found and none of them fell ill . No duck died. (The duck feeding episode also disproves the claim that the Skripals were poisoned by touching a door handle.)
If the NYT piece is correct, the CIA director, in cooperation with the British government, lied to Trump about the incident. Their aim was to sabotage Trump's announced policy of better relations with Russia. The ruse worked.
The NYT piece does not mention that the pictures Gina Haspel showed Trump were fake. It pretends that her lies were "new information" and that she was not out to manipulate him:The outcome was an example, officials said, of how Ms. Haspel is one of the few people who can get Mr. Trump to shift position based on new information.
Co-workers and friends of Ms. Haspel push back on any notion that she is manipulating the president. She is instead trying to get him to listen and to protect the agency, according to former intelligence officials who know her.
The job of the CIA director is to serve the president, not to protect the agencies own policies. Hopefully Trump will hear about the anecdote, recognize how he was had, and fire Haspel. He should not stop there but also get rid of her protector who likely had a role in the game:Ms. Haspel won the trust of Mr. Pompeo, however, and has stayed loyal to him. As a result, Mr. Trump sees Ms. Haspel as an extension of Mr. Pompeo, a view that has helped protect her, current and former intelligence officials said.
Posted by b on April 16, 2019 at 08:37 AM | Permalink
Russ , Apr 16, 2019 9:02:41 AM | linkI don't see how it's possible to manipulate someone (and especially the US president) into doing something they don't want to do with lies like the ones described here. On the contrary presidents, CEOs etc. favor the staffers who tell them the kind of lies they want to hear in order to reinforce what they wanted to do in the first place.Jerry , Apr 16, 2019 9:14:30 AM | link
I've never seen any reason to alter my first position on Trump, that like any other president he does what he wants to do.The 1970s movie 3 Days of The Condor is about the evils of the See Eye A. Also they create trial balloon in the movie about taking middle east oil. This later happens in real life with NeoCon See Eye A stooges - Poppy Bush then later GW Bush-Cheney, Clintons and Oboma all agency owned men.manny , Apr 16, 2019 9:15:16 AM | link
The joke 7in the final scene Robert Redford tells See Eye A man Cliff Robertson that he gave all the evidence to the NY Times. What a joke. The NY Times and the Wash Post are the mouthpieces for the SEE Eye A. The AP news sources most of their stories from those two papers and other lackey See Eye A newspapers.
One final criticism in moon's story. The head of the See Eye A is to serve the elites-Central banksters not the President. They did not serve JFK. Any President who crosses the central bankers aka roth-schilds ends up dead.Ms. Haspel, then deputy C.I.A. directorSally Snyder , Apr 16, 2019 9:35:40 AM | link
After this, she got the top job, so what is the real lesson here? Sociopathic liars get promoted....or you can tell the truth, try to be honorable and fade into obscurity.. In a nest of psychos, you have to really be depraved to become the top psycho...
Nuke it for orbit, it's the only way to be sure...Here is an article that looks at whether nations around the world regard the United States or Russia as the greater threat to their nation:donkeytale , Apr 16, 2019 9:40:06 AM | link
It is interesting to see that nations that have traditionally been pro-American feel that the threat posed by American power is growing.bBM , Apr 16, 2019 9:42:46 AM | link
Backing up Russ's point, when will you realise the "buck stops" on Trump's desk for any and all departments he oversees, which are run by his appointees? Trump is dedicated to creating a neoconservative foreign policy melded to a neoliberal economic policy favouring his corporate fascist sponsors. Recently, you've been all over the Assange indictment, Trump's relationship with Nuttyahoo and the related rollback of JCPOA. Is this what you want to see continued into a second term?
There is much evidence to show Trump and the GOP working steadily towards a "democracy" where Congress is castrated (one might say the system castrates Congress anyway), opposing candidates are jailed, opposition votes are suppressed and the media is weakened to the point where no one can tell the difference.
They haven't got there quite yet but once the judiciary is controlled by GOP ideologues it's game over. And McConnell is dedicating his life to make that the reality ASAP.
Meanwhile back at the ranch we are dedicated to knocking down any and all potential opposition to this GOP hostile takeover for some reason I've yet to fathom.Mataman , Apr 16, 2019 9:45:30 AM | linkHopefully Trump will hear about the anecdote, recognize how he was had, and fire Haspel. He should not stop there but also get rid of her protector who likely had a role in the game[Pompeo]
Hopefully yes to all four propositions. Why am I sceptical though (except conceivably the first)?The story veers into complete fiction when it claims that pictures of dead ducks had any effect on Trump. He doesn't like, nor care about animals. He's the first POTUS in decades I believe to not even pretend to like dogs by having an official White House dog and every policy his Administration can take against animals, they have taken. I'm not even sure I buy the spin that he cared about dead kids either. And NYT readers know this about him, so I don't understand what the point of peddling this fiction is other than to paint Torture Queen in some kind of good light (and we KNOW that she certainly doesn't care about dead anything).the pair , Apr 16, 2019 10:08:18 AM | linkanother example of trump's stupidity and pathological inability to think for himself. he gets his views from fox and his policy from bolton. his equally vapid daughter and kushner whine to him about sooper sad syria pictures they saw in a sponsored link while googling for new tmz gossip.
even worse that this is the twat in charge of one of russiagate's main instigating "deep state" agencies. he spent the entirety of his presidency railing against their various lies then takes this wankery at face value. it's just like the "chinese soldiers in venezuela"; if those pictures were legit they'd have been splattered over every front page and permanently attached to screeching cnn and msnbc segments demanding trump "finally get tough" on "putin's russia".
my only surprise is that she didn't tell him about british babies ripped from incubators and dipped in anthrax powder.
the nyt shilling for a soCIopAth? not that surprising.
Twiki , Apr 16, 2019 10:43:11 AM | linkThe consultant in emergency medicine at Salisbury hospital wrote to The Times, shortly after the Skripal incident. His choice of words was odd, and some have said they indicate no novichok poisoning occurred. Leaving that to one side, his letter certainly puts paid to the idea that more than three people (the Skripals and the policeman, DCI Bailey) were poisoned. https://www.onaquietday.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/DocSaysNoNerveAgentInSalisbury.jpgbjd , Apr 16, 2019 10:43:51 AM | linkJackrabbit , Apr 16, 2019 10:59:48 AM | link" the nerve agent attack in Britain on Sergei V. Skripal, "
There was no attack on the Skripals. or on anyone else. The Russophobia in whose context it falls, is of a higher order, in which a fabricated narrative of a Skripal-like attack had an important function. The Skripals were perfectly happy to lend their name to the fabrication, and are living happily, probably in New Zealand.The Daily Beast article that b linked to describes how many serious, well-informed people felt that Haspel was unsuitable to lead the CIA. Even more strange and troubling was that Haspel was supported by Trump's nemesis, John Brennan.Babyl-on , Apr 16, 2019 11:04:28 AM | link
Despite all that, MAGA Trump still nominated her. Any notion that Trump is at odds with, or "manipulated" by, Haspel, Bolton, or Pompeo is just propaganda. We've seen such reporting before (esp. wrt Bolton) and Trump has taken no action.I see that Trump derangement is alive and well here at MoA. Commenters talk as if Trump is the first president stupid enough to be manipulated by the security agencies and shadow government sometimes referred to as a "deep state". People don't have to be historians or look back to Rome, just read the books about how the great general who "won WWII" was used by the oligarchy which had full control of US foreign policy throughout Eisenhower's term in office.Jackrabbit , Apr 16, 2019 11:16:08 AM | link
Works produced after WWII, C. Wright Mills, The Power elite was written in 1956,The Brothers and The Divil's Chessboard each about the Dulles Brothers and how they operated US foreign policy for the interests of the oligarchy, and the work Peter Phillips, GIANTS: The Global Power Elite and the work of David Rothkopf which thoroughly describes the feudal system under which the Western cultures are ruled.
The US government is a pantomime it is a show it has no power.
How many here can honestly say they understand that the US dollar itself and the ENTIRE GLOBAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM is privately owned. Why do you think the "banks were bailed out"? because the banks were in power not the government. The US is 22 trillion in debt - the oligarchy is the creditor - take over the US gov. and you have a powerless pile of debt.
Around 6,000 people control 85% of global assets until that changes nothing will change. The oligarchy won virtually all the mines and control the price of all basic commodities necessary for modern life, the internet, oil of course and more.
What is failing and what has failed over and over for 500 years is Western Civilization and its three "great religions" which preach obedience, oppression, domination by a one god suffocating mythology.
But the oligarchy doesn't own just the basic commodities, it owns the religions and it owns the drugs and all illegal trade as well.
Western "civilization" is really nothing more than one vast feudal kingdom, with royal courts in DC, Tel Aviv and Ryiadh. Wheather there is a god or not, religion is made of flesh and blood not miracles. No Rabbi or Priest or Imam claims visitations by god to instruct them on doctrine - they are flesh and blood and they want power so they behave like sycophants to the money they need to expand their power...all for the good souls under their care.Correction @13 Trump's supposed nemesis. Trump has brought several friends and associates of his enemies into his Administration:lysias , Apr 16, 2019 12:00:59 PM | linkAnd Trump himself was close to the Clintons.
- VP Pence: John McCain's buddy
- Bolton: a neocon (neocons were "Never Trump", remember?)
- Wm Barr: close with Mueller
- Haspel: Brennan's gal at CIAHaspel was CIA station chief in London in 2016, when U.S. and Brit intel agencies conspired to stop Trump's candidacy. In her position, Haspel had to know about the plotting, more likely she participated in it. That Brennan supported her argues for the latter.Jose Garcia , Apr 16, 2019 12:08:01 PM | linkWhat can we expect from a tv personality who became a US president? A man who ran with an advertisement worthy of a business man like him, "Make America Great Again." How does he go about doing it? Giving more money to the military industrial-Congressional complex, even though we are really flat broke. Using aggressive tactics used by Wall Street in hostile company takeovers to really intimidate other nations. And hire and place those he really agrees with in important positions who really reflect his true feelings. I'm sure when he spoke with Haspel before offering her the job, he brought up the topic of torture and agreed with her on its use on terrorists.Jackrabbit , Apr 16, 2019 12:24:11 PM | linklysias @18: conspired to stop Trump's candidacyjuliania , Apr 16, 2019 12:28:54 PM | link
I think there's a reasonable case to be made that they conspired not to stop Trump but to further speculation of Trump's "collusion" with Russia (what would later be known as Russiagate). The "collusion" and "Russia meddled" accusations are what fueled the new McCarthyism.I'll just add to Jerry's comment at #3 that the final line in the movie "Day of the Condor" is something like "But will they print it?" which really spoke to the message of the film in its entirety. The condor being an endangered bird for whom the hero is named, and the beginning outrage being the brutal murder of book lovers researching useable plot details for the 'company'makes this message current and applicable to what we see in the Skripal case. And instead of librarians, we now have online commenters, a doughty breed, and we have Assange.Ross , Apr 16, 2019 12:41:17 PM | link
Instead of 'Will they print it?' I am wondering 'Will they make another movie about it?'
"Day of the Condor: Part Two." Some Day.Remind me, where is Yulia Skripal these days? Well and truly 'disappeared' it seems. The mask is off. the snarling face of the beast is there for all to see.Kiza , Apr 16, 2019 12:49:37 PM | linkWhat a total waste of an article discussing a story published in NYT or WaPo.jayc , Apr 16, 2019 1:00:38 PM | link
b, the World has divided itself into those who consume alternative media such as this and stupidos who consume MSM. There is nothing in-between that you are attempting to discuss and dissect here. NYT = cognitive value zero.
Fake News not worth one millisecond of our time, not even to decode what the regime wants us to know, we know all that already. Personally, I am only interested in the new methods of domestic repression, what is next after the warning of Assange arrest, future rendition and torture. The Deep Stare appears to be coming out into open, will it soon get rid of the whole faux democracy construct and just use iron fist to rule? It already impose its will as the rule of law. All of the Western block is heading in this direction.Photos of fake dead ducks and fake sickened children confirm the Skripal story is, in turn, completely fake. It says a lot that the NY Times either does not know this or that its contempt for its readership matches the contempt by which the intelligence agencies hold for their putative boss.Piotr Berman , Apr 16, 2019 1:11:24 PM | linkThe story veers into complete fiction when it claims that pictures of dead ducks had any effect on Trump. He doesn't like, nor care about animals. Mataman | Apr 16, 2019 9:45:30 AMPiotr Berman , Apr 16, 2019 1:22:03 PM | link
This assumes that Trump would primarily care about the ducks (and children) when he approved a massive expulsion, rather that his image and "ah, in that case it would look bad if we do not do something really decisive".
In any case, I was thinking why NYT would disclose something like that. The point is that readers of Craig Murray (not so few, but mostly Scottish nationalists who are also leftist and have scant possibilities and/or inclination to vote in USA) and MoonOfAlabama would quickly catch a dead fish here, but 99.9% of the public is blissfully unaware of any incongruences in the "established" Skripal narrative.BTW, it is possible that the journalist who scribbled fresh yarn obtained from CIA did it earnestly. Journalists do not necessarily follow stories that they cover -- scribbling from given notes does not require overtaxing the precious attention span that can be devoted to more vital cognitive challenges. I am lazy to find the link, but while checking for news on Venezuela, I stumbled on a piece from Express, a British tabloid, where Guaido was named a "figurehead of the oposition" supported by "450 Western countries". My interpretation was that more literate journalists were moved for to more compelling stories as Venezuela went to the back burner.JOHN CHUCKMAN , Apr 16, 2019 1:28:11 PM | linkYes, indeed, the Skripal Affair is one of the obviously contrived stunts we've seen. Just outrageous in its execution. On a par with the US having a man who didn't even run for president of Venezuela swear himself in and then pressure everyone to accept him as president.Noirette , Apr 16, 2019 1:28:44 PM | link
Interesting, I had no idea Gina Haspel - aka, The Queen of Blood - played a role. I thought it was all original dirty work by Britain's Theresa May. Boy, I hope people are through with the false notion that if women just get into leadership, the world will become a better gentler place.
Here's some interesting background:
- https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2018/09/06/john-chuckman-comment-the-skripal-affair-dramatically-returns-with-supposed-surveillance-photos-of-the-assassins-just-one-very-serious-problem-with-a-pair-of-the-photos-they-appear-to-be-frauds/Macron was (afaik?) the only EU 'leader' who was quoted in the MSM as bruiting re. the Skripal affair a message like:semiconscious , Apr 16, 2019 1:31:34 PM | link
.. no culpability in the part of Russia has been evidenced .. for now...
I suppose he was enjoined to shut his gob right quick (have been reading about brexit so brit eng) as nothing more in that line was heard.
Hooo, the EU expelled a lot of Russ. diplomats, obeying the USuk, which certainly created some major upsets on the ground.
Some were expelled, went into other jobs, other places, but then others arrived, etc. The MSM has not made any counts - lists - of names numbers - etc. of R diplos on the job - anywhere. As some left and then others arrived.
Once more, this was mostly a symbolic move, if extremely nasty, insulting, and disruptive.
Theresa May's speech re. Novichok, Independent 14 March 2018:
.. on Monday I set out that Mr Skripal and his daughter were poisoned with a Novichok: a military grade nerve agent developed by Russia. Based on this capability, combined with their record of conducting state sponsored assassinations – including against former intelligence officers whom they regard as legitimate targets – the UK Government concluded it was highly likely that Russia was responsible for this reckless and despicable act. ..
Cost her a consequent amount of political capital. - Everyone knows the Skripal story is BS.@25 & @26:karlof1 , Apr 16, 2019 1:53:44 PM | link
imo, the media has, once again, simply taken its lead from trump himself, & started making things up completely. & you're absolutely correct in pointing out that, much like trump's true believers, the msm's targeted audience never even notices...Thanks for bringing this Skripal segment to light, b, as most of us don't read the NY Times in any form. Haspel likely had a hand in the planning of the overall scheme of which the Skripal saga and Russiagate are interconnected episodes. Clearly, the Money Power sees the challenge raised by Russia/China/Eurasia as existential and is trying to counter hybridly as it knows its wealth won't save it from Nuclear War.james , Apr 16, 2019 2:03:20 PM | linkafter integrity initiative, we know the uk is full of shite on most everything... thus, the msm will not be talking about integrity initiative..c1ue , Apr 16, 2019 2:03:56 PM | link
what i didn't know is what @18 lysias pointed out.."Haspel was CIA station chief in London in 2016, when U.S. and Brit intel agencies conspired to stop Trump's candidacy. In her position, Haspel had to know about the plotting, more likely she participated in it. That Brennan supported her argues for the latter." ditto jr's speculation @20 too...
so gaspel shows trump some cheap propaganda that she got from who??
my main problem with b's post - i tend to see it like kiza @23) is maintaining the idea trump isn't in on all of this.. the thought trump is being duped by his underlings.. if he was and it mattered, he would get rid of them.. the fact he doesn't says to me, he is in on it - get russia, being the 24/7 game plan of the west here still..Please stop listening to idiot libertarians and their "US is flat broke" meme. The reality is that: so long as Americans transact in dollars, the United States government can tax anytime it feels like by issuing new dollars via the Fed.Michael Droy , Apr 16, 2019 2:12:37 PM | link
Equally, so long as 60% of the world's trade is conducted in dollars, this is tens to hundreds of billions of dollars of additional taxation surface area. The MMT people - I don't agree 100% with everything they say, but they do understand the actual operation of fiat currency.
The people who want a hard currency are either wealthy (and understand that conversion to hard currency cements their wealth) or are useful idiots who don't understand that currency devaluation is the single easiest way to tax in a democracy.Well this could be Syria, not Salisbury!bjd , Apr 16, 2019 2:25:23 PM | link
I doubt Haspel knew the ducks were fake - she was probably just given stuff to pass up the chain. It is a lot like John Kerry who was shown convincing satellite data of the BUK launch that hit MH17 - but no one could be bothered to pass on even the launch site coordinates to the JIT. I'm sure this stuff goes on all the time, and of course, once Teresa May has spoken in Parliament, and Trump committed to expelling embassy staff, there is no way any alternative version of the truth is possible.
Skripal of course was a colleague of Steele, and possibly the only person he asked to get info for the dossier beyond what Nellie Ohr had already given him. His evidence might have been crucial. The CIA and others have a strong motive to kill Skripal and a stronger one to blame the Russians.The fact that the 'Dirty Dossier' and the 'Skripal "story"' both originate in one and the same small town in the UK, tells you all you need to know about both.fastfreddy , Apr 16, 2019 2:48:31 PM | linkHaspel will not be fired.Russ , Apr 16, 2019 3:02:51 PM | link@c1ue | Apr 16, 2019 2:03:56 PM | 32snake , Apr 16, 2019 3:29:24 PM | link
"The people who want a hard currency are either wealthy (and understand that conversion to hard currency cements their wealth) or are useful idiots who don't understand that currency devaluation is the single easiest way to tax in a democracy."
The useful idiocy is most surprising among US farmers. In the 19th century they broadly understood that fiat money was good for chronic low-wealth debtors like themselves, while hard money was bad and a gold standard lethal. This was the basis of the Populist movement. Nothing has changed financially, but today's farmers, and the low-wealth debtor class in general, seem more likely to be goldbuggers than to have any knowledge of economics or of their own political history.
Once a faction becomes submerged in the Mammon theocracy and becomes nothing but mercenary nihilists, thinking is no longer necessary or desirable, except to come up with attractive, pseudo-plausible lies.
This certainly characterizes "the right" (including liberals), but they have no monopoly on it. By now "the left" is nearly as thoughtless and instrumental on behalf of Mammon, except to the extent that a few people are starting to really grapple with what it means to have an intrinsically ecocidal and therefore suicidal civilization. That's really the only thought frontier left, all else has been engulfed in Mammon, productionism, scientism and technocracy.@7 ..Trump and the GOP working steadily towards a "democracy" where Congress is castrated (one might say the system castrates Congress anyway), opposing candidates are jailed, opposition votes are suppressed and the media is weakened to the point where no one can tell the difference. https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2019/04/15/593529/Ecuadoran-president-sold-off-Assangeto-America-Ron-PaulJohn Anthony La Pietra , Apr 16, 2019 3:47:03 PM | link
I remind that Mussolini wasted his legislature.. 1 balmy after noon @ a roadside spot. it made his government stronger.?
It is clear the USA, France, Israel and UK are fasting approaching ungovernable .. no one in government can keep the lies of the other hidden, and none of the governed believes anyone in government, the MSM, the MIC or the AIG (ATT, Intel and Google). ..
The actors in government, their lawyers, playmates and corporations have become the laughing stock of the rest of the world. Everyone in the government is covering for the behaviors of someone else in government, the MSM has raised the price of a pencil to just under a million, stock markets are bags of hot thin air, and everyone in side and outside of the centers of power at all levels of government have lied thru their teeth so much that their teeth are melting from the continuous flow of hot deceitful air.
Corrupt is now the only qualification for political office, trigger happy screwball the only qualification for the police and the military and . making progress is like trying to conduct a panty raid at a female nudist camp.https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0073802/quotes?ref_=m_tt_trv_qu
Higgins: Hey, Turner! How do you know they'll print it? You can take a walk, but how far if they don't print it?
Joe Turner: They'll print it.
Higgins: How do you know?
Apr 13, 2019 | www.unz.com
For seven years, we have had to listen to a chorus of journalists, politicians and "experts" telling us that Assange was nothing more than a fugitive from justice, and that the British and Swedish legal systems could be relied on to handle his case in full accordance with the law. Barely a "mainstream" voice was raised in his defence in all that time.
... ... ...
The political and media establishment ignored the mounting evidence of a secret grand jury in Virginia formulating charges against Assange, and ridiculed Wikileaks' concerns that the Swedish case might be cover for a more sinister attempt by the US to extradite Assange and lock him away in a high-security prison, as had happened to whistleblower Chelsea Manning.
... ... ...
Equally, they ignored the fact that Assange had been given diplomatic status by Ecuador, as well as Ecuadorean citizenship. Britain was obligated to allow him to leave the embassy, using his diplomatic immunity, to travel unhindered to Ecuador. No "mainstream" journalist or politician thought this significant either.
... ... ...
They turned a blind eye to the news that, after refusing to question Assange in the UK, Swedish prosecutors had decided to quietly drop the case against him in 2015. Sweden had kept the decision under wraps for more than two years.
... ... ...
Most of the other documents relating to these conversations were unavailable. They had been destroyed by the UK's Crown Prosecution Service in violation of protocol. But no one in the political and media establishment cared, of course.
Similarly, they ignored the fact that Assange was forced to hole up for years in the embassy, under the most intense form of house arrest, even though he no longer had a case to answer in Sweden. They told us -- apparently in all seriousness -- that he had to be arrested for his bail infraction, something that would normally be dealt with by a fine.
... ... ...
This was never about Sweden or bail violations, or even about the discredited Russiagate narrative, as anyone who was paying the vaguest attention should have been able to work out. It was about the US Deep State doing everything in its power to crush Wikileaks and make an example of its founder.
It was about making sure there would never again be a leak like that of Collateral Murder, the military video released by Wikileaks in 2007 that showed US soldiers celebrating as they murdered Iraqi civilians. It was about making sure there would never again be a dump of US diplomatic cables, like those released in 2010 that revealed the secret machinations of the US empire to dominate the planet whatever the cost in human rights violations.
Now the pretence is over. The British police invaded the diplomatic territory of Ecuador -- invited in by Ecuador after it tore up Assange's asylum status -- to smuggle him off to jail. Two vassal states cooperating to do the bidding of the US empire. The arrest was not to help two women in Sweden or to enforce a minor bail infraction.
No, the British authorities were acting on an extradition warrant from the US. And the charges the US authorities have concocted relate to Wikileaks' earliest work exposing the US military's war crimes in Iraq -- the stuff that we all once agreed was in the public interest, that British and US media clamoured to publish themselves.
Still the media and political class is turning a blind eye. Where is the outrage at the lies we have been served up for these past seven years? Where is the contrition at having been gulled for so long? Where is the fury at the most basic press freedom -- the right to publish -- being trashed to silence Assange? Where is the willingness finally to speak up in Assange's defence?
It's not there. There will be no indignation at the BBC, or the Guardian, or CNN. Just curious, impassive -- even gently mocking -- reporting of Assange's fate.
And that is because these journalists, politicians and experts never really believed anything they said. They knew all along that the US wanted to silence Assange and to crush Wikileaks. They knew that all along and they didn't care. In fact, they happily conspired in paving the way for today's kidnapping of Assange.
They did so because they are not there to represent the truth, or to stand up for ordinary people, or to protect a free press, or even to enforce the rule of law. They don't care about any of that. They are there to protect their careers, and the system that rewards them with money and influence. They don't want an upstart like Assange kicking over their applecart.
Now they will spin us a whole new set of deceptions and distractions about Assange to keep us anaesthetised, to keep us from being incensed as our rights are whittled away, and to prevent us from realising that Assange's rights and our own are indivisible. We stand or fall together.
Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and "Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair" (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net .
anonymous  • Disclaimer , says: April 12, 2019 at 10:41 am GMTThank you.Digital Samizdat , says: April 12, 2019 at 5:11 pm GMT
This should be an uncomfortable time for the “journalists” of the Establishment. Very few will speak up as does Mr. Cook. Watch how little is said about the recent Manning re-imprisonment to sweat out grand jury testimony. Things may have grown so craven that we’ll even see efforts to revoke Mr. Assange’s awards.
This is also a good column for us to share with those people who just might want not to play along with the lies that define Exceptionalia.Carlton Meyer , says: • Website April 13, 2019 at 4:32 am GMT
… from the moment Julian Assange first sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, they have been telling us we were wrong, that we were paranoid conspiracy theorists. We were told there was no real threat of Assange’s extradition to the United States, that it was all in our fevered imaginations.
It all reminds me of Rod Dreher’s Law of Merited Impossibility: “That’ll never happen. And when it does , boy won’t you deserve it!”
Equally, they ignored the fact that Assange had been given diplomatic status by Ecuador, as well as Ecuadorean citizenship. Britain was obligated to allow him to leave the embassy, using his diplomatic immunity, to travel unhindered to Ecuador. No “mainstream” journalist or politician thought this significant either.
Why would they? They don’t even recognize diplomatic status for heads of state who get in their way! Remember what they did to President Evo Morales of Bolivia back when he was threatening to grant asylum to Ed Snowden? Here’s a refresher:
Any way you slice, this is a sad for liberty.From my blog:The Alarmist , says: April 13, 2019 at 5:01 am GMT
Apr 13, 2019 – Julian Assange
People who just watch corporate media think Julian Assange is a bad guy who deserves life in prison, except those who watch the great Tucker Carlson. Watch his recent show where he explains why our corporate media and political class hate Assange.
He is charged with encouraging Army Private Chelsea Manning to send him embarrassing information, specifically this video of a US Army Apache helicopter gunning down civilians in broad daylight in Baghdad.
But there is no proof of this, and Manning has repeatedly said he never communicated to Assange about anything. Manning got eight years in prison for this crime; the Apache pilots were never charged. and now they want to hang Assange for exposing a war crime. I have recommend this great 2016 interview twice, where Assange calmly explains the massive corruption that patriotic FBI agents refer to as the “Clinton Crime Family.”
This gang is so powerful that it ordered federal agents to spy on the Trump political campaign, and indicted and imprisoned some participants in an attempt to pressure President Trump to step down. It seems Trump still fears this gang, otherwise he would order his attorney general to drop this bogus charge against Assange, then pardon him forever and invite him to speak at White House press conferences.Endgame Napoleon , says: April 13, 2019 at 6:14 am GMT
“… they ignored the fact that Assange was forced to hole up for years in the embassy, under the most intense form of house arrest, even though he no longer had a case to answer in Sweden.”
Meh! Assange should have walked out the door of the embassy years ago. He might have ended up in the same place, but he could have seized the moral high ground by seeking asylum in Britain for fear of the death penalty in the US, which was a credible fear given public comments by various US officials. By rotting away in the Ecuadorian embassy, be greatly diminished any credibility he might have had to turn the UK judicial system inside out to his favour. Now he’s just a creepy looking bail jumper who flung faeces against the wall, rather than being a persecuted journalist.@Johnny Rottenborough Millionaire politicians on both sides of the political fence get very emotional about anything that impacts their own privacy & safety and the privacy & safety of their kin, while ignoring the issues that jeopardize the privacy & safety of ordinary voters. While corporate-owned politicians get a lot out of this game, ordinary voters who have never had less in the way of Fourth Amendment privacy rights, and whose First Amendment rights are quickly shrinking to the size of Assange’s, do not get the consolation of riches without risk granted to bought-off politicians in this era’s pay-to-play version of democracy. It’s a lose / lose for average voters.Tom Welsh , says: April 13, 2019 at 9:31 am GMTMr Cook’s criticism of the mainstream media (MSM) is absolutely justified.UncommonGround , says: April 13, 2019 at 10:13 am GMT
It seems to me that their hatred of Mr Assange reflects the unfortunate fact that, while he is a real journalist, they actually aren’t. Instead, they are stenographers for power: what Paul Craig Roberts calls “presstitutes” (a very happy coinage which exactly hits the bull’s eye).
The difference is that real journalists, like Mr Assange, Mr Roberts and Mr Cook, are mainly motivated by the search for objective truth – which they then publish, as far as they are able.
Whereas those people who go by the spurious names of “journalist”, “reporter”, “editor”, etc. are motivated by the desire to go on earning their salaries, and to gain promotion and “distinction” in society. (Sad but true: social distinction is often gained by performing acts of dishonesty and downright wickedness).
Here are some interesting quotations that cast some light on this disheartening state of affairs. If you look carefully at their dates you may be surprised to find that nothing has changed very much since the mid-19th century.
‘Marr: “How can you know that I’m self-censoring? How can you know that journalists are…”
‘Chomsky: “I’m not saying you’re self censoring. I’m sure you believe everything you’re saying. But what I’m saying is that if you believed something different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting”’.
– Transcript of interview between Noam Chomsky and Andrew Marr (Feb. 14, 1996) https://scratchindog.blogspot.com/2015/07/transcript-of-interview-between-noam.html
‘If something goes wrong with the government, a free press will ferret it out and it will get fixed. But if something goes wrong with our free press, the country will go straight to hell’.
– I. F. Stone (as reported by his son Dr Jeremy J Stone) http://russia-insider.com/en/media-criticism/hey-corporate-media-glenn-greenwald-video-can-teach-you-what-real-journalism/ri6669
‘There is no such a thing in America as an independent press, unless it is out in country towns. You are all slaves. You know it, and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to express an honest opinion. If you expressed it, you would know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid $150 for keeping honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for doing similar things. If I should allow honest opinions to be printed in one issue of my paper, I would be like Othello before twenty-four hours: my occupation would be gone. The man who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the street hunting for another job. The business of a New York journalist is to distort the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread, or for what is about the same — his salary. You know this, and I know it; and what foolery to be toasting an “Independent Press”! We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are jumping-jacks. They pull the string and we dance. Our time, our talents, our lives, our possibilities, are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes’.
– John Swinton (1829–1901), Scottish-American journalist, newspaper publisher, and orator. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Swinton http://www.rense.com/general20/yes.htm
‘The press today is an army with carefully organized arms and branches, with journalists as officers, and readers as soldiers. But here, as in every army, the soldier obeys blindly, and war-aims and operation-plans change without his knowledge. The reader neither knows, nor is allowed to know, the purposes for which he is used, nor even the role that he is to play. A more appalling caricature of freedom of thought cannot be imagined. Formerly a man did not dare to think freely. Now he dares, but cannot; his will to think is only a willingness to think to order, and this is what he feels as his liberty’.
– Oswald Spengler, “The Decline of the West” Vol. II, trans. C.F. Atkinson (1928), p. 462
‘How do wars start? Wars start when politicians lie to journalists, then believe what they read in the press’.
– Karl Kraus, “Through Western Eyes – Russia Misconstrued” http://www.hellevig.net/ebook/Putin’s%20new%20Russia.pdf
And finally, two quotations from classic novels which go to the heart of the matter.
‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it’.
– Upton Sinclair
‘Sometimes a man wants to be stupid if it lets him do a thing his cleverness forbids’.
– John Steinbeck (“East of Eden”)Very good article. There is one point that I would like to make: Assange asked for asyl before he went to the embassy of Ecuador and Ecuador gave him asylum. This meant that they had an obligation to protect him. It’s really unbeliavable that a country gives asylum to someone and half way tells that they have changed their mind and will let the person be arrested. ” We told you you would be safe with us, but now we just changed our mind”. Assange also became a citizen of Ecuador and this possibly means that Ecuador couldn’t have let him been arrested in their embassy by the police of another country without a process against him in Ecuador and without him having the right to defend himself in a court. Many countries don’t extradit their citizens to other countries.EliteCommInc. , says: April 13, 2019 at 10:59 am GMT
Another remark. For years there were uncountable articles about Assange in The Guardian. Those articles were read by many people and got really many comments. There were very fierce discussions about him with thousends of comments. With time The Guardian turned decisively against him and published articles againt him. There were people there who seemed to hate him. In the last days there were again many articles about him. They pronounce themselves discretely against his extradition to the US even if showing themselves to be critical of him as if trying to justify their years of attacks against him. But one detail: I didn’t find even one article in The Guardian where you can comment the case. Today for instance you can comment an article by Gaby Hinsliff about Kim Kardashian. Marina Hyde talks in an article about washing her hair (whatever else she wants to say, with 2831 comments at this moment). But you don’t find any article about Assange that you can comment. 10 or 8 or 5 years ago there were hundreds of articles about him that you could comment.The game afoot here is obvious.Tsar Nicholas , says: April 13, 2019 at 11:38 am GMT
UK PM May said about Assange – “no one is above the law” – proving she is a weak sister without a clue.
No one is above the law except the British government, which ignored the provisions of the EU Withdrawal Act requiring us to leave on March 29th.
No one is above the law except for the US and the UK which have illegally deployed forces to Syria against the wishes of the government in Damascus.
And Tony Blair, a million dead thanks to his corruption. He should be doing time in a Gulag for his evil crimes.
And of course, the black MP for Peterborough – Fiona Onasanya – served a mere three weeks in jail for perverting the course of justice, normally regarded as a very serious offence. But she was out in time – electronic tag and curfew notwithstanding – to vote in the House of Commons against leaving the EU.
Sep 27, 2018 | investigatingimperialism.wordpress.comSeptember 27, 2018 September 27, 2018 27 September 2018 -- Investigating Imperialism
I smell a rat!
A quick comment about the two Russian alleged assassins, exposed, we are told by the 'investigative' Website, Bellingcat. Not mentioned by any of the major news media is the fact that Bellingcat is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (sic), renowned for its interference in foreign elections, funding terrorists and overthrowing governments the US doesn't approve of.
Media Lens picked up on this awhile back in reference to another Western financed outfit, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), funded by the UK Foreign Office. I've also expanded this by quoting from Media Lens' other article that deals with Western-funded disinfo, ' Douma: Part 1 – Deception In Plain Sight':
Liberal corporate journalists and politicians have been impressed by the fact that SOHR and White Helmets claims have been supported by ostensibly forensic analysis supplied by the Bellingcat website, which publishes 'citizen journalist' investigations. As we noted in a recent alert, Bellingcat is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which is funded by the US government and is 'a notorious vehicle for US soft power'. – ' The Syrian Observatory – Funded By The Foreign Office ', Media Lens, June 4 2018
It's worth quoting more of the Media Lens article as it exposes the nature of Western so-called lefties and their attachment to Western (funded) propaganda outfits:
In the New Statesman, Paul Mason offered a typically nonsensical argument, linking to the anti-Assad website, Bellingcat:
'Despite the availability of public sources showing it is likely that a regime Mi-8 helicopter dropped a gas container onto a specific building, there are well-meaning people prepared to share the opinion that this was a "false flag", staged by jihadis, to pull the West into the war. The fact that so many people are prepared to clutch at false flag theories is, for Western democracies, a sign of how effective Vladimir Putin's global strategy has been.'
Thus, echoing Freedland's reference to 'denialists and conspiracists', sceptics can only be idiot victims of Putin's propaganda. US media analyst Adam Johnson of FAIR accurately described Mason's piece as a 'mess', adding :
'I love this thing where nominal leftists run the propaganda ball for bombing a country 99 yards then stop at the one yard and insist they don't support scoring goals, that they in fact oppose war.'
Surprisingly, the Bellingcat website, which publishes the findings of 'citizen journalist' investigations, appears to be taken seriously by some very high-profile progressives.
In the Independent, Green Party leader Caroline Lucas also mentioned the Syrian army 'Mi-8' helicopters. Why? Because she had read the same Bellingcat blog as Mason, to which she linked:
'From the evidence we've seen so far it appears that the latest chemical attack was likely by Mi-8 helicopters, probably from the forces of Syria's murderous President Assad.'
On Democracy Now!, journalist Glenn Greenwald said of Douma:
'I think that it's -- the evidence is quite overwhelming that the perpetrators of this chemical weapons attack, as well as previous ones, is the Assad government '
This was an astonishing comment. After receiving fierce challenges (not from us), Greenwald partially retracted, tweeting :
'It's live TV. Something [sic – sometimes] you say things less than ideally. I think the most likely perpetrator of this attack is Syrian Govt.'
We wrote to Greenwald asking what had persuaded him of Assad's 'likely' responsibility for Douma. (Twitter, April 10, direct message)
The first piece of evidence he sent us (April 12) was the Bellingcat blog mentioning Syrian government helicopters cited by Mason and Lucas. Greenwald also sent us a report from Reuters, as well as a piece from 2017, obviously prior to the alleged Douma event.
This was thin evidence indeed for the claim made. In our discussion with him, Greenwald then completely retracted his claim (Twitter, April 12, direct message) that there was evidence of Syrian government involvement in the alleged attack. [My emph. WB] – ' Douma: Part 1 – Deception In Plain Sight'
Apr 12, 2019 | www.unz.com
annamaria , says: April 12, 2019 at 5:53 pm GMT@Dmitry The "non-diplomatic" scandal characteristic for our times of lawless deciders, with the UK leading the charge: https://www.hannenabintuherland.com/news/update-on-the-sergei-skripal-poisoning-and-the-conspicuously-many-unanswered-questions-dr-tim-hayward-herland-report/
"The Sergej Skripal case never reached beyond allegations. The media now dead silent," Dr. Tim Hayward – Herland Report
Apr 12, 2019 | timhayward.wordpress.com
timhayward The following briefing note is developed by academics researching the use of chemical and biological weapons during the 2011-present war in Syria. The note reflects work in progress. However, the substantive questions raised need answering, especially given the seriousness of the political situation in the Middle East and UK-Russian relations. The authors welcome comments and corrections.
Authors: Professor Paul McKeigue (University of Edinburgh), Professor David Miller (University of Bath) and Professor Piers Robinson (University of Sheffield)
For correspondence: firstname.lastname@example.org /+447764763350 ; Working Group on Syria, Media and Propaganda ( syriapropagandamedia.org ).Key points
What was the agent used?
- The Skripals were exposed to a phosphoroamidofluoridate compound named A-234, of high purity indicating that it was most likely prepared for research purposes.
- A-234 or similar compounds have been synthesized at bench scale by national chemical defence labs in Russia and the US in the 1990s, and more recently in Iran and Czechia. A small quantity of A-234 from a Russian state lab was used in the murder of Ivan Kivelidi and Zara Ismailova in 1995.
- No data on the toxicity of A-234 are available in the public domain. The police statement that the Skripals were exposed through contact with their front door is implausible as there are no known nerve agents that cause onset of symptoms delayed by several hours, and it is improbable that absorption through the skin would cause both individuals to collapse later at exactly the same time.
- Although Russia is one of several countries that have synthesized A-234 or similar compounds, there is no evidence other than Vil Mirzayanov's story that these compounds were ever developed (implying industrial-scale production and testing of munitions) for military use. Mirzayanov's credibility as an independent whistleblower is undermined by his role in a Tatar separatist movement during 2008-2009, backed by the US State Department.
- There are multiple indications that the UK is hiding information:-
- the withholding of the identity of the compound as A-234. For example, the UK statement to the OSCE 12 April 2018 states only that ' the name and structure of that identified toxic chemical is contained in the fall classified report to States Parties'. See also this briefing. The Chief Executive of Porton Down, in his statement 3 April, referred to the compound only as 'Novichok'.
- the withholding of information about its toxicity
- the issue of a Defence Media Security Advisory notice on the identity of Skripal's MI6 handler and the attempt to conceal or deny his role in Orbis Business Intelligence.
- the sequestration of Yulia Skripal.
- The UK government's case against Russia, stated in a letter to NATO, is based on asserting that "only Russia has the technical means, operational experience and motive for the attack on the Skripals". Each of these points is open to question:-
- Technical means : it is not seriously disputed that compounds such as A-234 can be produced at bench scale in any modern chemistry lab.
- Operational experience : it is alleged that Russia has a track record of state-sponsored assassination, but this is not enough to support the assertion that "only Russia" could have enough experience to attempt unsuccessfully to assassinate two unprotected individuals.
- Motive : No other attempted assassinations of defectors from Russian intelligence services have been recorded. Even if such an assassination campaign had been ordered, the Russian state would have good reasons not to initiate it in the first half of 2018. In contrast there are obvious possible motives (outlined below) for other actors to have taken steps to silence Sergei Skripal at this time.
An early report that the hospital was dealing with poisoning caused by an opiate such as fentanyl was most likely based on the initial working diagnosis. Signs of organophosphate poisoning – constricted pupils, vomiting, reduced consciousness and reduced breathing – could easily be mistaken for opiate overdose, usually a more likely diagnosis. OPCW has stated that the BZ detected by the Swiss Federal Institute for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection in one of the samples sent by OPCW was not from Salisbury but was in a control sample .
The Russian ambassador reported that on 12 March the Foreign Secretary had told him that the nerve agent used against Mr and Ms Skripal had been identified as A-234. The OPCW report issued on 12 April did not identify the agent but stated that they had confirmed the identification made by the UK and that this identification had been included in the confidential report provided to "States parties". On 14 April the Russian Foreign Minister stated that A-234 had been reported by the Swiss Federal Institute for Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection that was one of the four accredited labs used by OPCW to analyse the Salisbury samples.
Based on public reports, a ChemSpider record for A-234 has been created which assigns it the IUPAC name ethyl [(1E)-1-(diethylamino)ethylidene] phosphoramidofluoridate. Its predicted vapour pressure is very low indicating that it is predicted to be non-volatile. No information on its stability is available. The OPCW director Uzumcu stated in a newspaper interview that the agent "seems to be very persistent," and "not affected by weather conditions". This was confirmed the next day by an OPCW press statement that: "the chemical substance found was of high purity, persistent and resistant to weather conditions". Ian Boyd, the chief scientific adviser at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, was reported to have stated: "The chemical does not degrade quickly. You can assume it is not much different now from the day it was distributed". No experimental studies of the stability of A-234 have been reported.Who could have produced A-234 in bench-scale quantities?
It is no longer seriously disputed that, as noted in our earlier briefing , any well equipped university lab can synthesize and purify such chemicals at bench scale. OPCW r eported that the agent (presumably A-234) was of high purity with "almost complete absence of impurities". This suggests that it was from a batch that had been synthesized for research, rather than for assassination purposes where it would be unnecessary to purify the agent.
Uzumcu stated in an interview with the New York Times that he had been told by UK officials that 50-100 grams of the agent was used.
"For research activities or protection you would need, for instance, five to 10 grams or so, but even in Salisbury it looks like they may have used more than that. Without knowing the exact quantity, I am told it may be 50, 100 grams or so, which goes beyond research activities for protection"
OPCW quickly contradicted this in a statement that "OPCW would not be able to estimate or determine the amount of the nerve agent that was used in Salisbury on 4 March 2018. The quantity should probably be characterized in milligrams".Who has studied A-234 or similar compounds?
Bench-scale research on the toxicity of agents that might be used in chemical warfare is entirely legitimate under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and does not have to be declared to OPCW.Russia
Since our last briefing note , more material from the investigation of the Kivelidi poisoning has been published by Novaya Gazeta, updating the earlier article published on 22 March . The second article includes an image of the mass spectrometry profile of the sample recovered from the telephone handset, which matches that submitted by Edgewood to the NIST98 mass spectrometry database. The Russian experts who commented on the original result appear not to have had access to the mass spectrometry profile of A-234, and to have incorrectly reconstructed the structure from a best guess, based on the mass-charge ratios of the fragments, as something like the GV agent (both agents have molecular mass 224 daltons, and a 58-dalton fragment). This establishes that Russia had synthesized this compound at bench scale by the mid 1990s, but does not confirm that it was ever developed for military use as alleged by Mirzayanov.US
A 1997 newspaper article refers to a secret US army intelligence report referring to Russian development of A-232 and its "ethyl analog" A-234, indicating that the designation of these compounds and their structures was known to the US by this time. As noted in our last briefing note, the Edgewood lab submitted a mass spectrometry profile for A-234 to the public database NIST98, which was current from 1998 to 2001.
A patent application submitted by a US government lab in 2008 mentions "Novichoks", but examination shows that the structures given for these compounds were the dihaloformaldoxime structures previously published as supposed "Novichoks", not the phosphoramidofluoridates published by Mirzayanov later in 2008. This does not indicate that the applicants were studying these compounds – most likely they included them to make their patent as broad as possible.Iran and Czechia
A study from Iran published in 2016 reported synthesis for research purposes of a compound similar to A-234, differing from it only by the presence of methyl instead of ethyl groups. In an interview with Czech television , President Zeman stated that in November 2017 the related compound designated A-230 was studied at the Brno Military Research Institute.Other labs
The director of Porton Down has declined to comment on whether Porton Down has stocks of A-234 for research purposes. The OPCW labs that identified A-234 in the specimens from Salisbury were most likely matching it against a mass spectrometry profile in OPCW's Central Analytical Database.What is known of the toxicity of A-234?
No data on the toxicity of A-234 are available in the public domain. The printout of the entry in the NIST 98 database appears to cross-reference an entry in the database RTECS ( Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances) but no entry for this compound now exists in RTECS.Why was the structure of A-234 revealed?
The structure of A-234 was revealed in a book by Vil S Mirzayanov in 2008, some 13 years after he had emigrated to the US with the story of a secret programme to develop chemical weapons of a class named "Novichoks". During 2008-2009 the US government, with an active part for the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was encouraging the development of a separatist movement in Tatarstan. As part of this, Mirzayanov was declared head of a Tatar government-in-exile in December 2008. The publication of his book may thus have been part of an effort to build up Mirzayanov's status as a dissident. His role in this operation may explain why subsequent discussion of his book by OPCW delegates was closely monitored (and discouraged) by the US State Department . Mirzayanov's involvement in this operation undermines his credibility as an independent whistleblower.When and where were the Skripals exposed to A-234?
A summary of the different versions on which journalists were apparently briefed by security sources was given by the Russian embassy:-
– The Skripals could be sprayed with poison by attackers in the street (Daily Mail, 6 March, source: "Anti-terror police").
– The nerve agent could be planted in one of the personal items in Yulia Skripal's suitcase before she left Moscow for London. According to this theory the toxin was impregnated in an item of clothing or cosmetics or else in a gift that was opened in the house of Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, meaning Yulia Skripal was deliberately targeted to get at her father (The Telegraph, 15 March, source: "Senior sources in the intelligence agencies").
– The nerve agent could be planted in the air conditioner of the car of Skripals (Daily Mail, 19 March, source: "Security expert Philip Ingram").
– The Skripals could be poisoned through buckwheat that Yulia Skripal had asked her friend to buy and bring for her father, because she had forgotten to pick up the grocery gifts herself (The Sun, 1 April, source: "British investigators").
On 28 March the police announced that "at this point in our investigation, we believe the Skripals first came into contact with the nerve agent from their front door".
Although it is possible that a nerve agent could be prepared in a formulation that would be absorbed only slowly through the skin, it is implausible that two individuals exposed through contact with the front door would have received doses that caused them to collapse suddenly and so nearly simultaneously that neither had time to call for help, at least three hours later. It is more likely that they were attacked shortly before they were found collapsed on the park bench.Sergei Skripal's link with Orbis: possible motive for murder
In the first few days after the poisoning there were media reports that Sergei Skripal had been in regular contact with his MI6 handler, whose Linked-In profile had stated that he was a consultant for Orbis Business Intelligence. On 7 March this profile was deleted and a Defence and Security Media Advisory Notice was issued to caution journalists against disclosing the identity of this consultant. However at Skripal's trial in 2007 his MI6 handler had been identified as Pablo Miller , and the link between Skripal and Miller had been described in detail by Russian opposition media on 6 March.
This link between Skripal and Orbis may be relevant to the dossier compiled by Christopher Steele, the founder of Orbis, containing derogatory information on Donald Trump's alleged ties to Russia. This dossier had been used by the FBI to apply for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court order authorizing surveillance of Trump's campaign. By early 2018 the unravelling of this story was creating serious difficulties for Steele and for those he had worked with. These difficulties included a referral for criminal investigation by two US Senators , a libel case in the US against the publisher of the dossier which had led to a court ruling that Steele should be questioned in an English court, and a libel case in England against Orbis and Steele. It is not difficult to postulate a situation in which the potential for damage to US-UK relations could have provided a motive for actors on both sides of the Atlantic to ensure that Sergei Skripal would not be available to give evidence.The UK government's position
This was summarized in a letter from the National Security Adviser , Sir Mark Sedwill to the NATO Secretary-General on 13 April 2018. Sedwill's letter made several assertions that were substantiated only by "intelligence":
- By 1993, when Russia signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, it is likely that some Novichoks had passed acceptance testing, allowing their use by the Russian military
- Russia further developed some Novichoks after ratifying the convention
- During the 2000s, Russia commenced a programme to test means of delivering chemical warfare agents and to train personnel from special units in the use of these weapons. This programme subsequently included investigation of ways of delivering nerve agents, including by application to door handles.
- In the mid-2000s, President Putin was closely involved in the Russian chemical weapons programme
- Within the last decade Russia has produced and stockpiled small quantities of Novichoks
Appearing before the House of Commons Defence Committee on 1 May, Sedwill (11:39) extolled the government's reaction to the Salisbury incident as "an example of the Fusion Doctrine in practice". The Fusion Doctrine brings other government departments under the National Security Council with "the introduction of senior officials as senior responsible owners to deliver each of the NSC's priorities".
Sedwill's involvement in the preparation of the now widely discredited dossier 'Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction' , released in September 2002, calls into question his credibility in making these uncorroborated assertions. The UK government's case as set out by Sedwill is based on asserting that "only Russia has the technical means, operational experience and motive for the attack on the Skripals". Each of these points is open to serious criticism:-
- Technical means: it is not seriously disputed that A-234 can be produced at bench scale in any organic chemistry lab.
- Operational experience: it is alleged that Russia has a track record of state-sponsored assassination, but this does not support the assertion that only Russia has the operational experience for such an assassination. On the contrary, the failure of the assassination attempt, against two unprotected individuals, suggests that the perpetrators lacked the operational experience and competence that one would expect of state-directed assassins.
- Motive: no other attempted assassinations of defectors from Russian intelligence services have been recorded. If the Russian state had decided to begin assassinating these defectors, it is unlikely that they would have chosen to start in March 2018, just before the presidential election and three months before the FIFA World Cup. However, as noted above, it is possible to identify motives for other actors to silence Sergei Skripal at this time.
We thank Professor Rudy Richardson of the University of Michigan for advice on the toxicology of nerve agents.LittleOldMe says: January 22, 2019 at 12:29 pmAwesome journalism. The kind we sourly lack in the msm. But I guess they are all "bought and paid for" This whole story has looked like a farce from the start, especially in the msm. Like they were making it up while they were going along Sounded like: ( https://www.crisis-solutions.com/ ) Who do exactly that sort of thing.;Brendan says: May 11, 2018 at 9:05 pm
My question is: Is it even likely that two people will touch the same door handle, either on their way in or out of the house? Two people and two door handles (inside and outside).
When you leave together, only ONE person will touch the outside door handle, when closing the door, usually the last one to leave, right?
Just my 2 centsThe authors say " there are no known nerve agents that cause onset of symptoms delayed by several hours, "Brendan says: May 11, 2018 at 9:06 pm
A publication from 2009 contradicts this, but it seems to suggest that the onset is gradual rather than sudden:
"Even a lethal drop may require 30 minutes, rather than seconds, to manifest clinically, and a small, nonlethal drop may develop symptoms over 18 hours."
"Nerve Agents", Jonathan Newmark, in Clinical Neurotoxicology https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/organophosphate-insecticides
This delayed reaction still does not explain the unbelievable timeline of the symptoms in the official British version of the Skripal case. As the authors point out, that version is unlikely to be true, as it would mean that the two victims collapsed suddenly and almost simultaneously after a long delay.
It is all the more unlikely, as Yulia should have collapsed later than Sergei, due to the difference in the skin layers in men and women. Because the subcutaneous layer is thicker in women, the nerve agent's transit time is longer, according to Newmark's piece.Those comments by Newmark refer to absorption of nerve agent through the skin. This is in contrast to what he says about inhalation of a large amount of vapour:Brendan says: May 11, 2018 at 9:08 pm
"In a vapor challenge of sufficient magnitude, perhaps 0.5 LCt50 or higher, the sequence of symptoms can be so fast as to seem clinically simultaneous. Many patients have been described who, after a large vapor challenge, lost consciousness, seized, and developed all of the other symptoms essentially within seconds of exposure."
This sudden attack due to vapour appears very consistent with the Skripals' inability to call for help when they collapsed.
Furthermore, for more than three weeks after the incident, the only methods of poisoning that were taken seriously involved the inhalation of nerve agent. First, it was supposed to have been sprayed on the Skripals in the park. Later, it was believed that Novichok in powder form had been placed in the ventilation system of Sergei's car.As well as the rapid onset of symptoms of vapour inhalation, Newmark also describes its possible long term effects, which he contrasts with those resulting from skin contact:
"Vapor nerve casualties, if removed from the source of contamination, or masked, and treated aggressively, either die or improve rapidly. Humans metabolize a circulating nerve agent quickly if it does not kill them. No depot effect is observed with vapor casualties. The situation is quite different with the patient who gets a drop of liquid nerve agent on the skin."
The most important part of that section is "Vapor nerve casualties either die or improve rapidly." This is consistent with the prognosis for the Skripals both before and after their recovery.
For three weeks, Sergei and Yulia were given little chance of recovery. On Monday 26 March, Prime Minister Theresa May told Parliament "Sadly, late last week doctors indicated that their condition is unlikely to change in the near future and that they may never recover fully."
In the two days after that, others – who were close to the Skripals – put it more bluntly.
Viktoria Skripal, who is Sergei's niece and Yulia's cousin, told the BBC that there was "maybe 1 percent of hope" and that they had "a very small chance of survival".
Ross Cassidy, a close friend and former neighbour of Sergei, told Sky News: "We've already been told they will be severely mentally impaired and I don't think they would want that. I think death would probably be merciful."
Then on 29 March, Salisbury District Hospital unexpectedly said that "Yulia Skripal is improving rapidly and is no longer in a critical condition." She was even "conscious and talking" at that stage, according to the BBC.
A few days later, she was able to phone Viktoria, who said she sounded perfectedly normal, and a few days after that, Yulia was discharged from hospital. Around that time too, the hospital announced that Sergei's condition also improved rapidly.
All of this indicates a much greater likelihood that Yulia and Sergei were poisoned by means of inhalation than skin contact. Not only that, but the doctors treating them, and the UK authorities, must have believed that too.
Allan Howard says: May 12, 2018 at 10:37 pmThe whole thing was staged, and the script written months beforehand.Brendan says: May 11, 2018 at 9:09 pmBizarrely, however, one day before Yulia's rapid recovery was announced, the British police presented a new version of events which begins with skin contact. This is the door handle story, where the Skripals first made contact with Novichok at the front door of Sergei's house.
This version gives the impression that the investigators had not noticed the Novichok on the front door during the weeks of intensive investigation by hundreds of officers! This is in spite of the fact that it was known that their colleague, Detective Nick Bailey, had been to the house before he suffered from the effects of the nerve agent.
The unexpected announcements of both the door handle story and Yulia's rapid recovery within a day of one another, three weeks after the incident, appears to be a remarkable coincidence in timing.
It reminds us of another such example that was already mentioned – the Skripals' collapse at almost the same time, hours after touching the Novichok. That's part of the same unbelievable door handle theory.
This is just speculation, but the timing of the shift in narrative indicates that the UK authorities were afraid of what Yulia might reveal. Now that she was "conscious and talking", she might even be able to help to identify the attackers.
Because of this, they may have wanted to discredit what she might say about what she noticed in the centre of Salisbury on the day of the poisoning. By moving the crime scene to Sergei's house, the police could dismiss any such statements by Yulia as irrelevant, or maybe as the result of hallucination caused by the nerve agent.
Brendan says: May 13, 2018 at 7:02 pmJust a summary of some facts about the Skripal case that might point to the means of poisoning. These all indicate that it was not by skin contact, but much more likely by inhalation, or possibly ingestion. The first two facts match what the literature says about nerve agent vapour:
- – Rapid (instead of gradual) onset of the poison's effects in both victims at the same time.
- – Grim prognosis, followed by rapid improvement ("Vapor nerve casualties either die or improve rapidly").
- – The investigators' belief for weeks that the poison was either in aerosol or powder form or was added to food. (we can see these scenarios both in the leaks to the media and in the focus of investigation in Salisbury town centre).
- – In contrast, the apparent complete lack of belief for weeks in the door handle theory, which involves skin contact.
- – The strange timing of the first mention of this version. It was presented – almost as a fact – after three and a half weeks of intensive investigation, approximately on the day of Yulia's unexpected recovery.
Neil says: May 11, 2018 at 9:25 pmThis breifing proceeds on the premise that the Skripal's were exposed to A-234. I can not see that this has been established beyond reasonable doubt.
If the information referred to by Segei Lavrov is reliable, it must pertain to environmental samples and not biomedical samples. Presumably A-234 is a fast acting nerve paralyzing agent, it would therefore seem incongruous that the Skripals could have had any significant exposure to it but be recovering fully (apparently).
Not least if they were exposed to it and then initially assessed and treated for fentanyl exposure.
Neil says: May 13, 2018 at 1:07 pmSwiss express their incomprehension at the purported lab report obtained by Russian foreign ministry: https://www.opcw.org/fileadmin/OPCW/EC/M-58/en/58th_Meeting_of_the_Executive_Council_Statement_delivered_by_Ms._Nadine_Olivieri_Lozano_Deputy_Permanent_Representative_of_Switzerland_to_the_OPCW.pdfNeil says: May 13, 2018 at 8:36 pm
Presumably they did identify A-234, but finding it in environmental samples need not imply the Skripals were exposed to it.
The Salisbury Poisonings. What Was the Agent Used? Who Could Have Produced It? When and Where were the Skripals Exposed? | williambowles.info
democritus460 says: May 14, 2018 at 5:36 pmAnd how prescient of the MD of UK CBRN respirator-maker, Avon Protection, to write a piece on the BBC pretty much predicting a chemical attack on a NATO member, possibly involving 'new super chemicals many times more potent than nerve agents like Sarin and VX', just days before the Salisbury incidentAllan Howard says: May 15, 2018 at 6:08 pm
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-43074956And several weeks before the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria the Russians were warning that a false flag attack was being planned:Brendan says: May 16, 2018 at 10:37 am
https://www.rt.com/news/421589-us-preparing-syria-provocations-airstrikes/The latest story is that the Kremlin targeted Sergei Skripal because he travelled to Prague and Estonia in order to provide security officers with information on Russian espionage.Adrian Kent. says: July 11, 2018 at 3:52 pm
But wait isn't Estonia the place where another Salisbury resident, Skripal's alleged handler, Pablo Miller was based for years as an MI6 agent?
And wasn't Prague the location of a meeting between Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen and Russian officials, as alleged in the Steele Dossier?
And wasn't that meeting – just a couple of months after Skripal's trip to Estonia in 2016 – monitored by the Estonian secret service, according to Newsweek?
And hasn't it been suggested in many places, including the article above, that Skripal's apparent connection with the Steele Dossier could be a motive for some western spooks to want to silence him?
So the revelation of Sergei Skripal's trips to Prague and Estonia actually supports the evidence for his connection with the dossier. However, they have been presented in the media as the opposite – as a motive for the Kremlin to try to kill him.
These latest media reports smell a lot like damage limitation. What do you do if you cannot stop an embarrassing fact from being revealed? The best action is to spin it to completely change its significance, so that it shifts the blame onto your enemy.HI Tim,
Full marks for your work here – are there any updates coming in the light of recent events?
The way you've gone about this is particularly impressive and useful – posing questions and answering them as and when you can.
This stands in rather stark contrast to a few of the more prominent 'company-liners' on twitter.
I've had a diverting, but not entirely fruitful, few exchanges with @dankaszeta on the subject of Novichok persistence and the delayed, simultaneous, rapid onset story (to my mind the most obvious flaw in the Governments yarn). In April he was happy enough to state that all OP chemicals degrade in the presence of water as it suited him in his, ahem, Myth Busting piece for politics.co.uk.
Now, however, it's all actually rather persistent and down to viscosity and all that. I fully understand how it might be were it enclosed in a vial or syringe or something, but it all looked a bit like he was having his cake and eating it when he'd used the hydrolysis argument to explain why the Skripals weren't killed (or why, I assume PC Bailey wasn't either).
Philip Ingrm (@PhilipIngMBE) chimed in on a recent thread – informing me that the persistence was why they (I'm assuming he meant the Russians) decided to use Novichoks.
When it came to the delayed collapse story he told me that this was answered in his, Kaszeta's or Hamish DBG's threads. It's a tactic that certainly Kaszeta has deployed more than once – feign weariness when questions get tricky and then refer people to tweets they're too busy or tired to dig out themselves.
I told Ingram that I thought this was a little lame and pointed him to this site by way of example of good practice.
Dan Kaszeta blocked me.
Apr 08, 2019 | www.wsws.org
Habakkuk on cockroaches and the New York Times"Dan, Thanks for the reference, which I will follow up. Unfortunately, although Bongino has produced a lot of extremely valuable material, a lot of it is buried in the 'postcasts', searching through which is harder than with printed materials. It would greatly help if there were transcripts, but of course those cost money.
I am still trying to fit the exploding mass of information which has been coming out into a coherent timeline. Part of the problem is that there is so much appearing in so many different places. In addition to trying to think through the implications of the information in this post and the subsequent exchanges of comments, I have been trying to make sense of evidence coming out about the British end of the conspiracy.
An important development here has been rather well covered by Chuck Ross, in a recent ‘Daily Caller’ piece headlined ‘Cambridge Academic Reflects On Interactions With 'Spygate’ Figure’ and one on ‘Fox’ by Catherine Herridge and Cyd Upson, entitled ‘Russian academic linked to Flynn denies being spy, says her past contact was “used” to smear him.’ However, the evidence involved has ramifications which they cannot be expected to understand, as yet at least.
(See https://dailycaller.com/201... ; https://www.foxnews.com/pol... .)
At issue is the attempt to use the – apparently casual – encounter between Lieutenant-General Flynn and Svetlana Lokhova at a dinner in Cambridge (U.K.) in February 2016 to smear him by, among other things, portraying her as some kind of ‘Mata Hari’ figure.
Among interesting dates, it appears that Stefan Halper was already trying to reach out to Lokhova in January-February 2016 – a lot earlier than his approaches to Papadopoulo s and Page. This was done through Professor Christopher Andrew, co-convenor with Halper and the former MI6 had Sir Richard Dearlove of the ‘Cambridge Intelligence Seminar.’
This suggests that this was not simply a case Halper acting on his own. It also I think brings us back to the central importance of Flynn’s visit to Moscow in December 2015.
Meanwhile, Lokhova has set up a blog on which she has posted a some interesting relevant material, with perhaps more to come. It is very well worth a look.(See https://www.russiagate.co.uk .)
Of particular interest, to my mind, is the full text of her – unpublished – May 2017 interview with the ‘New York Times.’ This points us back to is the fact – of which Lokhova shows no signs of awareness – that the idea that the Western powers and the Russians might have a common interest in fighting jihadist terrorism has been absolute anathema to many key figures on both sides of the Atlantic, with Dearlove certainly among them.
Some of Lokhova’s comments on ‘twitter’ are extremely entertaining. An example, with which I have much sympathy:
‘AN APOLOGY: Yesterday, I compared @nytimes journalists, who smeared @GenFlynn and accused me of being a Russian spy, to cockroaches. In good conscience, I must apologize to the cockroaches for the distress caused to them for being compared to @nytimes #Russiagate hoaxers. Sorry!’
(See https://twitter.com/RealSLo... .)
Meanwhile, another interesting recent ‘tweet’ comes from Eliot Higgins, of ‘Bellingcat’ fame. He is known to some skeptics as ‘the couch potato’ – perhaps he should be rechristened ‘king cockroach.’ It reads:
‘Looking forward to gettin g things rolling with the Open Information Partnership, with @bellingcat, @MDI_UK, @DFRLab, and @This_Is_Zinc https://www.openinformation...’
(See https://twitter.com/EliotHi... )
There is an interesting ‘backstory’ to this. The announcement of an FCO-supported ‘Open Information Partnership of European Non-Governmental Organisations, charities, academics, think-tanks and journalists’, supposedly to counter ‘disinformation’ from Russia, came in a written answer from the Minister of State, Sir Alan Duncan, on 3 April.
(See https://www.theyworkforyou.... )
In turn this followed the latest in a series of releases of material either leaked or hacked from the organisations calling themselves ‘Institute for Statecraft’ and ‘Integrity Initiative’ by the group calling themselves ‘Anonymous’ on 25 March.
(See https://www.cyberguerrilla .... )
The centerpiece of this is a proposal submitted to the FCO in August last year by what seems to be essentially the same consortium whose existence as a government contractor has now been made public. The ‘Institute for Statecraft’ has vanished, and one consortium member, ‘Aktis Strategy’, has gone into liquidation. But other key members are the same.
A central underlying premise is that if anyone has any doubts as to whether the ‘White Helmets’ are a benevolent humanitarian organisation, or the Russians were responsible for the poisoning of the Skripals or the shooting down of MH17, the only possible explanation is that their minds have been poisoned by disinformation.
An interesting paragraph reads as follows:
‘An expanded research component could generate better understanding of the drivers (psychological, sociopolitical, cultural and environmental) of those who are susceptible to disinformation. This will allow us to map vulnerable audiences, and build scenario planning models to test the efficiency of different activities to build resilience of those populations over time.’
They have not yet got to the point of recommending psychiatic treatment for ‘dissidents’, but these are still early days. The ‘Sovietisation’ of Western life proceeds apace.
In fact, what is at issue an ambitious project to co-ordinate and strengthen a very large number of organisations in different countries which are committed to a relentlessly Russophobic line on everything. (The possibility that it might not be very bright to push Russia into the arms of China, the obviously rising power, does not seem to have occurred to these people – perhaps they need less ons from Sir Halford Mackinder, or indeed Niccolò Machiavelli, on ‘statecraft.’)
Study of the proposal hacked/leaked by ‘Anonymous’ bring out both the ‘boondoggle’ element – there is a lot of state funding available for people happy to play these games – and also the strong transatlantic links.
A particularly significant presence, here, is the ‘DFRLab’. This is the ‘Digital Forensic Research Lab’ at the ‘Atlantic Council’, where Eliot Higgins is a ‘nonresident senior fellow.’ The same organisation has a ‘Cyber Statecraft Initiative’ where Dmitri Alperovitch is a ‘nonresident senior fellow.’
It cannot be repeated often enough that it is difficult to see any conceivable excuse for the FBI to fail to secure access to the DNC servers. One would normally moreover expect that, on an issue of this sensitivity, they would have the ‘digital forensics’ done by their own people.
There can be no conceivable excuse for relying on a contractor selected by the organisation which is claiming that there has been a hack, when an alternative possibility is a leak: and the implications of the alternative possibility could be devastating for that organisation.
To rely on a contractor linked to the notoriously Russophobic ‘Atlantic Council’ is even more preposterous.
The clear close integration of other cyber people from the ‘Atlantic Council’ into Orwellian ‘information operations’ sponsored by the British Government simply puts these facts into sharp relief.
There has to be a strong possible ‘prima facie’ case that anyone in authority prepared to accept the ‘digital forensics’ from ‘CrowdStrike’ is complicit in the conspiracy against the constitution, and/or the conspiracy to cover-up that conspiracy. This certainly goes for Comey, and I think it also goes for Mueller."
chris chuba , a day agoOT but related, just watched a former naval Intelligence officer, now working for the Hoover Institute interviewed on FOX about the Rooshins in Venezuela. Said, the 100 Russians are there to protect Maduro because he cannot trust his own army. Maduro's days are numbered because he is toxically unpopular.Karl Kolchak -> chris chuba , a day ago
Got me thinking, our Intelligence services are good at psy-ops and keeping our gullible MSM in line but God help us if we ever actually needed real Intelligence about a country. I remember about a month ago how all of these 'Think Tank Guys' were predicting how the only people loyal to Maduro were a few of his crony Generals, that the rank and file military hated him and there were going to be mass defections.
It didn't happen and we are all just supposed to forget that.
[not a socialist, don't have any love for Maduro, I just know that I will never learn anything of about Venezuela from these think tank dudes, we are just getting groomed]Venezuela isn't about "socialism," or even Maduro--it's about the oil. They have the largest proven reserves in the world, though much of it is non-conventional and would need a ton of investment to exploit. But it's their oil, not ours, and we have no right to meddle in their internal affairs.Jack -> Karl Kolchak , 15 hours agoVenezuela is neither about socialism nor oil in my opinion. It is everything to do with the neocons. And Trump buying into their hegemonic dreams. Notice the resurrection of Elliott Abrams of Iran-Contra fame as the man spearheading this in a triumvirate with Bolton & Pompeo. IMO, a perfect foil for Putin & Xi to embroil the US in another regime change quagmire that further weakens the US.Mad_Max22 , 17 hours ago"There can be no conceivable excuse for relying on a contractor selected by the organisation which is claiming that there has been a hack, when an alternative possibility is a leak: and the implications of the alternative possibility could be devastating for that organisation.Jack , 15 hours ago
To rely on a contractor linked to the notoriously Russophobic 'Atlantic Council' is even more preposterous."
True; and true. It is also true that the Clinton e-mail investigation was faux, a limp caricature of what an investigation would look like when it is designed to uncover the truth. Allowing a subject's law firm to review the subject's e-mails from when she was in government for relevancy is beyond preposterous. An investigation conducted in the normal way by apolitical Agents in a field office would not walk away from a trove of evidence empty handed.
The inter-relatedness and overlapping of DoJ, CIA, and FBI personnel assigned to the Clinton e-mail case, the Russophobic nightmare of a 'case' targeting Carter Page, and by extension, the Trump presidential campaign, and yes, the Mueller political op, all reek of political bias and ineptitude followed by more political bias; and then culmination in a scorched earth investigation more characteristic of something the STASI might have undertaken than American justice.
Early morning raids, gag orders, solitary confinements, show indictments that will never see adjudication in a court room - truly unbelievable.Davidjohn fletcher , a day ago
In your opinion was this surveillance, criminal & counter-intelligence investigation as well as information operations against Trump centrally orchestrated or was it more reactive & decentralized?
There are so many facets. Fusion GPS & Nellie Ohr with her previous CIA connection. Her husband Bruce at the DOJ stovepiping the dossier to the FBI. Brennan and his EC. Clapper and his intelligence assessment. Halper, Mifsud, Steele along with Hannigan and the MI6 + GCHQ connection. Downer and the Aussies. FISA warrants on Page & Papadopolous. The whole Strzok & Page texting. Comey, Lynch & the Hillary exoneration. McCabe. Then all the Russians. And the media leaks to generate hysteria.VietnamVet , 12 hours ago
I'd recommend for reading Alexei Yurchak's "Everything Was Forever, Until It was No More: The Last Soviet Generation." Its about a class of apparatchiks and bureaucrats and hangers on who spoke this arcane, abstract dogmatic language that anyone normal had long since given up trying to understand. It had long ceased to have any relevance or attachment to the lives lived by ordinary, increasingly suffering people, who started talking to each other in practical and direct language.
And yet the chatterati continued to chatter and invent ludicrously unreal worlds and analyses of the actual world they lived in until... bang... it was no more.
I'd skip the first few chapters which are full of impenetrable marxist jargon.The Russian collusion investigation was based solely on the dodgy Steele Dossier that was discredited here from the get-go. This was a product of British Intelligence Community. The intent was to keep and then to get Donald Trump out of the White House. It failed but they did succeed in turning him into a neo-lib-con fellow traveler.
There are clear parallels between the end stages of the Soviet Union and the American Empire. My take since the Iraq Invasion is that they are insane. The ruling elite is detached from reality, incompetent and arrogant. Sooner or later someone with their facilities still intact will lead a middle-class revolt against the global plutocracy to restore democracy and reverse the rising inequality. We were lucky that the fall of the Soviet Union did not lead to a nuclear war. The next time a nuclear armed Empire crashes we may not be so fortunate.
Apr 10, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Some of Lokhova’s comments on ‘twitter’ are extremely entertaining. An example, with which I have much sympathy:
‘AN APOLOGY: Yesterday, I compared @nytimes journalists, who smeared @GenFlynn and accused me of being a Russian spy, to cockroaches. In good conscience, I must apologize to the cockroaches for the distress caused to them for being compared to @nytimes #Russiagate hoaxers. Sorry!’
Apr 09, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
yalensis April 2, 2019 at 3:33 pmRead the tweets. Vast majority are skewering the fascist Zakaria.
Best tweet of all: Angel Schatz tweeted some skeletons in Fareed's closet, like how this tosser supported South African apartheid when he was at Yale University (class of '86).
"Fareed Zakaria '86 (center) former President of the Yale Political Union argued that Yale should not divest from its holdings in South Africa "
In other words, Zakharia has ALWAYS been a racist pig! And now earns his bread slandering Russia.
Apr 09, 2019 | www.project-syndicate.org
Trump's Most Worrisome Legacy by Joseph E. Stiglitz - Project Syndicate
A close study of past experience could, however, be informative. One had to rely on reasoning and discourse – recognizing that no individual had a monopoly on our understandings of social organization. Out of this process emerged an appreciation that governance institutions based on the rule of law, due process, and checks and balances, and supported by foundational values like individual liberty and justice for all, are more likely to produce good and fair decisions. These institutions may not be perfect, but they have been designed so that it is more likely that flaws will be uncovered and eventually corrected.
That process of experimentation, learning, and adaptation, however, requires a commitment to ascertaining the truth. Americans owe much of their economic success to a rich set of truth-telling, truth-discovering, and truth-verifying institutions. Central among them are freedom of expression and independent media. Like all people, journalists are fallible; but, as part of a robust system of checks and balances on those in positions of power, they have traditionally provided an essential public good.
Since Smith's day, it has been shown that a nation's wealth depends on the creativity and productivity of its people, which can be advanced only by embracing the spirit of scientific discovery and technological innovation. And it depends on steady improvements in social, political, and economic organization, discovered through reasoned public discourse.
The attack by Trump and his administration on every one of the pillars of American society – and his especially aggressive vilification of the country's truth-seeking institutions – jeopardizes its continued prosperity and very ability to function as a democracy. Nor do there appear to be checks on corporate giants' efforts to capture the institutions – the courts, legislatures, regulatory agencies, and major media outlets – that are supposed to prevent them from exploiting workers and consumers. A dystopia previously imagined only by science fiction writers is emerging before our eyes. It should give us chills to think of who "wins" in this world, and who or what we might become, just in the struggle to survive.
Apr 06, 2019 | www.aseees.org
In 2016, Andrei Lvovich Nekrasov, a well-known Russian film-maker, playwright, theater director, and actor, released a docudrama entitled, The Magnitsky Act -- Behind the Scenes . Although the film won many artistic accolades, including a special commendation from the Prix Europa Award for a Television Documentary, public screenings were abruptly canceled in both Europe and the United States. Political pressure from various constituents and the threat of lawsuits from William Browder, the American-British billionaire and human-rights activist, ensured the limitation of the film to a single website. To the knowledge of this author, there has been only one public screening of The Magnitsky Act -- Behind the Scenes in the United States. In June 2016, Seymour Hersch, a renowned investigative journalist, presided over a showing of the film at the Newseum in Washington, DC, that generated much controversy. The American press has not been kind to either the film or the director, Andrei Nekrasov. The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Daily Beast all seem to agree that the film is an overt work of Russian propaganda that aims to introduce confusion about the circumstances leading to the death of tax accountant, Sergei Magnitsky, in the minds of the viewers. The Putin administration, which has been the prime target of both the 2012 Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Accountability Act and the 2016 Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, has good reason to promote a film that questions the circumstances surrounding Magnitsky's untimely death in Moscow's Butyrka Prison in 2009.
Despite a flood of persuasive articles and editorials by well-known journalists suggesting that this inconvenient film deserves no more than a quick burial, I was drawn to reconsider both the film and the political controversy that it continues to create for two main reasons. First, as the collapse of the Soviet Union and our own recent presidential campaigns show, we can never entirely prohibit the intrusion of propaganda or politically slanted content into the public sphere. Instead, as a historian and faculty member who serves at a public university, I believe that it is my job to teach our students how to diagnose an issue, and how to consider the many sides that a story necessarily involves. As an intellectual process this has immense value both in and of itself. Source criticism is a time tested and reliable means through which we can make sense of an event or a phenomenon. Our students need to learn both the mechanics and the intellectual value of analyzing a source and should be able to evaluate the nature of political content whether it is embedded in a Facebook post, a scholarly article, or a documentary.
The Magnitsky Act -- Behind the Scenes can serve as an important vehicle to introduce the contested nature of historical truth, and as a prism, it allows us to view the multiple modes through which various versions of the truth are disseminated in the twenty-first century. Taught in tandem with William Browder's book Red Notice , this film can provide students with a real-life experience in the practice of critical thinking. The film also allows us to revive a discussion of Hayden White's penetrating analysis of the ways in which the structure of the form necessarily influences the content of any artistic or historical narrative. The vehicle of the docudrama that Nekrasov uses in his film, and the competing narratives about the circumstances leading to Magnitsky's death, merit literary and intellectual analysis, along with geopolitical commentary.
Second, I am concerned by the fact that both critics and supporters have turned the debate about the film into a referendum on William Browder, his business dealings as well as his global human rights activism, and the Putin administration. In this interview with Andrei Nekrasov, I turn the spotlight back on the film-maker, his motivations for making the film, and on his political experiences since the release of the film. It is important to remember that in the past Nekrasov has made several politically charged films including Disbelief (2004), and Poisoned by Polonium: The Litvinenko File (2007) -- films that are extremely critical of the Putin administration. Nekrasov, a student of philosophy and literature, is in the unique position of having experienced censorship in the Soviet Union, Putin's Russia, and in the democratic countries of Western Europe and the United States.
1) Why did you want to make a film about the Magnitsky Act? What drew you to this project?
Andrei Nekrasov : I felt that the story of Magnitsky, in its accepted version, was very powerful and important. I thought that Sergei Magnitsky was a hero, and I wanted to tell the story of the modern hero, my compatriot. His case seemed very special because Magnitsky, a tax lawyer (in reality, an accountant) had come from the world of capitalism, to symbolize all that is good and moral in modern Russia. I believed that Magnitsky did not surrender under torture and sacrificed his life fighting corruption.
2) Who has funded the making of this film and what motivated them to invest in this production?
AN : The film was produced by Piraya Film, a Norwegian company. There is a long list of funders, and none are from Russia. (Please visit www.magnitskyact.com for further information). And they are all very "mainstream." I believe in the United States and Russia it is easier to construe the specific reasons that motivate funders, who are mostly private, to support a project. In Europe, where more public money is available for the arts, the state is more or less obliged to fund the cultural process. So I submit an idea to a producer, and if they like it, they introduce it into a complex system of funding that is supposed to be politically neutral. Only quality matters, in theory. In practice "quality" has political aspects, and its interpretation is open to prejudices.
But it would be a simplification to say the film was funded because I had set out to tell Browder's version of the Magnitsky case. Those funders who were (through their commissioning editors) monitoring the editing process, ZDF/ARTE, for example, became aware of the inconsistencies in Browder's version and supported my investigation into the truth. What they did not realize was who, and what, we were all dealing with. They did not realize that Browder was supported by the entire political system of North America and Western Europe. They realized that only when they were told by politicians to stop the film. And they obeyed, contrary to what I thought was their principles.
3) How has the role of censorship, both in Russia and the West, affected your artistic career?
AN : Censorship has had a very strong and damaging impact on my career. But while censorship in Russia had never been something surprising to me, the way that the film T he Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes was treated by western politicians was totally unanticipated and shocking. Yet, intellectually, the experience was very illuminating. The pro-Western intelligentsia of Russia, a class to which I have belonged, idolizes the West and believes that the freedom of expression is an essential and even intrinsic part of Western culture. The notion that the interests of economically powerful groups can set a geopolitical agenda and that easily overrides democratic freedom of expression is considered to be a remnant of Soviet era thinking. So I had to have a direct and personal experience of Western censorship to realize that that notion is rooted in reality.
The issue of censorship in Russia is, on the other hand, often misunderstood in the West. There is no direct political censorship of the kind that existed in the Soviet Union, and that possibly exists in countries like China today. Many popular Russian news outlets are critical of the government, and of Putin personally as evidenced by the content in media outlets such as Ekho Moskvy, Novaya Gazeta, Dozhd TV, New Times, Vedomosti, Colta. ru, and others. The internet is full of mockery of Putin, his ministers and of his party's representatives. There is neither a system nor the kind of wellresourced deep state structures that control the flow of information. Many Russian media outlets, for example, repeat Browder's story of Magnitsky killed by the corrupt police with the state covering it up. All that is perfectly "allowed" while Putin angrily condemns Browder as a criminal and Browder calls himself Putin's number one enemy. In reality, it is not allowed but simply happens because of the lack of consistent political censorship.
However, you will hardly ever hear a proper analysis and criticism in the Russian media of the big corporations, and of the oligarchs that make up the state. It is also true that such acute crises as military operations, such as Russian-Georgian war of 2008 produce intolerance to the voices of the opposition. My film Russian Lessons (2008) about the suffering of the Georgians during that short war and its aftermath wasbanned in Russia. But nationalism is not only a government policy. It's the prevailing mood. The supposedly democratic leader of the opposition, that the West seems to praise and support, Alexei Navalny, was on the record insulting Georgians in jingo-nationalistic posts during the war. The film industry is, of course, easier to steer in the "right direction" as films, unlike articles and essays, are very expensive to produce. But Russia is a complex society, deeply troubled, but also misunderstood by the West. If my films, such as Poisoned by Polonium: The Litvinenko File , and Russian Lessons (2010) were attacked by pro-government media, then some of my articles were censored by the independent, "opposition" outlets, such as Ekho Moskvy .
4) Did you actually begin filming the movie with an outcome of supporting Browder's story in mind, as you represent in the film, or did you plan from the start of the filming process to end the film as it now stands?
AN : I started filming the story. I totally believed in the story that Browder had told me, and all the mainstream media repeated after him.
5) You know that there are many more "disappeared" journalists and others listed in the formal US Congress Magnitsky Act who have suffered from the effects of corrupt power in Russia. Why did you not address the fates of some of those others as well in your film?
AN : I may be misunderstanding this question, but I do not see how addressing the fates of "disappeared" journalists and others' would be relevant to the topic of my film in its final version. I obviously condemn the "disappearance" of journalists and others. In Russia journalists disappear usually by being "simply" shot (not in "sophisticated" Saudi ways), and as far as I remember only one is referred to in The Magnitsky Act , Paul Khlebnikov. He was the editor of Forbes, Russia , and was shot in 2004 when Bill Browder was a great fan of Vladimir Putin and continued to be for some time. I have not seen any evidence or even claim, that Putin may have been behind that murder. I was a friend of Anna Politkovskaya, perhaps the most famous of all Russian journalists who was assassinated in the recent past. She is featured in my film, Poisoned by Polonium .
The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes is about the ways in which the notion of human rights is sometimes used as a fake alibi for white-collar crimes. Though I explore just one case, I think that I have managed to show that those ways are exceptionally sophisticated and efficient, and enlist all the major media, civil society, NGOs, governments, parliaments, and major international organizations.
6) Does William Browder's role in the formulation of the Magnitsky Act invalidate its value and that of the Global Magnitsky Act, in seeking to provide protection for those suffering from the effects of deadly and corrupt power such as the recently deceased Saudi Arabian journalist, Jamal Khashoggi?
AN : Let me, for the argument's sake, pose myself what would seem like a version of your question: "Would Browder's role in creating a weapon that could protect someone like Khashoggi from deadly and corrupt power invalidate that weapon?" My answer would be, no, it would not invalidate that weapon. However, we are dealing with a fallacy here, in my humble opinion. The Magnitsky Act, in my view, is not a weapon that can protect people. The Magnitsky Act was designed to punish those deemed murderers and torturers of Magnitsky. Well, if my film demonstrates that Magnitsky was not murdered (by the people Browder claims he was murdered by), nor was he tortured, the Magnitsky Act is nonsensical. You cannot punish someone for something that did not happen. Can you then say, never mind, human rights violations happen, and it's good to have a mechanism to punish violators even if there's no evidence that people named as violators are guilty? I don't think one can say "never mind". Neither legally, nor, morally.
There is no evidence whatsoever that the government of the United States conducted independent investigations of the policemen and the judges who were supposedly involved in the death of Magnitsky. And no one seems to be concerned of course about the rights of those on the Magnitsky list, who can't even reply to the accusations, let alone have the accusations verified by an independent investigator or judge.
Instead of protecting people, the Magnitsky case helps the "bad guys" to demonstrate to their Russian compatriots that the West is rotten to the core, its policies are created by compliant stooges (lying thieves and useful idiots), and more rockets should be built to confront America's injustice towards Russia and others. A lie can never really protect anyone, in my humble opinion. But the problem is worse. It turns human rights into a hypocritical ideology to protect the interests of the powers that be, a bit like the slogans about brotherhood and justice in the Soviet Union.
Choi Chatterjee is a Professor of History at California State University, Los Angeles. Chatterjee, along with Steven Marks, Mary Neuberger, and Steve Sabol, edited The Wider Arc of Revolution in three volumes (Slavica Publishers).
Apr 05, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
English Outsider -> Fred , 7 days agoFred - I don't think it's going to go away that easily. This is the BBC web site today, again keeping alive much the same theme as your man of courage. We're moving on from whether Trump was a Russian agent to whether Trump deliberately attempted to stop us finding out whether he was a Russian agent -
"But Mr Mueller declined to draw a conclusion on whether Mr Trump had obstructed justice, saying only that the president could not be exonerated.
Attorney General Barr, who was appointed by the president, concluded in his summary of the report that there was not enough evidence to determine if the president had committed the offence."
So it's too useful a theme to be let go entirely, and fits with the general suspicion of Russian interference.
It's a difficult one, that. Looking at the Integrity Initiative and 77 Brigade it's clear that information warfare at all levels - academia, the media, on down to the little subsidized web sites and right on down to the individuals who are paid to insert comments on social media - is now regarded in England as an integral part of Intelligence work. Presumably everyone else is doing it too so why not the Russians? But to trace the huge political movements of our time back to Moscow, as if they were due to sinister Russians cleverly playing us via social media and other propaganda outlets, seems to me to be grossly overdone. After all, if it were that easy it would have worked for the West too. Iran would now be another Syria and Syria long since gone.
No, even the most ardent Russophobes on our side of the Atlantic might have to admit sometimes that the reason we're screwed up in Europe at present is that we've screwed ourselves up. We are not uniformly happy prosperous peoples who would continue to be uniformly happy and prosperous were it not for Moscow. So it must be in the States.
Even so, the Russians are still the get-out for many. On English web sites "Putin done it" surfaces regularly as the reason for us voting Brexit. There were suggestions that he had stirred up the Yellow Vests in France. The Italians are sometimes viewed with suspicion for the same reason.
And I got caught up in an unusual traffic hold-up just this morning. I can't prove to you it was the Russians. But can you prove to me it wasn't?
Apr 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by CJ Hopkins via The Unz Review,
So the Mueller report is finally in, and it appears that hundreds of millions of Americans have, once again, been woefully bamboozled . Weird, how this just keeps on happening. At this point, Americans have to be the most frequently woefully bamboozled people in the entire history of woeful bamboozlement.
If you didn't know better, you'd think we were all a bunch of hopelessly credulous imbeciles that you could con into believing almost anything, or that our brains had been bombarded with so much propaganda from the time we were born that we couldn't really even think anymore.
That's right, as I'm sure you're aware by now, it turns out President Donald Trump, a pompous former reality TV star who can barely string three sentences together without totally losing his train of thought and barking like an elephant seal, is not, in fact, a secret agent conspiring with the Russian intelligence services to destroy the fabric of Western democracy.
After two long years of bug-eyed hysteria, Inspector Mueller came up with squat. Zip. Zero. Nichts. Nada. Or, all right, he indicted a bunch of Russians that will never see the inside of a courtroom, and a few of Trump's professional sleazebags for lying and assorted other sleazebag activities (so I guess that was worth the $25 million of taxpayers' money that was spent on this circus).
Notwithstanding those historic accomplishments, the entire Mueller investigation now appears to have been another wild goose chase (like the "search" for those non-existent WMDs that we invaded and destabilized the Middle East and murdered hundreds of thousands of people pretending to conduct in 2003). Paranoid collusion-obsessives will continue to obsess about redactions and cover-ups , but the long and short of the matter is, there will be no perp walks for any of the Trumps. No treason tribunals. No televised hangings. No detachment of Secret Service agents marching Hillary into the White House.
The jig, as they say, is up.
But let's try to look on the bright side, shall we?
... ... ...
Apr 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Symen Danziger , Mar 31, 2019 4:13:36 PM | link
The latest Integrity Initiative dump by Anonymous
Apr 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Lozion , Mar 31, 2019 4:33:21 PM | link< More and more "resistance" type Twitteratti get shadowbanned, that is, their posts dont appear in the Twitter feed though they are visible on their profiles. Find out if you are shadowbanned here:>
Zachary Smith , Mar 31, 2019 5:24:53 PM | linkLozion , Mar 31, 2019 7:55:34 PM | link
@ Lozion #12
Until recently I didn't know the word "shadowbanning", but that was what happened to me several years ago. The managers of the Indianapolis Star had given their forum to the tender care of a mix of Libertarians, rightwingnuts, and devoted followers of the Holy Cesspool south of Syria. Gradually I realized nobody was responding to my posts, and only by accident did I learn those posts were invisible to everybody else. Only when I was logged in could I see them myself.
So that's why I have gone cold turkey on the only Indianapolis newspaper. I'd recommend it only for folks whose parakeets need a lining for the bottom of the bird's cage. Their editorial page works best for that application.@12 Zachary.
Yeah I first encountered the phenom during the last days of the 2014 Euromaidan while reposting info on Facebook about sniper fire coming from opp held rooftops. I couldnt understand why interaction on the subject stopped until someone confirmed via the chat that none of my posts with the word "Ukraine" appeared in the feed. They must've triggered FBs early filter algorithm. I have since left the Ministry of Truth..
Mar 31, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Taibbi: On Russiagate & America's Refusal To Face Why Trump Won
by Tyler Durden Sat, 03/30/2019 - 15:30 261 SHARES Authored by Matt Taibbi via RollingStone.com,
Faulty coverage of Donald Trump's 2016 campaign later made foreign espionage a more plausible explanation for his ascent to power
Last weekend, I published a book chapter criticizing the Russiagate narrative, claiming it was a years-long press error on the scale of the WMD affair heading into the Iraq war.
Obviously (and I said this in detail), the WMD fiasco had a far greater real-world impact, with hundreds of thousands of lives lost and trillions in treasure wasted. Still, I thought Russiagate would do more to damage the reputation of the national news media in the end.
A day after publishing that excerpt, a Attorney General William Barr sent his summary of the report to Congress, containing a quote filed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller : "[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."
Suddenly, news articles appeared arguing people like myself and Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept were rushing to judgment , calling us bullies whose writings were intended to leave reporters "cowed" and likely to " back down from aggressive coverage of Trump ."
This was baffling. One of the most common criticisms of people like Greenwald, Michael Tracey, Aaron Mate, Rania Khalek, Max Blumenthal, Jordan Chariton and many others is that Russiagate "skeptics" - I hate that term, because it implies skepticism isn't normal and healthy in this job - were really secret Trump partisans, part of a "horseshoe" pact between far left and far right to focus attention on the minor foibles of the center instead of Trump's more serious misdeeds. Even I received this label, and I once wrote a book about Trump called Insane Clown President .
A typical social media complaint:
@mtaibbi and all his deplorable followers. The truth will come out and your premature celebrations are embarrassing.
It's irritating that I even have to address this, because my personal political views shouldn't have anything to do with how I cover anything. But just to get it out of the way: I'm no fan of Donald Trump .
I had a well-developed opinion about him long before the 2016 race started. I once interned for Trump's nemesis-biographer, the late, great muckraker Wayne Barrett . The birther campaign of 2011 was all I ever needed to make a voting decision about the man.
I started covering the last presidential race in 2015 just as I was finishing up a book about the death of Eric Garner called I Can't Breathe . Noting that a birther campaign started by "peripheral political curiosity and reality TV star Donald Trump" led to 41 percent of respondents in one poll believing Barack Obama was "not even American," I wrote:
If anyone could communicate the frustration black Americans felt over Stop-and-Frisk and other neo-vagrancy laws that made black people feel like they could be arrested anywhere, it should have been Barack Obama. He'd made it all the way to the White House and was still considered to be literally trespassing by a huge plurality of the population.
So I had no illusions about Trump. The Russia story bothered me for other reasons, mostly having to do with a general sense of the public being misled, and not even about Russia.
The problem lay with the precursor tale to Russiagate, i.e. how Trump even got to be president in the first place.
The 2016 campaign season brought to the surface awesome levels of political discontent. After the election, instead of wondering where that anger came from, most of the press quickly pivoted to a new tale about a Russian plot to attack our Democracy. This conveyed the impression that the election season we'd just lived through had been an aberration, thrown off the rails by an extraordinary espionage conspiracy between Trump and a cabal of evil foreigners.
This narrative contradicted everything I'd seen traveling across America in my two years of covering the campaign. The overwhelming theme of that race, long before anyone even thought about Russia, was voter rage at the entire political system.
The anger wasn't just on the Republican side, where Trump humiliated the Republicans' chosen $150 million contender , Jeb Bush (who got three delegates, or $50 million per delegate ). It was also evident on the Democratic side, where a self-proclaimed "Democratic Socialist" with little money and close to no institutional support became a surprise contender .
Because of a series of press misdiagnoses before the Russiagate stories even began, much of the American public was unprepared for news of a Trump win. A cloak-and-dagger election-fixing conspiracy therefore seemed more likely than it might have otherwise to large parts of the domestic news audience, because they hadn't been prepared for anything else that would make sense.
This was particularly true of upscale, urban, blue-leaning news consumers, who were not told to take the possibility of a Trump White House seriously.
Priority number-one of the political class after a vulgar, out-of-work game-show host conquered the White House should have been a long period of ruthless self-examination. This story delayed that for at least two years.
It wasn't even clear Trump whether or not wanted to win. Watching him on the trail, Trump at times went beyond seeming disinterested. There were periods where it looked like South Park's " Did I offend you? " thesis was true, and he was actively trying to lose, only the polls just wouldn't let him.
Forget about the gift the end of Russiagate might give Trump by allowing him to spend 2020 peeing from a great height on the national press corps. The more serious issue has to be the failure to face the reality of why he won last time, because we still haven't done that.
... ... ...
Trump, the billionaire, denounced us as the elitists in the room. He'd call us "bloodsuckers," "dishonest," and in one line that produced laughs considering who was saying it, " highly-paid ."
He also did something that I immediately recognized as brilliant (or diabolical, depending on how you look at it). He dared cameramen to turn their cameras to show the size of his crowds.
They usually wouldn't – hey, we don't work for the guy – which thrilled Trump, who would then say something to the effect of, "See! They're very dishonest people ." Audiences would turn toward us, and boo and hiss, and even throw little bits of paper and other things our way. This was unpleasant, but it was hard not to see its effectiveness: he'd re-imagined the lifeless, poll-tested format of the stump speech, turning it into menacing, personal, WWE-style theater.
Trump was gunning for votes in both parties. The core story he told on the stump was one of system-wide corruption, in which there was little difference between Republicans and Democrats.
Perhaps just by luck, Trump was tuned in to the fact that the triumvirate of ruling political powers in America – the two parties, the big donors and the press – were so unpopular with large parts of the population that he could win in the long haul by attracting their ire, even if he was losing battles on the way.
The subtext was always: I may be crude, but these people are phonies, pretending to be upset when they're making money off my bullshit .
I thought this was all nuts and couldn't believe it was happening in a real presidential campaign. But, a job is a job. My first feature on candidate Trump was called " How America Made Donald Trump Unstoppable ." The key section read:
In person, you can't miss it: The same way Sarah Palin can see Russia from her house, Donald on the stump can see his future. The pundits don't want to admit it, but it's sitting there in plain view, 12 moves ahead, like a chess game already won:
President Donald Trump
It turns out we let our electoral process devolve into something so fake and dysfunctional that any half-bright con man with the stones to try it could walk right through the front door and tear it to shreds on the first go.
And Trump is no half-bright con man, either. He's way better than average.
Traditional Democratic audiences appeared thrilled by the piece and shared it widely. I was invited on scads of cable shows to discuss ad nauseum the "con man" line. This made me nervous, because it probably meant these people hadn't read the piece, which among other things posited the failures of America's current ruling class meant Trump's insane tactics could actually work.
Trump was selling himself as a traitor to a corrupt class, someone who knew how soulless and greedy the ruling elite was because he was one of them.
The only reason most blue-state media audiences had been given for Trump's poll numbers all along was racism, which was surely part of the story but not the whole picture. A lack of any other explanation meant Democratic audiences, after the shock of election night, were ready to reach for any other data point that might better explain what just happened.
Russiagate became a convenient replacement explanation absolving an incompetent political establishment for its complicity in what happened in 2016, and not just the failure to see it coming. Because of the immediate arrival of the collusion theory, neither Wolf Blitzer nor any politician ever had to look into the camera and say, "I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump."
Post-election, Russiagate made it all worse. People could turn on their TVs at any hour of the day and see anyone from Rachel Maddow to Chris Cuomo openly reveling in Trump's troubles. This is what Fox looks like to liberal audiences.
Worse, the "walls are closing in" theme -- two years old now -- was just a continuation of the campaign mistake, reporters confusing what they wanted to happen with what was happening . The story was always more complicated than was being represented.
Mar 31, 2019 | www.ned.org
This is from culture revolution experts in NED ;-)Issue Brief: Distinguishing Disinformation from Propaganda, Misinformation, and "Fake News" Published on October 17, 2017
TWEET | SHARE | PDFIn This Brief:
What is Disinformation? Is it Different from Propaganda?
- What the word 'disinformation' means
- What sets disinformation apart from other forms of manipulative or persuasive content
- Why today's information environment amplifies disinformation
Disinformation is a relatively new word. Most observers trace it back to the Russian word dezinformatsiya , which Soviet planners in the 1950s defined as "dissemination (in the press, on the radio, etc.) of false reports intended to mislead public opinion." Others suggest that the earliest use of the term originated in 1930s Nazi Germany. In either case, it is much younger (and less commonly used) than ' propaganda, ' which originated in the 1600s and generally connotes the selective use of information for political effect.
Whether and to what degree these terms overlap is subject to debate. Some define propaganda as the use of non-rational arguments to either advance or undermine a political ideal, and use disinformation as an alternative name for undermining propaganda. Others consider them to be separate concepts altogether. One popular distinction holds that disinformation also describes politically motivated messaging designed explicitly to engender public cynicism, uncertainty, apathy, distrust, and paranoia, all of which disincentivize citizen engagement and mobilization for social or political change. "Misinformation," meanwhile, generally refers to the inadvertent sharing of false information.
Analysts generally agree that disinformation is always purposeful and not necessarily composed of outright lies or fabrications. It can be composed of mostly true facts, stripped of context or blended with falsehoods to support the intended message, and is always part of a larger plan or agenda. In the Russian context, observers have described its use to pursue Moscow's foreign policy goals through a "4D" offensive: dismiss an opponent's claims or allegations, distort events to serve political purposes, distract from one's own activities, and dismay those who might otherwise oppose one's goals.Disinformation in the Digital Age
Analysts generally agree that disinformation is always purposeful and not necessarily composed of outright lies or fabrications. It can be composed of mostly true facts, stripped of context or blended with falsehoods to support the intended message, and is always part of a larger plan or agenda."
The reemerging interest in disinformation is not because such techniques are novel. There are similarities between the contemporary 4D model and, for example, Soviet active measures . Rather, a growing consensus asserts that while the use of disinformation is not new, the digital revolution has greatly enhanced public vulnerability to manipulation by information -- a trend which is predicted to continue .
In part, these changes have been wrought by the advent of new social media platforms and their growing dominance over advertising revenues. This shift in the media funding environment has weakened traditional media gatekeepers, changed incentives for content providers, and promoted the rise of unprofessional and/or unscrupulous outlets capable of drawing large audiences at a low cost. As digital advertising assumes an ever-larger role in shaping news consumption, targeted advertising allows for more sophisticated forms of propaganda: for example, in September of 2017, Facebook disclosed that roughly 3,000 ads related to divisive US political issues were purchased by a network of 470 accounts and pages suspected to be run out of Russia. The company says that at least a quarter of those ads were geographically targeted. Twitter later deleted two hundred accounts linked to those same Facebook accounts and pages and revealed that in 2016, the Russian state-funded broadcaster RT spent $274,100 on advertising targeting users in the United States.
Research suggests the total scale of "low quality political information" on those platforms during the 2016 US elections was much larger, particularly in swing states. The degree of Russian influence on this market for digital disinformation is unknown; post-election, researchers are launching new efforts to track and analyze it.The Rise of 'Fake News'
Although there is no universal definition, fake news generally refers to misleading content found on the internet, especially on social media."
The role of disinformation in recent elections has given rise to another distinct, but related, term: ' fake news .'
Although there is no universal definition, fake news generally refers to misleading content found on the internet, especially on social media. One analysis lays out five types of fake news, including intentionally deceptive content, jokes taken at face value, large-scale hoaxes, slanted reporting of real facts, and coverage where the truth may be uncertain or contentious. These are not new: an example of fake news from 2011 involves websites masquerading as real news organizations to spread false information about the health benefits of acai berries.
Much of this content is produced by for-profit websites and Facebook pages gaming the platform for advertising revenue. By producing tailored false content targeted at the views, concerns, and preferences of social media users, these pages can generate tens of thousands of interactions and thousands of dollars a month. In 2015, Facebook began taking steps to curtail this content, which it called a form of "news feed spam." By 2016, it became clear the problem was growing out of control. Fabricated and fiercely partisan political content -- much of it produced abroad for profit -- in some instances outpaced engagement with credible mainstream news outlets.
Facebook initially downplayed the potential influence of fake news, although it also pledged to pursue a response involving expanded partnerships with fact-checkers, increased emphasis on detection and reporting, warning labels for untrustworthy stories, and a crackdown on for-profit fake news pages. Twitter also reacted , developing an experimental prototype feature to allow users to report "fake news" and exploring the use of machine learning to detect automated accounts spreading political content.Is Fake News Disinformation?
More often than not, fake news does not meet the definition of disinformation or propaganda. Its motives are usually financial, not political, and it is usually not tied to a larger agenda. One attempt to classify various types of misleading and manipulative news content separates misinformation (inadvertent sharing of false information) from disinformation, which is deliberate, and arranges examples by motivation and degree of deception. Most of the fake news described above falls somewhere in the middle: not inadvertent, but motivated by profit rather than influence. To the degree that its purpose can be described as political, fake news begins to resemble more insidious content.
Fake news' political prominence does have lessons for analysts of disinformation. Fake news draws audiences because it validates their political preconceptions and worldviews, capitalizing on media consumers' confirmation bias . Many argue that because social media curates content according to user preferences, it has a polarizing effect that leaves consumers more vulnerable to manipulation in this way. Political actors have been able to use this to their advantage by producing incendiary content that spreads rapidly through grassroots online networks (some call this " political astroturfing ").Marketing, Public Affairs, Public Diplomacy, and other "Information Campaigns"
More often than not, fake news does not meet the definition of disinformation or propaganda. Its motives are usually financial, not political, and it is usually not tied to a larger agenda."
Some analysts also differentiate between various types of "information campaigns" -- organized attempts to communicate with large groups of individuals -- which may include marketing, public affairs, and public diplomacy. All of these terms are worth disentangling from each other and from propaganda and disinformation writ large.
Marketing and public relations rely on a mix of facts, opinions, and emotional cues to persuade audiences and build affinity between individuals and brands or organizations. As promotional activities meant to augment or protect the reputation of the messenger, their goals may be commercial or political, or they may simply aim to generate publicity. Similarly promotional is public diplomacy, which states utilize to represent their viewpoints to foreign audiences and promote positive associations with that country among foreign publics. Done well, public diplomacy distinguishes itself from propaganda by never intentionally spreading false information or relying on non-rational means of persuasion (though marketing and public relations, of course, may rely on such non-rational devices).
Marketing, public relations, public diplomacy, and similar information campaigns are all related to the field of " strategic communication ," broadly defined as the purposeful use of information and messaging to advance the mission of a given organization, be it a corporate, government, non-profit, or military actor. In the military context, a 2007 paper from the U.S. Army War College emphasizes that strategic communication in a military context aims to influence adversaries, reassure allies, and persuade publics. Because it may be impossible to deceive one of these audiences without deceiving others, some advocate that "deception should be rigorously forbidden in strategic communication" and that the use of disinformation should never fall under the rubric of strategic communication.Intent as a Distinguishing Feature
Done well, public diplomacy distinguishes itself from propaganda by never intentionally spreading false information or relying on non-rational means of persuasion."
Some argue the intent of the messenger is crucial to distinguishing between different types of messages. This makes it difficult to draw a bright, clear line between marketing, public relations, and public diplomacy, on one side, and propaganda and disinformation on the other. This is especially true when the content in question includes both objective fact and subjective interpretation but no clear falsehood, because it may be unclear whether the message reflects a genuine perspective or an intent to mislead. When content does include falsehoods, it may be unclear whether they are accidental or purposeful.
If an information campaign uses falsehoods and emotional appeals not to persuade or attract but to disrupt, divide, confuse, or otherwise damage target audiences' understanding or political cohesion, it more closely aligns with disinformation and its undermining function. This is not solely the realm of the state: many activities undertaken by non-state actors may also fit this description.Information Operations as a Tool of Political Influence
If an information campaign uses falsehoods and emotional appeals not to persuade or attract but to disrupt, divide, confuse, or otherwise damage target audiences' understanding or political cohesion, it more closely aligns with disinformation and its undermining function."
Information campaigns with these goals in mind are now sometimes referred to as "information operations," a term until recently used primarily by defense officials in referring broadly to the use of communications in military operations. In April 2017, Facebook described "information (or influence) operations" on the platform, which aim "to achieve a strategic and/or geopolitical outcome" using "a combination of methods, such as false news, disinformation, or networks of fake accounts (false amplifiers) aimed at manipulating public opinion." In the run-up to the 2017 French presidential election, Facebook deleted 30,000 fake French accounts from the platform, providing a sense of the scale these operations can reach.
In that election, an information operation ( likely of Russian origin ) released hacked documents just before the beginning of a legally mandated election news blackout in order to damage the campaign of Emmanuel Macron, the eventual winner. The manipulation of information has been a feature of Syria's civil war since the conflict's beginning. Research from a diverse set of country case studies suggests that a wide array of political, military, and private actors now routinely use social media to manipulate public opinion. Italy's populist Five Star Movement, for instance, is tied to a large constellation of online disinformation outlets. Taiwanese democracy must grapple with both domestic and cross-strait sources of disinformation. Information operations, including those involving the use of disinformation during elections, are likely to remain a tool of political influence well into the foreseeable future.
Brief prepared by Dean Jackson, International Forum for Democratic Studies.
Image Credit: kaboompics/Pixabay (Creative Commons)
Mar 31, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Disinfo Maginot Line: Protecting EU From "Russian Influence" By Manufacturing History
by Tyler Durden Sun, 03/31/2019 - 07:00 68 SHARES Authored by Nina Cross via 21stCenturyWire.com,
It is now apparent with the release of the Mueller investigation findings , that the great storm that has embattled the US government and establishment since 2016 over supposed Russia-Trump collusion during the US elections, originates not from a genuine tangible source, but a constant stream of rhetoric driven by partisan corporate media. One certainty though is the Western narrative of Russia as a 'malign influence' will not go away.
While America's liberal establishment continues to rage at Trump, Europe allies, under the influence of Washington, maintain their aggressive stance towards Russia following the catastrophic US meddling in Ukraine in 2014 and the subsequent reunification of Crimea with Russia .
The question is how can the narrative of 'malign Russian influence' be kept going? Mainstream media will continue its role in this, but Western governments are also pouring resources into promulgating certain narratives while containing others.
This week, hackers released more documents from the UK government-funded project known as the Integrity Initiative , revealing British government plans to build an umbrella network of organisations across Europe to counter 'Russian disinformation'.
The following is a look at one of the EU projects already operating to ensure European populations do not stray from this constructed narrative that at times crosses over into real xenophobic racism, or Russophobia. While researching this phenomenon, it was impossible not to find some of the EU's counter-propaganda material quite funny.
If we want to know the meaning of disinformation, the American think tank known as the National Endowment for Democracy which funds regime change in the service of US corporate interests, has its own definition , but it's not important – so long as we believe Russia or the Nazis invented the problem. In fact, if we search the word 'disinformation,' a good number of the results tell us it originated in Russia and is the baby of Stalin or the KGB. If we are not careful, we could end up thinking that dishonesty is an inherent characteristic of Russians, a view actually promoted by the former US Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper , who, coincidentally was caught ' wilfully ' lying to Congress.
The view of Russians being hard-wired for corruption was also promoted by the New York Times in an article published in February, The Putin I knew; the Putin I know , written by Franz J Sedelmeyer, exposing deep prejudice behind the corporate media's shallow identity politics.
But this narrative fails to credit the CIA, which has spent decades crafting skills carrying out the most grotesque deceptions in history targeted abroad and at home. To leave out the role of the CIA in disinformation must be the equivalent of writing an omelette recipe and leaving out the eggs. In fact, the CIA doesn't just carry out disinformation campaigns, as Victor Marchetti, former special assistant to the Deputy Director of the CIA described it: the CIA manufactures history . Not to recognise American intelligence services or government in the history of disinformation while painting Russia as its mother is to deprive America of the recognition it deserves for one of its most notable institutions. Somewhat ironically, you can learn all about the history of disinformation from both Google and the National Endowment for Democracy which are two entities which have received financial support from the CIA.
What about the EU? Does Brussels think that Russia is an inherently dishonest nation? Are they aware that the CIA could be manufacturing Europe's history this very moment? Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) so concerned about disinformation might want to study the documented atrocities of the CIA, some of which were carried out in Europe. Perhaps they are not aware of the US intelligence services' role in the history of subterfuge in Europe:
memorandum, dated July 26, 1950, gives instructions for a campaign to promote a fully fledged European parliament. It is signed by Gen William J Donovan, head of the American wartime Office of Strategic Services, precursor of the CIA.
Paradoxically, given the probability rate of the CIA meddling in the EU, MEPs should consider putting out a public warning:
The CIA is the most likely source of disinformation in Europe today. It manufactures crises – and we've plenty of those.
But none of it. Instead, the European Parliament is fixated on ensuring its populations fear Russia and are accepting of the narratives pushed on them. The EU released a new report this month repeating the narratives it has been accumulating to justify increasing actions against Russia, particularly since 2014 following the reunification of Crimea. It has passed a resolution stating that Russia could no longer be considered a strategic partner of the EU:Ministry of Truth?
While condemning the illegal occupation and annexation of Crimea, as well as Russia's continued violation of the territorial integrity of Georgia and Moldova, Members stressed that the EU cannot envisage a gradual return to business as usual until Russia fully implements the Minsk Agreement and restores the territorial integrity of Ukraine
Members condemned Russia's involvement in the Skripal case, and in disinformation campaigns and cyberattacks carried out by the Russian intelligence services aimed at destabilising public and private communications infrastructure and at increasing tensions within the EU and its Member States
They are concerned about the relations between the Russian government and the extreme right-wing and populist nationalist parties and governments in the EU, such as in Hungary. They also recalled that the interference of Russian state actors in the referendum campaign on Brexit is currently under investigation by the UK authorities
As Russia can no longer be considered a strategic partner in the current circumstances, Members believe that the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement should be reconsidered
As well as the coordinated strategic isolation of Russia by the EU, members of the G7 have signed up to a Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) designed to:
see hostile states publicly 'called out' for their egregious behaviour – with coordinated international attribution of cyber and other attacks.
The agreement involves sharing intelligence , attribution of hostile activity and forming a common narrative and response, effectively a military-like propaganda coordination between the countries that can be applied for a chosen agenda.
To protect its version of history the EU has created mechanisms to fight off alternative realities, narratives, or truths – which ever word fits – claiming any fact or opinion contrary to those of the stated EU decree must be condemned as pro-Kremlin, pro-Russian, or 'Putinist', a derogatory depiction presently supported by the corporate media. The EU claims these 'alternative narratives' are the product of a Russian disinformation campaign and has developed resources to 'disprove' that disinformation. These are the EU vanguards of truth set up and funded by the European Council in 2015: the European External Action Service East Stratcom Task Force or unaffectionately known here as Team East Stratcom . A brief study of their work only leads to further concerns about who is manufacturing history, but also to the likely conclusion that Team East Stratcom is made up of media studies students who drink beer and watch RT all day.
Here's how Team East Stratcom describes itself in a Q&A:
Does the team engage in counter-propaganda?
No. It identifies and corrects disinformation
Counter-propaganda vs correct disinformation (you say tomatto, I say tomayto).
Julian King, the EU's security commissioner, has described it as a counter-propaganda cell . Come on Brussels, make up your mind.
What does Team East StratCom do, and what is the role of its website EUVDisinfo ?
The Task Force reports on and analyses disinformation trends, explains and exposes disinformation narratives, and raises awareness of disinformation coming from Russian State, Russian sources and spread in the Eastern neighbourhood media space
RUSSIAN MEMES: Official EU conspiracy theory diagram explains how 'Russian disinfo' permeates mainstream western discourse ( EU External Action 2017)
Firstly, who defines what is disinformation? Is it just assumed that any information emanating from a Russian media outlet is automatically disinformation?
Narratives and sources. Does this mean that any narrative which matches a Russian one is then classed as Russian in origin? If a Western alternative media outlet publishes a narrative which happens to match that of a Russian media outlet, does this then mean that the said alternative media outlet is 'under Russian influence', or 'in league with the Kremlin'? Could such a politicized method of labelling lead to potential McCarthyite targeting of independent journalists?
The Task Force does not target opinions and does not seek to "blacklist" anyone. It checks facts and identifies disinformation coming from Russian State, Russian language and Eastern Neighbourhood media. It focuses on the disinformation message, not the messenger.
Yet, individual journalists are identified in many of these so-called 'disinformation cases' and described as supporters of one leader or other on the EU's list of bogeymen. Team East StratCom – there is no need to be shy about McCarthyism. Certain mainstream media stalwarts of establishment narratives are more upfront about whom they do and do not want in the club, as Oliver Kamm of The Times has demonstrated:
For an agency already struggling with the concept of truth, Team East StratCom is not off to a great start.
So how does Team East StratCom protect EU narratives? The European Council made it clear in 2015 they wanted to counter narratives about regime change in Ukraine and its consequences. In fact, about half of its 'disinformation cases' are about Ukraine:
Ukraine tops the EUvsDisinfo database as the most frequent target with 461 references among a total of 1,000 disinformation cases reported in the course of 2018.
So how does Team East StratCom counter propaganda sorry correct disinformation? The following are a few case samples that help to illuminate their methodologies (although with a budget increase from €1.1 million in 2018 to €3 million in 2019, it may find new and diverse ones):Disinformation Example 1: Ukraine is the most corrupt country in Europe
Team East StratCom argues that undermining the credibility of Ukraine benefits Russia. It reports that RT Deutsch described Ukraine as the most corrupt country in Europe. It then tries to debunk this using Transparency International 's corruption perception index, a chart which is created and paid for by Western neoliberal governments – the same ones that help to keep corrupt governments in power so long as they provide opportunities to serve Western corporate interests.
Team East StratCom tries to disprove this case by drawing our attention away from corruption in Europe to corruption worldwide. This puts 60 countries ahead of Ukraine. That is sneaky Team East StratCom because, aside from Russia, which we must believe is the most corrupt country in Europe, Ukraine actually tops the list. So why does the EU want to hide the extent of corruption in Ukraine and is it the only thing being hidden about the country? According to Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova the West wants to stop the world from recognising Crimea as part of Russia's territory. In order to do this it must maintain a manufactured reality; the narrative of Ukraine being a victim of Russian aggression and in no way a liability due, at least in part, to the West's meddling. This approach also entails downplaying any suggestion that the West planned and orchestrated a coup d'etat in Kiev in February 2014.Disinformation Example 2: Far-right groups in Ukraine
This extract by Team East StratCom criticises the reporting of far-right groups in Ukraine:
Dehumanise, demoralise, make Ukraine the guilty party
Pro-Kremlin disinformation about Ukraine targets audiences in Russia, in Ukraine and in third countries, including the West. Domestic audiences in Russia are e.g. faced with narratives which dehumanise Ukrainians and show the authorities in Kyiv as a cynical modern heir to 20th century Nazism. Such a strategy can turn Ukraine into an acceptable target of the Kremlin's military aggression.
The involvement of far right groups in the run-up to and during 2014 Maidan events and since , has already been widely reported across much of the global mainstream media, for example, here , here , here , here and here , as well as in alternate media. To suggest that this narrative is Russian disinformation is ludicrous. What's more, the European Parliament have already recognised in 2012 the threat of the far-right parties like Svoboda and Pravi Sektor in Ukrainian politics:
Parliament goes on to express concern about the rising nationalistic sentiment in Ukraine, expressed in support for the Svoboda Party, which, as a result, is one of the two new parties to enter the Verkhovna Rada. It recalls that racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views go against the EU's fundamental values and principles and therefore appeals to pro-democratic parties in the Verkhovna Rada not to associate with, endorse or form coalitions with this party.
Team East StratCom, you are implying the EU dehumanised Ukraine! But then the EU did later drop its objection as members of the same racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic party gained positions in Ukraine's government , so perhaps you will be forgiven. Perhaps sowing a little confusion of its own, is Brussels.Disinformation Example 3: Russia is depicted as a 'defender' and a 'peacekeeper' and the West – as the villain .
Team East Stratcom likes using Twitter graphics as evidence when 'disproving pro-Kremlin disinformation.' Never mind history, reason and common sense – just bring out a nice Twitter graphic! According to disinfo mavens, any spike in Twitter activity with the words 'Russia' 'Moscow' or 'Putin' in reference to Venezuela is proof of a 'pro-Kremlin' disinformation campaign, says Team East StratCom. Here is their graphical chart of Twitter traffic:
But Russia is an ally of Venezuela so why would this not be reflected on Twitter when there is a blatant attempt by a Western aggressor to impose its military and economic will on Venezuela? Such was the situation in February when the US tried to pressure the Venezuelan government into allowing in trucks, supposedly carrying humanitarian aid, into the country. Aid as a Trojan Horse for weapons has historical context, especially with regards to the US and its new special envoy to Venezuela, Elliot Abrams , a convicted war criminal who illicitly supplied weapons to death squads in Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala on behalf of the Reagan presidency in the 1980s. Now that he is special envoy to Venezuela, it is common sense to suspect foul play. Can such people really be seen as peacekeepers, Team East Stratcom? And using a Twitter graphic to divert attention from a flagrant coup attempt by an aggressive power is more than a little contemptible. What's more, a few days afterwards, one of those trucks carrying supplies was found to contain nails and other materials useful for making barricades:
And so to sum up the tactics used by Team East StratCom for 'disproving pro-Kremlin disinformation', based on the above cases alone, a list could include for starters:
- Categorical denial of any wrongdoing by Western powers or NATO members
- Label any information emanating from a Russia media outlet as 'disinformation' or 'Kremlin propaganda'
- Discredit alternate media journalists who stray from Official Washington/London/Brussels position
- Diversion and distraction – dazzle the public with colourful Twitter graphics
- Remove any key political, geopolitical context
- Obscure or erase history
- Use of online tools like the Corruption Index promoted by same Western governments that fund bloody imperialist wars
- Use emotive, jingoistic themes
- Associate perceived ideological opponents with leaders on Western bogeyman list
- Repetition of pejorative terms and ad hominem smears such as 'pro-Kremlin' and' 'Putinist' to create division
- Infer that any dissenter in the West is a 'traitor.'
But Team East StratCom can't erase history or delete context or bore us half to death with those Twitter graphics and still expect to retain their credibility.
What's more, given the Russia-Trump collusion narrative has been exposed as a hoax, Team East StratCom really ought to let that one go .
Anyone for a pint?
Mar 27, 2019 | www.counterpunch.orgTwo years ago authors Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes wrote in their book Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign that within 24 hours of her 2016 electoral loss, Hillary Clinton's senior campaign staff decided to blame the loss on Russian interference. Given the apparent source of the charge in opposition research funded by the Clinton campaign , the move seemed both desperate and pathetic -- a thread for Clinton's true believers to hang onto, an effort to keep campaign contributions rolling in and a ploy to cleave liberals from the left through red-baiting.
For perspective, from the time leading up to the 2016 election through today, I chose to live amongst poor and working-class people of color, with occasional forays into the rural working and middle classes and the urban bourgeois. What became apparent early on is that the audience for the Russian interference story was the urban and suburban bourgeois who had seen their lots by-and-large restored by Barack Obama's bank bailouts and who had no knowledge of, or interaction with, the 90% of the country that is living, by degree, hand-to-mouth.
What this implies is that the received wisdom amongst bourgeois Democrats -- the bosses, bank managers, academics, realtors and administrative class, looks to be what it is: a combination of class loathing that their 'lessors' didn't perceive the munificent blessing of their electoral choice; mass delusion on the part of self-styled 'high-information voters' about who really controls American 'democracy;' and studied ignorance of the consequences of the last half-century of bi-partisan neoliberal governance.
As I wrote in early 2018:
"Prior to the 2016 presidential election, if one were to ask what single act could seal a new Cold War with Russia, align liberals and progressives with the operational core of the American military-industrial-surveillance complex, expose the preponderance of left-activism as an offshoot of Democratic Party operations and consign most of what remained to personal invective against an empirically dangerous leader, consensus would likely have it that doing so wouldn't be easy."
The Clinton campaign's decision to blame her electoral loss on Russian interference demonstrates why she was, and still is, unqualified to hold elected office. In the first, the U.S. – Russian rivalry is backed-up by hair-trigger nuclear arsenals that could end the world in a matter of minutes. Inciting tensions based on self-serving lies is stunningly reckless. In the second, the claim demonstrates utter contempt for her most loyal followers by feeding them purposely misleading explanations of the loss. And most damagingly for political opponents of Donald Trump, these actions give credence to the insurgent status of his retro-Republicanism against liberal and left defenders of the political establishment.
Most damaging to the burgeoning left in the U.S. is the deeply ugly character assassination of poor and working-class voters carried out by the urban bourgeois, many from the self-described radical left. People I know and like, but with whom I disagree politically but am working hard to convert, have spent the last three years being derided as traitorous, marginally literate hicks too stupid to know they are pawns of the Kremlin. The irony, if you care to call it that, is that they knew the Russian interference story was cynical bullshit all along while the graduate degree crowd was following every twist and turn as if it were true knowledge.
The Democratic Party 'leadership' that pursued this story is as stupid as it is corrupt. The purpose of Russia-gate was apparently to keep the Party faithful, faithful. But as was demonstrated in 2016, the faithful alone can't win an election. This leadership turned what could have been an effective 'give 'em enough rope' strategy against arrogant jackass Trump back on itself. The establishment-left had been in the process of giving self-described socialists someone to vote for in 2020. Too-clever-by-half liberal twaddle about 'post-truth' now has liberals -- universally conflated with the left, perceived as both idiots and liars. And rightly so.
Democrats who spent the last three years making less than plausible (and politically retrograde) accusations against Mr. Trump likely still don't understand their current position. Their call for an exhaustive investigation carried out by people they trust was honored. While the investigation was underway, the mainstream press put one ludicrous fantasy after another forward as news. This while a host of real issues affecting real people's lives were studiously ignored. As incredulous as I am that it could be done, liberal Democrats have made corrupt oligarch Trump appear to be righteously aggrieved. Who says these people have no talent?
The New York Times and Washington Post have been publishing politically motivated 'fake news' in support of establishment interests since their inceptions. Their service to powerful interests is why they are still around. The FBI, CIA and NSA have been putting out politically motivated bullshit since their respective inceptions. They exist to serve the rich and powerful against all comers. To claim these as bastions of integrity was always a tough sell. To continue to claim it is the stuff from which revolutions are made. In this case, right-wing revolutions.
While the urban bourgeois have long been dismissive of the 'burn it down' contingent of Trump voters, they seem incapable of seeing their own roles as defenders of the establishment as corrupt and ultimately, politically suicidal. I voted for a woman for president and a black man for vice president in 2016. But they weren't Democrats. Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election because she is a corrupt, neoliberal, militaristic piece of shit. Ironically, or not, most of Trump voters I've spoken with know more about the Democrats' actual record than the highly educated urban bourgeois pontificating on NPR or in the New York Times.
A quick bet is that the 2020 presidential election is now Donald Trump's to lose. Lying sacks of shit like James Clapper and John Brennan will tie their lots to whomever will fund their adventures in mal-governance as the world burns and species become extinct. The tragedy here is that there are real issues in need of resolution. The Democrats' three-year adventure in red-baiting served to legitimate a financial-military-industrial complex that apparently intends to end the planet as it makes as many people miserable in the process as is possible. Congratulations assholes. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Rob Urie
Rob Urie is an artist and political economist. His book Zen Economics is published by CounterPunch Books.
Mar 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
"We Are Not Investigators": CNN's Jeff Zucker Unapologetic For Perpetual Russia-Hoax Coverage
by Tyler Durden Tue, 03/26/2019 - 18:25 1.0K SHARES
CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker has all but admitted that the network is truly the "opposition party" to President Trump - telling the New York Times he is "entirely comfortable" with CNN's Trump-Russia coverage , while brushing off the fact that they were completely wrong about collusion.
" We are not investigators. We are journalists, and our role is to report the facts as we know them , which is exactly what we did," the unapologetic Zucker wrote in an email . "A sitting president's own Justice Department investigated his campaign for collusion with a hostile nation. That's not enormous because the media says so. That's enormous because it's unprecedented."
Except that a CNN producer on hidden camera admitted that the Russia story was all for ratings , and the narrative is "mostly bullshit."
Then there was CNN's Van Jones calling it a "nothing burger."
And in addition to CNN's hyperpartisan reporting against Trump, they've gotten it wrong several times . As Breitbart 's Josh Caplan notes:
Last December, CNN congressional correspondent Manu Raju reported that Wikileaks emailed Donald Trump Jr. access to information nearly two weeks prior to their public release. However, the network failed to verify the email's date -- September 14th, 2016 -- by which time the emails had already been released. In June, CNN reported former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci was being investigated for meeting with a Russian banker ahead of President Trump's inauguration. Scaramucci denied the claim and CNN eventually apologized for its inaccurate report. CNN Executive editor Lex Haris, editor Eric Lichtblau, and journalist Thomas Frank resigned in shame over the story.
Further, CNN claimed in July that Michael Cohen, President Trump's personal lawyer, was prepared to tell special counsel investigators that the president possesses advanced knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting between his son, Donald Trump Jr. and a Russia lawyer, and others. Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, later told CNN had "mixed up" its facts and denied claims that Cohen had any such knowledge about the meeting. - Breitbart
After more than two years of the FBI and DOJ probing every cavity they could, President Trump and his campaign were found to have not colluded with Russia -- according to a four-page summary of Mueller's findings written by Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversaw most of the special counsel's investigation.
Mar 25, 2019 | www.rt.com
Crying for indictments? Maddow 'holds backs tears' as she discusses end of Mueller probe (VIDEO)
The MSNBC host, who has devoted countless hours of airtime to gossiping about the alleged ties between President Donald Trump and the Kremlin, struggled to keep her composure while discussing the end of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, which wrapped up on Friday without issuing any further indictments.
Rachel Maddow ( @maddow ) is literally crying 😂😂😂 #LiberalismIsAMentalDisease #MuellerReport pic.twitter.com/hNZThQlREv-- Conservative Millennial (@deeg25) March 23, 2019
According to the Daily Caller, Maddow came close to crying as she commented on the Russiagate-deflating development. Many on Twitter insisted that she actually shed tears. A clip of the broadcast shows a watery-eyed Maddow seemingly grappling with the reality that Donald Trump and his family will not be frog-marched out of the White House.
Maddow didn't succumb to this unexpected and shocking injustice, however, and reassured her viewers that Mueller's decision not to issue a single collusion-related indictment is the "start of something apparently, not the end of something."The internet laughed and laughed.
"Very rough night at MSNBC. Rachel Maddow looks like she's going to cry. Chris Hayes glasses are all fogged up," noted radio host Mark Simone.
Very rough night at MSNBC. Rachel Maddow looks like she's going to cry. Chris Hayes glasses are all fogged up.-- MARK SIMONE (@MarkSimoneNY) March 23, 2019
"This is what it looks like when you've deliberately misled your audience for two years, and then the music stops, and the bill comes due. @maddow," tweeted OANN White House Correspondent Emerald Robinson.
This is what it looks like when you've deliberately misled your audience for two years, and then the music stops, and the bill comes due. @maddow https://t.co/4bkBUEwx8y-- Emerald Robinson (@EmeraldRobinson) March 23, 2019
"#Maddow either choking on kitty litter chunks or facing the hard cold reality she's the worst journalist in television history," quipped actor and conservative commentator James Woods.
"What's going on with Maddow? Has she been hospitalized? Sedated?" inquired journalist Michael Tracey.
Others expressed exasperation at Maddow's refusal to face the music, accusing the MSNBC host of ignoring real, pressing issues as she leads her Russiagate crusade.
"So can those of us on the left criticize Trump on the actual issues now, and FINALLY give up on #Russiagate? For 2 years, @maddow has lead @MSNBC in selling us the narrative that Trump colluded w/ Russia What will @maddow do now? Double down or actually do journalism?" asked author and activist Dennis Trainor Jr.
So can those of us on the left criticize Trump on the actual issues now, and FINALLY give up on #Russiagate ?-- Dennis Trainor Jr (@dennistrainorjr) March 23, 2019
For 2 years, @maddow has lead @MSNBC in selling us the narrative that Trump colluded w/ Russia
What will @maddow do now? Double down or actually do journalism?
Later on Saturday, Maddow mocked the suggestion that she was watery-eyed and might have held back tears.
LOL -- the Russia Today and conservative media news this morning that I **wept** -- I cried and cried -- through the show last night. LOLololol.-- Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) March 23, 2019
Mar 24, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Matt Taibbi, excerpted from his serial book Hate Inc.,
The Iraq war faceplant damaged the reputation of the press. Russiagate just destroyed it...
Note to readers: in light of news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation is complete, I'm releasing this chapter of Hate Inc. early, with a few new details added up top. Nobody wants to hear this, but news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is headed home without issuing new charges is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media.
As has long been rumored , the former FBI chief's independent probe will result in multiple indictments and convictions, but no " presidency-wrecking " conspiracy charges, or anything that would meet the layman's definition of "collusion" with Russia.
With the caveat that even this news might somehow turn out to be botched, the key detail in the many stories about the end of the Mueller investigation was best expressed by the New York Times :
A senior Justice Department official said that Mr. Mueller would not recommend new indictments.
The Times tried to soften the emotional blow for the millions of Americans trained in these years to place hopes for the overturn of the Trump presidency in Mueller. Nobody even pretended it was supposed to be a fact-finding mission, instead of an act of faith.
The Special Prosecutor literally became a religious figure during the last few years, with votive candles sold in his image and Saturday Night Live cast members singing " All I Want for Christmas is You " to him featuring the rhymey line: "Mueller please come through, because the only option is a coup."
The Times story today tried to preserve Santa Mueller's reputation, noting Trump's Attorney General William Barr's reaction was an "endorsement" of the fineness of Mueller's work:
In an apparent endorsement of an investigation that Mr. Trump has relentlessly attacked as a "witch hunt," Mr. Barr said Justice Department officials never had to intervene to keep Mr. Mueller from taking an inappropriate or unwarranted step.
Mueller, in other words, never stepped out of the bounds of his job description. But could the same be said for the news media?
For those anxious to keep the dream alive, the Times published its usual graphic of Trump-Russia "contacts," inviting readers to keep making connections. But in a separate piece by Peter Baker , the paper noted the Mueller news had dire consequences for the press:
It will be a reckoning for President Trump, to be sure, but also for Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, for Congress, for Democrats, for Republicans, for the news media and, yes, for the system as a whole
This is a damning page one admission by the Times. Despite the connect-the-dots graphic in its other story, and despite the astonishing, emotion-laden editorial the paper also ran suggesting " We don't need to read the Mueller report " because we know Trump is guilty, Baker at least began the work of preparing Times readers for a hard question: "Have journalists connected too many dots that do not really add up?"
The paper was signaling it understood there would now be questions about whether or not news outlets like themselves made a galactic error by betting heavily on a new, politicized approach , trying to be true to "history's judgment" on top of the hard-enough job of just being true. Worse, in a brutal irony everyone should have seen coming , the press has now handed Trump the mother of campaign issues heading into 2020.
Nothing Trump is accused of from now on by the press will be believed by huge chunks of the population, a group that (perhaps thanks to this story) is now larger than his original base. As Baker notes, a full 50.3% of respondents in a poll conducted this month said they agree with Trump the Mueller probe is a "witch hunt."
Stories have been coming out for some time now hinting Mueller's final report might leave audiences " disappointed ," as if a President not being a foreign spy could somehow be bad news.
Openly using such language has, all along, been an indictment. Imagine how tone-deaf you'd have to be to not realize it makes you look bad, when news does not match audience expectations you raised. To be unaware of this is mind-boggling, the journalistic equivalent of walking outside without pants.
There will be people protesting: the Mueller report doesn't prove anything! What about the 37 indictments? The convictions? The Trump tower revelations? The lies! The meeting with Don, Jr.? The financial matters ! There's an ongoing grand jury investigation, and possible sealed indictments, and the House will still investigate, and
Stop. Just stop. Any journalist who goes there is making it worse.
For years, every pundit and Democratic pol in Washington hyped every new Russia headline like the Watergate break-in. Now, even Nancy Pelosi has said impeachment is out, unless something "so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan" against Trump is uncovered it would be worth their political trouble to prosecute.
The biggest thing this affair has uncovered so far is Donald Trump paying off a porn star. That's a hell of a long way from what this business was supposedly about at the beginning, and shame on any reporter who tries to pretend this isn't so.
The story hyped from the start was espionage: a secret relationship between the Trump campaign and Russian spooks who'd helped him win the election.
The betrayal narrative was not reported at first as metaphor. It was not "Trump likes the Russians so much, he might as well be a spy for them." It was literal spying, treason, and election-fixing – crimes so severe, former NSA employee John Schindler told reporters, Trump " will die in jail ."
In the early months of this scandal, the New York Times said Trump's campaign had "repeated contacts" with Russian intelligence; the Wall Street Journal told us our spy agencies were withholding intelligence from the new President out of fear he was compromised; news leaked out our spy chiefs had even told other countries like Israel not to share their intel with us, because the Russians might have "leverages of pressure" on Trump.
CNN told us Trump officials had been in "constant contact" with "Russians known to U.S. intelligence," and the former director of the CIA, who'd helped kick-start the investigation that led to Mueller's probe, said the President was guilty of "high crimes and misdemeanors," committing acts " nothing short of treasonous ."
Hillary Clinton insisted Russians "could not have known how to weaponize" political ads unless they'd been "guided" by Americans. Asked if she meant Trump, she said, " It's pretty hard not to ." Harry Reid similarly said he had "no doubt" that the Trump campaign was " in on the deal " to help Russians with the leak.
None of this has been walked back. To be clear, if Trump were being blackmailed by Russian agencies like the FSB or the GRU, if he had any kind of relationship with Russian intelligence, that would soar over the "overwhelming and bipartisan" standard, and Nancy Pelosi would be damning torpedoes for impeachment right now.
There was never real gray area here. Either Trump is a compromised foreign agent, or he isn't. If he isn't, news outlets once again swallowed a massive disinformation campaign, only this error is many orders of magnitude more stupid than any in the recent past, WMD included. Honest reporters like ABC's Terry Moran understand: Mueller coming back empty-handed on collusion means a " reckoning for the media ."
Of course, there won't be such a reckoning. (There never is). But there should be. We broke every written and unwritten rule in pursuit of this story, starting with the prohibition on reporting things we can't confirm.
#Russiagate debuted as a media phenomenon in mid-summer, 2016. The roots of the actual story, i.e. when the multi-national investigation began, go back much further, to the previous year at least. Oddly, that origin tale has not been nailed down yet, and blue-state audiences don't seem terribly interested in it, either.
By June and July of 2016, bits of the dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, which had been funded by the Democratic National Committee through the law firm Perkins Coie (which in turn hired the opposition research firm Fusion GPS), were already in the ether.
The Steele report occupies the same role in #Russiagate the tales spun by Ahmed Chalabi occupied in the WMD screwup. Once again, a narrative became turbo-charged when Officials With Motives pulled the press corps by its nose to a swamp of unconfirmable private assertions.
Some early stories, like a July 4, 2016 piece by Franklin Foer in Slate called " Putin's Puppet ," outlined future Steele themes in "circumstantial" form. But the actual dossier, while it influenced a number of pre-election Trump-Russia news stories (notably one by Michael Isiskoff of Yahoo! that would be used in a FISA warrant application ), didn't make it into print for a while.
Though it was shopped to at least nine news organizations during the summer and fall of 2016, no one bit, for the good reason that news organizations couldn't verify its "revelations."
The Steele claims were explosive if true. The ex-spy reported Trump aide Carter Page had been offered fees on a big new slice of the oil giant Rosneft if he could help get sanctions against Russia lifted. He also said Trump lawyer Michael Cohen went to Prague for "secret discussions with Kremlin representatives and associated operators/hackers."
Most famously, he wrote the Kremlin had kompromat of Trump "deriling" [sic] a bed once used by Barack and Michelle Obama by "employing a number of prostitutes to perform a 'golden showers' (urination) show."
This was too good of a story not to do. By hook or crook, it had to come out. The first salvo was by David Corn of Mother Jones on October 31, 2016: " A Veteran Spy Has Given the FBI Information Alleging a Russian Operation to Cultivate Donald Trump ."
The piece didn't have pee, Prague, or Page in it, but it did say Russian intelligence had material that could "blackmail" Trump. It was technically kosher to print because Corn wasn't publishing the allegations themselves, merely that the FBI had taken possession of them.
A bigger pretext was needed to get the other details out. This took place just after the election, when four intelligence officials presented copies of the dossier to both President-Elect Trump and outgoing President Obama.
From his own memos , we know FBI Director James Comey, ostensibly evincing concern for Trump's welfare, told the new President he was just warning him about what was out there, as possible blackmail material:
I wasn't saying [the Steele report] was true, only that I wanted him to know both that it had been reported and that the reports were in many hands. I said media like CNN had them and were looking for a news hook. I said it was important that we not give them the excuse to write that the FBI has the material or [redacted] and that we were keeping it very close-hold [sic].
Comey's generous warning to Trump about not providing a "news hook," along with a promise to keep it all "close-held," took place on January 6, 2017. Within four days, basically the entire Washington news media somehow knew all about this top-secret meeting and had the very hook they needed to go public. Nobody in the mainstream press thought this was weird or warranted comment.
Even Donald Trump was probably smart enough to catch the hint when, of all outlets, it was CNN that first broke the story of "Classified documents presented last week to Trump" on January 10 .
At the same time, Buzzfeed made the historic decision to publish the entire Steele dossier, bringing years of pee into our lives. This move birthed the Russiagate phenomenon as a never-ending, minute-to-minute factor in American news coverage.
Comey was right. We couldn't have reported this story without a "hook." Therefore the reports surrounding Steele technically weren't about the allegations themselves, but rather the journey of those allegations, from one set of official hands to another. Handing the report to Trump created a perfect pretext.
This trick has been used before, both in Washington and on Wall Street, to publicize unconfirmed private research. A short seller might hire a consulting firm to prepare a report on a company he or she has bet against. When the report is completed, the investor then tries to get the SEC or the FBI to take possession. If they do, news leaks the company is "under investigation," the stock dives, and everyone wins.
This same trick is found in politics. A similar trajectory drove negative headlines in the scandal surrounding New Jersey's Democratic Senator Bob Menendez, who was said to be under investigation by the FBI for underage sex crimes (although some were skeptical ). The initial story didn't hold up, but led to other investigations.
Same with the so-called " Arkansas project ," in which millions of Republican-friendly private research dollars produced enough noise about the Whitewater scandal to create years of headlines about the Clintons. Swiftboating was another example. Private oppo isn't inherently bad. In fact it has led to some incredible scoops, including Enron. But reporters usually know to be skeptical of private info, and figure the motives of its patrons into the story.
The sequence of events in that second week of January, 2017 will now need to be heavily re-examined. We now know, from his own testimony , that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had some kind of role in helping CNN do its report, presumably by confirming part of the story, perhaps through an intermediary or two (there is some controversy over whom exactly was contacted, and when).
Why would real security officials help litigate this grave matter through the media? Why were the world's most powerful investigative agencies acting like they were trying to move a stock, pushing an private, unverified report that even Buzzfeed could see had factual issues? It made no sense at the time , and makes less now.
In January of 2017, Steele's pile of allegations became public, read by millions. "It is not just unconfirmed," Buzzfeed admitted . "It includes some clear errors."
Buzzfeed's decision exploded traditional journalistic standards against knowingly publishing material whose veracity you doubt. Although a few media ethicists wondered at it , this seemed not to bother the rank-and-file in the business. Buzzfeed chief Ben Smith is still proud of his decision today. I think this was because many reporters believed the report was true.
When I read the report, I was in shock. I thought it read like fourth-rate suspense fiction (I should know: I write fourth-rate suspense fiction). Moreover it seemed edited both for public consumption and to please Steele's DNC patrons.
Steele wrote of Russians having a file of "compromising information" on Hillary Clinton, only this file supposedly lacked "details/evidence of unorthodox or embarrassing behavior" or "embarrassing conduct."
We were meant to believe the Russians, across decades of dirt-digging, had an empty kompromat file on Hillary Clinton, to say nothing of human tabloid headline Bill Clinton? This point was made more than once in the reports, as if being emphasized for the reading public.
There were other curious lines, including the bit about Russians having "moles" in the DNC, plus some linguistic details that made me wonder at the nationality of the report author.
Still, who knew? It could be true. But even the most cursory review showed the report had issues and would need a lot of confirming. This made it more amazing that the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, held hearings on March 20, 2017 that blithely read out Steele report details as if they were fact. From Schiff's opening statement:
According to Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer who is reportedly held in high regard by U.S. Intelligence, Russian sources tell him that Page has also had a secret meeting with Igor Sechin (SEH-CHIN), CEO of Russian gas giant Rosneft Page is offered brokerage fees by Sechin on a deal involving a 19 percent share of the company.
I was stunned watching this. It's generally understood that members of congress, like reporters, make an effort to vet at least their prepared remarks before making them public.
But here was Schiff, telling the world Trump aide Carter Page had been offered huge fees on a 19% stake in Rosneft – a company with a $63 billion market capitalization – in a secret meeting with a Russian oligarch who was also said to be "a KGB agent and close friend of Putin's."
(Schiff meant "FSB agent." The inability of #Russiagaters to remember Russia is not the Soviet Union became increasingly maddening over time. Donna Brazile still hasn't deleted her tweet about how " The Communists are now dictating the terms of the debate ." )
Schiff's speech raised questions. Do we no longer have to worry about getting accusations right if the subject is tied to Russiagate? What if Page hadn't done any of these things? To date, he hasn't been charged with anything. Shouldn't a member of Congress worry about this?
A few weeks after that hearing, Steele gave testimony in a British lawsuit filed by one of the Russian companies mentioned in his reports. In a written submission , Steele said his information was "raw" and "needed to be analyzed and further investigated/verified." He also wrote that (at least as pertained to the memo in that case) he had not written his report "with the intention that it be republished to the world at large."
That itself was a curious statement, given that Steele reportedly spoke with multiple reporters in the fall of 2016, but this was his legal position. This story about Steele's British court statements did not make it into the news much in the United States, apart from a few bits in conservative outlets like The Washington Times.
I contacted Schiff's office to ask if the congressman if he knew about Steele's admission that his report needed verifying, and if that changed his view of it at all. The response (emphasis mine):
The dossier compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele and which was leaked publicly several months ago contains information that may be pertinent to our investigation. This is true regardless of whether it was ever intended for public dissemination. Accordingly, the Committee hopes to speak with Mr. Steele in order to help substantiate or refute each of the allegations contained in the dossier.
Schiff had not spoken to Steele before the hearing, and read out the allegations knowing they were unsubstantiated.
The Steele report was the Magna Carta of #Russiagate. It provided the implied context for thousands of news stories to come, yet no journalist was ever able to confirm its most salacious allegations: the five year cultivation plan, the blackmail, the bribe from Sechin, the Prague trip, the pee romp, etc. In metaphorical terms, we were unable to independently produce Steele's results in the lab. Failure to reckon with this corrupted the narrative from the start.
For years, every hint the dossier might be true became a banner headline, while every time doubt was cast on Steele's revelations, the press was quiet. Washington Post reporter Greg Miller went to Prague and led a team looking for evidence Cohen had been there. Post reporters, Miller said, "literally spent weeks and months trying to run down" the Cohen story.
"We sent reporters through every hotel in Prague, through all over the place, just to try to figure out if he was ever there," he said, "and came away empty."
This was heads-I-win, tails-you-lose reporting. One assumes if Miller found Cohen's name in a hotel ledger, it would have been on page 1 of the Post. The converse didn't get a mention in Miller's own paper. He only told the story during a discussion aired by C-SPAN about a new book he'd published. Only The Daily Caller and a few conservative blogs picked it up.
It was the same when Bob Woodward said, "I did not find [espionage or collusion] Of course I looked for it, looked for it hard."
The celebrated Watergate muckraker – who once said he'd succumbed to "groupthink" in the WMD episode and added, "I blame myself mightily for not pushing harder" – didn't push very hard here, either. News that he'd tried and failed to find collusion didn't get into his own paper. It only came out when Woodward was promoting his book Fear in a discussion with conservative host Hugh Hewitt.
When Michael Cohen testified before congress and denied under oath ever being in Prague, it was the same. Few commercial news outlets bothered to take note of the implications this had for their previous reports. Would a man clinging to a plea deal lie to congress on national television about this issue?
There was a CNN story , but the rest of the coverage was all in conservative outlets – the National Review , Fox , The Daily Caller . The Washington Post's response was to run an editorial sneering at " How conservative media downplayed Michael Cohen's testimony ."
Perhaps worst of all was the episode involving Yahoo! reporter Michael Isikoff. He had already been part of one strange tale: the FBI double-dipping when it sought a FISA warrant to conduct secret surveillance of Carter Page, the would-be mastermind who was supposed to have brokered a deal with oligarch Sechin.
In its FISA application, the FBI included both the unconfirmed Steele report and Isikoff's September 23, 2016 Yahoo! story, " U.S. Intel Officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin ." The Isikoff story, which claimed Page had met with "high ranking sanctioned officials" in Russia, had relied upon Steele as an unnamed source.
This was similar to a laundering technique used in the WMD episode called "stove-piping," i.e. officials using the press to "confirm" information the officials themselves fed the reporter.
But there was virtually no non-conservative press about this problem apart from a Washington Post story pooh-poohing the issue. (Every news story that casts any doubt on the collusion issue seems to meet with an instantaneous "fact check" in the Post .) The Post insisted the FISA issue wasn't serious among other things because Steele was not the "foundation" of Isikoff's piece.
Isikoff was perhaps the reporter most familiar with Steele. He and Corn of Mother Jones , who also dealt with the ex-spy, wrote a bestselling book that relied upon theories from Steele, Russian Roulette , including a rumination on the "pee" episode. Yet Isikoff in late 2018 suddenly said he believed the Steele report would turn out to be " mostly false ."
Once again, this only came out via a podcast, John Ziegler's "Free Speech Broadcasting" show. Here's a transcript of the relevant section:
Isikoff: When you actually get into the details of the Steele dossier, the specific allegations, you know, we have not seen the evidence to support them. And in fact there is good grounds to think some of the more sensational allegations will never be proven, and are likely false.
Isikoff: I think it's a mixed record at best at this point, things could change, Mueller may yet produce evidence that changes this calculation. But based on the public record at this point I have to say that most of the specific allegations have not been borne out.
Ziegler: That's interesting to hear you say that, Michael because as I'm sure you know, your book was kind of used to validate the pee tape, for lack of a better term.
Isikoff: Yeah. I think we had some evidence in there of an event that may have inspired the pee tape and that was the visit that Trump made with a number of characters who later showed up in Moscow, specifically Emin Agalarov and Rob Goldstone to this raunchy Las Vegas nightclub where one of the regular acts was a skit called "Hot For Teacher" in which dancers posing as college Co-Ed's urinated – or simulated urinating on their professor. Which struck me as an odd coincidence at best. I think, you know, it is not implausible that event may have inspired...
Ziegler: An urban legend?
Isikoff: ...allegations that appeared in the Steele dossier.
Isikoff delivered this story with a laughing tone. He seamlessly transitioned to what he then called the "real" point, i.e. "the irony is Steele may be right, but it wasn't the Kremlin that had sexual kompromat on Donald Trump, it was the National Enquirer. "
Recapping: the reporter who introduced Steele to the world (his September 23, 2016 story was the first to reference him as a source), who wrote a book that even he concedes was seen as "validating" the pee tape story, suddenly backtracks and says the whole thing may have been based on a Las Vegas strip act, but it doesn't matter because Stormy Daniels, etc.
Another story of this type involved a court case in which Webzilla and parent company XBT sued Steele and Buzzfeed over the mention their firm in one of the memos. It came out in court testimony that Steele had culled information about XBT/Webzilla from a 2009 post on CNN's "iReports" page .
Asked if he understood these posts came from random users and not CNN journalists who'd been fact-checked, Steele replied, " I do not ."
This comical detail was similar to news that the second British Mi6 dossier released just before the Iraq invasion had been plagiarized in part from a thirteen year-old student thesis from California State University, not even by intelligence people, but by mid-level functionaries in Tony Blair's press office.
There were so many profiles of Steele as an " astoundingly diligent " spymaster straight out of LeCarre : he was routinely described like a LeCarre-ian grinder like the legendary George Smiley, a man in the shadows whose bookish intensity was belied by his "average," "neutral," "quiet," demeanor, being "more low-key than Smiley." One would think it might have rated a mention that our "Smiley" was cutting and pasting text like a community college freshman. But the story barely made news.
This has been a consistent pattern throughout #Russiagate. Step one: salacious headline. Step two, days or weeks later: news emerges the story is shakier than first believed. Step three (in the best case) involves the story being walked back or retracted by the same publication.
That's been rare. More often, when explosive #Russiagate headlines go sideways, the original outlets simply ignore the new development, leaving the "retraction" process to conservative outlets that don't reach the original audiences.
This is a major structural flaw of the new fully-divided media landscape in which Republican media covers Democratic corruption and Democratic media covers Republican corruption. If neither "side" feels the need to disclose its own errors and inconsistencies, mistakes accumulate quickly.
This has been the main difference between Russiagate and the WMD affair. Despite David Remnick's post-invasion protestations that "nobody got [WMD] completely right," the Iraq war was launched against the objections of the 6 million or more people who did get it right, and protested on the streets . There was open skepticism of Bush claims dotting the press landscape from the start, with people like Jack Shafer tearing apart every Judith Miller story in print. Most reporters are Democrats and the people hawking the WMD story were mostly Republicans, so there was political space for protest.
Russiagate happened in an opposite context. If the story fell apart it would benefit Donald Trump politically, a fact that made a number of reporters queasy about coming forward. #Russiagate became synonymous with #Resistance, which made public skepticism a complicated proposition.
Early in the scandal, I appeared on To The Point, a California-based public radio show hosted by Warren Olney, with Corn of Mother Jones. I knew David a little and had been friendly with him. He once hosted a book event for me in Washington. In the program, however, the subject of getting facts right came up and Corn said this was not a time for reporters to be picking nits:
So Democrats getting overeager, overenthusiastic, stating things that may not be [unintelligible] true ? Well, tell me a political issue where that doesn't happen. I think that's looking at the wrong end of the telescope.
I wrote him later and suggested that since we're in the press, and not really about anything except avoiding "things that may not be true," maybe we had different responsibilities than "Democrats"? He wrote back:
Feel free to police the Trump opposition. But on the list of shit that needs to be covered these days, that's just not high on my personal list.
Other reporters spoke of an internal struggle. When the Mueller indictment of the Internet Research Agency was met with exultation in the media, New Yorker writer Adrian Chen, who broke the original IRA story, was hesitant to come forward with some mild qualms about the way the story was being reported:
"Either I could stay silent and allow the conversation to be dominated by those pumping up the Russian threat," he said, "or I could risk giving fodder to Trump and his allies."
After writing, " Confessions of a Russiagate Skeptic ," poor Blake Hounsell of Politico took such a beating on social media, he ended up denouncing himself a year later.
"What I meant to write is, I wasn't skeptical," he said.
Years ago, in the midst of the WMD affair, Times public editor Daniel Okrent noted the paper's standard had moved from "Don't get it first, get it right" to "Get it first and get it right." From there, Okrent wrote , "the next devolution was an obvious one."
We're at that next devolution: first and wrong. The Russiagate era has so degraded journalism that even once "reputable" outlets are now only about as right as politicians, which is to say barely ever, and then only by accident.
Early on, I was so amazed by the sheer quantity of Russia "bombshells" being walked back, I started to keep a list. It's well above 50 stories now. As has been noted by Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept and others, if the mistakes were random, you'd expect them in both directions , but Russiagate errors uniformly go the same way.
In some cases the stories are only partly wrong, as in the case of the famed " 17 intelligence agencies said Russia was behind the hacking " story (it was actually four: the Director of National Intelligence "hand-picking" a team from the FBI, CIA, and NSA).
In other cases the stories were blunt false starts, resulting in ugly sets of matching headlines:
" Russian operation hacked a Vermont utility "
Washington Post, December 31, 2016.
" Russian government hackers do not appear to have targeted Vermont utility "
Washington Post, Jan. 2, 2017.
" Trump Campaign Aides had repeated contacts with Russian Intelligence ," published by the Times on Valentine's Day, 2017, was an important, narrative-driving "bombshell" that looked dicey from the start. The piece didn't say whether the contact was witting or unwitting, whether the discussions were about business or politics, or what the contacts supposedly were at all.
Normally a reporter would want to know what the deal is before he or she runs a story accusing people of having dealings with foreign spies. "Witting" or "Unwitting" ought to be a huge distinction, for instance. It soon after came out that people like former CIA chief John Brennan don't think this is the case. "Frequently, people who are on a treasonous path do not know they're on a treasonous path," he said, speaking of Trump's circle.
This seemed a dangerous argument, the kind of thing that led to trouble in the McCarthy years. But let's say the contacts were serious. From a reporting point of view, you'd still need to know exactly what the nature of such contacts were before you run that story, because the headline implication is grave. Moreover you'd need to know it well enough to report it, i.e. it's not enough to be told a convincing story off-the-record, you need to be able to share with readers enough so that they can characterize the news themselves.
Not to the Times, which ran the article without the specifics. Months later, Comey blew up this "contacts" story in public, saying, " in the main, it was not true ."
As was the case with the "17 agencies" error, which only got fixed when Clapper testified in congress and was forced to make the correction under oath, the "repeated contacts" story was only disputed when Comey testified in congress, this time before the Senate Intelligence Committee . How many other errors of this type are waiting to be disclosed?
Even the mistakes caught were astounding. On December 1, 2017, ABC reporter Brian Ross claimed Trump "as a candidate" instructed Michael Flynn to contact Russia. The news caused the Dow to plummet 350 points. The story was retracted almost immediately and Ross was suspended .
Bloomberg reported Mueller subpoenaed Trump's Deutsche Bank accounts; the subpoenas turned out to be of other individuals' records. Fortune said C-SPAN was hacked after Russia Today programming briefly interrupted coverage of a Maxine Waters floor address. The New York Times also ran the story, and it's still up, despite C-SPAN insisting its own "internal routing error" likely caused the feed to appear in place of its own broadcast.
CNN has its own separate sub-list of wrecks. Three of the network's journalists resigned after a story purporting to tie Trump advisor Anthony Scaramucci to a Russian investment fund was retracted. Four more CNN reporters (Gloria Borger, Eric Lichtblau, Jake Tapper and Brian Rokus) were bylined in a story that claimed Comey was expected to refute Trump's claims he was told he wasn't the target of an investigation. Comey blew that one up, too.
In another CNN scoop gone awry, " Email pointed Trump campaign to WikiLeaks documents ," the network's reporters were off by ten days in a "bombshell" that supposedly proved the Trump campaign had foreknowledge of Wikileaks dumps. "It's, uh, perhaps not as significant as what we know now," offered CNN's Manu Raju in a painful on-air retraction .
The worst stories were the ones never corrected. A particularly bad example is " After Florida School Shooting, Russian 'Bot' Army Pounced ," from the New York Times on Feb 18, 2018. The piece claimed Russians were trying to divide Americans on social media after a mass shooting using Twitter hashtags like #guncontrolnow, #gunreformnow and #Parklandshooting.
The Times ran this quote high up:
"This is pretty typical for them, to hop on breaking news like this," said Jonathon Morgan, chief executive of New Knowledge, a company that tracks online disinformation campaigns. "The bots focus on anything that is divisive for Americans. Almost systematically."
About a year after this story came out, Times reporters Scott Shane and Ann Blinder reported that the same outfit, New Knowledge , and in particular that same Jonathon Morgan, had participated in a cockamamie scheme to fake Russian troll activity in an Alabama Senate race. The idea was to try to convince voters Russia preferred the Republican.
The Times quoted a New Knowledge internal report about the idiotic Alabama scheme:
We orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet
The Parkland story was iffy enough when it came out, as Twitter disputed it, and another of the main sources for the initial report, former intelligence official Clint Watts, subsequently said he was "not convinced" on the whole "bot thing."
But when one of your top sources turns out to have faked exactly the kind of activity described in your article, you should at least take the quote out, or put an update online. No luck: the story remains up on the Times site, without disclaimers.
Russiagate institutionalized one of the worst ethical loopholes in journalism, which used to be limited mainly to local crime reporting. It's always been a problem that we publish mugshots and names of people merely arrested but not yet found guilty. Those stories live forever online and even the acquitted end up permanently unable to get jobs, smeared as thieves, wife-beaters, drunk drivers, etc.
With Russiagate the national press abandoned any pretense that there's a difference between indictment and conviction. The most disturbing story involved Maria Butina. Here authorities and the press shared responsibility. Thanks to an indictment that initially said the Russian traded sex for favors, the Times and other outlets flooded the news cycle with breathless stories about a redheaded slut-temptress come to undermine democracy, a "real-life Red Sparrow," as ABC put it.
But a judge threw out the sex charge after "five minutes" when it turned out to be based on a single joke text to a friend who had taken Butina's car for inspection.
It's pretty hard to undo public perception you're a prostitute once it's been in a headline, and, worse, the headlines are still out there. You can still find stories like " Maria Butina, Suspected Secret Agent, Used Sex in Covert Plan " online in the New York Times.
Here a reporter might protest: how would I know? Prosecutors said she traded sex for money. Why shouldn't I believe them?
How about because, authorities have been lying their faces off to reporters since before electricity! It doesn't take much investigation to realize the main institutional sources in the Russiagate mess – the security services, mainly – have extensive records of deceiving the media.
As noted before, from World War I-era tales of striking union workers being German agents to the "missile gap" that wasn't (the "gap" was leaked to the press before the Soviets had even one operational ICBM) to the Gulf of Tonkin mess to all the smears of people like Martin Luther King, it's a wonder newspapers listen to whispers from government sources at all.
In the Reagan years National Security Adviser John Poindexter spread false stories about Libyan terrorist plots to The Wall Street Journal and other papers. In the Bush years, Dick Cheney et al were selling manure by the truckload about various connections between Iraq and al-Qaeda, infamously including a story that bomber Mohammed Atta met with Iraqi intelligence officials in Prague.
The New York Times ran a story that Atta was in Prague in late October of 2001, even giving a date of the meeting with Iraqis, April 8, or "just five months before the terrorist attacks." The Prague story was another example of a tale that seemed shaky because American officials were putting the sourcing first on foreign intelligence, then on reporters themselves. Cheney cited the Prague report in subsequent TV appearances, one of many instances of feeding reporters tidbits and then selling reports as independent confirmation.
It wasn't until three years later, in 2004, that Times reporter James Risen definitively killed the Atta-in-Prague canard (why is it always Prague?) in a story entitled " No evidence of meeting with Iraqi ." By then, of course, it was too late. The Times also held a major dissenting piece by Risen about the WMD case, "C.I.A. Aides Feel Pressure in Preparing Iraqi Reports," until days after war started. This is what happens when you start thumbing the scale.
This failure to demand specifics has been epidemic in Russiagate, even when good reporters have been involved. One of the biggest "revelations" of this era involved a story that was broken first by a terrible reporter (the Guardian's Luke Harding) and followed up by a good one (Jane Mayer of the New Yorker ). The key detail involved the elusive origin story of Russiagate.
Mayer's piece, the March 12, 2018 " Christopher Steele, the Man Behind The Trump Dossier " in the New Yorker , impacted the public mainly by seeming to bolster the credentials of the dossier author. But it contained an explosive nugget far down. Mayer reported Robert Hannigan, then-head of the GCHQ (the British analog to the NSA) intercepted a "stream of illicit communications" between "Trump's team and Moscow" at some point prior to August 2016. Hannigan flew to the U.S. and briefed CIA director John Brennan about these communications. Brennan later testified this inspired the original FBI investigation.
When I read that, a million questions came to mind, but first: what did "illicit" mean?
If something "illicit" had been captured by GCHQ, and this led to the FBI investigation (one of several conflicting public explanations for the start of the FBI probe, incidentally), this would go a long way toward clearing up the nature of the collusion charge. If they had something, why couldn't they tell us what it was? Why didn't we deserve to know?
I asked the Guardian: "Was any attempt made to find out what those communications were? How was the existence of these communications confirmed? Did anyone from the Guardian see or hear these intercepts, or transcripts?"
Their one-sentence reply:
The Guardian has strict and rigorous procedures when dealing with source material.
That's the kind of answer you'd expect from a transnational bank, or the army, not a newspaper.
I asked Mayer the same questions. She was more forthright, noting that, of course, the story had originally been broken by Harding , whose own report said "the precise nature of these exchanges has not been made public."
She added that "afterwards I independently confirmed aspects of [Harding's piece] with several well-informed sources," and "spent months on the Steele story [and] traveled to the UK twice for it." But, she wrote, "the Russiagate story, like all reporting on sensitive national security issues, is difficult."
I can only infer she couldn't find out what "illicit" meant despite proper effort. The detail was published anyway. It may not have seemed like a big deal, but I think it was.
To be clear, I don't necessarily disbelieve the idea that there were "illicit" contacts between Trump and Russians in early 2015 or before. But if there were such contacts, I can't think of any legitimate reason why their nature should be withheld from the public.
If authorities can share reasons for concern with foreign countries like Israel, why should American voters not be so entitled? Moreover the idea that we need to keep things secret to protect sources and methods and "tradecraft" (half the press corps became expert in goofy spy language over the last few years, using terms like "SIGINT" like they've known them their whole lives), why are we leaking news of our ability to hear Russian officials cheerin g Trump's win?
Failure to ask follow-up questions happened constantly with this story. One of the first reports that went sideways involved a similar dynamic: the contention that some leaked DNC emails were forgeries.
MSNBC's "Intelligence commentator" Malcolm Nance, perhaps the most enthusiastic source of questionable #Russiagate news this side of Twitter conspiracist Louise Mensch, tweeted on October 11, 2016: " #PodestaEmails are already proving to be riddled with obvious forgeries & #blackpropaganda not even professionally done."
As noted in The Intercept and elsewhere, this was re-reported by the likes of David Frum (a key member of the club that has now contributed to both the WMD and Russiagate panics) and MSNBC host Joy Reid . The reports didn't stop until roughly October of 2016, among other things because the Clinton campaign kept suggesting to reporters the emails were fake. This could have been stopped sooner if examples of a forgery had been demanded from the Clinton campaign earlier.
Another painful practice that became common was failing to confront your own sources when news dispositive to what they've told you pops up. The omnipresent Clapper told Chuck Todd on March 5, 2017, without equivocation, that there had been no FISA application involving Trump or his campaign. " I can deny it ," he said.
It soon after came out this wasn't true. The FBI had a FISA warrant on Carter Page. This was not a small misstatement by Clapper, because his appearance came a day after Trump claimed in a tweet he'd had his " wires tapped ." Trump was widely ridiculed for this claim, perhaps appropriately so, but in addition to the Page news, it later came out there had been a FISA warrant of Paul Manafort as well, during which time Trump may have been the subject of " incidental " surveillance.
Whether or not this was meaningful, or whether these warrants were justified, are separate questions. The important thing is, Clapper either lied to Todd, or else he somehow didn't know the FBI had obtained these warrants. The latter seems absurd and unlikely. Either way, Todd ought to been peeved and demanded an explanation. Instead, he had Clapper back on again within months and gave him the usual softball routine, never confronting him about the issue.
Reporters repeatedly got burned and didn't squawk about it. Where are the outraged stories about all the scads of anonymous "people familiar with the matter" who put reporters in awkward spots in the last years? Why isn't McClatchy demanding the heads of whatever "four people with knowledge" convinced them to double down on the Cohen-in-Prague story ?
Why isn't every reporter who used "New Knowledge" as a source about salacious Russian troll stories out for their heads (or the heads of the congressional sources who passed this stuff on), after reports they faked Russian trolling? How is it possible NBC and other outlets continued to use New Knowledge as a source in stories identifying antiwar Democrat Tulsi Gabbard as a Russian-backed candidate?
How do the Guardian's editors not already have Harding's head in a vice for hanging them out to dry on the most dubious un-retracted story in modern history – the tale that the most watched human on earth, Julian Assange, had somehow been visited in the Ecuadorian embassy by Paul Manafort without leaving any record? I'd be dragging Harding's "well placed source" into the office and beating him with a hose until he handed them something that would pass for corroborating evidence.
The lack of blowback over episodes in which reporters were put in public compromised situations speaks to the overly cozy relationships outlets had with official sources. Too often, it felt like a team effort, where reporters seemed to think it was their duty to take the weight if sources pushed them to overreach. They had absolutely no sense of institutional self-esteem about this.
Being on any team is a bad look for the press, but the press being on team FBI/CIA is an atrocity, Trump or no Trump. Why bother having a press corps at all if you're going to go that route?
This posture all been couched as anti-Trump solidarity, but really, did former CIA chief John Brennan – the same Brennan who should himself have faced charges for lying to congress about hacking the computers of Senate staff – need the press to whine on his behalf when Trump yanked his security clearance? Did we need the press to hum Aretha Franklin tunes, as ABC did, and chide Trump for lacking R-E-S-P-E-C-T for the CIA? We don't have better things to do than that "work"?
This catalogue of factual errors and slavish stenography will stand out when future analysts look back at why the "MSM" became a joke during this period, but they were only a symptom of a larger problem. The bigger issue was a radical change in approach.
A lot of #Russiagate coverage became straight-up conspiracy theory, what Baker politely called "connecting the dots ." This was allowed because the press committed to a collusion narrative from the start, giving everyone cover to indulge in behaviors that would never be permitted in normal times.
Such was the case with Jonathan Chait's #Russiagate opus , "PRUMP TUTIN: Will Trump be Meeting With his Counterpart – or his Handler?" The story was also pitched as "What if Trump has been a Russian asset since 1987," which recalls the joke from The Wire: " Yo, Herc, what if your mother and father never met ?" What if isn't a good place to be in this business.
This cover story (!) in New York magazine was released in advance of a planned "face-to-face" summit between Trump and Putin, and posited Trump had been under Russian control for decades. Chait noted Trump visited the Soviet Union in 1987 and came back "fired up with political ambition." He offered the possibility that this was a coincidence, but added:
Indeed, it seems slightly insane to contemplate the possibility that a secret relationship between Trump and Russia dates back this far. But it can't be dismissed completely.
I searched the Chait article up and down for reporting that would justify the suggestion Trump had been a Russian agent dating back to the late eighties, when, not that it matters, Russia was a different country called the Soviet Union.
Only two facts in the piece could conceivably have been used to support the thesis: Trump met with a visiting Soviet official in 1986, and visited the Soviet Union in 1987. That's it. That's your cover story.
Worse, Chait's theory was first espoused in Lyndon Larouche's " Elephants and Donkeys " newsletter in 1987, under a headline, "Do Russians have a Trump card?" This is barrel-scraping writ large.
It's a mania. Putin is literally in our underpants. Maybe, if we're lucky, New York might someday admit its report claiming Russians set up an anti-masturbation hotline to trap and blackmail random Americans is suspicious, not just because it seems absurd on its face, but because its source is the same "New Knowledge" group that admitted to faking Russian influence operations in Alabama.
But what retraction is possible for the Washington Post headline, " How will Democrats cope if Putin starts playing dirty tricks for Bernie Sanders (again )?" How to reverse Rachel Maddow's spiel about Russia perhaps shutting down heat across America during a cold wave? There's no correction for McCarthyism and fearmongering.
This ultimately will be the endgame of the Russia charade. They will almost certainly never find anything like the wild charges and Manchurian Candidate theories elucidated in the Steele report. But the years of panic over the events of 2016 will lead to radical changes in everything from press regulation to foreign policy, just as the WMD canard led to torture, warrantless surveillance, rendition, drone assassination, secret budgets and open-ended, undeclared wars from Somalia to Niger to Syria. The screw-ups will be forgotten, but accelerated vigilance will remain.
It's hard to know what policy changes are appropriate because the reporting on everything involving the Russian threat in the last two to three years has been so unreliable.
I didn't really address the case that Russia hacked the DNC, content to stipulate it for now. I was told early on that this piece of the story seemed "solid," but even that assertion has remained un-bolstered since then, still based on an " assessment " by the intelligence services that always had issues, including the use of things like RT's "anti-American" coverage of fracking as part of its case. The government didn't even examine the DNC's server, the kind of detail that used to make reporters nervous.
We won't know how much of any of this to take seriously until the press gets out of bed with the security services and looks at this whole series of events all over again with fresh eyes, as journalists, not political actors. That means being open to asking what went wrong with this story, in addition to focusing so much energy on Trump and Russia.
The WMD mess had massive real-world negative impact, leading to over a hundred thousand deaths and trillions in lost taxpayer dollars. Unless Russiagate leads to a nuclear conflict, we're unlikely to ever see that level of consequence.
Still, Russiagate has led to unprecedented cooperation between the government and Internet platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google, all of which are censoring pages on the left, right, and in between in the name of preventing the "sowing of discord." The story also had a profound impact on the situation in places like Syria, where Russian and American troops have sat across the Euphrates River from one another, two amped-up nuclear powers at a crossroads.
As a purely journalistic failure, however, WMD was a pimple compared to Russiagate. The sheer scale of the errors and exaggerations this time around dwarfs the last mess. Worse, it's led to most journalists accepting a radical change in mission. We've become sides-choosers, obliterating the concept of the press as an independent institution whose primary role is sorting fact and fiction.
We had the sense to eventually look inward a little in the WMD affair, which is the only reason we escaped that episode with any audience left. Is the press even capable of that kind of self-awareness now? WMD damaged our reputation. If we don't turn things around, this story will destroy it
motherjones , 31 minutes ago linksouthpaw47 , 50 minutes ago link
Taibbi is spot on, and in depth with this writing. The main stream media sold Americans on the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Almost 2 decades later, we have spent 6 trillion dollars, 8 millions lives have been lost, and millions of refugees have flooded out of those countries, causing instability in Europe and beyond. For the past 2 years, 24/7, we have not been able to escape the claims of Russiagate. He does not mention how the very same media gave Trump 24/7 coverage long before he was elected, and in fact this free publicity, is probably why Trump is in the White House today. Without the constant press coverage of his campaign, coverage that was not provided to other candidates, he would most likely not have found his way to the White House. Taibbi does not go on to tell us what the motivation of the press is, or what he thinks can be done. News shows in the US have become little more than entertainment. Many of us no longer rely on main stream press for any real news. The mass media has become irrelevant at it's best, and dangerous, at it's worst. The driving force behind the so called news today, is the advertising dollars, and the politics of the owners of the networks. How can we have a "free press" when just a few individuals own all the major news outlets? We are not going to get the real news on tv of from the big newspapers, as long as the power is in the hands of a few rich and powerful individuals, who decide what is news.hooligan2009 , 1 hour ago link
"Fools rush in where angels fear to tread" - Alexander Pope
The rash or inexperienced will attempt things that wiser people are more cautious of.
Finally the libs will agree that guns do have their place in society. These crazy zealots may just blow their own brains out or just find the nearest cliff. Ace Hardware is loading up on rope.PerilouseTimes , 1 hour ago link
hmmm....just imagine if - sleyers money contribution fo impeach trump was turned into a movie where a "sponsor" drew up a hit list of batshit crazy MSM "personalities" to include late night "comfuckedupedians"
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-04-25/billionaire-tom-steyer-s-quest-to-impeach-trumpfoxenburg , 1 hour ago link
Even if you were stupid enough to believe Trump was getting dirt on Hillary from the Russians, what is wrong with that? Is there a law against that? Why is it OK for Obama and the FBI to get away with wiretapping Trump during the election? Why is it OK for NSA to wiretap All Americans and store all their conversations and internet traffic on hard drives?hooligan2009 , 1 hour ago link
Steele, Orbis, Pablo Miller, Salisbury, Porton Down, golden-shower dossier supposedly written by a native Russian speaker with an intelligence background....it all makes me wonder what happened to Skripal.motherjones , 1 hour ago link
"Skripalgate" is suppressed by UK law. All russians are evil in the UK. The fact that (as with tony Bliar and yellowcake Iraq) any sitting government can prosecute another country without a trial, witnesses or evidence - as in the Skripals and within the FUKUS cabal that bombed syria because of - "chlorine barrel bomb attacks on civilians" who later showed up unscathed in Den Haag.
UK governments cannot be held to account for their actions domestically or overseas.devnickle , 1 hour ago link
Both parties have been playing up the threat from Russia for decades. The Military Industrial Complex was built on creating fear about the possibility of war with Russian. The military industrial complex owns Congress, so of course Congress is going to play up this threat. " The reason why media is working so hard to create the impression that Russia is actively conspiring against is because conflict with the former Soviet Union is good for business." We can expect this to continue in one form or another. If Americans were not afraid of Russia, we would not support a defense budget that is equal to all other countries in the world combined.
https://www.wakingtimes.com/2016/08/30/defense-contractors-tell-investors-world-war-iii-great-for-business/?fbclid=IwAR0rSFD3EPOgCd_dohnRg_4W1VUMcu-u33PBi9LW8Pdcv4F4pL4_MTXU31cmotherjones , 1 hour ago link
Put a sock in it. You should be embarrassed to even comment.Bricker , 2 hours ago link
Right. The depth of your analysis is impressive. You seem to have an unlimited knowledge of world and national affairs too. Other than some stalking tendencies, why do you post on ZH? You don't really seem to have any interest in the content, or the discussion.blind_understanding , 2 hours ago link
The head of the pin starts with OBAMA
I dont want to type up everything that led me to believe this. But the racism, his empathy towards certain muslims groups and how he treated the war, the prisoner release, the sailors broadcasted on tv about drifting into territorial waters, I mean it was so obvious how he felt about America.
Pile on his efforts to interfere in the election and eavesdrop, unmasking with Hillary getting and receiving emails from her home brew server not to mention her foundation pulling in 145 million from Russia.
The CIA is sickening to what has developed over the last 20 yearsSnottyBubbles , 2 hours ago link
Taibbi: 'Russiagate' Is This Generation's WMD
Blind: If so, it just means it will not be reported on in the MainStream Media(MSM) and soon forgotten.
The same people who own the private central bank and currency, also own the MSM, and they control the narrative on ALL TOPICS. And control of narrative mean control of what people think.
Control of money and mind means TOTAL control of a country.
Nothing will change until control of minds is returned to the people, then issuance of currency can be returned to the government.
Alex Jones' of Infowars got it right when he said "There's a war on for your mind!" ... even though he became a turncoat himself, soon after.devnickle , 1 hour ago link
Hillary lost a freaking election. After almost 3 freaking years of coup d'état the left deserves mocking humiliation. Mock them ruthlessly. Never, ever let them forget the horrible thing that they did.
Never stop making fun of them and reminding them how stupid and crazy they acted during this humiliating period of US history. Never let them forget what they did to the nation or what they cost us all. Never let Democrats forget how much time and energy they wasted, how very, very wrong they were.
Every politician, every media figure, every Twitter pundit and everyone who swallowed this moronic load of Russia! Russia! Russia! has utterly discredited themselves for life. They executed and failed to accomplish a coup d'état. These are the very last people anyone should ever listen to ever again when determining the future direction of our world or an ice cream truck.
Refuse them, laugh at them, ignore them. They earned it and deserve nothing but the greatest disdain.artistant , 2 hours ago link
Revenge is best served cold. I am dishing out in buckets to the retards.youshallnotkill , 2 hours ago link
Russia is an IMPEDIMENT to APARTHEID Israhell's design for the region .
Without Russia, ASSAD would be long gone and IRAN would have been bombed to oblivion, and Greater Israhell would have been fulfilled and ruling over the MidEast.
In other words, Russiagate is simply PAYBACK .Amy G. Dala , 2 hours ago link
There was never real gray area here. Either Trump is a compromised foreign agent, or he isn't.
Of course there isn't. But this doesn't mean that a prosecutor like Mueller can prove this beyond any reasonable doubt. In fact it is quite likely that he cannot. The only charge that should be fairly easy to establish is obstruction of justice.
Without knowing what is in the report, Taibbi really jumps the gun here. Especially given the comparison to WMDs.
I knew there were no WMDs in Iraq before the invasion because I followed, and chose to believe, a credible diplomat like Hans Blix over the dog and pony show that Colin Powell put on. But WMDs are very tangible you either find the hardware or you do not. Yet, what Putin and Trump discuss without a single other American in the room nobody knows but the Kremlin and Trump.youshallnotkill , 2 hours ago link
Um, they talked about grandchildren and golf. MSM bought that about Bill and Loretta.Amy G. Dala , 2 hours ago link
At least Loretta probably did not aspire to bring the US to its knees.youshallnotkill , 2 hours ago link
Then I guess you didn't catch her "blood in the streets" speech.hanekhw , 2 hours ago link
"It has been people, individuals who have banded together, ordinary people who simply saw what needed to be done and came together and supported those ideals who have made the difference.
They've marched, they've bled and yes, some of them died. This is hard. Every good thing is. We have done this before. We can do this again ."
Hardly the call for violent civil war at which it has been portrayed.Tunga , 2 hours ago link
The most coiffed, manicured, made up sacks of **** ever to glorify the airwaves tell US what THEY think and get paid handsome salaries for their effort to overthrow the American system. Freedom of Speech? That'll be gone in a heartbeat if THEY get power. We have an obligation to not just protect it but a greater one to preserve it.Amy G. Dala , 2 hours ago link
"I didn't really address the case that Russia hacked the DNC, content to stipulate it for now." - exce
The State Department paused its investigation of the Secretary's emails so as not to interfere with the Mueller investigation. Here we see Taibbi writes an exhaustive condemnation of the Western press while leaving out the very crux of the story, the very source of the stolen DNC emails was Clapper and Brennan pretending to be Guccifer 2.0.
Pitiful attempt at redemption there Matt. Seriously, go **** your self.
"After reading several articles, it seemed clear that key difficulties for Russians communicating in English include: definite and indefinite articles, the use of presuppositions and correct usage of say/tell and said/told. Throughout 2017, I constructed a corpus of Guccifer 2.0's communications and analyzed the frequency of different types of mistakes. The results of this work corroborate Professor Connolly's assessment.
Overall, it appears Guccifer 2.0 could communicate in English quite well but chose to use inconsistently broken English at times in order to give the impression that it wasn't his primary language. The manner in which Guccifer 2.0's English was broken, did not follow the typical errors one would expect if Guccifer 2.0's first language was Russian.
To date, Connolly's language study has not drawn any significant objections or criticism."
Here's the goddam thing IMO. There is this thing called freedom of the press, it's constitutionally protected, no different than the right to bear arms.
But just because I have the right to carry an M+A 9mm around, that doesn't mean I can point it at the guy who cut me off in traffic. In that case, I go to jail.
For almost three years now, I've been hearing "bombshell" after unsourced "bombshell" from CNN/MSNBC/WaPo/NPR/NYT et. al. Here's how it usually goes:
- "NPR has been unable to independently confirm, but other major news organizations are reporting that . . ."
- "CNN is working to confirm a bombshell report from the Washington Post . . ."
- "The New York Times, echoing other major news outlets, is reporting that . . ."
And now let's turn to our panel of experts to "unpack" this latest revelation . . .
These people have criminally abused their rights, and those rights need to be taken away.
If Rachel Maddow, Chris Mathews, Judy Woodruff, Chuck Todd, Anderson Cooper, Brian Stelter, Chris Hayes, Mika Brzezinski, Don Lemon, Alysin Camerota, Lawrence O'Donnell had the slightest inkling of professional integrity, and human conscience - they'd commit seppuku on national live TeeVee to restore their honor.
A rope leash, 3 hours ago
In his effort to cleanse himself of the slimy residue of his profession, Tiabbi has written a fine piece here, a nice little documentation of press collusion with government spooks and political operatives.
If a little honest reporting will offer some redemption to damned journalists, his name was Seth Rich.
hooligan2009, 3 hours ago
don't forget that Obama was PERSONALLY and DIRECTLY involved in all aspects of Russiagate.
read between these lines
On Oct. 14, 2016, Page again wrote to McCabe, this time concerning a meeting with the White House.
"Just called," Page said to McCabe. "Apparently the DAG [Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates] now wants to be there, and WH wants DOJ to host. So we are setting that up now. ... We will very much need to get Cohen's view before we meet with her. Better, have him weigh in with her before the meeting. We need to speak with one voice, if that is in fact the case."
newworldorder, 3 hours ago
The simple truth here is that most Americans no longer have any critical thinking skills, - all media realized this a long time ago, and catered to their audience.
The Benjamin Franklin famous quote in answer to the question of "what kind of government have you given us?" rings very hollow after 240+ years. The "Republic" exists in name only, because its people have not protected it, after the passing of the WW2 generation.
Unrestricted, open borders invasion disguised as alleged migration, and the legalization of an eventual 100+ million new "migrant" voters will be the final nail on the coffin of the US Republic by 2030.
Mob rule will finally destroy the greatest Republic ever conceived by the mind of men.
Mike Rotsch, 3 hours ago (Edited)
If "open borders" is your measuring stick on Americans' critical-thinking skills, then where does that place Europeans? They actually have them officially.
Paracelsus, 3 hours ago
Someday I hope that Hillary has to be rolled up to testify about the Benghazi business. Grab the guns and the gold (and the oil). Ukraine gold: check. Libyan gold and weapons: check.
Ghaddafi actually warned the west that after him would come a deluge of illegals (okay refugees: young males, black, often Islamic, with little respect for women or experience with western society).
While I have reservations about Trump and his policies, the MSM owe him a huge mea culpa.
Mar 24, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
- President Trump was not indicted, nor did Mueller recommend an indictment against him for collusion or obstruction.
- There were no major disagreements between Mueller and his managers at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
- The Russians who tried to interfere in the 2016 election were exposed and charged -- but no American was charged with any effort to conspire with Moscow and hijack the election.
- While nearly three dozen people were charged , including a few close to the president or who worked for his campaign, no one in proximity to the president was formally charged with colluding with Russia. Most, such as former national security adviser Michael Flynn or campaign adviser George Papadopoulos , were charged with process crimes or felonies unrelated to the main case, as in Paul Manafort 's secretive, multimillion-dollar foreign lobbying spree through Ukraine.
- the "Steele dossier" that was the main FISA evidence was paid for with funds from Hillary Clinton 's campaign and the Democratic Party;
- Christopher Steele, the dossier's author, had told a senior DOJ official he was desperate to defeat Trump;
- most of the dossier was not verified before it was used as evidence of alleged Trump-Russia collusion; and
- agents collected statements from key defendants such as Papadopoulos and Carter Page during interactions with an FBI informant that strongly suggested their innocence.
Such omissions are so glaring as to constitute defrauding a federal court. And each and every participant to those omissions needs to be brought to justice.
An upcoming DOJ inspector general's report should trigger the beginning of that accountability in a court of law, and President Trump can assist the effort by declassifying all evidence of wrongdoing by FBI, CIA and DOJ officials. " The Hill
Pilgrims, the seditious conspiracy to depose the elected president of the United States for conspiracy to commit treason with the Government of the Russian Federation has been defeated.
The bent cops at the FBI and the madmen like Brennan, Clapper and Comey, who treacherously used the government's forces against the Constitution, must be punished so severely as to make an example that will dissuade other midgets on horseback from making similar attempts to overturn the results of elections.
At the bottom of the cauldron overflowing with political misdeeds shines the face of Hillary Clinton and the army of clever people who ran her 2016 campaign. They devised the clever, clever idea of creating the Steele Dossier in cahoots with Washington co-conspirators and the even more clever idea of marketing it back into the US political bloodstream through British intelligence channels by feeding it to the erratic and spiteful senator from Arizona whose staff peddled it all over Washington and New York. There must be retribution for this.
The leftist press is already discounting the results of Mueller's investigation while gloating over how long the Democratic held House of Representatives can continue to search through Trump's life trying to find criminality.
AG Barr should stand Mueller up next to him at a press conference to make clear the results of his report and to answer questions about it. After that the prosecutions should begin. pl
Posted at 09:00 AM in government , Justice , Politics | Permalink | 20 Comments
David Habakkuk , 14 hours agoI would be most interested if one of the legally competent members of this Committee – Robert Willman perhaps? – could give us us an idea of what charges could be leveled against Christopher Steele under U.S. law in relation to his clearly central role in this conspiracy.English Outsider -> David Habakkuk , 12 hours ago
It also seems reasonably clear that he was not acting in isolation, and that there is a strong 'prima facie' case that senior figures in the British 'intelligence community' – notably Robert Hannigan and probably Sir Richard Dearlove – were involved, in which case the complicity is likely to have gone very much further.
The argument that declassification of relevant documentation would harm the intelligence relationship between the U.S. and U.K. has clearly been made with great emphasis from this side.
In fact, it is pure bollocks. A serious investigation on your side, which could lead to the kind of clean-out which should have happened when the scale of the corruption of intelligence in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq became clear, might pave the way for us to reconstruct reasonably functional intelligence services.
Doing this on both sides of the Atlantic might pave the way for a reconstruction of an intelligence relationship which was actually beneficial to both countries, as in recent years it patently has not been.
Whether there is a realistic prospect of people on your side opening the cans of worms on ours, as well as your own, of course remains a moot point.Mr Habakkuk,
I'm glad the Steele affair has been examined at the American end -
"They devised the clever, clever idea of creating the Steele Dossier in cahoots with Washington co-conspirators and the even more clever of marketing it back into the US political bloodstream through British intelligence channels, by feeding it to the erratic and spiteful senator from Arizona whose staff peddled it all over Washington and New York. "
What about the UK end? We're fussing over some little local difficulties in the UK at the moment and at our end the questions still remain - Who in the UK authorised it and how high did it go?
Mark Logan -> David Habakkuk , 9 hours agoThe problem with criminal prosecution is one must cite a Brit or US law which was violated. The only ones in US law that I am aware of stipulate that the plotting must be by means of violence, "by force". All this appears to me to be only the propagation of rumors.English Outsider -> Mark Logan , 6 hours agoI think it might be more the investigation of the propagation of rumours. Think back to that election campaign, and to the period before the inauguration.Pat Lang Mod -> English Outsider , 6 hours ago
Both sides were furiously engaged in throwing mud at each other. Situation normal. Then an odd thing happens. A particularly foolish piece of mud comes along. All that Golden Showers nonsense. Regard that as normal if we please. I expect worse comes along sometimes. Then it turns out that that piece of mud comes from an Intelligence source. Situation no longer normal.
With respect it is not propagating rumours to ask how that happened. As for my own interest in the affair, it is not propagating rumours to ask how a senior UK ex-Intelligence Officer comes to be mixed up in it all. I suppose I started to look on it as rather more than a prank or a few cogs slipping when that senior UK ex-Intelligence Officer got whisked away to a safe house. We're a penny pinching lot over here and we don't run to that sort of thing for nothing.Ex?Mad_Max22 , 11 hours agoAn investigation could certainly be predicated on the reasonable suspicion that Steele, et al, conspired to defraud the United States, in this case a purposeful and knowing smear of a candidate for office; also, another potential violation could be lying to the FBI, T 18 USC 1001.Eric Newhill , 12 hours ago
The problem, as I see it, is sorting out the malignant from the merely incompetent. As I've argued many times, the dossier should have been dismissed from the outset as a pile of garbage, empty of actionable content, because the ultimate sources could not be vetted: the information could not be said to be either credible or reliable. The information was acted on by screening it behind the reliabilty and credibility, so called, of Steele. So it would be necessary to show that Steele knew that the information, point by point, was false. This could be difficult. Steele's first line of defense would be that he threw everything that he heard from anyone at all into the mix in the expectation that the "professionals" would figure it out.
Yes, they were all partisan, Steele, his sources, his bosses, the so called professionals, and their partisanship would be easy to prove; and yes, almost assuredly their partisanship contributed, perhaps even explained, their defective judgement as to how to handle the scurrilous information, especially on the part of the so called professionals, but proving they actually knew the materials to be false would be difficult.
They couldn't know that it was false because they had no ability to run down the sources. The professionals would defend themselves by saying they had no ability to vet the sources but the information represented such a serious security threat that they had no alternative but to try to vet the information by launching the investigation against the targets. This puts the cart before the horse, represents an astonishing lack of judgement, especially considering the "exalted" positions in the Intel Community the people exercising the bad judgement occupied, but there it is - "we thought we were doing the right thing."
Perhaps this defense could be overcome by demonstrating that people at such high and important heights of government could not possible be so stupid... maybe.
And of course we have the orchestrated leaks to various media, the orchestrated unmaskings, all of which kept the media frenzy fired up. All in all, it was the greatest political dirty trick ever attempted in American Politics, and did devastating damage to both domestic tranquility and national security. Trump survived, but the damage done is incalculable.
So It pains me greatly to think that the reckoning will likely have to be political rather than criminal because the malice that can be demonstrated is so admixed and even overshadowed by incompetence and judgement flaws; and even a political reckoning given the state of the country is so uncertain.
I hope that I am wrong and that some kind of prosecution can be fashioned because of the sheer enormity of violence that was done to our electoral system, surpassing by far the chickenshit case Mueller brought against the Russian troll farm; but I fear that I am right. It hurts to think that so much damage can be caused by scheming little political weasels and that they all may well walk away scot free; and even be lionized by their political confreres as having tried to do the right thing. This is the state of American politics today!!!I see that some of the midgets on horseback are saying that they will bring Mueller before congress to explain himself. Their knight in shining armor has failed to return with the holy grail. A couple even suggested that perhaps Mueller has been influenced by the Russians or somehow intimated by Trump.robt willmann , 3 hours ago
The coup may be over, but the witch hunt will continue;
and that + all the crazy Marxism (social and economic), bad immigration policy and Green New Deal is going to doom the Democrats in 2020. They look like they are jumping off a final sake fueled banzai charge. Maybe they think the best defense is a good offense re; the prosecutions that should happen. What is the chance that Mueller will pass *all* he has learned to help get the criminal cases under way?seesee2468,Divadab Newton , 10 hours ago
On 13 July 2018, when announcing the indictment of 12 Russian military officers by the Mueller group for "conspiring to interfere" in the 2016 presidential election, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein admitted that no "interference" actually happened. In this video of his announcement, starting at 5 minutes, 52 seconds into it and ending at the 6 minute, 5 second mark, he says--
"There is no allegation in this indictment that any American citizen committed a crime. There is no allegation that the conspiracy changed the vote count or affected any election result."
Col. Lang is absolutely correct that those involved in attempting to reverse the results of the 2016 election, de-legitimize an elected president, and remove him should be thoroughly pursued through all avenues and procedures of the civil and criminal law.
However, I am concerned that the new attorney general, William Barr, will not do so based on his past associations and work. I hope I am wrong about that, but I am not optimistic.It's a dirty business. If half this stuff is true, and not just layers of increasingly unbelievable cover stories (I mean, a tangential example, is the whole Skripal thing a weirdly, too obviously fake cover show for what was in reality a "witness protection" operation? A witness who could and would reveal much? On this matter even, perhaps. Such obvious deceptions are harmful to respect for authority and the law.)Walrus , 13 hours ago
I'm wrestling with the idea that 'twas ever thus and now with the internet its workings are revealed to a "lay" audience with no connection to the dark arts of the spy business. But I am curious, with the good Colonel's indulgence, if the new tools of the trade have made things which should be secret not possible to be kept secret?Amen to the prosecutions. If there is seen to be no accountability for this fraud then we are seriously damaging what's left of democracy. Who, in their right mind, is going to publicly support and assist a political candidate who is not "Swamp approved" if they face the threat of thereby triggering their own, and their family's destruction by the judicial system?ugluk2 , 3 hours ago
I suggest that even a pardon is not enough for those entrapped in this mess. There needs to be restitution.
To put that another way, in my opinion, "birther" allegations could be passed off as political tactics. Nobody got hurt. It is just good luck that Russiagate hasn't resulted in suicide or worse - so far.Matt Taibbi on how the press has destroyed its credibility.Taras77 , 8 hours ago
https://taibbi.substack.com...I certainly agree that consequences must be brought to bear: lying politicians without a shred of evidence, nor did they offer any for their lies; press for their utter and complete malfeasance and corruption without a shred of evidence, the doj/fbi corrupted and coup plotting officials,and finally the shame to all who shrieked about "evil" putin, russia the aggressor, etc. It has set our discourse back decades, forced any critics of this insanity into the shadows, and completely killed any attempt at normal diplomacy between nations.MP98 , 12 hours ago
I noted one astute writer as equating this russiagate insanity to the lies surrounding wmd and the destruction of iraq. Close. The damage from this criminality is incalculable!
Will the shrillest of all in the press lose their jobs? Nah, not a chance. Prob get raise or promotion.Will the brennans, clintons, clappers, et al do the perp walk. Nah, not a chance. High paid lawyers will tie the courts up for years if not decades.
And america has the institutional memory of a gnat. And of course, the question is as to high up did this criminality go? I personally do not believe it is a question-it is obvious to me. The major question for me is how high up the prosecution, if any, will go.Problem is...who's going to do the prosecuting? The DOJ - protector of the swamp - has become thoroughly corrupted as an arm of the Democrat-media party. Should (can) Trump appoint a special prosecutor as far as possible from the DOJ?Greco , 12 hours agoThe president might use this and any Republican-led prosecutions as leverage to work out deals that will allow him to achieve his agenda. I think he'll need to given how the Democrats intend to use their house majority to launch investigations and hearings to find something, anything to howl about and impede his agenda.Fred W , 12 hours agoStill need to see the full report. I hope it is releasable. Otherwise the conspiracy theories or leaks will never let up. The article cited is a partisan opinion piece, not a news report. It accepts the fallback stance that yes, crimes were committed but collusion by Trump was not among them. This actually seems possible if only in light of the chaotic condition of the campaign.Fred -> Fred W , 4 hours ago
That said, I would not be surprised to find collusion discounted. Not that the Russians didn't interfere. That would be entirely in character. But I don't know any reason for supposing that they would have a better understanding of American political dynamics than the Americans who make good livings being the best in that arena. The Russians seem to have been doing the same things as numerous other players. They shouldn't have been in that game, but there is no strong reason for according them Superman status. Their strongest feature seems to have been sheer quantity. Outrage over their actions often seems to flow from a poor grasp of the real nature of normal political process.seesee2468 -> Fred W , 6 hours ago"The Russians seem to have been doing the same things..."
Multiple members of the FBI and DOJ seem to have been interfering in the 2016 Presidential election. How many other federal and state elections did they interfere with?Can you cite a single piece of hard evidence, not simply allegation, that proves the Russians interfered in the 2016 election? If so, please cite it, since I know of none. Thank you.Pat Lang Mod -> seesee2468 , 6 hours agoI cannot.peter hodges , 12 hours agoNothing will happen. In fact, the way things have been going, Trump will make Mueller the next AG.
Mar 22, 2019 | twitter.com
Glenn Greenwald 3h 3 hours ago
The Mueller investigation is complete and this is a simple fact that will never go away: not one single American was charged, indicted or convicted for conspiring with Russia to influence the 2016 election - not even a low-level volunteer. The number is zero.
Compare what cable hosts (let's leave them unnamed) & Democratic operatives spent two years claiming this would lead to - the imprisonment of Don, Jr., Jared, even Trump on conspiracy-with-Russia charges - to what it actually produced. A huge media reckoning is owed.
Don't even try to pretend the point of the Mueller investigation from the start wasn't to obtain prosecutions of Americans guilty of conspiring with Russia to influence the outcome of the election or that Putin controlled Trump through blackmail. Nobody will believe your denials.
Are we now ready to rid ourselves of the thrilling espionage fantasy that Trump is controlled by Putin and the Kremlin using blackmail? There's no way Robert Mueller would have gone 18 months without telling anyone about this if it were true, right? How could that be justified?
Perhaps now we can focus on the actually consequential actions the Trump administration is taking and finally move past the deranged conspiracy theories that have drowned US discourse for 2+ years. A side benefit will be not ratcheting up tension between 2 nuclear-armed powers.
Giving up these exciting conspiracy theories about international blackmail & convening panels to decipher all the genius hidden maneuvers of Mueller will be bad for cable ratings, book sales & the Patreon accounts of online charlatans. But it'll be very healthy in all other ways.
CNN's Justice Department reporter https:// twitter.com/LauraAJarrett/ status/1109210442864439299
The desperate attempts to salvage something from this debacle by the Mueller dead-enders are just sad. Yes, the public hasn't read the Mueller report. But we *know* he ended his investigation without indicting a single American for conspiring with Russia to influence the election
Trump, Jr. testified for hours and hours before Congress, including about the Trump Tower meeting. If he lied there, or to Mueller, why didn't Mueller indict him for perjury, lying to Congress or obstruction? Same questions for Kushner. Stop embarrassing yourselves.
If Mueller found evidence that Putin controls Trump & forces him to act against US interests & in favor of Russia - not just with a pee-pee tape but with financial blackmail - what could possibly justify keeping that a secret through the end of the investigation? It's ludicrous.
US discourse has been drowned for 2+ years with conspiratorial, unhinged, but highly inflammatory and unhinged idiocy - playing games with two nuclear-armed powers because of anger over the 2016 election. It's time to stop. Mueller ended his work. We see the public indictments.
And to be clear: I've urged a full investigation into these Trump/Russia claims from the start, from before Mueller was appointed, with full disclosure. I still favor that - precisely to end the reckless speculation to which we've been endlessly subjected https:// medium.com/@ggreenwald/st atements-about-possibility-russia-meddling-hacking-need-for-investigations-2016-present-f5794c1496d6
So many in the media devoted endless airtime & print & pixels misleading people to believe Mueller was coming to arrest & prosecute Trump, Jr, Kushner & so many others for conspiring with Russia over the election & obstruction. None of that happened. You can't pretend it away.
hard to make jokes 59m 59 minutes ago
the Supreme Court of the Southern District of New York can also do that. And please, wait until the report comes out and read it, then we'll see.
Bala R 32m 32 minutes ago
They was never the point. No one says Trump is a saint. But the deep state wanted to cover its tracks. Dems and deep state hated that their preferred candidate didn't win. They ended up achieving their goal of delegitimizing 2016 and distracting the country for 2 years.
Mary Batson 17m 17 minutes ago
They tried to delegitimize the 2016 Election but failed to do so.
Mar 20, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
blue peacock , a day agoWhen even Trump who was the victim of the machinations cares only to tweet witch hunt, why would anyone expect that any of those involved in the attempted "coup" would be held to account?MP98 , 2 days agoNo one is going to face any consequences - legal or other. Hell, most of them will make money from writing books about their "dedicated service." When was the last time the swamp applied the laws to one of it's own. Answer: never.Nobby Stiles , 2 days ago
The laws are enforced on us - the "deplorables out there," not the swamp creature "elite." We are not governed, we are ruled.
And sadly that situation is as much the result of an indifferent and ignorant populace as the behavior of the ruling class.In case you had not seen. I think it does connect well with the piece above.English Outsider -> Nobby Stiles , 2 days ago
https://www.americanthinker..."One other important sidetone--there has been a longstanding agreement among the 5 Eyes (i.e., US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) to NOT recruit as assets each other's spies. Christopher Steele's employ with the FBI violates this policy."Bill Gaydon -> English Outsider , 8 hours ago
I see Steele's surfacing again. Might I put in a minor query. Does this longstanding agreement cover retired personnel?Same question....^TTG -> English Outsider , a day agoI wondered about that myself. When I was doing clan work in Europe, recruiting UK citizens was absolutely forbidden. I needed special dispensation from Bonn Station to not declare my Russian assets to the Brits when they merely traveled to the UK. I think Steele's relationship with the FBI was not as a standard recruited asset or informer. It was a business contract. An article from a year ago sheds some light on that relationship. The first instance concerns his assistance in the FIFA investigation.Tidewater -> TTG , 11 hours ago
"Steele might have been expected to move on once his investigation of the bidding was concluded. But he had discovered that the corruption at FIFA was global, and he felt that it should be addressed. The only organization that could handle an investigation of such scope, he felt, was the F.B.I. In 2011, Steele contacted an American agent he'd met who headed the Bureau's division for serious crimes in Eurasia. Steele introduced him to his sources, who proved essential to the ensuing investigation. In 2015, the Justice Department indicted fourteen people in connection with a hundred and fifty million dollars in bribes and kickbacks."
The second instance of Steele's cooperation with the FBI even had a peripheral relationship with Trump. "Several years ago, the FBI hired Steele to help crack an international gambling and money-laundering ring purportedly run by a suspected Russian organized-crime figure named Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov. The syndicate was based in an apartment in Trump Tower. Eventually, federal officials indicted more than thirty co-conspirators for financial crimes. Tokhtakhounov, though, eluded arrest, becoming a fugitive. Interpol issued a "red notice" calling for his arrest. But, in the fall of 2013, he showed up at the Miss Universe contest in Moscow -- and sat near the pageant's owner, Donald Trump."
According to the New Yorker magazine article, it was standard Orbis procedure to warn authorities about national security threats. Steele warned German authorities about IS militants using the refugee flow to infiltrate Europe. "When Steele took his suspicions about Trump to the FBI in the summer of 2016, it was in keeping with Orbis protocol, rather than a politically driven aberration."
Within the FBI, I'm sure Steele was coded as a source in some way as a standard procedure to use his information. We did the same with our non-asset sources in DOD. Hell, I was even coded as an intelligence asset when I was a SMU operative/case officer. This was different from the reporter number all case officers are given.
https://www.newyorker.com/m...Philip Giraldi, on March 13, 2018, has an essay about this New Yorker article: 'Christopher Steele as seen by the New Yorker. Liberal fantasies beatify the messenger.' This is in the Unz Review. www.unz.com/pgiraldi/christ... .TTG -> Tidewater , an hour ago
Mayer doesn't mention that Steele was almost certainly identified as MI6 during the years (possibly 1990-1993) that he was stationed in Moscow under diplomatic cover. Russian counterintelligence agents broke into his apartment, used the toilet, left it unflushed; they stole his wife's best shoes. He was definitely identified by 1999 when he was in Paris. There was a DSMA notice. Too late. Then, in 2006, when Steele is said to have had the Russia desk, there was the highly embarrassing electronic spy rock in a Moscow park. Surely he held some responsibility for that? And if Steele was a Russian expert why were his talents being wasted in Afghanistan?
John Helmer quotes some old intelligence hands who deny that he was a particularly impressive agent or was deeply knowledgeable about Russia. Steele never went back to Russia after 1992 or 1993. Mayer, in the New Yorker article, makes no mention of what surely were setbacks for British intelligence regarding Russia in which Steele likely was playing a large part.
We've been here before in this discussion. The question remains-- was Steele an unwitting puppet of a Russian master counterstrike, an aikido throw which has badly shaken and distracted America? DH, we await your comments. Has TTG gone wobbly?I'm also fairly certain RIS was aware of Steele's status as an MI6 officer when he was stationed in Moscow. I would think anyone working out of a diplomatic embassy is first assumed to be an intelligence officer by the host nation. I stayed away from embassies and other government facilities just to avoid that taint. The one time I was summoned to an embassy, I conducted extensive surveillance detection measures both before and after the visit and I wore a disguise.Fred -> TTG , 15 hours ago
It was a normal matter for intelligence officers to be cycled through Afghanistan and Iraq post 9-11, no matter what their former expertise. I did my turn. CIA's "Russia House" was bitter about their fall from the pinnacle to be replaced by all things CT during that time.
Was some of the raw information in Steele's dossier planted by RIS? That's very possible. Several experienced former US intelligence officers have voiced that possibility, especially about the more salacious bits of the dossier.That's a nice piece in the New Yorker. They mention the golden shower episode in Moscow, however, left out Loretta Lynch. "In was in her role as district attorney that her involvement in the Fifa investigation began. Over the course of five years in Brooklyn..." See the BBC article on FIFA from 2015: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32912118TTG -> Fred , 13 hours ago
So did Loretta Lynch talk to Christopher Steele during this case or did Steele just talk to the FBI agent who was years later in London? When did then US attorney for New York's Eastern District Lorretta Lynch get informed and by which FBI agent? Who did that agent tell about the Steele dossier, when did it get to the AG's ears, and when did she tell Obama?
"On January 5, 2017, it became clear that at least two Washingtonians remained in the dark about the dossier: the President and the Vice-President. " Oh, apparently AG Lynch never told Obama, because????????
Another New Yorker Enigma: "Robert Hannigan, then the head of the U.K.'s intelligence service the G.C.H.Q., had recently flown to Washington and briefed the C.I.A.'s director, John Brennan, on a stream of illicit communications between Trump's team and Moscow that had been intercepted. (The content of these intercepts has not become public.) "
So the UK has been spying on US Presidential candidates? Oh, they said they were "illicit" communications. What does that mean? Who was communicating with Whom? And how did G.C.H.Q. decide these communications were "illicit" but others, well they'd have to have them all to make a comparison, wouldn't they? Put a ribbon on top of that one. DId they also intercept any of Hilary's communications?Given that Steele played an important role in at least two major FBI investigations leading to multiple indictments, I would assume Lynch knew about Steele. Whether they ever conversed, I don't know.Fred -> TTG , 2 hours ago
Comey was not at all sure about Lynch's impartiality. It would not surprise me if he kept details of the Russian investigation, including the dossier, from her. She probably learned about it shortly before Obama and Trump were briefed on the dossier. Obama knew enough about the Russian investigation, without the dossier, to warn Putin to knock it off in September 2016.
I don't know if the Brits spied on our Presidential candidates. I wouldn't doubt it. We bugged Merkel's phone. What I am sure of is that the Brits spy on every Russian of importance within their capabilities. If Trump's campaign was in contact with those Russians, the Brits would know about it. They obviously thought those conversations were illicit enough to inform their US counterparts and reveal that they did monitor members of the Trump campaign. They wouldn't have done that just for shits and giggles."They obviously thought those conversations were illicit enough to inform their US counterparts and reveal that they did monitor members of the Trump campaign."TTG -> Fred , 34 minutes ago
They thought it illicit? Listening is one thing, giving information to aid your country's government's preferred candidate is interference in an election process - ours. How many times has our ally the UK interfered with US elections? They had plenty of help from the FBI and DOJ here in the US in 2016. Who elected GCHQ to be arbiters of US elections? I can't find them in the US Constitution. Using the FBI and DOJ to sabatouge your party's political opponents, that's third world government standards.If the Brits wanted to directly influence the election, they would have publicly released their information about "illicit' contacts. Keeping it within intelligence channels does nothing to influence an election. I would hope the Brits would never hold back on information concerning a possible CI threat.English Outsider -> TTG , 4 hours agoTTG - thank you for your reply above. The picture one gets of Steele is no longer that of a loose canon who somehow got himself involved in a presidential election campaign. It is that of an experienced and respected professional working in tandem, if perhaps unconventionally, with other professionals.Pat Lang Mod -> English Outsider , 3 hours ago
And perhaps thinking that he or his contacts back home had stumbled over important information showing that a presidential candidate was compromised. That information possibly being the tip of the iceberg and urgently demanding further investigation.
But that makes what happened all the more unusual -
1. Why didn't the further investigation happen? Surely the fact that such an important matter wasn't thoroughly investigated, and that using all possible resources in the States and abroad, shows that it was no serious investigation in the first place?
And more to the point here -
2. If those involved were professionals working away soberly at a necessary investigation, what were they doing suddenly branching out into a smear campaign?
For none, even the originators of the dossier, are claiming that the more discreditable part of the Steele dossier is true. That is not Intelligence material. It is sensationalised smear material.
This objection has been met in part with the claim that the dossier was all raw unsifted Intelligence and therefore was released as is.
But surely experienced Intelligence professionals don't suddenly pitch raw unsifted Intelligence into the middle of the political arena while they are supposed to be still assessing that intelligence?
Irrespective of the question of whether Trump was compromised the question therefore arises - what were American officials doing running a smear campaign against a presidential candidate?
Which leads back to the original question. What officials this side of the Atlantic were also involved, and how high did the authorisation for their involvement go in England.
On a matter I'm better informed about, I don't see the Colonel quietly farming away in Kent. I see him striding across the limitless expanse of a Scottish grouse moor. If our lot had known their business they'd have worked that into their offer.
But if that farm in Kent is still going spare ...
.I could have been Glubb's neighbor. I could have been a contender ... I thought the whole thing showed a surprising lack of judgment on their part.TTG -> English Outsider , an hour agoThe counterintelligence investigation was in progress through the lead up to the 2016 election and is still in progress. Through 2016, it was done in a remarkably quiet fashion. That's how these investigations are supposed to work. No one hears about them until there is an arrest or indictment. That's how Mueller is running his investigation. We hear nothing from him except for the indictments already issued. And they are characteristically slow and methodical, usually spanning years before an arrest is made.Pat Lang Mod -> TTG , a day ago
None of this investigation, including Steele's reporting was used in a pre-election smear campaign. In my opinion, the reason the Obama administration did not publicize the idea of Russian interference with the election and possible involvement of Trump campaign officials is that it would surely have been seen as a partisan smear campaign. The public did not hear of the Steele dossier until well after the election was over.
It was not just British intelligence involved in collecting on Russian interference in the election. The Estonians, the Dutch, the Australians and probably others contributed to the intelligence picture. We may not learn the full extent of that cooperation for many years. Given the changing nature of information warfare and social media manipulation, I sincerely wish the full extent of that intelligence is made public quickly. Sure that would probably also cramp Western media manipulation capabilities, of which we are far from innocent, but the sunlight would help inoculate all of us against this malignant phenomenon.MI-6 tried to recruit me. I reported it to the COS at my post. Please don't tell me we and our liaison services love each other.TTG -> Pat Lang , a day agoNot surprised. What a duplicitous business we rolled around in.Pat Lang Mod -> TTG , a day agoThey offered me a retirement farm in Kent, lifetime membership in one of the best clubs, a big stipend and"career assistance". It was funny.TTG -> Pat Lang , a day agoThe retirement farm and the big stipend sounds pretty good. I could do without the best club and the career assistance. Sounds like they appreciated you a lot more than DIA.Pat Lang Mod -> TTG , 18 hours agoDIA made me an SES-4 with presidential rank (Distinguished). Looks like the Brits expected me to have a lot of access. They claimed these guys were off the reservation. and that they were not authorized to pitch me.TTG -> Pat Lang , 13 hours agoOff the reservation my ass. I would say those Brits were a bunch of cheeky blokes who did not do a thorough enough job of assessing your susceptibility to recruitment.Pat Lang Mod -> TTG , 3 hours agoYou seem more upset over this than I was. We accepted their false statements of innocence betrayed by their own and went right on working with them. Why would they try this? Simple. As we do they wanted to know what we were not telling them. everyone does it. A basic principle. Recruit your liaison.TTG -> Pat Lang , 29 minutes agoYou're right. I never worked out of an embassy or in any long term liaison function. If I was the target of such a pitch, it would have meant that I was blown along with any operations I was involved with. For me, it would have been life altering.Boris -> English Outsider , a day agoBeen wondering about that too.MarcotheLombard , 2 days agoThanks for this. I am wondering what Larry Johnson and the other members of this Committee of Correspondence make of the possible connection between Christopher Steele, Pablo Miller, and Sergei Skripal?Patrick Armstrong -> MarcotheLombard , a day ago
Some of Craig Murray's speculations in his latest post on the Skripal incident regarding the coordinated role of Orbis Intelligence, the BBC, and the British state (which issued a DSMA notice prohibiting press mention of Pablo Miller) are quite plausible. Murray is, like the members of this committee, a veteran of the game....
Was Skripal coerced/encouraged by Miller to serve as one of Steele's unattributed Russian "sources"? Did he later get cold feet? Or did he later attempt to buy his way back into Russia with the claim that he could provide proof that the Dossier was a fraud? Or was he working as a triple agent the whole time? Were the two sightseeing Russians "Borishov" and "Petrov" sent to retrieve something from Skripal?
https://www.craigmurray.org...Try this. This theory ties together all the incoherencies of the official explanation better than anything I have seen. And, I'm pleased to see it is getting reprinted here and there.Nobby Stiles -> Patrick Armstrong , 20 hours ago
https://michaelantonyblog.w...Yes, it made a lot of sense to me. The only thing it doesn't explain is the roof. Was somebody keeping some WMD in the attic?Barbara Ann -> Patrick Armstrong , a day agoI concur. This is the most plausible explanation of what really happened in Salisbury that I have read so far.
Colonel - might this theory be worth a dedicated SST post? It is 5,000 words, so perhaps Patrick, David Habakkuk, or another interested member of the committee would be happy to summarize the salient details (e.g. that Borisov & Petrov intended to return to Russia with Sergei Skripal). The author's contact details are in the comments section re reprint rights.
May 31, 2017 | jackrabbit.blogThere are numerous clues that point to the 2016 US Presidential Election as having been a set-up. Few seem willing to take a close look at these facts. But it is necessary for an understanding of the world we live in today.
Trump's first 100 days has come and gone and he has proven to be every bit the faux populist that Obama was (as I explained in a previous post). In hind-sight we can see how a new faux populist was installed.
- Sanders as sheep-dog Black Agenda Report called Sanders a sheep-dog soon after he entered the race .
Sanders made it clear from the start that he ruled out the possibility of running as an independent. That was only the first of many punches that Sanders pulled as he led his 'sheep' into the Democratic fold.
- ; "Enough with the emails!"
- ; Not pursuing Hillary's 'winning' of 6 coin tosses in Iowa;
- ; Virtually conceding the black and female vote to Hillary;
- ; Not calling Hillary out about her claim to have NEVER sold her vote;
- ; Endorsing Hillary despite learning of Hillary-DNC collusion;
- ; Continuing to help the Democratic Party reach out to Bernie supports even after the election.
As one keen observer noted: Sanders is a Company Man .
- Trump as Clinton protege
Mar 07, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
ex-SA , Mar 5, 2019 3:55:53 PM | 13Desolation Row , Mar 5, 2019 6:41:25 PM | link
Thank you! This may well be the most important link I've encountered in my years of lurking here @ MoA and elsewhere.
There is a video linked in the article which may be more important than the article itself. Easily overlooked, so here: https://swprs.org/video-the-cia-and-the-media/
It appears in the article here:
"In a remarkable report by British Channel 4, former CIA officials and a Reuters correspondent spoke candidly about the systematic dissemination of propaganda and misinformation in reporting on geopolitical conflicts:"
Many thanks, and much respect to you Sir for bringing this important piece to my attention.
May I humbly offer in return, https://archive.org/details/publicenemyno1 (don't neglect the 2nd reel)I apologize for another somewhat off to