|Home||Switchboard||Unix Administration||Red Hat||TCP/IP Networks||Neoliberalism||Toxic Managers|
May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better
Janwaar Bibi, Comment in the American Conservative, April 9, 2019
|News||US Presidential Elections of 2020||Recommended Links||Trump as America’s First Zionist President||Nancy Pelosi impeachment gambit||Jared Kushner, neocons and Israel Lobby Trojan horse in Trump administration||Iran saber-rattling||Israel lobby||Mike "we killed up to 200 Russians" Pompeo: a liar, a killer, a war criminal, a lobbyist for MIC|
|Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA||Ukraine-gate as Russiagate 2.0||Ciaramella as potential fake whistleblower, the sacrificial pawn for Brennan||Creepy neocon Joe Biden and fleecing of Ukraine||Adam Schiff Witch Hunt||Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool||UA officials and security services role in fueling Russiagate and Ukrainegate||Blob attacks Trump: Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukrainegate||"Trump is insane" meme|
|Trump version of gangster capitalism||National neoliberalism||Anti-globalization movement||US-China trade war||Attempt to suppress Huawei using security as the pretext||Trump wall fiasco||Final report of Special prosecutor Mueller||Barr Senate testimony and the counter investigation of Spygate (aka Russiagate)||Big Obstruction of Justice debate|
|Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump by neocons and DemoRats as another Iraq WDM story||Trump tax cut for the rich||Trumpcare scam and staggering incompetence of Trump administration||Trump as rabid militarism||Syria civil war||FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and very suspicious DNC leak saga||Korea saber-rattling||Venezuela: another "bombs for oil" scenario after Libya?||Reversal of planned detente with Russia|
|Trump2016 foreign policy platform||Trump2016 immigration platform||Trump2016 economic platform||Assange and Wikileaks||Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition||MSM as an attack dogs of color revolution||Steele dossier||Strzokgate||Trump folded but sustained anti-Trump Hysteria in major neoliberal MSM|
|Hawks in Trump administration||Mike "we killed 200 Russians" Pompeo||John Bolton||Elliott Abrams||Nikki "Binomo" Haley -- yet another female neocon in best Madeleine Albright style||Gina Haspel and dead ducks story||Ivanka Trump -- Lady Macbeth of Trump administration||Rosenstein key role in putsch against Trump: the appointment of the special prosecutor gambit||Israeli support of headchoppers and air raids on Syria military infrastructure|
|Trump as a puppet of the Deep State||War is Racket||American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism||Complete surrender to neocons||Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ?||Anti Trump Hysteria||Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few||NeoMcCartyism||Anti-Russian hysteria|
|The Iron Law of Oligarchy||Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite||Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"||Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite||Corporatist Corruption||Resurgence of neo-fascism as reaction on neoliberalism||Nation under attack meme||New American Militarism||American Exceptionalism|
|Michael Wolff's "Fire and fury" revelations and slander of Trump administration||Mistressgate: Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal affairs||Civil war in Ukraine||MSM as attack dogs of color revolution||FBI Mayberry Machiavellians: CIA globalists dirty games against Sanders and Trump||Politically Incorrect Humor||Skeptic Quotations||Humor|
In 2016 Trump promised to drain the swamp. He drained a small patch of neocon swamp and put all those bottomfeeders from this patch in his cabinet.
It's increasingly hard to view Trump as an American president. I don't know exactly what the hell he is, but he obviously spends more time working for Israel and Saudi Arabia than he does doing what the American people hired him to do. Israel's Netanyahu and that Saudi Arabian prince who kills journalists seem to get everything they want from Trump, but America gets zilch.
No wall, no infrastructure, no America First foreign policy. The stuff he has delivered, we didn't want it: more immigrants, the biggest national debt in history, more Mideast wars.
Voted Trump in 2016. Never again. And not just "never again". I hope Mueller or some other competent law enforcement type gets him dead to rights and puts him and his corrupt associates in prison. A shame they can't put him in the same cell as Hillary Clinton.
Practical Matters, March 21, 2019 at 1:35 pm
...my thesis is not that the current American political system is an inspired replica of Nazi Germany’s or George W. Bush of Hitler. References to Hitler’s Germany are introduced to remind the reader of the benchmarks in a system of power that was invasive abroad, justified preemptive war as a matter of official doctrine, and repressed all opposition at home — a system that was cruel and racist in principle and practice, deeply ideological, and openly bent on world domination. Those benchmarks are introduced to illuminate tendencies in our own system of power that are opposed to the fundamental principles of constitutional democracy. Those tendencies are, I believe, “totalizing” in the sense that they are obsessed with control, expansion, superiority, and supremacy.
“Everything we Never Trump folks warned you of, including massive, decades-long downstream election losses is coming. Alienating African Americans and Hispanics beyond redemption? Check. Raising a generation of young voters who are fleeing the GOP in droves? Check. Age-old beefs, juvenile complaints, and ego bruises taking center stage while the world burns? Check. Playing public footsie with white supremacists and neo-Nazis? Check. Blistering pig-ignorance about the economy and the world? Check. Pushing a tax bill that jacks economic inequality into the stratosphere? Check. Shredding the last iota of the GOP’s credibility as a party that cares about debt, deficits, and fiscal probity? Check.”
Assassination of generals, one from an allied country, one from a country with which we have no declared war, and both assassinations performed on the territory of an allied, sovereign country without permission? This is piracy. Why should anyone trust the word of a country which does not honor the most basic of international law?
And am I alone to be disgusted to see the senior members of our government lie blatantly and constantly, when they're not ... the nearest likudnik...
divadab, 03 January 2020 at 04:17 PM
Due to the size introductory article was moved to "All hat, no cattle" cowboy Trump
Trump needs to be impeached. But neoliberal Democrats have no courage to speak about real crimes he committed(such as Douma false flag, "stealing Syrian oil", Yemen, Venezuela or killing of Soleimani -- which positioned the USA as a pirate state). DemoRats (neoliberal democrats -- Clinton wing of Dem Party) converted impeachment into Kabuki theater using fake fors Russiagate gaslighting on the whole nation and then Ukrainegate narrative, which increased chances of Trump reelection. Senate is also complicit and still full of criminals who voted for Iraq war. In no way it can afford to discuss the real issues.
In any case, Trump's rhetorical efforts to sell himself as the “anti-war” president have been exposed as a fraud. Trump proved to be a politician who relied and depended upon on the support of Israel lobby, the first openly Zionist president of the USA.
You do not need to read much to understand who Trump is: the person who brought in Pompeo, Esper, Bolton, and other rabid neocons in his cabinet while promising to end foreign war during 2016 complain. Which means that he a despicable liar, a puppet proclaiming one thing to be elected/reelected but working hard to implement completely opposite policies to get more Adelson money for his reelection bid.
Any unsecure and incompetent person is very dangerous in such a powerful position. Trump surrounded himselfs with neocons and sycophants.
The net result of the Trump first term in office is as following: No jobs, no wall, no good medical insurance, inflated Pentagon budget, continuation of foreign wars, pandering to Israel, buffoonery, and criminal incompetence. Trump did not capped the deficit, failed to re-instate Glass-Steagall, to control the cost of prescription drugs. He did pushed legislation for the modernization of the infrastructure of the country and he and his administration was caught without pants by COVID-19 epidemic.
Trump ran as the candidate in 2016 who would extricate America from the misbegotten wars of the Middle East. Instead in Jan 2020 Trump became a self-declared pirate (or gangster, if you wish) staging Douma false flag and assassinating top Iran military commander in Iraq; thus breaking the international law and increase the danger of WWIII; his foreign policy is a jingoistic mess and costs the USA more money then under Obama. Trump brought back some Bush II era neocon criminals (John Bolton, Elliott Abrams) and panders to Israel Lobby more then LBJ. He is definitely a stooge of Israel lobby and his reelection campaign is financed by-and-large financed by usual suspects (Adelson, Singer, etc)
Still Neoliberal Democrats may ensure with his reelection because they continue to betray working people and managed to choose the wekest candidate from The Party -- joe Biden, who is essentially a weaker version of Hillary -- neoliberal and warmonger. Their travesty with impeachment (aka Nancy Pelosi impeachment gambit ) using Ukrainegate hoax helps Trump too.
While the US presidential elections are not exactly like horse racing, they are close. Unless the person elected is a real political giant (the last was probably FDR ) issue who wins is secondary to what direction the country will take. Moreover this issue is not under the control of elected President but by so called the "Deep State" the core of which constitute intelligence agencies and the State Department (which also cann be viewed as an intelligence agency, the oldest in existence). Presidents who deviate too much from wishes of the deep state can be killed (JFK), have impeachment process launched against them (Nixon, Trump) or derailed (like Trump via Muller investigation) even if those deviations were most empty words, like was the case with Trump)
All recent US presidents including Trump looks like disposable one-time use goods for the deep state. None of them deserve the second term. Due to neocon "Full spectrum Dominance" doctrine all recent presidents accumulated during the first term such amount of serious war crimes that their second term should be spend in the International Criminal Court jail (Scheveningen) and the term should be much longer than four years. While Trump look like a middle range mafia boss from NYC, in comparison with higher level mafia boss from Chicago-- Obama, he managed to commit at least a half dozen war crimes (making in the process Israel great again, instead of the USA). We will mention just three :
- Attacking Syria after false flag operation in Douma organized by Western intelligence services in which ISIS and White Helmets probably deliberately killed children (probably hostages) to present them as the victims as fake airstrike by Syrian government that supposedly used of chorine gas. (BBC News) Killing children for this false flag operation was designed to elicit Western aerial bombardments of Syria government military by USA led coalition forces (USA France, GB) also can be counted as Trump war crime. To add insult to injury no metal cylinder dropped from airplane or helicopter, and which supposedly broke cement ceiling of the bulling can land as intact as it was shown om photographs. Only due to its superpower status the USA can escape responsibility for such war crimes.
- Trump support of Saudi monarchy side in the civil war in Yemen, which involved many civilian casualties, including children.
- Assassination of general Soleimani, who came to Iraq on official diplomatic mission, and later events connected with shooting down of Ukrainian Boeing for which the USA carry direct or indirect responsibility (at least as the initiator of the series of events that led to this tragedy)
In this sense, the current impeachment trial initiated by DemoRats with the hope to turn 2020 election in their favor (like they managed to do in 2018 with Mueller investigation) is a Kabuki theater. Completely detached from reality trial based on invented and falsified charges in which both sides are afraid to discuss real crimes and tell the truth (including truth about the USA involvement in Ukraine). Where both sides are equally despicable and corrupt. As John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute, noted "This impeachment spectacle is Shakespearean in its scope: full of sound and fury, signifying nothing... In other words, we are being ruled by an oligarchy disguised as a democracy, and arguably on our way towards fascism: a form of government where private corporate interests rule, money calls the shots, and the people are seen as mere subjects to be controlled. The legislators will be in session. There will be elections, and the news media will continue to cover the entertainment and political trivia. Consent of the governed, however, will no longer apply. Actual control will have finally passed to the oligarchic elite controlling the government behind the scenes."
As Doug Bandow observed: "President Trump has done much wrong. However, he deserves credit for challenging a failed foreign policy that’s been paid for by so many while benefiting so few. It is “crazy” and “stupid,” as he reportedly said. Why should Americans keep dying for causes that their leaders cannot adequately explain, let alone justify? Let us hope that one day Americans elect a president who will act and not just talk."
But Trump is all about talk and few impulsive and reckless actions like Killing Soleimani. A typical "All hat, no cattle" cowboy. As for action of his Administration, it is not that different from Obama or Bush II administrations, especially in foreign policy. No change from Obama who wrecked Libya for generations to come and almost destroyed secular government in Syria (saved by Russians), trying to replace it with muslim fundamentalists, including his favorite Trojan horse -- Muslim Brotherhood.
Trump voters hoped that Trump will be like FDR "betrayer of his class, " who will stop neoliberal immigration wave, improve conditions of working and lower middle class and extricate the USA from foreign wars which eat the lion share of tax dollars and feed enormous in size and mostly parasitic military-industrial complex. But he proved to be like Obama -- the "betrayer-in-chief" of his voters and yet another "government Mafiosi.", so to speak. A person who despise and ignore the rule law (especially international law about which he supposedly knew nothing both before and after the elections; so it is easy to ignore ) methods of operations of a typical member of the New York mob (with which all NYC real estate developers need to interact) , who excels only in bulling and extortion. Trump’s geopolitical ignorance, overuse of bulling as the foreign policy tool, his MAGA (in reality MIGA) bravado, along with relying on advice from neocons surrounding him, created additional enemies and alienated allies. Bullying China and Russia simultaneously is a dangerous strategy, creating alliance of two powerful countries (With possible addition of Turkey, Iran and Pakistan), especially at the time when the US-centered global neoliberal empire crumbles, because neoliberalism as the ideology is dead and like was the case with the USSR and Communist ideology. Similarly to Soviet nomenklatura, the US elite can't abandon it without completely losing the face. As many multinationals depends on China for manufacturing they have an incentive to prevent Trump from being elected for a second term.
At the same time Obama won in 2012 against Mitt Romney despite his complete betrayal of his election promises. Probably most understand that elections does not change much (and they definitely change nothing in foreign policy which no longer is controlled by the President of the USA) and are reluctant to rock the boat, even if they still go and cast the vote. So theoretically Trump has a good chances for re-election. It will be a very interesting 2020 campaign if the Democratic candidate has to run with the ripe stinking dead albatross of Russiagate around her neck
We will see if the same trick as Obama did is possible for Trump in 2020 -- Romney was clearly the most hated opponent Obama could wish for. The Trump administration seems to have the illusion that if you raise the stakes high enough, other countries will cave to US demands. There might also be an element of "creating foreign adversary in order to unite the domestic front and patch cracks in the USA neoliberal facade".
Betrayal of his voters means that Trump now looks like Republican Obama, like another master of "bait and switch" maneuver. With his wet kiss with Netanyahu and allowing Adelson's protégé Bolton and Pompeo to define foreign policy, Trump instantly switched from MAGA to MIGA ("Make Israel Great Again") after the elections: Trump is turning all of Israel’s “asks” into American foreign policy moves, doing things that previous presidents of both parties rejected or refused to do, in some cases because they put the security of the United States at risk. Large faction of independents might do not like that. Putting gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson in charge of US foreign and trade policy is not such a good idea as it revealed the level of betrayal of his voters by Trump. So he has Catch22 situation: he desperately needs Adelson money and he can't lose large part of independent votes which is a real probability if he get those money. His slave subservience to Israel lobby is already visible negative factor for him, although it is politically incorrect to discuss it. But his actions speak louder then his words.
The key question here if the timing was right and the next recession will come after the elections, not before. Whether Trump administration underestimated Chinese ability to resist sanction remains to be seen. If Chinese hold their position in trade war for a year and half despite the pain, Trump might lose the election in 2020 as he will be unable to protect the economy from the slide for more then a year and the first signs of recession diminish his chances, which already were undermined by his betrayal of his election promises. If China folds, Trump still can get in troubles as some damage to relations already irreversible.
In 2020 he also will not face universally hated private equity shark like Romney vs. Obama in 2012, or another establishment neoliberal warmonger like his opponent Hillary like in 2016. He might face Warren or Sanders and against them Trump will look more like Hillary -- yet another neocon warmonger who brought (or forced to bring) Bolton, Pompeo, Abramson and others into key positions of his administration.
Also some voters now view his as "The puppet of Israel and MIC formerly known as Trump." If he faces Elisabeth Warren, he will crushed in the debates and pained a financial shyster he is. Also like "anybody but Hillary" in 2016 election, in 2020 elections we will have the broad category of "anybody but Trump" voters. Which includes swats of former Trump voters in 2016. For example, anti-war right, who were blatantly betrayed will no longer vote to Trump. A good way at least partially compensate for this growing mess which might derail Trump is to fire warmonger and Israel marionette John Bolton, send Mike Pompeo back to the bible school, where he belongs, and tell Iran and Saudi Arabia to bury the hatchet.
While most US Presidents since Nixon (with the exception of Carter and Bush Sr) were reelected those who were defeated often were defeated in recession. Often presidents were reelected despite complete betrayal of voters (Clinton, Obama, Bush II). Looks like US voters firmly prefer "devil that we know". So the decisive factor in 2020 election is whether the USA slips into recession or not. In this sense having China as the opponent in 2019 instead of waiting for 2020 was a very risky move on the part of Trump.
Again, Trump got to the WH not on his own merits but as the result of blue collar voters showing a middle finger to the neoliberal establishment. Neoliberal Dems betrayed the working class as well as lower middle class in favor of Wall Street hoping that it will vote for them forever (they have nowhere to go'" was Bill Clinton strategy. It worked for almost ten years but in 2016 it stopped working (see Demexit). Declining standard of living (for 30 years !) finally provide the level of resentment and hate that doomed Democratic in 2016 decided to speak out (Clinton correctly calculated that "they have nowhere to go" and it works after he sold Dems to Wall Street for more then twenty years). So Trump was in essence a protest candidate and his strong/weak points did not matter much ("anybody but Hillary mentality"). Now the situation changed, and Trump will be viewed as a Republican establishment stooge he is. Tax cuts for rich was a king of betrayal that might negatively affect Trump electability.
Trump dependence on Adelson's money for his re-election campaign and avid Zionist (and a member of shady orthodox Jewish sect, rumored to be connected with Mossad) Jared Kushner presence in WH (as well as two Adelson's protégé: Bolton and Pompeo) adds insult to injury. Some voters might understand that Trump actually converted MAGA to MIGA at their expense. Making Israel great again instead of the USA. His rhetoric will no longer deceive anybody as he now has a track record of governance and foreign policy actions and blunders.
Oligarchy wants to sacrifices yourself to the Imperial goals. As Orwell observed in 1984:
“All that was required of them was a primitive patriotism which could be appealed to whenever it was necessary to make them accept longer working hours or shorter rations. And even when they became discontented, as they sometimes did, their discontent led nowhere, because, being without general ideas, they could only focus it on petty specific grievances. The larger evils invariably escaped their notice.”
For the list of top articles see Recommended Links section
May 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Mao , May 24 2020 20:56 utc | 30FBI Document Reveals That Without Direct Israeli 'Intervention' Trump Would Have Lost 2016 Election
May 24, 2020 | www.globaltimes.cn
"The American people are miserable amid the epidemic, and their president is an eccentric who does not care about the safety of ordinary people and is good at passing the buck," Li said.
Many analysts have noted the epidemic in the US might not end before the US election , and Trump's repeated emphasis on work resumption would not take off as long as the coronavirus enjoys freedom to spread.
... ... ...
Ni Feng, director of the institute of American studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times the death notice of COVID-19 victims on the New York Times' front page could "deal a fatal blow to Trump's re-election" as most of the names on the front page were elderly people, his potential voters.
The elderly are always conservative, and thus most are potentially Trump's voters, Ni opined.
The voter turnout of the elderly is also higher than young people, said Ni, noting Trump's behavior will make the firmest supporters change their mind, "facing the crisis of life."
May 24, 2020 | christiansfortruth.com
According to recently released FBI documents, Donald Trump's longtime confidant, Roger Stone, who was convicted last year in Robert Mueller's investigation into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, was in contact with one or more apparently well-connected Israelis at the height of the 2016 US presidential campaign, one of whom warned Stone that Trump was "going to be defeated" unless Israel intervened in the election :
The exchange between Stone and this Jerusalem-based contact appears in FBI documents made public on Tuesday. The documents -- FBI affidavits submitted to obtain search warrants in the criminal investigation into Stone -- were released following a court case brought by The Associated Press and other media organizations.
A longtime adviser to Trump, Stone officially worked on the 2016 presidential campaign until August 2015, when he said he left and Trump said he was fired. However he continued to communicate with the campaign, according to Mueller's investigation.
The FBI material, which is heavily redacted, includes one explicit reference to Israel and one to Jerusalem, and a series of references to a minister, a cabinet minister, a "minister without portfolio in the cabinet dealing with issues concerning defense and foreign affairs," the PM, and the Prime Minister . In all these references the names and countries of the minister and prime minister are redacted.
Benjamin Netanyahu was Israel's prime minister in 2016 , and the Israeli government included a minister without portfolio, Tzachi Hanegbi, appointed in May with responsibility for defense and foreign affairs. One reference to the unnamed PM in the material reads as follows:
"On or about June 28, 2016, [NAME REDACTED] messaged STONE, "RETURNING TO DC AFTER URGENT CONSULTATIONS WITH PM IN ROME. MUST MEET WITH YOU WED. EVE AND WITH DJ TRUMP THURSDAY IN NYC."
Netanyahu made a state visit to Italy at the end of June 2016 .
The explicit reference to Israel appears early in the text of a May 2018 affidavit by an FBI agent in support of an application for a search warrant, and relates to communication between Stone and Jerome Corsi, an American author, commentator and conspiracy theorist. " On August 20, 2016, CORSI told STONE that they needed to meet with [NAME REDACTED] to determine "what if anything Israel plans to do in Oct," the affidavit states .
The explicit reference to Jerusalem appears later in the same document , in the context of communication between Stone and his unnamed contact in the Israeli capital. "On or about August 12, 2016, [NAME REDACTED] messaged STONE, "Roger, hello from Jerusalem. Any progress? He is going to be defeated unless we intervene. We have critical intell. The key is in your hands! Back in the US next week. How is your Pneumonia? Thank you. STONE replied, "I am well. Matters complicated. Pondering. R" The "he" is an apparent reference to Trump.
The redacted material features numerous references to an "October surprise," apparently relating to a document dump by Wikileaks' Julian Assange, intended to harm Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and salvage Trump's .
Referring to the Israeli mentions in a report on the documents late Tuesday, the US website Politico noted: "The newly revealed messages often raise more questions than answers. They show Stone in touch with seemingly high-ranking Israeli officials attempting to arrange meetings with Trump during the heat of the 2016 campaign."
Mueller's investigation identified significant contact during the 2016 campaign between Trump associates and Russians, but did not allege a criminal conspiracy to tip the outcome of the presidential election.
This story first appeared last month, at the height of the COVID-19 plandemic, which conveniently and not coincidentally allowed all the mainstream media in America to ignore it.
Of course, this story is seen as a positive development from the Israeli (and evangelical) perspective because a Trump presidency was an essential part fulfilling an aggressive Zionist "wish list" which included moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, annexing the Golan Heights and the West Bank, and perhaps a major move against Iran in the second term.
This story also explains why the jewish-controlled press saturated the airwaves with fake stories of "Russian" intervention in the election -- and why we will be seeing similar non-stop stories of "Chinese" intervention in the upcoming 2020 election in November.
We can only guess what further information about Israel's involvement in the election was redacted from this FBI document, but there can be little doubt that the orders to help Trump win came from the very top -- from Netanyahu himself.
And Netanyahu hasn't wasted a second of Trump's presidency in expanding Israel's power, territory and influence. As one Jewish media pundit claimed , Donald Trump has been " the greatest president for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world." Trump has even bragged that he is so popular among Israelis that they would elect him Prime Minister if he ran.
And even if the brain-dead American public found out about this Israeli intervention (i.e., "subversion of our democracy"), they would probably just shrug it off -- after all, Israel is our "most trusted friend and ally," goyim .
May 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
uncle tungsten , May 25 2020 0:44 utc | 56vk #4
Pompeo Warns US May Stop Sharing Intelligence With Australia Over Victoria Inking Deal With China's BRI
The battle for Australia's soul has begun.
Lets reverse that point, shall we. There is a US spy base in Australia at a place called Pine Gap. Without it being operational the USA would lose its 3 dimensional vision across the planet.
This Bannon/Trump bluster is weak as p!ss as 'sharing intelligence' is the cornerstone of the five eyes perversion that gives the USA some superiority in intelligence matters. So if sharing intelligence were withdrawn by the USA with Australia it would have meaningless consequences.
On the other hand if Australia ceased its intelligence sharing and shut down all the data traffic out of Australia - the USA would go ballistic. Not that the Oz government would ever do such a thing being a craven water carrier for the new world order etc...
Pompeo is blathering bullsh!t and he knows it and we all know it.
Odd that you would reiterate his brainless threat vk.
May 24, 2020 | angrybearblog.com
likbez , May 24, 2020 8:22 pm
While Flynn is a questionable figure with his Iran warmongering and the former tenure as a Turkey lobbyist, it is important to understand that in Kislyak call he mainly played the role of Israel lobbyist. This important fact was carefully swiped under the carpet by FBI honchos.
Only the second and less important part of the call (the request to Russia to postpone the reaction after the Obama expulsion of diplomats) was related to Russia. Not sure it was necessary: Russia probably understood that this was a provocation and would wait for the dust to settle in any case. Revenge is a dish that is better served cold. Later Russia used this as a pretext to equalize the number of US diplomats in Russia with the number of Russian diplomat in the USA which was a knockdown for any color revolution plans in this country: people with the knowledge of the country and connections to its neoliberal fifth column were sent packing.
But Russian neoliberal compradors were decimated earlier after EuroMaydan in Kiev, so this was actually a service to the USA allowing to save the USA same money (as Trump acknowledged)
Also strange how former chief of DIA fell victim of such a crude trap administered by a second, if nor third rate person -- Strzok. Looks like he was already on the hook and, as such, defenseless for his Turkey lobbing efforts. Which makes Comey-McCabe attempt to entrap him look like a shooing fish in the tank.
Note to managerial class neoliberals (PMC). Your Russiagate stance is to be expected and has nothing to do with virtue.
it was the urban and suburban PMC that gets its news from the establishment press -- the New York Times, Washington Post and NPR, that believed and supported the story.
Anon  Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 4:50 am GMT
May 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
sarz , says: Show Comment
Here's the best scenario: Trump wins re-election, and gives the neocons what they've been egging for all along – WWIII, simultaneous war on all fronts, with Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine, China, Russia, Venezuela. Let's see the empire stretched so thin it eventually craters and goes bankrupt. The only way to save America is for it to die in its present form. When the country is completely bankrupt, when the people are so sick of war, then maybe, just maybe, we will wise up, rise up and do a Mussolini on all the neocons who've been killing this country from within since the days of Woodrow Wilson.anon  Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 11:13 am GMT
@UncommonGround Joshua Landis:BannedHipster , says: Website Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 1:14 pm GMT
Top Biden advisor says Democrats will continue Trump's policy in Syria.
Tony Blinken says Biden would:
– Keep US troops in Syria
– Deny Assad oil
– Keep Idlib for rebels
– Refuse to negotiate w Damascus until US "effectuates more positive outcome"
Donald Trump's father and grandfather were connected to Jewish organized crime. Donald Trump first got big on Twitter promoting the "birther" conspiracy theories about Obama which Trump was getting from the Israeli Jew Orly Taitz. These conspiracy theories were designed to demonize Obama for trying to end the sanctions on Iran and prevent a war.BannedHipster , says: Website Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 1:32 pm GMT
Zionist Jews were quite aware that Donald Trump was their guy – he has always been consistently popular in Israel. Zionist Jews knew that Donald Trump could give them everything they wanted: takeover all of Jerusalem, annex the Golan Heights, and eventually annex Palestine and ethnically cleanse the Palestinians – all going on right now with the support of Trump and Jared Kushner's hand-picked Mike Pompeo.
Hey, Trump fans – Trump DID in fact "drain the swamp." He (well, Jared Kushner) fired anyone who dared to oppose anything Israel wanted and replaced them with yes-men Zionist flunkies.
How much longer till the MAGA-tard realize they were tricked?
This is almost certainly false and confusing the issue:
" In 1927 Frederick Trump was one of seven people in KKK cap and gown arrested in a near riot."
Donald Trump's father was arrested during a riot at a Klan rally – but he almost certainly wasn't "in KKK cap and gown" – it's far more likely he was the one rioting AGAINST the Klan, as a member of the Jewish "Anti-fascist" terrorist group, which was a Jewish Communist group then in the early stages.
Trump's uncle was a member of a Jewish fraternity and often claimed that his father was Jewish, but that is probably false. Trump's grandfather supposedly owned brothels. Consider: what kind of people own brothels, houses of prostitution, basically, human trafficking? Organized crime.
Trump isn't Jewish, Trump's father wasn't Jewish and neither was his grandfather. What Trump and his family is, is non-Jewish members of Jewish organized crime.
Why confuse the issue? Half of Trump's children and grandchildren are now either Jewish, Israelis, or married to Jews and Israelis.
Trump and his entire family going back to his grandfather, are shabbos goyim.
May 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Piotr Berman , May 23 2020 19:01 utc | 7Trump is mostly concerned with giving handouts to the MIC because he thinks "the economy" is based on jobs in the MIC since that is what they tell him is where US manufacturing is now based.
Posted by: Kali | May 23 2020 18:16 utc | 2
To a degree, it is true. However, the problem with MIC as an economic stimulant is rather pitiful multiplier effect. For starters, the costs are hopelessly bloated. Under rather watchful Putin, Russia does its piece of arms race at a very small fraction of American costs. By the same token, pro-economy effects of arms spending in USA are seriously diluted -- the spending is surely there, but the extend of activity is debatable For example, in aerospace, there is a big potential for civilian applications of technologies developed for the military. Scant evidence in Boeing that should be a prime beneficiary. The fabled toilet seat (that cost many thousands of dollars) similarly failed to find civilian applications. Civilians inclined to overpriced toilets, like Mr. Trump himself, rely on low-tech methods like gold-plating.
A wider problem is shared by entire GOP: aversion to any government programs, and least of all industry promoting programs, that could benefit ordinary citizens. This is the exclusive domain of the free market! Once you refuse to consider that, only MIC remains, plus some boondogles like interstate highways. Heaven forfend to improve public transit or to repair almost-proverbial crumbling dams and bridges.
Charles D , May 23 2020 19:19 utc | 11We have to ask cui bono - who benefits from a new nuclear arms race? General Electric, Boeing, Honeywell International, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman et al. No one else really. Since these corporations also own the Congress and have zillions to fund Trump's re-election, they will probably get the go-ahead to spend the rest of the world into oblivion.vk , May 23 2020 19:42 utc | 12Apart from the obvious fact that the MIC is the only viable engine of propulsion of the American "real economy" (a.k.a. "manufacturing"), there's the more macabre fact that, if we take Trump's administration first military papers into consideration, it seems there's a growing coterie inside the Pentagon and the WH that firmly believes MAD can be broken vis-a-vis China.DontBelieveEitherPr , May 23 2020 19:58 utc | 15
Hence the "Prompt Global Strike" doctrine (which is taking form with the commission of the new B-21 "Raider" strategic bomber, won by Northrop Grumman), the rise of the concept of "tactical nukes" (hence the extinction of the START, and the Incirlik Base imbroglio post failed coup against Erdogan) and, most importantly, the new doctrine of "bringing manufacture back".
The USA is suffering from a structural valorization problem. The only way out is finding new vital space through which it can initiate a new cycle of valorization. The only significant vital space to be carved out in the 21st Century is China, with its 600 million-sized middle class (the world's largest middle class, therefore the world's largest potential consumer market). It won two decades with the opening of the ex-Soviet vital space, but it was depleted in the 2000s, finally exploding in 2006-2008.
How many decades does the Americans think they can earn by a hypothetical unilateral destruction of China?Having a treaty that limits power (in this case nuclear) on the same level for the US and any other country is simply totally against the ideology of US Superority/Exeptionalism.bevin , May 23 2020 20:33 utc | 19
That seems to be the driving (psychological and ideological) factor behind this charade.
And like this sick ideology always ends: It too will backfire.
@gepay: another problem is people that disagree with Bernhard on COVID, but then use this disagreement to not read his artciles anymore.
So many people only want to read what they want to hear, and run away at the first real different view.
The narcissism, that our neoliberal societies inducded in its people the last decade shows.. And seeing both sides and everything in between is not possible anymore for a majority it seems.
And living in a bubble is so comforting and easy in todays world. On MSM and on Alt Media alike."...that may well fit Trump's plans of pushing all arms control regimes into oblivion."Piotr Berman , May 23 2020 20:38 utc | 21
It's not just arms control regimes, as the WHO business showed. This is the Roy Cohn agenda showing up again- the old GOP objection to the UN and all other international organisations. It is pure ideology-the US has gained immensely from dominating the organisations of which it is a part, leaving them makes no sense at all.
As to 'spending China to oblivion". This only works when every Pentagon dollar spent forces China or Russia to spend a dollar themselves. In such a contest the richest country wins. But that only works in the context of pre-nuclear warfare. With the nuclear deterrent it becomes possible to opt out of all the money wasting nonsense represented by the Pentagon budget, sit back and say, as the Chinese diplomat evidently did, "Just try it."
Which adds up to the conclusion that it is wholly irrational of the United States to denounce treaties designed to reduce the likelihood of nuclear weapons being used: it is to the advantage of Washington that other powers, potential rivals, are forced to build up conventional forces because they are bound by treaty not to rely on nuclear weapons.
So, again: pure ideology designed for domestic consumption and advanced by the most reactionary elements in American society- the Jesse Helms good ol' boys who make the neo-cons look almost human.He likes economic war (against everybody), they want actual war. Laguerre | May 23 2020 20:17 utcJen , May 23 2020 21:17 utc | 24
Trump has a primitive mercantile mind. There is nothing inherently wrong about mercantilism, but a primitive version of anything tends to be mediocre at best. Thus he loves war that give profit, like Yemen where natives are bombed with expensive products made in USA (and unfortunately, also UK, France etc., but the bulk goes to USA). Then he loves wars the he thinks will give profit, like "keeping oil fields in Syria". Some people told him that oil fields are profitable (although they can go bankrupt just like casinos).
Privately, I think that Trump wanted to make a war with Iran, but the generals explained him what kind of disaster that would be.
One difference is that Democrats are aligned with uber Zionist of slightly less rabid variety than Republicans. A bit like black bears vs grizzlies. Unfortunately, like in the animal kingdom, when the push comes to shove, black bears defer to grizzlies, so on the side of Palestinians etc. there is no difference.Billingslea's "spending ... into oblivion" statement reflects the belief, still widespread among US neocon political / military elites, that the Soviet Union was brought down and destroyed by its attempts to keep up with US military spending throughout the 1980s. This alone tells us how steeped in past fantasy the entire US political and military establishment must be. Compared to Rip van Winkle, these people are comatose.
Spending the enemy into oblivion may be "tried and true" practice but only when the enemy is much poorer than yourself in arms production and in one type of weapons manufacture. That certainly does not apply to either Russia or China these days. Both nations think more strategically and do not waste precious resources in parading and projecting military power abroad, or rely almost exclusively on old, decaying technologies and a narrow mindset obsessed with always being top dog in everything.
May 24, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Po litico says that some recent polls showing the president's support among his white Christian base is eroding has prompted Trump to call for churches to re-open. Excerpts:
The anxiety over Trump's standing with the Christian right surfaced after a pair of surveys by reputable outfits earlier this month found waning confidence in the administration's coronavirus response among key religious groups, with a staggering decline in the president's favorability among white evangelicals and white Catholics. Both are crucial constituencies that supported Trump by wide margins in 2016 and could sink his reelection prospects if their turnout shrinks this fall.
The polls paint a bleak picture for Trump, who has counted on broadening his religious support by at least a few percentage points to compensate for weakened appeal with women and suburban populations. One GOP official said the dip in the president's evangelical support also appeared in internal party polling, but disputed the notion that it had caused panic. Another person close to the campaign described an April survey by the Public Religion Research Institute, which showed a double-digit decline in Trump's favorability among white evangelicals (-11), white Catholics (-12) and white mainline protestants (-18) from the previous month, as "pretty concerning."
Following the PRRI survey, which was conducted while Trump was a dominant presence at televised daily briefings by his administration's coronavirus task force, Pew Research Center released new data last week that showed a 7-point increase from April to May in white Catholics who disapprove of Trump's response to the Covid-19 crisis and a 6-point decline among white evangelicals who previously gave him positive marks.
The open-the-churches call from Trump today is just rhetorical. The president doesn't have the power to re-open them; state governments do. The president is trying to send a signal that he is on the side of churchgoers. Not sure that's going to do the trick. From Politico:
It's unlikely that critics of church closings alone are responsible for the decline in Trump's favorability among critical religious demographics. According to the Pew survey, 43 percent of white evangelicals and 52 percent of white Catholics think the current restrictions on public activity in their areas are appropriate versus 42 percent and 31 percent, respectively, who think fewer restrictions would be better. Greater shares of white evangelicals and white Catholics also said they are more afraid about their state governments lifting restrictions on public activity too soon than they are about leaving the restrictions in place for too long.
Read it all.
Maybe the truth is that conservative Christians may prefer Trump to Biden on issues that matter to them, but his handling of the global pandemic overrides everything else this year. No doubt that many Christian voters would vote Trump no matter how he performed on pandemic response. Andrew Sullivan writes today:
A year ago precisely, Trump's approval rating was, in FiveThirtyEight's poll of polls, 53.8 percent disapprove, 41.1 percent approve. This week, the spread was 53.1 percent disapprove and 43 percent approve. Almost identical. None of the events of the last year -- impeachment, plague, economic collapse -- have had anything but a trivial impact on public opinion.
Sullivan unspools a merciless reel of Trump's failures in the crisis -- really crushing stuff. TAC's Bob Merry wrote earlier this week that Trump will probably lose this fall because he has not been a very good president. Excerpt:
It is true also that Trump's knot of popular support–about 43 percent of the electorate, based on approval surveys–is remarkably solid, willing to accept just about anything he does or says so long as he continues to attack those dastardly elites.
But presidential elections also don't turn on any incumbent's base of support. Reelection requires that a president build upon that base and create a governing coalition by bringing in new converts through Oval Office achievement. Richard Nixon, a 43 percent president following the 1968 election, pulled to his party much of the George Wallace constituency, nearly 14 percent of the popular vote in 1968. The result was a reelection landslide. Similarly, following the 1980 election Ronald Reagan pulled to his banner the so-called Reagan Democrats, which contributed to his margin of victory in numerous congressional battles and in his own landslide reelection in 1984.
Or consider the case of Bill Clinton, like Nixon a 43 percent president after his 1992 victory against incumbent George H. W. Bush and upstart candidate Ross Perot, who garnered 19 percent of the popular vote. Clinton had his head handed to him in the 1994 midterm elections following a sub-par performance during his first two years in office. But after that he brilliantly calibrated his leadership to capture a significant portion of the Perot vote. Thus did he build on his base through performance in office and become a two-term president.
Trump has proved himself incapable of this kind of political calibration. He can't even talk to those Americans who might be receptive to his policies but haven't yet joined up. He talks only to his base.
This is true. If Trump gets bad news, he blames the messenger. He attacked Fox News today over a poll showing him behind Biden nationally -- as if reporting what their poll actually found was an act of disloyalty. As Sullivan writes,
Directly challenging him, even when his numbers are wrong, appears to erode Mr. Trump's trust, according to former officials, and ultimately he stops listening. In other words, the officials who tell him things he doesn't want to believe are soon sidelined or fired.
Again, everybody knows that there is a solid rock of immovable Trump voters -- I'm guessing that the 44 percent of Republicans who believe that Bill Gates wants to inject microchips into people with a coronavirus vaccine are part of that crowd -- but they are not enough to win Trump a second term. What about everybody else? Why are those Christian voters who had a favorable opinion of Trump now abandoning him? I'd say a lot of it has to do with exhaustion. The country is facing a crisis like none it has seen in a century. It is crashing the economy. We can re-open, but if people start getting sick again, everybody's going to stay home. These people who are normally inclined to Trump, but now going off of him -- they're going to make the difference between victory and defeat for the president. And they're worn out with all this instability, and the stupid, pointless drama.
I mean, look at this. Whatever you think of Jeff Sessions, he stood by Trump early, when few others in Washington did. But he made the mistake of putting duty to the law above personal loyalty to Trump. This is the kind of thing that once upon a time, conservatives thought worth supporting. Trump has never forgiven him for it. Sessions is running for his old Senate seat back -- and Trump is trying to keep him from getting it. Look:
. @realdonaldtrump Look, I know your anger, but recusal was required by law. I did my duty & you're damn fortunate I did. It protected the rule of law & resulted in your exoneration. Your personal feelings don't dictate who Alabama picks as their senator, the people of Alabama do. https://t.co/QQKHNAgmiE
-- Jeff Sessions (@jeffsessions) May 23, 2020
See what I mean? What is the point of doing this to Jeff Sessions, except spite? I mean, come on, Jeff Sessions? Really? There are a certain number of conservatives who are just fed up with crap like this, and can't stand the thought of four more years of it.
That's my guess -- but then, I'm talking about somebody like myself: never a fan of Trump, and genuinely frightened about what a Democrat in the White House would do, especially if the Dems take the Senate (which they will likely do if Trump loses in a landslide). But nobody knows what the future holds for the country in this pandemic, either in terms of public health or the economy. Can we risk four more years of this chaos and craziness and overall incompetence, especially not knowing what's ahead on the virus and the economy? Is that prospect scarier than a Democratic president and Democratic Senate naming and confirming judges?
Maybe. I did not imagine anything like this in January, but then, I didn't imagine that we would get to Memorial Day weekend with almost 100,000 Americans dead, and 40 million unemployed.
UPDATE: Reader Daniel (Not Larison)'s comment resonates with me:
This Pandemic, and the response to it, and the response of the public to the response, has left me utterly exhausted.
My Facebook feed is getting crammed with my conservative friend's fear-mongering about how (a) the virus is just a "cold", (b) the official death counts are greatly exaggerated (through wide-spread incompetence and fraud), (c) the left is using this crisis to destroy our freedoms, (d) masks are tyranny, (e) Trump's response has been perfect, (f) blue state governors want to gain power and destroy their economies just to make Trump look bad, and (g) the people who died would have died from something else any way. Sprinkled among these responses are things like the Gates microchip thing, 5g causes the virus, it's really Obama's fault, etc.
Sometimes they post some actual true information, like the errors of 4 states in double-counting positive test results or that congressional democrats did try to pack the COVID-19 relief bill with a wishlist of progressive causes. But mostly I see wild assertions and baseless accusations. Anyone who agrees with Trump is smart and can be trusted, anyone who disagrees with him is stupid and/or evil.
It truly is remarkable how even this kind of a crisis has been politicized. There is nearly a perfect correlation between COVID-19 skepticism and Trump support. Tens of thousands of health professionals and medical examiners committing fraud or incompetent by including COVID-19 as a cause of death? Certainly, if it makes Trump look bad. Dozens of other nations adopting similar policies to blue governors? Yeah, they're crashing their economies because they hate Trump, too.
It is utter madness. Rather than respecting genuine differences in opinion, rather than arguing with facts and data, we are responding with hatred, contempt, and raw emotion.
The left certainly is not above this–as we have seen in issues like transgenderism and Project 1619, the left certainly has engaged in this and continues to do so. I've lost count of how many liberal friends I've had to stop following on Facebook because of their utter contempt not just of Trump, but of anyone who would dare express support for him or his policies. And their cursing like sailors they wear like a badge of honor, as of it's a mark of liberation.
Weimar America, truly. We're facing a dual crisis of health and economic collapse that we hadn't seen in a century, and rather than rising to the occasion, many of us are just attacking each other. It reminds me of what Josephus wrote in "The Jewish War" about the Jews, under siege by Roman forces in an incredibly over packed Jerusalem, were busy killing each other rather than facing the enemies outside.
Perhaps I am just a pessimist. Certainly not all Americans are rigidly divided into Team Red and Team Blue–maybe not even the majority. But enough are for me to lose much of my hope for the future of this country.
Yet I know God is in control, and this could very well be a manifestation of his judgment on our wicked, wicked culture. Or even from a secular perspective, our culture has built such a toxic response to crisis that we cannot survive. Either way, without change, I cannot see us surviving as a unified nation and people (if we truly are any more) too far into the future.
William Anderson • a day agoRod, there is one thing you left out of the article: Democrats have made it absolutely clear that they hate white evangelicals and their campaign rhetoric will be quite incendiary on any issues of Christianity and society. At best, they will tell evangelicals that they should be more like the so-called Religious Left (Sojourners, Natalie Bolz-Weber, etc.) and at worst, they will sound like Beto O'Rourke when he called for taxing churches that did not change their theology to welcome homosexuality and transgenderism.Beowulf • 21 hours ago
Biden already has declared that transgender rights are "today's civil rights issue," and I expect him to double down on his commitment there. Furthermore, given his tendency to say outrageous things, you can bet he will be going right up to the line to where he declares the Bible to be hate speech, and he is going to outright threaten evangelicals. He will go radical on abortion rights and let it be known that churches that do not support open-ended abortions to the time of birth (paid for by taxpayers) are going to face the wrath of his administration.
Does anyone believe Biden will be silent on these issues or be anything but in-your-face incendiary? Now, Donald Trump will not respond very well, since Trump doesn't respond very well on anything and he almost surely will say and do things that will partially neutralize this advantage that Biden will drop into his lap. Nonetheless, Joe Biden will be absolutely clear that he hates evangelicals and means to do them harm if he is elected. Given that much of secular America feels the same way, it probably will get him votes on the left.Reply • Share ›In political years, five months is like a few generations these days. Trump is not anyone's idea of an effective president but I think it is way too early to see how corona affects him. I suspect most of his supporters think this is a hoax anyway and the people really freaked out by corona weren't voting for Trump in the first place.Heroic Fool • 21 hours ago
As to Trump's performance on corona, how is that going to be assessed? I'd assume by lives lost and economic damage. But corona has hit a lot of countries. If Trump's bumblings actually had an effect, how would we know except by comparison? In the good 'ol moneyball stats there is a
metric called "value over replacement player" (VORP) where you compare the performance your player in question to the performance you would get from the average replacement. Just because you are disappointed in the performance of your player doesn't mean you can expect to get much
better from replacing him. It could turn out he's close to the average.
So if we are looking at stats to assess Trump, we are gonna have to moneyball it. Which leader are we going to compare Trump to? Which country "did things right"? What's our baseline? Our average replacement player? I don't think any of us can say right now which countries did things right. It is too early, we don't know enough about corona and we don't know the ways in which the decisions of leaders have affected the outcome or failed to affect it. In terms of deaths per million, U.S. seems pretty average. Plenty of countries in Europe with leaders who "listen to experts" have far higher deaths per million at the moment. Belgium, Sweden, Netherlands, UK, Italy, France, Spain all look worse than us.
None of this is to attribute any real skill to Trump, but in a situation where there is no prospective
criteria by which to identify who has the wisdom to navigate the situation (only retrospective analysis of the data of countries that all tried different things) you might rather be lucky than good.I'm genuinely puzzled as to where you and Politico are coming to this conclusion based on the evidence presented. Looking at the data used in the article, it appears that Trump's approval rating among certain groups felt a bump around the time when the main COVID panic started, and then, a month later decreased to....where it was at the beginning of the year. His overall approval/disapproval rating is still more or less the same as it had been throughout his presidency, and more interestingly, Trump's approval among his "core base" has increased significantly compared to 2017, not to mention 2015.Megan S • 20 hours ago
The other key fact embedded in the data is that Trump's approval among certain groups was still considerably low during November 2016 , much lower than it is today for example. This speaks to the simple truth that the majority of people who vote for Trump aren't necessarily that fond of the man, but they still pulled the lever for him. Until there is hard evidence that the number of people who absolutely will not vote for Trump increases, we can't make any conclusions as to how more or less likely Trump's chances are in November.
One last item to note is that the worst cases by far occurred in heavily Democratic districts, and, as the reports explained, were the main areas where this loss of support among Christians was reported. On the one hand, it's very likely that these people, to be blunt, wouldn't have had much chance at pushing their districts to the Republican side anyway and thus their support is not nearly as important as those in swing states. On the other hand, to be a bit cheeky, given how poorly Democrat-run areas have fared in this crisis, why on earth would you want another Democrat in the highest executive office?I thought we'd seen into Trump's soul over the past five years, but the way he's revealing himself now is astounding. The man is just unraveling, all his spitefulness and sociopathies bubbling to the surface. There's nothing left to him now but his impotent rage. Maybe the people who didn't want to see the truth of the man can't help but see now.Siarlys Jenkins Megan S • 3 hours agoHe's a failure, on a world stage, and his self-image is that he's a genius whose wise leadership will bring us all peace, contentment and prosperity. Naturally, he's throwing a temper tantrum and lashing out in all directions.MacCheerful • 20 hours agoI think you underestimate the power of fear and self-delusion. Nearly all Republicans have been convinced that all Democrats are nearly satanic. For the next week conservative media will dwell relentlessly and obsessively on Biden's recent stupid statement while ignoring whatever additional nonsense comes out of the White House. (Did you know there's a recent study showing that widespread use of hydroxychloroquine (sp?) is probably bad? You wouldn't if you read conservative media) It's strange to live in a country where a substantial number of people can no longer see the good in other citizens, but here we areRod Dreher Moderator MacCheerful • 6 hours agoDo you not see that most Democrats regard Republicans in the same way? This has been documented.MacCheerful Rod Dreher • 6 hours agoOh absolutely. Speaking for myself only, I regard Republican leadership, people like Mitch McConnell, Pompeo, and of course our president as various mixtures of stupid and evil, and their more devoted followers as pretty close to the same. The people who vote Republican because they always vote Republican and don't pay much attention to politics, like members of my family, I regard simply as incurious, but as family I still love them.Daniel (not Larrison) • 15 hours ago
But I still think Democrats are a lot more justified in their disdain, as implied by Kevin Drum in a recent post:
Did you know the candidate for the U.S. Senate in Oregon is a Q follower? And that when the National Review advised Republicans to abandon her the majority of the comments on the page retorted that Democrats are worse and more deluded and more crazy than Q?This Pandemic, and the response to it, and the response of the public to the response, has left me utterly exhausted.Kessler • 14 hours ago
My Facebook feed is getting crammed with my conservative friend's fear-mongering about how (a) the virus is just a "cold", (b) the official death counts are greatly exaggerated (through wide-spread incompetence and fraud), (c) the left is using this crisis to destroy our freedoms, (d) masks are tyranny, (e) Trump's response has been perfect, (f) blue state governors want to gain power and destroy their economies just to make Trump look bad, and (g) the people who died would have died from something else any way. Sprinkled among these responses are things like the Gates microchip thing, 5g causes the virus, it's really Obama's fault, etc.
Sometimes they post some actual true information, like the errors of 4 states in double-counting positive test results or that congressional democrats did try to pack the COVID-19 relief bill with a wishlist of progressive causes. But mostly I see wild assertions and baseless accusations. Anyone who agrees with Trump is smart and can be trusted, anyone who disagrees with him is stupid and/or evil.
It truly is remarkable how even this kind of a crisis has been politicized. There is nearly a perfect correlation between COVID-19 skepticism and Trump support. Tens of thousands of health professionals and medical examiners committing fraud or incompetent by including COVID-19 as a cause of death? Certainly, if it makes Trump look bad. Dozens of other nations adopting similar policies to blue governors? Yeah, they're crashing their economies because they hate Trump, too.
It is utter madness. Rather than respecting genuine differences in opinion, rather than arguing with facts and data, we are responding with hatred, contempt, and raw emotion.
The left certainly is not above this--as we have seen in issues like transgenderism and Project 1619, the left certainly has engaged in this and continues to do so. I've lost count of how many liberal friends I've had to stop following on Facebook because of their utter contempt not just of Trump, but of anyone who would dare express support for him or his policies. And their cursing like sailors they wear like a badge of honor, as of it's a mark of liberation.
Weimar America, truly. We're facing a dual crisis of health and economic collapse that we hadn't seen in a century, and rather than rising to the occasion, many of us are just attacking each other. It reminds me of what Josephus wrote in "The Jewish War" about the Jews, under siege by Roman forces in an incredibly over packed Jerusalem, were busy killing each other rather than facing the enemies outside.
Perhaps I am just a pessimist. Certainly not all Americans are rigidly divided into Team Red and Team Blue--maybe not even the majority. But enough are for me to lose much of my hope for the future of this country.
Yet I know God is in control, and this could very well be a manifestation of his judgment on our wicked, wicked culture. Or even from a secular perspective, our culture has built such a toxic response to crisis that we cannot survive. Either way, without change, I cannot see us surviving as a unified nation and people (if we truly are any more) too far into the future.I think Trump entered oval office as a political tabula rasa. Republicans could have moulded him into anything policy-wise, since he lacked knowledge of washington insider on how to run things. So they did. Republicans turned him into a traditional, respectable republican corporatist stock market whisperer President(tm). I think Republicans deserve to lose because of their terrible policies and incompetence, though I don't see how democrats deserve to win, because of their terrible policies and incompetence. But then again, it's not like policies matter. As Cuomo demonstrates, all you need is good media coverage. It's frustrating, that Trump is likely going to lose, because his PR is worse, not because his policies have been terrible.5Miriam9 Kessler • 4 hours agoRepublicans didn't have to work too hard given how willfully ignorant Trump is. All he's ever been interested in doing is brandishing his brand and lining his pockets. There's nothing there but endless appetite and resentment. He has no policies save for self-aggrandizement.David Naas • 13 hours agoEven out of office, he has been exposed to the addictive thrill of cheering crowds, and so he will not fade from the scene. Certain Progressivists are salivating at the prospect of hauling him and his associates through the courts, but that will not stop his rallies, and will only keep his name in lights for a long time.
The Democratic Party leadership - - or "Donorship" - - wants to return to their version of normal, getting rich(er) off globalism. The neocons want to get back to endless wars. And Trump's Troopers will be there, carrying their AR-15 clones to protests and occupying national park rest areas. It will be chaotic. One can easily foresee more "Ruby Ridge" scenarios in our collective future.
Shy of a nation-wide revival of religion or of the civil religion, it won't get better for a long time.
Those who liken this time to how WW1 changed the world forever are partly right. But they miss that the world is always changing forever. And yet it is always the same. Face it, the last half of the 20th Century was an unusually easy time for Americans. We are now moving into what the rest of the world, throughout history, considers normal.
May 23, 2020 | www.rt.comA US judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit by One America News Network against MSNBC over Rachel Maddow's claims that OAN was "literally" Russian propaganda, ruling that her segment was merely "an opinion" and "exaggeration." OAN sued the liberal talk show host and MSNBC for defamation, demanding over $10 million in damages, back in September 2019. The lawsuit was based on the July 22 episode of The Rachel Maddow Show, where Maddow launched a scathing broadside against the conservative television network, labeling it "the most obsequiously pro-Trump right wing news outlet in America" and "really literally paid Russian propaganda."
In the segment, Maddow cited a story by The Daily Beast's Kevin Poulsen about OAN's Kristian Rouz, who has previously contributed to Sputnik as a freelance author. Toeing the general US mainstream line on the Russian media, be it Sputnik or RT, Poulsen branded the Russian news agency "the Kremlin's official propaganda outlet" and said Rouz was once on its "payroll." Shortly after MSNBC's star talent peddled the claim, OAN rejected the allegations as "utterly and completely false. " The outlet, which is owned by the Herring Networks, a small California-based family company, said that it "has never been paid or received a penny from Russia or the Russian government," with its only funding coming from the Herring family.
In their bid to win the case, Maddow herself, MSNBC, Comcast Corporation and NBCUniversal Media did not address the accusation itself - namely, that her claim about OAN was false - but opted to invoke the First Amendment, insisting that the rant should be protected as free speech.
Siding with Maddow, the California district court defined Maddow's show as a mix of "news and opinions," concluding that the manner in which the progressive host blurted out the accusations "makes it more likely that a reasonable viewer would not conclude that the contested statement implies an assertion of objective fact." h
The court said that while Maddow "truthfully" related the story by the Daily Beast, the statement about OAN being funded by the Kremlin was her "opinion" and "exaggeration" of the said article.
While the legal trick helped Maddow to get off the hook without ever trying to defend her initial statement, conservative commentators on social media wasted no time in pointing out that dodging a payout to OAN literally meant admitting that Maddow was not, in fact, news.
- Maddow won a lawsuit brought against her because the Judge found her show was "opinion," that is, her show isn't one that shares actual facts with viewers.https://t.co/T1bgdSfc0P — Essential Cernovich (@Cernovich) May 22, 2020Q
- Just like Alex Jones’ defense in his divorce and custody proceedings: “I’m an entertainer”
- Biden’s binder full of women (@Wallflowerface) May 22, 2020Q
- So if she makes any statement(s) on air about being factual, then don’t we have an excellent appeal? — Mortimer Cinder Block (@LeonardPGoldst1) May 22, 2020Q
May 22, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Mitt Romney was treated by the mainstream media with derision and ridicule, portrayed as an out-of-touch plutocrat who babbled about binders full of women. They depicted him as "a wealthy 1950s sitcom dad who liked firing poor people. Trump will attacked in the same way
Donald Trump captured the presidency in 2016 in part because he perceived, alone among presidential contenders that year, that a chasm had opened up between the country's arrogant meritocratic elite and vast numbers of citizens who felt the elites had turned on them and were leading the country astray. But another factor was the perception of many voters that Barack Obama's second term had been a mild failure (following a mild first-term success; hence his 2012 reelection). Incumbent performance in office remains a potent factor in presidential elections.
And that's why Donald Trump likely will lose the presidency come November. His performance, thoroughly at variance from his blustery rhetoric, will have rendered him, in the eyes of a majority of Americans, ineligible for rehire. His is not the kind of record that normally leads to a two-term presidency or to party retention of the White House when the incumbent is not on the ballot. Viewed from this perspective, Trump looks like a goner.
Trump supporters will of course recoil at this prediction. In disbelief, they will point to the intensity of his followers and the fecklessness of his opposition. And it is true that former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic candidate, appears hapless as he hunkers down in his Delaware basement and projects himself with a certain halting awkwardness. But history tells us that voters focus far more on incumbent performance, which can be sharply defined, than on predictions of challenger performance, which are wispy at best.
It is true also that Trump's knot of popular support–about 43 percent of the electorate, based on approval surveys–is remarkably solid, willing to accept just about anything he does or says so long as he continues to attack those dastardly elites.
But presidential elections also don't turn on any incumbent's base of support. Reelection requires that a president build upon that base and create a governing coalition by bringing in new converts through Oval Office achievement.
engineerscotty David Naas • 3 days agoWith Trump, I expect a "surprise" (and other various dirty tricks) here on out.Mother124 engineerscotty • 2 days ago
As I've noted before, the Burisma nonsense may end up backfiring. Not only did it get him impeached (even though he wasn't removed from office), but it may innoculate Biden from further such surprises--there will be a presumption, if anything scandalous comes from out of left field, that it might well be another attempt at rat-f***ing.
(And Biden has been equally fortunate in his accusers from the left; as the Tara Reade allegations seem to be falling apart. He's not entirely in the clear--the vagueness of the allegations prevent Biden from mounting an affirmative defense, such as an alibi, but right now he seems to be winning the credibility battle on that front).The Tara Reade allegations aren't "falling apart." They're being smothered. They're either ignored, or dismissed with a "Biden says it never happened? Oh, OK....never mind" attitude.Room_237 David Naas • 2 days agoA QAnnon crazy just won the Oregon GOP senate primary. Not only is Trump losing he is taking the entire GOP down with him. Either the GOP clears up the nuts or the nuts take over.Mother124 PeteZilla • 2 days agoI agree. Trump has taken politics to a new low. When he's not on teleprompter, his "speeches" are more of a stand-up act where he exaggerates his accomplishments ("the best ever"..."record" everything) and lobs personal insults at his perceived enemies "loser,""incompetent," "the worst").TISO_AX2 KeepAmericaGreat! • 2 days ago
He has NO intention of expanding his base. He's happy to play to their adoration. And his cultists don't want him to "pivot and change." They cheer him on.
That this is what so many people in this country want from a president is appalling.He proved that in '16. Rather, we did. We the people made it happen. DJT just happens to be the means by which we re-made the American political landscape. Leftist Democrats still haven't caught up.MPC TISO_AX2 • a day ago
They learned nothing from 2016 and after...nothing. They still cling to Washington establishment politics like a communist to The Party. Power in a handful of politicians is all that matters to them. They'll sooner or later see that the people are the source of our government.TISO you seem like a pretty reasonable guy generally.Robert Bruce MPC • 16 hours ago
Look at how Trump is getting killed among people that don't like either candidate. And how he's losing independents solidly. That's your danger zone, not the left. He won in 2016 in large part because he had those two in the bag.
I'm in those groups and voted for him then - I won't repeat this year. He was a good statement to make in 2016 but for me that's now made. Personally he looks like a real idiot handling a crisis but I don't like his personality cult, I don't like his floppiness with the ruling elite, and I especially don't like his turning immigrants into the white male of the right. I hate idpol and he's just refined a right wing version of it.
My two cents. No doubt I'll be back to voting Republicans in 22 or 24.Nice post!!!!!!! Trump is indeed losing the indie vote as well as a sliver of the true conservative vote. The guy is only a shade or two better than having a president Camacho from Idiocracy. Trump won both the GOP nomination and the general election because he was the only GOP candidate that said what the majority of GOP voters wanted to hear and was the only candidate that didn't come off as an Establishment clone. On top of that, Hilary was not a well liked candidate(either was Trump) as two thirds of GOP and Dem voters didn't like their candidate, but disliked the other just a bit more. It is sad that we are in the same situation in 2020, in which there really isn't a really good candidate to choose fromRobert Bruce TISO_AX2 • 16 hours agoGuy was a moron for his famous line to a GOP crowd insinuating that half the people in the country were freeloaders. Not too far fetched of a statement, but absolutely a campaign killer. They indeed did depict him as a rather wealthy 1950's Mr Cleaver type that was a job killer, but that wasn't far off the mark either. The banking cartel had their boy in office already so there was no need for a change, thus the rather stale, boring, and easily targeted Romney was hung out to dry.EboTebo PeteZilla • 2 days agoHe's NOT stupid, but he's dumb, thick and most of all lazy, too lazy to stand up and do the right thing!The_Anthropologist_Forensic Bryce David Sylvia • 2 days ago • editedHe "defeated" the ISIS Caliphate? And here i was under the impression that Iran was a Shia country and Syria was mostly secular, while ISIS was a product of Salafist and Wahabist American allies like the Saudis?FND The_Anthropologist_Forensic • 2 days ago
This commenter epitomizes everything wrong with the Fox News cheerleading devotee. So consumed by the cult of Personality that is Trump and "owning the Libs" that they can't see they have gotten nothing from Trump. No immigration reform, no wall, no end to Middle East adventurism..... Just "tough tweets"
LETS LOOK AT THE FEW THINGS HE HAS DONE...He along with Kim Kardashian put forth the "First Step Act" freeing tens of thousands of mostly inner city felons; the situation in the Middle East exponentially worse "thanks" to his rhetoric, loose usage of missiles on countries WE ARE NOT at war with along with ASSASSINATING NATIONAL HEROES/MILITARY COMMANDERS of other sovereign nations we are not at war with; he passed a corporate tax cut, Trump has focussed on spreading LGBT values to Africa and abroad, and after attacking NAFTA for two decades passed "NAFTA 2.0", and has consistently made this country look even worse than it normally has over the past 40 years.
If Israel isn't your priority in regards to the embassy moves or if your not a corporate head benefiting from Trumps "we need more immigration than ever before" glut of cheap third world labor, then you should see him as an unmitigated disaster. Look beyond the Grifters like Charlie Kirk and Sean Hannity.The ISIS caliphate was defeated. ISIS still exists. One cannot destroy an ideology on the battlefield. The caliphate was their "country" that they carved out of Syria. Virtually ALL of the rebels in Syria, even the non-ISIS ones are Sunni, not Shia. The Shia are on the side of the Syrian government. That includes Iran.JonF311 FND • 2 days agoTo be clear, the US did not defeat the "caliphate". That honor goes to Syria and its patron Russia. America was just the cheering section.Blood Alcohol JonF311 • 2 days ago • editedIran was not mentioned for some reason!Robert Bruce DukeofAnarchy . • 16 hours ago
Iranians were the first to recognize ISIL was an arm of Israel/UAE/US axis to destabilize not only Syria but any country that stood up to the axis. Then the Russian read the message on the wall and got involved.Of course they did. Any decent economic/business magazine/ web site/blog was saying as far back as last September that the FED was running out of "ammo" to forestall a collapse that was going to happen late this summer or early fall, then the virus hits to take the blame for the poor economy instead of where it belongs and that is with the Federal Reserve and co. Now we are hearing we are going to get QE to infinity and beyond, which basically means the globalists are tanking the dollar for probably a global digital currency sometime in the not too distant future.
May 22, 2020 | original.antiwar.com
Before Russiagate, the former national security advisor was an operative for Turkey, tilting foreign policy against the Kurds.by Reese Erlich Posted on May 22, 2020 May 21, 2020 Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn is best known for his connection to the Russiagate investigation. Lost in that hubbub, however, was Flynn's slimy role as a lobbyist for Turkey. A Turkish businessman paid Flynn $530,000 in 2016 to push pro-Turkey, anti-Kurd policies in hopes of influencing the Trump Administration.
The American public has mostly forgotten about Flynn's Turkey connections, says Steven A. Cook, senior fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C.
"There's more going on with Turkey than people may realize," Cook tells me.
Flynn's money-driven opportunism is just one example of the operations of Washington's foreign policy lobbyists. As a candidate, Donald Trump correctly criticized the Washington swamp, but as President, instead of draining it, he has shoveled in more muck.
I've dipped my toe into the swamp on occasion by attending conferences and press events populated by Washington's elite. I've rubbed elbows with the likes of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Believe me, these folks are just as evil in person as they appear on TV.
Washington swamp creatures are easily identified by their black pinstriped suits, wingtip oxfords, and red power ties. Two kinds of people attend these events: those in power and those hoping to seize it.
Washington is crawling with former diplomats, intelligence officers, and business executives eager to influence policy and make a buck. And so enters former army Lieutenant General Michael Thomas Flynn, poster boy for the military-industrial complex.
Flynn's checkered past
Flynn, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, came to Washington during the Obama Administration as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He was forced to resign for insubordination in 2014, whereupon he joined the Washington swamp by forming the Flynn Intel Group.
In 2016, Flynn hitched his wagon to candidate Donald Trump, giving a fiery speech at the Republican National Convention in which he echoed the call to "lock up" Hillary Clinton for her handling of State Department emails.
Behind the scenes, however, Flynn was engaged in offenses for which he could be locked up. The Flynn Intel Group signed a contract totaling $600,000 with a Turkish businessman who had close ties to authoritarian Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Erdoğan wanted Washington to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a political opponent living in Pennsylvania since 1999. Gulen is a rival political Islamist who had a falling out with Erdogan. The Turkish president accuses Gulen of organizing the unsuccessful July 2016 coup. At the time Flynn spoke favorably about the military trying to overthrow Erdogan. He also criticized Turkey for allowing terrorists to cross the border into Syria.
But after receiving the contract to help Turkey, he did a 180-degree turn and supported Erdogan's policies.
"Flynn believes whatever is good for Flynn is good for America," Kani Xulam, director of the American Kurdish Information Network, tells me. "The minute they put money in his bank account, he became pro-Turkey. That was the shocking part."
In September 2016, Flynn arranged a meeting between former US officials and Turkish leaders, including the country's foreign minister, energy minister, and Erdogan's son-in-law.
Participants at the meeting talked about kidnapping Gulen and bringing him to Turkey. Former Central Intelligence Agency Director James Woolsey, who attended the meeting, said they discussed "a covert step in the dead of night to whisk this guy away."
In December, Flynn wrote an op-ed for the influential Washington publication The Hill in which he compared Gulen to both Osama bin Laden and Ayatollah Khomeini. According to analyst Cook, the op-ed could have been written in Ankara: "It was all Turkey's talking points."
Flynn didn't bother to tell The Hill editors that he was a paid lobbyist for Turkey.
Flynn became part of Trump's transition team after November 2016, and he used the position to push anti-Kurdish policies. At that time, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces were on the verge of taking control of the ISIS-controlled city of Raqqa, Syria. He told the Obama Administration not to provide arms to the SDF and implemented that policy when Trump came to power in 2017.
But Flynn's stint as National Security Advisor lasted for only three weeks. He was forced to resign after revelations of his phone call to the Russian ambassador. In March, Flynn registered as a foreign agent for Turkey.
In 2019, a federal jury convicted Flynn's business associate, Bijan Kian, on two felonies: conspiracy to violate lobbying laws and failure to register as a foreign agent for Turkey. Flynn was scheduled to testify against Kian but changed his story at the last minute, causing problems for the prosecution. The judge later tossed the verdict, saying the prosecution didn't prove its case.
As part of an overall deal with federal prosecutors, Flynn was never charged in connection with his lobbying for Turkey. It seems unlikely that he ever will.
Flynn's activities are just one example of the corrupt world of foreign lobbying. Recently, The New York Times exposed how defense contractor Raytheon pressured the Trump Administration to sell sophisticated weapons to Saudi Arabia, which were then used to slaughter civilians in Yemen.
The Yemen war, which began in 2015, has killed an estimated 100,000 people and displaced 80 percent of the population. Saudi air bombardment of hospitals, schools, and other civilian targets helped create one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. US arms manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon have profited handsomely from the slaughter.
Until recently, Raytheon's vice president for government relations was a former career army officer named Mark Esper. Today Esper is Secretary of Defense.
Crawling into bed with lobbyists is bipartisan activity. The Obama Administration sold $10 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia and its allies. Trump has openly boasted that US arms sales provide corporate profits and jobs at home.
"Trump has been more forthcoming praising US relations with Saudis because they want to buy more weapons," Kurdish activist Xulam tells me. "He doesn't care what Saudis do with the weapons."
Analyst Cook says the entire system of foreign lobbying needs major reform. "It's a scandal that needs to be cleaned up," he says. "It's legalized foreign influence peddling."
Reese Erlich's nationally distributed column, Foreign Correspondent, appears every two weeks. Follow him on Twitter , @ReeseErlich; friend him on Facebook ; and visit his webpage .
May 22, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Wray's Review Of FBI's Flynn Probe "Is The Fox Guarding The Hen House" by Tyler Durden Fri, 05/22/2020 - 20:05 Authored by Sara Carter,
FBI Director Christopher Wray announced Friday that he has ordered the bureau to conduct an internal review of its handling of the probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn , which has led to his years long battle in federal court.
It's like the fox guarding the hen house.
Wray's decision to investigate also comes late. The bureau's probe only comes after numerous revelations that former senior FBI officials and agents involved in Flynn's case allegedly engaged in misconduct to target the three star general, who became President Donald Trump's most trusted campaign advisor.
Despite all these revelations, Wray has promised that the bureau will examine whether any employees engaged in misconduct during the court of the investigation and "evaluate whether any improvements in FBI policies and procedures need to be made." Based on what we know, how can we trust an unbiased investigation from the very bureau that targeted Flynn.
Let me put it to you this way, over the past year Wray has failed to cooperate with congressional investigations. In fact, many Republican lawmakers have called him out publicly on the lack of cooperation saying, he cares more about protecting the bureaucracy than exposing and resolving the culture of corruption within the bureau.
Wray's Friday announcement, is in my opinion, a ruse to get lawmakers off his back.
How can we trust that Wray's internal investigation will expose what actually happened in the case of Flynn, or any of the other Trump campaign officials that were targeted by the former Obama administration's intelligence and law enforcement apparatus.
It's Wray's FBI that continues to battle all the Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act requests regarding the investigation into Flynn, along with any requests that would expose information on the Russia hoax investigation. One in particular, is the request to obtain all the text messages and emails sent and received by former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
The FBI defended itself in its Friday announcement saying that in addition to its own internal review, it has already cooperated with other inquiries assigned by Attorney General William Barr. But still Wray has not approved subpoena's for employees and others that lawmakers want to interview behind closed doors in Congress.
The recent documented discoveries by the Department of Justice make it all the more imperative that an outside review of the FBI's handling of Flynn's case is required. Those documents, which shed light on the actions by the bureau against Flynn, led to the DOJ's decision to drop all charges against him. It was, after all, DOJ Attorney Jeffery Jensen who discovered the FBI documents regarding Flynn that have aided his defense attorney Sidney Powell in getting the truth out to they American people.
Powell, like me, doesn't believe an internal review is appropriate.
"Wow? And how is he going to investigate himself," she questioned in a Tweet. "And how could anyone trust it? FBI Director Wray opens internal review into how bureau handled Michael Flynn case."
WOW? And how is he going to investigate himself? And how could anyone trust it?-- Sidney Powell 🇺🇸⭐⭐⭐ (@SidneyPowell1) May 22, 2020
FBI Director Wray opens internal review into how bureau handled Michael Flynn case https://t.co/AeE0yL46W6 #FBICorruption #Clapper #Brennan #NSA #spying
Widespread illegal monitoring by #Obama admin
Last week, this reporter published the growing divide between Congressional Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee and Wray. The lawmakers have accused Wray of failing to respond to numerous requests to speak with FBI Special Agent Joe Pientka, who along with former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, conducted the now infamous White House interview with Flynn on Jan. 24, 2017.
Further, the lawmakers have also requested to speak with the FBI's former head of the Counterintelligence Division , Bill Priestap, whose unsealed handwritten notes revealed the possible 'nefarious' motivations behind the FBI's investigation of Flynn.
"Michael Flynn was wronged by the FBI," said a senior Republican official last week, with direct knowledge of the Flynn investigation.
"Sadly Director Wray has shown little interest in getting to the bottom of what actually happened with the Flynn case. Wray's lackadaisical attitude is an embarrassment to the rank and file agents at the bureau, whose names have been dragged through the mud time and time again throughout the Russia-gate investigation. Wray needs to wake up and work with Congress. If he doesn't maybe it's time for him to go. "
Powell argued that Flynn had pleaded guilty because his former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, along with his prosecutors, threatened to target his son. Those prosecutors also coerced Flynn, whose finances were depleted by his previous defense team. Mueller's team got Flynn to plead guilty to lying to the FBI about a phone conversation he had with the former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition period. However, the agents who interviewed him did not believe he was lying.
Currently the DOJ's request to dismiss the case is now pending before federal Judge Emmet Sullivan. Sullivan has failed to grant the DOJ's request to dismiss the case and because of that Powell has filed a writ of mandamus to the U.S. D.C. Court of Appeals seeking the immediate removal of Sullivan, or to dismiss the prosecution as requested by the DOJ.
May 18, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Its constant abuses, of which Michael Flynn is only the latest, show what a failed Progressive Era institution it really is. Fittingly, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was founded by a grandnephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, Attorney General Charles J. Bonaparte, during the Progressive Era. Bonaparte was a Harvard-educated crusader. As the FBI's official history states, "Many progressives, including (Teddy) Roosevelt, believed that the federal government's guiding hand was necessary to foster justice in an industrial society."
Progressives viewed the Constitution as a malleable document, a take-it-or-leave-it kind of thing. The FBI inherited that mindset of civil liberties being optional. In their early years, with the passage of the Espionage and Sedition Acts during World War I, the FBI came into its own by launching a massive domestic surveillance campaign and prosecuting war dissenters. Thousands of Americans were arrested, prosecuted, and jailed simply for voicing opposition.
One could write a long history of FBI abuses and failures, from Latin America to Martin Luther King to Japanese internment. But just consider a handful of their more recent cases. The FBI needlessly killed women and children at Waco and Ruby Ridge. Anyone who has lived anywhere near Boston knows of the Bureau's staggering corruption during gangster Whitey Bulger's reign of terror. The abuses in Boston were so terrific that radio host Howie Carr declared that the FBI initials really stood for "Famous But Incompetent." And then there's Richard Jewell, the hero security guard who was almost railroaded by zealous FBI agents looking for a scalp after they failed to solve the Atlanta terrorist bombing.
But it was 9/11 that really sealed the FBI's ignominious track record. The lavishly funded agency charged with preventing terrorism somehow missed the attacks, despite their awareness of numerous Saudi nationals taking flying lessons around the country. Immediately after 9/11, the nation was gripped by the anthrax scare, and once again the FBI's inability to solve the case caused them to try to railroad an innocent man, Stephen Hatfill .
With 9/11, the FBI also began targeting troubled Americans by handing them bomb materials, arresting them, and then holding a press conference to tell the country that they had prevented a major terrorist attack -- a fake attack that they themselves had planned.
9/11 also opened the floodgates to domestic surveillance and all the FISA abuses that most recently led to the prosecution of Michael Flynn. I am no fan of Flynn and his hawkish anti-Islamic views, but the way he was framed and then prosecuted really does shock the conscience. After Jewell, Hatfill, Flynn, and so many others, it's time to ask whether the culture of the FBI has become similar to that of Stalin's secret police, i.e. "show me the man and I'll show you the crime."
I am no anti-law enforcement libertarian. In a previous career, I had the privilege to work with agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and they were some of the bravest people I have ever met. And while the DEA can be overly aggressive (just ask anyone who has been subjected to federal asset forfeiture), it is inconceivable that its agents would plot a coup d'état against the president of the United States. The DEA sees their job as catching drug criminals; they stay in their lane.
For the FBI, merely catching bad guys is too mundane. As one can tell from the sanctimonious James Comey, the culture at the Bureau holds grander aspirations. Comey's book is titled A Higher Loyalty , as if the FBI reports only to the Almighty.
They see themselves as progressive guardians of the American Way, intervening whenever and wherever they see democracy in danger. No healthy republic should have a national police force with this kind of culture. There are no doubt many brave and patriotic FBI agents, but there is also no doubt they have been very badly led.
This savior complex led them to aggressively pursue the Russiagate hoax. Their chasing of ghosts should make it clear that the FBI does not stay in their lane. While the nation's elite colleges and tech companies are crawling with Chinese spies who are literally stealing our best ideas, the chief of the FBI's Counterintelligence Section, Peter Strzok, spent his days trying to frame junior aides in the Trump campaign.
Some conservatives have called for FBI Director Christopher Wray to be fired. This would accomplish nothing, as the problem is not one man but an entire culture. One possible solution is to break up the FBI into four or five agencies, with one responsible for counterintelligence, one for counterterrorism, one for complex white-collar crime, one for cybercrimes, and so on. Smaller agencies with more distinctive missions would not see themselves as national saviors and could be held accountable for their effectiveness at very specific jobs. It would also allow federal agents to develop genuine expertise rather than, as the FBI regularly does, shifting agents constantly from terrorism cases to the war on drugs to cybercrime to whatever the political class's latest crime du jour might be.
Such a reform would not end every abuse of federal law enforcement, and all these agencies would need to be kept on a short leash for the sake of civil liberties. It would, however, diminish the ostentatious pretension of the current FBI that they are the existential guardians of the republic. In a republic, the people and their elected leaders are the protectors of their liberties. No one else.
William S. Smith is senior research fellow and managing director at the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at The Catholic University of America. His new book is Democracy and Imperialism: Irving Babbitt and Warlike Democracies (2019) .
Embarrassed • 11 hours agoOne of the most amusing yet disturbing tends of the Trump era has been the increasingly strong embrace of the "intelligence community" (how I hate that term) by left liberals.Megan S Embarrassed • 6 hours ago
It's hard to believe it was only a decade ago when they were (correctly) deriding these exact same people for their manifold failures relating to the War on Terror, but then again left liberals at that time had not yet abandoned the pretense that they were something other than a PMC social club.
It's tempting to wonder how many of them have even heard of COINTELPRO, but I suspect that most of them would be just fine if the FBI intervened to disrupt and destabilize the Marxist left in the unlikely event that it seemed to be gaining a significant political foothold. Can't have any nasty class politics disrupting their bourgeois identitarian parlor game!It's not the left liberals, it's the centrists and the neocons fleeing the Republican Party like rats. The left never liked the FBI, never trusted them, with good reason.FJR Atlanta Embarrassed • 3 hours ago
J. Edgar Hoover wrecked a lot of the good the FBI could have been right from the beginning, there needs to be a major cultural change over there and they need to be put back on track so that they serve us instead of themselves.
Making sure crooks like Hoover and showboats like Comey never get put in charge would be a good start.Or put another way... One of the most amusing yet disturbing tends of the Trump era has been the increasingly strong disdain of the "intelligence community" (how I hate that term) by far right conservatives.Gary Keith Chesterton Embarrassed • 3 hours ago
Let's just be honest with ourselves - we really don't want intelligence, or science, or oversight, unless it supports our team.Remember in "Three Days of the Condor," when Robert Redford reacts scornfully to Cliff Robertson's use of the term "community"?TISO_AX2 Gary Keith Chesterton • an hour ago
Nowadays, it's actually an official or semi-official term. They even have their own logo, for crying out loud.View HideIt represents just one more bureaucrat in the line to go and tell lies before congressional oversight committees. Thanks Bushies.Linux Pauling Gary Keith Chesterton • 29 minutes ago • editedSome thoughts on the IC Motto:Gary Keith Chesterton Linux Pauling • 5 minutes ago
1. Collaboratus: Basically, working together. BULL, the individual IC Agencies can't work together internally, much less across agency boundaries. This goes to guys like Mike Flynn (former director of DIA), his predecessors and successors, and their peers across the Intel(?) Community (that one kills me, too); the IC. Not to 'slight' anyone, but middle management is no better, and probably, worse; everyone has to protect their own 'little rice bowl' ya know.
2. Virtus: a specific virtue in Ancient Rome. It carried connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths. Again, BULL. The Feminazis and lgbtqxyz crowd have, pretty much snipped any balls and put them in a jar. Yes, gay pride is big in the IC.
3. Fides: was the goddess of trust and bona fides in Roman paganism. She was one of the original virtues to be considered an actual religious divinity. Fides is everything that is required for "honour and credibility, from fidelity in marriage, to contractual arrangements, and the obligation soldiers owed to Rome". With respect to the IC, that last bears repeating" "Obligations Soldiers Owed To Rome." In the IC (Rome), Leadership and Management (LM) have no obligations to the 'soldiers'; so, of course, the soldiers respond in kind.
The ICs are dog eat dog; LM are looking out for themselves...Period. Actually doing 'the job' is pretty far down the TODO List. The vast majority of people in the 'trenches' are just trying to get through the day; like LM, doing the 'right thing' is no longer the first thought.
To make matters worse (if possible), MANY of those people in the trenches have almost no clue WTF they are doing. This is because management involuntarily reassigns people (SURPRISE!) to jobs for which they were not hired, have no qualifications, and, often, no interest in becoming qualified. Of course, they hang on hoping that 'black swan' will land and make everything right again.
We've had two major incidents (at least), in the last 20 years (9/11 and the Kung Flu) that are specific failures of the IC (IMO). The IC failed (fails?) because Collaboratus, Virtus, and Fides are just some words on a plaque; not goals for which to strive; lip service is a poor substitute.
Yeah, these yahoos are overdue for a good house cleaning as well.I work in Defense; and the problems there are identical.Dodo • 10 hours agoReal underline issue is FBI has been politicized. Rather than be neutral and independent, top FBI leaders have aligned with politicians. While nominate FBI officials, presidents also select their own than someone is independent.Amicus Brevis • 8 hours ago • edited
In order their men can do their "works", they also increased their authorities. Supposedly, FBI directors, once confirmed, will not change with president. In reality, we saw presidents to replace old ones with their own.
It is not break up or whatever "reform". As long as presidents (regardless whom) can choose their own, how can you expect FBI does its jobs stated by laws?It is amazing how far people will let their political hatreds take them. The FBI is actually more important for the services it provides police forces around America than it is for solving federal crimes.jack Amicus Brevis • 5 hours ago
The FBI have been using dirty practices on people for decades. Literally hundreds of people who are not criminals have written about this - several of them are former agents who left in good standing.
They practice some of them right out in the open, like leaking information about arrests to the press so that the press get to film their arrests - sometimes timing arrests to hit local primetime new. It even has a name - the prime time perp walk. Whether these people are convicted or not, those images follow them for the rest of their lives. Or announcing that a person is "a person of interest" to force cooperation, because they know that people hear "suspect" when they hear such announcements. They will then offer to announce that the person is no longer a person of interest in exchange for cooperation. It didn't deserve to be disbanded them.
Absolutely nothing new or rare was done to Flynn. The FBI used perfectly standard dirty tricks on him. But since he was a minion of Donald Trump, the FBI should have known that he was untouchable. That is their real wrongdoing here. But they didn't realize it, so they should be disbanded. It is just like some progressives call for the disbandment of ICE because it arrests illegal aliens.
This ignoramus reminds me of others of his kind who call for the disbandbandment of the UN because they don't like the behavior of its General Council, its human rights or the peace keeping agencies, completely oblivious of the critical services the dozens of non-political UN agencies provide to all countries, especially to very small or under developed ones. They call for the destruction of WHO because it kowtows to China no matter that a number of countries in the world would have access to zero advanced health services without it, and others who are less dependent, but find its services critical in maintaining healthy populations. They find it politically objectionable so get rid of it! I really hate how progressives throw around the words "entitled" and "privilege", but some people do behave that way.It isn't just the FBI that uses dirty tactics. most police departments also use dirty tactics.IanDakar jack • an hour agoYou can't go without the police though and a lot of what goes there can be reformed. Stop treating them like an movie version of the military. Teach them to calm a situation instead of shooting first, and realize you can treat them like an important part of society without making them above the law.jack • 5 hours agoAs I see it the agency that needs to be broken up is the CIA. What they do is shameful and not American. They are and have always been heavily involved in other countries internal affairs. They are an evil organization.IanDakar jack • an hour agoWe don't have to pick one program to drop.Wally • 5 hours ago
Add homeland security to it as well.
I'm a " good government beats a small badly run one" and not a friend to libertarian ideals but there's a lot of government that can get the heave ho.If conservatives are coming around to the idea that police corruption is a real thing, that would be great. Somehow, I tend to doubt that it extends much beyond a way to protect white collar and political corruption. I hope this is a turning point. The investigations into Clinton emails didn't seem to warrant a mention here. Oh well.IanDakar Wally • an hour agoThat whole email situation was worthless. Not to say whether there was or was not an issue but the investigation was nothing worthwhile and only resulted in complicating an already messy election. Whether you believe there was a crime or not there there was nothing good handled by that investigation.FND • 3 hours ago
Personally I'm more content with the Mueller investigation. Not the way everyone panicked over it on both sides but what Mueller actually did himself: came in, researched the situation, found out that while a good few people acted messy Trump himself wasn't doing more than Twitter talk (yes it's technically "not enough evidence to prosecute", but that is how we phrase "not guilty" technically: you prove guilt not innocence), stated that Trump keeps messing himself up (aka "why did you ask your staff to claim one reason for a firing then tell a different story on national TV idiot")..
Then ran for the hills as everyone screamed "impeach/witchhunt".
Though don't get me wrong: I'm not going to get on the way of any attempt to dismantle the FBI or any of those other systems. It's something I really wish "small government" actually meant.And lets not forget that Russia warned the FBI about the Tsarnaev brothers. The FBI did a perfunctory investigation and dismissed the threat. They probably thought they were a couple of poor Chechen boys persecuted by those evil Russians.Brasidas • 3 hours agoAnd while the DEA can be overly aggressive... it is inconceivable that its agents would plot a coup d'état against the president of the United States.David Naas • an hour ago
And it still is.Absolutely phenomenal that an entire essay abusing the FBI could be written without once mentioning the man who actually made the Federal Bureau of Investigation into what it is (whatever that might be). But J Edgar Hoover is still sufficiently iconic a figure to many Conservatives that it would be counterproductive to assault him. Better someone like Comey.Jim Hohman • 9 minutes ago
But, this is part of a pattern of Trump and his loyal followers (no Conservatives they) assault on the Institutions. The FBI is insufficiently tamed by Billy Barr, so it must go. (Part of the deep state swamp. /s).
Actually, there are very sound reasons for keeping the FBI, and even more for reforming it. But since it was engaged in checking out Trump's minion, Flynn, it is bad, very bad, incredibly bad, and must go. OTOH, if Comey had bent the knee to Trump, the FBI would be the most tremendous force for good the country has ever seen.
But this essay must be seen as part of the background of attempted legitimization for whatever Trump tweetstormed today. Perhaps the critics are right, and "conservatism is dead". If so, it would be the proper thing to give it a decent burial and go on.
Because there is nothing about Donald John Trump which is the least Conservative, and it is sickening to see people I once presumed to be "principled" line up at the altar of Trumpism. You know he will not be satisfied until the country is renamed The United States of Trump.
Now, all you Trumpublicans and Trumpservatives go downvote because I decline to abandon Conservatism for Trumpworship,I did not know the FBI had the power to go back in time, otherwise how did they get Flynn to lie to VP Pence on Jan 14 when they didn't interview him until 1/24? Amazing how powerful they are!
May 22, 2020 | theintercept.com
In his extraordinary election-advocating op-ed, Hayden, Bush/Cheney's CIA chief, candidly explained the reasons for the CIA's antipathy for Trump: namely, the GOP candidate's stated opposition to allowing CIA regime change efforts in Syria to expand as well as his opposition to arming Ukrainians with lethal weapons to fight Russia (supposedly "pro-Putin" positions which, we are now all supposed to forget, Obama largely shared ). As has been true since President Harry Truman's creation of the CIA after World War II, interfering in other countries and dictating or changing their governments -- through campaigns of mass murder, military coups, arming guerrilla groups, the abolition of democracy, systemic disinformation, and the imposition of savage despots -- is regarded as a divine right, inherent to American exceptionalism. Anyone who questions that or, worse, opposes it and seeks to impede it (as the CIA perceived Trump was) is of suspect loyalties at best.
The CIA's antipathy toward Trump continued after his election victory. The agency became the primary vector for anonymous illegal leaks designed to depict Trump as a Kremlin agent and/or blackmail victim. It worked to ensure the leak of the Steele dossier that clouded at least the first two years of Trump's presidency. It drove the scam Russiagate conspiracy theories. And before Trump was even inaugurated, open warfare erupted between the president-elect and the agency to the point where Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer explicitly warned Trump on the Rachel Maddow Show that he was risking full-on subversion of his presidency by the agency:Democrats, early in Trump's presidency, saw clearly that the CIA had become one of Trump's most devoted enemies, and thus began viewing them as a valuable ally. Leading out-of-power Democratic foreign policy elites from the Obama administration and Clinton campaign joined forces not only with Bush/Cheney neocons but also former CIA officials to create new foreign policy advocacy groups designed to malign and undermine Trump and promote hawkish confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia. Meanwhile, other ex-CIA and Homeland Security officials, such as John Brennan and James Clapper, became beloved liberal celebrities by being hired by MSNBC and CNN to deliver liberal-pleasing anti-Trump messaging that, on a virtually daily basis, masqueraded as news .
This turned out to be one of the most prescient and important (and creepy) statements of the Trump presidency: from Chuck Schumer to Rachel Maddow - in early January, 2017, before Trump was even inaugurated: pic.twitter.com/TUaYkksILG-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 8, 2019
The all-consuming Russiagate narrative that dominated the first three years of Trump's presidency further served to elevate the CIA as a noble and admirable institution while whitewashing its grotesque history. Liberal conventional wisdom held that Russian Facebook ads, Twitter bots and the hacking and release of authentic, incriminating DNC emails was some sort of unprecedented, off-the-charts, out-of-the-ordinary crime-of-the-century attack, with several leading Democrats (including Hillary Clinton) actually comparing it to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor . The level of historical ignorance and/or jingostic American exceptionalism necessary to believe this is impossible to describe. Compared to what the CIA has done to dozens of other countries since the end of World War II, and what it continues to do , watching Americans cast Russian interference in the 2016 election through online bots and email hacking (even if one believes every claim made about it) as some sort of unique and unprecedented crime against democracy is staggering. Set against what the CIA has done and continues to do to "interfere" in the domestic affairs of other countries -- including Russia -- the 2016 election was, at most, par for the course for international affairs and, more accurately, a trivial and ordinary act in the context of CIA interference. This propaganda was sustainable because the recent history and the current function of the CIA has largely been suppressed. Thankfully, a just-released book by journalist Vincent Bevins -- who spent years as a foreign correspondent covering two countries still marred by brutal CIA interference: Brazil for the Los Angeles Times and Indonesia for the Washington Post -- provides one of the best, most informative and most illuminating histories yet of this agency and the way it has shaped the actual, rather than the propagandistic, U.S. role in the world.
Entitled "The Jakarta Method: Washington's Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program that Shaped Our World," the book primarily documents the indescribably horrific campaigns of mass murder and genocide the CIA sponsored in Indonesia as an instrument for destroying a nonaligned movement of nations who would be loyal to neither Washington nor Moscow. Critically, Bevins documents how the chilling success of that morally grotesque campaign led to its being barely discussed in U.S. discourse, but then also serving as the foundation and model for clandestine CIA interference campaigns in multiple other countries from Guatemala, Chile, and Brazil to the Philippines, Vietnam, and Central America: the Jakarta Method.
Our newest episode of SYSTEM UPDATE, which debuts today at 2:00 p.m. on The Intercept's YouTube channel , is devoted to a discussion of why this history is so vital: not just for understanding the current international political order but also for distinguishing between fact and fiction in our contemporary political discourse. In addition to my own observations on this topic, I speak to Bevins about his book, about what the CIA really is and how it has shaped the world we still inhabit, and why a genuine understanding of both international and domestic politics is impossible without a clear grasp on this story.
May 22, 2020 | www.commondreams.org
President Donald Trump told Republican senators during a private lunch Tuesday that he is willing to let expanded unemployment benefits expire at the end of July, a decision that would massively slash the incomes of tens of millions of people who have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 crisis.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the president "privately expressed opposition to extending a weekly $600 boost in unemployment insurance for laid-off workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic, according to three officials familiar with his remarks."
House Democrats passed legislation last week that would extend the beefed-up unemployment benefits through January of 2021 as experts and government officials -- including Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell -- warn the U.S. unemployment rate could soon reach 25%. The unemployment insurance boost under the CARES Act is set to expire on July 31, even as many people have yet to receive their first check.
"With nearly 1 in 5 Americans out of work, Donald Trump's plan is to cut off the boost to unemployment benefits and shower his wealthy buddies with more tax cuts," Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), one of the architects of the unemployment insurance expansion, told HuffPost . "This is the worst economic crisis in 100 years and Donald Trump is doubling down on Herbert Hoover's economic playbook and pushing workers to risk their health for his political benefit."
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) -- who declared earlier this month that Congress will only extend the boosted unemployment insurance "over our dead bodies" -- said after the private lunch that Trump believes the benefits are "hurting the economic recovery." Graham was one of several Republican senators who opposed the initial expansion of unemployment benefits as too generous.
An analysis released last week by the Hamilton Project, an initiative of the Brookings Institution, found that expanded unemployment benefits offset "roughly half of lost wages and salaries in April." Unemployment insurance has "been essential to families, and is vital for keeping the economy from cratering further," the authors of the analysis noted.
Ernie Tedeschi, a former Treasury Department economist, estimated that "come July 31, if the emergency UI top-up isn't extended, unemployed workers will effectively get a pay cut of 50-75% overnight."
"It's increasingly looking like there won't be enough labor demand to hire them all back at that point," Tedeschi tweeted.
The latest Labor Department statistics showed that more than 36 million people in the U.S. have filed jobless claims since mid-March as mass layoffs continue in the absence of government action to keep workers on company payrolls. Despite the grim numbers, the Post 's Jeff Stein reported Tuesday that the White House is " predicting a swift economic recovery " as it resists additional efforts to provide relief to frontline workers and the unemployed.
On top of rejecting an extension of enhanced unemployment insurance, Trump last month publicly voiced opposition to another round of direct stimulus payments, instead advocating a cut to the tax that funds Social Security and Medicare.
May 22, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
In the weeks leading up to the 2016 election, the FBI offered to pay former British spy Christopher Steele "significantly" for collecting intelligence on Michael Flynn, according to the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross.
The FBI's proposal - made during an October 3, 2016 meeting in an unidentified European city, and virtually ignored by the press - has taken on new significance in light of recent documents exposing how the Obama administration targeted Flynn before and after president Trump's upset victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016.
The inspector general's report, released on Dec. 9, 2019, said that FBI agents offered to pay Steele "significantly" to collect intelligence from three separate "buckets" that the bureau was pursuing as part of Crossfire Hurricane , its counterintelligence probe of four Trump campaign associates.
One bucket was "Additional intelligence/reporting on specific, named individuals (such as [Carter Page] or [Flynn]) involved in facilitating the Trump campaign-Russian relationship," the IG report stated.
FBI agents also sought contact with "any individuals or sub sources" who Steele could provide to "serve as cooperating witnesses to assist in identifying persons involved in the Trump campaign-Russian relationship."
Steele at the time had provided the FBI with reports he compiled alleging that members of the Trump campaign had conspired with the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election. - Daily Caller
Of note, Steele was promoting a discredited rumor that Flynn had an extramarital affair with Svetlana Lokhova, a Russian-British academic who studied at the University of Cambridge. This rumor was amplified by the Wall Street Journal and The Guardian in March, 2017.
According to the Inspector General's report, the FBI gave Steele a "general overview" of their Crossfire Hurricane probe - including their efforts to surveil Trump campaign aides George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, along with Paul Manafort and Flynn. In fact - some FBI agents questioned whether the lead agent told Steel too much about the operation , according to the IG report.Via the Daily Caller
In recent weeks, the release of two documents raise questions about potential links between the FBI's request of Steele and the Lokhova rumor .
One of the documents is a transcript of longtime John McCain associate David Kramer's interview with the House Intelligence Committee. Kramer testified on Dec. 17, 2017, that Steele told him in December 2016 that he suspected that Flynn had an extramarital affair with a Russian woman .
"There was one thing he mentioned to me that is not included here, and that is he believed that Mr. Flynn had an extramarital affair with a Russian woman in the U.K .," Kramer told lawmakers.
Kramer said that Steele conveyed that Flynn's alleged mistress was a "Russian woman" who "may have been a dual citizen."
An FBI memo dated Jan. 4, 2017, contained another allegation regarding Flynn and a mysterious Russian woman.
The memo, which was provided to Flynn's lawyers on April 30, said that an FBI confidential human source (CHS) told the bureau that they were present at an event that Flynn attended while he was still working in the U.S. intelligence community . - Daily Caller
Lokhova and Flynn have denied the rumors - with Lokhova's husband telling the Daily Caller News Foundation that he picked his wife up after the Cambridge dinner where an FBI informant said they 'left together in a cab.'
Meanwhile, a DIA official who was at the Cambridge event with Flynn also told the WSJ in March 2017 that there was nothing inappropriate going on between Flynn and Lokhova.
Read the rest of the report here .
May 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Kadath , May 21 2020 16:31 utc | 3I would suspect that the government in Kiev is trying to play kingmaker, leveraging the tapes to try to get a better deal from Trump or the Democrats. As the current holder of the Whitehouse, Trump is in a stronger position to make and follow through on his offers (although he also has a history of breaking promises). Conversely, the Democrats have every incentive to break the bank to keep those recordings secret.
So I guess we'll have to wait and see who makes the Ukrainians a better offer.
If Trump is going to give them a good offer it would need to be fairly soon (before Aug), so lets see if he announces new arms sales or additional IMF funding for the government in Kiev this summer. If he does, then more tapes will leak as we get closer to the election.
Sally Snyder , May 21 2020 16:47 utc | 4As shown in this article, there is a key aspect to the entire anti-Russia/pro-Ukraine story that has received absolutely no coverage by the mainstream media:JohnH , May 21 2020 16:47 utc | 5
Presumably Biden was still coherent when talking with Poroshenko?
Of course, Biden can't openly talk about the US' real interest in Burisma: hegemony via control of energy resources and the Crown Jewels of the Ukrainian economy...nor can he talk about any personal stake he had in the deal.
I remember when Chavez took over PDVSA, Venezuelans claim to have learned that the Venezuelan oil company's technology subsidiary's board of directors had been infested with top CIA. You have to assume that they were not serving pro bono... Nor was Hunter Biden...
May 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Richard Steven Hack , May 21 2020 0:28 utc | 53milomilo at 51 may have a point.
Looking at my own reaction to the 2016 candidates, I knew Hillary was the the most corrupt politician since Hermann Goering. I also knew Trump was a freak show. However, Trump did claim to be against new wars and getting along with Russia. Not that I believed him, but in a choice between the two, Trump was obviously better. And that's what the Trump supporters believed and that's why he was elected (with some help from the Electoral College setup.)
Today, it's a choice between a President who has been an *utter circus* and has *proven* to be a freak show, and a "garden-variety" corrupt politician who also has dementia. People elect corrupt politicians all the time. Is there any other kind? How likely is it that the electorate will take the time to fully understand the depth of corruption of Biden vs the *obvious* lunacy of Trump? How many people are going to believe Biden has dementia, especially if the mainstream media (outside of Fox) refuses to even mention it (you know that's what they will do)?
I don't know the answer to that and neither does anyone else.
The real questions are: how will the economy question play out before November? Does Trump get blamed? Does he get rewarded for reopening the economy even though the death toll from the virus spikes? If the virus slows in the summer, does he get rewarded for that? If a second virus wave roars in before election dat, what impact will that have? What happens with Venezuela, Iran and China over the next five months? There's plenty of time for SHTF on any of those fronts - does any of it reward or downgrade Trump's chances?
Like I said before, it is *way too soon* to be estimating the outcome of this election.
vk , May 21 2020 0:58 utc | 56Richard Steven Hack , May 21 2020 0:58 utc | 57This article doesn't really violate the "no-coronavirus" rule because it applies to Trump generally...and thus to the election...
The plan is to have no plan
4 May 2020 11:02 pm
"There is no genius there, only a damaged human being playing havoc with our lives."
Got that exactly right.
May 20, 2020 | www.rt.comincoming NSA Flynn is speaking frequently with Russian Ambassador Kislyak " in a meeting documented in the January 2017 memo by National Security Advisor Susan Rice, the unredacted first page of which was obtained by CBS on Tuesday.
The FBI director admits he " has no indication thus far that Flynn has passed classified information to Kislyak ," and no real basis for his insistence that the probe must go on.
DEVELOPING: Declassified Rice email documenting WH meeting 1/5/2017 obtained @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/uA9V9oo4n4-- Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) May 19, 2020
The only thing backing his hunch that the meetings between the general and the Russian diplomat " could be an issue "?
" The level of communication is unusual ," Comey tells Obama, according to Rice, hinting that the National Security Council should " potentially " avoid passing " sensitive information related to Russia " to Flynn.
The FBI director did not elaborate on what is supposed to be " unusual " about an incoming foreign policy official speaking with a Russian counterpart, especially in the midst of what was then a rapidly-unraveling diplomatic relationship between the two countries with Obama expelling 35 Russian diplomats and imposing sanctions over alleged-but-never-substantiated " election interference. " Given the circumstances, an absence of communication might have been more unusual. But the timing is certainly auspicious.
Rice, Flynn's predecessor who authored the memo, relates that the January 5 meeting followed " a briefing by [Intelligence Committee] leadership on Russian hacking during the 2016 Presidential election ."
The previous day, the FBI field office assigned with investigating Flynn attempted to close the case against him, called CROSSFIRE RAZOR, after having found " no derogatory information " to justify continued inclusion in the overarching CROSSFIRE HURRICANE probe (the " Russian collusion " investigation). They were blocked from doing so by Agent Peter Strzok, who added that the orders to keep the investigation going came from the " 7th floor " - i.e. agency leadership. The Flynn investigation had been underway since August, beginning the day after Strzok discussed an 'insurance policy' that was supposed to keep then-candidate Donald Trump out of office with Comey's deputy, Andrew McCabe. While Comey describes his probe of Flynn as " proceeding 'by the book' " after Obama repeatedly stresses he wants only a " by the book " investigation - both parties presumably hoping to avoid exactly the sequence of revelatory events that are currently unfolding - recently-unsealed documents from the case against Flynn indicate the general was entrapped, with the FBI's goal being to " prosecute him or get him fired " with an ambush-style interview.
They got both their wishes - after agents tricked him into sitting for questioning without a lawyer present, Flynn was accused of lying about his contacts with Kislyak, fired from his post in the White House, and subsequently pled guilty to lying to a federal agent.
The Department of Justice has dropped its charges against Flynn, citing gross misconduct and abuse of power at the FBI, which it claims had no basis for launching its investigation. However, US District Judge Emmet Sullivan has attempted to block the dismissal, appointing a retired judge as independent prosecutor to both argue against the Justice Department's move and pursue perjury charges against Flynn - essentially charging him with lying about lying.
On Tuesday, Flynn's attorney filed a writ of mandamus with the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, urging them to force Sullivan to step aside and allow the dismissal of the charges.
Apr 30, 2020 | www.newsmax.com
Yet another bombshell development emerged Thursday in the case of former National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn: the release of additional exculpatory evidence FBI officials had withheld from the courts and the defense for three years.
Crucially, this includes evidence that the Bureau's official "302 report" filed by the lead agent who interviewed Flynn was edited multiple times, including by an official who never participated in the interview.
Thursday's revelations come on top of yesterday's disclosures indicating an apparent attempt by FBI officials to trap Flynn into committing a criminal offense during an interview.
The new revelation could prove even more significant: In addition to the apparently calculated effort to get Flynn to commit perjury or obstruction, top FBI figures, including FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, repeatedly altered the "302 report" that was filed after the Flynn interview.
That interview was conducted under highly unusual circumstances. Ordinarily, an FBI interview of a top West Wing official would be requested through the White House Counsel's office, and would be conducted in the presence of legal counsel representing the official being interviewed.
That did not occur in the case of the FBI's interview with Flynn, and Comey later stated that under "a more organized administration" he "probably wouldn't have gotten away with it."
Initially, when the lead FBI agent handling the case was asked whether Flynn lied during the interview, he stated that he did not believe so.
But over the coming days Strzok and Page would edit and revise the agent's 302 report repeatedly, according to a document providing text messages between FBI officials that the defense counsel finally received this week.
Prosecutors and investigators are required to turn over information that might tend to indicate a suspect's innocence to the defense counsel prior to trial and sentencing. Most legal analysts would consider the information withheld from Flynn's legal team potentially exculpatory.
An inside source familiar with efforts to defend Gen. Flynn tells Newsmax an unadulterated, original 302 document exists that was created by the lead agent from his notes of the interview with Flynn.
Jonathan Turley, the George Washington University law professor who testified before the House during President Trump's impeachment, wrote Thursday the decision to keep the case open occurred when "Special counsel Robert Mueller decided to bring the dubious charge."
In a column posted on TheHill.com on Thursday, Turley said the case against Flynn should be dismissed. "Justice demands a dismissal of his prosecution," he wrote.
At the time Flynn was being prosecuted, Mueller was seeking evidence the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 campaign.
Critics say he was prosecuting Flynn to get him to turn state's witness against Trump, but the general never implicated him.
Mueller eventually determined there was no evidence of a Russian-collusion conspiracy. But by then Flynn, under intense financial pressure from the prosecution and buckling under the threat that his son could be drawn into a legal quagmire, had pled guilty to one count of lying to the FBI.
He has since requested to withdraw that plea, and he is awaiting sentencing.
President Trump weighed in on the controversial case Thursday morning tweeting, "What happened to General Michael Flynn, a war hero, should never be allowed to happen to a citizen of the United States again!"
Later the president told reporters he believes Flynn is "in the process of being exonerated."
Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik reacted strongly on Thursday to the news FBI officials to altered a 302 report and reopened the case when the initial analysis indicated no crime had been committed.
Kerik told Newsmax Thursday that if evidence or records had been unduly altered under his watch as police commissioner, he would have referred the matter to the district attorney for possible prosecution.
"They intentionally went back and doctored the original 302," he said. "That's because they were not looking for the truth.
"They were looking for a mechanism to trap Gen. Flynn, to prosecute him, to get him fired in order to go after the president. That was their motive, that was their agenda. It's absolutely clear at this point they were not looking for the truth."
Kerik added, "This was done at the highest levels of the FBI. At the most senior level of the FBI, they falsified records, they suppressed evidence.
"This is irresponsible, it's outrageous They used and abused their authority to deprive Gen. Flynn of his constitutional right to freedom," he said.
According to the source, as supported by text messages also obtained by Newsmax, Stzrok, who also participated in the Flynn interview, rewrote the 302 extensively -- although a text message from him stated he tried not to "completely re-write it so as to save [redacted] voice," presumably a reference to the lead agent who originally wrote it.
Stzrok then shared the document with a "pissed off" Page, who had not participated in the interview, and who revised it significantly again, according to the Newsmax source.
The objective of the interview was to probe whether Flynn had violated the Logan Act, an 18th-century statute that has never been used in any criminal conviction. The Act makes it a crime for a U.S. citizens to interfere with the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. Many legal scholars find the law to be unconstitutional.
The documents received by Newsmax indicate the case had virtually been closed – suggesting the lead agent was satisfied no crime had been committed -- prior to it being reopened by the direct intervention of Strzok and Page.
The documents, for example, show the probe of Flynn was about to be put to bed when the lead agent received a text from Strzok stating, "Hey, if you haven't closed [the case], don't do so yet."
Apparently, Page was pleasantly surprised to find the matter had not yet been closed.
On Feb. 10, 2017, Page texted Strzok, "This document pisses me off. You didn't even attempt to make this cogent and readable? This is lazy work on your part."
Strzok replied, "Lisa you didn't see it before my edits that went into what I sent you. I was 1) trying to completely re-write the thing so as to save [the lead agent's] voice and 2) get it out to you for general review and comment in anticipation of needing it soon."
Wednesday's revelation included notes of a meeting conducted a short time after the 2016 election between FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. The notes stated, "What is our goal? Truth and admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?"
The notes were written by then-FBI head of counterintelligence Bill Priestap.
May 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.comAuthored by Ray McGovern via ConsortiumNews.com,
Seldom mentioned among the motives behind the persistent drumming on alleged Russian interference was an over-arching need to help the Security State hide their tracks.
The need for a scapegoat to blame for Hillary Clinton's snatching defeat out of the jaws victory also played a role; as did the need for the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex (MICIMATT) to keep front and center in the minds of Americans the alleged multifaceted threat coming from an "aggressive" Russia. (Recall that John McCain called the, now disproven , "Russian hacking" of the DNC emails an "act of war.")
But that was then. This is now.
Though the corporate media is trying to bury it, the Russiagate narrative has in the past few weeks finally collapsed with the revelation that CrowdStrike had no evidence Russia took anything from the DNC servers and that the FBI set a perjury trap for Gen. Michael Flynn. There was already the previous government finding that there was no collusion between Trump and Russia and the indictment of a Russian troll farm that supposedly was destroying American democracy with $100,000 in Facebook ads was dropped after the St. Petersburg defendants sought discovery.
All that's left is to discover how this all happened.
Attorney General William Barr, and U.S. Attorney John Durham, whom Barr commissioned to investigate this whole sordid mess seem intent on getting to the bottom of it. The possibility that Trump will not chicken out this time, and rather will challenge the Security State looms large since he felt personally under attack.Writing on the Wall
Given the diffident attitude the Security State plotters adopted regarding hiding their tracks, Durham's challenge, with subpoena power, is not as formidable as were he, for example, investigating a Mafia family.
Plus, former NSA Director Adm. Michael S. Rogers reportedly is cooperating. The handwriting is on the wall. It remains to be seen what kind of role in the scandal Barack Obama may have played.
But former directors James Comey, James Clapper, and John Brennan, captains of Obama's Security State, can take little solace from Barr's remarks Monday to a reporter who asked about Trump's recent claims that top officials of the Obama administration, including the former president had committed crimes. Barr replied:
"As to President Obama and Vice President Biden, whatever their level of involvement, based on the information I have today, I don't expect Mr. Durham's work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man. Our concerns over potential criminality is focused on others."
In a more ominous vein, Barr gratuitously added that law enforcement and intelligence officials were involved in "a false and utterly baseless Russian collusion narrative against the president. It was a grave injustice, and it was unprecedented in American history."
Meanwhile, the corporate media have all been singing from the same sheet since Trump had the audacity a week ago to coin yet another "-gate" -- this time "Obamagate." Leading the apoplectic reaction in corporate media, Saturday's Washington Post offered a pot-calling-the-kettle-black pronouncement by its editorial board entitled "The absurd cynicism of 'Obamagate"?
The outrage voiced by the Post called to mind disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok's indignant response to criticism of the FBI by candidate Trump, in a Oct. 20, 2016 text exchange with FBI attorney Lisa Page:
Strzok: I am riled up. Trump is a f***ing idiot, is unable to provide a coherent answer.
Strzok -- I CAN'T PULL AWAY, WHAT THE F**K HAPPENED TO OUR COUNTRY
Page -- I don't know. But we'll get it back. We're America. We rock.
Strzok -- Donald just said "bad hombres"
Strzok -- Trump just said what the FBI did is disgraceful.
Less vitriolic, but incisive commentary came from widely respected author and lawyer Glenn Greenwald on May 14, four days after Trump coined "Obamagate": ( See "System Update with Glenn Greenwald -- The Sham Prosecution of Michael Flynn").
For a shorter, equally instructive video of Greenwald on the broader issue of Russia-gate, see this clip from a March 2019 Democracy Now! -sponsored debate he had with David Cay Johnston titled, "As Mueller Finds No Collusion, Did Press Overhype Russiagate? Glenn Greenwald vs. David Cay Johnston":
(The entire debate is worth listening to). I found one of the comments below the Democracy Now! video as big as a bummer as the commentator did:
"I think this is one of the most depressing parts about the whole situation. In their dogmatic pushing for this false narrative, the Russiagaters might have guaranteed Trump a second term. They have done more damage to our democracy than Russia ever has done and will do ." (From "Clamity2007")
In any case, Johnston, undaunted by his embarrassment at the hands of Greenwald, is still at it, and so is the avuncular Frank Rich -- both of them some 20 years older than Greenwald and set in their evidence-impoverished, media-indoctrinated ways.
... ... ...
Uncle Frank, 40 seconds agoQABubba, 47 minutes ago (Edited)
So if we dug in and found large payments from George Soros or Mrs Clinton to these 'journalists', what crime could they be accused of? No crimes, I don't think.
But when journalists are revealed to be issuing paid-for propaganda/lies mixed with their own internal opinions, and their publisher allows it to be presented as if it were reporting rather than opinion, said writers, editors, and publishers are relegated to obscurity and derision.
Their work will never be taken seriously again by anyone who wasn't already brain-washed.
They don't get that, I guess.1911A1, 55 minutes ago
There never was anything to Russiagate. It was always just politics. I knew that from the beginning. There was, however, a lot of something to the torture scandal. Obama said "We are not going to look back." And now Gina Haspel, one of the chief torturers, partly responsible for destroying the torture tapes, despite a court order to preserve them, is now head of the CIA.
General Flynn was so involved with Turkey he should have been registered as a foreign agent.
And as I have said before, the real crime was laundering Russian Mafia/Heroin money through Deutsche Bank into New York real estate. It is curious that Turkey is also a huge transport spot for heroin into the EU. And France and other EU nations have a migrant population that lives off the drug trade.
Drain the Swamp my ***. He's started by firing all the IG's? Trump "looking back," not forward. He could start by investigating Gina Haspel.Question_Mark, 43 minutes ago
The MSM disinformation campaign with consistent common talking points is not difficult to see with a little discernment. The bigger question is has this happened organically or is there a larger agency manipulating the public discourse?1surrounded2, 1 hour ago
4AM secure drop from Senior Executive Services ( SES ) is a threat to our democracy.
Our greatest responsibility is to serve our [insert name of community here] community.Moribundus, 3 hours ago
" It remains to be seen what kind of role in the scandal Barack Obama may have played. "
Come on, Ray, I know you are not that stupid, but you ARE that libtarded.
Obama's very obvious role in all of this: KINGPIN .Moribundus, 3 hours ago
Amazon.com The American Mission and the 'Evil Empire' The Crusade for a Free Russia Since 1881 (8580000721935) Foglesong,
"By 1905," Foglesong stated, "this fundamental reorientation of American views of Russia had set up a historical pattern in which missionary zeal and messianic euphoria would be followed by disenchantment and embittered denunciation of Russia's evil and oppressive rulers." The first cycle, according to Foglesong, culminated in 1905, when the October Manifesto, perceived initially by Americans as a transformation to democracy, gave way to a violent socialist revolt. Foglesong observed similar cycles of euphoria to despair during the collapse of the tsarist government in 1917, during the partial religious revival of World War II, and during the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s
Crucial to Foglesong's analysis was how these cycles coincided with a contemporaneous need to deflect attention away from America's own blemishes and enhance America's claim to its global mission.
For example, Foglesong argued that "a vital factor in the revival of the crusade in the 1970s was the need to expunge doubts about American virtue instilled by the Vietnam War, revelations about CIA covert actions, and the Watergate scandal."
By tracing American representations of Russia over the last 130 years, Foglesong illuminated three of the strongest notions that have informed American attitudes toward Russia: (1) a messianic faith that America could inspire sweeping overnight transformation from autocracy to democracy; (2) a notion that despite historic differences, Russia and America are very much akin, so that Russia, more than any other country, is America's "dark double;" (3) an extreme antipathy to "evil" leaders who Americans blame for thwarting what they believe to be the natural triumph of the American mission. These expectations and emotions continue to effect how American journalists and politicians write and talk about Russia. "My hope," Foglesong concluded, "is that by seeing how these attitudes have distorted American views of Russia for more than a century, we may begin to be able to escape their grip."Kidbuck, 5 hours ago
America's imperialism rules: Never to admit a fault or wrong; never to accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time; blame that enemy for everything that goes wrong; take advantage of every opportunity to raise a political whirlwind.ChaoKrungThep, 4 hours ago
Trump hasn't engaged in a fight in his life. He's a sissy at heart wants to negotiate. He can't even do that right. He's caved on nearly every campaign promise he made. The only thing his administration fights for is their salary and their retirement. Hillary still waddles free and farts in his general direction.Save_America1st, 9 hours ago
Trump the Mafia punk, like his dad, and draft dodger like his German grand dad. Barr, old CIA asset from the Clinton-Mena coke smuggling op. This crappy crew is running their masters' game in front of the redneck rabble who are dumber than their mutts.Posa, 9 hours ago
Geez...how far behind can most of these assholes be after all these years????
For one...there was no "Russia-gate". It was all a hoax from the beginning, and anyone with a few functioning brain cells knew that from the start.
And as of about 3 years ago we have all known this as "Obamagate" for the most part...we all knew the corruption of the hoax totally led up to O-Scumbag.
And now as of the recent disclosures it is a total fact.
Haven't most of you been watching Dan Bongino for over 2 years now and haven't you read his books? Haven't you been reading Sarah Carter and John Soloman among others for nearly 3 years now???
Surely, you haven't been just sitting around sucking leftist media **** for over 3 years, right???????? I'm sure you haven't.
So why is this article even necessary on ZeroHedge?????
We already knew and have known the truth since before even the 2016 election. Drop it.BaNNeD oN THe RuN, 5 hours ago (Edited)
So funny. The 85 Year old "American century' is palpably disintegrating before our very eyes. In particular the Deep State permanent bureaucracy is completely untethered and facing what seems to be a Great Reckoning in the form of Barr- Durham. Cognitve Derangement prevails in the press and spills overto the body politic. The country teeters a slo-mo Civil War. Meanwhile, The dollar is disintegrating and we seem to face an economic abyss, the Terminal Depression. Real "last Days of Rome" stuff.LetThemEatRand, 11 hours ago
The Israeli dual citizens like Adelson and Mercer bought the Presidency.
Mossad was the organization handling the mole Seth Rich.
Blaming Russia also worked for those 2 groups because it deflected attention away from (((them))).
Ray McGovern, being ex-intel, must know this to be true.yojimbo, 8 hours ago
Russiagate. The supposed target of said coup d'etat just Presided over the largest bailout of banks ever by a factor of five or more. Trump supporters are asleep for the bailout, Trump haters are asleep for the bailout. Let's fight about transgender bathrooms and Russiagate, shall we?
I glance at the MSM, so here is a Guardian article along strongly TDS lines https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/19/will-donald-trump-end-up-in-prison-arwa-mahdawi
It's projection again, implying Obama gate is fake, like Russiagate actually was.. Tough to even want to get through!
May 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
xxx 10 hours agoxxx 10 hours ago
Russia, Russia, Russia !!!!!!!!!!
Russia, Russia, Russia !!!!!!!!!!
Russia, Russia, Russia !!!!!!!!!!
Russia, Russia, Russia !!!!!!!!!!!
something is rotten in the Dutch kingdom.
usually fish rots from the head.
May 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Phone Calls Between Biden And Ukraine's Poroshenko Leaked; Details $1 Billion "Quid Pro Quo" To Fire Burisma Prosecutor by Tyler Durden Wed, 05/20/2020 - 05:12 Leaked phone calls between Joe Biden and former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko explicitly detail the quid-pro-quo arrangement to fire former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Victor Shokin - who Poroshenko admits did nothing wrong - in exchange for $1 billion in US loan guarantees (which Biden openly bragged about in January, 2018 ).
The calls were leaked by Ukrainian MP Andrii Derkach , who says the recordings of "voices similar to Poroshenko and Biden" were given to him by investigative journalists who claim Poroshenko made them.
Shokin was notably investigating Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that hired Biden's son, Hunter, to sit on its board. Shokin had opened a case against Burisma's founder, Mykola Zlochevsky, who granted Burisma permits to drill for oil and gas in Ukraine while he was Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources. In January, 2019, Shokin stated in a deposition that there were five criminal cases against Zlochevesky, including money laundering, corruption, illegal funds transfers, and profiteering through shell corporations while he was a sitting minister.Viktor Shokin
The leaked calls begin on December 3, 2015 , when former Secretary of State John Kerry starts laying out the case to fire Shokin - who he says "blocked the cleanup of the Prosecutor Generals' Office," and sated that Biden "is very concerned about it," to which Poroshenko replies that the newly reorganized prosecutor general's office (NABU) won't be able to pursue corruption charges, and that it may be difficult to fire Shokin without cause.
Later in the leaked audio on February 18, 2016 - less than three months after the Kerry conversation - Poroshenko delivers some "positive news."
"Yesterday I met with General Prosecutor Shokin," says Poroshenko. And despite of the fact that we didn't have any corruption charges, we don't have any information about him doing something wrong, I specially asked him - no, it was day before yesterday - I specially asked him to resign. In, uh, as his, uh, position as a state person. And despite of the fact that he has a support in the power. And as a finish of my meeting with him, he promised to give me the statement on resignation. And one hour ago he bring me the written statement of his resignation . And this is my second step for keeping my promises. "
To which Biden replied: "I agree."
Four weeks later on March 22, 2016, Biden says "Tell me that there is a new government and a new Prosecutor General. I am prepared to do a public signing of the commitment for the billion dollars. "
Poroshenko tells Biden that one of the leading candidates is the man who replaced Shokin, Yuriy Lutsenko who later said in a deposition that Hunter Biden and his business partners were receiving millions of dollars in compensation from Burisma.
Then, on May 13, 2016, Biden congratulates Poroshenko on "getting the new Prosecutor General," saying that it will be "critical for him to work quickly to repair the damage Shokin did."
" And I'm a man of my word ," Biden adds. "And now that the new Prosecutor General is in place, we're ready to move forward to signing that one billion dollar loan guarantee ."
Poroshenko thanks Biden for the support, and says that it was a "very tough challenge and a very difficult job."
Shokin, meanwhile, filed a criminal complaint against Biden in Kiev this February, in which he writes:
During the period 2014-2016, the Prosecutor General's Office of Ukraine was conducting a preliminary investigation into a series of serious crimes committed by the former Minister of Ecology of Ukraine Mykola Zlotchevsky and by the managers of the company "Burisma Holding Limited "(Cyprus), the board of directors of which included, among others, Hunter Biden, son of Joseph Biden, then vice-president of the United States of America.
The investigation into the above-mentioned crimes was carried out in strict accordance with Criminal Law and was under my personal control as the Prosecutor General of Ukraine.
Owing to my firm position on the above-mentioned cases regarding their prompt and objective investigation, which should have resulted in the arrest and the indictment of the guilty parties, Joseph Biden developed a firmly hostile attitude towards me which led him to express in private conversations with senior Ukrainian officials, as well as in his public speeches, a categorical request for my immediate dismissal from the post of Attorney General of Ukraine in exchange for the sum of US $ 1 billion in as a financial guarantee from the United States for the benefit of Ukraine.
* * *
And while we cannot verify the authenticity of the recordings with absolute certainty, we now have the audio revealing how the deed was orchestrated.
May 14, 2020 | theintercept.comGen. Michael Flynn, President Obama's former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, pleaded guilty on December 1, 2017, to a single count of lying to the FBI about two conversations he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak while Flynn served as a Trump transition team official (Flynn was never charged for any matters relating to his relationship with the Turkish government). As part of the plea deal, special counsel Robert Mueller recommended no jail time for Flynn , and the plea agreement also seemingly put an end to threats from the Mueller team to prosecute Flynn's son.
Last Thursday, the Justice Department filed a motion seeking to dismiss the prosecution of Flynn based, in part, on newly discovered documents revealing that the conduct of the FBI, under the leadership of Director James Comey and his now-disgraced Deputy Andrew McCabe (who himself was forced to leave the Bureau after being caught lying to agents ), was improper and motivated by corrupt objectives. That motion prompted histrionic howls of outrage from the same political officials and their media allies who have spent the last three years pushing maximalist Russiagate conspiracy theories.
But the prosecution of Flynn -- for allegedly lying to the FBI when he denied in a January 24 interrogation that he had discussed with Kislyak on December 29 the new sanctions and expulsions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration -- was always odd for a number of reasons. To begin with, the FBI agents who questioned Flynn said afterward that they did not believe he was lying (as CNN reported in February 2017: "the FBI interviewers believed Flynn was cooperative and provided truthful answers. Although Flynn didn't remember all of what he talked about, they don't believe he was intentionally misleading them, the officials say"). For that reason, CNN said, "the FBI is not expected to pursue any charges against" him.
More importantly, there was no valid reason for the FBI to have interrogated Flynn about his conversations with Kislyak in the first place. There is nothing remotely untoward or unusual -- let alone criminal -- about an incoming senior national security official, three weeks away from taking over, reaching out to a counterpart in a foreign government to try to tamp down tensions. As the Washington Post put it , "it would not be uncommon for incoming administrations to interface with foreign governments with whom they will soon have to work." What newly released documents over the last month reveal is what has been generally evident for the last three years: The powers of the security state agencies -- particularly the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, and the DOJ -- were systematically abused as part of the 2016 election and then afterward for political rather than legal ends.
While there was obviously deceit and corruption on the part of some Trump officials in lying to Russiagate investigators and otherwise engaging in depressingly common D.C. lobbyist corruption , there was also massive corruption on the part of the investigators themselves, exploiting and abusing their vast and invasive investigative and prosecutorial powers for ideological goals, political subterfuge, election manipulation, and personal vendettas . The former category (corruption by Trump officials) has received a tidal wave of endless media attention, while the latter (corruption and abuse of power by those investigating them) has received almost none.
For numerous reasons, it is vital to fully examine with as much clarity as possible the abuse of power that drove the prosecution of Flynn. To begin with, cable and other news outlets that employed former Obama-era intelligence operatives, generals, and prosecutors to disseminate every Russiagate conspiracy theory they could find -- virtually always without any dissent or even questioning -- have barely acknowledged these explosive new documents.
More disturbingly, liberals and Democrats -- as part of their movement toward venerating these security state agencies -- have completely jettisoned long-standing, core principles about the criminal justice system, including questioning whether lying to the FBI should be a crime at all and recognizing that innocent people are often forced to plead guilty -- in order to justify both the Flynn prosecution and the broader Mueller probe.
But the most critical reason to delve deeply into this case is that it reveals one the most dangerous abuses of power a democracy can suffer: The powers of the CIA, FBI, and NSA were blatantly and repeatedly abused to manipulate election outcomes and achieve political advantage. In other words, we know now that these agencies did exactly what Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer warned they would do to Trump when he appeared on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC program shortly before Trump's inauguration:Because U.S. politics is now discussed far more as tests of tribal loyalty ("Whose side are you on?") than actual ideological or even political beliefs ("Which policies do you favor or oppose?"), it is very difficult to persuade people to separate their personal or political views of Flynn ("Do you like him or not?") from the question of whether the U.S. government abused its power in gravely dangerous ways to prosecute him.
This turned out to be one of the most prescient and important (and creepy) statements of the Trump presidency: from Chuck Schumer to Rachel Maddow - in early January, 2017, before Trump was even inaugurated: pic.twitter.com/TUaYkksILG-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 8, 2019
Flynn is a right-wing, hawkish general whose views on the so-called war on terror are ones utterly anathema to my own beliefs. That does not make his prosecution justified. One's views of Flynn personally or his politics (or those of the Trump administration generally) should have absolutely no bearing on one's assessment of the justifiability of what the U.S. government did to him here -- any more than one has to like the political views of the detainees at Guantanamo to find their treatment abusive and illegal , or any more than one has to agree with the views of people who are being censured in order to defend their right of free expression .
The ability to distinguish between ideological questions from evidentiary questions is vital for rational discourse to be possible, yet has been all but eliminated at the altar of tribal fealty. That is why evidentiary questions completely devoid of ideological belief -- such as whether one found the Russiagate conspiracy theories supported by convincing evidence -- have been treated not as evidentiary matters but as tribal ones: to be affiliated with the left (an ideological characterization), one must affirm belief in those conspiracy theories even if one does not find the evidence in support of them actually compelling. The conflation of ideological and evidentiary questions, and the substitution of substantive political debates with tests of tribal loyalty, are indescribably corrosive to our public discourse.
As a result, whether one is now deemed on the right or left has almost nothing to do with actual political beliefs about policy questions and everything to do with one's willingness to serve the interests of one team or another. With the warped formula in place, U.S. politics has been depoliticized , stripped of any meaningful ideological debates in lieu of mindless team loyalty oaths on non-ideological questions.
Our newest SYSTEM UPDATE episode, debuting today, is devoted to enabling as clear and objective an examination as possible of the abuses that drove the Flynn prosecution -- including these critical, newly declassified documents -- as well the broader Russiagate investigations of which it was a part. These abuses have received far too little attention from the vast majority of the U.S. media that simply excludes any questioning or dissent of their prevailing narratives about all of these matters.
Notably, we invited several of the cable stars and security state agents who have been pushing these conspiracy theories for years to appear on the program for a civil discussion, but none were willing to do so -- because they are so accustomed to being able to spout these theories on MSNBC, CNN, and in newspapers without ever being meaningfully challenged. Regardless of one's views on these scandals, it is unhealthy in the extreme for any media to insulate themselves from a diversity of views.
As the journalist Aaron Maté demonstrated when he brilliantly challenged The Guardian's Luke Harding about his bestselling book claiming to prove collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia -- one of the few times a Russiagate conspiracy advocate was forced to confront a knowledgeable critic -- those claims often cannot survive even minimal critical scrutiny. That's why media outlets have insulated these conspiracy theory advocates, as well as their audiences, from any dissent or even critical questioning.
Today's SYSTEM UPDATE episode, which we believe provides the most comprehensive examination to date of these new documents relating to the Flynn prosecution and how this case relates to the broader Russiagate investigative abuses, can be viewed above or on The Intercept's YouTube channel .
May 19, 2020 | theintercept.com
What is particularly valuable about Smith's article is its perfect description of a media sickness borne of the Trump era that is rapidly corroding journalistic integrity and justifiably destroying trust in news outlets. Smith aptly dubs this pathology "resistance journalism," by which he means that journalists are now not only free, but encouraged and incentivized , to say or publish anything they want, no matter how reckless and fact-free, provided their target is someone sufficiently disliked in mainstream liberal media venues and/or on social media:
[Farrow's] work, though, reveals the weakness of a kind of resistance journalism that has thrived in the age of Donald Trump: That if reporters swim ably along with the tides of social media and produce damaging reporting about public figures most disliked by the loudest voices, the old rules of fairness and open-mindedness can seem more like impediments than essential journalistic imperatives.
That can be a dangerous approach, particularly in a moment when the idea of truth and a shared set of facts is under assault.
In assailing Farrow for peddling unproven conspiracy theories, Smith argues that such journalistic practices are particularly dangerous in an era where conspiracy theories are increasingly commonplace. Yet unlike most journalists with a mainstream platform, Smith emphasizes that conspiracy theories are commonly used not only by Trump and his movement (conspiracy theories which are quickly debunked by most of the mainstream media), but are also commonly deployed by Trump's enemies, whose reliance on conspiracy theories is virtually never denounced by journalists because mainstream news outlets themselves play a key role in peddling them:
We are living in an era of conspiracies and dangerous untruths -- many pushed by President Trump, but others hyped by his enemies -- that have lured ordinary Americans into passionately believing wild and unfounded theories and fiercely rejecting evidence to the contrary. The best reporting tries to capture the most attainable version of the truth, with clarity and humility about what we don't know. Instead, Mr. Farrow told us what we wanted to believe about the way power works, and now, it seems, he and his publicity team are not even pretending to know if it's true.
Ever since Donald Trump was elected , and one could argue even in the months leading up to his election, journalistic standards have been consciously jettisoned when it comes to reporting on public figures who, in Smith's words, are "most disliked by the loudest voices," particularly when such reporting "swim[s] ably along with the tides of social media." Put another way: As long the targets of one's conspiracy theories and attacks are regarded as villains by the guardians of mainstream liberal social media circles, journalists reap endless career rewards for publishing unvetted and unproven -- even false -- attacks on such people, while never suffering any negative consequences when their stories are exposed as shabby frauds.
https://www.youtube.com/embed/OOhRRr6c1wA?autoplay=0&rel=0&enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Ftheintercept.com&widgetid=1 infiltrated and taken over the U.S. government through sexual and financial blackmail leverage over Trump and used it to dictate U.S. policy; Trump officials conspired with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 election; Russia was attacking the U.S. by hacking its electricity grid , recruiting journalists to serve as clandestine Kremlin messengers , and plotting to cut off heat to Americans in winter. Mainstream media debacles -- all in service of promoting the same set of conspiracy theories against Trump -- are literally too numerous to count, requiring one to select the worst offenses as illustrative .In March of last year, Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi -- writing under the headline "It's official: Russiagate is this generation's WMD" -- compared the prevailing media climate since 2016 to that which prevailed in 2002 and 2003 regarding the invasion of Iraq and the so-called war on terror: little to no dissent permitted, skeptics of media-endorsed orthodoxies shunned and excluded, and worst of all, the very journalists who were most wrong in peddling false conspiracy theories were exactly those who ended up most rewarded on the ground that even though they spread falsehoods, they did so for the right cause.
Glenn Beck 2009 + Maddow 2019 is the greatest crossover event in history pic.twitter.com/D1NElGBq3U-- Adam H. Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) January 31, 2019
Under that warped rubric -- in which spreading falsehoods is commendable as long as it was done to harm the evildoers -- the New Yorker's Jeffrey Goldberg, one of the most damaging endorsers of false conspiracy theories about Iraq , rose to become editor-in-chief of The Atlantic, while two of the most deceitful Bush-era neocons, Bush/Cheney speechwriter David Frum and supreme propagandist Bill Kristol, have reprised their role as leading propagandists and conspiracy theorists -- only this time aimed against the GOP president instead of on his behalf -- and thus have become beloved liberal media icons. The communications director for both the Bush/Cheney campaign and its White House, Nicole Wallace, is one of the most popular liberal cable hosts from her MSNBC perch.
Join Our Newsletter Original reporting. Fearless journalism. Delivered to you. I'm in Exactly the same journalism-destroying dynamic is driving the post-Russiagate media landscape. There is literally no accountability for the journalists and news outlets that spread falsehoods in their pages, on their airwaves, and through their viral social media postings. The Washington Post's media columnist Erik Wemple has been one of the very few journalists devoted to holding these myth-peddlers accountable -- recounting how one of the most reckless Russigate conspiracy maximialists, Natasha Bertrand, became an overnight social media and journalism star by peddling discredited conspiratorial trash (she was notably hired by Jeffrey Goldberg to cover Russigate for The Atlantic); MSNBC's Rachel Maddow spent three years hyping conspiratorial junk with no need even to retract any of it; and Mother Jones' David Corn played a crucial, decisively un-journalistic role in mainstreaming the lies of the Steele dossier all with zero effect on his journalistic status, other than to enrich him through a predictably bestselling book that peddled those unhinged conspiracies further.
Wemple's post-Russiagate series has established him as a commendable, often-lone voice trying -- with futility -- to bring some accountability to U.S. journalism for the systemic media failures of the past three years. The reason that's futile is exactly what Smith described in his column on Farrow: In "resistance journalism," facts and truth are completely dispensable -- indeed, dispensing with them is rewarded -- provided "reporters swim ably along with the tides of social media and produce damaging reporting about public figures most disliked by the loudest voices."
That describes perfectly the journalists who were defined, and enriched, by years of Russiagate deceit masquerading as reporting. By far the easiest path to career success over the last three years -- booming ratings, lucrative book sales, exploding social media followings, career rehabilitation even for the most discredited D.C. operatives -- was to feed establishment liberals an endless diet of fearmongering and inflammatory conspiracies about Drumpf and his White House. Whether it was true or supported by basic journalistic standards was completely irrelevant. Responsible reporting was simply was not a metric used to assess its worth.
It was one thing for activists, charlatans, and con artists to exploit fears of Trump for material gain: that, by definition, is what such people do. But it was another thing entirely for journalists to succumb to all the low-hanging career rewards available to them by throwing all journalistic standards into the trash bin in exchange for a star turn as a #Resistance icon. That , as Smith aptly describes, is what "Resistance Journalism" is, and it's hard to identify anything more toxic to our public discourse.
Perhaps the single most shameful and journalism-destroying episode in all of this -- an obviously difficult title to bestow -- was when a national security blogger, Marcy Wheeler, violated long-standing norms and ethical standards of journalism by announcing in 2018 that she had voluntarily turned in her own source to the FBI, claiming she did so because her still-unnamed source "had played a significant role in the Russian election attack on the US" and because her life was endangered by her brave decision to stop being a blogger and become an armchair cop by pleading with the FBI and the Mueller team to let her work with them. In her blog post announcing what she did, she claimed she was going public with her treachery because her life was in danger, and this way everyone would know the real reason if "someone releases stolen information about me or knocks me off tomorrow."
To say that Wheeler's actions are a grotesque violation of journalistic ethics is to radically understate the case. Journalists are expected to protect their sources' identities from the FBI even if they receive a subpoena and a court order compelling its disclosure; we're expected to go to prison before we comply with FBI attempts to uncover our source's identity. But here, the FBI did not try to compel Wheeler to tell them anything; they displayed no interest in her as she desperately tried to chase them down.
By all appearances, Wheeler had to beg the FBI to pay attention to her because they treated her like the sort of unstable, unhinged, unwell, delusional obsessive who, believing they have uncovered some intricate conspiracy, relentlessly harass and bombard journalists with their bizarre theories until they finally prattle to themselves for all of eternity in the spam filter of our email inboxes. The claim that she was in possession of some sort of explosive and damning information that would blow the Mueller investigation wide open was laughable. In her post, she claimed she "always planned to disclose this when this person's role was publicly revealed," but to date -- almost two years later -- she has never revealed "this person's" identity because, from all appearances, the Mueller report never relied on Wheeler's intrepid reporting or her supposedly red-hot secrets.
Like so many other Russiagate obsessives who turned into social media and MSNBC/CNN #Resistance stars, Wheeler was living a wild, self-serving fantasy, a Cold War Tom Clancy suspense film that she invented in her head and then cast herself as the heroine: a crusading investigative dot-connecter uncovering dangerous, hidden conspiracies perpetrated by dangerous, hidden Cold War-style villains (Putin) to the point where her own life was endangered by her bravery. It was a sad joke, a depressing spectacle of psycho-drama, but one that could have had grave consequences for the person she voluntarily ratted out to the FBI. Whatever else is true, this episode inflicted grave damage on American journalism by having mainstream, Russia-obsessed journalists not denounce her for her egregious violation of journalistic ethics but celebrate her for turning journalism on its head.
Why? Because, as Smith said in his Farrow article, she was "swim[ing] ably along with the tides of social media and produc[ing] damaging reporting about public figures most disliked by the loudest voices" and thus "the old rules of fairness and open-mindedness [were] more like impediments than essential journalistic imperatives." Margaret Sullivan, the former New York Times public editor and now the Washington Post's otherwise reliably commendable media reporter, celebrated Wheeler's bizarre behavior under the headline: "A journalist's conscience leads her to reveal her source to the FBI."
Despite acknowledging that "in their reporting, journalists talk to criminals all the time and don't turn them in" and that "it's pretty much an inviolable rule of journalism: Protect your sources," Sullivan heralded Wheeler's ethically repugnant and journalism-eroding violation of those principles. "It's not hard to see that her decision was a careful and principled one," Sullivan proclaimed.
She even endorsed Wheeler's cringe-inducing, self-glorifying claims about her life being endangered by invoking long-standard Cold War clichés about the treachery of the Russkies ("Overly dramatic? Not really. The Russians do have a penchant for disposing of people they find threatening."). The English language is insufficient to convey the madness required to believe that the Kremlin wanted to kill Marcy Wheeler because her blogging was getting Too Close to The Truth, but in the fevered swamps of resistance journalism, literally no claim was too unhinged to be embraced provided that it fed the social media #Resistance masses.
Sullivan's article quoted no critics of Wheeler's incredibly controversial behavior -- no need to: She was on the right side of social media reaction. And Sullivan never bothered to return to wonder why her prediction -- "Wheeler hasn't named the source publicly, though his name may soon be known to all who are following the Mueller investigation" -- never materialized. Both CNN and, incredibly, the Columbia Journalism Review published similarly sympathetic accounts of Wheeler's desperate attempts to turn over her source to the FBI and then cosplay as though she were some sort of insider in the Mueller investigation. The most menacing attribute of what Smith calls "Resistance Journalism" is that it permits and tolerates no dissent and questioning: perhaps the single most destructive path journalism can take. It has been well-documented that MSNBC and CNN spent three years peddling all sorts of ultimately discredited Russiagate conspiracy theories by excluding from their airwaves anyone who dissented from or even questioned those conspiracies. Instead, they relied upon an increasingly homogenized army of former security state agents from the CIA, FBI, and NSA to propound, in unison, all sorts of claims about Trump and Russia that turned out to be false, and peppered their panels of "analysts" with journalists whose career skyrocketed exclusively by pushing maximalist Russiagate claims, often by relying on the same intelligence officials these cable outlets sat them next to.This trend -- whereby diversity of opinion and dissent from orthodoxies are excluded from media discourse -- is worsening rapidly due to two major factors. The first is that cable news programs are constructed to feed their audiences only self-affirming narratives that vindicate partisan loyalties. One liberal cable host told me that they receive ratings not for each show but for each segment , and they can see the ratings drop off -- the remotes clicking away -- if they put on the air anyone who criticizes the party to which that outlet is devoted (Democrats in the case of MSNBC and CNN, the GOP in the case of Fox).
That NBC & MSNBC hired as a "news analyst" John Brennan - who ran the CIA when the Trump/Russia investigation began & was a key player in the news he was shaping as a paid colleague of their reporters - is a huge ethical breach. And it produced this: pic.twitter.com/nPlaq5YVxf-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 2, 2019
But there's another more recent and probably more dissent-quashing development: the disappearance of media jobs. Mass layoffs were already common in online journalism and local newspapers prior to the coronavirus pandemic , and have now turned into an industrywide massacre . With young journalists watching jobs disappearing en masse, the last thing they are going to want to do is question or challenge prevailing orthodoxies within their news outlet or, using Smith's "Resistance Journalism" formulation, to "swim against the tides of social media" or question the evidence amassed against those "most disliked by the loudest voices."
Affirming those orthodoxies can be career-promoting, while questioning them can be job-destroying. Consider the powerful incentives journalists face in an industry where jobs are disappearing so rapidly one can barely keep count. During Russiagate, I often heard from young journalists at large media outlets who expressed varying degrees of support for and agreement with the skepticism which I and a handful of other journalists were expressing, but they felt constrained to do so themselves, for good reason. They watched the reprisals and shunning doled out even to journalists with a long record of journalistic accomplishments and job security for the crime of Russiagate skepticism, such as Taibbi (similar to the way MSNBC fired Phil Donahue in 2002 for opposing the invasion of Iraq), and they know journalists with less stature and security than Taibbi could not risk incurring that collective wrath.
All professions and institutions suffer when a herd, groupthink mentality and the banning of dissent prevail. But few activities are corroded from such a pathology more than journalism is, which has as its core function skepticism and questioning of pieties. Journalism quickly transforms into a sickly, limp version of itself when it itself wages war on the virtues of dissent and airing a wide range of perspectives.
I do not know how valid are Smith's critiques of Farrow's journalism. But what I know for certain is that Smith's broader diagnosis of "Resistance Journalism" is dead-on, and the harms it is causing are deep and enduring. When journalists know they will thrive by affirming pleasing falsehoods, and suffer when they insist on unpopular truths, journalism not only loses its societal value but becomes just another instrument for societal manipulation, deceit, and coercion.
Jan 20, 2019 | theintercept.comBuzzFeed was once notorious for traffic-generating "listicles," but has since become an impressive outlet for deep investigative journalism under editor-in-chief Ben Smith. That outlet was prominently in the news this week thanks to its "bombshell" story about President Trump and Michael Cohen: a story that, like so many others of its kind, blew up in its face , this time when the typically mute Robert Mueller's office took the extremely rare step to label its key claims "inaccurate."
But in homage to BuzzFeed's past viral glory, following are the top ten worst media failures in two-plus-years of Trump/Russia reporting. They are listed in reverse order, as measured by the magnitude of the embarrassment, the hysteria they generated on social media and cable news, the level of journalistic recklessness that produced them, and the amount of damage and danger they caused. This list was extremely difficult to compile in part because news outlets (particularly CNN and MSNBC) often delete from the internet the video segments of their most embarrassing moments. Even more challenging was the fact that the number of worthy nominees is so large that highly meritorious entrees had to be excluded, but are acknowledged at the end with (dis)honorable mention status.
Note that all of these "errors" go only in one direction: namely, exaggerating the grave threat posed by Moscow and the Trump circle's connection to it. It's inevitable that media outlets will make mistakes on complex stories. If that's being done in good faith, one would expect the errors would be roughly 50/50 in terms of the agenda served by the false stories. That is most definitely not the case here. Just as was true in 2002 and 2003, when the media clearly wanted to exaggerate the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and thus all of its "errors" went in that direction, virtually all of its major "errors" in this story are devoted to the same agenda and script:10. RT Hacked Into and Took Over C-SPAN (Fortune)
On June 12, 2017, Fortune claimed that RT had hacked into and taken over C-SPAN and that C-SPAN "confirmed" it had been hacked. The whole story was false:
C-SPAN Confirms It Was Briefly Hacked by Russian News Site https://t.co/NUFD662FMz pic.twitter.com/POstGFzvNE-- Fortune Tech (@FortuneTech) January 12, 2017
Kremlin-funded Russian news network RT interrupted C-SPAN's online feed for about ten minutes Thursday afternoon https://t.co/Z25LqoCW2H-- New York Magazine (@NYMag) January 12, 2017
Holy shit. Russia state propaganda (RT) "hacked" into C-SPAN feed and took over for a good 40 seconds today? In middle of live broadcast. https://t.co/pwWYFoDGDU-- Isaac Saul (@Ike_Saul) January 12, 2017
RT America ominously takes over C-SPAN feed for ten minutes @tommyxtopher reviews today's events for #shareblue https://t.co/uiiU5awSMs-- Leah McElrath (@leahmcelrath) January 12, 20179. Russian Hackers Invaded the U.S. Electricity Grid to Deny Vermonters Heat During the Winter (WashPost)
After investigation, C-SPAN has concluded that the RT interruption was not the result of a hack, but rather routing error.-- ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) January 18, 2017
On December 30, 2016, the Washington Post reported that "Russian hackers penetrated the U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont," causing predictable outrage and panic, along with threats from U.S. political leaders. But then they kept diluting the story with editor's notes – to admit that the malware was found on a laptop not connected to the U.S. electric grid at all – until finally acknowledging, days later, that the whole story was false, since the malware had nothing to do with Russia or with the U.S. electric grid:
Breaking: Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont https://t.co/LED11lL7ej-- The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) December 31, 2016
NEW: "One of the world's leading thugs, [Putin] has been attempting to hack our electric grid," says VT Gov. Shumlin https://t.co/YgdtT4JrlX pic.twitter.com/AU0ZQjT3aO-- ABC News (@ABC) December 31, 2016
https://www.youtube.com/embed/9ktNVW_TblI?autoplay=0&rel=0&enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Ftheintercept.com&widgetid=18. A New, Deranged, Anonymous Group Declares Mainstream Political Sites on the Left and Right to be Russian Propaganda Outlets and WashPost Touts its Report to Claim Massive Kremlin Infiltration of the Internet (WashPost)
Washington Post retracts story about Russian hack at Vermont utility https://t.co/JX9l0926Uj via @nypost-- Kerry Picket (@KerryPicket) January 1, 2017
On November 24, 2016, the Washington Post published one of the most inflammatory, sensationalistic stories to date about Russian infiltration into U.S. politics using social media, accusing "more than 200 websites" of being "routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season, with combined audiences of at least 15 million Americans." It added: "stories planted or promoted by the disinformation campaign [on Facebook] were viewed more than 213 million times."
Unfortunately for the paper, those statistics were provided by a new, anonymous group that reached these conclusions by classifying long-time, well-known sites – from the Drudge Report to Clinton-critical left-wing websites such as Truthout, Black Agenda Report, Truthdig, and Naked Capitalism, as well as libertarian venues such as Antiwar.com and the Ron Paul Institute. – as "Russian propaganda outlets," producing one of the longest Editor's Note in memory appended to the top of the article (but not until two weeks later , long after the story was mindlessly spread all throughout the media ecosystem):
Russian propaganda effort helped spread fake news during election, say independent researchers https://t.co/3ETVXWw16Q-- Marty Baron (@PostBaron) November 25, 2016
Just want to note I hadn't heard of Propornot before the WP piece and never gave permission to them to call Bellingcat "allies" https://t.co/jQKnWzjrBR-- Eliot Higgins (@EliotHiggins) November 25, 20167. Trump Aide Anthony Scaramucci is Involved in a Russian Hedge Fund Under Senate Investigation (CNN)
Marty, I would like to more about PropOrNot, "experts" cited in the article. Their website provides little in the way of ID. https://t.co/ZiK8pKzUwx-- Jack Shafer (@jackshafer) November 25, 2016
On June 22, 2017, CNN reported that Trump aide Anthony Scaramucci was involved with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, under Senate investigation. He was not. CNN retracted the story and forced the three reporters who published it to leave the network. 6. Russia Attacked U.S. "Diplomats" (i.e. Spies) at the Cuban Embassy Using a Super-Sophisticated Sonic Microwave Weapon (NBC/MSNBC/CIA)
On September 11, 2017, NBC News and MSNBC spread all over its airwaves a claim from its notorious CIA puppet Ken Dilanian that Russia was behind a series of dastardly attacks on U.S. personnel at the Embassy in Cuba using a sonic or microwave weapon so sophisticated and cunning that Pentagon and CIA scientists had no idea what to make of it.
But then teams of neurologists began calling into doubt that these personnel had suffered any brain injuries at all – that instead they appear to have experienced collective psychosomatic symptoms – and then biologists published findings that the "strange sounds" the U.S. "diplomats" reported hearing were identical to those emitted by a common Caribbean male cricket during mating season.
An @NBCNews exclusive: After more than a year of mystery, Russia is the main suspect in the sonic attacks that sickened 26 U.S. diplomats and intelligence officials in Cuba. @MitchellReports has the latest. pic.twitter.com/NEI9PJ9CpD-- TODAY (@TODAYshow) September 11, 2018
Wow >> U.S. has signals intelligence linking the sonic attacks on Americans in Cuba and China to *Russia* https://t.co/FbNla0vu9W-- Andrew Desiderio (@desiderioDC) September 11, 2018
Following NBC report about sonic attacks, @SenCoryGardner renews calls for declaring Russia a state sponsor of terror https://t.co/wrnubfecom-- Niels Lesniewski (@nielslesniewski) September 11, 2018
5. Trump Created a Secret Internet Server to Covertly Communicate with a Russian Bank (Slate)
Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank. pic.twitter.com/8f8n9xMzUU-- Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 1, 20164. Paul Manafort Visited Julian Assange Three Times in the Ecuadorian Embassy and Nobody Noticed (Guardian/Luke Harding)
It's time for Trump to answer serious questions about his ties to Russia. https://t.co/D8oSmyVAR4 pic.twitter.com/07dRyEmPjX-- Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 31, 2016
On November 27, 2018, the Guardian published a major "bombshell" that Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had somehow managed to sneak inside one of the world's most surveilled buildings, the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and visit Julian Assange on three different occasions. Cable and online commentators exploded.
Seven weeks later, no other media outlet has confirmed this ; no video or photographic evidence has emerged; the Guardian refuses to answer any questions; its leading editors have virtually gone into hiding; other media outlets have expressed serious doubts about its veracity; and an Ecuadorian official who worked at the embassy has called the story a complete fake:
Paul Manafort held secret talks with Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and visited around the time he joined Trump's campaign, the Guardian has been told. https://t.co/Fc2BVmXipk-- Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 27, 2018
The sourcing on this is a bit thin, or at least obscured. But it's the ultimate Whoa If True. It's...ballgame if true.-- Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) November 27, 2018
https://www.youtube.com/embed/4A2cuuRK2NU?autoplay=0&rel=0&enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Ftheintercept.com&widgetid=73. CNN Explicitly Lied About Lanny Davis Being Its Source – For a Story Whose Substance Was Also False: Cohen Would Testify that Trump Knew in Advance About the Trump Tower Meeting (CNN)
The Guardian reports that Paul Manafort visited Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, the same month that Manafort joined Donald Trump's presidential campaign in 2016, a meeting that could carry vast implications for the Russia investigation https://t.co/pYawnv4MHH-- Los Angeles Times (@latimes) November 27, 2018
On July 27, 2018, CNN published a blockbuster story : that Michael Cohen was prepared to tell Robert Mueller that President Trump knew in advanced about the Trump Tower meeting. There were, however, two problems with this story: first, CNN got caught blatantly lying when its reporters claimed that "contacted by CNN, one of Cohen's attorneys, Lanny Davis, declined to comment" (in fact, Davis was one of CNN's key sources, if not its only source, for this story), and second, numerous other outlets retracted the story after the source, Davis, admitted it was a lie. CNN, however, to this date has refused to do either: 2. Robert Mueller Possesses Internal Emails and Witness Interviews Proving Trump Directed Cohen to Lie to Congress (BuzzFeed)
BREAKING: President Trump personally directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow in order to obscure his involvement. https://t.co/BEoMKiDypn-- BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) January 18, 2019
BOOM! https://t.co/QDkUMaEa7M pic.twitter.com/9kcZZ8m1gt-- Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) January 18, 2019
The allegation that the President of the United States may have suborned perjury before our committee in an effort to curtail the investigation and cover up his business dealings with Russia is among the most serious to date. We will do what's necessary to find out if it's true. https://t.co/GljBAFqOjh-- Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 18, 2019
If the @BuzzFeed story is true, President Trump must resign or be impeached.-- Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) January 18, 2019
Listen, if Mueller does have multiple sources confirming Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress, then we need to know this ASAP. Mueller shouldn't end his inquiry, but it's about time for him to show Congress his cards before it's too late for us to act. https://t.co/ekG5VSBS8G-- Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) January 18, 2019
UPDATE: A spokesperson for the special counsel is disputing BuzzFeed News' report. https://t.co/BEoMKiDypn pic.twitter.com/GWWfGtyhaE-- BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) January 19, 2019
To those trying to parse the Mueller statement: it's a straight-up denial. Maybe Buzzfeed can prove they are right, maybe Mueller can prove them wrong. But it's an emphatic denial https://t.co/EI1J7XLCJe-- Devlin Barrett (@DevlinBarrett) January 19, 2019
. @Isikoff : "There were red flags about the BuzzFeed story from the get-go." Notes it was inconsistent with Cohen's guilty plea when he said he made false statements about Trump Tower to Congress to be "consistent" with Trump, not at his direction. pic.twitter.com/tgDg6SNPpG-- David Rutz (@DavidRutz) January 19, 2019
We at The Post also had riffs on the story our reporters hadn't confirmed. One noted Fox downplayed it; another said it "if true, looks to be the most damning to date for Trump." The industry needs to think deeply on how to cover others' reporting we can't confirm independently. https://t.co/afzG5B8LAP-- Matt Zapotosky (@mattzap) January 19, 2019
Washington Post says Mueller's denial of BuzzFeed News article is aimed at the full story: "Mueller's denial, according to people familiar with the matter, aims to make clear that none of those statements in the story are accurate."-- andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) January 19, 2019
If you're one of the people tempted to believe the self-evidently laughable claim that there's something "vague" or unclear about Mueller's statement, or that it just seeks to quibble with a few semantic trivialities, read this @WashPost story about this https://t.co/0io99LyATS pic.twitter.com/ca1TwPR3Og-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 19, 2019
You can spend hours parsing the Carr statement, but given how unusual it is for any DOJ office to issue this sort of on the record denial, let alone this office, suspect it means the story's core contention that they have evidence Trump told Cohen to lie is fundamentally wrong.-- Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) January 19, 2019
New York Times throws a bit of cold water on BuzzFeed's explosive -- and now seriously challenged -- report that Trump instructed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress: https://t.co/9N7MiHs7et pic.twitter.com/7FJFT9D8fW-- ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) January 19, 2019
I can't speak to Buzzfeed's sourcing, but, for what it's worth, I declined to run with parts of the narrative they conveyed based on a source central to the story repeatedly disputing the idea that Trump directly issued orders of that kind.-- Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) January 19, 20191. Donald Trump Jr. Was Offered Advanced Access to the WikiLeaks Email Archive (CNN/MSNBC)
FWIW in all our reporting I haven't found any in the Trump Org that have met with or been interviewed by Mueller. https://t.co/U4eV1MZc8p-- John Santucci (@Santucci) January 18, 2019
The morning of December 9, 2017, launched one of the most humiliating spectacles in the history of the U.S. media. With a tone so grave and bombastic that it is impossible to overstate, CNN went on the air and announced a major exclusive: Donald Trump, Jr. was offered by email advanced access to the trove of DNC and Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks – meaning before those emails were made public. Within an hour, MSNBC's Ken Dilanian, using a tone somehow even more unhinged, purported to have "independently confirmed" this mammoth, blockbuster scoop, which, they said, would have been the smoking gun showing collusion between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks over the hacked emails (while the YouTube clips have been removed, you can still watch one of the amazing MSNBC videos here ).
There was, alas, just one small problem with this massive, blockbuster story: it was totally and completely false. The email which Trump, Jr. received that directed him to the WikiLeaks archive was sent after WikiLeaks published it online for the whole world to see, not before. Rather than some super secretive operative giving Trump, Jr. advanced access, as both CNN and MSNBC told the public for hours they had confirmed, it was instead just some totally pedestrian message from a random member of the public suggesting Trump, Jr. review documents the whole world was already talking about. All of the anonymous sources CNN and MSNBC cited somehow all got the date of the email wrong.
To date, when asked how they both could have gotten such a massive story so completely wrong in the same way, both CNN and MSNBC have adopted the posture of the CIA by maintaining complete silence and refusing to explain how it could possibly be that all of their "multiple, independent sources" got the date wrong on the email in the same way, to be as incriminating – and false – as possible. Nor, needless to say, will they identify their sources who, in concert, fed them such inflammatory and utterly false information.
Sadly, CNN and MSNBC have deleted most traces of the most humiliating videos from the internet, including demanding that YouTube remove copies. But enough survives to document just what a monumental, horrifying, and utterly inexcusable debacle this was. Particularly amazing is the clip of the CNN reporter (see below) having to admit the error for the first time, as he awkwardly struggles to pretend that it's not the massive, horrific debacle that it so obviously is:
Knowingly soliciting or receiving anything of value from a foreign national for campaign purposes violates the Federal Election Campaign Act. If it's worth over $2,000 then penalties include fines & IMPRISONMENT. @DonaldJTrumpJr may be in bigly trouble. #FridayFeeling https://t.co/dRz6Ph17Er-- Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) December 8, 2017
boom https://t.co/9RPPltRq8k pic.twitter.com/eyYHkOMEPi-- Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) December 8, 2017
CNN is leading the way in bashing BuzzFeed but it's worth remembering CNN had a humiliation at least as big & bad: when they yelled that Trump Jr. had advanced access to the WL archive (!): all based on a wrong date. They removed all the segments from YouTube, but this remains: pic.twitter.com/0jiA50aIku-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 19, 2019
- ABC News' Brian Ross is fired for reporting Trump told Flynn to make contact with Russians when he was still a candidate; in fact, Trump did that after he won.
- The New York Times claimed Manafort provided polling data to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a person "close to the Kremlin"; in fact, he provided them to Ukrainians, not Russians.
- Crowdstrike, the firm hired by the DNC, claimed they had evidence that Russia hacked Ukrainian artillery apps; they then retracted it .
- Bloomberg and the WSJ reported Mueller subpoenaed Deustche Bank for Trump's financial records; the NYT said that never happened .
- Rachel Maddow devoted 20 minutes at the start of her show to very melodramatically claiming a highly sophisticated party tried to trick her by sending her a fake Top Secret document modeled after the one published by the Intercept, and said it could only have come from the U.S. Government (or the Intercept) since the person obtained the document before it was published by us and thus must have had special access to it; in fact, Maddow and NBC completely misread the metadata on the document ; the fake sent to Maddow was created after we published the document, and was sent to her by a random member of the public who took the document from the Intercept's site and doctored it to see if she'd fall for an obvious scam. Maddow's entire timeline, on which her whole melodramatic conspiracy theory rested, was fictitious.
- The U.S. media and Democrats spent six months claiming that all "17 intelligence agencies" agreed Russia was behind the hacks; the NYT finally retracted that in June, 2017: "The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies -- the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community."
- AP claimed on February 2, 2018, that the Free Beacon commissioned the Steele Dossier; they thereafter acknowledged that was false and noted, instead: "Though the former spy, Christopher Steele, was hired by a firm that was initially funded by the Washington Free Beacon, he did not begin work on the project until after Democratic groups had begun funding it."
- The national media have offered multiple, conflicting accounts of how and why the FBI investigation into Trump/Russia began.
- Widespread government and media claims that accused Russian agent Maria Butina offered "sex for favors" were totally false (and scurrilous).
- After a Russian regional jet crashed on February 11, 2018, shortly after it took off from Moscow, killing all 71 people aboard, Harvard Law Professor and frequent MSNBC contributor Laurence Tribe strongly implied Putin purposely caused the plane to go down in order to murder Sergei Millian, a person vaguely linked to George Papadopoulos and Jared Kushner; in fact, Millian was not on the plane nor, to date, has anyone claimed they had any evidence that Putin ordered his own country's civilian passenger jet brought down.
May 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
William Gruff , May 18 2020 15:40 utc | 13America: "We demand an investigation, but the investigators must agree on the outcome that we specify before they begin investigating!"
Why not? It works for gas attacks, chemical weapons poisoning, and airliner shoot downs, so why not biological weapons attacks too?
May 18, 2020 | consortiumnews.com
May 18, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Yhe president announced on Friday that he was firing Steve Linick, the State Department's Inspector General. One possible reason that Linick was removed may have been that he was conducting an investigation into the bogus emergency declaration that the administration used to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE last year:
House Democrats have discovered that the fired IG had mostly completed an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's widely criticized decision to skirt Congress with an emergency declaration to approve billions of dollars in arms sales to Saudi Arabia last year, aides on the Foreign Affairs Committee tell me.
"I have learned that there may be another reason for Mr. Linick's firing," Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement sent to me. "His office was investigating -- at my request -- Trump's phony declaration of an emergency so he could send weapons to Saudi Arabia."
If Linick was investigating the bogus emergency declaration, he would have come across reporting that showed how a former Raytheon lobbyist serving at the department was instrumental in pushing through the plan to expedite arms sales that benefited his old employer. He would have discovered that there was no genuine emergency that justified going around Congress. Once his investigation was concluded, it would have found that the emergency declaration was made in bad faith and that the law was abused so that the administration could proceed with arms sales that Congress opposed.
Another reason for the firing was to protect Mike Pompeo from an investigation into the Secretary's abuses of government resources for personal purposes:
The State Department inspector general fired by President Trump was looking into allegations that a staffer for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was performing domestic errands and chores such as handling dry cleaning, walking the family dog and making restaurant reservations, said a congressional official familiar with the matter.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman and the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee released a statement immediately on Friday objecting to Linick's firing and suggesting that it might be an illegal act of retaliation. There will now be a Congressional investigation into the circumstances surrounding Linick's firing. If Trump hoped to reduce the scrutiny on Pompeo by getting rid of Linick, he will be disappointed. It remains to be seen how much of a price Pompeo will pay for this, but the price is likely higher now than it would have been if he hadn't pushed for removing the inspector general.
Pompeo reportedly recommended Linick's removal. This is not the first time that Pompeo has been accused of misusing government resources. There was a report last summer that a whistleblower alleged that Pompeo and his wife were using Diplomatic Security agents as their personal errand boys:
Democrats on a key House congressional committee are investigating allegations from a whistleblower within the State Department about Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his family's use of taxpayer-funded Diplomatic Security -- prompting agents to lament they are at times viewed as "UberEats with guns".
Congressional investigators, who asked for the committee not to be named as they carry out their inquiries, tell CNN that a State Department whistleblower has raised multiple issues over a period of months, about special agents being asked to carry out some questionable tasks for the Pompeo family.
Pompeo has also repeatedly used government resources for domestic travel that seems to have more to do with advancing the Secretary's political ambitions in Kansas. There has been widespread speculation that he has used official trips in an attempt to lay the groundwork for a possible Senate campaign . If so, it would be a flagrant violation of the Hatch Act. That prompted a call for a special counsel investigation into Pompeo's travel. If Pompeo and his wife have been using a political appointee as a gofer, that would be more of the same abusive behavior.
Linick has previously clashed with other Trump administration officials at State. Last year, he released a damning report on Brian Hook over his treatment of Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, the Iranian-American official who was apparently targeted for political retaliation because of her policy views and ethnic background. The fired inspector general was well-respected at the department, and his firing at Pompeo's urging will likely cause further demoralization at a department that has already been run into the ground under the Secretary's dismal leadership.
The Secretary of State seems to think that government funds and personnel are at his disposal for his personal errands and political activities. Linick was doing exactly what an inspector general is supposed to be doing by investigating the allegations against him, and then he was conveniently fired on Pompeo's recommendation. You could hardly ask for a more straightforward case of a corrupt official using his influence to remove the person responsible for scrutinizing his conduct. If Linick was also fired because he was in the process of exposing the administration's dishonest push for more arms sales to the Saudi coalition, that makes his removal all the more outrageous and sinister.
JMWB • an hour agoMike Pompeo is a Tea Party darling. The Tea Party's motto should be : Austerity, fiscal responsibility, and integrity for Thee, but not for Me.Feral Finster JMWB • 33 minutes agoMike Pompeo's idea of austerity is only a double order of french fries.
May 18, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Jonathan Turley,
The contradictions revealed in recent disclosures, including the list of officials seeking to "unmask" the identity of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, are shocking. There seems a virtual news blackout on these disclosures, including the fact that both former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden followed the investigation. Indeed, Biden's name is on the unmasking list.
The declassification of material from the Michael Flynn case has exposed more chilling details of an effort by prosecutors to come up with a crime to use against the former national security adviser. This week, however, a letter revealed another unsettling detail. Among over three dozen Obama administration officials seeking to "unmask" Flynn in the investigation was former Vice President Joe Biden . This revelation came less than a day after Biden denied any involvement in the investigation of Flynn. It also follows a disclosure that President Obama was aware of that investigation.
For three years, many in the media have expressed horror at the notion of the Trump campaign colluding with Russia to influence the 2016 election. We know there was never credible evidence of such collusion. In recently released transcripts, a long list of Obama administration officials admitted they never saw any evidence of such Russian collusion. That included the testimony of Evelyn Farkas, a former White House adviser who was widely quoted by the media with her public plea for Congress to gather all of the evidence that she learned of as part of the Obama administration.
The media covered her concern that this evidence would be lost "if they found out how we knew what we knew" about Trump campaign officials "dealing with Russians." Yet in her classified testimony under oath, she said she did not know anything. Farkas is now running for Congress in New York and highlighting her role in raising "alarm" over collusion. As much of the media blindly pushed this story, a worrying story unfolded over the use of federal power to investigate political opponents.
There is very little question that the response by the media to such a story would have been overwhelming if George Bush and his administration had targeted the Obama campaign figures with secret surveillance .
That story would have been encompassing if it was learned that there was no direct evidence to justify the investigation and that the underlying allegation of Russian collusion was ultimately found to lack a credible basis.
But the motives of Obama administration officials are apparently not to be questioned. Indeed, back when candidate Donald Trump said the Obama administration placed his campaign officials under surveillance, the media universally mocked him. That statement was later proven to be true. The Obama administration used the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court to conduct surveillance of Trump campaign officials.
Yet none of this matters as the media remains fully invested in the original false allegations of collusion. If Obama administration officials were to be questioned now, the coverage and judgment of the media may be placed into question, as even this latest disclosure from the investigation of the unmasking request of Biden will not alter the media narrative.
Unmasking occurs when an official asks an intelligence agency to remove anonymous designations hiding the identity of an individual. This masking is a very important protection of the privacy of American citizens who are caught up in national security surveillance. The importance of this privacy protection is being dismissed by media figures, like Andrea Mitchell, who declared the Biden story to be nothing more than gaslighting.
While unmasking is more routinely requested by intelligence officials, with a reported 10,000 such requests by the National Security Agency last year alone, it is presumably less common for figures like Biden or White House chief of staff Denis McDonough. Seeking unmasking information that was likely to reveal the name of a political opponent and possibly damage the Trump administration raises a concern. More importantly, it adds a detail of the scope of interest and involvement in an investigation that targeted Flynn without any compelling evidence of a crime or collusion.
The media portrayed both Obama and Biden as uninvolved. But now we know they both actively followed the investigation.
May 18, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Atlantic Council senior fellow, Congressional candidate, and Russia conspiracy theorist Evelyn Farkas is desperately trying to salvage her reputation after recently released transcripts from her closed-door 2017 testimony to the House Intelligence Committee revealed she totally lied on national TV .
In March of 2017, Farkas confidently told MSNBC 's Mika Brzezinski: " The Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about the Trump staff dealing with Russians , that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we would not longer have access to that intelligence ."
Except, during testimony to the House, Farkas admitted she lied . When pressed by former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) on why she said 'we' - referring to the US government, Farkas said she "didn't know anything."
In short, she was either illegally discussing US intelligence matters with her "former colleagues," or she made the whole thing up.
Now, Farkas is in damage control mode - writing in the Washington Post that her testimony demonstrated "that I had not leaked intelligence and that my early intuition about Trump-Kremlin cooperation was valid.' She also claims that her comments to MSNBC were based on "media reports and statements by Obama administration officials and the intelligence community," which had "began unearthing connections between Trump's campaign and Russia."
Farkas is now blaming a 'disconcerting nexus between Russia and the reactionary right,' for making her look bad (apparently Trey Gowdy is part of the "reactionary right" for asking her who she meant by "we").
Attacks against me came first on Twitter and other social media platforms, from far-right sources. Forensics data I was shown suggested at least one entity had Russian ties . The attacks increased in quantity and ferocity until Fox News and Trump-allied Republicans -- higher-profile, and more mainstream, sources -- also criticized me .
Trump surrogates, including former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski , Donald Trump Jr. and Fox News hosts such as Tucker Carlson have essentially accused me of treason for being one of the "fraudulent originators" of the "Russia hoax." -Evelyn Farkas
She then parrots the Democratic talking point that the attacks she's received are part of Trump's larger "Obamagate" allegations - " a narrative that distracts attention from his administration's disastrous pandemic response and attempts to defect blame for Russian interference onto the Obama administration" (Obama told Putin to ' cut it out ' after all).
Meanwhile, Poor Evelyn's campaign staff has become " emotionally exhausted " after her Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts have been "overwhelmed with a stream of vile, vulgar and sometimes violent messages" in response to the plethora of conservative outlets which have called her out for Russia malarkey.
There is evidence that Russian actors are contributing to these attacks. The same day that right-wing pundits began pumping accusations, newly created Russian Twitter accounts picked them up. Within a day, Russian " disinformation clearinghouses " posted versions of the story . Many of the Twitter accounts boosting attacks have posted in unison, a sign of inauthentic social media behavior.
We assume Zero Hedge is included in said ' disinformation clearinghouses ' Farkas fails to expound on.
She closes by defiantly claiming "I wasn't silenced in 2017, and I won't be silenced now."
No Evelyn, nobody is silencing you. You're being called out for your role in the perhaps the largest, most divisive hoax in US history - which was based on faulty intelligence that includes crowdstrike admitting they had no proof of that Russia exfiltrated DNC emails, and Christopher Steele's absurd dossier based on his 'Russian sources.'
MrBoompi, 18 minutes agochubbar, 23 minutes ago
Lying is a common occurrence on MSNBC. Farkas was just showing her party she is qualified for a more senior position.LetThemEatRand, 59 minutes ago
My opinion, based on zero facts, is that the lie she told was to Gowdy. She had to say she lied about having intelligence data or she'd be looking at a felony along with whomever she was talking to in the US gov't. You just know these cocksuckers in the resistance don't give a **** about laws or fairness, it's all about getting Trump. So they set up an informal network to get classified intelligence from the Obama holdovers out into the wild where these assholes could use it against Trump and the gov't operations. Treason. She needs to be executed for her efforts!mtumba, 50 minutes ago
This whole thing reminds me of a fan watching their team play a championship game. If the ref makes a bad call and their team wins, they don't care. And if the ref makes a good call and their team loses, they blame the ref. No one cares about the truth or the facts. That in a nutshell is politics in the US. If you believe that anyone will "switch sides" or admit the ref made a bad call or a good call, you're smoking the funny stuff.
It's a natural response to a corrupt system.
When the system is wholly corrupt so that truth doesn't matter, what else is there to care about other than your side winning?
It's a travesty.
May 18, 2020 | www.washingtontimes.com
Newly released documents show FBI agents operated on autopilot in 2016 and 2017 while targeting President Trump and his campaign with little or no Justice Department guidance for such a momentous investigation.
Loretta E. Lynch, President Obama's attorney general, said she never knew the FBI was placing wiretaps on a Trump campaign volunteer or using the dossier claims of former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to put the entire Trump world under suspicion. Mr. Steele was handled by Fusion GPS and paid with funds from the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign.
"I don't have a recollection of briefings on Fusion GPS or Mr. Steele ," Ms. Lynch told the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in October 2017. "I don't have any information on that, and I don't have a recollection being briefed on that."
Under pressure from acting Director of National Intelligence Richard A. Grenell, the committee last week released transcripts of her testimony and that of more than 50 other witnesses in 2017 and 2018, when Republicans controlled the Trump- Russia investigation.
Ms. Lynch also testified that she had no knowledge the FBI had taken the profound step of opening an investigation, led by agent Peter Strzok, into the Trump campaign on July 31, 2016.
"Did [ FBI Director James B. Comey] seek permission from you to do the formal opening of the counterintelligence investigation?" Rep. Adam B. Schiff, California Democrat, asked the former attorney general.
"No, and he ordinarily would not have had to do that," Ms. Lynch answered. "lt would not have come to the attorney general for that."
Mr. Schiff, a fierce defender of the FBI in the Russia probe, seemed taken aback. "Even in the case where you're talking about a campaign for president?" he asked.
"I can't recall if it was discussed or not," Ms. Lynch said. "I just don't have a recollection of that in the meetings that I had with him."
Attorney General William P. Barr has changed the rules. He announced that the attorney general now must approve any FBI decision to investigate a presidential campaign.
Ms. Lynch's testimony adds to the picture of an insular, and sometimes misbehaving, FBI as its agents searched for evidence that the Trump campaign conspired with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 election to damage Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton .
In documents filed by the Justice Department last week, then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates expressed dismay that Mr. Comey would dispatch two agents, including Mr. Strzok, on Jan. 24, 2017, to interview incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn at the White House.
Ms. Yates, interviewed by FBI agents assigned to the Robert Mueller special counsel probe, said Mr. Comey notified her only after the fact.
"Yates was very frustrated in the call with Comey," said the FBI interview report, known as a 302. "She felt a decision to conduct an interview of Flynn should have been coordinated with [the Department of Justice ]."
Ms. Yates told the FBI that the interview was "problematic" because the White House counsel should have been notified.
During his book tour, Mr. Comey bragged that he sent the two agents without such notification by taking advantage of the White House's formative stage. He said he "wouldn't have gotten away with it" in a more seasoned White House.
Mr. Barr filed court papers asking U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan to dismiss the Flynn case and his guilty plea to lying to Mr. Strzok about phone calls with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Mr. Strzok and other FBI personnel planned the Flynn interview as a near ambush with a goal of prompting him to lie and getting fired, according to new court filings.
Other evidence of an FBI on autopilot: The Justice Department inspector general's report on how the bureau probed the Trump campaign revealed more than a dozen instances of FBI personnel submitting false information in wiretap applications and withholding exculpatory evidence. For example, agents evaded Justice Department scrutiny by not telling their warrant overseer that witnesses had cast doubt on the reliability of the Steele dossier.
The far-fetched dossier was the one essential piece of evidence required to obtain four surveillance warrants on campaign volunteer Carter Page, according to Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz. The Mueller and Horowitz reports have discredited the dossier's dozen conspiracy claims against the president and his allies.
A who's who of Trump- Russia
Mr. Schiff, now chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence , had held on to the declassified transcripts for more than a year. Under pressure from Republicans and Mr. Grenell, he released the 6,000 pages on the hectic day Mr. Barr moved to end the Flynn prosecution.
The closed-door testimony included witnesses such as Mr. Obama's national security adviser, a United Nations ambassador, the nation's top spy and the FBI deputy director. There were also Clinton campaign chieftains and lawyers.
The transcripts' most often-produced headline: Obama investigators never saw evidence of Trump conspiracy between the time the probe was opened until they left office in mid-January 2017.
"I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting/conspiring with the Russians to meddle with the election," former Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper told the committee .
Mr. Clapper is a paid CNN analyst who has implied repeatedly and without evidence that Mr. Trump is a Russian spy and a traitor. The Mueller report contained no evidence that Mr. Trump is a Russian agent or election conspirator.
Mr. Schiff told the country repeatedly that he had seen evidence of Trump collusion that went beyond circumstantial. Mr. Mueller did not.
Mr. Schiff was a big public supporter of Mr. Steele 's dossier, which relied on a Moscow main source and was fed by deliberate Kremlin disinformation against Mr. Trump, according to the Horowitz report.
One of Mr. Schiff's pieces of evidence of a conspiracy "in plain sight" is the meeting Donald Trump Jr. took with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya on June 9, 2016.
The connections are complicated but, simply put, a Russian friend of the Trumps' said she might have dirt on Mrs. Clinton . At the time, Ms. Veselnitskaya was in New York representing a rich Russian accused by the Justice Department of money laundering. To investigate, she hired Fusion GPS -- the same firm that retained Mr. Steele to damage the Trump campaign.
The meeting was brief and seemed to be a ruse to enable Ms. Veselnitskaya to pitch an end to Obama-era economic sanctions that hurt her client. Attending were campaign adviser Paul Manafort, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and Anatoli Samochornov. Mr. Samochornov is a dual citizen of Russia and the U.S. who serves as an interpreter to several clients, including Ms. Veselnitskaya and the State Department.
Mr. Samochornov was the Russian lawyer's interpreter that day. His recitation of events basically backs the versions given by the Trump associates, according to a transcript of his November 2017 committee testimony.
The meeting lasted about 20 minutes. Ms. Veselnitskaya briefly talked about possible illegal campaign contributions to Mrs. Clinton . Manafort, busy on his cellphone, remarked that the contributions would not be illegal. Mr. Kushner left after a few minutes.
Then, Rinat Akhmetshin, a lobbyist, made the case for ditching sanctions. He linked that to a move by Russian President Vladimir Putin to end a ban on Americans adopting Russian children.
Mr. Trump Jr. said that issue would be addressed if his father was elected. In the end, the Trump administration put more sanctions on Moscow's political and business operators.
"I've never heard anything about the elections being mentioned at that meeting at all or in any subsequent discussions with Ms. Veselnitskaya," Mr. Samochornov testified.
One of the first things Rep. Devin Nunes, California Republican, did to earn the animus of Democrats and the liberal media was to visit the Trump White House to learn about "unmaskings" by Obama appointees.
The National Security Agency, by practice, obscures the names of any Americans caught up in the intercept of foreign communications. Flynn was unmasked in the top-secret transcript of his Kislyak call so officials reading it would know who was on the line.
In reading intelligence reports, if government officials want the identity of an "American person," they make a request to the intelligence community. The fear is that repeated requests could indicate political purposes.
That suspicion is how Samantha Power ended up at the House intelligence committee witness table. The former U.N. ambassador seemed to have broken records by requesting hundreds of unmaskings, though the transcript did not contain the identities of the people she exposed.
She explained to the committee why she needed to know.
"I am reading that intelligence with an eye to doing my job, right?" Ms. Power said. "Whatever my job is, whatever I am focused on on a given day, I'm taking in the intelligence to inform my judgment, to be able to advise the president on ISIL or on whatever, or to inform how I'm going to try to optimize my ability to advance U.S. interests in New York."
She continued: "I can't understand the intelligence . Can you go and ascertain who this is so I can figure out what it is I'm reading. You've made the judgement, intelligence professionals, that I need to read this piece of intelligence, I'm reading it, and it's just got this gap in it, and I didn't understand that. But I never discussed any name that I received when I did make a request and something came back or when it was annotated and came to me. I never discussed one of those names with any other individual."
Rep. Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Republican, listened and then mentioned other officeholders, such as the White House national security adviser and the secretary of state.
"There are lots of people who need to understand intelligence products, but the number of requests they made, ambassador, don't approach yours," Mr. Gowdy said.
Ms. Power implied that members of her staff were requesting American identities and invoking her name without her knowledge.
By mid- to late 2017, the full story on the Democrats' dossier -- that it was riddled with false claims of criminality that served, as Mr. Barr said, to sabotage the Trump White House -- was not known.
Mr. Steele claimed that there was a far-reaching Trump- Russia conspiracy, that Mr. Trump was a Russian spy, that Mr. Trump financed Kremlin computer hacking, that his attorney went to Prague to pay hush money to Putin operatives, and that Manafort and Carter Page worked as a conspiracy team.
Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn R. Simpson, a Clinton operative, spread the inaccuracies all over Washington: to the FBI , the Justice Department , Congress and the news media.
None of it proved true.
But to Clinton loyalists in 2017, the dossier was golden.
"I was mostly focused in that meeting on, you know, the guy standing behind this material is Christopher Steele ," campaign foreign policy adviser Jake Sullivan said about a Fusion meeting. "He is the one who's judging its credibility and veracity. You know him. What do you think, based on your conversations with him? That's what I was really there to try and figure out. And Glenn was incredibly positive about Steele and felt he was really on to something and also felt that there was more out there to go find."
Clinton campaign attorney Marc Elias vouched for the dossier, and its information spread to reporters. He met briefly with Mr. Steele during the election campaign.
"I thought that the information that he or they wished to convey was accurate and important," Mr. Elias testified.
"So the information that Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele wished to portray to the media in the fall of 2016 at that time, you thought, was accurate and important?" he was asked.
"As I understand it," he replied.
Mr. Elias rejected allegations that the Clinton campaign conspired with Russia by having its operatives spread the Moscow-sourced dirt.
"I don't have enough knowledge about when you say that Russians were involved in the dossier," he said to a questioner. "I mean that genuinely. I'm not privy to what information you all have.
"It sounds like the suggestion is that Russia somehow gave information to the Clinton campaign vis-a-vis one person to one person, to another person, to another person, to me, to the campaign. That strikes me as fanciful and unlikely, but perhaps as I said, I don't have a security clearance. You all have facts and information that is not available to me. But I certainly never had any hint or whiff."
May 17, 2020 | www.youtube.com
Bruce Wayne , 9 hours agoHope for the Best , 9 hours ago
General Flynn vs Strzok are great example of good vs bad cops.Him Bike , 7 hours ago
Should they reopen all FBI cases for the past 4 years and see if anyone else was railroaded.foreveralive , 6 hours ago
The day after the election Sen Elizabeth Warren said "Trump has no idea what we have in store for him."BlackSmith , 4 hours ago
None of this is a surprise at all. The real surprise is if they actually arrest these people and put them on trial for their crimes.Story Time , 8 hours ago
"Obama's legacy out" A mic drop
Self-described, "scandal-free" administration Obama is a lie nonetheless, Obama will eventually have to testify in front of Congress there is no hiding from it.
May 17, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Emmet G. Sullivan, the judge in the case of former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, is refusing to let William Barr's Justice Department drop the charge. He's even thinking of adding more, appointing a retired judge to ask "whether the Court should issue an Order to Show Cause why Mr. Flynn should not be held in criminal contempt for perjury."
Pundits are cheering. A trio of former law enforcement and judicial officials saluted Sullivan in the Washington Post, chirping, " The Flynn case isn't over until a judge says it's over ." Yuppie icon Jeffrey Toobin of CNN and the New Yorker , one of the #Resistance crowd's favored legal authorities, described Sullivan's appointment of Judge John Gleeson as " brilliant ." MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner said Americans owe Sullivan a " debt of gratitude ."
One had to search far and wide to find a non-conservative legal analyst willing to say the obvious, i.e. that Sullivan's decision was the kind of thing one would expect from a judge in Belarus. George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley was one of the few willing to say Sullivan's move could " could create a threat of a judicial charge even when prosecutors agree with defendants ."
Sullivan's reaction was amplified by a group letter calling for Barr's resignation signed by 2000 former Justice Department officials (the melodramatic group email somberly reported as momentous news is one of many tired media tropes in the Trump era) and the preposterous "leak" of news that the dropped case made Barack Obama sad. The former president "privately" told "members of his administration" (who instantly told Yahoo! News ) that there was no precedent for the dropping of perjury charges, and that the "rule of law" itself was at stake.
Whatever one's opinion of Flynn, his relations with Turkey, his " Lock her up!" chants , his haircut, or anything, this case was never about much. There's no longer pretense that prosecution would lead to the unspooling of a massive Trump-Russia conspiracy, as pundits once breathlessly expected. In fact, news that Flynn was cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller inspired many of the " Is this the beginning of the end for Trump ?" stories that will someday fill whole chapters of Journalism Fucks Up 101 textbooks.
The acts at issue are calls Flynn made to Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak on December 29th, 2016 in which he told the Russians not to overreact to sanctions. That's it. The investigation was about to be dropped, but someone got the idea of using electronic surveillance of the calls to leverage a case into existence.
In a secrets-laundering maneuver straight out of the Dick Cheney playbook, some bright person first illegally leaked classified details to David Ignatius at the Washington Post , then agents rushed to interview Flynn about the "news."
"The record of his conversation with Ambassador Kislyak had become widely known in the press," is how Deputy FBI chief Andrew McCabe put it, euphemistically. "We wanted to sit down with General Flynn and understand, kind of, what his thoughts on that conversation were."
A Laurel-and-Hardy team of agents conducted the interview, then took three weeks to write and re-write multiple versions of the interview notes used as evidence (because why record it?). They were supervised by a counterintelligence chief who then memorialized on paper his uncertainty over whether the FBI was trying to " get him to lie" or "get him fired ," worrying that they'd be accused of "playing games." After another leak to the Washington Post in early February, 2017, Flynn actually was fired, and later pleaded guilty to lying about sanctions in the Kislyak call, the transcript of which was of course never released to either the defense or the public.
Warrantless surveillance, multiple illegal leaks of classified information, a false statements charge constructed on the razor's edge of Miranda, and the use of never-produced, secret counterintelligence evidence in a domestic criminal proceeding – this is the "rule of law" we're being asked to cheer.
Russiagate cases were often two-level offenses: factually bogus or exaggerated, but also indicative of authoritarian practices. Democrats and Democrat-friendly pundits in the last four years have been consistently unable to register objections on either front.
Flynn's case fit the pattern. We were told his plea was just the " tip of the iceberg " that would "take the trail of Russian collusion" to the "center of the plot," i.e. Trump. It turned out he had no deeper story to tell. In fact, none of the people prosecutors tossed in jail to get at the Russian "plot" – some little more than bystanders – had anything to share.
Remember George Papadopoulos, whose alleged conversation about "dirt" on Hillary Clinton with an Australian diplomat created the pretext for the FBI's entire Trump-Russia investigation? We just found out in newly-released testimony by McCabe that the FBI felt as early as the summer of 2016 that the evidence " didn't particularly indicate" that Papadopoulos was "interacting with the Russians ."
If you're in the media and keeping score, that's about six months before our industry lost its mind and scrambled to make Watergate comparisons over Jim Comey's March, 2017 " bombshell " revelation of the existence of an FBI Trump-Russia investigation. Nobody bothered to wonder if they actually had any evidence. Similarly Chelsea Manning insisted she'd already answered all pertinent questions about Julian Assange, but prosecutors didn't find that answer satisfactory, and threw her in jail for year anyway, only releasing her when she tried to kill herself . She owed $256,000 in fines upon release, not that her many supporters from the Bush days seemed to care much.
The Flynn case was built on surveillance gathered under the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, a program that seems to have been abused on a massive scale by both Democratic and Republican administrations.
After Edward Snowden's 2013 revelations about mass data collection, a series of internal investigations began showing officials were breaking rules against spying on specific Americans via this NSA program. Searches were conducted too often and without proper justification, and the results were shared with too many people, including private contractors. By October, 2016, the FISA court was declaring that systematic overuse of so-called "702" searches were a " very serious fourth Amendment issue ."
In later court documents it came out that the FBI conducted 3.1 million such searches in 2017 alone. As the Brennan Center put it, "almost certainly the total number of U.S. person queries run by the FBI each year is well into the millions."
Anyone who bothers to look back will find hints at how this program might have been misused. In late 2015, Obama officials bragged to the Wall Street Journal they'd made use of FISA surveillance involving "Jewish-American groups" as well as "U.S. lawmakers" in congress, all because they wanted to more effectively "counter" Israeli opposition to Obama's nuclear deal with Iran. This is a long way from using surveillance to defuse terror plots or break up human trafficking rings.
I can understand not caring about the plight of Michael Flynn, but cases like this have turned erstwhile liberals – people who just a decade ago were marching in the streets over the civil liberties implications of Cheney's War on Terror apparatus – into defenders of the spy state . Politicians and pundits across the last four years have rolled their eyes at attorney-client privilege , the presumption of innocence, the right to face one's accuser, the right to counsel and a host of other issues, regularly denouncing civil rights worries as red-herring excuses for Trumpism.
I've written a lot about the Democrats' record on civil liberties issues in the past. Working on I Can't Breathe, a book about the Eric Garner case, I was stunned to learn the central role Mario Cuomo played in the mass incarceration problem, while Democrats also often embraced hyper-intrusive "stop and frisk" or "broken windows" enforcement strategies, usually by touting terms like "community policing" that sounded nice to white voters. Democrats strongly supported the PATRIOT Act in 2001, and Barack Obama continued or expanded Bush-Cheney programs like drone assassination , rendition , and warrantless surveillance , while also using the Espionage Act to bully reporters and whistleblowers.
Republicans throughout this time were usually as bad or worse on these issues, but Democrats have lately positioned themselves as more aggressive promoters of strong-arm policies, from control of Internet speech to the embrace of domestic spying. In the last four years the blue-friendly press has done a complete 180 on these issues, going from cheering Edward Snowden to lionizing the CIA, NSA, and FBI and making on-air partners out of drone-and-surveillance all-stars like John Brennan, James Clapper, and Michael Hayden. There are now too many ex-spooks on CNN and MSNBC to count, while there isn't a single regular contributor on any of the networks one could describe as antiwar.
Democrats clearly believe constituents will forgive them for abandoning constitutional principles, so long as the targets of official inquiry are figures like Flynn or Paul Manafort or Trump himself. In the process, they've raised a generation of followers whose contempt for civil liberties is now genuine-to-permanent. Blue-staters have gone from dismissing constitutional concerns as Trumpian ruse to sneering at them, in the manner of French aristocrats, as evidence of proletarian mental defect.
Nowhere has this been more evident than in the response to the Covid-19 crisis, where the almost mandatory take of pundits is that any protest of lockdown measures is troglodyte death wish . The aftereffects of years of Russiagate/Trump coverage are seen everywhere: press outlets reflexively associate complaints of government overreach with Trump, treason, and racism, and conversely radiate a creepily gleeful tone when describing aggressive emergency measures and the problems some " dumb " Americans have had accepting them.
On the campaign trail in 2016, I watched Democrats hand Trump the economic populism argument by dismissing all complaints about the failures of neoliberal economics. This mistake was later compounded by years of propaganda arguing that "economic insecurity" was just a Trojan Horse term for racism . These takes, along with the absurd kneecapping of the Bernie Sanders movement, have allowed Trump to position himself as a working-class hero, the sole voice of a squeezed underclass.
The same mistake is now being made with civil liberties. Millions have lost their jobs and businesses by government fiat, there's a clamor for censorship and contact tracing programs that could have serious long-term consequences, yet voters only hear Trump making occasional remarks about freedom; Democrats treat it like it's a word that should be banned by Facebook (a recent Washington Post headline put the term in quotation marks , as if one should be gloved to touch it). Has the Trump era really damaged our thinking to this degree?
My family is in quarantine, I worry about a premature return to work, and sure, I laughed at that Shaun of the Dead photo of Ohio protesters protesting state lockdown laws. But I also recognize the crisis is also raising serious civil liberties issues, from prisoners trapped in deadly conditions to profound questions about speech and assembly, the limits to surveillance and snitching, etc. If this disease is going to be in our lives for the foreseeable future, that makes it more urgent that we talk about what these rules will be, not less -- yet the party I grew up supporting seems to have lost the ability to do so, and I don't understand why.
May 17, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
bevin , May 17 2020 17:18 utc | 10Matt Taibi says that "he doesn't understand why" the Democrats have suddenly given up on Civil Liberties.
Of course her spent a lot of the '90s in Russia but he must have heard about the Clinton administration and its many and varied assaults on the poor, mass incarceration and Welfare 'reform.' He can't have missed what the War Party was doing in Yugoslavia either. I guess it just takes some people a long time to wake up.
The truth is that the Democrats-the old party of Jim Crow- have been laughing at civil liberties and the rule of law for generations. There is nothing new about this. It goes back to Truman and the Cold War- a deliberate choice that the party made then when Medicare for All was the alternative on the table. A choice which involved Taft Hartley, which had so much Democratic Party support that Congress over rode the veto, one of the most obvious assaults on civil liberties and democratic rights in US History. And that is saying something.
As to this Taibi judgement
"..Democrats clearly believe constituents will forgive them for abandoning constitutional principles, so long as the targets of official inquiry are figures like Flynn or Paul Manafort or Trump himself. In the process, they've raised a generation of followers whose contempt for civil liberties is now genuine-to-permanent..."
Compare it with the MeToo movement which positively delights in trashing every one of the cherished civil liberties that protect people from improper conviction and false imprisonment. That is a Democratic Party initiative (or at least it until recently and the Tara Read accusations) and wholly consonant with the treatment meted out to Flynn.
May 15, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Papa Adelson's Emerging Tawdry Ties to the CIA
New evidence shows nexus between the casino magnate's elite security team and U.S. targeting of Julian Assange. Chairman and chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation Sheldon Adelson arrives ahead of the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018. (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images)What's worse than a Sheldon Adelson bankrolling President Trump's 2016 election, leading to big payoffs for him in U.S.-Israeli policy and his own people (John Bolton), nested in the inner sanctum? What's worse than a Sheldon Adelson influencing U.S. trade policy in China, mostly because of his titanic casino interests in Macau?
How about a Sheldon Adelson providing his elite security team as an interlocutor for covert, illegal CIA operations overseas.
Sounds like a bad spy thriller but read this impressive deep dive by Max Blumenthal at The Grayzone this morning. It's a stomach turner as well as a page turner.
We reported here back in December that a Spanish company, UC Global, hired to provide security for the Ecuadorian embassy in London, was reportedly pulling double duty for the CIA by installing a separate surveillance system in the building that streamed and recorded Assange, his lawyers, and his visitors in every room, including the bathroom. This is clearly a breach of international law, specifically on the inviolability of diplomatic premises . The Grayzone has since obtained more court records and conducted numerous witness interviews that establish how insidious this spy operation was, and how close Adelson's massive private security apparatus was to it.
At the embassy, visitors' phones were seized by UC Global guards, with passwords, SIM cards and International Mobile Equipment Identity numbers copied. Embassy officials and at least one U.S. congressman were also secretly surveilled. More:
The ongoing investigation detailed black operations ranging from snooping on the Wikileaks founder's private conversations to fishing a diaper from an embassy trash can in order to determine if the feces inside it belonged to his son. According to witness statements obtained by The Grayzone, weeks after Morales proposed breaking into the office of Assange's lead counsel, the office was burglarized. The witnesses also detailed a proposal to kidnap or poison Assange. A police raid at the home of Morales netted two handguns with their serial numbers filed off along with stacks of cash.
One source close to the investigation told The Grayzone an Ecuadorian official was robbed at gunpoint while carrying private information pertaining to a plan to secure diplomatic immunity for Assange.
Throughout the black operations campaign, US intelligence appears to have worked through Adelson's Las Vegas Sands, a company that had previously served as an alleged front for a CIA blackmail operation several years earlier. The operations formally began once Adelson's hand-picked presidential candidate, Donald Trump, entered the White House in January 2017.
The center of this tawdry tale is a status-seeking mercenary (Morales) who was clearly bedazzled to be working in "the first division," which is what he told his team after a trip to a security expo in Las Vegas in 2016.
Morales had just signed on to guard Queen Miri , the $70 million yacht belonging to one of the most high profile casino tycoons in Vegas: ultra-Zionist billionaire and Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.
This brought Morales into contact with Israeli-American named Zohar Lahav, "who personally recruited Morales, then managed the relationship between the Spanish security contractor and Sands on a routine basis. After their first meeting in Vegas, the two security professionals became close friends, visiting each other overseas and speaking frequently," according to Blumenthal.
During the spying operation, Lahav worked directly under Brian Nagel, the Director of Global Security for Las Vegas Sands. A former associate director of the US Secret Service and cyber-security expert, Nagel was officially commended by the CIA following successful collaborations with federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
After the election in 2016, newly inaugurated President Trump appointed Mike Pomeo his CIA chief. At this point Pompeo, as you remember, clearly made Assange a target for termination . The security scheme at the embassy, according to Blumenthal, kicked in from there. With meticulous reporting, including a ton of witness testimony from former UC Global employees who saw what Morales was doing as not only illegal, but selling "all the information to the enemy, the U.S.," Blumenthal pieces together a convincing case that Morales was working on behalf of the CIA with the elite Sands' security apparatus not only as the go-between, but the expert assist.
Today, Morales faces criminal charges ranging from violations of Assange's privacy and the secrecy of his client-attorney privileges, as well as misappropriation, bribing a government official, and money laundering. Morales has denied the charges.
If you are still not persuaded, recall that Adelson was accused of working with the CIA at his casinos in Macau, providing a recruiting ground for agents so they could spy on Beijing. This was back in 2015, long before Trump's entrance onto the scene.
Read the whole thing. Considering the powerful role Adelson has played in the White House it is worth taking seriously, whether you think Assange is deserves one's sympathy or not.
Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, executive editor, has been writing for TAC since 2007, focusing on national security, foreign policy, civil liberties and domestic politics. She served for 15 years as a Washington bureau reporter for FoxNews.com, and at WTOP News in Washington from 2013-2017 as a writer, digital editor and social media strategist. She has also worked as a beat reporter at Bridge News financial wire (now part of Reuters) and Homeland Security Today, and as a regular contributor at Antiwar.com. A native Nutmegger, she got her start in Connecticut newspapers, but now resides with her family in Arlington, Va.
J Villain • 2 days agoDoesn't matter. Like Jeffery Epstein, Adelson is protected. Also the US doesn't recognize international law even exists.William Burns J Villain • a day ago
I have long suspected that US tax money is sent to Israel, part of that is funnelled off and laundered through Adelson's casinos and then used to buy influence in the US both directly but also through super pacs to make sure the US money to Israel never stops. No one in Washington wants to put a stop to it because every one is getting paid.Right now, I wouldn't say being "protected like Jeffrey Epstein" would really make anyone all that safe.J Villain J Villain • 16 hours ago • editedJust to follow up on this. While there are millions of unemployed Americans, many of who can't pay their bills. The top priority over in the senate is giving Israel $38B so every one can get paid by AIPAC in time for the elections.Blood Alcohol • a day ago
This is while Israel is preparing to seize the rest of Palestine which will then require another massive US tax payer funded hand out to build infrastructure and put military forces in there."I'm Shocked, SHOCKED To Find There's Gambling Going On In Here!" And add to that, Spying by Israel. You know the usual.
May 17, 2020 | www.youtube.com
Missie , 22 hours agoGusli Kokle , 22 hours ago
President Trump battled China for 3 1/2 years while Democrats tried to take him down. Like POTUS said, they're human scum.Shane Brbich , 22 hours ago div tabindex="0" role="article"
Obama is self-tarnishing.Memey Memes , 22 hours ago
> He will go down as The most corrupt president in history! Spied on an opponents campaign Authorised the intelligence agencies to spy Leaker Collided with RussiaCinda Jenkins , 22 hours ago
Tarnished its more than that its total evil.toycollector10 , 22 hours ago
I didn't think he had a legacy. A pretty bad one to say the least.Missie , 22 hours ago
Sky News Australia. How do you keep getting away with all of the truth telling? Watching from N.Z. Keep up the good work.jamee boss , 21 hours ago
Our Fakenews networks conspired with Obama, Obama's previous Cabinet, Hillary, the CIA, FBI, NSA, DNC, and Democrats in Congress. They were all in on it together. #Sedition #TreasonEpifanio Esmero , 22 hours ago
The New World Order virus needs to be investigate immediately. This is the biggest crimes in the world historyKen Mulrooney , 22 hours ago
By framing an innocent man, they have only entrapped themselves!! Karma!!Mark Shaw , 19 hours ago
You can't tarnish that idiots legacy He doesn't need any helpהדבר אדני יהוה לישועה , 20 hours ago
As an outsider looking in, I find it hard to believe that the American people, would allow politicians of any party to get away with this behavior.chris campbell , 22 hours ago
Obama framed Trump as a Russian spy to deflect public focus from the crimes of his AdministrationJohn Inton , 21 hours ago
He was tarnished a lllooonnnngggg time ago!His legacy is one of corruption!mG , 19 hours ago
ex-president Obummer biggest legacy to the democratic world is allowing China to claim all of the South China Sea by turning a blind eye whilst China was dredging the sea beds and creating artificial islands all over the South China sea!!Green Onions , 22 hours ago
A shame nothing will actually happen to that trash.Jann , 20 hours ago
Every move he made tarnished his reputation. The only thing propping him up was the media.NOISLAMONAZIS DOTCOM , 22 hours ago (edited)
I hope Barak Hussein Obama goes down for this.SandhoeFlyer , 19 hours ago
What legacy? Obama was just another NWO puppet and so performed as a puppet should. MSM is owned by the same people that are Obama's boss.I P , 20 hours ago
Obama will go down in history as a lier, a fraud, dishonourable and a lousy President .
Obama was an America hater from day one, and committed many treasons public and private. His "legacy" is and was a fabrication of the MSM, who tolerated no end of abuses, including Obama suing a number of journalists.
But let's just look at one item, underplayed by the MSM: Obama did everything he could to stop the 9/11 victims bill, including a presidential veto, which was then overridden by a gigantic (97-1) senate vote.
McCain and Graham continued to fight the LAW, undoubtedly with Obama help, using Arab funded lawyers to the tune of 1.2 million dollars per month.
May 17, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Firstly, Larry Johnson and Robert Willmann know more about this case than I do. It now appears, if this report today is to be believed, that Emmett Sullivan is now inclined to charge General Flynn with contempt of court and perjury. I have to ask; for what? This is Kafkaesque.
For agreeing to a plea deal that Flynn knew was false? For failing to plead innocence? For reversing his plea when it was demonstrated that the prosecution case against him was utterly untrue and corrupt?
"Judge", I use the term loosely, Sullivan seems to be so ensnared in the coils of judicial procedure that he has forgotten that truth and justice matter. That is the nicest construct I can put on it. I think it's time for Sidney Powell to rip this judge to shreds. I await Larry and Roberts comments.
Fred , 14 May 2020 at 12:00 PMWalrus,walrus , 14 May 2020 at 12:13 PM
Flynn was told by his lawyers from Covington & Burling that he was guilty. Covington & Burling were not only wrong they made no effort to get the exculpatory evidence and purposely withheld what evidence they did possess - repeatedly - from Flynn's new lawyer.
But then that has already been reported on publicly and discussed here. Perhaps your memory is faulty.
Sydney Powell can only appeal the conduct of the Judge. This serves as a nice distraction from the unconstitutional conduct of the Obama administration in wiretapping political opponents; as well as multiple members of Congress, multiple governors and state health officials in response to China's biological attack against the US and Western nations.Fred,turcopolier , 14 May 2020 at 12:17 PM
Yes, I agree with you. Sullivan trying to charge Flynn with perjury and contempt of court is a deliberate distraction. I would have thought the people who should be charged are the ones who constructed and prosecuted the bogus charge in the first place.walrusDeap , 14 May 2020 at 12:32 PM
Sullivan is in no sense an unbiased jurist.How many defendants automatically claim they are "not guilty, your honor" when asked to enter their plea, even when there is still gunpowder on their hands?Jim , 14 May 2020 at 12:34 PM
Do they also get charged with perjury after their guilt is established, beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury of their peers? You lied to the court - you said you were innocent. Double time in the slammer for you.
Defendant statements of either their own guilt or innocence should be "privileged" and therefore not actionable. Those statements are fundamental to our trust in our judicial system, and should never later be claimed perjury or false statements if the defendant changes their mind or a jury makes their ultimate finding.Thank you Larry and Walrus.Mark K Logan , 14 May 2020 at 12:43 PM
Although different people at different times, and different circumstances: a comparison.
Then CIA Agent Valerie Plame outing [she is currently a Democrat candidate for a New Mexico congressional seat].
And, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn [NSA-designee] outing.
Outing, that is: leaking their identities, by government officials[s], to . . . .and release of classified information.
How do the actions taken by government compare and contrast, at the time of outing/leaking crimes.
1] Both leaks went to the Washington Post.
2] Substance of the Plame and Flynn leaks related to . . .
WAP published Plame's identity, July 14, 2003. George Bush the younger, then president. Robert David Sanders "Bob" Novak put his name to this at WAP. [Her husband, Joseph C. Wilson 4th, "What I Didn't Find in Africa", in The New York Times, July 6, 2003, disputed Bush/Cheney administration claims, their claims of WMD in Iraq.]
WAP published Flynn's identify, Jan. 12, 2017. Barack Obama, then president. David Reynolds Ignatius put his name to it at WAP. Flynn disputed Obama administration "facts" about their Syrian war in particular, and more generally, in west Asia/near East/middle east.]
3] Investigation at the time or no investigation at the time.
Executive Order 12333 of Dec. 4, 1981 requires actions on such matters.
In the Plame matter, the CIA, on July 24, 2003 made a phone call to the DOJ about this, according to the CIA. They followed this up with a July 30, 2003 letter.
Government records show "on 24 July 2003, a CIA attorney left a phone message for the Chief of the Counterespionage Section of DoJ noting concerns with recent articles on this subject and stating that the CIA would forward a written crimes report pending the outcome of a review of the articles by subject matter experts. By letter dated 30 July 2003, the CIA reported to the Criminal Division of DoJ a possible violation of criminal law concerning the unauthorized disclosure of classified information. The letter also informed DoJ that the CIA's Office of Security had opened an investigation into this matter. This letter was sent again to DoJ by facsimile on 5 September 2003."
[[ see: https://web.archive.org/web/20060705062919/http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/docs/plame.cia.letter.pdf ">http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/docs/plame.cia.letter.pdf">https://web.archive.org/web/20060705062919/http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/docs/plame.cia.letter.pdf ]]
Sept. 30, 2003, Bush famously stated, viz. the identities of the leaker[s]: "I want to know who it is ... and if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of."
Dec. 30, 2003 a Special Counsel was also appointed to investigate the Plame matter, as well.
Then AG John Ashcroft recused himself and thus declined to make this SC appointment.
Patrick Fitzgerald was named the Special Counsel by then Deputy AG James Comey.
We know many more details now about the Plame matter, than about what, if any, investigation may, or may not have, begun, at the time of the Flynn outing and release of classified information.
What we do know, so far, about the Flynn matter is that, at the time, there was no attempt -- or at least, we don't know if there was -- any attempt from the Flynn outing on Jan. 12, 2017, to Jan. 20 of that year, when Obama was still president:
a] if the CIA asked for an investigation
b] if then AG Lynch did
c] if DAG at the time Yates did
d] if Obama did
We also don't know if, beginning Jan. 20
a] if then acting AG Yates did
b] if President Trump did
c] if the CIA did
Once Jeff Sessions was confirmed as AG, we don't know if he did, nor do we know if DAG Rod Rosenstein did.
Nor do we know if the CIA did.
We do know Rosenstein appointed Mueller as SC to investigate Flynn, among other things.
And we now know there was no predicate for any of the Mueller SCO appointment; thus, Rosenstein, too: what was he doing?
We do know that at some point after Bill Barr was confirmed as AG last year, that he began to investigate outing of Flynn and release of classified information, that is, actual crimes.
It is a fair question to ask when he actually began investigation on the Flynn outing, and leaking of classified material related to that.
And to ask when, or if, the CIA, since Jan. 20, 2017, ever did.
We do know there were many public enemies of Flynn at highest levels of DOJ, FBI, CIA, and the office Clapper was in charge of at the time, Director of National Intelligence.
And we know Obama is an enemy of Flynn. If the CIA never took any steps, prior to the Barr confirmation as AG -- and I have no way of knowing whether they did or did not, viz. the Flynn outing and leak of classified information, ---what, if any, might or should be, if any, the consequences of that? And, ditto the DOJ.
As an aside: Judge Emmett Sullivan's ongoing tomfoolery and slapdash in the Flynn criminal case puts in relief, sharp relief, just how upside down this entire issue has become.
It appear this judge want to protect the likes of Obama, and Yates, and the long list of villains whose mission remain: Destroy Flynn at all costs.
-30-Walrus,Keith Harbaugh , 14 May 2020 at 12:49 PM
Flynn's guilty plea being sworn to under penalty of perjury is no small matter, and the DOJs actions have been, in total, extremely odd.
It may be unwise to read too much into this at this point. The DOJ has wasted a couple of years and no doubt millions of dollars worth of the court's time. Sullivan is providing a platform wherein the DOJ will have to fully explain itself in this matter. Both past and present DOJs, that is.What is most relevant here is: What did Flynn know at the time he pled guilty, and what was his state of mind at that time.Bill H , 14 May 2020 at 01:01 PM
I give links to two copies of the "Declaration of Michael T. Flynn", which addresses those issues, together with some discussion by me, here:
As a general observation, there has been a tidal wave of criticism in American media over the DOJ dropping the charges against Flynn.
I have made an attempt to follow what the American MSM are saying about this, and the hostility to both Flynn and Barr is just overwhelming.
Surely that overwhelming media opinion had an effect on Judge Sullivan's bad decision.Perhaps I'm missing something. I know the FBI can listen in on phone calls made to foreign nationals, but how can the FBI legally listen in on phone calls made by the NSC Director of the President-Elect, regardless of who he is talking to?FakeBot , 14 May 2020 at 01:12 PMGeneral Flynn's original law team belonged to Covington & Burling. That's where Eric Holder made partner. Since his time as Attorney General, Holder has returned to that law firm. Like Fred said, they sandbagged the case.turcopolier , 14 May 2020 at 01:45 PMBillHakaPatience , 14 May 2020 at 01:48 PM
The intercept by NSA or CIA would be legal because of Kisliak's nationality.My husband's default TV channel is MSNBC, programming which I often overhear. A fair-minded observer can't help but notice that Obama apologists only mention that Flynn plead guilty twice. They NEVER emphasize the beyond-mitigating aspects of the matter, e.g., that his counsel at the time (which was a law firm also employing former Obama AG Eric Holder) was either incompetent or purposefully negligent in advising him to do so. Nor do they mention that Flynn was threatened with the prospect of his son being prosecuted using rarely-enforced FARA laws. The apologists also fail to remind their audiences that the FBI investigation of Flynn was about to be closed -- much less do they report that he was NEVER charged with perjury in the first place!The Twisted Genius , 14 May 2020 at 01:50 PM
The convenient and expedient failure to fully inform people has become typical among the MSM/Democrats/NeverTrumpers, et al. Their efforts to misinform, to perpetuate ignorance, continue to play out not only in the entire Obamagate scandal but it seems also when it comes to COVID-19 policy. No wonder zombie-themed entertainment is so popular in recent years. SMFH...Jim,The Twisted Genius , 14 May 2020 at 02:10 PM
Flynn wasn't outed. He was a widely known public figure for years. Trump and Pence announced Flynn lied to them and the FBI when he was fired. I'm not if this was mentioned in the press before Trump's announcement.Walrus,walrus , 14 May 2020 at 04:59 PM
Flynn swore before two judges under penalty of perjury that he lied to the FBI. He then swore that he didn't lie to the FBI when he asked to withdraw his guilty plea. There's the conundrum. If we had the transcript of the Flynn-Kislyak conversations, we would know the answer to one of your questions. We could compare that to his guilty plea. We would then know if the prosecution's case was false. In that case both the prosecution and Flynn would be liable for perjuring themselves. It would also constitute prosecutorial misconduct IMO. Barr is doing Flynn a disservice by not releasing those transcripts.TTG, there is this legal thing called the litigation privilege that, I think, covers what an accused can say in a trial. Plenty of people plead guilty to charges that they know to be false without the slightest demur by anyone..Fred , 14 May 2020 at 05:03 PM
Furthermore, Flynn may have become convinced by his lawyers that he had, in effect lied to the FBI. In addition, since he was not under oath or cautioned by the FBI at the time, even if he deliberately did lie for perhaps political or strategic reasons how is that a crime? People lie to people all the time.
To put that another way, is telling a female FBI agent "I'll still respect you in the morning" going to get you 20 years?TTG,TV , 14 May 2020 at 05:28 PM
So all those mass incarcerated black men who pled guilty are really guilty because prosecutorial misconduct and defective legal advice neither happen to them nor are mitigating when a plea of guilty is made? "swore before two judges under penalty of perjury" The DOJ dropped the charges, it is up to the to prosecute for the new accusation that pleading guilty was actually perjury. Good luck at a jury trial with that.
"Sullivan is providing a platform wherein the DOJ will have to fully explain itself in this matter."
So he is willfully refusing to dismiss the case so the DOJ can give him an explanation - other than the one they already gave him in the motion to dismiss? Justice Sullivan, on behalf of the Judiciary, is now taking it upon itself to determine what the executive branch of government was thinking in this case? To get that explanation he has appointed a former member of the judiciary, one who had previously worked side by side with Andrew Weissman. No bias there. You don't need to be a lawyer to see how ludicrous the suggestion and the judges actions appear.Sullivan, like most of the Federal judiciary, is just another swamp creature.Jim , 14 May 2020 at 05:35 PM
He apparently slept through the class in law school where they said that the state has to prosecute the case, a judge can't - even as much as he may want to.The issue is both: the criminal leak of classified information; and the criminal outing -- the identity of Flynn -- related to classified information leak. Those are indissolubly linked.Bobo , 14 May 2020 at 05:58 PM
The issue is also this, thanks to Judge Emmett Gilbert & Sullivan, who wrote May 13, 2020:
"ORDERED that amicus curiae shall address whether the Court should issue an Order to Show Cause why Mr. Flynn should not be held in criminal contempt for perjury. . . and any other applicable statutes, rules, or controlling law."
Who would be charging Flynn with "criminal contempt for perjury"? And/Or, "and any other applicable statutes, rules, or controlling law"?
Perhaps Gilbert & Sullivan will keep the case open until after the November presidential election, or the November 2024 election, or the next one, so that another DOJ -- not headed by Bill Barr -- can so charge Flynn.
Or perhaps Gilbert & Sullivan is inviting Congress to name a Special Prosecutor.
Who might that be? James Comey? Andrew Weissmann? Sally Yates?
After all, how dare anyone expose Barry as anything but "the scandal free" administration. This is Gilbert & Sullivan's motive, as I see it, my opinion, based on what I have seen so far: To protect Barry, among others. And do that via keeping alive a prosecution of Flynn, based on DOJ/FBI/CIA skullduggery. [Another theory is the judge wants to throw the book at Covington for misconduct; perhaps both or one or the other are at play, I don't have the evidence at this time to clearly say.]
As for Trump and Pence, that is grist for another mill.
For all we know, Trump and Pence may have wanted Flynn gone and they did not care how it was done. And they did not want their finger prints on it; and for all we know, Trump and Pence were not opposed to the Mueller SC appointment.
These are also things we actually just don't have clear answers to, just yet.
But that sideshow is irrelevant to this legal proceeding/circus per the May 13 order.
However, it may [or may not] be relevant to whether or not Trump and Pence actually wanted Flynn gone – using the "Flynn lied" as an excuse to be rid of him.
Pence, at the time, had no business speaking about what was essentially classified information, at the time, by the way; he did, on national TV, and Flynn was the patsy.
Did Trump and Pence, and their administration, sit on their hands as well, and do nothing about the criminal leak of classified information linked to the outing of Flynn?
Claiming he lied could suggest they also were not interested in the crime of leaking classified information and his outing.
At least Bush said or claimed to wanted to get to the bottom of the Plame matter. Did Trump and Pence, at the time?
And if they did want to get to the bottom of it, I would like to see evidence that they did so, and/or evidence that they were thwarted in doing so.
Surely, Trump and Pence can argue this was why they were not opposed to Mueller appointment.
We don't know all the contents of the scope memo Rosenstein wrote, as the boss of Mueller, -- whether or not investigation of the criminal leak and outing of Flynn was or was not part of Mueller's scope of work.
We don't know because chunks of scope memo are still redacted and not available to the public.
Presumably, AG Barr is investigation this; he came back on the scene last year.
What happened before him, going back to Jan. 20, 2017? And, what happened from Jan. 12 to Jan. 2020, with respect to the Obama administration, on this crime?
Did anyone, prior to Barr, do anything, or try to do anything?
If this was not part of Rosenstein's scope memo to Mueller, what can one conclude?
-30-In recent years we have seen numerous individuals released from jail due to their innocence being found by DNA and other scientific processes. A good number of those individuals had plead guilty. In the Sullivan courtroom Flynn plead quietly twice (once to Sullivan the other to Contreras) but now pleads innocent and the government has decided to drop the case. But Judge Sullivan now questions what to do with Flynn and is asking for help from the legal community to determine what to do. It has become a circus or Sullivan wants his pound of flesh. Time will tell but if it is not to the benefit of Flynn then it's off to the Appeals Court where it will be justly determined.The Twisted Genius , 14 May 2020 at 07:36 PM
After insinuating that Flynn was a traitor this Judge should drop the case quickly but no he wants make himself like a bigger Idiot.Walrus,blue peacock , 14 May 2020 at 09:23 PM
Flynn's case never went to trial. It went straight to a guilty plea and was awaiting the sentencing phase. If the DOJ dropped charges before this guilty plea or at any time during a trial, I doubt we would be in this mess. What Flynn signed onto is straightforward. I don't know if this litigation privilege would apply to this Defendant's Acceptance.
"The preceding statement is a summary, made for the purpose of providing the Court with a factual basis for my guilty plea to the charge against me. It does not include all of the facts known to me regarding this offense. I make this statement knowingly and voluntarily and because I am, in fact, guilty o f the crime charged. No threats have been made to me nor am I under the influence o f anything that could impede my ability to understand this Statement o f the Offense fully."
"I have read every word of this Statement of the Offense, or have had it read to me. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11, after consulting with my attorneys, I agree and stipulate to this Statement of the Offense, and declare under penalty of perjury that it is true and correct."Sullivan is addressing the guilty plea by Flynn and his subsequent withdrawal of that plea. creating the charge of perjury to the court.Vegetius , 14 May 2020 at 10:29 PM
Barr is opening up the DOJ to prosecutorial misconduct if the reason for the withdrawal is exculpatory information that was not provided defendant prior to his guilty plea.
Sullivan is exploiting this discrepancy. I am neither a legal expert nor lawyer so will stand corrected.Down with the kritarchy!Outrage Beyond , 14 May 2020 at 11:51 PMIt seems to be a last minute desperation play by Sullivan to keep Obama out of the frying pan.Jack , 15 May 2020 at 12:46 AM
Just today, the neocon-infested Washington Post ran an editorial, apparently by one of their DNC-affiliated writers, which attempted to jape the whole Obamagate narrative through a paroxysm of superlatives, mocking it as some gigantic and wholly imaginary conspiracy. This effort reminded me of their similar jocularity phase relative to Trump during the 2016 primary season.
I suspect the reality is just the sleazy truth of Obama being just as much of a crooked bastard as Bush. The Obama gang, of course, is desperate to prevent the tarnishing of Saint Barry.
If Flynn does get off in the end, might he sue Obama and at some point depose him? An interesting thought experiment.From the Twitter-in-Chief:robt willmann , 15 May 2020 at 09:37 AMWhere is the 302? It is missing. Was it stolen or destroyed? General Flynn is being persecuted! #OBAMAGATE
I find this hilarious. It is like POTUS is a helpless bystander. Does he not realize it is his DOJ that has "stolen or destroyed" the 302? Does he not know that he can declassify all of "Obamagate"?
Or is his intent to just troll everyone?
And what about him throwing Flynn to the hyenas by firing him?Walrus,JerseyJeffersonian , 15 May 2020 at 12:36 PM
When Judge Sullivan said three days ago that he was going to make a schedule for outside persons and organizations to file written arguments, it was essentially an invitation for arguments against the government's request to dismiss the case. I started to put together an article about that brazen move.
Now Sullivan has abandoned that move and has exposed himself as an advocate singularly against the defendant Flynn, which of course is not his role. His order of Wednesday, 13 May, appointed John Gleeson, a former federal judge in the Eastern District of New York, to present arguments against the motion to dismiss Flynn's case and whether Flynn should be the subject of a proceeding for criminal contempt of court for perjury.
Judge Sullivan's new order indicates that he has improperly invested his ego in the case, and that something is likely going on behind the curtain.Jack,
With all that is emerging from the recent releases of sworn testimony from various actors surrounding the Flynn case, and the Russiagate hoohaw exposing the motivations of these individuals, can it be doubted that given the depth of the duplicity on exhibit here that it is entirely possible (indeed, likely) that something as incriminating as the "missing" 302 was destroyed to cover the tracks?
Although some of the principals left of their own volition, and others were removed through being fired, it is clear that others acted as "stay behind" forces of the Deep State to continue the coup from inside the DOJ, FBI, and IC. Under these circumstances, it is not at all clear that President Trump was (and is now) substantially in command of these agencies. Incriminating documents and recordings may well have been preemptively destroyed on the sayso of the "stay behind" plotters still in high positions, so calls for declassification of already disappeared evidence would be futile.
No, it doesn't look good that Flynn was fired, but at the time, and with what was known at that time , and given Flynn's plea, what could be expected? Now that things have subsequently been revealed, it looks like a bad call; hindsight is, as the saying has it, 20/20.
Jan 15, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Just to review the situation:
- The president of the US was made head of the Executive Branch (EC) of the federal government by Article 2 of the present constitution of the US. He is also Commander in Chief of the armed forces of the federal government. As head of the EC, he is head of all the parts of the government excepting the Congress and the Federal courts which are co-equal branches of the federal government. The Department of Justice is just another Executive Branch Department subordinate in all things to the president. The FBI is a federal police force and counter-intelligence agency subordinate to the Department of Justice and DNI and therefore to the president in all things. The FBI actually IMO has no legal right whatever to investigate the president. He is the constitutionally elected commander of the FBI. Does one investigate one's commander? No. The procedures for legally and constitutionally removing a president from office for malfeasance are clear. He must be impeached by the House of Representatives for "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" and then tried by the US Senate on the charges. Conviction results in removal from office.
- According to these transcripts of congressional testimony by some of the participants, the FBI decided all by itself after Comey was fired to consider acting against Trump by pursuing him for suspicion of conspiracy with Russia to give the Russians the president of the US that they supposedly wanted. Part of the discussions among senior FBI people had to do with whether or not the president had the legal authority to remove from office an FBI Director. Say what? Where have these dummies been all their careers? Do they not teach anything about this at the FBI Academy? The US Army lectures its officers at every level of schooling on the subject of the constitutional and legal basis and limits of their authority.
- Following these seditious and IMO illegal discussions the FBI and Sessions/Rosenstein's Justice Department sought FISA Court warrants for surveillance against associates of Trump and members of his campaign for president. Their application for warrants were largely based on unsubstantiated "opposition research" funded by the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign. The judge who approved the warrants was not informed of the nature of the evidence. These warrants provided an authority for surveillance of the Trump campaign.
- IMO this collection of actions when added to whatever Clapper, Brennan and "the lads" of the Deep State were doing with the British intelligence services amount to an attempted "soft coup" against the constitution and from the continued stonewalling of the FBI and DoJ the coup is ongoing. pl
May 17, 2020 | astutenews.com
May 16, 2020
Source: InfoBrics Former U.S. President Barack Obama is coming under increasing pressure, led by what President Donald Trump is calling "Obamagate." This comes as Mexico has requested to finally clarify the affair with the secret sale of American weapons to Mexican drug cartels. Mexico is asking for the case to be clarified after almost ten years.
In this secret operation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, weapons from the U.S. were sold to Mexican drug cartels. The U.S. claimed that about 2,000 automatic weapons were sold to Mexicans so that the Barack Obama administration could follow their path to the drug cartels. Instead, these weapons were used in massacres. Mexican authorities are now seeking answers from the United States.
In addition to selling weapons to Mexican drug cartels, Obama is responsible for a lot of global upheaval on the world stage – primarily the so-called "Arab Spring" that should be more accurately described as the "Arab Winter" as it brought death and destruction across the Arab world.
The sale of these weapons to Mexican drug cartels is another ugly legacy of Obama's rule that liberals like to view as one of the best periods of American history. Let's not forget that in 2009 Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize for his apparent "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people."
The majority of U.S. media will most likely try and find appropriate excuses so they can minimize Obama's role in these scandals. It is completely clear that the battle over who will be in the White House in the next four years is now taking focus on the Obama era as of opposed to Trump's mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 80,000 Americans and infected more than 1.3 million people.
With endless tweets by Donald Trump dedicated to Obama over the past few days, it is as if the presidential battle in November will be fought between him and Obama, and not Democrat сandidate Joe Biden .
The reason for Trump's many tweets against the former president was because of Obama's private conversation that was leaked to the public in which he criticized the suspension of the investigation against Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn , while he called Trump's fight against the coronavirus epidemic a "chaotic disaster."
The American president started tweeting on the morning of May 10 and stopped late in the evening, making over a hundred tweets against Obama. This exchange between Obama and Trump is not common in American politics as former presidents usually do not interfere in the politics of their successors. However, there are suggestions that Obama still has connections to the deep state and is actively undermining Trump.
Obama, who openly admitted he would remain active in politics and wished he could contend for a third term, could be exerting influence through Hillary Clinton and Biden. It is likely Obama is becoming more public as Trump's opponent Biden is proving inadequate and incapable of defeating Trump.
The battle between Obama and Trump started with the announcement that the Ministry of Justice is terminating the investigation against former Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn. Flynn, who was probably the shortest-serving national security adviser in history, was sacked at the beginning of his term on charges of lying to Vice President Mike Pence about talks with the Russian ambassador to Washington. His removal triggered a chain of failed investigations and campaigns against Trump and his alleged links to Russian interference during the U.S. presidential election, which also ended in a failed impeachment.
In private conversations that leaked to the public, Obama described Flynn's acquittal as a threat to the rule of law.
Trump also retweeted statements from CIA agent Buck Sexton, in which he accused Obama of sabotaging the Trump administration in the first days of his term. Sexton also called former FBI Director Andrew McCabe "a dishonorable partisan scumbag who has done incalculable damage to the reputation of the FBI and should be sitting in a cell for lying under oath"
Trump then continued with accusations on Twitter and said that Obama committed "the biggest political crime in American history, by far!" and ended briefly with "Obamagate."
As for the affair with the secret operation of selling weapons to Mexican drug cartels, journalists of Forbes in 2011 wondered whether that operation would become Obama's "Watergate," and it appears that it very well could be. Obama's attempts to smear Trump has not only backfired, but it could have very serious legal ramifications against him and others in his administration.
May 17, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Hawk Elliot Abrams, reborn as a U.S. envoy, is at the spear point of recent aggressive moves in Venezuela. US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliot Abrams addresses the Atlantic Council on the future of Venezuela in Washington, DC, on April 25, 2019. (Photo credit NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
May 14, 2020|
12:01 amBarbara Boland As we await answers on who funded the plot to use a handful of mercenaries and ex-Green Berets to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro , it's worth taking a closer look at the man behind regime change policy, the special envoy on Venezuela, Elliott Abrams.
Called the "neocon zombie" by officials at the State Department, Abrams is known as an operator who doesn't let anything stand in his way. He has a long history of pursuing disastrous policies in government.
"Everything Abrams is doing now is the same thing he was doing during the Reagan administration. He's very adept at manipulating the levers of power without a lot of oversight," a former senior official at the State Department told The American Conservative. The official added that Abrams is "singularly focused" on pursuing regime change in Venezuela.
A little background on Abrams: when he served as Reagan's assistant secretary of state for human rights, he concealed a massacre of a thousand men, women, and children by U.S.-funded death squads in El Salvador. He was also involved in the Iran Contra scandal, helping to secure covert funding for Contra rebels in Nicaragua in violation of laws passed by Congress. In 1991, he pled guilty to lying to Congress about the America's role in those two fiascos -- twice.
But then-president George H.W. Bush pardoned Abrams. He went on to support "measures to scuttle the Latin American peace process launched by the Costa Rican president, Óscar Arias" and use "the agency's money to unseat the Sandinistas in Nicaragua's 1990 general elections," according to Brian D'Haeseleer.
Under President George W. Bush, Abrams promoted regime change in Iraq.
Abrams was initially blocked from joining the Trump administration on account of a Never Trump op-ed he'd penned. But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo succeeded in bringing him onboard last year, despite his history of support for disastrous regime change policies.
It's no surprise that with Abrams at the helm, U.S. rhetoric and actions towards Venezuela are constantly "escalating," Dr. Alejandro Velasco, associate professor of Modern Latin America at New York University, said an interview with TAC.
In just the last month, Washington has placed bounties on the heads of President Nicolás Maduro and a dozen current and former Venezuelan officials. The U.S. also deployed the largest fleet ever to the Southern Hemisphere.
Meanwhile, Abrams announced the " Democratic Transition Framework for Venezuela ," which calls on Maduro's government to embrace a power-sharing deal. The plan doesn't explain how Venezuelan leaders with bounties on their heads are supposed to come to the table and negotiate with Juan Guaido, whom the U.S. recognizes as Venezuela's legitimate leader. Abrams has also said that the U.S. does not support a coup.
A few days after recommending a power-sharing arrangement, and 18 years after the U.S. backed a putsch against Hugo Chavez, Abrams warned that if Maduro resisted the organization of a "transitional government," his departure would be far more "dangerous and abrupt." To many, Abrams' aggressive rhetoric against Maduro made it sound like the U.S. was "effectively threatening him with another assassination attempt," like the one Washington had "tacitly supported" in 2018.
Two weeks after Abrams' warning, Operation Gideon began. Jordan Goudreau, an American citizen, former Green Beret, and three-time Bronze Star recipient for bravery in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with Javier Nieto, a retired Venezuelan military captain, posted a video from an undisclosed location saying they had launched an attack that was meant to begin a rebellion that would lead to Maduro's arrest and the installation of Juan Guaido.
In a public relations coup for Maduro, the plot was quickly foiled. Given that American citizens were involved and have produced a contract allegedly signed by Guaido, the incident has severely harmed the reputations of both the U.S. and the Venezuelan opposition.
Both President Trump and Pompeo have denied that the U.S. had any "direct" involvement with Goudreau's plot.
However, the Trump administration has given billions of dollars from USAID to Venezuela, and that money is largely untraceable due to concerns about outing supporters of Guaido.
"With all the cash and arms sloshing around in Venezuela," it is not hard to imagine how U.S. funding could inadvertently wind up supporting something like this, said Velasco.
There are other signs that the U.S. may have been more involved in the plot than they are saying publicly.
For one, American mercenaries don't carry passports identifying themselves as American nor do they return to the U.S. where they can be brought up on charges for their work, said Sean McFate, professor of war and strategy at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and the National Defense University.
In order to sell weapons or training to another nation, it is necessary to receive permission from the State Department. It's unclear whether Goudreau and his band did so. But Goudreau's social media posts look like a pretty "clear cut" violation of the International Convention Against the Recruitment, Financing and Training of Mercenaries and the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) said Peter Singer, a senior fellow at New America.
We know that months before the fated coup, the CIA met with Goudreau in Jamaica and allegedly warned him off the project. According to the AP, Goudreau is now under investigation for arms trafficking . Members of Congress have asked the State Department what they knew of Goudreau's plans. Given the illegal nature of the supposedly unauthorized project, it's very strange that the ringleader is at present in Florida, talking to the press and posting on social media.
Besides that warning, it seems no one in government tried to stop this calamitous operation.
And it's not just regime change. Last year, Abrams advocated granting special immigration status for the 70,000 Venezuelans residing illegally in the U.S. as a way to "pressure Maduro" even though Trump ran on the promise to severely limit the number of people granted Temporary Protected Status.
It was in pursuit of special status for Venezuelans that Abrams showed himself to be "incredibly pompous, bull-headed, and willing to destroy anyone who opposes him, in a personal way, including by trashing their reputations in the media," another senior State Department official told TAC. Abrams is not above hiding policy options he doesn't like and offering only those he favors to Pompeo to present to Trump, sources said.
Abrams ultimately prevailed and Venezuelans received refugee status from the Trump administration, despite the fact that it betrayed Trump's campaign promises.
According to Velasco, there are some people in the administration who believe that Venezuelans are the "new Cubans" -- that they will become a solid, loyal Republican vote in the swing state of Florida if they're granted special status. They also believe that Venezuelan expats want to see the U.S. remove Maduro. There are "many Cold Warriors" who believe all it will take is a "little push" for Venezuelans to rise up and take out Maduro, said Velasco.
The State Department did not respond to a request for comment on whether Abrams is pursuing a military confrontation in Venezuela.
"Cold Warrior" beliefs are dangerous. While "Operation Gideon" was especially clownish, had it been more sophisticated, it could have easily sparked a world war. The Russians, Iranians, and Chinese are all operating in Venezuela.
That specter is even more concerning now that Russia's Foreign Minister Lavrov has said that Russian special services are on standby to help Venezuela's investigation of the mercenaries. about the author Barbara Boland is TAC's foreign policy and national security reporter. Previously, she worked as an editor for the Washington Examiner and for CNS News. She is the author of Patton Uncovered , a book about General George Patton in World War II, and her work has appeared on Fox News, The Hill , UK Spectator , and elsewhere. Boland is a graduate from Immaculata University in Pennsylvania. Follow her on Twitter @BBatDC .
May 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com
g bridgman , 4 days agoCensorship is Book Burning , 5 days ago div tabindex="0"
Obama sounds almost as incoherent at Biden.I King , 4 days ago
role="article"> Susan Rice knowingly spread misinformation, apparently to protect China. She is an enemy of the StateSkumstwo , 5 days ago
Biden probably cant even remember being in that meeting...Victor Avera , 1 day ago
Obama was a failed experimentGolden Wings , 3 days ago div tabindex="0" role="article"
Obama is a smooth talking "Big Lie" player, a criminal is what Obama is.hillock10 , 2 days ago (edited)
> I can't for the life of me understand why Democrats have such an obsession with "Trump colluding with Russia" when the Democrats are continually cosying up to CHINA. So it's bad if Russia interferes with the US, but it's OK if China does? I don't for a moment believe Trump has ever colluded with Russia, but would 100% believe that the Democrats are in the pockets of the Chinese. How much Chinese money has Pėlosí & Co pocketed in exchange for spouting pro-Chinese anti-American propaganda?Tara Jordan , 1 day ago
The USA is going to have to make a big decision in prosecuting Obama and all his accomplices for the crimes of using the intel agencies to create and implement a fraudulent/illegal scheme to remove a legally elected president. My guess is that everything will be delayed until Trump wins his second term. Then the full force of the government will hold all Obama officials responsible for their crimes. That is my guess.Yellow Bird , 2 days ago
Susan Rice is the Democrat version of Condoleezza Rice. They are both dirty as a public toilet rubber seat.Sticky Wicket , 4 days ago
Biden probably wasn't born when he was the vice President , according to his memory.The Handsome Supreme Lord Emperor Donald J. Trump , 3 days ago
Perfect timing for Sleepy J's 'dementia' to surface.Paul Milton Robicheaux , 1 day ago
Dementia Joe: BARRY don't worry about Trump's Wall. We got ObamaGate. Barry Obama: Shut up, Joe.
"If you can't beat them, smear them," say the Democrats. Nobody is brainless enough to vote to the Democrats, so they are importing their votes as cast by the illegal immigrants! Then they accuse the Republicans of foreign influence in our elections!!??
May 16, 2020 | www.rt.com
Originally from: Covid-19, Russiagate, Iraq – politicians are too happy to defer to convenient 'experts' -- RT Op-edSo-called "experts" are too narrow in their focus and too often wrong in their judgments to be able to decide the sorts of life-and-death issues a nation's political leaders are asked to decide. If " War is too important to be left to the generals ," as Georges Clemenceau, (France's prime minister during World War I) claimed, then foreign policy is too important to be left to the intelligence agencies, and public policy is too important to be left to the scientists.
From the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, politicians and media fell over themselves in their rush to defer to the " experts. " Apparently, it was up to scientists to decide whether a country should shut down its economy and keep its citizens locked up in their homes in perpetuity. It was up to scientists to determine whether a country can, if ever, resume normal life. As for the consequences -- economic depression, exploding national debt, lost businesses and means of livelihood, growing alcoholism and drug abuse, rise in suicides, spiraling untreated medical problems -- those are things the public would just have to live with, because there could be no second-guessing of the scientists.
May 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com
Absaalookemensch , 1 week ago
Adam Schiff is a model Democrat. He has no integrity, decency, honesty. He's a model Democrat.
May 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com
George Powe , 5 days agoCheapSkateSimmer , 5 days ago
Schiff resign? He should be tried for TREASON and EXECUTED!Tim Nobody , 1 day ago (edited)
Schiffty Schiff needs to answer questions under oath.HugsBach , 5 days ago
Adam Schiff knew the truth and when on TV everyday and lied to the American people. He should be ran out of DC..
Adam Schif needs to be impeached, criminal prosecution, perjury too!
May 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com
Rosco Coltrane , 2 days ago (edited)Juju Rellama , 2 days ago
Why isn't Schiff in Jail. Isn't Barry's Alumni worried about the rule of law?Will Hunt , 2 days ago
She [Amb. Yovanovitch's] hated Trump. Blamed him for her failed career. Whistleblowers don't have long careersmark spannar , 2 days ago
Nothing but lies for 4 years from Dems. Pathetic and disgusting. A Coup, Imagine that?Cy Todd , 2 days ago (edited)
She needs to be put in jail. The American people demand and deserve justice .fiddlemastr jay , 2 days ago
"Wasn't completely honest"... mistress of understatements. She lied. The left's narrative is imploding. Corrupt Ambassador, and the left whined when she was fired. Belongs in prison... in Ukraine.ZW , 2 days ago
Yovanovitch is just another piece of Rhodes Scholar trash.RM SemFl , 2 days ago
Is she lied she better be charged with a flipping crime. Time to stop playing coy.JDSwamp , 2 days ago
Yovanovitch sat their and lied the whole time. Why isn't she being charged?imaGINAtion , 2 days ago
She's Princeton. The quality! The Ivy! Yovanovitch LIED under oath.Noam Pitlik , 2 days ago
During the impeachment sham hearing, Yovanovitch said she had not recall anything about the well known national scandal Burisma in Ukraine. Surprising, isn't it?Dave Wo , 2 days ago
Schiff doesn't strike me as the 'fall on his sword' type. Maybe he will spill the beans someday.Vladim IANCU , 2 days ago
Yeah.... Yovanovitch is a liar. Throw her in prison for lying to congress.
The entire Obama Administration was, for eight long years, a string of crimes and cover-ups by the then President and all his partners in wrongdoings. When is Lady Justice going to prevail?
May 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com
terry ortiz , 1 day ago
The fake media isn't angry with their sources because the sources lied because the media were partners in crime.
May 15, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
The Complete "Collusion Against Trump" Timeline by Tyler Durden Fri, 05/15/2020 - 22:50 Via SharylAttkisson.com,
It's easy to find timelines that detail Trump-Russia collusion developments. Here are links to two of them I recommend:
On the other side, evidence has emerged that makes it clear there were organized efforts to collude against candidate Donald Trump - and then President Trump. For example:
- Anti-Russian Ukrainians allegedly helped coordinate and execute a campaign against Trump in partnership with the Democratic National Committee and news reporters.
- A Yemen-born ex-British spy reportedly delivered political opposition research against Trump to reporters, Sen. John McCain, and the FBI; the latter of which used the material--in part--to obtain wiretaps against one or more Trump-related associates.
- There were orchestrated leaks of anti-Trump information and allegations to the press, including by ex-FBI Director James Comey.
- The U.S. intel community allegedly engaged in questionable surveillance practices and politially-motivated "unmaskings" of U.S. citizens, including Trump officials.
- Alleged conflicts of interests have surfaced regarding FBI officials who cleared Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information and who investigated Trump's alleged Russia ties.
But it's not so easy to find a timeline pertinent to the investigations into these events.
Related: Obama Era Surveillance Timeline
Here's a work in progress...
(Please note that nobody cited has been charged with wrongdoing or crimes, unless the charge is specifically referenced. Temporal relationships are not necessarily evidence of a correlation.)"Collusion against Trump" Timeline 2011
U.S. intel community vastly expands its surveillance authority, giving itself permission to spy on Americans who do nothing more than "mention a foreign target in a single, discrete communication." Intel officials also begin storing and entering into a searchable database sensitive intelligence on U.S. citizens whose communications are accidentally or "incidentally" captured during surveillance of foreign targets. Prior to this point, such intelligence was supposed to be destroyed to protect the constitutional privacy rights the U.S. citizens. However, it's required that names U.S. citizens be hidden or "masked" --even inside U.S. intel agencies --to prevent abuse.
Click here to read "Timeline of alleged sabotage of Trump in 2016 by Democrats and Ukraine."2012
July 1, 2012: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton improperly uses unsecured, personal email domain to email President Obama from Russia.2013
June 2013: FBI interviews U.S. businessman Carter Page, who's lived and worked in Russia, regarding his ongoing contacts with Russians. Page reportedly tells FBI agents their time would be better spent investigating Boston Marathon bombing (which the FBI's Andrew McCabe helped lead). Page later claims his remark prompts FBI retaliatory campaign against him. The FBI, under McCabe, will later wiretap Page after Page becomes a Donald Trump campaign adviser.
FBI secretly records suspected Russian industrial spy Evgeny Buryakov . It's later reported that Page helped FBI build the case.
Sept. 4, 2013: James Comey becomes FBI Director, succeeding Robert Mueller.2014
Russia invades Ukraine. Ukraine steps up hiring of U.S. lobbyists to make its case against Russia and obtain U.S. aid. Russia also continues its practice of using U.S. lobbyists.
Ukraine forms National Anti-Corruption Bureau as a condition to receive U.S. aid. The National Anti-Corruption Bureau later signs evidence-sharing agreement with FBI related to Trump-Russia probe.
Ukrainian-American Alexandra Chalupa, a paid consultant for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), begins researching lobbyist Paul Manafort's Russia ties.
FBI investigates, and then wiretaps, Paul Manafort for allegedly not properly disclosing Russia-related work. FBI fails to make a case, according to CNN, and discontinues wiretap.
August 2014: State Dept. turns over 15,000 pages of documents to Congressional Benghazi committee, revealing former secretary of state Hillary Clinton used private server for government email. Her mishandling of classified info on this private system becomes subject of FBI probe.2015
FBI opens investigation into Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, including for donations from a Chinese businessman and Clinton Foundation donor.
FBI official Andrew McCabe meets with Gov. McAuliffe, a close Clinton ally. Afterwards, "McAuliffe-aligned political groups donated about $700,000 to Mr. McCabe's wife for her campaign to become a Democrat state Senator in Virginia." The fact of the McAuliffe-related donations to wife of FBI's McCabe, while FBI was investigating McAuliffe and Clinton later becomes the subject of conflict of interest inquiry by Inspector General.
Feb. 9, 2015: U.S. Senate forms Ukrainian caucus to further Ukrainian interests. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is a member.
March 4, 2015: New York Times breaks news about Clinton's improper handling of classified email as secretary of state.
In internal emails , Clinton campaign chairman (and former Obama adviser) John Podesta suggests Obama withhold Clinton's emails from Congressional Benghazi committee under executive privilege.
March 2015: Attorney General Loretta Lynch privately directs FBI Director James Comey to call FBI Clinton probe a "matter" rather than an "investigation." Comey follows the instruction, though he later testifies that it made him "queasy."
March 7, 2015: President Obama says he first learned of Clinton's improper email practices "through news reports." Clinton campaign staffers privately contradict that claim emailing: "it looks like [President Obama] just said he found out [Hillary Clinton] was using her personal email when he saw it on the news." Clinton aide Cheryl Mills responds, "We need to clean this up, [President Obama] has emails from" Clinton's personal account.
May 19, 2015: Justice Dept. Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Peter Kadzik emails Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta from a private Gmail account to give him a "heads ups" involving Congressional questions about Clinton email.
Summer 2015: Democratic National Committee computers are hacked.
Sept. 2015: Glenn Simpson, co-founder of political opposition research firm Fusion GPS, is hired by conservative website Washington Free Beacon to compile negative research on presidential candidate Donald Trump and other Republicans.
Oct. 2015: President Obama uses a "confidentiality tradition" to keep his Benghazi emails with Hillary Clinton secret.
Oct. 12, 2015: FBI Director Comey replaces head of FBI Counterintelligence Division at New York Field Office with Louis Bladel.
Oct. 22, 2015: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) publicly states that Clinton is "not under criminal investigation."
Clinton testifies to House Benghazi committee.
Oct. 23, 2015: Clinton campaign chair John Podesta meets for dinner with small group of friends including a top Justice Dept. official Peter Kadzik.
Late 2015: Democratic operative Chalupa expands her political opposition research about Paul Manafort to include Trump's ties to Russia. She "occasionally shares her findings with officials from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign."
Dec. 4, 2015: Donald Trump is beating his nearest Republican presidential competitor by 20 points in latest CNN poll .
Dec. 9, 2015: FBI Director Comey replaces head of FBI Counterintelligence Division at Washington Field Office with Charles Kable.
Dec. 23, 2015: FBI Director Comey names Bill Priestap as assistant director of Counterintelligence Division.2016
Obama officials vastly expand their searches through NSA database for Americans and the content of their communications. In 2013, there were 9,600 searches involving 195 Americans. But in 2016, there are 30,355 searches of 5,288 Americans.
Justice Dept. associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr meets with Fusion GPS' Christopher Steele, the Yemen-born ex-British spy leading anti-Trump political opposition research project.
January 2016: Democratic operative Ukrainian-American Chalupa tells a senior Democratic National Committee official that she feels there's a Russia connection with Trump.
Jan. 29, 2016: FBI Director Comey promotes Andrew McCabe to FBI Deputy Director.
McCabe takes lead on Clinton probe even though his wife received nearly $700,000 in campaign donations through Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe, who's also under FBI investigation.
March 2016: Clinton campaign chair John Podesta's email gets hacked.
FBI interviews Carter Page again.
Carter Page is named as one of the Trump campaign's foreign policy advisers.
March 2, 2016: FBI Director Comey replaces head of Intelligence Division of Washington Field Office with Gerald Roberts, Jr.
March 11, 2016: Russian Evgeny Buryakovwhich pleads guilty to spying in FBI case that Carter Page reportedly assisted with.
March 25, 2016: Ukrainian-American operative for Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chalupa meets with top Ukrainian officials at Ukrainian Embassy in Washington D.C. to "expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia," according to Politico. Chalupa previously worked for the Clinton administration.
Ukrainian embassy proceeds to work "directly with reporters researching Trump, Manafort and Russia to point them in the right directions," according to an embassy official (though other officials later deny engaging in election-related activities.)
March 29, 2016: Trump campaign hires Paul Manafort as manager of July Republican convention.
March 30, 2016: Ukrainian-American Democratic operative Alexandra Chalupa briefs Democratic National Committee (DNC) staff on Russia ties to Paul Manafort and Trump.
With "DNC's encouragement," Chalupa asks Ukrainian embassy to arrange meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to discuss Manafort's lobbying for Ukraine's former president Viktor Yanukovych. The embassy declines to arrange meeting but becomes "helpful" in trading info and leads.
Ukrainian embassy officials and Democratic operative Chalupa "coordinat[e] an investigation with the Hillary team" into Paul Manafort, according to a source in Politico. This effort reportedly includes working with U.S. media.
April 2016: There's a second breach of Democratic National Committee computers.
Washington Free Beacon breaks off deal with Glenn Simpson's Fusion GPS for political opposition research against Trump.
Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee lawyer Mark Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, hire Fusion GPS for anti-Trump political research project.
Ukrainian member of parliament Olga Bielkova reportedly seeks meetings with five dozen members of U.S. Congress and reporters including former New York Times reporter Judy Miller, David Sanger of New York Times, David Ignatius of Washington Post, and Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt.
April 5, 2016: Convicted spy Buryakov is turned over to Russia.
Week of April 6, 2016: Ukrainian-American Democratic operative Chalupa and office of Rep. Mary Kaptur (D-Ohio), co-chair of Congressional Ukrainian Caucus, discuss possible congressional investigation or hearing on Paul Manafort-Russia "by September."
Chalupa begins working with investigative reporter Michael Isikoff, according to her later account.
April 10, 2016: In national TV interview, President Obama states that Clinton did not intend to harm national security when she mishandled classified emails. FBI Director James Comey later concludes that Clinton should not face charges because she did not intend to harm national security.
Around this time, the FBI begins drafting Comey's remarks closing Clinton email investigation, though Clinton had not yet been interviewed.
April 12, 2016:" Ukrainian parliament member Olga Bielkova and a colleague meet" with Sen. John McCain associate David Kramer with the McCain Institute. Bielkova also meets with Liz Zentos of Obama's National Security Council, and State Department official Michael Kimmage.
April 26, 2016: Investigative reporter Michael Isikoff publishes story on Yahoo News about Paul Manafort's business dealings with a Russian oligarch.
April 27, 2016 : The BBC publishes an article titled, "Why Russians Love Donald Trump."
April 28, 2016: Ukrainian-American Democratic operative Chalupa is invited to discuss her research about Paul Manafort with 68 investigative journalists from Ukraine at Library of Congress for Open World Leadership Center, a U.S. congressional agency. Chalupa invites investigative reporter Michael Isikoff to "connect(s) him to the Ukrainians."
After the event, reporter Isikoff accompanies Chalupa to Ukrainian embassy reception.
May 3, 2016: Ukrainian-American Democratic operative Chalupa emails Democratic National Committee (DNC) that she'll share sensitive info about Paul Manafort "offline" including "a big Trump component that will hit in next few weeks."
May 4, 2016: Trump locks up Republican nomination.
May 19, 2016: Paul Manafort is named Trump campaign chair.
May 23, 2016: FBI probe into Virginia governor and Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe becomes public. (McAuliffe is ultimately not charged with a crime.)
Justice Department Inspector General confirms it's looking into FBI's Andrew McCabe for alleged conflicts of interest in handling of Clinton and Gov. McAuliffe probes in light of McAuliffe directing campaign donations to McCabe's wife.
FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, who are reportedly having an illicit affair, text each other that Trump's ascension in the campaign will bring "pressure to finish" Clinton probe.
Nellie Ohr, wife of Justice Dept. associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr and former CIA worker, goes on the payroll of Fusion GPS and assists with anti-Trump political opposition research. Her husband, Bruce, reportedly fails to disclose her specific employer and work in his Justice Dept. conflict of interest disclosures.
Nellie Ohr applies for a ham radio license.
June 2016: Fusion GPS' Glenn Simpson " hires Yemen-born ex-British spy Christopher Steele for anti-Trump political opposition research project."Steele uses info from Russian sources "close to Putin" to compile unverified "dossier" later provided to reporters and FBI, which the FBI uses to obtain secret wiretap.
The Guardian and Heat Street report that the FBI applied for a FISA warrant in June 2016 to "monitor four members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials" but that the "initial request was denied."
June 7, 2016: Hillary Clinton locks up the Democrat nomination.
June 9, 2016: Meeting in Trump Tower includes Donald Trump Jr., Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner with Russian lawyer who said he has political opposition research on Clinton. (No research was ultimately provided.) According to CNN , the FBI has not yet restarted a wiretap against Manafort but will soon do so.
June 10, 2016: Democratic National Committee (DNC) tells employees that its computer system has been hacked. DNC blames Russia but refuses to let FBI examine its systems.
June 15, 2016: "Guccifer 2.0" publishes first hacked document from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta.
June 17, 2016: Washington Post publishes front page story linking Trump to Russia: "Inside Trump's Financial Ties to Russia and His Unusual Flattery of Vladimir Putin."
June 20, 2016: Christopher Steele proposes taking some of Fusion GPS' research about Trump to FBI.
June 22, 2016: WikiLeaks begins publishing embarrassing, hacked emails from Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.
June 27, 2016: Attorney General Loretta Lynch meets privately with former President Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac in Phoenix, Arizona.
Late June 2016: DCLeaks website begins publishing Democratic National Committee emails.
The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine signs evidence-sharing agreement with FBI and will later publicly release a "ledger" implicating Paul Manafort in allegedly improper payments.
June 30, 2016: FBI circulates internal draft of public remarks for FBI Director Comey to announce closing of Clinton investigation. It refers to Mrs. Clinton's "extensive" use of her personal email, including "from the territory of sophisticated adversaries," and a July 1, 2012 email to President Obama from Russia. The draft concludes it's possible that hostile actors gained access to Clinton's email account.
Comey's remarks are revised to replace reference to "the President" with the phrase: "another senior government official." (That reference, too, is removed from the final draft.)
Attorney General Lynch tells FBI she plans to publicly announce that she'll accept whatever recommendation FBI Director Comey makes regarding charges against Clinton.
July 2016: Ukraine minister of internal affairs Arsen Avakov attacks Trump and Trump campaign adviser Paul Manafort on Twitter and Facebook, calling Trump "an even bigger danger to the US than terrorism."
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk writes on Facebook that Trump has "challenged the very values of the free world."
Carter Page travels to Russia to give a university commencement address. (Fusion GPS political opposition research would later quote Russian sources as saying Page met with Russian officials, which Page denies under oath and is not proven.)
One-time CIA operative Stefan Halper reportedly begins meetings with Trump advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, secretly gathering information for the FBI. These contacts begin "prior to the date FBI Director Comey later claimed the Russian investigation began."
July 1, 2016: Under fire for meeting with former President Clinton amid the probe into his wife, Attorney General Lynch publicly states she'll " accept whatever FBI Director Comey recommends" without interfering.
FBI official Lisa Page texts her boyfriend, FBI official Peter Strzok, sarcastically commenting that Lynch's proclamation is "a real profile in courage, since she knows no charges will be brought."
Ex-British spy Christopher Steele writes Justice Department official Bruce Ohr that he wants to discuss "our favourite business tycoon!" (apparently referencing Trump.)
July 2, 2016: FBI official Peter Strzok and other agents interview Clinton. They don't record the interview. Two potential subjects of the investigation, Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson, are allowed to attend as Clinton's lawyers.
July 5, 2016: FBI Director Comey recommends no charges against Clinton, though he concludes she's been extremely careless in mishandling of classified information. Comey claims he hasn't coordinated or reviewed his statement in any way with Attorney General Lynch's Justice Department or other government branches. "They do not know what I am about to say," says Comey.
Fusion GPS' Steele, an ex-British spy, approaches FBI at an office in Rome with allegations against Trump, according to Congressional investigators. Justice Dept. official Bruce Ohr schedules a Skype conference call with Steele.
Days after closing Clinton case, FBI official Peter Strzok signs document opening FBI probe into Trump-Russia collusion.
July 10, 2016: Democratic National Committee (DNC) aide Seth Rich, reportedly a Bernie Sanders supporter, is shot twice in the back and killed. Police suspect a bungled robbery attempt, though nothing was apparently stolen. Conspiracy theorists speculate that Rich "not the Russians" had stolen DNC emails after he learned the DNC was unfairly favoring Clinton. The murder remains unsolved.
July 2016: Trump adviser Carter Page makes a business trip to Russia.
FISC (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) rejects FBI request to wiretap Page.
Obama national security adviser Susan Rice begins to show increased interest in National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence material including "unmasked Americans" identities, according to news reports referring to White House logs.
July 18-21, 2016: Republican National Convention
Late July 2016 : FBI agent Peter Strzok opens counterintelligence investigation based on Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.
Democratic operative and Ukrainian-American Chalupa leaves the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to work full-time on her research into Manafort, Trump and Russia; and provides off-the-record guidance to "a lot of journalists."
July 22, 2016: WikiLeaks begins publishing hacked Democratic National Committee emails. WikiLeaks' Julian Assange denies the email source is Russian.
July 25-28, 2016 : Democratic National Convention
July 30, 2016 : Justice Dept. official Bruce Ohr meets with ex-British spy Christopher Steele at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. Ohr brings his wife, Nellie, who -- like Steele -- works at Fusion GPS on the Trump-Russia oppo research project. Ohr calls FBI Deputy Director McCabe.
July 31, 2016 : FBI's Peter Strzok formally begins counterintelligence investigation regarding Russia and Trump. It's dubbed "Crossfire Hurricane."
Aug. 3, 2016: Ohr reportedly meets with McCabe and FBI lawyer Lisa Page to discuss Russia-Trump collusion allegations relayed by ex-British spy Steele. Ohr will later testify to Congress that he considered Steele's information uncorroborated hearsay and that he told FBI agents Steele appeared motivated by a "desperate" desire to keep Trump from becoming president.
Aug. 4, 2016: Ukrainian ambassador to U.S. writes op-ed against Trump.
Aug. 8, 2016: FBI attorney Lisa Page texts her lover, FBI's head of Counterespionage Peter Strzok,"[Trump is] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!" Strzok replies,"No. No he won't. We'll stop it."
Aug. 14, 2016: New York Times breaks story about cash payments made a decade ago to Paul Manafort by pro-Russia interests in Ukraine. The ledger was released and publicized by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine.
Aug. 15, 2016: CNN reports the FBI is conducting an inquiry into Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort's payments from pro-Russia interests in Ukraine in 2007 and 2009.
After a meeting discussing the election in FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe's office, FBI's Counterespionage Chief Peter Strzok texts FBI attorney Lisa Page referring to the possibility of Trump getting elected. "We can't take that risk," he writes. And they speak of needing an "insurance policy."
Aug. 19, 2016: Paul Manafort resigns as Trump campaign chairman.
Ukrainian parliament member Sergii Leshchenko holds news conference to draw attention to Paul Manafort and Trump's "pro-Russia" ties.
Aug. 22, 2016 : Justice Dept. official Bruce Ohr meets with Fusion GPS' Glenn Simpson who identifies several "possible intermediaries" between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Late August 2016:
Reportedly working for the FBI, one-time CIA operative Professor Halper meets with Trump campaign co-chair Sam Clovis offering his services as a foreign-policy adviser, according to The Washington Post. Halper would later offer to hire Carter Page.
Approx. Aug. 2016: FBI initiates a new wiretap against ex-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, according to CNN, which extends at least through early 2017.
Sept. 2016: Fusion GPS's Steele becomes FBI source and uses associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr as point of contact. Steele tells Ohr that he's "desperate that Donald Trump not get elected."
President Obama warns Russia not to interfere in the U.S. election
Sept. 2, 2016: FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok text that "[President Obama] wants to know everything we're doing."
Sept. 13, 2016 : The nonprofit First Draft, funded by Google, whose parent company is run by major Hillary Clinton supporter and donor Eric Schmidt, announces initiative to tackle "fake news." It appears to be the first use of the phrase in its modern context.
Sept. 15, 2016: Clinton computer manager Paul Combetta appears before House Oversight Committee but refuses to answer questions, invoking his Fifth Amendment rights.
Sept. 19, 2016: At UN General Assembly meeting, Ukrainian President Poroshenko meets with Hillary Clinton.
Mid-to-late Sept. 2016: Fusion GPS's Christopher Steele's FBI contact tells him the agency wants to see his opposition research "right away" and offers to pay him $50,000, according to the New York Times, for solid corroboration of his salacious, unverified claims. Steele flies to Rome , Italy to meet with FBI and provide a "full briefing."
Sept. 22, 2016: Clinton computer aide Brian Pagliano is held in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with subpoena.
Sept. 23, 2016: It's revealed that Justice Department has granted five Clinton officials immunity from prosecution: former chief of staff Cheryl Mills, State Department staffers John Bentel and Heather Samuelson, and Clinton computer workers Paul Combetta and Brian Pagliano.
Yahoo News publishes report by Michael Isikoff about Carter Page's July 2016 trip to Moscow. (The article is apparently based on leaked info from Fusion GPS Steele anti-Trump "dossier" political opposition research.)
Sept. 25, 2016 : Trump associate Carter Page writes letter to FBI Comey objecting to the so-called "witch hunt" involving him.
Sept. 26, 2016 : Obama administration asks secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) court to allow National Counter Terrorism Center to access sensitive, "unmasked" intel on Americans acquired by FBI and NSA. (The Court later approves the request.)
FBI head of counterespionage Peter Strzok emails his mistress FBI attorney Lisa Page that Carter Page's letter (dated the day before) "...provides us a pretext to interview."
Sept. 27, 2016: Justice Department Assistant Attorney General of National Security Division John Carlin announces he's stepping down. He was former chief of staff and senior counsel to former FBI director Robert Mueller.
End of Sept. 2016: Fusion GPS' Glenn Simpson and Christopher Steele meet with reporters, including New York Times, Washington Post, Yahoo News, the New Yorker and CNN or ABC. One meeting is at office of Democratic National Committee general counsel.
Early October 2016: Fusion GPS' Christopher Steele, the Yemen-born author of anti-Trump "dossier," meets in New York with David Corn, Washington-bureau chief of Mother Jones.
According to The Guardian, the FBI submits a more narrowly focused FISA wiretap request to replace one turned down in June to monitor four Trump associates.
Oct. 3, 2016: FBI seizes computers belonging to Anthony Weiner, who is accused of sexually texting an underage girl. Weiner is married to top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin. FBI learns there are Clinton emails on Weiner's laptop but waits several weeks before notifying Congress and reopening investigation.
Oct. 4, 2016: FBI Director Comey replaces head of Counterintelligence Division, New York Field Office with Charles McGonigal.
Oct. 7, 2016: Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Department of Homeland Security issue statement saying Russian government is responsible for hacking Democrat emails to disrupt 2016 election.
Oct. 13, 2016: President Obama gives a speech in support of the crackdown on "fake news" by stating that somebody needs to step in and "curate" information in the "wild, wild West media environment."
Oct. 14, 2016: FBI head of counterespionage Peter Strzok emails his mistress FBI attorney Lisa Page discussing talking points to convince FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to persuade a high-ranking Dept. of Justice official to sign a warrant to wiretap Trump associate Carter Page. The email subject line is "Crossfire FISA." "Crossfire Hurricane" was one of the code names for four separate investigations the FBI conducted related to Russia matters in the 2016 election.
"At a minimum, that keeps the hurry the F up pressure on him," Strzok emailed Lisa Page less than four weeks before Election Day.
Mid-Oct. 2016: Fusion GPS' Steele again briefs reporters about Trump political opposition research. The reporters are from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Yahoo News.
Oct. 16, 2016: Mary McCord is named Assistant Attorney General for Justice Department National Security Division.
Oct. 18, 2016: President Obama advises Trump to "stop whining" after Trump tweeted the election could be rigged. "There is no serious person out there who would suggest somehow that you could even you could even rig America's elections," said Obama. He also calls Trump's "flattery" of Russian president Putin "unprecedented."
In FBI emails, head of counterespionage Peter Strzok and his mistress FBI lawyer Lisa Page discuss rushing approval for a FISA warrant for a Russia-related investigation code-named "Dragon."
Oct. 19, 2016: Ex-British spy Christopher Steele writes his last memo for anti-Trump "dossier" political opposition research provided to FBI. The FBI reportedly authorizes payment to Steele. Fusion GPS has reportedly paid him $160,000.
Approx. Oct. 21, 2016: For the second time in several months, Justice Department and FBI apply to wiretap former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates sign the application. This time, the request is approved based on new FBI "evidence" including parts of Fusion GPS' "Steele dossier" and Michael Isikoff Yahoo article. The FBI doesn't tell the court that Trump's political opponent, the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, funded the "evidence."
Oct. 24, 2016: Benjamin Wittes, confidant of FBI Director James Comey and editor-in-chief of the blog Lawfare, writes of the need for an "insurance policy" in case Trump wins. It's the same phrase FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok had used when discussing the possibility of a Trump win.
Obama intel officials orally inform Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of an earlier Inspector General review uncovering their "significant noncompliance" in following proper "702" procedures safeguarding the National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence database with sensitive info on US citizens.
Late Oct. 2016: Fusion GPS' Steele again briefs reporter from Mother Jones by Skype about Trump political opposition research.
Oct. 26, 2016: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court holds hearing with Obama intel officials over their "702" surveillance violations. The judge criticizes NSA for "institutional lack of candor" and states "this is a very serious Fourth Amendment issue."
Oct. 28, 2016: FBI Director Comey notifies Congress that he's reopening Clinton probe due to Clinton emails found on Anthony Wiener laptop several weeks earlier.
Oct. 30, 2016: Mother Jones writer David Corn is first to report on the anti-Trump "dossier," quoting unidentified former spy, presumed to be Christopher Steele. FBI general counsel James Baker had reportedly been in touch with Corn but Corn later denies Baker was the leaker.
FBI terminates its relationship with Steele because Steele had leaked his FBI involvement in Mother Jones article.
Steele reportedly maintains backchannel contact with Justice Dept. through Deputy Associate Attorney General Bruce Ohr.
Oct. 31, 2016: New York Times reports FBI is investigating Trump and found no illicit connections to Russia.
Nov. 1, 2016: FBI concludes ex-British spy Christopher Steele, who compiled anti-Trump "dossier" using Russian sources, leaked to press and is not suitable for use as a confidential source. However, Steele continues to "help," according to Jan. 31, 2017 texts to Justice Dept. official Bruce Ohr.
Nov. 3, 2016: FBI Attorney Lisa Page texts FBI's Peter Strzok about her concerns that Clinton might lose and Trump would become president: "The [New York Times] probability numbers are dropping every day. I'm scared for our organization."
Nov. 6, 2016: FBI Director Comey tells Congress that Clinton emails on Anthony Weiner computer do not change earlier conclusion: she should not be charged.
Nov. 8, 2016: Trump is elected president.
Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice's interest in NSA materials accelerates, according to later news reports.
Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr meets with Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson shortly after election.
The FBI interviews Ohr about his ongoing contacts with Fusion GPS.
Nov. 9, 2016: An unnamed FBI attorney (later quoted in Dept. of Justice Inspector General probe) texts another FBI employee, "I'm just devastated...I just can't imagine the systematic disassembly of the progress we made over the last 8 years. ACA is gone. Who knows if the rhetoric about deporting people, walls, and crap is true. I honestly feel like there is going to be a lot more gun issues, too, the crazies won finally. This is the tea party on steroids. And the GOP is going to be lost, they have to deal with an incumbent in 4 years. We have to fight this again. Also Pence is stupid....Plus, my god damned name is all over the legal documents investigating [Trump's] staff."
Nov. 10, 2016 : Emails imply top FBI officials, including Peter Strzok, Andrew McCabe and Bill Priestap engaged in a new mission to "scrub" or research lists of associates of President-elect Trump, looking for potential "derogatory" information.
President Obama meets with President-elect Trump in the White House and reportedly advises Trump not to hire Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
Nov. 2016: National Security Agency Mike Rogers meets with president-elect Trump and is criticized for "not telling the Obama administration."
Nov. 17, 2016: Trump moves his Friday presidential team meetings out of Trump Tower.
Nov. 18, 2016: Trump names Flynn his national security adviser. Over the next few weeks, Flynn communicates with numerous international leaders.
Nov. 18-20, 2016: Sen. John McCain and his longtime adviser, David Kramer--an ex-U.S. State Dept. official--attend a security conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia where former UK ambassador to Russia Sir Andrew Wood tells them about the Fusion GPS anti-Trump dossier. (Kramer is affiliated with the anti-Russia "Ukraine Today" media organization). They discuss confirming the info has reached top levels of FBI for action.
Nov. 21, 2016 : Justice Dept. official Bruce Ohr, works for Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, meets with FBI officials including Peter Strzok, Strzok's girlfriend--FBI attorney Lisa Page, and another agent. Ohr's notes indicate the FBI "may go back to [ex-British spy] Chris Steele" of Fusion GPS just 20 days after dismissing him.
Nov. 28, 2016: Sen. McCain associate David Kramer flies to London to meet Christopher Steele for a briefing on the anti-Trump research. Afterward, Fusion GPS' Glenn Simpson gives Sen. McCain a copy of the "dossier." Steele also passes anti-Trump info to top UK government official in charge of national security. Sen. McCain soon arranges a meeting with FBI Director Comey.
Late Nov. 2016: Justice Dept. official Bruce Ohr officially tells FBI about his contacts with Fusion GPS' Christopher Steele and about Ohr's wife's contract work for Fusion GPS.
Nov. 30, 2016 : UN Ambassador Samantha Power makes request to unmask the name of Trump National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who was "incidentally" captured by intel surveillance.
Dec. 2016: Text messages between FBI officials Strzok and Page are later said to be "lost" due to a technical glitch beginning at this point.
Dec. 2, 2016: UN Ambassador Samantha Power and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper request to unmask the name of Trump National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who was "incidentally" captured by intel surveillance.
Dec. 6, 2016: Two more Obama administration officials request to unmask the name of Flynn.
Dec. 7, 2016 : Power makes another Flynn unmasking request.
Dec. 8 or 9, 2016: Sen. John McCain meets with FBI Director Comey at FBI headquarters and hands over Fusion GPS anti-Trump research, elevating the FBI's investigation into the matter. The FBI compiles a classified two-page summary and attaches it to intel briefing note on Russian cyber-interference in election for President Obama .
Hillary Clinton makes a public appearance denouncing "fake news."
Hillary Clinton and Democratic operative David Brock of Media Matters announces he's leaving board of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), one of his many propaganda and liberal advocacy groups, to focus on "fake news" effort.
Brock later claims credit, privately to donors, for convincing Facebook to crack down on conservative fake news.
Dec. 14, 2017 : There are 10 more requests to unmask Flynn's name in intelligence, including two by Power, CIA Director Brennan, and six officials from the Treasury Dept.
Dec. 15, 2016: Obama intel officials "incidentally" spy on Trump officials meeting with the United Arab Emirates crown prince in Trump Tower. This is taken to mean the government was wiretapping the prince and "happened to capture" Trump officials communicating with him at Trump Tower. Identities of Americans accidentally captured in such surveillance are strictly protected or "masked" inside intel agencies for constitutional privacy reasons.
Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice secretly "unmasks" names of the Trump officials, officially revealing their identities. They reportedly include: Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner and Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
Director of National Intelligence Clapper expands rules to allow the National Security Agency (NSA) to widely disseminate classified surveillance material within the government. The same day, 17 Obama officials request the unmasking of Lt. Gen. Flynn in intelligence.
Dec. 16, 2016 : Five more Obama officials request unmasking of intelligence materials regarding Lt. Gen. Flynn.
Dec. 23, 2016 : Power request another Flynn unmasking.
Dec. 28, 2016 :
Lt. Gen. Flynn speaks with Russia ambassador.
Clapper and the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey request Flynn unmasking.
Dec. 29, 2016: President Obama imposes sanctions against Russia for its alleged election interference.
President-elect Trump national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn speaks with Russian Ambassador to U.S. Sergey Kislyak. The calls are wiretapped by U.S. intelligence and later leaked to the press.
State Department releases 2,800 work-related emails from Huma Abedin, a top aide to Hillary Clinton, found by FBI on laptop computer of Abedin's husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner.2017
Jan. 2017: According to CNN: a wiretap reportedly continues against former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, including times he speaks to Trump, meaning U.S. intel officials could have "accidentally" captured Trump's communications.
Justice Dept. Inspector General confirms it's investigating several aspects of FBI and Justice Department actions during Clinton probe.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifies to Congress that Russia interfered in U.S. elections by spreading fake news on social media.
Justice Dept. official Peter Kadzik, who "tipped off" Hillary Clinton campaign regarding Congressional questions about Clinton's email, leaves government work for private practice.
The FBI interviews a main source of Christopher Steele's "dossier" and learns the information was merely bar room gossip and rumor never meant to be taken as fact or submitted to the FBI and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to wiretap Carter Page. (The FBI does not notify the court and applies for, and receives, another wiretap against Page).
Early Jan. 2017: FBI renews wiretap against Carter Page. FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates again sign the application.
Jan. 3, 2017: Obama Attorney General Lynch signs rules Director of National Intelligence Clapper expanded Dec. 15 allowing the National Security Agency (NSA) to widely disseminate surveillance within the government.
Jan. 5, 2017: Intelligence Community leadership including FBI Director Comey, Yates, CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, provides classified briefing to President Obama, Vice President Biden and National Security Adviser Susan Rice on alleged Russia hacking during 2016 campaign, according to notes later written by national security adviser Susan Rice.
After briefing, according notes made later by Rice, President Obama convenes Oval Office meeting with her, FBI Director Comey, Vice President Biden and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates. The "Steele dossier" is reportedly discussed. Also reportedly discussed: Trump National Security Adviser Flynn's talks with Russia's ambassador.
Jan. 6, 2017: FBI Director Comey and other Intel leaders meet with President-Elect Trump and his national security team at Trump Tower in New York to brief them on alleged Russian efforts to interfere in the election.
Later, Obama national security adviser Susan Rice would write herself an email stating that President Obama suggested they hold back on providing Trump officials with certain info for national security reasons.
After Trump team briefing, FBI Director Comey meets alone with Trump to "brief him" on Fusion GPS Steele allegations "to alert the incoming President to the existence of this material," even though it was salacious and unverified. Comey later says Director of National Intelligence Clapper asked him (Comey) to do the briefing personally.
Jan. 7, 2017 : Clapper and two other Obama administration officials request Flynn unmasking.
Jan. 10, 2017: The 35-page Fusion GPS anti-Trump "dossier" is leaked to the media and published. It reveals that sources of the unverified info are Russians close to President Putin.
Email written by FBI head of counterespionage Peter Strzok indicates the FBI has been given the anti-Trump "dossier" by at least 3 different anti-Trump sources.
A CIA official makes a Flynn unmasking request.
Jan. 11, 2017 : Power makes another Flynn unmasking request.
Jan. 12, 2017: Obama administration finalizes new rules allowing NSA to spread "certain intel to" other U.S. intel agencies without normal privacy protections.
Justice Dept. inspector general announces review of alleged misconduct by FBI Director Comey and other matters related to FBI's Clinton probe as well as FBI leaks.
Vice President Joe Biden and the Treasury Secretary request the unmasking of Flynn in intelligence communications.
Someone leaks to to David Ignatius of the Washington Post that Trump National Security Adviser Flynn had called Russia's ambassador. "What did Flynn say, and did it undercut the US sanctions?" asked Ignatius in the article.
Jan. 13, 2017: Senate Intelligence Committee opens investigation into Russia and U.S. political campaign officials.
Jan. 15, 2017: After leaks about Flynn's call with Russia's ambassador, Vice President-elect Mike Pence tells the press that Flynn did not discuss U.S. sanctions on the call.
Jan. 20, 2017: Trump becomes president.
Fifteen minutes after Trump becomes president, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice emails memo to herself purporting to summarize the Jan. 5 Oval Office meeting with President Obama and other top officials. She states that Obama instructed the group to investigate "by the book" and asked them to be mindful whether there were certain things that "could not be fully shared with the incoming administration."
Jan. 22, 2017: Intel info leaks to Wall Street Journal which reports "US counterintelligence agents have investigated communications" between Trump aide Gen. Michael Flynn and Russia ambassador to the U.S. Kislyak to determine if any laws were violated.
Jan. 23, 2017: Leak to Washington Post falsely claims Trump National Security Adviser Flynn is not the subject of an investigation.
Jan. 24, 2017: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates sends two FBI agents, including Peter Strzok, to the White House to question Gen. Flynn. FBI Director Comey later takes credit for "sending a couple of guys" to interview Flynn, circumventing normal processes.
Notes kept hidden until May 2020 show FBI officials discussing whether the goal of the meeting with Flynn was to "get him to lie" so that he would be fired or prosecuted.
Jan. 26, 2017: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and a high-ranking colleague go to White House to tell counsel Don McGahn that Flynn had lied to Pence about the content of his talks with Russian ambassador and "the underlying conduct that Gen. Flynn had engaged in was problematic in and of itself."
Jan. 27, 2017: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates again visits the White House.
Jan. 31, 2017: President Trump fires Acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she refuses to enforce his temporary travel ban on Muslims coming into U.S. from certain countries.
Ex-British spy Christopher Steele texts Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr who worked for Yates: "B, doubtless a sad and crazy day for you re- SY."
Dana Boente becomes Acting Attorney General. (It's later revealed that Boente signed at least one wiretap application against former Trump adviser Carter Page.)
Feb. 2, 2017: It's reported that five men employed by House of Representatives Democrats, including leader Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida), are under criminal investigation for allegedly "accessing House IT systems without lawmakers' knowledge." Suspects include three Awan brothers "who managed office information technology for members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and other lawmakers."
Feb. 3, 2017: A Russian tech mogul named in the Steele "dossier" files defamation lawsuits against BuzzFeed in the U.S. and Christopher Steele in the U.K. over the dossier's claims he interfered in U.S. elections.
Feb. 8, 2017: Jeff Sessions becomes Attorney General and Dana Boente moves to Deputy Attorney General.
Feb. 9, 2017: News of FBI wiretaps capturing Trump national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn speaking with Russia's ambassador is leaked to the press. New York Times and Washington Post report Flynn discussed U.S. sanctions, despite his earlier denials. The Post also reports the FBI "found nothing illicit" in the talks. The Post headline in an article by Greg Miller, Adam Entous and Ellen Nakashima reads, "National Security Adviser Flynn Discussed Sanctions with Russian Ambassador, Despite Denials, Officials Say."
Feb. 13, 2017 : Washington Post reports Justice Dept. has opened a "Logan Act" violation investigation against Trump national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
Feb. 14, 2017: New York Times reports that FBI had told Obama officials there was no "quid pro quo" (promise of a deal in exchange for some action) discussed between Gen. Flynn and Russian ambassador Kislyak.
Gen. Flynn resigns, allegedly acknowledging he misled vice president Mike Pence about the content of his discussions with Russia.
Comey says that, in a meeting, Trump states, "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go." Comey says he replies "he is a good guy." Trump later takes issue with Comey's characterization of the meeting.
Feb. 15, 2017 : NPR reports on "official transcripts of Flynn's calls" (saying they show no wrongdoing but that doesn't rule out illegal activity).
Feb. 17, 2017: Washington Post reports that "Flynn told FBI he did not discuss sanctions" with Russia ambassador and that "Lying to the FBI is a felony offense."
Feb. 24, 2017 : FBI interviews Flynn, according to later testimony from Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.
March 1, 2017: Washington Post reports Attorney General Jeff Sessions has met with Russian ambassador twice in the recent past (as did many Democrat and Republican officials). His critics say that contradicts his earlier testimony to Congress. The article by Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller raises the idea of a special counsel to investigate.
March 2017: FBI Director James Comey gives private briefings to members of Congress and reportedly says he does not believe Gen. Flynn lied to FBI.
House Intelligence Committee requests list of unmasking requests Obama officials made. The intel agencies do not provide the information, prompting a June 1 subpoena.
March 2, 2017: Attorney General Jeff Sessions recuses himself from Russia-linked investigations.
Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General, becomes Acting Attorney General for Russia Probe. It's later revealed that Rosenstein singed at least one wiretap application against former Trump adviser Carter Page.
March 4, 2017: President Trump tweets: "Is it legal for a sitting President to be 'wire tapping' a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!" and "How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!"
March 10, 2017: Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat, steps forward to support Trump's wiretapping claim, revealing that the Obama administration intel officials recorded his own communications with a Libyan official in Spring 2011.
March 14, 2017 : FBI Attorney Lisa Page texts FBI official Peter Strzok: "Finally two pages away from finishing [All the President's Men]. Did you know the president resigns in the end?!" Strzok replies, "What?!?! God, that we should be so lucky. [smiley face emoji]"
March 20, 2017 : FBI Director Comey tells House Intelligence Committee he has "no information that supports" the President's tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration. "We have looked carefully inside the FBI," Comey says. "(T)he answer is the same for the Department of Justice and all its components."
FBI Director Comey tells Congress there is "salacious and unverified" material in the Fusion GPS dossier used by FBI, in part, to obtain Carter Page wiretap. (Under FBI "Woods Procedures," only facts carefully verified by the FBI are allowed to be presented to court to obtain wiretaps.)
March 22, 2017: Chairman of House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) publicly announces he's seen evidence of Trump associates being "incidentally" surveilled by Obama intel officials; and their names being "unmasked" and illegally leaked. Nunes briefs President Trump and holds a news conference. He's criticized for doing so. An ethics investigation is opened into his actions but later clears him of wrongdoing.
In an interview on PBS, former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice responds to Nunes allegations by stating: "I know nothing about this, I really don't know to what Chairman Nunes was referring." (She later acknowledges unmasking names of Trump associates.)
March 2017: Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) writes Justice Dept. accusing Fusion GPS of acting as an agent for Russia "without properly registering" due to its pro-Russia effort to kill a law allowing sanctions against foreign human rights violators. Fusion GPS denies the allegations.
March 24, 2017: Fusion GPS declines to answer Sen. Grassley's questions or document requests.
March 27, 2017: Former Deputy Asst. Secretary of Defense Evelyn Farkas admits she encouraged Obama and Congressional officials to "get as much information as they can" about Russia and Trump officials before inauguration. "That's why you have the leaking," she told MSNBC.
Early April, 2017: A third FBI wiretap on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page is approved. Again, FBI Director James Comey, and acting attorney general Dana Boente sign the application. Trump officials including Mike Pompeo at the CIA are now leading the intel agencies during the wiretap.
April 3, 2017: Multiple news reports state that Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice had requested and reviewed "unmasked" intelligence on Trump associates whose information was "incidentally" collected by intel agencies.
April 4, 2017: Obama former National Security Adviser Rice admits, in an interview, that she asked to reveal names of U.S. citizens previously masked in intel reports. She says her motivations were not political. When asked if she leaked names, Rice states, "I leaked nothing to nobody."
April 6, 2017: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes recuses himself from Russia part of his committee's investigation.
April 11, 2017: FBI Director Comey appoints Stephen Laycock as special agent in charge of Counterintelligence Division for Washington Field Office.
Washington Post reports FBI secretly obtained wiretap against Trump campaign associate Carter Page last summer. (Later, it's revealed the summer wiretap had been turned down, but a subsequent application was approved in October.)
April 20, 2017: Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord resigns as acting head of Justice Dept. National Security Division. She'd led probes of Russia interference in election and Trump-Russia ties.
April 28, 2017: Dana Boente is appointed acting assistant attorney general for national security division to replace Mary McCord. (Boente has signed one of the questioned wiretap applications for Carter Page.)
National Security Agency (NSA) submits remedies for its egregious surveillance violations (revealed last October) to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court promising to "no longer collect certain internet communications that merely mention a foreign intelligence target." The NSA also begins deleting collected data on U.S. citizens it had been storing.
May 3, 2017: FBI Director Comey testifies he's "mildly nauseous" at the idea he might have affected election with the 11th hour Clinton email notifications to Congress.
Comey also testifies he's "never" been an anonymous news source on "matters relating to" investigating the Trump campaign.
Obama's former national security adviser Susan Rice declines Republican Congressional request to testify at a hearing about unmaskings and surveillance.
May 8, 2017: Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testify to Congress. They admit having reviewed "classified documents in which Mr. Trump, his associates or members of Congress had been unmasked," and possibly discussing it with others under the Obama administration.
May 9, 2017: President Trump fires FBI Director James Comey. Andrew McCabe becomes acting FBI Director.
May 12, 2017: Benjamin Wittes, confidant of ex-FBI Director James Comey and editor in chief of Lawfare, contacts New York Times reporter Mike Schmidt to leak conversations he'd had with Comey as FBI Director that are critical of President Trump.
May 16, 2017: New York Times publishes leaked account of FBI memoranda recorded by former FBI Director James Comey. Comey later acknowledges engineering the leak of the FBI material through his friend, Columbia Law School professor Daniel Richman, to spur appointment of special counsel to investigate President Trump.
Trump reportedly interviews , but passes over, former FBI Director Robert Mueller for position of FBI Director.
May 17, 2017: Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoints Robert Mueller as Special Counsel, Russia-Trump probe. Mueller and former FBI Director Comey are friends and worked closely together in previous Justice Dept. and FBI positions.
The gap of missing text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page ends. The couple is soon assigned to the Mueller team investigating Trump.
May 19, 2017: Anthony Wiener, former Congressman and husband of Hillary Clinton confidant Huma Abedin, turns himself in to FBI in case of underage sexting ; his third major kerfuffle over sexting in six years.
May 22, 2017 : FBI Counterespionage Chief Peter Strzok texts FBI Attorney Lisa Page about whether Strzok should join Special Counsel Mueller's investigation of Trump-Russia collusion. Strzok spoke of "unfinished business" that he "unleashed" with the Clinton classified email probe and stated: "Now I need to fix it and finish it." He also referred to the Special Counsel probe, which hadn't yet begun in earnest, as an "investigation leading to impeachment." But he also stated he had a "gut sense and concern there's no big there there."
June 1, 2017: House Intelligence Committee issues 7 subpoenas, including for information related to unmaskings requested by ex-Obama officials national security adviser Susan Rice, former CIA Director John Brennan, and former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power.
June 8, 2017: Former FBI Director James Comey admits having engineered leak of his own memo to New York Times to spur appointment of a special counsel to investigate President Trump.
June 20, 2017: Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe names Philip Celestini as Special Agent in Charge of the Intelligence Division, Washington Field Office.
Late June, 2017: FBI renews wiretap against Carter Page for the fourth and final time that we know of. It lasts through late Sept. 2017. (Page is never ultimately charged with a crime.) FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein sign the renewal application.
Late July, 2017: FBI reportedly searches Paul Manafort's Alexandria, Virginia home.
Summer 2017: FBI lawyer Lisa Page is reassigned from Mueller investigation. Her boyfriend, FBI official Peter Strzok is removed from Mueller investigation after the Inspector General discovers compromising texts between Strzok and Page. Congress is not notified of the developments.
Aug. 2, 2017: Christopher Wray is named FBI Director.
August 2017: Ex-FBI Director Comey signs a book deal for a reported $2 million.
Sept. 13, 2017: Under questioning from Congress, Obama's former National Security Adviser Susan Rice reportedly admits having requested to see the protected identities of Trump transition officials "incidentally" captured by government surveillance.
Approx. Oct. 10, 2017: Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleads guilty to lying to FBI about his unsuccessful efforts during the campaign to facilitate meetings between Trump officials and Russian officials.
Oct. 17, 2017: Obama's former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power reportedly tells Congressional investigators that many of the hundreds of "unmasking" requests in her name during the election year were not made by her.
Oct. 24, 2017: Congressional Republicans announce new investigations into a 2010 acquisition that gave Russia control of 20% of U.S. uranium supply while Clinton was secretary of state; and FBI decision not to charge Clinton in classified info probe.
Oct. 30, 2017: Special Counsel Mueller charges ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and business associate Rick Gates with tax and money laundering crimes related to their foreign work. The charges do not appear related to Trump.
Nov. 2, 2017: Carter Page testifies to House Intelligence committee under oath without an attorney and asks to have the testimony published. He denies ever meeting the Russian official that Fusion GPS claimed he'd met with in July 2016.
Nov. 5, 2017: Special Counsel Robert Mueller files charges against ex-Trump national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn for allegedly lying to FBI official Peter Strzok about contacts with Russian ambassador during presidential transition.
Dec. 1, 2017: Former national security adviser Gen. Flynn pleads guilty of lying to the FBI. Prosecutors recommend no prison time (but later reverse their recommendation).
James Rybicki steps down as chief of staff to FBI Director.
Dec. 6, 2017: Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr is reportedly stripped of one of his positions at Justice Dept. amid controversy over his and his wife's role in anti-Trump political opposition research.
Dec. 7, 2017: FBI Director Wray incorrectly testifies that there have been no "702" surveillance abuses by the government.
Dec. 19, 2017: FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe repeatedly testifies that the wiretap against Trump campaign official Carter Page would not have been approved without the Fusion GPS info. FBI general counsel James Baker, who is himself subject of an Inspector General probe over his alleged leaks to the press, attends as McCabe's attorney. McCabe acknowledges that if Baker had met with Mother Jones reporter David Corn, it would have been inappropriate.
FBI general counsel James Baker is reassigned amid investigation into his alleged anti-Trump related contacts with media.2018
Jan. 4, 2018: Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) refer criminal charges against Christopher Steele to the FBI for investigation. There's an apparent conflict of interest with the FBI being asked to investigate Steele since the FBI has used Steele's controversial political opposition research to obtain wiretaps.
Jan. 8, 2018: Justice Dept. official Bruce Ohr loses his second title at the agency.
Jan. 10, 2018: Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen files defamation suits against Fusion GPS and BuzzFeed News for publishing the "Steele dossier," which he says falsely claimed he met Russian government officials in Prague, Czech Republic, in August of 2016.
Jan. 11, 2018: House of Representatives approves government's controversial "702" wireless surveillance authority. The Senate follows suit.
Jan. 19, 2018: Justice Dept. produces to Congress some text messages between FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok but states that FBI lost texts between December 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017 due to a technical glitch.
President Trump signs six-year extension of "702" wireless surveillance authority.
Jan. 23, 2018: Former FBI Director Comey friend who leaked on behalf of Comey to New York Times to spur appointment of special counsel is now Comey's attorney.
Jan. 25, 2018: Justice Dept. Inspector General notifies Congress it has recovered missing text messages between FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok.
Jan. 27, 2018: Edward O'Callaghan is named Acting Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division.
Jan. 29, 2018: Andrew McCabe steps down as Deputy FBI Director ahead of his March retirement.
Jan. 30, 2018: News reports allege that Justice Department Inspector General is looking into why FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe appeared to wait three weeks before acting on new Clinton emails found right before the election.
Feb. 2, 2018: House Intelligence Committee (Nunes) Republican memo is released. It summarizes classified documents revealing for the first time that Fusion GPS political opposition research was used, in part, to justify Carter Page wiretap; along with Michael Isikoff Yahoo News article based on the same opposition research.
Memo also states that Fusion GPS set up back channel to FBI through Nellie Ohr, who conducted opposition research on Trump and passed it to her husband, associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr.
Feb. 7, 2018: Justice Department official David Laufman, who helped oversee the Clinton and Russia probes, steps down as chief of National Security Division's Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.
Feb. 9, 2018: Former FBI Director Comey assistant Josh Campbell leaves FBI for job at CNN.
Justice Department Associate Attorney General, Office of Legal Policy, Rachel Brand, resigns.
Feb. 16, 2018: Special counsel Mueller obtains guilty plea from a Dutch attorney for lying to federal investigators about the last time he spoke to Rick Gates regarding a 2012 project related to Ukraine. The plea does not appear to relate to 2016 campaign or Trump. The Dutch attorney is married to the daughter of a Russian oligarch who's suing Buzzfeed and Christopher Steele for alleged defamation in the "dossier."
Feb. 22, 2018: Former State Dept. official and Sen. John McCain associate David Kramer invokes his Fifth Amendment right not to testify before House Intelligence Committee. Kramer reportedly picked up the anti-Trump political opposition research in London and delivered it to Sen. McCain who delivered it to the FBI.
Special counsel Mueller files new charges against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and former campaign aide Rick Gates, accusing them of additional tax and bank fraud crimes. The allegations appear to be unrelated to Trump.
Fri. Feb. 23, 2018: Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates, pleads guilty to conspiracy and lying to investigators (though he issues a statement saying he's innocent of the indictment charges). The allegations and plea have no apparent link to Trump-Russia campaign collusion.
Sat. Feb. 24, 2018: Democrats on House Intel Committee release their rebuttal memo to the Republican version that summarized alleged FBI misconduct re: using the GPS Fusion opposition research to get wiretap against Carter Page.
March 12, 2018 : House Intelligence Committee closes Russia-Trump investigation with no evidence of collusion.
Fri. March 16, 2018 : Attorney General Jeff Sessions fires Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, based on recommendation from FBI ethics investigators.
Thurs. March 22, 2018 : President Trump announces plans to replace National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster with former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton.
House Judiciary Committee issues subpoenas to Department of Justice after Department failed to produce documents.
May 4, 2018 : Amid allegations that he was responsible for improper leaks, FBI attorney James Baker resigns and joins the Brookings Institution, writing for the anti-Trump blog "Lawfare" that first discussed the need for an "insurance policy" in case Trump got elected.2019
March 2019 : Special Counsel Robert Mueller signs off on his final report stating that there was no collusion or coordination between Trump -- or any American -- and Russia. He leaves as an open question the issue of whether Trump took any actions that could be considered obstruction. No new charges are recommended or filed with the issuance of the report.
June 2019 : Former Trump National Security Adviser Flynn fire his defense attorneys and hires Sidney Powell.
Oct. 25, 2019 : Flynn files a motion to dismiss the case against him due to prosecutorial misconduct. Among other claims, Flynn says prosecutors failed to turn over exculpatory material tending to show his innocence. Prosecutors claim they were not required to turn over the information.
Dec. 19, 2019 : An investigation by Inspector General Michael Horowitz finds egregious abuses by FBI and Justice Department officials in obtaining wiretaps of former Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page. The report also says an FBI attorney doctored a document, providing false information to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, to get the wiretaps.2020
Jan. 7, 2020 : Prosecutors reverse their earlier recommendation for no prison time, and ask for up to six months in prison for Flynn.
Jan. 16, 2020 : Flynn files a motion to withdraw his guilty plea.
Jan. 23, 2020 : The Dept. of Justice finds that two of its wiretaps against former Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page were improperly obtained and are therefore invalid.
Feb. 10, 2020: The Dept. of Justice asks a judge to sentence Trump associate Roger Stone to 7 to 9 years in prison for lying about his communications with WikiLeaks.
Feb. 11, 2020 : The Dept. of Justice reduces its recommendation for prison time for Stone after President Trump and others criticized the initial representation as excessive. Stone receives three years and four months in prison.
Feb. 20, 2020: President Trump appoints Richard Grenell as acting Director of National Intelligence. Grenell begins facilitating the release of long withheld documents regarding FBI actions against Trump campaign associates.
March 31, 2020 : A Justice Dept. Inspector General's analysis of more than two dozen wiretap applications from eight FBI field offices over two months finds "we do not have confidence" that the bureau followed standards to ensure the accuracy of the wiretap requests.
April 3, 2020 : Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court asks FBI to review whether it wiretaps are valid in light of information about problems and abuses.
April 29, 2020 : Newly-released documents show FBI officials, prior to their original interview with Flynn, discussing whether the goal was to try to get him to lie to get him fired or so that he could be prosecuted.
May 7, 2020 : The Department of Justice announces a decision to drop the case against Flynn.
* * *
Order "Slanted: How the News Media Taught Us to Love Censorship and Hate Journalism" by Sharyl Attkisson at Harper Collins , Amazon , Barnes & Noble , Books a Million , IndieBound , Bookshop !
May 15, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
No Proof That Russia Hacked DNC - Democrats Hid Sworn CrowdStrike Testimony For Over 2 Years by Tyler Durden Fri, 05/15/2020 - 14:10 Authored by Aaron Maté via RealClearInvestigations.com,
CrowdStrike, the private cyber-security firm that first accused Russia of hacking Democratic Party emails and served as a critical source for U.S. intelligence officials in the years-long Trump-Russia probe, acknowledged to Congress more than two years ago that it had no concrete evidence that Russian hackers stole emails from the Democratic National Committee's server.
Crowdstrike President Shawn Henry: "We just don't have the evidence..."
CrowdStrike President Shawn Henry's admission under oath, in a recently declassified December 2017 interview before the House Intelligence Committee, raises new questions about whether Special Counsel Robert Mueller, intelligence officials and Democrats misled the public. The allegation that Russia stole Democratic Party emails from Hillary Clinton, John Podesta and others and then passed them to WikiLeaks helped trigger the FBI's probe into now debunked claims of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia to steal the 2016 election. The CrowdStrike admissions were released just two months after the Justice Department retreated from its its other central claim that Russia meddled in the 2016 election when it dropped charges against Russian troll farms it said had been trying to get Trump elected.
Henry personally led the remediation and forensics analysis of the DNC server after being warned of a breach in late April 2016; his work was paid for by the DNC, which refused to turn over its server to the FBI. Asked for the date when alleged Russian hackers stole data from the DNC server, Henry testified that CrowdStrike did not in fact know if such a theft occurred at all: "We did not have concrete evidence that the data was exfiltrated [moved electronically] from the DNC, but we have indicators that it was exfiltrated," Henry said.
Henry reiterated his claim on multiple occasions:
- "There are times when we can see data exfiltrated, and we can say conclusively. But in this case it appears it was set up to be exfiltrated, but we just don't have the evidence that says it actually left."
- "There's not evidence that they were actually exfiltrated. There's circumstantial evidence but no evidence that they were actually exfiltrated."
- " There is circumstantial evidence that that data was exfiltrated off the network... We didn't have a sensor in place that saw data leave. We said that the data left based on the circumstantial evidence. That was the conclusion that we made."
- "Sir, I was just trying to be factually accurate, that we didn't see the data leave, but we believe it left, based on what we saw."
- Asked directly if he could "unequivocally say" whether "it was or was not exfiltrated out of DNC," Henry told the committee: "I can't say based on that."
Rep. Adam Schiff: Democrat held up interview transcripts, but finally relented after acting intel director Richard Grenell suggested he would release them himself. (Senate Television via AP)
In a later exchange with Republican Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah, Henry offered an explanation of how Russian agents could have obtained the emails without any digital trace of them leaving the server. The CrowdStrike president speculated that Russian agents might have taken "screenshots" in real time. "[If] somebody was monitoring an email server, they could read all the email," Henry said. "And there might not be evidence of it being exfiltrated, but they would have knowledge of what was in the email. There would be ways to copy it. You could take screenshots."
Henry's 2017 testimony that there was no "concrete evidence" that the emails were stolen electronically suggests that Mueller was at best misleading in his 2019 final report, in which he stated that Russian intelligence "appears to have compressed and exfiltrated over 70 gigabytes of data from the file server."
It is unlikely that Mueller had another source to make his more confident claim about Russian hacking.
The stolen emails, which were published by Wikileaks – whose founder, Julian Assange has long denied they came from Russia – were embarrassing to the party because, among other things, they showed the DNC had favored Clinton during her 2016 primary battles against Sen. Bernie Sanders for the presidential nomination. The DNC eventually issued an apology to Sanders and his supporters "for the inexcusable remarks made over email." The DNC hack was separate from the FBI's investigation of Clinton's use of a private server while serving as President Obama's Secretary of State.
The disclosure that CrowdStrike found no evidence that alleged Russian hackers exfiltrated any data from the DNC server raises a critical question: On what basis, then, did it accuse them of stealing the emails? Further, on what basis did Obama administration officials make far more forceful claims about Russian hacking?
Michael Sussmann: This lawyer at Perkins Coie hired CrowdStrike to investigate the DNC breach. He was also involved with Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele in producing the discredited Steele dossier.
The January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA), which formally accused Russia of a sweeping influence campaign involving the theft of Democratic emails, claimed the Russian intelligence service GRU "exfiltrated large volumes of data from the DNC." A July 2018 indictment claimed that GRU officers "stole thousands of emails from the work accounts of DNC employees."
According to everyone concerned, the cyber-firm played a critical role in the FBI's investigation of the DNC data theft. Henry told the panel that CrowdStrike "shared intelligence with the FBI" on a regular basis, making "contact with them over a hundred times in the course of many months." In congressional testimony that same year, former FBI Director James Comey acknowledged that the FBI "never got direct access to the machines themselves," and instead relied on CrowdStrike, which "shared with us their forensics from their review of the system." According to Comey, the FBI would have preferred direct access to the server, and made "multiple requests at different levels," to obtain it. But after being rebuffed, "ultimately it was agreed to [CrowdStrike] would share with us what they saw."
Henry's testimony seems at variance with Comey's suggestion of complete information sharing. He told Congress that CrowdStrike provided "a couple of actual digital images" of DNC hard drives, out of a total number of "in excess of 10, I think." In other cases, Henry said, CrowdStrike provided its own assessment of them. The firm, he said, provided "the results of our analysis based on what our technology went out and collected." This disclosure follows revelations from the case of Trump operative Roger Stone that CrowdStrike provided three reports to the FBI in redacted and draft form. According to federal prosecutors, the government never obtained CrowdStrike's unredacted reports.
CrowdStrike's newy disclosed admissions raise new questions about whether Special Counsel Robert Mueller (above), intelligence officials and Democrats misled the public.
There are no indications that the Mueller team accessed any additional information beyond what CrowdStrike provided. According to the Mueller report, "the FBI later received images of DNC servers and copies of relevant traffic logs." But if the FBI obtained only "copies" of data traffic – and not any new evidence -- those copies would have shown the same absence of "concrete evidence" that Henry admitted to.
Adding to the tenuous evidence is CrowdStrike's own lack of certainty that the hackers it identified inside the DNC server were indeed Russian government actors. Henry's explanation for his firm's attribution of the DNC hack to Russia is replete with inferences and assumptions that lead to "beliefs," not unequivocal conclusions. "There are other nation-states that collect this type of intelligence for sure," Henry said, "but what we would call the tactics and techniques were consistent with what we'd seen associated with the Russian state." In its investigation, Henry said, CrowdStrike "saw activity that we believed was consistent with activity we'd seen previously and had associated with the Russian Government. We said that we had a high degree of confidence it was the Russian Government."
But CrowdStrike was forced to retract a similar accusation months after it accused Russia in December 2016 of hacking the Ukrainian military, with the same software that the firm had claimed to identify inside the DNC server.
The firm's work with the DNC and FBI is also colored by partisan affiliations. Before joining CrowdStrike, Henry served as executive assistant director at the FBI under Mueller. Co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch is a vocal critic of Vladimir Putin and a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, the pro-NATO think tank that has consistently promoted an aggressive policy toward Russia. And the newly released testimony confirms that CrowdStrike was hired to investigate the DNC breach by Michael Sussmann of Perkins Coie – the same Democratic-tied law firm that hired Fusion GPS to produce the discredited Steele dossier, which was also treated as central evidence in the investigation. Sussmann played a critical role in generating the Trump-Russia collusion allegation. Ex-British spy and dossier compiler Christopher Steele has testified in British court that Sussmann shared with him the now-debunked Alfa Bank server theory, alleging a clandestine communication channel between the bank and the Trump Organization.
Henry's recently released testimony does not mean that Russia did not hack the DNC. What it does make clear is that Obama administration officials, the DNC and others have misled the public by presenting as fact information that they knew was uncertain. The fact that the Democratic Party employed the two private firms that generated the core allegations at the heart of Russiagate -- Russian email hacking and Trump-Russia collusion – suggests that the federal investigation was compromised from the start.
The 2017 Henry transcript was one of dozens just released after a lengthy dispute. In September 2018, the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee unanimously voted to release witness interview transcripts and sent them to the U.S. intelligence community for declassification review. In March 2019, months after Democrats won House control, Rep. Adam Schiff ordered the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to withhold the transcripts from White House lawyers seeking to review them for executive privilege. Schiff also refused to release vetted transcripts, but finally relented after acting ODNI Director Richard Grenell suggested this month that he would release them himself.
Several transcripts, including the interviews of former CIA Director John Brennan and Comey, remain unreleased. And in light of the newly disclosed Crowdstrike testimony, another secret document from the House proceedings takes on urgency for public viewing. According to Henry, Crowdstrike also provided the House Intelligence Committee with a copy of its report on the DNC email theft.
May 15, 2020 | www.unz.com
Bill Jones , says: Show Comment May 14, 2020 at 9:24 am GMT@Sgt. Joe Friday "Actually, Maddow considers herself a Serious Journalist. She "speaks truth to power," and she'd probably be the first to tell you that. Repeatedly.
Limbaugh on the other hand, if asked to pick a word to describe his profession would likely say "entertainer.""
While in actuality, the roles are very nearly reversed. (Nearly only because I don't find Maddow amusing)
May 15, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
WHY IS THE US IN SYRIA?
Washington longer bothers to prettify – the boot is straight to the face. ISIS?
Forget ISIS says Jeffrey : " My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians ".
An amazing confession, in the same class as " We lied, we cheated, we stole ".
May 14, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Patient Observer May 11, 2020 at 8:50 amDon't fuck with the Tuck:Mark Chapman May 11, 2020 at 9:54 am
The guy is on fire. Per Carlson, Obama orchestrated the Russian collusion propaganda. I suspect that the lovely Ms. Hilary was a conspirator as well.
Carlson has the number 1 television news show with 4.56 million viewers on average.
Like LikeAbsolutely remarkable; in fact, 'stunning', as he uses it, is not too much of a stretch. The 'liberal elites' just go right on lying even though the sworn testimony of FBI interviewers is available for anyone to read, as well as the chilling manipulations of Strozk and Page, both of whom should be in prison and perhaps will be. And that fucker Schiff should swing. I can't believe the transformation of Carlson from Bush shill to the reincarnation of Edward R. Murrow. He makes this case so compellingly that nobody could watch that clip and not believe that Flynn was railroaded from the outset. And what were they allegedly going to jail Flynn's son for? Does anyone know? Were they just going to make something up? That is terrifying, and almost argues for the disbanding of the FBI, although it demonstrably still contains honest agents – as Carlson asks rhetorically, how many times have they done this already, and gotten away with it?Cortes May 11, 2020 at 10:10 am
It's hard to imagine anyone would vote Democrat now.
Like LikeThe son was being lined up for prosecution for alleged FARA violations regarding work on Turkey, I think. The son was working with the General.Mark Chapman May 11, 2020 at 11:45 am
Like LikeCouldn't have been too much of a crime, if they offered to let him go in exchange for Flynn pleading guilty to lying. Actually, you'd kind of think their business was prosecuting crimes whoever committed them, and that offering to excuse a crime in exchange for a guilty plea is .kind of a crime.uncle tungsten May 12, 2020 at 2:55 am
Man, they have to clean house at the FBI. And there probably are several other organizations that need it, too. Not the political culling based on ideology that was a feature of the Bush White House, but the crowd that's in now just cannot be allowed to get off with nothing.
Like LikeGreetings Mark and all, I am a new arrival as Jen suggested the company is fine here for barflies to ponder the world. Can I surmise that if Flynn and son were the FBI targets for nefarious business dealings then surely Biden and son fall in to that same category. After all Biden and son filched millions after arranging a USA loan of $1Billion to Ukraine and then did it again after the IMF loaned a few million more. Carpetbagging and its modern day practice is a crime in the USA last I looked.Mark Chapman May 12, 2020 at 9:37 am
If that conspicuous bias isn't enough cause to dismember the FBI then consider the Uranium One deal that Hillary Clinton and family set up or perhaps the Debbie Wasserman Shultz fostering the Awan family spy and blackmail ring.
Like LikeGood day, Uncle, and welcome! For some reason I can't fathom, the Democrats seem to own or control all the 'respectable' media in the USA. FOX News is an exception, and has been a mouthpiece for the Republicans since its inception. But the Democrats control the New York Times and the Washington Post, which together represent the bulk of American public feeling to foreigners, and probably to the domestic audience as well. They are extremely active on conflicts between the two parties, ensuring the Democratic perspective gets put forward in calm, reasonable why-wouldn't-a-sensible-person-think-this-way manner. At the same time they cast horrific aspersions at the Republicans. Not that either are much good; but the news coverage is very one-sided – the position of the Democrats on the sexual-assault furor over the Kavanaugh appointment compared with their wait-and-see attitude to very similar accusations against Biden is a classic example.rkka May 13, 2020 at 9:33 am
Like LikeMark,Mark Chapman May 13, 2020 at 11:12 am
I don't think its the Democrats that control the NYT &WP, so much as plutocrats. They're also the ones who fund both the Democrats & the Republicans. The only significant difference between the parties is largely in the arena of the social "culture war" issues. But on the issues plutocrats care about, like economic policy & foreign policy, the differences are shades of grey, rather than actual distinctions.
Just remember the coverage of both papers in the run up to George W Shrub's catastrophic Iraq war. They're stenographers, not journalists.
Like LikeThat may well be true, but the NYT and WP historically champion the Democrats, endorse the Democratic candidate for president, and pander to Democratic issues and projects. The Wall Street Journal is the traditional Republican print outlet, and there might be others but I don't know them. CNN is overwhelmingly and weepily Democratic in its content – Wolf Blitzer's eyes nearly roll back in his head with ecstasy whenever he mentions Saint Hillary – while FOX News is Repubican to the bone and openly contemptuous of liberals. It could certainly be, on reflection probably is, that the same cabal of corporatists control them all, and a fine joke they must think it. And I certainly and emphatically agree there is almost no difference between the parties in execution of external policy.
May 14, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
et Al May 11, 2020 at 8:22 amJusttheNews.com: Dirty Dozen: The 12 revelations that sunk Mueller's case against FlynnMark Chapman May 11, 2020 at 9:37 am
After a prescient 2017 tip from inside the FBI, a slow drip of revelations exposed the deep problems with the Flynn prosecution.
All at the link.
I should add that the author, seasoned investigative reporter John Soloman, wrote much of this over at TheHill.com and was targeted for review over his clearly labelled 'opinion' pieces reporting on the Bidens in the Ukraine. The Hill's conclusion is piss weak and accuses him of what just about every other journalist in the US does and reads in particular of holding him up to a much higher standard than others. As you will see from his twatter bio, he's worked for AP, Washington Post, The Washington Times and The Hill. Some things you are just not supposed to investigate, let alone report.
https://thehill.com/homenews/news/483600-the-hills-review-of-john-solomons-columns-on-ukraineAt an absolute minimum, the FBI officials involved – except those who did their jobs properly and stated their judgments at the outset that there was no evidence Flynn was not telling the truth, or believed he was – should be fired and their pensions, if applicable, rescinded.
Ideally, they should each be prosecuted with an attempt to discern their connections to the political establishment, and specifically to the Clintons. What does that woman have to do to get jailed – blow somebody away on the 6 o'clock news?
May 14, 2020 | www.unz.com
Ilya G Poimandres , says: Show Comment May 14, 2020 at 5:44 am GMT@Al Lipton He strikes me as just another leader out for his own self image, and legacy. I took this opinion given his foreign policy – the shows for his isolationist base, and his continuous almost wars for the MIC. I do say almost wars, and that says something. We're I a US citizen, and one to vote for humans, I would vote for Trump this time, but he is imperfect imo, and it's only a coincidence that on some issues what benefits him, aligns with what benefits the nation.Robert Dolan , says: Show Comment May 14, 2020 at 5:45 am GMT
The timing of ObamaGate for example – we all knew it, it would go from snail's pace to a decent speed just as the election cycle was heating up. But this is playing politics and electioneering with the most critical misdirection and criminality of US officials in a long time. A real leader who worked for the nation and its Constitution only, would bugger all that and start draining as soon as could be done.
Of course that could be coincidence, and they could have been building a strong case, but as someone else said, I will take my conspiracy theory over some coincidence theory any day.
I can't imagine that without ObamaGate, he would have even tried to drain the swamp. Made showpieces of it sure, but no thing major. But now he can do what he promised and maybe even wanted to do, without reputational damage, and he will do it.
But how he will be in his second term, through a depression that was on its way in 6 months before corona? Like FDR I'd guess – war war war.Mike Enoch calls it the "kosher sandwich" and he's right.
Trump lied his ass off, has been shabbos goy forever. He had no intention of doing anything ...
Adam Green has delved into Trump and his father. They were born shabbos goy.
The GOP says what we want to hear, then they do what the nose tells them to do.
The Dems just do whatever the nose wants without even having to ask. They anticipate what the nose wants!
... ... ...
May 13, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Jim , 13 May 2020 at 04:51 PMFederal Judge Emmett Sullivan needs "help."
His words, not mine.
Although amica, or amicus briefs can be routine in civil cases, in a criminal case, it is a prosecutor's duty to decide things as basic as whether to prosecute a case.
But in the Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn matter, Sullivan says he now needs outside help.
The need, the judge says, came following the DOJ decision to end prosecution of the general, having determined there was no crime; the heretofore prosecution of him was a phantom of the opera.
Sullivan now wants an encore.
What might that be?
Pirates of Penzance?
Sullivan Flies Over the Cuckoo's Nest?
In a recent order the judge said he will invite outside parties -- outside of the DOJ -- to provide this judge "unique information or perspective that can help the court."
The absurdity of Sullivan notwithstanding, it could be: he recognizes he is sitting on a volcano, partly of his own making because of decisions he made; and those of Judge Rudy Contreras, the man who was on the bench when Flynn plead to the false charges, circa Dec. 1, 2017.
Neither Contreras, nor Flynn's Covington lawyers, prior this plea, demanded the DOJ produce original FBI 302s -- of the Jan. 24, 2017 FBI interview of Flynn -- to show the concrete substance, that is, actual evidence, that would purportedly show the general lied.
The DOJ never produced this. Ever.
Sullivan, he never asked nor demanded nor got to read those original 302s either, even though he has been sitting on this case since Dec. 7, 2017.
After a year of sitting on the case, Flynn said he was ready to be sentenced: the prosecutors had said they were fine with no jail time for him.
During this Dec. 18, 2018 hearing, Sullivan Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
[If you have not, read transcript of this hearing, it's at least a half-hour read.]
Sullivan told Flynn he could face 15 years in jail, implied he committed treason, was a traitor to his country, blah blah blah.
The prosecutor at the time, Brandon Van Grack, told the Pirate of Penzance that more assistance of Flynn was needed for the bogus Mueller investigation.
Sullivan [Gilbert was not in the courtroom] then allowed Flynn's sentencing hearing to be continued, so long as Mueller submitted monthly progress reports to ascertain the general was cooperating with the special counsel office's "investigation" of nonexistent "crimes" against who knows what at that point.
To recap: Sullivan threatened Flynn with 15 years in prison; Flynn withdrew his willingness to be sentenced at that time; Van Grack out of nowhere said the general needed to cooperate some more with Mueller.
Had Sullivan not gone rouge at this hearing; had he demanded and gotten the original 302s, I would give more credence to what I'll say next.
The only rational reason, I think, Sullivan said he needs "help" -- before consummating the DOJ's request to end this matter – is simple.
Sullivan knows he is sitting on a volcano, and he can't take the heat.
Thus, he might be creating conditions for a last hurrah of nonsense from the enemies of justice who are the enemies of Flynn, who want to file amica with the court.
Put another way, the judge is inviting the very circus he claim to want to avoid, in his Minute Order.
Reason I'm not necessarily opposed to this circus is practical: more sunshine can be brought to this prosecution, this malicious and political perecution of Flynn – sunshine, via the DOJ release document after document that just piles onto the record DOJ/FBI/CIA lawlessness that was directed against and targeted Flynn. And perhaps other delicious nuggets, too.
When the smoke clears, the fat lady finally sings, Sullivan can say or claim he did everything to give everyone their say, blah blah blah, and hope like hell everyone forgets this Pirate's dereliction of duty, as a judge with a lifetime appointment.
Perhaps, should this show go on, we might discover why Contreras mysteriously recused himself right after the Flynn pleas.
Perhaps we will read all of the Covington law firm Eric Holder and Michael Chertoff emails, and what they were saying about Flynn, the good, the bad, the ugly.
And, since Barry decided to directly and publicly insert himself in this fiasco last week, with his remark about Flynn and "perjury," who knows what other documents will be filed on the docket. [Obama's pre meditated use of "perjury" when he knows it was not about that, indicates just how sinister his public involvement now is.]
I would like to see all of Sullivan's communications, work related and private, involving the Flynn case.
Please file all of them on the docket, Judge Sullivan, un-redacted, you who opened this can of worms. [So we can see if you, by your own "standards" might be a "security threat" or "sold out your country," etc.]
Sullivan didn't start this fire; he did pour gasoline on it.
". . . .Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. . . ."[Epistle to the Galatians]
May 13, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.comdiv Was Flynn a victim of his own incompetence?
There several fuzzy, unexplainable moments in this whole story:
1. Why Flynn intentionally violated White House protocol for questioning of Trump administration officials? He was fired by Obama-Brennan mafia for questioning Obama policies and during this period he should obtain more or less complete understanding of the modus of operation of this mafia and should not have any illusions about them, should he ?
2. How he did not sense the danger? Why no lawyer was present during the interview? It is impossible that Flynn did not understand that both Strzok and his boss were essentially plants from CIA in FBI and indirectly reported to Brennan ?
3. Why in this chess party between former paratrooper and former DIA chief (who has a Master of Business Administration in Telecommunications from Golden Gate University) and such a sleazy, feminine second, if not third rate individual as Strzok, the simplest defensive move was to ask for transcripts of his talks with conversations with Kislyak was not used? Why Flynn so easily fall a victim of a primitive, textbook entrapment? It is inconceivable that he does not understand that such a full transcript exist. Why he behaved like a 17 year old detailed by a police officer?
4. On Jan 23, 2017 Russiagate hysteria was in full bloom. So any normal individual would understand where are the legs of questions that Strzok asked him during the interview just based on this simple fact. Also it is unconceivable that neither he, not Trump has no information about the actions of Comey and his henchmen from former Flynn colleagues in DIA. Why no preemptive strikes against McCabe and Strzok plot were fired?
5. How important was the fact that Comey and his henchmen have Flynn by the balls due to his lobbing efforts for Turkey in this whole story ?
May 12, 2020 | www.rt.com
Just over a third of Americans trust President Donald Trump's information about the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new poll. But given decades of crises mishandled by the government, the only surprise is that it isn't lower. A CNN poll showing that just 36 percent of Americans trust Trump for reliable information about the coronavirus was held up triumphantly by the president's critics on Tuesday as proof his credibility is circling the drain. But it's more likely to be the fallout not just from Trump, but from the two preceding presidential administrations' misrepresentation of crises, that has created epidemic levels of distrust among the people.
Trump's own approval rating is hovering around 45 percent, according to the poll, conducted by CNN in conjunction with SSRS and released on Tuesday. While it's been presented as a scathing mass rejection of Trump, the same pollsters are actually seeing an uptick in support for the president – the approval rating last month stood at 44 percent, and the previous month's was 43. But Americans can't be faulted for distrusting the Trump administration's narratives, given prior presidents' tendencies toward crying wolf in ways that have invariably left the American people worse off.
The last time Washington tried to mobilize the US with the threat of an invisible enemy was during George W. Bush's 'War on Terror' after the September 11 attacks. While it soon became apparent that the many deaths that occurred on that day had nothing to do with the subsequent US invasions of Afghanistan and then Iraq, it was too late by the time Americans found out they had been lied to. Not only had the Afghan government willingly offered up Osama bin Laden, but Saddam Hussein was found to have had no 'weapons of mass destruction', and the entire narrative was the concoction of a secretive entity that had been set up to create a casus belli for war with Iraq despite the facts.
Bush's approval ratings declined steadily following 9/11, as the nation was forced into one war after another on false pretenses. At his lowest point, just 25 percent of Americans trusted him. The 'invisible enemy' of terrorism – supposedly lurking around every corner and requiring Americans to practically disrobe at entrances to airports – had lost its luster, and Bush's poor handling of real-life crises like Hurricane Katrina put the final nail in the coffin of his credibility.
While Barack Obama entered office on a high note with a promise of " hope and change ," his approval rating also plunged quickly – especially when he refused to stand in the way of the wildly unpopular 2008 'Wall Street bailout' – sinking to 41 percent in 2011 as Americans grew restive after years of recession with no change in sight. By 2014, 70 percent of respondents to an MSNBC poll stated the country was headed in the wrong direction, with 80 percent singling out the political system as the primary culprit. Congress enjoyed an appallingly low 14 percent approval rating.
In light of such a history of distrust – the president who'd promised to not only shutter the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison but also end the seemingly eternal wars in the Middle East had not only failed to deliver on those promises, but actually launched several new wars in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan – it's no surprise Americans are reluctant to embrace the Trump administration's Covid-19 narrative.
Another invisible enemy that requires them to sacrifice their livelihoods – a third of Americans couldn't pay their rent last month, while even the paltry $1,200 stimulus checks supposedly heading to 130 million Americans have apparently not reached half their intended recipients yet – is reminding Americans of what happened last time they were told to put aside their real-life concerns and fall in line behind a narrative that turned out to be false.
Like the fabled boy who cried wolf, it doesn't matter if the emergency is real this time – the government has simply worn out its welcome by making demands on false pretenses.
May 13, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Washington now says it's all about defeating the Russians . While it's not the first time this has been thrown around in policy circles (recall that a year after Russia's 2015 entry into Syria at Assad's invitation, former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell admitted in a TV interview he views that the US should be in the business of "killing Russians and Iranians covertly" ).
And now the top US special envoy to region, James Jeffrey, has this to say on US troops in Syria :
"My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians."
Ironically, Jeffrey's official title has been Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL, but apparently the mission is now to essentially "give the Russians hell". His comments were made Tuesday during a video conference hosted by the neocon Hudson Institute :
Asked why the American public should tolerate US involvement in Syria, Special Envoy James Jeffrey points out the small US footprint in the fight against ISIS. "This isn't Afghanistan. This isn't Vietnam. This isn't a quagmire. My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians."
He also emphasized that the Syrian state would continue to be squeezed into submission as part of long-term US efforts (going back to at least 2011) to legitimize a Syria government in exile of sorts. This after the Trump administration recently piled new sanctions on Damascus. As University of Oklahoma professor and expert on the region Joshua Landis summarized of Jeffrey's remarks: "He pledged that the United States will continue to deny Syria - international funding, reconstruction, oil, banking, agriculture & recognition of government."
"My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians."
Special US envoy to Syria - James Jeffery
He pledged that the United States will continue to deny Syria - international funding, reconstruction, oil, banking, agriculture & recognition of government. https://t.co/MSAkQqAmdh-- Joshua Landis (@joshua_landis) May 12, 2020
But no doubt both Putin and Assad have understood Washington's real proxy war interests all along, which is why last year Russia delivered it's lethal S-300 into the hands of Assad (and amid constant Israeli attacks). But no doubt both Putin and Assad have understood Washington's real proxy war interests all along, which is why last year Russia delivered it's lethal S-300 into the hands of Assad (and amid constant Israeli attacks).
As for oil, currently Damascus is well supplied by the Iranians, eager to dump their stock in fuel-starved Syria amid the global glut. Trump has previously voiced that part of US troops "securing the oil fields" is to keep them out of the hands of Russia and Iran.
* * *
Recall the CIA's 2016 admission of what's really going on in terms of US action in Syria:
May 13, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog,
From the beginning of the story RussiaGate was always about Barack Obama . I didn't always see it that way, certainly. My seething hatred for all things Hillary Clinton is a powerful blind spot I admit to freely.
But, it's clear that Obama was always the vector through which the entire investigation into Donald Trump pointed. He's the only one with the power to have marshaled the forces arrayed against Trump for the past four years.
We've known this for a couple of years now but there were a seemingly endless series of distractions put in place to obfuscate the truth...
Donald Trump was not a Russian agent.
What's clear now is the President Obama's administration was regularly engaged in illegally using NSA database access to spy on Americans and political opponents . This operation pre-dates Trump by a few years.
It was de rigeur by the time the election cycle ramped up in 2016. The timing of events is during that time period paints a very damning picture. This article from Zerohedge by way of Conservative Treehouse lays out the timing, the activities and the shifts in the narrative that implicate Obama beyond any doubt.
On April 18, 2016, following the preliminary audit results, Director Rogers shut down all FBI contractor access to the database after he learned FISA-702 "about"(17) and "to/from"(16) search queries were being done without authorization. Thus begins the first discovery of a much bigger background story.
And that's when everything changed. Because at that point, having lost access Obama's spy team needed another way into the NSA database. Enter Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele and the ridiculous dossier used to issue FISA warrants on Carter Page and all the rest of it.
The details are all there for anyone with eyes willing to see, the question is whether anyone deep in the throes of Trump Derangement Syndrome will take their eyes off the shadow play in front of them long enough to look.
I'm not holding my breath.
Obama is guilty of the highest crimes a President can be guilty of, utilizing Federal law enforcement and intelligence services to spy on a political opponent during an election. This is after eight years of ruinous wars, coups both successful and not, drone-striking U.S. citizens and generally carrying on like the vandal he is.
OBAMAGATE! pic.twitter.com/pFbb6hgDhF-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2020
... ... ...
These people obviously missed the key point about Goebbels' Big Lie theory of propaganda. For it to work there has to be a nugget of truth to wrap the lie in before you can repeat it endlessly to make it real. And that's why RussiaGate is dead. Long live ObamaGate.
Obama's people have been covering for him for nearly four years now. They have been exposed as bald-faced liars by the transcripts of their impeachment testimonies to Adam Schiff and the House Intelligence Committee.
None of them were willing to testify under oath, and be guilty of perjury, to the effect that Trump was colluding with the Russians. But, they'd say it on TV, Twitter and anywhere else they could to attack Trump with patent nonsense.
Now that the heat is rising and the apparatus they used to control turns its attention to what they did, enough of them will roll over and give Attorney General William Barr what he wants. Some of them will fall on their sword for Obama.
But I don't think Trump will be satisfied with that. He has to know that Obama is the key to truly draining the Swamp if that is, in fact, his goal. Because if he doesn't attack Obama now, Obama will be formidable in October. Both men are fighting for their lives at this point.
Trump was supposed to roll over and play nice. But Pat Buchanan rightly had him pegged at the beginning of this back in January of 2017, saying that Trump wasn't like Nixon, he wouldn't walk away to protect the office of the Presidency. He would fight to the bitter end because that's who he is.
And here we are coming into the home stretch and the bitter end is staring these people in the face. They've lost all credibility, corrupted whole swaths of the Federal government beyond recognition and activated every resource they have in the media and the chattering classes to make manifest a bald-faced lie. And it didn't work. Now the desperation sets in. The exoneration of Gen. Michael Flynn, the release of the transcripts and conflicting stories told by John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey and the rest all point to something beyond sinister.
You can smell the fear now. From Bill Kristol to John Brennan they can see the end of their project, whether it was for a New American Neocon Century or just the cynical push for a transnational oligarchy based around the European Union, their Utopian dreams have run into the immovable object of a people refusing to believe their lies anymore.
... ... ...
* * *
Join My Patreon if you no longer want to live in Boomerville. Install the Brave Browser if you want to help others escape it.
May 13, 2020 | www.zerohedge.comFormer CIA director John Brennan suppressed intelligence which indicated that Russia wanted Hillary Clinton to win because "she was a known quantity," vs. the unpredictable Donald Trump, according to Fox News ' Ed Henry.
During a Tuesday night discussion with Tucker Carlson, Henry said that Brennan "also had intel saying, actually, Russia wanted Hillary Clinton to win because she was a known quantity, she had been secretary of state, and Vladimir Putin's team thought she was more malleable, while candidate Donald Trump was unpredictable."
Perhaps Russian President Vladimir Putin has fond memories of the time Bill Clinton hung out at his 'private homestead' during the same trip where he collected a $500,000 payday for a speech at a Moscow bank, right before the Uranium One deal was approved.
And as Breitbart 's Joel Pollak notes, Henry's claim backs up a similar allegation by former National Security Council chief of staff Fred Fleitz , who said on April 22:
House Intelligence Committee staff told me that after an exhaustive investigation reviewing intelligence and interviewing intelligence officers, they found that Brennan suppressed high-quality intelligence suggesting that Putin actually wanted the more predictable and malleable Clinton to win the 2016 election .
Instead, the Brennan team included low-quality intelligence that failed to meet intelligence community standards to support the political claim that Russian officials wanted Trump to win, House Intelligence Committee staff revealed. They said that CIA analysts also objected to including that flawed, substandard information in the assessment.
Fox 's Henry said that he has obtained independent confirmation of the pro-Clinton Russia claim made by Fleitz .
Brennan's concealment of this key information was yet another link in the chain of the Obama administration's plot to smear Donald Trump as a Russian asset - a hoax supported by the Clinton-funded Steele dossier, which the FBI knew was Russian disinformation (or, more likely, Steele's Russophobic fantasies) before they used it as a predicate to spy on Trump aide Carter Page during the 2016 election.
And now, Brennan is a contributor on MSNBC. How fitting.
May 12, 2020 | original.antiwar.com
Recently, there's been rather heated debate – a sort of progressive civil war – over what's being called " lesser evil " voting. To Biden, or not to Biden; that seems the existential question. However, most discussion centers on whether Joe Biden would be a meaningfully better than Donald Trump on domestic policy: healthcare, taxes, immigration, and – of course – the coronavirus response. Fair questions, all; but on one subject – over which presidents have near limitless power – Biden's extensive record provides clear answers. For when it comes to foreign – especially military – policy, the man has hardly ever been right. On war, Biden's is a blood-soaked litany indeed.
Biden's foreign policy has been one big series of gambles. In the past, he's even framed it as such. Undoubtedly, few remember the time way back in Barack Obama's first term, when Biden – assigned as the administration's point-man on all things Iraq – predicted with absolute certainty that the Baghdad government would accede to the enduring presence of small numbers of American troops after the December 31, 2011 "end of combat operations." In fact, the ever-folksy Biden told the New York Times he would bet his vice presidency that Iraq would extend this Status of Forces Agreement (SoFA). It didn't. Nevertheless, Joe reneged on the wager and kept the number two spot in the land. Biden, like just about every establishment policymaker in both major parties, underestimated the independence and growing hostility of the Shia strongman Nouri al-Maliki, whom the vice president himself helped install after the prime minister had lost an election.
Yet Biden's Iraq War record goes far deeper. Sure, he voted for Bush's initial invasion. Only that's not the half of it. From his senior perch as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the future vice president quite literally sold the war to his more doubtful colleagues – twisting arms, making calls, and applying the classic Biden-charm – and to the American people writ large. Then, months after it was crystal clear that the invasion had been built on lies (no WMDs, no Saddam-Al Qaeda connection, etc.) – and by which point chaos and local resistance already reigned – Biden continued to defend the war and the "popular" president who orchestrated it. Biden didn't just vote for aggression and mayhem in Iraq; he championed it.
Beyond Baghdad, Biden's national security positions have also been abysmal. What's more, based on his own published campaign vision , other than the discrete Iraq War vote itself, the presumptive Democratic nominee is unwilling to apologize for, or meaningfully alter, his past formulas for failure. It's what Biden's "vision" doesn't mention that's most troubling: Obama- destroyed Libya, his old boss's floundering quagmire in Syria, any meaningful challenge to Israeli apartheid , or commitment to a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Mideast disaster areas. Better yet, the word "drone" doesn't appear once – so one assumes the terror bombing won't abate under Biden. In the final analysis, Joe offers little more than the status quo from West Africa to Central Asia – an intolerable situation he himself crafted over decades as the Democrats' leading foreign policy guru.
When it comes to war and peace, nominating Biden is like assigning the criminal with solving the crime. Indeed, so consistently wrong has he been on these issues, that one wonders whether he's a secret (if nefarious) genius. As I've sardonically theorized , being policy-wrong every time – like scoring zero on a multiple-choice test – almost requires knowing all the right answers and choosing to fail. Yet it seems unlikely that this sort of cynical savvy applies to ole Joe.
Is he better alternative than Trump on foreign affairs? Yes and no. Despite his populist "bring home the troops" campaign rhetoric – and occasional reprises in office – The Donald has hardly followed through. Often he's escalated bombings and boots-on-the-ground in the Greater Middle East. And admittedly, Biden seems more likely – but hardly certain – to reinstate the Iran nuclear deal and modestly tone down the march-to-war rhetoric. Then again, so far – though the colluding duo of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu try to gin up real combat – Trump has shown eleventh-hour restraint and eschewed full-blown war with Tehran. Not to say that The Donald, who has aggressively upped-the-ante on unwarranted conflict with Iran merits apologia. However, so far at least – an inconvenient admission for some – Trump is the first president since Jimmy Carter who hasn't attempted an overt violent foreign regime change. True, this is a low bar indeed.
Make no mistake, Donald Trump is temperamentally, intellectually, and morally unfit to serve as commander-in-chief. His ignorant and bellicose position on nuclear weapons makes him a potentially existential threat to life well beyond America's borders. Still, even Trump's more vociferous opponents should know what they're getting when they gamble on Biden: nothing more than a polite emperor to replace the rather coarse and clothes-less current occupant of the throne.
Even if he's preferable on some individual foreign policy issues, Biden has never questioned the imperium itself. That he won't change his spots and suddenly do so, is undergirded by the fact – as Chris Hedges recently pointed out – that "the ruling elites would prefer Biden" over the "vulgar embarrassment" of Donald Trump. Thus, selecting an emperor – given a presidency long unfettered by constitutional checks and balances – amounts to a matter of taste; of style over substance.
The "masters of the universe" that Hedges describes aren't remotely troubled by reliable, known-quantity-Joe's sordid foreign policy past. Neither, apparently, are Washington insiders, mainstream media pundits, or – if we're being honest – most common citizens. There's certainly been no penalty for Biden – or anyone else – being repeatedly dead wrong on the most decisive decisions a leader can make. American politics positively reinforces failure.
In even a marginally healthy republic, Biden's championing of the Iraq War alone – and decades worth of pathological lying about that record – ought to have disqualified him. That it hasn't exposes – like the COVID crisis – the structural and societal rot undergirding this country. Among the senior ranks of politicians, soldiers , and corporate oligarchs , obvious and undeniable failure carries few consequences. Blame and punishment is reserved for the lowest level of practitioners whilst power and profits continue to accrue to existing national security elites.
In contemporary America, there's zero accountability for top policymakers – even those a heartbeat away from the presidency – who repeatedly gamble soldiers (and foreigners) lives in far-flung adventures and regularly lose big. Neoconservative and neoliberal militarist leaders who drummed up disasters like the 2003 Iraq invasion should've been forever discredited. Instead, they've been laundered like dirty money, rehabilitated , and born-again as expert analysts on CNN or MSNBC. These, of course, being the very networks that – in the case of the Bush-era figures, at least – once lambasted them. As for the real heavy-hitters – Iraq cheerleading Biden and Libya regime change architect Hillary Clinton – the Democratic Party "opposition" runs them for president.
The narrowness of permitted debate on US war policy – and of the electoral options the two-party duopoly provides – is obscene. It's also proof positive that real challenges to American militarism must come from outside the system. At stake this November is more than what some sardonically call " choosing between two rapists ." What's really on the ballot is the minor matter of emperor selection. And the choices ain't great. Throughout his nearly 50 years of senior-level public service, Biden consistently made high-stakes war wagers – playing on credit with blood and treasure. So far his losses amount to $6.4 trillion in taxpayer cash, more than 7,000 dead troopers, 21 million refugees, and 335,000 civilian lives.
With that sort of track record at the life-and-death tables, Biden should really seek a meeting . Instead, he's become the last great white hope of polite liberals everywhere. And make no mistake, this doesn't end well. So be careful gambling on Biden. Like Joe betting his vice presidency on Iraqi elections, it might be a sure loser.
Danny Sjursen is a retired US Army officer and contributing editor at Antiwar.com . His work has appeared in the NY Times, LA Times, The Nation, Huff Post, The Hill, Salon, Popular Resistance, and Tom Dispatch, among other publications. He served combat tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan and later taught history at his alma mater, West Point. He is the author of a memoir and critical analysis of the Iraq War, Ghostriders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge . His forthcoming book, Patriotic Dissent: America in the Age of Endless War is now available for pre-order . Sjursen was recently selected as a 2019-20 Lannan Foundation Cultural Freedom Fellow . Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet . Visit his professional website for contact info, to schedule speeches or media appearances, and access to his past work.
Copyright 2020 Danny Sjursen
May 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
H.Schmatz , May 12 2020 18:48 utc | 160Here is some theory from what I read/hear over there...No idea which side play the informants, but so as to make some sense due the last tendences at least in Europe and the moves y Trump and the "deep state"
According to Daniel Estulin ( and not sure whether I take him right, due his Spanish )there is a current fight amongst the liberal financial banking elites and the old European aristocratic elites and old ( very old )money, being the later those who lost the last WWII by betting it all on fascism ( overtly or covertly ), and who try to redesign the world by undoing current nation-states to then try to rebuilt and recover former European empires, like Austro-Hungarian one ( in fact, there have been already moves these past days, even during the pamdemic lockdown, amongst the Visegrads in this sense, on the part of Hungary and Romania...), the IV Reich, and so on...
Trump would be, what he calls "international black", not an accident rised to power y the deplorables, but a well planned move by those elites behind supporting him, who think the world has become unmanageable under liberal democracy. These, what they seek, is a middle-ageization of the world, with a hierarchical order kept tight through authoritarian rule where, after the galloping advance of the 6th technological paradygm, about 90% of known jobs will be lost, without time for the population to reconvert into something useful. To justify that and advance it without intercourse of a decade or so, plus without facing any resistance at all, the virus came, one would say, like fallen from the sky...
In the middle, are us all, the working class, the peasants, and the middle class ( upper, middle, and low ) who never left being working class, eventhough the brainsucking by loans, hollywood, hyperconsum through big malls cheap fashion clothes, a bit of travelling, and TV. All disposable people....as got demonstrated during the "live exercise"....All jobs related to services, tourism, clothing, cosmetics, will be lost if not those related to the luxury sector, feed by the elites.
What is left for us is what got well illustrated in the hunger games, some will run to aspire to get some crumbs, but at such price...
Of course, some amongst us, as always, are already positioning themselves as the new brown shirts, online... and on terrain....
What all those calls for denouncing your breaking lockdown neighbor, or even the one not clapping down at 8pm ( like authomats every day, during two months! )do you think were for?
May 12, 2020 | www.unz.com
LondonBob , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 8:00 am GMTThe optimistic version is that Trump, like many US Presidents, freed from the need to campaign for reelection, will take a harsher line on Israel. The alternative is that freed from that need he will escalate in the region and start an unpopular war for Israel against Iran. I just don't know.Séamus Ó Néill , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 8:16 am GMT
Still be interested in your thoughts on the Roger Stone revelations.Friedman, Trump, Pompeo etc, etc are insanely delusional. The Zionists have killed the goose that laid the golden egg. America is bankrupt and in terminal decayLudwig Watzal , says: Website Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 10:26 am GMTDavid Friedman should be charged with treason. When does Donald Trump appoint a US ambassador to Israel? But Giraldi's article tells more about the mentality, servility, and corruption of the American political and media class. Not only is Congress an Israeli Occupied Territory but also the White House. A saying has to be modified regarding the American people: The Zionists can fool people all the time.fayez chergui , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 10:46 am GMTThe Lavon affair, the attack on the USS Liberty and 9/11, the nec plus ultra.Realist , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 10:48 am GMT@TrinityMoi , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 11:07 am GMT
NO WAY should we have dual citizens in Washington, D.C. for this reason alone.
NO WAY should we have dual citizens in the US.
FIFY@Wally I think PG and all of us need to relax. The tipping point of America's downward slide began with its bloody, crazed response to 9/11. Covid-19 has accelerated the downward trajectory. One more big screw-up, and it's curtains for the Greatest Nation Since The Beginning of Time (i.e. The USofA).Moi , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 11:08 am GMT
The American Zio nut-jobs are right–bring on the rapture. LOL!!!
PS:My only fear is that, when the rapture arrives, the US and Israel don't take the rest of humanity down with them.@Z-man Right. Sheldon Adelson owns the Orange Man, lock, stock and barrel.Z-man , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 12:01 pm GMT@Moi Adelson and others are buying Trump's re election bid but if he was completely under the Shylocks (plural) spells the MSM/Deep State/Owned Government would be performing virtual fellatio on Donald and they're not.eah , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 12:19 pm GMT
One hint on how it will go is if 'meat head' Pompeo, a zeolot Christian Zionist with that crazed shit eating grin, is removed early on in Trump's second term. If he isn't replaced with a real, pragmatic America First patriot then greater Iz'rael will be closer than ever to fruition and only Jesus can help us then.What's the need for annexation when they already exercise nearly complete control?Crony Virus , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 12:26 pm GMT@fayez chergui Zionism is cut from the same cloth as Nazism and Bolshevism, and cut by the same hand – the Anglo-American banking establishment. Insider Anthony C. Sutton has documented this quite well, as has Bill Clinton mentor Carroll Quigley. Zionism is really a bizarre parody of Nazism, right down to the tribal "master race" fantasy, the concentration camps, and the internal, hated, ethnic "other." Israel was created with an alliance between Nazis and self-hating, atheist, Zionist Jews – Nazi troop ships brought whole Jewish factories and villages to Palestine before the war. They betrayed the observant Jews of Europe.paranoid goy , says: Website Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 12:38 pm GMT
But yes, Mossad works with the CIA to do these false flags...@Z-manparanoid goy , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 12:51 pm GMT
I think they hate him because they don't completely own him like they completely own sleepy Joe Biden.
The only time I ever see the media truly attack Trump, is when he is too slow to war, enforced vaccination, war, money for Israel, war
Yep, that MSM sure hates Trump when he drags his feet at their agenda (21).@Z-manJoaoAlfaiate , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 1:20 pm GMT
the MSM/Deep State/Owned Government would be performing virtual fellatio on Donald and they're not.
The role of the media (and the "Opposition", of course) is to gadfly your government towards the aims of Zion. Your government wants to raise taxes but cannot justify it? The Press will inform the people of the urgent need to subsidise transgender bathrooms. The bathrooms will never be built, or a few only, the rest of the billions wil go where billions go Pentagon needs more money? MSM is there to show you the White Helmet footage ashen corpses that turn out to be actors. Or how about a politician " with the acceptance rating of a fucking mother Theresa" to hold up a vial of white powder in Congress and call it anthrax?
If you think for one moment Trump or anyone else is speaking off the script, forget it. Ever since Reagan, the White House has been occupied by actors and special effect cameramen. Be careful you aren't watching the wrong show .
"But it's the only show in town!"@paranoid goy And the only time the media praises Trump is when he is attacking Syria or stealing Syria's oil.annamaria , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 2:19 pm GMT@A123 Great. The Jewish State has been working on the Law of Expulsion for non-Jewish citizens. This law should become reciprocal towards all Israelis living outside Israel. Go home. Speak Hebrew, oscillate for hours at the Roman theater wall (wailing wall), and negotiate with your Muslim cousins on your own. Leave western civilization alone.Just another serf , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 2:28 pm GMT
Expulsion of nearly all remaining Palestinians, even the ones who are Israeli citizens, will no doubt come next and has in fact been called for by some Jewish politicians.
These Jewish politicians and their progeny should be shown a door when they desire to live outside Israel. Go home.
The Jewish State and Israel-firsters have been promoting the Wars for Eretz Israel against secular Iraq, Syria, and Libya by manipulating the US congress. The Jewish State has been arming the jihadis to kill the civilian populations in Syria and Libya. Millions died, including thousands and thousands of children (the latter actually makes zionists rejoice). The Jewish State has been arming and supporting Ukrainian Banderites (the self-proclaimed neo-Nazi). The gigantic hole in the sanctimonious narrative of the incomparable Jewish suffering is impossible to hide. The holobiz profiteering schema is collapsing.
The supremacist zio-idiots cannot help themselves but igniting a disgust towards everything Jewish. Time for the Jewish Communities worldwide to come to their senses.This surreal performance by Pelosi in front of some Jewish PAC doesn't get nearly the attention it deserves. It allows us a glimpse into the "minds" of our leaders. And it's terrifying.Trinity , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 2:46 pm GMT
https://www.youtube.com/embed/U1LmnQRnw8I?feature=oembedWe all know that Israel has indeed attacked Americans in the Lavon Affair and the USS Liberty and their fingerprints are all over 911. And exactly how many Jonathan Pollards live among us in America? How many Julius and Ethel Rosenbergs? How many Professor Charles Liebers? Remarkably, with all this corona virus talk going on 24/7, Lieber's name seems to have disappeared for some strange reason. Then we have the JFK assassination which Israel is one of the most likely suspects in the assassination of an American president. Dr. Carl (((Weiss))) shot presidential candidate Huey Long. Jacob (((Rubenstein))) shot and killed Oswald. Was Jack Ruby a paid assassin silencing Oswald before he could spill the beans? haha. What do you think? You wonder how often a Jewish assassin was involved in some way in throughout history in the killing of a Western leader or political candidate? Would make for an interesting list. And more recently we have the Neo-Commies better known as the (((Neocons))) who have taken over America's foreign policy and give the President his marching orders. On the other side of the coin, or at least (((they))) pretend to be on the other side of the coin, the (((Neo-Bolsheviks))) who promote open borders, anti-White racism, homosexual marriage, etc. But strangely one thing the Neocons and Neo-Bolsheviks all agree on is wars for Israel, closed borders for Israel, and the same rules that MUST be adhered to by the West do not apply to Israel. How many Jeffrey Epsteins and Jonathan Pollards are working in America still? How many Sheldon Adelsons, George Sor